Posted: Tue April 16, 2013 12:21PM; Updated: Wed April 17, 2013 12:52PM
Chris Burke
Chris Burke>INSIDE THE NFL DRAFT

2013 NFL Draft Big Board 5.0

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In a draft loaded with first- and second-round receivers, Tavon Austin may wind up being the best.
In a draft loaded with first- and second-round receivers, Tavon Austin may wind up being the best.
Brad Davis/Icon SMI

Here is the beauty of the NFL Draft (and, in particular, *this* NFL Draft): The top 40 players pegged for inclusion on our final Big Board here will not be the same exact names you'll see elsewhere.

In fact, this 2013 draft class has created so much uncertainty that essentially every player ranking system and every mock draft looks significantly different -- often, starting with the players in the first, second and third slots and continuing all the way down.

The top two players in this Big Board are the same that have been in place since Big Board 1.0; player No. 3 has not moved since Big Board 3.0. There have been adjustments just about everywhere else, as players participated in the NFL combine and completed their pro days.

We're left with what I believe to be the best 40 players available for the 2013 NFL Draft. As always, you can check out my rationale for this week's Big Board here. Away we go ...

Chris Burke's NFL Draft Big Board
1
Luke Joeckel
Texas A&M, junior
6-6, 306
OT
We spend every fall talking about the SEC as the country's most competitive conference. Well, Joeckel dominated there after Texas A&M made the switch over from the Big 12. The focus on this draft's lack of elite players does a disservice to someone like Joeckel, who could contend for Pro Bowl status for the next decade.
 
2
Chance Warmack
Alabama, senior
6-2, 317
OG
Depending on the team that goes guard first, Warmack could fall below Jonathan Cooper -- the former probably a better fit for an in-the-trenches, power-running team. I'd happily draft Warmack and set him on the interior of the line, where he can absolutely maul defenders.
 
3
Eric Fisher
Central Michigan, senior
6-7, 306
OT
Lovers of offensive line play may track the Joeckel-Fisher battle much the way most football fans will follow the 2012 QB class of Andrew Luck-Robert Griffin III-Russell Wilson. Fisher may need a tiny bit more seasoning than Joeckel, but he's every bit worthy of a top-five selection.
 
4
Dion Jordan
Oregon, senior
6-6, 248
DE/OLB
Sure, Jordan probably (definitely?) best fits as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. He's enough of an athlete, though, that teams could project him as a 4-3 end -- and he has some experience there from his days at Oregon. There is not a defense in the league that Jordan would be unable to help.
 
5
Sharrif Floyd
Florida, junior
6-2, 297
DT
When Floyd is on his game, as he was in the Sugar Bowl against Louisville, he's almost unblockable. Whether at tackle in a 4-3 or end in a 3-4, Floyd will carry a high ceiling to the next level. Should a team unlock some more consistency from him, look out.
 
6
Dee Milliner
Alabama, junior
6-1, 198
CB
NFL defenses need defensive backs like Milliner, now more than ever. His size and aggressiveness allow him to play tough in coverage, but he also will throw his hat into the ring as a run defender. Only a run at OT or DT could push him out of the top five.
 
7
Lane Johnson
Oklahoma, senior
6-6, 303
OT
This is not new information, but simply a reminder that Johnson played quarterback in high school (and was briefly a backup at that position in junior college). Johnson's history also speaks to his athleticism, as well as to how little experience he has at tackle. There is huge upside here.
 
8
Star Lotulelei
Utah, senior
6-3, 320
DT
With his 320-pound frame, Lotulelei inches pretty close to the build of a nose tackle. Which is what makes him such a freak -- he could slide all over a 3-4 line and might even be quick enough to play tackle in a 4-3. Worries about his heart also seem to be in the past.
 
9
Ziggy Ansah
BYU, senior
6-5, 271
DE
Ansah has potential as a 3-4 OLB if that's where he winds up, but he's really more built to stake out wide and blow past tackles in a 4-3. It may take a couple more years for him to really grasp the intricacies of defense, but he could shoot into double-digit sacks in 2013.
 
10
Jonathan Cooper
North Carolina, senior
6-2, 311
OG
Whereas Warmack is a bit of a throwback lineman, Cooper's attributes make him more of a modern-day guard. He's bigger than ever after adding 30 pounds following the college football season, yet still ran about three-tenths faster than Warmack in the 40. Cooper could be the first interior lineman picked.
 
11
Sheldon Richardson
Missouri, junior
6-2, 294
DT
Richardson ran times of 4.71 and 4.82 at the Missouri pro day back in March. His lack of bulk limits his positional flexibility -- unlike Floyd or Lotulelei, he does not appear to fit a 3-4. Still, seeing Richardson fall out of the top half of Round 1 would be a surprise.
 
12
Tavon Austin
West Virginia, senior
5-9, 174
WR
Will Austin wind up being the best wide receiver in this class? Who knows. But what we can say is this: Any team capable of and willing to get the ball in his hands will benefit, because he's going to drive defenses batty.
 
13
Barkevious Mingo
LSU, junior
6-4, 241
DE/OLB
Mingo performed well at LSU's pro day, giving him one more push before the draft. Can he continue to develop his game or will he continue to try to live off his natural abilities? The thought of what could be may convince some team to grab Mingo early.
 
14
Cordarrelle Patterson
Tennessee, junior
6-2, 216
WR
Here's what will happen with Patterson: A bunch of teams will pass on him because he's not a great route-runner and, reportedly, did not fare all that well in his interviews. And then a smart, savvy franchise will grab him, simplify the game plan for him and he'll be an 80-catch, 10-TD guy every year.
 
15
Kenny Vaccaro
Texas, senior
6-0, 240
S
I'd have very little problem with a safety-needy team taking Vaccaro above this spot in a couple of weeks. In a deep safety class, he is the best prospect and can be on the field in any situation ... covering just about anyone you want him to cover.
 
16
Jarvis Jones
Georgia, junior
6-2, 245
OLB
Is Jones the player we so often saw making plays at Georgia, even dominating at times? Or is he the one with injury questions who slumbered through a disappointing pro day? My gut says it's the former, but because of the uncertainty, he lands here.
 
17
Xavier Rhodes
Florida State, junior
6-1, 210
CB
There are too many teams searching for cornerback help for Rhodes to fall very far in Round 1 -- especially with teams hoping to build around physical, in-your-face cornerbacks, as Seattle did en route to its quick turnaround.
 
18
Tank Carradine
Florida State, senior
6-4, 276
DT
I finally broke. For the past couple of Big Boards, I'd been creeping Carradine up, even hinting that he might be better than his teammate, Bjoern Werner. With Carradine closing in on a full recovery from an ACL tear, I'm leapfrogging him past Werner. When all is said and done, Carradine may wind up with more sacks than any other player in this class.
 
19
Alec Ogletree
Georgia, junior
6-2, 242
LB
There continue to be varying opinions on Ogletree -- a pre-combine DUI arrest and bouts where he seems to lack awareness on the field are red flags. Yet, Ogletree will find his way to the football, over and over again, and he can work with either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme.
 
20
Bjoern Werner
Florida State, junior
6-3, 266
DE/OLB
For a defensive lineman with such terrific burst off the ball, there are too many times that Werner goes unnoticed on plays. He's still a Round 1 talent -- let him fly off the edge and he'll get to the quarterback. Will he be able to do it consistently, though?
 
21
Datone Jones
UCLA, senior
6-3, 283
DE
I get the sense that Jones is destined to end up somewhere like Green Bay or Houston, where he'll face appropriate expectations and be surrounded by pass-rushing talent -- thereby making his almost inevitable production icing on the cake.
 
22
Desmond Trufant
Washington, senior
5-11, 190
CB
Trufant says he often gets mistaken for his older brother, Marcus. He also ran the same 40 time as Marcus at the combine (4.38) and has basically the same build. Considering Marcus Trufant has been a fixture in Seattle's secondary for a decade and has 21 career picks, there are worse comparisons to be had.
 
23
Keenan Allen
California, junior
6-2, 206
WR
Forget about Allen's uninspiring pro day 40 times (4.71 and 4.75). He's not a speed receiver. The more important news is that he was able to work out for scouts, finally starting to move past his lingering knee injury. If the lack of polish in Patterson's game scares you, Allen is at the far end of the spectrum -- he's NFL-ready as a receiver.
 
24
Geno Smith
West Virginia, senior
6-3, 220
QB
It's still hard to envision Smith stepping in and having a ton of success as a rookie. That does not mean, however, that there is another QB in this class with a better shot. Smith's footwork has improved just in the past few months, and he has the physical makeup of an NFL starter.
 
25
Damontre Moore
Texas A&M, junior
6-4, 250
DE
The closer we get to the draft, the more (no pun intended) it feels as if Moore will slip into Round 2. That's the price he may pay for underwhelming showings at the combine and his pro day. Such a fall would be a mistake given Moore's production at A&M and the possibility of greatness ahead.
 
26
Alex Okafor
Texas, senior
6-4, 264
DE
Okafor's only down a few spots (from 23 to 26) to accommodate others' moves up the ladder. Be it late in Round 1 or early in Round 2, Okafor deserves a shot as a pure pass rusher right out of the gate. He knows how to find the QB.
 
27
D.J. Fluker
Alabama, senior
6-5, 339
OT
An early run on offensive tackles (Joeckel, Fisher, Johnson) could elevate the demand for Fluker. That's all well and good, except that Fluker may have to move to guard eventually. He somewhat resembles Minnesota's Phil Loadholt -- big and intimidating, but not very athletic.
 
28
Tyler Eifert
Notre Dame, senior
6-5, 250
TE
Yet another tight end that will force defenses to adjust to his presence on the field. Eifert can stick inside and block, but his real value will be releasing up the seam or even split wide -- both spots allowing him to use his height and leaping ability to create mismatches.
 
29
Matt Elam
Florida, junior
5-9, 208
S
Elam's detractors have grown in number in recent months, often citing his smaller size or lack of finish as reasons for concern. Some of the issues with Elam, it seems, come from how he was used at Florida -- NFL teams should unleash him more often than the Gators did, and that approach will pay off.
 
30
Larry Warford
Kentucky, senior
6-3, 333
OG
Cut from the Warmack mold, Warford is a bruising interior lineman who will appeal more to teams trying to run between the tackles. But there's very little not to like here, and Warford deserves Round 1 consideration.
 
31
Sylvester Williams
North Carolina, senior
6-2, 313
DT
Williams stays put as the leader of the second-tier defensive tackles. He appears to be better suited for a tackle spot in the 4-3, but there's enough there to suggest a 3-4 future is possible. Especially as a rotational guy, Williams could excel in his rookie year.
 
32
Arthur Brown
Kansas State, senior
6-0, 241
LB
Brown has a shot to hear his name called in the top 20, and maybe even top 10. His size is enough of an issue for me to keep him much lower, but it's really a dismal game against Oregon's spread offense that keeps me on the conservative end here.
 
33
DeAndre Hopkins
Clemson, junior
6-1, 214
WR
This is a really solid and impressively deep receiver class -- a good dozen or so guys could go in the first couple of rounds. Hopkins will garner some Round 1 thoughts due to his clean routes and the way he uses his body at the catch point.
 
34
Kevin Minter
LSU, junior
5-11, 246
LB
This is precisely where Minter and Te'o slotted in on the last Big Board, and they're still at 34 and 35, respectively, because I consider both borderline Round 1 players ... and I believe Minter has more of upside than Te'o. Neither will blow you away with speed, but Minter may have a better shot to stay consistent against NFL offenses.
 
35
Manti Te'o
Notre Dame, senior
6-1, 241
LB
If a team drafts Te'o with the intention of letting him run downhill as an attacking linebacker, he'll do just fine. Expecting him to shine in coverage or go sideline to sideline, on the other hand, would be a mistake -- he's not that kind of athlete.
 
36
Jonathan Cyprien
Florida International, senior
6-0, 217
S
Some draftniks out there absolutely love Cyprien, and there are enough instances of him flying into the play to justify that opinion. Despite that, his speed is only so-so (4.64 at the combine) and he might play too aggressively at times. One more note: Don't worry about FIU's competition level -- Cyprien showed a similar game against all opponents.
 
37
Kyle Long
Oregon, senior
6-6, 313
OL
Still developing as a prospect, but Long's honestly one of my favorite talents in this draft. Like Lane Johnson, he's a much better athlete than you'd expect to find along the offensive line, and that's doubly true when you think of Long possibly playing guard.
 
38
Margus Hunt
SMU, senior
6-8, 277
DL
Is there some -- OK, a lot -- of work to be done here? Absolutely. Hunt is very much a player who's still learning the game, and he badly struggled as a 4-3 end at the Senior Bowl. As a 3-4 DE, however, his length and room to add weight make him absolutely tantalizing. Hunt may not be an overnight sensation, but few players in this draft have as much room to improve.
 
39
Jesse Williams
Alabama, senior
6-3, 323
DT
Every Big Board around this spot, I debated the merits of Williams and Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins. As with the last go-round, I'm keeping Williams in here because I think he'll be more productive. Either guy would be a nice addition if a team needs depth and bulk up front.
 
40
Quinton Patton
Louisiana Tech, senior
6-0, 204
WR
I've been teeter-tottering Patton and Stanford TE Zach Ertz in and out of the top 40. With this last Big Board before the draft, I'm going back to Patton. By Week 2 or 3 of the 2013 season, you won't even remember he is a rookie because his skill set will translate so well to the NFL level.
 
 
MORE:
KING'S RANKINGS: QB | RB | WR/TE | OL | DE/OLB | DB
BANKS: Mock Draft 6.0
BURKE: First round trades you may see
 
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