Film Room Session: Michigan State v. Northwestern (2010)

Kirk Cousins Is BBD's #2 QB, But Was He Impressive v. Northwestern

The film room sessions are going to be BBD’s way of giving you the reader instant access into how our scouting process works. As we watch games, we will be live on Twitter tweeting about some things, and then we will post the notes in a formal write-up here on the site. Each week we hope to breakdown between 3-5 games for writeups, and we will try and choose the most compelling match-ups or even ask for you the readers to tell us what games/prospects you want to see us scout.

In this game we wanted really to get a closer look at the two QB’s in Kirk Cousin and Dan Persa. We got to see enough tell us that both of these QB’s still have some question marks to answer heading into their senior years.

Michigan State:
QB 8 Kirk Cousins
6’3, 202 lbs.
Smart QB with prototypical size who stands tall in the pocket. Delivers a very catchable ball, but want to see him put more zip on the pass when throwing over the middle. He was too willing in this game to float the ball into the intermediate zone. Cousins displays above average arm strength that won’t wow you but it gets the job done. Does a great job both pre and post snap of reading the defense and making the proper decision.

Cousins is currently listed as our #2 QB

RB 4 Edwin Baker*
5’9, 208 lbs.
Utilizes his size to maintain a low base when charging through the hole. Hits the hole like a freight train and will consistently run through arm tackles. We would like to see him tuck the ball away better when running the open field. Has a tendency to allow his carry arm to get away from his body when making open field cuts and that could lead to more fumbles.

WR 7 Keith Nicol
6’2, 222 lbs.
The former QB has worked hard to make the transition to WR and it shows. He shows exceptional body control when adjusting to passes. Nicol has soft hands that allow him to haul in passes away from his body. Needs some work on his routes as he still struggles at times to gain separation but there is some potential.

WR 3 BJ Cunningham
6’2, 223 lbs.
Similar player to Nicol with more athletic ability. Still struggles to gain separation down field and his straight line speed won’t strike fear into a lot of defenses. Cunningham does have very good hands and is able to go up and get jump balls. That athleticism could be valuable as a red-zone option.

DE 91 Tyler Hoover*
6’7, 279 lbs.
A read and react style DE, Hoover looks like a prototypical 3-4 DE. He comes off the snap well, and is able to control his blocker at the POA. Does a good job reading play as it develops and is able to use impressive strength to shed the block and make a play. Very fluid washing down the line and flowing to plays run away from him. Does not offer a ton of pass rush, but can help bring down the pocket.

DT 99 Jerel Worthy*
6’3, 305 lbs.
Needs to show more consistency in staying low, has a tendency to get high once engaged which costs him any leverage advantage he may have gained. Worthy does do a good job of firing off the ball, he comes off the snap quickly and is often able to catch his blocker off guard. Uses his quick first step effectively when trying to split the double team. Shows a good swim move to shed blocks and get into the backfield.

CB 5 Johnny Adams*
5’11, 170 lbs.
Adams is a scrawny but physical CB who does not shy away from contact. Showed decent coverage skills but seems somewhat stiff in his hips. We would like to see him do a better job exploding out of his back pedal to make plays that are happening in front of him. Really like his willingness to lay a hit on a ball carrier regardless of the size.

QB 7 Dan Persa
6’1, 210 lbs.
Size limitations were evident with Persa, he at times will struggle to see the throwing lanes clearly and really has to maneuver inside the pocket to get a clear lane. Because of this, he needs to learn to reset his feet in the pocket to give himself  a better base from which to throw.  He is far better outside the pocket in open air than in the pocket. He has enough arm strength to make all the throws but like Cousins, he’s not going to wow you. Another concern with Persa that he is willing to take unnecessary hits, he is a tough guy, but there is no reason for him to take a shot for an extra yard when he already picked up the first down.

OT 75 Al Netter
6’6, 310
Netter has great size and strength for the LT position but, he was a little slow with his kick step which could be an issue when facing speed rushers. We want to see him get more aggressive when engaging blocks, we didn’t see that finishing mentality that we like out of our OL. He was sound technically, showed good knee bend, and did not lunge at defenders. He had good hand placement on the chest plate and was able to control his man.

DE 42 Kevin Watt
6’4, 265 lbs.
In an age of quick twitch athletes as edge pass rushers it was two power ends that ruled the day in Hoover and Watt. Watt showed enough quickness off the ball to gain the edge and turn the corner on slower RT’s. Also shows the necessary strength to consistently get off blocks and make plays in the backfield. Did a very nice job splitting a double team on a running play, used a quick first step to beat the players to the spot and burst through the line.

CB 26 Jordan Maybin
5’11, 185 lbs.
Maybin was the surprise prospect of the day for me, he showed good coverage skills and smooth hips in his transition. We really liked his ability to stay with WR’s down the field. He has solid but not great size for the position and is a willing participant in run defense. He was the man responsible for getting beat on a Michigan State fake punt. They ran the same fake punt a few weeks earlier v. Notre Dame so Maybin has to be more disciplined on his assignments and do a better job in film study.

Tags: Big 10, Dan Persa, Kirk Cousins, Michigan State, NFL Draft, Northwestern

One Response to “Film Room Session: Michigan State v. Northwestern (2010)”

  1. [...] Quite an interesting and timely place to find an NFL draft pick perspective this week – a Buff… and it highlights the several Wildcats and Spartans as potential NFL draft picks using film from the 2010 game. Dan Persa, Al Netter, Jordan Mabin and Kevin Watt made the cut while Vince Browne was conspicuously missing. [...]

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