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lamberts-lost-tooth
04-15-2008, 10:43 AM
Fulfilling expectations
A look at 25 of the draft's most overrated or underrated playersBY Nolan Nawrocki
April 14, 2008


PFW takes a look at 25 players who we predict will either struggle to meet or exceed draft expectations. Those deemed overrated could still turn out to be solid pros. However, they are likely to struggle living up to the value of where they are drafted.

Conversely, those deemed underrated could turn out to be bargains for where they potentially could be drafted. In cases where a player will be drafted early in the first round, such as in the case of Branden Albert and Jonathan Stewart, we see little risk and the likelihood for greatness to be reached.


Overrated players

DT Kentwan Balmer, North Carolina
Has great strength, but hand use and ability to shed blocks is marginal. Questionable mental toughness at a position that requires a lot of it.

WR Earl Bennett, Vanderbilt*
Stood out vs. lesser Southeastern Conference competition but was easily contained vs. better competition and shows little burst or gear change in his routes to transition cleanly to the pro game.

QB Brian Brohm, Louisville
Has been oversold and overhyped his entire life and while he could still be a functional pro, he could struggle to live up to a first-round billing, should a team draft him that high.

CB Antoine Cason, Arizona
Instincts and ball skills are very good, but toughness and top-end speed seldom show up on tape.

TE Fred Davis, USC
Career underachiever with the physical tools to be a great blocker, but lack of toughness and focus could prevent him from ever reaching his potential.

QB Joe Flacco, Delaware
Inability to handle pressure, slow feet and questionable mental processing speed could restrict him at the pro level regardless of how strong his arm is.

OLB Ali Highsmith, LSU
Undersized ?backers short on explosiveness struggle to make an impact in the pros.

WR DeSean Jackson, California*
Has some elite physical tools, but poor size and lack of focus could keep him from consistently producing in the pros.

DE Lawrence Jackson, USC
Solid run defender who has all the answers, lacks mental toughness and makes too many excuses.

RB Chris Johnson, East Carolina
Teams who get blinded by his speed could overlook his inability to stay healthy running between the tackles. Value will come as a space player, not as an every-down back, which he will likely be overdrafted to be.

WR Malcolm Kelly, Oklahoma*
Cut from the same cloth as USC's Mike Williams and Dwayne Jarrett, Kelly's questionable work ethic, intelligence, mental toughness and foot speed spell B-U-S-T.

RB Kevin Smith, Central Florida*
Will be challenged in the NFL when he is asked to run between the tackles. Lack of run strength could be restricting.

CB Aqib Talib, Kansas*
Lack of functional playing speed and tendency to gamble and give up big plays could leave him with DeAngelo Hall-esque reputation as an overhyped corner who gets beat as much as he makes big plays.

Underrated players

OL Branden Albert, Virginia*
Too big, strong, smart, versatile and athletic not to excel in either guard or tackle capacities.

OG Mackenzy Bernadeau, Bentley
Has the quickness and athleticism to contribute readily at guard, if not tackle. Knee injury suffered as senior forced many teams to overlook him.

CB Tyvon Branch, Connecticut
Big, strong, physical and heavily involved on special teams, all that Branch lacked as a senior was due praise.

RB Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech
Supercompetitive, natural leader with the mental toughness to earn a starting job and produce when his number is called.

CB Reggie Corner, Akron
Terrific ball skills and great instincts should allow him to compensate for his lack of size.

MLB Curtis Lofton, Oklahoma
What he may lack in foot speed, he more than compensates for with great playing instincts and a nose for the ball.

WR Jordy Nelson, Kansas State
Came into the season with little fanfare and repeatedly arose to the occasion vs. better competition. Size, smarts and quickness could make him difficult to contain.

OT Drew Radovich, USC
Does not look the least bit the part but consistently gets the job done and is a solid, functional football player.

DE-OLB Bryan Smith, McNeese State
First-step quickness and overall athletic ability could allow him to excel in either a linebacker or speed-rush role once he bulks up.

RB Jonathan Stewart, Oregon*
Overall ability to run inside, catch and block is unsurpassed in this year?s RB class. Toe injury that he played through and ran with at the Combine has been overblown.

TE Tom Santi, Virginia
Deceptively athletic and assignment-sound, Santi has quietly flown under the radar but will earn a role as a productive player in the pros.

C-OG Fernando Velasco, Georgia
Not even invited to the Combine, Velasco is a team captain with the smarts, versatility and strength of character to become a solid pro.
http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/NFLDraft/Draft+Extras/2008/feature041408.htm

tony hipchest
04-15-2008, 11:02 AM
http://www.nfl.com/draft/story;jsessionid=013EA59A903FFB591FD093101A37E1F9? id=09000d5d807bdfdb&template=with-video&confirm=true

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13. Jordy Nelson, Kansas State
Height: 6-2 Weight: 217
College stats: 206 receptions, 19 TDs
Vital numbers: 4.51 40-yard dash, 4.35 short shuttle, 31-inch vertical

People who watched Nelson play in 2007 believe he's a first-round receiver and are very frustrated about where he sits heading into the draft. He has the size, production and speed to excel in the NFL. He had a few fine moments when I watched him at the Senior bowl practices. He is fast enough to be an effective seam-route runner. His numbers were off the charts last year when he caught 122 passes and got to the end zone 11 times. Three years from now when he's still in the NFL and more productive than some of the above mentioned players, he will get the last laugh. Draft projection: Rounds 3-4.

Texasteel
04-15-2008, 03:48 PM
Not sure that I agree with everything listed, but of the underrated players I am particularly interested in Branch, Choice, and Velasco. I think all 3 will be solid pros.

You may have to spend a higher pick on these kids than you may think. Just because teams aren't talking about them dosn't mean they don't know about them.

verks36
04-15-2008, 06:34 PM
I think ray rice will is underrated and will make when heck of a runnig back in the nfl

MasterOfPuppets
04-15-2008, 06:51 PM
http://www.nfl.com/draft/story;jsessionid=013EA59A903FFB591FD093101A37E1F9? id=09000d5d807bdfdb&template=with-video&confirm=true i wouldn't be mad if the steelers used thier 2nd on this guy.

revefsreleets
04-15-2008, 08:41 PM
Disagree strongly about Brohm and Kevin Smith as overrated.

Strongly agree about Reggie Corner and Jonathon Stewart as underrated.

I'm starting to gear up for all this and am getting into "draft mode". Good times!

19ward86
04-15-2008, 08:50 PM
Ray Rice is the best running back in the draft. Not sure if i would call Brian Brohm an overrated player, talkin about a guy who would of been the 1st overall pick last year, down year meant falling stock.

lilyoder6
04-15-2008, 09:13 PM
i think kevin smith shouldn't be over-rated.. i mean he played 4 ucf and they suck.. and he proved game in and game out that he can run the ball..

tony hipchest
04-15-2008, 10:00 PM
i was wondering...

is it possible that branden albert was so underrated that he is now overrated?

MDSteel15
04-15-2008, 10:02 PM
#1 overrated player should be Matt Ryan!!! How can you throw 24 INTs over 2 years and be the best QB prospect???

Rhee Rhee
04-15-2008, 11:38 PM
Ray Rice is the best running back in the draft.

ray rice is not better than stewart, mendenhall or mcfadden... i'd say he's better than felix jones but not by much...

#1 overrated player should be Matt Ryan!!! How can you throw 24 INTs over 2 years and be the best QB prospect???

AMEN!

lilyoder6
04-16-2008, 08:27 AM
and how many times were the int's he thrown the wr's fault?? or the hail mary's at the end of the game and they pick it off??

lamberts-lost-tooth
04-16-2008, 10:19 AM
#1 overrated player should be Matt Ryan!!! How can you throw 24 INTs over 2 years and be the best QB prospect???

Matt Ryan will be drafted high...but I totally agree with you. He has enough Red Flags to make me think "Bust".

Elvis
04-19-2008, 07:58 AM
Which of these underrated players would you be willing to select for the Steelers in one week? Of course I dont think that we can call OG/OT Branden Albert or RB Jonathan Stewart suprises anymore can we?...



Underrated players

OL Branden Albert, Virginia*
Too big, strong, smart, versatile and athletic not to excel in either guard or tackle capacities.

OG Mackenzy Bernadeau, Bentley
Has the quickness and athleticism to contribute readily at guard, if not tackle. Knee injury suffered as senior forced many teams to overlook him.

CB Tyvon Branch, Connecticut
Big, strong, physical and heavily involved on special teams, all that Branch lacked as a senior was due praise.

RB Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech
Supercompetitive, natural leader with the mental toughness to earn a starting job and produce when his number is called.

CB Reggie Corner, Akron
Terrific ball skills and great instincts should allow him to compensate for his lack of size.

MLB Curtis Lofton, Oklahoma
What he may lack in foot speed, he more than compensates for with great playing instincts and a nose for the ball.

WR Jordy Nelson, Kansas State
Came into the season with little fanfare and repeatedly arose to the occasion vs. better competition. Size, smarts and quickness could make him difficult to contain.

OT Drew Radovich, USC
Does not look the least bit the part but consistently gets the job done and is a solid, functional football player.

DE-OLB Bryan Smith, McNeese State
First-step quickness and overall athletic ability could allow him to excel in either a linebacker or speed-rush role once he bulks up.

RB Jonathan Stewart, Oregon*
Overall ability to run inside, catch and block is unsurpassed in this year?s RB class. Toe injury that he played through and ran with at the Combine has been overblown.

TE Tom Santi, Virginia
Deceptively athletic and assignment-sound, Santi has quietly flown under the radar but will earn a role as a productive player in the pros.

C-OG Fernando Velasco, Georgia
Not even invited to the Combine, Velasco is a team captain with the smarts, versatility and strength of character to become a solid pro.

Steel Buckeye
04-19-2008, 08:09 AM
IMO Kirk Barton and Carl Nicks are underrated. I think it's because the OT class is so deep.

I saw some of Jordy Nelson's film, and I would love to see him in a Steelers uniform. IMO Nelson is possibly the most underrated player in the 2008 draft. He reminds me of Hines Ward, only taller. He would be a good replacement for Hines once he retires.

revefsreleets
04-20-2008, 08:24 AM
I'm still hoping the Steelers have their eye on Akron's Jabari Arthur. Big strong fast converted QB playing WR for just a couple years. He loves the game, is raw but coachable, and has a ton of upside. We're talking 6th Rd only, but he's the kind of guy who could contribute ST right away, learn WR for a year, and he's got that "slash" factor as well.