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by Colin Lindsay, Editor and Publisher, Great Blue North Draft Report
December 17, 2012
Who’s not #1 this year, but just wait … With the college football regular season in the books, the bowls just under and the top post-season all-star games now just over a month away, there is still no consensus top prospect for the 2013 draft. Part of the problem, of course, is that it does not appear as if there will any QBs worth the top pick this year, although Geno Smith of West Virginia and/or Southern Cal’s Matt Barkley are still potential top ten prospects. Take a poll of pro scouts as to who is the top prospect, though, and you’ll get a myriad of answers. Some teams, for example, have Texas A&M junior OT Luke Joeckel at the top of their board, while a number of other teams have either Georgia junior OLB Jarvis Jones or Utah DT Star Lotolelei in the #1 slot. We’ve even heard some whispers that no one should be surprised if Texas A&M junior DE Damontre Moore is ultimately the first guy off the board this coming April.
Take the same poll of pro scouts and the current college player that just about every team in the league would snap up with the top pick if they had it would be South Carolina sophomore DE Jadevon Clowney. However, the 6-6, 260-pound Clowney who had 21 sacks in his who had 21 sacks in his two years of eligibility including 13 this past season, won’t be draft eligible until 2014. In fact, a pretty good case could be made that true sophomores would make up a crowd at the top of the 2013 draft if they were eligible for this year’s draft. What Clowney is to the defense, for example, Southern California WR Marqise Lee is to the offense. Indeed Lee, a speedster who also runs track for the Trojans in the off-season, emerged as college football’s most dangerous receiver this fall when he caught 112 passes for 1,700 yards and 14 scores. Meanwhile, Clemson WR Sammy Watkins isn’t all that far behind, although he wasn’t able to duplicate his fabulous freshman year this past season as he dealt with some off-field stuff as well some injury issues; still, like Lee, he’s a top 5 prospect with track speed. And while the defensive line appears to be the strength of the 2013 draft, there is a better than even chance that Notre Dame 5-tech DE Stephon Tuitt, a 305-pounder who had 12 sacks this past season, would also come off the board within the first 5 or so picks were he eligible this spring, especially given the fact that he will no doubt get plenty of looks as 4-3 DT whenever he does enter the draft. Then there is Arizona RB Ka’Deem Carey who led the nation in rushing this fall with almost 150 yards per game and topped it off with another 172 yards and three scores in the Wildcats improbable comeback win over Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl. For the year, the 5-9, 200-pound Carey ran for 1,929 yards and 23 scores, while adding another 300-plus yards on 36 carries. Of course, those guys have to stay healthy and productive, but suggests that 2014 could be something of a special draft.
Keeping it vanilla for the second half of the season.