February 25, 2013 by Charles McDonald
Every year there are a number of prospects who get overdrafted either due to positional value (Quarterbacks, Offensive Tackles, Pass Rushers) or because they have freakish athletic ability that would allow them to dominate at their position. NFL teams salivate over guys with this type of talent because they believe that they can coach them up to be the next great player in the league. Many players such as Jason Pierre Paul, Vernon Davis, and Darren McFadden have used their elite athleticism to become a few of the top players in the game today. Below are five prospects who will be drafted highly that I believe could become elite players if they recieve the right coaching.
1. Ezekial “Ziggy” Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU
Ezekial Ansah is a freak athlete who is very similar to Jason Pierre Paul coming out of college. He’s 6’5″ 271 pounds and runs a 10.9 hundred meter dash. The sky is truly the limit for him. He has the athletic ability to be one of the most dominate defensive players in the NFL. However, Ansah did not begin playing football until 2010 and didn’t receive significant playing time until he was a senior in 2012. He showed flashes of ability but was non-existant in too many games. During the Senior Bowl practices, Ansah struggled as he was unfamiliar with many of the drills and terminology that NFL coaches were throwing at him. During the game it was a completely different story, when he didn’t have to think about what the coaches were telling him, he dominated on his way to winning the “Outstanding Defensive Player” award at the 2013 Senior Bowl. Ansah has a ridiculous amount of potential and the team that is able to unlock his potential will undoubtedly have a star in the making.
2. Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State
Mike Glennon is one of the more interesting players in this draft. From a physical standpoint, he has everything that you would want out of your typical pocket passer. He stands at 6’7″ and weighs 225 pounds with a rocket arm. Many people compare him to Joe Flacco simply based off measureables but Glennon is far more inconsistant. Sometimes he has games where he looks like a surefire first rounder (Boston College ’12, Florida State ’12) and other times he looks like a late-round prospect (Tennessee ’12). He can be wildly inaccurate at times but the next play make an elite throw. His footwork needs improvement but there is no denying his arm talent which NFL teams always look for in quarterback prospects. If he is drafted by a team that can improve his footwork and his accuracy then he could become another good, young signal caller in the NFL.
3. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
After spending two years at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas, Cordarrelle Patterson signed on with the University of Tennessee in 2012. He immediately burst onto the scene with 6 catches for 93 yards and a touchdown against North Carolina State to go along with a 67 yard touchdown run. He’s 6’2″ 216 pounds and wowed everyone at the Combine with a 4.37 40 yard dash. This matches up well with the explosiveness and playmaking ability that he showed at Tennessee. There are times when Patterson struggles with his route running technique and he dropped too many passes in college but simply put; he can flat out fly. The potential is enormous with Patterson but more focus and consistency will make a receiver that will truly be a threat at the next level.
4. Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
Checking at 6’4″ 241 lbs is Barkevious Mingo, an explosive edge rusher from LSU. He and teammate Sam Montgomery burst onto the scene in 2011 as a dynamic pass rushing duo for the Tigers. Mingo recorded 15.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in 2011 and was primed for a big year in 2012. In 2012, Mingo struggled as his numbers dropped to 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks, one of which came against 1-AA opponent Towson University. There’s no ignoring his speed as he is blinding off the edge but once offensive tackles become engaged with him in pass protection, he really struggles. He definitely needs to add more strength but luckily he has the frame to do it. His run defense needs immense improvement as he consistently gets blown off the ball by offensive linemen. He sometimes plays soft and attempts to rely on his speed and athleticism more than trying to use pass rushing techniques. Mingo needs to bulk up without losing his rare athleticism to become an impact player at the next level.
5. Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
Sharrif Floyd is an intimidating presence at the defensive tackle position. He has very good burst off the line of scrimmage and would be a perfect fit at either 3-technique in a 4-3 defense or 5-technique in a 3-4 defense due to his penetrating ability. At 6’3″ 297 pounds, he has ideal size to play either position. He didn’t always produce but his elite first is highly coveted in the pass-happy NFL. He needs to improve his hand placement and pass rushing technique, but that can be improved with coaching. He has skyrocketed up draft boards this offseason as teams see his potential to become one of the better defensive tackles in the league.