Monday, 12 April 2010

Best and worst value - offense

By Rob Staton
Which prospects will offer the best value at the position they're taken? Who won't offer great value? Here's my take for the offense (defense will be up later). Let me know your thoughts in the comments section, on twitter (@robstaton) or email:


Best Value: Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame)
This isn't a great draft for quarterbacks and there's a decent chance we won't find any long term starters outside the top two. If Clausen drops a bit in round one, you're getting a solid starter with experience in a pro-style system at the most important position in football.

Worst Value: Colt McCoy (Texas)
If you believe some sections of the media, Colt McCoy is a second round pick. Personally, I wouldn't draft him period because his game is so limited I can never envisage a starting NFL QB. If a team takes him in round two or three - it'll be a wasted pick for me.

Running Back

Best Value: Ben Tate (Auburn)
I think Tate is the kind of prospect that in two years time everyone wonders why he wasn't drafted much earlier. He has size, he has speed. He can work in most systems. Tate might end up being the best back in this class and he's not going to go earlier than the mid-late second round.

Worst Value: Ryan Mathews (Fresno State)
I've seen some mocks (see: Rick Gosselin) posting Mathews as early as the 14th overall pick. I give him a late second round grade at best. I'd just rather take Ben Tate or Jahvid Best in round two than reach for Ryan Mathews.

Wide Receiver

Best Value: Brandon LaFell (LSU)
LaFell has the potential to be a #1 receiver in the NFL. For whatever reason, things never clicked for him in 2009. If he drops into the late second or third round, he's worth taking a chance on and could be a steal in the long run.

Worst Value: Demaryius Thomas (Georgia Tech)
Thomas' stock is through the roof despite the fact he won't work out before the draft. His presence in GT's 'triple option' offense makes him a curious prospect. Can he run routes? Is he really that fast? Are his hands consistent enough? A lot of question marks for a first rounder.

Tight End

Best Value: Anthony McCoy (USC)
McCoy has his issues but he's also a very talented all-round tight end who's best football is in front of him. If I was in need of a tight end, I'd certainly consider him in the late second or third round.

Worst Value: Jermaine Gresham (Oklahoma)
One of the biggest risk/reward picks this year. Gresham has seriously injured both knees and has off the field issues. He's not much of a blocker either but he's a dynamic pass-catcher. If he's taken in round one, it's a big gamble that he can stay healthy.

Offensive lineman

Best Value: Charles Brown (USC)
For me, Brown is a completely under rated prospect who perfectly fits teams that run a zone blocking scheme. He should be a first round pick but he could be the sixth tackle off the board. He might be better than the other five.

Worst Value: Russell Okung (Oklahoma State)
Limited upside, not dominant, technique issues. Possibly the most over rated prospect in the 2010 draft. It wouldn't surprise me if he suffered a slight drop on draft day - but if he does go fourth overall, it's about twenty picks too high.


Frankfrog said...

I like the list but I don't really understand whats wrong with Ryan Mathews, I know he's suspect in the passing game as a blocker or receiver but these seem like teachable traits when you already have a third down back on the team.
I like Ben Tate he just seems like a poor mans Mathews without the elite vision. I think there both great though and would like to see either in house.

Rob Staton said...

Tate and Mathews are very similar in size and ran very similar times in the 40 yard dash. Tate got his yards, however, against top end talent. Mathews never had that at Fresno.

The reason I used them both in this example is one is being touted in a high profile mock to go 14th overall and the other is universally in the round 3 grade. I know who I'd rather have.

CLanterman said...

Hey Rob, great article. I 100% agree with McCoy. I almost don't know if he's worth taking at all. Much better to get a Canfield, Snead, or Pike who at least have the upside or chance to do something. I feel like McCoy is what he is, and that's a short QB who's played too much in the spread, and can't make the necessary throws in the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rob,
Great site! I really enjoy your work here, but I disagree about Mathews. Watching clips on youtube, Mathews appears to play much faster than Tate. Some of the film on Mathews is against top-ten rated teams, so to say he never had that is a bit off the mark, imo. I would love for the Hawks to land Mathews. I actually prefer him to Spiller.

Rob Staton said...

Annonymous - Tate ran the third fastest 40 yard dash time at the combine, only beaten by C.J. Spiller and Jahvid Best. Mathews had success admittedly against Cincinatti and Boise State in 2009, but neither owned a stand out defense. In the SEC, Tate was regularly coming up against the best defenses in college football. Physically both are very similar, so given the choice of Mathews in R1 or Tate in R3 I will take Tate.


Worst Value: Tim Tebow! Hands down!!

Kyle Rota said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kyle Rota said...

Rob - when it comes to on-field speed, Mathews plays much faster than Tate. Tate has some really good speed, but you can go an entire game without seeing it.

Also, Boise State had a very good defense, allowing 17PPG. Mathews also had big games against Big10 opponents Wisconsin and Illinois (Illi may suck, but it's not for lack of talent, they get some of the best recruiting classes each year).

I find it absolutely astonishing that Mathews outranks Spiller as a bad value at RB, especially since some of your mocks have had Spiller going as high as #6.

Anonymous said...

What about Trent Williams as worst value for offensive linemen? He's Alex Barron 2.0 and he's got a similar top 10 ranking with Russell Okung. He was pretty garbage this year. At least Okung played well.

Kip Earlywine said...

Not a bad list. I probably would have also mentioned Maurkice Pouncey in the over-valued category. Okung is a solid choice, but you could argue almost the entire first round of OT's will be over-drafted this year.

Steve in Spain said...

I like the picks Rob. I agree about Tate and Mathews - they're basically the same back but Tate can be had much later at a cheaper price.

On OL, I'd nominate Tony Washington for good value - this is a guy who's dropped several rounds just because he got too friendly with his sis a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

"I find it absolutely astonishing that Mathews outranks Spiller as a bad value at RB, especially since some of your mocks have had Spiller going as high as #6."

Kyle Rota-

Everyone knows by now that Rob is in a bro-mance trance for Spiller - "the playmaker"!

Anonymous said...

Rob, like the list and agree with most. It's really tough though for us mere mortals to know what to believe. For every site that says Trent Williams is a top ten talent, there is one that says he's not even a first round talent. If Seattle wants a left tackle in the first round, I doubt they'll get value as the position will be over-drafted due to so many teams with the same need. Ergo, my hope is that Seattle avoids overdrafting for need and focuses on D where the talent in this draft is deep. I'd much prefer Clausen, McCoy or even Morgan at 6 to any of the left tackle prospects. And throw darts if you like, but I'd try like crazy to trade down from 14, and hope Brown is stil there in the late teens or early 20's. Once again, the Patriots are positioned with value picks. Maybe they'll be willing to use one of their 3 second rounders to trade up in the 1st for someone they love, like Graham.

0verDraft said...

Great list and totally agree with all your picks. I even looked em over twice to see if I had any gripe. Nope. Well done.

Frankfrog said...

Kerney retired. Thanks for being a class act.