It's a slow day in sports, yet I continue to mark off the days until the NFL Draft in late April. Nothing has changed, but the combine kicks off tomorrow, which is the last opportunity potential draftees will have to move their stock up or down.
BEST FRANCHISE PLAYER: Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska, DT. He's got star written all over him, and will be either the first or second player to hear his name called. Suh will be the cog of some poor team's defensive line for years to come. He owned Big 12 offensive linemen all year, and now he'll have his chance at the next level.
Runner up: Eric Berry, Tennessee, S. Berry shows visions of now-deceased Redskins safety Sean Taylor, and will be a game changer in the NFL. He'd be the No. 1 player on the board if it wasn't such a deep draft for defensive linemen.
BIGGEST SLEEPER: Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan, QB. The quarterback who nobody's talking about, LeFevour is projected by ESPN as the sixth quarterback chosen. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, he has good size that screams future starter. He's considered above average with regard to his release, arm strength and mobility, and was extremely prolific for the Chippewas.
Runner up: Rolando McClain, Alabama, LB. Yes, he's a sleeper, especially if he falls out of the top 10. McClain has great size and speed that will translate to the next level, and he's a big time playmaker. ESPN calls him the quarterback of the defense, and I can see him developing into a poor man's Ray Lewis if things go the way they should.
BIGGEST GAMBLE: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB. Bradford will become one of the best cases that agents will use to lure players to head to the NFL before exhausting their eligibility. The Sooners quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner looked like a surefire NFL starter before coming back and severely injuring his arm twice. Now, scouts wonder if he'll hold up to the hits that linebackers and defensive linemen will deliver on Sundays.
Runner up: Carlos Dunlap, Florida, DE. Dunlap has the tools to be worthy of a first-round pick, but his decision making skills took a hit when he was arrested for a DUI right before the SEC Championship, forcing him to miss the entire game.
BIGGEST FUTURE BUST: CJ Spiller, Clemson, RB. I'm not buying the hype. Though Spiller made a great jack of all trades at Clemson, he won't be an every-down back in the NFL. In fact, he'll probably be more of a Reggie Bush type, meaning he'll catch passes out of the backfield, run the ball 10-12 times a game and return punts and kicks. Not worthy of a first round pick in my book.
Runner up: Arrelious Benn, Illinois, WR. Before the season, Benn was considered the top wide receiver in the draft. But a very subpar senior season (38 catches for 490 yards and two touchdowns) dropped Benn's stock to the second round. I see him as a possession receiver in the NFL, though, and not a future No. 1 wide receiver on an NFL roster. He doesn't have the explosiveness of Percy Harvin, the hands of Cris Carter or the ups of Randy Moss, so why is he worthy of a lucrative NFL contract?
QUICKEST PLAYER TO MAKE AN IMPACT: Russell Okung, Oklahoma State, OT. A likely starter from day one, Okung is one of the most polished players to enter the NFL Draft. He has slightly fallen on a few mock draft boards as some analysts believe there are other offensive tackles in the draft with higher ceilings (i.e. Anthony Davis from Rutgers and Trent Williams from Oklahoma).
Runner up: Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State, WR. Though Bryant missed a chunk of the season due to an improper relationship with former NFL player Deion Sanders, Bryant is the unanimous No. 1 wide receiver in the draft, ahead of Illinois' Arrelious Benn. After Benn, there are about 12 receivers who are around the same skill level and could fall between the second and fourth rounds.