Sabtu, 14 April 2012

NFL Draft Preview: The Underrated

As we continue to preview this year's NFL Draft, we look at the players that are flying under the radar. Some of these players will be some of the biggest steals in this year's NFL Draft. So, which players are underrated in this year's NFL Draft and where will they end up? Also, all possible destinations will have a round number next to them. Ex. Green Bay (1)

Alabama ILB Dont'a Hightower
Hightower has all the potential to be a great inside linebacker and like Boston College's Luke Kuechly, he is definitely going to be a really good NFL player. Hightower is a great leader and his leadership was a lot of the reason why the Alabama defense was so good last year. Hightower also knows how to tackle as he gets tons of tackles like you would expect from an inside linebacker. Hightower has good speed for an inside linebacker as he can go and tackle any ball carrier for the opposing team. Hightower reminds a lot of another very successful inside linebacker who has been playing at a high level for over a decade, Redskins ILB London Fletcher. Hightower should be a dominating force on defense for whoever drafts him and he will be a cornerstone of very good defenses.
Possible Destinations: Philadelphia (1), Tennessee (1), Pittsburgh (1), Houston (1), New England (1)

Marshall DE/3-4OLB Vinny Curry
Vinny Curry was one of the most productive pass rushers in college football over the past two seasons and he already has a lot of skills that are necessary to be a successful pass rusher. Curry knows how to cut between the offensive line and get to the quarterback to either sack him or force a bad pass. Curry also has very good accleration and he can cut between blockers well which is a key skill for a defensive end or outside linebacker to have if they want to be effective at stopping the run. Curry has the potential to be as good as Colts DE Dwight Freeney and it would not surprise me if he does turn out that well. Curry may turn out to be one of the best players in this draft. Curry should be a steal of a pick in the second round as he has tons of potential and should be very successful in the NFL.
Possible Destinations: Kansas City (2), Dallas (2), San Diego (2), New York Jets (2), Chicago (2)

Iowa WR Marvin McNutt
Marvin McNutt was a very successful receiver in his time at Iowa and he has the talent to be a big time playmaker at receiver in the NFL. At the NFL Combine, McNutt ran a 4.54 in the 40 which is good for someone of his size (6 feet 3 inches) and his vertical jump of 37 inches was very good and shows his potential to be a number 1 or 2 wide receiver. McNutt also has the abilities to make quick cuts which is good when you are running a slant for example. McNutt still needs to improve his route-running but McNutt could be a really good receiver and should be a second round or even late first round pick instead of a third round pick. McNutt will be a steal for a team that waits till the third round to get a receiver.
Possible Destinations: Atlanta (2), Houston (2), San Francisco (2), New England (2), Indianapolis (3)

Virginia Tech CB Jayron Hosley
Jayron Hosley was one of the most productive cornerbacks in college football over the last two seasons and Hosley has proven that he definitely has the potential to be just as productive in the NFL. Hosley has an excellent work ethic and that is the type of player that any team wants on their team. Hosley also has good speed which should mean he will be able to stay up with some of the faster receiver in the NFL. One concern for Hosley is that some taller receivers can reach up over Hosley and get the ball from him. However, Hosley is a hard working corner and should definitely be ver effective in the NFL.
Possible Destinations: Baltimore (2), San Francisco (2), New England (2), New York Giants (2), Indianapolis (3)

Temple RB Bernard Pierce
Bernard Pierce was a very successful running back at Temple as he had over 1300 rushing yards in 2009 and last season. Pierce has a very good combination of speed, size, and strength that you need in a NFL starting running back. Pierce showed off his speed at this year's combine as he ran a 4.49 in the 40. Pierce also had 17 reps which was not bad but his 6 foot frame gives him the potential to become a really good power running back. Pierce has a very high ceiling and could be a really good steal for a team in the third round or fourth round due to his very high ceiling.
Possible Destinations: Cincinnati (3), Atlanta (3), Pittsburgh (3), New York Giants (3), St. Louis (4)

San Diego State QB Ryan Lindley
Ryan Lindley has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in this draft as he a lot of talent that could make him the next great quarterback to come out of the late rounds of the draft. The thing that makes Lindley such a high ceiling quarterback is that he has an arm that reminds some of another great quarterback, Brett Favre. The biggest concern with Lindley is his consistency with his accuracy. If his accuracy is on like it was in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl against UL Lafayette, then Lindley is a very good quarterback and worthy of being picked in the first rounds. When he is not throwing accurately, then Lindley is not worthy of even beign drafted and would probably have to sign with a team as an undrafted free agent. Lindley has a very high ceiling and if developed properly, could become a very effective NFL quarterback.
Possible Destinations: Oakland (4,5), Green Bay (4), Denver (5), Philadelphia (5), New Orleans (5)

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