Three Draft Risers

Posted by Administrator On April - 7 - 2009

by Pete Dymeck

It is now April 7 and the pro days are wrapping up. The Senior Bowl and NFL Combine are long-gone but we have three players that are increasing their value for the upcoming draft.

Due to certain circumstances, these prospects are taking advantage of the downtime in between the combine and draft.

Let’s start our journey on the eastern seaboard

RB Donald Brown (Connecticut)

First, Brown is as natural of a runner as we will see out of this year’s crop of running backs. His cut-and-slash abilities make him suitable for any offense. Brown runs at a low-pad level and absorbs the hits brought onto him.

He has soft hands, which makes him more able of a receiver than a lot of the other running backs in this draft. Brown, taking advantage of LeSean McCoy’s porous workout numbers and Knowshon Moreno’s 4.60-forty, could possibly land in the later half of the first round.

This former UConn Huskie rushed for more than 2,000-yards and 18 touchdowns a year ago. He poses the upside of Shaun Alexander with the downside of Lee Suggs.

DE Lawrence Sidbury, Jr. (Richmond)
Never mind the fact that Sidbury hails from Richmond. Small school players with great talent always find a way into the NFL. Sidbury was watched by 24 NFL teams at his pro day. Just for comparison’s sake, only 1 team showed up for the Ball State pro day to see QB Nate Davis.

Teams are flocking to visit with Sidbury because he does very well in pursuit and is an aggressive attacker off of the line of scrimmage. Don’t knock him because of his size either. He has big hands and a quick burst. Coaches at Richmond declared that he was a great leader as well.

Sidbury is a prospect that will more than likely be drafted in the second or third round but he has the type of upside which would make him a sneaky late-first round selection. We all know too well how Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher drafts who he wants, regardless of “value.” Tennessee would be a great fit for Sidbury.

TE Anthony Hill (North Carolina State)
Anthony Hill’s draft value was left for dead when he tore his ACL in 2007. Since then, he has slowly regained momentum as he has gone from an undrafted free agent prospect into a middle rounds prospect.

Hill was never quick nor was he an elite receiver but his hands are good enough. What stands out is his blocking and strength. In those two categories, Hill has as much upside as any other tight end in this draft.

Okay, he may not be rising into the first or second round but Hill is definitely re-establishing himself in his predraft workouts as a Leonard Pope-like tight end. He will make the cut for an NFL franchise and hold down a job for sure. If Robert Royal can do it, so can Anthony Hill.