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Pre-combine NFL draft board


1) Ndamukong Suh/DT/Nebraska: Suh is hands down the best prospect available. His ability to play more than one position up front in multiple defensive schemes makes him extremely attractive to NFL teams.

2) Eric Berry*/S/Tennessee: Berry has outstanding coverage skills and is an excellent run defender. He's a great centerfield prospect who can also play over the slot receiver on passing downs.

3) Gerald McCoy*/DT/Oklahoma: The former Sooner has been a force to be reckoned with the past three seasons. He has the potential to be very productive at the next level.

4) Russell Okung/T/Oklahoma State: More than any other offensive lineman in this draft, Okung has a great combination of size, power and athleticism. He offers tremendous upside at either tackle position.

5) Joe Haden*/CB/Florida: This terrific cover man is the only cornerback in the draft without any glaring weaknesses in his game. He could start immediately. He also has the potential to be a productive special teams player.

6) Dez Bryant/WR/Oklahoma State: His skills have been compared favorably to Michael Crabtree, the productive rookie who was selected with the 10th pick of the '09 draft. Bryant's combine workout is critical because a suspension kept him on the sidelines for much of last season.

7) Anthony Davis*/T/Rutgers: The best pass protecting tackle in the draft, Davis is a junior prospect who's just beginning to scratching the surface of his ability. Scouts will question him long and hard at the combine about his passion for the game.

8) Jason Pierre-Paul*/DE/South Florida: Pierre-Paul set the Big East on fire last season, his only year on the field at South Florida. He has tremendous upside and the ability to be a three-down defender at the next level.

9) Bruce Campbell*/T/Maryland: Scouts feel Campbell may have as much upside as any other offensive tackle in the draft. He's expected to turn in a great combine workout and move higher up draft boards by the time April comes around.

10. Derrick Morgan*/DE-OLB/Georgia Tech: He was a good pass rusher for the Yellow Jackets, but scouts are not sure he's big enough to hold down the defensive end position in the pros. Morgan must run well at the combine because many teams are starting to project him to outside linebacker.

11) Brian Price*/DT/UCLA: Price is a disruptive force in the middle of the line and is expected to be drafted in the middle of the first round. He has potential as a three-technique lineman and some also believe Price has the skills to be a two-gap end.

12) Damian Williams*/WR/USC: He's the only first-round receiver considered to have legitimate home-run-hitting speed. His 40 time at the combine could cement that notion. He also holds value for any team still in need of a game-breaking return man.

13. Rolando McClain*/ILB/Alabama: He's a tremendous run stuffer on the inside, though scouts wonder about his speed and athleticism, questions that must be answered at the combine.

14. Earl Thomas*/S/Texas: Thomas lacks classic safety size, yet is a terrific athlete and sensational defensive back. His coverage skills are so good some feel the third-year sophomore could handle cornerback duties at the next level.

15. Dan Williams/DT/Tennessee: Scouts handed Williams a free-agent grade before the start of the '09 season. His play as a senior was nothing short of dominant. If Williams uses the combine to convince teams he can handle the nose tackle position at the next level, his stock will rise further.

16. Sam Bradford*/QB/Oklahoma: Heading into '09, most considered Bradford top 10 material. Then he suffered a pair of shoulder injuries, and subsequent surgery to repair the damage. Bradford must impresses during his combine and pro-day workouts if he hopes to regain that momentum.

17. Sergio Kindle/DE-LB/Texas: Kindle terrorized quarterbacks last season and was a major force on the Longhorns' defensive line. Several teams project him to linebacker. His agility tests and ball skills during the combine will impact his draft grade.

18. Mike Iupati/G/Idaho: Iupati moves toward April as the highest-rated guard since Steve Hutchinson, whom Seattle selected with the 17th pick in the 2001 draft. He offers outstanding physical skills and the ability to play in a variety of blocking systems.

19. Taylor Mays/S-OLB/USC: Mays has been moving down draft boards since his disappointing senior season. He's expected to turn in a good workout at the combine, yet scouts are still not convinced he's anything other than a straight-line safety.

20. Bryan Bulaga*/T/Iowa: The Hawkeye junior draws a variety of opinions in the scouting community. Many feel Bulaga lacks the athleticism and footwork necessary to handle the left tackle spot, but others disagree. His workout at the combine will bolster one of these arguments.

21. Demaryius Thomas*/WR/Georgia Tech: Thomas is a game-controlling wideout whose best football lies ahead. His broken left foot, which was first reported by, will deny him the opportunity to turn in the workout many expected. As a result, Thomas won't make a big move up draft boards, but he continues to project as a No. 1 receiver.

22. Brandon Graham/DE-OLB/Michigan: Scouts are struggling to figure out what position Graham will play at the next level. Displaying athleticism during combine workouts will only enhance his draft stock.

23. Jimmy Clausen*/QB/Notre Dame: Clausen is all over draft boards. Some project him as a top six selection, while others slot him in the bottom-third of Round 1. This is for sure: Teams want to find out how much upside the Irish passer possesses, as many feel Clausen won't significantly improve moving forward.

24. Jared Odrick/DT/Penn State: Odrick's versatility on the defensive line is key to his draft grade. The consensus is he'd be equally effective at tackle on a conventional four-man line or at defensive end in a three-man front.

25. Arrelious Benn*/WR/Illinois: Benn comes off a disappointing junior campaign due, in part, to injuries. He's projected as a possession receiver at the next level because of marginal speed, yet could dispel that criticism with fast 40 times in Indianapolis.

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26. Carlos Dunlap*/DL/Florida: Dunlap is an imposing figure on the defensive line and a disruptive force for whom the offense must always account. Sadly, he only occasionally plays to his ability and needs to be constantly pushed.

27. Terrence Cody/DT/Alabama: Cody played well in spurts last season but, like Dunlap, his motivation toward the little things has been questioned. His physical conditioning during the Senior Bowl has been well documented. Cody is not expected to show up at the combine looking like Adonis, but he still needs to round into better shape over the next few weeks.

28. C.J. Spiller/RB/Clemson: Spiller is one of the true gamebreakers in this draft and can realistically score every time the ball hits his hands. However, scouts feel Spiller plays a soft game and question his ability to be a feature runner at the next level.

29. Kyle Wilson/CB/Boise State: Wilson capped off a good campaign in '09 with a terrific performance at the Senior Bowl. He hopes to keep the momentum going with fast 40 times at the combine.

30. Charles Brown/T/USC: Brown has soared up draft boards the past six months and can stamp himself as a first-round pick with a good combine performance. Scouts are sure Brown can handle the right tackle position in the NFL. If he shows well in the speed tests at the combine they'll be more confident he can play left tackle, which will elevate his draft stock.

31. Jerry Hughes/DE-OLB/TCU: Hughes has been a pass-rushing terror at defensive end the past two years. He'll likely workout at both defensive end and linebacker at the combine -- two positions he may play at the next level. After sitting out the Senior Bowl with an injury, Hughes must perform well in Indianapolis.

32. Golden Tate*/WR/Notre Dame: Tate was a gamebreaker at Notre Dame, but scouts have reservations about his next-level potential. Tate lacks the proto-typical wide receiver build and, despite the skills he showed on the college field, some question his pure speed.

33. Ricky Sapp/DE-OLB/Clemson: Sapp played on a knee that was less than 100 percent last season, yet still looked good and gave opponents nightmares. He's close to full health entering the combine, and will solidify himself as a first-round pick if he turns in the workout many expect.

34. Jonathan Dwyer*/RB/Georgia Tech: Dwyer is the best north/south runner of the top backs in the draft. He was out of place in Tech's option offense, and as a result, scouts are unsure how he'll produce in a pro-style offense.

35. Tyson Aluala/DL/California: He could turn into one of the real gems of the draft. He's well-regarded in the scouting community and is viewed as a defender who can line up at tackle or as a two-gap end.

36. Maurkice Pouncey*/C/Florida: He heads to the combine as the draft's top center. He has the versatility to be pushed over to offensive guard and has a legitimate chance to land in the latter part of Round 1.

37. Anthony McCoy/TE/USC: McCoy has jumped to the top of the tight end position for a variety of reasons, including his tremendous play last season. He's big, fast and is a terrific pass-catcher. Though it's not his forte', McCoy also gives effort blocking.

38. Trent Williams/OL/Oklahoma: On the heels of a disappointing senior season, Williams' draft stock has been slipping since September. He struggled at left tackle, and by season's end was shuffled inside to center.

39. Brandon LaFell/WR/LSU: LaFell is a graceful receiver with natural pass-catching skills. He won't blow anyone away with his speed, but he has the ability to develop into a productive second receiver.

40. Jahvid Best*/RB/California: The Cal junior offers the best combination of creativity, speed and pass-catching skills of any back in the draft. The concussions from last season are sure to be a topic of conversation for the medical staffs on hand at the combine.

41. Brandon Spikes/LB/Florida: Spikes will be closely monitored at the combine, as scouts feel his speed is suspect. Slowed during the second half of '09 with a leg injury, Spikes will drop down draft boards if he has a poor 40 time.

42. Ryan Mathews/RB/Fresno State: He's the biggest sleeper heading toward the draft. He has the strength to carry the ball on the inside, as well as the speed to beat defenders around the corner. He could vault up draft boards before all is said and done.

43. Perrish Cox/CB/Oklahoma State: He's a shut-down cornerback with natural cover skills. He has the potential to be a big-time player at the next level, though character flaws concern a number of teams.

44. Jermaine Gresham/TE/Oklahoma: Gresham is one of the better athletes from the tight end class, but missed the entire '09 campaign with injury. His hands are suspect, yet Gresham has good value outside the initial 30 choices.

45. Arthur Jones/DL/Syracuse: Jones struggled through an injury-plagued senior season that ended in knee surgery. He's solid in all aspects of the game and can play a variety of positions. Jones will drop due to the depth of defensive line talent in this year's draft, but could end up as one of the better bargains of Round 2.

46) Marshwan Gilyard/WR/Cincinnati: Gilyard has displayed an ever-improving game and was the playmaking force behind the Bearcats offense last season. He offers home run hitting skills as a receiver and return specialist. Scouts are not yet sold on Gilyard being a number one receiver in the NFL.

47) Daryl Washington/LB/TCU: He's another prospect on the rise and is viewed as one of the very few three down linebackers in the draft. Scouts feel Washington is close to being NFL-ready; a solid combine workout will only enhance his stock.

48) Kareem Jackson*/CB/Alabama: Jackson has tremendous physical skills, yet needs a little more work on his game. He offers starting potential at the next level, though it may take time before he's completely ready.

49) Aaron Hernandez*/TE/Florida: He ranks as one of the best pass catchers in this draft, be it tight end or receiver. The knock is he lacks the strength to be a blocker and the speed to be a consistent downfield threat.

50) Corey Wootton/DL/Northwestern: Wootton was justifiably rated as a top 15 choice entering the season, but was slow returning from the January '09 knee surgery. He showed flashes of his prior self late in the campaign. He's another defensive lineman who can be used at multiple positions up front.