Scouting Notes: 2014 Fiesta Bowl (Baylor vs. UCF)

Ahmad Dixon is Baylor’s top defensive draft prospect. (Photo: Matt Kartozian — USA Today Sports)

Ahmad Dixon, SS, Baylor, Sr.

-Got off block with off hand, made contact with runner to slow him down

-Squared up, threw weight forward on tackle

-Gets low, drives forward and wraps up runner

-In off-man coverage in slot, quick out of break and wrapped up

-Cautious to break on run, shuffles and waits for runner to come to him

-Broke quick on underneath route, bad angle but recovered for tackle

-Closed quickly, tackled head down, helmet first

-Quick to flat, wrapped up running back for tackle

-Planted and burst into receiver, high tackle

-Flat-footed while reading route, got dragged several yards before bringing ballcarrier to ground

-Over-pursued runner downfield, let runner behind for touchdown

-Rocketed in and got low on tackle

Overview: The leader of the Baylor defense, Dixon showed off good range and flashed the ability to be a difference-maker against both the pass and run.

Playing centerfield, he showed the ability to patrol a large portion of the field and take away deep threats. He is quick to come out of his zone and charge on underneath passes.

Against the run, he was slow to fill gaps, instead letting the run come to him. He might have been hesitant to come up and play the run after being burned on several read options early. That said, he is a quality tackler with good technique.

The leading prospect on an overlooked defense, Dixon is a quality safety prospect who looks like a Day 2 pick, but he needs to be more aggressive against the run.

Glasco Martin, RB, Baylor, Sr.

-Downhill runner, slow to get going

-Doesn’t try to find holes, just runs downhill and shoulders down

Glasco Martin scored a touchdown, but was largely unproductive otherwise in his final collegiate game. (Photo: Matt Kartozian — USA Today Sports)

-Took on a defensive tackle in pass protection and worked him out of pocket

-Has no agility to get around corner

Overview: With limited snaps as the power back for Baylor, Martin carried the ball six times for 19 yards and one touchdown against UCF.

During each of his six carries, he showed he could run downhill and put his shoulder into defenders, but he showed little else as a runner. He ran right up the middle each time and showed no ability to cutback or elude defenders between the tackles.

He played multiple third-down snaps, likely due to his pass blocking ability. As a blocker, he was able to engage and redirect blitzers.

Martin is unlikely to hear his name called on draft weekend, but he could have a future as a short-yardage back or possibly in a switch to fullback.

Tevin Reese, WR, Baylor, Sr.

-Rounded off post route, adjusted to low throw for fingertip catch, quick

-Never located ball in the air on an incompletion

-Dropped ball on contact off a loose route

-Dropped to ground to catch low pass, no yards after catch

-Has some wiggle in the open field

-Struggles blocking downfield, got away with a hold

-Shifty runner who can create yardage after catch

Overview: Baylor’s No. 2 receiver, Reese showed some quickness that may draw the interest of NFL teams.

More quick than fast, he flashed the ability to elude defenders in the open field and create space with his quickness. Despite his athleticism, his route running is unrefined and he looks to rely entirely upon his athleticism to get open.

He caught five passes for 43 yards in this game, but had several additional opportunities to bring in passes. He dropped several passes after contact and is not a natural catcher.

Reese’s agility will garner looks from NFL teams, but due to his lack of size (listed at 5’10″, 170 lbs by Baylor’s official athletics website), he will likely only be viewed as a slot receiver.

Cyril Richardson, LG, Baylor, Sr.

-Chipped out then went back inside, kept punching

-Explodes into defender, gets arms out

-Drove lineman back with strong leg drive

-Played with good base, good flex

-Mauled defensive lineman for a pancake on run block

-Showed off strength with one-handed block

-Slow on pull block right, only chipped defender

-Didn’t wall off defender, threw hand out and defender ran by

-Hands on hips at line of scrimmage, looked tired

-Keeps arms at side before impact on pull block, just put shoulder down

Overview: One of the top guard prospects in the country, Richardson had a solid final collegiate game.

He plays with sound technique and all-around power as both a pass and run blocker. He keeps his head on a swivel in pass protection and is a mauler who will rack up pancakes against the run.

While waiting to block slow or delayed pass rushers, he sometimes gets impatient and lunges. When pull blocking, he displayed only average speed and had issues taking on defenders fully.

Nonetheless, Richardson was the best offensive lineman in the Fiesta Bowl, and is a likely Day 2 draft selection.

Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor, Jr.

-Continues stringing out wide looking for hole

-Shifty back who bursts between tackles then cuts outside

-Explodes through hole, accelerates in and out of cuts, has ballet feet

-Hastily bounced outside when a hole was closed

-Ran right into pile with big holes open on each side

-Waited for hole to open then broke immediately through to the secondary

Overview: Seastrunk had a quality outing in the Fiesta Bowl, carrying the ball 17 times for 117 yards. He showed skills that could lead to him being the first running back selected in the 2014 NFL draft, which he declared for Monday.

Seastrunk has a short, stocky stature that gives him a naturally low center of gravity and allows him to maintain good balance while cutting. He is able to cut on a dime and explodes out of his cuts.

He is an explosive player with top-notch speed and the quickness to elude defenders. Despite his size, he runs hard and is willing to take on defenders, but lacks the power to break through tackles.

As a blocker, Seastrunk showed he is willing to “eat dirt” and cut down oncoming rushers.

His most glaring issue is his tendency to bounce runs outside instead of waiting for holes to open up inside or looking for cutback lanes.

Seastrunk’s explosiveness and playmaking ability should have him off the board by the end of Round 2 in this year’s draft.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, Ahmad Dixon, Baylor, Blake Bortles, Bowl Games, Cyril Richardson, E.J. Dunston, Fiesta Bowl, Glasco Martin, Lache Seastrunk, Scouting Notes, Storm Johnson, Tevin Reese, UCF

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