Patterson has big play ability. He finds easy separation from DBs on vertical routes. Doesn’t waste a lot of time on routes with fakes or jukes, just goes right to it. Makes some amazing catches, but has also had some questionable drops this season. As of right now, though, he looks like the Draft’s best WR.
Great strength and a quick first step. Has the speed to rush the passer and is able to contain with quick feet. Floyd had a bad habit of stopping after first contact sometimes at UF, but he is very good at shooting the gaps, so an NFL D-Line coach should be able to shed the habit and bring out Floyd’s true skill.
The scouts are saying they love Richardson despite how big he is (6’4”, 295 lbs). He’s extremely quick off the ball and has great speed. He may not have the elite upper body strength that some of the other defensive linemen have in this draft, but he has great athleticism and can be used as a stand up rusher at times.
Jordan stands 6’7” and weighs 243 lbs, so some scouts have said he needs to bulk up just a little, but to me Jordan seems fine where he is. His length gives him a huge advantage with the ability to strong-arm blockers, and he is able to switch to an outside backer. He can cover ground quickly and isn’t afraid to mix it up with blockers, either.
Mingo is a physical freak and is quick off the snap. His production may have lacked just a little this past season, but he still was named to the All-Conference second team. His combination of length and speed, as well as his ability to dominate one side of the field, will definitely get Mingo playing time and most likely a 1st Round nod.
The GF hoax doesn’t matter. Period. Anyway, Te’o was the best LB in the nation this year, nearly winning the Heisman Trophy. He may have not looked his best against Alabama in the title game, but all year long his leadership on defense and amazing run stopping helped Notre Dame gain national notice once again. If I were an NFL GM, I wouldn’t let him slip out of the top-15.
Finally, we have an offensive scoring position on the board (I sub in ‘scoring’ for ‘skill.’ It takes skill to play every position in the NFL). So, Smith is a very good QB. No, he isn’t Andrew Luck, but he is no slouch. He has great arm strength, and can release the ball very quickly. The quality I like most about Smith is that he is a good leader and decision maker. He moved his West Virginia team down the field very quickly this season, producing many efficient drives. Smith is definitely worth a 1st Round pick, and should get top-10, maybe even top-5, consideration.
The German Werner is a freakish athlete that has scouts raving. It’s doubtful the he would be able to move to linebacker, so Werner projects as a strong side defensive end. He is quick off the snap and could turn into a sack machine at the next level.
Drawing immediate and obvious comparisons to 49ers OT Joe Staley (a fellow Chippewa), Fisher will likely be a top pick in this draft based on how many teams need offensive line help, but it will be deserved. He may not be on the same level as Joeckel or Warmack, but Fisher can certainly hold his own. A true left tackle, he may be the best blindside protector in this class, although his competition level in college is still just a small concern of some scouts.
Moore is a very good athlete who has the ability to shed offensive linemen like it’s a walk in the park. He is a hybrid end/linebacker, easily playing both positions. With all the skill sets Moore presents, he will definitely be a serious pass rusher in this league
I had a tough time not putting Jones higher on this list, but his injury issues (neck injury in freshman year) held me back. Putting aside the injury, Jones could make a strong case that he is not only the best defensive player, but the best overall player in this draft. Recording 19.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks, Jones’ upside is tremendous, especially because he is able to switch from OLB to ILB with ease.
Star garnered the double team on of the many defensive series’ he was on the field for this year, and he still was able to fight through to have a nice year for Utah. He has grown comparisons to Ravens DT Haloti Ngata, but the big question about Star is going to be whether or not he will be able to shed the doubles of NFL O-Linemen as well as he did in college, because his one-on-one game has never been in question.
Milliner, a unanimous All American selection this past season, is head and shoulders above any other DB that will be selected in the 1st Round. A very strong defender, Milliner will have the ability to match up with bigger receivers and even some tight ends (Milliner covered Notre Dame All American TE Tyler Eiffert in the National Championship game and basically took ND’s biggest receiving threat out of the game while recording 2 deflected passes). His 6’1” size can also be used as an advantage.
While Barrett Jones and D.J. Fluker may have overshadowed him at times on the stellar ‘Bama offensive line, Warmack is the best NFL prospect in my eyes. Much of the success from Roll Tide RBs Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson was due to the amazing run blocking of Warmack. He is able to protect the pass with his strength that shocks defenders, as well as clear the way for some of the monster ‘Bama runners we have seen in the past.
Joeckel has been a popular choice atop many draft boards so far this spring, and he deserves it. At 6’6”, 310 lbs, he is technically sound and possesses many qualities that teams look for in starting tackles. A lot of comparisons can be made to former #1 overall pick Jake Long, currently the cornerstone of the Dolphins offensive line. (As of right now that is…)
By: Ross Keith