1. S Matt Elam 5-10, 202 Florida
- If we didn't have Kiffin as our defensive coordinator, I probably wouldn't list Elam among my top 3. However, knowing how much a Kiffin safety is used and how important physicality is from the secondary, I just think this guy fits it to a Tee. He just looks faster and more physical than even the SEC players he's playing against. He's a banger but can really run and is fine in coverage. Is a great tackler and is so quick that ball carriers can't get the angle on him. Smart too, which is important in this defense. Overall, just a perfect fit IMO... so it will probably never happen.
2. DT Sharrif Floyd 6-3, 303 Florida
- He's a perfect Kiffin 3-tech, but he could play either DT spot as well as the SDE spot on some occasions (ala Red Bryant in Seattle) because he's such a great athlete (and played SDE for the Gators in 2011 before switching back to DT this year). He could be used all up and down the line, depending on the situation. With Ratliff or without him. He's got work ethic, a team first attitude and a little nastyness to go along with his fantastic athleticism. My worry is that he will rise so much before the draft that he won't even be available at the 18th slot in round 1. He is definitely a strong possibility in Dallas because the Cowboys love SEC players, they view DT as a priority position, they're switching to a defense that makes it even more important, and they have a strong need along the DL with the switch.
3. OG Chance Warmack 6-2, 322 Alabama
- An absolute road grader who has an attitude. While he is big, strong, and just mashes people firing off the line, he still moves well enough to get to the second level effectively. He's got some of what Dallas needs along the OL - and by that I mean both his physicality and his nastyness. He's just a very good football player and a terrific athlete for his size. I'm afraid he won't end up in Dallas though because: 1) he very well could be gone by 18 and, 2) Dallas doesn't like to use first round picks along the interior OL. Plus, I'm not even sure they think he would be a good fit for their offense. Dallas could like Cooper more for guard.
A guy who won't go in the first:
* WOLB Khaseem Green 6-1, 234 Rutgers
- An absolutely fantastic football player. The kind of guy that when we ran a 34 defense I always would look at and wish we could find a spot for. He's just too small for any LB position in a 34 scheme - but he fits perfectly at the weakside spot in Kiffin's Tampa 2. He was recruited as a safety by Schiano (Tampa's current head coach) at Rutgers and actually performed well in that capacity as a Freshman and sophomore. He tied for the team lead in interceptions as a Freshman, and then let the team in interceptions and forced fumbles as a Sophomore.
As a Junior, Schiano moved Green to WOLB where he exploded for 141 tackles, making him the leading tackler in the Big East conference and earning Green the Big East defensive player of the year for 2011. He broke his ankle in Rutger's Bowl game and had to rehab it before the 2012 season.
In 2012, Green again was a monster with 125 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks as well as 6 forced fumbles.
He is too small for OLB in many defenses (particularly 34 schemes)... but he would be perfect for Kiffin's WOLB spot. He has rare athleticism, speed, and agility for a LB, and because of the defense he'd be playing in, his two jobs would be to run to the ball and coverage. He would be perfect for that. He would give us the speed to protect the edges and to shadow the new running QB's that are coming out of college. Even undersized, he is still highly rated with CBS sportsline listing him as their 3rd rated OLB.
He is a first round talent, but because of his size and the fact that he is a 43 OLB, he will last much longer in the draft than his football intelligence, instincts, and athleticism say he should.
The guy is tough, a leader, very popular among the Rutgers players and he plays the game the right way, so Garrett would love him.
Despite being a little undersized, the guy hits like a truck and plays with a toughness that made him a team favorite.
If we managed to get him in the third round, I could see the Dallas LB corps as:
Green - WLB
Lee - MLB
Carter - SLB
That would give Dallas the speed it needs in coverage, to protect the perimeter and stop the pistol formation.
OK, I will get off my soapbox now.