Commentary

Athleticism has WR Decker on the rise

Texas LB Muckelroy and WR Shipley stepping out of the shadows

Originally Published: October 16, 2009
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
This is the time of year when underrated prospects begin soaring up draft boards and overrated prospects start getting exposed. Here is Scouts Inc.'s first look at underrated players who are ascending our draft board:

[+] EnlargeEric Decker
Jack Rendulich/Icon SMIEric Decker's ability to elevate is one of the reasons his stock is rising.

1. Minnesota WR Eric Decker -- Decker is an underrated athlete who is also a smooth-hitting center fielder on the Golden Gophers' baseball team. On the football field he's a competitive, physical receiver with deceptive speed and excellent body control for his size. Scouts are also buzzing about his underrated ability to climb the ladder and high-point the ball. Don't be surprised if Decker works his way into the late first round.

2. Texas LB Roderick Muckelroy -- Pick apart Muckelroy's lack of ideal size and top-end speed all you want. People said the same things about DeMeco Ryans (Houston Texans) coming out of Alabama. Much like Ryans, Muckelroy has the outstanding instincts and toughness to overcome his lack of ideal physical tools in the NFL. Muckelroy is also the most consistent performer on a Texas defense loaded with NFL talent, including heavily hyped DE Sergio Kindle. Muckelroy could slip out of the first two rounds if he doesn't perform well during workouts, but he's the type of player who will make teams regret passing on him.

For a look at the rest of the top five, this weekend's matchup between Taylor Mays and Jimmy Clausen, a small-school prospect to watch and Scouts Inc.'s updated top 32, become an ESPN Insider. Insider