Commentary

Georgia teammates underrated

RB Moreno, WR Massaquoi undervalued while a big-name wideout is overrated

Originally Published: April 17, 2009
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
After talking to teams and assessing where prospects might come off the board, and then comparing those findings to Scouts Inc.'s rankings, here's a look at the three most undervalued and overvalued prospects in the draft right now, followed by five potential Day 2 sleepers:

Most underrated

1. Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno
The vast majority of scouts we talk to feel Moreno is a more complete back and a much safer pick than Chris Wells, yet all the running back buzz is centered around Wells and how high he will be drafted. It's thought he might go as high as No. 14 overall to the New Orleans Saints, and that teams might overlook questions about Wells' attitude and work ethic because of his natural talent. Meanwhile, Moreno ranks 13th on Scouts Inc.'s overall draft board -- eight spots ahead of Wells -- but is projected to come off the board somewhere around No. 20. Any team that picks him in that area would be getting tremendous value and the best back in this draft.

[+] EnlargeLarry English
Matthew Mitchell/WireImage.comLarry English's skill set will make him a value pick somewhere late in the first round or beyond.

2. Northern Illinois OLB Larry English
English ranks behind other OLB/DE hybrids like Aaron Maybin, Brian Orakpo and Everette Brown, and rightly so. Where he's getting shortchanged, however, is in the ranking of the second tier. English is mentioned alongside Michael Johnson, Paul Kruger, Lawrence Sidbury and Cody Brown, but English separates himself from that group with his toughness, competitiveness and short-area burst. He looks like a late first-rounder at this point and could even slip out altogether, and any team that gets him at No. 25 or later will be getting tremendous bang for the buck.

3. Georgia WR Mohamed Massaquoi
Massaquoi improved as much over the course of his college career as any prospect in this draft, and he answered questions about his speed when he ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.4-second range at Georgia's pro day. And while he looks like a long strider because he is long-limbed, Massaquoi is an underrated route-runner with the ability to get into and out of his breaks fluidly. He also has great intangibles and an excellent work ethic and looks every bit like a second-round pick. It won't surprise us if five years from now Massaquoi is one of the two or three most productive receivers from this class.

Most overrated

1. Kansas State QB Josh Freeman
It's easy to fall in love with Freeman's physical tools -- size (6-foot-5¾, 248 pounds), rifle arm and deceptive mobility -- but he is not the next Ben Roethlisberger or Joe Flacco. Those players came out of college with great instincts, which Freeman is lacking. Too many times on film we see him picking up coverages late or staring down his primary target and not going through his progressions. Some of his weaknesses can be coached up, but there is no guarantee he has the mental capacity and natural recognition skills to develop into a solid starter in the NFL. We would have no problem taking a chance on him in the second round, but if a team like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 19) or Minnesota Vikings (No. 22) takes him in the first round, it would be a huge reach. Teams must be wary of making a desperation move simply because there is a huge drop-off in quarterback talent after Freeman.

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