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 Kansas State Wildcats.
RB Daniel Thomas: No. 8 (6-2, 228)
A tall, well-built back who runs angry and inside. Does a nice job dropping his shoulder into contact, churning his legs and fighting for additional yards. Exhibits a pretty good feel between the tackles, knows how to set up blocks, be patient and accelerate into the open field. Possesses above-average body control for a back his size with the ability to side step a defender, break a tackle and stay on his feet.
However, is an upright runner who exposes too much of his body when running inside. Allows defenders to easily get into his frame and needs to do a better job running behind his pads. Isn’t the most sudden or coordinated of backs and routinely gets too long/overextended with his footwork, failing to consistently keep his feet under him and maintain proper balance. Has the ability to cut against the grain, stick his foot in the ground at full speed and side step a defender in space. However, he isn’t shifty enough to make a man miss in tight quarters and create for himself behind the line. Doesn’t exhibit a great first step when asked to press the hole and seems to only have one gear to his game. Struggles to get back up to speed quickly out of his breaks and isn’t going to outpace anyone to the edge at the second level.
Impression: A big, physical back who runs hard and exhibits the ability to pick his way through traffic. However, isn’t a real impressive athlete, runs upright and will have a tough time averaging over 4.0 yards per carry at the next level. Looks more like a physical backup type runner to me who isn’t dynamic enough to start in the NFL.
C Wade Weibert: No. 74 (6-4, 303)
A tall center prospect who isn’t real quick to snap and step. Has a tendency to stand upright out of his stance and lacks ideal change of direction skills when asked to slide his feet laterally inside. Isn’t a natural bender and fails to keep his base down in pass protection. However, he’s a long-armed guy who extends his arms well into contact and possesses some natural upper body strength on his punch. But lacks ideal body control and isn’t a real velcro player. Struggles to slide his feet through contact and stay on blocks once engaged. And can really get rocked initially at the point vs. the bull rush.
Isn’t real powerful at the point of attack in the run game and fails to generate much leverage on contact. Isn’t a real impressive athlete on the move either. Struggles to quickly sustain on side down blocks and isn’t a guy who can consistently reach/seal his target in space.
Impression: Possesses good length and uses his long arms to initially get into blocks. But doesn’t possess the kind of power, body control or athleticism to stay engaged in any area of the game.
DE Antonio Felder: No. 40 (6-2, 244)
An undersized defensive end prospect who lacks much power in his lower half and struggles to create a push on his bull rush. Isn’t real instinctive off the snap and is consistently one of the last defensive linemen firing off the football. Is slow to decipher his run/pass keys and rarely is able to quickly locate the play. Lacks the girth/power to sit into his stance and anchor vs. the run game and is consistently sealed off the edge.
Possesses an average first step off the line for his size with the ability to occasionally threaten the edge. However, struggles to keep his pad level down and isn’t a real coordinated pass rusher when asked to drop his shoulder and flatten out along the edge. Is consistently pushed past the pocket and away from the quarterback. Isn’t real strong in the hands either and routinely is engulfed on contact anytime an opposing lineman is able to get into his frame.
The most impressive part about his game was his overall fluidity and balance he exhibited when asked to drop off into coverage on the zone blitz. Looked comfortable keeping his feet under him and got good depth while keeping his eyes in the backfield and closing on the throw.
Impression: Possesses some natural athletic ability, but lacks power/know-how in all areas of the game. Might be able to get himself into an NFL training camp as a developmental 3-4 rush guy, but is nothing more at this stage.
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