National Championship: NFL Draft Prospects

LB James Laurinaitis (A. Lyons/Getty Images)

While battling for the National Championship on Monday night, Ohio State and LSU will showcase their talented players who will be eligible for the 2008 NFL Draft. Scout.com NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber points out who you should keep an eye on and when they are likely to be picked in the draft.

No

Name

Pos

Hgt

Wt

Exp

Projection

1

Glenn Dorsey

DT

6-2

303

Sr.

1st Round

Notes: Dorsey has the talent to be a cornerstone defender for a franchise. He has a quick first step, strong presence inside and gains instant penetration. He's excellent against the run and is a very good pass rusher. He makes others around him much better and commands a double team.

2

Early Doucet

WR

6-1

210

Sr.

1st Round

Notes: Doucet is a gifted player who doesn't really stand out in a certain area, but all he does is make plays. He runs solid routes, flashes great hands and has the ability to break off a big play. He's got quick feet, gets separation from the opposition and accelerates in the open field.

3

Ali Highsmith

OLB

6-1

223

Sr.

1st – 2nd Round

Notes: Highsmith defends sideline-to-sideline and displays good recovery speed. He takes good angles and while he has a nose for the ball, he shows good patience defending against the run. He has good awareness and drops back into coverage nicely. He has to shed blocks better.

4

Tyson Jackson

DE

6-5

291

Jr.

2nd Round

Notes: Jackson is a big, physical pass rusher who has very good speed and technique to get around the end. He has a good burst off the line and engages quickly. He’s versatile and can play inside or outside. He had a breakout sophomore campaign (8.5 sacks) in 2006, but struggled a bit this season collecting just 2.5 sacks.

5

Herman Johnson

OG

6-7

356

Jr.

2nd Round

Notes: Johnson is a monstrous guard, who’s quick off the snap and initiates contact immediately. He’s a force in the trenches and dominates inside. He displays strong technique and has good footwork. He’s patient, explodes into the opposition, and delivers a devastating punch. He’s surprisingly athletic for a man of his size and can play inside or outside.

6

Chevis Jackson

CB

6-0

184

Sr.

2nd – 3rd Round

Notes: Jackson is an instinctive playmaker who possesses excellent footwork and technique. He has a good burst of closing speed and plays well in coverage. He has the speed to get vertical and defend the deep ball. He has to play more physical against taller receivers.

7

Darry Beckwith

MLB

6-1

230

Jr.

2nd – 3rd Round

Notes: Beckwith is an instinctive linebacker who has great range. He’s disciplined, patient and attacks the line of scrimmage. He hits a gap hard and makes plays in the backfield. He drops well in coverage, flies around the ball and is always looking to make a play.

8

Craig Steltz

S

6-2

209

Sr.

3rd Round

Notes: Steltz is a very smart, instinctive player who plays well in coverage. He defends with a good degree of discipline and awareness. He reads the quarterback well, displays a good burst and possesses solid ball skills. He’s not the fastest player at his position, but what he lacks in speed he makes up for in effort.

9

Jonathan Zenon

CB

6-0

180

Sr.

3rd – 4th Round

Notes: Zenon is a quality cover corner, who has a knack for making big plays. He anticipates a play well and shows a good burst to the ball. He has good range and is able to get vertical. He tends to take chances and is susceptible to giving up big plays.

10

Curtis Taylor

S

6-3

200

Jr.

3rd – 4th Round

Notes: Taylor has great size and good range in the secondary. He has good instincts and understands his assignments. He takes good angles in pursuit, flies around the action and looks to deliver a knockout punch. He plays strong at the line of scrimmage, but has to be more efficient tackling.

11

Kirston Pittman

DE

6-4

252

Sr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: Pittman is an undersized defensive end, who suffered through numerous injuries during his career. He plays with good leverage and quickness, and is able to get in the backfield and make plays. He has good speed and is able to beat the opposition on the edge.

12

Marlon Favorite

DT

6-1

302

Jr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: Favorite is a talented interior lineman with a lot of skills. He gets penetration up the middle and uses hands well. He’s solid against the run, but doesn’t have the closing speed to get to the QB. He has a good motor, but has to play with better leverage.

13

Jacob Hester

RB

6-0

224

Sr.

5th Round

Notes: Hester is a versatile player who plays with a lot of passion. He has reliable hands out of the backfield and runs with a purpose. He plays every down with a lot of intensity and gives maximum effort. He’s a solid special teams performer, who brings a workman-like attitude to the field. He has a great work ethic.

14

Demetrius Byrd

WR

6-2

195

Jr.

5th Round

Notes: Byrd is a former JUCO standout who has great speed and playmaking ability. He’s a deep threat that averaged 18 YPC this season - his first with LSU. He has soft hands and is dangerous downfield. He adjusts well to errant throws and makes tough catches. He has to work on his route running.

15

Brett Helms

C

6-2

270

Jr.

5th – 6th Round

Notes: Helms is a versatile interior lineman, who has experience playing center and guard. He’s a bit undersized, but holds his own in the trenches. He has great technique and uses his hands to his advantage. He moves well laterally and works well with his linemates.

16

Will Arnold

OG

6-5

330

Sr.

6th – 7th Round

Notes: Arnold is a tough player who doesn't mind doing the dirty work. He has good technique and is an efficient blocker. He’s nasty at the point of attack and jars defenders with a powerful punch. Arnold's injury history is a major concern.

17

Matt Flynn

QB

6-3

227

Sr.

7th Round - UFA

Notes: Flynn is an athletic, smart quarterback who can buy time for his receivers with his legs. He has the ability to make crucial throws on the run. He has an above average arm. He has to work on his accuracy and pocket presence.

18

Luke Sanders

OLB

6-5

242

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Sanders is an outstanding physical specimen. He’s has good range and quickness, but struggles in coverage. He’ll most likely be a backup linebacker or special teams player at the next level.

No

Name

Pos

Hgt

Wt

Exp

Projection

1

James Laurinaitis

MLB

6-3

240

Jr.

1st Round

Notes: Laurinaitis is an instinctive linebacker with playmaking ability. He’s an aggressive force that can shed blocks and has a nose for the ball. He’s an excellent tackler who displays great technique. He anticipates plays well and seems to always be in position to make a play. He excels in coverage and can turn defense into offense at any moment.

2

Malcolm Jenkins

CB

6-1

208

Jr.

1st Round

Notes: Jenkins has outstanding size, cover skills and speed that make him one of the nation's elite defenders. He has quick feet and fluid hips. He’s an excellent athlete who uses his size to his advantage. He’s not a particularly physical corner and plays back on receivers, but has great closing speed to disrupt a play.

3

Vernon Gholston

DE

6-4

264

Jr.

1st Round

Notes: Gholston has developed into a force rushing the passer. He has great size, speed and athleticism. He has a quick first step and instantly gains leverage with his freakish strength. He doesn’t shed blocks well defending against the run, but shows a good burst in pursuit.

4

Alex Boone

OT

6-8

313

Jr.

2nd Round

Notes: Boone is quick off the line, moves well laterally, and knocks speedy defenders off their rush. He has good technique and hand placement. He's a versatile player who's still developing his game. He has to work on his run blocking and build up his upper body.

5

Brian Robiskie

WR

6-3

196

Jr.

2nd – 3rd Round

Notes: Robiskie has game breaking ability and has emerged as a deep threat. He has good speed and athleticism. He's quick off the line and uses his long stride to get vertical. He makes tough, acrobatic receptions and flashes soft hands. He has to get stronger and show a willingness to go over the middle and play physically.

6

Marcus Freeman

OLB

6-2

236

Jr.

3rd Round

Notes: Freeman is a gifted athlete with a lot of skills and is a playmaker on defense. He shows good awareness and instincts against the run and in coverage. He has great range and closing speed and makes a lot of plays in the backfield. He’s a versatile player who can play all three linebacker positions.

7

Todd Boeckman

QB

6-5

243

Jr.

3rd – 4th Round

Notes: Boeckman is a strong QB with great poise and presence. He has a strong arm and delivers the ball with precision. He’s accurate on deep and intermediate routes, and gives his receivers a chance to make plays. He has good mobility. He’s a smart player who makes good decisions.

8

Steve Rehring

OT

6-8

345

Jr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: Rehring is a big, physical lineman who can play inside or outside. He has good lateral movement and delivers a forceful punch against the opposition. He has a solid base and holds his ground. He has good agility for a man of his size. He has to improve his overall quickness.

9

Kirk Barton

OT

6-6

300

Sr.

4th – 5th Round

Notes: Barton is a leader and commands respect from his teammates. He's an intense competitor who plays with good balance and excels as a pass blocker. He has good strength and leg drive. He has good lateral mobility and is able to hold off bigger opponents with his technique. He's a durable lineman who’s reliable.

10

Jamario O’Neal

S

6-1

199

Jr.

5th Round

Notes: O’Neal is a versatile defender who can play safety or corner. He has good size, speed and excellent range. He positions himself well to make plays and is a hard hitter. He has to be more disciplined in coverage.

11

Larry Grant

OLB

6-3

226

Sr.

6th – 7th Round

Notes: Grant is a savvy defender who adds versatility and depth to a linebacking core. He has good instincts and awareness on the field. He gets off blocks well, fills a gap and makes plays in the backfield. He moves well laterally and drops back in coverage effectively.

12

Dionte Johnson

FB

6-0

242

Sr.

UFA

Notes: Johnson, the son of former NFL linebacker Pepper Johnson, is a strong lead blocker who gives an all out effort. He displays good leg drive and vision - punching out defenders for his running back. He has good hands, but isn’t a major offensive weapon. He’s a good special teams player. 


A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999.

ScoutNFLNetwork.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Forums


42 Fans online
    Join The Conversation

    Tweets