Look around mainstream media, the blogosphere, and the nfl websites and you will see a wide array of appraisals of a player's current talent level, NFL upside, and mock draft position. Through this process, some players fly under the radar like Logan Mankins in 2005, and some players have their expectations sent into the stratosphere, a la Reggie Bush in 2006.
Let's take a look at some players whose stock is being misjudged by the market:
Matt Ryan: Quarteback, Boston College
If this was 2007, Ryan might not be going until pick #49 and the Jets, who originally selected Kellen Clemens, or #64 to the Vikings, who selected Tarvaris Jackson. However, in one of the poorest QB classes since 1996, when Tony Banks and Bobby Hoying were the first two signal-callers selected, Matt Ryan shines. By no means is Ryan a poor QB prospect, he just isn't worthy of being drafted in the first round, let alone #1. Needs are needs though, and expect him to be gone before Roger Goodell has walked up to the podium eight or nine times.
Mayock - #1 Overall
Kiper - Top 5
NE Pats Draft - Top 10
Mario Manningham: Wide Receiver, Michigan
We live in a 40 yard dash society, everything is boiled down into a quantifiable amount and we make our choice. Ask teams that drafted Bethel Johnson (Patriots), Taylor Jacobs (Redskins), and Bryant Johnson (Cardinals), if they would take their 40 times over Anquan Boldin's 4.71 sprint time again. Manningham's 4.59 time looks great compared to that. Super Mario's separation and route-running ability will take him far in the NFL.
Mayock: 1st - 2nd Round
Kiper: 2nd Round
NE Pats Draft - 1st Round
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Cornerback, Tennessee St.
After not appearing in the 1st round in mock drafts during January and the start of February, DRC started appearing higher and higher on draft boards throughout March. Much of this was due to his exceptional combine workouts and to a lesser extent his great play at the Senior Bowl.
While the Senior Bowl is nice, Rodgers-Cromartie didn't dominate the lesser talents that he played against as much some of the other top corners did against greater talents. Take a look:
DRC - 4.4 yards per attempt, 3 TD's, 37& success rate
Cason - 3.5 yards per attempt, 2 TD's, 32% success rate
Flowers - 2.6 yards per attempt, 0 TD's 26% success rate
Rodgers-Cromartie may turn out to be a star just like his cousin, although it may take him a little longer to get there.
Mayock: Top 15
Kiper: Top 10
NE Pats Draft: Top 10