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Gil Brandt- The 'Hot 100' prospects for the 2010 draft
The depth of this year's draft is excellent at several positions. Usually there are one or two weak positions, but that is not the case in 2010. The strongest positions are defensive tackle, running back and cornerback.
The quality of this draft class is such that there is really very little difference in guys ranked from 20 to 48 on any given list of the top prospects. That could lead to more teams drafting for a specific need as opposed to the best available player, and it could also lead to more trades during draft weekend.
That's also a reason why it's not as important to rank these players specifically 1 through 100 -- but rather, in tiered groupings of 10.
With that in mind, here is my list of the "Hot 100" draft prospects, listed alphabetically within their tiers:
Tier One (1-10 listed aphabetically)
Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
5-11 5/8, 211
Smart, with excellent ball skills. Former cornerback with outstanding athleticism. High-character person.
Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
6-4 ¼, 236
A natural leader, athletic and very accurate. Threw 50 touchdown passes in 2008.
Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
6-5 3/8, 314
An outstanding run blocker in the zone blocking system. He is mean and aggressive, and has been very well coached.
Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
6-5 3/8, 314
Has outstanding size, speed and athletic ability, though he did not play well at Maryland. He is a high risk/reward type of player.
Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
6-2 5/8, 222
A very accurate passer. He threw only four interceptions in 2009 -- and one of those was a fluke that bounced off a player's back. He can work under center or in the shotgun. Well coached by Charlie Weis.
Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
6-3 3/8, 254
Very smart, and well coached. A very competitive player, who can play all three downs. Good blitzer.
Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
6-4 1/8, 295
Outstanding athlete who is very quick. He is comparable to Tommie Harris of the Bears. Plays with very good technique.
Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
6-5 ¼, 307
His 38-inch arms and great footwork make him an outstanding pass protector. Four-year starter in a good program. Was great in college against top pass rushers.
Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
6-3 7/8, 307
Very strong and very athletic, he has outstanding quickness and a motor that never stops. He can play end if needed.
Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
6-4 5/8, 315
Has outstanding fundamentals for the system. Well coached, he can play right or left tackle. Has a very good punch.
Tier Two (11-20 listed alphabetically)
Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers
6-foot-5, 323 pounds
Huge man with ability, and he moves well. He needs to get stronger, and also needs to show more passion for the game.
Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
6-1 3/8, 268
Played defensive end at Michigan, but his best position may be linebacker in the 3-4. He's very athletic, and plays a lot like Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley when he was a Wolverine.
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
6-5 ¼, 261
Missed the 2009 season with torn knee ligaments. He will be a matchup nightmare because of size and speed. Has good hands. Will remind you of Kellen Winslow Sr.
Joe Haden, CB, Florida
5-10 ¾, 193
Did not run well at the combine due to a sore back, but ran a 4.4 at Florida's pro day. Started as a true freshman, has good coverage ability and will remind people of Bengals CB Leon Hall.
Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
A 4-3 defensive end with speed and power. An outstanding competitor with a great first step. The ACC defensive player of the year.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
6-4 5/8, 270
Very limited football background. He was a high school basketball player with only eight games at the Div. I level. Has outstanding speed and athletic ability.
C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
5-10 5/8, 196
Has very good speed (4.37 at the combine). A tough runner who had 1,715 yards from scrimmage in 2009, and scored an average of one TD per game.
Earl Thomas, S, Texas
5-10 ¼, 208
Only played two seasons at Texas. Had eight interceptions in 2009, and 10 passes defensed. Graded as a safety but can play cornerback, too. Ran 4.37 at Texas' pro day.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
6-3 ¼, 224
A project with unbelievable abilty. Broke his foot in February and most likely won't work out prior to draft. But he averaged 25 yards per catch on an option running team.
Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
Can play nose tackle in the 3-4 or defensive tackle in the 4-3. Very good vs. the run. Needs to control his weight.
Tier Three (21-30 listed alphabetically)
Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
6-foot-2, 225 pounds
Missed most of the 2009 season and didn't work out at the combine. A big receiver with good hands, and he also has return ability. Has top-10 talent.
Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
6-5 ¾, 277
Very athletic to go with good quickness. Plays well vs. the run, nbut eeds to mature and learn better pass rush moves.
Mike Iupati, G, Idaho
6-5 1/8, 331
Will become the first Idaho player to be drafted in Round 1 since 1967. Played guard in college, but some think he'll play tackle in the NFL. Dominated in college despite a limited football background.
Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas
6-2 7/8, 250
Outstanding athlete who was named high school player of the year for both offense (as a running back) and defense, something that had never been done in modern history. He can rush the passer or drop into space. Was outstanding vs. Alabama in the BCS title game.
Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
5-11 5/8, 218
Strong runner, ran for 1,808 yards in 2009 against 8- and 9-man fronts. Good blocker and receiver.
Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State
Defensive tackle who can also play end. He has a big frame, and has the quickness to get upfield.
Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
6-4 ½, 304
Has speed and toughness. Played in the Sugar Bowl just hours after treatment for kidney stones. Very smart. Has lots of experience as a shotgun center. Maybe the best center prospect in 10 years.
Rodger Saffold, LT, Indiana
6-4 5/8, 315
Has started four years at left tackle for Indiana, a good pass protector and a big effort player on a mediocre team. Needs to add strength.
Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
6-2 5/8, 236
A leader and a winner. Will need time to develop but will find a way to be a very good NFL quarterback. People said Roger Staubach was not a good enough passer to play in the NFL, and he proved those people wrong.
Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
Has ball skills needed to play the position. Strong, and can return kicks. Needs to work on his tackling.
-see link for remaining 70. (reading comprehension is a friend to all... players listed alphabetically within tiers.)