2011 NFL Draft: 10 Big Names Who Could Go Undrafted
With only one game left in the season, a lot of our attention turns to the 2011 NFL Draft. There are over 250 draft picks, and one of your favorite players may not be drafted.
56 student athletes chose to leave college early, but a couple of them probably should have stayed to finish their degree. However, that's life, and most players know that there is a chance they may not be picked.
Sometimes not being drafted can be a good thing, because you get to choose which team to try out for. Most players would rather be drafted though and forever be etched in the history of the NFL. It's an incredible something they can tell their kids, grand-kids, and so on.
Obviously, there are those players that will get drafted without a doubt. But here are some players who need to work on their draft stock, because they could be undrafted when it is all said and done.
10. Wes Byrum, Auburn, K
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Typically, there aren't very many kickers taken in the draft, and the guy who won the National Championship for the Auburn Tigers may not hear his name called in April.
He is currently the fourth rated kicker in the draft, but only two kickers were taken in the 2010 NFL Draft. The same goes for 2009 and 2008.
To be able to say you were drafted is something every player hopes for, but with kickers, it might be easier to go undrafted and choose where you want to try your luck after the draft.
9. Tori Gurley, South Carolina, WR
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Gurley is listed at 6'5" 230 pounds. While his height will grab some attention in a positive way, his weight will attract more attention in a different way.
If he can shed some weight before his Pro Day, Gurley may increase his stock. He is regarded as No. 32 among the 100 plus receivers in the 2011 draft class.
Gurley caught 44 passes for 465 yards and only four touchdowns. It may have been more beneficial for him more to stay and finish college as he may not be drafted.
His production could have increased next season because of all the attention Alshon Jeffery will be getting. Teams will aim to shut Jeffery down, which could have left Gurley open a lot. But now we will never know.
8. Dane Sanzenbacher, Ohio State, WR
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Sanzenbacher's stock is falling because of something beyond his control. He is listed at 5'11" and 180 pounds. That doesn't really scream NFL wide-out.
Sanzenbacher led the Buckeyes in receiving with 55 receptions, 948 yards, and 11 touchdowns. His quickness and route running will catch some scouts' eyes but will they be enough for one to pull the trigger and draft him?
He is currently rated as the 27th best receiver. Sanzenbacher must use his Pro Day to the fullest and impress NFL scouts.
7. Kris Durham, Georgia, WR
Durham was used heavily early in the season for the Bulldogs, but his receptions greatly decreased when A.J. Green came back from suspension.
Durham is listed at 6'5" and 212 pounds. That's a good size for the NFL, but he won't be able to burn any corners with his speed. His greatest strengths are his hands and route running ability. He caught 32 passes for 659 yards and only three touchdowns.
He is currently rated 30th among the receivers in the 2011 class. His size will get him some looks, but his speed, awareness, and previous injuries could scare some teams away.
6. Evan Royster, Penn State, RB
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Royster has been the main man at Penn State for the last three years, and he has put together three consecutive years with over 1,000 rushing yards.
Royster is listed at 6'0'' and weighs 212 pounds, but his pass blocking is average, and his vision is below average. Royster has also had some nagging ankle problems in his college career.
Scouts look hard at how fast and how well a running back will transition into the NFL. Royster may take awhile to develop into a big time back, but that is something teams aren't willing to wait on. Therefore he could go undrafted.
5. Brandon Saine, Ohio State, RB
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Saine saw his production decrease with the rise of Dan Herron. In 2009 Saine had 145 carries for 739 yards. In 2010 Saine only had 70 rushes for 337 yards. His carries also went down because Terrell Pryor was running in 2010 a bit more than years past.
Saine is 6'0'' and 207 pounds. His health is of concern to some scouts, as he had knee surgery in 2007, plus hamstring problems in 2008 and 2010. He'll have to shine in his Pro Day, because teams didn't get to see much of him this year.
He has great vision but lacks the big time explosive acceleration that would excite NFL teams. His pass blocking is also of concern, but Saine is still rated as the 21st running back in the 2011 class. There were only 13 running backs drafted last year.
4. Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech, RB
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Anthony Allen excelled in 2010 with Georgia Tech's triple option attack. Allen was the main back for Tech this season and rushed for over 1,300 yards and seven touchdowns.
He's also 6'0'' and 230 pounds. Teams will like his size, but Allen lacks true explosiveness which teams are really big on, not to mention his vision and pass blocking is also of concern. He ran outside waiting for the pitch from time to time.
Can he patient enough to hit the hole hard? He's also not used for pass blocking, which concerns scouts. Allen is ranked as the No. 17 running back.
3. Derrick Locke, Kentucky, RB
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Derrick Locke lacks the size for the NFL. He's listed at 5'8" and 181 pounds. Locke led the Kentucky Wildcats with 887 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.
His durability will be of some concern as he missed four games this season, but his great quickness and vision help overcome any health fears.
He'll be running for his life in the NFL if he doesn't gain some weight and bulk up, not to mention his strength concerns teams. It will be hard for anyone to draft him because of the questions that surrounding the running back.
Locke played well in the Senior Bowl but that may not be good enough to get drafted. Good numbers at his Pro Day will increase his stock but only if they're impressive.
2. Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin, QB
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Scott Tolzien improved his stats during his senior season. He didn't throw for as many yards but his completion rating and overall quarterback were far better in 2010 than 2009. He didn't throw as many passes either but did decrease his interceptions. He was handing off a lot to the three headed monster that was Wisconsin's rushing attack.
Tolzien's height is still up in the air, as some places list him at 6'3" and others at 6'1". To make things easy we'll just go in the middle at 6'2". That's a decent height for an NFL quarterback but a few more inches wouldn't hurt him.
Tolzien is rated No. 14 at his position, and there were 14 quarterbacks drafted last year. Tolzien's footwork, arm strength and throwing motion need work for him to excel in the NFL. He's improved on his accuracy some but could still do better.
1. John Clay, Wisconsin, RB
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Clay decided to forego his senior season and test the NFL draft, but there's a possibility that he won't be drafted. He's 6'1" and 248 pounds, making him a definite power back, but a lot of teams won't be taking risks on him.
He rushed for over 1,000 yards for the second straight year. Clay also scored 14 touchdowns, which is down from the previous year, because Montee Ball and James White took carries away from him.
Clay is an inconsistent blocker with average speed. If he can put out a good 40-yard dash time it could spark interest from several teams. However, his vision and patience raises fears for scouts. How well can he transition into the NFL? Scouts aren't too sure of this.
I understand he was tired of splitting carries at Wisconsin, but Clay may not here his name called at the end of April.