Top '10 draft prospects on offense
Two underclassmen, Sam Bradford and Jevan Snead, are tops at quarterback
Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer looks to be the best RB available
Wide receiver may be deepest position, with Dez Bryant leading the way
The college season kicks off this week and with it another year of scouting NFL prospects begins. Offensive tackle and wide receiver are the deepest positions on the scoring side of the ball. There's also talent at quarterback and running back. Here are the top NFL prospects at each position on offense as we head into the 2009 season. Top defensive prospects will be on SI.com on Thursday. (*Denotes underclassmen)
Sam Bradford*/Oklahoma: The 2008 Heisman Trophy winner rates as the top NFL prospect at quarterback. Bradford's football intelligence, accuracy and ability to lead an offense projects well to the next level. He's expected to enter the 2010 draft and will be one of the first half dozen players selected.
Jevan Snead*/Mississippi: Snead does not get the same notoriety as his SEC foe Tim Tebow, yet NFL scouts grade the Ole Miss signal caller higher. His rifle arm and accuracy has pro teams enthused. Snead displayed terrific wherewithal and a command of the offense last season, his first as full-time starter on the college level.
Tim Tebow/Florida: Tebow is a true field general and highly thought of in the scouting community. He offers a great combination of physical and mental skills, besides the toughness and leadership he's shown the past three seasons. He'll need a complete overhaul of his mechanics, yet Tebow comes with a high upside for the team willing to be patient with him.
Jake Locker*/Washington: Locker resembles Tebow in many ways as the Huskies quarterback grades out well in the areas of physical skill and football intangibles. He's very rough around the edges and needs a revamp of his throwing fundamentals. Locker, recently selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 10th round of the MLB draft, has all the necessary tools to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Jimmy Clausen*/Notre Dame: Clausen has the size, arm strength and pocket stature NFL teams want behind center. His decision-making has been suspect but scouts are hoping for a good year from the junior, who returns to South Bend with his top targets at his disposal.
UNDERRATED: John Skelton/Fordham: The small school passer is drawing comparisons to Joe Flacco, the former first-round pick lighting it up in Baltimore. Skelton is similar in size and stature to Flacco, which has scouts excited.
OVERRATED: Colt McCoy/Texas: McCoy is a tremendous leader and a class citizen. He lacks the physical skills to be a starter in the NFL and is viewed by most scouts as a backup signal caller.
Jonathan Dwyer*/Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets' primary back offers tremendous size and power. He pounds opponents on the inside and occasionally breaks the long run. Dwyer is a top-20 selection and likely the first back selected if he opts for the draft next April.
Charles Scott/LSU: Scott is another grinder between the tackles and can make defenders miss in the open field. He did a terrific job last season against some of the better defenses in the nation. Scott is another first-round prospect and a potential feature runner in the NFL.
Jahvid Best*/California: Best is not as large as the top-rated runners yet faster and much more elusive. He excels as a pass catcher out of the backfield.
Kendall Hunter*/Oklahoma State: Hunter's another elusive running back who gives opponents fits with the variety of ways he produces handling the ball. He's not a player for every NFL team but reminds scouts of Leon Washington from the New York Jets.
LaGarrette Blount/Oregon: Blount came to Oregon with lots of potential, which he has flashed on occasion. He'll be given the chance to prove he's capable of handling the load this season, and if successful the result will be an upswing in his draft stock.
UNDERRATED: Mario Fannin/Auburn: Fannin often gets lost in the shuffle at Auburn, a program which always produces running backs by the bushel. He's shown himself to be a big, dominant ball-carrier that runs over opponents on the inside or beats them around the corner. Fannin has the potential to be a big time NFL prospect if he pulls the pieces together.
OVERRATED: C.J. Spiller/Clemson: NFL scouting services rate Spiller as the number one senior ball-carrier in the nation. He's an incredibly quick runner with the ability to create yardage then run to daylight. Spiller is also known as a soft football player and a back that prefers to run east/west rather then take it up the field. His timid style of play will turn off a lot of general managers next April.
NFL Truth & Rumors