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Monthly Archives: January 2016

All of Our 2016 Senior Bowl Preview Scouting Notes (by Position)…

 

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All of our 2016 Senior Bowl Preview Reports in one spot:

 

Quarterback: Posted individually all January

Running Back: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: RB

Wide Receiver: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: WR

Tight End: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: TE

Offensive Line: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: OL

Defensive Tackle: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: DT

Defensive End: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: DE

Inside Linebacker: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: ILB

Outside Linebacker: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: OLB

Cornerback: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: CB

Safety: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: Safety

Mock NFL Draft: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: NFL Draft

Mock Dynasty Rookie Draft: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: Dynasty Rookie Draft

Measurements: 2016 Senior Bowl Preview: Weigh-in/Measurements

 

 

2016 Senior Bowl Week: Top 10 Mock NFL Draft

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2016 Senior Bowl Week: Top 10 Mock Dynasty Rookie Draft

This content is restricted to subscribers of College Football Metrics 2016.

 

2016 Senior Bowl Week Preview: Inside Linebacker (ILB)

This week we are taking a look at the players (by position) attending the Senior Bowl, and doing quick scouting previews on what we are seeing in early scouting looks. Keep in mind, this is our ‘unofficial’ take on these players from brief study. We will break down and officially grade all the non-quarterbacks after the NFL Combine.

 

Inside Linebacker

 

Best-looking ILB Prospect: Reggie Ragland, Alabama (6’1”/259)

I hate to agree with the consensus, but you can’t deny it here—Ragland is the superior NFL ILB prospect here. He moves as well as any linebacker in the draft, but is 10+ pounds thicker than most of them. He is a punishing hitter, but that tends to overshadow how smart a player he is, and how nimble his feet are. He’s the total package.

 

Most Intriguing ILB Prospect: Antonio Morrison, Florida (6’1”/232)

There are a lot of solid, NFL-worthy ILB prospects in Mobile, but I’m not sure Morrison is one of them. What he is—is arguably the best pure, non-edge rush OLB prospect at the Senior Bowl. A guy who can tackle, play in coverage…a prospect that could move to safety and be a star. With the NFL’s desire for the hybrid LB/SS type, Morrison is that guy. He’s a great, instinctive, athletic player.

 

Most Overrated ILB Prospect: Kentrell Brothers, Missouri (6’0”/249)

Another Missouri scheme ‘hype’ prospect. He’s an OK prospect, but his body looks unathletic (top heavy, thinner bottom half), and too many of his numbers on TFLs are coming from stunt blitzes where he is unencumbered to the backfield. He’s not a creator of chaos–it’s created for him. Many have him as the #2 or #3 ILB prospect in the NFL Draft…and that’s a mistake at my first glance.

 

Other ILB prospect notes…

 — There are several players who are ‘old school’ ILBs—the fire hydrants in the middle-types. The sure tacklers, but may be limited in other aspects, but are great run stoppers for sure—Nick Kwiatkowski/West Va., Blake Martinez/Stanford and Jared Norris/Utah are all fine MLBs.

I’d add Jake Ganus/Georgia to that list, because he plays that style, but I think he’s better served moving to OLB or SS at 6’2”/232. He is a terrific player, a definite sleeper. He played ILB in college, but I’d look at him as an OLB/SS hybrid. I really like his game.

 — Josh Forrest, Kentucky showed me nothing in my brief glimpse. No instincts at all—projecting him to the next level.

 

 

2016 Senior Bowl Week Preview: Defensive Tackle

This content is restricted to subscribers of College Football Metrics 2017.

 

2016 Senior Bowl Week Preview: Defensive End

 

This week we are taking a look at the players (by position) attending the Senior Bowl, and doing quick scouting previews on what we are seeing in early scouting looks. Keep in mind, this is our ‘unofficial’ take on these players from brief study. We will break down and officially grade all the non-quarterbacks after the NFL Combine.

 

Defensive End

 

Best-looking DE Prospect: Carl Nassib, Penn State (6’7″/273)

You could make an argument that Senior Bowl buzz DE Noah Spence has a more raw athleticism, but all the way around from athleticism to size, to just savvy play at the position—Nassib has to be considered the top DE prospect in Mobile this week. Depending upon his measurables at the NFL combine, he could be a top 15 draft pick type of talent.

 

Most Intriguing DE Prospect: Bronson Kaufusi, BYU (6’6″/281)

I’m definitely intrigued by Kaufusi. He is a two-sport star, a basketball player with the kind of hoop skills where he can shift gears and maneuver his body quickly for his massive size. He is high-energy all day long. I’m curious about whether an NFL team might take him, and add 10–15 pounds to create a monster at defensive tackle, or drop him 10 pounds and really add to his speed and agility as an edge rusher. He could be the best DL prospect from this class in the long run. Maybe.

 

Most Overrated DE Prospect: Shawn Oakman, Baylor (6’7/269)

Even going back to last year when I did some basic scouting on this freak of nature, I never saw anything he ever did that made me believe he was a real, quality NFL-impact prospect. His size may keep him on a roster, but I see Oakman trending way more as a bust than as a future star NFL player.

 

Other DE prospect notes…

Jason Fanaika, Utah (6’2″/270) has a nice burst off the edge, but doesn’t appear to have many moves to go with it, and has a disadvantage with his height to be a DE as it is. It will be interesting to see if a team bulks him up and moves into DT, or drops him 20 pounds and moves him to linebacker.

Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky (6’3″/254) looks spectacular coming off the line on tape—he has quite a burst. However, he also has a checkered past with two failed drug tests getting him kicked out of the Big Ten permanently. He used to be a star for Ohio State. He may be the best DE prospect here, but he comes with baggage.

Charles Tapper, Oklahoma (6’3″/276) looks the part at a glance, but I don’t see him doing much on tape. However, to his credit, he gets a double teamed quite a bit. There may be more upside here then is mediocre numbers show.

Jihad Ward, Illinois (6’5″/296) is completely intriguing physically, but rare performance and production. He just doesn’t look like he takes this very seriously.

 

 

2016 Senior Bowl Week Preview: Outside Linebacker (OLB)

 

This week we are taking a look at the players (by position) attending the Senior Bowl, and doing quick scouting previews on what we are seeing in early scouting looks. Keep in mind, this is our ‘unofficial’ take on these players from brief study. We will break down and officially grade all the non-quarterbacks after the NFL Combine.

 

Outside Linebacker

 

Best-looking OLB Prospect: Joe Schobert, Wisconsin (6’1”/247)

A really interesting prospect. At first glance, you’re thinking he’s maybe a little too small for the NFL…and he is for an edge rusher (he had 20.0 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks last season). What I think Schobert brings is a versatility as a 4-3 scheme OLB, and a versatility in general. He has fast feet and great instincts—he can slither into the backfield against elite blocking. I watched him get 2.0 sacks and 4 TFLs against Alabama on 2015 opening day. But he can also drop back in coverage, play the run effectively. He’s an asset to an NFL team with upside to change his body to ILB or SS.

 

Most Intriguing OLB Prospect: Dadi Nicolas, Virginia Tech (6’3”/235)

It was hard to do a quick study, because the couple of games I peaked at him on—he was double-teamed a 4-3 DE (usually). He was also ‘held’ every other play by Ohio State on opening day 2015, and rarely/never called. He may secretly be the best 3-4 scheme OLB pass rusher, but I couldn’t tell—so I am interested to see how that goes in a Senior Bowl where he won’t get that kind of blocking.

 

Most Overrated OLB Prospect: Josh Perry, Ohio State (6’4”/235)

The most dull OLB prospect of the entire group. He’s probably a solid player, but all I saw was a lot of getting held up and him just observing, waiting for plays, but never really making any.

 

Other OLB prospect notes…

 — Eric Striker/Oklahoma is listed as an OLB, but he probably is an NFL SS or SS/OLB hybrid. He’s got a nose for the game too. Solid prospect.

 — At times, Jordan Jenkins/Georgia looks scary good, and other times he looks just solid. There may be more to him—and he might can be used as an ILB or OLB or DE. He brings versatility…he even played some DT for Georgia.  

 

 

2016 Senior Bowl Week Preview: Cornerback

This week we are taking a look at the players (by position) attending the Senior Bowl, and doing quick scouting previews on what we are seeing in early scouting looks. Keep in mind, this is our ‘unofficial’ take on these players from brief study. We will break down and officially grade all the non-quarterbacks after the NFL Combine.

 

Cornerback

 

Best-looking CB Prospect: Eric Murray, Minnesota (5’11”/198)

The most instinctual, aggressive cover man at the Senior Bowl (and it’s not a great group). I watched him face WR Josh Doctson, TCU and I thought he handled himself very well against a stud WR. Murray is not an obvious, shut-down corner or future superstar, but is very good+.

 

Most Intriguing CB Prospect: Cyrus Jones, Alabama (5’10”/196)

He might be the best prospect of the group, but I had some reservations in my brief look at the tape. First, you can tell he is a very quick athlete—four punt return TDs this season is amazing, but two of them, against Charleston Southern tempers it a touch. On tape, he had the speed to hang, but always seemed to be beat easily by a WR—losing his man off the break. He starts out fine, and then doesn’t finish well. I want to see more…anyone who can return four punts for TD (doing so in his final six games) brings a lot of intrigue.

 

Most Overrated CB Prospect: Jalen Mills, LSU (6’0”/194)

What I saw was more of a safety mentality than a cover corner. He seems like a solid free safety, not a highly reliable CB. In addition, he has some injury history and off-field issues. Nothing I saw from tape to data to background got me excited…but when I first saw his size, and ‘LSU’, I assumed he was good-to-great—he wasn’t.

 

Other CB prospects of note…

– The data says Deiondre’ Hall, N. Iowa (6’2”/215) might be a star. He’s a weird watch. He might have the longest arms of anyone on the planet. He looks like an octopus playing football, it’s weird—4”+ more wingspan than the next closest CB at the Senior Bowl, and 7”+ more than the average CB prospect. However, on tape he looks too thin…like a thin octopus. He doesn’t generate enough force to tackle well, but he can reach out and trip people up. He may be great, but I want to see him against better talent here at the Senior Bowl.

Tavon Young, Temple (5’9”/180) is a really talented guy in coverage. However, he’s not the ideal size NFL teams look for.

Jonathan Jones, Auburn (5’9”/178) is fairly talented, but gives more effort than anyone else I watched among the CB prospects. However, he has a ‘size’ question as well. Has hard time tackling face-to-face on a ballcarrier.

James Bradberry, Samford (6’1”/209) could be the best (or worst) CB in Mobile, but it was hard to tell from my brief tape watch because all the QBs seemed to stay away from him at all costs—a nice sign of respect.

 

 

2016 Senior Bowl Week Preview: Offensive Line

This week we are taking a look at the players (by position) attending the Senior Bowl, and doing quick scouting previews on what we are seeing in early scouting looks. Keep in mind, this is our ‘unofficial’ take on these players from brief study. We will break down and officially grade all the non-quarterbacks after the NFL Combine.

 

Offensive Line

 

Best-looking OL Prospect: OG/OT Vadal Alexander, LSU (6’5”/336)

Alexander was beyond the most impressive package of an OL prospect that I studied of the Senior Bowl group. He has the terrific size, and can move well at that weight level. Really impressive movement and skill. Hands down the best.

 

Most Intriguing OL Prospect: Willie Beavers, Western Michigan (6’5”/324)

He is listed as an OT prospect, and he was an All-MAC OT in 2015, but really looks like he’s more of a high-quality OG prospect. He played well as a Tackle, but maybe is a star at Guard?

 

Most Overrated OL Prospect: Le’Raven Clark, Texas Tech (6’6”/312)

Clark won the ‘freak’ awards at the weigh-in day. He has the biggest hands (10.8”), longest arms (36.1”), and longest wingspan (85.8”)…freak-like numbers, and I couldn’t wait to watch him…and then, yeah…

He’s very, very slow off the ball…and very clunky in his movements. Constantly gets beat off the punch, and has to use his wingspan to save him—won’t work in the NFL. He cannot be an NFL OT. Perhaps, a bad backup offensive guard…and that’s about it.

 

Other OL prospect notes…

 — John Theus, Georgia (6’7”/317) was a 1st-team All-SEC O-Tackle, but he looks more like an O-Guard. Now quick, more a run blocker…will struggle in pass blocking at the next level, in my first glance.  

 — Graham Glasgow, Michigan (6’6”/306) keeps impressing me every time I see him. He has almost no national love from scouts and rankers, but I think he is the best O-Center prospect here for sure, and not a bad O-Guard.

 — Nick Martin, Notre Dame (6’4”/296) did not impress me at all. Of all the bigger name/higher ranked guys on the O-Line in Mobile, I thought he was the worst.

 

 

2016 Senior Bowl Week Preview: Strong/Free Safety

This week we are taking a look at the players (by position) attending the Senior Bowl, and doing quick scouting previews on what we are seeing in early scouting looks. Keep in mind, this is our ‘unofficial’ take on these players from brief study. We will break down and officially grade all the non-quarterbacks after the NFL Combine.

 

Safeties

 

Best-looking Safety Prospect: Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee State (5’11”/216)

I was absolutely convinced going into the study that Southern Utah safety Miles Killebrew was going to be the best safety I would observe from the Senior Bowl group (I had a chance to see some video of him back in December). However, after doing some quick research, and watching a little tape, I have to defer to Byard as the best safety prospect I saw at a glance.

He has it all. He’s a big hitter. He’s athletic with obvious NFL speed. He can cover receivers and tight ends well enough. But most of all, what I noticed, was there’s just something about Byard. He’s electric. He just makes things happen. He looks like he is playing a different game at times. He’s always around the ball, and when he gets his hands on a pass he’s going to pick it off—a very overlooked consideration with any DB prospect. I can’t recall how many times this season I watched DBs in the NFL drop interceptions thrown right to them. Byard is not going to have that issue. He’s also going to create turnover opportunities.

There’s just something about him that I’m smitten with in my brief view. We’ll see if it holds up when I do a deeper study of the safeties after their NFL Combine results.

 

Most Intriguing Safety Prospect: Miles Killebrew, Southern Utah (6’2”/219)

Like I said, I thought for sure Killebrew was going to be the best safety at the Senior Bowl, and in this class overall. After observing some of the other prospects’ college work, and re-looking at Killebrew—I have concerns.

I’ll review those concerns in our deeper scouting report to come, but I have him here because I am intrigued. I’ve seen tape where you’d swear he’s the next coming of Ronnie Lott or Deone Bucannon. I’ve also seen tape that turned me right off. Killebrew at his best can be as good as anyone in this draft class. However, I’m not sure that he always ‘brings it’. It will be interesting to see if he ratchets it up on the big stage, as he should in Mobile. If he doesn’t, that’s a big red flag.

 

Most Overrated Safety Prospect: DeAndre Houston-Carson, William and Mary (6’1”/197)

You see these small school, FCS guys get invites to a big showcase like the Senior Bowl, and your mind starts to consider a ‘super sleeper’ label/interest level. I was no different, eager to take a look.

What I saw, to me, was terrible. I was totally turned off at an instant watching Houston-Carson at work at the FCS level. To me, he’s going to get destroyed by the step up in competition here.

 

Other safety prospects of note…

Jeremy Cash, Duke (6’1”/212) Duke deserves consideration as possibly the best safety in this class as well—and many people rate him #1 as of January. He is definitely a hybrid linebacker/safety tape—and arguably better than Miles Killebrew.

 — Darian Thompson, Boise State (6’2”/215) Thompson is one of the better free safety prospects in this class. He’s fantastic in coverage, tracking the ball against the pass. He’s plausible in the other aspects, but his lead punch is his ability to read in the passing game. There is a role for him in the NFL for sure. He’s most rating services’ #1 free safety prospect.

Sean Davis, Maryland (6’1”/201) I was really impressed with Davis’s tape. I would want to argue him as a potential top guy, but I battle in my mind because he’s quite a bit smaller, thinner-framed than the other top guys. However, Davis plays with a mean streak, and aggression you would love to see out of a safety, but he just doesn’t look like a classic safety. It may be that the eyes are deceptive, and Davis deserves better scouting. 

 — KJ Dillon, West Virginia (6’0”/208). I was not overly impressed with what I saw from Dillon. He looks like a backup free safety/fringe NFL-roster guy.

Tyvis Powell, Ohio State (6’3”/209) What I saw of Powell was OK, but I was not overwhelmed. I kept expecting more because of the Ohio State label, but I was left wanting. It may have been my expectations were unrealistic. But I walked away from his brief study unmoved either way. I’m not sure whether he is a superior prospect, or getting by on his college team name.

 

 

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