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Old 02-18-2009, 10:45 PM   #1
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Default 2009 NFL Draft Risers and Fallers

Time to whet some NFL draft appetites...
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2009 NFL Draft Risers and Fallers

By Josh Galligan

Without further ado, let's just get right into it, shall we?

RISERS

Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia

Despite the high-caliber of the top offensive tackles in this year's draft, Eugene Monroe has gained top overall status on many draft boards due to the fact that he's so well-rounded. He might not be the sexiest pick of the bunch, but he can do everything and he can do it well enough to play in the NFL at a high level. Although between Monroe, Jason and Andre Smith, and Michael Oher, it's close enough that a strong and impressive showing at the Combine can end up doing wonders for who's the first one taken come April.

Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas

Brian Orakpo's upside has hypnotized some people so much that he's been slated to go as high as eight and the sixth pick in some Internet mock drafts. Orakpo finished just shy of 11 sacks (10.5) in his 2008 senior year campaign and should make an enticing option for any team in need of a pure pass-rusher with plenty of reasons to look fondly on the future.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia

Barring their NFL Combine performances, Knowshon Moreno could very well overtake Chris "Beanie" Wells as the consensus number one running back heading into the 2009 draft. For most of the offseason, it was Wells hands down, but as we get closer and closer to draft time, more and more people are beginning to come around with Moreno. He has all of the tools necessary to be a highly efficient NFL running back and we're primed to see just that from him during the Combine.

Everette Brown, DE, Florida State

Unless you've been living under a rock the past few weeks, than you've likely seen clips and heard gushing descriptions of Everette Brown, a defensive end from Florida State who is, plain and simple, a tackling machine. When combining this with his athleticism, it's really no wonder as to why so many NFL teams and draft enthusiasts are going wild over the guy.

Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest

Last, but certainly not least, OLB Aaron Curry from Wake Forest has absolutely rocketed up practically every draft board in the nation. He's even gone so high as to be penciled into the Kansas City Chiefs third overall selection slot. The only downside to such an occurrence is that he really has nowhere to go but down — however, all signs are pointing towards him staying right in the 3-7 draft pick range.

HOLDING STEADY

Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia

Stafford has been the unanimous number one since what seems like the exact moment Tim Tebow announced he'd be returning to school in Florida. He has all of the tools required of a successful young quarterback who from the looks of things, has the drive and desire to put the work in that will be necessary for pushing him over the success hump. Barring a complete and utter catastrophe at the Combine, expect Stafford to be donning Lions blue come draft day.

Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech

Despite the fact that he will not be running the 40-yard dash due to injury, Michael Crabtree hasn't gone anywhere at all on the majority of draft boards across the nation. Unless Jeremy Maclin manages to run a ridiculously fast 40, Crabtree should find himself as the number one wide receiver in this year's draft without having to do an ounce of working out for anyone.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri

Jeremy Maclin has been a mainstay directly behind Crabtree in mock drafts since the end of the season. Usually, once Crabtree is off the board, Maclin goes within the next 3-4 picks to whichever team needs a high-profile rookie wide receiver (and there are a lot of them). With Crabtree's injury forcing him on the sideline for the Combine, it's all up to Maclin, Percy Harvin, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Hakeem Nicks as to who wants to try and gain the front runner lead for second best WR of this year's crop.

FALLERS

Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi

While he hasn't necessarily been what you could call "falling" off the draft boards, he has gone from what seemed like the number one offensive lineman in the draft, down to the third or fourth overall. Again, we still have yet to see the Combine workouts and they usually can tell us a lot, so we'll have to wait and see if Oher can regain his former number one title or will stick to being the third or fourth best lineman this year.

Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State

Chris "Beanie" Wells has gone from what seemed like the unanimous number one running back, down to perhaps a lock-in for the second one taken. A lot of people will be watching both Wells' and fellow top running back Knowshon Moreno's performances at this year's Combine and quite frankly, so should you!

That will do it for this year's "pre-Combine" edition of the risers and fallers, boys and girls. May your Combine viewing be bountiful, may your mock drafts be accurate, and may your hometown team get the best possible selection that you were hoping for.
https://www.sports-central.org/sport...nd_fallers.php
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia

Despite the high-caliber of the top offensive tackles in this year's draft, Eugene Monroe has gained top overall status on many draft boards due to the fact that he's so well-rounded. He might not be the sexiest pick of the bunch, but he can do everything and he can do it well enough to play in the NFL at a high level. Although between Monroe, Jason and Andre Smith, and Michael Oher, it's close enough that a strong and impressive showing at the Combine can end up doing wonders for who's the first one taken come April.
Seems as though there is always a UVA lineman going in the first round of the draft.

Quote:
Everette Brown, DE, Florida State

Unless you've been living under a rock the past few weeks, than you've likely seen clips and heard gushing descriptions of Everette Brown, a defensive end from Florida State who is, plain and simple, a tackling machine. When combining this with his athleticism, it's really no wonder as to why so many NFL teams and draft enthusiasts are going wild over the guy.
Seems as though there is always a FSU pass rusher being hyped in every draft. The thing that gets me is that given all of the pass rushers that have come out of FSU as first round picks one would think they would have had more success than they have. More times than not FSU pass rushers crash and burn at the next level.


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Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest

Last, but certainly not least, OLB Aaron Curry from Wake Forest has absolutely rocketed up practically every draft board in the nation. He's even gone so high as to be penciled into the Kansas City Chiefs third overall selection slot. The only downside to such an occurrence is that he really has nowhere to go but down — however, all signs are pointing towards him staying right in the 3-7 draft pick range.
Scouts are in love with the overall package here. They love his character and work ethic as much as his talent. He is a lock to go in the top 10.

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Matthew Stafford, QB, USC

Stafford has been the unanimous number one since what seems like the exact moment Tim Tebow announced he'd be returning to school in Florida. He has all of the tools required of a successful young quarterback who from the looks of things, has the drive and desire to put the work in that will be necessary for pushing him over the success hump. Barring a complete and utter catastrophe at the Combine, expect Stafford to be donning Lions blue come draft day.
I was not aware Tebow's decision had any impact on Stafford's draft position whatsoever. Everyone I have heard on TV and the radio says Tebow has no real shot at being a top pick and is a marginal NFL QB prospect.

Honestly, I think Stafford has bust written all over him. He has the million dollar arm with a five cent head.

Quote:
Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech

Despite the fact that he will not be running the 40-yard dash due to injury, Michael Crabtree hasn't gone anywhere at all on the majority of draft boards across the nation. Unless Jeremy Maclin manages to run a ridiculously fast 40, Crabtree should find himself as the number one wide receiver in this year's draft without having to do an ounce of working out for anyone.
I am not sure it will matter that much what Maclin does. Scouts already know that Crabtree is not an elite runner but they love the precision of his routes and the size and strength that Maclin lacks.


Quote:
Chris Wells, RB, Ohio State

Chris "Beanie" Wells has gone from what seemed like the unanimous number one running back, down to perhaps a lock-in for the second one taken. A lot of people will be watching both Wells' and fellow top running back Knowshon Moreno's performances at this year's Combine and quite frankly, so should you!
I am not a huge Beanie fan myself. I don't think the issue with him is going to be what he does at the combine so much as how well he interviews with teams and whether teams choose to believe the knocks on him in regards to his heart and durability. Wells is as talented as anyone but the intangibles may bring him down a bit.
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Old 02-20-2009, 03:16 AM   #3
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Maybe Wells pulls a Marcus Allen at the combine so that he doesn't go to a bad team? (Like Allen couldn't run any faster than 4.65).

For what should be pretty obvious reasons, I hope he does!
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:58 AM   #4
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I don't think Allen had the dedication/toughness questions that Wells does though. I don't think Wells has blazing speed for a back. I think he is expected run in the 4.5s.

I don't think Wells is going to get pushed down the draft due to physical limitations I think he may fall the way LenDale White did simply because teams are not sure how dedicated he is to the game.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublee
I was not aware Tebow's decision had any impact on Stafford's draft position whatsoever. Everyone I have heard on TV and the radio says Tebow has no real shot at being a top pick and is a marginal NFL QB prospect.

Honestly, I think Stafford has bust written all over him. He has the million dollar arm with a five cent head.
I was unaware that Stafford played at USC.

If anything, Sam Bradford electing to return to Oklahoma changed the complexion of the draft and because of that, I still would not be surprised to see Detroit opt for someone like Aaron Curry over Matt Stafford because the consensus on Stafford is muddied.
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:37 PM   #6
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I was unaware that Stafford played at USC.
Wow! I did not catch that the first time around.

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If anything, Sam Bradford electing to return to Oklahoma changed the complexion of the draft and because of that, I still would not be surprised to see Detroit opt for someone like Aaron Curry over Matt Stafford because the consensus on Stafford is muddied.
Agreed. Bradford was the only other QB being mentioned in the same breath as Stafford as a potential top pick.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:41 AM   #7
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Since when do 40 times have anything to do with "toughness"? Indeed, a slower player at most positions is likely to be considered more "physical" (if a player is neither tough nor athletic - i.e., fast - then what good is he at all?).

And if you're Chris Wells, where would you rather end up: On a rudderless, go-nowhere team like Green Bay or Buffalo, or with a team that went to the Final Four last month?

Of course he'd get less money by going later in the first round, but whether one balances out the other is a question only the player himself can answer in that situation (and history graphically records how Marcus Allen, and Dan Marino, answered it).

Meanwhile, if I'm Detroit's GM, I try to trade the #1 they got from Dallas in the Roy Williams deal for Matt Cassel, then trade down from the top overall selection to get multiple picks, with an idea of using virtually all said picks on defense, defense, and more defense (the '08 Lions allowed the second-most points in NFL history).
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:36 AM   #8
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Since when do 40 times have anything to do with "toughness"? Indeed, a slower player at most positions is likely to be considered more "physical" (if a player is neither tough nor athletic - i.e., fast - then what good is he at all?).
Who ever said it did? I am basing my assessment on what I saw during the college football season this past year. I am talking about mental toughness moreso than physical toughness. At times last season it just seemed like he was more interested in preserving his draft status than focusing on and playing football.

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Of course he'd get less money by going later in the first round, but whether one balances out the other is a question only the player himself can answer in that situation (and history graphically records how Marcus Allen, and Dan Marino, answered it).
I don't think Wells is cut from the same cloth as Marino and Allen were though.

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Meanwhile, if I'm Detroit's GM, I try to trade the #1 they got from Dallas in the Roy Williams deal for Matt Cassel, then trade down from the top overall selection to get multiple picks, with an idea of using virtually all said picks on defense, defense, and more defense (the '08 Lions allowed the second-most points in NFL history).
Yeah, their defense was horrid last season, but then again, they could use a stud to protect the QBs backside as well. The o-line gave up 52 sacks last season.
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Old 02-22-2009, 03:39 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by doublee View Post
Who ever said it did? I am basing my assessment on what I saw during the college football season this past year. I am talking about mental toughness moreso than physical toughness. At times last season it just seemed like he was more interested in preserving his draft status than focusing on and playing football.

Wasn't Eric Dickerson constantly accused of running out of bounds when he could have squeezed an extra yard or two out of a play - both before and after being drafted? And once Wells no longer has any "draft status" to preserve ... and he's what, 6'2", 240? (Dickerson was about 215-220).





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I don't think Wells is cut from the same cloth as Marino and Allen were though.

Well I suppose there is a generational difference - but they weren't the first ones to pull stuff like that, nor the last.



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Yeah, their defense was horrid last season, but then again, they could use a stud to protect the QBs backside as well. The o-line gave up 52 sacks last season.

Ever stop to think that if they don't fall as far behind early in games because their defense is better, they can run the ball more often in the second half, and that you can't sack a running back?

And relatively speaking, in order for their offensive line to have been as bad as their defense, they would have had to have allowed close to 100 sacks (as the all-time record is 104 - by the '86 Eagles), not 52.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:11 AM   #10
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But, in general, the Lions basically sucked all the way around. It is not like they put up 25 points a game last year and were giving up 30. Calvin Johnson is about the only guy on that offense to get excited about. It is not like one can sit there and say oh they lost 16 games solely because the defense was horrendous. The offense was pretty inept as well. They were 27th in points and 30th in yards.

Yes, they desperately need to upgrade the defense but improving the offensive line should be a priority as well.

Add Andre Smith to the plummeting list after he inexplicably decided not to participate in the lineman workouts and up and left the combing altogether without telling anyone he was leaving.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/aro...urn=nfl,143110
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:34 PM   #11
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Add Hakeem Nicks to the list of risers. His 4.5 40 time may solidify him as a first round pick.

Add Brandon Pettigrew to the list of fallers after this weekend's combine. He posted a rather pedestrian 40 time of 4.87 and ranked only 9th on the bench press. Not many TEs who run a 4.87 go in the first round. He will need to drastically improve that 40 time at his pro day workout if he wants to stay in the first round.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:45 PM   #12
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What do you all think of Crabtree running the 40 before getting surgery on his ankle? Kind of a curious decision...

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-...0,520791.story
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:09 AM   #13
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Did Rashad Jennings sneak into the late second round with his 4.49 40 time?
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:51 AM   #14
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Did Rashad Jennings sneak into the late second round with his 4.49 40 time?
According to who? A time of 4.49 would have tied for 4th best and I don't see his name listed anywhere in the top 10.

http://www.nfl.com/combine/top-performers
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:02 PM   #15
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How about that kicker from USC who ran a 4.5 and did like 10 reps of 225 lbs, outperforming LB teammates from USC? Not your average kicker. Wow.
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