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Meet the Most Physically Gifted NFL Prospects of the 2013 Draft

Ryan RiddleCorrespondent IApril 12, 2013

Meet the Most Physically Gifted NFL Prospects of the 2013 Draft

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    When it comes to talent evaluations, there's absolutely no substitute for watching a prospect play football. This should always remain the top priority for any GM looking to build a team that can win.

    Some of the better players to ever play the game would never have made it on a list such as this. But nevertheless, factoring in a prospect's physical tools and every measurable feature has its place. 

    Using a simple quantitative numeric grading scale that grades nearly every physical attribute of a prospect, I was able to generate a single grade value intended to represent an overall measurables grade. Below you will see a description of what each category represents:

    Dynamic Speed (DSA): Often times, people put too much emphasis on a player's 40-yard dash when it is only one of three times recorded. DSA equals the combined average of a prospect's 40-yard dash, short shuttle and three-cone drills. This allows for a better comparison of the straight-ahead, lateral and change-of-direction speed of any given prospect. 

    Dynamic Explosion (DET): This is a simple formula that takes the prospect's combined number of bench reps, vertical jump and broad jump and adds them together for a single number. This gives a more complete gauge of the prospect's explosive capabilities of both his upper and lower body.

    Dynamic Speed Average with weight factored in (DSA/Weight): This is based off a formula that takes into account the prospect's weight and the average of all three speed times to produce a number that reflects a player's speed relative to his weight. The goal is to put prospects of various weight groups on a level playing field when determining speed. This also represents the measure that considers a player's weight, which as we know, is important in football. 

    All three of these elements are then added to a prospect's height and arm length, where each are graded numerically on a scale between 1-10. The score is then averaged out for the "Total Measurables Grade."

    Note: Running backs were not graded on height or arm length as these elements factor very little in their success on a football field. This does, however, give RBs a slight advantage in overall scoring. 

    Only players who had complete data were considered for this list. 

    To see the complete list and further explanations, click here

A Quick Look at Last Year's Top-Ranked Players

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    Before we get to this year's draft of super studs, let's take a look at who made the top 25 list last year to provide some reference in regard to first-year success. In addition, this should give you an idea of how these guys are valued by the NFL and where they were drafted.

    Only two players from the this list went undrafted, and one of those two (Chris Owusu) has a history of concussions and missed most of his final year of college football.

     

    Class of 2012's Top 25:

    Rank. Position, Name, Grade - Round Drafted

     

    1. RB, Doug Martin, 8.07 - Drafted in the 1st round by Tampa Bay 

    2. RB, Chris Rainey, 7.93 - Drafted in the 5th round by Pittsburgh

    3. TE, James Hanna, 7.76 -  Drafted in the 6th round by Dallas

    4. WR, Greg Childs, 7.68 - Drafted in the 4th round by Minnesota

    5. DE, Bruce Irvin, 7.66 - Drafted in the 1st round by Seattle

    6. RB, Lamar Miller, 7.43 - Drafted in the 4th round by Miami

    7. LB, Mychal Kendricks, 7.42 - Drafted in the 2nd round by Philadelphia

    8. S, George Iloka, 7.42 - Drafted in the 5th round by Cincinnati

    9. DE, Chandler Jones, 7.36 - Drafted in the 1st round by New England

    10. TE, Michael Egnew, 7.34 - Drafted in the 3rd round by Miami

    11. TE, Coby Fleener, 7.34 - Drafted in the 2nd round by Indianapolis

    12. WR, Tommy Streeter, 7.34 - Drafted in 6th round by Baltimore

    13. LB, Miles Burris, 7.30 - Drafted in the 4th round by Oakland

    14. LB, Luke Kuechly, 7.26 - Drafted in the 1st round by Carolina

    15. CB, Josh Robinson, 7.20 - Drafted in the 3rd round by Minnesota

    16. WR, Alshon Jeffery, 7.18 - Drafted in the 2nd round by Chicago

    17. WR, Stephen Hill, 7.18 - Drafted in the 2nd round by New York (Jets)

    18. RB, Adonis Thomas, 7.17 -  Undrafted

    19. TE, Ladarius Green, 7.14 - Drafted in the 4th round by San Diego

    20. RB, Robert Turbin, 7.13 - Drafted in the 4th round by Seattle

    21. WR, Mohammed Sanu, 7.12 - Drafted in the 3rd round by Cincinnati 

    22. RB, Dan Herron, 7.07 - Drafted in the 6th round by Cincinnati

    23. S, Harrison Smith, 7.04 - Drafted in the 1st round by Minnesota

    24. LB, Demario Davis, 6.94 - Drafted in the 3rd round by New York (Jets)

    25. WR, Chris Owusu, 6.94 - Undrafted (concussions)

25. TE Vance McDonald, Rice

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    Height: 6'4" (7)

    Weight: 267 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 7

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 5.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 7.5

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8

    Total Measurables Grade: 7

    Vance is incredibly fast for a guy who weighs nearly 270 pounds. He has many of the tools that talent evaluators drool over. Running a 7.08 three-cone was perhaps his highlight. 

24. RB Kenjon Barner, Oregon

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    Height: 5'9"

    Weight:  196 pounds

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 7.7

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 7

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 6.4

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.03

    Barner's numbers are almost identical to former teammate and second-round draft pick LaMichael James'. 

23. WR Josh Boyce, TCU

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    Height: 5'11" (4.5)

    Weight: 206 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 5

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 9

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 8.5

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8.4

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.08

    Josh Boyce is the shortest non-RB to make this list. His speed and explosion are elite and should buy him several opportunities to succeed in the NFL. 

22. Edge-Rusher Trevardo Williams, Connecticut

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    Height: 6'1" (5.5)

    Weight: 241 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 5.5

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 7

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 9

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8.4

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.08

    Williams is an extremely athletic prospect who has done a nice job bringing down quarterbacks throughout his college career. His explosion and quickness have even helped him overcome marginal height and arm length to make this list. 

21. WR Rodney Smith, Florida State

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    Height: 6'4" (7)

    Weight: 225 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 8

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 7.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 5

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.10

    Perhaps Smith's physical tools will be enough to get him drafted. He is a project player who has not done much with his athletic ability thus far. 

20. TE Travis Kelce, Cincinnati

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    Height: 6'5" (7.5)

    Weight: 255 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 7

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 6

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 7

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.10

    Kelce tops out as the most physically gifted tight end in this draft. His college output was decent but did not match the tools he had. 

19. Edge-Rusher Dion Jordan, Oregon

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    Height: 6'6" (8)

    Weight: 248 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 7 

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 6.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 6

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.10

    Dion Jordan is the most versatile defender in this draft. He should go early in Round 1. 

18. S T.J. McDonald, USC

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    Height: 6'2" (6)

    Weight: 219 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 6

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 7.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 9

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 7.4

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.18

    T.J. McDonald is a big man who moves well. His father was a very good safety for the Cardinals and 49ers. NFL teams will question his ability to cover man-to-man. 

17. S Eric Reid, LSU

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    Height: 6'1" (5.5)

    Weight: 213 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 7

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 7.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 9

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 7

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.20

    Eric Reid tops out as the highest-ranked safety in this draft class in terms of measurables. His 40.5" vertical jump was something special. 

16. RB Cierre Wood, Notre Dame

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    Height: 5'11"

    Weight: 213 pounds

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 7.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 7

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 7.2

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.23

    Cierre Wood is probably one of the few guys on this list who will go undrafted. He has had an unimpressive college career and doesn't pop out on tape. 

15. Edge-Rusher Barkevious Mingo, LSU

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    Height: 6'4" (7)

    Weight: 241 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 7

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 7

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 7.5

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8.2

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.34

    On tape, Mingo is one of the quickest pass-rushers in the draft. He has great tools, which should translate into a productive NFL career. His 6.84 three-cone is incredible for a guy his size. 

14. Edge-Rusher Jamie Collins, So. Miss

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    Height: 6'3" (6.5)

    Weight: 250 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 7

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 6

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 9.5

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 7.8

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.36

    Collins leaped out of the building with a 41.5" vertical jump. He also happens to be one of the most productive edge-rushers in this draft class. Don't be surprised to see him go in the first round. 

13. LT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma

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    Height: 6'6" (8)

    Weight: 303 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 8

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 4.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 7.5

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8.8

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.36

    Lane Johnson is the only offensive lineman to make this list in the last two years. Typically, guys who play on the OL are the worst athletes on the field.

    Johnson has unbelievable athletic ability for a big man. 

12. RB Le'Veon Bell, Michigan State

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    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 230 pounds

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 7.7

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 6

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8.4

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.37

    By now we should've all seen Le'Veon Bell leaping over would-be tacklers who are standing completely upright. He is a complete running back with fantastic change of direction for a guy his size. 

11. Edge-Rusher Ezekiel Ansah, BYU

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    Height: 6'5" (7.5)

    Weight: 271 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 8

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 6.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 6

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 9

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.40

    Ezekiel Ansah has become one of the more polarizing prospects with his rare ability. The question remains whether he can learn the game fast enough to compete against NFL talent before his window of opportunity closes.

    Being drafted in the first round should give him a longer window to improve, but this smells like an over-drafted prospect in the making who has tape that doesn't touch his measurables. But come draft day, Ansah will prove the value of timing well with great size. 

10. WR Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech

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    Height: 6'2" (6)

    Weight: 217 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 6 

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 9

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 7.5

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8.6

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.40

    The only area where Rogers didn't impress was on the bench press (10 reps), which caused him to take a bit of a hit in his explosion grade. 

    Beyond his measurables, he is an exciting football talent who has some character concerns. If those issues check out, some team could be getting quite the steal after the second round—that is, if he makes it that far. 

9. WR Mark Harrison, Rutgers

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    Height: 6'3" 

    Weight: 231 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 8

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 7

    Dynamic Explosion Grade:8

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 7.8

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.46

    Some teams may project Mark Harrison as a receiving tight end given his size and lack of career production. 

    It's hard to pinpoint what went wrong with all of his talent, but you get the sense that he was misused rather frequently in Rutger's offense. Perhaps an NFL team has better plans for him.

8. RB Rex Burkhead, Nebraska

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    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 214 pounds

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 7.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 8.2

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 7.2

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.63

    Rex Burkhead is a surprisingly good athlete who is much more explosive than many realize. He has used toughness and impressive athletic ability to put together a productive college career.

    Rex should be a mid-round prospect who competes right away for playing time or maybe even earns a starting spot on a team lucky enough to have him. 

7. LB Zaviar Gooden, Missouri

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    Height: 6'1" (5.5)

    Weight: 234 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 5.5 

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 8.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 9.5

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 9.4

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.68

    Ranked No.1 on the list as the fastest prospect, pound-for-pound, Zaviar Gooden is a much better athlete than football player, but he still should go between Rounds 2-4 based almost exclusively on his physical tools. 

6. RB Knile Davis, Arkansas

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    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 227 pounds

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 7.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 8.2

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 7.8

    Total Measurables Grade: 7.83

    Knile Davis has the prototypical measurements for an NFL running back. He needs to learn how to hold onto the ball better if he hopes to have a prolonged NFL career. 

    His most impressive physical feat was running a sub-4.4 40-yard dash at 227 pounds. There are only a handful of football players in the world capable of that. 

5. RB Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt

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    Height: 5'8"

    Weight: 216 pounds

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 8.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 7.5

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8

    Total Measurables Grade: 8

    Zac Stacy is a tough runner with good leg drive and the ability to consistently make the first guy miss. After a great display of physical tools to go along with some decent tape, Stacy shouldn't be surprised to hear his name called at some point on Day 2. 

    One of the best things Stacy has going for him are the many traits he shares with last year's rookie phenom, Doug Martin. 

4. RB, Michael Ford, LSU

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    Height: 5'9"

    Weight: 210 pounds

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 7.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 9.5

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 7.2

    Total Measurables Grade: 8.07

    This LSU running back excelled in his explosion numbers, which should bode well at the next level. However, I was not a fan of Ford's tape and would not even consider him to be the best RB on his team. 

    Ford projects best as a late-round draft pick, which makes him an example of how strong measurables don't always show up in how a guy plays. But even though you may be a terrible driver, it always helps to have one of the more explosive cars in the race. 

3. Edge-Rusher Devin Taylor, South Carolina

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    Height: 6'7" (9)

    Weight: 266 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 9

    Dynamic Speed Grade:6.5

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 7

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 9.2

    Total Measurables Grade: 8.14

    Devin Taylor has spent most of his career hiding in the shadow of his teammate Jadeveon Clowney, who many project to be the first overall pick in the 2014 draft. Admittedly, Taylor has not impressed on the field like one would hope, given his impressive tools.

    His highlighted measurables are a three-cone time of 6.89, which is insane for a guy weighing 266 pounds, and his incredibly long arms of 36".

    Though Taylor has rare physical gifts, he likely won't be drafted until the fourth or fifth round considering his awkward and even clumsy style of play and relative lack of production. Whoever drafts him will be taking a leap of faith into the dangerous waters of potential, but he might just be a smarter/safer "project" player than Ziggy Ansah. 

2. Edge Rusher Margus Hunt, SMU

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    Height: 6'8" (10)

    Weight: 277 pounds

    Arm Length Grade: 7

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 6

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 9.5

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8.8

    Total Measurables Grade: 8.26

    It's measurables like this that allow you to block 17 kicks in your college career. Margus Hunt may be a raw football talent, but his size, strength, speed and long arms will aid his ability to learn on the fly at the NFL level. 

    If nothing else, Hunt should excel on special teams and be a solid contributor on defense while he learns the finer points of the game. The floor is low for this 26-year-old Estonia native. Expect him to be gone within the top 40 picks. 

1. RB Christine Michael, Texas A&M

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    Height: 5'10" 

    Weight: 220 pounds

    Dynamic Speed Grade: 9

    Dynamic Explosion Grade: 9.5

    Dynamic Speed/ Weight Grade: 8.8

    Total Measurables Grade: 9.10

    Christine Michael is the only prospect in the last two years of using this system to score a nine or higher. This kid has all the physical gifts needed to dominate in the NFL, but his maturity may be the biggest concern for NFL teams. 

    His numbers where highlighted by an out-of-this-world vertical jump of 43" (explosion) and a three-cone time of 6.69 (change of direction). 

    When given his opportunities, Michael looks the part of a physically superior talent who can beat you with either speed or power. 

     

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