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Starting Thursday, April 25th and ending Saturday, April 27th, many young men will have their dreams of being selected in the NFL Draft come true. Some are hot shot first rounders, and others will have to sweat it out and see if they will even be drafted. Plenty can happen until the end of April, with the Combine and Pro Days, but these are the best prospects available for NFL teams this season, in my eyes.
1. Luke Joeckel- OT, Texas A&M
Joeckel is the Left Tackle that coaches dream of. He has ideal size (6-6, 310), is quick on his feet, and is tremendous is pass protection. He is the safest player in this years’ draft. Whichever team selects Joeckel will be set at one of the most important positions for at least the next decade.
2. Damontre Moore- DE, Texas A&M
I see this draft as loaded with quality pass rushers, and Moore is at the top of my list. Probably a better fit as a 4-3 DE, but I do not think that he would have any problem standing up as a 3-4 LB. He may not have elite athleticism, but he is a very smart player, and is better against the run than most elite pass rushers.
3. Eric Fisher- OT, Central Michigan
Fisher was everybody’s favorite at this years’ Senior Bowl. Like Joeckel, Fisher has ideal size (6-7, 305) for Left Tackle. He is an outstanding run blocker, but is definitely no slouch as a pass blocker. The main question is whether he will be able to handle the difference in athleticism between the MAC and the NFL. I think he will be just fine.
4. Jarvis Jones- LB, Georgia
Jones is the next one in line for the pass rushers. Seems to be a better fit in a 3-4, but regardless who drafts him, I think they will be happy. Better in pass coverage than you would think, but pass rushing is his game and he is very good at it. He does have some medical issues, but someone is going to take a shot on him early.
5. Star Lotulelei- DT, Utah
This guy is a monster inside. He is fantastic against the run, eating up blocks and making plays on his own. His pass rushing is inconsistent, but the flashes are there. He has elite NFL talent, the question is whether he can put it all together.
6. Chance Warmack- OG, Alabama
The best interior offensive lineman prospect in recent memory, Warmack was a key part in a lot of wins at Alabama. Although, teams tend to not value Guards too highly. It ought to be interesting to see where he ends up. If he does slip, it by no means is because of his talent.
7. Bjoern Werner- DE, Florida State
The German born Werner is a more powerful pass rusher when compared to his draft mates. He is a traditional Defensive End for a 4-3 defense. He gets a great first step, and is a very hard worker. Werner is still new to the game, and has some things to learn.
8. Dee Milliner- CB, Alabama
Milliner is a big (6-1, 198), physical corner. He has good ball skills and the size to defend bigger receivers. He is solid in run support, and a very good tackler. Has all the makings of being a shut down corner.
9. Alec Ogletree- LB, Georgia
Ogletree is probably best suited as a 4-3 Outside Linebacker as he is a little on the small size (6-3, 234). That being said, he has all the physical tools to be a very successful NFL player. The thing that makes me most excited about him, are his coverage skills. As a converted Safety, Ogletree appears to have the skills to defend the new breed of big and fast Tight Ends.
10. Ezekiel Ansah- DE, BYU
Ansah has great size (6-5, 270) and is one of the most athletic prospects in the draft. On the downside, he is a huge question mark, because he has only been playing football for three years. He has all the potential in the world, but it could easily take a few years for him to reach it… if he does at all.
Just missed the Cut
Barkevious Mingo- DE, LSU, Dion Jordan- DE, Oregon, Lane Johnson- OT, Oklahoma, and Keenan Allen- WR, Cal.
Things could definitely, and probably will, change between now and April. One thing is for sure though, this is a very defensive heavy draft. All of the elite prospects are either defensive players or offensive lineman. This may not be a draft with a bunch of sexy names, but I guarantee you there will be plenty of very good NFL players in this group.