Underrated Defensive Linemen (Sleepers/Gems)

Stephon Tuitt - Notre Dame

By Nolan Kuzmick, Ourlads’ Draft Analyst

Stephon Tuitt –Notre Dame,DE/DT, Jr: Has the size and strength to be an immediate starter and has shown the technique and explosiveness to make him a nightmare to block. Can line up at any spot across the defensive line and make an impact. Works through the OL and closes fast on the play crushing the ballcarrier. Has a high level of athleticism for his size, one of the most impressive plays he made was ducking under rushing the edge and going to his knees and continuing to the QB from his knees to make the sack. His combination of size, strength, speed, technique and athleticism make him the defensive lineman with the highest ceiling in this draft class. Projected 2nd round, worthy of a top 15 pick

Morgan Breslin-USC, DE/OLB, Sr: Very active in both the pass and rush defense. Gets pressure on the QB, works down the line well. Has good strong hands, works past blockers keeping them distanced from his body. Uses a handful of very effective moves and stunts, including swim, rip, spin, bullrush, and combines these moves with his other handwork to make a very diverse playing style. Plays best at DE, but is a little small for the position. Although his size doesn’t limit him, he would be drafted higher if he was bigger. Had hip surgery as a senior, but performed well at his pro day and when healthy he has 1st round potential. Has solid upper body strength and a motor, flying around. If he works behind the pocket, continues to pursue the play and makes sacks or tackles from behind. Works off blocks naturally and flows down the line. Spins or rips right into the action, always around the ball. Big hitter, that wraps up and makes the sure tackle. Projected 5th round, worthy of a 2nd round choice

Cassius Marsh- UCLA, DE/DT/TE, Sr: A hardworking versatile defensive lineman that is very active with his hands. Uses his length to stay separated from blockers, while keeping his gap closed he maintains the ability to rip off and make the play to either side. Has a nice blend of causing pressure up the middle as well as holding firm against the run. At DE, gets around the edge with strength and handwork. Works down the line and catches runners with nice form tackles, showing a good level of pursuit. Once past blockers, closes fast to make the sack. At DT, gets pushed around at times when engaged, could add more strength to play inside effectively and continue to improve his hand work to get past blockers. Has the ability to play any spot across the defensive line and even TE from his pro day report, has lined up in the backfield in the regular season and caught a TD pass. Really high level of intensity and hard work in his game, I’d find a spot for this player, preferably DE.  Projected 5th round, worthy of a 3rd round choice

Chaz Sutton- South Carolina, DE/DT, rSr: Effective pass-rusher with good length, can line in inside and create penetration from DT or line up on the edge. Quick release at the snap, gets to the QB. Great speed and athleticism, often catches the ball carrier from the backside surveying off the edge and working down the line in a hurry. Has solid swim and rip moves and can get skinny and work his way through blockers. Shows an effective bull rush at times, has ran over OGs. Needs to improve against the ground game, gets high and loses the leverage battle, or continues to work down the line until he can get up field and gets pushed out of the play. Adding strength and working on standing up offensive linemen in the hole and using his long arms to detach and stop runs would be ideal. Projected FA, worthy of a 5th round choice

Zack Kerr–Delaware, DT, rSr: A big body two down tackle that does a nice job of plugging the middle. He engages double teams and doesn’t give ground. In the ground game he gets penetration and makes it hard on the back to get to his lane while opening up ground for linebackers. Has shown flashes of getting off blockers and making the play, can chase the quarterback down, but is mostly used in for the ground game. Shows screen recognition and pursuit angles. Projected 7th Round , worth a 6th round pick

Calvin Barnett- Oklahoma State, DT, Sr: Thick player who has a nice combination of strength and short area quickness. Has a mean side, throwing late hits on the QB, close-lining ball carriers and blind-siding players that aren’t near the play. Needs to clean his game up and use his mean side to his advantage between the whistles. Works down the line well, delaying the RB from picking a lane and allowing his teammates to read the play and get to the ball. Has some moves, but needs to improve there. When he gets off blocks he closes on the QB instantly. Needs to work on disengaging from blocks, at times the ballcarrier runs right past him as he is locked up. Projected 7th rounder, Worthy of a 6th round choice

Donte Rumph-Kentucky, DT, Sr: Great strength and has a good burst to get to the ball once he gets off blocks. Nice flow to the ball, ability to use brute strength to push blockers away and work towards the play. Will need to improve handwork when playing against tougher offensive linemen.  Nice job keeping separation, then dives off the block to make the play. Needs to work on playing lower with leverage, doesn’t have good bend in his stance and plays too high out of the snap. Good lateral movement, has the ability to change direction for a big guy. Keeps lower out of a 4 point stance, holds his ground and clogs the middle on playside. Works well down the line positioning for the cutback.  Projected FA, worthy of a 6th round pick

Roy Philon –Louisville, DT, Sr: Big bodied run-stuffer with quick release and fast, powerful hands.  Does a nice job of getting off blocks quickly. Quick release and a powerful initial punch, keeping separation from blockers. Quick hands, often using a rip move or using his strength to throw defenders aside. Keeps his hips low and uses leverage on offensive linemen. Impressive speed in close quarters and can move well laterally to work down the line and make the play. Knifes through often and disrupts the play behind the line. High level of awareness, recognizing blockers letting him through for screens and using his physicality to make the play. Projected FA, worthy of a 6th round choice

Colby Way- Buffalo,DE/DT, Sr: Keeps separation from blockers with his long arms. Maintains position as runners approach the line and is able to throw blockers aside or break away to either side to make the play. Has a quick swim move to get past linemen and pressure the quarterback. Shows good pursuit and can use his long body to dive and catch runners from behind. Works down the line well to make the play from the offside. Would like to see him add some strength, bulk his frame up, and work on his technique and footwork. Projects as a FA, worthy of a 7th round choice

Chidera Uzo-Diribe- Colorado, DE, Sr: Shows a nice edge rush, using his speed and hands to get outside of blockers. Once he gets past the lineman he takes a sharp angle to the QB, not looping too far behind him, and gets his arms out to attempt to strip the ball. Has good pursuit to chase the play down and make the tackle, holds contain. Needs to improve his technique and incorporate more moves in getting off blockers. Blockers get used to his moves as the game goes, uses two moves. Is more present in the pass rush than in the run game, needs to hold the edge and get upfield and off blocks instead of getting stood up and losing vision of the play. Very raw, but has good athleticism to work with, high ceiling on this developmental project. Projected FA, worthy of a 7th round choice or a target FA

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Underrated Running Backs (Sleepers/Gems)

By Nolan Kuzmick, Ourlads’ Draft Analyst

LaDarius Perkins - Mississippi State

LaDarius Perkins–Mississippi State, rSr: Hits holes quick, doesn’t need much space to get through. Has nice soft hands, catches the ball and gets up field immediately. Lowers his shoulder and powers into defenders, always going forward. Stops fast and has the ability to change direction quickly. Lays a nice chip on defenders when blocking. Had very solid results at the combine. My top RB sleeper this year.  Projected FA, worthy of a 3rd round choice
Branden Oliver–Buffalo, rSr: Powerful back with good size to run over guys and carry them with him. Can be used in short yardage situations, but also has the speed to weave through defenders and find the end zone. Doesn’t have the fastest cuts, but settles his feet and prepares for impact and takes time to cut in the correct direction, once he decides he has good acceleration. Has the ability to lose defenders with his cuts and find open field. Showed improvement in his catching, pass protection and quickness in cuts during his senior season.  Projected FA, worthy of a 5th round choice
Tim Flanders–Sam Houston State, rSr: Runs with good pad level and can push for extra yards while being tackled, puts his shoulder down and inflicts the hit. Has a nice slide hop sideways to find the running lane, great lateral movement. Runs with nice patience, but gets upfield immediately once it’s open. Has good hands out of the back field, gets out of the back field fast and finds open field, can catch the intermediate to long balls. Can grind out the tough yards and shows a burst of speed. Efficient style runner who gets the tough yards and can break it. Smaller school talent that didn’t receive enough recognition.  Projected FA, worthy of a 5th round pick
Kapri Bibbs–Colorado State, rSo: Has a zig-zag running style, cutting back often. Has good hips and is elusive with his cut back, losing defenders. Can plow through arm tackles and get yards after contact with nice leg drive. Strong runner that makes space and can get large chunk yardage, but is mainly a grind it out kind of runner.  Projected FA, worthy of a 6th round pick
Storm Johnson-UCF, rJr: Johnson can take it all the way on any given play and his elusiveness and acceleration are most impressive. He can stop and start and cutback to find running lanes, making each play exciting. Johnson is extraordinary catching out of the backfield and on draws. His skill set fits a third down RB in the NFL, but at 215 pounds he may be an every down back if he can prove he can run it up the middle at the next level and carry the load.  Projected 5th round, worthy of a 3rd round choice
Vintavious Cooper–East Carolina, Sr: Elusive 3rd down back that is best on draws and screens. Can slip through small holes and sneak past defenders, dangerous when he can get in the open field and make big plays. Has nice hands and can run through arm tackles. Explosive in his cuts, runs very sharp and crisp. Isn’t a big powerful runner, but at 200 pounds he isn’t the easiest to bring down, runs hard for a player with his size and speed. Has a playing style similar to Darren Sproles or Jaquizz Rodgers.  Projected FA, worthy of a 6th round choice
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Underrated Cornerbacks (Sleepers/Gems)

By Nolan Kuzmick, Ourlads’ Draft Analyst

Walt Aikens-Liberty, Sr: Long physical corner, plays best in press man. Makes contact at the line and throws off route timing. Nice turn and run, step for step with receivers. Has a good pop to jar the ball loose and makes sure tackles. Drives legs and wraps up. Good zone responsibility and can read the QB and make the pick, good job running with the ball in his hands. Could improve his breaks on routes and sticking with smaller shifty receivers that can create space from him. Low level competition, but did a nice job at the Senior Bowl where most of his trouble came from Jalen Saunders. Projected 5th-6th round, worthy of a 3rd-4th round selection

Antone Exum - Virginia Tech

Antone Exum- Virginia Tech, rSr: Leading tackler at safety, converted to corner in 2012 and out the majority of his senior season with an ACL/ankle. This defensive back is big, strong and physical from the line throughout the route. He is versatile with speed, capable of playing any spot in the secondary and will fit in well on special teams. Explosive out of his cuts. Can play tight man, lays the wood like a safety (needs to wrap up) and has a knack for breaking up passes, getting his hand on the ball at the last second. Ran man on Sammy Watkins and performed well. Fast close on the ball and reaches his arm in front of receivers to knock the ball down. Looked healthy at the combine, and he provides a lot of value to the team that takes a chance on his leg recovery. Projected 4th round, provides late 1st to 2nd round talent when healthy

Travis Carrie–Ohio, rSr: Solid size, speed and athleticism. Does a nice job of turning and running with the receiver and playing physical throughout the routes. Shows a fast jump on the ball, can beat receivers back to it and shows good hands to intercept the ball. Bump and run style frustrates receivers. Has experience returning punts and runs smooth with the ball in his hands, naturally flows to lanes. Likes contact, is a physical tackler that is always in the mix. Has been beat on the deep ball and could improve not letting receivers get behind him. Projected FA, shows 5th round talent

Demetri Goodson-Baylor, rSr: Transitions well from back peddle to turning and running with receivers. Good straight line speed. Breaks well on the ball and lays a nice pop coming back on the ball. Doesn’t get very involved in the running game often. Needs to work on his form tackling as he puts his head down and dives losing vision and missing tackles. Gets his hand between the receivers hands to prevent the completion. Positions himself and gets his hands on the ball, could improve his catching to turn those opportunities into turnovers. Has shown his vertical ability to go up and come down with the ball. Technique things to work on, but an impressive baseline ability to work with. Projected FA, looks like a 5th round talent

Keon Lyn- Syracuse, Sr- Big physical defensive back that packs power in his hits. Wraps up receivers and swings them to the ground. Looks natural with his zone reads and ability to find and play the ball. Gets up and tips the ball away, deflecting it from receivers or makes the pick. Good hands to bring in the interceptions and smooth as the ballcarrier. Suffered a leg injury that made his miss the majority of his senior season, which will enable a team to get a mid round talent in the last couple of rounds.  Projected 7th rounder, has 4th round talent

Chris Davis –Auburn, Sr: Great jump on the ball. Willing to take a risk to jump the route and take it to the house. Dangerous return man for punts, can’t forget his game winning return against Alabama. All over the receiver, makes his presence felt. Bigger receivers have outperformed him (Kelvin Benjamin the last drive of the Championship game). He really impressed me at the Senior Bowl practices. The most impressive look was when he held tight coverage down the sideline on Jordan Matthews and jumped up to play the ball and knock it out of the air not giving Matthews a chance to make the reception. The best part of his game is his ability to stick to the receiver throughout the route with good quick feet and hip movement and explosive cuts. Projected 4th-5th round, a 3rd round target with upside

BJ Lowery – Iowa, Sr: Quick feet and turn and run, sticks with wideouts and is physical throughout the route. Gets on the ball and reaches around to physically knock the ball down. Likes contact, is involved in the running game and lines up all over the field. Doesn’t have the quickest break on the come backs, but has a lot of talent and can contribute on special teams with the instinct, hitting ability and speed. Needs to turn and find the ball. Good size, hits and fills like a linebacker. Constantly batting the ball down with one hand pressing the receiver. All over receivers, but plays without many penalties. Nice job timing his jump on the long ball and can get up and make the one handed pick. Solid man coverage, blankets WRs. Gets on his heels and cannot come out of his breaks back to the ball soon enough, killed him a few times against ISU where Quenton Bundrage was able to cut back make the play and get past him for the TD. Improve his balance and not get on his heels, explode out of breaks and he’ll be a force. Projected FA, worth a 6th round pick

Andre Hal- Vanderbilt, Sr: Evades blockers and wraps up low to make the tackle in run support. Good pursuit angles, doesn’t give up on plays. Allows short ins and comebacks, but doesn’t allow yards after the catch, making the tackle immediately. Backpeddle to turn and run transition could be smoother, but runs well with the receiver and can get his hand in there and break up the pass. Once he has turned to run, has a hard time breaking back on the comebacks. In the redzone does a nice job of getting in front of the receiver and positioning himself to make the breakup or interception. Big targets can beat him behind and up high, needs to find and play the ball in those situations. As the receiver attempts to bring the ball in he gets his hand in there to jar it loose. Projected 7th round, worthy of 6th round

Courtney Bridget Jr- Hampton, rSr: Lanky corner that has good mobility and cuts for a tall player. Has good hip movement and foot placement to stick with receivers and keep himself in position. Shows a solid jump on routes and has good arm length to swat the ball away. Lacks ideal physicality, strength and tackling form/power. Will need to work hard in the weight room to add strength, improving his explosion and drive when tackling, as he often catches the ballcarrier instead of exploding through them. This would improve his ability to be physical jamming receivers and throughout their routes.  Projected FA, would be a developmental 7th round pick

Winston Wright- South Dakota State, Sr: This guy flies around the field making plays. Looks like a solid special teamer. Great job of making open field tackles while maintaining a high speed, first one down the field on kickoffs making the low hit without much time to break down. Breaks up passes by diving in front of balls and smacking them down. Has a high end speed, won’t give up on plays, chases players down from behind to save TDs, good pursuit angles. Lower level of competition, but one of my favorite sleepers at defensive back. Projected FA, worthy of a 5th round pick.

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Brent Urban – Virginia

by Dave Syvertsen, Ourlads’ Draft Analyst

It took me longer than I wanted, but I finally got to watch 3 game tapes of Virginia defensive lineman Brent Urban.  I came away with a much better feel for what his game could be at the next level.  Urban can be a first-round caliber guy that is available on day 2, possibly even day 3 of draft weekend.  There is a lot to like here.

First off, Urban carries nearly 300 pounds with ease on a long 6’7” frame.  He has minimal loose weight and moves like a guy weighing in the 270 range.  Normally with defensive linemen this tall, there are leverage and body control/balance issues.  Not with Urban.  He consistently anchored his position against single and double teams on plays where he had a gap or two to control. I love seeing that.  No matter how flexible or stable an athlete is,
playing with a low pad level at that height shows the attention to detail he possesses.  That’s really important.  Beyond his strength in the trenches, Urban uses his hands and long arms to get off blocks and make plays in tight spaces.  He may not have blazing speed, but his ability to cover ground between the tackles is exceptional.

The main question here is, where do you put him?  He may not have the edge rushing ability to play a true 4-3 DE.  I think he can handle inside duties though in that kind of scheme. He can hold his own against the run and rush the inside gaps against the pass.  In a 3-4 and/or hybrid scheme, Urban can play the role of a Calais Campbell (Arizona) or even JJ Watt (Houston).  After all, Urban did break up 9 passes in 2013, which has become the M.O. for Watt among other things.  That’s the name that kept popping in to my head while watching Urban.  He may be bit more raw but I think his upside is up there. Finding athletic 300 pounders with a 6’7” frame and football intelligence is really hard.  Urban is going to finish in my top 32 overall.

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Offensive Thoughts – Post Combine

by Dave Syvertsen, Ourlads’ Draft Analyst

Corey Latimer - Indiana

WIDE RECEIVER

The WR group strengthened (not that I needed it) my notion that this could be a special group. I think there are 20 guys in this class that would have been in the top 10 WR list last year. The name that keeps jumping out at me that doesn’t get a lot of attention is Corey Latimer (Indiana). He does everything what I want out of a WR on tape…very physical and aggressive with sneaky speed and quickness. He’s got really good length and thickness to him, I think he is NFL-ready pretty quick. A comparable player to him but ona slightly lesser scale is Bennie Fowler (Michigan State). I raved about him during the season as he stood out in every game tape I saw this year. Another one that does the little things right on top of being a physical player. His workout was impressive and I think he is a sneaky guy that can be had in the mid-to-late rounds.

Brandin Cooks - Oregon State

I’ve had a thing for Brandin Cooks (Oregon State) since September and he actually came in to the weekend as my top graded WR on tape by a thin margin and he only strengthened that spot in Indy. He is a strong but short athlete…but his real asset is the ability to change direction and explode. A 3.81 short shuttle? Are you kidding me? That is ridiculous. If he is thrown in to the slot within the right offense, you are looking at a better version of Wes Welker.

I was disappointed in what we saw out of Kelvin Benjamin (Florida State). I knew he wouldn’t move that well but he looked really stiff and awkward at times. I had a few grades on him during the season that led me to believe it could be a top 15 pick….but I’m not sure about top 45 now. He just doesn’t have the fluidity and even though his size is top notch, he’s gotta move better.

RUNNING BACK

This RB group is not an impressive one at the top. I only have one first round grade going out and that is to Tre Mason (Auburn). He has the frame I want out of a back and his vision/ability to locate lanes is something you don’t see at the Combine. He anticipates the action as well as anyone. Beyond him, I have a bunch of RBs stacked together in that 2nd/3rd round tier. The common theme I see is a back with good ability, whether it be power/size or explosion/speed, but lacks the other. I like, but don’t love, Carlos Hyde (Ohio State), Storm Johnson (UCF), and Bishop Sankey (Washington). Those guys have ability but the gap between them and the guys 5-6 spots behind them, that can be had much later, isn’t all the large.

Tre Mason - Auburn

There are two small school names that I’ve liked for a few months now. Many didn’t know who they were until their impressive workouts raised a few eyebrows. The first is Jerick McKinnon (Georgia Southern). Interesting path to where he is now. Comes from an old school, Wing T offense where he used to play QB. He is thick and country strong but can explode in to the running lanes and in to the open field with the best in this class. Lorenzo Taliaferro (Coastal Carolina) has big time size that is proportioned well, but plays a low game with the ball in his hands. He is a terror to tackle for defenders, even the bigger ones.

TIGHT END

Really interesting group here that is a little top heavy. Jace Amaro (Texas Tech) is enormous. He is put together like an NFL TE right now and won’t have a problem with the physical side of the game. He lacks experience as an in-line blocker though, and that can take a lot of time for some guys. Strength/power wise he can handle it, but that is only half the equation here. I’ve been vocal about my support of Notre Dame’s Troy Niklas but he was underwhelming at the Combine. His movement skills were average to below average, I was expecting better. With that said, he has the most impressive frame of the group and he game tapes are outstanding. At the very worst, you are talking about one of the top blocking tight ends in the league with him. He still has a first round grade on my sheet and may be the top TE when all is said and done.

Jace Amaro - Texas Tech

There is a lot of positive talk about Eric Ebron (UNC) but I haven’t caught up yet. I still view him as a 2nd rounder. He has speed and catching ability but I don’t see the explosive athlete here that makes up for the size/power issues he presents to an offense. I think he is limited but can still be a solid player from a receiving perspective. I just want more from a TE than running ability though.

Two mammoth TEs that I really like are Marcel Jensen (Fresno State) and CJ Fiedorowicz (Iowa). They are big bodies that move exceptionally well in small space. They can get open underneath and catch the ball in traffic comfortably. Their upside as blockers is high as well. After round 2 if teams are looking for a TE, this is a value opportunity. These guys are the classic high floor, low ceiling types that stick around in the league for 10 years.

There are always darkhorses at this position that will make some salivate over their potential. Everyone is still looking for the next Antonio Gates and it forces a lot of teams in to drafting guys way over their actual value. Did AC Leonard (Tennessee State) put together an impressive workout? Absolutely. But it’s not enough for me to upgrade him from the late day three discussion. The late round guy I like is Joe Don Duncan from Dixie State. He has legit top 100 talent but played at a low level of college ball for family reasons. From, a girth/power/speed perspective, he is a freak. He catches the ball well too and he works hard to dominate as a blocker.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Nothing new with my outlook on this group…as the workouts here won’t really impact my view of this position, more so than others. The OT and OG class is strong throughout and you can find day one starters in to the 3rd round. Taylor Lewan is a guy that should be absolutely crushing it on film week in, week out when looking at his workout numbers. Why doesn’t he? What is going on with him? It’s odd to me and it really scares me off a bit to be honest. Lewan has a higher grade than Notre Dame’s Zach Martin, but I am actually more confident that Martin can at least be a, no matter what, reliable player. I’ve watched all the tape I can on Lewan and I still an unsure about where he should stand.

Zach Martin - Notre Dame

Cyril Richardson (Baylor) has taken a step back on my sheet but I still like him. I just don’t see him as a 1st rounder anymore. David Yankey (Stanford)is up there though, as I think he is another reliable but maybe not a spectacular player at the next level. His game is sheer power but his reaction to lateral quickness can kill an OL in the league. If he can get that figured out, and he physically as the capability, he can be a really good one.

If Seantrel Henderson (Miami) could ever get his head on straight…watch out. He is a special athlete but he has more than that to him…he has legit football talent. He is as powerful as they come and might be the best space blocker of any OT in this class. I would not take a chance on someone that can’t hold on to a starting spot because of work ethic/alertness/the little things but someone will…and he could be the top guy here in a few years.

REALY tough break for Alabama’s Cyrus Kouandjio with his knee issue. I personally had to downgrade him a significant amount and it probably moved him down 70-80 spots on the big board.

A name I still have not warmed up to yet is Gabe Jackson (Mississippi State). I’ve seen so many of his game tapes over the past two seasons and I just can’t seem to get over the movement issues. We all know he is good straight ahead and even as a stretch blocker. But man, he looks like a horror show when it comes to quick reactions and awareness. I would take Mason Walters (Texas) over him any day…and Walters wasn’t even at the Combine.

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Wide Receivers Mike Evans & Brandin Cooks

by Dave Syvertsen, Ourlads’ Draft Analyst

Watching the wide receivers run at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis has reminded me of a notion I’ve held on the position for a few years now. I will always prefer the quickness over the size/speed combination. This brings me to a debate of two players that I have graded pretty far apart.

Mike Evans from Texas A&M is having a great day in Indy. His unofficial 4.50 time in the forty yard dash is very impressive considering he measured in at 6’5/231 with 35+ inch arms. A quarterback can throw the ball just somewhat near him and Evans will have a good shot at getting his hands on the ball. He has impressive ball skills on tape, especially near the sideline on back-shoulder passes. Evans is an impressive athlete that is a tough cover for smaller cornerbacks, however there is a “but” here. Evans doesn’t run crisp routes, nor does he have the short area quickness separate from NFL cover men. As big as he is, a QB doesn’t have space as an asset when throwing the ball to Evans. Corners won’t have a hard time sticking with him all over the field. The A&M/LSU game this past fall was the tape I really put a downgrade on Evans. He was matched by their Tigers’ corners physically, who really made the effort to push him around in press coverage. As a result, Evans didn’t have the impact we were used to watching. NFL teams will see that tape and put their physical corners on him at the point of attack. I think Evans can be a solid receivers in the pros but he doesn’t have the dominant, take-over-the-game talent that many are talking about.

My top graded receiver on tape this year is much smaller and plays a different game than Evans. Brandin Cooks from Oregon State is the kind of receivers that can shine at the next level as long as he has a quarterback that can consistently deliver the ball accurately. His size (5’10/189 with 31 inch arms) is underwhelming to say the least. But if you watch a few OSU game tapes, his lack if size rarely appears on film. They still threw the ball to him downfield and in traffic. His ball skills are near the elite level when it comes to attacking the ball with his hands at the apex of his leap. Beyond that, Cooks has the best short area quickness and explosion of any receiver in this draft. He goes from 0-60 in a few steps, making him impossible to cover underneath. The IQ shows up as well with his ability to putting defenders on their heels when running short routes, giving him that initial advantage when changing direction. His 10 pounds of muscle added after the 2012 season gave him the extra power and presence with the ball in his hands to break tackles and make him the complete package after the catch.

The comparison between these two almost seems unfair. Despite playing the same position, they do completely different things for an offense. Evans is an outside-the-numbers guys and Cooks is best suited for the slot. But when it comes to their final grade, Cooks can do more. His game translates to the next level and his impact will likely be faster.

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Jason Verrett – TCU

by Dave Syvertsen, Ourlads’ Draft Analyst

There is a thought out there regarding the future of, in my opinion, the second toughest position to play in the NFL.  The success of Seattle’s defense is leading some to the notion that finding the tall, long, and fast cornerbacks is the most effective way to offset the surge in passing offense.  Teams always try to play the role of copycat to successful franchises and the value of bigger cover men will increase in this year’s draft.  Names like Keith McGill from Utah (6’3/214), Nebraska’s Stanley Jean-Baptiste (6’3/215), and Pierre Desir from Lindenwood (6’1/195) are a few prospects that are shooting up boards because of their size alone.  While the above average size will always help, it doesn’t factor in my grading process too much.

I’ve held on to this approach since I started scouting defensive backs years ago.  Give me a cover man that has the ability to change direction at full speed with ease and fluidity over a guy with long arms and deep speed any day.  The #2 cornerback in this class according to my grading sheet is TCU’s Jason Verrett.  He is listed at 5’10/176  but may even be a bit shorter, well find out next week in Indianapolis.  While that is near or at the bottom rung when it comes to the size of an NFL cornerback, I am as confident in his ability to make an impact at the next level as anyone.  Verrett has some of the best body control you’ll ever find in a college player, at any position.  That balance combined with top tier movement ability in short space and deep speed prevents receivers from gaining separation from him.  Nothing makes a quarterback more uneasy than cornerbacks who are constantly in the hip pocket of a receiver they are covering.  A throw that is just a tad behind the intended target could easily be picked off by the savvy Verrett.

While Richard Sherman is the new prototype for the position, players like him don’t grow on trees.  I still believe the safer bet is to draft a corner that has the movement ability rather than the ideal size.

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Arizona Cardinals 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Cardinals didn’t hesitate to turn in their draft card to Commissioner Goodell with Patrick Peterson’s name written on it. General Manager Rod Graves, Coach Ken Whisenhunt, and their respective staffs unanimously had Peterson as a top five value pick. Many organizations, including Ourlads, had the rangy corner as the top player in the draft. Whisenhunt said it was imperative that Arizona draft an impact player at number five. Ryan Williams was selected in the second round and was the highest running back on their board. The Cards’ board favored smart and highly motivated players who have the talent to contribute on special teams. The quarterback void will be filled during the free agency period. A trade is also another avenue the Cardinals may go down to fill a major team weakness. Patrick Peterson is a versatile athlete who has a rare skill set to lockdown a wide receiver and blitz from a variety of angles. He gives the Red Birds multiple defensive options. On top of his value as a corner, he brings confidence, courage, and production as a return specialist. Peterson will line up opposite former pro bowl corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Ryan Williams is a three down back who is powerful, strong, and can break arm tackles. Taking Williams in the second round surprised the Card’ faithful with needs at quarterback, linebacker, and the offensive line. Williams joins Beanie Wells and LaRod Stephens-Howling. Tim Hightower’s contract has expired and may not be back. Rob Housler was drafted to give the Cards a speed mismatch in man to man or zone coverage. He is a very loose athlete with good body control and balance. He flashes a burst off the line of scrimmage and gets into his routes quickly. Not a point of attack blocker yet, but he has the frame to gain weight and strength. Defensive end Sam Acho was drafted as a projection to outside linebacker in the Cards’ 3-4 scheme. A selection as a pass rusher was a major need along with quarterback. The transition should be painless with Acho’s intelligence and work ethic. He made a big impression at the Senior Bowl with his sack around first round choice Nate Solder and his relentless play during the week. Anthony Sherman is a pure I-formation fullback who will help upgrade the lead blocking position in the running game. Sherman was the highest rated player on their board at pick 136 in the fifth round. He is a good athlete who is solid in pass protection. Linebacker Quan Sturdivant was a steal in the sixth round. A four year starter, he has experience at both inside and outside linebacker. He’s an instinctive sideline to sideline force with good quickness. David Carter is a developmental five technique defensive end who had a strong senior year. Kenny Iwebema, Alan Branch, and Gabe Watson are all free agents. Productive wide receiver DeMarco Sampson is injury prone and over-aged and is probably headed to the practice squad. GRADE: GOOD.

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Atlanta Falcons 2011 NFL Draft Review

A big play receiver was needed to keep the offense on pace in the competitive NFC South. General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and Coach Mike Smith pulled off the draft’s blockbuster trade, moving four picks and swapping the 27th pick in the first round for the sixth selection in the 2011 draft. The target of their passion was the powerful Julio Jones. The Falcons received the 6th pick on Thursday night and gave up selections 27, 59, and 124 in the 2011 draft as well as the first and fourth round choices in the 2012 draft. The bold move strongly affected the 2011 and 2012 drafts, but the Falcons’ organization, led by owner Arthur Blank, was all for the trade. Wide receiver Julio Jones was drafted with the idea that he will bring explosiveness to the Falcon offense and take pressure off of Roddy White. The three-year starter from Alabama has rare speed for his size. Just as important as catching the ball on all levels of the field is the ability and pride Jones takes in his blocking for the running game. He is a clutch big play receiverwho has the mentality of a press corner. He will sacrifice his body for the ball. He has a track record of having produced against top level competition. A strong hand catcher, he will break a tackle and finish a play. Linebacker Akeem Dent was selected late in the third round. The productive and active three year starter made 126 tackles in 2010. Instinctive with physical toughness and intensity in his play, he is blessed with good lateral quickness and speed. He works his way through traffic and keeps leverage on the ball. Dent is experienced in both the 4-3 and 3-4 defensive schemes. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers was targeted in the fifth round by the Falcons. General Manager Thomas Dimitroff moved up 13 spots by trading a 7th round selection (229) to make the pick. The slippery and strong former Beaver has good contact balance and bounces around and off tacklers like a pinball. Quicker than a hiccup, he is a good complementary back to power backs Michael Turner and Jason Snelling. Punter Matt Bosher fills a need for Atlanta as 2010 was the final year of Michael Koenen’s contract. Bosher also kicks off and handles field goal chores. Offensive guard Andrew Jackson was a four-year starter. He suffered a high ankle sprain after four games in 2010. Although an average athlete, he is tough and physical in his play. He uses his hands effectively in both pass protection and in the run game. He works on his initial block, then hustles downfield to make another. Left guard Justin Blalock and right guard Harvey Dahl are both free agents. Cliff Matthews was taken late in the seventh round, but his credentials at South Carolina warranted a higher pick. He was a four-year starter and a two-year captain. He plays every play with maximum effort. Experienced at both right and left end in a four-man front, he plays with leverage and is quick to shed a block and locate the ball carrier. He is a developmental player with pro skills. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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Baltimore Ravens 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Ravens addressed several needs, but no one underwent the third degree more than corner Jimmy Smith. Smith is one of several players during General Manager Ozzie Newsome’s regime who was rated high on Baltimore’s board and fell to the twenties where Smith was selected. At the end of the investigation process, the Ravens had a comfort level with Smith as a player and a person. Several of the major needs heading into the draft were filled at offensive tackle, corner, and wide receiver. The linebacker position may be filled in free agency or with young players on the roster. Jimmy Smith is a big corner who is athletic and strong. He has all the measurables for the position. Experienced in both press and off coverage, Smith is a first round athlete who cleaned up red flags with the Ravens’ power structure. The Ravens see him as a good tackler with great coverage skills. He will be a big match-up with wide receivers in the AFC North. Receiver Torrey Smith was a first round value that fell to the Ravens at pick 58. An explosive playmaker, he helps the receiver corps get bigger and faster. Smith has big vertical speed that can take the top off a defense and clear the underneath areas for Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin. The Maryland product gives Joe Flacco another weapon and a deep target. He also has value in the kickoff return game. Jah Reid is an offensive tackle who was targeted and Newsome gave up a 6th round pick to Philadelphia to move up and select him in the third round. He projects at the right tackle position with Michael Oher moving back to the left side. Reid started 41 games at right tackle in college. He has long arms and big hands for the position. A good athlete, he has a passion for the game. Big, tough, and smart guys generally find their way onto the field. Tandon Doss is a possession receiver who catches the ball away from his body. A physical receiver, he is tough over the middle. He has a different skill set from Torrey Smith. Doss was a feature receiver in the Hoosier offense and possesses good awareness and instincts. Chykie Brown impressed the Ravens with his size, long arms (33 7/8”), and speed. He is solid in press coverage and explosive in his play. Late in the draft, traits are important to project a player within the scheme of a defense. Pernell McPhee is projected to play a 3-4 end. He has the frame to get bigger and pack on another 20 pounds. He is a player who gives good effort on every snap. He hustles to the ball and is a developmental project who will need to get bigger and stronger to play the run. In junior college he was turned loose and had over 30 career sacks. Tyrod Taylor has the skill set the Ravens liked at quarterback with the added dimension of mobility. He has rare movement skills to escape with suddenness to make a play and pressure the defense. A developmental project, Taylor will provide depth. Anthony Allen is a back who is tough and has the skills to track the ball on wheel routes. Most of Allen’s ability to catch the ball was observed at the Combine and in workouts. He was not used much as a receiver at Georgia Tech. A between the tackles power runner, he has good vision, is an athletic one-cut runner, and has good body lean. GRADE: GOOD

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Buffalo Bills 2011 NFL Draft Review

It’s been 26 years since the Bills have taken a defensive lineman this early in the draft. That player in 1985 was Hall of Famer, Bruce Smith who was the first overall pick. The Bills’ brass Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey recognized Marcell Dareus as a special talent and a player worthy of the third pick in the 2011 Draft. Dareus fills a need at defensive end after Marcus Stroud was a cap casualty. Seven of nine draft choices were used on the defensive side of the ball with an emphasis put on special teams coverage skills. Marcell Dareus is a versatile long-armed power player who is strong in the run game and disruptive as a pass rusher. The Bills’ run defense was ranked last in the league and the addition of a huge two gap 3-4 end is a welcomed addition. Aaron Williams is another draft choice who exemplifies the Bills’ theme of versatility. Corner Terrence McGee will be 30-years old and safety Donte Whitner may leave as a free agent. Williams is a safety/corner combination with corner skills and will contribute on all coverage teams. Kelvin Sheppard played for the Bills’-coached team in the Senior Bowl where he impressed the coaching staff with his physical and emotional intensity. A solid tackle to tackle player with good inside run instincts, he needs to improve his game in coverage and space. Da’Norris Searcy is a run enforcer and a ball hawk. The big safety also played corner at times. He should contribute immediately in nickel packages. He is particularly strong in the run game and is instinctive and smart in his play. Not a deep man to man coverage player, but he has sure hands as a punt returner. He will contribute on special teams coverage. Chris Hairston is one of the few offensive linemen who played in a three point stance which impressed Buffalo. He started at left tackle for three years, but projects to right tackle. He was a better run blocker than pass protector at Clemson. Johnny White is a versatile back who is smart, athletic, and physical in his play. He catches the ball well out of the backfield. In college he was in a three back rotation, a role he may also fill for the Bills. Chris White is instinctive, tough, and competitive in his play. Physical at the point of attack, he is a good effort player who will contribute on all special teams coverage. Justin Rogers has good ball skills but needs work as a run support player. He was an instinctive and productive playmaker on the FCS level. Smooth and fluid with good body control, he was the special teams player of the year in the Colonial Conference. Michael Jasper also was known as Leslie Jasper. He played offensive guard and nose tackle at small Bethel (TN) College. He started his career at 400 plus pounds and weighed in at 378 pounds before the draft. The big man is athletic with a 32-inch vertical jump and 9’5” broad jump. He will start out at nose tackle for the Bills. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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Carolina Panthers 2011 NFL Draft Review

Cam Newton was the first pick of the draft. He was chosen because the organization felt he would give the team an immediate impact presence. By drafting Newton, Carolina became the first team to select a quarterback as their first pick in two consecutive drafts. Jimmy Clausen was the first pick in 2010, but was a second round choice. New head coach Ron Rivera wants to build a physical attacking type defense for Carolina and in the Panthers’ two third round picks, he believes he found them. Terrell McClain and Sione Fua will help fill a gaping cavity up front, so the linebackers can make plays on or near the line of scrimmage. Cam Newton was a oneyear starter at Auburn and directed the team to a national championship. The previous year he led Blinn (TX) Junior College to a national title as well. He is confident and aggressive in his play as well as being big, strong, and athletic. He played in a run first spread, no huddle offensive scheme. He will need to learn all the nuances and fundamentals of the pro passing game – consistency, ability to anticipate windows in coverage, taking snaps from center, dropping back to the throwing point, decision making, accuracy, balance, and footwork in the pocket. He is a developmental quarterback with rare tools. Terrell McClain was a three-year starter who played inside tackle in a four man front. He’s a space eater who takes up blocks and pushes the pocket in the pass game. He draws double teams to free up linebackers to play downhill. McClain is a good athlete with good short area explosiveness. He plays with a good power base. He is competitive and works to the whistle. Sione Fua started 31 games at Stanford over the past three seasons. He is a blue collar competitor from snap to whistle. His long arms and big hands are an asset for the defensive tackle position. He plays with leverage, power, and quickness. Fua is explosive in his play and doesn’t stay blocked. He will battle to be a part of the front rotation. Brandon Hogan tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the last regular season game against Rutgers. In his three seasons as a starter he recorded 171 tackles and intercepted 7 passes. Physical in run support, he is sudden to break up on a ball in front of him. He is a good tackler with good short area quickness and has the speed to run with vertical stretch receivers. Kealoha Pilares is a former running back who is fearless to cross the middle. Three months after he sprained a posterior cruciate ligament, he ran in the low 4.40 range. Pilares is all about speed and toughness. In his career he caught 209 passes for 2491 yards and 22 touchdowns. His senior year he caught 88 passes for 1306 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has good run after catch ability. Lawrence Wilson was the first pick in the sixth round. The four-year starter concluded his career with 449 tackles, 35 ½ tackles for loss, 9 ½ sacks, and 5 interceptions. He is a better than average athlete who is instinctive and quick. He finishes long pursuit but needs more bulk and overall strength to hold up physically on Sunday. Zack Williams is a versatile center/guard combination player. He started two years at Washington State after transferring from Glendale Community College. Williams is a knee bender who plays with body control and balance. Intense and mentally tough, he plays with attitude and aggression. He has good lateral quickness. Lee Ziemba started 52 games over four years at Auburn. Tall and angular build with long arms, he played left tackle but projects to the right side. He is a developmental tackle who needs more upper and lower body strength. A mauler type that has been durable, he comes off the ball hard in the running game. GRADE: AVERAGE.

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Chicago Bears 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Bears accomplished one goal and filled a logical need by drafting left tackle Gabe Carimi. Carimi was projected to be drafted earlier than pick 29, but with all the quarterbacks and defensive linemen being selected, the rangy tackle fell into Chicago’s lap. The Bears’ good fortune extended into the second round when they traded up nine spots (Chicago sent a fourth round pick – 127 – to the Redskins) to draft defensive tackle Stephen Paea at number 53. The Bears reportedly would have drafted Paea at 29 if Carimi was not available. The pair of linemen were need picks that will help shore up the lines on both sides of the ball. Gabe Carimi was a four-year starter at Wisconsin where he won the Outland Trophy last season as the nation’s best interior lineman. He has the coveted long arms and big hands for the left tackle position and will compete with Frank Omiyale. The rangy tackle played toe to toe against several of the top first round pass rushers over the past two years. Week after week he saw the likes of Brandon Graham, Adrian Clayborn, Cameron Heyward, and Ryan Kerrigan. In practice he got a workout from first rounder, JJ Watt. Stephen Paea will compete with Matt Toeaina at left defensive tackle. The Bears project the versatile and physical player as a three technique and nose tackle. Paea was a threeyear starter and was named the Pac-10 defensive MVP in 2010 after recording 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and six sacks. The Tonga native is thick and quick with extremely strong arms and legs. He’s a disruptive and explosive player who is a good fit in the Bears’ Tampa-2 package. His biggest claim to fame this spring was when he hoisted up 225 pounds, 49 times at the Combine in Indianapolis to set a strength record. Chris Conte was a reserve cornerback for three years and was moved to safety in 2010. He’s a developmental angular safety who will contribute on special teams. He recorded 72 tackles and one interception last fall. General Manager Jerry Angelo said that Conte is everything the Bears look for from a physical standpoint at safety. Conte is a good athlete who is an aggressive run support player and a solid wrap up tackler in space. Nathan Enderle was drafted as a developmental quarterback in the fifth round. Jay Cutler and Caleb Hanie have nailed down the starting and backup roles. The Bears plan on keeping three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster and reportedly don’t plan on signing a veteran backup in free agency. JT Thomas started at weakside linebacker for three years at West Virginia. He had 73 tackles, seven tackles for loss, and 2 ½ sacks. The Bears project him to back up all three positions because of his ability to grasp multiple positions in college. Thomas is intense and athletic in his play. He has experience in a variety of stunt packages. He plays with a good use of hands, speed, and quickness and will contribute on special teams coverage units while adding depth to the linebacker corps. GRADE: AVERAGE.

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Cincinnati Bengals 2011 Draft Review

The Bengals filled a feature receiver need with the selection of the dynamic playmaker, AJ Green, the most complete wideout in the 2011 Draft. Green has the rare ability to make the contested catch. With the Carson Palmer issue ongoing, Cincinnati selected quarterback Andy Dalton in the second round. Dalton brings a winning attitude and a breath of fresh air to the Orange and Black. He is a prototype West Coast offensive type talent. The common themes throughout the last six Bengal selections were competitiveness, versatility, and productivity. Several of the late choices will be counted on to upgrade the special teams units. AJ Green plays at a high level and has excellent run after catch skills. The Bengals liked Green’s combination of size, speed, ball skills, and natural ability to run pass routes. He also impressed new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden with his blocking ability and every play effort. He’s one of the few receivers coming out of college that you can throw to when covered and he will make the catch. He makes a tough catch look routine with his athletic ability. Green can catch crossing routes, underneath, or over the middle. He can go vertical and break tackles. Quarterback Andy Dalton impressed the Bengals with his leadership ability, anticipation of the throws, and accuracy. This developmental project may have to be a quick study if Carson Palmer does not return. Dalton must work at taking snaps from under center, develop his footwork to the throwing point, and work from a pocket among a myriad of NFL nuances of quarterback play. Dontay Moch is projected as a weakside linebacker, nickel pass rusher, and core special teams player. He was productive in college with 63 tackles for loss plus 30 sacks. He possesses rare first step quickness and demonstrates an intense desire to run down the ball carrier. He played with his hand in the dirt at Nevada. Moch is a raw but talented athlete. Clint Boling will be counted on to come into camp and compete for a starting job at either guard position. He has experience at both guard and tackle. Boling is a battler with above average athletic ability and is physical in his play. Smart and alert with good field awareness, he is quick to read and react to stunts. He is intense, durable, and consistent in his play. Robert Sands is a rarity at safety with his size and athletic ability. His height and long arms are a position asset in the seams and underneath coverage where the quarterback must throw over the top of him. Not shy on run support, he is an aggressive athlete who has a unique skill set. Ryan Whalen was Andrew Luck’s go-to receiver at Stanford. With the Bengals he will be playing in a scheme that is similar. He is a good athlete who is a reliable hand catcher. He caught 139 passes for 1884 yards in his career. Consistent in his overall play, he has good ball skills. Whalen can run the inside slant routes required in the West Coast offense. A tough competitor, he sacrifices his body for the ball. Korey Lindsey-Woods is a three year starter who is a developmental type corner. He has short arms and small hands for the position. He possesses good ball skills, but struggles to get off blocks in run support. Jay Finley played running back in Baylor’s spread offense. A third down type back, he lacks creative running skills and is a developmental practice squad type. GRADE: GOOD.

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Dallas Cowboys 2011 NFL Draft Review

Jerry Jones surprised the Cowboy fans in a big way by making no trades and drafting from their designated picks. This is the first year since 2003 that Dallas has not made any trades. The Cowboys felt that without free agency coming into play prior to the draft, they could stay true to their board. By drafting Tyron Smith the Cowboys ended a 30-year string without a first round offensive lineman. As the 9th pick in the draft, he will be expected to be a starter either on the right side or swapping with Doug Free and moving to Tony Romo’s blind side. Tyron Smith was voted the Morris Trophy, given to the Pac-10’s most valuable lineman. The 20-year old tackle played on the right side at Southern Cal in a pro style offense. He is gifted with extra long arms and catcher mitt sized hands. A solid zone blocker, he seals the playside with technique and athletic ability. He played on the right side, but has left tackle feet. He is equally skilled and effective at pass or run blocking. A knee bender with leg drive and hip snap, he will upgrade the right or left side of the line. Bruce Carter started 44 of 49 career games for the Tar Heels. He recorded 215 career tackles, 9 ½ sacks, and 24 tackles for loss. He tore a left anterior cruciate ligament on November 20th against rival North Carolina State. Generally it takes a year to come back 100 percent from that type of knee injury, but Carter should be worth the wait. The sideline to sideline player is ultra athletic and closes quickly on the ball. He is as natural an athlete at linebacker as there was in the 2011 Draft. Fluid with good hip flexibility, he is a knee bender with quick hands and feet. He is a three down linebacker with pass rush quickness and the ability to redirect. His only negative is that his instincts appear to be off at times. When he sees the ball however, he drives hard to it. DeMarco Murray is similar to the Cowboys’ first two draft choices in his productivity over his college career. Marion Barber may be the odd man out with Murray in the mix with Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. Murray is a versatile athlete who has experience at wide receiver, in the slot, and takes the direct snap in the “Wildcat” offensive package. He also ranked second on Oklahoma’s all-time kickoff return list. He has been a clutch player at crunch time and is smart and productive. David Arkin brings some youth to the interior of the Dallas line. The durable offensive lineman played right guard his first three years at Missouri State. As a senior, he played left tackle. A high effort player, he is strong at the point of attack. Competitive, physical, and intense in his play, he is a natural guard for a zone blocking team. Right guard Leonard Davis is 33-years old while left guard Kyle Kosier is scheduled for free agency. Josh Thomas is a four-year starter who majors in zone coverage. He plays with quickness, balance, and good change of direction. Smooth in his turns with good hip flexibility, he plays best as a press corner in a cover-two scheme while struggling in off man coverage. He is competitive with good leaping ability. Dwayne Harris is a wide receiver who started 24 games and was the Conference USA’s MVP. He was very productive over his career with 268 catches. A slot type receiver, he was drafted to work the middle of the field. In 2010 he caught 101 passes, good for 1123 yards. During practices at the Senior Bowl he struggled catching the ball. He should contribute on special teams. Shaun Chapas was a three year starter at Georgia and is a willing and productive blocker who can seal the edge. He was drafted to compete with Chris Gronkowski and to play special teams. He also has experience at H-back where he can get a running start at his target. Bill Nagy is the only drafted center on the Cowboy roster besides starter Andre Gurode. The least recognized of the Wisconsin group of senior linemen must contribute as a guard/center combination to make the 53-man squad. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE

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Cleveland Browns 2011 Draft Review

The Browns made eight picks in the 2011 Draft, but have stockpiled two more for 2012. The two bonus picks were a part of a trade with Atlanta to move from the Falcons’ spot at 27 up to Cleveland’s position at six. In exchange for the sixth pick, the Browns received the 27th (1st round), 59th (2nd round), and 124th (4th round) choices in the 2011 draft in addition to the Falcons’ 1st and 4th round choices in 2012. Cleveland later moved up to Kansas City’s spot at 21 with a 3rd round selection, number 70, to draft Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor. Taylor was the top nose tackle on most draft boards or one of the top five defensive tackles. A physical player with rare power, he is built to handle the run game with a thick build, long arms, and big hands. He can push the pocket with a strong and leveraged bull rush. He plays with good leverage and strong hand control as an inside run stuffer. With the Browns’ move to a 4-3 defensive scheme, he will team with Ahtyba Rubin to gum up the inside running lanes. Jabaal Sheard fills another need position at right defensive end. Tough and physical in his play, he fought through double and triple teams to gather 9 sacks and 14 ½ tackles for loss. Protections slid his way due to the loss of Greg Romeus for the year. Sheard is an impact hitter on slant moves to stop the run, but he also has explosive pass rush ability. He is intense, mobile, and quick in his play. Receiver Greg Little may be the best pass catcher in the draft when looking back five years from now. He did not play in 2010 due to a ruling by the NCAA in accepting extra benefits. Little is as talented and athletic as any receiver in this draft. He made spectacular catches in 2009 and has good run after catch ability. He has running back skills at 231 pounds. A total package of blocking, catching, and run after catch ability, Little has the talent to be a feature receiver. Jordan Cameron is a neophyte tight end candidate with good athletic ability. He started one game in his career at Southern Cal and caught 16 passes for 126 yards and one touchdown in 2 years. He was a scholarship basketball player at BYU before transferring to a junior college. A developmental tight end, he is more athlete than football player at this point. Owen Marecic played fullback in a West Coast scheme at Stanford. He was a two-way starter at fullback and linebacker. He will be used in a utility type role on offense and special teams but will compete with Lawrence Vickers as the lead blocker for Peyton Hillis. His strong points are blocking and catching the ball. He will also be counted on as a core special teams contributor. Buster Skrine has good leaping ability for a corner to offset his lack of height (5093). He possesses outstanding athletic ability, quick feet, and good hip flexibility. The Browns see Skrine as an ascending player who had four different defensive back coaches at Tennessee- Chattanooga. He recorded six tackles in their game against Auburn and finished the season with 39 tackles, despite dislocating his elbow returning a kickoff in the season opener. He had five career interceptions and will get a look outside at corner and inside in nickel and dime packages. Jason Pinkston was selected after the Browns sent both of their sixth round picks (168 and 170) to the Vikings in exchange for the 150th selection. He was a three-year starter at left tackle, but is projected to play right tackle or inside at guard. One of the best things he does with his long arms and big hands is to lock out on the pass rusher while maintaining balance and position. Eric Hagg was a three-year starter at Nebraska who played in the hybrid strong safety/linebacker position. He is active in his play demonstrating good range on run support. Hagg is a better than average athlete who can man up against tight ends and slot receivers. He had a strong senior year where he made key plays and was always around the ball. He was productive and instinctive. GRADE: GOOD.

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Denver Broncos 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Broncos completed the 2011 Draft with nine selections after starting out with seven picks. Two-thirds of the draft went to the defensive side of the ball. It was evident throughout the draft that Denver wanted to increase its team speed. Von Miller was the top selection and was viewed by the organization as a once-in-ten year’s type player. Denver then picked up San Francisco’s 4th and 5th round picks in this draft and exchanged their 36th pick for the 49ers’ 45th pick. The Broncos picked up two draft choices and still got their guy in safety Rahim Moore. Denver also had the 46th selection and drafted physical offensive tackle Orlando Franklin. Von Miller projects to be a Sam or strong side linebacker in John Fox’s 4-3 defensive scheme. Fox will find a way to utilize the consensus best pass rusher in the 2011 Draft to pressure and disrupt the offensive side of the ball for opponents. Miller was moved around in the Aggie defense to take advantage of match-ups and alignments to blitz and pressure the quarterback. He stunted from the inside standup position as well as playing up or down in a 3-point stance off the edge. Miller has a special burst after initial contact. He has outstanding first step quickness and timing to fly up the field. His run responsibilities were limited on pass downs at Texas A&M. He has a nose for the ball and can run down a back getting to the perimeter. The best thing he does is what the Broncos need – a pass rusher. Rahim Moore is the heir apparent to take over for veteran safety Brian Dawkins. Moore was a three-year starter and demonstrated good instincts and range at UCLA. He corralled 14 career interceptions and possesses a sixth sense to locate and recognize pass or run. He has good ball skills and quick reactions to what he sees and feels. He plays the ball in the air and has the speed and burst to overlap in deep coverage. Not a blowup type hitter, but he is a sure tackler. Orlando Franklin fills a need at right tackle, especially if the new free agency rules award unrestricted status to restricted free agent Ryan Harris. Franklin could also move inside to guard. He is a three-year starter with long arms and big strong hands. He has some violence in his game. He started at left tackle, but also has experience at right tackle and left guard. Explosive in his play, the big man is a knee bender with a solid lower body that is flexible and hard to knock off his feet. Nate Irving was a three year starter and team captain. His senior year he played middle linebacker, but has experience at the other two positions as well. He missed the 2009 season after he was severely injured in an automobile accident. This past fall he totaled 110 tackles, 6 forced fumbles, 3 sacks, and 1 interception. He is aggressive, explosive, plays instinctively and with leverage. Quinton Carter is a two-year starter who is a physical face up hitter with sideline to sideline range. Strong safety Renaldo Hill’s best years are behind him and Carter has experience at both strong and free safety. He is an explosive hitter on run support and has good foot quickness and change of direction. A contact player, he has a nose for the football, is confident and poised. Julius Thomas is an athletic developmental tight end who played four years of basketball at Portland State and only played football as a senior. He has the size and measurables for the position. He needs work on his inline blocking. Thomas looks natural catching the ball and flashes some run after catch ability. To acquire Thomas, Denver traded their 5th (141) and 6th (186) round picks to the Packers. The Broncos then received a 7th round (204) pick in the same deal. Michael Mohamed is a durable and instinctive inside linebacker. He has experience in both the 4-3 and 3-4 defenses. A three-year starter, he is quick to read and react. A wrap up tackler, he is smart and plays with good field awareness. He plays well on all special teams’ coverage units. He will compete with Joe Mays at middle linebacker. Virgil Green may be the steal of the Broncos’ draft after falling down the draft board due to microfracture surgery a few years ago. Green was rated as high as the 3rd round on several teams’ draft boards. Athletically he rated 3rd out of 17 tight ends that worked out at the Combine. He is a natural hand catcher with speed, good ball skills, and production. Fluid in his movement, he can turn a short reception into a long gain. He is a position wall off blocker. Jeremy Beal was the Big-12’s 2010 defensive lineman of the year. He concluded his career with 223 tackles and 29 sacks. He also collected 59 ½ tackles for loss. He lasted this long due to a poor 40-yard dash time for his position. The Oklahoma three-year starter plays faster than his timed speed. He played up-back on the punt coverage teams. GRADE: GOOD.

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Detroit Lions 2011 NFL Draft Review

After Nick Fairley dropped to the Lions at thirteen, there was no hesitation to draft him because of his talent level. Head Coach Jim Schwartz said “we stayed with our board. We can’t get overwhelmed by the immediacy of some specific needs.” General Manager Martin Mayhew said, “It helps our defensive line. We have a lot of good young defensive linemen too. I feel really good about this.” He continued, “We look for value in the draft and there was no pressure to do anything else.” Nick Fairley joins Ndamukong Suh as the only two back-to-back Lombardi Award winners drafted by the same team. He was a one year starter after transferring from junior college. He has long arms and measurables for the position. He pushes the pocket as an inside pass rusher and gets his long arms up in the throwing lane. A disruptive penetrator, he can beat a hesitant offensive lineman. He can be explosive and aggressive fighting to beat a block. He demonstrated the strength to overpower a center or guard with strength or beat them with quickness. He plays angry with a nasty disposition. Fairley could not have been drafted by a better team to reach his full potential playing next to Suh and other high motor defensive linemen. Titus Young was drafted in the second round to complement and take pressure off of Calvin Johnson. In his career he started 26 games, caught 204 passes for 3063 yards, and scored 25 touchdowns. Young is an explosive sure-handed receiver who can make the deep over shoulder catch and can pluck the ball away from his body. He is sudden in and out of his route cuts and has the speed to get behind the secondary and make a big play. He has quick feet to avoid press coverage and plays fast with a burst up the field after he snatches the ball in his hands. He will also help the Lions as a kickoff return specialist. In 2009 he returned 2 kickoffs for touchdowns. Mikel Leshoure was drafted on day two of the draft as a change up to last year’s first round choice, Jahvid Best. Similar to the move up in 2010 to secure Best, Martin Mayhew moved up in the second to draft the big back from Illinois. The trade details are as follows: Seattle traded its 2nd round (57), 5th round (157), and 7th round (209) picks for Detroit’s 3rd (75), 4th (107), 5th (154), and 7th (205) round picks. Leshoure was productive between the tackles and a downhill runner. A strong short yardage runner, he can move the pile with his lower body strength. He is not easy to tackle and is an impact north/south runner. He has good feet and body lean with his pad level down. An effective receiver on swing passes and wheel routes, he needs work on pass protection – he is willing, but just needs technique refinement. Doug Hogue was a two-year starter at linebacker after moving over from the offensive side of the ball where he played running back. Productive with 167 tackles over the past two years, he is a tackling machine that is always around the ball. He has sideline to sideline effort to get in on a play and will be an immediate asset on all special teams. Johnny Culbreath is a developmental offensive tackle from South Carolina State who was chosen with the 209th overall pick in the final round of the NFL Draft. A four-year starter with good size and athletic ability, he demonstrates flexibility and the ability to bend. The Lions were present at his workout where he gave as positive an impression as he did on tape. He has the frame to carry more weight. Information from his pro day on 3/31/11 is as follows: 6051, 322, 4.99/40, 1.86/10, 27/BP, 30.5/VJ, 9-0/BJ, 4.83/ SS, and 7.76/3 cone. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft

NEWS FLASH–Terrelle Pryor was drafted in the 3rd Round by the Oakland Raiders. No other players were selected.
Terrelle Pryor’s bid to be included in the 2011 Supplemental Draft has been successful as of Thursday morning. The Supplemental draft will be held on Monday  8/22/11. Several teams including the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins have shown interest in the athletic and talented quarterback. Former NFL Scout Dan Shonka’s take on Pryor: Three-year starter with record of 31-4. An ascending right-handed pro quarterback prospect with unique and versatile athletic ability. Possesses the talent and skill set to contribute early in his career and provide impact play. Big, strong, and athletic enough to play a slot receiver position while he is learning all nuances of NFL quarterback play. Caught 3 passes for 2 touchdowns in Buckeye career. In 2010 he demonstrated a command of the offense. When passing the ball he had good arm strength and velocity to throw vertical and all NFL three level routes. Good footwork and balance in the pocket. Keeps his feet alive. Good deep ball accuracy at 50 yards plus. He can hit a moving target in stride downfield with few adjustments. Ball is wobbly at times. Not a perfect spiral. Holds ball up chest to shoulder high. He has developed touch on checkdowns, swing passes, and screens. Quick set up to the throwing point when taking the snap from under center. Approximately a 60/40 ratio of spread shotgun to pro style snap under center. Has a deliberate delivery with a quick wrist snap to get the ball out to his receivers. The nose of the ball will drop at times on short routes causing the football to dive and fall short of the target. Improved his ability in 2010 to pre-read, sight adjust, and locate secondary receivers. Noticeable improvement in his field vision and awareness in 2010. Appeared to read defenses better out of the shotgun than when taking snaps and dropping back to throwing point. Better anticipation in 2010 but rarely had to throw into tight windows. His receivers were generally wide open. Poised in the pocket. Was more confident with his protection in 2010. Keeps his eyes down the field. Has courage, doesn’t panic, and is determined to stay in the pocket. Stands tall and steps up when he feels pressure. Spreads the ball around to wide receivers, backs, and tight ends. Throws the complete route tree vertically and horizontally. Can make plays on the move, particularly running and passing to his left. Can buy time and extend a play. Creates plays with his feet. Natural athleticism. Can avoid and escape the rush with suddenness. Demonstrates the ability to reset his body with balance to make a quick and accurate throw. Dangerous when he pulls the ball down and runs to daylight. A smooth and explosive athlete with long strides. Has the innate speed and strength to run away from defenders. Uses a straight arm to ward off tacklers. Possesses functional speed and quickness. The Buckeyes ran a read option series out of their spread formation. Pryor’s decision making and consistency improved in 2010. Strong enough to shake off arm tackles or pass rushers in the pocket. Not easy to tackle. Finishes his runs. Elusive in the open field. Big, strong, and durable. Clutch ability to perform in crucial situations. Moves the team when needed, especially with the game on the line. He does have a bad habit of carrying the ball in the one hand or out away from his body, setting up a fumble or strip opportunity. He will also throw back across his body and the defense at times. Terrelle Pryor is an ultra competitive, playmaking, passionate, and athletic quarterback who played in a structured offensive scheme at Ohio State. He concluded his three-year college career in 2010 with six of his top eight performances. Productive with 6177 career passing yards (fifth at OSU), completed 16 consecutive passes in a game (second all time in the Big-10). Only six times in OSU history has a quarterback rushed for 100 yards and passed for 200 yards or more in the same game. Pryor did it five times. He is the Ohio State all-time quarterback rushing leader with 2164 yards (fourth on the Big-10 all-time list). Tenth in the country in 2010 in passing efficiency with 159.88 rating. Pryor had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in February 2010 after partially tearing his posterior cruciate ligament. He also had surgery on 1/7/11 to stabilize a ligament in his right foot injured in the Sugar Bowl.
Pryor will need to learn and continue to improve on all the nuances and fundamentals of the pro passing game – decision making (judgment and decisiveness), accuracy, consistency, ability to anticipate windows in coverage (throw to spots), ability to handle adjustments, game management, react to adversity, reliability, and leadership. Most of his leadership qualities appear as a playmaker on the field. Pryor made the comment during his junior year that he didn’t work as hard as he could have his first two years and started to believe all the hype before the light went on in 2010. Projected to apply for Supplemental Draft this summer. MVP in 2011 Sugar Bowl, MVP in 2010 Rose Bowl. Beat Michigan three straight years along with three Big-10 championships.Big-10 2008 Freshman of the Year. USA Today High School Player of the Year in 2007, led his team to state championships in both football and basketball at Jeannette (PA) High School. Born 6/20/89. The Cleveland Plain Dealer called the high school recruitment of Terrelle Pryor the most publicized recruiting saga in college football history. Has red flags that need to be addressed.  A first/second round developmental talent. Would be a third round steal.
Arkansas Game ComparisonTotal yds Passing Stats Rushing Score
Terrelle Pryor 336 14/25, 221 yds, 2 TDs 15/115 won 31-26
Cam Newton 329 10/14, 140 yds, 1 TD 25/189, 3 TDs won 65-43
Pryor through the years
Passing Stats TD/INTs Rushing TD LG
2010 210/323 2772 yds 65.0% 27 – 11 135/754 4 66
2009 167/295 2094 yds 56.6% 18 – 11 162/779 7 43
2008 100/165 1311 yds 60.6% 12 – 4 139/631 6 38
Totals 477/783 6177 yds 60.9% 57 – 26 436/2164 17 66
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Green Bay Packers 2011 Draft Review

Ted Thompson addressed every position on the team except quarterback and kicker during the draft. The defensive line, linebackers, offensive line, running backs, wide receiver, tight end, and defensive back all were infused with young talent to add competition to a talented roster. A kicker was not selected, but special teams return and coverage units will both benefit from the draft class of 2011. Green Bay entered the draft with nine picks and through a series of trades they finished up with ten. First round pick Derek Sherrod was a value pick at 32 and Randall Cobb may have the opportunity to make the best rookie impression on the Packer fans. Derek Sherrod will have the opportunity to bookend last year’s first round tackle Bryan Bulaga. Either Sherrod or Bulaga will replace Chad Clifton in the future at left tackle. The rangy Mississippi State left tackle may get a shot at left guard while he is learning the tackle position. He has good agility and body control for a pro offensive lineman. He moves his feet with flexibility and balance. He plays with a good base and knee bend, has quick reactions, and the ability to recover. Randall Cobb will be given every chance to return kickoffs and punts – an area of concern for the defending Super Bowl Champions. Cobb fills an additional need as a slot receiver who can cause mismatches with his quickness and finish speed. Donald Driver is 36-years old and Cobb looks like his heir apparent. The former Kentucky Wildcat is a three-year starter who is a unique and diverse weapon. He scored four different ways in 2010 (receiving, running, passing, and he returned a punt for a touchdown.) He is dangerous in space and has good run after catch ability. In 2010 he caught 84 passes for 1017 yards and 7 touchdowns. Running back Alex Green provides some insurance as a third down back if free agent Brandon Jackson doesn’t return. Ryan Grant and James Starks are the frontrunners for the running back position, but Green has every down ability and provides serious competition. The other major transition for the Hawaii graduate besides the weather will be his ability to block stunts and blitzes from a pro scheme after playing a spread formation. Davon House will compete for the fourth cornerback position behind rising star Tramon Williams. A developmental corner with size and good speed, he plays the best up in press man to man coverage. He has good ball skills, picking off 11 interceptions and returning 3 of them for touchdowns. He will contribute on all special teams coverage units. Tight end DJ Williams is a new wave offensive utility specialist that catches the ball from a variety of alignments. He caught 54 passes as the John Mackey Award winner in 2010. Williams joins Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless as athletic, downfield receiving threats from the tight end position. He can turn a short reception into a long gain and also plays on punt coverage teams. Caleb Schlauderaff will be competing for an interior offensive line position depending on what happens with free agents Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz. The Utah guard started 49 games over four years. He is a reliable developmental zone blocking guard. DJ Smith was a four-year starter at one of the top FCS schools and is a sideline to sideline tackling machine. Outstanding instincts and productivity, he recorded 525 tackles over his career. He is versatile enough to compete at both inside and outside linebacker. He plays with quick hands, feet, and reactions. Ricky Elmore will compete with last year’s free agent find Frank Zombo, Erik Walden, and Brad Jones for the outside linebacker position opposite Clay Matthews. Elmore led the Pac-10 the past two years with 21 ½ total sacks. He played opposite Brooks Reed. He is a try hard guy, but a limited athlete. Ryan Taylor is an H-back, tight end, fullback, and special teams utility man with outstanding hands. He set a school record for tight end receptions with 36 in 2010. His pro day measurables were 6034, 254, 4.73/40, 1.69/10, 21/BP, 34/VJ, 9-10/BJ, 4.47/SS, and 7.09/3 cone. He had a big game catching the ball in the Music City Bowl win over Tennessee. Special teams will be his ticket. Lawrence Guy was a value pick in the seventh round. He has good size and athletic ability for the five technique defensive end position. He gives effort to the ball and has functional strength at the point of attack. He played a 3-technique in a four-man front so he’s a projection at defensive end. He works to the quarterback with a push and spin move. He doesn’t stay blocked in the run game. GRADE: GOOD.

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Houston Texans 2011 NFL Draft Review

Three-quarters of the Texans’ draft was dedicated to the defensive side of the ball. The pass-challenged secondary acquired corners Brandon Harris (2/60) and Rashad Carmichael (4/127) plus safety Shiloh Keo in the fifth round. The transition to the 3-4 defense was additionally helped by edge pass rusher Brooks Reed and the overall 11th pick in the draft, JJ Watt. Reed plays with his throttle wide open and would wear out the Energizer Bunny. Watt brings a combination of power and quickness to the defensive front. JJ Watt will be penciled in as a five technique defensive end. He may move down inside on some third down rush packages. The Wisconsin junior gives Wade Phillips flexibility up front moving Mario Williams, Antonio Smith, and Watt to favorable matchups. He plays the game with great passion and emotion. An exceptional athlete, he can bend, penetrate, or contain rush. A relentless competitor, he has the total package of quickness, agility, and strength. He is instinctive enough to get in the throwing lane and bat down passes. He broke up 13 passes in his career along with 106 tackles, 36 ½ tackles for loss, and 11 sacks. Outside linebacker Brooks Reed is a three-year starter who possesses explosive first step quickness. He plays fast and hard and flies around the field to finish plays. In college he played in a three man rotation in a four man front scheme. He was projected to outside linebacker in a three-man front by most teams. Intense, competitive and athletic in his play, he can leverage a tackle and use a quick spin move to free himself up to rush the passer. He will contribute on all special teams coverage units. General Manager Rick Smith engineered a trade with New England giving up a 3rd (73) and 5th (138) round pick to move into the late second round to take corner Brandon Harris. He is a three-year starter who has good ball skills and is instinctive and competitive in his play. Athletic and smooth in his turns, he has very good hip flexibility. He plays faster than timed speed with a quick burst to close suddenly or can make up ground. He will contribute on special teams. Rashad Carmichael was a two-year starter with excellent movement skills. He is similar to several of the prototype Hokies that came into the league. He is well schooled in press and zone coverage. Over the past two years he has had 10 interceptions. He has good ball skills, is a mentally tough competitor, and can force and contain the action. He should be a strong special teams addition. Shiloh Keo is a four-year starter who was very productive as a safety and special teams performer. He is always around the ball. Keo had a productive career making 358 tackles, 20 passes broken up, and 11 interceptions. A good athlete, he is a fearless hitter with quick feet. An intense full contact player, he is a daring punt returner as well. TJ Yates is a four-year starter who overcame a rough junior year. He was one of the main reasons that the 2010 Tar Heels stayed together after losing several players to an NCAA suspension. He played in a pro style offense that was similar to the Houston offensive scheme. A ball control West Coast type quarterback, he is an above average athlete who has good short and medium area accuracy. He will be a good fit for the Texans’ offense. Derek Newton was a two-year starter who was a junior college transfer. A good athlete, he plays with good foot quickness and balance. A knee bender, he has first step quickness and good lower body flexibility. He is a developmental tackle that played on the right side. He has good arm length for a zone blocking guard or tackle. Cheta Ozougwu is a four-year starter that is athletic and fast twitch. A developmental linebacker, he needs more strength but brings some special teams ability to the table. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE

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Indianapolis Colts 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Colts entered the NFL Draft in need of improving their offensive line and they didn’t waste any time selecting left tackle Anthony Castonzo in the first round and tackle/guard Ben Ijalana in the second round. Castonzo started the final 40 games in his career at left tackle. Ijalana started 53 games at left tackle in his career. Ijalana has left tackle skills and extremely long arms. He is also talented enough to move over on the right side or move inside to guard. Castonzo was the first offensive lineman taken in the first round by the Colts since Bill Polian took over in 1998. Anthony Castonzo started 54 straight games and was the first true freshman to start for Boston College in 10 years. Physical and mentally tough, he has the ability to quick set and redirect with natural body control in his pass pro. We projected Castonzo to start out on the right side then move to the left tackle after a few years of experience. In the Colts’ offense with Peyton Manning’s sudden release, the angular tackle may get by just fine. He is a smart and quick learner which is a definite requirement to start early in his NFL career. Ben Ijalana is a four-year starter that we projected to go inside because of his fringe height. However, in the Colts’ offense he may go inside until Ryan Diem’s contract is up at right tackle, then move back outside. He flashes an explosive punch in the run game and was a dominant player at the FCS level. Athletic in his play, he has quick feet to mirror and slide. He plays with a good base and knee bend and can dominate and control a defender with his hands. Still learning how to play the game, Ijalana needs work on all his basic techniques and pass protection fundamentals. He has good lateral quickness. Due to a double sports hernia surgery, he did not work out until late spring. Drake Nevis had a strong senior year that included 56 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, six sacks, three forced fumbles, and an interception. He is a disruptive impact player with lateral quickness. Nevis is a perfect one-gap player drafted to play in the Colts’ one gap system. He has explosive first step quickness to force inside pressure and then sprints to the ball. A competitor, he is physically and mentally tough. He is a self-motivated defender who plays with great emotion and intensity. Delone Carter is a two-year starter who was productive over his career with back to back 1000-yard rushing seasons. He concluded his career third on the all-time Orangemen rushing list. He has a thick build with quick feet. An athletic and compact back, he has a strong lower body and is always going forward. Carter is also accomplished at pass protection and is not afraid to step up and take on blitzing linebackers. That is important when protecting Peyton Manning. He ended his career with 242 straight rushing attempts without fumbling. Chris Rucker was a four-year letterman and started 34 games at cornerback for the Spartans. He intercepted 6 passes, broke up 19 passes, and recorded 191 tackles in his career. He has good size and athletic ability for the corner position. The Colts are rolling the dice on his ability and talent to overcome his numerous off the field red flags. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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Jacksonville Jaguars 2011 NFL Draft Review

General Manager Gene Smith saw the opportunity to draft the top player on the Jaguars’ draft board after Blaine Gabbert started to slide past the quarterback-hungry top one-third of the draft. They didn’t hesitate to move from pick 16 up to the Redskins’ selection at 10. To move six spots it cost Jacksonville their second pick in the 2011 Draft, a small price to pay for a potential franchise quarterback. Smith liked Gabbert’s mobility and the pressure he puts on opposing defenses. Guard William Rackley was a 3rd round pick and will compete for playing time as will safety Chris Prosinski. Receiver Cecil Shorts and corner Rod Issac are developmental players. Blaine Gabbert is the heir apparent to David Garrard and will be given time to develop behind him. The big right-handed passer is consistent and accurate in his play. He has sudden read and react quickness and a snappy release. He can speed up his delivery under the pressure of a rush while keeping his accuracy. Athletic and mobile enough to extend the play, he is a rhythm and timing passer. He has good anticipation and ball placement to receivers on the run. William Rackley impressed the Jaguars with his strong work ethic and the raw skills to play on Sunday. He was a four-year starter at left tackle. He has a thick lower body, light feet, big hands, and decent arm length for the position. An effective knee bender, he can redirect and shift his weight quickly. He stays square with the ability to shadow the defender in pass protection. Cecil Shorts started his career at Mt. Union College as a quarterback then moved to wide receiver in 2008. His productive career at the Division III school was as dominant as his skill set. In 2008 he caught 77 passes for 1484 yards and 23 touchdowns. He followed up in 2009 with 100 receptions for 1776 yards and 19 touchdowns. As a senior he missed three games yet caught 70 passes for 1196 yards and 18 touchdowns. Shorts was a 3-time All-America selection and finished his career with 259 total receptions for 4705 yards and 63 touchdowns, with the receiving yardage total being the 3rd highest in NCAA Division III history. Mt. Union is the same school where the Colts’ Pierre Garcon played. Shorts, like Garcon, will need to learn all the nuances of the fast moving NFL game. He will need to learn how to change his speeds and run routes. A raw talent who has good body control and football intelligence, he is a possession receiver with outstanding hands. Chris Prosinski started 37 games for Wyoming and recorded 373 tackles, 5 interceptions, and broke up 21 passes. He is an ascending player who demonstrates good over the top range as a free safety in coverage, but can play sideline to sideline in the run game. The Jaguars liked his hitting ability, explosiveness, and athletic ability. He will be counted on to contribute immediately on special teams coverage. His pro day workout numbers on 3/3/11 were 6011, 201, 4.42/40, 1.56/10, 14/BP, 39.5/ VJ, 11-2/BJ, 4.28/SS, 6.85/3 cone. Rod Issac started 37 games at left corner for the Blue Raiders and recorded 189 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 18 passes broken up in his career. He won’t turn down contact. Physical as a run support player and a press corner, he looks to be an ascending player with good workout numbers – 5106, 196, 4.45/40, 1.56/10, 22/BP, 33.5/VJ, 9-7/BJ, 4.12/ SS, 6.90/3 cone. He will compete as a nickel corner and a core special teams player. GRADE: AVERAGE.

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Kansas City Chiefs 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Chiefs began the 2011 Draft with eight picks. They finished the three day player procurement bowl with four on offense and five on defense for a total of nine. Major needs were addressed at wide receiver, the defensive front seven, and the interior of the offensive line. Kansas City traded its original first round pick (21) to Cleveland for a first round (27) and a third round pick (70). Building a team is a process. Last year’s strong draft combined with this group is pouring a solid concrete foundation. Jon Baldwin is a productive big physical receiver who was drafted to level the playing field for Dwayne Bowe and the prolific Chiefs’ running game. He catches the ball and can make a play when he’s covered. He uses his body to screen off a defender. A playmaker with over 20 career receptions of 40 yards or more, including 11 for touchdowns, he has the ability to dominate. He has amazing tools and talent to succeed on Sundays. Rodney Hudson is an athletic four-year starter who projects to center. He was awarded the Jacobs’ Blocking Trophy in both 2009 and 2010 as the best offensive lineman in the ACC Conference. He plays with the speed and agility to pull and be effective on the second level where he seals linebackers by taking good angles. Justin Houston projects to an outside linebacker in the 3- 4. He stood up in 2010 and rushed off the edge. He has a strong upper body and can set the edge if he plays with leverage and technique. He can turn the corner and flatten out down the line. His lateral quickness and change of direction are unusually good for a big man. He fell in the draft due to a failed drug test. Allen Bailey has played linebacker, defensive tackle, and defensive end before settling in at defensive end. Naturally strong, he has long arms and big hands. He plays with intensity, strength, and quickness. A good effort player, he will finish backside pursuit. He played in a 4-3 front scheme. The Chiefs project him as a five technique end where he can two gap. Jalil Brown is a physical and willing tackler and may get a look at safety as well as competing at cornerback. He will be counted on to contribute on all special teams coverage units. He plays best as a press corner. Brown has the ability, but needs the development in his overall game. Ricky Stanzi is a big and strong developmental quarterback who played in a pro style offense. He has a chance to move into the backup role immediately with Brodie Croyle a free agent and Tyler Palko, a career third quarterback. He has a good feel and a sixth sense in the pocket along with good poise and field vision. Gabe Miller brings versatility to the Chiefs. He will get work as an outside 3-4 linebacker and possibly a third tight end and special teams player. He started his career as a tight end. Miller has a medical history where he tore his Achilles tendon twice. His pro day results on 3/11/11 were 6032, 250, 4.63/40, 1.58/10, 33/BP, 36/VJ, 9-6/BJ, 4.12/SS, 6.97/3 cone. Jerrell Powe is built for power with good first step quickness for a big man. He has good strength in his arms and shoulders and is physically tough enough to stack a double team. As a nose tackle he has very good agility and the ability to change directions. He has quick feet, explosiveness, and quick reactions. He presses the pocket with a power rush. Productive and active he will compete with Anthony Toribio at nose tackle. Shane Bannon is a smart height and weight player that the Chiefs came across shortly before the draft. He played in 28 games at Yale. In 2009 he played fullback and was an H-back in 2010. In his career he rushed two times with one touchdown and caught 16 passes for 147 yards with two touchdowns. His pro day results on 3/23/11 were 6014, 265, 4.81/40, 1.81/10, 14/BP, 29/VJ, 9-1/BJ, 4.77/SS, 7.43/3 cone. He is a practice squad candidate. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE

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Miami Dolphins 2011 NFL Draft Review

In 2010 Miami used seven of eight draft choices on defense. The first four of six picks this year went to the offensive side of the ball. The first two picks were used to fill a pair of major needs. Mike Pouncey will not have to leave the state as the Dolphins’ first pick. Pouncey was arguably the best center or guard in the 2011 Draft. He is a violent player who plays with a good base and balance. Running back Daniel Thomas fills a need at running back with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams as free agents who may not return. Thomas is a triple threat as a runner, pass receiver, and pass protector. Mike Pouncey is a difference maker according to the Miami brass. He has position flexibility where he can contribute at guard or center. Richie Incognito was re-signed and projected to play left guard or center. Pouncey is a big physical athlete who plays with attitude. He brings quality and stability to an interior line group that struggled in 2010. He can turn a down defender in the run game with strong leg action, body control, and sure hands. He plays with an ornery streak. Daniel Thomas has good size and competitive speed for the running back position. A natural downhill north/south runner he keeps his shoulders square. He is not easy to tackle. An offensive weapon with good running skills and patience, he possesses receiver type soft hands and has lined up at wide receiver in the slot as well as at tailback. He has the talent and skill set to start as a rookie if needed. The Dolphins traded up to the end of the 2nd round on Friday night, trading their 3rd (79), 5th (146), and 7th (216) round picks to the Redskins for their 62nd pick. Edmond Gates did not play high school football, but started 32 games over four years in college. He possesses rare vertical speed and can blow the top off coverage. He impressed Miami with his explosive speed and athletic ability despite turning 25 years of age in June of this year. A slippery athlete after catch, he needs pro route running development. He originally enrolled at Abilene Christian to play basketball. Charles Clay is a versatile four-year starter with outstanding hands and the unique ability to contribute at fullback, H-back, and tight end. Clay’s role in the Dolphin offense is projected to be multi-purpose including lead blocker. He’s a fluid route runner and is quick enough to create space and locate open areas. Frank Kearse is a wide bodied defensive lineman that projects to nose tackle. A three-year starter and a two-time captain, he has developmental talent. On his pro day 3/7/11 his measurables were 6040, 315, 5.31/40, 1.85/10, 22/BP, 30/VJ, 8-7/ BJ, 4.68/SS, 7.80/3 cone. Jimmy Wilson was named the Big Sky Conference defensive player of the week when he intercepted three passes and made 6 tackles in their win over Eastern Washington. It was a personal victory for an athlete who was out of football for three years and spending two years in jail on a murder charge. The charges have since been dropped. Wilson is the third Montana Grizzly to join the Dolphins along with Dan Carpenter and Lex Hilliard. Wilson is a development corner with an ascending skill set. His measurables on his 3/14/11 pro day were 5110, 193, 4.53/40, 1.65/10, 18/BP, 35/VJ, 9-11/BJ, 4.28/SS, 6.93/3 cone. GRADE: AVERAGE.

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Minnesota Vikings 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Vikings selected ten players and addressed a variety of needs, most importantly the quarterback of the future in Christian Ponder. Minnesota also came away with the top tight end in the draft in Kyle Rudolph. On the third and final day of the draft, eight players with good value for the slots were chosen. The Vikings’ fans hope their newest native Texan first round quarterback will be as good as their last – Tommy Kramer. Ponder brings the Kramer type leadership and toughness along with his accurate throwing style. The Florida State alum is patient passing the ball, letting the play develop while going through his progressions, and is especially skilled at throwing vertical or horizontal routes. Rudolph was drafted in the same area (43) as 2010 rookie sensation Rob Gronkowski (42) of New England. Both have a very similar skill set. Christian Ponder will have no problem learning a complex offense as he already has two college degrees and is working on a third. He does a good job of anticipating windows in coverage. He consistently keeps his receivers on their routes with few adjustments. He throws a catchable ball with timing, touch, and rare ball placement to his receivers. In 2009 he completed 68.8 percent of his passes. He sets up quickly to the throwing point in a conventional or shotgun alignment. He has sound quarterback mechanics and fundamentals. A poised leader, he doesn’t get rattled and is accurate on the move. Kyle Rudolph is a unique tight end with a combination of size, speed, blocking ability, and hands. It’s rare to find a player who can cause problems for opposing defenses like Rudolph does. Most teams have the hybrid type move tight end and a blocking tight end. He was an exceptional value in the second round. The huge red zone target lined up in the slot, at split end as well as tight end to take advantage of matchups at Notre Dame. As a high school basketball player he had over 600 rebounds in his career. He gets the ball at the high point and possesses excellent concentration and ball reactions. A three layer tight end, he catches the ball short, medium, and deep. He has recovered from a severe hamstring injury. Christian Ballard will start off inside at tackle, but the Vikings project him to eventually play off the edge outside. He gives the defense some flexibility in the four man front. He has first step explosive quickness, and is sudden when penetrating a predetermined gap, running line stunts, and twists. He presses the pocket with inside pressure and push. A positive drug test at the Combine caused Ballard to drop in the draft. Brandon Burton was a value pick in the fifth round. He has good foot quickness with a closing burst on the ball. A big corner with good ball and coverage skills, he is a developmental project with stop and go quickness, plus sudden plant and drive on the ball. DeMarcus Love was a three-year starter at the open side tackle in Arkansas’ flip-flop offensive line scheme. In other words, he played both right and left tackle. He plays with a good base and athletic ability. He projects inside to guard where he can take advantage of his arm length and ability to play in a zone blocking scheme. A developmental project, he has positive tools. Mistral Raymond started 15 games at South Florida and has experience at both corner and safety. He recorded 52 tackles, four tackles for loss, and seven pass breakups in 2010. He went from walk-on to starter to team captain after transferring from Ellsworth Junior College in 2008 where he played for two years. The tall, rangy developmental corner had the following pro day results: 6012, 194, 4.59/40, 8/BP, 32.5/VJ, 10-2/BJ, 4.51/SS, and 7.14/3 cone. Brandon Fusco was a four-year starter who is a developmental size and athletic prospect. A smart and good effort player, he is mentally tough and intense in his play. He began his career as a linebacker and has all the raw skills to play on Sunday. Ross Homan was drafted to compete at the open side linebacker position that Ben Leber has played. But he will also get a look at the Will linebacker position within the defensive scheme. He has good athletic skills and instincts and should contribute on all special teams coverage. D’Aundre Reed was in a three end rotation at Arizona with Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore. He played in 39 games over his last three years. At the Combine he put up 225 pounds 30 times. He has long arms and big hands for the position. He will finish long pursuit. A developmental project, he flashes explosiveness. Stephen Burton was a two-year starter who was a junior college transfer. A big receiver, he has good run after catch ability. He is explosive off the ball and projects to be a possession type receiver with very good developmental potential and skills. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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New England Patriots 2011 NFL Draft Review

New England drafted offensive players in six of their first seven selections. They had nine total picks. Offensive tackle Nate Solder was the pick at 17 and reportedly was their highest rated tackle. A good athlete, he can pull and adjust on the run and is effective at walling off the corner support. He will provide Nick Kaczur with competition for the left tackle spot. Second round choice Ras-I Dowling has the speed, size, and skill set to play in Bill Belichick’s aggressive defensive scheme. Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley fill voids in the backfield with backs Kevin Faulk, Fred Taylor, and Sammy Morris all unrestricted free agents. Nate Solder moved from tight end to tackle in the spring of 2008. The rangy pass protector has easy light feet to slide laterally and adjust his block to a speed rusher. He dominated Von Miller in their 2009 matchup. Miller admitted before the draft that Solder was the best lineman he had faced at Texas A&M. Solder knows how to use his long arms. He possesses good body control and balance. He should be a future bookend tackle, playing opposite 2009 2nd round draft choice Sebastian Vollmer. Ras-I Dowling, prior to last season, was one of the top defensive corners in the country. Injuries limited his senior play to just five games, starting 2 of them. His injuries included a left ankle fracture, hamstring strain, and a right knee injury. A good athlete, he is smooth in his turns and is not afraid to support the run. Shane Vereen was drafted as a possible replacement for Kevin Faulk. Like Faulk, Vereen has good running and receiving skills. He must improve his ability as a pass protector before he gets on the field. A north/south runner, he is a natural pass receiver with 74 career catches. Stevan Ridley is a straight ahead north/ south runner who will replace Fred Taylor. A downhill runner with zone cutback vision, he drives his legs on contact. He is explosive through the hole and flashes a quick cut and burst up the field. He will feel comfortable in a rotation role for the Pats like he was at LSU. Ryan Mallett is a big man with a big arm. He will learn firsthand from Tom Brady the proper approach that successful NFL quarterbacks take. There is no question that the Arkansas cannon can make all the NFL throws. He played in a combination pro and spread complex offensive system under Bobby Petrino. He has the skills to manage the offense and handle adjustments. Marcus Cannon must first battle non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a treatable form of cancer that was discovered in pre-draft physicals. He has been undergoing chemotherapy treatments which will conclude on June 29th. The success rate of beating this form of cancer is 90 percent because of early detection, his health, and his age. Cannon was a projected 2nd round pick and could prove to be a steal for New England. He played left tackle at TCU. A big man with long arms and athletic feet, he flashes an explosive six-inch punch and makes good use of his hands as a pass protector. He is versatile enough to play tackle or either guard position. Lee Smith is the eleventh tight end drafted by Belichick since 2001. Smith’s role will be to replace Alge Crumpler sometime in the future as an inline blocker. He has the ability and size to drive block one on one with functional strength and balance. Markell Carter was a rush end in a 4-3 scheme in college, but projects to an outside linebacker. He played wide receiver in high school. He started getting bigger, stronger, and tougher his junior year at Central Arkansas. His workout numbers at his pro day on 3/9/11 were: 6043, 252, 4.73/40, 1.75/10, 17/BP, 35.3/VJ, 10-1/BJ, 4.45/SS, and 7.43/3 cone. Malcolm Williams is a developmental cornerback that was a reserve at TCU. His pro day numbers on 3/11/11 were: 5095, 204, 4.49/40, 1.98/10, 16/ BP, 40/VJ, 10-6/BJ, 4.39/SS, and 6.90/3 cone. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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New Orleans Saints 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Saints used five of their six picks on defensive personnel. The lone offensive selection was former Heisman Trophy winner, running back Mark Ingram. To secure Ingram, New Orleans moved back into the first round giving up their 2011 second round pick and a 2012 first round selection to New England. Cameron Jordan immediately upgrades the pass rushing ends which only produced 10 ½ sacks in 2010. The University of California graduate has quick hands to stab, punch, and extend his arms to gain separation. Cameron Jordan is projected to shore up the left defensive end position. He has experience in both the 3-4 and the 4-3 defensive schemes. Jordan is a big-handed flexible athlete with long arms who can bend and turn the corner. He has explosive edge speed and power. Consistent in the run game and rushing the passer, he plays with good leverage and quickness. He is a bright-eyed, smart, and a high effort, fast-twitch player. Mark Ingram was the top running back in the draft and dropped to the Saints due to the devaluation of the position by numerous teams. Ingram joins Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, and Chris Ivory in the specialized and diverse backfield. A total of five backs were put on injured reserve in 2010. Ingram possesses top level running skills. A strong runner after first contact, he can step through tackles, press the hole, and slice between defenders. He has excellent stop and go quickness. A patient runner with good instincts and awareness, he is a competitive runner with a low pad level. Martez Wilson was a value pick in the third round. The Saints project him to play on the strong side. In 2010 Danny Clark (UFA) and Jo-Lonn Dunbar (RFA) split time at the Sam linebacker. Wilson is a downhill player with functional athletic ability, agility, size, and speed. He had an outstanding athletic workout at the Combine. Aggressive and competitive, he has good catch up speed. He had a slow start last fall after returning from a neck injury that caused him to miss the entire 2009 season. Johnny Patrick started for three and a half years. A zone cover corner with good ball skills and foot quickness, he is instinctive in his play. He came to Louisville as a receiver and moved to corner in 2007. He comes up quickly on run support and demonstrates good toughness. In the past he has played gunner on the punt team and should contribute on special teams coverage. Greg Romeus may be the sleeper of the Saints’ draft if he returns to 100 percent health. He did not play his senior year due to back (lumbar discectomy) and knee (right ACL surgery) injuries. He was the Big East co-defensive player of the year in 2009. He was productive in 2008 and 2009 collecting 94 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, and 15 ½ sacks. He has long arms and huge hands, possesses an enormous amount of physical ability, and is tough and aggressive. Nate Bussey will compete at the weakside linebacker position and special teams coverage units. A developmental prospect, he has experience as a nickel linebacker and was Illinois’ second leading tackler. His pro day numbers from 3/16/11 were: 6010, 228, 4.54/40, 1.51/10, 16/BP, 35.5/ VJ, 10-1/BJ, 4.29/SS, and 6.91/3 cone. GRADE: GOOD.

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New York Giants 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Giants stayed with their board and selected Prince Amukamara at pick number 19. New York takes the highest graded available player instead of reaching to fill a thin position. Special teams coverage units were a major beneficiary of this draft where no less than six of eight selections could be on the field this fall. Team speed was also improved with players like first round pick Amukamara, return specialist Jerrel Jernigan, linebacker Jacquian Williams, and running back Da’Rel Scott. Prince Amukamara is a cover corner and upgrades the secondary immediately. Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster are solid starters but Aaron Ross has a hard time staying healthy. Amukamara has experience in both off and press man zone coverage plus man to man. Fluid in his movement and turns, he has good short area quickness. He is aggressive and confident in press coverage. He does not hesitate on run support but drives suddenly on the ball carrier on front of him. He is instinctive in his play. Marvin Austin appears to be a natural fit as a one gap disruptive penetrator. Austin fills a need position as Rocky Bernard and Barry Cofield may not be back. An underachiever at North Carolina, the Giants recognize that he is a good athlete who has the tools to perform on Sunday if he wants it badly enough. Jerrel Jernigan is an undersized but slippery wide receiver and kickoff return specialist. He can make the first tackler miss and fills a need slot as a return specialist as the Giants lacked consistency in the return game in 2010. Jernigan averaged 25.2 yards per kickoff return along with 13.3 yards per return on punts. He has good field vision and awareness. James Brewer fills another need for the Giants as injuries plus age and time are taking over the front five. Brewer may be the heir apparent to Kareem McKenzie at right tackle. He flashes NFL skills and uses his size to mirror and screen off edge pass rushers. He has a chance to play on Sunday because of measurables and natural physical assets. Greg Jones hopes to stop the revolving door at inside linebacker since Antonio Pierce retired. Jones will compete with Jonathan Goff and Philip Dillard as the starter. Jones was an instinctive tackling machine over his career. He played middle linebacker in the 4-3 scheme as a junior. He gets downhill in a hurry. A playmaker in the run game, he is always around the ball. He plays with intensity, is effective as a blitzer, and has the athletic ability to play in coverage. Tyler Sash is a traditional strong safety and strong run support player. He forces the point quickly. An aggressive and physical tackler he is instinctive and competitive. A developmental safety, he will contribute on all special teams. Jacquian Williams projects as a weakside linebacker. A developmental athlete, he has the speed to make a difference on special teams. At his pro day on 3/24/11 his numbers were: 6025, 231, 4.59/40, 1.59/10, 17/BP, 36.5/VJ, 9-8/BJ, 4.20/SS, and 6.93/3 cone. Da’Rel Scott is a big play back with rare speed, but has had a problem staying healthy. He runs with lower body power and strength. He gains yards after first contact and has an initial burst to hit the holes quickly. His strengths are speed, quickness, and the ability to catch the ball. Tough to tackle in space, he will also contribute as a kickoff return specialist. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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New York Jets 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Jets filled a major need with two young explosive defensive linemen in first round pick Muhammad Wilkerson and third round selection Kenrick Ellis. New York’s 2011 second round pick went to San Diego for corner Antonio Cromartie last year. Wilkerson brings competition and depth to the defensive end spot if Shaun Ellis does not return. Ellis is a wide bodied space eater that combines size and athletic ability to gum up the inside running lanes. He can also keep the linebackers free to get downhill. Free agency may be the avenue to address the edge pass rusher void that was not filled in the draft. Muhammad Wilkerson is a productive good effort player who dominated his level of competition. He has very good athletic ability with good lateral quickness. He has the size, arm length, and lower body power to hold his ground but does have a tendency to play high at times. With good awareness to get his hands up in the throwing lane, he was moved around to take advantage of matchups. He plays with power, disruption, and aggressiveness and will compete at the left defensive end spot. Kenrick Ellis was a threeyear starter at Hampton and stuffs the run from tackle to tackle. Big and athletic, he has explosive ability to push the pocket and pressure the quarterback. He has long arms and big hands for the nose tackle position. A dominant player in his league, he transferred from the University of South Carolina. He can stack and shed at the point of attack. He shows good effort for a big man (346 pounds) and was in on 94 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles. The big man has the ability to rotate with Sione Pouha once he improves his overall playing technique. Bilal Powell is a three down back who was drafted as the best player value on the Jets’ draft board at that particular point. With three solid backs on the roster, adding Powell brings versatility and competition to the backfield mix. He started 15 games at Louisville and had a strong senior season. He has good inside vision and leg drive. He finishes his runs driving for extra yards. A north/south runner with good contact balance, he runs with some violence. He has soft receiver type hands and lined up outside at wide receiver in certain packages. He has the innate ability to find, hit a crease, and cut in the hole. The change in coaching staff helped him break out as a running back and receiver in 2010. Jeremy Kerley was a productive and versatile player for TCU. He has experience outside, in the slot, and as a return specialist. He has explosive stop and start quickness and is a playmaker in space. Quick in and out of his breaks, he has a burst upfield after catch. He has quick feet and sudden reactions. He catches the ball away from his body and makes plays in key situations. Kerley is quicker than fast. Greg McElroy was drafted as a developmental quarterback. A two year starter, he has a National Championship under his belt. An efficient ball control passer, he has good ball placement. A very smart, aware, and heady prospect, he is best on short and swing routes. He has good anticipation and decision making ability, showing excellent leadership qualities. Confident, consistent, and poised in the pocket, he will compete for the third quarterback spot. Scotty McKnight is Colorado’s all-time leading receiver and only one of ten players in NCAA history to catch a ball in every game he played throughout his career. He walked on for the Buffalos and ended up catching 215 passes for 22 touchdowns. Childhood friend Mark Sanchez threw to him at his pro day. He has dependable hands and is a route runner. On his pro day on 3/9/11 his numbers were: 5104, 182, 4.55/40, 1.59/10, 13/BP, 34/VJ, 10-8/BJ, 4.03/SS, and 6.65/3 cone. GRADE: AVERAGE.

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Oakland Raiders 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Raiders wanted to upgrade the offensive line and drafted Stefen Wisniewski, one of their targeted players. He was their first pick in the draft after trading away their first round pick to New England last year. Several speed players were added in the eight draft choices. Corners DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa, running back Taiwan Jones, and receiver Denarius Moore all have big speed. The Raiders added a third round pick (92) in offensive tackle Joseph Barksdale and a fourth round selection (125) in Taiwan Jones in a trade with New England for their second round pick in 2010 and a seventh round pick in 2011 (219). Stefen Wisniewski was rated as one of the top two center/guard combinations in the 2011 Draft. He started at center for Penn State in 2009 and at right guard in 2010. Consistent in his overall play, he is an explosive knee bender who can roll his hips, shock and control, and drive a defender with leverage and strength. Mentally and physically tough, he plays with attitude and aggression. He gains an advantage with his quickness on the snap. Wisniewski will be coached by former Raider and his uncle Steve Wisniewski, the assistant offensive line coach. DeMarcus Van Dyke fits the Raiders’ speed profile and was drafted in the third round. He can run and cover, two major requirements for Raider corners. The slender and angular corner needs more tackling strength. He can run with most receivers down the field. He has good foot quickness and the ability to drive and burst on a ball in front of him and should contribute on special teams coverage. Joseph Barksdale is a three-year starter with long arms. He moved from right tackle to the left side in 2010. He projects to play right guard or tackle. The former Tiger plays with knee bend and light feet which is a positive trait. He can block the pedestrian pass rushers by walling them off and running them up the field past the quarterback. He struggles with the elite pass rushers and has been inconsistent over his career. Chimdi Chekwa is another speed corner with good athletic ability. Smooth in his turns, he has good hip flexibility. He has good size and short area quickness for the position. He shows toughness and is a reliable tackler. He needs pro skill development, but has the tools to play on Sunday and should be a contributor on special teams coverage units. Taiwan Jones certainly could anchor the Raiders’ track team with his sub-4.40 speed. He was drafted as a running back, but we question his ability to hold up to the week in and week out NFL pounding that backs take. He has a sprinter’s slender lower body and an injury history as thick as an Oakland phone book. He played corner in 2009 before he was moved to running back. The Raiders will try to find a spot to get him on the field. Denarius Moore is a vertical speed receiver who runs good routes and catches the ball in his hands. A big play receiver, he averaged over 20 yards per catch last season. He can make the deep overhead catch over either shoulder. He possesses good vision and ball skills and is a very good athlete with positive receiving skills. Richard Gordon is a big tight end who can run. He only had 10 career catches at Miami in a rotation role, but he missed a majority of the 2009 season with a shoulder injury. A developmental prospect, his pro day numbers on 3/25/11 were: 6034, 265, 4.68/40, 1.71/10, 25/BP, 32.5/VJ, 9- 1/BJ, 4.49/SS, and 7.38/3 cone. David Ausberry projects as an H-back type contributor. He caught 64 passes in his career. A backup wide receiver for most of his career, he is a developmental prospect. His pro day numbers from 3/30/11: 6034, 243, 4.51/40, 1.65/10, 23/BP, 36/VJ, 10-1/BJ, 4.48/SS, 7.20/3 cone. GRADE: AVERAGE.

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Philadelphia Eagles 2011 NFL Draft Review

Defensive help looked like the point of emphasis for the Eagles with new defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and defensive line coach Jim Washburn. Three of the first four selections addressed needs and competition in the secondary and at linebacker. Danny Watkins, the first round pick, is one of three interior offensive linemen that new offensive line coach Howard Mudd has a chance to mold and shape to protect Michael Vick. The draft is only one area of player acquisition the Eagles put to use. Look for General Manager Howie Roseman and Head Coach Andy Reid to become major players in free agency. Danny Watkins played left tackle at Baylor but will move inside and projects to start at right guard. He will be a 26-year old rookie. Physical in his play he goes to the whistle and plays square. He can lock out, sit down, and anchor a bull rush. He gets movement on double teams. A power player, he has good feet and follow though in the run game. He plays with maturity and violence in his game. Jaiquawn Jarrett started 37 games in his productive career. A box type strong safety, he flashes solid ability in all phases of his game. Not the most athletic safety, but he has short area quickness and good ball skills. Consistent, aggressive, and instinctive in run support, he is a high effort player who has some limitations. He is a full contact player and a good tackler, recording 299 tackles in his career. Curtis Marsh is a developmental corner with size and good athletic ability. He has good hip flexibility in transition and is smooth in his turns as well as having good speed for the position. Marsh has questionable instincts and awareness – if he sees it, he breaks on it. A former running back, he moved to corner in 2009, starting 16 games at corner in his career. Casey Matthews started for three years and is a relentless downhill player with good instincts and reactions. He has a quick change of direction and the ability to redirect off a block. He shows good technique as he uses his hands to get separation and shed the block. Strong at the point of attack, he is a physical playmaker for his size. He is solid in both zone and man to man coverage. Alex Henery’s selection essentially ended free agent David Akers’ career in Philadelphia. He is a dual threat as a right-footed soccer style placekicker and punter. Tall and slender, he has a strong leg with immediate rise, end over end. He gets the ball up quickly and performs in bad weather and under pressure. Over his career he has only missed two kicks under 50 yards. Dion Lewis has good running instincts with good balance and is quicker than fast. Undersized at 5065, he ran a pedestrian 4.57/40. He was productive as a freshman in 2009 surrounded by a veteran quarterback and offensive line. He can make a defender miss in the hole. Lewis has quick stop and start moves, catches check down and screen passes in his hands, and may find a job as a role player. Julian Vandervelde is a better than average athlete who plays with good zone technique and smarts. Crafty in his play, he gets his pads down and can block with leverage and knee bend. Intense, he has good use of hands and downfield effort. He takes good angles to the 2nd level to cut off backside pursuit. Jason Kelce started at offensive left guard for two years and was moved to center in 2010. Athletic but undersized, he lacks anchor strength versus a big nose tackle. A zone blocking center, he is a knee bender who plays with leverage. He plays with a good base and balance and works to finish his block. Scrappy and feisty, he may buck the trend, but there are no interior linemen that have made a team weighing just 280 pounds in the modern era. Brian Rolle has good athletic ability and speed but is shorter than ideal (5095). He is active and always around the ball. Rolle struggles in man to man match-ups. He has good range and explosive quickness. Physical and strong for his size, he is a three down linebacker with good instincts. He will contribute on all special teams coverage units. Greg Lloyd projects to the middle or Mike linebacker for the Eagles. He has good instincts and is always around the ball. Coming off a year where he was working through a knee injury in 2009, his 2010 season was basically getting his feet back under him. He played defensive end in college. A developmental player, he has pro skills. He is the son of former Steelers’ great; Greg Lloyd Sr. Stanley Havili is the total package of good blocking skills, hands to catch all the pass routes, and productivity as a runner. As a former running back, he brings good running skills to the table. He has good vision, feet, strength, and power between the tackles. He finishes his runs with effort and authority. Havili has an injury history and is coming off shoulder surgery. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Steelers once again had a functional, but non-sexy, draft that brought in players who fit their system. Again the Steelers’ hierarchy – Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert and Coach Mike Tomlin – waited patiently for their pick and did not reach for any player. Traditionally, the Black and Gold stay true to their board and take the best player according to their grades. Cameron Heyward, Pittsburgh’s first pick, could be considered sexy by some because of his talent level. He is powerful and explosive off the ball with his quick first step. His game is all about power and strength. Cameron Heyward is a perfect fit for the Steelers’ defensive end position. He is big, strong, and very athletic. Heyward was one of the few defensive linemen in this draft who could play any position on any defensive front. The Buckeyes moved him around to take advantage of match-up weaknesses. He has the talent to be a dominating player. He can explode and unlock his hips with force. He plays with a good power base and lower body strength, can bend his knees, and plays with leverage. He has innate strength to run over a blocker on his bull rush. He has been known to collapse the pocket with vertical push and effort. Marcus Gilbert started at right tackle in 2009 and left tackle in 2010. A big man with good athletic ability, he works to keep his hands inside on the breast plate. He plays balanced with a good base in pass protection. Athletic on pulls, he stays on his feet and plays with quick feet in pass protection. He will be an eventual starter if he plays with overall technique in the pass and run game. Curtis Brown is physical and sticky in coverage. He has the tools to help immediately as the nickel or dime corner, but with improvement could move outside if his coverage discipline improves. A former wide receiver, he is athletic with functional corner speed. He has a good closing burst on the ball and will contribute on special teams coverage. He has experience as a gunner on punt teams. Cortez Allen was the second cornerback chosen by the Steelers. He played only one year of high school football, then started 30 games at the Citadel. Allen is an athletic big corner with size and leaping ability. An ascending prospect, he has solid developmental ability. He has track type speed and is loosehipped for smooth turns with acceleration and catch-up speed. Chris Carter played a rush end in a four man front at Fresno State. As a high school senior he recorded 21 sacks. Last year he had 11 for the Bulldogs. A natural edge pass rusher, he has explosive first step quickness, is active and athletic, uses multiple moves, and gives a top level effort every time out. He was the WAC defensive player of the year. He is a projection as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. Carter has good arm length and strength, has good use of his hands, speed, quickness, and strength in his pass rush skills. Keith Williams is a physical player who started 33 games at left guard. He uses his hands effectively to lock on and stay engaged. He gets a good fit in the zone blocking scheme. A natural knee bender, he can move his feet. He has good awareness on blitz pickups or on combination blocks to the second level. A developmental player, he has decent athletic ability. He is a better run blocker than pass protector at this point. Baron Batch was Texas Tech’s running back, but in their spread offense an every-down back is like a pro offense’s third down back. He rushed for 2501 yards and caught 140 passes, scoring a combined 32 touchdowns in his career. He possesses reliable soft hands, catching the ball out of the backfield. He is smart and can read and find weaknesses in coverage. Batch has been competitive and productive over his career. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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St. Louis Rams 2011 NFL Draft Review

Robert Quinn was the first of eight new St. Louis Rams to come off the board at selection fourteen. Quinn will compete with right defensive end James Hall for the starting position, but Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo may get all three, including Chris Long, on the field at one time. Quinn possesses natural hand, foot, and lateral quickness. He doesn’t stay blocked. The next three choices were to give new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and quarterback Sam Bradford some new weapons. Lance Kendricks can be used as a move tight end or in the slot, Austin Pettis is a physical receiver who will go over the middle, and Greg Salas has excellent hands and production. Robert Quinn played right defensive end in a four-man front. He was the best pass rusher in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2009. He has good flexibility to bend off the edge. He can slip and accelerate off a block. A fast twitch pass rusher, he can explode and jolt a pass protector. An instinctive athlete, he is disciplined in his contain rush. He has good change of direction but needs to improve his ability to shed and stack in the run game. He has all the tools, but just needs the technique. Lance Kendricks is a move tight end who can adjust and block on the run. A former wide receiver, he has good route savvy and receiving skills. A sticky and scrappy blocker, he is an H-back type who lines up in the slot or wing position. Athletic after catch, he can get open versus man to man or zone. He provides depth and competition. Austin Pettis is Boise State’s all-time reception leader. A big target with good body control, he is a slot type receiver who will catch the ball in the middle of the field. He has good concentration to catch slant passes in traffic. Instinctive and productive with the ball in his hands, he is a clutch receiver who can separate. Greg Salas caught 285 passes in his career, good for 4345 yards. A good sized possession receiver, he has run after catch ability. He runs good routes and can read coverages. Salas should make his living as a slot receiver who is quick and athletic after catch. He has the courage to catch the ball over the middle or in a crowd. Jermale Hines hits with an explosive force and loves contact. A physical player, he takes good angles in run support. He has good instincts and is a wrap tackler who plays with quickness and strength. He played the hybrid strong safety/linebacker in the Buckeyes’ defensive scheme. Hines is an enforcer type that receivers know where he lines up. Mikail Baker is a developmental corner with good speed. A former wide receiver, he played six years at Baylor due to an injury history. On his pro day on 3/3/11 his numbers were: 5113, 191, 4.45/40, 1.52/10, 12/ BP, 38/VJ, 10-10/BJ, 4.31/SS, and 7.20/3 cone. Jabara Williams was a four-year starter who can run sideline to sideline. He will be given the opportunity to compete as a weakside linebacker and could also be a core special teams contributor. On his pro day on 3/31/11 his numbers were: 6017, 228, 4.59/40, 1.49/10, 17/BP, 36.5/VJ, 9-10/BJ, 4.33/SS, and 7.09/3 cone. Jonathan Nelson must make an impression on special teams. A developmental player, his pro day numbers on 4/4/11 were: 5107, 198, 4.56/40, 1.51/10, 22/BP, 43/VJ, 11-4/BJ, 4.16/SS, and 6.91/ 3 cone. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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San Francisco 49ers 2011 NFL Draft Review

New San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke targeted Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second round and found a willing partner in the Denver Broncos to trade their pick at 36 for the 49ers’ 45th, 108th, and 141st overall selections in the 2011 Draft. Kaepernick has all the raw tools for Head Coach Jim Harbaugh to develop him in the West Coast offense. In the first round, Baalke was looking for a pass rusher who could be disruptive from the outside linebacker position. The 49ers felt Aldon Smith had all the characteristics they were looking for to become a productive NFL pass rusher. He is a projection, but with most 3-4 NFL pass rushers, it is a learning process especially the ability to play in coverage. Aldon Smith has outstanding athletic ability and long arms for the outside linebacker position. He plays best when he is schemed free. He has played every position in a four-man front, looking for match-up weaknesses. Smith will need to develop more pass rush moves. He has experience dropping into coverage. An athletic and talented pass rusher, he flashes explosiveness but is just learning to play the game. Colin Kaepernick was a four-year starter who has been ultra productive with his arms and legs over his career. He has impressive mobility and deep ball accuracy. At the Combine he was clocked at 59 miles per hour, the best velocity of any of the quarterbacks. A good athlete, he can make all the throws. He has good pocket presence to move and slide away from pressure. Kaepernick is a hard working, self-motivated athlete who will work in and off season to develop into an NFL quarterback. He has good accuracy short, medium, and long. A safety with corner skills, Chris Culliver is athletic and speedy. He has good leaping ability and quick hands but has some hip tightness in transition. He will compete at the nickel corner spot for the 49ers. He has good size and frame but has an injury history. Kendall Hunter’s role may be as a third down back, replacing free agent Brian Westbrook. A compact productive runner, he played in a Pistol spread offense. A change up type runner, he explodes through the seams and gets to the second level quickly. He has good running skills that feature quick cutting ability and a third gear burst. Daniel Kilgore played left tackle at Appalachian State but projects as an offensive guard or center. He plays square with good awareness and looks up someone to hit on kickoff returns. He has good quickness off on the snap. A competitor, he has good body control, agility, and balance to sustain his blocks. Physical in his play, he is intense and focused. Ronald Johnson is a slot type hand catcher with good run after catch ability. He is slippery and will catch the ball in a crowd. Quick in and out of his breaks, he is a competitive receiver who will lay out for the ball. He has quick reactions and returns both punts and kickoffs. He averaged 14.2 yards per punt return. Colin Jones had a coming out senior season with 80 tackles and 11 ½ tackles for loss. An ascending player, he played strong safety in TCU’s 4-2-5 defensive scheme. A good athlete, he has rare speed. Jones will contribute on all special teams coverage units. He has had chronic hamstring problems. Bruce Miller was a two-time Conference USA defensive player of the year. The 49ers are going to give him a shot as a lead blocking fullback. He is another draft choice who will go 100 miles per hour on special teams. Mike Person was a four-year starter at Montana State. He projects to move from tackle inside to guard where he will compete with Chilo Rachal and Adam Snyder. Person plays square with good knee bend, good base, and smooth feet in pass protection. He is efficient as a run blocker. He works to finish his blocks. A good athlete, he has innate tools to play on Sunday. Curtis Holcomb was a four-year starter at Florida A&M. He will get a shot at corner and special teams. At his pro day on 3/16/11 his workout numbers were: 5103, 192, 4.51/40, 1.55/10, 18/BP, 33.5VJ, 10-0/BJ, 4.29/SS, and 7.01/3 cone. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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Tampa Bay Bucs 2011 NFL Draft review

The Bucs drafted more young talent to add to the pool collected in 2010. Last year Tampa Bay drafted two promising interior defensive linemen, Gerald McCoy and Brian Price. This year the edge guys, Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers, were drafted to complete the defensive front. The Bucs traded up 12 spots with Philadelphia to draft Luke Stocker, the second best complete tight end in the draft. General Manager Mark Dominik took an aggressive approach by trading their 2012 fourth round pick to move up and get Stocker. In 2010 the Bucs just missed the playoffs with 10 wins and fielded the youngest team in the league. Adrian Clayborn is a natural right end who is explosive, disciplined, and relentless in his play. He doesn’t stay blocked. Over the past few years he’s as good as any defensive lineman to disengage a block and make a play. He stays on his feet and plays with power and activity in his legs. He plays with leverage, is sudden to read and react after controlling the blocker, and has the lateral speed and quickness to string out and pursue to the sideline. He plays with urgency and intensity. Da’Quan Bowers is a left end candidate who led the country with 15 ½ sacks in 2010. A top ten talent, he dropped in the draft due to a knee injury. A three-year starter he has long arms, big hands, and is light on his feet. He demonstrates an explosive burst to the ball carrier after he sheds the block. A disruptive athlete, he can accelerate off of a block. He keeps his balance, has good agility, and body control. If his knee holds up he will be a productive ascending player. Mason Foster was productive as the country’s second leading tackler in 2010 with 163 stops. He also had 6 ½ sacks. Quincy Black and Barrett Ruud are free agents. Foster may get on the field sooner than later. Athletic with a very good motor and hustle, he is explosive on contact. He is a good downhill player who tracks well getting to the ball. Instinctive with good coverage ability, he also has the ability to play in space. He has solid tackling skills and is relentless in his play. In college he played in a 4-3 scheme. He will be a contributor on special teams coverage. Luke Stocker was a great value in the fourth round and should contribute early in two tight end formations. He has inline ability and can make blocks at the point of attack. At Tennessee he played in the classic tight end position and slot, but he also aligned as an H-back and fullback where he motions and blocks on the run. Athletic and competitive in his play, he is a big target in the passing game. He has good body control and cutting ability. Ahmad Black is a productive safety who will be hard to keep off the field. He will provide great competition in the back end of the defense and be an immediate contributor on special teams. Black is a hybrid athlete who can do several things because of his awareness and instincts. Competitive and poised, he plays with confidence and has high reaction football IQ. He makes plays by stripping the ball, playing through blockers on run support to make a tackle, and times his runs through on a blitz to be disruptive. Allen Bradford is a big back who will fit into the rotation with LeGarrette Blount. Bradford could be the combined steal and sleeper of the Bucs’ draft. A powerful back with good lower body strength, he is a downhill runner who is strong, fast, and explosive when he gets his hands on the ball. He can jump cut and burst through the hole. He has good contact balance. Patient on the outside zone, he lets the blocks set up. He runs with his chin over his toes and is a good blocker. Corner Anthony Gaitor was productive over his four-year college career. He has the speed and ball skills to be a solid developmental project. He has good instincts and quick feet and is physical for his size. Daniel Hardy caught 71 passes over the past two years. He’s been productive as a receiver and will provide competition with Ryan Purvis and Nathan Overbay for the third tight end position. He needs work on strength and bulk to block the edge. A developmental project, he has fringe measurables. GRADE: EXCELLENT

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Offensive Tackles 2011 NFL Free Agency

Player Team Years Accrued
Khalif Barnes Raiders 6
Alex Barron Cowboys 6
D’Anthony Batiste Cardinals 4
Jammal Brown Redskins 6
Jermon Bushrod Saints 4
Rashad Butler Texans 5
Kirk Chambers Bengals 6
Tyson Clabo Falcons 5
Jeromey Clary Chargers 4
Willie Colon Steelers 5
Doug Free Cowboys 4
Jared Gaither Ravens 4
Ryan Harris Broncos 4
Mario Henderson Raiders 4
Stephon Heyer Redskins 4
Wayne Hunter Jets 6
Charlie Johnson Colts 5
Matt Light Patriots 10
Sean Locklear Seahawks 7
Pat McQuistan Dolphins 5
Tony Moll Ravens 5
Ryan O’Callaghan Chiefs 5
Rob Petitti Panthers 4
Chester Pitts Seahawks 9
Jonathan Scott Steelers 4
Barry Sims 49ers 12
Zach Strief Saints 5
Jeremy Trueblood Bucs 5
Langston Walker Raiders 9
Ray Willis Seahawks 6
#Unofficial list
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Tennessee Titans 2011 NFL Draft Review

General Manager Mike Reinfeldt, Head Coach Mike Munchak, and Vice President of Player Personnel Ruston Webster filled several needs, the first was quarterback. Jake Locker was the pick and with new offensive coordinator Chris Palmer on board, it looks like the Titans will play to his strengths. Palmer coached Mark Brunell at Jacksonville and had him throwing on the run with bootlegs and waggles. Akeem Ayers fits a Sam linebacker need with his size to set the edge in new defensive coordinator Jerry Gray’s defensive package. Jake Locker was a three-year starter who possesses all the tools and athletic ability to succeed on the next level. The former Washington Huskie is an ascending player who can throw from the pocket or on the move from a variety of deliveries. He has a classic compact release with experience in a pro style offense as well as the spread. His arm is strong enough to throw deep and all the sideline passes. He is particularly dangerous on play action, bootlegs, and waggle plays because of his movement skills. Locker has rare foot quickness to make plays on the move. He has good quarterback skills, poise, and leadership qualities. Akeem Ayers brings some needed size to the Titan linebacker corps. He can play up in a two point stance or down in a three point stance. He has the flexibility to turn the corner. He breaks up quickly on check downs and ball carriers in front of him. He has the functional speed and athletic ability to carry a tight end down the field. He needs more upper and lower body strength to take on the run at him. Jurrell Casey helps the Titans get more beef on the defensive line to stop the run. He plays the three technique position in the four man front. Productive, quick, and a high effort competitor, he doesn’t stay blocked. He gets his hands up in the rush lanes, has a quick first step, and is quick to shed to locate the ball. He comes off on the snap with a low pad level. An explosive hitter, he throws his body at the ball carrier. Colin McCarthy is a good athlete who averaged 10 tackles per game as a senior playing inside linebacker. Competitive and intense in his play, he is a top effort player with a high motor. He has quick initial read and react and does a nice job getting downhill to the ball. A smart player, he takes good angles to the ball and quality drops in coverage with good zone awareness. Jamie Harper has good hands and receiving skills for a big man. A zone stretch downhill runner, he is very versatile and a good fit for the Titans’ offense. He has good vision and cutting ability. Harper breaks tackles with his size and balance. He has good lateral and foot quickness for a man his size. He is a developing size and speed prospect who will back up a feature back. Karl Klug played defensive tackle at Iowa, but projects to go outside at defensive end. He fights to hold his ground in the run game. He plays with leverage and a low pad level. A relentless, hell bent for leather player, he is quick and has strong hands. When he gets on the field his intent is to be disruptive. He hustles to the perimeter to make a play and gets his hands up in the throwing lane. Byron Stingily is a developmental tackle who is athletic and a solid pass protector. He bends his knees and moves his feet. He keeps a good base and stance, has adequate use of hands at this level, but will need to upgrade to play on Sunday. A possible four-for-one player, he could play either tackle or either guard. A junior college transfer, he needs work on his total game. Zach Clayton will play the nose tackle position for defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, his coach at Auburn who is now with the Titans. Clayton played in 40 games in college. He is a high motor, extra effort, overachiever who has an explosive first step when slanting and angling. Tough, smart, and aggressive in his play, he was an outstanding discus thrower in high school and college. Tommy Campbell transferred to California (PA) from Edinboro (PA) where he played in 2007. He had previously played at Pittsburgh in 2005-06. He ran his 40 at the Valero Cactus Bowl, the Division II all-star game in Texas. A raw, over-aged corner/safety, he is a developmental player. On his pro day on 3/16/11 his numbers were: 6027, 203, 4.38/40, 34/VJ, 10-3/BJ, 4.25/SS, and 7.09/3 cone. GRADE: ABOVE AVERAGE.

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Washington Redskins 2011 NFL Draft Review

The Redskins went from eight original picks in the 2011 Draft to thirteen with a variety of trades. Washington traded back with Jacksonville and picked up a 2nd round selection. With the 16th pick in the first round, the Skins added elite pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan whose urgent and intense play will help Brian Orakpo at the right outside linebacker position. Washington turned their 1st round pick at ten into a 1st, 3rd, 4th, two 5th, and a 7th round pick. In short, Mike Shanahan picked up five additional picks by moving down six positions in the first round. The 13 picks are one more than they had in the past two drafts combined. Ryan Kerrigan played a right defensive end in a four man front. He projects to the left side as a stand up outside linebacker for the Redskins. He can’t be blocked with a tight end. He is instinctive, quick to read and react to pressure then get to the ball, and is in the right place at the right time. He can bend his course to the depth of the quarterback. He shows good use of arms, hands, and leverage at the point of attack. Kerrigan has sudden first step quickness and uses a variety of pass rush moves including rip, spin, and slap and grab. Even if he doesn’t get the sack he is still disruptive. In the past two years, Kerrigan racked up 25 ½ sacks, 44 ½ tackles for loss, and 12 forced fumbles. Jarvis Jenkins projects to the right five technique defensive end spot. Kedric Golston started at right end in 2010 and is a free agent. A three-year starter, Jenkins is active and a try hard player who will finish pursuit. He has quick first step, gets his hands up and in the throwing lane, and is physical against the run if he keeps his pad level down. He works his hands and feet to press the pocket and rush the quarterback. Quick to disengage and separate from the blocker, he still needs more upper body strength. Leonard Hankerson was a two-year starter with big hands and long arms. He will compete for a starting wide receiver spot. A good sized target with deep speed, he is a competitor who will catch the ball in a crowd. He can make the vertical over the shoulder catch, tracking the ball in his hands. He can beat press coverage with quickness and speed. Roy Helu is a downhill one cut speedster that Shanahan is famous for developing. He has the finish speed to break long runs and has outstanding athletic ability. He gets downhill in a hurry and can follow his blockers on the inside zone or zone stretch play. He drives his legs on contact for extra yards. DeJon Gomes will compete as a cover two corner and safety. Experienced at the nickel and dime positions, he was productive with 99 tackles and seven pass breakups. He played a gunner on the punt team. Niles Paul averaged 19.9 yards on 40 catches in 2009. The big play receiver snatched nine catches for 35 yards or longer. On special teams he averaged 27.9 yards per kickoff return and 10.7 on punt returns. He performs like a running back after catch and has good running instincts. He is tough and willing to go over the middle to catch the square-in pattern in traffic. Evan Royster is a downhill one cut back. Not flashy, but he has been productive rushing for 3932 yards in his career. A ball control runner with good vision and cutting ability, he follows and cuts off his blockers. A tackle to tackle runner, he will lower his shoulder to get extra yards. Aldrick Robinson is a developmental wide receiver who is undersized but fast. He knows how to get open and read defenses on the run. He has reliable hands, but ball security may be a problem due to his small hands and short arms. He will catch the ball in traffic. Over his career he caught 181 passes for 3314 yards, 18.3 yards per catch, and 30 touchdowns. Corner Brandyn Thompson is a reactive football player who takes good angles on run support. He has good instincts and play awareness. A consistent hard wrap up tackler, he will contribute on special teams which will be his ticket to get on the field because of his fringe size. He was the 2009 defensive MVP in the Fiesta Bowl. Maurice Hurt has experience at both guard and tackle. In 2010 he started six games at right guard, four at right tackle, and one at left guard. He has an injury history with knee and neck problems. He is a developmental long armed and wide bodied project. Markus White played defensive end and projects to outside linebacker. A high effort player with long arms and big hands for the position, the two year starter has good initial quickness. He plays the best in a predetermined stunt scheme. His instincts are off. White plays high and struggles versus the run. He is a former junior college transfer. Chris Neild is a blue collar nose tackle who sheds quickly and hustles to the ball. He stacks the block in the hole. He can read blocks and has the footwork and feet to get leverage. Explosive with quick reactions, he has good instincts and awareness for draws and screens and is always around the ball. GRADE: AVERAGE

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Outside Linebackers 2011 NFL Free Agency

Outside linebackers

Player Team Years Accrued

Charlie Anderson Chiefs 7
James Anderson Panthers 5
Quincy Black Bucs 4
Keith Bulluck Giants 11
Prescott Burgess Ravens 4
Vinny Ciuciu Lions 8
Danny Clark Saints 11
Thomas Davis Panthers 6
Zach Diles Texans 4
Justin Durant Jaguars 4
Chad Greenway Vikings F/5
Tyjuan Hagler Colts 6
Tamba Hali Chiefs F/5
Adam Hayward Bucs 4
Will Herring Seahawks 4
LeRoy Hill Seahawks 6
Thomas Howard Raiders 5
Brian Iwuh Bears 5
Brandon Johnson Bengals 5
Landon Johnson Lions 7
Akeem Jordan Eagles 4
Travis LaBoy 49ers 6
Manny Lawson 49ers 5
Ben Leber Vikings 9
Matt McCoy Seahawks 6
Kawika Mitchell Saints 8
Quentin Moses Dolphins 4
Jarvis Moss Raiders 4
Stephen Nicholas Falcons 4
Mike Peterson Falcons 12
Nick Roach Bears 4
Matt Roth Browns 6
Clint Session Colts 4
Scott Shanle Saints 8
Ernie Sims Eagles 5
David Thornton Titans 9
Pisa Tinoisamoa Bears 8
Jason Trusnik Browns 4
Gerris Wilkinson Giants 5
Jamar Williams Panthers 5
Sam Williams Raiders 8
Chris Wilson Redskins 4
Kamerion Wimbley Raiders F/5
Jamie Winborn Titans 9
LaMarr Woodley Steelers F/4
##Unofficial List

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Safeties 2011 NFL Free Agency

SAFETIES

Player Team Years Accrued

Jordan Babineaux Seahawks 7
Sean Considine Jaguars 6
Reed Doughty Redskins 5
Abram Elam Browns 5
Hiram Eugene Raiders 4
Aaron Francisco Colts 6
Dashon Goldson 49ers 4
Ken Hamlin Colts 8
Antoine Harris Eagles 4
James Ihedigbo Jets 4
Michael Johnson Giants 4
Brandon McGowan Patriots 6
Jon McGraw Chiefs 9
Paul Oliver Chargers 4
Jarrad Page Patriots 5
Darren Sharper Saints 14
Eric Weddle Chargers 4
John Wendling Lions 4
Donte Whitner Bills 5
Gibril Wilson Bengals 7
Usama Young Saints 4
#Unofficial list

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Quarterbacks 2011 NFL Free Agency

Quarterbacks

Name Last Team Accrued Years

Todd Bouman Jaguars 11
Marc Bulger Ravens 10
Kellen Clemens Jets 5
Kerry Collins Titans 16
Todd Collins Bears 16
Brodie Croyle Chiefs 5
Trent Edwards Jaguars 4
Charlie Frye Raiders 6
Bruce Gradkowski Raiders 4
Rex Grossman Redskins 8
Matt Hasselbeck Seahawks 12
Tarvaris Jackson Vikings 5
Matt Leinart Texans 5
J.P. Losman Seahawks 6
Peyton Manning Colts F/13
Matt Moore Panthers 4
J.T. O’Sullivan Raiders 8
Chad Pennington Dolphins 11
Patrick Ramsey Vikings 8
Chris Simms Titans 8
Alex Smith 49ers 6
Troy Smith 49ers 4
Jim Sorgi Giants 7
Brian St. Pierre Panthers 7
Drew Stanton Lions 4
Tyler Thigpen Dolphins 4
Michael Vick Eagles F/8
Billy Volek Chargers 11
####Unofficial List

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Running Backs 2011 NFL Free Agency

Running backs

Player Team Years Accrued

Joseph Addai Colts 5
Jackie Battle Chiefs 4
Mike Bell Browns 5
Michael Bennett Raiders 10
Cedric Benson Bengals 6
Ladell Betts Saints 9
Ahmad Bradshaw Giants 4
Ronnie Brown Dolphins 6
Patrick Cobbs Dolphins 5
Kevin Faulk Patriots 12
Jerome Harrison Eagles 5
Brandon Jackson Packers 4
Julius Jones Saints 7
Laurence Maroney Broncos 5
Mewelde Moore Steelers 7
Sammy Morris Patriots 11
Jerious Norwood Falcons 5
Clinton Portis Redskins 9
Dominic Rhodes Colts 8
Jason Snelling Falcons 4
Darren Sproles Chargers 6
Fred Taylor Patriots 13
Brian Westbrook 49ers 9
Cadillac Williams Buccaneers 6
DeAngelo Williams Panthers 5
Ricky Williams Dolphins 10
Garrett Wolfe Bears 4
Jason Wright Cardinals 6
DeShawn Wynn Saints 4
#Unoffical list

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Fullbacks 2011 NFL Free Agency

Fullbacks

Player Team Years Accrued

Tim Castille Chiefs 4
Kyle Eckel Broncos 4
Heath Evans Saints 10
Ahmard Hall Titans 5
Korey Hall Packers 4
John Kuhn Packers 5
Vonta Leach Texans 5
Brian Leonard Bengals 4
Le’Ron McClain Ravens 4
Tony Richardson Jets 16
Michael Robinson Seahawks 5
Naufahu Tahi Vikings 5
Lawrence Vickers Browns 5

#Unofficial List

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Wide Receivers 2011 NFL Free Agency

Wide receivers

Player Team Years Accrued

Hank Baskett Vikings 5
Steve Breaston Cardinals 4
Brian Clark Lions 4
Mark Clayton Rams 6
Michael Clayton Giants 7
Terrence Copper Chiefs 7
Kevin Curtis Chiefs 7
Rashied Davis Bears 6
Braylon Edwards Jets 6
Brian Finneran Falcons 11
Malcom Floyd Chargers 5
Mike Furrey Redskins 8
Derek Hagan Giants 5
Johnnie Lee Higgins Raiders 4
Santonio Holmes Jets 5
T.J. Houshmandzadeh Ravens 10
Sam Hurd Cowboys 5
Vincent Jackson Chargers F/6
Jacoby Jones Texans 4
James Jones Packers 4
Greg Lewis Vikings 8
Ruvell Martin Seahawks 5
Lance Moore Saints 5
Randy Moss Titans 13
Santana Moss Redskins 10
Legedu Naanee Chargers 4
Terrell Owens Bengals 15
Sidney Rice Vikings 4
Laurent Robinson Rams 4
Courtney Roby Saints 5
Mike Sims-Walker Jaguars 4
Brad Smith Jets 5
Steve Smith Giants 4
Donte’ Stallworth Ravens 8
Isaiah Stanback Seahawks 4
Brandon Stokley Seahawks 12
Maurice Stovall Bucs 5
Chansi Stuckey Browns 4
Kelley Washington Chargers 8
#Unofficial list

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Tightends 2011 NFL Free Agency

Tight ends

Player Team Years Accrued

Kevin Boss Giants 4
Desmond Clark Bears 12
Greg Estandia Browns 4
Daniel Fells Rams 4
John Gilmore Buccaneers 9
Tory Humphrey Saints 5
Darcy Johnson Rams 4
Reggie Kelly Bengals 12
Jeff King Panthers 5
Marcedes Lewis Jaguars F/5
Randy McMichael Chargers 9
Zach Miller Raiders 4
Ben Patrick Cardinals 4
Leonard Pope Chiefs 5
Dante Rosario Panthers 4
Bo Scaife Titans 6
Derek Schouman Rams 4
Stephen Spach Cardinals 4
Matt Spaeth Steelers 4
David Thomas Saints 5

#Unofficial list

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Centers 2011 NFL Free Agency

Centers

Player Team Years Accrued

David Baas 49ers 6
Ben Claxton Cardinals 4
Dylan Gandy Lions 5
Jonathan Goodwin Saints 9
Ryan Kalil Panthers F/4
Olin Kreutz Bears 13
Chris Morris Panthers 4
Scott Mruczkowski Chargers 6
Rudy Niswanger Chiefs 5
Samson Satele Raiders 4
Lyle Sendlein Cardinals 4
Chris Spencer Seahawks 6
Jason Spitz Packers 5
Casey Wiegmann Chiefs 15
Tony Wragge 49ers 6

#Unofficial list

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Defensive Tackles 2011 NFL Free Agents

Defensive Tackles

Name Team Years Accrued

Anthony Adams Bears 8
Remi Ayodele Saints 4
Alan Branch Cardinals 4
Barry Cofield Giants 5
Marques Douglas Titans 10
Ron Edwards Chiefs 10
Fred Evans Vikings 5
Ronald Fields Broncos 6
Aubrayo Franklin 49ers 8
Gary Gibson Rams 5
Amon Gordon Seahawks 5
Anthony Hargrove Saints 6
Chris Hoke Steelers 10
Chris Hovan Rams 11
Antonio Johnson Colts 4
Thomas Johnson Falcons 4
Derek Landri Panthers 4
Damione Lewis Texans 10
Trey Lewis Falcons 4
Brandon Mebane Seahawks 4
Daniel Muir Colts 4
Haloti Ngata Ravens F/5
Bryan Robinson Cardinals 14
Clifton Ryan Rams 4
Junior Siavii Seahawks 4
Paul Soliai Dolphins F/4
Craig Terrill Seahawks 7
Gabe Watson Cardinals 5
Jimmy Wilkerson Saints 8
Pat Williams Vikings 14

#Unofficial list

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Inside Linebackers 2011 NFL Free Agents

Inside linebackers

Player Team Years Accrued

Akin Ayodele Bills 9
Kevin Bentley Texans 9
Chase Blackburn Giants 6
H.B. Blades Redskins 4
Stewart Bradley Eagles 4
Ricky Brown Raiders 5
Kevin Burnett Chargers 6
Bobby Carpenter Lions 5
Stephen Cooper Chargers 8
Keith Ellison Bills 5
Keyaron Fox Steelers 7
Omar Gaither Eagles 5
David Harris Jets F/4
Abdul Hodge Panthers 5
D’Qwell Jackson Browns 5
Dhani Jones Bengals 11
Niko Koutouvides Buccaneers 7
Lance Laury Jets 5
Corey Mays Chiefs 5
Rocky McIntosh Redskins 5
Marvin Mitchell Saints 4
Brandon Moore Chargers 6
Kirk Morrison Jaguars 6
Paul Posluszny Bills 4
Barrett Ruud Buccaneers 6
Brandon Siler Chargers 4
Takeo Spikes 49ers 13
Stephen Tulloch Titans 5
Tracy White Patriots 8
Matt Wilhelm Packers 8
Leon Williams Cowboys 4
Rod Wilson Bears 6

#Unofficial List

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Cornerbacks 2011 Free Agents

Cornerbacks

Player Team Years Accrued

Nnamdi Asomugha Raiders 8
Phillip Buchanon Redskins 9
Chris Carr Ravens 6
Drew Coleman Jets 5
Antonio Cromartie Jets 5
Travis Daniels Chiefs 6
Kevin Dockery Rams 5
Drayton Florence Bills 8
William Gay Steelers 4
Corey Graham Bears 4
Tye Hill Lions 4
Ellis Hobbs Eagles 6
Roderick Hood Titans 8
Chris Houston Lions 4
Dante Hughes Chargers 4
William James 49ers 10
Kelly Jennings Seahawks 5
Johnathan Joseph Bengals 5
Anthony Madison Steelers 5
Richard Marshall Panthers 5
Brandon McDonald Lions 4
Dimitri Patterson Eagles 5
Karl Paymah Texans 6
Keiwan Ratliff Bengals 6
Carlos Rogers Redskins 6
Lito Sheppard Vikings 9
Ike Taylor Steelers 8
Leigh Torrence Saints 5
Frank Walker Vikings 8
Fabian Washington Ravens 6
Brian Williams Falcons 9
C.J. Wilson Panthers 4
Josh Wilson Ravens 4
Eric Wright Browns 4
Ashton Youboty Bills 5

#Unofficial List

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2011 NFL Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agent:

Derrell Smith, Syracuse 6000 243 4.79

Three-year starter. Team captain. Plays square and downhill. Doesn’t get turned to create running lanes. Needs more upper body strength. Makes plays. Instinctive and active in his play. Former running back. Maintains leverage on blocks. Always in the picture frame near the ball. Stays on his feet. Can string out the blocker and shed quickly. Takes good angles downfield. Fluid in his pass drops. Gets to hook area and sits down and squares up. Has pattern awareness. Competitive and tough. Loves contact. Can take on plays directly at him or scrape and fill the hole. Will contribute on special teams coverage.

Others:

Armando Allen RB    (Notre Dame)
Matt Allen OLC   (Texas A&M)
Cory Brandon OLT   (Oklahoma)
Thomas Claiborne OLG   (Boston College)
Mike Coughlin QB    (Boise State)
Jose Cruz TE    (Syracuse)
Brandon Heath LBO   (Louisville)
Devin Holland DBF   (McNeese State)
Detron Lewis WR    (Texas Tech)
Mossis Madu RB    (Oklahoma)
Nick Reveiz LBI   (Tennessee)
Jock Sanders WR    (West Virginia)
Raymond Webber WR    (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)
Christian Yount LS    (UCLA)

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Atlanta Falcons 2011 NFL Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agent:

Ryan Winterswyk, Boise State 6037 268 5.03

Three-and-a-half year starter who is a good effort chase player. Can push the pocket with leverage while running his feet. Played fullback on the goal line and short yardage packages as the lead blocker. Some ball clubs may use him in short yardage and goal line situations as a tight end. An active player who works to finish a play. Motor runs red hot. Not pretty, but effective. Well coached. Good use of hands. A quick learner who is football smart. Plays hard from snap to whistle. Needs to build up more upper and lower body core strength. A developmental player.

Others:

Doug Beaumont WR    (Louisville)
Kirk Belgrave DBC   (Kent State)
Kevin Cone WR    (Georgia Tech)
Lucas Cox RBF   (Georgia Tech)
Drew Davis WR    (Oregon)
Paul Fenaroli OLC   (Stoney Brook – NY)
Adam Froman QB    (Louisville)
PJ Gore WR    (Mars Hill)
Matt Hansen DBS   (Rhode Island)
Tom McCarthy DLE   (Yale)
Kamaal McIlwain DBC   (Newberry)
Ryan McMahon OLC   (Florida State)
Thor Merrow RBF   (North Alabama)
Matt Murphy OLT   (UNLV)
Rafael Priest DBC   (TCU)
Andrew Schulze LS    (Iowa)
AJ Simmons TE    (Arizona)
Philip Sylvester RB    (Florida A&M)
LaMarcus Thompson LBO   (Tennessee)
Kiante Tripp DLT   (Georgia)
Suaesi Tuimaunei DBF   (Oregon State)
Darrin Walls DBC   (Notre Dame)
Youri Yenga LBI   (SMU)

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New Orleans Saints 2011 Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agents:

DeAndre McDaniel,  Clemson 6001 217 4.65

Three-year starter who had eight interceptions and 102 tackles in 2009. Quick to key and diagnose a play. Good vision. Reportedly spends several extra hours on his own to study tape during the week. Physically and mentally tough. Aggressive and competitive in his play. Explosive on run support. Good body control to make a tackle. Quick reactions to play off blocks and get in on play. Always around the ball. Makes plays in space. In 2008 he played a linebacker/safety hybrid position. In 2009 he played both free and strong safety concepts. He does a good job of disguising coverage by moving around, going forward, and then backing up and getting into position. Smooth and fluid in coverage. Quick feet with a closing burst. Good ball skills and ball reactions. Plays with attitude and confidence. Has some red flags. This is one player who doesn’t appear to feel small by the ocean. High maintenance.

Josh Gatlin, North Dakota State 6011 196 4.39

Started in three games. Played in 21 games over two years. Junior college transfer from North Dakota State School of Science. Physical run support corner with good cover skills. Attacks the ball in the air. Functional strength to reroute receivers. Competitive. Played in the Texas versus Nation game. In 2009 he recorded 12 tackles in the Iowa State game. In 2010 he returned an interception for 57 yards versus South Dakota State. A developmental size and speed prospect with inconsistent skills and production. Related to Olympic sprinter Justin Gatlin. (was released by the Saints on 8-2-11.)

Others:

Isa Abdul-Quddus DBS   (Fordham)
John Chiles WR    (Texas)
Jarred Fayson WR    (Illinois)
Mike Higgins TE    (Nebraska-Omaha)
Kolby Hurt RBF  (Missouri State)
Dexter Larimore DLT   (Ohio State)
Kyle Nelson LS    (New Mexico State)
Dwight Roberson LBI   (Oregon State)
Ryan Taylor OLC   (UCLA)

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Washington Redskins 2011 Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agent:

Willie Smith, East Carolina 6053 310 5.41

Two-year starter who was a tight end in 2008. A tall and rangy athlete with long arms and big hands. Plays left tackle in a spread offensive system. Lines up in a two point stance. Struggles to cut off a quick inside slant move. He does play with a good power base in the pass game and maintains his base when sliding his feet. Good lateral agility. A knee bender with good body control and foot quickness. Flashes the ability to play on Sunday but is not consistent in his play and has technique breakdowns. Before he played tight end he was a defensive end and a defensive tackle. With some developmental work, an offensive line coach can make a diamond out of this lump of coal. Has many of the raw tools to have a successful future.

Others:

Isaac Anderson WR    (Wisconsin)
Dante Barnes DBC   (Norfolk State)
Ben Chappell QB    (Indiana)
Shaun Draughn RB    (North Carolina)
Obi Ezeh LBI   (Michigan)
Kevin Gidrey TE    (East Carolina)
Tyrone Grant DBC   (Delaware)
Eric McBride LBO   (Richmond)
Corey O’Daniel OLT  (Gardner-Webb)
Davonte Shannon DBS   (Buffalo)
Joe Torchia TE    (Virginia)
Marc Verica QB    (Virginia)
Thomas Weaver DLT   (Villanova)

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Philadelphia Eagles 2011 Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agents:

Derrick Locke, Kentucky 5082 188 4.40

Three-year starter. A compact and confident runner who lacks size but runs between the tackles. A third down back with speed and an upfield burst. Will drop his shoulder and run through a corner at times. Explosive with quickness and agility in traffic. Natural hands and acceleration to run after catch. A nifty footed back with good vision and shake and bake moves. Dangerous in space. Rushed for over 100 yards in five games and caught 100 yards in passes in another. Has some Dexter McCluster qualities. Came to Kentucky as a track athlete and went out for football. Was the AAA player of the year in Oklahoma. Will contribute on special teams coverage. Had 15 tackles as a freshman and sophomore. Averaged 26.3 yards per kickoff return in 2010. Over his career he averaged 27.1 yards, including two 100-yard TD returns.

Cedric Thornton, Southern Arkansas 6035 309 5.26

Started 22 games in his career. A physical player who gives a good effort and pushes the pocket in the passing game. Disruptive in his play. Sudden first step quickness. Needs to improve his pass rushing technique and improve his hand use, but has the strength to knock an offensive lineman off balance. Did not look out of place at the Senior Bowl. Numbers dropped off in 2010 but has been productive for the past two years. Question instincts and recognition at times. Could see the play develop at this level but will need to digest quicker on Sundays. Aggressive in his play with his long arms and big hands. A developmental player who has measurables but will need to elevate his position skill level.

Chas Henry, Florida 6031 219 5.00

Four-year starter. Ray Guy Award winner as the best punter in the nation. Long arms (33″). Generally kicked in ideal weather but when in the rain he handled the wet ball flawlessly. Three step right footed punter. Drives the ball with good leg “pop”. Averaged 44.8 yards per punt in the Senior Bowl on six punts. He placed two inside the 20-yard line. Gets the ball off in 1.4 seconds or less. Had a long of 50 yards. Averaged 46 yards on 10 practice punts with hang times between 4.25 and 4.81 seconds. Led the country with a 45.1 yard average in 2010. He also holds for field goals and PATs. Consistent in his mechanics and ball drop. Career stats: 165-7090 yds, 43.0 avg, long 75 yards. He placed 68 punts inside the 20-yard line. Had no punts blocked.

Terrance Turner,  Indiana 6016 220 4.62

Three-year starter. Team captain. Has good run after catch ability. Played in a spread offense that featured bubble screens, outs, hitches, and quick slants. Catches the ball in his soft hands. Will reach and extend for the ball away from his body. Catches the ball with an intent to run. Natural running motion. Can break a tackle. Finishes play. A good athlete and a competitor with good football character. Will come off the corner and block a safety. Has rare leaping ability to go with his reliable hands. Will double move a corner or a safety down the field. A developmental receiver with good tools.

Others:

Brandon Caleb WR    (Oklahoma)
Brandon Collier DLT   (Massachusetts)
Graig Cooper RB    (Miami)
Jerrod Johnson QB    (Texas A&M)
Gerald Jones WR    (Tennessee)
Charles Noonan DLT   (Rutgers)
Brandon Peguese LBI   (Hampton)
Martell Webb TE    (Michigan)

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Dallas Cowboys 2011 Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agents:

Orie Lemon, Oklahoma State 6005 244 4.99

Two-year starter. Missed the 2009 season with a torn right ACL in his knee. Works through blockers. Active inside linebacker who fills running lanes quickly. Finishes the play. Plays in a 4-2- 5 defensive scheme. Plays faster than timed speed. Can and has run plays down from behind with a closing burst. Hustles and is always around the ball. One of the leading tacklers in the country with 133 stops. Has the speed to carry a tight end down the middle of cover-two pass coverage. A 3-4 inside plug linebacker type. Will be an asset on all special teams.

Kai Forbath, UCLA 5107 197 5.00

Four-year starter. Right footed placekicker with uncanny accuracy inside 50 yards. He made 40 straight kicks at one point. Good leg strength. Did not have many field goal attempts in 2010 because of inconsistent offense and a groin strain. Generally kicked in good weather. Accurate placement and leg control. Keeps his head down and follows through. On 10 kickoffs he averaged 67 yards with a 3.99 hang time. Hang times averaged 4.12 on kickoffs during practice. Did not kick off at UCLA, placements only. Won the 2009 Groza Award.

Kevin Kowalski, Toledo 6032 300 5.05

Four-year starter. Scrappy, try hard tough guy who works to finish the play. Better center than guard. Struggled at guard in the Senior Bowl practices with angles and second level blocks. A competitor who battles and plays with leverage. Struggles with big nose tackles that play head up. Good leadership qualities. Makes all the blocking calls for the line. An average athlete who flashes some first step initial quickness. Needs more upper body playing strength to neutralize a bull rush. Head on a swivel to help if he is uncovered. Borderline physical skills.

Others:

Jose Acuna OLT  (Nevada)
Corey Adams LS   (Kansas State)
Alex Albright LBO   (Boston College)
Dan Bailey PK    (Oklahoma State)
Mario Butler DBC   (Georgia Tech)
James Cleveland WR    (Houston)
Alex Ibiloye DBC   (TCU)
Chris Jones P     (Carson-Newman)
Lyle Leong WR    (Texas Tech)
Pepa Letuli OLT   (Hawaii)
Tysson Poots WR    (Southern Utah)
Raymond Radway WR    (Abilene Christian)
Chris Randle DBC   (Utah State)
Phillip Tanner RB    (Middle Tennessee State)
Frank Warren RB    (Grambling)
Collin Zych DBS   (Harvard)

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St. Louis Rams 2011 Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agents:

Bryant Browning, Ohio State 6040 319 5.20

Three-year starter with long arms and big hands. Interesting tools to succeed on Sunday. He will overextend and not bring his feet with him in the run game at times. Can sit down and anchor a bull rush when he bends his knees. Will come up instead of out of his stances and plays with a high pad level. His base will get a little wide at times which hinders him in pass protection. With that being said, in pass protection he plays with good balance and use of his hands. Alert to pick up the blitz. Plays with a strong 2- arm extension. He maintains his balance when shadowing the pass rusher. Has physical tools, but techniques are lacking. A smart developmental prospect who has experience at both guard and tackle. (was released 8-8-11 by the Rams and signed by the Panthers.)

Schuylar Oordt, Northern Iowa 6057 261 4.67

Two-year starter. Former wide receiver. Big target with speed to threaten two deep coverage. A good athlete with long arms. Rated 4th athletically out of 17 tight ends that worked out at the Combine. Soft hands. Will hold the ball and secure the ball on contact. Change of pace type runner. Stays on his feet as a blocker. A willing wall off type. Covers up corners at this level when blocking down field. Comes off the line hard. No holdup. Good body control when running routes. Creates space with long arms and athletic ability. Has the speed to threaten middle area of the field. Good leaping ability. Developmental tight end with pro measurables.

Others:

Damario Ambrose DLE   (Arkansas)
Tim Atchison DBF   (Baylor)
Kenneth Charles DLE   (SF Austin)
DeMarco Cosby TE    (Central Missouri)
John Dempsey DBS   (Villanova)
Dionte Dinkins DBC   (Fort Valley State)
Pete Fleps LBi   (SMU)
Ben Guidugli TE    (Cincinnati)
John Henderson DLT   (Southern Mississippi)
Kevin Hughes OLG   (Southeastern Louisiana)
Randall Hunt OLG   (Illinois)
Jake McQuaide LS    (Ohio State)
Taylor Potts QB    (Texas Tech)
Chris Smith DBC   (Northern Illinois)
Van Stumon RBF   (Arkansas)
Roy Watts OLG   (Houston)
Eddie Wide RB    (Utah)

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San Francisco 49ers 2011 Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agents:

Ian Williams, Notre Dame 6012 319 5.25

Started 26 games in his career. A leverage player who clogs up the inside running lanes. Plays the best on the edges of the interior blockers. Good instincts. Finds the ball quickly. Will finish long pursuit. Good effort. Can two gap. Plays square. A two down player with functional strength and football intelligence. Can stop and stack at the point of attack. Flashes a good shoulder punch. Decent hand control and strength. Good hand and feet coordination. Tore his MCL in his left knee and missed the last four regular season games. Played in the Sun Bowl against Miami.

Derek Hall, Stanford 6050 305 5.00

One-year starter who is athletic and flexible. Started 13 games at right tackle. A former defensive lineman who is just learning how to play in the offensive line. Has good foot quickness to shuffle and mirror in pass protection. Has good balance and uses his hands well. Maintains his balance and base when sliding with the pass rusher and runs them up the field. Works to bend his knees and butt to stay low. Has many nuances of offensive line play to learn, but is smart and coachable. Pulls and runs aggressively. Gets to the point of contact well. A developmental player with draftable qualities.

Sealver Siliga, Utah 6016 305 5.20

Junior entry. Two-year starter with long arms and big hands to control a blocker. Strong upper and lower body. Physical on power and bull rush. Presses the pocket. Not a fast twitch player. Below average quickness on logs and twist stunts. Two down player who specializes in stuffing the run lanes. Quick first step to get penetration. Plays stout with leverage and can hold his ground inside. He does have a tendency to play high after his first step, however not a two gap player. Under tackle in four man front. Provides a team with depth despite borderline measurables and physical skills. A two down run player.

Others:

Chase Beeler OLC   (Stanford)
Tyler Beiler WR    (Bridgewater – VA)
McLeod Bethel-Thompson QB    (Cal – Sacramento)
Chris Blohm TE    (Yale)
Brian Bulcke DLT   (Stanford)
Phillip Davis DBC   (Tulane)
Demarcus Dobbs DLT   (Georgia)
Donovan Edwards OLT   (California)
Joe Hastings WR    (Washburn)
Chris Hogan WR    (Monmouth – NJ)
Jeremiah Masoli RB    (Mississippi)
Cory Nelms DBC   (Miami)
Konrad Reuland TE    (Stanford)
Kenny Rowe LBO   (Oregon)
Monte Simmons LBO   (Kent State)
Seth Smith RB    (New Mexico State)
Anthony West DBS   (Nebraska)
Kenny Wiggins OLT   (Fresno State)

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Arizona Cardinals 2011 NFL Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agents:

Kristofer O’Dowd, Southern Cal 6042 303 5.16

Injuries have kept O’Dowd from being a four-year starter as he was nicked up parts of the past three seasons. Nevertheless, if he passes NFL physicals, he has the talent to start on Sundays. He demonstrates a good combination of foot quickness and ease of movement. Has quick initial contact as an inline blocker and is strong enough to tie up the down defender and get push. A natural knee bender, he reacts to different looks and plays with good instincts. Can run block and adjust on the move. Gives a good downfield effort and is proficient on combo blocks to the second level. Forces separation in pass protection. Good base and feet, balance, and use of hands. Played high and stiff most of Senior Bowl week. Was out-leveraged in pass rush drills and in the game. Good initial first step then gets high. Sustains a screen off type block. Stays on his feet when pulling to the perimeter. Good football instincts.

Andrew Rich,  BYU 6026 220 4.64

Two-year starter. An instinctive and active safety who is big and physical. He plays best close to the line of scrimmage. Can lock up and cover tight ends or big slot receivers. Good foot quickness for a man his size. Productive and aggressive in run support. A contact player. Nose for the ball. Stays on his feet and wards off blockers. Durable and tough. Learns and retains coverage schemes. Good concentration. Takes good angles in run support. Inside out player. Forces the point quickly. Will come up and meet sweep. Better in short area coverage than down the field. Academic All-Conference. Solid and consistent in what he is asked to do. Will contribute on special teams. (has decided to retire for personal reasons.)

Others:

Jared Campbell DBF   (Miami)
Dalveun Curry-Chapman WR    (Northern Arizona)
Desia Dunn DBC   (Fresno State)
Derek Epperson P     (Baylor)
Tommy Irvin DBS   (Wofford)
Sean Jeffcoat WR    (Elon)
Duke Lemmens LBO   (Florida)
Ricky Lumpkin DLT   (Kentucky)
Eric Mensik OLT   (Oklahoma)
Aaron Nichols WR    (Oregon State)
Bryant Nnabuife DBC   (California)
Stephen Skelton TE    (Fordham)
Kendall Smith LBI   (Florida State)
Jason Speredon OLT   (BYU)
Jake Vermiglio OLT   (North Carolina State)
DJ Young OLT   (Michigan State)

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Seattle Seahawks 2011 Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agents:

Zach Hurd, Connecticut 6066 316 5.34

Three-year starter. More athletic in workout than he looks on tape. Plays tall and with limited knee bend. Question balance when he doesn’t play flat-footed. Physical player who will get dumb penalties at times, giving cheap shots down the field. Not a finisher. okay initially but doesn’t follow through. Flashes foot quickness and slide shuffle ability as a pass protector. Plays inside at guard so he gets help from an uncovered center or tackle. An anchor if he sits down with knee bend. Will waist bend and not slide his feet at times. Can pull in the run game and tries to swallow up his target. Leads through the hole and has some adjust on the run at times. A backup type player with a deficiency in position skill level.

Jeron Johnson, Boise State 5102 210 4.53

Three-and-a-half year starter who is athletic, mentally tough, and quick-footed in his play. A fundamentally sound player who is instinctive and smart. Versatile enough to play both strong and free safety. Plays with confidence. A wrap up tackler. Can stick his foot in the ground and drive quickly on the ball in front of him. Has the speed and savvy to turn and run deep. Anticipates with quick reactions. Suddenness in his body. Competitive, intense, aggressive, and tough. Good body control in transition. No wasted motion. Gets his body in position to strip or knockdown. Has a willingness to force the run. Has the strength to play off blocks and make a tackle. Will be a beast on all special teams. Eventual starter with some developmental time.

Pierre Allen, Nebraska 6037 273 4.85

Three-year starter who can rush the passer and play the run. Long arms and big hands to control the blocker. Needs more consistency and better hand use to disengage from the blockers. A flash player who is inconsistent. Has an impressive skill set but he doesn’t play to those athletic numbers. Plays hard but is nonproductive. The plays he makes are pushed to him by defensive tackle, Jared Crick. Last year he played next to Ndamukong Suh. There always seems to be something that short circuits his consistency such as injuries.

Ricardo Lockette, Fort Valley State 6021 211 4.37

One-year starter. A speed receiver who needs route development. Flashes quickness and a third gear burst. Played in the Texas versus Nation game. He had several drops and looked like he lacked confidence in his hands. His drops were off his chest, trying to trap or cradle the ball. A track athlete who is a size and speed prospect with inconsistent skills. Production at a lower level of competition was mediocre at best. A developmental player with draftable qualities.

Others:

Doug Baldwin WR    (Stanford)
Dorson Boyce RBF   (Washington)
Chris Carter WR   (Cal-Davis)
John Gold P     (Texas)
Jesse Hoffman DBC   (Eastern Washington)
Neal Howey LBO   (Eastern Michigan)
Michael Morgan LBO   (Southern Cal)
Brent Osborne OLC   (Harvard)
Ron Parker DBC   (Newberry)
Caz Piurowski OLT   (Florida State)
Josh Portis QB    (California – PA)
Chase Reynolds RB    (Montana)
Rickey Thenarse DBF   (Nebraska)
Ryan Travis RBF   (West Liberty State)

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Carolina Panthers 2011 NFL Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agents:

Kendric Burney, North Carolina 5093 186 4.75

Four-year starter. Instinctive nickel corner who can jump a route with a sudden burst. Quick reactions to medium and short routes. Competed well Senior Bowl week in the game and on special teams. A press type corner who can drive and snap off quickly. Sticky short area ability. Plays with poise and confidence. Football appears important to him by the way he plays the game. Good ball skills and anticipation.

Ugo Chinasa, Oklahoma State 6047 264 4.71

Three-year starter who plays with functional upper body strength. Has extra long arms and big hands. A good athlete with an explosive first step. Has all the tools of the trade, but at times it appears he keeps his tools in the toolbox and doesn’t show up to work. Inconsistent in his effort. Can bend his hips and explode out, but he will raise his pad level and get turned. Plays both up and down and drops into coverage. At times he looks like he doesn’t know how to play the game. A developmental player who has desired measurables with inconsistent skills.

Thomas Keiser, Stanford 6033 261 4.83

Junior entry. Two-year starter who has played both as an outside linebacker in a three man front or a 4-3 end. Productive with 15 sacks in 25 games. Played right defensive end in 2010. Instinctive reacting quickly to pass or run. Stays square in a good football position. Plays in a three point stance down or stands up in a two point stance. Quick arm over move. Has the frame to gain and put on more good weight. Has good arm length to lock out and shuffle down the line. A developmental player with some pro physical skills.

Darvin Adams, Auburn 6021 190 4.56

Junior entry. Two year starter who is a slender possession receiver. Plays the “x” receiver position in a run oriented spread offense. Will catch the medium zone dig route over the middle. Catches the ball away from his frame and can make the tough catch. Holds the ball on contact. Runs good but elementary spread type pass patterns. Needs to get more upper and lower body strength. A one speed type receiver who lacks an explosive first step off the line. A developmental receiver who has a chance to make a team if he elevates his position skills.

Byron Bell, New Mexico 6052 339 5.35

Three-year starter. A wide bodied left tackle who projects inside to guard. Good initially on his first step. Can stone an edge pass rusher with his strength. Plays with a good base and balance. Can mirror and shadow a pass rusher up the field past the quarterback. Flashes some next level ability, but would be classified as an underachiever who has consistent technique breakdowns. A developing size prospect who needs position skills development.

Others:

John Gianninoto OLG   (UNLV)
Adi Kunalic PK    (Nebraska)
Ryan Pugh OLC   (Auburn)
Anthony Santella P     (Illinois)
Greg Smith TE    (Texas)
Malcolm Tatum DLE   (Louisville)
Jamorris Warren WR    (Central Missouri State)

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New York Giants 2011 Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agents:

Mark Herzlich, Boston College 6040 244 4.92

Three-year starter. Prior to the 2009 season, Ourlads rated Herzlich a first round talent and was the defending ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He has made 247 career tackles. During the spring of 2009 he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, which he overcame. Productive over his career. In 2008 he had 110 tackles, 6 INTs, 8 PBU, 2 FF, 2 FR, and 13 TFL. Our notes based on his 2008 tape read: solid measurables, good athletic ability with pass rush quickness and balance. Good football intelligence. Not soft at the point of attack. Burning desire to win. Makes big plays. Gets off blockers with quick strong hands. Eager and intense. Wrap tackler who will knock the ball carrier backwards. Has the chase speed to catch from behind. Gets clean separation. Can string out blocker laterally. Good speed and range. Hustles all out on every play. Aggressive and hits with authority. Received several honors in 2009 for his courage and outreach in his battle with cancer, including the Disney Spirit Award and the ACC Commissioner’s Cup. Senior Bowl notes: good size for a 3-4 outside linebacker, but could play the Sam in the right 4-3 scheme. Decent initial quickness and toughness taking on a block. Flashes good shed technique using his hands well to separate. Occasionally locked up with a block. May lack top upper body power and strength. Hustles in pursuit and gives a good effort. Showed up well in pass rush drills, with a quick move around the corner. Takes good drops in coverage and shows good zone awareness. Good relation to receivers in zone. Plays up to the short route while getting under the deep one. Struggles in space at times on the perimeter. Has good range and with a clear path to the ball can chase sideline to sideline. A good athlete who needs more strength to consistently play off a block. He has a lot of good qualities that would allow him to fit in the right scheme.

Martin Parker, Richmond 6021 303 5.03

Four-year starter. Was voted defensive MVP in the Shrine East/ West game where he had two sacks and a forced fumble. Plays high and narrow based but is slippery. Uses the arm over move but will need to change up on Sundays. Needs to work on more consistency using his hands. Has good arm length for the position. Very productive with 96 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks in 2010. He averaged 8.7 tackles per game. Active would be an understatement. Made 13 tackles against Delaware. In 2009 he made 75 tackles, including 15 1/2 for loss. Has developed a pattern of success with effort. Sudden first step. Good instincts and awareness to quickly locate the ball. He can defeat a block at this level, but will need to play lower with hip flexibility to leverage blocker. Has the foot quickness to move and free himself from a block. Good effort, angles, and desire to finish pursuit. A wrap up tackler. Aggressive press and bull rush to press the pocket. Relentless in his play. Will need more technique development on his hand use. Will upgrade a current team backup and fit into a rotation once his toolbox is in order. (placed on injured reserve.)

Jerrard Tarrant, Georgia Tech 6003 204 4.62

Junior entry. Two year starter. Has experience as a corner, safety, and punt returner. Productive in his play. Good short area quickness. Majors in zone coverage. Average arm length to reroute receivers. Has some hip tightness in his turns. Loses position discipline at times by missing tackles and taking bad pursuit angles. Will contribute on special teams coverage. Also had a 13.4 punt return average as a sophomore. Red flags may influence his draft position.

Henry Hynoski, Pittsburgh 6003 257 5.06

Junior entry. Two-year starter. An H-back type that blocks on the run. One speed player with good size for the position. A position wall off type blocker. Average athlete for the position. Role in offense is that of a blocker and occasional receiver. Below average run skills. Straight line on track runner. Will contribute on special teams. Had five tackles for Pittsburgh in 2010. Marginal hip flexibility to bend his hips and knees. Stops feet on contact. Inconsistent to hit a moving target. Good hands. A check down type receiver. Runs hard after catch.

David Sims, Iowa State 5093 200 4.53

Two-year starter. Junior college transfer from Butte Community College. Originally signed with Oklahoma out of high school. Was the 2009 Big-12 Newcomer of the Year. A better than average athlete who is a good open field tackler and run support player. Competitive with good foot quickness. Will struggle in the slot with a mismatch of tall receivers. Built like a running back. Generally takes good angles to the ball and will hit and wrap. Needs to drop his butt when backpedaling. Will get too high at times and has wasted steps in transition. Has borderline measurables and pro physical skills. Will contribute as a backup punt and kickoff return specialist. Good special teams player.

Justin Trattou, Florida 6033 254 4.71

Two-year starter. Rotated in 2007 and 2009. Explosive first step to get off the ball. Active in his play. Plays with high energy and a relentless effort. Productive in the East/West Shrine game with a sack, tackle for loss, and a pass breakup. He also influenced several quarterback hurries. A 3-4 edge pass rushing candidate. Can turn the corner with good body control and balance. Highly competitive, instinctive, and intense in his play. Flies to the ball. Doesn’t stay blocked. Will contribute on special teams.

Others:

Ibrahim Abdulai DLT   (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)
Darnell Burks DBC   (Fort Valley State)
Brant Clouser OLG   (Villanova)
Chris Hopkins TE    (Toledo)
Jarriel King OLT   (South Carolina)
Craig Marshall DLE   (South Florida)
Spencer Paysinger LBO   (Oregon)
Ryan Perrilloux QB    (Jacksonville State)

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Minnesota Vikings 2011 Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agent:

Allen Reisner, Iowa 6020 248 4.97

One-year starter who was in a tight end rotation for the previous three years. Was not red-shirted. Soft and sure hands. A technique sound and savvy blocker who is sticky in his play. Quick enough to set the edge and position the contain defender. More of an Hback type tight end who can position block and read on the run. Catches the ball in a crowd. Good concentration and focus. Takes good angles and gives a good effort blocking down field. No hold up on release. A competitive player who stays engaged and keeps his feet moving. Routes include outs, seams, flats, and crossers. Has borderline measurables and physical skills. A developmental practice squad type athlete.

Others:

Chris Adingupu DBF   (Prairie View A&M)
David Akinniyi DLE   (North Carolina State)
Conan Amituanai OLG   (Arizona)
Emmanuel Arceneaux WR    (Alcorn State)
Matt Asiata RBF   (Utah)
Ed Barham TE    (North Carolina)
Larry Dean LBO   (Valdosta State)
Jonathan Gilmore LBI   (Southern Oregon)
Ryan Hill DBS   (Miami)
Andre Holmes WR    (Hillsdale)
Rod Huntley OLG   (UTEP)
Byron Isom OLG   (Auburn)
Dominique Johnson WR    (Cal Poly)
Alexander Robinson RB    (Iowa State)
Devon Torrence DBC   (Ohio State)
Nathan Whitaker PK    (Stanford)

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Detroit Lions 2011 NFL Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agent:

Ryan Donahue, Iowa 6021 193 5.00

Four-year starter. Right footed three step punter. Strong leg. Can kick in unpredictable weather. Drives the ball with good leg “pop”. Must continue to work on his consistency from steps and yards covered from lineup to kick. Has the ability to adjust to a bad snap. Can handle the pressure of a game situation rush or threat of a rush. Averaged 44.6 yards on 54 punts as a senior. Produced one of the top plays in the East/West Shrine game when he chased down a snap that went over his head. He ran up the sideline and rugby kicked the ball for a plus 22-yard gain. Career stats: 251- 10515 yds, 41.9 avg, long 82 yds. He placed 92 punts inside the 20-yard line and had 3 blocked in 4 years.

Others:

Demario Ballard WR    (Western Oregon)
Dominique Barnes WR    (Youngstown State)
Quentin Davie LBO   (Northwestern)
Dejuan Fulghum LBO   (Texas Southern)
Marcus Harris WR    (Murray State)
Jeff Maddux OLG   (Central Michigan)
Cobrani Mixon LBI   (Kent State)
Ricardo Silva DBS   (Hampton)
Narada Williams DLE   (Fort Valley State)

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Green Bay Packers 2011 Undrafted Free Agents

Notable Undrafted Free Agent:

Tori Gurley, South Carolina 6041 216 4.56

Junior entry. Two-year starter. A big possession receiver with long arms that will go up after a ball. A slot type receiver who will be a mismatch to undersized corners. Will compete and catch the ball in a crowd. Body catches and traps the ball against his chest, but has good hands. He had no drops in 2010. Not easy to tackle. Best on short and medium routes where he can use his size. Has average foot quickness. Will need to mature on and off the field and needs position skill development. Caught 14 passes against Vanderbilt for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Others:

Diondre Borel WR    (Utah State)
Anthony Bratton DBS   (Delaware)
Ray Dominguez OLT   (Arkansas)
Chris Donaldson DLT   (Oklahoma State)
Sampson Genus OLC   (South Florida)
Jon Hoese RBF   (Minnesota)
MD Jennings DBS   (Arkansas State)
Elijah Joseph LBI   (Temple)
Jamari Lattimore LBO   (Middle Tennessee State)
Brandian Ross DBC   (Youngstown State)
Brandon Saine RB    (Ohio State)
Theo Sherman OLT   (James Madison)
Shaky Smithson WR    (Utah)
Vic So’oto LBO   (BYU)
Kerry Taylor WR    (Arizona State)

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Aaron Maybin, Bills 2009 1st round Pick/11th Selection CUT

Aaron Maybin was released Monday after two unfullfilled years in Buffalo. Ourlads stood alone and gave Maybin a 3rd round grade when most draft “experts” had him in the First Round . What we said:

Aaron Maybin, Penn State 6036 249 4.80 Underclassman. Started ten games in career. Long arms and big hands. Sudden first step quickness. Struggles to get off blocks if he doesn’t beat you with his speed. Does not have a large body of work to evaluate. Was a reserve at the start of the 2008 season. Lacks the functional strength to separate and disengage the blocker. Very good athletic ability. Fast twitch with a lot of energy. Projects to a right outside linebacker in a 3- 4 scheme. Can be manhandled and pushed up the field. Undisciplined in his play. Has had several offside penalties and was benched. Guesses a lot on the count. Not an instinctive player. When he sees it he sprints to the ball. Lacks a big bag of pass rushing moves and tricks. Gets caught in traffic during pursuit. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila is a comparable height, weight, and speed clone of Maybin. Gbaja-Biamila was drafted in the fifth round and still has problems in the run game. Made the most of his opportunity in 2008 with 20 tackles for loss and 12 sacks among his 49 total tackles. He also forced 3 fumbles. May be a situation pass rusher only. Edge speed:left 2.15, right 2.25. OSR:7/30. Third round. (A-35 1/ 4, H-10 1/8, BP-22, 10-1.60).

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Ten Early Story Lines For 2011 NFL Season

SPECIAL TO OURLADS BLOG by Jena Ellis

1. Is Cam Newton for real? One year ago, Newton was a name known by few people outside of the South. Essentially kicked out of school at Florida, he spent a year at Blinn College in Texas before landing at Auburn, where he was expected, at best, to improve the team by a game or two from the previous season. As it turned out, he led the Tigers to their first national title since 1957, demonstrating all of the leadership skills coveted by NFL franchises. Debate persists as to whether it was wise for the Panthers to select him with the No. 1 overall pick, as his skills are raw and they selected quarterback Jimmy Clausen in the first round in 2010. But Newton has impressed thus far, even eliciting a “wow” response from new coach Ron Rivera when he was asked of his impression of the rookie. It remains a possibility that he could start in week one.

2. Can Jason Garrett and Rob Ryan revive the Cowboys? Upon being named the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator in 2007, Garrett improved the unit to second in the league, becoming one of the hottest head coaching prospects. The Cowboys managed to keep the poachers at bay, and it appeared to pay dividends in 2010 when he guided the team to a 5-3 finish after a 1-7 start under Wade Phillips. During the offseason, he tasked Rob Ryan with improving a defense that surrendered the second-most points in the league last season. Confidence has already risen, as evidenced by Ryan’s comments seemingly directed at the Eagles: “I don’t know if we win the all-hype team. I think that might have gone to somebody else, but we’re going to beat their ass when we play them.”

3. Will the Eagles’ big offseason result in a big season? That hype has come with additions of Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins and Ronnie Brown. Before their active offseason, the Eagles were already favored to win the NFC East — now they’re drawing comparisons to the Miami Heat and the Dream Team, the latter of which was made by new backup quarterback Vince Young. Meeting immense expectations, especially those you have for yourself, can be extraordinarily difficult. Just ask the 2000 Redskins.

4. Will the Jets actually follow through on Rex Ryan’s guarantee? On multiple occasions, Rex Ryan has predicted a Jets’ Super Bowl victory. Last May, in a display of unity, Bart Scott backed his coach by saying the Jets would be a “joke” by not following through on the latest guarantee. Such confidence is why they rarely lack swagger and intensity, which makes them one of the most captivating teams to watch in the league. Their reputation has been forged with stingy defense — last season, it ranked third in the league in yards allowed per game — but the offense wasn’t bad either, tallying the fourth-most rushing yards per game in the league. The continued development of Mark Sanchez and the passing game could prevent Ryan from looking like a “joke.”

5. Will the Patriots’ new veterans propel the team to the Super Bowl? Attempting to keep up with their division rival, the Patriots have added a few big names. Bill Belichick is now faced with maximizing the contributions of Chad Ochocinco, Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis in an effort to reverse his team’s recent playoff misfortunes. Ellis, who always performed well against the Pats, was selected by the Jets in the first round of the 2000 draft with the pick they were awarded when Belichick left for the Pats. The obstacles of age and attitude haven’t slowed the coach in the past, and he figures to have his latest assemblage of characters competing for a deep playoff run.

6. Will Peyton Manning finally succumb to injury? In 13 NFL seasons, Manning has never missed a game and has only missed one snap due to injury, a remarkable feat for arguably the best quarterback of his era. Now at age 35, rebounding from a second neck surgery, there’s doubt as to whether he’ll last an entire season. Backup quarterback Curtis Painter has been running the first team offense in training camp, allowing Manning to fully recuperate. On the heels of inking a five-year, $90 million contract, Manning will undoubtedly be motivated to justify the deal. But the question remains: will he get the help he needs on offense? A setback or lack of progression could enable the Texans or Jaguars to capture their first AFC South title.

7. Can Kevin Kolb shine as a consistent starter? The surprising reemergence of Michael Vick made Kolb expendable, prompting the Eagles to find him a new home in Arizona. Exchanged for Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick, his arrival makes the Cardinals contenders in the weak NFC West despite the fact that he’s only started seven games in his career. A Super Bowl team three seasons ago under the guidance of Kurt Warner, the Cardinals’ offense has sputtered, falling from the one of the best in the league in yards per game in 2008 to the second-worst in 2010. Ideally, the Kolb and Fitzgerald tandem will anchor the offense for the next several years.

8. Will Tim Tebow get a shot? Grins of astonishment from NFL brass followed the surprise selection of Tebow in the first round of the 2010 draft. However, his performance as a starter in three games at the end of last season under interim head coach Eric Studesville caught many by surprise, as he showed promise throwing and running the ball. Kyle Orton remains the favorite to win the starting gig heading into the season, but Tebow still has the opportunity secure it as his own — if he can continue to overcome the naysayers. Recently, Merril Hoge lambasted him on Twitter, writing that “It’s embarrassing to think the broncos could win with tebow.” That evoked a response from LeBron James, who in turn tweeted “Tim Tebow will succeed in the NFL.” There are some believers.

9. Which new teams will make playoff runs? Last season, the upstart Bucs narrowly missed the playoffs in the difficult NFC South. Josh Freeman elevated his game, tossing more than 3,000 yards, 23 touchdowns and just six interceptions. His growth, along with the emergence of LeGarrette Blount, could help the team secure a Wild Card berth. The Lions are a sexy pick with Suh and Stafford leading their defense and offense, but the injuries of rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley and rookie running back Mikel Leshoure, who’ll miss the season with a torn Achilles tendon, are disconcerting. The Texans improved their defense by hiring Wade Phillips as the new coordinator, focusing their draft on pass rushers, and then signing Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning to bolster their historically ineffective secondary. The Cardinals, as previously mentioned, now have a competent quarterback to potentially take advantage of a weak division.

10. Who will win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes? Already dubbed the best quarterback prospect in a decade by many experts, Luck has general managers of bad teams salivating for next year’s No. 1 pick. Of course, had Luck declared for the 2011 draft, it’s likely that he would be the Panthers’ starting quarterback in week one. A Heisman runner-up and Pac-10 All-Academic second team selection, Luck is considered the entire package, boasting brains, brawn and the lineage — his father, Oliver, played four season for the Houston Oilers. Come late season, the worst teams in the league will be vying for the worst record and a chance to secure the Peyton Manning-like franchise-changer.

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Chiefs WR Jonathan Baldwin fractures thumb in lockerrom fight

Jonathan Baldwin is regarded as another pass-catching problem child getting injured in a fight with veteran running back Thomas Jones, a man who commands respect and admiration in the locker room for his work ethic and dedication.   Kevin Kietzman of 810 WHB in Kansas City reports that Baldwin cracked his thumb and did not break his wrist as earlier reported. Kietzman also reports that the trouble started a day before the Jones-Baldwin fight, when Baldwin got into a heated exchange with running back Jamaal Charles.   The problem apparently is Baldwin; Kietzman reports that “some vets indicate they can’t stand Baldwin’s sense of entitlement.”-Excerpts from ProFootballTalk and 810 WHB in Kansas City.

Draft Rewind 2011: What Ourlads Guide To The NFL Draft said about Baldwin:

Junior entry. Two-year starter. Productive, big physical receiver with long arms and big hands. Excellent reach radius. A hand catcher who can pluck the low ball off his shoe tops or make the one-handed, over the head catch. Can catch the ball and make a play when he’s covered. Uses his body to screen off the defender. Plays the split end or “x” receiver spot and is isolated one on one with corners at times. Takes advantage of the match-up with his imposing size. Good body balance. Attacks the ball at the high point. Powerful long strider. A playmaker with over 20 career receptions of 40-yards or more, including 11 for touchdowns. We’ve seen him dominate and we’ve seen him look mediocre. Needs to take pride in his route running and fine tune his overall game. A high maintenance receiver who has raw tools and talent. Can be an all-pro or a journeyman. It’s up to him. Career stats: 128-2337 yds, 18.3 ypr, 16 TDs. OSR:8/43. Second/third round. (A-33 5/8, H-10 1/8, VJ-42, SS-4.34).

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NFL Opening a Can of Worms in Pryor Case ?

SPECIAL TO OURLADS’ BLOG by David Sanders

There is naturally plenty to be excited about now that the NFL lockout has ended and the season is within days of beginning. Many people have begun to look into free NFL Sunday ticket, set up their fantasy football leagues, and prepare to watch some great football this season. Also worth noting, however, are some potentially very significant policies and decisions that the NFL has stuck to on its way into this season, which could have huge effects going forward.

Most recently, and perhaps most significantly, the NFL made a very important ruling regarding former Ohio State star Terrelle Pryor. As you have probably heard by now if you are someone who follows the sports world, Pryor has basically been under investigation and scrutiny for selling merchandise (such as a championship ring and an award he won) for money during his college career. While the items sold were his personal property, the money is basically considered an “unfair benefit,” because it is a direct result of athletic success.

Pryor, having signed with NFL super-agent Drew Rosenhaus, recently entered the NFL supplemental draft, and was selected by the Oakland Raiders. However, because of the unique nature and timing of his offenses in college, the NFL basically ruled that Pryor had not been sufficiently punished, banning him for his first 5 games with the Raiders. Pryor has accepted the penalty, and Drew Rosenhaus recently stated that they would not appeal the ruling; Rosenhaus has also said that Pryor will be one of the league’s top quarterbacks in a matter of years.

The significance in all of this is not what happens with Pryor, but rather what kind of precedent the NFL’s handling of the situation has set. It is not often that we see the college/professional line breached to this extend, with the NFL punishing a player for something that happened in college. Generally, turning professional offers players a “clean slate” of sorts. Does the Terrelle Pryor ruling represent a shift in this policy?

Already, there are a number of specific instances that come to mind when considering what might happen if the NFL starts punishing players or coaches for college mistakes. For example, will we see Seahawks coach Pete Carroll or Dolphins running back Reggie Bush punished for their violations at USC? As the drama unfolds around the University of Miami football program’s serious violations, will we see professional players from Miami punished or suspended? It is an interesting dilemma to consider, and it is also one that could easily spread to other sports… is it fair to punish players so far down the line, once they turn professional? Is it worse to let people get away with violations simply because they graduated or left a school before the violations were discovered? Is this even the NFL’s call to make?

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Dan Shonka Part I: Confidence and Competitiveness

SPECIAL TO OURLADS BLOG by Matt Waldman

The following blog is a reprint by permission of the first in a series of five articles by Matt Waldman that was posted on his blog: http://mattwaldmanrsp.com/

Theory and practice, the ivory tower and the battleground. People will tell you that one is more beneficial than the other. I believe there’s not only a place for both, but they complement each other.

I think NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell is one of the preeminent theorists of player evaluation. I call him a football theorist because he’s never played, coached, or scouted the game in an organization. Yet, this lack of practical experience doesn’t detract from his insights.

In many cases, it allows Cosell to step back and ask questions that NFL teams and personnel would like to think about. Chad Reuter is a similar kind of theorist. In fact he’s done research for NFL teams that lack the time or the knowledge to explore on their own. Thinkers have an important place in the world even if they purposely are doing work in quiet rooms away from the realities of the environments they study.

If Cosell and Reuter are football theorists, then I think it’s accurate to describe Ourlads’ Dan Shonka as one of the ultimate practitioners of football evaluation. Shonka has 39 years of football experience as a player, college recruiter, college coach, and a combined 16 years as a NFL scout for National Football Scouting Service, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Redskins, and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Last week Shonka agreed to speak with me about scouting, players, and the NFL. Our scheduled 60 minutes turned into two hours of football talk that flew by. Dan was afraid I got more than I bargained for, but I told him that I got exactly what I wanted – just more than I could have expected. Whereas Cosell often questions the NFL evaluation system (something I do frequently as a theorist and not a practitioner), Shonka’s war stories reflect how a someone actually deals with the way “things are,” and not how they “should be.”

This segment of our conversation included stories about Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and the players and systems of Brigham Young and Cal. These stories are terrific, but for me the most valuable nuggets I gleaned from Shonka’s tales is the importance (and real life examples) of confidence and competitiveness in a football player.

Waldman: Former scouts that I’ve had conversations with say that scouting reports are designed to give a quick hitting overview of a player, because there are so many players to review and such little time. Can you give me a basic description of what your reports at the National Football Scouting Service were like?

Shonka: If you go to our website you’ll find Kurt Warner’s report, that’s the actual report form that we use. There’s a story behind that report, too. I know I was the only scout to write about Kurt Warner.

Waldman: How do you know?

Shonka: The reason I know that is because I tried to get quarterbacks to the combine to throw. They always get three [quarterbacks] every year to throw to the backs and tight ends during the week. They do different drills along with the other quarterbacks that come in that are the higher-graded players.

Those higher-graded players don’t want to burn their arms up, but these other quarterbacks you bring in to do all of this throwing. It is also designed so you can get other teams to look at them.

So I called (National Football Scouting director) Duke Babb up and told him that I had two quarterbacks in my area that I would like to bring into the Combine to throw so teams could look at them. I told him that one of my quarterbacks only played his senior year and he’s a good quarterback who I gave a 5.0 grade, which is a “make it,” grade.

Babb told me he’d call the independents – at the time there were six teams, two of them were Oakland and San Francisco – and B.L.E.S.T.O. and see what grades they have on this guy. Well, B.L.E.S.T.O. didn’t write him up and the independents didn’t either, so we couldn’t bring him in. That quarterback was Kurt Warner.

Waldman: Who was the other guy?

Shonka: The other guy they all wrote up as a prospect. So we brought him in – Paul Burmeister of NFL Network – he was the other quarterback that I recommended and the other groups had graded him.

I don’t think it shows up on my report on Kurt Warner, but the reason I got a copy of my report was Packers GM Ron Wolf. I couldn’t even get my report from National after Warner made it for the first time with the Rams. I called National to get a copy of my report and they told me it was down in a vault in Tulsa on reel of microfiche.

So I called Ron Wolf and asked for a copy of my National report. He told me yes and got it out of his file cabinet. He told me that they didn’t even write a report on Warner. They signed him off my report. They signed him as a free agent. That’s why I know that no one else did a report on Warner except for me.

Waldman: Great story….

Shonka: Well you know Matt, I tried to get Warner into Philadelphia in ’97 – or maybe it was ’98 – and there was an office guy in Green Bay that Philadelphia hired as an office guy. When I pitched Warner he said, “Warner wouldn’t even go on the field and take snaps in Green Bay. He can’t play.”

I told him the kid could play and the reason he didn’t go on the field was because he didn’t know the offense. It wasn’t because he didn’t have the talent. Long story short, they didn’t bring him into Philadelphia but it all kind of worked out for him, didn’t it?

Waldman: Yeah, I’d say that first year was pretty magical in St. Louis.

Shonka: Ironically enough, I was at the Rams-Chargers preseason game scouting the both teams’ personnel when Rodney Harrison hurt Trent Green’s knee.

Trent Green was another player I wrote up from my area for National. He went to Indiana. Bobby Beathard called me about Trent and drafted him out of Indiana. Trent’s parents are from Cedar Rapids where I live. Although Trent never really lived here, he was from Saint Louis…

Waldman: What did Beathard ask you about Green?

Shonka: He told me that they really liked him, but every time Indiana played Iowa he didn’t have a good game. I said, “Bobby, he was pressing too hard. He’s from Cedar Rapids, which is 30 miles from Iowa City and he had a lot of relatives there and Iowa didn’t recruit him. He was trying too hard so he didn’t look great. But he’s a very good quarterback.” I gave him a 6th or 7th round grade and I think they drafted him in the 6th round (check).

Waldman: What were some of the important lessons about player evaluation that you learned while working at National and with the various NFL teams?

Shonka: As much as I used to fight it, a guy definitely has to have measurables. There are rarities, but you’ve got to be able to have the measurables for a position. You just don’t play offensive tackle at 6’1”, 285 lbs. no matter how good you’re feet are because you have to have those long arms to handle those pass rushers.

But maybe above all – and it’s hard to determine this unless you really, really study guys – is a player’s confidence in his own ability. I don’t mean false confidence. I was with three different NFL teams and a lot of good major college teams and a lot of these guys are like little kids [in the way that] they question their confidence.

I don’t think the great players ever really question their confidence and their competitiveness. Those are the two big things: confidence and competitiveness.

Waldman: Any examples of how you’ve spotted this about a players as a scout in addition to watching film?

Shonka: When I went up to Tom Brady’s workout – he was in my area – I gave him a fourth-round grade. When I talked to Lloyd Carr I asked him, “Am I missing something coach? I like this guy and it doesn’t seem like there aren’t a lot of guys who like him the way that I do.”.

Not that it made any difference to me, I used to like guys and stand by it without caring what other people thought. But I wanted to know if there was something I was missing and was just doing my due diligence.

Carr said, “Listen Dan, there is one thing that Tom Brady has that people can’t see. He’s the most competitive guy that I have ever been around.” He then told me the story about the time they recruited Drew Henson – a great athlete and highly recruited in football and baseball – and they put Henson ahead of Brady on the first team. Carr told me that he never saw Tom more pissed off than when he came into my office and wanted to know what was going on.

Brady told Carr, “Listen, Henson didn’t beat me out and you put this guy ahead of me. I’m the better quarterback and I was never beat out and I want to know what’s going on?!”

Lloyd said that was the most pissed off and upset he had ever seen Tom. He said Tom was always super-competitive, but people could never pick up on that. And you know, he was a gangly guy. He didn’t run great, but he threw the ball pretty well. He didn’t have the big gun, but he had great anticipation.

When you think of these really good quarterbacks – take Warner, who had a really good arm, but he didn’t have a big, big rifle on him and Brady’s arm got stronger – those guys had such great anticipation and they could put the ball where they wanted to. I think the two biggest things that I learned about football players – and you don’t specialize in any position when you are a team scout or an area scout – is competitiveness and the true confidence in their own ability.

Waldman: Great examples. Do you have any others?

Shonka: Peyton Manning was in my area when he was at the University of Tennessee. I was at the facility around ‘98 watching tape one night, because during the day sometimes you can’t get a lot of work done with all the scouts in there – especially if there are only 1-2 rooms to watch tape.

Guys will come in at different times. Several try to come in at 7-8 in the morning to get their tape work done, visit with the trainers and strength people, and then the academic people, and the pro liaison. So a lot of times I would stay late after practice because really to be honest with you Matt, you should probably go to practice first and then look at the tape because if you look at tape all day and go out to the practice field and realize the guy has skinny legs (or some deficiency with his body) where he’s not going to be able to hold up in the NFL you’d rather know that first before you watch a lot of film. Film can fool you at times.

Anyway, I was out late working. It was about 10:30 pm and I was up watching tape and I was getting thirsty. I don’t know if you’ve been to the University of Tennessee but the indoor facility has a balcony around the top and there are meeting rooms up there. So I had to go downstairs to look for a can of soda and I see a guy in the corner working out and there was a spotlight on him.

It was almost an epiphany type of moment for me because the rest of the indoor facility was dark except for this guy in the lit corner and he hears me walking around. He yells out, “Hey coach! What are you looking for?”

So I realize it’s Peyton and I walk over to talk with him a little bit because I had met him earlier in the day. I was visiting with the strength coach in the gym and Peyton introduced himself to me and told me to say hello to all the Eagles guys who were from Tennessee like Charlie Garner, Tommy Hutton, and Bubba Miller. So when I get over to where he’s working out in this corner of the gym I ask him what he’s doing up so late working out?

“Coach, I’ve got so many weaknesses that I’ve got to work on. There’s not enough time in the day. Tonight I’m working on my drop back,” he says. He was pretending the center was there and he was working on his footwork and foot quickness from the center to the drop point. I saw him later pulling a two-man sled. I don’t know what that was about. But I thought this guy has got to become famous someday because of his work ethic.

He’s working at 10:30 pm at night and nobody else is around. Peyton said to me that he had so many weaknesses to work on and his feet were one of them. He’d do drills at night by himself working on getting better. I left him there to go get my soda and go back upstairs to watch tape.

Waldman: I remember a guy whose story struck me in that vein of competitiveness and it was his teammate Austin Collie. When you look at him physically, he has strong acceleration off the line and great hands but not great top-end speed. But what stuck out to me were the stories that he would work out every night with B.Y.U. QB Max Hall after dinner.

That work ethic was something I picked up on and when the Colts drafted Collie the first thing I thought was that Collie and Manning would be a perfect match as teammates because they both love to work on their own time.

Shonka: I’ll tell you what, I loved Austin Collie because he’s got great hands and rarely does he ever drop the ball. I gave him good grades for OurLads’. But you know what, I got hooked on those B.Y.U. players when I was with Philadelphia.

I signed tight end Chad Lewis and he made the Pro Bowl as an undrafted free agent. He was a little older – he was 25 – like a lot of the Eagles guys, but they are often more mature and I used to love visiting out there. Sasquatch Mountain is out there and it’s a beautiful place to go to school. Lavell Edwards was out there and he was always very honest with you about players.

I got to know Ty Detmer when he was at Philadelphia. There was another guy who was an example of when you talk about great anticipation. You’d be at practice during training camp and watch the guys and stand behind them and watch Ty throw and for a split-second think, Where the heck is Ty going with that…NICE THROW TY!

(Laughter)

His anticipation was just rare. Just like Warner. Just like Brady. They just have great anticipation to throw through windows that aren’t there but they are going to open up through film study.

Waldman: Another BYU guy I really liked and I think will be starting in this league in time is John Beck.

Shonka: Oh yeah, you know I gave Beck a second-round grade. You know, the only thing I think that Mike Shanahan his trying to do is get into the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. We know what Rex Grossman is.

He’s a backup who plays good in streaks and he’ll make mistakes and inopportune times. Of course he had the big injury history when he first got to the Bears, but we know what he is. But we don’t really know what Beck is. In fact, I think Shanahan said he liked him when he evaluated him in college.

Waldman: He did, but I don’t think Shanahan is necessarily trying to get into the Luck sweepstakes as much as he probably believes – and I’m obviously speculating – that if he starts Beck immediately then he’ll probably have to pull Beck earlier if Beck struggles. However if Grossman struggles, he can give Grossman the hook earlier and keep Beck in the lineup for a longer period of time without pressure to make another move since he already played the Grossman card.

Shonka: That could be. That’s a good point and you very well may be right about that. I liked Beck, too. I like those BYU players and I know you shouldn’t really put a label on players based on where they’re from. For example University of Texas offensive linemen are said to look the part, but don’t play well in the league. And Nebraska didn’t throw out a lot of pro offensive linemen for periods of time, either. They had some great ones, but…

So then you’re looking at other places like Iowa who kicks out linemen like it’s a factory. But BYU players – and I have the same feeling about Cal players – for some reason at least in my experience the Cal players would always play and be the starters. I don’t know if it was their smarts, because guys who go to Cal had to have the grades, I haven’t really analyzed it, but they produce.

As a scout you’re actually more of a profiler. My profiles say good things about those Cal players. But you’ll also find great players like Warner at I-AA or Fred Jackson at Division III, so I don’t think there’s any set guideline. Great football players can be found anywhere.

Tomorrow: Shonka shares some stories as a participant in various NFL war rooms leading to and during the draft.

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Dan Shonka Part II: War Room Stories

SPECIAL TO OURLADS BLOG by Matt Waldman

The following blog is a reprint by permission of the second in a series of five articles by Matt Waldman that was posted on his blog: http://mattwaldmanrsp.com/

I think it’s accurate to describe Ourlads’ Dan Shonka as one of the ultimate practitioners of football evaluation. Shonka has 39 years of football experience as a player, college recruiter, college coach, and a combine 16 years as a NFL scout for National Scouting Service, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Redskins, and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Last week, Shonka agreed to speak with me about scouting, players, and the NFL. The scheduled 60 minutes became two hours of football talk that flew by. Dan was afraid I got more than I bargained for, but I told him that I got exactly what I wanted – just more than I could have expected.

This segment of our conversation included war room stories about perhaps the greatest linebacker of a generation, a cornerback who had some great battles with Michael Irvin, a disruptive defensive tackle, and a backup running back from the University Texas whose first name is Anthony but went by a more holy moniker.

Waldman: One of the former scouts I spoke with recently told me that the better teams tend to have a good balance with what a coach wants, but the GM doesn’t allow the coach run the draft room because they simply haven’t watched enough tape to know the players that always fit their schemes, something which the scouts have seen. However there are some coaches that do get to run the draft room and the results are mixed.

Shonka: And that happens. I used to wonder what they were thinking. The team would bring in a college coach who used to coach a position and now he has say on a player at his position, but he hasn’t seen the whole country. He hasn’t seen all the guys that over the top scouts do.

I talked to [former 49er, Cardinals, and Rams scout] Dave Razzano a couple of weeks ago when his son played at a Cooperstown baseball tournament that my son played at when he was 10 years old. We were talking about that. He mentioned that [Michael Silver article]. He liked [John] Beck too, and that’s three of us who liked Beck. He asked me if I liked him.

Dave was a very good scout. I knew his dad Tony. He came to Philadelphia as a consultant while I was scouting there and I spent a lot of years with Tony. Dave knows players and sees stuff a little more black and white than I do, but that’s okay because you want guys with opinions. But if you’re going to say something about a guy you better know about him – good or bad.

Waldman: Do you have any war room examples on draft day?

Shonka: Here’s a great example: On the day of the draft, you’ve got your board set and you pretty much know the direction that you’re going to go and then you have a coach saying that he needs a receiver. But I always believed that you stick with your board and go with your best players.

Prior to one draft I had been to Florida State and worked out this big defensive tackle. The year before he had actually out-played a first-round draft choice. The guy was Orpheus Roye and I really liked him.

I talked to Orpheus at the Combine and asked him why he played so [poorly] his senior year. He says, “Coach I didn’t tell anybody. but I had a sprained ankle.”

So I called his trainers and asked if his story was true and they said, “Dan he had a high ankle sprain all year and he wasn’t the same guy he was as a junior.”

Anyway we had a receivers coach who really wanted this receiver who I can’t remember by name, but he was also from Florida State. I remember asking in the draft room, “We’re going to take a receiver who can’t catch – and I know he ran a 4.38, I timed him and I know he can run – but we’re going to take him over a 6’5”, 284-lb guy who ran 4.78 in the sixth round?”

Well, they took that receiver and passed on Orpheus Roye who I had as a first-round player as a junior. When he went to the Steelers that season he was on the kick off team! If you listen to your scouts you take Orpheus Roye, you don’t take a receiver who can’t catch.

Waldman: I remember Roye on kick off duty! That was pretty amazing. I know that former scouts like Matt Williamson have told me that watching for a team can be different than watching players without a team in mind.

Shonka: Here’s another good example of what happens when coaches look at tape. They are often looking at something a little bit different than scouts are. They are often looking at players and how they play within their scheme. Well I won’t tell you who the linebacker coach is, but he’s been in the league a long time and we got back from lunch and he said to me, ”Hey Dan, I looked at that linebacker you liked from Miami and I don’t think he can play. I like this guy at Oregon a lot better.”

I said, “I think you and I better go downstairs and watch him because this son of a gun is a really good football player.”

So we go downstairs and another scout is with me and he says, “Dan, he’s a coach now, he can get you fired.”

I said, “I don’t care! If this guy thinks a linebacker named Asher is better than Ray Lewis then I’m going to get fired!”

(Laughter)

So anyway, I convinced him that Ray Lewis was better than that linebacker at Oregon. Later in the year, we played Baltimore during the preseason and Ray Lewis made like 15 tackles and that linebacker coach comes over to me and says, “pretty f–ing good, isn’t he?”

(Laughter)

I told this coach that he was looking at a specific scheme that this guy can fit. I’m looking at a great football player you can coach and put him anywhere. The thing that comes out of it is that all the coaches I work for – and even now I have coaches calling me that I help out and stack their position reports when they go in for their meeting – is they don’t always know about the guys they should be looking at.

There’s one offensive line coach and his scouting department didn’t even have the guys on their list, but they ended up drafting them and I told him about both guys. He told me, “Dan, I don’t even have both guys on my list!” I told him that he better go look at them. He drafted both of them.

Waldman: I would think that coaches have relationships with other coaches, especially pro and college coaches, and that is factor in players they’re looking at.

Shonka: Dick Vermeil for example. When I was an area scout for the Chiefs Albert Haynesworth was my highest rated guy. I had my area, but I was the defensive line expert in Kansas City that year. And John Bunting the head coach at North Carolina that year had Ryan Sims.

I told the team that Albert Haynesworth is a pain in the rear. The guy is an ornery son of a gun, but nobody can block him. I told them Ryan Sims wasn’t even in the same class.

But because Dick liked Bunting and Bunting played for him at Philadelphia as a linebacker, Vermeil takes Sims. And Sims has been nothing more than a journeyman whereas Albert – and I don’t like him kicking Gurode in the head and all that and the stuff he did in Washington – but he was clearly the better football player.

Waldman: If you had a chance to head up any NFL organization’s talent evaluation program what would you change about the process or the system?

Shonka: I would hire probably some veteran scouts to just do film evaluation and then go to the Senior Bowl and the other All-Star games to “smell the players’ breath” so to speak. Because often times with the real good scouts you’re wasting their ability by driving, waiting in airports and things like that.

If you want to be a smooth-moving machine and get a lot of good opinions on players you’d hire these veteran scouts that have played the game – it doesn’t mean it makes you a great scout, but it helps you because you’ve been around schemes – or you’ve coached. But anybody that has a passion and can’t live without it has a chance to be a good scout. If you really love it, but you have to get somebody to open the door for you too.

That would be the thing that I would do. You’d want the younger guys to go get the height, weight, and speed. You really get that at the Combine and the all-star games. But the big thing I would do is have the experienced guys watch the film.

Still, everybody’s experience is different. You can have five scouts, six scouts, or eight scouts sit in a room and look at the same frickin’ tape and you’re going to get eight different opinions. Three of them might say this guy can play! And you might have five say this guy will never play in the league.

Waldman: It’s one of the reasons I use the process I do. While I have no coaching or playing experience, I worked in an environment where I had to learn how to evaluate performance.

You want people to understand what they are looking at in the context of the expectations that you set. You have to be able to define what “good is.” But with the way football is right now, that’s a challenge to get that intensive about the process itself.

I’m going to send you a post I wrote that presents that exact premise of having several people in the room looking at the same thing and each coming away with a different take. Up to a point I think you can get people on the same page with work, but never completely. If you define enough things clearly then people can get on the same page at least enough that they have a working knowledge of the expectations you have for them. And this creates a better starting point for evaluators to have a discussion.

Shonka: You want different opinions. Some directors want you to change a grade to reflect theirs, but I wouldn’t do that. I’d rather have us look at the report a few years down the line to see who was right.

Differences of opinion happen a lot. I was sitting with a colleague while we were at the University of Texas and I really liked this back up running back. He was a starter in the Sun Bowl and put up 200 yards, but he had an injury earlier in his career.

I was with the Eagles then and it was at that time I wrote up Priest Holmes’ report, which is also in the same section of Ourlads’ with the Kurt Warner report I mentioned earlier. I said to this colleague that he might want to take a look at this running back. I told him that he might not be the starter because of Ricky Williams, but if he looked at this runner’s sophomore tape he’d see that this kid is an outstanding player and although he’s had some injuries he’s a helluva running back..

I told him that he kind of reminds me of Kimble Anders because Kimble Anders was at Kansas City at that time. That guy said to me, “[Priest Holmes] is nothing like Kimble Anders,” and he was exactly right – he was a lot better
(Laughter)

Another time I was sitting with another colleague in Arizona because I was at the University of Arizona the day before and I was watching tape. I generally like to watch tape by myself because I tend to take it a little slower. Some guys go in and I swear they look at three offensive linemen at once.

I can’t do that. I like to take my time, look at these guys, and look at as much tape on them as I can. And if I see something that I really like about a player then I look at even more. Anyway, I was sitting with another colleague and we were the only two in the room and I said take a look at this linebacker.

There’s a great one as a sophomore and that was Lance Briggs. He was super, but there’s a senior linebacker who I think is a really good linebacker. He’s active, competitive, he’s always around the ball and he looked at him for half a tape and he said, “This guy will never play,” and that was Antonio Pierce. I signed Antonio for the Redskins.

I think that’s the thing that’s frustrating because sometimes you have to evaluate the evaluator…

Waldman: And that’s the name of the post I’m sending you…

Shonka: That’s the thing. It’s about doing the work. Eventually those who don’t do the work get fired. You have to do the work and stand up for who you like. When I was with Philadelphia I have another story about a player and this one I stood up for. I absolutely loved this corner out of Notre Dame. Nobody liked him like I liked him. Our secondary coach didn’t even like him…

Waldman: Bobby Taylor?

Shonka: Yeah, it was Bobby Taylor. And what I’m going to tell you is that it was my first or second draft with Philadelphia. Kansas City called and they really wanted this receiver that we had – Victor Bailey – he played at Missouri.

He didn’t fit into our plans. He always had pulls and he was always hurt and he was one of those players who was a real good athlete, but not a real good football player. For some odd reason Kansas City wanted the guy.

Well we go through the first round and six corners were taken. So I go over to Emmitt Thomas who was our coordinator and I tell him that my best corner is still out there. Emmitt said, “You know, Bobby’s so tall and he has to really work to bend to make tackles.”

I said, “But Emmitt, the number one thing about this guy is that Bobby is ultra competitive and I’m going to tell you that’s the guy who is going to match up with Michael Irvin. If we’re ever going to beat Dallas we’ve got to have somebody who is going to take care of Michael Irvin.”

So we go over to Ray Rhodes and Emmitt tells Ray that my corner is still there and Kansas City wants to make a trade for Bailey and give us the 50th pick in the draft and we might still be able to get Bobby Taylor.

Ray says, “Let me check with Mr. Lurie,” so he goes and talks with Mr. Lurie and they say go ahead make the deal. We get Bobby Taylor and after Thomas gets through coaching him – a great coach by the way – Taylor makes three Pro Bowls. I tell you what, go back to the stats and he shuts down Michael Irvin nearly every game.

That was the thing, see. A lot of people didn’t realize how competitive Bobby was. It was kind of funny because he would always make these great plays like the Florida State game when FSU was a big favorite. Bobby blocked a punt and ran it in for a touchdown. Some people just have that knack to make the great play at the most opportune time.

The other thing that threw people off with Bobby is that he was very shy, very quiet. But boy was he competitive, holy cow! He averaged 25 points a game in high school basketball. But he was a very shy guy and he was that way in Philadelphia. People didn’t think he’d come up and knock you on your ass in run support, but he was 6’3” and he’s gotta bend. Still, he’d grab you and throw you down. The bottom line was he was making the play.

Tomorrow: Shonka conducts a mini seminar on what techniques can or can’t be learned according to positions on the field.

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Dan Shonka Part III: Positional School

SPECIAL TO OURLADS BLOG by Matt Waldman

The following blog is a reprint by permission of the third in a series of five articles by Matt Waldman that was posted on his blog: mattwaldmanrsp.com/

I think it’s accurate to describe Ourlads’ Dan Shonka as one of the ultimate practitioners of football evaluation. Shonka has 39 years of football experience as a player, college recruiter, college coach, and a combine 16 years as a NFL scout for National Scouting Service, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Redskins, and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Last week, Shonka agreed to speak with me about scouting, players, and the NFL. The scheduled 60 minutes became two hours of football talk that flew by. Dan was afraid I got more than I bargained for, but I told him that I got exactly what I wanted – just more than I could have expected.

I asked Shonka to indulge me in a game where I named a position on the field and he talked about skills he looked for that could or couldn’t be learned if the player didn’t exhibit them in the college game.

Waldman: Let’s play a game. I’ll name a position and you tell me about that position’s skill sets or attributes that either a prospect can develop easily or you tell me about specific skills that can’t be developed as easily.

Shonka: First, let me tell you that that No.1 thing that you have to have besides competitiveness and confidence is smarts. You’ve got to be smart. You know that’s probably killed more players than anything – the inability for players to learn fast.

Coaches are under so much pressure to win that those guys get left behind even if they are pretty good athletes or potential players. You have to be smart. You have to be able to grasp things quickly.

Waldman: You definitely have to think and process fast. I was just writing about receivers the other day and how many fine players early in their careers had drops as pros when they demonstrated good hands in college. A lot of that I attributed that to learning the system, new techniques, and that they aren’t processing things fast enough, which is distracting them from making plays that were once second nature to them.

They’re clouded with too many things to think about. Antonio Brown this year compared to last year and his decisiveness on the field is a great example. His skills are emerging on the field because he’s not longer thinking so hard about which route option he has to run or how he gets off a jam. He’s working in a more intuitive fashion.

Shonka: You’re exactly right. This is the thing that kills good football players. That’s what I was referring to about smarts. When you put a great athlete in a complex system he’s not a great athlete any more. He gets slower.

It’s not that the game slows down because you’re so much more experienced. What happens is that your brain isn’t reading and reacting as quickly when you’re inexperienced at the pro level. Take a pro-caliber linebacker for instance. He’s not thinking about stepping with his right foot as a take off and then using his left arm to shed and get underneath pads and do all that.

He just did it naturally. If he’s thinking about doing all those other things he’s no longer that great player. You might as take that son of a gun in the fourth round instead of the first one.

Waldman: I always think of it as fluidity or having an on field IQ. It all connects to the idea that the faster you can process without thinking consciously about it the more you can maximize your skills on the field. The more you have to think about it, the slower you get no matter how athletic you are.

Shonka: Right.

Waldman: So let’s get back to this little game here. Tell me about the safety position and what a prospect can learn when he shows competitiveness, confidence, and intelligence on the field.

Shonka: This is the other sticky wicket, how your scheme works is important. Some secondary schemes have a safety play the strong or the free whereas some schemes have a definite strong player who plays run support and is an alley player. They will be locked up on the tight end but they don’t have to worry about getting back as a free safety. They might play some halves of the field but that’s about it. Whereas other teams have that free safety that covers sideline to sideline.

Anyway, for a safety the thing that is learn-able if they have all the physical abilities that the position needs is learning not to take false steps in coverage. They can certainly improve once they get technique down. Then they won’t do that foot-fire in one place on the path to breaking up a pass. They can stick their foot in the ground and drive on the ball.

On an intellectual level – and this depends on the team they play for in college – a guy has to be able to communicate with the other safety and the corners new assignments and adjustments because of the demands of the spread offenses that require quick changes from the defense. Intellectually their ability to communicate can be taught. And physically it’s ending the tendency to take false steps ad close on the ball quicker.

Waldman: Any real life examples?
Shonka: The big safety Steve Atwater. When I was going through Arkansas the rap on him was that he wouldn’t hit anybody! I couldn’t believe it. I was wondering what kind of tapes these guys were looking at.

He goes to Denver and he’s a well-known big hitter. Everyone has seen the tapes of him hitting Christian Okoye. Some guys look like they aren’t that big of a hitter, but they could become one because once they improve on these techniques the big hitting shows up.

Waldman: How about linebacker?

Shonka: Believe me, I’ve seen more than one linebacker get hit in the chops with the analysis “he doesn’t have long arms.” Yeah, but he has great instincts and he’s waiting at the pass for him, too. I think instincts are innate and I don’t know if those things be improved a whole lot.

I think some guys can see it and explode on it and get there. But those instinctive guys will be waiting at the pass and they can be a little slower with that 40 time and if they have great instincts they still make the play because they can get there before the fast guy does.

But to learn it? Maybe the guy was a two-down linebacker in college and he can learn coverage to help out and learn to be a three-down linebacker I guess.

Waldman: Defensive End.

Shonka: You’ve got to be able to have speed off the edge. The one way you can really improve as a defensive end is your hands technique of shedding and not allowing a guy into your body. I thought Chris Long had great hands at Virginia, but he always got stuck on blocks at the next level. But now it’s starting to fall into place. Hand use can be improved in the pros.

Waldman: Running Back.

Shonka: I always thought God made those!

(Laughter)

I’ve asked great running backs “how did you do that?” and almost every one of them says, “I don’t know, I just felt it. I just did it. I don’t know how I did it. I ran with my eyes and boom.”

The No.1 one thing about running backs that they can improve upon is pass protection. They aren’t asked to do much more than run the ball in college and they don’t have much experience with pass protection. They have to be tough on blitz pickup so I think that’s one thing that they can come in the NFL with it as a weakness and improve upon it if they have the willingness to do so. They just have to be especially willing to stick their nose in there.

Waldman: Offensive Tackle.

Shonka: Technique. That’s the big thing. You have to really improve your techniques, but you also have to have really great lateral range to be a good offensive left tackle in the National Football League. Everything is so technique-oriented and that’s why some of those that come in early and play is because of pretty good coaching.

At Iowa they have great coaching, Kirk Ferentz coaches those offensive linemen. They may have an offensive line coach, but I guarantee you that Ferentz coaches those linemen. Same thing at Wisconsin they are well coached in the zone-blocking, inside stretch, outside zone blocking scheme. Those guys have an advantage coming into the league. But there are guys that don’t necessarily have that type of coaching when they enter the league.

One of the great offensive line coaches, and I’ve known him for 20 years and watched him coach at different places as well as recommended him to Philadelphia, is Bill Callahan. He’s tremendous.

I want to tell you something, Matt. The first time I talked to him was at Wisconsin. I knew him at Southern Illinois and other places, but I went into his office for the first time I saw how he grades his linemen on their footwork with a level of exactness I’ve never seen.

He has an individual page for each of them just on their footwork for that particular game.He looks at their steps size and grades them if their steps are too deep or if they opened up too much. His detail was unbelievable.

Waldman: Receiver.

Shonka: I’m with you in regards to catching the ball. It’s like a fish hook in my eye when I see pro receivers dropping balls. Especially when you see them catch the ball all the time in college.

I will say that most of the time if the guy doesn’t have really good hands in college it carries over in the NFL. But they can improve their hands by knowing their assignments and making it second nature to get off the line and catch the ball. They can get a Jugs machine and work on it and improve their hands and velocity.

Also, route running. One of the worst route runners in the league last year that came out in the last 2-3 years is Golden Tate. He was awful at Notre Dame. You wonder if he was ever coached at running routes.

There are receivers that do come out with good techniques as route runners. They know how to set up a defensive back. I think that’s one thing that can really be improved. You can really make great improvement on.

Waldman: Tight End.

Shonka: Now it’s really tough because most of these spread guys are in the slot, they stand up, and they don’t have to block. A tight must be able to bend and block and a lot of those guys are high cut and they really have to work to bend and block the edge.

Right now they are basically screen off type of guys and ultimately you see them screening guys off, but you still have to be able to block down and get the edge for toss sweeps and things like that. They have to really work to bend. They also have to work on their releases to get off even though a lot of the teams give the free releases.

The good teams don’t let you have a free release and you have to get off that line and get down the field and find your void in the zone and square your chest up for the QB to see your numbers. The blocking is really a big, big thing for tight ends.

Tomorrow: Shonka talks about specific draft prospects from the past and the present.

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Dan Shonka Part IV: Prospects Past and Present

SPECIAL TO OURLADS BLOG by Matt Waldman

The following blog is a reprint by permission of the fourth in a series of five articles by Matt Waldman that was posted on his blog: http://mattwaldmanrsp.com/

I think it’s accurate to describe Ourlads’ Dan Shonka as one of the ultimate practitioners of football evaluation. Shonka has 39 years of football experience as a player, college recruiter, college coach, and a combine 16 years as a NFL scout for National Scouting Service, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Redskins, and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Last week, Shonka agreed to speak with me about scouting, players, and the NFL. The scheduled 60 minutes became two hours of football talk that flew by. Dan was afraid I got more than I bargained for, but I told him that I got exactly what I wanted – just more than I could have expected.

In this segment of the conversation, Shonka talks about pro prospects from the past and present, including two players he thought would be great who didn’t pan out, a sneaky-good runner he and Wes Bunting both like, and his take on Andrew Luck.

Waldman: I’ve talked to Chad Reuter and Wes Bunting about players in the league now that exceeded or under performed to their expectations. Reuter mentioned Marcus McNeill exceeded his expectations. Bunting said that Aaron Maybin under performed to his expectations and he learned a big lesson about evaluating defensive ends as a result.

Bunting said he gained insight that a defensive end needs to have that “off-speed pitch” in their arsenal to fool linemen. Are there any NFL players in recent years that surprised you with their performance in the college game?

Shonka: To touch on Maybin first, we gave him a third-round grade because he had only played eight games and he had everything in my mind working against him. He was the same size as KGB up at Green Bay who was a fifth-round choice. I gave him a third-round grade and that was probably too high. But you know what? We were also one of the few that liked Marcus McNeill.

But one guy that was a disappointment to me and it could be for a lot of reasons and I saw him at his very very best in bowl games and I still remember the day that I was at Arizona State and watched Oregon play. Joey Harrington could throw the frickin ball and he was smart.

When I went to the University of Oregon with the Redskins back then Oregon went into overtime and this kid could throw lasers. When I went up there to make the school call, they had A.J. Feeley there and he was picked later by the Eagles and then they got a second round pick for him from the Dolphins.

Let me tell you something, there was no comparison. A.J. Feeley looked like the ball boy. Harrington looked like a classic pro quarterback. I had him rated higher than David Carr that year and they were both in my area. Harrington was so much more athletic, he was smart, and he could throw rockets. He could stand on the far hash and throw lasers of outs on the far side and he did it in games. He was spectacular in the Bowl game he won as a senior.

I think going to Detroit completely gutted his confidence. There were times I’d watch Detroit film and think why aren’t these receivers catching the ball?

I think this is a stat that should be changed in the National Football League: If the ball is in the receiver’s hands and it’s out of the receiver’s hands and intercepted then it counts against the receiver who couldn’t catch! You know what I mean? Not against the quarterback.

I really really liked Joey Harrington. He was competitive and everything I looked for in a quarterback I thought Joey had physically and mentally. He could have been a pianist, he was a total person not just some jock out there.

He was like a lot of those great quarterbacks who was smart, had other interests, but studied to be a great quarterback. I really thought he might get new life when he went to New Orleans for a stint and got coached by Sean Payton for a while. Sean was a great detail guy for quarterbacks and I felt Harrington could maybe get a new lease on life. If he went out of college to a coach like Payton I wondered if his career would have been different.

Waldman: Well I don’t really need to ask you my next question, which was ‘who is the most talented player you saw who didn’t have a great career in the NFL and what happened?’

Shonka: Yeah that’s a two-for-one answer for you. But then there’s Tony Mandarich. I did him like everybody else and God, he was just a beast at Michigan State and I still see the tape.

It was comical. As the left tackle he blocked down the defensive tackle who got knocked back into the inside linebacker on that side who then fell into and knocked down the linebacker on the other side! It was like dominoes. He was such a dominant blocker.

Everyone said that he was on juice but nobody could prove it. He was one helluva a college offensive tackle. That was another one that I thought would be a great, great player. The Green Bay Packers got sold a bill of goods on that deal because they bought something that wasn’t really there I guess.

Waldman: Speaking of players beloved by the evaluator community, what do you think of Stanford QB Andrew Luck?

Shonka: God, I tell you what…last year when I thought he might come out I looked at seven tapes on him and I really like him. I have to think really carefully about this, but he might be the closest to Peyton that I’ve seen in regards to his total package of his intelligence and skill set. He can run better than Peyton and he probably has better foot work than Peyton coming out. He’s probably more athletic than Peyton.

The only way we’ll know if he’s going to be that guy is if he’ll continue to work at it. With his dad being a pro quarterback, you have to believe he’ll spend time studying and become a great NFL quarterback. I think he’s competitive enough and he has a lot of pride in his name to pay the price to be a great NFL quarterback.

He does some special things going through his reads. Last year with Harbaugh they had an NFL west coast offense which is just loaded with terminology. When Steve Mariucci was at Cal calling plays I would stand behind him and hear him calling the plays we had here in Philadelphia. Schaub, the coach there now, uses the same terminology we used in Philadelphia. It’s the same terminology as Gruden, Holmgren and all those west coast guys.

And Andrew Luck is so smart and makes those checks and adjustments and makes so many good decisions. He’s the real deal. I just hope he doesn’t get injured – I’ll knock on wood. He’s a good enough athlete – he’s flexible, maybe he’ll bend rather than break.

Waldman: Are there any players at the college level that you like what you see out of them but the average fan might not know about them?

Shonka: A guy I like and he didn’t put big numbers up when he played Georgia, but Doug Martin of Boise State is a real tough guy. He’ll probably go in the fourth or fifth round. He’s a real tough guy with great vision and I think he’s a good football player.

I don’t know many people will know Kelechi Osemele from Iowa State, the offensive tackle there. He is 6-5, 335 and he goes up head to head with Aldon Smith the seventh pick in the draft and he couldn’t get close. They played the spread there, but still. The scouting community has certainly heard of him but possibly fans haven’t.

Waldman: Wes Bunting gave Doug Martin as well as his first answer.

Shonka: I favor Big Ten offensive lineman because I know the guys that coach them like Jim Bowman and Ohio State who was a coach with us at Philadelphia. He’s a good position coach. Then we talked about the Wisconsins and Iowas. But there’s another guy I like at Mississippi State who is a center that played guard last year by the name of Quentin Salisbury.

Good athlete, four-year starter, and boy he keeps those feet moving all the time. Active guy. He’d be another guy I think will be a third or fourth rounder but I liked his footwork and things like that. He would be another one that I kind of like.

Waldman: I like the comment you made about people standing out. The publication I write is limited to skill position players and I’ve been doing it for six years and I find that they do pop out at you. It’s usually several elements of their game and you can’t get enough of watching them. Guys I remember liking a lot were a Steve Smith of the Giants, Ahmad Bradshaw, or Matt Forte. I grade them on technique so sometimes their stats aren’t very good but they still grade high.

Shonka: You’re exactly right. It’s like an oasis in the desert. You live for those moments. But you have to look for them. Like Malcolm Gladwell said in his book Outliers it’s 10,000 hours before you’re competent at something. You just have to keep looking at tape and working at it.

Tomorrow: Shonka talks about how he got into scouting and tells stories about some of the jobs he’s held in the field.

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Dan Shonka Part V: Scouting Gigs

SPECIAL TO OURLADS BLOG by Matt Waldman

The following blog is a reprint by permission of the fifth in a series of five articles by Matt Waldman that was posted on his blog: http://mattwaldmanrsp.com/

I think it’s accurate to describe Ourlads’ Dan Shonka as one of the ultimate practitioners of football evaluation. Shonka has 39 years of football experience as a player, college recruiter, college coach, and a combine 16 years as a NFL scout for National Scouting Service, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Redskins, and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Last week, Shonka agreed to speak with me about scouting, players, and the NFL. The scheduled 60 minutes became two hours of football talk that flew by. Dan was afraid I got more than I bargained for, but I told him that I got exactly what I wanted – just more than I could have expected.

In this final installment of our conversation, Shonka tells how he became an NFL Scout and shares some of his experiences in the field.

Waldman: When and how did you get your first job as an NFL Scout?

Shonka: I coached on a variety of levels (see link at top of page for Shonka’s bio), but the way I got the job was kind of funny. I was coaching at New Mexico Highlands when Billy Kuharich from the New Orleans Saints called me because I had worked for him with the Philadelphia Stars (USFL). He asked me if I wanted to scout for him.

I told him no because I wanted to continue coaching. But I continued to think about it. The next year I called National Football Scouting, which is the biggest combine for the NFL, and they wouldn’t even take my call! Somebody told me that they get like 50 phone calls a week from people wanting to scout.

Then out of the blue, my father in-law was very ill and my wife and I moved back to Cedar Rapids to be near him. I told my wife I’d find a job there. While were in New Mexico I had visited with one of the more successful coaches in the Rocky Mountain Conference and he told me, “Dan I win 9-10 games every year and I never get a phone call about another coaching job.”

So I told Peggy, even though I’ve turned this program around it’s probably not going to be a stepping-stone so let’s go back to be with your father and I’ll find a job doing something. So we moved back to Iowa and I’m there probably a month to six weeks when I got a call from National Football Scouting.

They wanted to know if I’d be interested in scouting and if I would they’d send me a plane ticket to come see them. Long story short, I was actually hired simultaneously by the last director of national scouting Harry Buffington and Duke Babb the new director. It was Duke’s first hire and Harry’s last hire so that’s how I got into it.

I was recommended by John Fitzpatrick. He used to scout for National and he came through my area when I was at New Mexico Highlands and I knew him when he played at Purdue. He knew anyone who could work for Jim Young could certainly be an NFL scout. I was with National Football Scouting for seven years.

Waldman: How did you get with the Eagles?

Shonka: This one is a weird story. One of the scouts, Ray Biggs who was with National Scouting called me and said, “Dan the Eagles want to hire you as a scout and they left a message on my phone.”

(Laughter)

You know Matt, I really didn’t have to have an emblem on my shirt or something like that to do this job. I just really enjoyed player-personnel work. I enjoyed scouting. I loved recruiting.

When I was a recruiter at the different universities and colleges I loved it. But I called Philadelphia back through Ray and they said that they wanted to bring me in for an interview and that Jeff Lurie wanted to visit with me.

What they do at the Combine meetings is evaluate scouts’ reports. Well, I was the top-rated scout for four years in a row at National Scouting and they put a grade and kept track of how your draft choices go, which is kind of crazy because you’re doing stuff for 20 teams and each team is looking for something different. But Lurie saw these reports after he took over the Eagles and Joe Banner went through the stuff, too. So they invited me for an interview.

John Wooten who was the director at the time knew me through National Football Scouting and long story short I interviewed and they hired me. That’s how I got started.

Waldman: You mentioned Jimmy Young and the USFL, can you tell me about those experiences?

Shonka: Jim Young was at Purdue at the time I worked with him. Bill Kuharich was in the USFL and my boss was Carl Peterson. He was the GM for the Philadelphia Stars. When I was the head football coach at Independence Junior College, the Stars were looking for someone to be a part-time scout in that area so I scouting for them.

I’d go out to the different universities for the Stars for about a year. It was the year before the USFL folded. I remember Billy Kuharich calling me and telling me, “Listen, if you get another part-time job scouting you better get it because the league is about ready to fold.”

It was a little different. The offices of the Stars were actually in Veterans Stadium. As an area scout for the Philadelphia Stars we never actually went into Philadelphia for our draft meetings we did it by speakerphone. Rod Graves was one of the scouts. Tommy Marino. Carm Piccone. We had a pretty good group that went into the NFL sooner or later.

I had the Midwest area. At that time they could get reports from different teams. One time, Billy Kuharich looked at my reports and told me the two tackles I had on my list at the University of Kansas weren’t even on the New York Giants’ list. I said, “If you want to hire them as your scout go ahead. I recruited both of those guys so I know they can play.”

Billy laughed at that and both guys ended up playing in the NFL – Renwick Atkins and Reggie Smith. In fact Renwick was drafted by both leagues and Reggie was picked up by the Broncos after the USFL folded when he was with the Tampa Bay Bandits.

Anyway, I probably had more dialogue with Bill and Carl. It was Carl who actually wound up hiring me for the Kansas City Chiefs down the line. It was with the Stars that I got to know him a little bit.

Waldman: What aspects of coaching and scouting do you enjoy that is unique to their roles?

Shonka: I really loved the personal interaction with the players, game plans, and things like that when you’re coaching. When I was at a major college and I had my own scouting area or my own position to coach that was great. But once you become a head coach you spend more time putting out fires and doing all kinds of other stuff other than coaching. And the reason you get into coaching is that you like working with these guys and helping them become better players. You like to associate with the guys and try to put a team together that you could turn around.

That was my big thing. I loved recruiting so I could get the personnel to turn around a poor football program. All the programs I took over were either 0-9 or 1-8 when I took them over. We’d gradually get the teams better. With some of these programs if you go 6-5 after you were a 1-9 team its big, big progress. I liked building a program and doing that through personnel work.

I just liked recruiting and evaluating players to see if those guys could contribute for you. I always liked it. In fact, I coached little league teams of 10 year-old baseball teams when I was 13 years-old and when they’d have a draft I used to study those guys when they were 9 year-old kids to see I’d eventually want to have them on my team!

(Laughter)

It’s just something that’s in your blood and there are a lot of people who are very good at different things. You have great writers like Malcolm Gladwell. He’s a great writer, always wanted to be a writer. Everybody has got something that they’re good at. Sometimes you find it, sometimes you don’t. I found out a long time ago that player-personnel work was something that I enjoyed doing and as I said I didn’t need to have an emblem on my shirt to enjoy doing it.

Waldman: What was it like with National?

Shonka: For National Football Scouting you’re working for 20 teams. You do your reports, you turn them in, and then you report to the teams at your different meetings in the fall and the spring. A lot of people always looked at that as a stepping-stone to the NFL, but it never crossed my mine. I never looked at the next job while I was in the job I was in.

Some people might think that’s dumb, but I felt like that any time that I wasn’t spending on my job I was not being fair to my employer or my team. I wanted to work for that team. When my contract was up or something like that then I was pretty lucky because I always had someone looking for me.

It all just kind of ties in, Matt: the evaluation of the players, the recruiting, the scouting, and it turned into being a full-time scout. Even when you’re coaching at different universities you scout other teams. You’re looking at their plays.

When I was a graduate assistant at Iowa State you would travel to different places and look at the offense, the defense, and personnel for other teams. I enjoyed that. I always felt I was good at it. I always felt like I had a knack for it just like some people have a knack for the violin, the piano, or the written word.

It’s frustrating at times because I would know that a player could play and I would be jumping on the table and people would be fighting me saying that this guy isn’t worth a shit. It kind of bothers you. Nevertheless I was always lucky regarding the teams I worked for because they would let me sign free agents and it would pay off for them.

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Pro Scout Outlook on the Business of College Football

SPECIAL TO OURLADS BLOG by Guy Martino

The following article is a reprint by Guy Martino that was posted on his blog: http://guydamartino.wordpress.com/

College football is full of players who hope to one day strike at gold and make it to the NFL. Hitting the big leagues, and making millions of dollars in salary is what these gridiron bound college students strive for. But for now, they are chess pieces in a business that is much larger than any individual or school.

Who better to give input on this situation than an NFL talent scout? Dan Shonka, general manager of national scouting organization Ourlads, joins me for a discussion of the current state of college football.

Guy Martino: Thanks again for taking the time to do this. Can you give some background info really quick about your experience in college football, onto your work in the NFL?

Dan Shonka: Sure Guy, I coached for several years at major colleges. The University of Kansas, Purdue University, Rice, and Iowa State University. Then I was the head football coach at a Division II school called New Mexico Highlands. Then also I was a head football coach in junior college in Independence, Kansas so I have experience at the major college and small college and junior college level.

GM: What exactly if your role at Ourlads?

DS: I am the general manager and national scout of Ourlads NFL Scouting Services. We evaluate talent for the fans out there, and we do newsletters and guides for the NFL draft. Also we do a preview of the draft, and a review of the draft in newsletters. It’s all based on fan interest and things like their favorite teams. But we evaluate college football players for NFL fans and for different NFL teams that subscribe to our service.

GM: Are there any specific college teams or conferences in the past that you’ve noticed that produce more NFL prospects than others?

DS: Yes, I’ll tell you what, there’s a rule of thumb that USC produces a lot of pro football players. The University of Iowa, before this year, had 44 players on rosters before the cuts, but Iowa is in the top 20. Notre Dame has always been up there as well as Florida State and North Carolina. Teams like that have produced several college football players for the NFL.

GM: Any certain conferences that stand out?

DS: Yes, the Southeast Conference, with teams like LSU and Alabama. Every year it’s the SEC, the Big Ten, ACC, Big 12 and then the Pac 10 will come in there, so usually those top five conferences are generally year in and year out, producing the top prospects.

GM: Going along with the conference discussion, I am sure you are aware of the major realignment phase going on. What impact do you think that will have, if any, on the future NFL drafts?

DS: I don’t think it will affect the drafts any. I mean if you are a good football player whether you are at a Big Ten school, whether you are at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, whether you are at Northern Iowa, an NFL scout will go to that school and evaluate that talent. The conference alignment really will not make a big difference to a player one way or another whether he is getting evaluated.

GM: You mentioned the actual student athletes. Do you think these players, who are making millions of dollars for their schools, are being fairly compensated during their college careers?

DS: I think this, first of all they get a college education and I think that the Division I guys are fairly compensated, but also the University makes quite a bit of money off the guys. But if you open a cans of worms by giving a guy so much money every month for laundry or incidentals or what have you, the thing is it is not just for football. Every scholarship athlete, mens and womens, will want a piece of the pie and then that is what really gets into the problem. Because right now, football, and basketball in certain places, with the exception of those sports, they need money. Whether it is a baseball program or what have you, they are not self sufficient. So you can’t keep taking money out of the football pie to keep paying everybody, because pretty soon it’s going to start drying up.

GM: Some of these scholarship athletes have the opportunity to earn millions of dollars at the next level in the NFL. What is your stance on whether student athletes should be able to have agents, and how would having an agent help their draft status?

DS: I think that after their eligibility is up Guy, they should go ahead and get an agent. The agent actually only makes around 3 percent of the total package. On average, you almost have to go in the first three rounds to help pay for their offseason work prior to the time they are drafted. Most of these guys are in Arizona, Florida, New Orleans, Atlanta and it’s very expensive for an agent to put these guys up and work them out. You still go by what a guy does on tape, but also you can enhance your athletic ability for your 40-yard dash and things like that, and that is also a priority for the agents.

GM: Looking at the grand scheme of things in college football, what impact do you think large corporation and business opportunities have on these schools and athletes?

DS: The big thing is of course advertising and the paying for the rights for stadiums to put your name on them, the bowl games. They tack names on the big bowl games anymore. The Big Ten schools, for instance bring in money and share it equally with all of their 12 schools. There is no question about it that overall, corporate America, they like to be a part of our college football.

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2011 Ourlads’ All-Rookie Team

OFFENSE

Pos. Name Team Draft Round

QB Andy Dalton Cincinnati 2
QB Cam Newton Carolina 1
RB DeMarco Murray Dallas 3
RB Daniel Thomas Miami 2
RB Mark Ingram New Orleans 1
WR AJ Green Cincinnati 1
WR Torrey Smith Baltimore 2
WR Doug Baldwin Seattle FA
WR Denarius Moore Oakland 5
WR Greg Little Cleveland 2
WR Julio Jones Atlanta 1
TE Kyle Rudolph Minnesota 2
TE Colin Cochart Cincinnati FA
TE Lance Kendricks St. Louis 2
OL Tyron Smith Dallas 1
OL Mike Pouncey Miami 1
OL Nate Solder New England 1
OL Stefen Wisniewski Oakland 2
OL Jason Kelce Philadelphia 6
OL Orlando Franklin Denver 2b
OL Byron Bell Carolina FA
OL Jason Pinkston Cleveland 5b
OL Anthony Castonzo Indianapolis 1
RS Patrick Peterson Arizona 1
RS Randall Cobb Green Bay 2
RS Kealoha Pilares Carolina 5
K Dan Bailey Dallas FA

Offensive Rookie-of-the-Year – 3-way tie between Cam Newton, QB, Carolina, Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati, and AJ Green, WR, Cincinnati

DEFENSE

Pos. Name Team Draft Round

DL Marcell Dareus Buffalo 1
DL Von Miller Denver 1
DL Phil Taylor Cleveland 1
DL JJ Watt Houston 1
DL Jurrell Casey Tennessee 3
DL Jabaal Sheard Cleveland 2a
DL Adrian Clayborn Tampa Bay 1
DL Aldon Smith San Francisco 1
DL Muhammad Wilkerson NY Jets 1
MLB Mason Foster Tampa Bay 3
MLB Jacquian Williams NY Giants 6c
OLB Akeem Ayers Tennessee 2
OLB Ryan Kerrigan Washington 1
OLB Brooks Reed Houston 2a
OLB Sam Acho Arizona 4
DC Patrick Peterson Arizona 1
DC Richard Sherman Seattle 5a
DC Chris Culliver San Francisco 3
DC Chris Harris Denver FA
SS Quinton Carter Denver 4a
FS Joe Lefeged Indianapolis FA
RS Patrick Peterson Arizona 1
RS Randall Cobb Green Bay 2
PT Brett Hartmann Houston FA

Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year – 4-way tie between Von Miller, DL, Denver, Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, Washington, Patrick Peterson, DC, Arizona, and Aldon Smith, DL, San Francisco

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Quarterback Ball Velocity at NFL Combine 2008-2014

Order NFL Draft GuideOurlads’ Guide to the NFL Draft is the only source that gives the number for the quarterback’s velocity at the NFL Combine. Velocity is measured by a radar gun in miles per hour. 

Jimmy Garoppolo - 2014

YEAR: 2014

 

Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech 60
Stephen Morris, Miami 59
Tom Savage, Pittsburgh 57
Blake Bortles, Central Florida 56
Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois 56
Jeff Mathews, Cornell 56
Keith Wenning, Ball State 56
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois 55
Tajh Boyd, Clemson 54
Bryn Renner, North Carolina 54
David Fales, San Jose State 53
AJ McCarron, Alabama 53
Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M 53
Connor Shaw, South Carolina 50
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville – Did not throw
Derek Carr, Fresno State – Did not throw
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M – Did not throw
Zach Mettenberger, LSU – Did not throw
Aaron Murray, Georgia – Did not throw

 

 

Geno Smith - 2013

 

YEAR: 2013
Tyler Bray, Tennessee 59
Zac Dysert, Miami (OH) 59
James Vandenberg, Iowa 57
Ryan Nassib, Syracuse 56
Bradley Sorensen, Southern Utah 56
Geno Smith, West Virginia 55
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas 55
EJ Manuel, Florida State 54
Matthew Scott, Arizona 54
Landry Jones, Oklahoma 53
Collin Klein, Kansas State 52
Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech 51
Marqueis Gray, Minnesota 51
Michael Glennon, North Carolina State 49
Matt Barkley, Southern Cal – Did not throw
Sean Renfree, Duke – Did not throw

Brandon Weeden - 2012

YEAR: 2012
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State 59
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State 59
Austin Davis, Southern Mississippi 58
Nick Foles, Arizona 57
Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois 57
Jordan Jefferson, LSU 57
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin 55
Casey Keenum, Houston 55
Patrick Witt, Yale 54
Darron Thomas, Oregon 53
Ryan Lindley, San Diego State 52
Kellen Moore, Boise State 52
Jacory Harris, Miami 50
Aaron Corp, Richmond 50
BJ Coleman, Tennessee-Chattanooga Did not throw
Robert Griffin III, Baylor Did not throw
Andrew Luck, Stanford Did not throw
Brock Osweiler, Arizona State Did not throw
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M Did not throw

Andy Dalton 2011

YEAR: 2011
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada 59
Ryan Mallett, Arkansas 58
Patrick Devlin, Delaware 56
Andy Dalton, TCU 56
Cam Newton, Auburn 56
Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin 55
Nathan Enderle, Idaho 54
Jake Locker, Washington 54
TJ Yates, North Carolina 52
Christian Ponder, Florida St  51
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa 50
Tyrod Taylor, Va Tech 50
Greg McElroy, Alabama Did not throw
Blaine Gabbert, Missouri Did not throw

John Skelton 2010

YEAR: 2010
Levi Brown, Troy 56
Colt McCoy, Texas 56  (Did not throw at Combine. Throw was recorded at a private workout with a Radar Gun & Computer Chip in Ball.
Max Hall, BYU 52
Tim Hiller, Western Michigan 52
Michael Kafka, Northwestern 52
Zac Robinson, Oklahoma St. 52
Jevan Snead, Mississippi 52
Sean Canfield, Oregon St. 51
Jarrett Brown, West Virginia 50
John Skelton, Fordham 50
Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan 49
Tony Pike, Cincinnati 49
Armanti Edwards, Appalachian St. 46.5
Sam Bradford, Oklahoma Did not throw
Jimmy Clausen,Notre Dame Did not throw
Jonathan Crompton, Tennessee Did not throw
Tim Tebow, Florida Did not throw

Josh Freeman 2009

YEAR: 2009
John Wilson Parker, Alabama 58
Mike Reilly, Central Washington 58
Drew Willy, Buffalo 58
Mark Sanchez, Southern Cal 57
Josh Freeman, Kansas State 57
Chase Daniels, Missouri 57
Nate Davis, Ball State 56
Curtis Painter, Purdue 56
Rhett Bomar, Sam Houston State 55
Tom Brandstetter, Fresno State 53
Cullen Harper, Clemson 53
Stephen McGee, Texas A & M 53
Graham Harrell, Texas Tech 52
Pat White, West Virginia 52
Matt Stafford, Georgia Did not throw

Joe Flacco 2008

YEAR 2008:
Paul Smith, Tulsa 57
Joe Flacco, Delaware 55
Kevin O’Connell, San Diego St 55
Brian Brohm, Louisville 53
Chad Henne, Michigan 53
Erik Ainge, Tennessee 52
John David Booty, Southern Cal 51
Matt Flynn, LSU 50
Josh Johnson, San Diego 49
Colt Brennan, Hawaii 44
Dennis Dixon, Oregon Did not throw
Matt Ryan, Boston College Did not throw
Andre Woodson, Kentucky Did not throw

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2012 NFL Draft Official Underclassmen List

The NFL office has received written notification from the following 68 players prior to the January 15th deadline that they have renounced their college football eligibility and are therefore eligible for the 2012 Draft.

Alexander, Alvester – RB – Wyoming
Allen, Dwayne – TE – Clemson
Baker, Edwin – RB – Michigan State
Ball, Mike – RB – Nevada
Berryhill, Jamison – RB – Texas

Justin Blackmon - Oklahoma State

Blackmon, Justin – WR – Oklahoma State
Brown, Bryce – RB – Kansas State
Burfict, Vontaze – LB – Arizona State
Charles, Orson – TE – Georgia
Claiborne, Morris – DB – LSU
Cox, Fletcher – DT – Mississippi State

David DeCastro - Stanford

DeCastro, David – G – Stanford
Forston, Marcus – DT – Miami
Gilmore, Stephon – DB – South Carolina
Givens, Chris – WR – Wake Forest
Graham, Dorian – WR – Syracuse
Griffin III, Robert – QB – Baylor
Hampton, Jewel – RB – Southern Illinois
Harris, Cliff – DB – Oregon
Hightower, Dont’a – LB – Alabama
Hill, Stephen – WR – Georgia Tech
Hillman, Ronnie – RB – San Diego State
Holloway, Max – DE – Boston College
Hosley, Jayron – DB – Virginia Tech
Jackson, Janzen – DB – McNeese State
James, LaMichael – RB – Oregon
Jeffery, Alshon – WR – South Carolina
Johnson, Aldarius – WR – Miami
Johnson, Damaris – WR – Tulsa
Jones, Chandler – DE – Syracuse
Kalil, Matt – T – Southern Cal
Kirkpatrick, Dre – DB – Alabama

Peter Konz - Wisconsin

Konz, Peter – C – Wisconsin
Kuechly, Luke – LB – Boston College
Lewis, Ronnell – DE – Oklahoma
Luck, Andrew – QB – Stanford
Manning, Terrell – LB – North Carolina State
Martin, Jonathan – T – Stanford
Massie, Bobby – T – Mississippi
Mercilus, Whitney – DE – Illinois
Miller, Lamar – RB – Miami
Osweiler, Brock – QB – Arizona State
Page, Eric – WR – Toledo
Paige-Moss, Donte – DE – North Carolina
Perry, Nick – DE – Southern Cal
Pierce, Bernard – RB – Temple
Plue, Ken – G – Purdue
Poe, Dontari – DT – Memphis
Polk, Chris – RB – Washington
Randle, Rueben – WR – LSU
Reiff, Riley – T – Iowa
Richardson, Trent – RB – Alabama
Robinson, Josh – DB – Central Florida
Sanu, Mohamed – WR – Rutgers
Scott, Darrell – RB – South Florida
Streeter, Tommy – WR – Miami
Thomas, Darron – QB – Oregon
Thomas, Johnny – DB – Oklahoma State
Thomas, Phillip – DB – Syracuse
Trotter, Barrett – QB – Auburn
Turbin, Robert – RB – Utah State
Turner, Kenny – WR – New Mexico State
Vernon, Olivier – DE – Miami
Washington, Brandon – T – Miami
Wilson, David – RB – Virginia Tech
Worthy, Jerel – DT – Michigan State

**The League office has received information from colleges regarding the following players:

Chris Polk – RB – Washington, has participated in four college football seasons and is eligible for selection in the 2012 draft. According to Washington, Polk has elected not to apply for a medical redshirt and has exhausted his eligibility through participation.

Robert Turbin – RB – Utah State, is eligible for selection in the 2012 draft since five football seasons have elapsed since he originally entered college in 2007. According to Utah State, Turbin has chosen not to accept his additional season of eligiblity.

Kenny Turner – WR – New Mexico State, is eligible for selection in the 2012 draft since five seasons have elapsed since he originally entered college in 2007. According to New Mexico State, Turner has chosen not to accept his additional season of eligibility.

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Quarterback Film Notes: Senior Bowl

Kirk Cousins - Michigan State

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape.  Ourlads NFL Scouting Services  studied over  600 players from seven college all-star games. The Senior Bowl: Kirk Cousins (Michigan State) – 6022, 209. Started out the week well and continued his accuracy, good decision making, and intangibles through Saturday’s game. Can throw accurately with pressure in his face. Processes information quickly and makes reliable and consistent decisions with the ball. Stays in the pocket but will step up and run if there is an opening. High release point. Keeps eyes on defense down the field. Kellen Moore (Boise State) – 5116, 191. An outstanding competitor who lacks the prototype physical skills. Keeps his eyes down the field. Poised in the pocket with good anticipation, timing, intelligence, and ball placement. Left handed passer who is a student of the game. Recognizes matchups and coverages. Balanced as he moves around in the pocket to throw through the passing lanes. A talented passer who is not a vertical down the field threat. Russell Wilson (Wisconsin) – 5105, 203. Confirmed suspicions that he is an accurate and consistent passer outside the pocket. The shortest of all the quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl, he is athletic and talented. He features a high and quick release. Plays with confidence and poise. Buys time on a broken play. Plays well under pressure. Stays with his progression and can find the open receiver. He has good anticipation, timing, and rhythm to his game. He brings the ability to run the ball as an added dimension. Nick Foles (Arizona) – 6050, 244. Consistent accuracy during the week. Possesses an NFL caliber arm. A big right handed passer who stands tall and can slide around in the pocket. Throws with a 3/4 release. Not an elusive scrambler but can run for positive yards. Has the strength to ward off tacklers. Will challenge coverage at times throwing into a double covered receiver. Needs to be more consistent in his set up and footwork technique. Ryan Lindley (San Diego State) – 6036, 229. Demonstrated good arm strength during the week. He can throw a 14- yard frozen rope out. Made several questionable decisions throwing into coverage (surprising because there were only two coverages.) His ball had a tendency to rise and take off at times. At times he threw a very tight spiral with a lot of RPMs. He can stretch a defense vertically and horizontally. Played his best during the week when he was in rhythm from head to toe. Must be fundamentally sound to succeed on Sundays. Has tools and talent. Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State) – 6034, 219. Mature and focused. Picked up the offense quickly. Good accuracy and ball placement during the week. Demonstrated good arm strength on pro caliber routes. Good poise in the pocket. Plays with confidence and a sudden release. He’s a natural passer who can make all three level passes – short, medium, and long. Can throw the deep ball with accuracy. A deadly passer when he’s on his spot. Good anticipation to throw a receiver open. His head is always in the game. He watched the opponent’s defense when he was on the bench.

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Running Back Film Notes: Senior Bowl

Bradie Ewing - Wisconsin

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape.  Ourlads NFL Scouting Services  studied over  600 players from seven college all-star games. The Senior Bowl: Bradie Ewing (Wisconsin) – 5115, 241. Is a third guard that lines up in the backfield. Caught a wheel route that was contested in the game as well as carrying the ball for a first down (his first carry of the year.) He possesses powerful hips and is explosive on his fit and follow through blocks. Dan Herron (Ohio State) – 5092, 212. Good vision and running skills. Runs hard with the ability to bounce the ball outside. A slash type runner. Hands are good enough to line up in the slot. A downhill runner who uses a stiff arm to ward off blockers. Compact build where he bounces off tacklers. More powerful than size dictates. Doug Martin (Boise State) – 5090, 219. Is a physical football player who would be an asset to any team. Physical runner who runs hard with good contact balance. A few notes on his game performance include a tackle on an interception, cut block that got Melvin Ingram on the ground, a downfield block on a touchdown run, broke tackles with his strong running style and returned kickoffs – enough said. Isaiah Pead (Cincinnati) – 5097, 193. Electrified his team in the game with 60 and 36 yard punt returns. A patient runner who sets up his blockers. A third down type back. He was more of a lateral type runner in college. He demonstrated his North/South ability during the week. Strong enough to break arm tackles. Good contact balance. Elusive in space. Chris Polk (Washington) – 5104, 224. Appears to be a downhill on track runner who is more power than creative in his runs. Quick start and stop moves. A heavy runner who runs hard. A slasher with good feet and contact balance. Flashes an upfield burst.

Vick Ballard - Mississippi State

Vick Ballard (Mississippi State) – 5101, 217. Is a downhill slasher who runs hard between the tackles. Natural hands on swing passes and check downs, but Tuesday his hands looked like feet. Just a bad day – generally dependable. A strong runner with competitive speed. Must hold the ball high and tight to avoid ball security problems. Downhill one cut runner. Uses stiff arm. Chad Diehl (Clemson) – 6014, 257. Suffered a concussion the first day of practice and was replaced by Lennon Creer of Louisiana Tech. Terrance Ganaway (Baylor) – 5114, 241. Is a powerful between the tackles runner who needs to elevate his blocking skills. Steps through tackles. Will give second and third effort driving for the extra yard. Gashes the middle of the line running North and South. A power runner with some bend and weave down the field. Chris Rainey (Florida) – 5083, 178. A talented and speedy utility back who can line up in the slot, out wide, or in the backfield to take advantage of matchups. Quick and sudden out of his breaks. Ran by Jenkins and Boykin Tuesday in practice and caught passes. Lennon Creer (Louisiana Tech) – 5116, 222. Was a late addition after an MVP performance in the Shrine Game. Finishes his runs with strength and power. Impressed the scouts with his ability to pass protect in drills. Worked to finish his blocks. Runs with good body lean and is a downhill one cut zone type runner.

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Wide Receiver Film Notes: Senior Bowl

Juron Criner - Arizona

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The Senior Bowl: TJ Graham (North Carolina State) – 5113, 182. Reminds us of a faster and quicker Jerricho Cotchery. Catches the ball and has a sudden upfield burst. Quick in and out of routes. Slippery with an effective stiff arm. Top level return specialist who is developing into a receiver. Dangerous in space. Has big play capability. Marvin Jones (California) – 6017, 198, hands 10”. Is a physical possession receiver. He gained separation with his route savvy and sneaky speed. He stood out on Monday when many receivers dropped balls, he snatched everything in sight. Can adjust to poorly thrown passes. Marvin McNutt (Iowa) – 6024, 216, hands 10 1/8”. Is a slot type possession receiver who can adjust to a poorly thrown ball. Dropped a touchdown pass in the game on a slant route and another vertical overhead pass in practice. He is a good route runner who knows how to get open. Had a good day of practice Tuesday snatching the ball in his hands. Devier Posey (Ohio State) – 6015, 209. A fluid and talented receiver with good body control. Smooth in and out of cuts. Has the speed to run deep. Extended for the ball over the middle in practice. Missed most of 2011 due to “Tattoogate” and his rust was apparent in the game, dropping a post route for a touchdown and giving up on a corner route. Brian Quick (Appalachian State) – 6034, 222, arms 33 ½”, wing span 81 1/8”. Started out the week a little inconsistent, but picked up his talent gradually through Saturday’s game. He made some good catches as well as few drops on Monday. Gerell Robinson (Arizona State) – 6031, 223, hands 10”. A possession receiver who is a long strider. Good field awareness to adjust to a quarterback’s scramble. Caught the ball well in practice and runs good routes for a big man. Joe Adams (Arkansas) – 5104, 174. An explosive receiver and return specialist with inconsistent hands. He did catch 8 passes good for 133 yards in the game. He also had a catch early and was stripped of the ball stopping a drive. A small make-you-miss elusive receiver with quick feet. Slippery in the open field. Adams took advantage of the rules in the game where the corners were not allowed up close to the line of scrimmage. Juron Criner (Arizona) – 6021, 220, hands 10 ½”. Physical receiver who looked sharp on a late drive in the game with his college quarterback Nick Foles. Demonstrated his ability as a clutch receiver with good body control. Finds the ball quickly in transition out of cut. Heard footsteps on a slant pattern on one play, then caught a slant and took a hit over the middle and held on to the ball. Can make the circus catch, double move a corner, and adjust well to a poorly thrown ball. He caught 6 passes for 77 yards and one touchdown in the game. Patrick Edwards (Houston) – 5087, 168. Pulled a hamstring and did not play in the game. A slot type receiver who struggled in Tuesday’s practice catching the ball. Flashed his ability to be quick in and out of his cuts. Jeff Fuller (Texas A&M) – 6041, 217, arms 34 1/8”, wing span 81”. Big catching radius. A talented enigma that may prove to be a draft bargain if he gets back to his junior year skill set. Had several drops during the week including some balls off his chest. May be pressing too much instead of just playing the game. Dwight Jones (North Carolina) – 6031, 226, arms 33 5/8”, wing span 80 5/8”. Is a big physical receiver who has good run after catch ability. Builds up speed as he goes down the field. Ran by Janoris Jenkins on a vertical route.

Marquis Maze - Alabama

Marquis Maze (Alabama) – 5076, 184. Runs precise routes and is an elusive punt returner. Weaves through traffic with quickness and agility. Quick in and out of his routes with a sudden upfield burst. A competitive receiver who will catch the ball in a crowd or lay out for a bad pass. A hand catcher who comes back to the ball. AJ Jenkins (Illinois) – 6002, 192. Added Thursday because of injuries. Quick in and out of his cuts. Can snatch the ball with his sudden and reactive hands. Played in the Shrine Game.

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Tight End Film Notes: Senior Bowl

Brian Linthicum - Michigan State

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The Senior Bowl: Michael Egnew (Missouri) – 6052, 251. A big target who catches the ball in his hands. Occupies linebackers as a blocker. Will struggle with big, on the line, defensive ends. Competitive with excellent hand quickness. Good concentration to reach and extend for the ball. He is a unique and athletic weapon. Emil Igwenagu (Massachusetts) – 6011, 245, arms 33 1/8”, wing span 80 3/8”. Played in the Shrine Game. Impressed in Tuesday’s practice with his ability to block as a tight end and at fullback. He is also a capable hand catcher. Brian Linthicum (Michigan State) – 6036, 249. Is a competitive receiver who will catch the ball in a congested area. Knows how to get open and runs good routes. Strong run after catch ability. Will drop his head on blitz pickup at times. Rarely drops a ball in his hands. Can pluck the ball. Ladarius Green (Louisiana-Lafayette) – 6056, 237, hands 10”, wing span 81 ¾”. Is a raw route runner who is a good athlete that looks more like an angular slot receiver. Needs more strength as a blocker. Deangelo Peterson (LSU) – 6027, 230. A former wide receiver who outgrew his position. Has the speed to threaten the safeties in Cover 2. Competes for the ball in a crowd. Lacks strength to be an in-line blocker. Gets bounced around. Brad Smelley (Alabama) – 6017, 233. Good effort player with athletic ability and a fringe skill set for an NFL Hback. Will lay out and adjust to an off target pass. Not a big target as a receiver. Works to play with leverage as a blocker, but struggles to control defender.

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Offensive Line Film Notes: Senior Bowl

Mike Adams - Ohio State

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The Senior Bowl: Mike Adams (Ohio State) – 6070, 323, hands 11”, arms 33 ¾”, wing span 82 ½”. Had a good week of practice and was one of the most dominant linemen on either side of the ball in the game. Patient in pass protection. Lets the defender come to him. The rangy tackle plays with good knee bend, base, and balance. Good flexibility for a big man. Redirects and stays square with the ability to mirror a pass rusher. Light feet and finish ability. Competed well against every end including Upshaw and Ingram. Tony Bergstrom (Utah) – 6054, 315, shorter arms than ideal – 31 3/8” but wore out Crawford and Winn in practice. Gets push in the run game. Has technique breakdowns at times. Physical player with good feet. Has a violent punch that can shock a pass rusher. Mike Brewster (Ohio State) – 6042, 310, short arms 31”. Good week of practice and daily one-on-one wars with Mike Martin. Plays square. Plays with a good base and is strong working the combo block to the second level. Good first step where he locks out and grabs cloth. Was consistent on his shotgun snaps. Question anchor and balance at times. Would like to see him finish his blocks more consistently. Garth Gerhart (Arizona State) – 6011, 301, injured first day of practice. Senio Kelemete (Washington) – 6034, 300. Is a competitive tough guy. Plays with an aggressive and physical attitude. Will lock on and ride defensive ends around the quarterback. Maintains a good base and balance. Projects inside to guard. Uses his strong hands effectively to lock on target. Wore out Coples during the game. Also gave Upshaw all he could handle walling him off. Coples got a sack when Kelemete cut him.

Kelechi Osemele - Iowa State

Kelechi Osemele (Iowa State) – 6053, 333, hands 10 3/8”, arms 35 ¼”, wing span 85 ½”. Has talent but loves to lobster grab a defender and hold. When he keeps his hands inside the frame he locks up his target and it’s all over. Plays with a good base and balance. A knee bender who has strength, punch, and plays square. Powerful on down blocks. Flashes the ability to play with aggressiveness and attitude. Natural strength. Sometimes you wonder if there is any compete in this guy, then he’ll go out and crush a defender. Beat by Coples on a double move for a sack. Mitchell Schwartz (California) – 6051, 317, hands 10”, arms 33 1/8”, wing span 81 5/8”. Competitive and impressive blocker in both the run and passing games. Works to finish his blocks. Good use of hands to control and steer defender in pass protection. Johnnie Troutman (Penn State) – 6041, 325, arms 33”. Physical inside player who has a tendency to lose his knee bend. Good mirror and slide in pass protection. Keeps a good base. Good first step initially on his blocks. Inconsistent finish. Effective on pulls and log blocks. Stays on his feet even though he has some stiffness in his lower body. Kevin Zeitler (Wisconsin) – 6037, 315, hands 10 1/8”, wing span 80 3/8”. Struggled during the week with inconsistent play. He got a look at center as Gerhart and Looney went down with injuries. Tough and aware guy who works to finish. Aggressive on base blocks and pulling assignments. Fundamentally sound on combo and double team blocks. Physical attitude. Jeff Allen (Illinois) – 6040, 306, hands 10 1/8”, arms 33 ¼”, wing span 80 3/8”. Good week of practice and followed it up with a solid game. Strong and stout in his play. Played left guard and both tackles one time or another in the game. Quinton Coples had trouble in practice disengaging from Allen. Will Blackwell (LSU) – 6034, 314, hands 10 ½”, arms 33 ¼”, wing span 80 5/8”. A tough and scrappy competitor with limited athletic ability. Was on the ground much of the time and beaten badly in practice pass rush drills. Needs more strength to anchor. Works to finish his blocks. Position blocker who is physical on down blocks. Philip Blake (Baylor) – 6023, 312. Plays with good balance. He got work at right guard along with center. Competes and battles on the line of scrimmage. Best skill is pass protection. Wall off position blocker who stays square as a pass protector. Gets second level push on linebackers in the run game. Plays high and can get put on skates at times. Accurate on shotgun snaps. James Brown (Troy) – 6034, 307, hands 10 ¼”, arms 33 3/8”, wing span 81 ¾”. Tendency to drop his head and his hands in pass protection. Struggled to cut off the inside gap. Lacks the strength to anchor the bull rush. Was put back on his heels.

Cordy Glenn - Georgia

Cordy Glenn (Georgia) – 6054, 346, hands 10”, arms 35 1/8”, wing span 84 5/8”. Had a dominant week of practice and showed his versatility playing left guard and both tackle positions. A big man who can pull and be productive in space. Good angles and feet to seal linebackers on the second level. Powerful and mobile with good balance. Ben Jones (Georgia) – 6025, 304. Can shift his weight quickly and gain an advantage but he struggled with the “Power Pigs” of the North defense. He was driven back into the backfield on more than one play. Played well and aware when no one was on his nose, Flashed an explosive six-inch punch. Cut off inside moves with good lateral agility. Matt McCants (Alabama-Birmingham) – 6055, 309, arms 35”, wing span 82 5/8”. Angular build. Struggled in drills and in the game with edge speed and double move defenders. A waist bender (he doesn’t move his feet) because of his stiff lower body. Gets his shoulders turned in pass protection and opens the gate. Takes bad angles to second level. Zebrie Sanders (Florida State) – 6054, 308, hands 11”, arms 34 5/8”, wing span 83 ½”. Had an up and down week of practice. Plays with a good base and balance in pass protection. Mirrors and shadows defender. Has some rare tools in his long arms and big hands. Has a tendency to lose his feet on the second level. Has good athletic ability and will flash physical play at times. Will overextend on backside cut blocks. Struggles to anchor a bull rush. Needs more strength. William Vlachos (Alabama) – 6003, 306. Short arms 30”. Thick lower base. Locks on a defender to draw a stalemate and get some push. Effective use of hands. Gets some push to create a running base at times. Struggled with quick inside penetrators. Joe Looney (Wake Forest) – 6032, 320. Was injured Tuesday morning tearing a ligament in his foot that will require surgery. Looney replaced Garth Gerhart, Arizona State center who was also injured.

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Defensive Line Film Notes: Senior Bowl

Vinny Curry - Marshall

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The Senior Bowl: Jack Crawford (Penn State) – 6047, 268, hands 10 1/8”, arms 33 ½”, wing span 80 7/8”. He locks out and keeps leverage and contain. Doesn’t stay blocked. Quick to disengage and hustles to the ball. Good lateral quickness to skate down the line of scrimmage. If he doesn’t get a sack he pushes the quarterback and gets his hands up. Vinny Curry (Marshall) – 6030, 265. Is an explosive edge pass rusher who would be a good fit in a 3-4 scheme. Demonstrated quickness and was disruptive during the week. Plays well on his feet. Active with a good motor. Possesses pass rush instincts. Good change of direction. Caused an interception, tipped the ball and had two sacks in the game. Mike Martin (Michigan) – 6012, 307. Continued in the Senior Bowl where he left off his senior year for the Wolverines. He collapses inside running lanes with quickness, leverage, and power. Sudden first step quickness to penetrate the inside gaps. Hustles to the ball. Plays hard every down. Doesn’t stay blocked.

Shea McClellin - Boise State

Shea McClellin (Boise State) – 6032, 248, hands 10 1/8”. Active player who is all over the field. Good instincts to read the screen. Was impressive in pass rush drills. Played low and with leverage as long as his hand is in the dirt. Can bend the edge and flatten down the line of scrimmage. Kendall Reyes (Connecticut) – 6037, 300. Stuffed the inside running lanes with push and power. Pressed the pocket rushing the passer. Versatile enough to play in the 4-3 and 3-4 schemes. Has a quick first step to penetrate gaps. An extra effort player who will finish a play. Forces plays deep because of his penetration. Wins more one-on-one battles than he loses. Alameda Ta’amu (Washington) – 6024, 341. Is a powerful run stuffer who gets upfield push. He presses the pocket then can release quickly to get in on screen passes. He must keep his weight down to be a quick penetrating presence. Can be a two gap nose tackle. Big, thick, and quick. Good instincts and awareness. Billy Winn (Boise State) – 6033, 296. Came in out of shape and looked rusty in the early practice sessions. Good effort player who bounced around from the inside to the perimeter to make a play. Pushes the pocket if he stays low and plays with leverage. Derek Wolfe (Cincinnati) – 6047, 286, hands 10 ¾”, wing span 80 3/8”. A high motor try hard guy. Relentless to push and leverage the blocker then sheds quickly. Rarely blocked one on one. Blocking him with a tight end is a recipe for disaster if the quarterback holds the ball. Quinton Coples (North Carolina) – 6056, 281, hands 10 1/8”, arms 33 ¼”, wing span 80 ¼”. Possesses an immense amount of talent, but switches his ability off and on. Appears lackadaisical and loses focus at times. Consistently has a breakdown in fundamentals. Everything is a flash. He fails to use his skills and explosiveness every down. Tendency to get inopportune penalties. Question instincts and awareness at times. Lacks a sense of urgency. Plays when he wants to. Jaye Howard (Florida) – 6030, 292, hands 10 1/8”. Appears to play best when he’s asked to be a one gap penetrator. Will chase down and finish play. Loses concentration and is slow off the ball at times. Melvin Ingram (South Carolina) – 6017, 276. Had a good week of practice beating blockers in one-on-one competition, but in the game he did not make one sack, tackle, batted pass, etc. His arm length of 30 ½” is a concern. He struggled to disengage from the best pass protectors. He is explosive, quick, and athletic. He looks like a 3-4 rush end, a spot that was unavailable in the Senior Bowl Game because of the rules. Tony Jerod- Eddie (Texas A&M) – 6040, 303, arms 34 3/8”, wing span 80 5/8”. Is a one gap penetrator type defensive lineman who played high during the week. A late addition to the South roster. Tydreke Powell (North Carolina) – 6023, 309. Flashes first step quickness to penetrate gaps. Gets stuck on the line of scrimmage. Will stop his feet while pushing the pocket. Hustles to the perimeter at times. Kheeston Randall (Texas) – 6044, 297, arms 33”. A tall athletic inside presence to get into the throwing lane. Flashes good movement skills. May get a look as 4-3 tackle or a 3-4 end. Did get tied up too often. Inability to shed blocker. Malik Jackson (Tennessee) – 6045, 270. Was a late addition. Gets his hands up on the pass rush. Quick off the ball. Closes down the line quickly. Good screen awareness. Gets turned. Doesn’t always fight pressure.

BrandonThompson - Clemson

Brandon Thompson (Clemson) – 6020, 311. Is a one gap penetrator with first step quickness. Disruptive. Plays with leverage and can disengage quickly. Gets upfield push to press the pocket. Clogs up the inside running lanes. Tough in the run game. Will disengage quickly and run to the ball. Usually draws double teams. Good lateral quickness to work down the line. Courtney Upshaw (Alabama) – 6014, 273. A physical edge pass rusher who can turn speed to power. Struggled to separate from North tackle Mike Adams in the game and Jeff Allen in practice. Has the talent to play inside or outside. He can also rush the passer off the edge. A playmaker who plays well on his feet.

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Linebacker Film Notes: Senior Bowl

Audie Cole - North Carolina State

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The Senior Bowl: Audie Cole (North Carolina State) – 6041, 248, hands 10”. Quick initial read and react. Decent change of direction. Reacts well downhill, made some nice run throughs. OK with hands over a tight end but needs overall improvement in this area. Fails to shoot his hands consistently reacting to a block and gets locked up and tall on the blocker. Not explosive attacking a block. Does not protect his legs and will be vulnerable to low blocks. Fits the hole well. Runs well in pursuit and takes good angles. Quick reactions on play side runs, locating the ball quickly. Good pass drops but was inconsistent with depth of drop. Has zone awareness and did a nice job covering the tight end in man. Could react quicker to the thrown ball. Was in position but did not make the play. Athletic for his size. Could project outside as his coverage skills are above average. Needs some work but has good tools. Lavonte David (Nebraska) – 6004, 225. Inconsistent with initial read and react. Flashed great quickness but at times was hesitant and out of position. Could have been due to newness of scheme because he improved as the week went on. Size a mismatch when working over a tight end but he showed he can be physical. Projects to play Will in a 4-3 so his limitations over the tight end should be moot. Good change of direction skills with good instincts to react versus the run. Good fits at the hole. Runs well in pursuit and closed downhill quickly. Tracked well in space and covered a lot of ground in pursuit. Physical for his size, threw his body around and used his hands well attacking blockers in space. Solid in coverage, displaying very good man to man skills as well as zone awareness. Quick reactions on the throw with good range in coverage. Undersized prospect who will be limited in where he can play in the NFL but has good linebacker skills and should make a team and contribute. Cam Johnson (Virginia) – 6036, 267, small hands 8 7/8”, wing span 80 1/ 8”. Worked mostly at defensive end and had little exposure at linebacker. They showed a 3-4 and he stood up and played Sam at times but did not distinguish himself. Showed good pass rush tools and displayed good agility versus the run. Flashes an upfield burst with the ability to redirect and make a play. Sudden stop and start quickness. Will get stuck on blockers when he struggles to disengage. If he gets caught inside he has the knack to spin away from pressure. James-Michael Johnson (Nevada) – 6011, 249. Good initial read but at times reacted deliberately and was late to the play and locating the ball. Powerful attacking blockers, quick with his hands getting through the traffic. Solid tackle to tackle inside linebacker skills showing relatively good instincts and fits at the hole. Very active with a good motor. Hustled in pursuit. He is a little tight hipped, lacking suddenness in his change of direction. Takes good angles reacting play side. He was a little sluggish in coverage taking some false steps reacting on the throw. Struggled in man cover getting lost on quick cuts. Did not demonstrate great range in coverage and pursuit although he was around the ball a lot. He is a classic “thumper” inside linebacker. With the emphasis on pass defense he maybe a two down player.

Bobby Wagner - Utah State

Bobby Wagner (Utah State) – 6002, 241. Sudden read and react. Stood out in tackling drills as he demonstrated classic form. Quick and explosive in reactions at times. Attacked blockers aggressively but at times was covered up and locked out. Tended to get tall on a block after initial contact. Inconsistent using his hands to shed. He is a little mechanical in movements “playing by the numbers” rather than natural instincts. He had good overall technique and showed good toughness. Struggled playing over a tight end where he did not appear natural and his footwork was poor. He played better inside and backed off. Showed good range in pursuit and normally took a good angle to the ball. Decent in coverage, taking good drops and reacting well on the throw. Did a nice job in zone coverage recognizing routes in the short and deep zones. Had his head on a swivel playing the receiver and the quarterback. OK in man cover, staying with the tight end and mirroring backs routes well. Solid in all areas of linebacker play. An inside linebacker prospect that could play outside in some schemes. Voted defensive MVP in game. Outstanding on special teams’ coverage. Emmanuel Acho (Texas) – 6010, 235. Good initial read and react. Very active and aggressive. Demonstrates good agility in traffic and the ability to track moving downhill. Shows good instincts and takes good angles in pursuit. Fits the hole well and did a nice job on backside reactions. Tough to block, good with his hands showing the ability to stun and separate from the blocker. Took an occasional false step and showed some hesitation reacting in coverage. Not sudden in change of direction but shows adequate agility. Man technique in pass coverage was good and took solid pass drops. Reacted quickly to the thrown ball. Question his ability long term as a cover linebacker but is solid against the run. Overall he had a solid week and was around the ball showing good hustle and aggressiveness. Jake Bequette (Arkansas) – 6044, 264. Defensive end convert that looked strong in pass rush drills. Shows natural pass rush ability. Can bend and squeeze to quarterback. Looked awkward in linebacker drills. New to the position. Hesitant in reactions when backed off. At his best over the tight end where he showed good initial punch with his hands and the ability to separate from a blocker. Powerful when attacking a block. Not a sudden change of direction player. Overall a marginal athlete for a linebacker. He runs well in pursuit and showed good fits at the hole and took decent angles to the ball. Straight line runner that did not track well moving downhill. Took an OK pass drop but was late reacting and struggled to cover backs in man pass coverage. He may be limited to a 3-4 outside rush linebacker. Nigel Bradham (Florida State) – 6015, 237, hands 10 3/8”, arms 33 ¼”. Athletic linebacker that shows good agility, quickness, and a burst in pursuit. Some hesitancy in initial read and react. Once he “sees it” he shows a good quick burst to the ball. Adequate fits to the hole and reacts well moving downhill. Good overall shed technique. Uses hands well to shed blocks and reacts well when working off a block. Takes adequate pass drops and has good closing speed in pursuit. Reacts well on the throw. Inconsistent in man cover as he got lost several times on cuts in both drills and team. Shows decent instincts and took good angles in pursuit. Late reacting at times and would get out of position. Looked good in tackling drills and appears to be a solid tackler. Has a burst in pass rush drills but locked up on the blocker at times. Overall he looked good at all three linebacker spots and could play anywhere in a 4-3. Bottom line – an athletic linebacker with decent size. Zach Brown (North Carolina) – 6013, 236. Good initial read and react but will hesitate at times. He has a quick burst when reacting and is very athletic with sudden change of direction. Has some tools you can’t teach. Reacts moving downhill with that quick burst. Tracks well and gets good fits to the hole. Inconsistent using his hands to shed blocks and occasionally knocked off track by not “shooting his hands to work through the traffic.” Good pursuit angles with excellent closing speed. Occasionally will make a bad read that looks like a guess. He is then out of position. He needs to be consistent in his read and trust his ability to react. Stood out in pass rush drills, showing an explosive burst and the ability to close quickly on the quarterback. Takes good pass drops and reacts well on the throw. Excellent range in coverage and has closing speed. Very good man cover skills, has the speed to run with backs and mirrored cuts well. An elite linebacker prospect. Keenan Robinson (Texas) 6031, 240. Above average initial read and react. Pursues well and overall takes good angles. Has decent agility in traffic and space. Plays tall on blocks at times but shows some power getting off a block. Tends to attack blocks without getting good separation with his hands but did not get locked up often. Will need to use his hands better in the NFL. Keeps moving to the ball. Shows good zone awareness in his pass drop and has good range in coverage. Reacts quickly on the throw and has a good feel for route recognition. Always around the ball on pass plays. Good man cover technique for the most part. Struggled with the quick small backs but was solid versus a tight end. Good closing burst in pursuit. Did not always fit the hole play side but was at his best on the backside in pursuit. Good effort player, hustles on the field. Used his hands well when over a tight end in the Under front. Showed good perimeter run defense as he could make plays on the edge. Overall shows good linebacker tools and could project as a 4-3 outside linebacker.

Sean Spence - Miami

Sean Spence (Miami) – 5113, 228. Very good instincts to read and react. Quick downhill reactions with the ability to redirect moving forward. Fluid athlete with good change of direction. Excellent fits at the hole and takes good pursuit angles. Good knee bend when attacking blocks, explosive and quick with his hands and quick to shed. Gets through the traffic extremely well and does a good job avoiding blocks without getting off track. Will under run occasionally and get out of position but normally has a good nose for the ball. Takes open windows quickly when filling. Solid pass defender. Excellent depth of drop with a good feel for zone coverage and route recognition. Quick reactions on the throw with good range in coverage. Excellent in pursuit with good closing speed. Good mirror in man coverage, rarely lost on a cut. Explosive and quick in pass rush drills. Size a limiting factor, has to rely on quickness and technique. Overall an athletic linebacker that makes a lot of plays and is around the ball. Size a major issue when looking at the next level but has good tools and should be a great special teams’ player and cover linebacker.

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Defensive Back Film Notes: Senior Bowl

Jamel Fleming - Oklahoma

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The Senior Bowl: Alfonzo Dennard (Nebraska) – 5100, 203. Is competitive and consistently challenges receivers. Majors in press man which couldn’t be played in the game, so he worked on his off man skills. Can track, trail, and snug up on a receiver. Good instincts and ball reactions. Always in a position to make a play. Plays with a good stance, balance and strength. Did not play in the game due to a hip injury. Jamel Fleming (Oklahoma) – 5105, 202. Proved during the week that he can track and trail on the fastest receivers. Physical corner who can tackle. A good competitor with quick feet. Fluid with good hip flexibility. He can drive and snap off quickly. Can neutralize the lead blocker and shed. Has the size and strength to string out the play. Donnie Fletcher (Boston College) – 6002, 201. Plays the best in press coverage where he can get his hands on receivers and reroute them. Drives hard on the ball in front of him. Inconsistent to separate quickly from the blocker and get in on the play. Late reacting at times. George Iloha (Boise State) – 6035, 222, arms 33 7/8”, wing span 81 5/8”. A rangy athlete who had a good first day of practice then had a diving interception during the second day of practice. Played both free and strong safety. He also played man to man on a slot receiver. A good looking athlete with range. Asa Jackson (Cal Poly) – 5097, 193. Is a quick-footed corner who will also contribute as a punt return specialist. Quick break on the ball. Was not out of place in the game. Shorter than ideal. Needs more tackling strength. A raw talent who is an ascending player. Leonard Johnson (Iowa State) – 5097, 198. Small hands 8” and short arms 28 ¾”. Mirrors cuts well in man to man. Flashes a burst in transition. Good short area quickness. Shorter than ideal, but has good leaping ability and timing. Needs to be more consistent and physical in press coverage. D’Anton Lynn (Penn State) – 5115, 205. Was evident in practice that he was more of a safety than a corner after repeatedly getting beat in practice by the wide receivers. He does a good job of pattern reading when in zone coverage. Trenton Robinson (Michigan State) – 5094, 193. Good week of practice in man drills. A big hitter who is generally a good wrap tackler. Quick to read and react. Can be beat in a double move by a savvy wide receiver. Will lose the ball at times in deep coverage. Harrison Smith (Notre Dame) – 6016, 212, hands 10 1/8”. An active player who is instinctive and hustles in pursuit. Gets downhill quickly on run support and reacts well in space. Would like to see him make more plays because he is always around the ball. Needs work on coverage skills. Solid coverage as a cover 3 strong safety. Struggled in deep and man coverage. Antonio Allen (South Carolina) – 6012, 202. Demonstrated good change of direction reacting quickly downhill in run support. Better in zone coverage than man to man. Good shoulder wrap up hitter. Played the hybrid “spur” position in college where he was a combination linebacker and strong safety. Good competitor. Dwight Bentley (Louisiana- Lafayette) – 5097, 176. Small hands 7 7/8” and short arms 29 ½”. A little big man. Shorter than ideal, but he features quick ball reactions and mirrors cuts consistently. Can turn and burst in transition and has the speed to run with vertical receivers. Can stick his foot in the ground and drive on the ball. Brandon Boykin (Georgia) – 5092, 183. Runs well on deep routes in man coverage. Stays on the receiver’s hip and mirrors cuts and reacts quickly on the throw. Technically sound in press coverage. Physical for a small corner. Sudden to break on the ball. Asset as a return specialist.

Casey Hayward - Vanderbilt

Casey Hayward (Vanderbilt) – 5110, 188. Good ball skills and hip flexibility. Easily changes direction. A good athlete with a closing burst. Competed well in practice and the game slapping away a potential touchdown. Quick handed. Sticky man coverage ability. Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama) – 5096, 191. Is a talented and athletic corner who demonstrated an excellent break and drive on the ball. Reacts quickly to receiver cuts. Was solid in practice working on press coverage. Top level coverage skills both man and zone. Can be burned with double moves because he jumps routes after peeking into the backfield. Will contribute on special teams in both coverage and returns. Markelle Martin (Oklahoma State) – 6006, 203. Can play both free or strong safety. A physical player who will run through a wide receiver to make a play. Did a solid job during the week covering tight ends and backs out of the backfield. Dequan Menzie (Alabama) – 5104, 195. Received work at both strong safety and corner. Stood out as a safety reacting well downhill and showing good zone awareness. Short for a safety but was strong in run support skills. Technically sound in man to man coverage. Ability to play both positions will help his draft stock.

Ryan Steed - Furman

Ryan Steed (Furman) – 5103, 190. Is a competitive press and jam corner. Had a good week of practice where he improved his coverage techniques and adjustment to the speed of the game. Athletic with good hip flexibility. Gets high in his backpedal at times. When he drops his hips he can transition smoothly to turn and run. Ascending player. Brandon Taylor (LSU) – 5111, 202. Was around the ball during the week but did not get in position to make a play. Has some stiffness that results in his ability to react quickly to receiver’s cuts. His best asset is the ability to support the run.

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Specialist Film Notes: Senior Bowl

Carson Wiggs - Purdue

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The Senior Bowl: Brad Nortman (Wisconsin) – 6023, 207. Right footed punter. Averaged 43.7 yards in three punts with a long of 50 yards in the game. Had one kickoff for 65 yards. Best hang time for punts was 4.99. Carson Wiggs (Purdue) – 6004, 222. Made 27, 32, and 28 yard field goals in the game and missed a 37-yarder. He averaged 64.2 yards on five kickoffs, two of which went for touchbacks. Right footed. Averaged 3.79 on kickoff hang times. Kyle Wojta (Wisconsin) – 6014, 239. Long snapper with an average deep snap during the week of .69 on ten snaps. Short snaps on PATs and field goals was .36. Randy Bullock (Texas A&M) – 5093, 207. Made a 39 and 23 yard field goal in the game. In practice he had a quick rise on the ball. His four kickoffs in the game averaged 62 yards. Right footed. Averaged over 4.10 hang times on kickoffs. Drew Butler (Georgia) – 6011, 199. Averaged 50.5 yards per punt on four punts with a long of 56 yards. He had one touchback. Right footed punter. Hang times in practice and game averaged in the 4.07 to 4.67 range. Josh Harris (Auburn) – 6011, 250. Long snapper on punts averaged .70 and on short snaps they averaged .35 in practice.

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Quarterback Film Notes: East-West Shrine Game

 

BJ Coleman - Tennessee-Chattanooga

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The East-West Shrine Game: John Brantley (Florida) – 6025, 219. Has a long delivery which keeps him from hitting small areas in coverage. Struggled with his footwork. Lacks big arm strength to play on Sunday. Inconsistent accuracy. Austin Davis (Southern Mississippi) – 6013, 218, big hands 10 1/8”. Lacks the arm strength for velocity on 18-yard comebacks, but can throw the quick slants. Former walk-on with good intangibles. BJ Coleman (Tennessee- Chattanooga) – 6031, 234. Has the size and arm strength to be a third quarterback on an NFL roster. Needs work on his accuracy, footwork, and overall consistency. Tyler Hansen (Colorado) – 6004, 222. Was inconsistent throwing during the week. His arm strength and accuracy are in the free agent category. Good athletic ability. Chandler Harnish (Northern Illinois) – 6014, 219. A play action, move outside the pocket type quarterback. Strong enough to shed and break tackles. Can throw well on the run with bootlegs and waggles. Dan Persa (Northwestern) – 5111, 212. Smart with good intangibles. Good anticipation to drive the ball on post routes. Good under pressure.

Dan Persa - Northwestern


 

 

 

 

 

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Running Back Film Notes: East-West Shrine Game

Lennon Creer - Louisiana Tech

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The East-West Shrine Game: Davin Meggett (Maryland) – 5081, 220. Runs with good balance and lower body power. A third down type back. Has some shake in space. Alfred Morris (Florida Atlantic) – 5101, 222, hands 10 1/8”. Runs with good balance but question his vision to read the inside seams. He may be better as a downhill I-formation back. Average hands. Ball security problems. Tauren Poole (Tennessee) – 5097, 206. Possesses good running skills and hands to catch check downs. Third down type back. Quick reactions from his eyes to feet. Lennon Creer (Louisiana Tech) – 5116, 222. Strong inside runner who has the speed to bounce the ball outside and run the edges. Catches the ball well out of the backfield. Bobby Rainey (Western Kentucky) – 5070, 208. Better as an I-formation downhill runner. Sees cutback lanes better standing up in the I. Has some shake in space after he catches the ball. Marc Tyler (Southern Cal) – 5106, 230. Is a powerful inside and outside zone runner with good body lean. Runs with his pads over his toes. A two down type back with inconsistent hands. Emil Igwenagu (Massachusetts) – 6012, 245, arms 33”. Utility H-back type player. Has good hands and can adjust to an off target pass. Runs hard after catch. Can catch and block.

Emil Igwenagu - Massachusetts

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Wide Receiver Film Notes: East-West Shrine Game

Tim Benford - Tennessee Tech

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The East-West Shrine Game: Tim Benford (Tennessee Tech) – 5113, 199. Is a sure handed receiver with very good speed. He plucks the ball out away from his body. Despite his good hands he needs work on ball security. A developmental guy who must elevate his whole game to make a roster, but has the tools to do it. LaRon Byrd (Miami) – 6035, 224. Is a big and strong West Coast type receiver who majors in slant patterns. He had much to prove during the week catching only 11 passes at Miami in 2011. BJ Cunningham (Michigan State) – 6013, 209. Is a physical receiver who had a strong week of practice and snatched the ball in his hands away from his body. His small hands (8 ¼”) are a concern. Kevin Hardy (Citadel) – 5111, 183. Was basically a blocker in a run-oriented offense. Inconsistent catching the ball and running routes. A developmental receiver.

AJ Jenkins - Illinois

AJ Jenkins (Illinois) – 6002, 192. Displayed rare quickness in and out of his breaks. Demonstrated good leaping ability during the week. Wasn’t afraid to lay out for the ball. Lance Lewis (East Carolina) – 6006, 209, long arms 33” and big hands 10”. Possesses an above average set of hands. Had strong Wednesday and Thursday practices running routes and snatching the ball. Has the talent to make a Sunday roster. Thomas Mayo (California-PA) – 6012, 207. Has inconsistent hands and question his focus and concentration. Athletic and smooth in his movements. Greg Childs (Arkansas) – 6031, 215, arms 33 ½”, hands 10 1/8”. Has been hampered for two years by a torn patella tendon. Possession receiver who lacks burst after catch. Good downfield effort to block. Darius Hanks (Alabama) – 5116, 182. Is a good route runner who doesn’t shy away from blocking. Snatches the ball in his hands. Returns kickoffs. Adjusts well to off target passes. Junior Hemingway (Michigan) – 6007, 228. Did not play in the game due to a hamstring injury suffered during the week. Strong but inconsistent hands. Eyes don’t always follow ball. Will reach and extend for the pass.

Dale Moss - South Dakota State

Dale Moss (South Dakota State) – 6033, 220, long arms 33 1/8”, big hands 10 1/8”. A developmental receiver with only one year of college football under his belt. Impressive on the basketball floor as a rebounder and shot blocker. Improved during the week. Caught two passes during the game, including a low ball catch over the middle. Tyler Shoemaker (Boise State) – 6013, 214. Was Kellen Moore’s go-to receiver in 2011. Possession type receiver who may help on coverage teams. Good concentration in a crowd. Jarius Wright (Arkansas) – 5095, 176. A small, quick receiver who can separate from a defensive back with double moves. Led the SEC in catches in 2011. Explosive and dangerous in the open field. Has good hands, but will body catch at times. Devon Wylie (Fresno State) – 5091, 186. Is a make you miss type slot receiver and punt returner. Poor man’s Wes Welker. Quickly gets up the field after catch. Danny Coale (Virginia Tech). Backed out of the Shrine Game due to a pulled intercostal muscle near his rib a week prior to the start of practice.

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Offensive Line Film Notes: East-West Shrine Game

Joe Long - Wayne State (MI)

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The East-West Shrine Game: Jeff Adams (Columbia) – 6060, 306, arms 34 3/8”. Has some tools to work with such as size, but he plays high and lacks hip flexibility. Struggles versus the speed and power rush. Derek Dennis (Temple) – 6030, 315, arms 33”, hands 10”. Thick lower body. Good bend and punch. Physical blocker who must keep his feet moving to create a running lane. Was bull rushed by Kyle Wilber. Struggled to anchor. Lamar Holmes (Southern Mississippi) – 6051, 320, arms 35 ¼”. Thick lower body. Always played in a 2-point preset stance in college. Question balance and anchor ability. Can be put on skates if he doesn’t bend his knees. Will drop his head and hands in pass protection. Needs to work on his hand use. Tyler Horn (Miami) – 6036, 308. Did not play to his size. Lacks strength at point of attack. Got driven back into backfield. Rishaw Johnson (California-PA) – 6034, 309, arms 34 ½”, hands 11”. Mauler type physical blocker who struggled on the first day of practice. Has consistent breakdowns in technique. Loses concentration and jumps the count at times. Transferred from Mississippi. Joe Long (Wayne State-MI) – 6054, 308, arms 34” hands 10”. His ability as a long snapper will go a long way in helping him make a roster. Brother of Dolphins’ Jake Long. Struggled with edge speed and anchor strength. Best position will be guard. Quentin Saulsberry (Mississippi State) – 6024, 302, arms 33 5/8”, hands 10”. Played guard most of the year and worked at center during the week. Played all offensive line positions for the Bulldogs. Can pull and seal the edge. Effective to cut off second level defenders. Locks on defender and gets movement. Plays on his feet. Bradley Sowell (Mississippi) – 6067, 316. Is a waist bender who struggles to anchor in the pass game. A fringe athlete with marginal strength.

Jeremiah Warren - South Florida

Jeremiah Warren (South Florida) – 6027, 336, arms 34”, hands 10 3/8”. Good zone blocker in the run game. He took good steps and had his helmet fitted into the defender. Plays with knee bend and flashes a powerful punch. Physical in his play. Powerful lower body and thick hips. Desmond Wynn (Rutgers) – 6053, 305, arms 34”, hands 10”. Has a frame to gain. Stays square. Can get some movement and push in the run game. Good punch and mirror in pass protection. Brandon Brooks (Miami-OH) – 6045, 353, arms 33 ½”, hands 10”. Passed the look test at the weigh-in on Monday. He built on that impressive physical size during the week with consistent practices. Equally as strong as a run blocker and pass protector. Demonstrates quick feet and a solid punch. Good agility in space. Tom Compton (South Dakota) – 6052, 314, arms 33 7/8”. Is a good athlete who plays with good knee bend, base, and flexibility. Will be a developmental tackle or guard. Needs technique work in his overall game. Has natural talent to make a team. Ben Heenan (Saskatchewan-Canada) – 6041, 315, hands 10 1/8”. Is an active and scrappy Canadian who played hard from snap to whistle. Needs technique work. Plays high and gets driven back at times. Tough kid. Marcel Jones (Nebraska) – 6060, 330, arms 34 1/8”, hands 10 ¼”. Position blocker who uses his hands well. Struggled in practice during the week but moved his feet and walled off defenders. Worked to finish in the game. Josh LeRibeus (SMU) – 6031, 316. Physical on down blocks, effective to seal linebackers on the second level. Slides off well on combination blocks. Ryan Miller (Colorado) – 6067, 326. Got work at guard and tackle in practice, but played mainly tackle in the game. A good effort player who has some deficiencies like short arms (32 ½”) but there is a place for him on a roster. Can tie up and run a defensive end around the quarterback. Pulls and walls off linebacker in space. Stays on his feet. Better in the run game. Needs more strength and bend. Al Netter (Northwestern) – 6040, 316, arms 33 1/8”, hands 10”. Works to finish his blocks. Played left tackle in college and got work at guard in practice and the game. Has tools to work with including good technique and hand placement. Moe Petrus (Connecticut) – 6017, 299. Looked out of place at times because he lacks strength and balance in both the run game and pass protection.

Matt Reynolds - BYU

Matt Reynolds (BYU) – 6044, 310, arms 33 1/8. Played most of the game at left tackle. Can sit down and slide his feet in pass protection. One of the few linemen that could stalemate #95, Kyle Wilber. He still needs technique work on a two-move pass rusher. David Snow (Texas) – 6037, 303, hands 10 ¼”. Locks onto defender and runs his feet. Played both center and guard in practice. Worked at center in the game. A scrappy and crafty lineman who is smart and instinctive. Markus Zusevics (Iowa) – 6047, 296, arms 33”. Did not play in the game due to a hamstring injury.

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Linebacker Film Notes: East-West Shrine Game

Kyle Wilber - Wake Forest

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The East-West Shrine Game: Steven Erzinger (Army) – 6007, 219. Undersized linebacker with a military commitment. Najee Goode (West Virginia) – 6001, 245. Was an inconsistent tackler during the week. Needs to get stronger to disengage from big linemen. Tendency to get tied up too long. Max Gruder (Pittsburgh) – 6011, 235. A versatile linebacker who has experience at all three linebacker positions. Played mostly on the weakside during the week of practice. Instinctive, plays square, but is an average athlete. Josh Linam (Central Florida) – 6021, 245. Inconsistent tackler, struggled with speed to the perimeter. A tackle to tackle linebacker. Brandon Lindsey (Pittsburgh) – 6015, 255, hands 10 ¾”. Plays best when his hand is on the ground rushing off the edge. Heavy legs. Can be single blocked by a back. Flashes first step quickness. Question speed. Shawn Loiseau (Merrimack) – 6002, 241. Was a sideline to sideline player during the week. Active. Good instincts. Lacks strength at the point of attack. Can get turned in the hole. Kyle Wilber (Wake Forest) – 6035, 249. Flashes a quick burst off the edge. Plays low and with leverage to press the pocket. Good lateral quickness. May be a 3-4 pass rush specialist. Gave problems to almost every offensive lineman with his motor and double moves. Jerry Franklin (Arkansas) – 6011, 241, arms 33 ¼”. Will play high at times and the blockers get to his legs. Steven Johnson (Kansas) – 6002, 241. Instinctive player who can sniff out screens. Has a tendency to take bad cross field angles on the ball carrier.

Brandon Marshall - Nevada

Brandon Marshall (Nevada) – 6012, 254, arms 33 3/8”, hands 10 1/8”. A three-down linebacker with good instincts. Plays with a good motor and finishes long and short pursuit. Alert, athletic, and explosive in his play. Can run with his target in man to man coverage or drop into zone. Ronnie Thornton (Southern Mississippi) – 6015, 247, arms 33 1/8”. Hesitant to read and react at times. When he sees the ball he reacts up to make a play. Josh Kaddu (Oregon) – 6026, 235, arms 33 ¼”. Doesn’t stay blocked. Quick to disengage and shed. Athletic with good change of direction. A run and hit linebacker who will contribute on all special teams’ coverage units. Tank Carder (TCU) – 6022, 236. Plays square and bounces around on his toes. Breaks up quickly on the ball in front of him. Will contribute on coverage teams.

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Defensive Back Film Notes: East-West Shrine Game

Charles Brown - North Carolina

The following notes of note are snippets that were taken at live practices, practice tape and game tape. Ourlads NFL Scouting Services studied over 600 players from seven college all-star games. The East-West Shrine Game: Justin Bethel (Presbyterian) – 5111, 196. Has good speed and short area quickness. Needs technique work and skills refinement but has some interesting tools to work with. Robert Blanton (Notre Dame) – 6003, 197. A wrap up tackler who plays corner but projects to safety for many teams. Struggled early in the week at practice with off-man, but looked at home when he worked on press man on Wednesday’s practice. Charles Brown (North Carolina) – 5091, 209. Was the Tar Heels’ defensive back of the year. Plays the ball in the air. Aggressive and confident. Was beat in game deep, but recovered and looked for ball. Emanuel Davis (East Carolina) – 5100, 186. Plays high with inconsistent knee bend in his back pedal. He struggles to pattern read at times. Better in zone coverage. Gary Gray (Notre Dame) – 5104, 191. Missed the game with a groin injury. Tysyn Hartman (Kansas State) – 6025, 208. Plays better closer to the line of scrimmage. Inconsistent wrap tackler. Tries to shoulder hit a back down. He does possess good field awareness and instincts. Has lower body tightness. Did not play in game due to concussion symptoms.

Josh Norman - Coastal Carolina

Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina) – 6003, 203. Started out Monday practices impressing the scouts and continued through Saturday. Plays with confidence but Jarius Wright took him to school a couple of times on game day with double moves. Norman will peek into the backfield at times. Dale Moss, a raw receiver from South Dakota State, broke to the post and back outside and would have scored a touchdown if it was not overthrown. Norman needs more discipline. Talented however. Micah Pellerin (Hampton) – 6003, 195. Can stick his foot in the ground and drive quickly on the ball. Gets high at times in his pedal. Must work to drop his butt and bend his knees. Nick Sukay (Penn State) – 6007, 211. Possesses good ball skills for a run support player. Plays the ball in the air. Christian Thompson (South Carolina State) – 6003, 213. Is a big and athletic free safety who is green in technique, but has some interesting tools. Instincts are questionable. Jerrell Young (South Florida) – 6007, 207. A hitter who is up quickly on run support. Austin Cassidy (Nebraska) – 6003, 210. A former walk-on who is a try hard player with good instincts and limited athletic ability. Blake Gideon (Texas) – 6001, 208. Started 52 games for the Longhorns. Struggled during the week and in the game taking bad angles to the ball. Smart, will hit on run support. Chris Greenwood (Albion) – 6013, 196. Has good size for a cornerback and was active both in practice in the game. Raw in his technique and skills. Developmental project. Brandon Hardin (Oregon State) – 6025, 222. Played corner for the Beavers but lined up at safety for the West team. Has corner skills for a big man. He missed his senior year with a shoulder injury. Good effort on special teams. Aaron Henry (Wisconsin) – 5116, 208. Is a former corner who is playing safety. His corner skills come in handy when covering deep. Plays the ball in the air. Duke Ihenacho (San Jose State) – 6000, 212. Is a long armed and rangy safety. Long strider. Tackles high around the shoulders. Doesn’t consistently break down to tackle. Rodney McLeod (Virginia) – 5095, 185, hands 10 1/ 8”. Overall he had a good week of practice and most of the game, but had a glaring missed tackle on a touchdown by BJ Cunningham. He broke down well and played with a good base to wrap up most skilled players. Demonstrated good short area and lateral quickness. Showed his long speed when he ran down Chad Ford to save a touchdown.

Shaun Prater - Iowa

Shaun Prater (Iowa)

– 5101, 185. Will contribute on all special teams’ coverage. Quick feet and ball reactions. Tough and reactive corner. Physical despite size. Very competitive supporting the run. Keith Tandy (West Virginia) – 5100, 202. Is a physical corner who throws his body at a ball carrier on run support or can wrap up. Has courage to hit. A sticky corner who will go for the strip. Can break on the ball quickly with no false steps. He will also be an asset on punt and kickoff coverage teams. Trevin Wade (Arizona) – 5100, 192. Is a corner who is smooth in transition from his pedal to his ability to turn and run. Good week of practice. Plays the ball in the air with good ball reactions and skills. Matt Daniels (Duke) – 6001, 215. A big strong safety who struggles to change direction in the open field. Has some lower body stiffness. Plays the best in short zone coverage areas. Has questionable long speed.
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Casino Del Sol Classic All-Star Game

Tucson, Arizona became the home of the Casino Del Sol Classic after it was nearly dropped. Last year the game was played in Tempe, Arizona as the Eastham Energy College All-Star Game. The contest was played on January 16, 2012 in the San Diego Padres major league affiliate’s stadium. The game drew over 7800 fans. Former Fresno State head coach Pat Hill coached the Stripes (West) team. Hill is now the offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons. Head coach of the Stars (East) was former Mississippi and Arkansas Head Coach Houston Nutt. The Stripes won the game 24-21. Players that stood out in practice and in the game were: Jeremy Lane (Northwestern State) DC, 5116, 183. Raw but athletic in his play. Courage to hit on run support. Good week of practice, had nine tackles in the game. Jerrell Jackson (Missouri) WR, 5116, 192. Snatches the ball in his hands. Runs good routes. Sam Proctor Jr. (Oklahoma) SS, 5116, 223, arms 34 1/8”. Active wrap up tackler on run support and special teams. Started 13 games at Oklahoma. Alex Gottlieb (William & Mary) TE, 6032, 246. Hand catcher, runs good routes, screen off blocker. Cordarro Law (Southern Mississippi) OB, 6014, 259. Good week of practice. A 3-4 rush end projection. Makes most of his plays when he’s unblocked. Flash guy. Manny Abreu (Rutgers) OB, 6026, 256, hands 10 ¼”. Flashes edge pass rush ability. Needs to disengage better. Drew Nowak (Western Michigan) DT, 6030, 292. Plays with leverage and pushes up the field. Good effort, try hard guy. Jerome Raymond (Morehead State-KY) OB, 6032, 237. Sudden first step quickness. Recorded 68 tackles and 11 ½ sacks senior year. Guesses on snap. He had two offensive penalties in game. Projects to 3-4 edge rusher. Robert Golden (Arizona) SS, 5105, 202. Safety with corner skills.

LaMark Brown - Minnesota State (Mankato)

LaMark Brown (Minnesota State- Mankato) WR, 6030, 223, hands 10”. Possession receiver with run after catch ability. Transfer from Kansas State where he was a running back. Caught eight passes in game. Voted MVP. Rodney Stewart (Colorado) RB, 5061, 174. Small but explosive and elusive in his play. Productive college career with 3598 yards rushing. Justin Helwege (Central Washington) WR, 6040, 212. Possession receiver with good hands. Aaron Pflugrad (Arizona State) WR, 5092, 176. Undersized Wes Welker type receiver with sure hands. Runs good routes and returns punts. Ernest Owusu (California) DE, 6040, 270, hands 10 1/8”. Active big man who hustles all over the field. Missed part of season with broken arm. Dexter Heyman (Louisville) IB, 6024, 238, arms 33 ¾”. Downhill linebacker with good instincts. Plays square. Brian McNally (New Hampshire) DE, 6030, 263, arms 33 1/8”. Good measurables for position. Has 28.5 career sacks and 40.5 tackles for loss. Carmen Messina (New Mexico) IB, 6006, 238. Plays square. Good fit in hole. Two down linebacker.

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HBCU All-Star Bowl

The third annual Historical Black Colleges and Universities All-Star Bowl was played on December 18, 2011 and featured the top 120 draft eligible seniors from the major HBCU football conferences – the MEAC, SWAC, SIAC, and CIAA. A one-day Combine started off the week of practices to get verified information on the participants. The week also included player hospital visits, a life skills session, financial advisor seminar, and entertainment weekend events. Three players from the 2010 game were drafted in the 7th round of the 2011 draft – South Carolina State’s offensive tackle, JC Culbreath by Detroit; Alabama A&M’s defensive tackle, Frank Kearse by Miami; and Florida A&M’s free safety, Curtis Holcomb by San Francisco. A total of 35 players signed free agent contracts for the 2011 NFL season. The game was played in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta where the East team beat the West 23-13. Standouts in practice or the game who have a chance to be in a camp include: Donovan Robinson (Jackson State) OB, 6020, 229, Adrian Hamilton (Prairie View) OB, 6020, 246, hands 10 1/8”, Jared Green (Southern) WR, 6005, 188, who is the son of Hall of Fame corner Darrell Green, Lamont Bryant (Morgan State) slot receiver, 6042, 221, arms 33 3/ 8”, and LaQuinton Evans (Southern) WR, 6007, 198.

Jared Green - Southern

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Players All-Star Classic

The first year college all-star game which featured Division I, II, and III players was played on February 4, 2012 with a North-South format. War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas hosted the game coached by Martin Bayless (North) and Kurt Schottenheimer (South). Utah State’s Michael Smith, a compact running back with good balance, was named the game’s MVP after rushing for 124 yards on 12 carries and returning four kickoffs for 105 yards. Smith (5081, 207) is projected as a late round/priority free agent talent.

Michael Smith - Utah State

Approximately 26 of the 120 rostered players have been invited to the Combine in Indianapolis. Prospects that have a chance to be in a camp include the following: Christo Bilukidi (Georgia State) DT, 6040, 307, arms 34 5/8”, hands 10”, developmental prospect with NFL measurables. First move is up not out. From Canada. Brett Roy (Nevada) DE, 6025, 273, recorded two sacks in the game. Good effort and hustle player. Caleb McSurdy (Montana) IB, 6006, 251, camp type tough guy who struggles to disengage. Zach Nash (Sacramento State) LB, 6023, 252, pass rush specialist with a quick first step, 3-4 edge prospect. James Carmon (Mississippi State) OT, 6054, 334, arms 34”, developmental player with tools. Antoine McClain (Clemson) OT, 6055, 335, arms 34 ¼”, hands 10 3/8”, has talent but needs technique work. Jeremy Lane (Northwestern State) DC, 5116, 183, built on his good showing in the Casino Del Sol All-Star game. A group of possession receivers who should be in NFL camps include Marcus Rivers (Buffalo) 6026, 211, Phillip Payne (UNLV) 6026, 208, Darius Reynolds (Iowa State) 6016, 212, Wes Kemp (Missouri) 6031, 230, and Derek Moye (Penn State) 6044, 205. Others who flashed during the week: Jamie Blatnick (Oklahoma State) OB/ DE, 6027, 270, Paul Cornick (North Dakota State) OT, 6053, 308, arms 34 1/8”, hands 10 1/8”, Eric Lattimore (Penn State) DE, 6052, 279, arms 34 5/ 8”, hands 10 1/8”, Dustin Waldron (Portland State) OT, 6052, 307, Darrion Weems (Oregon) OG, 6043, 316, arms 34 ½”, hands 10 ¼”, Tahir Whitehead (Temple) OB, 6011, 233, Sammy Brown (Houston) OB, 6016, 243, Coty Sensabaugh (Clemson) DC, 5112, 187, Jacquies Smith (Missouri) DE/OB, 6023, 255, Danny Trevathan (Kentucky) IB, 5117, 230, Alex Tanney (Monmouth-IL) QB, 6027, 216, Aaron Corp (Richmond) QB, 6035, 214, and Damon Harrison (William Penn) DT, 6023, 347, arms 33 ¼”, hands 10 ½”.

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Astroturf NFLPA All-Star Bowl

The inaugural NFLPA Collegiate Bowl was held in Carson, California at the New Home Depot Center stadium on January 21, 2012. Tom Flores was head coach of the American team and Dick Vermeil was the head coach of the National team. The college all-star game was the first to invite juniors to participate in their game. The NFL office then sent out a directive to all 32 teams that league personnel would not be allowed to attend the practices or game. The ban on NFL team scouts was made to keep an ongoing positive relationship with colleges and universities. Three juniors participated in the game – Brandon Washington (Miami) OG, 6030, 325, Max Holloway (Boston College) OB/DE, 6020, 242, and Phillip Thomas (Syracuse) FS, 5116, 186. Washington was the top offensive lineman in the game and demonstrated his athletic ability and position flexibility, playing both guard and tackle. Specifically, he can bend at the hips and knees, block downfield, recover and redirect his body to seal a defender. He was not in top playing shape during the week and needs to finish his blocks more consistently.

Brandon Washington - Miami

Holloway projects to a 3-4 outside rush linebacker. He was very active, disengages quickly, and plays with his throttle wide open. Instinctive and aware. Impressive week blitzing and pressuring the quarterback. Thomas was suspended late in his junior season at Syracuse and declared for the draft on January 15th. Active in run support and plays with good field awareness. Delano Johnson (Bowie State) OLB, 6050, 270 is raw and fast twitch in his play. Has a wing span of 82.5 inches. He was also impressive on special teams’ coverage, making two tackles. In his college career, Johnson blocked ten kicks. Other notables on the National team were: Gerald Gooden (Purdue) OB, 6031, 249. He can pressure the edge. Projects as a 3-4 rush end like fellow Boilermaker alum, Cliff Avril. Jonte Green (New Mexico State) DC, 5116, 184. A man to man corner who will need to learn how to play zone coverage. Good athletic ability. Better than average tackler. Needs to get stronger. Alex Hoffman-Ellis (Washington State) MLB, 6006, 236. Played the hybrid outside linebacker for the Cougars. Led the Pac-12 in solo tackles. Quick to read and react. Will contribute on special teams’ coverage. Marquette King (Fort Valley State) PT. Raw on his drops and mechanics, but has good leg strength. Averaged 4.51 hang times on punts during the week. Sean McGrath (Henderson State) TE, 6054, 243. Angular big target who plucks the ball out away from his body. Made 56 catches in 2011. Screen off blocker. Tracy Robertson (Baylor) DT, 6046, 286. A one gap player with quick hands and arm over move. Good effort player who may get a look as a 3-4 end. Laron Scott (Georgia Southern) DC, 5096, 180. Will contribute on all special teams’ coverage and returns. Elusive with big speed. Will shoulder hit and wrap up as a coverage corner. Others on the American team were: Vince Browne (Northwestern) DE, 6056, 260. Has good lateral quickness and balance. Good eye, hand, and foot coordination. High motor, good effort player who goes to the whistle. Keith Nichol (Michigan State) WR, 6024, 215. A good athlete who will make a good utility quarterback, wide receiver, and special teams’ performer. Good week of practice. Zach Masch (Hawaii) DT, 6022, 280. Solid week of practice. Undersized but may get a look as a 3-4 defensive end. Disruptive player who has first step quickness.

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Battle of Florida College All-Star Game

The first year college all-star game featured NFL draft eligible players who were either born in Florida or played high school or college football in the Sunshine State. The game was played on January 21, 2012 in Boca Raton, FL. Bobby Bowden coached the North and Howard Schnellenberger the South. The North team ran roughshod over the South 51-3 in the new Florida Atlantic football stadium. Wisconsin corner Antonio Fenelus was the game’s only player to be invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. Participants who have a chance to be in a camp or late draft choices include: Claude Davis (South Florida) OB, 6015, 242, arms 33 7/8”, hands 10 3/8”, Charles Deas (Shaw) DT, 6030, 318, arms 33 ½”, Antonio Fenelus (Wisconsin) DC, 5080, 190, Adam Nissley (Central Florida) TE, 6051, 268, JR Sweezy (North Carolina State) DT, 6045, 296, arms 33 ¼”, Josh Bellamy (Louisville) WR, 6002, 208, Travaris Cadet (Appalachian State) RB, 6000, 213, Dominique Davis (East Carolina) QB, 6026, 224, Marcus Dowtin (Georgia) OB, 6022, 230, Joel Figueroa (Miami) OG, 6055, 323, arms 33 5/8”, Elliott Henigan (Alabama-Birmingham) DT, 6055, 318, arms 33 5/ 8”, Kyle Hill (Duke) OT, 6056, 311, Darius Nall (Central Florida) DE, 6022, 250, Nick Pieschel (Central Florida) OG, 6060, 301, arms 34”, hands 10 3/8”, Quinton Pointer (UNLV) DC, 5086, 193, DeAndre Presley (Appalachian State) RS, 5100, 193, Bert Reed (Florida State) WR, 5097, 169, Beau Reliford (Florida State) TE, 6053, 265, arms 33 1/8”, Ronnie Sneed (Kentucky) IB, 6007, 238, hands 10 1/8”, Gary Tinsley (Minnesota) IB, 5114, 236, Quenton Washington (South Florida) DC, 5103, 198, and Greg Williams (Pittsburgh) OB, 6013, 238, arms 33”.

Antonio Fenelus - Wisconsin

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2012 Free Agent Rankings by Position – Quarterbacks

Drew Brees - New Orleans Saints

Quarterbacks
Player Team Age Type New Team
Brees, Drew NO 33 F NO
Orton, Kyle KC 31 UFA DAL
Smith, Alex SF 27 UFA SF
Flynn, Matt GB 26 UFA SEA
Campbell, Jason OAK 30 UFA CHI
Henne, Chad MIA 26 UFA JAC
Young, Vince PHI 28 UFA
Johnson, Josh TB 25 UFA SF
Hill, Shaun DET 32 UFA DET
Dixon, Dennis PIT 27 UFA
Grossman, Rex WAS 31 UFA WAS
McCown, Josh CHI 32 UFA CHI
Stanton, Drew DET 27 UFA NYJ
Rosenfels, Sage MIN 34 UFA MIN
Quinn, Brady DEN 27 UFA KC
Feeley, AJ STL 34 UFA
Whitehurst, Charlie SEA 29 UFA SD
Clemens, Kellen STL 28 UFA
Anderson, Derek CAR 28 UFA CAR
Batch, Charlie PIT 37 UFA
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2012 Free Agent Rankings by Position – Running Backs

Ray Rice - Baltimore Ravens

Running Backs
Player Team Age Type New Team
Rice, Ray BAL 25 F BAL
Forte, Matt CHI 26 F CHI
Bush, Michael OAK 27 UFA CHI
Hillis, Peyton CLE 26 UFA KC
Tolbert, Mike SD 26 UFA CAR
Green-Ellis, BenJarvus NE 26 UFA CIN
Benson, Cedric CIN 29 UFA
Grant, Ryan GB 29 UFA
Smith, Kevin DET 25 UFA
Slaton, Steve MIA 26 UFA MIA
Forsett, Justin SEA 26 UFA
Hightower, Tim WAS 25 UFA
Choice, Tashard BUF 27 UFA BUF
Tomlinson, LaDainian NYJ 32 UFA
Williams, Cadillac STL 29 UFA
Moore, Mewelde PIT 29 UFA
Battle, Jackie KC 28 UFA
Brown, Ronnie PHI 30 UFA
Morris, Maurice DET 32 UFA
Norwood, Jerious STL 28 UFA
Jones, Thomas KC 33 UFA
Cartwright, Rock OAK 32 UFA SF
Ward, Derrick HOU 31 UFA
Taylor, Chester ARI 32 UFA
Harrison, Jerome DET 29 UFA
Faulk, Kevin NE 35 UFA
Graham, Earnest TB 32 UFA
Morris, Sammy DAL 34 UFA
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2012 Free Agent Rankings by Position – Fullbacks

Michael Robinson - Seattle Seahawks

Fullbacks
Player Team Age Type New Team
Robinson, Michael SEA 29 UFA SEA
McClain, Le’Ron KC 27 UFA SD
Hester, Jacob SD 26 UFA
Hall, Ahmard TEN 32 UFA
Larsen, Spencer DEN 28 UFA NE
Schmitt, Owen PHI 26 UFA
Norris, Moran SF 33 UFA
Wilson, Kris BAL 30 UFA
Felton, Jerome IND 25 UFA MIN
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2012 Free Agent Rankings by Position – Wide Receivers

Vincent Jackson – San Diego Chargers (now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

 

Wide Receivers
Player Team Age Type New Team
Jackson, Vincent SD 29 UFA TB
Jackson, DeSean PHI 25 F PHI
Bowe, Dwayne KC 27 F KC
Welker, Wes NE 30 F NE
Colston, Marques NO 28 UFA NO
Wayne, Reggie IND 33 UFA IND
Lloyd, Brandon STL 30 UFA NE
Garcon, Pierre IND 25 UFA WAS
Manningham, Mario NYG 25 UFA SF
Robinson, Laurent DAL 26 UFA JAC
Meachem, Robert NO 27 UFA SD
Douglas, Harry ATL 26 UFA ATL
Royal, Eddie DEN 25 UFA SD
Ginn Jr., Ted SF 26 UFA SF
Doucet, Early ARI 26 UFA ARI
Weems, Eric ATL 26 UFA CHI
Branch, Deion NE 32 UFA NE
Morgan, Josh SF 26 UFA WAS
Simpson, Jerome CIN 26 UFA
Burress, Plaxico NYJ 34 UFA
Cotchery, Jerricho PIT 29 UFA
Naanee, Legedu CAR 28 UFA
Stallworth, Donte WAS 31 UFA NE
Slater, Matt NE 26 UFA NE
Avery, Donnie TEN 27 UFA IND
Caldwell, Andre CIN 26 UFA DEN
Aromashodu, Devin MIN 27 UFA MIN
Clayton, Michael NYG 29 UFA
Hagan, Derek BUF 27 UFA BUF
Spurlock, Michael TB 29 UFA
Crayton, Patrick SD 32 UFA
Schilens, Chaz OAK 26 UFA NYJ
Williams, Roy CHI 30 UFA
Gonzalez, Anthony IND 27 UFA NE
Smith, Steve PHI 26 UFA
Parrish, Roscoe BUF 29 UFA
Thomas, Devin NYG 25 UFA
Camarillo, Greg MIN 29 UFA
Hixon, Domenik NYG 27 UFA NYG
Urban, Jerheme KC 31 UFA
Clayton, Mark STL 29 UFA
Stovall, Maurice DET 27 UFA
Roby, Courtney NO 29 UFA
Davis, Rashied DET 32 UFA
Houshmandzadeh, TJ OAK 34 UFA
Johnson, Bryant HOU 31 UFA
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2012 Free Agent Rankings by Position – Tight Ends

Fred Davis - Washington Redskins

Tight Ends
Player Team Age Type New Team
Davis, Fred WAS 26 F WAS
Carlson, John SEA 27 UFA MIN
Tamme, Jacob IND 26 UFA DEN
Davis, Kellen CHI 26 UFA CHI
Shiancoe, Visanthe MIN 31 UFA
Bennett, Martellus DAL 25 UFA NYG
Dreessen, Joel HOU 29 UFA DEN
Shockey, Jeremy CAR 31 UFA
Pope, Leonard KC 28 UFA
McMichael, Randy SD 32 UFA SD
Gilmore, John NO 32 UFA
Fells, Daniel DEN 28 UFA NE
Scaife, Bo CIN 31 UFA
Lee, Donald CIN 31 UFA
Kelly, Reggie ATL 32 UFA
Rosario, Dante DEN 27 UFA SD
Smith, Alex CLE 29 UFA CLE
Spach, Stephen STL 29 UFA
Peelle, Justin SF 32 UFA
Jones, Edgar BAL 27 UFA
Humphrey, Tory NO 29 UFA
Bajema, Billy STL 29 UFA
Becht, Anthony KC 34 UFA
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2012 Free Agent Rankings by Position – Offensive Centers

Nick Hardwick - San Diego Chargers

Offensive Centers
Player Team Age Type New Team
Hardwick, Nick SD 30 UFA SD
Wells, Scott GB 31 UFA STL
Myers, Chris HOU 30 UFA HOU
Koppen, Dan NE 32 UFA
Birk, Matt BAL 35 UFA BAL
Samson, Satele OAK 27 UFA IND
Saturday, Jeff IND 36 UFA GB
McClure, Todd ATL 35 UFA
Wiegmann, Casey KC 38 UFA
Connolly, Dan NE 29 UFA NE
Pollak, Mike IND 27 UFA CAR
Mruczkowski, Scott SD 29 UFA
Romberg, Brett ATL 32 UFA
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2012 Free Agent Rankings by Position – Offensive Guards

Carl Nicks - New Orleans Saints (now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

 

Offensive Guards
Player Team Age Type New Team
Nicks, Carl NO 29 UFA TB
Grubbs, Ben BAL 28 UFA NO
Mathis, Evan PHI 30 UFA PHI
Brisiel, Mike HOU 28 UFA OAK
Scott, Jake TEN 30 UFA
Carey, Vernon MIA 30 UFA
Williams, Bobbie CIN 35 UFA
Hangartner, Geoff CAR 29 UFA CAR
Holland, Montrae DAL 31 UFA
Bell, Jacob STL 31 UFA
Livings, Nate CIN 29 UFA DAL
Snyder, Adam SF 30 UFA ARI
Diem, Ryan IND 32 UFA retired
Wragge, Tony STL 32 UFA
Goldberg, Adam STL 31 UFA
Kemoeatu, Chris PIT 29 UFA
Bernadeau, Mackenzy CAR 26 UFA DAL
Dockery, Derrick DAL 31 UFA
Studdard, Kasey HOU 27 UFA
Rachal, Chilo SF 25 UFA
Vallos, Steve CLE 28 UFA PHI
Andrews, Stacy NYG 30 UFA
Hochstein, Russ DEN 34 UFA
Womack, Pork Chop ARI 31 UFA
Lutui, Deuce ARI 28 UFA
Davis, Leonard DET 33 UFA
McGlynn, Mike CIN 27 UFA IND
Greco, John CLE 26 UFA CLE
Ramirez, Manuel DEN 29 UFA DEN
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2012 Free Agent Rankings by Position – Offensive Tackles

Jared Gaither - San Diego Chargers

Offensive Tackles
Player Team Age Type New Team
Gaither, Jared SD 25 UFA SD
Bell, Demetrius BUF 27 UFA
McKenzie, Kareem NYG 32 UFA
Backus, Jeff DET 34 UFA DET
Collins, Anthony CIN 26 UFA CIN
Richardson, Barry KC 25 UFA
Keith, Brandon ARI 27 UFA
Barnes, Khalif OAK 29 UFA OAK
Heyer, Stephon OAK 28 UFA
McQuistan, Pat NO 28 UFA
Colombo, Marc MIA 33 UFA
Dunlap, King PHI 26 UFA
Hicks, Artis CLE 33 UFA MIA
Omiyale, Frank CHI 29 UFA SEA
Lee, James TB 26 UFA
Cousins, Oneil CLE 27 UFA CLE
Essex, Trai PIT 29 UFA
Roland, Dennis CIN 29 UFA
Starks, Max PIT 30 UFA
Batiste, D’Anthony ARI 29 UFA ARI
Chambers, Kirk ATL 32 UFA
Ojinnaka, Quinn IND 27 UFA STL
O’Callaghan, Ryan KC 28 UFA
Kooistra, Scott MIN 31 UFA
Ugoh, Tony NYG 28 UFA
Moll, Tony SD 28 UFA
McQuistan, Paul SEA 28 UFA SEA
LeVoir, Mark STL 29 UFA
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2012 Free Agent Rankings by Position – Defensive Ends

Mario Williams - Houston Texans (now with the Buffalo Bills)

Defensive Ends
Player Team Age Type New Team
Williams, Mario HOU 27 UFA BUF
Campbell, Calais ARI 25 F ARI
Avril, Cliff DET 25 F DET
Mincey, Jeremy JAC 28 UFA JAC
Redding, Cory BAL 31 UFA IND
Idonije, Israel CHI 31 UFA CHI
Carter, Andre NE 32 UFA
Abraham, John ATL 33 UFA ATL
Fanene, Jonathan CIN 29 UFA NE
Anderson, Mark NE 28 UFA BUF
Hayes, William TEN 26 UFA
Gilberry, Wallace KC 27 UFA
Rucker, Frostee CIN 28 UFA CLE
Scott, Trevor OAK 27 UFA NE
Parker, Juqua PHI 33 UFA CLE
Carriker, Adam WAS 27 UFA WAS
Ball, Dave TEN 31 UFA
Brock, Raheem SEA 33 UFA
Brayton, Tyler IND 32 UFA
Bulman, Tim HOU 29 UFA
Anderson, Jamaal IND 26 UFA CIN
Tollefson, Dave NYG 29 UFA
Harvey, Derrick DEN 25 UFA CIN
Ellis, Shaun NE 34 UFA
Wilkerson, Jimmy SEA 31 UFA
Charleston, Jeff NO 29 UFA
Abiamiri, Victor PHI 26 UFA
Alama-Francis, Ikaika MIA 27 UFA
Smith, Aaron PIT 35 UFA
Holliday, Vonnie ARI 36 UFA
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2012 Free Agent Rankings by Position – Defensive Tackles

Red Bryant - Seattle Seahawks

Defensive Tackles
Player Team Age Type New Team
Bryant, Red SEA 27 UFA SEA
Soliai, Paul MIA 28 UFA MIA
Langford, Kendall MIA 26 UFA STL
Pouha, Sione NYJ 33 UFA NYJ
Jones, Jason TEN 25 UFA SEA
Haynesworth, Albert TB 30 UFA
Bunkley, Brodrick DEN 28 UFA NO
Landri, Derek PHI 28 UFA
Garay, Antonio SD 32 UFA
Okoye, Amobi CHI 24 UFA
Thomas, Marcus DEN 26 UFA
Gregg, Kelly KC 35 UFA
Guion, Letroy MIN 24 UFA MIN
Bernard, Rocky NYG 43 UFA
Gordon, Amon KC 30 UFA KC
Warren, Gerard NE 33 UFA
Harris, Tommie SD 28 UFA
Hargrove, Tony SEA 28 UFA
Franklin, Aubrayo NO 31 UFA
Mosley, CJ JAC 28 UFA JAC
Evans, Fred MIN 28 UFA MIN
Sims, Pat CIN 26 UFA CIN
McKinney, Brandon BAL 28 UFA
Adams, Anthony CHI 31 UFA
Foster, Eric IND 26 UFA
Gibson, Gary STL 29 UFA
Golston, Kedric WAS 28 UFA
Laws, Trevor PHI 26 UFA
Fluellen, Andre DET 27 UFA DET
Green, Howard GB 33 UFA
Kennedy, Jimmy NYG 32 UFA
Rogers, Shaun NO 33 UFA
Haye, Jovan TB 29 UFA
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2012 Free Agents by Position – Inside Linebackers

Stephen Tulloch - Detroit Lions

Inside Linebackers
Player Team Age Type New Team
Tulloch, Stephen DET 27 UFA DET
Hawthorne, David SEA 26 UFA
Lofton, Curtis ATL 25 UFA
Fletcher, London WAS 36 UFA
Connor, Dan CAR 26 UFA DAL
Blackstock, Darryl OAK 28 UFA
McClain, Jameel BAL 26 UFA BAL
Goff, Jonathan NYG 26 UFA
Mays, Joe DEN 26 UFA DEN
James, Bradie DAL 31 UFA
Henderson, EJ MIN 31 UFA
Farrior, James PIT 37 UFA
Dobbins, Tim HOU 29 UFA
Mitchell, Marvin MIA 27 UFA
Torbor, Reggie BUF 31 UFA
Fox, Keyaron WAS 30 UFA
Ayanbadejo, Brendon BAL 35 UFA BAL
Gooden, Tavares SF 27 UFA SF
McCoy, Matt SEA 29 UFA
Ruud, Barrett TEN 28 UFA
Shaw, Tim TEN 27 UFA
Diggs, Na’il SD 33 UFA
Cooper, Stephen SD 32 UFA
Davis, Andra BUF 33 UFA
Koutouvides, Niko NE 30 UFA
Costanzo, Blake SF 27 UFA CHI
Blackburn, Chase NYG 28 UFA

 

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2012 Free Agents by Position – Outside Linebackers

Jarret Johnson - Baltimore Ravens (now with the San Diego Chargers)

Outside Linebackers
Player Team Age Type New Team
Johnson, Jarret BAL 30 UFA SD
Henderson, Erin MIN 25 UFA MIN
Hill, Leroy SEA 29 UFA
Lawson, Manny CIN 27 UFA
McIntosh, Rocky WAS 29 UFA
Wheeler, Philip IND 27 UFA
Spencer, Anthony DAL 28 UFA
Woodyard, Wesley DEN 25 UFA DEN
Chamberlain, Chris STL 26 UFA NO
Carpenter, Bobby DET 28 UFA
Johnson, Brandon CIN 28 UFA
Roth, Matt JAC 29 UFA
Haggan, Mario DEN 32 UFA
Guyton, Gary NE 26 UFA
Poppinga, Brady STL 32 UFA
Sims, Ernie IND 27 UFA
Haggans, Clark ARI 35 UFA
Dunbar, Jo-Lonn NO 26 UFA
Applewhite, Antwan CAR 26 UFA
Peterson, Mike ATL 35 UFA
White, Tracy NE 30 UFA NE
Walden, Erik GB 26 UFA
Groves, Quentin OAK 27 UFA
Hunter, Jason DEN 28 UFA
Vobora, David SEA 25 UFA
Moss, Jarvis OAK 27 UFA
Ekejiuba, Isaiah DET 30 UFA
Kehl, Bryan STL 27 UFA
Porter, Joey ARI 34 UFA
Gaither, Omar CAR 27 UFA
Thomas, Bryan NYJ 32 UFA NYJ
Adibi, Xavier MIN 27 UFA
Bailey, Patrick TEN 26 UFA
Senn, Jordan CAR 27 UFA
Brooking, Keith DAL 36 UFA
Farwell, Heath SEA 30 UFA SEA
Bentley, Kevin IND 32 UFA
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2012 Free Agents by Position – Defensive Corners

Cortland Finnegan - Tennessee Titans (now with the St. Louis Rams)

Defensive Corners
Player Team Age Type New Team
Finnegan, Cortland TEN 28 UFA STL
Rogers, Carlos SF 30 UFA SF
Carr, Brandon KC 25 UFA DAL
Marshall, Richard ARI 27 UFA MIA
Porter, Tracy NO 25 UFA DEN
Grimes, Brent ATL 28 F ATL
Thomas, Terrell NYG 27 UFA NYG
Allen, Jason HOU 28 UFA CIN
Jennings, Tim CHI 28 UFA CHI
Ross, Aaron NYG 29 UFA JAC
Gay, William PIT 27 UFA
Carr, Chris BAL 28 UFA
Patterson, Dimitri CLE 28 UFA CLE
Graham, Corey CHI 26 UFA BAL
Allen, Will MIA 33 UFA NE
Sapp, Benny MIN 31 UFA
Bush, Jarrett GB 27 UFA GB
Ball, Alan DAL 26 UFA
Jennings, Kelly CIN 29 UFA
Tryon, Justin NYG 27 UFA
Wright, Eric DET 26 UFA TB
Barber, Ronde TB 26 UFA TB
Sheppard, Lito OAK 30 UFA
Mack, Elbert TB 25 UFA
Jones, Adam CIN 28 UFA CIN
Hood, Roderick STL 30 UFA
Blackmon, Will NYG 27 UFA
Molden, Antwaun NE 27 UFA
Jones, Nathan NE 29 UFA
King, Justin STL 24 UFA
Daniels, Travis KC 29 UFA
McFadden, Bryant PIT 30 UFA
Bowman, Zack CHI 27 UFA
Lee, Patrick GB 28 UFA OAK
Hayden, Kelvin ATL 28 UFA
Strickland, Donald NYJ 31 UFA
Wilhite, Jonathan DEN 26 UFA
Coe, Michael NYG 28 UFA
Walker, Frank DAL 30 UFA
McDonald, Brandon DET 26 UFA
Buchanon, Phillip WAS 31 UFA
Corner, Reggie BUF 28 UFA
Jones, David JAC 26 UFA
Torrence, Leigh NO 30 UFA
Gordon, Cletis CAR 28 UFA
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2012 Free Agents by Position – Safeties

Tyvon Branch - Oakland Raiders

Safeties
Player Team Age Type New Team
Branch, Tyvon OAK 25 F OAK
Griffin, Michael TEN 27 F TEN
Landry, LaRon WAS 27 UFA NYJ
Goldson, Dashon SF 27 F SF
Adams, Mike CLE 30 UFA DEN
Lowery, Dwight JAC 26 UFA JAC
Nelson, Reggie CIN 28 UFA CIN
Leonhard, Jim NYJ 29 UFA
Grant, Deon NYG 32 UFA
Steltz, Craig CHI 25 UFA CHI
Pool, Brodney NYJ 27 UFA DAL
Jones, Sean TB 30 UFA
Zbikowski, Tom BAL 26 UFA IND
Nakamura, Haruki BAL 25 UFA CAR
Harris, Chris DET 29 UFA
Babineaux, Jordan TEN 29 UFA TEN
Hope, Chris DET 31 UFA
Gregory, Steve SD 29 UFA NE
Smith, Reggie SF 25 UFA
Elam, Abram DAL 30 UFA
Johnson, Tyrell MIN 26 UFA
Bigby, Atari SEA 30 UFA SD
Dawkins, Brian DEN 38 UFA
Abdullah, Husain MIN 26 UFA
Lynch, Corey TB 26 UFA
Scott, Bryan BUF 30 UFA BUF
Giordano, Matt OAK 29 UFA
McGraw, Jon KC 32 UFA
Ihedigbo, James NE 28 UFA
Meriweather, Brandon CHI 28 UFA WAS
Williams, Madieu SF 30 UFA
Coleman, Erik DET 29 UFA DET
Sanders, James ATL 28 UFA
Oliver, Paul SD 27 UFA
Barber, Dominique HOU 25 UFA
Wilson, Gibril CIN 30 UFA
Page, Jarrad MIN 27 UFA retired
Piscitelli, Sabby KC 28 UFA
Abdullah, Hamza ARI 28 UFA
Considine, Sean ARI 29 UFA BAL
Brown, CC JAC 29 UFA
Butler, James STL 29 UFA
Sanders, Bob SD 31 UFA
Smith, Anthony TEN 28 UFA
Martin, Derrick NYG 26 UFA
Corto, Jon BUF 27 UFA
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2012 Free Agents by Position – Punters

Mat McBriar - Dallas Cowboys

Punters
Player Team Age Type New Team
McBriar, Mat DAL 32 UFA
Weatherford, Steve NYG 29 F NYG
Jones, Donnie STL 31 UFA
Zastudil, Dave ARI 33 UFA
Graham, Ben DET 38 UFA DET
Turk, Matt HOU 43 UFA
Harris, Nick JAC 33 UFA JAC
Maynard, Brad CLE 38 UFA
Sepulveda, Daniel PIT 28 UFA
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2012 Free Agents by Position – Placekickers

Josh Scobee - Jacksonville Jaguars

Placekickers
Player Team Age Type New Team
Scobee, Josh JAC 29 F JAC
Prater, Matt DEN 27 F DEN
Rackers, Neil HOU 35 UFA
Barth, Connor TB 25 F TB
Dawson, Phil CLE 37 F CLE
Nugent, Mike CIN 30 F CIN
Feely, Jay ARI 35 UFA ARI
Kasay, John NO 42 UFA
Folk, Nick NYJ 27 UFA NYJ
Rayner, Dave BUF 29 UFA
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2012 Free Agents by Position – Long Snappers

Kenneth Amato - Tennessee Titans

Long Snappers
Player Team Age Type New Team
Amato, Kenneth TEN 34 UFA
Katula, Matt MIN 29 UFA
Leach, Mike ARI 35 UFA
Massey, Chris CHI 32 UFA
Muhlbach, Don DET 30 UFA DET
Zelenka, Joe ATL 36 UFA ATL

 

 

 

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2012 Compensatory Draft Choices Announced

NFL ANNOUNCES 32 COMPENSATORY DRAFT CHOICES TO 15 CLUBS

A total of 32 compensatory choices in the 2012 NFL Draft have been awarded to 15 teams, the NFL announced today.   Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four.

The 32 compensatory choices announced today will supplement the 221 choices in the seven rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft (April 26-28), which will kick off in primetime for the third consecutive year. The first round will be held on Thursday, April 26 and begin at 8:00 PM ET.  The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 27 at 7:00 PM ET followed by rounds 4-7 on Saturday, April 28 at Noon ET.

This year, the compensatory picks will be positioned within the third through seventh rounds based on the value of the compensatory free agents lost. Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors.  The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council.

Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula.   Three clubs this year (Atlanta, San Diego and Buffalo) will each receive a compensatory pick even though they did not suffer a net loss of compensatory free agents last year.  Under the formula, the compensatory free agents lost by these clubs were ranked higher than the ones they signed (by a specified point differential based upon salary and performance).

Thirty compensatory picks were awarded to clubs based upon the compensatory pick formula.  By rule, two additional choices were awarded at the end of the seventh round to bring the total number of compensatory selections to 32, equaling the number of NFL clubs.  The two additional picks were awarded to St. Louis and Indianapolis based upon the 2012 draft selection order.

The following 2012 compensatory draft picks have been determined by the NFL
Management Council:

ROUND ROUND CHOICE/OVERALL
SELECTION