After talking about the top centers and guards a couple of days ago, I want to take a look at the guys matched up against them. In this category I include everything from true nose tackles, over 3-tech penetrators to base defensive ends in a 3-4 scheme. Even though I judge each of them individually about where I think they can and will play, something I’m really excited about when discussing this group is the versatility they offer. The NFL doesn’t really look for many 350-pound rocks in the middle, they want guys who can push the pocket and make quarterbacks move off their spot as well destroying running plays by showing up in the backfield.
This week I’m going to talk about the big guys in the middle, starting with the offensive side. This list includes guards and centers, which to me have much more talent and depth than the tackle class. It was rather easy for me rank them one to ten, but I don’t see that much of a drop-off at some point. I like the talent at the top, but I think there are some sleepers that not a lot of scouts give love to, because they aren’t quite the athletes they are looking for.
Similar to the wide receivers, this year’s cornerback class features a lot of different body types and style of play. You have guys that shut offensive weapons down, some true playmakers, big bodies that get knocked for being slow and others, scouts say won’t survive against the tall NFL wideouts. All I know is that this corner group is extremely talented and deep. I’m talking about a total of 16 players, because I truly believe all of them should get drafted over the first two days in Philly.
With this class of wide receivers I think it’s really about what your taste is and what you need on your roster. If you just look at the top three guys you have a huge target to bail his quarterback out, a precise route-runner who hurts defenses after the catch and a true burner, who can get by anybody with his speed. I don’t have any doubt all three of them will go in the first round. After that it gets a little more complicated. The question is: Do you trust production or do you solely look at potential? I don’t count in off-the-field stuff in my rankings, I only look at talent and competitiveness.
I go at least 20 to 25 prospects deep in my evaluations at every position. So if there are any players you’d like to hear my opinion about, just let me know in the comments.
After talking about a pretty weak offensive tackle class I want to take a look at the guys lining up across from them. And to make myself clear about the difference in the quality between those two classes – the edge rushers would whip those tackles if you went number five against number five or seven against seven. While most of the prospects lined up primarily with their hand in the dirt during their time in college, many of them will convert to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. That’s why I won’t knock their game too much if I didn’t see them drop into coverage before turning pro. At the same time pass rushers are at a premium right now and therefore the ability to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks will be the most important criteria.
After talking about some of the most talented position groups in the running backs and safeties last week, I’d like to take a look at one of worst offensive tackle classes in a while.
When you read about scouts’ opinions you see that there is no clear-cut number one prospect across the boards and you understand that if you need someone at the position you either grab him early or try to find somebody in free agency. To me there are three prospects in the top 40, but after them there’s a pretty significant drop-off. On the other hand, I have to say there are some intriguing developmental guys in the middle- and later rounds.
After ranking my top running backs in the draft a couple of days ago, I now look at a defensive position group, to be more accurate I list my top safeties in this class.
Similar to the RBs this safety group is one of the best I’ve seen in years. I could see at least five guys get drafted in the first round and the about same number going in the second. I also love the diversity when I see one-year studs, four-year stars from the FCS as well as guys who played on the outside all of their collegiate career.