Tag Archive: 1st round pick


I had a few question marks surrounding Williams’ game coming into the season, but he has answered them emphatically with his fantastic play this year.

Intro: Terrance Williams is a player I’ve been watching since he was a sophomore at Baylor. That was back when Josh Gordon looked like the top WR prospect on the team, and Kendall Wright played a supporting role along with Williams. After Gordon’s dismissal Wright stepped into the spotlight and Williams was the second option, albeit a good one. This year, Williams was expected to be the man but he had never been a #1 option during his college career. I was unsure how he would do, and actually expected him to finish with similar production that he had as a junior- about 60 receptions, 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. Well, I was completely wrong. Williams has completely gone off this year, totaling 89 receptions, 1,693 yards and 12 touchdowns through just 11 games. He has totaled under 100 receiving yards just three times, producing 84, 87 and 91 yards in those contests. He has also only played three games where he hasn’t had a touchdown this year. Needless to say he has been incredibly impressive, and I have seen improvement from him in more than just his stat line. Here are my updated thoughts on Terrance Williams as he projects to the NFL.

Size: Terrance Williams is listed at 6’3”, 205 pounds. He looks like he could add a little bit of weight, but he isn’t skinny by any means. He has been learning how to use his size to shield defenders from the ball and it gives him an advantage on jump balls down the field.

Speed: Williams has legitimate sub 4.5 speed and I think he will run around 4.45 at the NFL combine. His straight line speed is definitely an asset and it allows him to beat athletic defenders using nothing but pure speed. He has shown that he can pull away from defenders when running vertical routes and when running after the catch, and that’s something that will appeal to a lot of evaluators. A kid with his size and athleticism doesn’t come around very often.

Quickness: Williams’ quickness isn’t as good as you might think considering his straight line speed. I wouldn’t say he has “build-up” speed, but I don’t think he has great quickness either. He isn’t stiff or anything, but I don’t think he’s a “quick-twitch” athlete either. Some players are quicker than fast, and I personally believe Williams is faster than he is quick. I don’t think this will hold him back much, but based on what I’ve watched I don’t think his 10 yard split at the combine will be particularly impressive.

Release: This is one of the areas where I think his quickness shows up. He doesn’t “explode” off of the ball, and part of that may involve his stance. I haven’t seen him jammed a single time so far since I have been watching him, so I have no idea how he deals with physical press man coverage. I don’t think he’s especially tough when he’s contacted when running routes though, so I’d definitely like to see him pressed to see how he handles it.

Route Running: This is one area where Williams still needs some work. I went back and watched a couple of his games from 2011 and his route running was a serious question mark. He was running curl routes by simply running and then stopping without sinking his hips or chopping his feet. He got away with that with RGIII at quarterback, but someone must have taken him aside and told him he needs to run better routes because he has improved significantly this year. He can still get better, but he runs better routes on curls and slants than he did last year. Like I said, he can improve, but the fact that he has already shown improvement is very encouraging. He’s not great at this yet, and I’m not quite convinced he has a complete route tree since he runs a LOT of curls and 9 routes, but despite my questions about his quickness I think he could develop into a good route runner at the next level if he continues to work and gets good coaching.

Hands: This was another question mark for me the past couple years with Terrance Williams, but I am comfortable giving him a good grade in this category right now. He has consistently shown that he can make catches with his hands outside of his frame, tough catches in traffic and that when he’s concentrating he can make very tough catches whether they are diving receptions on low throws or catches that require good footwork on the sideline. His concentration is the only question mark for me because he still drops routine catches more than he should, but he has improved on this from 2011 and that is good to see. If he has a mentor at the position or a good position coach I think he will continue to work on and hopefully eliminate this problem. His hands aren’t the issue, it’s his concentration. But like I said with his route running, it is encouraging to see him improving in this area.

Body Control: Williams’ body control is one of his best assets in my opinion. He adjusts very well to deep passes, attacks the ball in the air at its highest point and I think he may have the best footwork and feel for making receptions along the sideline of any receiver in this draft. He consistently gets not one but two feet in-bounds, doing a great job contorting his body to make the reception and get his feet in. This was something I definitely didn’t identify until I watched him more extensively in 2012, but his body control is definitely impressive.

In Traffic: Williams may not be the toughest receiver in the country, but he consistently makes tough receptions in traffic and has shown that he can go over the middle (though I have rarely, if ever, seen him make a catch and take a huge hit). I do think there are times when a defender gets a little handsy or grabby and he throttles down and looks for the flag, and I would prefer to see him fight through it and force the refs to throw the flag rather than expect them to. He shows that he will fight through contact to make the catch, but I think there are times he looks for flags when he should attempt to keep running his route.

YAC: Williams is definitely dangerous after the catch, particularly if he can get up to speed and outrun some angles. He’s not particularly shifty and I haven’t seen him break many tackles so I wouldn’t expect him to do so at the next level either. But if he catches a crossing route with space in front of him he will pick up plenty of yardage, and if he catches a deep pass in stride he can run away from the defense. He won’t have many electric runs where he makes a lot of guys miss with his short area burst and shiftiness, but he can pick up yards after the catch.

Blocking: I have seen a solid but not spectacular effort blocking when I watch Williams. He isn’t a dominant blocker by any means, but he has shown some ability to sustain and help the ball-carrier gain additional yardage as a result of his block. He can stand to improve here, but in an offense like Baylor’s I wouldn’t expect him to be a dominant blocker.

Overall: Williams was a guy who I characterized as a size/speed guy coming into the season, but I wasn’t sold on him from a hands/concentration aspect or from a route running perspective when I previewed Baylor this summer. However, Williams has answered a number of questions I posed before the season- Can he match his production without Kendall Wright? Obvious yes, he has vastly exceeded it. Can he be the go-to receiver or is he more of a complementary guy? This year he has proven that he can be extremely productive as the go-to guy and he has shown he can thrive in a complementary role in the past. Not only that, he has shown that he can be a go-to guy without a Heisman winner at quarterback. I’m not sure if he’s a NFL #1 yet, but thanks to his size and speed he has that upside. Can he improve his route running and work to eliminate his concentration lapses? He hasn’t completely fixed these issues, but he has definitely improved on them from what I saw from him in 2011. That’s a very good sign and it makes me think he’s going to end up in the first round. This is one reason I like to watch players before they are draft eligible, not just after they are seniors or likely to declare juniors. Being able to see their progression and improvement with your own eyes, not just on a stat sheet, is really beneficial in my opinion.

Projection: 1st round. I think Williams looks like a top 40 pick right now and he still has a couple games left (the regular season finale against Oklahoma State and then a bowl game) to attempt to boost his stock. I expect him to be at the Senior Bowl as well where I look forward to getting a chance to talk to him more in depth. Guys that are 6’3” with 4.45 speed don’t grow on trees, and Williams has really improved his overall game since his junior season. He’s becoming a more complete receiver, and even though he has things to work on I am really intrigued by his upside. He’s not all the way there yet, but the improvement he has shown is more than encouraging enough for me to give him a 1st round grade at this point.

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Jackson is arguably the top safety eligible for the 2012 Draft, so it is great news that he has been reinstated by Tennessee.

About 12 minutes ago I learned from an ESPN alert that Janzen Jackson, arguably the best player on Tennessee’s football roster who left the team in February to deal with personal issues, will be back with the team this season and has been reinstated. I don’t know any details yet and I’m sure they will be announced soon, but this is huge for Tenneseee football as well as the NFL Draft in general. Jackson is widely considered the best draft eligible safety in the 2012 NFL Draft Class and despite some legal troubles early in his career he has incredible potential. He may not be as good as Eric Berry, but he is close and the imapct he will have on Tennessee this year (versus not playing this year) will be very substantial. I can’t wait to watch him play and even though I was not sure that he would be back I still listed him as my top safety in my rankings (which I linked above) because if he came back he was automatically going to be at the top. Now he seems to be back, and I for one am incredibly excited to watch him play. Welcome back Janzen!

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

I just found this out from an ESPN alert but it is not up on the website yet, but it is being reported that a group of 11 UNC Football players received 395 parking citations totaling about $13,185 from 3/07 to 8/10 by this ACC Blog. I can’t really believe this is happening two years in a row, but it sounds like UNC is going to have NCAA investigators sniffing around and leveling sanctions and suspensions against my favorite team for a second year in a row. Hopefully most of the players involved in this group of 11 players have graduated or moved on to the NFL, but I don’t know if my luck is good enough for that to be the case. This is obviously just being reported, so I’m sure I’ll be shaking my head frequently as more details come out about this. I can’t imagine how a group of individuals would go about getting that many tickets, but apparently it is possible. I’m hoping for the best, but it’s not looking good for UNC again this year. Let’s hope we can persevere again.

I also want to give my thoughts on Terrelle Pryor. I have not been very hard on him in the past, but it is pretty clear he has some off-field character concerns and the impression I have gotten from everyone I have heard and talked to is that he is fairly arrogant. Obviously I don’t know him and I have never talked to him, but that is the impression I have gotten. I don’t think there is any way he will get selected in the 1st round of the NFL Supplemental Draft should it actually occur, and I’m even more sure that he will never develop into a “great NFL Quarterback” like his agent Drew Rosenhaus proclaimed he will. He survived largely on his athleticism in college and did not progress nearly enough as a passer during his three years as a starter at Ohio State as he would have needed to to be picked in the first three rounds strictly as a Quarterback. He has potential because of his intriguing size and athleticism, but his arm strength and accuracy is nothing special and his mechanics need significant development still. Obviously he can work and improve on all of this, but his college statistics and winning percentage won’t mean much in the NFL, especially because his athleticism won’t get him nearly as far in the NFL as it did in college. I think he could be a Wildcat quarterback in the right scheme, but I am willing to say that he will never be a quality NFL starter in the NFL without incredible improvement as an overall passer, and I don’t think that will ever happen. If he was drafted before the 4th round in the Supplemental Draft I would be quite surprised. However, if he runs a fast enough 40 at a workout maybe the Raiders will waste a 3rd rounder on him.

I’ll post my thoughts on these stories and others throughout the summer, so keep an eye out for those and for more rankings and pre-season scouting reports in the coming days, weeks and months! Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Here is my scouting report on Ryan Mallett. I still have one game left to watch of him plus the bowl game against Ohio State, but I have seen more than enough of him to get a feel for what he is capable of and what he needs to work on. Enjoy my scouting report!

Scouting Report:

Mallett has great size and arm strength, but those traits overshadow other flaws in his game.

Positives: He has a truly amazing combination of size and arm strength, he can make any throw he wants to with his rocket arm. He has the ability to put the ball where-ever he wants, and when he has time to throw he can really carve up a defense. He flashes the ability to go through progressions and seems comfortable checking down if he doesn’t see much developing downfield. He can also be patient when he has time in the pocket to wait for crossers and longer developing routes. He also flashes some nice anticipation on certain throws (almost always his first read though).

Negatives: Mallett more than anything is inconsistent in my opinion. He flashes elite ability but it comes and goes. He will make some fantastic throws and place the ball exactly where he needs to and then later he will throw a fastball two or three feet over his receivers’ head, throw to the wrong shoulder or throw off of his back foot and throw an inaccurate pass. He isn’t very mobile and he struggles to scramble to extend plays. He struggles with footwork a lot, and doesn’t look very comfortable doing three, five and seven step drops. He loves throwing off balance without setting his feet, and does not do a very good job of moving in the pocket and re-setting his feet to deliver an accurate throw. He also makes a lot more bad decisions than one might think considering his interception total. He could have easily had four interceptions against LSU (he had two), two against Georgia (he had none) and four against Alabama (he had three). He made a number of bad decisions in each of those games, a number of bad, off-balance throws and forced throws into coverage. He makes those poor decisions far too often, and he doesn’t make enough NFL progressions and throws in each game to make me comfortable with the risks he takes. The majority of his throws are easy throws underneath, screens or check-downs. There is also a serious concern that he could be a system QB, after all Brian Brohm was when he carved defenses up at Louisville when Petrino coached there. The best evidence for that idea is that Mallett’s back-up, Tyler Wilson, stepped in against Auburn this year when Mallett went down and threw for 332 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions and completed 73.5% of his passes. That makes my “system QB” alarm go off.

Overall: Mallett has a boatload of potential. If he can clean up his footwork, improve his decision making, eliminate some of his erratic accuracy (which starts with footwork more than anything) and adjust to a pro-style offense then he could be a quality NFL QB. However, that is a laundry list of pretty difficult things for a QB prospect to do. I worry that he is a system QB, I don’t like his questionable decision making, his inconsistent accuracy and ball placement, and I don’t like how many easy throws he is asked to make all game versus NFL throws that require timing, zip and accuracy. I personally think Mallett is overrated as a NFL prospect.

Projection: I would be surprised if Mallett didn’t go in the first round because of his immense potential, but I don’t think he will ever live up to it. I think he is a top 20 pick and while he may seem like a top 10 lock right now he may slide as teams start to dissect his tape more intently. I personally wouldn’t draft him in round one, but I don’t think he is anything close to a franchise QB either.

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

ARM STRENGTH: 5.0
ACCURACY: 3.0
MOBILITY: 1.5
DECISION MAKING: 2.5
MECHANICS: 3.0
POCKET AWARENESS: 3.5
INTANGIBLES: 3.0

Hopefully you enjoyed the scouting report, I took copious amounts of notes on Mallett when I was scouting him. I’ll havemore reports coming up soon!

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Davis has 1st round pick potential in my opinion, but you never hear anyone talk about him!

Do you know who Knile Davis is? If not, you are missing out. He is the starting running back on Arkansas’ offense and after watching a number of Arkansas games this season I am totally convinced that he is the best NFL prospect on that offense and potentially on that team. The funny thing is not many people know who he is, and he isn’t even eligible for the draft yet! He is a true sophomore and is young having just turned 18 this year, but he does not run like a normal 18 year old running back. He has impressive size at 6’0″, 220 pounds and he has a listed 4.49 time. He has been incredibly productive since getting the starting nod after their original starter, Dennis Johnson, was injured in their second game of the season. He got the starting nod after week four and has absolutely taken off since then. He hasn’t had a game with less than 82 yards, he has five 100+ yard games since he has taken over including four 150+ yard performances. He has a total of 1,183 yards, 13 touchdowns and a 6.6 ypc average. He also has 16 receptions, 128 yards and a touchdown. In his last six games he has 12 touchdowns… that is absolutely insane production, and it has made life a lot easier for Mallett off of play action.

Now, some of you are probably pretty skeptical about Knile Davis, a guy who hasn’t even completed his first season as a starter (with only nine games under his belt after the bowl game), being a better NFL prospect than Ryan Mallett or anyone else on Arkansas. But I am convinced that he is. I think Mallett is overrated as a NFL prospect and even though he will probably get drafted in the 1st round when it is all said and done I think that his accuracy is too spotty, his footwork is too inconsistent, he makes too many bad decisions and forces too many throws into coverage to ever transition appropriately to the NFL. That, and Bobby Petrino’s offense doesn’t exactly prepare a QB for the NFL (see Brian Brohm).

Now that I have explained why I am not a fan of Mallett I should explain why I am a fan of Knile Davis. As I mentioned earlier, he has good size for a RB, quality speed and he has been really productive. The question is why he has been productive. I noticed in all three games that I watched that more than anything he runs hard and drives his legs after contact is made. He is definitely not afraid to lower his shoulder and hit someone if it means gaining more yards, and he runs through arm tackles with ease. You can’t arm tackle this guy, you need to form tackle him or gang tackle him. Not only that, he seems to have good vision and does a good job finding cutback lanes and seams that his offensive line create for him. In addition, he has shown me an impressive burst to hit the hole or bounce a run outside and he has good enough acceleration and speed to get the edge. He hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to prove himself as a receiver, but he has looked like a pretty solid pass catcher in the limited number of chances he has had. I don’t think he has a lot of experience pass blocking either, but that will come with time and can easily be coached up at the next level.

So, let’s recap: Size? Check. Speed? Check. Burst? Check. Vision? Check in my opinion. Power? Check! Production? CHECK! Potential? Definitely a check.

That’s not an overly in-depth scouting report, but then again he is only a sophomore and he has a lot of time to improve and show everyone his ability. But in my opinion he has 1st round draft pick written all over him. Maybe not a top 15 pick, but definitely a 1st round pick. I am excited to watch him in the bowl game and even more excited to see him take over as the feature back next year with a new QB in place to see how he does as the main focus of the defense. I think that with all of the returning talent that Tyler Wilson has he should have an easy enough time passing if the defense tries to take away Davis in the running game. For those of you who don’t know, Wilson is Mallett’s back-up who actually completed 73.5% of his passes agaianst Auburn after Mallett got hurt while throwing for 332 yards, 4 touchdowns and two interceptions. That really says a lot about the system that Arkansas has in place for QB’s to be successful in, but I will leave those thoughts for my Ryan Mallett scouting report.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy Knile Davis’ performance in the bowl game against Ohio State!

–Tom