Welcome to The 3-4, a website dedicated to NFL analysis, predictions and recent events. We wrote 32 extensive team previews and will be writing about all things football throughout the year. We will be scouting players off game tape, evaluating them, predicting NFL and NCAA games, and much more! If you would like us to write about something in particular, let us know!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Week 4: NFL Draft Stock Watch for 2011

Each and every week, on wednesday nights, I will update The 3-4 readers on movements within my Big Board. Previous week's performances will dictate which players are labeled, stock up/down.

Stock Up

  • Mark Ingram
    • Apparently when you have knee surgery, you get more explosive...This is the case with Bama Heisman Mark Ingram. Since returning from having his knee scoped and missing the Tide's first two games, Ingram has done nothing but impress scouts across the nation. In just two games this season versus Duke and Arkansas, Ingram has plowed and pounded through opponents to the tune of 308 yards rushing, on 33 attempts, along with 4 TDs. Ingram is the only back I would be willing to spend a 1st rounder on in 2011, and with the production he is putting down right now, I wouldn't be surprised if he goes within the top 15 overall. Ingram immediately jumps inside of my top 10; check out my Big Board tomorrow for his exact ranking.
  • Bruce Carter/Quan Sturdivant
    • Even with the loss of the entire secondary, along with D-Line monsters Marvin Austin and Robert Quinn, these linebackers still find a way to dominate opponents and win ball games. Sturdivant had a game high 12 tackles and didn't play the entire game, due to injury. Carter on the other hand, one upped Sturdivant with a 55 yard interception return, a blocked punt, and 7 tackles to boot. Both in my opinion lead their linebacking class of 2011 by leaps and bounds. Both are extremely athletic and have elite instincts at the linebacker position. Sturdivant will stay seated at #12, but Carter will jump to #13, as both seem to be interchangeable. With such similar talents and production, its a tossup who will emerge as the better pro athlete.
  • Patrick Peterson
    • This guy continues to show the nation why he should be considered a top 5 draft prospect. Aside from being 6'1 225lbs and playing really physical lockdown coverage, Peterson has an insane amount of explosiveness and speed. This is evidenced by his ability to run the field with virtually any receiver in college football, and cover sideline-to-sideline at safety. His versatility as a defender, makes him intriguing to nearly any NFL franchise. What I continued to see in week 3, was Peterson's return ability. In his first year returning punts, Peterson has already returned 2 punts for TDs in just 3 weeks of play. Peterson is not only the best corner in the Nation, but possibly the best football player. Peterson is nearing Andrew Luck to become my top prospect in the draft, however he will stay at #2 in my board.
  • Allen Bailey
    • Speaking of versatile defenders, Bailey is as unique and talented as it gets on the defensive front. Miami's best recruit in the past 10 years, has lined up as a 3 tech, 5 tech, and as a traditional end; nevertheless wherever he lines up, he is sure to wreak havoc. I saw more good things out of Bailey Thursday night at Pittsburgh, where he disrupted the entire flow of the Panthers offense. Dion Lewis was bottled up, and Tino Sunseri lost all control of the ballgame. Bailey is a huge difference maker at DE and will continue to stay inside my top 10.
  • Stephen Paea
    • My first newcomer to the top 32, Paea in two marquee match-ups has played with extreme effort and power. Paea to me looks the mold of a 3-4 DE, but has the strength to play as a 4-3 DT. At 6'1 311lbs Paea has been known for his ability to withstand double teams in the run game, clogging up running lanes. In all the games I have scouted Paea, his quickness and use of hands in pass rush really jumped out at me. Paea in my mind is 1st round worthy, and has snuck in at the bottom of my top 32
Stock Down

  • Ryan Mallet
    • After a solid performance on the road against Georgia, continued by a superb 1st half at home versus the #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, I felt very confident in my decision to place Mallet #5 on my big board the previous week. Then it came unravelled...Saban blitzed and the Tide defense took it to Mallet in the second half. Mallet's accuracy dwindled, his footwork disappeared, and his decision making became cloudy. The 1st and 2nd halves showed what we were afraid of, inconsistency. If Mallet is on, he is on. If he's off...well how about 3 interceptions. He still threw for 387 yards against a stout defense, but for now my optimism on Mallet has been a bit stymied. Look for an ever so slight drop, as he still played at a high level making some difficult throws on Saturday. The thing we look for in QBs is the ability to play at a high level in big-time situations; this playmaking attribute is the difference between per say a Brady Quinn type of athlete and a Tim Tebow type of winner. Either side of the spectrum alone does not equal instant success, as both are needed. Yet at this point, Mallet seems to have all the physical attributes necessary, he now needs to show he is a winner.
  • Jon Baldwin
    • The reason for Baldwin's drop off my Big Board can be directly correlated to the poor play of QB Tino Sunseri. Baldwin's production has dropped considerably, and sadly most of the blame can be placed on the offensive components around him. The reason his ability had been highlighted in the past, was due to a solid rushing attack that drew more and more defenders inside the box. Now that Dion Lewis is not seeing success as he did last season, defenses don't respect the run, and simply bracket Baldwin or send the house on Sunseri. Pittsburgh's offense is in shambles and until that gets fixed, Baldwin is out. 
  • Joseph Barksdale
    • I don't know what I saw before that made me put Barksdale in my top 32 last week, but it must have been different than what I saw in week 3.  Each week's slate of games I watch, I critique tape and take notes, and here is all the notes I took on this kid. Don't get me wrong, Barksdale is a top 10 tackle prospect; nevertheless he is not 1st round talent.
     "Not a explosive first step; but can get out on the second level
Too straight up/stiff on his pass pro; doesn’t utilize his body effectively, allows defenders in on him too easily.
Tendency to drift with the flow of pressure
Should not be inside my top 32; not physically dominant enough. Doesn’t depict the type of lineman I can build around. More like a lineman I need to develop over time.
3penalties; shows lack of focus, lack of dedication, and complacency on barksdale’s part" 
  • Julio Jones
    • Much like Mallet afore mentioned, Jones struggles with consistency. Consistency as a deep threat, consistency as a route runner, and consistency as a pass catcher altogether. Jones flashes his ability to be an elite receiver, but last week against Arkansas, Jones was MIA downfield. In four deep throws of 35 or more, Julio Jones did not haul in a single one. Jones in my opinion is the second best receiver in the 2011 draft, however I want to see more consistency out of this young man.

For the most part, my board held up well; Luck struggled for the 1st time all season forcing 2 interceptions, but pulled out a hard fought victory against a motivated ND squad. Ryan Kerrigan nearly made my Stock Down list, but his 2nd half play kept him from paying a price for his non-existence in the 1st half. Looking towards next week, Im pumped to get to watch my #3 CB face off against my #2 wr (J. Jenkins vs. J. Jones) in an SEC showdown between Florida and Alabama. Also #1 prospect Luck faces off against #4 ranked Oregon in what could decide the Pac-10 winner. Once again College Football lives up to its entertainment, as this Saturday should be another exciting lineup of games! 

Watch the UT Longhorns fight the OU Sooners in the Red River Shootout; arguably the biggest rivalry in college football (yet I am a firm believer that both Michigan/Ohio St. and Auburn/Alabama are both better rivalries). 

War Eagle! And How bout that Cam Newton?

*Noteable additions to Big Board: Stephen Paea and Orlando Franklin

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