Four questions to ponder as the NFL draft nears:
Despite the Raiders' obvious need for a complementary pass rusher, the team would benefit more by drafting McFadden. The two-time SEC rushing leader is a dynamic playmaker with the speed and burst to score from anywhere on the field. He could team with
Though some question McFadden's ability to handle the entire load, the fact that he carried the ball 609 times in the past two seasons in the SEC shouldn't be ignored. And even though Gholston had an impressive individual workout, expect the Raiders to ignore an obvious need and take the talented McFadden.
Miami has plenty of holes to fill, but the addition of Virginia's
Long can play defensive end or outside linebacker, which would give defensive coordinator
Though my colleague
Brohm, on the other hand, completed more than 65 percent of his passes with 30 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions as a senior, but he's regarded as a "system quarterback" with durability concerns.
Henne's combination of starting experience (47 games), arm strength and leadership skills give him the clear nod over the other two prospects in my book.
Yes. The talented runner from Illinois has steadily climbed up draft boards since the end of the season as scouts have tabbed him the most complete running back prospect in the draft. Mendenhall, who rushed for 1,648 yards as a junior, is one of the few running backs capable of being an every down player in a wide-open offense. He has good receiving skills and is stout enough to be a solid blocker in pass protection.
Although some scouts chide Mendenhall for inconsistently finishing his runs, his overall package of skills makes him a coveted prospect by teams hoping to incorporate their backs into a balanced offense. Don't be surprised if he comes off the board early, possibly to the Bengals at No. 9.