The Best Pro Prospects at Every Position in the 2013 Senior Bowl

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IJanuary 25, 2013

The Best Pro Prospects at Every Position in the 2013 Senior Bowl

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    Before you turn on the NFL Network on Saturday to watch the 2013 Senior Bowl, you should be well aware of all of the best prospects in Mobile, Alabama. 

    Plenty of participants from both teams will ultimately be drafted, but which guys have the makings to be the best professionals?

    Let's take a look at the top players at each position.


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    Tyler Wilson

    Wilson is a 6'2'', 218-pound quarterback who possesses a strong arm and vast experience in a pro-style offense. 

    Unfortunately for this inherently talented and assertive signal-caller, he played behind a dreadful offensive line at Arkansas in 2012, and his entire team was a disaster under John L. Smith. 

    When afforded a clean pocket, there isn't a more NFL-ready thrower in the 2013 class than Wilson. He has some mobility to elude the rush, but when pressure mounts, some bad, Matthew Stafford-esque mechanical tendencies appear on tape. 

    Wilson looks the part of a professional quarterback, and with some refinement, he can become a viable quarterback at the next level, especially due to his ability as a pure passer. 

    Ryan Nassib

    Nassib measured in at 6'2'' and 228 pounds at the Senior Bowl, so he's slightly more built than Wilson. From an arm strength perspective, the Syracuse star isn't capable of pushing the ball downfield as easily as Wilson, but his arm and over-the-top delivery do not hold him back from making any NFL throws. 

    He won't be a read-option quarterback as a professional, but he does have the ability to break the pocket and pick up yardage. In terms of sheer athleticism, Nassib compares quite closely to Jake Locker or Ryan Tannehill. 

    He ran a hurry-up offense with the Orange and was a generally smart decision-maker who made many accurate throws with anticipation. 

    Put him in the right system, and with time, Nassib should mature into a fine pro.

    Zac Dysert

    Dysert is nearly 6'3'' and weighed in at 224 pounds in Mobile. He has a fundamentally sound release and made plenty of quick decisions during his time as a collegiate signal-caller. He excels throwing on the run and has a deceptively strong and rather accurate arm. 

    Dysert is comparable to Nassib in terms of general athleticism and escapability. 

    This Miami of Ohio quarterback was the victim of plenty of drops and didn't play behind the greatest offensive line. However, he did display good pocket presence in most of his outings. 

Running Back

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    Johnathan Franklin

    Franklin measured in at 5'10'' and 201 pounds at the outset of Senior Bowl week. He truly has the complete game to be a feature back at the next level. 

    While he's not the fastest straight-line runner, he possesses good short-area burst and the sudden lateral agility necessary to elude linebackers at the second level. 

    Franklin thrives catching passes out of the backfield and has a little Ray Rice-wiggle to him in the open field. 

    Stepfan Taylor

    Though Taylor logged 843 careers during his record-setting career at Stanford, he is one of the premier running back prospects in the 2013 class. 

    He is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type of player. 

    At 5'9'' and 216 pounds, he boasts ideal size to be a three-down back in the NFL. Taylor runs with confidence and demonstrated good vision cutting off blockers during his time with the Cardinal. He won't win many footraces, but can pick up the tough yards between the tackles. 

    Mike Gillislee

    Gillislee is a 5'11'', 207-pound feature back-scat back hybrid with good acceleration and decent vision when running in tight spaces. 

    He has extensive experience running out of the read-option and pistol packages, which should be a plus for some NFL teams. 

    This Gators standout could be used as a between-the-tackles guy, but he'd be utilized best as a player who gets the ball on the perimeter frequently. 

    Like Franklin and Taylor, he is a willing pass protector.

Wide Receiver

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    Quinton Patton

    Patton has the making to be Steve Smith 2.0. At 6'0'' and 202 pounds, he's actually a bigger specimen than the Carolina Panthers star, but Patton's game is strikingly similar. 

    He thrives separating down the field and not only has great ball skills, but he aggressively attacks the football when it's thrown his way. 

    It's more precise to categorize his hands as "strong" than of "soft."

    If you've watched Anquan Boldin his entire career and especially during the Baltimore Ravens' playoff run, you know how important ball skills are for a receiver.

    Because of his natural athleticism, Patton is a good yards-after-the-catch receiver. Really, there is not much to dislike about his overall game. 

    Markus Wheaton

    Wheaton has elite top-end speed, so separation shouldn't be a problem for him at the NFL level. Actually, his style of play is similar to Patton's. 

    The Oregon State standout isn't as big at only 5'11'' and 183 pounds, but he certainly could play as a boundary receiver in the NFL. 

    Wheaton may struggle getting off the line because he isn't overly physical, but the threat he presents as a vertical threat will keep defenses on their heels.

Tight End

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    Michael Williams 

    Williams, at 6'6'' at 269 pounds, is a tremendous blocking tight end. While he played alongside easily the most devastating run-blocking offensive line in the country in 2012, he too can maul linebackers and defensive backs and even many defensive linemen. 

    However, he isn't solely a blocker. 

    Williams caught 24 passes as a senior and is only scratching the surface in terms of his pass-catching ability. 

Offensive Tackle

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    Eric Fisher

    Fisher is a mammoth 6'7'' and weighed in at 305 points in Mobile. He dominated on film in 2012 and has all the agility, power and technique to be a franchise left tackle in the NFL for many years. 

    Lane Johnson

    Not only is Johnson a former tight end, but he's a former quarterback. Due to his past, this stud from Oklahoma obviously excels as an athlete and, frankly, shouldn't have much trouble getting out on speed-rushers in the NFL. 

    He anchors relatively well and could add more weight to his 6'6'', 302-pound frame. 

    When it comes to pass-blocking, Johnson compares closely to Fisher.

    D.J. Fluker 

    Fluker is the most intimidating offensive tackle in Mobile this week, standing 6'5'' and weighing in at 355 pounds. 

    His massive frame helps him against stronger defensive ends and allows him to physically dominate nearly every pass-rusher sent his way. Due to his size, though, Fluker will have an occasional hiccup against a speed-rusher, but he doesn't play with heavy feet and is devastating as a run blocker. 

    If he sheds a little weight, he will be a sturdy edge protector at the professional ranks. 

    Xavier Nixon

    Nixon is the wild card of the offensive line group at the Senior Bowl. When the effort is there, he can absolutely stonewall the best of the best. He handled Damontre Moore of Texas A&M—a guy likely to be picked in Round 1. Against Georgia, he really controlled Jarvis Jones, an edge-rusher who many believe will be a top-five pick. 

    The 6'6'', 311-pound Florida standout needs to improve his on-field work ethic. If motivated by the right coach, Nixon could epitomize a draft steal in April. 

Interior Offensive Line

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    Larry Warford

    At 6'3'' and 333 pounds, this Kentucky interior offensive lineman has all the makings of becoming a mauling guard in the NFL. 

    While he isn't an ultra swift mover, he is agile enough to get to the second level and punish linebackers. 

    He plays with a mean streak and possesses enough raw power to handle beefy defensive tackles and defensive ends. 

    A solid all-around prospect. 

Defensive End

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    Datone Jones

    Jones is the premier bull-rushing defensive end at this year's Senior Bowl. He could fit in on the edge of a 4-3 or a 3-4 at 6'4'' and 280 pounds. 

    While he doesn't have a plethora of pass-rushing moves, he is quicker than his size might suggest, and he plays with a high motor.

    Alex Okafor

    At 6'5'' and 261 pounds, this Texas star has more of a traditional 4-3 defensive end build. He implements a desired blend of speed and bull rushes and does have some counter moves to get to the quarterback. 

    However, he's not elite in any one area. 

    Ezekiel Ansah

    Ansah defines the scouting term "project" due to his short football background and immense upside. At 6'5'' and around 270 pounds, the long defensive end flashes moments of incredible athletic dominance over his opponents, but his lack of pass-rushing moves will limit his productivity early in his career.

    Some see a young Jason Pierre-Paul in Ansah.

4-3 Outside Linebacker

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    Khaseem Greene

    Greene, a former safety, flourishes moving from sideline to sideline and when he's asked to cover. But, as expected, he often gets devoured by offensive linemen when attempting to blitz. 

    If a team needs a rangy athlete on the outside of your 4-3, Greene is the guy. 

    Sean Porter

    Porter is an interesting prospect because he experienced success as more of a pass-rushing outside linebacker while at Texas A&M, but he does drop into coverage rather comfortably. 

    There isn't much about his game that pops out—he's just a solid player who can bring athleticism and versatility to a team's linebacker corps. 

3-4 Outside Linebacker

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    Chase Thomas

    Thomas was a pass-rushing demon during his career at Stanford, compiling 27 sacks in four years.

    At 6'3'' and 241 pounds, he possesses decent size to play the 3-4 outside linebacker spot in the NFL. While his somewhat limited athletic ability may be a hindrance when he drops into coverage, he is tenacious off the edge and his coverage skills can develop over time. 

Inside Linebacker

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    Vince Williams 

    At 6'1'' and 247 pounds, this Florida State product possesses the bulk needed to man a middle linebacker spot in the NFL. 

    A high-energy thumper, Williams does well against lead blockers and can shed when need be. Though he won't make a ton of plays sideline to sideline, he can undoubtedly fill a running lane with great pop. 


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    Desmond Trufant

    Trufant, who is the brother of NFLer Marcus Trufant, is a squeaky-clean cornerback prospect who mirrors well and has good enough speed to catch receivers if initially beat at the line. 

    At 6'0'' and nearly 190 pounds, he possess good size. It will be interesting seeing him match up with Terrance Williams on the outside. 

    Leon McFadden

    A relative unknown from San Diego State, the 5'10'', 190-pound McFadden is a smooth athlete who plays well in man coverage. 

    Although bigger receivers have a clear advantage against him, he is a pesky corner that should stick in the NFL. 

    Robert Alford

    Due to incredible speed and quickness, Alford will excel at the professional level not only as a cornerback, but also as a return man.

    Jordan Poyer

    Poyer isn't extremely fluid in his hips, but he plays the run well and has a general scrappiness to his game that NFL teams will like. 


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    Jonathan Cyprien

    Cyprien is a fast and physical safety capable of playing the run and ranging toward the sidelines to intercept the deep ball.

    Keep a close eye on him during the Senior Bowl, and don't be surprised to see him moving a step quicker than the rest of his secondary mates. 

    Bacarri Rambo

    Awesome name for a safety, no? Although Rambo picked off 16 passes in his Georgia career, he's more of a run-plugging, Kam Chancellor-type safety. 

    At 6'1'' and 215 pounds, he has good size and isn't afraid to lay the lumber on any running back or wide receiver.