NFP Scouting Series: Cincinnati

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 Cincinnati Bearcats.

Offense

TE/FB Ben Guidugli: No. 19 (6-1, 240)
Doesn’t quite look as thick as his frame would indicate. Isn’t a real explosive athlete off the line and seems to lumber in and out of his routes as a receiver. Doesn’t display much suddenness or explosiveness as a route runner and will struggle to separate vs. man coverage in the NFL. Displays a decent feel vs. zone coverage and looks comfortable adjusting to the ball. Exhibits some natural coordination over the middle and knows how to take a hit and hang on. Just isn’t a real dynamic receiver.

However, he displays good body control and range off the edge as a blocker. Does a nice job dropping his pad level into blocks, extending his arms and pumping his legs on contact when engaged with linebackers. Is an impressive motion man who really gets into defenders quickly, sealing them away from the ball carrier. Showcases some natural strength to his game, but isn’t real long-armed and has a hard time staying on defensive ends through the play. However, he works hard and loves to scrap and fight for every inch vs. bigger defenders.

Impression: A bit of a FB/TE hybrid, but showcases good coordination and strength as a blocker with the ability to find soft spots underneath as a receiver. I don’t think he’s intriguing enough to warrant anything more than a late-round pick/free agent grade, but his ability to block and maybe mature into a lead guy will certainly give him a shot of making an NFL roster.

WR Armon Binns: No. 80 (6-3, 210)
A long, lean wideout with good overall size and length for the position. Exhibits impressive awareness and ball skills down the field and is at his best when asked to make a play on the football. Loves to work the back shoulder fade, quickly locating the throw, adjusting to the pass and plucking the throw away from his frame. Also does a nice job tracking the football vertically, displaying a slight extra gear once he gets going and has the length to come down with the tough over-the-shoulder grab.

However, isn’t a real impressive athlete off the line. Fails to really explode off the snap and eat up the cushion quickly. Now, he is a strider who picks up speed as he goes and does a nice job changing gears in order to set up cornerbacks and get down the field. But, he isn’t going to outpace any defensive back at the next level with his raw speed. Isn’t real shifty or powerful vs. press man. Has a tendency to take a jump step off the line, always works the outside release, and just strikes me as a guy who will really struggle to get into his routes at the next level. Fails to generate a burst out of his breaks as a route runner, as well, and isn’t a real gifted short-area athlete. Also, doesn’t seem overly interested or physical as a blocker, but has the size to at least get into the frames of opposing corners.

Impression: His size, body control and ball skills will earn him a spot in the NFL. However, because of his lack of explosion, suddenness and overall physicality off the line, he doesn’t strike me as a guy who can play on the outside at the next level. More of a big slot guy who needs to be lined up off the line in order to be effective.

WR Vidal Hazelton: No. 7 (6-2, 210)
A big, strapped-together wideout with a long set of arms and big set of hands for the position. Looks natural plucking the football off his frame and using his size to go up and win in jump ball situations. However, has a tendency at times to let the throw get into his body and will put the ball on the ground.

Isn’t real explosive off the line when asked to get into his routes, but is a powerful route runner who can easily shrug off defenders and create some separation for himself vs. off-man. But, too often seems to gear down out of his breaks, especially when asked to break back toward the throw. However, he displays a nice combination of physicality and shiftiness off the line vs. press coverage. Loves to work the outside shimmy before planting his foot and gaining an inside step. Does a nice job disguising his routes and can be sudden out of his breaks. Doesn’t generate a great burst when asked to separate. But, has the ability to initially create a step for himself and uses his big frame to shield defenders from the throw. Now, he isn’t going to run away from any NFL defensive back and further his separation for himself out of his breaks, but he has the short-area ability to initially gain an inside position. Exhibits good strength with the ball in his hands and can be a load to bring down in the open field. He’ll see his first real playing time in over a year in 2010 after transferring from USC and will need to be re-evaluated again during the season.

Impression: A big, physical wideout who possesses a big set of hands and some lateral quickness off the line when asked to beat press. Now, he isn’t a burner and isn’t a guy who will ever stretch an NFL defense. But, I like his skill set and size and think he’s a real contender to have a big year and really move up draft boards.

OG Jason Kelce: No. 60 (6-3, 288)
Isn’t the most natural of benders in his stance, but does a nice job quickly firing off the football, getting his feet around opposing targets and cleanly scoop blocking inside. Exhibits impressive body control on the move and does a nice job getting his hands under defenders on contact and working his feet through the play. However, isn’t real heavy handed, struggles to lock out on contact and is easily disengaged from on run plays off his frame. Lacks ideal power at the point of attack and isn’t going to win any battles as an in-line guy. But he understands angles, does a nice job of sealing linemen away from the football and looks comfortable when asked to get out to the second level.

Showcases good quickness off the line in the pass game and has the ability to cleanly redirect, drop his pad level and pick up blitzing backers and stunts inside with ease. However, he isn’t real long-armed and can be rocked at the point of attack and struggles to consistently stay engaged on blocks. Works his feet well in order to stay on/mirror opposing linemen through the play, but simply lacks the girth and lower body strength to anchor consistently.

Impression: Exhibits some natural body control and athleticism in both the run and pass game. But struggles to play with any kind of power and looks like a zone-blocking scheme guy only who needs to improve his overall strength to have a chance of sticking to a roster.

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