Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Fuller’

Quarterbacks

Most to gain:

I think there are two players who have a lot to prove, and potentially a lot to gain with their performances this weekend at the annual NFL Scouting Combine in regards to the quarterback position but I will choose to focus on one here. Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler is perhaps the one player with the most advantageous opportunity of them all. Osweiller is incredibly tall and big at 6’6 240 lbs and is one of the biggest benefactors from Ryan Tannehill not throwing due to an injury, as well as the potential that both Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin may also choose to wait until their respective pro-days to put on a show for scouts. This leaves the door wide open for a player like Osweiler to shine and make the most out of his opportunity. Osweiler is an incredible athlete and should test well as he shows above average movement skills for a man of his stature. Now, Osweiler does have an unorthodox throwing motion and release that some have claimed to be “erratic”, however scouts will have to decipher whether this will limit him, or if it is un-fixable, or is simply a case of a player who can still produce despite it…a la Phillip Rivers. If Osweiler can show up in the interviews and display the type of mental intelligence and football IQ ,as well as display the type of accuracy and arm strength to make all the throws in the NFL he could send his stock soaring into the 1st round. The other quarterback with a ripe opportunity to dazzle scouts with his on and off-field performances is Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden who has the type of arm talent to excite those in attendance looking for a potential franchise quarterback.

Most to prove/lose:

I think you can also make a case that Osweiler name belongs in this section as well as he could easily falter and lose some of the steam he currently has going for him. Osweiler has incredible potential but with that also comes incredible risk. There is no doubt Brock should have stayed at least another year in college as I proclaimed him to have one of the brightest futures in college football earlier this season.  Coaching changes ultimately lead to Osweiler declaring early and there is no doubt in my mind he should have stayed and continued to develop. However, having chose otherwise Osweiler must now focus on what it is he has to do to prove he is worthy of a high selection in the upcoming draft. I love Osweiler’s athleticism and he possesses unique size for the position, however he is still incredibly raw. I’m not quite sure if Osweiler has a firm grasp on coverages and making reads against NFL type defenses yet, which will surely set him back. Osweiler is definitely a candidate to have sit and learn for a few years before throwing him into the fire but that will all depend on who selects him and where they chose to do it. There is no doubt Osweiler is one of the bigger names to follow this weekend and his performance will be closely scrutinized and evaluated under the watchful eyes of NFL scouts and General Managers alike.

Others to watch:

As with any draft there a myriad of other quarterbacks to also keep a close eye on this weekend. Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins and Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson are two players who both should get some good long looks due to their incredible leadership and passion for the game. Each are very efficient passers who may not have elite measurables but get by on sheer heart and determination. Cousins doesn’t have the big arm of some other highly touted quarterbacks but he has a plethora of starting experience and a unique ability to put the ball where only his man can get it. Cousins is also a natural-born leader with and infectious personality that should grab the attention of decision makers in interviews. Wilson on the other hand is way undersized at 5’11 but shows under-rated arm strength and unique leadership abilities as well. He joined a Badgers football team very late in the pre-season and managed to take them to the next step and earn a chance to play in their second consecutive Rose Bowl where they eventually lost to Oregon. Both Cousins and Wilson should do extremely well in interviews as the both bring a professional attitude with a deep understanding of the game. Although they may not shine on the field don’t discount what is going on behind the scenes, where players like Wilson and Cousins will each earn their followers. One last player I would like to mention in this section is San Diego State QB Ryan Lindley. Lindley is a player who has peaked my interest lately after some film study. There is no doubting he is raw as his footwork needs a ton of work. He struggles to set and re-set his feet in the pocket and has an unbelievably choppy drop back and doesn’t quite know how to transfer his weight and step into his throws quite yet. With that said, Lindley does have exceptional arm strength and although his college completion percentage is nothing to write home about he makes a few “Wow” throws that really grab your attention and get you excited about his potential. With Lindley I see a player with a good amount of upside, who if developed correctly and patiently has a chance to start in this league later on down the road.

Combine Star(s): Arizona State QB Brock Osweiler & Oklahoma QB Brandon Weeden

Running Backs

Most to Gain:

Miami RB Lamar Miller has seen his draft stock fall some recently after expressing to the media that he would have off-season shoulder surgery. However, rumored to be participating fully in the NFL Combine should help Miller gain some of the momentum back in his favor. Miller is extremely fast and shows the type of suddenness and bust to quickly change gears and get up field. Lamar should shine in the 40 yard dash and put up a very respectable 10 yard split, which is vastly important to running backs at is shows their ability to get up to top end speed quickly and press the line of scrimmage. I love Miller’s inside running ability as well as he shows nice patience and vision in following his blocks and although he doesn’t have the lower body type strength or build to consistently run through arm tackles he certainly isn’t no slouch either who avoids taking hits and fighting for extra yards. Miller is in a dog fight with Virginia Tech’s David Wilson who should also shine athletically in drills, however I prefer Miller because he has the type of vision and patience that Wilson is currently lacking to his overall game.

Most to prove/lose:

Washington RB Chris Polk had an otherwise disappointing performance at the Senior Bowl last month as his body looked sloppy and he lacked the type of burst and acceleration through the hole to get scouts excited about his potential. Having said to have trimmed down and gotten in better shape for the Combine, Polk is looking to rebound and get his name back into the elite group of running backs in this draft class. There is no doubting Polk’s ability to run between the tackles and pick up those hard-earned yards but I personally don’t see a back that is going to turn many heads or outshine the competition, especially in a group of running backs who almost all show an explosive element to their game. I am doubting Chris Polk, and although I do believe he has the ability to be part of a nice running back by committee type approach in the NFL as a #2, I don’t quite yet see a running back who I can call a Top 5 talent at his position…I hope he proves me and others wrong this weekend with a good performance.

Others to watch:

Cincinnati’s Isaiah Pead is a player who has grown on me as of recently. Pead enjoyed a stellar performance at the Senior Bowl and really caught the attention of scouts who went scurrying back to the tape to see if they may have missed something. When I went back to the tape I saw a player with incredible vision and cut-back ability. Pead is explosive and has the unique ability to plant and go, showing the skill to make one cut up into the hole and burst into the 2nd level of the defense. Pead also has tremendous feet and follows/reads his blocks well.  He can make you miss in space and always fights for extra yards…to me his a better version of Reggie Bush and even reminds me some of Philadelphia Eagles RB Lesean McCoy, which is high praise. I know that I am in the minority here but I see a solid 2nd round player when I look at Pead, who can definitely come in and help out in both the run and pass game as he is an excellent receiver out of the backfield as well. I am excited to see what he measures in at the combine as I was somewhat disappointed with his slight measurements at the Senior Bowl when he came in at 5’9 193 lbs.  Pead has the opportunity to put on a show this week and I have little doubt that he will dazzle in on field drills and agility/speed tests. Another player I want to quickly mention is Temple RB Bernard Pierce who has also caught my attention for the better on film. Pierce is not your classic burner type running back who can make the home-run play and take it the distance but he is very effective between the hashes and displays a little bit of wiggle and acceleration to make some plays out on the boundary. Perhaps the thing I love most about Pierce as a runner is his vision and ability to slip through tiny creases, always picking up positive yardage. Pierce is physical and can help your team pick up the first down and consistently move the chains. To me he is a #2 back that can wear down a defense over the course of a game and should enjoy a long career as a productive player in the NFL. One of the safer picks in this draft, Pierce would present tremendous value in the 3rd round and although he may not dazzle in workouts with his performance he will be one of the better running backs to come out of this draft when we look back 3-4 years down the road.  One last player who deserves a quick note is Florida RB/WR Chris Rainey. Rainey is a track star who should electrify and set the 40 yard dash on fire this year as I could see him running the 4.2’s. His quickness, acceleration, burst, and speed will be on full display in Indy. Currently I give Rainey a 4th round grade as he is more of a luxury type player at this point who is a bit of a tweener. He’s raw as a wide receiver but he has the ability to stretch the field vertically and open up your passing offense underneath. I’m not sure he will ever be a true threat at wide receiver or running back but he adds a nice little wrinkle to your offense if you can get him in space, showing a little Devin Hester to his game. With a solid showing in the 40, Rainey could sneak his way into the Top 100 overall and eat at the minds of giddy offensive coordinators who see a player with dynamic ability.

Combine Star(s): Miami RB Lamar Miller & Cincinnati RB Isaiah Pead

Wide Receivers

Most to gain: 

Two players who should shine in Indy this week were actually team-mates. Arkansas WR’s Joe Adams and Jarius Wright have exceptional talent and upside, as both possess the explosiveness and short-area quickness to be dynamic slot-type receivers. Adams has the added benefit of being a excellent punt returner which will only increase his value and worth in the minds of NFL teams. Getting Adams the ball in space, much like Rainey who we discussed before is a must as he can turn nothing into something with just a little room. Wright on the other hand is a vertical threat who can stretch the defense and hit on a deep bomb from time to time. I love the way he adjusts to the throw and I think he has the potential to become a very good slot wide receiver in the NFL and is getting somewhat overlooked as of right now. This will most certainly change after his performance as he definitely warrants early-mid Day 2 consideration. Both have incredible agility and foot speed and will likely put up some very impressive numbers in the various tests. Adams is said to have had or be scheduled to meet with all 32 teams, which should tell you just how interested team’s are in his services. Another player who is sure to light up the stop watches and turn some heads is a little more well-known in the minds of scouts and draft geeks alike because he is almost surely a 1st round pick at this point, and that player is Baylor’s Kendall Wright. Wright is a highly explosive athlete who can make plays at all levels of the field. He has been slowly moving up draft boards this entire season and may even be working his way into Justin Blackmon territory. With a solid showing Wright will have ensured himself as a 1st rounder and potentially the 2nd receiver off the board come April, which I fully expect him to do.

Most to prove/lose:

Perhaps no player in this Combine has more to lose than South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery who has come under fire for his lack of deep speed and suspected inability to create separation at the next level. He has also been rumored to have a somewhat poor work ethic as rumors have surfaced about his playing weight and relatively slow 40 time. There is no doubting Jeffery’s god-given abilities as he is an exceptionally strong and big-boddied receiver who can simply out box and out muscle defenders for the football. He uses his big frame to shield defenders from the ball well and can out jump nearly anybody thanks to his impressive wing span and catching radius. With that said, Jeffrey lacks a lot to be desired in terms of his ability to get in and out of his breaks cleanly as it seems nearly every pass he receives will likely be contested or caught in traffic/tight coverage. Jeffrey seems to have build up speed and may lack the explosion off the line to create much to any separation at the next level. He will need a 40 time in the 4.5-4.6 range to dispel any of this as I would think this to be a respectable number for him to achieve given his size and natural receiving ability. However, anything lower than 4.7 could spell an ugly turn out for Jeffrey who has a lot to prove this week in Indy if he is to shed the label of “possession wide receiver” and comparisons he has garnered in relation to former Detroit Lions bust Mike Williams. Other players in a similar situation as Jeffrey include Rutgers Mohamed Sanu Wisconsin’s Nick Toon. Sanu is one of my personal favorites in this draft, however scouts have also questioned his ability to consistently create separation as well. The thing with Sanu is that he was asked to line up in the slot position at Rutgers and despite otherwise shaky quarterback play and defenses geared and keyed in on stopping Sanu, he still was able to haul in a Big East record-breaking 115 receptions on the year. To me this is highly impressive, but Sanu will still likely have to run in the 4.5 range to dispel any myths about his deep speed and inability to create separation at the next level. Watching film it is easy to see that Sanu is extremely physical and strong at the catch point as he shows natural hands and the ability to make the hard catch look easy, in traffic nonetheless. My impression of Sanu is that he is simply a football player who should be a 1st round pick even if he does run in the 4.6 range. I’m excited to see how he does this weekend and will be keeping a close eye on him throughout the entire draft process because I think he is special. Toon on the other hand has more than just deep speed and separation issues to discount as he also battled through injuries for much of his career and questions have arisen about his durability and ability to stay healthy. Medical tests and testing times will loom large in where Toon will wind up in this years draft. One last player to keep an eye on from the wide receiver position is North Carolina WR Dwight Jones. Jones has always struck me as a player who lacks concentration issues and struggles to catch the ball in traffic. His physical abilities are impressive, but I just don’t see enough consistency with him to this point. The drill I am most excited to see Jones perform in will be the gauntlet drill, where receivers are asked to run in a straight line horizontally across the field and catch passes coming from there left and right. The drill exposes concentration and hand-eye coordination issues as well as the ability for a wide receiver to shake off a dropped pass and not get frustrated and off his game. Both Jones and Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller are two players I expect to struggle in this drill, as it truly one of my favorite and most valuable/effective drills in the entire combine for any position.

Others to watch: 

There are a host of other players to watch closely but one player who may fly up draft boards due to his size/speed combination is Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill. Hill is a player with freakish size at 6’5 200+. Playing in Georgia Tech’s limited passing game offense certainly limited Hill’s ability to make much of an impact as he failed to put up attention grabbing numbers other than his astounding average yard per catch ratio of 25.4, which speaks volumes to his big play making ability and ability to stretch the field vertically. If Hill can run in the 4.4’s watch out and expect him to go much higher than where his is currently projected based on upside alone. I haven’t been able to find or view much film to this point but certainly will be soon. Another guy to most certainly keep an eye on is Brian Quick out of Appalachian State. Quick has huge hands and an even bigger catching radius. He is extremely raw as was seen by his less than stellar showing at the Senior Bowl, however the upside is most definitely there with Brian. If he can harness his potential and bounce back from the shaky performance he had in Mobile he could be one to climb draft boards and go a lot higher than most people currently think. This wide receiver class is so deep so I will only quickly mention a few more. Notre Dame’s Michalel Floyd, Arizona State’s Juron Criner and California’s Marvin Jones are also players you will want to watch closely. Floyd is a potential Top 20 pick thanks to his impressive catching/ball skills and ability to win at many levels of the field. I am interested to see more on his route running ability and will be watching closely to see how efficiently and quickly he gets in and out of his breaks. If he tests well and does well in team interviews to dispel some of his issues in the past Floyd could easily wind up being the 2nd receiver taken. Criner is another one of my favorites as he doesn’t show elite athleticism and isn’t particularly flashy but simply competes and wins on most occasions. He has incredible body control and knows how to run routes effectively to create separation despite his lack of great speed or agility. He also has incredible hands and concentration, catching nearly anything and everything thrown his way. Jones is a player who flashed all week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl and after subsequent evaluation he seems to be a player with a good amount of skills to translate into the NFL. Jones is sneaky fast, a competitor, awesome team-mate and all around great human being. Like Criner he isn’t going to wow you in any one area, but the dude simply competes and knows how to perform the role being asked of him. He will make an impact in the NFL and be a productive player and even better locker room guy for one luck team.

Combine Star(s) Arkansas WR’s Joe Adams & Jarius Wright, Baylor WR Kendall Wright, & Georgia WR Stephen Hill

Tight Ends

Most to gain:

Georgia TE Orson Charles is expected to put his athleticism in full display in front of NFL scouts and general managers. Charles is dynamically sound and balanced athlete who definitely looks the part and carries his weight extremely well. Charles is currently in a battle with Stanford’s Coby Fleener and Clemson’s Dwayne Allen to be the first player selected at his position. Charles will be showcasing all of his skills on the grand stage and should show off wide receiver type skills in a tight end type body, which the NFL currently craves. Offensive coordinators everywhere are looking for these tight end/wide receiver hybrid type players and Charles should have no trouble opening up some eyes and getting these NFL decision makers excited due to his athleticism and solid hands. Now that Coby Fleener has decided not to participate due to an injury the door is wide open for a player like Charles to shine and put on a show, my guess is that he will not disappoint. The other tight end to keep an eye on is Lousiana-Lafayette TE Ladarius Green. Green is a sneaky smooth athlete who understands how to create separation while possessing an extremely reliable pair of hands. Green officially measured in at 6’3 today, where he had been listed as tall as 6’6 in other outlets/publications. This will definitely affect Green negatively as his length and height were one the biggest strengths he had going for him, but nonetheless he should perform admirably and could make his way into the initial 100 selections with a solid performance.

Most to prove/lose:

The player I am excited to see at the tight end position is Missouri’s Michael Egnew. Scouts and evaluators seem split on how effective they believe he can be at the next level, and I must admit I have been rather back and forth myself. I love his size at 6’5 250 but he doesn’t always show the type of aggressiveness and physicality to hold up as an in-line blocker as he seems to lack some strength and technique. I also don’t know if he has quite enough speed to stretch the field and work the seam routes down the middle of the field. Egnew is a player  I want to like but he definitely has to show me something this weekend. I want to see a physical temperament and player that moves fluidly and suddenly in space. Egnew’s bench press numbers and performance in explosive tests will be big in regards to where many will project him to go.

Others to watch:

A couple of other players to watch at the position are LSU TE Deangelo Peterson and Florida State TE Beau Reliford. Some people may not have heard much or know much about these two prospects but both Peterson and Reliford are two players who could carry some forward momentum and create some buzz going into their pro-days. Peterson wasn’t used much at LSU because of the lack of quarterback play and emphasis in the running game but his performance last month at the Senior Bowl has made some believe he can be one of those players who has a much better NFL than college career for one reason or another. Reliford on the other hand is probably a player many are not too familiar with but is a player who caught my eye last season at one point when scouting former Seminole QB Christian Ponder. I haven’t gotten a chance to watch much film on Reliford this season but being that he has good size at 6’5 250 and was a former basketball standout he could grab some attention as a potential sleeper and development player to grab later in the draft. Also keep an eye on both Oregon TE David Paulson

Combine Star(s): Georgia TE Orson Charles

-Thanks for reading. I will have the Offensive Lineman posted later as well as a defensive preview in the coming days!-

– Brandon

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I know this is a day late but like they say, “better late than never”…let’s get into who/what caught my attention.

-Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden is the best quarterback down in Mobile this week and he has improved his stock greatly for his play. I have been impressed how well he has adapted to the pro-style offense as his footwork on his 3 and 5 foot drops look pretty crisp, and he is showing nice timing with his receivers. He’s not looking uncomfortable or overwhelmed at all, which was something that had potentially concerned me with leading up to the week. Weeden’s arm strength isn’t elite but it is good enough and he is showing good torque to drive the ball into tight windows. His balance when he drops back has also been impressive and he is proving to clear up many of the concerns I had with him leading into the week, including anticipation. Weeden still has questions to answer because of his age and whether he can come in and compete right away or needs further development and time, but this week has been a good step in the right direction for him.

Louisiana Tech RB Lennon Creer was a late add to the Senior Bowl after enjoying a successful week at the East-West Shrine Game. Creer has continued that momentum and parlayed that into another solid showing here this week. A former Tennessee Volunteer, Creer has always possessed a unique blend of talent to garner division one interest but he ultimately left and transferred to Louisiana Tech. Creer has pressed the line of scrimmage well and is showing some natural burst and lateral movement skills. I am excited to see how well he does in the game Saturday, but there is no doubt he has turned some heads and caught the attention of coach’s and scouts with his play the past two weeks.

-Florida WR/RB Chris Rainey has proved to be a very dynamic and versatile player all week. He has taken a lot of reps at Wide Receiver and while his routes have been a bit raw, his pure speed and quickness has been overwhelming for some Cornerbacks to keep up with. Speed kills in the NFL and Rainey definitely has it, which could get him drafted in the Top 100 because he is such a weapon in the return and passing game. The Dexter McCluster comparison definitely fits and Rainey is more of a luxury player who if you can get him his touches he could be a very viable and valuable weapon.

-Arkansas WR Joe Adams may not be as fast as Chris Rainey but he is a better Wide Receiver overall and is displaying some impressive traits. His foot speed and short area quickness are two of the things that make him such a nightmare to defend for an extended period of time and make him one of the best returners in this entire draft. He has also done a good job adjusting to the football and I really appreciate/like his overall skill-set as I think he can be a bit like an Antonio Brown or Randall Cobb in your offense and special teams unit.

-Arizona WR Juron Criner has opened up a lot of eyes this week with his play. Criner has displayed very solid hands even coming down with what had to be the catch of the week so far during Tuesday’s practice session. While he is not overly sudden or necessarily explosive in and out of his breaks he does a great job with body control and spacial awareness, which allows him to come down with the catch even in tight coverage. Criner is one of those interesting players I am excited to go do more film work on because of his performance.

-Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller has been extremely disappointing this week and looks like a shell of his former self. His lack of physicality has been exposed and he has a very tough time creating much of any sort of separation due to his lack of any quality burst or speed in and out of his routes. Fuller has also struggled to get his head around quickly enough to locate the ball and his concentration and hand-eye coordination has been lacking overall as he has failed to haul in some passes this week. Fuller reminds me of a poor man’s Roy Williams which isn’t saying a lot for him…his draft stock has dropped more than any other player from this year to last.

-North Carolina WR Dwight Jones has not impressed me this week. He struggled mightily with press coverage and failed to show the type of foot quickness and agility to create separation. He also got a bit upright and failed to drop his pad level when re-directed. I haven’t liked his level of physicality nor his attitude to compete at this point and while I admit he has loads of upside, he just hasn’t showed me enough to consider him in the 1st round as some have mentioned him in. Jones is more of a 2nd-3rd round WR for me at this point.

-Illinois OT Jeff Allen was a late replacement as well and has done a good job competing on short notice. A tackle for Illinois, Jeff Allen alternated between both the right and left side all season for the fighting Illini. His versatility had also been key for him here this week as he took snaps at guard and held his own for the most part. He is not overly athletic or long like some of the other highly touted offensive lineman prospects but don’t get it twisted Allen can play in the NFL. Allen plays with solid leverage and technique overall and can handle the bull rush by playing with a nice wide base and good inside hand positioning. His anchoring skills make him a soid fit to play at right tackle or guard in the NFL and I like him as a mid-round steal.

-Baylor C Phillip Blake has also caught my attention this week. Playing with players like RG3 and Kendall Wright it is very hard to notice a player like Blake on the line but he has held his own very well in 1 on 1’s. Blake is a thickly built player who neutralizes the bull rush and knows how to re-direct when beaten initially. He has quietly enjoyed a great week and will be getting extra looks on film from me and I am sure a handful of other scouts.

-Georgia OT/OG Cordy Glenn…or the “Dancing Bear: as I like to call him was the most impressive player for me today on either squad. He has nimble feet and displays nice quickness to get into his sets off the snap. His movement skills for a man who nearly weighs 350 lbs. is extremely rare and had me smiling and shaking my head at one point during team drills. On a toss sweep to the left Glenn pulled and fired out of his stance, getting out in front to pick up an attacking linebacker with great tenacity and aggressiveness. I was astonished at how well he moved and quickly he got up to speed to hit a moving target in space. Glenn also matched up very well with some of the best pass-rushers in Mobile this week in Upshaw, Coples, and Ingram and consistently held his own against these caliber players. Glenn is a long, strong, and surprisingly athletic big man who will be a very good offensive lineman in the NFL, who can start immediately. I was so impressed I haven’t ruled out the possibility of him staying at Left Tackle quite yet, but if that doesn’t work out he should be versatile enough to play Right Tackle or kick inside to Guard. I can’t wait to disect more film on this fine player, he is a real riser this week for me.

-Florida State OT Zebrie Sanders on the other hand struggled all week and really unimpressed me. He was consistently off-balance, dropping his head and bending at the waist, giving up ground to defenders all week. Granted he was lining up with some of the best defensive lineman in Mobile all week, he will face that caliber of competition on a week to week basis in the NFL. He lunged and got over-extended regularly and consistently failed to find his fit inside his man’s numbers. This was a big opportunity and week for Sanders to show what he is capable of but he failed to impress on a multitude of levels. I no longer see him as a potential first round pick and could fall out of the Top 50 overall completely with his poor showing.

-North Carolina DL Quinton Coples once again flashed his powerful and explosive nature by disengaging with relative ease on a consistent basis. As has been noted his get-off is nowhere near elite but he is just simply a sound and solid football player. I don’t think he warrants Top 10 talent but I would be shocked to see him fall out of the Top 15 overall at this point.

-South Carolina DL Melvin Ingram is probably the third best player on the South’s impressive defensive line after Upshaw and Coples. However, what makes Ingram special is his incredible quickness and athleticism as he does a great job of setting up his man and keeping them off-balance. His quick-twitch athleticism allows him to strike at a moment’s notice and his movements are extremely sudden and hard to mirror for opponents. Ingram is still developing in the handwork department and could do a better job turning his power to speed, but this a solid and versatile player who can make an impact immediately from multiple angles and positions along the defensive front….I like to call him the “Flying Torpedo”

-Alabama DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw has been the most impressive player in Mobile this week and while his lack of great height and sheer get-off may not be elite, Upshaw is a very fine player who has Top 10 talent in my opinion. No one player here can mix up his pass rush moves with speed and power better than Upshaw. He has extremely strong hands and plays with great leverage by consistently locking out and extending his elbows, being able to shed through contact. I really like Upshaw as a prospect and will be moving him up on my Big Board because of his consistent performances…I expect a big game from him Saturday.

-LB Zach Brown North Carolina has been flying around all over this entire week displaying his incredible range and athleticism..there’s a chance he could run as high as 4.4 in the 40 at the Combine. However, this doesn’t dis-warrant my notion that Brown is a better athlete than football at this point. I just don’t see his ability to make much of an impact in the run game and think he will be a liability in this area because of his average instincts and lack of physicality, as I’m not sure he enjoys contact. Brown will get over-drafted because of his great athleticism and while that is great because it makes him a great coverage player, I do not think he is a 3-down linebacker yet and prefer Lavonte David to him if I was an NFL Executive.

-Miami LB Sean Spence is another player turning heads and opening up eyes here this week. His physical demeanor and incredible instincts and ability to fly to the football is incredibly enticing despite his size (5-11 228 lbs.). Spence is another guy who was just a few inches taller we would be talking about a first round pick. Spence is one of my favorite linebackers in this draft despite his size…you just can’t teach attitude and physicality as it is something you have or don’t have, which Spence definitely does. 2nd-3rd round pick for me and solid player.

-Louisianna-Lafayette DB Dwight Bentley has intrigued me and others plenty with his play this week. Coming into the week I had heard he was a potential sleeper but never was I expecting him to be this good. He competed early and often and showed the ability to mirror his opponents and stay in their hip pockets with great consistency. His footwork and balance was good and he showed the ability to click and close on the football with good acceleration to a point rather than his man. I need to do more film work if I can find any on Bentley but he is the small schooler who got me most excited this week.

-Georgia DB Brandon Boykin has also been very impressive. His lack of height (5-9) and size (183 lbs.) will likely limit him a little, however this is one of the better slot/nickel corners available in this year’s draft. His footwork and short area quickness is very good and he competed hard on every rep from what I was able to see. The South squad has a lot of talented players in the secondary and Boykin is one of many who impressed this week. I’m giving him a solid 2nd round grade because of his coverage ability and for the fact that he can help you out in the return game.

-DB Casey Hayward Vanderbilt had an up and down week but was solid overall. His coverage was tight although he did struggle with foot speed at times. His punch/jam at the line is very good but I need to see him be a little less physical down the field as he got a little grabby well into the receiver’s routes..these things will draw P.I’s in the NFL. Nevertheless he seems to have very good ball skills evidenced by his 15 career interceptions and always seems to be around the football. I like him in the late 2nd early 3rd round range and think his best fit lies in a Cover 2 scheme.

-Last but certainly not least was North Alabama DB Janoris Jenkins who impressed greatly this week and showcased the skills that made him so effective against top SEC talent at Florida last year. He flips his hips so quickly and efficiently and can turn and run with receivers. He tends to gamble a little here and there by squatting on routes and stopping his feet, but overall he has been plenty impressive…just trying to make the big play instead of relying on his technique. He reminds me a lot of Asante Samuel and could be making a claim to be the 2nd CB taken after Morris Clairborne.

-Thanks for reading…sorry I was unable to get it out sooner.-

-Brandon

North Squad

Quarterbacks:

Russell Wilson (Wisconsin) was seen once again getting mental reps when not behind center and Wisconsin’s head coach Bret Billema had some very nice things to say about his work ethic. Noting that he is a quick study and a fast learner. Wilson is sort of the wildcard in this group but something about him has always intrigued me so I am interested to see him compete the rest of the week leading into the game Saturday. I didn’t get to see him throw too much today but on the one play I did see he showed read the  coverage and understood where to go with the football. Wilson kept his eyes on the high safety and saw the will linebacker move to the middle of the field before finding his open man to the left. These shows me he has some mental alertness and awareness with the football. Wilson strikes me as a player who does all the little things right.

– Kirk Cousins (Michigan State) was sort of an up and down day for Cousins as he made a great touch throw on a post corner at one point during practice. However, later during team he fell away from his throw and was late with the ball resulting in an interception by George Iloka of Boise State. I love Cousins intangibles and appreciate him as a quarterback but I need to see more of him. The competition between Russel in Kirk is heating up and I have to think it will only get better tomorrow, both these young guys have some things you like in a quarterback.

-Kellen Moore (Boise State) struggled again today with a fumbled snap (small hands) and showed very little in the arm strength department. He is going to have an extremely difficult time driving the ball into tight windows at the next level, which will limit his ability to be effective at the next level. His ball comes out with very little velocity and tends to float, making it easy for defensive backs to close on the football.

Running Backs

Doug Martin (Boise State) was the most impressive back today and gained some ground on his counterpart Chris Polk. Martin showed nice burst and explosion and did a good job pressing the line while running with a forward lean. His ability to change directions in an instant is extremely encouraging and one of the things that make him one of my favorite prospects in Mobile this week.

Chris Polk (Washington) struggled in one on one pass protection drills as he was essentially bulled-over by a smaller sized linebacker in Lavonte David. This was extremely discouraging considering many considered he would hold up well in pass protection. I am also starting to question Polk’s burst and acceleration through the hole as he doesn’t seem to possess much explosion to his game. I also noticed that Polk seemed to be going through the motions some as he didn’t finish his runs like he should. Today wasn’t the best day for one of the top backs in the draft, I’m excited to see how he responds tomorrow.

I didn’t get to see much of Pead or Herron running the football but both struggled in pass protection as well as they both were beaten and knocked off balanced with their poor technique.

Wide Receivers

T.J. Graham (NC State) didn’t have as impressive of a day as yesterday but was solid overall. He struggled a little bit with press coverage and had a double catch at one point, but overall he was solid and showed up for the 2nd day in a row which is encouraging. His routes still looked crisp and he also showed a lot of confidence in his hands. Graham’s stock should be on the rise after this week and I am interested to see how the coach’s use his talents in the game saturday.

Marvin Jones (California) once again had a good day as he showed natural burst and acceleration. He absolutely blew by coverage at one point and simply out ran the coverage. This deep speed is good to see and I will be watching him closer the rest of the week.

Brian Quick (Appalachian State) once again struggled for the 2nd day in a row. He had a couple dropped passes again today and was seen body catching more often than he had during film or yesterday at practice. There is no denying he has physical raw talent and potential with his size and length but he needs some refinement and work. His lack of explosiveness off the line is making him easy to turn and run with as he has created little separation all week. He looks stiff in and out of his breaks and is struggling to make much of an impact at this point in the week.

Gerrel Robinson (Arizona State) is a player who has caught my eye and intrigued me a little here and there. He has shown flashes of greatness by consistently catching the ball away from his frame. His long strides eat up cushions quickly and he is very quick to get on his man. His route running needs work but he is a smooth strider who covers a lot of ground and has been impressing me some this week. He’s a player on my radar that I will be watching closer in the coming days.

Tight Ends

Michael Egnew (Missouri) showed some potential as an in-line blocker yesterday but the same could not be said today. He struggled sustaining blocks and seems to lack strength at the point of attack. His routes were not as clean today and he showed less athleticism and ability to threaten the seam/stretch the field as well. I like Egnew but he needs to come out with a better showing on Wednesday and Thursday.

Offensive Tackles

Mike Adams (Ohio State) had a much more quiet day today than he did on monday. I liked the patience he showed setting into pass pro as he looked very strong and balanced. His play was quiet today and didn’t stand out on any good or bad levels, tomorrow I will watch closer.

Mike Brewster (Ohio State) is a player that has me frustrated. His battles in 1 on 1’s with Michigan’s Mike Martin are extremely chippy and fun to watch, especially considering the rich rivalry between their schools. However, his play has been too inconsistent to this point for my liking. One play he will get bull-rushed and knocked back into the quarterback and the next he will show good technique and movement skills to beat his man for positioning. Brewster has never really wowed me athletically and I am not that high on him as of right now.

Kevin Zeitler (Wisconsin) made some snaps from the center position today but looked a little uncomfortable and out of his element. He looked confused and out-of-place and his most natural place is inside at guard. I absolutely love his lunch pail type attitude as he is an absolute mauler and road grader up front. His technique is solid although he does struggle to reposition and sync together his feet and hips to recover on counter moves at times. Zeitler is very solid overall however and has helped himself this week, I have a solid 2nd round grade on him as of right now.

 Defensive Lineman

Vinny Curry (Marshall) has shown flashes but has yet to put it all together at this point. He is showing solid effort trying to bend the edge and run the arc but he is struggling with balance. He seems to be playing a bit stiff and bending at the waist, which is severely limiting his ability to turn the corner without being knocked off-balance around the corner. His pad level is nice but his ankle and hip flexibility seems to be lacking a bit. I wish I had the opportunity to see Curry run the figure eight drill to test this and see for myself firsthand, but I will just have to go with what I am seeing from him in 1 on 1 drills for now. Curry intrigues me and I am excited to watch more of him in the coming days of practice.

Mike Martin (Michigan) has been battling with Ohio State C Mike Brewster during 1 on 1’s for the last couple days and boy has it been fun to watch! Martin is built like a brick shit house and I got to meet him this summer during my internship with the Detroit Lions. I came away impressed with his attitude as he seemed to be a very well-spoken young man. He is squatty but thick, especially in the upper body where he has plenty of bulk. He is a relentless pass rusher that is very strong and powerful at the point of attack who wears you down with his persistent attitude as a rusher. Martin has improved his draft stock so far and scouts love his effort and motor on every play….he will find a way to make an impact in the NFL somehow , someway I can guarantee you that.

Kendall Reyes (Connecticut) has flashed all week and is one of the players I am going to go do more work on, based on the effort and film he has put out so far. He looks very quick and explosive off the line and is displaying nice handwork. His violent hands and impressive array of counter moves has gotten him noticed…he has been a riser and welcome surprise for many, including myself this week.

Alameda Ta’amu (Washington) responded well to a poor showing on monday. He showed nice quickness and explosion off the ball and gets a good push to collapse the pocket. We already know he lacks much to be desired in the pass rush department but his effort and tenacity on every play make him a good fit for a nose tackle role in the NFL.

Derek Wolfe (Cincinnati) didn’t stand out too much today but overall I liked what I saw from him. Wolfe plays with great pad level and gets a good push to collapse the pocket consistently. He struggles to get much arm extension to create space between he and his man, but did a wonderful job disengaging and finding the football. His versatility to play 3 technique in a 4-3 or 5 technique in a 3-4 is something that makes him very marketable to many teams and I expect his value to rise following his performance this week.

Linebackers

Lavonte David (Nebraska) has always been one of my favorite players in this draft and is being under-valued in my opinion. He absolutely bull-dozed Chris Polk during one on ones and is a much more stronger/powerful player than he is given credit for. It was also noted by the broadcast crew that he excelled on special teams. David is lacking in size some but I currently have him rated higher than more highly touted weakside linebacker prospect Zach Brown because of his ability to defend against the run.

Cam Johnson (Virginia) is another player who has flashed plenty all week. His quickness and athleticism has been extremely impressive as he was able to beat Mike Adams soundly with an up and under move. He also sealed the edge well and attacked with the proper shoulder by keeping his outside shoulder and arm free on the edge. He has been one of the more impressive players so far this week for me and I am excited to watch more film on him based on his performance.

Bobby Wagner (Utah State) had an impressive day overall. He was very good in coverage and displayed above average pass rushing ability in 1 on 1’s. Wagner is a bit on the shorter side but he is quietly putting together a strong showing.

Defensive Backs

Alfonzo Dennard (Nebraska) was exposed for his lack of foot speed and inability to turn and run with receivers yesterday. I thought he responded well today after being allowed to play up at the line in press coverage where he is most comfortable. One of my favorite things about Dennard is his ability to recognize routes and reads his wide receivers movements and body language. This allows Dennard to stay in his man’s hip pocket very well and I thought he played very disciplined overall. He also excelled on special teams today which was good to hear given the criticism he has received to this point.

Jamell Flemming (Oklahoma) was one of the more impressive corners today in my opinion. He displayed loose hips and quick feet to turn and run with his man. His ball skills and ability to locate the football was also a very good thing to see. I am excited to see him play the rest of the week to get a better understanding of his overall skill level.

Donnie Fletcher (Boston College) had a very rough first day but bounced back nicely today. He looked much more comfortable pressing at the line as he was able to get a hand on his receiver and re-route/control him from the get go. I liked the way he responded, as he seemed much more patient and didn’t seem to be guessing and sitting on routes as much today.

Georg Iloka (Boise State) is creating all sorts of buzz this week, as many are very intrigued with his combination of size and athleticism. At 6-3 225 lbs, Iloka looks more like a linebacker than defensive back but his length and physical ability is hard not to notice. He has great range and length and made a fine interception on QB Kirk Cousins today. He does a nice job staying in his man’s hip pocket and was rewarded by his effort on the football field today. Iloka is generating some buzz this week and scouts are excited to see what he has to offer.

Biggest Winners:

1. RB Doug Martin Boise State

2. DL Kendall Reyes Connecticut

3. LB Lavonte David (Nebraska)

Biggest Losers:

1. RB Chris Polk Washington

2. TE Michael Egnew Missouri

3. C Mike Brewster Ohio State

South Squad

Quarterbacks

Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State) has to be one of the biggest risers from today. He looked very balanced when asked to drop back and did a great job with ball placement, putting the ball over the correct shoulder on a deep touch throw to Joe Adams. His maturity is noticeable as well as he looks poised and confident as well as cool, calm, and collected. His accuracy and ball speed on the run was also a very promising thing to see as he also displayed solid footwork to get his body around into his throw. Weeden is easily the best quarterback on the South roster and is putting on a fantastic performance at this point. The game will be a better indicator but for now I have to say I am eating crow for having doubted his skill…just mentally biased because of his age, but if a team can look past that they could be getting a very fine quarterback capable of starting early.

Nick Foles (Arizona) has not been as impressive unfortunately. He looked like a wide-eyed rookie at moments today as he was less than commanding in the huddle or under center. He also looked slow going through his motions to execute the play and overall just looked out of his element and uncomfortable. Foles isn’t showing me the type of intangibles needed to become a starting franchise quarterback at this point.

I didn’t get much information on Ryan Lindley today but will try again tomorrow.

 Running Backs

Chris Rainey (Florida) was really the only player I got to take many detailed notes on today. He was used as a receiver today and although his routes were extremely raw, he flashed potential and unbelievable quickness and speed. A true track star Rainey absolutely blew by his former team-mate Janoris Jenkins at one point and seemed to be almost gliding down the field. Rainey may be one of the most versatile players in this game and I am excited to see how Mike Shanahan and the Redskins use his speed and skill in the game Saturday.

Wide Receivers

Joe Adams (Arkansas) had another impressive day. His suddenness and quickness allowed him to beat the press and he has proved to be a very hard player to keep covered for very long. He gained inside positioning with his footwork and will have extra value because of his return ability..Adams has helped himself so far this week.

Juron Criner (Arizona) was the star from practice today after making an excellent one handed stab on a comeback route near the sidelines. The catch showcased Criner’s superb athleticism, concentration, and hand-eye coordination skills. He also looked fast and fluid showcasing a solid double move to create separation. Criner is creating some buzz this week and is looking to move up the draft rankings.

Jeff Fuller (Texas A&M) has been less than stellar and the analyst brought up a point/concern about Fuller that I have also noted in the past. For being so big, Fuller is just way too soft and needs to be much more physical to get the most out of his impressive frame/size. He showed little burst and his ability to accelerate was modest at best. His routes seemed to be leggy and slow developing for me and I am concerned with his ability to separate at the next level.

Tight Ends

Ladarius Green (Louisianna-Lafayette) didn’t look as sudden or explosive as I would have liked, however he used his length very well and showed effortless hands to snag passes away from his long frame. I need to see much more from Green in the coming days and will be paying closer attention.

Another player who is starting to generate some buzz and caught my eye today was LSU TE Deangelo Peterson who has NFL size and athletic ability. Keep an eye on Peterson, as he could be one of those rare players who has a better pro than college career.

Offensive Lineman

James Brown (Troy) is a player Mike Mayock has mentioned as a potential sleeper and player he is intrigued by and I saw a little bit why today. He gets good inside hand placement and shows nice ability to re-set and close door back inside on counter moves. His patience is also nice and the only thing I noticed was that he played a little upright at times but this flaw is correctable. Brown is a player to watch in the coming days as he is faced up with some very talented defensive lineman on the South squad.

Cordy Glenn (Georgia) gets good pop and is quick off the snap. He also keeps his elbows in for the most part and did a nice job re-anchoring and recovering with solid footwork. He got beat with a spin move when he failed to keep his feet moving but overall I like his ability to reset his feet if beaten initially. Glenn has a better chance of staying outside at tackle than Keleche Osemele in my opinion.

Ben Jones (Georgia) is never going to look to great in 1 on 1’s and he struggled a bit today. He exposes his chest and lets players into his body far too easily, but Jones just seems to get the job done consistently. This is why I currently have Jones ranked higher than Ohio State’s Mike Brewster.

Matt McCants (UAB) is a player I see some potential in. He got matched up with some great players today in Upshaw and Ingram but did well for the most part. I loved his discipline to not flinch or jump when Upshaw twice tried to time the snap and twitched to try to draw a false start from McCants. However, Matt stood in there strong and didn’t get flustered or uncomposed. This shows me some mental alertness and concentration, all while standing across from the most feared pass rusher in the entire Senior Bowl. He bent at the waist a little and got a little straight legged, leaving him unbalanced and susceptible which Upshaw took good advantage of by knocking him to the ground. McCants is raw but there is definitely potential here, keep an eye on him.

Zebrie Sanders (Florida State) was a bit inconsistent today as he showed both some good and some bad things. I love his ability to anchor and neutralize the bull-rush as he also re-set his hands and feet well. However, he dropped his head and bent at the waist when lined up with Ingram, which is more a testament to Ingram’s athletic ability than anything in my opinion. Sander’s was one of my potential break-out players heading into the week but that has yet to culminate as he has struggled against Coples and Ingram to this point.

Defensive Lineman

Quinton Coples (North Carolina) has very stong and powerful hands that allow him to disengage with relative ease. I don’t believe he has a very good get-off, as his quickness is lacking but I never thought of him as a dominant pass rusher coming in. His burst and athleticism is good relative to his size and he is a player that can help vs. the pass and run…he has been solid so far, but is probably not worth a Top 10 pick at this point.

Jaye Howard (Florida) flashed a bit today during 1 on 1’s. His spin move had Cordy Glenn rendered off balanced and he looked pretty disruptive inside during team, shooting gaps and showing his quickness/explosion off the ball. Howard caught some people’s attention today and will be getting a much closer look in the coming days of practice.

Melvin Ingram (South Carolina) played like a man possessed today. His athleticism was on full display and his versatility to play with his hand in the dirt or standing up has defensive coordinators chomping at the bit. Ingram flashed very good explosion and quickness as he was able to beat his man with both and inside swim and deceptive swim move. Ingram is definitely catching people’s attention today and is one of the high risers of the week so far…he is creating plenty of buzz.

Courtney Upshaw (Alabama) was the big winner of the day, flashing very agile and fluid movements. Upshaw can change directions suddenly and uses very little wasted movements to do so. His quick twitch athleticism and burst allows him to mix up his speed and power moves with the best of them, as he completely knocked OT Matt McCants to the ground with a fantastic push-pull technique. His arm extension and handwork is very good and allows him to disengage suddenly, making him an absolute nightmare to defend one on one. Upshaw is the best player in Mobile in my opinion and is slowly staking claim to a Top 10 pick…he could have a Von Miller type impact if put into the right situation.

Linebackers

I really didn’t get too great look at the linebackers from the South squad today. However, both Zach Brown and Keenan Robinson impressed me in coverage. Robinson used his length very well and Brown looks very natural/comfortable in man to man, making him a good weakside linebacker candidate. I still think Brown is a liability in run defense however and question his overall instincts, but I am excited to see him compete in the game and see how he fares in this area.

 Defensive Backs

Antonio Allen (South Carolina) was/is a player I am extremely excited to see and watch in the coming days of practice. I didn’t get to see much today but did see him get physical and use his long arms and length well in coverage. Allen is a player I am higher on than most.

Dwight Bentley (Louisianna-Lafayette) definitely caught my eye today. He is light at 173 lbs. but I like his ability to read and recognize routes. He made a great break on the ball and did a great job at closing to a point rather than his man, almost coming up with the interception. He doesn’t seem to be backing down or shying away from the big stage and has come here to compete this week, which is something I really like and appreciate from a small school player.

Brandon Boykin (Georgia) was another cornerback on the South squad who impressed me today. Boykin displayed a certain physicality and scrapiness to his play today and is really competing and fighting to finish drills on a consistent basis. The effort and passion is definitley evident and his athletic ability is starting to turn some heads. He does a great job mirroring or shadowing his man and does a great job sticking in their hip pocket down the field. Boykin is a player who can contribute on special teams instantly and line up over the slot in a nickel back type role. He is starting to win me over and has impressed me so far this week.

Casey Hayward (Vanderbilt) was another impressive corner. On film, Heyward always seems to be around the football. I really appreciate his mirroring skills as well, as he reads his receivers movements and has a great feel for when his man is about to break into his route. Hayward did get a little over-aggressive however as he got a little grabby downfield after 5 yards, which will not fly in the NFL. I will be watching this closely over the next couple days.

Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama) was burned by former team-mate Chris Rainey early but responded well on his very next rep by squatting on the route and taking away inside positioning. This showed me that Jenkins is a competitor who is also very savvy in figuring out how to best defend his man by not allowing to get beat twice by the same move. Jenkins has had a good week and I am excited to hear more on how he has interviewed with teams.

Markelle Martin (Oklahoma State) is a very fluid athlete with nice footwork. His quickness and acceleration allowed him to undercut a route and nearly make an interception during team. One of the questions on Martin coming in was his ability in coverage so this was a very positive thing to see from him. If Martin can continue to look good in coverage he could secure his spot in the 2nd round.

Ryan Steed (Furman) has been unimpressive and overmatched in my opinion. He’s not physical enough and is struggling to break down and change directions. I am not too big of a fan of his from what I have seen. However, when the lights go on Saturday you never know what can happen…he will need to do a lot however to change my stance on him.

Biggest Winners:

1. LB Courtney Upshaw Alabama

2. QB Brandon Weeden Oklahoma State

3. WR Juron Criner Arizona

Biggest Losers:

1. QB Nick Foles Arizona

2. WR Jeff Fuller Texas A&M

3. CB Ryan Steed Furman

Sorry this posting was so late…had to work and didn’t get around to starting this until later, hope you enjoyed nonetheless!

-Brandon

The next line of future NFL stars have made their way to the Senior Bowl, looking to convince team's and NFL Personnel men they have what it takes play at the next level. Some will be exposed and some will flourish under the bright lights of Ladd-Pebbles Stadium. Either way it should be a great week of football and opportunity of a lifetime for these young men.

Draft season is upon us and the next line of future NFL stars are waiting to make their names known. Every year the top Senior college football player’s  in the country summon to Mobile, Alabama for a week of practices, where they are put through drills and mental tests to get a better measure of who they are and what they are capable of as individual players. coach’s and scouts get an up close view of each prospects strengths and weaknesses and evaluators are here to see whether it matches up with the film, otherwise more homework could be in the works. Surely there is a lot to gain by participating but there is also a lot to lose as the Senior Bowl is the premier scouting event outside of the Scouting Combine in February and nearly nothing goes unnoticed under the watchful eye of the NFL’s best talent evaluators. Individual positional battles await, as well as the opportunity for some of the nation’s best small school players to finally strut their stuff on the national stage and become known names by avid fans and NFL Draft followers. Players from around the country are gathering to put their individual talents on full display in hopes of getting noticed and catching someone’s eye. The Senior Bowl is about setting yourself apart from the competition and is in large part the beginning of a lengthy job interview process for these players. The resume’s are in but there is still much work to be done. Interviews, eye-ball tests, and first impressions will be imperative to collecting more information on these players and you can be sure team’s will have their talent evaluators out in full force to analyze and decipher any and all information readily available to them. Here are the things to watch this week, leading up to the game next Saturday at historic Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Quarterbacks

We all know that Luck and RG3 are the top quarterbacks in this draft and that probably won’t change but there is a second group looking to establish themselves at their respective positions playing in this game.  Ryan Tannehill, who most consider the top Senior quarterback prospect will not be participating because of a broken foot. That leaves the door open for a couple of players in Mobile to settle themselves into the initial two rounds.

Most to prove:

First is Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden (6-4 218 lbs.) who has a chance to really prove his doubters wrong with a solid week. The biggest issue with Weeden is his age (28), but many have said that he would be a no doubt 1st round pick if it weren’t for this one bias against him. However, Weeden has some things he needs to show me before I can move him up from my current ranking for him. First he needs to show he can make the post snap reads and go through his progressions accordingly. Weeden played in a spread-type offense at Oklahoma State, which severely limited the amount of information he had to diagnose and process after the fact, so I am excited to see him to work under center rather than out of the gun like he did in college. I also want to see him make some anticipation type throws. Too many times I felt he was waiting for his man to come open before he started his throwing motion and got the ball out. If he is to start right away he needs to prove he can do this or else it will severely limit his upside, as he is already behind the curve because of his age. Otherwise Weeden has plenty going for him, he has a live arm capable of making nearly all the throws, while also displaying uncanny touch and accuracy to all levels of the field. Weeden’s play this week will go a long way in telling us how NFL ready he really is.

Potential Breakout:

Arizona QB Nick Foles (6-5 240) has great NFL size and measurables however he too has played in what some consider a dink and dunk offense in college. Many NFL Draft pundits have clamored that Foles could make a huge jump in the rankings with a good week down in Mobile. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to watch too much film on Foles as of yet but I can tell you a few things evaluators will be watching closely. Like Weeden scouts will want to see Foles execute out of NFL type offense, showing the capability to make both pre and post snap reads and adjustments. Foles has somewhat flown under the radar because of his pedestrian career record as a starter (15-18), including a disappointing 4-8 record this year his Senior season. So scouts will want to see the type of intangibles and leadership ability Foles possesses. There is no doubting Foles has an NFL arm but there is much he has to prove and show before he can make his accension up the NFL Draft ranks. If he can show some of these things the scouts are looking for his stock could sky-rocket.

Small School Spotlight:

San Diego State QB Ryan Lindley (6-3 240 lbs) is a player scouts will have a close eye on all week. Lindley has been the starter for the Aztecs since his Freshman season and has shown nice improvement from season to season. Lindley has a live arm and shows above average pocket presence, however his accuracy has always been his biggest issue. Surely scouts will be watching Lindley’s footwork as he seems to struggle re-setting his feet when pressured and forced to move in the pocket. Lindley is a player that has played in a pro style offense and possesses pro type ability, but his lack of accuracy is troublesome. Nevertheless if Ryan Lindley is able to hang with the big boys and not get rattled under the pressure of the big lights and leap in competition/speed he could be a player who stands out this week.

Best of the Rest:

Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson (5-11 210 lbs) is a player I am higher on than others. The biggest thing for him will be his height and I am very interested in seeing how he measures up on Monday morning, including the size of his hands. I don’t think Wilson will make 6 foot but if he does that would certainly help him out. The things I love most about Wilson is how well he protects the football and the type of leader he became in such a short time at Wisconsin. His TD/Interception ratio was one of the best in the nation and he led a Badger team to the Rose Bowl after transferring from NC State only a month or so before the season began. Wilson also possesses a nice arm and overall accuracy, and his ability to extend the play and make plays with his feet outside the pocket is something that can’t be taught. Passing lanes and lack of height will always be a concern with Wilson but if he can show the ability to stand tall in the pocket and scan the entire field he could make an accension, as he is an easy player and person to fall in love with based on his overall game and intangibles. Another undersized quarterback is Kellen Moore (6-0 191 lbs.) Boise State. I’m not too high on Moore as he is definitely behind the curve coming from a spread type offense and having such a limited frame. I do like his deep ball accuracy, timing and anticipation but those things can only take you so far. Moore will have a severe learning curve to over come once he reaches the NFL, but I’m not saying he doesn’t have the opportunity to became a back up at the next level..I just don’t seem him being capable of developing into a future starter. Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins (6-3 205 lbs) is a player I appreciate very much. He doesn’t have the liveliest of arms but his is very accurate and does a great job of placing the ball where only his man can get it. Cousins also has top-notch intangibles and is a bright young man with tons of personality and spunk, making him an easy player to fall in love with off the football field. This is a kid with a head on his shoulders who is experienced and that should get him looks and noticed, as I like his potential to become a very solid backup with an outside chance of developing into a starter later in his career.

Running Backs

The running back class is proving to be top-heavy with a number of notable underclassmen declaring, including players like Trent Richardson, Lamar Miller, David Wilson, LaMichael James, and Bernard Pierce. Unfortunately none of those players will be able to make an appearance this week but there are two Senior runningbacks vying to become the top back of their class in Washington’s Chris Polk and Boise State’s RB Doug Martin.

Most to prove:

Ohio State RB Daniel “Boom” Herron has many questions to answer regarding his involvement in “Tattoo Gate” which ultimately lead to coach Tressel’s firing and his own personal 5 game suspension. Herron has always been a quality player and team leader for the Buckeyes who possesses quick feet and nice inside running ability. He will likely be a situational back in the NFL but this will be a good chance for him to clear his name some and get back in good graces with the people making the decisions.

Potential Breakout:

Boise State RB Doug Martin (5-9 215 lbs.) is one of my favorite players in this entire draft. He has a compact build and runs with a low center of gravity that makes him incredibly hard to bring to the ground. Martin is also a very balanced and quick runner with the long speed to make the big play and hit the home-run from time to time. His ability as a receiver out of the backfield as well as his return skills should get him second looks and make him that more marketable to his future team. On a team that was known for its aerial attack at Boise State Martin displayed fantastic running skills and scouts have taken notice in his ability. Martin has the capability to make a huge impact in the NFL and I currently have him rated ahead of Chris Polk but it is close. Martin should excel this week and really open eyes as he reminds me some of Ray Rice and Ahmad Bradshaw. His biggest obstacle will be his pass blocking, as his smaller size limits him some, but from what I have seen he isn’t afraid to step up and take on a blocker or a hit to protect his quarterback.

Washington RB Chris Polk (5-11 222 lbs.)

Polk is an extremely physical and tough running back to bring down. His size allows him to wear down the opposing defense and he shows nice ability in becoming a three down back because of his catching and pass blocking ability. Polk also has deceptive speed but is not a burner as he lacks the elite burst and quickness to run away from the pack. With that said he is very rarely caught from behind and is solid in all areas but not as flashy as some would prefer. However, Polk has been extremely effective during his time with the Huskies and has an under-rated skill set that should make him very enticing come April. Polk will be battling Doug Martin all week to try to separate himself from the pack…no pun intended.

Wide Receivers

Coming into the week many including I were looking forward to seeing Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd and Baylor’s Kendall Wright battle to become the top Senior prospect at the position, but that no longer looks to be the case. Floyd has decided to forgo the Senior Bowl and has elected to not participate, while Wright is dealing with what looks like a foot issue that has been rumored to be a broken foot. Nevertheless the show must go on and there is plenty of star power and opportunity to step-up and steal the show now that the two top prospects going in are no longer in the picture.

Most to prove:

Perhaps no player on the Ohio State program was affected more by the tatoo/memorabilia scandal than WR Devier Posey (6-2 210 lbs.) He has seen his draft stock plummet after once being considered one of the top players at his position. He too must answer questions about his character and maturity as well as show up and compete at a high level this week. Posey certainly possesses a very good skill-set for the position but we will learn a lot about the type of player Devier Posey is this entire week. If he shows up in shape and competes at the level he is capable of he could reclaim some of his affected draft status. However, if he doesn’t he will likely have wasted a very good opportunity to prove his doubters wrong…this is a big week for him.

Potential Breakout:

The player who should benefit most from the absence of both Wright and Floyd is North Carolina WR Dwight Jones (6-4 225 lbs.) Jones has always been a player who has flashed and presented some big time skills for the position as he shows great height, build, and speed for the position. However, he has never been able to fully put it together and it is his hands that have been most concerning and troublesome for me. Jones has a bad habit of letting the ball get into his pads and he doesn’t always seem to trust them. This is perhaps the only thing that is preventing Jones from being mentioned from the elite at his position. If Jones can show strong hands capable of plucking the ball away from his frame consistently this week his stock could rise upwards into the first round range, but for now he is a mid to late 2nd round pick for me. He must also display more assertiveness in blocking downfield as he comes up somewhat lazy in this area of his game.

Small School Spotlight:

Appalachian State WR Brian Quick (6-5 220 lbs.) is one of the players I am most excited to watch this week leading up to the game Saturday. He has great size and I have seen and heard many great things about him as a prospect. As with any small school player I need to see him first compete with NFL caliber players here at the Senior Bowl. There is no denying that Quick fits the description of small school sleeper with his incredible length and size for the position as well has his production, but if you want to be the best you have beat the best. This will be the biggest test for Quick this week and if he can pass this exam he could climb into the 2nd round range with a good showing.

Best of the Rest:

The wide receiver class is very deep and there are plenty other notable players at the position who could shine and climb with a good week of practice. Iowa’s Marvin McNutt (6-4 215) is one of those players as he possesses excellent size for the position in the NFL. He possesses long arms with a wide catching radius and does an excellent job using his body to box out defenders. I am excited to see how well he is able to create separation with his route running and overall speed, quickness, and agility. Arizona’s Juron Criner (6-4 215 lbs.) is another receiver with good size for the position and scouts love his soft hands. However, he was never really asked to run a full route tree at Arizona so scouts will be watching how well he runs his routes and how sudden he is in and out of his breaks. Criner was another player I considered for being a potential breakout this week. Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller (6-4 220 lbs.) was a player many were considering to be a potential first round pick after his dominant Junior campaign. However, he had a lack luster year overall and had some noticeable drops which has scouts questioning his concentration and awareness skills. Evaluators have always appreciated Fuller’s size and athleticism as he does a very good job using his length and frame to climb the ladder and go get the ball. Fuller has been rumored to have dealt with a series of nagging injuries this season, however his play has left a lot to be desired this season. Hopefully he can turn it around with a solid showing this week.

Tight Ends

This tight end class has seen an influx of young talent with notable underclassmen like Clemson’s Dwayne Allen, Georgia’s Orson Charles, and Stanford’s Coby Fleener all declaring a year early. In this game we will see two players who have plenty of upside but will go lower than the aforementioned list of underclassmen tight ends. Missouri’s Michael Egnew and Louisianna-Lafayette’s Ladarius Green are two players expected to see plenty of attention this coming week as both present excellent size and length for the position and could benefit from the stellar play and transformation of the position in the NFL.

Potential Breakout:

Missouri’s Michael Egnew (6-6 245 lbs.) is a very interesting player who could surprise at the next level and is being somewhat under-valued in my opinion. His size and athleticism as well as basketball background make him an intriguing option and potential under the radar player to keep a close eye on. I absolutely love the strong hands and physical demeanor after the catch that Egnew shows as he is not afraid to lower his head to pick up extra yards. Egnew enjoyed a dominant Junior campaign when paired up with 1st round pick from a year ago Blaine Gabbert, but struggled to make the same sort of impact this past season without him. Nevertheless, Egnew’s size and skill set make him a valuable target downfield capable of creating mis-matches in the NFL and consistently picking up first downs. The area of Egnew’s game that needs work and somewhat limits him is his blocking ability. Here Egnew struggles with leverage, due to his lack of strength and overall technique, most notably his hand placement. I’m excited to see how well he does in this area this week. Overall Egnew is one of my under the radar type players I will be keeping a close eye on as I believe he has the ability to make a solid impact in the NFL as a slot type tight end.

Small School Spotlight:

Louisianna-Lafayette TE Ladarius Green (6-6 235) is a player that has been on scout’s radar for quite some time now. He is a long rangy athlete with a tweener type body for a wide receiver or tight end. These types of players are on the rise now and in high demand after the success of players like Jimmy Graham, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, and Jermichael Finley. Players with the ability to stretch the field as well as the size and length to go up and challenge the ball at its highest point is something that many believe Ladarius Green could do in the NFL. Surely man eyes will be on Green this week to get a better understanding of his overall skill-set, but this is exactly the type of player many teams in the NFL are looking for to add another dimension to their offense.

Offensive Tackles

The Offensive Tackle class is littered with quality underclassmen who are held in high regard by NFL evaluator everywhere. Names like Matt Kalil, Riley Reiff, and Jonathon Martin dominate the top half of the first round, but it is players like Mike Adams and Zebrie Sanders who have the most to prove, gain, and potentially lose with their individual showings this week.

Most to Prove:

Again we go back to Ohio State to look at the player with the most to prove this week, this time it’s OT Mike Adams (6-8 320 lbs.) Adams has a past history of instances as he was arrested in 2009 on drug paraphernalia charges and just this past season with Ohio State’s Tatoo and memorabilia scandal. There is no doubting he has NFL size, length, and athleticism but his off-field incidents are very concerning and something he will have to own up to and answer truthfully. Surely scouts will dig deep as Adams has 1st round potential and some even believe he may have the ability to stay on the left side in the NFL. Overall I was pretty impressed with Mike Adams as he shows above average awareness and a powerful punch move to jolt his defender. The issues I did have had to due with his tendency to stop his feet upon contact and develop somewhat of a lean in the run game. I also would like to see him lower his pad level a bit as well as play with better hand placement. However, most of these issues are correctable and Adams certainly fits the mold of and NFL Tackle. This will be a big week for Adams as he can either clear his name a little and get back into 1st round discussion or succumb to the accusations and fail to unseat his biggest competitor this week in Florida Stat’s Zebrie Sanders.

Potential Breakout:

Florida State OT Zebrie Sanders (6-6 305 lbs.) enjoyed an incredible Senior season after incumbent starter Andrew Datko went down with a season ending shoulder injury. Sanders didn’t miss a beat and stepped in admirably for his fallen team-mate by making a seamless transition to the left side after having started on the right for the majority of his career. Sanders is a four-year starter who made an incredible 50 career starts for the Seminoles. Sanders is said to have very good but not elite quickness to stick with speed rushers around the edge. However, his combination of size, power, athleticism, and starting experience are very hard traits to find as he is said to also have top-notch character and intangibles as well. There is little doubting Sanders ability to start in the NFL it is just a question of which side of the line. This week will give us a better impression of how good Zebrie Sanders really can be, and if he passes the test and grades out his stock could rise substantially.

Small School Spotlight:

UAB OT Matt McCants (6-6 295 lbs) is a Mobile, Alabama native who will be making the trip home to play in the same stadium he played his high school football in. McCants has said that the opportunity is a “dream come true” and “something he has always dreamed of” as I am sure it will be special for him to play his final collegiate game in front of family and friends. McCants has not been playing football long as he only played one year of high school football before enrolling at UAB. This, along with his nice size, athleticism, and overall footwork has gotten McCants noticed by NFL scouts who have enjoyed watching him develop over the past couple of seasons. McCants is said to struggle with his kick slide at times as he has a bad habit/tendency to cross his legs, which is an absolute no-no for Tackles. The other area of his game that needs improving from what I have read has to do with his tendency to bend at the waist and come out of his stance a little high. Nevertheless, these things are correctable and could come with extra coaching and reps where he can perfect his craft. There’s no denying the talent is there it’s just a matter of molding him and developing him into the player he is capable of becoming.

Best of the Rest:

One my player I want to mention is Oklahoma State’s Levy Adcock (6-6 320 lbs.) While I see him moving inside to guard at the next level due to his lack of overall athleticism I really appreciate his footwork as he shows the natural ability to re-set and re-direct. Adcock has a lot of tools to work with and could even earn spot duty at Right Tackle if given the opportunity. Adcock needs to work on his hand placement and technique as he allows defenders to get into his body at times, but overall this is a correctable flaw. Adcock also has an above average to good punch move and displays natural strength that allows him to get away with flaws in his technique at times, but this is player who could be pretty good if put into the right blocking scheme (zone). I hope we get to see him get reps at the guard position this week, because that seems like his most natural fit to me.

Guards

David DeCastro of Stanford has the top spot pretty much sewn up and sealed away as he grades out higher than any other guard prospect in this draft by a wide margin. The two players who will battle it out to be considered the 2nd best Guard prospect in this draft are Georgia’s Cordy Glenn and Iowa State’s Keleche Osemele.

Most to Prove:

Keleche Osemele (6-6 350 lbs.) is large man with an impressive wingspan and blocking radius. One of the things I appreciated most when watching Osemele was his great hand to hand combat skills. His quick handwork and violent strike/punch allow him gain positioning and simply over power his man from the get go. The same can not be said of Osemele’s feet however as he seems to get stuck in sand and lacks quality movement and footwork skills to play any where other than inside in the NFL.  There is also a lack of football IQ and overall awareness that scouts have come to question based on his late reactions to delayed blitzes and stunts/twists. He must also display a mean streak this week as some have questioned his overall attitude as he tends to fail to finish on occasion. On top of this there are also concerns about his football conditioning and commitment to the game. Surely there are things to like about Osemele but there are also a lot of questions too and Osemele will have to have a very good week to answer them all.

Potential Breakout:

Wisconsin G Kevin Zeitler (6-4 315 lbs.) was a big reason for the Badgers success running the football this season. His prowess in the run game and lunch pail type attitude makes him extremely effective in short yardage or goal line situations. Coach’s and scouts will love his attitude in the run game and his ability to anchor and re-set his hands to create distance between he and his man in pass protection are two admirable qualities Zeitler possesses. Kevin should have a good week and do very well in one on one drills where his disciplined/well taught skills will be on full display.

Small School Spotlight:

Midwestern State G Almini Silatolu (6-3 320 lbs.) has plenty to prove to NFL scouts but unfortunately he will not be participating in the game or practices this week because of a hamstring injury. Scouts want to see just how much football IQ Silatolu possesses after playing at the Junior College and Division II ranks. They will also need to see how well he handles the increase in speed, power, and quickness off the snap as he was not challenged too often by this while playing at a lower level. Having played Left Tackle for Midwestern State, Silatolu needs to show the ability to come out of a three-point, rather than a two point stance with enough authority and quickness to match NFL caliber talent. There is a lot to prove for Silatolu and he is missing out on a good opportunity to prove himself this week at the Senior Bowl, hopefully we will get a good look at him during the Scouting Combine.

Georgia G Cordy Glenn (6-5 350 lbs.):

Cordy Glenn is a massive human being who was asked to kick outside to Left Tackle this season for the Bulldogs. Glenn is gigantic man, making it very hard for players to get around him or even through him as his impressive arm length and natural anchoring ability. The thing I really like about Glenn and what sets him apart from Osemele is his nimble feet as he shows an air of lightness to his game even though he is a mountain of a man. This is one of the reasons why Glenn has been so versatile for the Bulldogs, having played multiple positions along the offensive front in his career. I also like Glenn’s ability to slide and mirror opponents and his impressive push and leg drive in the run game is powerful and capable of consistently knocking defenders off their mark. Glenn however can get lazy with his fundamentals at times and fire out of his stance slow and high, and needs to show me more consistency in this area. When watching Glenn this season I got the impression that his heart lies inside where he takes great pride in being physical and using his natural strength and size to knock defenders off the ball. If he plays anything like he did in his Junior campaign he could see his stock increase back into the early 20’s to late first round area.

Centers

Another position with an underclassmen who more or less has his position locked down for the top spot is at Center, where Peter Konz of Wisconsin could be a rare 1st round pick. However, there is plenty of talent at this position throughout the draft and it is deeper than normal with players well worth Top 100 picks. Two of those players who will be jockeying for positioning this week are Georgia’s Ben Jones and Ohio State’s Michael Brewster.

Most to Prove:

For me the Center with the most to prove this week is Ohio State’s Mike Brewster (6-5 315 lbs.) Brewster came to Ohio State from Florida where he was a Parade All-American and one of the top offensive line recruits in the country. The thing Brewster is extremely good at is using his quickness and nimble feet off the snap to gain inside position and wall/seal off defenders from the football, creating lanes off his backside. Brewster is also extremely well seasoned having started in 49 consecutive games for the Buckeyes and is said to be one of the leaders of the program in his Senior Season. The area I have a problem with comes from his lack of aggressiveness and tenacity. Many times Brewster seems satisfied executing his first assignment and doesn’t keep working to seek out and sustain a second block. It’s a nit-picky thing but is something that I have noticed and bothered me, as I like to see a nastier attitude from my offensive lineman but that’s just me. Brewster also struggled with snaps at times this season and I will be watching closely to see how accurately and clean he delivers the ball out of the shotgun formation.

Potential Breakout:

Georgia’s Ben Jones (6-3 315 lbs.) possesses nice size and build for the position in the NFL. His initial quickness off the snap and recognition skills give him great advantage in both the run and pass game. The thing that really sticks out to me is the amount of experience Jones has in the dominant SEC with 49 career starts as well as the nastiness and attitude to finish blocks you like to see out of your offensive lineman. To me this is the thing that sets Jones apart from Brewster, although the two are pretty close in overall skill-set. Jones flashes a mean streak and shows the ability to take on bull rushers and absorb contact and anchor. He has issues with balance at times and needs to do a better job staying on his feet and stop from lunging, but overall he is a very capable Center who should find a starting job in the NFL relatively early on in his career.

-As always thank you for reading my report, I hope you enjoyed the content!-

-Brandon

Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill-

Tannehill's draft stock is soaring and will continue to climb once NFL evaluators see the type of potential and upside he has as a starting QB.

Tannehill is a player I have been touting and been high on for a while now. He just seems to be progressing and getting better with each passing game and he has a good amount of upside. In this game Tannehill seemed to be very much in control and the game seems to be slowing down for him some. For the most part Tannehill has improved his decision-making although he at times will trust/believe in his arm almost to a fault, thinking he can make any throw. This shows that me that while Tannehill is improving he also doesn’t quite understand his limitations as a passer just quite yet, but this should come with more time and experience under center. I really like the velocity, anticipation, timing, and accuracy Tannehill possesses as he is capable of making throws from both inside and outside the pocket. He shows nice ability and looks comfortable in rolling out to his left or right and throwing a deliverable ball down the field, especially towards the sidelines. In the pocket Tannehill is beginning to look more and more comfortable in the pocket, especially using his footwork and shoulder dip moves to evade the rush and create more throwing room. One question I have had with Tannehill this season is his ability to deliver a nice deep ball with proper arc and touch. Before this game his deep ball lacked touch and seemed to come out a little flat. In this game Tannehill showed natural touch and was mostly accurate in delivering the long ball where his receiver had an opportunity to make a play. Another thing I am beginning to see from Tannehill is the ability to make pre-snap reads and adjustments. This shows me that his understanding of the game and coverages are beginning to show as well as the fact that he is putting in the extra time to get a leg up on his competition. As I have said before Tannehill is a prime candidate to have sit for a year or so before throwing him into the wolves so to speak. Ryan Tannehill is an excellent player to groom and develop for your future, I just hope the team that takes him understands this and gives him the proper time to develop his game and not ruin his confidence.

Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller-

Fuller's draft stock has taken one of the bigger hits out of anybody this season. He needs to be more physical and display the type of ability he showed during his Junior campaign.

Fuller is a player that has disappointed all season and failed to live up to the expectations that were put upon him for this season. In this game Fuller made some big catches, including a TD that was big for his team. Fuller’s long frame allowed him to come down with a couple big time catches in key situations for the Aggies offense. I can see Fuller becoming  a pretty reliable red-zone threat as I appreciate his ability to extend his long body/arms and go up for the football. I have always appreciated Fuller’s long nicely developed frame, however he needs to become much more physical if he is ever going to make an impact in the NFL. Far too many times in this game Fuller would receive a quick screen and instantly make his way towards the sidelines, avoiding contact. I fear that corners who can match his length and get physical with him at the line of scrimmage will be able to re-route and throw him off his intended path. Fuller isn’t the type of a player that scares you deep so it could be very simple for team’s to take him out completely by challenging him with man to man coverage as he has also struggled to make catches in traffic this season. I don’t know if injuries have been the reason for Fuller’s decline in production or not, but he surely needs to do something drastic to get back to where he was at the end of the 2010 season. Currently I would rank Fuller outside of my Top 100 players, but with a good off-season he could work his way back up some people’s draft board. Jeff Fuller is a player that reminds me of Chicago Bears WR Roy Williams.

Texas A&M LB Sean Porter-

Porter will have a tough decision on whether he wants to return for another season at College Station, however he already possesses the skills to be a high draft choice due to his great pass rushing potential.

Porter got off to a hot start in this game and showed why he is one of the premier pass rushing players in the entire country. In the first few possessions Porter’s great burst and athleticism was on full display, showing the ability to dip his shoulder and work around the corner in tight quarters by lowering his center of gravity around the edge. Unfortunately for Porter he likely would have recorded up to 2 or 3 sacks if not for the fact that he was held on multiple occasions. The sad part was that the refs seemed to miss these blatant holding calls time and time again as he was more or less tackled to be prevented from getting to the quarterback. The refs missed these calls today, but scouts will surely take note of these plays and understand that he can impact the game by creating pressure, making sacks, and drawing holding calls due to his impressive pass rush skills. One thing that really excited me in this game was seeing Porter show the added ability of turning speed into power. On one play Porter set up his man and threatened the edge before timing his bull rush just as the offensive lineman was opening his hips to turn and run with Porter up the field. This timing allowed Porter to knock his man off-balance and create some push as a bull rusher, collapsing the pocket. There is no doubting that Porter could stand to get stronger and develop more power to his game but it is exciting to see him scratching the surface of another dangerous pass rush arsenal that would take him one step closer to being an elite pass rusher. Porter is also very reliable in coverage and seems very natural settling into his zone. He shows good instincts and looks comfortable/fluid in space in picking up players entering his zone or area. He made a great stick/form tackle by reading the quarterbacks eyes and jumping a wide receiver working a drag route underneath his coverage. On another play later in the game he stayed in his zone despite that the play was moving away from his side of the field. Staying true to his assignment he was rewarded when the quarterback turned back to his side of the field and threw it completely across his body where Porter made a play on the ball and almost came up with the pick. This awareness and discipline is very admirable in a young linebacker and makes you confident in his ability to stay on the field at all times and feel confident about it. I’m not sure if Porter will choose to declare this season but he has surely caught the attention of NFL personnel people everywhere and should be a highly valued player once he decides to come out.

Texas A&M Linebacker Damontre Moore-

Moore is a player that shows good hustle and ability to continually work the edge on his way to the QB. Only a Sophomore, Moore is a player to keep an eye on in the coming years.

Damontre Moore is the other quality linebacker on the Aggies defense and is only a Sophomore. Standing 6-4 245 lbs. Moore has good size and really started to come on during the later part of the season, collecting 6 of his 8.5 sacks in the final four games of the season. Moore is a player who doesn’t possess spectacular speed around the edge but continually works his man around the corner to collect hustle sacks and plays. I’m not sure if he will make a better defensive end in a 4-3 quite yet or if his natural fit is at outside linebacker in a 3-4 but he is definitely a player to keep an eye on in the coming years. I really appreciate the body lean and angles he takes around the corner as well as his consistent motor to bend the edge and get after the quarterback. Moore also works down the line of scrimmage very smoothly and shows good pursuit to the football. Moore needs to do a better job keeping contain and trusting his eyes as he fell for many zone option read plays in this football game. These read and react skills will hopefully develop some in time and I am excited to watch him next season as he continues to develop a more consistent overall game.

Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill-

Ryan Tannehill has everything you look for in a potential franchise QB but is overshadowed by the other QB's in his conference. This is a player who should be a 1st round pick on upside alone, as he has all the tools to succeed... he just needs time and coaching.

Every time I get a chance to watch and break down Ryan Tannehill I always seem to come away impressed and feeling that he has a tremendous amount of upside as a pro prospect. It is unbelievable to me that Tannehill is only in his 18th game as a starter at quarterback and has already accomplished and grown so much. Tannehill shows great zip and natural arm talent as a passer who is capable of making all the throws. Tannehill could stand to improve on some of his mechanics, most importantly his 3/4 to sidearm type throwing motion that results in passes batted down at the line of scrimmage due to his low release point. Ryan Tannehill stands a very stout 6-4 225 lbs. as he is a former/converted wide receiver for the Texas A&M Aggies. He won the position half way through last season after taking over for then quarterback Jerrod Johnson and leading his teams to six straight wins and a school record 65% completion rate. Tannehill is obviously still developing and he needs to improve on some aspects of his game, most notably his decision-making as he has had issues with throwing the ball into coverage when faced with pressure. Watching Tannehill play this season it is easy to see the leaps and bounds he has made at his position showing much more poise in the pocket and overall pocket presence. Tannehill throws a very clean and tight spiral and is effective throwing on the run and making plays with his feet outside the pocket once the plays break down. Ryan shows the type of athleticism that made him a very fine wide receiver on occasion when asked to scramble, and I think he would be wise to utilize this aspect of his game more at times. Tannehill is most comfortable making throws towards the sidelines and shows the necessary accuracy, ball placement, and arm strength to drive the ball into tight windows. I still need to see Tannehill display more touch and air on his throws as his long ball comes out a little flat, however I believe he is still developing this part of his game. Despite playing in what is considered a spread offense at Texas A&M Tannehill still makes a lot of NFL caliber throws that rely on timing and anticipation. One thing I have a lot of respect for in Ryan’s game is his ability to get the ball out quickly and on time, hitting his receivers before they even break out of their routes. This shows me that Ryan is both an intelligent and skilled passer who understands route timing and how to hit your receivers in stride. I would like to see Tannehill take some ompf of some of his shorter passes as he sometimes guns the ball to his receiver when he does not need to. Tannehill has special arm talent but could stand to take some speed off his throws that require much less arm strength and more touch. Tannehill shows good overall footwork and pocket presence as he routinely climbs and sits in the pocket before making his throw. Being a former wide receiver also helps out Ryan as he understands routes and timing better than most QB’s at the collegiate level due to his experience at the position, giving him a better understanding on how a wide receiver and quarterback must work together and be on the same page at all times. Ryan will make pre-snap reads and adjustments going through his progressions nicely and shows the natural ability to use his eyes and shoulders to keep defenders honest and open up routes developing on the back side.  There is much to like about Ryan Tannehill and although he has some work to do in areas the sky is really the limit for this kid. With more time to learn the quarterback position and gain starting experience in college I have very little doubt Tannehill wouldn’t have become one of the top overall quarterback prospects in this draft.  Whoever drafts Tannehill will be getting a very talented and gifted young man with all sorts of upside. Tannehill is the type of player who may need to sit some time and learn behind a veteran before taking the reigns and is just the type of player you can feel safe about drafting as your quarterback of the future. Make sure you tune in to watch Tannehill play in his final collegiate game against Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas on Saturday, December 31st.

Texas A&M RB Cyrus Gray-

RB Cyrus Gray has some wiggle and wrinkles to his game that make him effective at times. However his lack of size, speed, and overall running ability could limit his upside once he reaches the next level.

Cyrus Gray stands 5-10 200 lbs. and is a bit on the smallish side to become an every down NFL player to begin with. There is no doubting his contributions to the Texas A&M team as he is a very reliable and gifted receiver out of the backfield. Gray shows very good hands and naturally plucks the ball away from his frame with ease. Once he reels in the catch Gray does a nice job setting up his defender thanks to his ability to shake n bake/wiggle a little bit and make the first man miss. Gray is able to pull this off because of his very good lateral agility, balance, and cutback ability. Cyrus does not however possess very good burst or top-end speed as he was caught from behind on more than one occasion. It is this inability to out run defenders and break away that makes Cyrus Gray an average type back with very little upside. In fact Gray may not even be the best back on his team as running mate Christine Michael showed much more polish in the run game and was utilized on more occasions than the aforementioned Gray. Cyrus Gray also will at times bounce things outside and believe too much in his speed and lateral cut-back ability to make something happen out of nothing. On one occasion in this game Cyrus kept bouncing outside and trying to get the edge when it was obvious he should have gotten up field and taken what the defense was giving him. Plays like this make me belive Gray will have a tough time making much of an impact and seeing the field in the NFL. I just didn’t see much upside and can’t see him becoming much more than 3rd down type back, thanks largely in part from his skills as a receiver out of the backfield more than his ability as a natural runner.

Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller-

Jeff Fuller has had a very disappointing Senior season and will have a lot to prove to NFL Scouts if he is going to get his name back up into the upper echelon of wide receiver prospects.

Jeff Fuller has struggled mightily in his Senior season to make the same sort of impact he made as a Junior when he hauled in 12 TD passes. Standing 6-4 220 lbs. Fuller has the type of body size and length you look for in a potential #1 target, but he does not seem to be playing with very much aggressiveness or overall strength this season. It is evident when watching Fuller that something has changed this season as he does not seem to be the same type of player who was getting attention as a first round pick just one year ago. Fuller has struggled with injuries this season, but just how much those injuries are limiting him is somewhat of an unknown and will need to be answered leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft and Combine. One thing that has always caught my eye when watching Fuller is his effort as a blocker down field. Fuller executed a perfect crack block in this game, taking the proper angle and breaking down nicely before sealing off his defender from the play. This execution and effort in the run game is encouraging and something all scouts like to see from big men on the outside. Fuller however doesn’t seem to be selling his routes too well, making it easy for defensive backs to read and diagnose his movements before making a play on the ball. He needs to show much more suddenness in and out of his breaks as well as the ability to get his head, hands, and eyes around in a much more efficient manner. In past games I have watched Fuller has been a little slow to do these things successfully, which has resulted in dropped passes and throws that seem to get there before he is ready for them. Fuller did make a few good catches in this game and showed the natural ability to find the hole in the zone and sit down for his quarterback. I like that he always tries to make the catch with his hands but would like to see him focus on catching the ball and getting up field rather than jumping before making the catch on most balls thrown his way. This wasted movement results in an easier target for the defender to make a tackle as well as a wasted opportunity to make some important yards after catch. Fuller may also not have the strongest frame or hands, even though his body would suggest otherwise as he struggles to haul in passes in traffic. I need to see Fuller shield the defender from the ball like I know he is capable of if he is going to move up on my draft board. Right now it is hard to tell just what is effecting Fuller so much this season as his drop-off has been plain to see and his talent is now in question amongst NFL Scouts. Fuller will have to work hard in the draft season to regain back some of the notoriety he was receiving after a very succesful Junior campaign.

Texas A&M LB Sean Porter-

Sean Porter is a player that knows how to get after the QB and is very comparable to fellow draft prospect Zach Brown of the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Sean Porter is a player that has jumped off film this season and really caught the eye of NFL talent evaluators every where. His 8.5 sacks on the season rank 1st on an Aggies defense that knows how to get after the quarterback, ranking 2nd nationally in team sacks for the season with 43 (behind only Cincinnati). Sean Porter is an excellent edge blitzer who uses his sheer speed, burst, acceleration, and quickness to get around the corner and chase down the ball-carrier. Porter’s closing speed is very good as he shows the willingness to pursue plays from behind and make plays all over the field. Porter also displays a very nice spin/twist move that allows him to pressure the quarterback from all angles. He is extremely disciplined and has a natural feel for which angles to take to get after the player with the ball. Porter could use some work tackling as he tends to dive and take out players at their knees rather than wrap up, but overall he has been effective in taking down the ball carrier this season. I came away very impressed with the level of discipline Porter showed in maintaining his gap integrity while always keeping outside contain and forcing the play back up into the traffic. This was extremely evident on a big 4th down stop where Porter and team-mate Jonathon Williams worked together to close the gap and utilize a high-low take down to keep the ball carrier from reaching the first down. In the run game Porter shows good fight and slipperiness in not allowing opponents to get a hold of him and take him out of the play. He works hard to find his way around blocks and does a good job using his hands to disengage and fight his way into the play. The Aggies like to use Porter lined up over the slot receiver and drop him down to blitz whenever they feel like he has a chance to make a play. Overall Porter appears to be a pretty fluid athlete in space who can change directions and cover players in their routes. The fact that the A&M coaches trust him with this responsibility says a lot, although I would like to see more film before I can make a true assessment of his skill in this area. Porter comes off as very smart, aware, and instinctual defender on film and it is somewhat surprising to not see him mentioned with or compared to similar player, linebacker, and athlete Zach Brown of North Carolina who some see as a first round pick. To me both of these players possess similar skill-sets and have practically the same body size, it will just depend on whether Porter decides to forgo his Senior season and make himself eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft.

Missouri TE Michael Egnew-

Michael Egnew is an intriguing prospect that has many tools working in his favor. He will need to get bigger and stronger to become a better overall player, but his receiving skills and ability to stretch the field and make the tough catch in traffic is unique.

Michael Egnew has had a huge drop off in production much like Jeff Fuller from this year to last. This could largely be attributed to his loss of Blaine Gabbert or a change in offensive philosophy, but there is no doubting Egnew is a special kind of player. At 6-6 245 lbs. Egnew undoubtedly possesses a very good frame with the ability to add some extra weight without sacrificing much speed to make him a better in line blocker and better overall prospect at the next level. In fact the area of Egnew’s game that is holding him back the most is his blocking ability. The Tigers like to use Egnew off the line, lined up in the slot or out wide where his true skill set can be best utilized. Egnew is a terrific hands catcher who shows the natural ability to make tough catches in traffic and come down with the football consistently with players all around or even drapped all over him. It is his physicality and demeanor after the catch which excites me as well as he immediately gets up field and isn’t scared to lower his shoulder for a few extra yards. Egnew also has above average speed to vertically stretch the field and find the seam routes that make him a large target for his quarterback downfield. His 90 catches last season were a career high, but his numbers have dipped to what initially may seem like a pedestrian 47 catches so far this season. However, his yards per catch average is nearly 2 yards more this season showcasing his ability to stretch the field some and make plays in the vertical passing game. As I said earlier Egnew seems to struggle when blocking. His inability to control and stay in front of his man is concerning and he seems to be somewhat lost when converting from receiver to blocker or just trying to find a player to block down field. Egnew got away with a block in the back in this game as he was unable to control his man at the point of attack and thus made a drastic effort to recover, which could have resulted in a costly penalty if it had been called. Egnew will need to become stronger and add some weight, while working on his blocking technique if he is ever going to become a complete tight end. Michael Egnew has tons of upside as a player but is not quite there yet since he was never asked to line up on the line of scrimmage and block for the Tigers that much in his career. Egnew will need a team that can be patient with him and develop him into the type of player he is capable of becoming. His receiving skills are very good and he should be able to make an impact in the passing game almost immediately for whichever team chooses to draft him.

Other players that caught my eye in this game include. Texas A&M LB Davontre Moore, who I see as becoming a good defensive end prospect once he reaches eligibility and gains more starting experience. LB Jonathon Stewart who was all over the field making plays, showing good instincts and awareness. And K Randy Bullock who went on to win the award for best college kicker, showing good leg strength, poise, and accuracy to make a big kick in a pressure filled situation. Missouri players who caught my eye include LB Andrew Wilson, DE Jacquies Smith, and a pair of Sophomore CB’s in Randy Ponder and E.J. Gaines he seemingly made plays in the secondary all day.

Thanks again for reading my post, hope you enjoy!

-Brandon