In 2012 the strengths of the draft were in the CB position and also the OL. This year in 2013 the draft looks exceptionally strong at the OT and WR positions on Offense and the CB and S positions on D. So what that in mind lets take a look at some of the top prospects at each position
OT: Being a scout for NFL Draft Monsters, I’ve been scouting the OL all year and without a doubt I can say that the OT class this year is the best I’ve ever seen. With 5 legitimate 1st round prospects and a slew of Tackles who can go anywhere in the Round 2 to Round 5 range, many teams will be able fill the OT needs they have. The top guy in this years class is far and away Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M. A great pass protector; Joeckel compares favorably to Joe Thomas the LT for Cleveland with his exceptional pass blocking ability and an average run blocking ability. Look for Joeckel to come off the board in the top 5 picks.
After him you have 2 guys in Taylor Lewan from Michigan and Jake Matthews from Texas A&M. Both look to come off the board in the top 15 picks and will be starting players from day 1 for their respective teams. Finally you have 2 guys who I’m high on, but just aren’t on the same level as the other 3. Those players are Eric Fisher from Central Michigan and Oday Aboushi from UVA. Fisher looks to becoming off the board in the mid teens and Aboushi could sneak into the late 1st a lot like Duane Brown did back in 2008. Overall this is a great OT class and the more I scout, the more potential I find in these players.
WR: WR packs a powerful punch at the top, but through the draft there are a lot of specialty players who can fill a role early on for a team ala Aldrick Robinson for the Redskins this year. At the top the best WR in this class is Keenan Allen from California a silky smooth athlete who can be a #1 receiver for a team in the NFL. From Allen comes the interesting part, because many scouts will rate #2 through #5 differently. For me I currently have #2 as Terrance Williams from Baylor and someone who will come off the board in the mid to late 1st. From there #3 is Tavon Austin from WVU, #4 is Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee and #5 is Justin Hunter from Tennessee.
Closely looking at the WR class, what you’ll notice is once you get to the 3rd round and on, there are a lot of players who can be big time players in the NFL, but there are also legitimate questions about them. For example, Marquess Wilson from Washington State is a player who was once considered a legitimate 1st round prospect. After a falling out with WSU coach Mike Leach, Wilson quit the football team and watched his draft stock plummet as a result. A team around the 4th round range will take a gamble on Wilson, and if he can keep his head on straight he could become a dynamic receiver in the NFL. Teams will make risky picks once you get to the 4th round and on and look for some of these gambles to pay off with huge dividends.
CB: On D, CB is one of the strongest points in this 2013 class. With 2 dominant CB’s early on and a slew of either Slot CB’s or Outside press CB’s, this looks to be a class where teams can get a quality starter even into the middle rounds. At the top you have Dee Milliner from Alabama and also Johnthan Banks from Mississippi State. Both look to be top 15 picks, with Milliner possibly going in the top 10 picks. After that you have guys like Jordan Poyer from Oregon State who are starting CB’s, but with other needs being a little more prevalent for teams, they’ll slide down the draft more so than they should. Finally rounding out this class are the slot CB’s and the high upside players like Terry Hawthorne from Illinois and also Blidi Wreh-Wilson form Connecticut. For my money, Wilson is maybe the most intriguing CB in this class because of his length, his ability to make plays and his smarts.
S: Finally is the S position and by far the strongest its been in a long time. At the top you have my favorite player in Kenny Vaccaro. With Vaccaro you have to look at the big picture of him. Not only is he a FS, but he also plays some SS as well as nickel CB for Texas. From Vaccaro you have guys like Tony Jefferson (if he declares), TJ McDonald from USC and Matt Elam from Florida.
What makes this class strong is the talent in the 2nd and 3rd round area, with my favorite S of that bunch being DJ Swearinger from South Carolina. Swearinger is an intimidator on D and one that will make his presence known early on. Along with Swearinger are guys like Bacarri Rambo from Georgia, Shawn Williams from Georgia and Duke Williams from Nevada. All bring a different skill set that teams will covet and all could be day 1 starters depending on what teams want.
As you can see, teams like Washington are going to love the 2013 NFL Draft. This draft will allow a team like the Redskins to be able to retool and fix the needs in the Secondary. With a strong CB and S class, Washington can also afford to address other needs early if need be, and then address those position because its very possible they can find starters even into the 4th round and on.