Watch for the underclassmen in draft - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Watch for the underclassmen in draft

Posted: Updated:
NFL draft prospects Dee Milliner of Alabama, left, and Tavon Austin of West Virginia participate in a youth football clinic in New York, N.Y., Wednesday, April 24, 2013. (AP) NFL draft prospects Dee Milliner of Alabama, left, and Tavon Austin of West Virginia participate in a youth football clinic in New York, N.Y., Wednesday, April 24, 2013. (AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Of the record 73 underclassmen in this year's NFL draft, nearly two dozen have been projected by at least one analyst as having a chance to go in the first round.

Those players range from Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, who many predict will be the top overall choice by Kansas City on Thursday night, to his teammate, DE Damontre Moore.

Four LSU Tigers with eligibility remaining have been mentioned as possible first-rounders: defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery, linebacker Kevin Minter, and safety Eric Reid.

Another three Florida State Seminoles juniors could go in the top 32: DE Bjoern Werner, CB Xavier Rhodes and OT Menelik Watson.

Four members of two-time national champion Alabama, including underclassmen Dee Milliner, rated the top cornerback, and running back Eddie Lacy, have excellent shots at going in the first round. The other two, guard Chance Warmack and tackle D.J. Fluker, are seniors.

___

TOP GUYS: Three schools are tied for the most overall No. 1 picks in the NFL draft: Auburn, Notre Dame and Southern California. None of them figures to come close to the first spot this year, and all three conceivably could be shut out in the opening round.

Auburn's most recent player leading off the selections was QB Cam Newton by Carolina in 2011. Before Newton, it was LB Aundray Bruce by Atlanta (1988); RB Bo Jackson by Tampa Bay (1986); RB Tucker Frederickson by the New York Giants (1965); and guard Ken Rice by Buffalo in the AFL (1961).

For Notre Dame, it was QB Angelo Bertellis by the Boston Yanks in 1944; QB Frank Dancewicz by the same team two years later; end Leon Hart by Detroit (1950); RB-K Paul Hornung by Green Bay (1957); and DE Walt Patulski by Buffalo (1973).

Southern Cal's top overall picks began with OT Ron Yary in 1968 by Minnesota, followed by RB O.J. Simpson by Buffalo the next year; RB Ricky Bell by Tampa Bay (1977); WR Keyshawn Johnson by the New York Jets (1996); and QB Carson Palmer by Cincinnati (2003).

___

SECOND-ROUND VALUE: A study conducted by Worcester Polytechnic Institute says there's more value for second-round draft picks than first-rounders.

The analysis of the past 13 seasons shows that second-rounders provide 70 percent of the production of first-round picks but at just 40 percent of the salary.

"That's a significant value and it tells me that general managers should give more value to second- and third-round picks," said Craig Wills, the head of WPI's Department of Computer Science.

The study by WPI students Casey Barney, Anthony Caravella, Michael Cullen and Gary Jackson, also concluded that the Pittsburgh Steelers have been the most cost-effective team in the drafting since 2000. The Indianapolis Colts and Green Bay Packers are next, while the St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns ranked as least efficient.

As part of the study, WPI researchers developed a football metric called Appearance Score, a weighted combination of games played, games started and recognition as a top player. Highlighting the value of non-first-round picks, two of the top three players in Appearance Score last season were sixth-round draft picks in 2012: Washington running back Alfred Morris and Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh.

Third was Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, who went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.

In addition to team rankings, researchers focused on positions, and found that safeties provide the greatest value to teams.

___

CHARACTER ISSUES: Every general manager and personnel director in the NFL can't look solely at a player's on-field achievements. His performances away from the stadium are significant, particularly when there have been problems.

Several players in this draft have had such troubles, including Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree, LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and Tennessee Tech receiver Da'Rick Rogers.

"Well, I think they're 21, 22-year-old kids, so none of them are going to be perfect," Broncos boss John Elway said. "It comes down to what you feel like and what's the best package.

"My philosophy has always been as long as that core group in our locker room is strong enough, everyone else is going to have to fall in line. It's when you have a divided locker room that you have issues with different guys that may have maturity issues or that type of thing down the line. It's real important for us to have a real good core group of guys in that locker room, which is to say that we look at everybody and evaluate everybody as a player and also their personal character and see where they'd fit in."

Colts GM Ryan Grigson said his staff considers every possible draftee, then does a thorough evaluation that goes beyond the physical talents.

"We take into account if a guy has mental issues, mental concerns, if those are going to be concerns for us," Grigson said. "Can we get him the right help and support system that will get him to be where he can function on this team and be a good teammate and a player? So we take all those things into account."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

  • SportsMore>>

  • Burger King says sorry for Russian World Cup pregnancy ad

    Burger King says sorry for Russian World Cup pregnancy ad

    Thursday, June 21 2018 1:43 AM EDT2018-06-21 05:43:19 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File). FILE- This Feb. 1, 2018, file photo shows a Burger King Whopper meal combo at a restaurant in the United States. Burger King says it’s sorry for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women who get pregnant f...(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File). FILE- This Feb. 1, 2018, file photo shows a Burger King Whopper meal combo at a restaurant in the United States. Burger King says it’s sorry for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women who get pregnant f...
    Burger King says it's sorry for an ad in Russia offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to women who get pregnant from World Cup players. 
    Burger King says it's sorry for an ad in Russia offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to women who get pregnant from World Cup players. 
  • AP source: Hornets agree to trade Howard to Nets for Mozgov

    AP source: Hornets agree to trade Howard to Nets for Mozgov

    Thursday, June 21 2018 1:23 AM EDT2018-06-21 05:23:58 GMT
    Person familiar with situation says Charlotte Hornets agree to trade center Dwight Howard to Brooklyn Nets for center Timofey Mozgov, 2 future second-round draft picks. 
    Person familiar with situation says Charlotte Hornets agree to trade center Dwight Howard to Brooklyn Nets for center Timofey Mozgov, 2 future second-round draft picks. 
  • Mickelson apologizes 4 days after hitting moving ball

    Mickelson apologizes 4 days after hitting moving ball

    Thursday, June 21 2018 1:23 AM EDT2018-06-21 05:23:32 GMT
    (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II). Phil Mickelson reacts after sinking a putt on the 13th hole during the final round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II). Phil Mickelson reacts after sinking a putt on the 13th hole during the final round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y.
    Mickelson apologizes 4 days after intentionally violating golf rules at U.S. Open. 
    Mickelson apologizes 4 days after intentionally violating golf rules at U.S. Open. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.