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Old 11-01-2013, 01:36 PM    (permalink
Matthew Jones
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Default 11/1 - Top 5 Positional Rankings

My initial top-five rankings of the season. I've tried to watch at least a couple of games from as many prospects as possible (and certainly of the prospects included in this list), but there are plenty of guys I haven't watched yet, or haven't watched enough of to rank decisively. Based on some earlier canvassing I did, I don't think many of those players would have cracked the top five, but it's impossible to say. I've included a note about anyone I thought was a possibility for that designation. Once I do some more thorough research into prospects, whether by watching additional tape or by investigating statistics/character, etc. more thoroughly, I'll update these.

QUARTERBACK:

1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville*

2. Marcus Mariota, Oregon**

3. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M**

4. Brett Hundley, UCLA**

5. Tajh Boyd, Clemson

RUNNING BACK:

1. Bishop Sankey, Washington*

2. Lache Seastrunk, Baylor*

3. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin**

4. De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon**

5. Charles Sims, West Virginia

WIDE RECEIVER:

1. Sammy Watkins, Clemson*

2. Mike Evans, Texas A&M**

3. Marqise Lee, Southern California*

4. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

5. Allen Robinson, Penn St.*

TIGHT END:

1. Eric Ebron, North Carolina*

2. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech

3. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington*

4. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa

5. Arthur Lynch, Georgia

OFFENSIVE TACKLE:

1. Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

2. Taylor Lewan, Michigan

3. Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama*

4. Cameron Erving, Florida St.*

5. Antonio Richardson, Tennessee*

OFFENSIVE GUARD:

1. Zack Martin, Notre Dame

2. David Yankey, Stanford*

3. Gabe Jackson, Mississippi St.

4. Cyril Richardson, Baylor

5. Anthony Steen, Alabama

CENTER:

1. Travis Swanson, Arkansas

2. Weston Richburg, Colorado St.

3. Tyler Larsen, Utah St.

4. Bryan Stork, Florida St.

5. Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma

DEFENSIVE TACKLE:

1. Louis Nix, Notre Dame*

2. Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota

3. DaQuan Jones, Penn St.

4. Timmy Jernigan, Florida St.*

5. Anthony Johnson, Louisiana St.*

DEFENSIVE END:

1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina*

2. Vic Beasley, Clemson*

3. Ed Stinson, Alabama

4. Scott Crichton, Oregon St.

5. Kareem Martin, North Carolina

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER:

1. Anthony Barr, UCLA

2. Khalil Mack, Buffalo

3. Kyle Van Noy, Brigham Young

4. Ryan Shazier, Ohio St.*

5. Adrian Hubbard, Alabama*

INSIDE LINEBACKER:

1. C.J. Mosley, Alabama

2. Christian Jones, Florida St.

3. Max Bullough, Michigan St.

4. Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky*

5. Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut*

CORNERBACK:

1. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon*

2. Bradley Roby, Ohio St.*

3. Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida*

4. Jason Verrett, Texas Christian

5. Darqueze Dennard, Michigan St.

SAFETY:

1. Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, Alabama*

2. Curtis Lofton, Louisiana St.

3. Lamarcus Joyner, Florida St.

4. Antone Exum, Virginia Tech

5. Deone Bucannon, Washington St.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:41 PM    (permalink
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The QBs are interesting because Brett Hundley should stay another year. At this point i'd substitute AJ McCarron and Zach Mettenberger for Hundley and Boyd. I'd also find a spot for Trent Murphy, either as a DE or an OLB.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:53 PM    (permalink
Matthew Jones
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Originally Posted by Babylon View Post
The QBs are interesting because Brett Hundley should stay another year. At this point i'd substitute AJ McCarron and Zach Mettenberger for Hundley and Boyd. I'd also find a spot for Trent Murphy, either as a DE or an OLB.
I agree about Hundley staying another year, he's very hard to evaluate because he has obvious potential but there seem to be so many weaknesses in his game. If I removed him, I would probably add McCarron as my next quarterback. I wonder if Trent Murphy is Ricky Elmore, big, productive guy who just isn't really explosive or athletic enough to translate his production.
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:03 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Matthew Jones View Post
I agree about Hundley staying another year, he's very hard to evaluate because he has obvious potential but there seem to be so many weaknesses in his game. If I removed him, I would probably add McCarron as my next quarterback. I wonder if Trent Murphy is Ricky Elmore, big, productive guy who just isn't really explosive or athletic enough to translate his production.
Good point on Murphy. The thing that seperates him is he's one of the toughest players you're ever going to see on a football field. Very smart, coachable type, and does a great job of getting his hands up ala JJ Watt. Murphy isn't 40 yd dash quick but he's quick off the ball and in the backfiield.
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:33 PM    (permalink
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Odell Beckham Jr. warrants consideration.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeJoeBrown
The most important thing, however, is how strong their swagger factors are.
Newton
South of the Mason Dixon +10 swagger
Barely literate +5 swagger
Thief +15 swagger
Kicked off of a team of thugs +20 swagger
Big, average speed -3 swagger
Hasn't done jacksquat on the field +15 swagger
Total Swagger: 62
ATL College Park Zone 3* +20 swagger Bonus pts
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:34 PM    (permalink
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Odell Beckham Jr. warrants consideration.
One of the LSU receivers should be in there.
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:59 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by shylo3716 View Post
Odell Beckham Jr. warrants consideration.
I'm not a big fan of his. I've watched a handful of his games and always felt he just ran a bunch of slants and comebacks, with above-average but not exceptional physical tools and a propensity for drops. He's way, way behind the other five guys I listed. Good return man, though.
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:21 PM    (permalink
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Christian Jones plays outside linebacker
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:21 PM    (permalink
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No Stephen Tuitt, eh?
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:41 PM    (permalink
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No Stephen Tuitt, eh?
I just don't think he's very good. He's a complete turnstile in the run game despite weighing over 300 pounds, and I don't think he'd be effective enough as a pass rusher to warrant playing him at end in a 4-3. In all my years of scouting prospects, I don't know that I've ever seen someone with his physical gifts defend the run so poorly.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:17 PM    (permalink
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And no love for Easily from Florida at Defense End? I understand he got injured this season but ouch.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:29 PM    (permalink
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I just don't think he's very good. He's a complete turnstile in the run game despite weighing over 300 pounds, and I don't think he'd be effective enough as a pass rusher to warrant playing him at end in a 4-3. In all my years of scouting prospects, I don't know that I've ever seen someone with his physical gifts defend the run so poorly.
I can respect that. Scouts won't care as much though. Right and wrong at times, physical gifts always get big attention. Especially in war rooms where coaches can voice pride in their ability to develop them.
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:57 AM    (permalink
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And no love for Easily from Florida at Defense End? I understand he got injured this season but ouch.
I think his best position will be as an undersized three-technique. As an end, he'd be up there with Stinson, depending on one-or-two-gap preference.
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:12 AM    (permalink
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I don't see Lamarcus Joyner at Safety in the NFL.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:21 AM    (permalink
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I don't see Lamarcus Joyner at Safety in the NFL.
I think that safety might be his best position in the NFL. I know FSU has him in the slot and he's doing well, but if he's just a nickel guy then that devalues him. Plus, NFL teams more than college teams will play a big receiver in the slot who would have a size match up advantage over him. He's a good defender gainst the small shifty slot or even normal sized receivers, but if Calvin or Jimmy Graham are lining up in the slot, that could further limit the time he sees on the field or else he faces a match up problem.

The issues with his size are mitigated if he's playing safety. It takes advantage of his strength as a downhill hitter. Love his vision as a playmaker. When he can see the ball in front of him instead of having his back at the QB, I think that he can use his excellent instincts and closing speed to make more big plays. Would love him as my single high safety.
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Old 11-02-2013, 02:34 PM    (permalink
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Ra’Shede Hageman is awesome.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:44 PM    (permalink
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Christian Jones plays outside linebacker
I tried to include the pass rushers at outside linebacker if possible, and the more traditional 4-3 linebackers on the inside. Ryan Shazier is the exception, because I think he's a strict weakside linebacker. I think Jones could play the middle or weakside.
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:19 PM    (permalink
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does junior ILB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee deserve consideration?
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:02 AM    (permalink
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I'm not a big fan of his. I've watched a handful of his games and always felt he just ran a bunch of slants and comebacks, with above-average but not exceptional physical tools and a propensity for drops. He's way, way behind the other five guys I listed. Good return man, though.
He's a better WR than Marqise Lee.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:29 AM    (permalink
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Marcus Mariota is getting a little overhyped to me. I don't think he's anywhere near Bridgewater and I also like Manziel more. I think he has 1st round potential, but that Oregon offense is all about scheme, scheme, scheme, scheme. He's a first read QB and he throws to wide open players 9 times out of 10. I don't like QBs who have it easy. It was one of my bigger knocks on Sam Bradford, and it's one of my bigger knocks on Mariota. I like his talent. He's got ability, but that scheme makes it so easy that it does him no favors. His accuracy is spotty and he struggles moving in the pocket, resetting his feet and throwing accurate passes. He's still raw and he needs to improve his footwork. I also haven't been impressed with his ability to throw on the run. Not to mention he's incredibly reckless with the ball and will fumble a lot when standing or moving in the pocket. I think he needs to stay in college. Really raw. A lot of talent, but he's not nearly as great as his stats indicate. He should not be mentioned in the same breath as Bridgewater. He's just not anywhere close.

It's good to see that people are finally dropping Tajh Boyd, but a Top 5 at his position is still too high. He's just not going to be what people think he can be. He's going to continue to slid as the draft process wears on.

I haven't got around to watching too many RBs yet, but I will be surprised if anyone impresses me more than Melvin Gordon. He's not a complete player and will need to improve his blocking, which has looked awful at times, but his running ability looks like a legit first round prospect. He has real good size with some game breaking speed. I like his natural running instincts, but I haven't seen that complete player yet. I'm not sure if he enters, but if he does I think he will get 1st round consideration. He runs a little too high for my liking and doesn't seem to have great power, but he can be an explosive back. Fringe 1st rounder right now. But I'd be more comfortable taking him in round two.

I'm starting to like this wide reciever class a lot. Allen Robinson looks incredible after the catch. He's very raw and not a very good route runner, but his combination of size + speed plus his yards after the catch ability... It really intrigues me. He looks like he has 4.45 type speed. He could be a 1st round prospect. Part of me just isn't sold on him though. At times he looks like he could challenge Sammy Watkins as the top ranked WR in this class. Other times I see a really raw player. But he might be held back right now by a young QB.

Paul Richardson isn't listed on your list, but he's one of the most explosive players in college football. He's going to be a great deep threat. If he had better hands I think he'd be the best WR in this class. I'm almost tempted in calling him the best WR in this class despite his average hands. His speed, especially deep speed, is among the best I've seen from a college player. Even if he's more of a #2 WR; he's the type that could turn into that Mike Wallace type #2 where he convinces some people that he's a #1. A true speedster who simply has an extra gear that few can match.

I've talked about Mike Evans a lot. For me he's a second round prospect at this point. I just haven't seen him develop his entire game yet and I'm not sure how agile he is, or how good his route running can be. For now, a second rounder, but he has more potential to rise than just about anyone in this class.

Sammy Watkins isn't an elite prospect in my book. I think he's too grounded and not the type that can high point the ball with consistency, but maybe I overrate that attribute. He has great speed and excellent long speed. He can run routes and he has really good hands despite some lapses in concentration, but I don't see an elite prospect. A really good one, but more of a Top 15 prospect. I think the Clemson offense hurts him, but I go long stretches when watching him without being wowed. He's good, he's just not great. Still the #1 WR for me right now. He doesn't have many holes and he's probably the most complete WR that will be in this class.

Zack Martin to me is a solid 1st round prospect. He's probably going to be an interior linemen, but he's a technician with long arms. I think he will be a starter from day one. He doesn't have huge upside, but he's just a very good, quality player. Consistent. One of my favorite players in this draft and I think he will turn into a great value pick for someone.

Ryan Shazier is overrated to me. He's really undersized and I think he can only play one position in one scheme very effectively. I also think he needs to be surrounded by talent and in the right scheme to earn a first round grade like some have him going. If he's in a really good situation then I think he can be a very good pro. If he's going to be asked to take on blockers, stuff running lanes and be the top linebacker on your defense, then I think you are looking at a potentially disappointing player. He simply cant get off blocks. Good speed and ability to move in space, but he's just too one dimensional for my liking.

I like the exclusion of Stephon Tuitt. I've talked about him already, but I think he's being vastly overrated and people are profile scouting. He's not nearly the pass rusher his numbers indicate and he's mediocre against the run. He's been getting by on pure size and strength. He's not explosive and he's not very good with his technique. If he's drafted in the Top 10 or 15, then I think he's going to be a colossal bust. I have a 4th round grade on him right now. And that was based off his sophomore season where he was healthy and putting up big numbers.

I'm just starting to really get into the corners and safeties. Ifo Expre-Olomu looks like he might be my favorite corner in this class for the little I've keyed in on him. I see first round potential and I think he's a playmaker. I've seen him strip the ball from running backs against the run and play the ball well in the air. He's flashed to me as a potentially elite corner prospect. I need to see more of him, but from what I've seen, I have high expectations.

Lamarcus Joyner is a really great college player and he's so fluid in coverage that it makes you think he can play corner or safety. I really want to see how tall and heavy he is, and how fast he is with whatever weight he's at. From an instincts standpoint he reminds me of a Brandon Flowers or Earl Thomas where he just recognizes routes and patterns before everyone else. He's really quick and his closing speed is impressive. His tape is going to wow GMs. Right now Florida St is using him like he's Charles Woodson. He's covering out of the nickel, rushing the QB, making tackles behind the line of scrimmage, forcing fumbles... He's impacting every facet of the game and he's having a really good season to cap off a great career. His tape, for me, is as good any DB in this draft. But his size... It's going to hurt him. His teammate, Terrance Brooks, will probably be regarded as the better safety prospect. I doubt most teams even view Joyner as a safety.

I've seen Loucheiz Purifoy' name very high, but he has looked pretty bad and really raw from what I've seen. He doesn't seem like a guy that should have 1st round buzz, but I haven't seen enough of him to make an firm opinions one way or the other.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:42 AM    (permalink
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I agree with most of your list here. But I would take K Benjamin 1st in the WR rankings. He is a RS soph like Evans, and I feel he is better than Evans in terms of potential. He could easily become the 1st receiver taken if he comes out, guy is an absolute freak talent.

And to me I think Joyner will be a corner in the NFL, not a safety, especially with so many defensive teams needing a nickle corner who can cover the slot WR and defend the run. Joyner is perfect for that potentially.

And I would divide up the difference between 3/4 OLBs and 4/3 OLBs those are two totally different positions in my book. As well as 4/3 DT's and 3/4 NTs.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:26 PM    (permalink
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Actually Allen Robinson is a good route runner. And I'll be surprised if he breaks 4.55. His vertical will impress though. He still needs to improve his focus some as he still drops a few off target but catchable balls. Just the same he's on pace for 90+ receptions from a true freshman QB whose accuracy has been all over the place at times.
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