Sunday, 27 September 2009

Time for some favorites

We're four weeks through the 2009 college season so I've decided to compile a list of my favorite prospects at each position. I've tried to pick these guys with an eye towards the Seahawks (for example, I won't include obvious non targets like a guy with severe character red flags). Feel free to give me your own rankings or thoughts in the comments section below or via email

QB - Tony Pike (Cincinnati)
Good size (6'6") but admits he struggles to add weight (only 210lbs). Not a big name like Tebow, Bradford, Snead, Clausen or McCoy but has the best overall package. Few thrills but less issues than the rest.

RB - C.J. Spiller (Clemson)
The Seahawks want a running back who won't sell the play calling. Spiller is an every down guy who can be used to carry the load, move out to receiver or pass block.

WR - Dez Bryant (Oklahoma State)
Not a good year at wide out. Bryant has size and strength and he's difficult to bring down. He also makes too many basic errors, doesn't really generate much YAC and his route running is suspect.

OL - Bryan Bulaga (Iowa)
There isn't anywhere near as much depth on the offensive line as the 2009 draft. I've seen precious little of Bulaga, but he's here because nobody else has really impressed me.

DL - Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska)
My #1 ranked prospect for 2010. Simply a superstar in the making who does everything well. He'll clog up space against the run, but he also does a good job getting to the QB. He had two interception returns for TD's last year.

LB - Eric Norwood (South Carolina)
There's virtually 0% chance Seattle will take a linebacker in round one of next year's draft so this is a token gesture. I love the way Norwood leads his team and seems to be consistently involved.

CB - Joe Haden (Florida)
Good recovery speed, capable of reacting to a play and getting to the ball. There should be some depth at cornerback but no elite prospect.

S - Eric Berry (Tennessee)
I don't think Berry is the top ten pick a lot of people suggest, but he's still clearly the best safety prospect that's eligible for 2010.


akki said...

Rob, I'm no expert at the college talent and there's no way I'll ever watch enough college football to become one (that's why I read this blog). But it seems like how things have been developing this year is that we started with a potentially great 2010 draft class, but many guys are dropping rapidly down the charts after 1 or 2 bad games. Looking at your lists now, there are presumably no QBs, RBs, WRs, or DBs worth a top 10 pick, and then only one OL in Bulaga.

Do you think the 2010 draft class is developing to be a lot weaker than what all the pundits had thought? Or is it a matter that you're just seeing blemishes on these players, but that they can redeem themselves with better play later on? I suspect many successful top 10 picks still had stinker games during their final years in college. I remember Calvin Johnson was particularly inconsistent (yes, his qb wasn't so good).

As long as you're checking out potential Seahawk running backs, how about Toby Gerhart of Stanford in the mid rounds? He's more of a Shonn Greene than a Knowshon Moreno, but he'd fit a one-cut-and-go ZBS and he's one of those 4-year good-scholar players that Ruskell always looks for. ZBS teams don't tend to draft RBs that high anyway.

Rob Staton said...

Hi Akki,

I think you've called it pretty well. I think the consensus going into the new college season was that this could be a loaded draft. There are still guys I expect who could be potential stars (Ndamukong Suh) but overall I think we'll find it fairly comparable to 2009. EG - not great value at the very top of the board.... good value in the teens but not a particularly deep draft.

A lot more QB's will be drafted this year in the earlier rounds, but I'm not particularly sold on any. That's why Tony Pike is top of my favorites list because having seen him twice this year, I've noticed he seems to have the least issues.

There's still a ton of time for people to move up draft boards and raise their stock. However, I must admit I've been more disappointed than impressed so far.

Thanks for the tip on Gerhart. I knew he'd had a good game against Washington but I don't tend to get their games over here. I'll try and get a Stanford game soon - or maybe Kyle will know more?

germpod said...

I followed mock drafts all season last year, and as some players fell, others rose. Late season mocks do not look anything like early season ones. In early mocks Aaron Curry was not projected to be in the first round, Tyson Jackson was not that high, Michael Oher was the consensus number one, nobody expected Mark Sanchez to declare. I do not watch college ball at all, but it is looking like this is a better year for QBs than last season with Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike rising up the boards.

akki said...

It might be hard to get games for Gerhart. We live 15 minutes away from Stanford and only get half their games televised since the Pac-10 doesn't have a strong tv deal. Stanford does play USC and Notre Dame every year, so those are likely national broadcast opportunities.

True, germpod. I think some of the top OLs in the early mocks last year were Phil Loadholt, Duke Robinson, and Alex Boone, for no reason other than they were good starters for high profile programs. This year maybe Ciron Black is one of those guys. There are probably little-known future top 10 picks playing very well right now, and we don't even know to watch for them.

I personally like seeing Clausen rising up the boards because he's battle-tested, having been sacked so many times as a freshman behind that lousy offensive line, and then recovered to have a good career. NFL pressure shouldn't be anything new to him after that.

germpod said...

Like I said above, I do not watch much college ball. Does anybody know what kind of system Notre Dame and Cincinnati run? I hate the idea of drafting a QB from a funky college system instead of a pro style system.

Rob Staton said...

Cincinnati and Notre Dame both run pro-style offenses.

1stHill said...
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