With draft season now in full swing, here’s a breakdown of the nation’s top 30 players based on the National Football Post’s prospect grading scale.
1. DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska (6-4, 302)
Even with all the consistent double-teams thrown his way last season, Suh was still the country’s most dominant defensive lineman.
2. DT Gerald McCoy, Oklahoma (6-4, 298)
McCoy has the ability to be a factor both in the pass and run game at the next level and looks like one of the few instant impact-caliber defenders in this year’s draft.
3. ILB Rolando McClain, Alabama (6-4, 256)
McClain possesses an impressive athletic skill set for his size and has the ability to instantly contribute in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme.
4. S Eric Berry, Tennessee (5-11, 203)
Berry, one of the most instinctive safeties to come along in years, looks like a real ball-hawking-type defender at the next level.
5. C Maurkice Pouncey, Florida (6-5, 318)
Pouncey plays with impressive power and fluidity for his size and looks capable of starting from day one.
6. RB Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech (5-11, 235)
Dwyer is a violent runner who exhibits good vision between the tackles and has the initial burst to separate from defenders at the second level. He will only get better running in a more traditional NFL offense.
7. TE Aaron Hernandez, Florida (6-2, 250)
Hernandez is a potential mismatch nightmare at the next level in the Dallas Clark mold.
8. WR Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State (6-2, 220)
There are lingering questions about his character, but Bryant has the talent to consistently separate on the outside in the NFL.
9. OT Russell Okung, Oklahoma State (6-5, 302)
Okung looks effortless in pass protection and is the draft’s most NFL-ready left tackle.
10. DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech (6-4, 272)
Morgan possesses the tools to get after the quarterback in a variety of ways off the edge.
11. OT Anthony Davis, Rutgers (6-6, 325)
His athleticism and overall power are what really pop out on tape, and Davis does a great job shuffling his feet, keeping his base down and anchoring at the point of attack.
12. OG Mike Iupati, Idaho (6-5, 330)
Iupati makes everything look easy inside. He possesses an impressive blend of size, power and fluidity for the position and looks like one of the better offensive guard prospects to come along in years.
13. SS Chad Jones, LSU (6-3, 230)
Jones is a physically imposing safety who runs extremely well for his size and has the fluidity and ball skills to become an impact-caliber defensive back.
14. CB Joe Haden, Florida (5-11, 190)
A tall, long-armed corner, Haden has the closing speed to consistently get his hands on the throw and make plays on the football.
15. RB Jahvid Best, California (5-10, 195)
Best is a big-play threat every time he touches the ball, but he has to hope his concussion problems don’t linger throughout his career.
16. DT Brian Price, UCLA (6-2, 300)
Price is a powerful interior lineman who does a great job firing off the snap inside and using his length to fight his way into the backfield. He looks like a real disruptive force at the next level.
17. OT Bruce Campbell, Maryland (6-7, 310)
Campbell is a little raw, but he might have more physical upside than any offensive lineman in the draft. He has the quintessential skill set for the left tackle position.
18. RB C.J. Spiller, Clemson (5-11, 195)
Looks like a potential Felix Jones-type back at the next level.
19. OT Bryan Bulaga, Iowa (6-6, 312)
He has never quite regained his form from 2008, but Bulaga looks capable of anchoring the left side of an NFL offensive line for years.
20. DT Terrence Cody, Alabama (6-4, 370)
All the guy does is make everyone around him better; looks like an ideal 3-4 nose tackle who can anchor a defense inside.
21. DE/OLB Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech (6-2, 252)
Worilds exhibits an impressive first step, and his improved power and pad level have enhanced his ability to get after the passer.
22. OG/OT John Jerry, Ole Miss (6-6, 332)
Jerry possesses impressive lateral quickness and athleticism for a man his size and looks like a Leonard Davis-type guard in the NFL.
23. OLB/DE Ricky Sapp, Clemson (6-4, 248)
When healthy, Sapp makes a living behind the line of scrimmage. He has an ability to consistently shed blocks and quickly close on the football.
24. OT Charles Brown, USC (6-5, 292)
Brown not only possesses the footwork to consistently mirror in pass protection, he’s also very natural on the move in the run game. Looks ideally suited to play left tackle in a zone-blocking scheme.
25. FS Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech (6-1, 210)
Another talented ball-hawking safety with impressive instincts and range in the center field-type role.
26. OC Matt Tennant, Boston College (6-4, 291)
Tennant isn’t the sexiest-looking prospect, but he’s a tough, technically sound center who looks capable of coming in and starting from day one.
27. QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (6-4, 223)
There are concerns about his durability, but Bradford is as accurate as they come and will be in high demand in a quarterback-starved league.
28. DE Brandon Graham, Michigan (6-1, 263)
Graham looks like one of the most NFL-ready players in the draft. He has a good first step, but it’s his power, leverage and suddenness on contact that make him so tough to block off the edge.
29. DT Jared Odrick, Penn State (6-5, 301)
Plays bigger than his frame indicates and does a great job firing off the snap, gaining initial leverage and finding the ball inside.
30. CB Kyle Wilson, Boise State (5-10, 186)
Showcases impressive balance and footwork in and out of his breaks and is as polished as any cornerback in this year’s class.
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