For the rest of the summer, the National Football Post will be breaking down every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision to identify which players could warrant the most interest from NFL teams in the 2012 NFL draft.
Therefore, today we take a look at the senior class of the Texas A&M Aggies.
ICONTannehill has the makings of a potential franchise QB in the NFL.
QB Ryan Tannehill: No. 17 (6-4, 220)
A former high school quarterback who made the move to wide out as a freshman and led the team in receptions during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Made the move back to quarterback in 2010 and led the team to six straight victories at the end of the regular season. Is simply a natural football player who has an impressive feel of the game. Despite not having a ton of experience as a college quarterback, did a great job quickly getting away from center, settling his feet into the three-step game and was balanced/accurate getting the ball out on time. Possesses a quick release, and exhibits some natural torque from his wrist that allows him to really spin the football. Has a good arm, not elite, but his ability to cleanly spin the ball and transfer his weight off his back foot allows him to make all the throws. Can stick the deep out, displays consistent plant leg placement when striding toward his target and his ball placement/accuracy are very good in the short/intermediate pass game. At times gets a bit upright in the pocket, which will take away from his base and ability to really generate power from his legs, but torques well at the waist and his lower body mechanics should continue to improve with experience.
Is a natural athlete who has a good feel in the pocket, Keeps his eyes down the field when he feels pressure, looks natural stepping up in the pocket and will deliver the football in the face of pressure. Isn’t afraid to stare down the barrel of the shotgun and take a lick. Can create with his legs once he breaks contain, isn’t overly shifty, but has good enough straight-line speed to do damage in the open field. The game really started to slow down for him toward the end of the year as he did a better job recognizing blitzes with his pre-snap reads, got the ball out on time and used his eyes well to work the entire field. Is decisive in the pocket and has the ability to routinely go through progressions across the field.
Gets a bit sloppy with his vertical passes down the field. Does a nice job looking off defenders, but will throw blind into coverage and seems to fall off bucket throws, dropping his elbow in the process. I wasn’t overly impressed with his touch down the field at this stage. Also, needs to do a better job taking some velocity off throws underneath, at times puts a little to much on passes underneath when throwing in rhythm, causing a lot of dropped passes because his receivers can’t adjust. Throws well on the move when he squares his shoulders, at times gets lazy though and will throw off balance causing passes to sail.
Impression: He’s smart, athletic, can make all the throws and the team really responded to him. His flaws are correctable and it’s crazy to where this guy could be in five years with more experience and coaching. A potential franchise quarterback in my mind.
RB Cyrus Gray: No. 32 (5-10, 200)
A compact back who carries a lot of girth/natural muscle tone through his frame. Does not look thin by any measure and possess the kind of frame that can handle a pounding. Runs with good forward lean, presses the line of scrimmage quickly and is quick to decipher information. Possesses good balance and body control in tight areas with the quickness to change directions, break a tackle and accelerate through contact. Creates a lot of yards after contact and can run through arm tackles inside.
Looks a little more explosive laterally when cutting off his right foot than his left and isn’t an overly dynamic make you miss athlete in space. Will get a but “weavey” off his left foot at times, especially on perimeter runs and will chop his feet in order to catch his balance. However, is patient setting up blocks, churns his legs through contact and accelerates well out of his breaks. Showcases good natural power when asked to fight for yards inside. Has a good sense when plays are clogged up, takes what the defenses gives him and does a nice job making himself small and churning his legs through contact inside. Has experience running from both I-formation sets and from the gun. Looks more natural with a full back in front of him where he has more time to decipher info and pick up speed. Plus, he’s more sudden/shifty attacking forward than standing flat-footed and having to make a defender miss. Demonstrates good cut back ability at the line and in space. Can put back-to-back cuts together off both feet inside and accelerates into daylight.
Possesses good straight-line speed, not elite. At times will bounce runs prematurely to the edge and has the initial burst to gain a step, but won’t consistency outpace angles in the NFL. However, on perimeter runs does a nice job keeping his pad level down when turning the corner, keeping his feet under him and exploding toward space, using his balance to side step defenders at full speed and break tackles in the process.
Is a plus blocker for the position as well, keeps his pad level down, recognizes his target and generates a good snap into contact. Is also coordinated in the pass game, isn’t going to be used in the slot and beat man. However, is a plus receiver in the screen game as he locates the ball quickly, squares his shoulder and will create.
Impression: An instinctive, well put together back with natural running skills inside. Isn’t ever going to be a cowbell back at the next level and isn’t overly dynamic in the open field. But can be productive in a two back system in the NFL.
ICONFuller is NFL ready.
WR Jeff Fuller: No. 8 (6-4, 215)
A physically imposing wide out with a tall frame, thick trunk and impressive overall muscle tone through his legs and calves. Physically the guy right now is built like a legit NFL receiver. Possesses an solid first step off the line for his size, builds speed as he goes and possesses that powerful stride down the field vertically. Isn’t a burner who eats up the cushion overly quickly, looks like a 4.5 guy. However, once he gets his wheels turning he is a tough cover and seems to find a slight second gear when he needs to track the football. Does a nice job stemming his route and not drifting. For his size displays impressive balance and bend as a route runner. Keep his feet under him, drops his pad level and sinks his hips well out of his breaks. Does a nice job getting separation on the deep out and not wasting much motion out of his breaks when accelerating. Turns and locates the throw quickly, is coordinated when asked to adjust and uses his big hands and long arms well to pluck the football.
Displays solid shiftiness off the line vs. press coverage. Doesn’t do a great job using his hands and length to be physical, but has the initial quickness to gain a step and get into his route. However, does a very good job being physical through contact down the field. Uses his hands and length well to fight through contact and routinely delivers a sneaky bump into contact, knocking corners just slightly off balance. Is the kind of target who can routinely go get the football even when covered up. Consistently works back toward the throw, uses his body to shield and adjust naturally to the play. Will win routinely in jump ball situations and looks like a power forward the way he adjusts and fights through contact.
Possesses the size and power to consistently win in the run game on the outside. Has strong hands, long arms and will stick to blocks and stay engaged through contact. Exhibits some short area quickness after the catch and does have a burst initially, but doesn’t break as many tackles as his frame and skill set would lead you to believe.
Impression: An NFL ready receiver who should develop into a very capable number one threat on an offence.
ILB Garrick Williams: No. 8 (6-2, 235)
A solid college linebacker who just isn’t real dynamic in any area of the game. Routinely puts himself around the football vs. the run game, but lacks the power to take on blocks and shed, and isn’t sudden enough to consistently keep himself clean. Gets caught up too much by trash inside or just takes enough of a false step to keep himself away from the play. Possesses average speed in pursuit, works hard and has a “plus” motor, but most of his plays off his frame come down the field. Is a solid wrap-up tackler in the box who is willing to throw his body around. However, will struggle to breakdown on contact in space, doesn’t consistently see what he hits and doesn’t have a great snap from his hips into contact.
Showcases good balance in his drop and showcases average depth off the line. However, vs. speed he’s routinely forced to turn his back toward the play off the line. Breaks down well when asked to change directions, but doesn’t generate much of burst out of his breaks and his closing range off his frame is again average at best.
Impression: A hard working guy who puts himself around the action, but there just isn’t that dynamic quality to his play in any area of the game that makes me feel he’s worth a roster spot.
ICONJudie can go get the football.
CB Coryell Judie: No. 5 (5-11, 188)
Is a bit narrow through the upper body, but possesses a thick set of legs and strong looking lower half. Displays a natural feel in the pass game when asked to play in off/zone concepts. Exhibits good awareness, feels routes develop around him and possesses good range/closing speed on the throw. Is a gifted athlete with impressive body control and ball skills when asked to go up and make a play on the football. Takes excellent angles, extends his arms well and can make some really difficult grabs off his frame and come down with the catch. Displays very good straight-line speed as well vertically. Is fluid out of his transition, gets up to speed quickly and looks natural when asked to look, lean and attack the football.
Is still developing as a man corner and isn’t real polished sitting into his drop and keeping his legs under him. Fails to routinely get his hands into receivers off the line when asked to press and re-route. Allows his pad level to get upright, gets narrow with his footwork and will struggle with balance in and out of his breaks. Often is forced to collect himself and chop his feet before closing on the pass in man, and gives up his fair share of completions because of it. Is more of an athlete than polished corner off the line in coverage at this stage. Often his initial first step is forward in order to balance himself before backpedaling and too often prematurely will open up the gate and allow receivers to get inside his frame.
Exhibits the willingness and physically to tackle in the run game. Attacks downhill with aggression, uses his longer, strong arms to wrap and is a solid tackling corner. Also, adds some kick return ability to an NFL team as well. Sets up blocks well, accelerates quickly and will fight for a return spot as well.
Impression: He’s a naturally gifted athlete with good range and great ball skills. Displays enough fluidity and balance to develop as a man-to-man corner, but looks ideally suited for a cover two type role at this stage that allows him to attack the football and create turnovers. An eventual starter in that type of scheme.
CB Terrence Frederick: No. 7 (5-10, 185)
An undersized corner who lacks ideal physicality to his game both off the line and as a tackler. Struggles to routinely breakdown in space and too often whiffs into contact. Lacks ideal footwork/balance off the line even in zone coverage. Too often gets overextended with his footing, will lock at the knees and struggle to re-direct. Too often looks to be playing from behind and lacks ideal balance from a trail technique. Doesn’t breakdown well and/or re-direct out of his breaks when trying to make up for false steps.
Isn’t a real physical presence in press coverage either and again really struggles with his balance when asked to turn and run. Too often drifts downfield when trying to collect himself and high point the ball. Lacks ideal body control too often will turn his back to the play in order to collect himself and regain footing, giving up far too much separation in the process.
Impression: Lacks ideal balance/footwork in all areas of the game and displays only average play speed because of it. Doesn’t look like an NFL corner.
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