Discussion

Lotulelei turns heads against USC

Another lineman also rising, while two CBs move in opposite directions

Originally Published: October 10, 2012
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
This week's ranking of Scouts Inc.'s top 32 overall prospects for the 2013 NFL draft doesn't feature wholesale changes, but there are some big names on the move and yet another change at the No. 2 spot.

The biggest of those names is Utah DT Star Lotulelei, who dominated USC's offensive line in Week 6 and as a result has jumped to No. 2 overall, displacing another fast riser in West Virginia QB Geno Smith.

Lotulelei isn't the fastest riser this week, though. That honor belongs to Mississippi State CB Johnthan Banks, who re-entered the rankings last week and has jumped 10 spots to No. 21 this week.

Elsewhere, a standout SEC offensive lineman continues to rise and is now inside the top 20, while an SEC cornerback has fallen to the edge of the top 20. And a pair of Florida Gators have made their way into the top 32, at the expense of an inconsistent defensive and an undersized wideout.

Here's a look at the entire list, with draft-eligible non-seniors noted with an asterisk.


Big Board Bar

1
OLB
6-2
242

Analysis: Jones dominated Missouri in the season opener and has been steady ever since. He's a very good overall athlete and top-notch pass-rusher, has impressive range in both pass coverage and against the run, and can line up in various spots across the formation. Previously: 1

2
DT
6-3
320

Analysis: Lotulelei held steady just outside the top five for the first few weeks of the season, but his dominating performance against USC was too good to ignore. His quickness and power were too much for the Trojans' interior offensive line. He also shows strong hands, nimble feet, the ability to quickly discard blockers and impressive lateral range. Lotulelei continues to separate himself from the rest of the defensive tackle class. Previously: 6

3
QB
6-2¾
208

Analysis: Smith is in total command of coach Dana Holgorsen's offense, throwing with exceptional timing and anticipation, and his 20 touchdown passes and 83.4 completion percentage speak to that. He is confident in his ability, has good mobility, and his footwork, mechanics and release are all impressive. If Smith keeps this up he will be in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick. Previously: 2

4
QB
6-1⅞
228

Analysis: Barkley's supporting cast has let him down some early this season, and his decision-making has not been as good as expected. However, he will remain high on the board because of his smarts, accuracy and ability to get the ball out in rhythm and on time. He will be a good fit in a West Coast offense. Previously: 3

5
DE
6-5
240

Analysis: Mingo did not record his first sack of the season until last week's win over Towson, but his potential is through the roof. He has a long frame, an elite first step as a pass-rusher and outstanding speed for his size. He also has great range and closing burst against the run. Previously: 5


MORE NFL HEADLINES