Pre-Combine Top-40 - Pre-Combine Draft Prospects
Excerpt: "Despite posting my updated Senior and Junior rankings, I thought it would be worthwhile to combine the two and publish a top-40 Big Board. As I work through this group, it is becoming more and more evident that I really, really like this class. I have also noticed that my rankings tend to reflect how comfortable and confident I am with a prospect, as you can see from lesser valued positions being ranked highly.
The goal was to keep this simple, so rather than giving a full reports for each prospect, I offered descriptions on where and how they win. This is the most important part of the evaluation process, since it is much easier to list prospects’ deficiencies. Few players can do it all, so finding where prospects fit and where they win helps project their role in the NFL.
You will also notice the lack of quarterbacks. I will not be listing that position on big boards, since they are a breed of their own. It is just too hard to place them in this context. They will have their own list at a later date. Finally, you will also notice prospects with medical questions are still ranked highly. I cannot judge something I do not understand or know, rather I feel that listing what has been reported without judgment is the best approach.
1. G Chance Warmack, Alabama
Where he wins: Everywhere. Crushing blocker with an attitude to finish. Fluid mover for his size and gets in correct body position to seal off lanes. Technically sound player that could likely play either guard spot.
2. T Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Where he wins: Technically sound player with good knee bend and athletic footwork to mirror or halt his opposition’s momentum. Punch and arm extension helps absorb power and should be a quality left tackle for a long time.
3. DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Where he wins: Pegged as a pure nose tackle, but that would be a disservice to his versatility. Can play along the front and shows agile feet for someone his size. Can be dominant for a stretch of plays and rarely took a seat on the bench at Utah.
4. T Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Where he wins: Long left tackle that finds contact through his hands with quick extension. Flashes nastiness as a drive blocker or when finishing off blocks in pass protection. Still filling out frame, but doesn't have to.
5. DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
Where he wins: Experience inside at defensive tackle or on the edge in multiple fronts. Strong at the point of attack to put his opposition on skates but displays enough foot quickness to win off the snap as well. Flashes violent hands to disengage.
6. DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
Where he wins: Great at splitting blocks, winning off the snap, or beating reach blocks. Very quick for his size and can really make his presence felt in the backfield as a three technique tackle or five technique end. Has been asked to drop back into short zones.
7. LB Arthur Brown, Kansas State
Where he wins: Instinctive, quick, and physical for his size. Believe he could play inside in any scheme but could thrive on the weakside. Doesn’t shy away from contact but also has the speed to beat ball carriers to the edge or stick with his assignment in coverage.
8. LB Dion Jordan, Oregon
Where he wins: A personal favorite. Extremely fluid and agile from his linebacker spot. Could see him thriving as a strong side linebacker who moves into a pass rushing role when called upon. Strong hands and flashes persistence around the corner.
9. DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
Where he wins: After generating separation or finding himself in space, his closing speed is the best in this draft. Plenty of motor to chase. Already a solid run defender and saw snaps at rush linebacker, end in a three man or four man, and inside at tackle. Strong on first contact.
10. T Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
Where he wins: Athleticism to mirror is excellent. Despite lean frame, can handle physical play on first contact and resets well with footwork. Lands multiple punches if he can’t gain the inside latch." Read more...