Archive for the ‘Prospects 01-10’ Category

#5 DT, Marcell Dareus (6’2⅝” 303 lbs.) – Alabama Crimson Tide

Versus the Run: A thick and burly defensive linemen that holds the point of attack extremely well. Is very bottom heavy, and that allows him to sit in his stance and become a rooted force. Has the ability to hold up against double teams. Knows how to keep ahold of multiple blockers and discard them once ball carriers reach his gaps. Is effective as a 1-gap or 2-gap defensive tackle. Is awfully disruptive for opposing offenses. Can be explosive off the snap and shoot gaps to penetrate into the backfield. Not the typical 300 pounder. Has a unique skill set and athleticism for his size. Shows good lateral movement. Can make plays from sideline to sideline. Has been a linchpin in Nick Saban’s formidable pro-style 3-4 defense.

Pass Rush Skills: Lines up at multiple positions along the defensive line, and can get after the quarterback from each one. Possesses a mighty bull rush. Can knock his man off balance with a powerful punch, and collapse the pocket. Uses his suddenness to slip past linemen with an above average swim move. Shows solid quickness during twists and stunts. Rushes the passer with active and violent hands.

Quickness (hands/feet): Fires off the ball before others. Gets his arms extended and hands up quickly, to fight blockers. Plays the game at a different speed than your standard 300 pound defensive tackle.

Toughness/Motor: A durable and rugged competitor. Has a good motor, but plays in a rotation. It is still yet to be seen how good his motor is with when playing full time.

Intangibles: 2010 All-SEC Football 1st Team. 2010 AP All-American 3rd Team. 2010 Team Captain. Was not brought up like the quintessential american. Has a story that rivals ex-Ole’ Miss tackle, Michael Oher. Father passed away at a young age, mother fell victim to congestive heart failure and is now confined to a wheel chair. During high school Dareus lived with his assistant coach, who was killed in a car accident. He now lives with a sponsor family. In 2010, the NCAA found him guilty of accepting benefits from an agent. Was suspended for the first two games of the 2010 season because of it.

Overall Stock: Marcell Dareus is in the conversation with Nick Fairley for best defensive tackle in the draft. Dareus has the ability to play in multiple schemes, at multiple positions. 3-4 teams will most likely use him at the 5-technique, even though it is quite possible for him to add weight and play nose tackle down the line. 4-3 teams will play him at the 3-technique on rushing downs, and some 5-technique during passing downs. His versatility makes him a valuable commodity. Not many linemen enter the draft with the type of experience and all-around game that Dareus has. He has all but sewn up a top 10 selection in the draft. I can’t foresee his stock dropping much from now until April. 

NFL Comparisons: Fred Robbins and Glenn Dorsey


#8 CB, Prince Amukamara (6’0 203 lbs.) – Nebraska Cornhuskers

Instincts/Recognition: Above average route recognition. Has the ability to see routes before they formulate. Understands situational football. Knows the down and distance, and plays his technique accordingly. When in zone, does a nice job of reading the quarterbacks eyes. Doesn’t get overly anxious and aggressive. Does a nice job of not biting on double moves and body fakes. Has good awareness in zone coverage. Quickly picks up on players entering his designated area. One of the better run defending cornerbacks in the nation. Reads the run immediately and attacks it.

Cover Skills: Top notch coverage skills. Is thickly built and plays very physical. Is best when allowed to play press coverage. Plays with proper technique and has the strength to re-route receivers to disrupt the timing of the passing game. Does a good job at  staying in the hip pocket of receivers. He is consistently in position to contest passes thrown his way. Has loose hips. Can quickly sink, turn and run on deep routes. Isn’t the fastest player, but has enough speed to recover when beaten deep. Shows a nice closing burst. Needs to work on staying low throughout his backpedal and turning 180 degrees.

Ball Skills: Has the hands of a receiver. Has no issues with plucking the ball from the air. Uses his route recognition to jump on balls before receivers do. Doesn’t concede any balls thrown his way. Like a receiver, he attacks it as if the pass were meant for him. Has displayed excellent sideline awareness when intercepting balls near the sideline. Return ability is average. Lacks running instincts and elusiveness to take interceptions for touchdowns.

Run Support: Sticks his nose in the fray of things. Has the build to take down big backs, and the athleticism to take down smaller shiftier backs. Does a good job of diagnosing the run. Attacks blockers and sheds them consistently. Will be faced with larger receivers at the next level, so shedding blocks will prove to be more difficult. Knows how to take the legs out from under ball carriers. Is a solid tackler. Won’t wow you with highlight hits, but consistently wraps up and brings down the ball carrier.

Intangibles: 2010 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. 2010 1st Team AP All-American. Humble kid that teammates and coaches love.

Overall Stock: Prince Amukamara led the Nebraska Cornhuskers to being ranked 5th nationally in pass defense. His numbers won’t blow you away, but that is because teams refused to throw his way. He didn’t intercept one ball in 2010. However, in 2009 he showed his play making ability. Quarterbacks tested him, and he came away with 5 interceptions. When quarterbacks decided to risk it and throw his way in 2010, Amukamara broke the passes up. He finished the 2010 season with 13 passes defended. Amukamara is what you want in a corner. He is a tactician that possesses the physicality to challenge receivers at the next level. In some peoples eyes, Amukamara is nipping at the heels of Patrick Peterson for the crown of best cornerback in the 2010 draft. If he can run a good forty and perform well at the combine, there’s a chance he can be the first cornerback taken in the draft. The thing that Peterson has over Amukamara is that he’s multifaceted. He has the ability to put touchdowns on the board, wether it be on defense or on special teams. However, Amukamara is more technically sound when it comes to playing the position. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out. No matter what happens, a team will be getting a very solid corner come April. 

NFL Comparison: Darrell Revis

#9 DT, Stephen Paea (6’1 303 lbs.) – Oregon State Beavers

Versus the Run: One of the most physical and powerful run defenders in the nation. Stuns offensive linemen with a strong punch. Plays the game with great leverage and balance. Uses sound technique. Extends his arms, has violent hands, and sheds blockers quickly and effortlessly. Has the lower body strength to 2-gap it and anchor against double teams. Is deceivingly quick off the snap. Gets up the field in a hurry, and makes a ton of plays in the backfield when asked to 1-gap it. Displays excellent awareness and locates ball carriers. Plays the game with a sense of urgency and aggression.

Pass Rush Skills: Is an disruptive force. Has the burst and suddenness to shoot gaps.  Shows an effective hook, arm over, and bull rush. Knows how to use his body to bounce off of offensive linemen, to gain an advantage in leverage. Is gifted athletically for his size. Does need to improve on changing directions and counter moves.

Quickness (hands/feet): Displays a quick initial punch. Hands are extremely violent. Anticipates the snap count well, and gets his feet moving before anyone else.

Toughness/Motor: Is a hand full to deal with. Plays the game with an unspoken passion. Motor is always at full throttle. Never gives up on a play and always hustles. Is in tip top condition.

Intangibles: 2010 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. 2010 1st Team AP All-American. Multi-year team captain. Soft spoken personality, but plays the game with a fiery passion. Is a gym rat, and probably the strongest player in the nation.

Overall Stock: Stephen Paea is the type of player teams are looking for. He has the perfect combination of good character, talent, and skill. That combination alone will take Paea far. With his bull-like strength, Paea can be a 2-gap defensive tackle in the 4-3. He also has the suddenness to be a 1-gap defensive tackle in the 4-3. I believe his talent is best served in a 1-gap system. He is highly explosive off the snap and causes a lot of disruption in the backfield. Some 3-4 teams could look to Paea to man the nose tackle position. He has the ability to play in a 1-gap system, but is too undersized to play in a 2-gap 3-4 system. Paea is held in high regards. He is considered one of the best defensive players in the nation. There is no reason why a team won’t take him off the board in the first round. He just might crack the top 15. 

NFL Comparisons: Sedrick Ellis and Tyson Alualu

#2 DT, Nick Fairley (6’5 300 lbs.) – Auburn Tigers


Versus the Run: Very stout against the run, even verse the double. Good lower body strength allows him to anchor the point of attack. Above average upper body strength. Has a powerful punch that knocks linemen on their heels. Is very explosive. Can shoot gaps and cause disruption in the running game. Does a good job of using his long arms and shedding blockers. Very good instincts and recognition. Finds the ball well, and is an excellent tackler. Wraps up and comes down with all of his body weight.

Pass Rush Skills: Dominant in this area. Very quick off the snap. Fires through gaps furiously. Rushes the quarterback with bad intentions. Plays nasty. Exhibits a solid bull rush, swim, and rip move. Does a good job of disengaging blockers once he’s in the backfield and finding the quarterback. Has above average closing burst. Requires a double team or chip. Consistently beats one on one match ups.

Quickness (hands/feet): Very quick and light on his feet to be 300 pounds. Quick hands as well. Can do a better job at being violent with his hands. Gets his hands up in passing lanes when he does not reach the quarterback.

Toughness/Motor: The toughest player on the auburn team. Plays the game at a different attitude level than anyone in the nation. Is a big bully on the defensive line. High motor, especially when rushing the passer. Can do a better job at chasing down plays outside of the box.

Intangibles: 2010 Lombardi award winner. 2010 1st Team AP All-American. Is a border line dirty player. Tends to slam quarterbacks to the ground, and lands on them with all of his weight. No off the field issues.

Overall Stock: Nick Fairley is the best interior defensive lineman in the nation. He is unblockable by one person, and almost unblockable by two people. Fairley has showed time and time again that he is a force to be reckoned with. Fairley is explosive in all aspects of his game, and plays the game with a mean streak. Those traits will transition well to the NFL. His size and strength allows him to be scheme diverse. He can play the 3 technique in the 4-3 defense, or the 5 technique in the 3-4 defense. The Lombardi award winner accumulated 10.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss in 2010, exceptional production from an interior defensive lineman. Fairley could easily be the first player off the board come the 2011 NFL Draft, he’s that good. The Panthers and Ron Rivera are on the clock and don’t be surprised if Fairley is the selection. 

NFL Comparison: Kevin Williams


A.J. Green Scouting Report

Posted: January 6, 2011 by Larry McDaniel Jr. in Prospects 01-10, Wide Receivers
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#4 WR, A.J. Green (6’4 208 lbs.) – Georgia Bulldogs


Separation Skills: Quick feet and active hands when faced with man coverage. Excellent route running. Light on his feet. Can gear down and stop on a dime when running comebacks and curls. Takes only the necessary steps needed when coming out of his breaks. Can run every route in the route tree. Long strides equate to 4.3 speed and 4.3 speed allows him to get behind cornerbacks and safeties.

Ball Skills: Makes it look easy. Catches the ball effortlessly. Awesome at the jump ball. Elevates and catches the ball at it’s highest point. Elite hands. Excels at tracking the ball in the air. Can twist and adjust his body to under/over throws. Has a keen sense for knowing when a jump is needed and not needed. Even with his thin frame, secures the ball well. Loose hips allow him to change directions effortlessly, and get to balls that normal receiver can’t get to.

Competitiveness/Toughness: His slight frame does not stop him from going over the middle to catch balls. Can take a hit and keep going. Has a nice stiff arm. Fights for all balls that come his way. Does an excellent job on crash down blocks, but needs to learn how to sustain blocks, especially in open field.

Big play ability: Sneaky elusive. Can take a check down or slant the distance. Uses a nice stiff arm to gain extra yardage. Elite top end speed. Can get down the field in a hurry. The combination of his speed and ball skills makes him nearly un-coverable. A double team is required or else Green will make you pay with putting seven up on the board.

Intangibles: Good student. Was suspended for four games in 2010 for selling a game worn jersey to an agent.

Overall Stock: Stock is sky rocketing. Teams have not been this excited about a receiver since Calvin Johnson. Many analyst are calling Green the best receiver to come out since Randy Moss. That remains to be seen, but Green is surely is impressive. Since Stanford quarterback, Andrew Luck decided to return to school, A.J. Green is in play for the number one pick overall. Expect teams to look to move up to acquire him. He was suspended in 2010, but it looks like that was an isolated incident. He will perform well at the combine and pro day, so i fully expect for his stock to continue to rise, if it can rise any higher than it already is. 

NFL Comparison: Randy Moss

#7 DE/OLB, Robert Quinn (6’5 270 lbs.) – North Carolina Tarheels


Pass Rush Skills: Quick first step. Explosive off the edge. Can flatten out and get around the edge to the quarterback. Long arms make it difficult for tackles to get their hands on him. Uses a rip move pretty effectively. Excellent closing burst. Has a knack for jarring the football loose from the quarterbacks hands. Had outstanding sack production as a sophomore in 2009, but didn’t play in 2010 due to a NCAA suspension. Needs to develop more pass rushing moves, especially counters.

Versus the run: Does a good job of playing the run, especially outside runs. Recognizes them quickly and attacks the ball carrier. Holding the point of attack is average. Does a good job at shedding blockers with his long arms, but needs to recognize inside runs better. Can occasionally get swallowed up and pancaked my large tackles. Needs to get a little bit more violent with his hands. Excellent tackler. Has some pop to his hits. Wraps up well.

Versatility: Very versatile player. Can play rush defensive end and is athletic enough to stand up and play outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense.

Instincts/Motor: Good instincts but still needs to develop in this area. Sniffs out screens and misdirection plays, but needs to be better with recognizing the inside runs and finding the ball. Top notch motor. Goes hard after quarterbacks and ball carriers. Is relentless in this area.

Intangibles: Received the ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award in 2007 as league’s most courageous player. Was suspended in 2010 for improper dealings with an agent. Seems to be a humble kid who got caught up in the wrong things. Coaches and teammates speak highly of him.

Overall Stock: He will have to answer questions about his character and show scouts and coaches that he stayed in shape during his suspension. If all goes well, he will be one of the first defensive ends drafted in the 2010 draft. He has amazing athleticism and is scheme diverse. I look for a 3-4 team to draft him, stand him up and let him get after the quarterback. If his numbers from 2009 (11 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, and 6 forced fumbles) are any indication of what’s to come, some team is going to be really happy come April. 

NFL Comparison: DeMarcus Ware

#1 DE, Da’Quan Bowers (6’4 280 lbs.) – Clemson Tigers

Pass Rush Skills: Not enough speed to consistently bend and blow past linemen’s outside shoulders, but does have a ton of power to knock linemen on their heels. Gets off the line with a good initial burst. Has long arms and uses them effectively on swim and rip moves. Possesses great closing speed. Versatile as a pass rusher. Can rush from either left or right defensive end and is strong and quick enough to rush from the 3 technique. Uses good leverage and gets underneath linemen’s shoulder pads on his bull rush. After a low sack total in 2009, he led the nation in sacks in 2010 with 15.5.

Versus the run: Excellent against the run. Surprisingly hard to move off of his spot. Good lower body strength. Really excels at extending his arms and shedding blockers. Can come off the ball a little high at times. Needs to consistently maintain leverage out of his stance. Reads the run quickly and attacks the ball carrier. At defensive end, he does a great job at stringing plays out to the sideline. Is not fooled often on option read or misdirection plays. Powerful and sure tackler. Gives good effort. Will take down ball carriers by the shoe strings when he can quite get there.

Versatility: Can play up in down the line, on all four downs. Shows his best stuff when lined up at the strong defensive end position. May be able to play outside linebacker in the 3-4, but will need to show he can move freely in coverage.

Instincts/Motor: Solid instincts. Much improved from his 2009 season. Good motor but not great. Does chase down players well, and makes a lot of second, third effort sacks.

Intangibles: Came into college as one of the top prospects in the nation. No issues off the field. Won the Ted Hendricks Award. Nagurski Award, and was a Semi-Finalist for the Lombardi Award. Named ACC Player of the Year and 1st Team AP All-American.

Overall Stock: Da’Quan Bowers went from an hyped athletic freak, who disappointed 2009 to a hyped athletic freak, who dellivered in 2010. His development in the spring was tremendous. He will need to continue to work and get better. Many skeptics point to him and scream one year wonder. At the combine and his pro day, he’ll put up monster numbers. With Andrew Luck not entering the draft, Bowers has a shot to go number one overall. 

NFL Comparison: Ray Edwards