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Top 5 at Each Position – Final

2013 NFL draft

by Dwayne Wilton

With the NFL Draft starting on Thursday of this week, this will be my final Top 5 article. The buzz of several players has moved them up in the draft rankings, while others have fallen for one reason or another. Some of players I have held fast on my rankings and other analysts have followed suit. I do my own rankings, so you may find that my list looks a little different than other lists that you find on the internet.

Quarterback:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous ranking

Current Ranking

Geno

Smith

W Virginia

Sr

1

1

E.J.

Manuel

Florida St

Sr

3

2

Matt

Barkley

USC

Sr

2

3

Ryan

Nassib

Syracuse

Sr

4

4

Tyler

Wilson

Arkansas

Sr

5

Analysis: Geno Smith is pretty much everyone’s top quarterback, unless there is a surprise. Once you get past Smith, the rest of the QB’s are a mixed bag and their rank will depend on what a team is looking for. Barkley may be the most pro ready QB, but Manuel is the type of QB that the NFL is moving to. He can run a spread option offense similar to Kaepernick, RG III and Russell Wilson. That’s why I moved Manuel to #2.

New: Tyler Wilson

Up: E.J. Manuel (previously 3)

Down: Matt Barkley (previously 2)

Out: Mike Glennon

Running Back:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Eddie

Lacy

Alabama

Jr

1

1

Johnathan

Franklin

UCLA

Sr

3

2

Montee

Ball

Wisconsin

Sr

2

3

Giovani

Bernard

N Carolina

Jr

4

4

Le’Veon

Bell

Michigan St

Jr

5

Analysis: Lacy may or may not make it into the first round. If he does, it will be late on day one. I’ve moved Franklin up because he may be the most complete back in the draft. Montee Ball has the all-time record for touchdowns at the college level and I look for him to do the same thing at the pro level.

New: Le’Veon Bell

Up: Johnathan Franklin (previously 3)

Down: Montee Ball (previously 2)

Out:  Andre Ellington

Wide Receiver:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Tavon

Austin

W Virginia

Sr

1

1

Cordarrelle

Patterson

Tennessee

Jr

2

2

Keenan

Allen

Cal

Jr

3

3

Robert

Woods

USC

Jr

4

Justin

Hunter

Tennessee

Jr

5

5

Analysis: Tavon Austin has the most buzz around him of any other player in the draft. Patterson seems to be slipping because NFL clubs question his ability to pick up complex offenses. Robert Woods is a complete receiver that is moving up the draft boards.

New: Robert Woods

Out: Quinton Patton

Tight End:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Zach

Ertz

Stanford

Jr

1

1

Tyler

Eifert

Notre Dame

Jr

2

2

Vance

McDonald

Rice

Sr

5

3

Gavin

Escobar

San Diego St

Sr

4

4

Travis

Kelce

Cincinnati

Sr

5

Analysis: I’ve held fast that I like Ertz better than Eifert. The difference in the two is razor thin, but Ertz seems to get more yardage after the catch. As my Draft Maniac partner Teddy Lopez would say, Stanford had five homeless guys at receiver and Ertz was the entire receiving corps. Vance McDonald is a versatile player that was used as a slot receiver and even on fly sweeps.

New: Travis Kelce

Up: Vance McDonald (previously 5)

Out: Jordan Reed

Fullback:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Lonnie

Pryor

Florida St

Sr

1

1

Zach

Line

SMU

Sr

2

2

Kyle

Juszczyk

Harvard

Sr

3

3

Zach

Boren

Ohio State

Sr

4

4

Tommy

Bohanon

Wake Forest

Sr

5

5

Analysis: No changes. Pryor and Line are guys that can also run the ball for you. Jusczyk is a tough, versatile player that is a strong blocker in both the running game and pass protection.

Offensive Tackle:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Eric

Fisher

C Michigan

Sr

1

1

Luke

Joeckel

Texas A&M

Jr

2

2

Lane

Johnson

Oklahoma

Sr

3

3

DJ

Fluker

Alabama

Jr

4

4

Menelik

Watson

Florida State

Jr

5

Analysis: No changes. I have listed Fisher as my top tackle since the NFL Combine. Several analysts are now doing the same. Fisher is a technically sound pass protector that does a good job protecting the quarterback’s blind side. Lane Johnson may end up being the best of this class due to his superior athleticism. Fluker is probably a right side only tackle or possibly even a guard. Watson is extremely raw but very athletic.

Guard:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Chance

Warmack

Alabama

Sr

1

1

Jonathan

Cooper

N Carolina

Sr

2

2

Barrett

Jones

Alabama

Sr

3

3

Larry

Warford

Kentucky

Sr

4

4

Kyle

Long

Oregon

Sr

5

5

Analysis: Warmack and Warford are extremely physical players that excel at blowing defenders off the ball. Cooper is extremely mobile and does a great job blocking in space. Jones is a versatile player that has played left tackle, guard and center. I think he’s a better guard. Kyle Long is a former tackle that may be a better guard.

Center:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Brian

Schwenke

Cal

Sr

1

1

Travis

Frederick

Wisconsin

Jr

2

2

Khaled

Holmes

USC

Sr

3

3

Braxston

Cave

Notre Dame

Sr

4

4

T.J.

Johnson

S. Carolina

Sr

5

Analysis: Most people have Frederick rated #1, but I really like Schwenke. I really like his mobility and ability to anchor. He would be a very good selection for a team running a zone running scheme.

New: T. J. Johnson

Out: J. C. Tretter

Defensive End:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Bjoern

Werner

Florida State

Jr

1

1

Ziggy

Ansah

BYU

Jr

2

2

Datone

Jones

UCLA

Sr

3

3

Tank

Carradine

Florida State

Sr

4

Margus

Hunt

SMU

Sr

5

5

Analysis: Most people have Ansah rated #1 and I understand his athletic ability. He only had 9 starts and a couple of his games I saw he was invisible. I’m afraid he is another Aaron Maybin or Vernon Ghoston. It wouldn’t surprise me if he became a great NFL player, but it also wouldn’t surprise me if he were a bust. I would want to see more starts and more production from a guy predicted to go possibly in the top 5. I love Werner’s motor and that’s why I have him rated above Ansah. Datone Jones could possibly play 5 technique or even defensive tackle. Margus Hunt is an freakish athlete that can take over a ballgame.

New: Tank Carradine

Out: Sam Montgomery

Defensive Tackle:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Sharrif

Floyd

Florida

Jr

1

1

Star

Lotulelei

Utah

Sr

2

2

Sylvester

Williams

N Carolina

Sr

3

3

Kawann

Short

Purdue

Sr

4

4

Sheldon

Richardson

Mizzouri

Sr

5

Analysis: Sharrif Floyd has a legitimate shot at going in the top 3. He is raw and only started for one year, but he has good movement skills and got better with each start. Star Lotulelei had a heart issue at the NFL Combine, but has been cleared to play. He could play either nose tackle or 3 technique in a 4-3. Kawann Short and Sylvester Williams are athletic and can be dominant if you can get them to go all out. I don’t like Sheldon Richardson as much as most people. Georgia ran right at him and wore him out to the point that he was tapping out in the 4th quarter. He moves well laterally, but he isn’t that great at the point of attack.

New: Sheldon Richardson

Out: Johnathan Hankins

Outside Linebacker:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Dion

Jordan

Oregon

Sr

1

1

Jarvis

Jones

Georgia

Jr

2

2

Barkevius

Mingo

LSU

Jr

3

3

Arthur

Brown

Kansas St

Sr

4

Khaseem

Greene

Rutgers

Sr

4

5

Analysis: Dion Jordan is a hot commodity that has risen to the top of everyone’s outside linebacker rankings. Jarvis Jones is a playmaker that has a neck issue that NFL teams will check out closely. He also did not test well in his pro day after skipping the Combine. Mingo is a pass rushing specialist that played defensive end at LSU. Arthur Brown and Khaseem Greene are tackling machines that are always around the ball.

New: Arthur Brown

Down: Khaseem Green (previously 4)

Out: Jamie Collins

Inside Linebacker:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Manti

Te’o

Notre Dame

Sr

2

1

Alec

Ogletree

Georgia

Jr

1

2

Kevin

Minter

LSU

Jr

3

3

Jon

Bostic

Florida

Sr

4

4

Kevin

Reddick

N Carolina

Sr

5

5

Analysis: I keep flip-flopping between Te’o and Ogletree. Athletically it’s not even close, with Ogletree having a huge advantage. I believe Te’o has the upper hand in work ethic and character. I think teams may not be comfortable paying top dollar to a guy like Ogletree that has had multiple issues with drugs. Minter and Bostic are both solid inside linebackers that make plays. Bostic’s 4.61 40 yard dash at the Combine has helped him move up draft boards. Kevin Reddick is a solid middle linebacker that is always around the ball.

Up: Manti Te’o (previously 2)

Down: Alec Ogletree (previously 1)

Cornerback:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Dee

Milliner

Alabama

Jr

1

1

Xavier

Rhodes

Florida St

Jr

2

2

Desmond

Trufant

Washington

Sr

3

3

D.J.

Hayden

Houston

Sr

4

Jamar

Taylor

Boise St

Sr

5

Analysis: No changes in my top 3. The new additions are two guys that have quite a buzz right now. D.J. Hayden almost died on a football field last fall after suffering an injury to his heart when he collided with a teammate. He had surgery and has been cleared to play. During his pro day he ran a 4.35 40 which has some people ranking him #1 at his position. Jamar Taylor is a solid corner that is moving up a lot of draft boards.

New: D.J. Hayden, Jamar Taylor

Out: Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Jordan Poyer

Safety:

First Name

Last Name

School

Year

Previous Ranking

Current Ranking

Matt

Elam

Florida

Jr

1

1

Kenny

Vaccaro

Texas

Sr

2

2

John

Cyprien

Florida Int

Sr

3

Eric

Reid

LSU

Sr

3

4

DJ

Swearinger

S Carolina

Sr

5

Analysis: This is where I differ most from other draft analysts. Kenny Vaccaro is the top safety on every other top 5 list I’ve seen. The problem is that I’m a Longhorn fan and I’ve seen every game of his that was televised. I’ve seen too many missed tackles and bad angles taken. He also struggles when you have him defend the deep half of the field. I like Elam better despite his lack of size. Elam seems to always be in the right place and the right time and he rarely misses a tackle. John Cyprien is a guy I’m really warming up to. He has the range to play deep and he will flat out knock your block off. DJ Swearinger is another player that is new to my top 5 and he is also someone that doesn’t mind bringing the wood.

New: John Cyprien, DJ Swearinger

Down: Eric Reid (previously 3)

Out: Shamarko Thomas, Phillip Thomas

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