Texas VS The Nation Game – Players That Struggled Tuesday.
1. Mitchell Gale, QB, Abilene Christian (6017, 233 and 5.00 E): As often happens for small school quarterbacks, Gale looked out of place today and did not show the tools to compete at the next level. While his mechanics were not an issue, his passes did not come out of his hand with a tight spiral and tended to flutter/wiggle. He struggles with high passes throughout practice and especially has accuracy issues on intermediate/deep throws. Based on today’s performance, Gale will have to make it in the NFL via the undrafted free agent route.
2. Marqueis Gray, TE, Minnesota (6035, 239 and 4.65 E): Although Gray struggled today, he was not bad in all areas. He definitely looks like the new breed of receiving, move tight ends that are all over the NFL today and showed the foot quickness and speed to stretch the field. The issue is that Gray looked upright and mechanical running his routes and struggled to get in and out of his cuts smoothly, which was clear when he fell down a few times. More of an issue was his hands, as Gray did not look comfortable plucking the ball away from his body and often let the ball get into his body, fought it and dropped way too many passes. He will still have the rest of this week and the entire spring to impress teams and improve his draft stock, but today was not a good start.
3. Josh Klein, OG/OT, Kent State (6027, 309 and 5.25 E): While Klein will get his chance to play in the NFL as a guard, he lined up at both guard and tackle today and struggled mightily at both. When aligned at tackle he lacked the foot quicks to slide out to the corner to protect the corner from speed/edge rushers, could not re-adjust to handle quick change of direction moves and lacked power vs bull rushers. More disappointing were Klein’s struggles against bull rushers when he lined up at guard where he played at Kent State in 2012. After today’s performance, Klein needs to really step up the rest of the week to give him a good chance of being drafted.
4. P.J. Lonergan, C, LSU (6037, 302 and 5.25 E): Despite a productive career at LSU, Lonergan looked out of place today as he was consistently defeated. Although he measured size is solid, he was consistently jolted and driven backwards by bull rushers. Additionally, he struggled adjusting side to side to handle quick pass rush moves. Overall, today Lonergan did not show the tools necessary to be a quality NFL offensive lineman.
5. Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State (6005, 203 and 4.90 E): Although not regarded as a top prospect, McGloin still disappointed me with his performance today. Lacking ideal size, McGloin does not have the arm strength to make all the NFL throws and his intermediate/long passes tend to hang/flutter. His footwork looked choppy and mechanical, which led to his delivery/release being slow and deliberate. While defenders were able to break on his passes because of his deliberate throwing motion, his tendency to force passes into bad spots hindered him even further today.
6. Terry McDaniel, OT, Texas Tech (6065, 335 and 5.40 E): McDaniel really struggled today and a lot of his issues were due to poor positioning. He did a terrible job of setting very deep and continued to retreat in pass pro before making contact, which allowed the pass rusher to not only dictate the rush, but also to have an easy “two way go.” When he did take on pass rusher, he lacked aggressiveness with hands and was easily jolted and defeated. He needs to greatly improve his technique and must produce at a higher level the rest of the week to have any chance of being drafted.
7. B.J. Stewart, TE, Cumberland (6036, 255 and 5.00 E): Another small school player who looked out of his league today, Stewart needs to step things up over the next few days if he is going to have any chance of being drafted. Despite looking the part “on the hoof,” Cumberland lacks explosiveness in his acceleration and is slow footed in route. He also lacked a burst out of his breaks to get separation.
Email Russ at Russelllande@yahoo.com and Follow Russ on Twitter @RUSSLANDE