NFP Scouting Series: UCLA
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 UCLA Bruins.
OL Micah Kia: No. 73 (6-4, 324)
A big, versatile offensive lineman who has seen playing time at both tackle spots as well as at guard. Missed the 2009 season with an ACL tear in his right knee. Displays good overall girth through his upper body but looks a bit thin through the legs. Isn’t a natural bender and struggles to keep his pad level down when asked to reach blocks off his frame. Lacks ideal coordination with his footwork, allows his base to get too narrow at times, struggles to keep his knees bent and fails to generate a “pop” into blocks. Lacks even average range off the edge and really struggles to consistently reach/get his hands on pass rushers to even push them past the pocket. Has a tendency to lunge into blocks and is easily slipped toward the corner. Is a real waist bender who fails to quickly redirect inside and just isn’t a real coordinated athlete.
Looks heavy-legged on the move, struggles to quickly drop his pad level down into blocks and too often ends up on the ground. Isn’t real powerful at the point of attack in the run game. Possesses good size but isn’t going to move anyone off the football in the NFL and consistently loses his balances and just falls off blocks.
Impression: Isn’t a real impressive athlete and just compounds this problem with his sloppy technique. Is all over the place with his footwork and lacks the type of coordination to hold up at either guard or tackle in the NFL.
DL David Carter: No. 85 (6-4, 295)
A tall, long-armed interior lineman who displays some natural athleticism off the snap and does a nice job using his length to get into linemen quickly. Has the ability to consistently dictate initially to opposing blockers inside and works hard trying to disengage. Needs to do a better job playing with a lower pad level. Does exhibit some natural strength at the point of attack but really negates it by standing upright and losing all leverage. Isn’t overly sudden when trying to slip blocks, but he does have the athleticism to fight his way off opposing linemen laterally, using his length to surge his way up the field.
Isn’t real instinctive and will struggle to find the football consistently inside. Struggles to hold up at the point of attack at this stage, as he ends up on the ground too easily when run at and isn’t a guy who can sit into his stance and anchor.
Impression: Possesses a nice, long frame with some natural athleticism for the position. Is a first-year starter who has the skill set to at least intrigue at this stage and is worth keeping an eye on during the year as a developmental lineman. Has some upside as a potential five-technique guy.
K Kai Forbath: No. 25 (5-11, 190)
A veteran kicker prospect who has been really consistent throughout his time at UCLA. Connected on 25 of 30 attempts as a freshman while going 5 of 5 from 50-plus yards. Showcases a strong, accurate leg with the ability to consistently hit from deep. Is 9 of 12 from 50-plus yards throughout the course of his career and 15 of 19 from 40-49-yards.
Exhibits impressive accuracy from inside 40 yards as well, hitting on 19 of 19 kicks from that distance last season. Certainly has the physical makeup to make all the kicks required of him at the next level, while displaying a cool, calm demeanor even from long-range. Does not have a ton of experience in big-time pressure situations, but seems to have the kind of “level-headedness” to handle the pressures of being an NFL kicker.
Impression: A strong, accurate kicker who hasn’t missed much throughout the course of his career. Looks like a draftable prospect who should be expected to come in and win a starting job early in his NFL career.
LS Christian Yount: No. 52 (6-1, 243)
A seasoned long snapper who can handle both punt and place kicking duties. Is very consistent in his technique, maximizing his length, generating a good snap from his lower half and creating a lot of velocity from the turf. Also possesses good overall accuracy, consistently putting the football cleanly into the punter’s/holder’s body. Now, he isn’t real athletic when asked to get down the field and tackle. However, he’s a bright guy who recognizes defenses, understands protections and you rarely notice any mistakes from him inside.
Impression: A potential late-round draftable prospect who has the makings to carve out a niche for himself at the next level as a starting long snapper only.
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