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Thread: 2012 NFL Draft Prospects

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    Draft positional series: Down defensive linemen

    While most of the talk and fan attention is focused on quarterbacks, as usual, the most talented part of this year's NFL Draft will be along the defensive line.
    According to NFLDraftScout.com ratings, as many as six defensive tackles may be selected in the first round and nine in the first two rounds. And after a conspicuous display of athleticism at the scouting combine, some of them are still moving up many draft boards.
    That doesn't include another four defensive ends of the DAD variety -- Down and Dirty -- who seem destined to be selected in the first two rounds. This defensive line list includes only true trenchmen and not those 'tweener, DE/OLB hybrids. We will discuss those edge players in next week's analysis of linebackers.
    Although there is plenty of talent at the top of the defensive tackle list, there is no unanimity as to what order these massive men should be selected. At the top of most lists are LSU's Michael Brockers, Memphis' Dontari Poe, Penn State's Devon Still and Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox.
    Poe has been the star of the bunch since the February underwear Olympics at Indianapolis known as the combine, where he put on a sensational show. He moved like a man 100 pounds lighter than the 346 he actually weighed. He moved all that 40 yards in only 4.98 seconds. He played both tackle and end in college. He will now surely get a great shot in the NFL.
    Here is a closer look at the top defensive linemen in this draft (Player, position rank/overall, school, height, weight, projected round, *-underclassman):
    Read more:http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/s...ensive-linemen
    Last edited by DKphin; 03-31-2012 at 05:29 PM.
    "It happens all the time," Taylor said. "It's not an exact science and personnel guys aren't the end-all, be-all. " Jason Taylor,2011
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    Draft positional series: Offensive tackles, guards, centers

    With literally hundreds of millions of dollars being thrown at NFL quarterbacks and receivers, there is a corresponding need for support casts that allow the expensive, big-name stars to dazzle fans with their video-game-like performances.
    That task falls largely on offensive linemen, whose successful work in the trenches is a prerequisite to ever-increasing offensive statistics in the NFL, despite the fact they tally few stats themselves and most of those are bad, such as the number of sacks they give up.
    This year's draft has a good but not great group of these huge athletes quietly ready to help those NFL offensive numbers continue bloating.
    According to NFLDraftScout.com ratings, as many as seven offensive linemen could be taken in the first round, including four among the first 20 players. The best of the bunch are offensive tackles Matt Kalil of Southern California and Riley Reiff of Iowa, whose names could be among the first 10 called.
    The top guard in this class is David DeCastro, whose training in Stanford's pro-style offense should help him transition to the NFL with ease. Wisconsin's Peter Konz, the best of the centers, is expected to be a second-round pick.
    Here is a closer look at the offensive linemen in this year's NFL Draft. They are listed with school, height, weight and projected round of selection (*denotes underclassman).
    Read more:http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/s...guards-centers
    Last edited by DKphin; 03-31-2012 at 05:32 PM.
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    OG/OT Charles Burton Montana 6-5 310(Played all OT and OG on the OL-potential late rd steal)
    Last edited by DKphin; 03-31-2012 at 08:10 PM.
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    If you click the link at the end of the article, you can see an interview at the end of the piece

    Countdown to the NFL Draft:Courtney Upshaw

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Less than a month to the NFL draft remains, and the Miami Dolphins are sharpening their focus in terms of what players to earmark as potential picks.
    The process involves visits to pro days, and now invitations to draft prospects for workouts.
    None of the University of Alabama players I spoke with during Thursday’s pro day said specifically if they would workout for the Dolphins.
    Courtney Upshaw will provide some NFL team with key pass rushing skills.

    Of the three players I previewed, linebacker Courtney Upshaw seems to be the most likely candidate the Dolphins would take with the eighth pick if they choose that route. I also profiled running back Trent Richardson and safety Mark Barron.
    Most believe Miami’s top target is Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
    The Dolphins have said they need a top-flight quarterback. Upshaw (6-2, 279 pounds) is a pass rusher. That was his role at Alabama where he was one of the key ingredients to the nation’s top-ranked defenses – one of the best in college football history. He was instrumental in key games including Alabama’s 20-0 victory in the BCS National Championship Game to help the Crimson Tide to its 14th national title.
    Read more:http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports...ey-upshaw.html
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    Second Tier Corners
    April 2, 2012
    We know a fair amount, at this point, about the guys that are likely first round draft choices as defensive backs. In fact, it appears that Morris Claiborne of LSU, Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick, Janoris Jenkins of North Alabama and South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore will be first round picks at the 2012 draft. It also appears that the drop off between the top three or four defensive backs may not be as wide as it has been in the past. Let’s take a look at some of the perhaps lesser known DBs at both the corner and safety spots, in the 2012 NFL Draft class.

    One prospect that catches my eye in terms of measurable and production is Trumaine Johnson from Montana of the Big Sky Conference. At 6-1 and 204 pounds, Johnson has the size that you want to be able to matchup against the big, long, athletic, and overpowering WR in the NFL. He has outstanding ball skills in terms of identifying the route and taking the proper angle to get to the pass in the air. His tackling is a bit suspect, but that isn’t where the red flags are with Johnson. Some off field issues including an arrest, as well as a devastating season ending injury in 2009 give NFL people pause, for certain. On the field, as well as unfortunately off of it, Johnson reminds me of an Antonio Cromartie type of corner. I believe he will be in the league for a long time as, at worst, a productive corner on good teams. Probably not a true number one, however. Represents the best value corner towards the middle or end of round three, in my opinion.

    Another corner that I think has a chance to catch on and, given the opportunity to develop, be a good NFL player is Dwight Bentley from Louisiana-Lafayette. A bit undersized at 5-10 and 180 pounds, what does worry me is that his speed is not what would be considered elite. Is it adequate? Certainly. Is it probably good enough to be on a roster as a nickel corner? Probably. But if you are a corner coming in at 5-10 and under 190 pounds, I need you to be explosive, help in the return game, excel in zone coverages, and be a threat to take it to the house on an interception. Not a true playmaker, but I do feel like he can be a solid number three corner in the league for a spell if he gets stronger. Good enough ball skills, and more quick than fast. That can make up for a lot of speed and other deficiencies and we’ve seen that with Bentley. In terms of being able to play bigger than his size and stronger than his weight, he may be second to none in this second tier of corner prospects.

    I almost feel funny saying this, but I think that Cliff Harris from Oregon has as good of a chance to be a high end NFL corner as anyone in this second tier. Football fans forget the ceiling that this kid had before his suspension for off the field issues prior to this past NCAA season. A dynamic and explosive athlete with elite level speed and quickness, Harris may take some time to develop as a legit cover corner on an every down basis, but I feel like he can contribute there in spells from day one. His explosion in the kick and punt return game will allow him to see the field and NFL speed quickly, which may aid in his transition. Exceptional ball skills, and a natural ability to understand angles in coverage will allow Harris to compete for playing time right away, and likely flash some brilliance in his rookie season. His height is excellent at just a hair under six foot tall. His bulk is a bit worrisome. The last credible number I have on Cliff is a gaunt 173 pounds. With today’s physical WR, he will surely need to add a good 17-20 pounds without losing too much of that top end speed I talked about. I think his frame lends itself well to adding some pounds while retaining his skillset. His lower body has room to carry some more weight, and this will improve his strength on the line of scrimmage.

    Are these guys the sexy, flashy “name” picks that some of the top tier guys are? No .However, in terms of representing a value for their draft slot, these three guys may well prove to by day two steals for NFL teams with strong locker rooms, strong coaching and veteran presences, and the time allowed to be a developmental player.

    Here is a quick look at a few other guys that are under the radar at this point in the process but I think could make an impact:

    1. FS Phillip Thomas, Syracuse. Size worries me and not elite speed. Plus, he played at Syracuse.
    2. CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia. Underrated athlete, but size worries me at less than 5-11. Plays strong, however.
    3. CB Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina. Ideal size for a corner. Inconsistent and level of competition is worrisome.
    4. FS George Iloka, Boise State. A huge safety at almost 6-4 and over 200 pounds. Plays about that size, however. Not great in coverage. Adequate. Major developmental guy.
    Read more:http://www.gbnreport.com/donnellyreport.html
    Last edited by DKphin; 04-02-2012 at 09:06 AM.
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    Ranking the cornerback class by tiers

    Tier 1

    Morris Claiborne: Louisiana State (6-0,185)
    The top corner in this year's draft. He's tall and long which allows him to play big off the line. However, he showcases the footwork, balance and quick-twitch ability of a much smaller corner out of his breaks. With improved technique he should mature into one of the leagues best.

    Tier 2

    Dre Kirkpatrick: Alabama (6-3, 192)
    Will be an ideal zone corner at the next level because of his size, instincts and physicality. However, he can also press off the line and consistently re-route receivers. Isn't a dynamic quick-twitch athlete, but showcases good balance, can keep his feet under him and looks like a "plus" caliber starting cornerback in the NFL. Reminds me some of Chargers cornerback Quinton Jammer physically.
    ICONKirkpatrick looks the part.

    Janoris Jenkins: North Alabama (5-10, 182)
    If he can put it all together off the field, he's got the ability to develop into a very good cover man in the NFL and despite his size he's going to be a really tough guy to separate from in just about any scheme he plays in.
    Read more:http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/...-by-tiers.html


    Last edited by DKphin; 04-02-2012 at 06:14 PM.
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    WR Phillip Payne UNLV 6-3 210
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    CB Claiborne scores poorly on Wonderlic

    LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne reportedly scored a four out of 50 on the Wonderlic test, a basic reasoning and intelligence exam taken by all prospects at the Scouting Combine.
    ProFootballTalk.com cited sources in its report on the consensus top-ranked cornerback in the draft. Claiborne, a junior, entered the draft after being named an All-American as a junior.
    The NFL does not release the test results but the scores have typically trickled out to media through unnamed sources. The 12-minute timed test consists of 50 multiple choice questions.
    Several players have survived the stigma of poor Wonderlic scores to be highly drafted. NFLDraftScout.com rates Claiborne as the top cornerback in the draft and fourth-best prospect overall.
    Read more:http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/b...-on-wonderlic-
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    What do our resident experts think of Shea McClellin? Would he be a good pickup in round 2 if we get Tannehill and can't get Fleener? Does he make it to round 2?
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    I really like McClellin. He has an explosive first step to effectively rush the passer. He is a high motor guy. He has a number of moves in his pass rushing repertoire. He can play with his hand in the dirt or from a two point stance. He is able to drop into man coverage effectively. His scheme versatility is a plus and with so many teams interchanging 3-4 and 4-3, can fit into a variety of different fronts. I would not mind if we picked him up in the 2nd and would be thrilled if we could get him in the 3rd. I can see him playing in the league for a very long time.

    Here is what Mike Singletary and Rob Rang had to say about him:
    Mike Singletary weighed in:
    "Let me just say this, if [McClellin] wants to play D-line, he can play D-line. If he wants to play linebacker, he can play linebacker. He is the kind of guy that can fit either way.
    "He's a guy that right now is about 255 pounds. He can pick up and go to 275 and go back to D-line or he can stay where he's at. He's got a lot of good stuff ahead of him because he's also a worker. You find a guy like him with his versatility and intangibles -- he's also a smart kid -- and he's going to be just fine at the next level."
    Rang continues by talking about McClellin's switch from mostly-DE at BSU to playing mostly linebacker at the Senior Bowl.
    Proving much more comfortable than expected considering his lack of experience at the position, McClellin showed good diagnosis skills, quickly attacking gaps in the running game. He took on blocks aggressively, using his long, strong arms to quickly disengage as well as the flexibility and awareness to keep his feet free from the mass of humanity surrounding him near the line of scrimmage. Though not allowed to take ball carriers to the ground during practice, McClellin closed quickly and wrapped up securely before releasing them to finish their runs. As impressive as McClellin was defending the run, it was his surprising agility and awareness in coverage that caught some by surprise.
    http://www.fieldgulls.com/2012/2/18/...ball-links-for



    The answer to your question,"Does he make it to round 2?" I think he makes to our pick in the 2nd rd.

    I also like his teammate DE Tyrone Crawford. Crawford is still a work in progress, but, like most of the BSU players, you have got to love that blue collar mentality that they bring.
    Last edited by DKphin; 04-03-2012 at 03:59 PM.
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