As the 2013 NFL Draft gets closer, I will update prospects’ most recent weight and viable information on my Big Board one last time after spring workout data is documented. Movement up the board, down or off the Big Board will be based on film evaluation only. Players with an asterisk (*) entered the draft with eligibility remaining.
1. *Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M 6’6-306 34 1/2 10 1/8
A tough and competitive plug-and-play left tackle. Has excellent athletic movement with length, knee bend, balance and feet. Strong UOH (use of hands) to punch and recoil. A three-year starter with outstanding performance.
2. Star Lotulelei NT Utah 6’2-311 33 5/8 9 3/4
Despite possible heart condition, this player stays at the top of my board until doctors say no more football. Can play in 3-4 (NT) and 4-3 (1-tech) schemes; a physical and violent player who plays until the whistle blows.
3. *Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia 6’2-245 33 9 1/8
A versatile outside linebacker built for either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Outstanding pass=rush skills, awareness and FBI (football instincts) with a desire and passion for the game on each and every play. Jones has great size, length and an athletic skill set with a motor that runs fast. The diagnosis of spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal cord at the C-4 disc) is a concern for many teams.
4. *Cordarelle Patterson WR Tennessee 6’2-216 31 3/4 9
A junior college transfer with only one year of production at the FBS level of competition, Patterson has some extremely impressive positional attributes. Despite small hands, he has natural receiving skills to complement his sturdy frame. His versatility (WR, KOR, PR) and skill set brings instant playmaking ability to the next level. There will be a learning curve during the offseason, but under the right coaching staff and with hard work, this difference-maker will be ready for the regular season.
5. *Dee Milliner CB Alabama 6’0-201 32 8 3/4
Milliner has an excellent combination of size, speed (4.37) and length with versatility to play inside in sub packages and on the edge. Good overall production with strong tackling skills and PBUs (passes broken up).
6. Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan 6’7-306 34 1/2 10 1/2
An excellent athlete with length and very good feet for a tall player. Fisher needs improvement in technique playing with bent knees, a stout anchor and not allowing pad level to rise on defender contact. Good toughness and nasty attitude with great upside.
7. *Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri 6’2-294 34 1/2 10 1/2
Very good athlete with long arms, exceptional initial get-off and is very disruptive from both two- and three-point stance. Richardson has excellent one-gap explosion with strong hands, leverage and relentless motor in chase and pursuit. He has weighed 315 pounds in the past.
8. Ezekial Ansah DE Brigham Young 6’5-271 34 1/4
With only a few years of American football experience, this player is extremely impressive and possesses off-the-charts upside. He is still raw, but desire, passion and athletic ability, along with production, jumps off the tape. Chase-and-pursuit mindset, with diving effort, is not taught – it comes from within.
9. *Robert Woods WR Southern California 6’0-201 31 9 1/4
Dual threat who will be an instant playmaker and difference-maker in his rookie season in the NFL. Has excellent athletic ability, with great combination of burst and acceleration, as well as COD (change of direction) to create separation from defender quickly. Good route-running knowledge, but will need to develop hand combat to defeat press man at the next level. Soft hands to catch outside of frame; will snatch and pluck in traffic, regardless of occasional concentration drops. Woods has rare talent, plus return skills, and sources confirm that he blew head coaches and general managers away with his football intelligence at the combine.
10. Dion Jordan OLB Oregon 6’6-248 33 7/8 10
Moved from TE to OLB two years ago. An aggressive football player with very good athletic skill set, excellent frame with length, will need strength and girth, but when you turn on the tape, he plays fast and is fun to evaluate.
11. *Sharrif Floyd DT Florida 6’3-297 31 3/4 10 1/8
Very good initial quickness with step-and-punch explosion. Slightly stiff ankles to COD (change of direction), but hustle, motor and production are all in place. Despite suspect arm length, Floyd doesn’t play short-armed.
12. *Eddie Lacy RB Alabama 5’11-231 31 9 1/2
Several teams were turned off because Lacy didn’t work out at the Combine, instead deciding to display his skill set at Alabama’s pro day. Just watch his DNA (tape) – it jumps off the screen. He has an outstanding combination of speed, quickness, power and vision, in addition to a knack for good YAC (yards after contact); drops pad level and runs through arm tackles with an elusive spin move, not to mention a stellar combination of size and athletic ability.
13. Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina 6’2-311 33 10 1/4
Good athlete to pull and trap with strong flexible base to bend, snap and strike target on the move with great balance and feet. An inline blocker with power, technique and finish. Cooper has very good strength and explosion with strong UOH (use of hands) to steer and walk defenders.
14. Jonathan Banks CB Mississippi State 6’2-185 33 7/8 9 /14
Great size, length, FBI (football instincts) accompany much burst and acceleration. Sixteen career interceptions are no fluke. Banks has anticipation and timing, along with awareness that puts him in position to make plays on the ball in the SEC. A very good athlete who won’t time fast, but the man cover skills and fluidity in movement are unquestionably there. He is an absolute ball hawk.
15. Manti Te’o ILB Notre Dame 6’1-241 32 1/2 9 1/2
Before the fake girlfriend issues and the speed issues that cropped up at the combine, Te’o was considered a very good football player – and he still is. When I evaluated the combine positional drill work, I saw the same movement skills and short area burst and acceleration I did on tape. With the national championship game a blemish on the radar screen, his DNA (tape) and overall production speaks for itself.
16. Matt Barkley QB Southern California 6’2-227 30 5/8 10 1/8
An injury-prone senior season and inconsistency from game to game impacted his overall success and production. Barkley worked under two different head coaches and offensive philosophies, and was productive as a four-year starter (47/47) in both. A very intelligent quarterback, he excels in a short-to-intermediate passing offense. Barkley will need to answer questions concerning his injured throwing shoulder by lighting up USC’s pro day with a “wow” workout.
17. Chance Warmack OG Alabama 6’2-317 34 3/4 9 1/4
I like this player’s overall power, strength and explosion in the running game. He has good movement skills on pulling, trapping and attacking target at the second level; his motor and production fades outside box and throughout the entire game. Will get caught flat-footed at times, but recovers. Long arms work as forklifts. As a professional, this player will need to work through and beyond his comfort zone during offseason workouts and conditioning.
18. *Matt Elam DB Florida 5’10-208 32 5/8 9
Has a compact and muscled-up frame. An extremely competitive player with toughness, he is a big-time hitter who lowers the boom. Elam is versatile enough to play down in the box and in the back end with range, FBI (football instincts) and awareness. A few teams are digging into his off-field issues, but other squads don’t see them as a major concern.
19. Tavon Austin WR West Virginia 5’8-174 30 9 1/8
Explosive things come in small packages. This is a very versatile player. The former running back has developed into a natural slot machine with production as a receiver and return specialist. Austin has exceptional burst, acceleration, COD and playmaking ability every time he touches the ball. He is a difference-maker despite inferior size.
20. *Bjoern Werner DE Florida State 6’3-266 33 1/4 9 5/8
I appreciate this player’s passion and desire to get to the quarterback as a DPR (designated pass rusher). Has natural pass-rush skill set with body lean and balance to flip and clear hips, with burst to quarterback drop zone. Werner will need to work on stacking POA (point of attack), and he has an inconsistent motor that fades. He doesn’t consistently work to the whistle on each and every play.
21. *Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame 6’5-250 33 1/8 9 1/8
This TEA (athletic receiving tight end) runs excellent routes, with very good short-area burst and acceleration to create separation. Has natural receiving skills and soft hands to catch outside his frame. Good speed to stretch seams and create mismatches in coverage. Eifert will need further strength and explosion on inline blocking, but desire to compete in the trenches is in place.
22. Kenny Vaccaro FS Texas 6’0-214 32 3/4 10
Very good athlete with excellent man cover skills vs. slot receivers. Vaccaro’s short area COD (change of direction), burst and acceleration, as seen within his DNA (tape), showed up in the short shuttle (4.06) results at the combine. This player is very versatile, with good FBI (football instincts) and awareness in space. Missile tackler at times with inconsistent wrap; will need to shore that up for the next level.
23. *Justin Hunter WR Tennessee 6’4-196 33 1/4 9 3/8
Exceptional combination of size, speed and production. A polished receiver with very good speed, he has a smooth stride to cover a lot of ground quickly; excellent vertical explosion and leaping ability to play above the defender. Hunter boasts soft hands to catch outside frame while he contorts his body in air. Some teams view left knee injury suffered during the 2012 season as a non-issue, while others have long-term concerns.
24. *Alec Ogeltree DB Georgia 6’2-242 33 1/2 10
Former defensive back who gradually grew into his frame and now plays at a high level closer to the line of scrimmage. Ogeltree possesses a very good athletic skill set with good FBI (football instincts), awareness in space and man coverage skills. Has excellent temperament with chase-and-pursuit production, in or outside of box. Off-field issues, however have raised the eyebrows of many NFL decision-makers.
25. *Damontre Moore OLB Texas A&M 6’4-250 34 3/4 10 1/4
This player has an exceptional frame and length, along with various positional attributes. Moore is a downhill player with explosive snap and strike, collision-tackling skills and nasty finish. His DNA (tape) showed a player with short-area quickness to hunt on the move, with buildup acceleration and better playing speed than the timed speed result (4.95) at the combine. Will need to improve forty times and run shuttles at his pro day in order to make teams feel a little more comfortable.
26. Geno Smith QB West Virginia 6’2-218 32 1/2 9 1/4
A very fluid athlete on the move, with accuracy from the shotgun position in the short-to-intermediate passing game that helps disguise adequate overall size. Has good velocity and the arm to throw the deep ball. Smith is a confident quarterback who struggled down the stretch to will his team to win, but has all the tools to develop as an NFL quarterback.
27. *Eric Reid DB Louisiana State 6’1-213 33 5/8 10
Exceptional size, speed and explosive collision player. Will run and hunt in the alley with good angles to the ball; lowers the boom on receivers in space and against running backs on force. Reid resembles more of a strong safety, but has good awareness in space and ball skills for the back end.
28. *Xaiver Rhodes CB Florida State 6’1-210 33 3/4 9
Excellent athlete with a great combination of length, speed, foot quickness and lower-body explosion. Might be the best man press corner in the draft, thanks to long arms that jam and press to disrupt timing of receiver off LOS (line of scrimmage). Rhodes possesses natural movement skills to flip hips and burst to mirror receivers, with PBU (passes broken up) production. He has very good awareness, FBI (football instincts) and upside.
29. *D.J. Fluker OT Alabama 6’5-339 36 3/4 10 1/2
A plug-and-play right tackle with exceptional size and length. Fluker’s dominating run-blocking skill set flows throughout his DNA (tape), and it is fun to evaluate this big man on the move. This offensive tackle comes out of stance with flat back collision; has long levers and powerful UOH (use of hands) to punch, stab and recoil or grab and steer defenders with good finish. He will need to work on defeating edge rushers. Has adequate feet in pass protection and will need further development in kick-slide technique to protect upfield shoulder.
30. *Keenan Allen WR California 6’2-206 32 3/4 10
Big-play receiver with short-area burst and acceleration, and adequate speed in play based on his DNA (tape). An extremely fluid receiver in terms of movement, he has great body balance, control and excellent positional attributes. A route-runner who creates separation from defenders, Allen can contort and position himself while diving or leaping for balls. Soft hands outside frame with snatch-and-pluck production. I did see concentration drops, and he will cradle catch balls in traffic. Overall playing speed is this player’s enemy, but tape and production will truly entice teams. Cal’s mid-March pro day will be of paramount importance for Allen.
31. *Menelik Watson OT Florida State 6’5-310 34 10 3/8
The former basketball player and United Kingdom native is still learning the game of football. His DNA (tape) tells me that there is an exceptionally bright future ahead of this young man if he continues to work hard. He has a great combination of size, length and athletic ability. Good UOH (use of hands) to punch and steer defender. Watson is competitive, tough and flashes nasty temperament in both run- and pass-blocking. He had the combine buzzing as talk over this “one-year wonder” intensified.
32. *Barkevious Mingo OLB Louisiana State 6’4-241 33 3/4 9 5/8
Boasts great length, but girth potential is limited because of tight waist. Excellent athlete with burst, acceleration and a combination of quickness and speed. Playmaker off the edge with explosive get-off and natural pass-rush skills, but plays with his shoulder and lacks hand combat technique in his game. Best equipped to fill position as a 3-4 rush OLB.
Others under consideration for Softli’s Big Board (players listed below are not ranked in order)
Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina
John Jenkins NT Georgia
Montee Ball RB Wisconsin
*Logan Ryan CB Rutgers
Blidi Wreh-Wilson CB Connecticut
*Kevin Minter ILB Louisiana State
*Zach Ertz TE Stanford
Desmond Trufant CB Washington
Margus Hunt DE Southern Methodist
*David Amerson CB North Carolina State
*Travis Frederick OC Wisconsin