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Playoffs
12-21-2013, 11:25 PM
McGinn is reliably plugged in...

Early look at the NFL draft (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/early-look-at-the-nfl-draft-b99168238z1-236899801.html)
snipped quotes
Here is a look at how the National Football League draft of 2014 is shaping up based on interviews with three executives in personnel last week. As of early last week, a total of 201 underclassmen had requested evaluations from the NFL's College Advisory Committee. They have until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft.

RECEIVERS

The last draft with more than four first-round wide receivers was 2009. After two below-average to poor wideout drafts, this one should be much better.

"Hypothetically, there are seven first-round projections," one scout said.
...
"Very average as a senior group," said another scout. "The juniors will enhance every position. When you start to see these redshirt sophomores and juniors come out in droves like they have, you're going to rely on them for a draft."
...
Evans..."More of a strider but very sure-handed," one scout said. "He's got phenomenal size. He understands how to use his size to post up."

Beckham...Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis (6-1, 190)...

Juniors Eric Ebron (6-4, 245) of North Carolina, Austin Seferian-Jenkins (6-6, 276) of Washington and Jace Amaro (6-5, 260) of Texas Tech all have first-round shots at tight end.
...
"He's going to be close to (Rob) Gronkowski, talent-wise," one scout said. "Now he's lazy. Like there's always something with him. But he can be on the line and block."
...

OFFENSIVE LINE

Personnel men don't see a franchise left tackle in the draft but it's still another strong, deep position.

"There's probably five tackles that can go in the first round," one scout said. "Six if you factor in the Auburn kid.
...
Matthews (6-4, 305)..."Good, not a great athlete," one scout said. "Really good technician. He's a little soft. Not that he won't be a really good player."

Michigan's Lewan (6-6, 315) is aggressive, sometimes overly so. Alabama's Kouandjio (6-5, 320), a junior, has extremely long arms and is an outstanding pass blocker.

"The Alabama guy still makes raw mistakes," said one scout. "He's got more up side than Matthews. I think he's smart. He just doesn't have much football background."

Ogbuehi (6-5, 300)...

The "Auburn kid" is Greg Robinson (6-5, 315)..."He's a stud," said one scout. "Left tackle. You're talking about a ton of athleticism, size, strength. He's not getting a lot of attention because people don't realize he's a redshirt. Not quite sure why (Gene) Chizik redshirted him. I think that was a big mistake. He's in the top 10, 15 easy if he comes out."

Iowa junior Brandon Scherff (6-5, 320)... Junior Antonio Richardson (6-6, 327)...

Of the guard and center group, one scout said: "I don't think there's any great players inside. It's not like last year."

Senior Zack Martin (6-4, 305) of Notre Dame is solid. "Athletic, strong, understands the game," said one scout.

Mississippi State senior Gabe Jackson (6-3, 340) is a road-grader. "He's not too far off the guards that went first (round) last year," said one scout.

Senior Cyril Richardson (6-4, 335)... David Yankey (6-5, 314)... Xavier Su'a-Filo (6-3, 305)...

Probably the top center is Colorado State's Weston Richburg (6-3, 302). He's a second-round pick.

QUARTERBACKS

With Oregon's Marcus Mariota deciding to return, it looks like a four-way contest to be the first passer taken...

"You've got to pick and choose what flavor you want," one scout said. "Do you want the pocket passer? That's Bortles, McCarron, Mettenberger.

"Or do you want the athlete in Manziel or Bridgewater? There will probably be three in the first. Depends what people think of Johnny Manziel."

Manziel... "He reminds me a little bit of (Joe) Montana," one scout said. "Fluid, and even though he's off-balance he can get the ball out. He's a smaller guy but he has big hands for a little guy. He's fun to watch."

Bridgewater can throw from the pocket and is an adequate runner. "Not even close to Cam Newton," one scout said. "Skinny son of a buck. He's not as dynamic a runner as everybody thinks."

Carr's brother, David, was the first pick in the 2002 draft...

McCarron, said one scout, "has won a bunch of games but doesn't have a great arm." Mettenberger blew out his knee Nov. 29.

RUNNING BACKS

Minus Melvin Gordon, it's possible there won't be a first-round running back. There was just one in 1984 and 2011...

DEFENSIVE LINE

Junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (6-5, 274)..."He's got it all," one scout said. "Now, the question is, what's underneath the hood? That's the $1 million question everybody will look into."... Said another scout: "He doesn't play hard all the time. In college, he'd get three guys on him every play. He's still able to make plays whenever he wants to. He might be the first pick."

The best of the base ends might be Notre Dame junior Stephon Tuitt (6-6, 312). "Probably can play in any scheme," one scout said. "Young kid. Versatile athlete. Just growing into his large frame. He's a first-rounder."

Undersized pass rushers Trent Murphy (6-5, 261) of Stanford, Demarcus Lawrence (6-3, 245) of Boise State, Chris Smith (6-2, 268) of Arkansas and Trevor Reilly (6-4, 255) of Utah will start coming into play late in the first round.
...
Notre Dame junior Louis Nix (6-2, 345), described by one scout as the "prototypical nose tackle," looks like a late first-round pick.

"There's not a lot of big beef," said one scout. "That's why Nix will go high."

Minnesota's Ra'Shede Hageman (6-5, 311) will try to dispel impressions that he's inconsistent and an off-field risk at the Senior Bowl.

"He's had a really good year," one scout said. "This kid kind of came out of nowhere. When he wants to crank it up he's hard to block at that level. He's a big man with a lot of ability. He would benefit big-time from going to the Senior Bowl and kicking (expletive) for a week."

Senior Will Sutton (5-11, 330) of Arizona State put on too much weight this season...

Several players fit the mold of three-technique tackles for 4-3 defenses, including senior Aaron Donald (6-0, 285) of Pittsburgh, junior Timmy Jernigan (6-2, 298) of Florida State and senior Dominique Easley (6-1, 285) of Florida.

Easley underwent reconstructive knee surgery Oct. 24. It was his second major knee injury.
...
"All Donald does is produce," one scout said. "The old Colts, the old Bucs, they'd like him. But not a lot of people run that anymore. They're going to run right at him when he comes in the game."

LINEBACKERS

Alabama senior middle linebacker C.J. Mosley (6-2, 232) is the pick of the litter at inside linebacker.

"Probably more (weak side) in the NFL but he could play inside in a 3-4," one scout said. "Extremely smart. Explosive. Fast. An all-intangible type kid. I think coaches are going to fall in love with him.

"But, outside of Mosley, the rest of them (inside) are kind of thumper types."

Junior Denzel Perryman (6-0, 240)...Florida State senior Christian Jones (6-3, 240)... Tennessee junior A.J. Johnson (6-2, 243)... Wisconsin's Chris Borland (5-11, 246)... Michigan State's Max Bullough (6-2, 245)...
...
UCLA senior Anthony Barr (6-3, 248) ..."The guy was a running back until two years ago," one scout said. "Really athletic. He's got pass-rush ability. Some of the toughness stuff is still not there but a great kid, great effort."

Next on the list outside is Buffalo senior Khalil Mack (6-2, 248)... "He's better than Barr," said one scout. "He does everything there. He can do whatever he wants. Buffalo was the only team that recruited him."

Clemson junior Vic Beasley (6-2, 235) and Brigham Young senior Kyle Van Noy (6-3, 235) are hybrids that could fit either scheme...

Ohio State junior Ryan Shazier (6-2, 230) is a classic "will" linebacker in a 4-3..."I don't think he's as tough as Lavonte David but he's going to be faster," said one scout. "He runs like a deer. You'd have to think about him over Mosley. Mosley's a better player (now) but Shazier could be rare."

DEFENSIVE BACKS

"Is there a great corner this year?" one scout said. "The guy from Michigan State and the guy from Oklahoma State and the guy from Ohio State are pretty good. But they're 20 to 50."

The Spartans' Darqueze Dennard (5-11, 197)..."Dennard's game really improved as the season's gone along," one scout said. "Got some size. Gilbert has some size, ball skills. He's just a solid player."

The Buckeyes' Bradley Roby (5-11, 192)..."You've got to do your homework on him," said one scout. "But he's an explosive, fast player. Can play man or zone."

Oregon junior Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (5-10, 185), Virginia Tech senior Kyle Fuller (5-11, 194) and Florida junior Loucheiz Purifoy (6-0, 190) are next in line.

"This is not going to be a great corner group," one scout said. "It really isn't. There's really no dynamic corner this year."

This safety class is inferior [to 2013].

The best bet to make the first round as a safety is Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (6-1, 208)..."He's OK," one scout said. "Tough guy. Pretty instinctive. Just kind of stiff. I'm not sure he's going to run real well."

Lamarcus Joyner (5-8, 190)..."Flies around a little like Bob Sanders and blows people up," said one scout. "Little stiff for corner but there's (teams) where they can get away with it. He might be the first safety to go."

Florida State senior Terrence Brooks (5-10, 200) could be off the board next, but several scouts projected him to the third round.

read more here: http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/early-look-at-the-nfl-draft-b99168238z1-236899801.html

JB
12-22-2013, 10:47 AM
Good find and info. Thanks

badboy
12-22-2013, 04:37 PM
pretty close to my eval except on Matthews.

Playoffs
12-23-2013, 10:43 AM
My biggest takeaway from McGinn is this draft is not deep at the top, no franchise LTs(surprised), lightweight NTs, and best DBs start at the end of round 1.

Piques my interest in Sammy Watkins, Anthony Barr, Kahlil Mack, CJ Mosley for our pick.

If you draft a QB as a GM here, I think it's a make or break proposition unless your owner just loves you. And you'd better make sure you've got the right guy to develop a young QB on your staff.

NastyNate
12-25-2013, 07:46 AM
Next on the list outside is Buffalo senior Khalil Mack (6-2, 248), a four-year starter.

"He's better than Barr," said one scout. "He does everything there. He can do whatever he wants. Buffalo was the only team that recruited him."

This guy has it right.

beerlover
12-25-2013, 11:14 AM
Not so fast NastyNateMcGinn. He could fill two positions, OLB in a 3-4 or a WILL in a 4-3. Does not have enough sand in his pants to be a 4-3 or 3-4 DE, could fill Strong side OLB but why waste his speed should be on the right side. Have seen him flip to left side to stop the run & given what Buffalo has around him it was needed. Look, I really like Mack but only in specific roles. He would replace Mercilus, can get to the QB faster, has plus start & stop movements & instincts. However I doubt his speed will test out equal to say, Von Miller, but if he does that would put pressure on Barr who has better overall size. If the Texans where to trade down & my top three QB's were gone then yes I would consider him in the 5-7 range but at this time that is about as accurate as I can be. :kitten:

NastyNate
12-25-2013, 12:56 PM
Not so fast NastyNateMcGinn. He could fill two positions, OLB in a 3-4 or a WILL in a 4-3. Does not have enough sand in his pants to be a 4-3 or 3-4 DE, could fill Strong side OLB but why waste his speed should be on the right side. Have seen him flip to left side to stop the run & given what Buffalo has around him it was needed. Look, I really like Mack but only in specific roles. He would replace Mercilus, can get to the QB faster, has plus start & stop movements & instincts. However I doubt his speed will test out equal to say, Von Miller, but if he does that would put pressure on Barr who has better overall size. If the Texans where to trade down & my top three QB's were gone then yes I would consider him in the 5-7 range but at this time that is about as accurate as I can be. :kitten:

I appreciate your opinion beerlover and always like your input on prospects as well. I never indicated him to be DE in either scheme we run. We have the worst OLB tandem in the NFL. It's a huge reason our run defense is consistently gashed (that along with a true DT if we continue to run a 34 defense). Mack helps to eliminate part of that problem. What that does with Mercilus on the roster I'm really not sure, maybe Mercilus comes off the bench, maybe we could get a 7th rounder for him just to soften his cap hit (I think it's still something like 1.9 million cap hit versus cutting him which would be around 3 million), maybe we cut reed to save a million against the cap and move Mercilus to strong side. We have to upgrade at that position, there's no way around it. QB, OLB, RT, NT, ILB, S, CB are our glaring needs. Problem is there's no real QB there that warrants 1-1 pick.

Top three QB's in this draft are nothing close to sure fire. I'm not spending 22 million on a very iffy qb class versus a sure fire pass rusher. Bridgewater and Manziel are too small to stay healthy behind this offensive line (offensive being the operative word). Bortles? No thanks. Mettenberger and McCarron will both be there in the second. That's the smarter play in my opinion. Hell even if we trade back to #4 or 5 for an extra second and next year's first I'm fine taking that deal, as there are no sure things in this draft. Reaching for a qb in this draft is worse than not taking a QB at 1-1.

bOODRO87
12-25-2013, 03:16 PM
"Do you want the pocket passer? That's Bortles, McCarron, Mettenberger."

Lost me there. Teddy has better pocket presence than all three.

bah007
12-25-2013, 09:26 PM
"Do you want the pocket passer? That's Bortles, McCarron, Mettenberger."

Lost me there. Teddy has better pocket presence than all three.

But....but....Teddy is athletic and black! He's a scrambler! A zone read guy!...

Playoffs
02-02-2014, 11:57 AM
Bob McGinn ‏@BobMcGinn
Candidates for my list of top 25 QBs required 10 years experience. Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers has played nine years. Hope this clears air.

Not draft, but McGinn...

Bob McGinn ranks the top 25 NFL quarterbacks he has seen (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/bob-mcginn-ranks-the-top-25-nfl-quarterbacks-he-has-seen-b99195610z1-243155121.html)

Criteria? There really weren't any other than years of service. I did consider the physical attributes of older players and how they would project to the NFL of today.

Passer rating didn't play much of a role.

For one thing, it doesn't factor in winning, rushing and clutch play. For another, the onslaught of rules changes since 1978 have made it so much easier for receivers and pass blockers to operate while at the same time protecting quarterbacks from the physical mayhem that had been visited upon them for decades.

More than anything, this list was based mostly on unscientific, gut feel.
1. Joe Montana (1979-'94): Magnificent from the pocket. Exceptional on the move. Great passer and a great runner. So poised and so accurate. It was poetry in motion.

2. Johnny Unitas (1956-'73): Helped drag the passing game into the modern era with the help of Raymond Berry. All the successful quarterbacks of that era had to be the toughest player on the field given the savagery inflicted upon them well after the ball was out. The ultimate leader of men.

3. Tom Brady (2000-'13, active): His strength of character has shone through time after time. Perfectionist in every way, shape and form. Never a threat to run but possesses brilliant feel for stepping into available throwing lanes. High overhand delivery and a perfect spiral.

4. Dan Marino (1983-'99): Perhaps the quickest release ever. Pure pocket passer with cannon for an arm. Highly emotional leader. Tremendous in the clutch.

5. Peyton Manning (1998-'13, active): Near the top of most-prepared passers ever. Used his domineering personality to make football a legitimate sport in basketball-mad Indiana. Early master of the no-huddle offense. Prototypical height, extremely limited athlete.

6. Brett Favre (1991-2010): Nobody had more fun playing the game. Not many ever had an arm like his, either. Teammates loved playing with him. Defined the gunslinger quarterback.

7. John Elway (1983-'98): Probably the best pure athlete on this or any list. Arm strength ranked right alongside Favre's. Rare running ability.

8. Steve Young (1985-'99): Six NFL single-season passing titles. Gifted scrambler-runner with exceptional speed and courage. Over time, he became a disciplined West Coast pocket passer despite standing barely 6 feet.

9. Dan Fouts (1973-'87): The backbone of Air Coryell. Almost like a boxer in that he'd stand there and take the most of brutal shots in order to deliver one downfield.

10. Roger Staubach (1969-'79): Didn't start his career with the Cowboys until age 27 because of U.S. Navy commitment. Athletic, efficient and iron-willed.

11. Fran Tarkenton (1961-'78): Might be the most exciting player ever. His crazy-quilt scrambles put people in the seats and helped sell the NFL game on TV. A little man with the guts of a burglar.

12. Len Dawson (1957-'75): The consummate passer. Six AFL-NFL passing titles. Stood just 6-0 but could be devastating throwing from Hank Stram's moving pocket.

13. Terry Bradshaw (1970-'83): Big arm and an even bigger personality. Overcame sluggish start to his career and became the all-time Super Bowl winner. Outstanding athlete.

14. Ken Anderson (1971-'86): Technically superior. Threw with pinpoint accuracy. A complete quarterback.

15. Ken Stabler (1970-'84): Fearless competitor with a whip for an arm. Big, left-handed pocket passer. Really good in the clutch.

16. Sonny Jurgensen (1957-'74): Played his final season at age 40. Deadly deep-ball thrower but, really, could throw any pass. Never took himself too seriously.

17. Kurt Warner (1998-2009): It all started with a tentative stint as a rookie free agent in the Packers' training camp of '94. Rags-to-riches story for the ages. When he got hot, it was over.

18. Ben Roethlisberger (2004-'13, active): Has anyone ever been more difficult to sack in the pocket? Better throwing on the move than from the spot.

19. Troy Aikman (1989-2000): Prototypical pocket passer with prototypical size. Effective scrambler early in career, too.

20. Steve McNair (1995-2007): Benefited by sitting early in his career. Developed into a consistent thrower, but his career was defined by toughness and running.

21. Donovan McNabb (1999-2011): Always seemed to run through the middle for first downs when Eagles needed them most. Developed into capable passer from mid-career on.

22. Warren Moon (1984-2000): Played until 44. After failing to attract an NFL contract out of the University of Washington, he led Edmonton to five straight Grey Cup titles. Rangy athlete and talented thrower.

23. Randall Cunningham (1985-2001): Rifle-armed passer, electrifying runner and serviceable punter. Dazzling, somewhat unpredictable big-play specialist.

24. Bert Jones (1973-'82): Career ruined early by shoulder injuries. Unreal competitor and passer. Bill Belichick has called him the best "pure passer" he ever saw.

25. Drew Brees (2001-'13, active): Far better athlete than given credit for. Terrific competitiveness and throwing accuracy. Unusually high delivery helped him flourish at just 6-0.

infantrycak
02-02-2014, 02:13 PM
Interesting. No way I would rank Favre that high. Having him right in front of Elway is a great example.

What is he calling a NFL single-season passing title? Steve Young didn't lead the league in passing a single time in his career. I think he is too high as well.

Playoffs
02-02-2014, 02:57 PM
Interesting. No way I would rank Favre that high. Having him right in front of Elway is a great example.I think he's pretty spot-on, personally. Always like McGinn's stuff.

What is he calling a NFL single-season passing title? Steve Young didn't lead the league in passing a single time in his career...
Without doing the footwork, I'm guessing he's referring to the original QB Rating.

powda
02-02-2014, 03:07 PM
I think he's pretty spot-on, personally. Always like McGinn's stuff.


Without doing the footwork, I'm guessing he's referring to the original QB Rating.


http://www.profootballhof.com/mobile/hof/member.aspx?PLAYER_ID=252

Young is probably an all time favorite for me. I think he's got rothlessraper to high. And i'd slot Brees a bit higher.

bhsman
02-02-2014, 03:32 PM
Brees is criminally underranked.

bah007
02-03-2014, 09:46 AM
I've always considered Unitas to be one of the top two so I'm happy to see him that high. He is usually criminally underranked on lists like these.

IDEXAN
02-05-2014, 01:11 PM
7. John Elway (1983-'98): Probably the best pure athlete on this or any list. Arm strength ranked right alongside Favre's. Rare running ability.
*****
McGinn says: arm strength right there with Favre's, "rare running ability", 'probably best "pure athlete".
Two things he left out - Elway was a tremendous competitor who was also an inspirational leader to teammates.
Does he sound nearly perfect ? Sure does, that's why I think he's the best. Ever !

Playoffs
02-23-2014, 02:06 PM
Based on interviews with executives in personnel for five teams (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/packers-draft-outlook-b99210557z1-246732851.html)

Top 8
Sammy Watkins*, WR, Clemson: 6 feet 1 inch, 211 pounds. In what might become an all-time class of wide receivers, he stands as the best entering the draft. "He can pretty much do everything," one scout said. "He's fast. He makes plays. Catches the hell out of the ball. Knows how to play." Caught 240 passes (101 in 2013) for 3,391 yards (14.1-yard average) and 27 touchdowns. "He'll be a great kickoff return guy, too," another scout said. "But he won't do that very long. Not real tall but he's thick. He looks like a running back more than a wide receiver."

Greg Robinson*, T, Auburn: 6-5, 332. Redshirt sophomore started two years at LT. "He's phenomenal," one scout said. "He's the most talented of all of them...the most upside." Long arms (35). Bench-pressed 32 times. Ran a fast 40-yard dash of 4.92 seconds Saturday at the combine. Ability to drive block is what excites some scouts. "He'll mash you," said another. "He needs work in pass protection but he can pass protect. You see his punch. And he comes off the ball."

Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M: 6-41/2, 308. Started 46 of 49 games, playing RT from 2010-'12 before moving to LT in '13 as the replacement for Luke Joeckel. "You can't go wrong with him," one scout said. "You just take him and you don't worry about anything. He's probably the most solid of the tackles." Average size, arm length (333/8), hand size (97/8) and strength (24 reps on the bench). Good speed (5.07). Cousin of Green Bay OLB Clay Matthews. "Really good technician," said another scout. "Good, not great athlete. He's a little soft. Not that he won't be a very good player. He gives great effort."

Johnny Manziel*, QB, Texas A&M: 5-11, 207. Third-year sophomore and two-year starter. Won Heisman Trophy in 2012. "Hit or miss? What the hell are they talking about?" one scout said. "He's a better passer than the guy (Russell Wilson) who won the Super Bowl, and he's got a better arm. Here comes the pressure, a guy breaks open and he finds the receiver. Does he have a gun? No. But he doesn't have a bad arm at all." Has had a colorful if not controversial career off the field. Nicknamed "Johnny Football." Said another personnel man with more than 15 years of NFL scouting experience: "I'm fine with him on the field. He's probably the most unique guy I've done at that position. Just the way he kind of controls the game when he's on. But it's the other stuff. He's not a worker. He doesn't show up. He does what he wants to do. They need him. Everybody just kind of shrugs it off. You try to pull some of the stuff he does in an NFL locker room and it's just not going to work."

Blake Bortles*, QB, Central Florida: 6-5, 232. Fourth-year junior. "He's either the first or second quarterback (drafted)," one scout said. "Really good athlete. Great size. Above average to very good arm strength. Tough. Poised. Very productive in his last year." Completed 65.7% of his passes and started two years. "He's actually more of a runner," another scout said. "They ran him a lot and roll him out. He's raw. If somebody takes him and thinks he's going to be their franchise guy, they're going to get burned. He's not very accurate, and guys that are inaccurate don't really become that accurate. You can depend on him. He works his (expletive) off. He's a leader. He's won. He kind of raised the program. But I'm shaky with him."

Jadeveon Clowney*, DE, South Carolina: 6-5, 266. Often compared to Mario Williams and Julius Peppers. "I don't know where people say he didn't play hard this year," one scout said. "Not in the games I watched. They hold him. Somebody asked if he could play linebacker. He'd be a great linebacker. He stands up now sometimes." Third-year junior and probable top-five pick. "I would not put my job on the line for that guy," another scout said. "Who has a profile like that that's been successful in the NFL? Lazy. Not playing hard....I think his physical talent is being overblown. At what point in his life has he had to push himself? Now you're going to give him this money and say, 'Do something you're never done in your life before. Against guys you just can't run over.' I would not do it."

Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo: 6-2, 251. "He's the real deal," one scout said. "He can rush the passer. He kicks (expletive). Tough guy. Got interceptions and forced fumbles. Great kid. It wouldn't even be a discussion taking him over Clowney." Was skinny coming out of high school and lightly recruited. "You put on the Ohio State game, he dominated like a quarter," another scout said. "That tackle (Jack Mewhort) who is supposed to be a good player, he just tore him up. Then he disappeared for a quarter. He can play off the ball, too, if you wanted him to. But I don't know if you want to do that, because he's going to be a big-play guy and rush the passer."

Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: 6-5, 255. Senior. "Really athletic," one scout said. "He's got pass-rush ability. The guy was a running back until two years ago, so he's got hands. Some of the toughness is still not there, but he's a great kid. Great effort. Top 10." Long, fast and productive on the rush. "Looks the part athletically but is not a football player at this point," another scout said. "More developmental. He'll get overdrafted."

Next 10
Marqise Lee*, WR, Southern California: 6-0, 192. Played through nagging injuries in 2013. "He's a dynamic, smaller guy," one scout said. "Rough year this year because their quarterback was so terrible. Last year with (Matt) Barkley his stats were really good. But as far as athletic ability, quickness, speed, he's pretty special. He can play on the outside. He's so fast and runs by people." Had 118 receptions in 2012, 57 in '13. "He's a top-15 pick," another scout said. "Can take the ball and score."

Kelvin Benjamin*, WR, Florida State: 6-5, 240. Third-year sophomore for the national champion Seminoles. "He can take over a game," one scout said. "Pretty special talent. Just not as consistent as (Mike) Evans. He was a first-time starter this year. He's got a little off-field shadow. Can disappear in games." Some scouts say he could have really used another season. Had 84 catches in two years. "He'll go 12 to 20," said a second scout. "He really came on the scene this year. He can extend to make a lot of grabs. His route-running is raw."

Eric Ebron*, TE, North Carolina: 6-4, 250. Third-year junior. "He can probably do a little bit more than Tyler Eifert (last year)," one scout said. "He's athletic. He can challenge deep. He's not a great bulky guy but he'll block. Watch him against Clowney. He didn't win but he wasn't afraid. He's (Rob) Gronkowski-like, but he's a lot smoother than Gronkowski." Improved each year, finishing with 112 receptions. "The way they used him this year was almost like a glorified slot receiver," another scout said. "Good feel for it. Not a great blocker." Led TEs in the 40 with 4.60 clocking.

Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan: 6-6, 309. Spent five years in Ann Arbor, starting the last four at LT. "He's one of those guys that's pristine," one scout said. "Takes care of himself. Watches what he eats. They had no quarterback there. You can't protect forever. Big, tall guy. It's hard to get leverage, but he can bend his knees." Has a penchant for taking dumb penalties. "I'm not sold on him," said another scout. "I don't really like his whole makeup. He's kind of a fake tough guy. Not an elite left-tackle athlete and not a tough (expletive) right tackle. Somebody will take him just because he's Michigan and got size and a good enough athlete." Ran an exceptional 40 (4.87).

Cyrus Kouandjio*, T, Alabama: 6-7, 322. Third-year junior and two-year starter at LT. "Talented guy but still very raw," one scout said. "Still makes raw mistakes. He's got more up side than Matthews. I think he is smart. Just doesn't have much football background." Blew out his ACL as true freshman in '11. Ran poorly (5.59) and bench-pressed poorly (21). Long arms (355/8). "Outstanding pass protector," a second scout said. "You're talking about a left tackle for a long, long time."

Teddy Bridgewater*, QB, Louisville: 6-2, 214. Three-year starter. "Louisville's success is because of Teddy Bridgewater," one scout said. "He's calm and composed, like you want in a quarterback. I'm not real crazy about his build. He has a linear build. I can't say he's a better scrambler than Russell Wilson, but he's not a statue, OK?" Ranked fifth in NCAA passer efficiency in 2013. Career completion mark of 68.4%. "I think you can win with him," another scout said. "He's not an elite talent but he's got a good enough arm, he's a good enough athlete and he's a leader. The big thing is his intangibles. He wins. He's clutch."

Stephon Tuitt*, DE, Notre Dame: 6-5, 304. Third-year junior with 12 sacks in 2012. "He's a 3-4 end all the way," one scout said. "He'll be on the field all the time. He's too big, too athletic and has been productive." Underwent hernia surgery in 2012. Long arms (34). "Just kind of up and down," another scout said. "Came in the year overweight. There are stretches of games where he doesn't really do anything. He will turn it on some plays and show his strength. He's a risk."

Louis Nix*, NT, Notre Dame: 6-2, 331. Fourth-year junior. "At 345 this guy can move," one scout said. "He's faster than (B.J.) Raji and he can be better (than Raji). A lot of people will get off him and say, 'Well, he's not into football as much.' But where do you find guys that big that can do that? He hasn't had a lot of sacks but he's been double-teamed a lot. Look at it this way. Notre Dame's linebackers aren't even going to the combine. That's how bad they were." One of the few legitimate nose tackles this year. "He's just a hold-the-point nose tackle," a scout for a 4-3 team said. "He doesn't fit us, but for the 3-4 teams there's a lot of value."

C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama: 6-2, 234. Senior. "He can fit any defense," one scout said. "Very fast and athletic. Never comes off the field. Team leader. An all-intangible type kid. He's all about football." Long arms (333/8) and enormous hands (10). Undersized, which showed at times against the interior run. "He's not like (Luke) Kuechly," another scout said. "Sometimes his lack of size shows up tackling. He lacks tackling bulk. Sometimes he gets out-sized by linemen. Sometimes he'll hit 'em and they don't fall down. Good player. Very instinctive. Good pass defender. Just not the biggest."

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix*, S, Alabama: 6-0, 210. Third-year junior. "He's the real deal," one scout said. "He'll go middle of the first. If he's there at 21 (for Green Bay), it'd be a no-brainer. They'd be running to the podium if that happened. He's pretty much the most complete guy that I've done (at safety)." Another scout pegged him going between 15 and 25. "He's interesting," said another scout. "Pretty good player. He has good range and hands. He's pretty smart. He'll tackle."

Playoffs
02-23-2014, 02:09 PM
The next 32 (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/packers-draft-outlook-b99210557z1-246732851.html)
Mike Evans*, WR, Texas A&M: 6-5, 231. Redshirt sophomore. "He's safer than Benjamin," one scout said. "He's just a big, strong guy. You just throw it up to him and he'll make plays. He's a big dude that plays big." Ad-libbed a lot with Manziel. Caught 151 passes in two seasons. "Little stiff," another scout said. "He's dropped some balls." Arms measured a long, long 351/8 inches.

Odell Beckham*, WR, Louisiana State: 5-11, 198. Third-year junior. "He's not fast like Lee or Watkins but he's fast enough," said one scout. "He's a great route runner, hands, body control. He's got the return stuff that brings value, too. He's pretty damn good." Caught more than 40 passes all three seasons. "He goes 20 to 32," another scout said. "Excellent hands and very good route runner. Average size. Very productive. Is going to play early in his career."

Allen Robinson*, WR, Penn State: 6-2, 220. Third-year junior. "He can get in the bottom of the first (round)," one scout said. "He's just a natural receiver. Strong. Catches the ball. Knows how to play. He's not as spectacular as the other (top) guys but he's real solid." Two-year starter with 177 receptions. "Not polished as a route runner," a second scout said. "Very good hands. Should be a starter in a short amount of time."

Brandin Cooks*, WR, Oregon State: 5-10, 189. Third-year junior. "He's quicker than fast," one scout said. "Little guy with tons of production. But he's not DeSean Jackson, not a special guy in terms of blowing the top off (the defense). He's not a big-play guy." Had 128 catches in 2013 and 226 in all. "He goes 20 to 32," another scout said. "Very fast and explosive."

Davante Adams*, WR, Fresno State: 6-1, 212. Redshirt sophomore. "I'd have a hard time taking him in the first," one scout said. "He's a really good catcher and really athletic, but he's not a speed guy." Teamed with QB Derek Carr, he had 102 receptions in 2012 and 131 in '13. "Will need to develop his game in a more pro-style offense," another scout said. "Good hands. Mid-second-rounder. Should develop into a starter."

Martavis Bryant*, WR, Clemson: 6-4, 211. Junior played second fiddle behind Watkins at Clemson this year and both Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins in '12. "He's got talent," one scout said. "He's had some drops and he's a little bit of a knucklehead, but he can make all the catches. He's a build-to-speed guy. Would I draft him in the first round? No. Does he have first-round talent? Pretty close." Just 61 receptions for 1,354 yards (22.2) and 13 TDs. "If he blows it out at the combine, somebody might take a (first-round) flier on him," another scout said.

Jarvis Landry*, WR, Louisiana State: 5-11, 205. His 40-yard dash time Sunday will go a long way to determine his draft fate. "He's such a good receiver, but there's so many fast guys in this draft that he'll get pushed down if he runs slow, which he may," one scout said. "He's a lot like Beckham. Excellent hands. Very good routes. Not as fast as Beckham, not nearly the playmaker, but a very polished receiver."

Jace Amaro*, TE, Texas Tech: 6-51/2, 265. Third-year junior. "On 99% of the snaps he lines up in the slot," one scout said. "He makes a killing doing that. (Jermichael) Finley is a faster down-the-field guy. This guy is an underneath guy, like the way the Cowboys use (Jason) Witten. He just turns around and he's so damn big they just throw him the ball and he can catch it." Exploded for 106 catches in 2013 after having just 32 in his first two seasons. "He should be better than he is," another scout said. "He's got excellent hands but he doesn't run after the catch. He's a stalk blocker." Led TEs on the bench press with 28 reps.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins*, TE, Washington: 6-5, 262. Third-year junior. "He's going to be close to Gronkowski talent-wise," one scout said. "Now he's lazy and a (expletive). It's all kinds of just minor stuff. There's always something wrong with him." Had 146 receptions in three seasons. Played some basketball for Huskies. "I think he's a pretender," another scout said. "Not really a football player. The hype is big, but he don't want to block and he is kind of half-(expletive) in everything he does. Inconsistent and unreliable."

Zack Martin, T-G, Notre Dame: 6-4, 308. Started 50 games at LT and two at RT. "I love him," one scout said. "He's not real big. All I know is he's got a great jam. He can punch the hell out of you. Nobody beats him. He's just not a real bulky guy. Everybody keeps wanting to move him inside. You better have somebody that can block those outside pass rushers." Scored 21 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test. "He's the guard that I like," another scout said. "He's athletic and strong. He understands the game." Arms were only 327/8, hands just 9.

Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State: 6-3, 336. Often compared to Lions RG Larry Warford, a third-round pick from Kentucky in '13 who had a strong rookie season. "He's big, in the Warford class," one scout said. "He moves better than Warford. He has second-round ability. My issue is if he can pass block." Experienced road grader. Ran just 5.51. "He's big and he plays big," another scout said. "If you're in his area, he's going to dominate you. Obviously, the speed and the range will never be his strength. But if you use him for what he does (best), he's pretty good."

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State: 6-2, 214. Broke all kinds of records in a spread offense. "Threw the ball 50, 60 times a game," one scout said. "Put up a ton of yards but has average size. He can start, no question. I thought he played well in the Senior Bowl." Career completion mark of 66.6%. Older brother David was top pick in 2002 draft by Houston and coach Dom Capers. "I don't trust him," said another scout. "In that system and against bad teams he can light it up. He's almost similar to his brother, where when things aren't going his way he just kind of folds." Wonderlic of 20.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois: 6-2, 226. Four-year player at the same lower-level school that spawned Tony Romo. "He's an interesting cat," one scout said. "Gets the ball out very well. He's sort of like Carr. He doesn't have the same arm but he's got great feet, a quick release and he's accurate. He played with some very pedestrian football players." Played well in the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. "This guy has everything you're looking for," said another scout. "(A.J.) McCarron isn't even comparable." Wonderlic of 24.

Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State: 5-11, 230. Production improved each year during five years in Columbus. "He could be late first (round)," one scout said. "It's just if he clears through the personal stuff, the off-field. Because he's a big dude and he runs big. He's just a power back." Wonderlic score was merely 9. "I don't know if that makes a difference at running back," another scout said, referring to the Wonderlic. "Good player. Just the stuff they tell you about him, you worry about his work ethic. He had some stuff off the field."

Tre Mason*, RB, Auburn: 5-8, 207. Catapulted into prominence in 2013 with 317 carries for 1,816 yards (5.7) and 23 TDs. "Had probably the best games of his career in the last two or three," one scout said. "Speed is not great but good enough. Good vision. Doesn't wear down." Has a reputation for fumbling. Just 19 receptions. "He maximized all the talent he's got," another scout said. "He runs hard. Gives you everything he's got. Not going to look good at the combine as far as the 40, height and all that. But the guy knows how to run and is productive."

Jeremy Hill*, RB, Louisiana State: 6-1, 233. Third-year sophomore. "I see him as the first back to go," one scout said. "He's talented. Can catch the ball, run the ball. He can stay on the field all three downs. He's just got a few off-the-field issues." Has been arrested twice for unrelated incidents. "I don't like his makeup," another scout said. "I don't like the way he runs. He's soft for a big guy. Some people say he's strong. He's not at all. He's got athletic talent and he's big but he's a soft runner."

Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota: 6-6, 310. Fifth-year senior. "He's unique," one scout said. "He's big and long, and when he wants to play he can play. He has an unusual ability of batting balls down. He does play (high). He does a lot of things you don't like. But when he doesn't want to be shoved, around they can't shove him." Wonderlic of 13. Regarded as somewhat hard to coach. "For the one or two plays a game he plays good, he's a first-rounder," another scout said. "For the other 30 when he's out of the game, or the other 20 when he doesn't do anything, then he's a free agent. It all depends how you value the kid."

Kony Ealy*, DE, Missouri: 6-4, 273. Fourth-year junior. "He really came on," one scout said. "Late first or early second. Got really good size. Can play in multiple schemes. He can be an outside backer or a DE." Scouts say he sucked up the double-teams away from fellow DE Michael Sam, who had 11 sacks. "He's big, fast, strong," another scout said. "Got a lot of up side. He's not Justin Tuck."

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh: 6-0, 285. Undersized three-technique in a 4-3 scheme. "He was the most valuable player in the Senior Bowl, not Dee Ford," one scout said. "He's a good player if you can get by with his size. He reminds me of the guy from Iowa who plays for the Falcons (DT Jonathan Babineaux)." Also regarded as a better prospect than Green Bay DT Mike Daniels, another ex-Hawkeye. "He's productive as hell," one scout said. "He'll get his (expletive) kicked for 10 straight plays and then he'll make a sack. It's the damndest thing. But down in and down out, playing the run, it's going to be hard."

Dee Ford, DE-OLB, Auburn: 6-2, 252. Fifth-year senior. MVP of the Senior Bowl with multiple sacks and pressures. "Second round," one scout said. "He'd be best as a 3-4 outside backer. He does get a lot of offsides penalties but then he got a lot of sacks that way, too. He's got really good timing on that. I don't think he'll be a great rusher but I think he'll be pretty solid. Everybody needs rushers." Not all scouts think he's athletic enough to stand up. "Just a little guy that's not a special pass rusher," another scout said.

Timmy Jernigan*, DT, Florida State: 6-2, 299. Third-year junior. "Late first, early second," said one scout. "Very strong inside player. Short but very strong." Probably best as a cocked nose tackle or three-technique in a 4-3. "Those little guys get swallowed up and haven't been very effective," another scout said.

Trent Murphy, DE-OLB, Stanford: 6-5, 250. Fifth-year senior with meat hooks for hands (111/8). "Little bit of an enigma for me," one scout said. "He's got all that stat production, but when you watch him, he's not really tough or strong. I don't know where to play him. 3-4 backer probably is the best fit, but I don't think he's that great of an athlete. He's not really a true edge guy."

Demarcus Lawrence*, DE-OLB, Boise State: 6-3, 251. Fourth-year junior. "He can fit anywhere," one scout said. "He's athletic enough to play outside linebacker. He's long enough to play an edge 4-3 rusher like Seattle uses. Worker. Good athlete. Second round." Was suspended three times for team violations.

Ryan Shazier*, LB, Ohio State: 6-1, 237. Third-year junior. "He can really run," one scout said. "I don't think he's as tough as (Tampa Bay's) Lavonte David, but he's faster. He runs like a deer. You'd have to think about him over Mosley." Should be taken in the first round. "He's little but, damn, he's the most explosive guy on the field," another scout said. "He goes in the 20s."
...

Playoffs
02-23-2014, 02:09 PM
cont'd...

Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin: 5-11, 248. Fifth-year senior. "I love him...love him," said one scout. "Only thing that gets him in trouble is his length (29 arms). I made a mistake on a guy named Sam Mills, OK? And this guy is (taller) than Sam Mills. He is better than Chris Spielman coming out. That running back from Ohio State (Carlos Hyde), he jacked him up twice on the goal line. My problem with him is his hamstring and groin problem. He has had those. Is height going to be an issue? Yes, but this guy has great instincts. For a linebacker, that's what you have to have." Scored 32 on the Wonderlic. "He's a hell of a college football player, and some guys think he can be a good pro," another scout said. "Some don't. He's short and has short (expletive) arms. He's instinctive as hell. He plays his (expletive) off. But what's his pro up side?"

Bradley Roby*, CB, Ohio State: 5-10, 190. Fourth-year junior. "He or (Darqueze) Dennard go first," one scout said, referring to the cornerbacks. "I question a little bit his stuff off the field. You've got to do more homework on him. But he's an explosive, fast player." Character questions cloud his status. "He's the most talented (cornerback) but he's totally undependable for me," said another scout. "Something's missing with him. When you talk about quickness, speed, athletic ability, change of direction, he's got all that. Then he just gets beat every game. It's mental. Some guys just don't have a feel for it. He just plays that way."

Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State: 5-11, 190. Senior. "He knows how to play," one scout said. "He's a good player and Roby's not. Roby's a better athlete. Dennard will get overdrafted, because he's not a true cover guy. He grabs and holds all the time. I'm not sure he's going to be able to get away with that." Played almost exclusively press-man coverage. "He has great ball skills," another scout said. "I'm worried about two things: durability and how fast he is. He's had some concussions and shoulder problems, and that affects his tackling sometimes."

Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State: 5-11, 195. Senior. "He's very perplexing to me," said one scout. "Big knock on him is ball skills. He's a big, long athlete that can run. He didn't play real well last year. They were even going to bench him because of inconsistent play. I just don't think he sees the ball real well. He has first-round talent but he's just up and down." The track record of Oklahoma State CBs in the NFL isn't stellar. "Gilbert gets beat all the time," a second scout said. "He's got some interception production, but when you see the picks they're not really legitimate ones."

Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech: 5-111/2, 189. Senior. "He's the best pure cover corner," said one scout. "He'll hit you and plays tough. He's had a history of injuries." Missed about a month with a groin injury late last season. "Little thin but a good football player," another scout said. "Second round."

Jason Verrett, CB, Texas Christian: 5-9, 175. Senior. "I love him but I'm just worried about his size," one scout said. "Hell of a player. He's been healthy. Tough. He's a little bit like the guy from Connecticut (Darius Butler) that the Patriots took, but he's tougher than Butler. I saw some bigger guys run by him deep. Just out-sized him. Hell of a kid. Everything's positive about him. He has first-round talent but there's no way I would draft him there."

Bashaud Breeland*, CB, Clemson: 6-0, 190. Fourth-year junior. "Second round," said one scout. "Good size. Long arms. Good speed. A still-developing type player with starter-type ability." Added another scout: "Kind of a raw speed guy. Second or third (round)."

Calvin Pryor*, S, Louisville: 6-1, 210. Third-year junior. "He'll go in the same range as Clinton-Dix 15 to 25," one scout said. "Some will like Pryor better. Little bit more physical than Clinton-Dix. Really good athlete. Solid smarts. He'll run 4.55. There's really two good safeties. The rest could play, but they're just down the line." Another scout agreed that Clinton-Dix and Pryor were the top two safeties but said drafting Pryor at 21 would be a reach. "He's like a tough guy, box safety, hitter," the second scout said. "Coverage is a little suspect. Misses a lot of tackles."

Lucky
02-23-2014, 02:28 PM
Bridgewater not in the top 8 would be very surprising.

jradMIT
02-23-2014, 02:33 PM
But....but....Teddy is athletic and black! He's a scrambler! A zone read guy!...

Lost me there too, even the biggest Bridgewater supporters on here claim he is a dynamic runner. Athletic pocket passer, great thrower on the move , but not a runner.

Playoffs
04-30-2014, 07:10 PM
Rating the NFL draft prospects: Wide receivers and tight ends (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/rating-the-nfl-draft-prospects-wide-receivers-and-tight-ends-b99258025z1-257423561.html#ixzz30PyEql6X)
The Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn assesses the top wide receivers and tight ends in the draft next week. Included is each player's height, weight, 40-yard dash time and projected round.

WIDE RECEIVERS

1. SAMMY WATKINS, Clemson (6-0, 213, 4.42, 1) — "He's so explosive," one scout said. "Just like Tavon Austin was last year. He's probably the most explosive guy in the draft." Third-year junior. In 2011, joined Herschel Walker, Marshall Faulk and Adrian Peterson as the only freshmen to make the AP All-America first team. "Really a dynamic player," said another scout. "He's so good in and out of his breaks. He runs like a running back but he moves like a receiver. He has strong hands to snatch the ball. He's going to be a real difference-maker." Concluded with a devastating 16-catch, 227-yard outburst against Ohio State in the Tigers' victorious Orange Bowl. Finished with 240 receptions for 3,391 yards (14.1-yard average) and 27 touchdowns. "He's had some drops this year," a third scout said. "He's not Calvin (Johnson) or Andre Johnson. He's almost a faster version of Dez Bryant but not as good hands. I had him ahead of Julio Jones." Doesn't turn 21 until June. From Fort Myers, Fla. "Good player but not great," a fourth scout said. "There's a lot of good stuff. But he's not a real good route runner and it's almost like he's gotten too thick in his lower body. Only 6 feet."

2. MIKE EVANS, Texas A&M (6-4, 231, 4.52, 1) — Third-year sophomore. "Some of the best ball skills I've ever seen," one scout said. "Tremendous hand-eye coordination, body control, balance. He runs fast. Not a great route-runner. He's a little stiff in and out of his breaks. But he's a guy you throw the ball up to and he's going to catch his share like an Alshon Jeffery type of guy. Wish he was faster. Highly competitive." Outstanding prep basketball player in Galveston, Texas. Signed with Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman. "He doesn't really separate," another scout said. "He just goes up and climbs. He is exceptional because he's fast." Finished with 151 catches for 2,499 yards (16.6) and 17 TDs. Scored 25 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test. "I wonder if he had a big bump-run corner on him could he separate?" a third scout said. "That was my only hesitation. But now with the rules the way they are he'll get every call imaginable." Some scouts argue Evans made Johnny Manziel, while others argue just the opposite.

3. ODELL BECKHAM, Louisiana State (5-11, 196, 4.40, 1) — Played at Isidore Newman High in New Orleans, the same school that the Manning boys attended. "No holes that I can see," said one scout. "I think he will be great." Third-year junior improved his statistics each season, finishing with 143 catches for 2,340 yards (16.4) and 12 TDs. "He lacks the elite height and size," said another scout. "He has the athletic ability, ability to bend and get in and out of breaks, the catch radius, unbelievable hands, return value. He's a very, very talented player." His father was a running back at LSU and his mother was a national champion track athlete for the Tigers. "Little bit of a diva but he is tough," a third scout said. "More of an outside guy but he can stretch the field. Very, very, very explosive. Intriguing player." Compared by scouts to Marvin Harrison and Greg Jennings.

4. BRANDIN COOKS, Oregon State (5-9, 187, 4.33, 1-2) — Compared by one scout to long-time Carolina Panther Steve Smith. "He's like Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh," one scout said. "That's a close comparison. He's faster down the field than Brown but he's sudden like he is." Third-year junior out of Stockton, Calif. "He surprised me by running that fast," another scout said. "He doesn't play as fast as he ran but he does get behind people. He's quick. In the air he can go to the ball and catch it one-handed. He plays bigger than he is because he can jump so well." Broke Pac-12 season records for receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,730) in 2013. Finished with 226 catches for 3,272 yards (14.5) and 24 TDs. Won't turn 21 until September. "He's exciting, in his own way," a third scout said. "Little stiff but really fast. Can make a lot of people miss. Limited routes he ran as a little guy. Stronger than Tavon Austin, but not as elusive."

5. MARQISE LEE, Southern California (6-0, 195, 4.47, 1-2) — Third-year junior from Inglewood, Calif. "Even though he doesn't run as well as Beckham he's more explosive," one scout said. "He has been the guy where Beckham has been one of the guys (at LSU). He was much better obviously in '12 than '13." After catching 118 passes for 1,721 yards (14.6) and 14 TDs in 2012, he was hampered by shoulder and knee injuries as well as shoddy quarterback play. Slumped to 57 grabs for 791 (13.9) and four TDs. "He's not going to be a great No. 1 but a good No. 1," said another scout. "Very similar to Greg Jennings. Greg may be a little thicker in the lowers. Speed is comparable." The Trojans' spotty track record at WR in the last 20 years has one scout concerned. "Go back since Keyshawn (Johnson)," he said. "They've had some busts."

6. KELVIN BENJAMIN, Florida State (6-5, 241, 4.65, 1-2) — Seminoles' best WR since Anquan Boldin. "Really like his up side," said one scout. "He's actually a little more fluid for a big guy getting in and out of his breaks but he's not as fast and certainly not near as smart as Evans. He's going to be a project. Good kid. He could have really used another year in school." Turned 23 in February but academic woes (Wonderlic of 7) delayed his arrival in Tallahassee until age 20. After redshirting in 2011 and backing up in '12, he broke out in '13. Finished with 84 catches for 1,506 yards (17.9) and 19 TDs. "Boom or bust," another scout said. "You can see some flashes. Little bit inconsistent, there's lack of speed and some stiffness." From the football hotbed of Belle Glade, Fla. "I should like him more," a third scout said. "I just thought he was a prima donna. That was his personality on tape."

7. ALLEN ROBINSON, Penn State (6-2, 209, 4.52, 1-2) — Led the Big Ten in receptions and receiving yards two straight years. "Big, strong, fast," one scout said. "His speed is good enough, He's a legitimate No. 2. Speed is why he won't be a No. 1. I don't think he gets out of the second round." Third-year junior from Southfield, Mich. "I really like his RAC (run after catch) for a bigger guy," another scout said. "Like he's instant up the field. He will be a really good complementary starter. He does like the weight room, but it was bad because he put on too much weight before Indy." Weighed 220 at the combine but was down to 207 at pro day. Finished with 177 catches for 2,474 yards (14.0) and 17 TDs. "I liked his hands," a third scout said. "But he looked like more of a power guy than a lithe, quick guy." Led WRs with a 42-inch vertical jump.

8. CODY LATIMER, Indiana (6-2, 215, 4.44, 2) — Third-year junior worked out well in late April after coming back from a foot injury. "He's big and he can get behind guys," said one scout. "He's competitive. Really good hands. He's a bigger guy so he's not a sudden guy who will gain a lot of separation against man coverage. He's going to beat you vertically and he's a big guy. He'll win by getting body position on guys. He's not a No. 1, not a special guy like that. He's a No. 2." Named Hoosiers' MVP in 2013. Finished with 137 receptions for 2,042 yards (15.1) and 17 TDs. From Dayton, Ohio. "People will say he can't run and played at Indiana," another scout said. "But he's big. He's in the top group."

9. JORDAN MATTHEWS, Vanderbilt (6-3, 211, 4.47, 2-3) — Jerry Rice's cousin. Only senior among the top 14 WRs. "A lot of people don't think he plays very fast," one scout said. "Then he had a pretty good 40. He has size, plays with adequate strength and he's been incredibly productive." Established Southeastern Conference record for receptions (262) and yards (3,759). Averaged 14.4 and tallied 24 TDs. "Polished," said another scout. "Hands are above average but not special. Very productive player in a tough conference with a lot of NFL-caliber corners. Probably a No. 2 on a good football team. Mid to late second round." Posted highest Wonderlic (29) of leading WRs. From Madison, Ala.

10. DAVANTE ADAMS, Fresno State (6-1, 212, 4.59, 2-3) — Fourth-year junior from Palo Alto, Calif. "He's got very good ball skills, first of all," one scout said. "He's got big size. He catches a lot of shorter balls. That offense is a little bit inflated because they run all kinds of bubble screens and hitches. He's pretty savvy. He positions himself well. He's not a burner. I see him more as a possession guy. Probably like a Keenan Allen from (2013 draft, third round). Got some of the same skill set but I don't know if he has Keenan Allen's toughness." Led the nation in 2013 with 131 catches. Finished with 233 receptions for 3,030 yards (13.0) and 38 TDs. Probably best WR at Fresno State since Henry Ellard. "All his big games were against (expletive) competition like Hawaii," another scout said. "He came on a little at the end but I don't see him as a top-three round guy. Fourth round."

11. JARVIS LANDRY, Louisiana State (5-11, 200, 4.67, 2-3) — Confirmed guesswork among scouts with a bad 40. "He's a poor man's version of the big guy with the 49ers (Anquan Boldin)," one scout said. "His numbers don't match up. I don't know how he gets the strength or whatever he possesses to do what he does. He manages to." Third-year junior from Lutcher, La., with 137 catches for 1,809 yards (13.2) and 15 TDs. "He's not near as fast as Sterling Sharpe," another scout said. "But this is a mean (expletive) that is tough." Vertical jump of 30 exceeded by some offensive linemen. Added a third scout: "He's cocky. He wills himself to make plays. Not as big as James Jones. Really good football player."

12. DONTE MONCRIEF, Mississippi (6-2, 220, 4.40, 2-3) — Led WRs with an 11-0 broad jump and blazed a fast 40. "He's a vertical receiver," said one scout. "He's a big guy with straight-line speed. He drops balls. He's got some tightness to him and he's not real quick, but he's powerful. He may be the best blocker of all the receivers. He actually goes after people." Third-year junior with 156 catches for 2,371 yards (15.2) and 20 TDs. Disappointing final season. "Really soft," said another scout. "He doesn't want anything to do with it." From Raleigh, Miss.

13. MARTAVIS BRYANT, Clemson (6-4, 214, 4.46, 3-4) – Fourth-year junior from Calhoun Falls, S.C. "He's a vertical guy," one scout said. "Clemson said he was the fastest guy on their team. I said, 'No way he's as fast as Watkins.' They said yes. This guy separates from them all. He's 6-4 and can run. If Al Davis was still alive he'd be all excited over him." Caught 61 passes for 1,354 yards (22.2) and 13 TDs; his average broke the FCS record of 22.0 held by Herman Moore since 1990. Wonderlic of 14, struggles in interviews. "He has a Randy Moss-type build," another scout said. "Doesn't run as fast as Randy but a notch below. There's some immaturity. He scored a touchdown and threw the ball in the stands and did the throat-slash gesture. He does some idiotic stuff. But as far as natural ability he's up there."

14. PAUL RICHARDSON, Colorado (6-0, 172, 4.39, 3-4) – Described by two scouts as "pure speed." Fourth-year junior from Los Angeles. "He's a lightweight guy so he can really get in and out of his (breaks)," said one scout. "He's not going to play the power game. He's not going to pull through tackles. If a (cornerback) gets his hands on him they're going to reroute him pretty easy. But if you want a guy who can separate on the outside from man cover that's what he can do. He can threaten deep. Great feet. Very quick." Finished with 156 receptions for bad Buffaloes teams, gaining 2,412 yards (15.5) and scoring 21 TDs. His father, Paul, was a WR obtained by Packers GM Ron Wolf from the Raiders in June 1992 for past considerations. He didn't last long in Green Bay. "Little bit of a forgotten guy," another scout said. "The only thing he lacks really is bulk."
...

Playoffs
04-30-2014, 07:11 PM
Tight Ends

1. ERIC EBRON, North Carolina (6-4, 252, 4.58, 1) — Third-year junior often compared to the 49ers' Vernon Davis. "Vernon is more sudden and compact," said one scout. "Twitchy. Eric's fluid. Where Eric makes his mark is being deceptive, running in gears and transitioning well in and out of breaks. I think he has special hands. You see him making one-handed palm of the ball in traffic. He has a chance to be an exceptional player, especially the way the game's played now." Two-year starter with 112 catches for 1,805 yards (16.1) and eight TDs. "He's a top-10 talent," another scout said. "He's as talented a tight end as has come out in the last five years." Played most of his career flanked wide or in the slot. "He's not a great big bulky guy but he'll block," another scout said. "Watch him against (Jadeveon) Clowney. He didn't win but he wasn't afraid. He's (Rob) Gronkowski-like but he's a lot smoother." From Greensboro, N.C. "In this new-fangled tight end position he can stretch the field and be a matchup issue," a third scout said. "He's better than (Jermichael) Finley and (Tyler) Eifert." Wonderlic of 16.

2. AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS, Washington (6-5, 263, 4.78, 1-2) — Third-year junior from Fox Island, Wash. "He has a chance to be real good and be a red-zone guy," said one scout. "That's become more and more important. He has great catching radius and I thought he blocked all right. He's a shield and wall-off guy but he's not getting tossed around. He's not going to go soft on you. But he's better off unattached (from the formation)." Pleaded guilty to drunken driving in March 2013, spent a day in jail and was suspended for one game. Turned off some team personnel with what was described by one scout as a surly, defensive attitude. "I wouldn't say he's a bad kid," said one scout for a team in the market for a TE. "But I would say that he probably will be hostile at times to coaches. He's going to have a hard time with authority figures because he's never been around them his whole life. Very, very abrasive at times when you criticize him." Finished with 146 catches for 1,840 yards (12.6) and 21 TDs. "He's big and really has soft hands but he's lazy as heck," a third scout said. "Even in the pregame of the game I went to he was just going through the motions. He should be a good blocker because he's built so powerfully but he doesn't block that well. Where he's really good is in the red zone."

3. JACE AMARO, Texas Tech (6-5, 266, 4.71, 2) — Set an FCS record for receiving yards (1,352, on 106 catches) by a TE in 2013. "Difficult guy to do because he's in the slot all the time," said one scout. "He's so much bigger than the people he's going against. He's not real exciting." Third-year junior from San Antonio. "People compare him a little bit to a (Mark) Bavaro or a Gronkowski in terms of just catching the ball and then being very hard to bring down," another scout said. "He's not a great athlete but he's big and strong and physical. Not a great blocker at the point. He might have the strength to be a pretty good blocker. I would say he'll be gone by (pick) 50." Caught 138 passes for 1,818 yards (13.2) and 13 TDs. "I'm not a big fan," a third scout said. "He's really soft. He's more a product of that offense than anything else."

4. TROY NIKLAS, Notre Dame (6-6, 269, 4.8, 3-4) – Labeled "steady" by one scout. "A bit of an enigma," another scout said. "He's not as good as all the tight ends that came out of there like (Kyle) Rudolph and Eifert. He's got a little bit of softness to him. He tries (to block). It's disappointing just because he's 270 and he thinks he's a 240-pound tight end. He'd rather be in the slot than doing the dirty work inside." Third-year junior from Fullerton, Calif., recruited as a DE but made 20 tackles as a true freshman LB in 2011. Two-year starter at TE with 37 catches for 573 yards (15.5) and six TDs. "I really didn't like him," a third scout said. "This guy is just a big, lumbering guy." His uncle, Bruce Matthews, was a Hall of Fame lineman. "He's just got to (mature) and get a little tougher," a fourth scout said. "He's got the size. He needed another year. He shouldn't have come out. Got a lot of tools to work with."

5. C.J. FIEDOROWICZ, Iowa (6-5, 266, 4.77, 3-4) – Three-year starter with 91 catches for 899 yards (9.9) and 10 TDs. "He's an all-around guy," said one scout. "I'd take him over Amaro. He has a chance to be a good, solid blocker. He doesn't run real good. He can catch." Recruited by Wisconsin and Indiana as a basketball player. Paige, his sister, played basketball at Marquette from 2008-'11. "Typical Iowa kid," said another scout. "He's dependable, reliable." From Johnsburg, Ill. "He'll be a journeyman No. 3 type," a third scout said. "He's not a starter. He's just a guy."

6. COLT LYERLA, ex-Oregon (6-4, 242, 4.58, 3-FA) – Quit the team Oct. 6 after 2 event-filled years in Eugene. Two weeks later, he was arrested for cocaine possession. "I bet he's off 80% of the teams' draft boards," one scout said. "Talented guy but into all kinds of (expletive). I think you can touch him in the sixth or seventh rounds." Best vertical jump (39) and broad jump (10-8) of all TEs and tied Ebron for swiftest 40. Caught 34 passes for 565 yards (16.6) and 11 TDs. Also played some RB, carrying 13 times for 77. "More of a receiver," said another scout. "Doesn't block well. Knowing Ted (Thompson), I don't think Ted would mess with a guy like that." Mourned the departure of coach Chip Kelly to the Eagles after his second season and it was all downhill after that. "Drugs, quitting, you name it, it's happened," a third scout said. "I would never trust him. I couldn't imagine anyone taking him with those credentials. No way." From Hillsboro, Ore. Wonderlic of 24.
...

Playoffs
05-01-2014, 11:06 AM
It's a great year, if you're looking for pass-catchers (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/its-a-great-year-if-youre-looking-for-pass-catchers-b99258023z1-257422991.html)


"I'm always cautious," said Rick Reiprish, the New Orleans Saints' director of college scouting. "I could (throw) out a number and say there's 12. With this group, if these guys go to the right teams, there could be a number of good players, because they're all talented."
...
"If you do your homework you can find that type of guy in the fourth round," said Don Gregory, the Carolina Panthers' director of college scouting.
...
"Ten years from now, when we add up the production of this entire class, I would expect the numbers would be very strong," Savage said. "Are there a couple Hall of Famers in here? Perhaps. They'll certainly get that chance because the ball is in the air."

The Journal Sentinel polled 17 personnel men with national responsibilities to name their five top wide receivers. A first-place vote was worth five points, a second was worth four and so forth.

Sammy Watkins, with 15 firsts and two seconds, led with 83 points.

He was followed by Mike Evans, 59 points; Odell Beckham, 55 (two firsts); Brandin Cooks, 25; Marqise Lee, 22; Jordan Matthews, three; Kelvin Benjamin, Cody Latimer and Paul Richardson, two; and Davante Adams and Shaq Evans, one.
...
"This is the scariest position to draft from," said one scouting veteran. "There's more busts in the top 10 at that position. There's some really good players here, but until they do it I can't say it's a great group."

Of the 23 wide receivers selected among the top 10 in the last 15 drafts, a total of fourteen, or a stunning 61%, could be categorized as busts or disappointments.
...
"Part of it is the way the college game is played now," said Savage. "In a number of systems the player may only run six routes. In the NFL, you're asked to do a lot more.

"In college, there aren't as many sight adjustments and hot reads. The complications of the pressure defense is not there as much as it is in pro football.

"The biggest factor is you're going to get man coverage in your face in the NFL. In college football, you don't get that as much."
...
"Receivers that have two years of very good production have a much higher rate of success," an executive from that club said. "Guys that catch a lot of balls end up being pretty good players."
...
"Bryant is a maybe and I don't major in maybes," an AFC personnel man said. "Maybe there's some people that like maybes. I'm not a maybe guy."

Dismissing Benjamin, another scout said: "He's stiff and lazy. Can't separate. Inconsistent catcher. I don't think he has off the field what it takes to be great on field.

"Other than that he'll be fine."

At tight end, the Journal Sentinel poll asking for the top four prospects was cut and dried. Eric Ebron got the nod from all 17 execs to become the first unanimous choice at the position since Brandon Pettigrew in 2009.

Following Ebron, who had the maximum 68 points, were Austin Seferian-Jenkins, 37; Jace Amaro, 33; Troy Niklas, 16; C.J. Fiedorowicz, 11; Jake Murphy, three; and Arthur Lynch, two.

"Once you get past the first two or three everyone else you just put them in a bag and kind of shake them up," one scout said. "There's nothing that really stands out. The tough part is all the guys that are talented have off-field issues."

***

UNSUNG HERO
Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado State: Played well in the East-West Game, then arrived on Wednesday of Senior Bowl week as an injury replacement and caught five passes for 62 yards and one TD in the game. Three-year starter with 111 receptions. Had to play defensive end in 2010 because of injury. Scrappy blocker.

SCOUTS' NIGHTMARE
Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh: Three-year starter. Broke Pitt's record for career receptions with 202. Nice size (6-3, 196), 37-inch vertical jump and knows how to play. Also has an inflated opinion of himself. Will his selfish streak prevent him from accepting a lesser role in the NFL?
...
QUOTE TO NOTE
Longtime NFL personnel man: "I was asked if I'd take a corner now or a wide receiver. All these years I'd be taking a corner. Now, if it's a big-time shutdown corner or a big-time wide receiver that will (earn) the respect of the defense, the way the game's played now, I'm taking the receiver."

Playoffs
05-02-2014, 08:05 PM
Rating the NFL draft prospects: Offensive linemen (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/rating-the-nfl-draft-prospects-offensive-linemen-b99259911z1-257746601.html)
TACKLES
1. GREG ROBINSON, Auburn (6-5, 329, 4.91, 1) – Redshirted in 2011 before starting two seasons at LT. "He's such a massive human being," one scout said. "He's explosive, everything. He overextends some, but he's a better athlete than (Cyrus) Kouandjio and way more powerful. He'll mash you. You can see his punch. He comes off the ball. He's not as tall as (Orlando) Pace but he ran good, too." At the combine, his arms were measured at 35 inches, his hands at 10 inches, and he scored 22 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test. "He's bust-proof," another scout said. "He might be a right tackle, not a left tackle. He's got great feet and great punch. He mauls people." Not so fast, according to scouts who worry about his underdeveloped pass-protection skills. "I love Robinson, but what hurts him is he doesn't know how to pass block yet," a third scout said. "It's not his fault. It's the scheme." From Thibodaux, La.

2. JAKE MATTHEWS, Texas A&M (6-5, 308, 5.04, 1) – Latest pro from the famed Matthews clan that includes Hall of Fame father Bruce, perennial all-pro uncle Clay Jr. and standout cousin Clay III of Green Bay. "He'll walk in and play left tackle and sit there for 10, 12 years," said one scout. "If he plays like his dad, he'll be there 19 years. He's an easy choice for anybody. Real consistent. Technically sound. Moves well. Got a great demeanor." Three-year starter at RT before replacing Luke Joeckel at LT in '13. "He's an all-pro guard in my mind and probably could be an all-pro center," another scout said. "He played much better at right tackle than he did left tackle this year. But you can't miss on him." Scored 32 on the Wonderlic. "I do think he could (get knocked around)," a third scout said. "He's got short arms (333/8). I don't think he'll be a left tackle. People fall in love with the last name. If his last name was something else, I don't think he'd be picked as high, honestly. Jake Matthews is a very good player, but I don't see much difference between him and Zack Martin." From Missouri City, Texas.

3. TAYLOR LEWAN, Michigan (6-7, 311, 4.85, 1) – Four-year starter at LT. "He's had some off-the-field issues," one scout said. "He's also bigger, more athletic and has longer arms than Matthews. He's the fastest O-lineman in the draft. I know he can pass protect from left tackle. He is the guy that is not getting his real due, OK?" Also led tackles in the broad jump (9-9), bench-pressed 29 times and posted 21 on the Wonderlic. "He'd be an OK left (tackle) and a good right tackle," another scout said. "There's some issues there, I'm sure. Somebody described him as Eddie Haskell, which is probably a good analogy. I don't worry about that. But you don't want to be getting calls at night on the guy." Has repeatedly lost his cool on and off the field. "He's got a mean streak," a third scout said. "He's eccentric. When he was young, he'd ride around campus on a tandem bike. Not a typical Midwestern lineman." From Cave Creek, Ariz. "(Jake) Long was better because Lewan is undisciplined," a fourth scout said. "He's a better athlete than Jake Long, but he's not as tough. He's about 10% of the leader Jake Long was. Lewan's in it for himself. He loves it when people tell him how great he is. It's to his detriment."

4. CYRUS KOUANDJIO, Alabama (6-6, 322, 5.57, 1-2) – Third-year junior started two seasons at LT. "Extremely long arms (355/8) and an outstanding pass protector," one scout said. "Still learning the run game and getting good leverage. That's going to come. You're talking about a left tackle for a long, long time." Ran a horrendous 40 at the combine and worked out poorly. "Boy, after the way he ran, (expletive), I'd be scared of him," said another scout. "That was terrible. Wait 'til he starts matching up here. I don't think it's going to work. If anything, I think he's got to go to guard." Blew out an ACL two years ago but it remains a major problem. Executives from two teams said their doctors flunked him, and two other clubs expressed concern. "Some teams will say they're not worried about it, he can give us four or five years," a third scout said. "He does have ability. For whatever reason he just did not play to that ability this season. Very inconsistent this year. Probably needed another year." Won't turn 21 until July. From Hyattsville, Md.

5. JA'WUAN JAMES, Tennessee (6-6, 311, 5.28, 1-2) – Four-year starter at RT. "Athletic enough to play either side but more suited to the right," one scout said. "He can walk in and start for you right off the bat. Solid, not spectacular. Has a lot of talent. One of those eight- to 12-year guys as a starter if he can stay healthy." Has 35-inch arms. "Very intelligent (Wonderlic of 25), great kid, solid player," said another scout. "Great family. Just draft him because you'll never have a problem with this kid." From Suwanee, Ga. "He's kind of like (Alabama's D.J.) Fluker from last year," a third scout said. "Just a big, powerful guy with long arms."

6. JACK MEWHORT, Ohio State (6-6, 312, 5.38, 2) – Started at guard in 2011 and at LT in 2012-'13. "I can't get him in the first round because he falls off too many blocks," one scout said. "He's got athleticism, toughness, leadership skills and work ethic. Somebody will get a real solid player there in the second round." Bright (Wonderlic of 36), committed and has 34-inch arms. "He doesn't have a dominant feature that would put him in the first round," another scout said. "He's not athletic enough to play left tackle, and he's not powerful enough to play right, and he doesn't bend well enough to play guard. If he does go first round that's a huge reach. Kind of like when Atlanta took the kid from USC (LT Sam Baker, 2008)." From Toledo, Ohio. "He's a tough kid, a throwback," a third scout said. "I don't want him as my left tackle. He's not athletic enough. To me, he could play guard. If (the 49ers') Alex Boone can do it so can this guy."

7. MORGAN MOSES, Virginia (6-6, 312, 5.20, 2-3) – "I was disappointed in him, I really was," one scout said. "He looks like Tarzan but kind of plays like Jane." Made his first 30 starts at RT and his final 12 at LT. "In September, I'd have said forget this guy, he's overrated," another scout said. "But the guy had a really good year doing what he does best, and that's outside pass pro. Not a good play-strength guy. Not a good run blocker. Has never really embraced the whole process as far as passion and work ethic." Long arms (353/8). "He's got some fatal flaws in terms of stiffness," a third scout said. "I could see him being a starter but not a very good starter." Although fearing he might revert back to his lazy past, a fourth scout said, "He may sneak into the bottom of the first. He's a better player than (Seantrel) Henderson and (Antonio) Richardson and a 1,000 times better kid and teammate." A fifth scout gave him a fourth-round grade. "Those Virginia offensive linemen scare the heck out of me," he said. "They're always athletic as heck but they're soft. There's something about Virginia. Maybe it's too academic or something." From Richmond, Va.

8. ANTONIO RICHARDSON, Tennessee (6-6, 330, 5.30, 3) – Goes by "Tiny." Third-year junior with 24 starts at LT. "He's not a sudden twitchy guy, but he's so big and massive," one scout said. "He's not a fast, short-area athlete. Probably better on the right side, and maybe down the road he can move inside. But you've seen guys with worse athletic ability than him get it done on the left." Played on a surgically repaired knee in 2013 and appeared hampered. He's off one team's board medically. "At one time people had him as a potential first-rounder," another scout said. "I did not see that. I don't like his lower body. He's top-heavy. I don't see the power to play the right side or the agility to play the left side." Strongest tackle on the bench press (36 reps). Has 35-inch arms, too. "I wouldn't bet on it (becoming a starter)," said a third scout. "He's not tough enough, smart enough, all that stuff." From Nashville, Tenn.

9. SEANTREL HENDERSON, Miami (6-7, 335, 5.05, 3-4) – Started 26 of 43 games at RT. "He's got a big, beautiful body but he didn't play with a sense of urgency," one scout said. "He quit on the (pro day) workout. I thought he was a lazy butt down there at the Senior Bowl. I'm not much for taking them dogs myself." Certainly looks the part. "He has the talent to be right there behind the Auburn kid (Greg Robinson)," said another scout. "He's amazingly athletic." He admitted to scouts and in interviews that his multiple suspensions were because of marijuana use. "Off the board," a third scout said. "Dope, dope and more dope. He needs help." From Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minn., where he was the nation's No. 1-rated offensive lineman in 2010. "Personally, I wouldn't (draft him)," a fourth scout said. "But you start going through the board of guys that can actually start in the league and be good starters, I mean, there aren't many guys. Somebody will take a flier on him." Wonderlic of 15.

10. MICHAEL SCHOFIELD, Michigan (6-6, 303, 5.01, 4) – Started 10 games at LG in 2011 next to Lewan and the past two seasons at RT. "If Taylor Lewan wasn't there you'd hear about him more," one scout said. "There's not a lot of difference between them. He's physical. Very tough. He's a good football player and a great kid. He doesn't get by 50." From Orland Park, Ill. "He's a backup," another scout said. "He might start at guard but he's got to get stronger. He's an average athlete. He's one of those old, solid, play-for-eight years Michigan guys. But I wouldn't want him as my starter."

Playoffs
05-02-2014, 08:07 PM
cont'd
GUARDS
1. ZACK MARTIN, Notre Dame (6-4, 309, 5.2, 1) – Started a school-record 52 games, all at LT. "Love him," one scout said. "Not a real bulky guy. All I know is he's got a great jam and can punch the hell out of you. Nobody beats him. Everybody keeps wanting to move him inside. Well, you better have somebody that can block those outside rushers." Height and arm length (327/8) make a move to guard or even center seem inevitable if not immediate. "Damn good," said another scout. "He might be as safe a pick as there is. I like him better than the (David) DeCastro kid (from the 2012 draft). DeCastro never could have played left tackle at Notre Dame." Two-time captain from Indianapolis. Wonderlic scores of 21 and 27. "Much better player than (Justin) Pugh a year ago," a third scout said. "This guy's a tougher, stronger guy. He can get you out of a game as a tackle but he'll be a really good guard."

2. XAVIER SU'A-FILO, UCLA (6-4, 306, 5.02, 1-2) – Started 21 games at LG and 19 at LT in 2009, '12 and '13; went on a Mormon mission to the Florida Panhandle in 2010-'11. "He's got really good foot and body quickness," one scout said. "Better off playing inside. You worry a little bit about the power there but he's a very good athlete. I can see in the right system somebody falling in love with him." Third-year junior from Pleasant Grove, Utah. "Tough kid and plays hard," another scout said. "Just needs some technique work." Will be 24 in January. Should become the Bruins' highest-drafted O-lineman since 1999. "The pear-shaped body kind of holds me back," a third scout said. "He's got good feet. He'll sustain."

3. JOEL BITONIO, Nevada (6-4, 304, 4.94, 1-2) – Started at RT in 2011-'12 and at LT in '13. "He's pretty efficient as a left tackle but best suited as a guard," one scout said. "He doesn't have elite feet or length (337/8 arms). He's a tough (expletive). He's not a road-grader. He needs to get stronger but he tries to finish your (expletive) and he's smart (Wonderlic of 29). He's really grooved." Blocked well against UCLA LB Anthony Barr in the 2013 opener. "He can play tackle, guard or center," another scout said. "All he does is block his guy. Tough, smart. Second round."

4. GABE JACKSON, Mississippi (6-3, 338, 5.51, 2-3) – Started all 52 games at LG. "He's big, in the (Larry) Warford class," said one scout, referring to the Kentucky guard drafted in the third round by Detroit last year. "He moves better than Warford did. He has second-round ability. My issue is if he can pass block." Strong, tough and a dependable technician. "If you're a power team he'd be OK," another scout said. "He's all right if the (defense) doesn't move. He'll come off the ball and hit you." From Liberty, Miss. "He's kind of been leaking oil since the season," said a third scout. "People were kind of high on him early on. Ever since the Senior Bowl he's come down to earth. Now I see him as just a downhill power guard."

5. TRAI TURNER, Louisiana State (6-2, 308, 4.95, 2-3) – Third-year sophomore with 20 starts at RG. "Not a real massive guy in terms of lower-body strength," one scout said. "He overcomes some of that by playing with pretty good toughs and motor. He works to finish his blocks. He's quick and has some straight-line speed, but he's a little stiff in some of the change of direction stuff. He's a young, young guy. Raw and has a little ways to go." His 21st birthday isn't until June. "Strong guy, got some feet, long arms (34)," said another scout. "Doesn't play hard all the time. Probably end up being a center. I know people love him. He doesn't thrill me." From New Orleans.

6. CYRIL RICHARDSON, Baylor (6-4, 331, 5.29, 3) – Played in a spread offense for the Bears before getting down in a two-point stance at the Senior Bowl and having a brutal week. "He had a little problem down there but that doesn't bother me so much," one scout said. "I just think he can do it. He's powerful. He can pull, he can fold, he traps, he can run block and he'll knock you down. He's a little bit like the tackle from Auburn (Robinson) in terms of run blocking. Larry Warford was probably a better pass blocker." Started at LT in 2011 and at LG three other years. "He's kind of too big," said another scout. "He's a plodder." Second-longest arms among the guards (345/8). "Lazy," said a third scout. "Big, fat, lazy." Went to high school in Fort Worth, Texas, after moving from New Orleans in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.

7. DAVID YANKEY, Stanford (6-5, 316, 5.49, 3-4) – Fourth-year junior with 26 starts at LG and 14 at LT. "A real battler," said one scout. "Generally a good anchor. Gets careless with head duck and will lunge. A Stanford kid will do what he needs to do to be successful." Smart (Wonderlic of 30), has 34-inch arms and adequate strength. "He's consistent at being inconsistent," another scout said. "There's a lot of want there, but I just think he's nonathletic. He's a stiff guy. That bothers me. But you know what? There's so many in the league like that. I don't like him." From Roswell, Ga. "I must not know what the heck I'm doing," a third scout said. "He's one of the most disappointing guys I saw. I see that guy get pushed around, then he ran 5.5 at the combine. You've got to be kidding me. Free agent."

8. BRANDON THOMAS, Clemson (6-3, 318, 5.07, 4-5) – Everything changed in spring when he blew out a knee in an individual workout with the Saints. "He'd have gone second round," said one scout. "Somebody that's got some extra picks in the third may shelve him. He's got a chance to start." Started 30 games at LT and nine at LG, but projected to guard by most teams because of height. Has the arm length (34) to play outside. "He is going to change pro workouts," said another scout. "He is all about football. Coach on the field. Why do (we) need all these extra workouts? They've seen them on tape. If you worked out at the combine, there should be no workouts permitted after that. If you didn't, you get one workout. Who's going to pay for this kid's problem that was created by the New Orleans Saints? I think these workouts are foolish." From Spartanburg, S.C.

9. DAKOTA DOZIER, Furman (6-3, 313, 5.39, 4-5) – Four-year starting LT almost certainly will shift to guard. "He played good against LSU (Oct. 26) and he was (expletive) against (expletive) competition," one scout said. "He can sink, he can bend, he's athletic. Just not real nasty. Needs to get stronger. There will be a learning curve. He plays a little cautious. He is talented." From West Columbia, S.C. "Tough, physical player," another scout said. "He actually has a little bit of an up side and could probably start." Added a third scout: "He might be the best small-school guy out there."

10. SPENCER LONG, Nebraska (6-4, 320, 5.2, 4-5) – Walk-on from Elkhorn, Neb., who arrived as a 245-pound DE in 2009. "Kind of a self-made guy," one scout said. "I think he's a starter in the league as long as his knee checks out." Underwent season-ending surgery for MCL damage after being hurt in the sixth game. "Not a great athlete but he moves well enough to get out in space," another scout said. "But he's more of a mauler type." Three-year starter at RG. "(Expletive), no," said a third scout. "He's stiff. He's sixth or seventh round for us."

CENTERS
1. WESTON RICHBURG, Colorado State (6-3, 301, 5.10, 2-3) – It's regarded as a solid class of centers with no clear-cut top prospect. "Richburg's a starter if you run a zone scheme," one scout said. "Little undersized but he'll cut you, like the guys at Denver with Mike Shanahan and Gary Kubiak. He's a damn (good) athlete. He was a quarterback (early) in high school. (Size) is a problem." His 50 starts included 45 at center, three at guard and two at tackle. "He has a little more lead in his pencil than I thought," said another scout. "Not as physical as you'd like sometimes, but he's not exactly a finesse guy. He'll be an eventual serviceable starter." Grew up on a farm in Bushland, Texas. "He's the second-best center," a third scout said. "That kid's a good player. At the Senior Bowl in the one-on-one drills he's the only one that could hang with the little terror D-tackle from Pitt (Aaron Donald)."

2. MARCUS MARTIN, Southern California (6-3, 319, 5.27, 2-3) – Third-year junior. "On tape he looked like he was a pudgy little rascal," one scout said. "He had a little bit of uneven in his play. I wondered about strength if he gets covered up with a nose. He was real competitive. You knew he was leading the pack. He was athletic enough with good strength, not great strength." Started 20 games at LG before moving to the pivot in 2013 and starting 13. "Better player than he is an athlete," another scout said. "He's not great at the second level. Kind of a Steady-Eddie, but effective." Longest arms (34) among centers. Wonderlic of 20. "Boy, I didn't like that guy at all," a third scout said. "I thought that guy was soft and non-physical. He's got a bad body." From Los Angeles.

3. RUSSELL BODINE, North Carolina (6-3, 306, 5.20, 3-4) – Fourth-year junior. "This guy is never off his feet," one scout said. "He slams people to the ground and then stays on his feet. He tested poorly...but the game is called football. It's not a track meet. He's not pretty but neither was the Wisconsin center (Travis Frederick)." Two-year starter. Repped 42 times on the bench press, a combine high this year. "He's your old-school type," another scout said. "He needs a lot of technique work. Has a little (expletive) to him. Tough, mean, all that stuff. Not a great lateral player. Might be better at guard." Wonderlic of 31. From Scottsville, Va. "Hate him," a third scout said. "Big, strong guy. Can't move. Doesn't play hard all the time. Struggles with change of direction."

4. TRAVIS SWANSON, Arkansas (6-5, 312, 5.24, 4) – Described by one scout as "an athletic, understrength center." Started 50 games in the middle. "Good mental and physical toughness," said a second scout. "Lacks some flexibility and redirect quickness, which bothers me a little bit. He could start for somebody but you'd always be looking to replace him." From Kingwood, Texas. Unimpressive in the Senior Bowl, especially when trying to play guard. "Not a very good athlete," a third scout said. "Has good size, intangibles, smart, all that kind of stuff. I don't know anybody that likes him. He just doesn't play very well."

5. GABE IKARD, Oklahoma (6-3, 302, 5.14, 5-6) – Started 32 games at center and 18 at LG. "He's not very strong," said one scout. "I like people that can move somebody out of the way. He's really, really soft. But he's smart and moves well. People will like that." Wonderlic of 38. Graduated a year ago with a perfect grade-point average. Unquestioned team leader. "He's got some starter traits," another scout said. "He's going to have to fit what you want to do, though. Playing against big nose tackles is going to be hard for him."

Playoffs
05-02-2014, 08:13 PM
Auburn tackle Greg Robinson stands out in talented lineman class (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/auburn-tackle-greg-robinson-stands-out-in-talented-lineman-class-b99259906z1-257745711.html#ixzz30bv0FTYD)
Devotees of magnificent offensive line play have been waiting patiently since 1997 for the next franchise tackle to be drafted.

On Thursday, Auburn's Greg Robinson could bring back the echoes of the five cornerstones Willie Roaf, Tony Boselli, Jonathan Ogden, Orlando Pace and Walter Jones who arrived in the mid-1990s to revolutionize the tackle position.
...
Largely because of the uncertainty regarding Robinson's pass blocking and the widespread certainty about Matthews' overall game, Robinson had just a slight edge over Matthews in a Journal Sentinel poll asking 18 national-type scouts to rate their five best offensive linemen regardless of position.

A first-place vote was worth five points, a second-place was worth four and so forth.

Here were the first-place votes: Robinson, 11; Matthews, 6; and Zack Martin, one.

Here were the point totals: Robinson, 80; Matthews, 76; Taylor Lewan, 48; Martin, 43; Cyrus Kouandjio, 11; Xavier Su'a-Filo, seven; Joel Bitonio, three; and Ja'Wuan James and Spencer Long, one.

"Matthews isn't Jonathan Ogden in dimension, but he's got the genealogy and the durability," said Phil Savage, who helped draft Ogden as the Ravens' director of college scouting. "He may not end up being as spectacular as Greg Robinson, but Day 1 he's closer to being ready to play."

The offensive line connoisseurs would settle for greatness from even one of them.

***

UNSUNG HERO
John Urschel, G, Penn State: Last month, he won the Sullivan Award as the country's top amateur athlete. Scored 43 on the Wonderlic. Taught math classes at Penn State last year. Two-year starter at right guard might have a better chance at center. On the small side (6-3, 312) but loves the game and wants to play badly before pursuing his promising academic future.

SCOUTS' NIGHTMARE
Chris Watt, G, Notre Dame: Three-year starter at left guard. Typical blue-collar grinder. Played strong, smart and aware. Then, at the combine, he measured at just 6-2 and ran a slow 5.5 40.
...
QUOTE TO NOTE
NFL personnel man: "Everybody jokes about the Big Ten now. But when I look at offensive linemen that's the first place I look because they still play football in the Big Ten. It's still the Hayes-Schembechler mentality to a degree. Some of those other teams have changed things around. But you take Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kirk Ferentz at Iowa. They still take pride. They don't run around you. They try to go right through you."

Playoffs
05-03-2014, 07:19 PM
Running backs have fallen out of favor (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/running-backs-have-fallen-out-of-favor-b99260471z1-257816581.html)

Today, running backs have fallen so far out of favor that they can't even land in the first round, let alone lead off a draft. Last year was the first time since 1963 (then a 14-team draft) that no running back was chosen in the first round, and if projections are accurate there won't be any Thursday night, either.

"You don't have Adrian Petersons around much anymore in college," said Rick Reiprish, the New Orleans Saints' director of college scouting who is marking his 36th season of personnel work. "A running back would have to be super to be a first-round pick.

"The way the game's played, you don't see the big back that's going to pound at you all the time. You're going to get backs that are equally as good receivers as they are runners. That's just the way the game is."

The average of first-round running backs has decreased from 4.9 in the 1980s to 3.4 in the 1990s to 3.1 in the 2000s to 1.8 in the first four drafts this decade. The draft didn't expand to 32 picks per round until 2002, either.
...

***

UNSUNG HERO
James White, RB, Wisconsin: Not big (5-9, 205), not fast (4.58) and not especially athletic. "But I do like him," said one scout. "Boy, he's smart and has a good feel for everything. As a third-down back I think he does all that stuff well. He doesn't make any big plays but just a smart, good football player. We got him in the fifth (round)."

SCOUTS' NIGHTMARE
Damien Williams, RB, ex-Oklahoma: Possesses the talent to be drafted in the third round but might be fortunate at this point just to get into a camp. Kicked off the team in November after messing up too many times. "He can be a three-down back," said one scout. "But there's something wrong with the kid."
...
QUOTE TO NOTE
NFL personnel man: "When they had the draft two weeks after the Senior Bowl you had your best drafts. You went on what you saw in October and November and not what you saw in March and April. Also, the coaches couldn't get involved. We'd give them maybe 10 players to watch. Now there's so much second-guessing.

"It's just totally ridiculous but that's the National Football League. All they care about is money. Their excuse for the delay this year is they couldn't use the venue (Radio City Music Hall). Well, they can find some other venue. That's the sad thing about all of sports today. They don't care about fans."

Playoffs
05-03-2014, 07:21 PM
Rating the NFL draft prospects: Running Backs (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/rating-the-nfl-draft-prospects-running-backs-b99260511z1-257816971.html)

1. CARLOS HYDE, Ohio State (6-0, 232, 4.61, 2) Came off a three-game suspension for off-field trouble to start 2013 and had his finest season. "Complete player," one scout said. "Stud. He's powerful. Great athlete. Great run feel. Catches the ball very well. He'll block. Picks up all the protections, even calls some protections. He's a good-hearted kid but he needs mentoring." Finished with 523 carries for 3,198 yards (6.1) and 37 touchdowns, and 34 receptions. Carried 53 times for 372 (7.0) to help overpower Michigan the past two seasons. "He doesn't have the burst or acceleration to be a difference-maker," said another scout. "He doesn't have much juice." Scored extremely low (9) on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test before improving to 13 at the combine. "It's the overall type person," said a third scout. "When you meet him you don't totally buy in. They don't sell him at the school as your eat-sleep-drink football type. He enjoys the night life. Not as big on the work ethic during the week. Loves Saturdays. Doesn't really put in the time. Kind of plays on talent." From Naples, Fla.

2. JEREMY HILL, Louisiana State (6-0, 233, 4.65, 2) Third-year sophomore declared after rushing for 1,401 yards in 2013 and averaging 6.9, breaking Garrison Hearst's Southeastern Conference record of 6.8 set in 1992. "He's a complete back," said one scout. "He can be an every-down player and carry the load. He's really good in the passing game, too. Smooth runner. Natural run instincts." Pleaded guilty in January 2011 to carnal knowledge of a juvenile in a high school incident, was given two years probation and redshirted. Finished with 345 carries for 2,156 yards (school-record 6.3) and 28 TDs, and caught 26 passes. "That big (expletive) is faster and a better athlete than Hyde, and he catches the (expletive) out of it," another scout said. "Damn right I like him as a starter." Wonderlic of 22. From Baton Rouge, La. "I don't like his makeup and the way he runs," a third scout said. "He's soft for a big guy. Some people say he's strong. He's not at all. He's got athletic talent and he's big, but he's a soft runner."

3. BISHOP SANKEY, Washington (5-9, 209, 4.53, 2) Third-year junior. "He's got a little bit of Emmitt Smith in him," said one scout. "He's like a poor man's Emmitt Smith. He can run everywhere. He's just not a real burner. But he's got quickness and vision, and he's a hell of a kid. He's tougher than (expletive)." Gained 1,870 yards last year, breaking Corey Dillon's school record. Finished with 644 carries for 3,496 yards (5.4) and 37 TDs, breaking Napoleon Kaufman's school mark of 34. "Napoleon Kaufman was much more straight-line than Sankey," said a second scout. "This guy has more moves and more pure speed. He's not as strong as Emmitt but looks the way Emmitt looked when he came to the Cowboys. I just don't think he will be big enough to take the every-day pounding." From Spokane, Wash. "He's pretty damn good," said a third scout. "He's not dynamic but the kid's got great feel and is quick as hell. Real similar to Giovani Bernard."

4. TRE MASON, Auburn (5-8, 206, 4.48, 2-3) Third-year junior. "I think he's built for the league the way it is now," one scout said. "Now it (his size) is fine. He'll be a great screen runner but he'll make his carries, too." Saved his best performances for the last three games; broke Bo Jackson's school record for yards in a season (1,816) on his final carry. "He maximizes all the talent he's got," another scout said. "Runs hard. Gives you everything he's got. Knows how to run." Finished with 516 carries for 2,979 yards (5.8) and 31 TDs, and caught 19 passes. Sixth in Heisman Trophy voting. "He fumbles left and right," a third scout said. "I like his grit, and he's tough as hell. But I don't think he's going to last. They'll beat the hell out of him." His father, Vincent, is a hip-hop artist for the influential early rap group De La Soul. From Palm Beach, Fla. "He's not real elusive," a fourth scout said. "Doesn't break enough tackles." The doctors for two teams said he needs wrist surgery.

5. ANDRE WILLIAMS, Boston College (5-11, 230, 4.52, 2-3) Compared by one scout to Shonn Greene. "Really tough kid," one scout said. "If you want somebody to carry the ball 25 times a game between the tackles this is your guy. He's an old-time running back. He would do better without a rotation just wearing people down. Not real elusive, but once he gets out there he just makes plays." Blossomed when BC switched from a zone to power ground game in 2013 and led the nation with 2,177 yards and finished fourth in the Heisman voting. "Lacks twitch, elude," said a second scout. "Strong, tight, downhill, straight-line runner. Needs a lane." Finished with 704 carries for 3,754 yards (5.3) and 28 TDs. Didn't catch a pass as a senior and had merely 10 in career. "Worst hands I've ever seen," said a third scout. "I never even saw them pitch it to him. You would be crazy to pitch it to him. It's so bad, you feel bad for the kid. I saw a game and the pregame was atrocious. He's working on it, but it's, like, 'What have you been doing for four years?'" His inadequacies as a receiver were keenly evident in combine drills. Highest Wonderlic (23) of leading backs. From Allentown, Pa.

6. TERRANCE WEST, Towson (5-9, 225, 4.56, 3) Was working selling shoes after high school graduation in Baltimore when he hopped on two different buses each day to try out at nearby Towson. "He made it that way," one scout said. "He has a little bit of an edge. He's a real street kid. But the guy has some hunger and football's important to him." Carried 802 times, most by one of the top backs, for 4,849 yards (6.1) and 84 TDs to go with 36 receptions. "Dominated I-AA football," the scout said. "He's not a blazer but he's a 4.5 guy. He's a yoked-up 225. Good feet. Knows how to play. Good hands. For a guy that was the back of I-AA football, pretty good pass pro guy. He's been the king of his level and school." Turned off one scout with what he described as a know-it-all attitude. "Doesn't take coaching," he said. "You might as well not even waste your time." Fourth-year junior.

7. DEVONTA FREEMAN, Florida State (5-8, 205, 4.54, 3) First 1,000-yard rusher (1,016) for Seminoles since Warrick Dunn in 1996. "He's a tough guy and he does everything," said one scout. "He's just not big. That's the problem. He tries in blitz (pickup), but that will be an issue." Third-year junior with 404 carries for 2,255 yards (5.6) and 30 TDs to go with 47 catches. "Love him," another scout said. "Not high (in the draft) but love him. That (expletive) is a football player." From Miami. "Pretty exciting little player," said a third scout. "Very focused. This kid will never be a problem."

8. CHARLES SIMS, West Virginia (6-0, 214, 4.49, 3-4) Graduated in May 2013 after a successful career at Houston, his hometown school, and joined the Mountaineers. "He did the same thing in one year at West Virginia he did at Houston," one scout said. "He's got a little more juice than some of these senior backs. He's got the quickness and catches the ball well." Finished with 592 carries for 3,465 yards (5.9) and 40 TDs to go with a whopping 203 receptions for 2,108 yards (10.8) and 11 TDs. "I'm not a fan," another scout said. "I see a guy that isn't very tough and isn't strong. For as big as he is he doesn't break a lot of tackles and doesn't get a lot of yards after contact. He has no run instincts. His vision is bad. I see a guy that will battle for like a practice-squad job."

9. KA'DEEM CAREY, Arizona (5-9, 208, 4.69, 4) Third-year junior with tremendous two-year production in coach Rich Rodriguez's spread attack. "He's a power guy," one scout said. "He's got vision. He runs inside pretty well. He's got some off-the-field stuff that you need to check into." Was ejected from a basketball game on campus in January 2013 following an altercation. Wonderlic of 9. "Then he verified his lack of speed at the workout," another scout said. "I just didn't think he had that extra spurt. That offense really helped him a lot." Carried 743 times for school-record 4,239 yards (5.7) and 48 TDs to go with 77 catches. "Doesn't thrill me," a third scout said. "Not a particularly skilled runner. Picks up some yards but takes a lot of hits." Endured a dreadful gauntlet drill trying to catch the ball at the combine. From Tucson, Ariz.

10. STORM JOHNSON, Central Florida (5-11, 214, 4.58, 4-5) After one season he decided to transfer from Miami to UCF following an incident on campus and then sat out '11. "Quick, athletic, fast," said one scout. "Good pass catcher. He'll be a starter." Carried 335 times for 1,765 yards (5.3) and 19 TDs to go with 40 receptions. Also fumbled eight times in last two seasons. "He's got to be consistent and stop putting the ball on the ground," another scout said. "A lot of that comes from flagging and trying to shake people. Not a burner but he's got good speed. He's got quick feet and can catch out of the backfield." Fourth-year junior from Loganville, Ga. "He's run of the mill," said a third scout. "He's a big back that runs like a small back and doesn't have really good balance. Dime a dozen."

11. LACHE SEASTRUNK, Baylor (5-9, 200, 4.45, 4-5) Five of his 19 TDs were longer than 68 yards. Played better in 2012. "His problem this year was he was dinged up," said one scout. "You're talking about a guy who can fly. He's better than all the (small) backs." Posted the best vertical jump (41 inches) and broad jump (11-2) of the leading RBs. Fourth-year junior had 289 carries for 2,189 yards (7.6) and 18 TDs but caught just nine passes (none in '13). Wonderlic of 9. "He's dynamic," another scout said. "Rare speed. Not very powerful. His deal is he had no receptions. Nine test, lost in protections. Cannot play in the pass game." Began career at Oregon in 2010 but transferred after being embroiled in recruiting violations. From Temple, Texas.

12. DE'ANTHONY THOMAS, Oregon (5-8, 174, 4.39, 4-5) "He's like a subpackage subpackage guy," one scout said. "There's only going to be so much what you can do with the guy." Third-year junior from Los Angeles. "He doesn't play with any strength at all," a second scout said. "He's pure speed and quickness but he gets swept off his feet. If they get an arm on him down low he'll go down. He'll have the same problem in the NFL that all little returners have. Those big linebackers pull him apart and there goes the ball." Rushed 243 times for 1,890 yards (7.8) and 26 TDs to go with 113 receptions for 1,296 (11.5) and 15 TDs. "Name me an Oregon running back that has played in the NFL," a third scout said. "They can't play. They're too small." Wonderlic of 14. Nicknamed "The Black Mamba."

Lucky
05-04-2014, 11:42 AM
"Name me an Oregon running back that has played in the NFL," a third scout said. "They can't play. They're too small."
How 'bout 2? Jonathan Stewart. LaGarrette Blount. Neither would be characterized as "too small".

Makes you wonder just what it takes to be a NFL scout? Certainly, there's an element of "good ol' boy network" involved.

Playoffs
05-05-2014, 12:47 PM
Rating the NFL draft prospects: Linebackers (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/rating-the-nfl-draft-prospects-linebackers-b99261940z1-257880521.html)
INSIDE LINEBACKERS
1. C.J. MOSLEY, Alabama (6-2, 234, 4.68, 1) Defensive leader for a team that went 46-7 and won a pair of national titles. "He's one of those guys that kind of makes a defense, he really does," said one scout. "Extremely smart. Instinctive. Explosive. Fast. All about football. No off the field issues. Never comes out of the game." Started just 29 of 51 games, finishing with 319 tackles (23 for loss), 8 sacks and eight "big" plays (defined as the total of interceptions, fumbles forced and fumbles recovered). "He's maybe like Lavonte David," another scout said. "He's not as big as Luke Kuechly. He's not Patrick Willis." Returned three of his five picks for TDs. "Excellent in the passing game," a third scout said. "He can match up in zone or man to man. He also can play the run directly at him or run laterally to the sideline. If he gets knocked down it will because of the medical." Has had major elbow, hip and shoulder injuries. "Sometimes his lack of size shows up in his tackling," a fourth scout said. "He lacks tackling bulk. Sometimes he gets outsized by linemen, and sometimes he'll hit 'em and they don't fall down." From Mobile, Ala.

2. RYAN SHAZIER, Ohio State (6-1, 230, 4.38, 1) Third-year junior and a two-year starter on the weak side. "He is the fastest guy I have scouted at linebacker other than Brian Urlacher," one longtime scout said. "We had him at 4.38 at 235 or 237. Mosley is a hell of a football player but I'll take 4.38 and see if I can work with it. He's a blur. He's faster than Derrick Brooks. He's a bigger, faster Lavonte David. He's a freak when it comes to speed." Posted the best vertical jump (42 inches) of anyone at the combine and led LBs in the broad jump (10-10). Scored 20 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test and bench-pressed 225 pounds 25 times. "His problem is he's a real linear guy," another scout said. "He bulked up for his pro day but he probably played under 220 this year. He's doesn't have a lot of (expletive) to him so when he hits you sometimes his legs go dead." Finished with 315 tackles (44 for loss), 14 sacks and 10 big plays. Compared by one scout to former Bear WLB Wilber Marshall. "Not very strong," a fourth scout said. "Gets bounced around some. He's got unique speed. Pursuit angles are a little inconsistent. Supposed to be a pretty good kid. Good hands, but not physical. Good feel in the pass game." From Pompano Beach, Fla.

3. CHRIS BORLAND, Wisconsin (5-11, 247, 4.83, 2) One of the greatest defensive players in Badgers' history. "I watched practice before I watched any tape when I was there," one scout said. "I saw him and I said, 'Are you kidding me? How does this guy play middle linebacker in the Big Ten?' Then I put the tape on. Does everything. Awesome in coverage. Blitzes well. If he's 6-1 and his arms are longer than a pencil he's a top-10 pick. But middle linebacker is the one position where you can lack a little length." Arms measured a scant 29 inches. "It will take (guts) to draft him, but I wouldn't worry about it," another scout said. "This guy is unique. He's like (Luke) Kuechly. His body length is going to get him in a little bit of trouble on wide plays sometimes because he's not the fastest guy in the world. But he always has great leverage on the ball. He knows where the ball's going." Wonderlic of 32. Said a third scout: "The plays he made against Ohio State, when he stones the best running back (Carlos Hyde) in the draft and beats a blocker to get to him to do that...with his first-step quickness to the ball and leverage, I have faith in that kid." Finished with 410 tackles (50 for loss), 17 sacks and a whopping 27 big plays. "He's going to get completely destroyed in there," a fourth scout said. "He's short and has short arms. He plays his (expletive) off but what's his pro physical up side?" From Kettering, Ohio.

4. PRESTON BROWN, Louisville (6-1, 251, 4.81, 3-4) After the top three there's a massive drop-off to Brown. "Nothing special," said one scout. "They didn't think he was tough enough. At the end of the year one of the coaches said he was. He kind of grew on me. He has good production. He runs well enough. He's a backup." Started in the middle the last two seasons after aligning on the strong side in 2011. "Stout enough," another scout said. "He's like a fifth-round pick or something." More of an old-fashioned MLB with limitations in coverage. Had 301 tackles (21 for loss) with seven sacks and six big plays. From Cincinnati.

5. TELVIN SMITH, Florida State (6-3, 222, 4.50, 3-4) Played 54 games but started just 15. "It's a projection (inside)," said one scout. "Unfortunately, he's undersized. Does he have the instincts? Yes. Is he a take-on guy? No. Can he cover a tight end? Yes. You do the best you can." Played the weak side for the Seminoles, finishing with 214 tackles (29 for loss), seven sacks and 10 big plays. "He's a very good lateral player," said a second scout. "Can he make plays 10, 12 yards off the line of scrimmage? I don't know because he was a forward player there. But he is a really good athlete." Called "stiff and straight-line" by a third scout. "I don't know what you do with him," a fourth scout said. "He looks like he's a tiny person. He's a good player, but 215 is kind of tough." From Valdosta, Ga.

6. SHAYNE SKOV, Stanford (6-2, 243, 5.20, 4-5) Started for the better part of four years. "Remember how smart those old Penn State linebackers were?" one scout said. "They all played more on brains than talent. That's what this guy might be. He's not real fast but his angles get him to the ball where he absolutely minimizes the gains that a back might make outside. Yet, he rarely gets cut back on. And he's a magnificent blitzer. I'll give him that, boy. In pass cover watch him on his drops. It's almost like he knows where the offense is sending the ball on the snap. You better have better players around him, but he'll be the glue that will hold your defense together." Has a bad knee and might be rejected by some teams. Damaged his draft hopes by running a terrible 40 on April 21. "He's just a try-hard guy," said a second scout. Finished with 355 tackles (40 for loss), 17 sacks and eight big plays. Wonderlic of 34. Lives in Guadalajara, Mexico.

7. CHRISTIAN KIRKSEY, Iowa (6-2, 234, 4.57, 4-5) Played out of position in the middle most of his career. Got a shot on the weak side at the Senior Bowl and flourished. "He wasn't strong enough for middle and they put him in position where he'd never make any plays," said one scout. "He's the best of the three Iowa (LBs). He's athletic." Finished with 315 tackles (13 for loss), 5 sacks and 16 big plays. "Very good Senior Bowl week," another scout said. "Nowadays everyone is so undersized, anyways. I think he can play inside but he's going to have to have some help. Very athletic and really instinctive. I'm betting on the come with him." From St. Louis.

8. JORDAN ZUMWALT, UCLA (6-4, 232, 4.71, 4-5) "Overachiever," one scout said. Played in a 3-4 defense the past two seasons, starting 17 games inside and five outside. "He's like crazy," another scout said. "He's that hyper kind of player. Just not very fundamentally sound. He isn't playing within the defense. That's something he needs to work on. He's the see-ball, get-ball type." Finished with 256 tackles (22 for loss), two sacks and nine big plays. "Has a great motor," a third scout said. "Grows on you. Makes plays." From Huntington Beach, Calif.

9. KHAIRI FORTT, California (6-2, 245, 4.73, 4-5) Compared by one scout to ex-Packer Desmond Bishop, another former inside LB at Cal. "He'd be an interesting guy if you could protect him a little bit because he's not a great take-on," one scout said. "But he's got speed. I don't care what he runs on the clock. He'll run fast on a field." Fourth-year junior with just 10 starts in three seasons. Played hurt much of 2013. Finished with 114 tackles (10 for loss), three sacks and no big plays. "Not a bad player," a third scout said. "He can play over the tight end or play middle backer. Been hurt his whole career. He couldn't even make it through the combine workout without getting hurt (hamstring)." From Stamford, Conn.

10. MAX BULLOUGH, Michigan State (6-3, 248, 4.75, 5-6) Three-year starter at MLB with a Wonderlic of 31 and 30 reps on the bench press. "Kind of the team's leader," one scout said. "All intangibles, not as good of a football player. Taller and plays tall. Average speed. But he lines everybody up and gets everybody under control." His grandfather Hank was the Packers' defensive coordinator from 1988-'91 after playing 20 games at guard for them in the late 1950s. "His reputation and his name will help him a lot so he'll probably get drafted (late)," a second scout said. "I'd take him as a free agent because he's smart and plays hard." Added a third scout: "Try-hard overachiever. Tough kid. Typical Big Ten guy." From Traverse City, Mich.

Playoffs
05-05-2014, 12:48 PM
cont'd
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS
1. KHALIL MACK, Buffalo (6-2, 252, 4.57, 1) Four-year starter at OLB in a 3-4 defense. "Buffalo was the only team that recruited him," said one scout. "Love that kid. (Expletive), yeah, he's better than (Anthony) Barr. He can do whatever he wants." Tremendous athlete (40-inch vertical jump). "He can do anything," another scout said. "He's the best defensive player I've ever evaluated. In watching him in the MAC (Mid-American Conference), he makes it look like he's playing against eighth-graders." Registered nine tackles and 2 sacks Aug. 31 at Ohio State, often beating LT Jack Mewhort. "But he played damn good against Ohio State and pretty average against the rest of those (expletive) teams that they played against," a third scout said. "He didn't dominate his competition. He tests out, tough, strong. But it's going to take him awhile." Although his Wonderlic scores of 13 and 17 were low, two scouts said they detected no hesitation in his play. "Is he truly a pass rusher?" a fourth scout said. "All I see him do is bull rush. Can he bull rush big offensive lineman in the NFL?" Finished with 327 tackles (75 for loss, tying Jason Babin's NCAA record), 28 sacks and 23 big plays, including a record 16 forced fumbles. From Fort Pierce, Fla.

2. ANTHONY BARR, UCLA (6-4, 251, 4.46, 1) Initially followed in the footsteps of his father, Tony, a Notre Dame RB who was drafted by the Eagles in the fourth round in '92. Played sparingly as a RB and TE for two years before moving to ROLB in a 3-4 for 2012-'13. "He has an extremely high up side," one scout said. "Talented pass rusher. Slippery. Needs to get better at the point against the run but has great range and is good in coverage." Finished with 151 tackles (40 for loss), 23 sacks and 13 big plays. "Is he just a (3-4) outside linebacker?" a second scout said. "Or is he Dave Robinson in a 4-3, tall and rangy? He doesn't play to his size at all. He ought to be kicking their (expletive) and making 'em like it, you know? I hate to say it but UCLA has the reputation for having better athletes than football players." Ran a fantastic 40 at pro day. "He's a poor man's poor man's DeMarcus Ware," a third scout said. "UCLA guys used to worry me but (Jim) Mora has changed the culture there. This kid hasn't had much time on defense." From San Pedro, Calif. Wonderlic of 28. Added another scout: "He has more ability than Clay (Matthews). Doesn't always play hard. You wonder about his grit."

3. DEMARCUS LAWRENCE, Boise State (6-3, 250, 4.72, 1-2) Redshirted one year and played another in junior college, started 23 games in 2012-'13 at Boise and declared a year early. "Down defensive end there," one scout said. "Pass rusher. Kind of a rangy guy. Got length, some rush skill and pretty solid production. He's had a few off-the-field issues. You hoped he would run much better." Finished with 120 tackles (34 for loss), 20 sacks and 10 big plays. Garnered 12 sacks in his JUCO season. "I like him as an outside backer," said another scout. "Problem is he's been suspended three times." Wonderlic of 20. "He's a little guy who is quick but not strong," a third scout said. "I don't know what the heck you're going to do with him. He didn't play linebacker there. He strictly rushed the passer. He's not physical. He was extremely disappointing. In fact, the entire Boise State team this year was disappointing." From Aiken, S.C.

4. KYLE VAN NOY, Brigham Young (6-3, 245, 4.66, 2) Three-year starter. "He's silky smooth," one scout said. "He's not a balls to the wall guy all the time. It's not that he dogs it. He's just so fluid. He's not a grinder, knock the snot out of you (player). He's just a good football player. He can rush and he can drop." Finished with 226 tackles (62 for loss), 26 sacks and 22 big plays. "He is jack of all, master of none," a second scout said. "Very sound player. Got an NFL body. Lacks a little physicality." Wonderlic scores of 13 and 16. "Extremely instinctive," a third scout said. "Good pass-rush ability. Best player on that team by far. Could be a 'will' or a 'sam.'" From Reno, Nev. Will try to overcome short arms (315/8) in role as a pass rusher. "I don't like him," a fourth scout said. "Big guy that plays soft. Just not really a great athlete."

5. JEREMIAH ATTAOCHU, Georgia Tech (6-3, 250, 4.59, 2) Played three seasons as an OLB in a 3-4 under coordinator Al Groh and then at DE in a 4-3 as a senior. "He's whatever you want him to be," one scout said. "He reminds me a lot of (ex-Bear) Mark Anderson. He can get on an edge and switch a gear on you that you don't think he has. I don't think he's a guy that can drop much. He may be able to buzz the flat or swing with a back on a flare. He's naturally more of a 3-4 outside guy. Is he a top-tier guy from suddenness, speed, length? Probably not. But he comes in and competes right away. He has played for Al Groh so the verbiage will be second nature for him." Finished with 196 tackles (43 for loss), a school-record 31 sacks and seven "big" plays. "The knock on him is just innate feel for the game," another scout said. "But he's got the body type, the burst, the want-to." From Washington, D.C. "Best thing he does is come off the edge, but he's really stiff in space," said a third scout. "Played linebacker in the Senior Bowl, and I thought he struggled with his movement and instincts all week."

6. MARCUS SMITH, Louisville (6-3, 251, 4.68, 2) Was a high school QB in Columbus, Ga., but was shifted to defense almost immediately. Started 31 games at DE, finishing with 86 tackles (32 for loss), 24 sacks and 11 big plays. "He will be drafted higher than you think because he has some pass-rush potential," one scout said. "Might be a pretty good investment. His best production came when he had his hand in the dirt and rushed. I don't see him as an immediate starter. He doesn't have the lower-body build to anchor the run. It will take a year to teach him to play." Played standing up about 70% of the snaps as a senior. "Kind of a hard fit for a 4-3," said another scout. "He's got a knack for rushing. Some of it's inside. He rushes against backs. He's more athletic than Attaochu."

7. CHRISTIAN JONES, Florida State (6-3, 239, 4.74, 3) Said one scout: "No instincts. Looks the part. No instincts." Started 37 games outside and just two in the middle, but several teams are taking a hard look at him inside. "If you look at him you'd say he'd be a great inside backer," a second scout said. "You could do it but you're just not going to get the most out of his ability. Now if you play him as an outside 3-4 guy that rushes a lot, he'd be much more natural. Florida State moved him to a down DE spot and I thought their defense started to play much better." Finished with 225 tackles (24 for loss), eight sacks and seven big plays. "He's always been a guy that sits behind that three-technique (DT) and just runs and chases and hits," said a third scout. "Athletically, he could play inside, but it would take some time for him." Willie, his father, was drafted in the second round by the Raiders in 1979 and had 10 sacks in '81. From Winter Park, Fla.

8. ADRIAN HUBBARD, Alabama (6-6, 257, 4.67, 3-4) Fourth-year junior with 26 starts. "Got all the measurables," one scout said. "Just stands and watches. He certainly looks the part, but he doesn't play the part. They tried to drop him some at the Senior Bowl and the guy struggled. Somebody will take him because he has a great frame and good growth potential. I think he'll play down." Finished with 83 tackles (18 for loss), 10 sacks and three big plays. "He stinks," another scout said. "There's nothing to him. Low motor. No pass rush. Not very strong. Not explosive." From Lawrenceville, Ga. "Great basketball player in high school," a third scout said. "Very outspoken type kid. He's going to speak up and challenge you."

9. PRINCE SHEMBO, Notre Dame (6-1, 254, 4.68, 3-4) Three-year starter at OLB in a 3-4. "Very disciplined in how they played him," said one scout. "He wasn't turned loose. He can rush the passer." Posted 145 tackles (24 for loss), 19 sacks and three big plays. "He's only 6-1 and doesn't make many plays," said another scout. "Questionable instincts. He can run. Can't play off the ball. I don't know what you do with him. He's got to be a 3-4 outside guy." Was removed from one's team board after he acknowledged at the combine that he was the player linked to an alleged sexual assault of a student who committed suicide 10 days later. He was not charged. "You're not ever going to get an explanation," said a third scout. "You've got to either trust the kid or dismiss him altogether. He's a good football player." From Charlotte, N.C. Wonderlic of 19.

10. KEVIN PIERRE-LOUIS, Boston College (6-0, 234, 4.50, 4) Weak-side starter from 2010-'12, strong-side starter in '13. "He will be a great nickel linebacker," one scout said. "The guy can really run. He's tough. Good coverage player. If you can tolerate his size, he has the athletic ability and coverage skills to make up for it." Wonderlic of 24. Highly emotional person. From Norwalk, Conn. "He's a run and chase guy," another scout said. "Good player, just small at the point of attack. Makes plays all over." Posted 360 tackles (23 for loss), eight sacks and four big plays.

mussop
05-05-2014, 09:28 PM
Rating the NFL draft prospects: Linebackers (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/rating-the-nfl-draft-prospects-linebackers-b99261940z1-257880521.html)

No Smallwood??

Playoffs
05-05-2014, 09:46 PM
No Smallwood??Got some votes...

In the Journal Sentinel polls at linebacker, (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/scouts-love-uw-linebacker-chris-borland-but-some-worry-about-size-b99261938z1-257880811.html)
11 scouts from 3-4 teams and eight from 4-3 teams were asked scheme-specific questions on the five best outside and inside players to fit their defenses. The only proviso was that a player couldn't be named in each linebacker poll or in the defensive polls coming Tuesday.

Here are the results:

Inside linebacker in a 3-4: C.J. Mosley, 54 points (10 first-place votes); Ryan Shazier, 38 (one); Chris Borland, 33; Shayne Skov, Telvin Smith and Kyle Van Noy, five; Max Bullough, four; Preston Brown, Christian Jones, Christian Kirksey and Jordan Tripp, three; Khairi Fortt and Yawin Smallwood, two; and Lamin Barrow, Glenn Carson, Andrew Jackson, Avery Williamson and Jordan Zumwalt, one.

Outside linebacker in a 3-4: Khalil Mack, 47 points (three firsts); Jadeveon Clowney, 44 (eight firsts); Anthony Barr, 31; Dee Ford, 16; Marcus Smith, eight; Demarcus Lawrence, six; Jeremiah Attoachu, five; Kyle Van Noy, four; Scott Crichton, three; and Kony Ealy, one.

Middle linebacker in a 4-3: C.J. Mosley, 40 points (unanimous, eight firsts); Chris Borland, 29; Preston Brown, 21; Shayne Skov, eight; Jordan Zumwalt, five; Andrew Jackson, four; Ryan Shazier and Avery Williamson, three; Khairi Fortt and Anthony Hitchens, two; and Max Bullough, James Morris and Yawin Smallwood, one.

Outside linebacker in a 4-3: Khalil Mack, 39 (seven firsts); Ryan Shazier, 26 (one); Anthony Barr, 25; Kyle Van Noy, 11; Carl Bradford and Marcus Smith, four; Telvin Smith, three; Marquis Flowers and Christian Kirksey, two; and Jeremiah George, Adrian Hubbard, Kevin Pierre-Louis and Jordan Tripp, one.

***
THE SKINNY
UNSUNG HERO
Derrell Johnson, OLB, East Carolina: Reminded one scout of James Harrison, the remarkably strong former Steelers all-pro. Johnson (6-1, 257, 4.74) registered 19 sacks as a three-year starter playing both up and down. Harrison, a free agent from Kent State, was cut several times before he found himself.

SCOUTS' NIGHTMARE
Howard Jones, OLB, Shepherd: Amassed 35 sacks in four seasons at the Division II level. Incredibly athletic player with a 40-inch vertical jump and 4.55 40. Should have been even more dominant. Held back by marginal instincts and intelligence.
...
QUOTE TO NOTE
NFL personnel man: "I hate when a linebacker gets lazy. 'OK, so I'm not going to make that play. It's about 10 yards downfield. I'm just going to coast right now.' That (expletive) me off. Just play all-out, for crying out loud."

Playoffs
05-12-2014, 02:27 PM
Ouch...
If forced to take a premature position, my guess would be that the Packers won't gain much game-changing impact from their nine-man draft class this season and will realize only a modest amount when the final tally is made a decade from now.

The Packers' first two choices ran slow 40-yard dashes compared to other top players at safety and wide receiver, and only the last pick possesses exceptional speed.

Four of the first five choices were juniors, including three who had just three years on campus.

The Packers drafted the smallest of the top-10 centers, a short outside linebacker, another short defensive tackle and a slight wide receiver.

Three of the nine have had major operations and a fourth has had at least three concussions, according to several teams.

Two players will be 25 years old before the end of the season.http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/dont-expect-huge-impact-from-packers-draft-class-b99267571z1-258854451.html

mussop
05-12-2014, 07:01 PM
Ouch...
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/dont-expect-huge-impact-from-packers-draft-class-b99267571z1-258854451.html

slight WR? Thats one way to look at him. I see him as great value where he was drafted. I see the best route runner and best WR at getting separation in the entire draft. I see him having a great career with Rodgers throwing to him.