2013 NFL Draft: Mike Mayock defensive position rankings

Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Mike Mayock has put together is first rankings for the upcoming NFL Draft.

The 2013 NFL Draft is only a few months away, meaning that it's time for mock draft efforts to ramp up across the blogosphere.

NFL expert Mike Mayock has now shared his first rankings via NFL.com, slotting his top five players at every position. Mayock has been covering the draft for years and was a defensive back in the 1980's for the New York Giants. Few know the draft better than Mayock, who also covers Notre Dame football for NBC.

SB Nation's Top 100 big board

The following are Mayock's rankings and my incredible analysis:

Defensive end:

  1. Bjoern Werner, Florida State
  2. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
  3. Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
  4. Sam Montgomery, LSU
  5. Datone Jones, UCLA and Margus Hunt SMU

This is the first of many very deep positions in a great draft for defenders. Werner and Moore are top-of-the-draft talents while Ansah might have the most potential of anyone listed. The BYU product has the ability to wreck games on his own at times.

Montgomery is an interesting prospect who many GM's in the NFL believe will go late in the first. Playing alongside Barkevious Mingo, Montgomery flashed top-notch ability.

SB Nation agrees on these rankings for the most part, with Moore being higher than Werner. The top five is the same group though, with Hunt being ninth.

Defensive tackle:

  1. Sharrif Floyd, Florida
  2. Star Lotulelei, Utah
  3. Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
  4. Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
  5. Kawann Short, Purdue and Johnathan Jenkins, Ohio State

No position has more quality depth heading into the combine than defensive tackle. Every man above can be seen as a first round selection.

It is borderline shocking that Mayock ranks Floyd above Lotulelei, who some believe will be the first player taken come draft time. Floyd is a true difference maker at an SEC school, perhaps tipping the scales in his favor over the man from Utah.

SB Nation has Lotulelei ranked first with Floyd coming in sixth. Williams and Short are also seventh and eighth respectively on SB Nation's big board.

Outside linebacker:

  1. Dion Jordan, Oregon
  2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia
  3. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
  4. Barkevious Mingo, LSU
  5. Arthur Brown, Kansas State

This is an extremely talented grouping. Jordan and Jones are locks to be early first round picks with all the rest likely to go in the first as well save Greene. Many have Greene ranked below the other four, making Mayock stand out a little here.

Brown is an intriguing player as some in the NFL believe he can play inside or outside. Brown is likely a very late first or early second round choice.

SB Nation considered Brown and inside linebacker and has Jordan as a defensive end, so it's tough to compare. However, we did have Mingo slightly higher than Greene.

Inside Linebacker:

  1. Alec Ogletree, Georgia
  2. Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
  3. Kevin Minter, LSU
  4. Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
  5. Kiko Alonso, Oregon

Ogletree is far and away the best inside linebacker in this group. Ogletree separated himself from the rest with a stellar season alongside Jones at Georgia.

Te'o is obviously being hurt by all the nonsense that took place with his fake girlfriend hoax. It's tough to see him stepping in and leading a defense right now. Minter is a fringe first rounder while Reddick and Alonso will go on the second day.

SB Nation doesn't have the same view of Olgetree Mayock and I share, ranking him fourth here behind Brown, Te'o and Minter. Nico Johnson of Alabama also beats out Reddick and Alonso.

Cornerback:

  1. Dee Milliner, Alabama
  2. Xavier Rhodes, Florida State
  3. Johnathan Banks, Mississippi State
  4. Desmond Trufant, Washington
  5. Jordan Poyer, Oregon State

This is an excellent year in the draft for corners. All of the men listed above could be first round picks when everything is set and done. With the NFL a passing league more than ever, corners are in high demand and this year the supply is ample.

Milliner, Rhodes and Banks are certain first rounders with Trufant and Poyer not long for the second round should they fall into it. Without question, this is the best corner draft is years for team's looking to upgrade that spot.

Logan Ryan from Rutgers comes in third for the SB Nation ranking behind Milliner and Rhodes. The man who doesn't make our list is Trufant, who is ranked sixth.

Safety:

  1. Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
  2. Matt Elam, Florida
  3. Johnathan Cyprien, Florida International
  4. Eric Reid, LSU
  5. Zeke Motta, Notre Dame

The safeties in this class are all with some range on the draft boards. Vaccaro is a first round prospect in most people's estimation, but after that the situation is cloudy. Elam is a consensus No. 2 safety prospect, and likely a very late first round or high second round selection. Beyond that, we're talking about guys that will all go in the second day.

Tony Jefferson and Shawn Williams gives SB Nation's list a different flavor. Vaccaro is the tops safety for us, with Elam, Jefferson, Reid and Williams trailing. Cyprien is slotted seventh and Motta is ranked a whopping 16th.

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