Pro Football Draft Preview, 2013
A preview of the 2013 NFL Draft, including position profiles on more than 300 players, feature articles and columns.
March 2013 Pro Football Draft Preview RB Montee Ball “a complete back that can play on all three downs” CheeseheadTV #PFDP Contents 4 5-6 7-8 9-11 12 13-18 19 20-22 23-24 25-29 30-33 34-35 36-40 41-45 46-50 51-55 56-61 62-67 68-72 73-78 79-83 84-88 89-90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99-100 101-102 103 Letter from the Editor Will Packers Fans Learn? Changing Tide at Center The Safety Dance The Top 100 NFL Mock Draft Packers Team Needs NFC Team Needs AFC Team Needs Quarterbacks Runnings Backs Fullbacks and H-Backs Wide Receivers Tight Ends Offensive Tackles Interior Linemen Defensive Linemen Outside Linebackers Inside Linebackers Cornerbacks Safeties Special Teams Packers Mock Draft Packers QBs and RBs Packers WRs and TEs Packers Offensive Line Packers DL and Special Teams Packers OLBs and ILBs Packers CBs and Safeties The Senior Bowl The Shrine Game All-Bowl Team What Theyâ€™re Saying Publisher: Corey Behnke Editor: Brian Carriveau Design: Alex Tallitsch Writers: Al Bracco Andrew Garda Max Ginsberg Paul Guillemette Jayme Joers Zach Kruse Aaron Nagler Thanks to everyone who bought the third-annual edition of the Cheesehead TV NFL Draft Guide. We would never be able to create this publication without all of the great readers, followers and supporters of Cheesehead TV. Thanks to the following schools for providing photos: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida International, Wisconsin, Mississippi State, Baylor, Utah, Utah State, West Virginia, California, Kent State, Arizona State. * All stats from 2012 unless indicated * All rankings and mock drafts are the authorâ€™s own opinion and not a consensus * Bench Press and 40 numbers are from the NFL Combine. If none is listed, players were either not invited or did not participate. Writer Biographies 3 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Letter From The Editor Dear NFL Draft fans, It’s hard to believe how far Pro Football Draft Preview has come in just three years. Since its humble beginnings in 2011, our publication has quickly become a respected publication among Green Bay Packers fans as a source for their NFL Draft information. My first debt of gratitude goes out to you, the reader, for making this all possible. Without you, there would be no magazine put out by Cheesehead TV. My second set of thanks goes out to all the talented contributors. Hours upon hours go into analyzing these prospects as well as the graphic design. For the first time ever, we will exceed 100 pages of everything you’ve come to expect: over 300 players ranked and analyzed by position, a Top 100 list regardless of position, an entire three-round mock draft, needs for every NFL team, columns and feature articles. Where we think we beat the competition is that we rank prospects based upon their fit in a 3-4 defense in general and the Packers’ 3-4 defense in specific. The same goes for the Packers’ spread-heavy offense. Our writers put themselves in the shoes of Packers general manager Ted Thompson, ranking players where we think the Packers organization would rank them. The Packers will be approaching the 2013 Draft with a different mindset than they did a year ago when it seemed like a foregone conclusion they’d have to address the defensive side the football and in particular, outside linebacker. They did just that by taking USC’s Nick Perry in the first round and then spending their first six selections all on defense, trading up three times in the process of doing so. One year later, the Packers still need help on defense as evidenced by their divisional round playoff loss to the San Francisco when they gave up 581 yards. But Green Bay also doesn’t want to lose any ground on offense either. Surrounding quarterback Aaron Rodgers with talent is important too. The deepest positions on the current Packers roster are cornerback, guard, quarterback and inside linebacker. It would be a surprise to see the Packers address any of these positions in the early rounds of the Draft, but that won’t necessarily prevent them from adding depth at these spots later on. As far as the first round goes, it would also be unexpected to see the Packers take any players at either offensive tackle or outside linebacker, the same positions where their last three first-round picks have been spent on Bryan Bulaga, Derek Sherrod and Perry. By that logic, the Packers figure to address one of only a few places in the first round: safety, defensive line, running back, wide receiver, tight end, or center. Some of those positions make more sense than others, but those are the spots presenting the most pressing needs. Might I be wrong? Maybe. It’s impossible to get inside the brain of Ted Thompson, but that’s also what makes him good at his job. Other NFL GMs can’t predict what he’s going to do either, at least with any certainty. With that, please enjoy the rest of Pro Football Draft Preview. I’m confident there are a lot of nuggets and knowledge bombs that you’re not going to find in any other Draft magazines. 4 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Draft 2013 Aaron Nagler No team that makes a splash in March ever wins anything when it counts. Thompson is content to let other teams vastly overpay in March for serviceable talent that may paper over a crack or two. Will Packers Fans Learn? Instead, he sticks to drafting long-term investments in late April that can grow in his program and then decide whether or not they are worth keeping around. While players like Jordy Nelson and Josh Sitton are signed to forward-thinking extensions, guys like Brandon Jackson or Will Blackmon are allowed to leave and Every year free agency comes and goes without the be overpaid by other teams. Green Bay Packers making much of a splash, at least initially. Every year there is a subset of Packers fans that get While a lot of attention is paid to decisions having to despondent at the lack of activity. This leads to annual do with bigger names like Greg Jennings or Jermichael speculation that the Packers’ window for winning an- Finley, it’s decisions on the middle and lower rungs of other championship with general manager Ted Thomp- the roster that have given the Packers a level of depth that makes them the envy of much of the league. son at the helm of the Green and Gold is closing fast. BY AARON NAGLER Then, like clockwork, Packers fans start to get excited once again when the NFL Draft arrives and Thompson sets about selecting the newest batch of players who are lucky enough to be drafted into one the best organizations in sports, let alone the NFL. Obviously, hanging over Thompson and the Packers are the contract situations of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews, both expected to sign big-time extensions sometime soon. Inevitably, talk turns to the season, the schedule is gone through with a fine tooth comb, with fans checking off wins and losses and declaring that obviously the Packers will end the season having won 14 games (or maybe even more!). By the time training camp arrives, the Super Bowl seems a foregone conclusion and playing the regular season seems but a mere formality. When will Packers fans learn? Thompson’s lack of activity in free agency is an annual showdown among Packers fans, pitting those who believe in Thompson’s draft and develop mantra against those who typically wish he would sign someone—anyone!—during the National Football League’s “silly season.” 5 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Draft 2013 Aaron Nagler There’s a good chance Rodgers’ deal will make him the highest paid player in the league, and for good reason. You can’t win in today’s NFL without a quarterback, and the Packers are lucky enough to have one of the best. Locking him up for the rest of his career is a nobrainer. Of course, because of this, decisions on where else Thompson decides to spend when it comes to personnel takes on an even greater importance, as he navigates a salary cap that has not given teams much wiggle room over where they were last year, and all signs point to next year’s cap not rising much either (2015 is supposedly the year the cap is set to expand dramatically. We’ll see…). Packers fans should be happy in the knowledge that their team will contend year in and year out, as long as Rodgers is under center and Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy surround him with a capable supporting cast. Every year we see teams get hot at the right time and make a great run through the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. Every one of them has a quarterback. The Packers should always be in the mix when January comes along. They may not always be playing their best when the playoffs arrive, but when they are, they have as good a chance as anyone of going on a run and taking home Lombardi. Contrast that with teams that swing for the fences in free agency and perhaps buy themselves a crack or two at a playoff run, only to watch as the team is dismantled a few years later to get out from under the weight of bad free agent contracts. Packers’ fans should be thrilled that Ted Thompson takes the former approach. “Packers fans should be happy in the knowledge that their team will contend year in and year out" 6 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Featured Article Brian Carriveau Changing Tide at Center BY: BRIAN CARRIVEAU Barrett Jones played on a unit at Alabama that many have compared to an NFL offensive line. He was the center for the Crimson Tide and immediately to his left was Chance Warmack, arguably the best guard in this year’s Draft class. Two spots over to his right was D.J. Fluker, perhaps the best pure right tackle. On one hand, it was a source of pride for Jones to be associated with such an illustrious group that achieved college football’s ultimate team prize, becoming the 2012 national champions. But on the other hand, perhaps being part of such an assembly of other talented individuals has artificially inflated Jones’ value. worth. The reality is that there aren’t many centers worth spending a first-round pick. Even Packers Hall of Fame offensive lineman Larry McCarren, himself a former center, agreed that investing a first-round selection on a center can be a risky proposition. “I think center is a position you can manufacture,” McCarren told Cheesehead TV in an exclusive interview. “If you’re going to spend a first-rounder on an offensive lineman, generally speaking, I would look at that guy being a left tackle. Those guys are hard to manufacture. When it comes to the center, you can take a guy with a decent skill set and coach him up.” Just because Jones may not be a first-round draft pick, however, doesn’t mean he’s off the radar of the Packers. He’s still among the top three players at his position, along with Wisconsin’s Travis Frederick and California’s Brian Schwenke, and figures to hear his name called on Day 2 of the Draft. Back during the NFL Combine, Jones was asked by a reporter, “What was it like playing on a line with two firstround players?” Jones laughed and retorted, “You’re writing me off as a first-rounder? Thanks.” Before the Combine, Cheesehead TV did a survey of Internet mock drafts, and Jones’ name appeared more as going to the Green Bay Packers in the first round than any other player. Back in early February, the predictions appeared to be a little overzealous. Being a brand name player for a brand name program like Alabama probably overstated Jones’ 7 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Featured Article Playing The Pivot in Green Bay After Scott Wells left in free agency after the 2011 season and Jeff Saturday retired after a one-year stint in Green Bay, the Packers don’t appear to have committed themselves to appointing a long-term starter. The decision, if and when they come to one, will be important because quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in the prime of his career. In a perfect world, Rodgers will be able to build a rapport with a center that will protect him for the next several seasons. Late last season, the Packers made the switch from Saturday to Evan Dietrich-Smith with two games left in the regular season, a move that appeared to pay dividends. Saturday’s physical skills were obviously in decline, and Dietrich-Smith provided a better anchor and mobility even if he didn’t have the same level of experience. McCarren senses “EDS” could be the solution at the center position. “I think he could be,” said McCarren. “I think he’s got the adequate skill set to do what needs to be done and get the job done, and he’s shown it in big-time games against big-time people.” Despite McCarren’s endorsement, however, DietrichSmith did not play so well that he has entrenched himself as the starter for years to come. When he became a restricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2012 season, the Packers extended only the lowest tender, a one-year contract worth approximately $1.3 million. Dietrich-Smith has the opportunity to test the market, but restricted free agents rarely switch teams. The Packers have the right to match any contract he signs, and almost certainly would. Essentially, “EDS” enters 2013 as a prove-it season. If he performs well enough, the Packers could offer a contract extension at some future point in time. 8 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Brian Carriveau All this being said, the Packers may not be comfortable placing all their eggs in one basket with Dietrich-Smith. They could hedge their bets by taking a player like Jones with a mid-round draft choice and say, “Let the best man win.” Call Him Mr. Flexibility What’s attractive about a player like Jones is that he offers the versatility of being more than just a center. He became a starter during his freshman season and played right guard for his first two years in Tuscaloosa. During his junior year, Jones became Alabama’s left tackle where he became college football’s Outland Trophy winner given to the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman. If that wasn’t enough, he was awarded the Rimington Trophy as the most outstand center his senior season. With such a diverse résumé, it’s fair to ask where Jones is most at ease. “I felt most comfortable where I played last,” said Jones. “If you asked me last year, I would have been most comfortable at left tackle. Right now, I’m definitely most comfortable at center. “I really like center because I enjoy the mental part of it. It’s the most mentally challenging offensive line position. Just to be honest, I’m kind of a control freak. I like that aspect, to be in control. And kind of point out to other people their assignments.” Jones has to prove he’s not simply a product of Alabama’s football factory and that he can be a dominating player in his own right. But perhaps there’s something intangible about coming from ‘Bama, an institution with one of the richest histories in all of college football. In a way, it’s kind of the Green Bay of the South. “I’d love to play in Green Bay,” said Jones. “I’ll play for whoever drafts me, but definitely that would be an honor to play for a team with that kind of tradition.” CheeseheadTV.com The Safety DancE Featured Article Brian Carriveau When Shawn Williams and Bacarri Rambo were invited to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. this past January, it gave credence to the notion that Georgia had the best tandem of safeties in the entire nation. Here were two players who both became starters at some point during their sophomore seasons in college, and as they matured and developed, so did Georgia. Even though they lost to eventual national champion Alabama in the SEC Championship, Williams and Rambo could take solace in a Capital One Bowl victory over Nebraska to cap their careers. From that point forward, their focus turned to professional football. Both are part of what is the best class of safeties in a number of years and figure to hear their names called by the middle rounds of April’s NFL Draft. In 2011, the Bulldogs rebounded to finish in first place in the SEC East, and while they lost in the conference championship game, they qualified for a New Year’s Day bowl game and improved their record to 10-4. Georgia finished first in the SEC in interceptions in 2011, thanks in large part to super junior seasons turned in by Williams and Rambo. “I’m a ballhawk,” said Rambo. “I have great instincts. I’m a leader. If you need a big play, or an interception or forced fumble, I can be that guy for your team.” Shawn Williams They also represent a position where the Packers could use some help after seeing longtime veteran and leader Charles Woodson released during the offseason in a “I had a great career at Georgia,” said Wil- money-saving move. There’s a chance that one of these liams while at the NFL Combine. “I kind of had Georgia safeties could land in Green Bay when things some adversity in the beginning, but we fought are all said and done. through it and we won a lot of games with the Keeping a watchful eye on the Georgia defensive backs coaches that we had.” at the Senior Bowl was former Packers safety Matt BowWhen Williams and Rambo first became starters in the en, currently a writer and analyst for a variety of outlets, Bulldog secondary, it was a rocky season in Athens, Ga. Although they qualified for the postseason in 2010, Georgia lost to Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl and finished with a losing record at 6-7. Rambo was that guy for Georgia in 2011 as he grabbed eight interceptions. Williams pitched in with four of his own. Things really started to come together as seniors in 2012 when Georgia improved to 12-2 and had its best record in a decade. 9 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Featured Article Brian Carriveau including the Chicago Tribune, CSN Chicago and the National Football Post. After all, it was Williams who gained notoriety at midseason in 2012 for describing the Georgia defense as “too soft,” and essentially calling out his teammates for When watching Williams in person, Bowen couldn’t not playing with an attitude they previously exhibited. help but think of the difference between college and the NFL and the caliber of player he’ll be facing next season. His comments came days before Georgia squared off against Florida in their annual neutral-site rivalry game. “The biggest thing for him, moving to the next level and The Bulldogs pulled off the upset against the then thirdfor a lot of safeties is, these tight ends in the pros are ranked Gators. the real deal,” said Bowen in an exclusive interview with Cheesehead TV. “These tight ends in the pros are third “I just felt like we weren’t playing up to our potential,” wide receivers.” said Williams. “I felt like we were the best athletes. We just had a bunch of great guys, but we weren’t living up Without a doubt, Williams’ all-around athletic ability to our potential. I felt like we could give more, and that’s and talent have gotten him this far. But while his four what we wanted to do.” interceptions as a junior are nothing to scoff at, he’s known more as a strong safety enforcer than the type Georgia wouldn’t lose again until they met Alabama in that’s going to excel in coverage. the SEC Championship in a game that went down to the wire. The Bulldogs played tough down the stretch, In order to prove himself to NFL scouts and decision thanks in part to Williams’ leadership, something makers, the 6’ 0”, 213 lb. Williams has to show he can they’ve gotten used to in Athens. go stride for stride with today’s new breed of tight ends: the Jimmy Grahams, Rob Gronkowskis and Jermichael When both Rambo and fellow defensive back Sanders Finleys of the world. Commings were suspended to open the 2012 season, Williams was looked up to as a steadying influence in With more and more teams employing spread offenses, the secondary. safeties have to be able to cover these tight ends that are as fast as they are strong. “I try to lead by example at first and then there is point when it crosses into the vocal part, and I’ll do that as Using the Packers as an example of a team that’s going well,” said Williams. to spread their weapons across the width of the field, Bowen stresses the importance of safeties as cover men. That’s basically how Williams’ senior season played out: one of the few in the defensive backfield who kept his “If you can’t cover, you can’t play against Green Bay,” nose clean and out of trouble to begin the year and by said Bowen. “If you can’t cover the tight end, you’re in season’s end, his outspokenness got the attention of the deep trouble, especially in the red zone.” rest of the team. Bowen said Williams needs to work on keeping receiv- “He’s a good solid football player that will be a good aders away from his body, otherwise they’re going to push dition to a lot of teams,” said Bowen. off and try to create separation. So while the coverage techniques need some work, the aggressiveness and physical aspects are there. 10 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview “if you can’t cover, you can’t play against Green Bay” CheeseheadTV.com Featured Article Brian Carriveau Bacarri Rambo Adding to his remarkable list of accomplishments was Rambo’s interception of Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib in the Senior Bowl when he expertly read the quarterback and gave possession back to his South team. “It made me feel like I was ready,” said Rambo. “He’s one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s Draft. Just having an interception against him, it showed I was ready and could play with the best of them.” Rambo’s biggest strength is his ability to create turnovers, but his overall game is in need of some work. For a team like the Packers that have had their share of issues with tackling in the secondary, they’re going to want assurance that he won’t be a liability. Concerns exist, but upon seeing him at the Senior Bowl, Bowen thinks there are positives to like about Rambo as well. “He got a little banged up at the end of the week in Mobile, but I thought he moved well,” said Bowen. “ShortPardon the war metaphor, but while Williams was out strider, looks like a physical guy, looks like a guy that fighting on the front lines to open the season, Rambo can deliver a blow on contact.” was suspended for the first four games of 2012 for what is believed to be his second positive drug test while at What’s also interesting is that Georgia could have a third safety prospect, Sanders Commings, who played Georgia. cornerback for the Bulldogs but has safety size at 6’ 0” There’s no question that Rambo is a supremely talented and 216 lbs. player, but his off-the-field concerns may impact where he’ll be drafted. Teams will have to vet the 6’ 0”, 211 lb. Commings is another player with off-the-field issues afGeorgia safety to find out whether they’re getting a pro- ter being arrested and suspended two games for domestic violence this past season. But he’s seen a lot of action spective NFL starter or potential problem child. at cornerback over his four-year career at Georgia and “Once they get to know me, and they can sit down and could join Williams and Rambo as a safety at the next talk to me, they can see my true character,” said Rambo. level. “That will leave a good impression. Also, they can check with my coaches in high school and my coaches in col- It should come as no surprise that that Georgia has so lege. They can see how I acted after the situation, how I many budding stars. They put together quite a collecwas still a leader to my team and how I carried myself.” tion of talent in Athens, many of whom will soon be playing on Sundays. What Rambo brings to the table are fantastic coverage skills, maybe the best among safeties in this year’s Draft “I felt that we were a pro defense,” said Williams. “With class. His eight interceptions in 2011 were impressive, (defensive coordinator) Todd Grantham and all of those and he leaves Georgia tied for the school’s all-time re- guys that we had like Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree, we had the best coaches and the best players.” cord with 16 career interceptions. 11 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Draft 2013 “Pigskin” Paul Guillemette THE TOP 100 Prospects Wisconsin Athletic Communications Paul Guillemette is one of the most accurate predictors of football talent in the draft analysis industry. In 2011 he finished tied for third in the Huddle Report’s media’s Top 100 list. Paul has regularly topped well-known draft analysts such as Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock. 1) Sharrif Floyd/DT/Florida 2) Eric Fisher/OT/Central Michigan 3) Jarvis Jones/OLB/Georgia 4) Dion Jordan/OLB/Oregon 5) Luke Joeckel/OT/Texas A&M 6) Star LotuleleiDT/Utah 7) Dee Milliner/CB/Alabama 8) Chance Warmack/OG/Alabama 9) Cordarrelle Patterson/WR/Tenn 10) Barkevious Mingo/OLB/LSU 11) Geno Smith/QB/West Virginia 12) Keenan Allen/WR/Cal 13) Lane Johnson/OT/Oklahoma 14) Jonathan Cooper/G/C/UNC 15) Matt Barkley/QB/USC 16) Tyler Eifert/TE/Notre Dame 17) Ziggy Ansah/DE/BYU 18) Bjoern Werner/DE/Florida State 19) DeAndre Hopkins/WR/Clemson 20) D.J. Fluker/OT/Alabama 21) Eddie Lacy/RB/Alabama 22) Xavier Rhodes/DB/Florida State 23) Johnathan Hankins/DT/Ohio State 24) Damontre Moore/OLB/Tex A&M 25) Desmond Trufant/CB/Washington 26) Manti Te’o/ILB/Notre Dame 27) Matt Elam/S/Florida 28) Kawann Short/DT/Purdue 29) Alec Ogletree/ILB/Georgia 30) Robert Woods/WR/USC 31) Robert Alford/CB/SE Louisiana 32) Sheldon Richardson/DT/Missouri 33) Zach Ertz/TE/Stanford 34) Mike Glennon/QB/NC State 35) Sam Montgomery/DE/LSU 36) Tavon Austin/WR/West Virginia 37) Quinton Patton/WR/La Tech 38) Larry Warford/OG/Kentucky 39) Terrance Williams/WR/Baylor 40) Kenny Vaccaro/S/Texas 41) Justin Hunter/WR/Tennessee 42) Jesse Williams/DT/Alabama 43) Gio Bernard/RB/UNC 44) John Jenkins/DT/Georgia 45) Kenny Stills/WR/Oklahoma 46) Kyle Long/OG/Oregon 47) Johnthan Banks/CB/Miss State 48) Barrett Jones/C/Alabama 49) Eric Reid/S/LSU 50) Markus Wheaton/WR/Oregon St 12 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 51) Alex Okafor/DE/Texas 52) Chris Faulk/OT/LSU 53) Kevin Minter/ILB/LSU 54) Justin Pugh/OT/Syracuse 55) Sio Moore/ILB/UConn 56) Sylvester Williams/DT/UNC 57) Khaseem Greene/ILB/Rutgers 58) Jonathan Cyprien/S/FL Int’l 59) Montori Hughes/DT/TN-Martin 60) William Gholston/DE/Michigan St 61) Brandon McGee/CB/Miami (F) 62) Arthur Brown/LB/Kansas State 63) Josh Boyce/WR/RS/TCU 64) Ricky Wagner/OT/Wisconsin 65) Brandon Williams/DT/Mo South 66) Tyler Bray/QB/Tennessee 67) Travis Frederick/G/C/Wisconsin 68) Stedman Bailey/WR/W. Virginia 69) Ryan Nassib/QB/Syracuse 70) David Amerson/CB/NC State 71) Montee Ball/RB/Wisconsin 72) Margus Hunt/DE/SMU 73) Da’Rick Rogers/WR/Tenn Tech 74) Datone Jones/DE/UCLA 75) Shamarko Thomas/S/Syracuse 76) Cornelius Washington/DE/Georgia 77) Terry Hawthorne/CB/Illinois 78) E. J. Manuel/QB/Florida State 79) Vance McDonald/TE/Rice 80) Ryan Swope/WR/Texas A&M 81) Terron Armstead/OT/Pine Bluff 82) Dion Sims/TE/Michigan State 83) Tank Carradine/DE/Florida State 84) Jordan Mills/OT/La Tech 85) Dallas Thomas/OT/Tennessee 86) J.J. Wilcox/S/Ga Southern 87) Christine Michael/RB/Texas A&M 88) Michael Buchanan/OLB/Illinois 89) Gerald Hodges/ILB/Penn State 90) Chase Thomas/OLB/Stanford 91) Kayvon Webster/CB/USF 92) A.J. Klein/ILB/Iowa State 93) Bennie Logan/DT/LSU 94) Jamie Collins/OLB/Southern Miss 95) Menelik Watson/OT/Florida State 96) Brian Winters/OG/Kent State 97) Johnathan Franklin/RB/UCLA 98) Corey Fuller/WR/Va Tech 99) Brian Schwenke/C/Cal 100) Brennan Williams/OT/UNC CheeseheadTV.com NFL Mock Draft 2013 Andrew Garda MOCK DRAFT 2013 #1 CHIEFS #2 Jaguars It Happens This Way (BUT MOST LIKELY DOESN’T) BY ANDREW GARDA Luke Joeckel, LT, Geno Smith, QB While the team brought Brandon Albert back, it’s only on a franchise tag for a year while Eric Winston has been cut. There are tons of ways to go, but we’ve seen enough, and Blaine Gabbert isn’t the answer. Geno Smith is an immediate upgrade. It doesn’t sound like too stable of a line to set up for new franchise quarterback Alex Smith, which leaves tackle as an obvious need. An edge pass rusher is a need here as well, but a quarterback is the bigger need, lest they have a top-five draft pick again in 2014. Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are a tough 1/1A but lean towards Joeckel who looks like the next Joe Thomas. Why not a tackle? They can improve at right tackle later on, and they won’t get a better QB in this draft than Smith. He’s got elite athleticism, which was put on display when going up against SEC defensive lines week in and week out last season. They could also trade out here—someone might jump for Smith. So this is as much “Smith at No. 2” as it is him going to Jacksonville. 13 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Mock Draft 2013 Andrew Garda #3 Raiders #4 EAGLES #5 Lions #6 BROWNS Sharrif Floyd, DT Dee Milliner, CB Eric Fisher, LT Jarvis Jones, OLB The Raiders have holes everywhere, but their defensive line has taken a few hits and without a second-round pick (thanks Hue Jackson), the best defensive linemen will be off the board by the third round. The Eagles have cleaned house in the secondary this offseason, dumping Nnamdi Asomougha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie after a few terrible seasons. Eric Fisher could easily be gone by this point—maybe Joeckel is still here instead—but tackle is a huge need for the Lions now that Jeff Backus has retired. While Shariff Floyd is a bit raw, he’s also a huge beast when stopping the run. Floyd had 6.5 sacks in his first full season. Dee Milliner is a fantastic corner: aggressive in coverage and a hardhitting tackler against the run. He will be a tremendous asset for the Eagles for years to come. Fisher wowed everyone at the Senior Bowl and Combine, and many have him going No. 1. The Lions will get a tremendous talent who keeps Stafford upright. Jarvis Jones has a ridiculous burst, which enhances a keen nose for timing the snap and overall good speed. #7 CARDINALS #8 BILLS #9 JETS #10 TITANS Matt Barkley, QB Chance Warmack, G Dion Jordan, DE/OLB Jonathan Cooper, G Think this a team going into the season with Drew Stanton, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Lindley or John Skelton as a starter? Many teams got better in free agency, but the Bills got worse. They lost two offensive linemen and dumped a quarterback but at least held the defense together. The Jets pass rush was abysmal last season and didn’t improve at all this offseason. If Dion Jordan falls to the Jets, it’s probably the best news they’ve heard all year. The interior of the Titans offensive line needs a makeover, and Jonathan Cooper can step in from Day 1 and help open things up for Chris Johnson while also keeping Jake Locker upright. Barkley is going to be a solid quarterback at the next level and with Larry Fitzgerald to throw to, you’ll see a much better quarterback than some people are predicting. Warmack is by far the best guard in the draft, and while it’s unusual to see a guard go in the top ten, desperate times breed desperate actions. He played at a high level against tremendous competition in the Pac12. If the Jets are going to win games next year, Jordan is the guy they need. After a poor performance in 2012, it’s clear the Browns can’t have enough pass rushers. That’s why, despite acquiring Paul Kruger in free agency, they’ll jump at the chance to draft this bookend. Cooper can run block as well as pass protect, and both those things are in desperately short supply for the Titans. MOCK DRAFT 2013 14 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Mock Draft 2013 Andrew Garda #11 CHARGERS #12 DOLPHINS #13 BUCS #14 PANTHERS Lane Johnson, OT Xavier Rhodes, CB B. Mingo, DE/OLB Star Lotulelei, DT The Chargers offensive line has been a travesty for years now and is a huge reason for Philip Rivers’ backslide the last few seasons. Lane Johnson is a guy whose stock surged after the college all-star games. The Dolphins won the Free Agency Bowl by spending a ridiculous amount of cash on their offense. Of course, if they can’t shut down opposing offenses, it won’t matter. The Bucs lost defensive end Bennett to the Seahawks, and he was by far their best pass-rushing asset. While there are several other needs, they go with the best player available, in this case Barkevious Mingo. The Utah prospect’s stock has been all over the place, so he could be gone. If he’s here, though, he can anchor a defensive line. What the Chargers get in Johnson is a very talented athlete whose ceiling isn’t in sight. He’s got huge size, great speed and movement. Xavier Rhodes is a tremendous press corner who will abuse opposing receivers. He can cover well and that’s what they need. He battled double teams while at LSU. He has the potential to be a tremendous pass rusher and will help the Bucs right away. If the team wants to give Cam Newton and the offense a shot, they have to play better. Star Lotulelei can help them do that, and most teams will not be worried about the heart issue by Draft day. #15 SAINTS #16 RAMS #17 STEELERS #18 COWBOYS Bjoern Werner, DE Tavon Austin, WR C. Patterson, WR D.J. Fluker, OT The Saints were ranked 31st in the NFL against the pass and were tied for the sixth-fewest sacks. So Werner, who led all defenders in the ACC with 13 sacks last season, is a solid fit. Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola are gone, and while the team has Daryl Richardson in the backfield and acquired Jared Cook, it’s not enough. Before free agency, Cal’s Keenan Allen might have gone here, despite some misgivings about his lingering injury. While former firstround pick Tyron Smith has settled into left tackle, Doug Free is an unmitigated disaster at right tackle.. Werner has a high motor and excellent technique off the edge and will help provide more pressure on the tough NFC quarterback-fueled offenses. The Rams and Sam Bradford were very effective with a slot receiver in Amendola and Tavon Austin is Amendola Plus. While he’s raw, Cordarrelle Patterson is a big, fast playmaker who can replace the departed Mike Wallace and complement Antonio Bryant. “big, fast playmaker” Fluker is a tremendous run blocker with a big, powerful frame who is likely to excel at right tackle and would immediately lock down a starting spot. MOCK DRAFT 2013 15 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Mock Draft 2013 Andrew Garda #19 GIANTS #20 Bears #21 Bengals #22 Rams “Ziggy” Ansah, DE Kevin Minter, ILB Eddie Lacy, RB Kenny Vaccaro, S Despite having weapons to rush the passer, the Giants love having more. Middle linebacker was a need with or without Brian Urlacher. This might surprise some, and there are several other ways they could go, but this offense needs a reliable back that can break off long runs. The Rams got their playmaker for the offense with the first pick, and now they’ll get a stud for the defense. However, with the tools they already have, the Giants can bring Ansah along at a reasonable rate. Being raw is what might drop him, but he’ll remind them of their own Jason Pierre-Paul in terms of upside. #23 VIKINGS DeAndre Hopkins, WR #24 COLTS Desmond Trufant, CB #25 VIKINGS S. Williams, DT It was between Kevin Minter and Alec Ogletree, but Minter is a savvy and cerebral player with no off-field issues. He’s a tad undersized for the inside but makes up for it in overall football intelligence. Benjarvus Green-Ellis is reliable, but he isn’t a game changer. Eddie Lacy is. He’s a guy with both power and speed—a worthwhile combo. They did an outstanding job building a secondary last year and can improve the safety position with the very versatile Kenny Vaccaro who plays against both the pass and run with equal aggression. Hopkins is a great, highly productive prospect who can step right into a role in the Vikings’ offense. While they snagged Greg Jennings from their NFCN rival Green Bay Packers, no one man is enough to help this offense. Hopkins isn’t the fastest or most athletic, but he can get the separation to make Ponder look good. It’s tempting to grab Cal’s Keenan Allen here to replace an aging Reggie Wayne, but there is value in the second round at wide receiver—not as much at cornerback. Desmond Trufant is an incredibly gifted cover corner, and while the Colts’ secondary played admirably over the course of the 2012 season, it needs an upgrade. The middle of the Vikings defensive line is very thin, even if Kevin Williams stays— no sure thing given the cap hit he represents. This Williams will start out as more of a run stuffer than a pass rusher but can develop into a great asset for both. The run stuffing is where they need him first anyway. “while they snagged Greg Jennings from their NFCN rival Green Bay Packers, no one man is enough to help this offense” MOCK DRAFT 2013 16 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Mock Draft 2013 #26 Green Bay Packers Jesse Williams, DT - Alabama There are a lot of ways the Pack can go with this pick, not the least of which is trade out to a team desperate for a quarterback. If they stay here, however, they’ll go defense, this time working on the interior of the defensive line where stopping the run and generating pressure has been a problem. Williams is a big-bodied tackle who can play two gaps very easily. With B.J. Raji’s contract up soon and Jerel Worthy potentially on the PUP list to start the season, more help on the defensive line is a big need. Andrew Garda #27 TEXANS Keenan Allen, WR Yes, the Texans have Andre Johnson who is far from done, but that’s about it. Keenan Allen’s knee injury and lingering hamstring should be fine by camp, and his combination of size and toughness make him dangerous across the middle. He’s not blazing fast but has enough speed to beat a defender on the outside. #29 BroNCOS #29 PATRIOTS #30 FaLCONS #31 NINERS J. Hankins, DT Johnthan Banks, CB Tyler Eifert, TE Matt Elam, S There are several ways the Broncos can spend this pick. Aqib Talib is back, but it’s just a one-year contract. Addressing the secondary or acquiring another pass rusher are other ways to go, depending on the board. Johnathan Hankins is all that and versatile enough to play all along the defensive line. Johnthan Banks is a corner with very good ball skills who has no issues hanging with receivers in coverage, as well as tenacity defending the run. It worked out that Tony Gonzalez decided to come back for one more go, but that only takes care of the immediate future. The Niners lost Dashon Goldson, but no worries—Elam is a better safety. #32 RAVENS Alec Ogletree, LB Sure, tight end is a bit deep this year, but having Eifert here so deep in the first round is too good to pass up Even with any free agency veteran help, Elam is the guy for the future: an instinctive, physical and versatile safety who can play some coverage as well. The Ravens won the Super Bowl and locked up quarterback Joe Flacco with a big-time, long-term contract. Since then, they’ve lost a huge chunk of the defense that held them in games. They need to rebuild, and they need high end athletic players like Ogletree to do it. 17 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Mock Draft 2013 Round Two 33. Jaguars: Sheldon Richardon, DT 34. Chiefs: Kawaan Short, DT 35 Eagles: Menelik Watson, OT 36. Lions: Demontre Moore, DE 37. Bengals (Raiders): Arthur Brown, OLB 38. Cardinals: Eric Reid, S Browns: exercised this in supplemental draft 39. Jets: Zach Ertz, TE 40. Titans: Jonathan Cyprien, S 41. Bills: Ryan Nassib, QB, 42. Dolphins: Sam Montgomery, DE 43. Buccaneers: David Amerson, CB 44. Panthers: Justin Hunter, WR Saints: Pick forfeited 45. Chargers: Robert Woods, WR 46. Rams: Justin Pugh, G 47. Cowboys: Quinton Patton, WR 48. Steelers: Gavin Escobar, TE 49. Giants: Datone Jones, DE 50. Bears: Alex Okafor, DE 51. Redskins: Manti Te’o, LB 52. Vikings: Darius Slay, CB 53. Bengals: Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE 54. Dolphins (Colts): Terron Armstead, T 55. Packers: Barrett Jones, C 56. Seahawks: Kyle Long, T 57. Texans: Sio Moore, OLB 58. Broncos: Jordan Poyer, CB 59. Patriots: Terrance Williams, WR 60. Falcons: Margus Hunt, DE 61. Niners: Markus Wheaton, WR 62. Ravens: Aaron Dobson, WR Andrew Garda Round Three 63. Chiefs: Vance McDonald, TE 64. Jaguars: Giovani Bernard, RB 65. Lions: Da’’Rick Rogers, WR 66. Raiders: Tyler Wilson, QB 67. Eagles: E.J. Manuel, QB 68. Browns: Larry Warford 69. Cardinals: Dallas Thomas, T 70. Titans: John Simon, DE 71. Bills: Khaseem Greene, OLB 72. Jets: Mike Glennon, QB 73. Buccaneers: Ryan Swope, WR 74. Niners: (Panthers): John Jenkins, DT 75. Saints: Malliciah Goodman, DE 76. Chargers: Robert Alford, CB 77. Dolphins: Brian Winters, G 78. Rams: Jamie Collins, OLB 79. Steelers: Phillip Thomas, S 80. Cowboys: Andre Ellington, RB 81. Giants: Shamarko Thomas, S 82. Dolphins (Bears): Travardo Williams, OLB 83. Vikings: Kiko Alonso, ILB 84. Bengals: David Bakhtiari, T 85. Redskins: Marquise Goodwin, WR 86. Colts: Corey Lemonier, OLB 87. Seahawks: Akeem Spence, DT 88. Packers: Stepfan Taylor, RB 89. Texans: Bacarri Rambo, S 90. Broncos: Johnathan Franklin, RB 91. Patriots: Brandon Williams, DT 92. Falcons: Montee Ball, RB 93. Niners: Zavier Gooden, OLB 94. Ravens: T.J. McDonald, S MOCK DRAFT 2013 18 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Draft 2013 Zach Kruse Green BaY Packers Team Needs On defense, Clay Matthews (42.5 sacks in four NFL seasons) anchors a unit that has been up-and-down the past two years. Third-year receiver Randall Cobb (1,068 total yards, eight TDs in 2012) and secondyear cornerback Casey Hayward (six interceptions as a rookie) are emerging stars around a still-strong supporting cast that includes Jordy Nelson, Josh Sitton, B.J. Raji and Morgan Burnett. 2012 Season Recap For the second time in as many years, the Packers were bounced from the postseason in the divisional round. Just as the Giants accomplished with such ease the year before, the 49ers railroaded an overmatched Green Bay defense to the tune of 45 points and nearly 600 total yards in a 45-31 win. The season wasn’t a complete waste, however. The Packers won a second-straight NFC North title after finishing 11-5 and then captured their first playoff win since Super Bowl XLV in the NFC wildcard round. A 2-3 start that included disheartening losses at Seattle (“Fail Mary”) and Indianapolis (blown 18-point lead) was followed by a stretch of nine wins in 10 games. In what now seems like an annual occurrence, the Packers worked around injuries to key contributors to finish as one of the NFC’s six playoff teams. Desmond Bishop, Charles Woodson, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Bryan Bulaga, Nick Perry, Sam Shields and several others all missed significant time, but the resourceful Packers were able to keep the ship afloat. Help Wanted In 2013, general manager Ted Thompson must work with a roster that has less pronounced needs but more volume in overall positional need. On defense, safety, inside linebacker and defensive end (in no specific order) stand out as the most glaring weaknesses. Green Bay will also need to address both tackle and center along an offensive line that struggled mightily for most of last season. Losing Greg Jennings to free agency opens up a potential longterm need at receiver, and the future of the tight end position is shaky beyond next season. Running back has also long been a problem area. Strictly a bargain shopper in free agency, Thompson must count on eight draft picks to help fill a number of holes. 2013 Outlook Key Players Aaron Rodgers, now the longest-tenured player on the Packers roster, can certainly stake claim to being one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks. Accurate and smart with the football, Rodgers has thrown 84 touchdowns against just 14 interceptions over the last two seasons. His passer ratings of 122.5 in 2011 and 108.0 in 2012 both led the NFL. 19 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Rodgers and Matthews—both among the game’s top players at the most important positions—give the Packers a chance to be competitive in both the division and conference for the foreseeable future. Filling in the missing pieces around the two stars will ultimately decide whether the Packers are either competitively on par or Super Bowl worthy. The offensive line needs to play considerably better in 2013, and the defense has to find a new identity that includes more speed and toughness. However, as long as the Packers have Rodgers and Matthews, this team will have the opportunity to compete for Super Bowls each year. CheeseheadTV.com NFL Draft 2013 Zach Kruse THE NFC NORTH Season Recap: In 2011, Chicago started 7-3 but tanked to an 8-8 mark once Jay Cutler was lost for the season. Last season, an impressive 7-1 start fell apart when Cutler missed most of two games with a concussion. Season Recap: The Lions regressed by six wins from 2011 to 2012, matching the highest win drop (tied with New Orleans) in the NFL last season. Unlucky? Maybe. But a 0-6 mark inside the division certainly didn’t help. Help Wanted: Signing left tackle Jermon Bushrod was a good start to rebuilding the offensive line, but there’s still work to be done up front. If Cutler is ever well protected, look out. A defense that fought off Father Time for another year needs to continue getting younger, after losing stalwart Brian Urlacher. Help Wanted: Four-win teams generally need a lot of help, and the Lions are no different. Offensive tackle and defensive end are primary needs, especially after losing both Gosder Cherilus and Cliff Avril in free agency. The team’s top two picks could easily be used on the two positions. 2013 Outlook: This team will still ride or die with the gun-slinging Cutler. If Trestman can find a way to both curtail Cutler’s bad decisions and keep him protected, the Bears could be a dangerous offense in 2013. 2013 Outlook: Getting Matthew Stafford (79.8 passer rating in 2012) back on track will likely determine if these Lions can bounce back next season. There’s certainly talent here, but Detroit shot itself in the foot too many times in 2012. Key Players: QB Jay Cutler, RB Matt Forte, CB Charles Tillman Key Players: QB Matthew Stafford, WR Calvin Johnson, DT Ndamukong Suh 20 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Season Recap: One of the NFL’s most surprising teams of 2012, the Vikings rebounded from a 3-13 mark in 2011 to secure a playoff spot in the NFC. Smart draft picks combined with one of the best ever seasons by a running back helped to create Minnesota’s magic 10-6 season. Help Wanted: Despite inking Greg Jennings in free agency, receiver remains a top need. Finding another playmaker on the outside is a must for Christian Ponder’s make-orbreak season. Cornerback will also be a need if Antoine Winfield isn’t re-signed. 2013 Outlook: Whether the Vikings build on their unexpected 2012 season falls on the right arm of Ponder, who was shaky for long stretches despite Adrian Peterson’s MVP season. Key Players: RB Adrian Peterson, WR Greg Jennings, DE Jared Allen CheeseheadTV.com NFL Draft 2013 NFC TEAM Help wanted: Quarterback Cam Newton is big and athletic, but he needs his offensive line to protect him better in 2013. Finding an upgrade at right tackle should be a part of that improvement. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Panthers take a receiver, defensive tackle or cornerback early in April. Each position is a clear need area. 21 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview New Orleans Tampa Bay “lacks a playmaker” Help wanted: With both Tony Gonzalez and Steven Jackson on board, the offense-rich Falcons can turn their draft attention to the defensive side of the ball. Improving the pass rush is an obvious need, especially after releasing defensive end John Abraham. Finding an athletic coverage linebacker or high-upside cornerback could also be in the cards. Carolina Dallas Help Wanted: Tyron Smith is a lock at left tackle, but the Cowboys could probably use upgrades along the rest of the offensive line. Defensive linemen that fit Monte Kiffin’s new 4-3 defense will likely be needed to help ease the transition, and the safety position still lacks a playmaker. Help Wanted: The likely loss of Osi Umenyiora in free agency opens up an opportunity for the Giants to use another high pick on a passrushing defensive end. New York has struck gold at the position in the past. A runstuffing linebacker and passprotecting right tackle are also needs for savvy general manager Jerry Reese. Atlanta Help wanted: The Dream Team has been mostly disassembled, leaving former Oregon coach Chip Kelly the difficult job of cleaning up what remains. Philadelphia will be run-based on offense, but the most pressing needs likely come on defense, where the transition to the three-man front has already begun. NEEDS New York washington Philly Help wanted: Any team that features a unique talent like quarterback Robert Griffin III should continue building the supporting cast on offense. Tackle, receiver and tight end are each draft options to help accelerate RG3’s development. However, defensive needs at both cornerback and safety might be more pressing for the Washington Redskins. Zach Kruse Help wanted: Losing Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod was a big blow, and it leaves the pass-happy Saints with shaky options on each side of the offensive line. The switch to a 3-4 defense makes finding both an impact pass-rusher at outside linebacker and blockeating nose tackle draft priorities in New Orleans. Help wanted: Cornerback, cornerback, cornerback. No team in the NFL needs more help at the increasinglyimportant position than the Buccaneers, who gave up a league-high 297.4 passing yards a game last season. Depth on the defensive line is also in serious question after free agency. CheeseheadTV.com NFL Draft 2013 Help Wanted: Credit GM John Schneider for adding impact players at need spots via both trade and free agency. He’ll now enter the 2013 draft with the freedom of flexibility. Arguably the most talented all-around roster in football, Seattle could use depth along the offensive and defensive lines, and possibly outside linebacker. SeatTle Arizona Help wanted: The Cardinals can’t compete in the rugged NFC West without finding a franchise quarterback. Arizona will hope new head coach Bruce Arians can draft a top signal caller and mold him like he did with Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. Outside of quarterback, rebuilding the offensive line and identifying Adrian Wilson’s replacement at safety are top needs. Zach Kruse St. Louis NINERS Help wanted: Plucking OT Help wanted: The reigning Jake Long and TE Jared NFC champions possess one Cook in free agency were of the most complete rosters solid gets for the Rams, in football, but there are still who needed help at both draft needs. Cornerback is positions. Offensive line is the most glaring, but losstill an area where St. Louis ing Dashon Goldson in free could use a top pick, but agency opened up another hole at safety now looks like the safety. Finding a young five-techteam’s most pressing need. Finding nique to eventually replace Justin Smith could be another option. No a starter at strong-side linebacker is team has more picks than the 49ers. another priority for the improving Rams. 22 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview The Packers and the rest of the NFC will have plenty of questions at the NFL Draft. CheeseheadTV.com NFL Draft 2013 AFC TEAM Help wanted: The Super Bowl champions have been decimated this offseason, but GM Ozzie Newsome has always been a draft-and-develop roster builder. Replacing the retired Ray Lewis at middle linebacker is likely Newsome’s most important task. Help wanted: Safety remains a trouble area for the Bengals, who could improve on their league-best sack total with better play at the back end. Adding another weapon for Andy Dalton— at running back or receiver—also makes sense. Help wanted: The arrival of defensive coordinator Ray Horton employs the Browns to provide the attacking playcaller with a never-ending supply of attacking defenders. Cornerback opposite Joe Haden and quarterback are other needs. "the attacking playcaller” Pittsburgh New England Help Wanted: New England continues its struggle to find a receiver who can stretch the field vertically. Maybe this draft has an answer. to the recent departure of fixture Wes Welker too. And despite re-signing Aqib Talib, cornerback is a good bet to be addressed. Help Wanted: The Jets have holes all over the roster. Just about every position on offense could be upgraded, and an old, slow defense needs a facelift. An attacking linebacker or starting right tackle likely tops the priority list. Cleveland Miami Help wanted: Free-agent losses of Sean Smith and Jake Long helped develop pressing needs at both cornerback and offensive tackle. GM Jeff Ireland must now find answers to the holes in a draft deep at corner and top-heavy at tackle. NEEDS New York Baltimore Cincinnati Buffalo Help wanted: By releasing 2012 starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bills have almost guaranteed their selection of a top quarterback in this draft. The need to hit on a signal caller is great. All three linebacker spots are up for grabs, too. Zach Kruse Help wanted: An aging defense needs a youth movement at outside linebacker and along the defensive line. The running back position lacks a lead option, and Mike Wallace’s departure robbed Pittsburgh of a vertical threat. “struggle to find a receiver who can stretch the field vertically” 23 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Draft 2013 Help Wanted: Despite signing Andy Levitre in free agency, guard remains a need for the run-heavy Titans. Uncertainty with Kenny Britt likely makes receiver a need, too. However, allowing a franchise-record 471 points in 2012 might prompt Tennessee to look defense. Help wanted: Beefing up on the interior of the defensive line is an obvious need in Denver. A starting middle linebacker and Champ Bailey’s eventual replacement at cornerback are other avenues the Broncos could pursue in the draft. Help wanted: The defensive line continues to be a need area, despite multiple attempts to fix the problem with high picks. An inside linebacker is another priority. On offense, Kansas City has to find a replacement for right tackle Eric Winston. Oakland San Diego Chiefs Help wanted: An offense that averaged under 16 points a game in 2012 either needs to stockpile playmakers or start over at quarterback. On defense, every level of the defense has pressing needs. Denver Help wanted: The freespending Colts filled a number of holes in free agency, but not all. The interior of the offensive line still needs help, and signing Erik Walden shouldn’t satisfy Indianapolis’ desire to beef up the pass rush. Tennessee Houston INdianapolis Jaguars Help wanted: Finding a receiver to play opposite Andre Johnson remains a wanted commodity in Houston. Despite signing Ed Reed to replace Glover Quin, the Texans could still use help at safety. Zach Kruse Help wanted: GM Reggie McKenzie gutted the roster to help fix the salarycap situation he inherited. However, he’s left himself with more holes to fill than picks. The Raiders need help across the board on defense and also at quarterback. Help wanted: Without much question, drafting an offensive tackle is priority No. 1 in San Diego. From there, the Chargers could use defensive upgrades at cornerback and inside linebacker. More weapons for fading quarterback Philip Rivers wouldn’t hurt, either. “I hate to get too excited about effort, but boy, it’s one of the things that excites me the most.” 24 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Quarterbacks 1) Geno Smith School: West Virginia, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 218 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.59 Andrew Garda QB “his game echoes Aaron Rodgers” 2012 stats: 369 of 518, 4205 yards, 71.2%, 42 TDs, 6 INTs; 69 rushes, 167 yards, 2.4 ypc, 2 TDs 2) Matt Barkley School: USC, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 227 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a percent of his 518 attempts. Smith also had a low touchdown-to-interception ratio over the course of his career at West Virginia, throwing 98 touchdowns against 21 intercep- In a nutshell: Barkley will get an extra-sharp eyeballing from scouts tions over the course of four years. for many reasons, not the least of Smith’s speed in the 40 has some which is the repeated implosions of fans thinking he’s the next Colin USC quarterbacks in the NFL. Far Kaepernick, but he’s far more com- too many look serviceable (or betfortable in the pocket even though ter) in college but can’t hack it in the he can be very effective on the run pros. when need be. There is reason to think Barkley has NFL Combine: As the frontrun- the tools to succeed. He has tremenner of the quarterback class, many dous touch and timing, especially thought Smith had very little to gain on shorter passes and shows excel369 of 518, 4205 yards, 42 TDs, 6 INTs and a lot to lose by being a full par- lent mechanics. Barkley also has ticipant in the Scouting Combine. It good pocket presence and shows a great feel for the play as it happens. In a nutshell: Smith is a quarter- turns out they were wrong. back who can run, not a running quarterback. Primarily a pocket If he was first in the hearts of many On the down side, while he has passer, his game echoes Aaron Rod- analysts before the Combine, he was good arm strength, it’s only avergers far more than Russell Wilson. likely tops for everyone else after- age for an NFL starter and at times Strong arm, good accuracy and wards. Smith began by leaving all his accuracy slips on longer throws, plenty of mobility, Smith tore up the other quarterbacks in the dust most noticeably on vertical routes. defenses in the Big XII this season, with the top 40 time in the class, He can hit them, but certainly isn’t even if the team couldn’t get traction then showed off his explosiveness in quite as consistent as he is on the the vertical (33.5”) and broad jumps short throws. as a whole. (124”). Smith also let scouts see his Since 2010, his first full time season arm strength and overall accuracy in Barkley has been banged up nearly as a starter, Smith has completed positional drills, solidifying his spot every season as a starter and couldn’t over 64 percent of his passes with at the top of the quarterback group participate in the Combine because the accuracy improving each season. and likely first-round pick in April. he is still dealing with a sprained right shoulder. His final year, Smith completed 71 25 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Quarterbacks Vs. ranked opponent: There are several things that make it difficult to really know what Barkley is capable of, and an often-terrible USC defense is certainly one of them. The loss to Oregon in 2012 was a perfect example of this. Barkley threw for 484 yards and five touchdowns while his defense allowed 730 total yards, including 426 on the ground. Oregon leapt out to an early lead, forcing USC’s offense to have to throw constantly to catch up. Despite the defense knowing Barkley would be throwing it nearly every down, he was able to find his receivers for big gains. He did throw two interceptions but managed to complete 64 percent of his 54 pass attempts. ence, reliable accuracy and tremendous poise in the pocket. Others see a somewhat undersized prospect who floats his longer throws. to wide receiver Marcus Sales (their second of the day). When USC scored again, Nassib rallied his offense one more time and drove down the field, scoring on a keeper from the 1-yard line. The reality is that Nassib’s size is no worse than many NFL quarterbacks (Andy Dalton, Matt Stafford) and 2012 stats: 294 of 471, 3749 yards, shouldn’t hinder his play. While he 62.5%, 26 TDs, 10 INTs will put too much air under the ball on longer throws, his overall accura4) Tyler Wilson cy is very good, and he can make all School: Arkansas, Sr. the throws you want an NFL quarHeight: 6’ 2” terback to make. Weight: 215 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.95 He’s not the fastest or most mobile quarterback, but he’s no statue either, and he shows great pocket In a nutshell: Wilson is a solid presence. Nassib knows when to pocket passer who will stand under step up into the pocket and when it’s pressure and deliver the ball while time to bail; when he needs to hold taking a hit, then pop back up like on for another moment and when nothing happened. He’s got a bit of a he needs to get rid of the ball. He’s a pronounced delivery with an elonsolid prospect who makes the right gated windup and tends to float his long balls a bit. Wilson does do an choices. excellent job leading his receivers Vs. ranked opponent: While the open but also shows plenty of paoutcome was not what they aimed tience when he needs to. Overall, Barkley showed all the patience, timing and will that you look for in an NFL quarterback, never giving up and always able to get his team back off the mat when the de- for, the Syracuse Orangemen—led by Ryan Nassib—gave USC all it fense let it get knocked down. could handle. A game that featured 2012 stats: 246 of 387, 3273 yards, a storm delay at halftime saw Nassib rally his team from a 26-3 deficit to 63.6%, 36 TDs, 15 INTs pull within five points, but the Syracuse defense couldn’t keep up. 3) Ryan Nassib School: Syracuse, Sr. Nassib kept his offense moving, Height: 6’ 2” though, making plenty of tough Weight: 227 lbs. passes under the pressure of the 40-Yard Dash: 5.06 USC defense. While he did make a few mistakes (including two tough In a nutshell: Nassib is a very di- interceptions), Nassib kept his cool. visive prospect. Some analysts see Even when USC took a 35-16 lead, a strong-armed, technically-sound he kept the ball moving, respondquarterback with great pocket pres- ing with a 17-yard touchdown pass 26 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview All-Star game: Of the prospects at the Senior Bowl, Wilson was the most consistently impressive at practices. Once he got used to his receivers, he showed great accuracy and arm strength. His footwork sometimes looked a little sloppy (a consistent issue on film) but did a great job synching up with unfamiliar players. 2012 stats: 249 of 401, 3387 yards, 62.1%, 32 TDs, 13 INTs “technically sound” CheeseheadTV.com Quarterbacks In a nutshell: One of the more awkward looking players you’ll see, Glennon’s height makes the 225 on his frame look like 125. The advantage of his height is that he can see his receivers on short routes perfectly and uses that vision to lead them open. He’s a bit inexperienced with just two seasons as a collegiate starter. Vs. ranked opponent: After three quarters of football against No. 3 Florida State, it looked grim for NC State. Down 16-3 with time running out and having been stymied for almost the entire game, Glennon put the team on his back and led them to 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter with more than half of his passing yards coming during that time. 2012 stats: 330 of 564, 4031 yards, 58.5%, 31 TDs, 17 INTs 6) E.J. Manuel School: Florida State, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 237 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.65 der pressure. It was the second year in a row the Gators owned Manuel, who only threw for 65 yards in 2011 and 182 in 2012. 2012 stats: 263 of 387, 3392 yards, 68.0%, 23 TDs, 10 INTs 7) Landry Jones School: Oklahoma, Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 218 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.95 Damon Herota/FSU Sports Information 5) Mike Glennon School: N. Carolina State, Sr. Height: 6’ 7” Weight: 225 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.94 In a nutshell: Jones is a strongarmed athlete who is a flawed but decent prospect. While he is fairly accurate, he has a habit of aiming the ball rather than throwing it and doesn’t always set his feet. Landry also checked down a lot in college and will have to prove he can throw the ball downfield consistently at the pro level. 263 of 387, 3392 yards, 23 TDs, 10 INTs In a nutshell: Manuel has perhaps the greatest amount of upside in this class but is also one of its most raw players as well. He is a tremendous athlete who has a very strong arm and is dangerous with his legs, but he makes some eye-poppingly bad decisions at times and can hold the ball far too long. Tons of upside but also huge bust potential. Rivalry game: Manuel was his own worst enemy against No. 9 Florida, turning the ball over four times— three times with interceptions. He held the ball way too long all game and never looked comfortable un- 27 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Vs. ranked opponent: Don’t be fooled by the fourth-quarter interception against No. 4 Notre Dame. Jones was accurate and showed great leadership against a tough Irish team. The pick was on a ricochet, bouncing off receiver Jalen Saunders’ hands as he was hit midcatch and was not the fault of Jones. Otherwise Jones moved the ball well until the 35-yard line where the offense stalled every time. 2012 stats: 367 of 555, 4267 yards, 66.1%, 30 TDs, 11 INTs QB CheeseheadTV.com Quarterbacks 8) Tyler Bray School: Tennessee, Jr. Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 232 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.05 In a nutshell: Bray is a tall quarterback who uses his height to scan the field for open receivers and lurking defenders. He has a tremendous arm but his accuracy can disappear due to poor footwork and seems to lack feel for the pocket and makes some awful decisions. the ball downfield. He does a great job on the move, hitting his targets without breaking stride, but while he has intriguing measurables, he’s a long way from polished. Accounting for 469 total yards (369 passing, 100 running) and four touchdowns, Scott showed the upside that some team is likely to take a chance on this April. Vs. ranked team: Dysert had a very good outing vs. No. 24 Ohio, compiling 311 yards and a touchdown as he led his team to victory. After throwing five interceptions in two games, he did a better job protecting the ball, though he did throw a painful pick in the end zone. 2012 stats: 301 of 499, 3620 yards, 60.3%, 27 TDs, 14 INTs; 113 rushes, 506 yards, 6 TDs Dysert threw for several long plays, Rivalry game: Bray had a disastrous however, and overall did a good job game against the future BCS cham- controlling the tempo of the game. pion Alabama Crimson Tide on the third Saturday in October, constant- 2012 stats: 302 of 480, 3483 yards, ly under pressure and never looking 62.9%, 25 TDs, 12 INTs comfortable in the pocket because of it. While he had moments where 10) Matt Scott he moved the ball well, neither of School: Arizona his interceptions were thrown well Height: 6’ 2” and he struggled to keep Tennessee Weight: 213 lbs. in the game. 40-Yard Dash: 4.69 2012 stats: 268 of 451, 3612 yards, 59.4%, 34 TDs, 12 INTs 9) Zac Dysert School: Miami (OH), Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 231 lbs. 40 yard Dash: 4.85 In a nutshell: Dysert had a slight hamstring tear and couldn’t work out at the Combine, leaving scouts to rely on his pro day and tape to get a sense of what he can do. It’s not encouraging. Dysert struggles to read the field and has a hard time driving In a nutshell: Scott does a great job reading the field, making quick and efficient decisions after the snap. He senses pressure well and knows when to step up into the pocket and when to ditch it. Scott sometimes bails too quickly and has inconsistent footwork but some raw upside. Vs. Ranked Opponent: Scott and the Arizona Wildcats edged Matt Barkley and the No. 9 USC Trojans in a wild shootout that saw Scott holding his own against Barkley’s prolific offense. 28 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 11) Brad Sorensen School: Southern Utah, Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 229 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.97 In a nutshell: Sorensen was at BYU when he realized he was unlikely to get a chance to start there and transferred to Southern Utah where he immediately won the starting job. He looks like what you expect an NFL quarterback to look like, but his decision-making leaves a lot to be desired. Sorenson trusts his arm too much, resulting in turnovers. NFL Combine: Sorensen had an unimpressive trip to Indianapolis—he didn’t stand out in the measurable drills (40, vertical and broad jumps) nor did he blow scouts away in the position drills. With his size and build, a team might take a chance on him late. But in a mediocre draft class, there’s nothing worse than blending in and he did just that. 2012 stats: 273 of 439, 3139 yards, 62.2%, 23 TDs, 10 INTs “trusts his arm too much” CheeseheadTV.com Quarterbacks 12) Collin Klein School: Kansas State, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 226 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.78 ground. Oregon’s defense was on 16) Ryan Griffin, Tulane, Sr. fire and pressured Klein all day, reGriffin was hurt way too often in his sulting in two picks. final year at Tulane but still manKlein helped the team stay close aged to put up some impressive staearly, but everything fell apart in the tistics. second half. While he can put up numbers, qual2012 stats: 197 of 304, 2641 yards, ity of competition and too many interceptions will have scouts con64.8%, 16 TDs, 9 INTs cerned. 13) Sean Renfree, Duke, Sr. Renfree is a tall, well-built athlete whose career at Duke is littered with tons of bad decisions. He’s got the fundamentals physically, but mentally he makes too many bad errors. 14) Jordan Rodgers, Vand., Sr. 197 of 304, 2641 yards, 16 TDs, 9 INTs Rodgers isn’t the prototypical height for an NFL quarterback and doesn’t seem to have the savvy vision that has allowed some players (like Russell Wilson) to succeed. He’s a good scrambler but tends to In a nutshell: Klein began 2012 as float his passes too often whether a legitimate Heisman candidate and running or in the pocket. And yes, finished third in the overall voting. he’s Aaron Rodgers’ brother. While he put up stellar 2012 num“yes, he’s Aaron Rodgers’ bers, the tape shows a player with a very awkward delivery, poor footbrother” work and scattered accuracy. 15) Dayne Crist, Kansas, Sr. Klein is a threat to run the ball but will have to polish his technique to Crist battled injuries at Notre Dame and had to transfer to Kansas in orhave success at the NFL level. der to get a starting shot. Bowl game: The Wildcats fell behind quickly to Oregon in the Fiesta He’s an impressive looking athlete Bowl, and Klein was forced to throw but is slow in his decision-making, the ball often to try and catch up as stares down his targets and pats the the Ducks burned the clock on the ball before he throws. 29 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 17) Alex Carder, W. Michigan, Sr. Carder was having a very productive year until he hurt his hand in Week 4 and had to have surgery. A productive small-school player, teams will have to look at his previous two starting seasons to see if his arm strength and accuracy hold up. 18) Jeff Tuel, Washington St., Sr. Tuel had two impressive all-star games where he showed off his accuracy, mobility and athleticism to great effect. The problem is durability, or lack thereof. In three of his four seasons with the Cougars, Tuel was hurt and missed time. 19) James Vandenberg, Iowa, Sr. 20) Ryan Katz, San Diego St., Sr. 21) Colby Cameron, Louis. Tech 22) Seth Doege, Texas Tech 23) Matt McGloin, Penn State 24) Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State 25) Tino Sunseri, Pittsburgh 26) Robert Marve, Purdue 27) Matt Brown, Illinois State 28) Adam Kennedy, Utah State 29) Greg Jenkins, Alabama State 30) Kyle Padron, E. Washington CheeseheadTV.com Running Backs 1) Giovani Bernard School: NC, Redshirt Soph. Height: 5’ 8” Weight: 202 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.53 Jayme Joers RB “Giovoni Bernard is the full package” Bernard’s showing against the Hokies marked his return to full form as he totaled over 100 yards on the ground and through the air in every game for the rest of the 2012 season. 2012 stats: 184 carries, 1228 yards, 12 TDs; 47 receptions, 490 yards, 5 TDs; 16 punt returns, 263 yards, 2 Bernard missed two games early in TDs 2012 with an injury but scored a rushing touchdown in each of the 2) Joseph Randle 12 remaining games he played. He’s School: Oklahoma State, Jr. shown his ability to master new ofHeight: 6’ 0” fensive styles, which will transition Weight: 204 lbs. well into the pro game. 40-Yard Dash: 4.63 Bernard’s short build allows him to keep his legs moving while being tackled and consistently falls forward for extra yardage. He will impact the running, receiving and return game. 184 carries, 1228 yards, 12 TDs In a nutshell: Giovani Bernard is the full package. After sitting out his first year due to an ACL injury, Bernard rebounded, racking up over 1,200 yards on the ground in both 2011 and 2012. He led the Tar Heels offense in 2011 as a redshirt freshmen with 1,253 yards on 239 carries with 13 TDs. He also contributed in the passing game catching 25 passes for 362 yards. Despite an offensive scheme change to a shotgun style, Bernard’s numbers remained consistent in 2012, when he ran for 1,228 yards on 184 carries and racked up 490 yards with 47 receptions. In a nutshell: After losing weapons Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon to the NFL last year, the Oklahoma State Cowboys turned to Joseph Randle. In his junior year, Randle rushed for 1,417 yards and Best game: In his fourth game of went for over 100 yards in eight the season, Bernard had a breakout games. game against Virginia Tech. He not only became the first Tar Heel run- In his three years at Oklahoma State, ning back to rush for over 200 yards Randle has averaged over five yards since 2003, but he amassed more per carry and played a solid role in yardage than any other running the passing game. back ever has against a Frank Beamer coached Virginia Tech team. Randle’s size is more wide receiver Bernard averaged 11.4 yards per carry, and on 23 attempts he ran for 262 yards. He also caught three passes for 10 yards. Bernard had two runs for over 50 yards, including a 62-yard dash on fourth-and-1. than running back, and increasing his power and speed was crucial to his game in 2012. At the NFL Combine, Randle was a top performer in the broad jump at 123”. With his increased leg power, Randle’s natural ability to fall forThe soon-to-be former Tar Heel also ward should help him rack up even returned three punts that day with a more yardage in the NFL. His speed long of 16 yards. 30 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Running Backs and hands, combined with his blitz pick-up and pass-protection abilities, make will make him solid addition to any team looking to increase its screen-game production. 3) Eddie Lacy School: Alabama, Jr. Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 231 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a Best game: While his team lost to, at the time the 12th-ranked Texas Longhorns, Randle had a career day. He rushed for a career-high 199 yards while only touching the ball 25 times, for an average of nearly eight yards per carry and also found the end zone two times. 2012 stats: 274 carries, 1417 yards, 14 TDs; 28 receptions, 224 yards His draft stock fell a little after a small tear in his hamstring prevented him from running drills at the Combine and when he showed up in Indianapolis 11 lbs. heavier than Alabama had him listed. How he performs at his individual pro day workout will be key. Postseason performance: Lacy helped Alabama book their ticket to the BCS National Championship game by running over Georgia on his way to 181 yards and securing the game’s MVP award. Randle put the first points on the board for the Cowboys with an impressive 69-yard run. On the play, Randle showed great downfield vision, choosing between running lanes and then cutting to avoid one tackle and simply running through another. He scored for the second time early in the fourth quarter, the first of four lead changes in a wild ending to the game. Randle also caught two balls for 12 yards. in the open field, his burst and size make him hard to bring down. Lacy only touched the ball 20 times that day, splitting carries with freshmen T.J. Yeldon, but with an average of 9.1 yards per carry and two touchdowns. Lacy continued his string of outstanding performances with a strong showing in the National ChampionIn a nutshell: After Trent Richard- ship game against Notre Dame runson followed Mark Ingram’s road to ning for 140 yards on 20 carries and the NFL, Eddie Lacy stepped up and a touchdown. took the reigns as the lead running back for the Crimson Tide. In his college career he has carried the ball only 355 times. In his lone year as the featured back at Alabama, Lacy averaged just shy If Lacy comes out with a strong perof 6.5 yards per carry, racking up formance at his pro day to show that 1,322 yards on 204 touches and his hamstring is full strength, he’ll scoring 17 touchdowns. be a top running back target in the draft. Lacy is a power runner with a strong lower body and has the ability to 2012 stats: 204 carries, 1322 yards, power through tackles. He does not 17 TDs; 22 receptions, 189 yards, 2 shy away from contact, and once TDs 204 carries, 1322 yards, 17 TDs 31 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Running Backs UW Athletic Communications 4) Montee Ball School: Wisconsin, Sr. Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 214 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.66 Ball rushed for 201 yards on 21 carries. He also scored three touchdowns, a mark he hit in three other games in 2012. For his performance, Ball was awarded the game MVP after breaking the FBS career rushing touchdown record. 2012 stats: 356 carries, 1830 yards, 22 TDs; 10 receptions, 72 yards 5) Johnathan Franklin School: UCLA, Sr. Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 205 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.49 282 carries, 1734 yards, 13 TDs In a nutshell: Montee Ball’s senior year started out slow, but his production improved earning him 2012’s Doak Walker Award for the top college running back. Ball’s size helps make him a bruising back who does not shy away from contact, and his lower body strength allows him to power through tackles and keep piles moving. Postseason game: In the Big Ten Championship game versus Nebraska, Ball helped carry the Badgers to a berth in the Rose Bowl with a career performance. In a nutshell: Franklin accounted for over 2,000 yards for the Bruins in 2012, and over his four years at UCLA he has rushed for over 4,000 yards. His speed makes him a threat in the open field and his downfield vision make him an asset in the screen game. After the Senior Bowl, executive director Phil Savage called him the top running back in the game. Postseason game: In his team’s losing effort in the Pac-12 Championship game, Franklin had a massive day against a tough Stanford defense. Franklin rushed for just shy of 200 yards on 19 touches for an average of 10.2 yards per carry and scoring two touchdowns. 2012 stats: 282 carries, 1734 yards, 13 TDs; 33 receptions, 323 yards, 2 TDs 32 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 6) Mike Gillislee School: Florida, Sr. Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 208 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.55 In a nutshell: Mike Gillislee played some of 2012 with a groin injury but didn’t let it slow him down. He fights for yardage; halfway through the season only 5 percent of his runs lost yardage. He keeps his feet and the pile moving and has good downfield vision. Rivalry game: Gillislee helped Florida earn a BCS bowl invite with a monster performance over rival Florida State. He ran for two touchdowns and racked up 140 yards rushing and 22 yards receiving against the top-ranked defense in the nation. Gillislee scored the goahead touchdown on a 37-yard run. 2012 stats: 244 carries, 1152 yards, 10 TDs; 16 receptions, 159 yards, 1 TD 7) Stepfan Taylor School: Stanford, Sr. Height: 5’ 9” Weight: 214 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.76 In a nutshell: Taylor has a lower yards per carry number than other top running backs in this year’s Draft class, but after gaining 1,530 yards in 2012, has proven himself as a workhorse. His speed doesn’t CheeseheadTV.com Running Backs make him a breakaway runner, but his stocky build gives defenders challenges between the tackles. Vs. ranked team: Taylor led Stanford to an upset win over then second-ranked USC. Taylor rushed the ball 27 times for 153 yards with a 5.7 yard average. He also contributed to the passing game, catching five balls for 60 yards. Taylor scored two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. 9) Kenjon Barner School: Oregon, Sr. Height: 5’ 9” Weight: 196 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.52 Michael showed up to the NFL Combine ready to impress. Despite oversleeping and missing meetings with two teams, he was a top performer in the bench, broad jump, three-cone drill, short shuttle and vertical jump. 12. Knile Davis, Arkansas 8) Le’Veon Bell School: Michigan State, Jr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 230 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.60 Bowl game: Against TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Bell carried the ball 32 times for 145 yards and a touchdown. His ability to push the pile helped him rack up the yards in 2012, but he’ll need to prove he’s more than a big body in the NFL. 2012 stats: 382 carries, 1793 yards, 12 TDs; 32 receptions, 167 yards, 1 TD He’s not big enough to run over people but has the agility and creativity to make defenders miss tackles. 11. Christine Michael, TX A&M 2012 stats: 322 carries, 1530 yards, 13 TDs; 41 receptions, 287 yards, 2 TDs In a nutshell: Bell is a big bruising back who had three games with over 200 yards in 2012. His size is deceptive. He can use his power to fight off tacklers but is also quick on his feet. At the Combine, Bell was a top performer in the three-cone drill. 10. Andre Ellington, Clemson 212 carries, 1081 yards, 8 TDs In a nutshell: Barner is a lean back with good hands. In his senior year he accounted for over 2000 yards of offense for the Ducks. He can be a solid addition to a passing team with 20 receptions for over 250 yards in 2012. He has the patience to let his running lanes develop and a quick burst of speed brings big play potential. Best game: In a shootout in Los Angeles versus USC last November, Barner had himself a career night rushing for 321 yards and on 38 carries, an Oregon record. 2012 stats: 278 carries, 1767 yards, 21 TDs; 20 receptions, 256 yards, 2 TDs 33 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Davis had a monster 2010 where he rushed for 1,322 yards. He missed the entire 2011 season with a broken ankle and failed to return to full form in 2012, averaging only 3.4 yards per carry. 13) Marcus Lattimore, S.Carolina 14) Jawan Jamison, Rutgers 15) Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt 16) Ray Graham, Pittsburgh 17) Stefphon Jefferson, Nevada 18) Rex Burkhead, Nebraska 19) Cierre Wood, Notre Dame 20) Spencer Ware, LSU 21) Onterio McCalebb, Auburn 22) Robbie Rouse, Fresno St. 23) Montel Harris, Temple 24) Michael Ford, LSU 25) D.J. Harper, Boise State 26) Kerwynn Williams, Utah State 27) Theo Riddick, Notre Dame 28) Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brk. 29) Mike James, Miami (Florida) 30) George Winn, Cincinnati CheeseheadTV.com Fullbacks and H-Backs 1) Lonnie Pryor School: Florida State, Sr. Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 227 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.70 In a nutshell: Lonnie Pryor is somewhat of a ‘tweener. He’s too bulky to be a tailback but doesn’t have the strength of a smash-mouth lead blocker. However, when he’s carrying the ball, blocking in the running and passing game or catching the ball out of the backfield, he’s athletic enough to get the job done and performs his duties well. Bowl game: Pryor picked an opportune moment to have one of his most impressive performances. On his way to being named the game’s MVP of this past season’s Orange Bowl, the senior rumbled for 134 yards on just five carries against Northern Illinois. His first of two touchdowns came on a career-long 60-yard run, and his final 37-yard touchdown scamper clinched the victory for the Seminoles. 2012 stats: 47 carries, 376 yards, 8 TDs; 13 receptions, 117 yards FB 2) Zach Line School: S. Methodist, Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 232 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.77 Max Ginsberg 3) Zach Boren School: Ohio State, Sr. Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 238 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.00 In a nutshell: Zach Line is projected to be a lead blocker in the NFL but shone as a ball carrier in SMU’s pass-oriented offense. He doesn’t possess the bulk of a traditional fullback, but his talent is undeniable. His unique skill set will likely land him an H-back role at the next level. 11 carries, 33 yards, 2 TDs College experience: Line’s collegiate performance propelled SMU to four-straight bowl appearances, topped off by a 43-10 thumping of Fresno State in the 2012 Hawaii Bowl. In a nutshell: Zach Boren was a top fullback in the Big Ten before switching to linebacker during his senior season. Despite the change to defense, he was still invited to the Combine as a running back. The Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year’s 47 career touchdowns tied him with Eric Dickerson for the most rushing touchdowns in school history and his 4,715 total yards surpassed Dickerson’s total. The Ohio State team captain was a punishing lead blocker on offense and an aggressive tackler on defense. 2012 stats: 277 carries, 1,278 yards, 13 TDs; 33 receptions, 229 yards “talent is undeniable” 34 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Add in his stint as a long snapper and this multitalented athlete will find his way onto an NFL roster. College experience: How many other players can boast of logging two rushing touchdowns while also notching 50 tackles during their senior season? CheeseheadTV.com Fullbacks and H-Backs Boren showcased the ultimate teamfirst attitude by switching from running back to linebacker six games into his senior season. 5) Tommy Bohanon, Wake Forest Bohanon is a punishing lead blocker and has good hands when catching passes. He can line up as a fullback His sacrifice was acknowledged or tight end and perform well. with a Big Ten Conference Sportsmanship Award and high praise 6) Braden Wilson, Kansas State from his coaches. 2012 stats: 11 carries, 33 yards, 2 TDs; 5 receptions, 42 yards 8) Taimi Tutogi, Arizona Tutogi played on both sides of the ball at Arizona but failed to stand out at either position. Primarily used as a blocking back and defensive end, he also lined up as a ball carrier, H-back and tight end. 9) Richard Samuel, Georgia Known as a team-first player, Samuel played any position asked of him while at Georgia. Whether he becomes a ball carrier or lead blocker remains to be seen, but Samuel should find himself in an NFL training camp this summer. 4) Kyle Juszczyk School: Harvard, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 248 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a In a nutshell: Kyle Juszczyk often lined up as a tight end at Harvard but projects to be an H-back in the NFL. He can play the slot position and possesses good hands and speed. He is a solid route runner and has the strength to power through Wilson possesses good size and would-be tacklers while carrying power but is much more than just a the ball or running after the catch. traditional bruiser-type back. He is a versatile, skilled athlete who can All-Star game: Playing his col- run the ball, catch passes and annilegiate ball at Harvard, Juszczyk hilate linebackers as a lead blocker. squashed concerns about the level of competition he faced by shin- “more than a bruiser” ing in the week of practice leading up to the Senior Bowl. NFL scouts 7) Michael Zordich, Penn State were impressed by his power and lead-blocking abilities. He also A linebacker when he first stepped showcased his versatility by hauling onto the Penn State campus, Zordich in passes while lined up all over the became an offensive co-captain by formation. his senior season. 10) Eric Stevens, California Bouncing back from a torn ACL in 2011, Stevens returned to Cal for his most productive collegiate season in 2012. He rarely touched the football but made his mark as a lead blocker. 11) Eric Breitenstein, Wofford 12) Kelly Johnson, Alabama 13) Alex Singleton, Tulsa 14) Shawn Alston, West Virginia 15) Marcus Green, Miss. State 16) Kyler Reed, Nebraska 17) Willie Carter, Tulsa 18) Dan Moore, Montana 19) D.J. Grant, Texas 20) Devon Ramsey, N. Carolina 2012 stats: 52 receptions, 706 His work ethic and athleticism also yards, 8 TDs helped him become a special teams standout. 35 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Wide Receivers 1) Keenan Allen School: California, Jr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 206 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a Andrew Garda WR “very little he can’t do” 2012 stats: 61 receptions, 737 yards, 6 TDs; 15 punt returns, 212 yards, 1 TD 2) Cordarrelle Patterson School: Tennessee, Jr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 216 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.42 Speaking of routes, Allen runs very crisp routes and can stop and turn on a dime, throwing off coverage. There’s very little he can’t do, and if he slips because of his injury, some team is going to be very fortunate. 61 receptions, 737 yards, 6 TD Vs. ranked opponent: It was a rough season for the Berkley Bears, and the game at the Los Angeles Coliseum against No. 13 USC was no exception. The Trojans held the Bears to just 250 total yards, 173 passing and kept them out of the end zone. In a nutshell: Sure, the PCL injury is a concern in that nobody has seen Keenan Allen run yet, and speed is the one big question mark. Really, it’s not top speed that is the question so much as burst and acceleration. He’s fast, but it takes him time to get going. The one thing USC had no answer for was Allen who caught nine passes for 93 yards. For the most 46 receptions, 778 yds, 5 TDs part, Allen was able to out-muscle, out-jump and generally out-play the In a nutshell: Cordarrelle Patterson USC secondary. only has one year of FBS-level footAllen made a lot of noise with short- ball under his belt, having taken a er passes (his longest on the day was year off from football in 2009, then Allen is a long strider and is faster 17 yards) but was unable to break playing at a JUCO during 2010-2011 than some think. He makes great where he was named an NJCAA Allone long. adjustments on balls in the air, and American both years. his great hands and long arms allow Overall, Allen had a solid game him to go up and make the catch. however, showing off good route He transferred to the University of He can fight through press coverage running and perseverance despite Tennessee in 2012 and filled in as at the line and not get knocked off a frustrating lack of effectiveness the No. 2 receiver when Da’Rick his route. Rogers was tossed from the team. from the offense around him. Patterson certainly looks the part 36 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Wide Receivers of a top-end receiver with good size and arm length. He’s tough in traffic and will win contested balls. Patterson showed off his speed at the Combine as well as his overall skills. But he also showed some of his rawness. Patterson is very rough, but his upside is significant. While he might not be able to step into a major role immediately, he will grab one in short order. 3) Tavon Austin School: West Virginia, Sr. Height: 5’ 8” Weight: 174 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.34 Can he take a huge hit and hold onto the ball, much less pop back up? That’s a question that cannot be answered until he breaks into the NFL. Vs. ranked opponent: On the road against a hostile Longhorn crowd, Austin and the West Virginia Mountaineers had a tremendous game against an 11th-ranked Texas team that refused to die. Best game: As Patterson only played one year of FBS football, the amount of potential “best games” is pretty limited. That said, his ninecatch, 219-yard, one-touchdown performance against Troy in 2012 was dominating no matter the opponent. In a back-and-forth shootout, Pat114 receptions, 1289 yards, 12 TDs terson showed off all the skills that are sure to hypnotize any number of Tavon Austin was already considNFL teams. ered one of the most explosive playWhile he is still working out the ers in the country before he showed kinks in his route running, Pat- up at the Combine. Then he blew terson was able to use his frame to the doors off the 40-yard dash to box out defenders and overwhelm drive the point home. them when fighting for the ball. A great many of his receptions were on The Mountaineer is exceptionally short passes, which he then turned dangerous with the ball in his hands, showing tremendous instincts after into long gains after the catch. the catch. His speed, along with his His lone touchdown came on a nice field vision and agility make him slant route. Patterson had just a step hard to stop. He can adjust to badon the coverage and the ball came ly thrown balls, extending for high in hot and high, but he adjusted his throws or reaching to scoop a low body to the ball and caught it, bend- pass off the turf with equal ease. ing his body awkwardly as he did. That said, Austin’s hands are not 2012 stats: 46 receptions, 778 yds, perfect and his size is a concern. Teams may see him as limited to the 5 TDs; 25 rushes, 308 yards, 3 TDs 37 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview slot because of it, and they may have concerns as to his durability for the same reason. Austin had an outstanding day, showing off his speed and some incredible skills once he had the ball in his hands. His 40-yard touchdown reception near the end of the first quarter was an incredible display of skill. On fourth-and-4, he ran a short route to the middle of the field, shedding his coverage with a nice stutter-step move. After catching the ball, Austin used his speed to make two tacklers miss and get outside. Once he made it to the sideline, there was nobody on the Texas defense who could catch him. This game was the fifth in a row where Austin had at least 10 catches, something he would do a total of eight times during the season. 2012 stats: 114 receptions, 1289 yards, 12 TDs; 73 rushes, 652 yards, 3 TDs; 32 KO returns, 813 yards, 1 TD; 15 punt returns, 165 yards, 1 TD CheeseheadTV.com Wide Receivers 4) DeAndre Hopkins School: Clemson, Jr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 214 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.57 good despite the low statistical output. Woods runs a crisp route and shows good hands, as well as an ability to find the open field after a catch. In a nutshell: DeAndre Hopkins does a great job hauling in the ball, showing the ability to catch in stride without losing momentum, and making sure he secures the ball when he catches it. He can struggle to get off jams and lacks elite quickness and speed. In a nutshell: While Robert Woods (and the entire USC offense) had a down year, his play was consistently He’ll need to prove he can be consistent catching the ball, blocking and getting off the line. Vs. ranked opponent: Quarterback Tyler Bray looked for Hunter quite often against 13th-ranked South Carolina, and Hunter responded, catching eight balls for 90 yards and showing off good route running and getting separation against the Gamecock secondary. He was kept out of the end zone, Rivalry game: While USC came up however, and in fact, Hunter did not short against their longtime rival score a touchdown against a ranked and then No.1 ranked Notre Dame, opponent in 2012. Woods had one of his best games of He’s not the fastest player and lacks the season, notching seven catches 2012 stats: 73 receptions, 1083 overall explosiveness, but with his for 92 yards and a touchdown de- yards, 9 TDs hands and athleticism, he can be spite the absence of Matt Barkley. 7) Quinton Patton very dangerous nonetheless. Freshman Matt Wittek relied on School: Louisiana Tech, Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Bowl game: Hopkins was unstop- Woods frequently throughout the game and the junior came through Weight: 204 lbs. pable against 18th-ranked LSU in 40-Yard Dash: 4.53 the Chick-fil-A Bowl to the tune of big time. 13 receptions for191 yards and two 2012 stats: 76 receptions, 846 yards, touchdowns. In a nutshell: Quinton Patton spent 11 TDs; 17 punt returns, 61 yards time at Coffeyville Community ColAlong with his stats, Hopkins lege before being recruited to Tech showed tremendous ability to agwhere he immediately produced big 6) Justin Hunter gressively snatch the ball out of the numbers. School: Tennessee, Jr. air and on both touchdowns, he was Height: 6’ 4” able to fool the coverage and find a A receiver possessing good accelWeight: 196 lbs. way to get open for the pass. eration, a smooth and fluid running 40-Yard Dash: 4.44 style who is able to make adjust2012 stats: 82 receptions, 1405 ments to thrown balls, Patton could yards, 18 TDs In a nutshell: Justin Hunter has be a decent outside threat. the height, speed and explosiveness NFL teams crave and could be a 5) Robert Woods He needs to use his hands better and real outside threat at the next level. School: USC, Jr. learn to cope with battling the deWhat he doesn���t have is experience, Height: 6’ 0” fense for balls at the next level. having caught just 33 balls in his Weight: 201 lbs. first two seasons at Tennessee. 40-Yard Dash: 4.51 Vs. ranked opponent: Any worries 38 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview about how he can compete against bigger schools was put to rest by a ridiculous 21-catch, 233-yard, fourtouchdown effort against 22ndCheeseheadTV.com Wide Receivers ranked Texas A&M. The game was a back and forth shootout, and every time the Aggies got the lead, Patton and the Bulldogs responded until the final play when the throw from quarterback Colby Cameron to Patton fell incomplete. 9) Terrance Williams School: Baylor, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 208 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.52 up play on an interception in the second half. On the play, the ball was thrown his direction but picked off. Williams immediately pulled defensive back Randall Evans down. The Wildcats scored a short time later, but that sort of awareness and reaction will make scouts take notice. 2012 stats: 104 receptions, 1392 yards, 13 TDs 8) Aaron Dobson School: Marshall, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 210 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a 2012 stats: 97 receptions, 1832 yards, 12 TDs In a nutshell: Aaron Dobson is a tall, strong looking player but may struggle against more physical corners in the NFL. He takes a few steps to get his speed up, so he could struggle to gain separation. Dobson will make his bones with 97 receptions, 1832 yards, 12 TDs tough catches, showcasing strong hands and good focus when going In a nutshell: Terrance Williams is up for a ball. a great big target who has no issues going up to get a ball—his quarterRivalry game: Marshall was largely back can toss it up and let Williams overwhelmed by the much more pull it down. However, he wasn’t dynamic and polished West Vir- asked to run a lot of different routes ginia team, but Dobson still put up at Baylor, so there are questions as to a solid game. He was able to gain the limits of his role. separation on several of his routes, and had a big catch of 40 yards, tak- Williams did just fine without Robing advantage of a sometimes shaky ert Griffin III in town, using his size Mountaineer secondary. and speed to overcome defenses. 10) Markus Wheaton School: Oregon State, Sr. Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 189 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.45 In a nutshell: Markus Wheaton’s game is all about his burst and quickness. He’s terribly explosive and always seems to be a step ahead of coverage. Wheaton, however, seems to need space to really do it though, and his size works against him in breaking tackles. He’ll body-catch the ball too often as well and will have to improve technique. Vs. ranked opponent: Wheaton had a fantastic day with nine catches for 150 yards and a touchdown against 19th-ranked UCLA, which allowed him to extend his streak of catching at least one pass a game to 25 (he would finish with 36 in a row). 2012 stats: 57 receptions, 679 Vs. ranked opponent: Baylor topyards, 3 TDs pled the top-ranked Kansas State Wildcats in no small part due to the efforts of Williams. Not only did his 87 yards and a touchdown lead the team in receiving, he made a heads His score was in the second quar39 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Wide Receivers ter on a nice 42-yard bomb where he was able to gain separation and catch the ball cleanly for the score. 2012 Stats: 91 receptions, 1244 yards, 11 TDs; 20 rushes, 142 yards, 2 TDs 11) Da’Rick Rogers School: Tennessee Tech, Jr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 217 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.52 In a nutshell: Da’Rick Rogers is great over the middle where his size and strength make him tough to stop. He does a great job blocking out defenders with his size and frame. At times Rogers seems to quit on his routes when not the primary target and can get sloppy on his routes as well. He was suspended by Tennessee due to failed drug tests, which resulted in his transfer to Tech where he never failed a test. Vs. ranked opponent: Rogers, like the entire Tennessee Tech team, was completely overmatched by the then 9th-ranked Oregon defense. After Rogers scored an early touchdown to give the Golden Eagles a lead, Oregon fought back and blew Tech out of the water. 2012 stats: 61 receptions, 893 yards, 10 TDs “great over the middle” 12) Ryan Swope, Texas A&M, Sr. make him a reliable target but he lacks speed and isn’t very elusive. Swope ran fast at the Combine but doesn’t look quite that fast on film. 17) Josh Boyce, TCU, Jr. He shows great hands, good route running and has the ability to dodge More than likely “just” a slot receivtacklers. er, Boyce is a very strong and wellbuilt receiver whose game relies on 13) Marquise Goodwin, Texas, Sr. strength and quick feet. If he can improve his technique catching the Goodwin has phenomenal track ball, he could be a dangerous. speed and was on the Olympic track team in London, and as such, has 18) Conner Vernon, Duke, Sr. the speed to blow defenders off the line, especially when in motion. Vernon had impressive practices at the Senior Bowl, where he showed While a bit undersized, he’s not off good routes, good hands and afraid to take a shot across the mid- played tough every snap. dle. He can find a way to get open in 14) Corey Fuller, Virginia Tech, Sr. tight coverage but lacks good burst as he cuts on his routes. Fuller played just two seasons in college, focusing on track the other two 19) DeVonte Christopher, UT, Sr. years at Kansas. While very fast, he isn’t explosive off the line and strug- Christopher looks the part of an gles to handle press coverage. Fuller NFL receiver but lacks much in the way of speed and will struggle gainis still very raw as a football player. ing separation from NFL corners. He’s good at using his body to box 15) Kenny Stills, Oklahoma, Jr. out defenders but also uses it too The son of former Packers safety much to catch balls. Ken Stills, the junior Stills is quick off the line and fast enough to get 20) Aaron Mellete, Elon, Sr. behind coverage but falls short of 21) Kenbrell Thompkins, Cinn. playing at elite speed. He had a few 22) Alec Lemon, Syracuse off-the-field issues and coupled 23) Alan Bonner, Jacksonville St. with some on-field focus lapses that 24) Ace Sanders, South Carolina 25) Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas might limit his upside for teams. 26) Tavarres King, Georgia 27) Chris Harper, Kansas State 16) Stedman Bailey, WVU, Jr. 28) Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech Bailey is a tough, physical receiver 29) Jasper Collins, Mount Union who plays bigger than his size. His 30) Denard Robinson, Michigan great hands and consistent routes 40 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Tight Ends 1) Tyler Eifert School: Notre Dame, Jr. Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 251 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.68 Max Ginsberg TE possession of the second half. The drive culminated in a touchdown and gave Notre Dame a lead they would never relinquish. “is the complete package” Despite leaving with a slight concussion in the fourth quarter, the strong all-around performance catapulted Eifert onto the 2012 scene. 2012 stats: 50 receptions, 685 speed to separate from defenders in yards, 4 TDs deep seam routes. In the run game, his blocking has improved over his collegiate career and will need to 2) Gavin Escobar continue to do so at the NFL level. School: San Diego State, Jr. Height: 6’ 6” He has a great feel in the passing Weight: 254 lbs. game, finds holes in coverage and 40-Yard Dash: 4.84 uses his soft hands to haul in the football. 50 receptions, 685 yards, 4 TDs Aside from his individual talent, Eifert is the type of team-first player who will succeed in any NFL organization. In a nutshell: Tyler Eifert is the complete package. The 22-year-old out of Notre Dame was a team captain, the John Mackey Award winner and will be the top tight end on most teams’ draft boards. Rivalry game: Playing against Purdue for the Shillelagh Trophy early in the 2012 season, Eifert and Notre Dame powered past their in-state rival and set the tone for a spectacular season. Eifert finished the day with four receptions for 98 yards, and his versatility was in full display. Lining up all over the field––wide, inline, in motion––he showcased his blockHis height and athleticism create ing as well as his big play ability. mismatches when lined up against With the game tied at seven after cornerbacks and safeties. the first half, Notre Dame quarterHe uses his big frame to make an back Everett Golson found Eifert for ideal red-zone target and has the passes of 22 and 25 yards on the first Perched atop a talented group of tight ends in this year’s Draft, Eifert is a versatile weapon who can line up all over the formation. 41 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 42 receptions, 543 yards, 6 TDs In a nutshell: Gavin Escobar is a multitalented tight end who can line up anywhere in the formation. His tall, lanky frame makes him an ideal CheeseheadTV.com Tight Ends slot receiver. He’s a good leaper and will go up and fight for the football in tight coverage and can run the seam and split linebackers and safeties with ease. a pass from his quarterback at the 10-yard line. He bulldozed his way into the end zone and the Aztecs converted the two-point conversion to seal the victory. Escobar runs well after the catch and 2012 stats: 42 receptions, 543 yards, has the ideal height and weight for 6 TDs today’s NFL tight end. He’s an effective blocker but can be overpowered 3) Zach Ertz by crafty defenders. He will need to School: Stanford, Jr. continue to develop his inline blockHeight: 6’ 5” ing skills but has the requisite talent Weight: 249 lbs. to be effective at the next level. 40-Yard Dash: 4.76 Escobar has been a late riser on the boards of many draftniks, but the gifted athlete from San Diego State has long been on the radar of NFL scouts and front offices. ing ability is uncanny for his size. Ertz resembles a receiver in and out of routes and easily finds holes in coverage. He possesses good speed and lines up all over the formation. He seems to have a knack for being in position to make big plays. The junior tight end out of Stanford will have to improve his blocking skills as his aggressiveness sometimes works against him and he overreaches trying to block defensive ends and linebackers. Despite his underdeveloped blocking skills, Ertz was a consensus AllAmerican and has a bright future in the NFL. Best game: Football fans in the state of Oregon are still having nightmares about Ertz. Ertz dominated the Ducks, hauling in 11 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. His score came with 1:35 left in the contest and tied the game. Best game: One of Gavin Escobar’s finest performances came against Nevada in 2012. While his statistics were not career-highs, (he’s had multiple 100-yard receiving games) each of his receptions in the game was meaningful. Escobar’s final stat line read five catches for 39 yards and two touchdowns, and the junior tight end showcased his talent and penchant for making big plays with the game on the line. This magnificent touchdown catch came while Oregon dared to cover Ertz with a single defender as he split wide from the formation. 69 receptions, 898 yards, 6 TDs With less than four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Escobar’s In a nutshell: Zach Ertz is an agfour-yard touchdown catch brought gressive tight end who looks to the Aztecs within three points. punish would-be tacklers after the catch. His receiving stats led all pass After a game-tying field goal at the catchers at Stanford in almost every end of regulation, Escobar proved category. to be too powerful in overtime to be denied the victory. Matching a NeHis big frame makes him a great tarvada touchdown, Escobar hauled in get for the quarterback and his leap42 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Ertz perfectly timed his jump and wrestled control of the ball over the Ducks defender as both players fell to the ground in the end zone. In overtime, the Cardinals prevailed thanks to Ertz’s spectacular performance. 2012 stats: 69 receptions, 898 yards, 6 TDs CheeseheadTV.com Tight Ends 4) Jordan Reed School: Florida, Jr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 236 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.72 In a nutshell: A quarterback in high school, Reed is a tremendous athlete. Despite battling injuries throughout his collegiate career, he led the Gators in receptions and yards this season. Reed shows a willingness to go over the middle and is quick and elusive after the catch. He lacks the ideal frame for a blocking tight end but is a special talent that will find a niche in the NFL. Rivalry game: The Florida-Tennessee rivalry may not be what it once was, but Reed ensured bragging rights for his team this season. On his way to five receptions for 60 yards, Reed’s 23-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter put the Gators ahead for good. Reed’s standout performance early in the season propelled his NFL stock and put him in position to declare early for the Draft. 2012 stats: 45 receptions, 559 yards, 3 TDs 5) Vance McDonald School: Rice, Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 267 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.69 In a nutshell: With his combination of bulk and strength, Vance McDonald looks the part of an NFL player. 6) Phillip Lutzenkirchen School: Auburn, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 258 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.94 In a nutshell: A 2012 team captain, Phillip Lutzenkirchen is a wellrounded athlete. He recently underwent hip surgery to repair a torn labrum but returned to the Combine to not drop a single pass in drill work. He possesses the rare combination of size, speed and power that teams look for in a modern tight end, but he was mostly utilized as a slot re- He is quick, athletic and has strong hands. He can line up as an H-back, ceiver in college. inline or split wide. Lutzenkirchen He is smooth in and out of routes understands his role on the field and has soft hands. To add to his and performs well. value, he finished 2012 as his team’s Best game: With injuries cutting long snapper. his 2012 campaign short after six All-Star game: McDonald was games, Lutzenkirchen’s best perforatop many scouts’ lists of tight ends mance came as a junior against Ole at this year’s Senior Bowl. Even with Miss. a few dropped passes, McDonald turned heads with his athleticism The versatile tight end opened and and ability to create mismatches closed the Tigers’ scoring plays with a season-high two touchdown with his size. catches, the second of which was a He appeared aggressive in drills spectacular one-handed grab. Lutduring the week of practice leading zenkirchen’s steady performance in up to the game and left onlookers each game of 2011 helped Auburn amass a successful season. intrigued with his potential. 2012 stats: 36 receptions, 458 2012 stats: 15 receptions, 139 yards, 0 TD yards, 2 TDs 43 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Tight Ends 7) Travis Kelce School: Cincinnati, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 255 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a In a nutshell: Travis Kelce has an ideal frame for an NFL tight end. He is athletic, strong and physical in the run and passing game. His talents make him a complete player on the field, but off-the-field concerns may drive teams away. He was suspended his entire sophomore season for violating undisclosed team rules and at the Combine, one scout likened his character to a “train wreck.” Bowl game: At this season’s Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina, Travis Kelce made the play of the game with his 83-yard touchdown with 44 seconds left in regulation. He finished the day with five catches for 123 yards, but on the game-winning play got behind the Duke defender and outran everyone else on the field for the victory. 2012 stats: 45 receptions, 722 yards, 8 TDs 8) Levine Toilolo School: Stanford, Sr. Height: 6’ 8” Weight: 260 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.86 9) Chris Gragg School: Arkansas, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 244 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.50 In a nutshell: The 2012 Stanford Cardinals were fortunate enough to sport two NFL-caliber tight ends on their roster: Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo. In a nutshell: Chris Gragg began his collegiate career as a wide receiver but later moved to tight end. He was plagued by ankle and leg injuries in 2009 and 2012. Toilolo complemented Ertz’s bigplay style by being an all-around, hard-working player whether he lined up inline or split wide. He brims with talent and potential, but a serious knee injury in 2010 may concern some prospective NFL employers. He runs well and has good speed but will need to add bulk and refine his technique in order to develop as a blocker on the line of scrimmage. Gragg’s future could be as an Hback in the NFL. Best game: Chris Gragg’s 2012 season began with a bang. In the opener against Jacksonville State, Gragg’s seven receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns led all receivers. Best game: Whether it was catching passes from Andrew Luck in 2011 or Josh Nunes in 2012, Levine Toilolo owned the Arizona WildThe senior tight end’s touchdowns cats. came on back-to-back drives and Following a 102-yard, one-touch- turned a seven-point deficit into a down performance last season, seven-point lead early in the second Toilolo topped his previous career- quarter. best performance with five receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown Gragg’s performance displayed his enormous potential but injuries in 2012. slowed the rest of his season. He led all Cardinals receivers as his team rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter to come 2012 stats: 22 receptions, 289 yards, 3 TDs away with a victory in overtime. 2012 stats: 24 receptions, 393 yards, 4 TDs 44 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview “future could be as an H-back” CheeseheadTV.com Tight Ends ent and sure hands should earn him single game all season but posted 12 a mid-to-late round selection on touchdowns on the year. Draft day. 17) Ryan Otten, San Jose State 12) Mychal Rivera, Tennessee Otten has sure hands and a willingAthletic and gives good effort as a ness to get the job done at the line of In a nutshell: Michael Williams is a blocker. Rivera lacks the ideal size scrimmage or in the passing game. tight end from the traditional mold. for a tight end but is too talented He lacks the ideal bulk for a tight He’s a great inline blocker and will to completely discount. He became end, but his unrefined skills and 6’ have an immediate impact in the more serious about football his se- 5” frame should be enough to entice NFL as a special teams player and in nior season as he developed physi- an NFL team to draft this team captwo tight end sets. cally and mentally. tain. 10) Michael Williams School: Alabama, Sr. Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 269 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.52 He didn’t post great numbers in Alabama’s high-flying offense but played a solid role as a blocker in the Tide’s dominant rushing attack. He runs well after the catch but doesn’t have the speed to generate separation from defenders. 13) Dion Sims, Michigan State 18) Zach Sudfeld, Nevada At 6’ 8”, Sims is huge. In fact, he looks like a lineman but plays like a tight end. A felony arrest in college and injury concerns will move him down many teams’ Draft boards. Rivalry game: In what is often referred to as the “90 Mile Drive” or the “Battle for Highway 82,” Alabama faced off against Mississippi State, and Williams had an all around stellar afternoon. 14) Nick Kasa, Colorado Sudfeld has great size and strength, but injuries and six surgeries cost him two collegiate seasons. He was finally healthy his senior year and was very productive totaling 45 receptions for 598 yards and eight touchdowns. He logged a career-high five catches for 38 yards and a touchdown, and his blocking helped the Tide rumble for 179 yards on the ground. His performance earned him Offensive Player of the Week honors from his coaches. A former defensive end, Kasa moved to offense late in his junior year. He impressed scouts as a blocker during the practices leading up to the Senior Bowl. 15) Justice Cunningham, S. Car. Cunningham is a team captain known for his blocking ability. His receiving skills were never showcased at South Carolina, but he has solid hands and separates from defenders well. 19) Ben Cotton, Nebraska Cotton never had a chance to showcase his receiving skills in Nebraska’s offense but excelled as a run blocker. Named an academic all-conference selection four times, Cotton shines off the field as well. 20) D.C. Jefferson, Rutgers 21) Lucas Reed, New Mexico 22) Jack Doyle, Western Kentucky 23) Matt Furstenburg, Maryland 24) Chris Pantale, Boston College 2012 stats: 24 receptions, 183 25) T.J. Knowles, Sacramento St. yards, 4 TDs 26) Kevin Finney, Richmond 16) Joseph Fauria, UCLA 27) Chase Clement, LSU 11) Jake Stoneburner Ohio St. The nephew of former NFL tight 28) Ryan Griffin, Connecticut In 2012, he played all over the for- end Christian Fauria, Joseph is a 29) Luke Wilson, Rice mation including tight end, slot re- tall (6’ 7”) red-zone target. He never 30) MarQueis Gray, Minnesota ceiver and H-back. His speed, tal- caught more than five passes in a 45 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Offensive Tackle 1) Luke Joeckel School: Texas A&M, Jr. Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 310 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.30 Bench Press: 27 “Jersey” Al Bracco OT “sure-fire starter from day one” 2) Eric Fisher School: C. Michigan, Sr. Height: 6’ 7” Weight: 305 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.05 Bench Press: 27 Joeckel’s smarts and football instincts are as impressive as his athleticism. He is assignment sure and is rarely fooled by stunts or blitzes. While not a mauler in the run game, he uses leverage and positioning. Vs. top opponents: In October of this season, the Aggies played host to LSU, possessor of one of the best defensive lines in the nation. In a nutshell: In the quarterbackdriven NFL, the next most-important position is arguably that of left offensive tackle. Joeckel, the 2012 Outland Trophy winner, is as accomplished a left tackle as has been seen in recent history and is a surefire starter from day one. Joeckel has the prototypical body type desired at today’s left tackle position. Joeckel moves extremely well laterally with a picture-perfect slidestep and is rarely beaten by speed rushers. He can sometimes be bull-rushed by stronger defensive ends. Joeckel was competing that day against two LSU defensive ends that should be selected in rounds one and two of this year’s draft, Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo. Joeckel had the type of day that made people sit up and notice, not allowing a sack and hardly a pressure. Lined up most of the day against Joeckel, Montgomery was a nonfactor in the game with zero sacks, one tackle and one assist. According to Pro Football Weekly, Joeckel’s performance that day led one NFL GM to say, “I think he’s better than Joe Thomas and Matt Kalil.” 46 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview In a nutshell: Not highly recruited as a 250 lb. high school offensive tackle, Fisher opted to stay in his home state and attend Central Michigan where he appeared in eight games for the Chippewas as a true freshman. He started nine games as a sophomore at multiple offensive line positions before spending his final two seasons entrenched at left tackle. Fisher has been a fast riser on most draft boards the last few months after a breakout senior season in which he was named first-team AllMAC and third-team AP All-American. CheeseheadTV.com Offensive Tackle Fisher is built in the current mold of athletic, agile left tackles that move well in space. Pass protection is his strong point as he sets a strong anchor and mirrors pass rushers with aplomb. Even when a speed rusher turns the corner on him, he usually recovers in time to push them out of harm’s way. He’s similar to Joeckel as a run blocker, but with less strength to move blockers backwards. Needs to add some weight and has the perfect frame to do so. All-Star game: As with any smallschool prospects, Fisher had to convince scouts he could compete with the big boys. By all accounts, Fisher accomplished this and more at this year’s Senior Bowl. Going up against top defensive end prospects Datone Jones and Alex Okafor in practice, Fisher was so impressive, he was named the bowl’s top overall practice performer for the week by executive director Phil Savage. Fisher excelled in one-onone drills and showed that his pass protection skills would hold up against top competition. During the game, Fisher was downright dominant, doing what he pleased with whomever was lined up across from him. He made it look so easy, you would have thought he was the big-school player going against lesser competition. Fisher’s Senior Bowl propelled him into the category of “probable top-ten pick.” 3) Lane Johnson School: Oklahoma, Sr. Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 305 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.72 Bench Press: 28 While Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are more “NFL-ready” at the present time, Johnson could be at the same level in another year or two and may have a higher potential upside than those two higher-rated prospects. College career: Johnson is one of the more interesting stories among this year’s offensive tackles. As a freshman at Kilgore College, Johnson played quarterback. In a nutshell: Adams has taken a back seat to oth A former quarterback and tight end, Johnson’s athleticism is off the charts for an offensive tackle (4.72 40-yard dash at He transferred to Oklahoma (OU) as a tight end, redshirted for a year the Combine). and spent his second year at OU iniHe has the natural bend, quick feet, tially at tight end and then moved to mirroring ability and flexibility defensive end. scouts drool over these days in left offensive tackles. What he doesn’t Although he liked defensive end, he admittedly wasn’t lighting the world have is very much experience. on fire. During the following year Johnson has come on strong, how- when injuries prompted the OU ever, going from never having played coaches to ask Johnson to switch tackle two years ago to a probable to the other side of the ball, he begrudgingly agreed. top-15 pick in the Draft. He needs work in the weight room to turn all those newly added pounds (“a lot of chocolate milk,” by his own account) into muscle, especially in his lower half. The good news is Johnson has a frame that can easily carry more weight and muscle. As an added bonus, he sports 35” arms. Johnson’s football intelligence is also in the higher percentile range, so starting year one on a team that can afford to live with some growing pains is a definite possibility and would only serve to accelerate his development. 47 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Despite zero previous experience at the position, the academic All-Big XII’s intelligence helped him pick up the offense quickly, and he was immediately inserted as the starter at right tackle. In 2012, he won a three-way competition for the starting left tackle position and spent the season adeptly protecting the blind side of OU quarterback Landry Jones. “one of the more interesting stories” CheeseheadTV.com Offensive Tackle 4) Menelik Watson School: Florida State, Jr. Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 320 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.29 Bench Press: n/a In a nutshell: Watson is a stronger Lane Johnson with even less experience. A former basketball player, Watson started at right tackle for the Seminoles in 2012 and performed remarkably well. He carries his weight well and moves fluidly. Despite his early success, Watson is a very raw talent and a project at the NFL level but has very high upside worthy of a pick in rounds two or three. College career: From Manchester, England, basketball was his sport of choice for much of his younger life. After two years of basketball at Marist College, he switched to football at Saddleback junior college where he walked onto a football field for the first time. After a year, he transferred to Florida State, turning down LSU, Auburn and other major programs that wanted him. 5) D.J. Fluker School: Alabama, Jr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 355 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.31 Bench Press: 21 In a nutshell: Fluker was one of the most dominant run blockers in the nation last year. If he got into your body, you were swallowed up like Jonah in the belly of whale. In pass protection, however, Fluker was a bit uneven, giving up too many sacks from his right tackle spot. But with some more practice on footwork technique, he’ll be fine. Fluker moves surprisingly well, getting downfield easily. All-Star game: Fluker made the biggest splash at the Senior Bowl of any player to never even take the field. Not able to participate due to injuries, Fluker still wowed scouts at the Monday weigh-in by showing off his 355 lbs. of muscle, not flab (and 36 3/4” arms). 6) Terron Armstead School: Ark.-Pine Bluff, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 304 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.71 Bench Press: 31 also participate in track and field (shot put). He faced inferior competition on the football field, but he impressed in the East-West Shrine Game against some of the nation’s best so he’s moving up draft boards. NFL Combine: If we’re going to talk about the Combine for any offensive lineman, it has to be Terron Armstead. Armstead not only ran the best 40yard dash ever by an offensive lineman (4.71 seconds), but he showed an explosive 10-yard split of 1.64 seconds as well. 7) Brennan Williams School: North Carolina, Sr. Height: 6’ 7” Weight: 315 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a Bench Press: n/a In a nutshell: Williams, the son of former NFL defensive end Brent Williams, was a steady performer at right tackle for the Tar Heels. He was a “knockdown” machine in the running game, easily getting to the second level and showing the mean streak you look for. “knockdown machine” He was above average in pass proIn a nutshell: Armstead turned tection, using his hands well, but down major Division 1 offers bemay not have the quick feet for left cause A-PB would allow him to tackle at the NFL level. 48 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Offensive Tackle College career: Williams is a true senior who saw limited action as a freshman and sophomore. He claimed the right tackle job as a junior and was a two-year starter at the position, but missed the last four games of 2012 with a torn labrum. Williams’ blocking was a key factor in running back Gio Bernard’s success in 2012. 8) Chris Faulk School: LSU, Jr. Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 325 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a Bench Press: 25 In a nutshell: After missing the entire 2012 season due to a knee injury, Faulk decided to forego his final year of eligibility to enter the draft. He doesn’t fit the desired body type of a left tackle in today’s NFL. He’s a bit thicker (and flabbier) around the waist but still shows considerable athleticism. College career: In 2011, his first season as a starter, Faulk won the left tackle job and played very well against top-notch SEC talent. Faulk was considered a first round prospect before tearing his ACL in practice before the second game last season. 9) David Quessenberry School: San Jose State, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 294 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.08 Bench Press: 25 In a nutshell:A four-year player and three-year starter for the Spartans, the former walk-on possesses good technique, quick feet and deceptive strength. While not elite in any category, the package, when put all together, forms a very versatile performer that could surprise in the NFL. Needs to improve on keeping rushers at arm’s length. this Draft. Possessing great bloodlines, elite athleticism but only one year of offensive line experience at the major college level, Long will likely be successful in time the question is, at what position and how long (no pun intended)? College career: Long initially pursued his baseball dream at Florida State, but a DUI and academic issues derailed that dream. Long transferred to Saddleback College. Major programs came calling, and Long chose Oregon where he played both tackle and guard for the Ducks. Long petitioned the NCAA for anAll-Star game: Quessenberry other year of eligibility but was dewas the first San Jose State offen- nied. sive lineman invited to the Senior Bowl. During the practice week he 11) Justin Pugh was moved around from tackle to School: Syracuse, Jr. guard to center and handled it all Height: 6’ 5” without a hitch. He raised his stock Weight: 302 lbs. considerably in Mobile and would 40-Yard Dash: 5.14 be a perfect “versatility” pick for the Bench Press: n/a Packers. 10) Kyle Long School: Oregon, Sr. Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 304 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.94 Bench Press: 30 He surprised many by opting not to In a nutshell: The son of NFL great return to LSU in 2013 and could be Howie Long and brother of Pro Bowler Chris Long is the true wilda bit overlooked in this draft. card among offensive linemen in 49 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview In a nutshell: A three-year starter for the Orange, Pugh was an aboveaverage performer in 2012. He uses technique effectively but lacks elite strength needed to handle power rushers and looks a bit clumsy at times. Pugh needs more time to develop and would have benefited from staying in school for his final year of eligibility. CheeseheadTV.com Offensive Tackle All-Star game: Pugh and Fluker 15) Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin were the first two non-seniors ever invited to Senior Bowl, and by most accounts, Pugh did not help himself. Overshadowed by Fisher and Johnson, Pugh showed a lack of length (31 1/2” arms) and power that caused many scouts to wonder if he might be better off moving inside to guard. Becton has all the measurables but couldn’t win a starting job until his senior year. One has to wonder about his motivation level, and thus, he drops a good five to six spots on this list. One of the more physical tackles in this draft, everything about Aboushi screams right tackle. He’s an aggressive blocker that looks to punish opponents, not just get in their way. A part-time blocking tight end for three years, Fragel was moved to right tackle last spring, added a bunch of weight and started every game for the Buckeyes. NFL scouts love tight end to tackle conversions, although this one needs more time (and more weight). Still, Fragel is a potential sleeper in the later rounds. A three-year starter after a redshirt first season, Bakhtiari still looks like a player who should stay in school for his senior season and work on his technique and adding upperbody strength. His best shot in the pros might be at guard. 18) Nick Becton, Virginia Tech 12) Oday Aboushi, Virginia, Sr. 13) Reid Fragel, Ohio State 17) David Bakhtiari, Colorado 19) Xavier Nixon, Florida, Sr. UW Athletic Communications Wagner was an above-average performer at Wisconsin but struggled against better competition where his lack of elite athleticism was a negative factor. Wagner is strictly a right tackle or guard prospect and does not appear to have a high ceiling. 16) Jordan Mills, Louisiana Tech 14) Luke Marquardt, Azusa Pacific Mills, a cousin to Packers cornerback Tramon Williams, followed his Despite playing at “Nowhere U,” lead by attending Louisiana Tech. Marquardt is a three-year starter Mills was a two and a half year startwho has been coached by Hall of er at right tackle, where his main atFame tackle Jackie Slater. Combine tribute, brute strength, served him that with his size and athleticism well. He could be successful at that and it’s easy to see why NFL scouts position or move inside to guard. are intrigued by this prospect. 50 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Nixon was voted America’s top offensive lineman as a senior in high school but has failed to live up to those accolades in college. In his four years at Florida, he’s had both great and awful performances. A real roll of the dice. 20) Oscar Johnson, Louis.Tech 21) John Wetzel, Boston College 22) Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas 23) LaAdrian Waddle, Texas Tech 24) Alex Hurst, LSU 25) Manese Foketi, W. Texas A&M 26) Vinston Painter, Virginia Tech 27) Braden Brown, BYU 28) Roger Gaines, Tennessee Tech 29) Jeff Nady, Nevada 30) Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas “a real roll of the dice” CheeseheadTV.com Interior Linemen 1) Chance Warmack School: Alabama, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 317 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.49 Bench Press: n/a “Pigskin” Paul Guillemette IL “a truly special athlete” Even though most personnel people would have liked to see more positives in his workouts, the résumé that is his college playing career Even though he is far from fast or overrides any minor concerns about quick, he gets a good jump off the an inch in height or ten pounds in ball and seems to have no problem weight. getting to second level blocks. He has excellent side-to-side mobility, No one really expected a player which also helps him in pass protec- of his type and size to shine at the Combine venue. tion. His squat, muscular body is an immovable object for most defenders trying to get through or around him. He should be exactly what teams want from a top of the first round player: an instant starter who plays for 10-plus years and goes to numerous Pro Bowls. In a nutshell: Once the Draft season starts in earnest it’s difficult to get consensus from personnel people as to what day of the month it is. But it would seem that this year Warmack is one exception. No one is disputing that he is the top prospect at the guard position. The burly Crimson Tide vet would be a slam-dunk, overall Top 10 pick were he not a guard. It has been decades since a pure guard, which is what he is, went as high as the first 10 selections. Warmack just might break that current string. He quickly demonstrated quick and strong hand use in drill work. His 8’ 9” broad jump was very solid for his size. 2) Jonathan Cooper School: North Carolina, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 311 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.07 Bench Press: 35 In a nutshell: Cooper seems to be the almost unanimous No. 2 ranked interior offensive lineman, but there is actually some thought that he might make someone an outstanding center. He may be he best pure guard prospect since Larry Allen of the Cowboys. He’s not your picture-perfect fit for the Packers blocking scheme, but they’d take him if they had a chance, which is not going to hapThis trend of thought was in play pen. last year with David DeCastro. CooNFL Combine: Warmack showed up per was one of the steadying forces at the Combine and caused a slight at the UNC program the past four stir by being a bit smaller than ex- years as a recruiting and playerpected. At 6’ 2” and less than 320 benefit scandal rocked the football lbs., he caught a few folks by sur- program. prise. He was also a sundial guy in the 40-yard dash, turning in a slow 5.49 time. But his 34.75” long arms were a pleasant surprise for an interior lineman. 51 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Last year under new head coach Larry Fedora he was asked to drop 15 lbs., in order to play in a hurryup style offense. Cooper did so and CheeseheadTV.com Interior Linemen simply demonstrated what a solid athlete he was, as well as being a “team player.” In this era of coachkiller players such an attitude scores lots of points with NFL teams. Cooper passed up competition in the Senior Bowl, instead heading to a performance camp and adding weight back onto his frame. He’s an all-around player who can run block and pass block with equal aplomb. 3) Larry Warford School: Kentucky, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 332 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.58 Bench Press: 28 In a nutshell: Warford is somewhat of a throwback to the advent of “huge” offensive lineman back in the 90s. He’s just flat-out massive He should be taken in the middle of and manhandles people in one-onround one in April. This is truly a one situations. Packers style offensive lineman, but he’ll be long gone before the team He’s not perfectly suited for the current Packers’ scheme, but he’s too ever picks. good to push down from this rankNFL Combine: There were smiles ing. He played on a poor to medioall around when Cooper checked in cre Kentucky football team his enback up to over 310 lbs. after play- tire career but really stood out from ing at about 290 last fall. He also his teammates when NFL scouts clearly demonstrated his athleticism looked at film. by running a very respectable 5.07 Warford is not at all suited for a 40 time. short-passing game offense, but he His 33” long arms are plenty long could be a monster for teams that for an guard, and he still pumped still like to run first, pass second. the bar 35 times in the bench press. Don’t let his size fool you, he can That number tied him for second slide his feet well and delivers a very among all offensive linemen, only strong initial blow with his powerful hand punch. one behind the leader. The above numbers lend credence In a phone booth he can pass block to the theory that his current weight quite effectively. Like Cooper before him, his 33 3/8” arms are nicely is well suited for his body size. sized for his body and projected inHis hand spread was measured at side position. 10.25”, which would come in handy if he were switched to center. He’s He could play in the Packers scheme, more athletic than Warmack and but will have greater value in round not far behind him as an overall two to multiple other teams picking ahead of Green Bay. prospect. 52 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview All-Star Game: Warford accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl and made the most of it. His natural strength and surprising foot quickness allowed him to hold up quite well in drills, which was a pleasant surprise to most scouts. He more than held his own in pass blocking drills where faster defenders were expected to give him trouble. Amazingly, this jumbo guy was able to pull to the corner on a few sweeps. 4) Travis Frederick School: Wisconsin, Jr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 312 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.58 Bench Press: 21 UW Athletic Communications CheeseheadTV.com Interior Linemen In a nutshell: Coming out early was a no brainer for Frederick with another coaching change for his position group in Madison. It works to his advantage that he has started at both guard and center during his Badger career. to his advantage. He has been hurt for the past few months, which kept him from participating in the Senior Bowl and limited him at the Combine. Quickness and agility are his forte, not his strength. Ted Thompson just loves athletes like Thomas. He’s functionally sound and a smart football player who should be able to handle line calls early in his NFL career. He has good functional strength and nice long arms at 33”. Frederick would seem like a very logical pick for the Packers in round two, or even three, if he should last that long. NFL Combine: Even though he was unable to participate in drills and lift, he still impressed with his physical attributes. NFL Combine: There is no getting around that 5.58 40-time, but like Warmack it’s not a killer number inside. His 21 reps in the bench press were okay, but nothing special, although he certainly shows functional strength out on the field. Long arms and big hands (10”) will come in handy, especially at the center slot. He has a trim, muscled physique and has 33-plus” arms along with 10 3/8” hand spread. 6) Barrett Jones School: Alabama, Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 306 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a Bench Press: n/a In a nutshell: Jones has been hampered by leg woes since November, but he still came back to play in the National Championship game. He’s as smart as they get and has also displayed great versatility having started at tackle, guard and center during his career. Even when healthy, he’s a bit stiff when asked to run to second-level blocks. Accordingly, most scouts feel strongly that his best spot is, indeed, at center. Much about him will appeal to Packers personnel people, but he is a bit more limited physically than they usually prefer. NFL Combine: Even though limited with his lingering leg woes, Jones earned positive marks for his time in Indy. What you see is what you get. His 34” arms and 10 ¼” hand spread also confirm his ability to play multiple spots. 5) Dallas Thomas School: Tennessee, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 306 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a Bench Press: n/a In a nutshell: Thomas is a player regarded as a very good overall athlete. He may be just as solid a tackle prospect as he is at guard. His versatility of having started both inside and out while in college will work 53 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Interior Linemen 7) Brian Winters School: Kent State, Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 320 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a Bench Press: 9 The fact that he survived outside in the MAC will aid his claim to versatility. He should be a solid starter inside and a potential back up at right tackle. He ‘s a bit stronger, but slightly less athletic, than current Packer T.J. Lang. He’s a bright energetic young man who really wants a pro football career and is willing to work to get it. He put up 31 reps at the Combine, which is solid for a guy with 32” long arms. He should have solid interest from the Packers if he lasts until late in round three. Postseason game: Winters was exposed badly in the MAC championship game against Northern Illinois, All-Star Game: Schwenke rocked at least relative to being a legit tackle Senior Bowl week. He’s a high-energy, big-effort player with a bright, prospect. engaging personality. He spent part Once NIU began scoring on of- of his time playing at guard in Mofense Kent resorted primarily to bile and looked natural there. their passing attack, defensive end Sean Progar ate Winters alive. He His feet looked surprisingly quick could not get his feet moving fast for his body type, and he can get enough for the speedy pass rusher downfield for second-level blocks. and looked like a matador waving Scouts might cringe to know his the bull past him. actual body fat percentage, but he plays like a well-conditioned athlete. In a nutshell: Winters was a starting left tackle at Kent State, and a three-time all-conference selection. But in the scouting community it was clear that he did not have the feet to stay outside at the next level. As expected, he was moved inside the first day of practices at the Senior Bowl. And to no one’s surprise, he looked like a natural. He lacks foot quickness in space, but in the phone booth he dominates with his strength and shortarea quickness. 8) Brian Schwenke School: California, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 314 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.99 Bench Press: 31 In a nutshell: This player has come virtually out of nowhere to be a fast riser in the prospect derby. The speed you see displayed in his 40 time is exceptional for a natural center. Even though he looks a bit like the Pillsbury Doughboy at first glance, he is functionally sound and displays better feet than one might expect. 54 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 9) Hugh Thornton School: Illinois, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 320 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.11 Bench Press: 27 In a nutshell: The Illini had another disappointing season, and Thornton got lost in the shuffle. But watching him during Senior Bowl week indicated that he might be the next in line of some very successful recent offensive linemen coming out of Illinois. CheeseheadTV.com Interior Linemen His weight is well distributed on a 12) J.C. Tretter, Cornell muscular body, and he moves his feet well. His forty time and split are Tretter showed up at the Senior Bowl very solid for an interior lineman. back in January with a broken nose and was sent home after the weighHe’s another potential starter as a in and physical. So his time to shine pro but may not have great appeal was at the Combine instead. It’s not to the Packers because he appears to as if he aced it, but Tretter more held be a guard exclusively at this stage of his own. the game. 13) Khaled Holmes, USC All-Star Game: Relatively unheralded, he got attention as a good Holmes is a finesse-type player and physical specimen and a solid player has been prone to be being banged while at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. up. It’s doubtful that would excite Ted Thompson. He showed as a lineman that’s functionally strong as well as being able He has nice long arms and large to pull and run some. hands that will appeal to most teams. It’s not his fault, but a rash 10) Alvin Bailey, Arkansas of ailments this past season will not help him, and he may be slipping Bailey really saved himself with down some ranking charts. some good numbers in Indy. He was a big surprise with a sub five sec- 14) Earl Watford, James Madison ond 40 time. He also put up 27 reps where some previous Razorbacks Definitely a Packers-style athlete. have faltered. His 34 3/4” arms are Watford has room in his game to also impressive. The Combine really improve under top-level coaching. boosted his Draft status. His speed numbers impressed at the 16) Eric Herman, Ohio 11) Garrett Gilkey, Chadron State 20) Braxston Cave, Notre Dame 21) Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech 22) T.J. Johnson, South Carolina 23) Nick Speller, Massachusetts 24) Chris Barker, Nevada 25) P.J. Longeran, LSU 26) Jeff Baca, UCLA 27) Emmett Cleary, BCU 28) Stephane Milhim, UMass 29) Mario Benavides, Louisville Gilkey is a large, but limited athlete. He’s fairly slow footed, which is a big part of this projected move inside for the NFL. His less than 33” arms also play better inside. He’s a bit tall for an interior player but comes up as a decent athlete in the limited area. NFL Combine. 15) Mark Jackson, Glenville State Jackson is slow over the long haul but has amazing size and strength. Raw as hell, but the kind of guy who the Packers might like a shot at coaching up. Played outside in college, so may fit their versatility demands. 55 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview One of the strongest players in this year’s Draft class. Led all offensive linemen with 36 reps in the bench press at the Combine. Needs to be inside for a team with a power-running scheme. 17) Sam Brenner, Utah A solid, one-dimensional power blocker with limited-area quickness. Not an exciting prospect for the Packers’ style of play. 18) Joe Madsen, West Virginia Madsen has fairly short arms (30”) and will be a one-position guy. He’s very strong and plays smart and hard. Could be slightly interesting to Packers. 19) Travis Bond, North Carolina Intriguing prospect because of his overall size but is too slow to stay outside and may be too long to fit inside. CheeseheadTV.com 3-4 Defensive Line 1) Star Lotulelei School: Utah, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 311 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a Bench Press: n/a “Pigskin” Paul Guillemette DL “tests revealed a heart condition” 2) Shariff Floyd School: Florida, Jr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 297 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.92 Bench Press: n/a In a normal year with plenty of elite skill position players he is just outside top 10 of the Draft. This time around he’s fighting for a top five slot. He would bring some size, strength and quickness to the Packers defensive line, but barring medical he’s long gone by their pick. NFL Combine: Unfortunately, the Combine medical tests have thrown a monkey wrench into the prospects for Lotulelei, at least in the short term. Those tests revealed a heart condition serious enough to send him In a nutshell: When healthy, back to Utah for extensive medical Lotulelei is a superior athlete and testing. There has been much specuproductive player. He’s scheme and lation as to whether this is an operposition diverse. And while he’s able condition with a short recovery not really big or strong enough to time or something more serious and anchor and excel at the nose, he’ll career threatening. make either a very good five-technique in a 3-4 or a defensive tackle Stay tuned and wish him all the best. He’s represented by the agency in four-man front. headed by the Tollner brothers, so Lotulelei is not a sack artist but can there’s a good chance the public will collapse the pocket and get to or get the straight scoop when the time flush the quarterback. His numbers is right. fell off as a senior, demonstrating that he is not the next coming of 2012 stats: 42 tackles, 10 TFL, 5 sacks, 3 FF Ndamukong Suh. 56 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview In a nutshell: It’s always dangerous to compare potential draftees to NFL stars, but there are times when player similarities are too strong to ignore. Meet the latest version of Warren Sapp. This guy spends much of his time on game day penetrating into the offensive backfield while blockers wonder what that noise was zipping past their ears. Even Sapp himself has warmed up to the comparison raving about Floyd’s hips. CheeseheadTV.com 3-4 Defensive Line He would be a fascinating prospect for the Packers because he has the combo of decent size, good strength and excellent quickness to play multiple spots no matter what front the team goes to on any down. bring out in a guy like him a couple years down the road. You hear the story just about every year of a kid who grew up with other sports and came late to football. His 40 time was what the scouts wanted to see and was the best for any player categorized as a defensive tackle, although it was disappointing that he skipped the bench press. All-Star Game: His week of work at the Senior Bowl may have been a microcosm of what to expect, at least initially, from Ansah as a pro. tackles, which included 1.5 Sacks and 3.5 TFL. One of his tackles also forced a fumble. His game performance in Mobile combined with his numbers from Ansah only tried football after fail- the Combine have him solidly imBut don’t hold your breath on the ing to make the BYU basketball planted in round one come April. Pack even getting a sniff of him on team. He’s come a long way in a Draft day. He’s currently battling to short time and has a lot of NFL 2012 stats: 62 tackles, 13 TFL, 4.5 be the top pick overall. teams excited about his potential as sacks, 1 FF a pass pressure specialist. NFL Combine: Because he’s coming 4) Sheldon Richardson out early Floyd could not participate His length is also imposing. With School: Missouri, Jr. in an all-star game, so his big stage his 35 1/8” arms extended, his wingHeight: 6’ 3” was the Lucas Oil Stadium field in span has been measured at over Weight: 294 lbs. Indy. Even though he didn’t blow up 82”. Normally, you’d write off a 270 40-Yard Dash: 5.02 his visit, he showed the athleticism lb. player as a fit in a defensive line Bench Press: 30 and quickness that everyone was scheme like Green Bay’s. That might be a big mistake in this man’s case. looking for. 2012 stats: 46 tackles, 13 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 FF, 2 blocked kicks 3) Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah School: BYU, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 271 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.63 Bench Press: 21 He had an okay but fairly inconsistent week of practice. One good bit of drill work was followed by a mediocre one, but he did impress everyone with his work ethic and positive attitude. He embraced coaching and truly seemed to realize he has a lot to learn about the game of football. Then along came game day and Ziggy really turned it on. He was a whirling dervish between the lines In a nutshell: Some NFL personnel and turned in a performance you people fear the unknown and ques- don’t often see in a limited playing tion Ansah’s body of work. Others time venue. see potential and athleticism and He was credited with seven total dream of what good coaching could 57 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview In a nutshell: Richardson’s size and athleticism could play right into the Packers’ schemes. He’s just big enough for their actual three-man sets, as well as their two-man sets. CheeseheadTV.com 3-4 Defensive Line He might be a bit more talented he shows up at an NFL facility folthan Jerel Worthy, but on the down lowing the Draft. side, may have a touch of Worthy’s 2012 stats: 75 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 4 inconsistent motor in him. sacks, 3 FF, 1 blocked kick It is also concerning that he needed to be rotated out of the game for 5) Johnathan Hankins rest at times when his team needed School: Ohio State, Jr. their best defensive linemen out on Height: 6’ 3” the field. His NFL team will have to Weight: 320 lbs. work on his conditioning and may40-Yard Dash: 5.31 be his “want to” as well. Bench Press: n/a He’s on the fringe of being a first rounder, which means the PackIn a nutshell: This young man can ers may have to decide whether to play a critical role for an NFL team take him or pass come April. Playthat is looking for a 3-4 scheme aners with his talent are hard to find, chor ala the Packers’ B.J. Raji. but it is also true that players who aren’t self-motivated can get lost in He can appear sluggish at times, but the competitive world of the NFL. he also dominates when he chooses to. It may be more a case of a really NFL Combine: Richardson was anbig man needing to pick his spots other underclassman whose bigthan being lazy. Expecting these gest chance to impress had to be in “monster truck” big men to play like Indy, and impress he did. The tape the energizer bunny is unrealistic. was his friend pretty much all week. Personnel folks fell in love with his Hankins has good limited-area arm length (34 ½”) and hand size quickness and can beat his blocker (10 ½”). with brute strength when he gets a quick jump off the snap of the ball. His 40 time was not special, but his 10-yard split was very good. BenchHe’s a probable late first rounder pressing 30 reps was also a good who should translate his talent and number given the length of his arms. size into a Casey Hampton type nose His overall work indicates he is well tackle but may not be what the Pack above average athletically, but it also is looking for right now to improve seems to indicate that he could and their defensive line rotation. perhaps should be in better condition than he is. NFL Combine: It is doubtful that Hankins surprised anyone with his The strength and conditioning Combine work. If anything, his 320 room should be his first stop when lbs. seemed a bit light for his style 58 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview of play. Speculation is that he lost some weight in a performance camp to improve his speed numbers a bit. Most feel like he was playing over 330 last fall in Columbus. Probably the best part of his Combine performance came when being measured. His 33” long arms were a nice surprise for some. With his girth and overall natural strength, his ability to fend off blockers with those long arms will help him stay on his feet much of the time. It would have been a shock for guy of his size and build to post big-time numbers in Indy. What he probably accomplished was convincing teams he’s not some slug but a legit inside presence who can impact the line of scrimmage. 2012 stats: 55 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack, 1 blocked kick 6) Kawann Short School: Purdue, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 299 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a Bench Press: n/a In a nutshell: Short is a surprising player to watch. He’s less than a Greek god with his shirt off but is surprisingly light on his feet. He also has loose hips, which allow him to spin and dance around and by blockers. CheeseheadTV.com 3-4 Defensive Line As you can see by his stats, penetration is a big key to his game. He’s been a productive player on a team without a whole lot around him for help. But by the same token, he needs breathers if the defense is on the field a lot. He’s an intriguing and undeniably talented football player, but his seemingly lackadaisical work habits have to be concerning at the NFL level. He could certainly play multiple positions in the Packers’ schemes. All-Star Game: Short’s week of work at the Senior Bowl pretty much mirrored his overall playing style and productivity. He was great for a couple of plays or drills, then disappeared. He may have had one of the softest bodies during the weigh-in. 7) Jesse Williams School: Alabama, Jr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 323 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a Bench Press: 30 In a nutshell: It’s doubtful anyone would ever use the word “flash” in describing Williams’ playing style. He’s a massive, strongman who does his best work slugging it out in the trenches inside. He also has some versatility thanks to ‘Bama using him all along the defensive front at various times and downs, which makes him a fit in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Williams would have no problem To some degree, his style may lull making his presence felt no matter blockers to complacency, and then what defensive line scheme, or what he turns on the jets for a big flash down, for a team like Green Bay. play. He might bring value to the The Packers could certainly find use Packers because he could play just for a player like him. about anywhere along the line in NFL Combine: It’s been a tough go any defensive alignment. of things for Williams since Novem2012 stats: 43 tackles, 15.5 TFL, 7 ber. He has missed games and valuable workout time because of leg issacks, 1 FF, 4 blocked kicks sues. At the Combine he couldn’t do anything at full strength. He’s the block of granite folks expected, however, and those 32” arms reinforce his position versatility potential. 2012 stats: 37 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 blocked kick 59 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 8) Montori Hughes School: Tenn.-Martin, Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 328 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.23 Bench Press: 22 In a nutshell: Even in today’s world of pro football this man brings uncommon size and strength to the party. He may be coming from a small-school program, but he is a big-play guy. This is a young man who the Packers should have serious interest in as early as round two. His size and athleticism make him a good fit, even in a two-man defensive line. He is strong and does not hesitate to chase the ball. All-Star Game: Hughes did not gain immediate access to the playing field at the Senior Bowl and wore a walking boot for a bad ankle after his physical on Monday. Tuesday afternoon he was on the practice field but with triple taping and a slight limp, he proceeded to play out the week in Mobile. That is what pro personnel people refer to as playing through pain. His work attitude is impressive, as well as his spirit, acting as a cheerleader for his teammates. He worked hard at all times in Mobile. 2012 stats: 42 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 4 sacks CheeseheadTV.com 3-4 Defensive Line 9) Margus Hunt School: SMU, Sr. Height: 6’ 8” Weight: 277 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.60 Bench Press: 38 10) John Jenkins School: Georgia, Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 346 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a Bench Press: 30 His massive frame was far from the sloppiest body in shorts that day, and he proceeded to dominate inside during practices. In a nutshell: Conventional wisdom says Hunt is ideal in a 4-3 scheme, and too thin and long for a team running a 3-4. He does not look like a guy who can gain a whole lot of weight and he’s overaged (25). But you can’t dismiss his 17 career blocked kicks. Jenkins once again demonstrated the quickness to spin off blockers and clog the middle against the run. His gameday stats were meager, but his play was sound. NFL Combine: Hunt showed well overall at the Senior Bowl, but he really hit a home run at the Combine while most people weren’t paying much attention to him. His 4.60 40 time was simply incredible. He had a 34.5” vertical, which would make most NBA players his size proud. He’s special and he wants it. 2012 stats: 31 tackles, 11.5TFL, 8 sacks, 1 INT, 2 FF, 3 blocked kicks All-Star Game: Jenkins was an early hit at the Senior Bowl when he hit the scales at 346 lbs. Many were concerned that after being suspended for academics and being away from the UGA training/weight room his weight might balloon. 2012 stats: 50 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 blocked kick 11) Datone Jones School: UCLA, Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 283 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.80 Bench Press: 29 In a nutshell: Jenkins is a very strong player who uses his bulk to good advantage. The question is whether he’s better suited on the nose or beside a true three-technique gap shooter in In a nutshell: Jones is one of the a 4-3. better-looking athletes in the defensive line group. He’s a smooth runHe’s not a great athlete and looks to ner and just loves to chase the QB. be playing overweight. Jenkins fre- His handwork is exceptional both in quently uses his bulk and not pure strength and quickness. strength to push people around. He can stun offensive linemen with He doesn’t seem to be a great fit for his hand punch, and he’s also agile, the Packers because he’s a short-area which helps him get through traffic defender who won’t work well in and stay on his feet. their two-man line formations. 60 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com 3-4 Defensive Line If Jones were able to add some weight without losing quickness, he could be scheme diverse. He has had some issues with his temper, inside and outside the football program. Jones has a lot of qualities that would appeal to the Packers, but his size would somewhat limit him. He could be a good fallback if he somehow lasts until Draft Saturday. All-Star Game: Jones looked the part all week at the Senior Bowl whether stripped down or in full pads. He appeared confident and natural in his defensive line drill work and looks even bigger than his listed numbers up close. However, Jones seemed to take some plays off during “scrimmage” work when the ball went to the other side of the field away from him. 2012 stats: 62 tackles, 19 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 2 FF, 2 blocked kicks 12) Sylvester Williams, N. Carolina Williams is one of the hardest working defensive linemen in this Draft. For his size he has nimble feet and can pursue plays outside the pocket. Watching him on tape, you will see a guy who covers a lot more ground than his size would indicate. DL 13) Malliciah Goodman, Clemson 17) Akeem Spence, Illinois Long armed, long legged pass rushing 4-3 DE who drove his college coaches crazy with inconsistent effort and limited production. He shows flashes to tease, then disappears much of the time. Could be an NFL pass-rush specialist, but will likely drive NFL coaches to distraction unless he develops more “wantto” when the paychecks start. It’s very hard to envision Spence fitting into a 3-4 scheme at his size. He’s not the quickest guy and lacks the bulk to play on the nose. He is a decent athlete who should be able to hold his own inside in a 4-3 scheme, especially with a wide body playing alongside him. 18) Kwame Geathers, Georgia 14) William Gholston, Mich. St. Conventional wisdom says a guy this tall isn’t likely to be successful Some team is going to take a gamble on the nose, but the possibilities are and roll the dice on Gholston by the intriguing as one of two lineman on end of round three. He has the po- long passing downs. tential to be a star but could also be a bust and out of the league before 19) Quinton Dial, Alabama his first contract is up. He’s undisciplined and does not work hard Dial is a fascinating prospect at his enough at his trade. Given his size size for the Packers’ scheme. He also and length, he should have been a comes to the table with the experistar in college and not just a flash ence of a traditional 3-4 scheme player. as played at ‘Bama. Not a full time starter, but as a late rounder, he 15) Brandon Williams, M. South could have a shot to contribute in a defensive line rotation. Even fellow players were buzzing about the build and athleticism of 20) A.J. Francis, Maryland this small-school Hercules at the 21) Lavar Edwards, LSU Senior Bowl. His sub-five second 40 22) William Campbell, Michigan was an eye opener at the Combine 23) Abry Jones, Georgia as well as his event-leading 38 bench 24) Josh Boyd, Mississippi State press reps. 25) Cory Grissom, South Florida 26) Kapron Lewis-Moore, ND 27) Jordan Hill, Penn State 16) Bennie Logan, LSU 28) Everett Dawkins, Florida St. Logan looked athletic and fairly 29) Nicholas Williams, Samford quick on game film, but he now 30) Chris Jones, Bowling Green seems a bit pumped up at his cur- 31) Scott Vallone, Rutgers rent weight. His 30 bench press reps at the Combine would seem to indifascinating prospect cate some upper body strength. 61 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview “ ” CheeseheadTV.com Outside Linebackers OLB 1) Dion Jordan School: Oregon, Sr. Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 248 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.60 “call Dion Jordan Mr. Versatility” Jordan is the most natural 3-4 outside linebacker prospect of the bunch. But as a pass-rusher, he’s currently a one-trick pony: speed on the edge. Against the run, Jordan is too lean to take on pulling guards, but holds his ground well against tight ends. Has gotten by with good pad level and ability to disengage from blocks but will need to get much stronger in the NFL. 44 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 3 FF In a nutshell: Just call Dion Jordan “Mr. Versatility.” He lined up as a stand-up defensive end and outside linebacker, playing on either edge. More impressive is that Jordan dropped into coverage quite a bit, sometimes lining up in the slot, covering tight ends and receivers. There’s no doubt Jordan has the best combination of length, speed and athleticism among the linebacker candidates. He moves like the former tight end he was, showing unique fluidity and nimble feet. “Jersey” Al Bracco 2) Damontre Moore School: Texas A&M, Jr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 248 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.95 In a nutshell: Only 20 years old, Damontre Moore has as much upside as any potential 3-4 outside linebacker in this Draft. He’ll only get stronger, but already exhibits the power, quickness, and flexibility that translates well to the hybrid position. Moore needs a year in the weight room and technique work as a pass rusher, but the natural ability is all there. As a pass rusher, Moore shows an array of abilities. He has just enough speed to win the edge, the power to bull-rush tackles and the quickness to make his inside College career: A former tight end, moves successful. He closes on the Jordan converted to the defensive quarterback with speed and delivers side of the ball as a sophomore. As a hard hit. a junior, Jordan garnered first-team All-Pac-12 honors, often lining up On tape, Moore was better against in several different positions on the run than better against the run consecutive plays. For the year, he than expected. He locates the ball managed to rack up 42 tackles, 13 and pursues sideline to sideline, nevfor a loss and 7.5 sacks. er giving up until the whistle blows. Like Clay Matthews, he makes a lot By the time you read this, Jordan of hustle tackles pursuing from the will have undergone surgery for a backside. torn labrum in his shoulder. The surgery will unfortunately limit Moore is similar to Aldon Smith, Jordan’s ability to “beef up” before but whereas Smith was not a 3-4 training camp.. outside linebacker and would be a future All-Pro as a 4-3 defensive 2012 stats: 44 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 5 end, Moore could be a near All-Pro sacks, 3 FF at either position in a few years. 62 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Outside Linebackers NFL Combine/Pro Day: Once thought of as a surefire top-10 pick, Moore raised a lot of eyebrows with his paltry 12 bench press reps and less-than-stellar 4.95 40-yard dash at the Combine. Moore slowed down near the end of his run with a “tight” hamstring, and passed up his second attempt. 3) Jarvis Jones Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 241 lbs. School: Georgia, Sr. 40-yard Dash: n/a Where Jones is drafted will depend on his medical exams. Diagnosed with spinal stenosis (an abnormal narrowing of the spine) in 2009, but relatively symptom free since, Jones will need to prove to NFL teams he is not a health risk. After the Combine, Moore said he was “very disappointed” about his bench press performance, saying it was nowhere near what he was doing in training. Vs. ranked team: The Bulldogs met No. 1 Alabama last December in the SEC Championship. As for his 40, Moore said he normally runs a 4.75 and hoped to show that off at his pro day. The Texas A&M Pro Day came around on March 8th, and Moore upped his bench press reps to 19. He was also impressive in the threecone drill and short shuttle with times of 7.05 and 4.31 respectively, both of which would have been in the top-five at the Combine among defensive linemen. Unfortunately, Moore tweaked his hamstring again during agility drills and did not get to run the 40. Could his workout missteps drop him into the Packers’ lap? 2012 stats: 85 tackles, 21 TFL, 12.5 sacks, 1 FF, 2 blocked kicks “once a surefire top-10 pick” In open space, he’s a speed rushing demon and just what a 3-4 defense needs to track down today’s mobile quarterbacks. Call him “Kaepernick Kryptonite.” Going up against the indisputable best offensive line in the country, Jones was a thorn in Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron’s side all day. Lined up mostly against D.J. Fluk85 tackles, 24.5 TFL, 14.5 sacks, 7 FF. 1 INT er, he sacked McCarron twice and forced a fumble on one of them. In a nutshell: The best pure pass In direct contrast to how he played rusher in this draft, Jones has had against the pass, however, Jones two outstanding seasons in that de- struggled mightily against the run. partment, displaying the non-stop motor that defensive coaches dream While many defensive players have about. fallen victim to the ‘Bama OL machine, Jones was dominated for the Some might say he depends too most part not by the line, but by the much on speed, but that worked Tide’s blocking tight ends. out alright for Von Miller, didn’t it? Jones’ body type looks more like a Losing 21-10 the Tide ran over Jones safety than a linebacker, something and the entire Georgia defense for that has scouts worrying. 350 yards on the ground en route to a come-from-behind 32-28 victory. This also comes as a concern when Jones is taking on blocking tight 2012 stats: 85 tackles, 24.5 TFL, ends and pulling guards in the run 14.5 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, 1 INT game. 63 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Outside Linebackers 4) Barkevious Mingo School: LSU, Jr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 241 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.58 8” broad jump and a 6.84 second three-cone drill. All of these were top 10 performances even when combining all linebackers with defensive ends into one group. 2012 stats: 38 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 FF 5) Michael Buchanan School: Illinois, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 255 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.78 In a nutshell: Buchanan is one of the more interesting and less discussed 3-4 outside linebacker prospects in this draft. He has several pass rush moves and is particularly effective with inside moves. Buchanan is very fluid and flexible for his height, which he demonstrated at the NFL Combine. 38 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 FF In a nutshell: Though used mainly as a strong side defensive end at LSU (why?), Mingo has 3-4 rush linebacker written all over him. Possessing elite speed and athleticism, Mingo will struggle against the run in the NFL, although he was better than his lean frame would suggest. Mingo added 12 lbs. to get to 241 at the Combine, but will need to continue to build up his strength. NFL Combine: Mingo showed plenty of the “wow” factor at the combine, confirming his athleticism with a 4.58 40, 37” vertical leap, 10’ He’s added some much-needed weight and with more strength work, could become a complete 3-4 OLB. College career: Buchanan played a hybrid OLB/DE position at Illinois, following in the footsteps of Whitney Mercilus. Buchanan is the better athlete, but had a tougher time as a senior with teams not having to focus on Mercilus. He also lost weight prior to the season as a result of having his jaw wired shut after an off-field altercation. 2012 stats: 57 tackles, 7 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT 64 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 6) Corey Lemonier School: Auburn, Jr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 255 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.60 In a nutshell: Lemonier is a question mark as a conversion to 3-4 outside linebacker. Although he did occasionally play from a two-point stance, it was mostly as a pass-rusher. He does not look comfortable out in space and lacks fluid change of direction skills. Still, his 4.60 speed on the edge will get him drafted on the second day as a potential pass-rush specialist with upside. College career: Lemonier burst onto the NFL Draft map with a firstteam All-SEC sophomore season where he amassed 47 tackles, 13.5 for a loss, 9.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. He started out 2012 with five sacks in the first four games, but then disappeared, recording only 15 tackles and half a sack the rest of the way as Auburn lost six of their last eight games. This, of course, is a major red flag to NFL teams. 2012 stats: 34 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 blocked kick “is a question mark” CheeseheadTV.com Outside Linebackers 7) Jamie Collins School: Southern Miss., Jr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 250 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.64 In a nutshell: One of the most productive linebackers in this draft, Collins is a converted safety with gaudy numbers over his four-year career (313 tackles, 62 TFL and 21 sacks). 8) Cornellius Carradine School: Florida State, Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 276 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a In a nutshell: Cornellius “Tank” Carradine has all the attributes to be a very good player in the NFL, but he drops to this spot on our list because his future is surely as a defensive end. Despite those numbers, Collins is Carradine has a fantastic combinamore of a freak athlete than a true tion of power, speed, mobility and football player at this time. ball awareness. It’s hard to picture him dropping into coverage, and he He has a lot to learn technique-wise has the frame to add more bulk as a and hasn’t always shown a great mo- defensive end. tor. With the right coaching and some attitude adjustment, could be College career: He spent his first a diamond in the rough. two years at Butler Community College where he led his instiuNFL Combine: Collins put on a tion to the Junior College National show for the NFL scouts, ranking in Championship game and amassed the top 10 in five out of seven cat- 26 sacks over two seasons. egories, including an eye-opening 41.5” vertical jump and a 11’ 7” After transferring to Florida State, broad jump. Carradine tallied 38 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2011 despite not starting a In field drills especially important game. for a linebacker, Collins recorded the fifth-best three-cone drill and In 2012, he was slated to be the third second-best long shuttle among all wheel again behind Bjorn Werner linebackers. and Brandon Jenkins until Jenkins got injured and “Tank” ended up 2012 stats: 92 tackles, 20 TFL, 10 starting 12 very productive games sacks, 4 FF, 1 blocked kick before tearing his ACL in late November. OLB 2012 stats: 80 tackles, 13 TFL, 11 sacks, 1 FF, 1 blocked kick 65 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 9) Trevardo Williams School: Connecticut, Jr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 241 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.57 In a nutshell: The first-team All-Big East pass rusher leaves UConn as their all-time sack leader with 30.5 (24 in his last two seasons). Williams played from a three-point stance as a defensive end, but his future in the NFL is surely at linebacker. The questions are: Does he have the flexibility to drop in coverage or the strength to hold the point against the run? You draft him as a situational pass-rusher/special-teams demon and hope he develops into more. NFL Combine: When it came to the pure track-type Combine tests, the Jamaican-born Williams shone with a 4.57 40, 38” vertical jump and 10’ 4” broad jump, all top-10 performances among defensive linemen and linebackers. Williams did not participate in the all-important tree-cone and short shuttle drills that would have provided some hints to his suitability as a linebacker. 2012 stats: 42 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 11.5 sacks, 1 FF CheeseheadTV.com Outside Linebackers 10) Brandon Jenkins School: Florida State, Jr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 251 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a In a nutshell: Jenkins’ 2012 season was a washout after suffering a Lisfranc injury in the Seminoles’ first game. He could have stayed at Florida State for another year but chose to enter the Draft. Jenkins projects as a tough run defender with pass-rush potential at the NFL level. 11) Cornelius Washington School: Georgia, Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 265 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.55 In a nutshell: Washington has played both defensive end and linebacker for Georgia in a backup role but appears a bit stiff and may struggle in converting to 3-4 outside linebacker. A physical specimen, Washington was a top-five performer at the NFL Combine in the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical and broad jump. There isn’t anything spectacular about Jenkins, but he’s a solid all- He’s always looked better on paper around player that will be a benefit and in the gym than he has on the to any roster. field, and immaturity has been an issue as well. College career: A Talahassee native, Jenkins turned down other of- College career: Playing on a Georfers to play for his hometown team. gia defense loaded with talent, Washington was never able to break He announced his arrival as a top through as a starter. prospect in 2010, his sophomore season, racking up 63 tackles, 21.5 His best season was in 2011 as a jufor a loss and 13.5 sacks while earn- nior when he was credited with five ing All-ACC honors. His numbers sacks and 18 quarterback hurries dropped in 2011, but you could at- despite his limited role and missing tribute some of that to sharing time two games due to a speeding/DUI with Bjoern Werner and Cornelius arrest. Carradine. 2012 stats: 22 tackles, 3 TFL, 0.5 2011 stats: 41 tackles, 12 TFL, 8 sacks sacks 66 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 12) John Simon School: Ohio State, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 257 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a In a nutshell: Simon makes it into the top 12 the only way he knows how, by running through and outhustling those behind him. A workout warrior and relentless, pure effort player, the two-time OSU captain has played DT, DE and OLB for the Buckeyes. Undersized for a 4-3 end, Simon has been trimming down to better present himself as a linebacker prospect. Best game: The Buckeyes came in to Camp Randall Stadium in November to face the Wisconsin Badgers. Always a physical battle when these two teams meet, Simon manhandled the Wisconsin tackles all day. The Badgers went into max protect, but it didn’t help as Simon outworked everyone on his way to four sacks, six tackles and a blocked pass. 2012 stats: 44 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 9 sacks, 1 FF CheeseheadTV.com Outside Linebackers AUTHOR’S NOTE: The next three players are deemed mostly unsuitable for conversion to the 3-4 outside linebacker position, yet their overall talent means they can’t just be ignored, some 3-4 team might decide to take a chance on them. Despite possessing more overall talent than some of those before them, they have been added here as unlikely 3-4 OLB conversions. 13) Bjoern Werner, Florida State 14) Alex Okafor, Texas Okafor just doesn’t have the flexibility or quickness to play standing up as a linebacker but has the frame to add weight and muscle and be a very productive 4-3 end in the NFL. 15) Sam Montgomery, LSU Montgomery is a solid straight-line player who can attack or chase with the best of them, but lateral movement and flexibility is not his forte. Strictly a 4-3 end. 16) David Bass, Missouri. W. St. Dominant at the Division II level with 39.5 sacks in his four years, Bass was invited to the East-West Shrine Game and seemed to fit in fine with the big boys. He performed very well in the agility drills at the Combine. A diamond in the rough sleeper. 17) Quanterus Smith, W. Ken. Not very strong against the run but has pass rush skills as his three sacks against Alabama’s offensive line will attest to. Smith was leading the nation in sacks until he tore his ACL Werner surprised at the Combine late in the season. He could be the showing more flexibility than ex- best low-round/UDFA roll of the pected in the linebacker drills, but it dice in the draft at this position. would be a waste of his talents to put him there. He’ll be a demon as a 4-3 18) Travis Johnson, San Jose State end for some lucky team. With 38 sacks in high school and 32 in College, the 2012 WAC Defen“he’ll be demon as a sive Player of the Year, has out-performed expectations at every level. 4-3 end” A smart, high-motor player that de67 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview spite “tweener” size, could surprise once again at the NFL level. 19) Devin Taylor, South Carolina Taylor burst onto the scene as a sophomore with 7.5 sacks and 13 TFL, but his numbers have declined his last two seasons despite opponents having to key on Melvin Ingram and Jadeveon Clowney. Appears too upright and stiff for 3-4 OLB, yet did very well in the agility drills at the NFL Combine. 20) Chase Thomas, Stanford Thomas is not the biggest, fastest or most athletic linebacker prospect, but he’s an over-achieving high-effort guy that projects to be a good backup and valuable special team player at the very least. 21) Nathan Williams, Ohio State 22) Ty Powell, Harding 23) Wes Horton, USC 24) John Youboty, Temple 25) Travis Long, Washington St. 26) Stansly Maponga, TCU 27) Brad Madison, Missouri 28) Cameron Meredith, Nebraska 29) Marquis Jackson, Portland St. 30) Robert Maci, Purdue 31) Meshak Williams, Kansas St. 32) Tourek Williams, Florida Int. 33) Larentee McCray, Florida CheeseheadTV.com Inside Linebackers 1) Arthur Brown School: Kansas State, Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 244 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a ILB “plays bigger than his frame” One of his three interceptions came against Baylor’s Robert Griffin III in 2011; another made victim of West Virginia’s Geno Smith last season. Some will question his size in relation to a 3-4 defense, but Brown plays much bigger than his frame suggests. He’s unafraid to take on an offensive lineman at the point or run with a tight end in space. A likely first-round pick, Brown projects as a physical and sure tackler who can fit into either defensive front. Zach Kruse 2) Kevin Minter School: LSU, Jr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 246 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.81 In a nutshell: Mostly a part-time starter behind eventual third-round pick Kelvin Sheppard his first two seasons, Minter took a full-time role in 2012 and ran with it. The junior linebacker racked up a team-high 130 tackles, including 15 for losses, while adding four sacks and an interception. Playing alongside potential high picks such as Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery and Eric Reid at LSU has hurt Minter’s name recogBest game: In October 2011, No. 15 nition during the draft process, but 100 tackles, 7 TFL, 1 sack, 2 INT, 4 PBU Baylor traveled to Manhattan, Kan- don’t let that fool you; he is expected sas with a 3-0 record and the nation’s to be one of the top three or four inIn a nutshell: A highly-recruited hottest quarterback. side linebackers selected in April. high school athlete and the brother of Philadelphia Eagles running back The Bears left with their first loss Arguably the most pure 3-4 player Bryce Brown, Brown made the un- of the season, thanks in large part at his position, Minter is fundamenpopular choice in 2009 to transfer to Brown’s heroic efforts on the de- tally sound against the run and was from Miami (Fla.) to Kansas State, fensive side of the ball. The junior natural enough in space to play all mostly in an attempt to secure more linebacker tallied a team-high eight three downs in the SEC. playing time. tackles, including 1.5 for losses and The decision was a smart one. After just 17 total tackles over two seasons with the Hurricanes, Brown went on to lead the Wildcats in tackles in back-to-back years. 1.5 sacks. In the fourth quarter with Kansas State down two points and the football in Griffin III’s hands, he picked off the eventual Heisman Trophy winner, setting up the Wildcats’ game-winning field goal. By the end of his senior season, Brown had tallied 201 total tackles (including 16.5 for losses), three 2012 stats: 100 tackles, 7 TFL, 1 sacks, three interceptions and nine sack, 2 INT, 4 PBU passes defensed. 68 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview He was also voted team MVP in 2012 and has a sparkly-clean record off the field. If a 3-4 team is given the choice between Brown and Minter this April, passing on a safer, plug-and-play option like Minter will be difficult. He was made to patrol one half of a 3-4 duo inside. CheeseheadTV.com Inside Linebackers Rivalry game: Good luck finding a better individual effort from a college linebacker than Minter’s 2012 performance against Florida. Battling extreme exhaustion from the humidity in Gainesville, Minter still managed to register a career-high 20 tackles, including 17 solo and three that went for losses. Arguably no inside linebacker in this year’s class can claim Ogletree’s impressive combination of length, frame and speed. He also has two years of experience playing the inside of a 3-4 defense. However, the negatives have started to pile up. 4) Manti Te’o School: Notre Dame, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 241 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.82 Ogletree was suspended one game in 2010 for misdemeanor theft, and He also managed to sack Gators four games in 2012 after violating quarterback Jeff Driskel twice and team rules (reported as a positive force a fumble. LSU would go on drug test). A recent DUI arrest has to lose, but Minter dominated this once again brought his decisionSEC rivalry like few linebackers ever making into the spotlight. Can an have. NFL team trust him? Otherwise a sure-fire first-round talent, Ogletree 2012 stats: 130 tackles, 15 TFL, 4 could see his stock fall to the second sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT, 5 PBU day because of the off-the-field issues. 3) Alec Ogletree School: Georgia, Jr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 242 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.70 NFL Combine: As one of the top athletes at the position in this year’s class, Ogletree was expected to help outweigh his off-the-field issues with a dominating performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. No In a nutshell: Few players in the such workout materialized for Ogle2013 class are harder to put a finger tree. on than Ogletree who possesses all the physical potential in the world Ogletree ran the 40-yard dash in but must also answer to a growing 4.70 seconds, just the ninth-fastest list of indiscretions. time among linebackers. Most expected him to run much faster. By The positives are vast. A safety his the end of Monday, Ogletree hadn’t first season in Athens, Ogletree finished in the top five among linecontinued to mature physically and backers in any drill. eventually forced a transition to inside linebacker. An eye-catching set of numbers in Indianapolis could have helped reAs a junior, Ogletree burst onto solidify Ogletree’s stock in the first the scene with 111 tackles (11.5 for round. losses), three sacks, one interception and six passes defensed. 2012 stats: 111 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT, 5 PBU 69 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 113 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 7 INT, 5 PBU In a nutshell: Arguably the highestrated player in the 2008 recruiting class, Te’o chose Notre Dame over the likes of USC and UCLA. He went on to carve out a successful fouryear career in South Bend, which culminated in Notre Dame qualifying for its first National Championship game in the BCS era. Well-built (playing weight of 255 lbs.) and instinctive, Te’o should be able to start inside in a 3-4 defense immediately. Concerns about his athletic ability and a catfishing hoax have dropped his stock, possibly outside of the first round. CheeseheadTV.com Inside Linebackers Bowl game: What was supposed to be a fitting end to a decorated career at Notre Dame instead finished with a loud thud in the National Championship. A reassuring Combine performance has Bostic trending up. 2012 stats: 67 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 FF, 2 INT, 2 PBU 7) Kevin Reddick School: North Carolina, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 243 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.72 Dealing with both the distraction 6) Khaseem Greene of his well-documented hoax and School: Rutgers, Sr. Alabama’s NFL-ready offensive Height: 6’ 1” line, Te’o and the rest of the Notre Weight: 241 lbs. Dame defense was outclassed and 40-Yard Dash: 4.71 outmatched. The Irish allowed 529 yards and 42 points, and Te’o’s draft In a nutshell: A safety his first two stock began its fall. years at Rutgers, Greene made the 2012 stats: 113 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 1.5 move to linebacker and flourished immediately. sacks, 7 INT, 5 PBU 5) Jon Bostic School: Florida, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 245 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.61 In a nutshell: Not many linebackers in the 2013 class will arrive ready to make a bigger impact against the run than Bostic, who possesses a thick frame and mean disposition. A fit for the 3-4 defense, Bostic can blitz (7.5 career sacks), cause turnovers (five interceptions) and comes ready and willing to play special teams. Just two years at his new position saw Greene total nearly 300 total tackles, including 26.5 for losses and 9.5 sacks. His size and athletic ability should make him scheme versatile. College experience: A co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Big East in 2011, Greene returned from a serious ankle injury in the Pinstripe Bowl to post his best season in 2012. 85 tackles, 18.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 2 FF, 6 PBU In a nutshell: Three North Carolina linebackers have been drafted over the last two drafts, so Reddick comes from a growing pedigree in Chapel Hill. He led the conference in tackles with 125, while also adding 10.5 tackles While not an overwhelming athlete, for losses, six sacks, two intercep- Reddick did start four seasons for tions and six forced fumbles. the Tar Heels and has prototypical size to play a thumper role on the As a safety during his freshman and inside of a 3-4 defense. NFL Combine: Worries about Bos- sophomore seasons, Greene led the tic’s ability to move were mostly Scarlet Knights with four intercepCollege experience: As Reddick’s crushed in Indianapolis. tions. role expanded at North Carolina, so His run of 4.61 seconds in the 40yard dash was among the best for linebackers, and he also produced top times in the 20- and 60-yard (4.24 seconds, 6.99) shuttle. 2012 stats: 136 tackles, 12 TFL, 6 sacks, 6 FF, 2 INT, 5 PBU 70 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview did his impact. After tallying 17.5 tackles for losses and two sacks during his first three seasons, Reddick exploded for 18.5 and 6.5 during his senior year. CheeseheadTV.com Inside Linebackers His jump was a direct result of the Tar Heels moving him around the defense from middle linebacker to edge rusher to defensive end. Reddick rarely left the field in 2012. 9) Nico Johnson School: Alabama, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 248 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a 2012 stats: 85 tackles, 18.5 TFL, 6.5 In a nutshell: The recent lineage of Alabama defensive players making sacks, 2 FF, 6 PBU the jump to the NFL speaks for itself. Johnson, a wide-framed and tough 8) Kiko Alonso linebacker, was often overshadowed School: Oregon, Sr. in Tuscaloosa by the never-ending Height: 6’ 3” supply of first-round defenders Weight: 238 lbs. playing alongside him. Four years 40-Yard Dash: n/a of experience in the 3-4 defense will help his cause. In a nutshell: A versatile linebacker who fits in either scheme, Alonso Rivalry game: Johnson was all over nearly killed his Draft stock before the field during Alabama’s 21-17 win it got off the ground. Two alcohol- over LSU in Baton Rogue last searelated arrests, including a DUI, son. His 12 total tackles led the team slowed his early career. Injuries also and established a new career-high. cost Alonso games. The Tigers, a top rushing team in the SEC, were only able to manage Once he was able to stay on the field, 2.8 yards per carry over 49 rushes however, the results were hard to ig- against the Alabama defense. nore. Alonso made 81 tackles (14 for losses), intercepted four pass- 2012 stats: 55 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 FF, es (fifth-most in the Pac-12) and 1 PBU forced two fumbles during a healthy and incident-free senior year. 10) Keith Pough School: Howard, Sr. Bowl game: Alonso burst onto the Height: 6’ 2” scene during the 2012 Rose Bowl Weight: 239 lbs. when he registered five tackles (2.5 40-Yard Dash: 4.80 for losses), 1.5 sacks and an interception in Oregon’s win over Wisconsin. For his efforts, the Rose Bowl In a nutshell: Pough represents one named Alonso Defensive Player of of the more accomplished linebackers in this class. A four-year starter the Game. at Howard, Pough registered 17.5 2012 stats: 81 tackles, 14.0 TFL, 1 sacks and a FCS-record 71 tackles for losses. sack, 2 FF, 4 INT, 3 PBU 71 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Playing lower competition and a lean body build will limit his rise up some boards. Defenses playing the 3-4 will likely need him to put weight on his frame. All-Star game: Pough made Howard’s first-ever invitee to the EastWest Shrine Game worth the selection. NFL scouts took notice as his athleticism, motor and competitiveness stood out throughout practices in St. Petersburg. He could be the first player selected from the 2013 Shrine Game. 2012 stats: 60 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 PBU 11) Sio Moore School: Connecticut, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 245 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.65 In a nutshell: Moore’s game will fit better for teams playing the 4-3, which drops his ranking here below where it would be otherwise. Thanks to three years of production (174 tackles, 44 for losses, 16 sacks and 21 passes defensed) and a solid performance at the Combine, however, Moore is a likely top-100 pick. His experience as an edge rusher would make him interesting for a 3-4 team. Combine: Moore proved in Indianapolis that he’s a NFL-ready athlete. In addition to running CheeseheadTV.com Inside Linebackers the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds, 13) Steve Beauharnais, Rutgers Moore also put up 29 bench-press reps, broad-jumped 127 inches and A four-year starter for Rutgers, posted a vertical leap of 38 inches. Beauharnais arrives in the NFL with experience and durability. Top perEach represented top marks for the formances in short-area quickness linebacker position, and should ce- drills at the Combine may erase ment Moore’s status as a second- or some of the worries about his aththird-round pick. letic limitations. Scheme versatility will help his stock. 2012 stats: 72 tackles, 15.5 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 11 PBU 14) Zaviar Gooden, Missouri In a nutshell: A first-team all-state selection and two-time WIAA state football champion from Kimberly, Wisconsin, Klein needed only one season to make an impact for the Cyclones. A former safety, Hodges possesses the kind of athletic ability needed to cover tight ends and running backs in the modern game. However, struggles disengaging inside may limit Hodges to playing outside linebacker in a 4-3 front. 18) Brandon Magee, Arizona St. Gooden blew away the Combine with top linebacker numbers in the 40-yard dash (4.47 seconds), bench press (27 reps) and broad jump (131 inches). Obviously, he’s a tremendous athlete. His lack of size, however (234 lbs.), makes it difficult to project a fit in the 3-4 defense. 15) Sean Porter, Texas A&M Sun Devil Athletics 12) A.J. Klein School: Iowa State, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 250 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.66 17) Gerald Hodges, Penn State Porter has experience playing outside linebacker in both a 3-4 (9.5 sacks as a rush linebacker in 2011) From his sophomore season on, and 4-3 front, but his size limits Klein averaged over 100 tackles a where he can play at the next level. Three Major League Baseball teams year, and his four career intercephave drafted Magee since 2008, but tions returned for touchdowns are He would need to put on 15-20 his lack of size makes projecting him the most among FBS linebackers. pounds to see the field as a 3-4 in- into 3-4 defenses tricky. He should be scheme versatile at the side linebacker. Still, Porter is a good next level. 19) Jelani Jenkins, Florida, Sr. football player. 20) Tom Wort, Oklahoma, Sr. Bowl game: Klein ended his col21) Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech, Sr. 16) Michael Mauti, Penn State legiate career with a bang. Facing 22) Brandon Hepburn, S. Florida Tulsa in the Liberty Bowl, Klein Mauti plays the game as if he’s been 23) Albert Rosette, Nevada recorded a career-high 19 tackles, around it his whole life, and he has: 24) Dan Molls, Toledo including two for losses. He also de- His father, Rich, played in the NFL. 25) Vince Williams, Florida State 26) Jake Knott, Iowa State fensed one pass. 27) Greg Blair, Cincinnati However, two different ACL tears 2012 stats: 117 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 and a repetitive injury history cloud 28) Alonzo Highsmith, Arkansas 29) Shaq Wilson, South Carolina sack, 1 INT, 1 PBU his draft stock. 30) Will Compton, Nebraska 72 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Cornerbacks 1) Dee Milliner School: Alabama, Jr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 201 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.37 In a nutshell: Few will question Dee Milliner’s place atop the 2013 class of cornerbacks. While playing alongside several first-round picks in the Alabama secondary (Dre Kirkpatrick, Mark Barron) during his first two seasons, Milliner emerged during his junior year as a legitimate candidate to become the next top pick from the Crimson Tide’s defensive backfield. Possessing NFL-ready size, length, athleticism and quickness, Milliner will enter the next level prepared to make an immediate impact. And despite leaving Alabama a year early, Milliner has three years of starting experience under secondary guru Nick Saban to answer any questions about his decision to forego his senior season. Barring a big upset, Milliner should be the first cornerback to come off the board. His skill set is worthy of a top-10 pick. Considering three-straight drafts have seen at least one cornerback selected within the first 10 picks, Milliner will likely make it four. Zach Kruse CB “NFL-ready size, length and athleticism” 2) Xavier Rhodes School: Florida State, Jr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 210 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.43 NFL Combine: Any worries about Milliner’s straight-line speed were obliterated in Indianapolis. He ran the 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.37 seconds, just one-hundredth of a second slower than the Combine’s top cornerback time. Few expected the 201-pound Milliner to run such an impressive time, but the finish likely eliminated any chance of the cornerback escaping the top 10 picks. If there’s anything that could drop Milliner, it’s the surgery he’ll need to have on a torn labrum in his shoulder. However, he’s expected to be 100 percent by the start of training camp, so teams can still feel very confident drafting him high. 39 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 FF, 3 INTs, 7 PBU In a nutshell: Xavier Rhodes’ frame may be the most impressive of any cornerback entering the 2013 NFL Draft. At 6’ 1” and 210 lbs., Rhodes also possesses 34” arms, giving him the length to be a perfect boundary corHis tape, combined with what nerback at the next level. His ability scouts saw on their stopwatches in to play press man-to-man coverage Indy, will make passing on Milliner against the biggest and strongest very difficult for teams picking early NFL receivers will be also be a huge asset, and likely one that allows in April. Rhodes to be drafted within the top 2012 stats: 54 tackles, 4 TFL, 10 to 20 picks. 1.5 sacks, 1 FF, 2 INTs, 20 PBU, 1 At times during his three years startblocked kick ing in Tallahassee, Rhodes would simply overpower opposing receivers at the line of scrimmage with his 73 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Cornerbacks aforementioned frame and violent, NFL-ready hands. He’s also an impressive overall athlete, having run a sub 4.45-second time in the 40 and posting a vertical leap of 40.5” at the Combine. A cornerback-needy team that runs an aggressive man-to-man scheme will likely be intrigued enough by Rhodes’ overall skill set to take the former Florida State cornerback in the middle of the first round. College experience: Rhodes suffered a hand injury during his freshman season in Tallahassee, forcing the raw corner to take a medical redshirt. The next year, Rhodes used the season off to cement his starting spot in the Seminole secondary. A 14-game starter in 2010, Rhodes went on to start a total of 39 games over his three collegiate seasons. By the time Rhodes was a sophomore—and later as a junior—opposing quarterbacks were simply refusing to challenge him, which somewhat diluted his overall statistical output. In Rhodes’ case, the respect he received spoke much louder than his final numbers. A knee injury suffered during Florida State’s bowl win over Notre Dame in 2011 could be one potential concern, but Rhodes did not show any ill effects of the ailment during his final season. 2012 stats: 39 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 FF, 3 INTs, 7 PBU 3) Desmond Trufant School: Washington, Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 190 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.38 In a nutshell: Heard of the last name? You probably should, because Desmond’s older brother is Marcus, the Seattle Seahawks’ Pro Bowl cornerback who was drafted in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Desmond’s other other brother, Isaiah, starred at Eastern Washington before finally carving out a role with the New York Jets the last two seasons. Desmond appears on track to be the next Trufant to make an impact at the next level. His size, athleticism and short-area quickness are all on par with the top cornerbacks in the class, and his experience (four-year starter at Washington) should be another positive. At the Combine, Trufant ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds (thirdfastest) and finished the 20-yard shuttle in 3.85 seconds (secondfastest). A 37.5” vertical and 16 reps on the bench press confirmed the kind of overall athlete Trufant really is. All-Star game: Trufant’s draft stock really took off following the Senior Bowl. In Mobile, Trufant displayed athleticism, man-to-man coverage skills and natural instincts when facing off against the top senior receivers. NFL scouts and general managers certainly took notice of his impressive week of practices with current Chiefs G.M. John Dorsey calling Trufant’s performance “strong” during back-to-back sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. Once a solid second-rounder, Trufant likely boosted his stock into the first-round range in Mobile. Maybe the Detroit Lions or Oakland Raiders—the two teams that handled the coaching duties at the Senior Bowl—would be willing to move back into the first round and snag Trufant if he’s still on the board. Both received a long look at the Washington cornerback and need help at the position. 2012 stats: 36 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF, 1 INTs, 8 PBU, 1 blocked kick Given the bloodlines, experience and athletic ability, it’s difficult to envision Trufant falling out of the top 30 to 40 picks. He’s ready to play for an NFL team right away. 74 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Cornerbacks 4) Johnthan Banks School: Mississippi State, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 185 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.61 back and Heisman Trophy winner and was a finalist for the Thorpe Tim Tebow and broke up two other Award. He picked off two or more passes. passes in four different games and returned two interceptions for He returned both interceptions for scores, securing his season as one of scores, including a 100-yard touch- the best from an NCAA cornerback down that brought Mississippi State in recent memory. within a field goal in the first half. 2012 stats: 61 tackles, 1 TFL, 5 2012 stats: 63 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 FF, INTs, 12 PBU 4 INTs, 7 PBU; 14 punt returns, 123 yards 6) Robert Alford School: SE Louisiana, Sr. 5) David Amerson Height: 5’ 10” School: N. Carolina St., Jr. Weight: 188 lbs. Height: 6’ 1” 40-Yard Dash: 4.39 Weight: 205 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.44 63 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 FF, 4 INTs, 7 PBU In a nutshell: NFL teams might not be thrilled with Banks’ 4.61-second 40 time at the NFL Combine, but there are precious few other faults in what the former Mississippi State cornerback can offer at the next level. In a nutshell: Tall, physical and possessing the best ball-skills of any cornerback in the class, Amerson might eventually have a home in the NFL as a safety. Comparisons to Ed Reed have been made. But given his performance at the NFL Combine, which included running the 40 in 4.44 seconds, teams will likely want to see if they get the playmaking Amerson more comfortable working on the outside. Both his upside and bust potential Ideal length, hip fluidity, ball skills are high. and football character all give Banks a real chance to be one of the first College experience: Amerson’s 2011 season was almost a historic cornerbacks drafted. one. Best game: Almost immediately upon stepping into the SEC, Banks Thanks to 13 interceptions—one made his name known. In just his shy of the NCAA’s single-season third collegiate game in 2009, Banks record—Amerson took home both twice picked off Florida quarter- All-ACC and All-American honors 75 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview In a nutshell: Alford comes from a family that includes former NFL player Fred Booker and collegiate cornerback Duke Adams, but he’s likely the best player of the bunch. Physical at the line of scrimmage and willing to support against the run, Alford dominated the FCS level and rarely looked out of place during his week at the Senior Bowl. NFL Combine: Few cornerbacks showed off a better collection of physical attributes in Indianapolis than Alford. In addition to running the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds (fourth fastest), the 188-pound cornerback put up 17 reps on the bench press (third), broad jumped 11 feet (best) and posted a vertical leap of 40”. 2012 stats: 39 tackles, 5 TFL, 4 INTs, 5 PBU CheeseheadTV.com Cornerbacks 7) Jamar Taylor School: Boise State, Sr. Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 192 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.39 8) Leon McFadden School: San Diego State, Sr. Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 193 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.54 In a nutshell: Instinctive, athletic and physical, Taylor has the profile of a starting NFL cornerback. In fact, some have compared him to a young Ronde Barber. In a nutshell: The son of a former professional baseball player, McFadden is a natural overall athlete who remains better suited for the gridiron than a baseball diamond. Injuries to both legs over his collegiate career may hurt his stock, but teams likely got a strong idea of any potential worries at the Combine. Speaking of Indianapolis, Taylor posted top cornerback numbers in the 40-yard dash (4.39 seconds), bench press (22 reps) and short shuttle (4.06 seconds). His combination of quickness, ball skills and experience over four years at San Diego State gives McFadden a résumé worthy of a top-90 selection, even if there are inherent height concerns. Postseason game: After missing four games in 2011 with a stress fracture in his leg, Taylor returned at less than 100 percent for the Las Vegas Bowl. Boise State would win comfortably over Arizona State, thanks in part to Taylor’s 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. having been selected by the Florida Marlins in the 2009 MLB Draft. He left the school as an All-American cornerback whose focus had shifted solely to football. Athletic and aggressive on the gridiron, Poyer has extensive experience in both man and zone and can also return punts and kicks. Best game: Washington State head coach Mike Leach is still having nightmares of Poyer, who picked off his quarterbacks three times in a 19-6 loss to the Beavers in October of 2012. One of Poyer’s interceptions directly led to a score, and his third sealed the win in the fourth quarter. He also broke up four passes, made one stop behind the line and nearly broke a punt return. It was a dream performance for the talented and versatile cornerback. College experience: McFadden played in every game (including 45 career starts) over four years at San Diego State, and he became just the fifth player in school history to be named first-team All-Conference 2012 stats: 50 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 three straight seasons (2010-12). sacks, 1 FF, 7 INTs, 1 TD, 7 PBU His 47 career pass breakups also set a new school record. Not many cornerbacks in this class can match McFadden’s combination of experience and production. 10) Logan Ryan Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 191 lbs. School: Rutgers, Jr. 40-Yard Dash: 4.56 The Sun Devil quarterback who Taylor victimized? Brock Osweiler, 2012 stats: 61 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 FF, 3 the Denver Broncos’ second-round INTs, 2 TDs, 12 PBU pick in 2012. 9) Jordan Poyer 2012 stats: 51 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2.5 School: Oregon State, Sr. sacks, 3 FF, 4 INTs, 9 PBU Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 191 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.54 In a nutshell: What Ryan lacks in top-end speed, he makes up for in toughness, tackling and physicality. Maybe no cornerback in this class is more willing to participate against the run, and rare is the play where you don’t find Ryan near the football. In a nutshell: Poyer arrived at Oregon State as a two-sport player, He was also one of Rutgers’ top special-teams contributors. CB 76 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Cornerbacks NFL Combine: Few talked about Ryan’s performance in Indianapolis, mostly because his time of 4.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash was only average. But Ryan made his splash in the short-area quickness drills where he was a top performer in the threecone drill and both shuttles. Teams will be drawn to that asset of Ryan’s play. While a risk off the field, he can still be a game-changer on it. 2011 stats: 76 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 6 FF, 4 FR, 2 INTs, 9 PBU 12) Bildi Wreh-Wilson Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 195 lbs. School: Connecticut, Sr. 40-Yard Dash: 4.53 All-Star game: Most pundits considered Wreh-Wilson a “faller” following the Senior Bowl where concerns about his hip fluidity and make-up speed were brought into the spotlight. NFL teams that play a majority of man coverage might pass on a cornerback who is clearly better suited for zone. 2012 stats: 46 tackles, 1 INT, 9 PBU 2012 stats: 94 tackles, 5 TFL, 4 INTs, 17 PBU 13) Darius Slay, Miss. State 11) Tyrann Mathieu School: LSU, Jr. Height: 5’ 8” Weight: 186 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.50 In a nutshell: One of the more polarizing players in the 2013 Draft. For two years at LSU, Mathieu was an undeniable playmaker as both a turnover-causing corner and gamebreaking returner. But a string of drug-related inci46 tackles, 1 INT, 9 PBU dents forced LSU to dismiss Mathieu before the 2012 season, and his decision to enter the Draft instead of In a nutshell: Wreh-Wilson’s length transferring meant a full year away (32-inch arms) and leadership (team captain) should make him an attracfrom football. tive player. NFL Combine: Mathieu needed a strong performance in Indianapolis Experience will be another big plus, to stabilize his draft stock, and he as he started nine games as a freshman and 41 overall. The only five mostly got it. collegiate games he missed came Despite only four reps on the bench from a sprained MCL in 2010. press, Mathieu looked like a smooth athlete who can be explosive in short areas. “considered a faller” 77 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Slay was often in the shadow of Johnthan Banks at Mississippi State, but most figured out who he was once he ran the top cornerback time (4.36 seconds) at the NFL Combine. Struggles against the run push him out of the top 12 at the position. CheeseheadTV.com Cornerbacks 14) B.W. Webb, William & Mary 18) Brandon McGee, Miami (Fla.) Despite hailing from an FCS school, Webb proved he belonged at the Senior Bowl. An eye-catching performance at the NFL Combine, which included top numbers in both jumps and shuttles, only added to his continuing rise up draft boards. McGee’s standout performance at the East-West Shrine Game helped ease the criticism of his shaky senior season at Miami. McGee has kept his stock on the rise. 19) Tharold Simon, LSU Few cornerbacks in this draft possess Simon’s impressive combinaNFL teams will be intrigued by tion of length, aggression and conHawthorne’s combination of ideal fidence. A one-game suspension in size, athleticism (4.44 seconds in 40- 2011 for failing a drug test could yard dash) and ability to tackle from turn some teams off. 22) Josh Johnson, Purdue the cornerback position. His lengthy 23) Marc Anthony, California injury history will be one concern, 20) Johnny Adams, Michigan St. especially after a scary concussion in 2012. Adams’ average size will drop him down draft boards, but he played 16) Dwayne Gratz, Connecticut bigger than his frame suggests.. A 40 time of 4.48 seconds at the NFL Gratz has the kind of size and Combine should help calm worries strength (22 reps of 225 lbs. at the about his makeup speed. Combine) needed to be an effective pressing cornerback in the NFL. 21) Will Davis, Utah State Teams may consider moving him to safety, but Gratz was his most effective at UConn when playing near the line of scrimmage. 15) Terry Hawthorne, Illinois 17) D.J. Hayden, Houston How teams view Hayden’s recovery from a scary injury to his heart in 2012 will determine where he’s drafted. If the medical testing checks out, Hayden has the potential to be a top 100 pick. The talent is there. 24) Adrian Bushell, Louisville 25) Nickell Robey, USC 26) Micah Hyde, Iowa 27) Khalid Wooten, Nevada 28) Rod Sweeting, Georgia Tech 29) Steve Williams, California 30) Devin Smith, Wisconsin “potential top 100 pick” 78 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Safeties 1) Jonathan Cyprien School: Florida Int., Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 217 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a Brian Carriveau SAFETY “can play both free and strong safety” 2) Kenny Vaccaro School: Texas, Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 214 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.63 In a nutshell: It works in Vaccaro’s favor that he’s the next in a long line of highly-regarded Texas safeties developed under Mack Brown, but it’s dangerous to assume he’ll automatically become the next Earl Thomas or Michael Griffin. Cyprien played on a Jekkyl and Hyde defense at Florida International, but regardless, his play was good enough to receive a Senior Bowl invitation where he impressed Like a lot of safeties in this year’s class, Vaccaro has the ability to play in Mobile. both strong and free. And of the Vs. ranked opponent: Thanks in 2013 safeties, he’s probably the best part to Cyprien, Florida Interna- at guarding receivers from the slot. 93 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 FF, 4 INTs, 5 PBU In a nutshell: The first thing that sticks out about Cyprien is his small-school pedigree and inevitable questions about his level of competition. But Cyprien’s play speaks for itself. He has the ability to play both free and strong safety, hits hard when playing in the box and can still snag interceptions with his hands on the back end. tional was able to stick with 13th ranked and eventual Big East champion Louisville before eventually falling 28-21 in an early-season matchup. Vaccaro plays faster than his 40 time indicates and is great at busting up plays against bunch formations because he’s not afraid to get physical at the line of scrimmage or come up He expertly showed off his range by and blow up ball carriers. coming all the way from his centerfield zone to pick off all-conference Sometimes his own aggressivessness quarterback Teddy Bridgewater works against him. He’ll miss tackalong the sideline in the first quarter, les by taking bad angles not because using his hands to catch the football of physical limitations, but because away from his body and then shuf- he’ll gamble and find himself out of fling his feet before momentum car- position. ried him out of bounds. Vs. top opponent: In a matchup of Cyprien was later beat for a red zone two teams then ranked in the top 11 touchdown in the second quarter by in the nation, Vaccaro was frequentBridgewater when he couldn’t get ly asked to guard West Virginia’s his head around despite good cover- speedy Tavon Austin in the slot and is commended for the way he limage and positioning. ited Austin’s effectiveness. He has the best range in this year’s Draft class as evidenced by his ability to get from the hashmarks to the sideline to make plays on the ball and from deep centerfield to the 2012 stats: 93 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 FF, 4 INTs, 5 PBU line of scrimmage to make tackles. 79 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Outside of a 40-yard touchdown reception in which Vaccaro was CheeseheadTV.com Safeties not even responsible for coverage, Austin was held to 62 yards on nine other receptions, an average of 6.9 ypr. Keep in mind, Austin is a player who averaged 11.6 ypr on the entire season and had 2,917 all-purpose yards. Vaccaro said at the NFL Combine, “Me and Tavon were going at it all game. He’s a great player. I think I did pretty good. I would say he’s one of the most explosive players in the country, and I’d say I was right there with him.” 2012 stats: 96 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 FF, 2 INTs, 5 PBU 3) Eric Reid School: LSU, Jr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 213 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.53 He’s a good all-around athlete that finished in the top five among all safeties at the NFL Combine in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump. 4) D.J. Swearinger School: South Carolina, Sr. Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 208 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.67 There’s hope that some good NFL coaching will be able to harness Reid’s athleticism into making him an even more consistent interception machine in the pros. Vs. ranked opponent: It was during LSU’s 2011 regular season matchup at Alabama in the so-called “Game of the Century” that Reid really put himself on the map as a top-flight NFL prospect. In addition to flying up from his safety spot 10 yards deep the secondary to make a six-yard tackle for a loss on a power back like Eddie Lacy, Reid is better known for his fourth-quarter interception. With the game tied 6-6 late in the game, Reid bailed on his underneath In a nutshell: Reid is your clas- coverage responsibilities to go after sic tall, back-end safety that’s no a deep ball intended for 6’ 6” tight stranger to playing elite competition end Michael Williams. Reid leaped and high-profile games, so the NFL and ripped the ball away from Wilgame is not going too big for him. liams at the goal line, which prevented Alabama from scoring. He’s come up with some big-time interceptions that have impacted LSU would go on to win 9-6 to help the outcome of a game, but the most preserve their undefeated record. interceptions he’s ever come up with in a single season is two. For being 2012 stats: 91 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 as tall as he is, Reid can break down INTs, 7 PBU well when tackling but will sometimes over-pursue when trying to make plays toward the sidelines. “big-time interceptions” 80 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 93 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 FF, 4 INTs, 5 PBU In a nutshell: If people are concerned about Vaccaro’s 40 time of 4.63, Swearinger was .04 slower, which comes as a concern. But he was able to make up for it with his three-cone drill time of 6.70, which was tied for third among all safeties at the Combine. While having a reputation as a big hitter, Swearinger is also the surest and most consistent tackler in this year’s Draft class and a four-year starter in college. He doesn’t leave his feet unnecessarily and come up empty as guys like Vaccaro and Elam have been prone to do. Height is an issue. CheeseheadTV.com Safeties Bowl game: Swearinger’s forced fumble was a key factor in South Carolina’s 33-28 2013 Outback Bowl victory over Michigan. He also had a team-leading nine tackles and two passes broken up, which helped make a difference in a one-score ballgame and ensured the Gamecocks ended with an 11win season. 2012 stats: 79 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 FF, 2 INTs, 7 PBU 5) Matt Elam School: Florida, Jr. Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 208 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.54 76 tackles, 11 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 FF, 4 INTs, 5 PBU In a nutshell: For someone playing in secondary, it’s rather impressive that Elam was able to make 11 tackles for a loss in each of 2011 and 2012. At times, however, he seems too content to just throw a shoulder or make a diving attempt at a tackle to take out someone’s legs and ends up missing entirely. That will be an even bigger problem at football’s next level. His height also comes as a concern. Will Elam be able to cover the new breed of NFL tight end? Charles Woodson as a role model, a player that was used both ways in college. All-Star game: At times during the Senior Bowl game, Wilcox looked raw, but not that much more than any of the other safeties. He got beat once on a double move by an opposing tight end, but his playing speed was among the best of players at his position, and he showed an ability to launch his body upon impact when tackling. Best game: Despite not qualifying for a bowl game, Missouri was able to give 11-win Florida a run for their money during a 2012 SEC East He also lined up as a kick returner matchup. in Mobile. His experience playing on offense should be beneficial in Florida, however, was able to come handling the football. away with a 14-7 victory in large part to Elam’s big game. The Gators 2012 stats: 88 tackles, 2 INTs, 3 safety had two tackles for a loss, but PBU; 31 KO returns, 780 yards, 25.2 it was his interception and 42-yard avg. return that helped to set up Florida’s go-ahead touchdown. 7) Earl Wolff School: N. Carolina St., Sr. 2012 stats: 76 tackles, 11 TFL, 2 Height: 5’ 11” sacks, 1 FF, 4 INTs, 5 PBU Weight: 209 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.44 6) J.J. Wilcox School: Georgia South., Sr. In a nutshell: Wolff improved each Height: 6’ 0” year in college going from a partWeight: 213 lbs. time contributor as a freshman 40-Yard Dash: 4.57 in 2009 to a starter in 2010 to an honorable mention all-conference In a nutshell: It’s rather impres- selection in 2011 to a first-team allsive how far Wilcox has come since conference pick as a senior in 2012. switching from running back to safety during his senior season in NFL Combine: Although he declined to participate in the bench college. press and three-cone drill, Wolff was He has a small-school pedigree but a top performer in every other meaproved his worth by being invited to sured discipline at the NFL Comthe Senior Bowl. Wilcox looks up to bine. 81 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Safeties Among safeties, he finished second in the 40 (4.44 seconds), fourth in the vertical jump (39 inches), first in the broad jump (134 inches) and third in the 20-yard shuttle (4.07 seconds). 9) Shawn Williams School: Georgia, Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 213 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.46 2012 stats: 119 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 FF, In a nutshell: Williams is not unlike another safety on the Packers roster, 2 INTs, 7 PBU Jerron McMillian, who’s great as a physical in-the-box safety, but still 8) Shamarko Thomas has a ways to go in coverage. School: Syracuse, Sr. Height: 5’ 9” Weight: 213 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.42 In a nutshell: There are obvious concerns about Thomas’ lack of height. But by playing at a high level during college, he’s received several comparisons to former Colts safety Bob Sanders. When you have a small body and play a physical style of football, there’s also a risk of injury. And while Thomas doesn’t have a history of nagging injuries, he did sustain multiple concussions at Syracuse. NFL Combine: Perhaps more than any other safety, Thomas made a lasting impression at the Combine in Indianapolis. He had the top 40 time (4.42 seconds), bench press (28 reps) and vertical jump (40.5 inches) among players at his position, and might have ensured he’s a day two selection in the Draft. 2012 stats: 85 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 sack, 3 FF, 2 INTs, 0 PBU 10) Josh Evans School: Florida, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 207 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.58 In a nutshell: Evans didn’t become a full-time starter until his senior year at Florida, and even then he was overshadowed on a unit that featured fellow safety Matt Elam as well as defensive lineman Shariff Floyd and linebacker Jon Bostic. He didn’t grab a single interception as senior but did grab four as a junior. His biggest strength is being a He’s a good athlete with the desired reliable tackler. height for a back-end safety but doesn’t have the body of work that Vs. ranked opponent: A micro- other safeties in this year’s Draft cosm of Williams’ career can be seen class can boast. in Georgia’s 2012 loss to South Carolina, a matchup of previously unde- NFL Combine: According to Draftfeated teams. Metrics.com, they believe one of the better predictors of success for an Williams made several nice open- NFL safety is their three-cone drill field tackles of marquee running (behind 40 time), and Evans posted back Marcus Lattimore but strug- a good one at the Combine. gled in coverage. He had the fastest time of any safety Williams got sucked in on a play- in this year’s Draft class with a time action fake for a first-quarter touch- of 6.64 seconds, although none of down and then was partially respon- his other measurements really stood sible for giving up a pass of 60-plus out. yards in the third quarter in zone coverage. 2012 stats: 83 tackles, 5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 3 INTs, 3 PBU 2012 stats: 98 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF, 0 INTs, 4 PBU, 1 blocked kick “not unlike another safety on the Packers” 82 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Safeties 11) Bacarri Rambo School: Georgia, Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 211 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a In a nutshell: On one hand, Rambo might be the best ballhawk of the top dozen or so safeties in this year’s Draft class. But on the other hand, he might be the least physical safety and is more of a “pile inspector,” as Pro Football Weekly’s 2013 Draft Guide describes him. 12) Phillip Thomas, Fresno State 16) Duke Williams, Nevada Thomas missed his entire junior season after breaking his leg and dislocating his ankle just days before the season opener. But he returned with a vengeance as a senior by leading the nation with eight interceptions. Williams is a hard hitter, the type that throws his body around and isn’t afraid to mix it up with receivers at the line of scrimmage. Quicker than he is fast, Williams will give maximum effort on the field. He was suspended three times in his first 12 months on campus at Nevada but has kept his nose clean since that time. 13) Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma The knock on Jefferson is that he misses too many tackles, which he admitted to at the NFL Combine. He’ll go for the big hit and then whiff entirely. But Jefferson does His 16 career interceptions are dif- have a high ceiling. Before declaring ficult to ignore. There are also con- for the Draft as a junior, he accucerns about his four-game suspen- mulated eight interceptions and 18 sion in 2012 for allegedly failing a tackles for a loss. drug test. 14) T.J. McDonald, USC All-Star game: In addition to his 16 interceptions at Georgia, Ram- T.J. is the son of former 49ers and bo added to that total at the Senior Cardinals safety Tim McDonald, a Bowl when he picked of Syracuse six-time Pro Bowler. The younger McDonald has a reputation as a quarterback Ryan Nassib. hard hitter like his father, but he’s a “It made me feel like I was ready,” liability in coverage and is probably best confined to the box. Doug FarRambo said at the NFL Combine. rar of Yahoo Sports compared him “He’s one of the top quarterbacks in to former Packers safety Atari Bigby. this year’s draft. Just having an interception against him, it showed I was 15) Sanders Commings, Georgia ready and could play with the best A cornerback at Georgia, there’s of them.” some feeling that Commings could 2012 stats: 73 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, become a safety in the NFL. He has the size needed to play safety at 6’ 3 FF, 3 INTs, 2 PBU 0” and 216 lbs., but he’s not at all a physical presence. Commings is more of the free safety type, but that suits his coverage skills fine. SAFETY 83 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 17) Keelan Johnson, Arizona St. Johnson didn’t become a full-time starter during college until his senior year but gained some attention when he grabbed five interceptions. He kept the momentum going at the NFL Combine where he posted good times in the three-cone drill and short shuttle. 18) Zeke Motta, Notre Dame In comparison to former Notre Dame safeties, Motta is probably more Tom Zbikowski than Harrison Smith. He’s trending upward after a season in which he helped the Fighting Irish reach the National Championship game. 19) Terence Garvin, West Virginia 20) Bradley McDougald, Kansas 21) Daimon Stafford, Nebraska 22) Rashard Hall, Clemson 23) Brandan Bishop, N. Car. St. 24) Dexter McCoil, Tulsa 25) Robert Lester, Alabama 26) Jawanza Starling, USC 27) Jahleel Addae, C. Michigan 28) John Boyett, Oregon 29) Ryan McWethy, Wis.-Platte. 30) Jamoris Slaughter, ND. CheeseheadTV.com Special Teams 1) Dustin Hopkins School: Florida State, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 193 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.74 In a nutshell: Hopkins has handled both kickoffs and field goals ever since stepping on campus at Florida State as a freshman, a rare accomplishment for any kicker. He’s the all-time leading scorer as a kicker in FBS history and twice made four field goals in bowl games. The first came as a freshman against West Virginia in the Gator Bowl, which was Bobby Bowden’s final game as coach. The next was as sophomore against South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Brian Carriveau KICKER “unorthodox kickoff approach” 2) Caleb Sturgis School: Florida, Sr. Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 188 lbs. 40-Yard Dash n/a First game: On his very first field goal attempt in the first football game of his college career, Hopkins coolly nailed a 52-yarder against instate rival Miami. He also hit another field goal from 40-plus, finishing 2/2 on field goals on the day. He did miss an extra point, but it’s worth noting that Hopkins only missed one extra point in four years that wasn’t blocked, according to his Hopkins’ field goal percentage imNFL.com profile. proved every year from 2009 to 2012 going from 70.4 to 78.6 to 81.5 2012 stats: 25/30 FGs, long of 56, to 83.3. 65/66 PATs, 140 points, 43 touchbacks on 104 kickoffs What gives him the edge over Caleb Sturgis is his higher trajectory, which avoids blocks on field goals and gets good hang time on kickoffs. In a nutshell: The most important part of being a kicker in the NFL is converting your field goals, and Sturgis improved from connecting on 73.3 percent of his field goals as a sophomore in 2009 to 84.6 percent as a junior in 2011 and 85.7 percent in 2012. He’s received a medical redshirt in 2010 when he missed nine games due to a back injury. Sturgis is a down-to-earth young man who has experience playing in big-time games and big stadiums in the SEC but hasn’t kicked much in cold climates. The first thing people will notice about Hopkins is his unorthodox kickoff approach, but he makes it work and the unusual style doesn’t carry over to his place kicking. 84 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 24/28 FGs, long of 51, 34/35 PATs, 106 points CheeseheadTV.com Special Teams Even as a kicker, he’s not very big. According to his NFL.com profile, “Kickoffs reaching the end zone are a bit lower than scouts prefer, and could be brought out by NFL returners.” Rivalry game: In the 2009 version of the game formerly known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” Sturgis was part of a Florida team that annihilated Georgia to the tune of 41-17. He scored 11 total points that afternoon and converted 2/2 field goals, both from 40-plus yards. The longest was from 56 yards, which is his career-long and was also the longest field goal made in the SEC that season. 2012 stats: 24/28 FGs, long of 51, 34/35 PATs, 106 points, 31 touchbacks on 69 kickoffs 3) Brett Maher School: Nebraska, Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 186 lbs. 40-Yard Dash n/a In a nutshell: Maher spent his first two seasons in college behind Alex Henery on the depth chart at Nebraska, but seeing as Henery is now making a living as the kicker for the Philadelphia Eagles, that’s not really a knock on Maher who was the place-kick holder for those two years. “very capable punter” Of the top three kickers on this list, Maher is the only who has extensive experience kicking in northern climates of the Big Ten. PUNTER Even then, it’s not all that extensive seeing as college football is played only sporadically in the months of December and January. “the most diverse specialist in the draft” Maher made 82.6 percent of his field goals as a junior before regressing slightly as a senior to 71.4 percent. Also a very capable punter, earning all-conference honors in both 2011 and 2012. 1) Quinn Sharp School: Oklahoma State, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 189 lbs. 40-Yard Dash n/a Vs. ranked opponent: By beating No. 22 Michigan 22-9, Nebraska finished one-game ahead of the Wolverines in the Big Ten Leaders division standings, advancing to the conference championship game. In the victory over Michigan, Maher hit 3/3 field goals, including a long of 51 yards and scored 11 total points. He also placed two of four punts inside the 20-yard line. 2012 stats: 20/27 FGs, long of 54, 59/59 PATs, 119 points, 57 touchbacks on 96 kickoffs 4) Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State 5) Brandon McManus, Temple 6) Zach Brown, Portland State 7) Brett Baer, Louisiana-Lafayette 8) Anthony Cantele, Kansas State 9) Casey Barth, North Carolina 10) Jeremy Shelly, Alabama 85 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview 44 punts, 46.27-yard gross average, long of 74 In a nutshell: Sharp is the most diverse specialist in this year’s Draft class. He did all the place kicking, kickoffs and punting at Oklahoma State the past two seasons and did all of them well, becoming the first player in Big XII history to be CheeseheadTV.com Special Teams named first-team all-conference at both kicker and punter. He’s also earned All-American status at both positions, albeit in different years. Leg strength is Sharp’s best asset as he led all of FBS in touchbacks for four years from 2009 to 2012. It’s possible Sharp could be a punter/ kickoff specialist in the NFL, but it’s perhaps more probable that a team will give him a chance as the kicker/kickoff specialist despite being ranked our No. 1 punter. It’s his versatility that has him ranked No. 1. All-Star game: Sharp was invited to the Senior Bowl as a kicker and kickoff specialist while UCLA’s Jeff Locke handled the punting for the North squad. He nailed a 42-yard field goal and averaged 62.3 yards on three kickoffs. None went for touchbacks, but in an all-star game setting, the return specialists are motivated to bring the ball out of the end zone because it’s merely an exhibition and they have very little to lose. 2012 stats: 44 punts, 46.27-yard gross average, long of 74, 18 punts inside the 20; 28/34 FGs, long of 51, 72/72 PATs, 156 points, 71 touchbacks on 102 kickoffs “leg strength is Sharp’s best asset” 2) Brad Wing School: LSU, Jr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 205 lbs. 40-Yard Dash n/a Albama’s punt returner Marquis Maze inexplicably declined to catch the ball and let it roll, finally coming to rest at the 18-yard line. It went down as a 73-yard punt and LSU ended up beating Alabama 9-6 In a nutshell: It isn’t often a punter in overtime, helping to preserve declares for the NFL Draft as an un- their undefeated regular season. derclassman. While Wing has the talent to make it in the NFL, there 2012 stats: 59 punts, 44.8-yard are several off-the-field issues that gross average, long of 69, 21 inside the 20 need vetting. He was suspended for LSU’s bowl game in 2012 for allegedly failing a drug test and also missed the season-opener with similar allegations that he failed a drug test, though the official word is he had an injury. 3) Ryan Allen School: Louisiana Tech, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 229 lbs. 40-Yard Dash n/a In a nutshell: A left-footed kickWing also cost LSU a touchdown er, Allen is a two-time winner of against Florida in 2011 when he had the Ray Guy Award. He originally 50-plus yard fake punt called back signed on at Oregon State, but then for taunting. transferred to Louisiana Tech where he spent his last three seasons. Wing is a left-footed kicker and a native of Australia whose father Not only did Allen lead the nation punted in NFL Europe. as a senior with a gross punting average of over 48 yards per kick, His leg strength is his biggest asset, Louisiana Tech also finished No. 1 but there are concerns that he’ll outin net punting average at 43.1 yards kick his coverage and let too many per kick. Allen helped to allow only punts reach the end zone for touch84 return yards the entire season. backs. Vs. ranked opponent: Backed up inside his own end zone with the score tied 6-6 against No. 2 Alabama in 2011’s regular-season matchup, Wing unleashed a punt that traveled more than 60 yards through the air. 86 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview He does not have experience as a place-kick holder, which is a big negative. Vs. top opponent: In a matchup of two punters who’d eventually be invited to the NFL Combine, Allen helped Louisiana Tech get by Idaho CheeseheadTV.com Special Teams and punter Bobby Cowan in a 2011 One concern about the younger Inmatchup. gram is an old injury, a torn labrum in his left shoulder that he played Allen averaged 48.0 yards on 10 through for the entire 2011 season. punts, placing six of them inside the 20 and four inside the 10. Louisiana He told the Honolulu Star-AdvertisTech would win 24-11 and go onto er that it would dislocate up to two become WAC champions. or three times per game. Ingram reportedly had surgery on it before his 2012 stats: 45 punts, 48.04-yard senior season, however, and it hasn’t gross average, long of 85, 20 inside appeared to bother him since. the 20 While at Hawaii he worked with 4) Jeff Locke, UCLA punter Alex Dunnachie, two spe5) Josh Hubner, Arizona State cialists that took their crafts seri6) Scott Kovanda, Ball State ously. Ingram played in the Senior 7) Dylan Breeding, Arkansas Bowl and was the only long snapper 8) Alex Dunnachie, Hawaii invited to the NFL Combine. 9) Bobby Cowan, Idaho 10) Daniel Zychlinski, Stanford 2) Carson Tinker, Alabama 3) Jordan Cowart, Notre Dame 4) Patrick Greene, Utah 5) Evan Jacobsen, New Mexico 6) Dax Dellenbach, Florida State 7) Kevin McDermott, UCLA 8) Brandon Hartson, Houston 9) P.J. Mangieri, Nebraksa 10) Billy Johnson, Tulane 1) Luke Ingram School: Hawaii, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 258 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.05 he set NC State and ACC records with 496 all-purpose yards in a single game and was just six yards shy of setting the all-time FBS record. Palmer also led the Wolfpack in receiving with 54 receptions for 781 yards and six touchdowns, but he did not return punts. He played his first two seasons at Georgia Military College where he also played running back. 2) Reggie Dunn School: Utah, Sr. Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 172 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a LS KR In a nutshell: If there’s such a thing as “Long Snapper U” it might be Hawaii where Luke Ingram followed in his older brother’s footsteps. Mark Ingram graduated from Hawaii in 2009 to become the only long snapper drafted in the 2009 NFL Draft and has spent time with both the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints in the NFL. 1) Tobais Palmer School: N. Carolina St., Sr. Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 176 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a In a nutshell: Like former Packers signee Shaky Smithson before him, In a nutshell: Among the return Reggie Dunn kept up the recent specialists, Tobais Palmer has the Utah reputation of elite kick returnbest chance to also contribute as a ers. receiver. Against No. 11 Clemson, 87 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Special Teams He holds the NCAA record for the 4) Matt Brown, Temple most 100-plus yard kick returns in a career (five) and most in a season Brown is the first player on this list to return both kicks and punts, but (four). he’s just 5’ 5” and 165 lbs. Dunn also set the NCAA record with two 100-plus yard kick returns Brown was a first-team All-Big East in a single game against California selection and the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Year after in 2012. averaging 14.2 yards on 17 punt reTeams started to kick away from af- turns and 25.5 yards on 31 kickoff ter the Cal game. Similar to Palmer, returns. Dunn doesn’t return punts, but he reportedly has elite speed that can He also played a significant role as a approach 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard running back for Temple and could a poor man’s version of Darren Spdash. roles. 3) Quincy McDuffie School: Central Florida, Sr. Height: 5’ 8” Weight: 175 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: n/a In a nutshell: Quincy McDuffie was named Conference USA’s Special Teams Player of the Year in 2012 after leading FBS with a kick return average of 34.2 yards and three touchdowns. 5) Nick Williams, Connecticut Williams was a second-team All-Big East selection as a return specialist after averaging 12.0 yards on punt returns and 20.4 yards on kick returns. He also caught 30 passes as a senior and played in the Casino del Sol All-Star Game. 6) Jerodis Williams, Furman 12.2 yards on 18 punt returns as a senior. He also led McNeese in receiving in 2012 with 32 receptions for 497 yards and three touchdowns. He handled punt return duties but was not heavily used as a kickoff return specialist. 8) John Borsellino, Benedictine Borsellino was an all-around threat as a receiver and running back at Benedictine, but his Division III level of competition comes as a concern. His speed isn’t at the level of the Division I athletes. 9) Austin Shanks, N. Arizona Shanks was honored with the 2012 Punt Returner Award at the FCS level by the College Football Performance Awards after averaging 19.8 yards on 17 punt returns and two touchdowns as a senior. Williams was a productive running He finished his college career with back at Furman, but his best oppor- 10) Tavoy Austin, Central Wash. six total kick return touchdowns tunity to break into the NFL might and is UCF’s all-time leader in kick be as a kick returner, at least at first. Austin was dismissed from Idaho return yardage. State but spent his senior season at He averaged 39.5 yards on 16 kick Central Washington. Along with the other top two play- returns as a senior but did not reers on this list, McDuffie didn’t re- turn punts. He reportedly recently signed a conturn punts either but has speed to tract with the Edmonton Eskimos of burn. the Canadian Football League. 7) Darius Carey, McNeese State “didn’t return punts but has speed” Carey was dismissed from North Texas but revived his college career at McNeese State where he averaged 88 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview “signed with Edmonton Eskimos” CheeseheadTV.com Packers Mock Draft 2013 “Jersey” Al Bracco Packers MOCK DRAFT Round 1 Datone Jones, DE, UCLA Packers general manager Ted Thompson, who eschews bigname free agents, did entertain thoughts of adding help at two positions this year, defensive end and running back. With running back providing better value in later rounds, the Packers look to bolster their defensive line with perhaps the most well-rounded 3-4 defensive end prospect in the Draft. Jones has the strength to take on and shed double-teams as well as the initial burst to break through inside. Alternate choices: Sylvester Williams, Eddie Lacy. Round 2 Jonathan Cyprien, S, Fl. Int The Packers’ secondary is sorely lacking in one major department: the intimidation factor. Opposing wide receivers have little to fear while traversing the Packers defensive backfield, and Ted Thompson must do something about it. He’s looking for a physical safety to play in the box that won’t be a downright liability in coverage. A fast riser, this small school safety could very well require a trade up for the Packers to land him. Alternate choices: Shawn Williams, Quinton Patton. Round 3 Stedman Bailey, WR, W. Virg. While all the attention is being heaped on multiple-threat Tavon Austin, Baily’s teammate at WVU, Bailey is the guy with the better receiving numbers. Not the biggest or fastest receiver, Bailey is an excellent route runner with soft hands who uses his body well to shield defenders from the ball. Not easy to bring down after the catch, Bailey is reminiscent of Steve Smith but has also drawn comparisons to the man he would replace in Green Bay, Greg Jennings. Alternate choices: Aaron Dobson, Markus Wheaton. 89 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Packers Mock Draft 2013 Round 4 Le’Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State The time for a running back pick arrives. While the most talented back likely to be available here is Christine Michael of Texas A&M, it’s unlikely Ted would draft such a head case. The non-spectacular but well rounded Stepfan Taylor is likely to be gone, so Bell is the choice. Read the scouting reports then watch the tape, and it’s obvious Bell is a more athletic Ryan Grant. Bell is a north-south, one-cut runner with some actual moves that would also be a much better option on the goal line than John Kuhn. Alternate choices: Marcus Lattimore, Stepfan Taylor. Round 5 David Quessenberry, OT, San Jose State Quessenberry shows polished techniques without any glaring flaws in his game. He is being looked at as a possible conversion to guard or center by some teams (why he drops) and handled all three positions with aplomb during Senior Bowl week. He has all the markings of a Ted Thompson value and versatility pick, and could turn into a pleasant surprise as a left tackle. Alternate choices: Reid Fragel, Brennan Williams. Round 5 (Compensatory) Davis Bass, OLB, Missouri Western State Bass started 50 straight games and tallied 39.5 sacks at the Division II level. He does not possess elite straight-line speed but is an active athlete with some explosion as his agility drills performance at the NFL Combine shows. This is a roll of the dice here but one that could pay off big. Alternate choices: Quanterus Smith, Cornelius Washington. Round 6 A.J. Klein, ILB, Iowa State What the Wisconsin-born Klein lacks in athleticism, he makes up for with instincts and aggressive play. He’ll provide adequate depth at the position while being an active participant on special teams. There aren’t many other attractive inside linebacker prospects here, so for alternate choices, look to find some depth at nose tackle. Alternate choices: Gilbert Pena, Anthony McCloud. Round 7 Zach Sudfeld, TE, Nevada Hampered by injuries for most of his early college career, Sudfeld finally had a fully healthy year and caught 45 passes and eight touchdowns as a senior. He has impressed scouts in private workouts with his combination of size, strength and athleticism but did not land a Combine invite. The Packers are very aware of Sudfeld, who represents your classic boom or bust late rounder. If he can stay healthy, he has the ability to boom. Alternate choices: Michael Williams, Jake Stoneburner. 90 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Packers Position Profiles Brian Carriveau packers Running backs and Quarterbacks There’s little doubt that Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks, and indeed, one of the best players in the NFL. Packers fans hardly need to be reminded of that any more. He can make throws to all parts of the field with strength and accuracy. About the only thing Rodgers can’t do is run the read-option. Actually, he probably could but the Packers won’t want to take the risk of him being hit. In the never-ending quest of improvement, however, one area Rodgers arguably needs to tweak is getting rid of the football as his 51 sacks were the most endured by any NFL quarterback last season. Of course, there’s a chicken or the egg argument whether it’s Rodgers’ fault or his protection. Graham Harrell was Rodgers’ understudy in 2012 but won’t be guaranteed of the same job in 2013. In limited playing time, the only memorable thing about Harrell this past season was his goal-line fumble that was returned for a touchdown by the New Orleans Saints. Last year’s seventh-round draft choice, B.J. Coleman, will be given an opportunity to win the No. 2 job in training camp, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Packers won’t draft another quarterback in the mid to late rounds if they think they can find a better option that Harrell or Coleman. Because of injuries and ineffectiveness, five different players led the Packers in rushing in different games during the 2012 season. Among them, Cedric Benson is currently an unrestricted free agent. It’s possible the Packers bring him back on an NFL minimum contract that carries little risk like they did last season, but they’ll want to make sure he’s recovered from the lisfranc injury in his foot first. Ryan Grant is also a free agent and appears unlikely to return unless the injury situation becomes dire like it did at midseason in 2012. The best chance for stable production may come from DuJuan Harris who was a revelation as a midseason pickup. Harris exhibited a quickness that no other player on the roster could replicate and deserves at least an opportunity to see if he can become the Packers’ starter at the position. That being said, it would behoove the Packers to find a complement to Harris in the Draft. Among those running backs remaining on the roster are a bunch of question marks. James Starks simply can’t stay healthy for an entire season. And after suffering a torn ACL in 2011, Alex Green returned to action in 2012 but was never 100 percent healed and was benched late last season. John Kuhn returns as the Packers only fullback, although his skills may be in decline. 91 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Packers Position Profiles packers Receivers and Tightends There is a changing of the guard taking place at the wide receiver ing Jen n :G reg GO NE With Driver and Jennings out of the picture, bigger roles are expected from James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Jones has taken to the national media saying he’s ready to become the Packers No. 1 receiver after leading the NFL with 14 touchdown catches last season. Nelson should be his same solid self if he avoids the hamstring woes that plagued him last season. The big question with Cobb is whether the Packers relieve him of his return duties in order to concentrate on offense, as well as to avoid potential injury. s position in Green Bay. First Donald Driver retired this past February, bringing to an end a 14-year career in professional football, every single one of them spent with the Packers. His production waned his final season in Green Bay, but his charisma will be missed. There’s an outside chance the Packers could bring Driver back if they happen to suffer a rash of injuries at the position. Also gone is three-time Pro Bowler Greg Jennings who joined the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent. The Packers simply couldn’t match the five-year deal offered by the Vikings for a productive but injury-prone player over the past few seasons. Through two seasons with the Packers, D.J. Williams has contributed surprisingly little. He came out of Arkansas as a highly regarded receiving tight end, but it has yet to translate to the NFL. His lack height doesn’t help. If Williams doesn’t take a big leap forward in 2013, he probably never will. There will be a spot for Ryan Taylor on the roster as long as he remains one of their special teams standouts, but like Williams, he has added little on offense. 92 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Cr GO NE :T om He’s ultra-talented, but he’s also inconsistent and, at times, a distraction from a media standpoint. After losing Greg Jennings and Tom Crabtree to free agency during the offseason, however, the Packers couldn’t afford to part ways with another receiving target. Finley will be back for another season, but his future is still uncertain as he only has one year remaining on his contract. Whether he’s back beyond 2013 might depend upon how well he does this season. With Crabtree gone, there’s an opportunity for Andrew Quarless to become the team’s top blocking tight end once again. He held that title early in 2011, but a gruesome knee injury derailed the end of that season and all of 2012. ab tre e Jermichael Finley has been a lightning rod of attention in Green Bay. CheeseheadTV.com Packers Position Profiles Brian Carriveau packers Offensive Line The Packers selected offensive tackles in back-to-back drafts in 2010 and 2011, and unfortunately, both of them spent time on injured reserve in 2012. Both Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod will be coming off injuries this upcoming season and have a lot to prove. Even before fracturing his hip midway through the 2012 season, Bulaga was having an up-and-down season with the low point coming against the Seattle Seahawks when the Packers right tackle was responsible for giving up several of Green Bay’s eight sacks on the evening. Regardless, Bulaga is still the Packers’ best tackle, which makes fans wonder if he should be moved to the left side of the line. After suffering a gruesome broken leg in 2011, Sherrod didn’t play a down in 2012 and through two years has proved very little in the NFL. His injury is a legitimate excuse, but he enters an important offseason. Marshall Newhouse has been the Packers’ left tackle for the majority of the past two seasons, and while he made major strides from Year One to Year Two as a starter, he’s still giving up too many sacks on Aaron Rodgers. Undrafted rookie Don Barclay filled in capably when injuries struck last season, but it remains to be seen if he’s a full-time starter. In Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang, the Packers are set at guard for years to come. Sitton signed a six-year deal with Green Bay in 2011 and Lang followed suit with a five-year deal of his own in 2012. Of the two, Sitton has been the better player and was honored with his first Pro Bowl selection last season, albeit as an injury replacement. He’s equally adept in his run and pass blocking and probably has the biggest mean streak among the Packers offensive linemen. Lang has been a fixture at left guard for Green Bay but temporarily filled in at right tackle when Bryan Bulaga went down due to injury. Based upon his play, it’s clear Lang is a better fit at guard. His pass protection was a weakness in 2012, and he showed a tendency to get beat by quick interior pass rushers. The Packers made the switch from Jeff Saturday to Evan DietrichSmith at center late last season and will enter 2013 the same way, although Dietrich-Smith still has to prove he’s the long-term solution at the position. He Packers offered “EDS” a one-year tender offer in the offseason, essentially forcing him to establish himself before offering him a multi-year contract extension. 93 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Packers Position Profiles Brian Carriveau packers Defensive Line and Special Teams The Packers flirted with adding help on the defensive line when they courted Chris Canty in free agency, but decided to pass on a player with a lengthy injury history. But the reality is that the Packers haven’t found a consistent pass rusher on the line since Cullen Jenkins departed following the 2010 Super Bowl. Whoever they add, they’ll be joining stalwarts B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett. The biggest question surrounding Raji is his future, seeing as he only has one year left on his contract and doesn’t appear to be a player Green Bay will be willing to let go. As for Pickett, he was the same steady player he’s always been in 2012, but at what point does age (currently 33) catch up to him? Last season, the Packers added two rookies during the NFL Draft. They invested a second-round pick in Jerel Worthy and he ended his season on injured reserve with a torn ACL. Fellow rookie Mike Daniels exceeded expectations but appears best suited for a pass-rush specialist role and not a three-down player. C.J. Wilson is solid against the run but his all-around game is lacking. Mike Neal finally stayed healthy for an entire season in 2012 and enters 2013 as a make-it or break-it year. The biggest variable could be Johnny Jolly who was finally reinstated by the NFL after a three-year suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Jolly agreed to restructure his contract for near the NFL minimum. Getting down to brass tacks, Mason Crosby had the worst season of his career and was the NFL’s least-accurate kicker in 2012. His field goal percentage of 63.6 was a career low, which came as a surprise after having converting on a career-high 85.7 percent just one year earlier. Crosby was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2011, which made his struggles last season come as somewhat as a surprise. What’s really worrisome about Crosby, though, is that so many of his misses were struck horribly bad in 2012, several of them not even coming in the same area code as the goal posts. Drafting a kicker is not out of the question for the Packers, but even if they don’t, Giorgio Tavecchio will provide competition for Crosby. On the bright side, Tim Masthay has become a reliable punter for the Packers, even though he faded slightly down the stretch last season. He’s set franchise records in each of the past two seasons for net punting average and also placed a record-tying 30 punts inside the 20 in 2012. Long snapper Brett Goode hasn’t had an errant snap in five years with the Packers. 94 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Packers Position Profiles Brian Carriveau packers Outside and inside linebackers If there was any doubt that Clay Matthews wasn’t all he was cracked W ald ri k :E GO NE The Packers really have no choice but to put all their eggs in one basket with Perry and hope he’s over the wrist injury that ended his 2012 season. Drafting another outside linebacker in the first few rounds would be a waste. Adding depth in the later rounds is not out of the question, however. Dezman Moses was a nice surprise as an undrafted rookie last season. He figures to carve out a role for himself again in 2013. Frank Zombo is a free agent and it remains to be seen whether the Packers will re-sign him or not. en up to be in 2011 when he recorded only six sacks, that doubt was put to rest in 2012 when he bounced back with 13 in only 12 games. Of course, the fact that Matthews played only 12 games is a concern all its own. Hamstring issues seem to be an annual occurrence with him. Regardless, Matthews stands to become one of the highest paid defensive players in the NFL, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him sign a contract extension at some point before the start of the season. Erik Walden had been starting opposite Matthews for most of the past two years, but he moved onto Indianapolis in free agency, and now all eyes will be on Nick Perry. The Packers have more veteran depth at inside linebacker than they know what to do with. But are they handcuffing themselves by hanging onto so many players with mediocre production? One reason they have seven inside linebackers on their roster is because they don’t know how Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith will rebound from their season-ending injuries last season. Bishop’s torn hamstring occurred the first game of the preseason, so he’s had a long time to recover. If healthy, Bishop is probably the best player at the position. A.J. Hawk restructured his contract, ensuring he spends at least one more season in Green Bay. As usual, Hawk is a steady presence and leader, but he’s a two-down player and not a playmaker. After exceeding expectations in 2012, the Packers re-signed Brad Jones as an unrestricted free agent and might be banking on continued improvement. What his role will be in 2013 is anyone’s guess. Rob Francois was also re-signed during the offseason, but he’ll struggle to find playing time at a crowded position. He figures to remain a special teams regular. The wildcard in the bunch could be Terrell Manning, who the Packers traded up to grab in last year’s draft. He battled through illness last year, but could be ready to make a jump. 95 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Packers Position Profiles Brian Carriveau packers Cornerbacks and Safeties Cornerback is probably one of the deepest positions on the current Packers team, and a position they don’t need to address until the late rounds of the NFL Draft, if at all. One of the reasons to feel good about his group is Casey Hayward, who will be entering his second season in 2013. He finished third in the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Voting last year behind the strength of his six interceptions. The Packers are in good hands with Hayward taking over the slot cornerback duties from Charles Woodson. The case could be made that Hayward deserves to start across from Sam Shields, who rebounded from a down season in 2011 to play at a high level in 2012. Tramon Williams has his work cut out for him if he’s going to hold off Shields and Hayward in the starting lineup. His poor games against the Vikings and 49ers aside, Williams did a good job as a cover corner in 2012. Lingering issues with his injured shoulder have lasted two seasons. If it weren’t for a shoulder injury of his own, Davon House might be deserving of more playing time as well. He looked good in limited appearances last season. Jarrett Bush is fine as a special teams ace but probably shouldn’t play on defense outside of his goal-line role. During the offseason the Packers parted ways with longtime veteran 96 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview ds W oo ha rle s :C GO NE When Woodson was hurt last season, the Packers basically instituted a time-share with M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian. More or less, Jennings was the better coverage safety while McMillian was the more physical run defender. If they could be combined into one player, they’d be the complete package. Also in the mix at safety is Sean Richardson, an undrafted rookie who ended last season on injured reserve with neck injury. If he can put his injury woes behind him, Richardson’s combination of size and speed can be an asset. This year’s NFL Draft class at safety is the deepest in years, and it wouldn’t surprise to see the Packers seek reinforcement through that avenue. on Charles Woodson, partly because of his approximately $10 million salary and partly because his skills had deteriorated. Woodson will be missed for his leadership and everything he’s meant to the organization for the past seven seasons, but it clear he had little left in the tank. Minus Woodson, the Packers will be looking for another safety to play opposite Morgan Burnett who had a solid season in 2012. Burnett had made big-time strides as a physical presence last season, proving he can be an in-the-box defender as well as a back-end rover. If the lightbulb clicks for him, he could be one of the NFC’s better safeties. CheeseheadTV.com Senior Bowl “Pigskin” Paul Guillemette Senior Bowl, Mobile, AL If all-star games are the dairy aisle of your local grocery, then welcome to the cream section. Even though agents hide some of their players in performance camps, you’ll find the vast majority of the Top 100 senior Draft prospects playing and practicing in this venue. Even though the elite guys weren’t in Mobile, I felt that the game featured two very viable receiver options that both have Jennings potential in my eyes. Quinton Patton of Louisiana Tech had a strong week of practice. Even though he’s not a blazer, he has good size (6’ 0”, 202 lbs), 9 1/8” hands and good quickness in and out of his cuts. In fact, at times his resemblance to Jennings and his skill set was a bit eerie. After a great week of practice, Patton all but disappeared in the game, but he did perform well on special teams coverage units. Aaron Dobson of Marshall displayed good hands and solid route running ability. He also demonstrated nice footwork on sideline patterns. He’s not as quick looking as Patton, but his 79” wingspan was the longest of any wide receiver in Mobile. The defensive line group was particularly strong and deep this year. But more than half of the guys in this group I would eliminate because they are not well suited for a 3-4 scheme, especially for a team like Green Bay which uses a two-man defensive line formation quite frequently. One of the most intriguing DL guys who did not disappoint in Mobile was Montori Hughes of Tennessee-Martin. There’s nothing small about this smallschool kid who measured 6’ 5”, 328 lbs. and looked even bigger. He also has a wingspan of over 80”, though his arms are actually less than 32” long. Hughes moves well and penetrates into the pocket, and I also like his attitude. I ran into him at Monday practice and he had a walking boot on his left foot. He said it was an ankle issue from the regular season that flared up in the Raycom game the week prior to Mobile, but he hoped to be back in action Tuesday. He was, and even though he limped between plays and had it triple taped, he practiced well the entire week, and had a solid game-day performance. Potentially, he looks like a bigger, maybe faster Ryan Pickett. Kawaan Short of Purdue is likely to be over-drafted with a chance to go late in the first round. But if he slipped to late round two, or the Packers moved out of round one to acquire extra picks, he showed he could have good value for the Green Bay scheme once they get past pick 50 or so. Short needs to get in better cardiovascular condition but has traits that Trgovac should like. He’s 6’ 3”, 308 lbs. with 33 3/4” long arms and a wingspan of over 82”. That should certainly put him in a position to bat some balls and obstruct the line of vision for quarterbacks. Despite not looking like he was in good shape, he has agile footwork (ala B.J. Raji) and uses his hands well most of the time. If the young man doesn’t elevate his Draft stock too much at the Combine, I like the Packers potential of Brian 97 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview Schwenke of California as center who also showed well at guard during the week. He appears to be a hard charging, intelligent, over achiever, just like a guy named Scott Wells who left Green Bay for big bucks last year. My gut tells me it might not take him a long time to compete for playing time in the interior of the offensive line. On a somewhat down note, former Badger and West Allis native Ricky Wagner had a rough go of it as he was switched to right tackle for the North. He was strong and assignment sure in the running game but had trouble handling the quicker pass rushers. Some of his struggles were no doubt due to the position and stance switch, but it did raise questions about his ability to protect the edge against the elite pass-rushers he’ll face in the NFL. My absolute “sleeper pick” of the week was safety J.J. Wilcox of Georgia Southern. Up until his senior season he was a running back. Talk about a guy who made up for lost time. He looks to be a natural in coverage and really hits a ton. Wilcox is probably not a sleeper any more in NFL circles. He made his point in Mobile and got himself an invite to the Combine. I can also tell you that people who interviewed him were impressed with his articulate, quietly confident manner. This is the kind of player that Thompson would not hesitate to select if he fell to them as a value pick from round two onward. CheeseheadTV.com Shrine Game “Pigskin” Paul Guillemette East-West Shrine Game, St. Petersburg, FL In the NFL there are very few success- ful short cuts to franchise success. Stability and hard work are chief amongst the desirable characteristics that Ted Thompson subscribes to as the “leader of the Pack.” Nothing demonstrates this principle better than what he and his personnel people do during the annual all-star game grind that is January. East-West Shrine Game Week There were good rosters again this year to peruse for NFL Draft prospects: 114 players went through the weigh-in process with a few changes over the course of the week primarily because of injuries. Included in that number were 22 players from nonD1 programs, as well as two Canadian collegians. Assuming that the Packers will be looking to add some talent to their allimportant wide receiver corps because of the loss of Donald Driver to retirement and Greg Jennings to free agency, watching the work of the receiver groups was a priority. Several of the smaller school guys stood out. Anthony Amos of Middle Tennessee was a standout in practices in addition to the game. He has decent size at 5’ 11”, 183 lbs., and showed excellent quickness. He also ran sharp routes that gained him separation from defenders constantly. His hands were very dependable. Jasper Collins of Mount Union also had his moments and impressed with his quickness and speed. He’s the latest in the line of recent Mt. Union wide receivers, following Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts to draw the attention on NFL scouts. Draft in Caleb Sturgis of Florida. Sturgis, who began his career as a punter, displays a strong and accurate leg. The biggest potential issue with him is that he’s always kicked in the South. How would his talents translate to the “Frozen Tundra” at Lambeau Field? A former track star that emerged as a senior receiver this past season is Corey Fuller of Virginia Tech. Fuller looked fast and smooth all week. Since the Packers seem to always be on the prowl for more talent in their linebacker corps under defensive coordinator Dom Capers, they could certainly consider Fox Valley native A.J. Klein of Iowa State. At 6’ 2”, his long legs allowed him to run by defenders at every practice. Over 50 yards, I would expect that he could outrun the current receivers on the Packers roster. There were two wide bodies on the defensive line that looked like interesting prospects for Green Bay, especially if the team agrees with position coach Mike Trgovac fabout the need for more length along the defensive front. William Campbell of Michigan looked more like an impact player than just a guy at this venue. And at 6’ 5”, 318 lbs. he would represent that added height and length component to the mix. Klein left Wisconsin as a touted, run stopping strong man. He still fits that profile at times, but he has really developed in his pass-coverage skills while in college. At 6’ 1”, 245 lbs. he’d probably be a competitor at an inside slot with the ability to stay on the field for all three downs. The game featured two potentially draftable quarterback prospects in Collin Klein of Kansas State and Matt Scott of Arizona. Scott is the more likely Packers fit with a nice combination of run and pass ability. In a similar vein, A.J. Francis of Maryland was a very active and strong player who measured in at 6’ 5”, 320 lbs. Both players held their own against the run, but more importantly, were able to move the line of scrimmage back toward the quarterback frequently. He certainly does not have a Rodgers arm but is mobile enough to fit the current scheme and showed more arm strength than Harrell has demonstrated to date. Scott has some fans around the league and that may lead to his being drafted a bit too early. If the team really is running out of patience with the kicking efforts of Crosby, this game may have featured the best placekicking prospect for the next He needs work after not playing behind Nick Foles at Arizona and actually red shirting until his senior season, but he showed flashes of being able to move an offense all of Shrine week. 98 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Draft All-Bowl Team Brian Carriveau 2012-2013 Draft All-Bowl Team Quarterback E.J. Manuel, Florida State: While Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel put on a show in the Cotton Bowl, it wasn’t a very good bowl season for Draft-entry quarterbacks. Manuel might have been the best in a performance that wasn’t flashy, but one in which he displayed veteran leadership and a steady hand. In the Orange Bowl win over Northern Illinois, Manuel completed 26 of 38 passes for 291 with one touchdown and no interceptions while running for 26 yards and a score. Running back Eddie Lacy, Alabama: Although he was only a junior, Lacy declared for the NFL Draft, following in the footsteps of recent Alabama first-round running backs Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. Using a combination of both power and elusiveness, Lacy bulled way past the vaunted Notre Dame defense in the BCS Championship game on his way to 140 yards on 20 carries (7.0 ypc) and a touchdown while catching two passes and another score. Running back Kerwynn Williams, Utah State: Because Williams ran for 235 yards and three touchdowns on only 18 carries, we’ll overlook his fumble in the Potato Bowl victory over Toledo. Williams had 198 yards in the fourth quarter alone as the Aggies pulled away. Fullback Lonnie Pryor, Florida State: If you’re looking for a pure-blocking fullback, you might consider Arizona’s Taimi Tutogi who helped open up holes for 178 rushing yards by Ka’Deem Carey in the New Mexico Bowl, but Pryor was terrific with the ball in his hands in the Orange Bowl. The Seminoles fullback gained 134 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries, including a long of 60 yards, and added three receptions. Wide receiver Tavarres King, Georgia: King capped off his college career by playing in his 56th career game at Georgia, a school record. He only caught three passes, but took them for 104 yards, including one for 75 yards and a touchdown as Georgia beat Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, Texas: Goodwin, an Olympic long jumper, put a stamp on his college career by scoring the fourth-quarter, game-winning touchdown to help Texas get by Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl. He only had four catches for 68 yards (including the gamewinner), but he also took his only carry of the game for 64 yards and a touchdown as well. Center Ivory Wade, Baylor: Baylor has done a good job preparing centers for the NFL in recent years. First it was J.D. Walton then last year it was Phillip Blake. Even Danny Watkins played some center. And it looks like Wade could be the next to play on Sundays. He helped Baylor rack up 494 offensive yards in the Holiday Bowl win over UCLA. Tight end Travis Kelce, Cincinnati: The senior tight end grabbed five passes for 123 yards, but it was his 83-yard reception with less than a minute to go that iced the victory for Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl over Duke. Left guard Chance Warmack, Alabama: So much for the Notre Dame defense. Warmack pretty much cemented his reputation as the No. 1 guard in this year’s draft class as the Tide gained 529 yards. Warmack was one of the Alabama offensive linemen that made linebacker Manti Te’o look like a complete non-factor in the BCS Championship. Center Ivory Wade, Baylor 99 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com Draft All-Bowl Team Brian Carriveau Left tackle Eric Fisher, C. Michigan: It’s too bad Western Kentucky defensive end Quanterus didn’t play in the Little Caesars Bowl because of injury. As it was, Fisher looked like a man amongst boys as Central Michigan rolled up on the Hilltoppers. Right guard Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech: Uzzi is going to have some work in front of him to transition from Georgia Tech’s option offense to the NFL, but the way he helped the Yellow Jackets rumble for 294 rushing yards on the USC defense in the Sun Bowl sure won’t hurt his cause. Right tackle Terry McDaniel, Texas Tech: The elite tackles are on the left side of the offensive line, but McDaniel deserves credit for helping the Red Raiders gain 429 yards on the Minnesota defense in a victory in the Texas Bowl. Defensive end Margus Hunt, SMU: The 6-7, 280 lb. native of Estonia was nearly unblockable in the Hawaii Bowl win over Fresno State with three tackles, all for a loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and a safety. Defensive end Malliciah Goodman, Clemson: Goodman isn’t 300-plus lbs., but he could be a situational pass rusher. Of his four tackles in the big Chick-fil-A Bowl win over LSU, three of them were sacks, and Goodman was also able to bat down a pass. Defensive tackle Shariff Floyd, Florida: Florida might have gotten embarrassed in their Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville, but it wasn’t because of Floyd who had five tackles, two sacks and blocked a field goal in the Gators’ loss. Outside linebacker Alex Okafor, Texas: Okafor isn’t a whole lot different than Nick Perry, a 4-3 defensive that at 6-5 and 265 lbs., would have have to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He was unstoppable in Texas’ Alamo Bowl win over Oregon State when he made eight tackles, six for a loss, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Outside linebacker Tremayne Scott, Ohio: Scott might have played in a three-point stance at Ohio, but at 6-3 and 257 lbs., he’s another potential outside linebacker convert. After missing a majority of the regular season with a foot injury, Scott returned for the bowl game in a big, big way. in the Bobcats’ win over Louisiana-Monroe. Inside linebacker Khaseem Greene, Rutgers: Greene’s nose for the football was never more apparent than in Rutgers’ win over Virginia Tech in the Champs Sports Bowl when he made a team-leading 11 tackles, 1.5 for a loss, half a sack and recovered a fumble for a touchdown in the end zone. . Inside linebacker Alec Ogletree, Georgia: Ogletree did his best from preventing Nebraska from getting putting up big numbers as the inside linebacker made a team-leading 13 tackles, three for a loss, a sack, two hurries, a forced fumble and a recovery. Cornerback Jamar Taylor, Boise State: Taylor notched an interception and made four tackles in Boise State’s Las Vegas Bowl victory over Washington. Cornerback Rod Sweeting, Georgia Tech: Sweeting returned an interception for 21 yards and had two pass break-ups, but it was the way he helped contain the terrific USC wide receiver duo of Marqise Lee and Robert Woods that was so impressive. The Trojans only had 205 yards of offense in the Sun Bowl and only 107 through the air. Safety Terence Garvin, West Virginia: If West Virginia had more players like Garvin on the defensive side of the football, they’d be a whole lot better. Even though he might be listed as a linebacker, he plays a spur/safety position. Safety D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina: Swearinger’s forced fumble was key in South Carolina’s Outback Bowl victory over Michigan. He also had a team-leading nine tackles and two passes broken up. Kicker Brett Baer, Louisiana-Lafayette: Baer went 3-for-3 on field goals, including a 50-yarder as Louisiana-Lafayette got by East Carolina in the New Orleans Bowl. He also went 4-for-5 on extra points and had one blocked, but we’ll place the blame on line for that one. As the team’s punter, Baer also only allowed a single punt return yard on five punts, placed two inside the 20 and forced three fair catches. Punter Riley Stephenson, BYU: Stephenson pinned San Diego State deep all night long in the Poinsettia Bowl win, placing six of eight punts inside the 20. The Aztecs had a hard time getting anything going on offense, gaining only 263 yards all night. 100 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Draft 2013 Brian Carriveau What they’re saying... The 2013 Draft class talks about their teammates Tennessee QB Tyler Bray on WR Cordarrelle Patterson: Alabama C Barrett Jones on G Chance Warmack: “When you get ‘CP’ the ball, he’s going to make guys miss, he’s going to score touchdowns. He’s improved his route running too. That was a big question on his part, and he’s worked hard.” “Playing beside Chance, that’s a huge advantage. He really made me look good. “ Tennessee TE Mychal Rivera on WR Justin Hunter: “He runs really clean routes and it just shows what kind of person he is, how he bounced back from that ACL injury.” Notre Dame center Braxston Cave on linebacker Manti Te’o: “He’s a great leader. When we had anything going on with the team, he’d be one of the first guys to step up and say something. It’s unfortunate the way that this has turned him from being one of the best college players this year to this whole different image that’s been set for him.” Ohio State TE Jake Stoneburner on T Reid Fragel: “I think he could be All-Pro. He played one year at tackle really. I mean, our tackles are different in the spread so he was doing way different stuff, and he’s as athletic as any tackle you’ll see, strong as any tackle you’ll see and he still only played it for one year so just total upside from there.” USC WR Robert Woods on QB Matt Barkley: “I played with him for three years, very confident in his arm. He’s made a lot of great throws under pressure, under duress.” UCLA DL Datone Jones on RB Johnathan Franklin: “His energy, a lot of times you’ll see him getting tackled in the backfield; all of a sudden he has a first down five yards later.” LSU DL Bennie Logan on OLB Barkevious Mingo: “He has his own style of play. He’s a freak. The things he does, I’ve never seen anyone do the things he does. He’s fast and also powerful. He sets guys up with his speed and then he translates speed to power.” 101 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Draft 2013 Brian Carriveau What they’re saying... The 2013 Draft class talks about their opponents Missouri DL Sheldon Richardson on Kentucky G Larry Warford: “Warford, he was a load and a handful. He has a lot of talent. I don’t know what his numbers were here, but I’m pretty sure he tested well in the bench press because he got me a few times and I didn’t like that too much.” Oklahoma S Tony Jefferson on West Virginia WR Tavon Austin: “Tavon is the best player I ever played against. He ran a 4.2. I expect a lot.” “He is a big guy. I’m glad I got to see him in person and see that he is a human.” Wisconsin T Ricky Wagner on Ohio State DE/OLB John Simon: “He’s kind of a special player: D-end, kind of a tackle, linebacker all mixed into one. Real hard worker, never stops his feet and have a lot of respect for him. He gave me trouble a little bit.” Oklahoma T Lane Johnson on Florida State DE Bjoern Werner: “It was my first game starting ever. It was my junior year, went down to Tallahassee: No. 1 vs. No. 5 in the nation. Really couldn’t hear anything, all the stands were aluminum. They were kind of jumping the snap count, so it made it more difficult. But he’s probably one of the best D-ends in the draft.” Oklahoma QB Landry Jones on West Virginia WR Tavon Austin: “Tavon probably had one of the best games in college football that year... against us. Explosive kid, explosive player.” N. Carolina G Jonathan Cooper on Alabama G Chance Warmack: NC St. CB David Amerson on Tenn. WR Cordarrelle Patterson: “He’s definitely worth all the hype. He’s a good player—fast, quick, big. So he’s definitely a good one.” Texas A&M LB Sean Porter on Oklahoma LB Tom Wort: “Tom is a good linebacker. He’s a hard-hitting guy. He was a human highlight film in high school, that’s what sticks out about him. He’s been a good guy to compete against the last eight years.” 102 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com NFL Draft 2013 The Pro Football Draft Preview STAFF “Jersey” Al Bracco is a lifelong Packers and NFL Draft fan living in the land of the Giants (and Jets). He is the founder of AllGreenBayPackers.com, co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network and Packers draft analyst for DraftTek.com. You can follow Packers-obsessed “Jersey” Al on Twitter at: @JerseyAlGBP. Brian Carriveau is the editor of Cheesehead TV’s “Pro Football Draft Preview” and author of “It’s Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America.” In 2002, he was a safety at the University of Technology, Sydney in Australia. You can follow him on Twitter at: @BrianCarriveau. Andrew Garda is the divisional lead writer for the NFC North at Bleacher Report, NFL Analyst for Cheesehead TV, a staff writer at FootballGuys.com and spends way too much time on camera with Aaron Nagler for Bleacher Report NFL videos. Andrew has been credentialed at Senior Bowls, multiple pro days, and the NFL Draft. Twitter at: @Andrew_Garda Max Ginsberg has been writing about the NFL for the past three years on his blog, "Purple Pants, Green Jersey" and is also a contributor at Cheesehead TV. He was raised in Wisconsin but currently resides in Minnesota with his family. You can follow him on Twitter at: @MaxGinsberg. Paul J. Guillemette is better known in football circles as “Pigskin Paul,” has been a Draftnik longer than Mel Kiper has published his Blue Book. He’s been a fan and student of pro and college football for more than 40 years. He currently reports and comments out of his Florida home, but remains a Packers fan at heart, after living 40 years in Wisconsin. His free website is PigskinPaul.com and can be found tweeting as @pigskinpaul. Jayme Joers is a writer at Cheesehead TV and co-host of Cheesehead Radio, part of the Packers Talk Radio Network at PackersTalk.com. Raised in Wisconsin, she now lives in Cincinnati. You can follow her on Twitter at @Jaymelee1. Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter at: @zachkruse2 Aaron Nagler is a is a co-founder of Cheesehead TV, a senior producer for NFL Video at Bleacher Report and lives in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter at: @Aaron_Nagler. Alex Tallitsch is the designer of the Pro Football Draft Preview. He currently owns First String Public Relations serving as a publicist for professional athletes and other social professionals. You can follow him on Twitter at: @AlexTallitsch. 103 | Cheesehead TV 2013 Draft Preview CheeseheadTV.com