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This is a continuation of the second round prospects posted here. The strongest point of this year’s NFL Draft is definitely in the middle rounds. What this draft lacks in elite talent, it makes up for in quality, starting caliber players in the second to fourth rounds of the draft. Perhaps the best talent in this draft can be found in the third round, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. After the jump, see a few prospects who I like in the third round.
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Hey guys. Sorry for the lack of posts in the past couple days but I just started a new job and time was tight. A big thanks to Ryan for keeping the site fresh. I have been looking at mock drafts and seeing where Tommy Streeter has been going and I am consistently seeing anywhere from the 2nd to the 4th round. In my opinion, that is totally absurd as he is one of the premiere prospects at the WR position. Streeter has all the measurable’s to be an absolute stud and if a team can land him in the third round, they would be getting a major steal. After he blew up the combine, I thought Streeter might see his stock soar into the late first round but instead he has kind of stayed where he was. I have always had him rated as an early second round pick and I see numerous possible landing spots for him. After the jump see where they are and see my updated WR Rankings.
The Combine still has one more day to go but Mychal Kendricks stole the show for the LBs today. He ran an incredible 4.41 and showcased his remarkable athleticism in the broad jump and vertical. To go along with this great athleticism, Kendricks looked awesome in drills as well. Kendricks came into the combine as a fourth round prospect but should now be considered a second to third round prospect. After the jump see highlights on Kendricks and my updated ILB position rankings. Expect a player profile on Kendricks in the coming weeks.
Today I will rank the Rush LB class for the 2012 draft. This class lacks an elite pass rusher (see: Von Miller or Aldon Smith from 2011 as the definition of elite prospect) but has plenty of very good pass rushers. However, after the top 8, the dropoff is very steep in talent and potential.
1. Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama – Upshaw is the best pass rusher in the class. He combines a good set of moves, with good athleticism and great instincts.
2. Whitney Merciulus, DE/OLB, Illinois – Mercilus’ position is unknown (DE or OLB) but he is a fantastic pass rusher with good athleticism.
3. Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC – Perry has shot up draft boards after a strong season for USC. He is a very physical player with a good set of pass rushing moves.
4. Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina – Ingram is the most intriguing prospect in this draft. Is he going to be a DE or an OLB? Who knows, but what we do know is that he will likely be a very good pass rusher in the NFL. My player comparison for him would be Lamarr Woodley.
5. Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall – Curry is an intriguing prospect with a great set of pass rushing moves. He has excelled in Marshall’s defense as a DE but will likely switch to a OLB in the NFL.
All five of these prospects currently carry a first round grade from myself.
See the rest of the Rush LBs after the jump.
Hey guys. First of all I would like to apologize for having no posts up this week. I got asked to cover Rutgers football and recruiting for the past few days which has kept me away from the NFL Draft. We will get back to our normal schedule of 2 or so posts per day for the rest of the week. Anyways, without further ado, here are your inside linebacker rankings. Tomorrow I will publish the 3-4 OLB and 4-3 OLB rankings.
1. Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College – Kuechley is a tackling machine that is constantly around the ball. He is instinctive and a great leader and these attributes make up for his lack of athleticism.
2. Donta Hightower, ILB, Alabama – Hightower is not a good athlete but he is an incredible tackler and a very instinctive player.
3. Vontaze Burfict, ILB/OLB, Arizona State – Burfict is the best athlete in this class of LBs but he has major character and ethic concerns.
4. Audie Cole, ILB, N.C. State – Cole is a solid but unspectacular prospect who does everything well but nothing great.
5. Chris Marve, ILB, Vanderbilt – Marve is a very good player who racked up the tackles while at Vanderbilt.
See the rest after the jump
Earlier in the day I looked at the Nose Tackle class and now I will look at your more traditional DT, that plays in a 4-3 scheme.
1. Devon Still, Penn State – Still is the best DT prospect in the draft and I already described him in the 3-4 DE post. Look for a Player Profile on him within the next couple weeks.
2. Michael Brockers, LSU – Brockers, along with being the #2 3-4 DE, is also the #2 4-3 DT. As with Still, look for a Player Profile on Brockers within the next few weeks.
3. Brandon Thompson, Clemson – Thompson had a very good season and has a lot of potential at the next level. He is an above average pass rusher and is very strong against the run. He has a late first round to early second round grade.
4. Jerel Worthy, Michigan State – Worthy came into the year with an early first round grade, but after a tough start to the season, he has seen his stock fall to the second round. However, he still has loads of potential and could become a huge steal.
5. Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State – Cox had incredible season this year. He has above average pass rushing skills and is pretty strong against the run. I like his potential as a long term starter but not a pro-bowler.
After the jump, see the rest of the very deep defensive tackle class
Today I will continue to roll out my player rankings. Today I will look at the interior DL, first with this post on Nose Tackles, and later in the day with a post looking at the 4-3 Defensive Tackles.
1. Dontari Poe, Memphis – Poe is the cream of the crop in this draft although he does have some flaws. He is extremely limited as a pass rusher but as far as stopping the run, he is very, very good. He should be a 1st to 2nd round pick.
2. Alameda Ta’amu, Washington – Ta’amu came into the year as the top NT but struggled a little bit. However, he still has great potential and is actually a pretty good pass rusher for his size. He should be a 2nd to 3rd round pick.
3. Josh Chapman, Alabama – Chapman had a solid year at Alabama, plugging up the middle in Alabama’s 3-4 defense. He has the tools to be a great 2 down NT. He should be a 2nd to 3rd round pick.
4. Hebron Fangupo, BYU – Fangupo has tons of potential but is very raw. However, with good coaching, he could become a stud in the NFL and is one of my favorite sleeper prospects in this draft. His stock is currently in the fifth to sixth round but I could see him going in the fourth round.
5. Delvin Johnson, Marshall – Johnson is a good late round NT with potential to be a rotational NT. I see a team taking him in the sixth or seventh round and using him as a rotational guy. He is probably the best pass rushing NT in this draft and I think he could make a roster.
Earlier in the day I ranked the 4-3 DE prospects and now I will take a look at the 3-4 DE prospects. As a whole, this class is very, very bad. It lacks an elite talent and desperately lacks depth. In fact, there are only 10 prospects that I view as draftable.
1. Devon Still, Penn State – Still had an incredible year at Penn State and that will likely end up rewarding him with a spot in the first round of the draft. His stock ranges from the 10 to 25 range.
2. Michael Brockers, LSU – Brockers, just a redshirt sophomore, had an awesome year for the nation’s best defense and should end up being a first round draft pick. He has all the tools to be a very good 3-4 DE.
3. Billy Winn, Boise State – Winn has had a solid, consistent career at Boise State and that should get him selected on day 2 of the NFL Draft. His stock ranges from the second to third round.
4. Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati – Wolfe is a phenomenal pass rusher and his breakout year at UC should earn him a spot in Day 2 of the NFL Draft.
5. Jared Crick, Nebraska – Crick was on pace to become a first round draft pick but an unfortunate injury that cost him most of his season has caused his stock to plummet into the third or fourth round. He could end up being one of the steals of the draft.
After the jump, see the remaining prospects
Today I am going to rank both Defensive End positions. I am going to start with the 4-3 DE’s and later in the day, I will post the 3-4 DE rankings. Make sure to check back the rest of the week for the rest of the Draft rankings.
1. Quinton Coples, UNC – Coples came into the year as a potential top 5 pick, but after a dissapointing season where he looked to coast by, his stock has fallen to the 10 to 15 range.
2. Whitney Mercilus, Illinois – Mercilus burst onto the scene this season, recording double digit sacks and bringing Illinois to some early season success. His stock as of now is somewhere in the top 20 picks.
3. Melvin Ingram, South Carolina – Ingram has displayed an incredible motor and good athleticism. He will be picked likely in the 1st round but a bad combine could cause him to fall to the 2nd round. He reminds me of former Michigan star, LaMarr Woodley.
4. Nick Perry, USC – Perry had an awesome season at USC and has seen his stock soar to the top 20 picks. He is a fantastic pass rusher with the potential to be a 10+ sack per season kind of player.
5, Vinny Curry, Marshall – As far as pass rushing comes, Curry is the best in the draft. However, he is awful in run support and therefore will have to be a situational player. His stock ranges anywhere from the late first round to the middle of the second round.
After the jump, see the rest of the 4-3 DE prospects.
While I will be taking a 3 day vacation from Friday to Sunday, I am hoping a few of my new writers can publish some stuff over the weekend. If not, then I will be back on Monday to publish the defensive position rankings. After next week, I will publish another mock draft as well as some analysis of the Senior Bowl and East/West Shrine games. I will also be looking to begin writing my player profiles. Anyways, here is the last offensive position to be ranked.
The center class is very good this year and features a couple of high draft picks.
1. Peter Konz, Wisconsin – Konz had an incredible year at Wisconsin, opening up holes for Montee Ball while also protecting Russell Wilson. He will likely be a first round draft pick.
2. Ben Jones, Georgia – Jones had a stellar year at Georgia and due to his great play, he will likely be a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick.
3. Michael Brewster, Ohio State – Brewster came into the year as a 1st round prospect but had a rough year. Due to his potential, he will still be a 3rd to 4th round draft choice.
After the jump see the rest of the prospects