With the 2013 college football season hitting the halfway point and teams digging into their conference schedules, this is an appropriate time to revisit the Hot 100 seniors list. Here is a look at the top seniors in college football with the 2014 NFL Draft in mind.
1. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA (Prior: 3)
Barr (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) came to UCLA as a running back, but converted to outside linebacker in the spring of 2012. Barr -- who runs a 4.7-second 40-yard dash -- was UCLA's second-leading tackler in 2012 with 83, and he led the Pac-12 with 13.5 sacks. He has long arms and a very good burst off the edge. Barr also seems to have very good instincts.
» Watch: Barr analysis
2. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M (1)
The 6-foot-5 1/2, 310-pound Matthews is the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame lineman Bruce Matthews. Matthews, the son, elected to stay in school rather than leave early for the NFL draft. This decision can help his professional prospects tremendously. Matthews -- a good athlete with long arms, quick feet and a 5.1-second 40-yard dash time -- is playing left tackle this season (assuming the spot vacated by No. 2 overall draft pick Luke Joeckel). The position switch will help increase Matthews' draft value.
» Watch: Matthews analysis
3. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan (2)
Lewan (6-7 1/2, 315) is another player who opted to stay in school rather than leave for the NFL a season early. Lewan runs the 40-yard dash in 5.2 seconds, and while he doesn't have real long arms (33 1/2 inches), he is very smart and athletic. When Lewan fell on a fumble in the end zone in a game against Massachusetts last season, he became the first Wolverine lineman to score a touchdown since 1948.
» Watch: Lewan analysis
4. Trent Murphy, OLB, Stanford (5)
Murphy (6-5, 260) is a big, strong and explosive player who recorded 11 sacks in 2012. Murphy (who runs the 40 in 4.75 seconds) has long arms, and can play with his hand in the ground or in space. With Murphy on the outside and Shayne Skov manning the middle, Stanford might have the best group of linebackers in college football. Also notable: Murphy's younger brother is a 14-year-old high school freshman who is 6-foot-3 and has already been offered a scholarship from Stanford.
5. Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota (NR)
Hageman (6-6 3/4, 307) has an inspiring story, rising from a tough childhood to become one of the top defensive linemen in college football. As a youngster he moved from foster home to foster home before becoming one of the top tight ends in the country while in high school. Hageman's been playing nose tackle for the Golden Gophers, and is very athletic with an ability to bend for his height. He was not ranked in the season's first edition of the Hot 100 after compiling six sacks in 2012.
6. DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State (8)
The play of Jones (6-3 1/2, 330) was a big reason why the Nittany Lions won eight games during the 2012 season. He is a strong player with good speed (5.15 seconds in the 40-yard dash) for the position.
7. C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama (7)
Mosley (6-2 3/8, 230) led the Crimson Tide in tackles in 2012 with 107, which was 48 more than the next highest total on the team. He also had two interceptions. As a young player, Mosley played in all 13 games as a true freshman at Alabama. Mosley -- who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds -- is a very good leader and should be a long-time starter in the NFL. Mosley mans the weakside linebacker spot for the Crimson Tide, but projects as an inside linebacker in the pros.
» Watch: Mosley analysis
8. Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee (4)
McCullers (6-6, 350) makes most big guys look small. Despite his mass, McCullers is very fast for his size (5.15 in the 40). He is also very strong and possesses very good movement skills. His nickname is "Shade Tree," which should give you an idea of his size.
» Watch: McCullers analysis
9. Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo (9)
Mack (6-2 5/8, 245) will most likely be the highest draft pick in the history of University of Buffalo football. Defensive end Gerry Philbin was a third-round selection, No. 19 overall, by the New York Jets in the 1964 AFL Draft. In the modern era, the New England Patriots made offensive tackle Ed Ellis a fourth-round pick (No. 125 overall) in the 1997 NFL Draft. In 2012, Mack led the Bulls in tackles (94), tackles for loss (21) and sacks (eight). He is coached by Lou Tepper, who has coached three Butkus Award winners in the past: Colorado's Alfred Williams and Illinois' Dana Howard and Kevin Hardy.
10. Trevor Reilly, OLB, Utah (13)
Reilly (6-4 1/2, 244) moved from safety to defensive end for the Utes, but projects as an outside linebacker in the NFL. Reilly was Utah's leading tackler in 2012 and also had 4.5 sacks. He is very athletic with good speed, having posted a 40 time of 4.65 seconds.
11. Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor (10)
Richardson (6-4 1/2, 335) runs a 5.35-second 40-yard dash. He is a three-year starter who played left tackle as a freshman, but has started the last three seasons at left guard. He is very strong with long arms.
12. Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech (11)
Exum (5-10 5/8, 218) decided to stay in school for his senior season, but tore his ACL in January while playing pickup basketball. He would have cracked the top five on this list if it wasn't for that injury. Exum -- who runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash -- finished 2012 with five interceptions and 16 pass breakups.
13. Demonte McAllister, DT, Florida State (16)
McAllister (6-2 1/8, 288) is a strong inside player who had 3.5 sacks and 33 tackles last season.
14. Christian Jones, OLB, Florida State (18)
Jones (6-3 5/8, 235) runs the 40 in 4.65 seconds. He was the Seminoles' leading tackler in 2012. This is a player with tremendous upside whose best position in the NFL might be as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
15. Jason Verrett, CB, TCU (19)
Verrett (5-9 3/8, 175) lacks the ideal height and weight for the position, but he makes up for it with great ball skills and very good speed (timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash). He led the Horned Frogs with six interceptions and 16 pass breakups in 2012, and was also the team's fourth-leading tackler with 63 total tackles. Watch his play against West Virginia and quarterback Geno Smith last season to get an idea of how good Verrett is (he picked off a pass, and then blocked a field goal that helped TCU defeat WVU in double overtime).
16. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson (33)
Boyd is not tall (6-0 3/4), but was successful over the past two seasons (winning 19 regular-season games in 2011 and 2012). He plays in a quarterback-friendly offense, and plays with an outstanding receiver in junior Sammy Watkins. Boyd had a very good statistical season in 2012, completing 67.2 percent of his passes with 36 touchdowns. Boyd displays good arm strength and likes to roll out and throw.
» Watch: Boyd analysis
17. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia (34)
Murray is not real tall (standing at 6-1), but he had a higher passer rating as a junior (174.82) than former No. 1 overall NFL draft picks Matthew Stafford (153.5) and Andrew Luck (170.2). Murray finished 2012 with 3,893 yards passing, 36 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Entering the 2013 season, there were questions surrounding Murray's ability to win in big games. He has since proven that he can defeat top-level competition, having directed crucial home victories over South Carolina and LSU, as well as an overtime win over Tennessee in Knoxville. Still, injuries to key teammates on offense this season are hurting his production.
18. Marion Grice, RB, Arizona State (14)
Last season was Grice's first at ASU after two seasons playing junior college ball. In 2012, Grice (6-0, 204) had 19 touchdowns as a runner (11) and receiver (eight) despite sharing time with two other running backs in a rotational situation.
19. James Hurst, OT, North Carolina (30)
A stalwart on UNC's offensive line, Hurst (6-6 1/2, 310) has made 36 starts. Hurst runs the 40 in 5.3 seconds and has long arms. While he plays left tackle for the Tar Heels, his best position in the NFL might be at right tackle. Hurst started off the 2013 season on a strong note, doing a good job against South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney in the opening game.
20. Mike Davis, WR, Texas (29)
Davis (6-2, 200) runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. He considered leaving school after last season, during which he averaged 16.5 yards per catch and had seven touchdowns. He is a big-play receiver with the size and speed necessary to compete in the NFL. Davis possesses a lot of upside. If the Longhorns had better quarterback play in 2013, Davis' numbers would be better. Against Oklahoma, he made a great play, but it wasn't against Aaron Colvin (see No. 29 on this list).
21. Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame (26)
Martin (6-4 1/2, 316) has played both left tackle and right tackle at Notre Dame. Martin -- a three-year starter for the Fighting Irish -- runs the 40-yard dash in 5.25 seconds, has long arms and good feet. Martin will play guard in the NFL, and could be good for a long time. His father, a lawyer, works for the NCAA.
22. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas (20)
The 6-foot-4 1/2, 255-pound Jeffcoat is the son of of former Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills defensive end Jim Jeffcoat. When I was with the Cowboys, we selected Jeffcoat in the first round and he turned into a player who performed at a high level for a long time, finishing his career with more than 100 sacks. Jim's son Jackson has the same traits. Jackson is a competitive player with speed (4.75 seconds in the 40-yard dash), quickness and athletic ability. In 2013, Jackson has been getting stronger every game and has capacity to be a surprise prospect.
23. Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia (12)
The 6-0, 213-pound running back previously played at the University of Houston, but transferred to West Virginia for his final season of eligibility (he graduated from UH in May, so he won't have to sit out a season). This guy can run like the wind, having run a 4.46-second 40-yard dash. He should be great in the West Virginia system, and could be like St. Louis Rams first-round draft pick Tavon Austin, who played some running back against Oklahoma and rushed for a school single-game record 344 yards. In 2013, Sims has been playing well on a team that doesn't have a quarterback that scares opponents in the passing game.
24. Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State (6)
The 6-3 1/4, 331-pound Jackson runs the 40-yard dash in 5.25 seconds, has started 36 games over three seasons and was a first-team all-SEC pick in 2012. Jackson is a first-round possibility and should have a long NFL career. He isn't at the same level as Chance Warmack (the 2013 first-round pick of the Tennessee Titans), who was exceptional.
» Watch: Jackson analysis
25. Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio State (23)
The 6-6, 305-pound Mewhort runs the 40-yard dash in 5.25 seconds and is a solid player. He's a good run blocker with high character and intelligence. Mewhort plays left tackle and started at guard for the Buckeyes as a true freshman. Has potential to be a long-time starter in the NFL.
26. Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami (Fla.) (21)
The 6-7, 340-pound Henderson -- who runs the 40-yard dash in 5.0 seconds -- was a highly touted high school player from Minnesota, earning high school lineman of the year honors. He had originally committed to USC before deciding to attend Miami. Henderson's off-the-field issues are threatening to derail a once-promising football career. He has the potential to be a good NFL player, but off-field activities have resulted in three suspensions in as many seasons. If this behavior continues, Henderson could drop completely from this list.
27. Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU (NR)
Mettenberger (6-5 1/4, 242) runs the 40-yard dash in 5.1 seconds. He was not in the preseason Hot 100 list, but has improved greatly in 2013 under new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Mettenberger has improved his arm strength, and he also moves well for his size. He makes good decisions. Look at the Georgia game to see how good this player is.
28. Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn (24)
Ford (6-2 1/2, 240) was injured in 2012 and missed the Ole Miss game. He did have six sacks. Ford lacks size, but he boasts good speed (4.7 in the 40) and might be better as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
29. Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma (43)
Colvin (6-0 1/2, 185) played and started at safety in 2011 before moving to cornerback for the 2012 season. He was the third-leading tackler on the team, and recorded four interceptions and 11 pass breakups. Colvin -- who sports a 4.5-second 40-yard dash -- has good cover skills and is a physical player.
30. Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State (22)
Sutton (6-0 1/2, 285) is undersized for the position, but did have 13 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss in 2012 despite missing two games (he was hurt on the first play of the Oregon game and missed the UCLA game). Last season, Sutton showed great quickness (4.85 in the 40) and strength for his size. This season, however, Sutton's weight is up and he's lacking the quickness he showed in 2012.
» Watch: Sutton analysis
31. Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina (27)
Martin (6-5 1/2, 265) has been a three-year starter for the Tar Heels (full-time starter for past two seasons; made three starts as a freshman). He is a very good pass rusher, possessing the speed (4.85 in the 40) and athleticism that NFL teams look for in a 4-3 defensive end. Martin opted to stay in school for his senior season despite a good report for the 2013 NFL Draft which indicated he could go as high as the first two rounds.
32. Shayne Skov, ILB, Stanford (31)
Skov (6-2 1/4, 250) was Stanford's leading tackler last year after missing most of the 2011 season with a knee injury. Skov (who sports a 4.85 40 time) is good against the run, but there are some questions about his pass-coverage abilities.
33. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State (57)
Carr is having a very good 2013 season. He has a strong arm and athletic ability. His brother is former No. 1 overall draft pick David Carr.
» Watch: Carr analysis
34. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama (15)
McCarron has the height (6-4) and speed (clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.75 seconds during Alabama's spring junior day) necessary for the position. He completed 67 percent of his passes in 2012 for 30 touchdowns and only three interceptions. This guy is a winner. However, I might have rated McCarron too high in previous Hot 100.
» Watch: McCarron analysis
35. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State (42)
Dennard (5-11 3/4, 190) was a first-team, All-Big Ten selection in 2012. Dennard -- who runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash -- had three interceptions and seven pass breakups in 2012. Dennard registered two interceptions -- including one returned for a touchdown -- in the Spartans' 33-30 triple-overtime win over Georgia in the 2012 Outback Bowl. He has very good ball skills and will become a big-time player.
36. Ed Stinson, DE, Alabama (28)
Stinson (6-3 1/4, 280) had only three sacks in 2012, but look for his sack numbers to increase this fall. Stinson has a lot of upside. He brings very good quickness (4.8 seconds in the 40-yard dash) and athletic ability.
» Watch: Stinson analysis
37. Max Bullough, ILB, Michigan State (32)
The Bullough name has been a part of Spartan football for many years, with Max as a third-generation player at Michigan State. Bullough (6-3, 250) was the leading tackler on his team with 112 stops in 2012. He is very good at taking on blockers and anticipating plays. Bullough -- who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds -- had started 27 consecutive games heading into 2013.
38. Stephen Morris, QB, Miami (Fla.) (17)
Morris stands 6-foot-2 and has run a 4.67-second 40-yard dash on grass (which produces slower times than artificial turf). He has above-average arm strength. He was to be redshirted in his true freshman season of 2010 but was thrust into action late in the season, making four starts and going 2-2 in those games. Morris has good upside and could easily move up to the No. 1 quarterback prospect spot before the 2013 season is over. However, he needs to get stronger.
39. Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State (59)
Hyde missed the first three games of the season. He had a great game against Northwestern, rushing for 168 yards in a 40-30 Buckeyes win in Evanston, Ill. Hyde's running and receiving skills are very good. There was some question about how much he liked playing football, but that is no longer a question mark.
40. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois (48)
Garoppolo (6-2 1/4, 222) has a real strong arm and is athletic (he has a 40 time of 4.8 seconds). He hails from the same school that produced Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Garoppolo will be a project in the NFL, but some team is going to end up with a good player after several years of work.
41. Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State (66)
The 6-foot-3 1/2, 300-pound Richburg runs the 40-yard dash in 5.2 seconds. He is very smart, very competitive, and strong. There seem to be a lot of good centers that will be available in the upcoming draft, but Richburg can also play guard if needed.
42. Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State (46)
Gilbert (6-0 1/2, 200) was an outstanding kickoff returner last season, averaging 25.8 yards per return with a touchdown. Gilbert -- who runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds -- is a very physical cornerback who had 60 tackles and nine pass breakups last season. However, he did not have an interception, so NFL teams are left wondering if Gilbert lacks the ball skills necessary for the position.
43. Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming (37)
Herron (5-9, 187) runs a 4.39-second 40-yard dash. He has outstanding speed and quickness, and also possesses very good hands. He averaged 21.2 yards per reception in 2012, and added eight touchdowns. A lot of scouts will be going to Laramie, Wyo. to watch this kid from California.
44. Lamarcus Joyner, S, Florida State (44)
Joyner's size (5-8 1/4, 187) is a concern. Still, he was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2012 after recording 51 tackles and an interception. Joyner has enough speed (40 time of 4.5 seconds) that he can play cornerback, a position he is expected to see more time at this season. He needs to play cornerback in the NFL.
45. Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech (35)
Thomas (6-5 5/8, 256) looks the part of an NFL quarterback. He has 4.67 40 speed and a great arm. However, he is very inconsistent. After a sophomore season with 3,013 yards passing for 19 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a completion percentage of 59.8, Thomas' production dropped off in 2012 (2,976 yards, 18 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 51.3 completion percentage), but has shown glimpses of improvement in 2013.
46. Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (58)
Matthews (6-2 7/8, 201) runs a 4.55 40. He is very much like current Chicago Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery. Matthews plays faster than his timed speed, and has great hands. A lack of a quality quarterback hasn't helped his stat line. Georgia coach Mark Richt offered high praise for the Vandy receiver, saying Matthews could be a "high draft pick."
47. Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia (49)
Lynch (6-4 3/4, 246) had 24 catches for 431 yards and three touchdowns in 2012. Lynch, who has a 40 time of 4.9 seconds, is a good blocker as well as a good receiver. That combination is vital for his NFL hopes -- teams are looking for tight ends that can both block and catch so their presence doesn't tip off opponents as to who you're throwing the ball to when there are two tight ends in the game.
48. Trey Millard, FB, Oklahoma (40)
Millard (6-2, 259) is fast for a fullback, sporting a 4.65-second 40-yard dash time. He is a big back with speed, receiving ability and is an outstanding blocker. Despite playing fullback for the Sooners, Millard has the potential to be a tailback in the NFL.
49. Gabe Ikard, C, Oklahoma (63)
Ikard (6-3 1/2, 300) has been a three-year starter for the Sooners. Ikard -- who runs the 40-yard dash in 5.1 seconds -- has ideal size for the position, and is capable of playing both as a center or guard in the NFL. He is also a smart player. Ikard is not performing as a long snapper for Oklahoma.
50. Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon (77)
Hart is tall (6-6 1/8, 296) and can play either inside or on the outside of the defensive line. He plays a lot like current Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Jason Hatcher. Hart -- a native of Tualatin, Ore. -- saw his first Oregon Ducks football game with his father when he was eight years old.
- Michael Schofield, OT, Michigan (NR)
- James Stone, C, Tennessee (25)
- Craig Loston, S, LSU (39)
- Chris Watt, OG, Notre Dame (38)
- C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa (45)
- Lamin Barrow, LB, LSU (36)
- David Fales, QB, San Jose State (47)
- DeAndre Coleman, DT, California (50)
- Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh (70)
- Josh Huff, WR, Oregon (73)
- James Gayle, DE, Virginia Tech (53)
- Kevin Danser, OG, Stanford (NR)
- John Urschel, OG, Penn State (54)
- Ja'Wuan James, OT, Tennessee (52)
- Anthony Steen, OG, Alabama (56)
- Cody Hoffman, WR, BYU (41)
- Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia (55)
- Kain Colter, QB, Northwestern (62)
- Rashaad Reynolds, CB, Oregon State (60)
- Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech (NR)
- Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska (NR)
- Tevin Reese, WR, Baylor (90)
- Silas Redd, RB, USC (51)
- Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State (65)
- Eric Ward, WR, Texas Tech (68)
- Spencer Long, OG, Nebraska (69)
- Bryan Stork, C, Florida State (67)
- Marcel Jensen, TE, Fresno State (86)
- Zach Fulton, OG, Tennessee (71)
- James White, RB, Wisconsin (64)
- Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin (NR)
- Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU (74)
- Andrew Jackson, ILB, Western Kentucky (80)
- Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin (91)
- Dri Archer, RB, Kent State (95)
- Bennett Jackson, CB, Notre Dame (88)
- Bryn Renner, QB, North Carolina (87)
- Carrington Byndom, CB, Texas (83)
- Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas (72)
- Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood (75)
- Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech (79)
- Deion Belue, CB, Alabama (81)
- Ryan Groy, OT, Wisconsin (82)
- Osahon Irabor, CB, Arizona State (NR)
- Casey Pachall, QB, TCU (61)
- Jordan Zumwalt, OLB, UCLA (97)
- Matt Hall, OT, Belhaven (100)
- Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice (NR)
- Ikemefuna Enemkpali, DE, Louisiana Tech (NR)
- Brandon Thomas, OG, Clemson (84)
Out of the list:
» Todd Washington, CB, SE Louisiana (76)
» Ryan Lankford, WR, Illinois (78)
» Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA (85)
» David Born, OG, Old Dominion (89)
» Dontae Johnson, CB, North Carolina State (92)
» Ethan Westbrooks, DE, West Texas A&M (93)
» Rob Blanchflower, TE, Massachusetts (94)
» Jay Prosch, RB, Auburn (98)
» Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State (99)