Overrated Prospects in the NFL Draft

Every year there are players who are overrated and underrated going into a draft. The underrated players are usually guys who are very productive but lack a trait or traits to be drafted high. Once they get to the NFL, their work ethic and desire to be great players works for them, and they out-play their draft position. The overrated guys are usually, but not always, the “workout warriors”. They have great combine and pro day workouts, but when you watch tape, their play doesn’t match their workout numbers. The overrated category also includes players who only the draftnik community rate high. While they get a lot of media attention, many clubs don’t have them rated nearly as high. Bud Dupree – OLB/DE – Kentucky When I watched the first three tapes, my first thought was “why the hype?”. I thought he was a good solid football player but I didn’t see anything special. I didn’t see a player that was worth a first round grade. After the Combine, I went back and watched more tape, because his Combine workout was so outstanding. Dupree ran a 4.57 and 4.73 in his two 40 attempts. His play speed is more indicative of the 4.73 than the 4.57! The only other things he did at the Combine were the jumps, and they were elite. His vertical was 42” and is standing long jump was 11’6', an unheard of leap at any position. Because Dupree didn’t run the agility drills at the Combine, he had to run them at his pro day. The results were interesting. His 20 yard shuttle time was 4.47, and his 3-cone was 7.48. Both of those times would rank in the lower half of the linebacker group at Indy and translate more to the 4.73 40 time. After watching late tape, I saw nothing that changed my opinion. He plays the run well, shows some strength at the point of attack, and can set the edge. He is not explosive as a pass rusher, and his sack production is good, not great (7.5 sacks). He can drop into coverage and play zone but struggles when asked to play man. His overall production was not as good as an elite player would have. Part of the problem is he lacks top instincts. He is more a "see and react" type than an instinctively reacting player. While I feel he will be a solid NFL player, I don’t ever see him becoming a pro bowler. He will get drafted in the first because of his great Combine numbers, but he looks more like a second rounder to me. Shane Ray - OLB – Missouri Go back two to three months, and most draft analysts had Shane Ray, Randy Gregory, Dante Fowler and Vic Beasley as top 10 picks. Today, 10 days before the draft, things have changed. While Beasley and Fowler still remain solid top 10 choices, Ray and Gregory are not. Ray is a hell of a football player, and he will get drafted high, just not as high as many think. Why? He has limitations, most of which are athletic. And some are size. The best part of Ray’s game is his competitiveness. He has a great motor and goes all out every play. A coach can’t ask for more. Many of the plays he makes are because of that relentlessness he plays with. At 6024 – 245, Ray is about as big as he is going to get. 250 might be his max. He has some athletic limitations that were seen when he worked at the Missouri pro day. While he showed good straight-line speed (4.64) and has better than average explosiveness (10’ long jump, 33.5” vertical), his change of direction was poor. His 20-yard shuttle and 3-cone were among the slowest of the OLB group (4.53 – 20 shuttle, 7.71 – 3-cone). What those times tell us is that he his tightness in his hips and lacks great bend. Ray has a quick first step and can use his hands as a pass rusher but can get overpowered by big offensive linemen in the run game. When in pass coverage, he has a fairly good drop but doesn’t flip his hips well and can be slow to transition. While I still feel that Ray will be a very good NFL player, I don’t think he will ever be an elite player. I no longer see him as a top 10 player but more like a guy who gets drafted in the teens, maybe even in the low 20’s. D.J. Humphries – OT – Florida Since the Combine, Humphries has gotten a lot of play. Many believe he is a lock to be a first round draft pick, and he very well may be. I just don’t like him as much as others. Humphries came to the Combine at 307 pounds and worked out well. While he was at Florida, he never played at 300 pounds. He was in the low 290’s last season. While he is quick and athletic, I don’t see him playing with strength. He does not get movement with his run blocks, and you see him get stalemated at times. His hand use in pass protection also needs to be improved. One of my biggest concerns is durability. Humphries has missed a number of games because of injury. If he couldn’t stay healthy in college, how is he going to stay healthy in the NFL? I understand that finding quality left tackles is a difficult job, and Humphries surely has the athleticism to be a very good left tackle. It’s the other things that bother me. I see him as more of a developmental player and would much rather have him in the second round than force him to play before he is ready if he is taken in the first. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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