Top 5 Picks By Position

March 17th, 2011

Brooks Reed is on the move

Draft boards are moving and shaking everywhere as hopefuls have pro days, get fat, get fit and show their true character.

NFL Draft guru Justin Pawlowski, The Commish of WDAE-AM 620, fires out his latest rankings, all part of the exclusive draft coverage on Grab a cold one and catch up on everything right here.


1. Cam Newton – Auburn
2. Blaine Gabbert – Missouri
3. Ryan Mallett – Arkansas
4. Christian Ponder – FSU
5. Jake Locker – Washington

The more we find out about this quarterback class, the more questions we have.  Newton has the most talent and upside, but could also be a colossal swing and miss.  Gabbert is starting to have many questions raised about his accuracy outside the hash marks and deep.  Locker, Ponder, and Mallett all have their own concerns, but now are all getting rumblings of possibly going in the first round.  Andy Daulton and Colin Kaepernick miss out on the top 5, but could become solid 2nd round picks. 

Running Backs
1. Mark Ingram – Alabama
2. Mikel Leshoure – Illinois
3. Ryan Williams – Virginia Tech
4.Shane Vereen – Cal
5. Kendall Hunter – Oklahoma St.

I’m still not enamored with this year’s running backs.  Ingram is a solid back that could have a great career if he gets behind a big offensive line.  Leshoure has great vision with the power to make his own hole.  Williams might be the most talented back if he can stay healthy.  Vereen and Hunter are starting to rise up boards with good speed and the ability to run between the tackles.

Wide Receivers
1. AJ Green – Georgia
2. Julio Jones – Alabama
3. Titus Young – Boise St.
4.  Leonard Hankerson – Miami
5. Jonathon Baldwin – Pitt.

Jonathan Baldwin’s poor pro day has him slipping a bit.  He lacks explosion in and out of his breaks, but still has great size and soft hands.  Titus Young is a game breaker, while Hankerson is solid.  One name that I’m starting to consider in the top 5 is Greg Little from North Carolina.  He has some character concerns, but is as talented as any receiver in this draft.

Tight Ends
1. Kyle Rudolph – Notre Dame
2. Luke Stocker – Tennessee
3. Jordan Cameron – USC
4. DJ Williams – Arkansas
5. Virgil Green – Nevada

 The NFL is becoming all about receiving tight ends which is why four of my top-5 tight ends are receiving threats.  Cameron, Williams, and Green could all be interchangeable and should all be nice threats in the seem in the NFL.  Stocker’s the draft’s top balanced tight end with great ability in blocking.  If Rudolph stays healthy, he’s a 1st round talent, but he hasn’t stayed healthy which should force him to drop.

Offensive Tackles
1. Tyron Smith – USC
2. Gabe Carimi – Wisconsin
3. Anthony Castonzo – Boston College
4. Nate Solder – Colorado
5.Derek Sherrod – Miss. St.

The only change here is Castonzo moving up to 3.  He does lack lower body strength, but does have a lot of potential as a left tackle in the NFL.  I like Carimi a lot as a right tackle and think a team like the Dolphins and Eagles make a lot of sense for him.  Sherrod just had his pro day and might have solidified a spot in the first round.

Offensive Guards/Centers
1. Mike Pouncey – Florida
2. Danny Watkins – Baylor
3. Stefan Wisniewski – Penn St.
4. Rodney Hudson – FSU
5. Clint Boling – Georgia

No change here, but Pouncey is starting to get a lot of attention.  We could end up seeing Pouncey go in the teens somewhere.

Defensive Ends
1. Rober Quinn – North Carolina
2. Da’Quan Bowers – Clemson
3. JJ Watt – Wisconsin
4. Cameron Jordan – Cal.
5. Aldon Smith – Missouri
5. Ryan Kerrigan – Purdue

I refuse to leave Kerrigan off this list.  He has done everything he can to be one of the top defensive ends.  Aldon Smith, in my opinion, is starting to slip a little because he hasn’t displayed dominant speed and quickness this offseason, and that’s supposed to be his game.  Da’Quan Bowers pro day is April 1st.  On that day he’ll either become the top defensive end or he will slide down this list and the overall draft board.

Defensive Tackles
1. Marcell Dareus – Alabama
2. Nick Fairley – Auburn
3. Muhammed Wilkerson – Temple
4. Corey Liuget – Illinois
5. Stephen Paea – Oregon St.

Muhammed Wilkerson is starting to make some real noise.  He can play in either the 4-3 or 3-4 defense, which makes him valuable to every team.  Liuget and Paea will be solid late 1st or early 2nd round picks.  Dareus is getting more and more noise as a potential 1st or 2nd overall pick.

Outside Linebackers
1. Von Miller – Texas A&M
2. Brooks Reed – Arizona
3. Akeem Ayers – UCLA
4. Dontay Moch – Nevada
5. Bruce Carter – North Carolina
5. Mason Foster – Washington

I’m not sure anyone is getting as much attention and buzz right now as Brooks Reed is.  He is flying up draft boards and should find himself selected in the first round.  I have Moch over Carter due mainly to Carter’s health concerns.

Inside Linebackers
1. Martez Wilson – Illinois
2. Colin McCarthy – Miami
3. Nate Irving – NC St.
4. Greg Jones – Michigan St.
5. Kelvin Sheppard – LSU

Not much has changed with the middle linebackers so far.  Wilson is by far the top middle linebacker in this class, but could also play outside.  Greg Jones had a solid pro day and should end up as a solid pro, but I don’t think he’ll be an impact player.  Sheppard is big, but lacks elite speed.

1. Patrick Peterson – LSU
2. Prince Amukamara – Nebraska
3. Jimmy Smith – Colorado
4. Aaron Williams – Texas
5. Brandon Harris – Miami

Jimmy Smith has special talent, but his character issues might be too much for teams to ignore.  Brandon Harris is small, but tough and should be a solid 2nd round pick.  Williams has versatility to play corner or safety.

1. Rahim Moore – UCLA
2. Quinton Carter – Oklahoma
3. DeAndre McDaniel – Clemson
4. Deunta Williams – North Carolina
5. Chris Culliver – South Carolina

I do not like this safety class. Quinton Carter is one name to keep an eye on.  He’s a big hitter with great character.  Rahim Moore is very good in coverage, but not a complete player.

12 Responses to “Top 5 Picks By Position”

  1. Gary Says:

    I’m starting to think that getting Pouncey would be better than getting the 6th or 7th best DE in this draft. With Pouncy our OL would be set for years, and would have great depth.

    Then if we are lucky enough to find a playmaker at DE in rds 2-7, playoffs here we come!

  2. The D Says:

    I think Cam Jordan will be a good 34 DE, but he wont be much of a sack artist im afraid. Hes never had more than 6 sacks in a season. He was great at the senior bowl, but so was Robert Ayers and hes such a sack monster. The Bucs need a RE like Quinn, Kerrigan, Smith, or Bowers, who I think could play RE (its possible he slips far enough because of his injury for us to trade up a little to get him and not break the bank).

  3. IMHO... Says:

    Pouncey, Pouncey, Pouncey

  4. jesse j Says:

    Im hoping for Martez Wilson, if we dont trade up get a top DE.

  5. Micheal Says:

    I knw the defensine line performed below expectation in stopping the run and rushing the passer. Now am wondering if the acquisition of Keith Millard might bring more productivity out of those guys we got..Am nt trying to disregard the job Todd Wash did..he obviously did his best,and the D Line was coming along towards the end of the season. We sure hav talent; a specialist like Keith my do the job(Basic Fundamentals)..Micheal Bennet looks Promising..Hopefully Kyle Moore can play without getting hurt,Tim Crowder can be better. The reason while am saying this is coz may be we can get one of the hybrid linebackers in the Ist rnd who can be useful in different situations,dropping back or edge rush,coz Quincy Black neva came thru like we expected. Its a defensive line draft we can get a good defensive end even in the 2nd Rnd..The difference Clay Mathews make for GreenBay is just tremendous.. I am even saying that Ray Lewis might not even be that effective if nt for Terrel Suggs,Coz they all command double team. They make their D Line better and effective coz u have to worry abt them evrytime..ALL THE GREAT MIDDLE LINEBACKERS ALWAYS HAVE A VERY GOOD OUTSIDE LINEBACKER that Might help Barrett R too..Thats what we need here in Tampa.

  6. Hunter Says:

    @ Justin:

    Just wondering, are you putting these in order of how they are going to go in the draft or how good they are??? (looks like you are doing the first mentioned)

  7. RastaMon Says:

    The brain trust has spent the last 18 month slotting the 2011 draft…gawd I hope they stick to their talent board….because if the “mock consensus” holds true
    we don’t need the 4th DE taken when so so many positional #1 rankings are still on the board….on D
    LB’s on back
    On O
    RB or TE or WR
    in no particular order
    Michael Clayton was taken as the 5th WR in the draft
    with the 15th overall pick….STUPID

  8. K1ngAdroc Says:

    I agree with Rasta and Gary… Draft talent not position.

  9. Architek Says:

    No one is taking the bait on your “Ruud” discussion. I think the Ruud talk is officially over around here. Leave that bear in the woods and lets focus on the draft. Agreed?

  10. gotbbucs Says:

    You really contradicted yourself with that post. You want them to follow their draft board but you want them to pass up on a higher rated player at one position to take the top consensus player at a lesser valued position? Did i read that right?
    The top 5 or so DE’s in the draft should be rated higher than the consensus top 4-3 LB’s.
    RB, TE, WR?? Really? You want to use a 1st round pick on one of those positions?

  11. Micheal Says:

    @ Architek,
    i said drafting a very good outside linebacker might help the dline and help the middle linebacker..

  12. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I don’t know. To be honest, not many guys in this draft excite me at all.

    It’s never over, not until he is gone. Don’t get me wrong, I like him, but I would love a more dominant MLB on this team. I do NOT want him gone before we have a suitable replacement though.

    Realistically, as far as the Bucs, we can rule out QB, DT, K, P and WR. The RB class is poor, so we can rule that out as well. I rule out WR because Morris has turned his attention to Defense now, and we have promising young talent at the position.

    There is a chance that we go CB, but only if a top talent falls to us.

    Other than Carter, I doubt we would even consider going Safety. I think Grimm (Reaper) is here to stay.

    OLB is only a small chance to be picked by the Bucs unless a top talent falls to us.

    That leaves
    Tight End – Winslow is awesome, but with his knees the Bucs might be well suited to make an attempt at finding his heir. I would be surprised if they take one with the first pick, but it’s possible. More likely by the 4th round though.

    Center – If Pouncy is there, I don’t see the Bucs passing on him. I don’t know if I’d agree with the pick, but Faine IS injury prone and getting up there in years. If they take one though, I think it’s more likely to be later in the draft so they won’t have to start him in front of Josh right away.

    Offensive Tackle – Personally, I think the Bucs stick with what they’ve got here.

    Offensive Guard – Small chance here…though I don’t like anyone available.

    Defensive End – There is no doubt that we need a DE…but here’s the thing…at where we pick, will someone worth a 1st round pick drop to us? I really don’t think so. I mean, anything is possible, but all the teams will believe we’re going DE, so they will take the best available before we get to get him.

    Inside Linebacker – There is a chance that a good inside LB falls to us. With everyone assuming we will go DE, it could work in our favor.

    The wildcard
    Trades. Dominick and Morris have shown they are not afraid to trade up, so it’s possible. They could also trade down. Heck, they might even trade away this years first for a 1st next year and a 2nd this year. You just never know with these two guys.

    Barring a Trade
    It’s seems to me the first three picks will be DEs (1 or 2) & and an ILB. A bit obvious maybe, but everything else is blah this year.