NFLDraftScout.com has tracked the mad rush of underclassmen and delivers an early breakdown of all 53 early entries for the 2011 NFL Draft. Each player is listed by overall ranking on NFLDraftScout.com's Big Board, followed by where we rank each player among prospects at their own position and analysis:
Pos/Player/School Overall ranking/Position ranking
CB Patrick Peterson, LSU 1/1
Providing shutdown coverage and dynamic return skills could make Peterson the highest drafted cornerback ever.
DT Nick Fairley, Auburn, 2/1
Big (6-4, 299) and explosive, Fairley might be the draft's most gifted prospect, but scouts worry he's a one-year wonder.
DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson 3/1
Began to live up to his billing as the top prep prospect in the country in 2008, Bowers (6-4, 275) led the country with 15.5 sacks in '10.
WR A.J. Green, Georgia 4/1
A dominant player since he stepped onto the field for the Bulldogs, Green's height, hands and body control have drawn comparisons to Randy Moss.
DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina 5/2
The most explosive pass rusher in an extraordinary class of defensive linemen, Quinn will have to convince NFL teams his character is not a concern following a season-long suspension.
DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama 6/2
Perhaps the most versatile of the 2011 defensive linemen, Dareus has the bulk to hold up on the nose in the 3-4 and the burst to wreak havoc as a three-technique.
QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri 8/1
Coming from spread offense, but has the size, arm strength, release and IQ to handle conversion to pro-style.
WR Julio Jones, Alabama 10/2
Doesn't possess the speed to wow the NFL, but his size and physicality remind scouts of the Giants' Hakeem Nicks.
OLB Aldon Smith, Missouri 11/2
With half of the league's teams playing the 3-4, his burst and length could make him an ideal rush linebacker.
QB Cam Newton, Auburn 13/2
The jump from Gus Malzahn's spread-option attack to a pro-style offense is considerable, but so too is Newton's upside.
RB Mark Ingram, Alabama 14/1
The 2009 Heisman winner lacks ideal size, speed or strength; so too did Emmitt Smith.
RB Mikel LeShoure, Illinois 16/2
If LeShoure's 1,697 rushing yards and 17 TDs don't impress you, his combination of size (6-0, 230) and acceleration certainly should.
|Nick Fairley strikes a winning pose with the Lombardi Award. (AP)|
Played right tackle for the Trojans, but is one of few in this class with the athleticism to play left tackle. Raw, but his potential could move him to top of the class.
DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin 22/6
Former walk-on who has emerged to be one of the top 3-4 defensive ends in the country.
QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas 23/4
Scouts love his size, big arm and production, but questions about his footwork and leadership are a legitimate concern.
OLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA 25/3
One of the few OLBs capable of playing in either the 4-3 or 3-4 because of his size and athleticism. Has only average instincts, however.
CB Brandon Harris, Miami (Fla) 27/3
Struggled against Notre Dame's 6-3, 215-pound Michael Floyd in the Sun Bowl, but his speed and agility in coverage will keep him in the first round.
OLB Justin Houston, Georgia 29/4
Experienced as a 3-4 rush linebacker, the 6-3, 258-pound Houston finished second only to Fairley in the SEC in sacks (10).
TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame 31/1
Rudolph's hold on the No. 1 TE spot could be stronger than any other player at any other position if his hamstring checks out.
WR Torrey Smith, Maryland 32/3
A developing route-runner with rare speed and return skills, Smith left Maryland early as the Terps' career record-holder with 5,183 all-purpose yards.
CB Aaron Williams, Texas 33/4
Possessing size (6-1, 195) and speed (4.45), Williams was one of the few bright spots in a season to forget in Austin.
ILB Martez Wilson, Illinois 35/1
Highly touted prep prospect began to put it all together as a junior; could prove a better NFL player than he was in college.
WR Jon Baldwin, Pittsburgh 37/4
Has "freakish" speed at 6-5, 230 pounds, but is a better athlete than football player to this point.
DT Corey Liuget, Illinois 38/4
A bit under the radar, but shows a legit burst off the snap to project nicely as a three-technique defensive tackle.
RB Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech 42/3
Talented enough to push Ingram to be the top back in the draft, but teams might have a hard time taking Williams in the first round considering his disappointing, injury-filled 2010 campaign.
RB Jordan Todman, Connecticut 48/4
Lacks the bulk to be an every-down runner in the NFL, but his agility, speed and hands have led to comparisons to Eagles RB LeSean McCoy.
DT Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple 55/7
Might climb draft boards just as a similar player, Linval Joseph, did last year.
WR Randall Cobb, Kentucky 59/6
The most versatile playmaker in the draft, Cobb broke the SEC record with 2,396 all-purpose yards as a receiver, runner, passer and returner.
FS Rahim Moore, UCLA 62/2
Scouts like Moore's athleticism and ball skills (he led FBS with 10 INTs in 2009), but were surprised he left early after a disappointing season as an open-field tackler.
DT Jurrell Casey, Southern Cal 64/8
Short, stout and slippery, Casey's ability to slither through gaps makes him an ideal fit as a three-technique defensive tackle.
CB Brandon Burton, Utah 67/8
Unknown outside the Mountain West Conference, Burton's size and competitiveness could land him in the second round.
FS Robert Sands, West Virginia 80/3
At 6-4, 221, Sands looks like -- and has the instincts of -- a linebacker. If able to prove his speed in workouts, he could skyrocket up draft boards.
RB Shane Vereen, California 85/8
Most think of the QB position when Cal head coach Jeff Tedford's draft production is the topic, but the playmaking Vereen is hoping to follow the footsteps of JJ Arrington, Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett and Jahvid Best, the former Bears' backs who have made the successful jump to the NFL since playing in Tedford's offense.
WR Tandon Doss, Indiana 89/9
Quietly led the Big Ten with an average of 175.8 all-purpose yards per game, and Doss has emerged as a legitimate top-10 receiver in this draft -- though few know his name.
SS Tyler Sash, Iowa 94/3
With prototype size, instincts and a penchant for the big play, Sash could leap up the board if he runs well in pre-draft workouts.
FS Jerrard Tarrant, Georgia Tech 99/4
In a weak year for safeties, this former cornerback's athleticism and versatility as a returner stands out.
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State 101/9
A first-team All-Pac-10 selection after each of his three seasons, there simply wasn't anything -- other than maybe a growth spurt -- that the 5-7, 192-pound Rodgers could do to improve his NFL stock.
OLB Thomas Keiser, Stanford 106/11
An underrated component of the Cardinals' successful defense, this 6-5, 244-pounder could surprise as a third-rounder for a 3-4 club.
RB Jamie Harper, Clemson 107/10
Possesses a rare combination of quick feet and soft hands for a 5-11, 235-pound back. Harper might be the top big back in the draft.
DT Lawrence Guy, Arizona State 120/14
Physical and athletic, this 6-5, 290-pounder is hardly "just a guy;" he could surprise as a mid-round steal.
RB Stevan Ridley, LSU 141/14
A physical back with surprising burst considering his 6-0, 223-pound frame, Ridley was often the only offense the Tigers could rely on.
RB Taiwan Jones, Eastern Washington 161/16
Simply too fast and elusive for defenses at the FCS level, Jones' 1,742 yards helped put the Eagles in position to win the National Championship. Scouts worry about his durability.
RB John Clay, Wisconsin 175/17
No one questions Clay's power or production, but his marginal foot quickness at 248 pounds reminds scouts of former Badgers' star (and NFL bust) Ron Dayne.
FS Will Hill, Florida 176/9
Hill's size (6-1, 207) and athleticism will intrigue scouts, but with only one inconsistent season as a starter, he should have returned to Gainesville.
FB Henry Hynoski, Pittsburgh 183/3
With Dion Lewis and Jon Baldwin earning the hype, Hynoski quietly emerged as one of the elite fullback prospects in the country.
RB Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh 185/18
Lewis' vision, agility and surprising power for a back with his frame (5-7, 190) could make him a terrific sleeper for the late rounds.
WR DeAndre Brown, Southern Mississippi 195/24
If Brown (6-5, 239) can prove to scouts he's healthy, his eye-popping athleticism could make him one of the draft's fastest-rising prospects.
WR Tori Gurley, South Carolina 205/26
He's 6-4, 230 pounds with reliable hands; Gurley could find a niche as a possession receiver.
RB Darren Evans, Virginia Tech 282/24
Overshadowed by Ryan Williams, it was the 5-11, 220-pound Evans who led the Hokies in rushing yards and touchdowns two of the past three years.
DT Siliga Sealver, Utah 305/25
Short, squat and powerful, Sealver has some talent but his decision to come out early was a stunner.
DE Zane Parr, Virginia 355/29
At 6-6, 275 pounds Parr might have felt he was a poor fit in Virginia's new 4-3 scheme -- entering the draft early, however, wasn't a wise decision.
WR Jamel Hamler, Fresno State 363/44
At 6-2, 195 pounds, Hamler has NFL size and emerged as a playmaker for the Bulldogs, but to guarantee being picked at all, he'll need to run well.
OT Nick Claytor, Georgia Tech 394/29
Stunned the NFL with his decision to leave early despite a grade of 5th-7th round from the Advisory Committee. Claytor has talent, but with only 15 starts to his credit, he's quite raw.