It’s not entirely surprising that preseason All-Americans Michael Floyd and Kyle Rudolph were listed in a 2011 NFL Draft list, but SI.com has Floyd rated No. 8 in the country and Rudolph No. 10 among the 2011 NFL Draft’s top wide receivers and tight ends.
In order, here’s the list in its entirety, along with their draft rating:
1. A.J. Green, Georgia (1st round prospect)
2. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (1st round prospect)
3. Julio Jones, Alabama (1st round prospect)
4. Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma (1st/2nd round prospect)
5. Jonathan Baldwin, Pitt (1st/2nd round prospect)
6. Leonard Hankerson, Miami (2nd round prospect)
7. Torrey Smith, Maryland (2nd round prospect)
8. Michael Floyd, Notre Dame (2nd round prospect)
9. Niles Paul, Nebraska (2nd round prospect)
10. Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame (2nd round prospect)
Rudolph is the only tight end on the list, which makes his 2nd round rating a little bit questionable, considering there’s been tight end taken in the first round every year since 1999. That said, Kyle’s injury rehab, let alone his history of health issues might make him a tougher pick in the 1st round than what teams are looking for.
Likewise, while Floyd’s rated 8th, he’s also given a second round grade, and tagged with the dreaded “projects well as a possession receiver at the next level.” I’d argue that Floyd’s yards-per-catch average coming into this season would dispel any notions of a possession receiver, but I’d also be the last one to make any argument that’d have either Floyd or Rudolph heading to the NFL after this season.
With a work stoppage looming and the very real possibility that draft picks will be hung out in the wind waving while owners and the players union battle out labor issues, the safe haven of college football, and the ability to improve your draft/earnings status might be a real positive for the two Notre Dame stars to stick around in South Bend for another year. It’d also turn the 2011 Irish into a serious BCS contender.