Football.com Final Big Board 2013
By David Seigerman
The Big Board is set.
After a year’s worth of information gathering – starting at spring practices on campus and running through the regular season, bowl season, all-star games, the combine, pro days, individual workouts, interviews – NFL teams have finalized their list.
It is a prospective player pecking order, a numerical ranking of every possibility in the prospect pool, based on a variety of subjective criteria, accounting for each organization’s philosophies and each team’s style of play. This board, compiled in the days of relative calm leading up to the draft, drives every draft day decision, from making picks to making trades. When a team is on the clock, theoretically, it should take the highest-ranked player atop its board.
Yes, positional needs tend to put their thumb on the scale more than is wise. Desperation and a running clock is a dangerous mix; neither are elements of good decision making.
But the Big Board is the template for a team’s draft strategy. It is to be credited for every value grab and blamed for every reach.
Tonight, the Big Boards will be posted in war rooms from Foxboro to Frisco. Here is the final Football.com Big Board for the 2013 NFL Draft
1. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Can (and has) played everywhere on defensive line, but is a three-technique prototype.
2. Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
Long, fast, physical and still developing. Could become an elite pass rusher with added strength.
3. Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan
Better run blocker than Luke Joeckel, as good a pass blocker, probably the better athlete.
4. Luke Joeckel, T, Texas A&M
Strong, agile, reliable LT with athletic ability to lead the way for mobile QB (ask Johnny Heisman).
5. Lane Johnson, T, Oklahoma
Took non-traditional route to first round: Switched from QB to TE to DE to RT to LT. In five years, may turn out to be best player from this class.
6. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Best (though not the biggest) NT prospect in a draft loaded with them.
7. Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
His ability to get out in space in the screen game gives him an edge over Chance Warmack in today’s NFL.
8. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Had 572 yards in 2012 ... in one game. Home-run threat in all facets, including returns.
9. Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
A classic road grader-type interior lineman, with better feet than you’d think for a 317-pounder.
10. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
Today’s safeties need to do it all, and Vaccaro is the most versatile safety on the board.
11. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU
Holy upside . . . 13 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 9 passes defended in first year as a starter.
12. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
Suddenly, there are concerns about his durability. His man coverage skills, no question.
13. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
May prove to be the best press-man corner in the class.
14. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Perfect time to be a tight end who can run, catch ball in traffic and not have to worry about blocking.
15. Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
Exceptional athlete who will flourish when being allowed to stand up and rush the passer.
16. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Prospect with big motor who can only improve on his breakout season (his only year as full-time starter at FBS level).
17. Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
Rep has taken a few dings in evaluation process, but still the most NFL-ready receiver.
18. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
There are holes in his game, but this guy gets to the QB and makes big plays.
19. Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
Soap opera nonsense aside, straight out of the Mike backer mold.
20. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
Raw but unfathomable potential, will be fun to watch the ways this game-breaker is utilized.
21. Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Best of the big corners, for anyone looking to follow Seahawks’ DB blueprint.
22. Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Size shouldn’t be a concern for this textbook tackler who can line up as inside or weakside LB.
23. Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
CB best suited to play any coverage scheme.
24. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Time for Chris Berman to dust off his old line about Cris Carter: All he does is catch touchdowns.
25. D.J. Fluker, T, Alabama
Perfect skill set to be a formidable run-blocking RT in the NFL.
26. D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
Amazing personal story shouldn’t cloud prediction: this guy is really that good.
27. Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Looks the part of the classic X receiver; don’t be surprised if he takes a little time to develop (watch for breakout in 2015).
28. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Most experienced, well-rounded DE in the draft; may fit best as run-stopper at LDE.
29. Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State
Tough to separate from his FSU teammate; if knee is fine, he’ll be an impact edge rusher.
30. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Physical tools may not match his QB peers, but he’s the one most ready to run an NFL offense from Day 1.
31. John Cyprien, S, Florida Atlantic
Promising in-the-box safety, more a force against the run than in coverage.
32. Robert Woods, WR, USC
Not big, not a burner, but has hands and route-running skills of a potential No. 1 receiver.
33. Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Projects as a 3-4 DE, with good quickness in pass rush and pursuit of ball carriers.
34. Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Quickness to cover boundary or slot receivers; would like to have seen more INTs from potential playmaker.
35. Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
DaMystery: is he the disruptive edge rusher we saw in college or the disappointment that showed at the combine?
36. Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
Tremendous raw talent; will be a standout as he develops technique and consistency across the board.
37. Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Another promising TE target, though with the same shortcomings (i.e. blocking) as Eifert.
38. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
Just because he’s such a good receiver, don’t mistake him for a third-down back; perhaps the draft’s lone any-down back.
39. Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
How do you not take a chance on developing this 6-foot-8 natural athlete?
40. Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
Huge, strong quintessential NT, who will require a double-team.
41. Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Looks like the classic workhorse back, though he’s never been asked to be (16 touches/game in 2012).
42. Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
A proven penetrator from the interior line, projects more as a gap clogger in NFL.
43. Matt Elam, S, Florida
Highlight-reel hitter, who probably needs to work on pure tackling technique and understanding when not to drop the hammer.
44. Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Explosive athleticism for the position, should be great fit for a fast-paced offense.
45. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Has the arm and athleticism, but has to prove his success was not just a byproduct of the mismatches created by the Air Raid system.
46. Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
If he goes to Buffalo, gets the slight nod over Geno; reuniting with college coach and coordinator would microwave his development.
47. Eric Reid, S, LSU
Has the height, speed and strength to cover anyone, and is a capable tackler.
47. Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Connecticut
Long arms will help him against tall receivers; great fit for team looking for zone corner.
48. Sio Moore, OLB, Connecticut
Film suggests a player comfortable lining up either at Will or Sam, playing the run or the pass. His combine performance suggests a surprisingly explosive athlete.
49. Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Developed into a relentless run-stopper; needs to develop coverage skills.
50. Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Like Werner, is better against the run and projects as LDE (though he did have 4.5 sacks in Alamo Bowl).
51. Kyle Long, G/T, Oregon
52. Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
53. Menelik Watson, T, Florida State
54. Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
55. EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State
56. Justin Pugh, T, Syracuse
57. Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
58. John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
59. Khaseem Green, OLB, Rutgers
60. Larry Warford, G, Kentucky
61. Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana
62. J.J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern
63. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
64. Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
65. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
66. Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State
67. D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina
68. Steadman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
69. Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State
70. Sam Montgomery, OLB, LSU
71. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee
72. Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State
73. Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin
74. Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Miss
75. B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary
76. Barrett Jones, G/C, Alabama
77. David Quessenberry, T, San Jose State
78. Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State
79. Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
80. Dallas Thomas, T, Tennessee
81. Brian Winters, G, Kent
82. Bennie Logan, DT, LSU
83. Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford
84. Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern
85. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
86. Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn
87. Jon Bostic, OLB, Florida
88. Kevin Reddick, ILB, North Carolina
89. Brian Schwenke, C, California
90. Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
91. Marquise Goodwin, WR, Texas
92. David Bass, DE, Missouri Western
93. Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M
94. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
95. Zac Dysert, QB, Miami (OH)
96. Reid Fragel, T, Ohio State
97. David Bakhtiari, T, Colorado
98. Gerald Hodges, OLB, Penn State
99. Dwayne Gratz, CB, Connecticut
100. Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M