NFP Scouting Series: Texas

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 Texas Longhorns.

Offense

TE Greg Smith: No. 83 (6-5, 250)
A big, thickly built tight end prospect who has some prior experience playing along the offensive line. Showcases above-average body control when asked to reach defenders off his frame and looks comfortable making his way into the second level. Displays an above-average anchor on contact when asked to pass block and although he’s more of a waist bender, he does do a nice job getting his hands inside, extending his arms and can really stick to blocks. However, he isn’t real explosive out of his stance in the pass game and really looks tight hipped and stiff when asked to change directions and get out of his breaks. Lumbers down the field and will really struggle to separate at the next level.

Impression: Possesses good size and above-average blocking ability, but doesn’t offer much at all in the pass game and will have a tough time making an NFL roster.

OG Michael Huey: No. 63 (6-5, 310)
Possesses good overall size for the position, but doesn’t play nearly as powerful at the point of attack as his frame would indicate. Is a limited athlete who struggles to quickly get out of his stance and shuffle his feet through contact. Lacks ideal lower body strength and tries to make up for it by widening his base in order to help him anchor. However, he’s easily slipped on contact because of his lacking balance and isn’t the kind of Velcro player who can stay on blocks inside for any extended period of time.

Impression: Possesses a nice-sized frame, but lacks the power and athleticism to stick to blocks in all areas of the game.

OT Kyle Hix: No. 64 (6-7, 320)
A tall, well-built offensive tackle, but isn’t real flexible when asked to sit into his stance and struggles keeping his base down on his kick-slide. More of a waist bender who lacks a great first step when asked to reach the corner and tends to consistently lunge into blocks. Has the length to at least get his hands on pass rushers who are trying to reach the edge, but lacks balance in his lower half and is really susceptible to any kind of counter move. Is really heavy footed when exposed in space and consistently struggles to handle any kind of speed/athleticism in the pass game.

Impression: Looks more like a free-agent size guy at this stage to me.

Defense

DE Sam Acho: No. 81 (6-3, 260)
Possesses good overall length for his size and looks a lot longer than his frame would indicate. However, he isn’t real compact out of his stance and wastes too much motion when asked to rush the passer. Has a decent first step but not the kind of burst to consistently threaten the edge and lacks the body control to drop his shoulder and flatten out along the corner. Takes too wide of an angle off the snap and consistently allows his pad level to get too high and fails to generate much power on contact. Now, he does use his long arms to fight his way off blocks and can eventually disengage and create a slight surge for himself on the outside. However, he isn’t a real quick-twitch athlete once he gains a step and seems to rely more so on his grace and finesse than overall grit as a pass rusher.

Exhibits the body control and length to make his way down the line and fend off blocks in the run game, but isn’t real stout at the point of attack when run at. Can be handled at times by the tight end and is routinely sealed from the football.

Impression: I know he’s a highly rated prospect, but I just think he’s very “blah” as a pass rusher and isn’t a guy who I would want setting the edge for me in the run game. Looks more like a reserve defensive lineman to me at this stage.

DE Eddie Jones: No. 32 (6-3, 260)
Exhibits good anticipation off the line and is really violent trying to initially shed blocks when shooting gaps inside vs. the run game. Demonstrates above-average instincts, finds the football quickly inside and can really close in pursuit. Isn’t real stout at the point of attack when run at, but works hard to make his way toward the action.

However, he’s a pretty explosive pass rusher who has the ability to really fire off the football and cleanly change directions laterally. Plays a bit out of control at times, losing his balance and not properly extending his arms into blocks. But, he showcases natural agility in space and better-than-anticipated instincts for a guy who hasn’t started over the course of his career.Impression: Isn’t going to be an every-down defensive end in the NFL. However, he has some upside as a potential 3-4 OLB because of his athleticism and instincts and should definitely get some looks as a nickel rusher as well. A guy who I will definitely be keeping an eye on in 2010 as I think he has the ability to soar up draft boards.

CB Chykie Brown: No. 8 (6-0, 187)
Another tall, long corner who likes to get up into the face of receivers in man coverage. However, he isn’t real comfortable pressing off the line and consistently looks content to give opposing wideouts a free release and just work from the trail technique. The problem is, he isn’t real balanced with his footwork and has a tendency to get overextended, allowing receivers to initially create separation from him. He isn’t real technically sound/instinctive in off-coverage either, and has a tendency to lose his balance in his back-pedal and at times is forced to bail out of his drop and turn his back to the football. However, he runs very well for his size and has the ability to regain his footing quickly and get back up to top-end speed. Showcases a real second gear to his game and is a two-stepper who uses his burst and long arms to get his hands on a lot of throws. Finds the football quickly down the field, but lacks ideal body control and tends to drift away from the throw in jump ball situations, allowing receivers to go up and cleanly make a play.

Exhibits a desire to tackle and make plays vs. the run game, but seems to play a bit out of control, failing to consistently break down in space.

Impression: He’s got some real rough spots to his game. However, his size/speed numbers and ability to change gears and close on the football are quite intriguing. Has a lot of upside, but he really needs to clean up his footwork and overall technique to have a chance of ever starting at the next level. More of an athlete playing the cornerback position at this stage.

CB Curtis Brown: No. 3 (6-0, 180)
A long, lean cornerback with good length and impressive overall flexibility in his lower half. Looks comfortable sitting into his stance, keeping his feet under him and pressing off the line. Isn’t overly physical on contact, but does a nice job extending his arms, maintaining his balance and really disrupting the timing of receivers in the pass game. Showcases good balance in and out of his breaks with the ability to cleanly change directions and quickly locate the football. Will get a bit overextend with his footwork in off-coverage and lacks an elite initial closing burst, but is very patient/instinctive in man-coverage and exhibits the body control needed to cleanly redirect and consistently make plays on the football. Displays impressive straight-line speed down the field and has the ability to quickly recover when asked to get vertical. Now, he will get a bit leggy out of his sidesaddle in zone when asked to turn and run down the field and it does take him a couple steps to get going. However, he’s very comfortable in zone-coverage, disguising his technique off the line, instantly locating the football and quickly breaking on throws.

Plays a lot tougher vs. the run game than his lean frame would indicate. Lacks great power at the point of attack, but he’s a real fighter who uses his length well to free himself from receivers. Works hard to disengage from blocks and isn’t a guy who’s content to be sealed on the outside.

Impression: He’s tall, long and fluid, and runs very well for his size. I think he has the ability to play in just about any scheme at the next level and should be a starter on the outside early in his NFL career. Looks like a top-tier cornerback prospect.

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