View Full Version : First Round Prospects, Position Rankings, General Thoughts...

01-26-2009, 04:05 PM
I sent this first round in an email to some buddies on January 22nd. It's not a mock, just a list of players I see as being first round worthy. I tried to go with players I know and like, being one hundred percent honest with myself about players that have some kind of nagging problem that bothers me.

1 QB: Matthew Stafford
3 RB: Knowshon Moreno, "Beanie" Wells, LeSean McCoy
1 TE: Brandon Pettigrew
3 WR: Michael Crabtree, Hakeem Nicks, Juaquin Iglesias
6 OT: Eugene Monroe, Jason Smith, Michael Oher, Eben Britton, William Beatty
1 OG: Andre Smith, Duke Robinson
0 OC:

0 PK:
0 P:

3 DT: Peria Jerry, Jarron Gilbert, B.J. Raji
3 DE: Robert Ayers, Everette Brown, Brian Orakpo
6 LB: Aaron Curry, Brian Cushing, Rey Maualuga, Clint Sintim, Larry English, James Laurinaitis
4 CB: Malcolm Jenkins, D.J. Moore, Sean Smith, Alphonso Smith
1 FS: Louis Delmas
0 SS:

Not terribly interesting, there. I've never had Mark Sanchez graded into the first round. Matthew Stafford has problems but he also has the ability to make it at the next level. Those three runners are tight, LeSean could jump to #1 in my rankings any moment. Peria Jerry or Jarron Gilbert will be the best DT from this class but B.J. Raji can play, despite inconsistency and a tendency to disappear on some game films. If I'm being perfectly honest with myself, I like Andre Smith as a guard prospect. Robert Ayers is probably the straight up best DE in the class, kudos to Tom Marino for picking him out very early in the process. Eugene Monroe and Jason Smith have been neck and neck for my best OT since...October, I think. Louis Delmas is the only safety I've seen thus far with the instincts, leadership and suddenness to really be a first round caliber safety...although there are other guys that will start in this league and Chip Vaughn is among them. I didn't want to put Alphonso Smith on this list as I don't like his size in conjunction with how he plays the run but I guess that's being a bit picky when he covers so damn well. The Center situation is so cloudy that I'm not sure I see one getting a first round grade. I really wanted to put Nicks ahead of Crabtree in order to make a statement, but I sort of realize that's all I'd be doing. Crab's a little more proven. He deserves it. I know Maclin should probably be in the first over Iglesias but I can't shake this nagging feeling that Maclin's just too inexperienced and Iglesias way more experienced and when I think of the first round receivers over the years that busted out and done nothing...Maclin fits among the ones that were "boom or bust" and Iglesias fits among the ones that were not as likely to bust.

I guess I should put out some position rankings.

Wide Receiver - A medium-to-good year for the class.
1. Michael Crabtree - Larry Fitzgerald is helping Crab's stock. :)
2. Hakeem Nicks - Same.
3. Juaquin Iglesias - Size, athleticism, experience, production, savvy.
4. Jeremy Maclin - Big time physical story. But not a sure thing.
5. Percy Harvin - He just makes plays, baby. Dynamic.
6. Derrick Williams - Impressive Senior Bowl week. Royal comparison obvious.
7. Jarett Dillard - 5'10" in the training room, 6'3" on the field.
8. Kenny Britt - Incredible tangibles, but he's up to #8 cuz he blocks.
9. Brandon Tate - Richard's boy is quite the player, but injured.
10. Mike Thomas - Would possibly be even higher if not for ball security Q's.

Tight End - Has some meat and potatoes, but no stars IMO.
1. Brandon Pettigrew - Still have Q's about him as a dynamic pass catcher.
2. Shawn Nelson - Meteoric Senior Bowl week. No strong feelings, here.
3. Cornelius Ingram - Dynamic and consistent pass catcher, played in SEC.
4. Jared Cook - Physical dynamo, first team all-SEC, Vernon Davis-ish?
5. Chase Coffman - Foot/toe injuries taking a toll on him.
6. Travis Beckum - Forgotten, injury not bad, like his versatility and range.
7. James Casey - Overgrown WR like Ingram/Beckum but less proven IMO.
8. Brian Mandeville - Blocked really well at the Shrine Game.
9. Cameron Morrah - Came out too early but a compelling athlete IMO.
10. Bear Pascoe - Will be a solid TE at next level, blocks like a champ.

Offensive Tackle - Another fantastic and deep OT class.
1. Eugene Monroe - My top OT for ages. Reserve right to flip to J. Smith.
2. Jason Smith - "Dancing bear" (just to piss Fineas off).
3. Eben Britton - Galactic frame, great body control, quickness.
4. Michael Oher - Need more consistency, big fella.
5. William Beatty - Not concerned about his size, it'll come. Good player.
6. Jamon Meredith - Very good worker at Shrine Game. Can swing.
7. Sebastian Vollmer - One of the most intriguing stories at Shrine Game.
8. Garrett Reynolds - Simon likes him, what am I gonna to do, argue?
9. Augustus Parrish - Liked him at the Shrine Game.
10. Ramon Foster - Can play once he loses a bit of weight.

Offensive Guard - Historically, switching Tackles to Guard is more successful.
1. Andre Smith - I really view him as a guard. Sorry.
2. Duke Robinson - Do I really need to explain him?
3. Phil Loadholt - He is, IMO, a guard. At best.
4. Herman Johnson - He's so big you know he'll play at the next level.
5. Ray Feinga - Has pro size and potential, impressed ppl in Shrine practices.

Offensive Center - Pretty damn deep for a Center class.
1. Max Unger - Hanging on by a thread. If that. Still liked him on tape.
2. Alex Mack - Has developed quite a following.
3. Eric Wood - So has this guy.
4. Antoine Caldwell - This Center class is pretty deep...
5. A.Q. Shipley - Smart, leader, Rimington winner, good player.

Running Back - Good mix of stars and grinders.
1. Knowshon Moreno - This top trio is very tight but Knowshon gets nod.
2. Chris Wells - If not for the injury thing, he's #1.
3. LeSean McCoy - Could move to #1. Fast, big, balance, load handler.
4. Rashad Jennings - Ronnie Brown-like. Big, fast, can catch.
5. Javon Ringer - Good lower body strength, balance, compelling athlete.
6. Andre Brown - Great size, power, speed, finishes plays.
7. Jeremiah Johnson - Been a fan of his, legendary stiff-arms. :)
8. Shonn Greene - Like the size, love the power, style/speed bothers me.
9. Gartrell Johnson - Vicious short-strider, 3rd gear faster than 4th.
10. Donald Brown - Compelling production, not compelling film. No power.

Quarterback - I hate this position this year.
1. Matthew Stafford - I hate this position this year.
2. Josh Freeman - At least he's got size and ability.
3. Mark Sanchez - I really hate this position this year.
4. Stephen McGee - Victim of injury and circumstance, but I like him.
5. Graham Harrell - Poor guy is getting Brennan'd, but he can play.
6. Hunter Cantwell - Young and delivery is evolving, be patient with him.
7. Rhett Bomar - Delivery just bad enough not to get changed. Accuracy?
8. Nate Davis - I don't like short quarterbacks.
9. Nathan Brown - I really don't like short quarterbacks.
10. Tom Brandstater - Anyone to avoid Brian Hoyer or J.P. Wilson.

Defensive Tackle - Very weak class, to me. Tough to hang your hat on.
1. Peria Jerry - The most unblockable DT in the draft.
2. Jarron Gilbert - Would be #1, but limited to certain schemes if a DT.
3. B.J. Raji - He can certainly play. When he wants to. How often is that?
4. Evander Hood - Richard's boy. I trust him.
5. Ron Brace - Starting to get mean here. At least he's big and powerful.
6. Sen'Derrick Marks - Can he be a Mike Patterson? In which schemes?
7. Ricky Jean-Francois - Still has incredible potential, needs stability.
8. Darryl Richard - Smart, savvy, strong player, fires out fast, makes plays.
9. Myron Pryor - Very underrated, can't single-block him.
10. Mitch King - Agree that he could make some noise in an Indy scheme.

Defensive End - Weaker class, but not devastatingly so.
1. Robert Ayers - Size, speed, explosion, array of moves and counters.
2. Everette Brown - Stop trying to move him out to OLB. He's a good DE.
3. Brian Orakpo - Same, but not a ton of moves on him.
4. Tyson Jackson - No frills run stuffer with athletic ability.
5. Michael Johnson - He's still evolving, I think he could still turn up.
6. Kyle Moore - Overlooked, but this kid can play. Great size.
7. Paul Kruger - Starting to get a drop-off, here.
8. Matt Shaughnessy - Can start on a number of teams and not embarrass.
9. Pannel Egboh - "Potential doesn't play on Sundays". Needs coaching.
10. David Veikune - I understand he impressed in Senior Bowl practices.

Conversion Players - Very strong class for conversion DE/OLBs, IMO.
1. Clint Sintim - Not really a "conversion" at all. Very savvy player. Strong.
2. Larry English - Explosive edge rusher, Simon likes him in coverage.
3. Aaron Maybin - Fastest edge rusher in the class. Very compelling.
4. Connor Barwin - What can't he do? Aside from hear (mostly deaf).
5. Clay Matthews - I have a lot of concerns, but he doesn't stop. Ever.

Linebackers - Is an ok class. I tend to lump true linebackers together.
1. Aaron Curry - Loves contact, can cover, be smart, eyes of a champion.
2. Brian Cushing - Can play in about any scheme. Hope he'll excel in one.
3. Rey Maualuga - Huge, explosive, closing speed, studies, he'll figure it out.
4. James Laurinaitis - Plays with eyes and heart, not legs.
5. Jasper Brinkley - Classic thudder.
6. Tyrone McKenzie - Can make plays in any capacity.
7. Kaluka Maiava - Plays next to behemoths, doesn't get recognized.
8. Darry Beckwith - Aggressive and can stay on the field in nickel.
9. Scott McKillop - Wannstedt teaches well, more athletic than H.B. Blades.
10. Michael Tauliili - Get your head straight, man. You can play.

Safeties - Deep class (5 or 6 pro starters) but lacking at the top end.
1. Louis Delmas - Has the explosion and smarts to warrant top marks.
2. William Moore - Getting trashed for his pass defense.
3. David Bruton - Size and ability are good on him.
4. Chip Vaughn - Same, can play in the pros. Not much downside.
5. Otis Wiley - Have always liked him, great versatility, good instincts, size.
6. Keith Fitzhugh - Aggressive pistol-whipper. Loves football. Plays like it.
7. Rashad Johnson - Smart player but athletically limited.
8. Patrick Chung - Something hasn't smelled right on him for me.
9. Michael Hamlin - Good size, can probably play at the next level.
10. Derek Pegues - Returner, limited size, good speed, can he tackle?

Cornerbacks - Deep class. Good year.
1. Malcolm Jenkins - Still the solid all-around game, can do it all IMO.
2. D.J. Moore - Tremendous potential, heck of a cover guy and playmaker.
3. Sean Smith - Also great potential, size/ability are outstanding.
4. Alphonso Smith - Won't trash size and run defense if he keeps covering.
5. Vontae Davis - Not the premium player some think.
6. Macho Harris - Showing his versatility. Can play in any scheme.
7. Coye Francies - Length, aggressiveness, moves really well.
8. DeAngelo Smith - Richard won't shut up about him, so I give him a nod. :)
9. Keenan Lewis - A personal fav, again size and ability to be physical key.
10. Don Carey - Stood out in the Shrine Game. Size, hip-pocket player.

Kickers/Punters - Who cares?
1. Seriously, do you care?
2. I know I don't.
3. Might as well start listing fullbacks, too. As if anyone grades them.
4. You realize all of my rankings will change within two or three days, right?
5. Todd McShay is lazy. But Chris Steuber isn't very good, either.
6. All in all not my best work, but it's a good starting point.
7. I hate waiting for free agency.
8. I hate waiting for the draft.
9. I have a lot more draft work to do. Wow that's intimidating.
10. Happy birthday, Simon. I hope you're ready for me to jump out of the cake later.

01-26-2009, 04:17 PM
Cool read as always....

01-26-2009, 04:21 PM
I'm guessing for K/P the only guy worth mentioning is Louie Sakoda since the greatest punter known to man right now is only a junior (Zoltan Mesko)

01-26-2009, 05:18 PM
I'm guessing for K/P the only guy worth mentioning is Louie Sakoda since the greatest punter known to man right now is only a junior (Zoltan Mesko)

graham gano from fsu is no slouch either

01-26-2009, 05:50 PM
i nominate CK to quit his job in equities and go take a job with the Dolphins as a scout...excellent read as always...

01-26-2009, 06:11 PM
Excellent read as always, CK.

01-26-2009, 06:53 PM

01-26-2009, 07:51 PM
Very nice rankings CK....What do you think of Pat White? I didn't see him listed anywhere in your rankings.

01-26-2009, 08:08 PM
i nominate CK to quit his job in equities and go take a job with the Dolphins as a scout...excellent read as always...

I have told him the same exact thing quite a few times.

Thanks again CK!:woot: Love reading your write-ups.

01-26-2009, 09:34 PM
I like your 6th RB, Andre Brown. He looked great in the Senior Bowl. Mix him in with our crew.

01-26-2009, 09:48 PM
Good job CK. Nice read.

And of course, thanks for taking the time to write up your opinions.