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January 28, 2013
The close of the evaluation period for the Class of 2013 produced few changes at the top of the Rivals100, but as the players jockeyed for position, the Rivals.com team of analysts saw the highlights and lowlights of each prospect.
Generally, the most difficult aspect of ranking players is making comparisons and projections, but it is the task most asked of analysts. With just days left until National Signing Day, the Rivals.com team will break down the best of the best by comparing them to players on the NFL level.
Each day, there will be a breakdown of two players from the Top 10 of the Rivals100.
No. 10 Jalen Ramsey, cornerback, Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy
Attributes: 6-foot, 190 pounds, 4.54 40.
Top schools: Committed to USC
NFL Comparison: Champ Bailey, Denver Broncos.
Tale of the Tape: This is pretty much an identical comparison because both are listed at 6-foot and in the 190-pound range. Their physical look on the field is nearly the same. Both are athletic and explosive with great ball skills.
When we last saw him: Ramsey was like a blanket for the majority of U.S. Army All-American Bowl week, earning the No. 2 place among the top performers for his team. He frustrated wide receivers with his quickness, speed and discipline, rarely letting them get more than a step away from him. It's hard to point out one play that summed up Ramsey's performance that week because he was so consistent and rarely targeted in practice. Unfortunately, his worst play came in the game, when he allowed a 16-yard touchdown catch to Derrick Griffin.
Analyst's take: "Ramsey is a dynamic playmaker who could have very well played offense in college but has chosen to focus on the defensive side of the ball. There is nothing to say that he won't have a package or two put in for him (on offense) or that he won't be involved in the special teams somehow. I think the most striking thing is that he already has the ball skills that Bailey developed at Georgia and his ability to go and get the ball is already there. It is an offensive mentality on defense. There is nothing -- in my opinion -- that indicates he won't develop into a lockdown-type cornerback on the next level and something special beyond that." -- Woody Wommack, Rivals.com Southeast analyst.
No. 9 Kendall Fuller, cornerback, Olney (Md.) Good Counsel
Attributes: 6-foot, 185 pounds, 4.5 40
Top schools: Committed to Virginia Tech
NFL Comparison: Morris Claiborne, Dallas Cowboys
Tale of the Tape:Fuller is listed one inch taller but the same weight, so the two have similar attributes.
Fuller is a technician on the defensive side and explosive on the offensive side. Like Claiborne, his closing speed is sneaky. He always finds a way to be around the football, and his instincts are off the charts.
When we last saw him: Fuller had a bull's-eye on his back entering the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and it was easy to see he was one of the most targeted cornerbacks in practice and the game. One of the nation's top cornerbacks was largely successful throughout the week, showing great speed, technique, instincts and playmaking ability. His best play came in practice, and it might have been the best play of the week on either team. Tyler Boyd and Fuller were running step-for-step on a deep post route. Boyd went up to catch the ball, but Fuller snatched it away in midair with one hand.
Analyst's take: "(Fuller and Claiborne) have raw skills that you can see, but they have tremendous instincts and that is something that really stands out. Really, Kendall's instincts jump off the page. His versatility is impressive, as well, and he could be a part of the special teams game in punt return if needed. Morris became an interception machine at LSU, and I think Kendall shares his ball skills in that respect. Both Fuller and Claiborne are able to catch, and that sort of separates them from the myth that cornerbacks are playing defense because they can't go up and get it." -- Adam Friedman, Rivals.com Northeast analyst