Archive for the ‘Prospects 31-40’ Category

Measureables: Height: 6’2”  | Weight: 203 lbs.  | Positions: Cornerback

Instincts/Recognition: Understands route running and body language extremely well, especially when in man coverage. Does a good job of playing the ball and not the receiver. In off zone, struggles to sometimes recognize when receivers are breaking off their routes. Needs to improve his anticipation. Against the run, he does a nice job at keeping his eyes in the backfield to diagnosis the play. Also, reads screen passes very well.

Cover Skills: Press man coverage is where he shines. Plays with physicality and has the size and length to effectively press receivers and re-route them. Understands leverage and position. Knows how to use his wing span to jam a receivers inside shoulder, to prevent them from executing inside routes. Shows good balance when fighting receivers in the 5-yard area.  Does a nice job of planting-and-closing on comeback routes, but could become even better if he stayed lower. Is adequate in off zone coverage. Footwork and balance tend to wane when not in press. Back pedals nicely, but could benefit from staying lower. Has good speed and foot quickness. Can stay in receivers hip pockets and that allows him to contest every ball thrown his way.

Ball Skills: Hands are good and improving. Does a nice job of playing the ball and not the receiver. On over the top routes, he whips his head around and locates the ball. Uses his long arms to deflect passes, and his hands to jar balls free. Has an innate ability to time his leaps and route jumping perfectly. Uses his size well on fade and post corner routes. Is not a ball hawking cornerback.

Run Support: Plays the run well, but needs to be more aggressive. Will sometimes wait for ball carriers to come to him or assume someone else will make the tackle, instead of attacking. Jogs around and lacks effort on occasion. Doesn’t fly to the ball, which allows ball carriers to get good yardage after first contact. Isn’t overly physical either. Does not show the strength necessary to deliver a good pop upon contact. Is more of a wrap-up-drag-down tackler. Despite his lack of physicality, he doesn’t miss many tackles. Even at his size, he has some issues with disengaging from receivers blocks. Needs to become more violent and aggressive with his hands.

Intangibles: Active in community service. Thought of as quiet and reserved. 2010 Jim Thorpe Award candidate. All-Big 12 First Team selection.

Overall Stock: Teams are intrigued by the size of Jimmy Smith. He has next level ability. Anytime a cornerback is 6ft plus, athletic, and excels at playing press man coverage, he will find himself in discussions of the first round. As it is now, not many people know about Smith. He is not a flashy kid. Doesn’t pick off a ton of passes and run them back for touchdowns, and he attended a mediocre football school. But, I guarantee people will soon know him. In the last two years, Smith has put up some crazy numbers that aren’t obvious to the casual fan. He has only allowed 11 competitions in the past two years, total. Those are insane numbers. In fact, those are Nnamdi-like numbers. Teams will put on the tape this offseason and see a potential shut down corner. He does have his flaws, but shut down corners are a rare breed, which means there’s a good chance Jimmy Smith comes off the board in the first round. With a strong combine, the skies the limit for this kid. 

NFL Comparison: Nnamdi Asomugha

#31 CB, Brandon Harris (5’10½” 193 lbs.) – Miami Hurricanes

Instincts/Recognition: Shows superb instincts in the both pass defense and run defense. Does a good job of reading the quarterbacks eyes. Understands route combinations. Tracks the ball well, and gets his head around on deep throws. Recognizes the run quickly and attacks it down hill.

Cover Skills: Is comfortable in both man and zone coverage. Is slight better in man. Does a good job of sticking to receivers hips. Has quick feet and good balance. Above average athleticism allows him to sink his hips, turn and run on double moves and jerk routes. Has good speed and quickness. Needs to do a better job of staying low throughout his back pedal. Plays physical. Can step up to the line of scrimmage and play press coverage.

Ball Skills: Puts up more PBU’s than interceptions. Teams rarely threw his way in college. Does show good hands when the ball comes his way. Can extend his arms and use his hands to make the interception. Times his jumps perfectly and attacks the ball. Very good at jarring the ball loose right when a receiver catches it. Gets his head around quickly and tracks the deep ball well.

Run Support: Very solid against the run. Can break away from receiver blocks, and use his athleticism to run around or under cut linemen blocks. Isn’t the most physical tackler, but rarely fails to bring the ball carrier to the ground. Keeps containment to his side well, forcing the action back to the inside.

Intangibles: 2010 All-ACC 2nd Team. Passionate football player. Shows good mental and physical toughness. Tim Harris, was named USA Today National High School Coach of the Year in 2007.

Overall Stock: You can’t look at Brandon Harris’s numbers and get an understanding of how good he is. Teams rarely threw his way. What you can do is, turn on the tape and watch him lock receivers down. Harris has a good combination of size, speed and quickness. He can defend receivers of all size. He started off the season as an early second round prospect, but has creeped his way into first round consideration. Lots of teams picking in the back half of the draft are in need of a cornerback. Right now, Harris is rated as the third best and I think he will for sure be a first round pick. 

NFL Comparison: Brandon Carr

Pass Rush Skills: An athletic freak that possesses tremendous quickness and lateral movement. Proves to be a huge problem for linemen, because of his ability to quickly perform inside moves and bounce inside or outside effortlessly  on stunts. Has an explosive first step and shows good flexibility. Displays a very good club and arm over move. His club is extremely powerful and can knock linemen off of balance. Doesn’t often attempt to flatten out and bend the corner. Is frequently in the backfield and causes a lot of disruption. Constantly forces the quarterback to make snappy decisions and hurry throws. Could get a little bit more violent with his hands. Needs to develop some counter moves. Comes out of his stance high on occasion.

Versus the run: Surprisingly stout against the run. Even with his tall and lean frame, he finds a way to extend his arms and get underneath linemen’s pads. Does a nice job of stringing plays out to the sideline, forcing ball carriers back inside. Stacks and sheds blockers effectively. Keeps linemen away from his feet and shows good balance. Can play sideline to sideline. Has the speed and agility to make plays on the opposite hash. Shows excellent closing burst. Protects from the cutback and sets the edge well. Tends to stand up and play high. Needs to work his hands activity. Also, needs to do a better job of coming under control and securing the tackle. Is only a sophomore and his body is still developing. Frame has room for growth.

Versatility: Very athletic. Was recruited as a tight end as well as a defensive end. Played all four defensive line positions at Missouri, but is not big enough to do that at the next level. Possesses the size to play defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level. Has shown the ability to stand up and play in underneath zone. Is a little stiff in the hips, but moves fluidly.

Instincts/Motor: Still developing his instincts. With only two years of college ball under his belt, he will continue to grow. Even at this point, he recognizes the run well. Reads plays quickly and attacks them down hill. Shows the ability to read screen plays. Very good motor, especially when rushing the passer. Motor tends to wane a little when trailing the play.

Intangibles: BIG 12 1st Team AP All-American. BIG 12 2009 Freshman of the Year. Good kid on and off the field.

Overall Stock: Aldon Smith lacks experience. After two seasons of playing collegiately, he has decided to enter the draft. While his skills and instincts are raw, Smith has shown the propensity to get after the quarterback. His quickness and ability to move laterally is amazing for a guy his size. He has a lot to offer a NFL team. Smith is the kind of player that can develop into a premier pass rusher in the league. He also has the athleticism to stand up and play in the 3-4. There is a lot of upside to this young man. All expectations are that he will put up outstanding numbers at the combine. If he can stay focused throughout the offseason workouts and all star games, Smith could find himself shaking hands with the Commissioner in the first round. 

NFL Comparisons: DeMarcus Ware and Jason Pierre-Paul

#37 RB, Ryan Williams (5’10 210 lbs.) – Virginia Tech Hookies

Competitiveness: A very competitive back who runs with purpose and tenacity. In 2009, Darren Evans went down with injury, and Williams filled in nicely. As the feature back, Williams has a monster season and broke the ACC and Virginia Tech freshman rushing records. Is persistent to get yards after first contact, which sometimes leads poor ball security.

Vision/Patience: Shows excellent vision and patience. Unlike most young backs, Williams allows blocks to develop before making his cut and turning it up field. Shows extended vision at the second level. Has the ability to consistently turn 5-10 yard gains into 20+ yard gains.

Agility/Acceleration: Williams is very quick. Displays excellent lateral movement. Shows good, not great top end speed. Can get caught from behind and drugged down when running to daylight.

Power/Balance: Williams isn’t quite the bruiser that Mark Ingram is, but he does run extremely hard. His style allows him to constantly fall forward for extra yards. Isn’t that big of a back, but has enough size to move the pile and pick up 1st downs in short yardage situations. Shows great balance, and breaks a ton of arm tackles because of it.

Passing Game: This is where Williams needs to grow as a running back. Not the type of back to line up outside the hashes and run a down field route. Is a good check down option, and has the ability to pick up decent yardage with the ball in his hands, but he must sure his hands up. Has a good feel for getting open when the quarterback is flushed from the pocket. Needs to catch the ball cleanly with his hands. Also is still developing in pass protection. Needs to improve his blocking technique and blitz pickup recognition.

Intangibles: After a record breaking 209 season, Williams was hampered off and on by injuries in 2010. Due to injuries, he found himself splitting time with Darren Evans. Williams took it in stride and never complained. Is a hard worker in the gym and classroom.

Overall Stock: I am not high on Ryan Williams. I don’t believe a sophomore running back should enter the draft after one good season, and one injury plagued season. A team will take a chance on Williams because he possesses some good qualities and the ability to be a feature back, but he will need a year or two to develop. It would have been to his advantage to return to school, especially with Darren Evans entering the draft. Im sure injuries played a part in his decision. He still has momentum from his 2009 performance, and he wants to cash in. Running backs don’t go in the first round unless they’re truly special. I expect a teams to start giving Williams looks in the second round. 

NFL Comparisons: Arian Foster and Marshawn Lynch

 


#33 DT, Drake Nevis (6’1 289 lbs.) – LSU Tigers

 

Versus the Run: Plays with good leverage and balance. Anchors well. Very strong at the point of attack. Violent hands and uses them often. Constantly sees double teams and is able to fight through them. Does a good job of fighting off blockers and locating the ball. Solid tackler. Makes a ton of plays in the backfield.

Pass Rush Skills: Explosive off the line of scrimmage. One of the best defensive lineman in the nation at shooting gaps. Shows an above average swim and rip move. Bull rush could benefit from adding some more strength.

Quickness (hands/feet): Above average quickness in hands and feet. Lacks lateral quickness. Has mastered anticipating the snap count and gets off the ball before most.

Toughness/Motor: Brings a lot of nastiness and attitude to the field. Plays with an reckless abandon. Has a non-stop motor. Won’t stop until the whistle is blown.

Intangibles: Hard worker in all facets of life. Won the LSU Jim Taylor award for leadership, and many more offseason awards.

Overall Stock: Drake Nevis is a very disruptive player. When you put the tape on, you just see this young man exploding through opposing offensive lines. He is not scheme diverse. He is strictly a 3 technique defensive tackle. This draft class is deep at defensive tackle, so I don’t expect Nevis to go within the top 20, but look for him to maybe sneak into the bottom of the first round. A team that is looking for a pass rush up the middle will give Nevis a serious look. He’ll not only bring a pass rush, but he’ll bring a nasty attitude, something that many defenses are missing. 

NFL Comparison: Sedrick Ellis

#35 WR, Jonathan Baldwin (6’5 224 lbs.) – Pittsburgh Panthers

Separation Skills/Route Running: Struggles with creating separation from defensive backs. Never really appears to be wide open. Defenders are always in position to make a play on the ball. Average quickness and lateral movement. Long strides do allow him to create solid separation on deep routes. Was asked to run mostly deep routes in 2010. When asked to run intermediate routes, he often rounded them off.  A little lethargic coming off the line of scrimmage.

Ball Skills: First-rate leaper. Can out jump anyone. Tracks the deep ball beautifully.  Has long arms and uses them to pluck the ball from the sky. Strong handed kid. Makes a ton of acrobatic catches. Elite body control. Is able to make adjustments on the ball, that many receivers just simply can’t do. Huge threat in the redzone because of the combination of his size and ball skills.

Big play ability: The vast majority of Baldwins plays are of the deep variety. Shows the ability to double move cornerbacks and get behind coverage. Slow off the line but builds up speed nicely when going deep. Has some yac ability. Eats up a lot of real-estate with his long limbs. Can put 7 on the board quickly.

Competitiveness/ Toughness: Competes for every ball thrown his way. Blocks well in the run game. Has no quarries about catching passes over the middle or leaping in the air and leaving his body vulnerable to big hits. Physical runner with the ball in his hands. Would like to see him lower his shoulder a little more. Can sometimes get bullied at the line of scrimmage by smaller cornerbacks.

Intangibles: Dedicated worker in the classroom and weight room. Named to the Big East All-Academic Team. Recently threw his quarterback and coaches under the bus, in a rant to a reporter, about how he wont be back for his senior season. In 2009, arrested and charged with misdemeanor indecent assault, summary harassment and summary disorderly conduct. Doesn’t lead by example on the field. Seems to be disinterested at times and plays lackadaisical.

Overall Stock: Baldwin has some work to do to be considered one of the elite wide receivers. His route running is not up to snuff. Needs to show that he can work the intermediate routes as well as the deep routes. Also has to work on beating press coverage. There is a lot of upside to Baldwin. He poses a huge threat down the field and in the redzone. The NFL has slowly been transitioning to bigger receivers. Take a peek at players like Brandon Marshall, Vincent Jackson, and Dwayne Bowe. Teams are looking to create as many mismatches on the field as possible. Baldwin fits that profile. He will need to answer some questions about his character, but if he can pass the personnel interviews, he should come of the board in the late first round-early second. 

NFL Comparison: Mike Williams (SEA)