2011 NFL Draft - 20 Best Players Available
North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant
North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant
Posted Apr 30, 2011

After the three rounds, who are the best players still on the board going into Day Three? Who will be the key value picks in the fourth round? After some major reaches on Day Two (thank you Philly and Oakland), there are several good, sound prospects and great college players available. When will North Carolina's Quan Sturdivant go?

2011 NFL Draft 

Best Players Available

2011 NFL Draft Analysis
1st Round (1-5) | 1st Round (6-10) | 1st Round (11-15) | 1st Round (16-20)
1st Round (21-25) | 1st Round (26-32) | 2nd Round | 3rd Round
4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round | Top Free Agents

2011 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2011 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay

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

- Top Storylines And What We Learned From The 1st Round

COMING NEXT WEEK: Post-Spring Top 25, 2011 Draft First Look, and the start of Preview 2011

Follow me ... Follow me to freedom! ... http://twitter.com/ColFootballNews

OLB Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina 6-1, 241 (OLB)
CFN Overall Ranking: 41
CFN Analysis: A short, squatty hitter who doesn't necessarily have the right body or the right look, but he has great instincts, is smart, tough, and is always around the ball. Not quite ideal to be used as a playmaker in the backfield from the outside, he's not going to be a pass rusher, but he knows what he's doing and always finds ways to get around the ball. He's not going to be the best linebacker in a corps, but he could be the leader everyone works around. No, he wasn't part of the Tar Heels who got in trouble with the NCAA, but he did miss the opener against LSU before getting cleared to get back on the field,
CFN Projection: Third Round

SS DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson (SS) 6-0, 217
CFN Overall Ranking: 51
CFN Analysis: Big and strong, he's an intimidating force who looks the part and knows how to use his lumber to beat up receivers. He's like another linebacker on the field, but he moves better with good cutting ability and all-around athleticism. He's the type of run stopper who can hold up in a brawl, and he'll also make plays in the open field. However, he missed on a few too many easy plays and bounces off ball-carriers a bit too often. For his size and toughness he gets buried way too easily and he'll have to learn how to fight through the trash. There are concerns from a past assault and battery charge, but that was a few years ago.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

OG Marcus Cannon, TCU (OT) 6-5, 358
CFN Overall Ranking: 55

CFN Analysis: Extremely productive at a high level for a long time, Cannon was a terrific all-star at tackle and was the key part of some offensive machines. He might be 358 pounds, but he moves like a much smaller player and he carries the weight shockingly well. While he might not be for everyone body-wise, and he doesn't use his girth to bury defenders on a regular basis, but his shocking combination of talents is enough to expect a long, solid career.
CFN Projection: Second Round

OLB Greg Jones, Michigan State 6-0, 242
CFN Overall Ranking: 58
CFN Analysis:
Phenomenally productive, Jones was a four-year star for the Spartans making 465 tackles as the peerless leader of the defense. While he was a slight disappointment last year considering all the high expectations, he was the best linebacker in college football in 2009 doing a little bit of everything as a pass rusher and a run stopper. He's not all that tall, but he's a compact rock who comes up with every tackle he gets to. With the makeup and the smarts, he has the ability to sit in the middle of someone's linebacking corps, but he's quick enough to work on the weakside on in a 3-4 inside spot if needed. He's not going to blow anyone up and he could stand to add another ten pounds of good weight, but he can't really add it without losing something. He's a better football player than his tools.
CFN Projection: Third Round

OG Clint Boling, Georgia
(OT) 6-5, 308
CFN Overall Ranking: 59
CFN Analysis: While he's not a massive blocker and he's not going to get much bigger, he's a nice, tough run blocker who always works and has the skills to work inside or out. He moves well, can get on the move and make things happen down the field, and he's functional enough to battle in a phone booth against the weaker defensive tackles. He's not going to beat anyone up and he's not going to handle NFL speed rushers if he moves to tackle, but he's a good, sound player who'll have added value because of his versatility.
CFN Projection: Second Round

OLB Casey Matthews, Oregon
6-1, 231
CFN Overall Ranking: 65
CFN Analysis: While he's not his brother, Clay, talent-wise, he's a typical Matthews with a good motor and tremendous instincts. Always around the ball and always making plays, he makes up for his lack of raw athleticism by being in the right position at the right time. A good football player without the tools, the family name will buy him several draft slots, but he has to work to get bigger and stronger to hold down a steady job on the inside. He'll be a starter who'll make plenty of plays, but there's a hard ceiling on what he can end up doing. No one's going to worry about his hitting skills and he's not going to get into the backfield, but his stats will look good.
CFN Projection: Third Round

SS Robert Sands, West Virginia
6-4, 217 (Jr.)
CFN Overall Ranking: 66
CFN Analysis: One of the most interesting prospects in the draft, he's huge, long, and very cut. There's almost no fat on him and he's able to use his frame and look as an intimidating force. A major-league hitter, arguably the best among the 2011 defensive backs, he blows up anyone with the ball, but that's not always a plus. He tries for the highlight reel hit way too often and has the attitude that makes him want to be showy when making the routine play would do. Not strong enough, he has to hit the weight room hard to hold up better against the run. Still raw, he needs time and coaching, but the upside it limitless.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

DE Pernell McPhee, Mississippi State
6-3, 274
CFN Overall Ranking: 67
CFN Analysis: Huge, he fits into just about any system and can hold up as well against the run as any end in the draft. He's a high-character leader who wants to be the main man for the line, he's always working and he's great at leading by example. Strong, he doesn't get pushed around and he'll fight through the lazier linemen. However, he's not a top pass rusher and he can be stopped by a good, sound blocker. More of an NFL plugger than a star, he'll be the type of starter who's on a line for a decade, but generally goes unnoticed … but not always in a bad way.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

CB Brandon Burton, Utah 6-0, 190 (Jr.)
CFN Overall Ranking: 70
CFN Analysis: With enough size and enough toughness to hang with the stronger receivers, and just enough speed to get by against the faster ones, he's a good all-around prospect. Not great, but good. The 4.51 40 at the Combine was a problem, and for some, the 8 ½" hands are considered a major negative, but he has the right attitude, is quick, and seems to play faster than he times. Not quite a good enough hitter to move to safety, he could be locked into being a No. 3 corner with his less than ideal athleticism. Even so, he's a good football player who can be a nice part of a secondary that's already full of good playmakers.
CFN Projection: Third Round

DE Sam Acho, Texas
6-2, 262
CFN Overall Ranking: 71
CFN Analysis: One of the highest-character players in the draft, he'll win the NFL Man of the Year before his career is out. On the field, he's a supreme athlete who leads by example and will always bring the A effort to every practice and ever play. It would be nice if he was a little bigger and wasn't so short and squatty, and he didn't produce as well as a player with his talent should, getting erased by too many good blockers. He was always a good prospect and then he upped his stock in a big way at the Combine and at the Senior Bowl. He'll be the type of player every team wants to have, and he'll be great in the locker room.
CFN Projection: Third Round

RB Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State 5-7, 199
CFN Overall Ranking: 73

CFN Analysis: He's very fast, very tough, and he has no problems fighting for yards, but he's way too small to be an every down back. He's not afraid to work between the tackles and he has the wheels to fly around on the outside, but he's going to get beaten up. While he tried to get on the field in2009, he was banged up and couldn't get over an ankle problem. He'll try to block and he'll try to be physical, but he doesn't have the bulk. There's no questioning his desire or his toughness, and he'll have a few games here and there where he looks like an All-Pro. He's just not going to do it for a full season.
CFN Projection: Third Round

WR Dwayne Harris, East Carolina
5-10, 200
CFN Overall Ranking: 74  
CFN Analysis: An excellent route runner who runs well and tries to beat people up as a blocker, Harris has the fight and the toughness to be a coach's dream. With huge hands, he snatches everything that comes his way, and he isn't afraid to take a big shot or try to come up with the big catch. He doesn't have special skills and he isn't as weight room strong as he needs to be to play the type of game he likes, but he should be a great No. 2 receiver who'll be used in a variety of ways. Durability is a question, but he should carve out a long, productive career.
CFN Projection:
Third Round

OLB Colin McCarthy, Miami
6-3, 238 (OLB)
CFN Overall Ranking: 75
CFN Analysis: It's a shame he doesn't have better tools. He has everything you'd want in a linebacker makeup-wise, with a willingness to do anything, including play on special teams, and he'll work inside, outside, or wherever he's needed. A pure football play who's very smart, very active, and always plays like his hair is on fire, he'll be tough to keep off the field. The problem is his lack of size, and while he's not built for the inside he'll battle hard to try to hold up against the bigger blockers. He'll always be banged up with the way he'll play and he missed a full season with a shoulder injury; he'll never shy away from contact. Coaches will love him, but they're always going to have to assume he'll miss at least a few games a year hurt.
CFN Projection: Third Round

DE Cliff Matthews, South Carolina
6-4, 257
CFN Overall Ranking: 76

CFN Analysis: It should all be there with a great frame, a chiseled physique, and good quickness, but he's not as fluid as he needs to be for an outside linebacker, and he's not quite there bulk-wise to be a regular, consistent end. Tough, he's willing to work and willing to do whatever is needed to try to produce and make a play. Consistent, he doesn't make a slew of mistakes. The tweener issue will limit what he can do, and he's not a creative pass rusher, but he should be a nice starter and a great part of a rotation as long as the rest of the line has talent.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

OT James Brewer, Indiana
6-6, 323
CFN Overall Ranking: 77
The size is there and the frame is ideal, but can he stay healthy? Can he push anyone around in the running game? He's missing the ability to destroy his man and he's not going to be a killer for a tough ground game, and he's not consistent enough as a pass protector. He's quick for his size, but he needs work to harness all his tools to become an NFL left tackle. There's huge upside considering his size.
CFN Projection: Third Round

RB Jordan Todman, Connecticut
5-9, 203 (Jr.)
CFN Overall Ranking: 78

CFN Analysis: Tough as nails, the guy took a huge beating over the course of his career as the lone offensive weapon and a one-track UConn attack. While he ran with great power and isn't afraid to get his nose dirty, he opened eyes with his terrific timed speed in workouts, hovering around the 4.4 mark. He's not going to be able to shove anyone around in the NFL like he did in the Big East, and he's not all that big, but he cuts well, won't back down from an assignment, and is a high-character player who'll be easily coachable.
CFN Projection: Third Round

DT Christian Ballard, Iowa (DE) 6-4, 283
CFN Overall Ranking: 79

CFN Analysis: Quick and athletic enough to work as an end, and with the toughness to work inside, he works in any scheme. He's a fast playmaker who can get to the ball and into the backfield in a hurry, and he's slippery enough to avoid staying blocked for too long, and he upped his stock in a big way proving to be even better than expected during offseason workouts. He doesn't have the raw bulk and the mass to be a run-stuffing brick wall, and he has to show he wants to destroy blockers and kill the ball-carrier, but he's so athletic and so quick that he could be one of the steals of the draft with the right coaching.
CFN Projection: Second Round

RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State
5-6, 196
CFN Overall Ranking: 81
CFN Analysis: The knock will always be his size, but raw speed is now a question, too. Everyone knew he was small, and then he checked in at under 5-6 and there was even more of a red mark next to his name. Making matters worse was his horrendous 40 time running just a 4.64. Ultra durable, he's one big muscle and he has to be dragged off the field. Very quick, very tough, and very productive, he has the résumé and the talent, but there's not much tread on the tires after taking a beating for the last three years and, of course, there's the size. He'll likely be a very good role player who comes up with a big game here and there.
CFN Projection: Third Round

QB Ricky Stanzi, Iowa 6-4, 223

CFN Overall Ranking:
CFN Analysis: Opinions have always varied for the Iowa star. While he has the NFL height and a good look with excellent mechanics and an Elway-like knack for coming through in the clutch – at least as a junior – but there are too many missing parts. The arm is mediocre and he doesn't throw well in the face of a top pass rush (if you listen quietly, Arizona just came up with another fourth quarter hurry). With the right tutor, and if he can suppress his goofy streak, he could be a sleeper starter, but the upside is limited. He'll be overdrafted.
CFN Projection: Third Round

FS Deunta Williams, North Carolina
6-2, 205
CFN Overall Ranking: 84
CFN Analysis: With good size and excellent speed, Williams is built to be an NFL free safety. He runs a 4.55 and has a long frame that's great for hanging around with the taller receivers. A battler, he's a very coachable, very good worker who likes to fight to make things happen. However, he's not going to deliver the big hit and he doesn't have the functional speed to match his straight line wheels. He has a lot of the tools, but he was mostly helped by being surrounded by a ton of talented players to help hide his mistakes. He might not be a special starter, but he'll be functional in someone's secondary for a long time if he can come back 100% healthy after suffering a broken leg in the Music City Bowl. If he was healthy, he'd be a sure-thing top 100 pick. He'll heal.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round