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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Alex Okafor A Mid-First Round Prospect

It's never too early to start talking about the 2013 NFL Draft, and there's a first batch of (way too premature) mock drafts out. While they don't tell us much of anything about what players and position groups NFL teams will be looking at, they are an interesting glimpse into where the elite talent will be in the 2012 college football season.

Over at SI.com, Andrew Perloff has a mock draft out, with Texas DE Alex Okafor ending the Longhorns' two year first-round drought:

17. Denver Broncos -- Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

The Broncos will jump on the tall, athletic defender. Okafor's linemate Jackson Jeffcoat will also get a lot of attention, but he's just a junior, and Mack Brown finds a way to get his players to stay through their senior year.

Okafor, a 6'4 260 senior defensive end, was a first-team All Big 12 selection last season, with 52 tackles, including 12.5 for loss and 6 sacks.

He'll be expected to be a dominant force off the edge in 2012 for a Texas defense trending upwards in coordinator Manny Diaz second season in Austin.

An excerpt from a National Football Post scouting report last season:

On the Texas defense no prospect has been better this year up front than DE Alex Okafor. He combines an intriguing blend of get-off burst, power and violence with his hands, and knows how to reach the edge and shed blocks. There hasn't been a ton of talk surrounding him as a prospect, but he's one of those juniors who are flying under the radar and if he does declare could make a massive jump up boards once talent evaluator's start breaking down his game.

For all the latest news and notes on Texas football, stay tuned to SB Nation Dallas as well as Burnt Orange Nation and Barking Carnival.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.