2013 NFL Scouting Combine: Day Four Review

Posted by Brad On February - 23 - 2013ADD COMMENTS
"Manti Te'o"

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Day four was the first day of on-the-field drills and we saw some freakish performances from big men. In addition to the offensive line and tights ends working on the field, the defensive line and linebackers got measured up and the quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers got under the bench.

The first day of on the field drills always brings a level of excitement that has been building over the previous months. This, for me, signals the reality that draft season is officially underway. We take a look at some items that stuck out today as eye popping in a good or bad way for us.

The Freak Show

I highlighted Arkansas Pine-Bluff OT Terron Armstead in a scouting report yesterday as I glorified his athletic ability. Not in a million years did I think that he run 4.71 (officially). In addition to blazing the 40, Armstead led all lineman in the vertical at 34.5″. That’s right, 34.5″ inches at 306 pounds. Four TE’s topped 34.5″. It’s incredible the type of athlete that Armstead is. The great thing is that you can see Armstead’s freakish athletic talents translate to the field. I said in my scouting report that he could work his way into the second day of the draft and I believe he wrapped that up today. Some team will be licking their chops to get their hands on Armstead. Read the rest of this entry » «2013 NFL Scouting Combine: Day Four Review»

Kenny Vaccaro Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 23 - 20132 COMMENTS
"Kenny Vaccaro"

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Vaccaro I Texas I SS/FS I 6010 I 215 I Senior

40 Time (E): 4.55

Overview: Kenny Vaccaro epitomizes today’s NFL safety. With NFL defenses relying so much on the versatility of interchangeable pieces there’s no greater example than the safety position. Kenny Vaccaro is a true interchangeable prospect with the ability to play traditional strong or free safety roles and can cover the slot in sub packages. It’s this versatility that should have his name called on day one of the draft. Vaccaro was a guy that I wasn’t high on coming into the 2012 season but he impressed in several performances, making me a believer. Most impressive was his ability to neutralize Tavon Austin of West Virginia.

Man Coverage: The separation point between Vaccaro and other top safeties is his ability to cover the slot. Vaccaro can put the straps on the best of what was offered in the slot. His ability to press with strength and redirection skills are rare for a safety prospect. His hands are fantastic as he strikes first and directly to the chest plate. After release, Vaccaro redirects and runs with the receiver with better than average speed at the position. He gets downgraded for perceived lack of speed but watch the WVU game when he tracks down Tavon Austin from behind. I don’t see many examples of him not being able to run vertically with faster receivers. Shows excellent ball/spatial awareness. Not a great playmaker in coverage with average to below average ball skills. Read the rest of this entry » «Kenny Vaccaro Scouting Report»

Terron Armstead Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 22 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

"Terron Armstead"Terron Armstead I Arkansas Pine-Bluff I OT I 6047 I 304 I Senior

40 Time (E): 4.90

Overview: Terron Armstead won’t be a sleeper for long. He’s an incredible athlete for his size that has a left tackle skill set. The major problem for Armstead is that he lacks ideal size/length for a LT. Some teams may look at him as a swing tackle/guard. Armstead had D1 football offers but opted for Arkansas Pine-Bluff out of high school because of his ability to play football and participate in track and field. Armstead is an elite level shot putter as he’s chalked up 8 SWAC Championships in track and field. As good as he is on the track, his future in the NFL as Armstead is a prime candidate to rise into a day two prospect with his unique blend of athleticism and technique.

Pass Blocking: Armstead is an NFL ready pass protector. He has above-average feet with the ability to mirror quicker DE’s. Armstead was a standout at the East-West game and as a late invite to the Senior Bowl because of his ability to get to the edge and keep some of the elite edge rushers from pressuring. His balance is off the charts as you rarely see him overextend or on the ground. Armstead will need to add strength/mass to his frame as he can be beat with power. Struggled a bit by power ends that were able to bull rush and destroy his anchor. Anchor power needs improvement. Read the rest of this entry » «Terron Armstead Scouting Report»

"Adrian Peterson"

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Raise your hand if you’re tired of reading the same ‘ole team needs articles out there (hand raised). We are opting for a different angle on the team needs. Teams evaluations of needs involve so much more than just saying we need a starter here. They are looking at the depth chart as a more long-term projection.

How’s our backup? How’s our backups contract? Do we have a developmental guy at a certain position?

We ranked each position on each team to form our team needs. This is equal parts math and evaluation. A formula was created that rewarded points for defining worth of a player. With 7 points being the highest value, marking an elite, franchise player. Sad to say but 0 points is attributed to a player with no value on the roster. Think roster fill-in with no real developmental attributes.

We are not evaluating just the starters but a team’s two and three deep. We will start with the running backs from worst to first.

**Special thanks to ourlads.com for their great updates on teams depth charts. Free agents are in blue.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers

Jonathan Dwyer, Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman, Baron Batch

It’s hard to imagine the Steelers without a feature back but that is the reality in Pittsburgh. Jon Dwyer is capable but not going to cut it on a team with Super Bowl hopes. Rashard Mendenhall is a free agent and wore out his welcome with this organization. Redman gave the Steelers tough carries but isn’t capable of starting and is an average back-up. Baron Batch has stuck around the league with the Steelers but not a guy that they will look to develop over the long haul. Read the rest of this entry » «Assessing the running back needs by evaluating the depth charts»

Jarvis Jones skipping Combine

Posted by Brad On February - 21 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported this afternoon that Georgia LB Jarvis Jones will not workout at this week’s Combine, instead focusing on Georgia’s March 21 pro day.

Teams will look negatively on Jones’ decision as no medical reason was given for his absence from workouts. Matt Barkley, who had a legitimate injury, was ripped by media for electing to not throw at the Combine.

Jones stock was riding high after reports that he cleared a general medical exam. This is frustrating news for a guy that needed to workout as many are questioning his overall athleticism to be an impact rush linebacker at the next level. Jones’ decision to skip the Combine workout will only add fuel to that fire as speculation will continue to fester and build surrounding his athleticism.

In not-so related news Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner will undergo shoulder surgery after the Combine to repair a torn labrum. Unlike Jones, Milliner will compete at the Combine despite having a legitimate injury. In case you can’t tell I’m not a fan of Jones’ decision and whoever helped him along in this decision-making process should be fired immediately for this abysmal advice.

"Matt Ryan"

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Raise your hand if you’re tired of reading the same ‘ole team needs articles out there (hand raised). We are opting for a different angle on the team needs. Teams evaluations of needs involve so much more than just saying we need a starter here. They are looking at the depth chart as a more long-term projection.

How’s our backup? How’s our backups contract? Do we have a developmental guy at a certain position?

We ranked each position on each team to form our team needs. This is equal parts math and evaluation. A formula was created that rewarded points for defining worth of a player. With 7 points being the highest value, marking an elite, franchise player. Sad to say but 0 points is attributed to a player with no value on the roster. Think roster fill-in with no real developmental attributes.

We are not evaluating just the starters but a team’s two and three deep. We will start with the quarterbacks from worst to first.

**Special thanks to ourlads.com for their great updates on teams depth charts. Free agents are in blue.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

Brady Quinn, Matt Cassel, Ricky Stanzi, Alex Tanney

Brady Quinn is an UFA and Matt Cassel isn’t likely to be around. Ricky Stanzi and Alex Tanney offer very little in terms of long-term developmental prospects. This roster is completely devoid of a starter, backup, and developmental guy. Read the rest of this entry » «Assessing the quarterback draft needs by evaluating the depth charts»

"Keenan Allen"

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The list of 333 participants is dwindling with some of the top names opting to pull out of the event due to injury.

The latest announcement came from J.T. Johnson that his client, Keenan Allen will not participate in this week’s Combine in Indianapolis. Allen missed the final three games due to a PCL tear in his left knee. Allen’s knee has experienced some swelling during training for the Combine causing him to hold off until his Pro Day to show scouts how he’s rehabbed from the knee injury.

Allen was a highly productive wide receiver in college despite an inept passing game for much of his career at Cal. The knock on Allen’s game is his long speed. There’s no doubts that many, including myself, were highly intrigued by Allen’s 40 time. We will have to wait until Allen opts to run in April at a separate pro day.

Purdue DT Kawann Short announced this week that he would be unable to workout at this week’s Combine or his March 1 pro day. Short cited a hamstring injury as the reason for his having to pull out of the event. He will hold a separate pro day on March 25 on the Purdue campus.

The consensus top running back, Eddie Lacy won’t be participating in Indianapolis. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported this week that Lacy would have to pull out of the event due to a small tear around his hamstring. Lacy does hope to be a full participate at Alabama’s pro day on March 13.

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"NFL Scouting Combine"

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The annual scouting combine has become an entity of its own with all the coverage, media hype, and fan reaction. For the evaluators it’s a chance to see if your film thoughts are confirmed up close and personal. Nothing more, nothing less.

Teams have learned from past mistakes and will rarely change an opinion based on someone’s workout. I have fielded a ton of emails since the release of my latest rankings. Most of the questions have surrounded my statement that I was paying close attention to 17 draft prospects in Indianapolis. Everyone wants to know what 17 I’ll be watching and why I’ll be watching. The answer is simple…There’s a handful of guys that I want to confirm what I see in terms of speed, change of direction, or footwork. There’s another handful that I have limited tape on and want to see what type of athlete they are.

Outside those aspects I look forward to measurements to see how people have taken feedback and whether they are capable of making adjustments. It speaks to work ethic and character. We know that NFL teams evaluate interviews and medicals. Since we don’t have access to information (except for the occasional leak) we can’t judge on that.

Here’s a look at the defensive preview of the event. For those dying to know what 17 players I will be watching, it’s likely that they will be included in my offensive and defensive previews. Read the rest of this entry » «2013 NFL Scouting Combine: Previewing the Defense»

FRX Play the Draft

Posted by Brad On February - 19 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

 

Over the next couple of weeks you will be seeing a lot of the hottest draft game out there. A blend of fantasy football and the stock market, this game gives draft fans the best of all worlds. I, personally, became addicted to the game last draft season and you will want to get in early.

Next Monday, I will be posting a link to NFL’s Future Nation league for the Play the Draft. Enrollment is unlimited and we will be offering up some sensational prizes for the winner of our league.

Be sure to check back next Monday as I will run the details with our release of our latest mock draft update. Trust me on this one, you won’t regret signing up for the next big thing in fantasy gaming experience for NFL Draft fans.

Check out the Play the Draft site and get involved in a league early and come back next week and join our NFL’s Future Nation league.

"Jawan Jamison"

Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The annual scouting combine has become an entity of its own with all the coverage, media hype, and fan reaction. For the evaluators it’s a chance to see if your film thoughts are confirmed up close and personal. Nothing more, nothing less.

Teams have learned from past mistakes and will rarely change an opinion based on someone’s workout. I have fielded a ton of emails since the release of my latest rankings. Most of the questions have surrounded my statement that I was paying close attention to 17 draft prospects in Indianapolis. Everyone wants to know what 17 I’ll be watching and why I’ll be watching. The answer is simple…There’s a handful of guys that I want to confirm what I see in terms of speed, change of direction, or footwork. There’s another handful that I have limited tape on and want to see what type of athlete they are.

Outside those aspects I look forward to measurements to see how people have taken feedback and whether they are capable of making adjustments. It speaks to work ethic and character. We know that NFL teams evaluate interviews and medicals. Since we don’t have access to information (except for the occasional leak) we can’t judge on that.

Here’s a look at the offensive preview of the event. For those dying to know what 17 players I will be watching, it’s likely that they will be included in my offensive and defensive previews.

Quarterbacks

If we’ve heard it once, we’ll hear a million times; the 2013 class lacks Robert Griffin, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and maybe even Ryan Tannehill. We will be beat over the head with this fact for the next 65 days.

Thus far the news of the combine for the quarterbacks has been that Geno Smith and many of the top quarterbacks will throw at the event. Something that isn’t the trend as of late. With the lack of a top guy, these guys will be looking to get a leg up in any way possible. With the exception of Matt Barkley and Zac Dysert we should have an opportunity to compare and contrast this class.

Who we’ll be watching

Tyler Bray is the physical prototype of a dropback passer. At 6-foot-5, 215 pounds Bray possesses arguably the best arm in the draft. There is no one questioning his arm talent but questionable character and maturity have plagued Bray throughout his career at Tennessee.

Bray is off to a solid start according to Ty Detmer, who has been working with Bray leading up to the draft has described him as “humble” and “coachable”.

Bray’s interview session will be as important as any quarterback in attendance. He has been an interesting interview in the past and will be grilled on his off-the-field indiscretions and handling of NFL terminology and concepts.

I don’t doubt that Bray will wow with his arm talents but his accuracy is questionable at best. He will need to spot-on during the throwing portions. Bray has first round tools but the many questions with him will have him slotted in anywhere from the 3rd to 5th round range. He’s not ready to start next season but could be stashed away as a long-term project for a vertical passing team. Appears really well suited for the Cardinals or Browns passing attacks. Read the rest of this entry » «2013 NFL Scouting Combine: Previewing the Offense»