Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
At 6’5″ and 306LBs, Terron Armstead is the ideal size for the modern NFL tackle. He’s big, strong, and as evident at the combine, fast.
Coming from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Armstead hadn’t really made a name for himself in the national sphere. However, he did get called up to the Senior Bowl as an injury replacement for Tennessee’s Dallas Thomas.
Things changed for Armstead at the combine. Jaws dropped at his 4.71 40 yard dash. Linemen aren’t supposed to run that fast–especially 306LB linemen. His time was better than Manti Te’o's 4.82 and many other players in the spotlight. During linemen drills, Armstead impressed scouts with his quick footwork, proving that he is a true athlete. However, he’ll need to continue to improve upon his lower body strength to take on an NFL-style bull rush. We’ll see how he does at his pro day on March 4th.
Armstead’s performance got him trending on Twitter and made him the talk of combine week. Scouts think they’ve found something special, so don’t be surprised if he’s taken mid-2nd round.
Although there has been no announcement of when exactly the 2013 MLB Draft will take place, we do know that the newest members of the AL West, Houston Astros, are on the clock.
We also know that because of the new qualifying offer rules applied to this year’s draft, the teams that could afford to offer 13.3 million dollar one year deals to their top free agents will receive an additional pick at the end of the first round. The Yankees look like the biggest winners as they will have three first round picks, two additional picks coming from losing Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano to free agency.
We also know that the Pirates will receive and additional pick for failing to sign their 2012 1st Round pick, Mark Appel.
Below is the complete draft order for 2013:
1) Houston Astros
2) Chicago Cubs
3) Colorado Rockies
4) Minnesota Twins
5) Cleveland Indians
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Lane Johnson is an all-around athlete. Originally a high school QB, Johnson played TE in junior college before switching to right tackle. Finally, in his senior year at OK, coaches moved him to left tackle where he protected QB Landry Jones and later dominated in the Senior Bowl.
At the combine, Johnson proved just how athletic he is with a 4.72 40 yard dash time, a mere .01 second slower than top O-Line performer, Terron Armstead. Johnson’s time was better than many tight ends, and such burst will give teams a huge advantage in the run game. He bested all offensive linemen in broad jump by 2 inches.
The only possible knock against Johnson is his little experience at left tackle. However, I say he’s already more than proven his worth and abilities at the position. NFL coaches can teach him to master the fundamentals, but it is rare to find such raw athleticism. He proved Saturday that he deserves to go within the Top-15, possibly Top-10.
Former Notre Dame Tight End, Tyler Eifert, came into the NFL scouting combine in a virtual dead heat and perhaps a picometer behind Stanford’s Zach Ertz, for the top spot among tight ends and he used the combine to move, perhaps, 2 picometers ahead of Ertz and anyone else who thinks they will be the first tight end off the board in June.
In three seasons at Notre Dame, Eifert scored 11 touchdowns while hauling in 140 passes for 1840 yards. Although his numbers dipped in 2012, it is easy to attribute the lack in offensive production to the fact that he was, most times, the only receiving option for Notre Dame and was bracketed and doubled on nearly every play. Not being one to back down to a challenge, Eifert adapted and became an all around player by working on his blocking and finished the season as a very effective blocker.
At 6-6 and 251 pounds, Eifert ran a 4.60 40 time, lifted 225 pounds 22 times, leapt 35.5 inches in the air. If you add those measurables to the fact that there are zero questions about his hands, he lines up as an h-back, wide-out and conventional tight end and he has improved as a blocker thenI would have a difficult passing on him if my team needed a tight end and I was drafting in the bottom third of the draft. (Atlanta?)
2013 Draft Overview:
Earl Watford may be the most underrated offensive lineman that I have seen in the 2013 NFL Draft. There is always the occasional starting left tackle that falls into the 3rd or 4th Round, but, there are many great guards and right tackles that are found in the middle rounds. Earl Watford is ranked as the 14th best OG on CBS Sports and 9th by Draft Countdown.
On the first day of the 2013 NFL Scouting combine, Watford has impressed me as much as anyone not named Joekel or Warmack and that is saying a lot as they are the top offensive line prospects at their positions.
Watford has shown speed, a 5.06 40 time, and has looked very good in position drills. Combined with his 25 knockdowns last season and the fact that he only gave up one sack in 11 starts last season, I can see him getting drafted by a zone blocking team as high as the top of the 3rd Round.
My Ranking: 4th best OG
Kenny Vaccaro, FS, Texas
Born: Brownwood, Texas Years in College: 3
INTs: 5 Forced Fumbles: 4
Tackles: 231 Sacks: 2.0
Overview: Vaccaro’s 6’1″ height is the ideal for modern NFL safeties. He’s able to cover the slot exceptionally well and has a good combination of speed and strength. He has a very aggressive mentality which will lead to many pass deflections and interceptions, but has hurt him when trying to make open-field tackles. He needs to work on wrapping up the ballcarrier rather than going for the big hit.
- 40 Yard Dash:4.63 seconds
- Bench Press: 15 Reps
- Vertical Jump: 38.0 inches
- Broad Jump: 121.0 inches
- 3 Cone Drill: 6.78 seconds
- 20 yard shuttle: 4.06 seconds
Draft Rankings Overall/Position: CBS Sports 14/1
Projected Team and Round: Vaccaro is a definite first rounder, but for now I see him going in the middle of the round. He did well at the combine, showing incredible quickness and a ball-hawking mentality. He may struggle with more physical receivers, but his size will help. Many teams around the league need a leader like Vaccaro, so he could go within the Top-10, but I think he’ll likely go either #16 to the St. Louis Rams or #17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU Born: 12/03/90 Suwanee, Georgia Years in College: 3
TT: 206 Sacks: 5 TFL: 18.5 INT/FF 1/2
Kevin Minter’s Junior Season at LSU catapulted him to the top of the middle/inside linebacking corps in the 2013 NFL Draft. Coming into 2012, the Junior linebacker had only registered 76 tackles and one sack. In 2012 alone, he accounted for 130 tackles and 4 sacks. He also played well on pass defense with 6 breakups.
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.81 seconds
- Bench Press: 25 reps
- Vertical Jump: 33.0 inches
- Broad Jump: 119 inches
Draft Rankings: CBS Sports – Overall/Position 34/1
Closest To: At 6-1 and 245 lbs, Kevin Minter reminds me of a Sam Mills type player. He has a nose for the ball and can disrupt the offensive backfield more than most middle linebackers, but, the jury is out on whether or not he will be an NFL caliber MLB or an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. I would look for Minter to be drafted right behind Manti Te’o who is still my number one middle linebacker in this year’s draft. I am guessing that if Te’o is off the board he will be selected #23 by the Minnesota Vikings.
DeMarcus “Dee” Milliner, CB, Alabama
Born: 9/14/1991 Millbrook, Alabama Years in College: 3
INTs: 6 Fumble Recoveries: 1
Tackles: 136 Sacks: 1.5
Overview: Milliner’s size and ball-hawk mentality are ideal for today’s NFL scouts. Milliner shone in the giant talent “Tide”-pool that was the SEC this year, with a conference-high 22 passes defensed. Some scouts worry of Milliner’s limited starting experience. This past season was his first as a starter in every contest, but he did see action in all 13 games as a true freshman in 2010, and in all 13 games in his sophomore year. Given the Crimson Tide’s recent dominance in the cornerback position, it is understandable why Milliner did not step up to the full starting role until 2012.
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.31 seconds
- Vertical Jump: 36.0 inches
- Broad Jump: 122.0 inches
- 3 Cone Drill: 6.95 seconds
- 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.32 seconds
Draft Rankings Overall/Position: CBS Sports 5/1
Projected Team and Round: Although a sure first-rounder, where in the round Milliner will go remains a debate as April approaches. Some say he’ll be gone within the Top-5, even as early as number three to the Oakland Raiders. The 30th ranked Raider defense could certainly use a talent like Milliner’s in the backfield, although they’ll most likely be looking to replace free agent DE Matt Shaughnessy. I’d be shocked if he fell out of the Top-10, the Tennessee Titans need help in their backfield and if Milliner is still there by the time their #10 pick is on the clock, they’ll take him.
Barrett Jones, C, Alabama
Born: 5/25/1990 Memphis, Tennessee Years in College: 4
Height: 6’5″ Weight: 311lbs
Overview: By far the most versatile lineman in this year’s draft class, Jones has started 3 BCS Championship Games at 3 different positions on the line. He’s most ready to be an NFL Center, where he played his final season at Alabama. He absolutely dominated Notre Dame Nose Tackle Louis Nix III in the 2013 championship. He may not be the flashiest of athletes with raw talent, but his mastery of the fundamentals and intelligence make him a safe pick.
Combine Results: Jones did not participate in the combine. He played in the BCS National Championship game with slightly torn foot ligaments, and was unable to fully heal them before the combine.
Draft Rankings Overall/Position: Walter Football 31/1
Projected Team and Round: Jones will likely be a late second or very early third round pick. He could go #60 to the Atlanta Falcons because they need to eventually replace Todd McClure, but their second round pick will likely be spent on an OG. Jones’ stock has certainly fallen as a result of his no-show at the combine. We’ll see if he can perform at his pro day.
Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Born: 9/14/1991 Atlanta, Georgia Years in College: 4
Height: 6’3″ Weight: 320lbs
Overview: Alabama’s frontmen dominated virtually every defensive line they faced in 2012. Warmack was a major part of the equation due to his footwork and strength. He moves surprisingly well downfield to take on blocking linebackers. Although shorter than the ideal, Warmack is the most NFL-ready guard prospect in the draft. His performance at the BCS Championship Game against Notre Dame proved this, helping the Crimson Tide offense roll over the hyped Irish defense. His rather un impressive 40 yard dash time is uncharacteristic, and could indicate a lack of preparation.
- 40 Yard Dash: 5.49 seconds
- Broad Jump: 110.0 inches
Draft Rankings Overall/Position: CBS Sports 3/1 Walter Football 9/1
Projected Team and Round: He didn’t have a particularly impressive showing at the combine, but scouts have seen Warmack where it really counts–on the field. Great tackles typically fall to the later first round, but Warmack’s experience–having played in 5 games as a true freshman and starting every game for the next 3 seasons–makes him special. He won’t fall past the Rams at #16, but don’t be surprised if the Arizona Cardinals take him #7. The Cardinals need a reliable guy up front, and Warmack is the epitome of reliable.
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Born: 11/6/1991 Arlington, Texas Years in College: 3
Height: 6’6″ Weight: 310lbs
Overview: Joeckel has an incredible work ethic and experience, earning the starting LOT job as a true Freshman. He has near perfect fundamentals and is very disciplined. His athleticism has peaked the interests of scouts as the combination of a relatively lean, muscular, build and quick feet. Much of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manzeil’s success can be attributed to Joeckel’s superb blocking.
- 40 Yard Dash: 5.30 seconds
- Bench Press: 27 reps
- Vertical Jump: 28.5 inches
- Broad Jump: 106.0 inches
- 3 Cone Drill: 7.4 seconds
- 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.68 seconds
Draft Rankings Overall/Position: Draftteck 1/1 CBS Sports 1/1
Projected Team and Round: With the combine still to come, it remains unclear what the Kansas City Chiefs are going to do with their number one pick. Joeckel is a sure Top-5 selection, but the question remains if KC will take him at number one. They need the help in pass protection, giving up 40 sacks in 2012. Their recent acquisition of former 49ers QB Alex Smith indicates that they’re focused on putting points on the board. I’d be surprised if they didn’t take Joeckel at this point. Smith will need a pass protector he can rely on f he’s going to resurrect the Chiefs’ offense. Unless KC wants to vastly improve their defensive line, I say Joeckel will be the first pick. If he falls, the Philadelphia Eagles will take him #4 overall.
Zach Ertz, TE, Standford
Born: 11/10/1990 Orange, California Years in College: 3
TD: 15 Receptions: 112 Receiving Yards: 1434
Overview: At 6’6″ and 249lbs, Ertz has certainly bulked up in his time in Palo Alto. He’ll need to have an impressive bench press showing at the combine to further prove his strength. When Andrew Luck left Stanford last season, many expected Ertz’s numbers to drop in 2012, but he emerged as the number one offensive weapon for the Cardinal. He has impressive blocking skills and puts in the extra effort to block downfield. He may not be the fastest, but his quickness and route running makes him a big target. He’s most like Jason Witten and has the potential to really help a struggling QB in the redzone.
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.76 seconds
- Bench Press: 24 reps
- Vertical Jump: 30.5 inches
- Broad Jump: 111.0 inches
- 3 Cone Drill: 7.08 seconds
- 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.47 seconds
Draft Rankings Overall/Position: Walter Football-37/1
Projected Team and Round: Ertz has a good chance at being the first Stanford TE to go in the first round. However, teams seemed to be concerned with his speed. He made a strong case for himself at Day 1 of the combine with better than expected speed drills. He also highlighted his strength, posting one of the top number of reps at the bench press. He could go as early as #30 to the Atlanta Falcons who need to replace future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez. The Falcons have indicated they’re most interested in a DE in the first round, so Ertz will really need to show them something special. Most likely, he’ll be a good second round pick, falling to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at #43 to finally give Josh Freeman a consistent target.
Keenan Allen, WR, California
Born: 4/27/1992 Greensboro, North Carolina Years in College: 3
TD: 17 Receptions: 205 Yards: 2570
Overview: Allen’s build is prototypical of a number 1 NFL WR. At 6’3″ he’ll have an advantage over most DB’s in the league. His size allows for him to reach most jump balls and his strength will lead to many yards after the catch. Similarily to Jordy Nelson, he doesn’t posess eye-popping speed, but his route running and vision more than makes up for it.
Combine Results: After re-aggravating a knee injury, Allen has decided to not participate in the combine, but is planning to have a pro day in the future.
Draft Rankings Overall/Position: Draftteck-13/1
Projected Team and Round: His junior season was a step down from his explosive sophomore year, but most credit this to lackluster play from QB Zach Maynard. The injury caused Allen to miss the final 3 games of the season and his recent decision to skip the combine could drop his stock–especially if Clemson WR Cordarrelle Patterson impresses at the combine. The injury question will likely drop Allen out of the Top-10. If the Miami Dolphins don’t go after any free agents, like Greg Jennings, I think they’ll take Allen with the #13 pick.
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
Born: 12/20/1989, Tonga Years in College: 5
Tackles: 107 Sacks: 7 TFL: 21.5
Star is the most talked about Defensive Tackle in a very deep 2013 DT class. He has the natural strength and drive to dominate college offensive linemen. He often faced double and even triple teams while playing for Utah. He is already 23 years old and has been pushing around younger players for the past two years, but, he is a legit contender to be selected in the first three picks. Some draft boards have him going number one to KC.
Combine Results: After a physical right before the combine, doctors discovered Lotulelei has a heart condition and advised him not to participate in the combine. It was discovered he has abnormally low ejection fraction in his left ventricle, meaning it pumps out a lower percentage of blood than it should be. In normal adults, the left ventricle should pump out 55-70%, but Lotulelei’s only pumps out 40%.
Draft Rankings: CBS SportsStar Lotulelei vs USC – Overall/Position 1/1
Projected Team and Round: One of the reasons why the top three teams are drafting so highly is because they can’t shut down the middle of the field on defense. Before the heart condition results, I would have been shocked to see him fall past the Eagles at #4, but now it is unclear. Until doctors indicate the condition will allow him to have a normal NFL career, Lotulelei’s stock is up in the air. The condition could be a result of something as simple as a virus, but more tests will have to be conducted.
Closest To: Star reminds me of a quicker version of Haloti Ngata who was selected #12 overall by the Ravens in 2006. Some are mentioning Ndamakung Suh’s name, but, I just don’t see the same domination that I saw with Suh coming out of college. Close, but, not Suh-like.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Born: 1990 Geismar, Louisiana Years in College: 3
Rushing TD: 30 Rushing Yards: 2402
Receiving TD: 2 Receiving Yards: 338
Overview: Many are undecided on the top RB in this year’s draft, but despite suffering injuries in 2012, I think Lacy’s hard work and dedication makes him the top RB prospect. Giovanni Bernard, RB out of North Carolina has less experience, and certainly less strength. Lacy’s 220lb build gives him a great advantage for those teams in need of a thunderous back to pound the ball up the middle and break tackles. He shined brightest on the biggest stage with 140 rushing yards and a TD, earning him MVP honors. A true workhorse, he has the potential to be a solid starter in the NFL and could rise to be a Frank Gore-type.
Combine Results: After a slight tear in his hamstring, Lacy did not participate in combine drills.
Draft Rankings Overall/Position: CBS Sports 36/1 Drafttek 48/2
Projected Team and Round: With his absence at the combine, Lacy will need an impressive pro-day performance to claim his rightful spot as the top RB in the draft. With a stellar performance, he could break into the Top 32 with the Denver Broncos at #28. Peyton Manning needs a reliable RB to hand the ball off to every once in a while, and Knowshon Moreno just cannot stay healthy. If he falls to the 2nd Round, I can’t imagine him going later than #46. The St. Louis Rams will need to replace Steven Jackson eventually, and drafting Lacy would allow the great Jackson to mentor him.