Welcome to Scouts Inc.'s tier rankings. What are the tier rankings? They are a helpful draft resource for some NFL general managers. (We know of three specifically who utilize this tool.) First, by ranking prospects in tiers it can help resist the urge to take a lower rated player at a position of greater need. Second, it can help to show which portions of a draft class are deep and which are lean -- both in overall talent and at certain positions.
By comparison, the 2012 draft was noticeably stronger at the top -- particularly in Tier 1 (six players), Tier 3 (nine players) and Tier 5 (23 players). The 2012 class also had three quarterbacks -- Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill in the top three tiers -- but the first signal-caller in 2013 (Geno Smith) doesn't show up until Tier 5.
On the flipside, the 2013 class is significantly stronger on Day 2. In addition, the 2013 class has 107 players in the top seven tiers compared to 94 in 2012.
Here is the final of three editions of 2013 tier rankings.
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Tier 1: These are the elite prospects, those who have the potential to come off the board in the top five overall picks.
Tier 2: This tier is composed of players who are a notch below elite but are still top-10 quality.
Tier 3: The prospects will offer good value between picks 10 and 20.
Tier 4: These prospects have the tools to be good value picks in the late-first round.
Tier 5: These are the players teams will begin targeting as value picks early in Round 2 should they fall out of Round 1.
Tier 6: This tier contains prospects who are worthy of mid-to-late-second-round consideration.
Tier 7: These players rank as solid third-round prospects.