A big part of evaluating NFL draft prospects is projecting them at the next level. Just because a player stars in college doesn't mean he will star in the pros. We've seen that all too often.
That's why when an explosive player deemed "too raw" drops in the draft, it's hard for me to fathom. Here you have some of the best coaches in the world in the NFL—if a player is willing and focused, he can be coached up.
Here's a look at three players who may be selected in the bottom half of the first round in the 2013 NFL draft who shouldn't drop that far.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Three of four draft experts on NFL.com have Ezekiel Ansah being selected in the bottom half of the first round.
That's rather surprising given Ansah has been compared to New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in terms of athleticism and explosiveness.
A former track athlete, Ansah didn't even start playing football until 2010. That's why, when experts knock him on his technique and apparent lack of a secondary pass-rushing move, I just remember that he's only been in the game for a short period of time.
The NFL draft is about assessing a prospect's potential at the next level. With some coaching, Ansah could become another JPP-type player. That's enough reason to select him earlier in the draft.
Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
OK, before you start ranting, let me first say that, yes, I know Alec Ogletree comes with character concerns. During his time at Georgia, he was suspended for four games for testing positive for marijuana and suspended for one game for stealing a scooter helmet. He also was recently arrested for DUI, via Pro Football Talk.
So, in that respect, I understand why teams may not even select him in the first round. There are legitimate concerns about his makeup.
On the other hand, his speed and athleticism at the linebacker position rivals any of the first-round linebacker prospects in the draft. After the combine, his stock figures to rise again.
This depends on what team selects Ogletree for me. Surrounded by a veteran-heavy team, Ogletree could harness his energy in a positive way. Surrounded by a young team, he could be a bust.
Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
Two of four draft experts on NFL.com have Barkevious Mingo going in the bottom half of the first round.
Mingo is a bit lean for a front-seven player in the NFL, but he packs a surprising punch combined with fantastic explosiveness, speed and length. The biggest concern is he's still a bit raw when it comes to technique and pass-rushing moves, but that can be coached up.
Mingo has great potential at the next level and—while he does have some bust potential—putting him in the right situations and packages early on his NFL career should see him gradually climb.
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