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NFL Draft: Best players still on board
With the first round in the books, CFN's Pete Fiutak gives you the best players still remaining for the weekend.
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1. CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama, 5-10, 193
CFN overall ranking: 12
Take away the character issues and Jenkins would be a sure-thing top 20 pick. While he’s not huge, he’s big enough to get by and doesn’t have a problem against the bigger receivers. Lightning fast, he has fast wheels in workouts and he plays just as fast on the field with the ability to close on a receiver in a heartbeat. He’s a willing tackler, he’s great at tracking the ball, and he proved himself time and again when he was at Florida. But all of the positives are wiped away by the major warning signs that’ll make him undraftable on some boards. Along with his major-league attitude, he had a slew of off-the-field problems including an arrest for marijuana possession that got him the boot from Florida. He was banged up, and with his style he’ll always be hovering around the injury report. Will the concerns outweigh his incredible talent? On the right team he’s a No. 1 corner and a Pro Bowl talent.
2. OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford (Jr.), 6-6, 312
CFN overall ranking: 16
He’ll be one of the biggest calls of the early part of the draft. The size, tools, and talent are all there to be a franchise pass blocker on the right side of the line for the next decade, but he’s probably going to be asked to be a star on the left side. He still needs lots of work and he looked great being next to guard David DeCastro, possibly the best blocker in the draft. He needs refinement and has to prove he can hold up against the flashier speed rushers, but he’s ready to be thrown to the wolves after spending his career protecting Andrew Luck in a pro-style offense.
3. QB Brock Osweiler, Arizona State (Jr.), 6-7, 242
CFN overall ranking: 18
Even though Osweiler is huge and lanky, he’s not a stick in the mud and has good enough feet to get by. No, he doesn’t have the best release and he could make himself even bigger by going over the top with his delivery, but he’ll never get any passes batted down and can sling the ball all over the field. He’s likeable and won’t have any problems commanding respect in the locker room once he has a little bit of success. It’s going to take a little while to be ready to shine, and he’s going to need to live with a quarterback coach to tighten up his mechanics, but there’s undeniable upside to be a steal for someone with a little bit of patience.
4. C Peter Konz, Wisconsin (Jr.), 6-3, 315
CFN overall ranking: 20
The prototype run-blocking center, he has tremendous size as a big-blaster for the middle. Smart and dominant whenever he was on the field, Konz didn’t make mistakes and was a terrific leader for one of college football’s best lines over the last few seasons. He has Pro Bowl skills with the talent and mental makeup to be thrown to the wolves right away. But can he stay healthy? He suffered an ankle injury last year, and it might be a bit telling that the Badger O-line didn’t skip a beat when he was out.
5. DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan State (Jr.), 6-3, 308
CFN overall ranking: 21
A top-five overall talent, he could be a steal if he puts it all together. He has the NFL size, the right base, and the type of talent that can anchor a defense. The Pro Bowl skills are all there with the size to hold up against the run and enough quickness to collapse the pocket when he needs to crank things up another level. If he wants it and can ramp up his motor to a consistent level, he has the upside to be the best tackle in the draft and a perennial star. Conditioning is an issue and he’ll have to get with an NFL-caliber strength and conditioning coach to tighten things up.
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6. WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina (Jr.), 6-4, 216
CFN overall ranking: 24
After cutting down the fat a bit after playing at 230 pounds, he still has ideal size and the physical tools to know how to handle his bulk. Very tall, very tough, and with the right attitude, there’s a chance he could be a phenomenal value pick. The top-end deep speed isn’t there at an elite level, and it would be a big help if he camped out with an NFL strength and conditioning coach to rock up his body a bit, but the potential is there if he works for it and decides he wants to be a star. He’ll be a relatively cheap and easy chance to take after the first round.
7. OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama, 6-2, 272
CFN overall ranking: 26
Part defensive end, part outside linebacker, Upshaw fits a variety of roles and schemes. He plays strong, hits big, and he’s a true intimidator with the right attitude and mentality. He looks the part, but he doesn’t always play like an end. He can be blocked and can have a tough time disengaging. He’s a tweener of sorts, but he’s not quite athletic enough to be a speed rusher who can fly into the backfield on a regular basis. Even so, with his intensity and style he’ll be a tough defender on the outside for the next decade.
8. OG Cordy Glenn, Georgia (OT), 6-6, 345
CFN overall ranking: 27
While he played tackle in college, Glenn is considered to be a lock to move inside and work as a guard at the next level. He’s huge and built to be a dominant force on the offensive line for a long, long time. Relatively athletic for his size, he moves with the quicker defenders without a problem, and he can bury his man when he engages. He needs to keep his weight in check and he needs to bring the right attitude every play. Keeping the fire lit will be a must, but he’s a tremendous talent who can be tried out in a variety of ways.
9. RB Lamar Miller, Miami (Jr.), 5-11, 212
CFN overall ranking: 30
Fast, fast, fast, he ripped off a 4.36-second 40-yard dash to cement his place as one of the fastest of all the top backs. With good size, the right frame, and excellent athleticism, Miller looks the part of a franchise back. It’s all there, including the quickness to be a devastating kickoff returner if he’s looking to find a role right away outside of the offense. While he was a good collegian, he was underutilized and could be just scratching the surface and could be a whale of a value at some point in the middle of the second round. Can he stay healthy? Part of the reason he didn’t get the ball enough was because he couldn’t handle the load.
10. DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson, 6-2, 311
CFN overall ranking: 31
A potentially fantastic run stopper, Thompson is extremely strong on the inside and doesn’t get pushed around. Considering his size and body type, he moves well and could work in a variety of schemes, but he’s built to sit on the nose with a short, squatty body. He doesn’t have a great frame and can’t get any bigger with any good weight, but he has the lateral movement to stop things up against the run. A great leader and with the type of attitude a coaching staff will love, he could be a star a defensive front seven works around.
Check out players 11 through 20 on Pete Fiutak's list of best players still available right here.
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