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Mike Mayock’s Top 16 Dan Leberfeld

1. Marcell Dareus*, DT, Alabama
This is my favorite player in the country this year. He has tremendous foot speed for a player his size. He can play the nose, the three-technique and showed he can play the five-technique. From my perspective, I don’t think he can possibly get past Denver at No. 2.

2. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
He’s a special guy off the edge and reminds me an awful lot of DeMarcus Ware that way. However, he’s not as big, so therefore won’t generate quite as much power.

3. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
A lot of people think he might be the best player in this draft, and he might be. He has the return skills of a man 40 pounds smaller than he is. He has the ability to move, to press, to play off. He’s a little tight in the hips, but I don’t care. He’s a great football player.

4. A.J. Green*, WR, Georgia
Oh my goodness. If you have any questions about this kid, after being suspended the first four games last season, he came out in week five against two future NFL cornerbacks against Colorado and had seven catches for more than 100 yards. That includes one of the best back-of-shoulder catches I’ve ever seen in my life.

5. Blaine Gabbert*, QB, Missouri
He’s my No. 1 quarterback. He comes out of a spread offense, and his footwork needs to improve, but he has all the rest. He’s athletic, has a big arm, loves the game of football, has anticipation to throw into small windows, and the accuracy to back it up. He could be the first guy off the board.

6. Robert Quinn*, DE, North Carolina
He’s a one-year wonder because of his NCAA suspension. I think from an edge-rush perspective, he might be the best guy in the draft.

7. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
He’s a warrior. He ran 4.39 at the combine, but on tape I think he plays more like a 4.5 guy. That’s what I think he plays at, and that’s fine. His throwing radius, ability to run and ability to catch are phenomenal.

8. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
To me he’s a lightning rod. I was at his pro day workout, and from a foot-speed perspective, it doesn’t get much better than what he can do. He ran through the bag drills, and it was ridiculous. However, he’s a boom-or-bust guy. Right now, I have him here, but he’s got more talent than that. Depending on what type of kid he is, I could have him dropping out of the first round entirely.

9. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
This kid is a gifted cornerback who can play press and can play off. Watch the game tape against Oklahoma State and Justin Blackmon, maybe the best one or two receivers in college last season, because there are some misnomers. The kid played a lot better than people give him credit for.

10. Da’Quan Bowers*, DE, Clemson
I boxed him in here for a reason. He has more ability than No. 10, but he’s a one-year wonder. He had 15.5 sacks last season, and the two years before that he only had four combined. I want to know why.

11. Anthony Castonzo, OL, Boston College
I really believe he or (Tyron) Smith are the first tackle off the board. He’s a tough guy in the run game, he has great feet as a former tight end. I love his upside, and he had a great week of Senior Bowl practice, although he didn’t play quite as well in the game.

12. J.J. Watt*, DE, Wisconsin
I believe this kid is the real deal. He’s another prototype of a five-technique, a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. If you don’t like him, put the TCU game tape on. The numbers weren’t big, but the kid dominated.

13. Tyron Smith*, OT, USC
He played on the right side and came out as a junior, and has the most potential of any tackle in the draft.

14. Aldon Smith*, DE, Missouri
This young man has so much potential, it’s scary. Put the 2009 game tape on against Russell Okung and Danny Watkins and you’ll get a better view of what he can do. He played through a lot of pain last season.

15. Cameron Jordan, DE, California
He brings scheme-versatility. I think he’s an ideal defensive end in a 3-4, but can kick inside and overwhelm guards too. He can even play out on the edge.

16. Mark Ingram*, RB, Alabama
This is one of the angriest runners I’ve ever seen. He’s a three-down back. This is a kid who can play 16 games and want to play more. He can pass protect, catch the football, and has tremendous balance and vision.