Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Franchise's 2008 NFL Draft Rankings - Pt. 1

With the demise of TheDraftGeek.com due to lack of time, I'm proud to bring NFL Draft insight back to where some say it belonged all along: right here on DudeSpin. Draft weekend is one of my favorite times of the year, though it is difficult to explain to non-fans (and even some less obsessive fans) why it is fun to sit around for two days watching people read other peoples' names off of cards.

This year promises to be extra fun, because I'm having oral surgery tomorrow morning and there's a good chance I'll be watching this year's draft while feeling the effects of powerful but legal painkillers. I'm sensing a LiveBlog!

For my first dose of wisdom, here are my pre-draft rankings for offensive skill position players. I'll follow with linebackers and d-backs tomorrow, lineman of both varieties on Thursday and a full-fledged last-minute mock draft on Friday. These rankings reflect how I think the players rate as pro prospects and not the order in which I believe they will be drafted, as team preferences and needs have a big impact there.

  1. Matt Ryan, Boston College
  2. Brian Brohm, Louisville
  3. Chad Henne, Michigan
  4. Andre Woodson, Kentucky
  5. John David Booty, USC
  6. Erik Ainge, Tennesee
  7. Dennis Dixon, Oregon
  8. Joe Flacco, Delaware
  9. Josh Johnson, San Diego
  10. Colt Brennan, Hawaii
Others to consider: Paul Smith, Tulsa; T.C. Ostrander, Stanford; Matt Flynn, LSU; Kevin O'Connell, San Diego State; Kyle Wright, Miami (Fla.)

Running Backs
  1. Darren McFadden, Arkansas
  2. Rashard Mendenhall, Illinois
  3. Jonathan Stewart, Oregon
  4. Felix Jones, Arkansas
  5. Ray Rice, Rutgers
  6. Jamaal Charles, Texas
  7. Chris Johnson, East Carolina
  8. Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech
  9. Matt Forte, Tulane
  10. Mike Hart, Michigan
Others to consider: Kevin Smith, Central Florida; Steve Slaton, West Virginia; Justin Forsett, Cal; Jacob Hester, LSU; Allen Patrick, Oklahoma

Wide Receivers
  1. Limas Sweed, Texas
  2. Devin Thomas, Michigan State
  3. Malcolm Kelly, Oklahoma
  4. DeSean Jackson, Cal
  5. James Hardy, Indiana
  6. Early Doucet, LSU
  7. Donnie Avery, Houston
  8. Mario Manningham, Michigan
  9. Dexter Jackson, Appalachian State
  10. Andre Caldwell, Florida
Others to consider: Earl Bennett, Vanderbilt; Jordy Nelson, Kansas State; Eddie Royal, Virginia Tech; Jerome Simpson, Coastal Carolina; Harry Douglas, Louisville


Head Dude said...

Dear Franchise,

Why the hating on Michigan? Is it your Penn State hometown bias? Surely you think Mike Hart is a better prospect than Felix Jones and Mario Manningham better than Limas Sweed? Limas is a headcase, no?

Wolverine Fan

The Franchise said...

Nice... but if there's a head case among the top receivers, it's Manningham, who surely thinks he's the best guy in this class. Between his skinniness and his overconfidence, I have some doubts about him.

And Jones should be a gamebreaker at the NFL level if used correctly. Not so for Hart, though I think he'll be more effective than some people feel. I've seen some pundits suggest Hart shouldn't be drafted at all!