NFL Draft 2013: Locating Top Gems and Busts in This Year's Class

Matt Metzler@@MattyMetz03Contributor IIIApril 22, 2013

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 20:  Sean Porter #10 of the Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on October 20, 2012 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Year in and year out, the NFL Draft is blanketed with a plethora of speculation and forecasting.

The reality is that no one has an actual crystal ball, so most picks are based off of upside and potential.

In every year's draft class, highly touted players are drafted but fizzle out early into their NFL careers while late-round "no-names" become just the opposite at the next level.

Let's take a look at some potential undervalued gems in the upcoming 2013 NFL Draft along with some overvalued possible NFL busts.


E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State

E.J. Manuel is climbing draft boards at a rapid rate and may be the second quarterback drafted behind Geno Smith.

The question is when will he be drafted?

Manuel has said that the Eagles, Bills and Jets have shown interest in him, all three with picks inside the top ten. It doesn't seem likely that he will go in the top 10, so these teams would presumably look to snatch him up in the second round.

Don't be surprised if Manuel is a late first round selection, though.

With franchise quarterbacks at a minimum in the NFL right now, more teams will be willing to take a chance on a guy like Manuel, who perfectly exemplifies the new breed of the mobile quarterback.

In his senior season at Florida State, Manuel threw for 3,392 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M

It has to be impossible to overlook a player that was able to play under the stud linebacker Von Miller in college.

If that's overlooked, just take a look at Porter's stats in his last two years at Texas A&M.

Porter finished the season with 66 tackles, including 6.5 for a loss. In his outstanding junior season, Porter compiled 79 tackles with 17 coming for a loss, along with 9.5 sacks.

Porter stands at 6'1" and 230 pounds, the type of size usually found in linebackers that can play in a 3-4 defense or a 4-3 defense. This attribute puts a gold sticker next to Porter for NFL teams.

Sean Porter has proven in college that he can rush the passer and drop back and cover sufficiently, the dual threat all NFL teams are looking for in an outside linebacker.


Ezekial Ansah, DE, BYU

Ansah has only been playing American football since 2010 and has only one season as a starter at BYU under his belt.

In that season, he registered 62 tackles, including 13 of them for loss along with 4.5 sacks.

But is he just a one-year wonder?

Ansah didn't face much superior competition other than Boise State, Notre Dame and Oregon State, so it will be interesting to see how he fares against NFL offensive lineman.

Ansah isn't necessarily quick, and may lack the proper training and coaching in the past to break away from offensive linemen after initial contact, especially in the fast-paced NFL.

Ezekial Ansah has the potential to be a star defensive end, but he also can fall into the group of average pass-rushers if he doesn't get the appropriate coaching.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

While Patterson has all the tangibles to make him a dangerous receiver in the NFL one day, his intangibles may stunt his growth.

Projected in most mock drafts as a late first round draft pick and the second overall wide receiver behind Tavon Austin of West Virginia, Patterson comes off a strong season with Tennessee where he caught 46 passes for 778 yards and five touchdowns.

Though, as Kareem Copeland of points out, NFL teams are not happy with Patterson's mindset in running routes and are cautious that he may not be able to translate his success into a more complex offense in the NFL.

While teams can't pass up the speed that Patterson has to offer, some may pass because of his inability to grasp play-calls and understand his role in both pass and run plays.

Cordarrelle Patterson may not get lost in the first round mix, but he could genuinely be lost in NFL huddles.