Posts Tagged ‘Scouting Notes’

2014 Senior Bowl: Day 2 Notes and Quotes

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Both teams held their second practices of the 2014 Senior Bowl, and their first in full pads, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Tuesday. (Photo: Dan Hope — NFL Draft Sites Network)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The week of practices at the 2014 Senior Bowl is halfway over, following the first of two days of fully-padded practices on Tuesday. The North took the field in the morning at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., while the South practiced there in the afternoon.

Windy conditions in Mobile on Tuesday provided an extra challenge for the quarterbacks throwing the ball, but altogether, both teams’ quarterbacks looked better than they did on Monday.

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2014 Senior Bowl: Day 1 Notes and Quotes

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The week of Senior Bowl practices began Monday when the South team worked out at Fairhope Stadium (pictured) and the North took the field at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Photo: Dan Hope — NFL Draft Sites Network)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

From morning weigh-ins to media night, there was plenty to see and hear for the NFL coaches, scouts, executives, media and at the two practices in between, the fans, during the Monday kickoff of Senior Bowl week.

With no full pads, players just getting used to working with one another and their coaches, and a schedule/travel situation that made it virtually impossible to see the entirety of both of Monday’s practice sessions, they might not have been as quite as valuable as those to come Tuesday and Wednesday. Still, the players on the field knew full well that their every move was up for evaluation, and some shined while others struggled.

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Scouting Notes: 2014 BCS National Championship Game (Florida State vs. Auburn)

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Kelvin Benjamin capped an up-and-down game with a championship-winning touchdown. (Photo: Gary A. Vazquez — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joseph Curtis

Florida State won the final BCS National Championship Game, 34-31, rallying back from an early 21-3 Auburn lead to win the game on a two-yard touchdown pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin with just 13 seconds remaining in the game.

Led by athletes such as Benjamin and Auburn running back Tre Mason, who made a big play of his own when he scored a go-ahead, 37-yard touchdown for the Tigers with just 1:19 remaining in the game, both teams have a number of potential early-round NFL draft prospects.

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

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

The spotlight was on UCF quarterback Blake Bortles in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl. (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joseph Curtis

The last year of the BCS was the first for Baylor (11-2) and Central Florida (12-1), who each played in their first and only BCS bowl when they met in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day. Despite a string on three consecutive offensive drives, UCF led Baylor, 28-20, at halftime behind two rushing touchdowns by running back Storm Johnson and two passing touchdowns from Blake Bortles to Rannell Hall. Johnson added another rushing touchdown, while Bortles added both a passing and rushing touchdown in the second half, leading UCF to a win, 52-42.

Johnson and Bortles have both declared for the 2014 NFL draft as juniors and are considered potential early-round selections. Baylor, on the other hand, had several draft prospects on its offense and a quality safety in senior Ahmad Dixon. Bortles could be picked by the Houston Texans—whom you can bet on to win the AFC South next year with the help of SportsBettingDime.com.

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Scouting Notes: 2013 Holiday Bowl (Arizona State vs. Texas Tech)

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton was mostly neutralized by Texas Tech’s offensive line in the Holiday Bowl. (Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel — USA Today Sports)

BBD Contributor: Joseph Curtis

With Texas Tech on a five-game losing streak, No. 14 Arizona State was a heavy favorite going into the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30. The Sun Devils (10-4) fell short, however, as Texas Tech (8-5), who finished the night with 403 yards from quarterback Davis Webb, got out to an early lead and held on for a 37-23 victory.

Both schools were led by talented players who could hear their names called in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Carl Bradford, DE, Arizona State, Jr.

-Knifed in, eluded second block and wrapped up legs

-Exploded off snap, good lean around tackle, hurried quarterback

-Good reaction to draw, forced outside for tackle-for-loss

-Beautiful spin move and stuffed run in backfield

-Exploded off edge, hurried quarterback

-Struggled to get off block, had to spin to get away

Overview: Bradford had a dominant first half and, despite a lesser second half, still had the best defensive performance of the game.

He displayed good explosion off the snap and speed off the edge. His explosiveness was inconsistent though; when he didn’t have a good first step, he had a difficult time getting going.

While his speed off the edge was disruptive and he flashed a beautiful spin move, he lacks a varying repertoire of pass-rushing moves. He does not use his hands well and relies heavily on his athleticism.

If Bradford decides to declare for the draft, he went out on a high note. With the potential to be an explosive pass-rusher, he could hear his name called early in the draft.

Chris Coyle, TE, Arizona State, Sr.

-Looked confused on blocking assignment

-Blown up by linebacker at point of attack

-Good position at second level, walls off defender

-Lined up at fullback and cleared the hole on lead block

-Good base, good bend and sustains block

-Crisp cut on short out

-Well-ran crossing route, reached out in front and hauled pass in

Overview: With Arizona State dedicated to the run in the Holiday Bowl, Coyle was mainly a blocker and saw few opportunities to catch passes.

Early on in this game, he looked lost or confused because he was overrunning and missing blocks. Later, he better executed his assignments to show good technique.

He only caught one pass for ten yards but ran decent routes.

If Coyle can be a more consistent blocker, he could be a good fit as an H-back or fullback at the next level.

Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State, Sr.

-Recognized screen, destroyed on crackback blcock

-A bit slow off the snap, rips and pushes through line

-Shot out of stance, great swim, forced run inside

-Stays low out of stance, excellent hand use

-Slow acceleration, neutralized by double team

-Just stood around on offside play, pursued downfield after pass

-Good get-off, stuffed by double teams

-Outmuscled and moved off point of attack

-Works down line of scrimmage and stuffs run

-Bounces off cut block, shuffles into hole and stops run

-Lays out going for punt block

Overview: Facing double-teams all game, Sutton’s disruptive play was limited. He was neutralized by double teams and struggled to fight through them. He was out-muscled throughout the game.

His first step quickness dictated his impact, but it was inconsistent. When he accelerated quickly off the line, he was able to penetrate his gap and cause problems in the backfield. At other times, he was slow off the line of scrimmage and failed to disrupt the backfield.

His quickness off the snap and his quick, active hands are his best attributes, which he uses to shed blockers.

A likely Day 2 draft pick, Sutton’s quickness and block-shedding ability might make him a quality one-gap rusher, but he needs to get stronger and show more consistent explosion to be something special.

Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech, Jr.

-Poor position on block, held defender slightly

Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro finished his collegiate career with a strong Holiday Bowl performance. (Photo: Kirby Lee — USA Today Sports)

-Easy, natural catcher

-Got hands into defender’s pads and locked arms, steered out of play

-Feels holes in zone coverage

-Stabbed foot out at line, used body to create separation

-Body catch, fought against two defenders for extra yards

-Tough runner who fights for yards

-Uses body to create space, catch away from body

-Sat in hole in zone, adjusts to low pass

-Downfield holding penalty

Overview: In his last college football game, as he announced he would declare for the 2014 draft after the Holiday Bowl win, Jace Amaro had a solid performance, catching eight passes for 112 yards.

Showcasing soft hands and good route running, he was the “go-to” receiver. At 6’5” and 260 pounds, he knows how to utilize his size to create space and box out defenders.

He was a regular third-down receiver for Texas Tech throughout the game. He showed off his ability to read zone defenses, find holes and sit in them.

While he is not a great blocker, he is a willing blocker who flashes good technique. He generally blocks defensive backs, so he might struggle if asked to block linemen at the next level. Even so, his blend of size, athleticism and receiving skill should make him a first-round pick.

Kerry Hyder, DT, Texas Tech, Sr.

-Covered running back in flat, right on top for the tackle

-Clogged middle and stuffed run

-Excellent motor, keeps grinding and pursues downfield

-Driven back by double team

-Pushed back at snap, swam by and stood up runner

-Lost ground at the line of scrimmage but fought off block

-Waist-bender

-Quick get-off, beautiful swim and hurried quarterback

Overview: A disruptive interior force for the Red Raiders, Hyder finished his collegiate career with a solid game.

Showcasing first step quickness and some finesse, he caused trouble for the linemen all game. He had trouble dealing with his opponents’ power and was driven back with relative ease, but he was able to recover most of the time and use his lateral quickness and hands to shed blockers.

At 6’2” and 280 pounds, Hyder’s role at the next level is uncertain, as he might be too undersized to play defensive tackle. But if he can showcase the same athleticism and quickness, he could continue to be a disruptive player in the NFL.

Eric Ward, WR, Texas Tech, Sr.

-Adjusted to low pass, cradled it into stomach

-Nice run on sweep, good vision

-Tough blocker, not technically sound but willing and aggressive

-Shields defenders with body, body catches

-Savvy short post, body catch, fought for yards

-High-pointed ball but lost it coming down

Overview: While Ward only caught three passes for 43 yards in the Holiday Bowl, he showed he is a tough player who hustles on the field.

Ward lacks ideal technique as a blocker, but he gets into defenders’ faces. He is also physical with the ball in his hands, as he fought through several tackles to gain yards after contact on one of his catches in this game.

He runs good routes but lacks the suddenness to create much separation. He also tends to body catch, doing so on each of his three catches, while the only grab he made with his hands was one he lost on the way to the ground.

Ward is not a flashy player, but he could be a special teams contributor early on.





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