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VanS 2017 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings
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VanS


Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 353
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:34 am    Post subject: VanS 2017 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings Reply with quote

The following are my rankings of the top 5 players at each position in the 2017 NFL Draft. For some of the players I have a comp listed of the former or current NFL player they remind me of the most. Just to be clear, if my player comp for a prospect is a hall of famer, just know I'm not predicting that player will also be a hall of famer. I'm simply saying their playing style reminds me of that player. And for the record, the round projection is where I would draft them, not where I expect them to be taken.

Quarterbacks (Position Grade: Above Average)

1) Joshua Dobbs (1st round) NFL Comp ► Randall Cunningham w/ elite intangibles
2) Brad Kaaya (1st round) NFL Comp ► Matt Ryan
3) Patrick Mahomes (1st round)
4) Deshaun Watson (2nd round) NFL Comp ► Teddy Bridgewater (durability concern)
5) Mitch Trubisky (2nd round) NFL Comp ► Alex Smith

Sleeper: Trevor Knight (3rd round) NFL Comp ► Jeff Garcia


Quote:
Contrary to the prevailing media narrative, I believe this is an underrated quarterback class. Although they lacks the hype, I believe there are two surefire franchise QBs in this class (Josh Dobbs and Brad Kaaya) and another one that could develop into a franchise QB with proper coaching (Patrick Mahomes). I also like Watson and Trubisky as future starters, however, I don't love them. Trubisky I believe lacks the leadership skills and intangibles to be really good. He can develop into an average starter like Alex Smith but he won't be anything special. Watson is an enigma for me. In many ways he reminds me of Josh Dobbs (who I am obviously very high on) but he also scares me because of all the big hits he takes both in the pocket and on the run. He's already had one ACL tear in college, I fear he just might lack the pocket awareness to avoid even more big hits in the NFL like RG3. I'm also scared he lacks the arm strength to become an elite QB. My sleeper pick in this class is Trevor Knight. While he lacks polish, I like the physical tools and absolutely love the intangibles. He's right there with anyone else in this class when it comes to having the best intangibles. I think if he can sit for 3-4 years and find a coach that believes in him and is willing to develop him, he could become a good starter like Jeff Garcia.


Running Backs (Position Grade: Excellent)

1) Alvin Kamara (1st round) NFL Comp ► Marshall Faulk w/o breakaway speed
2) James Conner (1st round) NFL Comp ► Franco Harris
3) Joe Mixon (1st round) NFL Comp ► Fred Taylor
4) Christian McCaffrey (1st round)
5) Leonard Fournette (2nd round) NFL Comp ► Hershel Walker
5) Dalvin Cook (2nd round) NFL Comp ► Reggie Bush

Sleeper: Matt Dayes (3rd round) NFL Comp ► Kevin Faulk


Quote:
This is a great class, however, I believe a couple of the guys almost everyone else has at the very top are overrated. Fournette and Cook had fine college careers but I think their transition to the NFL might not be as seamless as most expect. Fournette for one isn't very elusive and lacks great vision. He should be an effective RB in the league but I doubt he's transcendent. And he will need a good o-line to be effective. He's not the type of back who can make something out of nothing and he's not a weapon in the pass game. The top RBs from this class IMO are Kamara, Conner, Mixon, and McCaffrey. As I've stated earlier I don't believe McCaffrey is a lead back that will carry the ball 20 times. However, he's an exceptional offensive weapon that can be used in a variety of ways. That gives him incredible value. I think he needs a big back like LeGarrette Blount to compliment him to be successful. Joe Mixon is interesting because he's so talented yet he always leaves me wanting more. He can be as good as anyone in this class. However, I'm not sure he has the intangibles to reach his ceiling. Alvin Kamara has been my #1 RB in this class since I saw him torch Texas A&M in October. His tape is so similar to Marshall Faulk its scary. I'm not saying he'll be a Hall of Famer but expect him to have a similar type of game in the NFL where he dominates both in the run game and the pass game. James Conner is a guy I've fallen in love with lately. His 2014 tape is absolutely incredible. If he can return to that form and his medical checks out he could be the best RB in this class. His intangibles are up there with anyone in this class. I just absolutely love this kid and am rooting for him. Matt Dayes is my sleepers in this class. Really liked what I saw from him at the senior bowl. He might not be star in the league but he should carve out productive career like Kevin Faulk.


Wide Receivers (Position Grade: Above Average)

1) Corey Davis (1st round) NFL Comp ► Jerry Rice lite
2) JuJu Smith-Schuster (1st round) NFL Comp ► less explosive Dez Bryant
3) Zay Jones (1st round) NFL Comp ► more athletic Jarvis Landry
4) Amara Darboh (1st round) NFL Comp ► Reggie Wayne
5) John Ross (2nd round) NFL Comp ► Desean Jackson w/ significant durability concerns


Sleeper: Isaiah McKenzie (3rd round) NFL Comp ► Tyler Lockett


Quote:
This year's wide receiver class is deep and talented at the top. Nobody loves Corey Davis more than I do. I think he is by far the best prospect at the position and one of the best I've seen in a while. Comparing anyone to Jerry Rice is outlandish but I think he can at least be a poor man's version of the GOAT. I love his route running, hands, and ability to run after the catch. He's the complete wide receiver IMO. In addition his work ethic is impeccable. I also like JuJu Smith-Schuester more than others. Although he's not the most explosive receiver ever, I love his hands, toughness, and playmaking ability. He'll be a very good receiver in the league. Zay Jones is intriguing. I think he tested better than he plays. His tape is impressive but he's not quite as explosive as his testing numbers suggest. Nonetheless I like him and see him developing into a pro-bowl receiver in the NFL. John Ross has first round talent but his durability concerns are serious. He could become a bust due to injuries. Or he could be a star if he stays healthy. That is why I have him in round 2. You might have noticed that there is no Mike Williams in the top 5. I personally don't think he's a first round prospect. His lack of separation worries me. He could be a bust in the NFL like his namesake USC Mike Williams. Amara Darboh is another receiver I like more than others. He reminds me of Reggie Wayne. He'll be a great #2 receiver for some team that will eventually develop into a great #1. My sleeper in this class is Isaiah McKenzie. Although he's undersized, he very explosive and tough to tackle. He'll be an elite returner off the bat. I think there's a chance he develops into a great slot receiver like Tyler Lockett. He quickness in the slot should be something else


Tight Ends (Position Grade: Excellent)

1) Evan Engram (1st round) NFL Comp ► better Vernon Davis
2) David Njoku (1st round)
3) Jake Butt (1st round)
4) Jonnu Smith (2nd round) NFL Comp ► Delanie Walker
5) OJ Howard (2nd round) NFL Comp ► Rickey Dudley

Sleeper: Cole Hikutini (3rd round)


Quote:
Really talented class led by Evan Engram. I'm not sure he's a tight end but that is what they list him as. I think he can be a dynamic weapon in the league as a big slot receiver. He's better version of Vernon Davis IMO. David Njoku is super talented and can ultimately be even better than Engram. Jake Butt if he can recover from the ACL can also be a great tight end in the league. I really like Jonnu Smith as a late round pick that can develop into a pro-bowler like Delanie Walker. You might be wondering why I am so low on OJ Howard. I have simply watched him not produce too many times at Alabama. I don't know if the kid loves football or not either. I just can't get over the fact he was so unproductive in college.


Offensive Lineman (Position Grade: Poor)

1) Taylor Moton (2nd round)
2) Forest Lamp (2nd round)
3) Garrett Bolles (3rd round)
4) Cam Robinson (3rd round) NFL Comp ► Michael Oher
5) Dan Feeney (3rd round)

Sleeper: Danny Isidora (3rd round)


Quote:
Just a terrible year for offensive lineman.


Edge Rushers (Position Grade: Excellent)

1) Myles Garrett (1st round) NFL Comp ► Bruce Smith
2) Charles Harris (1st round)
3) Derek Rivers (1st round) NFL Comp ► Shawne Merriman
4) Tarell Basham (1st round) NFL Comp ► Whitney Mercilus
5) Tyus Bowser (1st round)

Sleeper: Ryan Anderson (3rd round)


Quote:
Great year for edge rushers. I expect Myles Garrett to be a future Hall of Famer. He's that good. Easily the #1 player in this class. I like Charles Harris almost as much. He should be a dynamic pass rushers that regularly gets 10+ sacks. Derek Rivers is my favorite small school prospect. The guy just has freakish athleticism. Tarell Basham and Tyus Bowser are two other talented pass rushers. I really like these 5 players. Probably my favorite top 5 of any position. Ryan Anderson is my sleeper. He's not big or athletic but every time I watched him play he was making plays. He won't be a star in the NFL but I think he finds a niche as a starting 3-4 OLB. He would be perfect on a team like the Steelers.


Defensive Lineman (Position Grade: Below Average)

1) Solomon Thomas (1st round) NFL Comp ► JJ Watt/Aaron Donald
2) Eddie Vanderdoes (2nd round)
3) Larry Ogunjobi (2nd round)
4) Caleb Brantley (2nd round)
5) Nazair Jones (3rd round) NFL Comp ► Chris Jones
5) Jonathan Allen (3rd round) ► Marcus Spears

Sleeper: Joey Ivey (3rd round)


Quote:
Other than for Solomon Thomas, this is not a good year for interior defensive line. Contrary to what most are saying, I don't view Thomas as an edge rusher or even as a base 4-3 defensive end. He is a 5 technique. I believe he's ideally suited for a 3-4 scheme as a defensive end. And then on 3rd down he kicks inside to DT and rushes the passer from the interior. Jonathan Allen as you can see from my rankings is severely overrated in my opinion. He's a decent player who was made to look good by his stellar supporting cast. Joey Ivey from Florida is my sleeper in this class. He dominated the NFL PA all-star game. He tested well at his pro day. And every time I watched him play, he was making plays. I think he can be a starter in the NFL.


Linebackers (Position Grade: Very Good)

1) Jarrad Davis (1st round) NFL Comp ► Patrick Willis
2) Haason Reddick (1st round)
3) Reuben Foster (2nd round)
4) Zach Cunningham (2nd round)
5) Alex Anzalone (2nd round)

Sleeper: Dylan Cole (3rd round)


Quote:
I've been a big fan of Jarrad Davis for a while now. Then I saw how he tested at his pro day. He's the second coming of Patrick Willis IMO. Haason Reddick is another guy I like a lot. I'm just not as high on him as Davis because I'm not sure what position teams are going to play him. I think he's best suited as a 3-4 OLB, but I could also see a 4-3 team using him like Von Miller. I've never been high on Reuben Foster. He has significant character issues, he's undersized at 6'0" 229 lbs., and has a history of concussions. Red flags all over the place with him. My sleeper is Dylan Cole. He tested like a freak athlete at his pro day. This is a player who could surprise. He's a lot like Zach Thomas was coming out of college.


Cornerbacks (Position Grade: Excellent)

1) Cameron Sutton (1st round)
2) Marlon Humphrey (1st round)
3) Ahkello Witherspoon (1st round)
4) Teez Tabor (1st round)
5) Jourdan Lewis (1st round)
5) Damontae Kazee (1st round) NFL Comp ► Asante Samuel

Sleeper: Sojourn Shelton (2nd round) NFL Comp ► Brandon Flowers


Quote:
The corner class is deep and talented. Cam Sutton leads the way. I think he could be a dynamic player on a team that runs a lot of off man and zone coverage. He is amazing at diagnosing routes and breaking on the ball. He's not the biggest CB or the fastest but his instincts and intelligence are off the chart. Marlon Humphrey and Ahkello Witherspoon are very much a like as height-weight-speed athletes. Both have the potential to be stars. I don't care how slow Teez Tabor ran the 40. His tape was elite. And finally I really like Jourdan Lewis and Damontae Kazee. Both guys are incredible cover corners. My sleeper in this class is Sojourn Shelton. I have no idea why he isn't getting more buzz.


Safeties (Position Grade: All-Time Great)

1) Marcus Maye (1st round) NFL Comp ► Brian Dawkins
2) Jamal Adams (1st round) NFL Comp ► Lawyer Milloy
3) Marcus Williams (1st round)
4) Malik Hooker (1st round)
5) John Johnson (1st round)
5) Budda Baker (1st round)
5) Justin Evans (1st round)

Sleeper: Xavier Woods (2nd round) NFL Comp ► Karl Joseph


Quote:
This is my favorite position in the draft. So many great players it is ridiculous. As you can see I have 7 safeties with first round grades. I have Marcus Maye at the top because I believe he's the best all-around safety. He can play in the box and tackle like Jamal Adams. But he can also play center field as a single-high safety like Malik Hooker and Marcus Williams. He's also a tremendous leader. He's very reminiscent of Brian Dawkins. Jamal Adams will be a really good player but I believe he's being a little over valued right now as a top 5 pick. Malik Hooker and Marcus Williams are very similar. I have Williams ahead because I respect the fact his production is over 2 years versus Hooker who only started for one year. And there are no durability concerns with Marcus Williams as there are with Hooker. I'm also a lot higher on John Johnson than almost anyone else. I think that guy will be a dynamic pro. And finally my sleeper in this epic class is Xavier Woods. This is a player who just leaps off the screen when studying his tape. I'll be surprised if he doesn't develop into a pro-bowl caliber safety.
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goldfishwars


Joined: 27 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only one I agree with is the future hall of famer Josh Dobbs.
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Counselor


Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 2091
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This made my day...
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In reference to concern about Joshua Dobbs' Knees

48 1/2ers wrote:
Ostriches have inverted knees and they're pretty athletic...


GIF of Ostrich Running Here...

The Wheat Grass Shooting Hippies made me get rid of it...
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jrry32


Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 69131
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're certainly original. I'll bet Solomon Thomas will like the comparison...both J.J. Watt and Aaron Donald. That's pretty good company.

I do think that Joey Ivie is a guy worth mentioning in the late rounds, but the third round seems way too high on him. He looks like a solid rotational guy to me. Has enough juice to get into the backfield. Holds his ground well in the run game. Smart guy. I'd toss out Sean Lissemore as a comparison.
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Counselor


Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 2091
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope you're right about Jarrad Davis as long as he doesn't go to Oakland or KC.
_________________
In reference to concern about Joshua Dobbs' Knees

48 1/2ers wrote:
Ostriches have inverted knees and they're pretty athletic...


GIF of Ostrich Running Here...

The Wheat Grass Shooting Hippies made me get rid of it...
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tyler735


Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Posts: 2568
Location: Minnesota
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess you win the award for most edgy player rankings. Disagree with most of the rankings at every position but I suppose time will tell.
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jyod21


Joined: 13 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you a Tennessee alum?
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ttitansfan4life


Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 32991
Location: Delaware
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lulz
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ark23


Joined: 04 Dec 2012
Posts: 1976
Location: Columbus, Ohio
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The success rate for QB's with Trevor Knight's statistical profile is almost nil. Knight's got an atrocious completion percentage, and most QB's with that low of a number have busted hard. Kyle Boller, Jim Druckmiller, Jake Locker for example. It's a threshold thing, and Knight isn't even close to reaching the threshold.

James Conner tested like, historically bad. 6th percentile SPARQ athlete. I think it's hard to see a route to success for him with that physical profile.

Howard was remarkably productive when he was targeted. He just didn't get a lot of targets. Caught 42 of 56 targeted passes in 2016, 38 of 47 targeted passes in 2015.
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oldman9er


Joined: 24 Oct 2006
Posts: 43427
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was looking all over for that NOTICE ME sign, darnit... give it back!


but seriously.. I don't mind rankings like these. They are at least fun to look over.

I like that you gave Matt Dayes some love.
I like that you gave Derek Rivers some love.

As a GM, I'd draft Trevor Knight late in day 3.

I have no idea who Isaiah McKenzie is.. so I have more work to do.

Way not enough love for Tre White.

There's too much I wildly disagree with to go all outraged and combative with ... Everyone's entitled to their opinions, and I can respect these you have.. thanks for posting them.
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LETSGOBROWNIES


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks like an excellent parody of a typical draft board, well done.

Watt AND Donald? That's awesome lol.
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Broncofan


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a crazy kind of way, I actually respect VanS more for posting this - as far out as his projections are, it's pretty clear he's consistently far out there with most if not all of the positions.

If you're going to stand on an island because your methodology is different, then that should extend to your rankings not just with 1 guy, but with many others. Time will tell if that methodology is sound, or just out there.

My only observation from past discussions is that arguments against guys conventionally placed higher seem to be subject to criticisms VanS doesn't apply to "his" guys. Otherwise, at the very least, he's being consistent, in a huge against-the-grain kind of way.
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steelpanther wrote:
This is like playing checkers with a pigeon. No matter how well you play, sooner or later the pigeon is going to crap on the board, then puff his chest out and strut around like he won something.
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MSURacerDT55


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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CalhounLambeau


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Broncofan wrote:
In a crazy kind of way, I actually respect VanS more for posting this. Time will tell if that methodology is sound, or just out there.

My guess is VanS just disappears like so many guys here have who bomb on predictions and don't feel like talking about it later.
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VanS


Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 353
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tyler735 wrote:
I guess you win the award for most edgy player rankings. Disagree with most of the rankings at every position but I suppose time will tell.


This is one thing I never understood. Why does everyone agree with whatever the consensus is out there about player rankings?

Look back over any draft and you will see that half of the players in the first round turn out to be busts and the best players overall typically come in rounds 2-4 and are almost always underrated.

In doing my rankings, I made it a point not to just follow the consensus and try to pinpoint what players who are currently being underrated will outperform that rating and turn into studs in the NFL.
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