NFP Scouting Series: Oklahoma State

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 Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Offense

RB Kendall Hunter: No. 24 (5-8, 197)
A short, compact running back who possesses decent thickness throughout his lower half and does a nice job running behind his pads and rarely exposing his frame to the big hit. Is a natural runner who displays a good feel both running from I-formation sets and from the gun. Exhibits an explosive first step when asked to press the hole with the balance and short-area quickness to cleanly side step defenders and accelerate into the open field. Displays impressive change of direction skills and is fluid inside, and he has the skill set to consistently create for himself even when plays aren’t blocked off appropriately. Does a nice job making himself small through creases inside and always seems to be falling forward despite his size. Looks really comfortable on perimeter runs, picking his way through traffic and quickly planting his foot in the ground and accelerating toward daylight. Possesses good speed and does a great job accelerating out of his breaks. He’s a two-stepper who reaches top-end speed quickly.

Now, he will get caught dancing a bit too much at times behind the line and lacks the type of power to simply lower his shoulder and grind out tough yards inside. Can be wrapped up easily in a phone booth and isn’t a guy who will be able to run through many tacklers at the next level. However, his low pad level and balance allows him to stay on his feet through contact and at times bounce his way toward the sideline. Isn’t a real physical blocker and doesn’t have the type of lower body power to consistently anchor in blitz pick-up. However, does have the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He isn’t a real clean route runner at this stage, but can be a threat in the pass game.

Impression: When the guy is 100% healthy, he’s one of the most dynamic backs in college football. He’s shifty, explosive and has a great feel for tight areas. Looks like a guy who can be a threat both in space and between the tackles at the next level, and in my opinion is one of the top three senior running back prospects in the nation.

FB Bryant Ward: No. 37 (5-11, 223)
A thick, neckless fullback prospect who showcases good instincts and awareness off the snap, quickly identifying his man and moving toward the target. Exhibits good body control when asked to drop his pad level and get into the legs of opposing defenders, consistently chopping them down at the point of attack. However, he doesn’t fire out of his stance real well and is a lumbering athlete. Doesn’t have a real explosive first step to his game, which really takes away from the power he can generate on contact. Isn’t a dominant lead guy and is at his best using his coordination/body control to cut down/seal defenders off his frame. Now, he is a hard-working guy who made the team as a former walk-on, but he’s just really limited in what he can give you athletically.

Impression: Is a bit undersized for the fullback position and doesn’t deliver much power on contact. Isn’t on the field for any perimeter runs and just looks like a try-hard guy who made it work in college, but won’t be able to in the pros.

Defense

DE Ugo Chinasa: No. 91 (6-5, 260)
A long, lean defensive end prospect who struggles to keep his base down out of his stance vs. the run game and is consistently overwhelmed on contact. Possesses good length, but isn’t real violent with his hands and doesn’t consistently extend his arms initially into blocks. Displays decent flexibility out of his stance, but lacks a great first step and struggles to uncoil his legs and really fire off the football. Demonstrates some natural body control when trying to side step opposing linemen on the outside as a pass rusher, but gets really leggy and upright, and lacks the kind of coordination to keep his feet under him and explode toward the target.

Impression: He’s tall, long and lean, but doesn’t have any kind of real explosive element to his game. He isn’t powerful on contact, lacks a great first step off the line and doesn’t have any real suddenness as a pass rusher. Plays too high in all areas of the game and reminds me a lot of 2010 defensive end prospect Lindsey Witten.

LB Tolu Moala: No. 59 (6-0, 230)
A short, compact linebacker who is really tight in the hips and struggles to break down on ball carriers and make plays in pursuit. Consistently sees his angles outpaced to the perimeter and doesn’t have any kind of range or second gear to his game. Lacks fluidity in coverage and he struggles to generate any kind of a burst for himself when asked to redirect and close on the ball. Plays at one speed and is very limited in what he can offer in space.

However, he loves to attack the line of scrimmage as a downhill guy and does a nice job keeping his pad level down and generating good power when asked to take on opposing linemen. Now, he lacks ideal length/balance into contact and isn’t a guy who can stack and shed at the point, but he loves to fill run lanes inside and throw his body into blocks. Demonstrates a good pop as a tackler and can really bring his legs through contact, but he’s a real linear player who fails to consistently break down in any kind of space.

Impression: It’s obvious this guy has a fire in his belly and really craves contact. However, he’s a limited athlete who’s really tight hipped and just doesn’t offer much as an NFL prospect.

LB Justin Gent: No. 42 (6-1, 236)
A top-heavy defender who is stiff through his lower half and struggles to cleanly redirect and generate a burst for himself out of his breaks. Isn’t real instinctive in coverage and keeps his eyes on the quarterback in zone, but is slow to decipher information and rarely gets good jumps on the throw.

The same can be said vs. the run game inside. Struggles to quickly find the football, has a tendency to take himself out of plays and isn’t overly stout at the point of attack. Too often he easily gets sealed from the football and lacks the kind of power/range to be real effective in any area of the game.

Impression: Isn’t a real gifted athlete and his lacking instincts really compound the issue, keeping him from making many plays on the football.

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