2013 NFL Draft Big Board: Middle linebackers

Alex Ogletree breaks up a pass - Kevin C. Cox

Middle linebacker could be a position of need for the New York Giants in the 2013 NFL Draft. Here is a look at the top middle linebackers available in the draft, per rankings from Mel Kiper.

The New York Giants could be in the market for a middle linebacker in the 2013 NFL Draft. We started looking at potential positions of need on Tuesday when we discussed offensive tackle. Today, we look at middle linebacker. We will use Mel Kiper's top 5 middle linebacker prospects as our starting point.

Here are Kiper's top 5:

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

HEIGHT

WEIGHT

1

Alec Ogletree

Georgia

6-3

234

2

Manti Te’o

Notre Dame

6-2

255

3

Kevin Minter

LSU

6-2

242

4

Kevin Reddick

North Carolina

6-3

240

5

Jonathan Bostic

Florida

6-1

246

Here is Kiper's analysis of the group, post-Senior Bowl:

Te'o faces some odd questions, but in terms of football skills, he has a pretty high floor. Ogletree has jumped him because I think he can move all over the place at linebacker and provide a ton of value. His game just screams impact. Minter has worked his way into the first round.

[Mocking The Draft Middle Linebacker Rankings]

Scouting Reports

Alex Ogletree

Jesse says: "I really, really do think Alec Ogletree has the potential to be a very special player. It would not surprise me at all if Ogletree ended up being the best player in this draft three years from now. I think he has THAT much potential."

CBS Sports says: "A former safety, Ogletree showed off his terrific range and athleticism, making plays all over the field in 2012 and was often the best player on a defense loaded with NFL talent."

Manti Te'o

Jesse says: "I just know that many teams look for reasons to NOT draft a player as opposed to reasons for drafting a player, and Te'o just provided every team with a reason not to draft him. He's had a very bad month, but he's a good player. He is big and has good athleticism for his size. He could really help the Giants run defense and is solid value in the middle of the first round if the Giants decide to go that route. If teams are scared off enough by Te'o because of this scenario and the Giants ended up with him in the second round that would be great. I don't think the Giants will draft him in the first, but he could be an option."

Mocking The Draft says: "As a player, there is much to like about Te'o. He's NFL ready as a prospect because of his instincts and tackling ability. But he's limited as a prospect. His ceiling isn't as high as some players because he doesn't have top-end athleticism. He's strictly a middle linebacker, and may be best suited to 3-4 teams that ask one of the inside linebackers to mainly play the run and work inside the box."

[Offensive Tackle rankings]

Kevin Minter

CBS Sports says: "Minter's anticipation, penchant for the game-turning play and production against elite competition speaks for itself. However, he'll have to turn around a troubling trend for LSU linebackers in the NFL. Despite frequently churning out all-conference linebackers, few have gone on to enjoy similar distinction in the NFL. Instinctive and physical, Minter was the most dependable player on an LSU defense chock-full of prospective NFL talent."

Kevin Reddick

CBS Sports says: "Reddick is a bit straight-linish and stiff, but makes up for his lack of fluidity with his instincts and defensive intelligence, putting himself in positions to succeed. Reddick has the skill-set to earn a starting job in the NFL and currently projects as a solid second day selection. The biggest reason Reddick has been a faller this season is his questionable effort on the field, too often giving up on plays once engaged and going at half-speed if the play isn't run directly at him. He rarely leaves the field so some of it might be fatigue, but inconsistent urgency and motor is a large concern that will force NFL teams to think twice on draft day."

Jonathan Bostic

CBS Sports says: "Instinctive, physical and productive against quality competition, Bostic ranks as one of the better no-nonsense run-stuffing inside linebackers of the 2013 draft class. ... Bostic will make a club as an effective run-stuffing middle linebacker despite a lack of top-notch speed."

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