Jump to content

Espn Insider: Most Overrated Nfl Draft Prospects


g-dawg
 Share

Recommended Posts

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Most overrated NFL draft prospects

By Mike Renner
Pro Football Focus

in_ncf_tripanel_jv_576x324.jpg

Every year, there are some players who fail to live up to their pre-draft hype. With Pro Football Focus now analyzing college games and producing performance stats based on every play, let's take a look at some of the players whose 2014 production doesn't match their draft stocks.

After compiling this list, it became obvious there was a theme in our selections. All the players included already look the part of a high-level NFL player in terms of size, speed, etc., but none performed even like high-level college players. If these guys can't consistently beat up on college opponents, what's going to change when they square off against NFL players who can match their athleticism?

While it's understandable that these players have first- or second-round grades based on their potential, each provides teams considering selecting them early some cause for concern, because all are still a ways away from realizing that potential.

Click here for a list of the 10 most underrated prospects in this class.

1. Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

While most left the combine in awe of Waynes' speed, the discussion among PFF analysts centered on the fact that his 20-yard shuttle (4.39 seconds) was slower than his 40 time (4.31), a rare feat we couldn't recall seeing. That poor change-of-direction ability was evident on tape, and is a problem at a position where change of direction is vital.

Moreover, for someone who possessed the recovery speed to not have to worry about getting beat deep, Waynes was fairly average breaking on intermediate routes and had only three pass breakups on 59 targets. His mark for yards per coverage snap allowed was just about average, at 1.04, but he was exposed against the most talented passing team the Spartans faced all year (Oregon). In that game in Week 2, he yielded 113 yards on seven targets, including a touchdown.

2. Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon

It seems as though many look at Armstead's measurables (6-foot-7, 292 pounds, 5.1-second 40-yard dash) and his position (3-4 defensive end) and can't foresee him becoming anything other than Calais Campbell. What has gotten overlooked for the most part, however, is that Campbell had as many sacks in his sophomore season of college (10.5) as Armstead had his entire Oregon career.

Defensive line is one of the positions where physical freaks can easily dominate in college with little to no technique. That is why it's concerning that Armstead produced well outside the upper echelon of defensive linemen. The Oregon defensive end graded out as our No. 20 interior lineman against Power 5 schools, and posted middling numbers in run-stop percentage (7.1) and pass-rushing productivity (6.0) for the season. Those are worrisome numbers for a potential top-15 pick.

3. Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

This one comes with a caveat, as we think Scherff could possibly be a fantastic guard, it's just that if you plug him in at left tackle next season you'll be sorely disappointed. It's difficult to see the Outland Trophy winner ever being an effective pass protector on the edge. Scherff wasn't close to the top of our tackle rankings, even after facing a fairly weak slate of edge rushers in the Big Ten. The Iowa tackle's 96.2 pass-blocking efficiency was 62nd out of the 95 draft-eligible tackles.

People have fallen in love with Scherff's ability to plant a defender to the turf, but when asked to play in space on the edge, Scherff lacked the length and feet quickness to regularly engage defenders. His skill set translates much better to guard in the NFL, but even there he would be something of a question mark.

4. Bud Dupree, LB, Kentucky

ncf_a_kentts_576x324.jpg

After one of the most impressive performances in the history of the combine and a productive senior season, it is easy to see why Dupree has become a consensus first-rounder among draft analysts. However, when we dug deeper into his stats and film, there were some red flags that popped up.

The most meaningful one is that only three of his 36 pressures came against tackles with positive pass-blocking grades for the season. While he posted an overall respectable pass-rushing productivity mark of 9.8, that number dropped to 7.1 against SEC competition. A third of those pressures against SEC competition came versus Missouri's right tackle, Taylor Chappell, who had the second-worst pass-blocking grade in the country.

It's also worth noting that despite being 6-4, 269 pounds, Dupree didn't generate a single pressure off of a bull rush last season. Those stats paint the picture of a player who feasted on weak competition and then put up impressive workout numbers, rather than a complete pass-rusher.

5. Devin Funchess, WR/TE, Michigan

Funchess is a tweener some project as a "move" tight end in the NFL. Our analysts saw a different story, as we thought he had neither the radical size advantage to outmuscle corners nor the quickness to consistently beat linebackers. To top it off, he showed very little promise as a run-blocker.

This means Funchess is likely limited to a "big slot" role like Marques Colston. However, playing the slot requires a certain level of consistency that Funchess simply doesn't possess yet, and he'll have to improve in that area. The 6-4, 232-pound receiver had an 8.8 percent drop rate (8.3 percent was the NCAA average) to go along with a handful of misses on attempted contested catches.

6. Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State

Goldman has many of the traits you look for in a nose tackle at the NFL level. He holds up well versus double-teams and has the strength to control most one-on-one blocks. He was by no means special in that regard, however, and was fairly poor at shedding and making the stop himself. In fact, his 5.3 run-stop percentage was well below average for this class.

Run defense aside, if you are taking a nose tackle in the first round, he better provide some complementary pass-rushing ability, and Goldman did not last season. The Florida State defensive lineman finished with a 5.5 in pass-rushing productivity, a figure far less than half that of the leader among D-linemen, Stanford's Henry Anderson (12.1).

7. Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami

ncf_u_dorsett1x_576x324.jpgPhillip Dorsett stood out for his speed at the 2015 Senior Bowl.

Everyone loves speed at the receiver position because it is so hard to find, but consider the following: 38 receivers have run sub-4.4 40-yard dashes since the 2009 combine, and only six are now a top-two receiver on their respective teams. The main takeaway is that speed can help, but one needs to do so many other things well to be a complete receiver in the NFL.

With Dorsett, we didn't see much besides elite speed. He's undersized at 5-10, 185 pounds, and is still an unrefined route runner. Of his 67 targets last season, 40 came on deep routes (go, deep crosser, post and corner). He'll have to run a much more varied route tree at the next level. DeSean Jackson goes deep as often as anyone in the NFL, and even he was targeted on downfield routes only 37 percent of the time last season.

There's certainly a lot of potential here, but with all the other proven talent at receiver in this draft, taking Dorsett in the first round would be a substantial gamble.

8. Shaq Thompson, S/LB, Washington

People have been in love with Thompson's athleticism since he was a five-star recruit coming out of high school in Sacramento. However, all the athleticism in the world won't make up for poor instincts as a linebacker, and Thompson has yet to show he can make the necessary reads for the position. His 7.3 run-stop percentage was 41st among 58 draft-eligible starting inside linebackers, and he was an overall ineffective player against the run, outside of forcing and recovering fumbles.

Thompson's skill set translates better to safety, as he was smooth in coverage and has nickelback experience, but it's hard to feel comfortable picking a player early for a position you've never seen him play.

9. P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State

After watching all of Williams' plays this season, our analysts agreed that the most accurate description of him is "inconsistent." Inconsistency at cornerback in the NFL is synonymous with getting benched, as defensive coordinators won't put up with the types of highs and lows Williams experienced last season.

While the Florida State corner was aggressive and productive around the line of scrimmage, he gave up tons of ground on intermediate and deep routes when receivers got a hint of initial space. Williams actually graded out negatively in coverage, in no small part due to his silly habit of not wrapping up receivers after the catch. He missed 11 tackles in coverage last season, and his ratio of a miss on every 6.2 attempts was 79th out of 101 starters in the class.

10. Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State

McKinney is a fantastic athlete whose size (6-4, 246 pounds) and explosiveness (a 4.66 in the 40-yard dash, a 40.5-inch vertical leap) have him at or near the top of most inside linebacker rankings. The trouble is that all of our analysts who broke down his games agreed they wouldn't trust McKinney as anything more than a two-down linebacker. That still has value, but not early-round value.

McKinney's 0.81 yards per coverage snap was below the class average of 0.71, and he made a paltry five stops in coverage all season, 66th among inside linebackers (Eric Kendricks led with 28). His biggest problem was bringing down receivers in space, as he had only seven solo tackles in coverage, compared to five missed tackles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 66
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Been saying the same thing about Scherff the whole time.

I think Dupree will be a better pro than he was in college. Once Quinn gets his hands on him and uses him correctly

Dupree has no problem with letting people get their hands on him

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think Scherff and Dorsett should be on this list. I don't think anybody sees Scherff as a LT and I don't think anybody sees Dorsett as a first round WR.

It's just funny that it took an article like this for people to see Bud as overrated. He's been called overrated here by some knowledgeable posters for a while. But groupthink is strong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think Scherff and Dorsett should be on this list. I don't think anybody sees Scherff as a LT and I don't think anybody sees Dorsett as a first round WR.

It's just funny that it took an article like this for people to see Bud as overrated. He's been called overrated here by some knowledgeable posters for a while. But groupthink is strong.

Scherff has been overrated on this board by 'knowledgeable posters' as much or more as Dupree has, IMO Edited by Vandy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think Scherff and Dorsett should be on this list. I don't think anybody sees Scherff as a LT and I don't think anybody sees Dorsett as a first round WR.

It's just funny that it took an article like this for people to see Bud as overrated. He's been called overrated here by some knowledgeable posters for a while. But groupthink is strong.

TATF has been about 50/50 on Dupree - so think you are off there, vel.

now on Vic Beasley - there is some serious groupthink there that Beasley is a Greek God and should have his own marble statue. Skip the playing career and go straith to Canton, Ohio and the HOF.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Most overrated NFL draft prospects

By Mike Renner

Pro Football Focus

in_ncf_tripanel_jv_576x324.jpg

Every year, there are some players who fail to live up to their pre-draft hype. With Pro Football Focus now analyzing college games and producing performance stats based on every play, let's take a look at some of the players whose 2014 production doesn't match their draft stocks.

After compiling this list, it became obvious there was a theme in our selections. All the players included already look the part of a high-level NFL player in terms of size, speed, etc., but none performed even like high-level college players. If these guys can't consistently beat up on college opponents, what's going to change when they square off against NFL players who can match their athleticism?

While it's understandable that these players have first- or second-round grades based on their potential, each provides teams considering selecting them early some cause for concern, because all are still a ways away from realizing that potential.

Click here for a list of the 10 most underrated prospects in this class.

1. Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

While most left the combine in awe of Waynes' speed, the discussion among PFF analysts centered on the fact that his 20-yard shuttle (4.39 seconds) was slower than his 40 time (4.31), a rare feat we couldn't recall seeing. That poor change-of-direction ability was evident on tape, and is a problem at a position where change of direction is vital.

Moreover, for someone who possessed the recovery speed to not have to worry about getting beat deep, Waynes was fairly average breaking on intermediate routes and had only three pass breakups on 59 targets. His mark for yards per coverage snap allowed was just about average, at 1.04, but he was exposed against the most talented passing team the Spartans faced all year (Oregon). In that game in Week 2, he yielded 113 yards on seven targets, including a touchdown.

2. Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon

It seems as though many look at Armstead's measurables (6-foot-7, 292 pounds, 5.1-second 40-yard dash) and his position (3-4 defensive end) and can't foresee him becoming anything other than Calais Campbell. What has gotten overlooked for the most part, however, is that Campbell had as many sacks in his sophomore season of college (10.5) as Armstead had his entire Oregon career.

Defensive line is one of the positions where physical freaks can easily dominate in college with little to no technique. That is why it's concerning that Armstead produced well outside the upper echelon of defensive linemen. The Oregon defensive end graded out as our No. 20 interior lineman against Power 5 schools, and posted middling numbers in run-stop percentage (7.1) and pass-rushing productivity (6.0) for the season. Those are worrisome numbers for a potential top-15 pick.

3. Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

This one comes with a caveat, as we think Scherff could possibly be a fantastic guard, it's just that if you plug him in at left tackle next season you'll be sorely disappointed. It's difficult to see the Outland Trophy winner ever being an effective pass protector on the edge. Scherff wasn't close to the top of our tackle rankings, even after facing a fairly weak slate of edge rushers in the Big Ten. The Iowa tackle's 96.2 pass-blocking efficiency was 62nd out of the 95 draft-eligible tackles.

People have fallen in love with Scherff's ability to plant a defender to the turf, but when asked to play in space on the edge, Scherff lacked the length and feet quickness to regularly engage defenders. His skill set translates much better to guard in the NFL, but even there he would be something of a question mark.

4. Bud Dupree, LB, Kentucky

ncf_a_kentts_576x324.jpg

After one of the most impressive performances in the history of the combine and a productive senior season, it is easy to see why Dupree has become a consensus first-rounder among draft analysts. However, when we dug deeper into his stats and film, there were some red flags that popped up.

The most meaningful one is that only three of his 36 pressures came against tackles with positive pass-blocking grades for the season. While he posted an overall respectable pass-rushing productivity mark of 9.8, that number dropped to 7.1 against SEC competition. A third of those pressures against SEC competition came versus Missouri's right tackle, Taylor Chappell, who had the second-worst pass-blocking grade in the country.

It's also worth noting that despite being 6-4, 269 pounds, Dupree didn't generate a single pressure off of a bull rush last season. Those stats paint the picture of a player who feasted on weak competition and then put up impressive workout numbers, rather than a complete pass-rusher.

5. Devin Funchess, WR/TE, Michigan

Funchess is a tweener some project as a "move" tight end in the NFL. Our analysts saw a different story, as we thought he had neither the radical size advantage to outmuscle corners nor the quickness to consistently beat linebackers. To top it off, he showed very little promise as a run-blocker.

This means Funchess is likely limited to a "big slot" role like Marques Colston. However, playing the slot requires a certain level of consistency that Funchess simply doesn't possess yet, and he'll have to improve in that area. The 6-4, 232-pound receiver had an 8.8 percent drop rate (8.3 percent was the NCAA average) to go along with a handful of misses on attempted contested catches.

6. Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State

Goldman has many of the traits you look for in a nose tackle at the NFL level. He holds up well versus double-teams and has the strength to control most one-on-one blocks. He was by no means special in that regard, however, and was fairly poor at shedding and making the stop himself. In fact, his 5.3 run-stop percentage was well below average for this class.

Run defense aside, if you are taking a nose tackle in the first round, he better provide some complementary pass-rushing ability, and Goldman did not last season. The Florida State defensive lineman finished with a 5.5 in pass-rushing productivity, a figure far less than half that of the leader among D-linemen, Stanford's Henry Anderson (12.1).

7. Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami

ncf_u_dorsett1x_576x324.jpgPhillip Dorsett stood out for his speed at the 2015 Senior Bowl.

Everyone loves speed at the receiver position because it is so hard to find, but consider the following: 38 receivers have run sub-4.4 40-yard dashes since the 2009 combine, and only six are now a top-two receiver on their respective teams. The main takeaway is that speed can help, but one needs to do so many other things well to be a complete receiver in the NFL.

With Dorsett, we didn't see much besides elite speed. He's undersized at 5-10, 185 pounds, and is still an unrefined route runner. Of his 67 targets last season, 40 came on deep routes (go, deep crosser, post and corner). He'll have to run a much more varied route tree at the next level. DeSean Jackson goes deep as often as anyone in the NFL, and even he was targeted on downfield routes only 37 percent of the time last season.

There's certainly a lot of potential here, but with all the other proven talent at receiver in this draft, taking Dorsett in the first round would be a substantial gamble.

8. Shaq Thompson, S/LB, Washington

People have been in love with Thompson's athleticism since he was a five-star recruit coming out of high school in Sacramento. However, all the athleticism in the world won't make up for poor instincts as a linebacker, and Thompson has yet to show he can make the necessary reads for the position. His 7.3 run-stop percentage was 41st among 58 draft-eligible starting inside linebackers, and he was an overall ineffective player against the run, outside of forcing and recovering fumbles.

Thompson's skill set translates better to safety, as he was smooth in coverage and has nickelback experience, but it's hard to feel comfortable picking a player early for a position you've never seen him play.

9. P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State

After watching all of Williams' plays this season, our analysts agreed that the most accurate description of him is "inconsistent." Inconsistency at cornerback in the NFL is synonymous with getting benched, as defensive coordinators won't put up with the types of highs and lows Williams experienced last season.

While the Florida State corner was aggressive and productive around the line of scrimmage, he gave up tons of ground on intermediate and deep routes when receivers got a hint of initial space. Williams actually graded out negatively in coverage, in no small part due to his silly habit of not wrapping up receivers after the catch. He missed 11 tackles in coverage last season, and his ratio of a miss on every 6.2 attempts was 79th out of 101 starters in the class.

10. Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State

McKinney is a fantastic athlete whose size (6-4, 246 pounds) and explosiveness (a 4.66 in the 40-yard dash, a 40.5-inch vertical leap) have him at or near the top of most inside linebacker rankings. The trouble is that all of our analysts who broke down his games agreed they wouldn't trust McKinney as anything more than a two-down linebacker. That still has value, but not early-round value.

McKinney's 0.81 yards per coverage snap was below the class average of 0.71, and he made a paltry five stops in coverage all season, 66th among inside linebackers (Eric Kendricks led with 28). His biggest problem was bringing down receivers in space, as he had only seven solo tackles in coverage, compared to five missed tackles.

Six or seven rated high by TATFers.

Next Sunday Night will be poppin on the TATF board. Trust me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scherff has been overrated on this board by 'knowledgeable posters' as much or more as Dupree has, IMO

I don't think so. Scherff has high potential as an OG. Everybody here sees him as an OG. The article sees him as a really good OG.

TATF has been about 50/50 on Dupree - so think you are off there, vel.

now on Vic Beasley - there is some serious groupthink there that Beasley is a Greek God and should have his own marble statue. Skip the playing career and go straith to Canton, Ohio and the HOF.

How am I off? I didn't say everybody. I just said people. People as in the ones who thought Dupree could be the next Clowney.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This just worried me about Dupree.

You are not drafting Dupree because he is the best pass rusher in this class because he is not. He can be a very effective pass rusher but it will take a little time to refine him. You are drafting him for every thing else he does.

No one would draft Scherff to start at left tackle day one you would draft him to be a dominating guard and maybe eventually take over at RT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think so. Scherff has high potential as an OG. Everybody here sees him as an OG. The article sees him as a really good OG.

How am I off? I didn't say everybody. I just said people. People as in the ones who thought Dupree could be the next Clowney.

Who has said Dupree was the next Clowney but I am sure he could fill those mighty shoes with ease by getting injured or retiring after preseason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who has said Dupree was the next Clowney but I am sure he could fill those mighty shoes with ease by getting injured or retiring after preseason.

A lot of people jumped on that chart that had his athleticism score and it being higher than everybody's. Clowney's name was brought up a few times in the same sentence as Dupree's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with all of these except Dorsett and Thompson. Scherff I understand if people somehow see him as a LT, but he can be a very good RT and instant elite guard. Dorsett is pretty much Percy Harvin without the headaches, and if anything Thompson is underrated, he's a serious playmaker who is much faster on film and yet some have him dropping to the 3rd even. I 100% believe he can be an elite WLB.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of people jumped on that chart that had his athleticism score and it being higher than everybody's. Clowney's name was brought up a few times in the same sentence as Dupree's.

Well I will say that I believe Bud Dupree could end up a better overall football player than Clowney. Clowney was not my top prospect last year either. At this point I have been proven right but he may actually get it all together but I doubt he ever lives up to his draft position and the hype.

Agree with all of these except Dorsett and Thompson. Scherff I understand if people somehow see him as a LT, but he can be a very good RT and instant elite guard. Dorsett is pretty much Percy Harvin without the headaches, and if anything Thompson is underrated, he's a serious playmaker who is much faster on film and yet some have him dropping to the 3rd even. I 100% believe he can be an elite WLB.

I believe he can be elite as well but I am one that also thinks he will drop to the late 2nd early third. It is not unreasonable for him to drop to the third because he is not really a fit for everyone and some people will not have a good fit for him.

Edited by Sobeit
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...