|Player, Pos, Team||Height||Weight||Draft Grade|
|01||Jadeveon Clowney DE, South Carolina||6'5"||272||7 A||Full Scouting Report|
Jadeveon Clowney - Defensive End - South Carolina
Many in the draft analyst community including myself have written up Clowney as one of the best players in America. Unfortunately, he did not live up to his reputation in this game.
The first thing that jumped out at me was that Clowney was not in game shape. In fairness, Clowney has missed a good portion of preseason practice with an undisclosed injury…it showed! After just a couple of series he looked exhausted. We saw flashes of what he can do but it was not a consistent down after down performance. I don’t know what the official stats were but I had Clowney down for 3 tackles, 1 assisted tackle and 2 quarterback pressures. Clowney was not as explosive off the ball as I have seen him in the past and he rarely used moves. He showed a bull rush a few times and used an arm over move often but I didn’t see counter moves more than a couple of times. Where he was best was in pursuit where he showed his speed and competitive nature. His lack of conditioning showed up in long series, though. He would start off some series playing hard but by the end of that series his effort slacked off. He seemed to pick and choose when he wanted to play hard.
Overall, I am not going to downgrade Clowney off of one average game because I have seen too much excellent tape from the last two years. Still, it’s a red flag so to speak.
|02||Kony Ealy DE, Missouri||6'5"||275||6.7 A||Full Scouting Report|
A few years ago, when Missouri announced it was going to leave the Big 12 to play in the SEC, I felt the school was making a mistake. From a personnel and recruiting standpoint, I thought the Tigers just didn't have the talent to compete with the best in the SEC.
Oh, how I was wrong.
Not only is Missouri competing, the school is competing for SEC Championships. The reason being is that they have the athletes both on the defensive line and at the skill positions to play with the best teams in the SEC. Last year, Missouri had defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, who ended up being a first-round selection with the Jets and is quickly becoming one of the better young defensive linemen in the NFL. This year, their top defensive lineman is junior DE Kony Ealy, who is entering the draft early and come May, should be a first-round draft pick.
Kony Ealy - Defensive End - Missouri
Ealy notched 9.5 sacks for the Tigers in 2013.
Ealy is a fourth-year junior and a two-year starter for the Tigers at left defensive end. Coming out of high school, Ealy was an undersized defensive end (approximately 230 pounds), but was still rated as a 4-star recruit and had offers from schools such as Georgia Tech, Nebraska and Mississippi. Ealy redshirted his first year and was a role player during his second season. As a starter in 2012, he had 37 total tackles including 3.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. This past season, Ealy had a breakout year with 43 total tackles, 9.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss. When you take into account the fact that Missouri rotates their defensive linemen, those are outstanding stats. When Ealy is in the game, his athleticism and hustle jump out on tape.
Ealy has good defensive end size at about 6050 - 275 with good arm length. He is a very good athlete with speed, body control and change of direction. He plays fast and looks as if he will run in the 4.68 range. He has excellent snap reaction and a very good first step. As a run defender, Ealy is good. He has the strength and power to hold the point and uses his hands to shed blocks. He makes a lot of pursuit plays and does a fairly good job versus the inside run. While Ealy can be inconsistent versus the outside run, the reason is that he's a bit undisciplined and tends to get caught inside. He needs to play contain better and not allow himself to be hook blocked.
Where Ealy excels is as a pass rusher. He is explosive off the ball and has a variety of moves. He can make a quick step outside and then counter and come back across his opponent's face to get inside pressure. He also has the speed and bend to edge rush, dip his inside shoulder and burst to the quarterback. Ealy's burst off a block to the quarterback is excellent. While he is not a real big guy, he has explosive power through his hips and can bull rush with effectiveness.
Overall, Ealy possesses the integral trait that NFL teams covet: He can rush the passer. He is best suited to play as a 4-3 defensive end, but most of the 3-4 clubs will work him out as a linebacker and if he proves to be able to drop into coverage, he will have high value to those organizations as well. From an athletic viewpoint I see no reason why he can't play on his feet. He has the bend and hip flexibility needed to drop.
Don't be surprised to hear Ealy's name mentioned a lot in the weeks leading up to the draft. He is an impressive player.
Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggabe
|03||Stephon Tuitt DE, Notre Dame||6'5"||303||6.6 A||Full Scouting Report|
Stephon Tuitt – Defensive Tackle
Tuitt is a third-year junior and a two-year starter. He played as a backup his true freshman year. He usually plays as the five-technique in Notre Dame’s 3-4 scheme. When they go to a four-man front on passing downs he lines up both inside and outside.
Tuitt has excellent five-technique size at about 6060, 323 pounds with very long arms. In 2012, he played at closer to 312 and looked quicker and more athletic than he did this year. Following the 2012 season, Tuitt had surgery to repair a sports hernia, and because of that, he entered the 2013 season a bit overweight and out of shape. That showed in his play during the early part of the season. There are some close to the Notre Dame program that will tell you that Tuitt was not the best when it came to attacking rehab.
Despite his size, Tuitt has very good straight line quickness and speed. It would not shock me to see him run in the 4.78 – 4.80 range at the Combine. I'm concerned that despite having speed and quickness, he is also tight in his knees and hips. His body control and change of direction are average compared to his speed. Tuitt plays tall and can have some trouble clearing piles when moving laterally in traffic. It’s surprising how many times you see him lose his balance and end up on the ground during the course of a game. Still, he flashes big play ability. In 2012, he had an 80+ yard interception return for a TD, and this year, had a diving interception for a TD vs Michigan. He can come up with some "wow" plays every game. The problem is, for every top play, there are too many where he does nothing. Tuitt is not what I would call an "every down" competitor.
Against the run, Tuitt can be stout. Though he can play tall, he is very strong and can hold the point. He flashes quick shed ability and shows he can make plays for loss or at the line of scrimmage. If he has the angle, he can make some pursuit plays. You just don’t see enough of them. As a pass rusher he, again, flashes. Tuitt almost always takes an outside charge or bull rush. If he can beat his opponent with his first step, he has a good outside charge. Because he lacks top bend, you don’t see him show the ability to lower his shoulder and get under his opponent. The other thing you don’t see is counter moves. I have rarely seen him redirect and try to come back across his opponents face. He is very good as a bull rusher because of his power and shows he can walk a tackle back to the QB.
Tuitt has some athletic limitations, but he is still very talented. He would be best as a five-technique at the next level but, he may also be a capable 4-3 tackle. He may even be able to play left end in some 4-3 schemes. What Tuitt has to do is develop down-after-down consistency and learn to play with bend. After the 2012 season, I would have bet that he was going to be a top pick when he came out, but the 2013 season was a disappointment to me. He did not play up to his ability. Still, at the defensive tackle position, many teams look at the talent and not the consistency. For that reason, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him taken as high as 20 or as low as 40. He will be an interesting guy to track as a pro.
|04||Trent Murphy DE, Stanford||6'5"||261||6.6 A||Full Scouting Report|
Trent Murphy – Linebacker
Murphy is a fifth-year senior from Mesa, Arizona. He is a three-year starter at outside linebacker, and in the Stanford scheme, he really plays a combination OLB/DE. He lines up from both a two-point and three-point stance.
Listed as being 6’6 – 261, Murphy is bigger than your prototypical OLB. On tape, he looks to be a good athlete. While he has smooth movement, I don’t see explosive quickness and power. He plays with good, not great, strength. He has average speed for the position, and I would estimate he runs in the 4.8 area.
Murphy has put up some outstanding numbers to date this year with 45 tackles, including 18 for loss and 12 sacks. In the three games I viewed (USC, Oregon, UCLA), I did not see that type of production in his play. While he is very consistent and plays hard, I didn’t that all that many "big" plays.
Murphy has good initial quickness and stays low. He can get his hands on his opponent quickly and shows the hand use to shed blocks. He has good instincts and finds the ball. I wouldn’t call him a disrupter versus the run, but he does make plays. He is a very steady player who, while not flashy, at the end of the day, you see makes a lot of plays. As a pass rusher, he gets off the ball with good quickness. He is not an explosive pass rusher, but he knows how to put moves together and goes snap-to-whistle. He is smart, and you seldom see him break contain. He is used some in pass coverage and is best in zone. He has a good drop and shows a feel in coverage, but he lacks the explosive quickness that you would prefer an OLB to have.
Murphy is a bit of a tweener, big for an OLB and small for a DE. His workouts will have a lot to say about where he gets drafted. In watching three games, I still don’t have a really good feel for this player, so I need to watch more tape. Right now, I see him as a “B” level player (third – fourth round), but he could be better. His best fit is a 3-4 OLB, but there are some 4-3 schemes in the league he could play in. I will update this report as I see more tape.
|05||Taylor Hart DE, Oregon||6'5"||292||6.4 C||Full Scouting Report|
Taylor Hart – Defensive Tackle
Hart is a fifth year senior and a three year starter for the Ducks. He usually lines up as a 5-technique defensive end in their 3-4, but he has also played on the nose and even stands up some. Hart has adequate size at about 6’6 – 290. I would estimate his speed at about 5.00. He is an average athlete for the position, he has some tightness in his knees and hips, but he is tough and competitive. Hart is a snap to whistle player on EVERY down. I don’t like his stance. He plays from a crouched-up frog like stance that causes him to get a bit tall coming out of his stance. Still, he is strong at the point of attack and can use his hands to shed. He has good instincts and reactions and does a very good job finding the ball. Because of his competitiveness, there are times when he looks like there is no way he can make the play, but he ends up making it just out of desire. He plays double teams well and doesn’t get knocked off the ball. As a pass rusher, he is able to get a push with his strength, but he does not possess many moves and I haven’t seen much production. He is a very good pursuit player who consistently takes good angles to the ball.
I see Hart as a good rotational type player in a 3-4 defense. While he plays some nose in college, I don’t see him being able to do that at the next level. This is the type of backup defensive lineman that many teams want. He can give his team 20 -25 good snaps a game, and while he won’t start or be a star, he will be a quality rotational player. While he has some athletic limitations, he will still get better with experience. He is a solid mid-round pick who will play early.
|06||Larry Webster DE, Bloomsburg||6'6"||240||6.4 C||Full Scouting Report|
Larry Webster - Defensive End
Webster is an interesting prospect. He began his career at Bloomsburg as a basketball player and played that sport until the fall of 2012 when he joined the football team. He is a graduate student this year while playing his final year of eligibility.
Larry is a tall, lean guy who stands about 6'7 - 250. He is long and narrow and while he has the room to gain weight he won't get that much bigger because of his narrow frame. Looking at 2012 tape, you can see how raw he is. He plays hard and is competitive, but he lacks instincts and does not react quickly. He has tendency to play tall versus the run and lacks good hand use. Still, he makes some plays because of his competitive nature. When he rushes the passer, he shows quickness and speed off the edge and flashes an ability to redirect. He is much taller and longer than anyone he plays against and the level of competition is very average. With his natural traits, he should be able to make plays. He was not a starter in 2012 but rather a role player and was in on all passing downs. Still, he was credited with 13.5 sacks.
I have only been able to look at 2012 tape so far, and I am excited to see how Larry improves this year. Through 4 games in 2013, Webster already has 6 sacks. When I get the tape, I look for a lot of improvement in his game. Because of his notoriety in the NFL scouting community, I expect that he will be invited to an All Star game. It is there where we will be able to get a better idea of his talent.
|07||Kareem Martin DE, North Carolina||6'5"||260||6.4 B||Full Scouting Report|
Kareem Martin – Defensive End – North Carolina
I was looking forward to watching Martin play because of his size (6-6 and 260). He has prototype 4-3 defensive end numbers. I came away disappointed because I thought his play was average. While he is tall and long he is not fast or explosive. He looks to be a 4.9 type. He flashes as a competitor and shows just average strength and power. He looks to be high cut, and has average change of direction. He can look good one play going all out and then look just like an average player the next few snaps. He lacks quick hand use and can be a little slow to shed. Still, he made some effort plays but I would not call him a consistent finisher. He had some quarterback pressures but they were mainly because the quarterback was chased his way. Overall, Martin has to pick up his intensity and improve his hand use. At this time I don’t see him any better than a late pick. This is a guy that I will need to see a lot of tape on. It’s only opening night so there is plenty of time.
|08||Will Clarke DE, West Virginia||6'6"||271||6.4 B||Full Scouting Report|
William Clark – West Virginia
Clark is an interesting player to watch. He plays defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, though with his body type he is better suited to be a 4-3 end. Clark is a very tall, long armed athlete. He is listed as being 6’7" – 275. He has a lean build but looks as though he could easily gain 20 pounds.
As an athlete, he shows good change of direction, body control, and flexibility. He can bend, is light on his feet, and can run well. His play speed is about 4.88. Clark is said to be a top performer in the weight room, but on the field he plays with good but not great strength and power.
Clark has just average instincts, and he can be a bit slow to find the ball. He is not an instant reactor. At the snap, he sometimes gets tall and looks to find the ball. Because of this he can be slow to shed. He looks like a much better player when he just goes. When that happens, he plays lower and gets rid of blocks faster.
Clark plays hard, I have no problem with his competitive nature. He flashes both as a run defender and a pass rusher. When rushing the passer, he flashes a good bull rush but can also use moves and dip his shoulder to get under his opponent. While he didn’t get a high number of sacks (six), he gets a lot of pressures. He also does a good job getting his hands up to disrupt a throw. In the run game, he is inconsistent. Because he can be slow to react it takes him out of some plays. Still, when he is on he can shed quickly and make plays. He will chase the ball and has caught plays from behind.
I feel the 4-3 teams will have more interest in Clark than the 3-4 teams. Though he does have two-gap skills, his body type is more suited to be a 4-3 end. He needs to get a lot bigger to hold up at the point in a 3-4 scheme. Unless I see more at an All-star game, I see Clark as a mid-round pick who will be a productive backup/rotational type player in the NFL.
|09||Cassius Marsh DE, UCLA||6'3"||268||6.4 B||Full Scouting Report|
Cassius Marsh – Defensive Line
Marsh is a former 4-star recruit who was recruited by many of the top programs in the country. He is a fourth year senior and a three year starter. When he enrolled at UCLA, he was playing at about 300 pounds. His playing weight now is closer to 265. He is tall and lean looking with good overall athletic ability. He has good change of direction and good play speed. I would estimate his speed at about 4.85. In their base defense, he lines up as a 5-technique defensive end in a 3-man front. When they get into some of their sub packages and go to a 4-man front, he will line up outside as a DE. There have been times when he has played on his feet and even dropped into coverage.
As a 3-4 DE, he plays hard, showing top competitiveness but his lack of size shows up also. While he is strong and tough, he can have trouble with big offensive lineman, and I have seen him driven off the ball. Still, he has good hand use and shows he can disengage from an opponent. He has quick reactions and finds the ball. As a pass rusher, he gets off the ball quickly and knows how to set up his opponent with moves. He can use his hands and has a variety of hand moves. He has the flexibility to dip his shoulder and get under his opponent, and he has the snap in his hips to bull rush. With his competiveness, he looks to finish on a consistent basis.
Marsh is best suited to play as a 4-3 end at the next level. He lacks the bulk, size, and power to play in a 3- man front. Because of his athleticism, some 3-4 teams will work him out as an OLB with the thought of playing him on his feet. If he proves he is able to do that, his value increases. Right now, I see him as a solid mid round pick.
Jordan Zumwalt – Linebacker
Zumwalt lines up as an inside linebacker in UCLA’s base 3-4. He is seldom on the field when they go to their different sub packages. When I first started watching Zumwalt, I thought there was no way he could play at the next level. He struggled to shed and just wasn’t a strong point of attack player. The more tape I watched, the better I liked him. While he may only play about 50-60% of the defensive downs, he is productive. He has adequate size at about 6’4 – 235. His play speed is good, but he does have some tightness in his hips, and his overall change of direction is adequate. While not an overpowering player, he is tough and plays hard. He has good instincts and can find the ball. While he can have some trouble getting off blocks, he does show good ability to slip blocks and finds a way to fill at the point and make some plays. In pass coverage, he has a good drop and shows awareness in zone. He doesn’t have the suddenness and speed to be a consistent man coverage type. I haven’t seen him used enough as a pass rusher to grade that skill.
I see him as a late pick who can make a team as a solid backup and special teams player. He needs to get stronger and add some bulk. He best fits in a 3-4 type scheme, but he may also be able to play Sam in a 4-3 defense.
|10||Josh Mauro DE, Stanford||6'6"||282||6.3 C||Full Scouting Report|
Josh Mauro – Defensive Line
Mauro was not on a lot of pre-season scouting lists, but when you watch tape, he jumps out at you with his effort and consistency. Because of injuries to many of Stanford’s defensive lineman, Mauro has lined up at all three defensive line positions this year.
Mauro is a fifth-year senior and a two-year starter. He is listed at being 6’6 – 282, and he has the frame to easily carry 300 pounds. He has good arm length, plays with strength, and is a fairly good athlete. While he is not extremely fast, he has quickness, stays on his feet, and is a top competitor.
Mauro gets off the ball quickly, and with his quick first step and power, he can get penetration and disrupt the run game. With his strength, he usually wins the battle at the line of scrimmage, and can gain ground. He takes good angles in pursuit and will make some pursuit plays because of his aggressive attitude on the field.
Mauro is not a top talent, but he is the type of player that most teams want. While he may never be a starter, he is the type of player that can be effective as a sole player in a rotation. I see him as a “C” level player (fifth – seventh) rounds who still needs some development but should still play early in his career.
Ben Gardner – Defensive line
Gardner played in only one of the games I viewed (UCLA). He injured a pec muscle in late October, had surgery, and is out for the season. In the one game I saw, he looked to be an undersized player with a high motor. He usually plays as a five-technique. He is a fifth-year senior, and a three-year starter.
He lacks ideal size at 6’4 – 275, but he is strong and explosive. He gets off the ball very quickly and can disrupt run plays with his quickness. He has good hand use and can shed. Though he lacks top size, he shows he can hold the point and not give ground. As a pass rusher, he can be effective with his moves and flashes a bull rush.
Gardner is a good player but undersized. He does not look like he can get much bigger than 285. With just one tape viewed, I need to see more before I can come up with a more definite opinion on this player.
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