Every year, you can be sure of one thing—waves in the ocean will rise and fall, and NFL prospects will rise and fall along with them.
As we look ahead to the NFL combine and NFL draft in 2013, prospects' stocks are beginning to fluctuate wildly as various experts try to pin down what a player will do at the next level. Prospects once called "locks" to be selected in the top five are curiously sinking fast, while former "second-rounders" are rising to the top.
Of course, for teams drafting in the mid-to-late first round, that means there are plenty of opportunities to find steals, laughing all the way to the end zone in the process.
Here's a look at prospects who I see being steals come draft day.
Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Bjoern Werner was pegged as a top-five pick for months, but concerns about his motor could see him drop to the middle of the first round now. Mike Mayock of NFL Network recently claimed that he wasn't a top 10 prospect, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer.
Are the concerns about Werner's motor somewhat valid?
Sure, he was inconsistent in that regard last season with Florida State, but given the defensive end's pass-rushing skills, burst and strength, he would be a steal in the middle of the first round.
Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
There are concerns that Damontre Moore, once a lock as a top five pick, doesn't have a legitimate secondary pass-rush move. In short, he's raw.
There also seems to be a growing concern that his athleticism and explosiveness aren't as magnificent as previously deemed.
But the concerns about his athleticism are greatly over-exaggerated in my opinion. He's still one of the more athletic and explosive defensive ends in the draft. Also, his technique can be refined in the pros.
There is still plenty to like about the Texas A&M product and, if he slips to the middle of the first round, he will be a steal for any team.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
What DeAndre Hopkins lacks in eye-opening athleticism and explosiveness, he makes up for in route-running and smarts.
The comparisons to Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne are valid. Hopkins can create separation with his impressive route-running skills and awareness and could be the steal of the draft when all is said and done.
There are some players who defy the odds and I love Hopkins' intangibles.
Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Desmond Trufant isn't exactly a secret anymore after drawing rave reviews during Senior Bowl week, but he's still likely to be selected in the late first round.
He may not have elite top-end speed, but his quickness, combined with his coverage skills, strength, and physicality, have many teams taking a good look at him.
He also has the pedigree as the younger brother of Seattle Seahawks corner Marcus Trufant. A team like the San Francisco 49ers would love to see him slide to them, but he may be gone before then.
Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
I feel like a lot of people are glossing over Sam Montgomery, primarily because LSU teammate Barkevious Mingo makes him look bad in terms of athleticism and explosiveness.
But Montgomery's ability against the run, combined with underrated pass-rushing skills and a non-stop motor make him a steal in the late first round.
Mike Mayock of NFL Network said as much recently, via DetroitLions.com, beaming about the defensive end's physicality and toughness.
I think Sam Montgomery is going to surprise a lot of people.
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