Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2008 Top 25 Prospects

The NFL combine starts on Thursday and I hope I can find a way to watch it this year. As interest in the NFL Draft has risen, and folks have been enjoying watching the NFL Draft,the NFL did the smart move and decided to air it on the NFL Network, which I used last year to watch it. Sadly this year one has to pay to watch the NFL Network so no Combine for me. Though I believe the NFL is doing something online on their site that might allow me some sort of access, so here's to hoping.

Though I do put more into what a player looks like on the field, the combine does help with those few players who are neck and neck in my book. It also gives you a look at the athletic ability of some of the small school players, to see who will raise their position with a superb combine performance.

1. Chris Long, DE, Virginia 6'4" 280lbs
It looks like more and more people are coming around to see that Chris Long is head and shoulders above most of this draft class. He has the heritage, no doubt in that, but when you're able to make the type of plays he makes on a defense that doesn't have that many other star players in the front seven, you know you have to be something special. He is the ideal Bill Parcells player, and it won't shock me to see them sign him a week before the draft takes place.
2. Jake Long, OT, Michigan 6'7" 313lbs
Many considered Jake Long better then Joe Thomas last year, a Joe Thomas who went number 3 in a draft and was in consideration for Rookie of the Year. I know some folks aren't as high on Jake Long as I am, then again I tend to put more emphasis on the offensive line being a key to success then other folks do.
3. Sedrick Ellis 6'2" 305lbs
People are starting to realize how good Ellis really is. I think there was a thought that his production was from being a part of such a stellar defense, but seeing him during the Senior Bowl folks are realizing that he is just that good. He has the ability to do amazing things and I don't know if he will really need much time to adjust to the NFL style of play.
4. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois 5'10" 215lbs
I am a member of only a handful of us who believe Mendenhall is a better prospect then McFadden. If you didn't watch Mendenhall run all over a USC defense that has almost ever player going on to the NFL this year or next year then you haven't seen what this kid can do. His north south cutting is the best in this draft, bar none. He isn't afraid to lower his shoulders and hit someone as well. Good hands out of the backfield, he's gonna make some team very very happy.
5. Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas 6'2" 180lbs
I probably have Talib higher then any other ranker out there. I've watched this kid play all year and he's going to be the next coming of Darrell Green. Not with Green's speed, almost no one has that, just his ability to cover anyone in the NFL and make interceptions on a regular basis. I do have him as the best one on one corner in this draft, and he's fairly decent in zone coverage as well.
6. Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College 6'5" 205lbs
I'm not sold on Matt Ryan, I know many are, I'm not. I've heard the comparisons but I just don't see it. I think at best he'll be an average quarterback at best. This year has the worst crop of quarterbacks in a long time and I think people are stretching to find a great quarterback among them. Now I think he can develop into a very good quarterback, but when I think of comparable quarterbacks in the NFL what comes to my mind is Jon Kitna and Trent Green, a solid quarterback but he's not gonna exactly carry you to a super bowl.
7. Kenny Phillips, S, Miami 6'2" 210lbs
He has the ability to turn out to be the best player to come out of this draft, like almost ever Miami safety of the last decade. The key comes on where he is drafted and if he can keep his work ethic at a high level. Now it may sound like the usual cliche, but he could slip into the I've made it mode so I can ease up like so many do. I can envision HUGE things for Phillips, we're talking Hall of Fame things, I just don't know if he'll put the pieces together.
8. Keith Rivers, OLB, USC 6'3" 225lbs
I love this kid's motor as he's one of those players that will be all over the field, sideline to sideline, making plays everywhere. When it comes to the linebackers, he rushes the quarterback phenomenally well, maybe better then any other linebacking prospect. His coverage is on and off and could use some work, but it's better then 80% of the rest of the choices in the linebacker pool. I would like to see him put on some more muscle, at 225lbs he's a bit undersized, but other then that no problem seeing him taken high.
9. Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU 6'2" 303lbs
The problem right now with Glenn Dorsey isn't what he's doing, it's what he's not doing, and what's not happening around him. He didn't play at any of the college all star bowls, so he didn't get any press there. He doesn't have anyone really talking about him, not since his phenomenal job at the National Title game and as we all know if you're not being talked about people forget about you. Luckily his talent is so vast that many do still consider him a top five pick.
10. Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas 6'2" 205lbs
The more film I see on Darren McFadden the less and less I like him. Is he athletically gifted, without a doubt, but when it comes to being a football player, a NFL level football player, I don't think he can do it. I read Blair Thomas all over him. When he gets hit, his legs stop moving, something you never want in a running back. He doesn't hold the ball in the right arm which has led to fumbles. These are things though that can be fixed, which is why he's still high on the list. He has intangibles that are amazing if he can overcome his flaws.
11. Erin Henderson, OLB, Maryland 6'3" 245lbs
12. Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida 5'10" 200lbs
13. Limas Sweed, WR, Texas 6'5" 219lbs
14. Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma 6'3 1/2" 190lbs
15. Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio State 6'4" 260lbs
16. Chilo Rachal, G, USC 6'4" 315lbs
17. Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State 6'6" 315lbs
18. Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC 6'5" 265lbs
19. Jonathon Stewart, RB, Oregon 5'11" 230lbs
20. Fred Davis, TE, USC 6'3 1/2" 251lbs
21. Dan Connor, LB, Penn State 6'3" 230lbs
22. DeSean Jackson, WR, Cal 6' 172lbs
23. Jeff Otah, OT, Pitt 6'6" 340lbs
24. Red Bryant, DT, Texas A&M 6'5" 322lbs
25. Early Doucet, WR, LSU 6'1" 210lbs

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