NFP Scouting Series: Oregon 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 Oregon State Beavers.

Offense

WR James Rodgers: No. 8 (5-7, 188)
A slippery, undersized wideout who is at his best when put in motion and/or lined up from the slot vs. a free release. Does a nice job getting into his routes quickly, yet is very smooth and patient. Possesses good body control and always seems to maintain proper balance. Does a nice job dropping his shoulder and shrugging off/avoiding any contact down the field and exhibits a real feel of where to sit down in coverage. Is a sudden start and stop athlete, quickly snapping off his routes, keeping his feet under him and locating the football. Sets up his routes well and possess the kind of footwork to cleanly change directions and generate a burst out of his breaks. Looked much improved as a route runner from 2008.

Displays the ability to consistently break down and make a man miss after the catch. Will let the football get into his body too often and will struggle to adjust to poor throws. However, accelerates quickly into the open field, possesses good speed and is a threat every time he gets his hands on the football. Now, he lacks size and isn’t a guy who will be able to consistently beat press at the next level. Is limited in what he can do, but there is certainly a space for him in the NFL.

Impression: A coordinated, shifty little athlete who has the ability to quickly generate separation for himself vs. man coverage and create after the catch. He’s a luxury pick for an NFL offense, but can definitely add some playmaking ability from the slot and help out on special teams as well.

TE Brady Camp: No. 83 (6-4, 265)
A well-built tight end prospect, but is limited as an athlete in the pass game. Isn’t real flexible when asked to sit into his stance and it takes him far too long to fire off the football and get into his routes. Lumbers down the field and will struggle to separate vs. man in the NFL.

Is an above-average blocker in both the run and pass game. Does a nice job extending his long arms, maintaining leverage and pumping his feet through contact. However, isn’t real athletically gifted in space, doesn’t look comfortable when asked to sit into his stance and fails to generate a great burst off the ball. Looks heavy footed when asked to slide through contact, even at the college level, and struggles to quickly reach targets off his frame. Has the type of size and natural power to get away with it at the college level, but will struggles athletically to hold up in the NFL.

Impression: A big, physical tight end who lacks the athleticism needed to consistently get into/stick to blocks through the play at the next level.

C Alex Linnenkohl: No. 60 (6-2, 303)
He’s on the shorter side, but his lack of ideal height allows him to play with consistent leverage on contact. Snaps and steps quickly off the line in the run game and showcases the ability to consistently get his hands inside the chest plate of opposing defenders. Isn’t real physical on contact, but has the ability to get his feet around blocks and seal from the football. Lacks ideal upper body strength and isn’t a real velcro player, but can create initial creases inside off the ball. Is an impressive athlete when asked to pivot out of his stance, pull and reach defenders on the move. Showcases good range, gets up to speed quickly and has the body control to consistently chop down his targets in space.

Displays above-average athletic ability in the pass game. Has the flexibility to keep his base down, slide his feet in space and extend his arms into contact. However, doesn’t generate much power on his punch, lacks ideal base strength and struggles to stick to blocks through the play. Relies on his lateral agility to mirror inside, but he can be overwhelmed by more physical linemen one-on-on.

Impression: I love his range, body control and violence when asked to pull and cut down defenders in space. Lacks ideal size and looks limited to a zone-blocking scheme at the next level, but has a good chance of making an NFL roster and could eventually fight for some paying time down the line if he continues to add strength.

Defense

DT Stephen Paea: No. 54 (6-2, 306)
An explosive, thickly built defensive tackle who displays an impressive first step off the snap and consistently is one of the first defensive linemen moving. Does a great job keeping his base down, back flat and creating leverage for himself into contact. Is able to generate an impressive jolt at the point of attack in both the run and pass game, keeping opposing linemen from getting onto his frame initially off the snap. Demonstrates the first step to cross the face of opposing defenders and shoot his way into the backfield, but also displays good suddenness and body control as a pass rusher inside, cleanly changing directions and using a compact club move — which he added to his arsenal from a year ago — to free himself from blocks inside. However, needs to do a better job extending his arms more consistently into contact off the snap and lacks much of an idea how to counter if his initial rush is stalled.

Possesses impressive anchor strength for his size. However, isn’t a guy who will sit into his stance and control blocks in the run game. But his combination burst and lower body strength make him really tough to move off the football. Even vs. the double he has the ability to hold his ground inside. Exhibits good range when asked to close and make plays off his frame, but needs to do a better job using his length to shed blocks. Isn’t real long-armed and will struggle to keep himself clean and stack and shed blocks inside. Seems to get high trying to fight his way off blocks and will lose his balance and body control when working his way toward the runs off his frame.

Impression: He’s explosive, powerful and can consistently overpower blockers at the point of attack. However, because of his lack of length and ability to cleanly shed blocks in the run game, looks limited to more of a one-gap scheme in the NFL. But has the ability to start and play at a high level early in his NFL career.

DE Gabe Miller: No. 99 (6-3, 248)
An undersized defensive end prospect who displays decent thickness through his lower half and loves to play to the whistle. Works hard in pursuit. However, isn’t real rangy when asked to close from the backside and lacks a great initial burst in all areas of the game. Uses his hands decently to fight his way off blocks, but struggles to anchor on contact.

Doesn’t exhibit much of a burst off the snap in the pass game. Will stand up from a two-point stance at times, but struggles to keep his pad level down and just doesn’t offer the burst, lateral suddenness or power to be a real efficient pass rushing threat in the NFL.

Impression: A hard-working player but lacks the size/power to hold up with his hand on the ground and isn’t the kind of explosion athlete needed to be considered as a nickel rusher or 3-4 OLB prospect.

CB James Dockery: No. 4 (6-1, 178)
A tall, lean cornerback who has the ability to sit into his stance and looks the part when asked to come up and play press coverage. However, isn’t real fluid and la cks the type of quickness to get his hands on receivers and consistently re-route off the line. Is stiff when asked to turn and run, struggles to quickly get back up to speed and consistently allows wideouts to get behind him. Lacks the type of straight-line speed to make up for a false step and isn’t a guy who I would trust to hold up on the outside at the next level.

Displays an above-average feel in zone coverage, recognizing routes develop around him, getting early jumps on the football and putting himself in position to make plays. However, lacks ideal balance in his footwork when asked to change directions and redirect, which really takes away from his ability to click and close on throws in all areas of the game.

Impression: A nice-sized cornerback, but lacks the fluidity, balance and make-up speed to hold his own in man coverage at the next level.

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