April 5, 2012

2012 - Wide Receiver Prospects

The next installment of NFL Draft Prospects is the Receivers. The Wide Receiver position is not a major need for the Broncos. But with Manning in the building new weapons or toys are always appreciated. If the Broncos are thinking receivers they will probably only be picking one. I have been very narrow in looking at these prospects. I only looked at the big guys at the WR position, the 6-4+ guys. My reason for doing so is the Broncos are very strong at this position. They already have Thomas, Decker, Caldwell and Willis. Plus if they sign Stokley that is five solid guys. There is no real need here but I did notice that the Broncos don't have a true redzone threat, but more on that later. I was only going to look at 5 guys at this position but you will quickly notice that there are 6 big guys listed here. That is because I included an extra wildcard that I have been keeping an eye on.

Scouting the WRs.
The numbers are important for this position. For the 40 time you are looking for a 4.4 range, anything under that is excellent. Magic number in the 3 Cone is again anything under 7 secs. The Vertical jump is really important for WR, not so much the big guys but I want to see 34+. This shows that the receiver can go up and be at the top of the pile when in a jump ball situation. The magic number is anything over 10 feet, show that leg explosion. The Bench press isn't important for this position, the receiver just needs to show that he can get off the press and a willingness to block. Having an amazing bench press doesn't mean you can do (aka Eddie Royal). But anything over 10 is fine. For both Arm length and Hand size the bigger the better. Long arms give the QB a bigger target and big hands give the receivers mitts to bring in the ball. Guys this big need to have about 220 pounds on their frame.

On tape you are looking for the receiver to run well (does he have track or functional speed). Does he run good routes. Does he catch the ball well. What does he do after he has the ball in his hands. What sort of threat is he. Can he find and track the football in the air. What does he do against different coverages. Does he find the open spaces among other things.

Time to jump into the prospects...

Big Guys

Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Height: 6-4. Weight: 215.
40 Time: 4.36. 10-Yd Split: 1.20.
3-Cone Drill: 6.88 sec
20 YD Shuttle: 4.48 sec
60 YD Shuttle: 11.43 sec
Bench Press: 14 reps
Vertical: 39.5 inch
Broad: 11-1. 133 inch
Arm Length: 33 3/8
Hand Size: 9 3/8.
Projected Round (2012): 1-2.

Hill is an early-entry junior receiver out of Georgia Tech who started consistently for the past two years and was the sole deep threat in a run-first offense. He has great length and an outstanding catch radius, which along with his speed makes him a serious deep-threat option in the NFL. He has a thin frame and will be hurt by the fact that he ran a very basic route tree at Georgia Tech, and teams won't be able to utilize him for much more than go routes at this point in his career. He is a splash player who was No. 1 in the nation in yards per catch; he has fourth-round value based off his all-around body of work but could impress a team with his size and speed enough to ascend significantly throughout the pre-draft process. If the rest of his game can catch up to the ability he shows in the deep passing game, Hill could be the sleeper of this year's draft.

Stephen Hill was the 23rd-ranked wide receiver prospect out of high school in 2008 according to Scout.com. Hill also returned punts and kickoffs, and played basketball and track and field. Hill was credited with an Olympic caliber long jump, as well as a 4.4 in the 40.

Hill immediately joined the GaTech WR rotation as a true freshman in 2009, rising to starter as a sophomore in 2010. Stats were 6 catches for 137 yards and 1 TD in 2009, 15/291/3 in 2010, and 28/820/5 in 2011. Hill ran a lot of deep go routes in 2011, as seen in his high yards-per-catch average. Hill was very durable, but did come out of the 2011 UNC game with an apparent hamstring injury, and was not very productive for a couple of games after that.

A tall, imposing WR with long arms and big hands, Hill was mostly asked to block in Georgia Tech's triple-option offense. As a blocker, Hill is outstanding, consistently locating, controlling, moving, and pancaking smaller DBs, and more than holding his own against LBs. Hill, despite high hips, bends his knees, uses good technique, and has good range and power blocking.

As a wide receiver, Hill was mostly asked to run straight or slant deep go routes. None of his QBs at Georgia Tech were strong armed and, hence, such passes were floated to Hill, many times with a lot of defenders around. Hill was not asked to run a lot of choppy routes, and does not have elite turning ability. Hill demonstrated mostly exceptional ball skills, but will also drop an easy pass now and then.

That leaves the question: what would Hill look like in a downfield passing offense with a strong armed QB? For the answer to that question, we have pre-Draft workouts and speculation. Needless to say, Hill could have shocking upside, even Randy Moss upside. That Olympic caliber long jump in high school shows up on tape. Hill can really go get it on deep passes, and has elite top speed.

There are plenty of examples, Matt Jones being perhaps the worst, of receivers being taken in the first round who were greater "projections" than Stephen Hill. Grading Hill from his Georgia Tech data is difficult. Denying his upside is negligent. Hill has first-round upside. Expect Hill to be in high demand for private workouts.

Hill will be a legitimate deep threat at the next level -- by recording nearly 30 yards per catch as a senior, he showed he was capable of going deep and scoring on every play. He consistently runs past corners on deep routes and is impressive at the point of the catch, as he is able to lay out for the ball or rise above his defender. Hill is a very good blocker who uses his length well and surprisingly doesn't get off-balance often, something that is usually evident of players with his frame. Though it's risky to throw early comparisons of Hall-of-Fame-caliber players on prospects that don't even garner first-round consideration, Hill could remind some of Randy Moss when it comes to running a pure, one-on-one deep route.

Hill's value is based purely off his ability as a deep threat. He has average quickness and moves off the line of scrimmage to avoid a jam. He ran a very basic route tree at Georgia Tech that didn't allow him to showcase many skills. Outside of catching jump balls, he struggles to read coverages and understand how to find holes in a zone. Hill looks uncomfortable with the ball in his hands and resembles a lengthy track star on the field instead of a football player. He dropped as many big balls as he made big plays; his YPC stat defines him perfectly as a player who is capable of making flash plays but isn't reliable.

Release: Has exceptional length, reach, and power in hands, and easily negates the press. Not overly sudden, needs some steps to get to top speed. Tends to release a bit high and upright. Not overly explosive initially, but top speed is impressive once attained.

Hands: Has generally good hands, with the capacity for the outstanding catch. Tremendous ability to high point. Good at tracking the throw and adjusting his route. Natural hand catcher. Has great leaping ability and can extend and snatch with elite skill, even at full speed.

Route Running: Has to gear down a bit to make sharp cuts. Is best when running routes that require smaller cuts. Has great top end speed and is really difficult to match on deep routes with a few not-so-sharp cuts.

After the Catch: Has great top speed. While not that shifty in the open field, has a good stiff arm, is strong, and can break tackles.

Blocking: Top grade here. Has outstanding range, technique, and power. Consistently dominated smaller DBs and had success blocking LBs. Was a focus blocker on the GaTech offense with plays designed to run behind his blocks.

Intangibles: Smart, durable, hard working athlete. No apparent reason to question a high intangibles grade here, which is important for a prospect going from a triple option to the NFL, not a small adjustment for a WR.

NFL Comparison: Darrius Heyward-Bey - Oakland Raiders – Poor comparison I think.

Hill finishes his three-year career with 1,248 receiving yards, which ranks 16th in Georgia Tech history. For his career, Hill averaged 25.47 yards per reception, which would have easily broken the school record, but he fell one reception short of qualifying for the record book (minimum 50 receptions). His nine career touchdown receptions rank 14th in Tech history. Hill had three career 100-yard receiving games with all three of those efforts coming in 2011. He had 820 yards this past season - the 13th-most single-season receiving yards in Tech history.

Hill was one of the stars of the Combine with his lightning-fast 40 time. He also performed well in the field drills. At his pro-day, Hill impressed scouts with his route running, and he seems to have solidified his stock as a late first-rounder, or early second-rounder.

After Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas, Hill is the latest in a line of Yellow Jackets receivers who are big, fast playmakers who were underutilized at Georgia Tech. He is a raw receiver with big upside and a high ceiling. Hill has big size but also is very fast. At the pro level, he will need some development, but could turn into a steal.

Hill made big catches downfield, and averaged 29.3 yards per catch this season. The Yellow Jackets' offense didn't throw the ball often, but when it did, he was typically wide open as defenses were so focused on stopping the option running attack. Hill caught 28 passes for 820 yards and five touchdowns last year. In 2010, as a sophomore, he had 15 receptions for 291 yards with three scores.

My Opinion:
His body type is more lean than solid like compared to say Thomas. I would be worried that with that long frame he would be more likely to get injured. He is very fast but he runs very up right which may mean he could get blasted a few times in the pros. He doesn’t seem to make many guys miss. He doesn’t have a step he just out runs the other team’s defense. Catches the ball with his hands. Shows good effort when running his routes. He does drop the ball and the big pass more than he should. He is a little sloppy on his routes. This could be due to a lack of technique or because of his size and footwork, but this can always improve. Tracks the football well in the air. Want you get from Hill is a mixed bag, he drops some and he doesn’t make a lot of guys miss but has a big wingspan and window to throw too.

There is a lot of talent and potential with Hill but he would cost a first round pick and may only just drop to the 25# pick the Broncos have. I would not be surprised if the Broncos would be interested in Hill to add another weapon for Manning. But I say look else where, Hill is a development player.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
Height: 6-3. Weight: 216.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60. Pro day: 4.4 - 4.5 range, unofficially 4.38 sec
Hand Size: 10 1/4.
Arm Length: 33 inch
Projected Round (2012): 2.

Jeffery enjoyed a highly productive sophomore and junior year at South Carolina where he was a first-team All-America selection and averaged over a touchdown a game. He is an explosive jumper with an impressive frame and has the ability to be an immediate red zone threat in the NFL. He is a long strider who is methodical in his route running but possesses just average speed. He relies on technicality and variations in his speed to keep receivers off balance.

The SEC is widely recognized as the top breeding ground for future NFL prospects and yet it is in this powerful conference that Jeffery has dominated. Jeffery spent three seasons at South Carolina and yet he entered his junior campaign as the SEC's active leader in catches (134), receiving yards (2,280) and receiving touchdowns (15) in 21 starts.

Without Marcus Lattimore to attract defenses toward the line, Jeffery had a disappointing junior season.

Jeffery had a breakout sophomore season in 2010, but failed to produce similar numbers in 2011, barely matching his totals as a freshman. He didn't show the same dominance this past season with only one 100-yard receiving game, averaging 3.7 catches and 58.6 yards per game.

Much of the blame can be placed on South Carolina's sometimes inept passing game, which ranked only 181 yards per game. But Jeffery deserves some of the responsibility, looking out-of-shape which hindered his speed and ability to create separation. Several reports have surfaced that his playing weight is in the 250-pound area with 40-yard dash times that some offensive linemen wound find disappointing.

Several of these questions are answered at the Combine and private workouts before the draft, but early indications are not positive. Scouts aren't so much interested in the numbers as they are seeing what kind of physical shape he is in to answer questions about work ethic.

Jeffery needs to distance himself from prevalent comparisons to Mike Williams, who was drafted 10th overall by the Lions in 2005, but struggled to stay in shape or make much of an impact in Detroit.

Jeffery's size advantage has made him a virtually unstoppable force for the Gamecocks, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's the elite NFL prospect that his production and hype would lead you to believe. Despite annually producing draftable receivers while at South Carolina and Florida, remarkably few of Steve Spurrier's former pass-catchers have gone on to post similar success in the pros as they did in college. Will Jeffery be the next Ike Hilliard, Reidel Anthony, Jabar Gaffney, or Chad Jackson? Or will he buck the odds like Sidney Rice and Darrell Jackson? Improvement in his route-running and hands-catching, as well as a fast time in the 40-yard dash would help convince scouts he's the latter.

Jeffery is a lanky prospect who uses his size well to make plays on the ball downfield. He has a massive pair of hands to go with his long arms and is an elite receiver once the ball is in the air. He has the anticipation and jumping ability to high point the ball over nearly any corner he faces. Off the line of scrimmage, he is non-explosive but uses his hands and a subtle jab step to keep defenders at bay. He is good to work into his route and get back on top of his defender after beating a jam. He has a natural feel for turning to catch the ball in-phase and will be a prime candidate for back shoulder fades in the red zone after setting them up.

Jeffery is indeed an elite jump-ball prospect, but his value will be heavily determined by a simple 40 time, as he does not stand out as fast on tape and is such a long strider that he at times looks to be moving in slow motion. Speed will never be his game, but he needs to become more comfortable in his routes to work the corner and truly gain separation. The development of his route running skills will be the key to his success. Jeffery was bit uncoordinated early on in his career and seemingly only began to look comfortable in his body towards the end of his collegiate career.

Release: Uses his size, good strength and a very effective jab step to quickly gain clearance against press corners. Doesn't possess elite straight-line speed, but can lull defenders asleep with his long-strides and sneak behind the coverage for the long ball.

Hands: Possesses a rare combination of hand-eye coordination, body control and hand strength. Can make the circus grab look easy and already has compiled an impressive number of dazzling one-handed grabs (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky). Good flexibility to extend and pluck the ball high and wide, as well as behind him. Tracks the ball well over either shoulder. Does have a tendency to let passes get into his chest too often and will drop more balls than he should due to the fact that he's trying to elude defenders before he has the pass secured. This appears to be simply a concentration issue as Jeffery has already demonstrated the natural pass-catching skills usually reserved for Pro Bowl receivers.

Route running: If there is an area of concern for scouts, this would be it. Many of Jeffery's routes in South Carolina's offense are relatively simple quick screens, slants, crossers and fades. He does not possess the elite speed, which may allow NFL cornerbacks to squat on underneath routes. He runs with good balance and is a developing route-runner, but isn't always capable of shaking off cornerbacks to gain real separation due to the fact that he lacks true explosiveness out of his cuts. When he is asked to run double moves, Jeffery often rounds off his cuts, gaining freedom more due to a series of shoulder fakes and adjusting his speeds, rather than exploding out of his breaks. To Jeffery's credit, his size and body control make him open even when he is effectively covered. He understands how to position himself in front of the defender and is remarkably effective in plucking the ball out of the air in jump-ball situations even when pitted against some of the top cornerbacks in the country (Alabama, Florida).

After the catch: A nightmare for most collegiate cornerbacks to handle once he gets the ball in his hands. While perhaps lacking in top-end speed, Jeffery has good acceleration for a receiver of his size and can expose cracks in the defense because of it. He has above average elusiveness when in the open field, as well. Where he'll make his money in the NFL, however, is because of his strength and balance. Jeffery often spins by, runs through or simply bounces his way out of prospective tackles and fights for additional yardage. He possesses a stiff arm that some running backs could take pointers from. At times when doing so, however, he allows the ball outside of his frame, exposing it for defenders to rip away from him (Florida State).

Blocking: A bit inconsistent in this area. Uses his size and strength to shield off defenders, helping his teammates with some big plays. Considering his physical tools, however, he isn't (yet) the dominator in this regard that he someday could be …

All season, South Carolina was awful at getting the most out of one of its most dangerous weapons. Jeffery's production was held back by poor quarterback play, but he still commanded a lot of extra coverage. At the same time, Jeffery had some struggles with getting separation. For the NFL, his ability to separate is a big question mark.

Jeffery ended his season with a bang, literally. Going against Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard, Jeffery had a huge game catching four passes for 148 yards and a touchdown. He toasted Dennard for a 78-yard reception on a deep post, but Dennard caught Jeffery from behind to prevent a touchdown. His touchdown came when he out jumped a pack of players for a Hail Mary touchdown as the first half expired.

In the third quarter, Jeffery and Dennard got into a fight and both were ejected from the game. However, it was Jeffery's only 100-yard game in his final collegiate season. For 2011, he had 49 receptions for 762 yards and eight touchdowns. Jeffery also was a quality blocker for South Carolina. He broke his hand, but still caught a touchdown pass against Clemson in the regular-season finale.

This is interesting vid as Jeffery goes up against CB Dennard. Plus has the fight.

My Opinion: Has an old body shape but is thick through his torso. He may have struggled with his weight at times. Has had his share of dropped balls. Has a long stride and doesn’t really run away from anyone, is not the fastest. Is very physical, especially with press coverage and yards after the catch. Has some decent foot work and change of direction ability, he can make guys miss. Since he is very physical he is hard to bring down. Showed decent ability when blocking. Very big target in the redzone. Good with the football, protects it and knows where it is.

Personally I like Jeffery more than I did Hill. Has a more filled out frame and does more with the ball. Hill though is definitely the better deep threat. What also worries me about Jeffery is his speed. Though he showed well at his pro day he doesn’t come across fast in pads. Jeffery could be there in that 25# pick range and I wouldn’t be disappointed. He has a bit of Brandon Marshall to his game, big and physical.

Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami
Height: 6-5. Weight: 219.
40 Time: 4.40.
3 Cone Drill: 7.08 sec
Vertical: 33 inch
Broad: 10-5. 125 inch
Bench Press: 17 reps
Arm Length: 34 3/4 inch
Hand Size: 9 1/2.
Projected Round (2012): 2-3.

Streeter started only one year at Miami. Has a very impressive frame and the speed to match, an will be capable of making splash plays for his team as a rookie in the NFL. Late third-round value with the opportunity to ascend.

Streeter has premier tools to immediately stretch the field for an NFL offense. Has an elongated gate and is very comfortable sticking his foot in the ground to go up and get the football. Has really come on strong of late in his ability to separate from defenders in short/intermediate routes.

Streeter needs to develop the technical parts of his game to be able to demand consistent playing time on the outside. He false steps often at the snap and has a below-average burst off the line, and although he uses his length well to avoid press, could have issues once teams start to get in his face at the line of scrimmage. Runs sloppy routes and isn't definitive in his movements.

Streeter had a big Combine as expected. His speed was impressive and he should have solidified his stock as a second-day pick. In his first season of playing time, the junior Streeter was a source of big plays. He is a tall, lanky wide receiver who has the speed to stretch the field. In 2011, Streeter caught 46 passes for 811 yards and eight touchdowns. He is an excellent red-zone weapon due to his height and leaping ability.

Streeter is raw and needs a lot of work as a route-runner. His draft stock probably could have been enhanced if he had returned to Miami for his senior season before going pro, but Streeter declared and hired an agent, so there is no turning back.

My Opinion: Streeter may be a little heavier than Jeffery but he is much leaner because of his height. He has a very long frame. He was really quick on the track at the combine but that does not fully show up when he is in pads, he doesn’t run away from defenses like Hill does. He struggled to catch the ball at the combine a bit. He does catch the ball with his body more than I would like. He is not very physical yet he was great on the bench with 17 reps. I am unsure what type of blocker he would be at that size. I would be worried that those long legs would get injured when he gets blasted. He is not very explosive off the line but is a nightmare in the redzone because of his size. I think he may have an issue with his hand and eye coordination with the way he catches sometimes.

Streeter I don’t think fits what Denver wants to do with the Receiver position based on last year’s offense. He would have to block and block well which I haven’t seen from him. But with Manning all bets are off. He could be a redzone nightmare in the same mould as Plaxico Burress. Though the more I watch of him the more I think he struggles with catching the ball and not knowing what to do with his hands. No in the 2nd or 3rd. Maybe in the 4th, he needs some development.

Derek Moye, WR, Penn State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 209.
40 Time: 4.52. Pro day: 4.41 secs
20 YD Shuttle: 4.23 sec
Bench Press: 10 reps
Vertical: 33.5. inch
Broad: 9-7. 115 inch
Arm Length: 32 3/4 inch
Hand Size: 8 1/4.
Projected Round (2012): 5-6.

Moye was a three-year starter at Penn State where he used his incredible size to gain mismatches against smaller defenders and make plays in the deep game and red zone exposures. He has decent speed but is a build-up strider who could really be effective downfield at the next level. He struggles against man press coverage and could stand to put some weight on a rather thin frame.

Moye's height is his greatest asset, and he uses it well in the red zone and when working against defenders for deep balls. He can adjust well to poorly thrown balls on the move and shows a good ability to adjust his feet when working along the sideline. He is a one-speed runner, but he displays decent body control when working in and out of breaks at the top of routes. He will drop some easy balls but catches the difficult ones.

Moye is not a great athlete despite his size, and he has a difficult time separating from defenders who stay with him in his hip. He doesn't have the short area burst to separate himself from corners at the next level and struggles getting off the line of scrimmage. NFL defensive coordinators will put bigger corners on the line to jam him early and often, and unless he can improve his lateral agility to keep defenders off him, he will struggle here.

Penn State Pro Day: Wide receiver Derek Moye (6-4, 209) turned in a 4.41-second 40, nearly a full tenth of a second faster than his combine time, and also did the three-cone drill, 60-yard shuttle and caught passes from former Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark. "I think it went really well," Moye said. "I caught the ball well, ran a better 40 time than I did at the combine. I think I did a lot to increase my value." Moye, a likely mid-round pick, has had trouble adding weight to his slender frame throughout his career but is happy with where he is now (209 pounds) and said he didn't want to change his body type too much before starting his pro career.

Moye was fairly quiet this season. Part of that was due to awful quarterback play. He has a decent skill set and upside that was not utilized by Penn State. For 2011, Moye had 40 receptions for 654 yards and three touchdowns. He is a sleeper prospect who could surprise, and he showed some nice skills under the radar at the Combine.

My Opinion: Thin frame, probably needs to add some muscle to his body to last in the NFL. He has small hands for such a tall guy. Needs to catch the ball away from his body more. He struggled this year because of poor QB play at Penn State. For that reason I can’t find much on him either. Sounds like a great kid though. Keep an eye on him. Solid development prospect and from what I have seen has a little more to his game than Streeter does.

Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 220. 215 at pro day.
40 Time: 4.55 sec
3 Cone Drill: 7.10 sec
20 Yd Shuttle: 4.23 sec
Vertical: 34 inch
Bench Press: 15 Reps
Broad: 9-11. 119 inch
Arm Length: 34 1/4.
Hand Size: 9 3/4.
Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

Quick has very uncommon size for the position and surprises scouts with his ability to run. The fact that he is a former basketball player and high jumper shows in his play. Despite his short time playing football, he understands how to run routes and get open. He will set up defenders at his level and snap off routes effectively to make a play with his strong hands. He can make the big play in traffic and also use his big frame to be a large target and make the play on the ball to finish jump balls and deep passes. While he hasn't had much experience at a high level of football, he has displayed enough of the size and athletic ability to make plays that all translate well to the next level. Look for Quick to be the highest pick from Appalachian State in years and be taken early in the second round.

Quick's size is his greatest asset, with the next best being potential. His overall time playing football has been limited, and professional coaching could help mold Quick into a game changer at the next level. He is a reliable hands catcher who has the catching radius and grip strength to bring down any ball thrown near his area. He is a great option in the short game, as he understands how to use his frame to shield out smaller defenders. As a deep threat, Quick hasn't shown the speed to be a go-to option here at the next level, but once the ball is in the air is when his raw athletic ability is evident through his ability to out-leap defenders.

Inexperience, while also a positive in terms of the development aspect of his move to the NFL, is also his Achilles heel. He hasn't shown the ability to run by big-time corners at his level, but other than this uncontrollable aspect of his game, Quick has displayed as much as he can at the FCS level to show scouts his game translates nicely to the NFL. He sometimes has trouble adjusting to poorly thrown balls but normally can make the play using his strong hands. Being tested early in camp will give the greatest indication of Quick's ability to handle the jump in talent surrounding him.

Quick was solid but unspectacular at both the Combine and the Senior Bowl. He posted three solid years of production for Appalachian State. In 2011, Quick had his best season with 71 receptions for 1,096 yards and 11 touchdowns. As a junior, he totaled 47 catches for 844 yards and nine scores after hauling in 61 passes for 982 yards and four scores in 2009. Quick is a big receiver who looks like a potential red-zone threat in the NFL.

Perhaps the nation's premier wideout at the NCAA Division I FCS level … likely one of college football's top pass-catchers at any level … widely regarded to likely be the first FCS player selected in the 2012 NFL Draft … in line to make serious runs at Appalachian's all-time records for receptions (69 behind DaVon Fowlkes' seven-year-old record of 200), receiving yards (802 yards behind Rick Beasley's 31-year-old record of 3,124), touchdown catches (five behind Bob Agle's 43-year-old record of 25) and yards per reception (Quick leads Beasley by .1 yard with a 17.7 yards per catch for his career) … enters his final campaign as the active FCS leader with 2,322 receiving yards and 17.7 yards per catch for his career … was a standout basketball player in high school who did not play prep football until his senior year … still possesses the leaping ability of a premier hoops player … boasts terrific hands … due to late start in the sport, has worked extremely hard to become an excellent route-runner … is one of only two players remaining on ASU's roster that played in the historic 2007 victory at Michigan (Gordy Witte, Jr. being the other).

Representatives from 26 NFL teams trickled into Kidd Brewer Stadium on Monday, the most to attend Pro Day at Appalachian State. The man responsible for the larger-than-usual turnout - Brian Quick - wasn't hard to spot. Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 220 pounds, he was wearing red shorts and a white T-shirt and catching footballs. Quick's presence wasn't a bad thing for the seven other former ASU players who had a chance to show their skills. "We had a pretty big stage for our guys to perform on," said Kareem Young, ASU's interim strength-and-conditioning director who coordinated the event. Quick, with an athletic physique, enough speed and the playmaking ability to project as a potential big-time NFL receiver, seems to have created as much or more buzz among NFL scouts than any past ASU prospect. Many analysts expect him to be picked as high as the second round in April's draft. "I really don't know what to expect, and, you know, it doesn't matter," Quick said. "Teams have different opinions. You hear that one team says one thing, another team says something else. I'll just be happy to be drafted. "It doesn't matter where I'm drafted or where I'm projected. At the end of the day, I want to be able to stay in the NFL. Being picked is just the first step. I don't care about the money, that doesn't matter. I want to be picked and I want to stay in there...." Young said the fact that Quick played only one season of high school football and still has potential to improve significantly adds to scouts' interest. "To them, he's a very young player," Young said. "He is somewhat of a blank slate to them, with the athleticism he has and the innate ability that he has. He plays up high. He plays really, really high. He's a big body. He's very agile for his size. And he's a good kid. He's a country guy from South Carolina who doesn't have any problems."

My Opinion: He has a good frame. He is solid up top but a little thin in the legs. Has some speed on film and slowed he can make people miss. He has some moves, likes to spin. He is physical and fights for the ball. Is a willing blocker. Needs to have better awareness of the sideline. He runs his routes very well and doesn’t seem to have an issue with drops. Catches the ball really nicely and clean. Problem is he didn’t play for a great team. He could be a solid No 2 at the next level. May be a little be more pro ready than a few of the other guys listed but I doubt he ever develops into a true No 1 receiver.

Lavasier Tuinei, WR, Oregon
Height: 6-4 3/4. Weight: 209
40 Time: 4.58, Pro Day: 4.54 sec
20 YD shuttle: 4.12 sec
60 YD shuttle: 11.26 sec
3 Cone Drill: 6.71 sec
Bench Press: 5 reps
Broad: 10-6
Vertical: 32 inch
Arm: 34 1/2
Hand: 10
Wingspan: 81 3/8
Birthdate: 09/29/1990
Hometown: Arcadia, IN

Lavasier Tuinei, WR (6-4, 220) — The son of former NFL DE Van Tuinei, the wide receiver might have earned himself a spot in the draft with this workout. He posted 4.54 and 4.52 40-yard dashes, a 32-inch vertical jump, 10-6 broad jump, 4.14 short shuttle, 6.70 three-cone drill and five bench presses.

My Opinion: Lavasier is a guy I have been following with interest. He has a long lean frame because of his height. He had a great year for the Ducks and I was surprised he didn’t get an invite to the combine. He was the MVP for the Rose bowl this year. He is a great catcher of the football, drops the occasion ball. Is physical when he has the ball and really aggressive when blocking. He looks lean but he could get bigger and add more muscle to his frame. He has great body control and tracks the ball well. Has a little bit of foot work to his game and can make people miss occasionally. I was disappointed with his 5 reps on the bench but he does have long arms which make it harder to throw that bar up. For me he could be a steal towards the end of the draft, say maybe a 6th round pick that we have. Keep an eye on this dude.

While doing this I was surprised with how many big guys were in the draft this year and that made it hard to be selective. Anyway more prospects in the coming days ~ Aussie.

1 comment:

  1. I have Hill and Jeffery as first rounds. Jeffery is more pro ready than Hill but Hill has more potential.

    Streeter I think is a 4th round pick. And more of a redzone threat than anything.

    Quick probably will go from 3-4 and I really like him as a No 2. Has some talent to develop.

    Moye is a mystery but a guy you could get late to develop.

    Tuinei is a late round steal in my book. He could be used as a redzone target early and developed into a number two receiver.

    Out of this group, Jeffery, Quick and Tuinei I like the most.