The 2013 NFL Draft people expected to see a few months ago is very different from the one they will get on April 25.
Once upon a time, before this season actually began, Matt Barkley was the undisputed first overall selection and USC was viewed as a lock to meet LSU in the National Championship game.
Needless to say, things didn’t exactly play out that way. Barkley’s year was forgettable at best, and while LSU’s campaign wasn’t as horrendous as USC’s, it certainly didn’t live up to expectations.
Just a few months ago, everyone’s draft board looked the same: Barkley was at the top, LSU's defensive stars were right behind him, Marcus Lattimore was going to be the first running back off the board, and Geno Smith wasn’t even viewed as a top 10 prospect.
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Things done changed.
Now the only LSU stars sniffing the top third of the draft are Barkevious Mingo and Eric Reid, and Barkley’s stock has plummeted lower than anyone could have ever imagined.
As we head into the Combine, it’s worth remembering how different things are now. That’s how much everything can change between now and the draft, too. With no actual football to be played, scouts are going to put a lot of stock into what they can measure via physical and mental tests. And because it’s impossible to know how those measurements will pan out, the possibility that everybody’s draft board will be dramatically different when it’s all said and done is totally feasible.
With all that in mind, here is how we see picks 8-15 shaping out.