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 Post subject: 2010 NFP Scouting Series: Virginia Tech
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:46 pm 
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http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/201 ... -Tech.html

Checking in with the prospects on the ACC’s Hokies. Wes Bunting
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For the rest of the summer, the National Football Post will be breaking down every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) to identify players who could warrant the most interest from NFL teams in the 2011 draft.

Therefore, today we take a look at the Virginia Tech Hokies.

Offense

TaylorICONTaylor is a threat every time he gets into the open field.

QB Tyrod Taylor: No. 5 (6-1, 214)
An undersized quarterback prospect who lacks ideal height and will struggle to consistently see over the line of scrimmage at the next level. However, he’s a gifted athlete who has a good feel in the pocket when asked to buy time and knows how to keep plays alive with his feet. Is a shifty, well-balanced athlete who can make defenders miss, side-step pressure and be a real threat in the open field. Is a gifted stop-and-start athlete who gets up to speed quickly and isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder and fight for tough yards in the open field. A big-time threat once he breaks containment and is a consistent threat to take off.

However, isn’t the most decisive passer at this stage and is really limited in his ability to quickly decipher information and go through his progressions. Gets spooked easily by any pressure, which causes his eye level to go down quickly and he’ll prematurely take off. Displays a strong enough arm to make all the necessary throws at the next level and does a nice job getting the ball out of his hands quickly with a high, compact throwing motion, as he can really spin the football. Exhibits average touch and accuracy as well when his initial read is on and has the ability to throw receivers open and get the ball out of his hand on time. However, it’s when he has to go through any type of progression that the game really seems to speed up on him. Is limited to only reading one side of the field, and if nothing is on, he has a tendency to take off too quickly. Exhibits the ability to improvise with the best of them in college football, but relies on that skill set far too often.

Impression: A gifted athlete who can create with his legs and be a threat in the open field. However, although he has improved in the mental aspects of the game over the past couple seasons, he still has a long way to go. Will get a look though as an athlete/wildcat option who could catch on as a team’s number three QB at best.

Defense

DE Steven Friday: No. 82 (6-4, 238)
A tall, lean defensive end prospect who lacks ideal flexibility when asked to sit into his stance. Looks a bit leggy when trying to coil up, struggles to keep his butt down and doesn’t quite look natural from a three-point stance. However, he possesses a really explosive first step off the edge, can consistently threaten the corner and gets on top of opposing linemen quickly. Does a nice job keeping his pad level down off the edge and definitely has some natural bend to his game. Possesses the body control to drop his shoulder, maintain balance and really accelerate when flattening out around the corner, and doesn’t give offensive tackles much of a target to hit.

Now, fails to generate a lot of pop on contact on his bull rush, allows his pad level to rise and doesn’t generate much leverage. However, does a nice job extending his arms into opposing linemen and is really sudden when asked to disengage. Looks natural/balanced slipping blocks on contact when asked to work inside and knows how to keep himself clean.

Lacks an ideal base when run at, can be overpowered on contact and washed on the edge. But, he does display some violence in his hands and explosion when asked to crash down the line, quickly can shed/slip a block and break down on the ball carrier. Is a long guy with a big wingspan and wraps up well behind the line.

Impression: Played behind a lot of talent at Virginia Tech, but it’s now his time to shine. Possesses a good-looking frame, an explosive first step and some natural bend around the corner. Is raw in some areas and doesn’t have a ton of experience. But he has the frame to add some weight as a 4-3 DE or might be ideally suited as a 3-4-pass rusher. Either way the guy can get after the QB in a big way.

DT John Graves: No. 91 (6-3, 281)
Possesses an athletic-looking frame with long arms and can really coil up into his stance. However, struggles to keep his butt down and has a tendency to get too upright off the snap, limiting his overall burst/explosion off the football. Doesn’t generate much leverage at the point and although he does a nice job extending his arms into contact, he too often fails to get his hands inside the chest plate of opposing linemen. Therefore, he doesn’t create much of a pop on contact off the snap and isn’t much of a bull rush threat inside. Now, exhibits some natural lateral ability and athleticism when asked to disengage and fight his way off blocks. But, struggles to maintain balance, lacks great body control and seems to eventually get too upright and allow opposing linemen to get their hands on him, lock out and seal him from the play.

Fires off the football too high inside vs. the run game, although he does do a nice job of extending his arms into blockers. He simply lacks the type of size, anchor and/or leverage to hold the point of attack consistently. Is easily washed from plays and sealed away from the football and can be run at routinely inside.

Impression: An above-average athlete for an interior lineman, just isn’t overly effective in any area of the game. Looks more like a strong side defensive end in a 4-3 to me who could give you some reps down the line on first and second down. But isn’t much more than a developmental/camp guy at this stage.

CarmichaelICONCarmichael has the burst to quickly click and close on the football and make up for a false step

CB Rashad Carmichael: No. 21 (5-10, 180)
A smaller, thinly put together corner who lacks ideal muscle tone and girth through both his upper and lower body. However, he’s an explosive defensive back who exhibits very good straight-line speed when asked to turn and run down the field and has the ability to make up for a false step. Is at his best in zone where he can keep his eyes in the backfield, squat on routes and drive on the football. Exhibits good instincts in space and combined with his closing burst he has the ability to consistently put himself around the play. Has experience playing both the boundary and field position at Virginia Tech and does a nice job playing sound assignment football. However, isn’t quite as effective in man coverage at this stage, especially when asked to play up near the line. Isn’t real physical in press and seems to really rush his footwork in his drop. Exhibits good bend in his back pedal initially, but his pad level seems to rise the further he has to sit into his drop. Also, gets long and leggy with his footwork and lacks ideal balance when asked to turn and run. Exhibits good fluidity in the hips, but allows himself to get too high when transitioning to run down the field and it will take him a couple steps to get back up to top-end speed.

Isn’t a real impressive tackler and struggles to break down on ball carriers in the run game. Tends to take poor angles, drops his head and fails to see what he wants to hit. Now, isn’t afraid to throw his body around and try to disengage the ball from man, but just has a tendency to whiff too often both in a phone booth and in space.

Impression: An explosive athlete who can really run and click and close on the football. Displays good ball skills as well, just lacks ideal footwork in his drop and balance out of his breaks. However, he’s a very good off man/zone guy and looks like a crafty nickel back at the next level.

SS Davon Morgan: No. 2 (6-0, 193)
Plays the rover position on the Virginia Tech defense and showcases a good feel when asked to read his run/pass keys. Does a nice job keeping his feet under him in his drop, quickly deciphers information and reads routes well in front of him. However, looks stiff through the hips and struggles to maintain balance when asked to transition out of his breaks and get back up to speed quickly down the field.

Plus, he has only one gear, lacks even average speed/range and struggles to quickly get from point A to point B. Isn’t real physical inside the box either, gets knocked off balance easily, struggles to pick his way through traffic and lacks the closing burst to consistently make plays in pursuit. Now, does take good angles in the secondary and breaks down well on contact. Nevertheless, he too often sees his angles outpaced in the open field and isn’t real rangy when asked to tackle in space.

Impression: Lacks the size to play inside the box and doesn’t run well enough to get much of a look playing in the deep half at the next level.

NFL draft/college football questions? Get them answered at Wes.Bunting@nationalfootballpost.com

Follow me on Twitter: @WesBunting

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 NFP Scouting Series: Virginia Tech
PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:41 pm 
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Thanks for posting. I'll clean it up cause he tried hard, but kinda got 'em all backwards. It always insane how much the pre-senior to post-senior reviews read year to year. My two cents anyway.

The goods...

Rock Carmichael (CB) - Pretty damn good DB prospect to me, blazing speed (fastest on the team I believe). Film junkie, cut off his cable to study film full time. The guys wrong in that he's great man to man, b/c thats his main responsibility in the D scheme. The reason its even more true is that our other CB Virgil got hurt last year and he played the boundary side (man), but once Rock filled in he did so well that they never switched it back. So he played his way into VT's ace DB slot over a Senior. He is a little light in the pants, but he's plenty physical and is super fast to makeup. Could be a first or second rounder imo.

John "Gravedigger" Graves (DT) - As the coaches always say, I hope my son grows up to be like John Graves. Truly a I wouldn't mind my daughter dating him if she's gotta date somebody. The classic VT tweener if you will. But I think in he instance (and look like Worilds now too w/ Pittsburgh), its gonna pay off for him. He's gonna be a nasty 34 DE imo, b/c at 280 he could slim up a bit and get quicker. They're pretty hard to find, and VT has tinkered w/ the idea of kicking him out and letting him maul OT's, but has resisted b/c we need him at DT. He's strong as an ox and scouts would actually be very much undervaluing him for two reasons. The college DT to nfl 34 DE transition. The fact that he played 85% of last season hurt on a bum ankle? I believe. Tough for a DT to get low and grind w/ that all year, but he's a tough dude. Sucked b/c Georgia "cutblocking" Tech cutblocked him illegally that did it. But once he had a month to rest for the bowl game w/ Tennessee, he should have reminded them of his prowless.

Andre Smith (TE) – Totally overshadowed by the crowd favorite Greg Boooooooooone until now. This guy has the goods, super underrated pass catching ability (just hasn’t been asked to do it a bunch, esp w/ Vt throwing less to the TE recently) and big and strong. A true two talent TE, blocking and catching. I think he’s probably flown under the radar until now, so I’ll have to see if he jumps on some lists once the season gets going. I suspect he will.

The maybes...

Tyrod Taylor (QB) - I don't expect most people to have noticed the game by game uptick of his overall improvement, esp passing, esp when it was even more so the final 5 where he went off. He's still improving and will have every chance to play himself into more than a wildcat opportunity at the next level.

Davon Morgan (SS) – I’m not sure on this guy to be honest. He’s a good looking college safety, but I’m not sure he wouldn’t have to be more of a free in the league. He’s been groomed at both at tech, so I suppose that would help. The main reason I’m not sure is when he was young he was all over the ball, but broke his leg. Took him a while to get back and he’s kinda been dinged up it seems like a lot. Kinda a guy that isn’t making wow plays, but is always where he’s supposed to be. I guess he’s got a shot, but I doubt he sticks unless he puts his own stamp on this sr season. I do that Eddie Whitley, the new FS will be more of a help to him than Chancellor was, plus the DB’s are sick. Probably VT’s fastest secondary ever fwiw.

Doubtful…

Steven Friday (DE) – This is a guy that literally got to VT at about 200 lbs soaking wet, but had the frame and first step. Its literally taken him until he’s a senior to get to 240ish, and into legitimally starting. He’s always continued to get better, but w/o the weight before, you could neutralize a lot of the pure get off. Now he can handle his own and actually is pretty c*** strong for a guy his size, so he’s strong than a typical 240. I guess he just has one of those metabolisms. He should be pretty good this year, but honestly he wouldn’t be starting if Jason Worilds hadn’t left early, so we’ll see. I take solice in the fact that his first step is gonna be a problem, I just hope he can hold up over the course of the season. His only shot in the league would be the Worilds route of DE to 34 OLB, I guess he has a shot w/ the athleticism. Since he’s never started I guess time will tell on this one.

X Factors…

Ryan Williams (RB) – Sickest RB at VT ever imo. My favorite Hokie since Brandon Flowers. I tried to pick his game all year, as it was apparent from jumpstreet that he was gonna be insanely good. Thing is I really didn’t find much, kinda like how I tried to pick Matt Ryan at BC but couldn’t. Pretty ridiculous god given blend of vision, power, speed, balance and nose for the goalline (22tds). I think if he does anything close to what he did last year, he’d be stupid not to leave early. Kiper has him at 15th for next year right now, but honestly he could push beyond that. If Carnell Williams and Spiller go top ten, no reason on earth he can’t. Usually depends more on what kinda team needs a RB. Kid loves football, esp when the lights are on.

Darren Evans (RB) – The best thing going pre-Ryan Williams mania. People kinda forget he had 1300something yards as a freshman. His ACL is healed and he’s back to running full speed. This is about as perfect a compliment to Williams as you’re gonna get. Evans was already trucking people before, but he was smart and added plenty of good mass to his upper body. So now he should be trucking them even more, and he’d be a good power back in the nfl. I imagine his speed could be questioned, but he’s by no streach slow. I think his tendency to truck shadows his speed, but its enough.

Blake DeChristoper (RT) – Not sure if this guy is a Jr or Sr? If he’s a Sr, hes a good prospect. Up to a solid 310, played since t-freshman at RT, so he just stayed their now that Ed Wang’s in Buffalo and we’ve got some super youngun’s at LT. I don’t see why he doesn’t have a chance to play RT in the league, wouldn’t be a LT guy I don’t think. One of the strongest players on the team fwiw. If he’s a Sr, he’ll get on some lists w/ how well we’re gonna run the rock this year.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 NFP Scouting Series: Virginia Tech
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:45 pm 
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I just re-watched the Nebraska-VT game to get eyes on Crick and Amakamura for Nebraska, but also was paying attention to Graves, Barquell Rivers, and DeChristopher for VT.

First, Graves was a non-factor in this game, although I did notice he was limping around, so your point about the bum ankle probably is spot on. He is not cut out for DT as Nebraska's O-linemen had no problem pushing him around inside. I also saw minimal hand technique, and he had the toughest time disengaging from blocks. Not sure how he fared in that area later in the year, but I didn't see a single pass rush move in the Nebraska game from him. He does look like he'll be a much better fit at DE in the 3-4 with the nice lean DE body. DId see flashes of his quickness, occasionally showing a good first step. But based off the Nebraska tape he looked like Jamaal Anderson more so than Darnell Dockett. Based off this game, I would project him as a late round project that probably is a 5th/6th round prospect.

RIvers - I liked his speed and burst showing good ability to run downhill. Looked really effective when he was allowed to attack upfield. Saw good burst and speed as a blitzer, and able to shoot gaps and make plays in the backfield. Does a fine job as a tackler at the point of attack. But despite his speed, didn't really do much in pursuit and show good range outside the hashmarks. Too often Nebraska was able to get their blockers to the second level and he was too easily caught up in the trash when trying to work in pursuit. Hit some wrong gaps and I didn't see great instincts when he was playing the run. In coverage, he could use some improvement. Can run with TEs down the middle of the field, but I would have liked to see him do a better backpedaling and keeping his eyes forward rather than just turning and running. I think he can be a good MLB in a 4-3 scheme, and also potentially work as an ILB in a 3-4 due to his blitzing potential, but the lack of range is an issue and coverage also could be an issue. I think he is a comparable player to Curtis Lofton in that he may lack ideal range and struggle a bit in coverage outside a Tampa 2 scheme. And he doesn't appear to be as big a hitter as Lofton is. I think he has 2nd/3rd round potential based off this game, but might have a limited ceiling like Lofton.

DeChristopher - Like Wang, I think he's going to have to play in a zone-blocking scheme. Worked most of the Nebraska game out of a 2-point stance, and when he did get in a 3-point stance, all he was really asked to do was cut block. Not sure he has the pop and power off the snap in a 3-point stance to really be an impact run blocker. In other games I've seen, also been underwhelmed with his run blocking. He can get position against the defender, but isn't going to push the pile. He can do a nice job taking out the backside pursuit and sealing the LB on the 2nd level, which is good for a Alex Gibbs-esque blocking scheme like the ones used in Houston and Seattle and what we used to run. In pass protection, he's OK. Not bad when you leave him on an island, but needs to polish up his technique. He doesn't stay square, gets too deep, and gives up too much ground to the defender. He was able to stay in front of a pass rusher like Pierre Allen for the most part. But Allen looked like he was trying to run around DeChristopher. Had he been more eager to engage with DeChristopher, I think he would have had a lot more success because DeChristopher doesn't really have a strong hand punch and looks susceptible to the bull rush. Looks like he is good enough to be a poor man's Todd Weiner in the right scheme, but probably I would grade him as a pick in the 4th-6th round range.

Obviously that was just one game, and it was tough watching Nebraska letting that game slip through their grasp on that final drive. They brought the pressure on Taylor on 1st and 2nd down, and were rewarded, but then sat back and watched him run around on 3rd down, where he hit Roberts in the endzone for the game-winning score.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 NFP Scouting Series: Virginia Tech
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:07 pm 
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Graves - Yeah I'm pretty sure he's gotta be a 34 DE, but should make that transition well over time imo. His character and intangibles will be top notch. Go checkout VT v. Tennessee in the bowl game, thats the only game his ankle wasn't hurt from the chopblock. He was already hobbled by the Neb game. He killed UT in the bowl.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlmPveMhZxk

Excerpt from an article on my vt site, post UT bowl game...
Quote:
The Hokies made UT look ordinary. In addition to stuffing Hardesty, they harassed Crompton all night, piling up six sacks. Three of those sacks were brilliant blitz calls by Bud Foster, resulting in sacks by a cornerback (Jayron Hosley), a whip (Cody Grimm), and a rover (Dorian Porch).

If memory serves, all three of those sacks were by players coming in untouched, which tells you Bud called the right blitz for down, distance, and formation. While we can recall moments at which Bud made great defensive calls, I can't recall a similar moment for Monte Kiffin on the other side.

Foster was helped by an explosive game from his defensive line, especially his tackles. John Graves, finally operating on a healthy ankle, had the best game of his career: 3 tackles, 2 of them for loss (including a sack), a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.

Graves' best play was the forced fumble. Graves split two offensive linemen, brushed off a running back, and knocked the ball out of Crompton's hand. Watching Graves, who would probably be a defensive end at other programs, bull rush through everything Tennessee could throw at him was a thing of beauty. It was one of the more impressive plays of the game.



Rivers - Not a senior, and not even healthy right now w/ a torn quad. Had a real nice solid year last year, nothing to pick at really, other than the coverage point you made which he needs to fine tune. He will be a prospect again once he's healthy, but you need to put someone else on your radar.

Bruce Taylor, new SEC sized, nasty, sideline to sideline MLB as his replacement. Legit 250, but also arrives in a bad, bad mood. I'm not sure Rivers will get his job back once he's healthy this Fall sometime.

DeChristopher - I think a lot of what you wrote is correct. I still need to ck if he's a jr or sr? I still think he's a RT, but he'll need to continue to improve. I think he's plenty strong enough, its the other stuff that will need to gel.

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