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Published: April 27, 2012 at 06:32 p.m.

2013 Top 10 Underclassmen

Here's a look at the top 10 underclassmen in college football:

11 Photos Total

  • 1. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State 11

    Dave Weaver/Associated Press

    1. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State

    Hankins' ability to play inside or outside at his size (6-4/317) has already caught the attention of NFL scouts. That athleticism and pure strength allows teams to project him into any system. Expect the honorable mention All-Big Ten nominee (11 tackles for loss, three sacks in 2011) to earn All-America recognition as a junior.

  • 2. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan 10

    Tony Ding/Tony Ding

    2. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

    The next great Michigan lineman has already been on the scene for the Wolverines for two seasons. Lewan (6-8/302) quickly locked down the left tackle spot, getting on the field within the first month of his college career and only missing one game since (due to injury). His tall, still-growing frame could remind scouts of this year's top tackle, USC's Matt Kalil.

  • 4. Robert Woods, WR, USC 9

    Ben Liebenberg/NFL

    4. Robert Woods, WR, USC

    Matt Barkley and Woods will follow in the footsteps of Brandon Weeden/Justin Blackmon and Robert Griffin III/Kendall Wright as a top aerial connection. The junior receiver (6-1/190) ranked in the top 10 in receptions and receiving yards in 2011, snatching 111 passes for 1,292 yards and also scoring 15 touchdowns. He beats corners deep but also possesses quick enough feet to leave defenders behind when he plants his foot on a cut. That means he will be able to do everything his NFL quarterback and offensive coordinator ask of him.

  • 3. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee 8

    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    3. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee

    Bray (6-6/213) is a similar prospect to Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson -- a pocket passer who will be a favorite of teams looking to run a vertical attack. He missed time last year with a broken thumb, but a healthy season throwing to outstanding junior receivers like Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter (who is coming off a 2011 knee injury) would move him up the boards. A couple other underclass quarterbacks potentially jumping up into the consciousness of scouts: Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas and Georgia's Aaron Murray.

  • 5. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas 7

    Kirby Lee/US Presswire

    5. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas

    The son of former NFL star defensive lineman Jim Jeffcoat led the Longhorns with 16.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks as a sophomore and is expected to be even better in 2012. Jeffcoat (6-5/250) has growth potential to stay as a 4-3 defensive end, but could also rush the passer in a hybrid system that takes advantage of his athleticism as a stand-up player and his ability to come off the snap in a three-point stance.

  • 6. Keenan Allen, WR, California 6

    George Nikitin/Associated Press

    6. Keenan Allen, WR, California

    Few receivers have a stronger bond with their quarterback than Allen; Cal's lefty passer Zach Maynard is his half-brother. Scouts would be impressed with Allen's strider speed and agility after the catch no matter who was throwing him the ball. Piling up 98 receptions for 1,343 yards and six scores last season, Allen (6-3/206) looked like a dangerous vertical weapon, as well as a threat to break or spin off tackles on bubble screens.

  • 8. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State 5

    Kim Klement/US Presswire

    8. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

    A native of Germany who played two seasons of football in high school before heading to Tallahassee, Werner (6-4/272) is still learning the game -- a scary thought for opposing offensive tackles. His combination of size, strength and ever-running motor gives him upside similar to that of the Houston Texans' 2011 first-round pick J.J. Watt.

  • 7. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia 4

    Margaret Bowles/Associated Press

    7. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

    The USC transfer (6-3/241) tied for second in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 13.5 sacks in his first year on the field with the Bulldogs. He boasts a rare combination of power and speed. His explosion sent more than one offensive tackle backwards (and then the quarterback to the turf). 3-4 teams will surely covet him.

  • 9. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama 3

    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    9. D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

    A mammoth right tackle prospect with quick feet for his size, Fluker forced his way into the starting lineup during his redshirt freshman season and hasn't looked back. It's no coincidence that Mark Ingram won a Heisman trophy and Trent Richardson finished fifth in the country in rushing yards while Fluker (6-6/335) was playing up front.

  • T-10. David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State 2

    Bob Donnan/US Presswire

    T-10. David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State

    The nation's leading interceptor made quarterbacks pay 13 times for their mistakes last fall by using his prototypical size (6-3/194), hands, vertical leap and instincts. He needs to get stronger and work on his tackling technique before attempting to handle NFL veteran receivers on Sundays, so he could stay in school another season. But another productive year could put him squarely in scouts' crosshairs.

  • T-10. Eric Reid, FS, LSU 1

    Derick E. Hinigle/US Presswire

    T-10. Eric Reid, FS, LSU

    Mark Barron ascending to the seventh overall selection in this year's draft was sweet music to Reid's ears. Next year's soon-to-be-hyped SEC safety also has NFL size (6-2/208), acts as an intimidator laying big hits in the secondary, and has good enough hands and closing speed to be a centerfielder at the next level.

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