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Old 01-27-2006   #1
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Default Offensive Prospects

Here is a write up from Yahoo of offensive college prospects for the draft:


1. Reggie Bush, running back, Southern California
There's not a lot to say about Bush that hasn't been said. And just from taking a litmus test at the Senior Bowl, it sounds as if most personnel people expect him to be the Houston Texans' selection at No. 1 overall. Whoever chooses Bush gets arguably the most explosive player in college football someone who will be able to affect the running and passing games and even add some spark to special teams. Think of a running back version of Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith, although maybe not as tough. And don't pull out the questions about LenDale White being subbed in for Bush in certain situations. It was the same way last year with Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown.
2. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, tackle, Virginia
He could start in an NFL game tomorrow. And like Williams last season, Ferguson has been the big dog at the Senior Bowl, drawing a ton of attention in one-on-one pass rush drills during the North team's practices. He fared very well against Boston College's Mathias Kiwanuka, who is widely considered one of the two best defensive ends in the draft and a possible top-15 pick. One NFC scout raved about Ferguson's agile feet and called him "a more physically gifted (version of Carolina's) Jordan Gross." The one concern remains his size he's not a mauler or massive for an offensive tackle at 295 pounds. But the feeling among personnel people was that Ferguson would be able to add at least another 15 pounds on the NFL level without hurting his superior quickness.
3. Matt Leinart, quarterback, Southern California
Lest we forget, Leinart was last year's Vince Young the guy who we said should have left after his junior season because his value would "never be higher." In hindsight, that was true. Unless he crashed and burned in workouts, Leinart would have been the No. 1 pick. And his prize for waiting is giving scouts an extra year to nitpick. His arm is good but not great. Right now, Leinart's biggest assets are his leadership qualities, his ability to throw a ball with accuracy and touch, and the fact that he's played in a more conventional offense than Young. Without a doubt, Leinart could see Young jump ahead of him in personal workouts, but it's just as likely that Leinart makes a sharp run right up to the draft and solidifies himself behind Bush.
4. Vince Young, quarterback, Texas
We've heard all the superlatives about Young, but people need to chill out until he goes through some workouts for teams. He has size, speed and athleticism, but he's further away from being NFL-ready than Leinart (that doesn't mean Leinart will be better in the long run, though). The issues that are waiting to be picked apart will be heard over and over again in the next few months, most notably Young's release mechanics and his ability to take snaps, drop back and set up in the pocket with good form. Clearly, he has top-notch leadership abilities, good arm strength and tons of potential.
5. Jay Cutler, quarterback, Vanderbilt
Hands down, the best quarterback at the Senior Bowl this week. Unless he wipes out in the game, Cutler should have some serious momentum heading into the Feb. 23-26 combine. One scout said Cutler could be the guy who makes up the most ground leading up to the draft, a la Philip Rivers in 2004. Landing in the draft's top five picks isn't out of the question. He has size (6-foot-3, 219 pounds) and an above average arm, but personnel people talk about his intangibles a lot he's tough and a natural leader, and a little bit of a slinger. Don't be surprised if you hear comparisons to Brett Favre in that regard. Cutler did get into some trouble in college, so character is a slight concern.
6. Vernon Davis, tight end, Maryland
If he played at a higher profile school like Florida or Miami, Davis would be a far more recognizable name. Think: Kellen Winslow Jr. Davis is that good. Physically, he's rock solid at 6-3 and 250. Scouts say he has the full combination in terms of a receiver he has good hands, uses his body well, is a leaper and is capable of making breakaway plays. The natural question is how he will fare as a blocker, since he's been such a big-time receiving tight end. But he's a weight-room freak, so strength won't be the issue.
7. DeAngelo Williams, running back, Memphis
The Senior Bowl practice roster listed Williams at 5-10 and 217 pounds, but that's a pipedream. Williams is more along the lines of 5-8 and 210. He's super compact and looks strong. Say what you want about small backs in the NFL there are quite a few but there are going to be size questions about Williams right up to the draft, especially about his ability to pick up the blitz. He's drawing some split opinions at this point. Some think he's capable of being a franchise running back, while others question if he's going to be durable enough and able to gain tough yardage in the NFL. It still sounds like he's the No. 2 back behind Reggie Bush, but there was a definite buzz about USC's LenDale White among personnel people this week. If Williams doesn't show great speed at the combine, it wouldn't be a shocker to see him fall behind White.
8. LenDale White, running back, Southern California
White has the potential to make plenty of hay by draft time. Everyone knows about his size (6-2, 230) and ability to be a tough runner, but a lot of people will be waiting to see how he times out in the 40-yard dash and agility drills. There was a lot of positive buzz about White among personnel people here, even though White wasn't part of the event. It's expected that he will show great ability as a receiver out of the backfield at the combine. The lingering questions are whether White will be dedicated enough in pass protection (some think he isn't) and whether he'll buy into the idea of being a tough, physical runner rather than one who tries to be too creative behind the line of scrimmage.
9. Winston Justice, tackle, Southern California
Had Justice stayed in school for his senior season, he probably would have been a top-10 pick next year and battled Wisconsin's Joe Thomas as the best tackle in the 2007 draft. For now, though, he's considered the next best thing beyond D'Brickashaw Ferguson. There is some debate whether or not Justice can be a left tackle in the NFL. Some think he'll be a staple on the right side. His character was brought into question after being suspended the entire 2004 season for making false threats with a fake firearm. That left Justice working himself back into playing shape when he should have been polishing off his skills. But the fact remains from the time he became a starter as a freshman in 2002 he was USC's best lineman whenever he was on the field.
10. Santonio Holmes, wide receiver, Ohio State
A lot of people expected Holmes to round into a more complete wideout this season, and that's exactly what he did. Though he doesn't have prototypical size (5-10, 186), he's tough and has enough speed to be the most attractive wideout in a relatively lukewarm class of receivers. Scouts believe Holmes has good acceleration, but they question whether he will be able to get off the line of scrimmage cleanly. There's been criticism that he wasn't the most polished route runner at Ohio State, either. If he turns in good numbers at the combine the 40-yard dash, vertical and shuttle will be important he should solidify himself as the No. 1 wide receiver. But don't be shocked if someone else leapfrogs him with more impressive measurables (Florida's Chad Jackson is a good candidate).
Charles Robinson is the national NFL writer for Yahoo! Sports
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Old 01-27-2006   #2
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Originally Posted by edo783
2. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, tackle, Virginia
He could start in an NFL game tomorrow. And like Williams last season, Ferguson has been the big dog at the Senior Bowl, drawing a ton of attention in one-on-one pass rush drills during the North team's practices. He fared very well against Boston College's Mathias Kiwanuka, who is widely considered one of the two best defensive ends in the draft and a possible top-15 pick. One NFC scout raved about Ferguson's agile feet and called him "a more physically gifted (version of Carolina's) Jordan Gross." The one concern remains his size he's not a mauler or massive for an offensive tackle at 295 pounds. But the feeling among personnel people was that Ferguson would be able to add at least another 15 pounds on the NFL level without hurting his superior quickness.
[/i]
Do we trade down and get this guy or trade down further and try to get 2 offensive tackles?
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Old 01-27-2006   #3
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Do we trade down and get this guy or trade down further and try to get 2 offensive tackles?
DBrick sure looks like the guy at this point in time, particularly with the new offensive system that favors lighter & quicker lineman. GREAT pass blocker which is THE key componet for a LT that's protecting the QBs blindside. Just fair at blocking, not bad, but just fair. I would like him at the 4th pick as I think he is a franchise level player. IMO, we don't need to try for two tackles as Pitts is an average to above average one and MAY be an outstanding one at RT. We do need to shore up the interior though. Personally, I really want us to get Bently. A top level prowbowl player just coming into his prime. That puts a REAL good guy in the middle of the line. McKinny gets kicked a lot (not one of my Fav. players either) but as a LG he is above average. So, with Pitts, Mckinny, Bently and DBrick we would have 4/5ths of what should be a very solid line. I have to believe that out of all the other lineman we have or through the draft, that we could come up with at least an average RG. That looks pretty good to me, but depth would be an issue IMO, but a whole lot better than what we were playing with this season.
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Old 01-27-2006   #4
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Do we trade down and get this guy or trade down further and try to get 2 offensive tackles?
I would be very happy with a trade down. I can live with Pitts at LT, but Brick negates any speed rusher. Tomorrow watch Jeen Giles and the Kid from USC. Both are hugh and very athletic. If we don't get brick, I could live with one of those two. I believe the pick would shore up the line nicely.
I believe, Kubes is going to go with a couple of day one defensive picks. We need a true MLB and a few De's if we're going to switch d schemes. We gotta pipe line full of tweeners and no true 4-3 DE or Middle linebacker. Gonna be fun. If we take VY/Bush look for them to adress the O-line at the thirty two and come back DE/LB with the thirds. Trueblood is going to slide. I like him a lot on the right side. IMHO, Trueblood will have a better carreer than Winston. Wonder if Barbara er Babs could play MLB ?

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Old 01-27-2006   #5
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I would be very happy with a trade down. I can live with Pitts at LT, but Brick negates any speed rusher. Tomorrow watch Jeen Giles and the Kid from USC, Both are hugh and very athletic. If we don't get brick, I could live with those two.
I believe, Kubes is going to go with a couple of day one defensive picks. We need a true MLB and a few De's if we're going to switch d schemes. We gotta pipe line full of tweeners and no true 4-3 DE or Middle linebacker. Gonna be fun. If we take VY/Bush look for them to adress the O-line at the thirty two and come back DE/LB with the thirds. Trueblood is going to slide. I like him a lot on the right side. IMHO, Trueblood will have a better carreer than Winston. Wonder if Barbara er Babs could play MLB ?
I have a couple disagreements here, Jean Gilles and Lutui are huge OLinemen, but I don't see either fitting a zone blocking scheme at all. In ordinary run blocking they'd be monsters, but in zone blocking you generally want smaller, more athletic guards, and despite what you say about the two of them being "athletic", they do not fit a zone blocking scheme very well. Guys like Nick Mangold and Davin Joseph would be better options, Mangold looked great all week, Joseph didn't look as good but he'd still be better in zone blocking. Also, Trueblood (and O'Callaghan) did not look good at all, he looked about like Todd Wade all week long from what I saw in person and on ESPN; very stiff, not overly quick, and they got dominated repeatedly in pass protection drills by both speed and power rushers, and I would not put either of them anywhere near Eric Winston's abilities.
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Old 01-28-2006   #6
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I have a couple disagreements here, Jean Gilles and Lutui are huge OLinemen, but I don't see either fitting a zone blocking scheme at all. In ordinary run blocking they'd be monsters, but in zone blocking you generally want smaller, more athletic guards, and despite what you say about the two of them being "athletic", they do not fit a zone blocking scheme very well. Guys like Nick Mangold and Davin Joseph would be better options, Mangold looked great all week, Joseph didn't look as good but he'd still be better in zone blocking. Also, Trueblood (and O'Callaghan) did not look good at all, he looked about like Todd Wade all week long from what I saw in person and on ESPN; very stiff, not overly quick, and they got dominated repeatedly in pass protection drills by both speed and power rushers, and I would not put either of them anywhere near Eric Winston's abilities.
foster doesn't strike me as small or quick..yet he is a 1st round T on denver
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Old 01-28-2006   #7
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foster doesn't strike me as small or quick..yet he is a 1st round T on denver
Thats one out of five. Not a good ratio.
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Old 01-28-2006   #8
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Thats one out of five. Not a good ratio.
i'm just saying they don't all have to be fast small guys
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Old 01-28-2006   #9
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i'm just saying they don't all have to be fast small guys
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Old 01-28-2006   #10
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foster doesn't strike me as small or quick..yet he is a 1st round T on denver
For one, that's because he's an OT. In zone blocking, you generally want smaller, more athletic OGs so they can move more and make more pull blocks and such, you still want as big of OTs as you can get as long as they are still athletic. Look at all the OGs on good zone blocking teams, none of them are close to being 350 lbs. As for Trueblood and O'Callaghan, I'm not knocking them based on their size, as they have nice size for OTs, but they appear to be pretty slow and stiff because of it. Watching them in person and on ESPN this week, they both reminded me a lot of Todd Wade, so we might as well keep him (we have to keep him with his huge contract anyways) rather than drafting Trueblood or O'Callaghan.
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Old 01-28-2006   #11
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Foster is the RT and that is the roadgrader spot.
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