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Tag:Rang
Posted on: April 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2009 12:33 pm
 

Rob Rang: Playing it safe

Looking for safe draft picks? Check out these future stars

NFLdraftsite.com

While the on-field activity between the pro day season and the NFL Draft crawls to a near standstill, the media and public interest in the prospects only intensifies.

With little workout news to report, rampant speculation regarding failed drug tests, poor practice habits and the inability to play different positions (or in different schemes) occupies too many headlines. It's enough to leave one with the impression that next week's draft lacks any talented, hard-working prospects at all.

Call me a hopeless optimist, but I believe the reality to be considerably less gloomy than some of my peers. Some of the boom-or-bust prospects in this draft will be, after all, booms.

There are no "sure things" in the inexact science of the NFL Draft. But those less willing to gamble on draft day will keep a close eye on the following eight players who were characterized to me as the "safest" by a menagerie of scouts and front office personnel.

Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest: Though I've listed the safest players alphabetically, it is fitting that Curry tops the list. The Butkus Award winner is characterized by many, including NFLDraftScout.com, as this year's safest pick and the top-rated player overall. His statistics (332 tackles, 45.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions returned for scores) are eye-popping, and his performance at the combine, where he led all linebackers in four of the six categories he tested in, is a testament to his athleticism. In the words of one NFL general manager, Curry is also "off the charts" in terms of his intangibles. A team captain and four-year starter who signed with Wake Forest as a relatively unheralded prep talent, Curry has the work ethic and desire to be great.

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(Rob Rang is a senior analyst at NFLDraftScout.com.)

 

 

Posted on: April 15, 2009 5:53 pm
 

Rob Rang: Stock watch

Safest prospect Curry could fall on Draft Day

(NFLDraftScout.com is following Aaron Curry's road to the NFL from the combine to his pro day workout to the draft April 25-26. This is the third in a four-part series.)

Part 1: Afterthought | Part 2: Opportunity

Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry has already held private workouts on campus for the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns, owners of the third, fourth and fifth overall picks, respectively. He has also traveled to Detroit and Cincinnati for visits and is flying from Cleveland to St. Louis to Kansas City this week.

Private workouts, Curry explained, are similar to the workouts he has done at the combine or at his pro day.

"Except teams will ask you to do things in different order or change the focus. Some teams want to see you drop back more often. Others more with the bags."

Similarly, the private visits have a tendency to run together.

"What has happened so far [on trips to Detroit and Cincinnati] is that you fly in to the city one evening and are picked up by the team at the airport and go to dinner with some of the front office people and coaches, including the position coach," Curry said.

"The next morning they take you to the team facility, where they give you a tour and introduce you to all of the coaches, the GM, the team owner, the public relations people. Then it is mainly spending time in the film room where the coaches watch film of your play throughout your career. The coaches give comments on your play -- both positive and negative. Next, they put on the film from their own season and after watching it for awhile together, they'll ask you questions about their defense. They expect that you'll be able to pick up on the system pretty quickly."

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Rob Rang is a senior analyst for NFLDraftScout.com.

Posted on: April 10, 2009 12:13 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2009 12:19 pm
 

Rob Rang Community Chat

On Thursday, April 9, NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang stopped by the Writer's Group to chat with the Community. The chat lasted approximately 90 minutes, with Rob answering a variety of outstanding draft-related questions. Check out the full transcript below.

 

Mr. Jacobs - Rob, what are you hearing about Jerry Reese and Giants' plans for WR. Do you think with all their 11 draft picks they'll make something happen with Braylon Edwards or Chad Johnson? Or do you think maybe they'll trade up and go for a Crabtree or Maclin?

Rob Rang - I'm hearing that there is significant interest on both sides between the Cleveland Browns and Giants regarding Braylon Edwards. The Cardinals seem a distant second option at this point, because Arizona feels they might be able to get something down with Boldin and are obviously Super Bowl contenders right now. The Giants are thought to be high on speedier receivers like Percy Harvin and have the ammunition for a trade up for Maclin or Heyward-Bey. Otherwise, Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Britt or Brian Robiskie are all possibilities


Scyte&Hammer - Do you see Kenny Britt and Hakeem Nicks more of a 2nd round or late 1st round prospects and what are the chances that one of them falls down to Bears at #49?

Are Browns/ Bengals desperate enough to trade their star WRs Braylon Edwards and Ocho Cinco for 2nd round pick? That probably depends if any of them takes Crabtree in 1st round, right?

Rob Rang - I believe Nicks has a better shot of making the first round than Britt, at this point, though Britt is actually the better all-around athlete.Britt's inconsistency and rumors of a prima donna attitude are hurting him a little bit.

Nicks' lack of elite speed and the surprising weight-gain he had after the Combine is a concern, but he is among the more physical, NFL-ready receiver of the class. I hear the Dolphins are quite high on him and could take him at #25.

Both probably should be taken in the early 2nd round, but a run on the position early could force teams to jump on them in the late 1st. I'd be surprised if either was available to the Bears at #49. 


draftnik42 - Would you take a chance on an ultra-athletic guy like Michael Johnson at the end of the first round?

Rob Rang - Personally, I would not. Johnson is ultra-athletic, as you mention, but he's too inconsistent for most and I, personally, question his instincts. In a rough version of the immortal words of Dennis Green, "He is what I thought he was" when I reviewed him in September for Draft Slant, NFLDraftScout.com's PDF. Rare tools, but only a marginal football player.

I think he slips to the second.


theheadswin - Hi Rob,

In your opinion, what is the most likely scenario regarding the first round of the Eagle's draft?

1. Trade up to obtain one of the top OTs
2. Look to obtain a top-flight WR with one of their 1st-rounders
3. or will they stay put and utilize both of thir first round picks?

Thanks!

Rob Rang - 1. Trading up is a significant possibility... Somehow I get the feeling that ultimately Michael Oher is going to end up an Eagle... He might slip to them, but I doubt it. He's a legit left tackle, as is William Beatty, but is so much more NFL-ready, he's worth moving up to get him.

2. Trading back is always a possibility with the Eagles, though you didn't mention this -- as is taking a running back with one of their 1st round picks. They are thought to be high on Moreno, who, if he slips to them at #21, will be a spectacular value. Donald Brown at #28 might be a bit of a reach, but fills a need.


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Posted on: April 7, 2009 3:18 pm
 

Rob Rang's Pro Days wrap

Who helped their stock? Hurt it? Still has questions?

Southern Cal's Pro Day on Wednesday essentially signaled the end to a whirlwind of nearly 200 workouts across the country since the NFL Scouting Combine in February. For some, pro days are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to impress NFL scouts, for others it is a chance to answer questions that were raised in Indianapolis. Below is a list of players who have helped and hurt themselves the most since the combine -- and players who still have some work to do before the draft April 25-26.

Who helped their stock

• Robert Ayers, DE/OLB, Tennessee: Ayers continued his ascension up draft boards with an impressive performance at the Tennessee Pro Day, working out as a defensive end and linebacker. His 7.07 time in the 3-cone drill -- designed to show agility and quickness -- was a huge improvement over the 7.56 time he ran in the same drill at the combine.

• Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa: The 5-feet-10, 227-pound Green will never be confused with a speed back, but he improved upon his combine times in the 40-yard dash (4.65) at his pro day, running in the mid 4.5s and showed his explosiveness with a 39-inch vertical and 10 feet, 6 inches broad jump. Some teams view Green as a solid second-round prospect.

• Michael Johnson, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech:
Johnson was expected to work out well at the combine and did so, but was even better at his Pro Day. Measuring in at 6-7, 266 pounds, he was clocked in the low 4.6s, did 23 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press and looked very good in defensive line and linebacker drills, prompting talk that he could sneak into the first round. http://images.cbssports.com/u/photo
s/baseball/mlb/img11603965.jpg

• Aaron Maybin, DE/OLB, Penn State: Maybin raised some eyebrows in gaining 25 pounds between the end of the season and the combine and was particularly impressive in many of the drills there. At the same weight at his pro day, however, Maybin's explosiveness was back. He was timed as fast as 4.64 seconds in the 40-yard dash and showed off his rare explosiveness with a 40-inch vertical and 10-10 broad jump.

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Rob Rang is a Senior Analyst with NFLDraftScout.com.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com