Combine/NFL Draft Links for Cal Prospects

Posted by: Avinash on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

I know some of you are chomping at the bit for Cal NFL prospects–this is a very talented class we’re letting go of. We can look at the rankings from the two sites who spend the most time compiling this decorum of data, Rivals and Scout (just for fun, we’ll add in Frank Cooney too). Here are the tables of rankings:


I’ll be honest–I’d care more about the scouting process if I didn’t have to PAY for all the goddamned rankings and clips. ESPN Insider, Scouts player tapes, Rivals message boards–all closed and gated systems that I can only access by paid subscription. This works great for a newspaper. It NEVER works online. Thankfully, Cooney knows what he’s doing and provides the minimal amount of info I need.

–Jackson remains highly touted and ranked by ESPN (he was on the front page for most of Tuesday). Todd McShay’s mancrush is almost embarrassing; he’s written about Tha1 here (whoops, Insider!) and here (not Insider!). If anything, this shows how much DeSean has to prove to NFL scouts. In terms of draft contracts and signing bonuses, the difference in draft selection could be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, this can be offset by onfield performance, but the future is always uncertain for NFL prospects.

Both Rivals and NFLDraftScout also have him placed near the top. If anything, it shows you how a small sample of Jackson’s work–his moves are always breathtaking–can completely counteract his physical shortcomings (his smaller frame and size, prone to rough contact, etc.). Scout is a little less generous with Jackson, but the Hawk is right behind his battery mate there.

–Speaking of the Hawk, he had a chat on ESPN yesterday. He’ll apparently miss his teammates, thought the Tennessee win was the most special during his time here, thinks he’s quicker (not faster, quicker) than Jahvid Best, and he’ll miss the blue and gold unis. Methinks he wasn’t a fan of the sunbeam jerseys.

–I usually agree with general draft analysis of our players, but huh?

Forsett is a patient runner. He waits for opportunities to come to him, and that’s just what today’s running back needs to have. If patience is a virtue, Forsett is a sure winner in that one. He can be practically invisible because one minute he can be behind blockers and the next second he is in the end zone pulling his best Ocho Cinco impression.

Um, Ocho Cinco impression?

Chad Johnson’s celebrations: “river dance”, proposing to a cheerleader, a plea to the NFL not to fine him (and they did), Irish jig, chicken dance, jumping into the Dawg Pound, taking a camerman’s camera and pretending to film players, etc.
Forsett’s celebrations: Kneel to the ground in prayer, kneel to the ground in prayer, kneel to the ground…I don’t think he’s about to be strutting and posing anytime soon.

Here are some favorable reports on Forsett and Hawkins from the Senior Bowl a few weeks back.

Justin Forsett, RB, California: Forsett started the week on fire and just got hotter every practice. His speed, quickness and ability to create yardage was eye catching. Forsett does not possess the size to be a feature runner at the next level, but he displayed enough versatility as a ball carrier and pass catcher to secure a spot in the third round.

Lavelle Hawkins, WR, California: Hawkins was the best receiver in Mobile, bar none. He showcased natural skills and athletic ability all week, consistently making the easy reception as well as the acrobatic deep catch. Hawkins is being compared to former USC receiver Steve Smith, and like the Giants rookie, he looks like a solid choice in round two.

Hopefully this also ends with the Hawk catching crucial passes in 4th quarter drives in the Super Bowl.

Robert Jordan might have actually had an easier route to the NFL if he had declared last year, but now he might even have trouble getting picked up in the later rounds. Jordan acquitted himself admirably in Jackson’s absence and was a pretty good third option, but he is not high enough on anyone’s radar (and it’s hard playing third fiddle to Jackson and Hawk).

Thomas DeCoud, as expected, looks to be in good shape. It’s a weak year at safeties and he’s one of the hardest hitters available. Look for a top tier NFL team to go after him in the third/fourth rounds. Craig Stevens might have a puncher’s chance, although his rank at tight end is fairly low. Mike Gibson is only liked by Cooney at the moment–I don’t see him on Scout or Rivals.

Any thoughts on Cal players or the NFL draft? And who do you think is most likely to succeed in the NFL? Vote in the sidebar and comment away.

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