NFL Draft Rankings

Steve O Speak

This is not an order of how the draft should shape up, but rather a ranking of all players regardless of team needs or draft strategy. While position is factored in, and weighed appropriately, players won’t be ‘over drafted’ here.

1. Eric Berry S

2. Ndamukong Suh DT

3. Gerald McCoy DT

4. Russell Okung OT

5. Derrick Morgan DE

6. Bryan Bulaga OT

7. Joe Haden CB

8. Earl Thomas S

9. Trent Williams OT

10. Jimmy Clausen QB

I know it’s a shock to see just one quarterback in the top 10, but this list is based on talent and not some dream of being a ‘franchise’ quarterback. QB’s don’t usually offer much value in years 1-3, and I don’t see either of these guys proving me wrong. I think there are serious issues about both as to whether or not they will elite quarterbacks. While I understand the why they are projected being top 10 picks, I think you are basing your entire draft on a prayer. I think there is a lot of elite talent in this class and guys like Berry, Suh etc. will be Pro Bowl caliber players by year two at the latest.

11. Rolando McClain ILB

12. Mike Iupati OG/RT

13. Sam Bradford QB

14. Brandon Graham OLB/DE

15. Kyle Wilson CB

16. Demaryius Thomas WR

17. C.J. Spiller RB

18. Ryan Mathews RB

19. Dan Williams DT

20. Jason Pierre-Paul DE

The reason Bradford is so low for me is I really worry about both that shoulder and him coming out of that spread system. I think he will need years (maybe as many as 3) to really be an effective starter. And while we’ve seen the shoulder healthy enough to make all the throws, we don’t know how it will react first time he gets hit or driven to the ground. I think Iupati is a fantastic player and someone who will be representing them in the Pro Bowl every year. I like him better on the inside and think that is where he should stay. I’m not as high on Spiller, because he’s not an every down runner. He’s electric in the open field and he will likely be over drafted because of the success of Chris Johnson. I  think Mathews will end up being the steal of this class, and a better fit for most teams. I also think Thomas (hurt foot, bad route running, and all) is a better pick then Dez Bryant. Bryant could be a good talent, but he disappears too much for my liking. Thomas was literally Tech’s only receiver and when it was a pass you knew it was going his way, yet teams still could not cover him. Pierre-Paul is high risk-high reward. For me he is too raw to be in the top 10-15, but will probably be drafted there on need.

21. Jermaine Gresham TE

22. Anthony Davis OT

23. Dez Bryant WR

24. Jared Odrick DT/DE

25. Kareem Jackson CB

26. Devin McCourty CB

27. Sergio Kindle OLB/DE

28. Sean Weatherspoon OLB/ILB

29. Maurkice Pouncey C/G

30. Taylor Mays S

Gresham’s injury worries me some, but I kept him pretty high given his potential. So far their doesn’t seem to be any lingering effects. Also, the importance of pass catching TE’s grows each year. Davis hasn’t had a great off season, and has seen his stock slip, but he has fantastic potential. Bryant is another boom or bust pick for me, I’m not sure if he will ever be worthy of a first round pick. Weatherspoon is one of my favorite players in this draft, he isn’t a flashy linebacker and probably won’t rack up the sacks, but he will consistently get the job done. Jackson and McCourty are both great corners who can probably start from day 1. Pouncey is a great prospect, while I think he can be a good guard, I would keep him at center where he should be excellent. Mays has the athletic ability to go top 10, but lacks the coverage skills. I still think he might fit best as a hybrid OLB/S giving him more opportunities to blitz and attack the ball carrier.

31. Brian Price DT

32. Bruce Campbell OT

33. Golden Tate WR

34. Patrick Robinson

35. Everson Griffin

36. Carlos Dunlap

37. Jerry Hughes OLB

38. Dexter McCluster RB

39. Charles Brown OT

40. Javid Best RB

Bruce Campbell could be drafted by the Raiders in the first round given his athleticism and potential, but he’s more of a late first rounder/early 2nd rounder. The potential is there, but he needs some time to develop. I’m a big believer in Golden Tate, I think he will be one heck of a find for whoever drafts him. He might not be the biggest player, but he will get the job done. Speaking of little guys, I love McCluster. He is so dangerous with the ball in his hands, and unlike Darren Sproles or Leon Washington, he’s actually been trained as a receiver as well. Whoever gets him will be getting a play maker, as well as a fantastic person. I also like him over Best and am not concerned with the even smaller stature. Everson Griffin and Carlos Dunlap should be top 15 picks, if they were drafted solely on workouts and body type. I think Griffin will maintain a first round status, but am not shocked to see Dunlap fall into more of a 2nd round grade. They both have fantastic potential, but don’t show it enough on game day to take that high. Jerry Hughes is an interesting player, I worry some if he will be able to hold up against the bigger and quicker LT’s in the NFL, but he should be a great pass rusher at the next level.

41. Damian Williams WR

42. Navarro Bowman OLB

43. Daryl Washington OLB

44. Terrence Cody DT

45. Sean Lee ILB

46. Tyson Alualu DT/DE

47. Rodger Saffold OT

48. Nate Allen S

49. Vladimir Ducasse G/RT

50. Perrish Cox CB

Not many people would put Damien Williams here, but he has impressed me. Sure I’d like to see him a little taller/faster, but he makes plays. I think he was a huge part of Mark Sanchez’s overdraft development and really looked good last year with a true freshmen at quarterback. I think he is a play maker and a very reliable target. Bowman and Washington are both pretty good linebackers who should be starting from day one. Cody isn’t always taken seriously, but he is a run clogger and a great 3-4 nose tackle. Saffold and Ducasse will likely both be drafted higher than this given the for linemen, but are both incomplete players. Ducasse should stay on the interior and Saffold is probably only suited at RT (at least in year one). Guys like Lee, Allen, Alualu and Cox show just how deep of a defensive draft this is. All-in-all I think everyone above is a first round talent. Sure some years they might not make the cut, but on average these are all first round caliber players. Showing just how strong and deep this draft is. With the exception of the quarterbacks, everyone of these players should start from day one. Now some of the corners and receivers might have to settle for being the third option, but they should still make a significant impact. The same holds true for the running backs, as Spiller, McCluster and Best probably won’t lead their teams in carries, but will make their presence known in the passing and return game as well.

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