Now that the NFL Scouting Combine is complete, we have a little bit better of an idea of who the elite prospects in this years’ draft. There has been a lot of movement since my first Big Board, which you can see here, and there will sure to be more before the big day on April 27th.
1. Luke Joeckel- OT, Texas A&M
I still see Joeckel as the top prospect in this years’ draft. He is simply the most sure thing. His 40 time at the combine was not the most impressive at 5.22, but that does not concern me much. He still has elite strength and quick feet, even if his straight line speed is not the greatest. The team that drafts Joeckel will have their starting Left Tackle for the next 10 plus years.
2. Eric Fisher- OT, Central Michigan
Many people are starting to say that Fisher is over taking Joeckel as the best Tackle in this draft, I am not willing to go that far, but he has impressed me. His 40 time was a bit better than Joeckel’s at 5.05, but once again, I will never put that much stock into an offensive lineman’s 40. Fisher has been a dominant force at Central Michigan, but has not faced elite talent consistently, and that is the biggest question on him going into the draft.
3. Dion Jordan- OLB/DE, Oregon
Probably the deepest position in the draft, are the pass rushers, and I now put Jordan on the top of the list. He has elite athleticism at 6-foot-6, 248 lbs. I believe that Jordan has the ability to play either the OLB in a 3-4 or a DE in a 4-3 defense, but would probably be better suited as an OLB. He ran the 40 yard dash in 4.6 seconds, and had a broad jump of 122 inches in a very good combine for the Oregon product. I believe Dion Jordan will be a top 5 pick on draft day.
4. Sharrif Floyd DT, Florida
Perhaps nobody has risen up draft boards like Sharrif Floyd. At 6-foot-3 297 lbs, Floyd ran a 4.92 40, and had amazing agility and change of direction in position drills. Floyd is best suited as a DT in a 4-3 defense, but I believe he would fit in just fine at DE in a 3-4. The sky is the limit with Floyd, and it should be very interesting to see where he lands.
5. Chance Warmack- OG, Alabama
At 6-foot-2, 317 pounds, Chance Warmack has ideal size for an Offensive Guard in the NFL. There are plenty of scouts who are comparing his to Dallas Cowboy great, Larry Allen. If Warmack does slip out of the top 10, it has more to do with the position that he plays than the skills that he possesses, and I think those teams would be making a big mistake. In a draft filled with question marks, Chance Warmack is a safe bet.
6. Dee Milliner- CB, Alabama
Standing 6-foot-1, and weighing 198 lbs, Milliner is known has a big physical corner. There has been some questions about his speed, making many wonder if he would slip in the draft. Well, earlier today Milliner answered those questions, when he ran a 4.37 40 yard dash. I think that solidifies him as a top 10 pick in this years’ draft.
7. Barkevious Mingo- DE, LSU
Mingo had one of the most impressive workouts at the combine. The 6-foot-5, 240 pound DE out of LSU ran 4.58 40, and had a vertical jump of 37 inches. Mingo has all the talent and potential in the world, and with the right coaching, I think he can be a star in this league.
8. Lane Johnson- OT, Oklahoma
Lane Johnson is a former Quarterback, turned Tight End, turned Offensive Tackle, and is now in position to be drafted in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. He may not be a polished as his counterparts in Joeckel and Fisher, but Johnson has the most upside. Johnson, standing 6-foot-6, and weighing 303 lbs, ran a blistering 4.72 40 yard dash in Indianapolis. “His 40-yard dash time was faster than Anquan Boldin,” NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock said. “His vertical at 34 inches was the same as A.J. Green,” now, think about that for a second. Johnson has athleticism that rivals elite NFL receivers. That potential has scouts drooling, and I think that gets Johnson scooped up early in the 1st round.
9. Ezekiel Ansah- DE, BYU
Ansah has only played football since 2010, so as you can imagine, he is a very raw talent. That being said, he is oozing with potential as a rush DE in a 4-3 defense. At 6-foot-5 and 271 lbs, Ansah showed his elite talent this weekend in Indy, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds, posted a 34.5-inch vertical, and a 9-10 broad jump. Also, Ansah showed great ability to change direction, and also elite pass-rush moves. Scouts are extremely impressed with Ansah’s elite athleticism, but he is a very raw prospect.
10. Star Lotulelei- DT, Utah
Lotulelei seems to be falling on draft boards, but it is because of something that he cannot control. Star was not allowed to participate in the combine drills, because of a heart condition. Not many details are out right now, but this could potentially be devastating for the prospect that was once considered a possible #1 overall pick. Until more is released it is hard to say what this does for Lotulelei’s draft stock, but I am sure there is now plenty of hesitation with him.
Best of the Rest
Jarvis Jones- OLB, Georgia, Damontre Moore- DE, Texas A&M, Bjoern Werner- DE, Florida State, Geno Smith- QB, West Virginia, Cordarrelle Patterson- WR, Tennessee, Alec Ogletree- LB, Georgia, Sheldon Richardson- DT, Missouri, Keenan Allen- WR, Cal
As pro days start to take off, we will have a better idea of who the top prospects in the 2013 draft. I think there are some like Joeckel, Fisher, Warmack, and Milliner, who, are solidified as top prospects in this draft. That being said, there are most definitely prospects like Jordan, Mingo, Johnson, and Ansah who, with one bad workout, will free fall down draft boards. It should be a fun couple of months, leading up to the draft to see how it all shakes out.