As you know, I am an NFL Draft guy. I count down the days each year, and have already created my first big board, perhaps prematurely, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the draft. My rankings take into account “NFL-readiness”, athleticism, pure talent at position, and more. So without further or due, here is my 2013 Big Board V 1.0, as of 1-16-13
1. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
In my opinion, Luke Joeckel is the most NFL ready prospect in this years draft class, and compares to Jake Long in many ways. He has the size, strength, and physicality to be a stud at the Tackle position for years to come. Newly hired Chiefs GM John Dorsey stated that he would be drafting the best player in the draft, NOT for a specific position. Therefore, Joeckel is the pick, not a quarterback.
2. Jarvis Jones, DE, Georgia
Jarvis Jones is the best defensive prospect in this years class, and I compare him to Von Miller. He has all the intangibles and psychical necessities to succeed in this league. Hes a wild pass rusher and could create havoc for opposing teams. I think hes the total package at DE.
3. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Another huge defensive player, one thing is for sure, Star Lotulelei will be a star in the NFL. I like to compare him to a Ndamukong Suh. He’s a great pass rusher and is built the same way. He’ll be a a threat to opposing QBs for years to come no matter where he goes.
4. Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Mel Kiper has Damontre Moore as the top prospect in this years draft. However, I have him drafted here a few spots lower at 4. Moore is a great player with excellent size and speed for a line backer, but its uncertain how his game will transition to the NFL level. He has an extremely high ceiling, and can turn into a solid pass rusher if he works on getting around the edge a little bit more.
5. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The large-framed German out of Florida State is a cant miss prospect in this years draft. He’s classified as a power guy instead of speed and finesse in my book, and could be the biggest boom-or-bust prospect in my top 10. I would take a chance on this guy, especially if I was Cleveland and he fell all the way down to me at 6.
6. Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
I struggled here deciding which Alabama stud should go first here, but GREAT Offensive Guards seem hard to come by in the NFL now a days, and Chance Warmack certainly has a “Chance” to be one of the best at his position in the near future – pun intended. He certainly has the size and strength to be effective in college, but how about the pros? Thats the real question here.
7. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
We all saw what Dee Milliner did against the Notre Dame Wide Receiving corps in the BCS National Championship game, and I think he could do the same in the NFL. He’s a pure cover corner, and is very physical at the line of scrimmage, jamming receivers left and right. He’s one of the few cant miss prospects in this years draft.
8. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Perhaps the most disscussed player in this years draft, his talent is hard to judge. He had a breakout week at WVU throwing for almost 700 yards and 8 touchdowns in one game, and running a pro style offense, how could a quarterback-needy team pass this guy up? Then his team went 7-5. If his team didn’t have huge success at the college level, what about the team that drafts him this April? Then again, this kid could be the next hot, young quarterback in the NFL; which for some teams, is too much to pass up.
9. Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
Mingo is an absolute beast rushing the passer. He gets around the edge extremely fast using speed and finesse moves to attack the Quarterback. He also has a very high ceiling, which could make this kid dangerous. We’ll just have to wait and see. In my eyes, he’s for sure a top 15 pick.
10. Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame *Stock could fall depending on “girlfriend hoax”
We don’t know much about Manti Te’o's girl-friend hoax scenario, or we may not know much about Manti Te’o. We THOUGHT he was a great person let alone football player, with characteristics of a captain. As a football player, we all know what Te’o can do. He could be the next Ray Lewis, according to ESPN’s Skip Bayless, but there’s a ton of time between now and the draft to see how much that changes, and unfortunately how fast he falls.
*Other Notable Players to watch
11. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
12. Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
13. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
14. Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
15. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
16. Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
17. Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
18. Keenan Allen, WR, California
19. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
20. Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
21. Johnathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
22. Kenny Vaccaro, SS, Texas
23. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
24. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
25. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame