The Craziest Video Highlights from the 2013 NFL Draft Class
The 2013 NFL draft class has had no shortage of amazing highlights to sift through. From game-breaking touchdown runs to punishing tackles, everything can be found from this group of incoming draftees.
The class is often criticized for not being as good as last year's version, but the following group of highlights should at least get you excited for what these players can bring to the table as they head into the NFL.
Some schools managed to crack the top 10 list multiple times, and one individual player will also be making two appearances.
With so many amazing clips to look at, this list will focus only on highlights from the 2012 campaign.
Will your favorite 2012 highlight from a soon-to-be drafted player make the cut?
Let's start with one of the best receivers in the class.
10. DeAndre Hopkins' Amazing Touchdown Catch Against Auburn
DeAndre Hopkins' career at Clemson has been full of awe-inspiring catches, but this one just might take the cake.
Here we see him fade to the corner of the end zone in a game against Auburn. Hopkins uses impressive body control to turn and face the ball, reach for it at its highest point and work around the Auburn defender.
Hopkins' 6'1", 214-pound frame is put to good use here as he demonstrates great strength and athleticism. NFL scouts have to be salivating when they see effort plays like this.
9. Ace Sanders' 70-Yard Punt Return
Ace Sanders is the only player to sneak onto this list twice, and he does so because of the electricity he can generate in the return game.
This play came on a huge stage against a massive rival in the Georgia Bulldogs.
Sanders initially muffs the punt, and it looks like the play is going to spell disaster for the Gamecocks. But he finds a way to scoop up the ball and lets his instincts take over. He jukes around at least three defenders before letting his unparalleled speed carry him to the end zone.
Stepping up under the bright lights of a national audience is one way to make a name for yourself, and Sanders certainly did so here.
8. Kenny Stills' Circus Catch Against Oklahoma State
Everyone loves a circus catch, and the one Kenny Stills made against Oklahoma State is hard to forget.
Stills utilizes a flurry of quick-twitch movements to gain the upper hand on the Cowboys defender on the out route. He then struggles to make the reception initially, bobbling the ball as the defender flies past him.
Stills has great hand-eye coordination on the play, refusing to give up on the ball, and it gently falls into his arms as he falls into the end zone.
7. Geno Smith Career Day Against Baylor
OK, so technically, this may be a cheat from the overall design of this piece. After all, Geno Smith's performance against Baylor was not a singular highlight, it was an entire performance.
But how can you not give recognition to a player who throws for over 600 yards and tosses eight touchdowns? This game put Smith firmly in the front of the Heisman Trophy conversation before he fell off later in the year.
Yes, the Bears defense leaves plenty to be desired, and Smith had all day in the pocket to sit back and dissect the defense. But this performance is still amazing.
Eight touchdowns have to be noticed.
6. Le'Veon Bell Executes a Hurdle Against Boise State
Hurdles have become a staple of football highlight packages. They are exciting, engaging and can make even casual fans pay close attention.
However, these plays are usually reserved for the smaller, shiftier players that the game has to offer. Not 230-pound bulldozer type running backs.
Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell is more athletic than he gets credit for, and his ability is on full display here.
He quickly gets to the second level after receiving the handoff, races past the first-down marker and proceeds to hurdle over a tackler who figured his best option would be to go low.
On most plays, he would have been right, but Bell made him pay on this one.
5. Denard Robinson Goes Shoeless Against Air Force
Denard Robinson has too many highlights to put into one slideshow, so let's go with one of his more memorable efforts from a game against Air Force.
Robinson has been given the name "shoelace" because he doesn't tie his shoes. On this play, that really becomes a factor, as his footwear falls completely off. This is no issue, though, as Robinson proceeds to make a series of cuts on his way up the sideline, blazing past would-be tackles in the process.
Robinson is one of the most exciting players in this class, and it will be interesting to see if he can craft more highlights like this without starting plays at the quarterback position.
4. D.J. Swearinger Levels Andre Ellington
Highlight plays are usually reserved for the offensive side of the ball. We remember the runs, the throws and the great catches, but we can overlook the defensive plays.
South Carolina defensive back D.J. Swearinger forced his way onto this list with his ruthless hit against Clemson's Andre Ellington (who may make a later appearance on this list for the right reasons.)
Ellington gains speed in the open field, but Swearinger seemingly comes out of nowhere to deliver the boom and spin Ellington around midair. The taunt that followed only added insult to injury and proved there is still plenty of passion in this state rivalry.
3. Cordarrelle Patterson Scores a 67-Yard Touchdown Against NC State
Last year, Cordarrelle Patterson was a relative nobody. He was not playing football at the Division I level and had not made a name for himself.
That changed quickly once he suited up for the Tennessee Volunteers. Patterson's game-breaking ability was on full display early in the season, especially on this play against NC State.
Here, we see Patterson take the end around handoff and create havoc in the open field. He makes multiple defenders miss along the sideline before cutting back over the middle and racing to the opposite corner of the end zone.
It is plays like this that have Patterson in the first-round discussion for the draft. He has dizzying potential and upside.
2. Ace Sanders' 49-Yard Punt Return Against Missouri
It almost seems unfair to include one player twice on this list, but Sanders had two of the absolute best plays from this past season, both of which came on punt returns.
This was undoubtedly the better effort, as Sanders fields the punt against Missouri and then allows magic to happen. He is initially bottled up, but not by the Tigers. Instead, his own blocker gets in his way. Sanders does not let this slow him down for more than a split second, changing direction and heading upfield.
He runs into another obstacle as a defender wraps him up and attempts to strip the ball, but Sanders refuses to allow it to happen and continues his pursuit of six points.
A remarkable effort from one of the best return men in the country.
1. Andre Ellington Balancing Act Against Auburn
The state of South Carolina is getting a lot of love in this piece, but the players involved have earned it. We saw three plays from the Gamecocks and now get our second highlight from the Clemson Tigers.
Here, we see Andre Ellington ignore all the rules of gravity on his way to a touchdown against Auburn. It looks like he will be wrapped up after about a six-yard gain. Two defenders close in and makek enough impact to normally bring Ellington to the turf.
He is swung around and forced downward, but he uses his open hand to steady himself and regain his balance. After that, Ellington makes one defender miss and uses his speed to race for the opposite corner of the end zone.