Mostly agree with your rankings; with the optimism bias from being a cardinals fan personally, I'd argue you could make a 1 star increase at each position, but their current rankings are also fair. I very much disagree with the 1 star ranking at special teams however, as we have a pro bowl gunner in Justin Bethel being joined by some high upside athletes in the kick coverage team and kick return game. Probably the best coverage unit in the game, which coupled with a punter who is below average (don't think he's as bad as stats show- his hangtime is rediculous, and it seems the staff went with him for this reason. I'd choose a distance leg with our coverage team, butI digress). In short, I'd say 3 stars is fair. A perfectly average special teams unit, whose only limitation really seems to be Drew Butler's distance and the uncertainty of a new long snapper (but both seem pretty reliable this far)
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Posted Jan. 3, 2009
Josh Freeman Declares for the 2009 NFL Draft
A surprising announcement was made two days ago when Kansas State signal caller Josh Freeman declared for the 2009 NFL Draft. The NFL Advisory Committee told him he would likely be a high second-round pick. The KSU program is going to go through a coaching change, but was this the best decision for Freeman?
It remains to be seen. I have a hard time seeing a 6-6, 250-pound quarterback with a big arm fall in the NFL Draft.
I however, would not take Freeman in the first round. He is not a very polished quarterback who should take a few years to develop. He is still very raw and does not show much maturity for a pocket passer. Then again, I did say Joe Flacco would take one or two years to develop. So much for that prediction.
I guess what I am getting at is I think Freeman could end up missing out on millions. A high second-round pick earns about a million dollars a season. Freeman could also end up rising on some teams' draft board like Flacco, who made bank at five years, $30 million with Baltimore.
It would not shock me to see some team trade up for or draft Freeman in the first round. Tampa Bay is desperate for a franchise quarterback. Maybe Detroit plans to go with Freeman with their second first round pick, allowing them to take an Andre Smith or Michael Oher at No. 1.
I would be somewhat shocked if the NFL teams saw Freeman as a project quarterback and looked past him in the first two rounds.
If I were Freeman, I might return to school for my senior season. I have the talent you cannot take away from me. I am not Brian Brohm or Colt Brennan with below-average arm strength. I have the potential to go in the top five and make some serious money.
This is certainly a gamble, but Freeman would grow more as a decision-maker and leader. However, he also risks injury and potentially having a disappointing season.
Either way, it is not a bad decision.
What grade do I have on Freeman? I would not draft him in the first two rounds. He never showed me much consistency, and I was not impressed with one of the three games I saw of Kansas State's this year. Looking at box scores, he only dominated against lesser competition, and only stepped up against Texas A&M. I saw too many errors in decision-making and reading defenses to give him a second-round grade. He has a tendency to stare down receivers, and like many underclassmen he does not throw the ball away when his receivers aren't open. He does a good job of not forcing throws, but the accuracy is far from where I want it to be.
High upside? Absolutely, but I would go back to school to work on accuracy and leadership, and take a chance on that top-five money in 2010.