Underclassmen List

Updated - 2-13-13

By: Alex Khvatov


QB Tyler Bray (Tennessee) – junior signal caller is very gifted from a physical standpoint.  He has ideal size and a very strong arm.  He throws an accurate deep ball.  But Bray trusts his arm a little too much and has a tendency to force throws into tight coverage.  He also gets sloppy with his footwork and his mechanics.  His leadership skills have been questioned in the past.

QB Kyle Padron (Eastern Washington) – 59% completion, 2,491 passing yards, 17 TDs and 7 INTs in 2012.  Padron transferred from SMU and started for one season at Eastern Washington.  He has good size and a strong arm.  He needs to work on his accuracy and improve his decision-making.  This early entrance caught me off guard.          

RB Le’Veon Bell (Michigan State) – power back with nimble feet.  Bell is a patient runner.  He shows good balance, nice hands and surprising wiggle moves.  He always falls forward.  His speed is a huge question mark.  He also struggled in games against top competition in the Big 10. 

RB Giovani Bernard (North Carolina) – redshirt sophomore is clearly the best back in the 2013 NFL Draft.  Bernard is a complete running back.  He has great vision and balance.  He is very explosive.  He catches the ball out of the backfield with ease.  Bernard is also a dangerous return man.  He has missed a couple of games with minor injuries.  He is only 5’9” and some teams will question his durability.

RB Knile Davis (Arkansas) – led SEC in rushing in 2010 with 1,322 yards.  He missed the 2011 campaign with a serious ankle injury.  He struggled this season while gaining only 377 yards on the ground.  He is a big back with speed, but he needs to prove that he is fully healthy.  

RB Michael Ford (LSU) – it was difficult for Ford to get carries in a crowded backfield this season especially with the emergence of freshman RB Jeremy Hill and junior RB Alfred Blue.  He rushed for just 392 yards.  He has a well-built frame with very good speed.  Ford can easily turn the corner.  He had issues with fumbles during his career.  He also had academic problems.    

RB Jawan Jamison (Rutgers) – redshirt sophomore shows patience and good acceleration through the hole.  He is a physical runner that shows the ability to break tackles.  Jamison is also a very good receiver out of the backfield.  He lacks ideal height (only 5’8”) and had a lingering ankle injury in the second half of the season.   

RB Stefphon Jefferson (Nevada) – had 375 carries for 1,883 rushing yards and 24 TDs during the 2012 season.  Jefferson has good speed.  He shows the ability to make people miss.  He is also quick through the hole.

RB Eddie Lacy (Alabama) – power back that got stronger as the season wore on.  He had a terrific second half of the year including the BCS National Championship Game.  Lacy shows good balance and a burst through the hole. He has dealt with minor injuries throughout his career.

RB Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina) – has been one of the top running backs in college football since his freshman season.  Lattimore is a power back that punishes defenders with his physical running style.  He has first round talent, but there are concerns about his durability.  He missed most of last year with a torn ACL and tore several ligaments in his knee midway through this season.  

RB Bradley Randle (UNLV) – 138 carries, 635 rushing yards and 8 TDs.  He is an undersized back with quickness that runs low to the ground.  He was a backup RB for UNLV this season.  This early entry was a head scratcher. 

RB Joseph Randle (Oklahoma State) – has scored 38 TDs on the ground over the last two years.  He demonstrates great cutback ability.  Randle has good vision and shows the ability to make people miss.                

RB Trabis Ward (Tennessee State) – had 1,422 rushing yards and 15 TDs this season.  He ranked seventh in rushing at the FCS level.   

RB Spencer Ware (LSU) – got lost in the shuffle in a crowded backfield at LSU this season.  He is a physical, downhill runner that runs over defenders.  He fights for extra yards and finishes his runs.  He projects more as a short yardage back at the next level because he lacks speed.    

RB Cierre Wood (Notre Dame) – has good size/speed combination.  Wood demonstrates tremendous vision.  He also shows good cutback ability.  He lacks power to push the pile or break tackles.  Wood also was suspended for two games for an unspecified reason at the start of the season. 

WR Keenan Allen (California) – arguably the top receiver available in the draft.  Allen is a polished receiver with ideal size at 6’3 and 210 pounds.  He displays great body control, good route running ability, quickness and elusiveness after the catch.   He missed the final three games with a knee injury.

WR Stedman Bailey (West Virginia) – quick in and out of his breaks.  He has scored 39 receiving TDs in his three years at West Virginia.  Bailey shows great concentration and reliable hands.  He is surprisingly physical for his size.  His teammate Tavon Austin receives more national attention, but Bailey is a more polished WR. 

WR Josh Boyce (TCU) – one of the better and more precise route runners in the entire draft.  Boyce is more quick than fast.  He shows the ability to make the tough grab.  He also has a tendency to lose concentration and drop the easy pass. 

WR Duron Carter (ex-Ohio State) – Cris Carter’s son was one of the top recruits coming out of high school.  Duron contributed as a freshman at Ohio State, but left the school for academic reasons.  He played one year at a junior college.  Then he transferred to Alabama, but never played a down.  His final stop was Florida Atlantic where he was denied immediate eligibility.  He is a talented receiver, but very raw and troubled.   

WR Justin Hunter (Tennessee) – an athletically gifted WR.  Hunter has ideal size and speed.  He was inconsistent catching the ball this year.  He had a few games with multiple drops.  He also needs to get stronger.  He does have first round ability. 

WR DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson) – smooth route runner with reliable hands.  He has excellent body control.  Hopkins goes up and gets the ball at the highest point.  He has some concentration lapses at times, and there are questions about his deep speed.  He is one of my favorite receivers in the entire draft.    

WR Brandon Kaufman (Eastern Washington) – 93 receptions, 1,850 receiving yards, 19.9 AVG and 16 TDs.  He is a tall receiver with exceptional hands.  He is a deep threat and a good red-zone target.  He will have to answer questions about his speed at the Combine and at the pro day. 

WR Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee) – spent only one season at Tennessee after transferring from a junior college.  He is a flat out playmaker.  Patterson is a big, physical receiver with great speed.  He has good hands.  He is willing to go over the middle.  He is still raw.  He needs to improve as a route runner.  

WR Da’Rick Rogers (Tennessee Tech) – was dismissed from Tennessee in the off-season for failing multiple drug tests.  He transferred to Tennessee Tech for one year.  He is an athletic receiver with good size, exceptional hands and very good body control.    

WR Ace Sanders (South Carolina) – an incredibly quick and explosive receiver.  He creates yards after the catch and eludes tacklers.  He shows reliable hands.  Size is a concern.  He projects as a slot receiver and a terrific return guy at the next level.  

WR Kenny Stills (Oklahoma) – junior doesn’t really stand out in one particular area.  He is a good route runner.  Stills has the ability to make the acrobatic catches.  But he does have inconsistent hands, and his effort has been questioned in the past.   

WR Marquess Wilson (ex-Washington State) – has been a playmaker during his three years at Washington State.  He attacks the ball well while it is in the air.  Wilson is also a solid route runner.  He needs to bulk up, improve his hands and answer questions about his long speed at the Combine.  He also left the program in the middle of this year claiming abuse by the coaching staff.      

WR Robert Woods (USC) – didn’t have the best statistical season by his standards (76 receptions, 846 receiving yards and 11 TDs).  He is a sure-handed receiver.  Woods is also a precise route runner.  He is very quick in and out of his cuts.

TE Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame) – displays very consistent hands and fluid route running ability.  He also has ideal size and excellent body control.  Eifert needs to continue to improve as a blocker. 

TE Zach Ertz (Stanford) – an athletic tight end with terrific hands.  He makes tough grabs over the middle of the field.  Ertz is quick in and out of his cuts.  He easily creates separation against DBs.  He needs to get stronger and improve as a blocker.   

TE Gavin Escobar (San Diego State) – athletic tight end with terrific size and soft hands.  He has only average blocking skills at best.  He is an underrated tight end that could surprise as a middle round pick.       

TE Jordan Reed (Florida) – versatile junior tight end that shows the ability to stretch the defense.  You can line him up in the slot or in the backfield as well.  His height is a concern and he needs to add more bulk to his frame.     

TE Dion Sims (Michigan State) – a huge TE at 6’5 and 285 pounds.  He is a good receiver and a safety valve for a QB in the middle of the field.  Sims isn’t quick off the line.  He also needs to significantly improve as a blocker. 

TE Levine Toilolo (Stanford) – has great size for a tight end.  He is a big time target in the red-zone.  Toilolo is a terrific blocker.  Speed and his route running are his biggest question marks.      

OT David Bakhtiari (Colorado) – has played LT and RT over his career.  His size suggests that he will most likely have to make the switch to guard.  Bakhtiari is a good pass protector with light feet.  He needs to add more bulk and improve as a run blocker.    

OT Chris Faulk (LSU) – played in only one game this season.  He missed most of the year with a knee injury.  Faulk is an athletic tackle with excellent size.  He is a very good run blocker. 

OT D.J. Fluker (Alabama) – a big, massive tackle.  He weighed in at 6’4 7/8, 355 pounds with an 87 inch wingspan at the Senior Bowl.  He is an excellent run blocker.  Fluker struggles against quick pass rushers.  He is strictly a RT who needs to keep his weight in check.     

OT Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M) – an athletic OT with outstanding physical traits.  He has excellent feet.  Joeckel has excelled in pass protection against some of the top SEC defensive linemen this season.  He needs to improve his hand usage and his run blocking skills.  He is the top OT in the draft and is currently in discussion for the top overall pick.     

OT Justin Pugh (Syracuse) – has started 34 games the past three seasons.  He has been a good blind side protector for Syracuse.  Pugh has excellent balance.  He also gets a good push in the run game.  He needs to add more bulk and get stronger.  There are some durability concerns with Pugh as he missed the first four games of his junior campaign.

OT Menelik Watson (Florida State) – played RT at Florida State this season.  He is an athletic, big and physical OL.  Watson is a very good run blocker.  He is very raw.  He needs to clean up his technique and footwork.   

OG Alvin Bailey (Arkansas) – big, athletic, strong OG who excels as a run blocker.  He demonstrates good quickness off the snap.  He needs to refine his technique and continue to improve in pass protection. 

C Travis Frederick (Wisconsin) – versatile lineman that has started at both guard and center over his career.  Frederick has impressive strength.  He excels as a run blocker.  He had some trouble with quick defensive tackles during his career.  

DE William Gholston (Michigan State) – is a classic underachiever.  His size (6’7, 278 pounds) and athleticism are very rare.  He holds his ground against the run.  But Gholston doesn’t have a quick first step.  His instincts and effort are also very questionable.  His best fit would be as a five-technique at the next level.          

DE Joe Kruger (Utah) – his brother Paul Kruger plays for the Baltimore Ravens.  No one expected him to enter the draft, but this is a player to keep an eye on during the draft process.  Joe is projected as a five-technique at the next level.  He has ideal size, pretty good speed and active, strong hands.  By the time the draft rolls around, he should be a solid mid-round pick.           

DE Corey Lemonier (Auburn) – had a disappointing junior campaign.  Lemonier finished the season with 34 tackles and only 5.5 sacks.  He shows great speed off the edge.  He needs to add bulk to his frame if he wants to remain at DE at the next level or he can move to OLB in a 3-4 defense.  

DE/LB Barkevious Mingo (LSU) – an athletically gifted defensive end.  He has an explosive first step.  Mingo is surprisingly good against the run.  He needs to bulk up and add more pass rushing moves to his repertoire.  He will shine at the Combine.  Mingo projects as an OLB for a 3-4 defense.          

DE Sam Montgomery (LSU) – was a much more productive player than his teammate DE Barkevious Mingo.  He has a good size/speed combination.  He holds up well against the run.  Montgomery has a very average burst off the snap and needs to develop more pass-rushing moves.     

DE Damontre Moore (Texas A&M) – had an outstanding junior season.  He finished the year with 80 tackles, 20.0 TFLs and 12.5 sacks.  Moore has a quick first step.  He has very aggressive and active hands.  The most impressive thing about Moore is his non-stop motor.  He looks like a top 10 pick.

DE Stansly Maponga (BYU) – 26 tackles, 6.5 TFLs and 4.0 sacks.  He struggled against Big 12 competition in 2012.  Maponga didn’t make many impact plays.  He is an undersized DE with a very average burst off the snap.        

DE Darrington Sentimore (Tennessee) – played at Alabama for two seasons.  Then he transferred to a junior college before spending the 2012 season at Tennessee.  He is only 6’2, but he has good bulk and strength.  He is versatile enough to play DT in 4-3 front or DE in a 3-4 alignment.      

DE Bjoern Werner (Florida State) – should be a top 10 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.  Werner lost 15 pounds in the off-season and looked quicker on the field.  He wreaked havoc in the backfield and was too much handle for most offensive tackles that he faced.  He is strong and has active hands.  Werner uses good leverage and holds up well against the run.

DT Sharrif Floyd (Florida) – finally started to live up to his enormous potential as a junior.  Floyd has good size and athleticism.  He has very long arms.  He also shows the ability to shoot the gap and collapse the pocket.  He needs to get stronger.  Floyd is a liability against the run, and his motor is inconsistent.  His ideal position would be as a 4-3 DT. 

DT Kwame Geathers (Georgia) – was a backup behind senior John Jenkins.  He projects as a NT at the next level.  He is a huge defensive lineman that occupies a double team.  Geathers needs to refine his overall technique and improve his conditioning.    

DT Johnathan Hankins (Ohio State) – finished the 2012 campaign with 55 tackles, four tackles for loss and one sack.  He is a big DT with a quick first step.  Hankins is a very good run defender.  He always commands a double team.  He has an inconsistent motor.

DT Jose Jose (Central Florida) – was a prized recruit coming out of high school in Miami.  He landed at a junior college before transferring to Central Florida.  He started five games in 2012.  He needs to refine his skills and keep his weight in check.  He also has some off-the-field baggage.    

DT Bennie Logan (LSU) – 45 tackles, 5.5 TFLs and 2.0 sacks in 2012.  He is an athletic DT with long arms.  He knows how to use his hands well.  Logan has good quickness.  He is an intriguing prospect with a lot of upside.      

DT Brandon Moore (Texas) – started five games in 2012 after transferring from a junior college.  His playing time decreased in the second half of the season.  He has very good size and natural strength.  He is very raw, but he does offer some versatility.      

DT Sheldon Richardson (Missouri) – had 75 tackles, 10.5 TFLs and four sacks during his redshirt junior season.  He is a disruptive DT with an exceptionally quick first step.  He does have some off-the-field baggage. 

DT Akeem Spence (Illinois) – had 72 total tackles, 7.0 TFLs and one sack in 2012.  He uses his natural strength to shoot the gaps and get to the ball carrier.  There were a couple of games during the season when Spence was almost non-existent and was dominated in one on one match-ups.  His best fit would be as a three-technique at the next level.  He should have stayed for his senior season. 

LB Dwayne Beckford (Purdue) – had 90 tackles, 7.0 TFLs and 3.0 sacks in 2011.  He was the second leading tackler at Purdue during that season.  Beckford is an athletic LB that plays well against the run.  He was dismissed from Purdue during the off-season after getting arrested.  He didn’t play at all in 2012.  This was his fourth arrest in 14 months.

LB Jelani Jenkins (Florida) – missed four games with various injuries this year.  He had foot surgery at the end of the season.  Jenkins is an instinctive LB with great speed.  Unfortunately, he is an undersized player that needs to get stronger.  He struggles shedding blocks.  His best fit would be as a weakside LB in a 4-3 defense or a cover 2 scheme at the next level.         

LB Jarvis Jones (Georgia) – disruptive pass rusher with great speed and athleticism.  Jones was a nightmare match-up for most OL in the SEC in 2012.  He excels as a blitzing LB.  The biggest concern with Jones is a condition called “spinal stenosis” which will scare some teams away and could cause him to slide on draft day.  He best fit in the NFL would be as an OLB in a 3-4 defense.       

LB Kevin Minter (LSU) – was the most consistent defender for the Tigers this season.  Minter makes plays all over the field.  He is a great run defender.  He doesn’t miss too many open field tackles.  He also has terrific instincts.     

LB Alec Ogletree (Georgia) – has first round ability.  He is a former safety who made the switch to LB.  He is an incredibly athletic player with very good speed.  He makes sideline-to-sideline plays.  Ogletree is good in pass coverage.  Unfortunately, he struggles against the run.  He needs to learn how to shed blockers instead of running around them.  Ogletree was also suspended for the first four games this season.  

LB Tom Wort (Oklahoma) – an undersized LB that had a disappointing junior campaign.  Wort has great speed and good instincts.  But he missed too many open field tackles.  He also looked lost in coverage in 2012.  A surprising move, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to keep his starting job next season.            

CB David Amerson (North Carolina State) – has 18 career INTs over his career.  Amerson has great size and terrific ball skills.  But he only has average speed.  He has a gambling style of play and has a difficult time flipping his hips.  He is strictly a cover 2 corner or might even have to make the switch to free safety at the next level.  

CB Terrence Brown (Stanford) – 65 tackles and 1 INT.  He has good height.  Brown also shows good closing speed and he will support against the run.  He needs to add more bulk to his frame and improve his ball skills.      

CB Mike Edwards (Hawaii) – was kicked off the Tennessee squad for armed robbery charges.  Edwards transferred to Hawaii and became one of the better corners in the WAC.  He has good speed and fluid hips.  He can also contribute as a returner on special teams.  He needs to get stronger and add more bulk to his frame.   

CB Tyrann Mathieu (ex-LSU) – was dismissed from LSU in August for failed drug tests.  He was a Heisman Trophy finalist last year.  He demonstrated a knack for making the big play.  He has tremendous instincts and is one of the better return men in the NCAA.

CB Dee Milliner (Alabama) – has emerged as the top corner in the 2013 draft.  He is a lockdown corner with good size, instincts and smooth hips.  He will support against the run.     

CB Xavier Rhodes (Florida State) – tough, physical corner with great size.  He uses his long arms to make it difficult for receivers to get off the line.  Rhodes is very good in run support.  But he has a difficult time against quicker receivers.  He was a bit inconsistent as a junior.  His future might very well be at safety at the next level.   

CB Nickell Robey (USC) – a feisty, physical corner with good speed.  He attacks the ball while it is in the air.  Robey is a hard worker.  He is very undersized at 5’8 and 165 pounds.  He also struggles against physical receivers.  He projects as a nickel corner at the next level.           

CB Logan Ryan (Rutgers) – tough corner with nice size.  Ryan has excellent ball skills.  He attacks the ball while it is in the air like a wide receiver.  He should be a late first/early second round pick. 

CB Tharold Simon (LSU) – 45 tackles and 4 INTs.  He is a very tall corner with a nice frame.  He has good speed.  Simon likes to get physical with receivers at the line of scrimmage.  He must improve his footwork.         

CB Steve Williams (California) – started 28 games for the Bears during his three-year career.  Williams is a corner with very good speed and quick feet.  He lacks size and strength.    

S Matt Elam (Florida) – an athletic safety with speed.  Elam is a very good open field tackler.  He is always around the ball.  His size (only 5’10) will prevent him from being a first round pick.  

S JaJuan Harley (Middle Tennessee) – was a transfer from Florida State.  He shows the versatility to play corner and safety.  Harley has very good speed.  He is more of an athlete than a football player at this time. 

S Tony Jefferson (Oklahoma) – versatile safety with good ball skills.  Jefferson is a playmaker.  He is a very good run defender as well.  He lacks ideal height and occasionally misses a wide-open tackle in the open field.  He would have been a top 20 pick if he was a couple of inches taller.        

S Eric Reid (LSU) – talented safety with upside.  Reid has ideal size and athleticism.  He is a big hitter.  He is more effective as an in-box safety.  He is undisciplined on the field.  He also struggled in coverage in 2012.     

P Brad Wing (LSU) – an Australian born punter with an extremely strong leg.  Redshirt sophomore has been the best punter in the nation the last two years. 


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