2008 NFL Draft Underclassmen Part II

Jan 11, 2008

Photo courtesy of Cliff Welch/Icon SMI

Here is is a look at some more of the underclassmen that declared for the NFL draft.

Adrian Arrington, WR, Michigan

Arrington has decent size (6’3″, 190 lbs), but isn’t the speediest of receivers (4.54 forty time) based on today’s standards.  He has a nose for the endzone though, scoring 8 TDs in each of his past two seasons.  Had a huge game in the Capital One Bowl against Florida (9 receptions, 153 yards, 2 TDs) that should help his stock. 
James Banks, WR, Carson-Newman
Banks has had a troubled past with substance abuse.  He took his show to Division II Carson-Newman.  He has decent size (6’3″, 218 lbs), but like Arrington isn’t the speediest (4.56).  Plus, he’s already 24 years old.  My guess is he goes undrafted.
Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt
Earl is average size (6’1″, 205″) without exceptional speed (4.52).  He is, however, the SEC all-time leader with 236 receptions.  He was the first WR in SEC history to have at least 75 receptions in three seasons. 
Martellus Bennett, TE, Texas A&M
Martellus has the size (6’7″, 248 lbs), and the attitude to be a NFL Tight End.  He has improved his reception and yardage totals each of his three years, peaking with 49 receptions for 587 yards and 4 TDs.  His best performance came in a 4 catch, 63 yard, 2 TD game against Missouri.  However, his blocking ability is probably his best asset.

Davone Bess, WR, Hawaii
Bess doesn’t have great size (5’10″, 195 lbs) or speed (4.57), but he was able to produce on the field.  He’s stuffed the stat line each of his three years (89, 1124,14 as a freshman; 96, 1220, 15 as a sophomore; and 108,1266,12 as a junior).  He had 15 catches for 181 yards and two scores against Boise State.  The only fear I have is that he was a product of the system. 
Anthony Collins, LT Kansas
Collins has good size (6’6″, 308 lbs).  The All-American tackle anchored an offense that was second in the nation in scoring and eight in yards per game.  He should be a first or second rounder.
James Davis, RB, Clemson
Davis has good size (5’11″, 208 lbs) and speed (4.48).  He as averaged 1043 rushing yards over the past three seasons and 12 TDs.  He’s had a yard per carry at least 5.0 in each of his three years at Clemson. 
Franklin Dunbar, OT, Middle Tennessee State
Dunbar has good size (6’5″, 328 lbs), but I’m not sure if he’ll get drafted.  He anchored an offense that was tied for 74th in scoring and 97th in yards per game.  He declared for financial reasons, which you can’t hold against him.
Jermichael Finley, TE, Texas
Jermichael has decent size(6’5, 236 lbs) and pretty quick (4.67).  He has a solid sophomore year catching 45 passes for 573 yards, following up on a decent freshman campaign (31, 372, 3 TDs).  His biggest game came against Oklahoma when he had four catches for 149 yards and a score.  He’ll get drafted, but he’d be better served playing another year of college ball.
Ryan Grice-Mullen, WR, Hawaii
Like Devone Bess, Grice-Mullen doesn’t have great size (5’11″, 183) or exceptional speed (4.53).  He also had three productive years at Hawaii (85, 1228, 12 as a Freshman; 46,770,11 as a Sophomore despite missing time to injury; and 106, 1372, 13 as a Junior).  His money game was a 13 grab, 195 yard, 3 TD day against New Mexico State.  I also fear that he may be a product of the system.
James Hardy, WR, Indiana
Hardy is tall (6’6″, 220), but not exceptionally fast (4.59).  He did produce though scoring 10, 10, and 16 TDs in his first three years.  This year, he had 79 receptions and 1125 yards.  Hardy had a huge game against Penn State (14 receptions for 142 yards and a pair of scores). 
Rashard Mendenhall, RB Illinois
Nice size (5’11″, 210 lbs) and speed (4.48).  Mendenhall had a great year gaining 1681 yards (6.4 ypc) and scoring 17 TDs on the ground, and adding 34 receptions for 318 yards and two scores through the air.  The highlights of his Junior year include 214 yards against Indiana, 193 total yards and 3 TDs against Wisconsin, and 214 total yards and a score in a Rose Bowl loss to USC.
Bobby Reid, QB, Oklahoma State
Reid has pretty good size (6’3″, 230) and speed (4.67), but didn’t do much in his Junior after losing his job to Zac Robinson.  Reid was decent as a Sophomore with 2266 yards, 24 TDs, 11 INTs.  He would have been better off transferring.
Darius Reynaud, WR, West Virginia
Reynaud may not be big (5’10″, 205 lbs), but he’s pretty speedy (4.47). Showed great improvement this year by catching 12 TD passes among his 64 receptions for 733 yards.  He showed some ability to run the ball over his three years, and was a solid return man.
Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers
Ray is coming off a monster effort in the International Bowl where he rumbled for 280 yards and 4 TDs against Ball State.  He’s listed at 5’9″, 195″ with 4.53 speed.  He has steadily improved (1120 yards, 5 TDs, 5.7 ypc as a Freshman, 1794; 20, 5.4 as a Sophomore; and 2012, 27, 5.3 as a Junior), and had six games of 175 yards or better.  He’s got the skills.  It will be interesting to see if they will translate on Sundays.
Kevin Smith, RB, UCF
Smith is listed at 6’1″, 212 lbs and runs a 4.53 forty.  Smith is coming off a monsterous season where he ran for 2567 yards (5.7 ypc) and 29 TDs.  He also added 24 catches for 242 yards.  Smith had nine games of at least 170 yards rushing. 
Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
The 6’2, 215 lbs WR will likely cut his teeth in the NFL as a return man.  He returned 39 kickoffs for 1,135 yards (29.1 yard per return).  He wasn’t a slouch at WR either, grabbing 79 balls for 1260 yards and 8 scores.  His two biggest games came against Indiana (13 catches for 148 yards) and Penn State (7 catches for 139 yards and 3 TDs).
Joe Burnett, CB, Central Florida
He could use a little more size (5’11, 185 lbs), but he’s plenty quick (4.46).  He could get his start as a punt returner as he had some success returning punts at Central Florida.  He made plays on defense as well intercepting six passes while racking up 62 tackles.

Johnny Dingle, DE, West Virginia
Dingle has good size (6’3″, 273) for an end.  Was a force racking up 46 tackles and 8 sacks.  He’s projected to be a mid-to-late roudn pick.
Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
The speedy (4.47) Flowers is listed at 5’10″, 190 lbs.  He wasn’t afraid to mix it up recording 79 tackles.  He also intercepted three passes.
Geno Hayes, LB, Florida State
Geno is a little light (6’2″, 220 lbs) for a LB.  Not to mention his speed isn’t ideal (4.67) given that size.  He is still a playmaker though compiling 80 tackles, 17.5 tackles for losses, on the year.
Jack Ikegwuonu, CB, Wisconsin
Jack has good size (6’1″, 202) and speed (4.44).  Got into some trouble as he is facing burglary charges.  It will be interesting to see if that has an impact on his draft stock given the new climate of the NFL.  He could possibly be converted to safety.
Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee
Mayo (6’2″, 230 lbs) racked up 140 tackles for Tennessee last year.  Mayo had double-digit tackles in eight games this year, including 13 in the Outback Bowl against Wisconsin.
Orlando Scandrick, CB, Boise State
Orlando is listed at 5’11″, 188 and runs a 4.49 forty.  He had fifty tackles this year to go with his two interceptions.  He blocked seven kicks in his collegiate career, so he could have some value as a special teams player.
Pat Sims, DT, Auburn
Pat is a beast (6’4″, 312 lbs) with decent speed (4.98).  He had 11.5 tackles for loss (4.5 sacks).  He’ll plug some holes on Sundays.
Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas
Aqib is the goods.  He has good size (6’2″, 202 lbs) and decent speed (4.52).  He was a first-team All-American. He had 66 tackles and five INTs.  He was named MVP of the Orange Bowl as he return a pick sixty yards for a score. 
Previous Declarees
Branden Albert, G, Virginia
Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas
Ryan Clady, OT, Boise State
Mario Urrutia, WR, Louisville
 Calais Campbell, DE, Miami
Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida
Erin Henderson, LB, Maryland
Kenny Phillips, S, Miami

Posted by | Categories: NFL | Tagged: College Football, NCAA |
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2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. wassup471
    January 12th, 2008 at 1:14 pm #

    Mayo leaving seriously bums me. But my team will be rebuilding next year.

    Looks like some more sound analysis from the Legend! What do you think about Steve Slaton’s chances, since he’s considering going pro?

  2. Ryan Lester
    January 12th, 2008 at 1:29 pm #

    wassup – thanks.
    Slanton – Has decent size (5’10″, 195 lbs). He’s real quick 4.42. Sounds like a good fit in the pros. Scored a ton of TDs (17, 16, 17) Ran for nice ypc (5.5, 7.0, 5.0). Good yardage and an ability to catch the ball out of the backfield (53 receptions the past two years). I like his odds in the pros.

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