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ThePudge
11-19-2009, 06:18 PM
My second big board/series of thoughts this year. I increased the board from 64 to 85 this time and plan to have 100 (pre-senior bowl) and 150 (Post-Senior Bowl). By the time the Combine is done, I'll be going with boards over 250 prospects total. Feedback is encouraged and greatly appreciated and feel free to discuss any draft topic here. Enjoy!

Top 85

1. Ndamukong Suh - DT - Nebraska
2. Eric Berry - S/CB - Tennessee*
3. Gerald McCoy - DT - Oklahoma*
4. Russell Okung - OT - Oklahoma State
5. Dez Bryant - WR - Oklahoma State*
6. Sean Weatherspoon - OLB - Missouri
7. Derrick Morgan - DE/OLB Georgia Tech*
8. Joe Haden - CB - Florida*
9. Taylor Mays - S - USC
10. C.J. Spiller - RB - Clemson
11. Jake Locker - QB - Washington*
12. Jimmy Clausen - QB - Notre Dame*
13. Everson Griffen - DE/OLB - USC*
14. Rolando McClain - ILB - Alabama*
15. Sam Bradford - QB - Oklahoma*
16. Brandon Graham - LB/DE - Michigan
17. Trent Williams - OT - Oklahoma
18. Bryan Bulaga - OT - Iowa*
19. Jermaine Gresham - TE - Oklahoma
20. Carlos Dunlap - DE - Florida*
21. Anthony Davis - OT - Rutgers*
22. Sergio Kindle - OLB - Texas
23. Jerry Hughes - OLB/DE - TCU*
24. Demaryius Thomas - WR - Georgia Tech*
25. Navorro Bowman - LB - Penn State*
26. Terrance Cody - NT - Alabama
27. Ryan Mallett - QB - Arkansas*
28. Donovan Warren - CB - Michigan*
29. Ricky Sapp - OLB/DE - Clemson
30. Golden Tate - WR/ATH - Notre Dame*
31. Morgan Burnett - S - Georgia Tech*
32. Arrelious Benn - WR - Illinois*
33. Jahvid Best - RB - California*
34. Marvin Austin - DT - North Carolina*
35. Corey Wootton - DE - Northwestern
36. Arthur Jones - DT - Syracuse
37. Greg Hardy - DE/OLB - Mississippi
38. Bruce Campbell - OT - Maryland*
39. Patrick Robinson - CB - Florida State
40. Damian Williams - WR - USC*

41. Jason Pierre-Paul - OLB/DE - South Florida*
42. Mike Iupati - G - Idaho
43. Nate Allen - S - South Florida
44. Brian Price - DT - UCLA*
45. Bruce Carter - OLB - North Carolina*
46. Brandon LaFell - WR - LSU
47. Charles Brown - OT - USC
48. Mardy Gilyard - WR - Cincinnati
49. Jared Odrick - DT - Penn State
50. Jonathan Dwyer - RB - Georgia Tech*
51. Brandon Ghee - CB - Wake Forest
52. Brandon Spikes - ILB - Florida
53. Eric Norwood - OLB/DE - South Carolina
54. Perrish Cox - CB - Oklahoma State
55. Jermaine Cunningham - OLB/DE - Florida
56. Jon Asamoah - OG - Illinois
57. Dan Williams - DT - Tennessee
58. Toby Gerhart - RB - Stanford
59. Thaddeus Gibson - OLB/DE - Ohio State*
60. Tim Tebow - QB - Florida
61. Anthony McCoy - TE - USC
62. Eric Decker - WR - Minnesota
63. Matt Tennant - C - Boston College
64. Ryan Matthews - RB - Fresno State*
65. Tyson Alualu - DT - California
66. Mike Johnson - OG - Alabama
67. George Selvie - OLB/DE - South Florida
68. Darrell Stuckey - S - Kansas
69. Jason Fox - OT - Miami
70. Jordan Shipley - WR - Texas
71. Sean Lee - LB - Penn State
72. Colt McCoy - QB - Texas
73. Anthony Dixon - RB - Mississippi State
74. Selvish Capers - OT - West Virginia
75. Daryl Washington - ILB - TCU
76. Vince Oghobaase - DT/DE - Duke
77. Mike Williams - WR - Syracuse*
78. Reshad Jones - S - Georgia*
79. Jeremy Williams - WR - Tulane
80. Kyle Wilson - CB - Boise State
81. Brandon Lang - OLB/DE - Troy
82. Ciron Black - OT - LSU
83. Danario Alexander - WR - Missouri
84. Garrett Graham - TE/H-B - Wisconsin
85. Riley Cooper - WR - Florida

Notably exempt: Allen Bailey, Domonique Franks, Adrian Clayborn, Amari Spievey, Ras-I Dowling, Pouncey brothers, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Carmini, Kareem Jackson, Greg Jones, Greg Romeus, Cameron Heyward, Dezmon Briscoe, Joe McKnight, DeMarco Murray, Aaron Hernandez, Earl Thomas, Rennie Curran, DeAndre McDaniel

* That list may not include some players, so it might be best to ask if you're uncertain about underclassmen exemptions. Feel free to ask where I would have put them if I had included them.

And Some Thoughts

- Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett is not a finished product, and no one is under the impression that he is. He needs to improve his accuracy and consistency, as well as footwork in and outside the pocket. To fully complete his development, Mallett needs to become more of a quarterback than a ball-thrower. He needs to be able to command his team in the huddle and he needs to emerge as a true team leader.

With that all said, he has unbelievable natural tools. He has one of the strongest arms I've ever seen in football. The zip this guy puts on deep outs and passes over 40 yards is unreal. He has tremendous size, standing well over 6'6 and weighing in at over 235 pounds. He shows poise, accuracy on his intermediate-deep routes, and the ability to put the ball 70+ yards downfield or squeeze a ball into the tightest spots. He also protects the ball remarkably well for his aggressive style (4 interceptions). Athletically, he's more similar to JaMarcus Russell coming out of LSU than Andrew Walter out of ASU. He definitely shows the ability to move and to pick up yards with his legs, but like Russell, he lacks development of footwork in and outside the pocket.

There's just simply too much natural talent and ability there to overlook Mallett as a serious NFL prospect. In the beginning of the season Mallett was unproven and extremely raw, but he's settled in at Arkansas, looks a lot more comfortable, and has improved his game a startling amount. He's not anywhere near complete, in fact, of any Top Three Round QB prospect this year, he probably has the furthest to go as well as overall development. Still, God has given him the most natural talent of the bunch, and of just about all of recent QB prospects. If Ryan Mallett makes the move to come out this year, he's likely to find a way into the Top 15-20. If he stays, he's the frontrunner for the #1 pick in 2011.

- It's near impossible to get a great view of Georgia Tech RB Jonathan Dwyer and WR Demaryius Thomas through the eyes on an NFL position coach due to Paul Johnson's triple-option offense.

On Dwyer's big runs, he's often matched up with a single defender by design of the triple option which forces defenses to play more passively and conservatively due to deception. Dwyer has more athleticism than he's getting credit for, but he has little short-area quickness, he lacks the tremendous burst that you'd like to see out of the new age power back, and isn't a great cutback runner due to a lack of elite vision in addition to the quickness/explosiveness concerns. He has little experience as a pass-blocker and hasn't come out of the backfield much as a receiver.

He's a natural talent with size, power, durability, and athleticism. Still, Dwyer hasn't shown (or been given the chance to show) the all-around ability to be considered a feature back at the next level. As it stands now, Dwyer looks like one piece of a team's puzzle. This guy would be a shoe-in first round pick five to seven years ago. That being said, I don't think he's a first round pick in this draft and may end up falling to the middle or latter end of the second.

Now, Demaryius Thomas is another guy that lacks a complete NFL game in some senses. Starting with speed, Thomas may be a 4.55-4.6 guy that prefers to be a target in the vertical passing game. Thomas is incredibly raw as a route runner due to GT's offense that mostly calls on him to run straight down field 3 times a game. His route tree is mostly undeveloped and there should be some legitimate fear that Thomas may be one of those WR projects you can expect ready in 3 years.

While Thomas may not have polish as a wide receiver, he has definitely grown as a football player and he has his share of natural gifts. While his route-running may lack maturity and development, his run blocking certainly has progressed. Due to his size, natural athleticism, and sheer experience, Thomas has become one of the top run blocking receivers in the country, a quality NFL teams value highly. Thomas also has some potential after the catch. He's not particularly elusive or quick, but he's tough to bring down, and gets upfield fast. He has strong hands and can make the tough catch in traffic. He has tremendous ball skills, in more of a Randy Moss style (using physicality/leaping ability/body position/hands) than a Sidney Rice (long arms/leaping ability/hands).

The general consensus has to be that Thomas has been under-used at Georgia Tech. While we lack knowledge on certain aspects of his game, and we can fairly assume that Thomas will take time to be a complete player, there is enough out there to support using a Mid-Late First Round Pick on Demaryius.

- One Georgia Tech player I don't have too many doubts about is DE Derrick Morgan. At the beginning of the year there was some concern of a drop off after the Jackets had lost three starters on the Defensive Line to the draft. Now, we know they had retained their best one. The 6'4 272 junior, Morgan, is having an excellent year in the ACC compiling 17.5 TFL and 12.5 sacks through 11 games. He's athletic, he's explosive, he's strong, and he does a lot of work behind the line of scrimmage.

The Yellow Jackets' season is not yet over, and if you're watching the team for draft purposes, I suggest you take a long look at their best NFL prospect in Derrick Morgan. He projects as a 4-3 Defensive End very well, but has the athleticism, and most importantly the football instincts, to switch to the Outside Linebacker spot in the 3-4. He's a natural pass-rusher with impressive technique and intelligence and also makes big plays in the run game. Morgan's a pretty complete player right now that will likely have a chance to make an impact right away at the next level. I'm sold on Morgan as a Top 10 pick, and I find it unlikely, if he declares, that he'll slip out of the Top 15.

- Brandon Spikes is getting pretty low on my board and I feel that's going to require an explanation. Right now, Spikes strikes me as a slightly above average athlete and a good football player. He's not playing his best football right now: he ranks 4th on his own team in tackles with 45 (21 Solo) in 8 games, and isn't making plays in the run game behind the line of scrimmage.

He'll play tall, he doesn't play sideline to sideline like an elite linebacker, and his acceleration can leave something to be desired. He's not as physical to engage as some make him out to be, as often times he will take himself out of a play by not running through blockers, but around them. There is concern out there about his weight room strength and functional strength. With his long arms and build, I'd keep an eye on Brandon Spikes, as I'm not sure he'll put that bar up more than 17-20 times. This isn't a big deal, but it's something to keep in the corner of your eye when considering the transition from college to NFL.

He's a smart player with complete knowledge of his system, and of zone coverage schemes defensively. In the NFL though, he will struggle sinking his hips and running with more athletic Tight Ends than he sees on a day to day basis in college. His instincts rank as some of the best in the country, and he more often than not, takes good angles to the ball. I think he'll make a very good 3-4 ILB playing in front of a large, disruptive NT.

I love Spikes' instincts, his size, his knack for being around the ball, his experience rushing the passer (from the middle and outside), and I love the energy he brings to a defense. Still, I worry about his ability in space, his leverage in the run game at the next level, his overall strength, and I wonder how his game will adjust facing superior athletes in the NFL. This year he has only 1.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in the run game, which is disappointing considering his reputation and his playing style.

Right now, I have Brandon Spikes graded as a Second Round pick (including Underclassmen). And yes, if the number of underclassmen who declare increases as many think it will, he doesn't play well leading up to this BCS Bowl game (SEC Champ./BCS), or Spikes doesn't test all too well, I think he could slip. What it comes down to though for me here, is Spikes isn't playing like a first rounder today and I fear his best moments as a football player and as a Gator are behind him.

- Any Player. Just ask. I'm open to any questions on any player/ranking/thoughts.

Hot and Cold

--- 10 Players on the way up ---
+ Derrick Morgan - DE/OLB - Georgia Tech (Top 15)*
+ Ryan Mallett - QB - Arkansas (Top 20)*
+ Toby Gerhart - RB - Stanford (Mid Second-Early Third)
+ Austen Lane - DE/OLB - Murray State (Late Third-Early Fifth)
+ Jermaine Cunningham - OLB/DE - Florida (Late First-Late Second)
+ Jerome Murphy - CB - South Florida (Late Second-Mid Fourth)
+ Jimmy Graham - TE - Miami (Mid Fourth-Late Fifth)
+ Willie Young - DE/OLB - NC State (Early Third-Early Fourth)
+ Ben Tate - RB - Auburn (Mid Third-Early Fourth)
+ Devin McCourty - CB - Rutgers (Early Third-Mid Fourth)

--- And 5 that have fallen ---
- Brandon Spikes - ILB - Florida (Early Second-Early Third)
- Tony Pike - QB - Cincinnati (Late Fourth-Mid Sixth)
- Carlos Dunlap - DE - Florida (Top 20)*
- Jevan Snead - QB - Mississippi (Late Third-Fifth Round)*
- Mike Williams - WR - Syracuse (Late Second-Early Fourth)*

*- If player declares

Paranoidmoonduck
11-19-2009, 06:54 PM
Apparently I can't give you rep right now, but this is really good work. I enjoyed reading it.

ThePudge
11-19-2009, 07:02 PM
Apparently I can't give you rep right now, but this is really good work. I enjoyed reading it.

Glad you enjoyed reading it. I wanted to throw in some more random thoughts there, but man do I take off with them. I start with a simple concept and can't hold myself to two paragraphs... really gets time consuming.

Thanks for the feedback man.

Hurricanes25
11-19-2009, 07:10 PM
MEGA POST!!!

It was a great read and I completely agree with you on Dwyer and Thomas. It's very hard to tell what kind of NFL players will be beacuse they play in the triple option offense. Great job and I always enjoy reading your thoughts.

Texas Homer
11-19-2009, 07:16 PM
What is preventing Earl Thomas from being higher in your rankings?

ThePudge
11-19-2009, 11:04 PM
What is preventing Earl Thomas from being higher in your rankings?

I excluded Earl Thomas from these rankings as you can see down in the Underclassmen exemption section. If I were to include him, however, I would rank him fourth among all draft eligible safeties (behind Berry, Taylor Mays, and Morgan Burnett). He is very close to Burnett in my opinion and has the look of a first round pick. I think he'd be better off waiting a year and having a chance to be a Top 15 pick in 2011.

phlysac
11-20-2009, 11:45 AM
Thoughts on Greg Romeus should he declare? I think he is very similar in ability to Derrick Morgan. They are my two favorite prospects at their position.

ThePudge
11-20-2009, 03:44 PM
Thoughts on Greg Romeus should he declare? I think he is very similar in ability to Derrick Morgan. They are my two favorite prospects at their position.

I like Greg Romeus, but I think it'd be best if he stayed in school. This Defensive End class is packed and Greg may be slighted in draft stock due to his projection to pretty much only 4-3 DE.

Romeus has tremendous size at around 6'5 1/4 270 and he's an exceptional athlete at that size. He gets upfield fast and makes plays in the backfield. He's the type of long-limbed pass-rusher that 4-3 teams covet, but hasn't shown the lateral ability and read-&-react skills you'd like to see if you were projecting him to OLB in a 3-4. He uses his hands well, both getting them up to bat down balls and using them in his pass-rush repertoire. Still, he lacks brute strength and will have to add more physicality and aggressiveness to his game to fully achieve his potential.

If he comes out this year, I expect him to be picked somewhere between the 20-35 area. He grades out as a first round prospect, but if he stayed Senior year, developed his game, and waited out the best pass-rushing draft class in recent memory, Romeus could be a Top 10-15 pick in 2011.

hagy34
11-20-2009, 05:21 PM
I love that you have DThomas as the 2nd rated WR.....

phlysac
11-20-2009, 05:22 PM
Fair analysis of Romeus. I tend to think he is FAR better in coverage than most have given him credit for. He only began dropping in coverage regularly this season and he has made tremendous strides. I was in awe that he was able to neutralize Golden Tate in all but one instance of 5 or 6 in which he covered him.

I'd like to see him return for his Senior season as well.

ThePudge
11-21-2009, 08:03 AM
I've always thought about creating a weekly prospect stand-out thread or draft thoughts page. Since I have this thread, I'm going to also use it to chronicle some thoughts from today's college football. It's 7:40 in the morning (earliest I've been up in some time) and I thought it'd be nice to look at the local TV listings...

What I'll be Watching Today

12:00

Duke at Miami - ESPNU
- DT Vince Oghobaase - Duke
- QB Thaddeus Lewis - Duke
- DT Allen Bailey - Miami
- OT Jason Fox - Miami
- TE Jimmy Graham - Miami

UT Chattanooga at Alabama - FOX
- NT Terrance "Mount" Cody - Alabama
- ILB Rolando McClain - Alabama
- CB Javier Arenas - Alabama
- OG Mike Johnson - Alabama
- CB Kareem Jackson - Alabama
- RB's Trent Richardson/Mark Ingram - Alabama*

*Ohio State at Michigan - ABC*
- DE Brandon Graham - Michigan
- CB Donovan Warren - Michigan
- DE Cameron Heyward - Ohio State
- DE Thaddeus Gibson - Ohio State
- CB Chimdi Chekwa - Ohio State
- S Kurt Coleman - Ohio State

Minnesota at Iowa - ESPN
- DE Adrian Clayborn - Iowa
- CB Amari Spievey - Iowa
- S Tyler Sash - Iowa
- OT Bryan Bulaga - Iowa
- WR Marvin McNutt - Iowa
- OT Kyle Calloway - Iowa
- LB Lee Campbell - Minnesota

North Carolina at Boston College - ESPN2
- DT Marvin Austin - North Carolina
- LB Bruce Carter - North Carolina
- DE Robert Quinn - North Carolina*
- DB Kendric Burney - North Carolina
- C Matt Tennant - Boston College

12:30

Oklahoma at Texas Tech - FSN-OH
- DT Gerald McCoy - Oklahoma
- OT Trent Williams - Oklahoma
- DE Jeremy Beal - Oklahoma
- CB Dominique Franks - Oklahoma
- LB Travis Lewis - Oklahoma
- RB DeMarco Murray - Oklahoma
- DE Brandon Sharpe - Texas Tech
- RB Baron Batch - Texas Tech

2:30

Connecticut at Notre Dame - NBC
- QB Jimmy Clausen - Notre Dame
- WR Golden Tate - Notre Dame
- WR Michael Floyd - Notre Dame*
- LB Manti Te'o - Notre Dame*
- S Kyle McCarthy - Notre Dame
- C Eric Olsen - Notre Dame
- DE Lindsey Witten - Connecticut
- WR Marcus Easley - Connecticut

3:30

North Carolina State at Virginia Tech - ESPNU
- DE Willie Young - NC State
- C Ted Larsen - NC State
- DE Jason Worilds - Virginia Tech
- OG Sergio Render - Virginia Tech

*LSU at Mississippi - CBS*
- CB Patrick Peterson - LSU*
- OT Ciron Black - LSU
- RB Keiland Williams - LSU
- S Chad Jones - LSU
- WR Brandon LaFell - LSU
- S Harry Coleman - LSU
- QB Jevan Snead - Mississippi
- RB Dexter McCluster - Mississippi
- OG John Jerry - Mississippi
- DT Jerrell Powe - Mississippi

Penn State at Michigan State - ABC
- LB Navorro Bowman - Penn State
- LB Sean Lee - Penn State
- DT Jared Odrick - Penn State
- C Stefan Wisniewski - Penn State
- QB Daryll Clark - Penn State
- RB Evan Royster - Penn State
- LB Greg Jones - Michigan State
- WR Blair White - Michigan State

Wisconsin at Northwestern - BIGOHIO
- RB John Clay - Wisconsin
- OT Gabe Carmini - Wisconsin
- DE O'Brien Schofield - Wisconsin
- DE Corey Wootton - Northwestern

Virginia at Clemson - ESPN
- RB C.J. Spiller - Clemson
- DE Ricky Sapp - Clemson
- WR Jacoby Ford - Clemson
- QB Kyle Parker - Clemson*
- S DeAndre McDaniel - Clemson
- CB Ras-I Dowling - Virginia

4:00

San Diego State at Utah - VERSUS
- DB Robert Johnson - Utah
- OL Zane Beadles - Utah

7:00

Vanderbilt at Tennessee - ESPNU
- S Eric Berry - Tennessee
- DT Dan Williams - Tennessee
- RB Montarrio Hardesty - Tennessee
- DE Chris Walker - Tennessee
- CB Myron Lewis - Vanderbilt

7:30

California at Stanford - VERSUS
- RB Toby Gerhart - Stanford
- QB Andrew Luck - Stanford*
- OT Jonathan Martin - Stanford*
- DT Tyson Alualu - California
- CB Syd'Quan Thompson - California

7:45

Kansas State at Nebraska - ESPN
- DT Ndamukong Suh - Nebraska
- DT Jared Crick - Nebraska
- CB Prince Amukamara - Nebraska
- WR Brandon Banks - Kansas State
- DT Jeff Fitzgerald - Kansas State

Kentucky at Georgia - ESPN2
- CB Trevard Lindley - Kentucky
- LB Micah Johnson - Kentucky
- S Reshad Jones - Georgia
- LB Rennie Curran - Georgia
- WR A.J. Green - Georgia*

8:00

*Oregon at Arizona - ESPN*
- TE Ed Dickson - Oregon
- RB LaMichael James - Oregon*
- RB LeGarette Blount - Oregon
- QB Nick Foles - Arizona*
- DE Ricky Elmore - Arizona

*- Next to a player means he's not draft eligible in 2010

I believe these players account for 31 out of the 85 on my Big Board. I'll get another chance to see my Top 3 players (Suh, Berry, McCoy). Also, I'll be taking a close look at tomorrow's Top 10 picks, guys like Andrew Luck, Robert Quinn, A.J. Green, Michael Floyd, Alabama's Jones/Ingram/Richardson, Patrick Peterson, etc. If you're watching one of the games above, make sure to keep a special attention on the players I've listed. Should be a good day of college football.

EvilNixon
11-21-2009, 08:30 AM
Wow. Great read.

ThePudge
11-21-2009, 11:19 AM
Cameron Heyward is a force. He's been extremely disruptive from his freshman season to now. I personally like him more than Tyson Jackson as a 3-4 DE prospect. His size, strength, attitude, and athleticism is unparalleled. Rumor is he's staying, but if he came out I'd back him as a Top 15 prospect.

I'm making personal history here with my remote. I've been able to watch 4 games at the same time, without missing a play. Ohio State-Michigan, North Carolina-Boston College, Iowa-Minnesota, and Arkansas-Mississippi State.

Shane P. Hallam
11-21-2009, 11:39 AM
Great, great work Pudge.

phlysac
11-22-2009, 12:16 AM
Great, great work Pudge.

Agreed!

Pudge, compare and contrast the top Offensive Tackle Prospects according to your Big Board top-50...

1. Russell Okung
2. Trent Williams
3. Brian Bulaga
4. Anthony Davis
5. Bruce Campbell
6. Charles Brown

Thanks in advance!

ThePudge
11-22-2009, 12:57 AM
I just had a pretty huge weekly review deleted right out from under me. I'm sure I'll type it back up, but man what a downer.

I highlighted 5 players firmly on the rise after today, and also compiled a list of 10 other performances that impressed me... Unbelievable. Ughh.

No problem on the OT's though phlysac, will definitely get around to that tonight or early tomorrow. Neither Bulaga or Williams had a particularly good game today, and I have slightly more doubt than I did before at either of those two entering the Top 15 mix. Anthony Davis may creep up there though by draft day.

gpngc
11-22-2009, 01:47 AM
Trent Williams really isn't very good. That's all that needs to be said about him really-he's not very good at pass-blocking and isn't powerful in the running game. I don't know why he gets so much hype.

SenorGato
11-22-2009, 10:25 AM
Sick read, will be repped, but holy crap is Vince Oghobaase underrated.

Agreed with your stance on Spikes, and it's nice to see Donovan Warren climbing up.

Sniper
11-22-2009, 10:26 AM
Sick read, will be repped, but holy crap is Vince Oghobaase underrated.

Agreed with your stance on Spikes, and it's nice to see Donovan Warren climbing up.

And now he's going back down. He said after the OSU game that he's coming back.

ThePudge
11-23-2009, 02:16 PM
Five Players that Impressed

1. Michigan DE Brandon Graham will see an improvement in his draft stock after the Ohio State game Saturday, though he did what he has all season. Today, Graham was the best player on the field. He finished with 6 Tackles (5 Solo), 4 TFL, and a sack in the 21-10 loss. His athleticism, anchor strength, explosiveness, and instincts are currently unparalleled on the defensive side of the ball in college football. The scary thing is the thought of him at Outside Linebacker in a 3-4 system, a notion in which I no longer have any doubts about. He plays with tremendous energy, strength, leverage, and quickness.

I expect Graham to tear up the Senior Bowl, as it doesn't look like there are many(any) linemen at the college level that can handle him. I see Graham, a physical specimen, performing very well at February's NFL Combine and continuing to raise his draft stock. Coming into the day, I thought of Graham as a Top 20 talent, but I now consider him one of the 12 best players in the 2010 draft class.

2. Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett completed 18 of 34 passes for 310 yards 5 Touchdowns and 2 Interceptions in a 42-21 win over Mississippi State. Some may gripe about his 53% completion percentage on the day, and two interceptions, but I’m willing to bet people didn’t watch every pass Mallett threw on Saturday. I’m happy to say I did. While his shortcomings were evident at times, he showed a remarkable amount of improvement and displayed a little of everything against the Bulldogs. Mallett went up top, put balls over his receivers shoulder, and scored. Mallett surveyed the field, checked down, and scored. Mallett rolled out of the pocket, bought time with his feet, threw across his body, and scored. I’m more confident than ever that he can make all of the throws JaMarcus Russell could coming out of LSU, perhaps more. He has a beautiful play-action fake and throws a near immaculate deep ball. All day he did what the Razorbacks coaches and his teammates needed him to do.

For a guy who doesn’t get much credit for intangibles, he’s incredibly poised and doesn’t get rattled easily. He went 3/3 in the redzone, including two Td passes. Both times he forced passes into tight spots and ended up getting picked off, he led his team back. I haven’t seen Mallett rattled and he’s absolutely scary when he gets in a rhythm. He seems to be a fine teammate as well and you can tell his line & receivers rally around him and feed off his presence. He seems to be clearing up a lot of misconceptions about himself as a player and person every week. I wrote above in my initial thoughts that Mallett remained more of a ball-thrower than a quarterback, and I think I may be eating some crow already as he has some innate QB skills. He surveys the defense, makes good pre-snap reads, and goes through his progressions quickly, not taking the amount of sacks and hits you’d expect behind a very average offensive line. Mechanically, his release is quick, high, and he throws a very pretty ball. His accuracy is one of his stronger points as he can put the ball in the tightest spots, almost always gives his receivers a chance to catch the ball with his location, and shows the ability to time his receivers very well coming out of breaks and running full stride.

Mallett still showed some drawbacks as a prospect, not everything was perfect. His footwork in the pocket remains average, more inconsistent than anything, and out of the pocket he looks significantly more comfortable moving out to his right and throwing the ball than he does to his left. He’s still getting a lot of balls dropped and a big part of it is how hard he throws the ball on short to intermediate routes. He needs to find some touch on those passes, especially over the middle of the field, if he wants to be a complete player. That kind of thing will get him into some trouble at the next level.

Man, what a prospect though. I tried to go out on a limb in my original post, mentioning Mallett as a potential Top 15 pick this year. I really don’t consider that going out on a limb anymore. So how’s this, if Mallett declares in 2010, he will be a Top 10 pick and is going to have a better chance than some think at being the first Quarterback off the board.

3. UCLA DT Brian Price may be to the Pac-10 what Gerald McCoy and Ndamukong Suh are to the Big XII. Against Arizona State Saturday, the 6'2 300 pound Junior stole the show recording 6 Tackles (4 Solo), 4 TFL, 2 Sacks, a Fumble Forced, a FR, and a pass BrUp. Talk about an active day. On the year Price has 38 Tackles (32 Solo) and he absolutely lives in the backfield, having recorded 20.5 TFL and a team leading 7 sacks through 11 games. He’s as disruptive as any DT in the country it seems and the production’s there.

He isn’t getting a lot of hype, due to the school he plays for, but has quietly been moving up boards all year. Due to Arthur Jones’ injury, and a closer look at Marvin Austin of UNC, I’d place Price somewhere between the 3rd and 4th best DT in the country (depending on if you consider Terrance Cody in the DT rankings.) He’s in that late first round mix with Jones and Austin right now, but could see his stock soar if he works out well in April.

4. Texas QB Colt McCoy came into the season a Heisman front runner and perhaps the draft’s top senior Quarterback. He hasn’t quite lived up to lofty expectations in 2009, but he’s certainly making a late push. McCoy completed 32 of 41 passes for 396 yards and 4 Td’s en route to being named Big XII Offensive Player of the Week after a 51-20 victory over Kansas. The super accurate McCoy completed 78% of his passes and ended up with four completions over 34 yards on the night.

Colt definitely doesn’t have a strong arm, and he’s certainly not built like an NFL signal caller, but what he lacks physically, he makes up for in intangibles. McCoy’s extremely accurate on short to intermediate routes, he puts more than adequate zip on the ball, he’s extremely smart, is a 4 year starter, and is adept with his feet, capable of avoiding the rush, throwing on the run, and picking up big yards with his feet. He doesn’t throw the deep ball overly well, as he lacks elite arm strength as I said, but he displays superb touch and has enough to throw a good ball 40 yards down the field. He lacks some of his physical qualities (height notably), but McCoy definitely has some similarities to former #1 Overall pick Alex Smith. Now, McCoy won’t go nearly that high, but his experience, accuracy, athleticism, and overall intangibles are going to garner more interest than some think.

No, I don’t think the Texas offense or Big XII defenses the past couple years truly prepare him for the NFL game, but I may have been a bit too harsh on the guy early on in the process. As an NFL Quarterback prospect, I would put him ahead of Tim Tebow, Tony Pike, and every other Senior QB. To me, he’s an Early 3rd Round prospect, but with his coach-friendly skill set, I could see a team invest a Mid-Late 2nd on McCoy.

5. How about the big senior backs in the SEC? We've heard the success stories of Tennessee's Montario Hardesty and Auburn's Ben Tate, but I think the best back and NFL prospect of the bunch is Mississippi State's Anthony Dixon. The 6'1 235 Dixon carved Arkansas' defense for 176 yards on 24 carries, including 2 Touchdowns, one of which was a 70 yarder. This is a career year for Dixon who, in only ten games, has set personal bests in yards (1,258) and yards per carry (5.5). Many know him as one of the premier backs in the SEC, but you should get to know him as a potential feature back in April.

Dixon is an experienced back, a focal point in Starksville upon his arrival four years ago. Most people know about Dixon's power, his strength between the tackles, and his ability to wear on the defense and get better as the game progresses. SEC Defenses know there's more to the guy. He has terrific vision, quick feet, impressive burst, and a second gear in the open. The big power back has broken 6 runs of over 35 yards this year, including Saturday's 70 yard scamper. He has also shown to be a complete player, with experience as a pass-blocker and receiver out of the backfield. He's not an elite athlete, or absolutely dynamic, but of the non-first round prospects Dixon may have the best chance at becoming a feature back at the next level. An underrated prospect that I could see anywhere from the Mid Second to the Early Third.

Ten more on the rise

1. Michigan State Jr. LB Greg Jones vs. Penn State
- 15 Tackles (10 Solo), 2.5 TFL, 1.5 Sacks

2. Nebraska Sr. DT Ndamukong Suh vs. Kansas State
- 9 Tackles (4 Solo), 3 TFL, 1.5 sacks

3. Penn State Jr. LB Navorro Bowman vs. Michigan State
- 10 Tackles (7 Solo), 3.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 Pass BrUp

4. Arkansas Soph. Jake Bequette vs. Mississippi State
- 5 Tackles (5 Solo), 3 TFL, 3 Sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR

5. Texas Tech Sr. DE Brandon Sharpe
- 4 Tackles (3 Solo), 2.5 TFL, 2.5 Sacks, 1 FF

6. Alabama Sr. Javier Arenas vs. UT-Chattanooga
- 3 Tackles (2 Solo), 0.5 TFL, 1 Int-22 yds, 2 BrUp. 66 yard PR Td.

7. Texas Tech Jr. RB Baron Batch vs. Oklahoma
- 25 car 136 yds 2 Td; 7 rec 68 yds

8. Mississippi Sr. DE Marcus Tillman vs. LSU
- 5 Tackles (3 Solo), 3 TFL, 1 Sack, 1 BrUp, 2 QB Hurries

9. Florida Sr. QB Tim Tebow vs. Florida International
- 17/25 215 yds 2 Td 0 Int; 7 car 102 yds 1 Td. 55 yard Td run.

10. Mississippi Jr. QB Jevan Snead vs. LSU
- 14/21 206 yds 0 Td 0 Int

Honorable Mention

Stanford RB Toby Gerhart
Clemson WR Jacoby Ford
Arizona QB Nick Foles
Tennessee DT Dan Williams
Ohio State S Kurt Coleman
Notre Dame WR Golden Tate
Mississippi RB Dexter McCluster
Houston QB Case Keenum
Missouri WR Danario Alexander
Tennessee RB Montario Hardesty
Wisconsin TE/H-B Garrett Graham

Sniper
11-23-2009, 02:18 PM
I love your write-ups, especially when they praise Brandon Graham. Just very thorough, interesting stuff.

ThePudge
11-23-2009, 02:35 PM
Sick read, will be repped, but holy crap is Vince Oghobaase underrated.

Agreed with your stance on Spikes, and it's nice to see Donovan Warren climbing up.

I know you have an infatuation with Oghobaase, but he hasn't been a first round pick on the field this year. I worry about his size (6'5) being an issue too, as he's certainly more physically suited to play 3-4 DE than 4-3 UT or NT. In college that kind of thing won't kill you like it will in the NFL, with players that not only have the strength, and size, but also use leverage and technique to eat players alive. I think Vince is a good player, a strong player and a good athlete, but right now I can't see myself slapping a first round grade on him because he's been hurt, this class is loaded with talent at DT, I worry about his transition to the NFL game position wise, and most of all, he's not separating himself on the field as a sure-fire first or second round prospect.

For now, I'm going to keep him in that Early 3rd area. I fully acknowledge that he has the potential to move up, even to the Late First if things break the right way; right now, he's going to have to put together a nice offseason to achieve that though, starting at the East-West Shrine Game.

ThePudge
11-23-2009, 02:38 PM
I love your write-ups, especially when they praise Brandon Graham. Just very thorough, interesting stuff.

Not everyone will like the comparison, but his strength, explosiveness, and energy has a lot of Shawne Merriman to it. He's certainly not the same physical specimen in terms of sheer measurables, but he's definitely further along as a player than Shawne was in 2005 when he was drafted 12th Overall. I think Graham, after the Senior Bowl and Combine, will warrant that same kind of consideration.

Flyboy
11-23-2009, 10:33 PM
Does Colt McCoy remind you of Drew Brees, Pudge?

DiG
11-23-2009, 10:58 PM
love the mallett write up. hes really the only qb in this draft thats really intriguing to me as a skins fan. i still want oline first and foremost but if we were to go qb i am leaning towards mallett as the only guy id be happy taking in rd 1.

ThePudge
11-23-2009, 11:23 PM
Does Colt McCoy remind you of Drew Brees, Pudge?

I can't really compare anyone to Drew Brees. Still, as far as Brees comparisons go, McCoy certainly not the worst. Brees goes downfield a lot better and has more zip on those deep balls. Brees also has grown so much as a player from experience and is currently in his prime, at the age of 30. As prospects I think Brees' height made him unique. In terms of leadership, touch, mobility in the pocket, the ability to spread the ball amongst his backs and receivers, and the overall attitude in which he plays, McCoy definitely does share some similarities.

McCoy reminds me a bit more of Alex Smith, but Brees certainly isn't the worst comparison.

Paranoidmoonduck
11-23-2009, 11:44 PM
Yeah, a comparison to Brees is made a bit difficult because of how much Brees has changed since he left Purdue. He's the best example of a quarterback re-working their throwing motion and have it pay off in a huge way. He became a much better deep passer after he was drafted.

CC.SD
11-24-2009, 12:01 AM
Yeah, a comparison to Brees is made a bit difficult because of how much Brees has changed since he left Purdue. He's the best example of a quarterback re-working their throwing motion and have it pay off in a huge way. He became a much better deep passer after he was drafted.

Is McCoy being compared to Brees because he's too small without a big arm? I feel like that's not good enough.

Brees develops every year btw. He wasn't enough that good of a deep passer by the time he left SD, it's something Payton made him one of the best in the game at.

Paranoidmoonduck
11-24-2009, 12:04 AM
Certainly, but the meteoric jump he made between 2003 and 2004 was mostly what I was referring to. He basically looked like an entirely new quarterback with an entirely new throwing motion.

CC.SD
11-24-2009, 12:27 AM
Certainly, but the meteoric jump he made between 2003 and 2004 was mostly what I was referring to. He basically looked like an entirely new quarterback with an entirely new throwing motion.

Yah this is true. A bunch of it can also be attributed to having more than .5 seconds in the pocket for the first time in his career. O-line is not-so-secretly what offensive football is all about.

ironman4579
11-24-2009, 07:25 AM
I love your write ups Pudge. Always a great read. And I always like the high opinion of Brandon Graham, and any other Michigan player for that matter.

I also found your thoughts on Brian Price interesting. He seems to get overlooked because of all the other DT talent in this draft (potentially). But he's a very good player.

Ozzy
11-24-2009, 11:27 AM
Nice work, I agree with a lot of what you have here.

Only thing would be Everson Griffen, sure he might be a workout warrior and pull a Gholston , but the kid does not show up on the field all that often. And if he was this hell pass rusher like all think he can be, that USC defense would not be as bad as they are.


Morgan Burnett - S - Georgia Tech*Another I disagree with, he is good but not that good. McDaniel on Clemson is much better in every aspect of the game and Black on Florida is better than Burnett as well in my book.

Sniper
11-24-2009, 11:29 AM
Nice work, I agree with a lot of what you have here.

Only thing would be Everson Griffen, sure he might be a workout warrior and pull a Gholston , but the kid does not show up on the field all that often. And if he was this hell pass rusher like all think he can be, that USC defense would not be as bad as they are.

Do you ever think before you speak, or do you just randomly spout off incoherent ******** stuff? Brandon Graham just had an amazing season for Michigan, and yet the defense still sucked ass. To have a good defense, you need everyone to play well. As a pure pass-rusher, Griffen's done his job. He needs a lot of work on his run defense, but the pass-rushing potential is there. It's not his fault that SC's had some poor play at other positions.

Ozzy
11-24-2009, 11:47 AM
Do you ever think before you speak, or do you just randomly spout off incoherent ******** stuff? Brandon Graham just had an amazing season for Michigan, and yet the defense still sucked ass. To have a good defense, you need everyone to play well. As a pure pass-rusher, Griffen's done his job. He needs a lot of work on his run defense, but the pass-rushing potential is there. It's not his fault that SC's had some poor play at other positions.To say Griffen has met all expectations at USC is a joke, he is an underachiever. He should be much better than he is, and sure he can get a few sacks, so can the freshman Nick Perry.

Brandon Graham and Griffen should not even be mentioned in the same paragraph. Graham plays up to his potential, Griffen does not. And again, want to take a risk on a guy like Gholston, physical freak but is not an all around football player. I don't.

Thus stating in my opinion I feel he is ranked too high, it is a comment but they are his rankings obviously so he has his reasons.



Oh and the fact that Juniors Derrick Morgan, Jason Pierre-Paul, Adrian Clayborn, Carlos Dunlap and Allen Bailey are all arguably better players than him. He would be smart to stay in school and work on his game some more.

Sniper
11-24-2009, 11:49 AM
To say Griffen has met all expectations at USC is a joke, he is an underachiever.

Please go find where I said he's met all expectations at USC. I'll be waiting...

Babylon
11-24-2009, 12:55 PM
Nice work, I agree with a lot of what you have here.

Only thing would be Everson Griffen, sure he might be a workout warrior and pull a Gholston , but the kid does not show up on the field all that often. And if he was this hell pass rusher like all think he can be, that USC defense would not be as bad as they are.


Another I disagree with, he is good but not that good. McDaniel on Clemson is much better in every aspect of the game and Black on Florida is better than Burnett as well in my book.

I agree on the Griffen comment, part of it is he's been nicked up a little but he needs to stay in school, which most SC guys do. Next year he can work his way up near the top of the draft.

OaklandRaider56
11-25-2009, 12:15 PM
Trent Williams really isn't very good. That's all that needs to be said about him really-he's not very good at pass-blocking and isn't powerful in the running game. I don't know why he gets so much hype.

Agreed, when I saw him play in person I was unimpresed. He was a pretty good lineman in all aspects of the game, but nothing special.

Day One Pick
11-25-2009, 12:47 PM
Agreed, when I saw him play in person I was unimpresed. He was a pretty good lineman in all aspects of the game, but nothing special.

Add me to this list too. Williams is decent, but decent doesn't get you drafted in the top 15 like most believe he will be. Different position, but look at Duke Robinson. For most of the year was there anyone who didn't have him in the 1st round. OU offensive linemen just seem to get overated.

thebow305
11-25-2009, 04:49 PM
Nice read man. +Rep.

I also agree with you on Damariyus Thomas. I am HUGE fan of his and while he may need some serious development, the potential is there for him to be a monster in the league.

And I understand the hype and infatuation that everyone seems to have with Jimmy Graham right now, but I don't think he's even the best TE on our team. Dedrick Epps is probably the most underrated player on the Miami football team right now. He's one of those players that doesn't do anything AMAZING, but does everything VERY well. He is a complete TE with good speed, leaping ability, he is an above-average blocker, and catches everything thrown his way. The only problem with Epps this year seems to be his opportunities. And I don't understand it. He seems to make plays and help the offense every time he is on the field, but Jacory doesn't seem to use the TE's all that much and when he does, it's Jimmy that's in the game.

IMO, Epps will probably end up being one of those guys thats a better pro player than he was in college, because he will be able to go in and prove himself. I think he will be a terrific pro player and would be very happy if the Dolphins chose him somewhere in the 3rd-4th round range this April. Just my 2 pennies.

ThePudge
11-25-2009, 07:42 PM
Agreed, when I saw him play in person I was unimpresed. He was a pretty good lineman in all aspects of the game, but nothing special.

I haven't had time to really get in here and weigh in on my OL thoughts which I will (don't worry phlysac, I haven't forgotten). Just a lot of action in recent days due to finals week in college and a trip home for Thanksgiving. I'm settled in back at home now, and should be able to really hit this topic tonight.

For those that don't like Williams, I can see why. The guy was exceptional as a Junior on the Right Side, but clearly doesn't have the footwork, hands, or recovery speed to play on the Left Side. I don't consider him a potential LT in the pros either, it just doesn't look like it will happen. I do like him, however, in his comfort zone, at Right Tackle and Left Guard.

murdamal86
11-25-2009, 08:33 PM
How do you feel about Aaron Hernandez at this point if you've had enough time to fully watch him? I hope he stays for his SR season but he may leave if we do win it all. A year under a prototypical passing QB like Brantley could benefit him

ThePudge
11-25-2009, 09:39 PM
How do you feel about Aaron Hernandez at this point if you've had enough time to fully watch him? I hope he stays for his SR season but he may leave if we do win it all. A year under a prototypical passing QB like Brantley could benefit him

I have seen Hernandez and I like him a lot. I think he's the top weapon in that passing game, prototype passing QB or not. When I watch Florida's offense, I tend to be most impressed with the work Hernandez does. He's athletic, he's strong, and he runs well after the catch.

Due to his height (6024 - 6030), he's not going to be a prototype prospect at any position for the draft and there will be some debate over whether he's a multi-purpose FB, a TE, or best suited in a Chris Cooley H-B role. That said, he's not a first round pick this year or next year. He's a much better player than many at the Tight End position, and if it were based purely on skill, Hernandez is my #2 TE/H-B prospect behind Gresham, who I love. Due to physical skill-set, we could very well see USC's Anthony McCoy drafted above Hernandez, a superior player in all aspects. Still, even with the uncertainty of his NFL position, I rank him above Weslye Saunders and Ed Dickson.

If Chris Cooley can do it, Hernandez can. He'll need the right offense to fully flourish as a pro and could be a monster if he lands in Indianapolis or a similar system. He's a pretty thick guy, he's athletic, I like his tools as a receiver, and he's gaining experience every day as a blocker. A team in need of a Fullback, or an offense that can use an H-B, is going to take a long look at Aaron Hernandez. I think he's too good and too well rounded a player to slip too far on draft day despite those concerns. When all is said and done, I think he's a Mid-Late Second Round pick though due to the concerns I expressed above, he could slip to the third.

If he works out very well, who knows, a team could invest a first in him. He could be the missing piece for a winning franchise. Dustin Keller, at 6023 242, had some similar questions and his athleticism still allowed him to go very high. We'll see. I think this SEC Championship/BCS Bowl Game will tell us more as he'll likely match up against some NFL Talent.