Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2010 early NFL draft prospects 11-20

This group is made up of draft eligible players. Some may return to college, but we won't know who's staying and going till declaration day,and pre-draft workouts can tell a lot about a player sometimes.The NFL comparison has a caveat. It's what a player could be if he reaches his potential. The higher I rank a player the more likely think he is to do so. Injuries, scheme,opportunity , fame & fortune , and other things can all derail or help improve a NFL players career.

11. Earl Thomas- DB- Texas- The reason I have him as just a DB is because teams are split on where to play him in the pros. Plays SS now, but is more of a ballhawk than your average SS. Isn't very large for a guy that would have to play in the box a lot but is a solid run support guy. Many team think he is athletic and fast enough to play CB. As a draft eligible sophmore you would like him to go back to college and continue to improve, but with a stricter rookie cap looming a lot of guys are going to come out early. Leaving him at safety would probably be advisable, especially after what happened to Michael Huff and the time it took him to finally start to live up to his draft slot because of it, I think he whoever drafts him will. Could improve some as a form tackler, but he is definitely aggressive in run support. Manhandles receivers who try to block him and is an intimidator when the ball sin the air. Excels in every type of coverage and goes for the ball in the air.If he can learn play a little more under control and keep his aggression he could be the next Troy Polamalu. - NFL comparison- Brandon Meriweather- NE Patriots

12. Dez Bryant-WR -OKLA. ST. - Suspended from the team for something so petty that NFL teams probably don't mark it against him. A large fast play maker with good separation skills. Uses his big body well to shield defenders, but has occasional concentration lapses. Explosive burst after the catch he also uses to return punts and kicks. Better football speed than a stopwatch may show.Some question his possible work ethic once he gets paid, but he is far and away the best receiver prospect in this draft if a team is convinced he loves football. - NFL comparison- Miles Austin- Dallas Cowboys

13. CJ Spiller- RB- Clemson- A bit undersized but a homerun hitter. Strong in the passing game and while he's not a bruising inside runner it's not for lack of trying. Probably best used with 20 touches a game in the NFL between running, passing,and returns.Blazing speed and sick wiggle shows up on every film you watch. If he turns the corner its over - NFL comparison- Reggie Bush- NO Saints

14. Rolando McClain- LB- ALabama- His talent and run instincts are unquestioned, but his technique and consistency are a little cause for worry. Explosive and usually finds the ball quickly and can cover almost sideline to sideline in run support . Can deliver a big hit but could be a little better form tackler , though he's still good at it. Strong blitzer and already plays in a base 3-4, so that versatility can make him more valuable. At his best when protected so a 4-3 team may be an even better situation for him. Can be overaggressive and vulnerable to cutbacks. Needs to be coached up more and a position coach who will stay on him, despite showing a high football IQ. Some will think him a top 5 talent , one or 2 will think he would be an even better weak side rush linebacker ( although why move a stud ILB) with time, and some teams probably won't touch him till the 30's. A polarizing player whose post season workouts will play a heavy part in where he is drafted.He's not the complete player Patrick Willis was coming out yet, and he's not quite as fast, but he looks like a guy who can lead a defense for a long time-NFL comparison- Karlos Dansby- AZ. Cardinals

15. Bruce Campbell-OT- Maryland- Amazing upside becuase of his quickness and athleticism,but still raw with inconsistent technique . Could have used another year in school more than any of the early entry OT's and needs to get a finishers mentality. Dominates the majority of the time in the passing game, but occasionally his inexperience shows in a big way, but thats due to his shoddy technique. Comes from a program that is not very successful, but he stands out on film and moves like a much smaller man. One of those guys who often seems to find a way to make his block even when he makes a mistake ,and you wonder how great he could be once he got coached up. If he just bent his knees more with regularity he would probably be a top 5 pick. Agile & mobile ( though he could be more hostile) but at least he plays to the whistle .With the right coaching he could be amazing, and has the feet to play LT already. Not an overly physical run blocker yet, but quick to at least seal his man away from the play. Doesn't have has as many college starts as you would prefer and injury history is a cause for concern. Will probably wow teams at the combine as he looks and moves like a giant TE. Might need some time to be a star, but the talents definitely there and his upside is enormous. To put it as simply as possible : he's an excellent pass blocker despite shoddy technique and only a average run blocker, but protecting the QB's blindside is the most important thing a LT does. Translation- There is no way a guy with this much athletic and pass blocking ability gets out of the top 20 picks. The raiders might even take him in the top 10, and if he reaches his potential he's worth a lot more than that. -NFL comparison- Jason Peters- Phil. Eagles

16. Sergio Kindle- OLB- Texas- This DE looks like a convertible NFL 3-4 OLB more than anyone in the class because his pass rush ability already stands out, and he has played it some in college. Add that he has fluid hips when he needs to drop into coverage ,and you can see the transition going well in time. Still needs technique work when dropping, but he should still see the field early . Needs to bulk up some to play in the NFL, but has the frame to add 20 -25 pounds easy and still keep his speed and quickness,and if he did bulk up he could play DE in the NFL as well. A guy who can probably play 4 positions is a valuable commodity . Past off the field incidents will leave him off some teams draft boards entirely and it could cause him to fall a lot farther than his talent warrants.If not for those incidents I think he would have been a top 10 pick-NFL comparison.- Clay Mathews- GB

17. Taylor Mays - FS- USC- Linebacker size and cornerback speed playing safety. A huge hitter who needs some work diagnosing plays. Might be better fit at SS or WLB in a 4-3. The kind of physical freak, intimidator, and attitude the raiders love. A team moving him might retard his growth, but he could still have similar career path to that of Thomas Davis of Carolina. If he stays at FS , he is going to need to get much better at reading the play. If he went for the ball instead of the highlight hit he would get a lot more picks. - NFL comparison- tragic former Redskin- Sean Taylor

18. Jason Pierre-Paul-DE/OLB-S. Florida- Another high ceiling projectable athletic guy . Once his football instincts match his motor and athleticism look out.Looks like a dream of a 3-4 OLB, and reportedly has the measurable and speed you want there, but can he make the transition quickly? As a 4-3 Rush DE he could be an immediate help on passing downs, but might need a bit more time working on holding the point against bigger OT's.Can run the arc and gets off the ball quickly.Gets hi slong arms to redirect passing lanes and will bat down some passes. Was a junior college transfer and only played 1 year of major college ball, but it was a great one. Hasn't been focused on football long , but his workout numbers could be Vernon Gholston like , although he has a better motor, even though its not as good as it could be.-NFL comparison- Jevon Kearse- Tennesee Titans

19. Anthony Davis-OT -Rutgers- 2nd best upside in this class for OT's, but he could be a boom or bust guy. Ideal measurables if he stays in shape and dominant when he's on, but technique and effort need work. Plays down to his competition sometimes and could be the type of guy that needs constant monitoring and motivation. Barring some Andre Smith- like( he is not as consistently good as Smith was on film before coming out last year by the way) catastrophes he will still go in the first round based on projectability, but he could take awhile to be productive on the outside even if he is a hit. Good feet and a natural knee bender but maturity issues are a red flag. His upside is high enough to warrant a mid to late 1rst round pick, but might be a fit at RT or even guard for awhile , or even his whole career. If he is a hit he's a franchise LT, but we will make the safe bet and project him in the middle of the 2 possibilities. Buyer beware, -NFL comparison- Leonard Davis - DALL

20. Jermaine Gresham-TE- OKLA-Big, fast, and has great ball skills. A matchup problem for any defense, and the most likely receiving TE in the draft to be a star. If not for a knee injury his senior year he would be much higher, but he missed the season. Needs work on his route running but still gets some separation. Has the speed to run away from the defense after the catch but doesn't use his size to run over as many people as he could at the end of the play. Needs work on his consistency blocking in-line , and this keeps him from being an elite player right now, but when he buckles down there he is decent .Already legit at walling off and gives effort down field. At the very least he is a willing blocker, but he needs to add strength to avoid getting backed up at the point .If he is as fast as he was bfore th injury he's a likely 1rst rounder- NFL comparison- Antonio Gates-SD

Monday, November 2, 2009

2010 early NFL Draft top Prospects 1-10

This group is made up of draft eligible players. Some may return to college, but we won't know who's staying and going till declaration day, and pre-draft workouts can tell a lot about a player sometimes.The NFL comparison has has a caveat. It's what a player could be if he reaches his potential. The higher I rank a player the more likely think he is to do so. Injuries, scheme,opportunity , fame & fortune , and other things can all derail or help promote a NFL players career.

1. Sam Bradford- QB- Oklahoma- If he's healthy he 's still the best possible franchise QB in the draft ,and should still be the top QB taken. Franchise QB's are more valuable than anything in the game and we believe he is one. May go # 1 overall ,and a team like the Browns that already have a good line ,should be salivating for him. Reads defenses better than anyone in college football and makes more reads than most spread offense QB's, but will still have an adjustment to playing under center more. Has great poise ,a good arm, accuracy, and great feet in the pocket. Almost everything you need to be a franchise QB in the NFL. Does have a 3/4 delivery but so does Phillip Rivers.Needs to pack on some muscle to be able to absorb the pounding he will receive in the NFL, but so did Tom Brady and Bradford is a lot farther along than Brady was at this point.- Comparison- Phillip Rivers- SD Chargers

2. Eric Berry - SS- Tennessee- The most complete SS to come out of college football since Ronnie Lott. Ball hawk who can take it to the house when he picks it. Great quickness and diagnostic skills. Strong tackler and a big hitter , but he could be more aggressive against the run.Rare athletic ability and a great closing burst when the balls in the air. Just makes plays everywhere on the field.Lowest floor in the draft and can play SS, FS, nickel corner, and maybe even start as a CB . Will be a top level player barring serious injury. NFL comparison- Ed Reed - Balt. ravens

3. Ndamukong Suh- DT - Nebraska- NFL comparison-Quick and strong with the abilty to anchor.Manhandles everyone 1 v 1 and plays with violence. Moves well up and down the line of scrimmage ,and could play either 4-3 DT, or be a great 3-4 end. Read & reacts inline better than any DT I have seen in college, and finds the ball quickly. 2nd lowest floor in the draft behind Berry and is strong against the double team.Good hands and stacks and sheds well.A nasty tackler with a great motor. Needs pass rush moves, but he is the type of guy that will take well to NFL coaching. A selfless leader with a team first attitude, -NFL comparison- Kevin Williams- Minn. Vikings

4. Gerald McCoy- DT- Oklahoma- Amazing first step and explosion of the ball. Great hands and plays with good leverage. Should be one of the leagues better interior pass rushers early in his career. Spends most of the game in the opposing backfield whether they are running or passing. Multiple pass rush moves and quick transitions against the run or pass. Plays with good leverage against the run ,but isn't a stout NT type, although he can split some double teams well. Motor isn't always consistent, but he has the speed to chase down backside plays when he wants to. Injury history is a red flag, but he has been known to play through them, so his toughness isn't questioned . If Tampa bay gets the top pick, a DT has a good chance of going# 1 overall. Team leader and a great citizen off the field. NFL Comparison- Tommie Harris- Chi. Bears

5. Russell Okung- OT- Okla.St. - Already has a mean streak and just needs to pack on more size and strength to be able to utilize it fully. Already an accomplished pass blocker, and excels at shutting down speed rushers. His run blocking has progressed this season and although he currently lacks the strength to be a mauler, he is a finisher. Gets down field quickly and is at his best in the run game at the 2nd level. Durable and has started since he was a true freshman.Good feet , good balance,good hands, and a great motor.Without doubt the # 1 ( and only close to current elite)OT in this deep class. Lowest floor of all the OT's, although the upside of Campbell & Davis is higher. NFL comparison- Ryan Clady- Denver Broncos

6. Jake Locker- QB- Wash.- The guy with the best tools as a QB this year and apparently a great kid as well. Has improved a lot under coach Steve Sarkasian( coached Leinert and Palmer at USC) and is in his 3rd year , although he missed a lot of time last year due to injury, but his mechanics and inaccuracy make him a few years away right now .A superior athlete and even a top baseball prospect,. His o8 injury scare makes me think he will come out after this season, instead of returning and getting even better before he has to face NFL defenses. His NFL career would be best served by returning for one more year and improving in Sarkisians pro style offense, but he could be this years toolsy type guy that usually wows someone in off season workouts and goes in the top 10.Some agent is probably already trying to convince him to come out, and with a stricter rookie cap coming I'd say it's 50/50, but he is the early favorite for # 1 overall next year if he does smarten up, comes back, and plays well.He's all potential right now and has boom or bust written all over him - NFL comparison-John Elway or Rick Mirer-I see both right now

7. Joe Haden- CB- Florida- The best cover corner in the draft. Also physical in run support and tackles like a safety.Fluid hips, decent back pedal, and quick feet.Technique needs some work everywhere, but he just makes plays. Reads routes and coverages right away and is rarely fooled.Physical with receivers and fights for the ball. Low floor with a tough guy mentality. If he really is 5"11" he will probably go in the top 10. - NFL comparison- Nate Clements- SF 49ers

8. Jimmy Clausen- QB- Notre Dame- Has played in a pro style offense under Charlie Weiss and keeps improving. A good athlete, with good feet, who makes excellent decisions. A little behind Bradford at reading defenses,but he 's still good there and has an average arm. Some teams will think he has a lower floor( because of Bradfords injury history) than Bradford and that makes him a possible top QB and # 1 overall candidate . As long as he doesn't end up under 6"2" when he's actually measured he probably goes top 10. Most ready to start in the NFL right now of any of the draft eligible QB's.- NFL comparison- Drew Brees- NO Saints

9. Derrick Morgan- DE- GA. Tech- A complete 4-3 DE. Can play the run and pass well. Stacks and sheds at the point with good pad level. Holds the edge and has multiple pass rush moves coming forward. Good motor and his football IQ keeps growing. Some guys can't handle being the man, but Morgan has seemed to thrive on it this season.If he keeps playing the way he has recently he could go top 5 .Probably not a 3-4 OLB conversion candidate, but will probably work to prove he could play there if needed, but he is so good in a 4-3 it would be a waste- NFL comparison- Justin Tuck-NY Giants

10. Cameron Heyward- DE- Ohio St. - A tall 4-3 end with the frame to get big enough to be a DT, or be a 3-4 end. His potential isn't as great as Dunlaps, but his motor is better and he is a more complete player already . Physical and fierce with NFL bloodlines( dad is Ironhead Heyward) . Great balance and agility. Polished pass rusher who uses his hands well to crate leverage. Dominant all along the line of scrimmage as a junior.-NFL comparison- Richard Seymour- OAK. Raiders