Mikel Leshoure Scouting Report

Posted: January 26, 2011 by Larry McDaniel Jr. in Running Backs
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Measurebles: Height: 6’0”  | Weight: 227  | Position: Running Back

Competitiveness: Very tough and well put together kid. Runs with a chip on his shoulder. Rarely shies away from contact or runs out of bounds. Makes himself compact and will lower his head and push the pile, and will also lower his head in the open field and run threw defenders. Plays with a lot of fire and passion.

Vision/Patience: Big running backs usually don’t have patience, but that is not the case for Leshoure. His vision is extraordinary. He’s able to find creases, big or small. Has the ability to see the cut back lanes. Plays with a lot of patience. Allows his blockers to get their bodies on defenders, and allows holes to develop. Also shows extraordinary vision in the open field. Does a good job of making defenders pay when they take poor angles.

Agility/Acceleration: Very agile and light on his feet. Has some shake and bake and wiggle to his game. Can cut on the dime and leave tacklers in mud. Always makes the first defender miss. Possesses two gears. Can explode through the hole and reach the second level consistently. Top end speed is average. Will break off long runs and get caught from behind on occasion.

Power/Balance: Runs the ball powerfully. Doesn’t go down easily. Usually takes more than one defender to bring him down. Shows excellent balance, especially during contact. Bounces off of tacklers often, and keeps going. Will run upright at times, but knows when to bend his knees and play with leverage.

Passing Game: Excellent in the passing game. Sells the screen well. Can come out the backfield on swings and wheels and make a play. Does a nice job of picking up blitzers when asked to stay in and protect.

Intangibles: 2010 College Football Performance Awards Running Back. 2010 AP All-American Second Team. 2010 First Team All-Big Ten selection. Second in the nation in rushing yards and touchdowns. Suspended for September 2009 matchup against Illinois State for violating team rules. Suffered broken jaw in 2008 and lost 17 pounds. Reportedly it was due to a fight with teammate Jeff Cumberland.

Overall Stock: Mikel Leshoure was highly impressive in 2010. His combination of size and agility made him dangerous every time he touched the ball. His numbers are slightly deceiving. He had the luxury of playing in an option read offense where holes were larger than normal, due to defenders having to worry about the quarterback running. Nonetheless, Leshoure is an excellent talent. With his play in 2010, he has worked his way into late first-second round consideration. He is currently ranked as the second best running back, behind Heisman Award winner, Mark Ingram. He isn’t the fastest guy, so teams will pay close attention to his forty-yard dash at the NFL Combine. If he can put up an acceptable number, he won’t last long in the draft. Leshoure is some what of an unknown to the average football fan. I think fans will soon know who Leshoure is. 

NFL Comparison: Arian Foster

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Measureables: Height: 6’7”  | Weight: 305 lbs.  | Position: Left Tackle

Pass Protection: Extremely tall and lean. Has 35 inch arms and 10 inch hands. Possesses good athleticism. Isn’t overly thick in the lower body. Will need to gain some extra girth there at the next level. Does a good job of extending his arms, locking out his elbows, keeping pass rushers off of his frame, and pushing them behind the quarterback. Has a tendency to drop his head upon contact, which leaves him susceptible to the swim move and push pull move. Has a good kick-slide, but it can be approved upon. Can sit down and anchor at the point of attack. Can also reset himself and anchor after initially being overwhelmed. Does a good job at handling both speed and power rushers. Foot work is not technically sound, but it is improving.

Run Blocking: More of a finesse offensive tackle than a power one. Will not overwhelm defenders with strength. Doesn’t show the ability to be able to drive defenders and eliminate them from the play. Is more about working his technique to create advantages for himself. Can swing his hips around and open up holes on the interior of the line and seal off the perimeter for outside runs. Keeps his hands inside and plays with good leverage and balance. Has the athleticism to reach the second level and get a body on defenders.

Awareness: Above average awareness. Knows who to attack when asked to make a block out in space. Needs to improve on keeping his head up, to recognize blitzes, stunts, and twists.

Toughness: Not the mauler type. Doesn’t posses a mean streak. Isn’t the strongest kid, but does a good job of working his technique and hanging in there against brawnier players.

Intangibles: Very solid character. Decided to major in Bio Chemistry instead of majoring in something easy to get by in college. Plans on doing cancer research once his NFL career is over. Plays with passion and heart. 2010 AP All-American Third Team.

Overall Stock: Right now, it’s a toss up as to who is the best offensive tackle in the 2011 NFL Draft. Each one of the top five guys has a claim for that title. Anthony Castonzo is an athletic guy that can come right into the NFL and start from day one. Im not certain it will be on the left side, but he can surely play the right side. He has all the tools to be a solid offensive tackle for 10 plus years. However, he does have some things to work on, such as footwork and head placement. His body also needs to do so more maturing. There is room for growth, and he’ll need at least 10 more pounds to be effective at the next level. Expect Castaozo to come off the board in round one. Only time will tell how high or low he goes. It all depends on his combine and offseason interviews. 

NFL Comparison: Charles Brown

Updated 02/02/2011

Round 1: 1-16 || Round 1: 17-32 ||  Round 2: 1-16 || Round 2: 17-32

*Underclassmen, **Redshirt Sophomores

Alabama DT, *Marcell Dareus – It is a must for the Patriots to get better up front on defense. They have Vince Wilfork, but outside of him, they have no one else. The old Patriots defense was built around their three down defensive linemen. Since they traded Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders, no one has filled in. Marcell Dareus is a guy that is scheme versatile and can come in and line up at the 5-technique. He has the thick lower body required to hold the point, and the hand and foot quickness to penetrate the backfield. With his experience in the 3-4, he’ll make the players around him better, and in a hurry. Mayo, Guyton, and Spikes will flourish behind Wilfork and Dareus.

Wisconsin DE, *J.J. Watt – The Chargers don’t have many needs on either side of the ball. Their offense and defense finished the season tops in the NFL. Nonetheless, they could use some improvement in their defensive front-7. J.J. Watt is a blue-collar player with an outstanding work ethic. Watt has the upper and lower body strength to anchor at the 5-technique, and the explosion and power to rush the passer. His play and character would fit in quite nicely with the Chargers.

Boston College OT, Anthony Castonzo – The Giants offensive line is old. They have been on a steady decline over the past couple of years. They are not protecting Eli like they use to, and their not opening up nearly enough holes for the running game. Castonzo comes from a long list of excellent Boston College linemen. He can add competition and depth to the offensive line, and eventually take over at either left or right tackle.

Iowa DE, Adrian Clayborn –The Buccaneers are coming along nicely. They went from a 4-12 team to a 10-6 team, in just a year. The offense is stacked with rookies that are performing beyond their years. The defense still has some holes in it. At this point, they do not do a great job at rushing the passer. They need a presence on the edge, and thats where Adrian Clayborn can help. Clayborn is a kid that can overwhelm linemen with his strength and nastiness. He possesses a good pass rushing toolbox, and is stout against the run. His production in 2010 tapered off from 2009, but he is still a first round talent.

Cal Berkeley DE, *Cameron Jordan – The Chiefs are in a poor position to fill their needs. At 21, the best receivers and offensive linemen are already off the board. The Chiefs need a nose tackle, but Phil Taylor doesn’t fit the character traits that Pioli/Haley look for in their players. So, which way do they go? They go with yet another defensive end. The Chiefs may be losing a few players in their defensive line rotation, so Cameron Jordan would be a nice pick here. It isn’t truly a position of need, but Jordan is the best player available that fits the Chiefs defensive scheme, and character needs. The former Cal team captain is a multidimensional player who has 3 years of experience playing in the 3-4. Jordan is a stud against the run. It is extremely difficult to move him off of his spot. Unlike most 5-techniques, Jordan is an explosive pass rusher that can rush from either the 5 or 3-technique. He can team up with Wallace Gilberry on 3rd/passing downs and wreck havoc on the pocket. Adding Jordan causes a trickle down effect. Getting more pressure up the middle helps Tamba Hali get more sacks, and helps the secondary cover for less time. Jordan is one of the safest picks in this years draft.

Mississippi State OT, Derek Sherrod – I have never seen Peyton Manning hit as much as he’s been hit this year. The lack of quality offensive lineman has hurt the Colts. Peyton is having to rush a ton of throws due to pressure. Those rushed throws have turned into 17 interceptions (5 returned for touchdowns). Adding an athletic and strong tackle will not only help Peyton and the passing game, but it will help their non-existent running game. Derek Sherrod is the most complete tackle in the NFL Draft. He can both pass protect and run block. Is very athletic and will most certainly excel at the Colts stretch run plays.

Wisconsin OT, *Gabe Carimi – The pass protection for Michael Vick was simply atrocious this season. Just because he is a running quarterback doesn’t mean you have to block less for him. If the Eagles tackles would of provided more of a pocket for Vick, maybe they would of gotten further in the playoffs. The Eagles fill a huge need here and draft a nasty offensive linemen, Gabe Carimi. Carimi is a mammoth. His specialty is run blocking, but he is also solid in pass protection. He will need to work on some technique flaws against speed rushers, but a solid mini and training camp should do the trick. He should be able to come in and open up running lanes for both Vick and McCoy, and help keep blitzers away from Vick.

Oregon State DT, Stephen Paea – The Saints could use a little more push up the middle when it comes to rush defense and pass rush. They ranked in the middle of the pack in both categories. Paea is one of the most disruptive defensive tackles in the nation. He is consistently double teamed, and still manages to find a way to collapse the pocket. He is quick and explosive, making it difficult for guards and centers to protect their gaps. In Greg Williams system, Paea can do some damage, and open up lanes for other players to do damage as well.

Colorado CB, Jimmy Smith I must admit, I’ve only seen the Seahawks play three times this year, two being playoff games. The thing that sticks out to me most was the fact that they have poor cornerback play. In week 12, Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe caught 13 passes for 170 yards, and 3 touchdowns. If their defense wants to take the next step, they must be able to stop teams number one receivers. Jimmy Smith is a big cornerback that sits at 6’2 205lbs. He has the athletic ability to cover smaller receivers, and the size to cover bigger ones. He’s also solid in run support. Rumor has it that he has only allowed 11 completions in the past two years. Those are insane numbers, Nnamdi-like numbers.

Boise State WR, Titus Young – Going out and getting Anquan Boldin and TJ Houshmandzadeh didn’t do much for the Ravens. Both dropped key balls during the final quarter of their playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s time for TJ to retire, and Derrick Mason is almost there with him. The Ravens offense needs to go out and get someone who can stretch the field, and cause matchup issues for defenses. Titus Young is an explosive player who eats up cushion and gets behind secondaries in a hurry. His route running is pin point and he is quite elusive in open field. He has work to do with his frame. He’ll have to add on some bulk, but that shouldn’t be a problem in an NFL strength and conditioning program. Young will have a great effect on the Ravens offense. With his skill set, he’ll require a ton of attention from defenses. No more 8-man fronts for Ray Rice, and more down field completetions for Joe Flaaco.

Georgia DE/OLB, *Justin Houston – The Falcons need someone opposite of Roddy White. Unfortunately, the only receiver who may warrant the 27th pick doesn’t fit the Falcons player character philosophies, and that’s Jonathan Baldwin. Since that is the case, they turn towards bolstering their pass rush. Outside of John Abraham, the Atlanta Falcons don’t have another pass rusher. Getting someone opposite of Abraham has to be a priority this offseason. GM, Thomas Dimitroff puts an emphasis on character, and Justin Houston excels in that area. He’s a team captain and an explosive force off the edge. He is somewhat of a tweener, but I’m sure he can add a little weight and retain his explosiveness. Houston finished the season second in sacks in the SEC, with 10. He’s a fiery guy who leads by example and voice. A better pass rush will cause a trickle down effect. The secondary will improve and the defense will cause more mistakes and turnovers.

Alabama RB, *Mark Ingram – I don’t care what anyone says, the Patriots need a running game. Everything can’t be placed on the shoulders of Tom Brady. The Patriots were at their best when they had some resemblance of balance. A strong running game keeps defenses honest and makes the play action much more effective. 2009 Hiesman award winner, Mark Ingram is the perfect fit for the Patriots. His vision, power, lateral quickness, and knack for gaining yards after first contact is what the doctor ordered. Wes Welker has been Tom Brady’s best friend for the past couple of seasons. Move over Welker and make room for Ingram.

Baylor DT, Phil Taylor – Kris Jenkins is about done playing in the NFL. He has now had 3 season ending knee injuries. The Jets can’t sit around and wait for Jenkins to heal up and hope that he stays healthy. They must go out and find his future replacement. Sione Pouha is a stud at the nose tackle, but he is getting up there in age. Phil Taylor is a guy that can come in and eat up blocks. For his size he has good athleticism. If Shaun Ellis leaves in free agency, Taylor could push Pouha to the 5-technique, and man the nose.

Pittsburgh WR, *Jonathan Baldwin – The majority of the Bears receivers are diminutive. Jay Cutler had great success with the 6’5” Brandon Marshall in Denver. I look for the Bears to get Cutler someone similar. Jonathan Baldwin is a big and physical receiver that has excellent ball skills and body control. He is just the guy to open up the bears offense. His route running and separation skills need improving, but that is the case for most college receivers.

Illinois DT, Corey Liuget – Before the season I would of said the Packers need to get a cornerback to play opposite of Charles Woodson. Tramon Williams has come in and has been the Packers best defender in the secondary. The Packers now need to look at their defensive line. Ryan Pickett is getting up there in age, Johnny Jolly is suspended and Cullen Jenkins can’t stay healthy. Corey Liuget has all the tools to be a stud in the NFL. He looks like a Green Bay Packer. His style of play and size is similar to the players currently in their defensive line rotation..

Villanova OT, Ben Ijalana – Ben Rothlisberger has been known to hold on to the ball in the pocket. The combination of that and poor tackle play, gets him killed week in and week out. He takes a ton of unnecessary shots. Now sometimes, holding on to the ball is a good thing. It gives him time to find Mike Wallace or Emmanuel Sanders streaking down the field. The Steelers need a tackle who can hold his block a tad bit longer, to give Rothlisberger time to do what he does. Ben Ijalana is a guy who doesn’t possess the height of the prototypical offensive tackle, but has exceptionally long arms and is a gifted blocker. If teams can get over his 6’4” height, he will make an instant impact on the edge.

<<< 1st Round: Picks 1-16 || 2nd Round: Picks 1-16 >>>


Day three, the North team was in full pads again. For the most part, players have been consistent this week. Those that have been having solid practices, continue to do so, and those who have underwhelmed, continue to do so as well. There were a couple of surprises though. Below is a quick run down of what I saw from the North team (via NFL Network) during their morning practice session.

The Good:
1. Oklahoma State RB, Kendall Hunter – This guy is turning some heads. Despite his lack of size, he is one of the most physical players on the North team at the skill positions. Today he put his fantastic pass blocking abilities on display, consistently stone walling linebackers at the point of attack. During team portions of practice, Kendall brought an extra spark to the offense. I liked Hunter before the Senior Bowl, but I like him even more now.

2. Cal DE, Cameron Jordan – I am running out of compliments to give Jordan. Again, he showed excellent pass rushing ability during practice. During the team portion of practice, I saw Jordan get into the backfield quickly on numerous occasions. If that would have been a real game, Jordan would of had a couple of sacks.

3. Wisconsin OT, Gabe Carimi – Carimi is showing some versatility at the Senior Bowl. The coaches have him playing at three different positions, both tackle positions and guard. I’ve been impressed with Carimi’s strength and ability to sit in the seat and anchor against power rushers. I went into the Senior Bowl having questions about his technique against speed rushers. I saw him over extend his arms a bit during the season, and unfortunately there aren’t really any speed rushers at the Senior Bowl to answer that question.

The Bad
1. Oklahoma RB, Demarco Murray – Murray definitely looks the part of a NFL RB, but i’m not sure he will be a good one. He’s very good at catching the ball out of the backfield, but he isn’t showing that explosiveness that NFL Backs needs. He also had a poor showing during pass protection drills. He continually dropped his head and failed to anchor. Right now, he is being out-shined by Kendall Hunter.

2. Colorado OT, Nate Solder – Solder faced off against Kerrigan quite often in today’s practice, and Kerrigan consistently got the better of him. He beat him with inside moves and outside moves. Most consider Solder to be the best OT in the draft. If he wants to maintain that label, he will need to be better than what he showed today.

Coaches and GM’s are scouring hotel lobbies and practice fields, trying to secure private interviews with players at the Senior Bowl. Unfortunately, due to school obligations, my colleague and I were not able to attend the Senior Bowl festivities, to see who’s talking to who. Do not fret though. DraftCountdown.com has hit the ground running in Mobile, AL and they’re providing some good and in-depth Senior Bowl Coverage. They have a chart of what teams are talking to what players. I’ve taken the liberty to add a few more names that I know of. Scroll down to check it out and be sure to pay a visit to DraftCountdown.com.

 

Baltimore Ravens New Orleans Saints
Mike McNeill Lee Smith
Jalil Brown Phil Taylor
Da’Norris Searcy Chris Nield
Austin Pettis Ian Williams
Vincent Brown Roy Helu, Jr.
Stephen Schilling Christian Yount
Marcus Gilchrist Kansas City Chiefs
Greg Salas Luke Stocker
Alex Henery Quinton Carter
Jeremy Kerley Cameron Jordan
Carolina Panthers Quinton Carter
Patrick Peterson Anthony Castazno
Pernell McPhee Stephen Schilling
Dane Sanzanbacher Jason Pinkston
Rashad Carmichael Dwayne Harris
Lee Ziemba Kris O’Dowd
Oakland Raiders Bilal Powell
Allen Bailey Cleveland Browns
Roy Helu, Jr. Courtney Smith
Joe Lefeged Kendall Hunter
Kendric Burney Rashad Carmichael
Casey Matthews Sione Fua
San Diego Chargers Mason Foster
Allen Bailey Alex Henery
Roy Helu, Jr. Derek Sherrod
Bilal Powell DeAndre McDaniel
Marcus Gilchrist Josh Jasper
Danny Watkins Bilal Powell
Minnesota Vikings James Carpenter
Lance Kendricks Arizona Cardinals
Colin Kaepernick Von Miller
Lee Smith Eric Hagg
Owen Marecic Philadelphia Eagles
New York Jets Marcus Gilchrist
Kendric Burney Jalil Brown
Lee Smith Kendall Hunter
Cameron Jordan Derek Sherrod
San Francisco 49ers Ahmad Black
Vincent Brown Bilal Powell
Christian Ballard New England Patriots
Alex Henery Ahmad Black
Jacksonville Jaguars
Edmund Gates
K.J. Wright


Senior Bowl Day-2: Practice Observations

Posted: January 26, 2011 by Larry McDaniel Jr. in Practice Coverage
Tags:

Day two, the players dressed in full pads and went at it. Things seemed to go smoother during practice. There was more rhythm and chemistry displayed on the field. There are some highly impressive guys on both teams. It’s nice to get a chance to see players for the first time, see players you are familiar with work their technique and go against the best of best. Let’s take a look at who impressed and who didn’t  fare so well.

The Good

1. Cal DE, Cameron Jordan – Again, Jordan has been unlockable. He has the quickest, most active, and violent hands i’ve seen in a long time. His stock is sky-high right now. I’ve always been high on him, and now teams are starting to show a lot of interest in him. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, I think Jordan will be a top 10 pick.

2. Baylor DT, Phil Taylor – I’ve been critical of Taylor all season, but he is showing some impressive athleticism and strength at the Senior Bowl. They guy has been immovable at the point of attack. Im still concerned about his game conditioning and tendency to play high, but so far, this guy has been lights out. He is slowly making his way into late first round consideration.

3. Florida S, Ahmad Black – Say what you want about his size, the kid is a player. Loose and fluid in coverage. Showed some excellent balance and coverage skills in practice. He might now go as high as a player with his skills should, but a team is going to get a gem when they pick Black.

The Bad

1. Miami DE, Allen Bailey – There are always a few freaks of nature Adonis’s at the Senior Bowl. This year that plays is, Allen Bailey. He looks the part. The guy is in excellent shape, but doesn’t flash much on the field. He’s lacking as a pass rusher and run defender. His stock is dropping at the moment.

2. Toldeo OC, Kevin Kowlaski – Kowlaski lacks the arm length, and it showed. He struggled on day-2. Defensive players consistently beat him in 1-on-1 drills and team drills.

3. Florida State QB, Christian Ponder – Ponder looked mediocre in practice. I question his arm strength and accuracy. The quarterback class isn’t overly special this year, so Ponder needs to pick it up because teams are looking for quarterbacks.

The Ugly

Oklahoma DE/OLB, Jeremy Beal – Every draftnik is wrong from time to time. I came into the Senior Bowl very high on Jeremy Beal. I loved the fact that he played standing up at Oklahoma, and thought of him as a possible strong side OLB in the 3-4. Unfortunately, Beal has underwhelmed. He looks out-of-place out there. I keep seeing him on the ground, he looks slow off the ball, and isn’t as strong as you would think for being a gym rat. I might have to jump off the bandwagon soon.

Yesterday, we brought you day-1 practice video of the North Team. Today, we have more footage for you, via DCFanatic.com. Below are lengthy videos of both the North and South day-2 practices. Again, the quality is only 240p, but let’s be grateful that we have an opportunity to view this footage over and over and at our own leisure. Make sure to pay DCFanatic.com a visit, and give a quick thank you for supplying these videos to the public. Enjoy!

South Team

 

North Team