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January 18, 2008

Plenty of talent at top of draft pool

NFL Draft expert Frank Coyle of www.draftinsiders.com has ranked his top prospects for the 2008 NFL Draft.

Nfl Draft top 100 Prospects
1. Matt Ryan - QB - 6'4" 220 lbs. - Boston College
This savvy, strong-armed prospect has made a mercurial rise up the draft charts.
2. Glenn Dorsey - DT - 6'2" 300 lbs. - LSU
Dorsey is an explosive tackle who will give his club a dominant and versatile inside presence.
3. Darren McFadden - RB - 6'1" 220 lbs. - Arkansas
This fast junior running back has the all-around skills to be an impact player early is his career.
4. Chris Long - DE - 6'5" 285 lbs. - Virginia
A relentless defender, Long recently completed a dominant career for the Cavaliers.
5. * Kenny Phillips - FS - 6'1" 205 lbs. - Miami
This athletic prospect is the next first-round pick from Miami. Phillips is well developed skill-wise, and is ready for the NFL game.
6. Jake Long - OT - 6'7" 320 lbs. - Michigan
Long is a physical left tackle. He has the skills and college experience to start as an NFL rookie.
7. Brian Brohm - QB - 6'4" 225 lbs. - Louisville
This senior pocket passer is looking to have a strong postseason - especially at the Senior Bowl.
8. Sedrick Ellis - DT - 6'2" 295 lbs. - USC
Ellis is a powerful, disruptive inside force. He will be highly coveted in April.
9. * Calais Campbell - DE - 6'7" 280 lbs. - Miami
This huge defensive end has the athletic package to become an elite NFL player.
10. Andre' Woodson - QB - 6'5" 230 lbs. - Kentucky
Woodson is a big, strong-armed QB. We expect him to impress in the Senior Bowl and solidify this top-10 rating.
11. * Vernon Gholston - DE - 6'4" 260 lbs. - Ohio St
This athletic end is a force on the outside, where he has played both up and down.
12. * Rashard Mendenhall - RB - 5'11" 215 lbs. - Illinois
Mendenhall is a rugged back who completed an outstanding 2007 season. He will be a workhorse NFL back.
13. * Malcolm Kelly - WR - 6'3" 210 lbs. - Oklahoma
This big, athletic prospect flashed playmaking ability over his career. He looks to impress at the NFL Combine in February.
14. * Reggie Smith - CB - 6' 200 lbs. - Oklahoma
This early-entrant has fine triangle numbers (height, weight, speed) and big-play ability. He should develop into a shutdown pro defender.
15. * DeSean Jackson - WR - 5'11" 170 lbs. - California
Jackson is an all-purpose playmaker. He can be an impact performer as a receiver or return specialist.
16. Keith Rivers - LB - 6'3" 220 lbs. - USC
Rivers is an athletic outside linebacker who has the speed, instincts and skills to start early in his pro career.
17. Antoine Cason -CB - 6'1" 185 lbs.- Arizona
This rugged corner has good coverage skills and ball skills. However, he faces some questions about his speed.
18. * Jonathan Stewart - RB - 5'11" 235 lbs.- Oregon
This underclassman has the size to be a powerful inside runner with the speed to break the big play.
19. * Ryan Clady - OT - 6'5" 320 lbs. - Boise St
Clady is a nimble left tackle who is prepping for a strong postseason effort after a dominant WAC career.
20. Dan Connor - LB - 6'2" 235 lbs. - Penn St
This rugged inside linebacker has the physical talent, intangibles and production to become a fine NFL starter.
21. Sam Baker - OT - 6'4" 310 lbs. - USC
This mobile left tackle faces a key week at the Senior Bowl after an injury-marred final season.
22. * Mario Manningham - WR - 5'11" 180 lbs. - Michigan
Manningham has been a fine playmaker during his Big Ten career, and he is physically ready for the NFL game.
23. * Derrick Harvey - DE - 6'4" 245 lbs. - Florida
Harvey is an explosive edge pass rusher. He has the burst to make game-changing plays from the outside.
24. Mike Jenkins - CB - 6' 200 lbs. - South Florida
This athletic corner had an impressive final season and hopes to shine in Senior Bowl practices.
25. Lawrence Jackson - DE - 6'5" 270 lbs. - USC
Jackson is an athletic player who had a strong finish to his career. He hopes to elevate his ranking by impressing at the Senior Bowl.
26. * Brandon Flowers - CB - 5'9" 190 lbs. - Virginia Tech
Flowers is a quick, tough corner who has good coverage skills. He has the technique and playmaking ability to match up with the best receivers.
27. * Earl Bennett - WR - 6'1" 200 lbs. - Vanderbilt
This underclassman completed a tremendous career in the SEC. He and looks to impress NFL personnel at the Combine.
28. * Aqib Talib - CB - 6'1" 180 lbs. - Kansas
This gambling corner is a playmaker - on offense, defense and special teams. He has the talent to become an NFL shutdown cover man.
29. * Felix Jones - RB - 5'11" 200 lbs. - Arkansas
This fast all-purpose performer looks to wow scouts in workouts. A top 40 time could guarantee him a first-round grade.
30. * James Hardy - WR - 6'6" 220 lbs. - Indiana
Hardy is a huge receiver who was a force for the Hoosiers in the Big Ten.
31. Quentin Groves - DE - 6'4" 255 lbs. - Auburn
This athletic outside pass rusher struggled with injuries in 2007 after a strong junior season. He looks to impress at Senior Bowl workouts.
32. Early Doucet - WR - 6' 200 lbs. - LSU
National championship winner is looking for a big postseason to move him into the group of elite receivers in this class.
33. * Steve Slaton - RB - 5'9" 200 lbs. - West Virginia
This fast all-purpose back is an explosive performer who needs to prove durable as a pro.
34. Ali Highsmith - LB - 6'1" 225 lbs. - LSU
Highsmith is a savvy, quick outside linebacker. He has the speed and instincts to become an early NFL starter.
35. Gosder Cherilus - OT - 6'6" 320 lbs. - Boston College
Cherilus is a massive yet athletic left tackle. He has developed nicely, but needs a big performance at the Senior Bowl to rank higher.
36. *Erin Henderson - LB - 6'2" 235 lbs. - Maryland
Speedy underclassman is a fine athlete with big-play ability. He has the talent to be an early NFL starter.
37. DeJuan Tribble - CB - 5'9" 190 lbs. - Boston College
Tribble is a tough corner with well-developed coverage skills. He'll showcase his skills in Senior Bowl practices.
38. Adarius Bowman - WR - 6'4" 220 lbs.- Oklahoma St
Bowman is a physically talented receiver. If he has a strong postseason he could make a run into the first round.
39. Xavier Adibi - LB - 6'1" 225 lbs. - Virginia Tech
Adibi is a mobile outside backer who has fine speed, quickness and instincts. He proved very productive over his college career.
40. * Kevin Smith - RB - 6'1" 215 lbs. - Central Florida
Smith is a natural runner who has received a ton of carries at the college level. He has good skills and ranks among the top backs.
41. * Justin King - CB - 5'11"185 lbs. - Penn St
This agile corner is a very good athlete. He should solidify a top-50 grade over the postseason.
42. * Ray Rice - RB - 5'9" 200 lbs. - Rutgers
Fast junior receiver has come on nicely this season, showing the ability to consistently make big plays.
43. Leodis McKelvin - CB - 5'11" 185 lbs. - Troy St
McKelvin is a quick cover man and return specialist. He hopes to increase his profile at the Senior Bowl.
44. Limas Sweed - WR - 6'4" 220 lbs. - Texas
Sweed will have to show NFL personnel that he has recovered from a injury. A strong performance at the Combine will go a long way.
45. Chris Williams - OT - 6'5" 310 lbs. - Vanderbilt
Williams is a big, mobile left tackle who has developed nicely and graded out high against top SEC talent.
46. * Jamaal Charles - RB - 6' 200 lbs. -Texas
The Longhorns standout reversed his earlier decision and joined the pro ranks after a big finish to the 2007 season.
47. Martin Rucker - TE - 6'5" 255 lbs. - Missouri
This pass-catching tight end is athletic and skilled enough to fill all the roles for the position.
48. Jeff Otah - OT - 6'6" 320 lbs. - Pittsburgh
Otah is a huge prospect who has very good footwork and the triangle numbers (height, weight, speed) to impress scouts.
49. Philip Wheeler - LB - 6'1" 230 lbs. - Georgia Tech
Explosive junior tailback is a natural runner with outstanding ability.
50. * Phillip Merling - DE - 6'5" 270 lbs.- Clemson
This early entrant has been a force in the ACC over the past three seasons. He improves a good class of edge pass rushers.
51. * Curtis Lofton - LB - 6' 240 lbs. - Oklahoma
This explosive junior linebacker was a dominant performer in the Big 12 this season. With some development, he could be a premier pro prospect.
52. Colt Brennan - QB - 6'3" 210 lbs.- Hawaii
Record-setting senior passer needs to shine in major All-star game to dispel the "system QB" label.
53. * Devin Thomas - WR - 6'1" 210 lbs. - Michigan St.
This fast junior receiver has come on nicely this season, showing big-play ability as both a receiver and returner.
54. Jonathan Hefney - FS - 5'9" 185 lbs. - Tennessee
Hefney has shown fine coverage skills against top SEC talent. He also has the tackling skills to finish plays.
55. * Jack Ikegwuonu - CB - 6' 200 lbs.- Wisconsin
Physical junior corner had an inconsistent 2007 season. A strong performance at the Combine will be very important for him.
56. * Martellus Bennett - TE - 6'6" 255 lbs. - Texas A&M
Athletic tight end has the physical package to develop further, but he had a frustrating 2007 season.
57. Frank Okam - DT - 6'5" 320 lbs. - Texas
Rugged defender is a fine inside run-stuffer with the ability to push the pocket. He needs a fine postseason to make up for an average '07 season.
58. Keenan Burton - WR - 6'1" 205 lbs. - Kentucky
Talented receiver/return specialist has shown big-play ability in both roles, but must prove that he has recovered from late-season knee problems to rank higher.
59. Fred Davis - TE - 6'4" 255 lbs. - USC
Davis is a mobile and athletic tight end who has shown fine receiving skills and improved blocking ability. He should be an early NFL starter.
60. DeMario Pressley - DT - 6'2" 300 lbs. - North Carolina St
Powerful senior tackle can be a force in the middle when he comes off the ball quickly, but he needs to show more consistency.
61. Donnie Avery - WR - 5'11" 190 lbs. - Houston
This fast senior receiver may surprise some people at the Senior Bowl and Combine.
62. Quintin Demps - FS - 6' 205 lbs. - UTEP
Aggressive free safety can support the run and play man coverage. He has a good combination of speed, instincts and tackling ability.
63. John Carlson -TE - 6'5" 255 lbs. - Notre Dame
Carlson is a sure-handed tight end who was a bit lost in the horrible season for the Irish.
64. Chris Johnson - RB - 5'11" 200 lbs. - East Carolina
This very fast back has displayed big-play ability as a runner, receiver and return specialist.
65. * Anthony Collins - OT - 6'5" 310 lbs. - Kansas
Collins is a big and nimble left tackle. He developed nicely over the 2007 season and has the tools to be a fine pro.
66. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - CB - 6'1" 185 lbs. - Tennessee St
This athletic corner has been a shutdown cover man, but against questionable competition. He faces a critical postseason.
67. Kentwan Balmer - DT - 6'5" 290 lbs. - North Carolina
Balmer has shown fine production for the Tar Heels. He has the triangle numbers (height, weight, speed) to impress in the postseason.
68. Mike Hart - RB - 5'9" 200 lbs. - Michigan
This compact tailback has been a consistently productive runner at a high level, but he must dispel some injury concerns.
69. Dwight Lowery - CB - 6' 185 lbs. - San Jose St
Instinctive cornerback has good ball skills, which should allow him to play as a rookie. He will be more attractive to teams that utilize zone coverage the majority of the time.
70. John David Booty - QB - 6'3" 210 lbs. - USC
Talented senior passer is returning from a broken finger that cost him valuable time at midseason. He hopes to impress at the Senior Bowl to improve his rating.
71. Andre Caldwell - WR - 6' 200 lbs. - Florida
Caldwell is an agile receiver who has sure hands and a good understanding of the passing game. His stock could climb further prior to the draft.
72. Cliff Avril - DE - 6'3" 255 lbs. - Purdue
Avril is an athletic 'tweener type. If he has a strong postseason, he could fly up the charts further.
73. DJ Hall - WR - 6'2" 190 lbs. - Alabama
Hall has good height, weight and speed, but it would help him to have a big postseason against NFL-caliber cover men.
74. Tom Zbikowski - SS - 5'10" 205 lbs. - Notre Dame
This tough safety/return specialist had a fine 2007 season for a bad team. He could turn in a strong performance at the Senior Bowl.
75. John Greco - OT - 6'5" 320 lbs. - Toledo
Greco is a physical left tackle who has displayed a fine combination of power, technique and quickness. How he performs against top competition will be key.
76. Shawn Crable - LB - 6'3" 245 lbs. - Michigan
Crable flashed big-play ability at times over his career, but needs a big postseason to rank higher than this.
77. Chevis Jackson - CB - 5'11" 190 lbs. - LSU
Big, athletic corner has performed well in man coverage and run support against SEC talent.
78. Chris Ellis - DE - 6'4" 255 lbs. - Virginia Tech
Quick edge rusher has shown the burst from the outside to get to the passer and make sacks.
79. Marcus Monk - WR - 6'5" 220 lbs. - Arkansas
Huge senior receiver flashed big-play ability lately after dealing with a knee injury for much of the season.
80. Tracy Porter - CB - 5'10" 190 lbs. - Indiana
Athletic senior cornerback performed well this fall and earned an invite to the Senior Bowl off those efforts.
81. Joe Flacco - QB - 6'5" 230 lbs. - Delaware
This I-AA passer has a very strong arm. He moved up significantly after an impressive final season, and earned a spot in the Senior Bowl.
82. * Pat Sims - DT - 6'1" 320 lbs. - Auburn
Sims is a wide-bodied defender who can stack the middle. He showed the explosiveness necessary to make plays in the backfield.
83. Terrell Thomas - CB - 6' 200 lbs. - USC
Strong senior cornerback has the physical package to become a fine NFL starter with some development, but he was inconsistent as a senior.
84. Vince Hall - LB - 5'11" 240 lbs. - Virginia Tech
Aggressive middle linebacker was a sideline-to-sideline tackler for the Hokies. Hall has shown the necessary ability to finish a play.
85. Allen Patrick - RB - 5'11" 195 lbs. - Oklahoma
Quick tailback shows a fine burst to the hole and has the natural running skills to get to the second level.
86. Trae Williams - CB - 5'9" 190 lbs. - South Florida
Tough but smallish cornerback matches up well in man coverage, where he displays both quickness and speed.
87. Tashard Choice - RB - 6' 210 lbs. - Georgia Tech
Tough natural runner made a successful return after a midseason knee injury cost him a few games. He is primed for a big Senior Bowl week.
88. Zack Bowman - CB - 6'1" 200 lbs. - Nebraska
Athletic senior corner has made nice progress since returning from a serious 2006 knee injury. He had a good week at the East-West practices.
89. Dustin Keller - TE - 6'3" 230 lbs. - Purdue
This receiving tight end has been very productive over his Big Ten career. He can give the right offense an added dimension.
90. Matt Forte' - RB - 6'1" 220 lbs. - Tulane
Forte is a big, strong workhorse back who had a dominant 2000-yard rushing performance in 2007. He is eager to show in postseason games and workouts that his season wasn't a result of poor competition.
91. Barry Richardson - OT - 6'7" 325 lbs. - Clemson
This gigantic left tackle has the physical tools to impress against major all-star competition, but has been a bit inconsistent for the Tigers.
92. Jason Jones - DE - 6'5" 265 lbs. - Eastern Michigan
This intriguing and athletic lineman will get a chance to showcase his fine talent at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.
93. Simeon Castille - CB - 5'11" 195 lbs. - Alabama
Physical senior cornerback has fine instincts and ball skills, in addition to sure tackling ability. He will get a look at corner and safety.
94. Red Bryant - DT - 6'4" 330 lbs. - Texas A&M
Massive defensive tackle flashes big play ability but has been inconsistent. He combines power, agility and quickness between the tackles.
95. Pat Lee - CB - 6' 200 lbs - Auburn
The fast cover man has the athletic package to become a fine pro after a big final season in the always-tough SEC.
96. * Davone Bess - WR - 5'10" 195 lbs. - Hawaii
Explosive, smallish junior receiver has been a vital part of the incredible Hawaii passing game.
97. Chad Henne - QB - 6'2" 230 lbs. - Michigan
Henne is a classic pocket passer. He battled through injuries in 2007, and needs a strong performance at the Senior Bowl to move up the rankings.
98. Charles Godfrey - CB - 6' 210 lbs. - Iowa
This veteran corner had a solid career against NFL-caliber receivers. He is primed for a big week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
99. * Jerod Mayo - LB - 6'2" 230 lbs. - Tennessee
The fast underclassman declared after an outstanding 2007 season. He showed sideline-to-sideline speed with the instincts to finish plays.
100. * Andre Fluellen - DT - 6'3" 285 lbs. - Florida Ste
This athletic tackle had an inconsistent final season, which has hindered his draft grade at this point. He needs a big postseason to move higher.

These rankings do not correspond to the order in which he projects these players to be selected in the draft.

(List updated: January 18, 2008)

Frank Coyle is a nationally known NFL scout who publishes Draft Insiders' Digest and www.draftinsiders.com. Draft Insiders' Digest is dedicated to year-round coverage of NFL and NCAA Football. Coyle covers the NFL Draft and free agency extensively with a veteran scouting staff that provides insightful and unique information on players and team potential in the coming seasons. Draft Insiders' Digest is an extensive publication that produces more than 20 issues throughout the year, beginning with an Online Pro Prospects Preview and Fantasy Football Rankings in August and a 200-page Draft Yearbook in March.



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