Archive for the “Draft” Category



 


Day 1 of the draft was very eventful to say the least. While it still seems like baseball season began just the other day, the draft is in full force. Day 1 came with surprises as well as disappointment, and with the new draft bonus system in place, all of these results played out on center stage for everyone to see. While it’s still too early to grade teams as winners or losers, here is a re-cap of some of the biggest surprises and steals we’ve seen yet.

Surprise #1: Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy; Taken By: Houston Astros
I don’t think anyone in the baseball world would have imagined Correa going first overall. He has shown off incredible skills in infield practice and batting practice, but seeing how these tools will translate into game-time action will be crucial. The Houston Astros need all the help they can get, and they took the long-term view with this pick; it was a bold move to say the least, and I think Correa will either be a bust or a superstar shortstop.

Surprise #2: Brian Johnson, LHP, Florida; Picked By: Boston Red Sox
Johnson definitely has the ability to be a first-round pick. His fastball is around 90-91 mph, and he knows exactly how to locate his secondary pitches. The surprise here, is that Boston is not usually associated with more conservative picks. Johnson is a fast-moving lefty, and I think this pick will really pay off for the Red Sox.

Steal #1: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford; Picked by Pittsburgh Pirates
This is where the disappointment and the mystery started to set in. Teams began passing on the right-hander who entered the day as the favorite choice to go to Houston first overall. It seemed a bit strange that Appel slid until the Pirates grabbed him with the eighth overall pick. Appel was never considered a once-in-a-generation phenomenon player like Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg, but Pirate fans should welcome this new addition with open arms; Appel will give these fans a big jolt of excitement for seasons to come.

Steal #2: Ty Hensley, RHP, Santa Fe H.S. (Okla.); Picked by New York Yankees
According to late breaking rumors, Hensley was allegedly the second option for the Colorado Rockies with the 10th overall pick. The Yankees picked him at number 30, which says a lot. Hensley is a very strong right-hander with a 92-95 mph fastball. His large frame paired with his powerful fastballs and curve-balls, looks to be a winning formula for the Yankees.

The rest of the MLB draft is sure to bring many more surprises, disappointment, and shock. Stay tuned to see what will happen next!

 

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Yes, we all know the RG3 deed has been done. He is officially with the Redskins, and it’s about time, because we all know they desperately need a franchise quarterback. However, there is a name floating around the football world that many are saying will cause some surprises in Washington. I’m talking about Kirk Cousins, the quarterback from Michigan State, who was drafted by the Redskins in the 4th round.

The Redskins picked Griffin with the no. 2 overall pick to be their franchise QB, and already re-signed veteran QB Rex Grossman as his back-up. So the move to draft Cousins came as a surprise to many, including himself. Cousins said, “I’ll be the first one to say it was a surprising pick to me, as well. My job is to help the Redskins win football games, however that may be, and I’m going to keep an open mind”. Was this pick a huge mistake for the Redskins? Or will it provide some insurance for the team in the years to come?

First off, I think RG3 fanatics can still sleep easy; I don’t see this pick as a bad move, and if RG3 really had an issue with the drafting of Cousins, we’d be hearing about it. Cousins and Griffin will be competing with one another to win games for the Redskins. More importantly, this is insurance for the Redskins at a position they’ve had instability with for some time. Cousins has simply come on board to work on his development as a quarterback for years to come.

Just think back to last year, when some of the most able-bodied QB’s went down with injuries. When Peyton Manning went down, Curtis Painter stepped up (hardly), as did Dan Orlovsky, and finally Kerry Collins. Similar situations also arose when Jay Cutler and Matt Schaub went down. Teams just need to be prepared, and this was really all I concluded from the drafting of Cousins.

What I find most interesting about the draft, is that you can never really tell how successful players will be. In the case of quarterbacks, Boise State QB Kellen Moore (with 50 TD’s) went undrafted. Remember Jamarcus Russell going #1 overall, and Ryan Leaf going #2 overall? Both players ended up being complete busts! Even Mr. Joe Montana was the fourth QB picked at the end of the 3rd round; 82nd overall, and look how far he’s come in his career. When it comes to quarterbacks in the NFL, you can never have too many options, but make no mistake… right now, it’s all about RG3 in our nation’s capital!

 


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After yesterday’s NFL Draft we asked a panel of our experts to break down the draft and give their two cents about how the draft unfolded.

Biggest Winner?

Daniel Ornelas – Believe it or not, I have to say that the Rams came away the biggest winner in this draft because they did something that is very necessary for them: get more picks to fill the holes they have in their team. They may have made fans a bit disappointed, trading out of the No. 2 and 6 picks, but I think receiving all of those Washington draft picks was a huge win for them in the first place. Then they went and traded the 6th pick to move back, got more picks in the process, and still wound up with a solid player in Michael Brockers.

Kyle Williams – I really like what the Patriots did getting Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower.  The Patriots desperately needed some athleticism in their front 7 and Jones and Hightower should fit in very well in their system.  I’d also look at the Chargers who got a nice value in Melvin Ingram.  Ingram will give the Chargers some much needed pass rush ability and will be ability to play multiple positions in the 3-4.  David DeCastro was also a great value pick for a Steelers line that has had major struggles the last few years.

Dave Vinluan – New England Patriots. Bill Belichick moved up twice in the draft and picked up two defensive players that can bring the ruckus in DE Chandler Jones and LB Dont’a Hightower.

Jeff Morgan – There are a lot to choose from here.  But you gotta love what the Patriots did here.  They traded up TWICE and grabbed two playmakers on the defensive side of things.  Both LB Dont’a Hightower and DE Chandler Jones will make an immediate impact this season, and help a defense that was one of the worst in the league last season.  Don’t forget, the Patriots are coming off a Super Bowl appearance last season too!  Patriots prove once again that they’re the best-run organization in the NFL.

 

Biggest Loser?

Daniel Ornelas – The loser in this draft has to be the Kansas City Chiefs. They used the 11th overall pick on somebody that has had issues with motivation and pure desire. We are talking about a guy who came out of nowhere and dominated the combine test sheet, not the stat sheet, much like Stephen Hill (teams have been passing on him after he has been so hyped up). This pick reminds me of the Taylor Mays (Safety from USC) pick in 2010 where defensive-minded head coach Mike Singletary just had to have his physical guy. The 49ers and Singletary gambled and reached for Mays, and now the Chiefs and Romeo Crennel reached for Poe. Didn’t work out for the 49ers, let’s see how it plays for KC.

Kyle Williams – A lot of people will talk about the Seahawks here, but I’m going to go with the Bucs picking Mark Barron at #7.  In my eyes, for a saftey to warrent a top 10 selection they need to be an absolute stud of a prospect (i.e. Sean Taylor, LaRon Landry, and Roy Williams).  Barron is a very good player, but is not nearly the prospect that other top 10 safties were.  In my eyes his draft position was the result of a very weak saftey class.

Dave Vinluan – St. Louis Rams. They waited patiently in hopes of landing big play WR Justin Blackmon, just to get leap frogged by the Jacksonville Jaguars. There is great potential with Michael Brockers, but he can’t help their abysmal offense score any touchdowns.

Jeff Morgan – I’m going with the Broncos here.  I realize they didn’t even make a pick, but that’s the whole point.  They traded down twice out of the 1st round, and while they grabbed a few more picks, they needed to make a selection here.  They were plenty of OT’s available, or even pass rushers to help the Broncos next season.  Peyton Manning isn’t getting any younger, and a solid 1st round pick would go a long way into helping the Broncos chances.


Biggest Surprise?

Daniel Ornelas – I was most surprised by the fact that AJ Jenkins was picked ahead of Stephen Hill. As a 49ers fan, I expected to see a guard taken considering Cordy Glenn was still there. If Glenn wasn’t selected, I was thinking some other guard, TE Coby Fleener (once coached by Harbaugh), Stephen Hill, or some cornerback. When I heard Jenkins, I immediately thought Janoris Jenkins of Northern Alabama. Boy was I surprised when they said AJ.

Kyle Williams – It’s pretty hard not to go with Bruce Irvin here.  There is no doubt that Irvin is a prolific pass rusher, arguably the best in this year’s draft, but I figured Irvin’s one-dimensional game and major character concerns would push him down draft boards.

Dave Vinluan – Seattle Seahawks selecting DE/OLB Bruce Irvin. Although he shows great flashes of being a premier pass rusher, that’s all Irvin may be. At WVU he excelled on 3rd downs with his speed, but that might not be enough to get by at the next level.

Jeff Morgan – All the trades!  I knew there would be movement in this draft, but 8 first round trades is ridiculous.  Jags and Patriots traded UP, Vikings traded back and STILL got their guy in Kahlil.  Cowboys surprised everyone by grabbing Claiborne from LSU, a great pick for them.  And then there were the questionable picks of the Seahawks and the Bears who both picked positions and players that they didn’t really need and could have drafted a better player.  All in all, it was a draft full of surprises all across the board.

 

Who ends up with the best career in this years 1st round?

Daniel Ornelas – I could go with the consensus and say Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin, but I have to go with Morris Claiborne. I have no doubt that Luck and Griffin will be great players in the NFL, but in a passing league I think Claiborne has a chance to shine. When you think shutdown corner, you think Jets CB Darelle Revis. I think this will changed in the future with Claiborne’s name alongside Revis. He is an excellent corner and will be playing for “America’s Team” in the Cowboys and will have high expectations that I believe he can exceed. In a league with Johnsons, Fitzgeralds, and other dominant receivers on pass-heavy offenses, Claiborne will have a chance to show his stuff.

Kyle Williams – We all know QB’s get the headlines so Andrew Luck is a safe pick here, but I think Luke Kuechly will be absolute stud alongside Jon Beason in Carolina.  Kuechly should make a lot of pro bowls before his time is done.

Dave Vinluan – David DeCastro. He will be put into a great situation at Pittsburgh playing next to Maurkice Pouncey. DeCastro was one of the top rated linemen in the draft and he will fit right in the Steelers smash mouth offense.

Jeff Morgan – There’s a loaded question.  The easy answer is Luck or RGIII, but I can see greatness from Claiborne, Blackmon, and Richardson.  It’s a deep 1st round draft, but when all is said and done I think the best player out of this draft will be Matt Kahlil.  It’s not the sexiest pick, but he’s as sure a perennial pro-bowl left tackle as it gets.  He’s going to be a cornerstone the Vikings have desperately been missing, and could go a long way in the development of Christian Ponder.  He ends up with the most Pro-Bowl selections out of any player in this draft.  Count it.

 

When we look back at this year’s 1st round it will be most remembered for…?

Daniel Ornelas – The day the Luck-Griffin competition started. This draft was very surprising with all the trades that happened before and during the draft, but it will be known as the day someone made a huge mistake, or the day someone scored big. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are two top-notch quarterbacks and the fact that they were picked number 1 and 2, respectively, will draw critics toward always making comparisons between the two. The Redskins paid a high price in trading up to get Griffin so if he turns out to be a bust, they will look back on this draft as the day they gambled and it didn’t pay off. As for Luck, the Colts new GM’s biggest move was made today when he selected the new leader to fill the big shoes that Peyton Manning left Luck to fill in Indianapolis. I think both will be just fine and this draft will be looked at as one of the best drafts in recent history.

Kyle Williams – The trading frenzy in the top 10.  Every pick from 2-7 was taken by a team that was not initially slotted to draft in that spot.  I can’t remember a draft that has been this trade-happy at the top, but it certainly made this one exciting.

Dave Vinluan – The trades. Along with Melvin Ingram and Roger Goodell’s ball so hard handshake.

Jeff Morgan – Defining 4 franchises.  The Colts, Redskins, Dolphins, and Browns all selected who they think will be their franchise QB.  Very rarely do all QB’s drafted in the 1st round work out.  A few of these teams will look back at this draft and point to it as the beginning of something great, and a few will look back and remember where it all went wrong.


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Think Matt Kalil is a no-brainer pick for the Vikings at #3? Think again. The allure of a cornerstone Left Tackle being a necessity for long-term success in the NFL is a thing of the past. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the starting left tackles on last 5 Super Bowl Champion teams…

David Diehl (twice)- Giants (a fifth round pick at guard)
Chad Clifton – Packers (second round),
Jermon Bushrod – Saints (fourth round)
Max Starks – Steelers (third round pick)

That’s ZERO 1st round draft picks, and only one of them was taken as early as the 2nd round. Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at the last few “Can’t Miss” left tackles taken in the top 5…

Joe Thomas (3rd Overall)
Jake Long (1st Overall)
Jason Smith (2nd Overall)

The Dolphins have made the playoffs 1 time since drafting Long, and the Browns barely register a pulse on the football field, let alone even threaten to make the playoffs each year. Now, that’s not to say that Thomas and Long aren’t great players…they are. But it comes down to the argument of whether or not the premium draft pick and salary (both players are in the top 15 salaries in the NFL) it takes to get these players, correlates to wins.

Taking the argument a bit further we can look at starting left tackle for each team that made the playoffs in the 2011 season. According to ProFootballFocus, amongst all offensive tackles, the starting playoff left tackles were rated 6th (Duane Brown), 12th (Andrew Whitworth), 15th (Jermon Bushrod), 16th (Matt Light), 32nd (Joe Staley), 33rd (Jeff Backus), 51st (Chad Clifton), 52nd (Bryant McKinnie), 56th (Sam Baker), 60th (Jonathan Scott), and 64th (David Diehl). Not that advanced stats are entirely telling, but there seems to be little correlation between a team’s left tackle and that team’s success.

So, turning this back to the Vikings pick, few would argue with the selection of Kalil, but it can very easily be argued that the Vikings should take a very long look at cornerback Morris Claiborne. While today’s offenses have learned to scheme around offensive line deficiencies, the same cannot be said defensive secondaries. Opposing quarterbacks will undoubtedly find a way to pick on a team with secondary weaknesses and with the Vikings having to face Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Jay Cutler 6 games a year you better believe the idea has crossed their minds.

Will the Vikings ignore this argument and select Kalil as the traditional line of thinking suggests they should? Possibly, but don’t be surprised if they go in another direction and don’t be surprised if that ends up being the right decision.


 

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The San Diego Chargers found themselves with the 16th best defense in 2011 but ranked dead last on 3rd downs.  A dimension the Chargers have lacked over the years has been a consistent pass rush and with Peyton Manning joining the division the emphasis of the 2012 draft is without a doubt defense. With glaring needs at Safety and Outside Linebacker look General Manager A.J. Smith to address these needs in the first half of the draft.

Round 1 – Pick 18

Whitney Mercilus DE/OLB, Illinois –  Assuming the Chargers don’t trade up to grab Alabama safety Mark Barron or trade down for Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith, I can see A.J. Smith giving another go at an outside pass rusher. Mercilus was the nation’s sack leader with 16, but may scare some teams due to his lack of productivity before his Junior year. This could hinder his chances of not being drafted higher than pick 18. He shows natural pass rush abilities, comes quick off the edge and knows how to work his way towards the QB. He will have to learn a few more pass rush moves as he won’t be able to rely strictly on speed. With the newly acquired Jarret Johnson, any OLB drafted in this spot would split time with the vet, easing his way into the starting spot over the years.

Other possible selections: LB Dont’a Hightower, S Mark Barron, S Harrison Smith

Round 2 – Pick 49

Bruce Irvin LB/DE, West Virginia – With the top 2 safeties off the board, the Chargers could be in a position to draft another highly touted sack artist, LB/DE Bruce Irvin. Much like Mercilus, Irvin comes off the edge very quick and shows natural pass rush abilities. He has a tall lengthy build, and can be a great situational rusher. He is very similar to Aldon Smith of the 49ers in the way he uses his speed and change of direction skill to get past blockers. The safety from Boise State, George Iloka, could be targeted here too. But a great pass rush can make a secondary look elite. I can’t imagine A.J. Smith being all that thrilled about being ranked dead last on 3rd down stops last season.  In order to change that, he will have to improve this unit by any means necessary.

Other possible selections: OLB Ronnell Lewis, OLB Bobby Wagner, S George Iloka

Round 3 – Pick 78

Alameda Ta’amu DT, Washington –  Antonio Garay has fit in well as the nose tackle in a rotational defensive line, but with this pick the Chargers could finally have the true NT they’ve been looking for since the release of Jamal Williams back in 2010. A mountain of a man at 6’3” and in the 320-350lbs. range, Ta’amu is the prototype nose tackle for a 3-4 defense. The majority of the time he takes up 2 blockers which frees up other rushers and it is rare to see him get pushed backwards. He has shown he can consistently take on double team blocks, and has the ability to break through them to make the tackle. He will never be a sack leader, but his strengths against the run and taking up space in the middle make him a great fit for the Chargers pass rush.

Other possible selections: S/CB Brandon Hardin, CB, Casey Hayward, RB Ronnie Hillman


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Yesterday we looked up a few names that are quickly rising up draft boards.  Here are a few prospects who are going the opposite direction and have seen their stock drop during the pre-draft evaluation process.

 

1.  Janoris Jenkins (Cornerback, North Alabama)– Jenkins is an immensely talented cover corner, possibly the most talented in this class, but his character issues off the field are going to scare a lot of teams off.  Jenkins was dismissed from Florida and ended up at North Alabama for his last season of play.  No team will deny Jenkin’s ability, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s been completely taken off a lot of team’s boards.  Jenkins is the type of prospect who could be taken in the 1st round based on his talent (it only takes one team!), but could also fall to the 2nd or even 3rd round as teams might be afraid that he could end up as the next Pacman Jones.

 

2.  Jonathan Martin (Offensive Tackle, Stanford)– Martin received a lot of hype as a key piece of the Stanford offensive line that protected Andrew Luck for the past few years so when Martin entered the draft process many viewed him as one of the top offensive tackles and a potential top 10 pick.  While Martin does have a solid frame and is a very good athlete at tackle, the fact remains that he has struggles with strength and doesn’t quite show that nasty demeanor that teams like in offensive linemen.  Martin may be passed up for other tackle options such as Cordy Glenn, Mike Adams, and possibly Bobby Massie and could find himself being selected sometime in the late 1st round.

 

3.  Quinton Coples (Defensive End, North Carolina)– Coples has it all in terms of size (6-5 ¾ , 280+) and athleticism, but he leaves a lot of be desired in terms of work ethic and overall desire.  Before this past season Coples was seen as a potential top 5 pick, but many believe he played not to get hurt in 2011, thus adding questions to his mental approach to the game.  Coples isn’t an elite pass rusher, something teams would usually look for when drafting a lineman at the top of 1st round.  Teams may be willing to gamble on Coples’ scheme versatility and physical potential, but his questionable work ethic may push him into the mid or even late 1st round.

 

4.  Courtney Upshaw (Defensive End/Outside linebacker, Alabama)– Upshaw left Alabama on a championship high note and was seen as a top prospect for a 3-4 outside linebacker.  Unfortunately for Upshaw, pre-draft workouts have left many teams questioning Upshaw’s role and ability at the next level.  Upshaw measured in at 6-1 ¾ and put up a disappointing 40 time (4.78), vertical (27 ½) and three-cone drill (7.73).  These tests really exposed Upshaw’s lack of explosion, quickness, and agility, all important factors in a 3-4 OLB.  The result is that Upshaw may now need to play 4-3 defensive end, where he lacks length and pass rush moves.  Some may love Upshaw on tape, but many will continue to question his lack of true position and that could push him into the late 1st round or possibly even the 2nd round.

 

5.  Zach Brown (Outside Linebacker, North Carolina)– Another UNC prospect who has it all physically, but leaves something to be desired mentally.  Brown is certainly a stud in terms of pure workout numbers and put on a great performance at this years combine.  But when you put on the tape for Brown, teams will see a lack of instincts and football IQ as well as Brown’s struggles to shed blocks.  There also have been some questions raised about Brown’s maturity and work ethic.  While Brown has the athletic ability to be a high 1st rounder, the flaws in his game and character may push him down into the 2nd round.


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We all know about the Luck’s, RG3’s, Blackmon’s, Trent Richardson’s, and the other college football stars of the world that will be selected early in this year’s NFL Draft. Here are a few players who didn’t dominate the headlines of college football, but will hear their name called earlier than some think come Thursday.

 

1.  Fletcher Cox (Defensive Tackle, Mississippi St.) Here’s a guy who very well may be the first surprise pick in round 1. There’s been a lot of hype behind Dontari Poe after the combine as well as Michael Brockers after LSU’s great season, but Mississippi State’s Fletcher Cox will most likely be the first defensive tackle off the board. The most productive and disruptive of the top defensive tackles, Cox has the athleticism to match. At 6’4 and just under 300 pounds, Cox ran a spectacular 4.79 40 in Indy, along with long 34 ½ inch arms. This gives Cox all the tools needed to be a great 3-technique tackle in a 4-3. Cox could benefit from teams’ desire to add disruptive defensive lineman ala the New York Giants and should land himself a spot in the top 15, possibly even the top 10.

 

2.  Stephon Gilmore (Cornerback, South Carolina): After perennial top pick Morris Claiborne, this years cornerback class is a bit of a toss up and South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore could potentially end up as the second CB off the board. While bigger names like Dre Kirkpatrick and Janoris Jenkins are often ranked ahead of Gilmore, both players have character and off the field issues that could knock them down some draft boards. Measuring at 6’0 ½ 190 and running a scorching 4.40 in Indy, Gilmore has everything teams want in a shutdown corner and may very easily hear his name called in the top half of round 1.

 

3.  Cordy Glenn (Offensive Tackle/Guard, Georgia): While not looked at as one of the elite offensive tackle prospects, Glenn’s massive size at over 6-5 340 and athleticism that allow him to play multiple line positions could make him a very attractive option for teams looking for offensive line help. Glenn initially entered the draft process being looked at as a guard, but showed the athleticism and ability to play right tackle at the Senior Bowl, where he put up a great performance. Glenn is now seen as a road grader right tackle prospect that also has the ability to move inside to guard if needed. Glenn’s size, athleticism, and versatility make him a very attractive option to teams in need of offensive line help. Glenn should go somewhere in the mid-first round, with the potential to go as high as #10 to Buffalo.

 

4.  Stephen Hill (Wide Receiver, Georgia Tech): Coming into the combine as a fairly unknown name, Hill burst onto the scene, measuring in at 6’4 215 and running an incredible 4.36 40. Hill is undoubtedly raw and his ability is relatively unknown due to Georgia Tech’s run heavy offense, but any team that needs a pass catcher will take a serious look at those physical numbers. Due to his massive potential, Hill could see himself go as high as the mid-first round and likely won’t slide past the early second round.

 

5.  Josh Robinson (Cornerback, Central Florida): Another Indy combine darling, Josh Robinson broke onto the scene running the fastest 40 in Indy with a 4.33 along with an explosive 38.5” vertical. At a very solid 5’10” 199, Robinson is an elite athlete with fluid hips as well as big time return ability. Although very raw, there’s always a team willing to take a gamble on those type of measurables, especially in the increasingly pass-happy NFL.  Robinson shouldn’t go any later than mid-round 2 and may even sneak into the back end of round 1.


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You may or may not know that the NFL combine is currently taking place in Indy right now.  So as an avid football fan, why should you even care about the combine?  With basketball season in full force, and baseball spring training right around the corner, why should a bunch of college football players participating in drills even register on your sports entertainment radar?  Here’s why:

What happens at the combine DRASTICALLY changes the draft strategies of every single NFL team and player. A mere tenth of a second can mean the difference between a bona-fide top 5 pick to a late 3rd rounder. We’re talking millions of dollars lost and won based on a weekend of workouts; this is the drama, and importance of the NFL Combine.  With that said, let’s check out some key players to look for:

Quinton Coples

Height: 6-6, Weight: 285 lbs. North Carolina defensive end Coples may be one of the best defensive end prospects for the 2012 draft. He has the most at stake, but also a lot to gain. After coming off of an outstanding junior season, he dropped off a bit in his senior season. He is one of the top pass rushers in the draft, but if his performance does not stay consistent, people will continue asking why he didn’t have the great senior season he was expected to have. This will be a huge week for Coples and he needs to perform exceptionally well on the combine stage.

Robert Griffin III (RG3)

Height: 6-2, Weight: 220 lbs. The QB spotlight this year will be on Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, Griffin will likely wait to throw and save his pro day for March 21. In the meantime he’ll be focusing on team interviews, the 40-yard dash, and other drills this week in Indy. He has the speed and agility, like Michael Vick, to move around in the pocket but will need to maintain his strength in order to keep it up. He should be easy to spot working out, wearing those festive socks he loves so dearly.

Janoris Jenkins

Height: 5-10, Weight: 191 lbs. After shining in Florida, then getting dismissed from the Gators for drug-related incidents, Jenkins played his senior season at North Alabama. He was great, and really showed people he has first-round talent. He played well in the Senior Bowl, but must interview well and explain himself at the combine. As long as he shows people his baggage is behind him and he is really trying to mature and focus solely on football, the Detroit Lions may come knocking. They have drafted well over the years and are in need of a cornerback this draft.

Michael Brockers

Height: 6-6, Weight: 306 lbs. We couldn’t forget any LSU players now, could we? Keep an eye out for defensive tackle, Brockers. He is at the top of a talented group of defensive linemen who will be entering the draft. Brockers is a 300-pound monster with cat-like agility, in addition to his strength and mass. He holds a skill-set that virtually no other defensive tackle can match, and if he dominates at the combine, he could find himself in the top 10 draft pick.

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This post is courtesy MVPToday.com

The NFL Draft takes place from April 22-24 in its first year of the new three-day format. There aren’t many NFL Draft prospects with roots to the Valley, but what the group lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. MVP Magazine provides a look at the NFL Draft prospects who played high school football in Arizona.

Danny Batten, DE/LB, South Dakota State, Mesa (Mesquite H.S.)
Ten teams visited Batten’s Pro Day. An accomplished, versatile player but at Division I-AA. Projected 7th round.

Kyle Calloway, OL, Iowa, Vail, AZ
Huge at 6-7, 323 pounds. A steady, versatile offensive linemen who should have a solid NFL career. Projected 6th round.

Everson Griffen, DE, USC, Avondale (Agua Fria)
First-round talent, but inconsistency and question about work ethic may cause him to drop. Could be a star NFL pass rusher. Projected 1st round.

Max Hall, QB, BYU, Mesa (Mountain View)
NFL teams rarely draft a QB that is only six-feet tall with questionable arm strength. Hall hopes Drew Brees’ success will reflect on his potential. Projection 4th round.

Keaton Kristick, LB, Oregon State, Fountain Hills (St. Mary’s)
A smart, active player but lack of ideal size and strength will hurt draft value. Projected 7th round.

Shelley Smith, OL, Colorado State, Phoenix (Westview)
Good strength and footwork with the ability to be a pulling guard. Some scouts questions his physical play at the point of attack. Projected 6th round.

Ekom Udofia, DL, Stanford, Scottsdale (Chaparral)
A strong, passionate player with good natural instincts who can take up multiple blockers. Better than his numbers indicate. Projected 6th round.

Arizona State University Prospects

ASU has produced its share of stud NFL Draft prospects but this year isn’t one of them. No ASU player figures to be drafted before the fifth round although there are a few players who could go on to have solid NFL careers. Only time will tell if any of them becomes a standout like former Sun Devils Terrell Suggs, Zack Miller or Jake Plummer.

Player POS Projection Comment
Thomas Altieri C Undrafted Knee injuries plagued this talented center.
Dexter Davis OLB Rd. 6 3.5 sacks as a senior will hurt draft value.
Shaun DeWitty RB Undrafted Fast but not an NFL back.
Travis Goethel ILB Rd. 7 An underrated player whose stock is rising.
Shawn Lauvao OG Rd. 4 An anchor on a poor offensive line.
Ryan McFoy SS Undrafted Solid ASU career, but won’t be drafted
Chris McGaha WR Rd. 6 Sure hands, athleticism too good to ignore.
Dimitri Nance RB Undrafted Solid career but never met expectations.
Mike Nixon OLB Undrafted Age works against a talented overachiever.
Danny Sullivan QB Undrafted Never got on track in his one year as starter.
Jovon Williams FB Undrafted Versatile but not an impact player.
Kyle Williams WR Rd. 7 Speed and athleticism may get him drafted.
Jarrell Woods RB Undrafted Only had 18 carries in three years at ASU.

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