2013 Draft Projections for Every Underclassman Who Declared
This draft has seen a record number of underclassmen make the jump to the NFL. It seems that every year that number grows, as more college players look to get a head start on fulfilling their dream of becoming an NFL player.
The talent pool of this year's draft received a major boost from the group of early entries. Players like Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel and Alabama's Dee Milliner appear to be locks to come off the board in the top 10.
Tyler Bray NFL Player Comparison
Prospect Highlight: Tyler Bray, Tennessee
Bray has the height and arm strength evaluators look for in an NFL prospect. He can deliver the ball to all levels of the field with exceptional zip. However, the issue with Bray is that he's a gunslinger. He takes way too many risks and shows little concern for the openness of his target.
His decision-making becomes an even bigger issue when he's faced with pressure. Bray doesn't have the quickness needed to extend plays and has a tendency to fall off his throws, which impacts his accuracy.
Because of his strong arm, Bray has upside. However, he also comes with question marks that could keep him from reaching that potential.
Tyler Bray, Tennessee, 4th Round
Kyle Padron, Eastern Washington, Undrafted
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Player Highlight: Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
This year's running-back class doesn't feature a prospect worthy of a first-round pick. However, there are a handful of players like Bernard who have the ability to make an immediate impact.
Bernard is a shifty runner who does a great job picking his way through traffic. His commitment to keeping his pads low helps him pick up yards after initial contact. It also gives him the balance needed to make quick and seamless cuts.
The only question about him is his limited top-end speed. Bernard isn't the type of running back who'll consistently outrun defensive angles. However, his vision and instinctual running style allow him to overcome his lack of elite speed.
Eddie Lacy, Alabama, Early Second Round
Giovani Bernard, North Carolina, Mid-Second Round
Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State, Early Fourth Round
Le'Veon Bell, Michigan State, Mid-Fourth Round
Jawan Jamison, Rutgers, Late Fourth Round
Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina, Fifth Round
Cierre Wood, Notre Dame, Late Fifth Round
Knile Davis, Arkansas, Sixth Round
Spencer Ware, LSU, Sixth Round
Michael Ford, LSU, Sixth Round
Stefphon Jefferson, Nevada, Seventh Round
Trabis Ward, Tennessee State, Undrafted
Cordarrelle Patterson NFL Player Comparison
Player Highlight: Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
Because of the brilliant offensive minds in the NFL, explosive playmakers like Patterson hold a lot of value. He is the type of player capable of taking a short screen pass and turning into a long touchdown.
His versatility will give a team different ways to put points on the board. However, he also has the hands and route-running ability to fit as a traditional wide receiver.
Patterson doesn't have a ton of experience, which means he needs time to fully develop. However, his athleticism and speed give him a chance to still make an impact while he develops.
Don't be surprised if Patterson is the first wide receiver selected.
Keenan Allen, California, Top 20
Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee, Top 20
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson, Top 25
Stedman Bailey, West Virginia, Early Second Round
Robert Woods, USC, Second Round
Justin Hunter, Tennessee, Second Round
Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech, Early Third Round
Kenny Stills, Oklahoma, Fifth Round
Josh Boyce, TCU, Fifth Round
Marquess Wilson, Washington State, Sixth Round
Brandon Kaufman, Eastern Washington, Seventh Round
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Player Highlight: Jordan Reed, Florida
Reed is the most complete tight end prospect in the 2013 draft class. He makes plays in the passing game and shows promise as a blocker. The other top tight ends struggle as blockers.
Reed isn't just a capable blocker. He has the athleticism to be a difference-maker in the passing game. His size, speed and leaping ability make him an excellent target for a quarterback. He also does a good job attacking the ball at its highest point and using his hands to pluck it out of the air.
Look for Reed to move up draft boards. His production at Florida was hurt by inconsistent quarterback play. The workouts will give Reed a chance to showcase his potential.
Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, Late First Round
Jordan Reed, Florida, Second Round
Zach Ertz, Stanford, Second Round
Dion Sims, Michigan State, Fourth Round
Gavin Escobar, San Diego State, Late Fourth Round
Levine Toilolo, Stanford, Sixth Round
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Player Highlight: Justin Pugh, Syracuse
There are some touting Pugh as a possible first- or second-round pick. However, he has a few issues that should push him into the middle rounds.
Pugh lacks the anchor and power needed to be a well-rounded offensive lineman. This lack of strength is visible when he's blocking for running and passing plays.
Where Pugh brings value is with his quick feet and solid athleticism. This allows him to mirror the pass rush and help protect the quarterback.
Pugh's upside is intriguing, but it's not enough to push him into the second round. However, the need for pass-protecting offensive linemen is something that could raise Pugh's draft stock.
Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M, Top Five
D.J. Fluker, Alabama, Second Round
Justin Pugh, Syracuse, Third Round
Chris Faulk, LSU, Fifth Round
Menelik Watson, Florida State, Fifth Round
David Bakhtiari, Colorado, Seventh Round
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Player Highlight: Alvin Bailey, Arkansas
Bailey is a barrel-chested offensive guard prospect. He has the size and natural strength to be an effective run-blocker at the next level. His physical talent is combined with a commitment to employ solid technique.
Bailey's problem is holding up in space as a pass-blocker. He isn't a great athlete and struggles keeping quicker pass-rushers in front of him. Bailey also lacks ideal awareness and will let a free rush get to the quarterback from time to time.
He still has potential because of his size and raw strength. Bailey just needs to find the right system to be effective.
Travis Frederick, Wisconsin, Late Third Round
Alvin Bailey, Arkansas, Late Third Round
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Player Highlight: Joe Kruger, Utah
Kruger is a big-bodied defensive end whose best fit is at the five-technique position. His natural strength is his biggest asset, as it allows him to hold at the point of attack. That strength is enhanced by his long arms and inside hand placement.
Kruger's issue is that he's not an explosive athlete and plays stiff. He can get himself in decent position, but lacks the closing burst to consistently make plays on the ball. This also becomes an issue when he rushes the passer.
His production would receive a boost if he were more committed to keeping his pad level low. Kruger's height allows blockers to routinely gain leverage.
Bjoern Werner, Florida State, Top 10
Damontre Moore, Texas A&M, Top 10
Sam Montgomery, LSU, Second Round
Corey Lemonier, Auburn, Second Round
Joe Kruger, Utah, Late Fourth Round
William Gholston, Michigan State, Fifth Round
Stansly Maponga, TCU, Undrafted
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Prospect Highlight: Kwame Geathers, Georgia
Geathers has the size and natural strength to play nose tackle in the NFL. However, he lacks the proper technique to excel. He plays too high, often lets the blocker gain leverage and obtain inside hand placement.
It's surprising to see such a massive player get pushed off the line so often. This has as much to do with his less than ideal technique as it does with his poor snap awareness. Geathers just doesn't get a good jump off the line of scrimmage.
Someone with Geathers' size needs to be athletic enough to stay on his feet after dealing with a cut block. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the balance needed to avoid the cut and remain upright. Geathers spends a lot of time picking himself up off the ground.
Sheldon Richardson, Missouri, Mid-First Round
Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State, Late First Round
Sharrif Floyd, Florida, Late First Round
Bennie Logan, LSU, Third Round
Akeem Spence, Illinois, Late Fourth Round
Kwame Geathers, Georgia, Fifth Round
Brandon Moore, Texas, Sixth Round
Darrington Sentimore, Tennessee, Sixth Round
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Prospect Highlight: Kevin Minter, LSU
At 6'2", Minter is a little on the short side, but it doesn't impact his ability to make plays. His instincts, powerful lower half and tenacity allow him to make plays from sideline to sideline. Of the linebacker prospects in this draft, Minter does the best job attacking the line of scrimmage and using his hands to hold at the point of attack.
He isn't just a one-dimensional player, as Minter also does a good job in pass coverage. He shows the ability to get good depth, as well as react to the pass.
The key to Minter's success will be his use of proper angles. This is important because he lacks elite closing speed.
Jarvis Jones, Georgia, Top 5
Barkevious Mingo, LSU, Top 15
Kevin Minter, LSU, Early Second Round
Alec Ogletree, Georgia, Mid-Second Round
Jelani Jenkins, Florida, Fourth Round
Tom Wort, Oklahoma, Seventh Round
David Amerson NFL Player Comparison
Prospect Highlight: David Amerson, N.C. State
Before the start of the season, N.C. State's David Amerson carried a first-round grade in most scouting circles. His stock was sky high after a season in which he had 13 interceptions and showed excellent coverage ability.
However, Amerson's stock has seen a significant drop after a poor 2012 season. His aggressiveness caused some issues, as he allowed way too many big plays. Without the high interception total, Amerson's risk-taking hurt the team more than it helped.
There's talk that Amerson could potential make the switch to safety. However, his lack of interest in tackling makes that move almost impossible.
Dee Milliner, Alabama, Top 10
Xavier Rhodes, Florida State, Late First Round
Logan Ryan, Rutgers, Early Second Round
David Amerson, N.C. State, Third Round
Nickell Robey, USC, Fourth Round
Tharold Simon, LSU, Fifth Round
Terrence Brown, Stanford, Fifth Round
Greg Reid, Valdosta State, Fifth Round
Steve Williams, California, Sixth Round
Mike Edwards, Hawaii, Seventh Round
Tyrann Mathieu, LSU, Undrafted
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Prospect Highlight: Matt Elam, Florida
Elam is the type of player who strikes fear into the hearts of wide receivers. His physical style has earned him a reputation as a big hitter. This physicality also allows Elam to make an impact against the run game.
However, Elam isn't just a hard-hitting safety. He also has the quickness and fluid movements to hold up in coverage. Florida routinely uses him in the slot against quick receivers and tight ends. Elam's instincts, fluidity and closing speed allow him to cover such a wide range of targets.
The only problem haunting Elam is his lack of ideal size. However, his tenacity should help him overcome this.
Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma, First Round
Matt Elam, Florida, Early Second Round
Eric Reid, LSU, Late Second Round
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Prospect Highlight: Brad Wing, LSU
Wing has a powerful leg and the ability to pin a team inside the 20-yard line. However, according to USA Today, he was suspended for unspecified reasons and did not play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. That could be a reason Wing won't hear his name called on draft day.
It's hard enough to justify using a valuable draft pick on a punter who doesn't misbehave.