2001 DRAFT PREVIEW
------------------------- by Aaron Freeman -----------------------------

This is my draft preview for the Falcons and for the rest of the NFL. But I must admit that it is more focused on the Falcons than any other thing. It is set up in the way that in each round, I evaluate players I think have that value. I am not predicting where/when the players will go, just rated them according to their value. There are a lot of good players not listed in this evaluation. One reason why is that I feel they will not be good fits for the Falcons. Another reason is that I didn't get a good evaluation of the player, and basically I would just be repeating what you've read at the "experts" sites. And there will also be players that I have not seen play that I won't list. I will note that my analysis of defensive backs is severely limited, because I based all by evaluations off games I've watched on TV. And it's very hard to see what's going on in the secondary on TV. So parts of my DB evaluations will be based on what others have said, and it's very hard to evaluate safeties. Because in pass coverage, you only really see a safety if he makes an interception or is burnt for a touchdown. And that would be unfair to judge a player on two extremes.

If Player A is listed as a 3rd round pick, but is not selected in the third round, then he becomes a priority 4th round pick. Meaning, the Falcons should look to draft this player before thinking about drafting other 4th round prospects. In each round, the players are not ranked in any particular order, just ordered by position. For example, if Player X and Player Y are tight ends, but Player Y is evaluated first, that does not mean I think Player Y is the better player. It's just that I thought of Player Y before X.

Key:

Red Player - I have not seen this player play, but I have heard/read many things about him.
Green Player - I have seen this player play, but could not form a good evaluation of him. So the evaluation is partly mine, partly someone else's evaluation.
Black Player - I have seen this player play and can form a good evaluation of him.

Recent Updates:



FIRST ROUND

QB Michael Vick
(6' 210) Virginia Tech (4.46) SOPH.

Vick has great arm strength. He has above average passing skills, meaning reading and decision-making abliities. His mobility is excellent. Although he may not be the most developed passer in the draft, his play-making skills are incredible. But his major drawback is his lack of experience. He has only 2 years of major college experience, and the last QB with that little experience was Akili Smith, and Smith has struggled much since arriving in the NFL. Vick is not likely to develop into an average starter until 3-5 years down the road. Most NFL quarterbacks take that long, but it's significantly a long time since Vick is the projected #1 pick in the draft, and usually those players are expected to perform in their 2nd years, along will all first round quarterbacks. Vick probably won't fall to the Falcons, but he would be a great pick if the Falcons took him.

QB Drew Brees
(6' 213) Purdue (4.86) SR.

Brees is not a good fit for the Falcons, but in the right system, he's going to be a very good quarterback. He fits well in the West Coast-type offenses, that concentrate on ball control and short quick passes. Brees has mobility, smarts, good accuracy, and the leadership skills to be a very good NFL quarterback. But it all depends on who drafts him. Some have questioned his accuracy and decision making skills, which is not unwarranted. He will make a lot of rookie mistakes early in his career, but all QBs do that, even the great Peyton Manning. But of all this year's class of quarterbacks, Brees will likely have the most success if he was forced to start as a rookie.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson
(5'10" 221) Texas Christian (4.40) SR.

Tomlinson has good speed and size. He doesn't have great size or power, but has enough to not always go down on initial contact. His cutting and lateral abilities are excellent. His hands are also solid. Some feel that he will only be a complementary type, but I feel otherwise. Emmitt Smith is not a pure power back, but he has managed to turn into one of the best running backs of all-time. Tomlinson may not be a 25-30 carry-a-game back, but he should be able to handle a pretty heavy load on a weekly basis. His breakaway speed and explosion are excellent and he will be a homerun hitter in the NFL. A mix of Corey Dillon and Emmitt Smith in my opinion.

RB Deuce McAllister
(6'1" 222) Mississippi (4.38) SR.

McAllister's timed speed seems misleading. When I saw him in the bowl game, he looked like he was running at 4.55-4.6. He has good size, but he lacks explosion, something that all good RBs have. Supposedly he was injured that bowl game, but I'm not buying it. Seems more like a ball control type runner. If you give him the ball 25 times a game, he'll gaub 60-80 yards, but doesn't look like a consistent 100-yard gainer. I think he's overrated. He may be a productive pro player, but I don't ever see him being the type of runner that could get more than 1200 yards in a season, and if he did it would likely be because he was given the ball nearly 400 times. If a team were to draft McAllister, they better hope they have a complementary runner, because he'd be better in a Ron Dayne-type role than a feature role.

WR David Terrell
(6'3" 215) Michigan (4.43) JR.

I have not seen a lot of Terrell, although I have probably seen enough to know how good he is. I assumed he was good, so in many of the games I watched I rarely focused on him. He has good hands, excellent size, and good speed. All he needs to do is adjust to the NFL game, and he will be an excellent NFL wide receiver. And he should do that pretty quickly. Terrell is expected to go ahead of the Falcons pick, but if he were to fall that far, it would be very likely that the Falcons would take him.

WR Koren Robinson
(6'1" 211) N.C. State (4.38) SOPH.

Because of his school, immediate comparisons to Torry Holt will occur. I'm not sure if Robinson is as good or better than Holt. Robinson has excellent size, speed, and hands. Some say he's better than Terrell, and may move past Terrell, depending on who has better post-Combine workouts. He is a play-maker who will probably take longer to adjust to the NFL after only two years of college experience. But probably by his second season, he should be well adjusted and on his way to making a big splash in the pro ranks.

WR Santana Moss
(5'9" 184) Miami, Fla. (4.40) SR.

Moss would have been a 2nd round pick had he come out last year. He is a pure play-maker which makes up for his lack of size. He will have some adjusting to do initially as a rookie, but he definitely has the skills to make a large impact on this league. I would say Terry Glenn and Joey Galloway are the best comparisons. Moss can also return kickoffs and punts, which makes him even more valuable. His speed and hands are excellent.

WR Freddie Mitchell
(5'11" 185) UCLA (4.52) JR.

Mitchell doesn't have great size, but like Moss, he has play-making abilities, speed, and hands make up for it. Mitchell does need a little more work than the better receivers of this class. I can't put my finger on it, but there's just something about him that doesn't make him a great prospect, just very good. But no matter, since he would be an excellent pickup by the Falcons in the middle of the first round.

WR Reggie Wayne
(6' 198) Miami, Fla. (4.55) SR.

Had a good Senior Bowl week, and likely erased any doubt he won't be a first round pick. Doesn't have great size or speed, but has good hands and will be a solid possession-type in the NFL. He runs good routes, and is smart, so he'll get open and make big plays. He's going to be a good pro receiver. I think he'll have a career similar to that of New York's Ike Hilliard. Maybe that's not what many want in a first round receiver, but Wayne will bring consistency and reliability, and thats what coaches love.

WR Chad Johnson
(6'1" 192) Oregon State (4.59) SR.

I believe part of the reason why Johnson has moved up the draft boards is because people didn't find out until the Senior Bowl that Keyshawn Johnson was his cousin, and that by itself makes him a late 1st round pick. Coupled with the fact that he has deep speed and great hands, its a wonder why a team won't take him #1. He's outspoken like his cousin, and unfortunately even here in this preview he will be compared to his cousin constantly. So I'll try not to mention the other Johnson from now on in this report. Chad has good hands, and many have said the best in the class, and it's tough disputed that statement. He has great speed if his 40 time is accurate, but he plays more like a possession type. If I were to look at him in comparison, I'd say he's most likely to have a Tim Brown-like career.

LT Leonard Davis
(6'6" 370) Texas (5.33) SR.

Davis has excellent size to dominate in the NFL. He has excellent strength, and his quickness is very good for a player his size. His quickness is not great, but he can manage the left tackle position in the NFL because it will be hard for speed rushers to get around him and power rushers to overpower him all because of his massive size. He uses his arms well to keep defenders at a distance. Plays left tackle in college, but on the Falcons he would be a right tackle since the Falcons are very happy with Bob Whitfield on the left side. His strength will allow him to play that position. May have potential weight problems, as NFL teams would prefer if he stayed as close to the 320-330 range as possible. Reminds me of Tra Thomas.

LT Kenyatta Walker
(6'5" 311) Florida (5.17) JR.

Walker has good size although his size is about average for an NFL left tackle, and players his size will soon be rare to find in the NFL as tackles continually increase in size. Walker has good strength and quickness, and is the best pure left tackle in this year's class. He has faced tough competition such as Florida State's Jamal Reynolds, and did an excellent job. What is strange about Walker is that he plays right tackle at Florida, but doesn't project well in the pros, because he is not as powerful and dominant in the run game as team's want. So he'll move from right to left, which is backwards, since it's more likely that college LTs move to RT in the NFL. So if the Falcons were to draft him, he would be a left tackle, but since the team already has Bob Whitfield it's less likely.

G Steve Hutchinson
(6'5" 315) Michigan (5.18) SR.

Hutchinson is clearly the best guard in this year's class. He is a fine run blocker and good pass blocker. Although I do not think he is magnificent, he is clearly head and heels above the rest of the class at this position. He's a solid player who would play left guard in Atlanta, but could easily swing to the right side with if need be on any other NFL team. He is surrounded by great talent in Michigan, but has proved he can do things on his own in man-to-man blocking. Like most interior rookie linemen, I don't expect Hutchinson to immediately come in and dominate. But he should be able to contribute much like Steve McKinney did in Indianapolis in 1998.

DE Jamal Reynolds
(6'3" 267) Florida State (4.73) SR.

Everyone says Reynolds is too small, but on the field he looks and plays much bigger. He is not as great as many are saying he is, but he's a very good player. Despite his limited size, he plays with pretty good strength. He's far away from being a point of attack player, but other ends like Simeon Rice, Michael McCrary, Michael Sinclair, and Willie McGinest have all had success despite not being very good against the run. If he can add 5-10 pounds, he should be fine though. He'll have to use his hands better though in order to become decent vs. the run. He should develop some more moves, but right now he would fit well at right defensive end on most teams, including the Falcons.

DE Andre Carter
(6'4" 249) California (4.85) SR.

Carter is likely the best DE in this draft because he is the best all around. He doesn't have great size, but plays with good strength and uses his hands well, which at the least should make him average as a run stopper in the NFL. He has good speed, although he's not a pure upfield pass rusher like Reynolds. If he adds weight, he can play on the left side, but as it is right now, he'll be better on the right side than left. May not be as good as Courtney Brown and Jevon Kearse in recent years, but he's close.

DE Justin Smith
(6'4" 267) Missouri (4.65) JR.

Smith has excellent size, speed, and strength. As long as those numbers translate onto the field, he has the best potential of all the defensive linemen in this draft. If he's as good as his numbers, he can play at any weight, whether it's 265 or 280. Right now he's the top prospect as a left defensive end and should be able to play the run very effectively. May not be a great pass rusher, but his speed and strength should allow him to be similar to Robert Porcher.

DT Richard Seymour
(6'6" 299) Georgia (4.94) SR.

Seymour has the quickness to play left end and the strength to stay at tackle in the NFL. Has excellent size and speed. If he is to play some end, teams may want him to drop some weight and he would likely be better than a DT/DE hybrid like Renaldo Wynn, since he is a better pass rusher. On the inside, he has good strength although it's not great. May not be a great hole plugger, but should be very good one. A dynamic playmaker on defense, who would boost any teams' defensive line immediately. Would be similar to a Brad Culpepper or Wayne Martin.

DT Gerard Warren
(6'4" 325) Florida (5.05) JR.

Many feel Warren will pass Seymour as this year's top defensive tackle. That's not hard to believe. Warren has good strength and quickness for his size, and since he is wider and stronger than Seymour, he projects better as a hole plugger in the middle. Should be good at penetrating also. If he's as good as I think he is after seeing a few glimpses of him, he should be a very good player in the NFL. But I will want to watch him again, because I'm not sure if he has nose tackle-type strength, which is key. If he does then he is likely a better prospect than Seymour, if he doesn't then, it's still up in the air.

DT Damione Lewis
(6'3" 296) Miami, Fla. (4.90) SR.

Many "experts" are unsure of Lewis because of his "tweenerness." It's hard to exclude me from similar feelings. All that I know is that Lewis is a great prospect. Whether he plays DE or DT in the NFL, is up to the team that drafts him. He played DT in college, but most will feel he's undersized for that role. But he has the strength and power to play in the NFL. What makes him a possibility at LDE is because he has great quickness. I personnally think that he could have a similar career to D'Marco Farr who is an undersized DT also. But because of the questions, many don't know (including myself) don't know whether to rate him as a late 1st round or mid-2nd round pick. He has 1st round talent definitely, but depending on how NFL teams view him will determine where he goes.

LB Dan Morgan
(6'2" 240) Miami, Fla. (4.55) SR.

I hear almost all good things about Morgan. Some question if he can play MLB in the NFL, but he could develop into a Randall Godfrey or London Fletcher-type in the middle. Both players are athletic middle linebackers, something teams are starting to covet much more now. Morgan can also play the weakside position in the NFL. If the Falcons were to draft him, he would definitely be drafted to replace Tuggle in the middle, since the Falcons are happy with Keith Brooking at WLB. I've heard mixed reviews of Morgan's ability to absorb and avoid blockers. No doubt he has a nose for the ball though.

LB Torrance Marshall
(6' 249) Oklahoma (4.70) SR.

Looks to project as the top strongside guy in this draft. Also has the ability to be a very good MLB in the NFL. His speed, size, athleticism, and ability to shed blocks well will allow him to excel as a strongside guy. His aggressiveness, athleticism, and ability to shed blockers will allow him to excel on the inside. He can make plays, is good in coverage, and can rush the quarterback. I've seen where a lot of people rate him as an early 2nd round pick, but I don't see this. Maybe I should watch him more, but I see very little that says to me that he's not a 1st round talent.

OLB Tommy Polley
(6'4" 234) Florida State (4.55) SR.

He's a very good playmaker. Will play on the weakside because he lacks size. But at 218 he has enough strength to shed and absorb blockers, so imagine what he could do if he added 10-15 pounds. He's not too small to play in the NFL, but pro teams still have a stigma against "undersized" players despite many of those players have much success. He has good speed and is athletic, but his recent knee injury may allow teams to question his durability at such a low weight.

CB Fred Smoot
(5'11" 172) Mississippi State (4.44) SR.

Smoot is a trash-talker, and is more known for his prowress in that area than any other. But he can "talk the talk" and "walk the walk." He had an excellent Senior Bowl, making great plays on the ball and showing he is the best man coverer in this class. His lack of bulk may scare some teams, and his abilities in run support are nothing special, so of course the Deion comparisons come in that regard. But there is a lot of Smoot that was in a younger Deion, and those comparisons are well deserved.

S Derrick Gibson
(6'1" 218) Florida State (4.41) SR.

I have seen Gibson play a bit. He made some plays in run support, but I have not seen him in coverage. But I put him this high because of his athleticism and versatility. The "experts" say he can play both FS and SS, and coupled with his athleticism, and his history of playing at high levels, there's no doubt in my mind he'd be a good late round first round pick as a safety for some team. They say that his athleticism is so great, he played CB for a brief time at the Senior Bowl practices. But what may drop him to the 2nd round is his off-field problems.



SECOND ROUND

RB LaMont Jordan
(5'10" 234) Maryland (4.57) SR.

Jordan has good size, speed, and strength. He has the ability to be a feature back in the NFL as he can carry the ball up to 30 times a game. He was underproductive as a senior, after a stellar junior year. Will probably not be a great NFL runner, but should be productive in the pros. Runs with power and will be able to break long runs, but is not a homerun threat. Reminds me of Jamal Anderson. Is likely to be a late 1st or early 2nd round pick. All that concerns me was his significant drop as a senior. In the preseason, he was almost a sure Top 10 pick, but has slipped since.

RB Kevan Barlow
(6'1" 235) Pittsburgh (4.55) SR.

Barlow shows what everyone wants in a runningback. The size and strength to pound the ball 20-30 times a game. Has good quickness and vision, and the hands to be a good receiver. What makes Barlow a 3rd round pick, is that he doesn't particularly excel in any of those areas. It makes him an all-around back. In the right system, he should be very productive, but in the wrong one, he'll like be just average. He's a feature runner though, but many teams won't think he's quick or powerful enough to be a true feature guy. He's a borderline 2nd/3rd round prospect. If a team likes him enough, they could take him in the early 2nd, but it wouldn't be too surprising if he fell to the mid-3rd.

TE Alge Crumpler
(6'2" 266) North Carolina (4.87) SR.

Crumpler is not the next Tony Gonzalez in terms of receiving ability, and is not the next Howard Cross as a blocker. But Crumpler does both abilities very well. He's probably a better blocker than receiver because of his bulk and strength. But he is a good receiver, with good hands and the ability to get open. If he runs fast in the 40 at the Combines or in other workouts, he may even move up into the late 1st round. His lack of great deep speed is what keeps him in the 2nd round. He looks like a good short and intermediate route runner. I'd look at him as a potential 40-catch tight end, depending on the system he's in.

LT Jeff Backus
(6'5" 310) Michigan (5.39) SR.

No doubt Backus is the 3rd best left tackle behind Davis and Walker. And because of that most will say he's got 1st round talent. And he may, but I wouldn't particularly draft him there. In my opinion, he's a pure pass protector with good quickness and pretty good strength. And for many teams that's what is wanted in a left tackle. But what will likely not make him a great left tackle is his lack of strength. In the Senior Bowl, he got bulled a little, but was able to compensate with his quickness. Scouts say he's strong, but he doesn't look to have that great run blocking strength that the best pro LTs have. He's not weakling, but I don't think he's going to particularly overpower defenders in run blocking. He's a borderline 1st/2nd round player. Based off his pass blocking, he's a mid round 1st rounder, but because he doesn't look like he's going to be more than an average run blocker, he's rated as a late 1st/early 2nd round prospect.

C Robert Garza
(6'2" 303) Texas A&M-Kingsville (5.00) SR.

Garza is clearly this year's top senior prospect at center. He doesn't have great size, but unlike most college centers he isn't really undersized. He has power and quickness and likes to get upfield and make blocks. I wouldn't call him "super strong", but he has enough strength to be solid in the run game. You wouldn't want to leave him on an island in pass protection, but even a lot of NFL centers aren't good enough in that area either.

RT Maurice Williams
(6'5" 304) Michigan (5.30) SR.

Williams is clearly the best player at the right tackle position in this year's class. But unfortunately for Williams he lacks the size to be a great right tackle. Chris Terry (6'5" 295) proved though that one does not have to be very big to be a solid right tackle. Some may see Williams lack of RT size and assume he can play left tackle, but I would not agree with that. Williams is a good player, but his foot quickness is not good enough to be a left tackle. Maybe in a few years after gaining more experience in the NFL will he be able to move to the left side, but right now, he's strictly an undersized right tackle.

RT Marques Sullivan
(6'5" 338) Illinois (5.34) SR.

Sullivan is going to be a pretty good right tackle in the league. His strength and ability in the run game would merit a 1st round pick. But I think in pass protection, he will struggle against speed rushers. Five years ago, this wouldn't be a problem, since most left ends were power rushers. But nowadays we have players like Jevon Kearse playing left end, and Kearse would eat a guy like Sullivan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sullivan can improve on his quickness, and he reportedly looked quick in Senior Bowl practices, but his performance in the game is questionable. He's going to be a good pro player, but may struggle a bit as a rookie as he develops a feel for the speed of the game.

DE Reggie Hayward
(6'5" 255) Iowa State (4.95) SR.

Hayward may be undersized, but he has the frame to add 10-15 pounds. He has amazing quickness, and unlike most "undersized" DEs he uses his hands pretty well. I like him a lot, but because of him only beign 245, he won't go higher than the 3rd round. I don't think many in this year's class have his explosion or his pure pass rushing skills. At about 255-260, Hayward would be a solid right end, but at his current size, he makes nearly the perfect OLB in a 3-4 defense. His speed and athleticism will allow him to make plays vs. the run, and he'll be like Kevin Greene in that he could tally 15 sacks in a season as a OLB. I think he's one of the best players in this draft.

DE Kenny Smith
(6'3" 299) Alabama (5.29) SR.

He's intriguing because of his size and strength. He will be able to play both outside and inside in the pros. He's a big guy with the strength to play well in both areas. He'd be a solid run stuffer at LDE who some upfield skills, and would be a good upfield player with some decent run stopping skills at DT. Where he'd fit perfectly is as a DE in a 3-4 system. His strength and versatility could merit 1st round talent, but because he won't be a good pass rusher is what keeps him in the 2nd round. Teams like Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Jets, and Patriots should look really hard at him.

DE Cedric Scott
(6'6" 281) Southern Miss (4.94) SR.

Scott is a left end prospect based on his size. He has good strength, but his best attribute is his explosiveness and speed. He plays more like a right defensive end than left end. With more experience and practice, he will learn to use his large wingspan and strength better at the point of attack. He's a nice project as a left end, since there's very little doubt he will improve, but he does need work. I've said before that if he were on a good defensive line, he could get 10 or more sacks, but on a weak or average one, he would only get 2 or 3. But there was an improvement in his arms/hands use between his bowl game and the Senior Bowl, which is a very positive sign.

DE DeLawrence Grant
(6'3" 280) Oregon State (4.76) SR.

Has really bulked up since the end of the year when he was believed to be in the 265-270 range. Always seemed to have a nice frame despite marginal height. Is more an upfield guy that will have to develop more as a run stopper at the point of attack. Will play left end in the NFL because of his size, but needs to improve there. Has the raw skills wanted, and coaches will try to teach him the rest. A quality pick, but is not great.

DT Willie Howard
(6'3" 295) Stanford (5.01) SR.

What makes Howard intriguing is the possibility he can play both DE and DT in the NFL. He plays faster than his 40 time, and is quick enough to be a pretty good pass rusher in the next level. His strength is good, but maybe not good enough to be a full-time DT in the NFL. I see him as a Renaldo Wynn or Kenny Mixon type of player. He may not rack a lot of sacks, but he will be a good run stopper at LDE and can move inside on 3rd downs. If he runs a 40 time at 4.9 or lower, then he'll definitely be an end. He could rate as a 1st round pick as a DE, but because he's a tweener, he drops to the 2nd round.

DT Marcus Stroud
(6'6" 321) Georgia (5.13) SR.

I was really disappointed with Stroud. His upside is amazing. Within two or three seasons, he could be the most dominating defensive tackle. But unfortunately he doesn't play like it right now. He truly reminds me of a former Falcon draft pick, Nathan Davis. Stroud has all the talent in the world, along with great strength, size, and quickness. He has the size to be a nose tackle in the pros, but struggles taking on more than one blocker. One on one, he's devastating, and I doubt even the best guards in the NFL can handle him, but unless he plays beside another really good DT, he will be drawing the double teams. Has the power to almost immediately collapse the pocket and get to the quarterback. If he works hard, he will be great, but right now all indications say he won't work hard. Unlike Davis, Stroud probably won't be out of the league in 2 years, but he won't ever live up to his potential.

DT Kris Jenkins
(6'5" 318) Maryland (5.14) SR.

I saw him in the Senior Bowl and he showed excellent quickness. I can't remember who exactly was the back, but I remember him chasing him down, and running at the same speed as the back. He is big and strong. I've heard much about how "lazy" he can be. From what I've seen and heard, he may be good as a DE in a 3-4 defense. Looks unpolished, but there seems to be a lot of potential in his large body.

DT Mario Fatafehi
(6'2" 295) Kansas State (5.29) SR.

The thing I like most about Fatafehi is his incredible strength. He is a very strong player who will be a good DT in the NFL. He can penetrate because of his strength, and has some pretty good quickness, but pass rushing won't be his forte. But if he was teamed with another good DT, he would have success similar to Anthony McFarland in Tampa Bay. Could be part of that elite group of DTs that will go early, but he's raw.

OLB Quinton Caver
(6'4" 227) Arkansas (4.70) SR.

He is a strongside guy that measure very light at the Senior Bowl. If he add about 10 pounds of muscle, he's going to be back where he was. And there he was a strong, athletic prospect at SLB. He has good athleticism. But because he is limited to his physical attributes, he will struggle early on in his pro career. Once he develops a better feel for playing, which will only come with experience, then he will become a solid pro. Looks like he could be a good OLB in the 3-4, but he needs some work before he can become a complete LB. Has the strength and speed to hold point of attack, but will is far too easily blocked. In his bowl game, I saw him take a few plays off.

OLB Keith Adams
(5'10" 219) Clemson (4.84) SR.

People will overlook Adams because he lacks size. He's short, and not very bulky. But what I like in Adams is he overcomes that. Even at his "inferior" size he can take on blockers. In the bowl game, he went heads up with an offensive lineman and pushed the lineman out the way, and still made the tackle. That play will stand out most in my mind with Adams. He has a nose for the ball and is what a true weakside linebacker should. To me he is John Mobley in a Dexter Coakley-sized body.

CB Ken Lucas
(6' 200) Mississippi (4.50) SR.

Lucas is a big strong corner who will play well in a more physical scheme like the Titans, but as an island corner, he will struggle. His foot quickness and hips are questionable, as he will struggle in man coverage. In Ole Miss' bowl game, Lucas was scorched quite badly on at least 3 big plays. The team that drafts him, should play him as their nickel guy for 2 or 3 years, and then try to move him to the starting position. Unfortunately, his career may be one of two extremes. Either he'll be just a backup with no chance of being a competent starter (like Michael Booker) or he could develop into on of the better corners around the league. Teams will hope he will have a Marcus Coleman-type career. He struggled a bit in his first few seasons, but then there was a huge surge of ability right after.



THIRD ROUND

RB Travis Minor
(5'10" 197) Florida State (4.51) SR.

Right now he projects a complementary-type runner. He's not a great back, but is pretty good. I like him as a Tiki Barber type who can handle 10-15 carries a game. But his largest impact will be felt in the passing game. Minor has good hands and should immediately be an excellent third down back. He has good acceleration and speed, which will make him a good #2 runner. Maybe after a few years, he can develop into a feature runner, but it's doubtful.

FB Moran Norris
(6'1" 250) Kansas (4.69) SR.

The Senior Bowl game was the first time I saw Norris, and I was very impressed. He was the best lead blocker on the field, and showed the speed and strength to be a very good lead blocker on the next level. Doesn't look quite like the next Sam Gash, but after a few seasons, he could be close. He is a good inside runner with good hands. There's not much more you can ask in a fullback prospect. All he will have to do is improve all three qualities, and he'll be exceptional. Most fullbacks are taken in the 4th round, but Norris is a 3rd round prospect because of his upside.

WR Ken-Yon Rambo
(6' 196) Ohio State (4.50) SR.

Rambo has good speed and size. Many question his ability to catch the ball, although he does not have poor hands. Drops passes because of a lack of concentration. They say he will have to improve his routes, but he is a hard worker and should do a good job at improving. More mixed reviews of him than others. Some feel he's a few steps away from being a very good receiver, while others see his limitations as reasons why he'll only be above average at best. Is a good kick returner which boosts his value. Most feel he's a third round prospect, but he may go one round earlier because of his speed.

WR Alex Bannister
(6'4" 210) Eastern Kentucky (4.55) SR.

Bannister has great size, and is right now pretty much a pure physical prospect. Meaning that because of his size and speed, he will go earlier than he should. His hands are pretty good, but he body catches. He doesn't have great burst off the line, and his route-running is questionable. He has a ways to go before he can make a heavy impact on the NFL, but early on he'd serve very well as a redzone receiver because of his size.

WR Keith Stokes
(5'8" 185) East Carolina (4.50) SR.

Stokes is what I think is the next Tim Dwight. He's an incredible return man, and based off that one skill, he's a 1st round talent. He has good hands, and is incredible in the open field. Because of his size, he's a tweener RB and WR, and I believe he played both positions in college. Because he doesn't have magnificent speed, I would put him as a back and use him much like a Warrick Dunn-type receiver. At the earliest, he'll be a 5th rounder, but he's a 3rd round talent. Will he ever be a full-time RB or WR? No. But he is definitely the type of player I'd love to plug into a game to get me a big play.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh
(6' 200) Oregon State (4.57) SR.

He has good size and pretty good speed, but he's not going to be a deep threat in the NFL. He will be able to make plays downfield, but he will be an intermediate threat in the pros. He has good hands, and pretty much is a prototype for what you want in an intermediate target. He looks like a good secondary target who maybe by his third year or so can become a primary guy. The only bad thing about him is his last name is tough to say and spell.

TE Jabari Holloway
(6'2" 253) Notre Dame (4.94) SR.

Holloway looks like a good blocker and receiver. Holloway has nice hands, and with more time, he will become a better receiver. He's a solid blocker because of his size. Has pretty good speed, but won't be much more than an intermediate receiver at best. He's an all-around player, who will only get better with more experience.

TE Brian Natkin
(6'2" 251) UTEP (5.05) SR.

Natkin is a good receiver, with some nice speed. He's not a deep threat, but a good intermediate receiver, who can make plays downfield at times. His size limits him, but he blocks pretty well for his size. He at least tries very hard to block, but will be used much more as a receiver than blocker. Should be an every-down tight end in the NFL, but his lack of blocking skills will make him more a #2 in some teams' eyes.

TE Arthur Love
(6'3" 236) South Carolina State (4.92) SR.

He is a good prospect. Many question his ability to be a true tight end, saying he'll be a better H-back than tight end, but I think he'll be fine as a tight end. He is a decent blocker for a player his size, and tries hard. He will likely excel once experience and strength is added. He looks like a solid receiver. He's a nice intermediate guy.

LT Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack
(6'4" 345) Mississippi (5.60) SR.

What I like most about him is his size, strength, and he has pretty good foot quickness. Some think he'd be a better guard, but I think he'd do fine at left tackle, assuming his quickness is as good as I think it is. He looks solid as a 3rd tier offensive tackle, and because of it I will not recommend him starting as a rookie. His weight has the potential to balloon, but strict workouts and coaches will keep that from happening.

G Mike Gandy
(6'4" 305) Notre Dame (5.18) SR.

The skinny on Gandy is that he is a good prospect if he works hard. I think that is true. I've seen him play once, and he didn't really impress me that much. I'm hoping that was just the only case. Many are viewing him as a 2nd round guard in what I feel is a weak guard draft (besides Hutchinson). When I saw him, he didn't look very strong or agile, and to succeed in the NFL, you have to have at least one of those qualities. But he rates as a tough inside run blocker who's a little unpolished, but has good upside.

G Chad Ward
(6'4" 321) Washington (5.25) SR.

For someone who's supposed to be one of the stronger players in the draft, and a "genuine" 2nd round pick, he didn't look too good in the outing I saw him. He got pushed around and was struggling. He has some range as a right guard/right tackle in the NFL, but probably not as much as Travis Claridge, the player from 2000 that he probably resembles most. He's a run blocker, that's going to need help in pass protection, the area I was very disappointed in watching him. With time and patience however, I believe Ward should be at least an average starter in the NFL.

C Casey Rabach
(6'4" 298) Wisconsin (5.21) SR.

Has good strength and great size compared to your typical college center. Can play guard also. Rabach is not super strong, so he can be bull-rushed, but he is a good run blocker. He can get out and take on linebackers and defensive backs quickly, or he could go heads up with a defensive tackle. He is a good player. His pass protection needs to improve, but he does have the footwork to be successful. Right now, if he justs adds to more upper body strength, he'd be a very good center. His versatility lands him a 3rd round grade.

DE Aaron Schobel
(6'4" 263) TCU (4.68) SR.

When I watched him in his bowl game, I wasn't very impressed. To me he looked like a OLB/DE tweener. He had all the skills to play and succeed at SLB in the NFL, just lacked the great LB speed. But he didn't look great as a DE, because he needed to add more speed and strength. But after watching him in the all-star game, I was much more impressed with him as a DE. He played with much more quickness at DE in the all-star game. He uses his hands well despite stubby arms, and is plays stronger than his size would merit. Could likely gain 10 pounds or so, without losing much speed, but I would not recommend any more than that. He would make a pretty good LOLB in a 3-4 scheme, just not as blazing quick as a linebacker should be. Similar to those OLB/DE tweeners like Kevin Greene, Bryce Paup, and Mike Mamula. But unlike those guys, he's not as great a pass rusher. Will need a few seasons under his belt to find his niche.

DE Karon Riley
(6'2" 264) Minnesota (4.78) SR.

Riley has some good upside. If he was 20 pounds heavier, he would be a great LDE, but his frame is not ready for that kind of weight. He's a bit undersized, and I would recommend him playing at about 265. He has good edge quickness as a pass rusher, and he does a pretty good job using his arms and hands. Is far away from being a competent point of attack player, but despite his lack of size, I think he could be an every-down RDE immediately in the NFL. Will probably need a year under his belt though, but looking back five years from now, I wouldn't be surprised if he was one of the best ends from this class.

DT Mario Monds
(6'3" 342) Cincinnati (5.06) SR.

He's another nose tackle type, although I believe Monds would be uncomfortable in a 3-4 system. He does a better job than Stroud at taking on two blockers, but is not great at doing it. Once he learns to use his strength and power better, he will be doing it very well. Has excellent quickness for a short and fat guy. His conditioning is very questionable, and unless he can drop at least 20 lbs., most teams will avoid him. If he can't lose the weight, he will be a Gilbert Brown type of player, who is really tired after only a few downs. Has the strength and quickness to penetrate, but will almost strictly a run stopper in the NFL.

OLB Morlon Greenwood
(6' 237) Syracuse (4.75) SR.

Seems to have the ability to play on the strongside in the NFL. He lacks size, but like a current Falcon by the name of Mark Simoneau, size doesn't always matter. I think he has the strength to play on the strongside in the pros, but many teams may overlook him because he is short. Is not a great or flashy playmaker, but is an adequate player who can get the job done.

MLB Kendrell Bell
(6'1" 234) Georgia (4.65) SR.

I don't see him as a great MLB prospect. Others do. In my opinion, he's a MLB/WLB tweener. In middle, it looks like he'll be blocked out of the play far too much. If he was to be a middle man, he would need two beefy DTs up front like Ray Lewis has in Baltimore. To me he is more a pursuit player, and his speed would be better used on the weakside. He's not the pure playmaker that great WLBs are, but his speed and pursuit ability make him a better fit there than anywhere. I would think he would be optimized as a RILB in a 3-4 defense, assuming that the front lineman can keep blockers off him. He looks like he can be a good pro, but not a great one.

MLB Edgerton Hartwell
(6'1" 250) West Illinois (4.87) SR.

When I watched Hartwell play, he reminded me of those throwback middle linebackers. Just a mean guy who just wants to go around messing up every play by hitting a running back two yards behind the line or tipping a pass at the line of scrimmage. Just one of those menaces to offenses. He's the type of player that makes having a good fullback necessary. He isn't very big, but is strong and tough, with decent speed. He may not be the next Ray Lewis, but he has a nose for the football that reminds me of Ray Lewis.

MLB Brandon Spoon
(6'2" 245) North Carolina (4.76) SR.

My brother goes to UNC, and he tells me that Spoon is one of the scariest people he's ever met. That's the kind of player I want in a middle linebacker. Spoon isn't great, but has excellent size and strength. He's tough and plays hard. Athletically, he's not great, but he has pretty good speed. Right now, I'd say he's a good player to have developing at MLB.



FOURTH ROUND

RB Correll Buckhalter
(5'11" 226) Nebraska (4.58) SR.

I think Buckhalter is a good prospect. He is a good all-around back. He may not be the fastest, strongest, toughest, and most agile back in the draft, but he can get the job done. He's similar to Kevan Barlow in that regard. Buckhalter has nice hands, with pretty good explosion and power. He is an inside runner, without great speed. But he can run and make plays. He's going to be one of those NFL runners much like Lamar Smith, who can consistently gain 3 or 4 yards which puts his team in good positions on 3rd down.

RB James Jackson
(5'10" 210) Miami, Fla. (4.50) SR.

Is a good player with some durability/health issues. But he's a good all-around runner, with nice speed, good size, and nice hands. Right now he projects as a #2 runner, but could easily develop into a feature runner. Some say he's too small, but he has enough size to take a 30-carry pounding. He can run inside or outside, which makes him a good back. There are more concerns about his size than anything else, but size is not everything with good backs. He's got everything else, so he'll be successful. Would be a 2nd round pick if he was 100%.

FB Dan Alexander
(6' 257) Nebraska (4.44) SR.

A big physical fullback. Reminds most of Mike Alstott, mainly because he's fumble prone. Unlike Alstott though, Alexander has stone hands. But despite his limitations on both the ground and in the air, he is a devastatingly powerful lead blocker. I wouldn't say he's a magnificent blocker, but he uses his strength very well. If he could shake his fumblitis, he could be a good inside runner. He may not be the next Alstott in that category, but he's already a great lead blocker compared to Alstott. He would be a 2nd round pick in most drafts, but his limitations are so visible, it drops him this far.

WR Marvin Minnis
(6'1" 171) Florida State (4.57) SR.

His lack of bulk concerns me, but I hear he is a big play threat. Has good hands, but not great, along with good speed. Has the speed to get downfield, but will probably be more at home as an intermediate receiver. Will need some work before he can be a starter, but will probably be able to come into the league and be a good third wideout immediately.

WR Bobby Newcombe
(5'10" 195) Nebraska (4.59) SR.

Newcombe is a pretty good receiver with good speed. What holds him back is that he's not very big, and unlike most smaller receivers, he's not a burner. He looks like he could make a solid returner in the NFL because he showcased some solid open field moves in the Senior Bowl. He doesn't have great hands, but they are average. He looks like a good big play receiver, but unfortunately his upside as a solid pro receiver isn't very high.

WR Nate Turner
(6'2" 205) UNLV (4.63) SR.

Is not a true burner, and not a great possession guy. Looks to be in the middle. Made a lot of plays in his bowl game, which merits a pick this high, despite very little going on in the offseason about him. Drops some passes, most likely due to a lack in concentration. I think he is a decent prospect with good (not great) upside, but will probably not be drafted.

WR Eddie "Boo" Williams
(6'4" 237) Arkansas (4.76) SR.

I think he is a pure upside pick. Didn't look special anywhere. Reminds me of Mikhael Ricks, in that he has great size, but lacks speed. He could be converted to TE like Billy Miller (Denver) and Ty Davis (Green Bay) have in the past. Won't be a blocker, but should be a good backup receiver at that position. Doesn't have great hands for a receiver and sometimes cruises is it on the field.

C Bruce Wiggins
(6'2" 284) Arizona (5.10) SR.

He is a small center. On the field he looks like a little chubby kid. But he plays hard, and is tough and fiesty. He has good quickness, and can get upfield quickly. But his size really limits him because he will struggle going up against bigger DTs. He's a good in both run and pass blocking considering his size, but is really limited. He must find a way to overcome his lack of size. Has 4th round ability, but will go later because of his size.

G Ryan Diem
(6'7" 338) Northern Illinois (5.10) SR.

I saw some of him in the Senior Bowl and he looked good. I believe he played OT in college, but he will likely be moved inside in the pros. He has great size. He's not particularly mobile, a major reason why he'll be a guard in the NFL. If he uses his hands and size he should be alright, but he needs to improve his mobility if he wants to excel on the next level.

G Jonas Jennings
(6'3" 335) Georgia (5.31) SR.

When I saw Jennings in the Oahu Bowl, he struggled a bit. The most noticeable thing I saw out of him was that he was a waist bender. He has great strength, size, and power, but it seems it would help him much more inside at guard than outside at tackle. He looked a bit lost in that game going up against Virginia's ends, and doesn't have the quickness to play tackle in the NFL. I like him as a guard though, but he still needs to work some more on his technique, but he seems like a player who will make it in the pros.

RT Chris Brown
(6'5" 329) Georgia Tech (5.25) SR.

Like most offensive linemen he has good upside and could really develop. But needs some work for now. He won't play left tackle, as he's much better suited to play right tackle. Has enough quickness right now to be an adequate tackle, but he will need to improve there. If he was to start early, he would definitely need a tight end helping him. Has good strength, and should be a good player in the NFL if he develops.

RT Char-ron Dorsey
(6'5" 348) Florida State (6.06) SR.

In the Senior Bowl, he showed good strength and quickness as both a run blocker and in pass protection. From his Bowl practices, I've heard contrasting opinions. One says, he struggled mostly and didn't look very impressive (from Brian DeLucia) and another saying that he looked good (from Rob Rang). I thought he looked good in the game, using his arms and upper body strength well. His quickness is not great, but looked good enough to have success in the NFL.

RT Kareem McKenzie
(6'6" 328) Penn State (5.35) SR.

McKenzie disappointed at the Senior Bowl practices, and has ranged from being a 2nd round to 4th round prospect over the past few months. It will depend solely on his workouts where he will go. But I liked what I saw from him in the actual Senior Bowl game. He showed quickness and strength, and could be a very good right tackle in the NFL. If he works hard and can gain some consistency, he may turn out to be the best right tackle in this class.

DE Derrick Burgess
(6'2" 264) Mississippi (4.94) SR.

Shows good edge speed, but lacks speed like most players of his skills. Did a good job at getting around tackles and looks good in pursuit. But for now, looks like nothing more than a situational pass rusher. Doesn't have pure pass rushing speed, and will need to develop some moves if he wants to have success in the NFL. Worth a look late in the draft, but it's doubtful he'll become more than a situational guy.

DT Shawn Worthen
(6'1" 310) Texas Christian (5.22) SR.

He's a good sized guy, who can play in the middle. Not a nose tackle, as he is more adept at trying to penetrate than staying and anchoring in run support. Will need work as he doesn't possess great strength, and uses his size more than pure power. Has nice quickness for a player of his size. Right now, he's nothing special, but should at least be a very good rotational guy in the NFL.

DT Ennis Davis
(6'4" 302) California (5.10) SR.

It's incredible, he was projected by most to be a mid-to-late 1st round pick if he came out last year. But his senior year really hurt him. Looked lazy and didn't work hard to improve his status. At times, he looks good showing the ability to anchor at the point of attack. It seems that he is lacking focus, and once he gets the mindset that he can be a very good player and works hard to achieve, he will be a very good player. But what drops him is that he has shown a steady history of laziness, which usually means he'll be lazy in the pros.

OLB Sedrick Hodge
(6'4" 244) North Carolina (4.52) SR.

He's athletic and has excellent size. Didn't do anything in the actual Senior Bowl game except take up space. But most of the linebackers looked poor in that game also. Looks very comfortable up on line of scrimmage, and may be better as an OLB in the 3-4 than strongside guy. Has the strength to succeed in 4-3, but he needs work. Looks more like an excellent physical specimen, than polished linebacker.

MLB Zeke Moreno
(6'1" 248) Southern California (4.75) SR.

Moreno isn't particularly special right now. He is a little bit limited as a middle linebacker. He did a decent job taking on blockers, something he'll have to do in the NFL on most teams. With a pair of two good DTs in front of him, he should be an excellent playmaker. Has nice speed and playmaking skills. Not so sure he's that good at point of attack, but should be a productive MLB if surrounded by the right players.

OLB Eric Westmoreland
(5'11" 236) Tennessee (4.63) SR.

I like him as a scrappy-type guy on the weakside. He's nothing special as a weakside linebacker, but has impressed some scouts and "experts." He definitely has talent to build upon, and has good speed despite below average size. I like him as a backup who could sit for two or three years and then be ready to make a big impact somewhere. The talent to be a solid WILL is there, it's just a matter of how quickly he will show it.

K Bill Gramatica
(5'9" 180) South Florida (5.22) SR.

I like Gramatica a lot. He doesn't wow me as much as his brother did 2 years ago, but the 2nd of the 3 bros (I believe youngest is freshman at USF) is still a very good kicker. He doesn't have a booming leg, but seems capable of getting those 50-55 yarders in the pros. He hit a 65-yarder in college (I think) which is either the record or #2 behind his brother's record. Although I don't expect him to get those unless the wind is in his favor. Looks pretty good on kickoffs. He's no Janikowski, but he'll get the ball down to the goalline pretty regularly. Not as good as his brother, but a good prospect.



FIFTH ROUND

QB Bart Hendricks
(5'11" 205) Boise State (4.79) SR.

He is a nice all-around prospect. He has pretty good arm strength, but his accuracy on the deep passes is weak. What scouts dislike is his lack of size. He's not tall at all, and according to NFL "experts," because of it he will struggle more at times than someone 6'4". He has mobility and is smart and accurate. He's not a great prospect, but has the skills to develop into a solid starter down the road.

QB Mike McMahon
(6'2" 207) Rutgers (4.61) SR.

Maybe I haven't seen enough of him. But it seems a lot of scouts/"i-niks" are in love with this guy. He seems to have a very good arm compared to the rest of the class, but I wasn't wowed with it. In my eyes, he's a 6th round prospect (in a normal draft) who could go late on the first day because it is such a weak QB class. He does have some upside, but he just doesn't wow me as a passer. In fact, I've been more impressed with players who the "experts" have slated as undrafted rookies than McMahon. I probably shouldn't do this, but I'll rate McMahon more on what I haven't seen that so many others have.

FB Dustin McClintock
(6'1" 259) Alabama (5.39) SR.

McClintock was previously weighed about about 270 prior to the Senior Bowl. He's a big guy and has the power to match as a lead blocker. He's tough, has nice speed, and the type of lead blocker you want on your team. But McClintock isn't a great rushing prospect or receiving. He's a little one dimensional. He could serve as a short-yardage power runner, but would only get 2 or 3 carries per game. His hands are questionable, and is similar to another former Falcon pick Jeff Paulk. Paulk is now serving as the #4 FB in New England, despite being an excellent blocker. Unless a team that doesn't mind it's fullback having inferior hands, McClintock may not have a bright future in the NFL. But based off his blocking skills, he's a 4th round pick.

WR Scotty Anderson
(6'2" 184) Grambling (4.55) SR.

A player with good height, but needs to bulk up. His speed is pretty good if not great. He projects as an intermediate receiver in the pros that could stretch some defenses deep. Has pretty good hands, but is far from a polished product. He needs to improve his route-running and needs a lot of work overall before he cracks any 3-WR lineup. A good late round pick however.

C Ben Hamilton
(6'5" 303) Minnesota (5.32) SR.

Got bulled a bit in the Senior Bowl. Saw him lose his balance on a few plays. But he is a tough guy to have in the middle. Despite excellent size for a center, he lacks the power and punch you would want him to have. He's a pretty good run blocker, but is nothing special. He grades as a good player to draft as a backup who could take over in 3-4 years, but he will need to improve a lot before he becomes anything better than an average backup center.

DE Menson Holloway
(6'2" 284) UTEP (4.95) SR.

Would be considered a defensive tackle by some because of his lack of height, but he played very well in the bowl game vs. Boise State. He looked strong off the edge, and showed the ability to fight off blockers. He has the size and strength to play on the left side. He's not flashy, but should be a steady NFL player.

DE Fred Wakefield
(6'7" 287) Illinois (5.10) SR.

He has super size for a defensive end, but his speed is marginal for even a tackle. He shows the ability to anchor and support vs. the run, but doesn't show much upside as a pass rusher. I think he would be a better fit as a 3-4 DE, which severely limits him since Pittsburgh is the only defense to still run the 3-4 this year. Is a raw, upside pick, who will probably contribute little in his first few years in the NFL.

DE Randy Garner
(6'3" 277) Arkansas (4.85) SR.

Very likely the Falcons will want him, since he is the "disciple" of current DL coach Bill Johnson. Looks like he could be a pretty good left end. Likes to use his hands, and has some decent edge speed. Is not particularly strong, so may struggle early on at left end. But if he can add strength, and keep his speed, he should be a nice player to have. Doesn't have huge upside, but should be a quality player.

DE Joe Tafoya
(6'4" 269) Arizona (4.92) SR.

What I saw out of him was what I expected. He is a solid run stopper as an end because he uses his hands well despite his limited size. Problem with him is that he lacks upside, and is one-dimensional. If he was weighing 280+ he could be a solid DE in a 3-4, but at his current size he is a good fit as a LDE in a 4-3. For a team looking for this kind of player, he's a solid late round value, but otherwise he is nothing special.

CB Michael Stone
(5'11" 191) Memphis (4.52) SR.

I first saw and heard of Stone in the Senior Bowl. I think he is a pretty decent prospect, but nothing special as a cornerback. Sadly, that's the thing about a lot of cornerbacks in this year's class. I saw Stone struggle in man coverage, as he must lack the hips/feet and subsequent speed to keep up. But this is something a lot of rookie corners must work on. Stone looked good in zone however. He has good size, good speed (I doubt he plays at 4.5 speed however), so for now he's a nice nickel guy. With time, I think he could be a decent starter. But more than likely, he'll be a career backup.



SIXTH ROUND

QB Sage Rosenfels
(6'4" 228) Iowa State (4.80) SR.

I think Rosenfels has pretty solid arm strength. It's not strong by many scouts' standards, but it isn't weak. I'd say it's slightly above average. He is a mobile quarterback with good size. But like most of this year's class of passers, he doesn't have great upside. He'll have to be in the right system, where he can develop for 3 or 4 years before even having a chance of taking the starting role. I think he has a lot of ability.

QB Marques Tuiasosopo
(6'1" 223) Washington (4.75) SR.

His skills as a passer are pretty weak, but his physical intangibles making him a 4th round prospect. He is athletic, mobile, and can make plays. But his passing skills need a lot of improvement before he can make an impact on the NFL. He can get by at times with his ability to make plays, but he will also make a lot of mistakes early. Likely a 5-year project as a quarterback. He does not have a rocket arm, but it is one of the better arms in this year's class.

QB Ben Leard
(6'3" 223) Auburn (5.00) SR.

Leard's stock really fell since his bowl game. He struggled in the All-Star games and failed to impress during workouts. But based off his seasonal performance, he is still a pretty good QB prospect. He lacks a strong arm, but it is probably adequate by NFL standards. He has nice size. His accuracy is inconsistent. It can be good and bad on consecutive plays. He doesn't make a huge amount of plays. He looks like a nice candidate as a backup QB who could transform into a starter late in their careers, much like Rich Gannon and Steve Beuerlein have done in their careers.

WR Tim Baker
(6'5" 202) Texas Tech (4.66) SR.

Is a large target who played tight end in latter part of career with Red Raiders. Isn't fast, but has some nice upside. From his experience as a tight end, he should be a good downfield blocker at wide receiver. I think he has a shot to impress NFL teams in training camp. He has nice hands. Basically he's tall and slow, who should be a good receiver and blocker. Not an exceptional talent, but could turn out to be another Ed McCaffrey, since people love to compare players to him.

WR Latef Grim
(5'11" 188) Pittsburgh (4.58) SR.

In the preseason, it seemed that Grim was the Panthers' top pro prospect for this year, but after the season ended, players like C Jeff McCurley, RB Kevan Barlow, and even sophomore WR Antonio Bryant had surpassed him in terms of star talent. Grim is still a capable receiver. He's not going to wow anyone with his skills. I like his hands and his pretty decent speed. But he does not have enough speed to burn anyone downfield. I think Grim is a quality late round pick at WR and with hard work could become a starter, but it's more likely he'll spend his career as a backup.

TE Rashon Burns
(6'2" 253) East Carolina (4.75) SR.

A solid prospect. Most see him as an H-back in the NFL, and it will probably happen that way since he lacks height. Has good hands and is a pretty good blocker for an H-back. Has decent speed, but not much of a downfield threat. I think he's a solid prospect. Will need to improve as a receiver and blocker, but is adequate enough in both areas to get a look as a #3 tight end. With time, he could become a good platoon or full-time starter. Reminds me of Brian Kozlowski, since ECU used him as a fullback in their bowl game. Did a good job as a lead blocker.

RT Kendrick Rogers
(6'5" 311) Alabama A&M (5.20) SR.

I was impressed with Rogers' strength and size when I saw him at the Senior Bowl. But he lacks the quickness to succeed at offensive tackle on the next level. He may have the ability to play there in the NFL, but I don't think he will. Is a tough run blocker who can really move defenders, but he may be better off on the inside on the next level. He has great size for a guard, and good size for a tackle. Worth a shot as a backup at the least.

OLB J.J. Jones
(6' 232) Arkansas (4.63) SR.

I believe he played MLB some at Arkansas alongside Quinton Caver. Had a better bowl game than Caver did, but lacks the physical skills Caver possesses. Jones is not a great playmaker, but seems to look like a player worthy of a shot. He is not strong or fast, but is decent at the point of attack and in pursuit. Looks like he's more a special teams guy who could develop later in his career.

MLB Alex Lincoln
(6' 251) Auburn (4.78) SR.

Lincoln looks pretty good as a late round prospect in the middle. I will say this, very few of the linebackers in the Senior Bowl looked good, and maybe that's a major reason why I wasn't impressed with Lincoln. But considering that not even some of the 1st/2nd/3rd round prospects looked great, I will cut him some slack. He did a pretty decent job shedding blocks, and he has nice speed and size to play the middle. He looks like he has a good nose for the football. I see a lot of stuff in him to build upon, but he's a ways away from being anything special.



SEVENTH ROUND

QB Romaro Miller
(6' 205) Mississippi (4.63) SR.

He's very raw as a quarterback, but has the skills that makes him worth a look. Is a better free agent prospect than draft. He has a strong arm, coupled with athleticism. His accuracy ranges from very crisp and on target to very poorly, and that sometimes shows on a single series of plays. He throws the ball with zip. I believe his biggest setback will be the cerebral part of the QB position. Once he gets a better feel for the passing game and makes better reads and decisions, he should be a good NFL quarterback.

RB Jeremi Rudolph
(5'8" 175) UNLV (4.65) SR.

I seriously doubt Rudolph will get drafted, but I think he's a pretty decent 7th round prospect. He has pretty good speed, but his acceleration is not that great. He is a good open field runner, but lacks hands to be effective in the passing game. That hurts since most players his size rarely get non-3rd down opportunities. Best bet will be making his mark as a return man on the next level.

FB Wes Ours
(6' 298) West Virginia (5.03) SR.

Ours is a huge fullback prospect. He has some playmaking skills, but is very raw as a fullback. He has adequate enough hands and speed for a player his size to make something happen. Despite his overwhelming size, he is not an overwhelming blocker. He frequently seems to miss blocks and defenders can usually roll right off him. He will have to drop his weight because NFL teams shy away from running backs and fullbacks that are over 265 pounds. If Ours can drop the weight and add more speed, he is a good candidate for making a roster spot as a rookie.

WR Marcellus Harris
(5'10 170) East Carolina (4.41) SR.

He is small and is probably not as fast as his timed speed. He probably is closer to 4.5 or 4.6. But he is an excellent flanker prospect in most offenses. He is not a great blocker, but tries hard and does it better than a lot of 6'4" 210 receivers in this draft. He has solid hands, if not great, and can make plays. He will be overlooked because he was never a go-to-guy at ECU, but he's a free agent that I would definitely want to look at if I were any team.

RT John Greer
(6'5" 290) UNLV (5.15) SR.

Seen as a guard by some scouts, Greer does have the ability to play OT in the NFL. In his bowl game, he dominated Randy Garner, touted as 4th/5th round DE prospect. He used his hands very well in that game. He does lack foot quickness, but has adequate strength and may have the wingspan to make something happen in pass protection. Overall he is a nice choice as a free agent and could be a good practice squad canidate somewhere this year.

OLB Byron Thweatt
(6' 238) Virginia (4.70) SR.

Thweatt is a definite weakside prospect. Will do a good job if he isn't blocked. Has the strength and speed to overcome blockers, but doesn't use it to his advantage. I don't see him projecting much on defense as he will have to make his mark on special teams. In his bowl game, I was disappointed with his tackling, as he missed way too many tackles in that game.


Home | Features | Falcons Overview | Mock Draft