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Matt McGuire's 2009 NFL Draft Prospects
Top 5 By Position - Defense


These rankings do not reflect where these players will go in the draft or how I think they will fall in the draft. It is just how good I think these players are on my personal draft board.

I have a key to better understand my star system:
: Elite Prospect
: Top 8 Prospect
: Solid First-Round Prospect
: Fringe First-Round Prospect; Very Strong Round 2 Prospect
: Second-Round Prospect
: Third-Round Prospect
: 4th-5th Round Prospect
: Late Round/Undrafted Free Agent



Matt McGuire's 2010 NFL Draft Prospects:
Top Five Offensive Players By Position


Updated April 22, 2010

4-3 Defensive Ends

  1. Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech
    Morgan had a great junior year and made a wise decision to declare for the 2010 NFL Draft. He's going in the top 15 picks.

  2. Jason Pierre-Paul, USF
    Jason Pierre-Paul has all the physical tools, but doesn't always play up to them. He reminds me a lot of the late Gaines Adams.

  3. Everson Griffen, USC
    Griffen has a very fast first step, but at times I have felt he is out of shape and he is a liability against the run. Too much invisible tape to get a first-round grade.

  4. Brandon Graham, Michigan
    Graham plays with a lot of "want to" and tenacity, but he looks a little stiff. He's uncomfortable in space with midget arms, but he will still be a solid player in the league. Overrated prospect.

  5. Jermaine Cunningham, Florida
    Yes, I have Cunningham rated more highly on my board than his teammate Carlos Dunlap. This is because Cunningham actually has a work ethic and shows up on tape.



3-4 Defensive Ends

  1. Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
    I really doubt Suh falls out of the top three at this point barring an injury.

  2. Jared Odrick, Penn State
    I've been a big Odrick fan all year and he would make a lot of sense for 3-4 teams such as Dallas or San Diego.

  3. Corey Wootton, Northwestern
    Wootton very well could sneak into the first round because of his versatility.

  4. Alex Carrington, Arkansas State
    Carrington has a very high upside, but he reminds me of Jarron Gilbert from San Jose State last year, and he was inconsistent in college as well.

  5. Mike Neal, Purdue
    Neal is a physical player at the point of attack and he has the body to play 5-technique.

3-4 Rush Linebackers

  1. Jason Pierre-Paul, USF
    Jason Pierre-Paul's physical tools are too impressive to not give a four-star grade, and his disinterest with the run game can be improved with coaching and masked in the 3-4 scheme.

  2. Jerry Hughes, TCU
    Hughes shows great flexibility and explosion off the edge; I like his second effort. He'll be a first- or early second-round pick.

  3. Everson Griffen, USC
    Griffen has a very fast first step, but at times I have felt he is out of shape and he is a liability against the run. Too much invisible tape to get a first-round grade.

  4. Sergio Kindle, Texas
    Kindle only has a speed rush and is completely disinterested against the run. His BCS title game performance doesn't erase his bad tape.

  5. Ricky Sapp, Clemson
    Sapp is an athletic, instinctive player.

Defensive Tackles

  1. Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
    Suh is one of the best defensive line prospects in this decade, but he needs to develop some pass rush moves.

  2. Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma
    Gerald McCoy won't make it out of the top six picks.

  3. Dan Williams, Tennessee
    Williams had a great senior year, but there are concerns if he is a one-year wonder. He's a great run defender, but offers little in terms of pass rush.

  4. Jared Odrick, Penn State
    I've been a big Odrick fan all year and he will thrive in 1-gap schemes where he can get up field with his first step and active hands.

  5. Brian Price, UCLA
    Price is an underrated prospect that put out great tape in 2009, but is overshadowed in this class.


3-4 Nose Tackles

  1. Dan Williams, Tennessee
    Prototypical height for a nose tackle (6-3) with that perfect bulky, stocky body that is difficult to move. He tends to wear down late in games.

  2. Terrence Cody, Alabama
    Has little range and there are concerns he could eat himself out of the league.

  3. Cam Thomas, North Carolina
    Mid-round talent who is a project at the next level.




Inside Linebackers

  1. Rolando McClain, Alabama
    Great intangibles and frame, but has limited range and is just an average athlete.

  2. Jamar Chaney, Mississippi State
    I love Chaney for 3-4 teams because he is an excellent run defender who brings the lunchpail to work.

  3. Brandon Spikes, Florida
    Has poor speed and struggles to make plays outside the tackle box. Limited in pass coverage. He's a two-down 3-4 inside linebacker who could run in the 4.8 range.

  4. Sean Lee, Penn State
    Lee has some durability problems, but he is a smart player and should find a niche in the league.

  5. Donald Butler, Washington
    Butler was impressive in Mobile and he had a good senior season.




4-3 Outside Linebackers

  1. Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
    "Spoon" really won me over at the Senior Bowl with his contagious vocal leadership and swagger. He has maintained a weight of 240 pounds throughout the process and now really profiles as both a 4-3 WILL and 3-4 inside linebacker, which really helps his draft stock.

  2. Daryl Washington, Texas Christian
    One of my most favorite "sleeper" prospects in this draft. He simply makes plays and his speed translates to the NFL.

  3. Navarro Bowman, Penn State
    Bowman has first-round talent and production, but undraftable intangibles. Some team will take a chance on him in Day 2.

  4. Eric Norwood, South Carolina
    Norwood is my top-rated strongside linebacker outside of Rolando McClain, but he can also play 3-4 inside linebacker or rush linebacker. Has an intriguing skill set and plays with heart.

  5. A.J. Edds, Iowa
    Edds is strictly a 4-3 strongside linebacker who can be a true thumper against the run.



Cornerbacks

  1. Joe Haden, Florida
    Consensus No. 1 corner despite the awful 40 time at the Combine.

  2. Kyle Wilson, Boise State
    Scrappy corner who can match up in man coverage, and is an outstanding return guy.

  3. Brandon Ghee, Wake Forest
    I'm a big fan of Ghee's athleticism and man coverage skills.

  4. Devin McCourty, Rutgers
    McCourty really flashed at the Combine and had a solid week at Mobile, but like Brandon Ghee, he is very hot-and-cold.

  5. Jerome Murphy, South Florida
    Murphy is an extremely physical corner against the run and can also help some team at strong safety.




Safeties

  1. Eric Berry, Tennessee
    One of the most fun prospects I've graded out on tape in the last five years of scouting. Berry will be an All-Pro.

  2. Earl Thomas, Texas
    I don't doubt his playmaking skills. Some team like Dallas or Philadelphia will move up for Thomas in the top 16 picks.

  3. Nate Allen, South Florida
    One of the more underrated talents in this draft with great range and instincts.

  4. Taylor Mays, USC
    Mays has great size and straight-line speed, and he can lay the wood. However, this is really all he can do. He doesn't make plays in coverage. He has zero ball skills; he takes terrible angles to the football; and he possesses poor instincts. I think he can start at strong safety, but I think he will be an average starter in the NFL.

  5. Chad Jones, LSU
    Has very intriguing physical tools and will flirt with the first round.




NFL Draft Big Board Entries:

Overall 2011 NFL Draft Big Board - 8/23
2011 NFL Draft Big Board: Seniors - 8/23
2011 NFL Draft Big Board: Juniors - 8/23
2011 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Offense - 9/2
2011 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Defense - 9/2
Overall 2010 NFL Draft Big Board - 4/22
2010 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Offense - 4/22
2010 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Defense - 4/22
Overall 2009 NFL Draft Big Board - 4/24/09
2009 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Offense - 4/24/09
2009 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Defense - 4/24/09
2008 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Offense - 4/24/08
2008 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Defense - 4/24/08
NFL Draft Big Boards - Home



Matt McGuire's 2010 NFL Draft Prospects:
Top Five Offensive Players By Position


Matt McGuire's 2009 NFL Draft Prospects:
Top Five Defensive Players By Position


Matt McGuire's 2008 NFL Draft Prospects:
Top Five Defensive Players By Position


Matt's 2010 NFL Mock Draft


2010 NFL Mock Draft Database


2010 NFL Draft Prospects


2010 NFL Mock Draft - Walt's


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