Matt’s Mind – 2013 NFL Draft Prospects


The NFL Draft is tonight so I’m going to shake some draft rooms to their core as I reveal my thoughts on several of tonight’s draft prospects.


These are guys I expect to make an impact from week 1 of 2013 through the rest of their career.  It’s a draft without much star potential.  I think there are a few players with Hall of Fame of potential but most will just be solid with potential for a couple of Pro Bowls.  Here’s the who and why of my top 5 prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft.

1.  Chance Warmack (OG – Alabama) – I think he’s the closest thing to a sure thing in this draft.  He was a dominant lineman at Alabama routinely facing NFL caliber defensive linemen.  I think he’s the safest pick at the draft but he’s at probably the least sexy position in the NFL.  The team that takes him will get a starter week 1.

2.  Jarvis Jones (OLB – Georgia) – I understand the injury concerns people have with him but he is a force.  This guy wrecked havoc in SEC backfields during his career in Athens.  I think he’s going to translate very well in the NFL and see him getting double digit sacks as a rookie.  If you need a pass rusher you take Jarvis Jones.

3.  Luke Joeckel (OT – Texas A&M) – He really benefitted from Texas A&M moving from the Big XII to the SEC.  He showed how he’d matchup against elite defensive players that you see each week in the SEC.

4.  Tyler Eifert (TE – Notre Dame) – He was a matchup nightmare at Notre Dame.  He’s a huge target that has some speed that make him so difficult to defend.  I think he can be a huge asset over the middle for an NFL offense.  I think he’s the best pass catching prospect in this draft.

5.  Dee Milliner (CB – Alabama) – News of injuries and surgeries are overstated.  This guy can cover and with his size he’s tremendous to matchup against the big receivers in the NFL.  If you need help in the secondary go get Dee.


The QB crop this year isn’t even close to last year’s.  The group this year has one guy I can see being a solid pro and another I like but have some concerns.  The rest are guys I see as risky and not worth a high pick.  Here’s my Top 5 QB prospects:

1.  Matt Barkley (USC) – Barkley didn’t look great this season as USC didn’t come close to the huge preseason expectations.  He was banged up throughout the season and ended his career at Southern Cal on the injured list.  He seems to be recovering well which bodes well for him.  I think several teams doubt him but I wonder if it’s because of prior USC QB’s.  With the disappointment of Mark Sanchez and Matt Leinart in the NFL, I think it could be overshadowing Barkley.  Barkley’s line last season was the worst of his USC career and with any QB, if his line isn’t great he tends to underperform.  I think Barkley is worthy of a first round pick but towards the end of the round due to the injury concern.  A team who could sit him for a year or two would be the perfect fit for Barkley.

2.  Ryan Nassib (Syracuse) – This guy did a great job elevating his team while with the Orange.  He’s a heck of a competitor and I think can be an NFL starter.  He’s got a good arm and can move around.  He comes from a system that has him prepared to play in his first season.  I don’t think he’s a first rounder though.  If I need a QB and he’s there where I’m picking in round 2 I’d seriously consider pulling the trigger.

3.  Tyler Wilson (Arkansas) – He would be a first rounder if not for the Bobby Petrino mess.  He suffered from the debacle that followed the Petrino scandal and it’s hurt his draft stock significantly.  Wilson has the size and arm you want in a NFL QB.  He faced great defenses in the SEC so his transition from a competition stand point won’t be as significant as others.  He’s worth the risk in the third round and I might think about him in the second also.

4.  Geno Smith (West Virginia) – Geno Smith is accurate but I really question his ability to transition to the NFL.  He’s used to throwing in a spread offense from the shotgun which limits the teams he would work with well in the NFL.  He can move and throw on the run but didn’t face elite defenses very often at West Virginia.  I have  a lot of doubts about Smith.  The weak crop of QB’s this year really is elevating him but I don’t see him above a third round pick in last year’s draft.

5.  E.J. Manuel (Florida State) – Great size and arm.  Similar to Smith I think he’s got to go to the right team because of the college system he comes from.  I think he’s a guy you draft in round 3 or 4 and plan to sit for a few seasons.  He’s got potential but will need to adjust to the NFL game.

Top 5 Riskiest NFL Prospects in 2013

1.  Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee) – A very intriguing prospect.  Great size and speed but only one year at Tennessee.  He’s raw and got by on his physical skills quite a bit last year. He’s going to have to improve route running in the NFL but if he does he could be a homerun threat for the team getting him.  I think he’s truly a boom or bust prospect.

2.  Geno Smith (West Virginia) – Many have him a first round pick and I see his risk being too high to take early in the draft.  Like I outlined above I think his transition will be difficult and make him a significant risk.

3.  Tavon Austin (West Virginia) – Buzz has him possibly going in the top 10 now which I think is a stretch.  He’s a slot receiver with great speed but at only 175 pounds he could get bumped around at the line in the NFL.  I think he’s a first round talent but if he’s a top 10 pick a team is taking a big risk.

4.  Barkevious Mingo (LSU) – He’s a freak athlete.  Tremendous combo of power and speed.  He was up and down during his career at LSU.  I think he’s got to go to a coach who clearly knows how he’ll fit in a scheme.  He needs to have a position already determined and then he can learn how to be successful at it in the NFL.  The guys who are considered the OLB/DE combo’s are often risky because they don’t have a true position.

5.  Dion Jordan (Oregon) – I don’t think this guy is going to be a bust but he needs to go to a good situation to be truly effective.  Aldon Smith is the guy he’s most compared to and Smith went to a perfect situation where he has a great defensive line that opens holes for him to get to the QB.  If Jordan finds a similar situation he’ll put up huge numbers.  If he goes somewhere where he’s the focus of the opposition’s offense, he could struggle.

Good luck to all the players being drafted this weekend.  Check out more of our 2013 NFL Draft coverage here at

Get the latest from Sports Formulator by following us on Twitter and Facebook.  You can also find us on Google+ and Instagram.