Tag Archive: Delone Carter


Scouting Report:

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.

Positives: Good size and very well built, great strength and leg drive for his size. He has pretty good burst and speed and runs with good pad level. He runs very tough and hard, especially for a guy his size. He churns his feet after contact and consistently gets yards after initial contact. He attacks defenders in the open field and runs through tackles effectively because he gets low and has strong legs. He has pretty good vision and runs patiently as he waits for his blocks to set up. He also showed much better hands than I expected in Orlando, so much so that I jokingly asked him in an interview why they didn’t throw him the ball more when he was there.

Negatives: He has some character concerns as he has had academic issues in the past and was suspended for a one punch fight, supposedly stemming from a snow-ball fight. He needs work as a pass protector and he will have some durability questions because of his size. He doesn’t have great speed to rip off huge runs in the NFL and won’t get the edge nearly as often in the NFL as he did in college.

Overall: I really like Delone Carter’s game and I think he could be an absolute steal in the mid-rounds. I think he can be a starter in the right offense, though I don’t think he would be a great fit for a man scheme as a feature back. He has good burst, speed, vision and he runs very hard and I love that. He really impressed me as a runner against Kansas State in their bowl game and he carried that momentum to the East-West Shrine game practice field. I think Carter has steal written all over him, so it will be interesting to see if he pans out. Hopefully he doesn’t have any off-field issues and he develops into a quality NFL starter.

Projection: 4th round. He won’t go high as other smaller backs because he might have some questions about off-field issues and he doesn’t have game-breaking speed but teams will sleep on him because of his size and I think he will surprise a lot of people with his production in the NFL.

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

Speed: 3.5
Power: 3.5
Agility: 3.5
Vision: 3.5
Hands: 3.5
Blocking: 2.5

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

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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

East Practice Notes: Day 3

Quarterbacks:

Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware:

Devlin looked a bit better today, he had a couple nice throws that showed good ball placement and accuracy, more like you might be used to if you’ve seen him play in college. His arm strength isn’t as good as I have heard some say, it’s solid but his zip is only adequate on his throws. Because he is at Delaware people are naturally hoping for him to be the next Flacco with a rocket arm, but he is a more accurate passer with only above-average arm strength in my opinion. His progression to a QB who plays from under center will take time, but he bobbled the first two snaps he took from under center when warming up this week, so even though I think he bobbled one today he has certainly showed improvement, and that’s all you want to see with a QB moving from a spread/shotgun offense.

Halfbacks:

Graig Cooper, RB, Miami:

I was a big Cooper fan before his injury so it’s good to see him playing again and getting his quickness back. There were a few times today that you could notice his quickness and burst coming back when his offensive line allowed penetration and he was able to quickly change direction and find room to run. He seems to have good vision, he definitely has some of his burst and quickness back which is great to see. His injury was a pretty bad one. He looked good catching passes out of the backfield as well. So with his speed coming back (his 40 time will be important for him as well as other times at the combine), him running well, catching the ball out of the backfield and potentially adding value on kick returns (if he is truly coming back healthy he can be a very valuable returner) he definitely warrants a mid-round pick if he checks out medically. Good to see him back! Hopefully I’ll be able to talk to him tomorrow.

Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse:

Carter has been the most impressive back this week in my opinion. I think he is probably the best feature back prospect here. He’s short but well built and he has huge legs, especially for only being about 5’9”. He generates  a lot of power, has shown good speed, quickness and soft hands out of the backfield. He has definitely helped himself this week and continued his strong play after his huge game against Kansas State in Syracuse’s bowl game. I’d love to interview him as well.

Anthony Sherman, FB, Connecticut:

I love Sherman as a FB prospect. He runs hard, keeps his pads low and has good hands out of the backfield. He has impressed me this week, and I think he definitely deserves mid-round consideration as a fullback in the NFL.

Wide Receivers:

Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU:

Toliver has had a good week of practice and continues to show his good hands, flash good route running and showed a little ability to catch the ball in traffic today. Largely I think he is a finesse receiver, which isn’t a bad thing, but it limits his potential when going over the middle. However, he has officially been invited to the Senior Bowl next week to replace Jerrel Jernigan, who was injured while training apparently. It’s too bad for Jernigan, but it’s a great opportunity to show what he can do against even better competition in the Senior Bowl.

Perry Baker, WR, Fairmont State:

I really like what I have seen from Baker this week. He’s extremely skinny and while he doesn’t have a huge frame he definitely needs to add weight and get stronger overall, especially in the arms and legs. However, he does have strong hands and he showed that on the field and when he gave me a firm handshake when I introduced myself. He looks like a totally different player than he did at the beginning of the first practice and I am glad that he progressed so much this week. He even had a nice block on a safety today with a lot of pop! I never would have expected him to hit like that. He is definitely a draftable player and I think he has a NFL future in the slot. His route running has definitely progressed this week, he has been creating consistent separation on the corners on the East this week.

Offensive Linemen:

Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson:

Hairston is a huge guy and has long arms (34.75 inches when measured) and I think he has some potential at RT. He has a solid punch and shows the ability to use his long arms to keep the defender at bay, and did a good job of forcing Trattou wide during one on one drills. He struggles with speed and I don’t think he has very good feet, but he has potential value at RT.

David Arkin, OG, Missouri State:

Arkin started off well but has struggled a bit the last couple days. I think he could stand to get stronger in the lower body which would help him anchor as a pass blocker and get more drive as a run blocker. He’s a small school guy and he has shown some ability against better competition, but Martin Parker has beaten him a number of times this week. I think he has some ability, but is probably a mid-late round pick after what I’ve seen this week. Maybe 5th round?

Defensive Linemen:

Martin Parker, DT, Richmond:

Parker continued to impress today and he did a good job getting off the ball and showed a nice swim move in one on one drills. It is clearly his go-to move, but it is apparent that he needs to develop other moves to use because he went to the swim move well a couple times too many and became a bit predictable with that move right off the snap. It works, but he needs to develop other moves to help keep the blockers off balance. But he has good size, arm length, quickness off the ball and he has a good swim move already. He has definitely helped himself this week, and I think he’d be a good fit in a scheme that asks their defensive linemen to penetrate and get into the backfield.

Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina:

Austin continues to impress, but I think it is fair to say he is not quite in football shape yet. I don’t know if he will garner a late invitation to the Senior Bowl, but I would love to see him there if he did get an invitation. He has looked good this week, shown some violent hands, has drawn a number of double teams, but seems to have worn down as practice goes on. He isn’t carrying too much weight, I just don’t think he is used to playing football like this yet because of his time off from the game. He has definitely helped himself this week, but we all know he had ability. I just want to see consistency from him which we haven’t exactly seen yet. I have seen him get blocked one on one in pass protection a number of times this week which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but he has the ability to dominate some of these guys and I was left wanting a little more in that regard.

Terrell McClain, DT, South Florida:

I haven’t had a lot of notes on McClain up until this point because he never really stuck out to me. He’d get into the backfield here or there, but I don’t think he is good enough off the snap to consistently penetrate into the backfield in the NFL. I think he might have some value as a space eater as he has a wide build, long arms and stocky size at 6’1.5” and 305 pounds. That should net him mid-late round consideration, but I haven’t seen a ton from him as a pass rusher. He had a nice spin move on Ryan Bartholomew today in one on one’s, but like I said I have only seen a flash every once in a while of him penetrating or collapsing the pocket this week.

Justin Trattou, DE, Florida:

I haven’t had a lot of notes on Trattou this week either, but he has solid size, arm length and good hand usage. He doesn’t have much speed off the edge, so weighing in at only 254 pounds will really hurt him. He has struggled to get the edge in one on one drills this week with speed, so I don’t think he will be much of a speed rusher in the NFL. I think he will have to dedicate to filling out his frame to be a rotational DE in a 4-3 or maybe really bulk up his 6’3” frame and try to get to 275+ to try playing 3-4 DE. That’s a lot of weight to put on and while I definitely think he has room to add weight I don’t know if he has room to put on 30 pounds or more. He seems to be a hard worker though, and like I said I like his hand usage and strength, but right now he is not fast enough off the ball to consistently rush the passer at 4-3 DE and he is way too small to hold up at 3-4 DE.

Linebackers:

Akeem Dent, ILB, Georgia:

Dent continues to fill well, get in position to make tackles and generally be around the ball (especially against the run). I don’t think he is a perfect fit for a 4-3 because he has some struggles in coverage, doesn’t have very good hips and I’m not sure how well he runs, but I think he is a perfect fit for a 3-4 ILB. He plays so well downhill, has such a great knowledge and understanding of gap responsibility, and even though he hasn’t been able to show it this week I think he has good value as a blitzer. I will hopefully have an interview with him as well as a number of other guys, but I am really high on Dent (especially as a 3-4 ILB).

Greg Lloyd II, ILB, Connecticut:

Greg has had a good week, continues to flow to the ball well, show good instincts and get in position to make tackles. I don’t know where his stock is at right now, but I really like him as a 3-4 ILB prospect. I’d say Dent is a better inside linebacker prospect at this point but I have seen more of him than I have of Greg. I will definitely have an interview of Greg this week and just in talking to him a bit after practice he seems to be a great guy, very smart and easy going. I have a feeling he will impress in interviews, and he seemed to take control of the defensive unit he has played with this week each day which I love to see.

Bruce Miller, LB, UCF:

Miller has a great motor, he is a heads up player and he has solid speed, but he just doesn’t have the get-off or the edge speed to stick at DE in a 4-3. His arm length has hurt him this week as he has struggled to get off blocks from guys with longer arms like Jah Reid and Chris Hairston, both of whom have struggled with speed this week. I have heard he will have to move to linebacker, but I think his only hope there is to move to inside linebacker, probably in a 3-4. I don’t know how he is in coverage at all, but even if he doesn’t have an ideal position as a starter on a defense I think he definitely warrants late round consideration or priority free agent value because of what he could bring as a special teamer. His motor, effort, heads up play and tackling will be valuable there even if he doesn’t fit in perfectly in any scheme at the next level.

Defensive Backs:

Justin Rogers, CB, Richmond:

Rogers continues to have a good week. I like him the best out of the four corners on the East, and I like him about as well as I like Lindsey on the West. He has pretty good footwork, closes well, has long arms for his size and has generally just been good in coverage this week. He has definitely helped himself. However, he doesn’t have very good hands for the interception despite his ability to make plays on the ball to deflect it away, and he has small hands. I don’t think he will ever get a lot of interceptions at the NFL, but a guy with his closing speed and vertical could definitely get his hands on some passes.

Thanks for reading! There is still more to come.

–Tom

Quarterbacks:

Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware:

Devlin had a pretty off practice today. In one on one’s he threw high on probably five or six throws, and this is without pressure since it’s just a one on one match-up for the corner. He struggled with ball placement and though his throws had pretty good zip he was letting them get away from him a bit. He flashed impressive ball placement a couple times, including a nice throw on a slant to Toliver. He showed some good anticipation, zip and accuracy on the throw by hitting Toliver in the hole in the zone on the slant. However, he seemed to be checking down faster than I’d like and on a couple plays he missed an open receiver (Perry Baker twice) so I am wondering about his ability to read defenses a little bit. He has pretty good size and arm strength, but his accuracy was not there today.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech:

Taylor had a pretty off practice as well. He overthrew a couple receivers and didn’t have very good ball placement either. He has the arm strength, I am just waiting for him to start placing his throws better. I know he can do it, but he hasn’t shown it yet this week. I talked to him today about an interview and he seemed open to it, hopefully I will be able to get that done in the next couple days.

Ricky Dobbs, QB, Navy:

Didn’t see him throw much today, but when I did his passes were usually off target. He struggled making reads today as well, more obviously than Devlin and Taylor did in my opinion. I’m pretty convinced that he is going to be a wildcat QB only at the next level. He will have to convert to RB.

Halfbacks:

Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse:

Carter looks fast, he has good feet from what I can tell and though I didn’t pay much attention to him today specifically he looks good. He continues to show pretty soft hands.

Graig Cooper, RB, Miami:

He got stuffed a couple times in the run game, once by Marvin Austin, but I’m not sure they are good reflections of his vision or his quickness. He has pretty good hands, I believe he caught a pass out of the flat today.

Evan Royster, RB, Penn State:

Royster didn’t impress me much again today, there was a throw to him in the flat that he only got his left hand on from Devlin, wasn’t placed very well. Still doesn’t look very quick or fast to me.

Wide Receivers:

Perry Baker, WR, Fairmont State:

This kid blew me away at the beginning of practice today. Yesterday he was dropping easy passes without a defender guarding him and today he was making snags away from his body after creating some separation in one on one drills. He didn’t look quite as fast with pads on, but he still moves well. He needs work on his route running, but he definitely has the suddenness, the speed and the burst to be an effective route runner, just has to work at it. His hands look totally different than they did yesterday, he had to be nervous at the beginning of practice. He showed some route running ability by getting separation on Van Dyke and running a nice curl on Justin Rogers (who has looked great) and running it so well that Rogers lost his footing and fell down as Baker made his break. He made a body catch later in the practice, so his hands aren’t amazing, nor is his route running, but he looks much better today than he did at the start of yesterday’s practice. He looked like a different player almost. I’ll be looking for more consistency later in the week, hopefully I will be able to talk to him and get an interview.

Lester Jean, WR, FAU:

Jean had a much better practice today as well. He doesn’t run very good routes, but he has some suddenness and he absolutely shook Van Dyke on one route and got a lot of separation. He showed much better hands and caught the ball well away from his body and even dug out a low throw for a nice catch. He struggles with his footwork when running routes though, and it limits his ability to create separation. I’m not sure how much quickness he will ever have coming in and out of breaks, but he does have good speed and looked fast in pads today. He also showed some ability to adjust to the ball when it is in the air, which is good. With his size, speed and potentially good hands he presents some value to be sure. He looked much better today than he did yesterday. He and Baker had great practices.

Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU:

Toliver is my favorite WR here and he had an up and down practice, but is definitely still the best WR here in my opinion. He has very reliable hands though he dropped two passes that I saw today and both of them involved contact. On one play he ran a good slant route and caught the ball but as he caught it Josh Thomas, a corner from Buffalo, laid a big hit on him and jarred the ball loose. Later he ran another slant and shied away from contact that he knew was coming a bit and didn’t make a play on the ball, though it was not very well thrown. It’s pretty apparent that he doesn’t like contact and is more of a finesse receiver, so I don’t think he will want to go over the middle a lot in the NFL. However, his hands are the best of the receivers here in my opinion and he showed some good route running today. He absolutely burned Mario Butler on one long play but it was over thrown. He looks like a solid 3rd or 4th rounder to me for sure.

Cecil Shorts, WR, Mount Union:

Shorts started out slow today and actually lost his footing a few times at the beginning and one more time later in the practice. He was tentative in his breaks after the initial footing problems and you could tell he was taking his breaks a bit slower to make sure he didn’t fall down so he didn’t waste the rep. He adjusts pretty well to the ball, but his hands are inconsistent in my opinion. He drops some catchable balls and also brings some in. He looks like a 5th/6th round guy to me right now.

Terrence Turner, WR, Indiana:

Turner seems to be the worst wide receiver on the East squad. He has struggled to create separation, he doesn’t have very good speed and his hands are inconsistent. He’s had a tough couple of days.

Tight Ends:

Charles Gantt, TE, Michigan State:

I didn’t see much of Gantt today but he seems to have solid hands. I want to see him blocking more because I have heard a lot of good things about him as a blocker.

Offensive Linemen:

David Arkin, OG, Missouri State:

Arkin had an up and down day. A couple times he had effective blocks on Marvin Austin but Austin also beat him on a couple run plays, though he looked good in pass protection against him. Arkin struggled against Martin Parker, the DT from Richmond. This is going to be a really interesting match-up to watch because they have had some good battles already in the first two days. Arkin got beat by a nice swim move by Parker and then Parker bull rushed Arkin into the pocket again. Arkin definitely has some ability though, he just needs to play with more consistent leverage.

Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson:

I haven’t been very impressed with Hairston. He is huge but he doesn’t look like he has good feet and he got away with a hold, a pretty blatant one where he was just tugging with one arm on the DE’s jersey as he ran around him to try to pursue from the backside on a running play up the middle. He looks like a late round pick to me so far.

Defensive Linemen:

Martin Parker, DT, Richmond:

Parker had a pretty good day when I saw him today. He beat Arkin twice with swim moves and bull-rushed him into the pocket effectively on another play. He has a pretty wide body and he has natural leverage because of his size, he seems to be strong as well. In a system that likes defensive tackles to penetrate and get upfield he definitely has some value.

Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina:

Austin had a solid practice, but it wasn’t dominating. He shows signs of his great ability but he drew a lot of doubles today. He fought hard against them but when you are doubled there’s not a lot you can do. He also struggled a bit to get off blocks from Arkin in pass protection, but did a bit better versus the run. He holds his ground well versus one on one blocks for the most part, and shows some violent hands to shed at times. His hand usage could be more consistent in my opinion.

Linebackers:

Greg Lloyd, ILB, Connecticut:

Greg looked good today, he played well. He fills well versus the run and a couple times he read the play in literally half a second and then moved well in pursuit. He plays well downhill and I think he could be a perfect fit as an ILB in a 3-4 defense. I am not sure how comfortable he is in coverage, as he looks a bit tentative at times. I’ll be watching him in that aspect this week. But I think he’s a perfect fit in a 3-4.

Akeem Dent, ILB, Georgia:

I really like Dent and he continues to fill well versus the run and put himself in position to make tackles in the running game. Like Greg I think he is a perfect fit in a 3-4 defense at ILB, and I am not sure how good he is in coverage. I try to watch him but there is a lot going on, so it’s hard to do at times. However, I am very high on Dent. He is a tackling machine.

Brian Rolle, OLB, Ohio State:

Rolle is an agile player and he looked very comfortable in coverage to me today, especially in zone. He is still very undersized though, and that hurts him against the run.

Defensive Backs:

Justin Rogers, CB, Richmond:

Rogers looks like the best corner on the East to me. He has a great motor, pretty good closing speed and he makes plays on the ball and has had a bunch of pass deflections in the first two days of practice. He’s a smaller guy but I love his effort and his ball skills. I don’t know how he is at tackling yet since they haven’t been tackling practices. He has had good coverage for the most part, but Baker did break his ankles on one curl route. However, he stuck with Baker on a streak route stride for stride. He has had a great couple days of practice.

Mario Butler, CB, Georgia Tech:

Butler has not impressed me thus far. He got worked a couple times today in coverage though on a couple bad throws he managed to make a play on the ball for a deflection. He has just underwhelmed me thus far, he doesn’t seem like a mid-round pick to me right now.

Josh Thomas, CB, Buffalo:

Thomas had a solid practice today. He laid a couple big hits on people, both of them jarring passes incomplete when they would have normally been catches. He definitely packs some punch as a hitter. I’m not sure how well he locates the ball in the air, but I’ll be watching him more later this week.

Demarcus Van Dyke, CB, Miami:

Van Dyke has struggled a lot the past couple days. He got worked on a few routes today and gave up pretty easy separation to the receivers he was defending and didn’t seem to have much ability to make up ground or close to make a play on the ball. He has definitely been the worst corner for the East.

Jonathan Nelson, S, Oklahoma:

I didn’t see much of Nelson today but he did intercept a pass off of Pat Devlin during practice. Devlin threw the ball late and was staring his receiver down and Nelson read his eyes well, got in front of it and made a nice interception look pretty easy.

Hopefully you enjoyed these notes, thanks for reading! Look out for more posts the rest of the week!

–Tom

Hello to everyone from Orlando! I am here all week for the East-West Shrine game practices and the game on Saturday. I look forward to taking a lot of notes and of course posting my thoughts at night on my blog for all to read! So enjoy the notes from the East practice that I just finished up. The West notes will be done later tonight as well.

Quarterbacks:

Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware:

Devlin had a solid day. It didn’t start well when he bobbled the first two warm-up snaps he took under center, which kind of worried me at first. However, he didn’t bobble any snaps the rest of the practice that I saw. He was throwing a little high early and got intercepted on his first throw thanks to a tip by a corner once the ball got there. He seems to have pretty solid size, solid zip on his throws. He has long arms too as far as I could tell without measurements.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech:

Taylor had a solid day too, and it was big for him to measure in at 6 feet. He looks small on the field, especially next to Devlin. He was a little erratic today, missing high and low, and struggled with ball placement some. His passes definitely had the most zip on them of the East QB’s.

Ricky Dobbs, QB, Navy:

Dobbs is not much of a passer, and his only value at QB at the next level will be running wildcat or something. His spirals weren’t very tight early, struggled with ball placement and didn’t seem to have very good zip on his throws.

Halfbacks:

Graig Cooper, RB, Miami:

Cooper was handling kick returns early in practice, though they were just walk-through kickoff drills. He was extremely fast before the injury, and it looks like he is returning to form a bit. It’s hard to say for sure, but he looked fast today. Showed soft hands today in drills too. I don’t think I saw him drop a pass.

Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse:

Carter looked great today. He looked very fast, got upfield quickly, made some really nice moves in open space and to get into the open field. He had an incredible game against Kansas State and he played like he still had momentum from that game today. He looked the best out of the RB’s on the East to me.

Evan Royster, RB, Penn State:

Royster lacked burst like he seemed to on tape in my opinion. Doesn’t explode in or out of his cuts at all, doesn’t seem to have very good footwork as a runner. I wonder about his vision too because he shuffles his feet and takes extra steps when the play is developing instead of finding a hole and making a cut to hit the hole. He looked really slow compared to Cooper and Carter too.

Anthony Sherman, FB, Connecticut:

Sherman really stuck out to me. He showed great hands out of the backfield, especially for a fullback, and seemed to have good vision as a runner as well. He looked great today.

Wide Receivers:

Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU:

Toliver looked like the best receiver on the East today without a doubt in my mind. I was high on him coming into practice, but only one pass thrown to him hit the ground that I saw. He dropped it but every other pass he caught easily. He seems to have pretty big hands, really long arms and he catches the ball well away from his body. Seemed to try to catch and turn too quickly on the one he dropped. His legs are really skinny though and he himself is skinny, and he doesn’t have much explosion out of his breaks to create separation. If he gets stronger in the lower body and works with a good receiver coach on that I think he could improve in that area, but it’s a concern for me at this point even though I love his hands.

Lestar Jean, WR, FAU:

Jean looked skinny overall but not as skinny as a couple other guys. Coaches were working with him on his stance a couple times early in practice to help him get off the ball better. He was body catching for the majority of practice when I saw him. Plus he was wasting steps in and out of his breaks, most notably on curl routes.

Perry Baker, WR, Fairmont State:

Baker started off horribly in this practice. He looks extremely skinny, especially in the legs, and he was dropping everything early. I saw him make one catch and drop every other ball in the first round of receiver drills. He seemed to be really nervous and was not running good routes during that time. However, he has great speed and definitely looked like the fastest receiver on the East squad to me. Not only that, but he calmed down as the practice continued and made a couple of good catches with his hands and away from his body late. He definitely started slow but he made very obvious progression throughout the practice.

Cecil Shorts, WR, Mount Union:

Shorts had a solid day. He made a couple catches but also dropped a couple catchable balls. He looked like he had a solid frame, definitely not skinny like a couple of the other receivers. I’m not sold on his hands yet, but he has some speed.

Tight Ends:

Greg Smith, TE, Texas:

Smith had one good catch in the beginning drills but he dropped a few passes that he definitely should have caught. He also had a couple false starts and struggled with ball placement initially as a long snapper, but he seemed to get better with that as he went along. Overall though, not a great day.

Charles Gantt, TE, Michigan State:

Gantt had a false start and also had a pretty funny moment during blocking drills when he planted his foot and his foot went right through the side of his shoe, tearing a huge hole in the side of his shoe. He had to come out of drills and get a new pair of shoes before he could continue.

Offensive Tackle:

Chris Hairston

Hairston is a huge dude, but he looked like he was carrying some extra weight. I don’t think he has the foot speed to stick at LT, but he is working out at OT. He has solid technique based on what I saw today, but his feet look heavy and he lumbers a bit at times. It’s something I will look out for this week. He did a good job of bending at the knees and not at the waist in drills from what I saw.

Jah Reid

Reid is a big guy and was spending time at RT today. He has pretty solid fundamental footwork but in drills he was bending at his waist a lot which is definitely a concern. It’s hard for him to get leverage because of his size, but bending at the waist is a definite red flag and I saw him do that a number of times.

Offensive Guard/Center:

Randall Hutt, OG, Illinois:

Hutt had a pretty bad day today. He had three false starts I believe and he struggled in the run game, and especially had trouble with Marvin Austin.

David Arkin, OG, Missouri State:

Arkin is a small school guy that I had not heard of before I saw him on the roster, so I was anxious to get a look at him. He had a couple of false starts, but other than that he looked great today. One of them was on the first play when Marvin Austin was lined up right in front of him, so I’m sure he wanted to get off the ball a little quicker than normal. He looked very good at the point of attack today, had a nice pancake block on Martin Parker, a DT from Richmond. He held up pretty well in pass protection too, though Parker got leverage on him and drove him slowly into the personal space of the QB today. When the ball was thrown they went at it for a second or two afterwards. But Arkin had a great day.

Bryant Browning, OG, Ohio State:

Browning had a bad day. He got pulled quickly for Hunt and had two false starts that I saw.

William Rackley, C/OG, Lehigh:

He is listed on the West Roster but he was moved to the East team for practice today. He has really big legs and moves well which is important for an interior lineman. He’s listed as a center but I am pretty sure he saw time at guard. He had a solid day today, I look forward to seeing more of him this week.

Ryan Bartholomew, C/OG, Syracuse:

Bartholomew had a solid day of practice. I don’t have a lot of notes on him, but he did a good job of sealing on a couple blocks and spent time at guard and at center. Versatility is huge and if he can play center and either or both guard spots it will help his stock.

Defensive Line:

Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina:

I was really looking forward to seeing Austin play, especially because I am a big UNC fan. He had a very good day today, though that is to be expected because of his talent level. I have never been convinced he has a very good motor, but he has pretty violent hands and he shed blocks pretty nicely today. He was pretty disruptive and had a couple nice swim moves to get into the backfield. He looked pretty good at the point of attack and when he didn’t shed blocks he didn’t get pushed off the line. He also had a pass deflection at the line of scrimmage today. He had a strong practice, and I am trying to lock down an interview with him at some point this week.

Martin Parker, DT, Richmond:

Parker didn’t have a great day as he struggled a bit at the point of attack against Arkin, but he plays with good natural leverage because he doesn’t have great size. He had a pretty good bull rush but the QB held onto the ball a long time which gave him more time to slowly drive Arkin into the pocket.

Linebackers:

Brian Rolle, OLB, Ohio State:

I like Rolle but he looks SO small out there. He measured in under 5’10” today and that will hurt him a lot as a prospect. He was getting washed out in the running game today which is not going to endear him to scouts. He needs to add weight to his frame and get stronger if he is going to have any chance of holding up in the box. I didn’t pay much attention to him in coverage, but I will do that later this week. But his size sticks out to you right away, but I am not someone who will be scared away from a guy because of his size. For that reason I will look forward to seeing him show me his ability that got him this far the rest of the week.

Greg Lloyd II, ILB, Connecticut:

Greg looked good today. He is a pretty big guy and has a great frame to add weight to. He seemed to be the emotional leader of the East’s first unit today and he was the one calling guys into the huddle and telling them the play they were going to run. That’s always great to see from a player, to see him take command, etc. He was filling well versus the run too, but it was only a walk through. He seems to have pretty good instincts and recognition skills. I liked what I saw from him.

Akeem Dent, ILB, Georgia:

Dent is another guy that I am high on. Hopefully I will get an interview with a few of these guys, and Dent is definitely high on my list. He is an absolute tackling machine and he is always in position to make tackles. He fills very well against the run and seems to have a very good grasp of gap assignments and responsibilities. I’m not sure how well he will run, but he plays very well when he can play downhill and though he couldn’t show it today he is a great tackler.

Scott Lutrus, OLB, Connecticut:

I don’t have many notes on him, but he had an interception off of a tipped ball by Justin Rogers today.

Cornerbacks:

Justin Rogers, CB, Richmond:

Rogers looked pretty good in coverage and seemed to close on the ball pretty well the few times I saw him. He had a pass deflection against Devlin that led to an interception by Lutrus as mentioned above. I am going to keep an eye on him this week to be sure.

Sorry about the lack of notes on the DB’s from today. I’m sure I’ll have more tomorrow. It was a lot to take in at first but I got better at taking notes as practice went along. I am really excited to see everybody in pads the rest of the week instead of just helmets today. Hope you enjoyed the notes and look out for the West notes later tonight and notes on both teams the rest of the week! Also check out NFLDraftMonsters.com for updates from me and Ben Allbright all week. Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Here are some notes I have on players I watched in recent bowl games:

-Justin Burke, QB, Louisville- He showed solid ability in the bowl game against Southern Mississippi. He has solid size, arm strength and accuracy. Plus he has some mobility to extend plays and occasionally pick up yards with his legs.  He started a little slow but he seemed to improve as the game went on, especially with his ball placement. He won’t be drafted early, but as a late round pick he warrants consideration because he could make a team as a developmental #3.

-Byron Stingily, OT, Louisville- Stingily is a guy that I had not heard of all season long but he was pointed out to me by a friend of mine. (check out his site: http://www.falcfans.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=3 ) He is a senior who looked good to me in this game. He has good size and athleticism for an offensive tackle, and he mirrored pass rushers well in this game which was good to see. He seems to have at least adequate lateral agility to play LT in the NFL, but I am not sure how well he sustains blocks and I think he needs to be coached up from a technique standpoint. But he could end up being a mid-round pick because if you have the athletic ability to play LT in the NFL teams will draft you and attempt to develop your technique until you are ready to be a starter. I think Stingily has that potential, so he could go much earlier than many people could imagine this year.

-Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville- Patrick had a good game against Southern Miss. He had pretty good coverage in man and in zone plus he forced a fumble. He looks like he will be able to be a mid-round selection at corner but I am not completely sold on him as a man-coverage corner, though I think he could be a pretty good zone coverage corner right now.

-Bilal Powell, RB, Louisville- Powell is an impressive power back. He has good size, he runs hard and has pretty good burst for a guy his size. He also seems to run with good pad level. He is probably a 3rd or 4th round pick right now, but if he’s drafted into the right system he can be a contributor as a rookie. Especially in short yardage situations. He could eventually develop into a quality starter.

-Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse- Carter had a huge game against Kansas State thanks to two long touchdown runs, but even aside from those he was effective. He is a smaller back at only 5’9″ or so but he is well built and has great leg drive which helps him run through arm tackles and gain yards after contact. He also showed what will likely turn out to be low 4.4 speed when he ripped off those huge touchdown runs which was great to see. He has had some academic issues in the past as well as a minor off-field incident that (I believe) was a one punch fight. However, he will be at the East-West Shrine Game showcasing his talents so he has the potential to get drafted as high as the 4th round in my opinion. If he interviews well his game should speak for itself, even though I don’t think his hands are very good and I don’t think he has much experience as a pass protector because he usually isn’t on the field for 3rd downs. Oh, and I don’t think he fumbled at all this season despite over 200+ rushing attempts. That is impressive ball security.

-Marcus Sales, WR, Syracuse- It was hard not to notice him since he had three touchdowns against Kansas State. He had 5 catches, 172 yards and three scores in the bowl game, but he is only a junior and he should be back for his senior season since coming into the game he only had 21 catches, 242 yards and 1 touchdown in 11 games this year (he didn’t play in the first two games of the season, I don’t know whether it was for injury, a miscellaneous reason or if he wasn’t high enough on the depth chart). He ended on a very, very high note though and he showed some deep speed, though I’m not sure how much faster than a 4.5 he would run. He is listed at 6’0″, 177 pounds but he looked bigger than 177 to me on TV. He didn’t look like he was running very crisp routes, but the field was terrible so you could tell he was not exploding in and out of his breaks because he and the rest of the players on the field could barely stand up some places on the field. Regardless, when a guy breaks out like this you have to keep an eye on him, so I will monitor how he does next year to see how he looks and if he has NFL talent.

-Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State- I have never been a huge fan of Thomas and he didn’t look extremely good in this game. He broke a 51 yard run that I did not see, but after that he only managed 39 more yards on 21 carries, which isn’t even a two yard average. That isn’t his fault though because Syracuse was playing very downhill and they were determined to not let Thomas beat them even though he finished with 90 yards and 3 touchdowns on 22 carries. In my opinion he can be a quality power back in the NFL, but I haven’t watched him enough to see how often he runs with good pad level. However I think he has good vision, he does a good job of getting North/South and not dancing around in the backfield (something he struggled to do against Syracuse because of penetration into the backfield), he has surprising agility for a guy his size to make guys miss in the open field as well. At 6’2″, 228 pounds he is a load to bring down, but I don’t think he will run any faster than a 4.5 or a 4.55 at the combine. That doesn’t mean he can’t be productive though. I just need to see more of him to evaluate his pad level and his leg drive and ability to generate yards after contact. Usually when I have seen him he has been bottled up (against Syracuse) or he has been running through gaping holes (against Iowa State and UCLA) so I haven’t been able to judge his leg drive appropriately yet. He has ability though. I just don’t know if he will end up in the 2nd round as some believe. I think he will end up in the 3rd round after all is said and done. He also seems to have solid hands, but I haven’t evaluated him as a receiver or as a pass blocker yet.

-Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina- I love Burney. I’m a UNC fan and I have had the privilege of watching Burney for the last few years and I have always been a fan. He is definitely a smaller corner as he is only listed at 5’9″, 190 pounds but I think he is probably 5’8″, 180 or 185 in reality. I think he will run under a 4.5 also, which should help his cause. However if you can look past his small size and appreciate his game you will be impressed. I think he could be an ideal zone coverage corner because of his great ball skills, his experience in zone coverage and his great burst to close which is critical for cornerbacks in general, but especially for corners in zone coverage. He was one of the players suspended for part of the season (I believe it was six or seven games, I think seven) but he gave us a boost as soon as we got him back. I really hope he gets an invite to the East-West Shrine Game so he can show scouts what he can do. I really think he could be a great zone coverage corner. I think going in the 4th round is entirely realistic for him despite his size. In the right scheme though… he could definitely be a quality starter. I am not sure how he would do in a man coverage scheme though because he would be consistently mismatched with taller receivers and I don’t think it would play to his strengths like a zone system would.

-T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina- I am not a big Yates fan but he certainly did have a good senior season and I appreciate him helping send this senior class out with a win in the bowl game, even if it was controversial. I have been critical of Yates in the past because he is almost afraid to challenge downfield at times. I don’t mean over the top of the coverage, I mean the intermediate portion of the field. He is especially bad at throwing to the first down markers on 3rd down (not that there isn’t anything wrong with checking down, but he goes to his check down too quickly too often in my opinion) and in many games in his first three seasons he was borderline worthless late in the half or late in the 4th quarter. He would get the ball back with enough time to move the ball and just take underneath completions in the middle of the field that would waste clock and gain little yardage which is the exact opposite of what you want with little time left to operate. It looked like that would happen again before the end of the first half but then he scrambled outside of the pocket and found Erik Highsmith deep for a touchdown down the sideline on what was probably a busted play. Regardless, I didn’t think he had it in him, so I was impressed. Yates didn’t impress me much in this game, but he definitely has the arm, intelligence and experience in a pro-style offense to warrant a late round selection to be a #3 on some team. I don’t think he will ever be a starter, but he should have a long career as a back-up because, for better or worse, he just won’t challenge downfield and make mistakes. His arm is solid, his accuracy is solid, his decision making has improved, he has 46 career starts, he has some mobility and he seems to be a pretty smart guy. I think he will stick with someone as a late round pick.

-Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee- Bray is seemingly the anti-Yates in that he will take risks and sling it even if it might not be the best decision. That probably has more to do with him being a freshman that was only starting his 5th game of the season, but it was something I noticed. He threw a few interceptions in this game but regularly he came through with a clutch throw when Tennessee needed it. He definitely has a good arm and a lot of ability, so I came away impressed. Hell, coming in as a freshman with no starting experience and leading a 2-6 team to a 4-0 finish to get into a bowl game is impressive enough, and he almost had a fifth consecutive win before the controversy ensued in this game. In the first OT he showed his true potential throwing a strike to Luke Stocker who made a terrific catch on a ball thrown just within his reach in the end zone to tie the game and send the game into double OT. Then in the second overtime he threw a bad interception to Quan Sturdivant which led to North Carolina kicking the game winning field goal. Bray has a bright future ahead of him though, and I am very much looking forward to seeing how he progresses next year.

-Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee- Another freshman here but this kid is going to be a good one you can just tell. He is listed at 6’4″, 183 pounds and he looks extremely skinny so he definitely has weight to add to his frame, but this kid can jump out of the gym. There was a pass in this game that I thought was overthrown downfield along the sideline and I thought it would sail over his head. He gathered and jumped and snagged the ball out of the air with a defender right behind him and his foot came down out of bounds, otherwise it would have been an incredible catch. But he demonstrated great ability to catch the ball away from his body, high point the ball in the air and obviously he showed that he can jump. Being 6’4″ and being able to jump is an asset in itself, but he has very long arms too which is going to make him a match-up nightmare as he develops, especially in the red zone. In fact, he already might be a match-up nightmare. He had only 16 catches this season but he had 415 yards and an unbelievable seven, yes, seven touchdowns as a true freshman. He caught five of his seven touchdowns after Bray took over as well, so look for him to step up big to fill the shoes of the departing senior starters at wide receiver in Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore. I’m telling you guys, this kid could be really, really good. Especially if he has a quality QB in Bray throwing to him. Watch out for him next year, he put up two 100 yard games as a freshman. Expect more of that next year.

-Janzen Jackson, FS, Tennessee- Jackson is going to be an insane safety prospect next year. The INT he made on a deep ball to the end zone (to Erik Highsmith) was a fantastic play on the ball. He has terrific ball skills. He isn’t very big but he’s fast, has great range, locates the ball really well in the air and he is just a playmaker. I really like him as a FS prospect. Between Berry and Jackson Tennessee has had a ton of talent at safety recently. He did have some off-field issues as a freshman though so that will have to be looked into. He isn’t afraid to make a big hit either, even though he did have a helmet to helmet hit that helped set up North Carolina’s controversial field goal attempt to force overtime. But his combination of speed, range, ball skills and willingness to hit make him a very intriguing safety prospect even in spite of his potential off-field concerns.

-Luke Stocker, TE, Tennessee- I haven’t scouted Stocker yet but I got a chance to watch him some in this game and I have to say I came away impressed. I had heard that he doesn’t have very good hands but that was not the impression I got. He had five catches, 58 yards and a touchdown. Did I mention that his touchdown occurred in overtime on a throw that was admittedly high from Bray, but Stocker jumped and extended fully in the air and made a terrific catch away from his body and came down in-bounds for the tying touchdown to force double overtime. It was a terrific catch, and though I haven’t had enough time to evaluate his hands on routine catches I don’t think I saw him drop a pass in this game and he seemed fine catching the other four balls he caught in the game. He also has a reputation as a good blocker but I have yet to evaluate him on that part of his game, though he didn’t do anything to make me doubt his ability as a blocker when I saw him against North Carolina. I definitely think Stocker has potential, and since my Falcons may be in the market for a TE this year Stocker is definitely on my radar.

I think that is enough for this round of player notes. What better way to ring in the new year than going over your notes from watching live bowl games to get a feel for current and future NFL Draft prospects? I can’t think of one. Happy New Year everyone and thank you for visiting my blog today and any other times you have checked in. I really do appreciate it. This blog officially had 5,243 views in December which just blows my mind. Before the beginning of the month I had about 7,400 views and now I am almost at 13,000 (currently 12,739). Thank you for all the support because if you all weren’t reading this I wouldn’t be as motivated to post this stuff. I would definitely still be taking notes and scouting, but it feels good to be appreciated. So thank you again! Let’s hope 2011 picks up where 2010 left off.

–Tom