Tavon Austin's rise headlines Mayock's updated ranks
- By Chris Wesseling
- Updated: March 1, 2013 at 07:39 p.m.
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock has released the second edition of his position-by-position top-five lists for the 2013 NFL Draft. The latest version reflects changes from last week's NFL Scouting Combine.
Let's take a look at the primary changes.
» West Virginia's Tavon Austin, Louisiana Tech's Quinton Patton and Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins all climbed one spot, with Baylor's Terrance Williams dropping out of the top five from his previous perch as the No. 3 wide receiver.
»The pre-combine knock on Williams was that he was a speed receiver limited primarily to vertical "go" routes. Mayock must not have seen enough in position drills to believe Williams can run a full route tree as an NFL rookie. It didn't help that Williams clocked an underwhelming 4.52 in the 40-yard dash.
»The one offensive player who may have impressed casual NCAA football observers the most may have been Austin, who jumped out of bed with an unofficial 4.25 dash Sunday morning. Mayock heaped praise on Austin throughout the combine, referring to the versatile wideout/kick returner as a "matchup nightmare" and "one of the most electric players" he's ever seen at the college level. He's locked into the draft's first round, barring a surprise.
» Rice's Vance McDonald pushed his way into the top-five tight ends, nudging Florida's Jordan Reed off the list. Highly productive as a one-man show in the Owls' spread offense, McDonald topped his position in the bench press while ranking third in the three-cone drill, fourth in the broad jump, fifth in the 40-yard dash and sixth in the vertical. After measuring at just over 6-foot-4 and 267 pounds, McDonald may go off the board on the draft's second day.
»Quarterbacks, running backs, and offensive linemen rankings are unchanged.
» While there was plenty of movement at cornerback, the primary changes on defense are the separation of 4-3 and 3-4 ends and linebackers.
» The switch of Utah's Star Lotulelei from defensive tackle to 3-4 end is likely reflective of NFL draft boards after Mayock picked executives' brains in Indianapolis. If the Philadelphia Eagles are targeting a run-plugging nose tackle, Lotulelei may give them reservations at No. 4 overall.
» Hot names at outside linebacker include Southern Miss' Jamie Collins, UConn's Sio Moore and Auburn's Corey Lemonier.
»Collins is one of the main reasons for the separate outside linebacker list. "The 3-4 teams love this kid," Mayock said on NFL Network's Path to the Draft. Collins dominated the lower-body explosion tests as well as the 40-yard dash at the Combine. "Worst-case scenario, he's a second-round 3-4 outside linebacker," Mayock added. Also jumping to the second round is Moore, whom Mayock believes has improved his stock more than any other draft prospect since the end of the college season.
» Mizzou's Jonthan Banks (3) and Oregon State's Jordan Poyer (5) dropped out in favor of UConn's Blidi Wreh-Wilson and William & Mary's B.W. Webb. Widely viewed as borderline first-round prospect prior to Indianapolis, Banks turned in one of the combine's most disappointing times with a 4.61 40-yard dash while showing subpar strength and athleticism in the remaining drills. Webb has the look of a small-school gem.
» Banks' loss was Desmond Trufant's gain. Marcus' younger brother blazed a 4.38 40-yard dash while ranking second in the 20-yard shuttle. He's now battling Xavier Rhodes to be the second cornerback off the board in April.
» The lone change at safety is Syracuse's Shamarko Thomas replacing Zeke Motta in the five-hole after the latter's disappointing 4.83 40-yard dash.
» Inside linebacker rankings held steady despite Manti Te'o's disappointing performance at the Combine.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.