This is the first NFL draft class in a long while where the expert rankings fluctuate so dramatically from one publication to the next, and the general notion floating around league circles is the only certainty at the top of the draft is it's uncertainty. So little separations exists, they say, between the 10th rated prospect and the 50th rated prospect. In an attempt to gain greater clarity of where certain prospects may fall during the draft, I thought it might be fun and informational to put together some semblance of an overall "big board", if you will.
To that extent, I have compiled a consensus rating of the draft's top prospects by referencing the most respected publications from around the industry. Ten different sources were used, and the top-50 rated prospects recorded for each. For those prospects not rated in the top-50 of any one publication, they were assigned a ranking of "51" (this is because not all lists went beyond the top-50, and so it would be impossible to separate prospects outside of the top-50). Overall, this provides a nice average rating for each prospect, and players can then be truly ranked on this consensus average. This might be fun to keep handy on draft day as well to glean some idea of which teams "reach" or find "value" in their respective picks. Overall, 85 players were ranked in at least one top-50 list.
*Note "Hyb" indicates hybrid pass rusher, i.e., 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB.
Some Interesting Notes:
- Future-Chief (presumedly) Luke Joeckel checks it at the #1 overall prospect, taking home the #1 spot on 7 of the 10 publications.
- There is a virtual tie for spots 3-5, as Dee Milliner, Dion Jordan, and Chance Warmack are separated by only a tenth of a point average.
- Overall, 4 different prospects were given the #1 rating: Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Chance Warmack, and *cough* Ryan Nassib(!).
- While Ryan Nassib is the NUMBER 1 OVERALL PLAYER(!) according to National Football Post, he only rated in the top-50 in 2 other lists and did not crack the top-47 again (#50 according to Gil Brandt, and #48 on CBSsports.com).
- Geno Smith is the #1 consensus QB at #17 overall. Matt Barkley, perhaps surprisingly, is the #2 QB at # 29 overall. We'll see if this holds true and these are the only 2 first-round QBs on draft day.
- Overall, 7 QBs garnered at least 1 top-50 vote (Smith, Barkley, E.J. Manuel, Ryan Nassib, Mike Glennon, Nassib, Tyler Wilson, and Zac Dysert).
- Rankings for Jarvis Jones are all over the place, as high as #2 (Draft Countdown) to unranked (NFP--they truly have some odd ratings, perhaps for publicity reasons). Jones, #14 overall, has the highest rate-variance among all prospects. I happen to love him as a player.
- The highest-rated players of relevance to Kansas City college fans are Sheldon Richardson (#10) and Arthur Brown (#35).
- No RB cracked the top-32 first-round equivalency, as Eddie Lacy from Bama checks in the highest regarded at #39.
- The highest represented schools are Alabama and Florida State, both with 6 players each. Alabama has 2 of the top-5 overall players (Milliner and Warmack).
Since 85 players are listed, this would take us through the Chiefs' first 3 picks (assuming we get a 2nd round pick from Miami in a trade for Albert), cutting off just before KC's third-round compensatory pick at #96. If, for the sake of argument, we assume these rankings are gospel and players are selected exactly according to the list (i.e., only available if overall # is below the Chiefs draft slot), who would you like to see the Chiefs select with their first 3 picks? My selections would be:
1st Round, #1: Luke Joeckel - OT - Texas A&M
- The presumed pick and overall best player of the draft. Allows us to trade Albert and pick up another hopeful starter in the 2nd. I don't love him on tape, but hopefully we can trust the experts and pencil him in for a few Pro Bowls.
- Touch pick here. I really wanted Kevin Minters for that starting ILB spot next to DJ, but he goes off the board literally right before our pick. Maybe if he's around in the late 30's, we can package a 5th and move up to grab him. Otherwise, I'd go with Eric Reid. He's a big safety (6'1'', 215) and could challenge for the starting spot opposite Eric Berry. Safety is one spot where this team is thin, and Kendrick Lewis just can't be trusted to stay healthy or play at a consistently-high level.
- I would love this pick. We don't have much behind Bowe, and even if Baldwin develops, we could still use a spped guy to stretch the field. A burner who could really challenge Donnie Avery for that role, and for a role as productive starter in the next year or two. Led all NCAA DI players with 1,800 yards receiving last year for the Bears, and has enough size (6'2'', 208) to be an every-down WR. My favorite receiver in the draft behind Tavon Austin.
Draft Countdown: http://www.draftcountdown.com/sub/Rankings.php
National Football Post/SI: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/draft-2013/tracker/#bestAvailable/1