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2014 NFL Draft Top Pass Rusher Breakdown

April 15, 2014 in Draft Reports, Uncategorized

Jadeveon Clowney

Guys like Jadeveon Clowney don't come around too often. I hadn't previously watched him before studying him for this piece, but I had certainly heard the hype. When you hear people calling him the best pass rushing prospect of all time, you get a certain image in your head of what to expect. But in reality, he's a much more well-rounded player than I could have ever expected. He was almost more dominant against the run than he was rushing the passer.

run d 1a

Clowney lines up over the tight end, but he's going to cut back inside to the B gap between the left tackle and left guard.

run d 1b

He cuts across the face of the tackle so quickly that he's past him before the ball has even been handed off.

run d 1c

Clowney meets the running back head on moments after he's received the hand off.

Clowney spent the majority of his time in the backfield in every game I watched. Nobody was able to block him against the run, some even tried leaving him unblocked and running read option at him.

RO 1a

Clowney is in a similar position, lined up outside the left tackle.

RO 1b

But Clowney is so quick off the snap that he closes the gap between himself and the mesh point before the quarterback has a chance to properly read him.

RO 1c

Clowney attacks the running back, which would normally indicate a keep read for the quarterback, but Clowney is there so quickly that he doesn't have a chance to pull the ball away from the running back without risking a fumble.

RO 1d

The ball looses control of the ball as he's brought to the ground by Clowney, but the officials judged it to be a deliberate forward pass that fell incomplete.

Clowney's film is full of plays just like these that don't show up on the stat-sheet. While he didn't register many sacks this year, he still had a huge impact on the game. Offensive coordinators were forced to game plan around him. They tried to run the ball away from Clowney and then left a tight end or running back (sometimes both) in to chip and help the left tackle block him. Even then, Clowney would provide legitimate pressure that would force the quarterback to scramble away from him or check the ball down before he would have liked to.

He's a truly unique prospect that is rarely available. For me, he is the best player in this draft by far. Only the need for a quarterback should stop the Texans drafting Clowney number one overall. While he might not fit Romeo Crennel's 3-4 scheme perfectly, they'd find a way to make it work. He's much to talented a prospect to pass on because he might not be an ideal fit for your current scheme.

Khalil Mack

Mack is one of the more versatile players in this draft class. He's probably best suited to the 3-4 outside linebacker position, but could play a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end in the 4-3 in a Von Miller-type role.

Mack offers a variety of pass rushing moves with an arsenal consisting of speed rushes, bull rushes and inside counter moves.

bull 1a

Here, Mack lines up outside the left tackle.

bull 1b

Mack explodes up and into the left tackle, getting underneath him and driving him back. Notice the hand placement from Mack, who gets inside leverage.

bull 1c

Mack drives the tackle back towards the quarterback, who feels the pressure and starts to scramble. Mack stays alert and begins disengaging his block. He spots the quarterback motioning to throw and gets his hand out in the passing lane. The quarterback ends up being forced to throw the ball away thanks to Mack's pressure. It seems like a simple thing, but it shows good awareness from a position that is often all about getting after the quarterback and racking up sack numbers.

Match ups are key in today's NFL. The best pass rushers can line up from either side and get after the quarterback. Mack showed that he can be just as effective rushing from the right side of the line.

right rush 1a

Once again, we can see how Mack gets his hands inside those of the right tackle, giving him all the leverage.

right rush 1b

Mack gets the most out of that leverage, driving the tackle back and keeping him at arms length.

right rush 1c

The quarterback is forced to step up into the pocket after his right tackle was driven back into him. Mack is able to get off the block quickly and pounce inside to register the sack.

Awareness is easily Mack's most attractive quality. He's very aware of what the offense is trying to do and what position he needs to be in to make a play, which isn't always all about rushing the passer.

int 1a

Here, the left tackle attempts to cut-block Mack, clearing the throwing lane for the quarterback to throw a bubble screen. A lot of pass rushers would be caught off-guard by this play as their sole focus is on sacking the quarterback. But Mack sees the cut-block coming, gets his hands on the back of the tackle and his eyes on the quarterback..

int 1b

Mack is able to see the pass the entire way into his hands, making for an easy interception.

int 1c

Mack then outruns both the quarterback and the wide receiver as he takes the interception all the way back for a touchdown.

It's easy to see why Mack has been touted as a top five pick for quite some time now. He's an athletic, versatile weapon that every defensive coordinator would love to have. I'm not sure he'll develop into a 15+ sack per season guy, but I think he could easily average 10-12 and be a much more well-rounded player.

Anthony Barr

Barr stands out as a physical specimen from the moment you see him. At 6'5”, 255 points, Barr is the ideal size for a 3-4 outside linebacker. He displays exceptional burst and closing speed, as well as being a fluid athlete. However, having only recently converted to the outside linebacker position, he is extremely raw when it comes to technique and the intricacies of playing the position.

The reason he's rated so high is because of his athleticism and ability to rush the passer. One thing he can definitely do is run the arc and beat a tackle around the outside with pure speed.

arc 1a

Here, Barr lines up over the left tackle in a two-point stance.

arc 1b

You can see Barr's long reach here as he engages the tackle, keeping him at a distance where he can't land his hands on Barr's body.

arc 1c

Barr gets to the corner too quickly, forcing the tackle to reach and grab for anything he can. He ends up grabbing Barr's facemask, but gets away without the penalty call.

arc 1d

Barr has no problems breaking free of the tackle as he turns the corner in pursuit of the quarterback.

arc 1e

Barr then does an excellent job of getting his hand on the football and stripping it loose.

But outside of running the arc, Barr is very raw as a pass rusher and as a defender. He lacks a variety of effective pass rush moves, which means a tackle can commit to the speed rush without having to worry about him coming back inside.

spin 1a

On this play, Barr attempts a spin move.

spin 1b

He takes the tackle outside, as he would on a speed rush, creating a gap inside between the tackle and guard.

spin 1c

Barr begins to spin back inside.

spin 1d

But coming out of the spin, he doesn't work back inside. Instead, he finds himself in front of the tackle in a similar position to the one he was in before he attempted the spin move.

spin 1e

Barr doesn't have a back up plan and ends up being easily blocked. There's no point in performing the spin move without using it to get back inside. Otherwise it just slows down the rush and makes it easier to block. But the fact he used it shows he is willing to try other moves.

Barr is very much a developmental project at this point, but his physical attributes are rare. He is unreliable against the run and untested dropping into coverage. He has the athletic ability to do both at a high level, but having only played defense for two years, he has a lot of catching up to do. Teams would be wise to follow the career path of Aldon Smith, who was taken seventh overall by the 49ers. They used him as a pass rush specialist while he developed, which allowed him to see time on the field and use his best qualities while hiding his short comings.

User Submitted Mock Drafts: 4/04-4/11

April 11, 2014 in OTC: User Mock Drafts, Uncategorized

Mock 1 : Jordan- New Orleans Saints

Link to Mock Draft: http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/draft.php?d=mgzujm

 

 

27
WR ODELL BECKHAM JR.
LSU
58
ILB CHRIS BORLAND
WISCONSIN
91
DE TRENT MURPHY
STANFORD
126
C BRYAN STORK
FLORIDA STATE
167
CB BENNETT JACKSON
NOTRE DAME
169
RB DRI ARCHER
KENT STATE
202
G WESLEY JOHNSON
VANDERBILT

 

 

Why I like it: 
The Saints window to contend is small given that Drew Brees is nearing the end of his career. The Saints are going to live and die with the success of Brees so adding a big play weapon for him makes a lot of sense. Beckham Jr. teamed up with Kenny Stills, Colston and Jimmy Graham could be extremely dangerous and tough for even the top defenses in the league to stop. Grabbing Borland and Murphy with the next two picks, continue's to improve the Saints defense to help get them over the hump. Borland could be an instant starter and Murphy should be at least a situational pass rusher as a rookie. Later in the draft Bennett Jackson could be a sub package corner and key special teamer. Grabbing Bryan Stork could give the Saints their future center (and he could push to start as a rookie), while Wesley Johnson late is a nice back-up option. He's capable of backing up every position, and could have a future as a starter in the interior of a line. Dri Archer could be the Darren Sproles replacment and at the very least offers the Saints a potential dynamic return man.

 

 

Mock 2: Alex- Dallas Cowboys :

Link To Mock Draft: http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/sharedraft.php?d=lxudfh
33
G XAVIER SU'A-FILO
UCLA
45
DE SCOTT CRICHTON
OREGON STATE
56
DT DOMINIQUE EASLEY
FLORIDA
65
WR JARVIS LANDRY
LSU
78
CB E.J. GAINES
MISSOURI
101
DE MARCUS SMITH
LOUISVILLE
122
QB A.J. MCCARRON
ALABAMA
158
OT SEANTREL HENDERSON
MIAMI
170
DT JUSTIN ELLIS
LOUISIANA TECH
248
DE ETHAN WESTBROOKS
WEST TEXAS A&M
251
G JOHN URSCHEL
PENN STATE
254
RB MICHAEL DYER
LOUISVILLE

 

Why I like the  Mock:

 

This is obviously a trade mock and I think this could be a good strategy for the Cowboys. While they could potentially land a really good defensive tackle or end in the first round, given their cap restraints they could use a draft to stockpile picks. Here the Cowboys trade back and still wind up with a pretty productive draft. Su'a-Filo would team with Tyron Smith and Travis Fredrick to give the Cowboys a really strong young core to their offensive line. It fills a big need and would give Dallas a day 1 starter. Landing Scott Crichton and Marcus Smith would go a long way to improving their defensive end talent and pass rush ability. Also, adding Westbrooks late offers them a small school developmental guy. Dominique Easley would give the Cowboys the 3 tech that typically thrives in a Monte Kiffin defense, while later in the draft Justin Ellis could be the run plugger playing next to him. Corner E.J. Gaines could possibly be the nickel corner as a rookie and has the potential for more down the road. On offense Jarvis Landry would be a nice pick up as a slot receiver and A.J. McCarron would give the Cowboys a potential quarterback to replace Tony Romo in a couple of years.

 

 

Mock 3: Bill- Washington Redskins

Link to Mock Draft: http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/sharedraft.php?d=zvvadr
46
OT JOEL BITONIO
NEVADA
71
DE STEPHON TUITT
NOTRE DAME
108
DT DAQUAN JONES
PENN STATE
110
C MARCUS MARTIN
USC
118
CB PIERRE DESIR
LINDENWOOD
142
TE ARTHUR LYNCH
GEORGIA
145
WR JOSH HUFF
OREGON
178
S VINNIE SUNSERI
ALABAMA
188
QB TAJH BOYD
CLEMSON
217
WR JALEN SAUNDERS
OKLAHOMA
Why I like this Mock:

 

This is another trade back scenario and one that the Redskins should highly consider. Here the Skins can land an instant starter at RT in Joel Bitonio. Not only can he play RT right now, but he's got the potential to move to guard down the road if need be. The Redskins also land center Marcus Martin early. He could challenge for the starting center job as a rookie, but even if he doesn't get it he should be starting by year two. In between those two picks are a pair of defensive linemen in Stephon Tuitt and DaQuan Jones. Tuitt would be a great fit for the Redskins 3-4 and has the upside to develop into an impact end and sack master. Jones is more of a nose tackle in a 3-4 and should offer solid rotational ability early in his career. With the first four picks focused on the lines, the Redskins would really be upgrading an area that has been generally ignored of late for them. The NFL game is still won or lost in the trenches, and the Skins need a boost there.  Corner Pierre Desir and safety Vinnie Sunseri give the Redskins a pair of guys who can be valuable back-ups/special teamers as rookies, but have the potential to become starters by year 2 or 3. Arthur Lynch could be a nice inline complementary TE to Jordan Reed and could challenge Logan Paulsen for his roster spot. Wide receivers Josh Huff and Jalen Saunders would give the Redskins some young guys to develop behind their top 3 receivers who are set for the next couple of years. Overall this draft offers good depth and hits on a number of Redskins needs.

2014 NFL Draft: Player Rankings Updated

April 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

The 2014 NFL Draft Player Rankings have been updated on our NFL Draft page. You can also see them here:

OFFENSIVE PLAYER RANKINGS

DEFENSIVE PLAYER RANKINGS

We'll have one more big player rankings update the week of the NFL Draft!

On the Clock – Share Your Mock – Feb. 24 – March 1

February 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hopefully you've been enjoying using On the Clock to be the GM for your favorite NFL Team!

Here is another weekly discussion/debate open thread here where we encourage you to post your mock draft in the comments and explain why it was the best draft for your team.  A healthy debate, especially for the NFL Draft, is always entertaining!

NOTE:  Posting your mock draft in this thread does NOT count for submission to be one of the featured mocks each week. You still need to fill out the form on the summary page to have your  mock draft be considered.

But, posting here can still showoff your mock draft and give you a platform to share why its awesome! So share in the comments! Happy drafting!

NFL Combine Day 1 Open Thread: OL and TE

February 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Which offensive linemen and tight ends are you watching today? Who's standing out and who is hurting themselves?

2014 Reese's Senior Bowl Gameday Twitter Coverage – 1st Half

January 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

Here is compilation of Reese's Senior Bowl gameday thoughts for the first half below. Enjoy the rest of the game!

 

 

2014 Senior Bowl North Team Roster

January 21, 2014 in 2014 Senior Bowl, Uncategorized

*Rosters subject to change

Quarterbacks:

Players: Logan Thomas (VT), Tajh Boyd (Clemson), Stephen Morris (Miami)

-This group features a lot of guys with potential, but no one who has ever put it all together. Logan Thomas has Cam Newton size and athleticism, but lacks the natural passing ability. Tajh Boyd has been highly effective running the spread system, but he's struggled versus top defenses and is on the smaller side. Morris is a guy who's flashed a big arm and some good all-around tools, but had a down senior season. Will any of these guys answer the questions against them this week will be very interesting to watch.

Running backs/Fullbacks:

Players: James White (Wisconsin), Charles Sims (WVU), David Fluellen (Toledo), FB Ryan Hewitt (Stanford)

-The running back talent here is better than on the South squad, but it's still lacking any real top guys. James White and Charles Sims can be mid-round picks and may one day be top back options for some team, but they both appear to have some limitations. David Fluellen has some nice promise, but he is very likely a 6th or 7th round guy.

Wide Receivers:

Players: Josh Huff (Oregon), Kain Colter (Northwestern), Michael Campanaro (Wake Forest), Robert Herron (Wyoming), Jared Abbrederis (Wisconsin), Jeff Janis (Saginaw Valley State), Shaqulle Evans (UCLA)

-Really interesting group of wide receivers. No real top players here, but a lot of intriguing guys or small school guys. Jeff Janis and Robert Herron haven't gotten a lot of attention, but both have plenty of promise that they could capitalize on with big weeks. Jared Abbrederis is probably the top receiver of the group, but questions will still plague him whether or not he can be a starter at the next level. Guys like Josh Huff and Michael Campanaro are smaller, quicker guys who could be looked at as slot options.

Tight Ends:

Players: Jacob Pedersen (Wisconsin), C.J. Fiedorowicz (Iowa), Gator Hoskins (Marshall)

-Some really solid mid round tight ends here. Both Pedersen and Fiedorowicz figure to be able to contribute early on to a team as at least number two tight ends. They are well-rounded tight ends who can be effective catching the football, but also block at the next level.

Offensive Tackles:

Players: Zack Martin (Notre Dame), Jack Mewhort (Ohio State), Seantrel Henderson (Miami), Brandon Thomas (Clemson)

-This is a really strong and interesting group. Martin could potentially go in the first round and at the very least is a safe pick for the top 50 in the draft. He's versatile to play both right tackle and guard, but questions remain if he can stay at left tackle in the NFL. If he succeeds this week, he could get a look and that would be a big boost to his draft stock. Jack Mewhort had a strong year with Ohio State and now looks like a good mid-round tackle prospect. Seantrel Henderson came to Miami with a huge amount of hype, but he never quite lived up to the expectations. Here though he has a chance to reinvent himself and prove that at the next level he can reach his potential. Brandon Thomas played both guard and tackle for the Tigers in his career and is probably best suited inside at the next level, but a strong week down in Mobile and teams could give him a shot at RT.

Guards:

Players: Cyril Richardson (Baylor), Brandon Linder (Miami), Kadeem Edwards (Tennessee State), Michael Schofield (Michigan)

-Another pretty good group of guys. Richardson leads the group and is a borderline first round prospect. He's a big physical guard, who can be devastating in the running game. Linder and Schofield don't have that amount of hype, but they look like quality mid-late round guard prospects. Edwards is a smaller school guy, but he's got some nice buzz, if he holds his own versus the talented DT's on the North squad he could be really trending upwards.

Centers:

Players: Weston Richburg (Colorado State), Tyler Larsen (Utah State)

-Richburg is the top center of the group and is arguably the 2nd best center in the draft. He's strong at the point of attack, but played at a smaller conference school. This could be a big week for him and he could look to jump into the 2nd round discussion. Larsen doesn't have the highest upside, but he looks like a back-up caliber late round pick.

Defensive ends:

Players: Trent Murphy (Stanford), Kareem Martin (UNC), James Gayle (Virginia Tech), Will Clarke (WVU)

-Good group here, Murphy has first round potential and looks to be a very good pass rusher. Martin and Clarke are two guys with a lot of potential and great projectable frames. They could be very good starters at the next level if they can have some time to develop.

Defensive Tackles:

Players: Aaron Donald (Pittsburgh), Ra'Shede Hageman (Minnesota), DaQuan Jones (Penn State), Justin Ellis (Louisiana Tech), Shamar Stephen (UConn)

-Maybe the most talented position group on either squad. Hageman has a shot to be the top defensive tackle taken, and looks very much like a first round talent. Aaron Donald is a little on the small side, but he's a big impact guy who just makes plays regardless of who you pit him up against. Jones, Ellis and Stephen are nice mid-round guys with the potential to move up.

 

Outside Linebackers:

Players: Marcus Smith (Louisville), Michael Sam (Missouri), Jonathan Brown (Big Ten), Christian Kirksey (Iowa)

-Not the strongest position group on this squad, but it's filled with quality mid-round talent. Michael Sam is probably the biggest name and he's definitely a guy looking to be a pass rusher in a 3-4 system, but the rest of these guys deserve some credit as well. All can play outside in a 4-3 and some could transition inside in a 3-4.

Inside Linebackers:

Players: Chris Borland (Wisconsin), Jordan Zumwalt (UCLA)

-Borland is one of the most interesting guys in this draft as he's highly productive and considered a very cerebral player, but a guy teams are still unsure about. He needs to show strong athleticism this week, but if he does he could be a top 75 pick in a very deep ILB class. Zumwalt is a nice guy with late round potential.

Corners:

Players: Stanley Jean-Baptiste (Nebraska), Marqueston Huff (Wyoming), Dontae Johnson (NC State), Pierre Desir (Lindenwood), Nevin Lawson (Utah State), Dez Southward (Wisconsin)

-Interesting corner group overall. No real stars, but some really long and athletic guys who could rise up draft boards. Jean Baptiste and Southward are the guys who could make the biggest jumps with strong weeks.

-

Safeties:

Players: Jimmie Ward (Northern Illinois), Deone Buchannon (Washington State), Isaiah Lewis (Michigan State), Ahmad Dixon (Baylor)

-Really quality safety group here. There might not be any top 75 picks, but all four of these guys could go in the next 25-40 selections. Also with a strong week don't be surprised if any of these guys crack that top 75 list when it's all said and done.

2014 Senior Bowl South Team Roster Preview

January 20, 2014 in 2014 Senior Bowl, Uncategorized

*Rosters subject to change

Quarterbacks:

Players: Derek Carr (Fresno State), David Fales (San Jose State),Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois)

-Carr is the best quarterback in attendance on either squad this year and currently is a borderline 1st round prospect. A big week could rocket him up up the draft boards into the top 10. Fales and Garoppolo are two intriguing guys from mid-tier programs who are fighting to be atop the 2nd tier of quarterbacks taken. Both have upside and the potential to rise this week and could end up in the 2nd or 3rd round discussion. Garoppolo was a late add and is coming off a strong East West Shrine Game week that has already boosted his stock.

Running backs/Fullbacks:

Players: Antonio Andrews (Western Kentucky), Jerick McKinnon (Georgia Southern), Lorenzo Taliaferro (Coastal Carolina), FB Jay Prosch (Auburn)

-Running back is never the easiest position to evaluate at All-star games and it typically doesn't have a lot of top talent since many of top guys are Juniors, but this is a bad year for the South squad. All three  backs are small school guys, and right now only Antonio Andrews from Western Kentucky really looks like a draftable guy. Even then with so many backs coming out he's probably pushed to the 6th or 7th round (if he doesn't fall). Now McKinnon and Taliaferro could show they warrant a draft pick with a strong week, but it definitely looks like an uphill climb. Fullback Jay Prosch though is one of the top fullbacks in the country and should definitely be drafted late.

Wide Receivers:

Players: Mike Davis (Texas), Cody Hoffman (BYU), Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt), Ryan Grant (Tulane), Kevin Norwood (Alabama), Solomon Patton (Florida), Jalen Saunders (Oklahoma)

-Similar to running back wide receiver is a position that sees a lot of underclassmen declare every year. That means that typically the senior class isn't the strongest, but here we still see a nice collection of talent.  Jordan Matthews has a real shot of being a first rounder. He's a smart, smooth wide receiver who just always finds ways to win, despite playing in the SEC and not being surrounded by elite talent. Mike Davis and Cody Hoffman are two mid-round guys with nice college careers and the potential for much more at the next level. With strong weeks they can really cement their status for the draft. Ryan Grant is a really intriguing guy from a smaller school, if he fares well against top defensive backs he could really increase his draft stock. Norwood, Patton and Saunders had up-and-down college careers, but all have some natural talent and could be interesting sleepers.

Tight Ends:

Players: Arthur Lynch (Georgia), Marcel Jensen (Fresno State)

-It's likely another tight end will be added to this list, but right now there are two very intriguing tight ends. Lynch from Georgia has developed into a nice mid-round tight end prospect. He's a good size tight end with good hands and decent speed. He won't be the type to catch 100 balls a year, but he has starting potential as a traditional inline tight end. Jensen wasn't used a lot at Fresno State, but he showed good promise and has plenty of size.

Offensive Tackles:

Players: Ja'Wuan James (Tennessee), Morgan Moses (UVA), Billy Turner (North Dakota State)

-This is another position where they could look to add one more guy. Right now they don't have any top players, but James and Moses are two  guys who could jump into the 2nd round discussion. Both have been overlooked somewhat throughout their careers, but have shown all the tools to be starting quality NFL tackles. Billy Turner is a small school guy with some nice buzz heading into this week. If he can handle the South pass rushers on a consistent basis he will get a big boost to his draft stock.

Guards:

Players: Gabe Jackson (Mississippi State), Jon Halapio (Florida), Wesley Johnson (Vanderbilt), Joel Bitonio (Nevada)

-This is a strong solid group of guards. While none of these guys will likely go in the top 75 (Jackson has a chance), all four look to be mid-round guys with a lot of promise. Jackson is a big power guard and could quickly be looked at as a starter. Halapio and Johnson also could be starters early in their careers (by year two). They both succeeded (like Jackson) in the SEC, and look to have the tools teams look for. Bitonio isn't as heralded of a prospect as the SEC boys, but he should go no later than the 5th round and could obviously be moving up with a quality week of practice.

Centers:

Players: Travis Swanson (Arkansas), Bryan Stork (FSU), Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma)

-This could be a big week for Swanson who comes in as the best center in this draft and looks to push for a late first round pick. That seems high for him right now, but he'll have a great opportunity to impress scouts if he can shutdown the top DT's that are down here. Stork looks like a nice mid-round prospect in that 4th-5th round range. Ikard is coming off and up and down East-West Shrine week. On one hand he showed great work ethic and was very technically proficient, on the other hand he got dominated on too many occasions by top DT's. If he struggles again it could knock him out of draft consideration, or if he has a bounce back week it will make up for last week's struggles.

Defensive ends:

Players: Chris Smith (Arkansas), Brent Urban (UVA), Ed Stinson (Alabama), Dee Ford (Auburn)

-We've seen a number of first round picks from this group of guys in recent years (we could from the North squad), but that likely isn't going to be the case here. There are four good prospects here, but none seem to be close to first round consideration. Chris Smith is probably the best well rounded prospect, he's got good size and is coming off a year with 8.5 sacks. He's a guy who can rise up the boards quite a bit, but it could be a stretch for the 1st round. Dee Ford is a very talented pass rusher as well, but he looks like a situational player given his lack of size. Perhaps if he shows enough flexibility, teams will view him as a rush linebacker worthy of a first round pick, but that could be a stretch. Urban and Stinson are two very talented defensive ends, but they are really 3-4 guys, and don't figure to be first round guys.

Defensive Tackles:

Players: Will Sutton (Arizona State), Deandre Coleman (California), Daniel McCullers (Tennessee), Caraun Reid (Princeton)

-This is an intriguing group of guys. Will Sutton could sneak into the first round and looks pretty solidly as a top 2 round guy. McCullers is a good nose tackle prospect and could rise up to the 2nd round with a strong week. Coleman and Reid probably won't go in the first two days of the draft, but both are interesting guys with a good amount of potential.

Outside Linebackers:

Players: Jeremiah Attachou (Georgia Tech), Kyle Van Noy (BYU), Adrian Hubbard (Alabama), Telvin Smith (FSU), Jordan Tripp (Montana)

-Intriguing group of guys led by a pair of quality pass rushers in Attachou and Van Noy. Van Noy has a shot to crack the first round and looks to follow in the footsteps of his former teammate, Ziggy Ansah and shoot up draft boards with a strong Senior Bowl week. Attachou looks to be more of a 3rd-4th round prospect, but with pass rushers being a premium he could be on the rise. Telvin Smith had a great senior season at FSU and was a big part of that national championship defense. How Smith does in coverage will go a long way to determining his draft stock.

Inside Linebackers:

Players: Christian Jones (FSU), Lamin Barrow (LSU)

-Jones had a great career at FSU and looks to be one of the top ILB's in this draft. Barrow was overshadowed some at LSU, but he too brings a lot of talent and potential to the table.

Corners:

Players: Chris Davis (Auburn), Aaron Colvin (Oklahoma), Walt Aikens (Liberty), Jaylen Watkins (Florida), Keith McGill (Utah), Lavelle Westbrooks (Georgia Southern)

-This is not the deepest group as really only Colvin and maybe Watkins are top 2 day picks, but there is definitely some potential for these other guys to move up draft boards. McGill and Davis both have shown some nice things this season and are trending upwards.

Safeties:

Players: Terrence Brooks (FSU), Kenny Ladler Vanderbilt, Craig Loston (LSU), Jemea Thomas (Georgia Tech)

-Not the deepest position group, but some solid names here. Loston has shown a lot of potential, Brooks had a strong season on one of the best defenses in the country. Ladler and Thomas both have had nice careers as well.

Fanspeak's East West Shrine Game Coverage from Press Box

January 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

Fanspeak's Steve Shoup was covering today's game from the press box and our own Willypops was on the sidelines getting great photos, so stay tuned for those! Here is Steve Shoup's live coverage from press box throughout game:

 

 

2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Sammy Watkins

December 4, 2013 in Scouting Reports, Uncategorized

WR Sammy Watkins, Jr, Clemson

           sammywatkins

Measurables: 6’1” 205 lbs

 

Strengths:

  • Very smooth in and out of his breaks, doesn’t lose a lot of speed as he cuts
  • Good frame, plays with a lot of balance and power for his size
  • Has great top end speed and quickly accelerates to reach it
  • Is incredibly dangerous with the ball in his hands and picks up a lot of his yardage after the catch.
  • Good route runner who can create separation
  • Great hands, if he has a shot at a ball he typically brings it in
  • Really wide catch radius, and can elevate to go get a football
  • Can help in the return game or with a variety of runs

 

Weaknesses:

  • Can get sloppy with his route running at times
  • Had a down sophomore year after an impressive freshman season
  • Can struggle to get off the jam at times
  • Has had some off the field issues and was suspended for two games in 2012

 

Analysis:

Watkins has big time playmaking ability, not just as a receiver but anytime the ball is in his hands. The Tigers have used Watkins in a variety of ways to do just that. Watkins has incredible open field potential and can be a deadly weapon in the screen game. From a speed, fluidity, elusiveness factor, Watkins is at the top of what you are looking for in a wide receiver. He’s also got good hands and great vision after the catch.

Despite his promise, Watkins does come with some concerns. He had some off the field issues in 2012 which cost him two games. Also Watkins can round off routes at times allowing defenders to catch up to him from the separation he created. He needs to do a better job getting off press coverage quickly as it will be one thing that gets more intense at the next level.

Overall Watkins looks like a lock to come out and be the first receiver taken in the draft, likely within the first 10 picks.