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Five bold draft predictions: McClain at No. 5, Tebow in Round 1

by | NFLDraftScout.com

NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analysts Rob Rang and Chad Reuter each predict five things that few others are willing to hang their hat on leading into the NFL Draft.

5. Kansas City will select Alabama inside linebacker Rolando McClain with the No. 5 overall pick

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Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli proved last season with the selection of defensive end Tyson Jackson that his board is his own. Rolando McClain is the top 3-4 inside linebacker prospect in the draft, potentially taking on a Patrick Willis-type role for new defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.

Corey Mays is not a great playmaker inside, and Derrick Johnson, who isn't a good fit in the Chiefs' scheme, could potentially be traded after signing his restricted free agent tender.

4. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow will be a first-round selection

There's a better chance than most believe that Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, despite his high learning curve in mechanics, will be a top 10 selection. Buffalo and Jacksonville may be interested enough in his intangibles and physical traits to select him that high, but it's more likely that one of those teams will move up in the mid-to-late first round to select the two-time BCS champion and 2007 Heisman Trophy winner.

Look for teams to secure a 2010 second-round pick and/or future first-round pick to step aside for his suitors.

3. Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap lasts until the third round

Last year, Georgia Tech defensive end Michael Johnson was a decorated player with great athleticism. Scouts had issues with his consistency on tape and ability to make plays against better tackles, however, and he fell into the third round.

Dunlap's story is very similar; he appears to be one of the better athletes among the defensive end class, but his game film and off-field issues aren't impressing teams. Don't be surprised if he is still on the board after the half-way point of Friday night's festivities.

2. UAB quarterback/wide receiver Joe Webb will be a top 100 pick

Rolando McClain could be a major building block in Kansas City. (US Presswire)  
Rolando McClain could be a major building block in Kansas City. (US Presswire)  
The 6-foot-3, 223-pound Joe Webb is an exceptional athlete who played quarterback for the Blazers, becoming the first player in NCAA history to pass for at least 2,000 yards and rush for at least 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons.

At the Senior Bowl, he looked raw at the receiver position, where he played a bit as a sophomore (30 catches for 459 yards and three touchdowns). But he flashes good hands and body control, and his elite pro day (4.44-second 40-yard dash, 41.5-inch vertical, 11-5 broad jump, 4.04-second short shuttle, 6.71-second 3-cone drill, 21 bench reps at 225 pounds) made teams wonder if he shouldn't be a project player worth taking a chance on late in the third round.

1. Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead, Syracuse wide receiver Mike Williams and Michigan defensive back Donovan Warren will not be drafted

Jevan Snead has gone from a preseason top five favorite to a potential undrafted free agent. His inability to read defenses, consistently poor decisions with the ball, average arm strength and athleticism and early departure from Ole Miss because he was not guaranteed to be the starter in 2010 (redshirt freshman Nathan Stanley outplayed Snead at times last season) do not portend a great draft experience.

Mike Williams' suspensions and aloof attitude in interviews have taken him from a potential top 50 pick to completely off some teams' boards. He is a strong receiver with solid hands and an innate ability to make plays downfield, but his very average scouting combine was not enough to overcome his other issues.

Donovan Warren was a productive defensive back, but he is a prime candidate to be among the unlucky underclassmen not hearing his name called during the draft because of his stiff hips and lack of speed.

Even if any or all of the three are drafted, don't look for it to happen before the late sixth or early seventh rounds; this will be a cautionary tale for future juniors or redshirt sophomores considering heading to the NFL before they complete their eligibility.

Chad Reuter is a Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange


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