With the stock market spiking in the first quarter of the year, similar to the way some prospects stock shoots up right after the combine people were in the buying mood. Now that there has been some time to digest what we see on film and how guys measured at the combine lets discuss who are the bulls and who are the bears of this years draft. After the combine Fisher closed the gap on Joeckel and maybe even surpassed him in some minds. Tavon Austin went from top 5 to top ONE. Sharrif Floyd surpassed Star Lotuleiei as the number one DT in some peoples eyes. Star's heart being a big factor in that (even though they were close before his condition was discovered). Now that you have had time to digest the "draft spike" who are your top 2 at every position?
QB: I'm don't want us to draft any of these QB's so I haven't done a ton of research on them. If I had a gun to my head my top two would be:
I like Brays size and arm strength. There's questions about his preparation but you can't deny his results. 34 TD's and 12 INT's in the SEC is not shabby at all. But I am not "Bull" on or "Buy" on either of these guys. Like I said, if you had a gun on me these would be the two I begrudgingly picked.
RB: As a franchise we are set at RB. So again I didn't do a ton of research on this years class. A guy I grew to like was Eddie Lacy. He had a great championship game. His running style is strength and power but I view it as both a negative and positive. Big backs, take big hits and seem to have a shorter shelf life. On top of that Mark Ingram who was 2 years ahead of Lacy at Bama and started ahead of him, hasn't really found a ton of success in the NFL. With that said, I still think Lacy is the best RB of this years class. The other guy I like is Montee Ball from the Badgers. He doesn't get much love nationally but I like his vision and approach to the game. If we didn't have Shady I would be "Bullish" on both these guys. Not to be superstar/blue chip players. But solid steady work horses.
Yes that's Lacy stepping over Miss Te'O!
WR: On to my favorite player in the draft. Tavon Austin to me is a hybrid all purpose all pro talent football player. Wes Welker made man love to Djax and Tavon Austin was born. He fields kicks, punts, plays RB and WR ALL VERY WELL. He's not as good as Welker(duh) at running routes. But he is damn good at it. He's not as fast as Djax but he's very close to it. "Consistently made defenders look 'silly' trying to corral him in one-on-one situations. " and " Almost unstoppable at continue on for additional yardage. Not a frail receiver; plays tough, has some upper-body thickness, and bounces up quickly from hits. Varies the speed of his route, lulls defenders to sleep and takes off to create space on out routes or over the middle. Tough to grab after the catch in zone coverage." I am "Bullish" in a huge way on Tavons talents. If we traded one of our WR's and got a second rd.1 pick or traded back I would love this guy on our team.
My other guy is:
He's tall fast and has good hops. The knock on him is he is not very physical. I don't like the idea of non physical tall WR's. But I can't deny Patterson is #2 WR in this years draft. I am "bearish" on Patterson.
Not that three, Ertz, Eifert, Escobar. I grouped these guys together because I think they are all so similar in talent level. All are around 6'6" 250 and can jump, run and catch. Escobar is the slowest as far as his 40 time (4.84) but he finished top 4 in the 3 cone, 20 shuttle and 60 shuttle. I am "Bullish" on adding any of these guys. But at the right pick.
Cooper and Warmack are both very good OG's I like Coopers strength and mobility a little more. Joeckel and Fisher IMO are head and shoulders above their counterparts. All 3 of these guys are hard nosed football players. I am "Bullish" on all of these gentleman. The OT's at 4 or Cooper in the 2nd. I'm not sure Cooper makes it that far.
DT: This is the deepest position in the draft. I had a really tough time picking among this group. I mentioned earlier I don't love the idea of non physical FB players. The opposite is also true, I LOVE mean physical brutes playing on my team. And I wouldn't mind either of my DT's at 4.
Sherrif Floyd is in my opinion the most violent, physical DT in the draft. So as no surprise he is my favorite DT. Floyd stands a violent 6'2" 5/8ths and 297 pounds. He could play either a 3 or 5 tech and possess a solid swim move and a great bull rush. "Great balance and flexibility, and shows good change of direction ability and showing some ability to bend on the edge. Excellent at shooting gaps and reducing his surface area while working through trash inside. Splits double-teams in pass protection well with quickness."
I don't know about you but a DT that wears a RB #34 and wears it well just sounds bad ass to me. Besides guys that are violent, I like guys that are tenacious. Richardson is like Decon Jones in the way that he will follow you into the stands just so he can hit you. "Displayed a consistent motor in 2012. Gives great effort and can be seen chasing all over the field in pursuit. Appears more comfortable being on the move than doing the dirty work in the trenches. " I am "Bullish" on both these guys. Floyd at 4 and Sheldon after that if we had a pick or he was there in the second.
LB: This was tough for me. Here are my guys.
Dion Jordon as a freak of a guy. How many DE/OLB's cover slot guys on 3rd down? What I am afraid of with this guy is he is not a violent physical guy. So I worry he will turn into a Kearse type player. Speed rush and nothing else. Kearse got sacks but teams also would bait Kearse up-field and then run in the gap he created. Kearse earned a 91 million dollar contract from us so being Javon Kearse is not necessarily a horrible thing. It's just is what it is. Dion is well covered here so I won't post excerpts about him. I am "Bearish" on Dion at 4.
No that is not Jarvis Jones. That is his counter part Alec Ogletree. "Tall with a shredded frame, long arms (33 5/8') and big hands (10'). Has good timed speed in the 40 (4.70) and plays even faster." Great range, is a 3 down guy and is an explosive hitter. " Has a natural feel for space. Flashes outstanding ball skills (see; high-point INT in deep middle of field versus Ole Miss 2012). Not used very often as pass rusher but has flashes big-time potential in that area."
I am "Bullish" on Alec in the 2nd round. IF he makes it that far.
CB: I like my CB's physical and cocky. Speed can be schemed for but not being able to tackle can't be covered up so easily. And I want them, wanting to cover the best WR on the field. That leads me to:
Dee is fast, likes to hit and has good ball skills. Is he as good or as touted as Pat Peterson or Claiborne were coming out? No. He also didn't line up in a way were he back peddled to cover the WR. "Plays with an edge and doesn't shy away from contact. Willing to mix it up with offensive linemen and sacrifice body to make the play." and "Doesn't always come down with 50-50 ball but makes sure receiver doesn't either. While not an elite playmaker at this point has upside. Flashes the ability to highpoint. Tracks the ball and times jumps well." If we take him at 4 I will not be mad but I am not "Bullish" on him at 4.
Xavier Rhodes is big and plenty fast. He runs a 4.43 40, he's 6'1" 210 lbs.
"Rhodes thrives in physical press coverage, something very few college players can put on their resume. At time his tackling technique is questionable" His willingness to stick his nose in there gives me hopes he can be turned into a better tackler. I am "Bearish" on Rhodes in the second but very very "Bullish" on him in the 3rd (if he's there)
S: Up next is a position that has plagued us since Dawk left. This is also a very deep position this year. Not deep as in sure thing super stars. As far as safety goes those guys don't come along very often. But there are some solid starters potential stars here.
Kenny Runs a slow 4.63 40. He plays much faster. Kenny plays with a chip on his shoulder and can cover and hit. "Plays with an edge. Can get caught up in the wash when lines up in the box but strong for size and flashes a violent punch when taking on blockers. " and "Has the instincts and range to get into position to make a play. Takes sound angles to the point and can high point the ball. Aggressive and can come up with 50-50 balls. Flashes the ability to turn, locate and play the ball when back is initially to the quarterback."
Elam is the man IMO. "Plays close to the line of scrimmage or in the box very often. At his best when asked to make a play, either blitzing or one on one on the edge. Frequently assigned to cover the slot receiver. There are times when he flashes tremendous disruption when the play is developing in front of him. Has catch up speed to chase down when he wants to. Gets hand up to disrupt at the catch point even if head is not turned to locate the football. Gets downfield very quickly as a gunner in punt coverage"
I am "Bullish" on both these guys after the 18th pick. If they last to us they would be my second round pick over any of the other guys I am hoping last that long.
Quotes and information was taken from NFL.com and ESPN.com