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2011 NFL Draft - Free Agent Talents

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 25, 2011


From the college football perspective, here's CFN's 2011 pre-draft ranking of the players with free agent talent.

2011 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Top Free Agent-Level Talents


By Pete Fiutak

2011 CFN Talent Rankings
- 1st Rounders
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders 
- Top Free Agent Talents 

2011 NFL Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
- QBs | RBs | FBs | WRs
- TEs | OTs | OGs | Cs 
- OLBs | ILBs | DTs | DEs
- CBs | Ss

- CFN 2010 NFL Draft Team Rankings

2011 NFL Draft Top Prospects
- Offensive | Defense 

2010 NFL Draft Analysis

1st Round (1-16)
1st Round (17-32)
2nd Round
3rd Round
4th Round
5th Round
6th Round
7th Round
Top Free Agents

2010 CFN Talent Rankings

- 1st Rounders
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders 
- Top Free Agent Talents 

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs 
1. FS Chris Conte, California 6-2, 197
Big and fast, he has the frame with a long, lean build that’s perfect for an NFL free safety. With decent straight-line speed and the ability to get to the ball in a hurry, he makes plenty of plays and is strong against the run. Always around the play, his effort and efficiency get the job done. He’s not the best of athletes and he doesn’t bring a lot of pop to his hits. Just okay in pass coverage, he doesn’t come up with the big plays needed, and he ended up working as a strong safety at the end of last year. He doesn’t have the NFL tools, but he should be solid in nickel and dime packages.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

2. TE Mike McNeill, Nebraska 6-4, 232
Not all that big and not all that fast, he’s a good football player and a talented receiver who runs terrific routes and makes up for his problems by doing most of the little things right and by not making mistakes. Along with not being a top-shelf athlete, he’s not all that strong for an NFL running game. He isn’t for everyone and he’s just an H-Back, mainly because he can’t push anyone around, but he could be a good third down target in the right system.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

3. TE Kyle Adams, Purdue 6-4, 250
A decent possession receiver with great hands, he catches everything thrown his way and he’ll fight for every pass and every block. Smart and tough, he doesn’t make mistakes and he’ll do the right thing whenever he gets a chance to make a play. However, he’s not fast and he’s not athletic. Merely a short-range receiver, he’ll never stretch a field and he won’t be a scorer with just one touchdown grab since 2007.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

4. OLB Brian Duncan, Texas Tech (DE) 6-0, 237
A pass rusher, he was a good, productive defensive star for the Red Raiders who worked mostly as a defensive end after starting out his career as a middle linebacker. He’s always going to bring the effort and he’s a good guy who you want to be a part of the defense, but he’s not a great athlete and he doesn’t have an NFL position. Way too small, forget about putting him on the end, but he’ll be a special teamer who can fill in at any linebacker spot as a key reserve.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

5. FS Eric Hagg, Nebraska 6-1, 209
Very big and athletic enough to be considered a decent prospect at any safety spot, he has the ability to push people around, and he has the speed to be decent in pass coverage. What he doesn’t do is play up to his size, and while he managed to make plenty of things happen with teams were staying away from Prince Amukamara, he was also the weak link at times. With great fire to be a player and good character, he’s the type of player coaches love to have. Now he has to find the right fit for a free safety who’s better as a finesse run stopper than a pass defender.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

6. OLB Winston Venable, Boise State 5-11, 218
Way too small and way too slow for his size, he looks like a safety but doesn’t run like one. However, he’s a huge, highlight-reel hitter who is never afraid to get physical and bust people in the mouth. He played much bigger than he looks, but that only works in the WAC. He’ll be a fun practice player who’ll get all over the field, and he could stick in the right system that needs a hybrid tweener for third downs, but doesn’t really have an NFL position.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

7. CB Devon Torrence, Ohio State 6-0, 199
He’s too slow. The 4.63 he came up with at the Combine was actually a plus for him, having been timed at times in the 4.7s. With good size and nice hitting skills, he’s a physical defender who plays faster than the stopwatch, but he’s not the most instinctive defender and is out of position way too much. Not smooth, he’ll have a tough time with the quicker receivers and doesn’t have the upside to think he can be much more than a decent backup. While he has decent skills, he needs too much work to put that much of a time and coaching investment.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

8. TE Andre Smith, Virginia Tech 6-5, 269
With excellent size, he’s a good blocker for the ground game, but he’s not a plodder. He moves well for his size with nice receiving skills making him a matchup problem, but he doesn’t use his size well enough and he doesn’t beat people up like he should. He’s not an NFL talent, but he has the frame and the body to get a chance.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

9. CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, Miami 6-1, 176
You can’t coach speed. He’s way undersized with a Snoop Dogg body that needs more bulk, but he clocked a 4.29 and plays just as fast and smooth on the field. He’s never going to tackle anyone and he’ll get shoved around by anyone who gets a hand on him, but the biggest problem is his playing ability. He couldn’t stay on the field in college, relegated to backup duty way too often, and he’s more of an athlete than a football player. But that speed … it might not make up for the five reps on the bench, and he’ll never be a regular starter, but coaches love players who can move at an elite level. Someone will find a spot for him.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

10. CB Chykie Brown, Texas 5-11, 190
Very quick and very smooth, he doesn’t look the part on film but is a terrific athlete with good size and upside. More of a workout warrior than a top-shelf football player, he’ll need time and coaching to harness his skills and talents. He didn’t do nearly enough on the field with little happening when the ball was in the air – he picked off just two passes in 47 career games – and providing little to no consistent help against the run. He’ll tackle, but he’s just not that great at it. Experienced, he has seen it all at a high Big 12 level, but he’s missing the pure football player streak that most top Texas defensive backs possess. Even so, with his tools the potential is there to be a far better pro than a collegian.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

11. DE Cheta Ozougwu, Rice (OLB) 6-2, 247
Way too small, he’s not going to do much against the run, and without the athleticism to be a top outside linebacker, it’ll be hard to find a place for him. However, he never, ever misses a tackle and is smart enough to always be in the right position. Good enough in off-season workouts to get on the radar, now he has to translate his good statistical college career into a role in some way. He’ll get erased by anyone who blocks him, and there’s nothing impressive about his game at an NFL level, but he’ll stick on quickness and hustle.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

12. DE Justin Trattou, Florida 6-4, 254
His college production wasn’t what it should’ve been, and he was never a top-shelf all-star, but he’s always working and he always beings the energy. With solid pass rushing skills, he could overcome a lack of size and he should be able to carve out a role in a rotation. Forget about him against the run and he’s missing the ability to cut easily when he gets into the backfield, but if he can go from Point A to Point B and can come up with stops, he’ll carve out a good career.
CFN Projection: Seventh Round

13. DE Lazarius Levingston, LSU 6-4, 292
Very big and very strong, “Pep” is a typical LSU defensive end who eats up the run and is built to sit in the 3-4. While he worked as a tackle later in his Tiger career, but he’s an end in the NFL and he has the potential to grow into a surprising starter. He’s not a pass rusher, though, and doesn’t have the athleticism to fly into the backfield on a regular basis, but he could work on first downs against power running teams. He’ll be a luxury for a rotation, but with his size and drive he’ll stick on a roster for a few years.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

14. OG Caleb Schlauderaff, Utah 6-4, 305
A good collegiate blocker who dominated at times, he’s not going to be able to overpower anyone at the next level. He doesn’t have the right size to be a bruising blocker, and he doesn’t have the foot quickness to do much on the move. He’s a more talented football player than he is an NFL prospect, but he’ll have to show he can be physical against the big boys right away.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

15. DE D’Aundre Reed, Arizona 6-4, 261
Extremely strong for an end, he came up with a good Combine and has been good enough in workouts to get a long, long look. It took a little while to get the chance, and then he took the opportunity and was solid. Unfortunately, he was a part of a rotation and didn’t stand out enough to earn a full-time gig; the stats weren’t there. He needs plenty of work on his technique and he’s not going to be ready to go out of the box, and if he’s not a great pass rusher in camp he’ll be a quick cut.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

16. QB Adam Weber, Minnesota 6-1, 211
After starting out his career as a runner and a baller, he was turned into a passer and was great when WR Eric Decker was healthy. He didn’t have anyone else to throw to and had to work behind an inconsistent line. He’s not tall and he doesn’t have a big arm, but he’s an experienced, smart veteran who might be just good enough to be a long-time practice squad option.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

17. OT Rich Lapham, Boston College 6-8, 315
With tremendous size and lone arms. He’s tough to get around and he’s tough and angry as a run blocker. He puts defenders into the ground when he gets his chance and he’s always going full tilt. The problem is his lack of athleticism that’ll keep him from being anything more than a right tackle at best, backup at worst. He’ll be a tough cut, but he could work as a swingman for either tackle spot.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

18. OG Ricky Henry, Nebraska 6-3, 308
It’s all about the running game. He’s a typical Nebraska mauler who’s tough, strong, and likes to get physical. He can’t move, doesn’t have a lick of NFL athleticism, and he’s not nearly big enough to be a regular starter on a run blocking team, but he’s worth a look in a camp to see if he can stick around on sheer want-to. Aggressiveness isn’t going to be a problem.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

19. OT. Mike Person, Montana State 6-5, 299
While he’s not all that big and lacks the raw bulk, he moves well and he has left tackle potential in the right offense. With good functional strength and great character, he’ll be a tough cut and he’ll work his tail off to do whatever is needed. However, he doesn’t have high level NFL skills in any one area,
CFN Projection: Free Agent

20. OG Bradley Thorson, Kansas (OT) 6-4, 309
Hitting the books isn’t going to be a problem. He whipped through school at Wisconsin, where he started out, and has his Master’s degree, but his focus on life probably isn’t going to be on being an NFL star. Without NFL athleticism and lacking the raw bulk to be a starter, he’ll be nothing more than a possible backup. The pro tools just aren’t there, but he’ll work for it and he’ll be ready to go from Day One in practices.
CFN Projection: Free Agent