This first post is on the largest group of potential prospects, the defensive tackles. Note: I didn't include Alameda Ta'amu and Dontari Poe because both don't fit our scheme and Poe (over drafted) will be gone before 25#.
It will be interesting to see what we do at this position. I would look for the Broncos to pick two DTs. One Under Tackle and one Nose Tackle. It really depends on who we have back at the DT position. So far we only really have Warren, Big Vick and McBean. All three of these guys you would say are UTs. Bunk and Thomas were the NTs from last year. We lost Bunk to the Saints and Thomas has yet to resign. Nose Tackle is more important to draft than UT but like I said I expect both positions to be addressed.
Scouting the DTsThere are a number of things to look for when watching these guys. First is the body, how are these guys put together. Are they solid and muscular throughout or is there weak areas to their body. For DTs you want to see their 40 times around the 5 sec mark. Anything below that is great, everything above that is not too bad but the closer to 5 the better. The 10 yard split is probably more important than the 40, the lower it is the better. The 3 Cone Drill is used to see what sort of moved a guy has in space, the magic number here is 7 secs(it is said if you get below 7 you can rush the passer). On the Bench press you want to see these guys throw up 30+ but it isn't a big factor, plus the longer a guys arms the harder it is to bench. Vertical and Broad are very important, the better the numbers the better it reflects on the players explosion. Can he get his big frame up and moving. For the vertical look for something in the 30s, 32-34 is great. For the broad I take anything over 10. Arm Length and Hand size are not overly important for these guys, but bigger is generally better.
On tape you are looking for a number of things. How a guy does one-on-one. Does he collapse or push the pocket. What moves does he use to get to the passer, how does he use his hands, how violent is he. How does he handle the double team. What sort of vision does he have, can he find the ball carrier in the backfield. How quick is he off the line and does he move the offensive line at the point of attack. Does he fire off low with good pad level or does he get upright when tired. There are lots of things to look for and these are just a few.
40 Time: 4.79. 10-Yd Split: 1.63.
3 Cone Drill: 7.07 secs
20 YD Shuttle: 4.53 secs
Vertical: 26. Broad: 8-7. 103 inch
Arm Length: 34 1/2 inch.
Hand Size: 10 3/8 inch
Projected Round (2012): 1.
Cox is an early-entry junior who was a starter for two-and-a-half years at Mississippi State. He is a raw athlete who has room to develop. He has an impressive frame and is one of the more talented athletes at his position in the country. He relies heavily on his natural ability to make splash plays and has major upside.
Cox is naturally big, plays bigger and is expected to grow even more in size and ability.
A third-year junior, Cox was the only player from Mississippi State to be named to All-SEC first team after he collected 56 tackles and five sacks last season. He works hard from kickoff until the final whistle, setting a pace for teammates and wearing down opponents. He showed very good explosion in Combine testing.
The light-footed Cox played both defense end and defensive tackle and his versatility will be an asset in the NFL, where scouts think he is similar to San Diego's Corey Luiget, an 18th overall pick out of Illinois last year.
Cox was one of five Bulldogs suspended for the 2011 season opener against Memphis for breaking team rules, but he returned to the field with a vengeance and earned praise from his coaches.
StrengthsCox is an impressive athlete who is capable of making big plays from the interior of the defensive line. He is extremely fast off the ball and can get into the backfield as quickly as any tackle prospect in the country. He has a high motor and pursues down the line of scrimmage with aggression. He can snap his hips into the offensive line to get a blowback effect; he can also dip and rip his hips around would-be tacklers to get into the backfield. Cox keeps blockers off of him with very active hands. He is a serious athlete who would immediately bolster the front of any defense and would work well in a rotation.
WeaknessesCox allows himself to get completely washed away when faced with a double team, a symptom of his rawness. He tries to rely too much on his athleticism when working against the run; he doesn't think to set an anchor and remain a presence and gap-filler within the scheme he plays in. Cox could be a high-risk, high-reward player as a rookie.
Cox was suspended for the first game of the 2011 season. He didn't have much production in the first five games of the year, but came alive with four sacks in Mississippi State's two games against South Carolina and Kentucky. Late in the season, Cox had quality performances against Alabama and Arkansas. In 2011, he totaled 56 tackles with 14.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks and one forced fumble.
Cox has a nice combination of speed and playmaking ability. He has the power to push linemen back and get them off balance along with the speed to shoot by them and get to the quarterback. His length and versatile skill set make him a fit at tackle or end in a 4-3 and a potential five technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense.
Pass rush: Good quickness off the snap. Attacks gaps, getting skinny to slip past interior linemen when lining up as a defensive tackle. Enough speed to challenge the shoulders of strong-side tackles when lining up as a defensive end. Does not possess the explosiveness and flexibility to turn the corner efficiently, however, limiting his pass rush potential on the outside. Developing pass rush technique, including a swim move, but does not use this often enough. Relies almost exclusively on his bull rush. Generates an explosive pop to knock his opponent back onto his heels. Possesses the lateral agility to take advantage of the unbalanced offensive lineman to run around him and collapse the pocket.
Run defense: Good size and power, though Cox struggles with leverage, at times. Can be blown off the ball when double-teamed as he currently lacks prototypical width and thickness in his lower body for an interior defender. Cox does appear to have the frame to add an additional 10-15 pounds. Good upper-body strength and quick hands to disengage from the one-on-one block. Penetrates gaps and locates the football quickly. Slides off of blocks to latch onto ballcarriers as they attempt to run by. Alert defender who recognizes the trap block and possesses enough quickness to beat his opponent to the spot. Lacks the sustained speed to chase down ballcarriers, but puts good effort into his lateral pursuit.
Explosion: Varies his burst off the snap, but does not possess true explosiveness in his get-off. Among his best assets, however, is his strong upper body. Attacks blockers with an explosive pop, which allows him to disengage quickly.
Strength: Naturally strong man who is still learning to use his power to his advantage. Good to very good upper-body strength and leg drive to push his opponent deep into the pocket. Good strength as a drag-down tackler, as well. Does negate his own strength, on occasion, due to a high pad level.
Tackling: High effort player who locates the football and pursues laterally and downfield. An effective drag-down tackler due to his upper-body strength. Surprisingly light on his feet showing an ability to adjust to elusive ballcarriers in close quarters. Closes quickly and wraps up well, but isn't an explosive hitter likely to knock the ball free. Has forced just two fumbles in three seasons of action.
Intangibles: Naturally large man with plenty of room for additional growth. Appears to be just scratching the surface of his physical potential, though he has three years of starting experience in the SEC. Blocked four kicks from 2009-11. Was suspended for the 2011 season-opener (Memphis), along with four other Bulldogs, for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
Cox finishes his career with 114 total tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. He played in 36 games, starting 27. He also blocked five kicks during his career at Mississippi State, including a field goal in the Bulldogs' 23-17 victory over Wake Forest in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
My Opinion: Cox would be an Under Tackle at the next level. He struggles with double teams and disappears when he is doubled. He is a high motor guy, he never gives up but could show a little more effort(but then again he is a big dude). He has a great frame, big shoulders, solid torso and thick lower half, thin calves though. He probably needs to get a little bigger and stronger to last in the pros. He could be more explosive, a little slow off the line. He moves really well for a big man. Collapses the pocket with easy when one-on-one. He has solid vision into the backfield to track the ball carrier. He played all 4 positions across the defensive line moving around to get better matchups. He is pretty good against the run and a good tackler.
For the Broncos Cox would be a solid pick. He would cost a first round pick and may go before the Broncos 25# pick. If he falls to the Broncos the question is do we take BPA or go for need as Cox doesn't completely fill a need. But we do need help along the defensive line anyway. I would be happy with this pick.
40 Time: 5.36. 10-Yd Split: 1.77. Pro day: 5.15 sec
3 Cone Drill: 7.46
20 YD Shuttle: 4.81
Bench: 19. Pro day: 21 reps
Vertical: 26.5. Pro day: 30 inch
Broad: 8-9. 105 inch
Arm Length: 35.
Hand Size: 9 1/8 inch
Projected Round (2012): 1.
Brockers is an elite athlete who has been gaining a lot of steam on draft boards in recent months after declaring for the draft after his redshirt sophomore year. He came to Baton Rouge as a thick linebacker prospect before putting on good weight and moving to the line and eventually inside to DT. He has positional versatility and could even be attractive to 3-4 teams as a defensive end, as he is athletic enough to work from the edge in a scheme that seeks bigger DEs to maintain blockers and keep linebackers free. He has more value as a 3 tech DT within a 4-3 defense and will have an immediate impact on the line as a rookie.
StrengthsBrockers has a massive frame and likely has the ability to fluctuate his weight to play a number of different roles depending on the scheme. Working from the inside, he is very good to work off double teams and demands them consistently. He excels against the run and could shore up the middle of a defense from the second he walks onto a field in camp. He has thick, powerful legs and out-leveraged nearly every linemen he faced in the SEC. Brockers has very long arms that he uses to play extended and work off his block towards the ball. He uses his instincts well from this position to sniff out plays and has the uncanny ability to diagnose screens and draw plays.
WeaknessesBrockers has started for only one full year and is still developing many of his skills. He has poor technique as a pass rusher and relies heavily on his natural ability in many phases of his game. He tends to stand upright when not immediately diagnosing a play and loses a lot of his power when doing so. Brockers is slow to use his hands to defend against jolt blocks and exposes his frame on most plays. He is a raw prospect who has developed physically at a rapid pace and is still getting a feel for his body.
Pass rush: Only registered two sacks in 2011 but appears to have blossoming natural pass rush skills. Good initial quickness off the snap and flashes an explosive burst to split gaps. Surprising use of leverage for a player of his height. Good arm length and strength to keep his opponents' hands off his chest. Good bull rusher due to his use of leverage and good leg drive. Good quick arm-over swim move, which is made especially effective due to his long arms. Stymied at the line of scrimmage by chop blocks early in the season (Oregon) but improved his awareness and balance as the year went on. Good lateral agility and an explosive burst to close when the quarterback is near. Good awareness to get his hands in the air. Knocked down three passes in 2011 including making a diving interception against Northwestern State.
Explosion: Flashes enough quickness off the snap to threaten gaps at three-technique, especially when slanting. Heavy hands, good lower body strength and the ability to roll his hips into his opponent to drive them backwards on the bull rush. Arrives with a thud as a tackler.
Strength: Still growing but shows very good strength to hold up as an interior run defender when he maintains his proper pad level. Long, strong arms for the take-down tackle despite being engaged with a blocker.
Tackling: A forceful hitter who brings his hips to explode into the ball-carrier. "Only" forced one fumble in 2011 but did the same in 2010 despite considerably less playing time. Appears to have the athleticism and closing speed to improve in this area with more experience. Generally a good wrap-up tackler who brings ball-carriers to the ground quickly and securely. Good effort laterally and downfield in pursuit.
Intangibles: Given a late first to early second round grade by the NFL Advisory Committee. Lined up as a three technique, on the nose (zero technique) and outside at defensive end (five technique) for LSU in 2011. Has had no known off-field or injury issues while at LSU. Though Brockers' 2011 season seemingly came out of nowhere, head coach Les Miles predicted it heading into the 2010 season characterizing Brockers as "becoming a bear to handle inside."
Brockers' stock was rising into the top 10 before a disappointing showing at the Combine. He had a startlingly low total on the bench press while running slow. The big defensive tackle is a one-year wonder, so his stock is fluid.
Brockers was one of the leaders of a group of future NFL defensive linemen at LSU. He was a disruptive force in 2011, totaling 54 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, two sacks, one forced fumble and one blocked kick. Brockers didn't see a ton of action as a redshirt freshman last year, assembling only 25 tackles, one tackle for a loss and zero sacks. Brockers played well in both games against Alabama. In the National Championship game, he totaled seven tackles and a blocked kick.
A well-rounded player, Brockers is fast and strong. He could stay as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense or move to defensive end in a 3-4 set. Brockers has the length and a strong enough build to fit as a potential five-technique defensive end.
Defensive tackle Michael Brockers also has been projected as a possible first-round draft pick next month. Like Claiborne, Brockers wasn't satisfied with his performance at the NFL combine. He was far more pleased with what he accomplished at LSU. "I improved on just about everything from the combine," he said. "I didn't do too well there. Nerves got to me a little bit. It was a new environment. I was comfortable here. I wowed some coaches." Brockers ran a 5.15 40 at LSU - more than two tenths of a second better than his time at Indianapolis. He did 21 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press. Brockers had done 19 reps at the combine. His vertical jump improved from 26 inches to 30. "My stock was up there before the combine," said Brockers, who had two years of college eligibility remaining. "Then, my stock was at a standstill. Hopefully, I opened some eyes today. No particular team is talking to me more than another. My ability to play the 3-4 or 4-3 gives me good value." Jets coach Rex Ryan, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazer were among the coaches and scouts who showed up to watch the former LSU standouts perform.
Brockers signed on with LSU as a 250-pound freshman defensive end in 2009 and in just three seasons with the program grew into a 300 pound monster in the middle whose impact on defense rivaled that of Morris Claiborne and even Tyrann Mathieu. In retaining his cat-quick agility despite adding strength and mass, Brockers boasts an athletic skill-set that no other defensive tackle in the 2012 draft can match.
Brockers redshirted in 2009 and flashed a great deal of potential a year later, seeing action in 13 games and starting against Alabama. He registered four tackles against the Tide and had 25 for the season, including one for loss against North Carolina. He also forced a fumble against Lousiana-Monroe that his teammate Lavar Edwards returned for a touchdown. Nothing in 2010, however, foreshadowed the season Brockers would have as a redshirt sophomore.
Brockers started off his 2011 campaign with a bang by tying his career high with five tackles in a highly anticipated season opening matchup against the Oregon Ducks. Brockers seemed to play at his best in big games, recording four tackles (including three for loss) and a sack against Mississippi State, three tackles and a tackle for loss against Florida, five tackles against Arkansas, six tackles in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia, including two for loss, as well as a forced fumble and a pass broken up. Finally, Brockers recorded a combined 11 tackles in his two games versus Alabama, including a career-high seven stops in the BCS Championship game. Brockers also recorded a tackle for loss and blocked an Alabama field goal in the early second quarter that kept the Crimson Tide's lead at just 3-0. For the year he recorded 54 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and two sacks. He was named to the Second Team All-SEC squad.
All of the usual caveats apply with grading this redshirt sophomore as a potential first round pick. He only has one season of dominant play, was surrounded by a great deal of talent and experienced his success on a defense that helped Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson earn top five grades that frankly neither has played up to at this point.
Brockers' unmatched combination of size, athleticism, strength and youth is tantalizing, however. He played with great passion and the awareness of a four-year not one-year starter in 2011. Capable of starring as a three-technique defensive tackle or holding the point as a five technique defensive end, Brockers will be highly valued by 4-3 and 3-4 teams, alike. If he plays with the same passion in the NFL that he did for the Tigers in 2011, he'll prove to be a standout regardless of the scheme he's placed into.
My Opinion: Brockers is a Nose Tackle prospect in the 4-3. He has really long arms for a defensive tackle. He has a big frame, seems a little smaller in the shoulders compared to Cox but he has huge thick arms and his lower half is so solid. From what I have seen he provides no pass rush. He had a poor bench press at the combine but he has huge arms and I would expect him to struggle. Brockers is a one year wonder and would be a development player, his best is probably in 2 to 3 years time. LSU defensive lineman have struggled to make the transition to the pros in recent years and haven't lived up to expectation (generally these guys are over drafted). He eats up the double team and does pretty well against it, he is always fighting. Decent explosion off the snap, he could be more violent with the hands. He is solid against the run and has good vision for the ball carrier. He does a great job when he comes off the ball low, but gets to upright when tired. He could collapse the pocket more but he usually is double teamed.
If Brockers is still there at 25# I think he will be the Broncos pick. He is big, talented, young and fills a position of need for the Broncos. I expect him to struggle early but come on in a few years. I would not be disappointed if this was the pick but don't expect much from him early.
40 Time: 5.08.
Arm Length: 33 1/4.
Hand Size: 10 inch
Projected Round (2012): 1.
Still is one of the most NFL-ready interior lineman of this year's senior class and arguably one of the most polished and "safe" picks of the draft. He has massive size to clog lanes on the inside and occupy blocks. Still displays good technique to beat double teams and get to the passer, and the power to bowl over would-be blockers to be disruptive in the backfield. He has been a reliable and productive player throughout his time at Penn State. A team who needs to address their run defense and add a player who will occupy and keep linebackers free in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme will likely select Still in the middle of the first round as an immediate starter.
Still did nothing to diminish his stock in the eyes of NFL evaluators at the 2012 Scouting Combine, but the crop of defensive tackles appears to be deeper than expected.
"I think hands down I'm the best defensive tackle in this draft, just because I feel like I want it more," said Still, NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2-rated defensive tackle prospect behind LSU's Michael Brockers.
Since a dominant Outback Bowl performance to end the 2010 season -- 3.5 tackles for loss against Florida center and Dolphins first-round pick Mike Pouncey -- Still was convinced he'd make a living on Sundays. Like Brockers, Still has to shake similar questions from scouts about whether he's a late bloomer or one-year wonder.
After tearing two left knee ligaments as a freshman and a broken ankle in fall camp the following season, Still said he fully dedicated himself to being a football player before the 2011 season. He credits defensive line coach Larry Johnson for keeping him motivated and schooling him on the finer points of on-field technique and how to watch film.
"I think I had a very average year my junior year and I never strive for being mediocre. I try to be the best that I can be," Still said. "I put in a lot of overtime during the offseason just to prepare myself to be one of the best in the country for my senior year and make my mark at Penn State."
Still said Penn State left guard Johnnie Troutman, who was also at the Scouting Combine, deserves credit in his emergence from reserve to Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. They became so familiar with each other squaring off in practice four or five days a week that by last season, one-on-one matchups became a test of fortitude. Troutman said the game slowed down for Still, who stopped over-thinking about his responsibility within the scheme and let his ability take over.
"It definitely helped me over the past three years playing against a guy like him," Troutman said. "For his size he's a real quick guy so you've got to move your feet and don't blink because if you blink and punch and miss he's going to be by you."
Penn State might be Linebacker U, but the Nittany Lions are accustomed to sending defensive linemen to the NFL. From Courtney Brown to Michael Haynes to Aaron Maybin, Jared Odrick to Tamba Hali to Cameron (Derek) Wake, the tradition is tangible.
While Penn State transitions to a new era under new coach Bill O'Brien, Still remains cognizant of repaying the program that helped him reach the doorstep of a lifelong dream.
"What drives me is that when I first started playing football, whenever I do something, I'm very competitive," he said. "I want to be the best at it. When I got injured my first two years at Penn State, a lot of people said I wouldn't be the same player as I was when I showed up on campus. I think that drove me just to prove everybody wrong. To this day, I don't think I'm where I need to be right now. I want to make my mark in the NFL, just as I did at Penn State, and become one of the best."
StrengthsStill is a strong player who gets off the line quickly for his size and shows the explosion to blow back offensive guards into their own backfield. He excels as a run defender by using his strengths to occupy a blocker while he reads the play and reacts, which is ideal schematically for a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. He has the ability to use hand technique and footwork alike to remove himself from blocks and get in the backfield. For a massive nose tackle he is an above-average pass rusher who can use an array of swim and dip moves to get to the passer.
WeaknessesWhile Still can rush the passer, it is rare that he actually gets there to make sack production as his athletic ability is rather average once he is exposed in the open field. He works tremendously in tight quarters but doesn't display that quickness or explosion when in the open field. This is true of his play in pursuit, as well. Once the ball gets past him he usually is done for the play.
Pass rush: Comes fast and hard off the snap if given a step by backpedalling linemen in pass protection. Will work through the whistle. Tries to swim past his man when there is room to maneuver, bothering the quarterback but rarely getting there. Effective taking up two blockers and flashes some quickness outside on twists.
Run defense: Most productive against the run when slanting into the action. Strong at the point when keeping his pads low, but his height means a constant battle to prevent linemen from getting under his pads. Fights through doubles, at times still finding the ballcarrier through traffic. His anchor against doubles when not attacking the pocket is inconsistent; blown off the line too often. Good effort to reach ballcarriers coming into his area; keeps his eyes on them and can make the play even when moving back or losing his balance. Must work on defeating cut blocks with his hands.
Explosion: Combination of size and strength has not yet been harnessed. Inconsistent off the snap, more often last one to move than the first. Does not knock back better linemen. Fatigue becomes an issue later in game, losing his explosiveness off the ball and hustle.
Strength: Rarely dominates his man at the point. Capable of shedding with strong hands and tossing aside guards if their heads are down, but could do so more regularly.
Tackling: Wide body and long, strong arms envelop backs running between the tackles. Good vision and strength lets him bring down backs by a shoelace, even if falling to the ground. Possesses nimble feet and fair change of direction for his size; chases ballcarriers around the line and can stay with elusive backs after they make a move. Gives some chase to the sideline on quick throws and when backs try to run outside.
Intangibles: Suffered torn left ACL/MCL in August 2007, broken left ankle in August 2008. Cousin Art Still played for the Kansas City Chiefs. Another cousin, Levon Kirkland, was a standout linebacker with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Still had an underrated Combine, with nice speed in the 40-yard dash. His stock has gone down some only because of other prospects excelling and moving up draft boards. Still had a superb senior season. He was a playmaker and the leader of the Penn State defense.
Still has good size, surprising speed and real power. He played Alabama tough early this season. In 2011, Still had 55 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, a pass batted away and a forced fumble. His last few games, especially against Ohio State and Wisconsin, were his worst showings of the year.
Entering the NFL, Still has an excellent combination of power, speed and athleticism. He beats offensive linemen with strength as well as quickness. Still has the versatility to play the three-technique or nose tackle in a 4-3 defense. He also could be a 3-4 defensive end.
Devon Still insists his best is yet to come. The Penn State All-American defensive tackle, who led the 2011 defense with 17 tackles for loss, admitted Wednesday he is still bothered by a turf toe injury to his left big toe. The 6-4 Still, who said he weighed in at 300 pounds for NFL talent evaluators during a Pro Day workout inside Holuba Hall, suffered the injury a few days before the Nittany Lions lost to Houston in the Jan. 2 TicketCity Bowl in Dallas. Still, obviously limited in the bowl game, is considered one of the top tackles in next month's NFL draft. "I'm getting there. ... I still think I have time to work on my toe to get it ready,'' said Still, who ran a 4.95 40-yard dash Wednesday, bettering his NFL scouting combine time (5.03). "I think this was the big deal because I don't think I put forth my best effort or my best performance at the combine. I just wanted to come out here and compete.'' Still said he spoke to 22 NFL teams at last month's combine in Indianapolis. His message to the league? "That I was able to go into every game and have an impact, whether I was making tackles or not,'' Still said.
My Opinion: Still could play either NT or UT. He has a bad injury history with multiple leg injuries. He played very strong as a senior but is he a one year wonder or a late boomer? Has a nice big frame, solid all the way through his body. He has to keep his pad level low. He is a little slow off the line too. Is pretty good with his hands and sheds well to get into the back field quickly. He does struggle against the double team. Has good vision to find the ball carrier. Still gets into the back field quick. I would probably play him at the UT position, not super athletic for the position but not strong enough to play NT. He has a good motor. Doesn't push the pile much.
For the Broncos any one of these three guys would be a good fit. The question is are Brockers and Still one year wonders or have a bright future ahead? What motivates these guys? That is why we employ the front office. For me Cox is the best UT and fits that role perfectly but that is not really a position of need for us. Brockers is the best NT (Zero tech) and has a high ceiling but needs a lot of work. Still is probably the most complete player of the three and the most ready for the pros but may be close to his potential and doesn't fit either position perfectly. Anyway we go here these three guys should be good.
40 Time: 4.79. Official: 4.95
3 Cone Drill: 7.43
20 YD shuttle: 4.53
Bench: 36 reps.
Vertical: 34.5. Broad: 9-5. 113 inch
Arm Length: 33 1/4.
Hand Size: 9 1/2.
Projected Round (2012): 1-2.
Reyes is a big body inside with a decent skill set and frame that come together to make a good option for a team that needs defensive line depth. Reyes is a powerful mover and a hard worker who should stick with a team at the next level based mainly on size and strength.
Reyes played both end and tackle in college and didn't impress scouts as a pass rush threat until he outplayed some of the best offensive linemen in the country at the Senior Bowl.
He has good short-area quickness and will win most fights in a phone booth. This ability was demonstrated at the Combine, where he hoisted 225 pounds 36 times and surprised scouts with an unofficial 40 time of 4.79. Teams still appreciate his consistency against the run more than his threat as a pass rusher, however.
Reyes arrived at Connecticut as a 245-pound, three-sport prep star (including basketball and track) and developed into a big body without losing his quickness and agility. He started 42 games at UConn and finished with 31.5 tackles for a loss, 10th in school history.
StrengthsReyes has a big frame and he uses it well. He has a strong lower body which provides him a good anchor when going up against double teams inside. He doesn't display the same strength in his upper body, but is technically savvy with his hands to keep offensive lineman off him. Reyes has a motor inside and relies more on his feet and technique to beat guys. He is a good player to insert in different slants and stunts inside based on schemes that commonly use these tactics. Reyes will be a reliable and strong player at the next level who consistently displays high effort and rarely gets completely blocked inside; he is always able to make just enough of a play to make a difference.
WeaknessesReyes is a good all-around prospect, but doesn't display any jaw-dropping skills that make him attractive at the next level. He plays a bit underweight, and this can show up at times when going against double teams. Reyes will have a tough time getting into the backfield to disrupt or rush the passer at the next level.
Reyes was another defensive tackle who had a superb Combine. He was extremely fast in the 40 and looked good in the field drills. At the Senior Bowl, Reyes routinely beat offensive linemen in the one-on-one drills. He has a powerful bull rush to go along with some surprising speed rushes. The North defensive linemen really struggled with blocking him all week.
Run defense: Flashes the strength to stack and shed, move down the line to chase running backs in either direction from inside. Agile enough to avoid cut block with hands and sidestep, get into the backfield. Keeps eyes in the backfield to get a piece of ballcarriers coming inside. Gets low quickly to get under offense linemen in short-yardage situations. Plays too high at times, however, gets carried downfield or put to the ground by better lineman when losing the leverage battle.
Explosion: Flashes enough quickness off the snap to threaten gaps at three-technique, especially when slanting. Also shows a punch to stop blockers, but is not yet consistent enough with that and his hand placement to control veteran NFL linemen.
Strength: Growing frame gives him great potential to play inside at the next level. Still learning to use his mass inside to leverage offensive lineman, but shows the ability to force his way through one-on-one blocks and double-teams with powerful leg action and violent hands.
Tackling: Length and strong upper-body make him difficult to escape once he gets to the ball. Fair hustle, moves off block to chase to the sideline or inside when the back is in sight. Inconsistent closing speed and break-down to grab backs coming his direction. Better short-area quickness to wrap up ballcarriers in his immediate vicinity, lacks long foot speed to do more than chase them into other defenders' arms. Stamina is a question mark, considerably fresher at the beginning of each half.
Intangibles: Two-time team captain who teammates commend on his work ethic. Has added weight through diet and weight room work while maintaining size-relative athleticism. Durable, versatile player. No known character issues or off-field incidents.
Reyes is fast closing on the quarterback with the quickness off the snap to be a potential three-technique pass rusher in the NFL. He played well in 2011, totaling 46 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sack. Reyes has some developmental skills.
If he gets good coaching at the NFL level, he could turn into a steal. Reyes has some nice speed and can get some pressure in the pocket.
My Opinion: He is pretty solid throughout his body, may be not as muscular as the others. He has good foot work but is a little stiff in the hips. I would play him as an UT. He is a run stopper that doesn't provide much of a pass rusher but can collapse the pocket. Shows good effort to get to the ball. Displays good vision for the ball carrier and explosion off the snap. He runs a bit funny when chasing down guys. Does disappear when double teamed. Has a strong bull rush. Gets a little upright at times, this may be because he is tired. He is great when stunting or slanting in. Pushes the pocket when one-on-one mainly using that bull rush. Has a bit of a spin move. Once he has made contact and the guard has him he doesn't show much to fight him off, not overly violent.
Compared to the first three Reyes isn't even in the same league. He is a solid prospect but doesn't do one thing great and should be an early second round pick. The Broncos may take a look at him but he is a development player, they should go for other prospects than worry about Reyes.
Projected 40 Time: 5.15.
3 Cone Drill: 7.97
20 YD Shuttle: 4.71 sec
Bench: 35 reps.
Vertical: 31. Broad: 8-4. 100 inch
Arm Length: 33 1/2.
Hand Size: 10.
Projected Round (2012): 2.
Thompson brings value to the NFL in that he can play both defensive tackle or nose tackle at the NFL level. With his size and athletic ability, Thompson has been disruptive for Clemson. He plays stout against the run and will plug the hole well for an NFL team. He is able to find the ball as a defender and is effective after the snap in making plays in the backfield. He doesn't bring a ton of pass-rush ability, but he will be able to serve as a strong presence up front. He has the talent to warrant a late first or early second-round pick.
StrengthsThompson is an incredible run defender inside. He is consistent in his play and uses his feet to make plays happen against the run. He comes off the ball quickly and is able to fill gaps well at his size. He also make plays on the ball carrier. He is a very strong player who knows how to use his hands and disrupt plays in the backfield.
WeaknessesThompson tends to be negated by double teams inside. His substandard technique can limit him at times and contributes to his inability to get past those doubles. Though he is stellar against the run, he is limited against the pass, only occasionally making things happen as a rusher.
Run defense: Penetrates through gaps, often forcing running backs to elude him or the back end of the offensive lineman he's pushing before they even reach the line of scrimmage. Inconsistent in his ability to separate from blocks, however, making him more of a nuisance than a snap-to-snap terror. Good anchor to hold up at the point, though he does not possess the bulk or lower-body strength to hold up to double teams. Good effort pursuing laterally. Quick feet and good balance to slide down the line and possesses the burst to slip through gaps.
Explosion: Pops off tape due to his explosive first few steps. While powerful, doesn't rock the guard/center back with his upper-body strength or explode into tackles.
Strength: Good weight-room strength, which translates onto the field in terms of his anchor. Isn't able to consistently shed blocks and makes plays in the hole. Good strength for the drag-down tackle.
Tackling: Can make the impressive chest-to-chest bear hug tackle in the hole due to his ability to wreak havoc in the backfield. Good strength, though his marginal arm length limits his ability to grab hold of ballcarriers as they run by. Willing to lay out and shows good hand-eye coordination to trip up ballcarriers.
Intangibles: Nicknamed "Yams" because of his huge thighs, which aid in his role as a run-stuffer. Won the Strength Training Award among Clemson defensive tackles in the spring of 2010. Tied for third on the team with a 425-pound bench press. Lifted 225 pounds 30 times for Clemson coaches. A pre-Business major who earned a spot on the Honor Roll in the spring of 2010.
One of the standouts for Clemson this season was Thompson. All year, he was a load at the line of scrimmage who caused disruption by knocking linemen into the backfield. Thompson is an excellent run stuffer and does the dirty work in eating up double teams. He had 46 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 2011.
Thompson impacts the game more than his numbers indicate. On occasion, he bull rushes into the pocket, but he was not a pass-rushing threat in college. Clemson would even take Thompson out of the game in some pass-rushing situations. At the Senior Bowl, he was very tough on offensive linemen and won a lot of the one-on-one reps. Thompson's quality week in Mobile should secure him as a pick on Friday night. His Combine performance was rather average.
Thompson was a classroom and weight-room fanatic since high school, which earned him Academic Honor Roll recognition in 2010 and the weight-lifting statistics of a tractor -- 450-pound single bench press, 36 reps with 225 pounds (34 at the combine), 615-pound squat lift and 370-pound power clean. On the field that translates to somebody smart enough to know what to do and strong enough to get it done. He explodes off the line with tremendous force and uses his wicked strong hands to gain an advantage. This helps him as a dangerous bull rusher, but he is not really a pass-rush threat. Nicknamed "Yams" in recognition of the huge thighs that help him clog the middle of Clemson's defense, Thompson is an immovable object willing and able to crush anything that tries to get past him. His college statistics may not be relevant because offenses tried to stay out of his way, even if it took two men to do so. Thompson may be NFL ready right now, but he is already maximizing his physical ability and may have marginal upside.
My Opinion: His body looks like it has already filled out. He looks like an NFL linemen already and that doesn't leave much growth. His body is solid throughout and is very powerfully. Thompson is a space eater and would play NT for us. He needs to have better technique for the double team. Played more as a 2-down lineman as his pass rushing skills are not the greatest. Has great pad control and explodes off the snap. He has a good bull rush and usually beats guards with power alone. Needs to hit with more power at the point of attack to be disruptive at the next level. Has OK vision for the ball carrier but goes with his instincts sometimes which aren't always correct. He is solid against the run. When double teamed he tries to fight through it. He could be more violent with his hands. He collapses the pocket regularly. He could show more effort when chasing down the play. He does have some moves and he should use them more, has a good rip move.
When your looking at NT for our 4-3 the two that stand out are Brockers and Thompson. Brockers has more potential and upside but Thompson could come in and start day one. He has also been more consistent compared to Brockers. He looks like the perfect replacement for Bunk and if he falls to us in the 2nd round I think he could be the pick.
40 Time: 4.97. Official: 5.08. 10-Yd Split: 1.64.
3 Cone Drill: 7.60 secs
20 YD Shuttle: 4.56 secs
Vertical: 28.5. Broad: 8-11. 107 inch
Arm Length: 33.
Hand Size: 9 3/8 inch
Projected Round (2012): 2.
Worthy is an extremely thick, tightly built defensive tackle who displayed a ton of power throughout his career at Michigan State. He chose to forgo his senior year and looks prepared to be an immediate rotational player on the front of a 4-3 scheme. He is capable of playing the nose if necessary, but has the athleticism to be a sub-package 3-technique rusher.
He didn't do himself any favors with a mediocre performance at a Combine filled with talented defensive tackles.
But in games, where it counts, Worthy is the definition of the word load. He demands immediate and constant attention by blockers or he can ruin an offense, and pretty much did exactly that as he earned All-American honors last season.
Worthy anchored a Spartans defense that led the Big Ten in rushing defense (100.5 yards per game), total defense (277.4 ypg) and sacks (45). Worthy explodes off the line at the snap and quickly uses his strong hands and unusual overall power to maintain an advantage. Little wonder he had at least one tackle for a loss in nine of 14 games last season.
He said his decision to enter the draft as an underclassman was partly because his father suffered a stroke in 2010 and he wants to offer financial support for the family.
StrengthsWorthy is very thick and powerful throughout his upper body and has thigh power that can blow back interior lineman off the snap. He has a surprising burst for a player his size and is capable of knifing and slanting the line and getting into the backfield almost instantaneously. He is a pad-level and leverage-savvy player who understands how to win with a first step and bull rush alike.
WeaknessesWorthy gets upright off the snap and really has trouble working his pass rush moves or moving his feet if he doesn't win with a burst or quickness off the snap. He struggles in space and has a difficult time breaking down his weight to attempt to fit on a ball carrier. He can get neutralized at times by double teams not out of strength or talent, but because of effort and breakdown of technique.
Run defense: Packs power and has quick feet to handle one or two-gap run defense responsibilities in the box. Tough to move, stands up blockers when anchoring against the run. Brings down backs from behind within the box and straight up the middle, but does not regularly chase plays downfield or towards the sideline. Spins off blocks but doesn't have elite change of direction to reach quicker backs going through the hole once he's left it. Gets caught up in his man chest at times, failing to get off to make a play. Quick backs elude him easily in the hole. Avoids cut tackles to stay upright, but lacks quick acceleration to get into plays away from him.
Explosion: Impressive explosiveness off the snap, shocks his man with a strong initial punch and can also out-quick him to get into the backfield. Quick to get low, create a pile in goal lone situations. Gets too worried about contact or penetrating a gap that sometimes forgets to find the ball.
Strength: Already excelling in this area, should get even stronger in a pro strength and conditioning program. Strong hands allow him to shed lineman in either direction to catch backs coming into his area; consistency in using them could be improved, however. Once he gets a guard on skates, puts them into the quarterback. Takes his man backwards when slanting, also effective occupying two men on twists to free up the end.
Tackling: Limited area of coverage results average tackle numbers for the position. Swallows up ballcarriers in the box with length and superior upper-body strength, though, leading teams to stay away from inside runs. Closes well on quarterbacks and running backs in the backfield and rarely gets go of ballcarriers once making contact. Has enough agility and athleticism to grab backs from behind after a strong swim move.
Intangibles: His stamina and conditioning will be a concern for scouts unless improvements are made. Vocal on and off the field; points out potential hot receivers and run plays to teammates before the snap, something you don't see many interior linemen do.
Worthy ran well at the Combine with a fast 40 and 10-yard split. However, he had an inconsistent junior season. There were many games where Worthy has held in check, but there were other games where he was extremely disruptive. Worthy played well against Ohio State, but did not play well against Nebraska. The junior also had many mixed outings where he flashed occasionally after being quiet for stretches. That could be said for his outings against Wisconsin and Notre Dame.
Worthy needs to improve his conditioning as he came out of games at times when the Spartans needed some big plays. To finish the regular season, he had a strong showing against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship. Worthy followed that up with an impressive Outback Bowl against Georgia. In 2011, he had 3.5 sacks with 30 tackles and 10.5 tackles for a loss.
Worthy gets extra attention from offensive lines at times. He could stay as a 4-3 tackle, but would be better as a gap-shooting three-technique. Worthy also has the power to play the edge as a 3-4 defensive end.
It surprised few when Jerel Worthy decided to forgo his senior season and declare for the 2012 NFL Draft. Sitting next to MSU head coach Mark Dantonio at the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Academic Center in January, the first team All-American junior defensive tackle came to the decision to leave following MSU's 33-30 triple overtime victory against Georgia in the 2012 Outback Bowl. With the April draft quickly approaching, Worthy was one of 24 former Spartan football players eligible for the draft who worked out for scouts and coaches at Wednesday's MSU Pro Day at Duffy Daugherty Indoor Football Building. Following his showcase Wednesday, Worthy - who participated in the bench press and a few other drills - said he was more comfortable than he was during the NFL Combine in February, and it showed up in the way he was able to perform. "Just wanted to show I was explosive and don't waste movements," Worthy said. "That's what the NFL is all about, is not wasting movements and getting to where you got to go as fast as possible. ... Just a successful day, and I was happy with it." During his time at MSU, Worthy played in 40 career games and recorded 107 tackles, including 27.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. Worthy's performance on the field earned him first-team All-America honors from several major media outlets and was an All-Big Ten first-team selection (coaches and media). In his final season with MSU, Worthy played in all 14 games. He finished with a total of 30 tackles - 19 solo and 11 assisted - and had 10.5 tackles for a loss of 42 total yards. He also dished out 3.5 sacks for a total of 28 yards.
My Opinion: Worty has a huge torso but is a little small in the legs. He may struggle with his weight. He could get bigger and stronger throughout his frame. He didn't have the best numbers at the combine and doesn't have the best foot work. NT or UT? I am unsure here. He provides a little more against the pass then Thompson did but is not as disruptive as Thompson. Has good use of the hands. He does look a little quicker than Thompson and shows good effort chasing the ball carrier. Posseses a good rip move. Is a little high with his pad level and stands too upright at times. He does struggle with the double team. Good off the line and initial contact. He is solid against the run. He was not overly disruptive as I thought he would be. I thought he would collapse the pocket more.
I think he will struggle at the next level until he gets his technique down. There is some growth there but I believe he needs a lot of work before you could use him as a strater. I prefer Thompson over Worthy.
40 Time: 4.94. Official: 5.01 10-Yd Split: 1.70.
3 Cone Drill: 7.26 sec
20 YD Shuttle: 4.44
Bench: 33 reps.
Vertical: 33.5. Broad: 9-0. 108 inch
Arm: 33 1/4. Hand: 10 3/4.
Projected Round (2012): 2-3.
Wolfe is a big interior lineman, and plays very instinctively to be a factor in the run game. He is a slow-moving, non-explosive athlete, but this doesn't define his games and he finds other ways to be a factor. He can get overpowered by double teams, and will need to continue to develop his technique to not get erased there. Based off his frame and potential, he has late-round value in the draft.
A three-year starter, Wolfe was considered a three-star offensive tackle recruit, but moved to the defensive side of the ball shortly after committing to Cincinnati.
He saw playing time as a reserve defensive tackle in 2008 as a true freshman, recording three tackles, one tackle for loss and one sack. Wolfe moved into the starting lineup in 2009 as a sophomore (13 starts), finishing with 41 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks and one forced fumble.
He started all 12 contests in 2010 as a junior, recording 48 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and one pass breakup. Wolfe had his most productive season in 2011 as a senior (13 starts), finishing with 70 tackles, a conference-best 21.5 tackles for loss, team-high 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and a pass breakup, becoming the first Bearcat to earn Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Just like when he came out of high school, Wolfe seems to be flying under the radar after one of the most productive senior seasons in 2011, leading all defensive tackles at the FBS level with 21.5 tackles for loss. He is quick off the ball and is the spark plug of the defense, but doesn't have explosive movements, with most of his impact in college coming on hustle plays.
Wolfe never quits and keeps fighting through the whistle with an overachieving mentality, but his lack of lower-body strength and inability to take on double-teams will limit his pro potential - a solid mid-round player who is at his best when isolated in one-on-one situations.
StrengthsWolfe is an instinctual player who understands how to engage a lineman, extend his arms, and read the flow of the play to move off his blocks and make his big frame a factor inside. He sees screens well and is good to work off his man to disrupt plays inside. He can defeat single blocks well, and is a decent pass rusher when put in the right scheme where slants and stunts can put him in good position.
WeaknessesWolfe struggles off the ball to get into his slants. He is a slow mover and will not blow back any offensive lineman off the ball. He sometimes relies too heavily on his ability to diagnose, as it will seem like he is reading the play so long that he just simply gets erased by blockers. Double teams will give him a lot of trouble and he is on his back often when faced with them; NFL teams will see right through that and get an extra hand on him in the run game.
Negatives: Only average lower-body strength and struggles to anchor at the point of attack. Bit of a defensive end/defensive tackle 'tweener who struggles in traffic with multiple blockers, not always using his limbs effectively to disengage. Will allow his body to get too upright at times and needs to consistently keep his pad level down to be effective. Not a quick-twitch player and struggles to quickly change directions with some body stiffness. Has streaky hand placement and usage, abandoning his technique. Lacks a natural position and there will be some concerns as to where he will fit best at the next level.
Wolfe performed well, yet flew under the radar at the Combine. He had a quality week at the Senior Bowl and had his share of wins. The senior had an excellent season with 70 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and 9.5 sacks.
At the point of attack, Wolfe overwhelms offensive linemen with his strength and speed. He closes on the quarterback quickly and plays the run extremely well. Wolfe has a nice repertoire of pass-rushing moves and he uses a strong rip move.
Entering the NFL, Wolfe has very good technique with a relentless motor. He could be an ideal 3-4 defensive end. If Wolfe stays as a 4-3 defensive tackle, he should add some more weight if he is going to be inside on every down. Some 4-3 teams could play him at left defensive end on running downs and move him inside in passing situations.
My Opinion: Wolfe would be an UT. He has a long frame. He could get bigger in the legs and arms. Displays good foot work. He is Ok off the snap but gets a little upright. He is solid against the run but disappears when doubled. He is not very disruptive and affecting the pocket. Has a good motor.
When you start getting down into these guys they are all development prospects. Wolfe is no expection, he has a good frame and some tools to work with but I think he lacks the athleteism to play under tackle. I saw nothing special to warrant a 2nd or even 3rd round pick. I would have him in the fourth with a possible starter potential most likely a rotation guy though.
40 Time: 4.84. Official: 4.88. 10-Yd Split: 1.69.
3 Cone Drill: 7.19 secs
20 YD Shuttle: 4.25 secs
Bench Press: 36 Reps
Vertical: 33.5. Broad: 9-5. 113 inch
Arm Length: 32 1/4.
Hand Size: 9 1/8.
Projected Round (2012): 2-3.
Martin has started the past three years inside for Michigan after making a nice impact as a true freshman. He is a tough and durable player who relies on his strength to control blockers and make plays. His strength is what defines him, he lives and dies by it.
A lifelong fan of the Wolverines, there was little doubt where the 2007 Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year would choose to matriculate. A four-star recruit by all of the major high school scouting services, Martin also won the Michigan Wrestling State Championship in his junior season (after having no prior wrestling experience), and broke T.J. Duckett's former Michigan high school shot put record on his way to a state championship.
Martin used that combination of strength and hand/foot control to earn Freshman All American honors after his first year in Ann Arbor. Appearing in 12 games as a reserve defender and on special teams, he made 20 tackles with 4.5 for loss and two sacks. He continued his development in 2009, starting all 12 games on the nose. He was credited with 51 tackles, 6.5 for loss and 2.0 sacks, and received the Richard Katcher Award as the team's best defensive lineman.
In his junior year, Martin won that prestigious award again, along with second-team All-Big Ten honors from league coaches, after he started 12 games, registering 37 tackles, six for loss and 2.5 sacks. He missed the Purdue Game on Nov. 13, 2010, due to an ankle injury that plagued him for the rest of the season.
Martin earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2011, racking up a career-high 54 tackles and three sacks to go along with six tackles for loss.
At 6-1, Martin is undersized height-wise, but he has a thick, compact build on his wrestler's frame. He fires off the snap with a relentless attitude and uses his low pad level and violent hands to tear through blockers.
Martin's long arms allow him to keep his opponents from grasping a firm hold of him. With good lateral agility, power and a relentless motor, Martin got the better of Ohio State's Michael Brewster, a possible top 100 pick, on numerous occasions during Senior Bowl practices.
Martin is an undersized nose tackle with loads of experience in a 3-4 defense. But he lacks a consistent anchor against double teams and just does not have the right frame to be an NFL starter. Because of his ability to penetrate against one-on-one blocks, Martin could be a solid rotation player in a 4-3 scheme as a three-technique tackle and move to the nose on passing downs.
StrengthsMartin has a good feel for offensive lines and block schemes and how to slant inside of lineman to get into the backfield. He is very strong against the run and can neutralize any blocker. He can hold up a block, and then shed to get to the ball. He plays with instincts and is strong.
WeaknessesMartin can struggle in space and is a stout player at the point, but he really doesn't have much production rushing the passer. Once in the backfield, he has a tough time running down the quarterback, and his athletic ability can be exposed in space.
Pass rush: Provides some secondary interior pass rush, getting most penetration when playing three-technique. Possesses only adequate burst off the snap even when directly over the ball, and his initial pop leaves room to be desired. Hands could be much more violent when trying to gain control of the block. Can bull rush his way past running backs in pass protection. Preferred pass rush move is an arm-over swim move while simultaneously pulling lineman forward. Once momentum is stopped, lacks a critical counter move to progress into the backfield. Spies the quarterback if stoned at the line, but lacks the height and vertical to knock down passes.
Run defense: Uses more hustle than brute strength to stop the run. Gets skinny to split double teams, using good short-area quickness to make a play in the backfield. Runs the line very well, making plays on the ball when he beats blocks on the backside. Rarely goes to the ground, showing good balance from his high school wrestling days. Constantly moving his hands, readjusting them into proper placement. Occasionally too high (despite his short stature), and bows out his arms, hampering his ability to press and lock out. Does not hold his ground while facing a double team, first instinct is to roll away to make a play, which can create a large hole.
Explosion: Does not test offensive linemen with quickness or strong initial punch. Rarely first off the snap. Able to swim past single blockers to penetrate into the backfield. Does not attempt to split double-teams, takes a step back and waits to chase down plays.
Strength: Low center of gravity and generally low pad level allows him to play with initial strength and leverage at the point of attack. Upper-body only average, however, struggles to shed one-on-one blocks or sustain leverage once out of his stance. Pad level rises late in the game.
Tackling: Catch-and-drag tackler who rarely drives ballcarriers to the ground. Very good short-area quickness to make plays between the tackles. Displays agility and secure tackling to corral backs in the backfield, also chases plays from the backside to prevent cutbacks.
Intangibles: High-motor, high-character leader. Worked at Ndamukong Suh's summer football camp. Played through two sprained ankles (Iowa, 10/16; Penn State 10/30), missed only Purdue (11/13). Won team's Richard Katcher award the past two seasons for being the team's best defensive lineman.
In 2011, Martin had 64 tackles with six tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. He has a good motor and defends the run well. Martin looks like a potential nose tackle in a 4-3 defense, or a 3-4 defensive end. The senior didn't produce as much as he seemed capable of.
That became especially clear after Martin had a phenomenal week of practice at the Senior Bowl. Throughout the week, he was powering offensive linemen straight back into the quarterback marker during the one-on-one scrimmages. When Martin would suspect that they were prepared for his bull rush, he would hit them with a speed rush and rip move to get by the tackles.
There were many plays in the run nine-on-nine scrimmages and the team scrimmages on which Martin would burst through the line and blow up plays in the backfield. Of all the prospects at the Senior Bowl, he may have helped his stock more than any other player.
At the same time, one has to wonder why Martin didn't show more of that skill and intensity during his collegiate career. He continued his upward trend with a strong Combine. Martin was fast and explosive.
My Opinion: Martin has a solid, powerful body. But there is probably not much growth left in it. He has shorter arms, but good foot work and powerful legs. He would play the NT in our 4-3. He fights well against the double team and is good against the run. He is pretty disruptive even against the double team. Has a good rip move. Great motor always keeps fighting. He collaspes the pocket well.
He played in a 3-4 in college so it is unknown how he would go in a 4-3. Plus there is a bit of an issue that he was only good for michagan but great leading up to the draft, why the motivational change? If the Broncos miss on Brockers in the first, Thompson in the second I would expect them to be going after Martin in the 3rd. He is a development guy that can sit behind Thomas (if he resigns) for a year or two and rotate in straight away.
40 Time: 4.94. Official: 4.99 secs. 10-Yd Split: 1.69.
3 Cone Drill: 7.47 secs
20 YD Shuttle: 4.40 secs
Vertical: 31. Broad: 8-8. 104.0 inch
Arm Length: 32.
Hand Size: 10 1/8 inch
Projected Round (2012): 2-4.
While Crick missed the majority of his senior season because of a torn pectoral muscle and was assumed by many to be the lucky beneficiary of playing next to dominant Ndamdakung Suh early in his career, he still could emerge as one of the premier defensive lineman in the draft. A defensive tackle at Nebraska, Crick shows value not only in his ability to be effective playing inside but also as a potential defensive end, particularly in a 3-4 scheme. The two-time all-conference selection has displayed enough football acumen, especially in his junior year without the help of Suh, to still hear his name called early in the draft.
Crick decided to return to Nebraska rather than join last year's draft, but his senior season was literally painful.
He sprained a knee in spring practice and had a series of injuries during the season until he was sidelined for good in October with a torn pectoral muscle. He was still not mended enough to do the bench press at the Combine. Crick finished his career No. 8 on the school's sack list with 20, including 9.5 each in 2009 and 2010.
A former Nebraska prep track (shot put) and football sensation, Crick ignored offers from all over the country when he considered only Nebraska.
Pro scouts do not see him as a pure pass rusher, but rather as a 3-4 end and he was invited to the Combine as a defensive end. He plays with excellent technique and wins most hand fights, but lacks the foot speed to be a real pass rush threat.
StrengthsCrick possesses the size and athletic ability to play in various positions across the defensive line. He flashed the ability to defeat blocks and get to the ball-carrier to make big plays in the backfield. He is active in the run game and shows great instincts that allow him to be an active player. Once in the backfield, he can run down quarterbacks with pure hustle. Off the snap, he uses his size and hands to get off blocks and show up.
WeaknessesThere were worries that Crick would struggle against double teams after Suh left Nebraska, and those concerns proved to be true. He is tough to hold off one-on-one, but he often shuts it down or gets eliminated from the play when blocked by more than one lineman. The knee injury he suffered last spring and his overall mobility, which wasn't necessarily a strong suit prior to this season, will now be an even greater question mark.
Run defense: Assignment-sure defender. Holds up his man with extended arms, stays with the block down the line and sheds in pursuit. Anchors with lean and leverage to hold the line. Good hustle to chase stretch plays. Fights through double teams and doesn't over-extend against mobile quarterbacks.
Explosion: A tough assignment who gets production with effort and hand play, not an elite first step. Does not bull rush blockers into the backfield with a strong punch. Could be a nose/under tackle 'tweener for 4-3 teams due to a lack of explosiveness off the snap.
Strength: One of the toughest players in the class to move whether one-on-one or double-teamed. Very strong hands to rip off blocks. Gets good lean into the blocker and maintains the line.
Tackling: Secure tackler with closing speed and fair change of direction ability for his height and frame. Breaks down to tackle has the strong upper body to keep ballcarriers from wriggling free. Sniffs out screens, agile enough to chase down back to negate the play. Chases plays to the sideline or downfield. Will leave his feet to wrap.
Intangibles: Lunch-pail worker on and off the field who is becoming a more vocal leader as he matures. Wore sleeve on his right elbow in 2010. Missed spring 2011 practice with knee injury and suffered a torn pectoral muscle after five games.
Crick was having a mixed season before a torn pectoral muscle ended his year. He had six tackles with a sack against Washington. It was his first sack of the season, and the senior played really well. Crick was close to a number of other sacks and was having his way with the Huskies' offensive line. Against Wisconsin, he played well against the Badgers' powerful offensive line.
For the year, Crick had 22 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and one pass broken up in five games. It is unclear if he will be healthy enough to participate in pre-draft workouts. Although Crick ran at the Combine, but wasn't ready to do the bench press. Until his health status is cleared up, his draft stock is very fluid.
Entering the 2011 season, Crick was thought to be a first-round caliber player, but a torn pectoral muscle in October put those projections in doubt. He missed the remainder of his final season in Lincoln and was unable to participate in the Senior Bowl. But Crick looked healthy at the Combine with decent times in the 40-yard dash (4.95), vertical (31.0"), broad jump (8'8), short shuttle (4.40) and 3-cone drill (7.47). He also lifted 26 reps of 225-pounds on the bench press at Nebraska's pro day last week, putting to rest any concerns about his pectoral muscle. Crick might not return to his round one standing he had entering the year, but he has worked his way back from his season-ending injury to show NFL scouts he's at near-full health. He isn't expected to escape the second round because of his natural size and foot quickness.
Senior defensive tackle Jared Crick heads into 2011 after two seasons as one of the nation's most dominant defensive linemen. The 6-6, 285-pound Crick has earned first-team all-conference honors each of the past two seasons, and earned first-team All-America mention from Rivals.com and second-team recognition from the Associated Press, SI.com and CBSSports.com in 2010. Crick was also a semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award last year and figures to contend for national honors this fall. Crick is among three returning starters on the defensive front for the 2011 season, and his presence helps provide the foundation for a defense that expects to rank among the nation's best for a third straight season. Crick's combination of size, strength and quickness has made him a disruptive force up front and put him in a position to earn a permanent place in the Nebraska record books.
The Cozad, Neb., native has recorded 9.5 sacks each of the past two seasons and he stands in seventh place in Nebraska history with 19 career sacks. Crick is 10.5 sacks from the Nebraska career record and just five sacks from cracking the career top five. He also has 32 career tackles for loss and is poised for a move into the top 10 on that career chart. A starter in all 28 contests the past two seasons, Crick could put his name in elite company as a three-time all-conference selection. Just 21 players in school history are members of that club, and no player has been so honored since 1997-99. A history major, Crick is on track to earn his degree this August.
My Opinion: Crick was smaller and weighed in less than expected. He has a long frame but tiny arms for a guy of his size. His torso is thick but he has thin legs. He would be an UT in the 4-3 and could play a little at DE. He is a little slow out of his turns but has good foot work. He has an excellent motor but his pad level needs to come down. He is a good run defender but needs to be stronger at the point of attack. He should use some moves to beat his man. He is very disrutpive when stunting or slanting in. He is not very good against the double team.
If you can get Crick one-on-one with a guard often he could be a monster. But his torn pec and a lack of game time this year may mean Crick drops into the 4th. He was a guy I was pretty high on last year but of course didn't live up too expectations. But for this reason he could be a steal in one of the later rounds. He needs a bit of work but his high motor will keep him in a rotation.
40 Time: 5.19. Official: 5.32 secs
Bench: 30 reps.
Vertical: 26. Broad: 9-6. 102.0 inch
Arm Length: 32 1/4.
Hand Size: 10 1/8.
Projected Round (2012): 4-5.
Robertson is a big man who shows good effort working in the trenches for South Carolina. He has had a lot of experience playing against good offensive lines in the SEC over the years and is reliable when holding up gaps in the interior. He is obviously stiff at times and almost overdeveloped, as his muscle can inhibit his movements and overall play. He has a difficult time reacting to plays and needs to play within a scheme where he can simply rely on his size and strength to hold linemen away from the second level. He won't contribute much in the pass game either, but he is a big man who has good technique and understands his role, making him a late-round prospect and rotational player at the next level. He was disruptive and flew around in South Carolina's bowl game where he had 4 tackles and half of a sack, and he likely will build upon this performance and be a late riser like another classmate, Melvin Ingram.
StrengthsRobertson is very good once he gets off the ball to immobilize offensive lineman and work within his scheme to keep linebackers free. He is a leverage player who, though stiff, understands what it takes to get under a lineman and gain an advantage early. He is extremely strong and has surprisingly developed hand technique. His strength is obvious when he sheds linemen. He is big enough to simply engulf a ball carrier once in the backfield and is a very good player within the right scheme.
WeaknessesRobertson is solely a hold-up lineman who does little else. He has a tough time getting in the backfield and reaching the ball carrier. He is slow off the snap and he doesn't create plays for himself. He is the type of player who could make a lot of money playing within the right scheme, but his statistical productivity likely will be extremely low at the next level.
Robertson was somewhat disappointing in 2011. He had 49 tackles with eight tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. Robertson had a lot of talent around him, but he did not take advantage of favorable matchups. At the East-West Shrine Game, Robertson was dominant, destroying offensive linemen all week long. He needed to show more of that in the regular season.
At the Combine, Robertson did not do particularly well.
Fifth-year senior defensive tackle … team leader and experienced player … a preseason second-team All-SEC selection by Phil Steele … remaining healthy is a key - focused much of his energies on his flexibility in the spring … key player in the interior of the Gamecock defense … earned his degree in criminal justice in May … has made 19 career starts among his 43 games played over the past four seasons.
My Opinion: Has a big body, a little more in the gut then I would like and needs to get more powerful in the legs. He doesn't move well in space so he would probably have to play the NT. Has poor technique and needs coaching. But he is a good run stuffer and finds the football. When you get down to these rounds all these guys are development players.
40 Time: 5.00 secs.
3 Cone Drill: 7.49 secs
20 YD Shuttle: 4.84 secs
Vertical: 34. Broad: 9-3. 111.0 inch
Arm Length: 33 3/4.
Hand Size: 9 5/8.
Projected Round (2012): 4-5.
Kheeston is a strong force up front for Texas, in the mold of many former Longhorn players who aren't completely athletic upfront but effective with bull rushing and manhandling lineman. Randall plays in spots for Texas and is hardly ever on the field in passing situations. He played the nose position in many 3-4 type alignments for Texas but is undersized for the pros. He has sixth-round value as a defensive tackle.
Randall is a model citizen in the classroom and off the field, where he dedicates appreciable time and energy to community needs. But dress him in a uniform and put him on the football field and he becomes a troublemaker the very instant the ball is snapped.
Randall fires off the line like a rocket, a trait reflected in his explosive vertical jump of 34 inches at the Combine, where he was listed as a nose tackle. He shows excellent traits to man that position. He has the an exceptional ability to own that precious real estate in the middle of the line of scrimmage, often holding off multiple blockers intent on evicting him. He uses long arms well for leverage and snagging any runners who get within his ample reach.
He is admired by college coaches and teammates as one who can quietly lead by example or command attention with a sharp wit that is as quick as his first step. Wherever he goes, watch for him to fit in quickly both on the team and in the community.
StrengthsKheeston is an instinctual player who always seems to pick and choose his spots correctly when slanting and stunting. While this could be a testament to the scheme, he seems to be crafty and find a way to avoid double teams to be a major factor against the run. He can hold up blocks well at the point, and then shed quickly when needing to make a move to make a play. Randall uses his hands well here and also as a pass rusher, and he has noticeably explosive and strong hands to control his man.
Positives: Strength gives ends a chance to twist inside and linebackers free lane to the passer on blitzes. Played with lean and leverage against the run, tough for one man to move (sometimes double-teams, too). Lower than offensive lineman on every short-yardage play. Good agility and ability to change directions for his size. Locker room and on-field leader.
Negatives: Doesn't rack up many sacks (four career) and gets only the occasional pressure, but could be more of a factor if asked to penetrate gaps more regularly instead of eating up blocks. Sees the ball well but is stuck on blocks when head-up; does not shed to make plays often enough. Flashes strong hands to rip off, but needs to use them more consistently.
Randall had a disappointing season. The senior pushed the pocket more than his numbers indicate, but he didn't have an impact as needed. Randall struggles to finish plays and doesn't close on ball carrier well. In 2011, he had 31 tackles with one sack and four tackles for a loss. His stock went down significantly.
Randall performed well at the Senior Bowl and was being disruptive. He fared well in the one-one-ones and looked a lot better than during the regular season. At the Combine, Randall showed off some speed and athleticism. He looks like a boom-or-bust pick.
Finished his career having seen action in 47 games, including 35 starts … posted 98 tackles (49 solo), four sacks, 21 TFL, 25 pressures, six PBU, one forced fumble and two blocked kicks for his career … 2011 first team All-Big 12 selection (Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express News) and second team (Coaches, AP, Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram) … named to the watch lists for the 2011 Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award … recorded 34 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack, eight pressures and one pass breakup in 2011 … named honorable mention All-Big 12 in 2010 … started all 12 games and posted 39 tackles (23 solo), one sack, 13 TFL, eight pressures, three PBU and two blocked kicks … appeared in 14 games, including 10 starts at defensive tackle, in 2009 … compiled 23 tackles, two sacks, three TFL, nine pressures and a forced fumble … saw action in eight games as a true freshman in 2008 … a two-time all-state and three-time all-district selection in high school … a three-sport letterman as a prepster … a member of UT's Athletics Director's Honor Roll (Spring 2009).
My Opinion: He has a long frame, a good lean muscalr frame all over. Posses decent footwork but a little slow when moving around. Has good pad level but needs to shed better. He also needs to get better against the run. Doesn't have the greatest motor. Is fairly strong at the point of attack. Has the size and measurables to play the UT position but needs development on his technique to be a factor in the passing game.
40 Time: 4.75. Official: 4.82 secs. 10-Yd Split: 1.72.
3 Cone Drill: 7.32 secs
20 YD Shuttle: 4.47 secs
Vertical: 27.5. Broad: 8-10. 106.0 inch
Arm Length: 33.
Hand Size: 9 7/8.
Projected Round (2012): 4-5.
Howard is a thick interior lineman who has great size and can make big, impactful plays working from his defensive tackle position. He can disappear at times in plays, as he did in games for the Gators, and this will be the major concern surrounding his transferability to the next level.
Howard was a top 50 defensive end recruit out of high school, choosing Florida over Florida State, Auburn and Rutgers.
After redshirting in 2007, he saw time as a backup on the defensive line in 2008 as a redshirt freshman, recording eight tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Howard saw more playing time in 2009 as a sophomore (four starts), finishing with 29 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
He became a full-time starter in 2010 as a junior with eight starts, recording 29 tackles, 10.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Howard had his most productive season in 2011 as a senior (13 starts), finishing with 65 tackles, 10.0 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two pass breakups and two fumble recoveries (one returned for a score).
Howard was a defensive end/linebacker in high school and has done a nice job adding 60-plus pounds since enrolling in Gainesville as a 230-pounder, but not all of that is good weight despite looking in better shape in 2011. He is a fluid and flexible athlete for the position with the natural explosion to shoot gaps and gain a step on blockers, but he doesn?t always play at full intensity and has poor snap anticipation.
Howard doesn't have the ideal frame or strength to be a regular contributor in the NFL, but his
athleticism and foot quickness will earn him a shot ? a late round player who flashes, but is mostly an inconsistent performer and doesn't play up to his ability.
StrengthsHoward has been a durable player for the Gators. He is very quick off the ball for his size, although he can forget his technique (a testament to his inconsistent play overall) and rise up to get stonewalled by offensive linemen at times. He is very good against the run and has the ability to snap quickly off the ball, engage a lineman, then work off him to move laterally towards a running back and make a big-time play in the backfield.
Strengths: Carries his weight well for his size and looks to be in much improved shape. Quick-footed with nimble agility and range to work up and down the line of scrimmage. Good get-off burst and quickness with natural explosion. Looks fluid when moving laterally and is a flexible and natural bender. Gets to plays in a hurry with smooth pursuit and penetration skills. Has very good awareness and uses his eyes well with field sense. Does a nice job getting his hands up at the line to knock down passes. Has a versatile skill-set with experience lining up at several different defensive line spots over his career.
Weaknesses: Possesses a narrow frame and lacks an ideal frame to add much more girth or bulk. Has underwhelming strength for the position and lacks raw power … too easily controlled by single blockers. Doesn't always finish and too easily gets locked up, struggling to shed. Has streaky snap anticipation and needs to develop better reaction skills. Recorded too many facemask and offsides penalties, struggling with poor discipline … easily jumps off hard counts. Lacks a wide array of pass rush moves and needs to finish after he gets his hands on ballcarriers. Was part of a defensive line rotation most of his career and was out-played by underclassmen the past few years. Battled a right ankle injury in 2010 and needs to stay conditioned.
NFL Comparison: Jarron Gilbert, Buffalo Bills
Howard flashed at times for the Gators in 2011, but was not consistent. He had 65 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks and two passes batted away in 2011. Howard did not have an impact against some of Florida's better opponents like Alabama, LSU and Auburn. He is a good athlete with speed but has not turned his potential into production.
Howard was relatively quiet at the Senior Bowl, but had a huge performance at the Combine. He ran extremely fast in the 40 and was superb in the field drills. Howard showed special athleticism with his movement skills. The Combine definitely gave his stock a boost.
My Opinion: Howard is a big body dude. He carries his weight well but a little small in the legs and needs to be more explosive here. He could also be stronger in the arms. He is very fast, moves well and has good footwork. Has a good motor when chasing. He could be faster and stronger off the snap. Needs to be better against the run. He did have a good year for the Gators but was inconsistent at times. If he puts it all together he could be one of the steals of this draft. Probably not strong enough for the nose but has the pass rushing ability for the UT position.
That is the DTs, I hope this information is useful. But knowing the Broncos FO and their value for defensive tackles I would not be surprised if our first 3 picks are CB, WR and RB. Well that is me done for the day, more prospects still to come ~ Aussie.