This is Part 2 of a 2 part series where I will take a look at some players that I feel are either underrated or overrated. I enjoy the scouting process and always want to look back to see how my evaluations fared. I’m also not afraid to put my opinions and player grades out there, as I’m sure you can tell by my scouting reports. I hate the cookie-cutter mentality and hopping on the bandwagon with prospects like the media does. It’s bad for the draft community and I feel as though I wouldn’t actually be sharing my own personal thoughts instead just trying to “fit in” so I don’t get blasted for my reports.
This list consists of the players I think are the most overrated in this draft. The list is only limited to potential 1st rounders. I realize that not all of these guys are locks for the 1st round and that the draft is wildly unpredictable, but these players were considered 1st rounders for much of the off-season.
To view my list of underrated 1st rounders please visit – http://ogdraft.com/2012/04/underrated-1st-rounders-2012-nfl-draft/
Justin Blackmon – WR – Oklahoma State
It seems that many have changed their tune on Blackmon, or maybe have just done a little more homework. I don’t believe he is a true #1 receiver and I wrote it in my scouting report in November. Now it seems people are starting to catch on and there’s some rumors he could slide out of the top 10 on draft day. He can still be a very good #2 receiver, but he’s not an elite player and I think he’s worse than former OSU receiver Dez Bryant.
Melvin Ingram – DE – South Carolina
Ingram is a guy who was a riser for much of the pre-draft process, being mocked as high as #7 to the Jaguars. I just don’t see himÂ as a top 10 talent. His value is more in line with the bottom half of the 1st round. He’s a solid all-around player but he doesn’t do anything particularly well. He’s a ‘tweener who might struggle to find a position in the NFL where he can develop into an elite player. There’s risk involved and I think ultimately he’ll be good, but not great.
Luke Kuechly – LB – Boston College
I’ve been harping about Kuechly being overrated for awhile now. I originally had him graded as a late 2nd/early 3rd rounder. However, he impressed with his athleticism at the combine so I bumped him up. That athleticism doesn’t always show on the field though. He’s a linear player and he’s not great the point of attack. While he can develop into a solid linebacker, he’s more James Laurinaitis/Rey Maualuga than Patrick Willis/Brian Urlacher. Drafting him in the top 15 is poor value and he is certainly not a “safe” pick. Remember Aaron Curry?
Stephon Gilmore – CB – South Carolina
Where did this come from? Gilmore was a late riser, and I mean really late. Everyone thought he was going to be a 2nd rounder (some even thought that was too high) and now there are reports he’ll be a top 10 pick? What? I’m baffled. He’s a very blah corner who doesn’t standout in any which way. He ran well at the combine but he’s nowhere near a top 10 pick on tape. I just don’t see it.
Michael Brockers – DT – LSU
People have cooled off on Brockers but there was a point where nearly everyone was hyping him up. He’s got the size and people thought he was a freak athlete too. They we’re wrong as he was below average in nearly all the combine drills. Not to mention he’s incredibly raw and offers nothing as a pass-rusher. He’s strong yet still gets pushed around against the run. He’s got bust written all over him.
Dontari Poe – DT – Memphis
Another defensive tackle who has risen up boards is Dontari Poe. Unlike Brockers, Poe at least does have upside. It’s rare to see a man his size be so nimble. The problem may be that he’s probably even worse than Brockers on tape. For a man with his athleticism and strength he looked very mediocre against Conference-USA offensive lines. He’s a huge project and is very much a boom or bust proejct that I would not touch in the 1st.
Whitney Mercilus – DE – Illinois
Mercilus has been on my overrated list for awhile now. He’s a one year wonder that isn’t explosive off the edge. He’s stiff, sluggish and lacks any polished go-to moves. His play against the run is even worse. Yet this guy is supposed to be a 1st round pick? Why? He doesn’t even have much upside in my eyes and I can’t envision him ever being a 10+ sack guy or a guy who can get you 8 sacks and defend the run very well. Oh and let’s not even talk about the laughable comparisons to Aldon Smith or Jason Pierre-Paul.
Jonathan Martin – OT – Stanford
Martin was supposed to be a top 10, maybe even top 5, pick early on in the pre-draft process. While he is athletic, he’s soft and lacks power to his game. He’s not a great run blocker but he’s not an elite pass-blocker either despite his athleticism. I think the media is catching on that teams don’t rate him highly, which is why his stock has been falling lately. He shouldn’t be a 1st round pick.
There you have it, my list of overrated potential 1st round picks. I’m not afraid to put these out there and I’m sure it will be interesting to look back on this in a couple of years. Thanks for reading!