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2014 NFL DRAFT FINAL BIG BOARD TOP 100 PROSPECTS (POSITION BY POSITION)

The 2014 NFL Draft is finally here and goes down tomorrow night. The intrigue is at an all-time high as the clock ticks closer to the start of the draft with every pick including the first overall selection seemingly up in the air. All of the workouts are in the books, all of the interviews have been conducted and all of the game tape has been watched. Teams and analysts have their draft boards completed and ready to go for Thursday night. Anything can happen and anything will at the NFL Draft. It all takes place May 8-10 in New York City at Radio City Music Hall with the action beginning at 8 pm ET. Here is my updated 2014 NFL Draft Big Board:

*Position Rank/Name/School/Previous BB Ranking/New Overall Ranking

 

OFFENSE

 

QUARTERBACKS

1.  Blake Bortles, Central Florida/7/new ranking: 9

2.  Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville/6/new ranking: 11

3.  Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M/15/new ranking: 15

4.  Derek Carr, Fresno State/28/new ranking: 25

5.  Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois/42/new ranking: 42

6.  A.J. McCarron, Alabama/59/new ranking: 47

7.  Zach Mettenberger, LSU/75/new ranking: 75

8.  Tom Savage, Pittsburgh/unranked/new ranking: 80

9.  Aaron Murray, Georgia

10.  Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

Dropped Out: Tajh Boyd/Clemson/92/new ranking: unranked

 

RUNNING BACKS

1.  Carlos Hyde, Ohio State/40/new ranking: 39

2.  Tre Mason, Auburn/55/new ranking: 51

3.  Bishop Sankey, Washington/71/new ranking: 54

4.  Jeremy Hill, LSU/64/new ranking: 65

5.  Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona/62/new ranking: 85

6.  Lache Seastrunk, Baylor/95/new ranking: 99

7.  De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon

8.  Andre Williams, Boston College

9.  Charles Sims, West Virginia

10.  Dri Archer, Kent State

                                                     

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

1.  Greg Robinson, Auburn/2/new ranking: 2

2.  Jake Matthews, Texas A&M/4/new ranking: 5

3.  Taylor Lewan, Michigan/6/new ranking: 6

4.  Zach Martin, Notre Dame/19/new ranking: 20

5.  Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama/36/new ranking: 33

6.  Morgan Moses, Virginia/41/new ranking: 38

7.  Ju’Wuan James, Tennessee/78/new ranking: 57

8.  Antonio Richardson, Tennessee/61/new ranking: 70

9.  Jack Mewhort, Ohio State/74/new ranking: 77

10.  Billy Turner, North Dakota State

 

OFFENSIVE GUARDS/CENTERS

1.  Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA/37/new ranking: 37

2.  Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State/53/new ranking: 53

3.  Joel Bitonio, Nevada/80/new ranking: 59

4.  David Yankey, Stanford/54/new ranking: 61

5.  (C) Weston Richburg, Colorado State/77/new ranking: 66

6.  (C) Marcus Martin, USC/50/new ranking: 72

7.  (C) Travis Swanson, Arkansas/97/new ranking: 88

8.  Brandon Thomas, Clemson/76/new ranking: 94

9.  Cyril Richardson, Baylor/79/new ranking: 95

10.  Dakota Dozier, Furman/unranked/new ranking: 96

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

1.  Sammy Watkins, Clemson/3/new ranking: 4

2.  Mike Evans, Texas A&M/8/new ranking: 7

3.  Odell Beckham Jr., LSU/25/new ranking: 21

4.  Marqise Lee, USC/17/new ranking: 22

5.  Brandin Cooks, Oregon State/24/new ranking: 24

6.  Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State/33/new ranking: 35

7.  Davante Adams, Fresno State/45/new ranking: 41

8.  Donte Moncrief, Mississippi/60/new ranking: 48

9.  Allen Robinson, Penn State/52/new ranking: 55

10.  Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt/48/new ranking: 56

11.  Jarvis Landry, LSU/57/new ranking: 62

12.  Paul Richardson, Colorado/72/new ranking: 74

13.  Cody Latimer, Indiana/unranked/new ranking: 50

14.  Martavis Bryant, Clemson/87/new ranking: 78

15.  Bruce Ellington, South Carolina/100/new ranking: 86

16.  Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin/99/new ranking: 90

17.  Brandon Coleman, Rutgers/unranked/92

Dropped Out: Robert Herron, Wyoming/98/new ranking: unranked

 

TIGHT ENDS

1.  Eric Ebron, North Carolina/11/new ranking: 10

2.  Jace Amaro, Texas Tech/38/new ranking: 43

3.  Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington/39/new ranking: 45

4.  Troy Niklas, Notre Dame/49/new ranking: 69

5.  C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa

6.  Crockett Gilmore, Colorado State

7.  Colt Lyerla, Oregon

8.  Marcel Jensen, Fresno State

9.  Jake Murphy, Utah

10.  Xavier Grimble, USC

 

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE ENDS

1.  Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina/1/new ranking: 1

2.  Kony Ealy, Missouri/27/new ranking: 28

3.  Dee Ford, Auburn/34/new ranking: 29

4.  Scott Crichton, Oregon State/47/new ranking: 52

5.  Trent Murphy, Stanford/56/new ranking: 71

6.  Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State/58/new ranking: 44

7.  Kareem Martin, North Carolina/ 65/new ranking: 73

8.  Marcus Smith, Louisville/84/new ranking: 89

9.  Chris Smith, Arkansas/94/new ranking: unranked

10.  Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas

 

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

1.  Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh/14/new ranking: 8

2.  Timmy Jernigan, Florida State/20/new ranking: 23

3.  RaShede Hageman, Minnesota/26/new ranking: 26

4.  Louis Nix III, Notre Dame/23/new ranking: 27

5.  Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame/29/new ranking: 30

6.  Dominique Easley, Florida/31/new ranking: 31

7.  Will Sutton, Arizona State/68/new ranking: 76

8.  Da’Quan Jones, Penn State/66/new ranking: 82

9.  Ego Ferguson, LSU/82/new ranking: 87

10.  Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina/88/new ranking: 93

11.  Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech/unranked/new ranking: 100

Dropped Out: Anthony Johnson, LSU/86/new ranking: unranked

 

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

1.  Khalil Mack, Buffalo/5/new ranking: 3

2.  Anthony Barr, UCLA/9/new ranking: 14

3.  Ryan Shazier, Ohio State/22/new ranking: 19

4.  Kyle Van Noy, BYU/43/new ranking: 40

5.  Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech/63/new ranking: 60

6.  Telvin Smith, Florida State/89/new ranking: 81

7.  Carl Bradford, Arizona State/ 91/new ranking: 91

8.  Trevor Reilly, Utah/96/ new ranking: 97

9.  Adrian Hubbard, Alabama

10.  Christian Kirksey, Iowa

 

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

1.  C.J. Mosley, Alabama/13/new ranking: 13

2.  Chris Borland, Wisconsin/69/new ranking: 64

3.  Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut/90/new ranking: unranked

4.  Christian Jones, Florida State/93/new ranking: unranked

5.  Shayne Skov, Stanford

6.  Preston Brown, Louisville

7.  Max Bullough, Michigan State

8.  Lamin Barrow, LSU

9.  Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky

10.  Avery Williamson, Kentucky

 

CORNERBACKS

1.  Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State/12/new ranking: 12

2.  Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State/16/new ranking: 16

3.  Bradley Roby, Ohio State/30/new ranking: 32

4.  Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech/35/new ranking: 34

5.  Jason Verrett, TCU/32/new ranking: 36

6.  Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State/46/new ranking: 46

7.  Marcus Roberson, Florida/50/new ranking: 58

8.  Bashaud Breeland, Clemson/70/new ranking: 67

9.  Keith McGill, Utah/85/new ranking: 68

10.  Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska/81/new ranking: 79

11.  Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida/73/new ranking: 84

12.  Pierre Desir, Lindenwood/unranked/new ranking: 98

 

SAFETIES

1.  HaHa Clinton-Dix, Alabama/18/new ranking: 17

2.  Calvin Pryor, Louisville/21/new ranking: 18

3.  Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois/44/new ranking: 49

4.  Deone Bucannon, Washington State/67/new ranking: 63

5.  Terrence Brooks, Florida State/ 83/new ranking: 83

6.  Ahmad Dixon, Baylor

7.  Dion Bailey, USC

8.  Ed Reynolds, Stanford

9.  Craig Loston, LSU

10.  Antone Exum, Virginia Tech

 

Written By: Mark Scott

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2014 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD TOP 100 PROSPECTS (POSITION BY POSITION): POST-COMBINE

The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine is in the books and every team and draft analyst has now had a chance to see the majority of prospects work out for the world to see. A number of the very top rated prospects like Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson and Sammy Watkins performed as expected and put on awesome displays of athleticism, while prospects like Taylor Lewan, Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham Jr. and Aaron Donald also excelled. In fact, Donald was the clear MVP and biggest riser of the event. Not everyone did well as prospects like Cyrus Kouandjio, Loucheiz Purifoy and Anthony Barr struggled during drills. Some prospects were able to rise up draft boards, while others fell. For those that struggled, Pro Days will be their final chance to audition for teams. All this leads up to the 2014 NFL Draft taking place on May 8-10 in New York City. Here is the updated 2014 NFL Big Board:

 

*Position Rank/Name/School/Previous BB Ranking/New Overall Ranking

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS

1.  Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville/4/new ranking: 6

2.  Blake Bortles, Central Florida/8/new ranking: 7

3.  Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M/11/new ranking: 15

4.  Derek Carr, Fresno State/25/new ranking: 28

5.  Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois/55/new ranking: 42

6.  A.J. McCarron, Alabama/73/new ranking: 59

7.  Zach Mettenberger, LSU/75/new ranking: 75

8.  Tajh Boyd, Clemson/86/new ranking: 92

9.  Aaron Murray, Georgia/T-100/new ranking: unranked

10.  Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

RUNNING BACKS

1.  Carlos Hyde, Ohio State/35/new ranking: 40

2.  Tre Mason, Auburn/52/new ranking: 55

3.  Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona/46/new ranking: 62

4.  Jeremy Hill, LSU/56/new ranking: 64

5.  Bishop Sankey, Washington/69/new ranking: 71

6.  Lache Seastrunk, Baylor/83/new ranking: 95

7.  De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon/97/new ranking: unranked

8.  Andre Williams, Boston College

9.  Charles Sims, West Virginia

10.  Dri Archer, Kent State                                                  

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

1.  Greg Robinson, Auburn/2/new ranking: 2

2.  Jake Matthews, Texas A&M/3/new ranking: 4

3.  Taylor Lewan, Michigan/10/new ranking: 6

4.  Zach Martin, Notre Dame/24/new ranking: 19

5.  Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama/18/new ranking: 36

6.  Morgan Moses, Virginia/48/new ranking: 41

7.  Antonio Richardson, Tennessee/50/new ranking: 61

8.  Jack Mewhort, Ohio State/72/new ranking: 74

9.  Ju’Wuan James, Tennessee/93/new ranking: 78

10.  Joel Bitonio, Nevada/unranked/new ranking: 80

Dropped out: James Hurst/UNC/94/new ranking: unranked

OFFENSIVE GUARDS/CENTERS

1.  Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA/45/new ranking: 37

2.  (C) Marcus Martin, USC/unranked/new ranking: 50

3.  Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State/59/new ranking: 53

4.  David Yankey, Stanford/49/new ranking: 54

5.  Brandon Thomas, Clemson/unranked/new ranking: 76

6.  (C) Weston Richburg, Colorado State/unranked/new ranking: 77

7.  Cyril Richardson, Baylor/54/new ranking: 79

8.  (C) Travis Swanson, Arkansas/79/new ranking: 97

9.  Anthony Steen, Alabama

10.  (C) Russell Bodine, North Carolina

WIDE RECEIVERS

1.  Sammy Watkins, Clemson/5/new ranking: 3

2.  Mike Evans, Texas A&M/13/new ranking: 8

3.  Marqise Lee, USC/14/new ranking: 17

4.  Brandin Cooks, Oregon State/43/new ranking: 24

5.  Odell Beckham Jr., LSU/34/new ranking: 25

6.  Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State/31/new ranking: 33

7.  Davante Adams, Fresno State/53/new ranking: 45

8.  Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt/41/new ranking: 48

9.  Allen Robinson, Penn State/39/new ranking: 52

10.  Jarvis Landry, LSU/57/new ranking: 57

11.  Donte Moncrief, Mississippi/unranked/new ranking: 60

12.  Paul Richardson, Colorado/63/new ranking: 72

13.  Martavis Bryant, Clemson/unranked/new ranking: 87

14.  Robert Herron, Wyoming/unranked/new ranking: 98

15.  Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin/84/new ranking: 99

16.  Bruce Ellington, South Carolina/unranked/new ranking: 100

Dropped Out: Brandon Coleman, Rutgers/95/new ranking: unranked

TIGHT ENDS

1.  Eric Ebron, North Carolina/12/new ranking: 11

2.  Jace Amaro, Texas Tech/26/new ranking: 38

3.  Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington/33/new ranking: 39

4.  Troy Niklas, Notre Dame/62/new ranking: 49

5.  C.J. Fiedorowicz/T-100/new ranking: unranked

6.  Crockett Gilmore, Colorado State

7.  Colt Lyerla, Oregon

8.  Marcel Jensen, Fresno State

9.  Jake Murphy, Utah

10.  Xavier Grimble, USC

 

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE ENDS

1.  Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina/1/new ranking: 1

2.  Kony Ealy, Missouri/21/new ranking: 27

3.  Dee Ford, Auburn/47/new ranking: 34

4.  Scott Crichton, Oregon State/42/new ranking: 47

5.  Trent Murphy, Stanford/44/new ranking: 56

6.  Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State/74/new ranking: 58

7.  Kareem Martin, North Carolina/unranked/new ranking: 65

8.  Marcus Smith, Louisville/80/new ranking: 84

9.  Chris Smith, Arkansas/82/new ranking: 94

10.  Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas/70/new ranking: unranked

Dropped Out: Michael Sam, Missouri/85/new ranking: unranked

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

1.  Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh/30/new ranking: 14

2.  Timmy Jernigan, Florida State/15/new ranking: 20

3.  Louis Nix III, Notre Dame/20/new ranking: 23

4.  RaShede Hageman, Minnesota/23/new ranking: 26

5.  Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame/22/new ranking: 29

6.  Dominique Easley, Florida/29/new ranking: 31

7.  Da’Quan Jones, Penn State/71/new ranking: 66

8.  Will Sutton, Arizona State/58/new ranking: 68

9.  Ego Ferguson, LSU/68/new ranking: 82

10.  Anthony Johnson, LSU/64/new ranking: 86

11.  Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina/66/new ranking: 88

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

1.  Khalil Mack, Buffalo/7/new ranking: 5

2.  Anthony Barr, UCLA/6/new ranking: 9

3.  Ryan Shazier, Ohio State/28/new ranking: 22

4.  Kyle Van Noy, BYU/37/new ranking: 43

5.  Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech/76/new ranking: 63

6.  Telvin Smith, Florida State/65/new ranking: 89

7.  Carl Bradford, Arizona State/unranked/new ranking: 91

8.  Trevor Reilly, Utah/67/new ranking: 96

9.  Adrian Hubbard, Alabama/98//new ranking: unranked

10.  Christian Kirksey, Iowa

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

1.  C.J. Mosley, Alabama/9/new ranking: 13

2.  Chris Borland, Wisconsin/90/new ranking: 69

3.  Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut/87/new ranking: 90

4.  Christian Jones, Florida State/77/new ranking: 93

5.  Shayne Skov, Stanford/78/new ranking: unranked

6.  Preston Brown, Louisville

7.  Max Bullough, Michigan State

8.  Lamin Barrow, LSU

9.  Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky

10.  Avery Williamson, Kentucky

CORNERBACKS

1.  Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State/19/new ranking: 12

2.  Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State/16/new ranking: 16

3.  Bradley Roby, Ohio State/36/new ranking: 30

4.  Jason Verrett, TCU/32/new ranking: 32

5.  Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech/60/new ranking: 35

6.  Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State/51/new ranking: 46

7.  Marcus Roberson, Florida/38/new ranking: 50

8.  Bashaud Breeland, Clemson/96/new ranking: 70

9.  Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida/40/new ranking: 73

10.  Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska/unranked/new ranking: 81

11.  Keith McGill, Utah/92/new ranking: 85

Dropped Out: Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma/61/new ranking: unranked, Terrance Mitchell, Oregon/81/new ranking: unranked, Pierre Desir, Lindenwood/99/new ranking: unranked

SAFETIES

1.  HaHa Clinton-Dix, Alabama/17/new ranking: 18

2.  Calvin Pryor, Louisville/27/new ranking: 21

3.  Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois/91/new ranking: 44

4.  Deone Bucannon, Washington State/88/new ranking: 67

5.  Terrence Brooks, Florida State/unranked/new ranking: 83

6.  Ahmad Dixon, Baylor/89/new ranking: unranked

7.  Dion Bailey, USC

8.  Ed Reynolds, Stanford

9.  Craig Loston, LSU

10.  Antone Exum, Virginia Tech

 

Written By: Mark Scott

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2014 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD TOP 100 PROSPECTS (POSITION BY POSITION): PRE-COMBINE

The 2014 NFL Draft is exceptionally deep this year with just as many talented prospects on both sides of the ball. On offense, wide receiver and offensive tackle are particularly stocked with talent, while on defense; cornerback and defensive tackle are the deepest positions. The top of the Big Board is headlined by Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, Teddy Bridgewater and Sammy Watkins. There has been plenty of movement all season long with prospects rising and falling and there should be even more as the NFL Scouting Combine is upon us with Pro Days and individual private workouts with teams to follow. All this leads up to the 2014 NFL Draft taking place on May 8-10 in New York City. Here is the 2014 NFL Big Board:

*Position Rank/Name/School/Overall Rank

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS

1.  Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville/4

2.  Blake Bortles, Central Florida/8

3.  Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M/11

4.  Derek Carr, Fresno State/25

5.  Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois/55

6.  A.J. McCarron, Alabama/73

7.  Zach Mettenberger, LSU/75

8.  Tajh Boyd, Clemson/86

9.  Aaron Murray, Georgia/T-100

10.  Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

 

RUNNING BACKS

1.  Carlos Hyde, Ohio State/35

2.  Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona/46

3.  Tre Mason, Auburn/52

4.  Jeremy Hill, LSU/56

5.  Bishop Sankey, Washington/69

6.  Lache Seastrunk, Baylor/83

7.  De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon/97

8.  Andre Williams, Boston College

9.  Charles Sims, West Virginia

10.  Dri Archer, Kent State

                                                     

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

1.  Greg Robinson, Auburn/2

2.  Jake Matthews, Texas A&M/3

3.  Taylor Lewan, Michigan/10

4.  Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama/18

5.  Zach Martin, Notre Dame/24

6.  Morgan Moses, Virginia/48

7.  Antonio Richardson, Tennessee/50

8.  Jack Mewhort, Ohio State/72

9.  Ju’Wuan James, Tennessee/93

10.  James Hurst, North Carolina/94

 

OFFENSIVE GUARDS/CENTERS

1.  Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA/45

2.  David Yankey, Stanford/49

3.  Cyril Richardson, Baylor/54

4.  Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State/59

5.  (C) Travis Swanson, Arkansas/79

6.  (C) Marcus Martin, USC

7.  Anthony Steen, Alabama

8.  (C) Weston Richburg, Colorado State

9.  Jon Halapio, Florida

10.  Chris Watt, Notre Dame

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

1.  Sammy Watkins, Clemson/5

2.  Mike Evans, Texas A&M/13

3.  Marqise Lee, USC/14

4.  Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State/31

5.  Odell Beckham Jr., LSU/34

6.  Allen Robinson, Penn State/39

7.  Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt/41

8.  Brandin Cooks, Oregon State/43

9.  Davante Adams, Fresno State/53

10.  Jarvis Landry, LSU/57

11.  Paul Richardson, Colorado/63

12.  Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin/84

13. Brandon Coleman, Rutgers/95

 

TIGHT ENDS

1.  Eric Ebron, North Carolina/12

2.  Jace Amaro, Texas Tech/26

3.  Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington/33

4.  Troy Niklas, Notre Dame/62

5.  C.J. Fiedorowicz/T-100

6.  Marcel Jensen, Fresno State

7.  Colt Lyerla, Oregon

8.  Jake Murphy, Utah

9.  Xavier Grimble, USC

10.  Crockett Gilmore, Colorado State

 

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE ENDS

1.  Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina/1

2.  Kony Ealy, Missouri/21

3.  Scott Crichton, Oregon State/42

4.  Trent Murphy, Stanford/44

5.  Dee Ford, Auburn/47

6.  Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas/70

7.  Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State/74

8.  Marcus Smith, Louisville/80

9.  Chris Smith, Arkansas/82

10.  Michael Sam, Missouri/85

 

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

1.  Timmy Jernigan, Florida State/15

2.  Louis Nix III, Notre Dame/20

3.  Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame/22

4.  RaShede Hageman, Minnesota/23

5.  Dominique Easley, Florida/29

6.  Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh/30

7.  Will Sutton, Arizona State/58

8.  Anthony Johnson, LSU/64

9.  Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina/66

10.  Ego Ferguson, LSU/68

11.  Da’Quan Jones, Penn State/71

 

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

1.  Anthony Barr, UCLA/6

2.  Khalil Mack, Buffalo/7

3.  Ryan Shazier, Ohio State/28

4.  Kyle Van Noy, BYU/37

5.  Telvin Smith, Florida State/65

6.  Trevor Reilly, Utah/67

7.  Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech/76

8.  Adrian Hubbard, Alabama/98

9.  Carl Bradford, Arizona State

10.  Chris Kirksey, Iowa

 

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

1.  C.J. Mosley, Alabama/9

2.  Christian Jones, Florida State/77

3.  Shayne Skov, Stanford/78

4.  Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut/87

5.  Chris Borland, Wisconsin/90

6.  Preston Brown, Louisville

7.  Max Bullough, Michigan State

8.  Lamin Barrow, LSU

9.  Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky

10.  Avery Williamson, Kentucky

 

CORNERBACKS

1.  Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State/16

2.  Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State/19

3.  Jason Verrett, TCU/32

4.  Bradley Roby, Ohio State/36

5.  Marcus Roberson, Florida/38

6.  Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida/40

7.  Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State/51

8.  Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech/60

9.  Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma/61

10.  Terrance Mitchell, Oregon/81

11.  Keith McGill, Utah/92

12.  Bashaud Breeland, Clemson/96

13.  Pierre Desir, Linderwood/99

 

SAFETIES

1.  HaHa Clinton-Dix, Alabama/17

2.  Calvin Pryor, Louisville/27

3.  Deone Bucannon, Washington State/88

4.  Ahmad Dixon, Baylor/89

5.  Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois/91

6.  Dion Bailey, USC

7.  Ed Reynolds, Stanford

8.  Terrence Brooks, Florida State

9.  Craig Loston, LSU

10.  Antone Exum, Virginia Tech

 

Written By: Mark Scott

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2013 NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH: BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP (JAN.7)

The BCS National Championship should be a good one this year with traditional college football powers Alabama and Notre Dame playing for the title. The Crimson Tide are looking to cement their legacy as a college football dynasty with their third National Championship in the last four years, while the Irish are looking to be back on top of the college football world with their first title since 1988. As they do every year, Alabama will have a number of NFL prospects on display for front offices, scouts and fans to see with up to 12 possible draft choices led by the likes of Dee Milliner, Chance Warmack and Jesse Williams. The Irish will counter with a decent class of their own featuring potential first round picks Manti Te’o and Tyler Eifert. This game is definitely one to watch.

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (12-1)

Ever since Nick Saban took over the Alabama football program, the Crimson Tide have continually sent fantastic draft classes to the NFL, often laden with elite first round prospects.  This year is no different as the Crimson Tide boasts another stacked group of draft-eligible players featuring multiple top-100 prospects including first-round locks CB Dee Milliner (Jr) and OG Chance Warmack (Sr). Milliner is far and away the top rated cornerback for the 2013 NFL Draft and one of the very top prospects as well. He was incredible and nearly unbeatable for the Tide this year in amassing 20 passes defended, 18 pass break-ups, 2 picks, 51 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He’s a shutdown cover corner with the ability to close down the outside in run support. He possesses the size, speed and strength to match elite wide receivers, although his ball skills could still use some work to turn some of those pass break-ups into turnovers. There’s no doubt he will be the first corner selected in the draft and could very well crack the top ten picks. Warmack is the best prospect on Alabama’s incredibly talented offensive line that will send three players to the NFL draft. He’s a mammoth wrecking machine that may be the most dominant guard prospect in a long time. He mauls defenders when run-blocking and is just about as good in pass-protection. He’s extremely light on his feet for a man his size which allows him to get to the second-level when run-blocking and continue to open up massive running lanes for his ball-carrier. He’s one of the very best prospects in the entire draft and should be a first round pick, but because of the lower value placed on his position he could fall into the later portion of the round much the same way Stanford’s highly-rated David DeCastro did in last year’s draft. Joining Warmack in the draft from Alabama’s All-American offensive line is RT D.J. Fluker (rJr) and OL Barrett Jones (rSr). Like Warmack, Fluker is a dominant run-blocker with great size and power that possesses the ability to destroy opposing defensive linemen and linebackers.  Some polishing is still needed in his game, but he is one of the best right tackle prospects just behind Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews and should be selected on Day 2. Jones is the leader of the Crimson Tide line and arguably the most versatile offensive lineman in the draft. Throughout his college career, Jones has displayed the ability to play a high level at left tackle (2011 Outland Trophy winner as the nation’s top offensive lineman), center (2012 Rimington Award winner as the nation’s top center) and at guard where he played his first two seasons and was named to 2010 AP All-American Third-Team. He’s an intelligent, max-effort player with fantastic fundamentals and excellent leadership. He should have a long, productive NFL career and could come off the board in the third round. It wouldn’t be an Alabama draft class without a dominant defensive lineman or top running back. As a former Australian rugby player, DT Jesse Williams (Sr) is a highly interesting prospect that possesses intriguing athletic ability and excellent versatility. He’s a huge defender with a low center of gravity and absolutely incredible strength (600lb. bench press). He is impossible to stop at the point of attack and has the power to dominate double-teams, while still possessing the speed to play on the outside and rush the passer. He can be used at every position on the defensive line in multiple schemes. As good as he is already he’s still improving at a rapid pace after only picking up football at the age of 15 and has a very high ceiling. He could be taken anywhere from the mid-first round to as late as the early third, but should come off the board somewhere in between. He could easily be one of the steals of the draft. RB Eddie Lacy (rJr) is the next in the long line of talented running backs to come out of Alabama. He’s a well-built power back with the ability to bulldoze his way through the middle while keeping his legs moving and breaking tackles. He’s a reliable ball-handler and has the potential to be a feature back on first and second downs in the NFL. He’s arguably the top draft-eligible running back for the 2013 NFL Draft with South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore injured and likely out of action for a while. He could be taken as high as the late second/early third round. Alabama also has a solid group of mid to late round prospects that includes SS Robert Lester (Sr), ILB Nico Johnson (Sr) and TE Michael Williams (rSr). All three should be reliable contributors at the next level and will be picked on Day 3. Late round hopefuls for Alabama include DE Quinton Dial, DE Damion Square and S Carson Tinker. The Crimson Tide could have actually had an even more impressive draft class this year if ILB C.J. Mosley (Jr) and QB A.J. McCarron (rJr) hadn’t already announced that they would be returning to school for their final season of eligibility. While McCarron was probably going to be just another mid-round prospect, Mosley was being talked about as a potential late first round pick and the second-rated inside linebacker behind Te’o.

NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (12-0)

While Notre Dame doesn’t have near the same size or level of draft class as Alabama, they still have a number of solid prospects led by first round picks ILB Manti Te’o (Sr) and TE Tyler Eifert (rJr). After surprising everyone last year by choosing to return for his senior season and turning down what looked to be a for-sure spot in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Manti Te’o looks to have made the right decision after leading the Fighting Irish to an undefeated regular season, a spot in the National Championship, a Heisman nomination and an even higher draft ranking. It’s not very often that things work out like that for a prospect when he chooses to return to school and pass on an almost guaranteed spot in the first round (just ask Matt Barkley), but Te’o’s magical season was one for the ages. The Heisman finalist was amazing this season in leading the Irish defense to a spot among the best in the sport. He racked up 103 tackles, his third straight season with 100+ tackles and was among the leaders in interceptions with seven, while adding a multitude of national awards and honors to his trophy case. Te’o is as complete a linebacker as you’ll find. He plays every down and is just as good in defending the pass as he is the run. He plays with great instincts, intensity and an extremely high football I.Q. He attacks the line of scrimmage and ball-carrier with quickness and power and possesses the ability to cover sideline to sideline never leaving him out of position. It would be a major surprise if he’s not selected among the top ten in the 2013 NFL Draft. Tyler Eifert is ranked on most draft boards as the top tight end for the 2013 NFL Draft and a possible late first round draft choice. He’s an athletic, pass-catching tight end with good speed and reliable hands. He’s able to create mismatches in the secondary and dominate defensive backs using his superior size and strength, while fearlessly navigating the middle of the field. He’s still developing as a blocker, but the 2012 Mackey Award winner as the nation’s top tight end shouldn’t last past the early second round. After Te’o and Efiert, the Irish have a group of potential mid to late round prospects that includes DL Kapron Lewis-Moore (rSr), OC/OG Braxston Cave (rSr), RB Theo Riddick (Sr), FS Zeke Motta (Sr) and RB Cierre Wood (rJr). Lewis-Moore is a versatile defensive lineman that can be used in multiple schemes and could be selected as high as the late third round. Late-round hopefuls include OC/OG Mike Golic Jr., S Jamoris Slaughter and WR John Goodman.

Written By: Mark Scott



Mark Scott’s Official 2013 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

The NFL season is three-quarters of the way through with just four games to play, while the college football regular season has come to a close ramping up draft discussions across the nation. NFL teams are starting to solidify their positions in the draft order, although there is still some jockeying for position to do. Roster needs are starting to be clearly defined across the NFL as well and scouts now have until April to delve into game tape of all the prospects available for the 2013 NFL Draft.

1.   KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (2-10) – QB GENO SMITH/WEST VIRGINIA

The Chiefs have been a complete disaster this season and as a result the franchise could be blown up at multiple levels. Regardless of whether there is a new regime put in place or not there is no question the team needs to start over at the quarterback position. Geno Smith has had some ups and downs this season, but he is an outstanding athlete with a rocket arm and a great sense for the game. He has the tools physically and mentally to be a franchise quarterback. I see him blowing front offices away on and off the field at the Scouting Combine and flying up the draft rankings.

2.   JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-10) – DT STAR LOTULELEI/UTAH

The Jags have been awful again this season and have major issues across the roster. The pass rush has remained abysmal with only 13 sacks on the year, good enough for dead last and has ranked in the bottom third of the league in sacks the past four seasons.  The run defense is just as bad ranking 31st in the NFL giving up 144 yards/game. Star Loutlelei is the most dominant player in college football and arguably the top prospect in the 2013 NFL Draft. He’s a major force in the middle where he is able to handle multiple blockers and swallow up ball-carriers, while using his superior strength and explosiveness to bowl over offensive linemen and put heat on the quarterback. Star Lotulelei is the closest prospect to becoming the next Haloti Ngata that we’ve seen. He is an exceptional talent that will instantly improve Jacksonville’s run defense and pass rush.

3.   OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-9) – DAMONTRE MOORE/TEXAS A&M

General Manager Reggie McKenzie cleaned house of high-priced veterans when he took over leaving the team depleted of a lot of its talent. The pass rush might have been the most affected by the house cleaning and has struggled mightily since with only 14 sacks on the season. Damontre Moore was a good prospect that became a great prospect this season when he took his game to another level registering 12.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss. Moore is an explosive pass-rusher with the versatility to line up with his hand on the ground or standing up and can even be used on the interior of the defensive line from time to time. He is arguably the best pass-rusher in the draft.

4.   PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (3-9) – LT LUKE JOECKEL

The Eagles have not been able to protect the quarterback at all this year and Michael Vick has felt the brunt of it getting hit way too often. Jason Peters was considered one the best pass protectors in the NFL, but after tearing his Achilles twice during the offseason has his future in doubt. He’ll return to action eventually, but what kind of player will he be when he does return. Peters’ replacements Demetrius Bell and King Dunlap have been terrible while Todd Herremans has done an admirable job on the right side, but is better suited inside at guard. Joeckel is the far and away the top left tackle in this draft. He’s not an elite athlete, but possesses exceptional technical skills and footwork. He’s proven he can eliminate the other team’s best pass-rushers and because he’s started since his freshman year in college he has the experience to step in and play right away.

5.   CAROLINA PANTHERS (3-9) – DT JOHNATHAN HANKINS/OHIO STATE

Carolina has a number of holes on their roster and needs an infusion of elite talent to upgrade at multiple positions. One of the weakest areas that needs to be addressed is their average group of defensive tackles. Dwan and Ron Edwards are way past their prime and 2011 third-round picks Terrell McClain and Sione Fua have not developed enough at this point. Hankins is a massive athlete that moves exceptionally well for a man his size. He can take on double teams and clogs up the middle of the field. He instantly helps this Carolina run defense.

6.   SAN DEIGO CHARGERS (4-8) – OLB JARVIS JONES/GEORGIA

The Chargers can’t protect Phillip Rivers, but with Luke Joeckel off the board and this spot a bit too high to take either Taylor Lewen or Eric Fisher, they’ll have to focus on another area. Pass-rusher Shaun Phillips will be a 32-year old free agent after the season and might not be brought back. Jarvis Jones is the top player available and could fill the spot vacated by Phillips.  Jones is one of the top pass-rushers in the draft and is a special kind of talent. Jones along with 2012 first-round pick Melvin Ingram would give the Chargers a tandem of pass-rushers that could dominate for the next decade or so.

7.   CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-8) – ILB MANTI TE’O/NOTRE DAME

Cleveland could go any number of directions with this selection, but I do expect this to be a defensive player. They would’ve liked to take Jones to fill the hole left by the Scott Fugita at the strong side linebacker position, who is likely to retire because of injury. With Jones gone, the Browns take potential Heisman Trophy winner Manti Te’o to play middle linebacker to captain their defense and move D’Qwell Jackson to Fugita’s spot on the outside. Te’o would bring instant credibility to the Browns defense and would give them potentially the next Ray Lewis of the AFC North division.

8.   DETROIT LIONS (4-8) – DE BJOERN WERNER/FLORIDA STATE

It didn’t take long for Detroit to be back drafting in the top ten after finally making the playoffs last season. They’ve neglected the cornerback position for years in the draft and Dee Millliner could be a possibility here, but the Lions will ignore the position again to add to their defensive line. Kyle Vanden Bosch has only 3.5 sacks this season and is nearing an end after a long career, while Cliff Avril remains a solid threat on the other side, but isn’t the most dynamic pass-rusher. Florida State’s Werner is a disruptive talent that contributes in a number of areas. He is a powerful pass-rusher that is always causing havoc in the opponents’ backfield, while constantly getting his hands in passing lanes to knock balls down a lot like Houston’s J.J. Watt, while still being highly effective at stopping the run.

9.   ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-8) – QB MATT BARKLEY/USC

Arizona might have the worst quarterback corps in the entire NFL. It is absolutely abysmal. None of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindley should be on this team next season. They need to completely start over. Luckily for them, Matt Barkly has slid down draft boards far enough that he could very well still be available for the Cards at this spot in the draft. Matt Barkley probably made a mistake in returning to USC for another year as they not only didn’t come close to playing for a predicted National Championship, but he also had his own struggles and to top it off he finished the season on the sidelines with a shoulder injury. He would’ve been a top five pick in the 2012 draft, but now looks like he will be lucky to go in the top ten with some scouts now saying he could a second-round pick. He’s not the best athlete and doesn’t have the strongest arm, but he does possess great fundamentals, experience in a pro-style offense and has the mental side of the game down pat. He is a major upgrade on what Arizona currently has.

10.   TENNESSEE TITANS (4-8) – DE SAM MONTGOMERY/LSU

The Titans pass rush has been majorly lacking this season. Kamerion Wimbley and Derrick Morgan have just 7.5 sacks between them and there is nothing on the roster behind them. Montgomery is an athletic, max-effort that is highly effective rushing the quarterback and defending the run. He possesses the versatility and skills to fit in any defensive scheme.

11.   BUFFALO BILLS (5-7) – ILB ALEC OGLETREE/GEORGIA

The Bills have made it clear that they’re looking for a potential franchise quarterback in this draft, but they’ll likely have to make a move up the draft to make sure they can secure Barkley or Smith otherwise they’ll have to reach quite a bit for one of the other quarterbacks or look elsewhere. That’s alright Buffalo needs major help on defense. Their ranked 30th against the run and have given up more rushing touchdowns this season than any other team. Ogletree has been a force for Bulldogs this year and arguably their most effective defender. A tackling-machine, Ogletree could easily slot in to the Bills starting middle linebacker spot moving Kelvin Sheppard to the outside.

12.   MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-7) – WR KEENAN ALLEN/CALIFORNIA

Brian Hartline and Davone Bess have both been good this season, but neither is a true #1 wide out and until Miami acquires one to replace the traded Brandon Marshall than rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be slow to develop. Just look at Sam Bradford in St. Louis as an example. Allen is currently ranked a top the wide receiver draft class at the moment, but the Tennessee duo of Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson aren’t too far behind and moving up. The California product is a big, down-the-field wide receiver with the ability to stretch the defense and go up and catch any ball above opposing defensive backs. He is exactly what the Dolphins need on offense.

13.   NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-7) – DT JOHN JENKINS/GEORGIA

The Saints defense has been just putrid this season. They can’t generate much of a pass-rush or stop the run. Jenkins is a mammoth athlete with the strength to handle multiple offensive linemen and stuff the run. He won’t ever put up eye-popping numbers on the stat sheet, but he will skyrocket the Saints run defense up the rankings. He’s the best run-stopper in the draft.

14.   NEW YORK JETS (5-7) – OLB BARKEVIOUS MINGO/LSU

The Jets are a complete joke and their regime led by Tannenbaum and Ryan is on the hot seat. They need a lot of help in a number of areas. While the Jets defense has held their own, they have done so for the most part without a very good pass rush. The Aaron Maybin project didn’t work out and both Bryan Thomas and Calvin Pace are in their thirties. Mingo might have the highest ceiling of any prospect in the draft. He has a long, lanky frame with an explosive burst off the snap and has incredible speed as a former track star. He’s still learning the game as he didn’t start playing until his junior year of high school, but has been well-coached by Les Miles at LSU and is making leaps and bounds in his skills as each game passes. Mingo could be the star pass-rusher that Rex Ryan needs to get his defense back to the top of the NFL.

15.   ST. LOUIS RAMS (5-6-1) – LT TAYLOR LEWEN/MICHIGAN

The Rams desperately need to get better protection for Sam Bradford, who has had to endure limited wide receivers and bad offensive lines in his short career. Jason Smith was a massive bust and was shipped to New York for Wayne Hunter who may be even worse. Rodger Saffold has done what he can, but he just is overmatched at left tackle. The Rams would’ve loved to land Luke Joeckel, but look to have won their way out of position with Joeckel emerging as one the very top prospects in the draft. Don’t sleep on Lewen though, he is a prototype left tackle and a better pure athlete than Joeckel, but isn’t as far in his development. He’s a very good pass blocker, but actually might be even better at run-blocking and he plays with a mean streak, an excellent trait to have in an offensive lineman.

16.   TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-6) – CB DEE MILLINER/ALABAMA

Tampa is the best in the NFL at defending the run, but has struggled mightily this season at stopping the pass. The talented, but troubled Aquib Talib was finally sent packing and Ronde Barber could be at the end of legendary career when the season comes to a close. Dee Milliner has been a stalwart for the Alabama defense and is the top corner in the draft. He possesses all the skills needed to be a #1 shutdown corner. He’s strong and physical and can run hip to hip with elite wide receivers. He won’t just help the pass defense as he is very valuable in run support as well.

17.   MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-6) – WR JUSTIN HUNTER/TENNESSEE

Adrian Peterson continues to carry the Vikings offense on his back. The passing attack just isn’t producing. Quarterback Christian Ponder has had his struggles, but Percy Harvin has been plagued by injuries again and the other Viking wide receivers just cannot get any separation.  Justin Hunter proved this season to everyone that he was healthy and could come back from a devastating torn ACL last year, although his production hasn’t completely returned, but that is to be expected after such an injury. He’s a smooth route-runner that can go deep or over the middle and uses his size and strength to outmuscle opposing defensive backs for the ball.

18. WASHINGTON (6-6) ST.LOUIS RAMS – WR CORDARRELLE PATTERSON

As noted earlier, Sam Bradford has had to throw to some pretty limited wide receivers since being drafted. Danny Amendola is a solid target, but seems to get banged up too much and their young wide outs still remain question marks. Patterson lit up the junior college ranks before bursting on to the National scene this season with Tennessee. He’s displayed exceptional speed and playmaking ability. He can be used in a variety of ways on offense and can line up at any of the wide receiver positions and the in the back field. A Percy Harvin-type talent, but taller.

19.   DALLAS COWBOYS (6-6) – OG CHANCE WARMACK/ALABAMA

The Cowboys need help on the offensive line in better protecting Tony Romo and improving their 30th ranked run offense. Dallas liked David DeCastro a lot in the 2012 Draft, but chose to pass on him and ended up going with a couple cheap veterans to fill the guard positions. It hasn’t worked out and with Alabama’s Chance Warmack still available because he plays guard despite being one of the very top ranked prospects in the draft, the Cowboys just can’t pass on his talent.

20.   CINCINNATI BENGALS (7-5) – DE DION JORDAN/OREGON

The Bengals have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL this season, but with three of their top pass rushers (Michael Johnson, Robert Geathers and Manny Lawson) set to be free agents at the end of the season it’s unlikely they’ll all be back. Dion Jordan is an exciting athlete with still raw abilities, but the sky is the limit for this guy. He’s long, lean and explosive and has the versatility to play multiple positions in the front seven.

21.   PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-5) – OLB COREY LEMONIER/AUBURN

Pittsburgh yet again finds themselves with a top ranked defense this season, but age is quickly catching up to them and they need to keep adding young players to their defense to eventually take over for their seemingly ageless stars. Corey Lemonier is the type of rugged defender that should fit in perfectly with this Steelers defense. He is a relentless defender always in pursuit of the quarterback or ball-carrier. He possesses an explosive first step and has great closing speed. A pass-rusher first, he is also a big contributor against the run.

22.   SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (7-5) – DT SHELDON RICHARDSON/MISSOURI

The Seahawks are in need of a #1 wide receiver and could look at Baylor’s Terrance Williams at this spot, but instead decide to add to one of their strengths, the defensive line. Defensive tackle Alan Branch is a free agent after the season and could be brought back or upgraded. Sheldon Richardson put together a phenomenal season at Missouri this year. Richardson is a powerful bull rusher from the inside of the defensive line and is a much more active tackler than most interior linemen, mostly due to his all-out effort and quickness. The Seattle pass rush just got even scarier.

23.   INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (8-4) – NT KAWANN SHORT/PURDUE

The Colts put all their attention into rebuilding the offense at the 2012 NFL Draft, despite changing their defensive scheme from a long-used 4-3 to a 3-4. While the defense has held in there, they clearly are lacking the right talent to play in the new system. A big nose tackle is needed for Chuck Pagano’s defense and they would’ve liked to land John Jenkins to be that guy. Instead they go with Kawann Short, who is surely big enough to handle the position, but also brings a pass-rush element with him. He likes to penetrate and live in the opponents’ back field rather than just handle blockers and clog up the middle. If he can’t play the middle, they can easily slide him to the outside at the five-technique where they need just as much help.

24.   CHICAGO BEARS (8-4) – LT ERIC FISHER/CENTRAL MICHIGAN

The Bears cannot go into the 2013 NFL season with their current offensive line. They can’t protect Jay Cutler at all and continue to rack up penalties trying. JaMarcus Webb just isn’t a starting left tackle in this league and right tackle Gabe Carimi has already been moved inside to guard because he couldn’t handle playing tackle at the NFL level. Fisher might be most unknown prospect in the first round, but he shouldn’t be. Another athletic prototype left tackle, Fisher is quickly moving up draft boards and could surpass Taylor Lewen as the second-rated left tackle behind Luke Joeckel. He’s excellent in pass protection.

25.   GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-4) – TE TYLER EIFERT/NOTRE DAME

Jermichael Finley appears to have worn out his welcome in Green Bay with his disappointing play and attitude. He’s clearly not on the same page as the rest of the Packers offense and with ton of money due to him next year his days in Green Bay could be over following the season. Tyler Eifert was just named college football’s top tight end. He has great body control and ball skills and is a major weapon in the passing attack. He’s not going block many people, but he will stretch the field and demand a lot attention from opposing defenses.

26.   NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-3) – WR TERRANCE WILLIAMS/BAYLOR

The Patriots remain one the top offenses in football, but they still lack a legitimate deep threat. Chad Ochocinco was a disappointment last year and Brandon Lloyd has been almost as disappointing this season. All the while, Wes Welker will be a free agent and his relationship with Bill Belichick continues o deteriorate leading those to believe Welker won’t be a Patriot next year. Terrance Williams is a lanky wide out with good size and speed that is a dangerous pass-catcher deep down field.

27.   DENVER BRONCOS (9-3) – DT SHARIFF FLOYD/FLORIDA

The Broncos defense has played well this season ranking in top ten against both the pass and the run, but the middle of their defense is pretty average at both the defensive tackle positions and middle linebacker. Kevin Vickerson and Justin Bannan will both be in their thirties next season and neither is particularly good and could stand to be upgraded, especially since there isn’t much on the roster behind them either. Shariff Floyd is moving up draft boards. He can play in multiple schemes and on the outside or interior of the defensive line. He has the strength to stuff the run and the quickness to create a pass-rush and get to the quarterback. The Broncos don’t have anything like him on the roster at the defensive tackle position.

28.   ATLANTA FALCONS (11-1) – TE ZACH ERTZ/STANFORD

Tony Gonzalez is still one of the best in the game and extremely productive. He’s a major part of Atlanta’s offense, but looks like he is ready to retire at season’s end. He’s on the record as saying he is 95% sure he will call it quits. If Gonzalez does retire, there is nothing behind him on the Falcons roster to take over.  Ertz has emerged as a big-time playmaker for Stanford this year and is right behind Eifert for top spot among tight ends in the draft class. He possesses most of the same skills as Eifert in the receiving game, but is a better blocker than his Notre Dame counterpart.

29.   NEW YORK GIANTS (7-5) – DE EZEKIEL ANSAH/BYU

This could be anyone as the Giants and General Manager Jerry Reese tend to always go with the best player available regardless of position. Ansah may or may not be the best player available at this point, but he is the type of raw, explosive athlete with a ton of upside that they like. Osi Umenyiora is a free agent after the season and his rocky relationship with the front office to go with his contract demands could see his time in New York come to an end. Ansah is drawing comparisons to New York’s stud pass-rusher Jason Pierre-Paul.

30.   BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-3) – ILB C.J. MOSLEY/ALABAMA

This year more than ever has shown that the Ravens need to draft an inside linebacker to be Ray Lewis’ heir apparent when he finally decides to retire.  Lewis’ skills have deteriorated slightly as he’s gotten older and continued to pile up the battles on his body. When he went out with an injury this year Baltimore was left with a major gap in the middle of its defense. The Ravens do not want to have look for a guy when Lewis is already gone, they want someone to learn from him for a year or two before taking over. C.J. Mosley could be that guy.  He’s a versatile, well-coached three-down linebacker with the leadership skills to lead an NFL defense in the future.

31.   SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (8-3-1) – DT JESSE WILLIAMS/ALABAMA

The 49ers have one of best defenses in the NFL and one the top five-technique defensive end tandems as well with Justin Smith and Ray McDonald. What they don’t have is depth behind them and Smith is 33 and not getting any younger. Nose Tackle Issac Sopoaga will also be a 31-year old free agent. Australian-born Jesse Williams has the versatility and talent to fill either void, whether as depth behind Smith and McDonald or as a replacement for Sopoaga in the middle.

32.   HOUSTON TEXANS (11-1) – WR DEANDRE HOPKINS/CLEMSON

The Texans have lacked a legit second threat in the passing game across from Andre Johnson for years now. Hopkins is quickly moving up draft boards and is the type of dynamic player the likes of Percy Harvin that the Texans have never had. Hopkins can do a number of things on offense and can line up at multiple spots. He’s very fast and quick with the ability to make oncoming tacklers miss and can stretch the field deep. He would make this offense even more dangerous than it already is.

Written By: Mark Scott



2013 NFL Draft Prospect Watch: Week 1

This is a new feature on NFL Draft Center where every week of the college football season I will take a closer look at the best game to watch for potential prospects and the best head to head matchup in a game between draft eligible players. This season gets started with a bang Friday night when one of the best head to head battles we’ll see all season long takes place as two of the top prospects in the draft, CB David Amerson and WR Justin Hunter face off with one another, while a Crimson Tide showcase in prime time follows on Saturday night.

Best Head to Head Matchup: North Carolina State CB David Amerson vs. Tennessee WR Justin Hunter and North Carolina State QB Mike Glennon vs. Tennessee QB Tyler Bray @ the Georgia Dome, Friday/7:30 PM

While the Boise State/Michigan State game will get all the national attention on Friday night, the game all the NFL scouts will be glued to is the matchup between North Carolina State and Tennessee as it features a showdown between the consensus top cornerback in the draft in the Wolf Pack’s All-American David Amerson and one of the top receivers available in Volunteers’ wide out Justin Hunter. Both rate among the 15 best prospects to potentially enter the 2013 NFL Draft with Amerson ranked among the top five on most boards. The reigning Jack Tatum Award winner as the nation’s top defensive back, Amerson put together a season for the history books in 2011 as he set a new ACC and NC State record for interceptions in a season with 13, falling just short of tying the FBS record of 14. Amerson is a big corner at 6’3”, 195lbs. with good length and large hands. He can man up one on one in coverage with anyone and possesses the instincts and ball skills to switch his mindset from defense to offense mid-play with the ball in air. He is also exceptional versus the run and has shown the ability to improve his skills and technique at a rapid progression. He will be in tough though Friday when he has the task of covering Justin Hunter. The Tennessee product is a tall, lean receiver with good speed. He’s an excellent route runner, but it’s his elite leaping ability and great hands that have scouts comparing him to Cincinnati Bengals standout A.J Green. There is a big question surrounding Hunter though and that’s whether or not he can return to the same player he had shown before tearing his ACL in the third game of the season last year. This is a huge test for both players and one that could go a long way in determining where both of them could be selected come the draft and whether they can maintain the lofty status among prospects that they currently have.

Amerson versus Hunter may be the main attraction in their game Friday night, but it’s not the only head to head battle worth watching as this game will be the first this season to feature two of the top ten quarterbacks available for the draft. Tennessee’s Tyler Bray is that gun-slinger type quarterback and will remind a lot of people of Chicago’s Jay Cutler. He possesses a cannon for an arm and might just throw the best deep ball of any of this year’s quarterback prospects. He can be lazy at times in his technique and often chooses to try and make the much more difficult throw than using one of his safer, more open options. He will also need to show he can stay healthy after missing five games with a hand injury in 2011. After having to stand in the shadow of Russell Wilson for a few years, Mike Glennon finally got his shot last season after Wilson chose to transfer to Wisconsin. Glennon possesses the NFL prototypical size and arm strength for the next level, but because of his lack of game experience he still has work to do in improving his technique, footwork and decision making. He’s probably a third or fourth round pick right now, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him shoot up draft boards with an even stronger season than last year.

Best Game to Watch for Prospects: #8 Michigan vs. #2 Alabama @ Cowboys Stadium, Saturday/8 PM

The top game of the week is undoubtedly the first matchup of the season between two top ten teams in the Crimson Tide and Wolverines. It’s also the best game of the week to watch for prospects even if it is predominantly an Alabama showcase. The Tide will again enter a new season with a whole slew of potential Day 1 and 2 draft picks. Their offensive line is the crown jewel of their roster as it features three possible first round selections in OL Barrett Jones, OG Chance Warmack and RT D.J. Fluker. All three are big, physical and experienced. They’re well coached under Nick Saban and have the versatility to play multiple positions on the line. Jones in particular has displayed the ability to play both tackle and guard positions and will begin this season at Center after starring last year at left tackle.  As usual Bama is stocked on the defensive side of the ball, although they don’t appear to have that elite first round prospect this time around. Their top defensive prospect is Nose Tackle Jesse Williams, who could make his way up draft boards from his second round rating with another good season. He’s still a bit of project after growing up in Australia and only starting to play football at 15 years old. He eventually made his way to Western Arizona Community College where he quickly displayed high level talent and gained the attention of Saban. In his first year at Alabama, he started all 13 games as a five-technique defensive end, but will make the move inside to Nose Tackle this season. Williams possesses amazing strength (600lb. bench press) and great all-around physical tools. Behind Williams is a pair of linebackers in C.J. Mosley and Nico Johnson and a pair of defensive backs in FS Robert Lester and CB Dee Milliner, who could all come off the board in the third or fourth round. Finally Alabama’s most interesting prospect to watch will be running back Eddie Lacy, who will attempt to make it three straight Tide running backs to be taken in the first round. He has some work to do as he is currently rated as a late second/early third round pick by many publications.

While Alabama’s starting lineup is full of potential early round draft choices, Michigan features just one notable potential early round draft choice in OT Taylor Lewan, who might just end up being the first player taken playing in this game. A massive left tackle that plays mean and nasty, Lewan has the ability to battle one on one with the opposing team’s top pass rushers. He’s not a perfect prospect by any means and still has a lot of work to do in improving his footwork and blocking techniques, while also cutting down on the number of penalties he gets. The progress he displays this year will go a long way in determining if Lewan is that early first round selection some scouts think he might be or if he will be taken later in the first or even as low as the second or third rounds. The Wolverines next two best prospects look like Day Three picks. Defensive End Craig Roh probably should be taken a bit higher than he will go, but in a year that could be special for pass rushers he could find himself still available heading into the mid to late rounds. He has great instincts and is a tireless worker on and off the field. He’s got good speed and plays with an edge and is the type of player every coach wants on his team. He probably just isn’t going to stand out among the talent in this year’s crop. Quarterback Denard Robinson is one of the most electrifying athletes in college football today, but given his lack of size and an elite arm, he will have to make the ever so tough transition to wide receiver or running back that so many of his type of quarterback has had to make when attempting to move to the next level. Robinson is likely to be available in late on Day Three, unless there is a team out there that really likes him.

Written By: Mark Scott