1. Luke Joeckel-Offensive Tackle
6-6, 310 lbs.
Joeckel has spent his whole career as the Aggies starting left tackle. The 6’6 blindside protector of Johnny Manziel is not flustered by speed rushers nor power guys… and he even continues to block while his quarterback is scrambling around. Joeckel is not overly powerful but he uses his hands very well and gets good leverage; very similar to Jake Long when he came out. One key element to Joeckel’s game is the ability to keep defensive ends engaged while his QB is scrambling and not allowing them to make the play. Joeckel never gets blown back and doesn’t panic when more than one rusher is sent, he does a great job of getting back into his stance and picking up the blitzers.
2. Bjoern Werner-Defensive End
6-4, 256 lbs.
The German-born Bjoern Werner was arguably the most disruptive front-seven player in the nation. Werner was familiar with playing on the opposite side of Brandon Jenkins who went down with an injury early and Cornelius “Tank” Carradine who also missed most of the season due to injury. With his counterparts both going down, Werner attracted countless double-teams and still made the offense pay. The Connecticut exchange student has good burst off of the snap and has the ability to push the pocket just with his pure strength, he also shows the ability to freeze his blocker and sniff out the ball carrier at the point of attack. Werner needs to fine-tune his mechanics and add more moves to his repertoire, but he’s pretty darn good for a kid who’s only been playing for five years.
6-2, 322 lbs.
Rarely do we see a guard as a top-10 lineman, but Warmack is that good. Warmack is powerful and is quick enough to takeout linebackers at the next level. Warmack’s strength is run blocking but he is so powerful and quick that he can just move defenders wherever he wants. Eddie Lacey’s best runs came from power-o runs to Warmack’s side.
4. Jarvis Jones-Outside Linebacker
6-2, 242 lbs.
Jarvis Jones is the most aggressive pass-rusher in the most dominant conference. Before the season, there were questions about Jones’ length and ability to stop the run but he showed that he can do that in his junior campaign. Jones freezes offensive tackles with his jab step and has a power-strafe that allows ˙him to sack the quarterback more than once a game. He is the best pass-rusher in a deep 2013 class but a health issue known as spinal stenosis (forced OT Marcus McNeil to retire) could drop him in the draft; Jones transferred from USC because they weren’t comfortable with playing him with his condition.
5. Jonathan Hankins-Defensive Tackle/Nose Tackle
6-3, 335 lbs.
Scouts wanted see more consistency from Hankins this year and that is exactly what he showed us. Hankins isn’t a huge stat guy but he has extremely quick hands and moves like a defensive end at 335 pounds. Hankins is the perfect size for a nose tackle and has the ability to move down the line and make tackles on the outside run; he’s extremely disruptive with high upside
6. Damontre Moore-Defensive End
6-5, 250 lbs.
Joeckel’s opponent in practice has emerged as the top 4-3 pass-rushing end in this class. Moore had a career day against LSU when he tallied up 10 tackles and a sack against the Tigers. Moore spent last season playing OLB in a 3-4 defense; versatility isn’t a question. The junior does a great job of dipping low and getting under offensive lineman, resulting in TFLs (tackles for loss) and sacks.
7. Manti Te’o-Inside Linebacker
6-2, 255 lbs.
Manti Te’o is the anchor to the nation’s top defense. Te’o has a knack for being in the right spot at the right time and shows all of the intangibles. The top inside linebacker is a sure-fire tackler who can make plays in backfield and makes clutch, game-saving plays. Te’o has might just have the lowest bust potential in his class but taking middle linebackers in the top-10 of a draft has been risky in the past. T’eo was the heart and soul of Notre Dame and well will become a leader at the next level as well.
8. Dion Jordan-Outside Linebaker/Defensive End
6-6, 243 lbs.
Dion Jordan is the definition of freak in the scouting world. At 6’6, Jordan has played DE, OLB and was even spotted covering the slot WR against USC. Jordan was originally recruited as a WR but then suffered a shoulder injury. Due to the time off, Jordan came back heavier and then started to practice at TE, now we see Jordan on the other side of the ball. Jordan is not just incredibly explosive, he also does a good job of using his hands to deny the engagement of blocks from OTs and he does a good job of ripping through the line. One area that could use improvement would be Jordan getting his hands up to deflect passes, then, he would be even more deadly.
9. Star Lotulelei-Defensive Tackle
6-3, 320 lbs.
Star is an absolutely disruptive player who relies on a great set of physical tools. Lotulelei is explosive coming off of the snap and has strong hands, which allow him to steer the offensive lineman into any direction he wants. With the Utah native’s blend of quickness and upper body strength, Star is able to get through gaps and stop the play before the QB even hands the ball off. At the next level, Star could fit into the 4-3 DT position, as well as playing the nose tackle in a 3-4 and even playing the 5-tech DE in a 3-4. The Polynesian DT carries a little more weight than he should and he needs to do a better job getting his hands up.
10. Ezekiel Ansah-Defensive End
6-5, 270 lbs.
At first glance you may think that Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah is raw, but he is actually just young. Ansah has only been playing football for a handful of years but he has the high motor and the instincts to makeup for lack of playing time. Aside from his gifted stature, Ansah shows dedication to the sport and has gotten better each game of his senior campaign (got his first career INT in the Poinsettia Bowl). Ansah has strong upper body strength as well as a strong base, which he uses to dig-in and stand his ground against the run. Ziggy makes remarkable plays week-in and week-out, one that comes to mind is against San Diego State when he was kicked out to the sideline and pushed to the ground, he didn’t give up on the play and after the HB made jukes and cuts, Ansah caught up to him and made the tackle 20 yards downfield. The pure talent from this kid is remarkable and he is gong to get a lot of recognition after the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.
11.DeMarcus “Dee” Milliner-Cornerback
6-1, 198 lbs.
As most SEC cornerbacks are, Dee Milliner is a strong CB who is very disciplined in coverage. The All-American corner exhibits great fluidity throughout his movements and opening his hips up when the QB goes to throw the balls. Milliner does a good job in recognizing the play quickly and coming up to help the run, with that being said he is an excellent tackler. His biggest weaknesses are lack of experience (only 1 season of starting) and top end speed; but he makes up for that with his terrific bump-and-run technique along with his tight coverage.
12. Eric Fisher-Offensive Tackle
6’8, 305 lbs.
Eric Fisher absolutely obliterated the MAC and even dominated one of the Big 10’s premiere pas-rushers in William Gholston when Central Michigan faced Michigan State. Fisher has extremely long arms and has great bend for a 6’8 tackle. I had a chance to see Eric Fisher live at UMASS and he his quite the athlete. I saw several plays against UMASS where the DE didn’t even bother rushing on some plays. Fisher wears the defense down and he has great awareness of when to move to the second level. Fisher needs to improve on his run-blocking in short yardage situations, but his ability to make plays down the field is quite impressive. The senior tackle has a wide base, which helps him keep his balance and he does a good job of stepping out into a cup protection against speed-rushers. The Chippewa is a future franchise left tackle.
13. Barkevious Mingo-Outside Linebacker
6-5, 240 lbs.
Barkevious Mingo has been forever-growing throughout his collegiate career. After adding more weight in his last off-season, Mingo didn’t have quite the year scouts have expected but he is still one heck of a prospect. Unlike most of this year’s pass-rushing prospects, Mingo has refined technique and shows that he is an instinctual player on tape. The long-armed outside backer uses his frame to separate himself from the OT and then takes the corner and shows great closing speed on the QB. Mingo prefers to rip through his blocks, but he is also good at improvising and has shown that he can use the spin-move, bull rush and jab-step all effectively.
14. Taylor Lewan-Offensive Tackle
6-7, 310 lbs.
A year ago you would not have thought that Taylor Lewan would have been a top 20 pick but that just goes to show how much he has grown both as a player and as a leader. The junior blind-side protector does a good job of not over-extending and has great balance for a lineman of his size. Whether the QB was Denard Robinson or Devin Gardner, Lewan had a tough task in dealing with scrambling quarterbacks. Lewan sticks to his assignment and avoids costly penalties while showing the ability to adjust and create running lanes for his QB. Lewan still needs to learn to “reset” in pass-blocking when the defender rushes but technique is something that can be taught.
15. Geno Smith-Quarterback
6-3, 220 lbs.
This year’s QB class isn’t quite like the one we witnessed last year with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t guys who can start right away. Geno Smith led a high-octane offense but his best traits can’t be measured. Aside from pass-efficiency, the ability to throw his receivers open and ability to put touch on the ball, Geno Smith is a gamer. It’s not fair to compare players… especially of different sports, but Geno possesses a rare amount of confidence and desire to win, much like Kobe Bryant. Smith is never “down” and he thinks he’s going to score on every drive. The Miami native can throw to all-levels of the field but my main concern is that he sometimes puts too much air under his short passes which would result in interceptions at the next level. Smith has a smooth throwing motion and good footwork when moving in the pocket but he needs to make sure he sets his feet on every throw.
16. Sheldon Richardson-Defensive Tackle
6-3, 295 lbs.
Sheldon Richardson was a highly touted prospect before getting to Missouri and now he is a highly touted prospect entering the pros. The former 5-star recruit has quick hands and feet, allowing him to shed blocks and jump into the backfield to disrupt running plays. Richardson’s weight is evenly distributed throughout his body and he doesn’t get thrown off-balance often. Missouri wasn’t afraid to try different things with Richardson; he’s done stunts, bull rushes and has even dropped into coverage on zone-blitzes. Seeing Richardson pursuing the ball-carrier downfield and making the tackle says all you need to know about his athleticism. Richardson needs to get better at sacking the QB from the interior, but he’s going to test well at the combine and will fly up draft boards.
17. John Jenkins-Defensive Tackle/Nose Tackle
6-3, 358 lbs.
John Jenkins has been known to be inconsistent but when he does flash his talents he becomes a nightmare. It is very hard to stop Jenkins when he comes off of the snap with low pad-level, but he doesn’t always do that. Jenkins is the top nose tackle prospect and will be able to do a lot of things from that position in the NFL. At 358 pounds, Jenkins has long arms and the pure strength to blow his blockers back, even to the point where they disrupt their own quarterback. The JUCO-transfer gets sluggish when he is double-teamed and he will need to test well at the combine for scouts to overlook his motor and consistency.
18. Tyler Wilson-Quarterback
6-2, 218 lbs.
Tyler Wilson did not get nearly enough credit for what he had done at Arkansas. Tyler Wilson did to Arkansas, what Jay Cutler did to Vanderbilt… and that was cover up a lot of ugly. Wilson is a QB who is always fighting for his team and will do whatever it takes to win. Wilson spent his senior year with an interim coach, battling concussions and didn’t have his RB Knile Davis. Wilson is a gutsy QB who will step up in the pocket and deliver strikes despite taking hits; something that some QBs can never learn to do. Tyler Wilson has a quick delivery and above average arm strength along with all of the intangibles which will make a coach feel safe with starting him on opening day of next year.
19. Sam Montgomery-Defensive End
6-5, 260 lbs.
Sam Montgomery is just another defender from the bayou that will be taken in the first round. The 6’5 edge-rusher relies on his speed a whole lot. Montgomery does a good job of dipping his shoulders and getting around the corner but he needs to add more to his game. In the past, Montgomery has tried to bull-rush lineman but that didn’t work all to well. On the other hand, Montgomery is a very sound run-defender. Montgomery can shed his blocks at the point of attack and bring down the RB all in one motion.
20. Keenan Allen-Wide Receiver
6-3, 210 lbs.
Keenan Allen is a smooth receiver who has quintessential size. Allen lacks #1 WR acceleration but has great top-end speed on deep routes and long runs. Allen put up solid numbers at California (with a poor QB) and was able to show a natural set of tools. The stepbrother of QB Zach Maynard, catches the ball away from his body, snatches high throws out of the air and has a wide catching radius due to his length. Something you typically don’t see from WR right away is the ability to block, but Allen has shown that he is both willing and good at it. With the set of skills he has, lack of speed won’t hurt his draft stock.
21. Johnthan Banks-Cornerback
6-1, 185 lbs.
Johnthan Banks is a long corner who has great physicality when in coverage. Banks lacks ideal speed but he’s very disciplined in man coverage and he does a good job of deflecting passes away from his receiver. Although he isn’t considered a ballhawk, Banks locates the ball, highpoints it and then when he does create turnovers, he’s able to get good yardage off of them.
22. Tavon Austin-Wide Receiver
5-9, 172 lbs.
At his size, Tavon Austin is the ideal slot WR for the NFL. Austin was a part of one of the top WR duos in the nation and made a lot of plays for his QB Geno Smith.
Tavon Austin has world-class speed and he uses that after the catch to get up the sideline and score the touchdown. As a receiver, Austin is able to create a great amount of separation while the ball is in the air. As a returner, Austin has great vision and doesn’t shy away from the hits and he bounces off defenders if they fail to wrap up and this year, Austin added another element to his game by becoming a running back. When the speedster is in the backfield, defenses can’t load the box because of his ability to bounce the run outside as well as using lethal cutbacks. Austin won’t be the first WR selected because of his size, but teams are drooling over his ability.
23. Jonathan Cooper-Guard
6-3, 310 lbs.
Jonathan Cooper isn’t as strong as Chance Warmack but he is just as experienced. After starting 35 games throughout his career, Cooper has showed both consistency and versatility. Cooper is fluid on his pulls and becomes a wrecking ball once he gets to the second level. Cooper does a good job of staying in front of his RB and driving the defense back but he needs to cut down on his holding penalties (result of poor hand placement). Cooper is very comfortable in both pass-protection and blocking, his motor and effortlessness could make him the second guard selected in the first round.
24. Jesse Williams-Nose Tackle
6’3, 320 lbs.
Jesse Williams is a player who has been rising consistently throughout the course of this season. Williams may not be the heaviest nose tackle but he does have the prototypical size. The Australian native has a wide frame and plays very low to the ground, which denies the interior lineman to get leverage on him and blow him back. Williams is not very effective as a pass-rusher but he does require double-teams which frees up his defensive ends. Williams uses his hands nicely but they need to get quicker. Another part of Williams’ game was playing the part of the Crimson Tide’s short yardage fullback where he blew up defenders.
25. Matt Barkley-Quarterback
6-2, 230 lbs.
Not many players have had a more disappointing senior year than Mr. Barkley. The USC Trojan came into the year with his team ranked #1 and he was the Heisman frontrunner, but, that all changed quickly. Barkley doesn’t have the strongest arm by any means, or the most accurate, but he does have all the intangibles that NFL teams are looking for in their QB and leader. Barkley is accurate from mid-range and is a gym-rat, with the proper coaching he could blossom into a really good pro. Barkley puts his team in position to win but needs to smoothen out his footwork. There are many times where he doesn’t set his feet and he throws off his back foot, resulting in passes sailing over his intended receiver. Barkley missed the second half of this season with a shoulder injury but he should be able to perform at his pro-day and the NFL Combine.