- Mel Kiper Jr., Football analyst
This will be the 30th year I cover the NFL draft for ESPN, and as you may have heard me say already over the past few weeks, I can't recall a year that felt so unpredictable. With the lack of a surefire No. 1 prospect and the ease of maneuvering on the draft board via trade, the only thing I expect is to be surprised at least once. Below is my final ranking of prospects for the 2013 NFL draft. Last year was Andrew Luck; the year before was Patrick Peterson. This year, No. 1 going into the draft is Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel.
Below you'll see that the scouting report on players remains roughly the same as you've seen it week to week. There are new notes, but the the evaluations should remain similar. As always, players who were juniors or draft-eligible sophomores entering the draft have been noted with an asterisk.
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Luke Joeckel *
Could be fourth offensive tackle ever taken No. 1 overall. Has the ability to just swallow up all kinds of pass-rushers, adjusting to counters with ease. Good blitz pickup and reactions to added rushers. Great feet, and you rarely see him lose balance. Has a ton of experience, starting on the left since his freshman season. He can really drive people in the run game, even if he gets questions on whether he's a big finisher there.
LAST WEEK: 1 | PLAYER CARD
Could go as high as No 2 overall. He's a relentless blocker with a huge frame, and late-game tape often showed defenders simply giving up or taking absurd routes to create pressure. Gets in a wide base, uses his arms to absorb pass-rushers and simply doesn't allow guys to get the edge on him. He often made it look easy in the MAC but also looked great when Central Michigan faced top competition. Shined during the Senior Bowl.
LAST WEEK: 2 | PLAYER CARD
An athletic tackle with great instincts for the position. You'd never know he was a once a quarterback and then a tight end. Has the long arms you look for, can absorb rushers and gets a decent push in the run game -- with a little of that nastiness you need -- but he can also get out and use his athleticism downfield and on the edges. Plays a little high, but given the developmental rate, there's a reason teams are excited.
LAST WEEK: 3 | PLAYER CARD
Sharrif Floyd *
Caused far more problems for offenses than his production shows. Relentless effort whether he's inside or working closer to the edge. He brings scheme versatility and matches exceptional power and leverage with strong hands and enough athleticism to punish even the best tackles. He's also not yet 21. Several teams have expressed concern on his short arms and his ceiling as a pass-rusher, but Floyd can simply drive linemen into the backfield.
LAST WEEK: 8 | PLAYER CARD
Will be a dynamic 3-4 outside linebacker if he stays healthy, with potential to line up as a 4-3 defensive end in certain situations. Elite speed and range for his size, and he shows a knack for playing in space even as he profiles first as a "fear factor" pass-rusher, the kind of guy a quarterback is always accounting for when he gets to the line. Went to Oregon with the possibility of playing offense (tight end) but made the right call.
LAST WEEK: 5 | PLAYER CARD
18hEric D. Williams