The Grand National Championships

January 15, 2009

Reach Out and Touch Faith (NFL Draft Early Entry Breakdown)

Like many on Earth? I consider myself to be a draft expert. But unlike many on Earth? You know what I can do? I can bring the draft thunder for for free.

And I do bring the draft thunder. Just watch.

Asher Allen CB Georgia: As cornerbacks go? He’s not a bad prospect. He is like a Georgia corner in that his is not the exact size that you want, but Asher Allen does have a solid physicality and is more than willing to press you within 5 yards. He also has good enough athleticism to return punts and kicks. He probably could have been a first rounder next year, but he has the mentality to be a successful pro.
Chris Baker DT Hampton: An ex-Nittany Lion character risk. He killed the MEAC like any draftable dude at a lower level should. He’s 6’2″, 298. He has all the on-field tools to be spectacular as a one-gap defensive tackle, if he can get the fuck out of his head. The Cincinatti Bengals will draft him on day 2. What?
Kenny Britt WR Rutgers: If you want comparisons? Braylon Edwards. He is big and quick, but not explosive. Both are physical receivers. Both have shown an ability to make the tough catch. Now, the dropsies are in full effect for Braylon, but Kenny Britt has that same sort of concentration issues. Be careful.
Eben Britton OT Arizona: Here’s another potential elevator man. You haven’t heard of him right? Well, you will. He’s an excellent athlete for a left tackle. As a pass blocker? He’s a 9. In space? He’s a 7. He’s just not great as a big on big or a stunt and wide rush scenario. But can he learn? You bet your ass he can.
Donald Brown RB Connecticut: There is a good chance at a Matt Forte comparison here. Let me tell you why. One, they are both solidly built one-cut runners. Two, they both have great quickness that belie their 40 time. Three, they both are underrated passcatchers. (Even if I’m a better quarterback than Tyler Lorenzen.) Four, they both played against lesser competition. The one difference? Three inches.
Everette Brown DE Florida State: You ever go to a dollar tree and find an off-brand something or another, and you look at the Schmony Headphones and decide I’ll take a shot? That’s Everette Brown. He’s an off brand Aaron Maybin. Or Maybin is an off brand Brown. But the scouting report (undersized DE with good speed) is very similar.
James Casey TE Rice: You want versatility? You want potential hyperproductivity? You want a potential Frank Wycheck? James Casey has played up to seven positions in a game at Rice. He also had 100+ catches as a receiver. He also played at a lower level and is an overaged sophomore. But my gut, such as it is, says yes he can.
Jeremy Childs WR Boise State: He has decent skills to be an off-brand McCaffrey. Well, in that his biggest strength is his hands. He has hands of a gluish nature. The question will be his 40-time. A bad 40 time and you can just forget about him. I mean it. He will be gone.
Glen Coffee RB Alabama: He has an interesting mix. Decent size and good speed. But he can run between the tackles. He came up big this year. Because Mark Ingram is also a Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, he won’t make the first round. That doesn’t mean fail. That just means intrigue for the early part of Day 2.
Austin Collie WR BYU: Collie is a hyperproductive receiver who is overaged. He does have quickness and run precise routes. And he has hands that pluck the ball out of the air. If you will allow me to indulge my homeristic fears? Him being the Packers 3rd round pick for Brett Favre would put me on lifetilt.
Emanuel Cook S South Carolina: Emanuel has the look of a taller Bob Sanders. The timed speed is a touch under 4.5. He hits hard, but he will avoid the KTFO shot to make sure he gets the tackle. And for the Gamecocks, he was among the leading tacklers. He may be undersized to be a great cover guy, but that being said? There’s a lot to like here.
Jared Cook TE South Carolina: Are you looking for a Dustin Keller sort of upside? Are you looking for it in a tight end who could get lost in the shuffle? Jared Cook has that sort of upside. Why? A rumored 4.38 40 with good hands and seam stretching capabilities. Why may he not climb? If Travis Beckum comes back strong in combines and workouts? He vaults him. Also? Having every second tier quarterback Spurrier could recruit is hazardous to a receivers draft status.
Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech: Crabtree is ready to be a pro. While he is not going to grow up to be Randy Moss with the timed speed? He has great hands, he will make the clutch catch, runs great routes and can get open deep. Also? This season came up with a bad foot. And never mind the system receiver tag. Texas Tech has some very West Coast offense principles. Call it a Barbary Coast Offense. People are just worried because he’s not tiny and quick.
Andrew Davie TE Arkansas: I guess he couldn’t abide transferring, because this is a back-up. He’s got run blocking skills, and his hands are underrated. (Some would say clutch 8 catches: 3 scores.) But he’s an unknown, unkown, and in a year where even if Jermaine Gresham won’t declare, the Y-Kung Fu is strong? He would need to flip into Mike Mamula mode on combine day.
Nate Davis QB Ball State: Made a mistake here. Because right now there are more juniors leaving than returning, so a decent season and osmosis would improve his draft grade alone. That being said? For poor footwork and a wonky delivery, he manages to get his throws with strength and accuracy. He could be really good, but he lost money by going.
Vontae Davis CB Illinois: He has all the physical gifts to be spectacular. He has a great ability to see the ball in the air, and because he has such great closing speed, his gambling fails can be made up. He can also be a good swiss army knife on special teams and a weakside corner blitz. He could be a top 10 pick by April. (Hint, hint home team.)
Maurice Evans DE Penn State: He is one of the players for whom character is definitely an issue, as he was suspended three games and had Aaron Maybin steal his thunder. That being said? If you can get the light turned on, you could have a steal. His size-speed ratio is excellent, and he does have a good motor. It’s just that in this day and age, he won’t get many chances to salvage his stock.
Ricky Jean-Francois DT LSU: Do you want someone who is a more athletic Glenn Dorsey type who has absolutely none of the heart or killer instinct? Then you want Ricky Jean-Francois! You think I’m being mean? He was the guy who DNP’ed after he called out Tebow. No heart. No balls.
Josh Freeman QB Kansas St.: Josh Freeman is reminiscent of Daunte Culpepper coming out of college. But Freeman may have a slightly better physical gift set. He’s 6’6″, 250 with a rocket arm and mobility. The problem? He wasn’t great with the completions. Sure, his supporting cast isn’t great. But he’s relied on his athleticism throughout college. He’s starting with late 2nd round value. Look for it to climb. That may not be a good thing.
Mike Goodson RB Texas A&M: It’s up or out for him. He had a bad 2008, and the academics and depth chart mean 2009 is made of being bad for him in College Station. He has the Michael Bennett/Trung Candidate skill set. His 40-time will likely get him drafted, but he does not have the East/West agility of a man who will last longer in the league.
Shonn Greene RB Iowa: It’s a Big 10 running back, so instantly, you have some concerns. But there is a lot to like here. He did not have the shit beaten out of him like a Ron Dayne did. He was consistent. He was productive. He does have the power to break through arm tackles and he has good vision. He does give off a good Marion Barber vibe. He has a second round grade, but he may be a 4th round steal.
Greg Hardy DE Ole Miss: If his seeming character issues get in the way? He could slide. However? His pass-rushing skills are spectacular. He has speed and strength. And the motor. Dear sweet god, the motor. And he does play big in big games. He could be a DeMarcus Ware upside your head. UPDATE: But questions about his foot mean that he will be DeMarcus Ware upside your head in 2010.
Brian Hartline WR Ohio State: He’s a white. White receiver! And he comes with everything that the white receiver. Psyche. Sure, he is a tall posession receiver. But he does have a certain quickness that allowed him to return kicks. He is also rather quotable, not in the way of a Dugout-ized Jim Thome, but in a way that he shall endear himself to no one.
Percy Harvin WR Florida: His speed is supernatural. He just might be faster than Jeremy Maclin. In space? He is a challenge to bring down. You can use him as a way to spell a big back because he also has running back skills. You can’t press him, and his hands are solid. So why could he be available for a playoff team? He is a magnet for the nagging injury.
Darius Heyward-Bey WR Maryland: Now, it’s awfully hard to be consistent when you have such ridiculously bad quarterback play. But he is a very physical athlete who runs crisp routes and posesses good hands and the vision to adjust to a poorly thrown ball (See: This season.) He also can go deep if he busts press coverage. Believe in the marriage of Ironhead and Richard Bey.
P.J. Hill RB Wisconsin: The body of Jerome Bettis, the brain of DeShawn Wynn. He has thick legs and solid quickness and agility. However? He will not lower his shoulder and if you hit him, you can push him back. He is also injury-prone. He’s Najeh Davenport without the humorous crimes and awesome 40-time.
Greg Isdaner OG West Virginia: Sitting in an angry chair, on runs he can kick ass like no one else. That means, big on big in a phone booth? He’s a 10. On a pull or to get to the second level? Seven. Pass blocking? About a three.
Reshad Jones S Georgia: The history of Gerorgia Safety’s with the Surname Jones is one with good success in the NFL. Thomas Jones is a big safety with a specialty in the Killshot, who is aloso named Davis, thereby ruining this whole analysis. Sean Jones is productive because the Cleveland front seven sucks. As for Reshad? His game is very much like Sean’s. Not great speed. But he has good power and he can support the run. Yes. Reshad Jones is an awesome safety…in the box. UPDATE: We have a flip-flopper.
Paul Kreuger DE Utah: He looks like he could be cast as the asshole teen movie villain’s best friend. But seriously, when not telling Johnny to get him a bodybag? He has a great pass-rush ability and a good motor. He’s strong at the point of attack, but he may yet be better as yet another 3-4 OLB. Really? Yes really.
Brandon LeFell WR LSU: He is kind of a rawer version of the LSU receiver archetype. He’s tall, he is a lot more quick than fast. He has great hands, and he has a 50-50 chance of being a bust. Suffice it to say, a senior year with a competent quarterback could have done wonders with his stock.
Jeremy Maclin WR Missouri: Jeremy Maclin is made of home run threat. Sure, his receiving skills lack that certain polish. But he just knows how to get seperation. And any time he touches the ball, be it from return, rush, or passcatch? He can score. He does have the desire to improve, but any team that drafts him does need to take a longer view for if or when he becomes a great passcatcher.
Sen’Derrick Marks DT Auburn: If you have a cover 2 scheme? This is a defensive tackle you’re looking for. He plays hard, he plays low, and he has the strength and hand movement for good penetration. However? He is a tad undersized, and may not even play at his listed weight. But if you have a cover two or maybe a one gap scheme? It may not matter.
Brandon Mason RB Stony Brook: I have to ask. Does he blame Joe Flacco for his state of affairs? They both transferred to Delaware in 2006, but while Flacco became a first-rounder, Mason was forced to transfer down to the Seawolves. He did well in limited action in 2007. But missed 2008 with a knee injury. So? What we have here is a runner with decent triangle numbers but no real in-game action. Enjoy training camp, dude.
Aaron Maybin DE Penn State: For a 240 pound redshirt sophomore, the weaknesses are obvious. But as a pass-rusher? He is a master at the speed rush. He does have an excellent ratio of size, speed, and strength. He could become a spectacular 3-4 OLB. Or he could become a Kabeer Gbaja-Bilamila-Dwight Freeney type.
LeSean McCoy RB Pittsburgh: There is a lot to like here. He was the focal point of Pittsburgh offense, but not to such a point where he was beaten to death. He has quick feet and excellent agility. He can be a good pass-catcher out of the backfield. The reason why he falls off the pace? He’s an east-west dancer. If he had a bit of Maurice Jones-Drew? He wouldn’t grade out as a 1st-2nd round tweener.
Gerald McRath LB Southern Mississippi: An undersized linebacker, he does have the wheels to make plays in coverage and can cover from sideline to sideline. That being said? If he gets blocked. He stays blocked. And he will not exactly be a great run stuffer and he may not be special on the special teams. He needs a good workout. He needs one bad.
Andrew Means WR Indiana: He has dreams of Bo Jackson and Deion. He is a much better baseball prospect who’s looking to take a flier at football drafting. But he does not have world class athleticism that a football team would be willing to chance. Thus, look for him on Baseball America.
D.J. Moore CB Vanderbilt: What D.J. Moore is? A tall Terrell Buckley. He has the ability to cover, and he has great athleticism. He has the ability to be a swiss army knife with pass-catching and returns. That being said? Michael Crabtree (and other big physical receivers) will own him. He’ll have a long, solid career.
Knowshon Moreno RB Georgia: He is a human highlight film when he runs with the ball. He has great vision. He has excellent balance. And ask Central Michigan about his jumping ability. But he may not be another Barry Sanders. Why? He isn’t all about the avoiding the contact. For a 207 pound non-workhorse? That is no bueno.
Captain Munnerlyn CB South Carolina: The Captain is undersized, sure. But he plays with a chip on his shoulder. He has swivel hips and he can make a spectacular cover corner. The only problem? Immaturity. He waxed and waned as a junior. And his technique is not perfect. If he avoids acting a fool? He’s got Aaron Glenn in him.
Hakeem Nicks WR North Carolina: He stepped up huge when Brandon Tate went down. But his athleticism is in question. (Yes, really.) He’s McCaffreyian in both skill and ethic. He makes catches. He is big in the red zone. And his hand fightings? Brutal.
Kevin Olgetree WR Virginia: His statistics were pretty good for a team that was led by Cedric Peerman. Why could he be a sleeper? The knee injury rebound theory. He was gone for all of 2007, and bounced back to decent this year. With his good route-running and sure-handedness, all he has to do is get stronger. Do not ignore him completely yet.
Jerraud Powers CB Auburn: Undersized? Yes. But he’s got the ability to make plays. He covers with some aplomb. But his big strength? Oddly enough, it’s his runstuffing. He’ll stick his head in there. Expect him in the middle rounds. Some team will love him as a gunner.
Mark Sanchez QB USC: Canny maneuvering aside. There is reason to like Mark Sanchez. Not because he went to USC. USC’s batting .500 currently in terms of reasonable success. A cannon arm does not mean success either. But based on footwork and mechanics? There is an excellent chance of success for Sanchez. He is not a perfectly polished pro prospect. But any competent quarterback coach can have him ready for war by Year 3.
Andre Smith OT Alabama: The only issue with Andre Smith is is hunger. Not hunger in as much as desire. Hunger in as much as he would have a meal of a box of snicker doodles, a sub sandwich, a McDonald’s Extra Value Meal, a milkshake, a bag of pretzels dipped in French onion dip, and crab legs. Mmm… Anyway, if he doesn’t eat himself to the power side? He’s a prototypical left tackle.
Sean Smith CB Utah: May have made himself millions by putting a beatdown on Julio Jones. Also. He is rangy. He is cornerback large. He could be a press corner or? He could turn into Eric Weddle. Sean Smith breaks as good of a 40-time as he says he wants to? He may turn into a whole lot more.
Matt Stafford QB Georgia: If there is ever a sentence that could put the fear of God into a team, it is this. Matt Stafford can turn into a stronger armed Joey Harrington. Why? Both lacked consistency in their footwork and accuracy coming out. And of the things that could lead a quarterback into bust city? Accuracy and footwork are two of the strongest indicators.
Donald Washington CB Ohio State: Being as he is the Andrew Ridgeley to Malcolm Jenkins George Michael? You might look crossly at him for his early exit. Don’t. He has the requisite above average athleticism, and he has the savvy to pick things up with all deliberate speed. And with a nascent ballhawk and no fear having to be the man who beats the man? This is a Day 2 prospect who could go all Dwight Lowery on your ass.
Chris Wells RB Ohio State: Chris Wells is a powerful inside runner. Chris Wells has a strong stiff arm. Chris Wells has excellent speed for a big back. Chris Wells is a Big Ten back, so none of that matters. He’ll be a late 1st rounder. Mendenhall style.
Brandon Williams DE Texas Tech: Oh look, it’s a rush end. But it’s with a twist. He has the requisite strength and motor. But instead of athleticism, he is built on grit. (And yes, that means he is a slow white guy. KIDDING!) If he times well? Then maybe we can talk about this guy as more than a one-year special teamer. If not? Move along.
James Williams CB Southern Connecticut: He actually does exist. It’s true. But is he dumb? He’s a redshirt junior from a Division II School. What do you think? He didn’t even come close to dominating either. Get hyped for 3 picks and NINE passes defended. He’s going to go undrafted. And he’s gonna work at a local fast food restaurant.

See? Thunder…brought. Now you have a fresh look at all the underclassmen in the draft. It is awesome. And you are welcome.

UPDATE: Jairus Byrd CB Oregon: He has declared himself to go pro, and if you’re looking for a safety? This may be the man you want. He was highly productive at cornerback for the Ducks these past two seasons. That being said? He does not seem to be more than okay at cornerback. His timed speed is above 4.5, and decent receivers can beat him deep. At free safety? That may not matter.

UPDATE II: Snarky comments aside, and my love of the question mark as well, I would like to thank David Hale for his link. And I will further clarify my belief for the Dawgs Prospects.

Stafford: He will be drafted in the first round, he probably needs to go to a team with a stopgap starter in place to achieve optimal success, even if all the skills are there. He’s not all the way there yet. And I saw him drafted as a Lion.
Moreno: It probably doesn’t matter that he hasn’t carried 250 times, with the way teams are moving toward a two-back system. And if he gets to a team where he can play dash to a smasher? He will be spectacular. He just needs to learn the simple skill of avoiding contact.
Allen: Sleepers excite me. I apologize for that. He will be drafted in the third or fourth round. And at that point, he will be at a great value.

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5 Comments »

  1. Hardy will return to Ole Miss.

    Comment by Anonymous — January 16, 2009 @ 3:12 pm |Reply

  2. Thanks.

    I will update it presently.

    Comment by Andrew — January 16, 2009 @ 3:47 pm |Reply

  3. Brandon Williams is not a white guy.

    Comment by Anonymous — January 16, 2009 @ 11:27 pm |Reply

  4. Thomas Davis played safety at Georgia. Thomas Jones is a RB out of Virginia.

    Comment by Bernie — January 17, 2009 @ 8:03 am |Reply

  5. Anon: I will fix that I meant it as a joke.

    Bernie: I will also fix this error.

    Comment by Andrew — January 17, 2009 @ 11:02 am |Reply


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