With the draft coming up in the next few days I was initially tempted to try & do a mock draft to see how wrong I could be. After further consideration I changed my mind & thought I would put on my scouts hat to see which players I liked, disliked & still can’t make up my mind on. So without further ado, here goes nothing.
Players Who Are Going to be Very, Very Good:
Robert Quinn – DE/OLB – North Carolina
Even with a season long suspension last year and a brain tumor Quinn still has that never give up motor and pass rushing skills that would serve any team well whether they are a 3-4 team who would deploy him as a linebacker or a 4-3 defensive end.
Possible Destinations: Houston, Tennessee, 8-15.
Ryan Kerrigan – DE/LB – Purdue
Similar to Robert Quinn in terms of measurables and results without many of the off field questions that have plagued him. The issues surrounding him come mostly from his reputation as an effort player rather than his results coming from natural talent. His future as a 3-4 pass rushing linebacker is aided by the fact his school has produced decent talent in the past with guys like Rosie Colvin who was on track to be a great player before a hip injury.
Possible Destinations: New England, San Diego, Kansas City, 17-25
J.J. Watt – DE – Wisconson
Described by some as a perfect 3-4 defensive end and a more than capable 4-3 end as well but to me he screams overachiever.
Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska
Everything seems way too perfect for this guy, Rob Rang describes him as “Big, Physical and Fast and a dedicated player”but I can’t help but be skeptical about his future potential as an NFL corner.
I Want to Like These Guys But Something’s Stopping Me:
Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama
Ingram seems to be able to do everything a running back should & do it well, but it doesn’t look like he can do anything exceptionally. Given the Patriots need to get an exceptional running back to replace the solid if unspectacular Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis (aka the Lawfirm), he should be the sort of player I would be happy for them to take him but it will be one of those sceptical welcomes. Last year during the build up to the BCS Championship game Ingram was subject to the ESPN hype machine and I shamefully bought into it. It would appear that scouts can’t seem to make their mind up on Ingram either as he has been projected as a mid first to mid second round pick.
Possible Destinations: Miami, New England, basically anywhere between 15 and 50.
Julio Jones – WR – Arkansas
Incredibly fast & clearly has a high level of pain tolerance running a 4.3 at the combine with a broken bone in his foot. Unfortunately the deep speed ability screams Oakland Raider Reach a la Darius Heyward-Bey and Workout Warrior a la most of the Matt Millen picks. His combine flash was never matched by his on field production.
Mike Pouncey – G/C – Florida
Good player, but not as good as his brother seems to be the most common phrase attached to this prospect. Like everyone else on this section of the list Pouncey seems to have all of the tools to be a good, solid NFL player but not a first round pick. Many scouts who have him rated lower than his projection seem to think that his main asset in the draft comes from his name rather than any physical or mental skills. Pouncey does have confidence on his side recently saying his sole aim in the draft is to go higher than his brother Maurkice did last year going to Pittsburgh. Having only played center in his senior season at Florida, he would project more as a guard where I think he has higher potential
Possible Destinations: Miami, Jacksonville, 15-32