KCCD Editor: Jason Madson
Like almost every year, the Big Ten is loaded with talent. Each team in the Legends division has NFL quality on their roster. This year, the talent is more widely spread out thru the positions, rather than the traditional Big 10 type players.
When trying to figure out who is overrated, a few things are taken into consideration: level of play, level of competition and where the majority of draftniks have them ranked. The Big 10 is different than the MAC in all these categories. With more game film available, it’s easier to make an opinion on each individual player.
Here are a few names that are considered overrated at this time:
James Ferentz – Ferentz has everything you could want in an interior line prospect. He is smart, a very good leader and his technique is sound. He understands the game better than most, being that he is a coach’s son. That would make him a great candidate for a mid-round pick.
But, he is smaller than most would prefer at the position. Being 6-2 and 285 lbs just isn’t big enough to hold up against some giants in the NFL. He could use some work on his strength as well. There is some chatter that he could make the move to guard in preseason camp. Ferentz should be drafted, but not as high as some think.
Craig Roh – Roh is a solid defender. He’s lined up at DE and OLB during his career. He projects, more than likely to the OLB position in the NFL. While his sack and TFL are low, he does hold up well at the LOS.
The reason Roh is on this list is because of the lack of production. He struggles to create a pass rush in most situations. Could use some help diversifying his pass rush repertoire. Roh, with improved technique could climb up my board, but as of now he’s a mid-round pick.
Michigan State Spartans
Denicos Allen* – Allen filled up the stat sheet for Sparty last year. He led the team with 11.5 sacks as a sophomore. He will continue to grow into a better football player, but he has some flaws.
While he did get to the QB quite a few times, he missed more than a few tackles. He has a talent for getting past his blocker, but then has a tendency to take a bad angle or overrun the play. His size is a concern as well. Being 5-11 and 230 lbs is tiny for a pass rushing OLB that is lacking other skills.
Allen is entering his junior season, so he has room to improve.
William Gholston was almost the pick here, based on family history. His cousin is Jets first round bust Vernon Gholston.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
MarQueis Gray – Gray is a freakish athlete. He has played WR and is now entering his second full year at QB. His skills project well to the NFL. Throws a tight ball, has solid awareness and can lead any team.
The issue with Gray is his development. He hasn’t had the proper seasoning to get the position down. His decision making isn’t the best and he chooses to run a little more than he should. This could be the offense he plays in, which could be another problem.
The thing working for Gray is the Cam Newton factor, which could cause a team to over draft him.
Rex Burkhead – Burkhead is an incredible college running back. He’s a perfect fit in the Nebraska run heavy system. He gives you power and speed when necessary. Rex can also be a threat as a receiver out of the backfield.
That being said, we all know about certain stereotypes. Burkhead fits one in particular. White running backs in the NFL are hard to come by. This is just a fact. Is he overrated because he’s white? No, but history certainly isn’t on his side.
With Burkhead, think of a more explosive Danny Woodhead. This should land him a spot in an NFL backfield, but he’ll be hard pressed to find a feature back role.
Kain Colter – Colter, like MarQueis Gray, is a great athlete. He can line up at QB, RB or WR and you wouldn’t know he was out of position. He has a knack for picking up yardage and getting the ball into the endzone. Kain is a fun player to watch.
Problem with Colter is his position. Where will he play? Lack of arm strength and accuracy says he can’t play QB. It’s doubtful that he is talented enough to play WR in the NFL. Maybe a role similar to Tebow would be a great spot for Kain.
That is not a position that should be drafted before the middle rounds. With talks of Kain splitting QB duties with another player, we could see him transform into a WR prospect sooner than expected.