Originally Posted by BroncoInferno
I think Elam is going to move up boards once people start really evaluating tape. Kiper has already moved him up to #25 on his latest Big Board. I understand your concerns about him staying healthy based on his size and the way he plays (as I mentioned, the similarities to Bob Sanders are what I love about him), but he hasn't had any seriously issues at the collegiate level, and while he is a smaller safety, he's still bigger than Sanders was.
The WRs are kind of hard to order right now. As you indicated, there's a cluster of five or six at the top who are very similar prospects. But, in terms of value, I think sometimes when get too caught up in projections. For instance, saying something along the lines of "there are several WRs with similar grades as Hopkins, therefore you can get a similar player for later at better value." The problem with this line of thinking is that it forgets that some (if not most) of these guys aren't going to pan out at all. The trick to identify which ones will. I'm convinced Hopkins will be one of the success stories, so I'd have no problem with him late in round 1. You mentioned Hilton earlier...if there were a redraft today, do you think A.J. Jenkins would still go ahead of him? Last year, they were viewed as very as similar prospects, but only one made any impact. That's the trick. I think Hopkins will be able to make a Hilton-like impact right away, especially with Manning at QB.
Elam is not much bigger at all than Sanders maybe an inch, and smaller in the frame. Also, Sanders ran a legit 4.3 and had amazing 20 yard shuttle and 3 cone drills to prove his lateral agility. That being said, Elam is a big hitter, just not the complete tackler that Polumalu and Sanders were coming out IMHO. Elam misses a lot more than they did on tape.
As for the WR position, I get your point, and it can be hard to sort the WR's in this draft out. There is no clear cut AJ Green or Julio Jones type player who has it all. The thing about Hopkins is he is going to be a player like Reggie Wayne, not tremendously physically talented but a very good WR. In the right system, with a good QB like Manning who can throw him open against NFL level CB's he is going to be that kind of guy. I think that is the ceiling for Hopkins though.
What I see with WR's this year is several more guys who play just like him and are even more talented physically. They were not as productive due to the systems they were in, but the same type of player. As for the Hilton reference to WR's last year, I had him as a late second early third guy. I was completely stunned when no one in the OM draft took him so I nabbed him as a value pick for INDY in the late fifth. The Colts agreed and took him late third. He only lasted to there because he was a shade UNDER 5'10. He played like he was 6'0 on film though and the legit 4.3 speed and return abilities were the icing on the cake for me.
WR's are very deep this year, and while you talk about knowing who is going to hit you just don't know. I would go BPA not at WR in the first though. Plenty of excellent guys who can come in and compete at the slot position for less resources IMHO.