13 total linemen are in the top 20 rated NFL prospects below on the big board, six on offense and seven on defense. This preseason, Alabama OG Chance Warmack was on my radar and was listed 11th on the list of best college offensive linemen, but has jumped up to one of the top O-linemen for the 2013 NFL Draft.
During the preseason, USC QB Matt Barkley was widely thought of as the top prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft, but his status dropped after the Trojans had a disappointing season and an injury occurred to his shoulder. There is no doubt that Barkley is still highly talented, but it is questionable whether he can recover mentally and physically enough to become a top caliber pro quarterback.
There seems to be a lack of top notch running backs in this year's draft as well. I am surprised that record setting Wisconsin RB Montee Ball is not talked about more. He is arguably the top draft eligible tailback along with Oregon's Kenjon Barner, North Carolina's Giovani Bernard, and Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell.
Even though there are not many wide receivers coming in with much hype, the field of wide outs has solid talent all around. There should be plenty of quality receivers left for the second round and some teams will likely get a steal. Many of the WRs that I have rated as second round talent could easily be hidden first rounders or develop into top NFL pass targets.
Who the Kansas City Chiefs will select number one overall is still very much in doubt. Various mock drafts differ in the number one selection. The Chiefs are in dire need of a quarterback, but there is not a clear standout at QB or at least one that should warrant a number one overall pick. West Virginia's QB Geno Smith has had his name tossed around for the top pick as well as Utah's DT Star Lotulelei and Texas A&M's OT Luke Joeckel. I believe taking any quarterback at number one this year would be a reach. Lotulelei or Joeckel would be a more secure pick.
Georgia LB Jarvis Jones is the number one rated draft eligible player listed below. An edge rusher and ball hawk like Jones is always in high demand for NFL teams. He can also apply pressure a variety of ways on the field.
Georgia coach Mark Richt said, "There are some great speed rushers, but that’s all they’ve got. Jarvis, every once in a while, he just decides to lift them out of their shoes because they’re kind of on their heels, trying to worry about whether he’s going inside or outside. Then he just runs them over, so he has a big bull rush as well. A guy with that ability and that kind of motor, you’re going to make plays.”
The next top linebacker on the board is Notre Dame's Manti Te'o. The thing that worries me most is Te'o's inability to penetrate the backfield often. But he is good on run defense and is excellent at locking down the middle of the field. A great tackler with good coverage skills is always a great need in the NFL. Te'o is just the second player in Notre Dame's history to have over 100 tackles in three straight seasons and no FBS linebacker has intercepted the ball more than him since 2001 (seven interceptions in 2012).
Clemson's Tajh Boyd is the top rated draft eligible quarterback on my big board mostly due to his consistency. Boyd has yet declared if he will forgo his senior year, but his father reportedly said he will most likely be back for 2013. There are other talented QBs in the draft, but they lacked consistency and good coaching this past season. North Carolina State's Mike Glennon may be the most overrated player in this class. ESPN's Mel Kiper has Glennon 22nd on his board; however, he appears to be overhyped. The Wolfpack quarterback has great height, but lacks good reads and dynamic ability.
Top 20 Overall Big Board
*Draft eligible players that have not declared may be included. Players that stated they are staying in college are not listed.
Mock Number One Picks
ESPN's Todd McShay:
DT Star Lotulelei, Sr. 6-4 320, Utah
CBS Sports' Rob Rang:
OT Luke Joeckel, Jr. 6-6 310, Texas A&M
CBS Sports' Dane Brugler:
QB Geno Smith, Sr. 6-3 214, West Virginia
The Penalty Flag:
QB Matt Barkley, Sr. 6-2 230, USC
KCChiefsDraft.com's Jason Madson:
QB Geno Smith, Sr. 6-3 214, West Virginia
Top Skill Positions
1. Tajh Boyd, Jr. 6-1 225, Clemson (1st Rd)
2. Matt Barkley, Sr. 6-2 230, USC (1st Rd)
3. Tyler Wilson, Sr. 6-3 220, Arkansas (2nd Rd)
4. Geno Smith, Sr. 6-3 214, West Virginia (2nd Rd)
5. Tyler Bray, Jr. 6-6 215, Tennessee (2nd Rd)
1. Montee Ball, Sr. 5-11 212, Wisconsin (Late 1st/2nd Rd)
2. Giovani Bernard, So. 5-10 205, UNC (Late 1st/2nd Rd)
3. Kenjon Barner, Sr. 5-11 192, Oregon (2nd Rd)
4. Le'Veon Bell, Jr. 6-2 244, Michigan State (2nd Rd)
5. Andre Ellington, Sr. 5-10 190, Clemson (2nd Rd)
1. Robert Woods, Jr. 6-1 190, USC (Mid 1st/Early 2nd Rd)
2. Terrence Williams, Sr. 6-2 205, Baylor (Late1st/2nd Rd)
3. Cobi Hamilton, Sr. 6-3 209, Arkansas (2nd Rd)
4. Tavon Austin, Sr. 5-9 174, WVU (2nd Rd)
5. Quinton Patton, Sr. 6-2 195, Louisiana Tech (2nd Rd)
6. Keenan Allen, Jr. 6-3 210, California (2nd Rd)
7. Ryan Swope, Sr. 6-0 206, Texas A&M (2nd Rd)
8. Cordarrelle Patterson, Jr. 6-3 205, Tennessee (2nd/3rd)
9. Justin Hunter, Jr. 6-4 200, Tennessee (Late 2nd/3rd Rd)
10. Stedman Bailey, Jr. 5-10 193, WVU (Late 2nd/3rd Rd)
*Draft round rating included (not projected round).
CB Johnthan Banks, Sr. 6-2 185, Miss. State (Lt 1st/2nd)
DB Matt Elam, Jr. 5-10 210, Florida (Late 1st/2nd Rd)
OT Eric Fisher, Sr. 6-8 305, Central Michigan (1st/2nd Rd)
LB Khaseem Greene, Sr. 6-1 230, Rutgers (Lt 1st/2nd Rd)
DE Dion Jordan, Sr. 6-7 243, Oregon (Late 1st/2nd Rd)
LB Kevin Minter, Jr. 6-2 242, LSU (Late 1st/2nd Rd)
ILB Alec Ogletree, Jr. 6-3 232, Georgia (Late 1st/2nd Rd)
TE Zach Ertz, Jr. 6-6 252, Stanford (2nd Rd)
DE Margus Hunt, Sr. 6-8 275, SMU (2nd Rd)
OL Barrett Jones, Sr. 6-5 302, Alabama (2nd Rd)
RB Eddie Lacy, Jr. 6-0 220, Alabama (2nd Rd)
OT Justin Pugh, Jr. 6-6 292, Syracuse (2nd Rd)
S Eric Reid, Jr. 6-2 208, LSU (2nd Rd)
S Philip Thomas, Sr. 6-1 215, Fresno State (2nd Rd)
RB/FB Zach Line, Sr. 6-1 230, SMU (Late 2nd/3rd Rd)
DE Sam Montgomery, Jr. 6-4 245, LSU (Late 2nd/3rd Rd)
WR Da'Rick Rogers, Jr. 6-3 206, Tenn. Tech(Late2nd/3rd)
DE Quanterus Smith, Sr. 6-5 245, WKU (Late 2nd/3rd Rd)
OT Brian Winters, Sr. 6-5 310, Kent State (2nd/3rd Rd)
TE Jack Doyle, Sr. 6-6 253, WKU (Late 3rd/4th Rd)
QB Mike Glennon, Sr. 6-6 232, NC State (Late 3rd/4th Rd)
QB Colby Cameron, Sr. 6-2 205, Louisiana Tech (4th Rd)
CB Tyrann Mathieu, Jr. 5-9 175, LSU (5th Rd)
*Draft round rating included (not projected round). Of course, not all draft eligible players are listed, but I included some notable players that I have scouted.
NFL Draft Order 2013
1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Oakland Raiders
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Detroit Lions
6. Cleveland Browns
7. Arizona Cardinals
8. Buffalo Bills
9. New York Jets
10. Tennessee Titans
11. San Diego Chargers
12. Miami Dolphins
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
14. Carolina Panthers
15. New Orleans Saints
16. St. Louis Rams
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
18. Dallas Cowboys
19. New York Giants
20. Chicago Bears