Tag Archive: 2011 East-West Shrine Game


Scouting Report:

Austin has a ton of potential but I don't think he will ever live up to it.

Positives: Has an incredible combination of size, strength and athletic ability. He is a freak athlete and has a ton of potential as a result of that athletic ability. He shows good hand usage, can fight off blocks and is borderline unblockable at times without a double team. He can bull rush his man into the backfield when he is being blocked one on one or he can use his great burst off the line of scrimmage to beat him initially with a swim or club move. He has a lot of potential to be a disruptive UT in the NFL and should be disruptive against the run and the pass.

Negatives: Austin’s attitude is going to be his biggest question mark. I have heard that he is arrogant and that isn’t hard to believe considering his considerable ability, but that doesn’t bode well for him continuing to improve and get coached up in the NFL. He doesn’t shed blocks very well and struggles to hold the point of attack when double teamed at times. At times he will wear down at the point of attack and get pushed off the ball, and his motor is inconsistent. When it is good he is extremely hard to block but when he throttles down he is considerably less effective. He also has character questions to answer as a result of his suspension for his entire senior season. He has a ton of potential but he never really lived up to it at UNC and I don’t think he will live up to it in the NFL either.

Overall: Austin is an athletic freak that is going to blow you away with his potential but you have to remember that he came out of high school and went to the college level with similar hype because of his natural ability and never really capitalized on it with a great/dominant season at UNC. He was good, sure, but he could have been a lot better. That makes me question his work ethic and desire to be great, and that makes me doubt that he will live up to his potential in the NFL despite better coaching and weight training.

Projection: 2nd round. Austin may have been suspended for a year but he has too much ability and potential for him to slide out of the top 60 picks in my opinion. I think he will go off the board in the mid-2nd range.

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

Strength: 4.0
Point of Attack: 3.0
Quickness: 4.0
Pass Rush: 3.0
Motor: 2.0

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

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Akeem Dent Interview

Here is my interview with Akeem Dent, a linebacker from the University of Georgia. Enjoy!

Akeem Dent projects well to the ILB position in a 3-4 defense, and I think he warrants at least late round consideration.

Tom: What was your fondest memory as a Georgia Bulldog?

Akeem: Just being able to play in front of thousands of people week in and week out.

Tom: I’ve watched a lot of tape of you and you fill very well as a run defender, plus you are a tackling machine. What is your secret to being so effective against the run?

Akeem: Just making sure I read my keys. My coach told me you have to pay attention to the small things and all the details, and that starts with reading my keys.

Tom: What do you think is your biggest strength as a player?

Akeem: My willingness to work hard and my will to want to work and get better and to get to the ball as a linebacker.

Tom: What do you think is one thing you might need to work on?

Akeem: You always have to improve on coverage stuff and on pass rushing when I come on blitzes. Those are a couple things that stand out to me as a personal critique.

Tom: How do you think things went in practice for you this week?

Akeem: I feel like I had a chance to compete against a lot of good players and show a couple NFL scouts what I can do and I feel like I got a lot done. But there’s still a lot of work to get done.

Tom: Have you talked with many teams or scouts since you’ve been here?

Akeem: Yeah I’ve met with a number of teams. It’s hard to remember all of them, but I’ve talked to a number of them.

Tom: Who is the toughest player that you played against while you were at Georgia?

Akeem: I played against a lot of guys! It’s tough. Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, practicing against Knowshon (Moreno), A.J. (Green), so I’ve played against a lot of elite players in this conference.

Tom: Who was the toughest player you played against this week?

Akeem: I would say there were a couple guys. Delone Carter, he stands out as a good running back. Graig Cooper from Miami, he’s real solid. A couple offensive lineman, the guy from Clemson (Chris Hairston), he’s pretty good.

Tom: Have any of your fellow linebackers stuck out to you this week?

Akeem: Oh yeah. Greg Lloyd from UCONN, Rolle from Ohio State. I think that all of the linebackers here have done a good job of taking coaching well and just trying to learn.

Tom: Is there anything in particular you have learned from your linebacker coach this week?

Akeem: Just try to be fundamentally sound. Making sure you use proper technique so you’ll be able to make plays and get to the ball.

Tom: Is there anything you want the world to know about you that it might not already know?

Akeem: Just that I’m a Georgia guy, I’m hard working and I’m trying to improve as much as I can.

Tom: Thanks for your time and good luck the rest of the way!

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Here is my interview with Martin Parker from before the East-West Shrine Game and after he won the Defensive MVP award in the game. Enjoy!

Martin Parker (on the right) after he won the Defensive MVP award in the East-West Shrine Game. I interviewed him for the second time shortly after this picture was taken.

Tom: How do you think the week went overall as far as all the practices?

Martin: I think it was a great week, at first it was a little nerve racking but getting out there and practicing made it a lot better for me.

Tom: What would you say is your biggest strength as a football player?

Martin: I would have to say my motor and my determination. No matter where a play is I want to be the one who is chasing the play down and trying to make a play from the backside on the running back, quarterback or even wide receiver.

Tom: What is something you might want to work on or develop once you get to the NFL?

Martin: One thing I really want to work on is my leverage, my flexibility and body strength. I’m not a weak person but I think I can improve my strength and I just want to improve my leverage just to make me a better football player.

Tom: Any goals left for the rest of the week?

Martin: I mean, I am never satisfied with what I do, personally I think I have had a good week of practice. I just want to prove that I, Martin Parker, from the University of Richmond can play at this level of football against these bigger offensive lineman.

Tom: Who is the toughest player you’ve gone against in practice this week?

Martin: The offensive lineman from Illinois, I forget the name. *Randall Hunt* He was definitely bigger than any other offensive lineman I had gone against at guard. It was one of those things where I had to attack the challenge head on and I think I held my own against him and the other offensive linemen.

Tom: You and David Arkin had some good battles this week, any thoughts on him?

Martin: He’s a great player. Our whole battle started on Monday in the ballroom and just continued through the rest of the week. He’s another great player from the FCS level that is going to get his shot to make it to the NFL, he has a great skill set to make it there.

Tom: You kind of laughed when I asked you that question, do you remember a couple of the plays in the ball room on the first day of practice?

Martin: It was the first play where our DL coach told us to take it easy and take it slow and he came off the ball hard and knocked me over so the next play I came off hard and put him in the backfield. I walked away calmly after that though.

Tom: What do you think is your best scheme fit in the NFL?

Martin: I can play where-ever any team wants me to play. I know a lot of people say that because they think that it will help them sound good, but I’ve played DE, 3 tech, nose guard, 3-4 DE and I’ve been successful at all of those positions in my four years at Richmond. If a team drafts me and wants me to go play 3-4 DE then I will go out there and I promise you I will be one of the best players out there. I’ve been playing 3 technique for four years at Richmond, so I know I can hold my own at that position.

Tom: Have you talked to any teams or scouts yet?

Martin: Earlier in the week I talked to a handful of teams, nothing since then though. It will be interesting to see how all the pieces of the puzzle come together.

Tom: Do you have any preference as far as what kind of coach you would like to play for?

Martin: I went through three different head coaches at Richmond, three defensive line coaches at Richmond so I have experience under pretty much any kind of football coach you can have. It really isn’t bothersome to me, whoever my coach is I am going to listen to what they have to say so that I can have success in whatever system they run.

Tom: Your teammate Justin Rogers had a good week, any thoughts on him as a player?

Martin: He’s a great player, he has been ever since we have been at Richmond. He came out this weekend seeking to prove that he can cover wide receivers that a lot of people didn’t think he could cover. He’s made a name for himself this week and batted some balls down this week to put himself in a good position.

Tom: What is one thing you’d like the world to know that it might not already know.

Martin: That I’m different. I’m always full of surprises.

Tom: Thanks again for the interview, and good luck in the game tomorrow!

After the game interview:

Tom: I had to get an interview with you after you won MVP. *Laughter* 2 sacks, a forced fumble, you dominated today! How does it feel?

Martin: Right now I can’t stop smiling. Coming into this game I just wanted to have a solid game and come out and put myself in a good position after this game. After the first sack I just wanted more. The defensive line played great today. We pushed each other. On the sideline we told each other wanted two, we wanted three, we wanted four sacks.

Tom: Remember I interviewed you before NFL Network! *Laughter* I was there before it began! All the guys I interviewed played well today, especially you, so… I’m just saying…

Martin: *Laughter* I give the credit to everybody!

Tom: Where do you go from here now?

Martin: I’m going back to New York to continue training again and get ready for the combine.

Tom: Great! Well thanks again and congratulations on MVP! Enjoy the night!

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Here is an interview I conducted with Justin Griffith, a former Falcon fullback, at the East-West Shrine Game way back in January. I’ve been swamped so I haven’t gotten to all of the interviews yet, but this is one that I do have done. Enjoy!

Griffith was always one of my favorite Falcons so it was great to get a chance to meet and interview him.

Tom: What has it been like coaching instead of playing?

Justin: It’s been fun man, I played for 8 years and the things I have learned over those 8 years I have been able to relate those things back on the field. Coaching these guys, trying to put these guys into a position like someone else put me into position.

Tom: What is your favorite memory from playing in Atlanta?

Justin: My favorite memory is probably going to the NFC championship game. We had a great year that year, first round bye, guys were ready to play like a family in the locker room. You never forget stuff like that, it’s pretty much the locker room that stays with you that whole time.

Tom: Do you still talk to the players or coaches that were on the teams you played on?

Justin: Oh yes. I talk to several coaches on that team, I ended up staying my whole career with one of those coaches from that team. I also keep in touch with teammates. Once you form those relationships in the locker room you never forget those guys and they never forget you. You always have those memories.

Tom: Who has stuck out to you out of the players you have been coaching this week?

Justin: You know, I like all my guys. But I really like my fullback Patrick (DiMarco). He’s a good pass protector, I like what he does catching the ball, and hopefully he will go out on Saturday and do those things again. He’s a good football player.

Tom: How did you end up coming here for the East-West Shrine Game?

Justin: I ended up coming here because the GM in Atlanta when I was drafted ended up calling me and asking me if I wanted to coach in the East-West game. He knew that I wanted to get into some coaching and he told me that this would be a good way to start so I have gotten started just like that.

Tom: What have you been doing since you left the Falcons?

Justin: I played for some different teams, I also got married and I have a little boy now. Things have been good and I can’t complain about anything.

Tom: Sounds like you have been looking to get into coaching, how is that going?

Justin: It’s going good, coming down here was big for me, coming down here and coaching for these guys. Hopefully I can make some contacts, get in touch with somebody and get on somebody’s coaching staff.

Tom: What is one thing you’d like the world to know about you that they might not already know?

Justin: I don’t know… that’s a hard question. I am a family man. I am a family oriented guy. I love my wife, I love my son and they mean the world to me.

Thanks again for the interview Justin, and good luck with your coaching career!

–Tom

Scouting Report:

Taylor has a lot of athletic ability but I don't think he will have a lot of success as a NFL starter.

Positives: Taylor is tall enough to play quarterback in the NFL even if he doesn’t have good size for the position. He has very impressive mobility and he is incredibly elusive for a quarterback. He buys time very well with his legs whether it is inside or outside of the pocket and he has extended a lot of drives with his ability to scramble and pick up yardage. He really is a fluid athlete, especially for the QB position. He has a very strong arm, he can flick his wrist and ball just flies off of his hand. He has shown considerable improvement in each of his seasons as a starter at Virginia Tech and his accuracy has really developed a lot over his four years as a Hokie. He throws a great deep ball even if it has some air under it at times, but he places the passes very well in game situations. His accuracy has come a long way on other throws as well, plus he has shown more willingness to scan the field, step up in the pocket to buy more time to find a throwing lane, and his decision making has really matured thanks to his vast amount of starting experience. His pocket poise has developed a lot and overall he is a much more fundamentally sound player now that he has been starting for so long. I do think he has become a leader on the Hokies but I don’t know if he is a team leader that can rally the whole team to victory.

Negatives: While Taylor’s accuracy and pocket poise have really developed over his time at Virginia Tech they are still not on the level of a quality NFL starter in my opinion. Taylor’s size also hinders him as a QB because he will struggle to see over his offensive line in the NFL if he ever becomes a starter, and he doesn’t have a great feel for the pocket to move within it to find throwing lanes. His accuracy was much better this season but he will still miss throws that he should make pretty routinely. His accuracy is just not very consistent on short/intermediate levels. His anticipation isn’t very good either and I have rarely seen him “throw a receiver open” and he doesn’t go through his progressions very well. Instead he will regularly drop his eyes and look at the rush to try to escape the pocket and improvise. That really hurts him because in the NFL he won’t be able to scramble after looking at his first or maybe second read and have a lot of success. Defenses are too fast and he will be bottled up very quickly if he tries to do that. His pocket poise isn’t very good either because while he has definitely learned to stay in the pocket more and wait for routes to develop, etc. his first instinct is still to run when he is in trouble, not to step up to find a throwing lane and deliver the ball downfield. His instincts tell him to scramble, hold onto the ball longer than he should and to try to either get outside the pocket to improvise or to run and pick up yardage with his feet.

Overall: Taylor has really come a long way and has given people a lot of pause when watching tape because at first glance you think “wow, he isn’t a running quarterback anymore, he’s a passer first.” While that may be true, he still has some tendencies of a running quarterback and they hinder him as a prototypical drop-back passing prospect. He doesn’t have great anticipation on his throws, his accuracy is inconsistent and his pocket poise leaves something to be desired because he regularly leaves the pocket prematurely when he senses pressure. However, I definitely think Taylor has talent that is worth developing at QB in the NFL and I think he will at least get a shot to stick as a #3 developmental guy on a NFL roster. He has great arm strength, his accuracy has improved steadily every year at Virginia Tech and his athletic ability makes him an intriguing talent at the position. I think he can eventually be a solid back-up and potentially he could end up being a starter for a couple seasons. I don’t think he will ever be a pro-bowler, but I think he could be a solid game-manager that could extend drives with his legs and maybe make a playoff run if he has a good enough supporting cast and defense.

Projection: 5th or 6th round. This is a very weak quarterback class so Taylor might go a little higher than this, but his ceiling isn’t very high as a NFL QB and he will probably be a career back-up. I think his career could mimic that of Troy Smith from Ohio State. He will flash some ability as a starter but overall he will be viewed as a back-up in the NFL. That limits his draft stock obviously, so I think he will be a later pick.

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

Arm Strength: 4.0
Accuracy: 2.5
Mobility: 4.0
Decision Making: 3.0
Mechanics: 3.0
Pocket Awareness: 2.0
Intangibles: 3.0

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Here is my final post about the East-West Shrine Game. These are the defensive players that I thought had up and down weeks and did not help or hurt their stock, rather it stayed more or less where it was before the start of practices. And at the bottom I have a few players who I thought just played bad all week and made it obvious that they are undraftable. Enjoy my final East-West Shrine Game post! Sorry it took me so long to get all of this up.

Cheta Ozougwu, DE/OLB, Rice: Cheta had a solid week and while he didn’t improve his stock that much I don’t think he hurt it by any means. He showed solid burst and edge speed, but I don’t think he has enough to be relied upon as a starting RE in a 4-3 defense. I definitely thought he was a 4-3 DE considering his build and what I saw in drills all week, but when I talked to him about what he thought his best scheme fit would be he told me he would love to play in a 3-4 defense at the OLB position. This surprised me, but apparently he spent much of his senior season dropping into coverage and told me he was comfortable doing so. That definitely helps his stock because if he really is comfortable dropping into coverage he could stick on a 3-4 team as a special teamer and potentially work his way into a back-up/starting role as a 3-4 OLB. I don’t think he will ever be a DeMarcus Ware type pass rusher in that scheme, but he could offer a solid pass rush from the opposite OLB spot.

Brian Rolle, OLB, Ohio State: Rolle’s toughest obstacle will be convincing people that he is a good enough player to warrant drafting despite his small stature. He moves fluidly in coverage, he is a good tackler, he is very instinctual, flows to the ball well and has pretty good sideline to sideline range. However, he is very undersized and as a result he has trouble against the run at times. I don’t think he is a very good fit in a typical 4-3 alignment at WLB because he would struggle a lot in the running game, but he could be a good fit on special teams and in nickel packages as a coverage linebacker in that scheme. That makes him a 6th round pick in those schemes. However, for Cover-2 defenses like the Colts, Vikings and Bears he warrants a 4th round pick in my opinion. A lot would be asked of him in coverage and that is his strong suit, and his size would be less of a hindrance than it would be in a typical 4-3 defense. It will be interesting to see if one of those teams snaps him up earlier than a lot of people expect him to get drafted. I could even see him getting picked in the late 3rd by the Bears.

Mario Butler, CB, Georgia Tech: Butler was a guy that I was not particularly impressed with during the week of practices but I heard from a couple players I talked to that he is a very intelligent player and he is smart about how he plays coverage. I know Perry Baker talked about how hard it was to eat up the cushion he was giving him and as soon as he would Butler would have closed and would be right in his hip pocket after his break. He had a pretty solid game also, so as a 4th or 5th round pick I think he warrants some consideration. I don’t know if his ceiling is any higher than a nickel corner, but I haven’t watched him a lot to see how well he turns and runs, how good his closing speed is, etc. But he definitely has some talent and warrants development in the mid-late round range.

Josh Thomas, CB, Buffalo: Thomas is a guy that I had not seen play before this week and while I was not super high on him after the week of practices I have a few things to say about him. One, he packs a punch as a hitter. I don’t know if he has the range or the coverage skill-set to play safety in the NFL, but if he could make the transition I am convinced that he could lay the wood from that position. He had a few nice pops all week in practice that jarred passes out of wide receiver’s hands. I don’t think he did a great job locating the ball in the air but he seems to have pretty solid closing speed. I don’t think he is going to be much of a man coverage corner in the NFL since he probably has 4.55 speed or so, but as a zone corner he offers good tackling versus the run. I think a move to safety could be intriguing though.

Korey Lindsey, CB, Southern Illinois: Lindsey was a guy that stuck out to be the last three days of practice. First, he got consistently good jams at the line of scrimmage. Second, he showed solid burst to close but I think he needs technique work on his footwork in coverage. 3rd he showed pretty good ball skills, and was not fooled by double moves. I think he has potential as a zone corner, but I don’t know how good he will be in a man scheme since I have a hard time seeing him run under a 4.5 and he doesn’t play much faster than that on the field. I like his game as a zone corner though, so he offers a potential steal in the 5th round range for those same zone teams that I mentioned as possible landing spots for Brian Rolle.

Karl Klug, DE, Iowa: Klug was a guy who was disruptive early in the week but his momentum slowed as the week progressed. His relatively short arms hurt him in this regard and it was pretty obvious that he does not have the edge speed to play 4-3 DE and does not have the bulk to hold up as a 4-3 DT. I think the answer for him is to gain some weight and play 3-4 DE, but his game is predicated on penetration and disruption in the backfield, not necessarily on occupying blockers and holding up at the point of attack (at least it wasn’t this week). He might just be a 4-3 DE on run downs and a 4-3 DT on pass downs in the NFL if he doesn’t fit the 3-4 scheme though. I think adding some more weight to his frame is probably his best bet regardless of which scheme he plays in though, because he will need it to hold up at 3-4 DE or at 4-3 DT, and he just doesn’t have the athletic ability or arm length to beat NFL OT’s off the edge. He is all hustle though and has good, violent hand usage so he could surprise some people if he can find a position to lock into and develop in once he gets to the NFL.

Losers:

Evan Royster, RB, Penn State: Royster just looked painfully slow when alternating reps with the likes of Delone Carter (a likely 4.4x runner at the combine) and Graig Cooper (a definite 4.4x runner at the combine prior to injury) all week and while he had some solid runs in the game they were largely due to gaping holes from the offensive line. He still has very little burst to hit a running lane, he doesn’t have very good footwork as a runner and while he runs with good power he does not have any better than 4.55 speed (if that) to break off long runs. I just don’t see him sticking in the NFL when there are so many more athletically talented players who are as well-rounded as he is, even though I think Royster’s hands were a bit inconsistent this week. I thought he had a slim chance of sticking on a NFL roster before this week but I can’t say I think that anymore.

Matthew O’Donnell, OT, Queens (Ontario): O’Donnell stuck out immediately because of his mammoth size at 6’10” but that was about the only impressive thing about him. He consistently struggled with leverage all week, he has heavy feet and can’t handle any type of speed off of the edge. This was painfully obvious in the game when Kenny Rowe, a late addition to the East team despite being from Oregon, beat him badly off the edge when O’Donnell was at RT two plays in a row with a simple edge rush. O’Donnell has no future in the NFL for this reason unless a team wants to use a roster spot on a 6’10” guy to stand in the middle of their field goal formations to try to block kicks.

Jerrod Johnson, QB, Texas A&M: I wrote a scouting report on Jerrod Johnson before the season started and talked about how I thought he was a 4th rounder before the season started, and that he could move up if he had a good season where he demonstrated improved mechanics and decision making. Well, he got benched this year in favor of Ryan Tannehill, who compared to Johnson looks like the next Dan Marino thanks to a clean release, solid footwork and relatively consistent accuracy and ball placement. Johnson looked god awful all week to me and while he would make the occasional solid throw his throwing motion is still too long despite some noticeable tweaking, he still has little to no pocket poise, his decision making is still bad and he still floats his passes too much despite obvious arm strength. His footwork is still bad and he made some absolutely god awful throws in Saturday’s game. He is not a draftable QB at this point and if someone picks him up as a UDFA he is going to need considerable work before he ever sticks on a team. I think Johnson’s future is either in the CFL or the UFL because he just doesn’t have NFL ability despite his size and arm strength.

Wes Byrum, K, Auburn: Byrum made a few big kicks this year for Auburn, including a chip shot to win the National Championship less than two weeks before all the players reported for practices, but he was pretty bad in this game. He missed a couple of short field goals and did not look like he had a very strong leg despite solid kick-offs. It’s tough for kickers to get drafted at all, much less drafted early, but Byrum did not help his chances with his performance in the game. I would be surprised if he got drafted.

Hopefully you enjoyed my final post on the Shrine Game. I have a number of interviews to transcribe and I am getting back into the swing of things at school so hopefully there will be some free time to continue scouting so I can churn out some more scouting reports. Let me know if you have any requests and I will do my best to accommodate them! Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Here are some players who had up and down weeks at the East-West Shrine Game and thus did not improve or hurt their stock. I got pretty long winded in some of these so these are just the offensive guys that I thought warranted mentioning. The defensive guys that didn’t improve their stocks and the players I thought hurt themselves in Orlando will round out the third post I do on this subject. Sorry for the delay on this, school takes up a lot of my time as I’m sure you can all imagine. Enjoy!

Nathan Enderle, QB, Idaho: I am a fan of Nathan Enderle but he had an inconsistent week at the East-West Shrine Game. His ball placement was inconsistent during the practices but overall I think he improved over the course of the week. More than anything I think Enderle struggles to be consistent. He showed this during the game when he struggled with accuracy a bit when he first came in, but then he helped lead the West to their only scoring drive of the entire game when he threw a TD pass with good touch and then converted a 2pt conversion. After that he struggled a bit again. He has a strong arm and he has the ability to put the ball wherever he wants it, he just doesn’t do it consistently. That limits his draft stock as a quarterback. However, he has good size, arm strength and he flashes good ball placement. He has delivered late in games before, and I think with a year or two of development he could eventually be a solid NFL starting QB. I think he could use some coaching on his footwork because that might have something to do with his inconsistent accuracy. He also tends to miss high more than anything else, so despite his fluid throwing motion maybe they could tinker with his release point? That’s just one possible thing they could try. Regardless, he has tools worth developing and I think he will stick in the nfl as a back-up at least. I do think he could be a solid starter in the future though.

Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware: Devlin had an up and down week and was not impressive during the game on Saturday either. Clearly he is adjusting to making his throws after taking the ball from under center and going through his drops instead of setting up to throw after taking a shotgun snap. We have all seen his accuracy so we know he can throw an accurate ball, but he would have really helped his stock if he had shown better ball placement this week. I think he is worth a 3rd or 4th round pick at this point because he has solid arm strength, good accuracy and solid size. I think he can be an above-average starter in the NFL but I am not as high on him as others seem to be.

Scott Tolzien, QB, Wisconsin: Tolzien probably had the best week of practice of any of the QB’s because he was consistent with his ball placement and further demonstrated that he has above average arm strength. It occurred to me that he has a bit of a hitch in his throwing motion that a coach will have to try to tinker with, but other than that his mechanics aren’t bad. He has experience in a pro style offense and is very familiar with play action fakes from playing at Wisconsin. I think he will be a 7th round pick but if he doesn’t get drafted I’m sure he will be signed as an undrafted free agent. I think he will be a career backup in the NFL but that isn’t a bad living by any means.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech: Taylor didn’t have a great week either. He measured in at over 6 feet tall which, as stupid as it sounds, is important for his stock if he wants to play QB in the NFL. He had the best zip on his passes of anyone here in my opinion but his ball placement consistently left some to be desired. I don’t know how comfortable he is at reading defenses and he still tends to drop his eyes and look at the rush. He does this more than I would like instead of moving in the pocket to find throwing lanes. I don’t know if he will ever have the instinct to run and extend the play outside of the pocket “coached out of him” which makes me question his ceiling. He might be able to be an average NFL starter, but I think he will have to spend a few years as a back-up before he even gets a chance to try that.

Graig Cooper, RB, Miami: Cooper seemed to be regaining his previous form that he had before his injury which was good to see. He looked faster and quicker than he did over the course of the season which is what I was hoping to see. He seemed to be regaining his previous burst though I am not sure how good his footwork and vision is. He seems to dance around in the backfield a bit much for my liking and sometimes tries to bounce things outside when he should take what he can get. I think he will be a solid third down back and special team threat in the NFL especially if he can get healthy and stay that way. He showed soft hands all week and when he gets in the open field he has the shiftiness to make guys miss. I think he is probably a 5th round pick at this point because of the injury and his lack of production during the season this year. However, good interviews and a good showing at the combine could help him even in a deep running back class.

Vai Taua, RB, Nevada: Taua had an up and down week in my opinion, but he runs hard and he has pretty soft hands out of the backfield. The first couple days he dropped a couple passes which made me question his hands, but he bounced back as the week progressed. I don’t think he will be a feature back in the NFL, but I think he has the potential to stick as a late round guy who can pound the ball between the tackles and also catch the ball out of the backfield effectively. I think his ceiling is a more compact Jason Snelling who has made a lot of quality contributions to the Falcons since he was drafted there.

Da’Rel Scott, RB, Maryland: I am not a big Da’Rel Scott fan to be honest, and I was disappointed that he had what I thought was a mediocre week at the East-West Shrine Game and garnered an invitation to the Senior Bowl over Delone Carter who I consider the better player even if he isn’t as well known. Regardless, Scott showed inconsistent hands all week at the East-West Shrine Game but flashed better hands on the last day of practice I saw as well as in the game. He has great straight line speed but I am not sold on him as a feature back in the NFL.

Alex Green, RB, Hawaii: Green had an up and down week because he showed much better burst and speed than I expected him to have and he showed good route running and hands as a receiver which was great to see. However he fumbled on the first snap of the game and I’m not sure that he has anything better than 4.55 speed and I don’t think he has very good vision. I am not sure he will be drafted before the 6th or 7th round if he is drafted at all. He has tools though so he could stick even as a UDFA, but he has things to work on to be sure.

Terrence Turner, WR, Indiana: Turner is a very confusing guy to me. He has impressive size and probably 4.5-4.55 speed… but he could not catch the ball all week in practice. He would body catch, he would drop passes with his hands, he just looked completely unimpressive all week. It was not an up and down affair at all, he just looked terrible. But then the game comes around and he was making catches away from his body with his hands and I didn’t see him drop a single pass all game. I was completely dumbfounded. The practices are important, but I think the game holds weight also so I elected to not grade him as a loser for this week given his surprising performance in the game. He had to do something like that to give him any chance to be drafted, so I’d say his stock is unchanged. I’d say he is at most a 6th or 7th rounder at this point but there were some flashes in that game that intrigued me as a late round developmental receiver.

Armon Binns, WR, Cincinnati: Binns was inconsistent this week. He didn’t get off jams at the line of scrimmage well, he doesn’t seem to like contact much, and because of his size and long strides I have noticed he doesn’t have much burst in and out of his breaks as a receiver which hurts his ability to create separation. He has good hands and long arms which helps his cause, but I am not sure he will be anything more than a solid #2 unless he finds a way to get a lot more explosion and suddenness out of his route running. He seems more like a straight-line speed guy to me.

Anthony Parker, WR, Calgary: Parker started out well because I had never seen him and he was catching everything thrown his way and he was creating solid separation but he seemed to progressively lose momentum as the week went on. He was on Ryan Whalen’s level of not letting any passes thrown near him fall to the ground the first couple days, but he seemed to be rounding off his breaks more as the week continued, he let a couple passes get into his chest and he dropped a couple passes. You would prefer to see a player start off poorly and then improve throughout the week if they are going to start out badly at all, but Parker did the opposite and that hurts him a bit. However, he definitely showed ability that I was not sure he would have, so he should garner some attention in the 7th round or as a UDFA should he not get drafted.

Lester Jean, WR, Florida Atlantic: Some are much higher on Jean than I am, I thought he had an ok week but he started out pretty slow much like Perry Baker did, but his route running did not improve like Baker’s did over the week. He seems to waste steps when making his breaks on curls for instance, and did not create consistent separation that I saw all week. He body catches a lot and I didn’t see him make clean catches away from his hands much during the week. He has pretty good size and speed for the position and inconsistent hands, so there is potential for him to develop into a solid possession receiver in the NFL if he can clean up his footwork and route running. You can work on catching the ball once you get to the NFL too, so if he is committed he can improve. However I wouldn’t draft him before the 5th round right now.

Virgil Green, TE, Nevada: I liked what I saw from Green this week. He was selling out for every pass that he could get to, even diving for a pass that was well overthrown on a ballroom carpet on the first day of practice. He showed good hands by making nice catches away from his body and while I am not sure he will ever be a dynamic TE I think he can be a reliable target. He isn’t a burner at the position so while that is a bit disappointing I was very encouraged by some of the blocking I saw from him this week. He had a few nice drive blocks, one or two even on players as big as him (if not a bit bigger). He has some work to do as a run blocker, but he showed some nice flashes of drive blocking that I did not expect to see from him at all.

Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson: Hairston has really long arms so while he does not have good lateral mobility I think he has a NFL future as a back-up RT that could potentially develop into a solid starter. He struggled with speed rushers, but he used his long arms effectively to keep smaller players from getting off of his blocks and he had at least solid lateral agility to force some speed rush attempts wide of the QB and didn’t seem particularly susceptible to inside moves either. He’s a late round pick, but he has the potential to develop into a starter.

Jah Reid, OT, Central Florida: Jah Reid is a guy that I was not particularly impressed with. He bends at the waist a lot, and when I saw this regularly the first two days of practice I didn’t pay much attention to him the rest of the week. I think he’s a 6th/7th round pick that has the ceiling of an ok back-up. Others thought he had a good week but I am just not impressed with him.

Hopefully you enjoyed reading my thoughts, let me know what you think of them and look forward for my final notes as well as some scouting reports as I find free time to scout over the next couple weeks. I am also working on a mock, but I’m going to wait until after the Superbowl to really put a lot of effort into completing it. Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Here is my first of two or three posts reviewing a number of players that I noticed at the East-West Shrine Game practices and in the game this past Saturday. This first post will focus on players that I thought improved their stock during the week, and the following posts will discuss guys that I thought hurt themselves during the week and guys who had up and down weeks and overall did not improve or hurt their stock. Enjoy!

Winners:

Delone Carter has the potential to be a steal if he gets drafted in the 3rd or 4th round. I think he has feature back potential.

Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse: Carter had a strong finish to his college football career with a MVP performance against Kansas State and that momentum carried through to the week of practices for him. The week culminated in him winning the Offensive MVP award in the East-West Shrine Game by producing 54 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries for the East. He is a shorter RB at about 5’9”, but he has a lot of bulk for his size. He has huge legs which explains his impressive leg drive and his ability to shed tacklers. He runs well between the tackles, looks quick and has a good burst as a runner, and he seems to have good vision to find cut-back lanes. He also showed good hands all week as I am not sure I saw him drop a pass out of the backfield all week, and that was something I did not know he was capable of since he rarely caught the ball out of the backfield at Syracuse. Carter could go as high as the 3rd or 4th round and I think he has the potential to be a quality 1,000 yard back in the NFL. He can be a feature back in my opinion, and I think he could be one of those guys who goes in the mid-rounds and outperforms guys who were thought to have higher potential after all is said and done. I was actually pretty disappointed that he didn’t garner an invite to the Senior Bowl when Daniel Thomas elected not to participate. I definitely have him graded higher than Da’Rel Scott (who ultimately took Thomas’ roster spot).

Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina: Austin consistently demonstrated the ability that made him one of the most highly touted recruits coming out of high school four years ago all week. He flashed violent hands and power, he showed more effort in pursuit than I remember seeing from him, and he was tough to move in one on one match-ups versus the run and he fought through double teams consistently all week. He wasn’t quite as lethal against the pass as I thought he might be, but he clearly has a lot of ability that is worth developing despite not playing this year and that was what he had to demonstrate. He definitely did that, so he was definitely a winner this week.

Terrence Toliver was clearly the best wide receiver in Orlando and he consistently showed that all week.

Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU: Toliver had a good week but didn’t do much in the game. Some of that had to do with his route running and some of it had to do with the inconsistent quarterback play in the game. However, Toliver showed that he was the best receiver in Orlando from the first practice in the ballroom until the end of the week. He has very reliable hands, he is tall and can make catches away from his body, he has pretty good vertical speed and he flashed good route running. He still needs to work on his route running though because he did not create consistent separation in the game from what I could see. He also is a relatively finesse receiver, and I’m not sure he is going to be very comfortable going over the middle in the NFL. He can make catches in traffic, it’s just not his forte. I think he is a solid 3rd or maybe 4th round pick after this week.

Jordan Cameron, TE, Southern Cal: Cameron was one of the biggest winners this week in my opinion. He went from relative obscurity at the beginning of the week to one of the guys who impressed everyone who watched him by the end of the week. He is raw because he has only played one year of football, but as a former basketball player turned football player he is naturally going to draw comparisons to Jimmy Graham, the TE out of Miami who had a great rookie season for New Orleans this year. He is very athletic, he can make tough catches because of this ability and he has reliable hands (especially for someone so new to the sport and the position). I didn’t have a lot of opportunity to watch him as a route runner, but his combination of size, athletic ability and soft hands makes him a very attractive option as a mid-round TE prospect. He will probably have to develop as a run and pass blocker as well as a route runner, but that is definitely coachable and considering his progression this week I don’t think that will be a problem for him. He is one of the hottest prospects in the draft right now in my opinion.

David Carter looked like an improved player during the week of practices and had a solid showing in the game as well.

David Carter, DT, UCLA: Carter had a solid season this year but it was not spectacular and he seemed to be playing with a chip on his shoulder all week. He told me he has worked very hard to improve his hand usage since UCLA’s season ended because he felt that it was something he really needed to develop. He consistently got off the ball well, fought through double teams and definitely flashed good hand usage this week. I think he would be a great 3-4 DE but he could also play DT in a 4-3. I don’t know if he will ever be a great pass rusher, but I think he has the ability to eventually develop into a starter a couple years down the road. He has the size, quickness off the ball and the work ethic to do it. Given his mediocre statistics this year he needed to show improvement this week and he definitely did that.

Martin Parker, DT, Richmond: Martin Parker was another lesser known player but he had as good a week as anyone in my opinion. Before the week started I am not sure I ever read that he was projected to be drafted, but after this week I think he has moved up to a 5th or 6th round grade. That might not sound like much, but moving up from an undrafted priority free agent to being drafted as high as the 5th round is a significant jump in your stock. He has solid size, he is pretty quick off the ball, he held up well versus the run in one on one matchups and was consistently disruptive in the backfield this week. He finished his week with a bang by winning the Defensive MVP award in the East-West Shrine Game last Saturday when he had two sacks, a forced fumble and a couple of QB pressures. He was very disruptive and it was great to see him do so well. I think he has the potential to be a solid back-up DT in the NFL that can contribute to a rotation after some development.

Perry Baker, WR, Fairmont State: Perry Baker was another relatively unknown guy before the week started, at least in most circles, but he made a bit of a name for himself this week. He still figures to be a late round pick at best barring an incredible combine showing, but being a 6th/7th round pick is still an improvement in his stock from being projected as a near-lock to be undrafted. He told me he has been timed at 4.4 flat in front of scouts not once but twice, so he is looking to break into the 4.3 range at the combine. If he does that I imagine his stock will jump because when scouts see 4.3 anything it pops off the page. He seems to be a good kid and he was a fun guy to interview, and when I talked to him he mentioned that his two biggest areas for improvement were in getting bigger and stronger and in improving his route running. That was cool because those were the two areas that I thought he needed to work on the most also, even though he flashed good route running during the week. I think he will definitely stick on a NFL team because of his speed, work ethic and long term potential as a receiver. Until then he should be an effective special teamer, and he had a nice wrap-up tackle on Saturday in the East-West Shrine Game which surprised me. He also flashed some pop as a blocker despite his rail-thin frame. I really like him as a sleeper, so I hope he gets drafted and sticks on a team either on the 53 man roster or on the practice squad as a rookie.

Justin Rogers, CB, Richmond: Rogers was another lesser-known guy from a small school but he had a pretty good showing this week. He showed good closing speed, solid footwork and ball skills to make a play on the ball and to prevent completions. I’m not sure how well he projects to a man-coverage scheme, though he does seem like he could be a solid zone coverage corner. I mentioned that he has solid ball skills, and while he does break on the ball pretty well and get his hands on the ball to knock it down he does not catch the ball well with his hands. His hands are small and he is just not a natural pass catcher, which isn’t a huge issue but it is worth mentioning. Overall, he had a good week and may be picked as high as the 5th round.

Patrick DiMarco consistently impressed me as a blocker, runner and pass catcher all week.

Patrick DiMarco, FB, South Carolina: DiMarco had a very good week and showed a lot of ability as a fullback. He is a good blocker both in the running game and in the passing game, he runs with good pad level and power when he has the ball in his hands, and he has soft hands out of the backfield. Fullbacks don’t normally get drafted very early, but DiMarco will be a nice value pick for some team in the mid-late rounds because I expect him to be an effective NFL fullback for a long time.

Anthony Sherman, FB, Connecticut: Sherman also had a good week, but I am not as confident in him as a blocker as I am in DiMarco. He does have pretty solid athletic ability, not to mention he showed soft hands out of the backfield all week. If I watch him more and he shows me ability as a blocker I think he could be a mid-late round guy, but right now I’d say he’s a 5th/6th round pick.

Greg Lloyd II, ILB, Connecticut: Greg had a good week and displayed his ability versus the run consistently all week and in the game on Saturday. He flows well to the ball, he is a good tackler, and he is an instinctual defender that reads the play quickly. He has pretty good size but he doesn’t run that well. However, I think he would be a great fit as an ILB in a 3-4 defense. He also seemed to be the leader of the defensive unit he was on the whole week and was always pumping guys up and talking to his teammates which I really liked to see. Will he get picked high? No. But I do think he warrants a 6th/7th round pick to be a special teamer and develop into a solid back-up at ILB in a 3-4. Beyond that is up to him and how hard he works. I do think he could eventually be a starter in the NFL, but at worst he will be a good special teams player and potentially a solid backup in the NFL.

Akeem Dent projects well to the ILB position in a 3-4 defense, and I think he warrants at least late round consideration.

Akeem Dent, ILB, Georgia: Akeem Dent had a similar week to Lloyd in that he didn’t look great in coverage and doesn’t run that well but he supported the run well, showed good gap responsibility and seemed to read run pretty well and get himself in position to help stuff it for a short gain. Dent is a great tackler and he was a fun guy to interview. He comes off as a very hard worker and he was aware that he needs to work to improve in coverage but was quick to give credit to everyone else on his defensive unit at Georgia when I asked him how he learned to defend the run so well. He seems like a good guy and he plays well when he can defend the run and play downhill, so I think he would fit very well in a 3-4 defense at ILB much like Lloyd. He probably won’t go before the 6th round, but I think he can stick on a roster and eventually develop into a starter despite his limitations in coverage.

Dontay Moch, OLB, Boise State: Moch was impressive overall this week, though I was not as impressed with him as some were. However, when he weighed in at only 229 pounds to start the week he needed to show some fluidity in coverage as he transitions to an OLB in a 3-4 defense or maybe even a 4-3 OLB if he develops well enough in that regard. I think it would make more sense for him to bulk up to 240 and give 3-4 OLB a shot because he is so good off the edge and such a threat rushing the passer, but I suppose he could be a hybrid version of what Brian Orakpo was in a 4-3 where he plays SLB on run downs and then puts his hand down on obvious passing downs to give the defense a good match-up against a RT or something. That would be fun to watch. He has a lot of potential and showing what he could do with limited practice dropping into coverage only helps his value as a draft prospect, so he definitely helped himself this week even though he still has work to do.

Sorry for the delay on this information. Getting back to school and diving in head-first into all of my classes has taken up a lot of time so I haven’t been able to do as much draft work as I would like. Hopefully this will tide everyone over for a couple days while I work through the next couple of posts. Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Player Name – College – Height(Feet,inches,/8′s) – Weight

Quarterbacks

Andy Dalton – TCU – 6020 – 213
Colin Kaepernick – Nevada – 6045 – 225
Jake Locker – Washington – 6022 – 228
Greg McElroy – Alabama – 6016 – 222
Christian Ponder – Florida State – 6021 – 222
Ricky Stanzi – Iowa – 6041 – 221

Running Backs

Anthony Allen – Georgia Tech – 5116 – 223
Noel Devine – West Virginia – 5070 – 160
Charles Clay – Tulsa – 6031 – 239
Roy Helu Jr. – Nebraska – 5113 – 216
Kendall Hunter – Oklahoma St. – 5072 – 199
Derrick Locke – Kentucky – 5081 – 186
Owen Marecic– Stanford – 6003 – 246
DeMarco Murray – Oklahoma – 6000 – 214
Bilal Powell – Louisville – 5103 – 204
Da’Rel Scott – Maryland – 5107 – 205

Wide Receivers

Vincent Brown – San Diego St. – 5110 – 184
Edmund Gates – Abilene Christian – 5115 – 189
Leonard Hankerson – Miami – 6015 – 205
Dwayne Harris – ECU – 5097 – 200
Ronald Johnson – USC – 5111 – 186
Jeremy Kerley – TCU – 5092 – 188
Niles Paul – Nebraska – 6007 – 225
Austin Pettis – Boise State – 6024 – 205
Greg Salas – Hawaii – 6011 – 206
Courtney Smith – South Alabama – 6040 – 220
Titus Young – Boise State – 5112 – 174

Tight Ends

Preston Dial – Alabama – 6021 – 238
Lance Kendricks – Wisconsin – 6031 – 240
Mike McNeill – Nebraska – 6036 – 232
Lee Smith – Marshall – 6057 – 269
Luke Stocker – Tennessee – 6047 – 255
D.J. Williams – Arkansas – 6017 – 236

Offensive Tackles

Clint Boling – Georgia – 6047 – 310
James Brewer – Indiana – 6062 – 323
Gabe Carimi – Wisconsin – 6071 – 315
James Carpenter – Alabama – 6046 – 313
Anthony Castanzo – Boston College – 6071 – 305
Marcus Gilbert – Florida – 6064 – 329
DeMarcus Love – Arkansas – 6045 – 318
Derek Sherrod – Miss. St. – 6055 – 312
Nate Solder – Colorado – 6082 – 314
Lee Ziemba – Auburn – 6060 – 317

Guards/Centers

Brandon Fusco – Slippery Rock – 6041 – 302
Rodney Hudson – Florida State – 6022 – 291
Jake Kirkpatrick – TCU – 6022 – 301
Kevin Kowalski – Toledo – 6031 – 300
John Moffitt – Wisconsin – 6040 – 314
Kris O’Dowd – USC – 6042 – 303
Jason Pinkston – Pittsburgh – 6033 – 313
Stephen Schilling – Michigan – 6042 – 302
Danny Watkins – Baylor – 6034 – 312

Defensive Ends

Sam Acho – Texas – 6016 – 257
Pierre Allen – Nebraska – 6037 – 273
Allen Bailey – Miami – 6032 – 278
Christian Ballard – Iowa – 6041 –  288
Jeremy Beal – Oklahoma – 6023 – 268
Cameron Jordan – California – 6041 – 287
Ryan Kerrigan – Purdue – 6037 – 255
Pernell McPhee – Miss. St. – 6027 – 274
Brooks Reed – Arizona – 6024 – 257

Defensive Tackles

Sione Fua – Stanford – 6016 – 307
Jarvis Jenkins – Clemson – 6037 – 309
Chris Neild – West Virginia – 6017 – 313
Stephen Paea – Oregon St. – 6011 – 295
Phil Taylor – Baylor – 6034 – 337
Cedrick Thornton – Southern Arkansas – 6035 – 299
Ian Williams – Notre Dame – 6013 – 311

Linebackers

Josh Bynes – Auburn – 6013 – 239
Mason Foster – Washington – 6011 – 241
Mark Herzlich – Boston College – 6035 – 250
Ross Homan – Ohio State – 6003 – 229
Nate Irving – NC State – 6012 – 242
Greg Jones – Michigan State – 5117 – 240
Casey Matthews – Oregon – 6006 – 232
Colin McCarthy – Miami – 6012 – 235
Von Miller – Texas A&M – 6025 – 237
Kelvin Shepperd – LSU – 6021 – 250
Chris White – Miss. St. – 6027 – 244
Lawrence Wilson – Connecticut – 6006 – 225
K.J. Wright – Miss. St. – 6031 – 246

Defensive Backs

Ahmad Black – Florida – 5093 – 183
Curtis Brown – Texas – 5115 – 180
Jalil Brown – Colorado – 6002 – 202
Kendric Burney – North Carolina – 5090 – 181
Rashad Carmichael – Virgina Tech – 5095 – 185
Quinton Carter – Oklahoma – 6005 – 211
Zac Etheridge – Auburn – 5114 – 201
Marcus Gilchrist – Clemson – 5097 – 193
Jaiquawn Jarrett – Temple – 5117 – 196
Joseph Lefeged – Rutgers – 5112 – 208
Curtis Marsh – Utah State – 6001 – 194
DeAndre McDaniel – Clemson – 6001 – 213
Johnny Patrick – Louisville – 5104 – 185
Da’Norris Searcy – North Carolina – 5105 – 216
Richard Sherman – Stanford –
DeMarcus Van Dyke – Miami – 6006 – 168
Shareece Wright – USC – 5110 – 182

Long Snappers

Danny Aiken – Virginia – 6044 – 246
Christian Yount – UCLA – 6000 – 241

Kickers/Punters

Kai Forbath – UCLA – 5105 – 191
Ale Henery – Nebraska – 6011 – 178
Chas Henry – Florida – 6033 – 220
Josh Jasper – LSU – 5100 – 173

Information courtesy of http://www.sidelinescouting.com/

Some interesting stuff in here. But as we all know there is a lot more to a player than their size. It will be very fun to see how some of these guys do this week. I am particularly interested in how Lance Kendricks, Allen Bailey and of course all the QB’s do. Especially Ponder and Locker because of their relatively disappointing seasons this year. Hopefully Ponder is healthy enough to throw, but if he’s not he should just drop out and get healthy.

Can’t wait to see how this week turns out. I won’t be there unfortunately but I hope (and plan) to go next year. I will definitely watch the game and post notes on it after I re-watch it. I am working on transcribing my interviews from my week at the East-West Shrine game and also on a “Winners and Losers” post reviewing the game and the week overall. That should be up in the next day or two hopefully. The interviews will take a while though.

Thanks for reading and happy Senior Bowl week!

–Tom

Jordan Cameron has made some impressive catches this week while displaying impressive athleticism.

West Practice Notes: Day Three

Quarterbacks:

Nathan Enderle, QB, Idaho:

Enderle showed some of the ball placement that I knew he had today, but it was still very inconsistent. He had a few nice throws that I saw, including a nice throw right on the money to Aldrick Robinson deep. He still missed high a couple times to Armon Binns and struggled going through reads at times. I was really high on Enderle before this season, but he regressed this year for whatever reason. He is definitely still draftable, and with his size, arm strength and inconsistent accuracy he should be a 5th or 6th round draft pick. He will need some development and probably some work on his mechanics (footwork probably, he has a nice fluid throwing motion) but I think he will stick in the NFL.

Scott Tolzien, QB, Wisconsin:

Tolzien showed pretty consistent ball placement on day three and pretty solid arm strength. He won’t be able to stretch the field that well, but on short and some intermediate throws he has solid zip on his passes. I think he warrants a 7th round pick or a priority free agent pick-up, and he has done a pretty good job of making decisions this week. I think he can be a developmental #3 in the NFL.

Jerrod Johnson, QB, Texas A&M:

Johnson is probably staring down a position change when he gets to the NFL. He has some mobility and impressive size, but he doesn’t have good zip on his passes, he doesn’t read defenses well, doesn’t make good decisions consistently and struggles with ball placement. I wasn’t sold on him at the beginning of the year after watching him, and it seems that everyone else seems to be of that same opinion now.

Halfbacks:

Patrick DiMarco, FB, South Carolina:

DiMarco stuck out to me all week as a pass catcher and as a runner, and when I talked to Justin Griffith (former Falcons fullback and current halfbacks coach for the West team this week) he said that DiMarco was the guy who stuck out to him the most and that he “did well in pass protection” and “caught the ball well out of the backfield.” I agree with both assertions and I thought it was pretty cool that he was impressed with DiMarco when he had stuck out to me as well. To be fair, Griffith did say that he liked all of his guys, not just DiMarco.

Alex Green, RB, Hawaii:

I’m not sure what Green will run, but he showed more burst and speed than I expected him to show today and he also caught the ball well out of the backfield. I think he warrants late round consideration at this point, but he had a solid week of practice to be sure.

Da’Rel Scott, RB, Maryland:

I’m not sold on Scott. He has dropped some passes out of the backfield this week, though he has caught others, and he doesn’t seem to have very good vision in my opinion. He and Royster had the least impressive weeks as far as running backs go in my opinion. It will be interesting to see how he does in the game, because when he gets into a seam he can really turn it into a long play.

Vai Taua, RB, Nevada:

Previously Taua struggled a bit catching the ball out of the backfield which was a bit surprising, but he looked much better in that aspect today and that was a pleasant thing to see. I personally grade him as the 4th best RB here behind Carter, Cooper and Green right now, but he had a solid day today.

Wide Receivers:

Armon Binns, WR, Cincinnati:

Binns has good hands and probably 4.5 speed but I am not sure he will ever create a lot of separation as a route runner. He is a long strider because of his long legs and I haven’t seen him create a lot of separation when running routes this week. I think he has the ceiling of a reliable #2, perhaps not unlike Michael Jenkins of the Falcons, but with better hands in my opinion. He has deceptive deep speed because of his long strides, but he doesn’t have a lot of quickness/burst into his cuts to create separation as a route runner as a result. He does seem to have good body control, he definitely has good hands and he adjusts well to the ball after it is thrown, but I don’t think he’s much more than a 3rd rounder this year. He’s the second best receiver here only to Toliver in my opinion.

Anthony Parker, WR, Calgary:

Parker was a guy who impressed me the first day and some the second day, but his momentum slowed on the third day. He dropped three passes, the first three drops I had seen from him this week, and did not run his routes with a lot of conviction either. I have seen some of his ability, but right now he seems like a fringe 7th round guy. He doesn’t run great routes, he has solid hands and size but I am not sold on his speed and he hasn’t been overly consistent this week.

Aldrick Robinson, WR, SMU:

I like Robinson. He’s a smaller guy but I think he has potential as a slot receiver. I don’t think he is much more than a 4.5 guy, but he has quickness and some shiftiness, and his route running has progressed some this week and he seems open to coaching. He has good hands too and looks the ball in well. I don’t think he’s much more than a 5th rounder at this point, but I think he can stick on a NFL roster.

Ryan Whalen, WR, Stanford:

I literally didn’t see Whalen drop a pass this week. Maybe I just missed one, but he has very reliable hands. He may not ever be a starter since I’m not sure how fast he will run or how well he can create separation, but as a possession guy, perhaps as a #4 WR, he should have a long NFL career because he just doesn’t drop passes. He’s got very reliable hands.

Tight Ends:

Jordan Cameron, TE, USC:

I have to say that I think it’s really funny that there is a DE from Cal named Cameron Jordan and a TE from USC named Jordan Cameron in the same draft. I don’t know if anyone else on the internet has pointed that out, but it needed to happen at some point. Regardless, Cameron has really impressed this week. He has made some really nice catches, he has stretched the field down the seam and shown good athleticism and leaping ability. I had no idea who he was before this week but I have to say I am really impressed and he has certainly been one of the big winners this week. His stock should be soaring right now from relative anonymity to a potential 3rd-4th round prospect.

Virgil Green, TE, Nevada:

I think Green quietly had a good week. He has made some very nice catches as well, catches on low throws, diving catches, one handed catches and overall just good catches with his hands and not letting them get into his pads. He has shown some ability as a route runner, though I don’t think he has very good speed, but he has impressed me at times as a run blocker which I was happy to see. He isn’t in my top 5 TE’s as far as positional rankings go, but I definitely think he warrants 4th-5th round consideration and could be a solid sleeper with some development and coaching. I definitely like Green.

Offensive Linemen:

Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU:

I have not been impressed with Barksdale this week. He has good size and arm length for the RT position but he has gotten beaten outside, inside and obviously struggles with speed. He has been able to stop guys like Bruce Miller who can’t get by him because of his long arms, but he is nothing more than a 5th round pick because of his size and arm length in my opinion. He has not been impressive to me this week.

Defensive Linemen:

David Carter, DT, UCLA:

I really like what I have seen from Carter this week. He has good size, arm length, is solid off the ball and has shown good hand usage. He’s gotten into the backfield and has shown signs of dominance in one on one drills. Carter has definitely helped himself this week.

Chris Carter, DE, Fresno State:

Carter had a lot of trouble in coverage this week, not unexpectedly in my opinion, and really could only take away the flats and struggled to react well in space and to close on passes this week. He was moved back to the defensive line for one on one drills and showed some speed off the ball to get the edge. He has some potential as a rotational guy but he is kind of a one trick pony at this point. He has some value but I’m not very impressed with him at this point.

Sorry about the delay on these notes. It’s been a bit of an exhausting week. Hope you enjoy them!

–Tom