Profiles of Top Offensive Players by Position

NEW YORK - Notable offensive players in the NFL draft, grouped by projected NFL positions:


Position Outlook: There's no easy choice here for teams looking for the franchise QB. Injuries and coaching systems in college all cause plenty of drawbacks.

-Sam Bradford, 6-foot-4, 236 pounds, Oklahoma, junior: His well-known shoulder injury may not keep him from being the first QB taken. Or first player selected overall. Very accurate on the kinds of short and medium throws currently in fashion. Quick release, but not totally over the top. Occasionally will hold ball too long.

-Jimmy Clausen, 6-3, 222, Notre Dame, junior: Three-year starter in a pro-style system with a quick delivery, but less than ideal deep ball arm strength.

-Colt McCoy, 6-1, 216, Texas: Good decision maker with a less than elite arm. Excellent short-pass accuracy, but deep balls need work. Nimble on his feet. A leader and a winner.

-Tim Tebow, 6-3, 236, Florida: A central question of the 2010 NFL draft: which team is willing to take Florida's linebacker-sized, power-running quarterback with the slow release and lack of experience in a pro-style system? No questions about his leadership.

-Tony Pike, 6-6, 223, Cincinnati: Prototypical size, lit it up in college, what's not to like? Well, one reason he's so good on short passing is that was the system at Cincinnati. Plenty of injury history, too.


Position Outlook: There's not a flawless prospect in the bunch, but many have much to recommend them. Spiller and Best were highlight-reel staples, McKnight and Mathews reliable bell-cows, and Tate had a strong combine.

-C.J. Spiller, 5-11, 196, Clemson: Spiller is more of a game-breaker than a workhorse type of back. Lack of size means he won't be grinding out 30-carry games in December, but rare speed and acceleration should make him a threat to score any time he gets the ball.

-Ryan Mathews, 6-0, 218, Fresno State, junior: Productive, hard runner with a good burst through the hole. Not experienced in passing game and durability is a bit of a concern. A possible future workhorse. Led nation in rushing per game, 150.7 yards.

-Jahvid Best, 5-10, 199, California, junior: Near-weekly highlight producer, unfortunately including a concussion in November. A major threat due to absurd acceleration and speed; not a grinder. Concussion history is always a concern, of course.

-Joe McKnight, 5-11, 198, Southern Cal, junior: Elusive, but shows some good power for his size. Good vision and patience. Injuries and bulk are concerns.

-Ben Tate, 5-11, 220, Auburn: Tough, one-cut bowling ball type willing to lower the shoulder into helpless defenders. Not an outside runner.


Position outlook: A thin group this year means second-round talent might start coming off the board early for teams who have taken care of defensive needs.

-Dez Bryant, 6-2, 225, Oklahoma State, junior: Physically gifted, with all the size and speed position requires. Maturity issues will give teams pause. Missed 10 games in 2009 for lying to NCAA.

-Demaryius Thomas, 6-3, 244, Georgia Tech, junior: Good size, speed and athletic ability, but routes are a bit of a mess. Nice hands and ability to make plays on the ball. Scored well on Wonderlic.

-Golden Tate, 5-10, 199, Notre Dame, junior: Excellent route runner and playmaker who lacks elite size or speed. Good hands.

-Arrelious Benn, 6-1, 219, Illinois, junior: Big and fast, he needs some coaching on routes. Good hands, excellent after-catch skills.

-Dezmon Briscoe, 6-2, 207, Kansas: Inconsistent, but the hands and size are there. Good after the catch, despite lack of serious speed.


Position outlook: The lack of options for elite pass catchers will push tight ends into the arms of hard-up teams earlier than otherwise might have happened.

-Jermaine Gresham, 6-5, 261, Oklahoma, junior: October surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee is the biggest concern for Gresham, an elite prospect with the speed to stretch defenses. Blocking is a work in progress.

-Aaron Hernandez, 6-2, 245, Florida: Good hands and body control in passing game, along with nice speed. A touch undersized, and blocking seems more suited for H-back.

-Dennis Pitta, 6-4, 245, BYU: A receiving tight end with nice athleticism and good route running. Not experienced as a down blocker at all. Also is 25 years old.

-Rob Gronkowski, 6-6, 264, Arizona, junior: Big, tons of athleticism, good hands - and he's an able blocker. Health concerns could cause teams to take a pass after he missed 2009 and three games in 2008.


Position Outlook: One of the few deep positions on the offensive side of the ball, there may not be an easy early pick such as a Joe Thomas or Jason Smith, but there are plenty of strong prospects.

-Russell Okung, 6-5, 307, Oklahoma State, junior: Big and long-armed, he's nimble on his feet and shows the always appreciated "mean streak'' in running game.

-Anthony Davis, 6-5, 323, Rutgers, junior: Mammoth but nimble. Yep, he looks like a left tackle, though Davis may be a notch below some of the elite LT prospects in years past, it's not a very big notch. Weight issues.

-Bryan Bulaga, 6-5, 314, Iowa, junior: Comes from a program that always seems to have OLs ready to play in NFL. Lack of truly elite physical qualities means speed rushers can be troublesome at times.

-Trent Williams, 6-5, 315, Oklahoma: Projects as an RT, especially in the run game, where he can be a bulldozer. Might have to add some size.

-Mike Iupati, 6-5, 331, Idaho, junior: Huge interior line prospect with strength and some agility. Not all that fast, and English is not native language. Key to college program's improvement.

-Maurkice Pouncey, Florida, 6-4, 304, junior: Quick out of his center's crouch despite his size; can also play guard. Sharp feel for the game. Had labrum surgery before last season.

-Bruce Campbell, 6-6, 314, Maryland, junior: Physical specimen of an LT prospect whose biggest drawback is a demonstrated lack of durability. Tools and technique will tempt some team into making a move, and had excellent workouts.

-Rodger Saffold, 6-4, 316, Indiana: Three-year starter at left tackle, but may need to move inside. Smooth in pass protection, needs to work on pulling and other run techniques.