It has been established that the 2014 NFL draft will be pushed back two weeks, and all squads are currently wrapping up their participation in OTAs. Such telltale signs point to one thing: The real work for all 32 teams’ personnel departments begins now. Or, to be accurate, it’s on the immediate horizon. With fewer than 95 days until the 2013 season kicks off, personnel gurus will take brief vacations with family and friends before the crunch of training camp takes hold.

The standard NFL personnel department is split into two sections: pro scouts and college scouts. Pro scouts are currently analyzing all squads’ rosters, studying film and grading the 2012 season, and prepping for the release of aging/bubble veterans, college free agents and late draftees who may fall off the back end of other rosters. Another responsibility consists of creating scouting binders for upcoming opponents. These include rosters, coaching staff backgrounds; philosophy; opponent self-scout; in-game data history, including formations, defensive fronts and coverages; statistical analysis; and breakdowns that will have final data added after all preseason games are completed.

Pro scouts will receive their final team assignments before the season commences. The travel that accompanies advanced scouting starts soon; there will be a lot of late nights and hours of film study, with pressure to make sure that all precise data related to the upcoming opponent is printed and ready for presentation.

College scouts dip into both sides of the house. Several teams involve their college scouts with training camp assignments; the evaluation of their team; several long organizational meetings in preparation for the upcoming college and pro scouting seasons; preseason scouting assignments, which involves attending exhibition games; evaluation of select players; and the gathering of wide-ranging data (picking up audible keys and hand signals by coaches, formations, personnel groupings, snap counts and substitutions, all of which provide strategic and tactical advantages to unbalance the playing field). This data is then handed over to the pro department for weekly opponent scouting reports and opponent team history.

Once the college scouts have completed their preseason assignments, their focus will turn to the 2013 draft class. College scouts are assigned regions of the United States for which they are responsible, tasked with tracking all senior prospects in their individual areas. Player listings come from upper management, and they are off and running from August-January, piling up thousands of miles on the ground and in the air.

Listed below are a few of the top prospects on whom I have already started the 2012 film evaluation process, which will continue through the college training camps (August) and into the first weekend of games in the fall. These players, at present, are listed in no particular order; they will get ranked once I have completed the 2013 season. A high percentage of the prospects are juniors (underclassmen) with college eligibility remaining.

Quarterbacks

Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville 6’3 218 Junior
David Fales – San Jose St 6’3 224
Aaron Murray – Georgia 6’1 211
Logan Thomas – Virginia Tech 6’6 262
Jeff Driskel – Florida 6’4 237 Junior
Marcus Mariota – Oregon 6’4 212
Chuckie Keeton – Utah St 6’2 203 Junior
Bryn Renner – North Carolina 6’3 215

Running Backs

Ka’Deem Carey – Arizona 5’10 198 Junior
Bishop Sankey – Washington 5’10 201
D’Anthony Thomas – Oregon 5’9 174 Junior
Isaiah Crowell – Alabama St 5’11 215 Junior
Ben Malena – Texas A&M 5’8 197
Carlos Hyde – Ohio St. 6’0 245
Lache Seastrunk – Baylor 5’10 212 Junior
Damien Williams – Oklahoma 5’11 215
James Wilder – Florida St. 6’2 223 Junior
Kenny Hillard – LSU 6’1 231 Junior Projected FB

Fullbacks

Trey Millard – Oklahoma 6’2 249
Trey Burton – Florida 6’3 231
Jalston Flower – Alabama 6’1 244 Junior

Wide Receivers

Sammy Watlins – Clemson 6’1 193 Junior
Marqise Lee – Southern Cal 6’0 190 Junior
Jordan Matthews – Vanderbilt 6’3 200
Kenny Bell – Alabama 6’1 185
Odell Beckham – LSU 6’0 190 Junior
Austin Hill – Arizona 6’3 212 Junior
Brandon Carter – TCU 5’11 185 Junior
Jared Abbrederis – Wisconsin 6’2 190 Junior
Malcolm Mitchell – Georgia 6’1 190 Junior
Shaq Evans – UCLA 6’1 210
Jarvis Landry – LSU 6’1 193 Junior
Ryan Grant – Tulane 6’1 195
T.J. Jones – Notre Dame 5’11 190
Jalen Saunders – Oklahoma 5’9 165 Return Specialist

Tight Ends

Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Washington 6’6 268 Junior
Eric Ebron – North Carolina 6’4-246 Junior
C.J. Fiedorowicz – Iowa 6’7 265
Colt Lyeria – Oregon 6’5 250 Junior
Xavier Grimble – USC 6’5 253 Junior
Nick O’Leary – Florida St 6’3 240 Junior

Centers

Bryan Stork – Florida St. 6’3 310 OC/OG
Travis Swanson – Arkansas 6’3 300
Russell Bodine – North Carolina 6’3 308
James Stone – Tennessee 6’3 305 OC/OG
Jonotthan Harrison – Florida 6’3 297
David Andrews – Georgia 6’1 295 Junior

Guards

Xavier Su’a-Filo – UCLA 6’5 311 AGE
Cyril Richardson – Baylor 6’4 330 OC/OG
Zack Martin – Notre Dame 6’3 302
Tre Jackson – Florida St. 6’3 325
Gabe Jackson – Mississippi St. 6’3 315
La’el Collins – LSU 6’4 320

Tackles

Jake Matthews – Texas A&M 6’5 307
Taylor Lewan – Michigan 6’7 300
Cyrus Kouandjio – Alabama 6’5 310 Junior OT/OG
David Yankey – Stanford 6’4 310
James Hurst – North Carolina 6’6 309
Zack Martin – Notre Dame 6’4 305
Cameron Erving – Florida St. 6’5 310 Junior
Antonio Richardson – Tennessee 6’5 330 Junior
Chaz Green – Florida 6’4 300

Cornerbacks

Loucheiz Purifoy – Florida 6’0 190 Junior
Bradley Roby – Ohio St. 5’11 190 Junior
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu – Oregon 5’10 190 Junior
Aaron Colvin – Oklahoma 5’0 185
Deshazor Everett – Texas A&M 6’0 185
Marcus Roberson – Florida 6’0 189 Junior
Justin Gilbert – Oklahoma St. 5’11 195 KOR

Safeties

Ed Reynolds – Stanford 6’1 205
Kenny Ladler – Vanderbilt 6’0 204
Haha Clinton – Alabama 6’0 210 Junior
Dion Bailey – USC 6’0 208 Junior
Ty Zimmerman – Kansas St. 6’0 205
Craig Loston – LSU 6’1 205
Tre Boston – North Carolina 6’1 209
Vinnie Sunseri – Alabama 5’11 210 Junior OLB

Inside Linebacker

A.J. Johnson – Tennessee 6’2 240 Junior
Andrew Jackson – Western Kentucky 6’1 260
Max Bullough – Michigan St 6’3 252
Trey DePriest – Alabama 6’1 243 Junior
Chris Borland – Wisconsin 5’11 250 Junior
Lamin Barrow – LSU 6’1 230

Outside Linebackers

Anthony Barr – UCLA 6’3 230
Kyle Van Noy – BYU 6’3 235
Adrian Hubbard – Alabama 6’5 250 Junior
Ryan Shazier – Ohio St. 6’2 230 Junior
Demarcus Lawrence – Boise St. 6’3 245 Junior
Jeremiah Attaochu – Georgia Tech 6’3 243
C.J. Mosley – Alabama 6’2 234
Josh Shirley – Washington 6’2 234 Junior
Morgan Breslin – USC 6’2 250
Shayne Skov – Stanford 6’2 245
Christian Jones – Florida St. 6’3 235
Ron Powell – Florida 6’3 250 Junior
Jake Ryan – Michigan 6’2 241 Junior
Jonathan Brown – Illinois 6’1 235

Defensive Tackles

Will Sutton – Arizona 6’1 290
Aaron Daonald – Pittsburgh 6’0 273
Anthony Johnson – LSU 6’2 305 Junior
Jeoffrey Pagan – Alabama 6’4 295
Henry Anderson – Stanford 6’5 285 Junior
Calvin Barnett – Oklahoma St 6’1 300
Timmy Jernigan – Florida St. 6’2 300 Junior
George Uko – USC 6’3 285 Junior
Ra’Shede Hageman – Minnesota 6’5 315

Nose Tackles

Louis Nix – Notre Dame 6’3 340
Daniel McCuller – Tennessee 6’7 355 Junior
Danny Shelton – Washington 6’1 317 Junior
DeAndre Coleman – California 6’4 320
Mister Cobble – Kentucky 6’0 340

Defensive Ends

Jadeveon Clowney – South Carolina 6’6 275
Trent Murphy – Stanford 6’5 265 Junior
Stephon Tuitt – Notre Dame 6’5 305 Junior
Scott Crichton – Oregon St. 6’3 260 Junior
Aaron Lynch – South Florida 6’5 262 Junior
Jackson Jeffcoat – Texas 6’4 250 Junior
Cassius Marsh – UCLA 6’3 268
Ben Gardner – Stanford 6’3 275
Dominique Easley – Florida 6’2 285

Return Specialist
Andre Debose – Florida 5’11 195 KOR/PR Combo

Follow Tony Softli on Twitter; @SoftliSTL