This order is based off of my end of the season power rankings. I know this is a long shot be what happens next spring, but I will do my best since I cannot predict breakout stars and small school studs. Here is a link to my power rankings if you like explanations why your team is selecting where. http://walterfootball.com/PowerRankings/Published/490
Alec Ogletree*, ILB, Georgia
Height: 6-3. Weight: 236. Arm: 33.48. 40 Time: 4.70. Projected Round (2012): 1-2. 4/24/13: There ton of opinions on where to project Ogletree, but a lot of teams love his pass-coverage skills and overall athletic ability. Many 4-3 teams are looking at Ogletree as an outside linebacker. He could start his career as an outside linebacker and move into the middle in the future.
Ogletree didn't stand out at the Combine and that came on the heels of a DUI arrest in early February. There are a lot of concerns about him off the field and that could cause a fall on draft day despite having a rare skill set of size and speed.
Ogletree was suspended for four games to start 2012 because of a failed drug test. He was excellent after returning to the lineup. Ogletree was a play-maker as a run-defender and was always around the ball. He totaled 111 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks an interception and five passes broken up.
The former safety has the potential to be a standout pass-coverage linebacker in the NFL. He moves well and covers a lot of ground. Ogletree is very fast and can go sideline-to-sideline. For the next level, he needs to work on runs coming directly at him and shedding blocks.
8/31/12: Ogletree really came on in the second half of the 2011 season. In the final seven games, he produced 52 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks and two forced fumbles. Ogletree broke his foot in the season opener against Boise State, and that caused him to miss the next seven games. He really stood out with big games against Georgia Tech, LSU and Michigan State.
Ogletree had 34 tackles as a freshman in 2010. He is very fast and instinctive. The junior has the frame to get bigger and stay as a middle linebacker in the NFL. Ogletree has a lot of upside and it wouldn't be surprising if he pushed his stock into first-round consideration after the 2012 or 2013 season.
Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
Height: 6-1. Weight: 241. Arm: 32.48. 40 Time: 4.82. Projected Round (2012): 1-2. 4/24/13: Some scouts have told WalterFootball.com that their teams will pass on Te'o because they don't like the media circus that comes with him. The fake girlfriend controversy doesn't sound like it has hurt Te'o's draft stock outside of the excess attention it has brought. However, his slow 40 time at the Combine is a bigger concern. Te'o blamed the stress of the event for his poor workout, although he did better in the field drills.
Te'o ran faster at his pro day - around 4.7 seconds - and was said to look good in the field drills. He could go in the back portion of the first round.
With a lot of eyes on him, Te'o had an ugly performance in the National Championship Game against Alabama. The Crimson Tide's lethal offensive line and running game made him look bad. He missed a number of tackles, was late diagnosing plays and took some bad angles. It really hurt his draft stock.
Te'o made five tackles and an interception against USC in Notre Dame's regular-season finale. His pick was a thing of beauty. Te'o started to his left before checking the back side. He saw a receiver trailing behind him and reversed field to get in the passing lane and make the catch. Te'o collected eight tackles and two interceptions against Michigan, plus forced an interception by hitting Denard Robinson as he threw.
Te'o totaled 12 tackles and two passes broken up to go with a fumble return of eight yards versus Michigan State and power runner Le'Veon Bell. Te'o made a lot of tackles in run defense and was superb against the pass in zone coverage. He was snuffing out short passes throughout the game and doing well to tackle receivers quickly after the reception was made.
Te'o really improved his pass coverage in 2012, which helps his stock as a possible three-down linebacker. However, there are questions whether he has the speed and athleticism to be a good linebacker in pass coverage at the next level. Te'o is smart and instinctive, but may not be fluid enough for the passing-driven NFL. He amassed 113 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, four passes broken up and seven interceptions.
8/31/12: Te'o has been a solid and consistent performer for Notre Dame. He recorded 128 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss and five sacks last season. The junior was a sack away from leading the Irish in sacks and tackles.
Teo registered 133 tackles in 2010, also recording 9.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and one forced fumble. He notched 63 tackles and 5.5 tackles for a loss as a true freshman.
Te'o has the skill set and experience to start immediately in the NFL. He has the size, speed and tackling technique to be a three-down linebacker. The senior has the athletic ability to function on third down and get deep in the middle of the field.
Te'o has nice blitzing ability and closing speed as a pass-rusher. It is clear that he has the instincts for the position. Plus, Te'o is versatile for the next level; he has the bulk to be an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and the speed to play middle linebacker in a 4-3. As long as Te'o stays healthy, he should produce another quality season to be a safe first-rounder in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Kevin Minter*, ILB, LSU
Height: 6-0. Weight: 246. Arm: 32.08. 40 Time: 4.81. Projected Round (2012): 2-3. 4/24/13: WalterFootball.com has learned that scouts believe Minter has a second-round grade and will go in the top half.
Minter was phenomenal in 2012. The junior was the most consistent player on the Tigers' defense, and that is saying something considering all the NFL talent LSU had on its stop unit. Minter totaled 130 tackles with 15 tackles for a loss, four sacks, five passes broken up, a forced fumble and an interception. He recorded 61 tackles with sack and forced fumble in 2011.
Minter is fast and hits with authority. He was a real difference-maker for the Tigers. Minter is a good form-tackler with plus instincts. He never hesitates to get physical. Minter had a disappointing 40 time at the Combine.
Jonathan Bostic, ILB, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 245. Arm: 33.08. 40 Time: 4.61. Projected Round (2012): 2-3. 4/24/13: Bostic had 68 tackles, two interceptions, one forced fumble and three sacks in 2012. He flashed some for the Gators and was a core player in their tough defense. Bostic was much improved over his junior season. He performed well at the Combine and helped himself.
Scouts told WalterFootball.com that they feel Bostic will go on the second day of the 2013 NFl Draft - likely in the third round.
8/31/12: Bostic had 94 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, three sacks and a forced fumble in 2011. He has played well for the Gators, but should stay in school to get better before going pro.
Big things were expected out of Jonathan Bostic last season, and the junior was a minor disappointment. Bostic was a top recruit out of high school and replaced Brandon Spikes as Florida's featured middle linebacker in 2010.
Bostic recorded 57 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and three interceptions that year. The senior is a good athlete who plays bigger than his size, although he may want to add weight for the NFL. Bostic could rise with a strong 2012 season.
Kiko Alonso, ILB, Oregon
Height: 6-3. Weight: 238. Arm: 32.18. Projected 40 Time: 4.70. Projected Round (2012): 2-4. 4/24/13: There are mixed grades on Alonso because due to off-the-field issues. He had a few arrests during his collegiate career.
Alonso put together an impressive senior season that he definitely needed after getting trouble with the law. Alonso recorded 81 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, four interceptions, one sack, two passes broken up and two forced fumbles. Alonso finished 2011 with 46 tackles, two interceptions and two sacks. He didn't play in his previous three seasons at Oregon. Alonso was unable to work out at the Combine.
Alonso could go in the middle of the second day if he has convinced a team to look past his past problems.
A.J. Klein, ILB, Iowa State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 250. Arm: 32.78 40 Time: 4.66. Projected Round (2012): 3-5. 4/24/13: Klein managed 117 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, one pass broken up and an interception returned 87 yards for a touchdown in 2012. He had 116 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, six passes broken up, two sacks and an interception in 2011. Klein was better than expected at the Combine.
Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 248. Arm: 32 7/8. Hand: 9 1/4. Projected 40 Time: 4.86. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 4/24/13: Johnson played decently in 2012 and racked up 55 tackles and two forced fumbles. He had zero sacks and interceptions. Johnson is a good run-stuffing linebacker, but struggles in pass defense. He did not look good at the Senior Bowl; he plays slowly.
8/31/12: Johnson was somewhat quiet in 2011. His numbers were hurt because he was part of a linebacker rotation, coming out on a lot of passing downs. Considering Alabama blew out most of its opponents, teams were throwing a lot in the second half, and Johnson was on the sidelines for a lot of snaps.
On the other hand, Johnson is a quality run-defender. He had 47 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, one interception and forced fumble in 2011. The junior played well against LSU's rushing attack with 11 tackles in the first game.
Johnson is a versatile player and has played inside and outside linebacker. With Dont'a Hightower in the NFL, Johnson probably will be on the inside in 2012. He recorded 33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and an interception in 2010.
The Alabama defense is loaded with NFL talent and Johnson is overshadowed. However, he is still a solid pro prospect.
Vince Williams, ILB, Florida State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 247. Arm: 31 1/2. Hand: 9 1/8. Projected 40 Time: 4.83. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 4/24/13: The thickly built Williams didn't produce much in college, but he helped himself with a strong performance at the Senior Bowl. Williams had 59 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and two passes broken up this season. He collected 54 tackles, two sacks and an interception in 2011.
Williams could play on the inside of a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. He looks more like a two-down defender if he develops well.
Kevin Reddick, ILB, North Carolina
Height: 6-1. Weight: 243. Arm: 31 5/8. Hand: 9 3/8. 40 Time: 4.72. Projected Round (2012): 5-7. 4/24/13: Reddick was a disappointment in the early going of 2012, but played better in the second half of the season. He racked up 85 tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and six passes breakup. Reddick may be best in the NFL as part of a 3-4 that likes to blitz from the inside linebackers. He didn't do as well as expected at the Combine.
Scouts told WalterFootball.com that they graded Reddick as a late-round pick, but could see a team liking him and taking him in the mid-rounds.
8/31/12: Reddick was solid for North Carolina last season, but unspectacular. He collected 71 tackles with six tackles for a loss, one sack and four passes broken up. Reddick had no interceptions nor any forced fumbles. He was overshadowed and out-produced by Zach Brown. Reddick could stand out more with Brown in the NFL.
Reddick led North Carolina's defense in tackles in 2010 . That is saying something considering that defense featured other linebackers like Bruce Carter, Quan Sturdivant and Zach Brown. The fast and instinctive redshirt sophomore recorded 74 tackles with six tackles for a loss, two interceptions and five passes broken up for the season.
With a good supporting cast around him, Reddick could improve his numbers in 2012. Like many of the other Tar Heel products, the senior is a superior athlete.
Bruce Taylor, ILB, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-1. Weight: 237. Arm: 33.18. 40 Time: 5.01. Projected Round (2012): 5-7. 4/24/13: Taylor had 76 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, five passes broken up and 5.5 sacks in 2012.
8/31/12: Taylor was having a decent 2011 season before missing the final four games with an injury. He had 53 tackles with seven tackles for a loss and five sacks. Taylor had 91 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss and six sacks in 2010. He looks like he may fit best on the inside of a 3-4 defense at the next level.
Steve Greer, ILB, Virginia
Height: 6-2. Weight: 230. Projected 40 Time: 4.71. Projected Round (2013): 6-7. 4/24/13: Greer was very productive in 2012. He ended up with 122 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks and six passes broken up. However, Greer did not have an impact against Georgia Tech as the Hornets put up 56 points on the Cavaliers. He had a great game in the season finale against Virginia Tech with 19 tackles.
Greer helped his draft stock by playing well at the East-West Shrine.
8/31/12: Greer is a quality, but undersized, middle linebacker. The junior had 103 tackles, six tackles for a loss and two sacks last year. He was second on the team win tackles in 2010, making 59 along with 5.5 tackles for a loss.
Greer has to maintain his production and gain some weight in order to be a middle linebacker in the NFL. He has his senior year to show improvement. Greer will have to move to outside linebacker if he can't gain 15-20 pounds.
Michael Mauti, ILB, Penn State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 243. Projected 40 Time: 4.79. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/24/13: Mauti played really well this year and helped himself, but he blew out a knee late in the season. It was the third time that Mauti had a serious knee injury during his collegiate career. Mauti finished 2012 with 97 tackles, four tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles. He had a 99-yard interception return against Illinois.
The knee injury points to a huge medical red flag. Mauti tore his right ACL in 2009 and his left ACL in 2011. If it weren't for the injuries, he could've been a second-day pick. As it stands, Mauti could fall undrafted, but he would be worth signing as an undrafted free agent and could compete to make the 53-man roster.
8/31/12: Mauti played in only four games in 2011, but made 21 tackles for one interception and three tackles for a loss. He had 66 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks in 2012. Mauti could contribute on special teams.
Tom Wort*, ILB, Oklahoma
Height: 6-0. Weight: 235. 40 Time: 4.78. Projected Round (2013): 7-FA. 4/24/13: Wort totaled 53 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, two sacks and one pass broken up this year. He flashed at times, but also disappeared for stretches. Wort entered the 2013 NFL Draft early, but the junior needed to improve more at the college level. He didn't perform well at the Combine.
8/31/12: Wort had 66 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss as freshman in 2010, and Bob Stoops was raving about his improvement entering 2011. Wort stepped up and played well last year. The sophomore led Oklahoma against Florida State with 13 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and one interception. He finished with 71 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions.
Wort would have better tackle totals if he played in a conference that ran the ball more consistently. The Big XII is a passing-driven league, and the benefit is Wort having developed his ability to be a three-down linebacker.
Wort played well down the stretch in 2011. He has tons of potential and should continue to improve. It would be good if the junior adds 10-15 pounds of muscle for the NFL. Otherwise Wort may need to move to outside linebacker.
Christian Robinson, ILB, Georgia
Height: 6-2. Weight: 235. Projected 40 Time: 4.70. Projected Round (2013): 7-FA. 4/24/13: Robinson picked up 47 tackles and 7.5 tackles for a loss with a forced fumble in 2012. He didn't stand out while Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo were suspended.
8/31/12: Robinson recorded 46 tackles with six tackles for a loss in 2010. He started 11 games as a sophomore, but went down to only four starts in 12 games played as a junior. Robinson had 47 tackles in 2011.
Robinson needs to increase his production and add weight over his final season. With the talent around him, he should be able to produce more in 2012.
Kenny Cain, ILB, TCU
Height: 6-1. Weight: 225. Projected 40 Time: 4.60. Projected Round (2013): FA. 4/24/13: Cain played well for TCU in 2012. The senior had been a backup to Tank Carder and Tanner Brock earlier in his career. Cain had 86 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions and four passes broken up. He will have to move to outside linebacker in the NFL. Cain filled in for Brock in 2011 after an injury and totaled 72 tackles, four passes broken up and an interception.
Dwayne Beckford, ILB, Purdue
Height: 6-1. Weight: 235. Projected 40 Time: 4.81. Projected Round (2013): FA. 4/24/13: Beckford missed the 2012 season after he was kicked off the team in August. Purdue had no choice since it was Beckford's fourth arrest in 14 months, including at least one DUI.
Beckford totaled 91 tackles, seven tackles for a loss, three sacks, four passes broken up, a forced fumble and an interception in 2011. He should've tried to play at another school before going pro and will be lucky to be signed as an undrafted free agent.