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 Post subject: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:56 pm 
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As was the case last year, if you want to talk about any prospects and what you've seen so far this year, this is the thread to do so.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:02 pm 
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I guess I'll get things kicked off...

I wasn't watching the game with my scout's eye (and hopefully later this week, I will), but I'm still skeptical of how well Tyrod Taylor will adjust to the pro game. And the same would be said of Kellen Moore of Boise State.

I still think Taylor is not a comfortable pocket passer and I think will struggle like Vick to be a consistent passer from the pocket when he gets to the next level. I still think he can be a good pro, but that inability to consistently drop back and throw with confidence and presicion from the pocket I think will ultimately put a ceiling on how good a QB he can be.

My beef with Moore is his lack of size. When i watch BSU play, I see a ton of deep drops, which I think is done because Moore can't see over his blockers, and has to get deep in order to get that vision. He shows nice decision making and accuracy sometimes, but not always with his touch, and he tends to float passes out there, and I think because of his very small frame (6-0/185?), lacking a big arm, he's really nothing more than a late round pick.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:46 pm 
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I just re-watched the BSU-VT game, and here are my thoughts on many of the prospects in that one now that I got the chance to use my "scout's eye." :wink:

First, again, let me start off with discussing the QBs.

The thing I liked seeing from Taylor in this game is that he showed a lot more fire than I had seen last year when he tended to be a bit more laid back and cool. He still has issues with his pocket presence and reading the defense. I like the fact that he has freedom to audible, but the issue still remains that when he has to go to his second read he has a tendency to want to escape the pocket. He stares down his receivers and when he needs to go to his second read, he starts using his legs. The clock in his head is too long and he's just not comfortable throwing from the pocket. I like the arm strength and ability to throw the football with touch downfield, but his accuracy/touch still tends to be erratic at times on the shorter, easier throws. Still like his potential, but he's going to have to sit the bench for at least two years and still I think he's probably better off long-term as a backup than as a starter. I still think his pro career will mirror that of Michael Vick's in that after a few years and his lack of progress as a pocket passer, he'll be a lot easier to defend than he is early on. Good enough to get a team to the playoffs, but not a championship-caliber guy. :hihi:

As for Kellen Moore, he has a better head on his shoulders. He can go to his second read from the pocket and shows good decision making. But his problem is his lack of arm strength. His arm strength isn't bad, but I'm not sure he can make all of the throws. Really struggled with his touch when he was asked to throw down the seam, overthrowing guys. Also has bad mechanics, with a throwing motion like Tim Tebow. He doesn't dip the ball as low as Tebow, but it elongates his release a bit and should make it easier for NFL defenders to force fumbles. His lack of size and height also will hurt him. Works best out of hte shotgun and when he does line up under center often has to take 5-step drops or deeper drops in order to get the spacing needed to see over the line of scrimmage. I don't think he can do a 3-step drop and throw the ball with zip and precision from the pocket at the next level. Now, in many offenses, they like to throw a lot out of the shotgun (see New Orleans & New England), so that can be overcome. But his poor mechanics and iffy footwork mean his accuracy/touch is also a bit erratic. He can develop on the next level because he is a smart, poised passer. But unless he plays in an offense that is tailor-made to his strengths (lots of shotgun and dinking and dunking) and eliminating his weaknesses (throwing downfield and 3-step drops), he is just a backup prospect that isn't really any different than someone like Graham Harrell or Chase Daniel.

Ryan Williams did not have a good game. He showed his trademark burst and speed, but after watching this game I'm concerned about two things: 1) His durability and 2) His ability to run between the tackles.

I've seen in past games where Williams takes a good shot to the ribs, hips, or thigh him walk/limp off the field for a breather. He did the same in the 2nd half of this Boise game, and it reminds me too much of Jerious Norwood. He isn't a small dude, but I'm worried whether he can be a guy that can carry the ball 15-20 times a game for a full season or a guy that should only get 10-15 carries every other week.

Also there were too many times vs. Boise State where he was running between the tackles and stopped his legs moving, leading him to having no power when he made contact. I know he has power and ability to pick up yards after contact, so I'm just counting it as a down game for him. But we'll have to see if that continues to be an issue as the season progresses.

There were just too many times during this game where he looked like another Darren McFadden which is an explosive change of pace back that doesn't have the durability/toughness/strength to be a feature back.

John Graves looked better in this game than what I saw of him last year. But I'm still concerned about whether or not he is using his hands. He needs to do a better job using his hands, getting under the blockers pads and getting leverage inside. He did that on occasion, and was able to make plays at the point of attack. But too often he didn't. He tends to be a straight-line burst guy that relies on his quickness to beat the blocker rather than any sort of pass rush moves or hand technique. So he's talented, but I think raw in a similar way that Jamaal Anderson was when he came to Atlanta. Like Anderson, I do think he projects well in the 3-4 scheme, but I don't think he's going to come in right away and produce.

Rashad Carmichael looks like he's faster and more athletic than Brandon Flowers. But I think Flowers was a bit more polished in zone coverage, in run support and in man coverage. But he's a talented player that like Flowers should be a Top 50 pick come April if he continues to play at a comparable level the rest of the season.

Steven Friday is a new name that is catching my eye. He has the tall frame you like to see in a DE, but I think he probably is going to be a better fit as an OLB on the next level. He's listed at 6-4/238 and has a good first step when he can line up wide of the tackle, but not sure he has really quite mastered the shoulder dip and the flexibility to project well as a DE on the next level even if he does bulk up.

For Boise State, Austin Pettis continues to impress me everytime I see him. He's not explosive guy, but is a solid possession wideout with great hands and body control. Does a great job using his body to shield defender away from the ball. Not sure he has the speed to stretch the field and not sure he can beat the press since he is a flanker. But I think he's going to be a good one at the next level.

Titus Young has the speed you like to see, but he runs out of control. Starts to pump his arms when he's running with the ball, which hurts his ball security. That is going to need to change if he is going to be a trusted option on ST/offense.

Nate Potter, got my first chance to see him as well. Lacks the feet to play LT at the next level. A good fit in the zone blocking scheme, and could play RT in a zone-blocking scheme because he's much better when he's covered up by a TE. Struggled throughout the game matching up with Friday's speed off the edge. But he's fairly technically sound, but probably will be better off moving inside to guard.

Boise State DT Billy Wynn got off to a good start early in the game, living in VT's backfield, but his play tailed off as the game wore on. He has a quick burst upfield, and is similar to Graves in that way. But I think he uses his hands better, shows some pass rush moves with a pretty good swim move, but still has some trouble disengaging from blockers when his speed rush isn't effective. He's only a junior though, so he has more time to develop.

Jeron Johnson is a player I like at Boise State. He's solid in run support although he isn't the biggest guy or greatest tackler. But he gets the job done, shows good range and looks effective in coverage as well for the most part. He can play in a Cover-2 scheme. He reminds me a lot of Erik Coleman as an undersized SS that is better stopping the run than covering the pass.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:51 pm 
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I just finished watching my tape of the Memphis-Mississippi State. Glad I decided to give MSU a gander this year, but I'll get into that latter.

First I want to say Herm Edwards is a horrible broadcaster. Him and this dude Clay Matvick did this game, and it might have been the worst broadcasted game I've ever seen. They must be ESPNU's D-team, and ESPNU already is a D-channel in terms of who calls the games for ESPN family.

But the reason why I'm glad I watched this game is because of LT Derek Sherrod. He's the first OT I've seen based off the tape I saw last year on many of the top OT prospects that I think has the right combination of skill and athleticism to be a Top 10 OT.

This draft class seemed like it was sorely lacking in the "elite" LT prospect. And I think I found one with Sherrod. Has good technique, flashes really good athleticism and showed potential as a drive blocker vs. the run. Very much shades of Russell Okung vs. Memphis. Look, I get it was Memphis. But I did watch the beginning of the MSU-Auburn game last night (until Saints-Vikes game came on), and he looked pretty good in that one too against much tougher comp vs. Auburn.

Pernell McPhee looked pretty good as well. Nice combo of size and quicks, but not sure he's an edge rusher or an unpolished 3-4 DE. It got me thinking that when was the last time the SEC produced a good NFL DE? Richard Seymour (2001), Derrick Burgess (2001), or Alex Brown (2002) is probably the last time.

The only real prospect worth a look on Memphis is FS Marcus Ball. He reminds me a bit of Sherrod Martin a little bit. Shows the sort of speed and burst to make plays in coverage and adequate in run support. Would like to see more of him in the season to see if he's a mid-round prospect with starting potential, or late round pick and just a career backup.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:57 pm 
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Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina. Nice burst, tough....freshman with a senior mentality.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:06 am 
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I just watched the Syracuse-Washington game to get eyes on Jake Locker.

I wasn't that impressed with him, at least not early. But as the game progressed, he started getting a bit more comfortable and making NFL-caliber throws. His arm strength was spotty at best early in the game, as he wasn't able to get great zip on 10-yard throws. He hung a couple of passes high in the air, that NFL players would have easily intercepted on his deeper throws. But as the game went on, he was able to make some good sharp throws, showing some touch, making the deep out, the throw over the LB and under the safety down the seam, which are probably the two hardest throws you have to make at the NFL level. His mobility is still good, but he's a little too quick to want and tuck and run. There was a play where he was flushed left, and his arm immediately tucked the ball so he could run, adn then he pulled it back out to throw.

There were a couple more times where he was on the move and threw across his body or chucked a pass up for grabs when he was about to be sacked or tackled. That's bad decision making. The type of decision making that will get you in deep doo-doo at the next level.

From this game, it's clear he has all the tools, but he's still not quite an instinctual passer yet with his decision making. I still like his upside, but I would be very hard-pressed after seeing where he is vs. Syracuse taking him in the Top 25 picks. His play was more on par with what I consider to be a borderline 2nd/3rd rounder at QB.

There were a few other prospects that caught my eye in this one:

Syracuse RB Delone Carter. I really liked his power, he did a good job running behind his pads as they say. May an incredible one-handed grab on a botched screen pass, and showed relaly good burst to and through the hole. The problem is his lack of vision. There was a time where he ran into the back of his linemen, when there was a clear cutback lane that could have sprung him for 10 more yards. He wound up getting maybe like 1 or 2 on that play. He doesn't do a great job setting up defenders on the second level the few times he got there. I think he's a guy that can definitely impress enough as a power-runner with his speed to stick in the NFL. But he'll probably be a guy that is a reserve that doesn't actually play a lot, is used mainly for depth and third downs. I was also disappointed that a guy with his size relied on cutting pass rushers instead of taking them heads up. He's 5-9/218.

Syracuse has a OC Ryan Bartholomew who is a decent center prospect. Nothing special, but fairly sound with his technique and stuff and definitely a guy that at the least should be a solid backup center if not a decent starter.

MLB Derrell Smith is another decent Syracuse prospect. Looked physical and good at times vs. the run, but needs some work in pass coverage, and I'm also not sure his instincts are great. But I think he can be a nice backup MLB on the next level at the least.

For UW, their RT Cody Habben disappointed me. His footwork and technique were very poor, as he consistently slid his feet, which caused him to lose base and he was easily bull-rushed at times. Thankfully for him, the guy that was facing him was trying to beat him more with speed rush than power. He's got a lot of mean streak, and several times played beyond the whistle. I like that, but unless he bulks up (listed at 6-6/290) and significantly improves his technique, he's going to struggle to stick.

NT Alameda Ta'amu is only a junior. But I've never seen a 350-pounder with his kind of motor. He reminded me of a poor man's Haloti Ngata. He's only going to really fit in the 3-4 at the next level. And he wasn't exactly a black hole when it came to clogging the middle vs. Syracuse, but he has a really strong power bull rush up the middle, and he has a great motor, so you think those two things along with his size means someone will give him a shot. I could see him being a guy like Ma'ake Kemoeatu or Aubrayo Franklin, who start off as backup NTs somewhere, and then once they hit free agency, another team is able to sign a quality starter.

OLB Mason Foster also impressed me. He has good speed and range, and flashes ball skills and ability in coverage. The problem is that he isn't the best or most physical tackler, and while his speed and range means he can impact in run support, he's not great at the point of attack. But he definitely has a chance to stick as a reserve WILL at the next level.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:10 pm 
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Just watched the 2nd half of the UVA-USC replay on Fox Sports Channel. Not quite the slate of great prospects that USC usually has, but they still have a bunch of pro prospects.

Probably the only stud that stood out was Jurrell Casey. Really think he's going to be a strong 3-technique DT on the next level in a 4-3 defense.

Center Kris O'Dowd wasn't that impressive. He's a decent prospect, but not sure he's one of the best centers in the nation. He missed too many assignments and UVA's undersized DTs were able to push him back into the backfield too much.

WR Ronald Johnson stood out to me. GOod hands, good speed, and looks to have a natural feel and instincts as a receiver, playing the ball in the air and attacking it. Also looks to be dangerous after the catch. Might be the best senior WR prospect in the country, based off what I've seen so far.

TE Jordan Cameron flashed potential with good hands, good size, and excellent athleticism. He suffered a concussion on the final play on an onside kick, but he really got up. He's a former BYU basketball player that transferred to USC. I'm seeing many of the same things I saw with Jimmy Graham last year.

I'm not overly impressed with USC's linebackers. MLB Chris Galippo has looked like nothing special in the brief things I saw of him in hte past, and he barely played in this one. OLB Michael Morgan is tall and has good speed, but he's skinny and at 6-4/220, he needs to probably add 20-30 pounds of muscle. OLB Malcolm Smith is also undersized (6-1/228) and his speed makes him an asset in Kiffin's Tampa-2 defense, but he isn't very good at the point of attack, getting pushed a few yards downfield by TEs throughout the game.

CB Shareece Wright showed good ball skills and did a nice job keeping things in front of him. Not sure he has the speed, hips, and footwork to excel in man coverage, but certainly should be able to compete.

As for UVA, TE Joe Torchia looked better as a receiver than I saw last year. But he's not a playmaker, just a big guy with nice hands. His blocking looked improved though.

Ras-I Dowling didn't play due to a bum hammy, but Chase MInnifield continued to show good ball skills and ability in zone coverage. But he struggled a lot covering Ronald Johnson in man coverage because he doesn't have good footwork and hips.

Matt Conrath moved inside to DT now that UVA has a 4-3 defense. He is undersized and got pushed around vs. the run and couldn't get off blocks. Did show a nice bull rush on a stunt, but lacks the quickness/burst to really be a factor as a pass rusher inside.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:55 am 
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Just watched the N.C. State- Cincy game, and I have to say Cincy is bad.

N.C. State was running the simplest blitzes in the world, and they were getting to Zach Collaros almost every play. They were just rushing 4, and then bringing one of their LBs up the middle for the most part, and occasionally mixed in a delay. Don't know how Cincy's coaching staff wasn't able to make the necessary adjustments.

Collaros looked really bad despite the fact that his protection was horrible. He fumbled a bunch of shotgun snaps, and i think fumbled a couple of times as well when he did get on the move.

WR Armon Binns for whatever reason was listed as one of the top senior WRs going into this season. I guess those draft sites were basing that off his production, not actually any game tape. Binns has good hands, is tall and is very good at catching jump balls. But he's slow and has almost no ability to separate.

NFLDraftScout.com before the season listed Cincy's junior DT Derek Wolfe as the 5th best junior at his position, and after watching this game I'm left wondering why. Wolfe is big, and strong, and does flash the sort of strength to anchor in a two-gap scheme, but the guy has almost no burst. He's like a poor man's Igor Olshansky. I think he definitely can stick in the NFL, but not sure why he was ranked so high.

N.C. State's QB Russell Wilson is one of those supremely talented players that plays baseball, and thus has not really developed as a QB. But he can chuck it.

MLB Nate Irving missed all of last year because he was in a car accident. He didn't really do much in this game although he did get to Collaros a couple of times. He got hurt early in the game, which I thought he suffered a ligament tear by the way he stepped on the turf and his knee buckled. But he came back in the game, so I guess we'll see what comes of that. He got burned really bad for Cincy's first touchdown, as he was supposed to be guarding the seam in zone coverage, but got caught peaking into the backfield, and Cincy had a very easy TD.

TE George Bryan has good size and hands, and did a good job as a receiver. Has the size to match up well as a blocker. He isn't going to be a weapon in the NFL, but could make a good No. 2 TE.

OLB Terrell Manning
is the real star of N.C. State as far as pro prospects go but he's a redshirt sophomore. He took over for Irving in the middle once he got hurt and stayed there even when he came back. He's athletic guy that did a good job blitzing. Doesn't seem very instinctual, but I guess part of it was playing out of his normal position. He's only 6-3/225, but I think he could be a good WILL linebacker with another year or two's develop.

N.C. State has two nice WR prospects in Owen Spencer and Jarvis Williams. Spencer is a good deep threat, and Williams has good size. Neither look anything special, but it's probably from playing with an erratic passer like Wilson. But both have good hands.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:54 am 
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Not a lot of pro prospects in KU-USM game. Two Kansas players caught my eye though as the only real draftable players for them: WR Jonathan Wilson and CB Chris Harris. Wilson made some good catches late in the game, but was limited by the fact that he has a redshirt freshman who is inaccurate throwing him the ball. So he didn't get as many opportunities as he should have. Harris looked decent kinda like a poor man's Chris Owens on a few plays. He could potentially compete for a reserve role.

Was watching KU's O-line because they have 3 potential pro prospects: LT Tanner Hawkerson (sophomore), C Jeremiah Hatch (junior), and RT Brad Thorson (senior). Not that impressed. Not sure, if KU switched from a man blocking scheme last year, but they were running a lot of zone looks tonight, and guys missed a lot of assignments, which was one of the reasons why their offense struggled throughout the game. Hawkerson looked the best, but he's only a sophomore. But I could see him as a potential late rounder already, so in 2 years he could be a decent 2nd/3rd round pick. Not sure he has enough athleticism to stay at LT in the pros. Hatch is a huge center (6-3/330), but he's very slow, and unathletic. Got hurt in this game when he leg got rolled up. But despite the fact that he's massive center, he's not really a good center. Thorson is a senior and is way too limited athletically to stay at OT in the pros. But I'm not sure he's even a good athlete to move inside. His footwork was bad, and his technique woesome at various points in the game. He looked like a camp body at this point.

DE Jake Laptad looks like an undersized 3-4 defensive end. Not athletic or explosive enough to challenge edge as a DE, but did look better when he played in a 5-technique, showing a nice rip move on the outside. He can compete for a reserve spot, but is probably a camp body as well.

As for USM, WR DeAndre Brown didn't really impress me. Right now, I just see another MIkhael Ricks. He doesn't run a variety or routes and isn't an everydown player, despite the announcers saying he's the "face of the program."

DT Anthony Gray can push for time as a reserve DT in a 3-4 scheme and flashes some ability as a run defender in a short area, but he's not an impact player.

ILB Korey Williams didn't look improved, and isn't as authoritative or instinctual as I'd hope, but he's a junior so he still has time. Doesn't have great hips, but did a decent job in coverage. He certainly should make a decent backup at the least and has the potential to play either in the 3-4 or 4-3. I like him a little better in the 3-4 since he's a fairly good blitzer.

Also saw the Cal-Nevada game last night as well.

QB Colin Kaepernick has been one of my favorite college football players to watch, but his pro potential is limited. You love his speed and ability as a runner, his size, and his massive arm strength, able to drive the ball 30-40 yards downfield on a frozen rope. But he's decision making, consistency, and accuracy have improved little during his time at Nevada, and I watched him as a redshirt freshman. I think his physical tools are worth a look to see if you can develop him down the road as a No. 2, but there are better prospects out there that have a much short length to impact.

On the other team, QB Kevin Riley also has made little improvement over a similar span of time. He's well-coached as all Tedford guys are and you can see that sometimes in his play. He cnan go to his second read and anticipate routes and reads, but he's not that effective or accurate on the times he does. He gets happy feet at times when he has to go through more than one progression, and will stare down receivers. Nevada picked him off or break up passes because LBs and DBs were able to jump routes. He's also a little bit too high strung for my tastes. He had too many emotional reactions after missing on some throws. His arm is only adequate, as the ball doesn't come out with a lot of velocity and his releease isn't bad, but a bit enlongated.

RB Shane Vereeen shined in this game, showing his trademark burst and quickness. He'll be a good third down back on the next level and like most Cal backs should be an effective two-way player. Not sure he has burner speed, but he should run in the 4.48-4.51 range. Reminded me a bit of Warrick Dunn with his quickness and good vision when he was able to set up, juke, and side-step ddefenders on the second level. but he's small, and can't be an every down player and isn't a threat to break any tackles.

Nevada's RB Vai Taua would fit well in a one-cut zone blocking scheme. He's a good north-south runner with good power, but he lacks vision. He and Vereen are basically polar opposites. But Taua I think could stick as a No.3 guy for a team like Houston, but only if he can stick on special teams.

TE Anthony MIller (Cal) looks like a similar TE as Alge Crumpler, has good hands. But his blocking could use some work. He could be a decent starter at the next level, but I think his potential is to be a player like Robert Royal rather than Crump as a receiver.

OG John Bender (Nevada) is probably too tall for his own guy. At 6-8/330, he's big, but it prevents him from getting leverage and push as a run blocker. He's probably better moving outside where being tall isn't as big an obstacle like a Ryan Diem. But his technique and footwork don't look quite up to par to think that would be an easy transition. But he's good enough to compete in the NFL, and if he takes to a position switch I think he can be a nice reserve that can play inside or outside.

DE Cameron Jordan and DT Derrick Hill were a nice pair up front in Cal's 3-4. Jordan looks like a very good 3-4 DE, although I think his upside is a lot closer to Chris Canty than it is to Richard Seymour. But he has good power, can hold the point of attack, and shows some qucikness to pressure the QB. Hill split reps at nose tackle, but there were several plays where he dominated one of Nevada's guard or their center and being able to get some push upfield. Jordan looks like he'd make a solid 2nd rounder at this point. Hill is probably a late rounder at best, but could surprise if given a chance in camp and develop as a reserve NT.

Nevada DE Dontay Moch is an undersized (6-1/230) pass rsuher, but he was able to get good pressure on Kevin Riley several times in this game. I don't think he has the burst to turn the corner because there were several times where I thought he was in the neutral zone which helped him get a good jump. But he flashed the skills and tools to be a very good bull rusher off the edge. Wouldn't be a huge learning curve playing OLB in the 3-4 since he played quite a bit with his hand off the ground. But he's not very natural or instinctual when moving in space. I think he needs to bulk up for both the 3-4 or 4-3, but he's probably a bit overrated. I think he's more Antwan Peek than Joey Porter.

Nevada TE Virgil Green is a tweener. He's listed at 6-4/240, but on the field looks more like 6-2/230. He can be a decent H-back, but doesn't do anything well enough to do much. on the next level other than maybe make a decent backup to Dallas Clark in Indy.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:45 am 
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Watched the Pitt-Utah game finally to get prepped for tonight's of PItt vs. Miami


From PItt, WR Jon Baldwin is probably limited by the questionable play of his QB. Concerned about his ability to separate from defenders because he doesn't have great short-area burst. But he flashed his speed and ability to get deep. He's a long strider, and you saw flashes of his 4.4 speed in that game. But what I like is that he's a decent route-runner, although how good he can be at the next level will likely be heavily dependent on his improvement there.

OT Jason Pinkston reminds me a bit of Jeff Otah with his size and run blocking potential. He's too limited to play LT at the next level, but could make a solid RT. He's not going to be a top guy, but if he can improve his footwork, technique, and hand placement could be a very good run blocker at the point of attack.

DE Greg Romeus continues to look like he doesn't have the burst and flexibility to be an impact pass rusher in the 4-3 scheme. He's fairly good at the point of attack and has enough burst to challenge the edge, but he'd be better in a 5-technique than a 7-technique. I would bulk him up to around 280 and play him in the 3-4.

DE Jabaal Sheard is undersized, but has inconsistent burst and I question his motor at times. But he flashes good quickness off the edge to think he can potentially compete in a rotation as a situational guy. But he needs to get bigger and better vs. the run. He played better vs. Miami than vs. Utah, but again his questionable motor limits his effectiveness snap to snap.

For Utah, I like RB Matt Asiata, but more as a fullback than running back. Just lacks the lateral burst and vision to really be an impact runner outside of short-yardage situations. Undersized for FB (5-11/225), but if he were to put on another 10-20 pounds he could be a good lead blocker.

OC Zane Taylor right now is my top center for this year's draft class. Really like his technique, footwork, mean streak. He has quick hands and did a good job getting position as a run blocker vs. Pitt. Probably won't get to see him go up against a top DT this year, so I'll be looking forward to see how he does in the Senior Bowl.

As for Miami prospects, QB Jacory Harris continues to not show the anticipation and quick decision making you like to see. He's accurate when given time and does a good job on throws under 20 yards. Puts too much air under his throws down the field, which is one of the reasons why Pitt was able to pick him off twice early in the game. His lack of size (6-4/190) showed as well as he took some shots in this game, and he's going to need to put on another 20 pounds before he can be counted to stick in the pros. I think at this point, he needs his senior year to develop the necessary anticipation and get stronger. Right now, he looks like he can be a decent backup, but limited future as a starter.

I was not impressed with WR Leonard Hankerson. He's big and looks like a TE on the field, but his route-running looked sloppy and despite good size and athleticism, he looks like at this point he's another Dwayne Jarrett waiting to happen.

OT Orlando Franklin won't be able to play LT at the next level, but I think he has good enough technique and footwork to switch over to RT and be effective there. Is a good run blocker, and I think is a similar player to Vernon Carey with his potential to play multiple positions inside and outside.

OG Joel Figueroa looked really bad at RT for Miami, althoguh I think he was coming off injury this game. But his footwork and technique were horrid and probably aided greatly in why Sheard was able to make some plays this game. He might be able to stick as a practice squad guard at the next level, but very limited.

DE Allen Bailey looks like he can be a good 5-technique DE. Still not as consistent snap to snap as I would like to see, particularly with his strength and ability to hold up vs. the run. He can be a capable starter, but probably not an impact guy. Thinking he's more Marcus Spears than Darnell Dockett.

MLB Colin McCarthy looks like he can be a nice backup ILB in a 3-4, but lacks some instincts and ability in coverage to think he can be a starter at the next level.

OLB Sean Spence is undersized, but shows the kind of speed, range, and potential in coverage to be a solid WILL linebacker at the next level. Just needs to bulk up and get up to the 230-235 range at least (listed at 215).

I wasn't that impressed with CB Brandon Harris footwork and technqiue, but his athleticism is good. If he can show more discipline, I think he has the chance to be a top corner, but at this point I see him as a No. 2 guy in the Chris Houston mold rather than a top corner.

I like K/P Matt Bosher and think he could stick in either role at the next level. He's like Koenen, but at a major program.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:53 pm 
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Just watched the Central Michigan Temple game from a few weeks ago.

Temple has several NFL prospects, but none of them really look like much more than camp bodies beside FS Jaiquawn Jarrett. He had a couple of big hits, and showed enough in man coverage against wide receivers that I think he could make a nice backup FS at the next level.

They have two O-linemen, RT Darius Morris and RG Colin Madison. Madison has good size (6-3/330), but has very poor technique and footwork to think he's more than just a body. But Morris (6-4/315) flashes some potential that if he was to move inside, he might be able to stick as a reserve in the NFL.

ILB Elijah Joseph isn't an everydown player, but showed good ability as a run stopper, and if you allow him to attack the line of scrimmage, he could be an effective player. He's a nice special teams prospect.

As for CMU, not much going for them. C Colin Miller is adequate prospect, but doesn't stand out in any one area to think he is anything more than a decent backup prospect. Bends his waist too much, causing him to overextend and lose leverage and doesn't have the quick hands that you want to see in a center prospect.

ILB Nick Bellore has a higher rating, but OLB Matt Berning was far more impressive to me in this game. Bellore was sidelined early with an injury, but didn't look fast, tough, or instinctual for the quarter or so he played. Berning doesn't have good speed or range either, but is physical, has a good nose for the ball, and was rarely caught out of position like Bellore was several times. Reminds me a bit of Bear Woods, while he was at Troy.

But the real shiner on CMU's team was SS Jahleel Addae. He caught my eye as the game progressed. He's only a redshirt sophomore, but he showed really good burst and speed coming up field and defending the run. Due to his lack of size (5-9/195), I was reminded quite a bit of players like Louis Delmas and Bob Sanders. He's a guy worth watching for in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:34 pm 
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Just watched the Navy-Maryland game from Week 1.

Not a complete picture of Maryland's prospect since Navy doesn't throw the ball, but did get a taste of what Maryland's defenders can do vs. the run.

ILB Alex Wucjiak doesn't have great speed or range to make plays in pursuit. And he was caught out of position several times for big gains up the middle to the fullback. But he looks like a guy that can make plays between the hashmarks, and get upfield on blitzes, and fill running lanes up the middle. Looks like a good fit in a 3-4 scheem,but lacks the speed, range, and ability in pursuit to be a factor in a 4-3.

I did like OLB Adrian Moten. He made the memorable play at the goalline where he jumped over the line to hit the QB as he was taking the snap. He isn't very big (6-2/225), but has good speed, is a capable tackler, and possesses the good combo of speed and toughness for his size to be an impact defender. I think he can fit well as a 4-3 WILL linebacker.

Also, I really liked what I saw from FS Kenny Tate. He's got the good combo of size (6-4/220) and speed that I think he can be a fast, rangy playmaker in the secondary. Obviously, how he fares in coverage will determine his draft stock. But as far as his abiliity to defend the run, he's very good, able to come up and defend the run or play in the box.

On offense, Maryland's RB Da'Rel Scott isn't very big (5-10/200), but showed really good vision, speed, and burst. Looks like he can be a very good runner in a zone-blocking scheme. The question will be can he handle the work between the tackles, and he hasn't had the best history of staying healthy.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:11 pm 
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Just watched the FIU-Maryland game as a follow-up.

S Kenny Tate looked decent in coverage, and didnt' really blow any assignments, but didn't show the instinctual awareness and range there to be a playmaker. He reminds me a bit of Kenny Phillips with his size and tools, but is a better run stopper than coverage guy. Can play either FS or SS, but I think like Phillips he's a better SS than FS.

OLB Adrian Moten continued to impress me, showing some good ability in coverage, whether playing man or zone coverage. Still a bit undersized, but probably would play WILL in a 4-3 in the pros rather than SAM in a 3-4 like he does at Maryland.

ILB Alex Wujciak looked lost quite a bit in coverage. Slow, poor hips, and easily got turned around when in man coverage, and didn't get good depth on his zone drops. A good run-stopper between the hashmarks and when he can go upfield to fill running lanes. But unless he plays TED linebacker for somebody, he's just a special teams player.

I really liked what I saw from junior WR Torrey Smith. Reminded me a bit of Roddy White in this game, although he has a second gear as far as his deep speed goes. Clocked at 4.38 according to one site I saw, and I believe it. Explosive vertical threat that I saw do a nice job as a route-runner on comeback routes, really paying attention to detail with his footwork there. Also showed nice ability as a blocker out in space. He's got potential to watch.

Maryland needs to give the ball more to Da'Rell Scott. He was productive in this game when given the ball. He had a nice 56-yard run in this game. Looks like a good third down back at the next level that is good enough to start if he played in a one-cut zone blocking scheme like in Houston.

The one good FIU player is CB Anthony Gaitor. He's small (5-10/180), but he's fast, athletic, and tough. I definitely want to see more of him, and will try to watch him next week vs. Pitt if I can get that game (stupid ESPN3.com :evil: ). Not sure he has quite the polish and technique you like in man coverage, but shows a good feel for zone and does a good job keeping things in front him. Also has nice ball skills, the burst to break up passes, and does a nice job in run support despite his lack of size.

I'm worried Pitt will lose next week, unless Dion Lewis/Ray Graham have big games.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Also watched two TCU games in the past 24 hours, one last night live vs. SMU and the other from last week vs. Baylor.

QB Andy Dalton didn't really impress me. Has a nice arm, and showed good accuracy and zip on the short throws. But in both games, struggled to hit receivers in stride down the field, and threw behind guys. I think he's hurt by his footwork, as the shotgun means that he's throwing flat-footed quite a bit, so his mechanics might need to be tweaked some at the next level. I think he can compete as a reserve, and down the road could be an effective stopgap starter, but not sure he's worth really developing as anything more than a No. 2 long-term.

WR Jeremy Kerley is a player I liked. Good speed, dangerous return man and good runner after the catch with nice hands. Not sure he has a starter's upside, but could be a nice No. 3 slot receiver that can make plays in special teams. Probably offensively, he coudl be a poor man's Harry Douglas.

OL Marcus Cannon plays LT for TCU, and is massive (6-5/355) and he is a good athlete for such a big guy. But his footwork and technique are poor, and he's too much of a waist bender. I think he'll be much easier to beat for NFL defensive linemen, esp. because he plays with poor base and will be easy to bull rush if they don't beat him with their speed move. As a run blocker, he is big and can engulf defenders, but blocks too high and doesn't use his hands that well so he's not able to get as much push as you'd want for a guy his size. He's got tools and potential, but he's raw and I think will make a much better guard than tackle. Probably going to be a backup that can play both OG and OT.

OC Jake Kirkpatrick is a nice center prospect, btu doesn't have the great technique or sudden hands to make me think he has a bright future at center. Instead I think he'll be a swing guy at center and guard because he's big enough (6-3/305) to play guard as well. Basically he can be a similar player to what Blake Schlueter was for us this past summer.

TCU has a decent pair of senior DTs in Cory Grant and Kelly Griffin. Both are big guys that will do well in a two-gap scheme. I think Griffin is better because he's a little better dealing with double teams and more stout in the middle, but both are probably just backups anyway.

Wayne Daniels I was hoping to see the first good 4-3 DE when I watched him play. But I was disappointed. He's a 3-4 OLB through and through, even more so than Jerry Hughes. He has a nice first step, but relies on his speed rush way too much which is only good. He plays quite a bit with his hand off the ground for TCU, and I think can be an effective starter if he continues to do that in the NFL.

Tank Carder is a junior, and a good run defender. He's got enough speed to make plays in pursuit. But he's limited in coverage and will have to be hidden in zone. I think he can be a nice fit as a starter in a 3-4 scheme like most TCU linebackers are.

TCU has a number of decent prospects in the secondary with CB Jason Teague, and safeties Tejay Johnson and Alex Ibiloye. Teague and Ibiloye are just ST prospects really. Johnson though has enough speed and range to make plays in coverage, and is competent in run support. He's not very big, but I think he can make a nice FS at the next level.

As for SMU, the only good prospect I saw was WR Aldrick Robinson. Has really good deep speed and nice hands. Not sure he is big enoguh (5-10/180) to be anything more than a slot guy, and not sure he can do all of the things to really be a regular part of a team's offense. His lack of size means he struggles to make plays in traffic. He's not used as a return man, but with his speed if he can stick as a KOR, I think he can play in the NFL. Otherwise, he looks like a player similar to Dexter Jackson, the guy the BUcs drafted a few years ago.

For Baylor, P Derek Epperson is pretty good. Good leg, and flashes good directional kicking.

NT Phil Taylor is their best NFL prospect. Inconsistent snap to snap, but you see flashes of his ability to physically dominate in the middle. I would compare him to an Aubrayo Franklin type, that with his size (6-4/350), he's not going to be anything more than a backup with the team that drafts him. But maybe by the time he hits free agency, he may have developed enough that he could make a good starter for his 2nd team.

OT Danny Watkins plays LT for Baylor. He works out of the 2-point stance every snap, which will limit him on the next level. But he shows nice technique. Problem is that his punch on the edge isn't good, and he has slow feet so he's not a good OT prospect. Plus avg. size (6-4/310) means he's probably destiend to move inside. But because of the fact that he never lines up in a 3-point stance means that he will take some time to develop the type of pop and power you look for an interior run blocker. So he might actually be a better option to move to center where his inability to move the pile won't be a problem. I like him, but he's not a great fit anywhere.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:46 pm 
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Kinda got distracted towards the end, but Alabama-Arkansas game was pretty good.

Thought Mallett looked sharp throughout the game, and probably just won himself the No. 1 pick with his play. He made a few bad throws and decisions, but he looked good for the most part, espeically in the 1st half.

That Mark Ingram is pretty good too. Great vision. I never thought it was possible, and it's still early, but he might have "5s" across the board when it comes to the final skills ratings that I do for the scouting reports.

Hopefully, I'll get the chance to re-watch this game with my "scout's eye" next week.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:22 pm 
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Just re-watched the Thursday night game (Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State). Watched much of it live on Thursday, and initially I thought Jerrod Johnson played very poorly. He definitely didn't have a great game, and made some critical turnovers in the game, but upon a second look I'm not as negative. He showed improvement in some areas such as his decision making and the fact that he doesn't seem to run the check with me offense anymore. That indicates an improvement ability to manage the offense and maturity.

Still struggles with very poor mechanics limiting his zip, accuracy, and touch. Still stares down receivers and doesn't show great anticipation on most of his throws. The main issue was that when he was pressured by OK State, it led to many bad throws and picks.

Von Miller didn't show a lot of improvement in any areas. But I did notice that A&M used him a lot more in coverage in this game than I had seen previously. Not good there, as he didn't show ideal awareness, but seems to have the athleticism and fluidity to move in space and coverage to develop there. As a pass rusher, he still has a very good first step, but still hasn't quite developed the bull rush and shoulder dip that I want to see.

WR Jeff Fuller I didn't fully scout but he made some good catches, using his size, good hands to attack the ball in the air on many of JOhnson's higher throws. RB Christine Michael is a true sophomore, so he's not eligible. But he has good power, and looks like a nice north-south runner. But his burst and ability to cut isn't great as he has to slow his feet and chop to do so.

For OK State, RB Kendall Hunter is strong for his size (5-8/200) and quick that is able to make guys miss. But he did too much dancing at times in the backfield and missed some blocks in pass protection. BUt he could be a nice No. 2 option and change of pace runner.

DE Ugo Chinasa
is a player that first caught my eye in some games back in '08, but he has not really impressed me ever since. He has the look of a solid NFL DE, good tall frame with long arms, but is slow off the snap, and has very poor technique as a pass rusher. Did get a pick and a sack in this game, but he's not going to make those impact plays at the next level. Best chance of sticking in the NFL will be to move to OLB in a 3-4 scheme, where I think his lack of a first step won't hurt him as a pass rusher, and he showed some ability to make plays vs. the run in space, althoguh needs a lot of work in coverage with his footwork.

WR Justin Blackmon
is a redshirt sophomore, so he's draft eligible. But he has the tools of a solid NFL WR, good size, hands, and physical that should give OK State a good prospect to replace Dez Bryant.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:52 pm 
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Finally got around to watching the LSU-UNC game. Unfortunately my DVR cut off the last 3 minutes of the game, but here goes...

WR Terrence Toliver has good skills, but not sure he has the natural receiving instincts to be anything more than a No. 2/No.3 guy at the next level like a taller version of Patrick Crayton.

OT Joseph Barksdale didn't really make an impact. Good size and nice athlete for his size. But LSU rarely ran behind him, and his technique in pass protection is limited. He'll have to move back to the right side in the pros. T-Bob Hebert got work at right guard after an LSU guy got hurt on the first play. He was really overmatched against Coples inside. Doesn't have the sort of quick hands I expected from a center and his lack of size to get push as a run blocker also limited him.

Drake Nevis looked dominant early, living in the UNC backfield early in the game. But he wasn't doing much as the game progressed, namely because I saw UNC double teaming him more often. Looked more like a good one-gap defender in this game than I saw last season, so I think he's probably a better fit as a nose in a 4-3.

LB Kelvin Sheppard plays both MLB and WLB for LSU, but I think he's a better fit at the MIKE or inside in a 4-3 or 3-4. Did a good job taking on blocks and winning battles at the point of attack, and I think the fact that he's not great in coverage means he'll be better inside than outside. But I think he's a tough, run defender that shows the leadership you want to see in a MIKE prospect.

CB Patrick Peterson is ridiculous.

FS Jai Eugene is an undersized free safety that I thought did some nice things as a centerfielder in coverage, but doesn't have the speed and range to be an impact defender in coverage. And he's not very big or a strong tackler when he does come up to defend the run. Reminds me of Major Wright, but I'm not sure he even has Wright's upside. But looks like he could be a decent stopgap starter.

Was impressed with SS Brandon Taylor vs. the run, as he was very good defending in the box. But made several mistakes in coverage, getting caught out of position and getting sucked up by the play fakes. He was the main culprit IMO for that big 97-yard TD that UNC threw as he screwed his CB by not giving him help over the top. And also got beat on the TD that put UNC down by 6 late in the 4th quarter. If he can improve in coverage, he could be a nice undersized SS prospect.

K Josh Jasper
missed his lone field goal attempt of 44-yards, but showed good range and leg strength on that kicked. Was able to keep all his kickoffs inside the 5, and did a decent job as a line drive punter on the short field with his directional kicking. He can compete but not sure he has the big leg or accuracy that you really like as a K prospect.

For UNC, I was impressed with T.J. Yates. He made good decisions and showed good arm strength and accuracy on the short throws. Showed good footwork moving around the pocket, able to step and slide to find throwing lanes. Struggled going to his 2nd read and going downfield at times with lacking touch on his deep throws. The 2nd read thing was mainly because of the pressure LSU was providing, and he understandably got happy feet when the first read wasn't there. But did a good job throwing the ball away when that happened and not making the big critical mental mistakes. If he can improve his ability to go to his 2nd read and make better touch downfield, he could come in right away and be a decent option as a No. 2 guy like a Matt Flynn.

TE Zach Pianalto is a good receiver that looks like he can excel as an H-back in the right offense, but not sure he has the blocking ability to be a top notch inline tight end. I'm reminded of David Thomas for the Saints.

DT Tydreke Powell was a disappointment. Not really doing much as a penetrator, and looks like with his size and strength he can be a good run defender, but got pushed around too much and didn't get off blocks.

I was really impressed with DE/DT Quinton Coples. He dominated Hebert and whoever LSU's right tackle was early int he game. He lived in LSU's backfield vs. the run, and looks like he can be a dominant 3-4 defensive end.

LBs Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter had nice games. More impressed with Sturdivant's instincts and awareness than Carter, who is the much better physical specimen. I like Sturdivant's versatility to play in multiple schemes, 3-4 or 4-3. But probably best as a 3-4 ILB or 4-3 WLB like a D.J. Williams. Carter is a poor man's Aaron Curry as a SAM in a 4-3, but needs to be more disciplined in coverage and play with better awareness.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:10 pm 
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Just watched the Stanford-UCLA game.

Liked what I saw from Andrew Luck in this game, although he didn't have great numbers. But he definitely has NFL ready tools. And while I think he can really benefit from at least 1 more year in school, if he was to come out this year, I don't think he would struggle too much transitioning from the pro game and could compete on a level higher than that of Mark Sanchez as a rookie in '09.

The other Stanford prospect that stood out to me was LT Jonathan Martin, who like Luck is a redshirt sophomore. He has the tools NFL teams are looking for in a left tackle, and while he needs some more polish, the high premium at his position means I could see him being a Top 10 pick if he chose to exit this year as well. I particularly liked his potential as a run blocker and ability to stick in a zone-blocking scheme. He's a pretty mean guy as well.

Owen Marecic looked good as a fullback, as usual. But it's clear to me that a team should definitely develop him on offense and not defense, despite him going both ways in this game. He has limited upside on defense and won't be able to contribute there for many years as anything more than a special teams guy. But as a FB, he could hit the field right away and be a solid between the tackles lead blocker.

Stanford has some other decent NFL prospects that all look like they can definitely stick and compete as role players in the NFL. C Chase Beeler reminds me of Chris Myers, and has an excellent mean streak to make up for his lack of ideal size, strength, and technique. OLB Thomas Keiser is still transitioning from DE, and his only real impact in this game was when he lined up with his hand on the ground. But he's got long-term potential to develop as a 3-4 OLB if he continues to improve. NT Sione Fua looks like he can definitely contribute as a backup NT on the next level with potential to develop into a starter down the road. CB Richard Sherman is a big corner that moved from offense a few years back and thus isn't an instinctual corner, but if he can stick as a Lenny Walls-type backup CB, then he can probably make a decent safety because of his size and tackling ability.

As for UCLA, OLB Akeem Ayers continues to look solid, although he didn't have a great game. I downgraded his grade by 0.1 point because he didn't look as good at getting off blocks in this game as he did in previous viewings. He still needs a bit more work in man coverage, but flashes the awareness to get better there. Right now, as a 3-4 OLB, I put his potential somewhere between Anthony Spencer and Terrell Suggs.

Rahim Moore is a good cover safety that you like his speed and range. He needs to bulk up (listed at 195), and if he can put on another 10 pounds I like him to be as good a pro as someone like Nick Collins. I haven't yet see that sort of Ed Reed potential as a ballhawk that his 10 INTs last year might make you think he has.

SS Tony Dye is also a junior and is a good run defender that shows the sort of closing burst on the ball you like to see in an enforcer. But he isn't very big either (5-11/205) and many teams might move him to FS because of that. Right now he reminds me a bit of Chris Crocker.

Kai Forbath got little work in this game, missing a 50-yard field goal. But he did show that he has range on that kick as he probably could have hit from 55 yards. LS Christian Yount showed improved zip and ability as a snapper from a previous viewing, making me think he's fairly NFL ready. Had some frozen rope snaps which I like to see.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:21 pm 
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I also watched the UNC-Georgia Tech game the other day as well.

QB T.J. Yates continues to show NFL-level tools to make me think he can come in right away and steal a No. 2 job like what Matt Flynn and Max Hall have done. I really liked how he moved and slid around the pocket vs. GT. His arm isn't great, but good. One sort of odd thing I noticed was that UNC almost used exclusively 3-step drops, which I can't figure out if it's because they want Yates to get the ball out of his hands quickly because the O-line sucks (which probably is at least part of it) or some other reason. But you don't get to see him make all of the NFL-level throws because of it. Because in the GT game and the LSU game, it was basically a 3-step drop and throw to TE Zach Pianalto.

OLB Bruce Carter is probably going to be a Top 15 pick because of his strength and flashy athleticism. But he still doesn't seem to be a very instinctual defender. I haven't really seen any improvement from a year ago. We'll have to see what comes of that. He's a guy that I think is too physically talented to be an NFL bust, but it wouldn't surprise me if he's kinda a guy like LaVarr Arrington that never quite lives up to his huge potential. But he's still one of those players that I think the right NFL coach can put him in a scheme where he could potentially dominate.

OLB Quan Sturdivant looks like the more instinctual defender and the guy I think I'd rather have on my team. I think he's best as a WILL, but his experience as a MIKE at UNC means I think some NFL teams will grade him as such because it's hard to find MLBs with his speed and range. I would probably compare him to Will Witherspoon in that regard.

DE/DT Quinton Coples didn't look as good in this game as he did vs. LSU, which may be partially due to him playing DE the entire game rather than splitting reps inside and out. But I still like his upside as a 5-technique DE, although his LTI looks a little longer than I previously thought.

As for Georgia Tech, nobody really stood out. CB Mario Butler flashed skills but Yates avoiding him for the most part, so I don't really know how good he is.

I still hate the triple option as far as projecting NFL running backs and Dwyer's lack of success so far in the pros doesn't mean too well for Anthony Allen.

ILB Brad Jefferson looks like he'll fit well as a TED linebacker in a 3-4 defense, and may lack the speed, range and coverage abilities to be a reliable starter on most teams. I would probably compare him to Ed Hartwell in that way, in that he can shine if he plays beside a good MIKE (like Hartwell did with Ray Lewis).

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:51 pm 
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I watched a bunch of Florida State games (3) this weekend.

And my love fest for Christian Ponder has slowly ended. He's a good QB, and in many ways reminds me of Matt Ryan when he was at BC. It's probably has to do with the red/gold color scheme, the fact that he doesn't really have any explosive weapons at WR, they play in the ACC, and that their size/tools are very similar.

But that's where the comparison ends. I didn't see in any of the games the sort of intangibles in Ponder that immediately popped from watching Ryan in his first game. Right now, I would say that while Ponder and Ryan have many similar traits, I would say that Ponder's NFL potential is closer to J.P. Losman than it is to Ryan.

At this point, I would see him as a 2nd round pick that can be developed for a few years. I didn't think he showed the great anticipation or pocket awarenss I want in a first round pick. His clock is too long. He can go to his second read, but it takes too long and he stares down his receivers too much. HIs accuracy isn't great, although it can be very good at times. But when he's asked to throw down the field, his touch and accuracy need work. He has a nice arm, but he doesn't have the great arm to really put those deeper throws on a line. He does have good mobility and toughness as a runner (he needs to learn how to slide), but I think that hurts his pocket presence because he is so willing to tuck and run when he's pressured rather than sliding around the pocket to find new throwing lanes and extend the play. If he gets the Kevin Kolb treatment, I like his chances to develop into a capable starter. I think he could start as a rookie, but he wouldn't be any good. And I think if you were to start him as a rookie, you significantly raise the Joey Harrington factor, which means he never develops.

I'll probably watch him again later in the season to see if he's gotten better. But I don't see the field generalship that I saw with Ryan. He doesn't seem to own the offense. He's a guy that I think will have to be coached up quite a bit, and given a playmaking WR to really be a factor. He's a nice consolation prize for a team that misses out on a 1st round pick, but if you need a QB that can take over as a good starter in his first 2 years, you're probably going to be disappointed.

Also for FSU, OG Rodney Hudson is one of my favorite prospects. His technique is some of the best I've seen, and he has quick hands. But he's small (6-2/290), and I think too small to really hold up as a guard. His footwork needs to improve, because if you can get him to play on his heels, he can struggle. But he does a great job initiating contact and going after defenders. I think that style of play could be excellent for a center, but not so much for a guard. He's smart, has a good mean streak, does an excellent job getting on the second level and taking out linebackers, whether it's a seal block or a cut block. I think he played some center in high school, so it's not a completely new transition. If he can get the snap down, and show those same quick hands there, I think he can be one of the elite centers in the league.

As for the rest of FSU's prospects, nobody really else stands out. I like OLB Mister Alexander, not only because he has an awesome first name for a hard-hitting linebacker, but he flashes good potential in coverage, has nice speed, and will make some good stops every game I saw him in. But he's he's got a thin build (6-3/225) and probably limited to being just a decent backup.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:17 pm 
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I watched two Clemson games (vs. Auburn and Miami), and here are my thoughts on some of their prospects...

As usual, Clemson always has a bunch of premium athletes, but not that many great football players, although that has been steadily changing more under Dabo Swinney than Bowden.

The best prospect on their team is SS DeAndre McDaniel, who is a good run defender, but not a great run defender. I'm using the William Moore measuring stick in that regard, and McDaniel isn't as good. In coverage, McDaniel isn't bad, especially considering most SSs in college football aren't as good as he is. He can play somewhat in centerfield, but you can almost always rely on him making one or two mental mistakes there, and doesn't have the speed and range to think he can really fit there. But he is a good SS prospect that is at home playing in the box. I think he can be a good run-defending strong safety that should be a good pro, but not a great pro. I would say he's a less rangy Kenny Phillips.

I like Da'Quan Bowers athleticism, and he'll make a handful of plays each game, but he's not instinctual or consistent. There were several times in the Auburn game where he got beat by Auburn's fullback in the backfield at the point of attack, which is not good for a 280-pound defensive end. But he'll make a few nice plays per game that will remind you how high his upside is. But he hasn't put it all together, and may never do so. But his athleticism is intriguing in the same way that Jason Pierre-Paul's was last year. I think there is a possibility that he could play OLB in a 3-4 scheme, he's that good an athlete and the fact that he seems to make more plays in space vs. the run than as a pure pass rusher makes me think linebacker might be his best position at the next level. I only saw a flash of the pure edge speed once in those two games, and his quickness is more straight-line burst and he doesn't get a good jump off the snap. He's raw, but in 2 or 3 years he could be a really good pro, or he could be just an average role player.

DT Jarvis Jenkins is a load in the middle, and he'll flash the power and strength you love to see in a two-gap defender, but he's not a playmaker. He could be a good anchor in the middle of a 3-4 scheme, but I see him more of a Casey Hampton-type that keeps blockers off linebackers rather than a Jamal Williams that can be an impactful defender as a penetrator. He's listed at 315, but he looks like he's probably closer to 325. The other Clemson DT Brandon Thompson is only a junior, but he also looks like he'll fit best in a 3-4 scheme in the middle, but probalby only as a reserve than as a starter. But if he stays in school another year, and gets more development, particularly in disengaging from blocks, he could move up as a potential starter himself.

RB Jamie Harper is a good one. I watched the Miami-Clemson game first, and in that game his power and pad level impressed me, reminding me a lot of Marion Barber with how he looked for contact. But then in watching the Auburn-Clemson game, he looked more like a finesse back, where there were several times where he could have finished a run with lowering the shoulder and delivering a hit to a linebacker or defensive back and he did not. He made some nice athletic moves in the Auburn game, showing a nice spin move, and hurdling a defender. He also laid out for a pass in the endzone on a wheel route which was a heck of a catch. There was another wheel route where he came back for the ball, but it went right through his hands. So while he seems to have nice instincts in the passing game, not sure he has good hands. At this point, I think he'll be best served in a Barber-like role where he gets 15-20 carries a game, works in the short game between the tackles, and is spelled by a speedier back to keep him fresh. I just wonder if the coaches told him to run harder and more power after the Auburn game, which is why he did it a week later vs. Miami.

Clemson LT Chris Hairston (6-7/325) flashes power and dominance as a run blocker, but gives almost nothing in pass protection. He'll have to be stuck inside to hide his poor footwork and technique there, he's a waist bender that cannot adjust in space. He also needs to be a more consistent pile mover, as there were times when he took a false step backwards as a run blocker, which hurt his ability to deliver the blow to the defender. But he can be coached out of that. I think he could be a decent emergency fill in at right tackle, but if he is asked to play there for an extended period of time he'll be exposed.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:36 pm 
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As I mentioned above, watched the Auburn-Clemson game, and now I want to talk about some of Auburn's prospects...

I was very impressed with Cam Newton's physical tools in this game. And he didn't seem as raw as a passer as I expected going into this game. He made several throws in this game that made me stand up and saw wow. He threw a ball 65 yards on a frozen rope down the field, that is about as impressive a throw I've ever seen. Right now, not sure who has a better arm, him or Matt Stafford, but I might be willing to give the nod to Newton. Him, Stafford, JaMarcus Russell, and Josh Freeman are the only recent prospects that I could think could make such a throw. And it is Freeman/Culpepper mold that he fits best in. Like Freeman, he's big and strong and hard to tackle. He's probably a bit more natural runner than Freeman was, with a bit more burst to turn the corner as I think several Clemson defenders were caught off guard how quickly he was able to beat them to the corner on some of his scrambles. He's not a natural passer yet, but I don't think he's as raw as a player with his limited experience should be. There were times where he was able to go to his second read in the game. His anticipation, pocket management, and field vision are lacking but they aren't completely non-existent like I suspected. He's a bit of a project, but I also liked the fact that he showed some leadership, toughness, and competitiveness in this game.

Josh Bynes is an Auburn player I've liked since last year. He's a very good run defender, and showed it vs. Auburn. When he can get upfield, attack the ball and the line of scrimmage, he is very good. But he's lacking when you move him away from the line of scrimmage, ask him to make plays outside the hashmarks or in space. He didn't play very much zone coverage vs. Clemson, and I think he'll probably be raw there at the next level. In this way he reminds me a lot of Curtis Lofton in that he can be a very good run defender, but can be exposed quite a bit when you put him in coverage situations or ask him to play more than 3 or 4 yards away from the line of scrimmage. He's a guy that is better attacking, and thus why I think he could be a better fit (like Lofton) inside in a 3-4 scheme than in a 4-3 scheme at MLB. He can play MLB in the 4-3, but his ceiling is limited because of his lack of sideline to sideline range and coverage abilities. He can be a Top 15 MLB, but won't be a Top 10 guy. However, I think as an ILB, he can be a guy like a James Farrior, although as you may recall Farrior began his career as a much rangier playmaker than I think Bynes will ever be. But he compares to Farrior with the Steelers, not the Jets.

DT Nick Fairley continues to impress with his quickness and ability to be a disruptive force in the middle. He lived in Clemson's backfield throughout the game, although I noticed he made fewer plays in the second half than he did early in the game. He was virtually unblockable at times, and I'm not sure why Clemson didn't double team. I guess that can be a flaw of zone-blocking vs. man blocking. He's not as good when you ask him to get leverage and hold the point of attack, but if he can be as disruptive as he is in a 3-technique as he is at Auburn, that's not an issue. One can make the same complaint about Jonathan Babineaux, and I think Fairley can be a similar player. Fairley just needs to do a better job disengaging from blocks, particularly at the point of attack. If he doesn't get upfield, then he's not really a factor in the play.

OT Lee Ziemba is another prospect I liked a year ago. He doesn't have great upside, but he's a fairly polished OT that I also think could play well inside. He's a player that I think can eventually be a pro like Tyson Clabo in that he can play both OG and OT. I think he has enough tools to hold up at left tackle if a team really needed it, but I think he'll be exposed more often than not. He has decent feet, good technique, and plays with good extension, but he misses too often on his punch and I think will be susceptible to the bull rush off the edge. He might be less exposed on the right side. And if he doesn't stick there, I think he can move inside and be a solid player there. Like Clabo, he won't be a stud, but should be a capable starter that can potentially stick at up to 4 positions, giving you versatility to move him around if he doesn't fit initially somewhere.

I'm looking forward to watching another Auburn game, so I can see RB Mario Fannin. Hopefully, I'll be able to watch the replay of today's Arkansas-Auburn game on Monday.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:13 pm 
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Watched two Virginia Tech games (vs. Boston College & N.C. State). Thoughts...

Tyrod Taylor continues to struggle with his pocket awareness. He just needs to make better decisions there. Holds onto the ball too long, doesn't know when to give up on a play and just throw it away, and his inability to step and slide in the pocket will create a lot of sack opportunities for defenses on the next level that doesn't in college because they aren't as good athletes. I still think he has the potential to develop into a decent NFL starter, but he's going to have to sit for at least two years if not more before that happens.

Dyrell Roberts looks like a decent receiver and reminds me a lot of Eddie Royal, but he isn't a big factor in their passing game, which I think has more to do with Taylor than Roberts lacking ability. I was never that high on Royal coming out, and I saw him more as a No. 3 slot receiver that returned kicks/punts more than anything else. I think Roberts can do the same in the NFL.

TE Andre Smith looks like he can be a good No. 2 tight end on the next level. A capable blocker with good hands and decent athleticism. I don't think he's going to be a major factor in the passing game at the next level, but if he was to become a starter, he could be a guy that catches 20-30 passes a year.

DT John Graves has good potential, but he's still very raw. His hand technique is practically non-existent, and because of that he can get pushed around by interior players. He was much more effective vs. N.C. State than BC mainly because of the disparing quality of blockers. But you like his burst upfield and potential to be disruptive. If he can learn technique, he could be a decent starter in a 3-4 scheme, but I think he's a player that is going to take some time to develop just like Jamaal Anderson. But even if he does develop, I don't see him being a sack artist at the next level.

Rashad Carmichael had some issues defending the deep ball vs. N.C. State. I think it's because of his lacking discipline. I think like past VT corners, he has a tendency to overly rely on his athleticism, which caused instances where he didn't open up his hips quickly enough to turn and run with receivers, and they ran right by him and made plays downfield. He's a guy that I think is going to have to play in a scheme that allows him to play a lot off coverage and try to keep things in front of him, so a bit more zone than man.

MLB Nate Irving is rising up in my eyes. He's got very good instincts vs. the run, but continues to make mistakes in coverage. I think that can be coached out of him, but he'll probably never be a great coverage guy. But I think he's a good blitzer, has a good nose for the ball, and does a good job attacking the line of scrimmage. I think he can be a good MLB in a 4-3 or a good ILB in a 3-4.

WR Owen Spencer was impressive vs. Virginia Tech. I like that he did a good job tracking the deep ball, attacking the ball in the air, and showing good hands. He's tall and skinny (6-2/185) and he'll have to get bigger and stronger. But I think because of his more natural receiving skills, he's better in traffic than the bigger Jarvis WIlliams (6-4/215), his fellow WR. Williams has a nice combo of size, speed, and hands, but I think Spencer has a much better chance being a starter in the pros, while I think WIlliams is limited to being a backup that will have to play well on special teams. I could see Spencer being a decent No. 2 option in an offense that wants him to stretch the field like a Devery Henderson. But I don't see him being a guy that catches more than 40-50 passes in a season even as a starter.

As for BC, Anthony Castonzo looks like he can be a nice left tackle in the NFL because he has good feet. But he needs to get bigger and stronger. I see him being a player like Sam Baker in that he'll be limited if he isn't in the right scheme. And the right scheme is playing in a zone-blocking scheme like Alex Gibbs scheme.

Mark Herzlich has never been super-fast player, but he looks like he's lost a step because he doesn't show the good closing speed he used to have. You wonder with the having cancer if he's ever going to get back to where he was 2 years ago as a premier 3-4 OLB prospect, or if he permanently lost something. How much improvement he makes over the course of this season might determine that. But in watching the VT game, he looked like an NFL backup with potential to develop into a Mike Vrabel-type down the road, rather than a guy that can come in right away and be a Brian Cushing-type.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:28 am 
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Just watched the UGA-Colorado game (instead of Sunday Night Football). It was A.J. Green's first game back and he was impressive despite not playing the entire game.

Green is a player that reminds me of Randy Moss. He's tall, lean, and fast and should be an excellent vertical threat at the next level. I think he'll be a reliable receiver underneath as well, but I think like Moss he'll specialize in making plays down the field. I like his hands and body control. The only real negative for him is that he isn't overly physical and gives very little effort as a blocker. I think he should still fill out his frame a bit more.

I also watched everybody on UGA's O-line, as they have 5 potential NFL prospects. The best of the bunch is junior OC Ben Jones. He has really quick hands and a good mean streak that I like. I think despite not having ideal size (6-3/300) or athleticism, he'll still be one of the better centers in the pros because of his very quick hands and how quickly he gets into the set. The next best in terms of potential is LG Cordy Glenn, also a junior. Glenn has potential to be a left guard in the same vein as Carl Nicks. They have similar size and strength to move the pile as run blockers, but Glenn doesn't play with the same pop and power as Nicks does. He's not very quick into his set either as a run blocker or pass protector, and doesn't have good footwork. He still has another year to polish these things up, but at this point he may not live up to that potential. The safest bet of the lineman is Clint Boling. Boling can play multiple positions as he's done at UGA. He played both LT and RG in this game. He was much better inside than outside as he doesn't have the athleticism and feet to really stick outside, but that experience should make him versatile at the next level. He will never be a power player, but I think in a zone-blocking scheme he can be an effective starting guard. He's a guy that gets the job done, but doesn't really do anything particularly well to stand out. Also in the mix is LT Trinton Sturdivant, who has the size you like on the outside and will flash the potential to be a very good run blocker because of that size. But his footwork and technique need to be polished and he won't be able to stick at LT on the next level. He'll either have to play inside or at RT. Like Glenn, he's raw, but he's a bit more limited as an athlete so he's probably destined to play inside. Last (and actually least) is RT Josh Davis. Like the others, he's big, but he was beaten a couple of times for sacks because of his poor footwork and technique and he didn't do much as a run blocker to make up for it. He might be good enough to stick as a backup RT, but probably not for a long time.

FB Shaun Chapas was the other Georgia prospect I watched. He wasn't very physical lead blocker, but hit most of his assignments, and I think he can be a valuable option in the passing game as well as probably be a bit more of a factor as a runner than he showed. I think if he can add a bit more bulk, he can be a nice FB in the Mike Karney mold that is versatile and capable of filling multiple roles in an offense. But I'm not sure he'll ever be a smashmouth guy.

For Colorado, LT Nate Solder is their most highly touted prospect. I like his polished technique and solid footwork. He gets into his stance quickly, has the tall frame and long arms to match up well on the next level and has the strength in his lower body to get better as a drive blocker. But he still needs to get stronger in the upper body I think and his frame (6-8/305) could still support another 20 or so pounds. My main complaints is that I'm not sure he'll be able to match up as well with speed on the next level, and there were several times in this game where I think he got away with holding. HIs hand use is good, but his placement seamed bad and there were probably a half dozen times where I think he was probably holding. So that worries me about him being stuck on an island at LT. He also whiffed on some blocks when it came to taking angles as a run blocker. But what I liked was that he managed to come back and try to finish those blocks, and I think he showed some mean streak in this game. At this point, I think he projects much better in a zone blocking scheme than man blocking scheme, but I think he could be developed to be able to succeed in both.

CB Jimmy Smith and CB Jalil Brown are also pro prospects. Smith has good size and like his ball skills. Brown I think played with better hips and I liked how he was better in press coverage because of it. Both of them got beat a few times by Green. I think Brown can stick as a reserve, but I don't think Smith looked as good as I expected. He struggled in press coverage because he doesn't have great hips, and I think if/when he gets to the pros his size and ball skills will allow him to compete, but I think he'll struggle throughout his career as a starter. If I had to project, I think he'll be as good a pro as Jason Allen has been in Miami, which has been spending a lot of time in the doghouse.

My fave Colorado prospect is WR Scotty McKnight. He's small (5-10/185) and slight, and gets pushed around a bit. But he's tough as nails, gives effort as a blocker and is willing to throw his body around. He's not super fast, but has good hands. I think he'll be a nice slot receiver in the same mold as Danny Amendola that in the right offense can be an important No. 3 option.

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 Post subject: Re: 2010 Scouting Open Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:22 pm 
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I watched two Nebraska games, the first against K-State, and the second against Texas. However because my DVR was being stupid this past weekend, it only taped the 2nd half of the Texas-Nebraska game, so I don't have a complete picture of that game.

But to no suprise, two Nebraska prospects stand out: CB Prince Amukamara and DL Jared Crick. Amukamara has all the things you're looking for in a top-level corner, and is probably a bit more polished than Patrick Peterson. He has good size, is tough and physical, and does a very good job in press coverage, and has the ball skills, good hips, and burst to make plays vs. the pass. I'm not sure he's going to be a guy that gets a ton of interceptions, but definitely strikes me as a guy that will be among the league leaders in pass breakups. The thing that I really like about him is that he is very good in run support and seems to relish his duties there playing near the line of scrimmage.

Crick isn't there yet, but you see the flashes of potential that can make him a top player in a two-gap scheme. He got pushed around a bit vs. the run when playing Texas, which makes me concerned that he woudln't hold up as well as a DT in a 4-3 scheme. But he does a good job getting upfield, can get leverage and make the stop at the point of attack. He can beat the blocker with his first step as a pass rsuher and ha sa decent swim move, but I don't see him as the dominant pass rusher that his production made him out to be. But I do think he can be an impact player vs. the run in the same mold as Aaron Smith if he continues to develop and fill out his frame.

Another Nebraska defender that stood out to me was MLB Lavonte David, who like Crick is only a junior. he's small (6-1/215), but plays big and shows nice instincts and range to defend the run. He was able to match up in man coverage vs. Daniel Thomas in the K-State game, which I liked to see, and is physical despite his lack of size. He'll definitely have to bulk up and I think will have to move outside because he got swallowed up at times vs. blockers on the second level. Texas definitely did a better job getting blockers out on the 2nd level vs. Nebraska than K-State showed, and he didn't make much of an impact in the former game because of it.

I wasn't that impressed with corner Alfonzo Dennard, who is supposedly rising up draft boards. He just didn't do much in the K-State game and the Texas game, although in the 2nd half of the UT game, Texas was just running it every down, so he really didn't have to do much. But he missed a lot of tackles vs. K-State and the few times he was challenged in the pass, he didn't look good with sloppy footwork and technique.

DE Pierre Allen isn't really that much of a speed rusher off the edge. He has similar size as Chauncey Davis (6-4/265), and I think like Davis he is going to have to be a player that sticks in the NFl because teams like his motor and potential as a run defender. He's not very good there right now, but has enough ability to get better and bigger there. He's a guy that will most likely be a No. 4 guy like Davis, but has similar traits.

Roy Helu is a good RB, that you really like his power. He lacks vision and burst and quickness to really be more than a short-yardage runner, but he can be a nice niche player that I'm sure will stick in the pros because coaches will like how hard he runs.

WR Niles Paul didn't do much in either game, as he had a few drops in the Texas game. Saw his potential to stretch the field vertical, but I was underwhelmed with his abilities as a returner.

K-State's sole 2011 prospect still appears to be RB Daniel Thomas. Thomas is a gifted athlete that is shifty and has good strength, but he continues to disappoint me with the lack of power he has. He's hard to bring down for a single defender, but he did not run over any of Nebraska's DBs and undersized linebackers. He doesn't have the power in his lower body, and I think despite being listed at around 6-2/225, he's going to more of a speed guy than power guy. I think he can still make a good NFL runner that can be a feature back, but there is some Darren McFadden potential and he might not hit the ground running as a running back. But he did very well in the passing game vs. Nebraska, showing excellent hands and doing some things in pass protection.

In the Texas game, i was very impressed with OG Michael Huey. He blocked Crick very well when working on an island, showing good technique and quick hands and pop in the running game. I definitely want to see more of him, but he definitely brought his A game against a top-notch defender.

OT Kyle Hix played RT last year, but is playing LT this year. He's unpolished and has poor technique, athleticism, being a waist bender. BUt he looked solid as a zone-blocking run blocker as Texas tried to run out the clock and did his job well there. He is a guy that might be a decent RT in a zone-blocking scheme, but more than likely he'll be a guard. Not sure he has the potential to be a starter since he's fairly one-dimensional, but he can stick as a backup.

I liked what I saw from DE Sam Acho in the 2nd half. Last year, I wasn't overly impressed with his upfield burst, but there were times in the 2nd half of the Nebraska game that he flashed enough speed off the corner to think he can be a decent starter and speed rusher. He is decent vs. the run despite not having great size (6-3/260) and plays more of a 5-technique DE in TExas hybrid scheme, which I think is why he is better there. He is a player that I think can be an Alex Brown-type at the next level and be a 5-8 sack guy as a starter.

The Texas corners Curtis and Chykie Brown didn't overwhelm with their abilities, but definitely you like their size and athleticism to compete. Aaron Williams did look good and I liked him last year. He looks like he's a bit more polished and NFL ready as a potential No.1 corner. He has good size, speed, and hips.

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