Player Rankings

2013draftpic

My Top 5 Players at Each Position

-3/2/13

Quarterback

1. Geno Smith, West Virginia

2. Matt Barkley, USC

3. E.J. Manuel, Florida

4. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas

5. Tyler Bray, Tennessee

Not a strong QB class at the top but a deep class all the same. I see a lot of solid back up QBs in this class. G. Smith solidified his spot at the top with a good combine. E.J. Manuel is my sleeper of this group and should go in the 2nd round.  He is an athletic QB with good intelligence and natural leadership ability. Tyler Bray has a heck of an arm but is a project. At least 1 if not 2 QBs will go in the first round. Barkley better hope that a lot of teams don’t pass on him because of previous USC QB sins of the past.

Running Back

1. Eddie Lacy, Alabama

2. Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State

3. Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State

4. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina

5. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina

Lattimore would be my #1 RB if it wasn’t for his injury and I hope he is back to form after his recovery. Lacy has rocketed up the draft boards after the dominating National Championship and should go in the 1st round. Not many experts are choosing Le’Veon Bell as a top back in this draft and that is a mistake. This guy is the most complete back out of the group. He can run north-south but also has the agility and quickness to bounce it outside. The guy carried the load for the Spartans and had over 30 carries in 7 of their games last year without durability issues. Randle has more of a WR frame but I would expect him to jump up the boards after his Pro Day because of his athleticism and ability in both the run and pass game.

Wide Receiver

1. DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson

2. Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee  

3. Keenan Allen, California

4. Robert Woods, USC

5. Tavon Austin, West Virginia

Deep WR class this year. DeAndre “Nuke” Hopkins is my favorite here because he’s a complete receiver that has quickness in his routes but posses good straight line speed to get over the top of defenders. He is also a hands catcher and a good blocker which cannot be said for a lot of WRs in this class. Everyone has fallen in love with Patterson and for good reason but I don’t see him as the best in this class. He is unbelievable when he gets the ball in his hands but catches a lot of balls with the body. He reminds me a lot of Ravens WR Torrey Smith with better YAC skills. Both Keenan Allen and Robert Woods are going to be solid picks and steals for whoever grabs them in the 2nd round. Both have durability concerns that have dropped their stock. Austin is an explosive WR but at 5’8 I would be surprised if he isn’t more than a slot WR and have a hard time believing a slot WR is worth a 1st round pick which is where he will most likely get drafted.

Tight End

1. Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame

2. Zach Ertz, Stanford

3. Gavin Escobar, San Diego State

4. Jordan Reed, Florida

5. Vance McDonald, Rice

Tyler Eifert solidified his #1 TE spot at the combine with a great all-around performance. Some have Ertz ahead of him but I just don’t see it in either the receiving or blocking skills. Escobar is an interesting prospect who has natural hands but isn’t going to turn any heads as a blocking TE. As the double TE set continues to get more popular, teams should have a spot for him in the 3rd or 4th round.

Center

1. Travis Frederick, Wisconsin

2. Barrett Jones, Alabama

3. Brian Schwenke, Cal

4. Khaled Holmes, USC

5. Braxston Cave, Notre Dame

Not a very strong C class and since it’s the best offensive line class I have ever seen as a whole that tells you how good the OT and OG positions are. I see Frederick being a starter in the league for a long time but not at the C position. He had a terrible combine and think he is more suited playing OG but can be effective as most Wisconsin OL in the league are.  

Guard

1. Chance Warmack, Alabama

2. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

3. Larry Warford, Kentucky

4. Barrett Jones, Alabama

5. Kyle Long, Oregon

We may see 2 or 3 OGs go in the 1st round this year with 1 in the top 10 which is unprecedented. Chance Warmack has been called the best player in the draft by some experts. He dominated the competition and can be an upgrade to any OL in the league. Larry Warford is one of my favorites who plays with a good knee bend technique and is able to keep defenders at a distance with good arm extension and strength.

Tackle

1. Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M

2. Eric Fisher, Central Michigan

3. Lane Johnson, Oklahoma

4. D.J. Fluker, Alabama

5. Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

This is the best OT class we have seen for quite some time. I see 3 legit LT starters and at least 2 RT plug and play guys in this class. Joekel leads the pack with good balance and quick feet and a wide stance. He can get downfield and has a nasty streak. Eric Fisher had a great Senior Bowl and Combine and just keeps moving up the board which may have solidified him in the top 10. Lane Johnson is the more athletic OT of the group and has good arm extension and can get downfield into the 2nd level. DJ Fluker is more suited to play right tackle because he may have some issues with edge pass rushers. He is a beast of a man and uses his size to his advantage.

Defensive End

1. Ezekiel Ansah, BYU

2. Bjoern Werner, Florida State

3. Margus Hunt, SMU

4. Alex Okafor, Texas

5. Datone Jones, UCLA

Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah has been the fastest draft riser in 2013 so far. He had a spectacular Senior Bowl and combine and showed that he can be a legit edge pass rusher in the league. I project him to go in the top 5. Werner is a tough player to evaluate showing flashes at times and then is average at others. With the right scheme and coaching this guy can be a force. My favorite of the group is Margus “The Eastern Block” Hunt also moving up quickly on draft boards. This guy had 14 blocked kicks in his career which is an interesting stat and is a solid 5-technique DE and best suited in a 3-4 scheme. Alex Okafor also stands out as a 4-3 DE and is better against the run but showed flashes that he can rush the passer with a quick first step recording 4.5 sacks in his bowl game against Oregon St.

Defensive Tackle

1. Sharrif Floyd, Florida

2. Star Lotulelei, Utah

3. Sheldon Richardson, Missouri

4. Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State

5. Jesse Williams, Alabama

“The Shariff” has been another big riser this year in the draft. Had a stellar combine and shows excellent balance and strength as a 2-gap DT. Has good instincts and keeps is eyes in the backfield so he can predict with way the ball carrier is going.  Lotulelei is an interesting prospect that had to sit out of the combine because of a heart condition and his draft stock depends on how NFL teams see that as a scare. He is a good bull rush DT that takes up space but is quick enough to get off blocks and react. Sheldon Richardson is a risk/reward type player with a good first step. When I watch the tape I see average strength and the ability to anchor however.

Outside linebacker

1. Dion Jordan, Oregon

2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia

3. Barkevious Mingo, LSU

4. Cornelius Washington, Georgia

5. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers

You might as well throw darts with this group because the players who will stand out will be the ones who fit the right scheme at the next level. Jarvis Jones is my favorite player of this group but his spinal stenosis will scare teams away and force him to drop on draft day. He is the most complete player with great pass rush skills but can also cover well. Dion Jordan is the biggest riser at this position being compared to an Aldon Smith. I don’t think we can go that far unless he improves his strength and puts on some pounds. Barkevious “Keke” Mingo showed flashes at times and can be good with the right team but lacks the ability to disengage blockers at times and keep his eyes up in the backfield;  

Inside linebacker

1. Arthur Brown, Kansas State

2. Manti Te’o, Notre Dame

3. Kevin Minter, LSU

4. Kevin Reddick, North Carolina

5. Kiko Alonso, Oregon

Arthur Brown is one of my favorite players in this draft reminding me a lot of last year’s standout LaVonte David. He has great instincts and read and react skills and is the best in pass coverage among this group. Like David he will most likely get passed over by teams in the first round because of his size but be a steal in the 2nd. He can play both inside or outside LB. Te’o comes with the circus and that may scare some teams away but he is a smart LB with ball skills as he had 7 interceptions last year. He does posses leadership skills and a passion for the game and can be an impact player on defense if he gets his mind right.

Cornerback

1. Dee Milliner, Alabama

2. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State

3. Desmond Trufant, Washington

4. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi St.  

5. Tyrann Mathieu, LSU

Alabama’s Milliner solidified his spot as the top CB in the draft after a solid combine. He shows great hip movement that allows him to open up quickly and get down field. He also plays a physical game and can come up and hit you in the mouth. Xavier Rhodes is another physical guy that plays well in press coverage against more physical receivers much like Seattle’s Richard Sherman. Tyrann Mathieu showed that he has the speed to be a CB and has the best natural ball skills in the group. He also has a nose for the ball making him an impact player if he were to play safety but teams see his size as an issue for that position.

Safety

1. Kenny Vaccaro, Texas

2. Matt Elam, Florida

3. Bacarri Rambo, Georgia

4. Eric Reid, LSU

5 Johnathan Cyprien, Florida International

A very strong safety class this year with Vaccaro as the clear favorite.  A downhill player with the ability to change direction quickly and can come off the edge on the blitz. Has good ball skills and can be used as a Nickel DB as well. Matt Elam will just flat out hit people in the mouth as a very physical safety but has catch up speed and can blitz the edge. Bacarri Rambo has my favorite name in the draft and one of the most interesting prospects at the position. He had a stellar Senior Bowl and possesses good physical strength with the ability to read quarterbacks eyes. He has some baggage with off the field issues though.

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1 comment

  1. Carin Sampson

    You Rock!

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