December 14th Positional Rankings and Big Board!
There is still quite a bit of film review needed before these rankings can be finalized but here's how things look prior to the start of bowl season. Please mention any prospects who may have been missed; they will be added if they seem likely to declare.
2012 NFL Draft Positional Rankings (December 26th, 2011)
by Matthew Jones
1. Andrew Luck, Stanford*
2. Robert Griffin, Baylor*
3. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
4. Landry Jones, Oklahoma*
5. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma St.
6. Nick Foles, Arizona
7. Kirk Cousins, Michigan St.
8. Ryan Lindley, San Diego St.
9. Case Keenum, Houston
10. Kellen Moore, Boise St.
Not declaring: Matt Barkley (Southern California), Tyler Wilson (Arkansas)
1. Trent Richardson, Alabama*
2. Lamar Miller, Miami (FL)**
3. David Wilson, Virginia Tech*
4. Chris Polk, Washington*
5. Doug Martin, Boise St.
6. Bernard Pierce, Temple*
7. LaMichael James, Oregon*
8. Montee Ball, Wisconsin*
9. Vick Ballard, Mississippi St.
10. Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati
1. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma St.*
2. Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
3. Kendall Wright, Baylor
4. Dwight Jones, North Carolina
5. Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina*
6. Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M
7. Nick Toon, Wisconsin
8. T.Y. Hilton, Florida International
9. Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
10. Tommy Streeter, Miami (FL)*
Not declaring: Mohamed Sanu (Rutgers)
1. Dwayne Allen, Clemson*
2. Orson Charles, Georgia*
3. Coby Fleener, Stanford
4. Michael Egnew, Missouri
5. Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette
Not declaring: Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame)
1. Matt Kalil, Southern California*
2. Jonathan Martin, Stanford*
3. Riley Reiff, Iowa*
4. Mike Adams, Ohio St.
5. Zebrie Sanders, Florida St.
6. Andrew Datko, Florida St.
7. Nate Potter, Boise St.
8. Barrett Jones, Alabama*
9. Matt Reynolds, Brigham Young
10. Levy Adcock, Oklahoma St.
Not declaring: D.J. Fluker (Alabama), Ricky Wagner (Wisconsin)
1. David DeCastro, Stanford*
2. Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin
3. Cordy Glenn, Georgia
4. Kelechi Osemele, Iowa St.
5. Ryan Miller, Colorado
1. Ben Jones, Georgia
2. Mike Brewster, Ohio St.
3. David Molk, Michigan
4. Phillip Blake, Baylor
5. Moe Petrus, Connecticut
Not declaring: Peter Konz (Wisconsin)
1. Brandon Thompson, Clemson (6'2", 310, 5.05)
2008: 16 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 hurries, 1 forced fumble
2009: 27 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 4 hurries
2010: 41 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 1 sack, 3 hurries, 1 blocked kick
2011: 45 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 2 hurries, 1 forced fumble
Positives: Bull rush is second to none; drives offensive linemen into the backfield like they were blocking sleds. Outstanding strength makes him almost impossible to handle with single blocking. Quickness off the snap is impressive and often forces runners to find a new running lane. Can slip through gaps in blocking schemes and disrupts plays regularly. Already has the bulk to anchor against the run and shows range against both the run and the pass. Has a very stout build. Fundamentally sound wrap-tackler who is also willing to make big hits on ballcarriers. Versatility to play either tackle spot in a 4-3 and potentially defensive end in a 3-4. Extensive starting experience.
Negatives: Not quite as tall as most teams like their five-techniques. Does not have a varied repertoire of pass rush moves and could improve his ability to rush the passer; swim move leaves something to be desired. Struggles to disengage and make plays when he is double-teamed. Arms are shorter than ideal and could improve hand use. Does not have quite the same upside as some of the other defensive tackles in the draft class. Never recorded very many sacks or tackles for loss in college.
Overall: Thompson is the safest defensive tackle in the class and deserves to go in the top twenty picks. He should be an appealing option for a number of different defensive schemes due to his bulk and strength. Thompson is a very established run defender and his pass rush skills are somewhat underrated. Can dictate opposing blocking schemes because of his impressive quickness and insanely effective bull rush. Has one of the top anchors in the draft class with a very thick build. Fits as either an under tackle or nose tackle in a 4-3 defense and is worth considering as a defensive end in both one or two-gap 3-4 fronts.
Grade: First round pick
2. Alameda Ta'amu, Washington (6'3", 337, 5.20)
2008: 21 tackles
2009: 19 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks
2010: 39 tackles, 5 TFL, 1.5 sacks
2011: 30 tackles, 7 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 1 hurry
Positives: Really stands out on film due to his sheer size and strength. Big and strong enough to anchor against double team blocks and fits as a nose tackle in the 4-3 as well as one and two-gap 3-4 defenses. Effective bull-rusher who can drive single blockers into the backfield. Has much more range than a typical nose tackle prospect and will chase ballcarriers all the way out to the sidelines. Active in pursuit and showcases a strong motor. Very nimble for a man his size. Strong tackling fundamentals and can also lay the wood when needed. Ta'amu's athleticism has allowed Washington to line him up as a 3-4 defensive end at times as well. Team captain.
Negatives: Not quite the anchor against the run that he should be given his size and needs to improve his balance a bit. Does not offer too much as a pass rusher and probably will not record very many sacks in the NFL; must develop and utilize a wider variety of moves in order to get to the quarterback. Arms might not be quite as long as desired. Does not bat down many passes.
Overall: One of the top nose tackle prospects in recent memory; Ta'amu can fit as a nose tackle in any defensive scheme and possibly even as a defensive end in a two-gap 3-4 defense. His motor, range, and pursuit are very impressive considering his size and at times he looks like the next Haloti Ngata. Allowing Ta'amu to slide out of the top fifteen or so picks would be a mistake considering how rare it is to find a nose tackle prospect with his combination of size, strength, and athleticism. Has a polished game which is easily projectable to the NFL and should be a starter as a rookie.
Grade: First round pick
3. Jerel Worthy, Michigan St.* (6'3", 305, 5.00)
2009: 37 tackles, 9 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 hurry
2010: 40 tackles, 8 TFL, 4 sacks, 2 hurries
2011: 26 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 3 hurries, 2 blocked kicks
Positives: Three-year starter and 2011 first-team All American. Versatile and can line up at either under tackle or nose tackle in 4-3 defenses; best fit is as a three-technique. Incredible quickness off the line of scrimmage for a man his size; unparalleled by other defensive tackles in the draft class. Can slip through double teams in order to create pressure. Bends the edge much more effectively than most defensive tackles. Uses both the bull rush and the swim move effectively in order to disrupt plays. Strength allows him to drive offensive linemen into the pocket. Active hand use allows him to shed blocks with ease. Very intelligent and acts like a coach on the field. Blocked two kicks this season.
Negatives: Had an underwhelming junior campaign in which he dealt with a number of nagging injuries; durability is a concern. Must improve his conditioning in order to stay on the field for a higher percentage of snaps. Sometimes has trouble locating the ballcarrier. Needs to improve his wrap tackling technique; misses too many tackles. Has a slightly top-heavy build. Could struggle to fit into a 3-4 defense.
Overall: Worthy came into the season as a potential top-ten pick and did not live up to that billing during his junior campaign; the increasing number of 3-4 defenses in the NFL could lead to him slipping into the late first or early second round. Projects as a disruptive presence inside for 4-3 defenses in the NFL and is often a handful for opposing offensive linemen. Combination of bulk, strength, and quickness is almost unfair; has Pro Bowl potential.
Grade: First round pick
4. Fletcher Cox, Mississippi St.* (6'4", 295, 4.95)
2009: 29 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 hurries
2010: 29 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 4 hurries, 1 forced fumble, 2 blocked kicks
2011: 49 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 3 hurries, 1 forced fumble, 1 blocked kick
Positives: Tall with long arms and an impressive, muscular build. Size and athleticism make him a fit as a 4-3 defensive tackle or one-gap defensive in a 3-4 defense. Strength really stands out and can dominate offensive linemen with his bull rush. Quick and athletic with enough change-of-direction ability to pick up sacks. Nonstop motor and will chase backs to the sideline. Disrupts running lanes and forces backs to choose another hole. Very aggressive and plays the game with physicality and a mean streak; talks a lot of trash on the field. Blocked three kicks in college and has some special teams value. Just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.
Negatives: Anchor is still a bit lacking and especially struggles against double team blocks; a non-factor against two offensive linemen. Leverage can be an issue and lack of balance is readily apparent; frequently found on the ground. Often breaks through to the backfield only to miss a tackle. Probably not a fit for 3-4 defenses that ask their defensive ends to occupy two gaps and take on double teams. Was unproductive in college until 2011 and has only been a starter for two seasons.
Overall: Has a very high ceiling but his draft stock is largely based on the potential afforded by his build, strength, and athleticism. Playing demeanor and aggression are impressive and could be an intimidating presence on an NFL defensive line who offers some schematic versatility between 4-3 and 3-4 fronts. Has a long way to go in terms of playing technique but most of his issues can be addressed through coaching and some teams will fall in love with him. Best fit in the NFL would be as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense.
Grade: First or second round
5. Jared Crick, Nebraska (6'4", 285, 4.80)
2008: 2 tackles
2009: 73 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 14 hurries, 1 blocked kick
2010: 70 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 7 hurries, 1 forced fumble
2011: 22 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 hurry, 1 blocked kick
Positives: Height and long arms make him a possible fit as a left end in a 4-3 defense or a one-gap defensive end in a 3-4 defense; played defensive tackle and defensive end during his college career. Hand use allows him to shed blocks and make plays against both the pass and run. Gets out of his stance quickly in order to put pressure on the offensive line. Closes on the quarterback fast and racked up the sacks during his college career. Pursuit and range are better than expected; outstanding motor and plays through the whistle. Scrapes down the line in and works his way through trash well. Capable speed rusher who also uses a swim move and an outside spin move effectively. Produced even after Ndamukong Suh entered the NFL. Play recognition and ball awareness are excellent. Extremely high character.
Negatives: Lacks the bulk to anchor against double teams and can be neutralized by two blockers. Would need to add a significant amount of weight in order to play in a two-gap defensive scheme; lack of bulk could also prevent him from playing defensive tackle in 4-3 defenses aside from on obvious passing downs. Senior campaign was ended early by a triceps tear and will be scrutinized by team doctors.
Overall: Crick is similar to 2011 first round pick J.J. Watt but does not have the bulk and anchor that Watt did. He was considered a first-round lock before suffering his injury but could still end up being drafted on the first day if he checks out medically at the Combine. Lack of bulk will not allow him to find a spot on every team's draft board and does not have the highest ceiling but should be a long-term starter in the NFL.
Grade: First or second round pick
6. Devon Still, Penn St. (6'4", 310, 5.05)
2009: 19 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 2 sacks
2010: 39 tackles, 10 TFL, 4 sacks
2011: 55 tackles, 17 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 hurry, 1 forced fumble
Positives: Height and bulk is ideal for a defensive tackle and makes him a potential fit as a 3-4 defensive end. Arm length is more than adequate. Burst off of the line is impressive and can knife through gaps in order to create pressure. Change of direction ability allows him to finish off quarterbacks in the backfield. At his best when he is attacking on slants. Should be athletic enough to execute stunts in the NFL. Has had a lot of success using swim and rip moves and tries a bull rush and pin move at times as well. Has experience playing to both the left and right of the center. Made his senior season his best and was one of the NCAA's top defensive tackles in 2011.
Negatives: Much more projectable as a 4-3 defensive tackle than at defensive end in a 3-4 defense. Must improve hand use; gets stuck on too many blocks. Anchor is somewhat lacking and is not unmovable when run at. Balance must be improved; sometimes gets caught bending at the waist and ends up on the ground more often than he should. Motor did not come on until his senior season and mental toughness has been called into question. Tore his ACL and MCL in 2007 and broke his ankle in 2008; durability is a flag.
Overall: Still's grade will largely depend on his medical results and interviews; teams must determine whether or not he will be able to stay healthy in the NFL and whether the consistency and maturity he demonstrated during his senior season mean he's grown up or if he was playing for a big payday. Has a high ceiling but probably won't draw too much interest from teams in 3-4 defenses; much better fit as a 4-3 defensive tackle. Could end up being a valuable pass rusher in the NFL but leaves something to be desired as a run defender.
Grade: Second round pick
7. DT Kendall Reyes, Connecticut (6'4", 295, 4.95)
2008: 20 tackles, 3 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble
2009: 37 tackles, 6 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 hurry, 1 forced fumble
2010: 39 tackles, 10 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 2 hurries, 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions
2011: 46 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 3 hurries
Positives: Has a prototypical build for a 3-4 defensive end with height, bulk, and length. Reyes has been used as an under tackle and nose tackle in 4-3 fronts as well as at nose tackle and five-technique in 3-4 fronts; Connecticut's coaching staff has even let him rush out of a two-point stance. Has an excellent anchor and can shed blocks well due to his long arms and hand use. Holds up very well against double team blocks. Has a strong bull rush and can drive defenders into the backfield. Gets his hands up against the pass. Can pressure gaps and slip through gaps. Quick when closing to the ball and is an effective wrap tackler. Has extensive starting experience and is a team captain. Durable and very respected due to his strong work ethic.
Negatives: Lack of elite pass-rush ability will most likely restrict Reyes to a role as either a 4-3 nose tackle or 3-4 defensive end in the NFL. Pass rush inventory could be upgraded. Does not have the bulk to play nose tackle in 3-4 defenses despite lining up there often in college. Sometimes has trouble locating the ball and can be caught out of position. Could end up measuring in smaller than expected at the Combine. Connecticut prospects have traditionally failed to find success in the NFL.
Overall: Has the character and intangibles that GMs love and has been wisely showcased in a wide variety of different roles during his time at Connecticut. Awareness and recognition need work but offers value in both 4-3 and 3-4 fronts at multiple spots and has a well-rounded game with a very projectable game. Needs to show up at the Combine at 6'4", 295 in order to solidify a spot in the second round but is a prospect whose stock should climb as the draft nears. Questions about the track record of Connecticut's football program will hurt his draft position but Reyes should be able to develop into a starter in the NFL and is one of the most versatile defensive linemen in the draft.
Grade: Second round pick
8. DT Josh Chapman, Alabama (6'1", 310, 5.05)
2007: 1 tackle
2008: 16 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 hurry
2009: 17 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks
2010: 31 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 sack
2011: 22 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 sack
Positives: Anchor is very impressive; plays with a low center of gravity and can hold his ground against both single and double teams. Has the bulk to play nose tackle in any defensive front. Bull rush is effective and can disrupt running lanes and create pressure up the middle against the pass. Fundamentally sound wrap tackler. Has heavy hands which can jolt defenders off balance. Keeps his legs moving and gets good leverage. Plays with an impressive motor and does not tire as easily as most nose tackle prospects. Willing in pursuit and has more range than expected. Was coached by Nick Saban at Alabama and has experience in both three and four-man fronts. Work ethic is impressive.
Negatives: Not the tallest prospect and arm length is shorter than ideal; can allow blockers to get too close at times. Does not have the athleticism to offer much as a pass rusher in the NFL and will probably end up being a two-down run stuffer who comes off the field on passing downs and in sub packages. Ceiling is not especially high and will probably never be an impact player. Probably will not be valued as highly by 4-3 defenses and lacks the athleticism to appeal to one-gap 3-4 defenses as a defensive end. Was surrounded by studs in college. Conditioning will have to be closely monitored once Chapman receives an NFL paycheck. Slightly overaged as a redshirt senior.
Overall: Chapman is a safe prospect with a relatively low ceiling but his ability to play nose tackle should ensure a place in the first two rounds of the draft. His arm length will probably prevent him from being an elite defender but he can defend the run in a one or two-gap defense. Chapman's range and hustle could even lead to some looks a two-gap 3-4 defensive end for teams who are willing to overlook his lack of value as a pass rusher in order to add a quality run defender.
Grade: Second round pick
9. DT Billy Winn, Boise St. (6'3", 300, 4.90)
2008: 27 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 2 hurries, 1 forced fumble
2009: 44 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 6 sacks, 1 hurry
2010: 29 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 1 hurry, 2 forced fumbles
2011: 33 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks
Positives: Has the build to fit as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense or as a defensive end in 3-4 fronts; impressive musculature. Boise St. has utilized Winn as a defensive tackle, nose tackle, defensive end, and rushed him out of a two-point stance in order to showcase his athleticism. Could cover enough to work in a defense predicated on the zone blitz. Very quick off the snap and gets his pad level low in order to shoot gaps and create pressure against both the pass and run. Can be very disruptive when he is on his game. Uses a variety of pass rush moves and is very advanced relative to other prospects. Has enough strength to factor in against the run. Bull rush and hand use are impressive and can shed blockers well.
Negatives: Can be neutralized by double team blocks. Should weigh in under 300 lbs. at the Combine. Did not enjoy an especially productive senior season and at times it appeared he was not giving maximum effort. Will be more limited in the NFL than he was in college; does not have the strength to play nose tackle or the athleticism to stand up as an outside linebacker in the NFL. Will face minor durability questions after getting knicked up a bit in college. Could struggle to fit into a two-gap 3-4 defense.
Overall: Winn was considered a potential first-round pick coming into the season but did not play up to expectations and his draft stock will suffer as a result. His schematic versatility should enable him to find a spot in the top two rounds of the draft but teams will have to make sure he stays motivated in order to see a return on their investment. Both 4-3 and 3-4 teams will be interested in Winn's services, but he will most likely end up as a defensive end in a one-gap 3-4 front with the ability to slide inside and play defensive tackle on passing downs.
Grade: Second round pick
10. DT Dontari Poe, Memphis* (6'5", 350, 5.35)
2009: 27 tackles, 7 TFL, 2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles
2010: 41 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 3 hurries
2011: 33 tackles, 8 TFL, 1 sack, 5 hurries, 1 forced fumble
Positives: Massive prospect who is considered a workout warrior with impressive strength. Can demand double teams due to his sheer size. Arm length is impressive. Carries his weight well and does not look flabby. Has lined up at defensive tackle and defensive end and could potentially project to defensive tackle, nose tackle, or five-technique in the NFL. More athletic than expected and has unusual quickness and range. Does a nice job of wrapping up ballcarriers and doesn't let many runners get away. Has a reputation for being mature and hard-working; respected in the locker room. Ceiling is through the roof.
Negatives: Technique is a mess and could disengage from blockers much better than he does. Height often works against him; comes out of his stance too high and is driven off the ball much more often than he should be. Balance is lackluster for a nose tackle prospect and might be a more natural fit in a 4-3 defense or as an oversized five-technique. Does not make many plays against double-team blocks. Never especially productive in college and does not stand out like he should against a low level of competition. Very raw and lacks polish. Does not generate consistent pressure or bat down many passes.
Overall: Poe seems like a top nose tackle prospect on paper but his ability to line up there in 3-4 defenses is questionable due to his lack of leverage and balance. Whoever drafts him will be placing a lot of faith in their coaching staff to unlock his considerable potential but the bust factor is very high as well. Has the mental tools to suggest his potential is attainable and will probably be overdrafted as a result of his rare size and strength. There aren't many high draft picks that come to mind who have been as unproductive as Poe. Could end up being a stud but is nowhere near as NFL-ready as recent nose tackle prospects such as Alameda Ta'amu and Phil Taylor.
Grade: Second or third round pick
1. Quinton Coples, North Carolina (6'6", 285, 4.75)
2008: 8 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 hurry
2009: 22 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 2 hurries
2010: 59 tackles, 15.5 TFL, 10 sacks, 12 hurries, 2 forced fumbles
2011: 55 tackles, 15.0 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 7 hurries, 3 forced fumbles
Positives: Has experience lining up at left end, under tackle, and right end; projects to either 4-3 or 3-4 fronts. Tall with long limbs and has the frame to carry additional weight if needed. Uses his arms to keep blockers at a distance. Can bend the edge and double back to the quarterback effectively. Shows a surprising closing burst and is a threat to win the outside against offensive tackles. Can push the pocket with a strong bull rush and uses a variety of effective pass rush moves including swim and club moves. Wrap tackler who is very willing in run support. Gets his hands up when the ball is out. Has forced five fumbles over his career. Play recognition is a plus.
Negatives: Takes too many plays off and looked like he didn't want to get injured this season. Production is inconsistent; sacks come in bunches at times. Did not have quite the senior year many were expecting. Can be sealed off at times against the run and does now show the ability to consistently make plays against double-teams. May not have the bulk to two-gap effectively in the NFL.
Overall: Coples is not quite on the same level as Julius Peppers and Mario Williams in terms of athleticism but his uncanny blend of size, length, power, and athleticism should make him a difference-maker in the NFL. Questions about Coples' motor are legitimate and it appeared that he was concerned with preserving his draft stock in 2011. Coples is even bigger than New York Giants lineman Justin Tuck and could fill a similar role as a scheme-versatile defensive end who can slide inside to defensive tackle in order to create pressure up the middle on passing downs.
Grade: Top 10 pick
2. Melvin Ingram, South Carolina
3. Whitney Mercilus, Illinois*
4. Nick Perry, Southern California*
5. Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma*
6. Vinny Curry, Marshall
7. Sam Montgomery (Louisiana St.)*
8. Andre Branch, Clemson
9. Brandon Jenkins, Florida St.*
10. Cam Johnson, Virginia
Not declaring: Donte Paige-Moss (North Carolina), Devin Taylor (South Carolina)
1. Zach Brown, North Carolina
2. Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
3. Bruce Irvin, West Virginia
4. Keenan Robinson, Texas
5. Shea McClellin, Boise St.
6. Lavonte David, Nebraska
7. Brandon Lindsey, Pittsburgh
8. Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy*
9. Travis Lewis, Oklahoma
10. Sean Spence, Miami (FL)
Not declaring: Jarvis Jones (Georgia)
1. Luke Kuechly, Boston College*
2. Kevin Reddick, North Carolina*
3. Dont'a Hightower, Alabama*
4. Vontaze Burfict, Arizona St.*
5. Audie Cole, North Carolina St.
Not declaring: Manti Te'o (Notre Dame)
1. Morris Claiborne, Louisiana St.*
2. Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama*
3. Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska
4. Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama
5. Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina*
6. Chase Minnifield, Virginia
7. Jonathan Banks, Mississippi St.*
8. Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech*
9. Coryell Judie, Texas A&M
10. Leonard Johnson, Iowa St.
Not declaring: Xavier Rhodes (Florida St.)
1. Mark Barron, Alabama
2. Robert Lester, Alabama*
3. Kenny Vaccaro, Texas*
4. George Iloka, Boise St.
5. Markelle Martin, Oklahoma St.
Not declaring: Ray-Ray Armstrong (Miami (FL)), T.J. McDonald (Southern California)
2012 NFL Draft Top-75 Big Board (December 26th, 2011)
1. QB Andrew Luck, Stanford*
2. RB Trent Richardson, Alabama*
3. CB Morris Claiborne, Louisiana St.*
4. OT Matt Kalil, Southern California*
5. QB Robert Griffin, Baylor*
6. WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma St.*
7. OG David DeCastro, Stanford*
8. CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama*
9. DE Quinton Coples, North Carolina
10. LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College*
11. RB Lamar Miller, Miami (FL)**
12. WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
13. DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson
14. OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford*
15. DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina
16. DT Alameda Ta'amu, Washington
17. OT Riley Reiff, Iowa*
18. LB Zach Brown, North Carolina
19. DE Whitney Mercilus, Illinois*
20. DE Nick Perry, Southern California*
21. WR Kendall Wright, Baylor
22. LB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
23. CB Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska
24. LB Kevin Reddick, North Carolina*
25. FS Mark Barron, Alabama
26. DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan St.*
27. DE Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma*
28. DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi St.*
29. OT Mike Adams, Ohio St.
30. CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama
31. RB David Wilson, Virginia Tech*
32. TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson*
33. OG Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin
34. CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina*
35. FS Robert Lester, Alabama*
36. OT Zebrie Sanders, Florida St.
37. QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
38. QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma*
39. LB Dont'a Hightower, Alabama*
40. CB Chase Minnifield, Virginia
41. LB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona St.*
42. OT Andrew Datko, Florida St.
43. DE Vinny Curry, Marshall
44. OG Cordy Glenn, Georgia
45. DT Devon Still, Penn St.
46. WR Dwight Jones, North Carolina
47. CB Jonathan Banks, Mississippi St.*
48. WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina*
49. DT Dontari Poe, Memphis*
50. DT Jared Crick, Nebraska
51. WR Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M
52. C Ben Jones, Georgia
53. DE Sam Montgomery, Louisiana St.*
54. WR Nick Toon, Wisconsin
55. LB Bruce Irvin, West Virginia
56. OT Nate Potter, Boise St.
57. OT Barrett Jones, Alabama*
58. LB Keenan Robinson, Texas
59. WR T.Y. Hilton, Florida International
60. LB Shea McClellin, Boise St.
61. DT Josh Chapman, Alabama
62. DE Andre Branch, Clemson
63. TE Orson Charles, Georgia*
64. RB Chris Polk, Washington*
65. FS Kenny Vaccaro, Texas*
66. LB Audie Cole, North Carolina St.
67. TE Coby Fleener, Stanford
68. LB Lavonte David, Nebraska
69. SS George Iloka, Boise St.
70. WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
71. DE Brandon Jenkins, Florida St.*
72. CB Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech*
73. DE Cam Johnson, Virginia
74. DT Kendall Reyes, Connecticut
75. CB Coryell Judie, Texas A&M
Russell Wilson was considered but he just doesn't seem to be an NFL quarterback; not saying Case Keenum is going to end up as anything more than a backup but he has nice touch, accuracy, and anticipation.
Montee Ball does appear to be a product of Wisconsin's system; he mostly picks up what the blocking creates for him and manages to fall forwards. The running back class is pretty weak and none of those guys look like NFL studs; Cyrus Gray was considered but Texas A&M didn't miss him very much this year.
Jeffery is certainly out of shape but has tremendous upside; Kendall Wright projects as a #2 wide receiver. Fuller did have a disappointing season but should be more productive in the NFL than he was in college; the Cotton Bowl game last year against Patrick Peterson was very impressive. Fuller is one of the best receivers in the draft in terms of beating the jam at the line of scrimmage.
Kalil would be making a mistake by returning to school but this list reflects the most recent information regarding which prospects will declare; he would certainly be the top offensive tackle prospect if he entered the draft. By the time all is said and done Martin could end up as the third or fourth tackle depending on whether or not Kalil declares; Reiff was not overly impressive this year either and Adams might shoot up boards after the Combine.
Osemele isn't a mauler; he's nimble and plays surprisingly soft. Two prospects from last year's class that compare favorably to Osemele are Marcus Gilbert and Marcus Cannon. Kelechi would rank number four at offensive guard unless Barrett Jones declares; Jones would rank sixth at tackle and third or fourth at guard. Potter, Reynolds, and Adcock are a toss-up.
Thompson is clearly more stout against the run than Still; Still is a more accomplished pass rusher. Agree to disagree on Ta'amu and Poe; Poe's best fit could actually come as an oversized 3-4 defensive end. Crick definitely has first-round potential but he'll have to pass medical tests at the Combine and show that he can carry 295+ pounds on his frame in order to do so.
Winn is more disruptive than Chapman or Reyes when motivated but is not nearly as stout against the run as either of those prospects; the skills Chapman and Reyes have are more valuable.
Branch is a great prospect; he has taken a lot of snaps out of a two-point stance and is a very accomplished run defender who has also put it together as a pass rusher. The upside isn't quite the same as the top five guys on the list; he could leapfrog Vinny Curry though. Cam Johnson has a projectable game but is a little bit similar to Jermaine Cunningham which is scary; Johnson doesn't look like an impact pass rusher in the NFL.
Reddick would rank third at outside linebacker; he can play either middle or weakside linebacker. Courtney Upshaw is a high-floor prospect but the ceiling doesn't seem to be there; it is difficult to tell how much of his production was due to playing on Alabama's defense. Upshaw's value lies in his extensive experience in a 3-4 defense; he's easily projectable to that scheme in the NFL. More and more college teams are showcasing their pass rushers out of a two-point stance.
Thanks for the heads-up on Jonathan Banks and Trumaine Johnson; forgot about those two. Both players will be included after more review; Banks will probably be ranked either sixth or seventh and Johnson could challenge for the tenth spot on the list.
I have Cousins as one of the top 5 QBs in this draft...he's an experienced guy with a good arm and is very accurate in the short to intermediate passing game...someone who can be a starter in the league
Not much an issue with the rankings because it's not a strong class outside the top 3...most guy will be fill a certain role in the NFL
Dwight Jones is awfully close to being the #1 guy at the position for me and think he's definitely better than Alshon...one name I'd like to see is T.Y. Hilton in the top 10, probably BJ Cunningham too (something about the guy makes me think he'll succeed at the next level)
Allen is a good tight end prospect, easily the #1 guy...Ladarius Green is far and away the most intriguing of the bunch
Not a big fan of the guys listed from 4 thru 9 (Sanders being the best of the bunch), and I would slide McCants way up that list as the #4 OT
Don't really understand the Ryan Miller love by anyone that has him ranked that high
I'd have Brewster as the only guy I'd be comfortable with starting in the NFL...not a strong group
I mention is another thread how I feel about Ta'amu and Thompson as the top guys...Worthy has the most potential of the bunch and I'd like to see Derek Wolfe crack that list
Cam Johnson is a stud...Coples is the only guy I'd put ahead of him and Whitney Mercilus is one of the most overrated guys in this draft
Brown is a wonderful prospect...Upshaw isn't far behind and I can't complain about the rest bc it goes downhill real quick after Upshaw
One of the stronger of positions in this draft, especially at the top, and I don't mind your rankings here
Casey Hayward needs to be in your rankings!
I'd like to see more people rank Winston Guy Jr...it'll be interesting to see where some of these guys are taken
If Ronnie Hillman out of SDSU declares, where would he rank among the other running backs in this class?
PF, I agree that BJ Cunningham is a very interesting prospect but I'll have to see his 40 time to get an idea of how high he should rank. Maybe I'm wrong but I think he may not yet be getting a lot of press because they view him as way too slow.
Cousins could end up as a starter but seems a little bit Grossman-esque; inconsistent and seems to have trouble dealing with pressure.
Dwight ahead of Jeffery would be surprising; Jeffery seems to have more star-quality to him. Hilton and Cunningham were both considered as well.
Film on McCants has been difficult to find; any links or information would be nice.
Ryan Miller is severely overrated on here but the guard class is extremely weak; not much competition there.
Jones got the edge over Brewster for having a more aggressive style of play and finishing blocks better; Brewster's shotgun snapping can be called an "adventure."
Derek Wolfe should probably be considered for the #10 spot at defensive tackle; that might change in the near future.
Mercilus has an ideal combination of size, strength, and athleticism; he's raw but could be an impact guy in the NFL.
Casey Heyward seems like a third-rounder because he's a strict zone cornerback who will probably have trouble against bigger NFL receivers.
Winston Guy Jr. is someone who needs to be evaluated more closely before he makes it onto this list.
when i look at Alshon he's got great size but he does appear to be slightly pudgy bringing in question marks about his work ethic/conditioning and he gets very little separation...for me he has one of the widest ranges with his floor and ceiling
Jones is a beast and he's a guy that gets separation on deep routes, which sets him above every receiver for me and is awfully close to Blackmon for the top receiver spot
as far as guards one guy I would suggest you check out is Joe Looney, a guy I feel will be moving up boards
The positional rankings will be revised momentarily to reflect some of the recent underclassmen decisions; an update to the big board will take a bit longer.
A former Arkansas QB/coke addict has 8000 posts here? How did I not notice?
Why so low on Dontari Poe and Brandon Jenkins?
Dontari Poe looks like a second-round type of prospect; does not have the anchor or balance of a top nose tackle prospect and was not consistently a factor at Memphis. Poe's size, athleticism, and strength are impressive enough to get him a shot somewhere in the top two rounds but he is raw and probably overvalued because he is a potential 3-4 nose tackle in a league which is increasingly turning towards 3-4 bases.
Brandon Jenkins is a little bit too reminiscent of former Seminoles pass rusher Everette Brown; Jenkins has athleticism and a few different pass rush moves but needs to improve his anchor and would probably benefit from adding bulk and staying for his senior year in order to try and climb into the first-round discussion. Jenkins currently projects as a second-round prospect.
So, now that Kalil is reportedly declaring, you added him to the positional rankings, but didn't add him to your overall. Where would he slot into there?
EDIT: Nevermind. I somehow skipped over your post a few posts up. Take your time, not rushing you.
You don't see Herron as a top 10 back?
Hey Matt(or ROP haha), curious to hear where you would rank Rueben Randle among the receivers if he were to declare. I watched every LSU offensive series I could find earlier in the week and really liked a lot of what I saw.
How can you not have Devon Still as your #1 DT?
I can't take this list seriously if you have Brandon Thompson above Devon Still in any category.
Whhat round do you see Ladarius Green being selected? 3rd?
Good work overall, Laurinaitis being a star is funny, he's a very mediocre LB but I think its a good comparison for Kuechly, who I personally think you have way too high.
basically the only other change I would make is to DT's. Still & Poe are far ahead of the rest of the class in my book with Thompson being a distant 3rd
Big board has been updated and expanded to 125; revisions will be made after class today!
Significant changes have been made to the positional rankings; a big board update will be coming one day soon.
I think Kuechly is way more instinctive that Laurinaitis. More instinctive than any ILB I can think of in recent memory. The guy flat out steals people's tackles in every game and if that nose for the football stays with him in the pros, Kuechly is going to be a pro bowler.
I think RB and WR are the deepest positions in the draft, and sad to say I don't know jack about most of these Oline prospects outside of like the top three or four.
Anyone else think this draft in general is average to weak in overall talent???
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