2013 NFL draft Big Board
No program can top LSU's four players on the first Big Board of the season
As a refresher, this list represents the top 25 NFL prospects among seniors and other players who are eligible for next April's draft, based on where they stand entering the college football season.
Plenty will happen between now and next April, but it's a reasonably safe guess to say that of the top 10 guys on this first board of the college football season, about half should end up among the top 10 picks next April based on how it has worked out in years past. And we need to keep in mind that a few of the underclassmen listed here could return to school. Just look at the decisions of top quarterbacks in recent years and you know that has a big effect the picks in April. As always, juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk. Please consider the descriptions, which bring context into play. With the season upon us, let's begin the debate for the 2013 NFL draft.
He was a likely bet to be the No. 2 pick behind Andrew Luck last spring, but he's back for more. Won't wow evaluators with physical skills, but sound across the board; very good accuracy, poise, leadership skills and a ton of experience. Has improved every year, expanding his skill set.
A former USC Trojan, Jones is an explosive, relentless edge rusher for Georgia, and profiles as a 3-4 OLB. Jones has a quick first step and violent hands, tackles well, and closes fast. Could improve against the run, but people don't realize how well he can cover.
Exceptional length; still adding to his arsenal and his frame, but he's not merely an athlete with promise. Pass-rush skills are there, and he uses speed to get up the field and turn the corner. Still learning concepts after late start in football, but reads game well given lack of experience.
Huge kid with elite arm strength, and still building his repertoire as a passer. But he's not raw. In fact, has very good mechanics. Can drive the ball downfield, but displays nice touch. Will look to improve on working through reads as he tries to settle in behind a young offensive line.
Like Mingo, Montgomery doesn't quite have the size of a 4-3 DE at next level, but he's gotten closer, and his frame can handle it. Athleticism and pass-rush skills are there, and he really holds up against the run. Max-effort player, natural athlete, instinctive rusher. Still a lot of projection left.
To see the rest of Mel Kiper's first Big Board of the college football season, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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