FanPost

Diamonds in the Rough: Offensive Gems

 Alright, I wanted to give BCC readers a update of a little thing i've been working on. Its for the Draft, and talks about some players that are not well known or under-the-radar but can play some football. I listed the players by the newly updated rankings given at MockingTheDraft.com. The sentences inside the block in italics are my own comments, just a heads-up.

 Upon talking about these guys, I would really love to hear about some other people who could fall in later rounds yet play at a level much higher than the round they are projected to play. The descriptions of the players will also come from MockingTheDraft.com.

 The point of this fanpost is to show value later in the draft and to highlight players worth waiting for. Another point is to help the reader familiarize themselves with these players, if you already of some of these guys then my job is alot easier. Enjoy.

Blair-white_medium           610x_medium            Tpike_medium

         Blair White                                        Ben Tate                                            Tony Pike 

QB

  • 7th best QB Tony Pike | 6'6, 230 pounds | Cincinnati

 Pike has deceptive quickness and athleticism, which he uses nicely in the pocket to elude the pass rush. He has good presence and doesn't mind stepping up in pressure. Given his height and release point, Pike rarely gets passes knocked down. He's finally added weight to his frame this offseason, bulking up from 215 pounds. That should make him more durable. Puts a good zip on his passes and can place them in tight spots. Always keeps his eyes down field. If Pike can speed up the mental parts of the passing game -- reading defenses and getting rid of the ball quickly -- look out. This guy has impressed me so much. That instead of using a 1st for Bradford, or Mccoy, I'd use a late 2nd to mid 3rd for Pike. This guy can lead a team to victory week after week.

  • 6th best QB Dan LeFevour | 6'3, 228 pounds | Central Michigan
At this point, LeFevour is kind of a poor man's Colt McCoy. He's a good dual threat player and was a sleeper Heisman Trophy candidate entering last season. Injuries held him back some, though. When he's healthy, LeFevour has a good release and can deliver the ball all over the field. He has a tendency to run too soon and will need to become more disciplined in his decision making. He's a lesser Mccoy in a better system, he could rise in value yet still get picked later because of the depth of the QB class. He could become great but who knows.
  • 11th best QB John Skelton | 6'5, 256 pounds | Fordham
Skelton is the entire Fordham offense. He not only passes the ball proficiently, but he's a good runner. Skelton will have to make a good impression in the postseason against better talent. Against lower-division talent, he shows a very big arm and good accuracy. One of the newer QB prospects I've found out about. Has most of the tools you'd want. Playing at Fordham against lesser talent makes it risky but other small school prospects have overcomed it.
  • 10th best QB Rusty Smith | 6'5, 230 pounds | Florida Atlantic
A tall quarterback who has the size to shake off some blitzers. Smith has an NFL arm and body. A shoulder injury hampered him last season. When completely healthy, he's shown the ability to throw the ball all over the field. Smith's delivery is irregular, but it works fine with his high release point. He does a nice job of leading the offense. Local Prospect for me, one of the knocks on him is that he has an injured shoulder, which he elected to let it heal naturally. His arm looks to be 100% and should provide some sleeper status.

RB

  • 5th best RB Montario Hardesty | 6'0, 215 pounds | Tennessee
Finally, as a senior, Hardesty had the kind of season many were expecting of him. He's a big back with a lot of power and good quickness. He's a good one-cut runner with solid vision. Some compare him to Chris Johnson. I think he's a streaky RB with good speed. Probably would make a good #2 RB in a 2-RB team.
  • 7th best RB Toby Gerhart | 6'1, 235 pounds | Stanford
A big bruising work horse back, Gerhart should get a shot at the next level as part of a tandem back field. He has solid short-area quickness. Displays good patience waiting for blocks to open up. Doesn't have great speed and he runs too upright between the tackles. Not much of a receiving threat. Power runner, maybe a Lendale White-ish player. Shouldn't be a #1 RB but could be an interesting #2 or 3rd down back.
  • 8th best RB Ben Tate | 5'11, 217 pounds | Auburn
Tate is a tough running back and does a really good job of keeping his pads low. He's at best going in-between the tackles. Keeps his shoulders square to the line while running and is a classic north-south runner. Doesn't get much separation on the second level. Ask Bestjagsfan. He's under-rated as a RB. Auburn has been pumping out some great RBs, Ronnie Brown/Cadillac Williams (when they aren't hurt).
  • 9th best RB Anthony Dixon | 6'1, 235 pounds | Mississippi State
Dixon is one of the few big backs with ability that will be in the 2010 NFL Draft. Because of that, he has some extra value. Helping his cause is a good first step and good vision into the hole. He doesn't have a lot of elusiveness but can break tackles. Big Back with some dominance. A Reuben Droughns runningback when he was at his peak in Cleveland, perhaps?
  • 10th best RB Andre Anderson | 5'11, 212 pounds | Tulane
Anderson is a good all-around running back. He's got good enough size to work inside and enough quickness to elude defenders in the open field. His speed isn't all that great, but he gets by. Anderson gets such high grades because he is an excellent receiving option and runs crisp routes. Poor man's all-around RB, catches the ball well along with running. Rashad Jennings 2.0

WR

  • 8th best WR Mardy Gilyard | 6'0, 185 pounds | Cincinnati
A slender athletic receiver, Gilyard showed in 2009 that he was a great leader. Gilyard and more than 80 receptions and 1,000 yards receiving in consecutive seasons. Pretty impressive considering he was living in his car earlier this decade. His size might prohibit him from being a No. 1 receiver, but Gilyard displays solid route running and agility. Josh Cribbs' love child. Gilyard can play many roles and should be a playmaker. Good Production.
  • 12th best WR Jeremy Williams | 6'1, 205 pounds | Tulane
When healthy, Williams is an excellent possession receiver. He played in five games last season, averaging 87 receiving yards per contest, before breaking his hand and missing the rest of the season. Williams shows good hands and can make people miss after catching the ball. He's also a very good kick returner. Elusive reciever, runs with fluid motions. YAC is what makes him attractive. Eddie Royal/Rod Smith-esque.
  • 18th best WR Blair White | 6'2, 200 pounds | Michigan State
White, a former walk-on, has excellent hands and doesn't mind going over the middle. Those traits will earn him a spot in the NFL. He was by far Michigan State's top receiver in 2009 with 70 receptions for 990 yards and nine touchdowns. Truely a gem. Agressive and Physical, Blair White is a hard worker when getting to the ball. Kinda reminds me of Derrick Mason.
  • 14th best WR Antonio Brown | 5'10, 182 pounds | Central Michigan
Brown parlayed an excellent bowl game as a junior to a solid spot in the NFL Draft. He was often overlooked because of his size and because he played opposite Bryan Anderson. But make no mistake, Brown is a playmaker. His hands are good and he knows how to get open. There are always spots in the NFL for those type of players. Overlooked and on a remote team. Late-round prospect that has admirable traits. Can make the occasional big-time catch.

 

  • 23rd best WR Kerry Meier | 6'3, 220 pounds | Kansas
Meier is a converted quarterback and a big target. He plays a lot like a tight end and doesn't have great speed. However, he can really attack the seam and has good hands. He's a solid third-down receiver. Good upside. Think of a poor man's Dallas Clark version of a WR.

TE

  • 6th best TE Ed Dickson | 6'5, 243 pounds | Oregon
A natural athlete, Dickson is still working on the nuances of the position. He's a good quick-twitch athlete who gets off the line nicely. He easily makes plays over the top and has the ability to stretch defenses. If he can improve his physicality, especially when going up against athletic linebackers, he could move higher in these rankings. Remarkablely Health Miller-like
  • 12th best TE Nate Byham | 6'3, 255 pounds | Pittsburgh
Byham has made his name at Pitt as a sound blocker in the running game. He's adequate enough in the passing game, but will really help a team in need of a blocking tight end. If he shows improvement in the receiving game, it's likely his stock could skyrocket. Great blocking TE, a style that has taken back seat to Recieving focus TE's. Good at all things blocking.
  • 13th best TE Michael Hoomanawanui | 6'3, 270 pounds | Illinois
"Re-watching Illinois games this offseason, Hoomanawanui really sticks out. He plays a lot like Alge Crumpler. He's a big player with underrated athleticism and speed. He's a solid route runner, but shouldn't be used deep often. His size alone makes him a above-average blocker, but he needs to improve his technique." If anything, his name should make him get drafted, think of what they'll put on the back of his Jersey.

OT

  • 12th best OT Jason Fox | 6'6, 314 pounds | Miami
"Fox is a converted tight end who displays a good first step to the outside. He moves to the second level well and locates and gets to defenders nicely. He's improving as a run blocker but clearly needs to continue working on his strength. Fox has some good tools, but must continue to work on the nuances of the position. He has some added value because of his versatility playing tackle and guard." Versatility is a plus.
  • 14th best OT Ed Wang | 6'5, 310 pounds | Virginia Tech
"A converted tight end, Wang is one of the more athletic senior tackles in the nation. He's played both tackle positions showing continued improvement in all aspects. Where he needs to get much better is his physical play. If he becomes more of a mauler, he'll be a starter-level player." He can start, and you can get him later too.

OG

  • 4th best OG  Mitch Petrus | 6'5, 288 pounds | Arkansas
Petrus has only played one season at guard after playing fullback for Arkansas. That was 2007 when he was a second-team all-conference pick at left guard. He was academically ineligible last season. He'll play right guard this year. He's an excellent blocker on the move. What sets Petrus apart is his attitude. He's an aggressive player with a nasty demeanor and can intimidate opponents. Keyword: Hard-nosed
  • 7th best OG Sergio Render | 6'3, 314 pounds | Virginia Tech
A lengthy, hard working interior lineman, Render excels in the run game. He consistently gets good hand positioning to move around defenders. Anchors well at the point of attack and can handle power rushers. Not an amazing athlete, but he's pretty good on the move. If he doesn't get hurt, he'll be a four-year starter at guard for Virginia Tech and is a two-time all-conference selection. Good blocking when it comes to either protecting the passer or leading the runner.
  • 6th best OG John Jerry | 6'5, 350 pounds | Mississippi
While Jerry projects as a guard, he's in the tackle rankings because that's his collegiate position. He's a massive run blocker with surprising athleticism. He shows nimble feet and is above average on the move. He's not much of a tackle prospect because he doesn't manage speed rushers especially well. New prospect of mine, his whole thing is his run blocking prowess. 

 

OC

  • 5th best OC Ted Larsen | 6'2, 300 pounds | North Carolina State
"Larsen is a converted defensive tackle and has shown his versatility by playing both guard and center for the Wolfpack. He's an effort player with solid fundamentals. Larsen consistently stays low in his stance with his knees bent. He does a really good job with speed rushers and can redirect nicely. He's not much of a finisher in the running game, but he works hard." One of the guys i'ved eye-balled for a while.
  • 4th best OC Eric Olsen | 6'4, 305 pounds | Notre Dame

     

"Olsen has successfully moved from guard to center as a senior and does a nice job handling the line audibles. He's a solid in-line blocker who can handle tackles on his own. Olsen might be best at guard, but he really doesn't do anything wrong as a center." Versatility in the Interior is good, but I think Ted Larsen is better.
  • 6th best OC Chris Hall | 6'4, 300 pounds | Texas
Another versatile lineman, Hall has started every position along the front five. He's more of a finesse blocker who good length and flexibility. His footwork is ready for the NFL, but he needs to improve as a run blocker. Hall has a tendency to be static in his movement and gives up leverage. Needs work on technique but could turn out to be very useful for any team.

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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