2010 NFP Scouting Series: Clemson

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 Clemson Tigers.

Offense

Chris HairstonICONChris Hairston isn’t a real powerful run blocker initially off the snap.

<strong>OT Chris Hairston: No. 61 (6-7, 323)
A tall, well-built prospect who lacks ideal flexibility in his lower half. Struggles to bend at the knees and consistently gets doubled over at the waist in all areas of the game. His first movement off the snap is routinely upright and he lacks ideal footwork on his kick-slide toward the corner. However, he does exhibit good awareness and is consistently one of the first linemen moving off the snap, which helps him reach the corner. But, struggles to stay compact and balanced in his lower half, overextends into blocks and isn’t a guy who has the kind of lateral agility to redirect and mirror in space.

Does exhibit the initial burst to bucket step on the outside and set the edge vs. defenders in the run game. Possesses some short-area body control, keeps his pad level down and can be a bit heavy handed through contact. However, he’s a straight-legged in-line run blocker who doesn’t display much of an initial jolt at the point. But, has the type of size and power to lock onto defenders and use his big frame to control blocks; just isn’t real explosive/powerful into contact.

Impression: Possesses good size, but isn’t a natural bender, lacks proper footwork off the edge and isn’t a real powerful run blocker initially off the snap. Looks like a camp body at the next level.

Defense

DT Jarvis Jenkins: No. 99 (6-4, 305)
A thickly built defensive lineman who possesses good height, but looks a lot heavier on tape than his numbers would indicate. Exhibits decent flexibility off the snap and a good first step for a guy his size. Is quickly able to get into opposing linemen in the pass game, but too often gets upright with his pad level. Routinely allows blockers to get under his frame and anchor initially. Doesn’t play with consistent leverage, which really takes away from his bull rush ability. Now, is still a strong guy and has the ability to push the pocket, but needs to learn to play lower into contact. Does possess some natural lateral suddenness and explosion, and displays the short-area quickness to gain a step laterally and fight his way off blocks. Exhibits a quick spin move as a counter and is a good athlete one-on-one. But, his ability to quickly close on the play is again hindered by his high pad level inside once he gains a step.

Displays a much better pad level off the snap and will sit lower into his stance when asked to play the run. Doesn’t do a great job extending his arms, but has the ability to win as the low man, pump his legs and consistently drive his opponent into the backfield. Is tough to move off the football, as he plays with much better leverage and has upper body strength to eventually fight off blocks inside. However, needs to do a better job using his length and hands initially into contact; too often waits until he is engaged and struggles to maintain balance and quickly shed once he puts himself around the football.

Impression: A thick, strong-bodied kid who possesses some natural athleticism as a pass rusher. Has some holes in his game and needs to learn to play with better leverage vs. the pass. But can anchor with consistency and has the ability to develop into a solid NFL defensive lineman if he works at it, either as a three- or five-technique.

Jamie CumbieICONJamie Cumbie has some upside as a developmental five-technique.

DT Jamie Cumbie: No. 8 (6-7, 287)
A tall, long defensive lineman who played both inside and out on the Clemson defense. Is a pretty impressive athlete for his size, exhibits good range when asked to work in pursuit and has the type of natural flexibility to really coil up into his stance. Displays a solid first step, as well, and because of his lower body length he gets into opposing linemen quickly. However, really gets upright off the ball, struggles to keep his base down and routinely gets doubled over at the waist in both the run and pass game. Doesn’t do a great job extending his arms into blocks, either, and routinely gets his hands outside the shoulders of opposing blockers. However, has the type of length and suddenness through contact to fight his way off blocks and can accelerate quickly up the field. Now isn’t real technically sound or compact with his arms/hands, but his combination of length and athleticism really makes him tough to block through contact. Isn’t much of a bull rush threat because of his lack of leverage and isn’t real effective when lined-up inside vs. the run either. Was dismissed from the Clemson program in June due to violation of team rules.

Impression: A long, intriguing athlete who moves well for a guy his size. Plus, he has the frame to put on about 20 more pounds without batting an eye. Obviously there are some character concerns, but has some upside as a developmental five-technique.

DB Marcus Gilchrist: No. 12 (5-11, 191)
Possesses decent size, but isn’t real physical in any area of the game. Played safety last season and showcases the ability to take good angles toward the football vs. the run game and is a decent wrap-up guy. However, isn’t a real physical striker, more of a drag down player who does a nice job breaking down on contact, but tends to simply catch ball carriers in most areas of the game.

Exhibits good footwork and balance in his drop and has the type of flexibility in his lower half to sit into his back-pedal, keep his feet under him, cleanly change directions and close on the football. Exhibits good balance when asked to redirect laterally and is able to quickly get out of his breaks and up to speed quickly. Displays good range in the deep half, tracks the football well sideline-to-sideline and possesses impressive ball skills and body control in jump ball situations. Is a coordinated athlete who knows how to go up and come down with the tough grab. However, isn’t the most instinctive defensive backs at this stage, finds the football well vs. the run game, but struggles to consistently read the quarterback’s eyes and get early jumps on the football from the deep half. Also, struggles in coverage when asked to open up his hips. Doesn’t stay low enough out of his transition, gets too high and leggy and can be slow to flip and get back up to speed quickly down the field. Exhibits above-average speed, but is not a burner and lacks the ability to quickly make up for a false step.

Impression: Is making the move to cornerback in 2010 and although he does possess clean footwork and ball skills, I do worry about his ability to turn and run down the field with NFL-caliber receivers. Looks more like a free safety/cornerback tweener to me who is better suited to play in nickel situations at the next level.

SS DeAndre McDaniel: No. 2 (6-0, 214)
A smart, instinctive saf ety prospect who simply possesses that sixth sense to quickly decipher information and put himself around the football. Does a nice job not only reading the quarterback, but feels routes develop around him extremely well and has the type of fluidity to cleanly get out of his breaks and range on the throw. Possesses good ball skills in the secondary and knows how to go up, maintain concentration and come down with the tough grab. Lacks great straight-line speed, looks more like a low/mid 4.5 guy. However, consistently is able to get good jumps on the football and play fast because of his overall instincts. Exhibits good balance and fluidity in his drop. However, needs to clean up his footwork a bit. Doesn’t really sit into his back-pedal off the line and/or stay real compact, which at times will take away from his initial burst when trying to click and close.

Diagnoses the run very well from the deep half. Does a nice job reading his keys, staying patient and quickly attacking the line of scrimmage. Exhibits the ability to slip blocks well, even inside the box, and can generate some power on contact when asked to tackle downhill. Breaks down well in the open field and is a secure wrap-up guy. However, will occasionally overrun some plays in both the run and pass game, but for the most part is a solid open-field tackler.

Impression: His ability to consistently locate the football, fluidly open up his hips and have range in the secondary is a skill set that is demanding quite the high price in the NFL right now. Lacks great speed, but plays fast because of his instincts and looks like a potential ball-hawking type safety at the next level.

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