Posted: Wednesday April 20, 2005 11:54AM; Updated: Wednesday April 20, 2005 5:47PM
Overrated: Mark Clayton, Oklahoma At a position where size does matter, Clayton's dainty frame (5-10, 193 pounds) allows physical defensive backs to push him around, which is exactly what happened in Oklahoma's last two bowl games (four catches, 21 yards against USC; four catches, 32 yards against LSU). Clayton does have nice speed and was a solid playmaker in college, particularly during a dominant junior season in which he had 83 catches for 1,425 yards and 15 touchdowns. But as defenses got more physical with him last season, Jason White found himself going to other receivers more often, causing Clayton's production to drop to 66 catches, 876 yards and eight touchdowns.
Underrated: Chris Henry, West Virginia While certainly raw (Henry came out after playing just two seasons in college), there's no disputing his talent. The guy is a 6-4, 197-pound burner who averaged 24.5 yards a catch as a sophomore and scored a touchdown nearly one out of every four times he touched the ball in his career. His biggest negative -- and seemingly the main reason he's rated so low -- is his character. Henry was suspended twice last season, once coming after he was ejected from a game for receiving two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and threw an on-field tantrum during the Gator Bowl. Basically, he's a head case. But the last time I checked, head-case receivers who catch touchdowns (Randy Moss, Terrell Owens) get multimillion-dollar contracts in the NFL.
Overrated: Khalif Barnes, Washington Barnes, a four-year starter for the Huskies, seems to be universally considered by scouts as one of the top three offensive tackles in the draft. Apparently the tape these guys are watching does not include the 2003 Nevada game, in which Wolfpack DE Jordge Cordova continually beat Barnes on his way to five sacks, or the UCLA game that same year, when Bruins All-American Dave Ball slipped right past him for a sack that caused a fumble and touchdown. To his credit, Barnes' footwork improved as a senior, and he didn't allow a single sack -- but he also played in just six games due to a season-ending wrist injury. An offensive lineman's best work usually goes unnoticed, so the scouts likely have much more positive tape of Barnes than negative, but surely they can find some other players at the position who aren't so prone to breakdowns.
Underrated: Richie Incognito, Nebraska This former All-Big 12 lineman, projected as a center, could be the steal of the entire draft. He was dominant his two seasons with the Huskers and was one of the most impressive linemen at February's NFL Scouting Combine, running a sub-4.9 40. Why, then, is he only considered a second-day pick? Besides suffering a mild knee sprain at the combine, it's, to put it mildly, his baggage. Incognito has a long history of anger-management problems: He was ejected against Penn State his freshman year for fighting, accused of spitting on opposing players and convicted of misdemeanor assault from a fight at a party. He was suspended indefinitely by Nebraska coach Bill Callahan, left school and, after a very brief stay at Oregon, ultimately sat out last season. But he's made every effort to turn the corner, including working with former NFL head coach/offensive line guru Jim Hanifan, who compares Incognito's talent to that of NFL veteran ZachWeigert. With proper off-the-field support -- and most pro teams have ample such resources -- he should flourish.