Nolan Nawrocki from ProFootballWeekly, who is one of the best draftniks around, has a new analysis of underclassman draft prospects out:
ProFootballWeekly.com - McCoy, Bryant top underclassmen in NFL draft
Some very interesting things in his list:
1. He has Rolando McClain ranked #10 among underclassmen, which means that he's certainly not in Nawrocki's top 10 prospects given seniors such as Ndamukong Suh and Russell Okung. Nawrocki calls McClain "an excellent-sized, instinctive middle 'backer with outstanding football intelligence, McClain is tailor-made for the NFL game and will command heavy interest from teams employing "30" fronts."
2. He has Eric Berry ranked only #9 among underclassmen, much lower than I would have expected.
3. He has Jason Pierre-Paul ranked #4, the highest DE on his board, ahead of Derrick Morgan (#8). Pierre-Paul is raw. I'm surprised Nawrocki has him this high.
4. Guys not in the top 10 of underclassmen, who should therefore be within range of when the Pats pick, include:
- Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida - "A raw underachiever with a rare combination of size and athletic ability."
- Earl Thomas, S, Texas - "An undersized, playmaking ballhawk who is fluid enough to transition to cornerback."
Finally, nowhere on his list is UCA DT Brian Price, who I think will be a top 15 pick.