Archive for the ‘’ Category

2007 Draft Recap: Laurent Robinson

May 2nd, 2007 Comments off

Go Red Birds

Laurent Robinson

Height: 6-2
Illinois State
May 20, 1985
Hometown: Rockledge, FL


40 Speed: 4.38
20 Yd: 2.50
10 Yd: 1.46
Bench: 19 reps
Vertical Jump: 39 inches
Broad Jump:
Short Shuttle: 4.28
3 Cone Drill: 6.83
Arm Length:
32.25 inches
Hand size: 9 inches

NFL Draft Countdown
by Scott WrightStrengths: Good size…Timed speed is more than adequate…Runs real good routes and he just knows how to get open…Athletic and quick…A good leaper…Great ball skills and body control…Catches the ball well…A vertical threat…Was quite productive.Weaknesses: Did not play against elite competition and will have to make a big transition…Did not have a great senior campaign…Not very strong or physical and his toughness has been questioned…Sub par blocker…Fumbler…Won’t do much after the catch.Notes: First name is pronounced: “loor-RAUNT”…He stepped up and had excellent games against Iowa St. in 2005 (6 rec. for 177 yds. and 2 TD) and Kansas St. in 2006 (9 rec. for 77 yds.)…A legitimate talent and one of the top small-schoolers available.

Grade: Mid-Rounder
by TFY Draft PreviewPOSITIVES: Productive, big-play receiver hobbled with an ankle injury for most of his senior campaign. Quickly releases off the line, immediately gets to top speed and makes the reception in stride. Extends to catch the ball away from his frame.NEGATIVES: Lacks the true second gear and top-end speed. Not a physically strong receiver. Comes up short with his blocking assignments.ANALYSIS: Physically built to be a fourth receiver at the next level, Robinson shows a lot of natural skills catching the ball. Must regain his prior form off the ankle injury from last season but worth considering in the late rounds.

PROJECTION: Early Sixth Round

GRADE: 3.44 — Fence Player
by NFLDraftScout.comPositives: Has a lean, angular frame that is built for speed, showing good chest muscle definition with a tapered waist, good shoulder width, tight abdomen, developed thighs and calves … Has excellent body flexibility and hip snap, dropping his weight and keeping his pads down to accelerate instantly coming out of his cuts … Has fine balance in his running stride, executing crisp plant-and-drive skills to get in and out of his breaks … Possesses the speed to challenge the deep secondary and the body control to make adjustments through his routes … Smart, instinctive runner and also does well in the classroom … Picks up plays quickly and is alert to coverages, doing a nice job of finding the soft spot in the zone to settle in … Regarded by the staff the team’s “most trustworthy” player, as he works hard in the training and film rooms, showing good self-starting ability … Capable of getting to the ball in a crowd and there is no flinch to him, even when he knows the defense is about to drill him … Has the ability to accelerate into his routes instantly and shows good urgency in and out of his cuts … Demonstrates a crisp running style and does a nice job adjusting his body to get to the underneath throws … His speed lets him drive off the coverage and come back for the easy yards … Takes short, pitter-patter steps to accelerate off the line of scrimmage, and has the explosion to gain on the cornerback and eat the cushion in attempts to challenge deep … Can sink and slip through traffic due to his lateral agility and is very alert of the sidelines, doing a nice job of keeping his feet in bounds … Displays the body control to sink his hips to get better separation in-and-out of his cuts and does a very good job of finding the soft spot and settling in vs. zone coverage … Whether working underneath or attacking the deep zone, Robinson’s hip snap and ability to ride up the defensive back lets him gain immediate separation after the catch … Shows the nimbleness to maintain balance and turn instantly to head up field after the catch … Maintains good focus when looking the ball in, and does not hesitate to get vertical to make the play … Best when contorting his body and looking the ball in over his shoulder on deep routes … Has developed good hand mechanics to extend for the ball away from the frame … Will sometimes revert to body catching, but has the timing and snatch ability to get to the ball at its high point … Needs to add some more bulk and strength, but has that second gear and burst to leave defenders grabbing at air … Has no problem competing with the opponent after contact, and has the balance and leg drive to stay up after taking the initial hit.Negatives: Has functional playing power, but will need to upgrade in this area to prevent from being rerouted by the more physical pro defensive backs … Earlier in his career, Robinson did not utilize his explosiveness with consistency in attempts to get a clean release off the snap … Could use some more bulk to escape the jam, but has more than enough quickness to escape and get back on the stem … Demonstrates sure hands to lovk the ball in, but must be more conscious of securing the ball before heading upfield … Shows better consistency getting into his routes than earlier in his career (used to take some soft angle cuts) … Still learning how to vary his speed, but has shown improvement each week, as he no longer out-runs the ball and is smart enough to uncover and has the burst to go downfield in a flash … More of a pester-type of blocker than one who will face up at the line of scrimmage.Compares To: Laveranues Coles, New York Jets … Like Coles, Robinson has that explosive running stride and acceleration to separate after the catch. Both are fearless catching in a crowd and show great sideline awareness, body control and loose hips to turn a short catch into a big play.

Draft Ace
by Ryan McCrystalStrengths: Good natural athlete. Elite speed. An explosive receiver that is a threat to score anytime he has the ball. A tough player that will get physical and take hits. Reads the ball very well.Weaknesses: Missed time in 2006 with an ankle injury. Doesn’t have experience against top competition.Comments: Holds the Gateway Conference record for single season receiving yards (1,465 in 2005). An extremely productive player at his level competition. He impressed scouts with his forty time at the combine. He may go off the board as high as the third round.

Consensus Draft ServicesOverview: Without a doubt, Laurent is one of the best receivers not playing IA football. He has been a Walter Payton award finalist and one of the most productive receivers in IAA for the past three seasons.Strengths: Good size. Very fluid athlete. Runs with a smooth, gliding style that deceives D-backs. Can snatch the ball in traffic. Capable of the highlight grab. Great production at this level. Tough and fearless.Weaknesses: Needs to get stronger. Can be shoved around in the first five yards. Not a burner.

Projection: A guy with his hands and production deserves to be a 7th rounder at worst, but you never know how the NFL will react to the level of competition issue.

Categories: Tags:

2007 Draft Recap: Stephen Nicholas

May 2nd, 2007 Comments off


Stephen Nicholas

Height: 6-1
Weight: 232
College: South Florida
Birthday: May 1, 1983
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL


40 Speed: 4.64
20 Yd: 2.68
10 Yd: 1.58
Bench: 29 reps
Vertical Jump: 33.5 inches
Broad Jump: 9’2″
Short Shuttle: 4.45
3 Cone Drill: 7.29

NFL Draft Countdown
by Scott WrightStrengths: Good athlete…Adequate timed speed and quickness and has a burst…Real solid tackler…Pretty instinctive…Versatile and could project to either the weakside or the strongside…Aggressive and has a motor that never stops…Plays with a nasty demeanor…Strong…Excellent pass rusher…Has a lot of experience…Productive.Weaknesses: Undersized…Does not do a great job of shedding blocks…Doesn’t play quite as fast as he times…Did not always play against top-notch competition…Has tight hips and is just ordinary in pass coverage…Does not change directions very well.Notes: Was a four-year starter…Didn’t always get a lot of national attention but was a real gem for the Bulls…Has most of the physical tools you look for other than bulk and rates very high on the intangibles scale as well…Somewhat underrated and he could be the type of guy who’s a Day Two steal and really surprises everyone.Grade: Mid-Rounder
by TFY Draft PreviewPOSITIVES: Instinctive linebacker who constantly makes positive plays. Diagnoses the action, picks up assignments and remains alert. Effectively uses his hands to protect himself, scrapes well in the box and strings plays laterally. Covers a good amount of area on the field.NEGATIVES: Undersized, is slow to shed blocks and can be taken from the action by opposing tight ends. Has tackles broken.ANALYSIS: A hard-working defender who constantly plays at a high level, Nicholas offers starting potential in a one-gap system or on the weak side.PROJECTION: Late Fourth Round

GRADE: 3.53 — Future Starter
by NFLDraftScout.comPositives: Has a thick frame with good upper-body muscle tone, thick thighs and calves … Active in pursuit, doing a nice job of flowing down the line to string plays wide … Plays with solid effort and is best when keeping the action in front of him (lacks range) … More of a collision-type tackler, but he does show good pop on contact … Is quick to close when he locates the ball … Attacks blockers with adequate aggression and has improved his hands usage to take on and re-route tight ends in the short area … Has the vision to track the ball in flight, but gets more deflections than interceptions due to a lack of natural hands … Uses his upper-body power to drag down opposing ball carriers and is a physical face-up hitter … Bit of a liability covering on extended routes, but has the ability to cover in the short area … Has a sharp closing burst on the play-side … Breaks down properly in the open when runners change direction and has the quickness to catch backs from behind … Goes low in his stance, generating good leg thrust to drive the opponent back on his heels … Efficient blitzer who slips through blocks to provide constant pressure on the pocket … Plays with good aggression and is always looking for the ball when working through trash … Has a good concept for taking angles in backside pursuit … Needs to improve his backpedal mechanics, but shows crisp cutting agility out of his breaks.Negatives: Gets suckered out of position at times, having problems with misdirection … Lacks the size you look for on the perimeter and might not have the read-and-diagnose ability to call defensive signals as a middle linebacker … Short arms when offensive linemen lock on to him, struggling to shed … Too stiff in his hips to redirect or change direction easily … For some reason, he will stop his legs once a blocker latches on to him, quickly getting taken out of the play … Can be engulfed by larger blockers and struggles to press the taller and more physical tight ends … Better flowing to the play-side than from behind … Does not have natural hands for the interception … Poor space tackler (better in close quarters), as he will revert to ducking his head upon contact … Gets too high in his stance when backpedaling and fails to open his hips properly to turn and go … Has a marginal feel for routes and hesitates before dropping into the throwing lane … Good blitzer, but will get caught up in inside trash.Compares To: KEVIN BENTLEY-Seattle … Nicholas can play all three linebacker positions, but outside of his blitzing, there are quite a few liabilities in his game. He is slow to read keys and doesn’t have the size, bulk or overall strength to simply punish ball carriers. He might be a better fit inside, but he does a marginal job of locating the ball quickly enough to impact on the play. He is too light to play on the line, but late in the draft, his pass-rushing skills could make for a nice pickup, but only as a situational player.

Football’s Future
by Robert DavisThree games into his true freshman season, Nicholas suffered an ankle injury and ended up taking a medical redshirt for the season. He returned a year later, earning freshman AA status after finishing the year with 46 tackles, 11 for loss, and 5.5 sacks. As a sophomore, he had 97 tackles, 11 for loss on the year. Nicholas became more of a playmaker as a junior, finishing the year with 79 tackles, 15.5 for loss, and seven sacks on the year. He closed out his Bull career with a career high 102 tackles, 15 for loss, 7.5 sacks, and two interceptions. Nicholas is a talented, all around linebacker prospect. He is a good athlete, that has good quickness and speed on the field. He reads plays well in front of him, and quickly flies towards the football. He has great closing speed, and shows the ability to run plays down sideline to sideline and rush the passer. He is aggressive, and is not afraid to take on bigger players. Nicholas lacks ideal height and bulk for a linebacker, which may limit him to the weakside position. He can be overpowered at the point of attack, and may be too small to match up with tight ends in coverage. Nicholas has played both will and sam linebacker spots, but projects better on the weakside because of his size. With his speed and aggressiveness, he could be a big playmaker and special teams demon in a few years.

Draft Ace
by Ryan McCrystalStrengths: Good athlete. Shows good awareness on the field. Decent quickness despite poor timed speed. Hard hitter. Reliable tackler. Plays with a nasty attitude and appears to always be going full speed ahead.Weaknesses: Lacks ideal size and speed. Below average in coverage, a one dimensional linebacker.Comments: Nicholas has the skills to be a solid backup at the next level, but not much more. His lack of size limits the number of teams that will be interested in him. He projects as a late round selection.

Consensus Draft Services Overview: A speed guy who plays fast and makes a ton of tackles. Mid-major program may hold him out of the spotlight, but he is climbing.Strengths: Extremely fast, smooth and productive. Plays smart. Takes great angles. Fights to get to the ball. Pursues very well. Leadership. Makes sacrifices to get better and make plays. Very athletic. Hard worker and team player. Works hard in pass defense.Weaknesses: Not very big. Can be engulfed on the second level. Gets washed out of some plays. Struggles getting through dense traffic. Will never be an elite pass defender.Projection: Has first day ability, but may go as late as the 5th round because of size and lack of visibility.

Categories: Tags: ,

2007 Draft Recap: Martrez Milner

April 30th, 2007 Comments off


Martrez Milner

Height: 6-3
Weight: 252
College: Georgia
Birthday: August 8, 1984
Hometown: Oakwood, GA


40 Speed: 4.67
20 Yd: 2.65
10 Yd: 1.54
Bench: 19 reps
Vertical Jump: 34.5 inches
Broad Jump: 9’9″
Short Shuttle: 4.49
3 Cone Drill: 7.35
Arm Length: 33.75 inches
Hand size: 9.5 inches

NFL Draft Countdown
by Scott WrightStrengths: Has pretty good size and the frame to get bigger…Very athletic with good speed, quickness and body control…Can stretch the field and run after the catch…Puts in a solid effort as a blocker and has the tools to improve…Hails from a program that has become known for sending tight ends on to the NFL…Still has a lot of upside.Weaknesses: Concentration is a major concern and he dropped a lot of balls in 2006…Does not have a lot of experience…Needs to get bigger and stronger…Still has a long way to go as a blocker…Has minor durability concerns…Not very aggressive…The team that selects him will be doing so based almost solely on potential, not production.Notes: Comes from the same school that sent Jermaine Wiggins, Randy McMichael, Ben Watson and Leonard Pope to the pros…Patiently waited his turn behind Pope (a third round pick of the Arizona Cardinals last year who started as a rookie) and finally got his opportunity as a senior…Has all the physical tools and measurables you look for but to this point he hasn’t consistently played up to them…Intriguing prospect who some team will certainly take a chance on hoping that he develops.Grade: Mid-Rounder
by TFY Draft PreviewPOSITIVES: Athletic receiver who displayed solid improvement as a senior. Fluid releasing off the line into routes, nicely uses his frame to protect the pass and adjusts to grab the errant throw. Flashes the ability to split the seam downfield.NEGATIVES: Does not display soft, consistent hands, and double-catches too many throws. Marginal strength at the point as a blocker. Minimally productive in college.ANALYSIS: A naturally gifted tight end who makes a lot of athletic plays, Milner entices scouts with flashes of ability. A developmental prospect with starting potential if the light goes on.PROJECTION: Late Fourth RoundGRADE: 3.52 — Future Starter
by NFLDraftScout.comPositives: Has a compact physique with solid overall muscle tone, a linear build with long arms and legs, good hand width, thick lower body and room to add at least another 15 pounds of bulk without affecting his explosive burst … Has outstanding body control and balance, showing the explosion to get a clean release and into his routes … Lacks ideal hands but runs crisp routes, demonstrating the ball-adjustment skills to get under the pass instantly … Sometimes uses an exaggerated swim move, but is effective with head fakes and his hip snap to beat the jam consistently … His initial burst lets him explode off the line and get into his patterns in an instant … Uses that speed to gain position when blocking vs. second-level defenders; that might be his best asset, especially when he has to reach a 7-tech, as he is quite effective at hooking them … Has the foot quickness, body control and plant-and-drive agility to come in and out of his breaks … Used mostly on digs, drags and option routes, but has the speed to take the ball up the seam … Has the vertical burst to pull away from defenders in the open and creates mismatches, as linebackers and safeties are too slow to cover him and cornerbacks are too small to tackle him … Moves with good urgency and can set up the defenders with his array of moves as he runs with good forward lean and leg drive to break tackles … Much more effective as a second-level blocker as he has the speed to get out quickly and the vision to locate linebackers … Does a nice job of mirroring the defender in space and will hit with a good thump.Negatives: Has rare timed speed for his position, much like Vernon Davis (49ers), but is too inconsistent fielding the ball cleanly … While Milner is quick to digest plays, he tends to have concentration lapses that result in either costly penalties or drops of easily catchable passes … Will throttle down and stand around the pile rather than initiate up field contact at times … For a player of his size, you would hope that he would take a more aggressive approach, especially attacking the ball away from his frame … If you push him, he will produce, but you would hope that he would show more urgency in improving the weak areas of his game — consistency, hands and concentration … While he is strong on initial contact, Milner has had a history of ball concentration lapses that eventually led to him being temporarily benched in 2006 … His leaping ability is negated, as he can’t bring the ball down and seems to be more conscious of getting yards after the catch rather than securing the ball before running … When blocking in-line, he seems to lack desire and motivation … Can get position quickly but makes only passive swipes and really seems disinterested in gaining movement … Also takes questionable angles in his down blocks.Compares To: Daniel Graham, Denver Broncos … Like Graham, Milner has excellent athletic ability, but shows too much inconsistency with his ball-concentration skills … He will make a sensational catch one second and then bobble several easy throws … Despite his quickness, his hands make him too much of a liability for the passing game and he also needs to do the “little extras” after practice to work on his deficiencies … His speed will entice some team, but his hands will frustrate most coaches.

The Huddle Report
by Drew BoylhartSTRENGTHS: Martrez has as much 1st round athletic talent as any TE in this draft. He has good size and speed and shows great quickness. When he concentrates, he can catch the ball as well as any of the top 1st round TE’s in this draft. So why isn’t he being considered as a first day TE?NEEDS TO IMPROVE: Martrez is a pure tweener all the way. He would rather be a WR than a TE. He does not like to block and is not a team-oriented type of player. He only wants to catch the ball and make the big play. Of course this makes him inconsistent in all phases of his game.OVERALL: I believe that the only person that Martrez will listen to is his agent. An agent that is telling him that TE’s who block do not make the big time money so it’s a waste of time learning and being successful at blocking. The agent is right and, as long as Martrez is only interested in money, I would not be interested in him. What can I say? The agent is not wrong…the facts are the facts! The problem is that the agent forgot to tell Martrez that you have to be consistent in catching the ball and cannot follow a great play with a bad play. Martrez reminds me a lot of Jeremy Stevens, the very talented, but markedly inconsistent and selfish TE for the Seattle Seahawks. Until Martrez understands that football is not a one-dimensional game played by players who only care about their fantasy league stats and not about winning — for me personally, he’s a player that I would have a very hard time drafting. Wait until his first contract is up and then see if he has grown up. Martrez has first day talent married to a “Me! Me!” attitude and that makes a 6th round talent grade seem about right for him. I’m sure after his workouts and interviews that teams will pick him in the third or fourth round because of a smart agent who will know how to work the system like a lobbyist works the Washington politicians. For the members of THR, you will have the luxury of the value board and the talent board. When the draft comes and some team picks Martrez – for you members it will be like watching a car crash right in front of your eyes in slow motion. The benefit for you, providing it is not your team picking, is that you will not be involved.TALENT BOARD ROUND: 6

On The Clock DraftMartrez Milner has a good combination of size and athleticism for a tight end. He has average hands and he does a good job of turning upfield, allowing himself to gain additional yards after the catch. His speed and athleticism will create mismatches against slower linebackers. He has the ability to make plays down the field as well. Milner is a solid blocker who displays good technique; however, he can have problems against bigger, stronger defenders at times. He would benefit as a blocker by bulking up and increasing his strength and he does have the frame in which to do so. He does drop catchable passes at times and he needs to work on running more precise routes. Martrez doesn’t have a great deal of experience, having only started one full season at Georgia, but he hasn’t yet reached his full potential and he does have a good deal of upside. Milner comes from a program that has become well-known for developing NFL caliber tight ends. Martrez will try to follow in the footsteps of former Georgia tight ends such as: Jermaine Wiggins, Randy McMichael, Ben Watson, and most recently Leonard Pope. He should be a mid-round pick in the 2007 NFL draft.

Football’s Future
by Robert DavisMilner did not have much of an impact his first two seasons at Georgia, combining for just 92 yards on 5 receptions in 2003 and 2004. As a junior, he showed some potential, hauling in 14 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns. He continued his progression and had a fine senior year, earning All SEC 1st Team honors after catching 30 balls for 425 yards and three touchdowns. Milner has the look of a fine receiving tight end. He has a good frame, and may be able to carry more weight in the future. He is also an excellent athlete, that has quickness in and out of his cuts, and the ability to adjust to the ball while it is in the air. Milner also has the speed to get down the field and make things happen. At this point, Milner may need more time to develop. He has really only been a factor for one full season, and he still needs work on his game. He is not a great blocker at this point and will have to improve in this area. He also will drop some passes from time to time, and for a player who’s real impact is as a receiver, that is alarming. Milner has a lot of upside and has the talent to really develop at the next level. If he can get more consistent with his hands, he could be an excellent receiving threat in the NFL.

Draft Ace
by Ryan McCrystalStrengths: Decent size. Good athlete. Gives a good effort as a blocker. Above average speed for a tight end. Can make things happen after the catch.Weaknesses: Inexperienced and very raw. Underachiever in his one chance to be a full time starter in 2006. Would benefit as a blocker if he bulks up.Comments: Milner began 2006 as Georgia’s starter but lost the job towards the end of the season. He wasn’t a consistent target in the passing game and his blocking technique is very raw. He has some upside because of his athleticism but he only looks like a mid round pick at this point.

Draft Board Insider
by Curtis PopejoyPOSITIVES: Milner is a very good pass receiver. He’s developing into a great deep threat down the middle of the field. Milner has soft hands and pretty good speed. While he’s averaged over 20 yards per catch, he’ll never make Bulldog fans forget about the physical presence of Leonard Pope, but as a receiving-first tight end, there’s no doubt Milner has NFL potential.NEGATIVES: Milner is a bit light for the position, and although he’s shown to be an OK blocker, his pass receiving is clearly his strength. Milner has room to grow, but I’m not sure he wants to put on 20 more pounds at the expense of his speed in pass routes. Consistency has been an issue for Milner, so he’ll need to show that he can come up big every week and not take half a season off like he did at the end of 2005 where he fell off the face of the Earth for 7 games.FINAL WORD: Milner has a ton of potential and could certainly blow up this year, making a name for himself as the next great Georgia TE, but after his vanishing act last season, I have to wonder if he’s going to show up at all this year or just how much he’s going to be part of the offensive game plan. He seemed to be a favorite target of DJ Shockley for a while and then…poof! Will he return to his 2005 first half form this year or stay on the back of the milk carton?

Consensus Draft Services Overview: Georgia has a knack for developing NFL tight ends. The names Ben Watson and Leonard Pope immediately come to mind. Add Milner’s name to the list.Strengths: Milner is a complete player. He has very good speed and athleticism for the position. He’s able to get downfield and create mismatches with slower LBs and smaller DBs. Milner also is a very solid blocker, both in-line and in space — a skill that seems to be too rare with pass-catching tight ends.Weaknesses: The most noticeable weakness with Milner is his concentration lapses as a receiver. He dropped far too many passes as a senior. Also, as good a blocker as Milner is technically, he’s not a physically dominant player and can be overwhelmed by the big DE or a very strong LB. He doesn’t really have the frame to add to much additional bulk.Projection: In a down year for tight ends, Milner could be in higher demand come draft day. A 40 time around 4.60 would really make him more desirable. He could go as early as the late second round, but is more likely to hear his name called in the third or early fourth rounds.

Categories: Tags:

2007 Draft Recap: Trey Lewis

April 30th, 2007 Comments off

Trey Lewis

Height: 6-3
Weight: 318
College: Washburn
Birthday: May 23, 1985
Hometown: Topeka, KS


40 Speed: 5.14
20 Yd: 2.88
10 Yd: 1.67
Bench: 21 reps
Vertical Jump: 30.5 inches
Broad Jump: 9′
Arm Length: 34.5 inches
Hand size: 9.5 inches
by NFLDraftScout.comPositives: Has a thick frame with adequate muscle definition, long arms, thick thighs, calves and ankles and room on his frame to carry at least another 15 pounds of bulk without it affecting his overall quickness … Can physically dominate the action in the trenches, but needs to show better consistency in doing so … Solid competitor who plays with pain and is a leader-by-example type … Has adequate quickness chasing the ball down the line, but can generate a sudden short-area explosion and burst to shock and push back the offensive linemen into the pocket … Shows good lower body strength at the point of attack, but fails to split double teams due to marginal hand usage … In one-on-one situations, he can stack and shed, using his lower body strength to get a good snap off the ball … Has the lateral agility, range and quickness to chase down plays working along the line … A reliable tackler who will get results when he stays low in his pads and uses his arms efficiently to wrap and secure … Shows good desire and functional quickness closing on the quarterback, taking good angles while generating a burst to slip past blocks … Stays low coming out of his stance, but needs to show better hand punch to jolt and disengage from blockers … Maintains position vs. the inside rush, displaying the hip snap and body control to keep his balance while striking … Shows good leverage and pad level on the pass rush and is very effective at pushing the pocket … Has an explosive short burst to flush out the quarterback out of the box.Negatives: Seems to lose concentration at times … Does not easily diagnose the plays and hesitates before moving when asked to slide across the line to string plays wide … Gets good separation in isolated coverage, but has problems getting bumped out and washed down vs. multiple blocking situations … Knows how to penetrate the backfield, but does more chasing rather that wrapping up the quarterback … Has an imposing frame, but does not always play up to his measurable … Late to react to plays away from him and is better served waiting for the action to come to him … When he gets too tall in his stance or when his hands get outside his frame, blockers have good success knocking him off the line and throwing him to the ground … Does not use his power strikes on the bull rush.Compares To: Jordan Carstens, Carolina Panthers … Both certainly look the part with their thick frames, but the Washburn product’s light did not come on upstairs until his senior year … It was not like he had bad performances in previous seasons, but at this low level of competition, he failed to dominate … He has the strength and initial burst to shock and jolt an offensive lineman, but is not instinctive and is late to locate the ball … More often than not, the play is blown dead before he recognizes the action … He is a functional blue-collar type with the athletic ability to make a roster, but will need patient coaching to see if he can develop … If all else fails on defense, with Lewis’ lower body thickness he could get a look on the offensive line, much like Carstens when he signed out of college with Carolina (now back on defense).

Categories: Tags: ,

2007 Draft Recap: David Irons

April 30th, 2007 Comments off

Auburn Tigers

David Irons

Height: 5-10
Weight: 190
College: Auburn
Birthday: October 9, 1982
Hometown: Dacula, GA


40 Speed: 4.44
20 Yd: 2.58
10 Yd: 1.53
Bench: 11 reps
Vertical Jump: 29.5 inches
Broad Jump: 9’3″
Short Shuttle: 4.30
3 Cone Drill: 7.18
Arm Length: 31 1/8 inches
Hand size: 9 1/8 inches
Wonderlic: 4

NFL Draft Countdown
by Scott WrightStrengths: Very tough, physical and aggressive…A good athlete with fluid hips…Has good speed and quickness with a burst to close…Willing and gives a good effort in run support…Puts himself in position to knock down a lot of balls…Plays bigger than he is…May not have reached his full potential and might still have some upside.Weaknesses: Durability is a major concern…Height and bulk are both only average…Ball skills and hands are very questionable and he doesn’t make many big plays…Is not a great tackler…Instincts and intelligence might be an issue…Better when jamming than in off coverage…Does not have a ton of experience against top competition.Notes: Brother, Kenny, played running back for Auburn and is also a top prospect in this draft…A transfer from Butler County Junior College…Tore his left ACL in 2001 and 2004…Will be 25-years-old as a rookie…A tad overrated due to his last name but he’s a solid prospect who could wind up being a steal if he can just stay healthy.Grade: Mid-Rounder
by TFY Draft PreviewPOSITIVES: Nice-sized cornerback with an improving game. Jams opponents at the line, is physical throughout routes and positions himself to defend the pass. Stays with receivers anywhere on the field, displays an explosive break to the throw and flies around the field.NEGATIVES: Prefers to side-shuffle down the field and is a little tight in his backpedal. Occasionally struggles with his back to the ball, and is better facing the action.ANALYSIS: A developing prospect who had opposing quarterbacks throwing away from him last season, Irons finished off a terrific campaign in ’06 with an outstanding showing at the Senior Bowl. Durability issues from the past must be checked out, yet the arrow is pointing upward.PROJECTION: Late Third Round

GRADE: 3.65 — Future Starter
by NFLDraftScout.comPositives: Has a compact frame with a tight midsection, V-shaped torso, thick chest and arm muscle development and excellent timed speed … Feisty, physical tackler who will surprise an opponent with the power he generates from his small frame (not really strong, but knows how to torque and put full force behind his hits) … Won’t back down from the bigger blockers and competes until the whistle … Has excellent foot speed and flexibility, coming out of his breaks with the burst to stay right on the hip of the receiver … Lacks ideal change-of-direction agility (knee issues), but is very effective at making plays in front of him … Willingly challenges receivers to test his speed on deep routes … Is quick to read keys and diagnose plays, showing no hesitation closing on the ball … Best when he’s facing the ball rather than his back to it, showing the short-area burst to close … Very active with his hands in attempts to press and reroute the receiver … Gets a good break on the ball and has the second straight-line gear to recover … Even vs. taller receivers, he knows how to mirror and impede the route’s progression by getting his hands on the receiver’s hip to push off without getting caught … Type of man coverage defender who rests in the “back pocket” of his opponent, frustrating receivers by not allowing any room for them to operate, especially in tight areas … Needs backpedal refinement (fails to stay in it), but is effective coming out of his breaks because of his explosive burst … Can flip his hips and break back for the ball, but needs to work on planting his feet better … Best when playing in man coverage, as his size sometimes gets him lost in zone assignments (lacks awareness and a feel in that coverage) … When he sees the ball, he is quick to get in position to make the play … Has good hands to snatch or deflect the pass … Showed good improvement in using his speed effectively to recover when he is caught out of position (was slow to get back in the action in 2005, possibly due to recovering from knee surgery) … Even though he gives up several inches to most receivers, he has great timing and judgment, contorting his frame to get to the ball at its high point … Shows good explosion behind his elevation and does a nice job of adjusting his body to get under the ball … Shows adequate ability to get his head turned around to track the ball … Not a natural hands catcher, but works his frame well to reach around or over to deflect the pass … Needs to stay in control flying to the ball in run force, but will generate good pop on contact … Physical striker who needs to break down better, but gets the ball carrier down with his low-cut hitting ability … When he opens his hips properly, he can flash to the ball in an instant … When facing up vs. the large offensive linemen, he puts himself in position to occupy the opponent, thus allowing another teammate to get free and make the play.Negatives: Packs a punch behind his hits, yet has only marginal strength … Even with his lean muscle tone, his frame appears small and light … Two major surgeries on his left knee brings up durability issues and further medical evaluation is advisable … Best when making plays in front of him, as he struggles some when having his back to the ball (will try to eye the backfield and the receiver is then able to slip past him) … Uses more of a shuffle technique in his backpedal, and while he has the speed to compensate, he fails to plant and drive cleanly, making him look choppy in transition … Will let the ball into his body too much and needs to extend and catch outside his frame (marginal as a pass thief) … Plays with good urgency, but tends to get reckless in his play (takes illegal swipes at the receiver), resulting in costly penalties … Better tackler in closed quarters, as he will ankle-bite and duck his head in the open, allowing the opponent to bounce off his tackles (needs to wrap and secure with better consistency) … Not an effective blitzer, as he lacks the bulk to prevent from getting engulfed working at the line … Times his leaps well, but bigger receivers have been effective at shielding him from the ball (results in penalties when he tries to grab for the pass) … Will fly to the ball, but would be more efficient if he had a better understanding of pursuit angles.Compares To: Aaron Glenn, Dallas Cowboys … Irons knows he lacks room on his frame to get bigger, but like Glenn he is a feisty player who can pester a receiver to frustration … He is best when making plays in front of him, but struggles when the ball is behind him … He lacks hands to be much of a pass thief, but his elevation and timing lets him get to most balls at its high point … His knee surgeries might see his stock slip a bit on draft day, even though he appeared to be on his way to full recovery with his improved play in 2006.

The Huddle Report
by Drew BoylhartSTRENGTHS: David is a very underrated CB. He has speed, quickness and very good change of direction skills. He shows a quick hip-flip and is a sure tackler. David plays bigger than his size and is a strong CB who works well in zone coverage and man-to-man coverage. He is the type of CB that explodes into his tackles and makes WR’s pay after catching the ball against him. David shows quick feet and excellent timing when going up in the air to defend against a fade route in the end zone against a taller opponent. He is smart and knows how to set up a QB. David reminds me a lot of Nathan Vasher (CB Chicago Bears).NEEDS TO IMPROVE: If David were two inches taller, he would be rated as a first round pick. He has to add some bulk and work a little on his hands, but the truth is that David is a pretty complete CB.OVERALL: Size is a factor now with CB’s because there are so many WR’s that are 6’ 0” and over, but that will not be a problem for David because he is an excellent athlete that uses his brains as much as he uses his talent. I don’t believe that David will stop trying to improve and the team that drafts this kid is going to have a very hard time keeping him off the field. As I said before, David reminds me a lot of Nathan Vasher and is being pigeon-holed and underrated like Nathan was by everyone but us at THR (see Archives). Because there are so many bigger CB’s in this draft, David will be rated much lower than he should be by most teams in this draft. However, the team that drafts him will get a first rate cover corner with impact potential and a player who will become a core player for that team. I will rate David as a second round talent because he does need some technique work and I’m not sure of his special team skills. But make no mistake about it, David is going to be a hell of a DB for the team that drafts him.TALENT BOARD ROUND: 2

Football’s Future
by Robert DavisIrons began his career at Butler County Junior College before landing at Auburn in 2004. He sat out that year with a knee injury, but recovered enough to earn All SEC 2nd team honors a year later after finishing with 48 tackles, and 11 passes defensed. As a senior, Irons had 40 tackles and two picks on the year. David Irons is a very solid cover corner. He has the quickness to stick with receivers in and out of their breaks, and the speed to run with them down the field. He is also tough and aggressive, and willing to support the run. Irons has only average size, and can lose out against bigger, more physical receivers. It also hinders his ability to be a force in the run game, despite his willingness to come to the line. Even though he has good cover skills, Irons has never been the playmaker a top tier corner should be. He had just two picks in two years at Auburn, and needs to show better skills at making a play on the football. Irons has seen his stock rise in the post season, and he now grades out in the same area as his brother Kenny. His lack of playmaking ability may hurt him though. He could hear his name called in the late second, but should be gone in the third at some point.

Consensus Draft Services Overview: The former Juco star landed at Auburn in 04 and promptly injured his knee. He started every game at CB for the Tigers in 05 and 06. He looked like he was fully recovered from his ACL injury by the time his senior campaign arrived.Strengths: Irons is a physical player who also has very solid cover skills. He may lack the size teams are looking for in a CB, but he plays bigger than he measures. He showed the speed to run with any of the SEC receivers and the burst and quickness needed to make big plays. He can create turnovers with his impressive hits. This physicality is also evident when he’s involved in run support, something he’s improved upon greatly. He had a very good showing at the Senior Bowl and earned the praise of scouts in attendance.Weaknesses: Irons is a bit of a gambler, and can get burned as a result. He’ll spend too much time looking into the backfield when he’s in a zone coverage and can fall prey to a pump fake or a well-run route. He appears to have recovered from an injury to his left ACL, but he did injure it twice in his career already.Projection: Irons really stepped up and made a name for himself during Senior Bowl practices. He’s an ideal corner for a team that plays a lot of man. Look for him to go as early as round 2.

Categories: Tags: ,

2007 Draft Recap: Chris Houston

April 29th, 2007 Comments off

Hog Wired

Chris Houston

Height: 5-10
Weight: 185
College: Arkansas
Birthday: October 18, 1984
Hometown: Austin, TX


40 Speed: 4.32
20 Yd: 2.52
10 Yd: 1.50
Bench: 27 reps
Vertical Jump: 36 inches
Broad Jump: 10’2″
Short Shuttle: 4.12
3 Cone Drill: 6.94
Arm Length: 32 inches
Hand size: 9 inches

NFL Draft Countdown
by Scott WrightStrengths: Has good size with long arms…Smooth with outstanding athleticism…Very good timed speed and quickness with a burst…He’s exceptionally tough and physical in coverage…Able to run with most wideouts in man…Has fluid hips and can flip and turn…Extremely confident in his abilities…Great leaper…Strong…Has pretty good instincts…Uses his hands well…Breaks up a lot of passes…Has a lot of potential.Weaknesses: He might be a little too sure of himself at times…Ball skills are only average…Too aggressive and will get fooled…Still raw in terms of his technique…Does not do a great job supporting the run…Only an average tackler at best…He was not overly productive for most of his career…May be a workout warrior…A high bust factor?Notes: Coming off his best season by far and he really made a name for himself in 2006 by limiting Dwayne Jarrett, Robert Meachem and Dwayne Bowe to a combined 14 catches for 168 yards and 1 touchdown…Has just about all of the physical tools that you look for and is similar to another Hog and former 1st round pick Ahmad Carroll…Intriguing prospect who could see his stock soar leading up to the draft.Grade: First Rounder
by TFY Draft PreviewPOSITIVES: Feisty cornerback with a cocky attitude. Aggressive throughout the action, fights hard to defend throws and backs down to no one. Jams opponents at the line of scrimmage, is fluid turning his hips to run downfield and quickly breaks to the throw.NEGATIVES: Gets turned on occasion, does not display top instincts and is slow locating the ball with his back to the action. Struggles transitioning downfield and shows a bit of hesitation to his game. Does not display top-end speed.ANALYSIS: A developing corner with good size and a solid game, Houston has the physical style to play in press coverage as well as the abilities to be used in a zone system. Offers a good degree of upside, yet must complete his game before he.ll see action as a starter.PROJECTION: Late First Round

GRADE: 4.05 — First-Year Contributor
by NFLDraftScout.comPositives: Has a lean, muscular frame with slender hips, long arms and legs, split high and good definition in his arms and calves … Smooth, fluid mover with loose hips, quick foot speed, good hand/eye coordination and the second gear to close on the ball in a hurry … Shows smooth hip turn in transition and times his leaps well to compete for the ball at its high point … Comes out of his breaks cleanly and shows the functional strength to get off some blocks to make the tackle in the open area … Loves challenges and seems to play his best vs. top competition … Plays with nice effort and toughness and is a self-starter who doesn’t need structure to work on the extras needed to improve … Hard worker in the weight room, evident by his 450-pound bench press … Can locate receivers when handling the switch-off in zone coverage … When he stays disciplined, he sticks to receivers well on double moves and has the hand strength to reroute and press … Can latch and trail, showing the ability to cover the receiver when he doesn’t come out of his pedal too early … Plays better when he executes the press than when playing off coverage … Plays the ball well in front of him, but needs to do a better job of anticipating in attempts to jump the play … Plants and drives well to break up slants and is good at jumping for the ball in flight, timing his leaps with good body control … Is effective pursuing across the field … Good at avoiding blockers on the move and is active using his hands to shed … Moves forward with good urgency and is effective at reaching around the receiver to knock the ball away … Physical tackler in pass coverage (marginal vs. the run), as he can fit in the open and shows good hand strength to wrap and control … Has the ability to come off the block and make the play in the open field.Negatives: Locks on and runs with the receiver quite a bit, not showing the quick read-and-react skills you want in a cornerback (guesses and gambles often and the result is a high amount of pass interference penalties — eight in 2006) … Has loose hips to turn fluidly, but tends to open them too early, causing him to struggle mirroring the receiver when he gets behind the action (fails to generate his burst to recover) … Can cover tight in the short area, but struggles to feel and anticipate routes on deep throws … Shows good hip flexibility, but when he shuffles his feet he is late coming out of his breaks … Has good balance in his backpedal, but will sometimes get too tall in his stride, looking uncomfortable coming out of his breaks … Despite his weight-room strength, he prefers to cover vs. the pass rather than support the run (will not stick his hat into the pile) … Will get lazy with his eyes and take some chances, resulting in blown coverages when playing in the deep zone … Has a good second gear, but doesn’t use it consistently, as he struggles to recover when beaten … Lacks natural hands, as he tends to cradle the ball on his body and must learn how to extend his arms to make the catch (had four potential interceptions that resulted in pass deflections when he dropped the ball in 2006 and seems to trap the ball too much rather than fielding it cleanly) … When taking on ball carriers or working at the line, he will revert to putting his head down before making contact, losing sight of the ball.Compares To: Ahmad Carroll, Jacksonville Jaguars … You have to wonder if history is repeating itself here as both are excellent athletes with good speed and great strength, yet their power is negated by their reluctance to lend support vs. the run … Houston has good leaping ability and timing, but his poor hands have seen several potential interceptions turn into pass deflections … Like Carroll, Houston sometimes looks lost in play recognition, resulting in seven pass interference calls in 2006 … They talk about Houston holding Tennessee’s Robert Meachem to only two catches, but one was good for a touchdown … Ball-concentration problems were evident when he failed to secure the ball properly and fumbled an interception in the Mississippi State game … He did hold USC’s Dwayne Jarrett to 35 yards on five catches, but the Trojans were breaking in a new quarterback at the time … Is the real Chris Houston the one getting constantly turned around by Sidney Rice and crew in the South Carolina game (10 passes caught vs. Houston)? … Time will tell, but after Green Bay’s fiasco with Carroll, “buyer beware” when looking at a similar cornerback.

The Huddle Report
by Drew BoylhartSTRENGTHS:Chris is the type of player that plays bigger than his size because of his strength and confidence. He has good quickness and speed and is a very smooth CB who has no wasted movements or false steps when he is covering a WR man-to-man. He is an excellent shutdown cover corner that loves a challenge. Chris is a decent tackler, but the truth is, he would rather cover a receiver so that the ball is not even thrown his way at all. Chris shows good mental strength to go along with a smooth stride, excellent hip-flip and is smart when reading a WR to anticipate when the ball is ready to be knocked down. Chris should help a team as a cover corner the day after he is drafted.NEEDS TO IMPROVE: Chris is an excellent cover corner, but he doesn’t seem to have very good hands to intercept the ball. He is not much of a playmaker and because he does not show very good hands, he will have difficulties helping out for the team that drafts him in the return game on special teams. Also, Chris is not quick to leave his man and come up and support the run game against sweeps to his side of the field.OVERALL: In my mind, for a corner to be rated as a 1st round talent, he has to be a playmaker and a corner that tackles in all phases of the game. Right now, on the film I have of Chris, he is lacking in those two areas. He has excellent cover skills and has gone up against some big time talent, but for the next level, the WR’s are better at catching balls with CB’s hanging all over them and RB’s that will sweep around your side all day long if they smell a corner who is not energetic enough to come up and attack the sweep. Chris has some excellent 1st round talents and he could improve his attitude towards defending against a sweep without much trouble at all; however, I don’t see many CB’s that improve their abilities to intercept the ball because they lack the true hand-eye coordination to catch a ball. Antoine Winfield (CB Vikings) is a hell of a CB, but he is not an impact CB because he just does not get enough interceptions. Now, he has made a lot of money, but the fact is that he would make even more if he could just intercept a few passes a year. The fact is, no QB is afraid in an important part of a game to throw his way because they know the pass will not be intercepted. So no harm, no foul — so to speak. Chris will be an excellent cover corner for the team that drafts him, but unless he shows in his workouts that he can catch the ball for an interception, then he just won’t be an impact cover corner.TALENT BOARD ROUND: 2

On The Clock Draft

Chris Houston has starting experience against top competition, having played at Arkansas in the SEC the past three seasons. He has a good combination of speed, strength, and intelligence. He is a physical corner who also has the cocky attitude you need to play the position at the next level. He has fluid hips and excels in man-to-man coverage. Though he lacks great size, his strength allows him to matchup against bigger, stronger receivers while his speed allows him to stay with any receiver who lines up against him. He is an instinctive player and he makes a lot of plays on the ball. Though he gets his hands on a lot of balls, Houston lacks great hands and doesn’t make a lot of interceptions (3 career INTs). He will step up and support the run but he will take poor angles at times and he needs to improve his tackling technique. Chris Houston is not by any means a finished product. With less than two full seasons as a starter, he is still learning the cornerback position. He does have a great deal of upside and his outstanding performance at the combine should push him into the latter portion of the first round.

Football’s Future
by Robert DavisAs a freshman, in 2004, Chris Houston has 21 tackles, 2.5 of them for loss. In 2005 he had 20 tackles, one for loss. He appeared to put it all together as a junior in 2006, breaking out for 45 tackles, 1.5 for loss, and three interceptions on the year. Houston is an excellent cover corner. He has very good speed and quickness, and has all the ability to turn and run with receivers down the field, and in and out of their breaks. He has the size to match up with most receivers in one on one situations, and can locate the ball while it is in the air. Houston has the ability to find the football, but he is not the playmaker you want in a high draft pick. He only has three career picks, all of them coming in his final season, as a junior. He also does not show enough aggression in providing run support, and must become a more all around threat to live up to his potential. Houston has all the talent to be a standout cover man, but he has never been the playmaker his skills suggest he should be. An impressive post season circuit has pushed him into the first round of the draft.

Draft Ace
by Ryan McCrystalStrengths: Shows good strength for his size. Can be physical at times. Elite speed. Potentially the best cover corner in this years draft. Has fluid hips and good footwork; allows for him to stick tight on his man. Excellent vertical leap. Decent ball skills.Weaknesses: Lacks ideal height and bulk. Not a solid tackler. Fundamentals get shaky at times. Appears to lose focus. Won’t do much in terms of run support.Comments: Houston had a solid year at Arkansas but was relatively under the radar during the season. He was one of the surprise early entries into this year’s draft but he has come through with good workouts and proven he belongs. He impressed scouts with his impressive showing in the forty and bench press. His speed immediately catches your eye. While he looks shaky at times in man coverage, his natural ability is rare and gives coaches the opportunity to groom him into a potentially elite shutdown corner at the next level.

Draft Board Insider
by Curtis PopejoyPOSITIVES: Houston has good size and is a very muscular player. It shows in his game because he’s one of the more physical cornerbacks in the country. He loves to stick his nose in there and get dirty even against much bigger players. Houston is a smart player and shows very good instincts on the field. His speed is very good and shows it, not only when he opens up and turns up field to run with wide outs, but also in the short routes where he’s able to close quickly and make plays.NEGATIVES: Surprisingly for his strengths as a physical press man corner I’ve never been overly wowed by his run support. It’s probably due to the fact that he’s not a real solid tackler. He’s also got to work hard on his ball skills. It seems like he recognizes the play and is in position to make a big play, but tends to come up a little short. For all the plays he’s in on, he should have far more interceptions than he does.FINAL WORD: Houston is a very interesting player. I am a little shocked he declared early because he’s got a lot to learn. He’s got to get better in run support, use better angles, improve tackling, be more aggressive…the works. He’s also got to improve his hands. He gets his hands on too many passes not to have more picks. Houston has a ton of upside and I think all the things he needs work on he certainly can improve. The things Houston has going for him more than make up for his shortcomings. He’s shown he can cover the best wide receivers in the country, locked down, press man, no help, so if you can keep a QB from throwing to a wide out, it’s just as good as being a great tackler.

Consensus Draft ServicesOverview: Houston really emerged as a top SEC corner during the 2006 season. He started the season off with a bang by playing a very physical game against USC’s Dwayne Jarrett, effectively removing him from the game. He’s carried that physicality and aggressiveness right through the season while facing some of the toughest receivers in the SEC (Robert Meachem, Andre Caldwell, Dwayne Bowe, Earl Bennett, Sidney Rice). He declared early for the 2007 NFL Draft and will ride the tide of a great season right into the NFL.Strengths: Great strength and physicality, combined with aggressiveness, means that Houston takes many receivers out of the play immediately after the snap with a great jam at the LOS. He has great hand placement and can knock the receiver off balance immediately. If Houston is playing off the receiver, he has quick feet in his backpedal and shows excellent hip flip to turn and run with the receiver. He has the speed to run with the fastest receivers and the height, long arms, and body control to get up and attack the ball at its highest point. He can break on the ball well when it’s in front of him and has the speed to make up ground when necessary. He possesses unequaled strength for the position. At the combine, he did 27 bench reps, more than most offensive and defensive linemen. He also produced the best all-around workout in Indy for any position.Weaknesses:Houston has only been a starter for one year and is still learning the nuances of playing corner. Despite the fact that he is often in position to make a play on the ball, he only has 3 INTs in his career (all this year and 2 against a weak opponent). He will have to come down with more of those balls and turn some of his PDs into INTs. Despite Houston’s size, strength, physicality, and aggressiveness, he isn’t nearly as involved against the run as he should be.Projection: Houston did more to raise his draft status at the combine than any other player. He showed outstanding speed, agility, strength, explosion, and position skills. He is now battling with Michigan’s Leon Hall to be the first corner selected in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Categories: Tags: ,

2007 Draft Recap: Doug Datish

April 29th, 2007 Comments off

Doug Datish

Height: 6-4
Weight: 302
College: Ohio State
Birthday: August 1, 1983

40 Speed: 5.13
20 Yd: 2.99
10 Yd: 1.75
Bench: 31 reps
Vertical Jump: 27 inches
Broad Jump: 8’6″
Short Shuttle: 4.65
3 Cone Drill: 7.51
Arm Length: 31.75 inches
Hand size: 9 inches

NFL Draft Countdown
by Scott WrightStrengths: Good quickness, athleticism and mobility…Has the frame to add some weight and bulk up…Is extraordinarily versatile with starting experience at center, guard and tackle…Is technically sound and does all the little things…Nasty and plays with a killer instinct…Smart and a hard worker with good intangibles…Has some upside.Weaknesses: Was never able to focus on mastering a single position…Has short arms…Needs to get bigger…Does not get much of an initial push…Plays too high at times and needs to display more consistent leverage…Not overly strong or powerful…Can be too aggressive…A ‘tweener who might not be a perfect fit at any pro position.Notes: His father, Mike, played for the Buckeyes in the mid 1970′s…Played guard early in his career, left tackle as a junior and then moved to center as a senior to replace Nick Mangold…Not nearly the prospect that Mangold was but his ability to play all over the offensive line leads you to believe that at the absolute least he could be an extremely valuable backup at the next level and potentially a whole lot more.

Grade: Mid-Rounder
by TFY Draft PreviewPOSITIVES: Smart, hard-working blocker who is best in a small area. Quick in all his actions and stays with assignments. Immediately picks up stunts or twists, makes effective use of body positioning and walls defenders from the action.NEGATIVES: Does not dominate in the middle of the line and falls off blocks. On the ground a bit much. Must improve the shotgun snaps.ANALYSIS: A durable lineman with the versatility to be used at several positions, Datish comes off a terrific senior season and has elevated his draft stock. Does not possess great upside yet is a polished blocker who could fill several roles at the next level.

PROJECTION: Late Fourth Round

GRADE: 3.53 — Future Starter
by NFLDraftScout.comPositives: Has a well-proportioned frame with good chest thickness, developing upper-body arm muscles and has room to add at least another 15 pounds of bulk with no loss in quickness. … Natural mover off the snap with smooth footwork in his kick slide and retreat to protect the pocket. … Has nimble feet on the move, showing ease of movement sliding left or right. … Gets out of his stance quickly and has the short-area burst to block in the second level. … Natural knee bender who does an effective job breaking down in space. … Very intelligent player who not only calls blocking assignments, but knows the plays for every position on the line. … Very alert to stunts and twists and does a good job of firing out of his stance with a strong hand punch to jolt. … More of a position-and-sustain type of finesse blocker, but consistently maintains hand position to sustain. … Keeps his pads down and plays with a solid base; it is rare to see him go to the ground. … Keeps his feet moving and shows patience; he won’t lunge just to make a block. … Quick out of stance on pulls and traps, squaring his shoulders properly while keeping his hands in front to widen the rush lane. … Has the hip snap to break down and adjust downfield. … Shows the alertness and agility to recover in his pass set, sliding his feet laterally to mirror the rusher. … Does a good job of getting his hands inside the opponent and generates a functional pop on contact (more finesse, though). … Was one of the best deep snappers in high school (not asked to snap in college). … Has the incline quickness to get into position and sustain.Negatives: Needs to increase his overall bulk and improve his lower-body strength; he tends to lose anchor at times, especially vs. stunts. … Doesn’t have the hand punch or brute strength to drive an opponent off the ball. … Knows angles and sticks to his blocks, but without more strength, he won’t be able to match up vs. the bigger NFL nose guards. … Must strike with more force (lacks a strong hand punch), but does a good job of keeping his hands inside. … Also must be more active with those hands in attempts to lock on and control (still learning how to grab).Compares To: Brad Meester, Jacksonville — Like Meester, Datish’s versatility will see him get drafted higher than his draft stock indicates. He has good short-area quickness and nimble feet, but must learn to shoot his hands with a stronger punch and improve his lower-body strength to maintain position vs. stunts. At the Senior Bowl practices, he was having trouble vs. strength moves, which is to be expected due to his lower-body power issues. But he also struggled to pick up the quick stunts.

The Huddle Report
by Drew BoylhartSTRENGTHS: Doug is an excellent center with leadership skills and overall techniques that put him right up there with the better centers in any draft. He has good size and has no problems at all with the shotgun snap. He is in total control of the offensive line, the offensive line calls and does not make many mistakes. He is a fast learner and has improved dramatically from the beginning of the year to now with his line calls. Doug shows good quickness out of his stance and shows excellent strength and leverage when blocking a player right on his nose. He shows good lateral agility to help out his guards when needed and does a solid job with his combo blocks. Doug is an excellent center that has proven guard experience; however, for me personally, his value as a center is much higher because of his on the field maturity and because he is one smart Buckeye.NEEDS TO IMPROVE: Doug lacks some foot speed to go out and block a linebacker. This is not a problem at the college level, but it will be noted for the next level. This will not stop Doug from becoming one of the best centers at the next level, however it may affect where he is picked in the draft. Picky, picky, picky.OVERALL: Although Doug is not as athletically talented as Nick Mangold his teammate from last year, he is as good a leader and technician as Nick was. If you are a team that is up against a lot of 3-4 defensive teams in your division and you need a center that can help you right away, you might want to pick this kid up as fast as you can. If you are a team that goes up against any defense and you need a center, you had better not wait too long because this kid will be gone. If you are a team picking in the top ten of the second round and you need a center, then you are a fool passing on this kid because he has enough talent to be taken in the latter part of the 1st round. It’s his leadership and strength that make him so intriguing to me. You cannot put enough of a value on leadership. I think that the Jets might have taken a page from my draft book last year and the benefits are showing up big time for them already. Picking Ferguson and Mangold (whom I had listed in my personal top ten picks of that draft) might have shown the rest of the league that if you want to build a team really fast, then you must pick offensive lineman with leadership qualities and talent. If you pick players that have both these skills at any one of the O-line positions, you will see that the LTI ratio for an impact starter will be very quick and rewarding.


On The Clock DraftDoug Datish is a versatile player with a good deal of experience. He has started at tackle, guard and center during his time at Ohio State. He is an intelligent player and an extremely hard worker. He has the “mean streak” you like to see in an offensive lineman. He is a quick, athletic lineman who is able to pull and hit moving targets. His athleticism allows him to get to the second level in the running game. He displays good overall technique and he does a good job of finishing his blocks. Datish isn’t very strong at the point of attack and he needs to work on getting better leverage on his opponents. He would benefit from bulking up and increasing his strength and he does have the frame in which to do so. Doug Datish is a versatile player who has started all along the offensive line. He lacks the size and long arms to be a successful tackle at the next level. His best position is most likely going to be center in the NFL. If he can get bigger and stronger he could develop into a starting center at the professional level. He should be a second day pick in the 2007 NFL draft.

Football’s Future
by Robert DavisDoug Datish was a standout guard and tackle his first three seasons at Ohio St. Now that center Nick Mangold has left after being a first round pick of the Jets, Datish has moved inside to the center position.Datish has shown the ability to standout at every spot along the offensive line. His first two seasons in college, he played well at guard, but as a junior was shifted to left tackle and more than held his own. This season he has moved inside to guard to fill the big shoes of Nick Mangold. He has solid size, and shows the athleticism to move his feet laterally, along with getting out and blocking on the move. Datish will finish his blocks and drive his man into the ground at every opportunity.The only issue with Datish is that he may need to pack on a few pounds and get stronger at the next level. He lacks the power to drive players off the ball, and the pure bulk to be able to stand a 16 game schedule.

Most of his experience has come at positions other than center, but that is the position he projects best at in the NFL. His lack of power at the point of attack isn’t as great at center, but his ability to pull and block on the move is ideal for the spot. He is not as highly regarded as Mangold was a year ago, but he is one of the top centers available in this years draft.

Draft Ace
by Ryan McCrystalStrengths: Smart, technically sound lineman with experience at the highest level. Excels in pass protection; keeps a steady, wide base and shows good balance. A nasty run blocker that gets physical down in the trenches.Weaknesses: Lacks ideal quickness and athleticism. Doesn’t have the strength to match up well with dominant nose tackles.Comments: Datish is a solid prospect with experience all along the offensive line. He may be best suited for guard, where he primarily played before replacing Nick Mangold at center his senior year. He projects as a mid round selection.

Draft Board Insider
by Curtis PopejoyPOSITIVES: Datish is one of the most versatile interior linemen in the nation. Not huge, but is pretty athletic, and plays very hard, through the whistle, on every single play. He looked great as a guard last season, but even better this year at center. Keeps his butt low, and regularly beats bigger players, one on one. Very smart and experienced player, and shows his leadership, making the o-line calls for the Buckeyes. Looks to be the next great Ohio State offensive lineman, and although he’s not a big-time prospect right now, he’s sure to move up draft boards.NEGATIVES: Really only has one season at center, and for some systems, may be better suited to play guard. Not the most athletic guy, and like most players, will need to get bigger and stronger to sustain the level of physical play, in the NFL. Had big shoes to fill, following Nick Mangold, and that alone, will diminish what Datish has done this year.FINAL WORD: This is a pretty good draft at center, and that will move Datish down some. He’s got a nasty attitude, is an experienced starter, and from a technical standpoint, very sound. He’ll find a team that can give him time to beef up a little, get him some reps early, perhaps at guard, and he’ll be a ten year starter in this league. I expect to see Datish to work out very well, show up big in an all star game, and really open some eyes.

Consensus Draft ServicesOverview: Has played a number of positions for the Buckeyes. Came into his own in 2006 as the starting center replacing Nick Mangold.Strengths: Technically sound. Has a big frame and keeps hands on you until the play is over. Good athlete for his size. Has played a number of different positions on the offensive line. Mean streak.Weaknesses: Is not in great shape. Looks maxed out. A bit overrated and may be living off Nick Mangold’s name. Hasn’t had a lot of starting experience at any one position. What is his true position?

Projection: Datish is one of the better center prospects and will most likely land in the early parts of day 2.

Northwest ScoutingVersatile. Can play Guard or Center. Athletic, heady and hard working technician. Tough guy who possesses a mean streak and a very solid punch. Quick setting up, gets good position and walls off defender well. Has good agility and balance and moves well laterally. Very solid run blocker. Can pull and get to secondary blocks. Takes good angles, reads defenses well and works hard to finish assignments. Arms are not very long. Possesses solid strength, but doesn’t always use it to his advantage. Needs to anchor better at point of attack, as he can be pushed back in short-yardage situations. Struggles against larger two-gap Defensive Tackles when he loses leverage. Can be beat by speed. Will lunge and lose balance in the open field. Has frame for additional 8-10 lbs. Best fit is in zone blocking scheme where one on one blocking is minimized. Fifth rounder. Cincinnati, Denver and Indianapolis are all day two possibilities. Similar to: Shaun O’Hara.

Categories: Tags:

2007 Draft Recap: Justin Blalock

April 29th, 2007 Comments off

Justin Blalock

Height: 6-3
Weight: 320
College: Texas
Birthday: December 20, 1983

40 Speed: 5.10
20 Yd: 2.96
10 Yd: 1.73
Bench: 40 reps
Vertical Jump: 28.5 inches
Broad Jump: 8’5″
Short Shuttle: 4.72
3 Cone Drill: 7.75
Arm Length: 33 1/8 inches
Hand size: 10 1/8 inches
Wonderlic score: 41

NFL Draft Countdown
by Scott WrightStrengths: Outstanding size and bulk…Good athleticism, quickness and balance…Very strong and powerful…Stout at the point and does not get pushed back…Will overwhelm defensive linemen at the point…Has a great initial punch…Moves well…Smart and a hard worker with top intangibles…Terrific run blocker and a road grader…Nasty and plays with a killer instinct…Is versatile…Durable and has a lot of experience.Weaknesses: Does not have great feet and his footwork needs refinement…Needs to play with more consistent leverage…Is not yet a great technician and still relies too heavily on his natural talent…A better run than pass blocker…His range is only average.Notes: Was a four-year starter…Played right tackle for most of his career but saw some action at guard as a senior…Will probably move inside to guard at the next level but he could potentially play tackle as well…One of the better prospects to come along at his position in a while and he is the rare guard with first round potential.Grade: First Rounder
by TFY Draft PreviewPOSITIVES: Stout, wide-bodied blocker who dominates the opposition. Possesses big, powerful hands, turns defenders off the ball and opens holes for the running game. Quick off the snap, jolts defenders at the point and engulfs them altogether. Stays square.NEGATIVES: Lacks lateral blocking range. Marginally effective in motion.ANALYSIS: A versatile strong-side blocker, Blalock has immediate starting potential at the next level. Better off at guard, but offers possibilities at the right tackle position.PROJECTION: Early Second Round

GRADE: 4.00 — First-Year Contributor
by NFLDraftScout.comPositives: Has a very thick frame, especially in his hips and bubble … Shows good initial quickness and lower body strength to clear the rush lanes blocking in-line at guard … Plays with very good balance, agility and foot quickness … Has good knee bend and kick slide to mirror and does a nice job of adjusting and taking proper angles on pulls and traps … Maintains body control when changing direction and has quick hands to lock on and sustain … Comes out of his stance at a proper pad level and is quick to recover working in-line … Seemed to be more effective as a drive blocker working inside, taking advantage of his power and hand punch to clear the rush lanes … Self-starter who is usually the first in and the last one to leave the weight room … Does a great job of surprising the defender with his quick burst off the snap … Stays low in his pads with arms properly extended to gain advantage and comes off the line with strong leg drive … The thing you notice on film is his nimble feet and stride to gain position and get to his reach point in pass protection … Has the lateral range to slide down the line and the chang-of-direction agility to get out in front on pulls and traps … Stays square in his base and moves from side to side with very good footwork and agility … Has the upper body strength, hand placement and punch to lock on and control the defender … Shows good retreat-and-slide agility to mirror edge rushers and gets his mitts on his man with force to jolt or drag down … One advantage of him moving to guard in 2006 was that he demonstrated that he has the ability to unlock his hips and explode into the defender more often than he did at tackle … Generates very good hip roll coming off the snap … Uses his leg drive and strong hands to push the pile and has that sudden first step to gain control of his opponent … Comes off the snap with his pads down and arms active to lock on and control … Has the power and leg drive to gain leverage and uses his huge mass to gain movement on drive blocks … Moves his feet well to sustain, demonstrating proper knee bend to mirror and is quick in his kick slide to neutralize backside pursuit … Has quick moves to the outside and shows flexibility and body control in his anchor … Extends his arms and keeps his hands active to gain proper placement in attempts to lock on and steer … Can stab and punch with force, using his hands effectively to gain inside position … Has the lateral movement and agility to slide and recover when changing direction.Negatives: Has a soft midsection, adequate muscle definition and high-cut calves … Lacks the ideal arm reach for an offensive tackle … Plays with very good field awareness on the edge, but seemed to struggle some locating schemes when blocking in-line at guard … When he gets high in his stance, he can be walked back into the pocket, but that only happens when his feet cross over … After a few games at guard in 2006, Blalock settled down and showed better movement coming out of his stance to work down the line … Will sometimes over-extend working towards the edge as a guard (did not do this at tackle) … Had better success getting into the second level to neutralize the linebackers when he lined up at tackle rather than guard, as he struggled a bit to get through trash past the line of scrimmage when working in-line.Compares To: Jammal Brown — New Orleans … Brown is taller than Blalock, but both combine nimble feet, great lateral range and excellent upper body power to generate consistent movement off the snap. Blalock has the loose hips and leg drive to flush the defender out of the rush lanes and shows a quick kick slide and hand placement to mirror in pass protection.

The Huddle Report
by Drew BoylhartSTRENGTHSJustin is a very powerful offensive lineman. He shows excellent leadership skills and mental toughness. He also shows good foot movement and knows most – if not all – of the offensive line positions. He has played at tackle and guard and, although I have not seen him play center, I have no doubt about his ability to play that position also. In fact, for the NFL level, I would think that the center position would be an impact position for Justin to play once he is drafted. Justin is one of the few O-linemen in this draft that blocks evenly well in protecting his QB or blowing holes in the defense for his RB. He is an excellent pulling O-lineman and has no problems firing out and attacking a linebacker. Justin can play more than one position in any style of offensive system.NEEDS TO IMPROVE: Justin’s techniques are a bit sketchy at times because he has been moved around so much along the offensive line. This is normal and he should improve very quickly once he has settled in to one position.OVERALL: Justin might be the best O-lineman in this draft. He might not be the first one picked, but he certainly could be and it would not surprise me. I’m not sure Justin has the lateral agility to play Left Tackle at the pro level; however, I bet if you put him at that position, you wouldn’t be sorry. He can play any of the other positions on the line and before long, you will see him in the Pro Bowl — sooner rather than later. Justin LTI is very short. He will get on the field and help a team right away. He has first round talent to play more than one position. I really hope that at the combine, they test this kid out as a center because I think in the near future he could be a good one. Justin reminds me a lot of LeCharles Bentley (C – Cleveland Browns). He is bigger, but just as tough. I call him Justin (Time) Blalock because the team that drafts him will be getting one hell of an O-lineman (just in time) to go to the Super Bowl.UPDATE 2/6/07

Justin, with all his talent, has been a big disappointment the last part of the college season and now during the Senior Bowl practices and game. He still has the talent to play more than one position but, as you all know by now, it takes more than talent. Justin has gained too much weight and has lost his quickness and strength; I know I would no longer think about drafting him in the first round because of this. Work ethic is one of the key characteristics needed to be successful at the next level and even if Justin goes to the combine and returns to form, I would not move him back up to the first round. He has shown his true self just in time for me to rate him out of the first round and to rate Manuel Ramirez (OG Texas Tech) as the first pure guard that should be taken first off the board in this draft followed by Ben Grubbs (OG Auburn), then Justin. Maybe Justin will get a clue someday and realize how much money he lost out on simply because he did not consider putting his best foot forward at a job interview!


On The Clock DraftJustin Blalock has a great deal of experience against top competition, having started the past four seasons primarily at right tackle for the Texas Longhorns in the big twelve conference. During that time he has proven to be one of the most durable players in the nation, having not missed a single start due to injury since taking over as a redshirt freshman in 2003. Justin is a big, strong lineman who has developed into one of the most dominating run blockers in college football. He had tremendous lower body strength and he does a good job of using leverage to his advantage. He also does a good job of finishing his blocks. Justin is an intelligent player who knows his assignments and rarely makes mental errors. He is a surprisingly good athlete for a player his size. He can get to the second level in the running game and can get out and make a block in space on a screen pass. He is a good pass blocker who uses his hands well and rarely gives up a sack; however, he lacks the quick feet to play left tackle at the next level and he could have problems with speed rushers coming off the edge. Weight issues could be a cause for concern with Blalock. He was able to shed 13 pound prior to his senior season and he will need to keep that up to prevent running into weight problems at the next level. He played the majority of his career at right tackle although I feel he would be a better guard at the next level. Justin is a versatile player who could play right tackle, guard or possibly even center in the NFL. He should be among the top offensive linemen selected in the 2007 NFL draft.

Football’s Future
by Robert DavisBlalock earned freshman All American honors in 2003, and things have just taken off from there. A fixture at RT for the Longhorns, he has gone on to 1st Team Big 12 honors as a sophomore and junior, and also collected All American honors as a junior. Splitting time at right tackle and right guard as a senior, Blalock managed to dominate again and repeated as an All American. As far as guards go, it is tough to draw up a better specimen than Justin Blalock. He is a very good athlete for an interior lineman, and is very good in pass protection. He can adjust to a defenders moves, and keep his quarterback clean. In the running game, he has the power and strength to drive players off the ball and open up major running lanes. Blalock may also bring the versatility to play at guard or right tackle in the NFL. Even though Blalock has played tackle his entire career at Texas, he seems to be a better fit inside at the next level. He is tad over 6’3, so he is short for a tackle, but his height is not a concern inside. Justin Blalock may be able to play right tackle in the NFL, but he has the look of a dominant guard prospect. He has the talent to be a pro bowler inside at guard, and most teams will draft him with that idea in mind.
by Conor DowleyPositives: Blalock is a strong and powerful blocker who displays a good base and excellent use of hands. He balances well, and is very hard for all but the most powerful defensive tackles to disrupt. Blalock is a beast in the running game, often driving defenders back to the second level. He’s arguably the biggest mauler and the nastiest lineman in this year’s draft.Negatives: Blalock is not athletic enough to pull well or often, which won’t endear him to some teams. His footwork occasionally gets him in trouble, taking him out of position to make a block, especially in pass protection.Overview: The top guard prospect in the draft, and has the versatility to play right tackle as well. His raw talent coupled with that versatility should land him in the back half of the first round. If he lands in a system that coaches well, especially a power-blocking system, he should be a star in the NFL.

Draft Ace
by Ryan McCrystalStrengths: Big, physical lineman. Has experience at both guard and tackle. Excellent combination of size and strength. Very smart player. Picks up blitzes quickly. Has very good technique.Weaknesses: Not a great athlete. May not be quick enough to play tackle at the next level. May not be in great shape, seems to ware down throughout the game and he looks sloppy at times.Comments: Blalock has the potential to be a dominant lineman at the next level. He has elite strength and adequate quickness for an interior lineman. He has the potential to be selected late in round one but his performance at the combine will determine his final ranking.

Draft Board Insider
by Curtis PopejoyPOSITIVES: Big strong blocker, with a powerful lower body, and gets great leverage on defenders. Dominant in run blocking, and is surprisingly good in space, finding players, and finishing his blocks. Smart player, with experience and it shows in his leadership on the field. Solid in pass blocking, but it’s clear run blocking is his strength.NEGATIVES: Not the quickest player at tackle, and will need to improve his footwork greatly, or lose some weight, to play left tackle in the NFL. He doesn’t have a great first step, and can be beaten on the outside, by quick rushers. Weight and conditioning have been issues, and he needs to work harder in the weight room, to stay fit all season long.FINAL WORD: Blalock has the potential to be a great tackle in the NFL, if he can get his body in shape, and improve some of the finer points of his game. He reminds me a lot of marcus McNeil. If he can’t get quicker to the outside, he may have to move inside to guard in the NFL, while he works on his conditioning.

Consensus Draft ServicesOverview: Justin Blalock is an experienced, durable offensive guard out of Plano East HS (Plano, TX). He was a very highly regarded prep, who was listed as the top guard prospect on most recruiting services and made numerous first team All-American lists. He received offers from Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, but he chose to sign with Texas. After redshirting his first season, he immediately became the starter, and he never looked back. He set a school record with 50 consecutive starts, mostly at right tackle with six starts at right guard due to a teammates injury. He has proven to be a durable, dependable, tough leader for the Longhorns.Strengths: He is a strong player who can be an anchor in the running game. His well built upper body allows him to lock on to defenders, keeping them off of his body. His legs are equally as strong, and after he locks on to a defender, he can drive them backwards. His awareness and athletic ability allow him to locate and lock on to defenders on the second level. He is an excellent blocker on screens and pulls. He is light on his feet for a big man, and he is able to position himself easily in front of oncoming pass rushers. He has played at both guard and tackle during his career, although he is more suited at the guard spot on the next level.Weaknesses: He lacks the ideal height to be a tackle on the next level. He doesn’t have the ideal range for a guard. He is an experienced prospect who lacks upside.Projection: His lack of ideal height will necessitate a move to guard at the next level. His character and experience make him a solid second round choice in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Northwest ScoutingAthletic, physical and very strong. Mauling run blocker who explodes into his blocks and constantly moves the LOS. Great drive blocker. Very good hand punch. Knocks down defenders and creates huge holes. Plays with a wide base and good anchor in pass protection. Can handle bull rush. Gets in position reasonably quick and can wall off defender. Can reach second level and appears comfortable on short pulls, but is not especially good blocking in space. Appears to lack good awareness while on the move. Lunges and is on the ground too much. Lacks top lateral mobility and can be beat by countermoves. Doesn’t always seem to be giving his best effort… and that could cause a slide come Draft Day. Can play Right Tackle in a pinch. Best in short area. Passion for the game has been questioned. Lifted the bar 40 times at the Combine. Late first/second round prospect. Not likely to make it past the first 50. Baltimore at #29 seems likely. Arizona at #37 looks good as well. Similar to: Vernon Carey.

Categories: Tags: ,

2007 Draft Recap: Jamaal Anderson

April 29th, 2007 Comments off

Hog Wired

Jamaal Anderson

Height: 6-5
Weight: 288
College: Arkansas
Birthday: February 6, 1986

40 Speed: 4.75
20 Yd: 2.73
10 Yd: 1.59
Bench: 22 reps
Vertical Jump: 34 inches
Broad Jump: 9’8″
Short Shuttle: 4.22
3 Cone Drill: 6.88
Arm Length: 33 5/8 inches
Hand sizez: 9 7/8 inches

NFL Draft Countdown
by Scott WrightStrengths: Has great size with a large frame and long arms…A smooth athlete with excellent agility…Strong and powerful…Terrific pass rusher who can be effective with either a bull-rush or finesse moves…Does a quality job versus the run…Motor runs non-stop…Very good in pursuit and has a burst to close…Is versatile and could play a number of different roles depending on the scheme he is in…Has a ton of upside.Weaknesses: Does not have a lot of starting experience…Timed speed and quickness are good but not great…Still pretty raw and will need some technique work…Will play too high and needs to display more consistent leverage…He will struggle to separate from blocks at times…You could run the risk that he is simply a one-year wonder.Notes: His father Glenn played college basketball at Gallaudet University…Had a terrific junior campaign in 2006 despite a lack of national recognition…Could easily fit in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defensive scheme…Similar to Richard Seymour and could be a poor-man’s Mario Williams…Even though he’s not yet a finished product this guy has all the tools to develop into a premier all-around defensive end in the pros.

Grade: First Rounder
by TFY Draft PreviewPOSITIVES: Athletic defensive end with tremendous upside. Keeps his pads low to the ground playing with terrific leverage and is rarely off his feet. Plays with terrific balance and body control, and easily beats immobile blockers. Fast off the edge.NEGATIVES: Lacks overall playing strength and is slow shedding blocks engaged at the point.ANALYSIS: Possessing size, growth and a lot of natural skill, Anderson is a terrific prospect with big upside. Can be used as a pass-rushing right end, but also has the abilities to grow into a two-gap lineman. Must physically mature.

PROJECTION: Early First Round

GRADE: 4.21 — Quality Prospect
by NFLDraftScout.comPositives: Has good arm length and reach, showing a tight abdomen and a frame that can carry at least another 10 pounds of bulk with no loss in quickness … Possesses that rare speed that lets him consistently explode past a lethargic offensive tackle … Demonstrates good knee bend and loose hips to redirect … When he stays low in his pads, he can generate leverage and keep his balance on the move … Changes direction well and has the lateral range to give a good chase in backside pursuit … Intelligent athlete who does well in school, having earned Honor Roll recognition at Arkansas … Has a natural feel for the game and is very good at jumping the play … Shows a nose for the ball, evident by the high amount of pressures he generates … Might lack brute strength, but he gets most of his pressures and sacks on second effort … Very good handling stunts because of his determination to make the play … Self-starter who doesn’t need structure in the training room … Learned the proper technique of opening his hips and dipping his shoulders to get a strong push in his initial thrust … Has the sudden initial step off the ball to beat the offensive tackle off the edge … Lacks the lower body thickness to split double teams, but possesses the change of direction flexibility to drop his weight and re-direct when the gaps are plugged … When he keeps his hands active, his long arm reach allows him to defeat the combo block and re-route in backside pursuit … Demonstrates the ability to dip his shoulder to reach, grab and jerk the blocker off his stance … Uses his body lean well to slip off the offensive tackle’s inside shoulder … Disruptive force in the Leonard Little (Rams) mold when he is utilized on stunts … Has the nimble feet and lateral range to flow to the ball with ease and can close in the short area with good explosion … Possesses the speed to chase down plays in backside pursuit and the change of direction agility to make plays outside the box … Has started to develop a better concept of gaining position, staying low in his pads and maintaining leverage in order to make the wrap-up tackle … When he drops his weight and plays with leverage, he can prevent the blockers from washing him out when working in-line … When he keeps his center of gravity low, it lets him get into the rush lane and push back the lead blocker to clog the holes … You can see on film that he has a good feel for blocking schemes … Might take wide angles at times, but he has the flexibility and balance to come back down under … Despite his lack of hand usage, he sees the field well and is quick to spot even the slightest of creases in order to shoot the gaps … His spin moves and quickness let him easily defeat the slower offensive tackles when working off the edge … Quick to find the ball in a crowd and is alert to offensive adjustments at the pre-snap … Can still be fooled a bit by play-action or misdirection, but he generally has a natural feel for the flow of the ball.Negatives: Can be sudden in his initial movement, but lacks the overall strength, especially in his lower body, to escape from the blocker once the opponent latches on to him … Shows a good flow to the ball working down the line and has made very good strides in improving his footwork, but will still take a wide angle to the quarterback at times … Is efficient at using his arms in defeating reach blocks, but must develop more consistency with his hand thrust to jolt offensive linemen coming out of their stance … When he tries to take a wide path into the backfield, it leaves him susceptible to screen and draw plays to his side … If he can improve his upper body power and shoot his hands more, he would be more effective at beating double teams … Relies on quickness more than brute strength to penetrate inside and plays with good leverage and strength, but they will be negated when he fails to use his arms to combat blocks … Needs to stay lower in his pads to get through trash, but when he gets too erect in his stance, blockers can get underneath him and attack his legs … Good collision tackler, but will sometimes revert to grabbing and making arm tackles … Will sometimes over-pursue on the play, as he prefers to slip and avoid blockers rather than attacking them when coming off the edge (more combative working in-line).Compares To: Aaron Schobel — Buffalo … It is evident that Anderson is a great speed rusher coming off the edge or when stunting. Like Schobel, he needs to demonstrate better hand usage to keep blockers off his body, but both have the lateral range, second gear and explosion to be a disruptive force in the backfield. While Anderson is taller and heavier that Schobel, both rely on their quickness for most of their success at getting to the quarterback.

The Huddle Report
by Drew BoylhartSTRENGTHS: Jamaal has the athletic talent, size, speed and strength to play his position. In fact, the skills that make the NFL drool with anticipation of a future dominating DE. He shows good strength to handle defending against the run along with a very good burst off the line to scare the bejesus out of any opposing QB. He has those long arms that he can use to knock down passes when he doesn’t get to the QB — and he is a good tackler. Jamaal could be the type of player that could make the players around him better. Jamaal could be a franchise DE for the team that drafts him.NEEDS TO IMPROVE: Jamaal is not a very consistent player and until this year, it was hard to find him on the field when he played. He has one pass-rushing move right now and that move is to out-quick his opponent off the snap. If he is up against a good OT, he does not continue to fight if he is stopped from getting into the backfield off the snap. Right now, Jamaal is just a much better athlete than the players he’s played against in college. He needs to improve in all phases of his game.OVERALL: There is no doubt that Jamaal is a player that is a first round player, but he has so much to learn that it’s shocking. He is a boom or bust pick with a buyer beware label right in the middle of his forehead. The draft is about drafting potential impact players and Jamaal is a potential impact player; however, I’m not convinced that he has the work ethic to go along with that potential. Here is the funny thing about Jamaal…I think that if you’re going to draft him, he should be drafted as high as possible because I think he will respond better to the pressure of being a very high pick in the draft more than if he is taken later in the 1st round. This is a kid that seems to have a lot of pride. I know this sounds crazy, but I believe that if Jamaal is taken in the top ten players of this draft, he will want to prove that he was worth it. After the top ten players are picked and Jamaal is not one of them, then I would not pick him until the second round. If he is selected in the 2nd round, you will hurt his pride and he play for you with a chip on his shoulder trying to prove everyone wrong for passing on him. Anything else and you run the risk of this kid getting depressed and not living up to anyone’s expectations because he will think that no one really expects that much out of him. Now, I know this will not happen, and trust me — I know this sounds crazy. It’s just that sometimes, to motivate kids to play beyond the million dollars that you are about to hand them, you need to understand what pushes their buttons. Jamaal has a long road ahead of him at the next level in spite of his immense talent. That road will require him to use mental strength that even he doesn’t know he has right now. That mental strength has to be tapped or this kid will fail big time. I think the way to do that is to tap into this kid’s pride. This kid is going to need a lot of positive, but at the same time, truthful, coaching. As a coach, if you try to blow smoke up this kid’s hindquarters, he will lose respect for you, shutdown and not become the player that his talent suggests he can become. I’m sorry, but this is what I see when this kid plays on the field. What can I say?! We have a player with enormous talent and a fragile psyche. Gee, I wonder if he’s the first one to ever have this combination? NOT!


On The Clock DraftJamaal Anderson has been starting at defensive end for the better part of the last two years at Arkansas. During that time he has proven to be a very durable player. He has a tremendous combination of size, strength, and athleticism for a defensive end. He has a quick first step, allowing him to beat most offensive lineman off the snap. He has the size and strength to overpower most opposing offensive tackles. He is an excellent edge pass rusher (13.5 sacks in 06) with good closing speed getting to the quarterback. He has the ability to chase the ballcarrier down from behind and he makes a lot of plays behind the line of scrimmage. Jamaal has less than two years of starting experience and is still a bit raw. He relies on his physical abilities too often and will have to improve his technique to be as successful at the professional level. Jamaal is already one of the better defensive ends in the draft and is sure to be selected in the top half of the first round; however, with good workouts he could become the top defensive end prospect in the draft due to his tremendous upside. Jamaal Anderson would’ve benefited from staying in college for his senior season, but as it is, he has a great chance to be a top 10 pick in the 2007 NFL draft.

Football’s Future
by Robert DavisAnderson is a former wide receiver that made a smooth transition to defensive end. As a freshman reserve, he was in on 18 tackles. As a sophomore, he was in the rotation, and started the last five games of the year after an injury, and he has taken off from that point. He had 47 tackles, 10.5 for loss, and four sacks that season. Anderson blew up as a junior, finishing with 65 tackles, 19.5 for loss, and 13.5 sacks.Jamaal Anderson is an absolute freak physically. Not only is he an excellent athlete, with great quickness and agility, but he has great size as well. He is a difference maker off the edge as a pass rusher. He dominated as a junior, and still has a ton of untapped potential. He could be an all around force at the next level.Anderson is still adjusting to playing in the trenches, and is still a work in progress. He has been able to get by on his tremendous physical ability, but he will not be able to rely on that alone in the NFL. He declared after his junior year, only having about a season and a half of starting experience under his belt.

Anderson has the size and talent that will draw comparisons to Mario Williams and Julius Peppers, and he carries a great deal of upside at the next level. He had a solid showing in the post season, but probably not enough to overtake Gaines Adams as the top end in the draft. His upside is amazing, and he could make teams that do not select him regret it in the future.
by Conor DowleyPositives: Big and surprisingly athletic for his size, Anderson can dominate opposing tackles with his power and surprising burst off the edge. Anderson is big already, but has the frame to add even further bulk, enough to play end in a 3-4 or take an under-tackle role in a 4-3 defense. But he’s probably best suited for end with his style of play.Negatives: Anderson is very, very, very, raw. His technique is sloppy, and he frequently gets by on his unrefined ability and sheer strength. That does the job in college, but he’ll have a harder time of it in the pros. He has a ton of burst and acceleration, but he doesn’t have much speed to burst and accelerate to, which means he’ll have a hard time pursuing the run or chasing down a quarterback from behind.Overview: Anderson is a high-quality prospect, but with how raw he is, he has a high bust potential. He’ll still be a high pick on pure talent and his awesome potential (he could be the next Reggie White with the right coaching), but he should have stayed for his senior year. In the end, he’ll probably be a mid-first round pick, with a chance at cracking the top ten.

Draft Ace
by Ryan McCrystalStrengths: Great size. Solidly built. Great athlete for a defensive end. Decent speed. A complete defensive lineman that is solid as a pass rusher and against the run.Weaknesses: Fundamentals and technique are a little shaky. Only has one full year of starting experience.Comments: Anderson entered the draft after an excellent junior year, but his lack of experience could hurt his draft stock. He doesn’t look like the type of player that can come in and have a huge rookie year, however it is easy to see why he is so high on many draft boards by watching some of his game film where he simply overpowers offensive tackles and shows some nice moves to get into the backfield.

Draft Board Insider
by Curtis PopejoyPOSITIVES: This kid is a brute. He’s tall, has long arms, and carries a ton of weight as solid muscle. Some folks have compared him to Richard Seymour, but for me, he’s like an overgrown Shawne Merriman. Anderson really showed dominance, not only as a pass rusher, but a run stopper as well. He is relentless in pursuit, and has great explosion off the corner. It’s always fun to see a man as big as Anderson move like he does. He’s got a nice array of moves coming off the edge, but for the most part, he’s simply bigger, stronger and faster than anyone lined up against him.NEGATIVES: Anderson is relatively inexperienced, and coming out as a junior after a breakout season will make some folks wonder if he can maintain that level of play. He doesn’t have elite speed but it’s more than adequate. Anderson doesn’t always play with great leverage, but that is more than likely a product of just inexperience.FINAL WORD: Anderson is the best defensive prospect in the draft and has easily supplanted Gaines Adams as the best rush end in this draft. I know, I know; He’s raw, he’s not polished, but in a league that covets players like Anderson, he’s a gem. He’s got amazing size and moves like a man 30 pounds lighter. It will be interesting to see how he runs at the combine and what he weighs, because if he comes in a little lighter, like many suspect he will, and runs really well, he could end up more Shawne Merriman than Richard Seymour.

Consensus Draft ServicesOverview: Jamaal Anderson is a big DE who is surprisingly athletic for his size. He arrived at Arkansas as a tall, lanky WR prospect. He stepped into a starting role at DE halfway through his sophomore year after an injury to Anthony Brown and really produced. His senior year exceeded everyone’s best expectations and he has garnered the attention of the NFL as a result.Strengths: He has the size to add some bulk and strength to be a 5-tech DE. With a good amount of effort in an NFL weight room, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him excel at the 3-tech in a 4-3 alignment too. Playing the 4-3 end as a senior, he showed a real nose for the big play, racking up nearly 20 tackles behind the LOS, including 13.5 sacks. He gets off the snap quickly and has the speed to get past the blocker before he has a chance to set up. He’s able to get to the QB by flashing inside the OT, or by dipping a shoulder and rushing wide. Anderson has a high ceiling as he continues to learn how to play the position and grow into his frame.Weaknesses: Inexperience. Anderson only has 19 career starts at DE. As a result, he is still learning technique. He often gets too high in his stance and can be washed out of the play too easily. He still needs to show more strength at the point of attack as he isn’t the dominant run stopper that a man his size should be. If the blocker is able to engage him, Anderson struggles to disengage. He doesn’t hand-fight particularly well and will give up on a play if he’s unable to get an immediate advantage on the offensive lineman. As a pass-rusher, he tends to get too far upfield and too wide at times, which opens big holes for the running game. He’ll need to become more disciplined at the next level.

Projection: Anderson wowed everyone with his stellar senior season. His production in the tough SEC (especially considering his best games were against the best competition) combined with outstanding physical potential, could have Anderson looking at a first round selection in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Northwest ScoutingAthletic, NFL sized pass rusher in the mold of Julius Peppers. Plays with a good motor and is relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback. Has a very solid arsenal of pass rush moves and can get after the Quarterback with power and speed. Can redirect inside. Uses his long arms and hands well to shed blockers and swat down passes. Possesses good range… but doesn’t change direction quickly and lacks good lateral mobility. Gets in the backfield and disrupts running plays. Appears to possess good instincts and is always around the ball. Good wrap up tackler. Plays with solid strength and leverage at point of attack… but could use some work versus the run. Can be quick, but is not very explosive off the ball. Will disappear from time to time and appears to pick his spots. Has the frame for an additional 15-20 lbs. Anderson will likely get drafted a little higher than he deserves. The potential is there, but… Anderson is NOT a top 10 player. 4-3 Base End and possibly 3-4 Defensive End… in time. Mid/late first round prospect. Could get taken as high as #6 to Washington, but that is unlikely. San Francisco at #11 is a possibility. St. Louis at #13 seems about right. Would never get past Denver at #21. Similar to: Julius Peppers.

Categories: Tags: ,

2007 Draft Tracker

April 29th, 2007 Comments off

Tracking the picks of the Atlanta Falcons 2007 NFL Draft.

Round Pick Overall Notes Player Pos. School
1 8 8 from HOU Jamaal Anderson DE Arkansas
2 7 39 from HOU Justin Blalock OG Texas
2 9 41 from MIN Chris Houston CB Arkansas
3 11 75 Laurent Robinson WR Illinois St.
4 10 109 Stephen Nicholas OLB South Florida
4 34 133 compensatory Martrez Milner TE Georgia
6 11 185 Trey Lewis DT Washburn
6 20 194 from JAC David Irons CB Auburn
6 24 198 from DEN thru JAC Doug Datish OC Ohio State
6 29 203 from BAL thru JAC Daren Stone SS Maine
7 34 244 compensatory Jason Snelling RB Virginia
Categories: Tags: