The passing numbers for Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm went up in 2007.
Somehow, surprisingly, his draft stock went the other way.
At this time a year ago, Brohm made a decision to stay in school instead of entering the 2007 NFL Draft, which most thought to be the right decision, especially since he was considered the No. 1 overall prospect for the 2008 draft at the time.
|It's more than just the number that makes Prisco think of Jim Kelly when he sees Brian Brohm. (Getty Images)|
How did that happen?
"Over-analysis," one NFC scout said. "That's what we do. Give scouts 12 months and they'll tear everybody apart."
They're wrong about Brohm. He's the best quarterback in this draft, better than Boston College's Matt Ryan, who will be the first quarterback taken.
He's also the headliner of my annual "Better-Than" Team, made up of players I think are better than most of the scouts do.
Brohm had 30 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions, while Ryan threw 31 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions. Brohm also had a better completion percentage than Ryan. Yet as the draft nears, it's Ryan who will be a top-10 overall pick. Brohm has to hope somebody at the back end of the first round likes him enough to take him there. If not, it's the second round at best for him.
He's Exhibit A in what over-scouting can do to a player.
My Better-Than team isn't about over-analysis. It's about football players. Can you block? Can you tackle? Do you produce yards when the ball is in your hands?
In recent years, the team has featured a list of 20 players. This year's team is expanded to 25 because there are so many players I like more than the scouts do.
Some I will hit. Some I will miss. It's not unlike the scouts themselves. They miss as well. It's just that when they do it, it costs a heck of a lot more than when I do.
Beau Bell, LB, UNLV: He's a thumping middle/inside linebacker who made a ton of plays for the Rebels. He doesn't run well, which his why teams will drop him down. Bell battled through a lot of injuries during his career, including a knee injury that didn't allow him to run at the combine.
Cory Boyd, RB, South Carolina: He's a tough inside runner who averaged 5 yards per carry last season. He surprised a lot of scouts when he was timed under 4.5 during his workouts. Most scouts have Boyd as about a fifth-round pick. That's too low.
Chauncey Washington, RB, Southern California: He shared time at USC during his career, so his numbers aren't as impressive as some other backs. He also missed time for academic issues. He started 11 games last season. Washington is an elusive runner and I think his 4.4 times in the 40 at USC's Pro Day will help his cause.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Mississippi: He played on a bad team at Ole Miss, which limited his ability against top-notch competition. Yet he still ran for 1,137 yards last season. Clocked at 4.5, he doesn't have breakaway speed, but he knows how to move the chains. He's worth a late-round pick.
Jeremy Leman, LB, Illinois: Leman played a big part in getting the Illini to the Rose Bowl last season. He was an active tackler the past two years. Watch Illinois play, and you saw Leman show up. The problem is he suffered an ankle injury in the Rose Bowl that required surgery. He hasn't been able to work out.
Thomas Williams, LB, USC: Williams wasn't a starter at USC, playing behind three future first-round picks. But when he played, he showed well. He had four starts last season and showed he had the talent to start on a lot of teams. Should be a good special-teams player.
Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona: After initially looking like a second-round pick, there is now some talk that Cason is moving back into the first round. That's the way it should be. He's a smooth cover player who knows how to go after the football. He isn't a burner, but he's fast enough.
Marcus Howard, DE, Georgia: He's not big enough to play defensive end on a full-time basis and he might not be quick enough to play linebacker full time. So what is he? How about a football player? He has the speed teams love off the corner. Don't worry about his size.
Chevis Jackson, CB, LSU: The only knock on this kid is his 40 time. I can't tell you how many times scouts have said they wished he was faster. But he's got a knack for playing corner. Will be a perfect Cover-2 corner.
Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville: I've made no secret of how I think he's the top quarterback in this draft. If he lasts until the second round, the team that gets him will be getting a steal. He reminds me of Jim Kelly.
Ryan Torain, RB, Arizona State: He suffered a foot injury last season that cut short his chance to show off for the scouts. But he has been back running full speed again, which should drive his stock up. When he's healthy, he's a 1,200-yard rusher on the next level. He did have Lisfranc injury, which is a concern.
Kellen Davis, TE, Michigan State: He played both tight end and defensive end at Michigan State, which says a lot about his toughness. He's a big tight end at 6-feet-7 and 265 pounds. He doesn't always play with the passion he did last season.
D.J. Hall, WR, Alabama: He was a good receiver in a good conference. Hall doesn't have blazing speed, and he's a little lean, but he's the kind of player who gets under-drafted and ends up playing for a long time.
Shannon Boatman, T, Florida State: The scouts who went through FSU said this kid has a chance to be a starter on the next level. He has good size and athletic ability. He didn't always play up to his abilities at FSU.
Tommy Blake, DE, TCU: He has some mental-health issues, but he's a heck a pass rusher. If a team wants to take a chance on him late he might be worth the risk. Based on his on-field play, he should be a second-round pick.
Marcus Harrison, DT, Arkansas: An off-the-field issue hurts his status, but the scouts I talked to say he's actually a good kid. On the field, he's a force. At 6-6, 310 pounds, he's a space eater. Could have been a first-rounder.
Letroy Guion, DT, Florida State: Yes, he showed up fat to his Pro Day workout. That isn't good. But he played well last season for the Seminoles and when in shape can be a force.
Tavares Gooden, OLB, Miami: Do you want a linebacker who will be a 10-year starter? He might not have the flashy game, but Gooden is a good tackler who will be a solid NFL player.
Shawn Crable, OLB, Michigan: Is he a linebacker or a defensive end? Does it matter? He knows how to get to the football. He's a perfect 3-4 outside linebacker. In the 4-3, he might be able to play with his hand down.
Geoff Schwartz, OL, Oregon: He is 6-6, 330 pounds, so size isn't an issue. There are concerns as to whether he can handle speed rushers. He's a good drive-blocking tackle. Might also be able to move inside to guard in some systems.
Larry Grant, LB, Ohio State: On a star-studded defense, he made a lot of plays. If he were two inches taller, he'd be considered a potential first-round pick. At 6-feet, there are questions.
Tom Zbikowski, S, Notre Dame: He ran better than most scouts expected. He might not be a star safety, but he should find his way onto the field early in his career. At a bare minimum, he's a good special-teams player.
Mario Urrutia, WR, Louisville: He's a big, physical receiver at 6-6, 230 pounds. He doesn't have burning speed, but he plays faster than his 40 time. He fought through a turf toe injury last season.
Barry Richardson, T, Clemson: The smart thing to do would be to look at him as a guard. He struggled some on the edge as a pass protector, but he is good in the run game. Teams would be wise to convert slower college tackles to NFL guards.
Bruce Davis, DE, UCLA: Davis had 29 sacks in his career as an undersized defensive end. Some teams think he can play linebacker. I think he can be a situational pass rusher as a down defensive end. He has pedigree since his father, Bruce Sr., played in the league for the Oakland Raiders as an offensive tackle.