The NFL draft is three of the most exciting days in the game of football. Some may argue its boring, but watching young athletes achieve their dreams never gets old for me.
Every year there are always a few players that capture the focus of fans heading into draft day and these are the five for 2013.
This list is full of position changes, small-school surprises and comeback stories that have captured our attention this spring. Here are the five players we are pulling for heading into the 2013 NFL draft.
We all make stupid mistakes when we are teenagers, but rarely do those mistakes end up on YouTube with thousands of views, or ruin Division I scholarship opportunities.
Unfortunately for Josh Jarboe that’s exactly what happened when he uploaded a rap video to YouTube while at Oklahoma. He has been on a wild ride to return to the top level of college football (h/t New York Times), but now he is a NFL draft prospect.
The 6’3”, 215-pound receiver is not expected to be drafted (via CBS Sports), but his talent is recognizable and was shown off at his pro day. His shady past full of character issues is a major question mark, but he is full of talent and will be an early contributor if picked up early.
If nothing else, you have to love the team-color-tipped dreads.
Heading into his senior season Denard Robinson was a Heisman candidate that was supposed to be a leader in the Big Ten.
By the end of 2012 he was a receiver and running back in the Wolverines offense. An elbow injury sidelined his future as a quarterback (via ESPN), but his athleticism opened the door to a better opportunity in the NFL.
He is a projected sixth-rounder (via CBS Sports) as a receiver, and should hear his name called on Day 2. Robinson is a true teammate that is willing to take on any role for his team to win.
The team that drafts him knows that it's snagging a solid athlete and strong leader in Robinson.
It was an injury that reminded us all of the Willis McGahee hyperextension against Ohio State in 2003.
Lattimore is now entering the draft instead of returning to college which is the best decision considering the scenario. He can follow in the footsteps laid by McGahee and get drafted while putting the final touches on his rehab and comeback.
By 2014 he should be a contributor.
Pulling for Lattimore is easy. He is a great kid that is one of the hardest working players in the college game. He had a devastating injury that could have ended his career, but instead he is pushing on.
J.J. Wilcox is a one-year starter at safety from a small school in Georgia. His stock was not expected to be very high until an injury to Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo opened the door to playing time in the Senior Bowl (via CBS Sports).
By the end of the week Senior Bowl evaluators had him listed as the No. 1 safety on the South Squad (via SeniorBowl.com).
Wilcox is now one of the best safety prospects in the draft despite being a relative unknown receiver just two years ago.
Pulling for the small-school guy is always fun, but when he is one of the best in the game, it makes it a lot easier.
B.W. Webb was a small-school star at the Senior Bowl when he made himself known during practices to all the scouts in attendance (via CBS Sports).
He is another small-school favorite of mine that will take to the draft and likely hit the middle rounds. Having his name called is a big step for the talented cover-corner from William and Mary.
The Senior Bowl was his launching pad to draft day, and it may have him sneaking into the third round if he piqued enough interest from a scout or two.
Watching the small-school guys rise is always fun on draft day.