Big Board 26-50

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May 122012

100 Once in a decade prospect 
95-99 Elite talent 
90-95 Solid top 10 pick 
85-90 Solid first round pick 
80-85 Late 1st-early 2nd 
75-80 Solid 2nd round pick 
70-75 Solid 3rd round pick 
65-70 3rd-4th round pick 
60-65 4th-5th round pick 
55-60 5th round pick 
50-55 6th round pick 
45-50 7th round pick 
40-45 Undrafted, invite to training camp 
30-40 Career practice squader 
20-30 No NFL future 
0-20 No football future 


1-25 26-50 51-75 76-100 101-125 126-150 151-175 176-200 201-250 251-300

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26. RB CJ Spiller (Clemson) 84

Has had trouble staying healthy in college and his career YPC does not suggest good running back skills, but he has a place in the NFL. He’s way too fast and agile to not have one. He can return kicks, return punts, and can serve as a 3rd down back or wildcat, but unlike Best I don’t think he’s a feature back at the next level.

27. CB Kyle Wilson (Boise State) 84

3/2/10: He didn’t run, but he didn’t need to. First he benched 25 reps of 225 pounds at 5-10 194. Then he ended his day by being, by far, the most impressive cornerback in the drills. If his 40 time is under 4.5 at his Pro Day, which it should be, he could be a first round pick lock.

1/27/10: Another impressive cornerback, Wilson has shown once again why, before his disappointing senior year, he was a possible 1st round pick. He has probably brought himself back into 2nd round contention with his good Senior Bowl week.  

He had a bit of a down year this year which hurts because his athleticism at 5-10 185 doesn’t jump off the page and that could drop him to the 3rd round in a strong cornerback class. However, he projects as a nice nickel back with the potential to be a #2 corner at the next level. He also is a good punt returner.

28. RLB/DE Jerry Hughes (TCU) 83

26 sacks in the last 2 years for TCU for a guy just learning the defensive end position, after playing running back for most of his football career, is amazing, but he may be maxed out bulk wise at 257 pounds and he doesn’t have ideal height at 6-2. He’s a better fit as a rush linebacker, but he can play on the line some, though he’d be a liability against the run. He has a great motor and has shown plasticity and ability to learn new positions in the past. He also has good hands because he’s played on the offensive side of the ball before, but I’m not sure about his ability in pass coverage.

29. CB Brandon Ghee (Wake Forest) 83

3/2/10: Ran a very impressive 4.37 at 6-0 192. He’s an even better athlete than I believed and has a ton of upside if the coaches can bring it out of him. He probably isn’t going to slip out of the first 50 picks

Excellent size for a corner at 6-1 195 and he used that size to frustrate corners this year. His stats don’t jump out at you with only 1 interception in his entire college career, but he has 4 forced fumbles which is amazing for his position and he’s got good shutdown abilities and great athleticism. He projects as a nice #2 corner or nickelback at worst.

30. G Mike Iupati (Idaho) 83                        

1/27/10: Unlike Ducasse, this much hyped offensive lineman has really lived up to the hype. He is destroying guys one on one and is making a huge case to be a first round pick lock, which is rare for a guard

A massive offensive guard with the possible ability to kick out to right tackle if he needs to. He completely dominated defensive lineman one on one this season, though he didn’t have the toughest competition, and moves extremely well for his size. We’ll all get a good look at him and the hype that surrounds him at the Senior Bowl next week. He’s already drawing premature comparisons to by far the best guard of the last 20 years, Larry Allen.

31. WR Golden Tate (Notre Dame) 82  

2/28/10: He’s got more speed than I thought. I was expecting 4.4-4.45 and he ran 4.36 on a day where some receivers have been running slower than expected. I still have concerns about his ability to be a #1 option at 5-10, but this kind of speed helps.      

2/26/10: We knew Tate was on the short side, but he barely measured at 5-10 at his weigh in. There aren’t a lot of #1 options that are that short. He’ll still be a good player and he’s the second most NFL ready player in this draft class after Damian Williams, but he has future #2 written all over him and not future #1.

His production 151 catches for 2576 yards and 25 scores over the last two years, in a pro style offense is amazing, but he may be maxed out athletically and he doesn’t have a great upside. His 40 time is poor for his size and he may have trouble finding a niche as a wide receiver at the next level. A lot of his statistical prowess can be attributed to having Jimmy Clausen at quarterback, but he should still be a fine #2 wide receiver at the next level because he has very reliable hands and runs good routes for someone his age.

32. CB Donovan Warren (Michigan) 82       

4/9/10: Didn’t look great at his Pro Day, running a 4.62 and struggled in drills some as well. I still am very high on him and his shutdown skills, but it doesn’t look like a lot of people agree with me.         

3/2/10: Didn’t come out and impressive at all today like I was expecting. I’m a big supporter of his, but I have to knock him down a bit after a poor day which started with a 4.59 40 at 5-11 183.

Not getting the hype yet, but I’m not sure why. This former elite recruit had an amazing freshman year, but a down year in his sophomore year, before bouncing back in an amazing why this year as a junior. Guys simply didn’t throw on him because he was able to turn some of the best receivers into guys that simply weren’t open. Despite not getting thrown on a ton, he managed 66 tackles and 4 interceptions, showing his good hands, position, and strength against the run. Despite being only 6-0 182, he’s very physical against the run and against his man and for that he has drawn premature comparisons to former Michigan great Charles Woodson.

33. S Taylor Mays (USC) 82               

3/2/10: First he came out and ran an unofficial 4.24, tying Chris Johnson’s record and making Al Davis rise from his grave a few months early. However, officially he was listed at 4.41. Now, thanks to some work with modern technology, comparing Mays’ run side by side with other low 4.3 high 4.2 runs, it’s apparent that both times were wrong and Mays really did run somewhere around a 4.31 (ish?). This is good, but this was exactly what we were expecting from him.        

1/30/10: He looked alright against the pass in this game and actually had a nice interception, which is good because one of the big knocks against him is he doesn’t make enough plays on the ball in the air. However, after a dismal week in practice, I can only categorize his entire Senior Bowl week as neutral. I still think he’ll go in the first round.

1/27/10: He has only backed up what we’ve seen from him this year. He can’t cover anyone. He doesn’t play the air in the ball and he doesn’t wrap up his tackles. Some have said he may have to move to linebacker at the next level.

Would have been a lock to go #7 to the Raiders last year, assuming his 6-3 230 4.3 measurables lived up to their expectations at the combine, but returned to school and that may have been a mistake. He was really exposed in coverage this year and will need Al Davis bailing him out to go in the top 15, though I think he stays in the first round. National media has come down on Mays this year, but not enough. He plays way too out of control and doesn’t wrap up tackles well and his coverage skills are very poor. Unless he gets some good coaching, not out of the question, his upside may be as a Roy Williams type safety or a cover 2 linebacker. His potential though is that of a bigger Troy Polamalu though.

34. RLB/OLB Eric Norwood (South Carolina) 82

He has experience playing standing up at South Carolina, despite being a defensive end, and he has looked dropping back into coverage on occasion as well so those are major pluses for rush linebacker prospects that can be so unpredictable. He also has 30 sacks in his 4 year career at South Carolina and had 7.5 this year, so he’s a good pass rusher as well, though not a great one. He’s versatile and can play 4-3 strong outside linebacker and maybe even some 3-4 middle linebacker. His 40 time for his weight could keep him out of the first round.

35. RB Ryan Matthews (Fresno State) 81              

2/28/10: Matthews would have moved up anyway given Jonathan Dwyer’s stink bomb because the two are compared often because both are considered future feature backs. However, that’s not the only reason he’s moving up. A 4.41 40 at 6-0 218 turned a lot of heads. He’s a good pass catcher and a great pass blocker for his age and he also runs extremely well. He could go 28th to San Diego because he has everything they look for in a back.

He’s a bit of a one hit wonder but with 1808 yards and 19 touchdowns on a 6.6 average, some teams are going to look past that like they did with former one hit wonders Donald Brown and Rashard Mendenhall, who both went in the first round. He runs a bit upright, but he has very refined pass blocking and pass catching abilities for his age and doesn’t fumble often. He has all the makings of a future feature back, though admittedly I’d like to see one more great season on his stat sheet just for him to prove that he can do it again and again, though you can’t really blame him because he was mostly a #2 back or goal line back throughout his first two years at Fresno State.

36. OT Trent Williams (Oklahoma State) 81            

2/27/10: Again, speed doesn’t mean much for offensive tackles, but his 4.82 40 at 6-5 315 shows his athleticism. I think he could still drop because of lack of a true position, but the athleticism and upside is there for him to be a left tackle in this league. 

Too much of a tweener for me to consider him as a true first round prospect, even with his good athleticism and track record of awards in college. He isn’t a good enough pass blocker at this point to be a longterm left tackle, but he’s not enough of a big mauling run blocking to be a right tackle. His best fit would probably be as a zone blocking run tackle at this point, but with his upside he could do a lot more.

37. S Chad Jones (LSU) 81

3/2/10: A 4.57 isn’t bad at 221 pounds, but he measured in 10 pounds skinnier than expected and didn’t appear to be any faster. He also struggled somewhat in drills and only put up 9 reps on the bench press. He’s still an early 2nd rounder in my book, though, but barely.

The top strong safety in this draft class, he hits like a linebacker at 6-3 235, but also has experience starting at cornerback for a National Championship team as a freshman so you know his coverage skills are at least decent. He doesn’t have Taylor Mays’ measureables, particularly great timed speed, but he is a better strong safety prospect than Mays and should be drafted first, though I doubt he will be.

38. TE Rob Gronkowski (Arizona) 80

4/9/10: There were rumors that, after back surgery that caused him to miss all of last season, he was still not healthy. I think he proved that wrong because, simply put, you can’t run a 4.65 at 6-6 258 with a bad back. The injury, and the rust that comes along with not playing a whole year because of injury, are still issues, but this guy could have been a first rounder if he had a good year this year and there’s no doubting he could be a steal for a team in the 2nd round. I think he’s clearly the 2nd best tight end in this draft class, at least in my mind, because of Dennis Pitta’s lack of elite athleticism and upside and Aaron Hernandez’s small frame and inability to run block.  

Surprisingly enough, the top two tight ends in this draft class didn’t play all season. Gronkowski has been amazing statistically in his career, but he hasn’t given scouts much of a statistical sample. He wasn’t a full time tight end as a freshman, he missed 3 games with mono as a sophomore, and back surgery cost him his entire junior season. However, what I do like about his state that is good going forward if his career 16 YPC, meaning he was extremely athletic and tough to bring down in the open field because its very unlike a quarterback is repeatedly throwing to a tight end 16 yards down field. Also 16 of his 75 catches in his short career were for touchdowns showing once again his physical dominance. Good ability in the open field and end zone dominance are a very good combination for a young tight end. He’s a big moving target at 6-6 270 and can run a 4.7 40 assuming his back is fully healed. He has football and sports in general in his blood. And he’s still 20 so his upside is huge. He would have been the top tight end in 2011 had he returned to school and been healthy so I’m a bit puzzled as to why he didn’t. This year he’s looking at anywhere from 2nd to 4th tight end off the board depending on how scouts see him bounce back from injury in workouts. That would mean 2nd or 3rd round range for him.





39. DE Carlos Dunlap (Florida) 80

A freakish athlete at 6-6 290 with 4.7 timed speed, we’ll see if he lives up to that at the combine, but he doesn’t seem to try on the field on every play. He makes a lot of big plays, but not nearly enough of the little things. Its like he only wants to fill his stat sheet and not win. He was also suspended late in the season after a DUI. He came back for the Sugar Bowl and had a nice game with 2 sacks, to give him 9 on the season, but 5 of those game in 2 games. He has huge upside, but major character red flags. If he’s this lazy now, imagine how lazy he’ll get if he signs a major NFL contract. Slipping to the 2nd round could be good for him as he’d have to work to get a major NFL contract, but unfortunately, his upside is so huge that I doubt he actually does slip to the 2nd round. He could even go as high as 8 to the Raiders.

40. WR  Brandon LaFell (LSU) 79          

2/28/10: He wasn’t supposed to be a speed demon, but a 4.59 hurts a lot. He’s not going to get a lot of separation at the next level. He also measured in at 6-2 this week instead of 6-4 so his stock could be taking a drop this week.

The perfect fit for a run heavy pro style offense because he has experience running pro style routes and he’s an amazing run blocker for his age. His frame is still a bit wiry and that could lead to injuries at the next level as he tries to make some of the crazy catches he made in college, but he’s certainly not afraid of anything and will throw his body around for the ball fearlessly. 57 catches for 792 yards doesn’t seem like much for a senior season, but when you consider that LSU passed 336 times this season, all of a sudden those numbers look really good. He was by far the most dominant end zone threat on his roster and his 11 touchdowns more than tripled the total of the guy who was second on the team. He’s got good height, good hands, good fearlessness, good run blocking, and a good red zone presence, but needs to put on more muscle and he’s not fast in comparison to some of the receivers in this draft class.

41. 3-4 DE/DT Tyson Alualu (California) 79

Not a great athlete, but makes up for in with hustle and work ethic which is a major plus for his draft stock in my eyes. He also has experience in a 3-4 scheme as a defensive end, which gives him an advantage over the other 3-4 defensive end prospects in this draft class. He has 13 sacks over the last 2 years and always seems to be in good position to make the tackle. He isn’t an ideal 4-3 defensive tackle at 4-3, but he’ll fit some schemes and can move inside on nickel packages. He can also play some 4-3 left end depending on how a team views him because he has experience as an edge rusher.

42. 3-4 DE/DT Mike Neal (Purdue) 79         

1/30/10: Neal had a bunch of nice hustle plays that won’t really show up on the stat sheet and was a huge part of the front 7 domination by the north. He’s a big undersized to be a defensive tackle, but he fits perfectly as a Darnell Dockett type 3-4 defensive end and I think he goes in the 2nd round.

One of my favorite sleeper prospects, a 4th round pick in many people’s eyes, but a 2nd round prospect here. 10 sacks in 2 years is good, a 4.95 40 at 6-4 300 pounds is better, actually I’m surprised he’s not getting more hype, but the best thing about him is his tenacity and his hustle on the field. Some smart GM could snatch him in the 2nd or 3rd round so he’s likely going to a good home. He reminds me of Darnell Dockett.

43. RLB/DE Jason Pierre Paul (South Florida) 79        

2/27/10: Weighing in at 6-5 270, JPP looked like an absolute physical freak. I can’t wait until his 40 yard dash. He hasn’t performed on a high level yet, but the upside is certainly there

He’s a junior college legend, but didn’t impress in his first season in Division I with only 6.5 sacks. He’s a really fluid athlete who is comfortable dropping into coverage and he did get into the backfield a lot, though his sacks total was low, so I think he has a good future as a rush linebacker and he does have huge upside, but if he can’t dominate Division I, how can we expect him to the dominate the NFL. He can also play as a 4-3 defensive end, but I think he’s a better fit at rush linebacker.

44. OT Anthony Davis (Rutgers) 79     

4/9/10: How can I lower his stock if he didn’t do anything? Well simply that, he did nothing. He didn’t show up to his Pro Day, canceling at the last minute (Andre Smith anyone?). He needed to be in shape for his Pro Day after showing up out of shape to The Combine, but he didn’t even show up to the Pro Day, probably because he was even more out of shape. This show he lacks commitment (bailing at the last minute) and work ethic (being out of shape). Neither of those things are good for an offensive lineman. This guy might as well have BUST stamped across his forehead. 

2/25/10: How does a 323 pound tackle bench 225 pounds a mere 21 times. There were already questions about his work ethic coming into this week and now the Andre Smith comparisons seem to be becoming more and more accurate. The upside is there, but is anything else?

He’s that Jason Peters type left tackle, overrated against the pass, but a huge mauler against the run. He’s only 20 years old and is still inexperienced at the left tackle position and has huge upside as a pass blocker, but right now the 330 pound tackle’s best attribute is his mauling run blocking and ability to use his large frame to his advantage.

45. S Morgan Burnett (Georgia Tech) 79

4/9/10: Burnett didn’t work out at the Combine, so he needed a strong Pro Day. A 4.42 40 at 6-1 209 and a 39.5 inch vertical show his athletic potential. He could be a late 1st round or early 2nd round pick in any other year, but this is one of the strongest safety classes in the last ten years so he could fall to the late 2nd. Still, these measurables put him in the running, in a big way, with Nate Allen and Chad Jones to be the 4th safety off the board.

Might get lost in this strong safety class, but 227 tackles and 14 picks in 3 years is something to give a closer look, especially when you combine it with great athleticism at 21 years old. Burnett is on the big side for a safety, but can still play both safety positions well. However, if need for safeties is weak this year, he could slip to the 3rd round.

46. DT/3-4 DE LaMarr Houston (Texas) 78             

3/1/10: There were questions about his height and because of that, his ability to play 3-4 end, but measuring in at 6-3 instead of 6-1 or 6-2 will help. So will a 4.85 40 at 305 pounds and 30 reps on the bench press.

1/30/10: He had a nice hustle play on a 4th down stop, in which he snuck into the backfield and made the play and overall he just showed why he was one of the best players on Texas’ defense last year with 7 sacks. This game, along with favorable reports out of Senior Bowl practice week, could shoot him into the 2nd round.

A bright spot on a relatively weak Texas defense this year, at least in relation to the offense. He stepped up big time in the National Championship game with 10 tackles and a sack and ended up with 7 sacks on the season against elite competition. He’s a nice 3rd round sleeper with upside, but his form needs some correction and he’s undersized height wise at 6-1 or 6-2.

47. MLB Sean Lee (Penn State) 78

Another one of those guys who can’t stay healthy, so that’s a red flag for a guy with 1st round talent. Despite all the games he has missed, he does have 313 tackles, 8 sacks, and 3 picks in the last 3 years. He has great fundamentals and is a stereotypical big 10 linebacker (see James Laurinaitis, Paul Posluszny, and AJ Hawk), but he could drop the 3rd round because of concerns about his athleticism and health.

48. CB/WR Javier Arenas (Alabama) 78

He could be a decent nickelback and showed good abilities at the cornerback position this year in his 2nd full season at the position, with 70 tackles, 5 sacks, and 5 picks, but his value is as a kick returner. He is one of, if not the best kick returners in the nation so in addition to being a solid nickel corner at the next level, he’ll be a great kick returner as well. He may also pull a Devin Hester and switch over to wide receiver as he’s shown good hands and abilities in the open field.

49. OT Jason Fox (Miami) 78

Purely a zone blocking left tackle at the next level, but he’s got good upside. He could have been a first round pick before injuries struck him late in the season. However, there are enough terms using zone blocking schemes in the NFL this year for him to get drafted early in the 2nd round unless his injuries don’t check out as fine at the combine.

50. OLB/MLB Roddrick Muckelroy (Texas) 78

Doesn’t get huge hype, but he was the leader of Texas’s defense this year and he’s a tremendous athlete. He has 182 tackles, 2 sacks, and a pick in the last 2 years, but he showed me a lot more than his statistics when I saw him on the field. He moves well and has great instincts. He can play middle linebacker in all schemes in addition to outside linebacker.

Go on to 51-75


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