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Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

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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.


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

    Couldnt agree more on 1,3, and 7 on the underrated list.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

      Yea Roman Harper is underated

      Comment


      • #4
        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!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

          I forget...what is RF16's favorite college again?
          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

          Comment


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

            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

                          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.
                          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated

                              Abdul Hode in the third?

                              Comment

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                              • OldRamsfan
                                NFL Draft - Ten Rising, Ten Falling
                                by OldRamsfan
                                NFL Draft - Ten Rising, Ten Falling

                                We've all heard that predicting NFL success is an inexact science. There are several variables that must be considered when trying to determine a player's future productivity.

                                A nice showing at the NFL Combine by a "workout warrior" can improve a player's draft status dramatically. General managers, coaches and others supposedly in the know throw around the term "upside" quite a bit in late April.

                                Conversely, a slow 40-yard dash or failing to lift 225 pounds enough times can make a player's draft stock drop quickly. Throw in off-the-field troubles, character issues or an injury, and an athlete loaded with talent can find himself slipping by the round instead of by the pick.

                                We've enlisted the help of NFL scout and Draft expert Frank Coyle of draftinsiders.com to tell us about 10 players whose stock is rising, 10 whose stock is falling and - most importantly - why.

                                Ten Rising Prospects
                                1. Jay Cutler - QB - Vanderbilt
                                Big, athletic college quarterback made fast progress over his senior season and postseason. He has climbed into the top 10 selections - possibly even the top five. He has the athletic package and intangibles to be an early NFL starter and may be the most successful passer in this class. He was a prospect Draft Insiders ranked the No. 2 passer in May 2005 behind only Matt Leinart before this impressive '05 season and postseason. At both the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, he displayed fine skills with the ability to make all the plays. He has the aptitude and intangibles to become a fine NFL starter.
                                2. Winston Justice - OT - USC
                                Agile junior tackle continued a strong postseason with a nice effort at the NFL Combine. He followed that up with an impressive workout at Southern Cal. He is a fine athlete with very good footwork, balance and the wingspan to be a fine pass protector on either side after protecting the blindside of left-handed passer Matt Leinart at USC. He has bulked up to over 320 lbs. without losing any quickness. He has the athletic package that scouts seek in a left tackle prospect. He could hear his name at the top of the first round and will likely be the second tackle chosen. Clubs like the Bills and Cardinals are interested teams with top-10 picks. He won't get past the Browns or Ravens in the opening round.
                                3. Nick Mangold - C - Ohio State
                                Tough, mobile pivot man graded out exceptionally high over his final two seasons in the Big Ten. He completed a fine career with a strong postseason at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. His performances may push him into the end of the first round area, with the Jets interested at the 29th selection. He impressed clubs at his interview, and his level of development indicates he can start immediately on the inside. He has good speed, hands and agility with the power and tenacity to be very productive against
                                ...
                                -04-17-2006, 10:21 AM
                              • vanillasue
                                Interesting list to ponder over
                                by vanillasue
                                Cody Latimer, Tom Savage among 10 draft sleepers to watch

                                By Bucky Brooks
                                NFL Media analyst
                                Published: April 10, 2014 at 10:35 a.m.

                                The 2014 NFL Draft is as deep and talented as any collection of prospects that I've evaluated in my 20-plus years around the league.

                                Although the conversation centers around the top prospects on the board, it's the unheralded players surging up the charts that will shape the opinions of evaluators when they reflect back on the class in a few years. Thus, it's important to know the sleeper picks that scouts are buzzing about behind closed doors to get a better perspective of how things will play out on draft day.

                                After conducting a few conversations with scouts and decision-makers around the league, here are 10 under-the-radar players to remember heading into the draft:

                                1. Terrance West, RB, Towson

                                West has been quietly touted as the draft's best running back in some meeting rooms around the league due to his powerful running style and impeccable instincts. He has a natural feel for finding creases in the middle, yet is quick enough to bounce around the corner for big gains. Some skeptics will question his skills due to his status as a small-school standout, but the film doesn't lie, which is why I'm going all in on West's potential as a feature back.

                                2. Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

                                The dynamic pass catcher created a buzz in scouting circles with a spectacular performance at his pro day, even though he wasn't able to do a full workout as he recovered from a broken foot that kept him sidelined at the NFL Scouting Combine. Latimer surprised scouts with his overall athleticism and explosiveness, while confirming his solid skills as a big-bodied receiver. Although Latimer is still rough around the edges as a route runner, his explosiveness as an athlete and playmaker has teams salivating about his potential at the next level.

                                3. Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh

                                After taking a long, hard look at Savage earlier this week, I'm convinced NFL coaches will come away smitten with his prototypical size and arm talent. He looks like a franchise quarterback and evaluators will view him as a potential starter despite his limited experience as a full-time starter. Given the question marks that surround every quarterback in the 2014 class, it is quite possible that Savage ranks higher on draft boards than most expect based on his performance last fall.

                                4. Jeremiah Attaochu, DE, Georgia Tech

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                                -04-10-2014, 04:33 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Rating the wide receivers
                                by RamWraith
                                By John Murphy, Yahoo! Sports
                                February 20, 2007




                                The wide receiver position comes back with a vengeance, as the top of this year's crop is made up of mostly underclassmen. As many as six receivers have potential first-round grades, including the possible No. 1 overall pick Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson.

                                For the most part, the top five possess good size with all but Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr. measuring at least 6-foot-2, but it could be interesting to see how teams favor this group. There is a solid foundation of prospects that could go anywhere between late in the first round all the way down to the third or fourth rounds.

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                                WIDE RECEIVER SLEEPERS
                                Yamon Figurs, Kansas State
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                                Johnson matches that athleticism with playmaker ability on the field and a quiet unassuming presence off of it. In fact, for a player of his talent level, there has not been a prospect with less of an ego or more of a workmanlike attitude to enter the draft in years. He acts and wants to be treated like he's just one of the guys, but he brings such a wealth of ability to the field that it would not be surprising to see him taken No. 1 overall.

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                                Without putting too much blame on his former quarterback (Reggie Ball), the accuracy and pocket presence of Georgia Tech's quarterback play was inconsistent throughout Johnson's college career. One aspect he could improve upon is breaking off his routes and coming back to the ball. Still, he shows adept footwork to keep or get himself inbounds along the sideline or in the end zone. He's a good all-around talent as he looks for players downfield to block and was able to cut-block defenders with the best of them in college.

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                              • Nick
                                The Official 2018 NFL Combine Thread
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                                2018 NFL Combine: Prospects with the most on the line in Indianapolis
                                The draft stocks of these prospects will change the most based on their performances at the combine
                                by Chris Trapasso
                                CBSSports.com Feb 21, 2018 7 min read

                                Yes, film trumps all ... but the NFL Combine matters. It's the only time when prospects can be easily compared -- both to other prospects in their class and those who came before them -- on a level playing field.

                                If an NFL evaluator has two nearly identical grades on a receiver but wideout A runs a 4.46 and wideout B runs a 4.52 ... well, you probably can guess which player tends to move up the board.

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                                Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
                                Jackson's 2017 film is ridiculous. I mean, the guy had 18 pass breakups and eight interceptions, so he must have been doing more than a few things right. He played zone coverage amazingly well, flashed man-to-man ability, and has good size. Jackson looks like a No. 1 perimeter corner. But he'll likely have to run fast to be one of the first defensive backs selected.

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                                -02-28-2018, 05:05 AM
                              • Nick
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                                Big Board: Top prospects centered around passing game
                                Friday February 10, 2012 - 9:57 AM
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                                The NFL is a notorious copycat league, so the trends we saw emerge that helped the Patriots and Giants reach Super Bowl XLVI will certainly be mimicked by other teams next season.

                                The value of accuracy and poised quarterback play was never more clear than when Eli Manning engineered an 88-yard game-winning touchdown drive, following seven fourth-quarter comebacks during the regular season. And the pass rushers capable of disarming the growing group of elite quarterbacks are almost as critical on the defensive side of the ball.

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                                2. Matt Kalil, OT, Southern Cal*: Kalil isn't as fundamentally sound and consistent as scouts would like, but he has such great size, athleticism and balance that a top-five pick (and future Pro Bowls) would appear likely.

                                3. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama*: Considering how the running back position has been devalued in today's NFL, it would be easy to rank Richardson lower. The reality is, however, Richardson's elite talent transcends trends. He is an elite talent blessed with size, burst and incredible power who will make an immediate impact.

                                4. Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU*: A silky smooth cover corner with extraordinary ball skills, Claiborne is more technically refined that former teammate Patrick Peterson, who was selected fifth overall last year by the Cardinals and was voted to the Pro Bowl. The 2011 Thorpe Award winner as the nation's top cornerback, Claiborne should earn a similar draft day grade.

                                5. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor*: The Heisman winner has as extraordinary a combination of speed and touch on the deep ball as the NFL has ever seen but isn't without warts. The adjustment from the same offense that helped Kevin Kolb produce eye-popping collegiate numbers is a significant one and could force his future NFL team to have a plan in place for 2012 before RG3 can reasonably be expected to...
                                -02-11-2012, 07:18 AM
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