With the possibility of being the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL Draft, it's hard to question left tackle Luke Joeckel's decision to forego his senior year at Texas A&M. <italics>(Send comments to email@example.com)</italics>
2 of 25 Bill Frakes/SI
Thirteen sacks and 18 tackles for loss, best and second-best in the ACC, respectively, were enough to convince Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner to try his luck in the NFL Draft. The 2012 ACC Defensive Player of the Year will likely be a top-5 pick.
3 of 25Al Tielemans
A neck injury and disagreements with the medical staff led Jarvis Jones out of Southern California, and the state of Georgia will always be grateful. The linebacker made 28 sacks and 44 tackles for loss in his two seasons with the Bulldogs, leading the SEC in both categories in 2011 and 2012. The NCAA's leader in sacks and tackles for loss last season will go high in the draft.
4 of 25 Richard Mackson
One of the most intriguing players in the 2012 NFL Draft, Tyrann Mathieu is unquestionably both an elite talent and a major question mark. The Honey Badger was a Heisman finalist after racking up six forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, two interceptions, 11 passes defended and four touchdowns in his sophomore season. Repeated drug test failures led to Mathieu's dismissal from the LSU football team prior to the 2012 season, and he was arrested in October on charges of marijuana possession.
5 of 25 Bill Frakes
One of 10 LSU players leaving Baton Rouge early, Barkevious Mingo will likely be the first of the group to hear Roger Goodell call his name. Mingo's numbers regressed after his eight-sack, 15 tackle-for-loss 2011 season, but it's not every year you can draft a player with defensive end size and defensive back speed.
6 of 25 Greg Nelson
Damontre Moore's decision to leave Texas A&M early is another big loss for Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin. The projected high first-rounder had 12.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss last season, proving Texas A&M's success came from more than just Johnny Football.
7 of 25 Al Tielemans
After getting buried on the Alabama depth chart behind stud cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie, Dee Milliner made the most of his chance to start in 2012 and proved himself an elite cornerback. Milliner's NCAA-best 22 passes defended will make him a nice addition to some NFL secondary.
8 of 25 Ed Zurga/Getty Images
A former junior college transfer, Sheldon Richardson demonstrated his NFL value in two seasons with Missouri. Richardson is an elite run-stopper and made 75 tackles, the most by a defensive tackle in the SEC in 2012. He is projected to go in the middle of the first round.
9 of 25Dave Stephenson/Icon SMI
Perhaps the top wide receiver of this draft class, Keenan Allen saw his stats dip in 2012 with Cal's struggles at quarterback. The potential Allen showed as a sophomore -- 98 catches for 1,343 receiving yards -- has drawn him plenty of attention.
10 of 25 Greg McWilliams/Icon SMI
One season was all Cordarrelle Patterson needed to show his worth at Tennessee. The junior college transfer wowed with his dynamism, amassing five receiving touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns, one kick return touchdown and one punt return touchdown.
11 of 25Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Xavier Rhodes exploded onto the college football scene as a freshman and continued to impress through three seasons with the Seminoles. A physical press cornerback, Rhodes concluded his college career with 31 passes defended and eight interceptions. His size -- he's 6-foot-1 and 217 pounds -- will allow him to match up with the bigger receivers of the NFL.
12 of 25 Aaron Josefczyk/Icon SMI
After dropping more than 20 pounds following his freshman year, Johnathan Hankins has played his way into an elite draft prospect. With 122 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and four sacks over the past two years, Hankins will likely go in the mid-first round.
13 of 25 Heinz Kluetmeier
A defensive tackle with nearly the speed of a defensive end, Sharrif Floyd brings power and quickness to the defensive line. After 13 tackles for loss and three sacks last season, he'll head to the NFL a year early.
14 of 25 John Biever
Tyler Eifert holds the Notre Dame records for receptions and receiving yards in a season by a tight end -- and that wasn't even from his 2012 Mackey Award-winning season. Eifert has 1,488 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in his past two seasons for the Fighting Irish, making him the top tight end prospect in this year's draft.
15 of 25 Simon Bruty
The definition of an athletic specimen, Sam Montgomery is 260 pounds of muscle. His 17 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss over the past two seasons illustrate the effectiveness of that athleticism. Montgomery actually produced better numbers than his more highly regarded teammate, Barkevious Mingo.
16 of 25 Heinz Kluetmeier
With 91 tackles, two interceptions and nine passes defended, Eric Reid has reason enough for leaving LSU early. Though not as highly regarded as past Tiger defensive backs Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne and LaRon Landry, Reid will still likely be selected late in the first round.
17 of 25 John W. McDonough
The departure of Coby Fleener to the NFL allowed for the emergence of another stud tight end at Stanford. Zach Ertz filled the hole in head coach David Shaw's offense admirably, catching 69 balls for 898 yards and six touchdowns in 2012. A complete tight end able to catch and block, Ertz may go late in the first round.
18 of 25Bill Frakes
With 111 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss in just 10 games in 2012, Alec Ogletree is another elite linebacker available in this year's draft. He's no Jarvis Jones, but Ogletree's athleticism -- he was originally recruited to Georgia as a safety -- will still leave his services in high demand.
19 of 25 Peter Read Miller
Marqise Lee supplanted Robert Woods as Matt Barkley's favorite target at USC, but that doesn't mean Woods won't still go high in the draft. Though less flashy than Lee, Woods is still a solid route-runner and can return punts.
20 of 25 Heinz Kluetmeier
Kevin Minter's 130 tackles were third best in a loaded SEC. The linebacker did a little bit of everything for LSU with 15 tackles for loss, four sacks, four quarterback hurries, an interception ? against Johnny Manziel no less -- six passes defended and a forced fumble. Although there are questions about his speed at the next level, he plays a smart brand of linebacker.
21 of 25Heinz Kluetmeier
A hard-hitting safety, Matt Elam knows how to punish vulnerable receivers over the middle. He had four interceptions and nine passes defended this season. The Florida junior can also play near the line, as evidenced by his 11 tackles for loss in each of the past two seasons.
22 of 25Greg McWilliams/Icon SMI
Partially due to a torn ACL suffered three games into his sophomore season, Justin Hunter only started one full college season. Despite his limited time, the Tennessee wide receiver certainly impressed, catching 73 balls for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012. He had 302 yards through two games in 2011 before getting injured. At 6-foot-4, he can also present matchup problems for defenses.
23 of 25Dannie Walls / Icon SMI
After redshirting his freshman season due to a torn ACL, Giovani Bernard dominated the ACC the past two seasons. With 2,481 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns along with another 852 yards and six scores receiving, Bernard is a top-tier running back in an otherwise weak year for the position.
24 of 25 Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI
A powerful right tackle, D.J. Fluker has a knack for run blocking, but there are questions about his ability to handle speed rushers, which has some pondering whether his future is at guard, not right tackle. Whatever position he ends up at, Fluker has the size and strength to be a good asset.
25 of 25 John W. McDonough
Stedman Bailey set the West Virginia record for receiving yards in a season in 2011. Then he blew it out of the water in 2012. With quarterback Geno Smith slinging the football, Bailey easily topped his mark of 1,279 receiving yards in his sophomore year with 1,622 yards his junior year. That production was third-best in the NCAA while his 25 receiving touchdowns led the nation. <italics>(Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org)</italics>
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