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2017 NFL Draft Prospects: Love/Hate January Edition

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TNS

A monthly feature providing opinions on the most underrated and overrated 2017 NFL draft prospects by position group throughout the pre-draft process.

Offensive Skill:

Love:

Malachi Dupree, WR, LSU

Dupree is a tall, smooth athlete in the A.J. Green mold. He was one of the top receivers in the 2014 recruiting class, but his development was stunted by LSU’s poor quarterback play. If he declares early after a breakout bowl performance, Dupree can provide legitimate number one receiver potential from a Day 2 selection. - Vasilis Lericos

Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan and Mike Williams, WR, Clemson (tie)

Both of these two receivers are undeniably excellent. Davis has impressed with his combination of size, strength and speed all season, and did not fail to do such in his team’s Cotton Bowl loss to Wisconsin. Davis is my number one ranked wide receiver in this year’s draft. But Clemson’s Mike Williams gave Davis a run for his money. Williams shredded Alabama’s vaunted secondary, hauling in eight catches for 94 yards. Williams also had multiple incredible catches in the title game. Williams made the big plays when Clemson needed them, an ability that NFL teams covet. - Matt Cohen

Hate:

Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Billed as a generational talent, picking Fournette in the top half of the first round would be a reach. Adrian Peterson’s 1.9 yards per carry average in 2016 shows just how dependent even the best rushers are on blocking. Fournette has a concerning injury history and LSU backup Derrius Guice was more efficient in each of the last two seasons. - Vasilis Lericos

Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State

Samuel is a talented player, but I’m not sure where he fits in the NFL. He isn’t elite at either running back or wide receiver, but plays both well. He will have to choose one position or the other before the draft. Percy Harvin may be the best comparison due to the versatility and speed, but Samuel is not as talented as the former Florida Gator. - Matt Cohen

Offensive Line:

Love:

Jay Guillermo, C, Clemson

How many times did you hear Jonathan Allen’s name called in Alabama’s loss to Clemson, not many. Yes, Allen had a sack, but he did not have the impact on games that he typically does. Why? Clemson’s interior offensive line did a great job slowing him down. Guillermo had two poor snaps in the title game, but is excellent blocking in pass protection against one of the best fronts in the nation was extremely impressive. - M.C.

Tyler Orlosky, C, West Virginia

This four year starter is one of the safest players in a weak offensive line class. He uses intelligence and strong hands to overcome his athletic limitations. His tape reminds me of Matt Birk, he will be drafted sooner than most pundits predict. - V.L.

Hate:

Pat Elflein, C, Ohio St.

Ranked as the #2 center in the class by most scouts, he does not have the strength to anchor against big defensive tackles. Elflein was manhandled in each of the Buckeye’s final two games against Michigan and Clemson. He is also inconsistent with shotgun snaps. - V. L.

Roderick Johnson, LT, Florida State

Johnson has plummeted down draft boards over the course of this season, from once being considered among the best tackles in the nation with Cam Robinson, to likely a mid round selection. Johnson was unable to stop Michigan DE Taco Charlton in the Orange Bowl, as Charlton constantly disrupted the the Florida State backfield. - M.C.

Defensive Front:

Love:

Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama

Tim Williams overshadowed Anderson this season, but Anderson is a more complete player. Williams has better length and is more explosive but both of Alabama’s edge rushers notched nine sacks. Anderson can set the edge against the run, has a great motor and will provide strong value as a Day 2 selection. - V. L.

DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State

Walker was incredible against Michigan, seeming causing disruption on every play. Michigan had one of the best offensive lines in the nation this season, but yet could not find any way to keep Walker out of the backfield. Walker has the skills and size to be a very productive player on the next level as an elite pass rusher. - M.C.

Hate:

Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois

Walker and Smoot both came into the year with high expectations, but Smoot, unlike Walker, did not live up to them. Smoot had just five sacks on the year, not the expected production for a player projected to be selected in the first or second round. - M.C.

Carl Lawson, Edge, Auburn

Lawson is not a top prospect. He is inconsistent as a pass rusher and non existent against the run. He also lacks ideal length and has an extensive history of injuries. - V. L.

Secondary:

Love:

Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson

Tankersley was arguably the best player on Clemson’s defense in its triumph over Alabama. Tankersley took one of the best wide receivers in the nation, Calvin Ridley, completely out of the game. Tankersley’s excellent coverage is a key reason why Jalen Hurts only completed 13 of 31 passes. Tankersley strong play against Alabama’s powerhouse offense likely vaulted him up draft boards. - M.C.

Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida

Wilson is the closest prospect to Patrick Peterson in several classes. He outplayed teammate Jalen Tabor this season. Some evaluators project Wilson as a third rounder, but with elite size, technique and ballhawk ability, he should be the first corner taken off the board. - V. L.

Hate:

Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan

Perhaps the most overhyped player in recent memory, Peppers is not the difference maker he has been billed as. With one career interception to his name he struggles in pass coverage. Expect a similar learning curve as fellow ‘tweener Myles Jack. - V. L.

Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan

The talent is clearly there as Lewis is one of the best shutdown corners in the nation. However for the Ravens, who already have a small corner in Tavon Young, should not draft yet another small corner in Lewis. In addition, Lewis did not have a great game against Florida State, he allowed the game winning touchdown. - M.C.