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Brandon Weeden has many of the tools you look for in a franchise quarterback but will be 29 years old early next season. He certainly has the type of arm talent you look for but his lack of anticipation, mobility/improvisation, and tendency to force throws into coverage make him a risky pick in the 1st round. I do believe Weeden should be an early day 2 pick, but his age severely limits his upside because of the limited amount of time he has to make an impact in the NFL.

Grading Scale:

  1. Poor
  2. Average
  3. Above Average
  4. Very Good
  5. Elite

 

Measurables:

Brandon Weeden possesses good size for the position standing at 6-3 220 lbs.  Weeden could stand to add some extra weight in muscle but his size and stature is more than adequate to see over the offensive line and scan the entire field. He has a good build for an NFL quarterback and should be able to absorb and bounce back from some of the hits he will take in the NFL. There should be little concern about Weeden’s size for the position moving forward.

Grade: 3.75

Arm Strength:

Overall I like Weeden’s arm strength as he shows the ability to make throws to all levels of the field both inside and outside the hash marks. His velocity is good and the ball comes out clean and tight with good trajectory, throwing a very catchable ball. Weeden also possesses the ability to throw with velocity on the move and seems to know how to mix up his arm strength and ball speed depending on the complexity/length of the throw. I wouldn’t say Brandon Weeden is capable of making all the throws quite yet but his arm strength is good enough to make many of the throws that will be asked of him, and it could simply be an issue of not having the opportunity in the offense he played in to fully show off this skill-set of his. When given a clean pocket Weeden does a nice job stepping into his throws and driving the ball down field into tight windows with defenders present. Here, Weeden executes nice weight transfer and snaps through his hips to fire the ball into tight windows with accuracy. I have always appreciated this aspect of Weeden’s game as it shows me he has confidence and trust his arm to place the ball where it needs to be with proper zip and speed. I’m excited to see Weeden throw at the Combine and I think he will do well in showcasing the type of arm talent that made him such a great baseball player and led him to being a high draft pick for the New York Yankees.

Grade: 3.75

Accuracy:

Perhaps Brandon Weeden’s most impressive trait is his accuracy. Weeden does an exceptional job with ball placement, consistently putting the football where only his man can get it. He is also very talented at dropping the ball in a basket, so to speak over the top of coverage and between defenders. This shows me he is great trust and confidence in his arm as he is not afraid to turn it loose when defenders are present. It also speaks to his uncanny and natural ability to use proper touch and arc on his throws. Weeden is also very good at putting the ball over the correct shoulder on deep throws, which speaks again to his superb and natural ball placement skills. Weeden does however struggle in the face of pressure and seems to fall away from his throws to avoid being hit, which can lead to inaccurate throws and questionable decisions at times. Weeden needs to tweak and refine his footwork to a certain degree as he tends to struggle after he has to re-set feet and move off of his initial launching point. With that said, Weeden is an extremely tough player to defend when he is given time and room to work (clean pocket). He is a very rhythmic quarterback who can hurt you when he does not have pressure in his face, which makes him a very dangerous and hard player to defend…we all have seen what Tom Brady can do when you don’t consistently get pressure in his face. Weeden can pick you apart and make you pay if you’re unable to achieve and establish consistent inside pressure and push.

Grade: 4

Mechanics:

Brandon Weeden’s throwing mechanics are pretty solid overall but he could stand to work on a couple of things. He displays a natural rock and bounce to coil up into his throws and he plays very well-balanced throughout his entire throwing motion. As was touched on earlier, his feet do need some work and he is only average in respect to his ability to escape the pocket and make plays out on the edge. His delivery is clean and relatively compact. However, Weeden does have a bad habit of patting the ball before he corks and delivers, but this seems to be an issue having came from his background in baseball and can be fixed with more repetitions and time with a quarterbacks coach. Weeden does at times show a hitch in his throwing motion, however this happens pretty rarely and is relatively minor at this juncture. Weeden does a good job throwing on the run, but again could stand to work on his footwork in relation to getting his body around and in positioning (square to target) to execute a clean throw. However, he displays good accuracy and loses little in terms of velocity when throwing on the move to the outside. Weeden also relies on his arm strength a little too much while on the move, and tends to drop his shoulder and wind up before making the pass. Many of Weeden’s mechanical mistakes are correctable but these are just a few I have noticed. All in all he seems to be pretty competent and comfortable in this area and is above average in my assessment.

Grade: 3.5

Mobility/Improvisation:

An area of Weeden’s game that is not the greatest comes in terms of his mobility and ability to make things happen once the play breaks down. Weeden does a nice job of keeping his eyes down field when forced to move off his spot but lacks the type of foot speed and athleticism to be considered a threat to beat you with his legs. I’m just not sold on his ability to move off his first read and work through his progressions quite yet. Seems to have his mind made up pre-snap and gets a little lazy with his overall mechanics and footwork at times…may have some concentration issues. Having a star wide receiver like Justin Blackmon definitely helped Weeden out at times as he sometimes forced the football to the two-time Bilitnikoff award winner…may not have this luxury in NFL. Played in a spread system in college and may take some time learning to read while working away from center, although I was impressed with his ability to grasp this at the Senior Bowl. Not one of Weeden’s finer points but has the opportunity to prove some doubters/skeptics wrong at the upcoming combine with a good performance.

Grade: 2.5

Pocket Presence:

Looks cool, calm, and collected in the pocket while standing tall to decipher and see the entire field. Keeps his eyes downfield and does a good job working inside the pocket, knowing when to slide or shuffle his feet to avoid pressure. Doesn’t have the foot speed to consistently escape pressure and does not possess the type of athleticism to make plays with his feet and avoid sacks, although he does have enough ability to buy himself a few more seconds on occasion. Looks genuinely poised and confident in the pocket but will struggle when having to move off his launch point and re-direct his body positioning…classic pocket passer. Has improved in this area with time and game seems to be slowing down for him some as he gains more experience.

Grade: 3.25

Football Intelligence/Decision Making Skills:

Brandon Weeden has a tendency to force the ball on occasion, although his decision making skills have improved with more experience and starts under his belt. Seems to understand pre-snap reads to a degree and will occasionally check out of the play and alter his play call at the line of scrimmage. Has a rudimentary understanding of where to go with the football but has a tendency to both stare down his receivers and almost seems to have his mind made up pre-snap with where he wants to go with the football. Gets a little lazy in this department as he depended on Blackmon’s skills too much on occasion and was bailed out by his stellar play many times from what I have seen on film. Would like to get a feel for the type of understanding Weeden has for coverages and what dictated some of the decisions he made. Seems to have a good feel for mis-matches dictated by coverage so I would like to think his understanding is pretty efficient, I just question his tendency to rely too much on the talents of his big name receiver to make him look better than he may actually be. Believe playing in spread system really limited the amount of information Weeden was asked to process, as well as how to effectively work through his progressions in a timely and efficient manner. Need to see more from him in terms of making good post-snap decisions with the football as he tends to lock on to a receiver and stare his man down for an inappropriate amount of time.

Grade: 3

Anticipation:

Anticipation to me is one of the most fundamental things a quarterback can possess and it has been harder and harder to evaluate college quarterbacks skill in this area with the popularity of the spread offense in today’s college football. One of the biggest issues I have with Brandon Weeden is that he seems to almost be waiting for his man to come open before getting rid of the football. He needs to show much more anticipatory skills in feeling when his man is about to come open, as he tends to wait for his receiver to come out of his break before letting it loose. This is an issue because I am not sure or sold on the fact that Weeden can throw his man open if coverage is pretty tight. He definitely has the tools, as his ball placement and accuracy is very good but this is one of the things lacking in Weeden’s game overall. The problem with these spread quarterbacks is that it is very difficult to make this assessment, or be too harsh in this area for the simple fact that there isn’t enough evidence to say he can or can’t make these type of throws. With that said from what I have gathered and been able to see to this point it does not seem Weeden does a very good job of this from the rare occurrences he was asked to make a throw before his receiver came out of his route while working in Mike Gundy’s prolific spread offense attack. This is one of the main reasons I cannot give Weeden a first round grade, other than the fact that he will be 29 years old next October.

Grade: 2.75

Intangibles:

A highly recruited baseball player who went on to become a 2nd round pick of the New York Yankees in the 2002 MLB Draft. Speaks highly of his athleticism and the fact that he has been paid to play professionally is a plus in the minds of scouts and general managers. Is in his late twenties and is more mentally mature than most entering the league. Has a wife and is said to have sound character and work ethic, who does a great job preparing and putting in the work to be the best he can be. Seems to go about his business in a professional manner and seems to be a self-starter. Gave up baseball career and moved on to football at Oklahoma State where he would eventually win the starting job and go on to set numerous school passing records. Has a history of injuries, including a shoulder problem that derailed his baseball career. Also played through the 2010 season with a ruptured tendon in his right throwing thumb, speaking to his mental and physical toughness. Performed very well against other notable quarterbacks this past season and was able to earn his team the win against players like Matt Barkley, Ryan Tannehill, Robert Griffin, and Andrew Luck. Will be a 29-year-old rookie next October and may only have 6-8 years in the league. Issue moving forward will be whether he can come in and start his rookie season or whether he needs further development and time.

Grade: 4

Overall Grade/Total Score:

30.5/9 = 3.39

Above Average-Good

Projection:

Brandon Weeden has many of the skills you look for in a potential franchise quarterback, such as his arm strength and accuracy, however there are too many question marks for me to consider him a first round pick at this point. The fact that he played in a spread offense in college masked many of his deficiencies and played well into his strengths as a passer. Also, having a player like Justin Blackmon certainly did wonders in terms of the stats he was able to put up, although he does deserve a lot of credit for what he was able to accomplish at Oklahoma State. I do think you can win with Weeden but the age thing is just too much for me to get over personally. I’m not sold that he can come in and start right away with relative success and genuinely believe he needs to go to a team with some pieces in place already, and not to a team trying to rebuild. A team like the New York Jets would be an ideal landing spot for Weeden in my estimation, seeing that they already have a pretty talented team and there have been rumblings about whether or not Mark Sanchez is the answer. I fully consider Weeden to be a much better prospect than Chris Weinke, who was also an over-aged quarterback entering the league, so I will not make that comparison here. Weeden can play but the question is how soon can he start and make your team better? In my estimation that is at least a year down the road and although he has good tools in place, one can’t help but notice he will turn 29 at the beginning of next season. I still consider Weeden a Top 50 player and 2nd round pick but his upside is limited due to his age. If Weeden was 24, we would be talking about a first round pick but that is not the case unfortunately.

Thanks for reading my report-

-Brandon

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Post All-Star/Pre-Combine Mock Draft:

Posted: February 7, 2012 in 2012 NFL Mock Draft
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The official draft order is nearly all but set, and with just over two weeks until the start of the 2012 NFL Combine I have come out with my 2nd mock draft of the season. These projections are based on specific team needs and the value each player presents to the prospective team I have matched them up with. I would love to hear any input or feedback you have about your favorite teams pick as I am constantly searching for ideas on who should go where. Hope you enjoy the content!

1- Indianapolis Colts: QB Andrew Luck

The more we hear about Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts decision to pick up his contract or not, the more I feel like they will choose to let him walk and take the best quarterback prospect to come out since Peyton in Stanford’s Andrew Luck.

2- St. Louis Rams: OT Matt Kalil

The Rams could choose to trade down here but I think it would be wise of them to invest in a franchise left tackle like Kalil. Sam Bradford was abused last season and although they need to add pass catchers, protecting their investment is much more important…not to mention this is a deep draft class for wide receivers and franchise left tackles are much harder to find than #1 wide receivers. Bradford has been sacked over 2.5 times per game in his 26 career starts with the Rams.

*3- Washington Redskins: QB Robert Griffin III

*Projected Trade w/Vikings

Normally I don’t like to include trades within my mock drafts but the Vikings lost out on Kalil and could stand to add draft picks, while teams like the Redskins will be looking to trade up to get in front of the Browns for the opportunity to select dynamic play-maker Robert Griffin III. The Redskins have seen what a player like Michael Vick can bring to the table in the NFC East and will jump at the opportunity to add one of the most exciting players in this draft.

4- Cleveland Browns: RB Trent Richardson

The Browns lose out on RG3 but find a dynamic player themselves in Richardson, who can get the running game going and help out Colt McCoy and the struggling offense. Peyton Hillis has fallen out of favor in Cleveland and Montario Hardesty has shown and done little with the opportunities he has been given to this point. The Browns aren’t quite ready to give up on Colt McCoy before they provide him with some play makers on offense, and adding Richardson’s services will surely help open up the passing game.

5- Tampa Bay Bucanneers: CB Morris Clairborne

In a division against teams like the Saints, Falcons, and Panthers who all have dynamic offenses and key players at the skill positions, the Buccaneers would prove wise to invest in secondary players who can limit these dynamic offenses. Clairborne is a potential shut-down corner who has great length and ball skills. Clairborne can come in and immediately start for a secondary that is becoming somewhat devoid of talent.

*6- Minnesota Vikings: OT Riley Reiff

*Projected trade w/Redskins

The Vikings missed out on Kalil but are able to move back and secure some picks for their future, while nabbing the 2nd best offensive tackle prospect in this draft. Reiff is a mid-western guy who excelled at wrestling at his high school in South Dakota. Reiff can immediately come in and start at right tackle for the Vikings, with the potential to move to the left side as he gains more experience. Justin Blackmon is an enticing option for the Vikings but protecting Christian Ponder is far more important to his development, as they will be able to secure a good wide receiver with later picks and potentially move back up into the first with the picks they would receive from the Redskins if they so choose.

7- Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Quinton Coples

Another tough decision for the Jaguars as Justin Blackmon is still available. However, the Jags choose to go in a different direction as Coples presents the most value. I think Blackmon will fall some after a disappointing showing in the 40 yard dash at the Combine so Coples is the choice here.

*8- Carolina Panthers: DT/DE Michael Brockers

*Picks 8 & 9 determined by coin flip

The offense got a big boost with the addition of Cam Newton and resurgence of Steve Smith at the wide receiver position so management chooses to address the defense this season. Brockers is a tall and big defensive lineman who can play in multiple schemes. He is a bit raw as a pass rusher and needs to develop more consistency, but Brocker’s upside is undeniable. Brockers has Richard Seymour type upside and with experience and coaching could become one of the better run stoppers in the league for a team who struggled to stop the run all season.

*9- Miami Dolphins: DE/OLB Melvin Ingram

*Picks 8 & 9 determined by coin flip

The Dolphins lack a quality pass rusher outside of Cameron Wake so they decide to choose one of the most dynamic and versatile defensive players in this entire draft. Ingram has explosive burst and is an incredible athlete for his size, who has the added capability to line up all over the defensive line and attack the oppositions quarterback from multiple angles. Ingram is an intriguing pawn piece for any defensive coordinator, especially those who are creative.

10- Buffalo Bills: OLB Courtney Upshaw

Perhaps the premier outside linebacker in this draft, Upshaw plays the run and pass very well and shows great understatement of leverage and how to disengage. He is incredibly effective a turning speed into power and although the Bills could use some help on the offensive side of the ball, Upshaw is just too good to pass up at this point.

*11- Kansas City Chiefs: OG David DeCastro

*Picks 11 & 12 determined by coin flip

Just falling out of the top 10, DeCastro is one of the best interior lineman to come out in quite some time. The running game is very important to the Chiefs offensive philosophy and although a Tackle like DeCastro’s team-mate Jonathon Martin could make some sense here; DeCastro is the better player of the two and presents the most value.

*12- Seattle Seahawks: QB Ryan Tannehill

*Picks 11 & 12 determined by coin flip

Pete Carrol has been tap dancing around selecting a franchise quarterback and it’s time he finally pulls the trigger and finds his franchise signal caller. Tannehill has a lot of tools to work with and a ton of upside as a passer, however he does need time and would be best served to sit an learn for a season before taking the reigns. Tannehill only has 19 career starts after playing Wide Receiver for the Aggies his first two seasons at Texas A&M.

13- Arizona Cardinals: OT Jonathon Martin

Although I am not sold on Martin becoming a left tackle in the NFL there is no doubting his run blocking abilities and should be an instant fit/upgrade over incumbent starter Levi Brown.

14- Dallas Cowboys: CB Janoris Jenkins

An almost forgotten man, Jenkins shined during Senior Bowl week and is heading in the right direction. The Cowboys need to address the secondary and upgrade the talent on the back-end. Jenkins has fluid hips and displays sound footwork and balance. If Jenkins can clear his name and get people to forgive and forget his past that lead him to being dismissed from the Florida football team he could wind up in the top 20 selections.

15- Philadelphia Eagles: LB Luke Kuechly

One of the biggest weaknesses of the Eagles defense this season was the play of the linebackers as they were consistently washed out and became liabilities against the run. It’s clear that Casey Matthews isn’t the answer at liddle Linebacker and adding a player with Kuechly’s instincts and recognition skills would be a step in the right direction for a team that struggled to find their defensive identity all season.

16- New York Jets: WR Justin Blackmon

Blackmon’s free fall finally stops with the Jets as he presents great value at this point for a team in need of some pass catchers. Plaxico Burress is unlikely to resign and Holmes criticism of quarterback Mark Sanchez has put him in the doghouse as  locker room disruption. Blackmon is not overly fast or athletic and will disappoint in the 40 yard dash at the Combine at Indy. Nevertheless, Blackmon can become a reliable red-zone target for a team that struggled in the red-zone last season.

17- Cincinnati Bengals (From Raiders): CB Dre Kirkpatrick

A recent drug related arrest in which charges were dropped still has Kirkpatrick’s maturity and character in question. However, teams like the Bengals have generally looked past these off the field issues. Kirkpatrick is long, athletic, and physical and fills a big need for the Bengals after losing Jonathon Joseph to free agency last season and Leon Hall this season to an achilles injury.

18- San Diego Chargers: DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus

The Chargers are in desperate need of a pass rush and former first round pick Larry English has not worked out and has disappointed to this point in his career. Mercilus put up huge numbers this season after accumulating 16 sacks, 9 forced fumbles, and 22.5 tackles for a loss. Mercilus will likely be asked to switch positions and play 3-4 outside linebacker so it will be imperative that he can make the switch, so be sure to pay close attention to this during the upcoming Combine.

19- Chicago Bears: WR Michael Floyd

The Bears have put off drafting a top talent wide receiver prospect for Jay Cutler for far too long, so now is the time to add a big playmaker. Floyd has great size and can become the big play threat the Bears have been lacking on offense at the position for quite some time. Martz is out and Mike Tice has taken over the reigns and will surely pounce at the opportunity to add a player of Floyd’s caliber.

20- Tennessee Titans: DT Devon Still

The Titans have long been looking for Albert Hayneworth’s replacement, even after rookies Karl Klug and Jurrell Casey have demonstrated some success and ability in their first seasons. Still is a massive man with loads of upside due to his impressive size and strength. Still has powerfully violent hands, can stack and shed, and knows how to knife into the opponent’s backfield. He needs to develop more consistency but has too much upside to pass up.

21- Cincinnati Bengals: RB Doug Martin

Doug Martin enjoyed a very successful trip to the Senior Bowl and has opened up some eyes in the scouting community. Martin is built low to the ground and exhibits a powerful enough lower body to fight through contact and break arm tackles. He is also an effective receiver out of the backfield who would add another wrinkle/dimension to the Bengals suddenly potent offense with the likes of Dalton and Green.

22- Cleveland Browns (From Falcons): WR Kendall Wright

The Browns continue to add playmakers around Colt McCoy with the addition of Wright. Wright has incredible speed and athleticism and is capable of stretching the defense vertically to hit the home run. His ability to make plays all over the field is incredibly enticing and he should shine during his Combine performances. The run on wide receivers is beginning so it wouldn’t be shocking to see a rush on them at this point in the draft, with teams looking to move up to secure their rights.

23- Detroit Lions: OG/OT Cordy Glenn

The Lions have avoided adding offensive lineman and now is the time to invest with a great young player at quarterback and expiring and aging players at key positions on the offensive front (Backus, Raiola). Glenn is a mammoth human being with an incredible wingspan and natural feet and balance. He proved well at the Senior Bowl and looks to be able to play multiple positions along the offensive line which will only add to his value.

24- Pittsburgh Steelers: OT Mike Adams

Mike Adams was probably the biggest beneficiary of the Senior Bowl and is now beginning his ascension up NFL Draft Boards. The Steelers have a great need along the offensive front to help protect their ailing quarterback Ben Roethlesberger and Mike Adams can come in and contribute his rookie season.

25- Denver Broncos: DT Fletcher Cox

The Broncos struck gold with pass rush specialist Von Miller last season but now must get bigger up front and provide more of an inside pass rush. Cox can do this thanks to his superior motor and hustle on every play. He’s a versatile defensive lineman who can line up along a couple positions on the defensive line and would greatly help out a team in need of an inside presence. The Broncos could also consider Michigan State’s Jerel Worthy.

26- Houston Texans: S Mark Barron

The Texans defense flourished under first year defensive coordinator Wade Phillips but can stand to get better yet. Adding a player like Barron would give the secondary another playmaker capable of helping out against both the run and pass. Barron has recently been linked to a double sports hernia that could keep him out into July/August, which could greatly affect his draft stock moving forward.

27- New England Patriots (From New Orleans): WR Alshon Jeffrey

The New England Patriots were exposed in the Super Bowl for a couple different reasons, but a lack of a big time playmaker in the receiving game certainly did not help. Jeffrey is a big bodied receiver who excelled during his Sophomore season at South Carolina but failed to make the same impact this season. Adding a player with Jeffrey’s skill set would add another dimension to this highly explosive offense and give them another reliable red-zone option outside of Rob Gronkowski. Bill Bellicheck loves boom or bust type players and the risk here is relatively low while the rewards could be infinite.

28- Green Bay Packers: OLB/DE Nick Perry

The Packers have nearly everything they need outside of a big time Running Back on offense, but could use another pass rusher to take some of the pressure and attention off of Clay Matthews. Perry played 4-3 defensive end at USC but looks to have the agility and athleticism to make the move to 3-4 Outside Linebacker in the NFL. Perry is extremely quick off the snap and shows natural burst as a pass rusher off the edge. Perry needs work playing against the run but he is more than capable of giving the Packers another pass rush specialist outside of the “Claymaker”.

29- Baltimore Ravens: LB Vontaze Burfict

Everyone is aware of Burfict’s on field antics that have gotten him in trouble and lead to his attitude and character becoming in question. Burfict needs structure and support by a veteran based group of players that can lead him down the right road so to speak. A player of Ray Lewis’s caliber can do this for the young and somewhat immature Burfict, as there is little doubting his physical abilities to become a special player…he just needs leadership and guidance which the Ravens organization can definitely offer.

30- San Francisco 49er’s: WR Mohamed Sanu

One of the biggest surprises this season was the performance of the 49er’s under first year head coach Jim Harbaugh, who came up one win shy of playing in the Super Bowl. Adding a player like Sanu to help out the 49er’s inept passing game is a must this off-season, whether it be through the draft or free agency. Sanu brings a physical precense to the position and is a very reliable target with sure hands. His toughness and downfield blocking ability is something Harbabugh will appreciate as it fits the mold the 49er’s are trying to establish.

31- New England Patriots: DE/DT Jared Crick

The Patriots have struggled to find a replacement on the defensive line who can make the sort of impact Richard Seymour had during his time in New England. Crick would have went higher but a season ending injury has set him back some, making him available for the Patriots here. Crick is a big bodied player who has the versatility to play inside or out and fit multiple schemes. Crick appears to be the type of player Bellichick tends to fall in love with as he has loads of upside if he can overcome his past injury issues.

32- New York Giants: TE Dwayne Allen

The defending Super Bowl champions have other needs such as ILB, CB, and OT but Tight End becomes an even greater need after critical knee injuries to both Jake Ballard and Tony Beckum in the Super Bowl. Allen is considered the most complete Tight End because of his ability to line up on as an in-line blocker, while also showing the versatility and athleticism to stretch the seam and become a reliable down field target. The Giants could also consider LB Dont’a Hightower with their first pick.

-Hope you enjoyed this post-

-Brandon

*Rankings are as of Super Bowl Sunday (2/5/12) and are bound to change between now and the 2012 NFL Draft in April. Here is the list of players I currently feel have 1st round ability and deserve consideration. Feel free to criticize and discuss these rankings, I look forward to your input and thoughts.

 QB Andrew Luck Stanford: Always has and always will be the top player on this Big Board. Luck has so much football talent and intelligence it isn’t even fair. If the NFL was to do a mock draft involving all 32 NFL teams, Luck would likely go in the Top 10 overall…he’s that good.

2- LT Matt Kalil USC: Elite athleticism and length make Kalil a very good pass protector and future Pro-Bowl type player. His range and ability to ride defenders around the edge make him a potential franchise Left Tackle.

3- RB Trent Richardson Alabama: Richardson is an elite prospect who will probably get drafted later than he actually should because of lack of draft value for the position he plays in the NFL. Richardson’s ability to consistently pick up yards after contact make him one of the better backs overall to come out in quite some time.

4- QB Robert Griffin III Baylor: The Heisman winner has elite physical talent and forces the defense to cover every square inch of the football field. The question with Griffin will be if he can hold-up physically and stay healthy in the NFL due to his slighter frame for the position.

5- CB Morris Clairborne LSU: Elite size, length, and athleticism while possessing great ball skills make Clairborne a potential shut-down corner capable of playing on an island and shutting down one half of the football field.

6- WR Justin Blackmon Oklahoma State: Not overly athletic or fast, Blackmon does most of his damage by executing on underneath type routes. possessing excellent body control and spacial awareness, Blackmon has the makings of a #1 type receiver in the NFL who can make an instant impact in the highly important red-zone.

7- OT Riley Reiff Iowa: Excellent technique make this former All-State wrestler a potential starting Left Tackle in the NFL. his background in the sport gives him a very deep understanding of leverage and hand placement, while also displaying his toughness and tenacity in both the run and pass game.

8- DE Quinton Coples North Carolina: Not your classic pass-rush specialist with speed to threaten the Edge, Coples does his damage by playing with excellent dis-engagement skills thanks to his powerful and violent hands. Coples may not be a 10+ sack guy a season but he is impressive against both the run and pass and will find a way to be effective at the next level.

9- DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw Alabama: Upshaw is a little on the shorter size but don’t underestimate the amount of power Upshaw has. He plays with excellent leverage and can dis-engage from opponents thanks to his superior hand to hand combat skills. Upshaw will make for a very good starting 3-4 OLB in the NFL, who could have a Von Miller type impact if put into the right system.

10- G David DeCastro Stanford: The most impressive interior blocker in all of college football last season, DeCastro has the physical tools to be the 1st player drafted at his position in the Top 10 since The New Orleans Saints selected Chris Naeole with the 10 overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft.

11- LB Luke Kuechly Boston College: Incredible instincts and recognition skills, Luke Kuechly more than makes up for his lack of elite range and athleticism by displaying an incredible feel and understanding of the game.

12- DT Devon Still Penn State: The most dominant player at his position in college football this past season, Still’s ability to penetrate the backfield and affect both the pass and rush makes him a valuable player. Still needs to develop more consistency to his game and is a big risk-reward type player, but he was simply a man amongst boys this season and has incredible upside to his game.

13- S Mark Barron Alabama: Easily the best safety prospect in this class Barron possesses the ability to play the point in coverage as well as come up as an in the box type safety and fill running lanes.

14- T Jonathon Martin Stanford: Martin had the all important task of protecting Andrew Luck’s blind side the past two seasons at Stanford and did an admirable job for the most part. I still have questions about his ability keep with speed rushers and defend players who can turn speed into power in the NFL. Martin hasn’t proven to me that he can stick at Left Tackle in the NFL and I see him more of a Right Tackle where his good run blocking skills would be most taken advantage of.

15- CB Janoris Jenkins North Alabama: A nearly forgotten man, Jenkins flashed the impressive skills that made him such an intriguing prospect while at Florida. After an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl, Jenkins is riding a nice wave into the draft season and beginning to get back into good graces with scouts and general managers around the NFL.

16- DT/DE Michael Brockers: A rare red shirt sophomore who has decided to declare, Brockers has shown flashes of brilliance, leading to comparisons to All-Pro Richard Seymour of the Oakland Raiders. Brockers doesn’t have much film available but his upside is undeniably high and scouts are split on where he should end up in the NFL Draft. Brockers will be one of the players to watch closely this Draft season and is truly a boom or bust type player.

17- C Peter Konz Wisconsin: One of my personal favorites in the 2012 NFL Draft, Konz is one of the best center prospects to come out in quite some time, and maybe the best to come out of the Big Ten since New York Jets Center Nick Mangold. Konz plays with great technique and executes line calls/adjustments pre-snap to get his men on the same page before the play. Konz also flashes a mean streak and nice tenacity by finishing plays and driving his opponents to the ground. Konz should be the first player drafted at his position by a wide margin.

18- DE/OLB/DT Melvin Ingram South Carolina: A versatile player who excelled in one on one drills at the Senior Bowl, Ingram possesses incredible quickness and acceleration off the football. He needs to work on his technique a little bit,but his upside as a pass-rush specialist is undeniable, as he is capable of attacking the quarterback from multiple angles.

19- WR Michael Floyd Notre Dame: Floyd had the opportunity to compete at the Senior Bowl and stake claim to the #1 overall Senior Wide Receiver in this draft but surprisingly turned down the opportunity. luckily Baylor’s Kendall Wright also did not participate because of an injury, however Floyd has a lot to prove come Combine time when his talents will be on full display for evaluators.

20- CB Dre Kirkpatrick Alabama: A recent drug-related arrest for possession of marijuana has Kirkpatrick’s draft stock in limbo. There is no doubting his combination of size, length, and overall athleticism but Kirkpatrick did himself no favors by getting into trouble with the law before the biggest job interview of his life. Kirkpatrick has a lot to prove and a lot of questions about his character and maturity to answer before he can be considered an elite prospect once again.

21- OT Mike Adams Ohio State: Perhaps the biggest riser from the Senior Bowl, Adams consistently looked the part by shutting down multiple pass-rushers during one on one drills. His performance in the game against players like Melvin Ingram and Courtney Upshaw was also impressive and has his draft stock climbing in he right direction.

22- WR Kendall Wright Baylor: Wright is a highly explosive player whose speed and athleticism make him a big play threat in the NFL. Wright will be competing closely with fellow Senior Wide Receiver Michael Floyd for the #2 spot behind Justin Blackmon in the 2012 NFL Draft.

23- OT/OG Cordy Glenn Georgia: Glenn is a mountain of a man who I consider a “dancing bear” because of his impressive movement skills and nimble footwork. Glenn did surprisingly well at Left Tackle during the Senior Bowl and his added versatility to play Right Tackle or Guard in the NFL makes him a very intriguing prospect.

24- QB Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M: Tannehill is a former Wide Receiver who has all the tools to become a franchise quarterback at the next level…he just needs time to develop and should not be asked to start immediately in his rookie season.

25- RB Lamar Miller Miami: The acceleration Miller shows in and out of his cuts is an extremely rare and impressive trait. His home run ability should get him drafted in the 1st round despite off-season shoulder surgery.

26- DT Dontari Poe Memphis: A mammoth nose tackle, Poe could become the premier player at his position in this draft, which will undoubtedly send his draft stock soaring. I haven’t been able to find or watch much film on Poe for myself but have like what I have heard and found from respected talent evaluators in the industry.

27- WR Alshon Jeffrery South Carolina: An immensely gifted and towering wide receiver, Jeffery is one of the harder players to grade in this entire draft class. Jeffrey was essentially un-coverable last season and struggled some this year to gain separation and make the same type of impact he did during his Sophomore season. With that said, Jeffrey is incredibly gifted and deceptively fast, while using his big body to shield defenders from himself and the football. The off-season will be very important for Jeffrey in determining his draft stock, but comparisons to former USC Wide Receiver Mike Williams will hurt his draft value a bit.

28- LB Vontaze Burfict Arizona State: Burfict has all the talent in the world, however questions about his mental-makeup and attitude have scouts turned off a bit. Burfict will need to clear up these questions if he is to rise any leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.

29- CB Alfonzo Dennard Nebraska: What some considered a poor performance from Dennard at the Senior Bowl, I was acutally impressed with how he responded and came out and competed after the amount of criticism he received after practice on Monday. If anything the Senior Bowl proved the weaknesses some scouts had leading up to the Senior Bowl about Dennard’s ability to flip his hips and turn and run with receivers down the field. Dennard is much more comfortable playing off coverage and fits best in a Cover 2 type scheme where he can keep the play in front of him, while having the added luxury of having help over the top. Dennard is still an extremely gifted corner who deserves consideration in the late 1st-early 2nd round range. His ability to recognize routes, click and close, and mirror his man while staying in their hip pocket makes him an effective corner…although he is better served and limited to some schemes that fit his strengths the best.

30- DT/DE Fletcher Cox Mississippi State: A versatile defensive lineman who can play inside or out, Fletcher Cox is somewhat falling under the radar. His impressive motor and hustle on every play will get him noticed, as will the fact that he played in the dominant SEC Conference.

31- WR Mohamed Sanu Rutgers: Another one of my favorite players in this Draft, Sanu has flown under the radar some to this point. He’s not extremely athletic or overly fast to create consistent separation, but Sanu simply catches the ball with great consistency. His ability to come down with the difficult catch and use his physicality and toughness as both a blocker and a receiver make him a very enticing player who could rise substantially going through the scouting process in the coming months.

32- RB Doug Martin Boise State: A player who has always been one of my favorites, Doug Martin is built low to the ground and possesses a nice build, as his low center of gravity and balance make him a hard player to bring down. He runs well behind his pads with good forward lean and has some natural speed to take it the distance, although I wouldn’t call him a true home run threat. Martin also excels as a receiver out of the backfield and shows the toughness/willingness to pick up blitzing defenders in pass protection…he truely is a complete back who reminds me some of Ray Rice and Ahmad Bradshaw.

-Hope you ejoyed this post-

-Brandon

Post All-Star Game Positional Rankings:

Posted: February 2, 2012 in Positional Rankings
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*Early on in the process, with just under 3 months to go from the 2012 NFL Draft these are my unofficial positional rankings as of 2/1/12. Much more film work and study is in session as you will notice some ties throughout these rankings. Ties are for players I currently rank very close to one another at a certain position, but will eventually chose one over the other once I feel comfortable and confident. Just because players are listed does not mean they will stay there and just because players are not listed does not mean they will not eventually find their way on to my list. Hope you enjoy and feel free to criticize these rankings all you want…your input is highly valued and well-taken.
 
Quarterbacks
1. Andrew Luck Stanford (6-4 235) – Top Overall Pick
2. Robert Griffin III Baylor (6-2 220) – Top 5
3. Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M (6-4 220) – Mid-Late 1st
4. Brandon Weeden Oklahoma State (6-3 220) – Mid-Late 2nd
5. Brock Osweiller Arizona State (6-8 240) – Late 2nd-Early 3rd
 
*On the Cusp:
Russell Wilson Wisconsin (5-10 205)
Kirk Cousins Michigan State (6-2 210)
Nick Foles Arizona (6-5 245)
 
 
Running Backs:
1. Trent Richardson Alabama (5-11 225) – Top 3 Overall
2. Lamar Miller Miami (5-11 210) – Late 1st
3. Doug Martin Boise State (5-9 220) – Late 1st Early 2nd
4. David Wilson Virginia Tech (5-10 205) – Mid 2nd
T-5. Chris Polk Washington (5-11 225) – Late 2nd-Early 3rd
T-5. LaMichael James Oregon (5-9 195) – Late 2nd-Early 3rd
 
On the Cusp:
Bernard Pierce Temple (6-0 220)
Issiah Pead Cincinnati (5-9 195)
 
Wide Receivers:
1. Justin Blackmon Oklahoma State (6-1 215) – Top 8 Overall
2. Michael Floyd Notre Dame (6-3 225) – Mid 1st
3. Kendall Wright Baylor (5-10 190) – Mid-Late 1st
T-4. Alshon Jeffery South Carolina (6-4 230) – Late 1st
T-4. Mohamed Sanu Rutgers (6-3 215) – Late 1st
5. Reuben Randle LSU (6-3 210) – Mid 2nd
 
On the Cusp:
Juron Criner Arizona (6-2 220)
Dwight Jones North Carolina (6-3 225)
Joe Adams Arkansas (5-10 175)
Nick Toon Wisconsin (6-2 220)
Jairus Wright Arkansas (5-10 180)
 
Tight Ends:
1. Dwayne Allen Clemson (6-4 255) – Early 2nd
2. Coby Fleener Stanford (6-6 245) – Early-Mid 2nd
3. Orson Charles Georgia (6-3 240) – Mid 2nd
4. Michael Egnew Missouri (6-5 250) – Mid-Late 3rd
5. Ladarius Green Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6 235) – Late 3rd-Early 4th
 
On the Cusp:
David Paulson Oregon (6-3 245)
 
Offensive Tackles:
1. Matt Kalil Southern California (6-7 295) – Top 5 Overall
2. Riley Reiff Iowa (6-6 300) – Top 10 Overall
3. Jonathon Martin Stanford (6-6 305) – Mid 1st
4. Mike Adams Ohio State (6-7 325) – Mid 1st
5. Cordy Glenn Georgia (6-5 345) – Mid-Late 1st
 
On the Cusp:
Zebrie Sanders (6-5 310)
Keleche Osemele Iowa State (6-5 335)
Bobby Massie Ole Miss (6-6 315)
Jeff Allen Illinois (6-4 305)
Nate Potter Boise State (6-6 300)
 
Offensive Guards:
1. David DeCastro Stanford (6-5 310) – Top 10 Overall
2. Cordy Glenn Georgia (6-5 345) – Mid-Late 1st
3. Keleche Osemele Iowa State (6-5 335) – Early-Mid 2nd
4. Kevin Zeitler Wisconsin (6-3 315) – Mid-Late 2nd
T-5. Brandon Washington Miami (6-4 320) Early 3rd
T-5. Jeff Allen Illinois (6-4 305) Early 3rd
 
On the Cusp:
Levy Adcock Oklahoma State (6-5 320)
Amini Silatolu Midwestern State (6-3 320)
Brandon Brooks Miami-Ohio (6-4 345)
Senio Kelemete Washington (6-3 300)
 
Centers:
1. Peter Konz Wisconsin (6-5 315) – Mid 1st
2. Ben Jones Georgia (6-2 305) – Mid-Late 3rd
3. Mike Brewster Ohio State (6-4 310) – Late 3rd-Early 4th
4. David Molk Michigan (6-2 290) – Late 3rd-Early 4th
5. Phillip Blake Baylor (6-2 315) – Early-Mid 4th
 
On the Cusp:
William Vlachos Alabama (6-0 305)
Quinton Saulsberry Mississippi State (6-2 300)
 
Defensive Ends:
1. Quinton Coples North Carolina (6-5 280) – Top 10 Overall
2. Melvin Ingram South Carolina (6-1 275) – Mid 1st
T-3. Nick Perry Southern California 6-3 250) – Late 1st-Early 2nd
T-3. Whitney Mercilus (6-4 265) – Late 1st-Early 2nd
T-3. Andre Branch Clemson (6-4 260) – Late 1st-Early 2nd
4. Vinny Curry Marshall (6-3 265) – Early-Mid 2nd
5. Jared Crick Nebraska (6-5 285) – Mid 2nd
 
On the Cusp:
Cam Johnson Virginia (6-3 270)
Chandler Jones Syracuse (6-5 265)
 
Defensive Tackles:
1. Devon Still Penn State (6-5 310) – Mid 1st
2. Michael Brockers LSU (6-6 305) – Mid-Late 1st
3. Dontari Poe Memphis (6-5 350) – Mid-Late 1st
T-4. Fletcher Cox Mississippi (6-4 295) – Late 1st-Early 2nd
T-4 Jerel Worthy Michigan State (6-3 310) – Late 1st-Early 2nd
5. Brandon Thompson Clemson (6-2 310) – Early-Mid 2nd
 
On the Cusp:
Josh Chapman Alabama (6-1 310)
Alameda Ta’amu Washington (6-2 340)
Derek Wolfe Cincinnati (6-5 300)
Mike Martin Michigan (6-1 310)
Kendall Reyes Connecticut (6-3 300)
 
 
Outside Linebackers:
1. Courtney Upshaw Alabama (6-1 275) – Top 10 Overall
2. Melvin Ingram South Carolina (6-1 275) – Mid 1st
3. Lavonte David Nebraska (6-0 225) – Early 2nd
4. Zach Brown North Carolina (6-1 235)  – Early-Mid 2nd
T-5. Ronell Lewis Oklahoma (6-2 245) – Late 2nd-Early 3rd
T-5. Sean Spence Miami (5-11 225) Late 2nd – Early 3rd
 
On the Cusp:
Travis Lewis Oklahoma (6-2 230)
Bruce Irvin West Virginia (6-2 245)
Brandon Lindsey Pittsburgh (6-2 250)
Terrell Manning NC State (6-3 235)
Bobby Wagner Utah State (6-0 240)
 
Inside Linebackers:
1. Luke Kuechly Boston College (6-2 235) – Mid 1st
2. Vontaze Burfict Arizona State (6-3 250) – Late 1st-Early 2nd
3. Dont’a Hightower Alabama (6-4 260) – Late 1st-Early 2nd
4. Audie Cole North Carolina State (6-4 250) – Late 3rd-Early 4th
5. Bobby Wagner Utah State (6-0 240) – Early 4th
 
On the Cusp:
None
 
Cornerbacks:
1. Morris Clairborne LSU (6-0 185) – Top 5 Overall
T-2. Janoris Jenkins North Alabama (5-9 190) – Mid 1st
T-2. Dre Kirkpatrick Alabama (6-2 195) – Mid 1st
T-3. Alfonzo Dennard Nebraska (5-10 205) – Late 1st-Early 2nd
T-3. Chase Minnifield Virginia (6-0 185) – Late 1st-Early 2nd
4. Stephon Gilmore South Carolina (6-1 195) – Early 2nd
5. Brandon Boykin Georgia (5-9 185) – Mid-Late 2nd
 
On the Cusp:
Casey Hayward Vanderbilt (5-11 190)
Jayron Hosley Virginia Tech (5-10 175)
Leonard Johnson Iowa State (5-9 200)
Dwight Bentley Louisiana-Lafayette (5-9 175)
Jammell Flemming Oklahoma (5-10 200)
 
Safeties:
1. Mark Barron Alabama (6-2 220) – Mid-Late 1st
2. Harrison Smith Notre Dame (6-1 215) – Late 2nd-Early 3rd
3. Markelle Martin Oklahoma State (6-0 205) – Early 3rd
4. Antonio Allen South Carolina (6-1 205) – Mid 3rd
5. George Iloka Boise State (6-3 220) – Mid-Late 3rd
 
On the Cusp:
Janzen Jackson McNeese State (6-0 190)
 
-Thanks for reading this report-
 
-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