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Post Combine Rookie Rankings


Many players chose not to participate in last month’s NFL Combine, but I saw most of what I needed to see to complete my rankings with a relatively high degree of confidence ahead of the draft.

I was very disappointed to see the top quarterbacks elect not to throw.  As one of the experts on the NFL Network pointed out, it’s not as if anything we see at the combine with the top quarterbacks is going to change what we’ve all seen on tape.  We know that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are elite within their position, so show the confidence and competitive desire to get in there and sling it around.  I wasn’t that excited about the prospects of seeing them throw as I was seeing them out there competing with the others, having a good time just going through the drills.  Same goes for Trent Richardson and Justin Blackmon.

But while I say that, I fully understand why they are coached not to work out.  Just look at past years, the fall-out from poor workout times and the stories that follow.  Ultimately, the stock of top athletes in their respective positions has nowhere to go but down.  Kendall Wright begins to overtake Justin Blackmon on some experts’ boards, but then runs a forty in 4.6 range and the chatter begins.  Blackmon chooses not to run and seemingly his draft stock remain unaffected due Wright’s fall.

And even in some cases, this can affect third tier athletes such as Dwight Jones out of North Carolina, who had a dismal outing.  Moving up charts due to a productive 2011 and good size, Jones’ stock has cratered after after displaying a nonchalant, unfocused and lazy attitude on the field over the weekend.  A top MLB prospect, Vontaze Burfict executed a perfect series of CLMs (Career Limiting Moves) by backing up his sloppy play with ridiculously bad interviews and no accountability.  Burfict may now fall to day three of the draft.

It’s no wonder that some of these athletes decide that they’ll just forgo the entire experience, let their college production speak for them and work out on their school’s pro day.

But for us here at DLF the work continues, and the NFL Combine is only one piece of information I use to rank the rookies.  In fact, it’s a relatively small piece considering the amount of weight put on tape review and on-field performance.  Beyond that, I do put some stock into how the players look on the field, given their positional needs.  In certain drills such as the gauntlet, I’m looking for line discipline and the use of dominant and off-hand usage with each catch.  Does the receiver snatch the ball naturally or let it get into his body?  Does he reverse his hands or force his dominant hand?  Each position has its own needs.

But let us do the work for you.  You care about the rankings and not all this other rubbish… so let’s get to it.

Quarterbacks

1  Andrew Luck  Stanford
2  Robert Griffin III  Baylor
3  Ryan Tannehill  Texas A&M
4  Brandon Weeden  Oklahoma St.
5  Kirk Cousins  Michigan St.
6  Nick Foles  Arizona
7  Ryan Lindley  San Diego St.
8  Brock Osweiler  Arizona St.
9  Russell Wilson  Wisconsin
10  Case Keenum  Houston
11  Kellen Moore  Boise St.
12  Jordan Jefferson  L.S.U.


Running Backs

1  Trent Richardson  Alabama
2  Lamar Miller  Miami
3  David Wilson  Virginia Tech
4  Doug Martin  Boise St.
5  Chris Polk  Washington
6  Lamichael James  Oregon
7  Bernard Pierce  Temple
8  Isaiah Pead  Cincinnati
9  Cyrus Gray  Texas A&M
10  Robert Turbin  Utah St.
11  Ronnie Hillman  San Diego St.
12  Dan Herron  Ohio St.
13  Tauren Poole  Tennessee
14  Terrance Ganaway  Baylor
15  Vick Ballard  Mississippi St.


Wide Receivers

1  Justin Blackmon  Oklahoma St.
2  Michael Floyd  Notre Dame
3  Kendall Wright  Baylor
4  Stephen Hill  Georgia Tech
5  Rueben Randle  L.S.U.
6  Mohamed Sanu  Rutgers
7  Alshon Jeffery  South Carolina
8  Brian Quick  Appalachian St.
9  Dwight Jones  North Carolina
10  Nick Toon  Wisconsin
11  Jeff Fuller  Texas A&M
12  Tommy Streeter  Miami
13  Juron Criner  Arizona
14  Ryan Broyles  Oklahoma
15  Chris Owusu  Stanford


Tight Ends

1  Coby Fleener  Stanford
2  Dwayne Allen  Clemson
3  Orson Charles  Georgia
4  Ladarius Green  Louisiana-Lafayette
5  James Hanna  Oklahoma

Have your own ideas about who from this list will surprise , or someone that isn’t on this list?   Let’s hear it!  I’ll be starting a short series of draft sleepers to keep track of starting shortly.

 

Jeff Haverlack
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tstafford
10 years ago

Jeff – Nice work. I think I’d take a shot on Broyles higher than that just for the pure upside. He’s probably a late second, early third where you have him ranked. I’d go more like early to mid second. Tim

Luke
10 years ago

Two things-one, it’s Coby Fleener, not Toby. I also think Marvin Jones deserves to be ranked in the WR section.

tebow
10 years ago

i thought after the combine u would have turbin and hillman over grey and pead. do you think pead will be a better fantasy back than turbin? with a late first i will considering one of these 4 players depending on where they are drafted.

StevieMo
10 years ago

My question is this: Is this a projection of talent and draft position, or a ranking based on dynasty value over, say, five years in the league? On this site that’s what we should be targeting, although admittedly it depends a bit on where they end up.

BB Wayne
10 years ago

Miller and Streeter are (FL) Miami guys, not (OH). I do like where you have Stephen Hill. Not only did he light up the combine, but dove for a catch and landed on his neck. Got right back up readied for another drill. That is all I needed to see.

Adam
10 years ago

Do you think you could drop Turbin off your list? I really don’t want the word getting out.

Adam
Reply to  Jeff Haverlack
10 years ago

Yeah, I know you have your priorities. It’s just that he has been high on my board for quite some time now, and recently he’s done nothing but fly up everyone else’s board. I do more than my fair share of homework, and I hate nothing more than to find players that aren’t on anyone’s radar until the last minute and lose out on the potential steal of the draft.

Danny Hall
10 years ago

I Definitly think Marvin jones should be in the list. Guy has the measuarables, pretty good tape and from what I read looked good at the senior bowl. Yes Keenan Allen was all the rage at cal but jones shouldn’t be over looked. But other than that a pretty good list!

10 years ago

I’d agree that Marvin Jones is an egregious omission from the list – in these rankings, I’d have him as high as #7; basically, after Sanu but before Alshon Jeffery.

Also, Case Keenum, Kellen Moore, and Jordan Jefferson are just terrible QB prospects and I’ll be shocked if ANY of them get drafted in the NFL Draft. Small schooler B.J. Coleman from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and G.J. Kinne from Tulsa are the deep QB prospects to watch in their places.

My $.02

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  The Lung
10 years ago

I think one of those QBs could be drafted but I wouldn’t be shocked if all of them go undrafted. My guess is that Jefferson will be drafted in the 6th or 7th rd.

I’ll have to take another look at Jones but I haven’t seen much on him to make me think that he’s deserving to be in the top 10-15. There are a ton of prospects out there and this year, after the third tier of receivers, it isn’t promising.

Truth be told, I’m not that excited about the class after the 2nd tier of receivers. Very bust worthy and mediocre group as a whole.

10 years ago

Cant believe you penalized Vick Ballard to #15 after he tripped over himself running the 40 at the combine… hahahah

the clarion contrarian
Reply to  CCrane
10 years ago

anyone who gets out fortyed by rich eison is lower than 15 in my rankings

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  CCrane
10 years ago

Ballard just barely made it on my list at all, very late addition. A large % of these backs aren’t going to ever be heard of again … that’s just the nature of the game.

Reply to  DLF_Jeff
10 years ago

As a LSU student/ fan… Im bothered by your Jordan Jefferson ranking. I know the guy. Nice guy. We have booku mutual friends. I see him in the clubs around BR all the time (he hasnt been back to Shadys since the pre-season incident), but thats just ridiculous he is ranked.

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  CCrane
10 years ago

I’m not sure if you’re saying he should be ranked more highly or lower. Either way though, ranking QBs outside of the top five is a fool’s folly nearly every year. So few will ever rise to NFL or fantasy prominence. Once I get to the fourth tier of QBs, often times the third tier, I start looking at size and NFL potential more than anything else. Things like football IQ are very important in this area and I think that is what drops Jefferson’s value.

But in all likelihood, you could swap the QB6 and the QB12 in this year’s draft and have a 50/50 chance of choosing the one that has the best NFL career.

mikaela73
10 years ago

How is Tannehill the #3 QB on this list? Granted, I haven’t watched as much game time as you, but the couple of games that I did see, he was an average college QB at best. Is he better than I give him credit for, or are all the rest just that bad?

10 years ago

Case Keenum, Kellen Moore, and Jordan Jefferson all go undrafted.

I certainly have made my share of egregious misses over the years, but this is one thing I was quite certain about, and for good reason.

10 years ago

And Case Keenum got cut by the Texans today.

I hate to say “I told ya so” but this one was plain as day.

Admin
Reply to  The Lung
10 years ago

Well, I don’t think anyone was saying he was going to be a star or even make a team for that matter. He was the 10th ranked quarterback on a post-combine board and never made it further than #75 on our rookie rankings sheet.

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