March 21st Positional Rankings (Matthew Jones)

DEFENSIVE TACKLE:

1. Star Lotulelei, Utah (6024, 311, N/A)
2. Sharrif Floyd, Florida* (6025, 297, 4.92)
3. Sheldon Richardson, Missouri* (6-24, 294, 5.02)
4. Kawann Short, Purdue (6027, 299, N/A)
5. Sylvester Williams, North Carolina (6025, 313, 5.03)
6. John Jenkins, Georgia (6035, 346, N/A)
7. Jesse Williams, Alabama (6033, 323, N/A)
8. Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern St. (6012, 335, 5.37)
9. Johnathan Hankins, Ohio St.* (6027, 320, 5.31)
10. Montori Hughes, Tennessee-Martin (6040, 329, 5.23)

Notes: This is the biggest defensive tackle class in recent memory; teams running 3-4 defenses should have plenty of options. I have Lotulelei ranked at the top, although Floyd is close behind. I may be a little bit higher on Short than most; he reminds me of Jerel Worthy. Jesse Williams is ranked fairly low because he doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher. Johnathan Hankins is getting to be one of the most overrated players in the class; he doesn’t make many impact plays on tape.

DEFENSIVE END:

1. Cornellius Carradine, Florida St. (6041, 276, N/A)
2. Bjoern Werner, Florida St.* (6032, 266, 4.83)
3. Ezekiel Ansah, Brigham Young (6052, 271, 4.63)
4. Datone Jones, UCLA (6037, 283, 4.80)
5. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M* (6044, 250, 4.95)
6. Sam Montgomery, Louisiana St.* (6032, 262, 4.81)
7. John Simon, Ohio St. (6010, 257, N/A)
8. Corey Lemonier, Auburn* (6033, 255, 4.60)
9. Alex Okafor, Texas (6044, 264, N/A)
10. Margus Hunt, Southern Methodist (6081, 277, 4.60)

Notes: Carradine is as athletic as any of the ends in the class, and he’s got more production than most of the other freaks as well. I’m not too high on Moore; most of his sacks and tackles for loss were consequences of his motor. I didn’t rank Barkevious Mingo or Dion Jordan with the defensive ends; both seem better suited to outside linebacker. Mingo almost reminds me of Manny Lawson, who has found the most success as a 4-3 outside linebacker.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER:

1. Jarvis Jones, Georgia* (6023, 245, N/A)
2. Barkevious Mingo, Louisiana St.* (6042, 241, 4.58)
3. Dion Jordan, Oregon (6062, 248, 4.60)
4. Arthur Brown, Kansas St. (6003, 241, N/A)
5. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers (6006, 241, 4.71)
6. Sio Moore, Connecticut (6005, 245, 4.65)
7. Trevardo Williams, Connecticut (6012, 241, 4.57)
8. Sean Porter, Texas A&M (6012, 229, 4.75)
9. Gerald Hodges, Penn St. (6010, 243, 4.78)
10. Jelani Jenkins, Florida* (6004, 243, N/A)

Notes: It’s hard to find a strongside linebacker this year, but athletic outside linebackers are plentiful. Whether you’re interested in a coverage specialist or a pass rusher, there should be something for everyone running a 4-3. Teams like Oakland which like to blitz their linebackers out of 4-3 alignments should be happy with players like Trevardo Williams. Unfortunately, most of these guys probably don’t fit in 3-4 defenses, with the possible exceptions of Jones, Mingo, and Jordan.

INSIDE LINEBACKER:

1. Alec Ogletree, Georgia* (6024, 242, 4.70)
2. Kevin Minter, Louisiana St.* (5116, 246, 4.81)
3. Manti Te’o, Notre Dame (6012, 241, 4.82)
4. Jon Bostic, Florida (6007, 245, 4.61)
5. Kevin Reddick, North Carolina (6013, 243, 4.72)
6. A.J. Klein, Iowa St. (6012, 250 4.66)
7. Nico Johnson, Alabama (6015, 248, N/A)
8. Kiko Alonso, Oregon (6033, 238, N/A)
9. Michael Mauti, Penn St. (6017, 243, N/A)
10. Steve Beauharnais, Rutgers (6007, 240, 4.84)

Notes: Ogletree is the only special inside linebacker in the class, but there are a few more starting-caliber players. Minter would be perfect for a team like Pittsburgh, while Te’o could provide a James Laurinaitis-esque presence for someone. Most of the linebackers in the class are athletic, although teams looking for a thumper may be disappointed; only Nico Johnson projects into that role. I may be a little bit higher on Bostic than most; his athleticism and range are impressive.

CORNERBACK:

1. Dee Milliner, Alabama* (5117, 201, 4.37)
2. Desmond Trufant, Washington (5115, 190, 4.38)
3. Xavier Rhodes, Florida St.* (6014, 210, 4.43)
4. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi St. (6020, 185, 4.61)
5. Tyrann Mathieu, Louisiana St.* (5086, 186, 4.50)
6. Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Connecticut (6006, 195, 4.53)
7. Will Davis, Utah St. (5112, 186, 4.51)
8. Jordan Poyer, Oregon St. (5117, 191, 4.54)
9. Robert Alford, Southeastern Louisiana (5101, 188, 4.39)
10. Logan Ryan, Rutgers* (5111, 191, 4.56)

Notes: I’m a big fan of Will Davis; his man coverage skills are impeccable. His level of competition is a concern for some, but he played very well against Quinton Patton this year. I like Tyrann Mathieu a lot as well; his man coverage skills are average at best, but he is one of the premier playmakers in the class. Johnthan Banks’ 40-yard dash time wasn’t a major concern for me; he was consistently in-phase last season. I could see an argument for Jamar Taylor over Logan Ryan as well.

SAFETY:

1. Kenny Vaccaro, Texas (6000, 213, 4.57)
2. Eric Reid, Louisiana St.* (6012, 213, 4.53)
3. Johnathan Cyprien, Florida International (6002, 217, N/A)
4. Matt Elam, Florida* (5097, 208, 4.54)
5. Phillip Thomas, Fresno St. (6004, 208, 4.65)
6. Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma* (5106, 213, 4.75)
7. Duke Williams, Nevada (5110, 190, 4.45)
8. Baccari Rambo, Georgia (6004, 211, N/A)
9. Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse (5087, 213, 4.42)
10. D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina (5104, 208, 4.67)

Notes: The top four players in my rankings could be among the first forty or so picks in this year’s draft, although I’m not sure any of them profiles as a true free safety. Phillip Thomas isn’t the best tackler, but I gave him the edge over Tony Jefferson because of Jefferson’s slow time in the 40-yard dash and concerns about his work ethic in the weight room. I really like Duke Williams, who can do a little bit of everything: he can cover in the slot and play both free and strong safety.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, Draft Rankings

2 Responses to “March 21st Positional Rankings (Matthew Jones)”

  1. Blackluck says:

    What do you think of A. Dobson (Marshall) and D. Rogers (character concerns aside)? Thinking of who might be available with our 2nd pick if we don’t make any trades.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      I think Dobson, Rogers, Swopes, Harrison, may be WR’s available in the 3d round.



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