Commentary

Where are the skill positions?

QBs continue to tumble down the draft board; line classes getting stronger

Originally Published: December 12, 2012
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.

As college teams continue bowl preparations and prospects not playing in bowl games begin their pre-draft preparations, I've been able to take another look at my ranking of the top 32 prospects for the 2013 NFL draft and do some shuffling.

Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel continues to rise and is now inside the top five overall, and while the knee injury suffered by Florida State DE Cornellius Carradine has dropped Carradine out of the rankings, Florida's Shariff Floyd has taken his place and the incredibly strong defensive line class hasn't missed a beat.

In all, eight of the players in the current top 10 are from the defensive side of the ball. The offensive skill positions are not represented until No. 23, and former No. 1 overall prospect Matt Barkley has fallen all the way to the fringe of the top 32.

Here is a look at the entire list, with draft-eligible non-seniors noted with an asterisk:

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1
DT
6-3
320

Analysis: Lotulelei is the most complete defensive lineman in the class in terms of physical tools. He dominates interior offensive linemen with his blend of quickness and power. He shows strong hands, nimble feet and the ability to quickly discard blockers, and he has impressive lateral range. Lotulelei needs some polish as a pass-rusher, but his natural gifts are clearly a cut above. Previously: 1

2
OLB
6-2
242

Analysis: Jones has been a steady performer on a defense loaded with NFL prospects. He is a good overall athlete and top-notch pass-rusher, has impressive range in pass coverage and against the run, and can line up all over the defensive formation. Durability concerns are behind him, and Jones has locked down a spot in the first few picks. Previously: 2

3
DE
6-4
248

Analysis: He is a versatile prospect who can play outside linebacker in a 3-4, right or left end in a 4-3 and even move inside to rush the passer from the interior. Moore is quick and fluid as a pass-rusher, is able to hold up against the run and plays hard. Previously: 3

4
OG
6-2⅜
325

Analysis: Warmack is a big, strong, nasty lineman with good smarts and athleticism. He shows awareness, is an easy mover in pass protection and has power as a run-blocker. The best guard I've evaluated in the past decade, Warmack is the rare interior lineman worthy of a top-10 overall pick. Previously: 4

5
OT
6-5¾
306

Analysis: Joeckel has fared well against the likes of Alabama and LSU this season. His balance and ability to recover in pass protection stand out, and he takes good angles and is able to get to the second level in the run game. Previously: 6