Power Ranking Every Underclassman Declaring for the 2013 NFL Draft
With the NFL draft now less than 100 days away, the list of underclassmen forgoing their senior season is now finalized.
Seventy three underclassmen have declared for April's draft, setting a new NFL record.
As a former NFL player and talent evaluator, I've studied each prospect closely on film and compiled an early power ranking of every guy attempting to enter the NFL early. This list is a work in progress, however, as there is a lot more film to be watched and factors to be considered between now and April.
To be fair to all prospects, I've disregarded all medical history and character issues, which means the list is based almost exclusively on my personal film analysis.
In order to quantify position-specific attributes, I applied a numeric grading scale to different categories for each position to give more meaning to my observations. So instead of saying running back X is elusive, I give his elusiveness a numeric grade from 1-10 based on film study.
To get a better idea of the ranking system I used as a tool to help generate the list, check out the Google Doc here.
76. Kwame Geathers, DT, Georgia
Slow, lumbering body that's constantly pushed back or lying on the turf.
75. Darrington Sentimore, DT, Tennessee
Poor athletic skills while lacking the ability to penetrate blockers.
74. Stefphon Jefferson, RB, Nevada
Smallish body with poor leg drive and inability to break tackles consistently.
73. Levine Toilolo, TE, Stanford
Decent blocker with serviceable hands; unfortunately, he may be too slow to get open. Best as a blocking TE.
72. Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma
Average attributes all around with reliable hands.
71. Jawan Jamison, RB, Rutgers
Small back with limited top-end speed.
70. Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Undersized in terms of bulk for a TE with quick feet. Liability in blocking at the point of attack.
69. Mike Edwards, CB, Hawaii
Solid frame with nice playmaking instincts.
68. Brad Wing, P, LSU
Averaged 44.8 yards per punt in 2012, good for 12th in the nation.
67. Dion Sims, TE, Michigan State
Big, powerful blocking TE with limited targets in the passing game.
66. Michael Ford, RB, LSU
North-south runner who won't wow you with moves but can get three to five yards consistently.
65. Trabis Ward, RB, Tennessee State
Small-school back with great quickness and productive college career.
64. Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
Average abilities all around but needs to anchor better against power.
63. David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado
Light and can get pushed around a bit but has decent footwork.
62. Akeem Spence, DT, Illinois
Decent athlete for an interior lineman but lacks quickness.
61. Joe Kruger, DE, Utah
Strong, heavy-handed end who makes plays by collapsing the pocket but has slow feet.
60. Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State
Nice size, could be an intriguing project at the next level.
59. Cierre Wood, RB, Notre Dame
Could become a solid backup in the NFL if he can run between the tackles and pass-block.
58. Bennie Logan, DT, LSU
Impressive athlete with a ton of untapped potential.
57. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
Had a letdown year but still can be a game-changer in the right offense.
56. Chris Faulk, OT, LSU
Needs to get in better shape and work on his balance, but has good size and tools to work with.
55. Tom Wort, LB, Oklahoma
Does well dropping into zone coverage but not a very effective blitzer.
54. Brandon Moore, DT, Texas
Limited athletically and has a sloppy frame. Anchors fairly well but needs to improve his conditioning.
53. Terrence Brown, CB, Stanford
Quick feet and a serviceable tackler, rarely misses. Not a shutdown corner but is generally effective.
52. Gio Bernard, RB, North Carolina
Smaller back with big-play potential. Shows up big in the clutch and can contribute as a kick returner.
51. Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
Good athlete with impressive vision and agility. Limited in his top speed but can make you miss.
50. Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
Very lean and underdeveloped frame for a LB. Has great instincts and long arms.
49. Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Big target who can develop into a dangerous red-zone threat. Not very fast or quick but runs decent routes.
48. Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
A bit on the small side but is extremely quick and can change directions on a dime.
47. Tharold Simon, CB, LSU
Tall, lanky corner who fits a trending prototype for the NFL. Needs to be more consistent.
46. Greg Reid, CB/KR, Valdosta State
Shifty and best served as a return man.
45. Steve Williams, CB, California
Limited ceiling but can make regular contributions to an NFL roster with hard work and solid technique. Also is a good tackler.
44. Tony Jefferson, Safety, Oklahoma
Good athlete with impressive size. Makes a ton of tackles at the line of scrimmage.
43. Jelani Jenkins, LB, Florida
Fast LB but very small for the position. Might be a better strong safety at the next level.
42. Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse
May never be a star but could very well be an NFL starter some day.
41. Jordan Reed, TE, Florida
Receiving TE who gets pushed around at times in the run game.
40. Kyle Padron, QB, Eastern Washington
Has an arm that make all the throws, but he played against marginal talent in college.
39. Josh Boyce, WR, TCU
Average skills all around.
38. Nickell Robey, CB, USC
Very short for the NFL, but his ability to get the job done makes him hard to ignore.
37. Travis Frederick, Center, Wisconsin
Just another solid blocking prospect coming from Wisconsin.
36. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Sudden and quick for a big man. Also has a quick get-off.
35. Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas
One of the more talented running backs in the draft but has issues holding on to the ball.
34. William Gholston, DE, Michigan State
Heavy-handed DE with slow feet. Gholston makes plays with his ability to collapse the pocket.
33. Alvin Bailey, OG, Arkansas
Good awareness and ideal frame for the NFL. Shows decent lateral movement as well.
32. Stansly Maponga, DE, TCU
Quick and powerful with nice athleticism. Fluid movements and elite potential, but very raw.
31. Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech
Ideal frame and graceful strides. Can catch and make you miss. Very dangerous with the ball in his hands.
30. Matt Elam, Safety, Florida
A bit on the smaller side but has elite quickness. Unfortunately, Elam takes bad pursuits angles and can miss tackles often, but he can also deliver a hit and is very aggressive.
29. Brandon Kaufman, WR, Eastern Washington
Runs great routes and has impressive size/speed combination.
28. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Good strength despite limited athletic ability. Very crafty as a pass-rusher. Finds a way to beat his blockers.
27. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State
Powerful and athletic RB. Limited speed but impressive quickness and change of direction.
26. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
Gunslinger with big arm. Needs to improve footwork and decision-making.
25. Tyrann Mathieu, CB/KR, LSU
Not the best cover corner but can change the game with big plays and a nose for the ball.
24. Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Nice build with good power and size but has limited moves and stiff hips.
23. Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn
Prototypical size, strength and speed. Plays hard and penetrates the backfield consistently.
22. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Good athlete, hard worker and solid in man coverage.
21. Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
Impressive speed and ability to close ground on a QB but has limited pass-rush moves and a small frame for the NFL.
20. Robert Woods, WR, USC
Elite speed and good hands. Can stretch the field and make plays after the catch.
19. David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
Inconsistent but highly talented athlete with impressive ball skills. Needs to work on the fundamentals of tackling.
18. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Exciting with the ball in his hands. Can make something out of nothing and is always trying to hit a home run.
17. Eric Reid, Safety, LSU
Might be the most complete safety in the draft. Hard hitter, good tackler and solid in coverage.
16. Spencer Ware, RB, LSU
One of the hardest-running backs in the draft. Breaks tackles and can move a pile. Very tough mentality and appears to love contact.
15. Keenan Allen, WR, California
Tall frame with elite agility. Can serve as a big-time deep threat or take a bubble screen 80 yards if necessary. Needs to stay healthy.
14. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Big body and solid anchor. Very impressive athlete for his size and can penetrate into opponent's backfield.
13. Kevin Minter, LB, LSU
Strong, fast, tough, smart playmaker who can do it all. Minter is a beast in the middle.
12. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Best route-runner in the draft with good physical tools to compete in the NFL. Great hands and strong competitor.
11. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Very gifted physically and runs with passion. Lattimore is the complete package.
10. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Ideal size for the NFL and just so happens to be a fantastic athlete. Has fluid movements and unexpected speed/power combination. Rare prospect.
9. Ace Sanders, WR/KR, South Carolina
Quick and shifty. One of the most dangerous weapons in the nation.
8. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Great hands and a perfect frame for TE. Can play WR or can be one of the best run-blockers on any team in the NFL. Competitive kid who catches everything that comes his way.
7. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Big, physical athlete with the agility to run step-for-step with any receiver in the nation. Has no problem coming up to tackle and has good ball skills when a QB decides to throw his way.
6. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The most underrated player in the draft. He has a great anchor, can power his way into QB's lap, uses his hands better than any defensive lineman I evaluated this year and has unbelievable balance and agility.
5. Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
An ultimate playmaker at the receiver position. Does not have great size but makes up for it with quickness and fantastic vision in the open field. Bailey is one of the most dangerous guys with the ball in his hands in the entire country, NFL or otherwise.
4. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Fluker sets the tone on offense with relentless physicality and power. He is a bully on the field and dominates at the point of attack. His effort and hustle make him a rare treat as an offensive lineman. Few guys finish blocks the way Fluker does, and the impact it has as the game wears on is huge.
3. Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Lacy is yet another great back to come out of Alabama during the Nick Saban era. Lacy has outstanding balance that allows him to bounce off of tacklers left and right. His ability to change direction is also rare for a man of his size.
2. Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
The sky is the limit for this athlete. He has elite speed for a pass-rusher and has the ideal frame to thrive in the NFL. Mingo is a rare specimen whose best days are ahead of him. Once he learns how to use his hands to beat blockers instead of rushing upfield and out of the play, he will be one of the best in the league.
1. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Joeckel has the impressive footwork of Matt Kalil and the aggression of an angry pit bull. He does get beat on occasion, but his ability to either anchor down or dance with a defender all day is what makes him a very hot commodity in the NFL.
Joeckel has the potential to be the most complete offensive tackle in the NFL. A guy who batters people in the run game and pass-protects like a power forward is a rare combination.