Some of the top-ranked defensive prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft spoke to the media on Saturday, including Barkevious Mingo and Dion Jordan. SB Nation's latest mock draft has both of those men going in the top five, and teams and fans alike got some insight into both players.
Mingo, projected to go to the Jacksonville Jaguars as the second overall selection, took the opportunity to stress that he was putting on weight. Asked if he was too light to play end in the NFL, Mingo responded:
"My main focus in the off-season is to put on weight. I put on 15 pounds and I'm still as quick as I ever was. Still the same first step, and I think I can add more, so it's not an issue.I don't think it will be a problem."
His speed was something he also stressed in the interview, citing it as the factor that set him apart from other defensive prospects. Jaguars blog Big Cat Country took a look at Mingo from all angles, sizing up how he would fit in with the Jaguars.
Dion Jordan is one of those other prospects, and SB Nation projects the Philadelphia Eagles selecting him fourth overall. That would be a reunion with Chip Kelly, something Jordan downplayed. "I'm not in control of that," he admitted. Jordan is scheduled to have surgery on his shoulder, but he insisted he would be ready for camp:
"Give me about 3-4 months as far as my rehab. I'm going to attack my rehab after the surgery as hard as I did before, just to make sure I'm able to show up to camp and compete with all the other guys."
Jordan would fit well into a 3-4 defense, something Eagles blog Bleeding Green Nation noted was a strong possibility for Philadelphia.
Sam Montgomery has a bet with Mingo over who will be drafted first, and going by the mock draft he's likely to have to pay out. Projected as going to the Atlanta Falcons 30th overall, Montgomery noted that he was putting effort into being ready for whatever a team asked of him:
"When I get done with the combine I am going to start working on dropbacks, DB drills as well as linebacker drills. As my footwork has increased my confidence has and I think it's time to take my game to the next level.Hand on the ground, pass rush move, and being an agile linebacker."
Montgomery's effort has been criticized, so stressing the work he's going to do outside the combine may have been an attempt to counter those ideas.
Things have just started at the combine, so that's far from the final word on any prospect. Projections can easily shift, and with workouts like the 40-yard dash still to come they almost certainly will.