NFL Draft 2013: Workout Warriors Ready to Shine Next Season

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2013

TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 09:  Linebacker Zaviar Gooden #25 of the Missouri Tigers during the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on September 9, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Tigers 37-30 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Zaviar Gooden wowed scouts at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, and the workout warrior is ready to step up and deliver as a starter in the NFL this season. 

He wasn't the only workout warrior at the combine, and not all of them will be stars in the NFL. 

Looking good in shorts doesn't a starter make, but when a player of Gooden's caliber puts on a show like he did in Indy, you know he's going to be special. 

These young men are ready to become the stars of tomorrow, starting with a banner year as rookies in 2013.


Zaviar Gooden, OLB, Missouri

Gooden had Mike Mayock oohing and aahing during NFL Network's live broadcast of the combine. 

This young man partook in every drill available and scored top-five marks in all but one. 

He led all linebackers and defensive linemen with a 40 time of 4.47 seconds, put up 225 pounds 27 times (which is crazy, considering he's only 234 pounds), jumped almost three feet high, posted the second-best broad jump of any linebacker or defensive lineman and displayed incredible quickness and burst in the drills. 

Honestly, no other linebacker held a candle to Gooden on Monday, and his unique athleticism and speed will translate well to the next level. 

Gooden isn't a versatile player, but his skills make him a perfect fit as a weak-side linebacker for a 4-3 team. He'll be perfect for a team like the Atlanta Falcons or New York Giants. 

The best part is that Gooden won't likely be a first-round pick, which will make him an incredible value. I have a second-round grade on him, but that doesn't mean he won't be able to step in right away and contribute as a starter on defense for one lucky team.


Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

Not many players have seen their draft stock rise this offseason as fast as Johnson's. 

He was considered by many to be a second-round pick until he showed up and dominated the competition at the Senior Bowl. That week, he continually showed scouts and coaches he's ready to start in the NFL on the left side.

Then Johnson blew the hinges off the combine. He showed off rare athleticism that, when combined with the tape he accumulated at the Senior Bowl, has slingshotted his stock to the point where he's now considered to be a top-10 pick.

Johnson posted top-five marks in all the events he entered, minus the bench press. 

If you're wondering why he wasn't this dominant during the 2012 season for the Sooners, Johnson was dealing with a high-ankle sprain for most of the second-half of the season, which limited his effectiveness.

This young man could be drafted as early as No. 7 to the Arizona Cardinals, and it'll be a shock if he slips past No. 11 with the San Diego Chargers in need of help on the offensive line. He's up for the challenge, though, and I expect him to have a fantastic rookie season in 2013. 


Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

Eifert couldn't get any respect nationally for the month of January and into February as many scouts preferred Zach Ertz over him in Round 1. 

After Eifert showed up to the combine in phenomenal shape and dominated the drills, there's no doubt about which player is going to be drafted before the other. 

Eifert posted top-five marks in every single drill, and he participated in all of them. And while his 4.68-second 40 time isn't as impressive as the 4.49-second time James Hanna logged last year, it's nothing to be ashamed about. 

Tight ends don't all have to be as fast as Vernon Davis. 

Eifert is athletic enough and fast enough to beat most middle linebackers up the seam, quick and agile enough to shake most outside linebackers and has hands of glue. 

He's ready to step into a starting lineup for one lucky team in 2013 and put on a tremendous show. 


Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78