NFL's Future

2014 NFL Mock Draft

"Mike Mayock"

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The NFL Draft is a perfect example of just how powerful the media is. The current modus operandi for NFL Draft media happens to be Twitter. With seemingly every draft fan linked up on the Twitter platform is easy to get a whole lot of consensus built up quickly on a player that may or may not be worthy.

The power of a Mel Kiper/Todd McShay/insert any major media member tweet about a prospect can send a player into a stratosphere that may not be indicative of his on-field play. I’m not suggesting agents or teams use their leverage to snowball draft fans…or maybe I am.

Either way, the fact remains that the media hype of players has been a historical issue, glorified by social media.

Today we take on the All-Overvalued and All-Undervalued Teams. We break down each position to give fans an idea of who we believe are being over-and-undervalued in the draft coverage.

QUARTERBACK

Overvalued – EJ Manuel, Florida State

Manuel has jumped from a mid-round pick among mainstream media types to being talked about as the second best quarterback in the draft. He performed well in the pre-draft process and has as much upside as any quarterback in the draft but the notion that he all the sudden jumped to the top of the heap is nonsense.

There’s little doubt that Manuel will be overdrafted and could come off the board on Thursday but in an effort to be honest, we think he’s a 2nd to 3rd round value. Manuel’s success at the Senior Bowl, Combine, and pro day are indicative of his an enormous toolbox for the quarterback position. The reality remains that Manuel has as much inconsistent film as any quarterback in the draft.

Undervalued – Zac Dysert, Miami (OH)

I have been singing the praises of Zac Dysert ever since I was sitting in the AA section of Ohio Stadium watching him carve up Ohio State’s defense. While it didn’t show up on the score board, Dysert had his team in the hunt against a 12-0 Ohio State team.

Dysert struggled to distance himself from the middle of the pack in pre-draft workouts. He was unable to participate in Indianapolis due to a slight hamstring tear and lost any steam he had going. Sometimes the media has a tendency to forget those that don’t steal the show or can’t participate – and that’s the case with Dysert. He’s a great value if he makes it into the 4th round, which we believe is a strong possibility.

RUNNING BACKS

Overvalued – Christine Michael, Texas A&M

This one was a toss up between Montee Ball, Le’Veon Bell, and Michael. Michael won out in a hotly contested debate. Michael spent much of the 2012 season in Kevin Sumlin’s doghouse and failed to the 100 carry barrier. He never cracked the 900-yard mark in his career at A&M and was hampered by nagging injuries and character issues.

There’s no denying his physical gifts (may be the most physically gifted back in the draft). That said, A&M had national title hopes this season and I highly doubt Sumlin sits a talent like Michael unless he has completely warn out his welcome.

Michael is being talked about as a second round pick and I believe he goes in the 3rd, at the latest. Given all the off-the-field/character concerns he’s a guy that I wouldn’t touch until the 4th to 5th round. Just too many backs to pick from to waste a high pick on a guy that wore out his welcome with his college coaches.

Undervalued – Mike Gillislee, Florida

A lot can be said for a back coming out of college with a ton of tread left on the tires. Gillislee was a seldom used back at Florida before the 2012 season. He amassed a whopping 175 carries in three seasons before he would carry the ball 244 times as a senior.

The lifespan of NFL running backs is increasingly trending in the wrong direction. Workhorse backs are lucky to last more than seven years in the league as effective ball carriers. With that in mind, I struggle to value guys very highly that have carried the ball a ton during their collegiate career.

Gillislee showed he has the tools to be an effective back in the league as he’s proven to be strong in all facets of the game. While he may not be an elite back in the league, the team drafting him will get a guy that can wear teams down with power and burst that lasts for day.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Overvalued – Justin Hunter, Tennessee

"Justin Hunter"

It’s beginning to look like Hunter will be taken in the first round. He’s a big receiver with athleticism in spades. On paper, he’s about as perfect of a receiver prospect as you’ll find.

The problem was that he was injured for a large portion of his collegiate career and his only fully healthy season was his final year. A final year that was marked by some highlight reel plays but the lowlights featured a receiver with inconsistent hands a lack of physicality.

Undervalued – Stedman Bailey, West Virginia

I’ve been singing the praises of Bailey all season long. As a pure receiver, I like him better than his teammate Tavon Austin. Austin brings a little more to the table that makes him a truly unique and special talent. But I walked away from two years of film study more impressed with Bailey from a pure receiver standpoint.

We have a mid-first round grade on Bailey, although we are fully aware that he won’t scratch the surface of the first round. He’s being bantered about as a third round prospect by most media types and if he lands there, he’s going to be one of the steals of the draft.

TIGHT ENDS

Overvalued – Dion Sims, Michigan State

Sims is an extremely talented guy that never lived up to the hype at MSU. He’s a big tight end with nice hands and decent speed. His route running and prowess as a blocker leave a bit to be desired.

Sims could come off the board in the third round and has consistently ‘moved up’ media draft boards through the process. I think Sims is a fifth round talent that winds up being overdrafted.

Undervalued – Nick Kasa, Colorado

The former defensive end is just scratching the surface of his talent as a tight end. He isn’t being talked about with the likes of that 2nd tier and barely is making waves as a 3rd tier tight end.

We think he’s a value in the mid-to-late 3rd round but at the earliest will come off the board in the 4th round. Kasa has as much upside as any tight end in the draft and should be talked about with the likes of Gavin Escobar and Jordan Reed.

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

menelik watson2Overvalued – Menelik Watson, Florida State

The sentiment has been that Watson could make his way into the first round of the draft – a complete waste in our opinion. Watson has unique athleticism at the position but I can’t see him contributing for at least two or three years.

While it’s easy to become enamored with his upside, he played the right side at Florida State for one season and didn’t show up consistently enough on tape to warrant consideration in the first round. For our buck, we would take Justin Pugh over Watson despite Pugh not having LT measurables.

Undervalued – Dallas Thomas, Tennessee

Not sure if he ever pans out at tackle but I would give him a shot there in training camp. His best spot may be on the inside but he has as impressive of tape as any guard in the draft not named Warmack or Cooper.

Thomas gets very little media hype and could be a guy that flies under the radar during the draft. If he falls into the third round, I think he’s a steal. At worst you get a guy that can contribute immediately at guard and could be a swing tackle at the next level.

GUARDS

Overvalued – Brian Winters, Kent State

There really weren’t any guards that struck me as overvalued. Winters is a guy that is being pushed up in the 2nd round range. I’m not sure he’s a great value there but could be a solid option in the third round.

Winters is a stretch to call overvalued but I wouldn’t be a fan of a team taking Winters in the 2nd round given all the talent in that range.

Undervalued – Edmund Kugbila, Valdosta State

Kugbila is carrying some 7th – PFA grades by major media outlets. That’s a struggle for me as I value him as a high fourth-round prospect.

Kugbila spent time at left tackle at Valdosta and is highly regarded by several teams that we have spoken to. I could see Kugbila coming off the board in the 4th round range and getting ripped by national media types but winds up being a starter at guard in the next couple of years.

CENTER

Overvalued – Khaled Holmes, USC

This isn’t a great center class unless you add all the guard/center prospects in the class and then it’s still not great. Of the pure centers in the draft, Holmes is considered to be among the top two or three by most major media outlets.

Watching his tape, junior and senior seasons, I struggle to value him higher than 5th to 6th round pick and wouldn’t be surprised a bit if teams don’t value him that highly.

Undervalued – Ivory Wade, Baylor

Ivory Wade is a name that most, outside of Baylor fans, won’t know. He’s a guard/center type that no interest from any major pre-draft event. He wasn’t invited to a major all-star contest (competed in Texas vs. Nation) and failed to garner a Combine invite.

It’s unlikely that he will be drafted but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t pop up with a team pretty quickly and make the team as an UDFA.

  • steppxxxxz

    love to know how you see Jeff Baca, and Chris Faulk…..also VInson Painter.

    • bradc11

      There were a ton of OL that I could have included in the underrated category. Like all three and think they all are in the mix in that 5-6 rd range. Have a feeling Painter will be the first off the board of the 3 and wouldn’t surprise me if it were in the 4th.

  • Bex_R1986

    Can’t wait, one day to go!

    Nick Kasa is my undervalued TE too, likewise have him as a late 3rd. I’m not a big fan of Vance McDonald so I would consider him to be overated. Great athlete but so many drops that are a real concern, also lost some fumbles, so ball security is a real issue.

    One of my favourite centers is Eric Kush of California (PA). Not sure how much interest he’s had from teams but I think he’s better than some bigger names (Cave, Benavides etc.). So classifies as underrated for me!

    And just to give the full backs some love, I’ll add them in too!

    Overrated: There isn’t really an over-rated FB as such, but at a push I might say SMU’s Zach Line. Some teams think he could be a running back but he has quite a bit of tread on the tires with over 850 touches. Then at 232 pounds he isn’t likely to be the most bruising of full backs.

    Underrated: Braden Wilson – Kansas State. Most of the highest rated FB’s are the versatile types, catching out of the backfield, taking hand offs, and are a little lighter and more athletic. That’s all well and good in todays game, but for the standard job of opening holes for your RB Vontae Leach style, no-one does it better in this years draft than Wilson. Whether drafted or an UFA, some team is going to love having this guy on their roster.

    • bradc11

      If Kasa is there for the Browns in the 4th, I fully expect them to pull the trigger. I see that as his floor.

      Haven’t watched much of Kush but he’s a guy that has drawn some buzz in the late round area. Can’t give much analysis on him without seeing enough.

      Wilson is a guy that I’m a fan of. I agree with everything said and if you need a blocking FB, he’s your guy. Could get drafted to a team in need of a pounder at FB.