WAITING IN THE WINGS
by David Syvertsen
January 17, 2013
While the grading process still has a ways to go, I’ve noticed that the media and public opinion have yet to get past preseason rankings of NFL prospects. As time passes and the more games tapes that are watched, I expect a good amount of players to move up the big board while pushing down the guys that underachieved. Here are three names that will surge upward and the players at their respective positions I expect them to replace.
<>LB Dion Jordan – Oregon - 6-7/243 ....
What coaches and general managers want at the top of round one is upside, versatility, and the ability to contribute early on. Dion Jordan has all three. A freakish athlete with his ability to play low despite his height. Technically sound with good arm/hand use. Very fast, very fluid in space. Jordan spent a lot of time rushing the edge, out wide in coverage against wide receivers, and filling lanes against the run. He has the frame for more weight, and he will fit in to any scheme. Jordan is an explosive athlete with length, aggression, and versatility. He is a top 10 caliber player. <>
Who He Will Replace: LB Barkevius Mingo – 6’4/240
Mingo has been overhyped because of his tool set. I’ve seen plenty of LSU over the past two years and he is not a guy that shines for an entire game. He shows small flashes here and there, but I don’t see the potential superstar here. He is a great athlete, but he lacks a true physical presence. A few years of weight training may help, but some guys simply don’t have the explosive upper body to win the one on one battles. Speed is attractive, but the power still needs to be there. Mingo is a guy I think will struggle to be more than a 3rd
down pass rusher.
<>DE Ezekiel Ansah – BYU – 6-6/270 ...
<>Anash is a raw football player. He is relatively new to the game, and he still has a ways to go when it comes to football IQ. Keeping that in mind while I watch his game tapes hard to believe at times and it makes me believe he has the highest ceiling of any defensive end in this class. Ansah is a huge body that is already well developed. He is very physical. Often sends a jolt to offensive linemen upon contact when he plays low and has his weight behind him. Bends well, can play low while maintaining power. Put him in to an NFL weight training program and you may have a mix of Jason Pierre-Paul and Mario Williams. Ansah will steal the show at the combine and that could throw him in to the top 10. <>
Who He Will Replace: DE DaMontre Moore – Texas A&M – 6’4/250
Moore is arguably the most productive defensive player in this draft when looking at the past two seasons. 38.5 tackles for loss and 21 sacks, with one of those seasons in the SEC. Moore has upside, especially considering 2012 was his first full year as a defensive end. He has the frame and length to add bulk. Very aggressive, explosive upper body. The more I see him on tape though, I notice a lot of his production comes on broken down plays. That speaks volumes about his hustle. While important, a high draft pick needs a certain tool set to go along with the aggression. I question his ability to consistently win the one on one battles against NFL blockers.
<>DT Sharrif Floyd – Florida – 6-3/303 ...
<>Pound for pound, Floyd may be one of the most explosive athletes in the entire class. He carries 300+ pounds with ease. Very powerful player that can stand up interior blockers. Has the quickness to sneak by them and disrupt the action in the backfield. Floyd has been moved back and forth between the inside and outside. No matter what, he makes an impact because he creates a mismatch. NFL defenses is all about mismatches, especially in the trenches. He is too elusive for guards, too powerful for tackles and tight ends. He fits in to any scheme and in the era of amoeba defenses and altering schemes, Floyd has a lot of value. <>
Who He Will Replace: Johnathan Hankins – Ohio State – 6’3/335
Another guy that is moved along the defensive line, Hankins brings a different kind of versatility. He carries a lot of weight, possibly too much. He moves well in pursuit, a guy that can get after it laterally. Dancing bear type. As big as Hankins is, I don’t see the physical presence against the inside run. He does not anchor well, often leaving his gap and getting out too wide. Hankins has the right size/athletcism ratio to be drafted in the first round, but if you lack the power, your grade suffers.