2013 NFL Draft

2013 NFL Draft: Power Ranking Top Positions in This Year's Class

Jan 04, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman Damontre Moore (94) during the game against the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2013 Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium. Texas A&M won 41-13. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2013

Unlike last year's class, which could end up being one of the best quarterback crops we have ever seen, the 2013 NFL Draft is going to be all about defense. When you try to rank the positions based on star power and depth, it is not even close. 

Instead of trying to power rank the top players at each position, we are going to give you a look at the top positions that will make or break this draft. Every team has needs, but the talent available will determine if a team wants to use a high pick to fill it or move back to get their player. 

As the 2013 class continues to fill out with underclassmen declaring, here are is a power ranking of the top positions. Rankings are based on potential star power, as well as depth. 

 

3. Defensive Tackle

Notable players: Star Lotulelei (Utah), Johnathan Hankins (Ohio State), Sylvester Williams (UNC)

Given the way that NFL defenses have evolved over the last five years, defensive tackle has become one of the most important and in-demand positions on the field. 

Good thing for teams still searching for defensive tackles, as this year's class really is very good. It is a little top heavy, with as many as eight players being first-round talents by the time April rolls around. 

It would be unusual to see that many players at the position be taken that early in the draft, but teams might see everything else available and notice that the impact talent is in the middle of the defensive line. 

Lotulelei could be the first player taken, if the Chiefs feel that the quarterbacks in this year's class don't warrant the No. 1 pick. 

 

2. Offensive Guard

Notable players: Chance Warmack (Alabama), Brian Winters (Kent State), Dallas Thomas (Tennessee)

A sexy group of players who play one of the least sexy positions on the field. Warmack is the class of the offensive-line crop in this year's draft. The Alabama star is NFL-ready, despite being a little small in stature for the position. 

If you look at all of the teams still playing in the postseason, they have a lot of things in common. One of them is a great foundation up front. Teams know they must be big, physical and invest a lot of resources to get protection for the quarterback and running back. 

Whether you are looking for a guard or tackle in this draft, teams are going to be very happy with the level of talent they see up front. 

 

1. Defensive End

Notable players: Damontre Moore (Texas A&M), Bjoern Werner (Florida State), Sam Montgomery (LSU)

When the story of the 2013 NFL Draft is written, its success or failure will be determined by what happens with the defensive ends. 

Moore has a legitimate shot to be the No. 1 pick in April. He is not as explosive as Denver Broncos defensive end Von Miller, but he has a similar skill set and upside. He holds his own against the run, making him one of the best all-around defensive ends in the class. 

In addition to the low-risk upside of Moore, there are high-risk, high-reward players like Barkevious Mingo from LSU, who will likely be a top-10 pick because of his tremendous ceiling, that teams will fall in love with. 

This could turn out to be one of the great classes for pass-rushing defensive ends we have seen in the long time. 

 

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