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Thread: Gil Brandt: Eric Fisher, Ezekiel Ansah among 10 future Pro Bowlers in this year

  1. #1

    Gil Brandt: Eric Fisher, Ezekiel Ansah among 10 future Pro Bowlers in this year

    @nfl: Eric Fisher, Ezekiel Ansah among 10 future Pro Bowlers in this year's draft, per @Gil_Brandt: http://t.co/lS4oBaqDMR

    Eric Fisher, Ezekiel Ansah among draft's future Pro Bowl players

    As we get closer to the 2013 NFL Draft, we hear more and more about the supposedly lackluster crop of prospects teams have to pick from. You know the chorus: There's no clear-cut No. 1 pick; there aren't any instant superstars-in-waiting. While that's true, I think this class is underrated and actually much better than many people think.

    Every draft is different. People think having a lack of attention-grabbing names means it's a bad year to be drafting. No one in this class can match 2012 headliners Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III or 2011 standout Cam Newton -- in fact, last year's eighth overall pick, Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, would probably easily be the first player off the board this year. But several high-ceiling prospects will be entering the league in 2013. Moreover, the second-tier talent (player who will be picked from 11 to 50 or so) is better than the talent at that level in last year's draft. This is going to be a quality draft, despite what folks are saying.

    With that in mind, I've put together a list (arranged in alphabetical order) of prospects who project as top-notch future starters, guys who are going to make multiple Pro Bowls in the years to come. They don't have the highest profiles -- this class is heavy on standout offensive and defensive linemen -- but they do all have the size, speed, strength and football smarts to suggest they'll be studs in the long term, with a better than average chance of starting as rookies.

    You won't find any quarterbacks on this list (all come with too many question marks), and you won't find the kinds of prospects (like Tavon Austin) who flash plenty of potential but are far from sure things (Austin might very well thrive in the NFL, but his lack of size would make him the exception to the rule). This list (arranged according to alphabetical order) is made up of players who will stand out years from now as gems of this draft class.

    Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah, DE, BYU
    Ansah was part of a group of defensive ends picked out to practice linebacker techniques at the NFL Scouting Combine, and it was just unbelievable how well he mastered dropping into space and reacting to the ball. This versatility just boosts his long-term potential. He'll do equally well whether he's working as an outside linebacker for a 3-4 defense or as a defensive end in a 4-3. The Ghana native's story is already amazing, given how little football experience he has; multiple Pro Bowl appearances will simply make it more so.

    Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
    When I first started looking at Cooper, I didn't think he was quite as good as he is, but he's the kind of player who grows on you. He's got the kind of body build (6-foot-2 1/8, 311 pounds) that would easily allow him to get up to 330 pounds. Cooper has amazing foot quickness. He's strong enough to take people on, but he can also pull, and he's smart; he could probably be a very, very good center. He's an example of how an offensive lineman who stays in school for four years gets to learn so much more about being a football player than a guy who comes out early.

    Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
    This guy is something else. Some guys have heavy feet -- the ground pounders of the game -- but Fisher, who completed the short shuttle in 4.44 seconds at the combine, has really light, quick feet, probably the best feet of the offensive linemen in this class. Fisher is like a carbon copy of San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley, only a little bit taller (Fisher is 6-7 1/4; Staley is 6-5). He's got long (34.5-inch) arms, which made his ability to throw the bar up 27 times all the more impressive. Fisher has put his time in, and he's worked hard. The former high-school basketball player is an athlete.

    Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
    Of all the offensive tackles we have on this list, Joeckel is probably the most ready to compete at a high level. He's also probably the best technician -- with the best hand placement -- of the group. He'll be a lot like -- but not quite as good as -- Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas. He and Fisher are both strong (both recorded 27 reps on the bench press at the combine); the two of them are just about peas in a pod. Joeckel will be playing in this league for a long time.

    Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
    Jerry Schmidt, the weight coach at Oklahoma who does a great job developing players like Johnson, thinks this guy has as much potential as any Sooner lineman he's ever been around. Johnson played quarterback at Kilgore junior college and spent time at tight end and defensive end at Oklahoma before switching to the offensive line. He's big (6-6, 303 pounds) and fast (4.72-second 40-yard dash); once he gets some experience, I could see him becoming a perennial Pro Bowler for a number of years. When his team was getting walloped by Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, Johnson was the exception, doing a tremendous job of blocking Damontre Moore.

    Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
    Jordan's got real star potential. He could have used a torn labrum as an excuse for not working out at the combine, but he didn't; the only thing he didn't do was lift. I love the attitude of anyone who works out when they don't have to. I also love his length (6-6 1/4). Jordan is very fast, has long arms and good change of direction. Between his attitude, aggressiveness and athleticism, there's a good chance that whoever drafts him will have a star on their hands.

    Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
    No cornerback has ever been taken with the first overall draft pick. It's not likely to happen this year, either, but if the Kansas City Chiefs, who already took care of their needs at quarterback (by maneuvering for Alex Smith) and offensive line (by locking up Branden Albert) want to use this spot to boost their secondary, Milliner would be well worth a look. With his size and speed, he's the prototypical corner everyone's looking for, like a faster Darrelle Revis. Milliner makes plays; he's got really good ball-reaction skills. I think he's going to be very, very good and visit the Pro Bowl many times.

    Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
    Mingo's past productivity is not quite as good as you want it to be, but he's probably the best athlete of this group; he's like the small forward who out-hustles everyone on the basketball court. He's long, fast and can turn the corner; he's got the skills needed to play the position and can work with his hand on the ground or in space. He needs to play with better leverage and take on blockers more effectively, but he'll learn how to do that.

    Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
    Warmack is probably as dominant an offensive lineman as I've seen in college football recently. He's not that fast, but he's great at getting to the second tier; I think he's largely the reason that Alabama's running game was so good. He'll be a fantastic inside pass protector and should help immensely against the Haloti Ngatas and Henry Meltons of the world.

    Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
    Vaccaro is one of the most aggressive defensive backs to have been available in the draft in awhile, a tough guy who reminds me of Brian Dawkins. He looked great in drills, showing very good recognition skills; his ability to read the offense and make plays with his vision and expertise will overcome OK-but-not-great speed. If he can replicate what he did at the college level, he'll be an excellent pro player for a long time to come.

    GUYS WHO MISSED THE CUT

    Keenan Allen, WR, California
    Speed is very important at the receiver position. If Allen, who didn't work out at the combine, posts a sub-4.5 40 at his pro day, he'll probably be worth putting on this list.

    Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
    If he hadn't been sidelined at the combine by a heart condition, he'd definitely have been on this list. Lotulelei is a dominant inside defender. If you wanted to pay to see the ideal matchup between prospects -- the best against the best -- it would be Lotulelei vs. Warmack.

    Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
    I'm not convinced yet that Jones, who did not work out at the combine, will be as good as everyone else seems to think he'll be. I want to see him run and do athletic drills at Georgia's pro day first.

    Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
    Floyd has a lot of upside as a strong playmaker. I just wish he was a little taller. I think he's good, but I'm not sure he'll be exceptional.

  2. #2
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    Just more stupid, pointless speculation from a so called expert... almost every poster here could throw out stuff like that...

  3. #3
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    Lol here are 10 of this years top 20 prospects.

  4. #4
    Honestly, more and more I just want Warmack with #9.

    Get the sure thing and start of right.

    Then go from there.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flaming Mo View Post
    Just more stupid, pointless speculation from a so called expert... almost every poster here could throw out stuff like that...
    Nah, you're being silly. Gil Brandt is indeed an expert. 28 years as VP for player personnel for the Cowboys and a scout before that. What do you consider an expert?
    Last edited by long island leprechaun; 03-06-2013 at 05:40 PM.

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    i certainly appreciate gil supporting ansah and saying good things about jordan as well

    please let one of them be there at 9 and be the pick








    ljr

  7. #7
    Vince Young and Mike Vick have made pro bowls with below average #s. I don't put much stock in what is basically a popularity contest now. If a rook QB has over an 80 QBR he makes the pro bowl these days. OL isn't any better some struggling rookie OL get way hyped in their 1st year.

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    I would take Fisher over Joeckel.

    I would be happy with either Warmack or Cooper.

  9. #9
    Gil Brandt ‏@Gil_Brandt
    Cal's pro day is week from today, but WR Keenan Allen won't participate. Still recovering from knee injury. Will have ind. WO 4/9 at Cal.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Flaming Mo View Post
    Just more stupid, pointless speculation from a so called expert... almost every poster here could throw out stuff like that...
    Gil Brandt is very near the most expert at evaluating players. He could still be a top NFL GM, if he wasnt older than dirt. There is a reason the NFL uses him to select the players invited to NY for the draft.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by long island leprechaun View Post
    Nah, you're being silly. Gil Brandt is indeed an expert. 28 years as VP for player personnel for the Cowboys and a scout before that. What do you consider an expert?
    I certainly know who he is and I was propably a bit harsh with my post but hell, when it comes to the draft who is really an expert BEFORE?! You could propably find hundreds of prospects who these guys have been wrong on and in a big way. And when I read a story like that just throwing some high profile names out who MIGHT be good down the line it just makes me sick. Way too much speculation before the draft and in the end, everything else goes another way...

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    Quote Originally Posted by C Mart View Post
    Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
    I'm not convinced yet that Jones, who did not work out at the combine, will be as good as everyone else seems to think he'll be. I want to see him run and do athletic drills at Georgia's pro day first.

    So Gil...have you actually watched any game tape of Jones? If you did you would have seem him running (often) and performing athletic drills over, under and around some pretty good SEC competition, while putting up big numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flaming Mo View Post
    I certainly know who he is and I was propably a bit harsh with my post but hell, when it comes to the draft who is really an expert BEFORE?! You could propably find hundreds of prospects who these guys have been wrong on and in a big way. And when I read a story like that just throwing some high profile names out who MIGHT be good down the line it just makes me sick. Way too much speculation before the draft and in the end, everything else goes another way...
    I don't necessarily agree with Gil Brandt and I don't disagree with you overall point. When I've looked back a year or two after the draft, I've found that Mayock's top five by position list is usually pretty accurate. Not perfect, but pretty damn good. He's got a good eye for talent. It's all a crap shoot, of course, even for the most detailed professional analysts. But where does that leave us, who usually base out opinions on highlight reels...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by lamont_jordan_rules View Post
    i certainly appreciate gil supporting ansah and saying good things about jordan as well

    please let one of them be there at 9 and be the pick








    ljr
    Would sure look great in Green and White

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