Earlier this week, we discussed a report from SI's Tony Pauline out of the 2011 Senior Bowl that some NFL insiders believe that "project" players will slide in favor of "NFL-ready" players early in the 2011 NFL Draft. It sparked an interesting debate here that, quite frankly, I wish had gotten a little more play.
So, perhaps selfishly, I'm bringing it up again - not just here, but in my latest feature at SBNation.com. In that feature, I've taken a stab at identifying possible first-round picks whose stock may change - or at least be re-evaluated - based on Pauline's reported theory.
Several prospects have been mentioned as possible targets of the Buffalo Bills for several weeks now. Two quarterbacks, Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker, are mentioned (feel free to ask why I didn't bring up Cam Newton). Outside linebackers Von Miller and Robert Quinn are mentioned as prospects that would need to be re-evaluated through that "immediate impact" lens - and I've listed another, Ryan Kerrigan, as a possible riser.
Just for the sake of discussion, let's assume that yes, teams place more emphasis on taking players that can play right away early. How would your draft boards (so to speak) change, if at all?