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Old 31.08.2013, 03:51 PM
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Default 2014 NFL Draft Prospects Discussion Thread

Thought I'd start a thread for 2014 Draft prospects discussion/linked articles etc.

I might do the odd article for the Football Diner this year, but I'm not going to watch the 250+ games I did year and will be limited to ESPN - so no ESPN Player games unfortunately.

Have watched 2 games so far - North Carolina/South Carolina and Ole Miss/Vandy. Thoughts on the top prospects in each:

North Carolina at South Carolina

North Carolina

Bryn Renner - QB - popular sleeper QB. However, is limited in terms of arm strength. Vast majority of throws short with a few 10-20 yarders. Not mobile, but can buy time in the pocket. Although the offense asks him to get the ball out quickly - he did show he can get through his reads. Must improve in the 10-20 yard range - missed his TE in the soft spot of Cover-2, which he needed to complete. Day three QB - backup type.

Eric Ebron - TE - 3 catches for 32 yards. Should have had another 15 yarder - found the soft spot in Cover-2 nicely but his QB missed him. Looks to have natural soft hands - quite a smooth athlete. Not overpowering as a blocker - but absorbed Clowney nicely on one run play and also showed he can get square. Gives good effort. Like him as a potential day two level talent from first watch.

James Hurst - OT - NFL Draft Scout's 25th overall ranked player, but I didn't think he played up to that ranking. Had to bend at the waist to deal with speed - generally got away with it, but often ducked his head into contact and thus leaves himself open to the swim move - Clowney beat him 3 times with this. Pro right tackle prospect but for me more of a 3rd/4th round type than a first/second rounder.

Kareem Martin - DE - nice frame - looks to have good length. Has a nice burst off the ball - wasn't cut loose with Shaw running around at QB, but you could see it's there. Closed very well chasing Shaw as he rolled left. Needs to get lower off the ball - a bit high. Also needs to develop a counter when he gets locked up - flashed hand use a couple of times, but not enough. Will need some work, but raw tools clearly there.

South Carolina

Jadeveon Clowney - DE - has natural quickness and power. Has a really nice frame, but doesn't use his hands enough. Will win with the quickness and power more than he does with hand use. Was too aggressive early in the game vs screens/draws - but settled down. Has nice swim and rip moves. Rotated heavily - not in the game in a couple of crucial 3rd/4th down situations, which should have been right up his street. Movement skills are elite for a man of his size - but needs a little refinement technique wise.

Chaz Sutton - DE - has a chance to move up boards taking over from Devin Taylor. Dropped in zone coverage some - so may interest a team like the Steelers. Flashed a couple of times - played inside some. He should improve with more playing time this year.

Ole Miss at Vanderbilt

Donte Moncrief - WR - 5 catches for 56 yards. 4 short catches and one 39 yarder where he had a safety on him and ran a nice route for the big play. Showed he's willing to block - good block on the late TD. Will be interesting to see how many touches he gets with more talent on the roster this year for the Rebels.

Vanderbilt

Jordan Matthews - WR - 10 catches for 178 yards and a TD. Looked very good until a late drop bounced right to the safety for an INT. Cramped early second half and came back - then threw up after a big hit, but again returned. Routes were excellent - just destroyed zone coverage. Hands catcher - all good until the late drop. Showed nice speed on his 55 yard TD on a swing pass - isn't a 4.2/4.3 guy but he's fast enough. I watched him a bunch last year and really like him.

Andre Hal - CB - looked very comfortable in Candy's zone scheme - most often side-on - but moves very nicely. Reads the QB and gets appropriate depth. Will feel WR's in his zone and made plays on the ball. Will need to show he can cover man to man to really move up boards, but if he can run fast he could be a 3rd/4th rounder.

Kenny Ladler - FS - very reliable tackler - wraps up but also has power when tackling. Most often in zone coverage - either Cover-2 or rotating to a single high safety. When matched up with Moncrief he got beaten for a 39 yarder and that might limit his stock.
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Old 31.08.2013, 04:44 PM
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So far I have watched the Carolina's game, Ole Miss @ Vandy & FAU at Miami.

I was impressed with Hurst at LT for North Carolina. I thought he dealt with Clowney pretty well. Less so when Clowney tried to go inside him rather than outside.

Clowney himself underwhelmed me but perhaps that is because he has been put on a pedestal by the media. I was surprised by his poor conditioning. I know this has been a light on him before, but he doesn't seem to have improved much at all. He was still massively disruptive though and it appeared that every play call & decision Renner made was to keep the ball away from him.

I really enjoyed the Ole Miss - Vandy game. First of all, the Ole Miss freshman class looks as good as it was billed. Treadwell at WR looks especially impressive. Hopefully he still does in two years time. I kept a close eye on Jordan Matthews on a target by target basis (notes are here (http://mynflramblings.blogspot.co.uk...lt-vs-ole.html).

I made it that he was targeted 15 times, 4 of which were uncatchable. Therefore he was 10/11 with the one incompletion coming on the final Vandy offensive play. He has great hands, separates well. There really isn't much to dislike. Like you say, he isn't a burner but he sprinted away from those three pursuing Rebels easily for his score.

I watched FAU - Miami this morning and charted Stephen Morris' throws. I was surprised at his inaccuracy (despite two crucial drops). I had him at 51.9% total with only 38.1% on passes passed the line of scrimmage (notes: http://mynflramblings.blogspot.co.uk...fl-vs-fau.html).

I also noted down all of the Miami defensive snaps before Anthony Chickillo was rested (http://mynflramblings.blogspot.co.uk...fl-vs-fau.html). I'm not too keen on him at the moment. I probably won't declare this year anyway. He wasn't used on any third downs (and longs) and didn't have much success against the FAU left tackle. He did still finish with a sack and a couple of tackles.
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Old 01.09.2013, 11:29 AM
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Paul, what did you think of the TE from Georgia? Lynch?
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Old 01.09.2013, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razors Edge View Post
Paul, what did you think of the TE from Georgia? Lynch?
Like his potential - probably won't get to the Georgia/Clemson game until Tuesday, will make sure I have a close look at him in that one.
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Old 01.09.2013, 02:42 PM
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Next 3 games:

LSU vs TCU

LSU

Zach Mettenberger - QB - looks improved on 2012. Arm and size are good - not a real mobile guy, but showed he can move in the pocket to buy time which is essential for a pocket passer. Lots of play action passes - would have liked to have seen him sell those a little more. Took something off a couple of his throws, which is a nice sign. Made one really nice throw - his man in between 2 defenders - got it over TCU's #17 and right on target to his man. Ball placement off a little at times and feet were set in concrete a little too much - but looks to be on the right path.

Alfred Blue - RB - taller back at 6'1" - ran high at times, but did show he can get low, particularly on contact. A few too many negative or 0 gain type runs - blocking wasn't always there - but perhaps a little indecisive/slow to get up to speed. Generally wasn't asked to pass protect - tended to go out and run a route - but failed to pick up a CB blitz after a play fake and gave up a sack.

Anthony Johnson - DT - very busy player - works very hard and uses his hands very well. Not a real one gap threat or top pass rusher - but he did enough rushing the passer to believe he can still be a fairly high pick. Was double teamed a fair amount and held up well in the run game. Enjoyed watching him play.

Lamin Barrow - LB - looks to have long arms, but a fairly lean frame. Got good depth in his zone drops and looked comfortable in space. Likely WLB type. Read and react was a little slow at times and not the best getting off blocks. Not as good as Kevin Minter, but perfect for the modern game.

Craig Loston - S - tough to tell as he was off screen a lot - either two deep or single high - but did get some off man work over the slot TE or WR. Late over from a single high spot by a few steps. Did get over from a 2 deep look to break up a pass - but had the ball been thrown with more zip I think it would have been complete. Missed a tackle on a TD run - angle wasn't quite right - but did show he can get downhill.

TCU

Jason Verrett - CB - a bit of a mixed bag. Didn't press - was up at the line but hands were low and bailed or just turned and ran with his man. Has to watch the trailing hand when he breaks up passes - got away with one, but then gave up a PI in the end zone where he gave up inside position and then went through the WR. Beckham ran a come back route on him and got major separation on the catch. Looked to have nice hips though - came off his man one time nicely and almost made a play on the ball. Physical - will tackle and had a nice sack. On a deeper route was trailing a little, but had a nice little recovery burst - got his head around and broke the pass up. Looked good, but not top 15 good...

Alabama vs Virginia Tech

Alabama

A.J. McCarron - QB - not a great game, struggled a little with some pressure and only completed 4 out of 14 passes that travelled over 10 yards in the air (with a TD and an INT). Pick wasn't a good decision - had pressure and threw without setting his feet and staring down his man. Arm looks good enough - the long TD he threw off his back foot and it got there. Best when he has time and then everything clicks - his 18 yard corner route which was on time and target was probably his best throw. Interesting evaluation - will be interested if he can win some games if the running game gets shut down at times this year.

Cyrus Kouandijo - OT - has a lot of pre-season hype, but looks over rated to me. Heavy footed guy - looks a bit like Fluker and Andre Smith to me. Hands are low when setting up in pass protection - and they drop lower with each step he takes. Struggled against the inside move some. Powerful in the run game - drove his man back 10 yards on one play which was nice. Doesn't look to have elite feet and I'm not sure he has grape vine arms like Fluker to make up for it.

Anthony Steen - OG - generally impressive technique wise, particularly in pass protection. Did give up a sack officially, but really a coverage sack. Did struggle more against speed on his outside shoulder. Does a nice job sitting in his stance with his hands up - wins the leverage battle and won a lot of battles. Not always completely square in the run game. Tried to stick with his man on zone plays, but not always successful.

Ed Stinson - DE/DT - highly impressive. Versatility a plus - some 4-3 DE, 4-3 DT and then 3-4 base DE. In the base showed his two gap ability - stacked and shed on numerous occasions - demands the double team. Uses his hands well rushing the passer also. Under control - wasn't fooled by draws and screens. Not a sexy speed rusher type - but two gap guys are tough to find and he looked a really good one.

C.J. Mosley - LB - not one of his better games. Read and react was a little slow at times and he took some false steps on occasion. Did read one zone/read play perfectly though to make a tackle for no gain. Gets very good depth on his zone drops - made one crossing route tough to throw for Thomas. Good player and I would expect him to play better moving forward.

Hasean Clinton-Dix - S - playing that Robert Lester role where you see very little of him on screen. Made a couple of early downhill plays that were nice. The long TD run - the TCU RB pulled away from him, so question long speed. Will take good notice of him against Texas A&M as they got the safeties manned up last year and this will be the test for him.

Virginia Tech

Logan Thomas - QB - the music intro to this game was Jake Owen's "Days of Gold" but for Thomas it was Days of Old. Horrible stats were slightly deceptive, but still the same guy as last year for the most part. Big, strong in the pocket - big arm - can run (although didn't much in this one) - but like many college QB's struggles to make the correct pre and post snap reads. Now - his WR's stank (his top guy D.J. Coles was pretty much a non factor) and he was under pressure, so let's see how he comes on. But not as poor as EJ Manuel was against Florida last year and he still ended up being a first round pick because of the size/arm talent.

James Gayle - DE - Tech have a history of good pass rushers and Gayle has some production, but I don't think he's a top 100 level talent. Did give good effort against the run - but at times was just overmatched. One pressure on an inside rush - but doesn't have the burst enough for a 253lb DE for me.

Kyle Fuller - CB - had a really good game. Looks to have good feet and has the ability to turn and run. Got his head around a couple of times to break up a play - although one time he was recovering and wasn't able to, although still broke up the pass. Physical against the run - made several tackles. Also a good special teams player - delivered a nice block on a PR. Had an INT and was the best Tech player.

Texas Tech at SMU

Texas Tech

Eric Ward - WR - started off the game like a house on fire - then disappeared - but then finished off the game very well. Finished with 13 catches for 150 yards. 6'0", 205 lbs - looks well put together. Routes were good - found the soft spot in the zone and showed a nice stutter step on one route. Should be highly productive.

Jace Amaro - TE - suspended for the first half after being ejected from the Bowl game for throwing a punch. Made an instant impact in the second half with 3 catches for 42 yards but then nothing the rest of the half. Looks athletic - closes the cushion quickly against off man coverage and puts pressure on defenders. Got on top of SMU's #3 early in the route down the seam and caught an 18 yarder. Made a nice low catch - hands look very natural. Interesting talent.

SMU

Garrett Gilbert - QB - big arm - likely will make a camp at minimum because of it but must improve with his reads.

Kenneth Acker - CB - had some positive moments, but gave up some passes - including a TD on a slant where he gave up the inside too easily and never closed. Question mark on speed - WR got on top of him, but the throw led him out of bounds, so he got away with it. Might be more of a zone guy who can help on special teams - physical, will tackle.
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Old 02.09.2013, 08:02 PM
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Georgia at Clemson

Georgia

Aaron Murray - QB - looked off most of the night. Ball placement was generally poor - a lot of low passes and then some where his receivers had to stop to catch, rather than catch in stride. Got fooled by a zone blitz on his INT - didn't read or see the DE at all. Timing passer - and Clemson's defense ensured that timing was off. Likely will impress in team interviews before the Draft - but likely a Kirk Cousins/Matt Barkley level talent unless he surprises with his arm strength at the Senior Bowl.

Arthur Lynch - TE/HB - only one catch - was used to chip the DE's a fair amount by which time Murray was getting the ball out - so I think that's why he wasn't used more. Broke a tackle after his only catch and looked strong. Blocked well - used as an inline TE, HB and FB. Spring two long runs - sealed a DE inside on the early TD run and then on a FB run up the middle he led the way and took out the MLB. Just needs to ensure promise turns into production this season and he should be a top 100 pick.

Chris Burnette - OG - generally good, but looks a little limited athletically. Looks to have a fairly soft body type - listed at 322 lbs and looks it. Flashes of feet movement - but did struggle some with quickness. Made every effort to get square in the run game. Very effective pulling - really clears the way. Pass protection he got a little high as the game moved forward - so conditioning would be a concern. Ducked head into contact a couple of times and whiffed on blocks. Solid guy - probably more of a mid round type - not as good as Larry Warford on first watch.

Damian Swann - CB - wasn't really tested - feet and hips looked solid and showed he can press. Did miss a tackle on Watkins TD - woeful shoulder hit with no wrap at all. Most of Clemson's passing attack was swing passes and they didn't come after him - so need to see again.

Clemson

Tajh Boyd - QB - clearly a gifted athlete - his run around the right side on 3rd and 4 was nice. Runs the fake zone-read play pass a lot - it's hard to then get your feet set - sometimes he didn't - but then others he showed really quick feet to help his accuracy. Beautiful in the bucket touch pass for one TD. Able to escape pressure while keeping his eyes downfield. Offense dictates one or two reads and then run - so not someone who can be turned into an old school pocket passer in short time - but just let him play and he should be just fine.

Roderick McDowell - RB - some fantastic moves - the best probably the spin move outside. Not the biggest - but like Ellington last year is not afraid to put his head down and get what he can. Should move up boards as he sees more time.

Sammy Watkins - WR - flashes of top 5 talent - particularly his TD reception - making a catch behind him, breaking a tackle and then turning on the jets. Dangerous on jet sweeps. Not a huge night and muffed a punt - but we all know he can play.

Brandon Thomas - OT - playing left tackle, but pro guard body type and feet. Struggled against quickness and played a bit high - but stuck to it and generally did a decent job. Should be just fine inside and when he's not stressed with speed he can focus on his knee bend. Did show he can mirror in short areas, which is encouraging.

Mississippi State at Oklahoma State

Mississippi State

LaDarius Perkins - RB - looked fantastic early on, but then was shut down. Showed he's good as a receiver and also in pass protection when asked to help there. Had 3 really nice plays - the best a one handed catch and great move to make the first man miss. Showed patience and burst - when blocking was poor he didn't dance around, just got what he could.

Gabe Jackson - OG - I watched a lot of him last year and was impressed - but he might be even better this year. Really good performance. Was up against Calvin Barnett who NFL Draft Scout rate as a 4th rounder at the moment - when matched up against him he won every battle. Pass protection technique is very good - hand placement is perfect and just locks his man up with no problems. A little off balance a couple of times in the run game - lunging a little at his man - but on the whole fun to watch.

Oklahoma State

Calvin Barnett - DT - lost every battle against Gabe Jackson - but to his great credit kept plugging away. Did have some success when away from Jackson - particularly rushing the passer from NT in a 3 man line. Plays a bit high - but motor is high. Probably more of a day three prospect on this evidence - but the type who can certainly help in a rotation.

Justin Gilbert - CB - excellent special teams player - returns kicks and also a good punt gunner. Had one INT on a tip but dropped another chance in zone coverage. Perhaps a little high in his backpedal - but transition out of it is smooth. Looks like he likes to read the QB and make plays - that was used against him when a TE wheel route got behind him for a big play when his eyes were in the backfield and his feet slowed for a couple of steps. Will be tough to cut because of the special teams ability - but will need a good 40 to cement a top 100 placing.

Shamiel Gary - S - not rated highly by NFL Draft Scout, but I came away impressed. Asked to cover the slot WR and made some plays on the ball in off coverage. Broke up 4 passes and was very active. Should rise if he continues this level of play.

Last edited by duesouth10; 02.10.2013 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 03.09.2013, 07:43 PM
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Florida State at Pittsburgh

Managed to avoid the score all day - but wish I hadn't bothered!!

Florida State

James Wilder Jr - RB - 10 carries for 58 yards, but left the game with an injury - hopefully just a precation in an easy win. Bigger back - main concern is that he runs upright - he's strong can can cut back nicely, but want to see him again.

Cameron Erving - OT - big soft bodied left tackle who struggled against edge speed - likely pro right tackle prospect. Heavy footed and hands drop with every step in pass protection. Compensates by trying to get onto his man early in the play - sometimes over extending slightly and then he's off balance. Really liked his re-anchor ability though. Decent in the run game - did a nice job dropping his hips before contact and getting under people. Has limitations, but solid prospect.

Bryan Stork - C - very skilled in the zone blocking scheme - quick feet to get square and seal. Sticks to people in the run game like glue. Gets to the second level very quickly - impressive post snap. Shotgun snaps were all good. Not quite as good at times in pass protection - feet were back and out early post snap - but did try and recover. A little high a few times. Will be a nice system fit for a number of teams.

Timmy Jernigan - DT - playing some 3-4 NT and it didn't suit him. FSU are running an Alabama style defense and he's not a Jesse Williams anchor guy. At his best when he's trying to get up the field. Flashes of top talent - when he gets his arms extended he looks much better - gets a good initial punch in and then uses a swim move, although perhaps a little over reliant on that move. Did have a sack, but otherwise a non factor rushing the passer - went for the bull rush a few times with limited success. This system might not suit him...

Christian Jones - LB - playing ILB in the 3-4, MLB in 4-3 and then some DE in the nickel. Most impressive moments were rushing the passer - looked much better when he didn't have to think and could just get up the field. Completely different player when asked to read and react - his feet were moving, but he wasn't going forward - just treading water. Got hung up on blocks and was too slow to decipher far too often. Looks better suited for a one gap attacking scheme - so again, this might not suit him.

Lamarcus Joyner - CB - moved to CB this year and had 2 sacks blitzing. Listed at 5'8" - so likely an inch or two shorter - the Combine will be crucial for him (40 and vertical in particular). Wasn't sure of his speed on a late out route caught on him - there was a fair bit of daylight between him and the receiver. Did break up a slant to Street nicely and showed he can turn and run smoothly. Also returned kicks, but didn't break anything and fumbled one.

Terrence Brooks - FS - playing off camera alot, so one of those tough evaluations. Reading the QB broke in front of the receiver in the end zone and should have had an easy INT, but dropped it. Did have an INT later - a tougher catch - low - which he cradled and controlled nicely. Did get caught up in traffic on the early TD reception and couldn't get out to Garner. Tough to judge - but looks like a solid centre fielder.

Pitt

Devin Street - WR - 6 catches for 141 yards, although a 52 yarder late on was against the second/third team defense. Big target who looks impressive on slants. Like last year, he tends to drift in and out of games and I'm often left wanting more from him. One route was really nice - setting up his man with a step to a corner route and then breaking in to make an easy catch. Hasn't been helped by the QB play - so hopefully Savage will settle down and help him find more consistency.

Aaron Donald - DT - listed at 285 lbs by Pitt - 275 by NFL Draft Scout - so that might be an issue. Struggled to make a major impact on the game, but battles away and there were flashes of his quickness which is where he wins. His hand use is good - but there needs to be a bit more behind it. One gap 5 technique (Texans) or possibly 3 technique in certain situations (Tampa-2) - but he won't be able to two gap in the NFL.
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Old 04.09.2013, 07:21 PM
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Ohio at Louisville

Not a game I would have bothered with had I subscribed to ESPN Player, but thought I might as well have a quick look.

Nothing for Ohio - Tettleton poor and the CB Carrie nothing special.

Louisville

Teddy Bridgewater - QB - a couple of dodgy throws, but on the whole in complete control. Very calm in the pocket - not phased by pressure - can move while keeping his eyes downfield. Very comfortable going through his progressions in the pocket - but can also extend a play rolling either way. Footwork when dropping back looks good - loved it when he planted his back foot and then got the ball out, stepping into the throw. Passing chart had more down the field throws than Tajh Boyd - nice to see 4 long TD's. Has to be careful after play action fakes - sells them nicely, but takes his eyes off the defense and if he's too quick he may not see LB's underneath as on one play. Excellent arm strength and accuracy was good on the whole.

More of a 3/4 release - dropped to a sidearm a couple of times - but being able to change release point is OK sometimes. At times he looks to have a little hitch in his release and that would be my main concern.

Overall though - looked good. Main problem might be evaluating him against a pretty weak schedule.

WR's DeVante Parker and Damian Copeland both had some wide open catches and both looked good - but it was too easy for them.

Preston Brown (ILB) has good size, reads the game well and can hit. Might not be a top 100 pick - but he'll make a roster and I could see him sticking around a team like the Steelers for years.

Hakeem Smith (S) played either two deep or rolled to the single high safety - had a nice INT of a tipped ball, but otherwise wasn't tested. Wiry frame - may need to fill out a bit.
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Old 04.09.2013, 07:43 PM
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Good to see your keeping at the scouting, I've reviewed your draft guide many times over the off season.
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Old 05.09.2013, 07:05 AM
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Good to see your keeping at the scouting, I've reviewed your draft guide many times over the off season.
Cheers! Much reduced workload though - I've even got a day off tomorrow night!!
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