The draft is just a week away, and I’ll post my Top 20 draft board, that if and when the Falcons pick, whomever ranks the highest on this board would be my pick.
1. Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
2. LaRon Landry, FS, LSU
3. Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
4. Joe Thomas, OT, Wisconsin
5. Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
6. Reggie Nelson, FS, Florida
7. Alan Branch, NT, Michigan
8. Patrick Willis, MLB, Ole Miss
9. Amobi Okoye, DT, Louisville
10. Marshawn Lynch, RB, California
11. Jamaal Anderson, DE, Arkansas
12. Leon Hall, CB, Michigan
13. Adam Carriker, DE/DT, Nebraska
14. Darrelle Revis, CB, Pittsburgh
15. Ben Grubbs, OG, Auburn
16. Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas
17. Justin Blalock, OG/OT, Texas
18. Dwayne Bowe, WR, LSU
19. Lawrence Timmons, OLB, Florida State
20. Joe Staley, OT, Central Michigan
Okay, I have Johnson No. 1, not because I think the Falcons should go up and get him, but frankly if he was available to pick, I don’t think I could justify passing on him. Landry is No. 2 because I have a completely heterosexual football crush on Brian Dawkins, in that I love the way he plays the game, and if Landry can be that player, I will love him too.
Peterson is No. 3, followed by Thomas, Adams, and Nelson. Branch is 7th despite the injury concerns because obviously I’m not a doctor and don’t have access to his medical records, so thus I have to judge it as if he is 100%. Followed by Willis. I think the Top 8 are my “can’t miss” prospects. I’m sure 1 or 2 won’t develop quite as well as hoped, but all IMO are so talented that they are more than worth the risk. Okoye, Lynch, Hall, Carriker, and Revis, there isn’t a lot of differentiation between them, but all I think can be studs. I’m sure 5 years from now, at least 1 will be a Pro Bowler considered at the top of his position, while the others will be quality NFL players. I’m just not sure each have the star potential that the Top 8 have. Any of those first 13, I wouldn’t have a problem taking in the Top 15. The rest of the group, I think if you want them, you trade down a bit more.
And you’ll notice no Levi Brown. That’s because I believe he’s perhaps the most overrated player in this draft. He’s not a Top 10 pick, he’s not a Top 20 pick. He’s a late first round OT at best that is benefitting from a relatively average class at that position. I see way too much Mike Williams in him to merit a high pick.
And of course, neither of the top 2 QBs appear on this list. 1) Because of Vick and 2) because neither impress me to a degree that I would spurn Vick for them, despite my conflicted and generally negative feelings on Vick.