Scouts don’t sleep. They already are hard at work on 2013.
USC quarterback Matt Barkley is being projected as the top pick.
Of the 10 seniors we projected to be top picks this year, two were first-round selections (Mark Barron, Quinton Coples), four were second-rounders (Mike Adams, Ryan Broyles, Lavonte David, Cordy Glenn), one was a third-rounder (Nick Foles), one was a fifth-rounder (Juron Criner), one was a seventh-rounder (Alfonzo Dennard) and one went undrafted (Chase Minnifield). Of the five underclassmen we projected to be top picks, three were first-rounders (Andrew Luck, Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon), one was not drafted (Vontaze Burfict) and one returned to school (Barkley).
Here are 10 seniors to watch for the 2013 draft, as well as five underclassmen:
Seniors to watch
RB Montee Ball
(Wisconsin, 5-10, 213) He rushed for 1,923 yards and 33 TDs last season and has 3,310 career yards and 55 career TDs.
QB Matt Barkley
(USC, 6-2, 223) The Heisman favorite is third in school history in career completions (755) and total offense (9,013).
OLB Jamie Collins
(Southern Mississippi, 6-3, 239) He had 98 tackles and 6.5 sacks last season.
QB Landry Jones
(Oklahoma, 6-4, 229) He could become OU’s winningest QB while breaking the school’s career passing records.
FS T.J. McDonald
(USC, 6-3, 205) The son of former NFL strong safety Tim McDonald has 23 career starts, with 163 tackles and six interceptions.
DE Alex Okafor
(Texas, 6-4, 260) He has played in 39 games, with 21 starts, and has 108 career tackles, 20 for loss, with 9.5 sacks and 32 quarterback hits.
ILB Kevin Reddick
(North Carolina, 6-2, 255) He has 190 career tackles with two sacks and two interceptions.
DT Kawann Short
(Purdue, 6-3, 310) He has 142 total tackles, 12.5 sacks, one forced fumble and two interceptions in his career.
ILB Manti Te’o
(Notre Dame, 6-2, 255) He has 324 career tackles, 28.5 for loss, with seven sacks and two forced fumbles.
OLB Chase Thomas
(Stanford, 6-3, 240) He has 157 tackles, 35.5 for loss, with 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles in his career.
Underclassmen to watch
OT Luke Joeckel
(Texas A&M, 6-5, 310) The Arlington (Texas) High product will be a three-year starter at left tackle.
OLB Jarvis Jones
(Georgia, 6-2, 242) The USC-transfer started all 14 games last season, making 70 tackles, including 19.5 for loss, and 13.5 sacks to earn All-America honors.
CB Tyrann Mathieu
(LSU, 5-9, 185) The Honey Badger, a Heisman finalist last season, has forced 14 turnovers in 25 career games.
DE Barkevious Mingo
(LSU, 6-4, 245) He had 13.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks last season.
WR Robert Woods
(USC, 6-1, 181) He has 176 career catches for 2,084 yards with 21 TDs, while also excelling as a returner.
By Charean Williams,
Fort Worth Star-Telegram