With the 2013 NFL Combine set to begin next week, NFL Network's Mike Mayock released his first set of rankings for the 2013 NFL Draft. The rankings include his top five at each position, and they are obviously subject to change following the combine and other pre-draft events.
Let's take a look at Mayock's top five for some of the Detroit Lions' main needs.
1. Travis Frederick (Wisconsin)
2. Brian Schwenke (California)
3. Barrett Jones (Alabama)
4. Khaled Holmes (USC)
5. Braxston Cave (Notre Dame)
The thing that jumps out here is that Jones is ranked third at center by Mayock. Now, it's worth noting that Jones can also play other positions on the offensive line, so versatility is a big plus. Just based on his play at center, though, Mayock has him behind Frederick and Schwenke.
1. Chance Warmack (Alabama)
2. Jonathan Cooper (North Carolina)
3. Larry Warford (Kentucky)
4. Kyle Long (Oregon)
5. Brian Winters (Kent State)
Mayock said this week that he thinks Warmack is the best player in the entire draft, so it's no surprise he is listed at the very top of the offensive guard rankings. Cooper and Warford are both interesting prospects and names to keep an eye on (likely for day two of the draft).
1. Bjoern Werner (Florida State)
2. Damontre Moore (Texas A&M)
3. Ezekiel Ansah (BYU)
4. Sam Montgomery (LSU)
t-5. Datone Jones (UCLA)
t-5. Margus Hunt (SMU)
Mayock isn't all that high on this year's class of defensive ends based on what he told Rich Eisen this week. Regardless, he's got Werner as his No. 1-ranked defensive end in this year's draft, followed by the usual names of Moore and Ansah. (Note: He's got Dion Jordan listed as an outside linebacker.)
1. Dee Milliner (Alabama)
2. Xavier Rhodes (Florida State)
3. Johnthan Banks (Mississippi State)
4. Desmond Trufant (Washington)
5. Jordan Poyer (Oregon State)
Mayock's top cornerbacks include the usual top three of Milliner, Rhodes and Banks. Rounding out the top five is a pair of cornerbacks that turned some heads at the Senior Bowl.
1. Kenny Vaccaro (Texas)
2. Matt Elam (Florida)
3. Jonathan Cyprien (Florida International)
4. Eric Reid (LSU)
5. Zeke Motta (Notre Dame)
Elam and Cyprien are two players to keep an eye on from this list. I can't see the Lions using the No. 5 overall pick on Vaccaro, but Elam and Cyprien could potentially be targets on day two of the draft.
If you're interested in seeing how Mayock's early rankings for the 2012 NFL Draft stacked up against what actually happened last season, you can check them out here.
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