The 2012 college football season is underway and evaluation time has begun. After a summer (essentially) off from NFL’s Future, we are ready to hit it hard for April’s draft. To kickoff our round the clock coverage of everything draft-related I look at my top 64 prospects that are draft eligible. Enjoy and feel free to comment.
1. Jarvis Jones I Georgia I OLB*
Jones takes the top spot after a monster start to the season. This is Von Miller 2.0 and mostly likely our highest grade for the 2013 NFL Draft class.
2. Matt Barkley I USC I QB
Barkley has had a strong start to his senior season but has yet to face a game opponent. This weekend’s matchup with Stanford will be big for Barkley.
3. Barkevious Mingo I LSU I DE/OLB*
Two out of the top three are pass rushers. Makes sense in today’s NFL. Mingo has rare athleticism and is reminiscent of Aldon Smith from a skills perspective.
4. Star Lotulelei I DT I Utah
Lotulelei has drawn favorable comparisons to Haloti Ngata. A fair comparison given his size and athletic ability.
5. Sam Montgomery I LSU I DE*
Montgomery is a special talent. The separation between he and Mingo is based on athletic talent. Montgomery has a nose for the quarterback and always seems to be in the right spot.
6. Tyler Wilson I Arkansas I QB
I know Wilson is injured and they were defeated by an inferior team but the fact remains that his skills translate to the NFL really well.
7. Eric Reid I LSU I FS*
Reid has the combination of size, speed, and ball skills to make him a top 10 selection in April’s draft.
8. Bjoern Werner I FSU I DE*
Werner is leading the country in sacks and has a non-stop motor. With Brandon Jenkins done for the season, Werner will draw more blocking, so we’ll get to see whether he’s worthy of this high of a ranking. Werner’s late start to the game of football will only intrigue scouts more because of an enormous ceiling.
Bray has lit up defenses in 2012, if this continues he could be headed towards surpassing Tyler Wilson in the rankings. NFL skill set but needs to prove durability.
10. Dee Milliner I Alabama I CB*
Milliner is headed towards a very bright future and I think he’s the top corner in this class, if he declares early.
11. Logan Thomas I Virginia Tech I QB*
Thomas is loaded with talent but needs to show it more consistently on the field. If Thomas can show consistent play in 2012 he will finish our rankings much higher.
12. Luke Joeckel I Texas A&M I OT*
There will be a ton of juniors vying for the top tackle spot. As of now, Joeckel earns that honor.
13. Robert Woods I USC I WR*
Woods is surrounded by talented WR’s at USC. There’s just not enough balls to go around. That doesn’t negate the fact that Woods has elite ball skills.
14. Geno Smith I West Virginia I QB
I like Geno Smith a lot. He has mastered Dana Holgorsen’s offense and looks ready for another spectacular season. He’s a guy that doesn’t get enough hype, so he lands at 14 on our first edition.
15. Johnathan Hankins I Ohio State I DT*
Hankins is a big man that moves like a much smaller man. I don’t think he’s quite worthy of a top 10 selection but could work his way into that range as OSU progresses through the Big Ten schedule.
16. Keenan Allen I Cal I WR*
Cal has started slow which hasn’t helped out Allen in the least. This week’s matchup with Bradley Roby and OSU could be his 2012 coming out party.
17. Manti Te’o I Notre Dame I ILB
Te’o is headed towards another spectacular season in South Bend and ensuring a first round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.
18. Chance Warmack I Alabama I OG
A guard at 18 means you’re pretty special and Warmack is definitely that.
19. Justin Hunter I Tennessee I WR*
Hunter may the most physically gifted receiver (potentially) in this class. That’s saying a lot when you look at the likes of Woods, Allen, etc. Hunter needs a full season of health under his belt before taking the next step as a top 10 receiver. I wouldn’t be shocked if he finished the season in that range, barring health.
Amerson is a competitor which I love as an attribute for an NFL corner. He doesn’t possess the speed to play on an island but has exceptional ball skills.
21. John Jenkins I Georgia I DT
Jenkins is a monster NT that will get plenty of love from 3-4 teams come draft time.
22. Jackson Jeffcoat I Texas I DE*
Jeffcoat is loaded with potential. We will see if 2012 is his season to explode onto the national scene.
23. Sean Porter I Texas A&M I OLB
Porter is drawing the obvious comparisons to former teammate Von Miller. Don’t put him in that category but he’s pretty good.
24. Marcus Lattimore I South Carolina I RB*
Lattimore looks fully recovered from an ACL and ready to assume his role as the top back in the 2013 NFL Draft.
25. Johnthan Banks I Mississippi State I CB
Banks has had an outstanding start to the 2012 season, especially against Auburn. He has the size to challenge bigger receivers at the next level and should creep up from this spot as the season wears on.
26. Corey Lemonier I Auburn I DE*
Lemonier doesn’t get the credit he’s deserved. He’s a dominant pass rusher that will find a way to get to the QB.
27. Barrett Jones I Alabama I OG/OC
Jones can play four line positions making him a valuable commodity in the NFL. He’s not going to jump off the page with elite skills but will be solid NFL starter for many years.
28. Jake Matthews I Texas A&M I OT*
Matthews mans the right tackle spot at A&M and should be an immediate starter in the NFL at that spot should he declare early.
29. William Ghoslton I Michigan St. I DE*
Gholston always leaves me wanting more, hence why he’s not higher in my rankings. His rare combination of size, speed, and strength are intriguing but I need to see him parlay it to the field consistently.
30. Taylor Lewan I Michigan I OT*
I think Lewan needs another season of college ball but his physical talents are immense.
31. Terrance Williams I Baylor I WR
Williams has played well despite losing his QB, RGIII.
32. Tyler Eifert I Notre Dame I TE
Eifert picked up where Kyle Rudolph left off at ND and should be taken at the backend of round one in April’s draft.
33. Kawann Short I Purdue I DT
34. Brennan Williams I North Carolina I OT
35. Jesse Williams I Alabama I DT
36. Justin Gilbert I Oklahoma St. I CB*
37. Tony Jefferson I Oklahoma I FS*
38. Xavier Rhodes I FSU I CB*
39. Jonathan Cooper I North Carolina I OG
40. Alex Okafor I Texas I DE
41. T.J. McDonald I USC I FS
42. Alec Ogletree I Georgia I ILB
43. Kenny Vaccaro I Texas I SS
44. C.J. Mosley I Alabama I OLB*
45. James Gayle I Virginia Tech I DE*
46. Carrington Byndom I Texas I CB*
47. Landry Jones I Oklahoma I QB
48. Oday Aboushi I Virginia I OT
49. Michael Buchanan I Illinois I DE
50. Dallas Thomas I Tennessee I OT
51. Shayne Skov I Stanford I ILB
52. D.J. Fluker I Alabama I OT*
53. Sylvester Williams I North Carolina I DT
54. Aaron Dobson I Marshall I WR
55. Arthur Brown I Kansas State I ILB
56. Margus Hunt I SMU I DE
57. Kenny Stills I Oklahoma I WR*
58. Travis Frederick I Wisconsin I OG*
59. Cyril Richardson I Baylor I OT*
60. Le’Veon Bell I Michigan State I RB
61. Eric Fisher I Central Michigan I OT
62. Kevin Reddick I North Carolina I ILB
62. Johnny Adams I Michigan State I CB
63. Jamie Collins I Southern Miss I OLB
64. Bennie Logan I LSU I DT*