Inside draft's war room debates
Here are four more questions to ponder as the NFL draft nears. For previous war room debates, click here:
Which receiver will make the biggest impact in his first season?
This year's draft features several highly-touted prospects, but the receiver most likely to make the biggest impact as a rookie is DeSean Jackson.
Despite his diminutive size (5-foot-10, 170 pounds), Jackson is the most dangerous playmaker in this year's draft class. He scored 29 touchdowns at Cal, six via punt returns. Impact receivers are not only judged by their number of big plays, but also on their ability to attract double teams, and Jackson's speed forces defense to stay aware of his location at all times.
But Jackson is more than just a speed receiver. His ability to make things happen with the ball in his hands makes him an attractive option to offenses that utilize their receivers in space. His combination of explosiveness, running skills and big-play potential make him the biggest impact receiver in this year's draft.
THROWDOWN: Is DeSean Jackson the best impact WR in the draft?
Will Mario Manningham's character concerns cause him to slide out of the first round?
Yes. Amid published reports that Manningham failed multiple drug tests while playing at Michigan, teams are more likely to pass on the Wolverine superstar during the first round.
Manningham, who was suspended for one game during his three year collegiate career, originally denied the failed test in individual team interviews at the combine, but later acknowledged his drug usage in a letter to all of the teams several weeks ago. By failing to be forthright in team interviews, Manningham has raised concerns about his maturity.
Teams will take this latest situation and add it to the list of reported run-ins Manningham had with coaches during his tenure as a Wolverine, the combination of which will to make a strong case for dropping Manningham down the draft board.
Who is the top cornerback prospect?
The battle for the top spot at position involves Leodis McKelvin, Aqib Talib, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Mike Jenkins and Brandon Flowers. Though each carries a first-round grade, they all have holes in their respective games and are not locks to develop into a shut-down corner. The order they go off the board will largely be determined by their ability to "fit" into a team's defensive scheme.
With that said, the nod goes to McKelvin as the top cornerback prospect. He has the speed, quickness and movement skills to play in a defense that features man or zone. As a pure cover corner, he has a knack for anticipating routes and is consistently in a position to make plays on the ball. Although he lacks great ball skills and awareness, his exceptional closing burst and finish gives him a chance to develop into a playmaker as a pro.
Who is the best defensive prospect in the draft?
Glenn Dorsey. The two-time All-American is a dominant interior player capable of controlling the middle against single or double teams. Despite spending his senior season battling through injuries, Dorsey continued to manhandle opponents at the point of attack, and his ability to create consistent penetration against the run or pass forces offenses to alter their game plan when facing the mammoth tackle.
Scouts have picked apart Dorsey's game since the end of the season, but one should revisit his dominating performance in the national championship game to see his potential impact as a pro. Dorsey spent all game in Ohio State's backfield, and his stat line of six tackles, one sack and one forced fumble highlights the potential the former Tiger exhibits when healthy. Dorsey may not be selected with the top pick, but he is unquestionably the most dominant defensive player in the draft.