One of my favorite players to watch last year was Florida State LB Ernie Sims. He is a shorter LB (5-foot-11, 232-pounds), which might make him drop. In my opinion, Ernie Sims is one of the top 15 players in the draft regardless of size. He is a fast, extremely physical player who plays with a reckless abandon that not many guys in the league come close to and he has the position versatility to play S or OLB. I would play him at SS and watch him become a pro bowler. He has the athleticism to play the position from a coverage perspective and he would be a run stuffer in the Roy Williams mold. He is a steal waiting to happen for the team that helps with his transition to SS.
In my opinion, DeAngelo Williams is a very intriguing player in this draft. He is talented and has that "it factor" that most marketing people love. He is charismatic and will immediately become one of the most quotable players around. He is simply a highly intelligent, class kid. That said, there are other RB's I like more than him. For as talented as he is, DeAngelo has been snake bitten with injuries and will need a lot of work on his pass protection. He is a very instinctive RB who runs with speed and power. He has great cutback skills with superb change of direction, body control, and balance. He runs low, can really hurt LB's who misjudge his speed, and has decent hands.
A couple of years ago, Miami's Eric Winston looked poised to become the "next great OT". The converted TE had all the athleticism in the world, a great frame, and an attitude to match. He was being coached by Art Kehoe, so it was a foregone conclusion that he would develop into a top 10 pick once he improved his technique and footwork. Something happened on the way to stardom. Eric Winston suffered a serious knee injury in 2004. While his Combine results were extremely impressive, he has not been the same. As a pass blocker, he has quick feet and great body control, however he is very susceptible to inside pass rush moves and allows people into his body. In the NFL, that will get him killed. As a run blocker, he is an effective player who tries to wall off rather than go for the throat. It is almost as if he is still playing scared. He is still a first round pick and still has phenomenal upside potential, but he needs a good coach to push him. A team like San Diego with the 19th pick in the draft could be a great situation.
LSU OT Andrew Whitworth is a big (6'7" 335 pound), physical OT who has developed into a very good player. He is a mauler who gets into a defender quickly and really understands how to drive block. He generates a lot of movement and could be a very effective right tackle in this league. As a pass blocker, he can short set and does a good job of using angles to overcome a lack of recovery ability. That said, he is not very fluid in space and will overextend when he gets beat. In the end, you have a smart, hard working player. He has developed into a better player than his athletic talent suggests and could become a rookie starter.
Iowa LB Chad Greenway came into Iowa as a QB and left as one of the best LB's in the Big 10. He is not the biggest, strongest, or fastest LB in this draft, but he is the most instinctive. He has great diagnostic skills and understands angles. He breaks down well, is a very good form tackler, and displays solid coverage skills. You probably do not want him on taking on OL if you can avoid it, because he has some trouble getting off blocks. That said, he should be a very useful player as either the weakside ILB in a 3-4 or a 4-3 OLB.
Draft expert Rob Curtis is a writer for sdboltreport.com, our Chargers affiliate on the Scout.com network.
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