Senior NFL Columnist

Top 32: Plenty of talent, some future stars and only one QB

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One of my pet peeves is when people say the NFL draft stinks this year because there are no quarterbacks at the top.

That is 100 percent wrong.

While there aren't the top quarterback prospects like last year with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, the 2013 NFL Draft is filled with a lot of good players and is deep at several positions.

There is a lot of talent on the offensive line and at defensive tackle, tight end, safety and you can find pass rushers.

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What's not to like?

It's lazy to say it's not a good draft based on the quarterbacks. And, by the way, I think one, two or even three quarterbacks will emerge as quality NFL starters from this year's class. It's up to the personnel people to figure out which ones.

I actually had a tough time putting together my list of the top 32 players heading into the scouting combine this week. I moved several players in and out over the past week.

There is only one quarterback on the list, and that's West Virginia's Geno Smith. But he isn't near the top.

I still think as the evaluation process plays out, we will see either Ryan Nassib of Syracuse or Matt Barkley move into the top 32. They are two quarterbacks who have a lot to prove in the next two months.

For now, this is my top 32. It probably doesn't look a lot like the other lists out there, but that's OK. It's my list.

1. Luke Joeckel, T, Texas A&M: He is the cleanest player on the board. Picking tackles high in the draft is usually a wise thing.

2. Chance Warmack, G, Alabama: He is a power player who mauled opponents in 2012. He has to be careful about his weight.

3. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida: The more I watch, the more I like. He will be special on the next level.

4. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee: One year in the big time will scare some people, but not me. This kid has game-breaking ability.

5. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah: He is quick and strong. He can play inside in the 4-3 and end in the 3-4. Lived up to the hype in 2012.

6. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State: He is big and fast and plays with a swagger. What's not to like?

7. Jarvis Jones, OLB-DE, Georgia: He has great speed off the edge, but he has some spine issues that need to be checked out. The medical is key for him.

8. Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri: Some will say this is too high for Richardson, but I think it's just right. He will be a disruptive inside player on the next level.

9. Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan: If you watched him at the Senior Bowl, you know why he is here. He is fundamentally sound.

10. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia: Yes, he's small at 5-foot-9. But can he fly or what? Think slot receiver and return man. He will be an NFL star.

11. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama: I like his ability, but he played a lot of Cover-2 at Alabama. Can he transition to playing more man?

12. Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU: He is fast off the line, but he is small and needs to bulk up. Where was the production last year?

13. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU: Talk about raw. This kid is just learning the game. But the skills are there.

14. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State: He will be a good, solid player. But will he ever be a star?

15. Menelik Watson, T, Florida State: At 6-6, 320, he has played football for only a couple of years, but this former basketball player has all the tools needed to be an elite NFL tackle.

16. Lane Johnson, T, Oklahoma; This former quarterback has great athletic ability for a left tackle. He is still learning the position, which indicates a lot of growth potential.

17. Dion Jordan, DE-OLB, Oregon: He is in the Aldon Smith mold, a swift pass rusher who can play standing up or with his hand on the ground.

18. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: I like his game. I don't love it. But he is a smart, accurate thrower. My only concern is that he played in a quarterback-friendly system and he had nice weapons.

19. Keenan Allen, WR, Cal: He has good size at 6-3, 210 pounds and can run a 4.4 forty. Too bad he didn't have better quarterback play at Cal.

20. Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU: In some of the tape I watched, I was more impressed with Montgomery than Mingo. He isn't as explosive, but he is better against the run and made more plays.

21. Alex Okafor, DE, Texas: His bowl tape was sensational with four sacks. He also did some good things during the Senior Bowl week.

22. Datone Jones, DE, UCLA: He had a great week at the Senior Bowl, showing power and speed.

23. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State: The only knock on this 320-pound player is effort. He didn't give it all on every play. If he does, look out.

24. Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina: Teams want more agile offensive linemen and this is a player who can move for a man who is 315 pounds.

25. Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State: He is a smooth cover player who has to show scouts he is fast enough. I think he is.

26. Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor: When I watched Kendall Wright in 2011, I kept seeing this kid show up. He starred last season.

27. Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford: At 6-6, 250 pounds, he can run and catch. Is the next Rob Gronkowski?

28. Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas: At first I thought he was just a big hitter. But the more I watched, the more impressed I was by his range.

29. DJ Fluker, T, Alabama: He will be the prototypical right tackle. He is big and strong. Needs to work on his pass protection some.

30. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina: I like air backs, and this kid is that type of back. He runs hard and he's fast. I like him more than Eddie Lacy.

31. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame: He isn't far behind Ertz in what is a deep tight end class.

32. Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn: He is a little light at 6-4, 246 pounds, but he has speed off the edge. He will need to get bigger. I like him more than most.


Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
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