Monday, September 28, 2009

2010 NFL Draft: Offensive Guard Rankings

1. Mike Johnson, Alabama - Johnson good size at 6' 6" and 300 pounds. While he has shown the ability to play both guard and tackle at Alabama, the position that he will play in the NFL is offensive guard. He is a very good run blocker and is a good athlete who moves his feet well. The All-SEC performer shows that he can play through pain and has somewhat of a nasty streak on the football field. Effort isn't an issue at all, as he will go hard every play.

2. Mike Iupati, Idaho – Iupati is 6' 6" and 330 pounds, and is a very powerful man. He's a good run blocker, but the Vandal needs to improve his pass blocking skills. Sometimes he will get his pad level too high coming out of his stance, so he needs to work at staying lower than the defensive lineman. But he is a guy that has so much strength that he can get away with it to some extent. If he can correct that aspect of his game and improve his technique, Iupati could be a dominant offensive guard at the next level.

3. Jon Asamoah, Illinois - Asamoah has been starting for Illinois since his freshman year and has helped return the Illini to contention (see Rose Bowl appearance in 2007). The 6' 5", 315-pound guard is very light on his feet and does a good job in both the passing game, as well as the running game.

4. Mitch Petrus, Arkansas – Petrus has played many position as a Razorback. He came to Arkansas as a tight end and was moved to fullback, before finally finding a home on the offensive line. As a sophomore, he blocked for Felix Jones (Dallas Cowboys) and Darren McFadden (Oakland Raiders) and last season Petrus paved the way for Michael Smith, playing in all 13 games and starting 12. With his background it comes as no surprise that he is a better than average athlete for an interior lineman or that he has the ability to pull to make plays on the perimeter. Petrus has good size at 6' 4" and 315 pounds, but still needs to get a little stronger to be a big factor in the running game.

5. Thomas Austin, Clemson – Austin has been playing on the offensive line since he was a freshman and is a good overall football player, who has the athleticism to play in space and the strength to take care of business in a phone booth. He has good size at 6' 4" and 310 pounds. Versatility will help this Tiger's stock, as Austin could play guard or center at the next level without missing a beat.

6. Shelley Smith, Colorado State – Smith is 6' 4" and 300 pounds, in addition to being a very good overall athlete. He is one of the most talented offensive linemen in the Mountain West Conference, with the ability to pull and adjust on the run. Smith combines good speed and great strength making him an effective blocker. He is a guy that is going to maul the defensive lineman, as well as use his athletic ability. At the next level, this Ram will fit best in a zone blocking system.

7.John Jerry, Mississippi – Jerry has started on the offensive line since day one at Mississippi. He possesses great size at 6' 6" and 335 pounds, and has played both offensive guard and right tackle. While Jerry could play right tackle at the next level, he will likely kick inside on Sundays and use his strength and power, his top two assets in the trenches. His ability to provide depth at tackle is a plus. Jerry's brother Peria was a first round pick of the Atlanta Falcons this past April.

8. Vladimir Ducasse, Massachusetts – Ducasse is from Haiti, where American football is not played. The fact that Ducasse never experienced the sport until coming to the United States in 2002 and has emerged as an NFL prospect is rather impressive. At 6' 5" and 330 pounds, the Minuteman uses his pure strength to man handle opponents. It is his best asset at this point, because he simply hasn’t played football that long. He is a good overall athlete and has played left tackle, but should be an offensive guard at the next level. As he plays the game more he will get better and could move up the draft chats because of that. 9. Sergio Render, Virginia Tech – Render has great strength at 6' 4" and 315 pounds, and is a physical player that will be looked to for leadership this season. He has been a three-year starter for the Hokies and is one of the most naturally gifted linemen to come through their program. He is so strong and talented that at times he relies on his raw ability rather than sound technique, which he will need to change if he is going to play on Sundays. In addition, the Hokie needs to be more consistent. He did not participate in spring drills following shoulder surgery, and has moved to left guard this season.

10. Reggie Stephens, Iowa State – Stephens hasn't missed a game since he started the last four games at right offensive guard as a freshman. He is a very consistent offensive lineman who does an excellent job in his technique. Stephens has good size at 6' 3" and 333 pounds, a strong player who uses his size well. He has good, but not great feet and has never played anything beside the offensive guard position at Iowa State. For more from Justin Van Fulpen be sure to check out our 2010 NFL Draft Central.

You can also listen to Justin every Thursday at 6:30 PM EST on the Draft Digest Show on All Access Football Radio.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

2010 NFL Draft: Offensive Tackle Rankings

1. Russell Okung, Oklahoma State - Okung is a durable player. He carries a streak of 34 straight starts going into his senior season, and he started as a true freshman. Okung is considered by many as the top offensive lineman in the upcoming 2010 NFL draft. He is a good athlete, with good lateral mobility which allows him to be a very good pass protector. He has quick feet and fluid movement, and also possesses a mean streak that scouts look for in offensive linemen. Coming from the spread offense that Oklahoma State runs, Okung will need to improve as a run blocker. He also needs to get stronger in the weight room.

2. Trent Williams, Oklahoma - Last season Williams was voted All-Big 12 first team by the coaches, and honorable mention by the AP. He started all 14 games, the first at left tackle and the remaining 13 at right tackle. Williams is a very good athlete who has good size and strength. He has good feet, is agile for a big man, and plays with good pad level. What NFL scouts want to see out of Williams is consistency in both his run and pass blocking.

3. Selvish Caper, West Virginia - Caper is a very good athlete at 6-5 295 and will be perfect for the zone-blocking scheme at the next level. He is one of the most underrated offensive linemen going into the 2009 season, and might be a little bit underrate on this list as well. The question mark for Caper is how well of a run blocker will he be in the NFL. He has very good feet and is a good pass blocker blocker, but with the way West Virginia run the spread it doesn’t allow to get a good read on how good he will project run blocking at the next level and that is the question mark with him.

4. Ciron Black, LSU - LSU is happy that Black decided to come back for his senior season because their where thoughts that he was going to leave early and if he did he would have been a first round pick. Black has great size at 6-5 320, and is very nimble and is extremely light on his feet, to go along with be very quick and agile with good balance. He has a powerful initial punch and has terrific range to pull and get to the second level. With a good senior season and being more consistent, you could see Black rise to the type of level that Jason Smith had and Smith was selected with the second overall pick by the Rams in this year’s draft. Smith is a better overall athlete then Black is but I think Black could have a better football career when it is all said and done.

5. Charles Brown, Southern California - Brown is a good overall athlete who has good feet and can move. He has the height of tackle at 6-5, but is a little light at only 285 pounds. He does well in pass blocking, but because of he lack of weight, and strength, he doesn’t dominate in the running game and needs to improve in that area to become a complete tackle. But he has a lot of upside, and skills to grow into a very good left tackle at the next level.

6. Sam Young, Notre Dame - Young is almost 6-8 and weight 325 pounds and has some nastiest in his game, and will go after defensive linemen. He has started at Notre Dame since he was a freshman and has been a consistent performer for them over his time in South Bend. He is an ok overall athlete and might be a better fit as a right tackle then a left tackle in the NFL, because of his lack of athleticism.

7. Kyle Calloway, Iowa - Calloway is a player that is moving up the draft boards with NFL teams, the 6-6 318 tackle sometime is over looked because of his teammate Bryan Bulaga who plays left tackle and many consider him the best junior tackle and a possible player who could leave early after his junior season. Calloway plays the right tackle position and that is what he projects at the next level, he is a strong player who is better run blocking then he is pass blocking. He is a good athlete who can move and pull in the running game, and just needs to improve some of his pass sets, but is a very good offensive line prospect.

8. Tony Washington, Abilene Christian - Some might be surprised to see Washington from Abilene Christian ranked this high, but they won’t be thinking that when April comes around. Washington is a 6-6 300 athletic tackle, who some teams have as high as their number three overall senior tackle in next April’s draft. He does a good job being light on his feet and show good pass blocking blocking skills. The biggest question with Washington is that he plays a lower level of competition and that is what really holds him back from everyone truly believing that he could be a starting tackle in the NFL. The biggest thing that will help Washington draft stock will be the All-Star games when he will be able to show his talent against players from Division one.

9. Adam Ulatoski, Texas - They say everything is bigger in Texas and Ulatoski certainly does his best to prove that correct at 6-8, 300-plus pounds. Ulatoski is a fifth-year lineman who has played in 36 games at offensive tackle, starting 30 of them. Last season he started all 13 games at left tackle after starting at right tackle the previous two seasons. Ulatoski is a smart player on and off the field—he graduated in December 2008, and was a two-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection. He is a powerful offensive tackle with good feet and the ability to play left tackle in the NFL. However, he seems better suited for the right tackle position because he is a good athlete, but not a great athlete, and is a better run blocker then he is a pass blocker.

10. Casey Knips, South Dakota State - Knips is a massive man standing a legit 6-8 and weighing 310 pounds, and he is another player that many people won’t be talking about until we get closer to the NFL Draft, but one team has him ranked as their number five overall senior tackle for the NFL Draft. He plays left tackle right now, but projects as a right tackle at the next level. He needs to work on his pass blocking and do better in his pass set to improve his draft stock. His level of competition will be called into question and he needs to show well at the All-Star games to raise his draft stock because of that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2010 NFL Draft: Top 10 Wide Receivers

1. Brandon LaFell, LSU – LaFell did declare for this years NFL draft, but changed his mind in the 72 hour period allowed for underclassmen, and is coming back to LSU for his senior season. LaFell was a first team All-SEC selection in 2008, and in three years with the LSU, has 118 career receptions for 1,725 yards and 14 touchdowns. LaFell is a big receiver at 6-3 210 pounds, with good speed but needs to be more consistent in his route running to become an elite wide receiver. If works on his ability to get in and out of breaks more smoothly and not just rely on his natural athletic ability then he could be a top notch wide receiver.

2. Marshawn Gilyard, Cincinnati – Gilyard emerged last season catching 81 passes for 1,276 yards and 11 touchdowns despite not having his starting quarterback for a few games. In the spring Gilyard ran a 4.51 at 5-11 182 pounds, which he was slower and wasn’t as big as people thought, but he is a good overall receiver that has good hands and can make plays when he gets the ball in his hands. Right now he is a late second round pick, but could improve his stock.

3. Eric Decker, Minnesota – Decker had a good sophomore season catching 67 passes for 909 yards and nine touchdowns, and followed that up last season with 84 catches for 1,074 yards and 7 touchdowns. Decker has good size at 6-2 215 pounds and a good overall athlete, he isn’t a super fast, but does a good job coming in and out of his breaks and has good hands. Decker is a player that most likely won’t be a number one receiver in the NFL, but will be a great number two receiver, kind of like a Vincent Jackson of San Diego or Anthony Gonzalez of Indianapolis. Not a guy who will wow you with the big plays, but will make all the catches and will be there to make that catch on third down to keep the drive alive.

4. Jordan Shipley, Texas – Shipley is a productive receiver in Texas offense and caught 89 passes for 1,060 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He is better athlete then people give him credit for and has good size at 6-0 190 pounds and should be around the high 4.4 rang in the 40. He shows good ability to run good, clean routes and catches the football with his hands. He also can be used in the return game and had a touchdown but as a punt returner and kick returner last season. The thing with Shipley is he is a stead receiver that isn’t going to wow you in any particular aspect of his game and is a number two receiver at the NFL level.

5. Chris McGaha, Arizona State – Last season didn’t put up greats stats with only 35 catches for 501 yards and 1 touchdown, but he has good size at 6-1 200 pounds and is an outstanding athlete. In high school he won a basketball slam dunk championship and anchored the 4x100 meter relay team. He does a good job getting in and out of his breaks when he is running routes and has very good hands. He is guy at the next level that should be a very good number two wide receiver and could also play in the slot because of his quickness.

6. Andre Roberts, Citadel – Roberts is a small school player who people who just follow major college football won’t get a chance to see, but they will get to know his name when the NFL Draft comes around in April. Last season he had 95 catches for 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns, he has good size at a little over 5-10 and 180 pounds and has decent speed and was clocked at 4.50 in the 40 this spring. He ran anchor leg on the school's 400x100 relay team that won a Penn Relays title in 2007. He has good hands and that what makes him ranked this high and why his name will be talked about around draft time, because he doesn’t wow you with his measurable’s. He also returns punts and that should give him some add value come draft time.

7. Mike Williams, Syracuse – Williams last season was suspended by the school over an academic issue. So you have to go look at Williams sophomore season at Syracuse to be able to do an evaluation on him and in that season he caught 60 passes for 837 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has good size at around 6-2 210 pounds and good speed and has a chance to really move up with a good season and improving his route running skills. He has the ability if he can put it all together to be a number one receiver at the NFL level, but he still has a lot of work to do and is some what raw and it didn’t help him that he missed all of last season.

8. Jacoby Ford, Clemson - Ford doesn’t have great size at only 5-9 182 pounds but he is a fast and explosive receiver. Last season he had 55 catches for 710 yards and 4 touchdowns and in 2006, he averaged 32.8 yards per kickoff return. To go along with his blazing straight line speed he has the quickness to go with it and show that when either he has the ball in his hands or when he is running routes. Because of the lack of his size some teams are only going to be looking at him as a slot receiver and a return man to start out with, but could turn into more like what Steve Smith of Carolina did when he first come into the NFL.

9. Jeremy Williams, Tulane –Williams only played in 5 games last season before he got hurt and end up with 27 catches for 437 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is 6-1 205 and should run in the low 4.5’s in the 40. If Williams stays healthy this season could end up putting up some good numbers and being able to move up the draft boards. He is what teams are looking for in a wide receiver a player with good size, speed and is a good overall athlete, who could play both the on outside as well as in the slot at the next level.

10. Bryan Anderson, Central Michigan – Anderson is a big receiver at 6-5 215 the question mark will be what will his straight line speed be. Last season he missed one game because of an injury and 63 catches for 865 yards and 6 touchdowns as sophomore he had better stats when he caught 90 passes for 1,132 yards and 10 touchdowns so he is very productive receiver. He has been able to use his size to his advantage in college but that won’t necessarily be the case at the next level. He will have to improve his route running since he just won’t be able to just over power the defensive backs.

2010 NFL Draft Top 10 Tight Ends

1. Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma - Gresham is out for the whole season this season with a knee injury, but he is expected to be back at 100% by April, the question will be will he use this as a red-shirt year and come back next season or will he enter the NFL Draft. If he entered last year draft he would have been a top fifteen pick if he would have entered this year draft. He has the size and speed that teams look for in a receiving tight end. He is a better receiver then Brandon Pettigrew would was a first round pick in this pass year NFL draft, but in not as good of a blocker and need to get better in that aspect of his game. He could use to get stronger and add some bulk and I think that would help his blocking come along. Last season Gresham has 66 catches for 950 yards, and lead the team with 14 touchdowns. His 14 touchdowns is more touchdown grabs during the season than any TE in school history.

2. Ed Dickson, Oregon - Dickson had a proactive junior season with 35 catches for 508 yards and 3 touchdowns, with three guys playing quarterback. Dickson is a big receiving tight end at 6-5 243, and has good hands, and is a good overall athlete. He needs to working on his blocking ability to become more of a complete tight end, but has the ability to do that. If Oregon has a quarterback that can stay in the starting line-up, Dickson will have the ability to show his skills and can move up teams draft boards.

3. Jeron Mastrud, Kansas State - Last season Mastrud had 38 catches for 435 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has great size at 6-5 246 and good size and does a nice job in his inline blocking, but also a good enough receiver to get down the field and makes plays in the passing game. He has the ability to be a good tight end at the next level and should put up good stats as senior for Kansas State.

4. Dennis Pitta, Brigham Young - Talk about a receiving tight end, Pitta caught 83 passes for 1,083 yards and 6 touchdowns last season. He has good hands, and a very good route running and can be used spilt out in the slot to stretch the field. He has good size at 6-4 246, and can block when asked, but catching the ball is his best skill as a tight end. He needs to get better as an inline blocker, and add some strength to become a complete tight end at the next level, but he isn’t that far off now.

5. Anthony McCoy, USC - McCoy has great size at 6-5 255 pounds, and last season caught 22 passes for 256 yards and only one touchdown. NFL scouts like he size, and think he is a good athlete, he just needs to be more consistent in his route running ability. He has the ability to become a bigger threat in the passing game this season, and if he improves on his blocking, McCoy has a large upside.

6. Nate Byham, Pittsburgh - Byham is a good all-around tight end who can block well and make plays downfield, and last season had 20 catches for 260 yards and scored a touchdown. He underwent off-season knee surgery after sustaining a patellar dislocation in last year's 11th game, and should return 100% healthy but that is something to watch.

7. Michael Hoomanawanui, Illinois - Hoomanawanui is just a big strong tight end at 6-3 270 pounds and can move. He has very good blocking skills and is able to move and could be asked to be an H-Back at the next level. Last season he had 25 catches for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns, which is good for a team where they are run first in Illinois. He could improve his route running ability to become more of an offense weapon.

8. Andrew Quarless, Penn State - Quarless is another typical Big Ten tight end who is asked to block first and then become a receiver second, and last season only caught 11 passes for 117 yards and 1 touchdown. But Quarless is not just another added offensive linemen, he is a good athlete with good size at 6-5 250 who can move. He should be more involved in the passing game this season, allowing scouts to get a better look at his receiving and route running skills.

9. Nathan Overbay, Eastern Washington - Overbay has good overall size for a tight end at 6-5 270 pounds and is a very good blocker in both the running and passing game. He has 28 catches for 364 yards and 2 touchdowns last season and has the ability to put up better stats as a senior. He is a good receiver, but doesn’t have great speed to be able to stretch the field and could improve on his route running but is a good overall athlete.

10. Richard Dickson, LSU - If Dickson wasn’t only 6-2 240 pounds he would be higher on the list, because he does everything well for a tight end, he is a good blocker and a good receiver who had 31 catches for 324 yards and 4 touchdowns last season. Despite his size he has shown the ability to block defensive linemen and can get down the field as a receiver. He isn’t a blazer, but has good enough speed for a tight end, and might end up moving to an H-Back position or FB at the next level.

Draft Riser: DE Lindsey Witten, UConn

Defensive End Lindsey Witten of Connecticut all of last season had 17 total tackles and 5 sacks, just in the first two games he has 12 total tackles and already past last years total of sacks with 6 sacks. He has good size a 6-4 248 and can run, he is a good athlete and has good strength. Some NFL teams had him ranked at the number five overall defensive end for the 2010 NFL Draft, but most likely he will be a 3-4 outside linebacker and be able to use his skills as a pass rusher at the next level. He has great blood lines since his older brother is Donte Whitner who was a first round pick by the Buffalo Bills, and if Witten keep up his play he might be the second first rounder drafted in the family. He needs to get stronger and play the run better, but I think that will come and NFL teams know he can improve in that area, but what they will be drafting him for is his pass rush ability. Keep an eye of Witten as he moves up the draft boards.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Week Two NFL Picks

Carolina at Atlanta 1:00 PM FOX - Carolina rebounds with a win.

Minnesota at Detroit 1:00 PM FOX - Lions will at least have to wait another week for their first win.

Cincinnati at Green Bay 1:00 PM CBS - Green Bay goes 2-0.

Houston at Tennessee 1:00 PM CBS – Tennessee gets first win of the season.

Oakland at Kansas City 1:00 PM CBS – Oakland get first win of the season against the Chiefs.

New England at NY Jets 1:00 PM CBS - Jets give the Patriots a run for their money but New England pulls off the win in the end.

New Orleans at Philadelphia 1:00 PM FOX - Doesn’t look like McNabb will be able to play so look like the Saints start 2-0 this season.

St. Louis at Washington 1:00 PM FOX - Washington takes care of business against the Rams.

Arizona at Jacksonville 1:00 PM FOX - The defending NFC Champions start the season 0-2.

Tampa Bay at Buffalo 4:05 PM FOX – Buffalo takes care of business against Tampa Bay.

Seattle at San Francisco 4:05 PM FOX - Seattle shows that they are the class of the NFC West as they start the season 2-0.

Pittsburgh at Chicago 4:15 PM CBS - Could the Bears start the season 0-2, nope they get the win in a close one against Pittsburgh.

Baltimore at San Diego 4:15 PM CBS - This could be a preview of the AFC Championship game, and San Diego should win that as well.

Cleveland at Denver 4:15 PM CBS – Cleveland upsets Denver in close game.

NY Giants at Dallas 8:20 PM NBC - Dallas opens up it new stadium, but the Giants are to much for them.

Indianapolis at Miami 8:30 PM (Monday Night) – The Colts start the season 2-0 against the Dolphins.

Draft Riser - WR Blair White: From Walk-On to NFL Prospect

Michigan State WR Blair White has gone from a walk-on to now a NFL prospect that is rising up the draft chats on many NFL teams. He has good size at 6-2 200 pounds and some people think he should run around 4.4 in the 40. He has good hands and this season has been Michigan State go to receiver. His first two games this season he has put up big numbers and has 16 catches for 267 yards and two touchdowns. He does a nice job running routes, and shows the ability to get in and out of his breaks smoothly. Right now many teams see him around the number 15th overall senior wide receiver prospect and he is slowly moving up the charts.

Will TE Jermaine Gresham come back?

Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham underwent season-ending surgery on his knee, which will cause him to miss the whole 2009 college football season, without playing a down. Gresham was project as a possible first round draft choice if he would have declared for last season draft, but decided to come back for his senior season. The question now is will Gresham take this as his red-shirt year and come back for the 2010 college football season or come out for the 2010 NFL Draft without playing a down. He should be able to work out for scouts sometime in February in he doesn’t take the red-shirt year, but to me it looks like Sam Bradford will becoming back for his senior season and Gresham might want to take the red-shirt year and come back to play the 2010 season so he could get back to that first round grade. If he doesn’t take the red-shirt year I don’t see him becoming a first round pick, without playing a down this season. It will be a big choice for the pre-season number one rated senior tight end.


Welcome to my new blog, please come here regularly as I will be have information on the NFL, the NFL Draft, players stock moving up and down for the 2010 NFL Draft, news and notes around the NFL and College Football, and much more.