by David Syvertsen
#4 Arthur Brown – LB – 6’1/231
One of my favorite linebackers in this draft. May end up with a similar grade to Te’o on my board. Incredible speed, quickness, acceleration. Has true sideline to sideline range. Can catch backs from behind. His reaction skills are second to none and he consistently puts himself in position to make a play. He plays low and slippery. Packs a lot of power behind his hits. Brown looks like a guy that will play in the league for a long time. He does everything well. 1st/2nd rounder.
#24 Nigel Malone – CB – 5’10/180
Small, shifty corner that has made a lot of big plays over the past two years. 12 interceptions in 2011/2012 combined. Quick twitch corner that anticipates well. Played a lot of coverage where he was looking down on the action in zone. Likes to bait quarterbacks and gamble, comes back to bite him at times. Appears to be undisciplined. Not a great press corner, very limited experience in that role. Has quick hips and light feet, but questionable speed downfield. Not the same player when running with his back towards the line. 4th-6th rounder that will be limited scheme-wise.
#3 Chris Harper – WR – 6’1/234
I’ve seen Harper four times this year. Twice in the beginning of the season, twice towards the end. His story intrigued me and after watching the contrast off bad and good within a few months, I really like him. He started off at Oregon as a quarterback. After making the switch to WR, he transferred to KSU and has been their leading receiver each of the past two seasons. Thick frame. Carries a lot of weight really well. He is visibily raw to the position because of two things. KSU is such a run heavy offense that does not ask their receivers to do a lot of route combinations. And he is still learning the position. I see a lot of talent here though. He is a project that will take time, but I see flashes of an Anquan Boldin type here and there. A gamble like that in round 6 or 7 may be worth it.
#42 Meshak Williams – DE – 6’3/245
1st Team All Big 12. Also won the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year. Will make a position change at the next level. Does not fit in to every scheme. Strong player, plays low and fast. Great kneed bend, great use of leverage. Pursues well. Does not play with gap control. Like to move laterally which hurts him here and there, opening up big cutback lanes. Late rounder.
#37 Braden Wilson – FB – 6’4/256
Not every team uses the traditional fullback anymore, but enough do to view Wilson as a draftable prospect. Huge frame. Carries the weight well. Can move in space a lot better than you would think. Accelerates well. On the contrary, does not block inside the tackle box as well as he should. Struggles to locate targets and deliver a punch. Rarely touches the ball. Could be a late rounder.
#96 Dion Jordan – DE – 6’7/243
Listed as a DE, but plays more of a LB role. Jordan is my top graded player in this draft class. I think he has superstar potential. Still relatively new to the defensive side of the ball, Jordan has a tool set that is second to none. He has a well developed frame that still has room for a lot more bulk. He moves well, very agile and flexible. Jordan plays with a lot of power. Despite being so tall and long, he plays with great leverage and is rarely taken out of a play. Very disciplined, smart player. Moved around often to exploit matchups. I’ve seen Jordan split out against receivers and he can jam them better than some cornerbacks. Moves well in coverage. The athletic part of the game is so easy for Jordan. That combined with his discipline and coherence of technique will give him big time opportunity at the next level. He will put on a show at the combine. I’m thinking top 10 for him, could be top 5.
#24 Kenjon Barner – 5’11/192
2nd Team All American. A lot of attention has been given to LaMichael James and DeAnthony Thomas over the past couple years, but I’ve always felt Barner was the best NFL prospect. Barner has top tier agility, balance, and quickness. He can make defenders fall to the ground with his simple stutter steps. Has a little Barry Sanders in him with the ability to stop, go, and accelerate. Can run between the tackles with toughness. May need some strength training before he does so 10+ times per game in the NFL. Doesn’t offer much as a receiver or blocker. Barner is a change iof pace back that will make plays at the next level. Has a natural feel for the game and he is simply more athletic than most, if not all, of his opponents. 2nd-3rd rounder.
#47 Kiko Alonso – LB – 6’4/242
A darkhorse linebacker here that could end up going a lot higher in the draft than where he is projected right now. Alonso is a freakishly good athlete. He moves like a 210 poind safety in space. Very easy and fluid in space. Alonso has a physical presence to him though. He plays hard, sends a jolt to offensive players on contact. Wiry frame, could likely add 10-15 pounds. Ran in to some legal trouble early in hios career, but he is now considered a leader and a very mature kid. Alonso is one of the more instinctive linebackers you’ll find. He can be overly aggressive at times, but it doesn’t hurt him too bad. I think Alonso has a shot at being a 2nd/3rd round guy that excels right away at any linebacker position.
#74 Kyle Long – OL – 6’7/311
Son of Howie Long. Started off at Florida State to play baseball. Partied too much, got a DUI, failed out. Played junior college football then transferred to Oregon. Has played tackle and guard. Scouts will be intrigued by the upside here. He is a great athlete, a lot of length. The bloodlines will help him. Still has underdeveloped mechanics with his hands and feet, but this is an upside based prospect that could be had after round 5.