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Draft King Analysis

April 29, 2008
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com

Reader feedback is always welcomed here at DraftKing.com. Send your thoughts to me at LouPickney@gmail.com.


From: Jeremy Hite
To: LouPickney@gmail.com
Date: Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 6:03 PM
Subject: 2009 Draft

Lou, first and foremost Im a big fan of DraftKing, but looking at your 2009 NFL Mock draft I don't see Michael Crabtree anywhere in your first round, remember he is a redshirt freshman, he is eligible to come out after next year. If he does he will without a doubt be the top receiver taken, and likely a top 5-10 pick.

Keep up the good work!

Lou: Just a few minutes ago, SportsCenter had a segment with Mel Kiper and Todd McShea discussing possible high picks for the 2009 NFL Draft, and Michael Crabtree's name came up multiple times.

Michael Crabtree
Michael Crabtree has three years of eligibility remaining at Texas Tech. (Icon SMI)

Clearly, Crabtree belongs in any conversations about elite prospects who may come out in 2009, and I was under the misconception when I first put the list together in January that Crabtree wouldn't be able to enter the '09 Draft, as I saw freshman and didn't think that a player of his ability in his first year of action had been redshirted. But I was wrong, and you're exactly right that he redshirted his freshman year, which by NFL rules would make him eligible for early entry in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Of course, Crabtree could potentially stick at Texas Tech through his senior season in 2010. It will be interesting for Big XII football fans (and, realistically, football fans everywhere) to keep a watch on him during the upcoming college football season.

In 2007, Crabtree broke numerous freshman receiving records (for yardage and touchdowns), and more impressively he won the Biletnikoff Award, which is bestowed to the best wide receiver in the country. If he stays all four years in school, he could potentially win the Biletnikoff Award four times, which is a mind-boggling possibility.

However, with Crabtree turning 21 this September, it would seem unlikely that he would wait a long time before making the leap to the National Football League, particularly if he remains the top slated wide receiver after a second year of action at Texas Tech.

Crabtree, at 6'3" 205 pounds, already has NFL height and size. His 4.55 speed is average, but he looks like a very strong prospect who NFL fans should make themselves aware of sooner as opposed to later.


From: David Brown
To: LouPickney@gmail.com
Date: Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 6:25 AM
Subject: Oklahoma St.

Hey Lou,

Have players from Oklahoma State been blacklisted or something?

There were only three in the draft, but I think all are worth taking a look at.

After the free agent rush they are all are still hanging out there???

RB Dantrell Savage- small but had a good showing in the senior bowl.
WR Adarius Bowman
OLB Roderick Johnson

When you read through the list of players teams have picked up in the last two days, I just canít believe nobody is looking at these guys.

Lou: There was a time when Adarius Bowman looked like a day one pick, if not even a first round selection. He has a great combination of size (6'3"), strength, and separation speed, and he has the ability to find holes in zone coverage and make strong fakes in man-to-man coverage.

Adarius Bowman
Will any NFL team sign Adarius Bowman? (Icon SMI)

So what happened? Bowman had a terrible week at the Senior Bowl from most accounts, followed up by running slow at the combine (a horrid 4.74 40), and finally finding himself arrested in McMinn County, TN earlier this month on charges of possession of marijuana. With the NFL's strict drug testing policy, and the fact that Bowman had to leave North Carolina (where he began his college football career) due to a marijuana-related incident, I imagine that many teams stamped "Buyer Beware" on his scouting file.

Will Bowman receive a shot in the NFL? In all likelihood, yes. A player with his ability will very likely be given a flier by a team needing wide receiver help, but the deck is stacked against him at this point.

Rodrick Johnson should end up in a camp somewhere. He played defensive end for most of the 2007 season, which proved to be a far less effective position for him (particularly in preparing him for a pro career) than inside linebacker, where he played in 2005 and 2006. Any team needing help at ILB, be it in a 4-3 or a 3-4, would be wise to give him a shot.

As far as Dantrell Savage goes, he is very small by professional RB standards. But in the copycat NFL and with the success that undersized Maurice Jones-Drew has had, Savage could end up making a club. The biggest knock on Savage (size aside) is his lack of elusiveness, something that MJD has big-time, and there are questions on Savage's ability to block (think of MJD knocking Shawn Merriman on his back last year in one of the most memorable blocks of 2007.)

But no one expects Savage to be Jones-Drew, and Savage has enough skill to get a sniff from a few squads. Savage was projected by some to be as high as a sixth round pick, and he should have a chance to at least be signed to a free agent contract. He finished his college career with ten straight 100+ yard rushing games, and his 4.4 speed cannot be overlooked. Savage falling out of the draft probably had more to do with the loaded RB crop than anything.

One additional thing to remember with the undrafted players is that not signing right away is not necessarily a sign that interest does not exist for them. Perhaps negotiations are going on with multiple teams. In some ways there are benefits to being undrafted (presuming a player is NFL caliber), as instead of being forced to negotiate with one team, that player has the latitude to talk with all 32 teams to find the best deal available. Both Bowman and Savage are represented by agent Brian Underwood, which may or may not have an impact on the delay on them signing a free agent contract.


From: Jim Fischer
To: LouPickney@gmail.com
Date: Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 7:39 PM
Subject: 2009 NFL Draft

Hey Lou

I was curious to see if you have any D2 guys on your 2009 Draft board?

Lou: At the moment I don't, but keep in mind that all I have at this point is a rough first round drawn up. It's worth noting that five Division-II players went in the 2008 Draft, including a fifth round player in Grand Valley State CB Brandon Carr going to Kansas City. GVS is a program that hasn't received much national attention but which has been very successful so far this decade.

If I had to pick one D2 player to watch, it would be Valdosta State CB Sherard Williams, who was a second-team D2 All-American in 2007 as a junior. But there is talent to be had from that level, particularly at speed-oriented positions like DB and RB. And, with scouts looking everywhere they can for talent, it wouldn't surprise me for Division-II to produce even more NFL picks in the future.


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