Past NFL Draft Player Capsules

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2011:

Cam Newton- Tremendous athlete for his size.  Huge QB with very strong arm.  Won a title at the JUCO and D-1 levels.  Negative- Accuracy, hasn’t played as a true QB under center.  Accuracy will be an issue in the NFL.  Could have diva issues depending on who drafts him

Mark Ingram- Proven winner who makes up for flash with pure production.  Outstanding vision and toughness.   Very good feet.  Negative- Not an elite athlete

Dion Lewis- Simply a tremendous football player.  Outstanding quickness, shifty and durable despite size.  Negatives- can he handle workload at only 195lbs?  Not great straight ahead speed-blocking

Julio Jones- Outstanding size and athleticism.  Played against very good corners and produced.  3 year starter who lived up to lofty expectations.  Extremely competitive.  Negatives- Needs to use hands instead of body

AJ Green- Smooth and silky long receiver.  Tremendous hands and speed.  Played against very good competition.  Proved he can take a hit.  Negative- Slender build, lack of strength over the middle

2012:

Andrew Luck- Simply put, the best prospect the draft has seen in a very long time.  He has all the tangible skills; a great arm, mobile and smart.  He makes all the throws and has won big games at Stanford despite not having NFL talent at the WR position.  Including all of his other skills- he has what I consider the most important attribute, pocket presence.  Luck feels pressure better than most NFL quarterbacks and possesses the ability to avoid pressure while staying in the pocket.  Barring injury, Luck is a can’t miss prospect

Kirk Cousins – Cousins led Sparty to an impressive 11-3 record which included a victory over rival Michigan, a trip to the Big Ten title game and a victory over Georgia in their bowl game.  Many will rank Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler and even Brandon Weeden ahead of Cousins, in reality they are each in the same bubble.  The separation between the next 3 to 4 prospects is paper thin.  We put Cousins slightly ahead due to his big game experience, competitive fire and the system he played in at East Lansing.  He has a shot at being a quality starter in the NFL

Overrated: Brandon Weeden – Weeden, a former minor league baseball player, put up very good stats this season at Ok. State.  He was a big part in what was one of the best years in Oklahoma State’s history.  Their offense was one of the best and probably deserved a shot at the national title.  How then is Weeden overrated?  He had an impressive cast around him in Stillwater which bailed him out on many occasions.  A deep ball to superstar wideout Justin Blackmon can make many a quarterback look good.  Weeden’s footwork and mechanics are horrible as is his ability to work through progressions.  He has a shot at being drafted in the 1st two rounds- the team that makes that mistake will regret it for years

Michael Floyd Notre Dame – Floyd has been hampered with the off field issues label since early in his collegiate career.  As typical with the media, it is much over blown.  Floyd has proven to be a tireless worker on and off the field plus is an outstanding talent.  He has the size and speed to be a match-up problem for most defensive backs – even in the NFL.  Floyd does lack “game speed” but overcomes it with tremendous body control and hands.  Floyd will be an All-Pro level receiver if in the right system.  He could go in the top ten but shouldn’t fall out of the top 20

Alshon Jeffery South Carolina – Most have dropped Jeffery in their rankings due to his subpar junior season.  However, Jeffery has all the necessary skills to be a very good pro receiver.  He has the prototypical size and ball skills with his only question mark being his perceived lack of ability to get off of the line of scrimmage.  With the proper coaching, that deficiency can be limited.  Scouts could fall into the trap of comparing his sophomore stats to his junior season; however, the lack of consistent performance was more of an indictment on the Gamecock quarterbacks.  Jeffrey will likely fall into the 2nd round but should be in the bottom 3rd of the first round

Notable Omission – Both Stephen Hill and Rueben Randle are left out of the top five for the same reason – they have yet to produce.  Yes, they both come from college passing systems which were putrid at best, but both are high risk projects.  Hill is a speed demon – Randle passes the eye test, but neither should be drafted before the 3rd round.  Buyer beware

Luke Kuechly – A sideline to sideline backer who possesses elite instinct.  He is the entire package with few flaws. Will be an All-Pro level player.  Top 15 pick

Lavonte David – Doesn’t have the size nor name recognition but has tremendous speed.  Will be an excellent 4-3 coverage linebacker.  Late 1st to mid 2nd

Bruce Irvin – One of my favorite players in the draft.  He will be a great player especially if drafted in the late 1st round.  Somewhat of a risk but could be a star – late 1st round

Fletcher Cox – A tremendous talent who could easily be picked in the top ten.  He is a monster up the middle against both the run and as a pass rusher.  Top fifteen pick

Dontario Poe – Somewhat of a project but is still worth a 1st round pick.  A massive human being who is an exceptional athlete for someone his size.  He may require some patience but could provide long term dividends.  Mid to late 1st round

George Iloka – Long rangy athlete who has great range.  Needs work on tackling and playmaking but in the right system could be an effective player.  Late 3rd early 4th

2013:

Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State – Bell is a powerful – workhorse back that is unfortunately now viewed as old school.  Despite weighing 235lbs he tested remarkably well at the combine.  He put up big numbers last season but critics correctly point out his numbers suffered against better teams.  However, Michigan State isn’t exactly a dynamic aerial attack thus Bell was facing an eight man front on a regular basis.  If he is selected by a team that fits his style he will be a physical presence who puts up solid numbers

Giovani Bernard, North Carolina – Very quick and a dynamic player in the open field.  Bernard has very good receiving skills thus will be a very effective player on 3rd down.  In a competitive group he gets the slight edge.  He could be selected in the 2nd round

DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson – Hopkins isn’t a blazer but he makes up for it by playing fast and his fierce competitive spirit.  He attacks the ball in the air and thrives on contact – plays angry.  He plays with the physicality and style of a young Anquan Boldin.  Hopkins is going to be a very good pro

Geno Smith, West Virginia – Smith put up huge numbers in the Mountaineer gimmick offense where he racked up a ton of yardage on slip screens and underneath routes.  He played against very weak defenses while having a wealth of talent at his disposal yet still looked lost in big games.  At times Smith was extremely slow in his reads and inaccurate with down the field throws.  He is a good athlete with an above average arm but the team that drafts Smith better have the patience of Job

EJ Manuel, Florida State – Like Nassib, many of the pundits have fell in love with Manuel.  He is an above average athlete for the position thus has the ability to keep plays alive. Manuel has a better than average arm but has been erratic at times, especially in big games.  I see a lot of Quincy Carter in his game and folks that isn’t a good thing.  He could potentially develop in the right system – think Chip Kelly – but I see him as mostly a backup

Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame – An exceptional talent with good size and great hands.  Eifert is very good at busting the seam and attacking the ball at its highest point.  He also has tremendous body control which creates increased opportunities down the field.  Likely a 1st round pick – Eifert has the talent to be a top tier NFL tight end

Travis Kelce, Cincinnati – Kelce has all the physical tools to be an effective pro; however, the intangibles may be lacking.  He is labeled as malcontent who doesn’t take the game seriously.  Can a professional environment change that?  Regardless, he has the size and speed to draw plenty of interest.  Kelce will also stick his nose in as a blocker in the running game.  His on the field tenacity cannot be questioned nor can his natural abilities – a potential boom or bust worth a 3rd round pick

Jordan Reed, Florida – He is a large receiver for all intents and purposes with little or no blocking skills.  However, in the passing game Reed can be a tough match-up for linebackers.  Given the fact he is from Florida, many will compare him to former Gator Aaron Hernandez.  The school affiliation is the only real parallel.  Reed can be an effective player in the passing game – certainly worth a 3rd round pick

Alec Ogletree, Georgia – Possibly my most highly regarded player in the entire draft.  A former safety, Ogletree has all the measurables to be drafted in the top ten.  He plays sideline to sideline with off the charts athleticism.  His only struggle on the field is shedding blocks – off the field the struggles are even deeper.  With several skirmishes with the law many have dropped Ogletree on their boards but history has proven elite talents are worth the risk.  Ogletree should be a top 15 pick and potentially a top ten pick.  He is going to be a bona fide superstar

Manti Te’o, Notre Dame – A ton of controversy around him due to the cat fishing ploy he was a victim of but none of that should disparage teams from drafting him.  The kid is a good football player with outstanding instincts and a good work ethic.  He has the size to lay the lumber yet can still make plays against the pass.  Te’o did not perform well in the national championship game or the NFL combine thus some have dramatically dropped his stock.  Regardless – he should be a 1st round pick and a very good player for a long time

Kiko Alonso, Oregon – A thin athlete that plays very aggressive with solid instincts.  He lacks size to be a factor against the run but can get downfield – a good fit for the Tampa 2.  Worth a late round pick – could be a good special teams player as well

Jamie Collins, Southern Miss – Very good size – reads blocks and disengages well.  Smooth runner.  Has tremendous upside for both a 4-3 and 3-4 – can rush the passer.  A bit of a risk considering the competition he faced – nonetheless worth a late 2nd round to 3rd round pick

Ziggy Ansah, BYU – A freak athlete who possesses all the necessary traits to become an elite NFL player.  He is athletic enough to warrant looks at OLB in the 3-4 yet stout enough to potentially be an every down player in the 4-3.  Despite all of the accolades there is still plenty to question given his lack of experience.  He has only nine career starts and his production didn’t stand out with the Cougars until late in his final season.  Regardless, he will be and deserves to be selected in the top ten.  His ceiling is extremely high.  Ansah has a shot to be an elite pro

Datone Jones, UCLA – Simply put a monster – tremendous specimen.  He would be a very good end in a 3-4 defense.  Stout against the run and can hold up blockers.  Can play a variety of positions – versatile player with tremendous ability.  Should go early to mid 2nd round to a 3-4 team

Sleeper – North Carolina State’s David Amerson had a somewhat disappointing junior season but his ceiling is very high.  Outstanding combination of size and speed – could be a special player.  I would make sure this guy is on my team if available in the 4th round

Sleeper – Jordan Poyer is a good solid – low risk player.  It is unlikely he will be a star but can be a solid corner for years to come.  A valuable addition to special teams and as a #2 corner in the 4th round

2014:

Blake Bortles, Central Florida:  Looks the part with very good size and is also very athletic.  Scary proposition due to being somewhat of a late bloomer and is raw mechanically but will be hard to pass on.  The good news is has all the tools but will need significant work.  His arm is strong enough but if he learns to use his legs – will see dramatic improvement both in velocity and accuracy with tightening of mechanics.  The team that drafts him will have to be patient but he could end up being the best QB in the class.  Despite the fears – worth a top ten pick

Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville:  Exciting he is not – but Bridgewater is consistent and accurate.  He reads defenses well and uses his eyes to direct safeties.  A good athlete who uses his feet to make throws down the field – moves extremely well in the pocket.  His competition wasn’t great but made plays the last two seasons in bowl games against athletic and physical defenses.  Much has been made about his frame, not a problem in my book, but the bigger issue is his lack of arm strength and accuracy on down the field throws.  The ball simply wobbles without significant velocity – especially on long throws.  In the pros the windows will be tighter and teams will force him to push the ball down the field.  It would be tempting to take McCarron ahead of Bridgewater but believe his movement in the pocket and intermediate accuracy has him worth a late 1st round pick

Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh:  Tremendous football player – measurables aren’t great but his film is outstanding.  Uses leverage and tremendous strength to disrupt backfields.  Eerily similar to Bengals’ All-Pro Geno Atkins.  Worth a 1st round pick.

Sammy Watkins, Clemson:  Ultra talented explosive athlete who is a game breaker.  Acceleration is outstanding – a glider who will give defensive coordinators headaches.  The biggest question – is he a good enough route runner to consistently get open?  At Clemson, Watkins was used in bubble screens and wide throws which won’t be as effective in the NFL.  The top WR by a slim margin – has a chance to be a high level pro receiver

Brandin Cooks, Oregon St:  A spark plug brooding with confidence – lacks size but is a Steve Smith type player.  Not afraid to mix it up – will earn his way on the field and attack the best.  Will be a very good pro but may difficult to take him over other receivers who posses size but those who pass on him will regret it.   Has elite speed and quickness complete with a desire to win.  Will be a very good pro – should be picked very high

Allen Robinson, Penn State:  Silky smooth receiver – runs with ease.  Doesn’t jump off the tape but is productive game in – game out.  Lacks elite speed but is a high volume receiver who will get 1st downs and make plays.  Some teams may back off due to perceived lack of speed but in game situations has made big plays against high level competition.  Certainly worth a late 1st early 2nd round pick

Zach Martin, Notre Dame:  Hard working – solid player with grit and very good athleticism.  Very good pass protector – not outstanding size but makes up for it with outstanding technique.  Had a great showing at the Senior Bowl.  Gritty player – makes every start.  Will be a 1st round pick

RaShede Hageman, Minnesota:  Excellent talent – dominating potential but lacks consistent effort.  Great size combined with sheer talent, very high ceiling.  At times looked like a future pro bowl talent – at other times look disinterested.  Upside is too much to pass on – 1st round talent

Ryan Shazier, Ohio State:  Very athletic – superb quickness.  Still smallish after putting on significant weight at Ohio State.  Big time tackler – sideline to sideline ability.  May have trouble shedding blocks but great at anticipating plays and flowing to the ball.  Would love to see him as an insider backer in a 3-4.  1st round talent

Khalil Mack, Buffalo:  Freak athlete whose stock rose dramatically with his dominating play against Ohio State.  However, mostly played against inferior competition and at times didn’t have big games when needed.  Regardless, has exceptional athleticism and plays with a chip on his shoulder.  A project with big upside but no doubt a risky pick if taken high.  Likely worth a top ten pick but no doubt high risk-high reward

Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech:  Very good athlete – looks the part – with seasoning could develop into a very good situational pass rusher.  Likely will be drafted higher than he should based on pure aesthetics – but should be a 3rd round pick

Christian Kirksey, Iowa:  Underrated tough football player – plays fast and makes things happen.  Sideline to sideline player – versatile, adept in coverage and against the run.  A very good 3-4th round pick

Deone Bucannon, Washington State:  Our #1 safety in the entire group.  Bucannon is an intense football player with outstanding instincts.  He can play in the box and in coverage.  Big time hitter – plays with force and had six interceptions.  Critics point to perceived lack of coverage skills – I see a future All-Pro player.  I would take him in the teens – could drop to the 2nd round – will make teams regret passing on him