Shake's Pre-Combine Draft Board

With the combine kicking off in less than 2 weeks (Feb 24th) it's draft season. To collect my thoughts, and give a overview of the drafts top prospects is the first edition of my Colts-Draft board. Rankings are based off my opinions of value, need and scheme fit. I'd characterize the Colts draft strategy early as BPA at an upgradable position and I ranked accordingly. Value's no good if it can't get off the field over the established talent on the roster and reaching for a player based off of which position has the greatest need gives you low talent classes. Looking at the positions where a top pick could make an impact and taking the player with the greatest value among those spots is a nice blend of BPA and needs style.

Tier 1: Dream On
# Player Pos. School H/W Notes
1 Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraksa 6'4" 305lbs The drafts' clear top prospect Suh is absurdly disruptive up the middle, racking up 161 tackes, 40 for a loss, 19.5 sacks and 3 INTs (2 returned for TDs!) the past two seasons.
2 Eric Berry S Tennessee 5'11" 203lbs A playmaker at safety coming from a Tampa-2 system under Monte Kiffin. Has the cover skills and physicality to play anywhere in the secondary.
3 Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma 6'4" 295lbs Good enough to be the top DT in the draft most years, coming out this year makes him a consolation prize for a team dreaming of Suh, but whoever drafts him will be happy with what they got.
4 Rolando McClain MLB Alabama 6'4" 248lbs Elite MLB with the athleticism and great zone cover skills to appeal to a team that asks a lot from it's MLB in coverage.
5 Russel Okung OT Ok. State 6'5" 300lbs Top OT in the class, great pass pro skills and good in the run game. Not as heavy or strong as a few teams like, but more than enough size/strength for most.
6 Joe Haden CB Florida 5'11" 190lbs A top 10 pick who could be the only CB taken in the top 30-40 picks this year.
Tier 2 Great Prospect, Wrong Position
7 C.J. Spiller RB Clemson 5'11" 197lbs Blazing speed draws comparisons to Chris Johnson, he was an accomplished pass catcher and return man in college as well. Size hurts him running inside and pass blocking but makes the effort to partially offset the lack of bulk.
8 Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame 6'3" 223lbs Colts (and ND) Homer calls him a tall Drew Brees.
9 Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma 6'4" 228lbs A possible #1 overall pick if the shoulder that ended his '09 season checks out and the Rams insist on a QB.
10 Dez Bryant WR Ok. State 6'2" 210lbs Big, sure handed WR, but not a burner and needs more route running work. Suspended for the 2nd half of last year for lying to NCAA investigators about a meeting with Deion Sanders
# Player Pos. School H/W Notes
Tier 3 Doubtful to fall
11 Derrick Morgan DE Georgia Tech 6'4" 275lbs Usually considered the top DE in the class, he was unimpressive in the 1 game I got to see him, but it might just have been an off day against elite competition.
12 Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa 6'6" 304lbs Some of the elite competition that made Morgan look unimpressive. Bulaga was affected for most of the season by a thyroid condition that cost him 3 games and messed with his weight. He struggled most of the year, but returned to his dominant 2008 self by the Orange Bowl
13 Brian Price DT UCLA 6'1" 295lbs Born to play the 3 tech. Price plays both the pass and the run well thanks to the quickness to shoot through the gap into the backfield.
14 Earl Thomas S Texas 5'10" 195lbs The McCoy to Eric Berry's Suh, Thomas is a great prospect how can do a lot of the same things, but isn't quite as good as super-elite prospect.
15 Anthony Davis OT Rutgers 6'6" 330lbs The mauler that the aforementioned teams unhappy with Okung's size dream of. Of course he comes with the requisite flaw of the type... weight issues. Is listed 34lbs lighter thanhe began his college career. Some concerns about inconsistent technique and effort.
16 Bruce Campbell OT Maryland 6'7" 310lbs Usually 1st round tackles are considered safe picks, but Campbell might be the biggest boom-bust prospect of the round. Ideal size and athleticism, but unpolished andinexperienced with a serious injury history.
17 Dan Williams DT Tennessee 6'2" 329lbs Most likely to land as a 3-4 NT, but he isn't the unathletic space eater usually associated with the position. Not much of a pass rusher, but can cover surprising amounts of ground in pursuit making him a possible 1 tech for a 4-3 team looking to anchor the middle of the line.
Tier 4 Realistic ideals
18 Charles Brown OT USC 6'6" 298lbs A converted TE who played LT at under 290lbs, his stock will be greatly effected by his combine weigh in. He's a great pass blocker, but needs to add weight strength for the run game and to fight off bull rushes.
19 Mike Iupati OG Idaho

6'5" 325lbs

A mauling guard with great athleticism. He's drawn comparisons to Chiefs G/LT Branden Albert. Iupati might be able to pass protect well at RT (and LT isn't totally out of the question), but he's considered a fantastic prospect at guard.
20 Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma 6'6" 262lbs Despite missing much of last season with a knee injury Gresham is still rated the top TE in the class. A good route runner with enough speed to get up the seam, solid blocker and nightmare to bring down once the ball is in his hands.
21 Everson Griffen DE USC 6'3" 280lbs Very strong run defender with legitimate pass rush ability. Would be able to fill the run down DE, and backup DE roles.
22 Brandon Graham DE Michigan 6'1" 263lbs Was absolutely unblockable in the senior bowl. While none of the top 5 OTs were present, Graham feasted on OT classes depth.
23 Trent Williams OT Oklahoma 6'5" 309lbs
Struggled in pass pro at LT last year, so is likely a RT only, but that's a spot that could use an upgrade as well.
24 Jason Pierre-Paul DE So. Florida 6'6" 260lbs If he was matched against Bruce Campbell there might be an explosion from the pure concentration of boom-bust-ness. Pierre-Paul is a freak athlete, but raw with only 2 years experience on the FBS level and likely benefited from having an accomplished pass rusher (George Selvie) opposite him.
Tier 5 Consolation Prizes
25 Jared Odrick DT Penn State 6'5" 301 Athletic tackle to add size to the 3 tech. Duplicates a lot of what Fili Moala is hoped to do.
26 Corey Wootton DE/DT Northwestern 6'7" 270lbs Versatile lineman who could play much of the Raheem Brock role (though maybe not ILB in the 3-4 look)
27 Sergio Kindle DE Texas 6'4" 254lbs Very good pass rusher, but not a guy to put in on run downs, and not experienced or skilled enough in coverage to play LB in Indy
28 Sean Weatherspoon OLB Missouri 6'1" 241lbs Likely only a WILL prospect, but might be able to handle the middle in a smaller D. Great cover guy with decently rounded skills.
29 Ricky Sapp DE Clemson 6'4" 242lbs Much like Kindle he's a perfect 3-4 OLB who only fits in a 4-3 as a rush end.
30 Devin McCourty CB Rutgers 5'11" 186lbs Rising towards the top of the giant mass of CBs fighting for positioning behind Haden. Very good skills in zone, and can handle man coverage. Excellent fit in a cover-2 due to his willingness and skill in run support.
31 Jerry Hughes DE TCU 6'2" 248lbs Great pass rusher, but not strong against the run as a DE. Likely a 3-4 OLB
32 Kyle Wilson CB Boise State 5'10" 190lb Excellent return man, but limited role in the D since he's not good in run support.
Tier 6 More great non- fits/needs
33 Carlos Dunlap DE Florida 6'6" 290lb Freak athlete, with massive size, but major effort questions.
34 Brandon Spikes MLB Florida 6'3" 256lbs Good ILB prospect, but not good enough in coverage to be a Tampa-2 MLB. Mix of pass rushing, run D and zone coverage skills would make him a excellent SAM though.
35 Golden Tate WR Notre Dame 5'11" 195lbs Great returner, with impressive hands, but small without burner speed.
36 Jonathan Dwyer RB Georgia Tech 5'11" 235lbs Big strong RB. Coming from a very run heavy O his pass catching and pass blocking skills are question marks. Might not have the speed to get to the outside, but is a very powerful runner who never fumbled in over 500 career carries.
37 Damian Williams WR USC 6'1" 195lbs Great route runner with solid hands and speed. Needs to bulk up and play more physically, blocking and against the press.
38 Jahvid Best RB Cal 5'10" 195lbs Burner speed, has experience catching the ball, but doesn't have the size and strength to pass block effectively.
39 Taylor Mays S USC 6'3" 231lbs Big safety whose workout numbers will light up the combine, but don't translate to cover skills. Likely a box safety or WILL LB in the pros.
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