FanPost

Overrated/Underrated NFL Draft Prospects: NFC North

Chicago Bears:
Overrated: Brandon Hardin
Underrated: James Brown
X-Factor: Alshon Jeffrey
Analysis: Finding an overrated player was tough when I liked the Bears first two selections of Jeffrey and Shea McClellin, so I went to their 3rd round selection of Hardin. After the top two safeties of this class in Mark Barron and Harrison Smith, there wasn't a safety in this class who I really felt warranted a selection until Round 4. He will be an interesting one to watch though coming off the major injury which caused him to miss the entire 2011 season. James Brown is another one of those players out of Troy, which as I mentioned before, is very quietly becoming a nice little NFL factory itself. How Brown went undrafted is beyond me. My money says he'll be a starter at guard for the Bears in time. Jeffrey is one guy who I've read conflicting reports on. Some don't expect him to be much of an NFL factor while others thought much more highly of him. Assuming Jeffrey can keep himself in shape, I can see him becoming very similar to Brandon Marshall. Ironically enough, the Bears acquired him from Miami via trade this offseason. While McClellin is a guy I felt was better suited to be a 3-4 OLB, he's a guy who I expect to have a solid if not spectacular NFL career. He models his game after former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, a guy who was known for his relentless motor. That's exactly what McClellin will bring. Chicago fans will like him.

Detroit Lions:
Overrated: Ronnell Lewis
Underrated: Travis Lewis
X-Factor: Ryan Broyles
Analysis: An all Oklahoma Sooner list. How about that? While it's hard to consider a 4th-round draft pick overrated and consider the value here to be quite good, Ronnell Lewis is one guy who I wasn't as high on as others were prior to the draft. I don't doubt that he has some upside and is one of the most violent hitters in this entire draft class, but the production on the field just didn't match the talent. Part of that problem is maybe Oklahoma didn't use him right. He's a guy I wish would have been drafted to a 3-4 team as a rush OLB, but if anyone can get the most out of him in a 4-3, Jim Schwartz and his coaches are the guys. Travis Lewis is a player who was thought of as a possibly 1st-round prospect as short as a year and a half ago, so I like the Lions taking him in Round 7. Ryan Broyles is the guy I'm most keeping my eye on though. He suffered a terrible ACL injury which prematurely ended his college career and as a result, Oklahoma QB Landry Jones and the rest of the team limped to the finish line. Anyway, before that injury, Broyles was putting up unbelievable numbers throughout his career. He also brings the added bonus of being a punt returner. His ACL injury is the only reason his stock fell past the 2nd round prior to the draft, but he still ended up being taken in the 2nd anyway. Funny how that works. If all is well with his knee, and the Lions seemed comfortable enough with it, Broyles will become a dynamic slot receiver. The last thing the NFL needed was for Matthew Stafford to have another nice toy to get the ball to. First round selection Riley Reiff will most likely start his NFL career at right tackle, but in time, I could see him moving over to left tackle. He was a nice Round 1 value who reminds me some of another former Iowa offensive lineman in current Green Bay Packer Bryan Bulaga.

Green Bay Packers:
Overrated: Jerron McMillan
Underrated: Andrew Datko
X-Factor: Nick Perry
Analysis: McMillan is a guy I felt would have been a solid late round selection, but it was a little early to take him in the 4th round. That said though, Ted Thompson is one of the best in the business when it comes to the NFL Draft, so he obviously sees something he likes that other experts and bloggers did not see. The underrated prospects are where Thompson made his major money this year. Andrew Datko is a guy who's had multiple injury concerns over his career, but if he can stay healthy, he's a legit starting NFL tackle. UT-Chattanooga QB B.J. Coleman is a guy I was liking as a possible 4th or 5th round selection after a nice performance in the East-West Shrine Game, so getting him in the 7th is a coup. Undrafted free agent Dale Moss is a guy I'm surprised wasn't drafted. Yes, he's extraordinarily raw having only played one year of college football at South Dakota State. However, his outstanding pro day could not be ignored. As far as former USC Trojan Nick Perry goes, I'm not sure if his best fit is as a 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 OLB. However, the Pack felt comfortable enough to snag him and had Dont'a Hightower (as well as David DeCastro) not been on the board for the Steelers pick, then I was hearing reports Pittsburgh would have had interest. He should make a nice compliment across from Clay Matthews as a pass rusher. Jerel Worthy is a guy I feel will be perfectly suited in Green Bay's 3-4 defense as a 5-technique end. They really missed Cullen Jenkins last year. Last guy I'll talk about is Casey Hayward. Green Bay obviously thought as highly of him as I did. They took him in Round 2. He was a very consistent ball-hawking corner in the tough SEC, but flew a little under the radar playing at Vanderbilt.

Minnesota Vikings:
Overrated: Harrison Smith
Underrated: Greg Childs
X-Factor: Matt Kalil
Analyisis: My thoughts on Smith are not too unlike the thoughts I have about Mark Barron. I think he was more of a 2nd or 3rd round prospect on tape, but because of a weak crop of safeties, that caused his stock to rise some. That said though, I do expect him to be a solid if not spectacular NFL player, so I'm not necessarily saying I hate him as a player. I could have put either Arkansas receiver (Jarius Wright the other one) in the underrated category, but went with Childs because he totally fell off the map in 2011 due to injury after an outstanding 2010. Childs is a guy with a nice combination of size and speed. Injuries have been an issue for him, but if he can stay healthy, I think he'll outperform his draft position. Jarius Wright was the most consistent Arkansas receiver the last couple years or so, I like him also. Matt Kalil will be a HUGE help to Christian Ponder. Ponder was injury prone in college, so having Charlie Johnson protecting his blind side was a bad combination. Putting Kalil in that spot instead should help him take far fewer hits. He is as accomplished a left tackle prospect to come out of college as anyone in a few years. A couple undrafted free agents of note were Mississippi State's Quentin Saulsberry and North Carolina's Tydreke Powell.

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