2006 LIST OF
PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN
||Croyle should be the first QB off
the board after the big three. In fact, it would not
surprise me if he has a better NFL career than Jay Cutler.
Croyle is a leader, with a strong arm, a quick release, and nice
touch. The risk with Croyle is that he gets banged up too
much. However, a good strength coach to help him build up
his body, could lead to Croyle being considered a second or third
||How does 71 touchdown passes
against 11 interceptions sit with you? That was what Jacobs
did at Bowling Green. He also completed well over 60% of his
passes in college, and had a YPP of 8.55. On top of that,
Jacobs made all the throws required of an NFL quarterback at the
Combine, and has great size. Jacobs does have an unorthodox
delivery, but he is very talented and will be a solid starting
quarterback in the NFL, out-performing some QBs that will be
drafted higher than him.
||Lulay was known to have solid
intangibles, a live arm, quick feet in the pocket, and nice touch
to go along with good production. Add to that the fact that
he proved to be one of the most athletic QBs in the class, and one
of the brightest (37 Wonderlic) and you have the makings of an
intriguing day two prospect who could be a pleasant surprise in
the NFL. Lulay, however, is another quarterback in need of
work on his technique.
||The group of three running backs
after Bush is not Williams, Maroney and White; it is Maroney,
White, and Addai. Williams is clearly the second best back
in the draft after Reggie Bush. Williams will be a star.
In fact, Williams is closer to Bush than to White and Maroney in
talent. And, by the way, it would not surprise me if Addai
becomes the best of my grouping of three.
||Harrison is quick, strong, and
faster than many thought. Harrison accumulated over 2,100
yards rushing and receiving his senior year. The knock on
him is his lack of size and inside running ability. However,
he has excellent strength for his size, and showed the ability to
run effectively inside at the Senior Bowl. Harrison will be
looked at as a change-of-pace, third-down back, but will
eventually be an every-down NFL back, and a good one.
||Lundy was considered a powerful
inside runner with limited speed, and then ran a 4.45 forty at the
Combine. He could be a good pick for a team looking for a
power runner to pair with a primary runner with limited size.
Lundy always had the power, and now shows he has the speed to go
the distance if he bursts a seam against a short yardage defense.
||Howard is a true sleeper who ran
very well at the East West Shrine Game. He has excellent
strength (20 benches), and good speed for his size (4.47 at 229
lbs). He will go on day two and be a better NFL player than
many running backs selected ahead of him in the draft.
||Barclay and Drew are two smaller
backs in the draft with very good college production. The
draft "chatter" has been around Drew, but I like Barclay
better. He is bigger than Drew, faster than Drew,
quicker than Drew, and a better athlete than Drew. Barclay
is flying under the radar, but will pay dividends to the team that
||Jackson, Holmes and Moss are rated
higher than Williams because they run in the 4.3's, so are
considered game-breakers. However, of those three, the only
player I expect to be a top number one receiver is Jackson.
It would not surprise me if Williams became the second most
productive receiver in this draft (from a receptions standpoint).
Williams is a good athlete, knows how to get open and has good
||Jennings is a player I like, a lot.
He is a tough kid who catches everything thrown his way. The
knock on him was that he was a smallish receiver (5'11")
without great speed. Then he ran a 4.41 forty. If I
were a team that needed a receiver, I would skip selecting one in
round one and draft Jennings in round two or three. He will
be a very productive NFL player.
||Desire a big receiver? Forget
Nance. Forget Baskett. And yes, forget Stovall.
Jump on Marshall. He is over 6'4", ran a 4.49 forty at
the Combine, and was a man among boys at the Hula Bowl.
Marshall has good hands, is strong, can make the tough catch, is
both a middle of the field and down the field target, and is a
good athlete. He has the best potential to be a star of all
of the big receivers in this draft.
||Bouknight will probably never be
more than a two or three. However, he will be at a minimum,
a solid, reliable third wideout who will catch the ball and move
the chains. He does not have the speed to be drafted on day
one, but will be productive in the league while many receivers
drafted ahead of him are sitting on the bench.
||While Lewis, Pope and Byrd gain
more attention as the top tight ends after Davis, Klopfenstein is
right there with them. He will be drafted after at least two
of those (Pope and Lewis) because of their "upside",
however, Klopfenstein could end up as the second best tight end in
this class. After Davis, he has the best combination of
speed and strength at tight end in the draft.
||Scheffler is an extremely athletic
tight end who will be a good receiver in the NFL, but needs to
work on his strength and blocking. However, his speed,
quickness, and hands are unquestioned, and he will have to be
accounted for by defenses in the passing game.
||Late to the center position,
Chester is a former tight end who is the most athletic center in
the draft. Chester exploded on the draft scene at the
Combine and continued his ascent during his Pro Day workout.
||Scouting reports I have read blame
Montgomery's bad moments on his lack of quickness and strength.
However, his workouts clearly show he has good quickness and
tremendous strength for a center. Therefore, Montgomery just
needs more coaching on technique to become a solid starting NFL
||Jean-Gilles is on my list because I
see him as a rare offensive guard worthy of a top fifteen or top
ten pick. He won't go that high, but he has the potential to
be a perennial Pro Bowl player. He is one tough, talented,
||Kuper is a small school prospect
who looked dominate in his league. The key to a player like
this is his workout numbers to see if he has the athletic ability
to translate his skill to the next level. He does.
Kuper's speed, quickness and athletic ability were towards the top
of the draft class guards. He does need some work in the
weight room, but he'll get plenty of that in the NFL.
||Whitworth was a very productive,
smart, intuitive player at LSU, who played with a mean streak.
The knock on Whitworth was his athletic ability. However,
while his workout numbers were not in the Justice-Winston range,
they showed good athletic ability and strength. While many
of the top tackles in the draft after Ferguson are big-time boom
or bust prospects, who could be stars or could be flops, Whitworth
is destined to be a productive, long-term starter in the league.
||Wimper is a former tight end with
superb quickness. Being only a one-year starter he will need
time to improve his technique. However, I expect the time
working with Wimper to pay big dividends to the team that drafts
||Tapp is a better player than how he
tests. He will be a workman-like defensive end who gets 8
sacks and plays the run well. He will not be Pro Bowl level,
but will be a good third end initially, and a solid, dependable
starter long term.
||Anderson had an excellent week of
practice at the Senior Bowl, and a very good game, including a
play where he beat the Brick for a sack. Before the draft
process Anderson was considered a pass rush specialist type
lacking elite athleticism. However, Anderson proved to have
good speed, excellent quickness, and terrific athleticism at the
Combine. He is currently a little light at 254 pounds, but
at 6'4", has the frame to add weight and be a three down
||While Lawson and Wimbley are
getting all the pub as the top DE/OLB hybrids, GoCong isn't far
behind. He is quick for his size, an excellent athlete, and
is strong. At 6'2", 263 lbs, GoCong can play end in a
4-3 where he is good against both the run or pass, or move to OLB
in a 3-4 where he displayed good linebacker skills in post-season
drills. GoCong will grow into a difference-maker on defense
while players drafted ahead of him struggle to become starters.
||Looking for a sleeper as either an
OLB in a 3-4 or pass-rush specialist in a 4-3? How about
Chick who played a hybrid defensive end/linebacker in college, and
played that position very well. At 6'3.2", 265 lbs,
Chick ran a 4.65 forty, lifted the bar 30 times, ran a 4.26 short
shuttle, and had a 10'1" long jump. Chick is a player
few are touting, but one who represents excellent value on day two
of the draft.
||I know, I know, Nagata is a high
first round pick. Last year I had Merriman on my list
stating that he should be a top five pick because he was the
biggest difference maker on defense in the draft. Well, I
was right, so I'm going to do it again. Ngata should
be a top five pick. He will be the biggest difference maker
on defense in this year's draft. The difference is that last
year Merriman's ability was obvious since he got sacks.
Ngata, on the other hand will be the key to some teams' 3-4
defense, engaging offensive lineman so linebackers can roam free
and make tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage, so his value
will be more subtle. The fact is, however, that the nose in
the 3-4 is the key to that alignment, and Ngata, who is a monster
of a man (6'4", 338 lbs) with brute strength, and rare
athletic ability for a man his size, will be the difference
between a defense being good, and a defense being great.
||Dvoracek has good
speed, quickness, strength, and intelligence. He is a risk
because of off field issues, but has as much talent as many of the
defensive tackles currently rated higher than him by most draft
analysts. While I would not be surprised if some of the
other tackles peak as a third tackle off the bench, I would be
very surprised if Dvoracek isn't a quality starter in a year or
||Cofield is one of the more athletic
tackles in this draft class, and has the perfect build to play end
in a 3-4 defense. He is strong (35 benches) and quick for
his size. With more conditioning, Cofield could be a find
for a team late in day one or early in day and out-perform players
drafted higher than him.
||Golston isn't for every team.
He is the quick, comparatively light defensive tackle that some
teams use to get an inside rush on the quarterback (think
Atlanta). He has good speed, quickness, strength and
athleticism but needs work on his technique. If Golston is
drafted by the right team he will have a nice career. If
not, he will struggle to make a team.
||After Jackson and Hodge there are
some differences in opinions regarding the next inside linebacker
who should come off the board. In my opinion, there should
be no debate. Wilkinson is clearly the next best, and is
very close in value to Hodge. Wilkinson has good speed and
quickness for the position, is a surprisingly good athlete, and
was very productive at Georgia Tech.
||Bray is a football player.
However, is a bit of a tweener. He doesn't have the speed to
play in the middle in a 4-3, and doesn't have the size you'd like
to play in the middle in a 3-4. That is why he will fall to
day two in the draft. However, whatever team drafts him will
find out that if you play him, he'll produce. Personally, I
would draft him for a 3-4 and know that his hustle and instincts
will make up for his lack of size.
||Western New Mex
||Chude, at 6'1", 253 pounds,
was a tackling machine in college. His workout, including a
4.66 forty, 32 bench presses, a 37" vertical, and a 10' long
jump, shows he has the athletic ability to move his skill set to
the NFL. He is an intriguing late round prospect who, at a
minimum, will be a quality backup and special teams player.
||If not for medical concerns (liver
condition), Nande would be higher on more draft experts' boards.
Nande has an unbelievable mix of speed (4.51 forty), quickness
(4.11 short shuttle), strength (41 lifts), and athleticism
(39" vertical, 10'4" long jump). He can play in
the middle, or be a very good strong side linebacker, particularly
for a team that plays three fast linebackers, giving them the
speed they crave in a true strong-side backer.
||Howard is an incredible athlete and
a very good football player. He is excellent in pursuit
against the run, can blitz, and has the ability to cover backs and
tight ends. With all the talent at outside linebacker in
this draft, Howard could slip a bit. However, he will be a
star in the NFL.
||Havner was considered a heady
player with limited athletic ability especially when it came to
agility getting in and out of his cuts. Then he ran 4.07
short shuttle and a 6.81 three cone. That ends that.
Havner has the head and athletic ability to be a solid starting
linebacker in the NFL.
||Alston is another outstanding
athlete. He is a bit small for a linebacker, but is very
fast (4.4 forty), has good quickness (4.14 short shuttle), and is
extremely strong for his size (30 lifts). Add in his
40" vertical, 11' long jump and 16.5 sacks the last two years
at Stanford, and you have a unique talent. Alston will be a
specials teams terror while apprenticing for a starting job at
either weak-side linebacker, or strong safety.
||Hill is another first round pick
who isn't getting his props. Hill is a better prospect, in
my mind, than Pacman Jones a top ten pick last year. While a
but short, Hill has sprinter speed, excellent quickness, and can
sky. With the premium placed on corners, he will be one of
the stars that comes out of this draft and is a top 10 talent.
Congratulations in advance to the team that drafts him.
||Griffin doesn't have top tier speed
but has good size, a nose for the ball, and excellent instincts.
He should be a solid corner, but worst case can slide over to free
safety and start there. Griffin will be a valuable player
while players drafted higher than him, with better workout
numbers, struggle to get on the field.
||Byrum is a sleeper who played well
in the East West Shrine Game and has good speed and quickness, and
is very athletic. Byrum also has excellent cover skills and
instincts. He could be a steal on day two of the draft.
||Lay is Ty Law's cousin. He
has good size, excellent quickness, and can cover the larger wide
receivers in the league. However, his speed is only adequate
and he needs to show he is willing to mix it up. Lay is not
the typical cornerback who makes my list because this list is
suppose to be relatively risk-free, but he is a player who will go
late, but could be a long-time starter in the league.
||Maxey has good size and speed, but
didn't get a chance to start until late in his career. Maxey
is also one of the stronger corners in the draft, and shows good
quickness and terrific athleticism. He may need time to
develop, but Maxey has the look of a keeper.
||It is a know fact that McPhearson
is one of the fastest players in the draft. However, his
workout also showed he is strong, quick, and athletic.
McPhearson needs coaching because he will not be able to rely on
his athleticism in the NFL as he did in college. With the
right coach, McPhearson could be a star.
||There is talk that Whitner may get
drafted early as a potential corner. I don't think that will
happen because of all of the true corner talent in the draft.
Therefore, as a safety, Whitner may fall. That would be a
mistake. He is one of the handful of guaranteed, Pro Bowl
caliber, long-term starters in the draft. He is fast, a big
hitter, and a playmaker. Whitner is a player I'd target for
my team if I was a NFL GM.
||Early in the evaluation process,
Bullocks was looked at as a solid, but not spectacular strong
safety. Then he showed excellent skills during Senior Bowl
week, and blew everyone away with his Combine workout. Now
you have a very productive player, who can hit, get turnovers, and
is a great athlete. He will be a second round steal for some
||Slay may be the hardest and best
hitter in the entire draft. He will be tremendous as an
in-the-box safety, terrorizing anyone who tries to make a play in
his zone. Currently, he is a liability in coverage and he
doesn't possess the speed or quickness to improve much.
However, if he can learn to play smart, he could be the next
Rodney Harrison. Worst case, he is a situational player and
special teams terror.
||Somehow, Simpson went from a bottom
of round one prospect to an after-thought as a second round pick
without playing a game, and while performing well, as expected, in
workouts. Simpson is a playmaker, with good speed and
athleticism for a free safety. In fact, he may be the best
playmaking free safety in draft.
||Watkins has the skill set to be a
special player. At 6'4" he is a tall safety with good
speed and a 41" vertical jump. He needs to hit the
weight room so he can mix it up more against the run. I
project Watkins to develop into a good starting free safety.
||Baker is a bit of an unknown, but
falls into a category I love. He was labeled a smart, heady
player who may not have the athletic ability to make it in the
NFL. Then he worked out. And while Baker is not among
the top athletes at the position, his numbers clearly show he has
the athleticism to play in the NFL. Included in those
numbers is 4.53 in the forty, 4.15 short shuttle, 6.90 three cone,
16 bench presses, a 39" vertical, and a 10'5" long jump.
Baker has now proved he is a smart heady player who has the
athletic ability to use those smarts in the NFL.