Well, it's impossible, really, to try to trend anything off of the Tomlin/Colbert drafts, there having been all of two. And last year was more fortuitousness than planning. The thing that struck me about Timmons, though, that was also shared by Rashard Mendenhall is that these are very, very young guys. My take was that Tomlin wanted a guy in Timmons who had the skills he liked, but whom he could take his time to mold. Even after another draft class, Timmons is just the third youngest guy behind Mendenhall and Doug Legursky.
As of 9.10.09, our first game, here are the ages of our young first-rounders under Tomlin:
Mendenhall, 6.19.87 - 22
Timmons, 5.14.86 - 23
By comparison, Ben was born 3.2.82, and will be 27. Still a young guy, but with plenty of experience. There are some kids entering the draft who aren't much younger. Sherrod Martin, the DB out of Troy, was born 10.12.84, and will be 24 at the first game. Quan Cosby, WR from Texas, was born the same year as Ben!, 12.23.82, and will be 26.
So I dug up some 1.32 players of interest, to see which were in the Timmons/Mendenhall age/moldability zone.
First, a couple of outstanding athletes who started to show some great football play late in their NCAA careers.
DE Jarron Gilbert, SJSU, 9.30.86 - 22
DE/OLB/TE Connor Barwin, Cinci, 10.15.86 - 22
Then I looked at the best two centers.
C Alex Mack, Cal, 11.19.85 - 23
C Eric Wood, Louisville, 3.18.86 - 23
Mack will actually turn 24 midseason. He and Wood are older than Mendenhall and Timmons.
Then I looked at three players of interest.
WR Hakeem Nicks, NC, 1.14.88 - 21
CB Darius Butler, Conn. 3.18.86 - 23
OT Eben Britton, Arizona, 10.14.87 - 21
Interesting that two guys we might have on our board (Butler and Wood) were born the exact same day and year. But if the extreme youth/moldability theory does at all factor in Tomlin's R1 thoughts, Nicks and Britten are guys with an edge.