Aka: where we stand right now…
Blue Chip(they should make an immediate impact as rookies if you play them)
1. Marcell Dareus DL Alabama: One of better and more polished DTs to come out in years. When Warren Sapp is raving about him: listen.
2. Patrick Peterson CB LSU: Name a better CB prospect than him in the last 10 years…
3. Robert Quinn DL UNC: Medical red flag, hasn’t played since 09, amazing pure pass rusher.
4. Julio Jones WR Alabama: Ran. A. 4.39. 40 yard dash. On. A. Broken. Foot.
5. Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri: He has the pedigree, the stats, the arm, and apparently the head. Why isn’t he the #1 pick?
6. AJ Green WR UGA: Another amazing pure WR prospect.
7. Von Miller Defensive attacker TAMU: Hard worker, great physical tools, productive.
8. Mike Pouncey OL Florida: Blue chip Olineman, he isn’t a center though.
9. Mark Ingram RB Alabama: A bigger Emmitt Smith imo.
10. Phil Taylor NT Baylor: Proto-typical NT who’s shown that his flub in Happy Valley was just that.
11. Prince Amukarama CB Nebraska: In any other year he’d be a top 4 pick. Peterson drops him down.
12. Marcus Cannon OL TCU: Big, fast, technical and polished. Can start tomorrow just about anywhere.
2nd tier(the guys who’ll talk yourself into being happy about if your team drafts him)
13. Nick Fairley DL Auburn: He has a ton of red flags, but he can be a truly amazing DT.
14. Aldon Smith Defensive attacker Missouri: Very raw, but great natural skills/physical ability.
15. Rodney Hudson OL FSU: Almost as good as Cannon. He’s smaller, quick and fast: perfect for a Zone block.
16. Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa: Some red flags(medical, personal), but he’s a hard worker who also knows his trade.
17. Derek Sherrod OT Miss State: A proto-typical Zone block Left tackle.
18. Joseph Barksdale OT LSU: I’m higher on him than most, but he’s a great prospect. He has NFL level technical skill/polish, just not a great physical athlete.
19. Colin Kaepernick QB Nevada: A gunslinger with mobility, only he’s started for 3 seasons and is pretty intelligent.
20. Cameron Jordan DL California: He needs to find a team who’ll keep him at one position, but he has the potential to be a monster.
21. JJ Watt DL Wisconsin: Hard worker, ready to play tomorrow—but limited upside.
22. Kyle Rudolph TE Notre Dame: injury issues, but jaw dropping potential. 6-6 with good speed/hands.
23. Tyron Smith OT Southern Cal: Good size/speed combo, probably is a natural RT in the NFL.
24. Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin: A RT in the NFL—maybe an athlete OG. Polished and powerful. He’ll have a dickens of a time with shorter speed rusher though.
25. Akeem Ayers LB UCLA: Mr. Versatility. Good size and mental tools. He can play just about any LB position.
26. Quinton Carter FS Oklahoma: A solid, if unspectacular FS prospect who should be a B+ level Starter in the NFL for awhile.
27. Ryan Kerrigan DL Purdue: A lower talent Jordan, he’s probably going to have to solely be a weakside 4-3 DE
28. Leonard Hankerson WR Miami: Big play, big risk. He has an amazing combo of size/speed, but he’s almost guarantee to screw up a lot of easy catches each game.
29. Martez Wilson LB Illinois: Physically a freak, his game is rough around the edges—but someone will take him high(and not be disappointed).
30. Anthony Costanzo OT Boston College: Probably more natural at RT in the NFL, but he’s a solid prospect.
31. Christian Ponder QB FSU: An interesting prospect, he has the intangibles/experience, the only question is with his arm.
32. Justin Houston Defensive attacker UGA: UGA pass rushers don’t have a great track record, but Houston seems to have that determination/agility that you like to see in a 3-4 rusher.
33. Stefen Wisniewski OL PSU: Even if he was someone else’s son, he’d be seen as a polished OL prospect.
34. Torry Smith WR UMD: Roddy White 2.0? He has the ability/speed and grit.
35. Ricky Stanzi QB Iowa: He’s the anti-Ryan Mallet. He has the intangibles/experience, but questions persist about his arm.
36. Derrick Locke RB Kentucky: One cut and go. He might be limited to a zone block system, but he could be very good in that role.
37. Brooks Reid Defensive attacker Arizona: Hard worker—the JJ Watt of 3-4 rushers. Maybe a limited upside right now, but he’ll contribute in a 3-4.
38. Robert Sands S WVU: Amazing physical tools, questionable instincts/intangibles..why isn’t he a top 20 pick?
39. Marvin Austin DL UNC: Very raw, but great physical tools(he killed it at the combine). Someone will take him higher than expected.
40. Randall Cobb WR Kentucky: One of those “does a bunch of things well, but nothing great” type guys. He’ll find a role as a slot guy/option runner.
41. Quan Sturdivant ILB UNC: A very versatile defender, he’s probably most fit at weak side ILB in a 3-4, but he could play anywhere.
42. Deunta Williams FS UNC: He’ll drop dramatically due to his broken leg, but he’s a real talent: good coverage FS/ballhawk.
43. Titus Young WR BSU: Didn’t ace the combine so his stock is in flux, he’s an outside X wr who’ll make tough catches, but won’t be physical enough to fight off bump/runs.
44. Aaron Williams CB Texas: Talented, but I just can’t get excited about him when watching the tape on him.
45. James Carpenter OL Alabama: A key Olineman on one of the better Olines in recent history. You can plug him in just about anywhere. His stock is lower because he plays much better than his workouts are.
46. Cameron Heyward DL Ohio State: Inconsistent 5 tech. When he’s on, he’s Richard Seymour. When he’s off, he’s a tackling sled.
47. Jonathan Baldwin WR Pittsburgh: He’ll have a long career as a red zone target/3rd down chain mover.
48. Lawrence Guy DL Arizona State: This could be the big riser on draft day. He killed it at the combine and teams like versatile DLinemen who can physically play anywhere.
49. Corey Liuget DT Illinois: Solid prospect who won’t dazzle, but he won’t embarrass himself on the field. I think he’s best as a rotational DT in a 4-3.
3rd tier(Question mark crowd):
50. Mikel Leshoure RB Illinois: A talented player who turned out not to be nearly as fast/big as advertised at the combine. He’s a rotational back right now imo.
51. Stephen Paea DT Oregon: A very strong 1-gapper DT with some very impressive potential. Health questions though.
52. Colin McCarthy LB Miami: One of the stars of the senior bowl/combine. He could be an early 2nd with a good pro day—teams like hard workers who are teachable….at least the good teams do.
53. Brandon Harris CB Miami: A straight out of central casting undersized outside CB from the U.
54. Andy Dalton QB TCU: Didn’t wow at the combine, but didn’t hurt his stock either. He’s an advanced developmental project at Qb.
55. Sam Acho Defensive attacker Texas: A bit small, but someone will like his pass rush instincts.
56. Cliff Matthews DE South Carolina: He needs work, but he has potential as a dedicated 4-3 weakside rusher. You’ll have to pick his spots and only put him up against bad OTs, but he has the speed/agility.
57. Greg Jones LB Michigan State: Started last season as one of the top defensive prospects, but his senior bowl started a long slide that’s not really stopping.
58. Drake Nevis DL LSU: Another undersized 1-gapper. He doesn’t have the physical tools you want, but he’s relentless. Someone will get a steal on the 2nd day.
59. Greg Little WR North Carolina: Good size/speed, but not really great with either. He’s a #2 next to a WR who’s either very big or very fast.
60. Terrance Toliver WR LSU: A decent sized flanker without great speed. He was the Mikel LeShoure of the WRs at the combine.
61. Pernell McPhee DE Miss State: A better teammate/leader than player. He’s very limited potential-wise, but you know what you’re getting from him.
62. Daniel Thomas RB Kansas State: A real bruiser of a Rb who oddly has good skill on passing routes. Chris Warren clone?
63. Ryan Williams RB Va Tech: His combine 40 time killed his stock. If he can run back into the 4.47 range, he’ll shoot back up. He has obvious potential, but injury risks.
64. Ras-I Dowling CB UVA: Answered his biggest question at the combine by running a great 40 time. I still think he’s going to have to move to FS(his hipwork needs work).
65. Austin Pettis WR Boise State: Sort of a lower talent Greg Little, but I really like his intangibles.
66. Dwayne Harris WR ECU: I still think he’s a Steve Smith(NYG) clone. Not fast, but quick and has good intangibles.
67. John Moffitt OG/OC Wisconsin: Good size, but not very athletic. Good natural blocker though.
68. Benjamin Ijalana OG/OT Villanova: If I was taking him, I’d take him to be an OG, but I have a feeling he’ll be asked to be an OT.
69. Muhammed Wilkerson DL Temple: Great athleticism for a 5 tech/4-3 2 gapper, but something about him just bothers me when I watch the tape of him.
70. Sione Fua DL Stanford: Flying under the radar somewhat, he was a solid piece of a good college defense and is a good prospect for the en vogue 3-4 defense. Another “you see what you’re getting” type player.
71. Bruce Carter LB UNC: A 4-3 Will without much pass rush ability. Sort of limits where he’ll go.
72. Jimmy Smith CB Colorado: physically he’s a freak. Mentally he’s a midget. He was busted twice at college, but lied about it in his interviews. No bueno.
4th tier(limited upside or major question marks):
73. Rashad Carmichael CB Virginia Tech: Ballhawk will give up big plays.
74 Casey Matthews LB Oregon: A really like him, but he was too evasive at the combine to trust him.
75. Mason Foster LB Washington: Good physical tools, can play 43 Will or ILB. His lack of concentration will hurt him come draft day.
76. Alex Linnenkohl OC Oregon State: Fluid in protection, good size, but he struggles to continue his blocks into the next level.
77. DeMarco Murray RB Oklahoma: Don’t ask him to be a prime back and you’ll do well to get him in the early 3rd.
78. Shane Vereen RB California: Strong for his size, he has the indescribable “it” imo.
79. DeMarcus Love OL Arkansas: He’s going to have to play OG in the NFL because his footwork just isn’t there.
80. Kendall Hunter RB Oklahoma State: I’d feel better about him as a prospect if he wasn’t so small/slow.
81. Roy Helu Jr RB Nebraska: He smoked the combine 40 time(which was a big question about him), but he might be a workout warrior. He plays slower than his time.
82. Kendric Burney CB UNC: I like him, as does Mayock, but that 4.7 at the combine really worries me.
83. Bilal Powell RB Louisville: For a prospect who runs hard and just needed a good 40 time to shoot past Vareen, Hunter et al, skipping the 40 at the combine wasn’t good.
84. Kelvin Sheppard ILB LSU: showing up at 250 without running the 40 should not just be a red flag but a string of flares.
85. Jake Kirkpatrick OC TCU: Raw, but good physical tools and playing Center in a spread is a positive in my book.
86. Shareece Wright CB Southern Cal: Not physically gifted(never has been), so he learned that game watching film to make up for that.
87. Darius Morris OT Temple: Good tools, but very raw. He’s probably a RT in the NFL who’ll need to develop.
88. DeAndre McDaniel S Clemson: Play him in the box as a strong safety and you have yourself a steal. Play him as a free safety and you’ll be giving up a lot of touchdowns.
89. Jah Reid OL UCF: Great size with decent physical tools. His good combine got him noticed, but he needs work on his blocking skills.
90. Jurrell Casey DT Southern Cal: A polished 1 gapper, but his question is one of how well his game translates. The list of Southern Cal DTs being underwhelming is long.
91. Greg Romeus DE Pittsburgh: he’ll drop due to back issues, but he’s a steal.
92. Jerrell Powe NT Ole Miss: Huge drop in perception from post 2009 to today, but some 3-4 team will get themselves a good NT in the 3rd day.
93. Will Rackley OG Lehigh: He wants to be a RT, but he’s a LG imo.
94. Rahim Moore S UCLA: He made his bones with a 10 int season in 2009, but he showed up at the combine smaller, slower and lost in drills. He makes this list just because of that 10 int season.
95. Jarvis Jenkins DT Clemson: Soft player who flashed some good physical tools at the combine. He has potential if you commit to teaching him the position.
96. Steven Friday Defensive attacker Va Tech: Very 1-dimensional, but he can be a dedicated pass rusher in the NFL.
97. Tyler Sash SS Iowa: Don’t expect a big time talent when you take him. You should expect a hard worker who’ll tackle surely.
98. Owen Marecic FB/LB Stanford: He can legitimately play LB or FB in the NFL. Hard worker, good guy, better teammate.
99. Brandon Burton CB Utah: Probably a nickel/slot CB in the NFL, but he can battle with flankers well.
100. Pat Devlin QB Delaware: Big arm, but raw. I question his accuracy and footwork.
The non-top 100 potential stars hiding in plain sight:
*Greg McElroy QB Alabama: Smart, a winner, decent arm. He has trouble with pocket presence.
*Cedric Thorton DL Central Arkansas: Very raw, but has NFL level physical tools.
*Chris Marve ILB Vandy: Good physical tools, you’ll have to deal with his coverage issues.
*Rodney Gnat Defensive attacker Louisville: Didn’t blossom until Charlie Strong took over—but he has NFL caliber rush skills.
*Armon Binns WR Cincinnati: if you like Toliver/Baldwin, but don’t want to pay that high a price.
*Clint Boling OG UGA: undersized with decent speed, rawer as a blocker.
*Mike Blanc DL Auburn: multiple red flags, but has undeniable talent/skill
*Brian Duncan Defensive attacker Texas Tech: A dedicated pass rusher, he could contribute solely on 3rd downs for a 3-4 team.
*Chris Culliver DB South Carolina: Smoked the combine with a 4.40 40, he has potential, but needs to be a FS, not a CB.
*Shiloh Keo S Idaho: hard worker, sure tackler.
*Tori Gurley WR South Carolina: BIG flanker with great hands/intangibles. About as fast as an iceberg. Maybe should move to TE?
*Orlando Franklin OL Miami: Good physical tools, just needs be to coach into a position.
*Johnny Patrick CB Louisville: small, not fast but quick. And good intangibles.
*Ahmad Black S Florida: He just makes plays. He’s small, slow, but he’s always around the ball.
*James Brewer OT Indiana: Roger Saffold 2.0?
*Jordan Todman RB UConn: A lower rent Derrick Locke, but he could be as good.
*Luke Stocker TE Tennessee: He’s not as good a receiver as he’s being billed, but he’s a great blocker.
* Virgil Green TE Nevada: Rawer than cookie dough, but reminds me of a more athletic Dustin Keller.
*Jarriel King OL South Carolina: Very inconsistent with good physical ability. He would dominate stretches, then disappear for as long.
*Derrick Newton OL Arkansas State: Very raw, but he has the potential to be a starter if you handle him right.
Iron Pyrite(stay away):
*Cam Newton QB Auburn: Yes, he had an AMAZING college football season, but the list of draft busts is littered with running(and non-running) QBs who were too inexperienced or cocksure to change their game to vibe with the NFL. Fun stat to chew on, the most any Super bowl winning QB has run(rushes per game): 4.5(Aaron Rodgers this past season). Even when Donovan McNabb finally made it in 2004, he only ran it 2.7 times a game. Can we stop this myth that running Qbs are the future?
*Da’quan Bowers DE Clemson: He literally did nothing his first two years at Clemson. Then suddenly he flips to the LDE spot and becomes Defensive End von Destroyer to the ACC Right tackle position. Watch his last two games against non-ACC schools. He did..nothing.
*Allen Bailey DL Miami: The DT version of Bowers. I just don’t know what he does well.
*Nate Solder OT Colorado: Amazing physical gifts, terrible blocking ability.
*Jake Locker QB Washington: He looks like a star out of the pocket, but he won’t be able to rely on that in the NFL.
* Jason Pinkston OT Pittsburgh: Can’t stay healthy and I believe he even got hurt at the combine.
* Kristofer O’Dowd OC Southern Cal: At first glance, he looks like a steal in the mid 2nd. But his play started out great, then regressed. I would be worried about drafting him.
* Kendrick Ellis Hampton: Booted from USC, he went to Hampton and dominated…but he’s still the same inconsistent douche he was at USC.
* Noel Devine RB West Virginia: very small and refused to run(red flag)…would you trust him until he shows he can survive in the NFL?
* Jabaal Sheard DE/OLB Pittsburgh: Stepped out of Romeus’ shadow, but showed that he is too much like Vernon Gholston imo.
*Christian Ballard DL Iowa: Looks like Tarzan. Plays like Jane.
*Ryan Mallet QB Arkansas: Billion dollar arm that could knock the pecker off of a fly at 50 yards. 50 cent feet of stone. I wouldn’t draft him unless in my private workout he was able to show the ability to avoid a rush.
*Danny Watkins OG Baylor: He’ll be 26 on the theoretical NFL opening day and despite that, he’s very raw a prospect. By the time he’s ready, you’ll have to replace him!
*Will Thrill Hill S Florida: Just check out his twitter feed.
*Dontay Moch Defensive Attacker Nevada: Amazing, jaw dropping physical tools. He plays very soft though. He might be Vernon Gholston 2.0.
*Lee Ziemba OL Auburn:; He was the anchor for the Auburn Oline for multiple years, had a pretty good senior bowl, then bombed out the combine by showing up small, slow and weak. Someone will start to consider him in round 4 just on his pedigree, but it’s a disaster waiting to happen.