In a recent post in which I evaluated the various draft pundits, Wes Bunting of the National Football Post earned one of my highest grades. In the years that I have been following him, I've been continually impressed by his rankings and willingness to stick to his opinions when they differ from those of the crowd. Thus it should not surprise that Bunting is among the handful of draftniks whose player grades and rankings I wait for with near-breathless anticipation. An added bonus is that his stuff is free; unlike with other draft sites, you won't have to pony up your hard-earned cash to gain access to his draft-obsessed brain.
Well, fortune has smiled on us, Cowboys Nation. Bunting's Big Board came out today, with positional rankings and player overviews, all topped off by a first-round mock. As did SB Nation's own Brian Galliford, Bunting gives the Cowboys Cal DE Cameron Jordan at the ninth pick. He's really impressed by Jordan, who he named as one of the five players who stood out at the Senior Bowl:
Cameron Jordan, DL, Cal: He’s explosive off of the line of scrimmage and unlike Miami’s Allen Bailey (a straight line pass rusher), Jordan had enough counter moves in his game to consistently win at the point of attack. Everyday when I watched one-on-ones and team drills, Jordan stood out. He can penetrate the offensive line and I see him as a DE that can align outside in a 4-3 front or as a 5 technique in a 3-4 scheme. As one scout said this week, there is always a player down in Mobile who punches that cash register. This week—it was Jordan. The D-Lineman from Cal made himself some money at the Senior Bowl.
I heartily suggest you take a long, leisurely look at the vast compendium of material. Because it may take a while to wade through all that goodness, here are some highlights to tide you over:
- The two top receivers in the draft are perched atop the rankings. A.J. Green comes in at numero uno overall; Alabama's Julio Jones is at number four.
- Some surprises in the offensive tackle rankings. Bunting has Tyron Smith at the top-rated tackle, at tenth overall, followed by Derek Sherrod, Gabe Carimi and--in a bit of an upset, Villanova's Ben Ijalana. Trailing behind are Anthony Castonzo and the man who most people have as the top-ranked OT, Colorado's Nate Solder--who comes in at #60 on Wes's Big Board.
- Baylor offensive tackle Danny Watkins, who will almost certainly play guard in the pros, comes in at a somewhat shocking number 16 overall.
- Nebraska's Prince Amukamara ranks as Bunting's fourth best cornerback. Patrick Peterson is, unsurprisingly, first (and #2 overall), but Brandon Harris and Jimmy Smith are ranked ahead of the Prince, who comes in at 33rd overall.
- Cameron Jordan, for all the raves he draws from Bunting, is only his fourth-rated DE. He comes in behind Robert Quinn (a 4-3 DE), Aldon Smith of Mizzou, and DaQuan Bowers, who a lot of folks have at #1 overall.
Go here for Bunting's stuff. And bookmark it; you'll want to visit a lot between now and April.