Friday, February 9, 2007

Top 50

Here are my recently updated top 50 overall players, with in-depth scouting reports on the top 25. Short analysis on each player ranked from 26-50 is also provided. Sorry it took such a long time, but if it didn’t, it wouldn’t even be any good. Heights, weights, and 40 times are estimated. Remember, this is how good I feel these players will end up being in the NFL, not where I think they'll be picked. Official measurements/times will be posted after the NFL Combine:

1. Calvin Johnson*, WR/Georgia Tech (6-5 230 4.50)
Positives: His physical talent is second to none. Makes some of the most amazing catches I’ve ever seen. Wins a ton of jump balls, excellent size and leaping ability. Great run-after-catch.
Negatives: Makes amazing catches, but occasionally drops easy ones. Disappeared in some big games this year (Georgia, Wake Forest), but that was mainly because of Reggie Ball’s erratic play.
NFL Comparison: Larry Fitzgerald

2. Adrian Peterson*, RB/Oklahoma (6-2 215 4.40)
Positives: Runs so hard and so fast, no one wants to get in his way. Has an excellent combination of size/speed/power. He was very productive at the college level. More of a North-South runner but shows great moves when he has to.
Negatives: Has had some pretty big injury problems. Only played one full, healthy season in college. May have to change up his running style to stay healthy in the NFL, and there’s no telling how that may impact his career.
NFL Comparison: A smaller Steven Jackson

3. Gaines Adams, DE/Clemson (6-5 260 4.70)
Positives: Very talented pass rusher, excellent quickness/explosiveness. Great athlete for his size, and has the frame to add weight. Fluid in space, solid cover skills make a move to OLB possible.
Negatives: Doesn’t hold up very well when ran at. Needs to add weight to play DE in the NFL. Should get in the weight room and add overall strength. Sometimes plays too high.
NFL Comparison: Jevon Kearse

4. Joe Thomas, OT/Wisconsin (6-8 315 4.90)
Positives: He has excellent feet and blocks downfield like a TE. (He is a former TE) Very polished pass blocker, prototype LT in the NFL. Has a big frame with room to grow and long arms.
Negatives: Some say he lacks a mean streak, but I think he’ll be fine. Had a major knee injury in ’05, but appears to be over it. Not a great drive blocker in the running game, average overall strength.
NFL Comparison: John Tait

5. Brady Quinn, QB/Notre Dame (6-4 230 4.70)
Positives: He’s the prototype pocket passer. Has great size and overall athleticism. Productive in college, has the arm to make all the throws. Improved tremendously when Charlie Weis came in with the pro-style offense.
Negatives: Wasn’t a very clutch player over his career. Accuracy comes and goes, a little inconsistent. Had a bit of a disappointing senior season.
NFL Comparison: A better David Carr

6. JaMarcus Russell*, QB/LSU (6-6 260 4.80)
Positives: Huge, has a huge arm (can throw it around 80 yards), and had a very good junior year. Has as much potential as anyone in this class, surprising athletic ability for someone his size.
Negatives: Decision-making is questionable at times and his accuracy is spotty. He’s a little bit of a streaky player, which is definitely not what you want in a QB. Leadership ability, intelligence have been scrutinized.
NFL Comparison: Daunte Culpepper

7. Alan Branch*, DT/Michigan (6-6 330 5.30)
Positives: Commands double teams regularly, extremely hard to move. Surprising athleticism for someone his size, was an RB in high school. Prototype NFL nose tackle, takes up a ton of space.
Negatives: Not the quickest guy, average as a pass rusher. Sometimes gets worn down and plays lazy later in games. Technique could improve.
NFL Comparison: Albert Haynesworth

8. Patrick Willis, MLB/Ole Miss (6-2 235 4.65)
Positives: Very productive over his career. He’s probably the toughest player in college football. Has unbelievable instincts, surprising strength for his size, and very good athleticism.
Negatives: Might need to get a little bigger. Not real fluid in coverage, could improve in that area. Has had some injuries in college, but played through most of them.
NFL Comparison: the old Takeo Spikes

9. Adam Carriker, DE/Nebraska (6-6 290 4.80)
Positives: Has excellent size/athleticism for the DE position. Could even shift inside to DT if he had to. He possesses enough speed to get to the QB on outside, speed rushes, and enough strength to bull rush.
Negatives: Had a little bit of an off senior year, doesn’t have great explosiveness or quickness. A little inconsistent, plays too high at times.
NFL Comparison: Trevor Pryce

10. Jamaal Anderson*, DE/Arkansas (6-6 275 4.85)
Positives: He possesses ideal size, strength, and athleticism for the DE position. Productive pass rusher this past season, has excellent potential.
Negatives: He doesn’t play with great leverage or technique, inconsistent. Still raw, can be overpowered occasionally.
NFL Comparison: Poor man’s Mario Williams

11. Marshawn Lynch*, RB/California (5-11 215 4.45)
Positives: Great moves, balance. Very rarely brought down by one guy. Runs low to the ground, has a good size/speed combination. Has been very productive, a playmaker.
Negatives: He’s somewhat inconsistent. Sometimes tries to do too much and ends up losing yardage while looking for the big play. Not a great pass blocker. Had some legal concerns recently, but those seem to have cleared up.
NFL Comparison: Clinton Portis

12. Dwayne Jarrett*, WR/USC (6-5 215 4.55)
Positives: He’s a tall, lanky red-zone threat and knows how to shield defenders with his body. Wins a ton of jump balls, has a knack for making spectacular plays in big games.
Negatives: Had some injury problems this past year, needs to add a little strength. Not real quick off the ball, and has some questions about his attitude and work ethic.
NFL Comparison: Plaxico Burress

13. Ted Ginn Jr*, WR/KR/Ohio St (6-0 180 4.30)
Positives: Big time playmaking ability. Amazing speed, might even run under a 4.3. Excellent return man, still raw as a receiver but is improving.
Negatives: Has solid, but not great hands. Lacks overall size and strength and can be bumped at the line. Raw route runner, but his quickness often makes up for that.
NFL Comparison: Santana Moss

14. LaRon Landry, S/LSU (6-2 205 4.50)
Positives: A playmaker with very good size and instincts. He’s a smart player and a 4-year starter, a big hitter, can cover most wide receivers.
Negatives: Not real fluid hips, lacks elite timed speed. Will miss some tackles while going for the big hit.
NFL Comparison: Greg Wesley

15. Levi Brown, OT/Penn State (6-5 325 5.30)
Positives: Big, solid pass and run blocker. His physical skills can’t be denied. Has excellent size and very good feet. Uses his hands well, gets a good punch. Had a great Senior Bowl.
Negatives: Has been known to take plays off and be lazy at times during his collegiate career. Does he have the killer instinct o-linemen need? Technique can be inconsistent.
NFL Comparison: Chris Samuels

16. Amobi Okoye, DT/Louisville (6-1 315 5.10)
Positives: Has amazing strength in the weight room. He’s very hard to move, stout vs. the run. Gets a good push into the pocket. Will be a 20-year-old rookie, so his potential is limitless.
Negatives: Lacks ideal height, stamina. Still a little rough around the edges, technique could improve. Inconsistent, sometimes wears down late in games.
NFL Comparison: the old Bryant Young

17. Darrelle Revis*, CB/Pittsburgh (6-0 205 4.45)
Positives: Prototype size/speed combination. Could make an impact as a return man. Good ball skills, solid in run support. Has great potential as a shutdown corner.
Negatives: Still a little bit raw, technique needs improvement. Gets by on physical talent too often, but won’t be able to in the pros.
NFL Comparison: Nate Clements

18. Dwayne Bowe, WR/LSU (6-3 220 4.50)
Positives: Extremely built for a receiver, excellent over-the-middle, possession type guy, but also has enough speed to go deep. He has great size, a very solid downfield blocker.
Negatives: He could definitely improve his routes. Cut down on his drops this year, but doesn’t have great natural hands.
NFL Comparison: the old David Boston

19. Reggie Nelson*, S/Florida (6-0 195 4.45)
Positives: A playmaker with great range and closing speed. Good ball skills, a big hitter. His cover skills are very good, and he might even make the move to CB.
Negatives: Occasionally misses tackles while going for the big hit. Looks very skinny for an NFL SS will probably need to put on some weight to play his style in the pros.
NFL Comparison: Mike Minter

20. Paul Posluszny, OLB/Penn State (6-2 230 4.65)
Positives: Very good college player, excellent instincts. He’s a tough and has all the intangibles. A team leader, he plays with aggression.
Negatives: Not a big time athlete, he lacks elite quickness. Cover skills could improve, struggles shedding blockers. Had a major knee injury in ’05.
NFL Comparison: Lance Briggs

21. Sidney Rice*, WR/South Carolina (6-4 190 4.55)
Positives: Excellent hands, long arms, great on jump balls. Knows how to shield defenders with his body, goes up and gets it well in traffic.
Negatives: He lacks ideal quickness. Timed speed is average. Needs to add strength to beat the jam in the pros.
NFL Comparison: Michael Clayton

22. Lawrence Timmons*, OLB/Florida St (6-3 230 4.60)
Positives: Amazing athlete, will probably go even higher if he works out like expected. Has a good combination of aggression and instincts. Has a lot of potential.
Negatives: Needs to add weight, can be overpowered by bigger linemen. At times he plays out of control and overaggressive.
NFL Comparison: Marcus Washington

23. LaMarr Woodley, DE/LB/Michigan (6-2 270 4.70)
Positives: Good overall athleticism, very powerful for his size. He’s a tough team leader, and a talented pass rusher with good moves.
Negatives: Lacks ideal height and timed speed, not that freakish athlete that most teams look for in a 3-4 ‘backer. He’s not real fluid in coverage, a ‘tweener. Had poor Senior Bowl practices, then got injured, making things even worse.
NFL Comparison: David Pollack

24. Tony Ugoh, OT/Arkansas (6-5 315 5.40)
Positives: He has a rare combination of size, strength, and athleticism. Has the frame to get even bigger. Loads of potential, very powerful, has the feet to play LT.
Negatives: He’s inconsistent, might lack a killer instinct. Could be considered a gamble, only had one great season. He’s a little raw, has never really played up to his potential.
NFL Comparison: Levi Jones

25. Robert Meachem*, WR/Tennessee (6-3 215 4.45)
Positives: Excellent athlete, very good size/speed combination. Has enough strength to beat jams and run after the catch. Extremely productive junior year.
Negatives: Only had 1 solid year of production. To me, it doesn't look like he has top notch speed or quickness, but his reported 40 times are very good. Drops occasional passes, a little inconsistent.
NFL Comparison: Reggie Williams

26 Ryan Kalil, C/USC-Helped himself a ton at the Senior Bowl, strong enough to anchor, quick enough to get to the 2nd level.

27 Chris Houston*, CB/Arkansas-Cover skills, athleticism are very good, but not as polished as some other CB's in this class.

28 Rufus Alexander, OLB/Oklahoma-An undersized, active LB, athletic and solid in coverage.

29 Zach Miller*, TE/Arizona St-Solid athlete, soft hands, could be a weapon in passing game, but is also a solid blocker.

30 Michael Griffin, S/Texas-Plays very aggressive, sometimes a little too much. Very good athlete, a playmaker from sideline to sideline.

31 Jon Beason*, OLB/Miami-Undersized, but makes up for it w/aggressiveness and instincts Very fluid in coverage, I honestly think he could make a move to SS.

32 Quentin Moses, DE/Georgia-Had a terrible year, but his amazing athleticism should get him a look in round 1.

33 Greg Olsen*, TE/Miami-Runs and catches like a WR, really needs to improve his overall strength and blocking.

34 Leon Hall, CB/Michigan-Doesn't have ideal measurables, but instincts/cover skills are second to none.

35 Jarvis Moss*, DE/Florida-Long, lanky, athletic DE with great pass rushing potential, needs to put on weight. 3-4 OLB?

36 Joe Staley, OT/Central Mich-Extremely athletic, quick for an OT, but needs to get much stronger to contribute in the NFL.

37 Daymeion Hughes, CB/California-Very productive, great ball skills, instincts, but might not have the straight-line, top end speed to stay at CB.

38 Charles Johnson*, DE/Georgia-Actually outplayed Moses at times this year, but just doesn't have the overall athleticism/size to match him.

39 Michael Bush*, RB/Louisville-Huge, athletic RB with tons of potential, but missed nearly all of this year with a serious knee injury.

40 David Harris, MLB/Michigan-Solid but not spectacular player, rarely misses assignments but isn't an amazing athlete.

41 Brandon Meriweather, DB/Miami-Showed he could play some CB at the Senior Bowl, which helped him a ton. 1st round talent, but has some character questions.

42 Brian Leonard, FB/Rutgers-Versatile and talented. He'd rather play RB than FB, but is a team player and could do either one. Great size, strength, receiving skills, but might not have the athleticism to be a full time RB.

43 Drew Stanton, QB/Michigan St-Big time arm, but throws way too many int's, hasn't played up to his potential.

44 Anthony Gonzalez*, WR/Ohio St-Does all the little things, great routes, speed, hands, but is undersized and a little weak.

45 Justin Blalock, OG/Texas-Versatile, great technique, very experienced. What you see is what you get, not a ton of potential.

46 Eric Weddle, S/Utah-Versatile player even played QB some for the Utes, good overall athlete, but just isn't that big, fast, or strong.

47 Victor Abiamiri, DE/Notre Dame-Equally effective vs. the run and pass, but doesn't exactly stand out in any one area.

48 Buster David, MLB/Florida St-Very short for a MLB, but makes up for it with his intensity and instincts. A playmaker vs. the run and the pass.

49 Mario Henderson, OT/Florida St-What is a top 50 without a huge surprise? Henderson has everything the NFL looks for in their LT's (quick feet, long arms, killer instinct), and should be a very good late addition for whoever gets him. Not even listed in any top 100's that I've seen, but he's got all the tools needed to make it. Another interesting note: Henderson carries a backpack with all of his gametapes in it, so he can watch film and critique his performances every night. (I learned that from John Murphy's East-West Shrine Game Blog on

50 Mason Crosby, K/Colorado-He's one of the best kickers that I've ever seen. (and the only one I've ever had in my top 50) Can get close from 60+yds, nearly automatic from 40 and in.


Anonymous said...

Looks good.... But do you really think that Quinn will go before Russell.

JP said...

Remember, I said this is NOT my opinion on where these players will be drafted, but how good I think they'll end up in the NFL. I honestly think Russell will end up going to the Raiders at #1, but Quinn will slip a little and go on to have a better NFL career.

Sigmund Bloom said...

I like your comparisons. It's an inexact, but amusing exercise, and your picks show that you know your football. I would agree 100% with Fitz-Calvin, except that Calvin can be better. AD-SJax works (alonzo highsmith just called him a bigger, faster, more powerful Eddie George). I've Adams/Kearse a lot, won't argue, although I think Jarvis Moss is even more like Kearse than Adams is. I like Jarrett-Plax and Russell-Cpep. Ginn has to prove he's more physical before I compare him to Santana. I hear Warrick a lot from Ginn doubters. Your Griffin comparison (Kiel) makes me think you are almost as down on him as I am, yet he's still in your top 25.

Some questions:

Quinn-Elway? I don't know if Quinn is as rugged or creative as Elway. Of course, I go the other direction and end up comparing him to QBs that have failed to some extent - the truth is likely somewhere in the middle.

Lynch-Portis? Lynch's compact build and somewhat jerky cutting separates the two, along with Portis's superior speed. Can you say a little more about what is similar - I'm stuck thinking Lynch is a homeless man's LT.

Landry and Nelson - you didn't compare either to elite safeties, and surely the team that takes them will be picturing oh, Ed Reed for Nelson. Do you think Wesley or Minter's career is worth a first round pick?

I love the Henderson addition - I watched all the Shrine Game practices in Houston and agree that the raw materials are there for an NFL LT.

Thanks for the work you put into this blog.


JP said...

Thanks for all the feedback.

Michael Griffin is somewhat of a "rich man's" Terence Kiel I guess. His style of play (extremely aggressive), size, and athleticism remind me of Kiel but I think he'll end up being better. I'm not a huge fan of his, but I think he can start in the NFL, if he learns to play more under control.

Quinn reminds me somewhat of David Carr when he was coming in to the draft, but I do think Quinn will end up having a better career than him. I do not think he'll end up being as good as John Elway, but I see some similarities in their mobility, arm, and I think Quinn is a good leader. He never won the big games at Notre Dame because the talent around him was often less than the talent on the other side of the ball.

I'm pretty big on Lynch, and I think his running style is similar to Portis earlier in his career (with the Broncos), as both rely on quickness/acceleration, but can pound it North-South if they have to. Their size/speed are pretty similar, too. (although, as you said, Portis has the slight edge in speed, and Lynch has a more compact build)

I like Landry quite a bit more than Nelson right now. In my opinion, Greg Wesley is the most underrated safety in all of the NFL. In his 7 years he has never registered under 60 tackles, and has 29 interceptions total. Landry reminds me of him because neither one is a flashy, Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu type, but both can help vs. the run and cover WR's when they have to.

Minter has started for 10 years in the NFL, but has never been a star. I'm not as high on Reggie Nelson as some people, and his size/cover skills remind me a lot of Minter. Both have the ability to play some CB (Minter used to, anyways) and can help vs. the run. Neither one is very big or strong, also.

When I saw Henderson play earlier this year, his skill set reminded me a lot of former 1st rounder, and current 49er, Kwame Harris. Henderson's work-ethic is what might set him apart from Kwame, who has never really played up to his potential, but is now considered a solid starter at RT.

Thanks again,