2009 NFL Draft – Underclassmen Part III
I am mostly concerned with the skill positions (QB, RB, WR) when it comes to the NFL Draft because those are the players that will help your 2009 fantasy football rosters. Here is my first look at the early declarers.
Nate Davis, Ball State
6’2″, 217 Lbs.
2008: 3591 yards, 26 TDs, 8 INTs, 64.3% completion percentage
Nate has had three solid years at Ball State throwing for 9233 yards, 74 TDs, and 22 INTs. He has back-to-back 3500+ yard, 26+ TD seasons. He topped the 300 yard mark four times this year. He finished on a sour note with a 9 for 29, 145 yards, INT performance in the GMAC Bowl vs. Tulsa. Nate will be studied closely at the combines, which will better determine his draft stock. I’d say he’s most likely a 3rd or 4th round pick.
Mark Sanchez, USC
6’3″, 225 Lbs.
2008: 3965 yards, 34 TDs, 10 INTs, 65.8% Completion Percentage
Sanchez capped an outstanding season with 413 yards and 4 TDs in a Rose Bowl victory over Penn State. He completed 80% of his passes on the biggest stage of the year. He ran a TD in as well. It was the third time he threw for over 300 yards and the 11th time he thre multiple TD passes. Sanchez comes from a great lineage of USC QBs and will likely go in the first round. There is a chance he could be the first QB taken, and possibly #1 overall if he impresses scouts at the combine or at his Pro Day.
LeSean McCoy, Pitt
5’11″, 210 Lbs.
2008: 1488 yards, 21 TDs, 32 catches for 305 yards
LeSean is very versatile catching 65 passes in his two years from Pitt. It’s amazing he was able to improve on his fabulous Freshman numbers (1328 yards, 14 Tds, 244 receiving yards). He scored in all but two games with six multi-TD games. He also had six 100+ yard games. Has decent speed (4.49) that should land him in the first round.
Jeremy Childs, Boise State
6’0″, 196 Lbs.
2008: 72 catches for 802 yards, 7 TDs
Childs had a decent year, but not one that set the world on fire. He managed just two 100 yard games and actually regressed from the 82 catch, 1045 yard, 9 TD season he had in 2007. He has decent speed (4.48), but he doesn’t blow you away. If he’s drafted at all, it will likely be in the 6th or 7th round.
Percy Harvin, Florida
5’11″, 195 Lbs.
2008: 40 catches for 645 yards, 7 TDs, 70 carries for 659 yards, 10 TDs
Percy was such a versatile threat for the Gators. He had a pair of 100 yard receiving games and a pair of 100 yard rushing games. He scored in every game he played in, including three games with rushing and receiving TDs and five multiple TD games. He didn’t score as many TDs in 2007 (10), but he had even more yardage (858 receiving, 764 rushing). He was nearly equal in receiving and rushing yardage as a freshman (427 to 428). He has incredible speed (4.36) and will create havoc at the NFL level. He could make an immediate impact as a return man, but may take some time to develop as a receiver. Injuries could plague him as well. That said, he’ll likely be a first rounder.
Brandon LaFell, LSU
6’3″, 210 Lbs.
2008: 63 catches for 929, 8 TDs
LaFell had a decent year, but not one that you’d think would inspire him to leave early. He topped the century mark just twice on the year. Additionally, he did not have impressive numbers prior to this year. Finally, he was held to 26 yards on two passes by Georgia Tech in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Doesn’t have remarkable speed (4.54) that will likely be a 2nd-3rd round pick.
UPDATE: Brandon LaFell is returning to school.
QB Josh Freeman, Kansas State
QB Matthew Stafford, Georgia
RB Glen Coffee, Alabama
RB Shonn Green, Iowa
RB P.J. Hill, Wisconsin
RB Knowshon Moreno, Georgia
RB Chris Wells, Ohio State
WR Kenny Britt, Rutgers
WR Austin Collie, BYU
WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland
WR Jeremy Machlin, Missouri
WR Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina