Commish’s Top 5 By Position

April 28th, 2011

"Don't worry Olie, I promised you some new toys."

Click right here and dive into all the stunning NFL Draft coverage from, courtesy of NFL Draft guru Justin “The Commish” Pawlowski. The Commish will be live on the WDAE-AM 620 airwaves tonight from 7 p.m. into the wee hours, as he broadcasts the entire first round of the draft from the Buccaneers official draft party at the stadium.

Here’s The Commish’s top 5 by position. And his final beast of a mock draft will be posted here before 1 p.m.

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

As much as I think Mallett has all the physical tools to be a great NFL quarterback, his character is too much of a question to put him higher than third. However, every quarterback has questions this year. Newton’s potential and athleticism gives him the nod, but I’m just real skeptical of all the QBs.

Running Backs
1. Mikel Leshoure – Illinois
2. Mark Ingram – Alabama
3. Ryan Williams – Va. Tech
4. Kendal Hunter – Oklahoma St.
5. Demarco Murray – Oklahoma

Ingram has the name, but I think Leshoure has more of the talent. He’s big, powerful, and has great vision. This draft is pretty deep at running back, so it makes sense to wait on an RB this year. Hunter and Murray might be very solid third-round picks that could come in and make an impact.

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

The big question with the receivers is who the thrid-rated one is. Baldwin has too much talent, size, and speed to ignore. Young is one of many speed receivers in this draft, but he is a big play waiting to happen. I worry about Hankerson’s route running ability and consistency. Keep an eye on players like Edmund Gates, Randall Cobb, Jerrel Jernigan, and Greg Little as early round picks as well.

Tight Ends
1. Kyle Rudolph – Notre Dame
2. Lance Kendricks – Wisconsin
3. Luke Stocker – Tennessee
4. DJ Williams – Arkansas
5. Virgil Green – Nevada

The tight end position is not strong at the top this year, but it is pretty deep. I think you can get quality receiving threats at tight end in the 4th and 5th rounds. Other than the names listed above, keep a close eye on Jordan Cameron, Rob Houser, and Julius Thomas for the Bucs. Kyle Rudolph is the only tight end with a shot of being a first-round pick this year.

Offensive Tackles
1. Anthony Castonzo – Boston College
2. Tyron Smith – USC
3. Gabe Carimi – Wisconsin
4. Derek Sherrod – Miss. St.
5. James Carpenter – Alabama

Castonzo takes over the top spot for me due mainly in part to his overwhelming experience and ability to contribute immediately at either tackle position.  Smith has great technique and potential, but he’s 20 years old and might have a bit of a learning curve in the NFL. Carpenter also snuck into the top 5 as a very balanced lineman with fantastic experience as well. Each year it seems like we have a surprise lineman get drafted higher than expected.  This year, that lineman could be Carpenter.

Offensive Guards/Centers
1. Mike Pouncey – Florida
2. Danny Watkins – Baylor
3. Stefan Wisniewski – Penn St.
4. Jason Pinkston – Pitt
5. Rodney Hudson – Florida St.

No big surprises here. I think Pouncey continues to be very attractive after what his brother did last year and also having the ability to play guard or center. Watkins is 26 years old and able to step in and start immediately.  Rodney Hudson has been flying under the radar, but could be a nice grab for a team if he lasts to the beginning of the 3rd round.

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

Bowers health concerns are really concerning in my eyes. With all these ends so close in talent, one red flag drops you down this list. Watt and Cameron are probably better fits for a 3-4 defense, but could make an impact as LDE in a 4-3. The best pure pass rushers in this draft from the end position are Robert Quinn and Aldon Smith. One of the most productive players in the entire draft is Ryan Kerrigan. So who ya got? Great year for defensive ends.

Defensive Tackles
1. Marcell Dareus – Alabama
2. Nick Fairley – Auburn
3. Corey Liuget – Illinois
4. Phil Taylor – Baylor
5. Muhammed Wilkerson – Temple

Dareus has emerged through this process as one of the best players in the entire draft.  Many scouts feel he is a game-changer, but I question whether he is even near Ndamukong Suh from last year. Fairley and Liuget are probably best as penetrating DTs in a gap scheme. Phil Taylor is the top nose tackle in the draft. Wilkerson very much resembles Jason Pierre-Paul from last year as just having a ton of natural raw ability and potential.

Outside Linebackers
1. Von Miller – Texas A&M
2. Akeem Ayers – UCLA
3. Justin Houston – Georgia
4. Brooks Reed – Arizona
5. Mason Foster – Washington

Although it’s not the best year for linebackers, good ones are available if you can find them. One LB I’ve started to like more and more during the draft process has been Mason Foster. Foster can play any LB position and plays with a fiery leadership and passion for the game. I have Houston in this list, but he also has the ability to play defensive end as well.  Von Miller might be the best overall player in the draft.

Inside Linebackers
1. Martez Wilson – Illinois
2. Quan Sturdivant – UNC
3. Kelvin Sheppard – LSU
4. Nate Irving – NC St.
5. Colin McCarthy – Miami

As much as it’s a bad year for linebackers, it’s even worse for middle linebackers in particular.  There just aren’t many impact players at the position. Wilson has a fantastic blend of size and speed, but many scouts wonder if his ideal position will be at outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. I like Nate Irving as a mid round pick a lot. I think he has an incredible story and work ethic.

1. Patrick Peterson – LSU
2. Prince Amukamara – Nebraska
3. Jimmy Smith – Colorado
4. Aaron Williams – Texas
5. Ras-I Dowling – Virginia

The corner position is pretty deep this year. I think teams can get a good corner in the 4th and 5th rounds this year. With that said, there are some dynamic corners available early this year. Peterson could also be considered as the best overall player in this draft. Jimmy Smith might be just as talented, but his character will drop him. Ras-I Dowling is seeing his stock rise.

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

If Aaron Williams stays at corner, Rahim Moore is the top safety in a weak class. Rahim Moore is a good centerfielder, but is not elite. Carter is a big hitter from the safety position and good in the run game. Williams and Culliver should be good against the pass.

6 Responses to “Commish’s Top 5 By Position”

  1. derek Says:

    hey joe do you know around what time the bucs should pick tonight? I think ive seen it posted before somewhere

  2. admin Says:

    Joe here,

    Sometime after 11 p.m., assuming they don’t trade up or down.

  3. Joe Says:


    Ballpark guesstimate, 10:45 p.m.

    Each team gets 10 minutes. Not every team will take that long (Carolina for example). Since the Bucs pick 20th, that would be 180 minutes into the draft when they are “on the clock.” It may not take that long. In other words, start watching the NFL Network at 10 p.m.

  4. derek Says:


  5. admin Says:

    (other) Joe here,

    BSPN says first pick won’t be made til 8:15. It’s only the broadcast that starts at 8 p.m. Gotta soak up that extra TV money …

  6. RastaMon Says:

    SO….when the BUcs pick…2 hours after I am a sleep…..there will be many many many…….top ranked positional player available…..
    I just hope I don’t unfold the paper to read when took the 5th DE with the 20th pick !