Second Round Prospects Talented and Deep in 2012 NFL Draft - March 14, 2012 by indyfootballreport

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The strength of this year’s draft class is in the middle rounds. This year’s class features numerous starters and potentially outstanding players likely to be taken in the second and third rounds.

There are two scenarios in which a draft can be spoken of highly due to the talent available after the first 32 picks. The first is it being a really top-heavy class, full of elite prospects. That’s partially true this year. The second, however, is the talent available after the first round is worthy of a first-round pick, but size or experience cause them to fall.

That’s a bit more fitting with this year, but each year brings with it more and more high-level talent not possessing prototypical physical stats (see: Brown, Antonio, 6th Round Steal).

Here are a few prospects I can see getting selected in the second or third rounds, and making an impact in the NFL.

1. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State - Martin is a very good RB prospect with all the tools to be a dominant back. He has good speed (4.47 was his fastest time), great power, great vision, and a violent, violent stiff arm. He has the build of Ray Rice and the vision of Maurice Jones Drew and could be one of the biggest steals in this years draft. Some mocks even have him falling into late first round consideration.

2. Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami - if Stephen Hill is the most physically gifted WR in this class, Tommy Streeter is a close second. He ran a 4.40 at the combine which is incredible because he is 6’5″ 220 pounds. He is an above average route runner, has good hands, and knows the game but for some reason his production at Miami was not very good. However, as a mid second round pick a team is getting a player with top 10 potential.

3. Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers - Unlike Streeter, Sanu had a “bad combine” according to the experts. He ran a paltry 4.65 on both attempts. However, that does not really mean anything. This is a guy who caught 115 balls at Rutgers (a Big East receptions record) while being double or triple teamed on every single play and catching passes from one the worst QB in Division I football for half the year. ESPN’s Todd McShay says he can’t get open. That’s not what I see. While Sanu may never be the elite No. 1 receiver that Hill, Blackmon and Floyd might become, he should be a very good No. 2 WR and a possible landing spot for him is back with his college head coach Greg Schiano in Tampa Bay.

4. Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin - Here is a Steelers prospect. Zeitler is the No. 2 rated guard in this draft and has all the tools to be dominant guard in all the phases. He is an excellent run blocker, a good pass blocker and has great strength. He is also versatile and has been working out as a center for some teams. Due to that versatility and talent, as well as the four-year body of work he has, he is a very likely pick for the Steelers if he makes it to them in the second round.

5. Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California - Kendricks is about as safe as they come in terms of Day 2 prospects. He has the game film, production and the Combine performance to make scouts and GMs comfortably believe they are getting a good player with elite upside. The one knock on Kendricks is that he is only 5-foot-10, but he should be able to make up for that with a 38-inch vertical. Kendricks is also very versatile and can play really and of the linebacker spots in a 4-3 or a 3-4 but the Buck in a 3-4.

6. Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana Lafayette - Bentley is flying up draft boards and for good reason. He has the potential and ability to be an absolute lockdown corner at the next level. While at Louisiana Lafayette, he simply dominated the weaker competition he faced. Time after time after time he lined up in one on one coverage with a WR with no safety help and stone walled them every time. He could very well end up being a first round prospect and the second cornerback taken. He has no personal baggage and it’d be a steal to get him in the second round.



Behind the Steel Curtain

The Green Bay Packers stocked up on solid prospects in the NFL Draft - July 17, 2011 by indyfootballreport

The Packers went into the NFL Draft last April without any glaring needs with allowed them to cherry pick players.  The Packers went offense early in the draft.  In the first round they took OT Derek Sherrod.  It’s always a good idea to protect your franchise QB when you have one, so I liked that pick for the Packers.  WR Randall Cobb and RB Alex Green were the next picks for the Packers and they both have huge upsides as they were good playmakers in college.  TEs D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor will give Rodgers a couple of more targets in the passing game (like Rodgers needs those).  CB Davon House gives the Packers another CB who they will have time to develop.

PROJECTED GRADE:  B

Green Bay Packers NFL News – Packers Football Blog

2011 NFL Draft: Patriots Prospects Heading to New England - December 8, 2010 by indyfootballreport

While there may be questions surrounding the CBA and the lockout and their affect on the newly drafted players, that hasn’t prevented the Patriots‘ picks from shipping up to Boston. According to their Twitter accounts, both Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are in New England today. Ridley posted that he was “New England bound” and Vereen stated “Just touched down. HELLO BOSTON!” I’m uncertain whether the players will be able to have contact with the Patriots’ coaching staff to receive playbooks, but they’re in the neighborhood just in case.

Patriots’ first round pick Nate Solder was in the neighborhood to make an appearance with owner Bob Kraft, but a stay on the injunction that lifted the lockout was granted in the middle of the second round, reinstating a temporary lockout. Hopefully, the new draft picks will be able to meet the coaches to be debriefed. Maybe the players will just have to meet other players on the Patriots’ roster in order to receive a playbook.

It will be interesting to see the interactions between the franchise and its draft picks over the next few weeks.



Pats Pulpit

Looking at Potential NFL Draft Day Three Patriots Prospects - December 2, 2010 by indyfootballreport

With the third and final day of the 2011 NFL Draft set to kick off in just over an hour, I thought now would be an excellent time to look at a few prospects who the Patriots could target in day three of the NFL Draft.

  • Don’t expect the Patriots to look at any more quarterbacks or running backs, although with the way this draft has been unfolding, you never know.
  • I could definitely see the Patriots targeting a receiver in the later rounds.  A couple of the bigger names are still available in Indiana’s big target Tandon Doss, Hawaii’s underrated Greg Salas, Nebraska’s Niles Paul and Abilene Christian’s explosive athlete Edmund Gates.  But there are also some interesting under the radar players available. Chris Matthews is an underrated, big and physical receiving from Kentucky who I like in the fifth or sixth round.  Cecil Shorts III (Mount Union) is a small school prospect who is a Taylor Price clone.  LSU’s Terrance Tolliver is another big target who I like.  Some other options include Hillsdale’s Andre Holmes and TCU’s Jeremy Kerley.  As you can see, there are a lot of big targets still available, and I would really like to see the Patriots go after one of these targets with one of their four draft picks today.
  • If the Patriots wished, they could draft a third tight end of the future.  Luke Stocker, Virgil Green, Josh Baker, Julius Thomas, Kyle Adams, and Zack Pianalto are all still around.
  • Along the interior offensive line, there are still some options available.  Brandon Fusco, the center from Slippery Rock is a player who I really like.  Marcus Cannon, who was recently diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is another option at tackle/guard.  Tim Barnes of Missouri remains on the board.  Utah’s Zane Taylor is another guy I really like as a developmental guard.  Arkansas tackle DeMarcus Love is projected to go in the fifth or sixth round and could slide over to guard.  USC’s Kris O’Dowd is another top center/guard prospect still on the board.  But the number one player who I think the Patriots should target would be Georgia’s Clint Boling.  He is extremely versatile, although I doubt he would be available at pick 138.  There are still options on the interior line, and I would expect the Patriots to use a pick or two in that area day three.
  • On the defensive line, there are far fewer options that look like a fit.  Arizona’s Lawrence Guy and UCLA’s David Carter are two players that look like they could be potential fits at right end. Alabama’s Frank Kearse and Northwestern’s Corbin Bryant are potential sixth or seventh round options at defensive end.  I also like Christian Ballard, but I’m not sure if he’s a fit at defensive end.
  • At outside linebacker, there are actually some good prospects still available.  Texas’ Sam Acho would be the top option.  Although he is short for the position, he was widely regarded as a potential 2nd round pick yet somehow still remains on the board.  Pittsburgh’s Greg Romeus has all of the tools the Patriots look for in their 3-4 outside linebackers, but he’s fallen due to an injury filled senior season.  Fresno State’s Chris Carter is shorter like Acho, but also like Acho, would be a steal at any point in day three.  In addition, Oklahoma’s Jeremy Beal is still on the board (as expected).  While I didn’t like him as a day one or two pick because he wasn’t particularly special as a pass rusher, he represents terrific value day three.  There are also plenty of other options in the later rounds, and I would mind seeing the Patriots pick up a small school option at the position.
  • I could also see the Patriots picking up an inside linebacker for special teams purposes.  Casey Matthews is an instinctive player and high character player who could fill this role.  Doug Hogue is athletic, versatile, underrated and would be an excellent back-up linebacker and special teams player.  Other names on the board include Quan Sturdivant, Greg Jones, Mark Herzlich, Adrian Moten, Colin McCarthy, and Chris White.
  • I don’t see the Patriots taking another cornerback, but I would like to see the Patriots add a body at safety.  One of my favorite players in the draft, Florida’s Ahmad Black, is still on the board and could be available in the fifth round.  Most of the other top prospects are off the board, although the likes of DeAndre McDaniel of Clemson and Shiloh Keo are still around.  There are also some other late draftable prospects available, including Desia Dunn, Collin Zych, Justin Taplin-Ross, and Mark LeGree.

Overall, I would just like to see the Patriots add a couple of players along the front seven that the team could develop.  I also would like to see the team pick up a bigger wide receiver as well as an interior lineman.  Safety could also be an option.

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Pats Pulpit