Our own Darren Page, who is responsible for many of the scouting reports you see here, chimes in with his most overrated and underrated players in the draft.
Darren Page, DLD Writer
1. David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado
After Bakhtiari surprisingly declared for the draft after his junior season, he’s failed to garner the attention he truly deserved. He has strong hands to latch onto defenders and sustains blocks as well as any other tackle prospect, often locking up defenders until the whistle. He’s very light and frequent on his feet, doing tremendous work moving laterally as a run blocker. His frame is still too lean, but one that can be built on. Bakhtiari is ready for a starting role as a rookie, having started 34 career games at Colorado with time at both left and right tackle. He’s a tremendous fit for offense’s that employ a zone blocking scheme. He also has the proper skillset to make a transition inside to guard if need be. I gauge his relative value to be considered a late fourth or early fifth round pick. His versatility, technical consistency, and footwork warrant a second or third round pick in reality.
2. Chris Harper, WR, Kansas State
Chris Harper is one of the most underrated prospects due to a few things, including a stacked wide receiver group with impressive depth and putting up production that pales in comparison to most other receivers. It’s important to consider the offense he was held back by, one that lacked a polished passing quarterback and was a run-heavy offense as a result. Harper is as steady as they come. One is hard pressed to find instances where he lets the ball into his body as a pass catcher and even harder pressed to find drops. Harper is efficient after the catch and can pick up the tough yardage. His route running is also exemplary, which enables him to separate out of his cuts. He specializes in the short to intermediate passing game and is able to use a thick build to his advantage, often outmuscling defensive backs. That’s not to say he’s a poor athlete, he ran a solid 40 time at the combine at 4.55 and showed off quick feet in agility drills. Harper’s upside isn’t that of guys like Aaron Dobson or Marquise Goodwin, but it’s a safe bet that he’ll have a long career in the league. Harper seems be garnering fourth round type grades, but would be surprised to see him not get picked on the draft’s second day.
3. Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State
Jordan Hill is not garnering the praise he deserves after a productive senior season in which he took over multiple games completely. Hill is a dynamic mover from in the interior and can win as a pass rusher in multiple ways. His moves are very polished with developed hand usage and overall technique. He also possesses quick first step off the snap and flexibility as a pass rusher. He makes up for being on the small side with a never-ending motor and a nose for the football. It’s impossible to discount a defensive lineman who gets to the football as often as Hill does. Against the run, he has a developed ability to control blockers with his hands before disengaging. He also shoots gaps and causes mayhem in the backfield on occasion. He’s not going to anchor a double team or knock a blocker backwards any time soon, but he keeps his pads down and is able to win the leverage battle at the point of attack. Hill has the technical and athletic ability to be an immediate contributor and work his way into a starting role at a three technique position. I see a lot of Geno Atkins type ability in Hill’s game, which may seem lofty, but remember that Atkins was a fourth round pick. Similar concerns may hold Hill back on draft day, but I don’t believe they should.
4. DeVonte Holloman, OLB, South Carolina
DeVonte Holloman was overshadowed at South Carolina and it doesn’t take long to wonder why with the attention that guys like Jadeveon Clowney and D.J. Swearinger got all season. Holloman made the shift to the Gamecocks’ Spur linebacker spot from his original safety spot as a senior, his only as a linebacker. Holloman was a steady force for the defense and made an impact in a variety of ways. He shows fluid hips and light feet to turn and run tight ends and at times receivers in coverage. He’s a very instinctive player with ability to read and react quickly. He shows developed hand usage when taking on blocks, often while walked up to the line as a strong side linebacker. Holloman is very experienced, with 35 career starts in one of the SEC’s best defenses. He’s an extremely versatile linebacker who actually transitioned to the position from safety better than the likes of Alec Ogletree and Zaviar Gooden did. Holloman is viewed by most as a fourth or maybe even a fifth round type prospect. Because of his versatility, instincts, and technique, he looks the part of a second rounder.
5. Sanders Commings, CB, Georgia
Sanders Commings has seemingly been lost in the shuffle of Georgia prospects in the lead-up to the draft. That should not be the case. At 6’0” and 216 lb. he matches the physical description of the league’s most sought after cornerbacks today. He’s a thick corner with length and impressive athleticism. A 4.41 40 yard dash and 35 inch vertical at the combine are plenty evidence of that. Commings uses that size to body up receivers at the line as well as down the field. He has fluid hips to turn and run in man coverage. He shows impressive ball awareness with the ability to quickly turn his head and locate it at the last second. Commings is every bit the part of a big cornerback in run support, a strong and reliable tackler. He has all the top level experience you look for, with 35 career starts in the SEC. He even has some schematic versatility, with skills that fit man and zone schemes, especially the cover 2. His off the field issues are a serious concern and teams will have to get a feel for him in their interviews to ensure those things are behind him. If that is the case, he’s certainly worth a pick in the draft’s second day, despite being pegged as a fourth or fifth round prospect by most.