Every year NFL draft pundits spend months analyzing where players will go based on research and team needs. I won't be doing that here, but I am going to give my opinion based on what I've seen and heard. There are a couple of players in particular that I believe will give tremendous value based on where they will be chosen.
Zach Mettenberger QB LSU: This is not really a longshot, but Mettenberger will fall a bit due to his torn ACL. While LSU has not had a successful NFL quarterback since Y. A. Tittle (no Matt Flynn doesn't count), I think that Mettenberger could be the exception to the rule. To me he compares strongly to a Joe Flacco type quarterback. He is big and has a strong arm but almost no mobility. I could see him going in the 2nd or 3rd round and leading a team for the next ten years.
De'Anthony Thomas RB Oregon: This guy has legitimate, out of thisCould De'Anthony Thomas be another Darren Sproles?
world speed. He is explosive and has a knack for making plays in big spots. Thomas is also an excellent return man and will give a big boost to special teams wherever he ends up. He does not have the size or makeup to be an every down back, but if he falls as far as the 5th or 6th round I think that he would be a great value.
Martavis Bryant WR Clemson: Bryant was overshadowed a bit by teammate Sammy Watkins (who may be the best receiver in this draft), but he could be a huge contributor himself. He has the height at 6'5" but ideally he could stand to add a bit of bulk to his lean 200 lb frame. Bryant is fast, agile and has great natural insticts but he is also unpolished. His routes were limited at Clemson and he could take a year or two to develop. In the third round, I would take Bryant without a second thought. I don't think that he contributes much immediately, but in 2015 he should break out.
Brandon Coleman WR Rutgers: Coleman has the size and speed to be a true threat to opposing defenses, but he lacks explosiveness. He has tremendous size at 6'5" and 220 lbs, but plays a bit smaller as he is not very physical. With his size and straight line speed Coleman could turn out to be an amazing find in the later rounds of the draft. The downside is that he could be more Marlon Brown and less Vincent Jackson.
Richard Rogers TE California: Rogers is young and not a very polished blocker, but as a receiver he has upside worth looking at. He seems to struggle a bit with concentration as he will bobble or drop easy throws. He also shows flashes of brilliance making acrobatic catches. With the right coaching Rogers could be a solid contributor to a passing attack. However, I would not look at him before the last round or two.
The draft is coming up fast and the talent looks very deep this year. Check back next week for my steals of the draft on the defensive side of the ball.
Update My Defensive Steal Predictions are out: Find Them Here