Monthly Archives: March 2010

Safeties

The safeties this year are a very talented group, it’s great at the top with three top 20 prospects and six of them all received at least 2nd round grades. This years safeties include one of the safest picks in the draft and one of the most misunderstood prospects in a long time. Im talking about the extremely versatile and highly productive Eric Berry and the freak athlete Taylor Mays. There has been talk about both of them moving positions, Mays to Linebacker and Bery to Corner. But in my mind, there is no doubt, they are both Safeties and the best prospects at their position in 2010.

Here ar my 2010 Safety rankings:

1. Eric Berry*, Tennessee

Height: 5″10
Weight: 200

Pros: Elite playmaker. Has the ability to line up anywhere in the secondary and be successful. In pass coverage he has very fluid hips, good speed and very good ball skills. Is excellent when the play is in front of him diagnosing the play and reading the QB. Has excellent hands. Has the ability to tackle hard when receivers catch the ball in front of him. Does a very good job in the run game evading blockers with his athleticism and making stops with his solid wrap up tackling or by launching himself into the ball carrier. Has the athleticism to be an effective blitzer off the edge or from the slot.
Put up great stats in his time with the Vols.

Cons: Doesnt posses the elite size that you want in your safety. Is quicker than he is fast. Might not have the ability to play SS in the pros. Can get to aggressive in run support and take bad angles. Has had some injury issues with his shoulder.

2. Taylor Mays USC

Height: 6″3
Weight: 230

Pros: Huge safety with off the charts athleticism. Is extremely willing to come up in run support and has the speed to keep RBs from getting to the edge and turning the corner. Has the ability to really lay the wood as well as wrap up effectively. Has amazing range in coverage and has very good closing speed to break up passes. Is rarely beaten deep. Punishes wide receivers going over the middle. Is an intimidating presence in the backfield.

Cons: Doesnt always take good angles in run defense and in coverage. Leads a lot with his helmet and looks to much after the KO. Doesnt play the ball at all in coverage and goes for the hit every time. Is at times indecisive in coverage which leads to him being caught in the middle of plays. Played mostly deep zone coverage at USC, uncertain how he will respond to man coverage.
Is a bit of a dirty player.

3. Earl Thomas** Texas

Height: 5″10
Weight: 205

Pros: Elite coverage safety with great ball skills.
While being a little undersized in college, Thomas bulked up some and showed he has the size to be able to play FS. He does a very good job of recognizing the run and coming up in support. Shows his aggressive nature by often lunging himself into the legs of running backs head first.
Is very smooth in the passing game and can turn and run with the Wr. Is very quick and has the ability to play both underneath coverage and man out of the slot or at the flank. Has great ball-skills and amazing timing to either get the pick or PBU when targeted. Has very good closing speed and times his arrival very well when having to tackle. Is a very good special teamer that has a lot of versatility on passing downs.

Cons: Is often too aggressive in the run game and over-pursues a lot. Fails to break down and has a problem finishing tackles causing the ball carrier to either break it completely or get 2-3 yards extra almost every time. Struggles to get off blocks and the better run blocking Wrs will take him out completely. Might have to move to CB at the next level or play purely as a coverage FS with limited run responsibilities.

4. Nate Allen South Florida

Height: 6″1
Weight: 205

Pros: Prototypical FS. Has pretty good speed in pass coverage and has the smooth hips to stay on receivers 1 on 1 coverage and does a good job of getting out of his back pedal. Has good range in zone and does a very good job of reading the QB getting quickly into position. Has good hands for the interception. Does a very good job of getting involved in the run D. Has a pretty good burst when tackling and can stop the ball carrier immediately. Is a solid open field tackler that relies on good tackling technique. Has very good knowledge of the defenses and its responsibilities, but also knows the offenses tendencies as he used to play QB in high school. Is a player thats still learning the nuances of the position

Cons: Can get too aggressive in pass coverage and bites on pump fakes and other misdirection plays. Can get to passive when tackling quicker ball carriers and gets caught on his heels too much. His back pedal needs work from a technique standpoint as it is too slow. Struggles with quicker WRs in man. Needs to do a better job with angles when the play is in front of him.

5. Chad Jones*, LSU

Height: 6″3
Weight: 225

Pros: Big physical safety. Does a very good job in pass protection when going up against bigger WRs and TEs by using his long body, reading the QB and playing the ball. Has very good range and closing speed in zone coverage and can lay the big lick on receivers when he cant get to the football. Does a very good job of taking angles when stopping the run and has the ability to wrap up and stop a big body dead in the tracks or break down and use his long reach to bring down the smaller shiftier backs. Has great hands for the interception. Showcased his athleticism by being a returning kicks and punts occasionally, taking one for a TD in 09.

Cons: Is a bit stiff in the hips. Isnt as fast twitch as you want a FS to be especially if you want him to play man coverage. Is to aggressive at times in both zone and man which will cause him to arrive late or being caught out of position. Needs to do a better job with getting low in his back pedal and refine his overall footwork. Might be restricted to SS at the next level.

6: Morgan Burnett* Georgia Tech

7: Reshad Jones* Georgia

8: Major Wright* Florida

9: Darrell Stuckey Kansas

10: TJ Lang Oregon

11: Larry Asante Nebraska

12: Kam Chancellor Virginia Tech

13: Terrell Skinner Maryland

14: Myron Rolle Florida State

15: Robert Johnson Utah

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Defensive Tackles

The depth of this years Defensive Tackles is one of the best in years, theres a possibility that five of them all go in the first round and two of them could be off the board when Tampa Bay announces their first overall pick.

While the talent is very good at the top, the level of depth is also great. It will be possible to find a high impact players in even later rounds, this might be the best year for  DTs that I have ever had the pleasure to watch. Here are my rakings of the 2010 Defensive Tackles:

1: Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska

Height: 6″4
Weight: 307

Pros: Suh has good size for an interior lineman. Has superb agility and quickness of the snap which together with his excellent size/strength ratio allows him to get into the backfield on a consistent basis. Has excellent hand placement and understands how to use them effectively. Rarely out of position in run defense and makes an incredible amounts of stops near or behind the LOS. Is very quick and agile when rushing the passer.
Is a very smart and disciplined DT, that will sniff out the screens regularly and gets his hands up to deflect passes if he fails to get to the QB. Off the chart production despite being the most double teamed lineman in Div-1 Football. Extremely versatile, can play in both the 4-3 and 3-4 at several spots.

Cons: Needs to to a better time with leverage at times. Played in the Big-12 were O-Lineman are smaller than in the NFL due to the spread offenses used. Has had a serious knee injury that required surgery.

2: Gerald McCoy*, Oklahoma

Height: 6″4
Weight: 295

Pros: Solid size. Very good run defender that can also get after the QB. Does a very good job with leverage and hand placement in run defense and always keeps his head up locating the football. Is very diciplined and is rarely out of position going up field. Has the ability to get off the snap quickly and split blockers as well as shed linemen with passrushing moves. Has the speed to chase the QB down outside the pocket. Is very versatile as he can excel in both the 3-4 and the 4-3. Has very solid production in college even though he was double teamed on nearly every play. Is a vocal leader that will get his D motivated.

Cons: Doesnt posses the elite quickness you see in passrushing DTs. Could use some extra muscle going into the NFL. Disappeared at times in college. Played mostly against spread O-Lineman.

3: Dan Williams, Tennessee

Height: 6″2
Weight: 327

Pros: Big run stuffer. Very strong at the point of attack and can take on double teams consistantly. Is very good at locating the football and has the lateral agility to move quickly from gap to gap stopping the runner. Is a very good tackler who uses his size well when he brings down ballcarriers. Has a pretty good bullrush and also knows how to disengage from blockers with rip and swim move. Does a good job of collapsing the pocket up front in passing situations, giving the QB less room to step up. Has the ability to play the nose in both the 3-4 and the 4-3.

Cons: Doesnt have the speed or the explosion to be much of a presence when rushing the passer at the next level and has to prove he can get after the QB to stay on the field all three downs. Tends to give up at when engaged by double teams on passing downs. There’s rumors about questionable work ethics.

4. Jared Odrick, Penn State

Height: 6″5

Weight: 304

Pros: Tall penetrating tackle. Does a good job with levarage in the run game desoite his size. Has the ability to use his long arms to get off blockers and locate the ball. Is a very solid tackler and uses his range well covering a lot of ground when he stops the run. Gets skinny and splits double teams a lot and has a variety of passrushing moves in his repetoire. Is a smart defender that can deflect a lot of passes from the line of scrimmage when he doesnt get top the QB. Has the versatility to play in the 3-4 as well as the 4-3.

Cons: Doesnt have the elite explosion of the snap. Struggles a bit with his COD. Doesnt have the lateral agility to slip blockers when engaged with stronger linemen. Does not have the elite speed to chase down the QB when the pocket breaks down. Theres some rumors about poor work ethic and questionable charachter.

5: Brian Price*, UCLA

Height: 6″2
Weight: 303

Pros: Prototypical 4-3 UT. Is very explosive off the snap and is always the first on his D-Line to initiate contact. Has the ability to get into the backfield in a hurry, to either blow up the run or get to the QB. Is very good at using his leverage to hold the ground and to close lanes, has a low centre of gravity that he uses to his advantage. Is surprisingly strong.
Uses mostly his lateral agility to split linemen, but knows how to use his hands to disengage and has a very good rip move. Has the speed to chase down QBs for the sack. Has a motor that never stops and will keep coming the entire game.

Cons: Doesnt have the elite size for a tackle. Can struggle a bit when hes engaged and has to hold his ground in the run game consistently. Needs to do a better job finishing plays as he is missing some tackles in the backfield. Doesnt seem to posses elite balance as he prone to falling down going past a lineman. Limited to a 4-3 UT.

6: Lamarr Houston, Texas

7:  Tyson Alualu, California

8: Terrence Cody, Alabama

9: Linval Joseph, East Carolina

10: Cam Thomas, North Carolina

11: Arthur Jones, Syracuse

12: Geno Atkins, Georgia

13: Torrell Troup, UCF

14: Mike Neal, Purdue

15: Jeff Owens, Georgia

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Defensive Ends

This years crop of Defensive Ends is dominated by underclassmen at the top. Four of my top 5 decided to skip their senior seasons after impressive 2009 campaigns and make themselves eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft. Key word to describe this group is potential and several of them should have better pro than college careers.

Here are my top 15 Defensive Ends entering the Draft:

1: Derrick Morgan*, Georgia Tech

Height: 6″3
Weight: 270

Pros: Highly productive DE with a prototypical build and skill set for the position. Morgan is a very disciplined End who is rarely caught out of position in the run game. Has a very good first step and good explosion off the snap but does a good job of recognising the run and closing his gap back up. Has the strength to hold the line and disengage from blockers. Is a very solid tackler who always keeps his head up looking for the football. When rushing the passer he has the ability to beat the tackle with speed as well as strength. Does a good job utilizing a variety of pass rushing moves. Has a pretty good spin move. Has the speed to close down the Qb when flushed out of the pocket. has a very good motor and keeps hustling down the field. Great production at GT. Hasnt missed a start in his college career.

Cons: Struggles at times with proper technique as he gets tired. Is a bit inconsistent in his get off from the line. Seems to have some problems with balance at times which causes him to fall to the ground in pursuit and when trying to run the arch or chasing down ballcarriers. Has disappeared at times when facing tougher competition.

2: Brandon Graham, Michigan

Height: 6″1
Weight: 263

Pros: Highly productive and decorated End. Is a very good run defender who relies on his strong punch and explosive first step to make stops in the backfield. Has a very good motor and will keep hustling down field to make tackles. Is very alert and doesn’t get to aggressive and over run plays. Breaks down well in space and has very good COD and balance for a lineman. Does a very good job getting after the passer by running the arch around Tackles and has a very good spin move. When the coverage is there, he will get to the QB because of his relentless pressure. Was a leader at Michigan and the only two time MVP.

Cons: Lacks the size and wingspan of your even average DE. Might have to move to 3-4 OLB a position were he doesn’t have much experience. Relies too much on his speed when rushing the passer. Needs to do a better job with proper technique. Hasnt been that impressive in coverage despite dropping back at fair bit, something he would have to learn at 3-4 OLB.

3: Jason Pierre-Paul*, South Florida

Height: 6″6
Weight: 260

Pros: Has the elite measurables you look for in a top Defensive end. Has a very long reach that allows him to get his hands on tackles to redirect and make stops in the run game. He is also very good at using his length to take away running lanes. Has a very good first step and good explosion out of his stance. Once he is past the tackle he uses his long stride and high motor to flush the QB. Has a good swim move to get inside. Does a very good job of letting his long body get into passing lanes and stop passes.

Cons: Isnt sound enough technique wise to get off good blockers when engaged. Lunges too much when making tackles. Isnt really flexible and looks uncoordinated when on the chase. Can struggle with COD. Hasnt played much football and has never been with a team for more than a year.

4: Carlos Dunlap*, Florida

Height: 6″6
Weight: 290

Pros: Big defensive lineman with rare athleticism. From a physical standpoint, Dunlap offers everything you want in a dominant Defensive End. Has excellent strength to hold his own in the run game and has the ability to disengage with his long strong arms. Has very good lateral quickness and can use his long wing span to close running lanes.
Has a good first step and he’s the ability to beat the tackle around the edge as well as inside with strength. Does a good job of getting his hands up in the passing lanes to deflect passes. Gets up to speed fast and can really get after the QB out of the pocket. Tends to show up in big games.

Cons:
Inconsistent effort and motor. Gives up on plays when it’s out of reach and rarely hustles down field. Doesnt fight off double teams and has been a poor run defender despite his physical stature. Gets lazy in technique and leverage which causes him to lose a lot of 1-1 battles with strong and technically sound linemen. Has some character issues, among them is a DUI 4 days before the Sec championship.

5: Everson Griffen*, USC

Height: 6″3
Weight: 278

Pros: Another gifted athlete with all the physical makeups. Has an elite first step with great explosion. Does a very good job when the run goes outside were he can use his speed and lateral quickness in space, but also appears to have the size to play the run when engaged. Breaks down well and is a pretty solid tackler. Has a wide variety off passrushing moves, but is at his best when he can use his speed around the edge and run the arch.
Can most likely play in both the 4-3 and 3-4.

Cons: Gets pushed back way to easily in the run game and seems uninterested in doing the “dirty work”. Is extremely inconsistent in everything he does from getting off the snap to holding off blockers. Can flat out dominate one moment and be taken out of the game without much effort the next. Has always been a great athlete, but apparently his work ethic doesn’t match. Was benched last year mid-season. Has character issues galore after several off-the field incidents.

6. Corey Wootton Northwestern

7. Austen Lane Murray State

8. Alex Carrington Arkansas State

9. Greg Hardy Ole Miss

10. Jermaine Cunningham Florida

11. Brandon Lang Troy

12. Kevin Basped Nevada

13. Clifton Geathers South Carolina

14. Lindsay Witten Connecticut

15. Daniel Te’o-Nesheim Washington

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Year around Blog, covering the NFL Draft

Welcome to my NFL Draft Blog.

This is were I write down my opinions on the NFL Draft. Ill try to keep this updated as often as I can, mostly for myself, but also for anyone passing by looking for some insight and info regarding prospects or just the process itself. Feel free to leave comments or questions behind.

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