NFL Draft 2013: Highlighting Coveted Offensive Weapons in This Year's Class

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IApril 17, 2013

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 03:  Tavon Austin #1 of the West Virginia Mountaineers carries the ball against the TCU Horned Frogs during the game on November 3, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  TCU defeated WVU in two overtimes 39-38.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL draft class will be remembered for the plethora of defensive talent and the studs on the offensive line, but there's the potential for a handful of offensive skill position stars to make a name for themselves.

With very few elite quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers to choose from this spring, these players will be in high demand. 

Here we'll highlight a trio of coveted offensive weapons sure to have their name called in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft this April.


Tavon Austin, West Virginia, WR

Possessing unrivaled speed, former West Virginia Mountaineers star Tavon Austin could easily be the first wide receiver taken in April's draft.

The speedster did nothing but produce in Morgantown, and his ability to separate from defenders and make the big play sets him apart from most other wide receivers in this year's class. There will be doubts about whether Austin can hold up at the next level considering he's just 5'8", 175 pounds, but most would agree the potential reward is worth the risk in this case.

In addition to recording nearly 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns as a receiver this past season, Austin rushed for over 650 yards and three touchdowns.

Austin is going to have to work hard to get open against NFL corners and safeties, but his breakaway speed and quickness will give him a slight edge in that area. 


Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame, TE

At 6'5", 250 pounds, Tyler Eifert is a top tight end entering the NFL draft this spring and looks to be a sure-fire first-rounder. 

From a physical standpoint, Eifert is the ideal specimen. Not only does he possess incredible size, but he's tremendously athletic and runs routes like a wide receiver. In addition to being quick and explosive, Eifert looks comfortable when reeling in passes and can catch almost anything thrown his way, excelling in jump ball scenarios.

Eifert led Notre Dame last season with 50 receptions for 685 yards and four touchdowns.

Three teams that would love to add Eifert this April are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers, who are all in need of a talented pass-catching tight end.


Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB

While Geno Smith has been criticized plenty leading up to the draft, the class' top quarterback remains one of the most coveted offensive weapons in 2013.

Not only does Smith boast exceptional arm strength and accuracy, but he displays excellent pocket awareness. He doesn't tuck the ball in and run all that often, instead looking to buy extra time for his receivers to get open. While that trait could bode poorly for him early on in the NFL, it's certainly positive in terms of staying healthy.

Plus, Smith has thrown for over 4,000 yards in each of his past two seasons in college and combined to throw 73 touchdowns from 2011 to 2012.

Smith may not make the sort of impact that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III did a year ago, but he did nothing but produce at West Virginia and all signs indicate he will at the next stop, wherever that may be.


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