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CC's Top 32 Draft Prospects (also in Leftovers)

Postby CC » Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:07 pm

These are my personal top 32 draft prospects for the 2006 draft. It is all seniors and any underclassmen I feel will come out (denoted by the *). I have seen all of these players play at least once and have compiled this list from what I saw and what I gathered from other websites and game reviews. I hope you find them interesting. Any and all feedback appreciated.

CC’s Top 32 Draft Prospects

1. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia
Although not everyone will agree with me on slotting Ferguson at #1, few can argue that he is not a top 3-5 prospect in this NFL Draft. Had Ferguson come out last year he would have likely been snapped up at either the 2nd or 3rd pick by the Dolphins or Browns. He is an elite-level tackle, he is extremely athletic, has very quick feet, and is very intelligent. The knock on him is that he could stand to put on more weight, but he has already put on nearly 40 pounds since coming to Virginia, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

2. Matt Leinart, QB, USC
After winning the Heisman, the national championship, and being projected at the #1 overall pick, there didn’t seem to be any reason for Leinart to return to school. Despite all he had accomplished, Leinart decided to go back to USC again. He is a front-runner for both the Heisman and the #1 pick in the draft again, and USC is ranked #1 and undefeated. Leinart has great accuracy, plays excellently in big games, and has all the intangibles you could ask for. People can knock on his arm strength and say that he has always looked good because he has been surrounded by exceptional talent, regardless Leinart wins games and is almost guaranteed to be the top QB selected and a top 3-5 pick.

3. Mario Williams, DE, North Carolina St.*
If you don’t know who Mario Williams is, you definitely will by the time the draft rolls around next April. He is a very athletic, exceptionally fast (rumoured to run a 4.6 40), very skilled defensive end. DE’s are always needed in the NFL and one with Williams skill set will be in high demand come draft time.

4.Reggie Bush, RB, USC*
Playmaker, jack of all trades, unstoppable. There are any multitude of words (and phrases) that can be used to describe Reggie Bush, but until you watch him play you can’t truly understand the talent he has. He is blazing fast, has good size, is one of the best receiving backs I have ever seen, and has moves on top of moves. The only thing that prevents me from ranking him as a top 3 prospect is the fact that he splits time with Lendale White and hasn’t proven himself as a between the tackles, north-south runner. Mark my words though, every team knows where Reggie Bush is on every play of the game. If he is on the sidelines getting a drink, the opposing team has a linebacker attempting to spy him. Think rich-mans Brian Westbrook or slightly poorer-mans Marshall Faulk (in his prime).

5. AJ Hawk, OLB, Ohio St.
It kills me to rank a Buckeye this high, but Hawk is the consummate playmaker. He is all over the field on every play and seemingly makes every tackle. He is very fast (ran a 4.4 40 at OSU’s pro day) and is strong both in coverage and against the run. He can over pursue but that is about as far as his weaknesses go. He is a top candidate for the Butkus award and could well go above Brooks if things go well for him.

6. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis
While everyone lists Reggie Bush as the top RB in the upcoming draft class, I believe that Williams is going to be closer to Reggie than anyone imagines. He would have been a 1st round pick last year were it not for a broken leg suffered in the GMAC Bowl last year. He has game breaking speed, is very agile, and is effective as a receiver out of the backfield. The only real knock on his is the competition he has played, but the same was said of Tomlinson when he came out, and he turned out alright.

7. Jimmy Williams, CB, Virginia Tech
After thinking about coming out last year, Jimmy Williams made a great choice in deciding to return to school for his senior year. He might have gotten lost in last year’s stellar class of CB’s but he is head and shoulders above the competition this year (with the season-ending injury of Jason Allen). He has great speed, size, and is very athletic. Add to that he is a great tackler and you have the complete package at corner. The only knocks on his are that he played at safety until he was a junior and he doesn’t really get after the ball. I would assume the reason for that is that he doesn’t get thrown at that much though.

8. Marcus McNeill, OT, Auburn
You think Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams rushed for all those yards on your own? Marcus McNeill is a big reason as to why they were so effective. And when I say big, I mean BIG. At 6'9 and 340 pounds, there is nothing small about McNeill. Not his size and not his game. He absolutely manhandles people, making him on the most effective run blockers you will find. He is no stiff though, he is surprisingly athletic and has fairly quick feet.

9. Ahmad Brooks, ILB, Virginia*
Two Cavaliers to kick off the top prospects in this year’s draft class. Brooks is a physical freak who would have likely been the top LB selected in last years draft had he chosen to come out. He is only a junior but would have been eligible for the draft due to attending an extra year of school after HS graduation (a la Larry Fitzgerald). Make no mistake, he is ready, he was a finalist for the Butkus award last year. If not for an early season injury, he would be #1 on my board. Once he proves he is fully back from the injury, he will be this high on everyone’s draft boards.
Note: I have recently seen him play and he has not looked impressive, I still think he will be a great player and if he looks like he is back to old form he is a top 3 prospect. I have also read he let his weight climb as high as 280.

10. Matthias Kiwanuka, DE, Boston College
“Kiwi” is absolutely relentless when it comes to getting to the passer. He is the most accomplished sack artist in college football and should contribute right away at the next level as a pass rush specialist. He is very long and lean, he needs to add more weight, but that can probably be done quite easily. He defense against the run needs to improve but there is every indication that it can and will.

11. Chad Greenway, OLB, Iowa
This is another guy that would have been a first round draft pick last April but chose to return to school. Greenway is the 3rd best of a very skilled and deep class of linebackers. He has good coverage skills and speed (4.5 40 time) and is a great tackler. He wraps up and takes down anyone who is close to him. He is a gamer and has made more than his share of plays for the Hawkeyes, any team who ends up with him will have an immediate upgrade to their LB corps.

12. Rodrique Wright, DT, Texas
Wright and Derrick Johnson were the heart of the Texas defense for the last three years. Now with DJ gone, Wright is the unquestionable star of the Longhorns defense. Not to give you the impression that they are a bunch of slouches, but Wright is the cream of their crop. Wright would have been the top DT selected in last years draft, and while others may have you believing differently, I believe that he is the top DT available in this draft. He will do anything you ask him to, from plugging holes and stopping the run to getting deep into the backfield and pressuring the passer. He did have some injury problems last year, but I expect him to shake them off and be a top prospect by the time the draft rolls around.

13. Marcedes Lewis, TE, UCLA
Good tight ends are few and far between, and with the new rule enforcement the position is becoming much more highly utilized, and a playmaking tight end can make all the difference for some teams (ie. Antonio Gates and the Chargers). While next year is the money year for tight ends (Greg Olsen and Zach Miller) this year is not without its potential studs at the position. Marcedes Lewis creates a nightmare for opposing defences, he is too fast for linebackers and too strong for safeties. He also has great hands. He needs to improve his blocking but apart from that he is a great prospect.

14. Omar Jacobs, QB, Bowling Green*
After a fantastic season last year in which he threw for over 4,000 yards along with 41 TDs and only 4 INTs the hype around Omar Jacobs is beginning to grow. Let me tell you something, I have seen him play 3 times and this kid is for real. He has good height for a QB, a very strong and accurate arm and the ability to move the chains with his feet as well as his arm. He also does a good job of throwing the ball away when there isn’t a play to be made and avoiding sacks. He does have a bit of a funky throwing motion, but apart from that he looks like he will be a very good NFL QB. The only other question is whether he can do it against top competition, as Bowling Green does not exactly have the toughest schedule.
Note: Recently suffered injury and status is unknown. He will remain here for now since I don’t know the extent of the injury.

15. Eric Winston, OT, Miami (Florida)
Going into last year, Eric Winston looked like a sure-fire top 10 and likely top 5 draft pick. How quickly things can change, after a season-ending knee injury, Winston is making a push to get back to the point which he was at last year. If he is at full strength, he is definitely going to go a lot higher than the 15th pick and will be ranked ahead of Marcus McNeill. He has the size and athleticism to be a top left tackle in the NFL, the question is how well he will recover from the knee injury.

16. Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota*
After being stuck in a backfield with current Cowboys backup RB Marion Barber III, Maroney has finally gotten his chance to be the man this year (although his backup Gary Russell is looking fantastic in what time he’s gotten). Maroney is a burner who can take any play and turn it into a touchdown at the drop of a hat. He has the agility and moves to make people miss. He is not that big however, and is a pretty poor pass-catcher. Despite those flaws, he is a great pro prospect and will be a good pick for whoever nabs him.

16. Jonathon Scott, OT, Texas
In most other classes Jon Scott would either be the 1st or 2nd tackle off the board and a likely top 10 pick. However in such a deep tackle class, Scott won’t come off the board until the 2nd half of the first round which means some team is going to get great value. Scott has great size and is a very good run blocker. He needs to get better against the rush, but he has the potential to be a fantastic NFL tackle. He is also very seasoned as he has been a mainstay on Texas’ offensive line.

17. Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon*
Ngata is an absolute plug in the middle of a defense, he is 6'5 and weighs upwards of 340 pounds. He is virtually impossible to run on and demands a double-team on every play of the game. He also has good moves and good speed for someone of his size, which helps him to make plays outside of the box. He does not contribute a ton against the pass, but he does provide a decent push up the middle. His prowess against the run makes him worth a selection all on its own. He does need to improve his conditioning and show more fire on the field however.

18. Max Jean-Gilles, OG, Georgia
Jean-Gilles is an absolute truck who will make some running backs job a lot easier one day. He is huge and has excellent technique. He would have been the top guard available last year had he chosen to come out, and this year he will likely be the top guard available (others may say Davin Joseph but I have yet to see him play to Jean-Gilles level). He has had problems with his weight, but he has all the necessary skills to be a great player in the NFL.

19. Ernie Sims, LB, Florida St.*
Sims has the talent to be ranked much higher than this. He is very fast, has decent size, and hits as hard as anyone else that you will find. He makes plays all over the field and should develop into a nice cover linebacker in the future. He has had off the field problems however, mainly a domestic violence charge over the summer for which he was suspended a game for. If he smartens up, he will be a great NFL player, if not, it is hard to tell how he will turn out.

20. Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio St.
Santonio Holmes reminds me of a lesser version of Mark Clayton in last year’s draft. He has all the tools to be a successful NFL WR except for size. He has exceptional speed, good hands, nice route-running skills and pretty good run-after-the-catch ability. However due to only standing 5'11 and weighing a mean 185, he will likely never be a dominant WR. This is not to say that he will not be a good NFL player, he likely will be a very solid NFL player but it will not be in a TO sort of way, it will be in a Troy Brown sort of way.

21. Vince Young, QB, Texas*
Vince Young is a phenomenal college player, without him Texas would probably be ranked outside of the top 20, with him they are currently ranked #2 in the country. He makes plays with his feet reminiscent of Michael Vick at Virginia Tech. Until this year, I believed Vince Young would be nothing more than a great college player. While he has ideal size for an NFL QB and is as athletic as any QB that you will find, I thought that his passing game was too weak to ever succeed as an NFL QB. I stand corrected, Vince Young is going to be a solid NFL QB. While he still has a strange delivery on his passes his passing game has advanced by leaps and bounds. He still has to work on his aerial game, but his potential alone makes him worth a first round pick. He could end up being a bust, but he could also end up being a star.

22. Jesse Mahelona, DT, Tennessee
Mahelona lives in the opposing teams backfield. He gets great penetration due to his exceptionally quick first step and plays as hard as anyone that you will find. Mahelona came out of nowhere last year and has cemented his status as a 1st round draft pick with his great play. He is athletic enough to make all the plays that you would like to see out of your defensive tackle, and if he gets a little bit bigger there will be very little to complain about.

23. Chad Jackson, WR, Florida*
After being a top recruit out of high school, Chad Jackson never really met expectations at Florida. That is, until this year. He and Chris Leak have seemed to have formed a chemistry, and it is doing wonders for Jackson’s draft stock. He has size (6'1 and 200 pounds) and speed (4.45 40 time) which are the two main assets any WR needs to have. He has all the talent necessary to be a great NFL WR and it wouldn’t surprise me if he passes Santonio Holmes on my draft board come April.

24. D’Qwell Jackson, ILB, Maryland
If you are looking for a linebacker to man the middle of your defense to make plays and not miss tackles, D’Qwell Jackson is your man. He is a great athlete that will get after the QB or run down a ball carrier. He is also solid in pass coverage and is capable of snagging a few interceptions a season. He is a bit small however, at 6 foot and 230 pounds, so he needs to get a bit bigger to play in the NFL.

25. Laron Landry, S, LSU*
This class doesn’t have the standout safety like a Sean Taylor or Roy Williams, or even a Thomas Davis type mid first round safety, but make no mistake, Laron Landry is no slouch. If he decides to come out this year he will be the top safety on the board. He has played both FS and SS in the vaunted LSU defences of the last few years and can most definitely play. He has size (6'2 and 190 pounds) and speed (mid 4.4 40 time) and the smarts to make plays on the field.

26. Greg Eslinger, C, Minnesota
You think Marion Barber III, Laurence Maroney, and Gary Russell run for all those yards on their own? Greg Eslinger is a beast that specializes in run blocking, he has the strength to handle any DT and can get out and pull on a counter, stretch or sweep. He is no slouch in pass blocking but could stand to improve a bit. Centre is not usually a position that goes in the first round and Eslinger is a borderline first round pick, but some team will get him for a good value because of the position he plays.

27. Davin Joseph, OG, Oklahoma
After being a part of last years dominating Oklahoma offensive line that made Adrian Peterson look like the Lebron James of football (and I’m not saying he isn’t) there was bound to be a bit of a letdown this year with the loss of Jamaal Brown and Wes Sims to the NFL. A bit of a letdown has been a big understatement. Joseph is the only member of the offensive line playing like he belongs on a Sooner football team. That aside, he is still a good prospect with a ton of potential. He has solid footwork and is great in pass-blocking, I have also read he could play OT in a tight spot and is very athletic. He needs to improve his strength but he could easily end up being better than Jean-Gilles.

28. Abdul Hodge, ILB, Iowa
It’s tough to get the credit you deserve when you have to play second fiddle at your position to a player on your team. While Chad Greenway gets all the shine, Hodge continues to get the job done. Hodge uses his great speed to run down ball carriers and unleash big hits on unsuspecting players on the opposing team. He is a solid cover linebacker who overall has no glaring weaknesses. Look for him to be a borderline first round pick in April.

29. Demeco Ryans, OLB, Alabama
While I am not as high on Ryans as most, I still think he is a very solid prospect who will be a mid-to-late first round pick. He has great speed and athleticism and makes plays all over the field. He has been very productive and is a very intelligent player who is a leader on Alabama’s vaunted defence. He is a tad undersized and can be handled by stronger linemen but he is a very solid all around player. In addition to all of this, all Alabama’s great season can do is help his draft stock.

30. Claude Wroten, DT, LSU
Marcus Spears, Chad Lavalais, and Marquise Hill are all defensive linemen from LSU that have become NFL players over the last two drafts (not even including current Tigers DT Kyle Williams). Despite all the talent LSU has produced in the defensive trenches over the past couple of years, the best is yet to come. Wroten is very athletic for his size and gets into opponent’s backfields at will. In addition to this he is a very proficient run-stopper and plugs gaps nicely. He needs a little more experience and coaching, but he has great potential.

31. Jason Allen, CB/S, Tennessee
Prior to the season, I would have had Jason Allen much higher than this on my board. I think he is a great prospect and his ability to play both CB and S makes him that much more attractive in my opinion. He is very athletic and has great coverage skills. He is also a very physical player who lead the SEC in tackles last year. If he shows he has recovered from the hip injury he will go a lot higher than this.

32. Gabe Watson, DT, Michigan
Watson is an absolute load in the middle making him the perfect fit as a NT in a 3-4 defence. He occupies two blockers on every play and is a great run stopper. He helps every player on the defence by eating up blockers. Despite being strong against the run he is weak against the pass because of his size, were he to lose some weight he might be more effective. He has also struggled a bit this year, at one point being benched to give him a wakeup call. All in all, I think he will be a very solid NT in a Casey Hampton or Jamal Williams mold (poor-mans version of either).
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Postby Gunslinger » Wed Oct 26, 2005 8:11 pm

Great stuff CC. I skimmed over it - I'll have to give it a solid read tomorrow (I'm alone with my 2 year old and I can barely get a minute to sit down).

Glad to see that Chad Jackson is getting some recognition. He was a great player here in Hoover, AL.
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Postby Gunslinger » Fri Oct 28, 2005 7:03 am

CC wrote:7. Jimmy Williams, CB, Virginia Tech
After thinking about coming out last year, Jimmy Williams made a great choice in deciding to return to school for his senior year. He might have gotten lost in last year’s stellar class of CB’s but he is head and shoulders above the competition this year (with the season-ending injury of Jason Allen). He has great speed, size, and is very athletic. Add to that he is a great tackler and you have the complete package at corner. The only knocks on his are that he played at safety until he was a junior and he doesn’t really get after the ball. I would assume the reason for that is that he doesn’t get thrown at that much though.


Jimmy let another one get through. He's been personally responsible for 3 TDs scored against us.

CC, how does Darryl Tapp project in the NFL? Is he considered small for a DE (6' 1'', 265lbs)? He's been a beast for us, I'm going to hate to see him go next season.
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Postby Mustangs989 » Fri Oct 28, 2005 7:38 am

Gunslinger wrote:CC, how does Darryl Tapp project in the NFL? Is he considered small for a DE (6' 1'', 265lbs)? He's been a beast for us, I'm going to hate to see him go next season.

Yeah ideal size would probably be the knock on him. He should still get drafted somewhere in the 2nd round. Could even slip into late 1st IMO.
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Postby killiansjmd » Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:10 pm

Gunslinger wrote:
CC wrote:7. Jimmy Williams, CB, Virginia Tech
After thinking about coming out last year, Jimmy Williams made a great choice in deciding to return to school for his senior year. He might have gotten lost in last year’s stellar class of CB’s but he is head and shoulders above the competition this year (with the season-ending injury of Jason Allen). He has great speed, size, and is very athletic. Add to that he is a great tackler and you have the complete package at corner. The only knocks on his are that he played at safety until he was a junior and he doesn’t really get after the ball. I would assume the reason for that is that he doesn’t get thrown at that much though.


Jimmy let another one get through. He's been personally responsible for 3 TDs scored against us.

CC, how does Darryl Tapp project in the NFL? Is he considered small for a DE (6' 1'', 265lbs)? He's been a beast for us, I'm going to hate to see him go next season.


Couple weeks ago a guy on NFL network was breaking down the DB's for next years drat and he was showing film on Williams. He was stating he has poor techinique and comes out of breaks to slow.
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Postby CC » Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:38 pm

I considered Tapp for the top 32, he only missed by a few slots or so. He is a tad small which is the main knock. If it was for strictly seniors then Tapp would make the list.
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Postby Gunslinger » Fri Oct 28, 2005 11:11 pm

Canadian_Cheesehead wrote:I considered Tapp for the top 32, he only missed by a few slots or so. He is a tad small which is the main knock. If it was for strictly seniors then Tapp would make the list.


Cool - I just hadn't heard anything on him with respect to the NFL. I had no idea if he was first or second day material.
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Re: CC's Top 32 Draft Prospects (also in Leftovers)

Postby ilsa » Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:16 pm

Canadian_Cheesehead wrote:I have also read he could play OT in a tight spot and is very athletic.


Unfortunately he's been at OT for every game but one this year because there aren't any other tackles that can pass block.
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Postby PackerAttack84 » Sat Oct 29, 2005 8:00 pm

CC, What do you think about Brian Calhoun and where he ranks? I've heard that he is possibly a late first round pick.
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Postby CC » Sun Oct 30, 2005 10:01 am

PackerAttack84 wrote:CC, What do you think about Brian Calhoun and where he ranks? I've heard that he is possibly a late first round pick.


I've only seen him play once at Wisconsin so I am not sure how to rank him. I am fairly confident he will be back at school next year.
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