Updated top 50 watch list: 19th November

A month ago we had a look at some of the players to keep an eye on as the college season progressed. As we get closer to the finish line, it’s time for one final list.

1 Alec Ogletree (LB, Georgia)
Huge potential and upside as an athletic outside linebacker in the NFL. He plays inside at Georgia but will likely switch to the WILL or SAM in a 4-3 at the next level. Minor character issues will concern some teams but Ogletree can do it all – pass rush, cover and read an offense.

2 Jonathan Cooper (G, North Carolina)
He could move to offensive tackle and some teams will consider a Branden Albert-type switch. Cooper has elite pass protection skills and he pulls and gets to the second level better than any other guard in college. The best zone blocking lineman to enter the draft in a long time.

3 Chance Warmack (G, Alabama)
Road grader type who specialises in run blocking. He consistently turns opponents with great technique, opening big running lanes for the Alabama tailbacks. He’s not quite as athletic as Cooper but he’ll play left guard for 10+ years and be a regular All-Pro.

4 Luke Joeckel (T, Texas A&M)
It’s hard to ignore some of the opponents he’s faced this year, such as the duo at LSU. The SEC is filled with productive pass rushers, yet Joeckel and book-end Jake Matthews have looked superb. In a league where left tackles are valued second only to quarterbacks, Joeckel could be a contender to go first overall. For tape of his performance against Alabama, see the video above.

5 Dee Milliner (CB, Alabama)
Fantastic cornerback prospect who does it all. Milliner is physical enough to play up at the line and he’s terrific in run support. You need to have recovery speed, deep speed and an eye for the ball to be a top-level corner in the NFL and Milliner has the entire package.

6 Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
No receiver in college football has Coleman’s level of upside. He doesn’t have the production of some other players, but he’s 6-6 and 220lbs with the speed to get downfield. He’s also a pure hands catcher who can be more consistent, but he’ll get there. If he declares he’ll be an early pick.

7 Damontre Moore (DE, Texas A&M)
Moore has 12.5 sacks this year to lead the NCAA. This isn’t just a one-off great year either, he’s had a major impact in pretty much every win for Texas A&M. He’s capable of playing in any scheme and should be a top-five pick in April.

8 Manti Te’o (LB, Notre Dame)
Notre Dame doesn’t have a lot of star players, but they have a great team capable of grinding out wins. Te’o has played such an integral part as the emotional leader of the group. It’s easy to forget he has six interceptions this year.

9 Matt Barkley (QB, USC)
This has been a bitterly disappointing season for USC and Barkley. However, he still ranks as the best quarterback eligible for 2013. A team like Kansas City – which has a lot of weapons on offense and a not terrible line – could really use a quarterback who specialises in control, accuracy and production.

10 Sheldon Richardson (DT, Missouri)
A recent team-imposed suspension is a concern as Richardson is an intense character who might turn off some GM’s and coaches. Even so, he’s such a dynamic player. 100% effort on every down, he never gives up on a play. Ideal three-technique.

11 Matt Elam (S, Florida)
Playmaking safety with the build and speed to be a perennial All-Pro. Not enough people are talking about Elam this season and what he’s done for the Gators. In a year where the safety class is pretty thin, expect Elam to make a big move up the boards if he turns pro.

12 Zach Ertz (TE, Stanford)
You’ll struggle to find a better run blocking tight end in college. He showed against Oregon he can lead an offense as a receiver too, making over 100+ yards and scoring a key touchdown with 90 seconds to go. A lack of top-end receivers will put the focus on Ertz, making him a likely top-15 pick.

13 Barkevious Mingo (DE, LSU)
Will the speed translate to the next level? At 6-5 and 240lbs, he’ll need to prove at the combine he’s more Von Miller than Aaron Maybin. He’s had a good year despite only getting four sacks, but I think he needs to feature in the 3-4.

14 Star Lotulelei (DT, Utah)
Nobody can deny how special this guy looks when he’s at his best. On any given snap, he can destroy a lineman to break into the backfield to make a splash play. Unfortunately, he’s just as capable of being dominated himself. Teams will love his upside, but not his inconsistency.

15 Dion Jordan (DE, Oregon)
He’s looked like a proper defensive end this year. At 6-7 and 240lbs, he’s a good combine away from making a giant leap up the draft boards. Any team running a 3-4 scheme and needing a pass rusher who can drop into coverage will show a lot of interest here.

16 Ezekiel Ansah (DE, BYU)
Another athletic defensive lineman who could line up outside on standard downs and inside for passing situations. Ansah only has four sacks for the season but he’s looked better on tape. Like Jordan he’ll benefit from a strong combine.

17 Bjoern Werner (DE, Florida State)
He lost a lot of weight during the summer to try and max out his ability as a speed rusher, but I think he played better with the weight last year. Twelve months ago he looked like a J.J. Watt clone. That’s how much potential he has.

18 Sylvester Williams (DT, North Carolina)
Impressive three-technique with the size to play every down. Williams flashes a great swim move and the ability to consistently make plays in the backfield. He’s played most of the year with a bad ankle, making his production even more impressive. He’ll turn 25 as a rookie next year and had some work ethic issues in high school and the JUCO ranks.

19 Dallas Thomas (G, Tennessee)
One of the more impressive individual performances you’ll see this year came when Thomas met South Carolina and Jadeveon Clowney. He flashed exactly why he could move back to tackle at the next level, showing great athleticism and power at the point of attack.

20 John Simon (DE, Ohio State)
He’s not a flashy player, but he just finds a way to have an impact. Blue collar pass rusher who had four sacks against Wisconsin on Saturday.

21 C.J. Mosley (LB, Alabama)
Every week Mosley makes a big play. It could be an interception, a sack or just a jarring tone-setting tackle. He could line up at inside or outside linebacker and might be a top-20 pick.

22 Tavon Austin (WR, West Virginia)
It could be time to start considering Austin as a Percy Harvin type after all. On Saturday he rushed for 300+ yards against Oklahoma – from the tailback position. Austin has elite speed and the ability to score any time he gets the ball in space.

23 Jesse Williams (DT, Alabama)
Very strong at the point of attack and looks comfortable at nose tackle. Williams could play the one, three or five technique. He also has the ability to develop into more of a pass rushing threat. You sense there’s more to come from this guy the more he plays the game. Australian born and still learning.

24 Jake Matthews (T, Texas A&M)
He’d be higher if it wasn’t for the fact he’s playing right tackle. Ideally you want to see him protect the blind side, but he’s done a good enough job against some top pass rushers to warrant a first round grade. For tape of his performance against Alabama, see the video at the top of this piece.

25 Jarvis Jones (DE, Georgia)
Explosive, amazing, stunning athlete. Yet being diagnosed with spinal stenosis is a concern and has to come into consideration. Some teams will strike him off the board completely. He might only play for 4-5 years.

26 Robert Woods (WR, USC)
He needs to land on a team that spreads the field out and uses a lot of 4WR sets. In Green Bay or New Orleans, he’ll be a terror running across the field. You can’t expect him to be a true #1, but he’ll excel in an air-raid attack.

27 Arthur Brown (LB, Kansas State)
Sturdy linebacker who plays with intensity and great range. He’ll go sideline-to-sideline effortlessly. He isn’t asked to do much pass rushing which is a slight knock, and his decision to quit Miami and return home makes you wonder if he’s adaptable.

28 Eric Fisher (T, Central Michigan)
I’ve only seen one game, but he’s an intriguing guy. Hasn’t played a lot of top-level opponents but ticks all the boxes as a potential blind side blocker. He could be a late first round pick, just like another former Central Michigan lineman – Joe Staley.

29 Cordarrelle Patterson (WR, Tennessee)
Nobody can argue this guy is a consistent receiver who will make a lot of solid catches. He’s a pure home run hitter, who will frustrate as much as he excites. Patterson is explosive though and will put cheap points on the board as a runner, receiver and kick returner.

30 Jonathan Jenkins (DT, Georgia)
Nose tackle prospect with massive size (340lbs+) and great mobility. If you’re a 3-4 team looking for a cornerstone, this is your guy. He’s a better overall prospect than Dontari Poe who went #11 overall last April.

31 Geno Smith (QB, West Virginia)
He has a lot of the characteristics you look for in a franchise quarterback – decent technique, leader, arm strength. Unfortunately he also struggles to go through his progressions, forces passes and can be streaky.

32 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
Just a solid, no-nonsense lineman in the mould of another former Wolverine Jake Long. He’s not close to the stature of Long, but teams needing a left or right tackle will look at Lewan in the first or second round.

33 Markus Wheaton (WR, Oregon State)
I like everything about this player. Wheaton isn’t the biggest receiver at 6-1, but he is tough to stop and is making a lot of plays for Oregon State this year. Off the field he’s a modest individual and that will appeal to teams trying to avoid the latest diva prospect at receiver.

34 Jonathan Banks (CB, Mississippi State)
Started the season on fire but has regressed a little. He’s still a big, physical corner and that’s what the league is looking for right now.

35 Bradley Roby (CB, Ohio State)
Roby’s having a good year and he’s made some big plays. Teams have started to avoid him. He had a tremendous day against Nebraska with two big interceptions including a pick-six.

36 Shawn Williams (S, Georgia)
Williams could easily end up in round one. He called out the Georgia defense during a slump and it seems to have done the trick. Another good player on a talented Georgia team that could make the BCS Championship game.

37 Levine Toilolo (TE, Stanford)
He’s had some sloppy drops recently and he needs to be more consistent. At 6-8 you expect Toilolo to be dominant in the red zone, but Stanford are looking for Zach Ertz more than Toilolo.

38 Brennan Williams (T, North Carolina)
He’s still a bit raw and learning – Jonathan Cooper is constantly instructing him what to do pre-snap. But it’s hard to ignore his athletic skill-set and potential to protect the blind side.

39 Sam Montgomery (DE, LSU)
He’s not quite as impressive as Barkevious Mingo off the edge and I’m not convinced he can switch to linebacker.

40 Jonathan Hankins (DT, Ohio State)
He could be a top-15 pick if he wants to be. It’s that flash of brilliance you see every now and again which makes you wonder why he’s so underwhelming the rest of the time.

41 Tyler Wilson (QB, Arkansas)
This has been a chaotic year for the Razorbacks and Wilson has suffered as a consequence. He doesn’t have an ideal throwing motion and he’s made a lot of basic errors this year – but he’s a gun slinger with surprising athleticism.

42 Gavin Escobar (TE, San Diego State)
Everyone’s looking for the next Jimmy Graham and it could be this guy. He’s 6-6 and a pure pass-catcher who will create problems for linebackers in coverage. Don’t expect him to do much run blocking.

43 Kawann Short (DT, Purdue)
Another player who has flattered to deceive at times this year. Like Hankins, he has the potential to be so much more. He can be brilliant. So why is there so much mediocre tape?

44 Keenan Allen (WR, California)
I’ve never once watched Allen and thought, “Wow… this guy is going to be great in the NFL.” It’s OK having the size and the pedigree (he was a top recruit and almost went to Alabama). I get that his quarterback situation isn’t ideal (although he chose Cal to play with that QB – his brother). The combine will be huge for Allen and he has to prove he has the upside a lot of people claim he possesses.

45 Montee Ball (RB, Wisconsin)
Without Russell Wilson keeping the offense honest, he’s had some tough games. Even so, a smart team will draft Montee Ball and get a few years of hard running and production.

46 Oday Aboushi (T, Virginia)
His effort at the second level could be better, but that’s a trait we’ve seen a lot with Virginia lineman over the years. In a man-blocking scheme he could be a useful tackle.

47 Justin Hunter (WR, Tennessee)
He’s not looked completely comfortable this year. Whether he’ll ever be 100% again after a serious knee injury remains to be seen. I wouldn’t hang my hat on this guy as a #1 at the next level.

48 Giovani Bernard (RB, North Carolina)
For the first time at the weekend I appreciated the size concerns some people have with Bernard. He’s a good running back, but is he going to carry a heavy work load? I’m not convinced.

49 Khaseem Greene (LB, Rutgers)
Solid inside linebacker prospect. Hits hard and gets around the field. Doesn’t have great size but he’s sturdy enough to stay in the middle.

50 Tyler Eifert (TE, Notre Dame)
I just don’t see a great deal of difference between Eifert and the last two big-name Notre Dame tight ends – Carlson and Rudolph. Which is why I have him in the same range as they were drafted. He’ll likely be a solid player at the next level.

Just missed out: Cornellius Carradine (DE, Florida State), Corey Lemonier (DE, Auburn), Kenny Vaccaro (S, Texas), Bennie Logan (DT, LSU), Shariff Floyd (DT, Florida), Aaron Murray (QB, Georgia), Justin Pugh (T, Syracuse), Terrance Williams (WR, Baylor), Alex Okafor (DE, Texas), Chase Thomas (LB, Stanford), Xavier Rhodes (CB, Florida State), DeAndre Hopkins (WR, Clemson), Ed Lacy (RB, Alabama), Bacarri Rambo (S, Georgia), Chris Whaley (DT, Texas)


  1. MJ

    Great list Rob! Hard to argue with any of it.

    That said, I would say I slightly disagree about Keenan Allen. It’s not debatable that his choice to go to Cal and their QB situation was a poor choice. That said, he does a lot of little things pretty well. The reason I value him much higher, is because he is a big, smooth athlete with pretty amazing body control. And for me, that is the ‘kicker’ with bigger WRs. Stephen Hill is a perfect example of a big, fast WR who is very linear and unable to adjust. AJ Green, Megatron, Julio Jones, all have the ability to be ‘flexible.’

    Now, I am definitely not saying that Keenan Allen is on that level of play, but he does share some similarities. I believe he’s one of these athletes that is so talented/smooth, that it can be somewhat deceiving. He doesn’t look as fast or explosive, but he has had plenty of big/long plays despite his QB.

    I certainly don’t think he’s a top 15 guy, but I do think he provides tremendous value in the mid 20s, where the Hawks should be picking. I think the term “#1 WR” gets thrown around too much, but I think he’s about as safe of a WR prospect that you will see who is not a sure fire top 8 guy and I think he can be a similar player to Sidney Rice, with slightly more wiggle. I think he’d be a great pickup as I’d like to see Tate in more of a specialty role, rather than the #2 WR. Him and Cordarrelle Patterson would be my choices (at WR) in the late 1st round.

    ***And spot on about Robert Woods. I think if he goes to NO or NE or GB, he could be a monster. I don’t think he fits a run first team like the Hawks.

    • MJ

      Secondly, what are your thoughts on Cobi Hamilton (WR) as a potential mid round option with some upside? He certainly looks the part.

      • Rob Staton

        Very solid R3-4 pick.

  2. dave crockett

    This may be one of those years where, outside the first 15 or so players beauty will be in the eye of the beholder. I suspect this list will look VERY different by the spring, and some years that’s not the case.

    If Seattle is drafting in the late 20s, as we all hope, this may truly be BPA. Even though I don’t agree with the Cordorelle Patterson logic I get it. This may be one of those drafts where if you’re picking in the 20s any one of 5-8 guys will have similar grades, including Patterson. But Patterson is the only one who can literally take it to the house on any touch against good coverage. Everyone else on the board where Seattle might be picking has “solid starter” upside.

  3. Chris from Bolivia

    It’s early, but I’m starting to pay attention to the draft chatter, especially since the Hawks have a week off.
    I’m trying to think what Pete Carroll really wants on his team for next year, what are we missing? Everything on the Hawks seems solid, and that is a pretty incredible thing to say, and it speaks about just how good the last draft/F Agency and past drafts have been.
    I expect DT/DE Jason Jones back, I expect Hill to get one more year if he wants it, and Alan Branch will get a hard look. FA will be important, and while Branch or another veteran will be necessary for the D-line, we do need to get younger there.
    Here is what I think Pete Carroll wants next year, let me know if we’re seeing this similarly Rob.
    1. Youth on the D-line. Clemons, Mebane, Branch, and Red have some good wear on them, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing at that position. It makes them effective, but not explosive. Irvin was a great pick-up, and we might see a second guy of his LEO build next draft (pick-up A. Maybin from the Jets?). I think a development NT/DT would be good, to back up Mebane and play behind Branch/FA.
    2. X-factor, TD-maker. Reggie Bush lit Carroll’s USC Trojans on fire, and we need a player like that (Good pick on C. Patterson, therefore). We need a Leon W. replacement eventually. We need a “lightning” RB or a super-sub deep threat at WR (also, who backs up Rice if/when he goes down).
    3. “Beastmode” at linebacker. I really like Wagner and Wright, but Hill is about to be “over the hill” (yes, pun intended, even if lame!). He will give us another good year likely, just in time to get in a replacement. Another thing USC had was intimidating linebackers. I want to see a Matthews/Suggs/”what Aaron Curry could’ve been” type of player on this team. A big linebacker who can rush the passer, eat-up blocks, and wreak havok in the backfield. Our secondary is strong enough to have a guy like that, and the other two LB’s are rangy enough to deal with his likely failings in coverage.
    In conclusion, I would like to see one of these type players taken w/ our 1rst round pick. In order of importance, I’d say the DT spot is most immediately necessary, followed by the WR and then the LB. But in order of “taking us over the top” to be elite as a team, I’d take these 3-1. Do we have the depth to invest in a big time LB? Who would it be? C.J. Mosley may be in range, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ogletree. Haven’t watched either player, just going off of your analysis for now.
    Thanks for your work, that is all for now!

  4. Griffin


    I am a bit confused by this list. When you say “top 50 watch list” what do you mean by that? Is this like your big board? Or is this like your ranked dream scenario for Seahawk players? Are these a list of players that you think the Seahawks specifically will be interested in, and so they are the top 50 players you are going to focus on? Or something else?

    Thanks Rob.


    • Rob Staton

      The top 50 I’ll be trying my best to watch for the remainder of the college season.

  5. Jmpasq

    Glad U feel the same way about Ansah I believe he is very underrated. Although the Sack numbers arent there he has very active hands and a motor that doesnt stop. I think the NY Giants will be all over him

    • Rob Staton

      Could definitely see that – very much a Giants type of player.

  6. AlaskaHawk

    Its an interesting list. I would love to see Tavon Austin WR fall to us for offense, or Williams for DT. Either would be a good addition as a three down player. To me it is important to choose an every down player in the first. With that much draft capital I want to use them!

    Still a bit shocked by our choice of Irvin last year. Despite his success I just don’t think it a good idea to pick a situational guy in the first round – unless the rest of your team is already developed.

    • Darnell

      Keep in mind that Aldon Smith was a situational guy last year, and that he was drafted prior to them knowing if the rest of their team was developed. A lot of the Smith, or in our case Irvin, pick was forecasting.

  7. AlaskaHawk

    There is a big difference in physicality there. If Irvin could play line backer I wouldn’t say anything. But as a situational pass rusher it doesn’t pencil out in the first round. And here we are a year later talking about NT now. And next year it will be a DE that can play 3 downs.

    It is my contention that a linebacker like Wagner would do just as well if you turned them loose in the DE position.

    • CJ

      If that’s the case how come every team doesn’t just draft fast linebackers to play situational D-end? and how come they don’t all have 7 sacks?

      • AlaskaHawk

        Probably because the best defensive ends get double teamed.

  8. Ralphy

    Ok Rob here’s my first Ok State question of the year. Why no love for Jospeh Randle. He looks to me like the top RB in college. And I know you love the fact that he’s not 28 years old!

    • Rob Staton

      I really like Randle but not in the first two rounds. It’s going to be a year where we maybe don’t see a RB leave the board in round one. And by the time you start checking off players on the list, I think we’ll be beyond the top-75 before Randle leaves the board.

  9. Elijah

    Rob, what is your opinion if any on UW safety Sean Parker. He’s a hard hitter and I think his attitude would be nice in our secondary, but I haven’t heard much on his draft stock anywhere

    • Rob Staton

      Don’t know much about him Elijah. I have some UW games saved so will take a look.

  10. Kenny Sloth

    What are your thoughts on Aaron Murray?

    He looks like a great prospect. I had questions about his deep arm, but I haven’t seen any issues with that this year. He also has underrated athleticism.

    • Rob Staton

      I like him but only really as a R3 option. Not physically great and has some really bad games (see: Florida this season). But then there are times when he looks very competent.

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