We did this last year, so how about we make it an annual thing at MTD? The idea is simple. Which players do you just have a gut feeling about? The caveats are they can't be obvious high draft picks or players from your favorite school. That's cheating. And lazy.
Sanford, to my knowledge, never made it into a game in 2009 after being drafted by Minnesota in the seventh round. Edelman was taken by New England in the seventh round and looks like the next Wes Welker. Barnes, who moonlights as the singer for Of Montreal (just kidding), was taken in the third round. He played sparingly. Sutton went undrafted before being picked up by Green Bay, which cut him. He landed on Carolina's roster and contributed pretty nicely on special teams.
So, they're maybe not stars, but "my guys" still have potential. Here are "my guys" for the 2010 NFL Draft:
- Walter Thurmond III, cornerback, Oregon
Reason: My man crush on Thurmond runs deep. Unfortunately, he missed most of the 2009 season with a bad knee injury. Oregon wouldn't say what it was, but it was so bad that he hasn't been able to run during offseason workouts. Thurmond was also slowed in 2008 with a pelvis injury. But when he's healthy, he's a playmaker.
- Freddie Barnes, wide receiver, Bowling Green
Reason: Everyone knows that Barnes is no athletic freak and that he doesn't time well. But what he does is catch the football – maybe better than anyone in this year's draft.
- James Starks, running back, Buffalo
Reason: Starks was injured for much of the 2009 season, but he's a really talented runner. He's smooth and his running style looks effortless. He's tested fairly well since coming back from a bad shoulder injury and has a projectable frame at 6-foot-2.
- Nate Byham, tight end, Pittsburgh
Reason: He'll never be a superstar, but Byham should have a long NFL career. He's a great blocker and was underutilized as a receiver in Pittsburgh's run-heavy scheme.