NFP Prospect Focus: Jalen Collins and Danielle Hunter

Every year, LSU is loaded with NFL Draft prospects. This year is no different as there as they may have as many as six of their players drafted. I have already written up a number of those players but two that I haven’t, I left for the end, waiting to see what would happen with their stock.
Six weeks ago, it looked as if corner Jalen Collins was a certain first round pick. While he still may get drafted in the first, it’s no longer a lock because of foot surgery performed shortly after the Combine and reports of failed drug tests while he was a student at LSU.
Defensive end Danielle Hunter has had rapidly rising stock with his excellent workouts at the Combine, the LSU pro day, and in private workouts. Going into the Combine, I felt Hunter who has ‘tweener’ size was a late third to early fourth round pick. Now he may go as high as the second round.
Jalen Collins – DC – LSU
6013 – 199 – 4.45
Collins is a fourth year junior who elected to enter the draft while still having college eligibility remaining. He red shirted as a true freshman in 2011 and played as a backup with one start in 2012. Over the past two seasons, Jalen had nine starts and played both as the third corner or the starter.
Strong Points –
At 6013 – 199 with 32” arms, he has excellent NFL corner size. He is a very smooth athlete with loose hips and excellent speed. He can stay low in his pedal, turn quickly, and has an excellent burst out of his pedal. He transitions very quickly with no false steps. He has shown he can play press, zone, or off and is very good when playing press. He reacts well to the ball in the air and has good hands. He is willing in run support and can shed blocks.
Weak Points –
It’s bothersome that a player with his physical traits hasn’t started more games. He needs to add some bulk and strength. He only has three career interceptions. He can have a tendency of giving a receiver too much cushion when in off coverage and will miss some tackles. Failed drug tests early in his career are a concern. He recently underwent foot surgery.
Summation –
When you look at the raw talent, Jalen can be as good a corner as there is in this draft. With his height and length, he can be perfect to matchup against the taller receivers in the league. He has shown in flashes that he can do everything you want a corner to do. He needs to settle down and mature so he is able to reach his full potential. The foot surgery may force him to miss some OTA’s, but he should be ready for camp. Because of the failed drug tests, he may drop into the second round, but he is a first round talent.
Danielle Hunter – DE/OLB – LSU
6052 – 251 – 4.57
Hunter played down as a DE while at LSU, but with his size and excellent athleticism, many of the 3-4 teams are looking at him as an OLB. He showed at his pro day and in private workouts that he should be able to make the transition.
Strong Points –
He has excellent height and length to play defensive end in the NFL. He has 34.25” arms and tested out as one of the most athletic defensive lineman at the Combine and the LSU pro day. He ran 4.57, had a 20 yard shuttle time of 4.47, a 3-cone of 6.95, a 36.5” vertical jump, and a 10’10” long jump. He also did 25 reps of 225 which is equivalent to a 400 pound bench press. He is a competitive guy who plays hard every down. He has shown he can make plays.
Weak Points –
He needs to add bulk in order to hold up as a defensive end in the NFL. He has good OLB size. His pass rush production doesn’t match his pass rush talent (7.0 sacks). He lacks top instincts and is more of a reactor. He has never played on his feet on a game situation and needs to finish better
Summation –
A player whose stock is on the rise. Not too many players have his athletic traits. While he is competitive and plays hard, he hasn’t made enough plays and instincts may be the issue. He has reportedly done very well in private workouts, and there are many coaches who are high on him. He has an unlimited upside given his rare traits. Don’t be shocked if he goes in the second round!
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NFP Prospect Focus: Dorsett, Smith and Coates

Phillip Dorsett – WR – Miami
5096 – 185 – 4.27 (pro day)
Dorsett is a speedster with good, not great production. If he had played with a better quarterback and in a different offense, his production would have been much better. He tested out as one of the better athletes in the wide receiver group this year.
Strong Points –
He has rare speed athleticism and explosion. Anytime he is on the field, he is an instant deep threat. His hands have shown steady improvement, and he adjusts well to the ball in the air. He can make the acrobatic catch and can be very difficult to cover in man coverage because of his speed and burst. He is an excellent kick returner.
Weak Points –
He has just average size. He needs to still develop his overall route running ability, and his college production is average given his natural physical traits (QB, offense).
Summation –
He has as much upside as any receiver in this draft. His size may limit him to being a slot only receiver. He is an instant home run threat, and if he catches the ball in the open field, it’s six points. He will be a returner and role player while he is developing his route running ability, but by year two, he will be an important part of the offense of the team that drafts him.
Devin Smith – WR – Ohio State
6000 – 196 – 4.42
Smith is a three year starter who kept getting better from year to year. That said, he still has a tremendous amount of upside.
Strong Points –
Smith has good size and can show some physicality and toughness. He timed 4.42 and plays faster. He is a top athlete with speed and body control. He is a very good vertical threat, has good hands, and does an excellent job adjusting to deep throws. He is a consistently good runner after the catch and a willing blocker. He has been a core special teams player at Ohio State.
Weak Points –
He still needs to develop his overall route running ability. His hands are a bit small (9”). While he has good hands, he will body catch some throws. At times, he has trouble getting off a jam.
Summation –
Smith is a better player than his production shows. He is an excellent deep threat and is outstanding at adjusting to the deep throws. With his speed and run instincts, he is dangerous after the catch. His game still needs to be fully developed, but he will be a very good special team’s player while he is learning. I see him as a role player as a rookie and a full-time starter by his second year. He would be a very good second round pick who could sneak into the bottom of the first round because of his speed.
Sammie Coates – WR – Auburn
6010 – 212 – 4.43
Sammie is a fourth year junior who entered the draft. He did not play as a freshman because of an injury then played as part of the wide receiver rotation in 2012. He started 19 games over the last two seasons and played in 25.
Strong Points –
Sammie has very good size to go along with excellent top end speed. He shows both courage and toughness on the field, has become a consistent vertical threat, and makes big plays. He has very good quickness off the line of scrimmage getting into his routes. Defenses have to account for his deep ball ability. The fact that he is a deep threat opens up things for the other receivers on the underneath routes.
Weak Points –
He has some tightness in his hips making him a bit of a straight-line athlete. He has concentration lapses and drops too many passes. He slows down going in and out of cuts and is unable to gain separation. He is an outside receiver only and looked very average at the Senior Bowl.
Summation –
While he tested out well at the Combine, he plays like a straight-line athlete. His production doesn’t match his speed and athleticism. He had only 34 receptions and four touchdowns in 2014. He is a big-time vertical threat but needs work on the rest of his game. He has far too many drops. Right now, he is just an outside the numbers vertical receiver.
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NFP Prospect Focus: Goldman, Armstead and McKinney

Eddie Goldman – DT – Florida State
6036 – 335 – 5.27
Eddie is a third year junior and two year starter for Florida State. The former 5-star recruit came in and played in 10 games as a true freshman and started the last two years.
Strong Points –
He is big, strong, and powerful. He shows good instincts and reactions and is consistently around the ball. He has excellent size and is light on his feet. He plays like he is an athlete, has very good hand use, and knows how to play with leverage. He has been a consistently good inside pass rusher while at FSU and has six sacks the last two seasons from inside.
Weak Points –
He did not workout at the Combine and had just an average workout at the Florida State pro day. He ran 5.27.had a 4.87 20 yard shuttle and a 7.62 3-cone. Some say he has inconsistent tape. I did not see that in the game viewed.
Summation –
Goldman is a big, tough, and versatile defensive lineman. He has the skill set that allows him to play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. In a 3-4, he can play all three down positions. He is a solid three down lineman who will come in, play, and contribute right away as a rookie. I see him as a solid choice in the second half of the first round.
Arik Armstead – DE – Oregon
6070 – 292 – 5.10
Arik was a highly recruited two sport star (basketball) in high school. He was rated as a 4-star football prospect and chose Oregon over some of the top programs in the country. He came in and played as a backup his true freshman year, was a part time starter in 2013, and started all 13 games in 2014.
Strong Points –
He has great size and length. He is light on his feet and can change direction. He is more of a finesse type player but can play with power. He is a solid pass rush talent who is scheme versatile. His best football should be in front of him.
Weak Points –
He is still very raw and learning the game. He really doesn’t know how good he can be. He needs to be tougher and play a more physical game as well as some work on hand use.
Summation –
Teams are all over the board with this guy. His tape doesn’t match his talent. He is still very young and won’t turn 22 until mid-November. He showed much improvement from the beginning of the 2014 season until the end. He has just scratched the surface of how good he can be. He has Pro Bowl type natural talent, but he needs to put in the time and effort to improve. This is a higher risk/reward pick.
Benardrick McKinney – LB – Mississippi State
6040 – 246 – 4.66
McKinney is a fourth year junior who entered the draft as an underclassman. He redshirted in 2011 and was a vital part of the Mississippi State defense the last three seasons. He led the team in tackles in each of the last two years.
Strong Points –
He has ideal inside linebacker size, strength, speed and athleticism. He was highly productive versus the run and good in pass coverage. He is aggressive at the point of attack, can shed blocks, can tackle, and is a big hitter. He is quick reacting, plays with top instincts, is around the ball, and makes plays.
Weak Points –
He shows just average ability as a pass rusher when used as a blitzer. While he gets and keeps good position in pass coverage, he has no career interceptions.
Summation –
He has an outstanding combination of size, speed and athleticism. He is an instinctive play maker and big hitter. He can control the middle of the field. He is alert and makes the defensive calls. He should be able to play in any scheme and come in and start right away as a rookie.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

NFP Prospect Focus: Gallik, Finney and Langford

Andy Gallik– CenterBoston College
Strong Points
Andy is a three year starter who makes all the line calls. He is tough and tenacious and an aggressive run blocker. He is good at making combo blocks and can get to the second level. BC often uses him to pull, and he is effective getting out in front of a back. He shows good hand use in pass protection and should also be able to swing over to guard.
Weak Points
He can get tall at times and needs to play with a bit more bend. he looks to have short arms, and that can hurt in the leverage game. He doesn’t seem to have much growth potential.
Gallik may not look the best when he walks across the stage, but he is a tough, aggressive, and competitive player with no glaring weaknesses. He is smart, can play guard and can be the eventual leader of the O-Line. He will be a starter by his second year.
B.J. Finney – CenterKansas State
Strong Points
Finney has been a consistent four year starter for the Wildcats. He is tough, can use his hands, and knows how to play with leverage. He shows good mirror skills in pass protection and knows how to get and keep good position in the run game.
Weak Points
He is an average athlete who does not play with good bend. Without the bend, he doesn’t always play as big as he measures. You don’t see much snap in his hips on contact, and he doesn’t consistently generate power. Because he has some athletic limitations and short arms,  I see him as a center only.
Others like this player way more than I do. I see a finesse center who doesn’t play as big as he measures and a limited athlete who struggles in space. He is smart, makes calls and can use his hands. He isn’t playing with bend and that will hurt him vs NFL D-Linemen.
Jeremy Langford -RB – Michigan State
5115 – 211 (Senior Bowl)
Strong Points
Jeremy has adequate running back size and excellent timed speed. With the ball in his hand, he shows good vision and instincts. He is a reliable receiver with good hands and also shows he can pass block.
Weak Points
He shows only average initial quickness, he is not overly creative and does not play to timed speed. He has a tendency of running tall and he isn’t an overly creative runner. He lacks good elusiveness, and I don’t see a special trait.
He is a productive college back who lacks a special trait to carry him to the next level. he is a one cut north/south runner who gets what’s there but not much more. He’ll pass block and is a reliable receiver. He is more of a backup who can play in a rotation but never a starter. He should have good special teams potential.
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NFP Prospect Focus: Mid to Late Round Tackles

Corey Robinson – Tackle – South Carolina
Strong points
Robinson is tall, long and huge. He is a good athlete for his size and has better than adequate knee bend. He possesses good feet and balance and is seldom on the ground. With his size and length, he can be almost impossible to get around. He has good strength and is able to generate some movement with his run blocks with his size, bulk and power.
Weak Points
Robinson can get lazy with his hands, dropping them down, causing unnecessary movement on his part. While he shows he can bend, he will get tall at times and overextend. He is not the quickest guy and can be a little slow getting to the second level. While he looks very good at times, he doesn’t consistently finish. With his size, he is naturally strong but he is not the most explosive guy.
I didn’t like this guy a year ago but he has come on and played much better in 2014. Plays left tackle at South Carolina and will be a right tackle in the NFL. He’s a massive sized man with fairly good athleticism. Most of his short comings are correctable with coaching. Has a chance to be an eventual starter if he keeps improving.
Rob CrispTackleNorth Carolina St.
Strong Points
He is a tall guy with length. He shows quick lateral movement and slide ability, can shift his weight, recover and come back the other way. He has good feet and shows he can play with bend. His overall athleticism is good for a tall guy.
Weak Points
Crisp has a bit of a narrow frame. Ne needs to add bulk and strength. he should be able to eventually get to about 310 pounds. His narrow frame prevents him from being real explosive and he can have some trouble with bull pass rushers. He has had a problem with durability and has missed time in each of the last two seasons.
He has the desired height and length but not the bulk and power. He’s hard working and fairly athletic and shows he can mirror in pass protection. Durability is a concern and he must get by the medical exam. I see him as a backup left tackle and guard, but he has marginal starter traits.
Eric LefeldTackleCincinnati
Strong Points
Eric has played a lot of football for Cincinnati, starting 42 games over the last four seasons. He is tall with good length to go along with the athleticism to mirror in pass protection and get to the second level with run blocks. He is a physical guy who goes all out on every play. His overall competitive nature is very good.
Weak Points
While he is tall and long, he has a narrow frame and lacks much growth potential. He tests well in the weight room and is strong but on the field you don’t see top functional strength. This causes him to get stalemated too often. He can also have some trouble anchoring versus strong bull rushers.
Eric is a durable, tough competitor with limited natural traits. He just isn’t that big or powerful. Still, he is technically sound and has excellent football character. He’s draftable on his intangibles. I see him as a backup type who has to try and get bigger and stronger.
Chaz GreenTackle – Florida
Strong Points
Chaz is a big, tall guy with excellent length. Has played an adequate amount of football for Florida with 18 total career starts at both left and right tackle. He has shown improvement over his career and still has upside.
Weak Points
Durability has been an issue and he has missed games in three different seasons because of injury. He is not the most explosive guy and I don’t see a lot of snap in his hips. His overall play strength and power is average, and I don’t see him getting a lot of movement with his block.
He has the required height and length but needs to get bigger and stronger. He isn’t explosive or powerful. He is alert and has position flexibility. Durability is an issue. He looks like a late pick and may need a year on the practice squad while he develops his strength.
Robert Myers – Tackle – Tennessee St
6050 – 329 (Senior Bowl)
Strong Points
Robert has the desired height and length for an NFL tackle. He has played well versus a lower level of competition. He shows adequate feet and short area quickness.
Weak Points
He plays at a lower level of competition and hasn’t faced NFL caliber defensive linemen. That said, he struggled at the Senior Bowl against good players. He is too heavy and has a bit of a soft frame. He has the natural size but needs to get stronger and more explosive.
Productive at a lower level of competition but struggled when he got to the Senior Bowl and had to play against better competition. He is more of a developmental type who will need to restructure his body. He is heavy and loose now and needs to build up his strength. He will most likely play right tackle or guard.
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NFP Prospect Focus: Todd Gurley

There has been a lot written about Georgia running back Todd Gurley. When healthy, he is one of the most talented running backs in this draft. He has all the tools to be a top NFL back: size, speed, power. He is a very good receiver out of the backfield. But durability will be a question. Before we talk about the injury, let’s break down his strengths and weaknesses.
A 6’1 – 222, he has great size. He is well built with a thick and well-muscled upper and lower body. He shows an excellent burst and has very good play speed (was a top sprinter and hurdler in high school). He’s a quick starter with no false step. Has good, not great, vision but can find the cutback lanes. He is very powerful in the open field and extremely hard to tackle. He is a physical runner who punishes tacklers. He consistently gets yards after contact. He has very good balance and shows the ability to stop and start. He can make a cut in the hole to find daylight.
He is best as an off tackle and outside runner, showing patience to set up and follow blocks and has the speed to go the distance. He has very good hands, runs good pass routes, and can adjust to the ball. He gets up field quickly after a reception and shows good ability to make people miss in the open field with his quick-cutting ability. He has been an excellent kickoff returner his entire college career. He shows a willingness to pass block.
He has a tendency to run tall, and that hurts his power in short yardage situations. In a game in the 2013 season, he was given the ball three times in a row in a 2nd, 3rd and 4th and 1 situation and failed to get the first down. He needs to work on his pass protection technique and also needs to be more aware in blitz pickup.
Durability is an obvious concern. He suffered an ankle injury in 2013 and missed three games, and he suffered an ACL injury late in the 2014 season and had surgery. His physical running style makes him prone to injury. He takes a lot of big hits.
He showed poor decision making by accepting money from a memorabilia agent for signing jersey’s helmets, pictures etc. That led to a four game NCAA suspension. He injured his knee right after he came back from the suspension.
Before the knee injury, Gurley was the odds on favorite to be the first running back taken in the draft. Though he runs tall, his style of play projects very favorably to having a good NFL career. Like most college running backs, he needs work on pass blocking, but that will come with coaching. He has the traits to step in and be very productive right from the get go. He can also be most clubs’ number one kickoff returner. When healthy, he is probably the most physical runner to come out since Adrian Peterson. The key phrase is “when healthy”.
While Gurley’s knee was shown to be stable at the medical rechecks last week, he is still far from stepping on the field. He won’t be nine months out from his surgery until opening weekend in September. What that means is that during OTA’s and training camp he won’t be 100% and will need to be monitored. He won’t be ready for full practices until late in training camp, if at all.
Once he is deemed “100%”, will he be the same back we saw last fall? No one knows the answer to that question. He could lose some speed or lateral movement or he could be better than he was before the injury. With the unknowns, does a team take a chance using a first round pick on him?
One draft analyst recently had Gurley going as high as 6th overall in a mock draft. I find that absurd with all the unanswered questions. Personally, I see Gurley as a wild card. While he could go in the first round, I feel it is much more likely that he will go in the second. The reason for that is we might not see the real Todd Gurley until 2016 if at all. No matter where he gets drafted, there will be an element of risk with him playing the running back position.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

Overrated Prospects in the NFL Draft

Every year there are players who are overrated and underrated going into a draft. The underrated players are usually guys who are very productive but lack a trait or traits to be drafted high. Once they get to the NFL, their work ethic and desire to be great players works for them, and they out-play their draft position.
The overrated guys are usually, but not always, the “workout warriors”. They have great combine and pro day workouts, but when you watch tape, their play doesn’t match their workout numbers.
The overrated category also includes players who only the draftnik community rate high. While they get a lot of media attention, many clubs don’t have them rated nearly as high.
Bud Dupree – OLB/DE – Kentucky
When I watched the first three tapes, my first thought was “why the hype?”. I thought he was a good solid football player but I didn’t see anything special. I didn’t see a player that was worth a first round grade.
After the Combine, I went back and watched more tape, because his Combine workout was so outstanding. Dupree ran a 4.57 and 4.73 in his two 40 attempts. His play speed is more indicative of the 4.73 than the 4.57! The only other things he did at the Combine were the jumps, and they were elite. His vertical was 42” and is standing long jump was 11’6′, an unheard of leap at any position.
Because Dupree didn’t run the agility drills at the Combine, he had to run them at his pro day. The results were interesting. His 20 yard shuttle time was 4.47, and his 3-cone was 7.48. Both of those times would rank in the lower half of the linebacker group at Indy and translate more to the 4.73 40 time.
After watching late tape, I saw nothing that changed my opinion. He plays the run well, shows some strength at the point of attack, and can set the edge. He is not explosive as a pass rusher, and his sack production is good, not great (7.5 sacks). He can drop into coverage and play zone but struggles when asked to play man. His overall production was not as good as an elite player would have. Part of the problem is he lacks top instincts. He is more a “see and react” type than an instinctively reacting player. While I feel he will be a solid NFL player, I don’t ever see him becoming a pro bowler. He will get drafted in the first because of his great Combine numbers, but he looks more like a second rounder to me.
Shane Ray – OLB – Missouri
Go back two to three months, and most draft analysts had Shane Ray, Randy Gregory, Dante Fowler and Vic Beasley as top 10 picks. Today, 10 days before the draft, things have changed. While Beasley and Fowler still remain solid top 10 choices, Ray and Gregory are not.
Ray is a hell of a football player, and he will get drafted high, just not as high as many think. Why? He has limitations, most of which are athletic. And some are size.
The best part of Ray’s game is his competitiveness. He has a great motor and goes all out every play. A coach can’t ask for more. Many of the plays he makes are because of that relentlessness he plays with.
At 6024 – 245, Ray is about as big as he is going to get. 250 might be his max. He has some athletic limitations that were seen when he worked at the Missouri pro day. While he showed good straight-line speed (4.64) and has better than average explosiveness (10’ long jump, 33.5” vertical), his change of direction was poor. His 20-yard shuttle and 3-cone were among the slowest of the OLB group (4.53 – 20 shuttle, 7.71 – 3-cone). What those times tell us is that he his tightness in his hips and lacks great bend.
Ray has a quick first step and can use his hands as a pass rusher but can get overpowered by big offensive linemen in the run game. When in pass coverage, he has a fairly good drop but doesn’t flip his hips well and can be slow to transition.
While I still feel that Ray will be a very good NFL player, I don’t think he will ever be an elite player. I no longer see him as a top 10 player but more like a guy who gets drafted in the teens, maybe even in the low 20’s.
D.J. Humphries – OT – Florida
Since the Combine, Humphries has gotten a lot of play. Many believe he is a lock to be a first round draft pick, and he very well may be. I just don’t like him as much as others.
Humphries came to the Combine at 307 pounds and worked out well. While he was at Florida, he never played at 300 pounds. He was in the low 290’s last season.
While he is quick and athletic, I don’t see him playing with strength. He does not get movement with his run blocks, and you see him get stalemated at times. His hand use in pass protection also needs to be improved.
One of my biggest concerns is durability. Humphries has missed a number of games because of injury. If he couldn’t stay healthy in college, how is he going to stay healthy in the NFL?
I understand that finding quality left tackles is a difficult job, and Humphries surely has the athleticism to be a very good left tackle. It’s the other things that bother me. I see him as more of a developmental player and would much rather have him in the second round than force him to play before he is ready if he is taken in the first.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

NFP Prospect Focus: David Johnson and John Crockett

This year’s running back class just may be the best we have seen in years. Not only are there a number of backs form the traditional big school powers, but also there are several top prospects from smaller schools. Previously I did a report of South Dakota State’s Zack Zenner. Today, we will look at Northern Iowa’s David Johnson and North Dakota State’s John Crockett.
David Johnson – RB – Northern Iowa
Johnson is fifth year senior and a very productive two and a half year starter at Northern Iowa. He ran for over 1000 yards in each of his last three seasons including 1,286 yards in 2013 and 1,553 in 2014. He also had 76 receptions for 929 yards and 4 touchdowns over the last two seasons.
At 6’1 – 224, Johnson has excellent running back size to go along with top athleticism. At the Combine, he had one of the better overall workouts in the running back group. He ran the 40 in 4.50, had a 41” vertical jump, a 10’7” standing long jump and shuttle times of 4.13 and 7.09. He also did 25 reps in the bench which is equivalent to a 400 pound bench press.
As a runner, Johnson can be a bit upright, but he has good vision and instincts and can be creative. He does a good job setting up and following blocks. He runs behind his pads and shows power. He consistently gets yards after contact. He has burst to turn the corner and get outside, and when in space, he can make a defender miss.
He is excellent as a receiver with soft hands and top ability to adjust to the ball in the air. He consistently gets yards after the catch with his run skills.
Like most college backs, he will need to improve his pass blocking but showed at the Senior Bowl that he can get this done.
Overall, I see Johnson as a back who will be a role player early on and eventually be a consistent rotational type back. He can also be used as a kickoff return man. He may never be the “bell cow”, but most teams will be very happy to have him.
John Crockett – RB – North Dakota St.
In the last three seasons, Crockett has rushed for over 4300 yards including 1,994 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2014. In that same time frame, he has 43 receptions for 485 yards.
At 6’1 – 217, Crockett has adequate size to go along with adequate speed. He ran 4.62 at the Combine where he also had a 40” vertical jump, a 10’5” standing long jump and 7.15 and 4.25 times in the agility drills. When a player runs an average 40 time at the Combine, you would hope that he would run again at his pro day. That was not the case with Crockett which tells us that 4.62 is about the best he can do.
As a runner, Crockett is an instinctive jump cutter with a burst. He is best as a between the tackles pounder, but he also has a burst to get outside. He runs with good lean and power and is consistently able to get yards after contact. In the open field, he can make the first man miss, but I wouldn’t say he has top elusiveness.
As a receiver, he has good hands and is able to get open on the shorter routes. He is willing as a blocker but will need technique work. I see Crockett as a tough, physical inside runner and a reliable receiver. He is similar in style of play to Cleveland’s Terrance West. Like most small school players, he will need a period of adjustment, but he can become a solid NFL rotational back.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

NFP Prospect Focus: Trae Waynes and Kevin Johnson

The 2015 NFL Draft is a good year for corners, but not a great year. As many as four could go in the first round, and you can bet that anywhere from 12 to 15 will be drafted in the first three rounds. Why? Because it plays out this way every draft going back at least 15 years.
The problem with this class is there is not an elite player in the group. There are some very good players, but no one you can say will be a pro bowl lock. I will profile two of the best in this class including the player who many consider to be the number one corner in this class, Trae Waynes from Michigan State.
Trae Waynes – DC – Michigan State
Waynes is a fourth-year junior and a three-year starter for the Spartans. He is tall with length and looks like a smooth athlete on the field. While he looks smooth, he didn’t test that way at the Combine
At Indy, Waynes’s 40-yard speed was among the best at the position. He ran 4.35 and 4.32 in his two tries. He also had very good jumps, posting a 38” vertical jump and a 10’2” standing long jump. His agility drills were more on the average side with a 4.39 20-yard shuttle and a 7.09 3-cone. The slow 20-yard shuttle time can indicate some tightness in his hips. That said, you don’t see that in his play. To his credit, Waynes re-tried the 20 yard shuttle at his pro day and responded with a 4.18 time, looking much better.
On the field, Waynes is a smooth athlete with loose hips. He stays low in his pedal, has a quick turn, and a very good burst coming out of his turn. His transition is very good. In coverage, he is a consistent zone player who keeps good position and is very good with press coverage. He has good ball skills and has good hands. Best of all, he has a short memory in that he can bounce back quickly from a poor play.
On the down side, he has a slender frame and will need to add some strength and bulk. He can be slow shedding blocks at times and will miss some tackles If he add some upper body strength, the missed tackles should go away.
With his height and length, Waynes can play man coverage versus tall receivers and hold his own. He is a smart player who doesn’t let a mistake bother him. He has been well coached and should be able to come in and play right away. While he may not ascend to a number one corner for a club, he will be a very solid number two.
Kevin Johnson – DC – Wake Forest
The more tape I watch on Johnson, the more I like him. He has height and length and can match up versus tall receivers. The only thing that Johnson lacks is elite speed. He ran 4.52 at the Combine, and that time could prevent him from going in the top 20. Clubs would prefer a corner who runs in the 4.4’s.
Still, the rest of his Combine results were outstanding and among the best of the corner group. He timed 3.89 in the 20 yards shuttle and 6.79 in the 3-cone which show that he has outstanding quickness and body control. He is also very explosive with a 41.5” vertical jump and a 10’10” standing long jump. Those jumps would indicate that he has more speed than he showed. I’m surprised he didn’t run again at his pro day.
On the field, Johnson plays with a strong jam, he tries to re-route receivers and plays a physical style game. He is smooth with his pedal and turn and takes no extra steps when he transitions.
In coverage, he is equally proficient in zone, off, and press and is very consistent. He has very good ball skills and good hands. While he may have a bit of a slender frame, he is an aggressive run support player and a fairly good tackler.
Once he gets to the NFL, he will need to add some bulk and strength but his overall play will get him on the field quickly. I really like his aggressive on field demeanor and he could very well be a top special teams players early in his career.
I see him coming in and being able to start right away. He plays press coverage as well as any corner in this draft.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

NFP Prospect Focus: Owamagbe Odighizuwa

One player who has generated a lot of talk and interest over the last few months is UCLA defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa. Some draft analysts have him as high as the first round with a majority of them having him in the second round. While I like the natural physical traits of Odighizuwa, I am not quite as high on him as others.
Owamagbe Odighizuwa – DE – UCLA
Odighizuwa is a fifth year senior at UCLA. He enrolled in 2010 and played in 10 games with six starts as a true freshman. In 2011, he played in in all 14 games UCLA played but made only one start. In 2012, he also played in all 14 games and, again, made only one start. He missed the entire 2013 season with an injury and then came back to start all of UCLA’s games in 2014.
Looking at his career production, he had average-to-good seasons, with his best year being 2014 when he became a starter. In 2010, he had 10 total tackles with 3.0 sacks. In 2011, he had 21 total tackles and no sacks. In 2012, he upped his production to 44 total tackles, including 6.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. After his injury, he came back with 53 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks in 2014. In his career, he has 12.5 total sacks.
As an athlete, he is excellent. He stands 6034 – 267 with long arms and huge hands (33 ¾, 11). He has excellent speed, running a 4.64 and a 4.66 in his two 40 yards dashes. His agility drills and jumps were also excellent with a time of 4.19 in the 20 yards shuttle, 7.36 in the 3-cone, a 39” vertical and 10’7” in the long jump. Add to that 25 reps of 225 and his Combine workout was as good as any DE at the annual event.
On the field, he plays with quickness and explosion but does not play to that 4.65 speed. He plays more like a 4.8 guy. He is a good competitor who plays hard every down. He is best versus the run where he is quick to find the ball and has above average ability to shed blocks. He needs to improve his overall hand use. He does a good job as a pursuit player and consistently takes good angles.
I find he is only average as a pass rusher. A player with his natural physical traits should be much more productive. He is not an instinctive pass rusher and lacks top technique and hand use. Again, I don’t see his timed speed when coming off the edge.
Odighizuwa worked dropping into coverage at both the combine and workouts. While he has the natural athleticism to drop, he doesn’t look natural doing it and has very average hands. On paper, it should be an easy conversion to OLB in a 3-4, but I know of coaches who doubt he can do it.
He reminds me of Henry Melton, now with Tampa Bay. When I was with Chicago, we drafted Melton in the fourth round. He was a running back when he first got to Texas and was moved to defensive end for his final year. We drafted Melton to be a 3-technique because of his quickness. Coming out, both Melton and Odighizuwa are about the same size. We were able to put 25 pounds on Melton and he became a Pro Bowl 3-technique before a serious knee injury took away his natural explosion.
Odighizuwa has some medical issues having had two hip surgeries. I feel that given some time to add good weight, Odighizuwa could become a good 3-technique in a four man front. That would take care of his natural skill set and he might become a star.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe