2013 NFL Draft - First Round Talents - 17-32
LSU DE Sam Montgomery
Who are the top pro prospects going into the college football season? No. 17 to 32
2013 NFL Draft
1st Round Talents - 17-32
17. LB Sean Porter, Texas A&M 6-2, 230
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While Porter might not be big enough to be used as a pure pass rusher, and he's not going to be a tweener who can be used on the end, he's a dominant playmaker who took over the Von Miller role making 9.5 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, and 79 tackles. He'll be a 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level who'll be turned loose into the opposing backfields.
18. OT Alex Hurst, LSU 6-6, 340
Can he be an NFL left tackle? He started at right tackle over the last two years for LSU and was among the nation's best run blockers, he's a blaster who can move the earth. However, even though he has the bulk and the size he might not be able to make the transition to the money-making left side; the quickness just isn't there. Even so, he has the tools and the talent to be a longtime NFL starter.
19. OT Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin 6-6, 322
Next. Wagner is yet another big, talented Wisconsin blocker with the massive size and ability to become a solid cog on any NFL line. After spending the first part of his career at right tackle he moved over to the left side and started every game last season where he was terrific and consistent. While he might project to be a right tackle at the next level, he'll start out getting a look on the left side.
20. QB E.J. Manuel, Florida State 6-5, 238
All the players on this list are almost certain first-rounders or should be locks to go among the top 50 picks next year. Manuel is a projection, and if he turns out to be good enough to be around the 20th best pro prospects going into the 2013 draft, he'll probably be good enough to go in the top five. That's how great his tools are and that's how special the upside is for a big, strong, athletic playmaker with the tools right out of central casting. If he puts it all together he could be the next Cam Newton or RGIII and be the out-of-nowhere must-have franchise-making pick next April.
21. OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama (Jr.) 6-6, 335
How good is Fluker? There's a good chance Outland Trophy-winning tackle Barrett Jones will spend the year at center so Cyrus Kouandijo can work at left tackle and Fluker can stay at home on the right side. While he'll get the dreaded Right Tackle Only red flag from some, he's big enough to have a long NFL career as a great guard or be a bruiser on the outside. Massive, he has the size and the experience to be ready to step in and start on Day One in 2013.
22. RB Michael Dyer, Arkansas State (Jr.) 5-9, 210
Welcome to the biggest boom-or-bust red flag pick of the 2013 NFL draft. There's no questioning Dyer's talent and there's no doubt that he's an NFL back who should be in the big league right now. However, he's not exactly known for being a high character guy and his work will have to be done in the
interview rooms more than on the field in workouts and at the Combine. He carried a dead Auburn offense last year and didn't get nearly enough credit for coming up with a great season with little consistent blocking in front of him. Able to run inside or out, with both power and speed, he's a big-time talent, but he has to rehab the image
first to become a top ten selection.
23. DT Kwame Geathers, Georgia (Jr.) 6-6, 350
HUGE. While he was only a part-time starter last year and made just 14 tackles on the season, there are few human beings who are this big, this quick, and have the room and potential to be even more physically imposing. A must better prospect and project than a pure football player at the moment, he still needs a lot of work and developing – a LOT of work. However, again, he has a rare frame and size to mold into something special for a defensive interior.
24. CB Johnny Adams, Michigan State 5-11, 175
Fast, talented, and experienced, he has been a key part of the Spartan defense for the last three seasons and one of the best defensive backs in the Big Ten. Not just great when the ball is in the air, he's physical for his size and isn't afraid to get his nose dirty against the run. It'll all come down to his 40 time, but he's a pure football player who could be the first corner off the board.
25. CB David Amerson, NC State (Jr.) 6-3, 194
Very big and very productive, he came from out of nowhere to become a major factor a few years ago before blowing up last season with a nation-leading 13 interceptions to go along with 59 tackles. He might be more of a playmaking nickel defender at the next level than a shut-down corner, but he has elite size and a nose for always being around the ball.
26. DE John Simon, Ohio State 6-2, 266
Extremely strong and always working, he'll be the centerpiece of Urban Meyer's defense as the team's top pass rushing threat. He might not have ideal height, but he makes up for it with a great burst off the ball. Not just able to hold up against the run, he's great at getting into the backfield making seven sacks last season with 16 tackles for loss and 53 stops.
27. LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama (Jr.) 6-2, 232
This is a big if of a projection depending on whether or not he still has the same burst and ability he showed before dislocating his hip in the BCS championship. If he's back to normal, though, he has the potential to be one of the draft's best all-around linebackers – if he comes out early. A bit undersized, he won't be for every defense depending on what he's going to be used for – he's not going to play in the middle - but he's as tough as nails and could be the quickest weakside linebacker prospect in the draft. Durability, though, will knock him down several pegs.
28. DT Shariff Floyd, Florida (Jr.) 6-3, 295
This is supposed to be the year when it all comes together. The one-time super-recruit has had a good career, and he started to shine last year at defensive end, but he appears to be on the verge of being the devastating playmaker on the inside that Gator fans have been waiting for. A dream of an NFL 3-4 tackle, he's lightning quick with the potential to be a top-shelf interior pass rusher.
29. DE Sam Montgomery, LSU (Jr.) 6-4, 245
Michael Brockers might have been the key to the great LSU line last year, but if was Montgomery who was the top playmaker with nine sacks and 13 tackles for loss. Consistent, he was always working and always finding ways to make things happen behind the line, but he was also allowed to roam free with so much talent talking up the attention. The tools are off the charts – he'll dominate at the Combine – and he should have plenty of hype after what should be a terrific junior year.
30. DE William Gholston, Michigan State (Jr.) 6-7, 275
Can he shake the stigma of the family name? His cousin, Vernon, was an all-timer of a first-round bust, but forgetting that, the frame and the upside are elite. At 6-7 and 275 pounds he has phenomenal size with the room to add another ten pounds of good weight. Able to work as a pure pass rushing end or as a dangerous interior presence, it's all there to potentially become a dominant force.
31. TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame (Jr.) 6-6, 251
Notre Dame has cranked out strong tight ends over the last several years, and Eifert has the potential to be the best of the bunch. He could've taken off early for the NFL and probably would've been the first tight end off the board – or second after Stanford's Coby Fleener – but he chose to come back and now should dominate. Brian Kelly and the coaching staff will use him as a big wide receiver as well as a tight end, and his numbers should be phenomenal as the main man for the Irish attack.
32. LB Jonathan Brown, Illinois (Jr.) 6-1, 235
Known for the all-timer of a cheap shot last year against Northwestern, Brown's great season was completely unnoticed. However, he should be one of the Illini's next great defensive stars after leading the way with 108 tackles with six sacks – and that's with missing a game because of suspension. While he might not have great size, he's fast, athletic, and always around the ball. This year he'll start to get national respect and attention for his play on the field, and the knee to the store will be a thing of the past (but will live in infamy on YouTube).
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