Rookie mini-camps were in full force the past few weeks as each team's draft picks got tours of the town, got their playbooks, and got their first real taste of NFL action. What I love about the NFL and about the draft in general is that it is a 24/7 365 days a year marathon. Once the 2012 NFL Draft had ended, I already started to put together my Big Board for the 2013 NFL Draft. I will be updating this throughout the year right up to next year's draft. So without further ado, here is the first installment.
1. Matt Barkley, QB, USC:
Barkley's decision to return to USC will help him as he will be the first player off the board in 2013. If he had come out this past year, he would have been the third QB selected behind Luck and RGIII. Smart move.
2. Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech:
The debate will be between Barkley and Thomas as to who goes #1 overall. Thomas brings you the size and big body (think Cam Newton). If he has a big year like RGIII did in 2011, he could surpass Barkley. Mark it down; two quarterbacks will be taken with the first two picks in 2013.
3. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah:
Think of Lotulelei as Haloti Ngata 2.0. He will be a dominant force in the NFL and a safe pick in the top 5.
4. Robert Woods, WR, USC:
When compared to this year's #1 WR off the board Justin Blackmon, Woods will be a much better player in my opinion. Pretty convincing that he broke Keyshawn Johnson's school record in receiving as a true sophomore last season. Two Trojans will go in the top 5.
5. Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU:
Look for Mingo to have a tremendous year for the Tigers. Scouts will love that he projects to play in any style defense. Has all the tools to be a difference maker at the next level.
6. Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame:
A favorite of mine. Te'o is a tackling machine that will rack up 100+ tackles for the Irish in 2012. A top 10 lock for me in 2013 if healthy.
7. David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State:
13 interceptions last year is pretty damn impressive. A big corner is a necessity in today's game with the mammoth receivers coming out each year. If he produces like last year, he could land in the top 5. The jury is still out on Amerson, so it will be interesting to see his encore performance.
8. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State:
A mammoth DT who will remind people of Fletcher Cox and Dontari Poe. Teams are always looking for that big body up front.
9. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia:
A 3-4 OLB in the pros, Jones needs to build on his stellar 2011 campaign in which he racked up 13.5 sacks.
10. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU:
A raw talent that needs to get stronger, but can project as a DE at the next level; but don't rule out a move to LB. Needs to build off of his 9.0 sack season in 2011 in the SEC.
11. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas:
A stud at the position. Wilson has great accuracy and will be the third QB taken off the board. Ideal size for your prototypical QB at the next level. Needs another breakout year (24 TDs in 2011).
12. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama:
Another mammoth offensive tackle here. Very few holes in his game; excels with pass protection and has the feet to be a dominant LT in the pros.
13. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina:
Another favorite of mine. His ACL tear doesn't scare me and he warrants this high of a ranking based on his potential.
14. William Gholston, DE, Michigan State:
This guy is a monster at 6'7” and should have a breakout year for the Spartans. Good pass rusher that could turn elite this season.
15. Keenan Allen, WR, Cal:
Great hands and RAC potential, Allen could challenge Woods for the top receiver spot. I'll keep him here for now, but don't be surprised to see him creep up the board before it's all said and done.
16. Xavier Rhoades, CB, FSU:
A starter from day one at Florida State. Big body at 6'2 and could be a solid #1, at worst #2 corner in the league.
17. Kawann Short, DT, Purdue:
An athletic DT that should excel strictly on his athleticism. Not big enough to be a nose tackle in the league, but could be a solid 4-3 DT inside.
18. Barret Jones, LT, Alabama:
Ranked this high based on his versatility all across the line for the Crimson Tide. Can play tackle, guard, and even center (projected starting center for 2012).
19. Taylor Lewan, LT, Michigan:
Think Jake Long 2.0. Massive LT at 6'8” and 300+lbs that will dominate the Big 10. Look for him to creep into the top 15 at worst when it's all said and done.
20. Johnthan Banks, CB, Miss State:
Yet another big corner secures his spot on the big board. Plenty of size and speed to be a legitimate starting corner in the league.
21. Johnny Adams, CB, Michigan State:
Not as tall as the other corners on the board, but size isn't everything. Could excel as a slot corner and has the ability to be a legit #2 in the league.
22. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame:
The former WR turned tight end is the top tight end coming out of this year's class. Can block well and can catch the ball when his number is called.
23. Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M:
Another left tackle prospect cracks the big board because of the importance of the position at the next level. Joeckel excels at pass protection and has plenty of size and feet quickness to be a LT prospect in round 1 next year.
24. Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn:
A pure pass rushing prospect that will need to add some size this year to really rise up the board. Has all the tools and skills to be a double digit sack guy (9.5 in 2011), but needs to get bigger.
25. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State:
A final favorite of mine. If you are looking for a bruiser, then Bell is your man. Think of Brandon Jacobs 2.0 without the injuries. He will not run away from too many defenders, but the NFL has moved towards a two back system, and Bell would be one hell of an addition to any team.
Fan Hub Action
Marcy Kelly June 12th
Wow! I must have listened to a completely differnt press conference. Oh, wait- you convinently left off all of the good things they just got…
Nathan Devine June 5th
The dude is nasty. The fastball is REAL heavy at 97-100. Steady improvement every year.
Jeanne-Marie Jansen Lowell May 23rd
Greatest relief pitcher EVER! Someday we can all tell our grandchildren we got to see him pitch. A true legend!
Charlie Lobosco May 23rd
Ask Craig; I’ll say it again; not the best relief pitcher ever; the best MLB player ever. Yes, that includes everyone.
Jim Lowell May 23rd
Great tribute to a great player, a great Yankee, and a great man.Thank you!
Frank Lowell May 23rd
Great job, Ryan! As a life-long Yankee hater since the 1950’s in the closing days of the Brooklyn Dodgers, I can only sit back and…
Tiffany Riddle May 23rd
Love the article, and I completely agree!
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
June 18th, 2013 3:14 PM
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