Post-Combine NFL Draft Positional Rankings for Offense

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2013 NFL Draft Positional Rankings: Offense

NFL Draft
Bob Donnan-US Presswire

The 2013 NFL Draft is fast approaching. The college football All-Star games are wrapped up, all underclassmen are on board, and a clearer picture is forming as to not only how prospects compare at their respective positions, but also the strength of each individual positional unit are starting to show themselves. We have gotten through the NFL scouting combines and are now headed down the home stretch.

The best way to describe this draft class as a whole for me, is to say that it's very deep at many positions but top heavy at few of them. There are only one or two positions that I would really consider weak, and two or three others that I would certainly qualify as loaded. Depending on the needs of your team, this draft could be considered quite average or a jackpot.

On the offensive side of the football, the real positions of strength are wide receivers and offensive tackles where there are some really fascinating and dynamic prospects. The running back position is another I would consider very deep even though lacking in any real first round talent. This is the same for the tight end position where there are some really solid players that won't cost a high draft pick.

On the other side you have the offensive guard position which has three very highly rated prospects that could all end up in the top 40 or 50 picks, and then the dip is considerable.

But the position that everyone wants to talk about is the quarterback. It's the position of greatest attention every year, but this season, with no clear cut top prospect, but numerous teams in need, where the top quarterbacks grade out in term of draft positioning is of great debate.

So, let's take a look at the top prospects at all the offensive positions in the 2013 NFL draft.


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NFL Draft
Nelson Chenault-US Presswire

Among the quarterback prospects, I only have two, Tyler Wilson from Arkansas and Geno Smith from West Virginia who I give a first round grade. However the next six in my rankings all have 2nd round grades. Now, it must be noted that a grade is the value I place on the prospect. I will not be at all shocked if there are five quarterbacks drafted in the first round. This group may not have a top pick can't miss franchise type of player, but there are some really sneaky good football players on this list who just need to get with the right team, to have a chance. I am leaning toward two quarterbacks being drafted in the 1st round, followed with a run on them in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

1.Tyler Wilson, Arkansas

2. Geno Smith, West Virginia

3. Tyler Bray, Tennessee

4. Matt Barkley, USC

5. EJ Manuel, FSU

6. Zac Dysert, Miami(OH)

7. Mike Glennon, NC State

8. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse

9. Landry Jones, Oklahoma

10. Matt Scott, Arizona

11. Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt

12. Colby Cameron, La. Tech.

13. Brad Sorensen, Utah State

14. Jeff Tuel, Washington State

15. Nick Florence, Baylor

16. Matt McGloin, Penn State

17. Seth Doege, Texas Tech

18. Alex Carder, Western Michigan

19. Colin Klein, Kansas State

20. Mike Hermann, RPI

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Running Backs

NFL Draft

I really like the prospects in this running back group. There aren't any first round prospects among this group right now, but don't be shocked if some team either takes a flyer on one of the top backs at the end of the round, or a team moves back up into the first round to get the back they want. The criticism of many of these backs are that they cannot carry a full workload in the NFL. But the fact is, a very small percentage of franchises in the current NFL that ask a single back to do it all anyway. There are some fascinating skill sets among these backs from big bruising power backs to speedy ball carriers who can catch the ball like a wide receiver.

1. Eddie Lacy, Alabama

2. Gio Bernard, North Carolina

3. Andre Ellington, Clemson

4. Montee Ball, Wisconsin

5. Christine Michael, Texas A&M

6. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina

7. Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State

8. Knile Davis, Arkansas

9. Stepfan Taylor, Stanford

10. Mike Gillislee, Florida

11. Le'Veon Bell, Michigan State

12. Jawan Jamison, Rutgers

13. Kenjon Barner, Oregon

14. Johnathan Franklin, UCLA

15. Dennis Johnson, Arkansas

16. Theo Riddick, Notre Dame

17. Ray Graham, Pitt

18. Rex Burkhead, Nebraska

19. Cierre Wood, Notre Dame

20. Robbie Rouse, Fresno State

21. DJ Harper, Boise State

22. Stefphon Johnson, Nevada

23. Michael Ford, LSU

24. Montel Harris, Temple

25. Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt

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NFL Draft
Robert Mayer-USA Today Sports

The fullback position is a bit of a dying art in the NFL. Many teams have abandoned the use of the true fullback altogether and others instead incorporate a more hybrid "H-back" type of player who can play more of a tight end role and secondary to that a blocking fullback. This is a small but talented group who are all very good blockers, more than adequate short yardage backs and some have soft hands, working well as a receiver out of the backfield.

1. Lonnie Pryor, FSU

2. Tommy Bohanon, Wake Forest

3. Zach Line, SMU

4. Zach Boren, Ohio State

5. Braden Wilson, Kansas State

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Wide Receivers

NFL Draft
Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

If your team is needing a playmaker at wide receiver, and they don't want to spend a first round pick on one, this is the draft for them. I only have two wide receivers with a first round grade among this group, but you can go down the list and see a very diverse and talented group. The order they are selected in will depend in large part on what the team wants them to do. There are some tremendous slot receiver prospects, and lots of wide outs with good size to use on the outside.

1. Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee

2. Tavon Austin, West Virginia

3. Keenan Allen, Cal

4. DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson

5. Robert Woods, USC

6. Justin Hunter, Tennessee

7. Quinton Patton, La. Tech

8. Terrance Williams, Baylor

9. Markus Wheaton, Oregon State

10. Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech.

11. Kenny Stills, Oklahoma

12. Ryan Swope, Texas A&M

13. Marquise Goodwin, Texas

14. Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas

15. Stedman Bailey, West Virginia

16. Tavarres King, Georgia

17. Chris Harper, Kansas State

18. Aaron Dobson, Marshall

19. Denard Robinson, Michigan

20. Ace Sanders, South Carolina

21. Aaron Mellette, Elon

22. Omarius Hines, Florida

23. Alec Lemon, Syracuse

24. Josh Boyce, TCU

25. Conner Vernon, Duke

26. Marcus Davis, Virginia Tech

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Tight Ends

NFL Draft
Matt Cashore-US Presswire

The role of the tight end in the NFL has expanded in recent years. Having a good receiving tight end is essential to a team's success. This is an interesting group of tight ends because at the top you have several very good pass catchers, as you move down the list you sacrifice some pass catching, but you find some players with excellent size and some that are very good inline blockers.

1. Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame

2. Zach Ertz, Stanford

3. Jordan Reed, Florida

4. Travis Kelce, Cincinnati

5. Dion Sims, Michigan State

6. Gavin Escobar, San Diego State

7. Chris Gragg, Arkansas

8. Ryan Otten, San Jose State

9. Vance McDonald, Rice

10. Michael Williams, Alabama

11. Joseph Fauria, UCLA

12. Levine Toilolo, Stanford

13. Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State

14. Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn

15. Nick Kasa, Colorado

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Offensive Tackles

NFL Draft
Brett Davis-US Presswire

The anchor of any offense is the left tackle. So when breaking down a group like this there are the left tackle prospects and the rest. if you have the size, the length and the athleticism to play left tackle, you are by default more valuable than a player with similar skills who only projects to play on the right side. There are three tackles in this list I give a first round grade and while the top of this class is very good, how good players four through 10 or 11 is relative to how many teams believe they can develop to play on the left side.

1. Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M

2. Eric Fisher, Central Michigan

3. Lane Johnson, Oklahoma

4. Dallas Thomas, Tennessee

5. DJ Fluker, Alabama

6. Menelik Watson, FSU

7. Justin Pugh, Syracuse

8. Oday Aboushi, Virginia

9. Kyle Long, Oregon

10.Brian Winters, Kent State

11. Terron Armstead, Arkansas Pine-Bluff

12. Brennan Williams, North Carolina

13. Xavier Nixon, Florida

14. Jordan Mills, La. Tech

15. Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin

16. Chris Faulk, LSU

17. Manase Foketi, West Texas A&M

18. David Quessenberry, San Jose State

19. David Bakhatiari, Colorado

20. Braden Brown, BYU

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Offensive Guards

NFL Draft
Matthew Emmons-US Presswire

This offensive guard class is very heavy at the top with three players who will likely be gone in the first 40 or 45 picks, with two of those being first round picks. The rest of the group has some things about their games, so they will have to find the right fit in the league in order to optimize what they do well and help develop their weaknesses.

1. Chance Warmack, Alabama

2. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

3. Larry Warford, Kentucky

4. Alvin Bailey, Arkansas

5. JC Tretter, Cornell

6. Hugh Thornton, Illinois

7. Sam brenner, Utah

8. Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech

9. Braden Hansen, BYU

10. Blaize Foltz, TCU

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NFL Draft
Mark J. Rebilas-US Presswire

The center position in the NFL draft is always so underrated, it's challenging to grade a center too high, because while there are probably four or five guys on this list who can and will start in the league, it's likely they won't be drafted commensurate with that kind of potential. Jones is likely a late first, early second round pick, in large part because he can play multiple positions rather than his singular potential at center.

1. Barrett Jones, Alabama

2. Brian Schwenke, Cal

3. Travis Frederick, Wisconsin

4. Khaled Holmes, USC

5. Mario Benavides, Louisville

6. Braxton Cave, Notre Dame

7. Graham Pocic, Illinois

8. Dalton Freeman, Clemson