1. Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin — We discussed Boykin (pictured) in the previous post, but it’s possible teams have medical concerns after he fractured a bone in his lower right leg during the Senior Bowl game. If not, he’ll surely be one of the first players selected on Saturday. Boykin is a three-phase playmaker and was a 2011 team captain at Georgia.
2. Washington defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu — Ta’amu moves exceptionally well for a 6-foot-3, 341-pound manchild, which makes him appealing from a planet-theory perspective. He is a 3-4 nose tackle prospect. Also a captain for the Huskies’ 2011 defense, Ta’amu started 42 games in college, recording 19 career tackles for loss and nine sacks.
3. Ole Miss tackle Bobby Massie — Massie was once regarded as a likely first-round pick by ESPN’s Mel Kiper. The measurables are certainly there. Massie possesses vine-like arms at 35 inches, and packs 316 pounds onto his 6-foot-6 frame. Unfortunately, Massie plays more like Jane than Tarzan at this point. He’s still a viable developmental project.
4. Arkansas receiver Joe Adams — Adams is slight at 5-foot-11 and 174 pounds, and he ran a relatively disappointing 4.53 forty time at the Combine. But SEC game watchers know he does not lack explosiveness. Adams scored 25 career touchdowns, including five on punt returns, and earned first-team All-SEC honors for his “all-purpose” work as a senior.
5. Tennessee defensive tackle Malik Jackson — For a much cheaper price, a team could get a higher-effort if only slightly less-gifted version of Quinton Coples on the draft’s third day. Jackson’s production wasn’t overwhelming while forced to play nose tackle on an undermanned Tennessee line, but he could excel at 4-3 left end, 4-3 tackle, or five technique in a 3-4. Jackson plays the game relentlessly, and he’s learned to defeat double teams. He’s one of our favorite 2012 sleepers.
6. Washington running back Chris Polk — Polk lacks elite initial burst, but possesses terrific vision and is a natural pass catcher with big, soft hands and background as a receiver. As a ball carrier, Polk averaged over 5.0 yards per carry on 799 career rushing attempts at Washington. He’s 5-foot-11, 215, and ran 4.47 at his Pro Day.
7. Alabama defensive tackle Josh Chapman — Chapman would have been a second-day pick if not for postseason ACL surgery. The operation repaired Chapman’s anterior cruciate ligament in addition to left meniscus after he played the final eight games of his senior season through the injury. And he was still the best run-stopping nose in the nation.
8. California receiver Marvin Jones — A silky smooth route runner with veteran savvy and a wide catching radius, Jones’ production was mediocre at Cal while playing second fiddle to future top-ten draft pick Keenan Allen at receiver. Jones was perhaps the best wideout on the field at the Senior Bowl. He goes 6-foot-2, 199 and ran a 4.47 at the Combine.
9. Miami running back Lamar Miller — Medical concerns may have pushed Miller down the board after postseason shoulder surgery. He also can’t pick up the blitz and is a non-factor in short-yardage situations. But Miller runs very fast in a straight line (4.36) and has feature-back size at 5-foot-11, 212. He needs to be drafted into a zone-blocking scheme.
10. Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins — Cousins has average arm talent and his decision making tends to tank when pressured, but he played in a pro-style offense at Michigan State and was a 39-game starter in the Big Ten, going 27-12. One major knock on Cousins is his performance in big games. In four career bowl appearances, he completed just 54-of-100 passes with a 6.76 YPA and 2:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Still a heady, charismatic signal caller, Cousins projects as a quality long-term backup in the league.
I would be happy with any of these except Massie, Miller or Cousins. Makes me excited for the 4th.