Posts Tagged ‘Missouri Football’

North Carolina WR Dwight Jones-

Jones has a solid blend of height, weight, and speed for a #1 WR in the NFL but his inconsistent hands are a huge disappointment and liability.

Dwight Jones started off this game hot and made an instant impact by coming down with a very nice catch for the first score of the game. On this play Jones demonstrated his natural receiving skills by going up over the defender and out positioning him for the football. This catch showed that Jones has pretty good concentration skills, although he did somewhat mis-time his jump. Jones has proved that he can be a reliable red-zone threat, but I would not consider him to be elite in this area of the field by any means. The big issue I have and many others do as well is Jones inability to catch the ball with his hands. Far too often Jones lets the ball get into his body, resulting in drops and even turnovers at times. In this game for instance his quarterback Bryce Renner fired a pass down the left sideline to squeeze it in between the cornerback underneath and safety closing in from over top. The ball got to Jones in perfect stride, however Dwight was unable to secure the pass and bobbled it some, leading to an interception after the ball was dis-lodged from his body. Here I would have liked to see Jones secure the catch with his hands instead of letting it get to his body, giving the safety that extra split second to dis-lodge the pass. Jones needs to show much more confidence in his hands if he is ever to be relied upon as a #1 wide receiver at the next level. Overall I have come away unimpressed by Dwight Jones this season despite his solid statistics. I just don’t see the type of player who can be considered your go-to-guy when you need a reception or big play. I like his combination of speed and size but he is lacking in one, if not the most important areas of wide receiver play in consistently making the catch with his hands and not his body. Jones should not be considered a potential 1st round pick and is much closer to the 3rd round than the former in my opinion.

North Carolina G Jonathon Cooper-

Jonathon Cooper has very good movement skills for a big man and all the tools necessary to become a starting guard at the next level. He should come back to school his Senior year and continue to refine his game in hopes of becoming one of the top overall prospect at his position for the 2013 NFL Draft.

Jonathon Cooper was a player who caught my eye in the game I watched between North Carolina and Virgina Tech. Only a Junior it would be wise for Cooper to by-pass the NFL this season and come back for his Senior season in my opinion. I say this because if he can continue to play at the level he has been playing this season next year, he should find himself towards the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft as one of the premier interior line prospects available. The 2012 NFL Draft will be top heavy with very talented OG prospects such as David DeCastro, Cordy Glenn, Keleche Osemele, and Kevin Zeitler that would likely push Cooper out of the initial two rounds and maybe even Day 2 altogether. The thing I love about Cooper is his superior movement skills for a man his size at 6-3 310 lbs. He is very agile and light on his feet and his quick release off the line of scrimmage gives him initial leverage and advantage in gaining positioning on his opponent. Due to Cooper’s athleticism he is capable of getting to the 2nd level almost effortlessly, making him a natural pulling guard capable of getting out in front on screens and other plays designed to the outside. At times Cooper can however be a little indecisive and could show more awareness when asked to get out in front and block for the ball carrier. On one designed screen in this game Cooper was hesitant and didn’t keep his eyes up field, allowing a defender to take down the ball carrier. With that said Cooper displays very good awareness in pass protection when working with team-mates and executing combination blocks. Cooper shows the awareness necessary to pick up stunting or twisting defensive tackles or delayed blitzes from linebackers. His athleticism and nimble feet allow him to re-direct and re-set quickly enough to pick up these oncoming defenders who threaten his zone. Another area I think Cooper could stand to work on is learning how to stick his foot in the ground and anchor. At times he was easily pushed back but held his own for the most part. Cooper has areas of his game to work on but the future will be bright for him if he can continue to develop his technique and work on his strength. Should Cooper declare he may fall behind other highly notable players at his position, but he will present one of the better values in the draft due to his upside as he continues to develop.

North Carolina DE Quinton Coples-

Coples may never become a feared pass rusher in the NFL but he has more than enough skills and ability to find a way to impact the game on a weekly basis.

Quinton Coples is a player who was projected by some to be a Top 5 overall type player entering this season. However, after a somewhat disappointing Senior season in which he drew extra attention and protection to his side of the field, Coples struggled to make much of an impact as he saw double and even triple teams on a weekly basis. Coples came on late this season and while he didn’t replicate or exceed the numbers he put up last year, he was still pretty effective given the circumstances he was facing. Many are projecting Coples to be a better fit in a 3-4 system, but he also has some value as a 4-3 DE in my opinion.  Coples does a good job using his hands to disengage from his opponent and force pressure on the quarterback or finding his way to the ball carrier. Coples shows natural strength and his impressive frame allows him to easily control his man at the point of attack before making his way to the ball carrier. Coples doesn’t show elite awareness as a read and react defensive end but he seems to understand containment and gap responsibility/discipline. North Carolina’s defense was gashed in this game but most of that came up the middle where the interior line was consistently moving defenders off the football and opening up huge holes to run through. While Coples isn’t necessarily to blame for this, he also made his share of mistakes that led to extra yardage as Missouri continually handed it to the North Carolina defense which is jam-packed with what some consider future NFL starters. Questions have arisen about Coples motor as it seems to run a little hot and cold at times, but for the most part I was generally pleased with the amount of effort he gave in pursuing to the football. Coples showed a lot of hustle in chasing down ball-carriers and seemed to be one of the only players on the UNC defense who was consistently giving their best effort.  Coples doesn’t possess elite quickness and speed to turn the corner but his combination of length, power, and athleticism make him a menace for opposing tackles responsible for containing him. Many times Coples is just one step away from getting to the quarterback but is just a second or step to late. In this game Coples was at the forefront of a forced turnover in which he disrupted the quarterbacks throwing motion leading to a mis-throw and one interception. I really appreciate how Coples always seems to pin-point the quarterbacks high shoulder and football when coming around the edge. The know with all to understand how to force fumbles and mental alertness to go after the football is an encouraging sign and something I think he will be very good at the next level. Coples may never be a 10 plus sack a season type player but he finds ways to make an impact and is a very solid player overall, who seems to  have a knack for forcing turnovers. While he may not have lived up to the Top 5 billing he was garnished with at the beginning of the season this is still a very solid player who shouldn’t fall out of the Top 15 picks overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.

North Carolina LB Zach Brown-

Zach Brown's inconsistencies in tackling and below average read and react skills make him a risky player to be drafted in the 1st round despite his athleticism.

North Carolina linebacker Zach Brown is one of the most physically gifted and athletic players eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft. He has shown elite burst and closing speed to get after the quarterback and many times he looks more like a secondary player than linebacker when asked to drop back into coverage. However, this was a very poor showing by Brown in this game as he accounted for multiple missed tackles and never truly wrapped up, which was something that had concerned me in his previous game I scouted. Brown was able to lay a big hit early in this game on a pass out in the flats on an unexpecting running back, but even on this play he simply dropped his head and threw his shoulder into the player rather than wrapping up. Brown was also able to make an acrobatic/athletic interception on a pass intended for a wide receiver 20 yards down the field. This speaks to the type of range Brown has as a player as he is able to cover a vast amount of ground. His interception showcased the impressive coverage, concentration, and ball skill ability he has as a player, which should entice many teams. However, this does not tell the whole story with Brown. Early on in the game he was caught out of position on a mis-direction play that subsequently went for six as Brown tried to recover but was too late in his recognition. On another play he was in pretty good position working the left sidelines in a zone coverage before he allowed Missouri Tight End Michael Egnew to sneak and sit down along the sideline behind him and secure the catch. On this play Brown got a little flat-footed and off-balance when the ball was in the air and seemed a little lost in coverage, allowing Egnew to make the play behind him. The biggest thing that concerns me about Brown is his lack of an impact in the run game. His instincts are only average at best and due to his slight size he tends to get caught up in the wash on many occasions. In fact it has been very rare to see Brown make many plays from behind the line of scrimmage as many of his tackles happen down the field. His lack of size has always been concerning but when you pair this with questionable instincts, recognition, and awareness you have a player that may in fact be a tad over-rated. Look, there is no doubting Zach Brown’s potential but the fact is he has many holes in his game and red-flags that do not make him a complete player. I would not feel comfortable drafting a player like Zach Brown in the 1st round and his stock will take a dip due to his performance in this game, where many of his weaknesses were polarized on a national stage.

North Carolina LB Kevin Reddick-

Kevin Reddick offers good size and tackling ability but has failed to make many impact plays and stand out for me much this season.

I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t  given Reddick the type of attention when scouting games that I should. However, I do feel like I have somewhat of a read on him as a player after watching some games he has played in this season. Todd McShay is a huge Reddick supporter and I can see why he would be. Reddick possesses good size for an NFL linebacker at 6-3 240 lbs. Reddick’s overall range and athleticism has been questioned by some but while he may not have elite quickness I do believe he has enough to make an impact and be effective at the next level. Reddick seems to have better overall instincts than team-mate Zach Brown and most definitely is the more reliable tackler of the two. Reddick also offers pretty good coverage skills as he is rarely caught out of position. I will agree that Reddick probably is a bit under-rated in comparison to his team-mate and fellow linebacker Zach Brown, but it should also be known that Brown may be one of the more over-rated players in this entire draft. Reddick failed to fill many holes and blow up plays before they happened in this game and is as much to blame for the struggles the UNC defense had in defending the run in this game as his fellow team-mates, including Zach Brown. Reddick failed to fill holes and make plays for a defense that struggled all night and never really made any impact plays the entire season, judging by his lack of a statistical output in the sack or interception/turnover categories. I still need to do more film work on Reddick but I would have to say the fact that he hasn’t really jumped off the film once to me when scouting other players on the UNC defense this season is a bit concerning for a player that many consider a Top 50 player.

Missouri TE Michael Egnew-

Egnew's combination of size, speed, and athleticism will entice team's looking for a player who can create the type of mis-match current NFL Tight Ends Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski present for NFL defenses everywhere.

Micahael Egnew is a player I have highlighted as being one of the more under-rated players at his position in this draft. Egnew offers great size and pretty impressive athleticism for a player of his stature. As I highlighted last time I spoke about Egnew here; Egnew is a player whose production has dropped off some this season, mostly as a result of losing star quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Egnew has always displayed strong hands and the unique ability to make the tough catch in traffic. His strong hands and physical demeanor after the catch are two of the things that most excite me about a player like Michael Egnew. Missouri likes to use Egnew lined up in the slot and off the line of scrimmage and he is very rarely asked to come down inside and become an in-line blocker. This is the biggest question mark with Egnew as he is definitely far from refined in this particular category and will need to work on his hand usage, strength, and technique to become a player who can make a positive contribution on running plays. However, Egnew is playing in the perfect era for his nearly perfect combination of size and physical skill-set as the Tight End position has changed from a more blocking based position to a position that values the ability to create mismatches and make a bigger impact in the passing game. Egnew looks to have just enough speed to stretch the defense vertically and find holes down the middle of the field (seams). It will be fun to watch what type of impact Egnew will have and how quickly teams pounce on a player that represents this type of value after seeing what players like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Jermichael Finley have done for their respective offenses.

Thanks again for reading my post, I hope you enjoyed and come back for more!

– Brandon

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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

Virginia Tech RB David Wilson-

David Wilson's incredible blend of speed, balance, and burst make him a supremely gifted and talented athlete. However, he still has some holes in his game that will need to be cleaned up before I can proclaim him as a future 1st round draft pick.

David Wilson has had a very solid Junior season in Blacksburg with 1627 yds. on 266 carries with 9 td’s (10 overall). Although he has yet to declare for the 2012 NFL Draft like other ACC standout RB Lamar Miller already has, Wilson will have a very tough decision to make considering his increasing draft stock. In past games I have watched of Wilson he has displayed an excellent blend of balance, speed, and burst. His ability to finish runs and continue to make yards after contact make him a very special weapon as well. In this game Wilson showed the same type of burst and top-end speed that makes him a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball. However, he still struggles to try and bounce things outside far too often and really believes in his speed too much at times. Playing against a defense like North Carolina really put this issue on full display as Wilson tried to force things outside against a defense that was just too fast and too disciplined to allow Wilson any running room inside or out throughout the game. This to me is the biggest difference to me between Wilson and Miller as Miller consistently takes what the defense gives him and gets up field in a hurry. I would like to see Wilson attack the line of scrimmage with more authority instead of bouncing it outside, trying to create something that isn’t there. It should also be noted that Wilson had done much of his damage against inferior competition in playing early season games against teams like Appalachian State, East Carolina, and Marshall. In this game he faced a legitimate defense with speed and talent and struggled to make an impact, which could be a concern depending on your vantage point. Wilson also showed a lack of blitz pick-up by more or less letting LB Zach Brown get to the QB, resulting in an errant and dangerous throw. I need to see him be much more physical and take on defenders to protect his QB before writing him off as a complete player and potential first round prospect. Wilson also had some ball-security issues in this game, coughing it up twice although one was not called a fumble and the other was luckily recovered by Virginia Tech. The skill is there for Wilson, but is obvious he is not yet there as a prospect as he is not as talented as former Virgina Tech RB Ryan Williams who went on to become a 2nd round pick last year.

Virginia Tech WR Jarrett Boykin-

Boykin is an intriguing prospect with size and speed. He shows the natural ability to make the tough catch look easy and seems to do the small things that make all the difference for his team.

Boykin is a player who has caught my eye on multiple occasions in the past and he continued to impress in this game. Boykin has an impressive frame standing 6-2 215 lbs. In this game Boykin really displayed his field awareness and natural hands as he routinely plucked the ball away from his frame and showed the uncanny ability to make the tough catch look easy. At times he has a tendency to let the ball get into his pads, but he seems to have above average mits for a WR at the next level. I love how he always knows where he is on the field at all times and comes down in bounds no matter where his body is in space. To me this is a skill that cannot be taught and shows just how much work he has put in to work on his superior concentration and receiving skills. Boykin also shows the ability to make plays both on the short and long routes, speaking largely about his ability to become a legitimate weapon at the next level. Boykin has already become Tech’s all-time leading receiver and his future sure seems bright as I see him becoming a solid #3 WR at the next level. Boykin is a player who does all the small things right, including working to make blocks downfield to spring his team-mates for a few extra yards. I have also noticed that Boykin has above average to good top-end speed to separate from defenders and his ability to create after the catch is also a plus in his book. Overall I like Boykin and think he will find a way to contribute at the next level in what is already a deep WR class. Somebody very well could be getting a steal with a player like Boykin in the 4th round or later.

Virginia Tech CB Jayron Hosley-

Hosley plays with a chip on his shoulder and shows a lot of heart, however his size might limit his effectiveness and ability to become a starter at the next level.

Hosley had a strong game overall and seemed to really be competing and bringing his A-game against one of the better receivers in the nation in North Carolina WR Dwight Jones. Hosley has a slight frame at 5-10 170 lbs., but seemed to be playing with a chip on his shoulder as he would not back down from anyone tonight. Hosley routinely came up in run support and did an above average job in taking down the ball-carrier, although he did miss on one occasion. He seems to be a reliable open field tackler who knows that the low man usually wins, as he consistently attacks his opponents by cutting their legs out from under them. On one pass down the sideline to Jones, Hosley failed to turn his head and locate the ball, although it was later concluded that Jones had actually pushed off to gain separation and offensive pass interference was called. Despite this I would still like to see Hosley get his head around much quicker, even if he was interfered with. Hosley seems to be most comfortable playing off coverage in a zone coverage scheme where he can mask some of his size deficiencies and convert on his skills to make a play on the football. On ca couple of occasions in this game Hosley did an exceptional job in playing the football and breaking up the pass. He shows above average awareness and ball skills to consistently bat balls away without drawing contact or costly pass interference calls. I have always had somewhat of a soft spot for undersized players who play with a lot of toughness and heart and that is exactly the type of player Hosley showed me he is with his play tonight. However, it will be difficult for Hosley to match up with taller more physical receivers due to his lack of great size or length. I love his toughness and attitude I’m just not sure he can match up with these type of players in the NFL on a consistent basis quite yet….more tape and information is needed before I can make this claim/assumption.

North Carolina DE Quinton Coples-

Quinton Coples displays an impressive combination of size, length, and strength. While he may not be a true edge rusher, Coples is one of the most complete players in this draft and should come off the board early.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Coples is his frame standing a strong 6-6 285 lbs. Coples numbers are down this year but that can largely be attributed to the double and even triple teams he has experienced at times this season. Teams are also doing a good job of using their RB’s to help chip before releasing out into their routes on Coples. Despite all this Coples numbers aren’t down that much and he has really starting to come on as of late. In this game Coples was in complete control and it was very easy to see his natural ability to effect the play on any down. One thing you notice when watching Coples is that he doesn’t exactly display the type of elite burst or get-off the line of scrimmage you would expect from an elite pass-rusher. You also notice that Coples tends to fire out of his stance a little high and his upright style can get him in trouble from time to time. This is not to say that Coples doesn’t display great athleticism and speed for his size, just that his burst and explosion off the line of scrimmage is not enough for tackles to be truely concerned with his speed around the corner. The area Coples excels at is utilizing his body and hands to create space between he and his defender to continually work the edge and force the QB up into the pocket. Coples is extremely effective at using his body lean and tight footwork/ankle flexibility to get below his opponent’s shoulder pads. He shows that he is very balanced, coordinated, and flexible and knows how to get after the QB despite his lack of true speed. In the run game Coples is your classic stack and shed player who knows how to hold the point and use his hands and leverage to routinely disengage from his defender and track down the ball carrier. Coples also did a nice job wrapping up and punching towards the football as he was able to jar the ball loose from RB David Wilson on more than one occasion in this game. Scouts have questioned Coples motor as he sometimes will stop pursuing and doesn’t show the type of consistent effort you would like from a top 10 player. However, in this game I saw a bit of both as Coples slowed up at times and at others kept pursuing to the football laying a vicious hit on an unexpecting RB on one occasion. It was also nice to see Coples get his hands up and deflect a pass when he knew he wasn’t going to make it to the QB. This was a game in which Virginia Tech left Coples in one on one situation more times than not and we saw exactly how impactful this big man can be when given these types of opportunities. There is no doubting Coples physical abilities and overall skills as he has the talent to become an impact player at the next level. While Coples may never be that true edge rusher in the NFL who puts up huge sack numbers, he has solid skills and size that will make him a very good pro. His ability to make an impact in both the run and pass game make him a complete player who can play all three downs as well. While he may not be the top 10 pick many projected him to be, this is still a very solid football player who should be the first player drafted at his position and come off the board within the top 15 picks if not sooner.

North Carolina LB Zach Brown-

There is little doubting Zach Brown's coverage and blitzing ability as he shows impressive burst and closing speed to get after the QB. However, his slight frame and inability to make much of an impact against the run has to concern most scouts and teams.

The “Zach Brown Band” as I like to call him displays incredible athleticism, however his size is a meer 6-2 230 lbs. One of things you have to appreciate about Brown is his coverage ability as he seems to feel very natural and comfortable settling into coverage. Brown has safety speed and cover skills to pick up backs coming out of the backfield and shows the ability to turn and run with players vertically when asked to. Brown is also an effective blitzer whose closing speed and acceleration/burst to get after the QB is second to none in this linebacker class and has even drawn comparisons to potential Defensive Rookie of the Year Von Miller now with the Denver Broncos. Brown’s knack for getting in the backfield and disrupting timing and passing lanes is something that cannot be taught and comes very natural to him. I would like to see him be utilized more in this capacity at UNC as I don’t believe his 5.5 sacks on the year do him any justice in this department and his skill-set could be used better by the Tarheel’s coaching staff. The questions I have in regards to Brown come in his ability to make any sort of impact in the run game. His smallish frame makes him an easy target for downfield blockers and most of his tackles happen down the field. He needs to become more aggressive and show me the type of instincts to consistently make plays in the backfield and disrupt plays before they happen. I will say that Brown is a pretty slippery player who knows how to avoid blocks and escape oncoming defenders, however I would like to see him stick his head in the play more often and show the type of aggressiveness and willingness to make an impact in the running game. Right now I am up in the air on Brown as I feel he has a very unique skill-set with his ability as a blitzer and player in coverage, but his ineffectiveness in the running game concerns me to a degree. Brown natural fit is at weak side linebacker in a 4-3 scheme and it will be imperative that whoever drafts him has the players up front to keep him clean and best utilize his skills in the areas of blitzing and coverage.

North Carolina WR Dwight Jones-

Dwight Jones had a lack-luster game overall and his effort in this game left a lot to be desired. I will be watching closely to see how he responds in his bowl game against Missouri on December 26th.

If there is one thing this draft has a ton of talent and size at it is at the WR position where Jones is one of many who displays great body size at 6-4 225 lbs. Lets just say this wasn’t one of Jones better games, although he was able to eclipse the 100 yard mark for the 5th time this season. One thing that has concerned me in the past about Jones is his tendency to let the ball get into his body and trap the ball against his shoulder pads. Jones did this again on a couple of occasions in this game resulting in one drop and a bobbled ball which he was able to haul in just before heading out-of-bounds. This shows me he doesn’t always trust his hands despite his impressive hand size. I need to see Jones pluck the ball away from his frame and show the natural hands that many other WR’s in this draft possess. I also came away unimpressed in Jones effort blocking downfield to help spring his team-mates. His angles and commitment seemed lack luster and truthfully half-ass and as if he was simply going through the motions at times. This definitely needs to change if he is going to get a complete grade from me as I need/want to see more effort to become an all around WR who helps out on plays he isn’t the necessarily the focus of the defense on. At one point Jones did make a nice catch in traffic along the sidelines but was subsequently called for an offensive pass interference for pushing off his defender to create separation. I’m not quite sold on Jones deep speed or acceleration/burst just yet, but that will come with more film work, when I can get a better feel for him overall as an NFL prospect. This was not the type of game I expected from Jones who is considered one of the better WR prospects in this draft. I will be watching closely to see how he follows up this performance against Missouri in the Independence Bowl December 26th, 2011.

North Carolina G Jonathon Cooper-

North Carolina Guard Jonathon Cooper plays with very good technique and his quick feet/athleticism are a strength that give him an advantage in both the run and pass game.

Jonathon Cooper was a player who caught my eye in this game and for very good reason. The area Cooper excels in is his ability to shuffle and move his feet as he shows the type of nimbleness and lateral agility to consistently get him in great position to execute his block. Cooper is extremely light on his feet and always keeps his feet moving and shuffling, allowing him to re-direct and re-set quickly. He also plays with good overall technique, always maintaining a wide base and active hands, although he could stand to drop his butt more as he is somewhat of a waist bender. The other area that was impressive to me was Cooper’s ability to fire low out of his stance and gain initial leverage and position on his opponent, allowing him to consistently seal off his player from the ball. Jonathon’s ability to keep his pad level low and keep chopping his feet allowed him to consistently move his defender off the ball and create room to run for his back. In the pass game Cooper displays good patience and gets good arm extension to wall-off his defender from his body. I wouldn’t say that Cooper displays a powerful punch or over-powering strength, but his sound technique and active/good hand placement allows him to control his defender on a relatively consistent basis. Cooper also did some pulling in this game and was extremely effective at getting out in front and locking onto the first defender. He did a nice job breaking down while hitting a moving target, although he was somewhat over-anxious on occasion to pre-maturely release to the 2nd level and was thus called for an ineligible player down the field penalty. The other thing I liked was how he always seemed to play with his head on a swivel, actively searching for and picking up players who threaten his zone on combination blocks. Cooper is definitely a player you can trust to use out in space and get out in front of his runner on screens, due to his supreme athleticism and quick feet. Cooper is a player I am excited to watch more film on as he shows a very good skill set that translates nicely to the pro game. Right now Cooper is a better run blocker that pass blocker at this point, but shows good enough ability in the passing game to be effective. Watch out for Cooper if he declares to be a player who might move into the top 100 selections before it’s all said and done and surprise some people who unaware about this big man’s pro potential.