View Full Version : NFL Draft A look into the 2009 prospects

04-27-2008, 08:13 PM

Top 32 pro prospects for 2009by Pete Fiutak
For more previews, predictions and prognostications, go to CollegeFootballNews.com.
Updated: January 18, 2008, 12:57 PM EST 395 comments add this RSS blog email print Either these guys chose to come back for their senior seasons, will be ready as juniors, or will come out of the blue with the time to file for early entry already over. Here's an early look at 32 of the best pro prospects for the 2008 college football season:

NOTE: There are still a few players that could enter into this mix over the next day or so as the early entrants are finalized. This could quickly change.
1. Tim Tebow, QB Florida (Jr.)

The Skinny: Think Alex Smith with talent. Tebow seems like the type who'll want to stay for all four years, but 2009 projects to be among the worst quarterback drafts in a long, long time, making the bulldozing lefty a hot prospect. He has the size, passing accuracy, mobility and the makeup to become a franchise-shaper.

More on underclassmen

College Football News projects draft prospects for this year's early entries.

Alphabetical listing

2. Tyson Jackson, DE LSU

The Skinny: Call this a bit of an out-on-a-limb projection, because Jackson probably would've been a second-rounder if he came out early. At 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds, he's an end who's built like a tackle, but he has to come up with a better year to grow into an elite-of-the-elite pick. No, he's not a speed rusher, but JaMarcus Russell wasn't a Vince Young-like runner, either. In other words, sometimes the freak-of-nature-specimen aspect overshadows everything else.

3. Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB Ohio State (Jr.)

The Skinny: With size, breakaway speed and toughness between the tackles, Beanie is a do-it-all back who can be a 25-carry NFL franchise builder. With the talent coming back on the Buckeyes line, only injuries will keep Wells from being deep in the hunt for the Heisman.

4. Rey Maualuga, LB USC

The Skinny: In a strange way, Maualuga might have been the top linebacker taken in the 2008 draft, but he might have been the least ready of all the top prospects. He can move, hit and, well, he can really, really hit. He's a top inside defender to potentially build a defense around.

5. James Laurinaitis, LB Ohio State

The Skinny: There's no doubt he would've been a top 15, maybe top 10 pick had he come out early. It'll be interesting to see if there's a little bit of a backlash considering how much great press he's received over the last few years, or if he'll turn into A.J. Hawk as far as national respect. He can put up big numbers, but he has to be better against the pass and not make so many plays 10 yards down the field against the run.

6. Andre Smith, OT Alabama (Jr.)

The Skinny: He was almost everyone's No. 1 high school recruit in 2006 and proved to be up to the hype. The 6-foot-5, 350-pound tackle can move and handle speed rushers.

7. Malcolm Jenkins, CB Ohio State

The Skinny: He likely would've been the first corner taken in the 2008 draft with his combination of safety size and blazing speed. Better against big or fast receivers, he has to prove in his senior year that he can lock down against the small, quick types. Tackling isn't an issue.

8. George Selvie, DE South Florida (Jr.)

The Skinny: The pass rushing terror has to bulk up a bit, be more consistent and be even bigger in the big games. He has to use this year to prove he can dominate no matter who's blocking him and no matter what the situation. He can't disappear as often as he did at times late in 2007.

9. Greg Hardy, DE Ole Miss (Jr.)

The Skinny: An unstoppable pass rushing machine who ripped apart Alabama and came up with two sacks against LSU, but off-the-field issues kept him out of a key game against Auburn. He still needs to polish his technique and still needs to show he can be the main man with the spotlight on him, but the former basketball player has the tools to be a terror at the next level.

10. C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson (Jr.)

The Skinny: With James Davis out of the picture, the Tigers running game will be all about the one-time super-recruit who has shown flashes of greatness over his first two seasons. While he's not huge, he has great pop and breakaway speed once he gets through the line.

11. Ciron Black, OT LSU (Jr.)

The Skinny: Black got a little bit of All-Star recognition in 2007, but he should be on everyone's radar going into 2008. He made a name for himself as a freshman protecting JaMarcus Russell, and now he's ready to shoot up the draft charts with his size and feet.

12. Brian Cushing, LB USC

The Skinny: Injuries kept him from having a huge 2007, but with his all-around game and his potential to be effective in any scheme at any outside position, he's a lock to be a top 30 pick. He won't have the "wow" factor of Maulaluga or Laurinaitis, but the NFL scouts will love him.

13. Taylor Mays, S USC (Jr.)

The Skinny: At 6-4 and 225 pounds, Mays hits like a linebacker and is as fast as any Trojan. He's been a playmaker from Day 1, especially against the run, and now he has to show he can do a bit more when the ball is in the air to solidify a spot in the top 20.

14. Duke Robinson, OG Oklahoma

The Skinny: He's a big, pounding run blocker who has helped make the OU running game go as much as the star backs. Consistency is a bit of an issue and pass protection will definitely be worked on in his senior year. His run blocking alone should make him one of the first linemen taken.

15. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR Maryland (Jr.)

The Skinny: Fast, fast, fast. At 6-2 and likely to be a solid 210 by 2009 draft time and with the best wheels in the draft, or at least in the top five overall he'll have all the measurables to go along with the polish from another year.

16. Greg Middleton, DE Indiana (Jr.)

The Skinny: The nation's sack leader with 16, getting to the quarterback isn't a problem. At 270 pounds, his size makes him a dangerous all-around defender who can play in a 3-4 or a 4-3.

17. Myron Rolle, S Florida State (Jr.)

The Skinny: This might be way too low. The prototype for an NFL safety, he's one of the nation's most intimidating hitters with great size and strength. He needs to make a few more plays with the ball in the air and has to be more of a difference maker, but all the tools are there.

18. Percy Harvin, WR Florida (Jr.)

The Skinny: He might not be a pure wide receiver at the NFL level, but he's an elite playmaker no matter how he gets the ball in his hands. No, he's not going to be a No. 1 target for anyone, but he'll be a fun toy for some creative offensive coordinator.

19. Marcus Freeman, LB Ohio State

The Skinny: He overcame a knee injury early in his career to be a top tackler next to Laurinaitis. At 245 pounds, he has the size to play inside, but he's an outside defender at the next level with the speed and quickness to get into the backfield on a regular basis.

20. Alex Boone, OT Ohio State

The Skinny: Boone could've been gone after this year and would've been a top 50 pick, and now he's almost certain to go in the first round. The 6-8, 325-pound star of the line has the feet to stay with the speed defenders and the size to dominate in the ground game.

21. Sean Lee, LB Penn State

The Skinny: The next in line after Paul Pozluszny and Dan Connor, Lee might be more versatile than Connor and more athletic then Poz. He's a natural outside defender who should see more time in the middle this year, but he'll probably move back out at the next level.

22. Herman Johnson, G LSU

The Skinny: As long as the weight is kept in check staying around 330 to 340 instead of 370 he'll be among the first linemen taken. A crushing run blocker, he has surprising athleticism for a player of his size.

23. Cornelius Ingram, TE Florida

The Skinny: Is he a big wide receiver or a small tight end? That was enough of a question to reverse an earlier decision and come back for his senior year. If he can bulk up a bit and if he can continue to grow as a receiver (after catching 34 passes for 508 yards and seven scores), he'll be a dangerous weapon.

24. Phil Loadholt, OT Oklahoma

The Skinny: On sheer size, Loadholt will warrant late-first round consideration. If he times well and shows good agility at the combines, he could move into the top 15.

25. Mike Mickens, CB Cincinnati

The Skinny: The raw speed makes him an intriguing prospect, but size might be a problem at 6-foot and around 165 pounds. Even with his slight frame, he's a tough tackler who's not afraid to throw his body around.

26. Travis Beckum, TE Wisconsin

The Skinny: There's no questioning his route-running ability, speed or receiving skills, but he needed to come back to hit the weights, get bigger and become a better blocker on the line.

27. Vontae Davis, CB Illinois (Jr.)

The Skinny: The rare blow-him-up hitting corner, Davis hits like a ton of bricks, and while his coverage skills still need improving, he has the athleticism to go along with the tackling ability to grow into an intriguing pick.

28. Sen'Derrick Marks, DT Auburn (Jr.)

The Skinny: While he's not a huge run stuffer, he's an ultra-athletic interior pass rusher who should be the best of a projected lousy lot of defensive tackles. This might end up being way, way too low if he turns into the star of the Tiger front line like he's supposed to.

29. Alex Mack, C California

The Skinny: Centers don't exactly fly off the board in the first 50 picks, but Mack should be the exception. He's quick on the move, tough against the best of tackles in pass protection and is a fantastic leader. He has it all. With his size and strength, he could play any position on the line with a little bit of work.

30. Darry Beckwith, LB LSU

The Skinny: A star recruit a few years ago, Beckwith played up to expectations, proving he could play inside or out. With 230-pound size and versatility, he should fit in with just about any scheme.

31. Brandon Spikes, LB Florida (Jr.)

The Skinny: This might be way too low as he has top 15 potential if he has a big junior year. At 6-foot-3 and 241 pounds, he has good size, sideline-to-sideline range and excellent strength with the physical ability of a defensive end.

32. Eugene Monroe, OT Virginia

The Skinny: This is a projection that everything comes together at once. While he's not D'Brickashaw Ferguson, he has great size, excellent mobility and a limitless ceiling as an all-around blocker. Now he has to prove he can get through a season injury free after having knee issues in each of the last two seasons.

Hammock Parties
04-27-2008, 08:15 PM
Loadholt and Oher and **** the rest.

04-27-2008, 08:16 PM
When Oher is not on that list it just loses all credibility.

04-27-2008, 08:16 PM
Anyone but Tebow.

04-27-2008, 08:16 PM
Michael Crabtree is draft-eligible and should probably top the list.

The Tebow hype is pretty embarrassing, but I think most real scouts understand he's not much of a prospect right now.

04-27-2008, 08:16 PM
When Oher is not on that list it just loses all credibility.

No kidding.

04-27-2008, 08:18 PM
When Oher is not on that list it just loses all credibility.

That and Tebow at the top.

04-27-2008, 08:18 PM
, but 2009 projects to be among the worst quarterback drafts in a long, long time, making the bulldozing lefty a hot prospect. He has the size, passing accuracy, mobility and the makeup to become a franchise-shaper

This is why a flier on Woodson or Ainge late would've been the cherry on top.

04-27-2008, 08:19 PM
I think Oher has a tremendous upside, but I'm not ready to annoit him the second coming just, yet.

04-27-2008, 08:30 PM
I notice a lack of midwest kids on there...

04-27-2008, 08:33 PM
I think we're going to need a good SS next year, and Mays sounds like he would be the guy.

04-27-2008, 08:41 PM
I think we're going to need a good SS next year, and Mays sounds like he would be the guy.

He actually plays FS, I know odd but true.

I know he isn't up there but I think Antoine Caldwell is a great center prospect and those guards Robinson and Johnson are awesome prospects for guards.

04-27-2008, 08:43 PM
I bet Bradford comes out next year.

04-27-2008, 08:45 PM
Tyson Jackson is wildly overrated on that list by the way, he did shit without Dorsey, he's oversized and isn't much of a pass rusher...he's basically Marcus Spears.

And yes as Holmez said Michael Crabtree if he does declare is probably a top 3 guy.

04-27-2008, 08:48 PM
I really like CB Malcolm Jenkins.

04-27-2008, 08:55 PM
Here's another website's(Walter's Football) with their picks for the top O-Lineman going into the upcoming season. Much better...

Michael Oher, Ole Miss
Height: 6-5. Weight: 325.
40 Time: 5.21.
Projected Round (2009): Top 10 Pick.
After declaring for the 2008 NFL Draft, Michael Oher has decided to come back for his senior year.

Reminds me of a much better version of Justin Blalock; like the former Longhorn, can play guard and tackle. One of the best linemen prospects in this class.

Andre Smith*, Alabama
Height: 6-5. Weight: 333.
40 Time: 5.16.
Projected Round (2009): 1.
Andre Smith is an extremely hard-worker; at the request of new head coach Nick Saban, Smith lost about 30 pounds this offseason. Even despite the fact that Smith was overweight last year, he still was the starting left tackle as a true freshman in the SEC. If Smith keeps losing weight and getting quicker, he'll shoot up this list.

Phil Loadholt, Oklahoma
Height: 6-8. Weight: 350.
40 Time: 5.36.
Projected Round (2009): 1.
I'm going out on a limb by saying this guy likes cheeseburgers.

Max Unger, Oregon
Height: 6-5. Weight: 306.
40 Time: 5.04.
Projected Round (2009): 1.
Possibly a candidate for a team with a zone-blocking scheme. Max Unger needs to shave at least a tenth off his 40.

Ciron Black*, LSU
Height: 6-5. Weight: 315.
40 Time: 5.22.
Projected Round (2009): 1-2.
Like Andre Smith, Ciron Black was a true freshman starting at left tackle for an SEC powerhouse. To be fair, it's a bit easier to play on the front with a scrambling quarterback.

Alex Boone, Ohio State
Height: 6-8. Weight: 325.
40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2009): 1-2.
Stricken with knee injuries last year. Another junior who should wait until 2009.

Sam Young*, Notre Dame (9/8)
Height: 6-7. Weight: 315.
40 Time: 5.17.
Projected Round (2009): 2.
Sam Young really struggled at Penn State. On one drive, he was guilty of holding and false start penalties. He was also responsible for a few sacks allowed.

Young was arguably the top recruit in the 2006 high school class, and you can tell why by just looking at him. Started for Notre Dame as a true freshman and went against the likes of Lawrence Jackson. Still has room to grow, which is pretty scary.

Sean Sester, Purdue
Height: 6-8. Weight: 325.
40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2009): 2.
An underrated tackle who hasn't missed a start while playing at Purdue.

Lydon Murtha, Nebraska
Height: 6-7. Weight: 315.
40 Time: 5.04.
Projected Round (2009): 2-3.
Lydon Murtha will score some points at the Combine if he drops below a 5.0 40 at his size.

Andrew Gardner, Georgia Tech
Height: 6-6. Weight: 298.
40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2009): 2-3.
Andrew Gardner has started every game for the Yellow Jackets the past two years. A bit light for a tackle, but his skills make up for that.

Eric VandenHeuvel, Wisconsin
Height: 6-7. Weight: 323.
40 Time: 5.16.
Projected Round (2009): 3.
With an amazing crop of offensive tackles entering the 2008 Draft, Eric VandenHeuvel would probably be better served waiting until next year.

Andrew Hartline, Central Michigan
Height: 6-5. Weight: 297.
40 Time: 4.84.
Projected Round (2009): 3.
Andrew Hartline, who was in the starting lineup every week in 2006, will be a perfect second- or third-round pick for any team using zone blocking.

Dallas Reynolds, BYU
Height: 6-5. Weight: 328.
40 Time: 5.06.
Projected Round (2009): 3.
How does a 328-pound lineman run so fast? Dallas Reynolds has the workout numbers; if he improves on his blocking, which is already solid, he could go early second, or even late first.

George Bussey, Louisville
Height: 6-2. Weight: 298.
40 Time: 5.06.
Projected Round (2009): 3.
Can play either tackle or guard. Member of the first team All-Big East last season.

Allen Smith, Stanford
Height: 6-4. Weight: 298.
40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2009): 3-4.
One of the hardest-working players in this draft class, Allen Smith has made tremendous strides his first few years at Stanford.

Dace Richardson, Iowa
Height: 6-6. Weight: 305.
40 Time: 5.11.
Projected Round (2009): 4-5.
Missed some playing time in 2006 because of an ankle injury. Dace Richardson will have to be the man now that Marshal Yanda is in the NFL.

SirVincent Rogers, Houston
Height: 6-4. Weight: 315.
40 Time: 5.09.
Projected Round (2009): 4-FA.
SirVincent Rogers suffered a nasty knee injury in October 2006. He probably won't be ready for the 2007 season, which will force him to redshirt. Rogers' draft stock obviously depends on how well the knee holds up in 2008.


04-27-2008, 08:55 PM
When Oher is not on that list it just loses all credibility.

ok good deal, i was like.. i dont see him .. am i blind :hmmm:

04-27-2008, 08:57 PM
This years draft was deep, next years draft will have top end guys.

'Hamas' Jenkins
04-27-2008, 09:00 PM
There's a good chance we pick in the top 5-8 next year...

There are some really, really good talents. The one thing i would like to see is a Gholston-like Defensive End. Selvie is a monster, but he needs to put on more weight.

04-27-2008, 09:02 PM
As long as we don't take that fat mother ****er Tyson Jackson I don't care, putting him 2nd is a travesty. Dorsey carried that fat ****er all season....

'Hamas' Jenkins
04-27-2008, 09:04 PM
Here's a ?:

How are we going to get 10 or so picks next year?? It's not like we have any tradeable pieces...

04-27-2008, 09:05 PM
Here's a ?:

How are we going to get 10 or so picks next year?? It's not like we have any tradeable pieces...

We'll have to do it more conventionally....

I know everyone loves Oher and I do consider him an elite prospect but I'm not sure Andre Smith isn't better....those are the two best OT prospects I've seen in years I think they're both better than Joe Thomas.

04-27-2008, 09:07 PM
But I think the Chiefs may go MLB, becuase of the fact that we didn't select one, and basically getting the LB's off of the UDFA.

04-27-2008, 09:08 PM
Well man, I think Andre Smith is Orlando Pace good, it would be hard to not take him.

04-27-2008, 09:10 PM
We'll still have plenty of holes to fill. I'm predicting 4-12 again.

keg in kc
04-27-2008, 09:10 PM
It'll be interesting to see. I hope (and assume) that the picks this year bear fruit, so we will have the freedom next year to again draft on talent and not be forced to go on need alone.

04-27-2008, 09:11 PM
Next year has some real top end guys, guys that you go "this guy could be the #1 pick" about 5 or 6 of them.

04-27-2008, 09:13 PM
Anyone but Tebow.


I'm a moderate Gator fan and I don't even care for him that much.

04-27-2008, 09:21 PM
yeah ok but how are we going to get en elite out of these guys when our first pick is 32?

'Hamas' Jenkins
04-27-2008, 09:24 PM
We'll have to do it more conventionally....

I know everyone loves Oher and I do consider him an elite prospect but I'm not sure Andre Smith isn't better....those are the two best OT prospects I've seen in years I think they're both better than Joe Thomas.

If a guy like that is there you just take him.

04-27-2008, 09:28 PM
Brandon Spikes is a Hell of a LBer prospect, so is Laurinaitis and Maualuga. I sure wish the Chiefs had multiple first rounders next year. We might end up trading down some, depending on where we pick and who's available of course, but I sure like some of the players coming out next year. The LBers, CBs, DEs and OTs look to be ripe for needs again next year.

04-27-2008, 09:54 PM
What about Jeremy Maclin?

04-28-2008, 12:58 AM
Louisiana has too many NFL players.

04-28-2008, 01:02 AM
Oher and Albert on the would equal Roaf & Shields.

10 years of offensive dominance.

With the right QB, of course.

04-28-2008, 01:10 AM
It's going to be odd because I think Smith is going to end up going ahead of Oher in a phenomenal 1-2 OT punch.

Right now I'm giving Smith the slight edge.