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Posted Jan. 20, 2010
2010 NFL Draft Offensive Grades
Where do we stand with the NFL Draft this year? Just how good is it? How do the positional classes stack up from a talent standpoint and to one another position-by-position? All of these questions will be answered in today's NFL Matt Draft.
To start out, we need to understand what makes for a good or bad draft. In an extremely good draft for one position, I expect to see a couple top-10 prospects, then 3-5 more solid first-round prospects, then several more projected starters or highly talented developmental prospects in Rounds 2 and 3. After the third round, there is a serious drop off of talent in the draft.
The NFL Network's Charlie Casserly once said that you have a 33 percent chance of finding a starter in the third round - just to give you a barometer of how hard it is to find starters even after Round two.
Let's analyze the 2010 NFL Draft position by position.
Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford are the cream of the crop in this draft - no debate here. Clausen carries a top-8, 4.5-star grade, and he is the No. 5 overall prospect on my board and is a franchise quarterback. I have serious questions regarding Bradford, but he is still a top-20 talent who will find himself drafted in the top 10 picks.
After Clausen and Bradford, not much at all intrigues me. Colt McCoy has mediocre physical tools and his offense made him look much better than he really was. I gave Tony Pike a third-round grade. He is not an immediate starter, but might be developed into one. Jevan Snead has great physical tools, but is too raw; I gave him a mid-round grade.
Overall, this is a very average draft class because we only have two definite franchise quarterbacks, one of which I have serious questions about.
C.J. Spiller is a late first-to-early second-round pick. He has a lot of talent, but lacks the bulk and inside running skills to be considered a No. 1 - and no, don't give me Chris Johnson because Johnson is much faster than Spiller. Jahvid Best is an intriguing talent who will likely go in the second round. Jonathan Dwyer is the only back in this class who can possibly project as a No. 1 because of his size and potentially good athletic ability if he sheds a few pounds and gets in shape.
After the big three, there isn't much to speak of. Fresno State's Ryan Mathews is an overrated talent. Montario Hardesty, Anthony Dixon and Toby Gerhart all lack great speed.
This is one of the weakest running back classes in recent memory. We only have one (potentially) No. 1 back and a couple game breakers.
Damian Williams, Arrelious Benn, Dez Bryant, Golden Tate and Brandon LaFell are all in the first-round mix. Eric Decker, Mardy Gilyard, Jordan Shipley and Demaryius Thomas could all go in the second round (though I am not a fan of Gilyard or Thomas). We have some interesting prospects on the back end in Jeremy Williams, Jacoby Ford and Riley Cooper who could be players at the next level.
I am really intrigued by these wideouts and it is certainly one of the better classes we have seen in a while.
With the growth of the spread offense, so goes the in-line blocker. Jermaine Gresham is the consensus No. 1 tight end in this class and a likely first-rounder. Rob Gronkowski is a big athlete who will also get his uniform dirty and block as he is coming off a serious back injury. Aaron Hernandez and Ed Dickson are athletic pass catchers that will be chosen in Rounds 2 or 3. Dennis Pitta, Anthony McCoy and Jimmy Graham are intriguing projects that will go in the mid rounds.
This tight end class is OK, but nothing to get excited about. It is very average for what he expect out of a tight end group.
The most talked-about class outside of quarterbacks will be tackles because I think draft analysts will be over the map on how they are ranked. Russell Okung and Bruce Campbell are likely top-10 picks. Anthony Davis, Bryan Bulaga and Trent Williams are very big linemen, and one or two of these names might also be in the top 10 when it's all said and done. Charles Brown is small, but he has great technique and athleticism. He's on the fringe of the first round. Selvish Capers out of West Virginia is a raw athlete with a nasty demeanor, but he has no technique and comes from a bad college scheme. His name will likely get called at some point in Rounds 2 or 3. Vladimir Ducasse could also go in the second round. Kyle Calloway, Jason Fox, Jared Veldheer, Ed Wang and Tony Washington are intriguing mid-round prospects.
This is a very impressive group of prospects, but it lacks one or two talents in the second round or the elite 5-star prospect for me to give it an "A" grade.
Interior Offensive Line
I am grouping guards and centers together here. Maurkice Pouncey and Mike Iupati are the top prospects in this group. Pouncey can play center or guard (I think he is a better fit at guard). Iupati might be in the late first-round mix. Jon Asamoah and Mike Johnson are likely third- or fourth-round prospects. J.D. Walton is my No. 1 center in this class and he is a likely second-round pick.
This is a decent group, but it wasn't nearly as good as last year's. This class lacks serious depth in the third and fourth rounds where some teams find immediate starters.
Tomorrow I will break down the defense and the formula for figuring out the overall grade in the 2010 NFL Draft, talent-wise.