Posts Tagged ‘Texas A&M’

OT Luke Joeckel Texas A&M

Blessed with incredibly light feet and great balance/flexibility it is easy to see what makes Joeckel one of the most highly touted LT prospects in all of college football. Joeckel’s athleticism and foot speed allows him to effectively release off the line and get into his stance/drop quickly. Joeckels is also very fundamentally sound, bending at the knees and maintaining leverage by getting good arm extension and inside hand placement. In the run game Joeckels takes very good angles and uses his size, length and footwork to effectively seal off his defender from the play and create running lanes. Joeckel produces just average push as a run blocker but he does a great job of sustaining and latching on once engaged to efficiently neutralize his opponent. Joeckel’s ability to coordinate his feet and re-direct by moving laterally is top notch and allows him to recover if beaten intially our caught out of position. He does a great job sinking his hips and sitting into his stance and his knee flexibility allows him to re-position and ride defenders around the edge and close the door on outside in pass rush moves. One of the biggest areas for growth for Joeckel will come in his ability to absorb the bull rush and anchor. His base and lower/upper body strength needs improvement. Too many times Joeckel got bull rushed into the backfield. Players who were able to convert speed to power gave Joeckel troubles today as he got caught flat footed and guessing at times. More time in the weight room and more repetitions on the practice field should clean this area of his game up and allow him to fully take advantage of his enormous potential as a franchise pass protector at the next level. He has all the tools necessary to be great but just needs seasoning.

OT Jake Matthews Texas A&M

The son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, Jake not only has the bloodlines but also the skill-set and abilities to be a very good player for a long time just like his dad. While not blessed with the same nimble footwork and athleticism as his teammate, Matthews still has plenty going for him as a player. Perhaps the most impressive part of Matthews game for me was the patience he showed in pass protection and also his functional playing strength. Once you are engaged with Matthews it is simply over, his ability to latch on and sustain blocks is very good due to his incredibly strong hands. Matthews also does a very good job of shooting his hands nicely out of the holsters, displaying a nice  punch to jolt his opponent and knock them on their heels. Matthews also plays with a very good wide base and showcases a strong anchor to absorb the bull  rush, simply neutralizing his opponents momentum on contact, thanks to his refined technique and ability to extend his arms and find his”fit” quickly. In his set Matthews is patient and smart, not opening up the inside door by over-commiting and getting caught out of position. His ability to mirror his opponent in the pass game gives him a great edge to react to his defenders movements and beat his main to the point. In the run game Matthews is equally impressive as he works hard to create rushing lanes for his running back. Matthews pre-snap awareness and quickness out his stance are also good and allows him to seal off gaps and beat his man to the punch. Matthews is ideally suited to the right side of the football and will likely be one of the top prospects at his position should he declare early. Texas A&M definitely has two of thse best offensive tackles in the entire NCAA with both Joeckel and Matthews.

RB Christine Michael Texas A&M

A relatively quiet game for Michael overall but he did show good hands out of the backfield and the shifty elusive running style that has caught the attention of scouts. Michael had a few good runs, displaying great vision and feel to find the cut back lane while also displaying the footwork and change of direction ability to make defenders miss in the hole. His burst and acceleration was above average and his slipperiness allowed him to slip defenders and run through arm tackles with solid pad-level and a tailor made spin move. Overall it was just an average game for Michael overall as he received only 13 carries for 33 yards. The key for Michael this season is to prove he can handle a full workload while remaining healthy for the entire season. If he can do that, Michael has the potential to be the first Senior running back off the board next April.

WR Ryan Swope Texas A&M

Another Aggie who had a relatively quiet game in this one, Swope managed just 5 receptions for 16 yards. With that said, Swope proved last season just how effective he can be when he gets the opportunity. Freshman QB Johnny Manziel is more of a run first quarterback at this point but would be wise to take greater advantage of his Senior wide receiver. While not overly ahtletic or explosive, Swope is incredibly intelligent and knows how to work his way open out of the slot position. Swope has sticky consistent hands and is a dependable downfield blocker and all around team player. Swope is your classic over achiever who may slip some in the draft and go behind more highly athletic guys with potential but Swope will surely outperform many of them due to his instincts for the position and effort on every play.

LB Sean Porter Texas A&M

Porter burst onto the scene last season for the Aggies, often drawing comparisons to former stand out and All-Pro Von Miller. Porter however is a different breed from Miller and plays the game a bit differently, with a different set of skills. One of the things that stuck out to me was how aggressive Porter was with his hands, ripping off blocks to disengage and converge on the ball carrier. Porter is a very fluid athlete with plus movement and change of direction skills which allow him to side step and sift through trash to avoid blocks and find the ball carrier. I love how well Porter does this while also keeping his head and eyes up and feeling his way down the line to take the correct angle to the ball. His smaller frame allows him to get engulfed at times and washed out of the play but his agility and ability to knife his way through and around blocks makes incredibly difficult to corral and contain. Porter is also extremely effective in coverage thanks to his superb athleticism which allows him to turn and run with almost any player. A&M trusts Porter in this area so much they have the trust and confidence in him to line up over the slot receiver on a large number of occasions. Although he doesn’t blitz nearly as much as he did last year since he moved to linebacker in A&M’s new 4-3 defense, Porter still has unique pass rush ability. His speed, flexibility, coordination and foot speed make him a nightmare to handle one on one as he has the ability to keep offensive tackles off balanced and constantly guessing. While he may not be as talented as Von Miller, Porter certainly has the skills necessary to transfer to the next level and make him a high pick come next April.

DE Damontre Moore Texas A&M

Moore caught my eye last year and was virtually all over the field in this game, accounting for numerous sacks and countless hurries. Moore plays the game with great urgency, hustle and effort and fights through the whistle consistently. For a man that stands 6-4 250, Moore has plus movement skills and burst off the football, which allows him to challenge up field and come back underneath. With that said I’m not sure how well he bends as his pad level rises and he struggles with flexibility turning the corner. I would also like to see him become more physical with his hands and use a better pass rush repertoire to fight off and through blocks.  With that said, Moore certainly has a lot of untapped talent and potential and is still adapting and growing as a pass rusher. His strength and technique needs to improve at the point of attack if he is to become more than a situational pass rusher, however his ceiling is very high if developed and coached up correctly. I appreciate how hard he fights through tackles and make plays from sideline to sideline thanks to his great motor and range. Certainly Moore is a player that finds ways to make and impact and is hard to keep contained for long stretches of time. His versatility to play multiple positions along the offensive line, as well as his ability to take correct angles and use his closing speed to chase down ball carriers make him an incredibly intriguing player. Moore seems to impact the play on more ocassions than not and is always involved in the play thanks to his superb awareness and instincts. He needs to do a better job setting the edge and resisting from crashing down and losing contain at times but overall Moore is an extremely dependable player and someone you want to have on the field as much as possible. I’m anxious to see how well Moore adapts to his new position as he is off to a very hot start and is definitely one to watch as the season wears on.

DT Shariff Floyd Florida

Regarded as one of the highest rated prep DT’s in the country, Floyd immediately made an impact for the Gators in his Freshman season while earning All SEC Freshman honors. Last season Floyd was asked to play outside at defensive end due to injuries and depth issues, performing admirably at his new position. Floyd is back inside again this season and certainly impressed me with his natural ability at his more natural position. While Floyd doesn’t possess the burst and quickness off the snap to consistently challenge gaps and make his way to the quarterback, Floyd is more of a technician in the middle whose biggest impact comes against the running game. Floyd has extremely powerful hands and uses his big mitts to effectively disengage and fight his way off blocks. Floyd also plays with very good and consistent pad level and is not afraid of contact. His pure strength and ability to anchor down and hold his position makes it hard not only for offensive lineman to move him off his spot but sustain blocks on him for long periods of time. I also appreciated how well Floyd moved laterally and made his way down the line to make plays against the run. These movement skills allow him to make plays in pursuit and should translate well to the next level. Don’t expect Floyd to cause much stir in terms of sacks and impact plays this season but there is no doubting he is a solid all around player who is a key cog in the middle of the Gators defense.

OT Xavier Nixon Florida

Nixon was hot and cold tonight but overall I didn’t quite see a player that I think will be a starter at the next level. His quickness and pre-snap awareness was off and allowed his opponent to get an early head start on him on more than one occasion. Nixon also played upright and allowed his base to get narrow while executing a poor drop step to gain depth on his kick step. I also question his flexibility and balance at times and also think he lacks a physical demeanor to consistently fight through the whistle. His lateral agility is lacking to a degree and had a bad habit at bending at the waist instead of the knees at times. I don’t mean to completely bash him but Nixon simply played uninspired football, struggling to find and locate blockers at the 2nd level. I did appreciate Nixon’s ability to anchor against the bull rush and recover when caught out of position at times but feel he has a long ways to go if he is going to play at the next level.


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-