Rang wrote:Based on our conversations with scouts, the following is a group of players who are considered potential first round selections, but are not yet receiving the attention their lofty grades deserve.
These are the underrated, unknowns of the 2006 first round.
Pat Watkins, FS, Florida State, 6-4, 202, 4.50: The 2006 draft is blessed with several high quality safety prospects, with Watkins consistently grading out the highest. A reliable open field tackler with rare size and speed, Watkins is a true ballhawk, having either led or tied for the team lead in interceptions each of the past three seasons. Atlanta and San Diego, each with considerable questions at safety, have kept close tabs on Watkins all year long, and will have the opportunity to watch him up close at the Senior Bowl.
Based on our conversations with scouts, the following is a group of players who are currently being overrated by the media. Scouts are quick to point out that the players below have legitimate NFL potential, but that none are currently earning consistent first round grades.
These are the overrated, over-blowns who likely won't make the 2006 first round.
Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, Boston College, 6-6, 260, 4.69: Kiwanuka is undeniably one of the elite natural pass rushers of a strong senior class. The problem is, of course, he was undeniably one of the elite pass rushers in the country as a sophomore and a junior before this season and simply hasn't taken the next step. Kiwanuka, at a lanky 6-6, 260 pounds, is simply too one dimensional for most teams to consider him in the first round. Kiwanuka, despite playing in 48 games over his career with the Golden Eagles, still lacks pass rush technique, gaining the vast majority of his production due to speed off the edge. Kiwanuka also lacks strength, leverage, and most importantly commitment at the line of scrimmage, making him an obvious target for running plays. Teams love his long arms and burst, but not many GMs are able to rationalize taking a player in the first round who they view as only a situational pass rusher.
Other underrated prospects listed were RB Joseph Addai (LSU), WR Jonathan Orr (Wisconsin), DT Gabe Watson (Michigan), DT Brodrick Bunkley (FSU), and Bobby Carpenter (Ohio State). Overrated guys include: DT Orien Harris (Miami), DT Rodrique Wright (Texas), CB Charles Gordon (Kansas), and CB Devin Hester (Miami).