Last year I made a ten most overrated players in the draft list. A quick look at that will tell you one prospect on that list isn't like the others. For this year, I'll go position by position. This is just guys who I feel like "big draft" media are hyping up to be the talent that I just do not agree with.
Quarterback - Sean Mannion, Oregon State
Oregon St.'s Sean Mannion 3rd-rated QB on few boards. Big (6-5.5, 230). Improved footwork, Productive. Gym rat. Coach's son. Highest FB IQ
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) April 28, 2015
This tweet from Mort is hilarious. I don't think he missed a cliche. Others have cited Mannion is the all-time leader in passing in Pac-12 history. I think he's a Senior who makes freshman mistakes in a pro-style offense that doesn't elevate talent. No thanks. Not spending a draft pick on that.
Running Back - Tevin Coleman, Indiana
Once he worked out at his pro day I figured Coleman's bandwagon would pick back up. We already knew he was fast, however. If he goes to Dallas, I'll likely look foolish for including him in this. The fact that he is scheme dependent, doesn't break tackles for his size, and lacks the change of direction necessary to excel at the position really worries me. He is a 4th rounder for me. The value just isn't there in the top 50.
Wide Receiver - Sammie Coates, Auburn, Jamison Crowder, Duke
Coates gets a 4th round grade for his plus size, speed, and athleticism. He "won" his 50/50 balls, but most of them were because the DB misplayed the pass in the air. He isn't a terrible route runner, but he lacks nuance and defenders were able to stay in his hip pocket because of this. PFF had him with a 12.8% drop percentage. His hands are really that poor.
In Crowder's case, all the buzz died after the combine. Before that he was being listed as a top 10 receiver by some and words like "explosive" and "hard to tackle" or "elusive" were being tossed around and I just didn't see it. Crowder won vertically by positioning, not speed. When he ran a 4.56, that's what I expected. Another guy that struggles with drops but the biggest issue is his frame. At 5'8", he doesn't have the leaping ability to haul in passes if the quarterback slightly misses. The quarterbacks strike zone is incredibly limited with Crowder. His lack of any sort of physicality is the cherry on top. 5th rounder.
Offensive Tackle - Ereck Flowers, Miami
As far as power run blocking, he's one of the best in the class. When it came to blocking NFL caliber pass rushers, Randy Gregory and Eli Harold, woof. Flowers didn't stand a chance. Whether it was getting beat to the edge, across his face or allowing speed to power, Flowers didn't have an answer. His lower body isn't married with his upper body, and that will cause him to struggle as a rookie.
Offensive Guard - A.J. Cann, South Carolina
I don't think Cann is a bad player, I just didn't see the 2nd round or late 1st round talk when I watched him. I saw a guy that was very slow out of the gate, and that led to him lunging, which led to him getting beat. Guys like this who aren't great athletes need to make that up by beating guys to the spot. Don't hate the player, but don't see the value in the top 50.
Defensive Line - Grady Jarrett, Clemson
Maybe it's me. Because everyone loves Jarrett. Everyone. The four games I saw weren't very good exposures for Jarrett. He was in the backfield by winning with leverage. Even in some of Jarret's best games, I thought he did a poor job of maintaining his gap responsibilities. I think he's a very good run defender that will cause havoc. I think he lacks as a pass rusher and didn't really put a full game together like some of the players I have ranked ahead of him. Late 3rd for me.
Preston Smith, Mississippi State
Another guy that it seems like I'm the only one who doesn't see it. In Smith's case, you can't praise him for having versatility when he doesn't when in multiple spots. When he kicks inside as an edge rusher, that's when he's at his best. La'el Collins shut him down, he couldn't beat Cedrick Ogbuehi, and he didn't stand a chance against the Alabama tackles. To me, Smith lacks that "dog" you want as a pass rusher. I'm seeing him as a possible top 30 player when I have him as a 4th rounder. He has good hand usage, but I can't point to much else.
Edge Rusher - Shane Ray, Missouri
Ray has had a foot injury and also was just recently caught with marijuana, so his stock has taken a hit. Before all of this I had him as the 60th ranked player in the class. Never understood the top 10 stuff. That doesn't mean he's undraftable, because he has value. I think evaluators misunderstand Ray's ability to time the snap well for having an explosive 1st step. Much like Dee Ford, last year. It's no coincidence you see the majority of his wins coming when Missouri had the game in hand. His suddenness and change of direction in space isn't very good. When he was late off the snap, he's a much different pass rusher. At the point of attack, good luck. Ray is a situational pass rusher that has value, just not in the top 50 picks.
Off ball Linebacker - Paul Dawson, TCU
Honestly, I could've put the whole group here. Besides two players I don't know I'd spend anything other than a 3rd round pick in this group. Dawson's flaws are real, and I'm surprised it took a poor combine for people to notice. He doesn't have the speed to chase down running backs from the weak side. I saw RBs in multiple games take him on at the point of attack and gain a few extra yards after contact. So you don't want him on the strong side. His strength and take on skills are his biggest downfall. Factor in he missed nine tackles in just four games and is that who you want manning the middle? I don't. I'm not sure where I play a guy like Dawson. I'm certainly not taking him before the 4th round.
Cornerback - Eric Rowe
There wasn't a combine I was more surprised with than Rowe, but I'm still sticking to my guns. I agree that he has above average closing speed and change of direction, but I disagree that he plays as a low 4.4 player. On one hand, I really like how Rowe plays the QB and the ball in the air. On the other hand, it led him to peeking too long in the backfield, and he gave up a couple big plays because of it. I think he'll have to get better at the line of scrimmage, and just his natural cover skills overall, as far understanding routes and not relying on his athleticism to make up for it. I do not see Rowe as this top 50, at worst, talent. I have him pretty low relative to others at 74. As a safety, his value is better, as a late 2nd round pick.
Safety - Landon Collins
Fittingly the last player is one of the more overrated players in the draft. We haven't heard much buzz about him and believe this is a result as teams finally starting to see Collins' limitations. For a while there were even mocks of Collins to San Diego in the 1st round. I would rather "Ricky Williams" this draft for Mariota than draft Collins in the 1st. Even from a split safety alignment, there were occasions where Collins couldn't get outside of the numbers. If he's in position, he'll make the play, he just has to be in position. It's an adventure when Collins has to change directions, he just not a fluid athlete by any means.
Deone Buccannon a year ago was much more suited to play in the box because not only was he a physical, aggressive hitter, he could cover. Collins is physical, but couldn't break down in space to tackle. As far as covering slot receivers or tight ends. Noopppeeee. Receivers were able to cross his face, turn him around, and have their way with him to the point where Collins should've charged them for his services. He was lucky he didn't give up more touchdowns due to poor QB play. When Collins did get beat, he got grabby. I just do not think he's a player that can excel in the NFL. He's a 4th rounder.