Previewing & Predicting The Top Players In This Week’s NFL Draft
NFL Draft just days away; looking at some of 2013’s top prospects:
After months of preparation, the 2013 NFL Draft is finally hours away.
And as we make final preparations before the commissioner steps to the podium, my top-100 draft board is finally set. There haven’t been too many changes over the past few months, but minor tweaks to narrow down my top 100 players in this year’s draft.
Final 2013 Draft Board
1. OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan (6-7, 306, 4SR)
Fisher proved in the Senior Bowl and at the combine that he could hang with the big boys and not just dominate MAC competition. He has room to grow, but the upside is undeniable.
2. OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M (6-6, 306, 3JR)
He’s a three-year starter, and the game seems to come easy to Joeckel. He is smooth in his movements with a stout base, winning with both quickness and strength.
3. DE Dion Jordan, Oregon (6-6, 248, 5SR)
A rare athlete for his size, Jordan needs to show he can stay healthy and add good weight. His fluid feet and range make him a versatile asset for any defense.
4. CB Dee Milliner, Alabama (6-0, 201, 3JR)
Although he doesn’t have elite speed, Milliner makes up for his lack of quick-twitch athleticism with smooth hips, natural instincts and very good read/react skills.
5. OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma (6-6, 303, 5SR)
A personal favorite, Johnson moved to the offensive line in 2011 and is still growing at tackle, but he flashes all the necessary skills to develop into an NFL starting LT.
6. OG Chance Warmack, Alabama (6-2, 317, 4SR)
Warmack is a physical mauler with the natural bend and movement skills to block on the move. He won’t be drafted as high as his talent due to positional value.
7. DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida (6-3, 297, 3JR)
A player still coming into his own, Floyd has always been a powerful athlete with natural feet, but he started to play with more consistent anger and technique in 2012.
8. DT Star Lotulelei, Utah (6-3, 311, 5SR)
A coordinated, fluid big man, Lotulelei flashes the get-off quickness and power at the point of attack to dominate games. He just needs to do it for all four quarters.
9. OLB Barkevious Mingo, LSU (6-4, 241, 4JR)
Mingo’s draft projection is based more on potential rather than production, but he displays the length, quickness and overall athleticism to be a special edge rusher.
10. DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri (6-3, 294, 4JR)
Richardson is a disruptive force when firing on all cylinders. He needs to improve his pad level and stay under control, but his natural athleticism is impressive.
11. OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (6-2, 311, 5SR)
Although he won’t be an ideal fit for everyone due to strength limitations, Cooper has outstanding body control and mobility for an interior offensive lineman.
12. CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State (6-2, 210, 4JR)
There are some questions about his long speed, but Rhodes is a true bump-and-run corner who can match up with physical receivers and stay in their hip pocket.
13. DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State (6-3, 266, 3JR)
Although his motor runs hot/cold at times, Werner shows an excellent blend of speed, power and first-step quickness for a player still learning the game.
14. DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU (6-5, 271, 4SR)
A physical marvel, Ansah has only one year of starting experience, didn’t step onto the football field until 2010 but should only develop with more experience.
15. TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame (6-6, 250, 4JR)
Eifert won’t create a lot of separation, but he’s a better blocker than given credit and one of the best at using his body aggressively to finish contested catches.
16. DE Cornellius Carradine, Florida State (6-4, 276, 4SR)
An ACL tear in November clouds his draft projection. But when healthy, Carradine is one of the most natural pass rushers this draft class has to offer.
17. WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson (6-1, 214, 3JR)
Although not the biggest or fastest, Hopkins is able to win and be productive with his ability to change gears in his routes, create space and attack the ball in the air.
18. DE Datone Jones, UCLA (6-4, 283, 5SR)
Although he was often miscast on the Bruins’ three-man defensive front, Jones has the quickness and hand strength to win in various ways from multiple positions.
19. WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia (5-9, 174, 4SR)
Austin will probably be limited to a slot role in the NFL, but he is an exciting space player with video game-like athleticism and rare change-of-direction skills.
20. OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia (6-2, 245, 4JR)
While he was a productive pass rusher in Athens, Jones has a few concerns moving to the next level — mainly his take-on strength and length to shed blockers.
21. LB Arthur Brown, Kansas State (6-0, 241, 5SR)
His lack of size and growth potential might limit him in some schemes, but Brown quickly diagnoses the action and wastes little time attacking with explosiveness.
22. DT Jesse Williams, Alabama (6-3, 323, 5SR)
Williams has the power and stout anchor to hold up at nose tackle but also has the first-step quickness and motor to play other positions on the defensive line.
23. WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee (6-2, 216, 3JR)
Based on potential and natural talent, Patterson has top-10 pick written all over him with his playmaking ability, but he’s still very unpolished in many areas.
24. MLB Kevin Minter, LSU (6-0, 246, 4JR)
Minter is an aggressive thumper and physical presence against the run with enough range to make plays near the sideline but has some holes in pass coverage.
25. S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas (6-0, 214, 4SR)
Although he needs to do a better job breaking down and finishing in space, Vaccaro has the physical nature and athleticism to cover in space and defend the run.
26. WR Keenan Allen, California (6-2, 206, 3JR)
A talented all-around pass catcher, Allen has the size, speed and strong hands to be a productive target at the next level. His knee needs to check out medically.
27. DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M (6-5, 250, 3JR)
Moore probably could have used another season in College Station to develop his pass rush moves, but his athleticism and nonstop motor make him intriguing.
28. CB Desmond Trufant, Washington (6-0, 190, 4SR)
There is no question Trufant has the natural fluidity and athleticism to start at the next level, but his technique needs refinement to improve his consistency.
29. DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina (6-3, 313, 5SR)
Although he’s still relatively new to the game of football, Williams has an athletic skill set with the strength and potential to develop into a quality NFL starter.
30. TE Travis Kelce, Cincinnati (6-5, 255, 5SR)
The younger brother of Eagles center Jason Kelce, Travis Kelce is the top senior tight end in this class, with the strength and speed to be a consistent receiving and blocking threat.
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