'09 NFL Draft: Underclassmen (cont.)
Andre Smith/OT/Alabama: The Tide's dominant left tackle is expected to enter the draft and end up as a top five pick, possibly as the first selection of April's event.
Russell Okung/OT/Oklahoma State: He is one of the most complete tackles in this group. He's an exceptional pass protector who moves defenders off the line run blocking. Okung is on the fence about where he'll be playing next year even though he grades out as a first-round pick.
Eben Britton/OT/Arizona: Britton, a three-year starter for Arizona, offers terrific size and upside. Scouts feel he lacks a complete game and is being overrated. He has enough talent to be a top 45 choice. Sources close to the Wildcats program feel Britton is leaning towards entering the draft.
Trent Williams/OT/Oklahoma: Williams became a full-time starter this season and opened a lot of eyes with his outstanding play. Though he ranks as a second-round choice, he's likely to return to OU.
Others to watch: Ciron Black/OT/LSU, Thomas Austin/C-G/Clemson, Matt Tennant/C/Boston College, Josh McNeil/C/Tennessee, John Estes/C/Hawaii.
Everette Brown/DE/Florida Sate: Brown put together a terrific season and pulled the pieces of his game together. Scouts consider him one of the most athletic pass rushers in the nation. Brown looks like he's headed for the draft, where he'll be a first-round choice.
Greg Hardy/DE/Mississippi: Hardy is another tremendous athlete and offers as much potential as any other defensive lineman in the county. He's likely to enter the draft and be a first-round pick.
Terrence Cody/NT/Alabama: Mount Cody dominated the opposition during his initial season with the Tide. He's large, powerful and nearly impossible to block. Alabama insiders think Cody will enter the draft. He'll end up in round one.
George Selvie/DE/South Florida: Selvie comes off a slightly disappointing campaign after being one of the nation's most feared pass rushers the previous season. He still grades out as a first-round pick, though he'd be selected towards the end of the frame rather than the beginning. It may not matter as the word in Tampa has Selvie returning to USF.
DeMarcus Granger/DT/Oklahoma: Granger is a bigger version of Tommie Harris but possesses the same quickness and explosion of the former Sooner All American. He hasn't decided on the draft but would be selected in the first round, like Harris, if he leaves college.
Geno Atkins/DT/Georgia: The Bulldogs fierce tackle is undersized yet explosive and tough to block. He presently ranks as a second-round choice but has stated he will return to Athens for his senior campaign.
Sen'Derrick Marks/DT/Auburn: Marks is another small yet quick one-gap tackle prospect. He's made overtures that he'll enter the draft, in part because of Auburn's handling of the Tommy Tuberville situation. He would be selected in the middle of round two.
Paul Kruger/DE-OLB/Utah: Kruger moved off the radar screen in 2008, even though he pieced together one of the most dominant seasons of any defender in college football. He's also expected to enter the draft, where he would go in the second round. But be aware: Kruger is the type of athlete who will tear up the Combine next year and proceed to skyrocket up draft boards.
Chris Baker/DL/Hampton: Baker, who began his college career at Penn State, tore up the opposition during his first year at Hampton. He's an exceptional talent who can play a variety of positions on the defensive line. Sources close to Baker say he is leaning towards entering the draft, where he will be a second-round choice.
Others to watch: Auston English/Oklahoma, Gerald McCoy/DT/Oklahoma, Arthur Jones/Syracuse.
Brandon Spikes/ILB/Florida: Spikes is turning into one of the most dominant and complete Gator linebackers in recent years. He's expected to enter the draft and could slide into the draft's initial 32 selections.
Mark Herzlich/OLB/Boston College: Herzlich developed into a complete three-down defender this season and is celebrated as one of the top defenders in the ACC. He grades out as a first rounder but all sources have indicated Herzlich will return to Boston College for his senior campaign.
Joe Pawelek/ILB/Baylor: The Bears tackling machine is an omni-present force. Even with a good crop of inside linebackers in the draft, Pawelek is expected to throw his hat into the ring and will likely be chosen in round two.
Gerald McGrath/LB/Southern Mississippi: McGrath has been a tackling machine for Southern Mississippi, recording 100 or more tackles the past three years. The junior is uncertain as to his next move but grades as a second-round pick if he opts for the draft.
Others to watch: Sergio Kindle, Jerry Hughes/TCU, Sean Weatherspoon/Missouri, Rico McCoy/Tennessee, Antonio Coleman/Auburn.
Taylor Mays/S/USC: Mays is a complete safety and one of the best all-around defensive backs in the nation. Odds are he will enter the draft and be a top 10 choice.
D.J. Moore/CB/Vanderbilt: Moore saw his game take off this season and the Vandy corner made great progress on the field. He can help out any team in a number of ways. Moore is leaning towards entering the draft, where he would be the second cornerback selected in the first round.
Vontae Davis/CB/Illinois: Davis is a terrific talent who flashes ability. His play has been spotty at times but that does not shake his confidence. Expect Davis to enter the draft and be selected at the top of round two.
Sean Smith/CB/Utah: Smith has the size (6-foot-2, 212 pounds) and speed (4.35 in the 40) that makes scouts take notice. His upside is outstanding because he offers ability at corner and safety. Indicators point to Smith entering the draft, where he could slip into the late part of round one.
Trevard Lindley/CB/Kentucky: The Wildcats corner has shown steady improvement the past two years. Lindley, who grades as a second-round pick, is uncertain as to whether or not he'll enter the draft.
Others to watch: Captain Munnerlyn/South Carolina, Emmanuel Cook/South Carolina, Kyle Wilson/Boise State, Syd'Quan Thompson/California
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