Ok.... I've finally got to a point where I feel educated in my draft assessment for this year. Our Guru's and other sources have done a great job informing us and pointing us in the right direction and after taking it all in, here is my "can't Miss list" for players that I exoect to be successful no matter where they are drafted. These players all have some things in common: 1 - They have already done it. They are players that have already shown elite production for an extended time. 2 - They have shown the an ability to master a system similar to what they will be asked to do in the NFL no matter where they go 3 - They have shown the ability to play when injured or to stay healthy 4 - They have been leaders on the field at their position and motivated players around them to be better 5 - They do something elite that makes their likelihood of standing out on the pro level more likely than a typical player 6 - They can be counted on to be a team player in all circumstances So here we go. This is my can't miss list for players that have the DOLFANMIKE stamp of approval as a can't miss player. This time next year we'll see how I did on my assessment. I do believe though that this group will be successful no matter where they end up. The one player I will also mention that did not make my list is Earl Thomas. I really like him alot, but Berry is better in my opinion and while Thomas would be the next player on this list of sure things, he's on top of the next tier for me. If you have a question about why any player didn't make this list, post it and I'll answer what I see as a potential problem with the player. This list is just my "can't miss list"... I've coached RB's for 26 years. I played RB and had alot of success, so of all the things I understand about the game, my deepest understanding is at the RB position. Ryan Mathews has it all. He is able to both break tackles and break long runs from anywhere on the field. I see him as being a better Thomas Jones in the NFL. His speed will be the difference between the two but the straight ahead style will remind fans of Jones. This is a player that could come out an explode for Rookie of the Year honors, and I'd be shocked if he doesn''t get 1,000 yards rushing as a rookie. He's way better than he gets credit for, and friends of mine that coach at Fresno State say he is the best player they have ever coached. That includes coach Pat Hill who has been around the NFL and NCAA forever. Expect this guy to make someone very happy indeed. Michigan Wolverine Brandon Graham will prove to be a dynamic player in the NFL. His relentless play style will create turnovers and create a hard spot on any defense. Graham is loved by just about every draft guru on the planet. Not so much because he has impressive physical stats but moreso because of his uncanny motor and genuine football skills. He takes the best angles in the draft in my opinion, and will blow up plays in the backfield. He's the kind of player NE or Miami would love on the edge, but he'll do fine wherever he ends up. ...................................................................................... Alabama's Rolando McClain is the draft's most coveted middle linebacker. McClain has had some moving up and some sliping on draft boards, but he really is the real deal and will start day one wherever he goes. He can tackle, cover, and will be alot like Karlos Dansby in his overall play style. I expect he'll see action in nickel and Dime sets before the season is over. I expect he will be very productive in a 3-4 or a 4-3 and the news that ha may not have any serious problem health wise makes him all the more likely to go early and contribute for years to come. ...................................................................................... Devin McCourty has excellent burst and great hips on the turn. He is very sound on his DB skills and has a nose for the ball and the big hit. He is also a fantastic special teams player, the best in the draft in fact. McCourty is in my opinion the most under - rated defensive player in this draft. I think he will impact more than his share of games on special teams and defense. He'll be the guy with the INT to end a game threat, or the guy thats stops the open field run on a kick return, or the guy that steps up and causes an RB to fumble the ball. McCourty has "it" and will be a fantastic football player. He'll be a better pro than he was an NCAA player. ....................................................................................... This is my personal favorite player in the draft. Not because I know him or his family, although I'm sure that is part of it. Having the opportunity to watch a player since he was a kid play football gives me a perspective on his dominance in the games he's played in. He's always the best player. Always the most productive and always the one that comes out on top. He takes his whole team to another level, and the way he does it is empowering to his teammates. Toby Gerhart can run you over, or run by you with a near miss style that leaves defenders guessing and passive. When he chooses to establish contact he will punish you and when he see's that you are getting worn down he will use his cuts in close space to cut away from the tackle. For a bug power style back he leaves more defenders grasping at air than anyone I've seen in a long time. I've repeadedly made Larry Czonka references to his style. That is the type of RB the team gets that picks him. He'll slowly become that teams best offensive player. It's just what he does. ....................................................................................... The best player in this draft is Eric Berry. He will do for a team what Ed Reed does and will start right away and dominate the passing game. While a shutdown corner is a good thing a shutdown safety in our quarters scheme is even better. Eric Berry in our scheme would be the featured player in our defense. When we think it's pass he's be easy to place in the middle of the threatened area and when we think run he'd be a certain tackle often for a loss. When the game is on the line he is the kind of player that will deliver the win and when Peyton Manning is driving the Colts against us on the last drive of the game, Berry is the player that grabs the INT or swats the ball away from the receiver. I think Berry's influence on a defense will be immediate and he's ready to go right now. Again, especially in our scheme he could be the best defensive player in the league soon.