2014-15 Draft Prospect All-Underrated Team

 

Vince Mayle leads the All-Underrated team while carrying his Cougars in 2014 with 106 catches, 1483 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Vince Mayle leads the All-Underrated team while carrying his Cougars in 2014 with 106 catches, 1483 yards and 9 touchdowns.

NEPD Staff Writer CJ Sousa

As the regular season ends and bowl preparations are in full swing, it would seem to me certain player are being over looked heading into the offseason.  The All-America and All-Conference title is a prestigious honor.  It represents a season of hard work and capitalizing on opportunities.  But every year, certain guys fall through the cracks. Let’s see who makes the 2014-15 Draft Prospect All-Underrated team.

QB: Sean Mannion, Oregon State:  A pro-style passer with an easy natural throwing motion, Mannion hasn’t had the senior campaign he would have liked (15 TDs, 8 Int).  However if you can look past his horrendous offensive line, one would see a NFL arm with great touch.  He needs to improve his anticipation of throws as well as his overall accuracy.  However given the right situation, I think Mannion could develop into a player who could potentially start down the road.

RB: Josh Robinson, Mississippi State:  If you’ve been reading my articles this year, you would know I am President and CEO of the Josh Robinson fan club.  Not because I think he is a top 5 running back in the class, because I don’t.  But if you ask a person to talk 2015 RB prospects, rarely will you hear the Bulldogs’ bell cow.  Robinson averaged 6.4 yards per carry this year for 1,128 yards and 11 touchdowns.  People destroy him over the Alabama game, where he ran tentatively and wasn’t overly successful.  Nonetheless I expect him to be a contributor somewhere in the NFL in the future.  I do anticipate Robinson to return to Starkville next year for his senior season, however with running backs you never know.

RB Jeremy Langford, Michigan State: All Langford did this year was run for 1,360 yards and 19 touchdowns, yet he still doesn’t get talked about the way he deserves.  As far as the NFL goes, Langford is a tough, physical, low to the ground running back.  A workhorse in every sense of the term.  Needs to add some speed and explosion to be a real threat at the next level, but I think Langford will be a nice late round find.

WR Dezmin Lewis, Central Arkansas: At 6’4 215lbs, Lewis has enjoyed much success at the D-1A level, and has earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl.  Under the radar prospect that will start gathering some attention as the college football season wraps up.

WR Vince Mayle, Washington State: I’ll go on record right now, this guy is going to be productive at the next level.  Currently a mid to late round pick, Mayle has had a monster season without many people noticing. He lost about 20 pounds this year, which has had a great impact on overall quickness and route-running. Good size at 6’3 220lbs, Mayle should be on Patriots’ fans minds heading into mock draft season.

WR Leonte Caroo, Rutgers: The junior  may end up returning for his senior season, but I believe Caroo is ready to step onto a NFL field next year and contribute.  Possessing average size at 6’1 205lbs, Caroo is excellent in creating separation and has been quietly carrying the Rutgers offense most of the season.  He’s a productive receiver from Rutgers, so go ahead Patriots’ fans, start the speculation.

TE Clive Walford, Miami: My personal number 1 tight end in the draft, Walford has arguably been Miami’s best play maker this season.  I think he’s very athletic for his size at 6’4 260lbs and has the potential to blossom into a complete and  dynamic threat at TE in  the NFL.  Had his best game this season vs Florida State, where he showed he can compete athletically vs NFL talent.  Needs to clean up his mental side of the game, as he’s been prone to dumb mistakes and dropped passes over his years at Miami.

OT Tyler Marz, Wisconsin: Often overshadowed by teammate Rob Havenstein, however Marz has been stellar this season blocking for Melvin Gordon.  Underrated pass blocker, Marz will be a nice mid round find.

OT Austin Shepherd, Alabama: Has been solid all year long as Shepherd currently is a mid round projection.  A beast of a run blocker for the Tide, Shepherd mainly lacks in pass protection.

OG Aundrey Walker, USC: The youngest of 14 brothers (WOAH!), Walker is a good athletic linemen with real upside.  Slowed to start the year following offseason ankle surgery, Walker’s solid play helped elevate the Trojans’ running game into one of the nations’ best.

OG Jordan Rigsbee, California: A versatile guy who can play all three interior line positions. Rigsbee has been a key cog to the Golden Bear offense as he has been the most consistent offensive linemen Cal has had over the last few years.

OC B.J. Finney, Kansas State: In my eyes, the former walk-on is a top 3 center in the class.  Finney is a cerebral player with good athleticism, which allows him to play guard if need be.

It's time true Freshmen Derek Barnett gets the recognition he deserves.

It’s time true Freshmen Derek Barnett gets the recognition he deserves.

DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA: How can you overlook him with a name like that.  “Owa” has been explosive off the edge this year showing an innate ability to get to the edge.  If he can stay healthy, he’s one of my best hidden gems in a deep defensive end draft pool.

DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee:  Get out your 2017 draft boards.  Barnett, a true freshmen, compiled one of the greatest seasons in Tennessee football history.  He is third in the country for tackles for loss (20.5) and has registered 10 sacks this season.  Not impressed? Barnett has significantly outplayed Jadeveon Clowney during his Freshmen year in Columbia, where he tallied 12 tackles for loss and 8 sacks.  Barnett has all the tools to be a top 5 pick someday, and his match up against the Outland Trophy winner, Iowa LT Brandon Scherff, is one I am looking forward to most during bowl season.

DT Gabe Wright, Auburn: Slightly undersized, Wright uses his quickness to split gaps and cause disruption in the backfield.  He is not an every down player in the NFL, but for a guy projected to be a mid to late round pick, Wright can make an impact in a specialist role and be productive.

DT Louis Trinca-Pasat, Iowa: One of my fastest rising players this season, Trinca-Pasat has 10.5 TFL this season with 6.5 sacks for the Hawkeyes.  Currently giving a 5-6 round projection, I think Trinca-Pasat will capitalize off his fine season and rise up draft boards this winter.

LB A.J. Tarpley, Stanford: Has been one of the best linebackers in the country all year long.  A talent depleted Cardinal defense has remained stout in large part to the consistent play of the 5th year senior.

LB Cassanova McKinzy, Auburn:  I have enjoyed watching McKinzy all year long.  He won’t wow you with anything he does, quite frankly.  That being said if you look through the dumpster fire that is the Auburn defense you can see McKinzy shine as a solid middle of the field defender.  I think he has high upside with room to grow.  I’m betting McKinzy will be a solid performer after being a late day 2 or 3 pick.

LB Eric Striker, Oklahoma:  I see a late first round talent from Striker on film.  He compromised his personal stats to adapt to Oklahoma’s defensive scheme, which asked him to drop in coverage an awful lot.  He has shown he can do this well, however he’s getting no favors when there’s a deep pass rusher class like this season.  Striker will be a day 2 pick who I think has the tools to potentially start in the right system from the get go.

CB D’Joun Smith, FAU: Smith got the Darrelle Revis treatment most of the year, as opposing quarterbacks didn’t throw his way too much.  With good reason.  Smith has the speed and athleticism to be a solid cover corner in the league.  I believe he will put in a good effort at the senior bowl and quickly start to rise up draft boards.

CB Byron Jones, Connecticut:  Jones had his season cut short with a shoulder injury, however it is tough to ignore what he accomplished in 7 games.  He was a ray of light on what was a horrendous Uconn team all year long.  Jones has shown the ability to play both CB and Safety, and in his toughest challenge this year stepped up and played a great game vs Shane Carden and ECU.

S Isaiah Johnson, Georgia Tech: I thought Johnson as well as the entire Georgia Tech secondary held up admirably as they were obviously out manned and out gunned by Florida State in the ACC championship game.  Most believe Johnson is a special teams player in the NFL, however I see some real upside.  Johnson fits the ‘new breed’ of safety, boasting a 6’2 215 lbs frame which allows him to come down and be an aggressive in the box defender.

S Doran Grant, Ohio State:  Has had a nice season thus far with 5 interceptions and 51 tackles.  Has the versatility to play CB in the NFL as well as safety.  The Alabama game can really help Grant’s draft stock with a solid performance if he can prove reliable over the top when the inevitable Amari Cooper deep shots are thrown his way.

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25 Responses to “2014-15 Draft Prospect All-Underrated Team”

  1. Sully says:

    Love the list! Just want throw some more underrated names out there, well, maybe not “underrated” but certainly not talked about enough:
    -DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon
    -Quandre Diggs, CB, Texas
    -Senquez Golson, CB, Ole Miss
    -Erick Dargan, S, Oregon
    -E.J. Bibbs, TE, Iowa St.
    -Justin Hardy, WR. E. Carolina
    -Damian Swann, CB, Georgia
    -Sam Carter, S, TCU
    -Andy Gallik, C, Boston College
    -David Johnson, RB, N. Iowa
    -Henry Anderson, DE, Stanford

  2. sco508 says:

    Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota Remember the name people. Best True TE in the Draft !

    If we don’t go after Devin Funchess, WR/TE, Michigan or J. Strong WR ASU

    • acm says:

      Don’t know if Williams is the best TE in the draft but he should be in that conversation.
      I wouldn’t mind if the Patriots found a way to make him part of their draft selection in 2015.

  3. steve earle says:

    Well I think Bill was wise to rest those guys who are banged up. Results showed just how thin we are on the o-line. Yea I know, I’m on that again but it’s true and when we meet our next opponents they figure to be looking to pressure TB right up the middle. Nothing we can fix now just hope guys are healthy and can play their best football in two weeks and beyond hopefully. Go Pat’s !!!!!!!

    • Kevan says:

      When the oline has been solder,Connolly,stork,wendall,vollmer they have performed well. Solder had struggled for sure tho. I don’t think it’s catastrophic most issues are mental. I 100% don’t think it would be wise to go 2 oline man in draft, including a trade up for the 2nd pick. I now think G is top priority in draft, and you helped sway my opinion Steve, but I don’t want to be extreme.

      • Kevan says:

        To clarify I meant 2 oline man with 1st 2 picks, including a trade up for the 2nd pick. Nothing would shock me when it comes to the draft but I don’t see it happening.

        • steve earle says:

          I agree it’s unlikely Kevan but as you say nothing will shock me either. I think the first thing working against two OG’s 1st and 2nd is the really best ones will gone before our assigned 2nd pick and I don’t see BB trading up for an OG. That being said my mock is not an attempt at a prediction only what I think would make the best draft. Second I believe there are several collage OT’s who will move inside in the NFL and kind of drift through the first two and possably three rounds who can be very good OG’s and these are the ones Bill will have his eyes on for a second OG. It’s even possable Bill trades down our 1st for additional picks this year and projected picks in 016 draft, but who knows. I would love to see us draft two o-line in the top 3 rounds espically if we get a 3rd rd comp pick. Who knows how the draft will unfold? History shows LOT’s are prized in the 1st and as many as 6+/- could go before the 1st OG, still who knows?

        • Russell says:

          I think it is HIGHLY unlikely BB drafts Olineman 1st and 2nd.
          Last year BB drafted Olineman, 4th, 4th, 6th and signed a FA to the Roster (Davey).
          SO IMO, BB drafts Two Olineman, one early , and the other in the 4th. Look for 4-6 FA Olineman in camp.
          IF BB could get Cameron Erving in the 1st, and may even move up to get him, IMO he will, However , Erving likely will go to early for BB to get.

        • Kevan says:

          I can dig it Steve

        • steve earle says:

          @ Russell, You and Kevan are probably right about BB not taking OG’s @ 1 & 2. Right, Bill has made a pratice of drafting o-line like you say, 4th, 4th, & 6th but seldom high and we can see how our line has declined as a result. Old saying, “you get what you pay for” and this seems proof of that. If Connolly or Windell can’t go next game it could be shakey. Erving has done a real good job at OC but we have the position covered so let’s not forget he was having a real rough time at OT before the move. What I’d hope to see is Bill draft a beast at OG. Two dominate, day one starting OG’s would make my day, and likely Brady’s too. I know, not likely, still it would do more for the offense then two of any other positions you can name.

        • Kevan says:

          It’s just not realistic Steve. Maybe one early, one mid to late. I would take stork in the 4th over solder in the 1st. If pats use 1st rd pick on a G they would have a solid group to work with. Pats didn’t have a dominant line winning Super Bowls that’s because the oline is about communication and 5 guys working together. It is one thing to double dip, or even triple dip, but to use the 1st 2 picks would be using a lot of resources. I like balance and there will be other needs to address. With all that said if the right players fall it wouldn’t shock me.

        • steve earle says:

          I know and admitted that it’s unrealistic but I still like the idea of it. Our current o-line is just getting by with all starters healthy. An injury reduces it to poor or less. I’m looking ahead and see our division rivials building their defenses to defeat Brady. Pressure up inside, in his face. All three have impressive front fours that have given our line lessons in humility and with only a couple players here and there they will be shutting down our off next year unless we fix the problem. I took the quick, direct approach but don’t care if we get 2 dominate OG’s in the 4th rd. What do you think the chances of that are? So okay we take one in the first or 2nd then one in the 4th can we be sure both will be those guys we need? Higher rounds increase the odds a player will be what you want but still no guarantee but better odds. Half fixing the problem is not fixing the problem imo. Have you seen Mike’s mock yet? He has us taking DE DuPree in the first, I like that but then we still have the o-line problem which will we either draft prospects or sign free agents, the best of whom will not come cheep. So there we have the problem. I’ve offered my solution and waiting for a better idea.

  4. Kevan says:

    With Dennard going to IR, Boyce was activated. Any chance he shows up? I think he will get a chance to play against the bills, maybe he does well and possibly contributes something for this playoff run. I know this is unlikely but I hope so. I was real high on him coming out of college, and when the pats took him I was certain it was a good pick. That doesn’t look to be the case but crazier things have happened. Boy would I like to see some completed shots down the field.

    • steve earle says:

      I had high hopes for Boyce when he was drafted too but things didn’t go as planned. Not sure of why but did see to many drops from him but still hope that he can improve enough in his second year to make the roster and be effective. Amendola is an expensive back up slot receiver so BB should be open to a competent, less expensive replacement at some point.

      • Kevan says:

        Thank god for Lafell, such a good under the radar move that worked out. Still I want amendola to restructure and bring another wr in wether that’s free agency or the draft.

  5. John says:

    Another receiver I like is Deontay Greenberry from Houston.. he’s really balled this year, especially considering the circumstances he’s played with. He’s just a junior, and may not come out, but I think he could be a good 2nd option WR in the league eventually.

  6. Russell says:

    WR Breshard Perriman looked quite good in his Bowl game, as a Jr. will see if he declairs, intesting prospect. 6’2″ 214lbs 4.52 40yd.

  7. jim r says:

    Check out the Quick Lane bowl today, there are at least 6 potential pats draft picks on the Rutgers roster

    • acm says:

      Schiano has been out of Rutgers for a while now, so I am guessing that well has dried up for the time being. Time to move onto Ohio State, I guess, and there is always Florida.

  8. Russell says:

    B.J. Finney is on my patriot draft board (move to OG) and S Isaiah Johnson. Also big fan of RB David Johnson, 6’2″ 229lbs (R/TE), WR Kevin Vereen Jr. 6’3″205lbs, and OLB David Tull 6’2″ 245lbs.

  9. John says:

    Owamagbe would be awesome in the 2nd round, and a perfect eventual replacement for Ninkovich. He’s great at sealing the edge, and is obviously a more than adequate pass rusher. He’s going to be a great addition to a team.

    Big fan of Marz, as well.

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