Tag Archive: Tennessee


Scouting Report:

Stocker has good hands to make tough catches and offers quality blocking, but needs to improve his concentration.

Positives: Has impressive size and uses his size to his advantage as a receiver. Has good hands to make catches away from his body and has made a number of tough catches where he had to fully extend in the games that I have seen of him. He is physical as a blocker and as a runner after the catch and is tough to bring down after he makes the catch which gives him value as a YAC man at TE. He sustains his blocks well as an in-line blocker and has the size and strength to get some push and wall off defenders.

Negatives: He has good hands and can make tough catches but he drops catchable passes which speaks to a concentration issue. He likes to get YAC by turning upfield after he catches the ball and sometimes he will start to make a move before he has completed the catch, so he needs to concentrate better on completing the catch. He doesn’t have great speed and quickness to he won’t be able to challenge that effectively down the seam and might struggle to create separation in the NFL.

Overall: Stocker is a pretty well rounded prospect because he can catch the ball effectively (even if his concentration is a slight issue) and block pretty effectively. He won’t be a pro-bowler at the position but I think he can be an effective weapon as a pass catcher and blocker as long as he is a secondary option, not a primary target for his team.

Projection: 3rd/4th round. It depends on how some teams grade out all of the TE’s but teams will be intrigued by his size, hands and ability to block pretty effectively. He could very well go in the 3rd round because of his well-roundedness as a prospect.

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

Speed: 3.0
Hands: 3.0
Blocking: 3.5
Body Control: 3.5
Range: 3.0

Thanks for reading!

–Tom

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Weigh-In Results:

Nation

Pos First Last Team Ht Wt Hand Arm Wing
DB Isa Abdul-Quddus Fordham 6000 200 10 1/8 32 76 1/4
LS Corey Adams Kansas State 6043 246 9 32 7/8 77 5/8
OLB Mario Addison Troy 6025 245 9 3/8 33 5/8 80
DT Ladi Ajiboye South Carolina 6016 293 9 7/8 34 1/8 79 1/8
DE Christian Anthony Grambling State 6034 281 10 1/4 32 7/8 79 3/8
RB Damien Berry Miami 5104 212 9 3/8 31 5/8 75 5/8
P/K Matt Bosher Miami (FL) 6005 207 9 5/8 30 7/8 74 1/4
CB Niles Brinkley Wisconsin 5096 190 9 1/4 30 1/8 72 7/8
CB Vance Cuff Georgia 5102 171 9 5/8 31 1/4 74 7/8
OL Josh Davis Georgia 6073 305 10 3/4 35 5/8 85 3/4
S Dominic DeCicco Pittsburgh 6026 232 8 5/8 32 7/8 79
RB Shaun Draughn North Carolina 5112 210 9 5/8 31 75 1/8
WR Kris Durham Georgia 6052 214 9 1/8 31 5/8 77 1/8
DT Kenrick Ellis Hampton 6050 336 10 3/8 34 3/4 82 5/8
QB Nathan Enderle Idaho 6042 240 9 5/8 31 75 1/4
CB Anthony Gaitor FIU 5097 175 10 30 1/4 73 1/2
OLB Michael Gee Indiana (PA) 6004 239 8 7/8 32 7/8 77 1/2
DT John Graves Virginia Tech 6033 278 9 3/4 31 1/2 77 1/2
TE Daniel Hardy Idaho 6035 248 9 3/4 30 5/8 76 5/8
ILB Mario Harvey Marshall 5112 250 9 3/4 32 7/8 76 3/4
OL Peter Hendrickson Tulane 6076 310 10 1/4 33 3/4 82 3/8
WR Andre Holmes Hillsdale 6045 209 8 1/2 34 74
OLB Jeremiha Hunter Iowa 6006 239 9 3/8 31 5/8 75 3/4
OL Carl Johnson Florida 6052 353 9 7/8 35 3/8 85 1/8
WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos Iowa 5116 204 9 1/2 32 75 1/4
DT Frank Kearse Alabama A&M 6041 311 10 3/4 34 3/4 84 3/4
OL Daniel Kilgore Appalachian State 6033 304 9 7/8 35 3/8 85 1/8
OL Jarriel King South Carolina 6052 310 10 35 1/2 86
S Mark Legree Appalachian State 6000 211 8 3/4 30 1/2 72 5/8
DE Lazarius Levingston LSU 6035 288 10 3/8 32 3/4 79 1/2
DE Craig Marshall South Florida 6045 276 9 1/4 32 1/4 81
CB Byron Maxwell Clemson 6006 207 9 1/8 32 5/8 76 7/8
WR Joe Morgan Walsh 6005 185 8 1/2 30 7/8 74 5/8
OLB Adrian Moten Maryland 6015 225 9 3/8 31 1/2 77 1/4
RB Richard Murphy LSU 6007 204 8 7/8 31 76 3/8
WR Jamar Newsome Central Flordia 6005 198 8 7/8 33 77 1/4
DE Clay Nurse Illinois 6026 259 9 5/8 34 1/8 81 1/4
TE Schuylar Oordt Northern Iowa 6056 258 9 5/8 33 1/4 80 3/8
RB Keith Payne Virginia 6022 257 10 3/4 32 1/2 78 1/4
OL Curt Porter Jacksonville State 6070 308 9 3/4 34 82 1/4
K Jacob Rogers Cincinnati 6022 215 9 1/2 31 1/8 76 1/2
WR Jock Sanders West Virginia 5063 174 8 7/8 28 3/8 68 1/2
TE Andre Smith Virginia Tech 6044 269 10 1/8 34 3/4 82 3/8
ILB D.J. Smith Appalachian State 5106 237 9 3/4 31 1/4 75 3/4
OT Willie Smith East Carolina 6047 305 11 33 3/4 81
WR Owen Spencer North Carolina State 6024 191 9 5/8 33 1/8 77 5/8
FB Ryan Taylor North Carolina 6033 250 10 1/8 33 1/8 77 5/8
OL Zane Taylor Utah 6024 313 10 32 77 3/4
OLB J.T. Thomas West Virginia 6012 236 9 1/4 30 3/4 74 1/4
OL Brad Thorson Kansas 6040 301 10 32 1/4 79 1/4
CB Devon Torrence Ohio State 5115 190 8 3/4 29 3/4 70 5/8
QB Jeff Van Camp Florida Atlantic 6052 209 10 32 1/2 78 3/4
S Anthony Walters Delaware 6000 201 9 1/2 32 77 1/4
QB T.J. Yates North Carolina 6035 221 10 1/8 32 1/4 75 3/4
OT D.J. Young Michigan State 6047 307 9 3/4 35 1/8 83 7/8

Texas

WR Kris Adams UTEP 6034 194 10 L 34 80
OL Matt Allen Texas A&M 6025 279 10 L 33 1/4 79 1/2
ILB Tressor Baptiste Texas A&M Kingsville 6001 235 8 3/4 31 1/8 75 3/8
OL Tim Barnes Missouri 6036 297 10 32 7/8 78 1/4
FB Bubba Bartlett Carroll – MT 6007 238 10 31 74
OL Byron Bell New Mexico 6052 348 10 1/2 32 3/4 81
DT Corbin Bryant Northwestern 6041 302 9 1/4 32 1/4 76 1/4
WR Stephen Burton West Texas A&M 6016 219 8 7/8 31 1/2 74 7/8
DE Ugo Chinasa Oklahoma State 6051 254 9 7/8 35 1/2 85 1/4
QB Ryan Colburn Fresno State 6030 218 9 1/4 29 1/2 73 1/2
DE Wayne Daniels TCU 6006 257 10 32 1/2 78 3/8
OLB Quentin Davie Northwestern 6043 238 9 3/4 33 3/4 80
DE Roberto Davis NW Missouri State 6022 247 10 32 3/4 78 3/8
OL Ray Dominguez Arkansas 6042 340 9 1/2 33 80 7/8
OLB Brian Duncan Texas Tech 6003 237 9 1/4 30 3/4 74 1/4
P Derek Epperson Baylor 6032 237 9 1/8 32 1/4 77 7/8
RB Mario Fannin Auburn 5105 225 9 3/8 30 7/8 74 1/4
RB Jay Finley Baylor 5107 198 9 1/4 32 5/8 76 1/2
LS Harry Flaherty Princeton 6026 242 10 1/4 32 7/8 78 1/2
DB Josh Gatlin North Dakota State 6003 195 8 3/4 30 7/8 74 1/8
TE Cameron Graham Louisville 6031 240 9 3/8 L 30 7/8 75 1/2
CB Darian Hagan Cal 5113 178 8 7/8 31 7/8 75 5/8
WR Marcus Harris Murray State 6007 187 9 1/4 31 1/4 75
TE Robert Housler Florida Atlantic 6054 249 9 1/2 34 3/8 80 7/8
OL Kevin Hughes SE Louisiana 6037 297 9 3/8 33 1/2 80 1/2
FB Robert Hughes Notre Dame 5110 233 10 1/4 L 32 75 3/8
DE Eddie Jones Texas 6022 258 10 1/4 32 7/8 79
CB Ryan Jones NW Missouri State 5111 197 8 5/8 30 3/4 72 3/8
OLB Jamari Lattimore Middle Tennessee State 6020 218 10 3/4 33 1/8 79 7/8
WR Ricardo Lockette Fort Valley State 6021 207 9 7/8 33 1/2 79
DT Ricky Lumpkin Kentucky 6034 308 8 7/8 31 7/8 77 5/8
WR Chris Matthews Kentucky 6050 224 9 3/4 33 5/8 80 5/8
WR Denarius Moore Tennessee 6000 191 9 1/4 32 1/2 77 1/4
OL Derek Newton Arkansas State 6050 311 9 1/8 31 7/8 77 5/8
DT Lucas Patterson Texas A&M 6041 290 9 5/8 30 3/4 77 1/8
OLB Spencer Paysinger Oregon 6026 230 9 32 1/4 76
OL Mike Person Montana State 6047 296 9 3/8 31 7/8 77 7/8
QB Josh Portis California (PA) 6031 209 9 3/4 33 1/2 79 7/8
QB Taylor Potts Texas Tech 6040 220 9 3/4 32 7/8 80 1/4
DT Jerrell Powe Mississippi 6020 331 9 5/8 33 1/8 78
S Chris Prosinski Wyoming 6012 205 9 5/8 29 7/8 72 1/4
CB Reggie Rembert Air Force 5073 180 9 3/8 29 3/4 70 3/8
S Maurice Rolle Lousiana-Lafayette 6002 189 8 5/8 32 5/8 76 5/8
WR Jeremy Ross California 5117 212 9 1/8 30 3/4 74 1/4
CB Kevin Rutland MIssouri 5117 191 8 1/2 30 7/8 72 5/8
TE Stephen Skelton Fordham 6046 247 10 32 1/4 77 3/4
CB Buster Skrine Tennessee-Chattanooga 5095 186 8 5/8 30 1/8 72 1/4
RB Chad Spann Northern Illinois 5080 199 9 30 71 7/8
OL Chris Stewart Notre Dame 6043 346 9 1/8 34 83 1/8
OL Isaiah Thompson Houston 6035 300 9 1/8 32 3/4 77 1/4
OL Trevis Turner Abilene Christian 6067 342 10 3/8 33 5/8 81 3/8
S Jay Valai Wisconsin 5083 203 10 1/4 31 7/8 73 3/4
K Thomas Weber Arizona State University 6004 200 9 7/8 31 3/8 75 3/8
DT Colby Whitlock Texas Tech 6023 299 9 31 1/4 75 3/8
OLB Jabara Williams Stephen F. Austin 6022 223 9 3/8 31 1/8 75 1/8

This information was brought to you by Wes Bunting at National Football post. http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/NFLPA-Game-weighin-results-and-notes.html

Some of the guys I will be paying particular attention to this week are Ugo Chinasa, Kris Durham, Chad Spann, Mario Fannin (Fannin was one of my potential sleepers for this year but with Dyer’s emergence he didn’t get a lot of carries), Stephen Skelton, Jerrell Powe (a player I thought should have been at the Senior Bowl), Chris Matthews, Denarius Moore, Damien Berry, Dominic DeCicco, Kenrick Ellis, Nathan Enderle, John Graves, Mario Harvey, Carl Johnson, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos (a player with significant off-field issues to answer for), Jarriel King, T.J. Yates and Tim Barnes. It will be interesting to see how they all play.

Chinasa, a defensive end, showed up when I was watching Oklahoma State this year on defense, he has solid edge speed and managed 38 tackles, six tackles for loss, four sacks, one forced fumble and one interception on the season. He measured in at 6’5″, 254 pounds with very long 35.5 inch arms and a wingspan of over 85 inches. His long arms will really help him keep blockers off of him, so it will be interesting to see what kind of burst and edge speed he shows this week. I think he has draftable talent.

Kris Durham, a wide receiver, showed up a lot when I was watching Georgia games to get a look at A.J. Green this year. He reminds me a LOT of Brian Finneran, the long tenured Atlanta Falcons receiver. He is very tall and skinny but he has over 31.5 inch arms, good leaping ability and very reliable hands. He can be a long-term possession receiver for whatever team gives him a shot much like Finneran has for the Falcons in my opinion.

Fannin, a running back from Auburn, was a guy I thought might have a break-out year. Perhaps not on the level that Ben Tate did, but I thought he might surprise some people. Unfortunately for him that didn’t really happen, but I think he has a chance to show that he can be an effective #3 RB this week. He is very powerfully built and should have a solid week when he gets touches. I am very interested to see how he does this week.

Jerrell Powe, a defensive tackle from Mississippi, should honestly dominate this week. He is an extremely talented player and could very well sneak into the first round if he plays well here, tests well at the combine and perhaps most importantly if he has a good showing during interviews with whatever teams talk to him. He should be extremely disruptive this week because he had the talent level to play at the Senior Bowl or at least the East-West Shrine Game. He is a potentially great fit for teams looking for a 3-4 NT, so he will have a lot of eyes on him this week.

Chris Matthews, a wide receiver from Kentucky, has great size at 6’5″, 224 pounds and has long arms at over 33.5 inches, but I have never been that impressed with him. He is a weapon in jump-ball situations but it will be interesting to see how he progresses as a route runner this week and how he does catching the ball. If he can start to run routes with a little more burst and catch the ball well away from his body he could really help himself this week because with his size he will intrigue a lot of scouts.

Denarius Moore is a reliable receiver from Tennessee that I think is absolutely worth a late round pick. He’s smaller at 6’0″, 191 pounds but he has good speed (about 4.46-4.48 is my guess) and reliable hands. He had a down year statistically because of the problems at QB before Tyler Bray took over down the stretch, but I think he is at least worth a late round pick. He should surprise some people this week because he is a better player than a lot of people give him credit for in my opinion.

Dominic DeCicco, a safety from Pittsburgh, will likely be a 7th round pick or a UDFA, but I think he will end up sticking on a NFL roster. He has the potential to be a special teams ace in the NFL. He is a great tackler, supports the run well and while he is a ‘tweener in the sense that he is too slow to play safety and probably not a great fit at linebacker either (despite being close to 6’3″, and 232 pounds) he should provide value as a special teamer. Look for him to support the run well all week as a filling safety and to give a lot of effort on special teams.

Kenrick Ellis, a defensive tackle from Hampton, is a mammoth DT. He measured in at 6’5″, 336 pounds with huge hands at almost 10.5″, 34.75 inch arms and a wingspan of over 82.5 inches. He is a huge guy, so it will be very interesting to see how he does this week. I have never seen him play, so unfortunately I can’t give too much insight onto his playing style. That is one reason that I will be paying close attention to him during the practices this week.

John Graves, a defensive tackle from Virginia Tech, is a bit of a DE/DT ‘tweener in that he doesn’t have the burst and edge speed you want in a 4-3 DE but he is undersized for a 4-3 DT. It might seem that his best position would be a 3-4 DE if he could add some weight, but I am not sure how comfortable he would be taking up blockers instead of trying to penetrate upfield and be disruptive like he has always done at Virginia Tech. I have a feeling he will warrant late round consideration to play LE in a rotation on run downs and then slide inside to DT on pass downs. It will be interesting to see how he does this week because I think he could present some value in that role.

Mario Harvey, an ILB from Marshall, burst onto the scene with a huge game against West Virginia early in this college football season and I have had my eye on him ever since. He weighed in at 5’11”, 250 pounds (which is very thick for a guy his size) with almost 33 inch arms, which helps him as a linebacker. It will be interesting to see how he runs and moves in space this week and obviously how he does against the run. I like him as a mid-late round guy and I think he might surprise some people who have never seen him play.

Derrell Johnson-Koulianos (or DJK) is a former Hawkeye wide receiver who was kicked off of the team before the bowl game for possession of illegal substances in his room, one of which was cocaine. There are a lot of rumors about that that I won’t get into, but one thing is for sure: He needs a good week of practice on the field and off the field. Whenever he gets interviewed he is going to be on the hot seat with scouts because character concerns like that raise serious red flags. He is talented enough to be drafted in the first three rounds potentially, but he might not even get drafted because of his off-field issues at this point. That sets him up for a good comeback story (and whatever team that drafts him or signs him as a free agent could be in line for a potential steal) if and only if he can start to make positive changes to stay out of trouble. That, as much as anything he does on the field, will be critical for any evaluation of him.

Jarriel King, an offensive lineman from South Carolina, is a confusing guy for me to evaluate. He has a lot of athletic ability as a former TE, but he is just so raw as a blocker that he couldn’t stay in the starting line-up consistently for the Gamecocks. I think that will probably show this week because I have seen him effectively mirror pass rushers when they try a speed rush against him, but his technique is not very good and I think his footwork needs improvement. However, as a mid-late round pick he has potential steal written all over him because of his great size (6’5″, 310 pounds) and his very long arms (35.5″ arms, 86″ wingspan). So even if he doesn’t block very effectively this week keep an eye on his athleticism… it’s pretty impressive. As I said, he is incredibly raw and undeveloped at this point, but he has the athletic ability to develop into a LT in the NFL and that is rare enough that he will warrant a 4th or 5th round consideration if he can have an alright showing this week. He has had problems with his heart before also, so that is something to keep in mind.

Hopefully that is a suitable introduction to some of the players that will be on display this week. I look forward to reading all of the notes with all of you and of course I look forward to seeing how these players do this week and in the game! 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

New Mock Draft: 12.22.10

1st Round NFL Mock Draft:

1st– Carolina- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford- The Panthers have a lot of holes and a lot of work to do on turning their team around, but I don’t think they have seen anything out of Jimmy Clausen that would make them say “Yes, this guy is definitely our franchise quarterback.” If that is the case then there is no way they can pass on Luck here if they think he is a potential franchise QB. We’ve seen the turnaround that a good, young QB can help a team accomplish if they come to the right situation with the Falcons, Ravens, Jets and now the Rams and to a lesser degree the Browns. The Panthers have a lot of needs, but solidifying the QB play can improve the whole offense. Luck is a very good QB prospect, and unless the Panthers are seeing something in Clausen that I’m not then they should take Luck #1 overall.

2nd– Cincinnati- A.J. Green, WR, Georgia- Cincinnati has a few needs as well, which makes sense or they probably wouldn’t be picking in the top five selections. I think Carson Palmer needs to be replaced in the next two years, if not sooner, their offensive line could use upgrades, they could use another quality wide receiver to play opposite Ochocinco and eventually replace him, and they could use pass rush help at DE and some serious safety help. It goes without saying that Cincinnati can’t really afford to miss with this pick, and I think that is why A.J. Green has to be the selection. He is the consensus #1 WR in the NFL Draft if he decides to come out according to just about everyone, and he would give the Bengals a very impressive cast of receivers with Ochocinco, Green and Shipley in the slot.

3rd– Dallas (F/ DEN)- Patrick Peterson, CB/S, LSU- Is this trade down especially likely to happen? No. Do I think it will happen if this is how the draft plays out? Maybe, but it probably isn’t especially likely. But I have to do something to keep things interesting right? Now, Denver will probably be looking at a front seven pick here, and they could pick Marcell Dareus here, but to be honest that feels a little high for him in my opinion. So, will anyone actually trade up here? I’m not sure, but if anyone was going to do it I think it would be the Cowboys. The Cowboys have a lot of talent and hopefully they bring Jason Garrett back because they have looked better with him at the helm. However, safety is a huge need for the Cowboys and I think that if they fall in love with Patrick Peterson they will go and get him if they need to. Peterson is an absolute playmaker, and he could be one of the most dynamic safeties in the league if he adjusts well to the position. His combination of size, speed and ball skills is something you rarely see out of a safety even in the NFL, so if they think he can be a game-changer for them that can dramatically help their secondary I would expect the Cowboys to make the move and go get him.

4th– Arizona- Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska- The Cardinals could arguably use a QB here, but I don’t think I would feel comfortable spending a top five pick on Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett. So if the Cardinals aren’t going with a quarterback until round 2 (most likely) then they have to look to fill another need. Cornerback could be that position. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a good corner, but they don’t have much opposite him. They might have bigger needs than #2 corner, but there aren’t many better players available here than Prince Amukamara, so Arizona could end up getting the best player they can here.

5th– Buffalo- Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina- Everyone thought the Bills were a lock to take a QB, but Fitzpatrick has played well enough to make them reconsider, so I don’t think they will go after a QB unless Andrew Luck somehow falls to them (which I don’t think is likely). Is Fitzpatrick the long term answer? Probably not, but if they aren’t sold on Locker or Mallett in the top five it makes sense to stick with Fitzpatrick and look to shore up other areas. Normally I think the Bills would grab a quality LT here, but since no such player is worth this high of a selection (when was the last time there wasn’t an offensive tackle worth this pick??)  I think the Bills could go after a pass rusher to help boost their pass rush. The Bills have used both 3-4 and 4-3 formations on defense this year, so I can’t say I know what formation they will stick with in the future. However, I think Quinn has the athleticism to potentially play in a 3-4 at OLB and I know he has the athletic ability to harass quarterbacks at RE in a 4-3. This is another big high risk/high reward pick for the Bills but it could pan out for them with a burst to their pass rush.

6th– Detroit- Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson- I think this would probably be a worst-case scenario for the Lions, but even if Peterson and Amukamara are gone the Lions will have options. One of the most appealing would have to be adding a pass rusher with as much potential as Bowers. Bowers might not fly off the edge like you might think he would considering his amazing 15+ sack season, but he has an intriguing combination of size, speed and strength and projects well to the LE position in the NFL. Adding another potential stud pass rusher to that defensive line could help their secondary out, and in a very deep cornerback class the Lions will have an opportunity to select a corner with their 2nd round pick.

7th– Denver (F/ Dallas)- Marcell Dareus, DE/DT, Alabama- Denver traded down to try to pick up some draft picks to fill some more needs and still gets their guy! This would probably have to be a best-case scenario for the Broncos as they could really use some help on the defensive line and Dareus is probably the best 3-4 DE prospect in this draft class.

8th– Cleveland- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State- Colt McCoy has shocked me with his play so far and he has impressed me thus far in his career. I did not think he was capable of this, but like I did with Sam Bradford I really underestimated his intangibles. And like I always say, I am man enough to admit when I’m wrong! I am going to re-watch the Bengals-Browns game and watch McCoy specifically, I will post my thoughts on him. However, I think it’s safe to say Cleveland has found a quarterback worth developing, so they need to work on getting him some weapons. That starts with a stud wide receiver, and outside of A.J. Green there isn’t a receiver I like more than Justin Blackmon. Blackmon has had an absolutely unreal season as he has had over 100 yards and at least one touchdown in EVERY SINGLE GAME this season. That kind of consistent performance is exactly what Cleveland needs out of a wide receiver, which is why I think they may pick him even over the bigger, potentially faster wide receiver in Julio Jones who has a potentially higher ceiling. Another reason they might not pick Jones? His lapses in concentration that lead to drops may remind them too much of Braylon Edwards.

9th– Houston- Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn- Houston has such a dominant pass rusher in Mario Williams but they have had so much trouble finding help for him along the defensive line so that teams can’t just double him, take him away and then buy time for their quarterback to throw. Nick Fairley has been one of the most dominant defensive players in the country this year and the first time I watched him play he reminded me of Kevin Williams the way he was coming off the ball, splitting double teams and making plays in the backfield. Adding Fairley could give the Texans a pass rusher who can collapse the pocket and help force quarterbacks to scramble, which could mean more sacks for Mario Williams.

10th– Minnesota- Jake Locker, QB, Washington- I struggled a bit with this pick because I really think the Vikings need to think about trading down at this spot because they have so many holes on their team. They need a quarterback, a left tackle, a center, a right guard, a defensive tackle, potentially a left end if they let Ray Edwards walk (and I really think they should, especially if he wants a big pay day), a cornerback and of course safety help. That’s a pretty long list of needs, and the more picks they have in the first two or three rounds to help fill those holes the better off they will be now that they will probably have to start rebuilding. Remember, they don’t have a 3rd round pick this year because they traded it to the Patriots for Randy Moss. But if they can’t or don’t trade down and Patrick Peterson isn’t available you have to imagine they will pick a quarterback. I don’t know which they will ultimately prefer between Locker and Mallett here at #10, but I think that with a couple years of development Locker will be the better NFL QB of the two, so I mocked him to the Vikings here. Locker is not ready to start as a rookie like so many people thought he might be after his great season as a junior, but in reality he needs significant work before he will be ready to start. The Vikings have very little talent at quarterback with only Joe Webb likely to be back next season. First and foremost they need to bring in a veteran quarterback who will be able to keep some pressure off of Locker, or whoever they draft, so he isn’t rushed in too early. Donovan McNabb, if or when he is released from the Redskins, would be ideal.

11th– Washington- Julio Jones, WR, Alabama- The Redskins, regardless of who is playing quarterback, could really use some firepower at wide receiver. They need help at the skill positions, namely running back and wide receiver, and Julio Jones has a higher ceiling than just about any receiver in this draft class because of his great combination of size, strength, speed and his ability to make unbelievable catches. He has such great hands, but he will still drop more routine passes sometimes that will frustrate you as a scout and as a fan. If he can improve his concentration and become more consistent he could be one of the best receivers to come out of this draft class (if not the best).

12th– San Francisco- Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas- It is pretty apparent that San Francisco needs help at quarterback after the Alex Smith experiment, at long last, has proven to be a complete failure. Troy Smith showed some ability, but it wasn’t consistent enough to make QB enough of an afterthought to pass on one here if there is a good one available. I am not a huge Mallett fan, and I personally think that his ceiling may be what Cutler is dealing with now. I don’t know how consistent Mallett’s footwork will ever be, and that contributes to his inconsistent accuracy and ball placement. When he gets in the zone, just like Cutler, Mallett can make any throw and put the ball wherever he wants it. But like with any QB, that ability comes and goes, and when they aren’t on their footwork causes erratic passes because they can get away with throwing off of their back foot, plus both of them have questionable decision-making. I was really high on Cutler when he came out of Vanderbilt, and I still like him as a QB, but I don’t think Mallett will ever be as effective as Cutler has been this season for the Bears. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but that is just my opinion. However, if the 49ers feel differently then he makes a lot of sense for them because they could use a strong armed QB who can make any throw to deliver the ball downfield to Crabtree and Vernon Davis as well as any other passing weapons they develop. I’m not sold on Mallett’s leadership capability either, but it would be nice if the 49ers could get a leader at QB who could lead the offense like Patrick Willis leads the defense.

13th– Seattle- Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State- Seattle needs help all over their defensive line, but outside of Red Bryant they don’t have a lot of talent at defensive tackle. There isn’t really a DE that I believe is worth this pick (I am not high on Adrian Clayborn after the way he played this year…) so if I was the Seahawks I would look at grabbing one of the quality DT’s still on the board. Paea might be the best one available, so he could very well be the pick. Paea is incredibly strong in the weight room but unlike some players his weight room strength seems to translate to the field, plus he is very quick off the ball and is very disruptive in the backfield. Playing next to Red Bryant (if he’s healthy next year, hopefully he will be) would mean a lot of one on one matchups for Paea which could mean some early impact from him. That would be huge for the Seahawks who really need a boost to their pass rush however they can get it.

14th– Tennessee- Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA- Tennessee needs OLB help, and they probably have needed it for a while, so they should be looking at that need first and foremost. It looks like they need a QB of the future since Vince Young has not been playing in favor of Kerry Collins, but there is no QB worth this high of a selection in my opinion unless they wanted to take Cameron Newton. However, if I was the Titans he would remind me way too much of Young to take a risk on him here. Ayers is a much safer pick that is good versus the run, versus the pass and can even rush the passer.

15th– Miami- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama- You might think to yourself: Ingram? Really? The Dolphins have Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams! Well, both of them are getting a little older. Brown is getting close to that 30 year old mark where RB’s tend to start to decline, plus he has been dealing with injuries. It’s tough to pinpoint how much longer Ricky has left because of his time away from the game, but like Favre is beginning to find out you can’t play forever. Ingram is the best running back in the country and he should be able to contribute immediately to take some of the load off of Brown and Williams. Plus if one or both of them gets hurt Ingram would be comfortable carrying the load until they are healthy. Chad Henne has been inconsistent like I expected him to be in the NFL, so he hasn’t inspired a lot of confidence at Miami. I think it’s a little too early to pull the plug on him though.

16th– New England (F/ OAK)- Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M- The Patriots could use some pass rush help at OLB and that is one thing Von Miller does as well as about anyone in the country. Miller started slow this season but he has picked it up since then and has put together a quality senior season after he exploded onto the scene his junior year. He projects very well to the 3-4 OLB position and I think he would fit into the Patriots defensive scheme very nicely.

17th– Tampa Bay- Rahim Moore, S, UCLA- This might seem like a strange pick, especially with Adrian Clayborn still on the board, but like I said I’m not that high on him. However, I do like Rahim Moore and the Bucs need serious help at safety. I think they could use an upgrade at corner, but safety might even be more pressing than that. They have been rotating anyone in at safety this year trying to find someone who can play well, but no one has stepped up it appears. Moore is the essence of a center fielder and he has good ball skills which makes him a very nice fit for the Bucs defensive scheme.

18th– Jacksonville- Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn- This might seem like a strange pick here, but I think it makes some sense. David Garrard is about to turn 33 in February so he might have another year or two left playing at a high level, so a developmental QB would be a nice thing to have. Enter Cameron Newton, the ultimate developmental QB. Garrard could be a good mentor for Newton because Newton will probably play with a similar style to Garrard in the NFL if he ever develops his fundamentals like Garrard has. But with Garrard still playing well he would keep the pressure off of Newton while he developed as a QB and more importantly if they worked him into the game on some Wildcat formations he could help sell tickets, which is one of the reasons this pick makes the most sense. The Jags didn’t get Tebow last year to get people to buy tickets but Newton should have a similar impact. He really needs some development and coaching, but the amount of attention he would bring to the Jaguars would be worth the development and patience they will have to have with him.

19th– Green Bay- Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida- The Packers could go a couple of different directions here.  The Packers could use a future LT (I think Bulaga should stick at RT), a RB, a DE (depending on Johnny Jolly), an OLB to play opposite of Clay Matthews and some help at corner. Al Harris is no longer with the Packers but Tramon Williams has stepped up into the starting role before and he has played well in his stead opposite Charles Woodson. The only problem is they don’t have much depth behind Woodson and Williams and Woodson himself is getting up in age and won’t be able to play as well as he had the past few years for a lot longer. That makes me think that corner should be addressed in one of the first two rounds, if not in the first round. Jenkins would do a couple things for the Packers as their draft pick. First, he would bring a physical presence because of the way he supports the run which is what the Packers like in their corners. Second, he would bring some impressive ball skills which the Packers LOVE in their defensive backs. Third, he would keep the streak alive of the Packers having at least one corner with dreads starting in their secondary alive for a long time. Yeah, I went there.

20th– San Diego- Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State- This might seem surprising but I think it makes a lot of sense. Cameron Heyward is an absolute beast in the trenches and I think he is the #2 3-4 DE prospect in this draft class for that reason. The Chargers could really use a 3-4 DE, so Heyward makes perfect sense for them at #20. He would help solidify a defensive line that used to be a strength for them, and while they do need an OLB to replace Merriman because Larry English has disappointed at OLB (I thought he was more of a 4-3 DE to be honest) I think they might be able to get one of those in the second or third round if they like a prospect there. Heyward could potentially contribute right away and fill a big need, so I think he has to be the pick here.

21st– St. Louis- Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa- I don’t know if this pick makes perfect sense because Clayborn projects better to LE which is where Chris Long plays currently, but he played RE at Iowa so maybe the Rams will get creative with him at RE to help their run defense and then move him inside on passing downs. Regardless, he’s a pretty good value here even if he has had a down season this year in my opinion. The Rams already have a pretty good defensive line but if Clayborn plays up to his potential then he could really turn this unit into a dominant force.

22nd– Kansas City- Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia- There are questions about how Houston will look at OLB in the NFL because he doesn’t drop that well into coverage, but at #22 he has to get serious consideration from the Chiefs because of his ability to rush the passer, even if he isn’t very natural at dropping back into coverage. The Chiefs have the start to a pretty good defense with a couple solid DE’s in Dorsey and Jackson, Derrick Johnson playing well in the middle and Eric Berry continuing to be impressive in the secondary. Grabbing a pass rusher seems like a logical next step, and there aren’t a lot of better pass rushers available than Houston at this point.

23rd– Indianapolis- Drake Nevis, DT, LSU- The Colts definitely need help up the middle of their defense and I am really high on Nevis. He is extremely disruptive up the middle for LSU, he gets off the ball quickly, splits double teams well, can bull rush his man to collapse the pocket and should really help solidify the Colts interior of the defensive line when he is ready to contribute.

24th– New York Giants- Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama- The Giants could use a stud ILB and even though I wonder how good Hightower is in coverage I think he could be a good fit for the Giants. The Giants more than anything preach getting after the passer and Hightower is a very good ILB prospect but on some passing downs he lines up at DE when Alabama has four down lineman to rush the passer. If he can do that in the NFL, which I imagine with some development he could, he could give the Giants a quality ILB who could drop down and rush the passer with his hand down if they wanted him to. That seems like something the Giants would probably be interested in.

25th– New Orleans- Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina- I thought Carter would go earlier than this because he would test well and look good in drills but because of his surgery that is all up in the air so the last 1st is probably where he will end up going if/when he recovers from his surgery. The Saints probably shouldn’t complain though, especially since they have had good luck with linebackers coming off of injury (Jonathan Vilma). Carter would give the Saints a very athletic OLB as well as a potential special teams ace because of how well he pressures punts.

26th– New York Jets- Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue- The Jets could use a DE here and an OLB because Jason Taylor is getting old, but there is no such 3-4 DE available that I think is worth this pick, and there isn’t a NT worth this pick either (Jerrell Powe is an option but I don’t think he is worth a late 1st). So OLB figures to be the pick and Kerrigan doesn’t project perfectly to the 3-4 in my opinion but some people think he would be fine at the position apparently. I will have to wait to see it before I believe it, but he definitely has the quickness off the ball to get after the passer from the OLB position in a 3-4. And more than anything that is what the Jets need from their OLB’s in that defense.

27th– Chicago- Derrick Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State- Sherrod might not be the ideal LT that Bears fans want, but I think he is the best offensive lineman in this class and more than anything the Bears just need talented offensive linemen so they can start to rebuild one of the worst units in the NFL. Sherrod could play LT or RT so depending on whether or not Chris Williams can offer anything at either spot Sherrod could slide into either spot and provide some reliability as a run blocker and as a pass blocker. He might struggle with some of the elite speed rushers at LT, but Frank Omiyale struggles with any above-average pass rusher there already regardless of speed, so Sherrod would at worst be a step in the right direction.

28th– Baltimore- Brandon Harris, CB, Miami- The Ravens need help at CB very badly because what talent they have there will hit the free agent market this offseason with the exception of Dominique Foxworth who has been out with an injury this season. The Ravens, as much as any team in the NFL, seem to hit it big when they pull talent from Miami’s talent pool (Ray Lewis and Ed Reed being prime examples. I’m sure there are more) so if they like Harris’ game and see him available late in round one at a position of serious need then I think they could go back to that same well once again.

29th– Pittsburgh- Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin- The Steelers really need an upgrade at RT and Carimi should fit in perfectly to the Steelers scheme that relies on push in the run game. Carimi could probably be a solid LT in the NFL, which gives him added value as a potential back-up at that position in my opinion, but I think he will at worst have a long, solid career at RT. If he can get coached up a bit he could very well have pro-bowl potential.

30th– Philadelphia- Aaron Williams, CB, Texas- The Eagles have a good corner in Asante Samuel but opposite him they have a lot of question marks. Ellis Hobbs was injured for the season again and his career may be over because of it, and no one has played well at all in replacing him. His replacement, Peterson, got absolutely owned this past weekend by the Giants. He gave up the first three of Manning’s passing touchdowns if I’m not mistaken. That’s a pretty bad game. So, the Eagles could use help opposite Samuels. Williams is a playmaker at corner which the Eagles obviously like and while he hasn’t quite had the season some expected him to have it’s safe to say no one on Texas did.  He still has a lot of ability and athletic potential, plus with the Eagles pass rush and ability to apply pressure he could be in position for a lot of turnovers.

31st– Atlanta- J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin- The Falcons don’t have a lot of serious needs but one thing they do need to improve is their pass rush. John Abraham won’t be able to play at this level for much longer, and his back-up Lawrence Sidbury has contributed next to nothing this season, and hasn’t even been active for the majority of the games. That’s not exactly a vote of confidence, and as much as I’d like Sidbury to be the future stud pass rusher the Falcons need at RE it’s just not a sensible conclusion to come to at this point. Kroy Biermann has played better than I ever expected him to when he was drafted in the 5th round, but I am not sure he is the answer at LE for us in the long term. I love watching J.J. Watt play and I think his passion for the game and his non-stop motor makes him a perfect fit on the Falcons. He might not be a 10+ sack guy at LE, but I think he will be good versus the run and get 6+ sacks for us.

32nd– New England- Cameron Jordan, DE, California- The Patriots are the masters of getting great bang for their buck and they did it again last year when they got Devin McCourty late in round one and he has been one of the best rookie corners in this draft class thus far. Jordan is a quality DE and I think he projects pretty well to the 3-4. I honestly expected him to come off the board earlier than this, but somehow he fell and the Patriots, as they probably will be on draft day no matter how it turns out, will benefit from it.

Hopefully you enjoyed my new mock draft! Please leave comments! Thanks for reading!

–Tom

Obviously I took a lot of notes on Virginia Tech’s players, but I also took note of what some Tennessee players were doing. I took notes on their two best WR’s Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore, brief notes on their TE Luke Stocker, their MLB Herman Lathers, their OLB LaMarcus Thompson and their freshman safety Janzen Jackson. I liked what I saw from all of them, but they had their ups and downs.

Jones has pretty good size and hands, and emerged as a reliable target for Crompton during his junior season.

Gerald Jones had a pretty good game and only had one drop plus two good catches he made with his hands from what I saw. He was pretty consistent in this game, but he also let a pass or two get into his pads which is something I did not like. He was routinely open on curl routes near the sideline and did a good job of making catches with his hands there. He seemed to do a good job of finding a hole in the zone and making a catch there. His biggest challenge coming into his senior season will be to clean up his hands, continue to improve his route running and he needs to just be more consistent. He had something of a breakout year last year as a junior as he matched and exceeded his career totals from his previous two seasons in catches and yards and almost matched his career total in touchdowns (he had four last year and his previous career total was 5). It will be interesting to see how he does this year, because I honestly like him in the mid-late round range right now, especially if he can knock this bad habit of letting passes get into his pads.

Moore has great speed and has shown some impressive route running, but he needs to be more consistent catching the ball with his hands.

Denarius Moore had more ups but also more downs in this game. He had a couple of nice catches that he made with his hands away from his body, and really showed some nice route running ability when he burned Kam Chancellor deep in the 2nd half and when he set up a play action pass well when he faked a block and then darted into the end zone for a touchdown. He had three good catches, but he also had two huge drops. The biggest drop could have been a game-changer for Tennessee as it was on the same play when he burned Chancellor deep. He faked a post to the outside and then darted back down the seam and he completely turned Chancellor around and got at least four yards of separation. The ball was on target and it got to him more or less in stride but he tried to catch it up against his pads and it fell to the turf. If he makes that catch or tries to secure it with his hands first and then cradles it against his body it is almost certainly a touchdown that would have brought Tennessee within six points. Instead it was a drop and Tennessee would later punt the ball away on that drive.

Moore has great speed (4.42 timed speed) and he has great quickness to get in and out of his breaks, and really showed some dedication to his route running in this game. But he has to clean up those drops because you can’t drop a pass like that in the NFL if you want to stick on a roster. He also dropped another touchdown pass later in the game, but he was diving for it as it was a little low and he got hit as the ball got there. It hit his hands and it would have been a nice catch, but regardless of the circumstances it was still a drop. So like I said, Moore had an up and down game, but those dropped touchdowns will probably haunt him for a long time. That is, before he makes up for them by improving his hands and making more big plays as a senior than he did as a junior. Like his teammate Gerald Jones he matched and exceeded his career totals in receptions and yards but he also exceeded his career totals in touchdowns as a junior. If he improves his catching ability he could move up boards quickly with his speed and route running ability, so I am excited to see him play this year.

Luke Stocker was not overly involved in this game and I didn’t take any notes on him as a blocker, but he had a decent game receiving. He had a couple catches, both of which he made with his hands away from his body, and showed some toughness making a catch in traffic and dragging a defender for some tough yards after the catch. I don’t know why Tennessee doesn’t involve him in the passing game more as he seems to have reliable hands. Hopefully next year he will have a more significant role in the passing game.

Lathers has decent size, pretty good instincts and plays well when he can play downhill versus the run.

Herman Lathers looked pretty good to me in this game. He is a little undersized for the MLB spot as he is only 6’1”, 213 pounds right now, but he should put on more weight before his sophomore year. Despite being a little light, he did a good job versus the run. I am not sure how good his change of direction ability is, but when he can play downhill versus the run and shoot a gap he is very effective. He is a pretty good tackler but he missed a tackle or two on Ryan Williams (but so do a lot of people) over the course of the game. Overall I was impressed with him versus the run, but didn’t see much one way or another versus the pass since VT didn’t involve Greg Boone in the passing game at all. He had a pretty good season starting as a freshman, so I am interested to see how he does as a sophomore now that he has some experience.

Thompson is undersized but he packs a punch as a hitter.

LaMarcus Thompson had a pretty solid game, especially versus the run, and made me check on his measurables and his production from the past season. He had 35 tackles, seven tackles for loss, one sack, one QB hurry and one forced fumble. He isn’t very big at 6’1”, 221 pounds, but he looked good supporting the run in this game. He will be a senior this year, so it will be interesting to see if he can put on a little weight. I don’t know how good he is in coverage, but even if he doesn’t do that well he should get a shot as a late round pick or a UDFA because he is a good tackler who really packs a punch as a hitter. He strikes me as a late round pick who will make a team because he will be able to contribute positively on special teams. How he performs as a Senior will determine whether he ever improves his stock beyond that.

Janzen Jackson had a pretty good game. He seems to be a good tackler and he may be the next great playmaking safety for the Volunteers. He got into some trouble earlier in the year as he was potentially involved with an armed robbery and back in August he was held out of practice and forced to run for the duration of that practice because he missed curfew. He seems to have some issues with maturity, but he sure is talented. He had a very nice play when he picked off Tyrod Taylor to end a drive late in the 1st half when VT seemed to be on the move to pick up either a touchdown or a field goal. He is athletically gifted and has a lot of potential, but you have to wonder if the light will come on for him and he will keep himself out of trouble or if he will let off-field issues derail his career. NFL teams will not pick guys with serious character concerns early in the draft anymore, so if he keeps this up he will plunge his stock when he finally declares for the draft later in his career. However, I liked how he looked on the field, especially when he made that nice leaping grab to pick off Tyrod Taylor.

So that is all I have to say about Virginia Tech-Tennessee. If you actually read all of this I commend you for it because it was at least six to seven pages on Microsoft Word prior to the addition of photos. Hopefully you liked what I had to say, and feel free to comment if you agree or disagree with anything I wrote in here.

Thanks for reading!

–Tom Melton