NFL Draft 2012: Finding the Next DeSean Jackson, Tyvon Branch and Dashon Goldson
A slew of players have been smacked with the franchise tag in the past 24 hours, including Philadelphia Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson, Oakland Raiders safety Tyvon Branch, Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes and San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson.
It's now time to sift through hundreds of draft prospects to find the second coming of these players.
B/R's new NFL Draft lead writer Sigmund Bloom profiled three guys in this year's class who could be next Cortland Finnegan (possible Tennessee Titans franchise player) and Grimes. So, to avoid repetition, I'll leave those two out.
Kendall Wright, Baylor
At 5'10'' and 196 pounds, Wright is a bit bigger than Jackson, but watching the way he demoralized defenses during his collegiate career instantly makes me think of the former California Bears standout.
Wright has the immense straight-line speed and dynamic acceleration that make him an ideal deep threat.
Along with that, Wright's athleticism allows him to be the perfect bubble screen option. He did a masterful job contributing down the field and after the catch on short tosses within Baylor's offense.
Sound like anyone?
Mark Barron, Alabama
The similarities between he and Mark Barron are striking.
Branch has emerged as one of the NFL's better in-the-box safeties and has totalled at least 104 tackles in the last three seasons. He's been durable, having started all 16 games in that span for Oakland.
Barron was the secondary leader on the nation's best defense last season in Tuscaloosa.
At 6'1'' and 213 pounds, the two players are comparable in size.
Barron's known for his run-stopping presence and willingness to lay the lumber on bigger backs, just like Branch.
While he's not a major liability against the pass, he'll will be put in a position to make plays closer to the line of scrimmage, an area in which he shines.
Georgie Iloka, Boise State
Iloka was an integral part of the Broncos' defense after arriving in Boise in 2008. Although significantly larger, he's similar to Goldson in many ways.
He's not a tackling machine, but because of his bigger body, Iloka doesn't shy away from contact.
In a zone scheme, Iloka can instinctively read a play well, react on the ball and his speed allows him to get there on time. He reeled in seven interceptions over the last three seasons.
The deceptively athletic Goldson had a solid six picks in 2011 to go along with his menacing play against the run.
After being brought along slowly in the NFL, Iloka has what it takes to be a similar player to that of Mr. 49ers franchise player, Dashon Goldson.
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