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Mention Stanford to any fan of the NFL, and the first thing he or she will think of is Andrew Luck. While Luck and his former coach Jim Harbaugh put Stanford back in a prominent spot on the football map in 2012, it was the defense that led the way, and that defense was led by outside linebacker Chase Thomas. Does the aptly named defender's production in Pac-12 portend big things in his NFL future?

 

Strengths

Thomas is a high-effort player with a physical edge and great play awareness and recognition. He has a multitude of pass rush moves, and has very active hands when he engages his opponent. Thomas will dominate pass-blockers when the protection scheme does not put an offensive tackle on him. He has a lot of fight in his game, and he is a tone-setter on defense.

 

Weaknesses

 

As an athlete, Thomas is adequate at best. He can't run with backs or athletic tight ends or cover much range against the pass, and he has trouble changing direction quickly. Thomas won't be an effective edge-rusher to the outside because he can't turn the corner or get upfield fast enough to put the offensive tackle on his heels. Offensive tackles can blot him out on passing downs because Thomas lacks the arm length to go with his big frame. 

 

Tools

At 6'3" 244 pounds, Thomas has nice NFL size, but his 32 1/4" arms keep him from being a legitimate defensive end prospect or pass rush specialist. He is probably faster than his 4.91 40 time, but it is still an accurate picture of his main liability as an athlete. His 32" vertical, 9'5" broad jump, and 7.17 three-cone combine measurement complete the picture of a limited athlete.

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Sio Moore

Oakland Raiders

Third Round, 66th Pick

In today's NFL, linebackers can be asked to wear a lot of hats in their duties at the second level of the defense, just as defenses themselves change sets and personnel packages depending on the game situation.

Connecticut's Sio Moore is already way ahead of the curve, demonstrating the ability to line up anywhere and do just about anything that a team would ask their linebackers to do. What does this prospect have to offer beyond versatility?

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Bostic

Chicago Bears

Second Round, 50th Pick

Sharrif Floyd is getting most of the attention among the 2013 NFL draft prospects from the Florida Gators defense, and what he isn't getting is going to Matt Elam. Still, the leader of that impressive unit, middle linebacker Jon Bostic, is a quality prospect in his own right. Does Bostic deserve more attention from draft analysts than he has been getting?

 

Strengths

Bostic plays low and patiently prowls until he decides to attack. His decisions and instincts are usually sound, and Bostic plays with a lot of effort and energy. He is a stout, combative linebacker who will take on a larger blocker with verve and hold his spot at the point of attack, giving up his body so his teammates can make the play.

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James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Small-school wide receivers that put up numbers as big as Brandon Kaufman's 2012 season will always get attention from NFL scouts. The ability to find a diamond in the rough who was overlooked because of his level of competition can pay big dividends down the line. Will Kaufman's game translate to the next level?

Strengths

Kaufman is a big receiver with enough speed to create some deep separation and ball skills and catch radius to come down with the more tightly contested passes. He's tall, but plays with some strength and sturdiness. Kaufman does not shy away from contact and is willing and able to work the middle of the field. He has a solid stop-start move in the open field and should be a weapon in the red zone.

Weaknesses

Even though he isn't a poor athlete, Kaufman's quickness and speed are average or adequate at best among big NFL receivers. He isn't particularly agile, flexible, or explosive and won't regularly get behind NFL secondaries. The level of play and lack of complexity in Kaufman's duties makes his ability to make in the NFL a larger unknown.

Tools

Kaufman is 6'5", 216 pounds with 32 1/4" arms, presenting a big target for his quarterback. Even though he only timed 4.68 in the 40, Kaufman was able to consistently challenge and often pull away from defensive backs, although they were FCS-level players.

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Who will be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft?

The Kansas City Chiefs hold the pick, but the first overall pick remains very much up in the air at this point. It could be Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher or maybe a wild card like Sharrif Floyd. The fact is, five weeks out, the 2013 NFL draft is far from decided.

Free agency has started, which means teams are crossing needs off their wish lists and narrowing the focus of where they will go with each pick in the draft. But who will the Chiefs draft?

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The NFL Scouting Combine can make or break the hopes and dreams of future pros. While events like the 40-yard dash are overdramatized for television, there's no doubting the importance of the NFL combine—especially for players coming into late February with red flags on their scouting reports.

A red flag can mean different things. It could be off-field issues, immaturity, injuries or even a made-up dead girlfriend. This year's class of prospects is lighter than the norm when it comes to players with these types of question marks, but for these five players, it's all or nothing at the combine.

Matt Barkley, Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, Tyrann Mathieu, Marcus Lattimore and Manti Te'o all figure to be major players in this year's draft. What red flags are each of them carrying?

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Many articles will be written between now and the late-April NFL draft, but the one topic that everyone really wants to read about is this: Who is the best player in the 2013 NFL draft class?

The answer: Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel. And it's not even close.

What makes Joeckel stand out as the best left tackle I have ever scouted? Why is the A&M junior the best player in this year's class?

The film won't lie, and that's where we're going to check out the top overall player.

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The 2013 NFL draft is loaded with talent at positions like left tackle, defensive end and outside linebacker. We all at least have a good idea of the top players by now, but who are the most exciting players in this year’s class?

Here’s a look at some of the players I’m most excited about scouting over the next three months. This isn’t a look at the 12 best players in the 2013 class, but a look at the guys who are the most fun to break down on the coaches' film.

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The NFL draft is all about hope and change. Fans hope their teams make the moves needed to either make the playoffs, extend their run or win them another Super Bowl. No other event in the NFL pulls people together like the draft does. It's because of that hope that each fan carries with them into late April.

With the No. 1 overall pick, the Kansas City Chiefs will get things started, but what happens next? Making a full seven-round mock draft in early February can be dangerous, but this is a look at what teams need right now—before free agency—and where players stack up right now before the NFL scouting combine and pro days.

So, who will your team go after in all seven rounds?

 

**Draft order is complete as of February 3. Please note that some trades are not yet determined by NFL office due to playing time and other conditions.**

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Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL Draft already has an embarrassment of riches at the wide receiver position. Judging by the performance of the wideouts at this week's Texas vs. the Nation all-star game, that overabundance will extend well into the third day of the draft and even to the group of undrafted free agents. Each squad features multiple receivers who displayed NFL quality talent in some aspect of their game during the week of practices. Who are the names to know from the list of prospects who are trying to impress pro scouts in Allen, Texas this week?

Nation

TJ Moe, Missouri—Moe's game was very reminiscent of a wide receiver I watched at this game in 2008—former Texas Tech Red Raider Danny Amendola. Blaine Gabbert's favorite target in 2010 does everything with great intent and precision. His breaks and variation of speed in his routes create easy separation, and Moe had the most reliable hands of any receiver in Allen this week.

Moe has better size (5'11 1/4", 201 lbs.) than Amendola, and he might be a little faster than the current NFL free agent, too. Amendola went undrafted, but with the increasing value of slot receivers in a pass-happy league, Moe should hear his name called on the third day of the draft.