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OTC's Top Offensive Players Board: April 17 edition

The clock is ticking to get evaluations completed as we're under the two-weeks-to-go mark now. As promised, you'll find below my individual rankings for the top 10 at each offensive position, except fullback (there are almost never more than 3-5 taken in the draft and no one cares much about FB rankings anyway).

WR
1. Amari Cooper, Alabama
2. Kevin White, WVU
3. Breshad Perriman, UCF
4. DeVante Parker, Louisville
5. Tyler Lockette, Kansas State
6. Jaelen Strong, Arizona State
7. Phillip Dorsett, Miami
8. Nelson Agholor, USC
9. Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma
10. Devin Smith, Ohio State

I recently noted that after further review on Breshad Perriman, he's moved way up my board. After the opportunity to watch him closely in several other matchups, my initial impression has changed. In some instances, it appeared he was virtually uncoverable and quite frankly, had he been working with a QB that possessed even moderately better vision and accuracy, the kid likely would've put up much bigger numbers.


RB
1. Todd Gurley, Georgia
2. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
3. Tevin Coleman, Indiana
4. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
5. T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
6. Javorius Allen, USC
7. Duke Johnson, Miami
8. Mike Davis, South Carolina
9. Jay Ajayi, Boise State
10. David Johnson, Northern Iowa

While Gurley and Gordon will get most of the attention, Tevin Coleman deserves a lot of credit for his accomplishments -- despite playing on one of the worst teams in the FBS, Coleman ran for over 2000 yards this season while clearly being the only real weapon his team had. Teams knew what was coming but still couldn't stop him, and that's something you can't help but be impressed by. He lacks elite lateral ability, but his adept pass protection skill and breakaway ability once he hits the hole make him a potential steal if he falls any further than the 2nd round.


C
1. Cameron Erving, FSU
2. Hroniss Grasu, Oregon
3. Ali Marpet, Hobart
4. BJ Finney, Kansas State
5. Shaquille Mason, Georgia Tech
6. Max Garcia, Florida
7. Andy Galik, Boston College
8. Greg Mancz, Toledo
9. Reese Dismukes, Auburn
10. Shane McDermott, Miami

Hobart's Ali Marpet might have the most upside out of any of the OL in this class. His dominance at his level of competition is well-noted and his elite athleticism was clearly on display at the combine, but his quick acclimation and adjustment at the Senior Bowl has given a lot of scouts reason to truly believe in this kid. As such, we've seen Marpet garner 2nd round consideration as a possible center in a weak group overall this year. Special note: 49ers are one of the teams who attended a private workout for Marpet.


OG
1. Brandon Scherff. Iowa
2. Cameron Erving, FSU
3. La'el Collins, LSU
4. Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
5. Tre Jackson, FSU
6. Ali Marpet, Hobart
7. AJ Cann, South Carolina
8. Jon Miller, Louisville
9. Laken Tomlinson, Duke
10. Shaquille Mason, Georgia Tech

I don't think Scherff is a great fit to stay at LT in the NFL, and I feel that a move to OG or RT would benefit him greatly. He does a lot of things right and shows off a nasty streak that team will love. As an OG, he's a Top 15-worthy player. Ogbuehi is a player I really liked when I watched his games. Packs a powerful punch and shows light feet in pass protection. Also has almost 36" arms. He has rarely been talked about ever since his injury, but his game tape I believe could land him in the 1st round with the Patriots a prime candidate to select him.


TE
1. Maxx Williams, Minnesota
2. Clive Walford, Miami
3. Blake Bell, Oklahoma
4. Tyler Kroft, Rutgers
5. Nick O'Leary, FSU
6. Jesse James, Penn State
7. Ben Koyack, Notre Dame
8. Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State
9. Wes Saxton, South Alabama
10. C.J. Uzomah, Auburn

After the first two in this TE class, there's not much to get excited about. But I really liked what I saw out of Blake Bell, as he offers a lot of versatility with his experience in the H-back role that you don't see quite as much with some of the other prospects in this group. Bell is faster than his timed speed indicates and he's very quick. On top of that, he's already a rock solid blocker with a lot of upside still to improve even further, and not just in that one area alone.


OT
1. Jake Fisher, Oregon
2. Ereck Flowers, Miami
3. D.J. Humphries, Florida
4. Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
5. Andrus Peat, Stanford
6. Brandon Scherff, Iowa
7. Donovan Smith, Penn State
8. Rob Havenstein, Wisconsin
9. Andrew Donnal, Iowa
10. Laurence Gibson, Virginia Tech

Ereck Flowers, one of the strongest players in this class, did an admirable job against a number of tough opponents in Randy Gregory, Mario Edwards, Goldman, Eli Harold, and Lorenzo Mauldin. He does need to do a better job positioning his hands as he often gets them too far outside or wrapped around the backs of defenders' jerseys, which will get him a lot of holding calls if he doesn't clean that up, but in terms of halting the rush he proved he can go head to head with some of the best in the game and win those 1 on 1 battles most of the time. As good as Flowers may be, I think Jake Fisher is better. In the National Championship game, OSU tried multiple matchups against Fisher and he seemed to handle all of them with ease. Fisher also played very well against FSU. His tape shows elite feet to mirror and redirect to block off any path the rusher tries to take to the QB and while he is hands down the most athletic tackle in this draft, it's his sound technical game that takes him to the next level. To me, he is the most NFL-ready OT in this class. One tackle I found to be extremely overrated is T.J. Clemmings. I feel like either he is too impatient, or he's just generally terrible at hitting a target that's moving because he repeatedly missed blocks and was responsible a LOT of pressures on his QB.


QB
1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon
2. Jameis Winston, FSU
3. Bryce Petty, Baylor
4. Brett Hundley, UCLA
5. Garrett Grayson, Colorado State
6. Connor Halliday, Washington State
7. Sean Mannion, Oregon State
8. Brandon Bridge, South Alabama
9. Shane Carden, East Carolina
10. Cody Fajardo, Nevada

Just a very poor QB class this year. The first five have plenty of questions of their own, but after that, the leftovers have so much to look at and work on, it's likely going to come down to a guy landing in the right place, with the right system, and with the right coach for them to have success. Mariota is raw, but his character, athleticism, and the simple fact that he takes care of the football 1000x better than Winston (who gets away with a lot), put him above JW for me.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Apr 17, 2015 at 11:54 PM ]
Wow. DGB & Devin Smith at 9 & 10. If that's accurate, it's exactly why I don't want the Niners to draft a WR high.
Biggest shocker is Ajayi as 9th best RB. Just don't know what you're thinking on that one.

Also, where is TJ Clemmings on your LT board? There is just no way he's was left out intentionally is there?

The rest is pretty good.
  • xcfan
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To me, tj clemmings is at least two years away from from nfl success.

Connor Halliday has some "it" factor, but a bad body for nfl ball. He may improve on his weaknesses, though; he's that kind of guy.

Shane carden...not nfl material

Maxx williams is overrated
Originally posted by NinerSickness:
Wow. DGB & Devin Smith at 9 & 10. If that's accurate, it's exactly why I don't want the Niners to draft a WR high.

This is a very deep class at wide receiver. DGB and Devin Smith at 9 and 10 are a testament to that. I believe that Mike Mayock even recently stated he has 8 receivers with first round grades.

With DGB, I would have to have seen him perform at an elite level in his last season to give him a first round grade. He comes with a number of risk factors and truly is one of the biggest "boom or bust" picks in this draft. Athletically he does have all the tools, but the character risks and fact he did not play in 2014 are things that hurt his value for me. If he comes into the NFL ready to be a professional, shows an NFL work ethic, and has truly cleaned up his act, he can be a very good receiver in this league. If not? He'll bust completely. Hopefully he has learned from his mistakes and from the history of prospects similar to him who didn't make it. Can't get by on athleticism alone in this league. Jon Baldwin and Stephen Hill could both tell him that.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Apr 18, 2015 at 8:53 AM ]
Originally posted by theninermaniac:
Biggest shocker is Ajayi as 9th best RB. Just don't know what you're thinking on that one.

Also, where is TJ Clemmings on your LT board? There is just no way he's was left out intentionally is there?

The rest is pretty good.

Word around the league is that Clemmings was exposed mightily at the Senior Bowl. Like Ty Sambrailo, his performance there and his game tape in the season was not up to the hype he had received. Every year, there is one guy who I watch and am perplexed where the first round grade came from. I remember watching DE/OLB Larry English, who I gave a 4th round grade, and then the Chargers picked him in the first round. In 6 years he has 12 sacks total, with his best being 3 in his second year.

Clemmings is noted as a very raw prospect still, but with so many technical flaws, he'd have to have elite athletic measurables to get a 1st or 2nd round grade for me. Right now, I give him a 4th round grade, and he is my #11 OT prospect, just missing the cut.
Originally posted by theninermaniac:
Biggest shocker is Ajayi as 9th best RB. Just don't know what you're thinking on that one.

On Ajayi, it's not that he isn't a good player, he simply fell a fraction below the others on the grading scale. Him being at #9 is again a testament to just how deep this position group is. With Ajayi, his production, vision, speed in the open field, and pass catching ability make a very valuable player who has starter ability. But he's not without some questions or flaws.

His level of competition is obviously something to look at, but I found that he kept falling just a hair below the others in several key areas. Not as much wiggle to get out of tackles in tight spaces or elude defenders the way you see guys like Abdullah, Gordon, and Duke Johnson do. Does not consistently run through the arm tackles from what I've noticed as well. Pass protection, ball security and the ability to lower the shoulder and always fall forward when meeting a defender head-on were things that he just didn't quite collectively do better than some of the others ahead of him, in my opinion. In his game against Nevada, you saw him even with a full head of steam in the open field get blown up and crushed to the ground. He also lost a hand-off for a critical fumble because he was too focused on the rush instead of securing the ball. Another question some scouts have had is his endurance and whether or not he could be relied on as a workhorse back in the NFL. The last thing to note is that I'm sure teams would also want to explore his character and injury history as he does have some incidents on his record to dig into there.

All in all, Ajayi still gets a 3rd round grade for me, and I think the collective research does a pretty good job supporting that.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Apr 18, 2015 at 9:38 AM ]
I agree with most of your board minus perriman and ajayi...you talk about lack of competition for ajayi the same could be said about perriman. Most of his big games came against subpar competition. He's QB was awful no doubt but so was Parker and strong's.

If ajayi drops until the 3rd I'd be more than happy to have SF grab him.
Agreed on Perriman. IMO, he's worth the risk at #15 and I don't say that lightly knowing that he's a huge boom/bust prospect. He could end up being A.J. Green or out of the league in 3 years and that's pretty damn scary, but sometimes you have to take a shot. In his case, with great size, 4.25 speed and NFL bloodlines, I'd take the chance.
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Agreed on Perriman. IMO, he's worth the risk at #15 and I don't say that lightly knowing that he's a huge boom/bust prospect. He could end up being A.J. Green or out of the league in 3 years and that's pretty damn scary, but sometimes you have to take a shot. In his case, with great size, 4.25 speed and NFL bloodlines, I'd take the chance.

With all that upside, it's very tempting. Though he was wide open a lot, throughout the season the QB either never saw him or delivered an awful pass half the time. Reminds me a lot of what I saw with Donte Moncrief last year. I see a quick-twitch player similar to Kelvin Benjamin in the sense that while he may not possess elite quickness, he has the natural ability to simply make plays. Perriman has a lot of upside and after a much larger sample size of review, I had no choice but to bump him to a 1st round grade.

You're right, the risk is high, and he could just as easily be the next Heyward-Bey instead of Terrell Owens. But I lean more towards the latter because like Terrell Owens in the past and Kelvin Benjamin now, I see the playmaking ability to make up for some of the focus drops that might happen. I still can't believe DHB was selected in the top 10 after never having a single college season with 800 yards or more than 5 TDs and tons of drops on his resume as well. Perriman at least had 1000+ yards with 9 TDs this year and 800+ with 4 TDs as a sophomore.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Apr 18, 2015 at 7:52 PM ]

OTC, I'm trying to talk myself out of liking Perriman but there's just too much upside there. With him and Torrey Smith threatening downfield, that could really open things up for our run game and for our TEs/slot WRs. There's just no way teams can put 8 men in the box against that, not even Seattle.
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
OTC, I'm trying to talk myself out of liking Perriman but there's just too much upside there. With him and Torrey Smith threatening downfield, that could really open things up for our run game and for our TEs/slot WRs. There's just no way teams can put 8 men in the box against that, not even Seattle.

It's not too hard. Watch his drops. He's not a natural pass catcher like the other top prospects. There is the good film where you think he looks like a Dez Bryant. And there is the bad film that reminds you he his not a developed pass catcher by any means. To put him ahead of Parker is kinda rediculous when you think about it. Perriman is a boom/bust prospect with a very high ceiling and very low floor.
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
OTC, I'm trying to talk myself out of liking Perriman but there's just too much upside there. With him and Torrey Smith threatening downfield, that could really open things up for our run game and for our TEs/slot WRs. There's just no way teams can put 8 men in the box against that, not even Seattle.

I honestly think the hype might have Perriman getting selected before we're up. Right now, even if Perriman made it to our pick, I'm not sure we would take him. Baalke has been pretty clear that right now the plan is to draft for value over need. With a top 15 selection, the 49ers can pretty easily look at their board and say, "OK, out of our top 15 rated guys in this class, who is the top guy still remaining?" Technically, you could probably bump that down to "Who among our Top 12 rated prospects are still on the board?" because there's no way they get Leonard Williams and the 49ers won't be interested in/wouldn't be getting Mariota or Winston.

I would like to think the 49ers would draft WR early but Baalke's propensity to wait when it's a deep class has me convinced we are just as likely to wait to pick a WR in the 4th or 5th round as we are to draft a WR early, due to Baalke's value-shopping strategy.
Originally posted by theninermaniac:
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
OTC, I'm trying to talk myself out of liking Perriman but there's just too much upside there. With him and Torrey Smith threatening downfield, that could really open things up for our run game and for our TEs/slot WRs. There's just no way teams can put 8 men in the box against that, not even Seattle.

It's not too hard. Watch his drops. He's not a natural pass catcher like the other top prospects. There is the good film where you think he looks like a Dez Bryant. And there is the bad film that reminds you he his not a developed pass catcher by any means. To put him ahead of Parker is kinda rediculous when you think about it. Perriman is a boom/bust prospect with a very high ceiling and very low floor.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When you see/read about his pro day performance, he shows very natural hands which COULD lead one to believe that it's something that is correctable. He may never be Chris Carter, but if he can be T.O. without the head games, I could live with that. I don't dislike Parker, I just don't see anything special about him.
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
Originally posted by theninermaniac:
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
OTC, I'm trying to talk myself out of liking Perriman but there's just too much upside there. With him and Torrey Smith threatening downfield, that could really open things up for our run game and for our TEs/slot WRs. There's just no way teams can put 8 men in the box against that, not even Seattle.

It's not too hard. Watch his drops. He's not a natural pass catcher like the other top prospects. There is the good film where you think he looks like a Dez Bryant. And there is the bad film that reminds you he his not a developed pass catcher by any means. To put him ahead of Parker is kinda rediculous when you think about it. Perriman is a boom/bust prospect with a very high ceiling and very low floor.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When you see/read about his pro day performance, he shows very natural hands which COULD lead one to believe that it's something that is correctable. He may never be Chris Carter, but if he can be T.O. without the head games, I could live with that. I don't dislike Parker, I just don't see anything special about him.

Do pro days have defenses? For him relating to the Niners, he just seems kind of a carbon copy of what Torrey Smith offers. He's more of a deep threat than chain mover. Haven't seen the intermediate routes or polished route running that makes me think he is a well rounded player. No doubt that he could be special, but i dont think he's going to come in and light the league on fire. He needs time to develop to maybe reach that exceptional level. He's more of a late 1 early 2 draft pick in my estimation. But yes beauty is in the eye of the beholder and speed can be a very seductive trait.
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