NFL Draft 2013: Players Who Are Shooting Up the Big Board
After the combine is really when fans and experts can get a true grasp of what exactly will transpire during the draft.
Prior to all the 40-yard dashes and broad jumps, everything is speculative. Heading into pro days, a bunch of players really stood out during the combine to rocket up the mock draft boards.
Here is that group of guys that should be looking to hear their names called much earlier than they had expected come April.
Be honest...you had no idea who Terron Armstead was last week.
At 6'5" and 306 pounds, the Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive tackle ran a blistering 4.71 in the 40-yard dash. He also led all offensive linemen with a 34.5-inch vertical...are you kidding?
Armstead's numbers are borderline inhuman and they really turned the heads of NFL scouts. He is at least a third-round pick now after his stellar performance. Armstead was so fast that he beat nine running backs in the 40. Maybe he should consider a position change.
Armstead burst onto the scene and went from an unknown to the talk of the combine. He has set the bar high for future linemen and made himself a lot of money last weekend. There is no telling how high he will go at this point, but he is firmly on the map.
Patterson was forced to endure another average season in Tennessee amidst all the defensive stalwarts of the SEC. Those circumstances just make his accomplishments that much more impressive.
The Vols' receiver ran a 4.42 at 6'2" and 216 pounds. He also flaunted a 37-inch vertical and wowed scouts by catching passes all over the place.
We knew Patterson was good, but he has begun to look more and more like the best receiver in this draft. His combination of size and speed is unheard of.
While his 40-time is impressive, sometimes those are to be taken with a grain of salt. Not in his case, as his speed definitely translates onto the field. Just watch his highlights and try not to drool on your keyboard after seeing what this guy does in the open field.
It is tough to find any flaws with Patterson. He is a big receiver who will go up and snatch balls out of the air with relative ease. He can go over the middle and make tough catches in traffic, and he has tremendous speed and quickness in the open field.
His already well-documented abilities, coupled with his phenomenal weekend in Indianapolis, could put him all the way up into the top ten.
Michigan State's powerful running back really impressed scouts and has begun his ascension up the draft boards. His puzzling place among the most underrated college players of this past season is now over.
Using high picks on running backs is usually frowned upon given their short NFL life spans. Bell will likely not be taken in the first round, but he will make some team incredibly thankful that they spent a second- or third-rounder on him.
At 6'1" and 230 pounds, Bell ran a more than respectable 4.6 in the 40. He is a bruising power back and after that run, his speed cannot be taken lightly.
While he may not be a feature back, Bell will carve out a niche for himself very easily in this league. He is a sure thing and will hear his name called much earlier than he would have anticipated months ago.
The best cornerback in this draft is Dee Milliner from Alabama. No argument there, as he will be selected in the top ten.
As for the second best, before the combine that argument was up in the air. At this point, that may be put to rest as Trufant has seen his stock soar recently from a projected second- to third-rounder to a likely first-round pick.
The Washington corner ran a staggering 4.38 40 as well as showing up in the vertical and 20-yard shuttle. He also put up 16 reps on the bench, which was among the best of all cornerbacks.
Trufant had a great season for the Huskies and now is starting to reap the benefits. He really stuck out among the class of cornerbacks, and it would be very surprising not to see him be the second corner picked, likely somewhere in the first round.
Eifert laid to rest any questions of who the first tight end off the board would be with his big performance at the combine.
The Notre Dame product had a crazy weekend, ranking in the top four in the 40-yard dash, vertical, bench press, 20-yard shuttle, 60-yard shuttle and three-cone drill. He turned Indianapolis into his own pro day.
His 4.68 40, coupled with a 35.5-inch vertical and 22 bench press reps, combine to make him the premier tight end in this draft at 6'5.5" and 250 pounds. He is unquestionably the only tight end worth spending a first-round pick on after outshining everyone so badly.
Eifert has separated himself from his competition at his respective position like no one else has in this draft. He is far beyond anyone else at tight end and will reap the benefits of his unparalleled athletic ability when he hears his name called early on Day 1 of the draft.