That is the question. It's that crazy time of year where every
bored true NFL fan does his best Bill Polian impersonation and tries to predict the upcoming draft. And really how else could we survive from the Super Bowl until training camp without all the draft buzz?
At pick #30, some have debated the fact that pickings may be slim. I however have a feeling that teams like, oh I don't know Oakland and Cincinati will reach for guys that had some Tarzan-like workouts and the right guy will fall right into our laps. It has happend 2 out of the last 3 years by the way.
After the jump I am going to list a few prospects that I feel real good about and probably even more that I wouldn't touch with Ted Thompson's hands.
Jared Odrick, DT Penn State. Whenever a team has all four of its linebackers predicted to get drafted, you have to look at the guys who are keeping the offensive linemen off them to allow them to make plays. Odrick is that guy. He is also versitile. Many experts think he will be gone before 30, but if he is there I am all in.
Devin McCourty, CB Rutgers. I have been the first to admit that I didn't watch a ton of film on this guy. But all the reports say he is a true zone CB. He is aggressive, he tackles well and will play special teams. With injury concerns with both our starters, I believe we have to take a top tier CB in next week's draft.
Maurkice Pouncey, C/G Florida. Much has been made about Childress and Spielman's ties to Gatorville. Many are wishing that some guy named Tebow is the reason. I have gone on record many times and state that our run blocking needs to be improved. Pouncey has played Guard and Center in a zone blocking scheme at a high level and that makes him attractive.
Colt McCoy, QB Texas. The DN seems pretty evenly divided over Colt's ability to transition to the pro game. A few others are not impressed with his height, arm strength and frail frame. I like the kid. He's a winner. He makes his teammates better. He has outstanding work ethic. He played at a high level consistently.
Kareem Jackson, CB Alabama. Javier Arenas seemed to get more attention, mainly because of his return ability. But Jackson will be the better cover man in the pros. He is aggressive and he is battle tested. He is also well coached.
Daryl Washington, LB TCU. He might be long gone by #62. But if we pass on Weatherspoon, Washington will be a nice consolation. He could provide the playmaking ability that our LB corps. has been missing.
Rodger Saffold, OT Indiana. Another candidate to shoot up the draft boards and be gone by #62. But he's another versitile offensive lineman that could provide depth and perhaps challenge immediately for a spot on our offensive line.
Dennis Pitta, TE BYU. At #62, Pitta could be great value. He was, in my opinion, the second best TE in the game last year. He is a little older coming out of BYU, but I think that is a positive. He will be more mature and probably more ready to step in on day 1 and contribute. He is a solid all-around player who had soft hands, great body control, and can block at least as well as Shank.
3rd round or later draftables:
Tyson Alualu, DT Cal. This guy has a motor that doesn't quit. He will likely be gone by the early 3rd round. He reminds me a lot of John Randle.
Dan LeFevour, QB Central Michigan. I really like this kid. He's smart. He's a winner. He makes his teammates better. He's a great athlete. And he's a bit under the radar. If we miss on Colt in the 2nd, I would be all over Dan in the 3rd.
Shawn Lauvao, G/T ASU. Very versatile. He played several positions in college including LT. He could very easily challenge Herrera and at the least replace Hicks.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR SMU. Small quick slot receiver. Excellent route runner. Explosive. Could help in return game.
Marshall Newhouse, G/T TCU. Versatile. Played in a zone scheme. Could also compete with Herrera or replace Hicks as a back up at both guard spots.
Toney Moeaki, TE Iowa. Fine pass catching TE. That does not mean he can't block because he can. Could replace K Sauce in the near future.
Montario Hardesty, RB Tennessee. Could be a strong candidate to replace Chester. Tough runner and is pretty good in the passing game.
Ben Tate, RB Auburn. This guy is a bruiser. Similar to AP in their running style. It would be a nice way to keep hammering the defense regardless of who is carrying the ball.
Undraftables: I have included the following prospects on this list for one or more of the following reasons-
Character Issues/Not fit for our Scheme/Injury Concern/Overrated/too much of a reach to draft at our position in the draft/other prospects available later
Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame (Overrated/better prospects later). Okay, I get the "pro style" QB arguement. But beyond that experience under center, there is nothing for me to like. He has the smallest hands in the draft. And if we play outdoors soon, that is suicide. He throws off his back foot, hence the limited arm strength. He has not won. I also understand why people are questioning his attitude. Last night on ESPN's Jon Gruden's QB Camp, he didn't come across as a stand up guy. When Gruden asked him why he called 4 timeouts and took 1 delay of game against Michigan, Clausen blaimed the coaches for not relaying the calls on time and the crowd noise. Way to show your coaches some love their Jimmy. Gruden told him right away, you need to practice getting the calls made quicker. Then later when Gruden put on film against NC and showed a costly interception thrown to ice the game, Gruden asked him what happened, and again Clausen blaimed someone else, this time his receiver for not getting the signal for a fade route. Way to throw your teammate under the bus Jimmy. All the other QB's, Bradford, Tebow and McCoy took the blame for the plays where they made mistakes.
Terrance Cody, DT Alabama (Will not fit scheme/overrated). Have you seen his physique? He's a 3-4 NT so he doesn't fit our scheme. Enough said.
Dez Bryant, WR Oklahoma State (Character concern). TO anyone? Maybe that's an unfair comparision. But this kid smells of diva to me.
Tim Tebow, QB Florida (reach at 30 or 62). This is hard for me because I really like the kid. I like everything he stands for. I just don't think his skill set will translate successfully to the NFL. I will eat my hat if he does, but I am not worried because I really doubt that he will.
Germaine Gresham, TE Oklahoma (Injury concern). I hate to throw a guy out because of injury, but his ligament damage in both knees is worrysome. I cannot justify drafting that high because of the injuries, especially for a position that we don't need to address this early.
Mike Iupati, G Idaho (not fit for our scheme/other prospects later will be better fit). This guy is a beast, a mammoth. So what's not to like, and why is he this list? He has relied more on strength and less on footwork to maul defenders while playing at Idaho. He will struggle adapting to a zone scheme like ours; I like him and I think he will be solid in a man blocking scheme, just not suited for ours. He will likely be gone by 30 and I am in no hurry to trade up.
Bruce Campbell, T ? (overrated/reach). I can't remember where he played. Oh maybe because he hasn't played that much. 17 starts? He is a prime example of one hit wonder. A Combine workout warrior. He is so raw I can't see what he's supposed to be. I think eventually he might be moved to the defensive line. But Oline is much more about technique than just speed and strength.
Taylor Mays, Safety USC (Overrated/reach/other prospects available later). Just a hunch, really. Maybe I am unfairly thinking of other USC guys that we have drafted that didn't pan out. But something tells me Mays will struggle in the NFL at Safety. Many experts believe that his game speed does not match his 40 speed. Whether it was scheme or Mays stiff hips, his INT production was very low. I think that Johnson and Williams will bounce back this year. If not, Sanford is ready to go.
2nd round or later:
Tony Pike, QB Cincinnati (overrated). Too skinny, weak arm, overrated. He was injured during the past season and the offense did not skip a beat with his back-up.
Javid Best, RB Cal (Injury/reach/other prospects available later). One dimensional. Has injury concerns which will leaves many to believe he is not an everydown back. Running back should not be addressed before round 3, Best will likely be gone by this point, so I say pass.
Jevon Snead, QB Ole Miss (Overrated). Too inconsistent. His INT numbers are a major concern. So you have to question things like accuracy and ability to read the defense.
I know I am missing some guys that I am not sold on, but let the debate begin!