Evan Silva

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Mayock's Top-Five Rankings

Monday, February 18, 2013



Centers
1. Travis Frederick*, Wisconsin
2. Brian Schwenke, California
3. Barrett Jones, Alabama
4. Khaled Holmes, USC
5. Braxston Cave, Notre Dame

Notes: Centers need to be special for day-one or early day-two draft discussion. Frederick may qualify. One anonymous general manager told NFL Draft insider Tony Pauline that Frederick might be the best interior run blocker the draft has "witnessed in more than a half-decade." Jones, Schwenke, and Holmes all played in pro-style offenses and are potential NFL starters. Cave played poorly both in the BCS title game and at the Senior Bowl. He looks like a late-round pick.

Guards
1. Chance Warmack, Alabama
2. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
3. Larry Warford, Kentucky
4. Kyle Long, Oregon
5. Brian Winters, Kent State

Notes: Guard is loaded. Warmack is this year's consensus draft-eligible "football player," regardless of position. It's been over a decade since a guard went in the top ten -- Arizona took Leonard Davis second overall in 2001 -- so Warmack's draft slot isn't easily forecasted. Cooper is so effective on the move that zone-running teams may grade him higher than Warmack. Warford, at 6-foot-3, 333, is an old-school power blocker capable of manhandling opponents. Long is Howie's son. Winters, a left tackle in the MAC who will kick inside, is a brawler in the trenches.

Defensive Ends
1. Bjoern Werner*, Florida State
2. Damontre Moore*, Texas A&M
3. Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
4. Sam Montgomery*, LSU
5 (tie). Datone Jones, UCLA
Margus Hunt, SMU

Notes: Mayock lists LSU's Barkevious Mingo at outside linebacker, ostensibly projecting a switch to rush 'backer in a 3-4. Mingo played strong-side end in LSU's 4-3. The first three ends in Mayock's ranks are impressive specimens. Werner played left end in the Seminoles' 4-3 defense and has drawn comparisons to Rams left end Chris Long. Moore's motor never stops running and he has experience both at 3-4 outside linebacker and 4-3 defensive end. Ansah is one of this year's most polarizing prospects. His game tape suggests he'd be a terrific fit in a Wide-9 scheme like the Lions or Rams'. Left out of Mayock's top-five defensive ends were Florida State's Tank Carradine, Texas' Alex Okafor, Auburn's Corey Lemonier, and Michigan State's William Gholston.

Defensive Tackles
1. Sharrif Floyd*, Florida
2. Star Lotulelei, Utah
3. Sheldon Richardson*, Missouri
4. Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
5 (tie). Johnathan Hankins*, Ohio State
Kawann Short, Purdue

Notes: Multiple Pro Bowlers will emerge from this year's defensive tackle group. Floyd, Lotulelei, and Richardson are all expected to be top-ten picks. Mayock turned a few heads by placing Lotulelei second at the position, but Florida's Floyd will rise in Indy. Richardson is a classic "three-technique" pass rusher. Mayock's D-Tackle snubs include Jesse Williams from Alabama, Missouri Southern's Brandon Williams, Georgia's Big John Jenkins, and Bennie Logan of LSU.

Outside Linebackers
1. Dion Jordan, Oregon
2. Jarvis Jones*, Georgia
3. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
4. Barkevious Mingo*, LSU
5. Arthur Brown, Kansas State

Notes: As alluded to in the defensive end notes, Mingo is being considered by Mayock as a 3-4 outside 'backer. Mayock is tight with NFL personnel men and likely wouldn't have projected a position change without informed input. He also has Mingo pretty low relative to popular opinion, so it'll be interesting to hear Mayock discuss Mingo during NFL Network's Combine coverage. Jordan is an absolute freakazoid at 6-foot-7, 230 with explosive pass-rush ability, cover skills, and relentlessness in pursuit. Jordan covered slot receivers on passing downs at Oregon. Jones is an undersized pass rusher cut from the Bruce Irvin cloth. Greene and Brown are 4-3 linebackers.

Inside Linebackers
1. Alec Ogletree*, Georgia
2. Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
3. Kevin Minter*, LSU
4. Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
5. Kiko Alonso, Oregon

Notes: The inside linebackers were looking good until January. Then Te'o laid a BCS Championship Game egg against Alabama, before word surfaced of his Catfishing by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Ogletree's DUI is just the latest in a string of off-field problems. He seems destined for the Cincinnati Bengals. Minter is the cleanest of the ILB group, and he quietly might be the best. He's a natural defensive leader, tackling with efficiency and holding his own versus the pass.

Cornerbacks
1. Dee Milliner*, Alabama
2. Xavier Rhodes*, Florida State
3. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
4. Desmond Trufant, Washington
5. Jordan Poyer, Oregon State

Notes: Some notable names didn't make the cut here: David Amerson (NC State), Tyrann Mathieu (LSU), Logan Ryan (Rutgers), Jamar Taylor (Boise State), and Tharold Simon (LSU). Milliner is considered a possibility for the draft's top-five selections because so many teams need cornerback help at the top. Rhodes, Banks, and Trufant are also all on the first-round radar. Poyer might not test the best, but he makes plays. Be sure to catch the final day of Combine testing on NFL Network. It's next Tuesday, and Deion Sanders joins the set as the defensive backs run and perform on-field drills. Love him or hate him, Deion is an informative and compelling color analyst.

Safeties
1. Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
2. Matt Elam*, Florida
3. Johnathan Cyprien, Florida International
4. Eric Reid*, LSU
5. Zeke Motta, Notre Dame

Notes: Look out for fast-riser Cyprien, who blew up the Senior Bowl and is beginning to show up in the first round of some mocks. Vaccaro is this year's consensus top safety. Elam is a big hitter with question marks about the rest of his game. Reid seemed to take a step back as a junior after flashing special tools as a sophomore. Mayock is familiar with all of the Notre Dame players because he calls Irish games for NBC. Expect Motta to eventually slide out of the top five, and potentially be replaced by South Carolina's D.J. Swearinger or Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson.



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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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