NFL Network’s draft guru Mike Mayock is one of the most respected and knowledgeable experts in the business and his yearly top five draft rankings are always highly anticipated among draftniks and football fans. On Friday night, Mayock finally released his top five pre-combine rankings by position and as you would expect there are some new and interesting names in the mix.
Here are Mayock’s top five rankings by position with some added commentary:
- Geno Smith, West Virginia
- Matt Barkley, USC
- Mike Glennon, NC State
- Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
- Landry Jones, Oklahoma
1. Eddie Lacy, Alabama
2. Montee Ball, Wisconsin
3. Andre Ellington, Clemson
4. Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
5. Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
It’s interesting to see Lattimore so high up on the list considering the devastating knee injury that he suffered in his final college season. Bernard is ranked relatively low compared to other rankings, but that is in large part because of his unclear medicals. I love the pick of Lacy at No. 1, however. Lacy is a perfect combination of size and speed and he can be a terror at the next level.
1. Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
2. Keenan Allen, Cal
3. Terrance Williams, Baylor
4. Tavon Austin, West Virginia
5. Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
Patterson is gaining a lot of momentum leading up to the draft and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him selected in the top ten come April. The wide receiver rankings are among some of the most straight forward and closest to consensus rankings out of the group. It’s nice to see a guy like Quinton Patton getting some recognition.
1. Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
2. Zach Ertz, Stanford
3. Gavin Escobar, San Diego State
4. Travis Kelce, Cincinnati
5. Jordan Reed, Florida
This is the one position where I strongly disagree with Mayock’s rankings. Personally, I have Escobar, who is a much more athletic tight end as the number one guy. In fact, I don’t even have Eifert as the second-ranked tight end. I’d roll with Ertz as a bigger matchup nightmare. Eifert would come in at third on my ranks. This year’s tight end class is one of the best in recent memory and any of these guys could be the top-ranked tight end if they were in the past few classes.
1. Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
2. Brian Schwenke, Cal
3. Barrett Jones, Alabama
4. Khaled Holmes, USC
5. Braxston Cave, Notre Dame
Mayock is an expert. When he names some centers that you should be watching for, you better take notice.
1. Chance Warmack, Alabama
2. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
3. Larry Warford, Kentucky
4. Kyle Long, Oregon
5. Brian Winters, Kent State
These are some of the most impressive guard prospects in recent memory. Warmack is as good as it gets and then you have Cooper who is rising up the boards. Another potential first-rounder is Warford, who has come on strong since his incredible outing at the Senior Bowl. All three of these guards could develop into forces at the next level.
1. Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
2. Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
3. Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
4. D.J. Fluker, Alabama
T-5. Menelik Watson, Florida State
T-5. Justin Pugh, Syracuse
The tackles in this year’s class are phenomenal. Both Joeckel and Fisher are top ten picks, with Johnson and Fluker appearing as first-round locks. When you look at guys like Watson and Pugh, it is amazing to see their potential. Anyone of these players could be a starting caliber tackle at the next level.
1. Bjoern Werner, Florida State
2. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
3. Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
4. Sam Montgomery, LSU
T-5. Datone Jones, UCLA
T-5. Margus Hunt, SMU
There is little doubt that the strength in the 2013 NFL Draft class is the defensive line and this year’s defensive ends are no joke.
1. Sharrif Floyd, Florida
2. Star Lotulelei, Utah
3. Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
4. Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
T-5. Kawann Short, Purdue
T-5. Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
Floyd is a fast riser and he has gone from a top twenty-five selection to a near top ten lock. Floyd has jumped Lotulelei in multiple rankings, so seeing this in Mayock’s list is no shock.
1. Dion Jordan, Oregon
2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia
3. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
4. Barkevious Mingo, LSU
5. Arthur Brown, Kansas State
It’s a bit of a surprise to see Mingo and Brown ranked so low by Mayock, especially when you see Greene ranked above the two. It will be interesting to go back and watch more tape to see what Mayock saw from the prospects.
1. Alec Ogletree, Georgia
2. Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
3. Kevin Minter, LSU
4. Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
5. Kiko Alonso, Oregon
Three of these middle linebackers — Ogletree, Te’o and Minter– could go in the first-round.
1. Dee Milliner, Alabama
2. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
3. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
4. Desmond Trufant, Washington
5. Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
This is a very solid defensive backs class. Milliner and Rhodes appear to be the consensus top two corners, but unlike Mayock, I prefer Trufant and Poyer over a player like Banks.
1. Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
2. Matt Elam, Florida
3. Johnathan Cyprien, Florida International
4. Eric Reid, LSU
5. Zeke Motta, Notre Dame
There is no doubt that Vaccaro is a star and Cyprien is coming on strong. Don’t be surprised to see Cyprien leapfrog Elam in the ranks as the draft approaches. It is a bit of a surprise to see Reid ranked so low, however, I would rank him as the clear number two. Stay tuned to FanSided.com leading up to the draft for an exclusive interview with Cyprien.
What do you think of Mayock’s rankings? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section.