January 14, 2011

2011 NFL Draft (Declared) Underclassmen


List of underclassmen that have declared for the 2011 NFL draft. Players are listed in alphabetical order. Also, I give my projections on when they will be drafted and if it was a good or bad decision. Please feel free to leave a comment below and tell me if I made any mistakes or missed someone. Links for sources should be added soon.

*Janoris Jenkins (previously listed) will return for his senior season.
*Justin Blackmon (previously listed) will return for his junior season.


A.J. Green*, WR
Experience: Junior | School: Georgia
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 212 lbs.
Projection: Top 10


Um... well... duh, of course Green will declare.


Opinion: Great Move


Aaron Williams*, CB
Experience: Junior | School: Texas
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 195 lbs.
Projection: Round 1-2


Williams struggled a bit this year, and is a borderline first round pick. Even in a deep cornerback class, Williams is a rare talent at the position, but could have been highly regarded next season.


Opinion: Good Move


Akeem Ayers*, OLB
Experience: Junior | School: UCLA
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 255 lbs.
Projection: Top 20


Ayers is the best linebacker in the draft and a first round lock.


Opinion: Great Move


Aldon Smith**, DE
Experience: Sophomore | School: Missouri
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 260 lbs.
Projection: Round 2-3


Smith may or may not be a first round pick and is entering a deep class of defensive ends. He could likely be a first round pick if he is considered as an outside linebacker.


Opinion: Good Move


Blaine Gabbert*, QB
Experience: Junior | School: Missouri
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 235 lbs.
Projection: Top 20


No-Brainer. Gabbert is highly regarded by Todd McShay and myself as the number two quaretrback in the draft.


Opinion: Great Move


Brandon Boykin*, CB
Experience: Junior | School: Georgia
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 183 lbs.
Projection: Round 4-5


Boykin is declaring in a deep corner class filled with underclassmen. He's a mid-to-late round prospect.


Opinion: Bad Move


Brandon Burton*, CB
Experience: Junior | School: Utah
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 185 lbs.
Projection: Round 1-2


Burton's stock won't get any higher. He is one of the better cover corners in the draft, but he was poor in the ladder half of the season. He still has a chance to be a second round pick though.


Opinion: Good Move


Brandon Harris*, CB
Experience: Junior | School: Miami (FL)
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 195 lbs.
Projection: Round 1


Harris is only behind Peterson and Amukamara in my opinion. He got torched by Michael Floyd in the Sun Bowl, but is still a great overall corner.


Opinion: Good Move


Cam Newton*, QB
Experience: Junior | School: Auburn
Height: 66 | Weight: 250 lbs.
Projection: Round 1-2


Newton had to declare, and could potentially be a top 10 pick.


Opinion: Good Move
Corey Liuget*, DT
Experience: Junior | School: Illinois
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 300 lbs.
Projection: Round 3-4


Strike while the Iron's hot. Liuget is extremely underrated, and presents great value as a mid-round prospect.


Opinion: Good Move


Da'Quan Bowers*, DE
Experience: Junior | School: Clemson
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 280 lbs.
Projection: Top 5


Bowers is now the consensus number one pick in the draft.


Opinion: Great Move


Darren Evans*, RB
Experience: Junior | School: Virginia Tech
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 220 lbs.
Projection: Round 5-6


Before last season, I thought of Evans as a second or third round pick. Doesn't make much sense for him to declare. He isn't ready yet.


Opinion: Bad Move


DeAndre Brown*, WR
Experience: Junior | School: Southern Miss
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 228 lbs.
Projection: Round 6-7


Yes DeAndre has talent, but he can't stay healthy and has character issues. Just look at my projection and that should answer all questions.


Opinion: Bad Move


Dion Lewis**, RB
Experience: Sophomore | School: Pittsburgh
Height: 5-8 | Weight: 195 lbs.
Projection: N/A


As a freshman, Lewis became highly regarded for the NFL draft when he would become a sophomore. However, he struggled this year, playing behind Ray Graham, but is still a talented back.


Opinion: Undecided

J.J. Watt*, DE
Experience: Junior | School: Wisconsin
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 292 lbs.
Projection: Round 1-2


In an very deep defensive line class, Watt could be left out of the first round. Still, he is the hottest lineman available right now.


Opinion: Good Move


Jacquizz Rodgers*, RB
Experience: Junior | School: Oregon State
Height: 5-7 | Weight: 191 lbs.
Projection: Round 4-5


Quizz Rodgers is a mid-round prospect at best, and probably won't be anything more than a change of pace back in the NFL.


Opinion: Bad Move


Jamie Harper*, RB
Experience: Junior | School: Clemson
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 230 lbs.
Projection: Round 4-5


Jamie Harper... declaring why? Yes, it's a weak running back class, but he won't get drafted earlier than round 4.


Opinion: Bad Move


Jerrelle Powe*, DT
Experience: Junior | School: Mississippi
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 320 lbs.
Projection: Round 3-4


What? Jerrelle Powe is a Junior? Since when? Oh he's 24? Enough said.


Opinion: Great Move


John Clay*, RB
Experience: Junior | School: Wisconsin
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 255 lbs.
Projection: N/A


I overrated Clay during the season. He doesn't have great speed, has battled injuries, and became third on Wisconsin's Depth Chart. But he is 23 years old.


Opinion: Bad Move


Jon Baldwin*, WR
Experience: Junior | School: Pittsburgh
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 230 lbs.
Projection: Round 2-3


Makes since for Baldwin since he would have gone through a coaching change with a new offense. With Ryan Broyles returning to school and Michael Floyd being undecided, he could possibly go in round 1.


Opinion: Good Move


Jordan Todman*, RB
Experience: Junior | School: Connecticut
Height: 5-9 | Weight: 190 lbs.
Projection: Round 3-4


I'm a bit surprised that Todman is declaring. He will probably be taken in round 3, and this isn't a fairly deep running back class so.


Opinion: Good Move


Julio Jones*, WR
Experience: Junior | School: Alabama
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 220 lbs.
Projection: Top 20


Coming of an extremely productive year, Julio will be a very high draft pick.


Opinion: Great Move


Jurrell Casey*, DT
Experience: Junior | School: USC
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 305 lbs.
Projection: Round 2-3


Casey is entering a draft with several first round caliber defensive tackles. He is very talented, but needs another year at USC to improve.


Opinion: Bad Move


Justin Houston*, OLB
Experience: Junior | School: Georgia
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 258 lbs.
Projection: Round 1-2


Houston has risen up all draft boards, and could be taken on day one. Plus, Travis Lewis returns to school.


Opinion: Good Move


Kyle Rudolph*, TE
Experience: Junior | School: Notre Dame
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 265 lbs.
Projection: Round 2


Rudolph is the best tight end in the draft, and probably wouldn't have been a first round pick next year either.


Opinion: Good Move


Kenny Tate*, FS
Experience: Junior | School: Maryland
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 220 lbs.
Projection: Round 2


A very weak safety class plus a coaching change at Maryland... do the math.


Opinion: Great Move


Lawrence Guy*, DT
Experience: Junior | School: Arizona State
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 300 lbs.
Projection: Round 4-5


Guy had a bad year, and won't come off the board earlier than round 4.


Opinion: Bad Move


Marcell Dareus*, DT
Experience: Junior | School: Alabama
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 306 lbs.
Projection: Top 10


No-braier. Dareus is at worst a top 10 pick, which is not bad.


Opinion: Great Move


Mark Ingram*, RB
Experience: Junior | School: Alabama
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 210 lbs.
Projection: Top 25


Even coming off a down year, Ingram is the best running back in weak class.


Opinion: Great Move


Marquis Maze*, WR
Experience: Junior | School: Alabama
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 182 lbs.
Projection: N/A


He would have been better off staying at 'Bama and becoming the number one receiver.


Opinion: Bad Move


Martez Wilson*, ILB
Experience: Junior | School: Illinois
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 250 lbs.
Projection: Round 3-4


Wilson is 'versatile' as he can play any linebacker position. He is an underrated player in a weak inside linebacker class.


Opinion: Good Move


Mikel Leshoure*, RB
Experience: Junior | School: Illinois
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 230 lbs.
Projection: Round 1-2


The best underrated back in the draft. A first round talent that should be taken in round one, despite him getting third round grades.


Opinion: Great Move


Muhammad Wilkerson*, DT
Experience: Junior | School: Temple
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 300 lbs.
Projection: Round 2-3


Wilkerson is an under the radar prospect. With a coaching change at Temple and the fact that he probably wouldn't be regarded as a first round pick next year, it makes since.


Opinion: Good Move


Nick Fairley*, DT
Experience: Junior | School: Auburn
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 298 lbs.
Projection: Top 2


Fairley will not fall past Denver at #2.


Opinion: Great Move
Patrick Peterson*, CB
Experience: Junior | School: LSU
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 222 lbs.
Projection: Top 5


Peterson will be a top 5 pick in the draft, and a lock-down corner in the NFL.


Opinion: Great Move


Rahim Moore, FS*
Experience: Junior | School: UCLA
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 196 lbs.
Projection: Round 1-2


Best safety in the class. Why not declare?


Opinion: Great Move


Randall Cobb*, WR
Experience: Junior | School: Kentucky
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 186 lbs.
Projection: Round 2-3


With Michael Floyd and Justin Blackmon returning to school, Cobb could be an early day 2 pick.


Opinion: Good Move


Robert Quinn*, DE
Experience: Junior | School: North Carolina
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 270 lbs.
Projection: Top 10


Quinn will be a top ten pick, so this is a no-brainer.


Opinion: Good Move


Robert Sands*, FS
Experience: Junior | School: West Virginia
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 220 lbs.
Projection: Round 3-4


A big, physical safety, there is no reason for him to stay for his senior season.


Opinion: Good Move


Ryan Mallett*, QB
Experience: Junior | School: Arkansas
Height: 6-7 | Weight: 238 lbs.
Projection: Round 1-2


Mallett's stock won't get much higher, and with Luck returning to Stanford, he had to take this opportunity.


Opinion: Good Move


Ryan Williams**, RB
Experience: Sophomore | School: Virginia Tech
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 202 lbs.
Projection: Round 1-2


He could have been the feature back at VA Tech this upcoming season, but he could be a day two pick in a weak running back class.


Opinion: Good Move


Shane Vereen*, RB
Experience: Junior | School: California
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 204 lbs.
Projection: Round 3-4


Vereen should have waited until next season to declare.


Opinion: Bad Move


Stevan Ridley*, RB
Experience: Junior | School: LSU
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 223 lbs.
Projection: N/A


I am a fan of Stevan Ridley, but he might not even get drafted.


Opinion: Bad Move


Tandon Doss*, WR
Experience: Junior | School: Indiana
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 200 lbs.
Projection: Round 5-6


No Ben Chappell, new head coach, makes since. But still, there are way too many great receivers above him.


Opinion: Bad Move


Tori Gurley**, WR
Experience: Sophomore | School: South Carolina
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 230 lbs.
Projection: Round 5-6


Gurley is a sure handed receiver, and considering he is 23 years old, the move makes since. Plus, he doesn't need to share the spotlight with fellow Gamecock receiver Alshon Jeffery.


Opinion: Good Move


Torrey Smith*, WR
Experience: Junior | School: Maryland
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 200 lbs.
Projection: Round 2-3


Torrey Smith is entering the draft where there could be as many as four or five receivers taken in the first round. Still, he is a talented receiver who can sneak into the second round.


Opinion: Good Move


Tyler Sash*, SS
Experience: Junior | School: Iowa
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 210 lbs.
Projection: Round 5-6


Sash is a playmaker, but he doesn't appear to be NFL ready.


Opinion: Bad Move


Tyron Smith*, OT
Experience: Junior | School: USC
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 280 lbs.
Projection: Round 2


Smith is one of the most talented offensive tackles in this year's draft class, but will have to have a very strong combine if he wants to go in round 1. At 280 pounds he is a bit undersized, so he will have to get stronger. Also, There are several other tackles that should be drafted ahead of him so I'm on the fence with this one.


Opinion: Bad Move


Vidal Hazelton*, WR
Experience: Senior | School: Cincinnati
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 213 lbs.
Projection: N/A


An injury riddled career for Hazelton. May not get drafted at all.


Opinion: Bad Move


Will Hill*, FS
Experience: Junior | School: Florida
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 202 lbs.
Projection: Round 3-4


Hill is a solid safety, and with Urban Meyer leaving, it makes since for him to declare. Even in a weak safety class, he could've helped himself by returning for his senior season, but still.


Opinion: Good Move


Zane Parr*, DE
Experience: Junior | School: Virginia
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 275 lbs.
Projection: N/A


Underrated, but for a reason. Why is he declaring?


Opinion: Bad Move