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  • PFF 2018 NFL Draft top names to know

    2018 NFL Draft top names to know
    BY PFF ANALYSIS TEAM • JAN 5, 2018

    The college football season seemingly came and went this past year. With it, some dominating performances and some standout athletes that made big improvements from year’s past and pumped their draft stock. At Pro Football Focus, we watch every player, on every play of every game, and with have an updated list of names to watch out for as we progress ever closer to the 2018 NFL Draft.

    CB BRIAN PEAVY, IOWA STATE – 87.8 OVERALL GRADE
    Iowa State CB Brian Peavy

    Peavy has graded well in coverage each of the past three seasons, but 2017 was easily his most complete campaign. After a rough showing against rival Iowa in Week 2 this year, he virtually locked down Big-12 opponents, as he gave up less than 20 yards receiving into his coverage in 7-of-10 conference games, and never more than 40. He notched two picks and eight breakups this season, and also earned a solid 80.1 run defense grade. Because of his listed size of 5-foot-9, 190-pounds, he is unlikely to hear his name called in the first round, but his coverage ability and all-around consistency is sure to intrigue NFL teams. — @PFF_Josh

    LB LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH, BOISE STATE – 89.8 OVERALL GRADE
    Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch

    Vander Esch is a three-tool linebacker, of which was never more evident than in his monster bowl game performance against Oregon. That game saw him record a sack and a QB hit in addition to seven defensive stops and only surrendered three yards in coverage on five targets. After the game, Vander Esch declared early for the draft and is an intriguing prospect, as he has ideal size at 6-foot-3, 240-pounds for the NFL and can be used in a variety of ways by his next defensive coordinator. Vander Esch finished the season grading positively as a pass-rusher, run defender and in coverage but was at his best against the run. He had 46 run stops and his run-stop percentage of 14.8 ranks No. 3 among all FBS draft-eligible inside linebackers. — @PFF_Jordan

    CB NICK NELSON, WISCONSIN – 89.5 OVERALL GRADE
    Wisconsin Badgers CB Nick Nelson

    Nelson didn’t tally any interceptions this year, but his 19 pass breakups and 26 total forced incompletions lead all draft prospects this year. He possesses an excellent combination of recovery athleticism and strength at the point of attack, aided by his 5-feet-11 and 208 pounds frame, and clearly has a knack for closing effectively on the ball. He allowed just 38.8 percent of throws into his coverage to be completed this year, which ranks fourth among cornerback prospects targeted at least 50 times in 2017. — @PFF_Josh

    CB ARRION SPRINGS, OREGON – 88.3 OVERALL GRADE
    Oregon Ducks CB Arrion Springs

    Springs is 5-foot-11, so he doesn’t possess ideal length for a high cornerback pick but he was a highly effective coverage player all season long for the Ducks. Springs’ 88.2 coverage grade ranks No. 7 among all FBS cornerbacks with more than 100 snaps in coverage and he excelled this year at getting his hands on passes. While he only had one interception in 2017, he did manage an eye-popping 15 pass breakups which is third-most among all FBS corners in 2017. — @PFF_Jordan


    *Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on November 30, 2017. Upon the season’s culmination, we will update this list with several players to keep your eyes on as we watch more and more film, with our eyes on the 2018 NFL Draft.



    The 2017 college football season is but a mere few games away from finishing it’s regular season. Players and teams have grabbed headlines across the country from Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and his stellar season to late-season upsets, 2017 has been a treat for college football fans alike.

    With the end of the season near, PFF shifts the focus to the NFL Draft. While there are specific players who will be talked about ad nauseam, and other players you may already know about, utilizing our extensive PFF data and our PFF Draft Team’s keen eyes, we’re here to highlight some of those lesser-known players that you may not have heard about, but can definitely make waves in the 2018 NFL Draft.

    OFFENSE
    RB RASHAAD PENNY, SAN DIEGO STATE – 86.6 OVERALL GRADE
    Penny plays in a RB-friendly system at San Diego State and has produced at an elite level with little national fanfare. Penny has forced 74 missed tackles – which leads all draft-eligible running backs – on his 277 rushing attempts. His elusive rating of 109.7 ranks No. 2 among draft-eligible running backs behind only Stanford’s Bryce Love. Penny also has breakaway speed in addition to his “make-you-miss” moves and his 31 runs of 15 yards or more ties him for first in the draft class with Love. Penny’s game-breaking speed is also evident by his punt return touchdown and two kickoff return touchdowns this season. — @PFF_Jordan

    WR MICHAEL GALLUP, COLORADO STATE – 92.0 OVERALL GRADE
    2018 NFL Draft Prospect names to know - Michael Gallup

    The nation’s top-graded wide receiver at 92.0, Gallup can win at every level with his size, speed and overall athleticism. He’s tied for fourth in the nation with 20 forced missed tackles and he complements his after-the-catch ability with downfield ball skills. This is the second straight year of top-notch production from Gallup as he ranked second in the nation with 4.51 yards per route last season and his 3.47 mark is currently tied for eighth. The wide receiver class still has many question marks at the top, but Gallup is one to watch as we get closer to April. — @PFF_Steve

    Subscribe to PFF Edge to read the rest of the top names to know including Justin Lawler, Darius Phillips and much more with your PFF Edge package.


    WR ANTHONY JOHNSON, BUFFALO – 89.8 OVERALL GRADE
    Playing for his third team in four years, Johnson had a breakout season for Buffalo in 2017. Johnson played two seasons at two different community colleges in 2014 and 2015, and redshirted for the Bulls in 2016, so his top performances against a Power-5 and top MAC opponents this season have shown his strong ability as a go-to wide receiver. Johnson finished the regular season hauling in 77 of his 126 targets for 1,363 yards and 14 touchdowns and forced another 16 missed tackles after the catch. He utilized his big 6-foot-2, 207-pound frame well over the course of the season, and graded positively in all but one game (his second-least targeted performance). Most notably, in the 7-OT thriller against Western Michigan, Johnson brought down season-highs in receptions (11), yards (195) and yards after the catch (95), and specifically caught both targets on the highly-touted Darius Phillips (see below) from WMU (2-of-2, 78 yards, 1 TD). We may be a year early on his NFL stock as he has already stated he will be returning to Buffalo for his redshirt-senior season, but more happy to see him with a Bulls jersey on again next year, I could not be. — @PFF_Cam

    WR JALEEL SCOTT, NEW MEXICO STATE – 82.5 OVERALL GRADE
    2018 NFL Draft Prospect names to know - Jaleel Scott

    Over the past two seasons Jaleel Scott has quietly turned from an Ellsworth Community College transfer into one of the premier deep-threat wide receivers in college football. Scott doesn’t have blazing speed but he stands 6-foot-5 and has an incredible vertical leaping ability and a knack for tracking deep passes and coming down with them over the top of the defender. Scott’s 15 receptions on deep passes – targeted 20 or more yards downfield – ties him for second among all FBS draft-eligible wide receivers. Scott has 422 yards and four touchdowns by way of deep passes this season. He will be a player to watch at the Senior Bowl as he looks to post up the best senior FBS cornerbacks. — @PFF_Jordan

    WR MARCELL ATEMAN, OKLAHOMA STATE – 87.5 OVERALL GRADE
    While teammate James Washington has garnered most of the publicity coming out of Stillwater, Ateman has been right there with him from a production standpoint. He wins at the catch point with his long frame and impressive ball skills, but the results have been there both this year and in 2015, the last year he was healthy. For his career, Ateman is averaging 17.4 yards per reception, and it’s that downfield body control that allows him to create big plays, even if he’s not necessarily running away from defenders. Ateman’s drop rate has improved each year and this season he’s dropped only three of 58 catchable passes, 16th-best in the nation. — @PFF_Steve

    OT TYRELL CROSBY, OREGON – 87.6 OVERALL GRADE
    Crosby has the agility to block in space and the strength to move his man at the point of attack. Crosby graded positively as a run blocker in 11 of his 12 games this season – the sole negative graded performance coming against Washington’s future NFL defensive line. Crosby’s work as an elite pass protector this season is what will really catch the eye of NFL teams. Crosby has not allowed a sack or hit of his quarterback this season and only three hurries on 296 pass blocking snaps. Crosby’s pass blocking efficiency rating of 99.2 is first among all FBS draft-eligible tackles. — @PFF_Jordan

    OG WILL HERNANDEZ, UTEP – 92.1 OVERALL GRADE
    Last year, Hernandez sat atop the nation’s guard rankings at 95.3 overall and this year he ranks second with a grade of 92.1. He has the power to run block at the next level (currently leading all guards in percentage of positively-graded blocks) and he’s shown well when going up against FBS competition the last two seasons. In pass protection, Hernandez has allowed only four pressures over the last two years, and that all-around game should make him one of the top guards off the board come next April. — @PFF_Steve

    DEFENSE
    EDGE JUSTIN LAWLER, SMU – 90.0 OVERALL GRADE
    2018 NFL Draft Prospect names to know - Justin Lawler

    Lawler has improved every year at SMU, grading at 85.1 inn 2016, 85.9 in 2016, and he currently ranks third in the nation at 90.0 overall. He now has 22 sacks, 23 QB hits, and 97 hurries on his 997 career rushes while playing excellent run defense on the edge. Lawler may not have the eye-popping burst and athleticism the NFL is looking for, but he’s consistently gotten to the quarterback in his three years as a starter and the continuous improvement is a good sign in his development. He has a chance to carry that production to the next level. — @PFF_Steve

    EDGE MARCUS DAVENPORT, UTSA – 89.5 OVERALL GRADE
    Davenport has a 6-foot-7 frame and he knows how to use it, often creating movement against blockers on first contact and disrupting both the run and pass games. He was solid in both 2015 and 2016, grading at 80.1 and 82.2 respectively, but he’s taken his game to a new level in 2017 with his 89.5 overall grade that ranks fifth in the nation. Davenport has the nation’s No. 6 pass-rush grade at 86.6 while his 52 total pressures rank ninth and he has the length, power, and athleticism to disrupt at the next level. — @PFF_Steve

    EDGE MALIK REED, NEVADA – 89.0 OVERALL GRADE
    While we aren’t expecting Reed to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft, he is draft-eligible and his production warrants him making this list. Reed’s pass-rush ability caught our eye in the 2016 season and he was a player we expected to take a big step as a pass-rusher in 2017, which he did by nearly doubling his sack and hit totals from 2016. Reed was a picture of consistent production for the Wolfpack defense this season as he graded positively overall and as a pass-rusher in all 12 games he started. In 2017, Reed had nine sacks, seven QB hits and 22 hurries on his 286 pass-rushing snaps and his 89.0 overall grade ranks fifth among all draft-eligible edge defenders. — @PFF_Jordan

    EDGE JALEN JELKS, OREGON – 88.2 OVERALL GRADE
    From 395 career snaps to one of the nation’s most productive defensive linemen, Jelks enjoyed one of the biggest breakout seasons in the country in 2017. He has the size and length that will intrigue the NFL and he played a big chunk of his snaps on the interior where he was technically playing out of position but holding his own against bigger offensive linemen. Jelks has the No. 7 overall grade in the nation at 88.2 overall to go with an 87.4 pass-rush grade that ranks fourth. He’s picked up seven sacks, nine QB hits, and 30 hurries on his 382 rushes to go with seven batted passes and he looks the part of an effective edge rusher at the next level. — @PFF_Steve

    EDGE UCHENNA NWOSU, USC – 85.9 OVERALL GRADE
    2018 NFL Draft Prospect names to know - Uchenna Nwosu

    Nwosu is an athletic linebacker who can play on the edge or even possibly a more traditional off the ball inside linebacker role. Nwosu is still improving as a pass-rusher but as his technique has caught up to his athleticism his production has rapidly increased and he has generated multiple pressures in 11 of his 12 games this season. Nwosu has six sacks, 20 QB hits, 27 hurries and 11 batted passes on his 402 pass-rushing snaps – his 20 QB hits and his 11 batted passes both rank No. 1 among all FBS draft-eligible edge defenders. — @PFF_Jordan

    EDGE HERCULES MATA’AFA, WASHINGTON STATE – 87.9 OVERALL GRADE
    Mata’afa is too small to play defensive tackle in the NFL and will likely transition into more of an edge role but he is a versatile and productive front-seven defender who can likely be moved around to rush the passer from a variety of alignments. Mata’afa’s quickness and ability to shed blockers with his hands have helped him become one of the more productive pass-rushers in the country. Mata’afa has 10 sacks, six QB hits and 15 hurries on his 297 pass-rush snaps and his pass-rushing productivity mark of 9.0 ranks sixth among all FBS draft-eligible defensive tackles. — @PFF_Jordan

    DI TAVEN BRYAN, FLORIDA – 89.1 OVERALL GRADE
    A former 3-star recruit, Bryan has progressed nicely during his time in Gainesville, peaking with a breakout 2017 campaign. He’s powerful at the point of attack and his active hands allow him to disrupt blockers in the run game and his 88.3 grade against the run ranks fifth among the nation’s interior defensive linemen. Bryan has also taken his pass-rushing to the next level this season, ranking 10th at 84.4 behind his 30 pressures (four sacks, six QB hits, 20 hurries) on 267 rushes. Bryan had multiple games in which he looked like the best player on the field (Texas A&M, South Carolina) and he has shown consistent improvement every year of his career. — @PFF_Steve

    DI HARRISON PHILLIPS, STANFORD – 89.3 OVERALL GRADE
    Stanford DT Harrison Phillips is one of the premier run-stuffing defensive tackles in the country. Phillips’ 38 run stops leads all draft-eligible defensive tackles (the next closest is 31). His run stop percentage ranks first among all draft-eligible defensive tackles with at least 225 run defense snaps. Phillips has been consistently dominant and has graded positively as a run-defender in 18 of his last 24 games. He can also use his strength to generate a pass-rush and he has four sacks, six QB hits and 16 hurries on the season as well. — @PFF_Jordan

    CB JOSHUA JACKSON, IOWA – 95.5 OVERALL GRADE
    2018 NFL Draft Prospect names to know - Joshua Jackson

    Currently the top-graded cornerback in the nation at 95.5 overall, Jackson has been outstanding from the start this season and he also leads the nation in both interceptions (seven) and pass breakups (17). Jackson had only 297 career snaps to his name coming into the season, so his breakout is as surprising as any across the country, but his size and ball skills were evident from Week 1 in a dominant performance against Wyoming. NFL teams have also taken notice and Jackson will be a coveted name whether he’s a part of the 2018 or 2019 NFL draft. — @PFF_Steve

    CB DARIUS PHILLIPS, WESTERN MICHIGAN – 85.3 OVERALL GRADE
    Phillips coverage numbers have dipped the last two weeks but he has been dominant at times this season – specifically when he posted a 99.7 grade against Michigan State in Week 2. In six of the 12 games Phillips has played this season, the opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of 39.6 or lower when throwing into his coverage. Phillips also finds a way to get his hands on the ball as he has three interceptions and 10 passes broken up this season. Phillips is also a threat to score with the ball in his hands and has returned at least one kickoff for a touchdown for four-straight seasons. — @PFF_Jordan

    S KYLE QUEIRO, NORTHWESTERN – 86.7 OVERALL GRADE
    Queiro initially caught our eye last season with a breakout campaign and he’s followed up with an excellent performance here in 2017. At 6-foot-3 220-pounds, Queiro brings a versatile defensive chess piece as he can hold his own in the slot and against tight ends in man coverage while providing a downhill run-support option just as effectively. His ability to play multiple roles and match up with offensive chess pieces will make him a coveted, yet underrated, option at the next level. This season, Queiro has eight pass breakups and four interceptions on only 44 targets and opponents have a passer rating of 39.2 when throwing into his coverage. — @PFF_Steve

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  • Nick
    PFF's Top-50 Big Board for the 2019 NFL Draft
    by Nick
    PFF's Top-50 Big Board for the 2019 NFL Draft
    BY PFF ANALYSIS TEAM • APR 1, 2019

    Pro Football Focus’ Top-50 Big Board for the 2019 NFL Draft is live! PFF’s team of draft analysts, led by Steve Palazzolo and Mike Renner, have put together their top-50 prospects now that we’re officially one day into the month of April.

    [Editor’s Note: To view all of Pro Football Focus’ advanced stats and grades for draft-eligible players, check out our 2019 NFL Draft Guide. All EDGE and ELITE subscribers already have access to the guide, and for those who don’t, you can get your copy for as low as $9.99!]


    1. QB KYLER MURRAY, OKLAHOMA
    Murray was the highest-graded QB in college football this past season. We haven’t seen a quarterback that is as dangerous with both his arm and legs since Russell Wilson.

    Related Article: Why Kyler Murray is the top player on the PFF 2019 NFL Draft Board

    2. EDGE NICK BOSA, OHIO STATE
    Bosa had a higher pass-rush win rate as a true freshman than Brian Burns, Clelin Ferrell and Jachai Polite had this past season.

    Related Article: Joey Bosa’s NFL success makes Nick Bosa the 2019 NFL Draft’s safest prospect

    3. DI QUINNEN WILLIAMS, ALABAMA
    Williams earned the highest grade we’ve ever given to a college interior defender (96.0) in his lone season as a starter at Alabama.

    4. OT JONAH WILLIAMS, ALABAMA
    The Alabama left tackle was the second highest-graded tackle in the nation despite facing stout SEC competition and allowed only 12 pressures.

    Related Article: Jonah Williams measures at the combine with ‘short’ arms, here’s why he’s still PFF’s top tackle

    5. EDGE JOSH ALLEN, KENTUCKY
    Allen had far and away the highest pass-rushing grade of any college edge defender this past season at 94.3.

    Related Article: Josh Allen’s versatility makes him a top-5 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft

    6. CB BYRON MURPHY, WASHINGTON
    A 47.7% completion percentage against and 17 forced incompletions made Murphy the highest-graded corner in the country this past year.

    Related Article: Physicality, passion, run defense: Washington CB Byron Murphy has it all

    7. DI JERRY TILLERY, NOTRE DAME
    Tillery tied Quinnen Williams for the highest pass-rushing grade among interior defenders in college football. Tillery’s sack totals don’t tell the whole story as he was a dominant week in and week out.

    Related Article: Jerry Tillery is an elite player, deserves a place in the top-10 conversation

    8. DI JEFFERY SIMMONS, MISSISSIPPI STATE
    He tore his ACL but did it so early in the process that he could still play as a rookie. Simmons had a run-defense and pass-rushing grade over 90.0 this past season.

    Related Article: How Jeffery Simmons’ injury impacts the 2019 NFL Draft

    9. CB GREEDY WILLIAMS, LSU
    ...
    -04-03-2019, 04:08 AM
  • Nick
    PFF's Top 10 Interior Defenders through Week 4 features two familiar names
    by Nick
    Top 10 graded interior defenders - through Week 4
    BY CAM MELLOR
    OCT 6, 2017

    As the NFL schedule transitions into the second quarter of the season (sure the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots have kicked off Week 5), there have been several key performances across the league on the interior of the defensive line.

    Namely a return from injury, and return to form from J.J. Watt, entering Week 5’s full slate, interior defenders are the only position group to field four players with Elite or higher grades (90.0-plus).

    1. DEFOREST BUCKNER, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
    PFF Grade: 93.2

    PFF Elite Stat: Buckner’s 23 total pressures is most among interior defenders, and third most among any defensive player.

    Buckner has the second-highest pass-rush grade among defensive interior players at 90.6, and the fourth-highest run defense grade while no other interior defender sees a grade of each in the top five. Buckner has racked up 23 pressures and 10 stops in run defense, both good enough for first and T-fourth, respectively.

    2. AARON DONALD, LOS ANGELES RAMS
    PFF Grade: 91.4

    PFF Elite Stat: Donald’s 12.6 pass-rush productivity is eighth among interior defenders.

    Donald has one game less than others interior defenders, yet, has the fifth among the group with his 16 total pressures in just three games. He has five total stops this season and multiple QB pressures in every game he’s played in.


    3. GERALD MCCOY, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
    PFF Grade: 91.2

    PFF Elite Stat: 18 QB pressures through just four games ranks McCoy fourth out of all defensive interior players.

    McCoy is almost halfway to his total run stops from a season ago (18) with his seven stops in run defense in four games. More impressively are his 18 total QB pressures through four games, which are good enough for fourth among interior defenders.

    4. J.J. WATT, HOUSTON TEXANS
    PFF Grade: 91.0

    PFF Elite Stat: 10.0 pass-rush productivity mark ranks eighth among 3-4 defensive ends.

    While he hasn’t gotten on the stat-sheet with a sack yet, Watt has been returned to form after an injury-shortened 2016 campaign racking up 15 total QB pressures, which rank him fifth among all interior defenders.

    5. NDAMUKONG SUH, MIAMI DOLPHINS
    PFF Grade: 89.3

    PFF Elite Stat: All seven of Suh’s pressures have been hurries.

    Suh has been relatively quiet in terms of numbers on a box score, but his impact has been felt across the board, as his 92.3 run defense grade is the highest among all interior defenders, and second-highest among all defensive front seven players.

    6. GENO ATKINS, CINCINNATI BENGALS
    PFF Grade: 88.5

    PFF Elite Stat: 13.2 pass-rush productivity grade ranks sixth among interior defenders.

    Atkins has 19 total QB pressures...
    -10-07-2017, 05:19 AM
  • Nick
    PFF: Top performing NFL interior defenders through Week 9
    by Nick
    Top performing NFL interior defenders through Week 9
    BY BRETT WHITEFIELD • NOV 7, 2017

    BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 18: Running back Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles carries the ball against nose tackle Brandon Williams #98 of the Baltimore Ravens in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Through Week 9 of the NFL regular season, the cream of the crop on the interior of the defensive line has been made apparent. Here we look at the top-performing big men on the interior in two PFF Elite signature stats.

    PASS-RUSHING PRODUCTIVITY (PRP)
    Ranking the NFL's top interior defenders through Week 9

    Pass rush productivity or “PRP” measures the amount of quarterback pressure a player gets on a per-snap basis with a weighting towards sacks.

    1. AARON DONALD, LOS ANGELES RAMS
    PFF Grade: 96.1
    PFF Pass Rush Productivity: 15.4
    Donald has been at the top of the game for the past three seasons and if the season ended today not only would Donald have put up a career-year, his 15.4 PRP would rank first all-time in the PFF era for an interior defender. Despite missing a game to start the season, Donald has a sizable lead in total pressures among his position group with 44.


    2. GENO ATKINS, CINCINNATI BENGALS
    PFF Grade: 90.9
    PFF Pass Rush Productivity: 12.7
    Picking up right where he left off in 2016, Atkins has been his disruptive self, anchoring a Bengals pass-rush that leads the NFL in pressure rate at 43 percent, racking up 38 pressures, five of which are sacks.

    3. DAVID IRVING, DALLAS COWBOYS
    PFF Grade: 78.3
    PFF Pass Rush Productivity: 12.6
    After missing the first four weeks of the season with a suspension, Irving has been on a tear, racking up 16 total pressures including six sacks on just 107 pass-rush snaps. His performance has in part led to a good start for a Cowboys defense that was expected to struggle.

    4. JONATHAN ALLEN, WASHINGTON REDSKINS
    PFF Grade: 81.3
    PFF Pass Rush Productivity: 12.0
    Even though his season ended prematurely due to an injury, the Redskins must feel good about what they have in Allen, who as a rookie ranked among the league leaders in PRP positionally with a mark of 12.0. In limited opportunity, he put up 16 pressures including three sacks.

    T-5. CAMERON HEYWARD, PITTSBURGH STEELERS
    PFF Grade: 87.3
    PFF Pass Rush Productivity: 11.7
    Heyward has taken a giant step forward with his pass-rush ability this season and is currently crushing his previous career-high PRP of 8.5 with a mark of 11.7. Heyward has been disruptive all season rushing the passer and ranks second in sacks with six and third in pressures with 36.

    T-5. MATT IOANNIDIS, WASHINGTON REDSKINS
    PFF Grade: 82.3
    PFF Pass Rush Productivity: 11.7
    The Redskins...
    -11-07-2017, 08:51 PM
  • Nick
    Rivals.com: Top Ten Underrated, Overrated
    by Nick
    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...
    -04-18-2006, 11:01 AM
  • Rambos
    PFF's First-Rounders in Review
    by Rambos
    Stumbled on this on another board, thought I would share it here. It is PFF so take it for what it's worth. I do think they got our players right.


    First-Rounders in Review
    Khaled Elsayed | October 22, 2014



    Seven weeks in and we’re building quite the sample size of tape on the rookies who looked to take the lead by storm. Some are already earning recognition for their performances while others have gone largely unnoticed.

    Well one week after we posted our race for Rookie of the Year we’re going one step further and giving you grades and snap counts on each and every single rookie first round pick.


    1. Jadeveon Clowney, Houston Texans, OLB
    Grade: +0.7
    Snaps: 23
    Analysis: Injury has taken Clowney from the public eye, helping to temper expectations but also managing to disappoint football fans eager to see how he would fare. One stop and just 23 snaps to show for his rookie year thus far.

    2. Greg Robinson, St. Louis Rams, OG
    Grade: +2.1
    Snaps: 137
    Analysis: Looked lost in preseason with positional flip flopping much to his detriment. That saw him start the season on the bench, but the usual output from Davin Joseph has seen him start the past two weeks. Robinson has looked good and that’s encouraging.


    3. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars, QB
    Grade: -12.5
    Snaps: 317
    Analysis: It hasn’t been pretty. With Chad Henne struggling, the team had to put Bortles out on the field knowing he was going to take his lumps and hope he will benefit from it in the long run.

    4. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills, WR
    Grade: -0.2
    Snaps: 461
    Analysis: An average grade for anything but an average performance. Watkins has either been very good or very bad as he has tantalized with his talent. Watkins has benefited from the more steady play brought by Kyle Orton.

    5. Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders, OLB
    Grade: +16.6
    Snaps: 395
    Analysis: Zero sacks and so Mack is struggling right? Wrong. Mack has positive marks rushing the passer where his 16 combined hits and hurries suggest a sack is coming soon. However, its the run game where he’s really really starred. A truly promising start.

    6. Jake Matthews, Atlanta Falcons, OT
    Grade: -27.8
    Snaps: 350
    Analysis: Now, nobody knows just how hurt Matthews is and how much that ankle is affecting him. What we do know is that he doesn’t look good out there right now. These past three weeks have been tough to watch, propelling Matthews to the lowest grade of all tackles. Not what Atlanta had hoped for.

    7. Mike...
    -10-22-2014, 09:31 AM
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