Potential is a very vague term. But we hear about this term a lot in the NFL. Every year scouts, coaches and executives pour over stats, charts and evaluations in order to increase the chance of hitting NFL gold. This year is no different.
The 2009 crop is loaded with talent, potential and baggage. Their will be Booms, and busts. The key to a great draft is figuring out which is which.
Who are the John Randle’s, and Tom Brady’s ? Who are the Troy Williams, and Demetrius Underwoods ? In the end, luck plays a huge role. You do your homework, you come to a consensus and the rest is a crap shoot.
This is my list of “Buyer Bewares” for 2009
1. Andre Smith – OT – Alabama – This guy has Demetrius Underwood written all over him. O.K., that’s a bit extreme. My apologies. Some people are saying, he’s young, it’s no big deal. Excuse me ?! You don’t just walk out on the NFL combines without telling anyone.
Since the season ended, he’s gained a ton of weight, he’s out of shape has done basically anything possible to sabotage his draft status. He’s gone from top 5 status to mid of late first, or even second round. No one questions his talent. He’s a mountain of a man at 6’4” 335 Lbs.
A dominant run blocker with a nasty mean streak. A hard worker when he’s on the field. In terms of upside, he may be the best tackle prospect in this draft. I think the Redskins grab him at # 13, but if he’s around at # 22, the Viking could be very tempted. Smith is the classic “Boom or Bust” prospect.
2. Malcolm Jenkins- CB – Ohio State – Some people think he’s got a lot of question marks. I think if he’s in the right scheme ( not cover two) he could be a beast. A great late first round value.
3. Josh Freeman – QB – Kansas State – Great Arm, Great mobility and great upside. But inconsistent and at times horribly inaccurate. Could be an excellent pro, or a career back-up.
4. Darrius Heyward-Bey- WR – Maryland – I really hope the Vikings don’t take this guy in the first round. I keep hearing about his great size-speed ratio, how great he is after the catch. How he’s the next Terrell Owens, etc. But you know what I don’t hear ? Positive reports about his hands or pass catching abilities. He drops a lot of passes, and what good is all that speed if you can’t catch the ball. ( See Troy Williamson).
2nd round – Pat White – QB – Great athlete, just not a great QB. Might make it as a WR, KR or running back.
Coveted 2nd round choices – ( If they last that long )
Phil Loadholt – T – Oklahoma – Not in the first round, but if he’s around in the second, the Vikings should be thanking their lucky stars.. Loadholt is potentially a dominant Right tackle. He is an elite run blocker, but struggles in pass blocking. His iffy footwork can be improved. His lack of foot speed can be an issue against quick defensive ends.
But this guy can flat out pancake anything in his path while he opens truck sized holes for Adrian Peterson to run through. He plays as mean as he is big. He plays hard from the first play until the end of the game. Great stamina for a man his size.
Alphonso Smith – CB – Everything you want in a CB except size. A second round value, but risky with a number one pick.
Jeremy Maclin -WR – The only receiver who might possibly be around at # 22 that I like in the first round. If he’s there at # 22, the Vikes need to take a good look. A second round no brainer. But then, he will never last that long.
Alex Mack – C – Cal. – I Love this guy. Childress really likes Sullivan or Ryan Cook at center, but Mack is tempting in the first round, an absolute steal in round two. The best center prospect in ten years. Draft him, and watch him go to the pro bowl every year for the next decade.
Kenny Britt – WR – Rutgers – 6’3” 210 – Extremely strong for a wide out. His pro day 40 was 4.47, and he has a 37” vertical jump. Extremely productive receiver who seems to be getting better. Tough toi gauge his upside. Could be an excellent red zone receiver. A bit raw, but a very good athlete. Well worth a strong look in the 2nd round.
William Beatty – T – Conn. – 6’6” 307 – All Big East first team. A very good prospect at RT. Very good upside. Solid 2nd rounder.
Solid second and/or Third rounders
Jamon Meredith – T – South Carolina – Big 6’ 4” 304 – Physical and athletic. Had a great combine. Could surprise. A solid number two.
Duke Robinson – G – Oklahoma – 6’5” 329 – THE Elite guard in this draft. Not a pressing need for the Vikings W/ Hutchinson and Herrera, but a third round steal. Probably will be gone in the late first or early second.
Percy Harvin – WR – Florida – 6’0” 193 – 4.41 combo time with a vertical jum p of 37 ½. Small frame, decent speed. Looks like a # 2 – 3 receiver eventually. May never be a # 1. Be careful here. First round, I say “No way” , 2nd maybe but definite 3rd round value.
Max Unger – C – See Alex Mack. Slightly less upside, but more versatile. Can play any position on the line. Huge value in round 2 or 3.