Tag Archive: Purdue


East-West Shrine Game Recap

Quarterbacks:

1-      Nathan Stanley, Southeastern Louisiana- Stanley still has room to improve as his accuracy and timing seemed to be a bit off at times, but he has the size and arm strength that makes him an intriguing developmental Day 3 guy in my opinion. He has a ways to go from working under center and making reads, etc. However, he’s got talent worth stashing as a 3rd quarterback late in the draft in my opinion.

2-      Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech- Cameron has never been my favorite prospect, but he showed me a little more velocity than I thought he had this week and I think he has some potential to be developed into a solid back-up.

3-      Matt Scott, Arizona- Scott certainly had his struggles this week, but he spins a clean ball and has the 2nd best velocity of all the quarterbacks in St. Petersburg and has the kind of athleticism that teams will be looking into at quarterback given the emergence of the zone read in the NFL. He’s very much a developmental prospect that is better out of the shotgun than under center at this point, but I think he warrants consideration on Day 3.

4-      Alex Carder, Western Michigan- I have never been a big fan of Carder and I don’t think he’s going to be a NFL starter, but he grades out as a 7th round/UDFA quarterback from what I’ve seen of him. I don’t think he spins a very clean ball and doesn’t have much beyond average arm strength and velocity, so I don’t think he has much upside at the next level.

5-      Seth Doege, Texas Tech- Doege’s lack of arm strength was on display this week and while he has made a career out of overcoming adversity I don’t think he is going to be a NFL starter. He will attempt to follow in the footsteps of Graham Harrell and be developed as a potential back-up in the NFL.

6-      Collin Klein, Kansas State- Klein struggled with velocity and accuracy every day that he was here and I think that there were so many questioning whether he could play quarterback at the next level coming into the week that it’s even more difficult to make that argument now. I actually expected him to be bigger considering the beating he took the past two years running the ball so much but he only weighed in at 218 pounds despite being over 6’4”. He looked best to me when he was running the ball, and maybe someone will still take a flyer on him late on Day 3 to try to develop him or maybe sign him as an undrafted free agent, but it’s hard to imagine him being a NFL quarterback after watching him this week.

Running Backs:

1-      Christine Michael, Texas A&M- There’s not a strong argument to be made that Michael isn’t the running back with the highest upside here in St. Petersburg. According to @DashDiallo1 (Follow him) he is high on the reserve list for the Senior Bowl and he has had a great week. Brandon pointed out something I had not noticed before- Michael seemed to be looking at the ball as he was taking hand-offs and pitches instead of keeping his eyes up and reading his blocks. I hadn’t noticed this, but that’s definitely something that he has to work on. He has all the size and athleticism to be a quality NFL running back, and if he can clean up his eye level when taking hand-offs or tosses he will be ready to make an immediate impact. It is certainly concerning, but it should be coachable.

2-      Ray Graham, Pittsburgh- Graham should be ready to contribute right away as he has the burst and athleticism you want as well as reliable hands. He’s had a good week and was the strongest back on the East roster.

3-      Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt- There are some that are high on Stacy and some that aren’t, but I’m a fan. He’s not a flashy back, but he does a lot of things well and I think if he lands with the right team he could be a solid contributor as a rookie. He’s not as explosive as Michael or Graham but his game translates to the next level.

4-      Kerwynn Williams, Utah State- Williams looked good this week as well and despite being an undersized back he has some burst and explosiveness. I don’t think he is a sub 4.5 guy in the 40 and there were some times I saw him get strung out when he tried to get the edge this week. I’m not sure he can be a NFL starter, but I think he has the potential to be a complementary back.

5-      Zach Line, SMU- Line caught my eye last year when I was watching SMU and I think he is going to make a NFL roster as a running back/fullback hybrid. Pure full-backs aren’t very typical anymore and that makes Line’s skill set valuable. I haven’t seen him block often, but he runs the ball effectively despite a lack of great speed and he has caught the ball well when I’ve seen him this week.

6-      Montel Harris, Temple- Harris has so many red flags thanks to his injury history and off-field issues that even with a great performance this week I would have hesitated to give him a draftable grade. He’s an undrafted free agent to me not only because of those things, but because of the wear and tear he’s had as a ball carrier. If you invite him into a camp and he impresses that’s one thing, but this running back class is way too deep to pick him in my opinion.

Wide Receivers:

1-      Corey Fuller, Virginia Tech- Coming into this week I thought Fuller was a sleeper and while he may not have had a perfect week I think he showed that he is a smooth runner with room to grow as a route runner, impressive straight line speed and reliable hands. There were plenty of people looking forward to seeing what Marcus Davis could do, but more and more I think evaluators are realizing that Fuller was the more talented Virginia Tech receiver on this roster. This was his break-out campaign and he has plenty to work on, but he is a great day three sleeper at receiver that has a lot of upside.

2-      Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State- Bumphis isn’t going to burn you vertically and I think he’s probably in the 4.5-4.54 range in the 40 yard dash, but what he can do is out-quick you. He is so good in and out of his breaks, he showed that he can run good routes, and he generated separation when he was allowed to work in the slot. He’s not going to run by a lot of players vertically, but he can make plays in the slot and gain yardage after the catch.

3-      Erik Highsmith, North Carolina- The only disappointing thing about Highsmith’s week was the weigh in, where he apparently measured at 6004 (6’.5”) instead of his listed height of 6’3”. He also measured in at 190 pounds with 8 inch hands, the smallest on the entire East roster. However, while he may not be a blazing fast kid he runs solid routes, knows how to use his hands to keep defenders off of him and he has good hands. In a very deep class at receiver Highsmith is going to be overlooked by a lot more flashy receivers, but even if it’s in the 6th-7th range or as an undrafted free agent I would be surprised if he doesn’t make a roster.

4-      Keenan Davis, Iowa- Davis had a good week this week and while I don’t think he’s a great threat on the outside I like him as a slot receiver threat. He measured in at a legit 6’2”, 216 pounds with huge 10 3/8” hands and while he doesn’t exactly eat up cushion he showed reliable hands all week. I liked what I saw from him this week and in the game.

5-      Emory Blake, Auburn- Blake didn’t stick out to me too much in a positive or negative way this week, but when I saw him I didn’t see drops and he may not be a guy with blazing speed but he can stretch the field vertically and track the ball in the air. He’s going to be a day three guy as well thanks to this very deep class, but he has a NFL skill set.

6-      Anthony Amos, Middle Tennessee State- Amos isn’t going to blow the doors off the combine by any means (4.5-4.54 guy in my opinion) but he has some quickness to him, he can create a little separation when he’s running routes (though he can improve here) and he showed impressive hands to snag passes outside of his frame. He’s another late round kid, but he can be a reliable possession guy for you at the next level, particularly in the slot.

Tight Ends:

1-      DC Jefferson, Rutgers- Jefferson had an impressive week and it was really evident that he was not properly utilized at Rutgers in part because of poor quarterback play. He’s got all the size and athleticism you could want at tight end and he showed the ability to high point throws and make catches with his hands outside of his frame. He’s got a lot of untapped upside and could be a nice value in the 3-4 round range given his talent level.

2-      Joseph Fauria, UCLA- Fauria was a player I was looking forward to evaluating this week, especially as a blocker, but he got injured early in the week and wasn’t able to come back in time for the game. He’s got plenty of upside thanks to his size and athleticism so it was a shame we didn’t get to see him compete all week.

3-      Lucas Reed, New Mexico- Reed was a player I was not familiar with at all but despite lacking blazing speed he has reliable hands along with a NFL body that should make him a relatively appealing day 3 target in a deep tight end class.

4-      Chris Pantale, Boston College- Pantale isn’t a flashy prospect but I thought he had a solid week. I don’t think he’s going to be a top 100 prospect by any means, but he should get a look later on day three.

Offensive Line:

1-      Terron Armstead, OT/OG, Arkansas-Pine Bluff- I don’t think anyone had a better week than Armstead did. He wasn’t perfect, but he showed that he can play offensive tackle from an athletic standpoint. He showed better technique than I anticipated as well and even though he opened up his hips early at times and got beat inside he was too much for any defensive end to handle in the game. The only defensive ends I saw beat him rushing the passer this week were David Bass and Devin Taylor, and we saw what happened to Tanner Hawkinson when he was tasked with blocking Taylor in the game.

2-      Mark Jackson, OT/OG, Glenville State- Jackson has the size and length you look for in an offensive lineman at over 6’5” with 33.5” arms. He didn’t look great outside at tackle because I don’t think he has the foot quickness for it, but if he loses a little weight (he weighed in at 341 pounds, I think he would be better off in the 325-330 range, so that’s something to monitor at the combine or his pro-day) I think he would be fine at guard. He is strong and while he doesn’t look like a natural puller he can generate push off the ball and he’s hard to shed after he engages you. He’s a quality day 3 option at guard.

3-      Manase Foketi, OT/OG, West Texas A&M- Foketi was a huge let down this week since we never even got to see him practice. I saw him standing watching drills on Monday and wondered if he was going to get in on practice the next day but he didn’t practice on Tuesday either and by the end of the week he wasn’t even in St. Petersburg anymore. I haven’t found out why he never competed but I am interested to hear what the reason was.

4-      T.J. Johnson, C, South Carolina- Johnson got some time at center and at guard this week and while he isn’t a great athlete he has all the size and length you could want at center as he measured in at over 6’4”, 323 pounds with 33 inch arms. He has shown that he can anchor against strong defensive tackles 1 on 1 and he looked good snapping the ball this week. He was the best center in St. Petersburg all week and he definitely warrants a pick on Day 3.

5-      Earl Watford, OG, James Madison- Watford didn’t play in the game unfortunately (I heard it was something with his knee) but he showed that he is athletic enough to play guard at the next level even if he still needs to get stronger and continue to improve on his technique. If he can add some lower body strength to help him anchor and drive he should stick on a roster.

6-      Jeff Baca, OG, UCLA- Baca is a late round guy but I think he has solid anchor and did a pretty good job in pass protection this week. He doesn’t have a lot of starter upside at the next level, but he did enough this week to earn a late round draftable grade from me.

Defensive Line:

1-      David Bass, DE, Missouri Western State- Bass was extremely impressive to me this week. I came in with high hopes for him and he certainly lived up to them. He has NFL size, athleticism and he did a good job versus the run and the pass all week. I have to go back and watch more of him, but I think he has helped elevate himself into potential top 100 consideration.

2-      Mike Catapano, DE, Princeton- Catapano isn’t an elite athlete but he has a great motor, he’s strong, has active hands and is hard to push off the ball. He is the kind of kid who is going to get the most out of all his ability and his 6’3”, 270 pound frame with just under 34 inch arms. He’s an impressive kid and he’s going to be a contributor to a defensive line rotation as a rookie.

3-      Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina- Taylor is a guy who has as much upside as anyone in St. Petersburg but when I’ve watched him he just hasn’t lived up to his immense upside given his athleticism and his 6’7”, 275 pound frame. He had an up and down week in my opinion, but he had a great game going up against Tanner Hawkinson all night. Hawkinson doesn’t have good enough feet to stick at tackle and he doesn’t have the strength to play guard so Taylor beat him using his speed and his strength consistently all night. Taylor won’t have it so easy with NFL caliber tackles at the next level though, and despite his intriguing upside I still am not sold on him being an impact pass rusher at the next level.

4-      William Campbell, DT, Michigan- Campbell had a good week going against a poor cast of interior offensive linemen on the West roster but he has NFL size and athleticism. He never lived up to my expectations at Michigan but while he is still raw he certainly has upside. I think he’s a day 3 caliber draft pick with some upside as a nose tackle in a 4-3.

5-      Scott Vallone, DT/DE, Rutgers- Vallone didn’t have an amazing week but he has shown the ability to be disruptive and make plays versus the run. He’s never been much of a pass rusher, but I think he has some value as an undersized defensive tackle.

6-      Will Pericak, DT, Colorado- Pericak isn’t a flashy player but I think he has a place on a NFL roster. He’s got the size, length and strength to stick in a defensive line rotation. His motor and effort level impressed me this week.

Linebackers:

1-      Keith Pough, Howard- Pough had a fantastic week of practice. I think the thing that impressed me the most was the vocal leadership he was able to show and he was one of the only players that was able to energize the West practices at all. I definitely need to watch more of him but he really stuck out to me this week.

2-      DeVonte Holloman, South Carolina- I didn’t see as much of Holloman as I wanted to this week but he showed me enough to make me want to go back and watch more South Carolina to see him in action. He is likely a day 3 pick, but I think he has NFL talent.

3-      Sio Moore, Connecticut- Moore doesn’t strike me as a great fit in a 4-3 as an outside linebacker but I haven’t seen him in coverage a lot. Still, I think he is at his best when he is rushing the passer and when he was given the opportunity to that (even with his hand down) he was effective. I don’t think he fits the mold as a 3-4 OLB either though, so he might be a two down linebacker in a 4-3 who can put his hand down and rush the passer on obvious 3rd downs. He has upside, but he’s not a fit for every team in my opinion.

4-      Gerald Hodges, Penn State- Hodges packs some punch as a hitter but he didn’t stick out to me frequently this week when I was watching practice. When I did see him he seemed to flow to the ball well but I didn’t see him shed blocks effectively at the point of attack. That’s something I’ll certainly have to investigate more when I watch Penn State.

5-      A.J. Klein, Iowa State- Klein is a tackling machine that impressed me when I watched Iowa State, but he didn’t stick out to me much this week. He’s not a great athlete so he is going to have to compensate for that with good or great instincts, but I didn’t get a good enough look at him to evaluate that this week.

6-      Steve Greer, Virginia- Like a couple other linebackers in St. Petersburg he isn’t a great athlete but he showed a nose for the ball when I saw him this week and I already knew he was a good tackler. He’s going to have to play special teams to ensure a roster spot but I think he’s got value as a back-up linebacker.

Cornerbacks:

1-      Brandon McGee, Miami- McGee had an up and down season when I saw him play this year but he had a very good week. He showed fluid hips, good feet and impressive ball skills this week and he is going to run a very impressive 40 yard dash time at the combine. He’s got a lot of upside so keep an eye on him.

2-      Nigel Malone, Kansas State- Malone has been a guy I’ve liked all season since I previewed Kansas State before the season and he continues to live up to my expectations. He’s not the biggest or the fastest, but especially in a zone scheme he could be a very reliable corner. He’s got smooth hips, good feet and impressive ball skills. He evidenced those in the game as he got a pick 6 (even though it was thrown right to him). He might not end up in the top 100, but I’ll take him any time on Day 3.

3-      Terry Hawthorne, Illinois- Hawthorne has plenty of upside but he didn’t seem to close on passes in front of him very well this week, didn’t show me very smooth transitions and while he has good ball skills I wonder how good of a starting corner he can be. He had a nice interception when he was dropped into zone in this game (looked like Cover-3 but it was hard to see from the press box which was on the opposite side of the field from his interception) and he has talent, I just don’t know if I’d pick him day 2.

4-      Branden Smith, Georgia- Smith is an undersized corner who isn’t a great tackler but he is a good athlete with quality ball skills. He did badly misplay a pass thrown by Matt Scott to Chad Bumphis in the game that led to a long touchdown reception for Bumphis, but he usually plays the ball well. He doesn’t have the size or length to be an impact player and he weighed in at under 170 pounds but he has enough talent to warrant consideration on day 3.

5-      Sheldon Price, UCLA- Price had a solid season this year at UCLA and while I still have some questions about his game he definitely has the speed to play corner and he looked pretty good when flipping his hips in coverage this week. He has sub 4.5 speed which allows him to recover when beaten initially as well which helped him in 1 on 1’s this week.

6-      Josh Johnson, Purdue- Johnson has shown the versatility to contribute as a return man on special teams and to be a solid corner. He’s undersized but he showed me some ball skills this week and I think he warrants mid-late consideration on day 3.

Safeties:

1-      Cooper Taylor, Richmond- Taylor was a player I hadn’t seen at all coming in and I was anticipating him being a stiff, oversized safety that wasn’t good in coverage. I am happy to admit I was completely wrong and that Taylor showed good hips, impressive range and a good feel for the safety position. He’s got a great combination of size and athleticism and I think he warrants top 100 consideration based on what I saw from him this week.

2-      Duke Williams, Nevada- I’ve had my eye on Duke for a couple years now since he was a junior. He can really hit and while I have some questions about him in coverage I think he is a quality option at safety on Day 3.

3-      Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse- Thomas has good range and while he is undersized he seems to support the run pretty well despite the occasional missed tackle. At times he bites too hard on the run though and as the last line of defense that is a problem. He will get knocked for his lack of size, but if he can work on being less aggressive I think he could have a future as a starter.

4-      Earl Wolfe, NC State- Wolfe was a player I had a high opinion of coming into the week but he showed some ability in coverage as well as some ball skills. He’s a little undersized at 5’11”, 206 pounds but I think he will get drafted on day 3.

5-      Zeke Motta, Notre Dame- Motta carried a late day 3/undrafted free agent grade for me coming into the week but he showed more range and fluidity in coverage than I expected. I’m still not sold on him beyond a day 3 prospect, but he’s got more upside than I originally thought.

6-      Rashard Hall, Clemson- Hall didn’t impress me a lot when I watched tape of him but he has some ball skills and despite some missed tackles he looked solid against the run. He’s not my favorite safety prospect, but I think he has draftable talent.

Conference Predictions:

SEC:

West:

1-      LSU

2-      Alabama

3-      Arkansas

4-      Mississippi State

5-      Auburn

6-      Texas A&M

7-      Ole Miss

East:

1-      South Carolina

2-      Georgia

3-      Tennessee

4-      Florida

5-      Vanderbilt

6-      Missouri

7-      Kentucky

SEC Title Game: LSU and South Carolina: LSU is SEC Champion

Analysis: The SEC is loaded as usual, particularly the West. LSU loses Tyrann Mathieu which is unfortunate for every college football fan, but if Zach Mettenberger can establish a consistent passing game then the LSU offense is going to absolutely take off. Alabama is extremely talented as usual, but they are replacing so much on defense and at their skill positions on offense that there’s no way that they replicate their 2011 season. They are my early 2013 favorites however. Arkansas lost Bobby Petrino and their top three receivers, but unless their defense improves they won’t bump LSU or Alabama out of the top of the West. I went back and forth on South Carolina and Georgia a lot because both teams don’t have a great track record of delivering when the pressure is on. South Carolina’s defense could end up better than Georgia’s though, and even though I like Aaron Murray I have some questions about Georgia’s offense. Tennesse has talent and should be solid, but Florida’s ridiculous handling of their quarterback competition means I can’t project them any higher than 4th in the East. Vanderbilt is a bit of a dark horse with a strong core on offense and a bright coach in James Franklin, but just getting to a bowl game would be a successful season for them.

Big 10:

Legends:

1-      Michigan

2-      Michigan State

3-      Nebraska

4-      Iowa

5-      Northwestern

6-      Minnesota

Leaders:

1-      Wisconsin

2-      Ohio State

3-      Illinois

4-      Purdue

5-      Penn State

6-      Indiana

Big-10 Title Game: Wisconsin and Michigan: Wisconsin is Big-10 Champion

Analysis: If Wisconsin doesn’t come out of the Leaders division to compete for the Big-10 title again this year then Bret Bielema should just quit, because outside of Illinois there is no eligible team that has a slightly realistic chance of keeping them out of the title game. Michigan and Michigan State will be a terrific battle down to the end of the season in my opinion, and ultimately it will come down to how well Denard Robinson can deliver the ball and avoid turnovers in big games in my opinion. If he carries the Wolverine offense on his back he could be a finalist for the Heisman as well. Nebraska has some talent, but they will never be a legitimate Big-10 title contender until they get a real quarterback to replace Taylor Martinez, who is one of the worst passing quarterbacks of all the teams that don’t run an option offense.

ACC:

Atlantic:

1-      Florida State

2-      Clemson

3-      NC State

4-      Wake Forest

5-      Boston College

6-      Maryland

Coastal:

1-      Virginia Tech

2-      Georgia Tech

3-      North Carolina

4-      Miami

5-      Virginia

6-      Duke

ACC Title Game: Virginia Tech and Florida State: Virginia Tech is ACC Champion.

Analysis: Florida State is incredibly loaded, particularly on defense. Their defensive line is the best in football in my opinion, even better than LSU’s, and they return enough talent on offense to be a dark horse contender for the National Championship game. I don’t think they’ll make it because I’m not a big believer in EJ Manuel, but if he can improve enough to put up points this team could end up in the top 5 by season’s end. And yet, I have a gut feeling that this is Virginia Tech’s year and I think they will go toe to toe with Florida State in the ACC Championship game and win. I trust Logan Thomas more than Manuel in critical situations even if he is younger with less experience, and Virginia Tech returns plenty of talent on defense as well. Clemson will be nipping at Florida State’s heels as well but I don’t think Clemson’s offensive line has enough talent and experience to keep Florida State’s relentlessly deep and talented front four from terrorizing Boyd when he drops back to pass.

Big 12:

1-      West Virginia

2-      Kansas State

3-      Oklahoma

4-      Texas

5-      TCU

6-      Oklahoma State

7-      Texas Tech

8-      Baylor

9-      Kansas

10-   Iowa State

West Virginia is Big-12 Champion.

Analysis: I’m sure plenty of people will be surprised that I have West Virginia and Kansas State ranked ahead of Oklahoma and Texas, but I have plenty of faith in West Virginia’s offense to pass their way to the top of the Big-12 and if their defense improves at all they could very well win this conference. Kansas State shocked everyone last year by not only being good but by being good enough to get to the Cotton Bowl. And yet, everyone is writing them off again this year even though they return plenty of talent across their roster, and even their losses on defense aren’t irreplaceable. Collin Klein is the Tim Tebow of the Big-12 and he will keep Kansas State competitive even if it isn’t always pretty, and those writing KSU off will look foolish again this year. Oklahoma continues to be ranked in the top 5 year after year regardless of how many times they fail to live up to their talent level. Landry Jones plays a big role in that, and there aren’t many quarterbacks I wouldn’t want leading my team more than Jones. He’s not reliable under pressure, he panics in big time situations and collapsed when his best receiver Ryan Broyles went down last season. Oklahoma has plenty of talent on defense, but that has never stopped them from failing to live up to expectations, and even though Mike Stoops is back in the fold I don’t think it will be enough to win the Big-12 or a National Championship. Texas seemed to be on the right track naming a starting quarterback, but now the competition is back on and when you have two quarterbacks you really have none. So as good as that defense is it won’t matter if they don’t have any continuity at quarterback.

Pac-12:

North:

1-      Oregon

2-      Washington

3-      Stanford

4-      California

5-      Oregon State

6-      Washington State

South:

1-      Southern Cal

2-      Utah

3-      UCLA

4-      Arizona State

5-      Arizona

6-      Colorado

Pac-12 Title Game: USC and Oregon: USC is Pac-12 Champion.

Analysis: The Pac-12 is honestly one of the worst conferences top to bottom in the country, I was shocked by how little overall depth both divisions had. The North has three, maybe four bowl game caliber teams and the South has TWO. Look at that 3-6 list, only UCLA has an chance at a bowl game out of those four teams, and ASU, Arizona and Colorado should be awful this season. Oregon and USC both have a pretty easy road to the Pac-12 title game if you ask me, though Washington and Stanford won’t be pushovers even in spite of all the talent they lost.

Big East:

1-      Cincinnati

2-      Louisville

3-      South Florida

4-      Pittsburgh

5-      Rutgers

6-      Syracuse

7-      Connecticut

8-      Temple

Cincinnati is Big East Champion.

Analysis: The Big East is probably the worst big time conference in college football and they are clinging on for dear life and relevance right now. Cincinnati is the best by default this year now that West Virginia bolted for the Big-12, and after Louisville there isn’t a lot to write home about in the Big East. There’s the potential for some bowl eligible teams, but there isn’t a legit title contender in this whole conference and whoever the winner is will likely play a better conference champion in a BCS bowl game and get the tar beat out of them like Connecticut did two years ago at the hands of Oklahoma.

 

Thanks for reading, and happy college football season to each and every one of you!

–Tom

Quarterback Rankings:

1-      Matt Barkley, QB, Southern Cal

2-      Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee*

3-      Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

4-      Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech*

5-      Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

6-      Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia*

7-      E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State

8-      Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State

9-      Casey Pachall, QB, TCU*

10-   Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

Running Back Rankings:

1-      Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina*

2-      Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin

3-      Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas*

4-      Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State*

5-      Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina*

6-      Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh

7-      Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M*

8-      Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama*

9-      Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson

10-   Dennis Johnson, RB, Arkansas

Wide Receiver Rankings:

1-      Robert Woods, WR, Southern Cal*

2-      Keenan Allen, WR, California*

3-      Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee*

4-      Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State*

5-      Da’Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee*

6-      Cobi Hamilton, WR, Arkansas

7-      Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor

8-      Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

9-      Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon

10-   Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M
Tight End Rankings:

1-      Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame*

2-      Jake Stoneburner, TE, Ohio State

3-      Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA

4-      Philip Lutzenkirchen, TE, Auburn

5-      Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford*

6-      Michael Williams, TE, Alabama

7-      Jordan Reed, TE, Florida*

8-      Ryan Griffin, TE, Connecticut

9-      Colter Phillips, TE, Virginia

10-   Ben Cotton, TE, Nebraska
Offensive Tackle Rankings:

1-      Chris Faulk, OT, LSU*

2-      Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M*

3-      Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin

4-      D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama*

5-      Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan*

6-      Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia

7-      Alex Hurst, OT, LSU

8-      Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse

9-      Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M*

10-   James Hurst, OT, North Carolina*
Offensive Guard Rankings:

1-      Barrett Jones, OG, Alabama

2-      Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

3-      Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama

4-      Travis Frederick, OG, Wisconsin*

5-      Alvin Bailey, OG, Arkansas*

6-      Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky

7-      Omoregie Uzzi, OG, Georgia Tech

8-      Braden Hansen, OG, BYU

9-      Blaize Foltz, OG, TCU

10-   Lane Taylor, OG, Oklahoma State
Center Rankings:

1-      Khaled Holmes, C, Southern Cal

2-      Graham Pocic, C, Illinois

3-      Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas*

4-      James Ferentz, C, Iowa

5-      Mario Benavides, C, Louisville

6-      Dalton Freeman, C, Clemson

7-      Matt Stankiewitch, C, Penn State

8-      Joe Madsen, C, West Virginia

9-      Braxton Cave, C, Notre Dame

10-   Ivory Wade, C, Baylor
Defensive End Rankings:

1-      Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU*

2-      Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas*

3-      Alex Okafor, DE, Texas

4-      Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State*

5-      Margus Hunt, DE, SMU

6-      Michael Buchanan, DE, Illinois

7-      Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina

8-      Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

9-      James Gayle, DE, Virginia Tech*

10-   William Gholston, DE, Michigan State*
Defensive Tackle Rankings:

1-      Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

2-      Johnathon Hankins, DT, Ohio State*

3-      Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama

4-      Bennie Logan, DT, LSU*

5-      Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

6-      Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

7-      Johnathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia

8-      Akeem Spence, DT, Illinois*

9-      Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida*

10-   Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Middle Linebacker Rankings:

1-      Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

2-      Shayne Skov, ILB, Stanford

3-      Kevin Reddick, ILB, North Carolina

4-      Michael Mauti, ILB, Penn State

5-      Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama

6-      Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State

7-      Jonathan Brown, ILB, Illinois*

8-      Bruce Taylor, ILB, Virginia Tech

9-      Jonathan Bostic, ILB, Florida

10-   Christian Robinson, ILB, Georgia
Outside Linebacker Rankings:

1-      Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia*

2-      Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU*

3-      Sean Porter, OLB, Texas A&M

4-      Brandon Jenkins, OLB, Florida State

5-      C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama*

6-      Gerald Hodges, OLB, Penn State

7-      Jelani Jenkins, OLB, Florida*

8-      Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford

9-      Khaseem Green, OLB, Rutgers

10-   Kenny Tate, OLB, Maryland
Cornerback Rankings:

1-      David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State*

2-      Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State*

3-      Jonathan Banks, CB, Mississippi State

4-      Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU*

5-      Jonny Adams, CB, Michigan State

6-      Nickell Robey, CB, Southern Cal*

7-      Carrington Byndom, CB, Texas*

8-      Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State

9-      Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa

10-   Tharold Simon, CB, LSU*
Safety Rankings:

1-      Eric Reid, FS, LSU*

2-      T.J. McDonald, FS, Southern Cal

3-      Kenny Vaccaro, SS, Texas

4-      Robert Lester, FS, Alabama

5-      Tony Jefferson, FS, Oklahoma*

6-      Bacarri Rambo, SS, Georgia

7-      Ray Ray Armstrong, SS, Miami

8-      John Boyett, SS, Oregon

9-      Matt Elam, SS, Florida*

10-   Vaughn Telemaque, FS, Miami

Alex Carder, QB, Western Michigan: Carder is a solid quarterback for Western Michigan and it has been interesting to compare and contrast him with Tim Hiller, the quarterback he replaced for the Broncos. He’s got solid size at 6’2”, 224 pounds and was productive this season with 3,873 yards, a 65.74 completion percentage, 31 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The game against Purdue was not one of his better games as he finished with four interceptions marking the second game he had thrown more than one all season (he threw three against Ball State). Carder has solid arm strength and accuracy and is more physically gifted than Hiller was because of his ability to extend plays with his feet and to avoid the rush. He isn’t a burner by any means, but he can move when he has to and is somewhat of a threat to run and pick up yardage with his legs. That said, I think at best he is a late round prospect because despite his solid physical tools I don’t think he has the arm strength to make every NFL throw with solid zip and he doesn’t do a good job of reading defenses and making good decisions at all. His four interceptions yesterday were not coincidences and he could have had a couple more if Purdue had not dropped them. He forces throws into coverage more than he should and part of that has to do with how much he throws the ball but part of that is that he simply doesn’t make very good decisions. He has the ability to make nice throws when he can put touch on them as evidenced by the nice throw to Jordan White for their first touchdown and a couple other throws over the top of the coverage. However, when he attempted to make stick throws down the seam he struggled to put the appropriate amount of zip on them and didn’t place them well which limited his offenses potential as Purdue seemed to get comfortable defending their up-tempo offense. Carder is a solid MAC prospect but he won’t get drafted before the 6th or 7th round next year in my opinion.

White had a fantastic game and honestly, something about him makes me think he will have a successful NFL career.

Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan: White is a beast let me just say that right now. He may not be the fastest guy especially after his knee injury but he is a beast. He has very reliable hands, some of the best in this 2012 class of receivers, and has been insanely productive for Western Michigan both for this season and for his entire career. Now, I don’t expect him to be picked in the first three rounds or anything but I think in the 5th round he warrants some significant consideration. Yes, you’d like to spend those picks on guys with more upside than a guy who probably won’t run much faster than a 4.55 in the 40 yard dash but he’s got solid size at 6’0”, 215 pounds and accumulated 140 receptions, 1,911 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season. He also had 222 yards and a 13.06 average per return as a punt returner. He caught nearly every pass that hit him in the hands against Purdue save one possible drop, but he made some difficult catches look routine and made a fantastic one handed snag with his left hand on a pass thrown one or two yards behind him. Had he not somehow made this terrific catch on a deep ball from Carder it certainly looked like it was going to get intercepted by a Purdue defensive back. White may not have insane upside from a physical standpoint but overall I was pretty impressed with his route running and you can see he has improved this over the past couple of years. He showed some solid burst in and out of his breaks and some suddenness to create separation. Personally I would love to have him on my team because you know he’s going to work very hard, he doesn’t have great speed but he runs good routes, he will make catches when your team needs a play, and he is stronger and more physical than you might think and has shown the ability to gain yards after the catch. I think the 5th round is definitely where he has the best shot to come off the board, but something about him makes me want to put a 3rd/4th round grade on him. He’s just too reliable with too good of hands to pass up.

Anthony Parker, OT, Western Michigan: Parker doesn’t have a great build at 6’5”, 321 pounds not because of his height but because he’s got a pretty big belly. He may want to work on that before any All-Star game he might go to or before the combine, but regardless of that I don’t think he will be able to stick at offensive tackle in the NFL. He struggled mightily against an impressive freshman defensive end on Purdue named Ryan Russell and he will continue to struggle at either offensive tackle spot should he be drafted or signed as an undrafted free agent. Personally I think his best bet is to slide inside to guard where his possibly above average first step and size may give him an advantage and it will mask his lack of lateral quickness to mirror defenders off the edge. It was pretty obvious he couldn’t take away Russell’s speed rush whenever he wanted which led to him opening up his hips too early and too often making him very susceptible to inside moves which Russell took advantage of to create significant pressure on Carder all game. Even if he slides inside to guard there is no guarantee he will be drafted or even competed over to be signed as an undrafted free agent, but I think he has a chance to make it into a camp and compete for a practice squad spot as a guard. He will never make it that far as a tackle.

Drew Nowak, DT, Western Michigan: Nowak had a fantastic season this year with over 20.0 TFL, 8.5 sacks, a forced fumble and two blocked kicks but that won’t guarantee himself a spot in the 2012 NFL Draft. He is listed at 6’4”, 295 pounds but he didn’t look quite 6’4” to me and I wouldn’t be surprised if he measured in as short as 6’2” personally. I also noticed that he seemed to have relatively short arms which led to him getting engulfed by the larger Purdue offensive linemen. He has above average burst off the line of scrimmage and flashed some solid hand usage as he tried to beat the Purdue interior linemen off the snap. However, that didn’t work very often and while he forced Purdue’s left guard to hold once or twice (even though it was uncalled) he didn’t have a very significant impact on the game because of his struggles to keep Purdue’s offensive linemen from engaging him and taking him out of the play. He has solid size, solid athleticism and a pretty good motor but I don’t think he’s going to be anything more than a late round pick or possibly a UDFA if he can’t improve his stock in the offseason.

Freddie Bishop, DE, Western Michigan: Bishop didn’t stick out to me very much but he flashed some solid edge speed when he was in the game. TerBush and Marve threw a combined 20 passes so there weren’t a lot of opportunities to rush the passer, especially because some of those were quick screens designed to get the ball out quickly. Bishop emerged a bit statistically this year and it will be interesting to see how he and Paul Hazel do next year as they will likely be one of the best pass rushing tandems in the MAC.

I think Paul Hazel has the size, athleticism and upside to be a quality 3-4 OLB if he can fill out his 6'5", 210 pound frame.

Paul Hazel, DE, Western Michigan: I hadn’t seen Hazel play much before but I was impressed with him as a pass rusher. He’s got quality height and length at 6’5” and he looks like he has long arms, however he only weighs 210 pounds! He absolutely HAS to get above 225 pounds before next season or his stock is going to drop as his game is dissected. He’s a pretty fluid athlete and while I haven’t seen him drop into coverage a lot he looks like he could be athletic to make that transition. Hopefully WMU lets him stand up more next year. But the most important part of this offseason will be adding weight for Hazel, and it will be very telling if he doesn’t come back bigger and stronger because he needs to.

Johnnie Simon, S, Western Michigan: Simon wasn’t always in on defense from what I could tell but I was very impressed with his run defense, his tackling, and his ability to blitz off the edge. He may have been playing in a “Buc” role where he is like an additional linebacker, but he proved effective versus the run regardless of how he was used. He had a solid stat line as far as pass break-ups and interceptions this year with seven break-ups and two interceptions on the season, so he will be one to watch as he continues to develop as a junior next year.

Caleb TerBush, QB, Purdue: I expected TerBush to throw a bit more than he did but Marve actually threw a comparable amount and was arguably more effective doing it. TerBush has another year left whereas Marve is graduating so it will be interesting to see what he will be able to do with some starting experience under his belt. He’s not much of a NFL Draft prospect at this point, but he has NFL size and a solid arm, so you have to keep an eye on him for that reason. He doesn’t have much pocket poise and doesn’t operate in a NFL offense since he doesn’t make a lot of stick throws downfield, but he has a chance to grow this offseason and during his senior year.

Akeem Shavers, RB, Purdue: Shavers had the best game of his career running 22 times for 149 yards with a long of 44 yards. Shavers has solid size at 5’11”, 203 pounds and displayed pretty good burst, acceleration and speed to rip of nice yardage. He will be competing for touches next year in a relatively crowded backfield and didn’t really have a break-out year this year, so it will be interesting to see if he is the main guy or if Ralph Bolden, the RB he was replacing in the starting line-up in this game, will be the main man. I liked what I saw of Shavers yesterday, but it’s hard for me to project him as anything more than a 7th round pick or a priority free agent at this point.

Akeem Hunt, RB, Purdue: Hunt only had four touches on offense against WMU but he rushed for 38 yards including a 33 yard long. He is only a freshman and should help Purdue establish this run-heavy offensive attack next year. He will likely be the #3 scat back next year barring injury to either Bolden or Shavers, but he is the leading candidate to take over as the feature back in two years as a junior. He’s undersized at 5’9”, but he has good quickness and speed.

Antavian Edison, WR, Purdue: Edison only had one catch on the game but it was a terrific grab for 23 yards. He went up for a deep ball and it was deflected before it got there but he kept his concentration, caught the ball with his hands and held onto it in traffic for the big gain. It was a great catch, but because Purdue was running so much he didn’t see much more action than that against WMU. Hopefully he gets more touches next year because I think he has some upside.

Gary Bush, WR, Purdue: Bush doesn’t have as good of hands as Edison does and struggled to locate and adjust to a couple deep passes Purdue attempted during this game but he was lethal on screens and took what I believe was a bubble screen for a 33 yard touchdown in the 2nd half. He doesn’t have great size at 6’0”, 175 pounds and he looks very skinny on film but he has some speed and decent hands. He’s a fringe draftable prospect at this point but his speed may warrant some interest.

Ryan Russell has an impressive combination of size and athleticism and demonstrated his upside creating consistent pressure against WMU.

Ryan Russell, DE, Purdue: Russell may very well have been the most impressive player not only on Purdue’s defense but on their whole team against Western Michigan in my opinion. That might sound like high praise for someone who, as far as I’m aware, had one tackle, sack and forced fumble. The sack and forced fumble was an important one though, as it led to a fumble recovery by his fellow defensive lineman Bruce Gaston. He didn’t register a lot of tackles or sacks but he was applying consistent pressure by beating both offensive tackles for Western Michigan when he wanted to. At 6’4”, 264 pounds as a freshman he has fantastic size for someone so young and has a ton of upside. Purdue has churned out some quality defensive lineman recently in Ryan Kerrigan, Mike Neal and now Kawann Short, Bruce Gaston and hopefully Ryan Russell. His motor seemed to wane on one of WMU’s longer drives and he was letting himself remain blocked and wasn’t fighting through blocks. That’s concerning, but he has plenty of upside and should really start to take off on the stat sheet over the next year or two as he comes into his own and continues to develop. Keep an eye on this kid.

Kawann Short, DT, Purdue: Short was widely considered the top draft eligible prospect in this game but I was not impressed. He had a limited impact and seemed to show his frustration from not making plays or getting to the quarterback when he hit Carder after he threw late in the game which drew a flag. It was one of the few times he was in the quarterback’s face against WMU and he didn’t impress me much. Based on that game there’s no way I could give him a 2nd round grade, and it was disappointing since I was excited to watch him more and add to my notes on him. Though he did have a great season and could declare for the NFL Draft if he wanted to after that performance in the bowl game I think it would make more sense to come back for his senior year. He has room to grow if that performance is even a slight indication of what he needs to work on.

Bruce Gaston, DT, Purdue: Gaston is a solidly built sophomore DT and he was solid against WMU. I hope Short comes back because a defensive line of Short, Gaston and Russell would be pretty potent even in a conference with quality offensive linemen. Gaston flashed some ability yesterday by stuffing a play or two at the line of scrimmage as well as getting his hand up into passing lanes at times. He’s got solid upside but I want to see how he continues to develop.

Dwayne Beckford, LB, Purdue: Beckford was one guy I was looking forward to watching in this game but he was suspended for it. I imagine it was a response to Beckford being arrested on the suspicion of drunk driving just a couple weeks before the bowl game. He was also ejected from Purdue’s game against Iowa this year for throwing a punch, so this is unfortunately becoming a bit of a pattern of bad behavior for Beckford. That’s too bad because he was one of Purdue’s best players this year on defense. He’s got maturity concerns without a doubt, so it will be interesting to see if he grows up at all or if he will continue to waste his talent with stupid mistakes.

Joe Holland, LB, Purdue: Holland was one of the pleasant surprises of the night for me. He’s not a freak athlete as he is 6’1”, 229 pounds but he was one of the best tacklers on the field if not THE best and while I don’t think he has starting upside in the NFL I think he could definitely make a career of being a long-term back-up and special teams ace. I expect he will go undrafted but guys that tackle like he does have a place in the NFL on special teams, so look for him on coverage units in the future.

Will Lucas, LB, Purdue: Lucas is an undersized linebacker at only 5’11”, 226 pounds but he makes up for it with his athleticism. He will have to step up as the team is losing Holland to graduation, but he had 74 total tackles this year (43 solo) and 8.5 TFL so he is ready to take the next step in my opinion. He intrigues me as a WLB and on one play he shocked Carder on an option play because he SHOT into the gap and wrapped Carder up for a loss near the goal line. I wrote down that he “looked like a little missile.” So look out for him next year!

Thanks for reading! I’ll try to keep up with these bowl games, but one man can only do so much!

–Tom

Alex Carder, QB, Western Michigan:
6’2”, 224 lb Jr. 299/445 (67.2% comp), 3,434 yards (7.7 YPA), 28:10 TD:INT, 253 rush yards, 4 TD’s

Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan:
6’0”, 215 lb Sr. 127 receptions, 1,646 yards (12.96 avg), 16 TD’s. 17 PR’s, 222 yards (13.06 average).

Anthony Parker, OT, Western Michigan:
6’5”, 321 lb Sr.

Drew Nowak, DT, Western Michigan:
6’4”, 295 lb Sr. 83 total tackles (35 solo), 20.0 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 1 FF, 2 Kicks/Punts blocked

Freddie Bishop, DE, Western Michigan:
6’4”, 253 lb Jr. 50 total tackles (17 solo), 12.0 TFL, 5.5 sacks.

Paul Hazel, DE, Western Michigan:
6’5”, 210 lb Jr. 18 total tackles (9 solo), 2.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 2 FF’s, 4 pass break ups.

Johnnie Simon, S, Western Michigan:
6’0”, 180 lb Soph. 103 total tackles (55 solo), 8.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 7 pass break-ups, 2 INT’s

Caleb TerBush, QB, Purdue:
6’5”, 225 lb Jr. 163/264 (61.7% comp), 1,803 yards, 12:6 TD:INT, 227 rush yards, 1 TD.

Akeem Shavers, RB, Purdue:
5’11”, 203 lb Jr. 89 attempts, 370 yards (4.16 avg), 6 TD’s. 5 receptions, 58 yards, 1 TD.

Akeem Hunt, RB, Purdue:
5’9”, 175 lb Fr. 29 attempts, 249 yards (8.59 avg), 2 TD’s. 5 KR, 136 yards (27.20 average)

Antavian Edison, WR, Purdue:
5’11”, 175 lb Jr. 43 rec, 561 yards (13.05 avg), 3 TD’s. 124 rush yards, 2 TD’s.

Dennis Kelly, OT, Purdue:
6’8”, 306 lb Sr.

Ken Plue, OG, Purdue:
6’7”, 366 lb Sr.

Peters Drey, C, Purdue:
6’6”, 310 lb Jr.

Kawann Short, DT, Purdue:
6’3”, 310 lb Jr. 53 total tackles (28 solo), 17.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 pass break-up, 1 kick blocked

Bruce Gaston, DT, Purdue:
6’2”, 303 lb Soph. 28 total tackles (9 solo), 6.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 1 pass break-up, 1 kick blocked

Dwayne Beckford, LB, Purdue:
6’1”, 228 lb Jr. 90 total tackles (45 solo), 7.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT, 4 pass break-ups.

Joe Holland, LB, Purdue:
6’1”, 229 lb Sr. 85 total tackles (47 solo), 8.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT, 5 pass break-ups.

Will Lucas, LB, Purdue:
5’11”, 226 lb Soph. 74 total tackles (43 solo), 8.5 TFL, 1.0 sack, 1 FF, 1 pass break-up.

Josh Johnson, CB, Purdue:
5’11”, 195 lb Jr. 61 total tackles (45 solo), 3.5 TFL, 8 pass break-ups, 2 INT’s.

Ricardo Allen, CB, Purdue:
5’9”, 176 lb Soph. 71 total tackles (54 solo), 3.0 TFL, 3 pass break-ups, 3 INT’s (1 TD), 1 FF, 1 kick blocked

Top 32 Big Board

Here is my top 32 Big Board for the 2011 NFL Draft. These, in my opinion, are the top 32 prospects in the NFL Draft. Many of them are hot-linked so that you can read my scouting reports on them. Enjoy!

1-      A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

2-      Marcel Dareus, DT, Alabama

3-    Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

4-    Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

5-     Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

6-     Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

7-      Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

8-      Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

9-      J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

10-   Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

11-   Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

12-   Cameron Jordan, DE, California

13-   Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

14-   Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

15-   Tyron Smith, OT, Southern Cal

16-   Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

17-  Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA

18-  Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

19-   Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

20-  Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

21-   Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

22-   Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

23- Justin Houston, DE, Georgia

24-   Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky

25-   Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech

26-   Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

27-  Jake Locker, QB, Washington

28-  Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

29-   Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

30-   Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida

31- Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

32- Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Scouting Report:

Kerrigan may not be an elite athlete, but his work ethic and motor are second to none.

Positives: Kerrigan has pretty good size and athleticism. He isn’t a freak athlete but he has an outstanding motor and never quits on a play. He has a quick first step and good edge speed, though I don’t think he has enough edge speed to stick at RE in the NFL. He is a good tackler, he pursues well from the backside because of his motor, and he was definitely one of the hardest workers on Purdue’s team which helped him become a leader of the team. He has a good straight line burst and does a good job of getting up-field to put himself in position to beat an OT off the edge. He has good hand usage and shows a pretty good swim/rip and spin move to beat blockers as well as a bull rush which is impressive considering he is only about 260 pounds. He has good instincts and plays smart, avoiding running himself out of plays and sets the edge well as a run defender.

Negatives: Kerrigan is a pretty good athlete but he seems a bit stiff to me. He doesn’t show the ability to dip his shoulder to get the edge and doesn’t seem to have much hip flexibility. This will hurt him when he tries to get around the edge in the NFL which further limits him to being a LE in a 4-3 in my opinion. There were rumors that he could play OLB in a 3-4 but I don’t think he is a fluid enough athlete to do that at all and I think his hips are too tight to ever flip his hips and not waste steps in coverage. He needs to get bigger and stronger to help him stand up versus the run and to help him get off blocks once he is engaged. He has good hand usage to shed but if he tries to play LE at 255 pounds in the NFL he will be overmatched regardless of his effort level. He definitely has the frame to add weight though. However, he probably won’t be ready to contribute outside of a situational role as a rookie even though he is fairly polished. He doesn’t have a really high upside however.

Overall: You know what you are getting with Kerrigan. He is a good athlete with a nice first step and good straight line speed but he loses speed when he changes direction. He should still apply pressure from LE in the NFL but I don’t think he will ever get 8-10 sacks in a season consistently. However, he has the potential to be an effective LE and be a consistent player at the position. He is a relatively finished product which limits his upside but it makes him more of a “safe” selection. But thanks to his work ethic and his non-stop motor you know you will get everything he has and that he will maximize his ability after you draft him. That makes me like him as a prospect even though he won’t be a dynamic pass rusher in the NFL.

Projection: Top 25. For a while it seemed like he might be a top 20 lock but ultimately upside wins out in the NFL draft and a “safe” player like Kerrigan will slide in favor of guys like Aldon Smith or Robert Quinn who are much bigger risks but are considered to have more “upside” because they are not yet developed. Whoever drafts Kerrigan will get a reliable defensive end at a position that is hard to get consistent production from.

SKILLS:
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

Strength: 3.0
Quickness: 3.5
Pass Rush: 3.5
Point of Attack: 3.0
Recognition: 3.5
Motor: 4.5

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,987 other followers