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NFP Scouting Series: Arizona State

Checking in with the prospects on Dennis Erickson's Sun Devils. National Football Post

Print This June 28, 2010, 04:01 PM EST

For the rest of the summer, the National Football Post will be breaking down every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) to identify players who could warrant the most interest from NFL teams in the 2011 draft.

Therefore, today we take a look at the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Offense

WR Kerry Taylor: No. 5 (6-0, 197)
Possesses slightly above-average size, but just isn’t real impressive in any area of the game. It takes him awhile to get off the line and into his routes quickly in the pass game and although he does pick up speed the further down the field he goes, he still isn’t going to outpace any NFL defenders at the next level. Isn’t real sudden or explosive vs. man coverage and seems to just drift in and out of his breaks as a route runner. Does a nice job using his length and strong hands to pluck the football away from his frame. But, isn’t real physical after the catch and seems to go down easily on contact. Made most of his plays/catches on crossing patterns where he could get a free release, but was still very “blah” in that aspect of the game as well.

Impression: Isn’t real big, powerful, explosive or productive and doesn’t look like an NFL-caliber wideout to me.

Defense

DT Saia Falahola: No. 77 (6-1, 300)
A thick, stout-looking athlete who displays some natural power in his upper and lower half when run at. Now, he isn’t real technically sound and lacks the ability to simply sit into his base and take on the double team. However, he loves to fight and scrap inside, and is a good enough athlete to clog up run lanes off his frame. But isn’t real coordinated on the move. Struggles to break down on the football and too often ends up on the ground. Nevertheless, he works hard in pursuit and is surprisingly a pretty good straight-line athlete when asked to close on the football.

Is a linear pass rusher who does a good job keeping his base down and has the ability to fight his way off opposing linemen’s shoulders and make his way up the field once he gains a step. However, he isn’t overly explosive off the snap and struggles to cleanly change directions as a pass rusher. Does a decent job extending his arms into blocks and generates a bit of a “pop” on his punch, which allows him to create some separation for himself in the pass game. But, isn’t real explosive laterally even when he does disengage and fails to consistently work his way toward the quarterback.

Impression: A tough, blue-collar lineman who works hard and loves to scrap and fight in the run game. However, ends up on the ground too much when run at inside and doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher.

CB/WR LeQuan Lewis: No. 5 (5-11, 193)
An elite size/speed athlete who is said to run in the sub-4.3 range and absolutely has speed to burn. However, he is a bit of a misnomer at this stage. Played both cornerback and wideout last season after coming to Arizona State as a talented junior college recruit. The skill set is there for this guy to develop at either spot, but, as of now he’s listed as the team’s starting cornerback. Possesses good overall ball skills for the position, but he’s still a real work in progress. He’s a guy worth keeping an eye on this season and will need a complete evaluation done in 2010.

Impression: He possesses the size and speed to at least intrigue at this stage, but needs to show he has enough polish to warrant becoming a developmental type prospect.

Top underclassman

DT Lawrence Guy: No. 50 (6-5, 300)
A tall, long-armed defensive lineman who displays impressive bend and natural flexibility when asked to coil up into his stance. Possesses an impressive combination of instincts and burst off the snap and is consistently the first defensive lineman firing off the football and attacking up the field. However, isn’t real physical at the point when asked to anchor inside. Can be initially jolted on contact mainly because he doesn’t do a good job extending his arms into blocks. Too often allows offensive linemen to get into his frame and dictate to him. Now, he’s strong enough to work himself free after the initial punch, but needs to do a better job controlling blocks with his long arms and hands off the snap. Plays with a motor that is second to none, chasing down plays on all levels of the field and working until the whistle stops. Does a much better job beating slide down blocks off his frame. Is a coordinated defender with the ability to maintain balance through contact and uses his athleticism to quickly close on the football down the line.

Plays with natural leverage as a pass rusher and exhibits the ability to get under the pad level of opposing linemen and drive his way up the field. Is explosive for his size and definitely can threaten gaps inside. Can be powerful with his hands and slip blocks up the field, but again needs to do a better job playing with better length. Isn’t overly effective anytime he’s asked to take on a double team, consistently bends at the waist, drops his head down and becomes very linear trying to work his way laterally away from the blocks — losing his power and balance in the process — instead of toward the quarterback.

Impression: A long, physically impressive defensive lineman who has a lot of upside to his game. He’s flexible, explosive and plays with a motor that runs nonstop, but needs to continue to improve using his length to stack and shed blocks inside. However, after watching how hard he worked during a game, I am sure him putting in the time to improve his technique won’t be an issue. If he continues to improve, could be one of the best three or five-technique prospects in the upcoming draft.

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