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NFL Draft: Rang's reply

KWALL : 3/17/2008 12:48 pm
I sent over BBI's questions. Here are the answers from Rob Rang at NFLDraftscout.com. Rang does an exceptional job with the draft profiles and round projections on that site. IMO, the best draft info on the web. Link below.

In his latest mock he has NYG picking Auburn LB Groves in rd 1. Adding a guy like Groves could really make the NYG pass rush unblockable. I'd love that pick but think Groves will be gone before Giants get a shot at him.

Here is the BBI Q and A:

1. What is your take on Branden Albert? Is he a G or a OT? Will he lasts until Giants pick at #31?

Because of his experience at guard, we’re rating him there. Albert, however, has the athleticism and size to play tackle. He’s an elite level talent with superb upside that will be long, long gone by #31. I’d be surprised to see him get past Pittsburgh at #23 or Seattle at #25.

2. Which borderline tackle prospects do you feel have the best chance of becoming top-flight guards at the next level?

Pittsburgh’s Jeff Otah is a first round caliber tackle whose lack of polish makes him a nice fit inside at guard initially. Toledo’s John Greco, UTEP’s Oniel Cousins, and Rutgers’ Jeremy Zuttah.

3. What about Quentin Groves? Does he project to a 4-3 OLB or better suited in a 3-4?

Groves is athletic enough to handle the conversion to a fulltime linebacker position, as in the 4-3 alignment. However, his greatest asset remains his burst off the edge and closing ability as a pass rusher. Therefore, I believe his greatest fit is as a 3-4 rush linebacker.

4. QBs: Is Ryan the clear cut #1 QB? Can Flacco take that spot? Who are your top 5 QBs as well as some potential late round backup types (Giants could use a backup)?

Ryan is certainly the #1 quarterback on my board. Flacco is more of a developmental prospect who should be drafted in the second to third round. We rank the top five quarterbacks as: Matt Ryan, Brian Brohm, Chad Henne, Joe Flacco, Andre’ Woodson. A couple of later round picks to keep in mind are: Josh Johnson from San Diego, Kevin O’Connell from San Diego State, Bernard Morris from Marshall, and Kyle Wright from Miami.

5. Safety: What did you think of the Giants signing of veteran S Sammy Knight? Do they still need to go safety early in this draft? Are there any S worthy of the #31 pick?

Knight is a solid veteran addition, but I believe the Giants still need to address their defensive backfield early. Miami’s Kenny Phillips is the one pure safety that deserves first round consideration.

6: With a weak S class, what about some converted CBs to S projects? Do you have a few guys who could be this years Tanard Jackson?

Due to the fact that this year shapes as one of the weaker safety classes in recent history, many more cornerbacks than usual are being looked at by teams as potential conversion projects. Among the better candidates for this move are: Oklahoma’s Reggie Smith, USC’s Terrell Thomas, Iowa’s Charles Godfrey, and San Jose State’s Dwight Lowery.

7. What do you think of Brandon Sumrall or Charles Godfrey as safety conversion projects for the Giants?
I’m much higher on Godfrey as an NFL talent. Godfrey is a better overall athlete who should be drafted in the mid rounds and possesses the size, speed, and instincts to play either safety or cornerback. Sumrall isn’t the same caliber of athlete, but due to his physicality, makes sense as a later round or even free agent prospect. I believe Sumrall’s best NFL position is at safety.

8. Where do you feel Cliff Avril is best suited at the pro level?

Like Quentin Groves, mentioned previously, I believe Avril’s best fit is as a 3-4 rush linebacker. Also like Groves, Avril has shown the upfield burst to remain as a 4-3 defensive end (albeit an undersized one) and the change of direction and straight-line speed to potentially move fulltime to linebacker in the 4-3.

9. How about DBs Orlando Scandrick and Bobbie Williams will be selected? Positives/negatives? And what round?

I’m higher on Scandrick than most. He’s raw, but has the pure athleticism to warrant a middle round pick and eventually develop into legitimate contributor at the NFL level. Williams, on the other hand, might be a better football player at this point, but isn’t the same caliber of athlete. Williams was a highly decorated player at Bethune-Cookman, whereas Scandrick was only a honorable mention all-conference pick as a junior, but in terms of physical upside, Scandrick is the better long-term prospect and will be drafted earlier.

9. How about the WR class? How does it stack up to years past? Would you say the bust % is higher at WR in rd 1 than other positions?

The wide receiver position is typically the position most influenced each year by underclassmen. Whether they prefer a speedster like DeSean Jackson, a bigger target like Malcolm Kelly, or a combination of both like Devin Thomas, each NFL team I’ve spoken to is ranking an underclassman as the top receiver this year. Due to the proliferation of the spread offense in college football and so many of the top ranked wideouts coming out early, it is tougher to get a gauge on how these wideouts really stack up, making the position the riskiest to draft. This year is a bit unique from years in the past in that while the position is deep – teams can find talented players in the middle to even late rounds – it lacks an established top flight prospect. The first receiver drafted, whoever it turns out to be, may not come until the midway point of the first round.

10. Is Keith Rivers the clear #1 OLB? Where do you project him in this draft?

Rivers has been our top rated outside linebacker all season long. He remains at the top, though some have Penn State's Dan Connor rated just as highly. We view Connor's best position inside, and would list him behind Rivers if ranking him at OLB. Rivers' blend of size, speed, and overall athleticism makes him the top ranked linebacker on our board -- and a likely top fifteen pick. That said, there are some concerns. The biggest being that while incredibly gifted, Rivers simply doesn't make enough big plays. Scouts argue that is because he was surrounded by so much talent at USC. After all, junior linebackers Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing are first round prospects for next year.

11. What does do you think of combine standout/3 cone drill stud WR Arman Shields of Richmond?

The Combine -- at least the athletic drills portion of it -- was made to grab the attention of scouts for players like Shields -- those with legitimate talent that due to a small school background or injuries or some other reason, were not necessarily viewed as an elite prospect. In the specific case of Shields, the eye-popping results are indicative of his pure athleticism. At this point in his career, Shields is a better athlete than football player, as he drops too many passes and is a very marginal route-runner. However, after missing all but the first game of the 2007 season due to a knee injury, in proving he's healthy, Shields stock soared with his workout.

12 Please give us some info on the better mid-round LBs and WRs that the Giants might target?

Here are 5 at both positions that I particularly like:

WRs:
Jordy Nelson, Kansas State
Jerome Simpson, Coastal Carolina
Darius Reynaud, West Virginia
Dexter Jackson, Appalachian State
Kevin Robinson, Utah State

LBs:

Jonathan Goff, Vanderbilt (ILB)
Spencer Larsen, Arizona (ILB)
Jordon Dizon, Colorado (OLB)
Bryan Kehl, BYU (OLB)
Vince Redd, Liberty (OLB)

13. Could Reggie Smith, DB/S from Oklahoma, last until the Giants second round pick? Is Jordy Nelson a reasonable facsimile of Amani Toomer?

I'd be surprised to see Smith last that long, as I view him as one of the more versatile defensive backs in a draft. A slower than expected performance at the Combine (4.57) has his stock slipping a bit, however. His final stock will likely get a late boost or drop from the Pro Day he and OU wideout Malcolm Kelly have scheduled for April 9th.

The comparison to Amani Toomer for Jordy Nelson is a good one. Like Toomer, Nelson isn't necessarily a flashy athlete, but his size, toughness, and reliability as a pass catcher and route-runner should make him a quality possession receiver at the next level.

14. Which players in the 08 draft do you feel are over-rated and why?

Here are 5:
Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware: A quality developmental prospect, but he needs considerable fine-tuning. Anything higher than a late 2nd to 3rd round pick is a reach.

Limas Sweed, WR, Texas: Again, a quality football player, but the comparisons to Roy Williams are way off. Great combination of size and speed, but a better athlete than football player at this point.

Shawn Crable, OLB, Michigan: Staggering tackle for loss numbers as a senior, but has to be protected by the scheme, as he lacks strength at the point of attack and doesn't change direction well.

Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia: Lack of size and power makes him more of a change of pace back at the next level despite his spectacular career.

Lawrence Jackson, DE, USC: Lacks top burst off the snap to generate consistent pass rush. More of a base end who holds up as a run defender...

15. Who are some of your underrated players and mid round gems?

Here are some players that I feel will either be drafted much earlier than most are projecting and/or surprise at the next level.

1. Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
2. Duane Brown, OT, Virginia Tech
3. Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers
4. Jerome Simpson, WR, Coastal Carolina
5. John Greco, OT, Toledo

16. Will Sweed's injury push him down to us, and is there any word on the long-term prognosis for his wrist injury?

The wrist is a concern. The long term prognosis on Sweed's wrist is 100% recovery. If Sweed falls to the Giants or out of the first round entirely, it will be because teams are watching the film and noticing how despite his great size and speed, Sweed doesn't win enough jump ball situations or separate from defenders as well as some claim.

17. What is your opinion/projection of Desean Jackson and Phillip Wheeler?

Jackon is a better prospect, in my opinion, that Ted Ginn, Jr. -- who famously was taken with the 8th overall pick last year. His great quickness, long speed, and versatility make him a first round pick. I believe he'll prove to be a dynamic playmaker, but may never become the consistent #1 wideout to justify an elite grade.

Wheeler is at his best as a run-stuffer. He doesn't disengage from blocks as well as he should and lacks the change of direction to move to outside linebacker. He flashes some explosiveness as a hitter and has experience rushing the passer. He isn't an elite prospect, but can become an NFL starter if protected upfront.

18. Antoine Cason. He's all over the board on internet mocks. What do you think of his NFL potential and draft value?

Cason lacks the elite speed to be a shutdown corner, but his size, physicality, and instincts make him one of the reliable cornerbacks in this draft, in my opinion. If he is still on the board after the top 50 picks, Cason will prove to be a legitimate steal.

19. What are you hearing about WR James Hardy?

I generally am not as high on the 6-5 monster receivers that have come into the league. I wasn't as high on Mike Williams as many others, for example. There are exceptions, however. I viewed Calvin Johnson as the top player in last year's draft and view Hardy as a legitimate top 50 pick this year, as well. Hardy is a bit inconsistent, but he moves well for a man his size -- both in terms of his quickness and straight-line speed. He has the strong hands and physicality I like, as well. When it is all said and done, I believe Hardy will prove himself to be among the better receivers from the 2008 draft.

20. Where do you see Adarius Bowman getting drafted?

Late. We're projecting him as a 5th rounder. He is essentially without a position at 6-3, 233 pounds and running in the 4.7s. He struggled catching the ball at the Senior Bowl and has legitimate off-field concerns, as well.

21. Who do you prefer between these players and why?
(1)Charles Godfrey and Patrick Lee

Lee flashes, but is much too inconsistent and inexperienced for my taste. Godfrey struggles with consistency, as well, but as the more physical player can be moved inside to safety.

(2) Quentin Demps and Tyrell Johnson

Demps is the better ballhawk, but is inconsistent as an open field tackler. Johnson was perceived to be a good football player, but with marginal athleticism -- until he was one of the Combine's stars. Without play in one of the elite all-star games, however, there remain significant questions about Johnson's ability to play with top talent. Both are worthy of second to third round consideration.

(3) Kevin Smith and Ray Rice.

I'm higher than most on both backs. Smith's instincts and ability to cut off either foot should make him a quality runner at the next level. He lacks breakaways speed, however and he runs so high that I worry he's going to take a lot of unnecessary hits in the pros and struggle with ball security and injury. I'm much higher on Rice than most. I view him as a very similar player as Maurice Jones-Drew. He may not have the quite the pure speed as Jones-Drew, but despite his size, Rice is one of the tougher runners in this draft.

NFLDraftScout - ( New Window )
Thanks a lot, Rob!  
yatqb : 3/17/2008 12:57 pm : link
Much appreciated!
Reggie Smith did NOT run  
ChicagoMarty : 3/17/2008 12:58 pm : link
at the Combine. Otherwise pretty informative.

Thanks for doing this.
i know i asked some ridiculous question  
CardinalX : 3/17/2008 12:58 pm : link
i take umbrage at the fact that my nonsensical question was not included

i fart in your general direction
Thank you  
JonC : 3/17/2008 1:00 pm : link
KWALL and Rob Rang!
Very interesting KWALL  
HomerJones45 : 3/17/2008 1:03 pm : link
thanks for posting.
Kwall, thanks,  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/17/2008 1:06 pm : link
I'd be very happy with getting Adarius Bowman in the 5th.

Kenny Phillips, round 1, and Bowman round 5. Hope it happens.
Awesome KWALL TY!  
Torrag : 3/17/2008 1:06 pm : link
I think DraftScouts is the best internet drfat site as well. Thanks Marty for clearing up the Reggie Smith 40 at the Combine thing, as soon as i read it I was like HUH??? If Smith posts a sub 4.5 time he's a borderline 1st Rounder imo just like Cason.
I'd love to pick up Jordy Nelson  
Phil in LA : 3/17/2008 1:09 pm : link
in the mid rounds.
Jim I wouldn't touch Bowman  
Torrag : 3/17/2008 1:10 pm : link
with a 10' pole in any round but to each his own. There are many late round WR prospects this year why mess with a quasi-TE with bad hands and off field issues? Paul Hubbard and Keenan Burton come to mind in the Round 5 area.
The difference between Bowman and Hubbard is tenfold,  
Jim in Forest Hills : 3/17/2008 1:11 pm : link
one is a football player who makes plays and one is a trackstar masquerading as a football player.
Phil to get Jordy I think you'd  
Torrag : 3/17/2008 1:11 pm : link
need to use your 3rd Rounder, not that I'd mind. He's a helluva player with added value as a PR guy.
Bowman is a stiff but opinions vary.  
Torrag : 3/17/2008 1:12 pm : link
.
Torrag  
Phil in LA : 3/17/2008 1:15 pm : link
that'd be fine with me. He'd be a great Giant.
Thanks  
Blue Blood : 3/17/2008 1:29 pm : link
Appreciate this..

Still Like Cason..
Thanks Kwall  
hollywood blue : 3/17/2008 1:48 pm : link
I sort of follow you Chicago Marty and WAP around in the off season hoping I don't have to sort through to much 'stuff.' much appreciated
Thank you KWALL  
Rich in L.A. : 3/17/2008 2:03 pm : link
and thank Rob for us!
I look at Jordy Nelson  
RAIN : 3/17/2008 4:22 pm : link
and don't know how he's going to separate at the next level. His routes are nothing to write home about, and he looks slow on tape. He's a smart player, but would he make our team? I don't think he does.. If we get a WR, its going to have to be a guy that has #1 type upside.. because the way the roster is populated. Nelson would have to be able to cover specials, and be better than Tyree.. at least.
Rang  
KWALL : 3/17/2008 4:25 pm : link
He follows the Rutgers guys. Right on target with Zuttah and Rice. I've emailed him about them in the past and he always seems to be on top of each RU player. Probably the only draft guy out there to really endorse RU DT Eric Foster as a solid NFL prospect. He compares him to a young Rod Coleman. With Tucks massive impact in 07, I would expect a guy like Foster(who can play DT or DE and pressure the QB), would get more hype entering the NFL draft. But most see him as nothiung more than a undrafted FA. RU proday is next week. Look for Foster at 270lbs to run in the low 4.7s.

Agree about 3 undervalued WRs Range mentioned: Simpson, Nelson, and Jackson. If these guys are there in rd 3 it would be a steal for the Giants. I expect Simpson to go first. Late rd 2/early3. Jackson mid rd 3. Nelson could be there at the bottom of rd 3.

I disagree on his take on the following players:

S Brandon Sumrall - IMO, he's much better than the 7th rd/FA grade.

QB Joe Flacco - Somebody will fall in love with the physical tools and draft him at the bottom of rd 1.

KWALL  
Torrag : 3/17/2008 4:35 pm : link
If Miami and Atlanta pass on Matt Ryan early and he goes to Baltimore at #8, we should trade down. The highest bidder gets Brohm/Flaco, whichever they were targeting there for a 4th Round pick.
I like Ryan, but anyone taking him  
Section331 : 3/17/2008 5:15 pm : link
that early will be making a mistake. I don't care how desperate you are for a QB, none of them are worthy of a top 15 pick, imo.
KWALL  
Marty866b : 3/17/2008 6:54 pm : link
I think Flacco goes at the top of round two to Miami. I think he's about three years from really playing. If he goes any higher it will be a big mistake IMO. I like Henne much better if anyone is looking for a big arm.
I've been reading  
Bino5 : 3/17/2008 7:01 pm : link
all year that Cason lacks speed. I never noticed any trouble changing direction when watching him and being that he is an All American in the 4x100 recovery speed is there. I saw him beat by guessing a few times which was a concern. I've read about his speed in just about every one of these scouting reports so maybe it's just me.
KWALL: thanks for  
bob in tx : 3/17/2008 7:15 pm : link
getting Rob to do that!
Bob  
KWALL : 3/17/2008 7:22 pm : link
He likes Demps. "worthy of second to third round consideration"? I still say more of a 4th rounder even after the fast 40. We'll see.
Thanks, alot of  
KarenP : 3/17/2008 7:22 pm : link
great information. Guess I can stop dreaming that Albert will fall to #31.
Marty  
KWALL : 3/17/2008 7:23 pm : link
I can see Parcells passing on QB in rd 1(trading down or picking OT Long) and moving up to get FLacco at the end of rd 1.
I watched Jackson from App.  
thevett : 3/17/2008 8:09 pm : link
He is the Real deal and will play hard
KWALL: I think Demps might last to  
bob in tx : 3/17/2008 10:51 pm : link
4th and though I like him I'm not so sure he's worth a 3rd.
KWALL and Rob Rang  
OlyWAJintsFan : 3/18/2008 12:07 am : link
a big thank you...great info....
No James Hardy or Antoine Cason questions?  
Anak : 3/18/2008 12:54 am : link
:'(
Nevermind  
Anak : 3/18/2008 12:57 am : link
My search engine's not working
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