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  1. #1
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    Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    Ten Underrated, Ten Overrated

    By NFL Draft Staff Rivals.com

    Despite intense scouting, film study, Combine workouts, Pro Days and all-star games front-office personnel still hit and miss with NFL Draft picks.

    Some high draft picks have had disappointing careers because of injuries. Others just never make it.

    On the flip side, some late picks have gone on to star in several Pro Bowls. Even undrafted free agents can turn into future gems (see Rod Smith, Priest Holmes and Antonio Gates).

    The key to a successful draft is being savvy enough to find a diamond in the rough like Mark Clayton or Richard Dent (both eighth-round picks) and being lucky enough to avoid selecting the next Ryan Leaf (No. 2 pick overall in 1998).

    The examples we have below aren't that extreme, but scout and NFL Draft expert Frank Coyle of draftinsiders.com has identified the 10 most overrated and 10 most underrated players in the 2006 Draft.

    Ten Underrated Prospects

    1. Will Blackmon - CB - Boston College
    This guy moved to wide receiver as a senior to help his club, hurting his overall development on the corner. Earlier in his career he performed at a very high level at cornerback. He carries a definite starting NFL grade there. He is the most miscast player in recent memory and a prospect with a big upside and fast learning curve once he settles back at the cornerback spot.

    2. Daryn Colledge - OT - Boise St.
    A tough, sound technician, Colledge completed a fine career at left tackle where he started more than 50 games. While he played well at the Senior Bowl and we rate him a definite top-50 player and early NFL starter, he has not received the attention of the top prospects. He has the physical and mental skills to play a long time in the league.

    3. Mark Anderson - DE - Alabama
    This strong, rugged defensive end may be the most underrated defender in recent years. He was a key part of the tough Tide defense. He has well-developed skills as both a pass rusher and run stuffer. He can play either side, and scouts are sitting on this guy hoping he slides to the third round. With the demand on ends for the 4-3 scheme, he could be gone in the mid-second round.

    4. Joe Klopfenstein - TE - Colorado
    Big, athletic tight end who completed a fine career in the Big 12 and shows well-developed receiving skills and fast-improving blocking talent. He has the athleticism to be an early NFL starter and would give a club a fine weapon with the ability to be a vertical threat. He may slide to the third round in this deep class and be one of the draft's best values at that point.

    5. Mike Degory - OC - Florida
    Degory is a big, physical center who has not received much attention this offseason after a fine SEC career that included more than 50 starts. He tested out only average at the NFL Combine, though not that far below top center prospect Nick Mangold of Ohio State. He has an early NFL starting grade and could be a major steal on the late first or early second day of the draft with the talent, intangibles and technique to have a long NFL career.

    6. LeKevin Smith - DT Nebraska
    A strong defensive tackle who was a fine performer on the Nebraska front line since his freshman season. He is stout against the run with the ability to play in any scheme. He also shows a good bull rush to push the pocket and pressure the passer. He is well-developed and should help immediately in a three-tackle rotation with a starting grade fairly early in his pro career.

    7. Roman Harper - S - Alabama
    This tough veteran safety was a key performer for the Tide's highly rated defense over the past three seasons. He is a big hitter with the speed to go sideline to sideline. He is also a developed cover man with the well-rounded skills to be an every down starter early in his career.

    8. DeMario Minter - CB - Georgia
    Minter is a tough, savvy cornerback who had a fine senior season and postseason but has not received much attention in this deep defensive back class. He has fine size with very good ball instincts and the ability to match up and battle big receivers. He will probably go late on the first or early in the second day where he has the potential to be a major steal.

    9. Wali Lundy - RB - Virginia
    A compact senior tailback who was very productive over his career. He has struggled with nagging injuries that have hurt his final grade because clubs are questioning his durability. He has produced against top competition and may be among the best goal-line runners in recent memory. He probably falls to the late rounds where he could be a major steal - we belive he carries an NFL starting grade.

    10. Charles Gordon - CB - Kansas
    This quick junior cornerback/return specialist failed to impress at the NFL Combine and has fallen through the cracks in this quality class. He is a playmaker with fine instincts and the ability to match up in coverage. He is also dangerous as a punt returner and could be one of the best bargains in this class if he falls to the second day of the draft.


    Ten Overrated Prospects

    1. Charlie Whitehurst - QB - Clemson
    Whitehurst is a big, strong-armed passer who is high on many lists but carries only a marginal starting grade here. He is not very accurate and his decision making has been suspect throughout his career. He probably will go in the top 100 selections but is a definite reach there.

    2. Greg Eslinger OC - Minnesota
    This mobile senior was a four-year starter in the Big Ten and won numerous awards for his fine play. He is a sound technician with fine footwork but has only marginal size and short arms, which causes problems with big tackles in single assignments. He could surprisingly fall to the second day of the draft and is best suited for zone blocking schemes like the Falcons, Broncos and Vikings.

    3. Thomas Howard LB- UTEP
    A fast, athletic linebacker who tests out as well as any prospect in this draft class, Howard's production was decent but did not match his athletic ability. His lack of big plays is a concern. His inability to initially read the play properly does not put him in a position to consistently make the impact play. His athleticism may get him selected in the top 50, but that would be a definite reach.

    4. Parys Haralson DE - Tennessee
    Haralson is a quick, smallish edge rusher who had a fine final season and good Senior Bowl performance. He has marginal size for end in a 4-3 scheme and has rarely played standing up. He is quick off the ball - which allows him to win early on the down - but whether he can beat NFL-caliber tackles remains to be seen. He has struggled when top tackles get their hands on him early, and he fails to show good secondary moves.

    5. Abdul Hodge LB - Iowa
    This tough, productive senior linebacker put up incredible tackle numbers over his Big Ten career. He is a savvy linebacker but did not impress at the NFL Combine like other highly regarded defenders. He carries a starting grade but is not a top-60 prospect, although he could be part of a run on linebackers on the first day.

    6. Darrell Hunter CB Miami (Ohio)
    A big, athletic cornerback who played at a fairly high level over his long career. His instincts and his ability to make the big play are suspect despite those numbers. He failed to impress at the Senior Bowl against top competition, though he tested out well at the NFL Combine. He will probably be selected in the first day of the draft, but his level of development is questionable and he will have to step up to compete for playing time even as a role defender.

    7. Will Allen - OG - Texas
    Allen is a big, physical guard who has been a stalwart on the Texas line over the past three years. He is only an average athlete and did not live up to his press clippings at the Senior Bowl or NFL Combine. He will fall to the late rounds as a result and carries only a marginal starting grade with development.

    8. Michael Robinson WR Penn St.
    This college quarterback will have to make a position switch to play at the next level. He has played running back and wideout but has not developed fully at any position - which will limit his early playing time. He has a long learning curve to compete for a starting job and will be limited to a role player as receiver and runner with the option to throw the ball. He may become a fine role player, but he will need some time to refine his skills and is not a top 150 prospect.

    9. Kyle Williams - DT - LSU
    A tough, sound technician who was a productive defender for the Tigers. He often got the most out of his average athleticism. His instincts and good functional strength allowed him to beat most college blockers. His marginal size and average athletic ability may hinder him as a pro. He likely be limited to only a backup role despite fine production in college.

    10. Anwar Phillips CB Penn St.
    Phillips is an agile cornerback who was part of the tough Penn State defense in recent years. He performed well in the Nittany Lions' system, playing mainly zone coverage over his career. He has good size but only marginal speed and athletic ability. He needs the right scheme to be effective. He can be exploited in man coverage, especially in the deep game where his recovery speed is suspect.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    Couldnt agree more on 1,3, and 7 on the underrated list.
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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    Yea Roman Harper is underated

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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    LMAO. Hodge is overrated! This guy is smoking the reafer. I agree that Anderson and Harper are underrated but no way is Hodge overrated!
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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    I forget...what is RF16's favorite college again?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  6. #6
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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    I forget...what is RF16's favorite college again?
    You may think its homerism but I know it isn't. Take it or leave it.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    Well, consider that he's also moved into the third round in both NFL Draft Countdown's mock and The Sporting News' mock, and it might not be too far of a stretch that he's being overrated by those who would look at him as an early to mid second rounder. Just food for thought.
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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    I don't see him as a HIGH second rounder but I don't see him slipping out of Mid 3rd Either.
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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16
    I don't see him as a HIGH second rounder but I don't see him slipping out of Mid 3rd Either.
    Well, the article isn't saying he'd slip out of the mid third. They say he's not a top-60 prospect, which means they consider him a very late second rounder at best, likely an early third. If you think the lowest he could go is the mid third, then you shouldn't have that much of a problem with their grading.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    Ya know, I've got mixed feelings here. I agree with a number of the underrated guys, but I'm not crazy about seeing Hodge and Howard on the list seeing as how they are pretty much the only linebackers we'd target in round 2.

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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    Howard is extremely overrated. He could be a good WLB, but he has poor instincts. I'd be worried having him at SLB.
    The Roman and The Prince. Playmakers until the end.


  12. #12
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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    For what it's worth, his best college production came when he moved to the strong side, I believe. But I agree about his instincts needing work.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece
    Ya know, I've got mixed feelings here. I agree with a number of the underrated guys, but I'm not crazy about seeing Hodge and Howard on the list seeing as how they are pretty much the only linebackers we'd target in round 2.
    Howard has relied on his physical abilities which served him well and made up for his hesitancy at UTEP.......but this ain't UTEP.

    As for Hodge, while I don't share 16's admirably enthusiastic defense of him, I would say I wouldn't lose any sleep over it if we took him in the 2nd. He was a consistent performer in one of the nation's top conferences. He will be a starter in the NFL.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    yea i agree howard overated and minter underated... i ve seen minter play a lot cuz im a UGA fan, but he's a play maker hes great at coverage and he has good hands

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    Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

    Abdul Hode in the third?

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