NFL draft big board: Position-by-position


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Quarterback

Geno Smith

6-2 • 220 • West Virginia ... He has the size, the arm and the mobility, and QBs of his style have had more NFL success.

Matt Barkley

6-21/2 • 228 • Southern California ... Should have gone into '12 draft, now may drop out of the first round after shoulder injury.

Ryan Nassib

6-2 • 227 • Syracuse ... Will become only third quarterback from Syracuse drafted -- ever, according to the NFL.

Tyler Wilson

6-2 • 215 • Arkansas ... Also had a better '11, but lost his head coach and three receivers and his stats declined last season.

E.J. Manuel

6-5 • 237 • Florida State ... Inconsistent and injury prone, but has good size and a strong arm, with good agility.

PG graphic: NFL draft board
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Running Back

Eddie Lacy

5-11 • 230 • Alabama ... Not explosive, but solid every-down player and the only true first-round halfback of the bunch.

Montee Ball

5-101/2 • 213 • Wisconsin ... Tough, smart runner and a nose for the end zone as the NCAA all-time TD scorer with 83. Doak Walker winner. Can catch and block, too.

Jonathan Franklin

5-10 • 205 • UCLA ... Little faster, little lighter than Ball, but both projected 2nd-rounders. Durable, started 45 games, and more explosive than the top two.

Le'Veon Bell

6-11/2 • 230 • Michigan State ... Steelers seem to have great interest in this powerful, productive junior who ran for 1,793 yards in '13 and caught 32 passes.

Giovani Bernard

5-81/2 • 202 • North Carolina ... Don't judge this one by his size, he uses it to his advantage. Quick, elusive, compact but lacks speed for his size.

Fullback

Kyle Juszyzyk

6-2 • 245 • Harvard ... Best of another weak position that has been downgraded in NFL. Good hands, good blocker.

Lonnie Pryor

6-0 • 228 • Florida State ... Can block, catch and run and may ultimately do more of the latter in the NFL than play fullback.

Wide Receivers

Cordarrelle Patterson

6-2 • 216 • Tennessee ... Has speed (4.3) no receiver his size should have. Not polished, though, with just one season after JUCO transfer.

Tavon Austin

5-9 • 175 • West Virginia ... Certainly doesn't fill any QB's tall receiver wish list but has so much talent packed into tiny frame. Mike Wallace speed to go with quickness.

Keenan Allen

6-2 • 207 • California ... Lack of speed (nearly 4.6) the biggest concern for an otherwise multi-talented receiver.

Robert Woods

6-01/2 • 201 • Southern California ... Great hands, great route-runner, OK speed (4.5 at Combine), possession-type receiver.

Justin Hunter

6-4 • 196 • Tennessee ... The other Vols receiver, he had more catches than his higher-ranked teammate and also has decent speed in the 4.4 range.

Tight End

Tyler Eifert

6-51/2 • 250 • Notre Dame ... Lines up wide or tight, his stength is as a receiver but underrated blocker who has improved in that area.

Zach Ertz

6-5 • 249 • Stanford ... Started only one year but was highly productive, leading the Cardinal with 69 catches and also a good blocker.

Vance McDonald

6-4 • 268 • Rice ... Used almost like a wide receiver in college, he can make all the catches and run all the routes, including the deep ones.

Gavin Escobar

6-51/2 • 254 • San Diego State ... Not as fast as the others, but runs well. Not a good blocker, thus not Steelers-esque.

Dion Sims

6-5 • 262 • Michigan State ... Outstanding blocker and receiver. Has a 2010 felony (for theft) on his record and that will scare some teams.

Center

Travis Frederick

6-31/2 • 312 • Wisconsin ... A former Steelers line coach would call him "country strong" despite his poor bench presses. Position flexibility alert: He can play guard too.

Brian Schwenke

6-3 • 315 • California ... Sound, fundamental player who knows how to use leverage. Played both guards before moving to center last year.

Barrett Jones

6-41/2 • 306 • Alabama ... Might have ranked No. 1 or 2 except he had January foot surgery and won't be able to run until after the draft.

Khaled Holmes

6-3 • 304 • Southern California ... Versatile center-guard who also is athletic but not the strongest of the lot and can get overpowered.

Braxston Cave

6-3 • 303 • Notre Dame ... Three-year starter at center. Not a dominant player. His knowledge of the position, though, and how he uses that often made up for his lack of strength.

Guard

Chance Warmack

6-2 • 317 • Alabama ... Not the kind of height the NFL likes in its guards, but blows defenders off the ball whether they're linemen or linebackers.

Jonathan Cooper

6-2 • 312 • North Carolina ... Another shortie, another sure-fire first-round pick. Could have joined David DeCastro in the first round last year had he come out.

Larry Warford

6-3 • 334 • Kentucky ... Dermontti Dawson, drafted in second round in 1988, was Kentucky's highest-draft pick, also at guard. Warford could go higher.

Brian Winters

6-31/2 • 320 • Kent State ... Four-year starter at tackle (both), pros project him as a guard because he's not tall and has shorter arms than pro tackles.

Hugh Thornton

6-3 • 320 • Illinois ... Another four-year starter who bounced between guard and tackle from year to year. Although flexible, needs to refine game at one position.

Tackle

Luke Joeckel

6-6 • 306 • Texas A&M ... Could become the first player drafted. Big, strong, athletic, poised. He has it all.

Eric Fisher

6-7 • 305 • Central Michigan ... Second in a line of what could be five tackles drafted in first round. Three-year starter, last two at left tackle.

Lane Johnson

6-6 • 303 • Oklahoma ... Top 10-rated. Once a quarterback and tight end, he gained more than 35 pounds in college and still is considered a tad light.

D.J. Fluker

6-41/2 • 340 • Alabama ... Three-year starter at right tackle. A massive, dominant run-blocker who will stay on the right in the pros.

Menelik Watson

6-5 • 310 • Florida State ... Entered college as a basketball player at Marist, converted to football in JUCO and started one season at FSU on the right side.

Kicker

Dustin Hopkins

6-2 • 193 • Florida State ... The best kickers are in Florida but not until the late rounds. Made 83 percent of his kicks last year with a long of 56.

Caleb Sturgis

5-10 • 188 • Florida ... Made 46 of 54 attempts the past two seasons with a long of 55. Also has a strong kickoff leg.

Defensive End

Ezekial Ansah

6-5 • 271 • Brigham Young ... Ghana native who enrolled at BYU with visions of an NBA career. Took up football and after three years is a top prospect.

Bjoern Werner

6-3 • 266 • Florida State ... German native who took up football at 15 as a foreign exchange student in U.S. Strictly a 4-3 end.

Datone Jones

6-4 • 284 • UCLA ... Top U.S. native at end, he can play end in a 4-3 or a 3-4. Strong, good pass rusher.

Damontre Moore

6-5 • 250 • Texas A&M ... Can play the 4-3 end or possibly 3-4 outside linebacker as a pass-rusher, which is his forte rather than dropping into coverage.

Tank Carradine

6-4 • 276 • Florida State ... One-year starter as a JUCO transfer, his senior season ended with a torn ACL Nov. 24, likely costing him at least a shot at the first round.

Defensive Tackle

Sharrif Floyd

6-21/2 • 297 • Florida ... Dominant junior who could go in the top five of the draft. Could also play end in a 3-4.

Star Lotulelei

6-3 • 313 • Utah ... Tonga native, continuing foreign-born top prospects on the D-line. Versatile, strong, athletic.

Sheldon Richardson

6-21/2 • 294 • Missouri ... JUCO transfer and one-year starter who was suspended for his final home game for violating team rules.

Sylvester Williams

6-3 • 314 • North Carolina ... Another JUCO transfer but a two-year starter after he delayed entering school to work at a truck part plant following high school. Good interior pass rush.

Jonathan Hankins

6-3 • 320 • Ohio State ... Had better '11 than he did '12, dropping him slightly. Two-year starter and excellent against the run.

Inside Linebacker

Manti Te'o

6-1 • 243 • Notre Dame ... His play vs. Alabama more of a concern than his fake girlfriend. His NFL stock was higher last year.

Kevin Minter

5-111/2 • 246 • LSU ... Had one great year in two years as a starter. Concerns about his height and lack of physical play could drop him.

Jon Bostic

6-1 • 245 • Florida ... This is where the group drops off sharply to possibly the middle rounds. Two-year starter and a big-hitter.

Kiko Alonso

6-31/2 • 239 • Oregon ... Productive player in a linebacking corps that included Dion Jordan. Started just one season.

Kevin Reddick

6-11/2 • 243 • North Carolina ... Four-year starter who had his best season in 2012. Tar Heels have produced a string of pro linebackers recently.

Outside Linebacker

Dion Jordan

6-6 • 248 • Oregon ... Top-10 pick and out of Steelers range. Could fit a 4-3 defense at end. Tremendous pass-rusher.

Barkevious Mingo

6-4 • 241 • LSU ... Steelers would take him in a heartbeat but unlikely to fall to 17. Great athlete who needs to refine his game.

Jarvis Jones

6-21/2 • 245 • Georgia ... Two-time All-American, teams have cleared the stenosis back issues. Poor pro day run could benefit the Steelers by making him there at 17.

Arthur Brown

6-01/2 • 238 • Kansas State ... Can thank James Harrison for making 6-foot OLBs more valuable than previously.

Alec Ogletree

6-21/2 • 242 • Georgia ... Outstanding talent who has been arrested twice since 2010, most recently for DUI in February.

Cornerback

Dee Millner

5-111/2 • 201 • Alabama ... Risky as a potential top-10 pick. One-year starter and doesn't have elite speed or nose for the ball.

Xavier Rhodes

6-11/2 • 210 • Florida State ... Outstanding ball skills, and 39 starts in his career has him polished for the pros.

Desmond Trufant

5-111/2 • 190 • Washington ... Makes it three first-rounders at the position. Not very physically imposing for the position.

Jamar Taylor

5-101/2 • 192 • Boise State ... Not a press-coverage corner but good cover man who also plays the run well.

Jonathan Banks

6-2 • 185 • Mississippi State ... Former safety, and that ultimately could become his position in the pros.

Safety

Kenny Vaccaro

6-0 • 214 • Texas ... Mel Kiper compared his striking ability to Troy Polamalu's and the Steelers could be looking for his replacement.

Jonathan Cyprien

6-0 • 218 • Florida International ... His outstanding Senior Bowl practices followed a big senior season. Three-year starter.

Matt Elam

5-91/2 • 208 • Florida ... Two-year starter who has everything going for him except his height, which did not deter the career of 5-8 Bob Sanders.

Eric Reid

6-1 • 213 • LSU ... Being surrounded by great talent might have hidden some of his flaws. Had better 2011 than he did 2012.

Shamarko Thomas

5-81/2 • 213 • Syracuse ... Also not the ideal size, he has all the skills to play the position and the machismo with it.

Punter

Jeff Locke

6-1 • 210 • UCLA ... A lefty, he could go as high as the fifth round. Booming leg also proven strong on kickoffs.

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