2003 Draft Board

Boomer

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Here's a draft board to keep you ticking over, with position by position ratings.

Names willl change, some will disappear, others will rise from no-where, but it gives you an idea of who's who when it comes to Miami's turn next April and gives you same players to look out for in the upcoming college season....

2003 Draft
My Ratings Board
1 – Byron Leftwich – QB – Marshall
2 – William Joseph – DT – Miami
3 – Roy Williams* – WR – Texas
4 – Eli Manning* – Ole Miss
5 – EJ Henderson – Maryland
6 – Rex Grossman* – Florida
7 – Brett Williams – FSU
8 – Charles Rogers* – Michigan State
9 – Dennis Weathersby – Oregon State
10 – Santonio Beard* – Alabama
11 – Kelley Washington* – Tennessee
12 – Jimmy Kennedy – Penn State
13 – Kwame Harris*– Stanford
14 – DeWayne White* - Louisville
15 – Mike Doss – Ohio State
16 – Terrence Newman – Kansas State
17 – Earnest Graham – Florida
18 – Darius Watts* – Marshall
19 – Bernard Berrian – Fresno State
20 – Dave Ragone – Lousiville
21 – Vince Manuwai – Hawaii
22 – Mario Haggan – Mississippi State
23 – Andre Woolfork – Oklahoma
24 – Lee Suggs – Virginia Tech
25 – Chris Simms - Texas



Quarterback:
1 - Byron Leftwich – Marshall
In my opinion, Leftwich is the number one pick as we stand at this point. He oozes franchise QB material – he’s a big, strong-armed leader, who throws a great deep ball, has excellent touch, is mobile and can read defenses very well. Does a fine job of recognition at the line of scrimmage and is a real general. Needs to watch his weight a little and also he has a tendency to choke down on some passes, but it’s all correctable. The level of competition is one question mark, but you can only beat what you are put up against. Much more upside than Chad Pennington.

2 - Rex Grossman* - Florida
Very likely that he’ll declare, unless he wins the Heisman and then wants to try and win it a second time. Should have won it in 2001. He almost declared this year. A pure pocket passer, he has a really nice arm, which has gotten stronger over time. Has nice touch. Under the Spurrier regime, he played a lot out of the shotgun, so it will be interesting to see if Ron Zook does the same or whether he lines up more under center? Another interesting twist is that his offensive co-ordinator was Byron Leftwich’s co-ordinator at Marshall till Zook took over.

3 - Eli Manning* – Ole Miss
Knowing the Manning tradition, it’s unlikely that he declares. Has franchise marked all over him. Is apparently as studious as Peyton. Has a nice arm – certainly in the short range area - is a leader, has a good feel in the pocket, nice feet and delivery, is mobile and throws well on the run. My only knock on him is that he really flutters his deeper passes, something he needs to work on. Love the way he ingests what he sees and reacts. Would be higher, but it’s just so unlikely he’ll come out. Ran a 4.73 in the spring.

4 - Dave Ragone – Louisville
Ragone is a big, strong southpaw. He has a great arm, and is very mobile for such a big man. He’s accurate, leads his receivers well and is rated higher at this stage than Chris Redman was. Has high first round potential.

5 - Chris Simms – Texas
Has failed to live up to the hype that surrounded his decision to join Tennessee and then dump Rocky Top for hookin’ horns. He is a very talented lefty with a great arm, but his inability to do smart things at critical times and to lead his team to victory in the big games leaves big question marks over his head at this stage. He fails to look the safeties off at times, throws into coverage and doesn’t step up into the leadership role, like a Major Applewhite has done for Mack Brown’s squad. Has to prove he’s more than just Phil Simm’s kid and beat Oklahoma in 2002 and get the Longhorns into and then win, a major BCS Bowl.

6 - Kliff Kingsbury – Texas Tech
Plays in a pass first offense, so like Andre Ware or David Klingler, his numbers are somewhat inflated. Has good size and a decent arm. He's does nothing spectacular yet, but he could still be filling out in some areas.

7 – Carson Palmer – USC
Has always been on the periphery but has never taken that expected step up to greatness that was once envisaged. He’s a classic pocket passer – big, big arm, leader. Has struggled with inconsistency and injuries. Has 1st round potential if he has big senior year.

8 - Jason Thomas – UNLV
Outstanding sophomore year – terrible junior year. Has a monster arm and great mobility but needs to improve touch and accuracy for the next level if he is to be high draft choice. Almost seems to have lost a year due to poor 2001.

Others:
Casey Clausen* - Tennessee (Unlikely to declare – needs more time to develop, but looks to have solid future.)

Ken Dorsey – Miami (Should win Heisman, but marginal pro prospect – intelligent leader, but not strong enough)

Philip Rivers* - NC State (Have always liked him, but needs work – ugly delivery…big time arm. Another who is unlikely to declare.)

Chris Lewis – Stanford (Stepping into Randy Fasani’s (Carolina) shoes. Showed up well when Fasani got hurt. Good size. Mature winner who can win big games – Oregon and UCLA in ’01. Solid pocket passer)

Kyle Boller – California (Has huge potential but you wonder if he will ever reach it. Massive arm. Seems as though new coach Jeff Tedford could get the most out of this enigma if Boller’s spring performance is anything to go by.)

Seneca Wallace – Iowa State (Was outstanding in 2002 Spring Game. Undersized, but has Antwaan Randle El type skills, but much bigger arm. JUCO star at Sacramento City. Originally signed at Oregon St.)

Curt Anes - Grand Valley State (Leader of the Lakers offense. Decent size, good arm and holds Div II record with 221.6-passer efficiency rating set in ’01. Great mobility. Could be mid round gem. Will be important to see how he holds up in All Star games.)

Ryan Schneider - Central Florida (Accurate passer, forming great duo with Doug Gabriel. Plays in pro-style offense – has good arm and good pocket presence)


Tailback:
1 - Santonio Beard* – Alabama
In what looks like a down year for running backs, an underclassman like Beard could see the obvious gap in the field and jump ship. Has great size, gets moving quickly, downhill runner with solid moves. Gets into secondary well. Underused in Bama attack. Has been highly impressive on each occasion that I have seen him.

2 - Earnest Graham – Florida
Certainly struggled early on with the Gators, getting used to the system, but had somewhat of a coming out party in 2000 Bowl game against Hurricanes. Since then has improved and uses low centre of gravity to gain yards downfield.

3 - Lee Suggs – Virginia Tech
Would likely top this board, but questions about the health of his knee remain. Tore his ACL against Connecticut in the season opener a year ago and that will be a red flag for teams come draft time. Likely he won’t get back to form till 2003/4, which could be too late for being a high draft pick. Will have to see what September brings. May not be best back on Tech team – Kevin Jones looks awfully good. He was however almost at 100 percent in early December. If he’s healthy he has game breaking ability.

4 - LaBrandon Toefield - LSU
Big, hard to tackle runner, who never seems to break big yardage, but always keeps pile moving. Has injury bug which he’ll need to get over. He sets up his blocks well and runs with excellent second effort. He does need to work on his pass protection skills. I personally much prefer Domanick Davis.

5 - Musa Smith* – Georgia
Burst onto scene as a true freshman, but has struggled with injury that has set him back. Had knee injury in 1st campaign, broke his foot in spring drills in 2001, then missed most of the back half of the year with a hip flexor and a groin injury. 2002 is to be his year after the graduation of Jasper Sanks and Verron Haynes. But there are serious question marks as to whether he can stay healthy for the entire year. Even his head coach Mark Richt doubts he can last the year. But if he can stay on the field, then the upside potential is massive.

6 - Onterrio Smith* – Oregon
Signed by Tennessee, but was kicked off the team for testing positive for marijuana. Has great mix of elusiveness and the ability to punish defenders up the gut. A Super-Prep All American (6,123 yards at HS level). Has overcome to some off-field problems, has a good work ethic and can become a game breaker for the Ducks in need of a leader after the departure of Joey Harrington (Detroit). Will assume full time starting role after Maurice Morris’ (Seattle) graduation. Wouldn’t surprise me to see him declare if he has decent 2002.

7 - Cedric Cobbs* – Arkansas
Looked like a legend in the making at times as a freshman, before hurting his shoulder. Since then he has struggled to regain that form, battling injury, a logjam at TB and more importantly, serious off-field problems which will put up red flags with the NFL. Has massive potential, but you wonder whether he will ever reach that potential and whether he will be mature enough to take the next step. Has all the tools - benches 360 pounds and squats 835; has been timed at 4.35 and 4.26 in the forty, which is remarkable considering his size. Can run tough up the middle and gets his shoulders squared and down the field. Boom or bust type.

8 - Dontae Walker – Mississippi State
Was a high school legend at Clinton High School in Mississippi, but has struggled somewhat to make a name for himself. He’s had to share time with the now departed Dicenzo Miller, so he’ll have no excuses in 2002 if he wants to elevate himself up the draft board.

9 - Clarence Farmer* – Arizona
Farmer is frighteningly fast for a back of his size. He has the ability to take it the distance or grind it out between the tackles. A two-sport athlete – Farmer will have to weigh up whether his future will be in football or baseball. He also carries some off-field baggage; he is well known as a trash talker, which has annoyed many opposing players and coaches. In fact he was taken out of a game against UNLV for getting in the Rebels players faces so much that the refs went to Coach Mackovic and told him to take Farmer out. Maturity question marks should keep him in college.

10 - Domanick Davis – LSU
Every time I see this kid play, he does something special – whether it’s returning a kick, catching the ball or running with it. He’s small and shifty, rather than speedy, but he is a good creator, slides well to avoid tacklers and makes yardage. Has been troubled with injury problems, which he will need to overcome, but always shows up in big games – no more so than against Tennessee in the SEC Championship game.

11 - Dwone Hicks – Middle Tennessee State
Small schooler who averaged an impressive 6 yards a pop at the small school level in 2001/2. A big powerful runner, he was the Sun Belt Conference’s Offensive MVP a year ago. Again, will need to show up at the All Star games.

12 - Dahrran Diedrick – Nebraska
Some people have him rated as the highest senior tailback going into the year, but that’s a fallacy. He’s an average I-Back runner, who possesses decent size, but has average speed and is a real ‘system runner’ Will be given every chance to carry the load with the graduation of Eric Crouch (St Louis).

13 - Mewelde Moore – Tulane
He piles up a tom of yardage but there are questions over whether he has the size to be an every-down runner at the next level. A little like Northwestern’s Damian Anderson, he benefits from a spread offense. Possesses breakaway speed, and pass catching ability, but needs to prove that he’s more than just a 3rd down back at the next level.

Wild Card:
Derek Watson – Ex South Carolina
Has flashed first round ability, but has tremendous off the field baggage which finally led to him being kicked off the Game****s squad. Questions remain over whether he will enter the Supplemental Draft, or stay in state at Div II School, where he will no doubt run up huge numbers. The Senior Bowl and the Combine will determine his future.

Others:
Chris Brown – Colorado (Combined with Marcus Houston to run for 262 yards in Buffs Spring Game. Showed up big time in the run-in last year. He’s a power runner, who has a real knack for the end zone.)

Bobby Purify – Colorado (The Buffs have a great stable of backs, with Purify as the elusive cutback runner, to Brown’s power and Houston’s all round style.)

Marcus Houston* - Colorado (Highly unlikely that he’ll declare – a student athlete in the truest sense of the word and someone who has yet, because of injury, to live up to the monster hype surrounding his graduation to the college ranks.)

Julius Jones - Notre Dame (Has really disappeared from the national spotlight. He has all the tools, although at 5-9, he’s likely too small to be a feature back in the NFL. He needs a big year to elevate himself)

Willis McGahee* - Miami (You get the feeling that one of the Miami backs may well declare because of the logjam at the position, despite the departures of Clinton Portis (Denver) and Najeh Davenport (Green Bay). Apart from McGahee and Payton, you are also looking at super soph Frank Gore. He has the right size, speed combo for the pros, but has minimal experience)

Jarrett Payton* - Miami (Same applies for Sweetness’ son – he has somewhat been lost, but will get a chance to shine in 2002)

Marcus Merriweather – Ball State (Could be a last riser – good size and speed combo. Is best back in the MAC. Had 1,244 yards rushing in 2001.)

Andrew Pinnock – South Carolina (Big back. Could be a fullback at the next level. Many people say that he has bigger upside than Derek Watson, whom he will take over from in 2002. Has a chance to shine this fall.)

Sleeper:
Greg Jones – Florida State
Hardly a sleeper in the true sense of the word but has outstanding size, speed and power. A real great North-South runner, he doesn’t get many carries, but always looks great when he handles the pig. Has to overcome injury niggles.


Wide Receiver:
1 - Roy Williams* - Texas
Mr Everything. An absolute physical freak, he could be one of the great NFL receivers with a little dedication. At times, he looks awesome, but he has a tendency to drift in and out of games at times and you wonder whether he’s taking too much notice of his cuttings than he is of his playbook. Can be extra special, but needs to work at it. Has all the tools. Likely to declare as he loses Chris Simms. Probable top 5 potential.

2 - Charles Rogers* - Michigan State
Outstanding, mature, big play receiver who can school corners. Makes the acrobatic reception, can out-jump defenders and get deep downfield and make the grab. Still raw, but upside is tremendous. Shows up for the big occasion. Elite top 10 prospect at worst, if he comes out. Has added 10lbs in off-season without losing the 4.3 speed.

3 - Kelley Washington* - Tennessee
Almost declared for 2002 draft. Has huge ego that he won’t be able to keep out of the pros for much longer. Has phenomenal tools – 6-4, 225 and ran a 4.3 forty at the Vols Pro Day. Needs to do a better job of route running, but should have a tremendous season as Tennessee break in a new running back and with the departure of Donte Stallworth. Almost certain to declare – will be top 15 selection.

4 - Darius Watts* - Marshall
Part of a dangerous triumvirate for the Herd. Is Byron Leftwich’s main target and that will help his stock no-end. Tall, speedy, comes in and out of his routes very well and has the ability to work the sidelines or get across the middle. With Leftwich under center his talents will be firmly in the spotlight.

5 - Andre Johnson* - Miami
Slow developer who really sprung into national reckoning in 2001/2 with a number of massive performances, including against Syracuse in the 55-0 rout and in the Rose Bowl, where he schooled Keyou Craver. Has ‘stop on a dime’ skills, can make the tough catch and can stretch the field. Needs to improve his consistency and keep ahead of Kevin Beard and Ethnic Sands and Jason Geathers. Johnson is the Big East 60 metres champion and has been timed in under 4.3.

6 - Talman Gardner – FSU
Stop-start career till 2001 where he began to develop into a fine receiver. Has to overcome the injury bug and some problems with inconsistency, but has great size and can make things happen after the catch. Great nose for the end zone.

7 - Bernard Berrian – Fresno State
How will he cope without David Carr (Houston)? Outstanding receiver with premier return skills. Berrian is really, really fast but will need to show up big time as a leader in a developing offense. Could rise to the very top with a big year.

8 - Brandon Lloyd – Illinois
Like Berrian, the question remains as to whether he will manage at the same level without Kurt Kittner? (Atlanta) Suffered a broken leg in 2000, but has bounced back and showed no ill effects. Lloyd can flat out fly and will make plays in traffic. But some teams might be turned off by his arrogance and attitude – is renowned as a major league trash talker.

9 - BJ Johnson* - Texas
The ‘other’ big time receiver for Mack Brown. Hasn’t had quite the same impact as Roy Williams. Consistency has been a bigger issue with Johnson. Smooth and fluid in and out of his breaks, he’s a real deep shoe’s, running in the 4.3 range compared to Williams’ 4.4. If Williams declares, he may seize his chance to become the Horns top wide out and stay.

10 - Doug Gabriel – Central Florida
Small schooler, who could be set for major rise up the boards. A JUCO transfer, he was outstanding at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and then tore up UCF record books averaging a mammoth 28.7 yards per catch last year. He and Ryan Schneider could be the hottest combo in college ball in 2002.

11 - Taylor Jacobs – Florida
Strongly considered declaring after a superb game in the Orange Bowl. But stayed to become Rex Grossman’s main target. Should see plenty of the pig with the departure of Jabar Gaffney (Houston) and Reche Caldwell (San Diego). Is still raw and needs some refinement of his routes.

12 - Billy McMullen – Virginia
Led the Cavaliers 3 straight years in receiving. Possesses great size and vertical ability to out-jump defenders and make the catch. Unlike some of his contemporaries, he shows up big in the big games.


Wildcards:
Lee Evans – Wisconsin – ACL in 2002 Spring Practice. High first rounder if healthy.

Anquin Boldin – Recovery from 2001 ACL. Was looking like solid 1st rounder before injury. 2002 will be interesting year to gauge his recovery.

Sleeper:
Anton Paige – Texas Tech
Paige was a JUCO All-American, who can dominate at this level. Has all the physical tools you look for. But he is raw, as evidenced by his paltry 23 receptions a year ago. But he’s had a great spring, working the sidelines and the middle impressively, making yards after the catch. In the spring game, he had seven grabs for 106 yards.

Others:
Michael Hayes – Southern – (Small schooler who could have same rise up boards as Sylvester Morris)

Justin Gage – Missouri (Excellent possession receiver. Two-sport star, playing basketball for Mizzou)

Teyo Johnson* - Stanford (Former basketball star who needs to be more consistent, but who is tremendous red zone target. Raw)

Rashaun Woods* – Oklahoma State (Cowboys star, he regularly gets double coverage, but still leads the team in receptions. Was outstanding against Oklahoma a year ago, against three potential first round corners in Derrick Strait, Andre Woolfork and Brandon Everage.)

Walter Young – Illinois (We might have him way too low as the former quarterback could be a better prospect than the more highly publicized Brandon Lloyd.)

Terrence Edwards – Georgia (Never really put it all together. Needs a big year)

Mike Bush – Washington State (Great size, in the 6-6 range. Two-sport star, turning out for the Cougars basketball squad. )

Kareem Kelly – USC (Supremely fast but has yet to hang it all together. He’s still raw but has massive upside potential if he ever gets to grips with the nuances of the game.)

Keenan Howry – Oregon (Undersized – must deal with loss of Joey Harrington.)

Bryant Johnson – Penn State – (Big, fast athletic, drops too many at this time.)

Michael Jenkins* – Ohio State (Raw but intriguing deep threat with great size. Will be worried by OSU’s QB situation. If that continues through the season, he may consider declaring.)

Bobby Wade – Arizona (Been a big fan since his first game as a freshman, but hasn’t really developed quite the way I envisaged. Can be a return man.)

Chris Collins* – Mississippi (Great looking target of Eli Manning. Quick, he’s in and out of his breaks well and can get down the field. Would love Manning to stay another year at Oxford. If he stays, he could get close to the top of the boards as his relationship with Manning grows.)

Sleeper:
Tyrone Calico – Middle Tennessee State
Again, not necessarily a true sleeper, but because he comes from a small programme, he may not get the cuttings of other more high profile performers.


Tight End:
1 - Doug Ziegler – Mississippi
A lot like Doug Jolley (Oakland) of BYU. A solid all rounder that makes excellent plays in the receiving game. Is Eli Manning’s favourite target especially in the red-zone.

2 – Jason Witten* – Tennessee
It’s rare to find a game breaking TE in Knoxville, but Jason Witten is that man. Outstanding against Michigan, the junior followed that up with a massive showing in the spring. At 6'5 and 265lbs, he has perfect size and could go very high if he decides to declare. He has the speed to outrun safeties and the power to take on linebackers.

3 - Donald Lee – Mississippi State
Excellent run blocker. Last year, he struggled to make a name for himself as the team limped to a 3-7 record. Getting better as a receiver, but will need to step it up a notch to reach his potential.

3 - James Hugo – Arizona
Great size. Has had some off-field problems.

4 - Trent Smith – Oklahoma
A tae-kwon-do black belt, the athletic Smith, has run a remarkable 4.51 at Oklahoma. Pass catching threat, rather than blocker – more of a disturbance blocker than anything. Undersized at around 230lbs. Will likely be H-Back type in pros.

5 - Lorenzo Diamond – Auburn
Has masses of potential but hasn’t really lived up to it. Caught only 10 balls last year, the lowest of his career. Is a decent blocker who is improving in that area, especially at the line of scrimmage. He is however, an excellent blocker, who does a great job of downfield blocking. Has had off-field problems – his wife shot him in the abdomen during his sophomore year, they say accidentally, after she dropped a handgun in the car and the gun went off. Shares the TE duties with Robert Johnson.

6 – Robert Johnson* - Auburn
Showed up big time as a freshman and although his productivity slipped somewhat in 2001, he possesses all the tools needed to be a high pick come draft day. Will likely stay for his senior year where he is likely to get more reps with the departure of Lorenzo Diamond.

Others:
Bo Scaife* - Texas
Sort of gets left out in the mix, when Chris Simms is looking at Sloan Thomas and BJ Johnson and Roy Williams. He missed most of 2000 with a knee injury, but looked back to his best, finishing with a better yards per catch average than the big name wideouts. Potentially could declare if Williams, Johnson and Simms declare.



Offensive Line:
1 - Brett Williams – Florida State
Mr Consistent. Has played at a very high level since his insertion into the line-up as a redshirt freshman. Flip flops form left tackle to right tackle and probably played more on the right side than on the left a year ago. Has great size, is nimble and excels as a pass blocker. Likely the first lineman off the board unless Kwame Harris has a monster year and declares.

2 - Kwame Harris* – Stanford
Was a back up in 2000, but really showed up big as a starter last year. An absolute natural, he has the perfect size to play the bookend LT spot at the next level. If he continues to progress, then he’s a first rounder in 2003 and a top 5 pick in 2004.

3 - Vince Manuwai – Hawaii
It will be the big islanders job to keep the mobile Timmy Chang upright this fall. Has much bigger upside than either Adrian Klemm or Kualana Noa, although teams will be cautious considering how slowly those two have taken to the NFL. He’s a pure right guard at the next level, although he has played RT. Of UH's 848 offensive snaps last season, 73% were pass plays, meaning Manuwai spent nearly three-quarters of his time retreating into a pass-blocking stance. But he has developed a jack-knife technique, in which he can fire out of pass-block. He also is quick enough to serve as the lead blocker on runs to the left side.

4 - Ben Johnson – Wisconsin
Huge left tackle who considered declaring for the 2002 draft, but will return to clear holes once more for redshirt sophomore Anthony Davis. Could turn out to be a better prospect than former first rounder Chris McIntosh.

5 – Alonzo Ephraim – Alabama
Has been the Tide’s starting center since the second game of the 200 season. Gets off the snap quickly, is an adept drive blocker, with nice hands. A team Captain, he’s mature and whilst still developing, could turn into a solid day one pick at worst.

6 – Damian Lavergne – La. Tech
Won’t get the same press as the Williams’ and the Starks’ but he’s a player in the pass happy WAC. An excellent pass blocker, he needs some technique work in the run game. Has spent most of his time at RT with the Bulldogs. At 6-6 and 341lbs, he is a finesse blocker, who struggles at times with the ‘rough em, tough em’ types. Has ‘diamond in the rough’ upside.

7 – Will Ofenheusle – Tennessee
Has played guard, and right tackle, but at 6-7, should shift to LT with the graduation of Reggie Coleman. Has had some wrist and shoulder problems. Has also had some problems of dirty play levelled at him from, amongst others Richard Seymour and Marcus Stroud, for chop blocking. Also got into a fight with Albert Haynesworth over the same sort of thing. Hugely intelligent, he is developing into a fine player.

8 – Tony Pape* – Michigan
Took over from former first rounder Jeff Backus at LT and hasn’t missed a beat. But he’ll likely be shifted to RT this year to make room for the impressive redshirt freshman Adam Stenavich. Has great potential, but will likely stay in school.

9 - Ben Claxton – Mississippi
Is one of the best centers in the country. The 5th year senior is a throwback type – tough, physical, tenacious, who never stops until the play is over. Off the snap well, has nice hands and though you’d like him to be a bit bigger, he has decent feet. Good run blocker who has suffered knee and ankle injuries in the past, which could affect his status. Following spring drills, received the J. Richard Price Courage and Compassion Award, which goes to a rising senior interior lineman who, in the opinion of his coaches, has demonstrated extraordinary courage and unusual compassion in his dedication to his team and to Ole Miss.

10 – Jeff Faine* – Notre Dame
Honourable mention All America a year ago from his swingman spot, Faine is one of the best young centers in college ball. An intense, hard worker, Faine is a tremendous run blocker, who could vault up this list if he stays for his senior year. Sustains his blocks as well as anyone in the nation.

Others:
Dante Ellington – Alabama (Hasn’t developed nearly as well as I thought when he stepped in to Chris Samuels’ shoes. He has really struggled with his weight and has spent time on the bench as well at RT. Played better at the back end of the year, but needs a strong 2002.)

Tony Pashos – Illinois (Likeable underrated RT who always graded out high whenever I saw Illinois. Todd Wade type.)

Al Johnson – Wisconsin
A film room freak, he’s not as highly rated as his cousin, but the Badgers line coaches say that he has bigger upside from the center spot than his predecessor Casey Rabach.

Milford Brown – Florida State
JUCO transfer from East Mississippi Junior College. Can play guard or center. Has outstanding potential and could jump close to the top of this list with a decent senior campaign. Only his consistency needs to improve. Praise indeed came from the editor of PrepStar who says that he has more athletic ability than Walter Jones, the former first round pick of Seattle.



Defensive End:
1 - - Darnell Dockett* – FSU
Has been a dominant force since his arrival in Tallahassee. He has spent most of his time at DT, but has the versatility to switch outside, which is likely where he’ll end up in the NFL because of his lack of ideal DT size.
Has a great burst, but is very strong at the point, maintains good leverage and has solid run stuffing ability. If he switches to DE full time for the 2002 season, you could see him vault into the top 10 if he declares.

2 - Jerome McDougal - Miami
A JUCO transfer McDougal burst onto the scene a year ago and did an excellent job off the edge. He’s smaller than you would ideally like at around 265lbs, but with William Joseph tying blockers up inside, he should see the QB plenty of times and that could elevate his stock.

3 - Cory Redding
Hugely recruited player, Redding flashes big play ability, but has that Julius Peppers…’does he give 100% all the time?’ label. Has switched back and forth from rush OLB to DE, although his future probably lies as a pass rushing RE at the next level. He has tremendous speed off the snap, can drop back into coverage when needed, but he needs to concentrate on the nuances of DE if he is to fulfil his obvious potential. Needs a big year.

4 - DeWayne White* - Louisville
White is a former prep tailback that has a 110% motor, making plays all game long. He is slightly smaller than you would like at around 6-2, but his playmaking ability could see him end up somewhere in round 1 if he chooses to declare. At times he is impossible to block and won the Conference USA defensive MVP award last fall. Is great off the snap, does a great job of dissecting the double team and getting after the passer, registering 14 sacks a year ago. Is a far more rounded prospect than Michael Josiah.

5 - Jarret Johnson - Alabama
Like Dockett, Johnson is the real deal as a LE at the next level. Can be a real hand full. Does a solid job of playing the run, but has a decent pass rushing armoury, bull rushing and speed, in his attempts to get to the passer. Has bigger upside than Kindall Morehead, despite playing DT for much of his career in Tuscaloosa.

6 – Eric Manning – Oregon State
Consistency is the key with Manning. If he can put it together week in and week out, then he is a bona fida first rounder.

7 - Kevin Williams – Oklahoma State
Williams is very quick off the mark, around the tackle and into the backfield. He’s also a hard worker, with the ability to run the passer down from behind. With a big year, he has first round type talent and at 280lbs, he’s better suited to play either end spot.

8 - Greg Gathers – Georgia Tech
Gathers is hard not to like. He’s undersized at less than 6-2, but he has a non-stop motor. He registered just half a sack less than Julius Peppers over the past two seasons. Is a strict RE, but has that knack for nailing the QB.

9 - Andrew Williams – Miami
Recruited by the Hurricanes out of high school. But his grades weren’t up to scratch so he headed off to Hinds Junior College, where he recorded 20 sacks. Back with the Canes, he played well last year without really breaking out. But with a first step like he possesses, a break out might not be far away.

10 - Terrell Suggs – Arizona State If he can just find a way to add twenty pounds without losing any speed, he'll be as good a pass rushing prospect as you can find. He might have to learn how to play as an outside linebacker.

Others:
Kenny King – Alabama – (When healthy, can be a real force, but has been slowed by the hurts.)

Kai Ellis – Washington (Rush threat off the edge. Smaller than you would like, but good first step – talented.)

Kindall Moorehead – Alabama (Moorehead has the prototypical size you'd want in an end at the next level and the versatility to play DT)



Defensive Tackle:
1 - William Joseph – Miami
Thought about coming out for the 2002 draft but decided to stay at Miami for his senior season. Joseph started slowly in 2001, but as the year went on, he began to dominate inside. Personally I’d prefer to see him weighing in around 15lbs heavier, but he has a tremendous first step, gets good pad level and can dominate the line of scrimmage. Top 5 pick at worst and could be the top overall selection.

2 - Jimmy Kennedy - Penn State
Also contemplated declaring for the 2002 draft, but chose wisely to stay. A massive force in the middle at around 340lbs, he needs to keep his weight in check. A dominant run stuffer, he also recorded 6 sacks a year ago. Consistency is all he needs, but looks a sure fire high 1st rounder.

3 – Ian Scott* - Florida
Took over from Gerard Warren at the start of the 2001 season and the Gators interior didn’t miss a beat. Is a huge run stuffer. Gets great leverage and has tremendous strength in his legs. Struggled somewhat with the more finesse style of Melvin Fowler (Cleveland) in the Orange Bowl, but showed his worth in goaline and short yardage situations, where he regularly blew the play up. Consistency and more playing time are the keys with him. Will likely stay in a good year at DT.

4 - Ty Warren – Texas A+M
Warren played nose tackle last year but missed a number of games because of separate knee injuries, but still registered 12 tackles for a loss. He has however been moved to DE, showing off outstanding quickness in open space. At 6’4 and 308lbs, he will be a DT in the pros, but of he has a successful year at end, it will elevate his stock further.

5 - Marcus Tubbs* - Texas
After the graduation of Casey Hampton and Shaun Rogers, Tubbs jumped straight into the line-up and the Longhorns never missed a beat. Is a little undersized at 286lbs, which could precipitate a shift to LE, but he is a force against the run. It will be interesting to see whether, if there becomes a mass exodus of Texas players, just who will declare.

6 - Tommy Kelly* – Mississippi State
Has great size, but is too inconsistent. But with more seasoning, the sky could be the limit for this junior to be.

7 - Demarco McNeil* - Auburn
McNeil has the ability to be a dominator inside. He makes big plays against the run and the pass. He is adept at busting through a double team and getting to the passer or tailback. He does a superb job of occupying the C and G and allowing his teammates through for the tackle. He’s a big play man with real explosion, who can collapse the pocket. Has struggled with knee problems his entire career and had surgery on his right knee earlier this year, which could affect his status. If he checks out medically, he could be a top 15 performer.

8 - Cedric Harden – Missouri
Harden is a big man who can dominate inside at times. Needs to be more consistent. At 6-3, he does a good job of getting underneath his man and attaining leverage.



Linebacker:
1 - EJ Henderson – Maryland
Many people had him rated as a top 15 pick if he declared for the 2002 draft, but he decided to return to Maryland for his senior year. A Butkus finalist, he is the leader of the Terps squad. He makes plays all over the field, can cover the back or TE and has the instincts to digest the play and make the correct decision. Shuts down run lanes superbly. Has good foot speed. I was disappointed that he let his head drop in the Orange Bowl blowout of 2002 and almost seemed to give up. Potential top 10 pick. Had back surgery to remove bone spurs this off-season, but all indications are that he’ll be fine come the start of the season. Overall he hits like a tonne of bricks and simply makes plays - 28 stops behind the line and six sacks in 2001/2 attest to that.

2 - Marrio Haggan - Mississippi State
Very impressive player who has been playing DE for State. But his best position is at LB where he is a real force. Hasn’t been the same sort of player at DE as he can be at LB and if he has to continue playing on the line, that may eventually affect his stock. Really enjoy watching him.

3 - Jonathon Vilma* - Miami
A generous rating, but in the second half of the 2001/2 season, Vilma began to develop into a premier linebacker. In 2002 he will need to step up and accept a leadership role, but alongside DJ Williams, they will form a dynamic duo. Similar to Tommy Polley in size and range, where Vilma really excels is in bringing the wood. His upside is huge.

4 - Dontarrius Thomas* - Auburn
Speedy, physical, Thomas is a playmaker in the truest sense. He stepped into the starting line-up a season ago and registered 100+ tackles. He has excellent instincts and can locate the ball carrier like a heat seeking missile. Could go high in round 1 if he has a great year and subsequently declares.

5 - Bradie James – LSU
I’ve always been far more enamoured with James than I ever was with the highly overrated Treverance Faulk. Where Faulk got the credit, you only had to look closely at the tape to see that it was James coming off the bottom of the pile with Faulk doing the mop up job.

6 - Jarrod Penright – Texas A+M
A first year starter in 2001/2, he burst onto the scene with 10.5 sacks. Tremendous upside, he just needs the reps, but the sky could be the limit for him.

7 - Clifton Smith – Syracuse
Looks at times like he’ll be a high first round middle linebacker, then he’ll completely disappear for a game – the Miami game is on example where I don’t remember his name being called once. He has great size, the ability to work nicely through trash and the quickness to get outside and track the ball carrier down. But he needs to take his game to the next level. Is not, in my opinion, at the same stage that Keith Bullock was entering his senior year.

8 - Eddie Strong – Ole Miss
Strong has overcome some injury worries, including a broken foot, which forced him to miss much of the 2000/1 season. Defensive Co-ordinator Don Lindsay moves him around the formation so that he can get the right match-ups and make plays. He has a huge frame with massive shoulders and does a good job of staying on his feet when the play comes towards him. At times he gets stacked up and tied inside, but he has decent range. Solid day one prospect who can play WLB and MLB. Ran a 4.73 in the spring.

9 - Angelo Crowell – Virginia
The brother of Germane Crowell, he’ll be entering his second year as a starter. He’s slightly smaller than ideal at just less than 6-1, but he does a nice job of filling the hole and can get after the passer. Very disciplined.


Others:
DJ Williams* - Miami (Will likely be at the top of this list for the 2004 draft, but his inexperience will keep him a Cane.)

Lance Briggs – Arizona (Hard running kid -Moved to Mike in 2000 -Fluid-reads and reacts well. Good blitzer.)

Lawrence Flugence - Texas Tech (Ferocious tackler who can play a variety of spots. He dissects plays well and can get outside and track down the ball carrier. One worry is his size and his lack of natural pass coverage skills. WLB in the NFL.)

Kevin Burnett* - Tennessee (Has made a massive leap up the boards after switching from back-up FS to LB during the 2000 season. Moved into starting line-up last year and had monster show against Notre Dame. Raw, but has that momentum changing nature to his game.)

Boss Bailey – Georgia (Has overcome some injury worries, but he reminds me of the 2002 version of Trev Faulk, carrying the over-rated tag to this point for me. Doesn’t do enough to utilise his skills. Never looks naturally comfortable.)

Gerald Hayes - Pittsburgh (Developing nicely into a fine player who gets little or no press with the Panthers. Has good range from his WLB spot and is someone who plays the special teams well.)

Tony Gilbert – Georgia (Big run stuffing linebacker, who can play inside or out. At just 6’0 he’s smaller than you would ideally like and that may affect his stock)

Kendyll Pope – FSU (Undersized, but has tremendous upside. Is unlikely to declare – will want to be in on FSU renaissance before he departs Tallahassee, although may look at how former team-mates’ draft positions have fallen after returning for senior years – Chris Hope and Bradley Jennings, for example)

Daryl Smith – Georgia Tech (Looked all world as a freshman, but was slowed with injuries through 2001/2.)

Sleeper:
Keyaron Fox – Georgia Tech
Has size and speed that you look for outside and is a natural playmaker, both in running down the ball carrier and in coverage. Will be just a junior but has upside.


Cornerback:
1 - Dennis Weathersby – Oregon State
Has outstanding size and has been ultra consistent in his time as a starter. He’s instinctive, has fluid hips and breaks very well on the ball. Tremendous wingspan for a corner enables him to bat passes away. Staying for his senior year will only help him. Top 12-15 pick at this stage.

2 - Terrence Newman – Kansas State
Track star. He is raw but has tremendous upside. Runs 4.29 forty and 10.22 in the 100m. Outstanding cover corner with ever improving skills.

3 - Andre Woolfork – Oklahoma
Made the switch from WR to an already crowded Sooner secondary. Is obviously still raw, but he has everything that you look for in a top flight cover corner, with the added bonus of reps at the receiver spot, making him exceptionally gifted in diagnosing routes and plays quicker than most experienced corners. Has potential to shoot to the top of the list, but 2002 will be key.

4 -Derrick Strait* – Oklahoma
Will partner Woolfork. Hugely talented shut down corner. Has great size and speed combo and I love the way he comes up in run support and brings the wood. Will likely stay for senior year.

5 - Sammy Davis – Texas A+M
Fundamentally sound corner with nice ball skills. Plays with as good a technique as anyone in this class. Supports the run very well.

Others:
Nathan Vasher* - Texas (Smallish framed heavyweight hitter and playmaker. Vasher's is a big play artist. Has great return skills and a knack for the big play. Had a massive spring campaign, returning the opening kick-off 100 yards for a TD and later returned a punt for a 54-yard TD. Last season, he led the Big 12 with seven interceptions in addition to making 56 tackles and averaged 15 yards per punt return.

Ricky Manning – UCLA (undersized ball hawk who you’d like to think would be more than just a nickel corner at the next level, but his lack of size – 5’8 – may be the killer where he’s concerned.)

Eugene Wilson – Illinois (Wilson's stock dropped a bit after getting torched by Josh Reed in the Sugar Bowl, but he should re-establish himself as one of the nation's top cover corners this year.)

Brandon Everage* - Oklahoma (I think he has more upside than either Woolfork or Strait. He’s raw in coverage, which will likely precipitate his return to Norman, but he is the best tackling corner in the conference. If he added 10lbs, you could be looking at a premier safety prospect.)

Christian Morton – Illinois (Former QB who’s raw, but has unlimited upside potential. Real nose for big play. Forms great combo with Eugene Wilson. Should stay for senior year)

Marcus Trufant – Washington State (Trufant missed five games with a thumb injury last year. But he looked dominant in the spring, shutting down his side of the field. His head coach Mike Price calls him the best cover corner in the Pact 10 and one of the finest in the nation.


Safety:
1 - Mike Doss – Ohio State
Almost declared for 2002 draft, but after much soul searching, decided to stay put for his senior year. Slightly smaller than you’d like at around 5-11 and 200lbs, he gives up his body from the SS spot. Monster hitter and first rounder.

2 - Ken Hamlin* - Arkansas
Hamlin I like. He’s really physical in run support and has a nose for the football. Is likely to stay at Arkansas for his senior campaign, but if he continues to progress, then there’s no knowing what he’s capable of.

3 - Julian Battle – Tennessee
Battle has awesome size. A JUCO transfer from Los Angeles Valley Community College, he was a standout performer at that level. He is a tremendous hitter from his SS spot and has proved that he can step in and be a difference maker – he recorded 19 big plays last year on the Vols defensive coaches records. If he has another solid campaign, he could hear his name called in the first round.

4 - Troy Polumalu - USC
Troy is an all out performer, who, unusually for a Pac 10 safety, plays the run really well. He needs to improve some in coverage, but he’s a playmaker in the deep patrol.


OK – there you have it – it was tough to do with juniors as well, and maybe I should have left them out, but so many declare that it would seem stupid to do it without them. Not all of you will agree with the ratings and that’s fine – there is a whole year of football to be played before the draft and names will come and names will go – but it gives you a précis of some of the names to keep an eye on. I couldn’t fit everyone in, so apologies to fans of Jared Lorenzen or Cory Paus or BJ Askew or Kerry Carter or Ronald Bellamy or Ray Thomas or Chuck Klabo or Langston Moore or Antwaan Peek or Thomas Wright.
 

phinsphan4ever

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Boomer............

Originally posted by Boomer
Here's a draft board to keep you ticking over, with position by position ratings.

Names willl change, some will disappear, others will rise from no-where, but it gives you an idea of who's who when it comes to Miami's turn next April and gives you same players to look out for in the upcoming college season....

2003 Draft
My Ratings Board
1 – Byron Leftwich – QB – Marshall
2 – William Joseph – DT – Miami
3 – Roy Williams* – WR – Texas
4 – Eli Manning* – Ole Miss
5 – EJ Henderson – Maryland
6 – Rex Grossman* – Florida
7 – Brett Williams – FSU
8 – Charles Rogers* – Michigan State
9 – Dennis Weathersby – Oregon State
10 – Santonio Beard* – Alabama
11 – Kelley Washington* – Tennessee
12 – Jimmy Kennedy – Penn State
13 – Kwame Harris*– Stanford
14 – DeWayne White* - Louisville
15 – Mike Doss – Ohio State
16 – Terrence Newman – Kansas State
17 – Earnest Graham – Florida
18 – Darius Watts* – Marshall
19 – Bernard Berrian – Fresno State
20 – Dave Ragone – Lousiville
21 – Vince Manuwai – Hawaii
22 – Mario Haggan – Mississippi State
23 – Andre Woolfork – Oklahoma
24 – Lee Suggs – Virginia Tech
25 – Chris Simms - Texas



Quarterback:
1 - Byron Leftwich – Marshall
In my opinion, Leftwich is the number one pick as we stand at this point. He oozes franchise QB material – he’s a big, strong-armed leader, who throws a great deep ball, has excellent touch, is mobile and can read defenses very well. Does a fine job of recognition at the line of scrimmage and is a real general. Needs to watch his weight a little and also he has a tendency to choke down on some passes, but it’s all correctable. The level of competition is one question mark, but you can only beat what you are put up against. Much more upside than Chad Pennington.

2 - Rex Grossman* - Florida
Very likely that he’ll declare, unless he wins the Heisman and then wants to try and win it a second time. Should have won it in 2001. He almost declared this year. A pure pocket passer, he has a really nice arm, which has gotten stronger over time. Has nice touch. Under the Spurrier regime, he played a lot out of the shotgun, so it will be interesting to see if Ron Zook does the same or whether he lines up more under center? Another interesting twist is that his offensive co-ordinator was Byron Leftwich’s co-ordinator at Marshall till Zook took over.

3 - Eli Manning* – Ole Miss
Knowing the Manning tradition, it’s unlikely that he declares. Has franchise marked all over him. Is apparently as studious as Peyton. Has a nice arm – certainly in the short range area - is a leader, has a good feel in the pocket, nice feet and delivery, is mobile and throws well on the run. My only knock on him is that he really flutters his deeper passes, something he needs to work on. Love the way he ingests what he sees and reacts. Would be higher, but it’s just so unlikely he’ll come out. Ran a 4.73 in the spring.

4 - Dave Ragone – Louisville
Ragone is a big, strong southpaw. He has a great arm, and is very mobile for such a big man. He’s accurate, leads his receivers well and is rated higher at this stage than Chris Redman was. Has high first round potential.

5 - Chris Simms – Texas
Has failed to live up to the hype that surrounded his decision to join Tennessee and then dump Rocky Top for hookin’ horns. He is a very talented lefty with a great arm, but his inability to do smart things at critical times and to lead his team to victory in the big games leaves big question marks over his head at this stage. He fails to look the safeties off at times, throws into coverage and doesn’t step up into the leadership role, like a Major Applewhite has done for Mack Brown’s squad. Has to prove he’s more than just Phil Simm’s kid and beat Oklahoma in 2002 and get the Longhorns into and then win, a major BCS Bowl.

6 - Kliff Kingsbury – Texas Tech
Plays in a pass first offense, so like Andre Ware or David Klingler, his numbers are somewhat inflated. Has good size and a decent arm. He's does nothing spectacular yet, but he could still be filling out in some areas.

7 – Carson Palmer – USC
Has always been on the periphery but has never taken that expected step up to greatness that was once envisaged. He’s a classic pocket passer – big, big arm, leader. Has struggled with inconsistency and injuries. Has 1st round potential if he has big senior year.

8 - Jason Thomas – UNLV
Outstanding sophomore year – terrible junior year. Has a monster arm and great mobility but needs to improve touch and accuracy for the next level if he is to be high draft choice. Almost seems to have lost a year due to poor 2001.

Others:
Casey Clausen* - Tennessee (Unlikely to declare – needs more time to develop, but looks to have solid future.)

Ken Dorsey – Miami (Should win Heisman, but marginal pro prospect – intelligent leader, but not strong enough)

Philip Rivers* - NC State (Have always liked him, but needs work – ugly delivery…big time arm. Another who is unlikely to declare.)

Chris Lewis – Stanford (Stepping into Randy Fasani’s (Carolina) shoes. Showed up well when Fasani got hurt. Good size. Mature winner who can win big games – Oregon and UCLA in ’01. Solid pocket passer)

Kyle Boller – California (Has huge potential but you wonder if he will ever reach it. Massive arm. Seems as though new coach Jeff Tedford could get the most out of this enigma if Boller’s spring performance is anything to go by.)

Seneca Wallace – Iowa State (Was outstanding in 2002 Spring Game. Undersized, but has Antwaan Randle El type skills, but much bigger arm. JUCO star at Sacramento City. Originally signed at Oregon St.)

Curt Anes - Grand Valley State (Leader of the Lakers offense. Decent size, good arm and holds Div II record with 221.6-passer efficiency rating set in ’01. Great mobility. Could be mid round gem. Will be important to see how he holds up in All Star games.)

Ryan Schneider - Central Florida (Accurate passer, forming great duo with Doug Gabriel. Plays in pro-style offense – has good arm and good pocket presence)


Tailback:
1 - Santonio Beard* – Alabama
In what looks like a down year for running backs, an underclassman like Beard could see the obvious gap in the field and jump ship. Has great size, gets moving quickly, downhill runner with solid moves. Gets into secondary well. Underused in Bama attack. Has been highly impressive on each occasion that I have seen him.

2 - Earnest Graham – Florida
Certainly struggled early on with the Gators, getting used to the system, but had somewhat of a coming out party in 2000 Bowl game against Hurricanes. Since then has improved and uses low centre of gravity to gain yards downfield.

3 - Lee Suggs – Virginia Tech
Would likely top this board, but questions about the health of his knee remain. Tore his ACL against Connecticut in the season opener a year ago and that will be a red flag for teams come draft time. Likely he won’t get back to form till 2003/4, which could be too late for being a high draft pick. Will have to see what September brings. May not be best back on Tech team – Kevin Jones looks awfully good. He was however almost at 100 percent in early December. If he’s healthy he has game breaking ability.

4 - LaBrandon Toefield - LSU
Big, hard to tackle runner, who never seems to break big yardage, but always keeps pile moving. Has injury bug which he’ll need to get over. He sets up his blocks well and runs with excellent second effort. He does need to work on his pass protection skills. I personally much prefer Domanick Davis.

5 - Musa Smith* – Georgia
Burst onto scene as a true freshman, but has struggled with injury that has set him back. Had knee injury in 1st campaign, broke his foot in spring drills in 2001, then missed most of the back half of the year with a hip flexor and a groin injury. 2002 is to be his year after the graduation of Jasper Sanks and Verron Haynes. But there are serious question marks as to whether he can stay healthy for the entire year. Even his head coach Mark Richt doubts he can last the year. But if he can stay on the field, then the upside potential is massive.

6 - Onterrio Smith* – Oregon
Signed by Tennessee, but was kicked off the team for testing positive for marijuana. Has great mix of elusiveness and the ability to punish defenders up the gut. A Super-Prep All American (6,123 yards at HS level). Has overcome to some off-field problems, has a good work ethic and can become a game breaker for the Ducks in need of a leader after the departure of Joey Harrington (Detroit). Will assume full time starting role after Maurice Morris’ (Seattle) graduation. Wouldn’t surprise me to see him declare if he has decent 2002.

7 - Cedric Cobbs* – Arkansas
Looked like a legend in the making at times as a freshman, before hurting his shoulder. Since then he has struggled to regain that form, battling injury, a logjam at TB and more importantly, serious off-field problems which will put up red flags with the NFL. Has massive potential, but you wonder whether he will ever reach that potential and whether he will be mature enough to take the next step. Has all the tools - benches 360 pounds and squats 835; has been timed at 4.35 and 4.26 in the forty, which is remarkable considering his size. Can run tough up the middle and gets his shoulders squared and down the field. Boom or bust type.

8 - Dontae Walker – Mississippi State
Was a high school legend at Clinton High School in Mississippi, but has struggled somewhat to make a name for himself. He’s had to share time with the now departed Dicenzo Miller, so he’ll have no excuses in 2002 if he wants to elevate himself up the draft board.

9 - Clarence Farmer* – Arizona
Farmer is frighteningly fast for a back of his size. He has the ability to take it the distance or grind it out between the tackles. A two-sport athlete – Farmer will have to weigh up whether his future will be in football or baseball. He also carries some off-field baggage; he is well known as a trash talker, which has annoyed many opposing players and coaches. In fact he was taken out of a game against UNLV for getting in the Rebels players faces so much that the refs went to Coach Mackovic and told him to take Farmer out. Maturity question marks should keep him in college.

10 - Domanick Davis – LSU
Every time I see this kid play, he does something special – whether it’s returning a kick, catching the ball or running with it. He’s small and shifty, rather than speedy, but he is a good creator, slides well to avoid tacklers and makes yardage. Has been troubled with injury problems, which he will need to overcome, but always shows up in big games – no more so than against Tennessee in the SEC Championship game.

11 - Dwone Hicks – Middle Tennessee State
Small schooler who averaged an impressive 6 yards a pop at the small school level in 2001/2. A big powerful runner, he was the Sun Belt Conference’s Offensive MVP a year ago. Again, will need to show up at the All Star games.

12 - Dahrran Diedrick – Nebraska
Some people have him rated as the highest senior tailback going into the year, but that’s a fallacy. He’s an average I-Back runner, who possesses decent size, but has average speed and is a real ‘system runner’ Will be given every chance to carry the load with the graduation of Eric Crouch (St Louis).

13 - Mewelde Moore – Tulane
He piles up a tom of yardage but there are questions over whether he has the size to be an every-down runner at the next level. A little like Northwestern’s Damian Anderson, he benefits from a spread offense. Possesses breakaway speed, and pass catching ability, but needs to prove that he’s more than just a 3rd down back at the next level.

Wild Card:
Derek Watson – Ex South Carolina
Has flashed first round ability, but has tremendous off the field baggage which finally led to him being kicked off the Game****s squad. Questions remain over whether he will enter the Supplemental Draft, or stay in state at Div II School, where he will no doubt run up huge numbers. The Senior Bowl and the Combine will determine his future.

Others:
Chris Brown – Colorado (Combined with Marcus Houston to run for 262 yards in Buffs Spring Game. Showed up big time in the run-in last year. He’s a power runner, who has a real knack for the end zone.)

Bobby Purify – Colorado (The Buffs have a great stable of backs, with Purify as the elusive cutback runner, to Brown’s power and Houston’s all round style.)

Marcus Houston* - Colorado (Highly unlikely that he’ll declare – a student athlete in the truest sense of the word and someone who has yet, because of injury, to live up to the monster hype surrounding his graduation to the college ranks.)

Julius Jones - Notre Dame (Has really disappeared from the national spotlight. He has all the tools, although at 5-9, he’s likely too small to be a feature back in the NFL. He needs a big year to elevate himself)

Willis McGahee* - Miami (You get the feeling that one of the Miami backs may well declare because of the logjam at the position, despite the departures of Clinton Portis (Denver) and Najeh Davenport (Green Bay). Apart from McGahee and Payton, you are also looking at super soph Frank Gore. He has the right size, speed combo for the pros, but has minimal experience)

Jarrett Payton* - Miami (Same applies for Sweetness’ son – he has somewhat been lost, but will get a chance to shine in 2002)

Marcus Merriweather – Ball State (Could be a last riser – good size and speed combo. Is best back in the MAC. Had 1,244 yards rushing in 2001.)

Andrew Pinnock – South Carolina (Big back. Could be a fullback at the next level. Many people say that he has bigger upside than Derek Watson, whom he will take over from in 2002. Has a chance to shine this fall.)

Sleeper:
Greg Jones – Florida State
Hardly a sleeper in the true sense of the word but has outstanding size, speed and power. A real great North-South runner, he doesn’t get many carries, but always looks great when he handles the pig. Has to overcome injury niggles.


Wide Receiver:
1 - Roy Williams* - Texas
Mr Everything. An absolute physical freak, he could be one of the great NFL receivers with a little dedication. At times, he looks awesome, but he has a tendency to drift in and out of games at times and you wonder whether he’s taking too much notice of his cuttings than he is of his playbook. Can be extra special, but needs to work at it. Has all the tools. Likely to declare as he loses Chris Simms. Probable top 5 potential.

2 - Charles Rogers* - Michigan State
Outstanding, mature, big play receiver who can school corners. Makes the acrobatic reception, can out-jump defenders and get deep downfield and make the grab. Still raw, but upside is tremendous. Shows up for the big occasion. Elite top 10 prospect at worst, if he comes out. Has added 10lbs in off-season without losing the 4.3 speed.

3 - Kelley Washington* - Tennessee
Almost declared for 2002 draft. Has huge ego that he won’t be able to keep out of the pros for much longer. Has phenomenal tools – 6-4, 225 and ran a 4.3 forty at the Vols Pro Day. Needs to do a better job of route running, but should have a tremendous season as Tennessee break in a new running back and with the departure of Donte Stallworth. Almost certain to declare – will be top 15 selection.

4 - Darius Watts* - Marshall
Part of a dangerous triumvirate for the Herd. Is Byron Leftwich’s main target and that will help his stock no-end. Tall, speedy, comes in and out of his routes very well and has the ability to work the sidelines or get across the middle. With Leftwich under center his talents will be firmly in the spotlight.

5 - Andre Johnson* - Miami
Slow developer who really sprung into national reckoning in 2001/2 with a number of massive performances, including against Syracuse in the 55-0 rout and in the Rose Bowl, where he schooled Keyou Craver. Has ‘stop on a dime’ skills, can make the tough catch and can stretch the field. Needs to improve his consistency and keep ahead of Kevin Beard and Ethnic Sands and Jason Geathers. Johnson is the Big East 60 metres champion and has been timed in under 4.3.

6 - Talman Gardner – FSU
Stop-start career till 2001 where he began to develop into a fine receiver. Has to overcome the injury bug and some problems with inconsistency, but has great size and can make things happen after the catch. Great nose for the end zone.

7 - Bernard Berrian – Fresno State
How will he cope without David Carr (Houston)? Outstanding receiver with premier return skills. Berrian is really, really fast but will need to show up big time as a leader in a developing offense. Could rise to the very top with a big year.

8 - Brandon Lloyd – Illinois
Like Berrian, the question remains as to whether he will manage at the same level without Kurt Kittner? (Atlanta) Suffered a broken leg in 2000, but has bounced back and showed no ill effects. Lloyd can flat out fly and will make plays in traffic. But some teams might be turned off by his arrogance and attitude – is renowned as a major league trash talker.

9 - BJ Johnson* - Texas
The ‘other’ big time receiver for Mack Brown. Hasn’t had quite the same impact as Roy Williams. Consistency has been a bigger issue with Johnson. Smooth and fluid in and out of his breaks, he’s a real deep shoe’s, running in the 4.3 range compared to Williams’ 4.4. If Williams declares, he may seize his chance to become the Horns top wide out and stay.

10 - Doug Gabriel – Central Florida
Small schooler, who could be set for major rise up the boards. A JUCO transfer, he was outstanding at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and then tore up UCF record books averaging a mammoth 28.7 yards per catch last year. He and Ryan Schneider could be the hottest combo in college ball in 2002.

11 - Taylor Jacobs – Florida
Strongly considered declaring after a superb game in the Orange Bowl. But stayed to become Rex Grossman’s main target. Should see plenty of the pig with the departure of Jabar Gaffney (Houston) and Reche Caldwell (San Diego). Is still raw and needs some refinement of his routes.

12 - Billy McMullen – Virginia
Led the Cavaliers 3 straight years in receiving. Possesses great size and vertical ability to out-jump defenders and make the catch. Unlike some of his contemporaries, he shows up big in the big games.


Wildcards:
Lee Evans – Wisconsin – ACL in 2002 Spring Practice. High first rounder if healthy.

Anquin Boldin – Recovery from 2001 ACL. Was looking like solid 1st rounder before injury. 2002 will be interesting year to gauge his recovery.

Sleeper:
Anton Paige – Texas Tech
Paige was a JUCO All-American, who can dominate at this level. Has all the physical tools you look for. But he is raw, as evidenced by his paltry 23 receptions a year ago. But he’s had a great spring, working the sidelines and the middle impressively, making yards after the catch. In the spring game, he had seven grabs for 106 yards.

Others:
Michael Hayes – Southern – (Small schooler who could have same rise up boards as Sylvester Morris)

Justin Gage – Missouri (Excellent possession receiver. Two-sport star, playing basketball for Mizzou)

Teyo Johnson* - Stanford (Former basketball star who needs to be more consistent, but who is tremendous red zone target. Raw)

Rashaun Woods* – Oklahoma State (Cowboys star, he regularly gets double coverage, but still leads the team in receptions. Was outstanding against Oklahoma a year ago, against three potential first round corners in Derrick Strait, Andre Woolfork and Brandon Everage.)

Walter Young – Illinois (We might have him way too low as the former quarterback could be a better prospect than the more highly publicized Brandon Lloyd.)

Terrence Edwards – Georgia (Never really put it all together. Needs a big year)

Mike Bush – Washington State (Great size, in the 6-6 range. Two-sport star, turning out for the Cougars basketball squad. )

Kareem Kelly – USC (Supremely fast but has yet to hang it all together. He’s still raw but has massive upside potential if he ever gets to grips with the nuances of the game.)

Keenan Howry – Oregon (Undersized – must deal with loss of Joey Harrington.)

Bryant Johnson – Penn State – (Big, fast athletic, drops too many at this time.)

Michael Jenkins* – Ohio State (Raw but intriguing deep threat with great size. Will be worried by OSU’s QB situation. If that continues through the season, he may consider declaring.)

Bobby Wade – Arizona (Been a big fan since his first game as a freshman, but hasn’t really developed quite the way I envisaged. Can be a return man.)

Chris Collins* – Mississippi (Great looking target of Eli Manning. Quick, he’s in and out of his breaks well and can get down the field. Would love Manning to stay another year at Oxford. If he stays, he could get close to the top of the boards as his relationship with Manning grows.)

Sleeper:
Tyrone Calico – Middle Tennessee State
Again, not necessarily a true sleeper, but because he comes from a small programme, he may not get the cuttings of other more high profile performers.


Tight End:
1 - Doug Ziegler – Mississippi
A lot like Doug Jolley (Oakland) of BYU. A solid all rounder that makes excellent plays in the receiving game. Is Eli Manning’s favourite target especially in the red-zone.

2 – Jason Witten* – Tennessee
It’s rare to find a game breaking TE in Knoxville, but Jason Witten is that man. Outstanding against Michigan, the junior followed that up with a massive showing in the spring. At 6'5 and 265lbs, he has perfect size and could go very high if he decides to declare. He has the speed to outrun safeties and the power to take on linebackers.

3 - Donald Lee – Mississippi State
Excellent run blocker. Last year, he struggled to make a name for himself as the team limped to a 3-7 record. Getting better as a receiver, but will need to step it up a notch to reach his potential.

3 - James Hugo – Arizona
Great size. Has had some off-field problems.

4 - Trent Smith – Oklahoma
A tae-kwon-do black belt, the athletic Smith, has run a remarkable 4.51 at Oklahoma. Pass catching threat, rather than blocker – more of a disturbance blocker than anything. Undersized at around 230lbs. Will likely be H-Back type in pros.

5 - Lorenzo Diamond – Auburn
Has masses of potential but hasn’t really lived up to it. Caught only 10 balls last year, the lowest of his career. Is a decent blocker who is improving in that area, especially at the line of scrimmage. He is however, an excellent blocker, who does a great job of downfield blocking. Has had off-field problems – his wife shot him in the abdomen during his sophomore year, they say accidentally, after she dropped a handgun in the car and the gun went off. Shares the TE duties with Robert Johnson.

6 – Robert Johnson* - Auburn
Showed up big time as a freshman and although his productivity slipped somewhat in 2001, he possesses all the tools needed to be a high pick come draft day. Will likely stay for his senior year where he is likely to get more reps with the departure of Lorenzo Diamond.

Others:
Bo Scaife* - Texas
Sort of gets left out in the mix, when Chris Simms is looking at Sloan Thomas and BJ Johnson and Roy Williams. He missed most of 2000 with a knee injury, but looked back to his best, finishing with a better yards per catch average than the big name wideouts. Potentially could declare if Williams, Johnson and Simms declare.



Offensive Line:
1 - Brett Williams – Florida State
Mr Consistent. Has played at a very high level since his insertion into the line-up as a redshirt freshman. Flip flops form left tackle to right tackle and probably played more on the right side than on the left a year ago. Has great size, is nimble and excels as a pass blocker. Likely the first lineman off the board unless Kwame Harris has a monster year and declares.

2 - Kwame Harris* – Stanford
Was a back up in 2000, but really showed up big as a starter last year. An absolute natural, he has the perfect size to play the bookend LT spot at the next level. If he continues to progress, then he’s a first rounder in 2003 and a top 5 pick in 2004.

3 - Vince Manuwai – Hawaii
It will be the big islanders job to keep the mobile Timmy Chang upright this fall. Has much bigger upside than either Adrian Klemm or Kualana Noa, although teams will be cautious considering how slowly those two have taken to the NFL. He’s a pure right guard at the next level, although he has played RT. Of UH's 848 offensive snaps last season, 73% were pass plays, meaning Manuwai spent nearly three-quarters of his time retreating into a pass-blocking stance. But he has developed a jack-knife technique, in which he can fire out of pass-block. He also is quick enough to serve as the lead blocker on runs to the left side.

4 - Ben Johnson – Wisconsin
Huge left tackle who considered declaring for the 2002 draft, but will return to clear holes once more for redshirt sophomore Anthony Davis. Could turn out to be a better prospect than former first rounder Chris McIntosh.

5 – Alonzo Ephraim – Alabama
Has been the Tide’s starting center since the second game of the 200 season. Gets off the snap quickly, is an adept drive blocker, with nice hands. A team Captain, he’s mature and whilst still developing, could turn into a solid day one pick at worst.

6 – Damian Lavergne – La. Tech
Won’t get the same press as the Williams’ and the Starks’ but he’s a player in the pass happy WAC. An excellent pass blocker, he needs some technique work in the run game. Has spent most of his time at RT with the Bulldogs. At 6-6 and 341lbs, he is a finesse blocker, who struggles at times with the ‘rough em, tough em’ types. Has ‘diamond in the rough’ upside.

7 – Will Ofenheusle – Tennessee
Has played guard, and right tackle, but at 6-7, should shift to LT with the graduation of Reggie Coleman. Has had some wrist and shoulder problems. Has also had some problems of dirty play levelled at him from, amongst others Richard Seymour and Marcus Stroud, for chop blocking. Also got into a fight with Albert Haynesworth over the same sort of thing. Hugely intelligent, he is developing into a fine player.

8 – Tony Pape* – Michigan
Took over from former first rounder Jeff Backus at LT and hasn’t missed a beat. But he’ll likely be shifted to RT this year to make room for the impressive redshirt freshman Adam Stenavich. Has great potential, but will likely stay in school.

9 - Ben Claxton – Mississippi
Is one of the best centers in the country. The 5th year senior is a throwback type – tough, physical, tenacious, who never stops until the play is over. Off the snap well, has nice hands and though you’d like him to be a bit bigger, he has decent feet. Good run blocker who has suffered knee and ankle injuries in the past, which could affect his status. Following spring drills, received the J. Richard Price Courage and Compassion Award, which goes to a rising senior interior lineman who, in the opinion of his coaches, has demonstrated extraordinary courage and unusual compassion in his dedication to his team and to Ole Miss.

10 – Jeff Faine* – Notre Dame
Honourable mention All America a year ago from his swingman spot, Faine is one of the best young centers in college ball. An intense, hard worker, Faine is a tremendous run blocker, who could vault up this list if he stays for his senior year. Sustains his blocks as well as anyone in the nation.

Others:
Dante Ellington – Alabama (Hasn’t developed nearly as well as I thought when he stepped in to Chris Samuels’ shoes. He has really struggled with his weight and has spent time on the bench as well at RT. Played better at the back end of the year, but needs a strong 2002.)

Tony Pashos – Illinois (Likeable underrated RT who always graded out high whenever I saw Illinois. Todd Wade type.)

Al Johnson – Wisconsin
A film room freak, he’s not as highly rated as his cousin, but the Badgers line coaches say that he has bigger upside from the center spot than his predecessor Casey Rabach.

Milford Brown – Florida State
JUCO transfer from East Mississippi Junior College. Can play guard or center. Has outstanding potential and could jump close to the top of this list with a decent senior campaign. Only his consistency needs to improve. Praise indeed came from the editor of PrepStar who says that he has more athletic ability than Walter Jones, the former first round pick of Seattle.



Defensive End:
1 - - Darnell Dockett* – FSU
Has been a dominant force since his arrival in Tallahassee. He has spent most of his time at DT, but has the versatility to switch outside, which is likely where he’ll end up in the NFL because of his lack of ideal DT size.
Has a great burst, but is very strong at the point, maintains good leverage and has solid run stuffing ability. If he switches to DE full time for the 2002 season, you could see him vault into the top 10 if he declares.

2 - Jerome McDougal - Miami
A JUCO transfer McDougal burst onto the scene a year ago and did an excellent job off the edge. He’s smaller than you would ideally like at around 265lbs, but with William Joseph tying blockers up inside, he should see the QB plenty of times and that could elevate his stock.

3 - Cory Redding
Hugely recruited player, Redding flashes big play ability, but has that Julius Peppers…’does he give 100% all the time?’ label. Has switched back and forth from rush OLB to DE, although his future probably lies as a pass rushing RE at the next level. He has tremendous speed off the snap, can drop back into coverage when needed, but he needs to concentrate on the nuances of DE if he is to fulfil his obvious potential. Needs a big year.

4 - DeWayne White* - Louisville
White is a former prep tailback that has a 110% motor, making plays all game long. He is slightly smaller than you would like at around 6-2, but his playmaking ability could see him end up somewhere in round 1 if he chooses to declare. At times he is impossible to block and won the Conference USA defensive MVP award last fall. Is great off the snap, does a great job of dissecting the double team and getting after the passer, registering 14 sacks a year ago. Is a far more rounded prospect than Michael Josiah.

5 - Jarret Johnson - Alabama
Like Dockett, Johnson is the real deal as a LE at the next level. Can be a real hand full. Does a solid job of playing the run, but has a decent pass rushing armoury, bull rushing and speed, in his attempts to get to the passer. Has bigger upside than Kindall Morehead, despite playing DT for much of his career in Tuscaloosa.

6 – Eric Manning – Oregon State
Consistency is the key with Manning. If he can put it together week in and week out, then he is a bona fida first rounder.

7 - Kevin Williams – Oklahoma State
Williams is very quick off the mark, around the tackle and into the backfield. He’s also a hard worker, with the ability to run the passer down from behind. With a big year, he has first round type talent and at 280lbs, he’s better suited to play either end spot.

8 - Greg Gathers – Georgia Tech
Gathers is hard not to like. He’s undersized at less than 6-2, but he has a non-stop motor. He registered just half a sack less than Julius Peppers over the past two seasons. Is a strict RE, but has that knack for nailing the QB.

9 - Andrew Williams – Miami
Recruited by the Hurricanes out of high school. But his grades weren’t up to scratch so he headed off to Hinds Junior College, where he recorded 20 sacks. Back with the Canes, he played well last year without really breaking out. But with a first step like he possesses, a break out might not be far away.

10 - Terrell Suggs – Arizona State If he can just find a way to add twenty pounds without losing any speed, he'll be as good a pass rushing prospect as you can find. He might have to learn how to play as an outside linebacker.

Others:
Kenny King – Alabama – (When healthy, can be a real force, but has been slowed by the hurts.)

Kai Ellis – Washington (Rush threat off the edge. Smaller than you would like, but good first step – talented.)

Kindall Moorehead – Alabama (Moorehead has the prototypical size you'd want in an end at the next level and the versatility to play DT)



Defensive Tackle:
1 - William Joseph – Miami
Thought about coming out for the 2002 draft but decided to stay at Miami for his senior season. Joseph started slowly in 2001, but as the year went on, he began to dominate inside. Personally I’d prefer to see him weighing in around 15lbs heavier, but he has a tremendous first step, gets good pad level and can dominate the line of scrimmage. Top 5 pick at worst and could be the top overall selection.

2 - Jimmy Kennedy - Penn State
Also contemplated declaring for the 2002 draft, but chose wisely to stay. A massive force in the middle at around 340lbs, he needs to keep his weight in check. A dominant run stuffer, he also recorded 6 sacks a year ago. Consistency is all he needs, but looks a sure fire high 1st rounder.

3 – Ian Scott* - Florida
Took over from Gerard Warren at the start of the 2001 season and the Gators interior didn’t miss a beat. Is a huge run stuffer. Gets great leverage and has tremendous strength in his legs. Struggled somewhat with the more finesse style of Melvin Fowler (Cleveland) in the Orange Bowl, but showed his worth in goaline and short yardage situations, where he regularly blew the play up. Consistency and more playing time are the keys with him. Will likely stay in a good year at DT.

4 - Ty Warren – Texas A+M
Warren played nose tackle last year but missed a number of games because of separate knee injuries, but still registered 12 tackles for a loss. He has however been moved to DE, showing off outstanding quickness in open space. At 6’4 and 308lbs, he will be a DT in the pros, but of he has a successful year at end, it will elevate his stock further.

5 - Marcus Tubbs* - Texas
After the graduation of Casey Hampton and Shaun Rogers, Tubbs jumped straight into the line-up and the Longhorns never missed a beat. Is a little undersized at 286lbs, which could precipitate a shift to LE, but he is a force against the run. It will be interesting to see whether, if there becomes a mass exodus of Texas players, just who will declare.

6 - Tommy Kelly* – Mississippi State
Has great size, but is too inconsistent. But with more seasoning, the sky could be the limit for this junior to be.

7 - Demarco McNeil* - Auburn
McNeil has the ability to be a dominator inside. He makes big plays against the run and the pass. He is adept at busting through a double team and getting to the passer or tailback. He does a superb job of occupying the C and G and allowing his teammates through for the tackle. He’s a big play man with real explosion, who can collapse the pocket. Has struggled with knee problems his entire career and had surgery on his right knee earlier this year, which could affect his status. If he checks out medically, he could be a top 15 performer.

8 - Cedric Harden – Missouri
Harden is a big man who can dominate inside at times. Needs to be more consistent. At 6-3, he does a good job of getting underneath his man and attaining leverage.



Linebacker:
1 - EJ Henderson – Maryland
Many people had him rated as a top 15 pick if he declared for the 2002 draft, but he decided to return to Maryland for his senior year. A Butkus finalist, he is the leader of the Terps squad. He makes plays all over the field, can cover the back or TE and has the instincts to digest the play and make the correct decision. Shuts down run lanes superbly. Has good foot speed. I was disappointed that he let his head drop in the Orange Bowl blowout of 2002 and almost seemed to give up. Potential top 10 pick. Had back surgery to remove bone spurs this off-season, but all indications are that he’ll be fine come the start of the season. Overall he hits like a tonne of bricks and simply makes plays - 28 stops behind the line and six sacks in 2001/2 attest to that.

2 - Marrio Haggan - Mississippi State
Very impressive player who has been playing DE for State. But his best position is at LB where he is a real force. Hasn’t been the same sort of player at DE as he can be at LB and if he has to continue playing on the line, that may eventually affect his stock. Really enjoy watching him.

3 - Jonathon Vilma* - Miami
A generous rating, but in the second half of the 2001/2 season, Vilma began to develop into a premier linebacker. In 2002 he will need to step up and accept a leadership role, but alongside DJ Williams, they will form a dynamic duo. Similar to Tommy Polley in size and range, where Vilma really excels is in bringing the wood. His upside is huge.

4 - Dontarrius Thomas* - Auburn
Speedy, physical, Thomas is a playmaker in the truest sense. He stepped into the starting line-up a season ago and registered 100+ tackles. He has excellent instincts and can locate the ball carrier like a heat seeking missile. Could go high in round 1 if he has a great year and subsequently declares.

5 - Bradie James – LSU
I’ve always been far more enamoured with James than I ever was with the highly overrated Treverance Faulk. Where Faulk got the credit, you only had to look closely at the tape to see that it was James coming off the bottom of the pile with Faulk doing the mop up job.

6 - Jarrod Penright – Texas A+M
A first year starter in 2001/2, he burst onto the scene with 10.5 sacks. Tremendous upside, he just needs the reps, but the sky could be the limit for him.

7 - Clifton Smith – Syracuse
Looks at times like he’ll be a high first round middle linebacker, then he’ll completely disappear for a game – the Miami game is on example where I don’t remember his name being called once. He has great size, the ability to work nicely through trash and the quickness to get outside and track the ball carrier down. But he needs to take his game to the next level. Is not, in my opinion, at the same stage that Keith Bullock was entering his senior year.

8 - Eddie Strong – Ole Miss
Strong has overcome some injury worries, including a broken foot, which forced him to miss much of the 2000/1 season. Defensive Co-ordinator Don Lindsay moves him around the formation so that he can get the right match-ups and make plays. He has a huge frame with massive shoulders and does a good job of staying on his feet when the play comes towards him. At times he gets stacked up and tied inside, but he has decent range. Solid day one prospect who can play WLB and MLB. Ran a 4.73 in the spring.

9 - Angelo Crowell – Virginia
The brother of Germane Crowell, he’ll be entering his second year as a starter. He’s slightly smaller than ideal at just less than 6-1, but he does a nice job of filling the hole and can get after the passer. Very disciplined.


Others:
DJ Williams* - Miami (Will likely be at the top of this list for the 2004 draft, but his inexperience will keep him a Cane.)

Lance Briggs – Arizona (Hard running kid -Moved to Mike in 2000 -Fluid-reads and reacts well. Good blitzer.)

Lawrence Flugence - Texas Tech (Ferocious tackler who can play a variety of spots. He dissects plays well and can get outside and track down the ball carrier. One worry is his size and his lack of natural pass coverage skills. WLB in the NFL.)

Kevin Burnett* - Tennessee (Has made a massive leap up the boards after switching from back-up FS to LB during the 2000 season. Moved into starting line-up last year and had monster show against Notre Dame. Raw, but has that momentum changing nature to his game.)

Boss Bailey – Georgia (Has overcome some injury worries, but he reminds me of the 2002 version of Trev Faulk, carrying the over-rated tag to this point for me. Doesn’t do enough to utilise his skills. Never looks naturally comfortable.)

Gerald Hayes - Pittsburgh (Developing nicely into a fine player who gets little or no press with the Panthers. Has good range from his WLB spot and is someone who plays the special teams well.)

Tony Gilbert – Georgia (Big run stuffing linebacker, who can play inside or out. At just 6’0 he’s smaller than you would ideally like and that may affect his stock)

Kendyll Pope – FSU (Undersized, but has tremendous upside. Is unlikely to declare – will want to be in on FSU renaissance before he departs Tallahassee, although may look at how former team-mates’ draft positions have fallen after returning for senior years – Chris Hope and Bradley Jennings, for example)

Daryl Smith – Georgia Tech (Looked all world as a freshman, but was slowed with injuries through 2001/2.)

Sleeper:
Keyaron Fox – Georgia Tech
Has size and speed that you look for outside and is a natural playmaker, both in running down the ball carrier and in coverage. Will be just a junior but has upside.


Cornerback:
1 - Dennis Weathersby – Oregon State
Has outstanding size and has been ultra consistent in his time as a starter. He’s instinctive, has fluid hips and breaks very well on the ball. Tremendous wingspan for a corner enables him to bat passes away. Staying for his senior year will only help him. Top 12-15 pick at this stage.

2 - Terrence Newman – Kansas State
Track star. He is raw but has tremendous upside. Runs 4.29 forty and 10.22 in the 100m. Outstanding cover corner with ever improving skills.

3 - Andre Woolfork – Oklahoma
Made the switch from WR to an already crowded Sooner secondary. Is obviously still raw, but he has everything that you look for in a top flight cover corner, with the added bonus of reps at the receiver spot, making him exceptionally gifted in diagnosing routes and plays quicker than most experienced corners. Has potential to shoot to the top of the list, but 2002 will be key.

4 -Derrick Strait* – Oklahoma
Will partner Woolfork. Hugely talented shut down corner. Has great size and speed combo and I love the way he comes up in run support and brings the wood. Will likely stay for senior year.

5 - Sammy Davis – Texas A+M
Fundamentally sound corner with nice ball skills. Plays with as good a technique as anyone in this class. Supports the run very well.

Others:
Nathan Vasher* - Texas (Smallish framed heavyweight hitter and playmaker. Vasher's is a big play artist. Has great return skills and a knack for the big play. Had a massive spring campaign, returning the opening kick-off 100 yards for a TD and later returned a punt for a 54-yard TD. Last season, he led the Big 12 with seven interceptions in addition to making 56 tackles and averaged 15 yards per punt return.

Ricky Manning – UCLA (undersized ball hawk who you’d like to think would be more than just a nickel corner at the next level, but his lack of size – 5’8 – may be the killer where he’s concerned.)

Eugene Wilson – Illinois (Wilson's stock dropped a bit after getting torched by Josh Reed in the Sugar Bowl, but he should re-establish himself as one of the nation's top cover corners this year.)

Brandon Everage* - Oklahoma (I think he has more upside than either Woolfork or Strait. He’s raw in coverage, which will likely precipitate his return to Norman, but he is the best tackling corner in the conference. If he added 10lbs, you could be looking at a premier safety prospect.)

Christian Morton – Illinois (Former QB who’s raw, but has unlimited upside potential. Real nose for big play. Forms great combo with Eugene Wilson. Should stay for senior year)

Marcus Trufant – Washington State (Trufant missed five games with a thumb injury last year. But he looked dominant in the spring, shutting down his side of the field. His head coach Mike Price calls him the best cover corner in the Pact 10 and one of the finest in the nation.


Safety:
1 - Mike Doss – Ohio State
Almost declared for 2002 draft, but after much soul searching, decided to stay put for his senior year. Slightly smaller than you’d like at around 5-11 and 200lbs, he gives up his body from the SS spot. Monster hitter and first rounder.

2 - Ken Hamlin* - Arkansas
Hamlin I like. He’s really physical in run support and has a nose for the football. Is likely to stay at Arkansas for his senior campaign, but if he continues to progress, then there’s no knowing what he’s capable of.

3 - Julian Battle – Tennessee
Battle has awesome size. A JUCO transfer from Los Angeles Valley Community College, he was a standout performer at that level. He is a tremendous hitter from his SS spot and has proved that he can step in and be a difference maker – he recorded 19 big plays last year on the Vols defensive coaches records. If he has another solid campaign, he could hear his name called in the first round.

4 - Troy Polumalu - USC
Troy is an all out performer, who, unusually for a Pac 10 safety, plays the run really well. He needs to improve some in coverage, but he’s a playmaker in the deep patrol.


OK – there you have it – it was tough to do with juniors as well, and maybe I should have left them out, but so many declare that it would seem stupid to do it without them. Not all of you will agree with the ratings and that’s fine – there is a whole year of football to be played before the draft and names will come and names will go – but it gives you a précis of some of the names to keep an eye on. I couldn’t fit everyone in, so apologies to fans of Jared Lorenzen or Cory Paus or BJ Askew or Kerry Carter or Ronald Bellamy or Ray Thomas or Chuck Klabo or Langston Moore or Antwaan Peek or Thomas Wright.



Even though it's very early, you're post was very informative and I read/enjoyed all of it. Thanks, and welcome to the board.:cool:
 

Dajesus

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Great post Boomer, but i have to disagre with Ernest Grahm as a top RB prospect. He is only 5'9'', and he failed to live up to his expectations from 2000. I also have to disagre with your perception of Dorsey. He is 6'5'' 200lbs. If he adds 20lbs everyone will say he is ideal size. Do you know how easy it is for a 6'5'' 21 year old to put on 20lbsashley Leile put on over 20lbs from febuary to march, and did so with out losing a step of quickness. Ken doesn't have to worry about losing the foot speed. His only problem I see right now is playing out of the shadow of the program. He also needs to make better reads ocasionaly. The major thing he has going for him is his maturity. To put up a season like he did while being under the microscope as a preseason heisman canadate, also being on the preseason pick to win it all was unbeleivable. If he can do it again he will be a top 5 pick next apirl. Let me say it again though great post, especialy comming from London. How do you stay so informed?
 

Boomer

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Thanks for the comments. Dajesus - look at the size of Emmitt Smith. Now I'm not claiming that they are in the same category, but Graham is 5'10 and would have been a top 45 pick this year. He'll likely see the ball a little bit more in 2002 because of Spurriers departure and that will eventually decide where he ends up. As for Dorsey, I have already posted here about him. He's a day 2 prospect - minimal arm strength, no body definition, system passer, inability to make the necessary throws at the next level. He does not possess the physical tools to be a starter in this league.

As for being informed in London - watching a lot of college ball my friend.
 

GazPhin

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This sounds good...

Originally posted by Boomer

As for being informed in London - watching a lot of college ball my friend.
Whats your resouce for watching college ball boomer as I tried to find out where I could subscribe for it and came up short. Could use a tip. TIA.:cool:
 

Boomer

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Most of us use Pontel - www.pontel.com - Swiss based company who tape college games for non-americans. It's £9.99 a game and we tend to get about 10/15 each and then swap them around.
 

fthefish11

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I think Roy Williams is going to be great. He bailed out Simms a number of times!

Woolfolk could shoot up the board if he controls his weight. He'll only be a sophomore next season though! He should play 2 more years & he'll be a top 10 pick!
 

Boomer

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Woolfolk....do you mean Andre Woolfolk the Sooners corner? If so, he's a senior - 3 year letterman. Don't forget he played 2 years at WR.
 
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Boomer, awesome post! Your analysis of the Longhorn guys was right on. Let me add another name to that list. OT/OG Derrick Dockery. He will be our number one lineman, should have a great year. Not as big as Mike Williams or Leonard Davis, but has a not more technique.
 

Bodzilla29

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Toefield gets hurt blowing his nose!!!! HAHAH you need a healthy Sr. season in most cases to be a top pick, unless you have some unrreal ability that you have shown over a number of years. Of course there are always exceptions, but I doubt Toefield will get through the season healthy, thus wont be a top pick. Is it worth having a player that wont play all your games? Mark Dixon anybody? Damn it is sooooo annoying to lose him by week 10 every season!
 

Boomer

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Thanks Fletch - Dockery was there or thereabouts for the list, but the OL is hard to grade. But I'm well aware of what he offers from the OG spot.

Gaz - no worries - any problems with the website, get the number and call Mrs Smith - she runs the Pontel office and she'll sort u out.

IceBlizzard - the LSU tailbacks are really frustrating. Like Bodzilla says, Toefield gets hurt making his dinner, whilst Davis always seems to be playing on a bum ankle. And the third back of the triumverate Devery Henderson is also crocked half of the time. Unless Toefield can prove that he can last the pace without a problem, then his stcok will tumble. After all, if u can't rely on a guy for 11 games, you have no chance for 16.
 
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