1. TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame* (FRX: #26 overall prospect, $1,276)
Eifert’s stock is difficult to predict; he could be drafted as high as eighth overall by the Buffalo Bills, or potentially slip into the early second round. However, as a big-bodied wide receiver with sure hands, the ability to high-point jump balls, and the competitiveness to win contested passes, he is one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the class and deserves to be picked in the mid-first round. Any team which drafts Eifert will be adding an intimidating new dimension to their offense.
2. DT Kawann Short, Purdue (FRX: #39 overall prospect, $1,006)
Short’s stock has largely been deflated due to concerns about his motor and conditioning; however, he worked to dispel some of those by having a dominant week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, as well as by showing up to the Combine at 299 pounds. A player who can win with his burst or his strength, Short could fit into multiple defensive schemes and possesses attractive leadership qualities as well, being named a two-time team captain at Purdue. He deserves to be drafted at some point in the first round.
3. OT Menelik Watson, Florida St.* (FRX: #46 overall prospect, $794)
Watson played right tackle for the Seminoles this season, but may be a better fit at left tackle in the NFL, similar to the transition Tyron Smith made in transitioning from college to the NFL. One of the most athletic offensive line prospects in the draft, Watson has significant upside, especially in a zone-blocking scheme, where his ability to pull and to secure difficult second-level blocks could appeal to a team such as the Houston Texans in the first-round of this April’s draft over a tackle prospect such as D.J. Fluker.
4. WR Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech (FRX: #53 overall prospect, $715)
One of the most reliable receivers in this year’s draft, Patton may lack elite size but makes up for it in his explosiveness and ability to contribute as a receiver at all levels of the field. There are a handful of talented wide receivers in the class, which could lead to Patton being selected a little bit later than expected, but it would still come as a surprise if he made it out of the top thirty to forty picks in April due to the number of teams seeking an upgrade at wide receiver in the draft.
5. WR Markus Wheaton, Oregon St. (FRX: #69 overall prospect, $596)
Wheaton is a lanky receiver with the speed and body control to play outside; he has drawn some logical comparisons to Miami Dolphins wideout Mike Wallace. Although Wheaton lacks Wallace’s world-class speed, he is still fast enough (4.40 seconds in the 40-yard dash), quick enough (6.80 in the cone drill), explosive enough (4.02 in the short-shuttle, 37” vertical) and strong enough (20 reps on the bench) to find a spot in the mid-twenties to early forties. He won’t last until New England’s second-round pick.
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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft