Draft talk is in full swing with the NFL Combine just weeks away. This draft looks to be top-heavy on defense, in fact, the top three picks could all be defensive lineman.
They may not play the most glamorous positions in football, but these guys are likely to get the most coveted positions on the draft board—the top 10.
Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, wideout A.J. Green and others are sure to make an impact at the next level. But they'll do so because of the players willing to do the dirty work.
Let's take a look at arguably the top-five defensive players available in this year's NFL draft. The future is now.
Alabama's star DE will almost assuredly go in the top 10 in this year's draft.
Dareus was a big reason the Tide held the nation's top ranking for the first month of the 2010 season.
Peterson is a lock-down corner and might just be the best player in the draft.
His performance at the NFL Combine will go a long way in determining how high he goes in April's draft.
Peterson won the Chuck Bednarik Trophy as the nation's best defensive player in 2010. He also received the Jim Thorpe Award honoring the best defensive back in the country.
Von Miller is a freak.
His 111 tackles and 28 sacks over the last two seasons don't do his physicality justice. Miller won the Dick Butkus Award for the 2010 season.
Nick Fairley's 12 sacks spear-headed the Tigers defense on their way to the National Championship.
With only two seasons under his belt, Fairley still has tremendous upside.
The 2010 Vince Lombardi/Rotary Award winner is reportedly the top prospect heading into the NFL Combine, slated to begin Feb. 24.