Pete Prisco

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For nearly a decade, I’ve put out an inventory of NFL draft-eligible gamers I favored higher than the scouts, which I name my Better-Than group.

This 12 months, as I prepped for that group, an NFL personnel man requested me why I did not put collectively an inventory of gamers I do not like as a lot because the scouts.

“You scared to do it?” he requested.

“You know higher than that,” I stated.

With that, an concept was born, the primary Worse-Than group, made up of gamers I do not like practically as a lot because the scouts.

The captain this 12 months is USC quarterback Sam Darnold. The co-captain is Penn State working again Saquon Barkley.

Let’s begin with the again. I like Barkley’s recreation. But you’d assume he was a mix of Barry Sanders and Walter Payton, a can’t-miss participant. There is not any such factor.

They as soon as thought the identical factor about former Penn State working again Ki-Jana Carter and he flopped because the top-overall choose of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1995.

Barkley will not flop, however I simply do not see the worth within the place and I do not assume there’s as a lot separation between him and another backs on this draft.

That’s why he is on the listing.

As for Darnold, he simply appears to have probably the most potential to bust of the top-four quarterbacks on this draft. Others will say that ought to be Wyoming’s Josh Allen, however I like Allen extra.

Darnold has an odd movement, has little fingers and he turned the ball over a bunch final 12 months for the Trojans.

The chances are two of the 4 prime quarterbacks on this draft will flame out. I do not know if Darnold can have a Jake Locker flameout, however I do consider he won’t ever come near being the quarterback many count on him to turn into, which is the highest one on this class.

I like him. I do not love him.

I like Barkley. I do not love him.

That’s why they’re on this Worse-Than group.

Sam Darnold, QB, USC

In speaking with a number of personnel males and scouts the previous few weeks, they agreed with me that Darnold might have some bust potential. I’m not saying he’ll – and I like his recreation – however there are issues. It seems like he might go first general to the Browns, however that is dangerous in my thoughts. I would not take him with the primary general choose. That’s for certain.

Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Ridley is ranked as the highest receiver within the class by most draft analysts, however scouts have issues. Is he sufficiently big? Is he robust sufficient? He is an efficient, strong participant however in a nasty draft for receivers he’ll get over-drafted. The previous few drafts have seen some first-round receivers battle early on. I believe he’ll as properly.

Connor Williams, T, Texas

His 2017 tape, when he had some damage points, wasn’t good. Plus, I do not assume he is practically nearly as good as his popularity. Scouts I’ve talked to marvel if he is likely to be a participant who could be a first rate starter and nothing extra. That’s not first-round worth, which is the place many have him pegged to go.

Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

To me, he’s a field security and the worth of that place, particularly with the best way the sport is performed, has declined. I do not assume he performs properly sufficient in house to should be a excessive draft choose. Third spherical could be the place I’d take Harrison. Some have in contrast him to former Tide security Landon Collins, however I do not assume he is in that class.

James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

He wasn’t requested to run lots of routes at Oklahoma State, however he did present some vertical means. In truth, he is good on the deep balls. He simply does not run in addition to some scouts anticipated. I simply do not see him as a top-five receiver prospect, which is the place many have him ranked.

Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

He was a big-time recruit to Texas, however his manufacturing by no means appeared to return from all his supposed expertise. He can run and chase, however he tends to get blocked an excessive amount of and never shed the blocker. That’s an issue on the following degree, the place the linemen are even higher. He certain seems the half. At naked minimal, he is likely to be a extremely good special-teams participant and a strong starter. But can he be way more?

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

I like his recreation, however primarily based on the pre-draft evaluations you’d assume he was going to run for 1,800 yards and catch 70 passes each season. That’s not taking place. There are additionally lots of good runners on this draft class who I believe can have comparable careers. The worth of the place itself says Barkley will get over-drafted in my guide. He’s rattling good, however he is not what the draft cult would lead you to consider.

Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma

There was some speak of him being a first-round choose at some factors within the course of, however that will not occur now. He’s a former receiver who performs prefer it. He is not in-line blocker in any respect, and he is simply OK on the subject of the bodily a part of the sport. But there’s a place for pass-catching tight ends, even when he is removed from being a top-three tight finish on this class for me.

Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State

When you placed on his tape, you see a participant who fights on each snap. But he’s restricted some when it comes to athletic means. He ought to be a pleasant rotation participant on the following degree, however I do not see him turning into a dominant edge rusher. There has been some first-round speak for Hubbard, however he has the look of a third-round choose to me. I like him, simply not like others do.

D.J. Chark, WR, LSU

He has all of the instruments, however there wasn’t lots of manufacturing. I do know his quarterbacks weren’t good, however I anticipated to see extra from him. He will get over-drafted due to his pace. That is all the time attractive, which I perceive. But I simply assume he’ll go larger than he ought to. 

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