Ranking the Top 10 players in this years draft is a tricky business. A mix of talent, ability, size, speed, potential and preparedness were all factors. Here is our opening top 10 overall list:
1. Steven Jackson, RB, Oregon State Jackson shows glimpses of Colts RB -"Edge" James, but has a mean streak and often finishes runs by punishing would-be tacklers. He has size, speed, good moves and power. Dare we compare him to Walter Payton? No, at least not yet... but the thought crossed our minds.
2. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Pitt While only a Soph, he's got size, speed, hands and ability. He'll find the NFL CB's tougher to deal with - but he'll still be successful. Fitzy reminds us a little of our own Laveranues Coles.
3. Kellen Winslow, Jr., TE, Miami May well be the 'most prepared' youngster in the draft. He's got all the tools to be one of the best TE's to ever play the game. His youthful outburst caught on tape wasn't a good indication of him as a player.
4. Sean Taylor, S, Miami Sean Taylor has all the skills to be a superb NFL player. He's also got the intangibles that will propel him to an All-Pro level very quickly. He's a sure tackler and has super speed and size. Sean Taylor is a Player!
5a. Ben Roethlisberger QB, Miami OH 5b. Eli Manning, QB, Ole Miss. This is a close call so close, we didn't make a call at all. A slight edge to Roethlisberger at this point - but Manning can't be a bad pick with Archie and Peyton in his corner. Either QB will be a fine player at the next level.
6. Kevin Jones, RB, Va Tech Jones is a solid back. He shows great ability in making the first man miss and moving the ball up field with explosive speed. While Jackson is considered our top back, Jones won't be a dissappointment to the team lucky enough to draft him.
7. Carlos Dansby, LB, Auburn Dansby is often overlooked for some unknown reason. Dansby has incredible speed for a man of his size. He's a tough guy who reminds us of a young Levon Kirkland - only faster... that should be scary to a lot of people.
8. Robert Gallery, OT, Iowa Gallery is the only offensive lineman in our top 10. He's a dominant OT with the ability to protect his QB's blind side. If your QB needs a bodyguard - Gallery is your man.
9. Roy Williams WR, Texas We feel a little guilty ranking Williams this low in the Top 10. In fact, he could easily be in our Top 5. He's got outstanding size and speed with an uncanny nose for the endzone. There are a lot of Williams' in the draft - but Roy is the best available Williams.
10. Vince Wilfork, DT, Miami If Warren Sapp was a quiet, team-player; minus about eight years of wear and tear, and everyone on the team liked him... he'd be Vince Wilfork. Wilfork is a huge young man, very powerful and plays with a good head on his shoulders.
That's 11 guys to complete our Top 10... it's just that kind of draft in 2004.