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September 17, 2008
Early look: NFL draft top 100 prospects
Here's a look at the top 100 prospects for the 2009 NFL draft, as compiled for Rivals.com by nationalfootballpost.com.
(* - denotes underclassman)
NFL Draft top 100 prospects
1. Michael Oher, OT, Ole Miss
Oher has a rare blend of size, athleticism and girth. He entered the 2008 NFL draft, then pulled out a few days later even though he was considered a first-round pick. New coach Houston Nutt is glad he stayed. This time around, Oher – now a senior – could be the first player taken in the draft. He is No. 1 on the Rivals.com list of the top 100 pro prospects and could be the second consecutive offensive tackle chosen No. 1 overall; the Miami Dolphins took Michigan's Jake Long with the No. 1 pick earlier this year.
2. Andre Smith *, OT, Alabama
A massive tackle with great feet, in the mold of former first-round pick Shawn Andrews.
3. Matthew Stafford *, QB, Georgia
The most natural pocket passer in the nation. He has a skill set similar to Carson Palmer's.
4. DeMarcus Granger *, DT, Oklahoma
An explosive three-technique tackle who makes a living in the opponent's backfield.
5. Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech
Displays a rare first step for his size. He can be an absolute terror off the edge with his combination of length and body control.
6. Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
A nimble tackle who re-directs well. He needs to add bulk and power to his lower half.
7. Michael Crabtree *, WR, Texas Tech
The total package – size, speed, burst and hands – and is the best receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson.
8. Jeremy Maclin *, WR, Missouri
Excellent size and speed, with the ability to break tackles. He is dangerous with the ball in his hands.
9. Vontae Davis *, CB, Illinois
A rare athlete with fluid hips and burst out of his breaks. He's instinctive in man coverage.
10. Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
He's a more physically dominant version of Seahawks MLB Lofa Tatupu, another former USC standout.
11. Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas
Showcases an explosive first step off the edge, with the ability to dip and turn the corner consistently.
12. Knowshon Moreno *, RB, Georgia
He is the most "natural" running back in the nation, with a combination of vision, quickness and balance. He has a good burst and a second gear.
13. Chris Wells *, RB, Ohio State
A powerful back with a thick frame and quick feet. He can make a defender miss and churn out yards after contact.
14. James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
A fluid, athletic linebacker with a nose for the ball in both the pass and run game.
15. William Moore, FS, Missouri
A physically well-built safety with the athleticism and body control to do it all.
17. Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
An instinctive corner with good range and ball skills in zone coverage, but he lacks a second gear.
18. Ricky Jean-Francois *, DT, LSU
Was the quickest and most disruptive LSU defensive lineman in the national championship game last season and, yes, that includes Glenn Dorsey.
19. LeSean McCoy *, RB, Pittsburgh
He has struggled running though tackles this year. He's not quite as instinctive as Knowshon Moreno but has excellent body control for his size and possesses a nice combination of quickness and strength.
20. Jermaine Cunningham *, DE, Florida
A compact, powerful end with speed, power and change-of-direction skill on the edge.
21. Xavier Fulton, OT, Illinois
May have the best feet of any offensive lineman in the country. He needs to continue to add strength and girth to his overall frame.
22. Herman Johnson, G, LSU
He's an amazing physical specimen at 6 feet 8 and 360 pounds who can move and re-direct in space. He's fluid and agile for a man his size.
23. Percy Harvin *, WR, Florida
An explosive athlete in space who can make a play any time he has the ball.
24. Taylor Mays *, FS, USC
A physically imposing safety who can run and cover or play at the line of scrimmage.
25. Duke Robinson, G, Oklahoma
A massive guard with an intriguing blend of raw power and athleticism.
26. Darrius Heyward-Bey *, WR, Maryland
A tall, lean receiver with great speed and the burst to get down the field. He's a big-time jump-ball threat.
27. Mark Sanchez *, QB, USC
Has a big-time arm and is accurate down the field. He makes quick decisions but needs to work on his touch underneath.
28. Myron Rolle *, SS, Florida State
Smart, instinctive safety with a strong build. He has the range to play the center-field role.
29. Jermaine Gresham *, TE, Oklahoma
A big, physical athlete with great burst and speed down the seam. He can separate at all levels in man coverage.
30. Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest
A gifted run-and-hit linebacker. He has sideline-to-sideline range but needs to improve his awareness.
31. Tim Tebow *, QB, Florida
A dual run/pass threat who has all the intangibles. He can buy time in the pocket but needs to learn to read defenses more consistently in the passing game.
32. Geno Atkins *, DT, Georgia
Another explosive SEC three-technique defensive tackle. He will get a lot more attention from opposing linemen with the season-ending injury to Bulldogs DT Jeff Owens.
33. Maurice Evans *, DE, Penn State
Explosive athlete with a quick first step and powerful punch. He does a nice job beating blocks both inside and out.
34. James Davis, RB, Clemson
A one-cut back who has good vision and gets north to south quickly. He also is comfortable in the passing game.
35. Derek Pegues, FS, Mississippi State
He is built and runs like a corner, but is a ballhawk as a safety.
36. Rico McCoy *, LB, Tennessee
Undersized but has the most impressive fluidity and range of any linebacker in the draft. He should really rise up draft boards.
37. Mike Mickens, CB, Cincinnati
Long, rangy corner with good ball skills. He plays a bit high and struggles losing speed in his transition.
38. Nic Harris, SS, Oklahoma
Built like a linebacker and is strong attacking the line of scrimmage. He is fluid in zone coverage and has a nose for the ball.
39. Ciron Black *, OT, LSU
Displays a compact stance and moves well laterally. He can re-direct and has the quickness to reach the corner.
40. Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
A physically imposing tight end with good power in the blocking game. He has impressive body control, and goes up and gets the ball as well as any receiver in the country.
41. Terrance Taylor, DT, Michigan
A two-gap plugger who can clog running lanes inside. He has good quickness off the snap and can push the pocket.
42. Josh Freeman *, QB, Kansas State
A physically impressive quarterback with rare arm strength and feel in the pocket. He's in the JaMarcus Russell/Daunte Culpepper mold.
43. Pat White, WR, West Virginia
He's one of the best playmakers in college football. He will be asked to make the transition from quarterback to wide receiver in the pros.
44. Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
Has all the tools you look for in an NFL corner except size (he's 5-9). He is as fluid as any corner in college football.
45. C.J. Spiller *, RB, Clemson
Lightning in a bottle. He has the quickness to make a man miss and the burst to separate, and he does a great job making cuts at full speed.
46. Max Unger, C, Oregon
He's a former left tackle with good feet and lateral mobility for a center. He plays a bit high but is an ideal fit for a zone-blocking scheme.
47. Greg Hardy *, DE, Ole Miss
His long limbs and speed make him difficult to block. He has the quickness to beat tackles outside or inside off the snap.
48. Brandon Spikes *, LB, Florida
A powerful linebacker who showcases good instincts inside, and does a nice job stacking and shedding versus the run.
49. George Selvie *, DE, South Florida
An ultra-productive end who exhibits good quickness and technique. Has a good motor and closes on the ball quickly.
50. Ziggy Hood, DT, Missouri
Plays with good leverage and power inside. He makes as many plays as any defensive tackle in the nation.
51. Alex Boone, OT, Ohio State
Has slimmed down and looks more fluid out on the edge. Has a powerful upper body. When he locks on, it's over.
52. B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
A powerful defensive tackle who can push the pocket and get off blocks. Powerful and tough to move inside.
53. Louis Murphy, WR, Florida
Showcases great deep speed and is a constant vertical threat. Is a raw route runner and lacks consistent hands.
54. Courtney Greene, FS, Rutgers
A long, rangy safety with a nose for the ball. Has good first-step quickness, and covers a lot of ground in the deep half.
55. Brian Cushing, LB, USC
A versatile athlete who can play a variety of positions but is at his best rushing the passer.
56. Alex Mack, C, California
Displays good toughness and power inside. He plays with a natural bend and has the technique and quickness to start from Day One.
57. Jamon Meredith, OT, South Carolina
A smooth tackle who can handle speed off the edge. He is coordinated re-directing but needs to improve his technique.
58. Antoine Caldwell, C, Alabama
Has a great combination of power and athleticism. He is natural in space and gets a good push as an in-line run blocker.
59. Sam Young *, OT, Notre Dame
A tall, long athlete with the feet and coordination to protect a quarterback's blind side. He needs to develop more of a mean streak.
60. Cullen Harper, QB, Clemson
He displays a quick release and good athleticism. He is accurate with the ball and has a strong arm, but needs to make quicker decisions.
61. Vince Oghobaase *, DT, Duke
At 6 feet 6 and 303 pounds, Oghobaase plays with great bend and flexibility for his size. He coils up well at the snap and has an explosive first step.
63. Trevor Canfield, G, Cincinnati
A throwback guard who loves to finish blocks and plays with good hand placement and technique in the running game. He's a better athlete than most think.
64. Dannell Ellerbe, LB, Georgia
A sideline-to-sideline athlete who has a nose for the ball and makes plays all over the field.
65. Ricky Sapp *, DE, Clemson
An undersized pass-rushing specialist who uses his burst to reach the corner. He needs to add more of a pass-rush repertoire and power to his game.
66. Fili Moala, DT, USC
Has a great first step for his size, but doesn't play with the power his frame would indicate.
67. Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio State
The most technically sound wide receiver in the county. While he lacks any kind of burst, he looks like an ideal possession guy at the next level.
68. Sen'Derrick Marks *, DT, Auburn
A big-bodied tackle who can eat up space on the inside, and shows the power to push the pocket and anchor versus the double-team.
69. Mitch Petrus, G, Arkansas
Ideal for a zone-blocking scheme. He displays great feet and body control, and can really get out to the second level.
70. Marcus Freeman, LB, Ohio State
A bit of an afterthought on Ohio State's star-studded defense, but he does everything well and will be an NFL starter.
71. Victor Harris, CB, Virginia Tech
A physical, in-your-face corner who can close quickly on the ball. He plays a bit high and lacks great make-up speed.
72. Darry Beckwith, LB, LSU
Has a big, strong frame and is powerful attacking downhill. He has the athleticism to run sideline-to-sideline.
73. Javon Ringer, RB, Michigan State
Short, compact back with good balance, burst and change-of-direction skills.
74. Chase Coffman, TE, Missouri
A strider who is sudden out of his breaks and does well going up and attacking the ball.
75. Anthony Parker, G, Tennessee
He's thickly built, with a compact frame. Has smooth lateral mobility and a strong punch, showcases good body control and never over-extends.
76. Derrick Williams, WR, Penn State
A better athlete than football player. He could really blossom in the NFL with the right coaching staff.
77. Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
Possesses great recovery speed and quickness out of breaks. He is rail thin but shows the toughness scouts love.
78. Keiland Williams *, RB, LSU
Dynamic with the ball in his hands, but lacks the girth and instincts to be successful between the tackles.
79. Michael Hamlin, SS, Clemson
A big, rangy safety with good wheels once he gets going. He can cover a lot of ground but struggles re-directing.
80. Hunter Cantwell, QB, Louisville
Displays a great skill set with all the tools you'd want in an NFL quarterback. He just needs more playing experience.
81. Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
Former tight end has good athleticism and body control on the edge. He needs to continue to add girth and work on his technique.
82. Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU
Possesses great size, length and suddenness off the edge. He needs to play with more power and more of a mean streak.
83. Travis Beckum, TE, Wisconsin
A one-dimensional player who is a mismatch nightmare for any defense in the passing game. But he couldn't block the chair you're sitting in.
84. Augustus Parrish, OT, Kent State
Smaller-school prospect with the quickness, size and body control of an NFL left tackle.
85. Aaron Kelly, WR, Clemson
Smooth route runner who uses his body well to shield defenders from the ball. He's a No. 2 receiver at the next level.
86. Pannel Egboh, DE, Stanford
Possesses great size (6-6/280) length and body control. But he is too much of a finesse player at this stage.
87. Brandon Gibson, WR, Washington State
Well-built receiver with good balance and burst as route runner. He shows the ability to get consistent separation on all levels.
88. Matt Shaughnessy, DE, Wisconsin
Good athlete off the edge. He plays with a great motor, but needs to add more power to his upper body and punch.
89. Domonique Johnson, CB, Jackson State
Explosive, quick-twitch corner with good size (6-2/200) who has dominated his competition. Johnson, a Texan who began his career at Missouri, has a nose for the ball.
90. Keegan Herring, RB, Arizona State
Undersized back with a great first step and home-run speed. He has a tendency to bounce too many plays outside.
91. Keenan Lewis, CB, Oregon State
Tall, physical corner with good body control and balance. He does a nice job in press coverage.
92. Ryan Purvis, TE, Boston College
Won't wow you as an athlete but knows how to get open. He catches the ball in traffic and loves to block.
93. Bruce Johnson, CB, Miami
An undersized, explosive corner with great recovery speed. He loves to play physical at the line, but struggles with instincts in zone.
94. Arian Foster, RB, Tennessee
Possesses great size and quickness through the tackles, but tries to run like a scatback too often and doesn't lower his head and drive for tough yards.
95. Kevin Barnes, CB, Maryland
A long, lean track star who is developing into an instinctive corner. He has improved significantly since his sophomore season.
96. Nathan Brown, QB, Central Arkansas
Small-school quarterback showcases a strong arm and accuracy from the pocket. He makes quick decisions under pressure.
97. Juaquin Iglesias, WR, Oklahoma
Has good quickness and decent deep speed. He reminds some of former LSU wide receiver Early Doucet.
98. Tyrone McKenzie, LB, South Florida
Showcases great burst and closing speed toward the ball. He plays with reckless abandon and flies around the field.
99. Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
A well-built receiver who does a nice job getting out of his breaks and separating at all levels. He's physical after the catch.
100. Terrence Cody *, DT, Alabama
Displays amazing athleticism for a man who weighs 370 pounds. He could really soar up draft boards with a strong season.
Nationalfootballpost.com is a new football insider Web site featuring Andrew Brandt, the vice president of the Green Bay Packers for the past nine years, and Michael Lombardi, who has worked in NFL front offices for 22 years - including nine years with Cleveland and eight with Oakland.