Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ryan Leaf Syndrome - The Most Overrated Players in the 2009 NFL Draft

It's that time again. I look forward to this weekend every year. That's right, it's the 2009 NFL Draft. The draft once fell on the date of my senior prom, and let me just say, it was a harder decision than it should have been to miss the draft. Just like every year besides that year, I'll be glued to the television this Saturday and Sunday.

Today will start off my week long draft coverage, with my top five overrated players in this years draft class.

5. Aaron Curry
Curry was this year's combine baby. He shot up Kiper's and everyone elses draft boards after he ripped off a 4.56 40 yard dash. This was significantly faster than the other top linebacker prospects. With college standouts James Laurinaitis and Rey Maualuga running gruesomely slow times (4.88 and 4.91, respectively), Curry suddenly turned into the prize of the draft. Most mocks I've seen him have him as a certain top five pick. Before the combine, Curry was probably was just looking at the first half of the first round. I don't doubt that Curry will be a good NFL player, perhaps even great, but I think too much stock was put into his combine numbers. He will have a lot of pressure heading into his rookie campaign as a top three pick, potentially.

4. Michael Crabtree

After Crabtree's ridiculously good redshirt freshman campaign, I was still skeptical and brushed him off as a 'product of the system'. While his numbers were still greatly inflated due to the Texas Tech offense, he proved to me that he is a top college wide receiver in 2008. But, I don't think he has the ability to live up to the top 5 pick talent that is being placed on him. I don't see him as a franchise wide receiver. Leading up to draft day I have heard ESPN compare Crabtree to Larry Fitzgerald on numerous occasions. I guess I just don't see it. Crabtree measured in at 6'1" after being listed as 6'3" at Texas Tech. He lacks the true wide receiver speed that other members of this class have (Maclin, Heyward-Bey, and Harvin). I see Crabtree being a nice possession receiver in the NFL, but his talent, in my opinion, doesn't compare to other top wide receivers in previous classes (Calvin Johnson).

3. The 2009 Quarterback Class

I believe Matthew Stafford will make a fine NFL quarterback, of the Jay Cutler mold. But, beyond that I'm not so sure. Sanchez only has one full season of starting experience under his belt. I agree with Pete Carroll, in that he probably could have benefited from another year of college. And, the third highest ranked quarterback in this class is....Kansas State's Josh Freeman? I guess this class gets downplayed due to the fact that the best NFL quarterback prospect is still in college (Sam Bradford).

2. Brian Robiskie

Robiskie's numbers drastically fell in 2008 due to the breaking in of a true freshman quarterback. But, the fact remains that Robiskie only had one 100 yard receiving game in 2008. He proved to be a non-factor in 2008, only recording 42 receptions for 535 yards. These were drastically lower than his 935 yards in 07. But, since he clocked in a 4.51 40 and is only slightly under 6'3" his college production, or lack there of, is ignored and he is considered a second or third round pick. I see Robiskie being nothing more than being a team's third option at receiver, if that.

1. Andre Smith

This one was easy. Click here to read about Smith's draft free-fall. Nothing more really needs to be said, but even after all this I still see Smith being projected as a top ten pick on several mock drafts. If I were running an NFL team, I would be seriously hesitant about investing millions of dollars and a top ten pick in a guy with commitment and work ethic issues.

Stay tuned for my top underrated players in the 2009 NFL Draft!

Curry photo from Getty Images all others from the Associated Press


  1. There is no way Smith will still be drafted in the top 10, and I would be shocked to hear his name called in the first round. True, leading up to the combine his name was in the talks for the top pick, but just as you said, no one wants to invest millions in their top pick if they feel like they can't trust them. Last I heard, Smith would be lucky to be called on the first day. Now I doubt someone with his ability could slip to the 4th round or lower, so I don't think he'll make it past the late 2nd or early 3rd round. But with this draft, being as untalented as it seems, who knows what will happen..

  2. I agree with everything you said about Smith. I read one article that said Smith's offseason performances leading up to the draft were the equivalent of showing up to a job interview drunk. But somehow, I still see many mocks (including the 'experts') who have him going in the first round and the top ten? I guess some teams just can't look over his 'potential'?

    I agree, this class seems to be severely lacking in superstar talent. I think the teams that have the best drafts will be the ones who can find quality players with untapped talent in the later rounds. Since, the 09 class doesn't seem to be very top-heavy, I think the key to a team's drafting success will be about the depth of players selected.

  3. Exactly. And you're right, I just saw Todd McShay's mock draft and he too had Smith at #9. Apparently Smith made quite the climb after other OT's have slid in the past few weeks. There is no doubt that he has top 10 ability, but if I had a top 10 pick, I would be very hesitant to pick a guy with Smith's attitude and work ethic.