The disparate ratings teams place on NFL draft prospects can lead to surprises, as when the Seattle Seahawks made defensive end Bruce Irvin the 15th overall choice this year.
The receiver rankings were particularly interesting this time.
The one San Francisco selected in the first round, A.J. Jenkins, had higher ratings from teams than analysts suggested in their mock drafts. The Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams also differed over how to rate Notre Dame's Michael Floyd, the player Arizona drafted with the 13th overall selection. Floyd was the second of 33 receivers drafted.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the team had Floyd ranked seventh on its board of 120 players fitting team needs, regardless of position. Floyd was the team's second-rated receiver, presumably behind Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon. Urban: "Most analysts had six 'elite' players at the top of the draft, and assuming the Cards had the same guys -- Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson, Justin Blackmon, Robert Griffin III, Matt Kalil and Morris Claiborne -- in the top six, then Floyd was the guy right after and the natural pick at No. 13 overall."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams had their second-round choice, Brian Quick, rated as the second-best receiver in the draft, behind Blackmon. Thomas: "When a Rams contingent hopped a private jet a week ago to work out five wide receivers, they were so enamored of Quick, they rated him as 1B of the five, right behind Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon at 1A. Next came Illinois' A.J. Jenkins, followed by Michael Floyd of Notre Dame and Kendall Wright of Baylor. Yes, the Rams had Quick and Jenkins rated ahead of Floyd. So in the case of their first two picks, the Rams must trust their talent evaluators and have faith that their coaches can get [first-round pick Michael] Brockers and Quick up to speed as quickly as possible."
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks' unorthodox approach to evaluating players has worked well enough to secure the benefit of the doubt. Brewer: "When you examine them closely, you realize they've made the right move more times than not. And so far, even their mistakes haven't been of the franchise-killing variety. Despite all the confusion and debate they inspire, this has been a trustworthy front office. ... Because they're so thorough and believe so fully in themselves, it's wise to couch skepticism or at least delay unleashing it until you see the plan in action. They're eccentric, not stupid. Recognize the difference."
Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News checks in with new 49ers receiver Randy Moss, who arrived for the team's offseason program. Moss: "It was eye opening. Today was the first day, and we were moving so fast. Today felt like we'd been out here for a week or two."
Also from Inman: comments from 49ers general manager Trent Baalke regarding Moss and other 49ers subjects. Baalke: "We actually talked with Randy’s agent a year earlier and wanted to know if there’s any interest. When we reached out to him, the response was, 'Not interested. Done. Hanging the cleats up.' So we just let it go. Obviously Randy didn’t come back (in 2011) and sat out the year."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers had interest in Irvin, the player Seattle drafted 15th overall. Barrows: "Before the draft, I wrote that West Virginia's Bruce Irvin was a possibility to the 49ers in the first round. (You collectively scoffed). It turns out that notion only was ludicrous because the Seahawks chose Irvin 15 picks earlier. It also turns out that the 49ers flew an assistant cross country to work out Irvin a mere two days before the draft, according to CBS Sports.com."