At the end of last year, most experts stated that the 2010 draft class would be a better class than the 2009 version.
After the first four weeks of the season, I'm not sure I agree with that assessment. Here's why:
1) The OT class is not as strong as the 2009 crop. Many of the top graded OT's may struggle with the LT position in the NFL, and may have to play at RT. I do not see the depth in talent as last year's class: Smith, Monroe, Smith, Oher. Okung is a good player, but is he better than any of the top four guys last year? I'm not sure.
2) There may not be even one stud first round running back in this draft. If Jahvid Best decides to stay in college, the entire first round may pass without one running back. Both Best and CJ Spiller are smaller backs, under 200 pounds.
3) The WR class looks like one early first rounder in Bryant (top 12 pick), and maybe LaFell (last first rounder). The two Williams boys are both juniors, and could be first rounders. But, I'm not so sure they will emerge as first rounders.
4) Both Jermaine Gresham and Sam Bradford looked like terrific first round prospects (if they left early), but are both attempting to heal, and may not be ready to move to the draft in 2010. I expect Gresham to use a medical redshirt and return, and Bradford to also bypass the draft if he is not sharp the rest of the season.
5) The center class is not in the same caliber as last year's, when a host of talented prospects entered the draft. The guard class is also mediocre, at best.
6) The QB class could emerge as solid, but Tebow's injury, and some shaky play by Snead has really taken some of the luster off this class. LeFevour may emerge as the second best prospect after McCoy, and maybe even Tony Pike makes a push, but once again, is this group better than Stafford, Sanchez and Freeman? I used to think so, but am not so convinced anymore.
The saving grace is that while the offensive side of the ball is dropping like a rock, the defensive end appears to be pretty solid.
Eric Berry and Ndamukong Suh are pulling away as the best two defenders in this draft, and are absolutely terrific. Sean Weatherspoon and Ricky Sapp have played at a high level (at the same time, they've got to move Weatherspoon out of the MLB position, he's better as a Sam). The jury is still out on Taylor Mays. You know he is going to run well, and work out well. However, this was his year to start showing the world that he could force turnovers, and to this date, is still without an INT for the year (USC fans may want to fact check this for me, but I am pretty confident, since he's been out two weeks now). Gerald McCoy looks solid, Terrance Cody looks fat and unmoveable, and while Carlos Dunlap is not doubt a terrific college player, is he going to be a 4-3 DE, 3-4 DE, or 4-3 DT at the next level. Nobody seems to know.
So, while the 2010 class may emerge to be better than the 2009 class, as time passes we may see little to no difference in talent compared to last season.
[ Edited by MadDog49er on Sep 27, 2009 at 8:55 PM ]