The 2013 NFL Draft takes place on April 25th-27th, welcome to my first 2013 NFL Draft big board, which is how I rank the top draft prospects in a best player available scenario, regardless of position. The Draft is not strong at the skill positions, especially at the top, but has incredible talent in the trenches and good depth everywhere. Their may not be a lot of NFL Superstars in this class, but there are a lot of quality players, that will have long and successful NFL careers. The good news is there is so much depth that not a lot separates players projected to go in the 20’s from players projected to go in the late second round. Let’s rank them:
1 ) Star Lotulelei, DT (6’4 325lbs) Utah – A massive defensive tackle who dominated the line of scrimmage despite double teams at Utah this season, Lotulelei is extremely strong and shows great use of his hands to manhandle blockers. He will never be a dominant pass rusher, but he will dominate the interior line, stuff the run and allow for pass rushers to do their job and rush the quarterback.
2 ) Luke Jockel, OT (6’6 310lbs) Texas A&M –A franchise cornerstone left tackle, Jockel may not be the most athletic tackle prospect we have seen, but he has incredible technique and is a gamer. Works tirelessly on his game and is a technician. A solid run blocker who is even better as a pass protector, has good power and excellent feet. Will protect a quarterback’s blindside for a long time in the NFL.
3 ) Jarvis Jones, Outside Linebacker (6’3 245lbs) Georgia – Jones is an absolute monster of a pass rusher, but he is not a one trick pony, he also displays instincts and will make plenty of plays stuffing the run behind the line of scrimmage. He does have some concerns, including off the field red flags and spinal stenosis, which will probably drop his stock leading up to the draft. However he has a nonstop motor who is a big hitter and will immediately become an impact player for an NFL defense. Based on production, he is tough to top in this draft class.
4 ) Damontre Moore, DE (6’4 250lbs) Texas A&M – An excellent pass rusher who can play both standing up or with his hand in the dirt, Moore has an explosive first step and long arms, plus the frame to add more muscle. Still evolving as a player, should have no problem getting to the quarterback at the next level with his tools, will likely be drafted ahead of Jarvis Jones.
5 ) Chance Warmack, G (6’3 320lbs) Alabama – The best offensive guard prospect I have ever studied, Warmack is very nimble for his size, and is an excellent pulling guard due to his athleticism. He is a dominant run blocker who also is quick enough to be excellent in pass pro. No holes in his game, exceptional everywhere, may be the best player in this draft when all is said and done.
6 ) Bjoern Werner, DE (6’4 250lbs) Florida State – I hear Werner compared to J.J. Watt often, and I am not going to go that far, he does not have the physical size or power that J.J. Watt has and that is not a knock on Werner. Few have the total package like Watt. The reason Werner gets compared to Watt is, not only he is he an excellent pass rusher, but his awareness and relentlessness compare to Watt. Guys with these qualities, that are tough to teach, make it in the NFL.
7 ) Dee Milliner, CB (6’1 199lbs) Alabama – An instinctive cornerback with a nose for a ball and ideal size for the position, Milliner is also an excellent tackler who is outstanding in run support. Has everything that a shutdown cornerback should have in his game. If he performs well at the combine, and he will, he should be a top five pick on draft day. 8 ) Eric Fisher, OT (6’7 300lbs) Central Michigan – A player that is rising up draft boards, Fisher is an impressive offensive tackle, who will be a top ten pick in April. He possesses good feet and athleticism for the position and has power and leverage, plus he impressed NFL scouts at the combine, he is an example of a player that has done everything right so far in the draft process.
8 ) Eric Fisher, OT (6’7 300bs) Central Michigan – The hottest prospect in the draft right now, Fisher has prototypical left tackle size, possesses good feet and athleticism for the position and plays with leverage and power. He played very well at the senior bowl and has turned a lot of heads since the draft process began, he will be an excellent bookend tackle, and he could be a top five pick in April.
9 ) Barkevious Mingo, DE (6’4 245lbs) LSU – Mingo has an extremely high ceiling, he is insanely talented, and he has more potential than any other pass rusher in this class. He has a quick first step, is very long, and has the frame to get much stronger. The problem is that Mingo’s game lacks consistency, he is very raw, and will be a project at the next level. He will be able to help a pass rush from day one, but will struggle to take on blockers, and will have to learn to better defend the run. In two or three years, he could be a monster, an elite pass rusher.
10 ) Sheldon Richardson, DT (6’3 290lbs) Missouri – The more you watch Sheldon Richardson play, the more and more you like his game, he will continue to rise as scouts study more tape. A relentless defensive tackle, Richardson is explosive out of his stance, and excels against both stuffing the run and rushing the passer. He is violent with his hands, and I expect him to wow scouts at the combine, you can see combine measurable in his game.
11 ) Geno Smith, Quarterback (6’3 214lbs) West Virginia – Smith is a very talented quarterback with great accuracy on his throws and a quick release, but as I stated earlier this offseason, he is not RGIII or Russell Wilson. He is an athletic quarterback in the pocket who is not a threat to break long runs, I compare him to Tony Romo, his strengths will be rolling out and buying time in the pocket then making plays downfield. I call him “pocket athletic” which works in today’s NFL. He has the tools to become a very good NFL starter, and there is a chance he is drafted first overall, but he is not a running quarterback who will set the league on fire like RGIII. He is far and away the best quarterback in the draft and has a ton of value, but as a prospect, he is not the best on the board. The question will be, do the Chiefs jump with the first pick?
12 ) Alec Ogletree, LB (6’3 240lbs) Georgia – When you watched Georgia play this past season, Ogletree stood out, his athleticism and instincts were evident on every single defensive snap. Ogletree was suspended for the first 4 games of the season, and still finished with a team leading 112 tackles, and was all over the field for the Bulldogs. He plays sideline to sideline with a nasty streak, he will start out as a middle linebacker in the pros, but has the versatility to line up at any linebacker spot and stay in the game on passing downs.
13 ) Jonathan Cooper, G (6’3 320lbs) North Carolina – A road grader in the running game, I have Cooper graded just slightly behind Warmack as one of the best offensive guards that I have ever graded, except positional value will likely force both players to slide. Cooper is ready to start right now, he is strong, and holds up against the pass while making holes in the run game.
14 ) Cordarrelle Patterson, WR (6’3 205lbs) Tennessee – The thing that impresses me the most about Patterson is his body control, he adjusts to the ball in the air, and shows great hands reeling in difficult passes. This is a tough trait for wide receivers to learn, it is one of those things that unless you are born with it, you cannot learn it. Patterson has it. He also has the size to be a match up problem in the NFL, while possessing the speed to beat NFL cornerbacks deep, he will be an excellent pro.
15 ) Ezekiel Ansah, DE (6’6 274lbs) BYU – If you do not know about Ansah yet, you are missing out, there is a chance he is a top ten pick in April. Ansah gets compared to Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul a lot, but I am not seeing that comparison, he is not the athletic freak of nature that JPP is and we will not see him doing 20 consecutive back hand springs like JPP. Instead he is a physical football player, that much like JPP, lacks experience and is only beginning to scratch the surface of how good he can be. He struggled during Senior Bowl practice, then dominated the game, he is a project that could pay dividends quickly.
16 ) Manti Te’o, LB (6’2 255lbs) Notre Dame – There is no doubt that, based on production, Manti Te’o was one of the best players in the country last season. He was the leader of a Fighting Irish defense that played for the national championship, showed he was more than just a run stuffer, as he played sideline to sideline while intercepting seven passes in coverage. Based on talent alone, he is a top ten pick, who should be the leader of a great defense for the next decade. However, the catfish scandal and lies that followed will surely alter his draft stock, and I have heard that several NFL teams have removed him from their draft boards entirely. He will need to impress scouts in interviews and at the combine to rehabilitate his image.
17 ) Lane Johnson, OT (6’7 303lbs) Oklahoma – A player whose stock is really on the rise at the moment, Johnson has the frame of a prototype NFL left tackle, with long arms and a knack for dealing with speed rushers. He has strong technique and good feet, which makes him excellent in pass protection, and he would fit nicely on the left side for a team that likes to throw the ball. He needs to add bulk and get stronger, and his run blocking is decent, but needs improvement. Lots of potential.
18 ) Kenny Vaccaro, S (6’1 210lbs) Texas – The kind of player that immediately upgrades both the pass and run defense, Vaccaro has the speed to cover the middle of the field, while possessing the aggressiveness to play in the box and stuff the run. A strong tackler who can deliver the big hit, Vaccaro can play either the free or strong safety spot on the next level, he has a great blend of athleticism and strength.
19 ) Dion Jordan, DE (6’6 240lbs) Oregon – A long, lean and athletic defensive end, Jordan is a speed rusher that excels at beating offensive tackle to the edge. I think that, early in his career, Jordan will be a situational pass rusher. Better as part of a rotation than an every down player that you rely on, but should get pressure right away. Needs to get stronger, may slip on draft day, because a torn labrum in his shoulder could stop him from working out.
20 ) D.J. Fluker, OT (6’6 335lbs) Alabama – There is not a doubt in my mind that D.J. Fluker will be an excellent right tackle, likely one of the best in the NFL, for the next decade. He reminds me of former New York Giants right tackle Kareem McKenzie, an absolute mauler in the run game, who plays with a nasty streak. He will struggle at times with speed rushers, but he is athletic for his size, and can hold his own in pass protection. The fact that I do not think he is light on his feet enough to play the blindside knocks him down a bit, but make no mistake, he is going to be a good one.
21 ) Jonathan Hankins, DT (6’3 335lbs) Ohio State – A big space eating defensive tackle, who will never get much of a pass rush, but holds the line and stuffs the run. Not a bad athlete, but does not play with the violence of quickness of someone like Star Lotulelei, who is currently the number one player on our board. There were times when Hankins looked like he was a top ten pick, and times when he looked like he should be a second day pick, needs to become consistent.
22 ) Shariff Floyd, DT (6’3 300lbs) Florida – Another player who’s stock is soaring over recent weeks, he is a strong and athletic defensive lineman that will shine at the combine, in fact I think he will be one of the combine stars. He can play the run and rush the passer, he is also very versatile, and can line up all over a defensive line. I think his stock will continue to climb, and he could hear his name called early by April’s draft, rising star.
23 ) Keenan Allen, WR (6’3 205lbs) California – A quick wide receiver with good size, Allen has a lot of tools, but needs to prove that he can stay healthy. He battled knee injuries throughout the 2012 season which forced him to miss games, but he has a talent for making the big play, both in the passing game and the return game. The combine will be key for Allen, he has good speed, but if he can run a great 40 yard dash time it could really boost his stock. I am not the biggest Keenan Allen fan, if he was on the board in the teens or early 20’s I would elect to take someone else, and grab a wide receiver later.
24 ) Jonathan Jenkins, DT (6’5 360lbs) Georgia – An absolutely massive defensive lineman, Jenkins is the type of player that can really anchor a defense, and he can line up at both nose tackle or end in a 3-4 front. The interesting thing about Jenkins is, despite being 360lbs, he is very athletic and can move. I think he may fit best as an end in the 3-4 defense, he can hold the edge, and if an excellent pass rusher is put behind him that player should pile up the sacks. May never be a star, but will be a very valuable player.
25 ) Matt Elam, S (5’10 207lbs) Florida – I am a big Matt Elam fan, and think he is too far down this list, because he is a phenomenal football player. His position on the list is more a sign of a lack of value placed on the safety position on draft day than his skill level. Elam is the kind of player that all NFL fans want on their team. Has a knack for the big play, will deliver punishing hits, he forces fumbles and makes interceptions. I know that you can find safeties in the later rounds, but not ones like Elam, this sounds like blaspheme to Philadelphia Eagles fans but he reminds me of Brian Dawkins.
26 ) Zach Ertz, TE (6’6 250lbs) Stanford – Excellent combination of size, speed and hands, Ertz can stretch the field and hit the seam. A true weapon in the red zone, because of his height, he is dangerous in a jump ball situations. The type of tight end that a coach can move around to confuse defenses, can line up tight, in the slot, or even split out wide. A matchup nightmare.
27 ) Kawann Short, DT (6’3 325lbs) Purdue – A stout, tough defensive tackle, who fits best in a 3-4 defense, Short has great technique. He always stays low and plays with great leverage, he can rush the passer effectively from the inside. Reminds me of a young Rocky Bernard, who had a lot of success rushing the passer as a defensive tackle early in his career with the Seattle Seahawks. Takes on blockers well and holds up the run, the biggest knock on him is consistency, he seems to take plays off.
28 ) Jonathan Banks, CB (6’2 185lbs) – A player that I think has gone from slightly overrated to slightly underrated in the draft process, Banks is a long and lean cornerback, who has a lot of experience at the highest level of competition in the SEC. His size makes him valuable, because he can match up with big NFL wide receivers close to the goal line, and swat away jump balls. Can be counted on early, has big game experience.
29 ) Eddie Lacy, RB (6′ 220lbs) Alabama – I am starting to think that no running back will come off of the board in the first round of this draft, however it is a talented group, and the most talented member is Eddie Lacy. I expect Lacy to put up very impressive numbers at the NFL combine, and increase his stock, putting him at the top of a deep running back class. He has good burst, vision and power. I doubt that he will break any 60 yard touchdown runs in the NFL, but he will be solid, and knows how to gain tough yards. Remember, he was running the ball behind one of the best college offensive lines we have ever seen, need to factor that into the equation when drafting him.
30) Quinton Patton, WR (6’2 198lbs) Louisiana Tech – Patton is a player that is just starting to generate draft buzz, he is coming off of a monster season, and he will be a star in the pass heavy NFL of today. He has great hands, runs sharp routes, and knows how to get open. Has a great feel for the game, confuses defensive backs, has them shaking their heads after plays. Against Texas A&M this season, Patton had 21 catches for 233 yards and 4 touchdowns. Read that back to yourself. He is just gaining momentum now, his climb is just getting started, expect it to continue.
31 ) Sam Montgomery, DE (6’4 250lbs) LSU – A player who’s stock has really taken a hit early in the draft process, there was a time when Montgomery was projected to be a top five pick, now he may not get selected in the first round. Is clearly very talented, looks like a star, but only flashed his true potential briefly on the field at LSU. If he is drafted by a team with a great defensive line coach, that can teach him technique and consistency, they could have a steal on their hand. As of now, I project him to be a solid but unspectacular pro, however a great showing at the combine will turn heads.
32 ) Sylvester Williams, DT (6’3 315lbs) North Carolina – A player who really helped himself his senior year, Williams is a powerful and plays the game angry, he has powerful hands which he uses to toss offensive linemen aside. He is older than most prospects (24), and ready to play now, which could help or hurt him on draft day. I think Williams fits in best on a good team which is ready to contend, but I could also see his age knocking him into the second round, he may have already reached his ceiling.
33 ) Kevin Minter, LB (6’2 245lbs) LSU – Very physical inside linebacker prospect, who was in on every play for the Bayou Bengals in 2012, has great instincts for the position. He has good speed, and he should be another player on the rise, if he can show that attribute at the combine. Is he a two down linebacker? I would say so right now, and he might be better suited as a 3-4 middle linebacker, should be a nice pursuit linebacker who can chase and tackle.
34 ) Tyler Eifert, TE (6’6 250lbs) Notre Dame – A lot like Ertz, except I have Eifert rated slightly lower, because of his natural receiving ability and strength at stretching the field. Eifert is a tall and athletic tight end who can lineup anywhere, and will cause matchup problems, especially in the Red Zone. If I am the Atlanta Falcons, my needs in this draft are 1) pass rush and 2) tight end. A big tight end like Ertz or Eifert will be a major need if Tony Gonzalez retires, and even if he plays one more year, getting the privledge of learning from the Greatest of All-Time would do wonders for one of these young tight ends careers.
35) Justin Hunter, WR (6’4 205lbs) Tennessee – I am a bigger fan of Justin Hunter than most, because I’ve seen what he can do when he is healthy, which is make big plays and absolutely dominate games. Has a great size and speed combination, can beat defenders deep, and is explosive after the catch. In 2011, Justin Hunter had 16 catches for 302 yards and 2 touchdowns through TWO games, until a torn ACL ended his season prematurely. Hunter has regained his explosiveness and has 73 catches for 1083 yards and 9 touchdowns this season. He needs to prove that he has recovered from that torn ACL, and that there are no longer concerns about his knee, and if he can do that I think he has a chance to be the best big play wide receiver in this class.
36) Barrett Jones, C (6’5 305lbs) Alabama – Will likely play center on Sundays, but you have to love this kid, because of his toughness and versatility. The beauty of Barrett Jones is he can line up anywhere along the offensive line, he won a national title three times while playing three different positions. During his career at Alabama he was an All-American guard, right tackle and center, so you can play Jones anywhere, although he naturally fits best at center. Coaches love a talented kid that can play multiple positions, and Jones brings that plus incredible intangibles to the table.
37 ) DeAndre Hopikns, WR (6’1 200lbs) Clemson – The speedy playmaker from Clemson had a quick rise up the draft boards, but has since cooled off a bit, and his draft slot will hinge on his performance a the combine. We know he is explosive and routinely makes big plays, but does he have elite NFL speed?
39 ) Matt Barkley, QB (6’2 230lbs) USC – I still think that Matt Barkley can be a very successful quarterback, he has a lot of experience, and a great arm. I think with the proper weapons, he can become a very efficient quarterback in the NFL, and while he won’t be a Superstar he is good enough to lead a winning team. He has a few things working against him 1) an injured shoulder 2) a mediocre senior season 3) the fact that many USC quarterbacks have struggled. I really think he would be a nice fit for the Arizona Cardinals in the second round.
40 ) Xavier Rhodes, CB (6’2 217lbs) Florida State – Rhodes is a very talented player, he is a big physical corner with long arms, who can run with receivers down field. He needs to prove to me at the combine that he has NFL speed, that he is fast enough to cover the elite NFL wide receivers, without getting beat deep. If he runs well, he will jump up my big board, but he needs to prove it first. I could see him becoming a successful free safety in the NFL if cornerback does not work out.
41 ) Kyle Long , OG (6-6, 304) Oregon – Howie Long’s son is another player that is climbing up draft boards, it is clear that he has a great pedigree, look at success of his dad and his brother (Chris Long, DE – Rams). He is a tough and gritty guard who is athletic enough to pull, but strong enough to open holes in the running game, with his support system he will not fail.
42 ) Terrance Williams, WR (6’3 205lbs) Baylor – Williams is a speedy deep threat with good hands who was a favorite target of Robert Griffin III in 2011, he can make big plays downfield and get behind a defense, and has always had a knack for the highlight reel catch. He lacks some route running discipline, which is why I knocked him down a bit, I know he can make the big play but he loses interest in the easy or smart play at times. Still, his 40 time should turn heads, and after the combine I bet he is higher on this board.
43 ) Corey Lemonier, DE (6’4 240lbs) Auburn – A one trick pony, Lemonier does one thing but he does it very well, and that is rush the passer. Will be a situational pass rusher early in his NFL career, he has long arms and an explosive first step, he can really get to the quarterback off the edge. He must add a lot of bulk and get stronger so he does not get swallowed up by blocks in the run game. I could see him having 15 tackles and 8.0 sacks as a rookie, he is that good at getting to the passer, it is the rest of the game he has to work on.
44 ) Eric Reid, S (6’2 215lbs) LSU – One of my favorite players in the Draft this year, Reid is a ferocious safety who delivers punishing hits all over the field, the reason he falls a bit is the depth of the safety class and the lack of emphasis that is placed on the position on draft day. Reid does have good ball skills, and although he is looked as more of an in-the-box strong safety, he can cover the middle of the field as well. Receivers have nightmares about going over the middle with Reid on the field.
45 ) Tavon Austin, WR/KR (5’9 175lbs) West Virginia – Definitely has a little DeSean Jackson to his game, except he is not such an insufferable prick who cares about stats more than winning, like Jackson. Austin is a burner, he will be a threat in the return game as well as in the passing game, and you need to account for him whenever he is on the field. He is never going to be a ten touchdown wideout in the NFL or the number one option of an offense, but he will make a few explosive plays a season, and defenses will have to gamplan for him.
46 ) Giovani Bernard, (5’10 206lbs) North Carolina – A productive, steady running back, Bernard has good speed and great balance. He knows how to run the football, gain positive yards, and possesses great vision. Injuries are a red flag for Bernard, he has suffered a serious knee injury in the past, and you always worry about that a little more with running backs. May never be a spectacular pro, but should be a very good one, because he is naturally gifted for the position.
47 ) Margus Hunt, DE (6’8 280lbs) SMU – Get ready for the hype that is coming involving Margus Hunt after the combine. The native of Estonia was sent to the United States to train for shot put and discus, in which he won gold medals in the 2006 Junior World Championships. He has an 82 inch wingspan, but his coach claims he can still bench press 225lbs 45 repetitions, run a 4.60 40 yard dash and has a 36 inch vertical leap. He is still very raw and does not quite understand how to play football yet, he is a project for sure, but if a good coaching staff can unlock his potential he will be a force. Looks spectacular on one play, then gets blown off the ball by a lineman who will not get drafted the next, he is a work in progress.
48 ) Tyler Wilson, QB (6;2 220lbs) Arkansas – There was a lot of talk about Tyler Wilson becoming a potential first round pick, then head coach Bobby Petrino was fired and the whole program spun out of control, it would be tough for anyone to succeed in that scenario. He has a lot of experience against the toughest competition in college, he has a good enough arm, and is a good athlete. He is also very tough. He likes a conservative approach, can have some accuracy issues, and will make mistakes. I do not think he is an NFL starter, he is more of a good NFL backup to me, prove me wrong Wilson.
49 ) Larry Warford, OG (6-3, 333) Kentucky – A massive road grader guard, who excels in the opening holes in the running game, Warford is another player who’s stock is on the rise. He can be a bit slow out of his stance in pass pro, but he is an immoveable object, that is tough to get around. He has good technique and is not a bad athlete for his size, and his power and bulk make him a big asset when running the football.
50 ) Khaseem Greene, OLB (6′ 235lbs ) Rutgers – A former safety, Green made the switch to linebacker, and is the kind of player that needs to find the right scheme. A lot like LaVonte David (Buccaneers) in the 2012 Draft, he fits best in a Tampa-2 defense, or in situations that you need a linebacker to cover. He is a project, he gets enveloped in the run game, and needs to get bigger and stronger. If you work with him add strength, and teach him how to disengage blockers, he could be a good one.
51 ) Le’Veon Bell, RB (6’1 244lbs) Michigan State – The battering ram, Bell is a big back, who will run defenders over. Speed will be a big question for Bell at the combine, he showed he could get to the second level at Michigan State, can he get to the second level in the NFL? He is a throwback, he will have success in short yardage situations, and I think he will be an excellent pro. There are not a lot of running backs out there today that defenders fear tackling, Bell is one of those guys, he will have no problems running over linebackers.
52 ) Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB (6-0 192 lbs) UConn – A player that is quickly rising up draft boards recently, Wreh-Wilson has a nice combination of size and speed, and I have been told to keep an eye on him at the combine. Not the fastest corner, but fast enough to stay with most wideouts, not the most physical corner, but physical enough. Does everything well. 2011 knee injury is a concern.
53 ) Gavin Escobar, TE (6’6 255lbs) San Diego State – A player that I have really grown to like, Escobar has great hands and is really a threat near the end zone, where he does some of his best work. Good speed, but will likely never be a tight end that can beat you down the seam, his 40 time will have an impact on his draft stock. Solid, well rounded tight end that should catch a lot of balls on the next level and could be a steal.
54 ) William Gholston, DE (6’7 280lbs) Michigan State – Massive defensive end William Gholston is the younger cousin of former Jets first round draft bust Vernon Gholston, will his last name have an impact on his draft stock? It shouldn’t but his off the field red flags are worrisome. However Gholston is a talent, he looks the part, and plays the game angry. I think he will be a productive NFL player, he will be better than his cousin, who is out of the league. Can rush the passer, can play the run, ready to play now.
55 ) Mike Glennon, QB (6’7 225lbs) NC State – I like Mike Glennon’s tools, he is a tall quarterback prospect with a strong arm, but he needs some development if he is going to succeed. He has zero mobility and is purely a pocket passer, he struggles at times with the pass rush in his face, but is tall and can see over the lines. He is streaky, he struggles with accuracy at times, but he also shows some flashes of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Out of all the quarterbacks, it would shock me the least if someone gambled on Glennon in the late first round, he throws the ball deep effortlessly and has a lot of potential. If I had to gamble on a second tier QB right now, I lean Glennon, but will need time to work with him.
56 ) Bennie Logan, DT (6’3 290lbs) LSU – If you are looking for a very talented pass rushing defensive tackle, Bennie Logan is that type of player, he has a quick first step and is explosive off of the line of scrimmage. He needs to add strength and bulk, he is simply too light at this stage, and I doubt he plays much as a rookie. Could be a good one in a year if he commits in the weight room and bulks up.
57 ) David Amerson, CB (6’3 190lbs) NC State – This kid knows how to intercept the football, he has 13 interceptions in 2011 (led NCAA), had four multi-interception games, and returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Amerson is a long corner who excels in coverage and rips jump balls away from wide receivers downfield. The problem is, in 2012 his lack of top end speed was exposed, especially against Tennessee when wideouts just ran by him. He still had five interceptions in 2012, however, his 40 yard dash time will be key. He may have to switch to free safety in the big leagues.
58 ) Robert Woods, WR (6’1 190lbs) USC – A very productive wideout, Woods knows how to get open, and will catch a ton of balls in the NFL. Finds holes in the defense and sits in them, has great hands, runs beautiful routes. The problem with Woods is his size and the fact that he lacks the speed to get behind the defense. Still, he is crafty, and should be an excellent possession receiver in the NFL. A guy you can count on when it’s 3rd and 8.
59 ) Datone Jones, DE (6-4, 280) UCLA – A big 3-4 defensive end who will succeed at holding the edge in the NFL, the type of outside anchor that every 3-4 defense needs, because he holds up well against the run. He is a hot name right now, I have been hearing some buzz that teams who are switching to the 3-4 defense (Philly, Saints) have interest.
60 ) Dallas Thomas, OL (6’5 300lbs) Tennessee – I am not sure where Thomas fits in the NFL, is he a guard? Is he a tackle? He is a good player but a little slow out of his stance and needs to get stronger. I look at him as a project early who needs some coaching, but he could be a good one in a few years. I think he ends up at guard, with the flexibility to slide out to tackle if needed.
61 ) Jesse Williams, DT (6’3 320lbs) Alabama – The Crimson Tide’s massive nose tackle is an anchor type player. He gets over the head of the center, gets low, and holds the middle of the defense. 3-4 teams will love him for this reason, he is strong as an ox which should shine at the combine, and he could be selected much earlier than where he ranks here.
62 ) Stedman Bailey, WR (5’10 193lbs) West Virginia – A speedy wide receiver who can get behind the defense, Bailey is small, which will knock him down some draft boards behind some bigger targets. Still he is lightning quick, and much like his teammate Tavon Austin, will make big plays in the NFL.
63 ) Tony Jefferson, S (5’11 210lbs) Oklahoma – A talented, productive free safety, Jefferson is a good player who is has excellent awareness which helps him create turnovers. He can run, but he is small, and scouts worry about how he will hold up against the run.
64) Shawn Williams, S (6′ 218lbs) Georgia – Kind of the opposite of Jefferson, Williams is a big in-the-box safety, but can he cover? Looked a little hesitant at times, especially against Alabama, and struggled to tackle running back Eddie Lacy. But hey, so did everyone else in the country.
65 ) Tank Carradine – DE, (6’4 255lbs) Florida State – Tore his ACL in late November, which obviously hurt his draft stock, so his status for the 2013 NFL season will be uncertain. Teams that have some older depth at the position may want to gamble on Carridine, who is a very productive player when he is healthy, and stash him until he is ready to rush the passer again.
66 ) Arthur Brown, LB (6’1 230lbs) Kansas State – One of the most productive middle linebackers in the country, the knock on him is size, is he too small to play the position in the NFL. Incredible instincts, is all over the field, if he was three inches taller and 15 ponds heavier he would be a surefire first round pick.
67 ) Ryan Nassib, QB (6’2 220lbs) Syracuse – I still think people are joking with me when they discuss him as a potential top ten pick, and I understand that Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone was his head coach at Syracuse, but come on. Nassib is a good athlete, he has an average arm, and his accuracy is spotty. He struggles with the deep ball. He is smart and has great feet, he can be a playmaker, but does not have the natural talent of a top ten pick. He has a chance to be good, don’t get me wrong, but it is not a gamble worth taking in the first round. If I am Doug Marrone and I want Nassib in Buffalo, I make my first round pick, and if he is on the board in the second round then I consider him. If he is gone, I do not lose any sleep over it.