Now that the 2011 NFL Draft has come to a close, I thought it would be fun to see who you think in this entire draft fell further than you expected. Obviously we only know so much and GMs and scouts have their own eye on things. We all had our personal "Big Boards" in our heads. Everybody had somebody (or many somebodies) who you think fell so much further than expected.
When we get into these later round guys we're often guessing as much as the next guy, but that doesn't mean we don't have hard and fast opinions. So I wanted to see generally speaking who you thought fell much further than you were expecting and could turn into a steal down the road. At the very least we can get this down cached online for us to look back on a year from now or five years from now.
I did a quick look over at ESPN.com where Scouts Inc lists the players in order of their pre-draft rating. This allows us to see who was drafted higher or lower than players rated around them. In taking a brief look through the Scouts Inc rankings, it's interesting to see how some of this guys did not go according to form. Some of that has to do with positions of need, but also some is just the scouts rating players differently than a single team. For example, Cameron Jordan was rated the ninth best player overall and he slipped to 24. Seems to me that maybe some of us were overrating him. I still think he's going to be a beast in the NFL, but it seems NFL GMs were not quite as convinced.
Now, obviously Scouts Inc is not the be-all, end-all of scouting services. Given that, do people want to go out on a limb and declare what players will find success in the coming years and we'll look back and wonder how they fell so far? I personally think Virgil Green could be one such guy. Also some of t I think a QB like Pat Devlin, who went undrafted could be another guy who will surprise some folks down the road.
I know some folks mentioned Greg McElroy as a a guy who could eventually unseat Mark Sanchez with the Jets. Obviously Ryan Mallett could be another guy who is viewed as a steal down the road. He's got the huge arm, but the character concerns hurt him. Now he's in New England where he'll sit behind Tom Brady for now. Maybe he develops, maybe he doesn't. He's a hard one to figure out.
So, time to step out on a limb and project the guys who will shock the world.