Steuber's Draft Mailbag's NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber answers questions from readers in his latest mailbag.

Martin Rucker. Why is his stock falling? If you look at all of his intangibles it makes no sense. He's been highly productive while having to share reps with Chase Coffman. Am I just blinded by my love for Mizzou or will Rucker be a good NFL tight end?
Darby from Burlington Junction, Mo.


I think Rucker has a chance to be a good NFL TE, but players like Dustin Keller, John Carlson and Brad Cottam have really improved their stock. Rucker just recently worked out in front of scouts and did well, but he's a little behind as far as momentum. The draft process is all about momentum and who emerges during the off-season. Unfortunately, Rucker had a late start, which will result into a late third-, early fourth-round selection.

I am a USC alum and have watched Fred Davis dominate in a West Coast offense. I believe he can be a stud in the Seattle sceme and help the 'Hawks receiving corps. If not him or Keller, I think they should go after DT Balmer from North Carolina. Who are you looking for them to take?
Jim from Dana Point, Calif.


I think you nailed it. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Seahawks draft a TE like Dustin Keller or a DT like Kentwan Balmer, but the wildcard selection is a WR. With Malcolm Kelly's disappointing Pro Day his stock is on the decline. But he's too talented to fall into the second round. I could see a team like Seattle, who needs a big receiver, select him 25th overall.

I am trying to get some thoughts on this. Are the Bengals better off a) trading a third-rounder to move up and secure Ellis, then using a second on the best WR and the other third on the best LB or WR; b) staying at 9, taking Rivers if Ellis is gone, taking the best DT in the second (Sims, Laws?) and using both third-rounders on WR? I am all for the first option but am curious to your thoughts. Thanks!
Adam from Cincinnati


I know the Bengals really like Sedrick Ellis and they would move up to acquire him. But how far do you move up? The cost may be a little high and the Bengals have a lot of needs on both sides of the ball. I could see the Bengals staying at No. 9 and select the best defender on the board. Whether it's Ellis or Keith Rivers, they both fill a need on the Bengals' defense.

In the second round, depending on what they do in the first round, I could see them drafting an offensive weapon. They could draft a TE or a WR and there will be plenty of talent on the board.

Do you think the Vikes will trade OT McKinnie due to off-field issues and if so would the Chiefs, Broncos or Dolphins consider trading a second-rounder plus to obtain him?
David from Ivins, Utah


It's possible the Vikings look to move McKinnie, but I don't foresee that happening. Even though McKinnie has some off-the-field issues, he's one of the best tackles in the league. I think the Vikings should give him another chance and hope things workout.

Exactly where does Owen Schmitt Fall?
Bill from Beckley, WV


I think Schmitt will be a fifth-round pick. I think Peyton Hillis will be the first FB off the board.

Will the 49ers get a wide receiver? If so, who and which round in the draft?


The Niners added some veteran WRs this off-season and I don't think the position is a major priority. They could add a young WR in the third round. A player like Vanderbilt's Earl Bennett fits their offense well, as he runs solid routes and has great hands. He's not a burner, but he has great YAC potential

Who is better DE, Sedrick Ellis vs. Glenn Dorsey?
Ben from Arcadia, Calif.


I think Sedrick Ellis has more upside than Dorsey, although I think Dorsey will probably have a greater impact immediately. Ellis and Dorsey will have solid careers, but when it's all said and done I think Ellis will be the most productive.

(Kevin O'Connell has) got off-the-chart measurables, an NFL arm, and leadership (four -year captain). It comes down to the mental game (reads, preparation, etc.). With a good QB coach in the NFL dont you think O'Connell could be an exciting QB at the next level?
Andy from Orange, Calif.


I think O'Connell is definitely a player to watch in the draft. He has all the attributes you look for in a QB. He's extremely athletic and has a strong arm. He really opened some eyes at the Combine and has a bit of a buzz about him right now. I wouldn't be surprised to see him drafted in the third or fourth round.

How will the receivers from UNM do in the draft?
Page from Rosewell, NM

Hi Page:

Marcus Smith and Travis Brown are good prospects, but not outstanding. They were highly productive with good skills. Smith has a chance to be a fifth-round pick, while Brown will be a late-rounder.

Why do people compare Darren McFadden to Adrian Peterson? Which running back in the NFL would do you think he is similar to?
Nick from Evansville, Ind.


I don't think Darren McFadden compares at all to Adrian Peterson. McFadden reminds me a lot of Reggie Bush. I think McFadden will struggle a bit in the NFL, because he's not a patient runner. He hits every opening 100 mph. He has to be more patient and allow his blockers to set up in front of him. He has all the skills, but he has to let the game come to him.

Now that all the different positions and players have been scrutinized over and over, it seems that a cast hasn't drawn a line. Those who play the ball with their feet (aka the kickers and punters). Are some showing any value in this year's draft?
Oliver from Rouen, France


The kickers, huh... Well, this year's draft doesn't have great star appeal, but there are some good kickers and punters. The best kicker is Wisconsin's Taylor Mehlhaff and the best punter is Georgia Tech's Durant Brooks. Brooks will be a mid-round selection, while Mehlhaff will likely draw sixth-round consideration. One punter to keep an eye out for is 6-foot-5, 212-pound Mike Dragosavich from North Dakota State.

Why is Matt Ryan rated as a better quarterback than Brian Brohm?
John from Miami, Fla.


I have no idea; I'm probably the only analyst sho likes Brohm over Ryan. If Brohm entered the draft after his junior season he would have been a top-10 pick. But now, after his Louisville squad finished 6-6 and Ryan's Boston College squad went 11-3, Ryan has the momentum over Brohm and is considered the superior QB in this class. It's "What have you done for me lately?" in the "not for long" industry.

How much will coming from a small school like Delaware effect Joe Flacco's draft status? Do you think he can translate over to the NFL as a productive starter within the first three years or he he going to be a late-bloomer (like Trent Green or Jay Fielder or Rich Gannon) or never bloom (see Quincy Carter, Cade McNown or Akili Smith)?
Chris from Wilmington, Del.


I don't think coming from a small school will hurt Flacco at all, because a lot of teams are intrigued with him. He proved to scouts at the Senior Bowl and the Scouting Combine that he's a legitimate prospect. Flacco looks the part of a potential franchise QB, but you don't know how he translates to the NFL because of the level of competition he played against at Delaware.

I think Flacco will be a good pro, not great, and will be a starter within a few years.

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