Who's overrated, underrated in the NFL draft?

April, 13, 2012
4/13/12
12:30
PM ET
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper released his list this week of underrated and overrated prospects Insider in this year's draft.

You'll need Insider to see it all, but here's a few thoughts on the Big 12 talents he pegged.

UNDERRATED
Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State: It might feel odd to call a guy who is 28 and likely to go in Round 2 underrated. But evaluators agree that if Weeden were younger he'd be far higher. So what's my case? I think Weeden projects as a start-early QB who can help a franchise for 7-8 years, easy. And who in this league has a nine-year plan?
My take: Totally agree. There's no question in my mind that if Weeden were 23 or 24, he'd be a top-10 pick, instead of a player we'll talk about later. I asked WVU coach Dana Holgorsen about that on Wednesday, and he agreed as well. His arm strength and accuracy are rare, and he proved his worth as a decision-maker for the past two seasons. NFL teams may be hesitant to spend a high pick on him if he's not a 10- or 15-year guy in the league, but whoever gets him will get a gem for however long he plays.

OVERRATED
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M: I love Tannehill's upside, and I think he has a great shot to be a good starter, but the market on him has gotten a little out of hand in some respects. Remember, if Matt Barkley, Landry Jones and perhaps Tyler Wilson were in this draft, we're talking about a likelier bet for late-first or second round for Tannehill. Again, he can be a good one, but a lot of it is projecting, because while his physical abilities are so impressive there is much work to be done.
My take: Like Kiper, I don't quite understand how Tannehill has inexplicably floated into the top 10 as demand for quarterback grows and Tannehill looks like the third-best quarterback on the board. He's inexperienced at QB, which could steepen the learning curve, even though there's no question in my mind about his physical skills. Additionally, he raised tons of questions about his decision-making as a big part of A&M's second-half struggles in 2011. Tannehill may have a great career, but he looks more like a second-rounder or late first-rounder to me.
Keenan Robinson, OLB, Texas: Robinson belongs closer to the middle rounds than as high as the second, where I've seen him for some teams. A good outside backer who can hold up against the run, he doesn't take great angles. Robinson can develop but still needs some work.
My take: I'm not sure I agree quite as much here. Robinson's really athletic, and showed some capability to be a serviceable cover man. He probably won't have to do as much of that in the NFL, but I've always loved what he brought to Texas' defense in terms of a physical presence.

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