Not 1, not 2, but 3 sub .500 teams in the top 10. I know everyone was expecting the Cards, Panthers, and Bengals to be really good this year... but they haven't been. The Cards lost to a really good Pats team, beat a mediocre Bucs team, and got embarrassed by an embarrassing Bills team (that you have ranked in the 20s). The Panthers have a bit more of an excuse as their losses have been to mostly good teams (the Broncos and Vikings) but I am still not buying a #5 ranking for a 1-2 team who's only win came against a horrible 49ers team. Lastly you said it all about how the Bengals have performed so far this year. These are not good teams this year, shouldn't their ranking reflect that?
While your brief analysis of the Panther's Oline has a lot of truth to it, I'm not sure it's yet fair to say that their is a problem in the 2ndary. The rooks are playing pretty well and definitely aren't the problem. Another is that they can't get a pass rush because the QBs are having success throwing the ball for short, quick, Brady esque passes, but when throwing deeper, the interior rush at least is getting there, and the corners have been impressing. While they are no Norman at this point, I can say that they are one of the few bright spots so far. The main problem is that the Oline can't block, and special teams can't tackle.
Stanley Robinson, SF, UConn, Sr.
I am not going to lie; I have been rooting against Robinson being a first-round pick because he absolutely torched my Marquette boys last season. Truth is Robinson has been impressive this year stepping in for the likes of A.J. Price, Jeff Adrien, and Hasheem Thabeet. His athleticism is at an elite level which NBA scouts love. The most important part of Robinson's improved game is his outside shooting which was his major knock heading into this season. So far, Robinson is 15-27 from distance which is part of the reason his scoring average has more than doubled from a year ago. His outside shot is still not near completely polished, but he has definitely shown the growth to be worthy of a mid-late first-round pick.
Lance Stephenson, SG, Cincinnati, Fr.
I absolutely loved Tyreke Evans' game last year while he was a freshman at Memphis, so this next statement has added meaning. Stephenson is this year's Tyreke Evans. His ability to score for a freshman is ridiculous. He already has an NBA-ready body, attacks the basket almost effortlessly, creates his own shot with ease, and has a pretty stroke from the perimeter. He dropped 21 in a win against UConn which included an ankle-breaking step back jumper. It is absolutely baffling to me that other NBA Draft sites have him as a mid-second-round pick. There is no doubt in my mind that he worthy of a lottery selection. Call me crazy, but I am that confident about his abilities.
JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue, Jr.
The 6-10 junior is showing the steady progress that scouts wanted to see from Johnson. He looked flat-out awesome in Purdue's beat down of West Virginia with 25 points and 10 boards. His jump shot continues to improve from the perimeter and he doing a better job of establishing himself in the paint. If Johnson can become a more aggressive rebounder, he will get late-first-round consideration this year if he decides to forgo his junior season.
2010 NFL Draft Stock: Selling
Nic Wise, PG, Arizona, Sr.
On a young Wildcat team, Wise has almost become a non-factor as of late. He has scored in single digits five times this season including each of his last three games. Wise is not asserting himself as often as he did earlier in the season and his shooting percentages from the three-point line and field have dropped from a year ago. For a prospect who is already handicapped by his lack of ideal height (he is listed at 5-10, but closer to 5-8), he is not having the type of senior season to earn him a second-round look.
Tyler Smith, SF, Tennessee, Sr.
To my recollection, Smith is the first ever player to have his stock sold in back-to-back weeks. But when you get in caught in a car with a handgun, bag of weed, and open alcohol, that cannot be helpful for your draft stock. Smith was having a less-than-stellar senior season to begin and now you add some massive "character issues" to his resume as well. Translation: He went from a possible late-first-round pick to now likely going undrafted. Nicely done, Tyler.
Ater Majok, PF, UConn, Fr.
For a year, we have been hearing about Majok and his potential. Now that I have seen him step on the court, I am not impressed. For a 22-year-old, he is well behind the learning curve of every other freshman. Athletically, the Sudanese refugee is gifted with good speed, length, and leaping ability. However, his offensive game is so raw and you can tell that he is still learning the fundamentals of the game. Majok tested the waters last summer and if he chooses to go pro, he cannot return to the Huskies. I could maybe see a team using a late-first-round pick on Majok in hopes he develops his all-around game, but more than likely the second-round is in his future if he leaves UConn after this season.