NFL Draft Analysis: Risers and Fallers
Texas quarterback Vince Young is making a dramatic leap up the board as the draft approaches. Teams once hesitant about the athletic signal caller are now singing his praises as a multi-dimensional threat who could transcend the position. The Tennessee Titans are considering him as the third pick, overall.
Southern California offensive tackle Winston Justice continues his slow, but steady ascent. Justice was considered a fallback option for several teams in the middle of the first round just a few weeks ago, but may not make it out of the top ten with Buffalo (8), Detroit (9), and Arizona (10) all in need of offensive line help.
Nebraska safety Daniel Bullocks remains one of the draft's more underrated prospects and could be the surprise selection of the first round. Should a run on defensive backs occur throughout the last fifteen picks of the first round, as projected, Bullocks could be an option for either Seattle (31) or Pittsburgh (32). Last year, Daniel's twin brother, Josh, also a safety from Nebraska, was drafted by the Saints with the 40th overall selection.
Western Michigan wide receiver Greg Jennings is skyrocketing up the board. As teams ponder the upside of bigger, faster projects, Jennings' smooth routes and sticky hands make a potential immediate contributor. Jennings led the country with an average of 8.91 receptions per game.
Miami outside linebacker Rocky McIntosh is a player many clubs are looking at as a fallback option should they not be able to secure an outside linebacker in the first round. McIntosh has played all three linebacker positions for the Hurricanes and his versatility could land him as high as the second round.
Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart is a candidate to experience a surprising drop on draft day according to the buzz among NFL scouts. With growing speculation that both the Titans (3) and Jets (4) have other players higher on their boards, it remains to be seen how far the former Heisman winner could fall.
Virginia Tech cornerback Jimmy Williams is another high profile player who could take a tumble. While scouts are quick to point out his rare combination of size (6-3, 213 pounds) and speed (4.43), they also admit a concern over Williams' inconsistency throughout his senior season. Williams is considered by many to be the draft's top cornerback, but may not be selected before the midway point of the first round. Over the past ten years, only the 2001 draft (Nate Clements, Bills, #21) featured the first cornerback falling this far.
Boise State offensive tackle Daryn Colledge is slipping down the board amid concerns that he'll need to get stronger to handle the physicality of the NFL. The 6-5, 300-pounder started every game of his career for the Broncos, but struggled with powerful defenders at the Senior Bowl. Some teams have indicated concern that his personality was not what they expect for an offensive lineman.
Texas defensive tackle Rodrique Wright could fall completely out of the first day of the draft despite obvious talent and a 6-5, 300-pound frame. His career numbers are impressive -- 227 tackles, 41 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks, However, he is considered inconsistent, at best, and teams left Combine interviews questioning just how important football is to him.
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