A guest post from Ellie.
I am not a professional sports analyst, and don’t play one on TV, but love college football. More specifically, I love Texas football. Therefore, I know A LOT about Texas football and enough about college football in general to get me in trouble at a sports bar. I watched as much of the NFL combine as I could with two kids running around. And have read most of the major analysis of the prospects. Since I wasn’t there, I’m evaluating players based on their performance at the combine, their collegiate playmaking/performance, and other factors known only to me. My usual system includes conference loyalty, which mascot is better — highly technical stuff. Yes, I am aware that the rest of the country is fixated on college basketball but 64 teams is just too many. I now present you with my unscientific, totally based on my own reality, top-6 2010 Draft
1) Sam Bradford- QB (Oklahoma) – Its almost sacrilegious for a Longhorn to pick a Sooner first, right? Normally I would agree. However, I’m married to a Sooner who has recited all Bradford ’s strengths and weaknesses for the past few years. Also, I’ve seen Bradford play (prior to this past season) for years now. Bradford is a Heisman trophy winner for good reason. While that does not guarantee success in the NFL – looking at you, Jason White – I think Bradford will be a huge success. Bradford has got to be a top prospect because he fits the NFL quarterback mold so nicely. He’s a huge guy — 6’4” and 223 –who seems to have a good head on his shoulders. And, by all reports, he has been the team leader. It speaks to his abilities that he didn’t play last season and is still ranked among the top 10 in most mock drafts. Of course, this may all change when he throws on the 25th. I’m still keeping him top of my board.
2) Ndamukong Suh DT (Nebraska) – You know the line in The Princess Bride? “They say “I’m on the brute Squad” and Billy Crystal says “You are the Brute Squad.” Suh is the BRUTE SQUAD. I watched helplessly as he almost single-handedly killed Texas’ dreams of going to the BCS National Championship game. It also helped that we played dismally that game…bygones. The point is, the guy is U-N-B-E-L-I-E-V-A-B-L-E. He’s been described as “explosive, relentless, and consistent” by Mel Kiper and I have to agree. The guy is a huge — as in 6’4” 300-pounds– asset. He’s only going to get better.
3) Gerald McCoy DT (Oklahoma)- Another Sooner. This is killing me. So, the guy only did 23 bench presses. Big deal. He clearly can take and make the plays. He’s made a huge impact at OU on a very talented team. If Suh wasn’t in it, I think he might go as #2.
4) Toby Gerhardt RB (Stanford) – Gerhardt isn’t getting as much attention as I thought he would. I think he would be a lot higher on prospect boards if he had played in a better conference. That said, the guy has wheels (4.53 in the 40 yard dash). He’s perfectly suited for RB position and has one of the largest hands in the combine at 9 5/8 (Clemson and Connecticut both had guys at 10 and 1/8–unreal). His performance at the combine was one of the best for RBs- he can run, jump, and maneuver. Additionally, I think it speaks volumes that he went to Stanford. Although some of Stanford’s alumna athletes (cough Tiger Woods) may not have the most sterling reputation right now, they certainly produce dedicated and hard-working athletes with good judgment and media skills. A GM could do a lot worse than picking a consistently good RB with a great head on his shoulders than rolling the dice for a hot shot who’ll then get into trouble for DWI, guns, drugs, etc. It’s a business after all and you need a clean guy to sell the jerseys and the seats.
5) Colt McCoy QB (TEXAS) – He’s a class act, the winningest college QB of all time, two-time Heisman candidate, one of the most decorated players ever. Most people aren’t putting him high in the draft. Colt would be an excellent addition to any NFL team. Rarely do college QBs make it big in the NFL. For every Manning, there is an equal and opposite White, Heupel, or Leinart. But, this guy has “it.” Although he didn’t throw at the combine (few QBs did), he racked up a 4.79 on the 40 yard dash and his broad jump was at 9’6”. I’m hoping that his arm has fully rehabbed (moment of silence for what might have been in January…Amen) and he will be able to wow the scouts later this month. While I am certainly biased, I have a feeling Colt will have a long career in the NFL. On top of being a great QB and playing against some of the best teams at the collegiate level, he is likeable. He’s a straight arrow and is not going to bring shame or bad PR to the team. He’s a shirt seller for sure. Also, Colt McCoy? That’s just about the best QB name of all time.
6) Dez Bryant WR (Oklahoma State)- Bryant didn’t work out at the combine due to injury, that coupled with an absence from playing and an early exit from college due to the Deion Sanders debacle makes it difficult to assess just how good a recruit he might be. We know he has huge hands which are more than capable of making some pretty sweet catches (147 catches for 2,425 yards; 29 touchdowns in 28 games.) However, he came to the combine about ten pounds heavier than his playing weight and keeps pushing his pro day back. I’m hoping the delays are because he needs a little time to rehab from his injury, not because he’s a head case that wants more publicity.
Elz is a lifetime lover of the sport of college football, hates the current BCS system with a passion, lives for UT Football, and thinks the UT Band outfits are a little too “Howdy Doody” to ever make it in another conference. She remains bitter about the 2008 Big 12 Championship and the great injustice that was OU stealing our rightful bid for the National Championship. This bitterness is hard earned as she once sat through a 63-14 loss at the Red River Championship in pouring rain. Elz lives in Houston with her Sooner-football loving husband (reason for my sitting through that game in the rain) and two girls. Elz has recently decided that she needs her own UT Sports television show. Since she has no experience in journalism and no connections in media, she is looking forward to that happening very soon. Until then, her day job has her chained to a desk drafting-not players-but contracts. You can find her musings about life, fashion, decorating, photography, and sports at http://www.elzabelz.blogspot.com. You can follow her musings on twitter @txelz
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