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 Post subject: Jermaine Cunningham, DE, Florida
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:37 am 
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Pros: Very quick off the ball, very good speed to get the edge, shows good hip flexibility to dip under the tackle’s hands to get the edge and seems to be a quick-twitch athlete who can terrorize tackles with his speed rush. Shows very good hand usage and violently disengages from blocks, and shows good counter moves as a pass rusher. Uses good leverage and keeps his feet moving to help him give a relatively effective bull rush, and disengages well. Also shows some pop as a hitter and is a decent wrap-up tackler. He is a smart player, knows his gap assignments and stays at home when he has to. Was voted a team captain.

Cons: Is undersized versus the run and could stand to add strength to help him hold up better at the point of attack. He has natural leverage but needs to keep his feet moving like he does when bull rushing to hold up at the POA. He occasionally seems like he is a bit out of control coming off of the edge, and doesn’t seem to break down and finish the play with the sack as well as you might like. I have seen him flailing at air despite doing everything right to get to the QB, and I’m not sure how correctable that is.

Overall: I really like Cunningham’s potential as a pass rusher. I think he will be a RE in a 4-3 as I don’t think he is nearly good enough versus the run to play LE in a 4-3, and I don’t think he is comfortable enough in coverage to play OLB in a 3-4, though he may get a shot at it. He needs to add strength, but is a fairly polished pass rusher. If possible it would be great to try to correct this problem he has finishing sacks, as QB’s have a tendency to escape his rush when he is the only defender to create pressure. He needs to break down more and not allow the QB to escape so easily. Despite this Cunningham has the potential to contribute immediately as a situational pass rusher, and if he can continue to develop as a pass rusher and improve at the point of attack versus the run he could be a quality NFL starter. Until then he is mainly a rotational pass rusher who could get a handful of sacks a year in that capacity.

Projection: 3rd round: There are a lot of DE’s in this class, but I think Cunningham has the potential to get picked in the early-mid range of the 3rd round. He will offer immediate help as a rotational pass rusher and with time he could develop into a better run defender if he can add some strength and work on his technique a little bit. That said, his value is immediate help as a pass rusher and that is why he could go this high.

SKILLS
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

STRENGTH: 3.0
QUICKNESS: 4.0
PASS RUSH: 3.5
POINT OF ATTACK: 2.5
RECOGNITION: 4.0
MOTOR: 3.5

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 Post subject: Re: Jermaine Cunningham, DE, Florida
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:57 am 
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JERMAINE CUNNINGHAM
6-3/266
Florida Senior
40: 4.89 (Campus)

PROS: Has a decent first step. Plays with good recognition and stays at home when playing contain on the edge. Can make the stop at the point of attack. Shows some ability as a bull rusher off the corner and has straight-line burst to be effective pass rusher on stunts. Can make a quick inside move to shoot gap between guard and tackle. Plays with a good motor.
CONS: Doesn't show the burst and suddenness to turn the corner and close on the quarterback. Is undersized and needs to get stronger. Gets pushed around a bit by blockers. Engulfed at times vs. the run and needs to show ability to get off blocks.
OVERVIEW: Only saw one game of Cunningham's (Sugar Bowl), but he didn't have the same burst and explosiveness I saw as a junior. He was listed around 250 then, and now that he's in the upper 260s, I don't expect that is going to change or what I saw was a fluke. As a junior, he looked like an undersized tweener that might have to move to linebacker. But now I think he will have to stay at end. I'm betting some of it may have to due with him bulking up to play end as Florida went to more 3-4 looks this year than in the past. But he had fairly consistent production in three years as a starter, recording 33 tackles for loss and 18.5 sacks combined. Had a should injury that made him miss the Combine. Also played with hyper-extended knee as a junior, and had an off-field incident where he got in an alteraction with a sandwich shop employee as a sophomore.
NFL FORECAST: I think where Cunningham shines is his recognition, and I think he's going to be a nice undersized run stopper. I think if he continues to add muscle and bulk, he can play in a 3-4 scheme. Won't have great size there, but I think he could do it if he got up to around 275-280 pounds. He reminds me of Chauncey Davis, with his ability to play the run, high motor, and less than ideal size. I think he's a step or two quicker than Davis as a pass rusher, but he is going to need to develop better technique and more moves because he doesn't appear to have the burst and speed to be a true edge rusher. I think he'll help a rotation somehow, but won't be a super productive player. I think he can contribute early on in a rotation on running downs, but won't ever be a guy that gives you more than 2-4 sacks a year. He could be a starter down the road, but only for a team that appreciates his ability vs. the run. If he continues to add bulk I think he could be a decent 3-4 starter.
ATL FORECAST: If the Falcons wanted to replace Davis, he would make a nice addition. And while he's more explosive than Davis is, I'm not sure he's going to contribute that much more than Davis does as a pass rusher. The team would like his motor, but he doesn't have great upside to play left end that much better than Davis does right now.
VALUE: Cunningham because he can contribute in a rotation makes a nice fourth or fifth round pick for a team looking for an undersized run stoppper at end.

SKILLS
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

STRENGTH: 3.0
QUICKNESS: 3.0
PASS RUSH: 3.0
POINT OF ATTACK: 3.5
RECOGNITION: 4.0
MOTOR: 4.0

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