Two defensive tackles have made rapid rises in the ranks
A little more than two months ago, Florida DT Sharrif Floyd wasn't among the top 32 overall prospects for the NFL draft. He made his debut on Dec. 12 at No. 28. He then slid one spot in the next top 32 ranking on Dec. 19.
Once the calendar turned from 2012 to 2013, Floyd took off in the open field like the runners he's trained to stop. He moved from No. 29 to No. 24 in the first top 32 of the new year. He then sprinted to No. 13 in our most recent ranking before this one, in which Floyd makes an appearance in the top 10.
Why the change? We've watched a lot of tape in that time. We've noticed how Floyd's hands have improved. And we've also noticed how he locates, disengages and pursues. He's been impressive, and going from just outside of the first round to a potential top-10 pick is quite a change for draft-eligible junior.
Floyd wasn't the only defensive tackle to have made a sharp rise in the rankings. Missouri's Sheldon Richardson has gone from No. 21 to 18 and now into the top 10. Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones has taken the biggest tumble, going from No. 4 in our most recent rankings out of the top 10 in this one.
Expect more changes as we have the NFL combine coming up from Feb. 20-26.
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 discard blockers quickly, 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
Analysis: Joeckel 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: 2
Analysis: Milliner's instincts, recognition skills and discipline stand out, and he is reliable in run support. He's not elite in man coverage but is excellent in zone, and his good top-end speed and short-area quickness help make him the clear No. 1 corner on the board. Previously: 9
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: 3
Analysis: Fisher stood out at the Senior Bowl with his impressive length, nimble feet and balance in pass protection. He shows good footwork and the ability to hit moving targets when pulling, and appears to have the power to create movement at the point of attack. He could anchor more effectively at times, but he clearly has the skill set to thrive at left tackle in the NFL. Previously: 5
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