>\n\nBoom or Bust in 2010 - NFL Draft Style \n\n\n\n

Boom or Bust in 2010 - NFL Draft Style

Written by Curt Popejoy on 04/12/2010

Every year we see it.  Guys who are drafted high, turn out being flaming bags of dog crap on the porches of the teams that drafted them; others who slip through the cracks, end up being that tasty M&M you find in your boring trail mix of a draft class.

Predicting who's going to bust and who's going to blow up is always tricky.  You really have to take each player individually in a fishbowl and not carry over any comparisons or even follow the same rules from one guy to another.  Sometimes it's based on some of the more recent hard data, or based on historical data, and sometimes it's simply based on a player being drafted higher via a groundswell of un-deserved hype.  And sometimes it's just a hunch.

I've put together two quick lists. First, are 5 guys I suspect will be drafted outside of the first two rounds, who will seriously outplay guys taken ahead of them at their positions. My second list are my 5 guys who will be drafted in the first couple of rounds who give me the look of giant flame outs at the worst, and just mediocre pros drafted way too soon.

5 Dez Bryant, WR Oklahoma State - The consensus no.1 wide out in this draft and probably the poster child for being the best in a down draft class. Bryant passes the eyeball test, no doubt.  Great size, long arms and huge hands.  And if you put on the right tape, he passes the eyeball test there as well with some amazing highlight catches.  But a couple of things keep haunting me from the tape.  He rarely gets clear of his defender, forcing his tough catches, and in many cases when he does get clear, he drops passes that he shouldn't.  That really makes me wonder if he can do all the little things he's not doing now, so he catches those routine balls.
4 Dan LeFevour, QB Central Michigan - Not sure why but I have a sneaking suspicion that some team is going to snatch up LeFevour in the first couple of rounds, and that's a mistake.  There's nothing about the technical part of his game, I can't see a need for improvement.  Footwork, throwing motion, you name it.  His arm strength isn't great, and he doesn't make good reads.  I think there will be QBs taken after LeFevour who will do much better in their NFL careers, but because it seems  like we've heard about him for 10 years, he'll be drafted first.
3 Mike Iupati, OG Idaho - I know I am going to get flamed for this, and while I think Iupati is a ten year NFL starter, I don't put him in the same class as the other first round linemen in this draft.  And I don't believe as some do that he could move to left tackle and dominate, because if he could, at a school like Idaho, he would have.  Buyer beware on Iupati, not because he can't play, but because he isn't going to be as good as his draft position.
2 Derrick Morgan, DE Georgia Tech - I do not get what all the hub bub is about Morgan.  He's a nice player, no doubt.  But if you think you are drafting Jared Allen, you are going to be disappointed.  I keep hearing about his work ethic and his motor, but what I see is a guy who works hard and plays fast so long as things are going his way, but doesn't know how to make adjustments when they aren't.  He got stonewalled by Bryan Bulaga and as the game wore on, instead of working harder, coming up with something new, his level of intensity went down down down.  He's going to have those kinds of games in the NFL, but he'll need to not just give up. I think Morgan's future is probably as a left DE, where he's not going to have to matchup against the other team's best tackle because from what I have seen, he's not going to win enough of those matchups.
1 Colt McCoy QB Texas - Flame out.  I'm sure you all thought I'd throw Tebow on this list, but in terms of guys who are going to under perform in comparison to where they are draft, McCoy is the guy.  There is even talk of him being a first round pick.  I guess NFL teams don't have access to his games, or don't understand how Coach Mack Brown built an offense to maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses and how many catches his wide outs bailed him out on.  I said in his scouting report he reminded me of Alex Smith who went No.1 overall for many of the same reasons you are hearing why McCoy will be drafted, and right now, you couldn't trade him for a sack of balls

And now for the 5 guys I think will out perform their draft spot.

5 Damian Williams, WR USC - First of 2 Trojans on my list.  Williams isn't getting the press that dopey Dez Bryant is getting but when you watch them play, it seems clear to me, Williams is a much more polished player. Probably not as flashy and doesn't have the mainstream cred that Bryant has, which could push him to the 2nd round.  But when you think about a player like Wes Welker or Hines Ward, the things you always read are about being tough and being a pinpoint route runner.  That's what Williams has. You don't have to be the fastest when you run routes as crisp as he does.  He may not ever be a no.1 but as a no.2, he'll be the no.2 for some team.
4 Manase Tonga, FB BYU - How can a FB be a sleeper?  Well, I'll tell you how. Tonga is a guy who will slip because of his age and the position he plays, but when you put on the tape of him, what you get is a combination of Tony Richardson and Peyton Hillis.  I can see him catching first downs, running for first downs, and opening up holes for first downs for some team for a long time.
3 Everson Griffen, DE USC - 2nd Trojan on the list, and the Rodney Dangerfield of the draft.  No respect.  So many draftniks simply hang their hat on production and assume that if you haven't produced than you won't be a great NFL player. In some cases that can be very true, but certainly not all; I don't think however, that is the case with Griffen.  You can see that super high ceiling on Griffen in flashes.  And his athleticism is something you simply can't deny.  If Jason Pierre-Paul can be the top DE in the draft, with his DI production, athleticism carrying him, I find it absurd the same guys say Griffen's lack of production hurt him.  After seeing how smooth he's been in LB drills and his triangle numbers, I simply can't rule him out as a 3-4 Rush OLB, sort of like James Harrison or Lamarr Woodley of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
2 Jerry Hughes, DE/LB TCU - Back to back defensive ends make the list.  I really get sick of the critics of Hughes.  They simply nitpick his game, in an attempt to downplay what has been a very good career and from a player who plays a little like the really hungry kid who just got his lunch stolen.  There isn't another player in this draft who plays with more of a disregard for his opponent than Hughes, and that's  something I love about him.  I think his strength means he can play in either a 3-4 or a 4-3, and if he can show that he can drop into coverage, he could be a Lamarr Woodley type player as well.
1 Darrell Stuckey, S Kansas -There are a lot of good safeties in this draft, and Stuckey seems to be the forgotten man.  It's too bad because he might be as good as anyone outside of the top 3 in this draft.  He reminds me a lot of Bob Sanders in his size, explosion and physical play.  I have heard some say that Stuckey is a 4th round pick and if a team is able to get him that late, they will have committed robbery in this draft, regardless of who else is drafted ahead of him.  Lots of big name safeties in this draft, but Stuckey is just a great football player.

Last Edited: 04/12/2010

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