TSV's First 50 Draft Prospects

By Lance Zierlein
February 21, 2013

Lance Zierlein is finished with his film work and thinks he's found the top 50 prospects.
  1. Luke Joeckel, LT, Texas A&M - Not too many weaknesses to target in his game.  Excels with his technique and balance and was a 3 year starter.  Joeckel is the safest player in this draft.
  2. Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon - Great length, quickness and growth potential.  Jordan isn’t currently the 2nd best player in the draft, but I think he projects to be that good in the future.  Can play OLB or DE.
  3. Eric Fisher, LT, Central Michigan - Fisher has good feet and is solid in both the run game and pass protection.  He needs to get his hands on defender more quickly in pass protection.
  4. Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama - Warmack boasts a terrific punch in pass protection and plays to his size while having surprising quickness.  I see a good, not great run blocker.  Won’t be drafted this highly due to position.
  5. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama - He has good size and length.  Milliner shows a good football IQ and, like most Tide CBs, is physical in run support.  Milliner looks like a fairly average athlete so I’m interested to see how he tests.
  6. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State - There were times that liked Werner more in 2011 than 2012.  Good initial get-off and flashes some power.  Moves well in space and I think 3-4 WOLB is probably his best fit.
  7. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida - He can really stack and shed and plays with a good low pad level and aggressive hands.  Disruptive in the gaps but can hold up against power.  After first burst, not a dynamic interior pass rusher.
  8. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee - Has size and speed that teams covet with 1st round WRs.  Unpolished as a route-runner but has big play ability down the field and after the catch.
  9. Star Lotuleilei, DT, Utah - Lotuleilei flashes great power and quickness off of the snap, but his playmaking radius is smaller than you like.  He can fit into both 3-4 or 4-3 fronts as a NT with power and ability to disrupt.
  10. Lane Johnson, LT, Oklahoma - Possesses elite foot quickness and length and is still growing into the position both literally and figuratively.  Needs to get stronger and there are legitimate concerns about not bringing his feet with him in run blocking.
  11. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia - Outstanding athleticism and has a knack for making plays and does his best work as a pass rusher.  He needs to find the right fit as a 3-4 OLB.  Interested to see where his weight is.
  12. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri - One of the most fluid, athletic DTs I’ve ever seen.  Can be moved around the line and used in “mixer” fronts standing up.  Very raw and needs coaching.  Must get better fundamentally.
  13. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU - Right now, he’s not the 13th best prospect, but his potential is very high. Good athlete with deceptive power.  He has the type of frame that could allow him to play 4-3 DE or 3-4 DE in the future.
  14. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia - Good build and athleticism with a plus arm.  At times showed unwillingness or lack of awareness when running opportunities arose.  Will be able to make pro throws.  Lack of line play may have hurt his confidence at times this year.
  15. Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU - Shows good, but not great burst, but has outstanding change of direction and speed.  I didn’t think he looked as good this year as last.  Potential is still there to be a dangerous pass rusher in the NFL as 3-4 OLB.
  16. Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington - Sticky cornerback who loves to compete and diagnoses quickly.  Good elevation to battle on deep balls.  Excels in press or off coverage.  Outstanding ability to accelerate to the ball, but top-end speed could be an issue.
  17. Keenan Allen, WR, Cal - Big WR who plays to his size.  Is less angular with his movements than most WRs and more fluid.  Willing blocker and tough runner after the catch.  Will do his best work underneath and with intermediate routes.
  18. Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama - Played some nose and 3-technique in college, but best-suited to play NT.  Powerful at the point and holds up vs. double teams. Good bull-rusher, but is primarily a powerful space-eater in Alabama defense.
  19. Johnathan Banks, CB, Miss. State - Good size and athleticism, but sometimes relies too heavily on his physical skills rather than his tecnhique.  I have him high due to the talent, but his floor is lower than you like.
  20. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame - Very good pass catcher who shows better speed and receiving ability than Z. Ertz.  Nothing special as a blocker.  Best-suited as a move TE.
  21. D.J. Fluker, OG/OT, Alabama - Has length and strength NFL teams dream of, but is slow out of stance against edge rushers and doesn’t change directions well.  I believe Fluker could have major issues in protection as a tackle and needs to move to guard.
  22. Kenny Vacarro, S, Texas - Vacarro combines terrific athletic prowess with aggressiveness at his position.  Vacarro takes poor angles to the ball at times and his aggressiveness will cause him to make mistakes.  Needs to play under control.
  23. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson - High ceiling.  Not the athlete that C. Patterson is, but much better route-runner.  Competes hard in tight quarters and is a good fit for teams attacking short, intermediate or vertically.
  24. Datone Jones, DE, UCLA - Jones had an eye-opening Senior Bowl as he competed at a high level throughout.  Uses strong hands to jar tackles.  Skilled pass rusher, but is bulky and probably needs to play on the strong-side.
  25. Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M - High-cut frame.  Shows good initial step with his pass rush to create edge rush options, but doesn’t show varied pass rush moves.  Makes hustle plays down the field, but output not as consistent against quality tackles.
  26. Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame - Average athlete by NFL standards at the position.  Physical player with great instincts and puts himself in position to make tackles.  Poor performance against Alabama haunts all evaluators.
  27. Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia - Plus athlete who runs exceptionally well sideline to sideline, but is inconsistent as a tackler.  Instincts are lacking as is character.  High ceiling, but very low floor.  I wouldn’t draft in the 1st.
  28. Kawaan Short, DT, Purdue - Short plays with good quickness off the snap and uses heavy, violent hands to defeat blockers.  Plays with consistency.  His best role could be as a 1-gap NT.
  29. Matt Barkley, QB, USC - His arm is nothing special and his athleticism is nothing special.  Can make the throws you want which is what teams will look for.  Poise looked like a strength in 2011 and a weakness in 2012.
  30. Jonathan Cooper, OG, UNC - Intoxicating foot quickness, but his lack of power is going to turn off some teams.  Can get to angles that other guards won’t be able to.  He will be a priority guard target for zone teams.
  31. Robert Woods, WR, USC - Woods was the forgotten WR at USC thanks to teammate Marquise Lee, but when healthy, he’s got 1st round talent and WR1 traits.
  32. Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama - Powerful runner who grinds out yardage after the contact.  Gets downhill fairly quickly and gives a power team the hammer-head they want.  Love his toughness, but speed will be a concern within two years in the league.
  33. Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU - Lacks sideline to sideline speed of Ogletree and size of Te’o, but he’s steady and a safe pick in the 2nd round.
  34. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State - Has physical talent, but doesn’t put together all aspects of his game the way he needs to.
  35. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia - Draft stock could be hurt by lack of teams who know how to utilize his talent.  Tremendous after the catch, but slot WRs rarely go in the 1st.
  36. Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn - I wasn’t expecting much when I started studying him, but WOW!  Great length, build and quickness off the first step.  Low floor, but ceiling is higher than many DEs in this draft.
  37. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State - Tremendous size and strength for a CB, but concerns about quick-twitch quickness terrify me.
  38. John Jenkins, NT, Georgia - He has the talent to be a top 25 player, but his weight could balloon into 370s in the pros.
  39. Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford - Steady TE who is an average blocker but asked to operate mostly out of the slot.  Nothing special to his game.
  40. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU - Competitive out on the field, but lacks plus athleticism to be a first round pass rusher.
  41. Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee - Drops are an issue for him, but has physical tools that teams will love.
  42. Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky - Power?  Check.  Pass protection?  Check.  Warford is a terrific round 2 value for teams looking to run power.
  43. Alex Okafor, DE, Texas - Okafor was extremely productive in college and shows great football character on the field.  Average athleticism, but great competitiveness.
  44. Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State - Not as big as you want, but showed competitiveness and tremendous speed when he called out Desmond Trufant at Senior Bowl practice and then beat him downfield for the catch.
  45. Quinton Patton, WR, La. Tech - Loves to talk on the field and loves to make plays.  Quick short-area quickness, but might lack deep speed.  Much of his best work comes after the catch.
  46. Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall - I’m a fan.  Long-limbed receiver who plays to his size and does a great job of high pointing deep balls.  Willing blocker.
  47. Jonathan Cyprien, S, Fla. International - Has the physical attributes and mindset that teams want.  Will shoot up the draft boards.
  48. Terrence Williams, WR, Baylor - Highly productive in college with a ton of explosive plays, but I’m concerned about quickness out of his breaks and ability to get separation.
  49. Matt Elam, S, Florida - Teams who love versatile safeties will love Elam.  Great athlete and very physical, but his size concerns me.... especially given his physical nature.
  50. Vance McDonald, TE, Rice - Still very raw.  Played almost exclusively in the slot, but showed ability to steamroll smaller defenders as a blocker.  Good size and speed combination make him  a likely riser up draft boards.