Big Board: Defense dominates
The search is on for skill-position talent in the NFL draft class of 2013
Updated Thursday, 1/10.
No more games to be played. That doesn't mean no evaluating, of course, but it does mean for the guys in the draft, the focus now is all on preparation. That will include the senior all-star games, the NFL combine, many interviews, and finally individual pro day workouts. I made major moves at quarterback last week, and you'll see some other significant moves this week. It's important to remember that many are still to come, because the tape is only one half of the process.
Remember, as you read below, the scouting perspective will remain similar week to week, but I'll note performance and matchup highlights, which are now down to the bowl games. Please also see my rankings of top juniors and seniors at every position. Juniors and draft-eligible sophomores are noted with an asterisk.
I don't know if he'll hold this position through the draft process, but his performance and positional value to this point have gotten him here. Explosive, disciplined, relentless edge rusher who profiles as a 3-4 OLB and doesn't need to come off the field. A quick first step, violent hands, tackles well and closes fast. Solid against the run and can really cover.
Glad he's in the draft, as he needs to take advantage of a great season. He's an athlete, but the production really jumps out. Consistent performer. Adjusted well to playing as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. Excels as a pass-rusher, able to dip hips, turn the corner and use quickness and length to bother tackles.
Johnny Manziel will miss Joeckel. He just eliminates good pass-rushers for the most part, even as that's an area he can improve a little. There's very little to not like. He has a lot of experience, starting on the left since his freshman season. He can really drive people in the run game. The feeling now is he's a safe bet to be the first OT taken.
This profile hasn't changed much. Lotulelei is ready to be an impact NFL DT now. He absorbs so much blocking help and frees others up, but he's not just a clogger, because he can really move. Has a great sense for disrupting the run game. Quick off the ball with great upper- and lower-body strength. Coaches rave.
Could be first true guard drafted in top 10 since 1997. Warmack was the best O-lineman on his team, which says a lot. Takes defenders where he wants them to go. A powerful run-blocker, Warmack isn't just massive, but he also moves well, with initial power in tight spaces and the ability to seek out LBs on the second level.
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