Alright, I wanted to give MTD readers a glimpse of a little thing i've been working on. Its for the Draft, and talks about some players that are not well known or under-the-radar but can play some football. I listed the players by the rankings given at MockingTheDraft.com. The sentences inside the block in italics are my own comments, just a heads-up.
Upon talking about these guys, I would really love to hear about some other people who could fall in later rounds yet play at a level much higher than the round they are projected to play. The descriptions of the players will also come from MockingTheDraft.com. Remember about the Juniors, this is if they opt for the Draft. Enjoy!
Quan Sturdivant Tony Pike Noel Devine
- 2nd best Senior: Tony Pike | 6'6, 230 pounds | Cincinnati
- 4th best Senior Tim Hiller | 6'5, 228 pounds | Western Michigan
"A classic statuesque pocket passer with good arm strength, Hiller looks very similar to Drew Bledsoe. His release is really quick and fluid, which is somewhat rare among today's college quarterbacks. He throws a really nice ball and seems to have a good sense of timing. Receivers routinely able to catch Hiller's passes in stride. That helped Hiller total 36 touchdown passes last season to only 10 interceptions. How he converts from the spread to the pros will ultimately tell his story." Here's a guy that recently has grown on me, He's not a Donovan Mcnabb, he's a Drew Bledsoe.
- 5th best Senior: Dan LeFevour | 6'3, 228 pounds | Central Michigan
"At this point, LeFevour is kind of a poor man's Colt McCoy. He's a good dual threat player and was a sleeper Heisman Trophy candidate entering last season. Injuries held him back some, though. When he's healthy, LeFevour has a good release and can deliver the ball all over the field. He has a tendency to run too soon and will need to become more disciplined in his decision making." One of my fellow Jaguars Fan's favorite. He's a lesser Mccoy in a better system, he could rise in value yet still get picked later because of the depth of the QB class.
"Pike has deceptive quickness and athleticism, which he uses nicely in the pocket to elude the pass rush. He has good presence and doesn't mind stepping up in pressure. Given his height and release point, Pike rarely gets passes knocked down. He's finally added weight to his frame this offseason, bulking up from 215 pounds. That should make him more durable. Puts a good zip on his passes and can place them in tight spots. Always keeps his eyes down field. If Pike can speed up the mental parts of the passing game -- reading defenses and getting rid of the ball quickly -- look out." This guy impressed me so much. That instead of using a 1st for Bradford, or Mccoy, I'd use a late 2nd to mid 3rd for Pike. This guy can lead a team to victory week after week.
- 4th best Junior: Noel Devine | 5'8, 176 pounds | West Virginia
"Although Devine might be undersized, he's an electric play-maker. If Devine can get into space, it's hard to bring him down. He's quick, elusive and has another gear in the open field. He'll never be a lead back, but he shouldn't be judged as such. Devine has special athletic ability and deserves a chance to showcase it." He's a interesting player that has some similarities to Maurice Jones-Drew, his height and his potency.
- 7th best Junior: Evan Royster | 6'1, 215 pounds | Penn State
"Following a breakthrough 2008 season in which he had 1,236 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns, Royster is quickly becoming a top running back prospect. He’s hard to take down in the open field and runs with a lot of determination. Pretty solid as a receiver, even though he’s not a top target in Penn State’s pass offense." A hard worker who can be a complimentary back or a starter, depending on the Team.
- 5th best Junior: Demaryius Thomas | 6'3, 230 pounds | Georgia Tech
"Although Georgia Tech now employs the run-option offense, Thomas is a solid target. He's got incredible athleticism and uses his strong frame well. He'll continue to fly under the radar with the Yellow Jackets, but he has starting potential at the next level." Not Calvin Johnson, but can still be productive.
- 8th best Senior: Naaman Roosevelt | 6'0, 187 pounds | Buffalo
"Roosevelt is a skinny receiver who has flashed explosive play in college. He runs crisp routes and has some good moves in the open field. His size lets defenders easily jam him at the line. If he can bulk up to about 200 pounds without giving up his speed, Roosevelt could be a solid option at the next level." Greased Lightning.
- 10th best Senior: Kerry Meier | 6'3, 220 pounds | Kansas
"Meier is a converted quarterback and a big target. He plays a lot like a tight end and doesn't have great speed. However, he can really attack the seam and has good hands. He's a solid third-down receiver. Good upside." Think of a Poor Man's Dallas Clark version of a WR.
- 4th best Senior: Ed Dickson | 6'5, 243 pounds | Oregon
"A natural athlete, Dickson is still working on the nuances of the position. He's a good quick-twitch athlete who gets off the line nicely. He easily makes plays over the top and has the ability to stretch defenses. If he can improve his physicality, especially when going up against athletic linebackers, he could move higher in these rankings."
- 8th best Senior: Michael Hoomanawanui | 6'3, 270 pounds | Illinois
"Re-watching Illinois games this offseason, Hoomanawanui really sticks out. He plays a lot like Alge Crumpler. He's a big player with underrated athleticism and speed. He's a solid route runner, but shouldn't be used deep often. His size alone makes him a above-average blocker, but he needs to improve his technique." If anything, his name should make him get drafted, think of what they'll put on the back of his Jersey.
- 7th best Senior: Jason Fox | 6'6, 314 pounds | Miami
"Fox is a converted tight end who displays a good first step to the outside. He moves to the second level well and locates and gets to defenders nicely. He's improving as a run blocker but clearly needs to continue working on his strength. Fox has some good tools, but must continue to work on the nuances of the position. He has some added value because of his versatility playing tackle and guard." Versatility is a plus.
- 12th best Senior: Ed Wang | 6'5, 310 pounds | Virginia Tech
"A converted tight end, Wang is one of the more athletic senior tackles in the nation. He's played both tackle positions showing continued improvement in all aspects. Where he needs to get much better is his physical play. If he becomes more of a mauler, he'll be a starter-level player." He can start, and you can get him later too.
- 5th best Senior: Sergio Render | 6'3, 314 pounds | Virginia Tech
"A lengthy, hard working interior lineman, Render excels in the run game. He consistently gets good hand positioning to move around defenders. Anchors well at the point of attack and can handle power rushers. Not an amazing athlete, but he's pretty good on the move. If he doesn't get hurt, he'll be a four-year starter at guard for Virginia Tech and is a two-time all-conference selection."
- 4th best Senior: Ted Larsen | 6'2, 300 pounds | North Carolina State
"Larsen is a converted defensive tackle and has shown his versatility by playing both guard and center for the Wolfpack. He's an effort player with solid fundamentals. Larsen consistently stays low in his stance with his knees bent. He does a really good job with speed rushers and can redirect nicely. He's not much of a finisher in the running game, but he works hard." One of the guys i'ved eye-balled for a while.
- 3rd best Senior: Eric Olsen | 6'4, 305 pounds | Notre Dame
"Olsen has successfully moved from guard to center as a senior and does a nice job handling the line audibles. He's a solid in-line blocker who can handle tackles on his own. Olsen might be best at guard, but he really doesn't do anything wrong as a center." Versatility in the Interior is good, but I think Ted Larsen is better.
- 6th best Senior: Corey Wootton | 6'7, 270 pounds | Northwestern
"At his size, Wootton shouldn't have the quickness and lateral movement he does. His closing speed is scary and his long arms help him get great leverage. Wootton would be ranked higher in these rankings, but he's still recovering from a severe knee injury suffered in last season's bowl game. If he's healthy, watch out." Is he the next Reggie Hayward or (insert name of good DE with knee injury)?
- 4th best Junior: Greg Romeus | 6'5, 265 pounds | Pittsburgh
"During parts of the 2008 season, Romeus looked like he was already ready for the NFL. He really shined against Iowa and Oregon State, notching four of his nine sacks for the year. He's a strong athlete who should only get bigger." To be honest, at first glance i thought his last name was Romulus, like from Star Trek.
- 18th best Senior: C.J. Wilson | 6'4, 272 pounds | East Carolina
"A natural defensie end prospect for the next level, Wilson has good size and ability. He's put together two good seasons in a row. In 2008, he had 10.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for a loss. He's solid against the run and has good enough athleticism to make it at the next level." Stats, baby Stats.
- 5th best Senior: Vince Oghobaase | 6'6, 305 pounds | Duke
"At 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, Oghobaase has an athletic and quick build. He's a solid gap-shooting tackle who could probably make it as a 3-4 defensive end. If he gets drafted by a 4-3 team, Oghobaase will have to get much stronger."Could be reached for earlier because of his 3-4 value.
- 6th best Junior: Jarvis Jenkins | 6'4, 305 pounds | Clemson
"Jenkins quickly became one of the nation's top interior defenders last year when he finished with 10 tackles for loss. He's another player just beginning to come near his potential and has a bright future."
- 9th best Senior: Geno Atkins | 6'1, 290 pounds | Georgia
"A strong competitor, Atkins uses excellent leverage as a one-gap defensive tackle. He was routinely double teamed in 2008, but still managed to have a solid year. Atkins consistently collapses the pocket and should only get better as he gets stronger."
- 3rd best Junior: Bruce Carter | 6'3, 230 pounds | North Carolina
"Like many junior defenders for the 2010 NFL Draft, Carter's biggest weakness is his size. He needs to add more strength, particularly in his upper body. Carter should only get better as a pass rusher after getting five sacks last season."
- 6th best Senior: Clinton Snyder | 6'4, 235 pounds | Stanford
"An effort player for the Cardinal, Snyder has good size and speed. He's a very good tackler in the open field and is known as an intelligent player."
- 8th best Senior: Keenan Clayton | 6'2, 220 pounds | Oklahoma
"After successfully transitioning from safety to outside linebacker last season, Clayton was third on OU with 84 tackles. He runs a 4.5 40-yard dash and should only get better as he learns the position more. Definitely one to watch."
- 4th best Junior: Quan Sturdivant | 6'2, 235 pounds | North Carolina
"The 2008 national leader in unassisted tackles with 87, Sturdivant can make just about any play asked of a linebacker. Sturdivant played on the weak side last season and moves to the middle to make way for highly athletic sophomore Zach Brown." His potential could be as high as Ray Lewis minus the swagger.
- 8th best Senior: Boris Lee | 6'0, 235 pounds | Troy
"A tackling machine, Lee has led the Trojans in that category the past two seasons. He had 126 last season to go with 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and two interceptions. He has the athleticism to line up inside in the 3-4 or outside in a 4-3." Versatility and the ability to tackle well is why i like him.
- 4th best Junior: Ras-I Dowling | 6'2, 200 pounds | Virginia
"Few cornerbacks in the nation combine Dowling's physical prescence and pure skill as a cover man. Corners his size don't come around too often and Dowling should only get better."
- 6th best Senior: Myron Lewis | 6'2, 205 pounds | Vanderbilt
"Few cornerbacks can be considered sack artists, but Lewis could be. He had five last year to go with five interceptions, seven tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles. Lewis might not have great speed, but he does things most cornerbacks cannot." Cornerbacks don't sack QBs often, but he does.
- 13th best Senior: Walter Thurmond | 6'0, 180 pounds | Oregon
"Many considered Thurmond a better player than former teammate Jairus Byrd, who was taken in the second round of this year's draft. Injuries slowed Thurmond some last year, but he still led the Pac-10 in interceptions. If anyone could rise up these rankings during the year, it could be Thurmond."
- 5th best Senior: Jordan Lake | 6'2, 205 pounds | Baylor
"Lake has been highly productive the last two seasons, totaling more than 200 tackles, 18 passes defended and five interceptions. He's a big hitter in the secondary who could be a great special teams player."
- 6th best Senior: Antonio Baker | 5'11, 208 pounds | Louisiana Tech
"Entering his third year as the Bulldogs' free safety, Baker has more than 300 career tackles and is a consistent performer. He's an intelligent player who makes the adjustment calls for Louisiana Tech and is alway in the middle of the action."
- 4th best Senior: Barry Church | 6'2, 219 pounds | Toledo
"In each of his three years as a starter, Chuch has been named to the Mid-American Conference first team. Although teams avoided him more in 2008, Church still finished with 93 tackles and three forced fumbles. He's sound against the run and the pass."
- 4th best Junior: Reshad Jones | 6'2, 212 pounds | LSU
"Jones burst onto the national scene in his first year as a starter for the Bulldogs. He's a fluid athlete with the ability to make plays all over the field."
- 7th best Senior: Josh Pinkard | 6'1, 215 pounds | Southern California
"Impressively, Pinkard can play both safety and cornerback. He does both adequately. He'll be an asset to some team because of his versatility. Medical checks could drop Pinkard down draft boards, though." Versatility makes this a very interesting prospect.
- 3rd Best Junior FS: Chris Culliver | 6'0, 190 pounds | South Carolina - Culliver has excellent speed and is one of the top kick returners in the nation.
- 6th Best Senior WR: Jeremy Williams | 6'1, 205 pounds | Tulane
"When healthy, Williams is an excellent possession receiver. He played in five games last season, averaging 87 receiving yards per contest, before breaking his hand and missing the rest of the season. Williams shows good hands and can make people miss after catching the ball. He's also a very good kick returner."