ugg para niños Impact of underclass undeniable
Each year the complexion of the NFL draft changes with the addition of underclassmen who declare themselves eligible to be chosen. The impact of these juniors and sometimes sophomores is immediate and apparent. Michael Vick suddenly becomes the odds on favorite to be the No. 1 pick. Six of the top ten picks could be non seniors. Underclassmen at every position are challenging seniors for draft spots in every round.
Michael Vick may have needed another year, but his tremendous upside potential may force the hand of the Chargers or a team like the Seahawks if they trade up. New Chargers GM John Butler who may be gun shy after the Ryan Leaf debacle needs to decide if he wants to go the rookie quarterback route again or use the value Vick brings to the first pick and trade it for someone like Trent Green who is a QB they can win with right away. Green played for new Chargers offensive coordinator Norv Turner in Washington, which brings another dimension to the first pick in the 2001 NFL draft.
Two other QBs, with several similarities, have declared themselves eligible: LSU’s Josh Booty and Georgia’s Quincy Carter. Both are former baseball players, both are old, but both have shown flashes of significant NFL ability. Booty was very inconsistent this year. He had a stretch of four games late in the season where he played excellent, but in the bowl game against Georgia Tech, he struggled and fellow junior Rohan Davey came in to replace him. Davey threw three touchdown passes and brought the Tigers back to a 28 14 victory while winning the Peach Bowl MVP.
With Davey’s performance, Booty realized he may not even be the starter at LSU next year, and thought he had run out of options. Carter had injuries to deal with, and eventually gave way to Cory Phillips. If Carter had gone back to Georgia, he too may not have started next year under new head coach Mark Richt. Both Booty and Carter could have been better served by going to a Div I AA school next year rather than entering the NFL draft. A good year at a Div 1 AA school combined with a subsequent solid showing at spring workouts can truly increase a player’s stock. Neither Booty nor Carter maximized their value at LSU and Georgia, respectively. Both will be late round picks at best.
There is a lot of talent at the top of the running back position. Michael Bennett will be the number two running back taken behind Deuce McAllister. Then Ja’Mar Toombs, the power driving, Jerome Bettis type from Texas A will be the third highest rated back. Rudi Johnson gave Auburn a running game this year when he came over from the juco ranks. He showed his strength and stamina by getting better as games progressed. Johnson’s workouts will be crucial because he has to show the NFL that he has game breaking speed. The jury is still out on just where Johnson might fall until he works out for teams. Reggie White showed flashes of talent at Oklahoma St. Some will question the wisdom of him leaving school early but he does have some ability. He will figure in the later rounds.
Michigan WR David Terrell leads a deep corps of receivers.
The wide receiver position has been has deepened considerably with the addition of the underclassmen. State’s Koren Robinson as the number two and three rated players overall in this draft. Freddie Mitchell of UCLA could be a mid to late first rounder. He’s definitely a trash talker, but he has the big play ability to back it up. Robert Ferguson is a big receiver who had a very good year at Texas A after coming from junior college. John Cappell from Florida is a track star with great speed. Ronney Daniels from Auburn showed NFL talent two years ago but didn’t have much of an opportunity this season since the Tigers ran the ball so effectively.
Todd Heap will be the number one tight end. If he had waited until next year he would have had competition from Robert Royal of LSU and Nebraska’s Tracy Wistrom. Heap almost certainly made the right decision. Jabari Holloway didn’t catch a lot of passes at Notre Dame and Alge Crumpler and Arther Love are considered second or third rounders. That leaves Heap at the top of the tight end class, with the potential to have Tony Gonzalez type ability.
Kenyatta Walker of Florida is battling Texas senior Leonard Davis for the top spot among offensive linemen. Dominic Raiola became the top center when he declared his eligibility. Juniors also vaulted to the top of the defensive lineman crop. Missouri DE Justin Smith will have competition from seniors Jamal Reynolds and Andre Carter. Smith currently has an edge but that could change after workouts and how the other two do in the post season all star games. Gerard Warren from Florida moves ahead of fourth year players Damione Lewis and Richard Seymour. DT Ryan Pickett had a good year as a sophomore at Ohio St. His junior year wasn’t as productive but he declared anyway with the coaching change in Columbus. With time he should develop into a good player but he could drop to the fourth or fifth round in this draft because of his lack of a breakout season.
Middle linebacker Jamie Winborn of Vanderbilt could go as high as the early second round. He had 105 tackles this year after getting 141 last year and 131 the year before. His productivity at Vanderbilt was outstanding. Clemson’s Keith Adams doesn’t have great size but reminds you of Dexter Coakely and will likely play outside linebacker with his speed. The son of former New England Patriot Julius Adams has great instincts for the ball and the speed to get there.
CB Jamar Fletcher from Wisconsin is a bit undersized in a league dominated by 6’2″ wideouts. A 5’10” corner has to prove he has great recovery speed and solid vertical leap. The workouts will be crucial for him to solidify a position in the first two rounds. Nate Clemens struggled a bit in coverage this year but has put the clamps on teams’ top receivers in the past. Based on that and his potential workout numbers he could move himself back into the second round. Willie Middlebrook from Minnesota is an interesting case. He has great size and athleticism. At 6’1″, 196 he’s also the fastest player on the Gophers. He had great games before he hurt his ankle. When he was out the Gophers defense fell apart. He could work his way up into the top 15 or 20 picks if his workouts reflect his pre injury condition.
Hakim Akbar of Washington could challenge seniors Adam Archuleta and Derrick Gibson as the top safety taken in April. He has good size at 6′, 195 pounds. He’s a force against the run and held his own in coverage. He’s certainly the best safety the Huskies have had since Lawyer Milloy.