AtlantaFalcons.com's Jay Adams writes about the changes that have taken place in Gil Brandt's NFL.com Hot 100 draft prospects and how Brandt's assessment of some draft hopefuls could affect the Falcons later this month
NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt knows his stuff. You'd have to in order to rank the top 100 prospects in the 2011 draft. Heck, I notice someone new every single day.
Brandt released his first Hot 100 list of the draft's top prospects right after the Combine. Now that pro days are over and done with, Brandt has some revisions in the latest version of his list.
Click on the appropriate red areas to view Brandt's first crack at the Hot 100 and his most recent version.
Since there are so many names, I'm not going to attempt to do what Brandt already did. But I'll mention a few changes that I found interesting.
Most notably, Brandt's first Hot 100 list had Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers right at the top of the first tier of talent (granted, Brandt's list in each tier goes in alphabetical order, but I point Bowers' earlier placement out for dramatic effect). In the newest, hottest 100, Brandt has Bowers in the third tier.
How does that affect the Falcons? Well, I find it hard to believe a player like Bowers — despite questions about his knee and a sub-par pro day — will drop all the way down to No. 27. If he did, I would think he'd be the pick for the Falcons, but even if he's not, Bowers dropping into, say, the 20s could have a ripple effect later in the round.
You could see a situation where a player not projected to fall as far as No. 27 could land right in the Falcons' lap. Who knows?
In Brandt's latest 100, we also see darn near every defensive end Falcons fans and media members have mentioned as being potential targets slide into the second tier of talent. Now, does that mean all those players will be gone by the time the Falcons pick? Absolutely not. Not every team out there needs a DE.
But it's certainly worth noting that if the Falcons do take or have the opportunity to take one of those second-tiered players, they're getting some really good value at the No. 27 slot.
Also of note: Miami defensive end Allen Bailey drops to the sixth tier from the fourth, and Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph drops from the third tier to the fourth.
What's your take?