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 Jayhawks.
OG Brad Thorson: No. 76 (6-4, 309)
Displays natural flexibility in his lower half with the ability to really sit into his stance and keep his base down off the ball. However, needs to do a better job getting off the snap count consistently, as he at times has a tendency to be one of the last linemen moving off the football. But, he exhibits above-average body control and change of direction skills inside. Looks natural shuffling his feet through contact, keeping his base down and mirroring in space. Exhibits the short-area quickness to make up for a false step and cut off opposing linemen inside while staying on his man. Possesses above-average anchor strength, maintaining leverage into/through contact and doing a good job extending him arms into the chest plate of opposing defenders. However, doesn’t look as comfortable playing from a two-point stance. Gets a bit too overextended with his footwork off the snap and isn’t as quick or powerful with his punch, allowing defenders to easily slip his block in space and get up the field.
Nevertheless, displays above-average coordination on his kick-slide when asked to play right tackle. Showcases good balance, keeping his feet under him and is much more compact as a puncher. But he isn’t the same kind of Velcro player when asked to play on the edge.
Isn’t overly powerful at the point of attack in the run game, but has the short-area quickness and flexibility to get under blocks on contact and seal.
Impression: A versatile offensive lineman with experience at both left guard and right tackle. Showcases good coordination when asked to slide his feet in pass protection and his flexibility in his lower half makes me think he has the ability to become a solid/good run blocker in the NFL. Looks like an NFL-caliber player to me with the skill set to possibly mature into a starter.
WR Johnathan Wilson: No. 81 (6-1, 193)
A tall, lean wideout who isn’t real sudden or explosive off the line when asked to beat press coverage. Struggles to generate separation for himself initially off the snap and consistently allows corners to get their hands on him and slow his ability to get into his routes down the field. Has a long wingspan and good body control when asked to go up and pluck the football. But, isn’t a real clean or polished route runner at this stage. Strides his way down the field and struggles to generate much of a burst for himself out of his breaks. Lacks the straight-line speed to threaten anyone in the NFL vertically.
Impression: A long, lean athlete with some natural ball skills, but isn’t sudden or powerful off the line and doesn’t have the skill set to separate consistently for himself vs. man at the next level.
DE Jake Laptad: No. 91 (6-5, 259)
A tall, pretty well-built defensive end prospect who lacks ideal flexibility when asked to sit into his stance. Isn’t real explosive off the football, but for a taller lineman does a nice job dropping his pad level down into blocks. Isn’t overly power at the point, but has enough base strength to at least anchor vs. blocks and hold up on the edge. However, isn’t a real impressive athlete in pursuit and rarely is able to close in space. Also struggles to use his hands and extend his arms into blocks on contact. Consistently struggles to work himself free from opposing linemen and rarely is able to stack and shed when run at. However, has a motor that runs nonstop and will work from the backside and chase the football on all levels of the field.
Lacks a great first step off the snap and isn’t a guy who will threaten the corner at the next level. Struggles to generate a pop on contact as a bull rusher and fails to keep his base down initially into contact. Now, he does do a better job using his hands to shed blocks in the pass game, but most of his plays are made due to motor/work rate off the edge.
Impression: Displays some natural lower body strength vs. the run, but fails to shed blocks with any kind of consistency and doesn’t offer much in the pass game.
CB Chris Harris: No. 16 (5-9, 188)
An undersized corner who isn’t real physical off the line. Doesn’t do a great job getting his hands into receivers in the pass game and looks content to play more so from a trail technique. Lacks ideal strength on his punch either way and isn’t a guy who is going to consistently re-route anyone in the NFL. Showcases above-average fluidity through his hips when asked to turn and run, but tends to lose balance easily in his lower half, causing him to flail his arms and lose a step out of his transition. Isn’t real clean or balanced in his footwork either, especially when asked to play in off-coverage. Doesn’t look comfortable sitting into his stance, quickly allowing his pad level to rise and gets long and choppy with his footwork. Consistently will open up his hips prematurely and isn’t a guy you can trust on an island.
Does a pretty good job reading his run/pass keys off the line and has a good feel for when to slip blocks and attack the football downhill. However, isn’t always the most interested of tacklers. His effort seems to run hot and cold, and even when his effort is hot, he still isn’t a real impressive tackler.
Impression: Has some natural fluidity and straight-line speed for the position, but will have a tough time making an NFL roster as a slot guy due to his raw footwork/technique.
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