Chicago Sun-Times

Ranking the upcoming draft class

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Pete Prisco broke down the free-agent class that will be upon us soon, and Mike Mayock of the NFL Network has checked in with his rankings for the April draft.

He puts Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan atop the heap. It will be interesting to see what Bill Parcells does in Miami with the Dolphins owning the No. 1 pick. They’ve already made it know the pick is in play and available for trade.

A few interesting points on Mayock’s top 20:

1. Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall is the only back in the top 20, coming in at No. 12, meaning Mayock likes him considerably more than Arkansas’ Darren McFadden.

2. Four offensive tackles are in the top 20, led by Michigan’s Jake Long at No. 6.

3. Ryan is the only quarterback in the top 20.

Here is the top 20 in a list compiled Monday

1. Matt Ryan - QB, Boston College
2. Sedrick Ellis – DT, USC
3. Chris Long - DE, Virginia
4. Glenn Dorsey – DT, LSU
5. Vernon Gholston – DE, Ohio State
6. Jake Long – OL, Michigan
7. Ryan Clady – OL, Boise State
8. Keith Rivers – LB, USC
9. Phillip Merling – DE, Clemson
10. Leodis McKelvin – CB, Troy
11. Brandon Flowers – CB, Virginia Tech
12. Rashard Mendenhall – RB, Illinois
13. Jeff Otah – OL, Pittsburgh
14. Derrick Harvey – DE, Florida
15. Kentwan Balmer – DT, North Carolina
16. Aqib Talib – CB, Kansas
17. Chris Williams – OL, Vanderbilt
18. Mario Manningham – WR, Michigan
19. Limas Sweed – WR, Texas
20. Branden Albert – OL, Virginia

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Hey Justin/Anonymous where's your Kenny Phillips now, he is 25-30, he may be a potential playmaker but offensive line and running back should be first. Boston College had a solid safety as did LSU and Kentucky. Was is the rush to get a safety on the first day when the cream of the tackle class will be still there in the first round you could even trade down like Angelo always does get a extra 3rd or 4th rounder get more bodies for more competition. Right now in a draft the only sure bets this go around are at running back and tackle.

Passing on Mendenhall would come back to bite. I'm Not a U of Illinois fan, so in my unbiased opinion He would be a can't miss. Reminds me of Larry Johnson with a better attitude

Matt In Kewaunee Wi

This Mike "Mayhock" guy doesnt know what he is talking about! Darren McFadden not in the top 20, and his reason is the guy has skinny legs and goes down at first contact? CMON, this guy didnt notice Adrian Peterson last year. He had negative comments to say about him as well. Alot of people underestimated AP and now look. If you cant catch the guy what does it matter if he goes down on first contact. This cast doubt on his rankings. I would also insert the Rodgers-Cromartie kid! Not because there was a Cromartie that arguably was the best corner in the league as a rookie, but this kid has talent and is the best corner available. MENDENHAL is the truth, and I am an ILLINI fan, I love everything and anything ILLINOIS/CHICAGO and related to sports, at the same time, my opinion is perception of what the kid does on the field. Draft him at 14 please JERRY! Put some pressure on Benson.........1

Mike Mayock is an interesting evaluator of talent. He usually goes against what everyone else thinks, and most of the time I do not agree with him. I would look at rankings across several sources to identify who the "consensus" top picks are. two players who bounce all over the map are McFadden and Ryan. Most think they are boom or bust prospects. But I think Jake Long is too slow footed to be a left tackle in the NFL. The best player as far as NFL potential in the rankings listed here is Chris Long. He is capable of being an end in a 4-3 or 3-4, and will do Howie proud as an NFL player. He dominates games from a position that is largely set up to occupy space. Glenn Dorsey will be good, but he has to go to a Tampa 2 system and be the 3 technique to be successful. I like Stewart from Oregon more than Mendenhall, but both are capable of being solid backs in the league. My hope is the Bears get one of the OTs, preferably Clady, Williams, or Otah at 14, and then look into the second round for the best WR or RB available. Our 2 3rd rounders should focus on an OL and whichever skill player we don't get in 2. Second day should be devoted to depth on defense at LB and S, and OL depth.

I would like to see Angelo trade #14 with Dallas for #22 and Dallas 2nd round pick.

Besides him seeming not to know how to evaluate the class (e.g., McFadden not in top 20), he seems not to know that Jeff Otah decided to remain in school--over a month ago. Am I supposed to trust this "evaluator"?

if the bears can p/up mendenhall i believe him and benson should be able to co-exist and in the nfl you need two #1 running backs. offense line can be done in later rounds but we need a running back then a safety!

Jay-I agree with you 100 %.. Mike Mayock always knocks running backs-bt likes Mendehall-is that a bad sign ?

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 13, 2008 3:05 PM.

Stacking up the free-agent class -- where the Bears rank was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears search for safety while Harris cashes in is the next entry in this blog.

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