NFL Draft 2013: Promising Underclassmen to Keep an Eye on

Alex KayCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2013

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 29:  Running back Le'Veon Bell #24 of the Michigan State Spartans rushes the football against the TCU Horned Frogs during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium on December 29, 2012 in Tempe, Arizona.  The Spartans defeated the Horned Frogs 17-16.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL draft is quickly approaching. It's one of the few things that many fans of most franchises in the league have to look forward to at this point in the season.

Only four teams remain in the playoffs, leaving the other 28 out in the cold. Meanwhile, supporters wistfully think about what could have been and who their organization is going to select in the upcoming draft.

Let’s take a look at some of the top underclass prospects that are now fully available and certainly on a number of big boards, while still managing to be quite under-the-radar when it comes to popularity.


Le’Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State

This big running back (6’2”, 240 pounds) is an absolute bruiser that promises to make an impact at the next level.

There isn’t much that the junior cannot do, although he does lack the elite top-end speed that many NFL backs possess. To make up for this, Bell uses pure power to clear defenders out of his way and always requires more than one tackler to bring him down.

If he can work on his quickness and start churning those legs a bit faster, Bell is going to be a star. The Spartan product already has the body and intangibles; he just needs to refine his techniques and work on speed. 


Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia

Ogletree is an absolute savage. The Bulldogs linebacker is one of the top prospects at the position in the nation, but could fall anywhere from the top 10 overall to the third round come April.

With that being said, it would be wild to see him drop out of the first. He has the size (6’3”, 232 pounds), collegiate production (112 tackles, three sacks and an interception during his shortened junior season), the ability to play the run and get into the backfield to rush the passer.

Nearly every team in the league needs a player like Ogletree, but with so many options at the position, many organizations elect to wait until late in the draft to grab linebackers. It will be interesting to see if anyone bucks that trend and jumps on him early.


Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee

This gunslinger reminds us of Jay Cutler (or even Brett Favre) in the sense that he isn’t afraid to force the ball into ridiculous coverage and roll the dice on what seems like every other pass play.

While this gambling got Bray into plenty of trouble during his time with the Volunteers, it’s also put his name on the map and many big plays have been made because of his risk taking.

We expect one of the many quarterback-hungry franchises will take a flier on this 6’6”, 215-pound prospect in the mid rounds, since there just aren’t that many potentially great signal-callers in the class.