Oct 27, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Chance Warmack (65) lines up to block during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama Prospects Grade Out at the Top of the List for the 2013 NFL Draft Combine

Two days ago, I wrote a post about some of the issues we can expect in the coming 2013 NFL Draft process and waxed wistfully about the possibilities of the Carolina Panthers winding up with Alabama guard Chance Warmack.

Well, if the grades posted on NFL.com are any indication, he’ll be long gone when the Panthers draft in the middle of the first round.

As I said before, interior offensive linemen rarely do ever go in the top ten, but it does happen. I think this year will be one of those where it does.

Warmack is graded at a 95.9, 6/10ths of a point higher than the second place person, offensive tackle Luke Jockel of Texas A&M.

Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner rates third at 93.2, so there’s quite a drop-off between the top two and the rest of the field. Most teams drafting at the top of round one are really looking for an “impact player” – something that a guard is not.

Slots four and five go to DE Barkevious Mingo of LSU and Star Lotulelei of Utah.

Six through ten are, in order, OT Eric Fisher of Central Michigan, QB Geno Smith of West Virginia, DE Bjoern Borg Werner of Florida State, DT Sheldon Richardson of Missouri, and WR Cordarrelle Patterson of Tennessee.

The good news for Panthers fans is that this is a deep class for defensive linemen so a very solid NFL starter quality DT should be there when Carolina is on the clock, should Gettleman and Rivera decide to go there. Even if Jon Beason isn’t with the team next season, the Panthers still have the linebacker talent to field a strong 4-3 defense with Defensive Rookie of the Year from 2012 Luke Kuechly holding down the middle.

It’s nice to know the Panthers shouldn’t have any interest whatsoever in Manti T’eo, the kid who was apparently duped into a bizarre Twitter-only “relationship” with a fake person over the past few years. It’s a headache they need no part of and makes me doubly happy they selected my own favorite pick from last season with their first-round selection in the 2012 draft.

The NFL combine is approaching fast…Feb. 22-26th in Indianapolis.

Follow me on Twitter @Ken_Dye

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Tags: 2013 NFL Combine 2013 NFL Draft 2013 NFL Prospects

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