Here are my rankings for the top three players at each position. Including who I think will be the biggest disappointment and the biggest surprise. These rankings don't reflect where I think they will get drafted or where the 'experts' are projecting them, but rather, who I believe will have the best pro careers in the long run. Enjoy!1. Matthew Stafford - QB - Georgia
2. Mark Sanchez - QB - USC
3. Rhett Bomar - QB - Sam Houston State
Biggest Surprise: Pat White - QB - West Virginia
Biggest Disappointment: Josh Freeman - QB - Kansas State
Thoughts: I'm not very high on the 2009 quarterback class. I think Stafford should make a fine pro, but I'm not even sure if he is the answer in Detroit. I don't see Sanchez being your protypical franchise quarterback. I don't think Pat White will be a quarterback, at least starting, in the NFL, but since he played the position in college he fits in this category. I think White has too much talent to keep him off the field. I see him with, best case scenario, Antwaan Randle-El talent. And, if he stays at QB, he is Seneca Wallace-esque.
Running Back:1. Knowshon Moreno - RB - Georgia
2. Beanie Wells - RB - Ohio State
3. Shonn Greene - RB - Iowa
Biggest Surprise: Shonn Greene - RB - Iowa
Biggest Disappointment: Donald Brown - RB - UCONN
Thoughts: A lot of people are selling Shonn Greene short. But, I think he has the potential to be one of the tops of this running back class. This is a weak class, as there is no one creating Adrian Peterson, or even Darren McFadden buzz entering the draft. If Wells can stay healthy he makes a nice power back in the NFL, and Moreno could be a franchise player given his versatility out of the backfield.
Wide Receiver:1. Jeremy Maclin - WR - Mizzou
2. Michael Crabtree - WR - Texas Tech
3. Percy Harvin - WR - Florida
Biggest Surprise: Hakeem Nicks - WR - North Carolina
Biggest Disappointment: Michael Crabtree - WR - Texas Tech
Thoughts: Even though Crabtree's listed as my second best WR of this class, he still gets the nod as biggest disappointment. Talks are heating up that the Browns will grab Crabtree with the fifth overall pick and attempt to trade away Braylon Edwards. I don't see Crabtree having near the potential of Edwards. I like Maclin in the number one slot. He reminds me a lot of DeSean Jackson---as a WR and return man. Also, look out for Hakeem Nicks.
Tight End:1. Brandon Pettigrew - TE - Oklahoma State
2. Jared Cook - TE - South Carolina
3. Chase Coffman - TE - Mizzou
Biggest Surprise: Travis Beckum - TE - Wisconsin
Biggest Disappointment: Cornelius Ingram - TE - Florida
Thoughts: I pretty much agree with the experts on the tight ends. I do think Beckum could be a steal if he falls to the third round. He is coming off a season ending injury, but does have loads of talent, when healthy. Missouri's Chase Coffman should find himself on an NFL roster for a long time, and have a productive career. But, not necessarily pro bowl material.
Offensive Line:1. Jason Smith - OT - Baylor
2. Eugene Monroe - OT - Virginia
3. Michael Oher - OT - Ole Miss
Biggest Surprise: Duke Robinson - OG - Oklahoma
Biggest Disappointment: Andre Smith - OT - Alabama
Thoughts: I would caution any team willing to spend a top ten pick on Andre Smith.
Defensive Line:1. Aaron Maybin - DE - Penn State
2. Brian Orakpo - DE - Texas
3. B.J. Raji - DT - Boston College
Biggest Surprise: Michael Johnson - DE - Georgia Tech
Biggest Disappointment: None
Thoughts: This is a pretty good year for the defensive line. Many DE are projected to go in the first round. Almost every mock has Orakpo going ahead of Maybin, but I like Maybin's potential.
Linebackers:1. Rey Maualuga - ILB - USC
2. Aaron Curry - OLB - Wake Forest
3. Marcus Freeman - OLB - OSU
Biggest Surprise: Tyrone Mckenzie - OLB - South Florida
Biggest Disappointment: James Laurinaitis - ILB - OSU
Thoughts: Curry should have a solid career in the NFL, but I don't think he will be the potential HOF'er everyone is already proclaiming him to be. I like Maualuga's intensity, and I see his skill set transfering over well into the NFL. Of the Ohio State linebackers I look for Freeman to have a better career.
Defensive Backs:1. Vontae Davis - CB - Illinois
2. Malcolm Jenkins - CB - OSU
3. Sean Smith - S - Utah
Biggest Surprise: Alphonso Smith - CB - Wake Forest
Biggest Disppointment: None
Thoughts: I don't see anyone who sticks out as a for sure bust amongst the defensive backs. There have been a lot of talks of Jenkins switching over to safety, ala Antrel Rolle, and I think that may suit him well. Davis seems to be the real deal, running a 4.4 40. Utah's Sean Smith has a huge frame as a 6'4" safety and could have a very successful pro career.
Which picks do you agree/disagree with? Who should be higher/lower?
Moreno photo from Reuters Pictures; All others from the Associated Press