Saturday, 25 July 2009

NFL Draft Scout 2010 prospect rankings

NFL Draft Scout updated their 2010 prospect rankings this week with some notable choices. The list only includes seniors at the moment and is likely to be heavily influenced by an influx of underclassmen by the end of the college season (as is the norm these days).

Ndamukong Suh tops the list, no surprise there after Rob Rang put him top of his senior rankings. Seattle born safety Taylor Mays comes in second, earning high praise from Rang in the process:

At 6-3, 230 pounds with the straight-line speed that has led head coach Pete Carroll to call him the fastest player on the USC roster, it's easy to see why many have invoked the names of legendary Trojans safeties Ronnie Lott, Dennis Smith, Mark Carrier and Troy Polamalu when describing Mays' impact. -Rob Rang, NFL Draft Scout

There are only two senior quarterbacks listed in the top 50 in what appears to be another thin class at the position. Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow are ranked 9th and 11th respectively. Tebow is listed at 6'3" 250lbs and running in the late 4.6's. He may well be 'Superman' after all.

"He has shown enough of a work ethic and enough natural ability as a passer, as a runner and most importantly a feel for the pocket that you have to prove to me or prove to whatever team that you can't do it before you assume he can't do it.

"He's certainly not as accurate as you want in a pro-style quarterback, he hasn't been asked to make the reads, he hasn't been asked to do any of those things, but at the same time you can't coach the ability to rise up in pressure situations that he has shown throughout his career. He's not a highly-rated quarterback in a pro-style offense at this point but the man who bets against Tim Tebow is making a foolish bet. He has too much talent not to give him a chance." - Rob Rang, NFL Draft Scout

Another interesting note - Ciron Black (OT, LSU) is given a second round ranking and is only listed as the 24th best senior. I'm not particularly a fan of Black's but I've seen him ranked quite highly in some quarters. I don't think 2010 will be a particularly good year for offensive tackles and I wouldn't be surprised to see Black's stock fluctuate regularly.

At this early juncture is appears the strength lies mainly amongst the defensive line. Not the worst news from a Seahawks perspective - Jim Mora's defense depends on pressure from the front.


Patrick said...

I like his analysis on Tebow. It sounds about right to me. Now, I only wish we knew what position's we would need next year. If I had to guess, I would say (maybe) QB, RB, S, (maybe) OT, and then either DT or DE (or both). I think, at least in my opinion S and RB are our two biggest needs going in to this year. I guess only time will tell.

Rob Staton said...

As things stand today, I think the Seahawks could use an injection of pure talent at the skill position on offense. I was particularly high on Michael Crabtree this year not just because I genuinly believed he was a very talented prospect, but that he would also bring that playmaking ability to Seattle's offense.

A lot of high draft picks have been spent on defense, but not as much on offense. That balance will have to change sooner rather than later, with a lot of ageing veterans on offense.

So much can change between now and the end of the season. If Seattle keep certain veterans healthy and get back to the playoffs, they can consider drafting for positions like safety.

However, I have to believe very soon Seattle will have to lay down some long term plans at quarter back and the offensive/defensive line. It's a lot easy to replace a safety than it is a QB, so I hope Seattle put themselves in a position to draft that way in 2010.

Patrick said...

I was with you all the way on Crabtree. I love Curry, but I agree Crabtree would have offered a tremendous spark to our offense. Although it's only been a few years, tt seems so long ago we had the top RB in the league. Now, on the next Madden our RBs are ranked 32nd. It's just a video game sure, but it does give an indication of how far that position has fallen. If it were up to me, I think using our top 2 picks to draft a QB and a RB next year would be amazing. The RB could come out right away and help and then the QB could sit for maybe a year or two (however long Hasselbeck has left) and then in a few years, with the help of John Carlson, Max Unger, and Deon Butler (among others) we could have a young and possibly lethal offense. But, that's just an idea. I have definitely learned that A lot can and will change in the next year. We are just along for the ride.

Rob Staton said...

I think we know Tim Ruskell well enough now to judge how his mind thinks in a draft. Apart from extreme cases, I don't expect him to draft anything other than seniors with great character from big programme's in round one.

That will make it very difficult to draft RB's and WR's early unless he's prepared to make an exception (which I'm sure he would given the right circumstances). I certainly think, had Curry not been available, that Crabtree and Knowshon Moreno would have been quite high on the list.

But when push came to shove, Curry was the choice. It wouldn't surprise me if Seattle again avoided the offensive skill positions early in the draft, purely due to the fact that the most talented players tend to be underclassmen.

With regard to the RB position, I think it's fair to say it's changed a lot since Alexander was the MVP. Teams are going to two back systems and trying to restrict the work load for one guy. There are a few exceptions, but Seattle for sure will be using the two backs next year.

On paper, the Seahawks deserve to be ranked 32nd at RB. All we can hope is that the zone blocking system, which helped a number of 'no name' backs in Denver, can prove fruitful for Jones and Duckett. There's no reason why it can't and if that is the case, don't be surprised if Julius has a surprisingly succesful season (like his brother Thomas achieved with the Jets in 2008).

I'll be keeping an eye on Jonathan Dwyer (Georgia Tech) and Joe McKnight (USC) at RB next year. Dwyer has a unique combination of power and speed. He's difficult to bring down and does a good job getting out of tackles and breaking off runs. He's got that straight line speed to accelerate into gaps. He's more of a traditional RB but if he lives up to his potential in 2009 he could be a high pick next year.

McKnight hasn't lived up to the hype so far and he's looking for a breakout year. Great speed and balance, does well to avoid tackles but not sure what he'd be like running between them because he lacks size. Good in the passing game but I'm a bit worried he's a situational back. If he has a great year though... you never know. The talent is there.

Patrick said...

As always, Very good points Rob. Not to keep beating a dead horse, but the thought definitely has crossed my mind that not only does Tim Tebow fit the standard for Ruskell to a T but he is also in a very key offensive position. I'm sure Ruskell has already thought about Tim Tebow and maybe he is just waiting to see if fate brings him this way. I do have faith in our running backs because Julius Jones did start out incredibly strong last year and also Greg Knapp's history with the running game. However, my personal opinion is that we need to sign Warrick Dunn as soon as possible. While not the longtime solution, I think he would definitely be a welcome addition. As far as senior runningbacks, what have you heard about C.J. Spiller? So far he seems like the top senior RB prospect. I also agree that Jonathon Dwyer could definitely be someone to watch.

Rob Staton said...

I'd probably describe Spiller as a shifty runner. He runs very up right which might be a bit of a concern. However, he just makes people miss. I've watched footage where he's dodged 4-5 tackles on a run and there's no obvious breakdown as to how he managed it. It's a rare talent, I'd compare his ability to dodge tackles to Shaun Alexander when he joined the NFL.

His speed is good enough. He doesn't look lightning quick on tape but again, he regularly leaves defenders and breaks off runs.

With senior RB's there's always concerns about the work load in college. Spiller is something of an exception here. He has 390 carries in his college career. Knowshon Moreno, who declared as an underclassmen, had 498 carries in a 2 year career and ran the ball 250 times last year alone. Spiller definitely enters the NFL next year without being over worked.

However, his numbers are distinctly average. Moreno had 2736 yards and 30 Td's in two years. Spiller in three years has 20 TD's and 2335 yards. Obviously Moreno played in a much better offense, but it'll be worth monitoring Spiller this year.

Jonathan Dwyer to compare has 21 TD's and 1831 yards (282 carries) in two years. There's no reason why he couldn't have an insane 2009 season and solidify his position as a top pick. He's the one I'll be watching closest at the RB position.

Patrick said...

Jonathan Dwyer certainly sounds exciting! I think a lot will depend as well on our draft position. I firmly believe if we had been in the 10-20 range, our pick last year would have been Knoshon Moreno. Or if Chris Wells had managed to slip we may have used our high 2nd rounder on him.

The beauty of the RB position is that usually you can find talent in at least the first 3 rounds (As a current University of Central Florida student I have to mention 3rd round pick Kevin Smith).

However, with RB being such a need, I hope we fit into the right position to grab someone like Dwyer as soon as we can.