Five First Rounders I Really Love, And Three I Don’t

All NFL Draft, all the time the next three days. The title make’s today’s offering self-evident:

Guys I Love

1. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
– What’s not to like about this guy. He was brilliant from the very start at Oklahoma, and he has the look of a guy who can take that to the next level. He crushed the college football point spread at Oklahoma.  He has a good arm, he’s mobile enough without using that as a crutch, he’s incredibly smart, and he just wins. Top rated quarterbacks aren’t always successful, but Clausen will be.

2. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska – He’s a beast, and he plays a position that translates to the pros much more successfully than DT does. His game has range and versatility, so it’s all but certain that he’ll shine in at least some part of his game.

3. Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
– I list him at his college position, but he could easily move to linebacker in the pros. I watched virtually every game the guy played in college, and I was rarely not in awe while I was betting on college football. The guys has an engine that is almost impossible to contain, he’s relentlessly ferocious, and he is smart enough to adjust on the fly. This guy has star capabilities.

4. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida
– It’s hard to get too excited about a center. I would be happy if a team I like drafted this guy, though. He’s not flashy, but he’s fundamentally and physically sound, and could very likely start for a team for the next decade. There is no such thing as a low risk first rounder, but Pouncey is as close as you can get.

5. Russell Okung, LT, Oklahoma State
– I am consistently amazed by the difference a great left tackle can make on a team, so it makes sense that I would be a fan of the best LT on the board. He’s durable, he’s tough, he looks exactly like a left tackle should, and he’s equally dominant against the run and the pass. Very nice player.

Guys I Don’t Love

1. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
– This guy makes me extremely nervous. He only has one year of Division I production after starting in junior college. He’s as high as he is in the rankings because of his numbers in that year and because of his physical measurables. In other words, he’s all about potential, and I cringe every time a sack-monster is picked on potential.

2. Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
– He’s the best tight end on the board, but I am very skeptical of drafting tight ends in the first round – they rarely contribute at first round value. Gresham raises concerns beyond his position as well – he’s had two serious injuries to his knees, so his durability is a serious question.

3. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
– I am firmly not in this guys camp. His production has been fine but not outstanding. His leadership is a real question, and his work ethic is a question as well. He’s cocky to the point of ridiculousness. He’s a product of Charlie Weis, and the last QB that he produced was not exactly an NFL star. His arm isn’t great, and he could certainly be more accurate. His release point changes with every throw and is often low. I just don’t like the guy.

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