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Tag:Tennessee
Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:41 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:42 pm
 

The Safeties...

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1.     Earl Thomas Tex – I think that Thomas is closer to being “the next Ed Reed” than the next guy on this list.  He had 8 INTs last year and forced 5 fumbles in the last 2 seasons.  Some say he’s too thin, but he weighed over 200 lbs at the combine.  He blazed a 40 in the 4.3 range at his pro day and that was only a shade faster that what he ran in Indy.  Plus, Thomas seems like a willing tackler to me.  He’s very young and he will keep getting better.  One of my absolute favorite guys in this draft.

2.     Eric Berry Ten – Berry’s another ballhawk.  He looks the part of a high 1st round pick.  But I am concerned with his tackling.  He tends to launch himself at his opponents instead of actually wrapping them up.  That won’t fly in the NFL.  He will improve on this, but I think Thomas is ahead of him at this point.

3.     Nate Allen USF – I’ve only seen a few games in which Allen has played, but he is seemingly getting a lot of attention from scouts.  I never claimed I knew more than they did.  So I think Allen will be a 2nd rounder.

4.     Morgan Burnett GT – Another fast riser.  Could he go in the first round based on his size and his speed?  Maybe.  But I still see him as a mid 2nd rounder.  But he’s better than the more hyped Taylor Mays.

5.     Major Wright Fla – So highly touted out of high school.  Another guy who might have gone higher a year from now if he had gone back to college in 2010.

6.     Myron Lewis Van – He’s projected as a safety because he was a bit slow for CB.  He has great size and was a 3-year starter in a tough conference.  I think he’s underrated.

7.     Taylor Mays USC – I think some team may buy into him as a 1st round pick.  But his poor coverage skills and his bulky size have knocked him down in my book.  He’ll be great running in a straight line chasing the guy who just toasted him on a deep ball though, because he does have blazing straight-line speed for a big man.  That may have been harsh.

Guy who will make a good major league baseball left-handed pitcher: Chad Jones LSU – I’m kind of kidding.  I think there is a role for Jones.  He has impressive size and he had one of the best punt return TDs I’ve ever seen during a game in 2009.  He is a terrific baseball player too.

Guy whom some teams might have rated in the same class (or higher) than Mays: Kam Chancellor VT – He had a nice week at the East-West Shrine game.  He has good speed and LB size.  Speaking of his size, he may actually be moved to LB by some teams.

Another guy who may be moved to LB: Barry Church Tol – One of my sleeper guys.  He’s versatile.

OSU guy: Kurt Coleman OSU – I think he will go in the late 4th or 5th and he will make a team.  He’s a tough kid.

Rhodes Scholar guy: Myron Rolle FSU – another 4th or 5th round guy who will find a roster spot.  Obviously he’s a smart guy, but he also has been away from the game for an entire year.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:24 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:29 pm
 

The DTs...

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1.     Ndamukong Suh Neb – This is a no-brainer to me.  During 2009, he was hands down the best player in college football.  He absolutely took over the Big 12 Championship Game.  Didn’t he have 4.5 sacks in that game?  Jason Pierre-Paul had only 2 more than that in his major college career!  If St. Louis is stuck picking #1, they may want to reconsider The thought of a risky pick like Bradford, and take the safe bet.  Especially considering that the guy Suh terrorized in that Big 12 game, Colt McCoy, might be there when the Rams pick early Friday evening.

2.     Gerald McCoy Okl – 4-3 or 3-4 teams would love him (he can line up at end in a 3-4 presumably).  I’ve heard he’s a better pass rusher than Suh, but the stats certainly don’t show that.  To me, McCoy is the obvious #2 on this list.

3.     Jared Odrick PSU – A fast riser right now because he can project to a 3-4 DE.  He may go as high as #7 to the Browns if they see him as this year’s Tyson Jackson.  I see him more as a late 1st round pick.  That would mean that a better team would be taking him and he’d have an easier road to success.

4.     Dan Williams Tenn – He didn’t stand out to me but because 3-4 teams put a premium on his size as a potential run-stopping NT, he could go as high as the top ten.

5.     Lamaar Houston Tex – In the National Championship game he looked so quick.  He was perhaps the best defensive player in that game on that day.  I could see him moving between DE and DT depending on what team takes him.  He has more value to a 3-4 team in my mind.

6.     Tyson Alualu Cal – Yet another guy who could be moved to DE in a 3-4.  He seems to be gaining significant momentum as the dawn of the draft approaches

7.     Terrence Cody Ala – A mammoth on the D-line.  But he is a very fat guy.  He may only be good for 20 plays a game.  Maybe even fewer than that.  But he has made a conscious effort to lose weight this offseason, and some 3-4 team will take him in the early to mid 2nd round at the latest.

8.     Cam Thomas UNC – He’s a big dude who can play NT in the 3-4.  I feel like a broken record when talking about these DT prospects.

9.     Brian Price UCLA – His conditioning has come into question because of a poor pro day.  He was projected in the 1st round early on but he is slip-sliding on the boards.

10. Mike Neal Pur – He was stellar at the East-West Shrine game and that has improved his standing.  He could be used at DE by 3-4 teams.

Guy who would be higher if not for injuries:  Arthur Jones Syr

Guys who will be picked higher than originally thought because they are big: Linval Joseph ECU and Torell Troup UCF – I don’t know much more about either guy to make a fair assessment.

Two Georgia guys: Geno Atkins and Jeff Owens UGA – They are on the small side so it may be hard for them to find a place in today’s NFL.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:16 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 5:22 pm
 

The interior O-line...

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The OGs…

 

1.     Mike Iupati Idaho – So athletic that there has been talk not ony of moving him to OT, but also to DT.  I see him staying put on the O-line.  He has played against lesser foes than other prospects, but he’s been dominant since the 2009 season came to a close.

2.     John Jerry Ole Miss – His brother was a first rounder last year.  Jerry’s size could also lead to a move to OT.  His versatility and offseason performances have improved his stock and he is now considered by many to be a 2nd round prospect.

3.     Mitch Petrus Ark – He’s athletic, as he has moved from FB to the line.  He’s got super-human strength as well.  But he has to overcome a torn pectoral.  I think he has time to make that a non-factor before the 2010 season begins.

4.     John Asamoah Ill – Yet another guy with injury issues.  But he appears healthy now.  He should be a prospect on the rise.  I don’t think guard is a strong suit of this draft, so that will help a guy like Asamoah.

5.     Mike Johnson Ala – Good enough to start for the national champs.  That and his experience at tackle should make him a Friday pick.

Guy who has a lot of tattoos and a Mohawk: Brandon Cater Texas Tech – I’ve heard that some folks don’t like his attitude.  Plus, he played in the wacky TTU spread.  He could have a rude awakening in the pros.

Guys who will be moved from tackle: Chris Scott Tenn and Zane Beadles Utah – They struggled in the offseason against tough outside pass rushers.

 

The OCs…

 

1.     Maurkice Pouncey Fla – Really, this list is just “the OC” as Pouncey is the only guy I have watched closely at all.  For you offensive line nuts, I apologize.  Yes, I realize that O-line is as important as any positions on the field, but it is hard to grade centers without access to real game film.  Pouncey is clearly talented though and he stands out more than other interior linemen.  He can play guard too if you need him to.  He will go higher than most people think on Thursday night.

 

Guy who went to my Alma Mater: Jim Cordle OSU – I don’t see him getting drafted.  I just wanted to give him a shout out.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:01 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 4:57 pm
 

The RBs...

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1.     Ryan Matthews Fres St – I’ve been a Matthews fan since he tore up a tough Boise St. defense in their 2009 matchup.  BSU drove LeGarrette Blount to the point of criminal insanity.  Matthews, meanwhile, tore off 3 TD runs of over 60 yards.  He had over 1800 yards on the season.  I like CJ Spiller too, but to me, Matthews is more LaDanian Tomlinson than Spiller is Chris Johnson.  Maybe I’m wrong.  The good thing about elite RBs is that we should find out fairly soon.

2.     CJ Spiller Clem – He’s not Chris Johnson.  But he’s not Reggie Bush either.  Spiller is the most versatile RB in 2010, a threat to score in multiple ways.  I like him a lot, and I feel he will be off the board before Matthews.  I just think Matthews is more of the traditional 20 carry a game back.  Both guys will enjoy long-term success.

3.     Toby Gerhart Stan – As a Browns fan, I know he’s not Tommy Vardell.  That’s too simple.  White guys from Stanford are not all alike.  Toby has better speed than Tommy.  And better production.  His coach even raves about Gerhart’s pass-catching skills.  Look beyond the stereotypes of the white RB.  Gerhart is a 1000 NFL rusher and a premiere athlete (he played CF for Stanford’s baseball team).  Some team will be very happy with him.

4.     Jonathan Dwyer GT – He’s a bruiser and he’s somewhat slow.  His positive test for ADHD medication shouldn’t hurt his stock.  The system in which he played in college may though.  There are doubts about whether or not he is shifty enough to be effective.  In today’s two-back-system NFL, Dwyer has a place.

5.     Ben Tate Aub – I’ve heard that he runs too tall.  I’ve heard that he might be fumble prone.  I see him as an underrated runner who shined in his bowl game and who took advantage of his off-season workouts.  I think Tate is a hidden gem in this draft class.  He will likely go in round two.

6.     Montario Hardesty Tenn – I’d have him ahead of Tate if not for injury concerns.  But Hardesty did log over 500 career carries at Tenn despite an ACL tear in 2005.   He has good size and terrific speed for his build.  Even though he’s a RB I see his injury history as less of a concern than…

7.     Jahvid Best Cal – Those concussions scare me and I guarantee they scare every NFL personnel guy.  Concussions are a hot-button issue and, unfortunately for Best, he suffered one of the nastiest concussions I’ve seen in a while.  One nasty hit and his career could be over before it begins.

8.     Lonyae Miller Fres St – He would have started if not for my favorite, Matthews.  He’s more of a complimentary back.  But as I said before, the NFL is a two-back league.  I think of Matthews and Miller as sort of a poor man’s Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown.  But without the hype.

9.     James Starks Buf – I think Starks would be higher if not for his season-ending 2009 shoulder injury.  He’s had an excellent offseason to spring him into my top 10.

10.  Joique Bell Wayne St – His relatively slow 40 times have soured some scouts, but his production (albeit at a small school) was through the roof.  Bottom line is I like him, and at this point, it’s kind of a toss-up.

Guy who never lived up to his ability: Joe McKnight USC – touted as “the next Reggie Bush” at USC but he couldn’t match the hype.  But he was productive as a Jr. and he has speed to burn.

Two more small school studs: Deji Karim S Ill – Surprising speed and big time numbers in 2009.

Pat Paschall NDSU – I saw this guy in the East-West Shrine game and he impressed me with his tough running.

Two guys I’d steer clear of: Andre Dixon UConn – Has some off-the-field concerns but runs with great toughness.

LeGarrette Blount Ore – Some brave team will take a chance on this character concern.  He could be a steal if he keeps his head on straight.  Or he could…well, ask Byron Haut.

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Posted on: April 21, 2010 10:53 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2010 4:52 pm
 

The QBs...

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1.     Jimmy Clausen  ND – This is controversial to be sure.  Call me crazy, but I’m over the spiky-haired, high-school-championship-ring-showi
ng presser Clausen had preceding his commitment to Notre Dame.   Jimmy C had a 68% completion percentage as a junior.  He was a 3-year starter.  And he played in a system that required him to take some snaps from center (wonder of wonders).  I think he’s the only QB this year that can start immediately.  Some question his attitude and maybe he is cocky.  But I saw him taking notes at John Gruden’s ESPN QB camp.  He wants to get rid of that perception that he’s arrogant.  This kid has it in him and I think some teams know it.  They just won’t admit it.  Clausen won’t experience an Aaron Rodgers or Brady Quinn type free-fall this draft.  Call it a hunch, but I like the guy.

2.     Sam Bradford Okl – Even if this guy hadn’t injured his throwing arm twice in 2009, I’d have my doubts.  He played in a spread.  Sooner QBs haven’t exactly had a shining success rate.  He seemed unsure when under heavy pressure.  He just doesn’t seem to have that fire, that “it” that an NFL starter should have.  I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because so many scouts have him ranked so high, and because no other QB really stands out physically or mentally to me.  But if I were on St. Louie’s draft team, I’d be pushing for them to take Clausen.  Bradford seems like a boom or bust pick to me.  Good luck Sam.  And good luck to whoever takes him.

3.     Colt McCoy Tex – He’s got the winning percentage.  He’s got the completion percentage.  I’m not too concerned with his height.  But he seems too nice.  NFL players need that edge.  QBs need to be leaders of men.  Can Colt be an NFL starter?  Yes, I think he can.  But I don’t think it will be this year or next.  It’s going to take some time for him to establish himself as more than a humble kid with question marks about his toughness and size.  I really question that last throw against Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game.  Seriously, what was he thinking?  He has a lot to learn.  But not as much as the rest on this list.  McCoy is the last of the 3 guys I think has a chance to be a decent starter within the next few seasons.

4.     Dan LeFevour Central Mich – At first, I loved this guy.  Like Tebow, but a righty, so better (more on that later).  But his competition was less than stellar.  And questions have emerged about arm strength.  I still like him and I think he can overcome his limitations, but how long will that take?  To me, the specter of Charlie Frye looms: a MAC QB with good numbers against…well, MAC teams.  LeFevour has a long way to go.

5.     Jonathan Crompton Tenn – Crompton has come on strong.  I think the facts that he improved the last half of the 2009 season under pro-style coach Lane Kiffen and he shined in workouts helped his stock.  Crompton is hit-or-miss (aren’t they all?).  I personally think he has high upside.  He has shown the ability to improve.  A patient team will nurture him.  An impatient team will ruin him.

6.     Zac Robinson Okl St – This guy is the most underrated so far.  He has the arm.  He has the ability.  Give him some time and he will be a top-notch backup at the least.  I see this guy as a surprise gem down the road.

7.     Tony Pike Cin – I can’t get into this guy.  He’s a system QB.  He’s kind of thin.  He’s had injuries.  Can he be a solid backup for a good team?  Sure.  Is he worth a pick before round 4?  No.

8.     Levi Brown Troy – I don’t have much to go on but a gutsy bowl game duel against LeFevour.  But Levi stepped up with something on the line.  I just have a feeling he can succeed long term in the right situation.  He’d be a good developmental pick for a team with 2 established QBs.   How many of those teams exist?

9.     Tim Tebow Fla – The thing I hate most about Tebow isn’t the goody-goody image.  I certainly don’t hate his college success.  I hate that he’s left-handed.  Few teams are equipped with the personnel to develop a lefty.  How many teams have a premiere right tackle?  Seriously?  This guy is not Steve Young, or Boomer Esiason.  He might not even be Matt Leinart.  Plus, I think that Tebow is too focused on correcting his throwing motion.  He looked like a robot on his pro day.  I appreciate his work ethic but jeesh.  Did anyone else think it was odd that while questions abound about his ability to take a snap from center, he did not have a center snapping to him at the pro day?  Why didn’t he have a center?  Was that his call or the teams at the workout?  I was absolutely dumbfounded by that.  If you have a 6th rounder to throw away, use it on Timmy T.  Otherwise…

10.  John Skelton Fur – Did I mention this QB class was weak?  Skelton has the size and the laser…rocket arm.  But whom has he played against?  Some people seem to think he’s like Joe Flacco.  Some people also seem to think Modern Family is a funny show.  I’m just not sold.

 

 

Guys I like more than other people: Clausen, LeFeVour, Robinson

Guy who made the biggest mistake coming out early: Jevan Snead Ole Miss.  I don’t know what he was thinking.  I don’t even know if he will be drafted.  He probably will, but it will be late.

Guy I like as a late pick but it makes little sense because he only started one full year and had 19 career TDs and 20 INTs: Mike Kafka NWU.

Guy who maybe should have replaced Skelton at #10 on my list: Armanti Edwards.  But alas, closed-minded NFL people look at his short stature and athletic ability and see a guy they can move to WR.

Just for kicks: Dominic Randolph Holy Cross.  Why not?  Aside from the top 3 on this list, he may have as good a shot as any.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com