July 3, 2013

Top 40 Addendum


AUBURN | Our inaugural Top 40 ended last week with defensive end Dee Ford earning top honors, which wasn't much of a surprise.


Bunker voters, Justin and I had Ford in the top two.


And while the survey was a fun exercise, it was at least somewhat incomplete. More than a dozen newcomers have arrived on campus since May 25. We elected to leave those newcomers off the initial Top 40 list because we haven't seen them play. Or practice. Or scrimmage. They're blank slates as far as Auburn is concerned, which makes forecasting their first varsity seasons more than a little difficult.


When it's drivel season, though, we don't mind making some impossible difficult forecasts.


So let's take a look at the newcomers we'd actually consider for the Top 40 right now had we not eliminated them from contention:


Nick Marshall, quarterback -- Our trip to Kansas in May demonstrated our opinion of Marshall, whom we consider the best play-maker in the Tigers Class of 2013 crop. He has game-breaking ability like Cam Newton. He has remarkable arm strength like Cam Newton. With that said, Marshall doesn't operate like Cam Newton. He's not going to convert 3rd-and-short with dives up the middle. He's a speed guy, a perimeter guy, a juke-and-scoot kind of runner. Marshall would slot somewhere in the 20-25 range right now, though I believe he has top-five ability.


Carl Lawson, defensive end -- He's the most highly rated prospect Auburn has signed during the Rivals.com era. He was a dominant force in a talented, challenging league last season. Lawson is remarkably fit and will arrive with enough strength to handle a meaningful role this fall.

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