August 20, 2008

Rivals.com Expert Draft: The Teams

THE TEAMS: B. Every | B. Burton | J. Newberg | B. Simmons | J. Crabtree | M. Farrell

Rivals.com's recruiting analysts are putting their knowledge of top prospects to the test and going head-to-head in the Rivals.com Expert Draft for the Class of 2009.

Check out the complete teams below and vote for the best one.

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BARRY EVERY'S TEAM

OFFENSE Round
QB Richard Brehaut, 6-2/206
9
RB Christine Michael, 5-11/202
5
RB Cierre Wood, 6-0/192
8
WR Rodney Smith, 6-6/202
21
WR Kenny Bell, 6-1/160
22
TE Logan Thomas, 6-6/233
6
LT Chris Faulk, 6-6/310
1
LG Xavier Su'a Filo, 6-4/285
13
C Austin Long, 6-5/268
15
RG Morgan Moses, 6-7/347
2
RT David Barrent, 6-8/290
12

MAKING A CASE: Championships are won along the offensive line. This group will enable me to control the line of scrimmage and run some spread and pro-style offensive sets. Brehaut is accurate and athletic for a pro-style quarterback. In the backfield, I have Mr. Do Everything in Michael and a home-run threat in Wood. The receiving corps has two players, Thomas and Smith, who are going to be mismatches for defensive backs. Bell will stretch the field, meaning the middle of the field will be open to backs sneaking out of the backfield. Defensively, Good and Okafor will be able to apply serious pressure on any quarterback, and they can use there long arms to string out runs. The middle of the line is athletic and strong. The linebacking group is anchored by two extremely athletic 'backers who can blitz at any time and cover almost any back in the country. The secondary is tall, fast and – most important – possesses serious ball skills that can change a game at any time. - Barry Every


BOBBY BURTON'S TEAM

OFFENSE Round
QB Garrett Gilbert, 6-4/205
12
RB David Wilson, 5-11/192
9
WR Patrick Patterson, 6-3/215
10
WR Bryce McNeal, 6-2/170
16
WR Greg Timmons, 6-3/191
22
TE Ray Ray Armstrong, 6-4/218
14
LT Mason Walters, 6-6/290
7
OG Michael Philipp, 6-3/320
6
C Chris Burnette, 6-2/300
11
OG Chris Watt, 6-3/280
8
RT D.J. Fluker, 6-7/325
5

MAKING A CASE: The best teams win in the trenches – always have, always will. This team is clearly the best on both sides of the line, with three five-star defensive linemen and five offensive linemen among the nation's top 100 prospects. It's the only team that can claim that. I also went with Armstrong at tight end, unlike all but one other team. Sure, it's not a flashy move. But which team was the last one to win a Super Bowl or NCAA championship without starting a tight end? Can't remember? Me, either. Another impressive group: the linebackers with Burfict and two good-sized speed guys on the edge. At running back, I have a guy who may have the best speed and yards-after-contact mix in the country, along with three receivers who combine big-play ability and great natural pass-catching skills. - Bobby Burton


JAMIE NEWBERG'S TEAM

OFFENSE Round
QB Matt Barkley, 6-3/226
1
RB Edwin Baker, 5-10/204
12
RB Lamar Miller, 5-11/205
22
WR Shaquelle Evans, 6-1/203
14
WR Marlon Brown, 6-5/205
10
WR Nu'Keese Richardson, 5-9/151
21
OT Marcus Hall, 6-5/290
9
OG Peter White, 6-3/320
15
C John Martinez, 6-2/264
11
OG Stavion Lowe, 6-6/294
20
RT Anthony LaLota, 6-6/260
13

MAKING A CASE: The team is led by Barkley, the nation's top prospect, who also happens to be the top pro-style quarterback of this decade. Barkley has great weapons at receiver – the tall and elusive Brown, the speedy and Santana Moss-like Richardson and the playmaker Evans. Baker and Miller are home-run hitters at running back. The offensive front is a nasty, athletic and versatile group. The defense is led by a devastating linebacking corps –Te'o, Bell and Jones. Up front, McDaniel and Montgomery are quick off the ball and get after the quarterback, while Simon and Brockers are rocks against the run. This secondary is fast, athletic and electric. - Jamie Newberg


BARTON SIMMONS' TEAM

OFFENSE Round
QB Tyrik Rollison, 6-2/185
11
RB Trent Richardson, 5-11/210
2
RB Jaamal Berry, 5-11/185
12
WR Rueben Randle, 6-3/195
1
WR Andre Debose, 6-0/170
5
WR Michael Bowman, 6-4/206
18
LT Nick Alajajian, 6-4/280
3
LG J.K. Jay, 6-6/275
16
C Patrick Lewis, 6-2/293
22
RG Deandre Coleman, 6-4/295
13
RT Eric Shrive, 6-7/285
9

MAKING A CASE: There may not be a skill player on my offense that I would trade for anyone else in the country. Randle is head-and-shoulders above any other receiver in the country. Opposite him, Bowman is the big mismatch and red-zone threat, while Debose in the slot is the most dangerous player in the country with the ball in his hands. A big, explosive back (Richardson) teams with a speedy, versatile change-of-pace back (Berry) to give me the ideal 1-2 punch in the backfield. Meanwhile my offensive line is big (Jay, Shrive, Coleman) and athletic (Lewis, Alajajian). More important, it's nasty. On defense, I'll be running a 4-2-5, allowing me to bring the nation's two hardest hitters – Motta and Woodson – into the box on more blitz packages. My other three defensive backs (Starling, Trice, Winston) are the most fluid and natural defensive backs out there. There is incredible athleticism at linebacker with Johnson and Bostic. Up front, I don't have to sacrifice athleticism for size - I've got both all the way across the line. - Barton Simmons


JEREMY CRABTREE'S TEAM

OFFENSE Round
QB Russell Shepard, 6-1/179
6
APB Rex Burkhead, 5-11/190
22
APB David Oku, 5-10/186
15
WR Kraig Appleton, 6-3/190
18
WR Rolando Jefferson, 6-2/190
20
WR Terry Hawthorne, 6-0/168
19
OT Xavier Nixon, 6-6/263
4
OT Kevin Graf, 6-6/301
5
OG Brandon Webb, 6-4/320
16
OG Corey Linsley, 6-4/285
17
C Jack Mewhort, 6-6/292
21

MAKING A CASE: Defense wins championships, and that's the idea that this team was based on. Almost all of the early picks were geared toward defense, including two of the best defensive ends to come out in a while in Kennard and Moss. Throw in fundamentally sound and taller corners Lynn and Barnett - along with a heady safety such as McDonald - and scoring points will be difficult against this group. On the other hand, putting up points shouldn't be much of a problem for this offense. Headlined by Shepard, AKA the human highlight reel, the offense will be a spread attack that gets the ball to playmakers Oku, Appleton, Jefferson and Hawthorne. The offensive line is an agile and athletic group, and Nixon and Linsley should have no problem pulling and opening holes on the edge with their athleticism. - Jeremy Crabtree


MIKE FARRELL'S TEAM

OFFENSE Round
QB Aaron Murray, 6-1/198
5
RB Bryce Brown, 6-0/215
4
WR Randall Carroll, 5-11/175
6
WR Jheranie Boyd, 6-2/184
8
WR Alshon Jeffrey, 6-3/214
12
TE Arthur Fontaine, 6-5/240
14
OL Garrett Porter, 6-6/308
3
OL Thomas Ashcraft, 6-5/290
13
OL Alex Bullard, 6-3/275
15
OL Brennan Williams, 6-6/272
19
OL Corey Gaines, 6-0/274
21

MAKING A CASE: The team has an excellent blend when it comes to offensive and defensive strength. The team will run a spread offense led by Murray, who has three dynamic receivers to work with in speedster Carroll, deep threat Boyd and possession receiver Jeffrey. Defenses will have trouble matching up and covering everyone. Murray always can check down to one of the nation's top tight ends in Fontaine. The running game will be led by Brown, and the team could even work from a "power I" by using Fontaine as an H-back. The offensive line is anchored by future Texas Longhorns Porter and Ashcraft. The defense has a great trio of linebackers. Up front, Giddins and Kasa will apply outside pressure while Brown and Buckner will provide a push in the middle. In the secondary, Kirkpatrick has the size and strength to play press coverage and shut down one side of the field. - Mike Farrell

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