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NFL Draft Prospect Comparisons- Who Are They Not? Part 2

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Player comparisons are en vogue this time and year and like anything, a lot of them are wrong. The problem with player comparisons is that each player is unique and can be compared in a variety of ways from production to athleticism to career arc.

Let’s take a look at a few player comparisons that are completely off base.

Sheldon Rankins is NOT Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald is a once in a decade type of player who utilizes excellent technique, athleticism and strength to overcome size limitations.

Sheldon Rankins is similar in size, but he is not in the same hemisphere technically and athletically.

Coming out, Donald was a rare talent who could come in and make an All-Pro type of impact from day one. His quickness off the snap, the strength in his hands and the nuances with his pass-rush moves and block shedding allowed him to play at an extremely high level.

Rankins is similar in that he has great hands and nuanced technique, but he comes up considerably short with his ability to threaten the edge with his first step. He doesn’t have the ability to win with quickness alone like Donald.

Emmanuel Ogbah is Not Robert Quinn

Emmanuel Ogbah showcased that he has great long speed and explosiveness at the NFL combine; however, that does not make him similar to Robert Quinn.

Quinn is one of the best pure pass-rushers in the NFL. What separates him from others, and Ogbah, is his ability to bend around the edge and get to the quarterback. He has an innate ability to create a steep angle with ankles and hips, which allow him to get to the quarterback faster than others.

Ogbah is a much more straight-line player who doesn’t have the ability to really corner and bend through contact to get to the quarterback with speed. He will have to use his speed and explosiveness to win by converting speed to power and inside moves; however, he won’t be able to consistently threaten the edge in the NFL like Quinn.

Deion Jones is NOT Telvin Smith

It seems that every year an athletic and undersized linebacker gets compared to Telvin Smith or Lavonte David; however, that doesn’t take into account everything that makes those two players great.

Smith’s ability to slip blocks and his instincts to read the offense and get to the ball carrier is extremely impressive.

Jones is a similar, and possibly even superior, athlete to Smith, but he doesn’t have the ability to slip blocks like Smith and his instincts aren’t nearly as refined. Jones inability to slip or get off blocks oftentimes inhibits his athleticism. He is usually the first player blocked instead of the first player to the ball carrier.

Smith is a special player because he can maximize his athleticism on the football field and quite frankly, Jones cannot.


About John Owning

John Owning

John Owning is a NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has years of experience covering the NFL, NFL draft and NCAA football. John's work has been featured on the Bleacher Report and DraftBreakdown.com