NFL Draft 2013: Day 2 Prospects with First-Round Skills

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NFL Draft 2013: Day 2 Prospects with First-Round Skills
USA TODAY Sports
Giovani Bernard is among the top running backs for the 2013 draft.

A limited number of selections in the NFL draft compared to a dearth of prospects always forces athletes to slip down the board.

That gets amplified even more in Round 1 because there are more than just 32 college stars worthy of a Day 1 pick. The reality of the situation, though, restricts teams to a minimized pool of talent worth their investment.

Factor in actual teams' needs, what teams have addressed in free agency, as well as the depth of each position in the draft, and more players get selected later than sooner.

The following are those simply lumped into Day 2, but are capable of impacting at a Round 1 level.

 

Giovani Bernard: RB, North Carolina

Definitely one of the most explosive players entering draft season, North Carolina's Giovani Bernard clocked 4.12 in the 20-yard shuttle and 6.91 in the three-cone drill at the combine.

On the field, he was even more impressive. Over the past two seasons for the Tar Heels, Bernard stockpiled 2,481 yards rushing and 852 yards receiving while scoring 31 touchdowns. His dual-threat talent also gains appeal as he averaged 6.7 yards rushing and 10.4 receiving last season.

Include Bernard's contributions on special teams—263 punt return yards, two scores—and that only enhances his marketability. Possessing the power to smash defenses in the gut or bounce outside, Bernard would be a rare get in Round 2.

He also provides the initial burst at the snap to immediately take over as a No. 1 back.


Quinton Patton: WR, Louisiana Tech

Although his frame of 6'0", 204 pounds has outside-target potential, Quinton Patton's best area of production is better for the slot in pro football. That said, his ability to amass incredible yards after the catch offers a competitive advantage.

Within confined space, Patton moves quickly, as evidenced by his time of 4.01 in the 20-yard shuttle in February. So whether it's a slant, screen or inside move up the seam, he will get open against one-on-one coverage.

Plus, Patton accounted for 2,594 receiving yards on 183 receptions with 24 touchdowns between 2011 and 2012. The Bulldogs were undoubtedly high-powered and moved fast, but the consistency of Patton to snag passes bodes nicely in an offense-oriented league.

Mix all that with his tenacity to run-block effectively and he is a complete player.


Khaseem Greene: LB, Rutgers

Khaseem Greene's versatility is his most impressive trait.

Earlier in his college career, he lined up in the secondary and produced well for Rutgers. Making the jump into the front seven in 2011, Greene sustained his impact for the Scarlet Knights.

From 2010 through 2012, he collected 354 tackles, forced 12 fumbles, defended 12 passes and recorded 9.5 sacks. Even better, Greene developed more patience when reading and reacting as a linebacker compared to when he first moved close to the line.

His coverage skills and instincts to generate turnovers remained, not to mention his quick acceleration and body control to redirect effectively. Despite Greene's raw talent for the position, lining up as a 4-3 outside linebacker is a great fit.

Already providing the awareness to blanket the intermediate level, Greene has improved against the run and will also get pressure on the quarterback when needed.

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