I have been thinking about this for a while and I want to go ahead and make a list of some of the potential hidden gems of this draft. As we all know this draft is pretty loaded at a few positions and weak at others..
Feel free to use this post as a place where you can debate and give your thoughts on a few hidden gems you think will burst onto the scene.
- Branden Weeden- I honestly look at Weeden and I see a guy with all the tools to succeed in the NFL, I see him fitting the mold of Eli Manning, which to me is a pure pocket passer who can escape though lateral movement to deliver the throw. Weeden is 28 which may be a knock on him but if he gets behind a good offensive line then he'll likely be a guy who'll play a good 9-10 years in the NFL.
- Russell Wilson- Honestly when I look at Wilson I see Jeff Garcia. He's a guy who is at his best when able to move around and use his legs but has an average arm. To me he's the ideal fit for the West Coast Offense. If given some time to develop he has the potential to develop into a very good player. And before people knock his height (Listed at 5'11 everywhere I've looked) just take a look at guys like Garcia and Vick and take note of how all three do play alike in the pocket.
- LaMichael James- I see James a guy who'd fit the role of Darren Sproles. He's a gamer and when healthy will help a team in many ways. There is little doubt in my mind that he'll be a quality player but his ceiling is very high and it wouldn't surprise me to see him as a starter in a year or two.
- Isaiah Pead- I'm actually pretty high on Pead, he to me is Buckhalter. He is ultra-competitive and is a hard runner who can make the first guy miss and adds a bit in the passing game. He'd be a great backup for many teams around the NFL.
- Cyrus Gray- Another Buckhalter type who is good in all areas but great in none. The big thing with him that impresses me is that he's a solid pass blocker which would help solidify him as a #2 RB sooner rather than later.
- Rueben Randle- He's a big WR who knows how to use his body, he's a hard worker and that bodes well for him since he has some areas of his game he needs to improve on. Randle's a guy who can become a #1 WR somewhere down the line but he'll need to work for it.
- Joe Adams- This guy has Desean Jackson ability. He's a dynamic returner who will help a team day 1, and he's actually not a bad WR. That being said he needs to go to a team that likes to air it out deep so he can use his speed in the same way Wallace and Jackson do.
- Tommy Streeter- This guy played well in college and has the size and athletic ability to develop into a player like T.O. if he can work on his game a little bit. I like him and he seems like a mid-round type of guy who'd be worth bringing along.
- Dwight Jones- Let's just say he's a big WR at 6'4 225lbs. He's a redzone threat who can do it all. Displays good hands, good route running ability and is strong. He might end up being the best WR out of this draft by the time his career is over.
- Zebrie Sanders- Sanders is 6'6 307lbs and is athletic while doing so. He was the only solid piece on an injury plagued FSU offensive line. I know many people here knock on him but this guy has played both RT and LT over the years and has done so at a high level. He fits a Zone Blocking scheme where he can use his athleticism to get into the next levels.
- Brandon Washington- Washington is an athletic player who would be better suited for Right Tackle (or Left Tackle on a team who has a left handed QB). Washington is a player who's capable of excelling in a ZBS or in a power running system.
- Brandon Mosley- If you want to see a player who fits what the Eagles do at OT then look no further. At 6'5 305lbs Mosley is extremely athletic and put together a nice career at Auburn. Before Auburn he played some DE and TE at Junior College. Mosley has the size and athleticism to not only be good but dominant in the NFL. I'd compare him to Jason Peters.
- Senio Kelemete- Senio is a strong OG who fits a system that relies on athletic offensive lineman. He has the ability to get into the 3rd level of a defense and the strength to push DT's backwards. If you're looking for a Howard Mudd type of guy then take a look at this guy. This being said Senio needs to work on his technique in order to excel at the next level.
- Tony Bergstrom- Bergstrom is an OG/OT prospect that I see as a guy who can move inside and be dominant. He fits what you need from a OG and honestly has great footwork and burst off the line which will help him in the long run. The drawback with him is that he'll be 26 at the start of this Season.
- William Vlachos- This 3 year starter at Alabama is a tough, smart and fundamentally sound player who could potentially play Day 1 for the team that drafts him. He's 6' 300lbs but he moves very well and can do some damage out in space.
- Bruce Irvin- Bruce is a guy who had some issues early on in his life and that will likely cause him to drop in this draft. There's no denying his talent and he displays a good burst off the line. He's very raw but with a coach who can develop him he could be a very good player.
- Donte Paige-Moss- Donte is extremely fast off the line and he has the speed and strength to develop into a great DE in the NFL. Honestly he'd fit a scheme where he can just attack the QB, but he also has good run stopping ability.
- Jaye Crawford- Crawford will be a mid-late round pick and will likely be a great steal. He has a solid pass rush and is good against the run which makes him valuable. He played well against SEC competition and the best thing about that is his best games did come against his best competition.
- Brandon Thompson- Thompson thrives on creating havoc, he doesn't necessarily have great sack totals but he is disruptive enough that teams must devote 2 players to blocking him which frees up other DLman. With the proper coaching he could wind up being a player like Jenkins.
- Ronnell Lewis- Lewis is a very inconsistent player which makes him a risk, however he has the ability to play SAM and WILL LB in a 3-4. The big thing with him is that he's violent, once he gets his hands on the ball-carrier he is simply ruthless. Lewis plays fast and forces others to try and play at his speed which then causes the Offense to make mistakes. If Lewis can play at a more consistent level he'll be a great tone-setter and game changer in the NFL.
- Terrell Manning- Manning played at North Carolina State. He will be a late round pick but he is solid in all facets of the game. Manning is a turnover machine who lacks elite speed but has great coverage instincts. He's not exactly a violent hitter but he's a solid tackler who gets the ball-carrier to the ground.
- Danny Trevathan- Danny lead the SEC in tackles the last 2 seasons and is a leader. Danny is solid in coverage and is a thumper in the running game. He projects at a WILL LB in a 4-3
- Omar Bolden- Bolden is strictly a man CB who is best at bump and run. He has injury concerns but if he can stay healthy he can potentially turn into a solid CB who can matchup on the outside or play in the Nickel.
- Cliff Harris- Harris ran into issues last year, however he's a great talent who is in the mold of Asante Samuel. He's a high risk- high reward player who could likely be a stud if he can get his life straightened out.
- Mike Harris- This guy out of FSU is a solid hitter who excels at getting into the backfield. When I watch him play I see a bit of Sheldon Brown in him. He's going to be a late round selection but with coaching he could eventually turn into a solid player.
- Eddie Whitley- Eddie is coming out of Virginia Tech as a very experienced player. He excels on special teams and is a physical safety who has a knack for the ball. He needs to add some strength but he does have the rare ability to match up man-to-man with WR's which is something that teams will covet.