Mostly, I have been posting Steelers mock drafts and NFL mock drafts. With the combine coming up and a lot of school work, you won't see me posting again (except for a 5 round mock draft I post tomorrow afternoon) until next Wednesday. On Wednesday I will have the Combine Winner's and Loser's. Around Thursday or Friday of next week I will have my first 5 round post combine mock draft. The following Monday I will have my first 6 round post combine mock draft. But anyways, here are some thoughts on this year's draft class and some things to look for in the combine.
1. The lack of depth at offensive tackle: Most years their are usually 1 to 3 can't miss tackle prospects followed by 8 to 10 guys that could become very good starting OT's followed by 4 to 7 players that could become serviceable backups. However, this years draft features NO can't miss prospects and their likely won't even be a tackle taken in the top 10. The only chance of a top 10 tackle is if the Cowgirls reach for Carimi or Solder. This year does not feature one top tackle and people debate between Sherrod, Carimi, and Solder as to who is the top tackle. None of the three are as good as Anthony Smith was last year. Outside of those 3, 2 other tackles have first round grades in Costanzo and Smith. Neither of these two are very solid bets to succeed in the NFL either. However, after these 5 decent tackle prospects the class drops even further. You then get only one player that receives a 2nd round grade in Jason Pinkston. After that, Gilbert and Barksdale are the only ones who receive a 3rd round grade. Their are only Hairston and Brewer that receive 4th round grades and about 5 to 6 others that get 5th to 7th round grades. There are no can't miss prospects and it is not a deep tackle class at all.
2. The incredible talent of the corner-back position: This years draft features so many talented corners, that many will take fall's in the draft even though they should go much higher. There are 2 can't miss prospects in Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara. Peterson could go #1 to the Panthers and will go no lower than #6 to the Browns. Amukamara could go as high as #7 to the 49ers and as low as #25 to the Sea-hawks (extremely unlikely but it is possible. He will likely go no lower than #13 to the Lions but if the Lions don't take him no team between them and the Sea-hawks needs a corner so he could fall). After these elite two, there are 3 other corners that could go in round 1. They are Brandon Harris, Aaron Williams, and Jimmy Smith. All three of these guys have garnered high praise and all three will likely be very good #1 corners in the NFL. But it doesn't stop there. Those 5 are followed by Curtis Brown, Brandon Burton, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Ras I Dowling, Kendric Burney, Rashad Carmichael, and Johnny Patrick have 2nd or 3rd round grades. All of them could become very good #1 corners in the NFL but will at least be good #2 corners. Outside of this you still have Shareece Wright, Richard Sherman, and Davon House who could become good #2 corners in the NFL. I have never seen such a deep corner class with this much talent.
3. The depth but lack of star power at offensive guard: Unlike the tackle position, the guard position has a ton of depth. However, it does lack a can't miss prospect like Mike Iupati from last year. However, there is still 2 players with first round grades in Mike Pouncey and Benjamin Ijalana. After that there is still Marcus Cannon, John Moffit, Danny Watkins all receiving 2nd round grades. Followed by Orlando Franklin, Clint Boling, Will Rackley, DeMarcus Love, Jarriel King, Lee Ziemba, Andrew Jackson, and Jah Reid are all 3rd to 5th round prospect. So while this class may lack a can't miss prospect it does have a very capable group of starters along with some players that could be nice depth in the NFL.
4. The Patriots having 8 picks in the 1st four rounds: It is simply incredible that other NFL franchises can be so dumb as to give the Pats countless picks every year. It is almost infuriating. The Raiders, Vikings, Panthers, and Broncos giving up valuable draft picks for invaluable players. I won't rant on this too much but it is just pathetic and to no surprise those 4 teams are 4 of the worst in the NFL.