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Old 01-29-2013, 12:13 PM
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Default Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

We wrap up the last of the college “All Star” games this week with the Texas versus the Nation game. There are not a lot of big names here, but there is a good deal of talent to be had in the later rounds.
Players I am interested in:
Marquise Gray, WR, Minnesota
Ray Ray Armstrong, S, Miami
LaAdrian Waddle, OT, Texas Tech
Travis Bond, OG/OT, North Carolina

Quote:
In the third and final week of the "All-Star Circuit", the Texas Vs. Nation game has built a fantastic reputation of adding quality players, especially unique small schoolers, to the roster. This year, potential offensive small schoolers like Matt Brown, Khiry Robinson, and Ryan Spadola have a chance to make a major impact on their draft stock with a big week.
See those small schoolers, plus more well known prospects with a lot to prove like Matt McGloin, George Winn, Justin Brown, Marquis Gray, and TJ Moe.
Notes by Eric Galko and Alex Brown of Optimum Scouting
Quarterbacks
1. Matt Brown, Illinois State
The 6’4, 238 pound passer has ideal size and build, with especially well built upper half for a quarterback. A quick, over the top release, Brown showed great velocity control in the mid areas and a quick release in short routes. However, he was forced to make quick decisions and anticipate routes/defense more than he would have liked thanks to poor blocking in front of him. He lacks great athleticism, stared down receivers at points, and his ball placement downfield isn’t great. However, he does spin a clean ball on the move and showed good mechanics on the outside.

2. Mitchell Gale, Abilene Christian
Having had a chance to see Mitchell Gale twice in person, I’m excited to see how he adjusts to the raised level of competition. Not overly gifted as an athlete, Gale does have functional mobility and the presence to locate pressure, climb the pocket and reset his feet properly with trash nearby. From his junior to senior seasons, I noticed marked improvement in terms of arm strength and downfield ball placement. At this all-star event, I’ll be looking for more of an internal clock from the former ACU Wildcat, as he has a tendency of holding onto the ball far too long through his progression reads. A solid prospect on most undrafted free agent boards before the week, Gale may leave as a draftable option with a strong enough performance.
3. Seth Doege, Texas Tech
Running the Texas Tech, fast paced and quick offense, Doege has developed impressive short and intermediate accuracy out of the shotgun, and we’ll see if dropping back makes any difference to his foot positioning and velocity. His arm is adequate, not great, and he can make vertical throws, but may struggle against long cornerbacks. Doege has to prove a lot this week after a lackluster Shrine Game week performance if he hopes to be an NFL development quarterback.

4. Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State
Aplin played in Guz Malahn’s up-tempo, no-huddle offense, and while his yardage totals weren’t as prolific as a year ago, his decision-making and accuracy improved. Aplin throws well on the run and is also willing to stand in the pocket to make throws with pressure in his face. He has the ability to get the ball downfield even with less-than-elite arm strength. His footwork is consistent in games vs lesser competition. He’s able to move the pocket in order to avoid the rush. Aplin’s lack of size and elite arm strength should prevent him from being drafted, but he’s got enough ability to stick around on a practice squad as a rookie.

5. Ryan Griffin, Tulane
The well-built, 6’5 four year starter, Griffin has the productivity and experience that should merit more NFL draft attention. But he’s a bit stiff as a quarterback, and doesn’t have great ball placement across the field. He’s in for a big week this week, and this could be the determining factor if he’s an NFL quarterback or if he won’t get a shot in the NFL.

6. Matt McGloin, Penn State
The two year Penn State starter and former walk-on, McGloin hasn’t had the most illustruss college career, but assumed a leadership role for a team that needed as many as they could get. He’s limited in his arm strength for the NFL game, and his ball placement in short-medium range routes is just okay. He works best on the move, and began to develop into a much better decision maker over his career. Still, it seems like a long-shot at best for McGloin to stick in the NFL.

Running Backs
1. George Winn, Cincinnati
Winn possesses good size and is a hard-nosed, between the tackles runner. Running with good forward lean, he was strong through initial contact, and highly effective when he got his shoulders square to the line. Though not shifty, he demonstrates solid burst up the middle and plus leg drive and second effort. A natural receiver, who gets turned upfield quickly, Winn also displays soft hands, and is active in the passing game, on screens and swings. Ideally suited to zone blocking scheme, Winn is firmly in the draft day discussion, and could separate himself to being among the top of the 3rd-5th round running back battle to rise to the top. He may be a better prospect than Isaiah Pead coming out of college.
2. John White, Utah
With limited size and good, not great top end speed, White doesn’t have the skill set to be a high round pick. But his subtle shiftiness, explosive step to the 2nd level, and ability to keep his balance through contact is what makes him a solid running back prospect. He plays with fantastic pad level, but does have a tendency to lean into contact too much, limiting his big play ability at times.

3. DJ Harper, Boise State
A very small compact runner. Harper hits the hole hard with short choppy steps with great burst. He has the ability to break tackles with lower body power as well as enough explosiveness to take it to the house. He has good vision, able to make one cut and explode, and is adequate in pass-pro. If it wasn't for his injury history, he may push more towards a draftable grade as a runner.

4. Khiry Robinson, West Texas A&M
This Blinn JC transfer broke out in a big way for the West Texas A&M in 2012, displaying incredible balance, leg drive, and suddenness to break through arm tackles en route to 2,252 all-purpose yards. Robinson’s ability to churn out yards past first contact, while making defenders miss with power and explosiveness, was impressive to say the least. A high 4.5-low 4.6 type of runner, Robinson wins with his short area burst, decisive cuts and balance through first contact. Furthering his bid for a look from NFL teams, Robinson performed very well in pass protection at the collegiate level, picking up a-gap pressures on scan protections. Robinson will likely get an opportunity to receive punts and kicks here in Allen, Texas, giving him special teams value.

Wide Receivers
1. T.J. Moe, Missouri
Everything you want in your starting slot receiver, T.J. Moe plays with a tremendous amount of toughness and physicality over the middle of the field, throwing caution into the wind by extending and exposing his frame in traffic. Moe is a consistent hands catcher that plucks the ball naturally, but more importantly impresses with route running savvy and ability to separate in the short-to-intermediate levels. A fringe top 100 prospect and one of our top rated pass catchers here at the Texas vs. Nation event, Moe should be in-line for a solid week of practices.
2. Justin Brown, Oklahoma
Picking up the Oklahoma playbook over the 2012 summer after transferring out of a messy situation at Penn State, Justin Brown really made a name for himself in the way he picked up the Sooner’s offense and inserted himself into the lineup. Brown, who played almost exclusively to the right side of formations as the “Z” receiver, lacks explosiveness at the top of his route but understands how to position himself at the catch point, body up opposing corners and win with physicality. Possessing elite concentration and focus at the catch point, I’m expecting to see a few “wow” receptions from Brown.

3. DeVonte Christopher, Utah
Utah’s top receiver will be heavily relied on by this offense and junior quarterback Jordan Wynn. Christopher doesn’t have elite bulk, top end speed, or physicality as a receiver. But technique-wise and fundamentally, there’s a lot to like with Christopher. He gathers the ball well without body catching, and positions his body well after his route. And through his routes, he’s very decisive, has few if any wasted steps, and is able to get separation necessary to be a 3-wide receiver as a Z or slot receiver.

4. Ryan Spadola, Lehigh
After a fantastic junior year with quarterback Chris Lum putting up great numbers and utilizing him, Spadola’s production dropped this season. Part of that was thanks to the loss of Lum, the other is that he was dealing with mono for part of the season. However, his upside as a seam stretching, reliable slot receiver has ample value, and this week will go a long way in determining if he’s drafted or not.

5. Lanear Sampson, Baylor
My bet for the fastest receiver in this event, Lanear Sampson should an outstanding day three value for NFL teams in need of added explosiveness in four-receiver formations. Well put together at 200 pounds and an explosive vertical threat that can stretch the field with sub 4.4 speed, Lanear Sampson could very well be a better pro than collegiate player. Excellent at tracking the deep ball and soft handed at the catch point, Sampson plays much bigger than his actual height by extending and attacking the football away from his frame. A 6th or 7th round pick that should stick on a roster, don’t be surprised if Sampson ends up producing right away at the next level.
6. Uzoma Nwachukwu, Texas A&M
Underutilized and left out in the cold, Uzoma Nwachukwu won’t be overlooked by scouts who’ve done their homework on the Aggie receiver. Quick-footed and sudden off the line, Nwachuwku can separate at the route break and even create after the catch with the ball in his hands. Capable of extending and snatching the football cleanly away from his frame, Nwachakwu flashes the catching skills in traffic to stick on an NFL roster, as an undrafted free agent. Possibly a late round pick with a crisp week, Nwachukwu must win his one-on-one battles and match the physicality of his opponent through the route.


Tight Ends
1. Marquise Gray, Minnesota
The former quarterback made the switch over to receiver mid-season this year, opening the door for better evaluation for Gray at his likely NFL position of receiver. A receiver (and an impressive one at that) as a sophomore, he started as a junior at quarterback and looked to come into this year to build on his upside as a passer. While he’s still rusty in his routes, has stiff hips in his route transition, and hasn’t been in the right position blocking-wise consistently, he’s shown strong hands and physicality to separate vertically, a wide catch radius and strong hands to bring it in, and great ball tracking ability in the short area. Still a raw receiver prospect. Gray certainly intrigues me enough to warrant a late round pick.

2. BJ Stewart, Cumberland
I haven’t seen enough of Stewart to give an accurate grade, but that’s what makes him so intriguing. The 6’5, 253 pound athletic freak at tight end who impressed at the Raycom All-Star game, Stewart could develop into this year’s Jimmy Graham or Taylor Thompson (of SMU). Both tight ends ended up in the mid-round despite being super raw at the position, and while I hesitate to compare Stewart to him, his size/numbers/athleticism could certainly draw that comparison. Be sure to follow Stewart throughout the process.

Offensive Line
1. Elvis Fisher, OT, Missouri
After overcoming a torn patellar tendon in his left knee, Elvis Fisher did not return to his 2010 form, lacking the same range and suddenness at the point of attack. Still, Fisher steadily improved throughout the season and even showed an aggressive streak in landing 2nd level blocks. At the Texas vs. Nation practices, Fisher’s overall kick slide technique and hand placement should allow him to dominate lesser opponents, but his anchor will be tested. Fisher is more of a day three pick, but could solidify an earlier mid-round pick with a strong performance.
2. Lane Taylor, OG, Oklahoma State
Despite improving his drive blocking ability and overall strength at the point of attack, Taylor still struggles with poor hand placement and balance issues in his pass set. Taylor could stand to lean out his frame, as he’s not overly fluid in his movements. Overextension has been an issue with Taylor and he isn’t a natural knee bender, lacking the ability to sink and sit into his pass set. Once April rolls around, I’d expect to see Lane Taylor drafted in the middle of third day, likely in the 5th or 6th round as an immediate backup at either guard positions.
3. Brandon Hansen, OG, BYU
Hansen is an athletic guard that played center this season for the Cougars. Hansen has light feet, and plays well with his hands and once engaged is ability to control inside the pads to turn the defender. Hansen demonstrates a high level of football intelligence. After playing on a talented BYU offensive line, he’ll have a chance to separate himself this week.
4. Ivory Wade, OC/OG, Baylor
An experienced leader among Baylor’s offensive line, Ivory Wade will be finishing his collegiate career with an impressive 46 consecutive starts and experience at guard, tackle and center. Wade began his career at left guard, started two seasons at right tackle and moved to center with the graduation of Phillip Blake a year ago. Adjusting well to his new position, Wade has showcased the light feet, strong base and quick hands that made him a highly effective right tackle prospect. Wade, best served inside at guard, won’t impress with drive blocking skills but excels in cutting his opponent off with efficient steps, ideal angles to the second level and consistent hand placement. Likely a day three pick, Wade’s brings experience and versatility up front, with the ability to backup multiple positions.
Full offensive roster at http://www.texasvsthenation.com/wp-c...xas-Roster.pdf
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Quote:
We asked him about the time he fumbled without being hit and the time he threw an interception without being pressured and the other pick he threw -- under pressure but stupidly off his back foot toward double coverage. All of that happened on three consecutive possession, a 10-minute fusillade of fail that turned a one-possession game into a blowout loss...

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:23 PM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

Full defensive roster at http://www.texasvsthenation.com/wp-c...ion-Roster.pdf
Quote:
Defensive Linemem
1. John Youboty, DE, Temple
One of the more talented non-BCS defensive lineman, Youboty has flashed on film as a potential NFL draft pick since his sophomore year. However, for the past two seasons, Youboty has been extremely inconsistent as both a pass rusher and his read-react in the run game. With fantastic NFL upside thanks to his bend, quickness off the snap, and transitions laterally, Youboty could work his way into a draftable grade with a big week here.

2. Rufus Johnson, DE, Tarleton State
Probably the most physically impressive specimen at the Lone Star Conference festival, Rufus Johnson really looks the part of an NFL caliber, 4-3 defensive end. Along with possessing plus size, length, and muscle definition throughout, Johnson also sports a quick, explosive first step, a non-stop motor, and excellent closing speed to finish plays in the backfield. While his leg drive and balance serve well for a power-speed combination at the Division II level, Johnson still remains very raw from a technique standpoint. He lacks a go-to move, doesn’t always read and react instinctively to the play, and can be influenced up the field or down the line of scrimmage by the blocker. A size-speed prospect with plus physical tools to develop, Johnson is a must-sign, priority free agent that all NFL teams should take a closer look at.
3. Marquis Jackson, DE, Portland State
The one time highly viewed high school prospect, Jackson went from likely BCS-level prospect to Texas Southern, and eventually ending up at Portland State this year. Despite all of the off-the-field and transfer concerns, the 6’3, 250+ end talent has produced when on the field in college, and this week will go a long way in determining if his transfer/character issues are worth the risk.

4. Meshak Williams, DE/OLB, Kansas State
Clearly lacking in plus height or length, Meshak Williams certainly meets the “tweener” criteria but may have a place in the NFL as a rotational end or 3-4 outside linebacker. Flashing pass rush variety and the ability to incorporate multiple hand techniques in rushing the passer, Williams should stand out as one of the more polished pass rushers, despite all his limitations. It’ll be crucial for Williams to also be able to hold the point of attack and set the edge in team drills, as those are two of my primary concerns with his next level projection. I’m not sure where Williams fits in the NFL game, but I have a feeling that he’ll stick in the league, whether drafted or undrafted.
5. David King, DE, Oklahoma
Not much of a pass rusher, David King makes his money as a stack and shed, 5-technique type of defensive end. Oklahoma incorporated more four-man fronts in 2012 than in years past, but nevertheless, King used his heavy hands to direct the point of attack and work to the football. He’ll never be an exceptional player at the next level, but I firmly believe King will be a valued rotational lineman early and possibly a starter later in his career. King’s draft value sits in the 5th round range and could go up or down depending on workout numbers.

Linebackers
1. Jonathan Stewart, Texas A&M
One of my “sleeper” prospects entering the year, Stewart more than looks the part, with an excellent size-speed combination at the Mike linebacker position. Stewart runs very well for his size, flashes quick diagnosing skills and normally takes correct read steps to flow, but too often in 2012 has shied away from attacking downhill and meeting ball carriers in the hole. Much more active and instinctive in the Aggies 2011 3-4 defensive scheme, Stewart hasn’t been the same in 2012 playing behind a four-man front. While he doesn’t excel in defeating one-on-one blocks with uncovered guards, Stewart appears more comfortable reading the offense with only three defensive linemen in front of him. I’d expect Stewart to test well and be selected in the 4th round, but 2012 has definitely been a down year for the senior prospect.

2. Craig Wilkins, Old Dominion
After bulking up a bit more this year to be built like a more true linebacker, the smooth athlete Wilkins has developed into an adequate coverage linebacker with range to move outside the tackle box and playing wide enough to finish tackles in traffic. The leader on his defense at ODU, he still needs a big week here to add to his (already draftable for us) grade.

3. Phillip Steward, Houston
Putting up fantastic tackle numbers in college and possessing solid inside/weakside linebacker size, Steward will be head to the Texas vs. Nation game after a brief (yet solid) late invite to the Senior Bowl. Well-built, physical yet quick laterally, Steward could prove to be one of the best linebackers this week.

4. Danny Mason, Texas A&M Commerce
I really like Mason’s physical makeup, as he’s a long cut, tall and athletic 6’3, 235; Mason appears capable of adding 5-10 pounds with no problem whatsoever, being lean through his arms and legs. Possessing sideline-to-sideline range with good chase speed and instinctive feel for the game, Mason’s skill set is suited for the Will backer position in a 4-3 defense. Playing a 3-4 outside linebacker position, Mason appeared out of position when asked to set the edge versus direct run flow. He needs space to operate, and even excels in zone coverage, reading and reacting to multiple routes in his hook-to-curl zone. Overall a solid outing for an athletic backer could earn a late round pick and roster spot.

5. Nick Clancy, Boston College
Attempting to follow the Boston College pipeline of lienbackers to the NFL, Clancy has been very productive over his career, but isn’t the talent of Luke Kuechly or Mark Herzlich before him. Still, he finishes tackles in the box, and if he can show separation ability from blocks this week, he could earn himself a solid PFA grade this week.


Defensive Backs
1. Vernon Kearney, S, Lane
As you’ll see with most of this list, Kearney adds another small schooler to the roster. Kearney has great length, explosion upfield, and the ability to adjust vertically quickly with great short-area hip fluidity. While some teams may consider him at cornerback, he may be best fit in the Cover 2 safety role. Regardless, he has the athleticism, length, and coverage ability to be a later round draft pick, maybe higher with a good week here.

2. Ray Ray Armstrong, S, Miami (FL)
After (unfairly) being forced out of Miami, the NCAA, and even the NAIA this year due to a minor infraction at Miami, Armstrong has been out of football all year long. Coming into the year, many (including myself) thought he had a chance at the 2nd round, maybe even higher if he impressed. But after moving to the NAIA Faulkner, staying in shape and active with their football team, Armstrong may have a coming-out party and get back on NFL radars.

3. Rontez Miles, S, California PA
A Division II stud safety since his junior year, Miles even considered declaring as a junior before returning for final season and continuing to impress. The aggressive and rangy Miles, he closes on the ball with some of the best safeties this year, and also flashes the ability to transition in shorter and mid-range zone coverages. Unsure if he’s a true free safety for the next level thanks to his lack of great deep coverage range and this ability to thrive upfield as a safety, he should use this week to prove his D2 success can translate to top competition.

4. Daxton Swanson, CB, Sam Houston State
Quick to read and react to route developments, Daxton Swanson showcases plus anticipation and driving footwork to click, close and break up passes underneath. Sinking his hips into a low pedal, holding a wide enough base and gaining ideal depth with each step, Swanson is able to quickly break on the throw or flip his hips to turn and run. Not appearing to have elite speed and having a penchant for looking back in at the quarterback, Swanson does have his fair share of struggles versus double-move patterns. Swanson should have a good week of one-on-one’s and more than hold his own in press drills.
5. Dustin Harris, CB, Texas A&M
Specializing as a returner and steadily improving as a cover-three corner, Dustin Harris possesses fluid hips and good turn and run ability. Fast and coordinated to look back inside for the football while maintaining coverage, Harris shows more than enough balance and long speed to protect the deep third. What Harris needs to show this week, is sharper v-cuts and driving angles to the throw in the short-to-intermediate game, as well as lower pad height in his pedal.
from http://www.optimumscouting.com/draft...t-preview.html
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We asked him about the time he fumbled without being hit and the time he threw an interception without being pressured and the other pick he threw -- under pressure but stupidly off his back foot toward double coverage. All of that happened on three consecutive possession, a 10-minute fusillade of fail that turned a one-possession game into a blowout loss...

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Old 01-29-2013, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

Brilliant.

Armstrong will have some tape to see him in action.

The Youboty guy related to Ashton?
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

LaRod King is a personal favorite. Big Bodied WR with good hands that suffered because UK had terrible QB play. But most importantly, he ran track with my son in High School.

Also with be interested in seeing what Ray Ray has and Muscle Hamster jr.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

Ray Ray was a favorite of mine last year before he decided to stay. So I'll probably mainly focus on him
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

I'm looking to see what the LB Steward does. Had great numbers at Houston, good in coverage and good pass rusher as well.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

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Originally Posted by pulses View Post
I'm looking to see what the LB Steward does. Had great numbers at Houston, good in coverage and good pass rusher as well.
One of the most underrated studs in the draft along w/
Nick Clancy ILB Boston College
Dax Swanson CB Sam Houston
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

127 tackles 19 TFL 11 sacks 5 forced fumbles and 3 INT's this year. Very good #'s for a LB. Ended his career with 47 straight starts. 6'1 230 and will run in the 4.5's

Last edited by pulses; 01-29-2013 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

Day 1 practice notes.

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With the first day of practices down at Texas v. Nation here are some notes on some of the individual players that impressed and some that didn’t. While many will be focused on players like Ray Ray Armstrong, and MarQuies Gray it was two rather unknown players who stood out on Day 1. Day 2 looks to be an exciting one as both teams are back at it.

Texas Notes
RB D.J. Harper, Boise State (5093, 207)
Harper has long been a personal favorite. Before he tore his ACL, he was ahead of Doug Martin on the Boise State depth chart. I didn’t see him do much at practice, but his frame (5’9”, 207) and hands (10 ⅜) will impress talent evaluators. He offers versatility as a runner and receiver, and if he runs well and passes the medical at the combine, he could be a solid contributor at the NFL level.

WR Martel Moore, Northern Illinois (6002,186)
Moore had an average day. He did a nice job setting his routes up, and he’s natural tracking the ball. However, he didn’t generate the burst to create much separation out of breaks, and he had a difficult time finding any consistency with his hands. He’s going to have a difficult time winning on the outside at the next level, and looks more like a possession type of receiver through the first day of practice.

TE Colin Anderson, Furman (6043, 231)
After weighing in at 231, Anderson is going to have a difficult time contributing in the NFL as anything more than a situational pass catcher. His hands were inconsistent on the first day of practice, but he did make a terrific catch after making Wisconsin Safety Shelton Johnson look silly on a seam route.

LB Danny Mason, Texas A&M Commerce (6021, 238)
Mason is a player I’d only read about before today, and is a guy I really wanted to see. He averaged over 11 tackles in his final season, and he consistently made plays all over the field for his team. He measured in a shade over 6’2, was 238 pounds and looked like one of the most athletic players at the weigh-in. I didn’t get to see him tackle at practice, but the guy looks like a football player. He’s natural changing directions in coverage, and he was consistently around the ball. He’ll get a shot in the NFL, and he could easily make a team as a coverage linebacker or special teams ace.

LB Ja’Gared Davis, SMU (6011, 239)
Davis is a potential 3-down player at the next level, and his skills were on full display today. He has sideline to sideline range, and his ability to read and flow against the run are NFL caliber. His instincts in coverage were just as impressive. I expect him to be a late riser in the draft process.

CB Dustin Harris, Texas A&M (5100, 173)
After looking frail at the morning weigh-in, I wasn’t expecting much from Harris. However, he impressed me in coverage throughout practice. He looked natural in press and off-man, and he displayed the fluidity in his hips to open up and make plays on the ball. He won some impressive battles with Lanear Sampson.

Safety Ray Ray Armstong, Faulkner College (6032, 227)
Armstrong has been out of football for over a year since enrolling at Faulkner. Even though he never played a snap, he wore their colors on the first day of practice. After coming in a shade over 6’3” and 227, he certainly looks the part of NFL safety. Unfortunately, it didn’t translate to the field on the first day of practice. He was routinely burned in coverage, and his instincts were non-existent . Hopefully, he’ll get his “swag” back as the week progresses.

The Nation Notes
QB Matt Brown, Illinois State (6026, 237)
Despite having the most impressive NFL frame among the QB’s at the weigh-in, Brown didn’t have a good practice. The kid can spin a football, but he struggled with his accuracy and he lacked balance in his footwork. It’s difficult to read much into at this point since most skill position guys struggle early in the week at All-Star events. I’m really high on Brown as a developmental prospect so I hope he finds his rhythm.

FB Kendall Gaskins, Richmond (6000, 232)
Gaskins came to play this week. He was one of the most impressive athletes at the weigh-in, and he carried that momentum over to practice. He didn’t get any carries, but he made several impressive plays catching the ball. He did a terrific job playing with leverage, and he absolutely destroyed a defender on one play. Even though he doesn’t possess the frame to be considered a full-time FB prospect, his versatility will get him a look late in the draft or as a priority free agent.

TE MarQueis Gray, Minnesota (6035, 239)
The coaches made an effort to get Gray involved at TE throughout practice. Even though he has the natural athleticism to make the switch, he didn’t look good on his first day. He looked very raw in his routes, and he dropped several catchable balls. He offers upside as a developmental prospect, but he has a lot of work ahead of him. He’ll be a matchup nightmare if he ever gets “it.”

OT Carter Bykowski, Iowa State (6066, 303)
I’ll probably be in the minority, but Bykowski is one of the more intriguing tackle prospects on either roster. With an athletic frame that measured over 6’6” and 303, he certainly passed the eyeball test. He’s not a natural bender, but he did a good job firing out of his stance and sliding to the edge to reach the speed rushers. I’m going to watch the next few days to see if he has the strength and coordination to handle power.

DT/DE Nicholas Williams, Samford (6045, 305)
Williams was one of the most physically imposing players at the morning weigh-in coming in at a very athletic 6’4 and 305 pounds. Since the late practice was moved indoors, I wasn’t able to see many defensive snaps. On the one’s I did, he displayed terrific explosion, agility and natural strength. I may be premature in my assessment, but I think he’ll appeal to ¾ and 4/3 teams. He’s definitely a guy I want to see more of.
from http://www.buffalobillsdraft.com/201...e-notes-day-1/
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We asked him about the time he fumbled without being hit and the time he threw an interception without being pressured and the other pick he threw -- under pressure but stupidly off his back foot toward double coverage. All of that happened on three consecutive possession, a 10-minute fusillade of fail that turned a one-possession game into a blowout loss...

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Old 01-30-2013, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

Players that stood out today.
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1. Armonty Bryant, DE, East Central Oklahoma (6041, 262 and 4.85 E): Bryant has an excellent first day of practice and already had a few NFL people saying that Bryant made himself some money today. Good looking “on the hoof,” Bryant’s initial quickness helped him beat the OT to the turn point consistently. With extremely quick 35 ½ inch arms, Bryant can get hands on OT first and consistently showed the ability to beat pass blocker. Able to jolt OT with hands, he displayed the quick burst and change of direction ability to beat the OT around the corner or back inside. If Bryant practices this way the rest of the week, he could be the player that comes out of this game and makes the biggest jump up draft boards.

2. DeVonte Christopher, WR, Utah (6002, 192 and 4.55 E): Christopher was the best receiver on either team today. Not only did he run excellent routes, but his ability to set-up defenders and get cornerbacks to turn their hips made it easy for him to create separation. Although he dropped a few passes today, he showed good hands most of the day. He reached out and caught the ball away from his body well. He showed excellent quickness and speed running sharp, precise routes. He turned defenders around with good double moves and was able to get open with surprising ease. If he continues to play this well the rest of the week he could really move up draft boards.

3. Elvis Fisher, OT, Missouri (6046, 291, and 5.20 E): On a day where many DL dominated, Fisher was one of the few OL to impress today. Quick out of stance and setting up to pass block with good base/leverage, Fisher consistently got his hands on pass rusher fast. He “got a good fit” fast, locked out and was able to stay on and maintain pass block to eliminate man. Despite lacking ideal bulk/weight, Fisher was able to stop bull rushers in their tracks. Not only impressive as a pass blocker, Fisher was able to seal man inside on side/angle in-line run blocks and could chip and get through to the second level to seal LB on backside of the play. For an offensive tackle who came here not regarded as a top prospect, today he played like a much better player than expected.

4. DeQuinta Jones, DT, Arkansas (6035, 308 and 5.35 E): For a 300+ pounder, Jones was surprisingly productive lining up at both DE and DT. From both alignments his quick and powerful hands allowed him to jolt blocker initially so that he could dictate his pass rush. Despite lacking ideal DE size, he showed the quick hands to defeat OT and beat him around the corner. When maintaining leverage during his pass rush, Jones could jolt OL backwards initially and then could either defeat him with a move or jerk him to side to get by him. He was not as effective when he did not get hands on OL first and could be stood up and eliminated from the play too easily.

5. David King, DT, Oklahoma (6044, 281 and 4.85 E): After grabbing everyone’s attention with his incredible physique at the weigh-in, King showed during practice that he is not the prototypical “look like Tarzan, play like Jane.” Although he was not dominant today and had his struggles shedding blocks due to playing inside at DT where he was constantly out-weighed by 20+ pounds, he still showed enough to warrant inclusion on this list. Consistently quick off the ball, King was most effective when he relied on his quick and active hands to keep OL from getting ahold of him while he split gaps. On running plays, he was consistently able to get backfield penetration to disrupt plays behind the LOS. Unfortunately, as a pass rusher he was not effective when he tried to bull rush as the OL were often able to get their hands on him first and kept him pinned on the LOS.

6. Uzoma Nwachukwu, WR, Texas A&M (5112, 198 and 4.55 E): While he did not show the explosive burst and elite speed to stretch the field, Nwachukwu is a smooth, fluid athlete with deceptive quickness out of his breaks to get separation. Consistently able to get open, he showed strong hands, great concentration and body control to make tough catches throughout practice. He did an excellent job of twisting to catch off-target throws and of winning battles for contested passes. Uzoma is not going to be a high draft pick, but somewhere in the fourth or fifth round he will get drafted if he continues to perform like this the rest of the week.

7. Lane Taylor, OG, Oklahoma State (6030, 326 and 5.30 E): While no one is ever going to confuse Lane Taylor with David DeCastro as he lacks top athleticism, his performance today definitely impressed. Consistently quick out of his stance, Taylor’s ability to set up with good base and “get an excellent fit” on DL, both in pass pro and on run blocks, enabled him to consistently stop his man and keep him out of the play. His technique combined with good strength and competitiveness, so that he could stone bull rushers and get movement on side angle run blocks. Taylor’s productive first day has me very intrigued to watch him the rest of the week.

8. Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, Cincinnati (6001, 194 and 4.55 E): Not well known by the public, Thompkins showed today why scouts have been telling us all season that he is a legit “sleeper.” Clearly well coached, Thompkins route running really stands out as he runs the entire “route tree” excellently. He knows how to get open, gets his head and hands around quickly out of cuts and has the strong hands to pluck the ball on passes that get on top of him fast. He displayed the body control and sideline awareness to consistently get his feet down in bounds when catching passes along boundary. Thompkins also showed the ability to turn short passes into big plays with his quick burst of acceleration and speed after the catch.
from http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/...d-Tuesday.html
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We asked him about the time he fumbled without being hit and the time he threw an interception without being pressured and the other pick he threw -- under pressure but stupidly off his back foot toward double coverage. All of that happened on three consecutive possession, a 10-minute fusillade of fail that turned a one-possession game into a blowout loss...

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Old 01-30-2013, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

Players that struggle.

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1. Mitchell Gale, QB, Abilene Christian (6017, 233 and 5.00 E): As often happens for small school quarterbacks, Gale looked out of place today and did not show the tools to compete at the next level. While his mechanics were not an issue, his passes did not come out of his hand with a tight spiral and tended to flutter/wiggle. He struggles with high passes throughout practice and especially has accuracy issues on intermediate/deep throws. Based on today’s performance, Gale will have to make it in the NFL via the undrafted free agent route.

2. Marqueis Gray, TE, Minnesota (6035, 239 and 4.65 E): Although Gray struggled today, he was not bad in all areas. He definitely looks like the new breed of receiving, move tight ends that are all over the NFL today and showed the foot quickness and speed to stretch the field. The issue is that Gray looked upright and mechanical running his routes and struggled to get in and out of his cuts smoothly, which was clear when he fell down a few times. More of an issue was his hands, as Gray did not look comfortable plucking the ball away from his body and often let the ball get into his body, fought it and dropped way too many passes. He will still have the rest of this week and the entire spring to impress teams and improve his draft stock, but today was not a good start.

3. Josh Klein, OG/OT, Kent State (6027, 309 and 5.25 E): While Klein will get his chance to play in the NFL as a guard, he lined up at both guard and tackle today and struggled mightily at both. When aligned at tackle he lacked the foot quicks to slide out to the corner to protect the corner from speed/edge rushers, could not re-adjust to handle quick change of direction moves and lacked power vs bull rushers. More disappointing were Klein’s struggles against bull rushers when he lined up at guard where he played at Kent State in 2012. After today’s performance, Klein needs to really step up the rest of the week to give him a good chance of being drafted.

4. P.J. Lonergan, C, LSU (6037, 302 and 5.25 E): Despite a productive career at LSU, Lonergan looked out of place today as he was consistently defeated. Although he measured size is solid, he was consistently jolted and driven backwards by bull rushers. Additionally, he struggled adjusting side to side to handle quick pass rush moves. Overall, today Lonergan did not show the tools necessary to be a quality NFL offensive lineman.

5. Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State (6005, 203 and 4.90 E): Although not regarded as a top prospect, McGloin still disappointed me with his performance today. Lacking ideal size, McGloin does not have the arm strength to make all the NFL throws and his intermediate/long passes tend to hang/flutter. His footwork looked choppy and mechanical, which led to his delivery/release being slow and deliberate. While defenders were able to break on his passes because of his deliberate throwing motion, his tendency to force passes into bad spots hindered him even further today.

6. Terry McDaniel, OT, Texas Tech (6065, 335 and 5.40 E): McDaniel really struggled today and a lot of his issues were due to poor positioning. He did a terrible job of setting very deep and continued to retreat in pass pro before making contact, which allowed the pass rusher to not only dictate the rush, but also to have an easy “two way go.” When he did take on pass rusher, he lacked aggressiveness with hands and was easily jolted and defeated. He needs to greatly improve his technique and must produce at a higher level the rest of the week to have any chance of being drafted.

7. B.J. Stewart, TE, Cumberland (6036, 255 and 5.00 E): Another small school player who looked out of his league today, Stewart needs to step things up over the next few days if he is going to have any chance of being drafted. Despite looking the part “on the hoof,” Cumberland lacks explosiveness in his acceleration and is slow footed in route. He also lacked a burst out of his breaks to get separation.
From http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/...d-Tuesday.html
__________________
Quote:
We asked him about the time he fumbled without being hit and the time he threw an interception without being pressured and the other pick he threw -- under pressure but stupidly off his back foot toward double coverage. All of that happened on three consecutive possession, a 10-minute fusillade of fail that turned a one-possession game into a blowout loss...

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Old 01-30-2013, 02:14 PM
shaolinghost shaolinghost is offline
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

LB Danny Mason, Texas A&M Commerce (6021, 238)
Mason is a player I’d only read about before today, and is a guy I really wanted to see. He averaged over 11 tackles in his final season, and he consistently made plays all over the field for his team. He measured in a shade over 6’2, was 238 pounds and looked like one of the most athletic players at the weigh-in. I didn’t get to see him tackle at practice, but the guy looks like a football player. He’s natural changing directions in coverage, and he was consistently around the ball. He’ll get a shot in the NFL, and he could easily make a team as a coverage linebacker or special teams ace.

From this post I'd like to see him drafted to play WILL, at least as a back-up. Maybe with the 5th or one of our 6ths.

3-year starter
269 tackles
24.5 tfl
6.0 sacks
15 QB hits
2 FFs
2 ints
14pdef

2012: 115tak, 11.5tfl, 4sacks, 1FF, 4pdef

Last edited by shaolinghost; 01-30-2013 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

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My second day at the Texas vs The Nation game was much more interesting than the first. Instead of watching from the primary area of the press box, I moved over to an individual room where there was more action. Although the wind was horrific, it turned out to be a beautiful day for some football. While I watched, I had several interesting conversations with NFL scouts.

Scout Scoop

The nastiest kid at the game is Kent State OG Josh Kline. He loses his balance too often, but he never stops battling. The scout really enjoyed watching him “throw an elbow” to a defenders ribs on a combo block. Cal (PA) Safety Rontez Miles is another player noted as playing with a nasty streak. In addition to speed, intelligence, and character, being “nasty” is an essential component in players they want on their team.

North Carolina OT Travis Bond is a player that shouldn’t be at the game. He’s been “smoked” inside and out all week, and his only chance at the NFL level will be inside. The scout said some team will take him as a backup, but he’ll eventually drive his coaches nuts when, at some point, he inevitably is forced into the lineup for one reason or another. In his opinion, he isn’t worth a pick.

A scout noted that Richmond FB Kendall Gaskins has “showed out” through the first two days of practice. Even though he’s physical and fast, he’s not sure if he’ll be able to shake the perception that he’s a “lazy player.” He doesn’t think he’s a “team first” type of prospect.

Youngstown State RB Jamaine Cook and OG Lamar Mady are two guys another scout singled out as taking advantage of their opportunity. Even though he loses his balance on occasion, Cook “runs extremely hard and makes decisive cuts.” He currently carries a PFA grade, but he could sneak into the seventh. After thinking Mady weighed in the 290 range, he was pleased when he tipped the scales at 315. His performance in practice has been just as impressive, and “he has a legitimate shot to be selected in the middle rounds.”

East Central DE Armonty Bryant has been the most impressive player on both rosters. He’s a raw prospect, but he can “shed blocks with ease” and potentially factor in both the run and pass game at the next level. It was surprising to hear, but two different scouts said Bryant carried a 3rd round grade.

One scout has been impressed with the play of Kentucky DE Collins Ukwu. He described him as a “high cut guy who could grab his wallet over his shoulder……can tie his shoes standing up.”

LA-Lafayette DE Emeka Onyenekwu is another player that has caught the attention of the same scout. He comes off the ball extremely well, and he possesses the length he looks for. He went on to note that Onyenekwu “smoked” OG Travis Bond on several occasions using a variety of moves.

Another scout wasn’t as kind to Ohio DE Tremayne Scott. Even though he plays with a nasty streak, he doesn’t think he’s a very good player and described him as “all gut & no butt.”

UCF RB Latavius Murray is a player that offers a lot of intrigue. Despite his height (6’3”), he has “good feet even though he’s not fast” and “terrific hands” as a receiver. He’ll appeal primarily to teams that run a zone scheme, and one scout suggested a potential position switch to linebacker.

The most impressive receivers on The Nation roster were Lehigh WR Ryan Spadola and Missouri’s WR T.J. Moe. Even though both are limited athletically and will never be consistent threats on the outside, they “know how to find soft spots in the defense and work themselves open.”

One scout was impressed with the natural athleticism of Cincinnati WR Kenbrell Thompkins, but currently had him graded as a “reject” due to character concerns. He had a rough time growing up in Miami before turning his life around and transferring to the Bearcats from the JUCO ranks. When I asked for an opinion on Kentucky WR Roddy King, Utah WR DeVonte Christopher and Syracuse WR Marcus Sales, the only response I got was “they can’t run.” One scout noted that Christopher was “as slow as dirt.”

It’s not secret that the QB’s on both teams have struggled. Several scouts expressed their disappointment in not being able to do a proper evaluation on any of them. They were all referred to as “Captain Checkdown” or “Mr. Double Clutch,” and there were pleas throughout the day for the QB’s to let it rip. Tulane QB Ryan Griffin was the most consistent and did show some nice anticipation on some deep crossing patterns. The arm strength of Illinois State QB Matt Brown impressed one scout, and he went on to say he currently grades him as a 7th rounder. Another scout wanted to see Minnesota TE MarQueis Gray take some snaps, and despite throwing nothing but fastballs, he felt he’d be better than the other guys.

Faulkner Safety Ray Ray Armstrong is firmly on the radar of scouts. Several mentioned that he’s a “great looking player” with good hips and excellent movement skills. Even though he lacks instincts in coverage, one scout went so far to compare him to Richard Sherman. I missed the end of his comment but he mentioned Armstrong and “press man” in the same sentence. Another felt he’d run a 4.50 at the combine.

Scout Bullets

Northwestern LB David Nwabuisi will “never make it to an NFL camp. He has no instincts.”

New Hampshire DT Jared Smith can’t disengage from blocks today. He didn’t come to play after starting the week strong.

If Montana FB Dan Moore doesn’t make it in the NFL, he’ll be an option for MTV’s Jersey Shore.

Texas A&M WR Uzoma Nwachukwu can fly. He’s “dusted” CB’s all week.

Wisconsin CB Devin Smith can’t run, but he has terrific instincts and has a future inside.

TCU WR Skye Dawson is extremely quick. He’s a hands catcher, creates a lot of separation, and he’s “killed it” all week.

USC Safety Jawanza Starling is flat-footed.

Arkansas DT Dequinta Jones has flashed some potential.

Even though he’s not at the event, several scouts mentioned North Carolina RB Gio Bernard as an early Round 2 prospect. He has “nasty vision, he’s elusive and he has the potential to carry the load.” He was referred to as an “undersized every-down back in the mold of Brian Westbrook.” Another scout mentioned how impressed he is of South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore’s character and work ethic, and finished by saying he’s been slotted to come off the board in the 4th round.

One scout said his team evaluates guys for potential, not for what they are. He also said the scouts that work for their team will have approximately 600 players with draftable grades at the end of the process. That was something that was very intriguing for me to hear.

Three scouts agreed that that Texas vs The Nation game was a better set up than the Senior Bowl. I’ve never been to Mobile, but I can’t imagine it being better than this.
from http://www.buffalobillsdraft.com/201...n-day-2-notes/
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We asked him about the time he fumbled without being hit and the time he threw an interception without being pressured and the other pick he threw -- under pressure but stupidly off his back foot toward double coverage. All of that happened on three consecutive possession, a 10-minute fusillade of fail that turned a one-possession game into a blowout loss...

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

Nice to see Skye Dawson playing well. He's someone we should give a strong look at later in the draft. 5'9 183 who should run in the 4.3's at the combine and is great on ST's and can catch it well too.

He won the 2010 Mountain West Indoor Championship in the 60 meters with a 6.69, the third-fastest time in MW history.

Last edited by pulses; 01-31-2013 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by bfine32 View Post
LaRod King is a personal favorite...., he ran track with my son in High School.
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When I asked for an opinion on Kentucky WR Roddy King....all I got was “they can’t run.”
Damn it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Prospect Preview: Texas vs the nation

Did this game already play or when does it play and what channel will it be on?
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