Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

February 14, 2008
More draft fodder

This is the time of the year my inbox starts to fill up with various rankings of players leading up to the Draft.

Matt Barrows gave you one list of rankings . So as promised, here are rankings from Mike Mayock of the NFL Network.

He has two surprises that go against conventional thinking. He ranks Rashard Mendenhall ahead of Darren McFadden at running back.

(And yes, I still believe the Raiders do not need to spend their first-round pick on a running back).

Mayock also has Sedrick Ellis ahead of Glenn Dorsey.

(A position the Raiders could use some help at).

There are two offensive tackles in Mayock's top-10 (Jake Long, Ryan Claddy).

The positions I’m most interested in (because I assume the Raiders would be) are offensive tackle, defensive tackle, defensive end, wide receiver and safety.

By time I leave next week’s NFL Combine, a lot of these rankings are subject to change.

Before I give you Mayock’s rankings, here are his takes on what he probably figured would be two controversial rankings.

Mayock on Illinois’ Rashard Mendenhall vs. Arkansas’ Darren McFadden:

“Mendenhall translates better to the NFL game. He’s 225 pounds and has great feet and tremendous burst and acceleration for a player of his size. My biggest concern with McFadden is that although he also has great burst and acceleration, I don’t think he has the lower body strength that you’re looking for in a first-round NFL back.”

Mayock on USC’s Sedrick Ellis vs. LSU’s Glenn Dorsey:

“They are both great football players and it’s a very difficult evaluation between the two as to who is better because they are both top-10 picks. What I like about Ellis is that he played nose tackle in a 3-4 defense at USC and that will appeal to 3-4 NFL teams. In addition, he will also appeal to the 4-3 teams because he has the quickness to play the “three technique.” Dorsey is a great football player and I give him credit for playing through injuries the past few years. However his durability is a concern.”
Now on to his rankings:

MIKE MAYOCK’S TOP 20 (as of February 12, 2008)

1. Matt Ryan - QB, Boston College
2. Sedrick Ellis – DT, USC
3. Chris Long - DE, Virginia
4. Glenn Dorsey – DT, LSU
5. Vernon Gholston – DE, Ohio State
6. Jake Long – OL, Michigan
7. Ryan Clady – OL, Boise State
8. Keith Rivers – LB, USC
9. Phillip Merling – DE, Clemson
10. Leodis McKelvin – CB, Troy
11. Brandon Flowers – CB, Virginia Tech
12. Rashard Mendenhall – RB, Illinois
13. Jeff Otah – OL, Pittsburgh
14. Derrick Harvey – DE, Florida
15. Kentwan Balmer – DT, North Carolina
16. Aqib Talib – CB, Kansas
17. Chris Williams – OL, Vanderbilt
18. Mario Manningham – WR, Michigan
19. Limas Sweed – WR, Texas
20. Branden Albert – OL, Virginia


MIKE MAYOCK’S TOP 5 RANKINGS BY POSITION (as of February 12, 2008)**

Quarterback
1. Matt Ryan - Boston College
2. Chad Henne - Michigan
3. Brian Brohm - Louisville
4. Joe Flacco - Delaware
5. Andre Woodson - Kentucky

Running Back
1. Rashard Mendenhall - Illinois
2. Darren McFadden - Arkansas
3. Jonathan Stewart - Oregon
4. Felix Jones - Arkansas
5. Chris Johnson - East Carolina

Fullback
1. Jacob Hester - LSU
2. Peyton Hillis - Arkansas
3. Owen Schmitt - West Virginia

Wide Receiver
1. Mario Manningham - Michigan
2. Limas Sweed - Texas.
3. DeSean Jackson - California
4. Malcolm Kelly - Oklahoma
5. Early Doucet - LSU

Tight End
1. Fred Davis - USC
2. John Carlson - Notre Dame
3. Dustin Keller - Purdue
4. Jermichael Finley - Texas
5. Brad Cottam - Tennessee

Offensive Tackle
1. Jake Long - Michigan
2. Ryan Clady - Boise State
3. Jeff Otah - Pittsburgh
4. Chris Williams - Vanderbilt
5. Gosder Cherilus - Boston College

Interior Offensive Line
1. Branden Albert - Virginia
2. Chilo Rachal - USC
3. Roy Schuening - Oregon St.
4. Mike Pollak - Arizona State
5. Mackenzy Bernadeau - Bentley College

Defensive End
1. Chris Long - Virginia
2. Vernon Gholston - Ohio State
3. Phillip Merling - Clemson
4. Derrick Harvey - Florida
5. Lawrence Jackson - USC

Defensive Tackle
1. Sedrick Ellis - USC
2. Glenn Dorsey - LSU
3. Kentwan Balmer - North Carolina
4. Trevor Laws - Notre Dame
5. Letroy Guion - Florida State

Inside Linebacker
1. Dan Connor - Penn State
2. Curtis Lofton - Oklahoma
3. Spencer Larsen - Arizona
4. Beau Bell - UNLV
5. Jo-Lonn Dunbar - Boston College

Outside Linebacker
1. Keith Rivers - USC
2. Erin Henderson - Maryland
3. Xavier Adibi - Virginia Tech
4. Tavares Gooden – Miami (FL)
5. Ali Highsmith - LSU

Cornerback
1. Leodis McKelvin - Troy
2. Brandon Flowers - Virginia Tech
3. Aqib Talib - Kansas
4. Mike Jenkins - South Florida
5. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - Tennessee State

Safety
1. DaJuan Morgan - N.C. State
2. Kenny Phillips - Miami (FL)
3. Thomas DeCoud - California
4. D.J. Wolfe - Oklahoma
5. Tyrell Johnson - Arkansas State

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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