2013 NFL Draft: Overrated Prospects in the Big Ten: Leaders Division

June 21st, 2012

Does Buchanan possess the abilities to warrant a 1st Round grade? Photo: US Presswire)

KCCD Editor:  Jinx Allessio

When it comes to overrated prospects it is difficult to deem who is overrated so early in the process.  Often times those who I deem overrated are pass rushers who do not possess the skills that immediately translate to the next level.  People who cover the draft value those who rush the passer more than I do, I am very picky when it comes to qualities of a pass rusher.  

The Big 10 is home to many prospects who will be drafted in the first 3 rounds.  Like most years, the Big 10 gives the drafts players from the trenches who can find immediate success at the next level.  The Leaders Division has a lot of depth with in the trenches and really lacks playmakers at the skill positions.  In the 2013 NFL Draft the class of defensive ends who can rush the passer with a multitude of pass rush moves is very deep which can devalue several players who rack up a lot of stats at the college level.  A lot of my overrated rankings for this division may be nitpicking yet each prospect the eyes of an NFL evaluator will fall victim to more scrutiny.

Illinois Fighting Illini: Michael Buchanan, DE

Buchanan is gaining a lot of steam this early in the draft process.  Many people are projecting him to be a top 50 pick.  He produces at the college level yet lacks the ability to use counter moves to rush the passer.   He is a one/two moves player that tends to produces results versus mediocre tackle talent.  

He does to have an elite first step that really separates a top 50 pass rusher from the rest.  Can he build off of a very solid 2012 to become an elite pass rusher in the 2013 NFL Draft?  At this time I still project him to be a prospect that will be drafted between 50-100.

 

Ohio State Buckeyes: John Simon, DE/OLB

Much like Buchanan, John Simon produces results on the college level.  I find that Simon has the motor that translates to the next level but lacks the pass rush repertoire to be considered in the first round.  He brings a lot to the table as a pass rusher yet lacks the  initial explosiveness off the edge to keep NFL tackles on their heels.  I would consider taking Simon in the 2nd round  but, as with Buchanan, I find it hard to place him in the first round mainly due to top end depth in the 2013 NFL Draft at the edge rushing position.

Simon has a lot of upper body strength and a high motor the will yield some immediate results at the next level.   This is not to discredit Simon but to warrant a first round grade you need more than a high motor and college production. What position does Simon play at the next level?  If he can develop some more pass rush moves then he can start seeing himself in the top 50 of my rankings.

 

Penn State Nittany Lions: Gerald Hodges, OLB

This may not be to anyone’s fault that the value of a player like Gerald Hodges decreases year after year.  The value of a 4-3 outside linebacker seems to diminish with every  draft.  Hodges has adequate lateral agility and possess god enough tackling ability to receive a draftable grade.  How high can a player with Hodges skillset really be drafted? Top 100? I think he can find himself in the latter 3rd of the top 100.  For a 4-3 outside linebacker to be drafted any higher you truly need to have some ground breaking skill that separate you not only from your current 4-3 OLB class but also the classes that came before you.   

Hodges is a very productive college player that has the skills to play everyday on Sundays but lacks the play making ability to find himself going any higher than the late 3rd round.  For him to receive a higher grade I need to see more interceptions, pass deflections, ability to cover out of the backfield, forced fumbles and TFLs.

 

Purdue Boilermakers: Kawann Short, DT

Short may be pushed down the rankings due to the fact that the coaching staff has him lining up all too often at the defensive end position.   The only time Short should ever line up in that spot is to be a 5-technique defensive end in a 30 front.  He can occupy blockers and stack and shed in a to gapping scheme yet I find it peculiar in a 4 man front that short sees as much time as he does at defensive end.  His abilities as a penetrator defines his role at the next level to be purely as a 3 technique in a 40 front.  

He can occupy spaces and eat up blockers yet finds himself 2-3 yards off the line of scrimmage when faced up to offensive linemen.  When he is shaded inside or outside shoulder is when you see the results on film from Short.  I have seen him projected in the top 20 in some early 2013 Mock Drafts.  I would not consider him in the top 50 until I see the Boilermaker coaching staff utilize him more in a penetrating 4-3, 3 technique role.  If he can become more consistent in that position he may work himself up in my rankings.

Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, Big Ten Week, Gerald Hodges, John Simon, Kawann Short, Michael Buchanan

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