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Mid Season Update and Analysis of my Top 100 NFL Prospects

October 26, 2012

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Top 100 Updated 10/26/12 (PR is pass rusher not punt returner)

  1. Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina #7 6’6 254 Soph
  2. Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M #76 6’6 305 Jr.
  3. Matt Barkley QB USC #7 6’2 220 Sr.
  4. Jarvis Jones PR Georgia #29 Jr.
  5. Geno Smith QB West Virginia
  6. Barkevious Mingo PR LSU #49 6’5 240 Jr.
  7. Aaron Donald PR Pittsburgh #97 Jr.
  8. De’Anthony Thomas RB Oregon Soph
  9. Bjoern Werner PR Florida St. #95 Jr.
  10. Alec Ogletree LB Georgia #9 Jr.
  11. Sammy Watkins WR Clemson #2 6’1 180 Soph
  12. Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville Soph
  13. TJ Yeldon RB Alabama Freshman
  14. Tyler Bray QB Tennessee #8 6’6 210 Jr.
  15. Keenan Allen WR California Jr.
  16. Damontre Moore PR Texas A&M #94 6’4 248 Jr.
  17. Xavier Rhodes CB Florida St. #27 6’2 215 Jr.
  18. Star Lotulelei DT Utah Sr.
  19. Tavon Austin WR West Virginia #1 5’9 176 Sr.
  20. Justin Hunter WR #11 6’4 200 Jr.
  21. Marqise Lee WR #9 USC 6’1 195 Soph
  22. Dee Milliner CB Alabama Jr.
  23. Justin Pugh OT Syracuse Sr.
  24. Todd Gurley RB Georgia Freshman
  25. William Gholston PR Michigan St. #2 Jr.
  26. Will Sutton DT Arizona St. Jr.
  27. Mike Glennon QB 6’6 225 North Carolina St. Sr.
  28. Robert Woods WR USC #2 6’1 180 Jr.
  29. Bacarri Rambo S Georgia #18 Sr.
  30. Shariff Floyd DT Florida Jr.
  31. DJ Fluker OG Alabama #76 6’6 335 Jr.
  32. Quandre Diggs CB Texas #28 5’10 192 Soph
  33. Marquess Wilson WR Washington #86 6’4 185 Jr.
  34. Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma St. #4 6’0 180 Jr.
  35. Jackson Jeffcoat PR Texas Jr.
  36. Eric Reid S LSU #1 Jr.
  37. DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson Jr.
  38. Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina #64 Sr.
  39. Johnthan Banks CB Mississippi St. #13 Sr.
  40. James Hurst OT North Carolina #68 6’6 310 Jr.
  41. Chance Warmack OG Alabama #65 6’3 320 Sr.
  42. Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina #21 6’1 232 Jr.
  43. Margus Hunt 3-4 DE SMU Sr.
  44. Tyrann Mathieu CB LSU 5’9 185 #7 Jr.
  45. Alex Okafor DE Texas Sr.
  46. Corey Lemonier DE Auburn Sr.
  47. Duke Johnson RB Miami Freshman
  48. Denard Robinson WR Michigan #16 6’0 195 Sr.
  49. Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina #92 Sr.
  50. Matt Elam S Florida #22 5’10 206 Jr.
  51. Stedman Bailey WR West Virginia #3 5’10 188 Jr.
  52. Kevin Reddick LB North Carolina #48 Sr.
  53. Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE Washington Soph
  54. Anthony Johnson DT LSU #56 Soph
  55. Gavin Escobar TE San Diego St. #88 6’6 245 Jr.
  56. Barrett Jones C Alabama Sr.
  57. Chase Thomas LB Stanford #44 Sr.
  58. Aaron Lynch PR Notre Dame #19 6’6 265 Soph
  59. Giovanni Bernard RB North Carolina #26 5’10 205 Soph
  60. Sean Porter PR Texas A&M #10 Sr.
  61. Tyler Wilson QB Arkansas Sr.
  62. Anthony Rashad White DT Michigan St. #98 Sr.
  63. Manti Te’o LB Notre Dame Jr.
  64. Sam Montgomery PR LSU #99 6’4 245 Jr.
  65. Arthur Brown LB Kansas St. #4 Sr.
  66. Shayne Skov LB Stanford #11 Sr.
  67. Jesse Williams 3-4 DE Alabama Sr.
  68. Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame #80 Sr.
  69. Tharold Simon CB LSU #24 Jr.
  70. K’Waun Williams CB Pittsburgh 5’10 175 Jr.
  71. Tevin McDonald S UCLA #7 Soph
  72. Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M Jr.
  73. Amari Cooper WR Alabama Freshman
  74. Aaron Murray QB Georgia #11 6’1 211 Jr.
  75. Jeremiah Attaochu PR Georgia Tech #45 Jr.
  76. Eddie Lacy RB Alabama 6’1 220 Jr.
  77. CJ Mosley LB Alabama #32 Jr.
  78. Dominique Easley DT Florida #2 6’2 285 Jr.
  79. Odell Beckham WR LSU Soph
  80. Malcolm Mitchell WR Georgia Soph
  81. Josh Boyce WR TCU Jr.
  82. Robert Lester S Alabama #37 6’2 210 Sr.
  83. Jelani Jenkins LB Florida #3 Jr.
  84. Landry Jones QB OU #12 6’4 229 Sr.
  85. Cierre Wood RB Notre Dame 6’0 215 Jr.
  86. David Amerson CB North Carolina St. #1 6’3 185 Jr.
  87. Kenny Vaccaro S Texas Sr.
  88. Cody Hoffman WR BYU #2 6’4 205 Jr.
  89. Ryan Swope WR Texas A&M Sr.
  90. Damion Squares 3-4 DE Alabama Sr.
  91. John Boyett S Oregon Sr.
  92. Branden Smith CB Georgia #1 Sr.
  93. Logan Thomas QB #2 6’6 260 Virginia Tech Jr.
  94. TJ McDonald S USC #7 Sr.
  95. Andre Monroe DT Maryland #93 6’1 275 Soph
  96. Kawann Short DT Purdue Sr.
  97. Merrill Noel CB WakeForest Soph
  98. Tim Scott CB North Carolina #7 Soph
  99. Shaun Lewis LB Oklahoma St. #11 Jr.
  100. Tony Jefferson S Oklahoma #1 5’11 212 Jr.
  101. Rod Sweeting CB Georgia Tech #6 6’0 181 Sr.

Dropped:

Da’Rick Rogers WR Tennessee Jr. (#32), Seantrel Henderson OT Miami #77 Jr. (#39), Greg Reid CB FSU #5 5’8 186 Sr. (#51), Isaiah Crowell RB Alabama St. 5’11 215 Soph (#62), Michael Williams TE Alabama (#63), Junior Onyeali PR Arizona St. 5’11 233 Jr. (#64), Waymon James RB TCU #32 5’8 203 Jr. (#68), Michael Dyer RB Arkansas St. Jr. (#71), Brandon Jenkins DE Florida St. #49 6’2 235 Sr. (#78), Christine Michael RB Texas A&M #33 6’1 213 Sr. (#80), PJ Lonergan C LSU Sr. (#93), Kenny Stills WR Oklahoma Jr. (#94), Rod Sweeting CB Georgia Tech #99), Jake Stoneburner TE Ohio St. 6’5 245 Sr. (#100)

Quick comments on the biggest risers:

Bjoern Werner: Bjoern moved from #52 up into the Top 10 due to a number of factors. The first was that he seemed to play better not worse after his more celebrated teammate Brandon Jenkins was injured. Second was that he lost weight and became noticeably quicker this past offseason and no longer looks like an above average strong side defensive end in a 4-3 who can play equally well the run and the pass but now appears capable of being a consistent double digit sacks guy in the NFL which is much more valuable. The third thing that made his move so large was the fact that he only played one year of high school football and looks more and more like a diamond in the rough in the same vein as Jason Pierre-Paul and other raw athletes who get dramatically better every year. He’s become a lock as a 1st rounder and possibly could be taken as high as the Top 5 as teams that run the 4-3 won’t look as favorably on the undersized guys this year (Jarvis Jones/Barkevious Mingo) and Werner has a vastly superior burst to Sam Montgomery who is a Top 10 player on most boards but is a 2nd rounder on mine.

DaMontre Moore:Moore moved from #59 into the Top 20 due to one factor: work ethic. The man who was suspended last year due to being arrested in the offseason on drug charges has finally begun taking the sport seriously and by all accounts is a different person this year. At 6’4 with long arms and an elite burst he always intrigued me as his pass rush skills were undeniable yet he rarely played the run with any passion and was often on the sidelines due to a lack of stamina. This year he’s been in unbelievable shape and at the midway point in the season not only leads the nation in sacks with 9.5 sacks but also leads all defensive linemen in tackles with 62. He’s becoming a complete player and there’s a legitimate argument to be made that he deserves to be in the Top 5 yet for now I will hold off on moving him up any further as he has his share of red flags for me to forget.

Mike Glennon: Mike moved from #50 to inside the top 25 and more importantly he moved from the #6 QB to the #5. Part of this is due to the tremendous drop in the stock of QBs Aaron Murray and Tyler Wilson who are underperforming this season yet most of this is due to having further checked out Glennon and liking what I see. Being a 1 year starter at NC State isn’t the best way to make yourself known to the draft community so it was difficult to gauge him last year as he had such a small body of work and was such a unique player. At 6’6 he’s not that similar to too many QBs I’ve graded and it was important to see how quick his release was and how mobile he was in the pocket as those are the main issues with QBs of his abnormal height. This offseason he went to the Manning passing academy and dominated competition while following that up with a very good game against Florida State in their upset win. His numbers on the season are hardly impressive (under 60% completion, 72nd in nation in QB rating) yet it’s largely due to his 4 interception game against Tennessee which had numerous tipped and deflected passes on those INTs and is also due to his very underwhelming supporting cast. He and Tyler Bray are 1st round talents with question marks to their game which will cause a variety of opinions in the scouting community but I think Glennon’s accuracy, arm strength, and height make him a future NFL starter and I’m officially on board.

The freshman: One of the reasons I like to do a midseason update on my Top 100 board is to add the new freshmen. Every year there are a few guys who I nail right on the head immediately (last year was Jadeveion Clowney, Quandre Diggs, and Sammy Watkins) while others are seen later to have been horribly overrated (Isaiah Crowell in my Top 20?). This year I have some huge climbers as TJ Yeldon moves up to #13 and my #2 RB in the nation only behind the spectacular De’Anthony Thomas. Some might laugh to see him this high but I highly doubt Yeldon will make me look foolish as his combination of size, quick feet, and pure speed is rare. He has an upright running style which reminds me of a combination between Adrian Peterson and Fred Taylor and clearly has quicker feet than either. While he lacks the pure athleticism of Adrian I think he could be better as he has great vision, quick feet, and is a character guy making me think the sky is the limit for him. Another freshman I added was Todd Gurley from Georgia. He has a little Trent Richardson in him as he’s very compact and loves to wear those tiny shoulder pads that really don’t make sense but look pretty cool. His size/speed ratio is elite and, while I have him farther down than Yeldon (#24), Gurley probably will earn more praise this season as he’s the lead back for the bulldogs and will have more opportunities. Duke Johnson is another freshman RB who made the list while personal favorites Marcus Marriota (QB-Oregon) and Johnny Manziel (QB-Texas A&M) barely missed the cut due to their unique builds compared to the average NFL QB. I do think both have a chance to make the league and if they continue to perform they’ll at least make the latter part of the list. DE Mario Edwards was a guy I was craving to see but he’s buried on the depth chart at Florida State and at 290 lbs as an 18 year old they might as well stopping calling him a DE as I can 100% guarantee he will move to DT by the end of his college days. Amari Cooper was the final freshman (WR-Alabama) who made the list and has an elite burst to go along with very good physicality. He looks destined to be the next top notch wideout to come out of the Saban program. This year’s freshmen class isn’t as impressive as last year’s, to this point at least, yet does have 4 players already breaking my Top 100 which is a pretty big accomplishment this early in their careers.

Quick comments on the biggest fallers:

Transfer kids: Whether it’s Tyrann Mathieu, Michael Dyer, Isaiah Crowell, Da’Rick Rogers, or Greg Reid the case is the same. All had 1st or 2nd round grades by me going into this season yet messed it up with off the field issues and have since transferred to lower league schools to avoid sitting out a year (Mathieu took a year off and was just recently arrested which is even more harmful to his stock). They all are now wildcards as the cases of a top level athlete taking a year off (Maurice Clarett, Mike Williams) or transferring to a lower level of competition (Rhett Bomar) successfully are few and far between. All five kids have NFL talent for sure but now are likely to be mid to late round selections due to their off the field troubles.

Kenny Vaccaro: I really liked Kenny coming into this season as he’s a big hitter, tough as nails, and is a special teams ace to boot. Yet this season he has been a huge disappointment as he was invisible against Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Oklahoma while his defense gave up an average of 49 pts and 571 yards to those teams. He has good hands but lacks great instincts often giving up big plays in the passing game when he bites on fakes and doesn’t have the speed to play quality man to man coverage on receivers or tight ends. He was neck and neck going into this season with the other top safeties (Eric Reid, Bacarri Rambo, Robert Lester) yet his play has dropped him out of their realm and he looks more and more like a 3rd-4th round type talent.

Kenny Stills: Kenny was never one of my favorites, as evidenced by his preseason ranking of 94 on my Top 100 list, yet he has dropped even more this season and now looks like a mid to late round draft pick. It’s been a steady fall for the kid who at one time looked so promising as a freshman as last year he wasn’t up to the task of being the team’s #1 WR when Ryan Broyles had his season ending injury and this year he almost immediately gave away the #1 WR mantle to Penn State x-fer Justin Brown who is more physical and aggressive than Stills ever will be. He has good speed and solid size so I think he’ll still be drafted and used as a quality #3 WR in an NFL offense yet he no longer looks like the dynamo I remember seeing as a freshman and I doubt he’ll be anything more than a rotational player in the NFL.

David Amerson: Anyone who watched his Tennessee or Miami tape early this season understands how he dropped from #7 to outside the Top 70 on my list as he was burned for two touchdowns in each of those games and looks like he might not have enough speed to play CB in the NFL. I’m still somewhat intrigued by him though as he’s 6’3 and has elite ball skills as evidenced by his nation leading 13 interceptions last year. Also he has played a lot of off coverage and anyone who has a 6’3, long armed cornerback on their team yet chooses to play anything but bump and run coverage is an idiot. That being said a few of the TDs he’s given up this season have been on the “he’s barely in the screen” type and I doubt there is a GM in the NFL who currently has a 1st round grade on him despite all of the success he had last season. In 2010 David was a freshman who had no impact on his team, in 2011 he was arguably the most impactful defensive player in the nation, and in 2012 he has clearly taken a step back. He will have differing opinions about him in the scouting community as some will say he’s the 2011 tape and 2010/2012 are the fluke while others will say the opposite. I see a use for him as a CB in a cover 2 scheme who plays bump and run initially and then floats into a zone where his ball skills will be very effective yet he clearly isn’t the lock down cornerback I initially had him scouted as and that is the reason for his precipitous fall.

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