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 Purdue Boilermakers.
WR Keith Smith: No. 8 (6-3, 222)
A tall, thickly built wideout who looks more like an undersized tight end when lined up on the outside. Isn’t real explosive off the snap and isn’t a guy who can quickly get on top of corners and eat up the cushion. However, he is a coordinated athlete who does a nice job setting up his routes, cleanly changing directions and getting out of his breaks, using his big frame to shield defenders from the football. Knows how to hold onto the football in traffic and exhibits some shiftiness to his game with the ball in his hands. Displays the agility to initially make a man miss and attack up the field.
Now, isn’t real sudden or explosive vs. press coverage when lined up on the outside. Tends to try to loop around corners, consistently taking unnecessary steps and can be slow to get into his route. However, is at his best when asked to be physical from the slot, make his way down the field and go up and get the football. Is an explosive leaper who looks natural going up at the highest point, fending off corners and coming down with the catch. Needs to do a better job plucking the football more consistently on throws that are on target, as he too often lets the ball get into his frame, but he has the skill set to consistently go get the football. Exhibits a good feel vs. zone coverage, knows how to sit down in soft spots and consistently is working his way back toward the QB.
Impression: Possesses great size and overall body control for the position. Isn’t a guy who has the ability to consistently beat press coverage and make a living on the outside at the next level. But offers enough to be a big slot man who can make a roster and move the chains over the middle on third down.
TE Kyle Adams: No. 85 (6-5, 250)
Possesses good overall size for the position with the first step to quickly get into blocks off his frame. Showcases good balance into contact in tight areas, possesses heavy hands and does a nice job working to stay on blocks through the play. However, isn’t real physical through his lower half and struggles to drive defenders off the football. Consistently sees a stalemate or is driven into the backfield at the point of attack and is forced to try to turn his man from the football. Also, lacks ideal body control when asked to break down and seal at the second level. Consistently loses his balance lunging into blocks in space and typically ends up on the ground.
Showcases a decent first step off the snap when asked to get into his routes in the pass game, but isn’t a real smooth or coordinated receiver down the field. Seems to lose his balance when trying to fire off the line too quickly and fails to cleanly slip defenders off the line or down the field. Exhibits only average short-area quickness when asked to redirect and work his way back toward the football, but lacks the athleticism to generate much separation for himself out of his breaks. Nevertheless, he does have a decent feel when asked to recognize zone and will work back toward the football, finding soft spots underneath.
Impression: Lacks the power to hold up vs. defensive ends on the outside and doesn’t offer much in the pass game.
DE Ryan Kerrigan: No. 94 (6-4, 261)
Possesses a good-sized frame for the position and looks comfortable lining up at both defensive end spots. Will even kick inside to tackle on third down and has the ability to create pressure inside as well. Isn’t the most natural of benders and struggles to completely sit into his stance. Lacks a great first step off the snap and isn’t going to be able to threaten the edge at the next level. However, is consistently one of the first defensive linemen moving off the football and knows how to quickly get into his opponents. Extends his arms well into blocks and is able to gain leverage with his hands and dictate to opposing linemen initially, but isn’t a guy who consistently keeps his base down through contact. Nevertheless, exhibits good strength in his upper body and knows how to use his hands — loves to work his club — to gain a step and pump his legs through contact in order to work his way toward the quarterback. Works very hard in pursuit and has a motor that runs nonstop. Isn’t ever going to win with his initial get off burst, or lateral suddenness, but has enough body control, power and savvy to create a step for himself on contact and fight his way toward the quarterback as a pass rusher.
Now, isn’t a real gifted athlete and really looks to lumber in pursuit when asked to chase the football down the field. Isn’t going to make many plays from the backside and the more space he is in the less effective he plays. Displays an above-average anchor for the position and can hold up at the point of attack when run at. Does a nice job extending his arms into blocks, but isn’t real sudden when asked to disengage. Lacks the kind of athleticism to consistently stack and shed, and make plays off his frame.
Impression: Isn’t overly athletic or powerful, but has a good enough combination of the two to beat blocks and make some plays vs. both the run and pass game. Isn’t a guy who I want starting for me at the next level, but certainly has the ability to work his way into an NFL rotation.
OLB Jason Werner: No. 24 (6-4, 226)
A tall, rangy prospect for the position who showcases above-average fluidity in coverage and is at his best in the underneath pass game. However, he lacks ideal instincts inside the box and can be slow to read his run/pass keys. Has a tendency to bite on play fakes and isn’t overly physical/stout at the point of attack. Can be easily washed out inside and struggles to consistently play with proper leverage at the point of attack. Isn’t overly effective in space. Consistently gets knocked off balance in pursuit on perimeter runs and struggles to break down into contact. Lacks ideal power as a tackler, doesn’t generate much of a thrust through his hips and consistently slides off ball carriers in space.
Impression: More of an athlete than football player at this stage and even with his speed, doesn’t consistently make plays in pursuit/space.
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