We all know who Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, and Mike Mayock are, but do you know who Rick Gosselin is? If not, then you should. He is not a draft guru, analyzing and synthesizing numerous hours of game tape. He is what we like to call, an “informed” member of the media. Every year, he drops his top 100 draft rankings. Those rankings are not produced by knowledge, but by his sources. Gosselin is held in high regard because of his insider information and connections.
Gosselin writes for The Dallas Morning News, and his rankings are typically only viewable by a paid subscription. Luckily, I’ve gotten my hands on them. I will not post the entire rankings, because it breaks a de facto law between sites. However, I will post the ones that stick out, shockers per say. And boy oh boy, are there some shockers.
#10 Ranked WR – Leonard Hankerson
- This might be the lowest I’ve seen Hankerson ranked on any site. Most hold him as the top senior receiver in the draft, and a second round pick. Does Gosselin know something that we don’t? Are teams down on Hankerson? He showed well at the combine, running a 4.4 forty-yard dash, but that speed doesn’t always show up on the field. He also has some focus issues with catching the ball. Those factors may have him ranked lower on teams boards.
#2 Ranked OT – Nate Solder
- In the media, Nate Solder has been steadily dropping since his ordinary performance during Senior Bowl week. He’s shows some decencies with his technique, and some are worried about his height and knee bend. Gosselin ranking him number two makes you think. I tend to believe that Boston College OT, Anthony Castozno is the second ranked guy behind USC OT, Tyron Taylor. He has more experience, the ability to play both sides of the line, and is more technically sound.
#1 Ranked C, Not the #1 Ranked G – Mike Pouncey
- Lots of people like to argue whether or not Mike Pouncey can play center in the NFL. Most fans believe that he is not a Center, he is in fact a Guard. They typically point to his difficulties snapping the ball last year. I am in the belief that he can excel at both Center and Guard. Gosselin has Pouncey ranked as his number one Center, but he doesn’t even make the list as a Guard. Is this how the coaches and scouts feel in the NFL? Do they see Mike Pouncey in the same light as his brother, Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro Center, Maurkice Pouncey?
#5 Ranked OLB Trumps Big Names – K.J. Wright
- K.J. Wright is a solid developmental player who possesses some raw talent, but number five ranked Outside Linebacker? He beat out the likes of Mason Foster and Kelvin Sheppard. I’d be shocked if Wright went ahead of these guys.
#7 Ranked OLB A Shocker – Jabaal Sheard
- Jabaal Sheard is a Defensive End that has potential to play the 3-4 Outside Linebacker position. Gosselin does not have him listed as a Defensive End, solely as a Linebacker. This is a complete shocker to me. Do NFL teams feel that he is too undersized to play on the line? This subtlty in his rankings was one of the biggest surprises.
#1 Ranked ILB – Akeem Dent
- Most of you are saying, “who?” That’s right, Akeem Dent is Gosselin’s number one ranked Inside Linebacker. Sites like ESPN, CBS, NFL.com, have him ranked as a mid to late round guy. We know that Dent has been making the rounds to NFL teams, but do they really hold him in such high regard. Is Dent going to come off the board on day two?
Every year Gosselin gets a lot of his rankings right. It will be interesting to see how many of these “shockers” he hits on this year. Gosselin also has released a mock draft. We will have that for you shortly. It’s as interesting as his rankings.