10. Malik Jefferson, OLB, Texas
The three-year starter has undoubtedly enjoyed a productive career in Austin. But though he’s shown the speed/footwork to drop in coverage, it would be a mistake to project him as a Day 2 pick.
Quite simply, Jefferson has a lot to learn about playing his position as an inside linebacker from the perspective of reading plays as a downhill defender.
The underclassman seems to guess with much too frequency, which can often result in the former Longhorn overrunning plays and or taking bad angles on an oncoming ball carrier.
The young man’s range may allow him to rack up his fair share of tackles, but chances are many of those stops will be recorded past the opposition’s first-down marker.
The instincts just aren’t there with Jefferson and he’ll need a bit of seasoning before he becomes a starter in any team’s lineup.
9. Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
The Senior Bowl stud has earned a fair amount of accolades in recent times and many seem to think that the former Mountain West standout may possess the highest ceiling among his receiver peers in this year’s class.
Gallup does indeed feature impressive traits, starting with his strong hands at the catch point and tantalizing body control, particularly when he shields defensive backs with the ball in the air.
However, those that deem the 6-foot-1 JUCO transfer a late first or second-round pick may need to pump their brakes.
While Gallup has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns at CSU, he made many of his plays in traffic, which has led some to wonder how well he can separate in the NFL.
His tape versus Alabama showed that top-level corners can overpower the promising, but raw wideout, who has yet to master the full route tree.
His future squad would be best served selecting Gallup somewhere in the mid-rounds. And as for his performance in the Senior Bowl, well, E.J. Manuel also dazzled in the Mobile showcase a few years back.