Pigskin Paul’s Place
NFL DRAFT 2011
With Training Camps just opening, and a handful of 2010 DRAFTEES still unsigned it seems a bit early to me to start a detailed 2011 DRAFT Prospects list. Then again how can it ever be too soon to initiate some DRAFT TALK. So let’s start out preliminarily with my TOP 20 Prospects whose impact on the field and on Football Odds will be significant. I am including Underclassmen who will be DRAFT eligible.
1) ANDREW LUCK/QB/STANFORD/6’4/235/SO Somehow this stereotype of the ideal NFL QB was Redshirted as a freshman. So even though he shows as a Sophomore on the roster he will be eligible for next year’s DRAFT. Barring unforeseen circumstances I fully expect him to go zooming past LOCKER in the eyes of NFL Scouts this season.
2) JAKE LOCKER/QB/WASHINGTON/6’3/225 If he shows the improvement this season that he did last under HC STEVE SARKISIAN’s guidance he will be a hot commodity in NFL DRAFT Rooms. He has all the tools to weave the kind of magic JOHN ELWAY did in the NFL. Now he just needs to mature and hone those skills as a senior.
3) A. J. GREEN/WR/GEORGIA/6’4/210/JR His size, speed, leaping ability and productivity in a pro style offense make GREEN a highly seductive prospect. Right now I would say he has CALVIN JOHNSON potential and is a surefire TOP 10 prospect if he decides to come out early.
4) ADRIAN CLAYBORN/DE/IOWA/6’4/285 His only reason to return to college for his senior season was love of the college game and loyalty to his Coaches and teammates. He was NFL ready this year and would have been a Round 1 Draftee. He absolutely dominated in their Bowl win over GA TECH. He has the size and skills to excel in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. He has a JARED ALLEN type motor and great physical tools.
5) MARK INGRAM/RB/ALABAMA/5’10/215/JR He reminds me so much of EMMITT SMITH that it scares me. That may not translate to quite the productivity of SMITH in this different NFL offensive era. But his balance, toughness and work ethic will be irresistible to a team in need of a No.1 RB to tote the pigskin 20-25 times a game.
6) ROBERT QUINN/DE/UNC/65/270/JR How about a player with the skill set and athleticism of JULIUS PEPPERS and the work ethic and energy of JARED ALLEN (there’s that name again). If he has another big season in 2010 he becomes a potential premium Pick next Spring. He’s that good and productive. Just ask the UNC coaches about his attitude both on and off the field.
7) MARCELL DAREUS/DE/ALABAMA/6’4/305/JR He was arguably the best DL on the Alabama national championship team in the 2009 season. He has excellent strength and good quickness. He can power rush or put on an effective spin move. He plays the run and/or the pass. He can fit either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme.
8) RYAN MALLETT/QB/ARKANSAS/6’6/240/JR The kid RICH RODRIQUEZ ran out of Michigan blossomed nicely under BOBBY PETRINO last season. And there is no reason to think he won’t look even better after another year under PETRINO’s tutelage. He’s large and not exactly a roll-the-pocket guy, but some teams in the NFL still love a big armed, accurate passer. He has BIG BEN potential, and I expect him to come out because I think he has been in college football for about 5 years already.
9) PATRICK PETERSON/CB/LSU/6’1/210 NFL teams salivate at the thought of guys with his size/speed combo starting on the Corner for them. He has some rough edges, but I expect him to pick up the pace as a cover man this season. He should rank as the top CB prospect by the end of this season.
10) CAMERON HEYWARD/DE/OHIO STATE/6’5/290 We may be looking at the prototype of a 3-4 DE here. CAMERON, son of IRON HEAD, is an adequate pass rusher in a 4-3 scheme, but his length, strength and athleticism are ideal for a standard 3-4 scheme. Coming back for his senior season in Columbus was a great decision (barring injury). If he steps it up just a bit this season he propels himself into TOP 12 DRAFT status, instead of a late R1, early R2 prospect.
The next 10...
11) JONATHAN BALDWIN/WR/PITT/6’5/225/JR Does the kinds of things LARRY FITZ did at PITT last decade.
12) PRINCE AMUKAMARA/CB/NEBRASKA/6’1/200 Big time athlete who is being nurtured nicely by PELINI boys.
13) ALLEN BAILEY/DE/MIAMI (F)/6’4/285 Fine, productive athlete who may be best in 4-3, but can play 3-4.
14) MARVIN AUSTIN/DT/UNC/6’3/305 Has elite talent and potential, but his productivity is only good not great.
15) VON MILLER/OLB/TEXAS A&M/6’3/240 A sack master who will need to convert to stand-up OLB.
16) GREG ROMEUS/DE/PITT/6’5/270 Long, lean natural pass-rusher who should thrive in a 4-3 pro scheme.
17) BRUCE CARTER/OLB/UNC/6’3/230 All-over-the-field tackling machine best suited for 4-3 WIL position.
18) SAM ACHO/OLB/TEXAS/6’3/260 He follows in the footsteps of ORAKPO & KINDLE. Any more questions?
19) GABE CARIMI/OT/WISCONSIN/6’7/315 Should be good fit @ OT for West Coast O scheme.
20) MIKE POUNCEY/OC/FLORIDA/6’4/310 His Draft status may hinge greatly on how his twin does for STEELERS.