with the #1 pick in the draft the Panthers select Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
he is 6'4" 280 lbs
"Anywhere you get drafted would be a plus, but if you go No. 1 it's a great opportunity, " Bowers said. "I'd love to help Charlotte, play for the Panthers, help them get to a championship game, and it's close to home. It's two hours from Charlotte, two hours from (my hometown of) Bamberg. It'd be a great opportunity to play in Charlotte. I'd give my all in terms of hard work, work ethic and leadership."
good scouting report on him:
Pass rush: Bowers has a good burst off the line that he turns into power. Shows good snap anticipation. By far the best bull-rushing defensive end in this year’s draft. Has impressive power to move offensive linemen backwards. Effectively uses a swim to get past linemen. Doesn’t really use other pass rush moves other than the swim.
Pursuit: Is very good in pursuit, especially against the run. Shows good range to make plays on the backside. When Bowers gives full effort, he works hard to the ball. Had some lapses as a junior where he throttled his play down.
Run defense: Is a powerful defensive end who can get low to stop the run. Is better working the run to the inside than the outside. Still, Bowers mostly bull rushes and works to keep outside contain. Has lined up at tackle and has the power to beat guards when he stays low.
Strength: Here is one of the main areas that makes Bowers ready for the NFL right now. He shows the strength to bull rush offensive linemen backwards and at times demands double teams. Has some trouble against double teams, especially when he’s not low. Got to show off his power plenty as a junior when Clemson used him as a 3-technique to pass rush from the inside.
Tackling: Can be an explosive hitter when he reaches the ball carrier. Has the strength to knock the ball loose on tackles. Changes direction pretty fluidly to keep up with shifty runners.
Technique: For Bowers to succeed his has to get leverage. At times in 2010, though, he often came out of his stance too high, allowing linemen to get below him. While Bowers doesn’t get driven backwards, he does get held up. Has good hand usage to fight off linemen, though. Rarely gets in trouble against counter moves.
Final word: Not a lot of true defensive end prospects have Bowers’ blend of strength, size and quickness. Make no mistake, he’s the kind of 4-3 end that a team can plug in for years to get pressure on the quarterback. Bowers can also shift inside in nickel situations and is strong and instinctual enough to handle draws.
The most obvious comparison for Bowers is former New York Giants end Michael Strahan. Bowers isn’t quite as boisterous as Strahan, but he’s similar in playing style. Bowers has a good burst off the snap and turns that burst into power.
His main move is a straight forward bull rush with a swim, just like Strahan. You might not get a lot of double moves or spins out of Bowers, but he doesn’t need them.
Bowers was highly recruited out of high school but was considered an underachiever until 2010. A knee injury that essentially knocked him out of three games slowed his progress as a sophomore. But he finally delivered as a junior. He came into the year in much better shape and finished with 15.5 sacks and 26 tackles for loss.
Last edited by -playmaker- : 02-18-2011 at 08:56 PM.
With the #2 pick in the 2011 InsideHoops NFL Mock Draft, the Denver Broncos select, DT Nick Fairley from Auburn University
*Thanks to draftace.com for this mini scouting report
Has the ability to be an unblockable force. Quick off the snap which allows him to get a jump on most lineman and helps him bull rush his way into the backfield. Surprising athleticism for a guy his size, capable of chasing down ball carriers. A high-energy guy.
Work ethic is definitely a concern. Barely made an impact until he turned it on in 2010 and suddenly he developed into the game’s premier defensive lineman. Strength is good, but it’s clear that he doesn’t kill himself in the weight room. There’s definitely reason to wonder if he was simply seeing dollar signs all season and will morph back into a non-factor once he cashes in. He’s a dirty player, and behind closed doors I’m pretty sure he’d admit it. Repeatedly flagged for late hits, many of which would have drawn hefty fines and possible suspensions in the NFL.
The Buffalo Bills are now on the clock :
Last edited by ballinhun8 : 02-19-2011 at 01:26 AM.
With the 3rd pick in the NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Marcell Dareus.
With Fairly off the board this made the decision quite easy. Bills desperately need help in the front 7 and Dareus should provide an immediate impact. He's one of the safest prospects with an extremely high floor and should help Kyle Williams anchor the run D for a long time. He's versatile enough to either play the DE or DT and is a fierce competitor to boot.
Other options: Cam Newton. I honestly think the Bills are going to take a good hard look at him. He wowed at his pro day and I expect him to continue impressing scouts. The Bills GM was quoted saying he was a fan so Cam is a strong possibility. However, I think they go with Fitzy for 1 more year and address QB next year in the end.
Official Scouting Report:
Against the run: Is a difference-maker. Unlike most defensive linemen, does not let his desire to pressure the QB negatively affect his ability to be a force against the run. Gets out of stance quickly to take on offensive linemen with excellent leverage. Uses hands well to hold his ground, shed the block and make the tackle at the point of attack. When aligned at end, maintains good outside containment and forces runners back inside. Against option teams, showed the athleticism to play the QB, force the pitch and still chase down the running back. Grade: 9.0
Pass rush: Is disruptive. Shows the quickness and snap anticipation to split gaps or beat offensive tackles around the corner. Once in a gap, has the strength to drive through contact and hit the QB. Beats one-on-one blocks with good hand usage. As a bull rusher, can jolt offensive linemen and drive them into the QB. Gets hands up nicely to bat down a lot of passes. Grade: 8.0
Initial quickness: It's tough to grade him here because in Alabama's scheme he often had two-gap responsibilities. Has flashed the quickness and snap anticipation to shoot gaps from time to time. Grade: 8.0
Run/pass recognition: Is smart and instinctive. Never gets fooled by fakes or misdirection plays. Shows good awareness to play blockers correctly and get into position to carry out his assignment with ease. Grade: 8.5
Pursuit/tackling: Shows the quickness, speed and burst to chase down ballcarriers. Plays with good knee bend at all times, enhancing ability to consistently wrap-up and tackle ballcarriers. Must learn to better use hands to protect legs from cut blocks. Grade: 7.5
Bottom line: Dareus doesn't make as many highlight-reel plays because Alabama's scheme required him to do a lot of grunt work, but he is perhaps the most consistent player in the draft and is productive in every facet of the game. He can play in any scheme: Defensive tackle in a one-gap or two-gap 4-3 system or end in a 3-4 scheme. Dareus is a top-10 pick who could contend for the No. 1-overall spot, someone who will start from Day 1
With the #4 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select A.J. Green, Wide Receiver from the University of Georgia.
With the future of Terrell Owens and Chad Ocho Cinco uncertain in Cincinnati, the Bengals can't afford to pass up a wideout as talented as A.J. Green. At 6'4" and 210 pounds, Green has ideal size for an NFL receiver. At his size Green has deceptive speed and a long stride that allows him to get separation from his man. Green also has a reported 40 yard dash time in the 4.45-4.50 range. He was a human highlight reel during his three year career at Georgia and has all the tools and intangibles to be a #1 WR in this league for a long time.
Sorry for the short-ish write-up. I'm getting ready to leave and will be gone all day and night. I just wanted to get my pick in so we could keep this thing moving.
Robert Quinn is expected to be the next great pass rusher out of North Carolina since Julius Peppers. Quinn is a super athletic defensive end that possesses all the physical skills to take over games in the NFL. Quinn has a rare initial burst off the line which allows him to get into the opponents backfield. Quinn’s quick burst and overall speed makes him a target for double teams. However, he has developed several pass rush moves that allow him to get around those double teams. His 6 forced fumbles last season only enhance his playmaking ability. Quinn makes his living in the offensive backfield.
There is some concern that Quinn is undersized at 270lbs. However, he is just entering his Junior season and will have time to fill out weight wise. Along with a few extra pounds teams would like to see Quinn get stronger. He has the speed rush down pat but needs to develop a power rush move. He also could stand to be stronger and improve his run stopping ability. Some scouts also feel that Quinn could move to OLB in a 3-4 defensive scheme but he would need to improve his coverage skills to do so.
Last edited by takeittothehoop : 02-19-2011 at 08:17 PM.
With the 6th overall pick in the 2011 Insidehoops NFL Mock Draft,
the Cleveland Browns select:
Patrick Peterson CB LSU:
Obviously the Browns would love to get a top tier Reciever, but since AJ Green is gone as well as Dareus and Quinn, the Browns go after Peterson who most thought would not be available at this pick. Mike Holmgren likes taking DB's early in the draft and having Peterson and Haden as the corner's will be dominant for years to come. Peterson is also a deadly return man which will make an impact right away. Also with Eric Wright being a Free Agent the pick makes sense.
Scouting Report via NFLMocks.com:
6-1 211lbs Junior
2008- 41 tackles, 1 INT, 3 pass defenses
2009- 47 tackles, 2 INTs, 15 pass defenses
Let’s make this simple; Patrick Peterson is the best cover corner in college football. Peterson utilizes his good athletic ability and high football IQ to have a major impact on the field. At 6-1 211lbs he has good size which allows him to match up with different types of receivers. He has excellent top end speed and uses that speed to lock down the opposing team’s top receiver. Last season he held Georgia’s AJ Green to 4 catches and Alabama’s Julio Jones to 3 catches, both players are in the top 5 on our 2011 Big Board. Peterson boasts great awareness that allows him to react quickly on balls in the air. That excellent awareness also comes into play in zone coverages.
Peterson doesn’t have a lot of cons, but there are a few things he could improve on. He needs to continue to work on his back pedal because he sometimes crosses his feet which puts him out of position on plays. The other thing that’s a minor concern is experience. He has only started 16 games and hasn’t been tested a lot because of his superior skills. Teams will often work the opposite side of the field. So Peterson needs to have a healthy season and continue to get reps.
With the 7th overall pick in the 2011 Insidehoops NFL Mock Draft, The San Francisco 49ers select:
Von Miller. DE/OLB Texas A&M
The 49ers could go with a QB here or Prince from Nebraska, but they choose to take Miller who's stock has been rising. Miller is a dominant pass rusher who will be a threat from end, but most likely will play OLB opposite Patrick Willis (which will be a deadly combination). The 49ers would have loved Robert Quinn here but since he's off the board they go with Miller.
When offensive coordinators hear the name Von Miller the immediately think “pressure”. Miller lives in the offensive backfield piling up both sacks and tackles for loss. He not only tallies sacks he also forces quarterbacks out of the pocket making for uncomfortable passes. Miller utilizes his excellent speed to get around offensive tackles and make life miserable for quarterbacks. He has a great knack for anticipating snap counts and getting off the line quickly. All of these skills and his great intensity make him a very dangerous player. Miller greatly benefits from the defensive scheme at Texas A&M where he plays the rush outside linebacker position. Miller is going to be a hot commodity because of his experience in the 3-4 defensive system. The fact that he is use to dropping into coverage as well as rushing the passer gives him a leg up on other college players. Recently teams have been attempting to convert college defensive ends into the 3-4 rush OLB but with Miller no conversion will be necessary.
When watching some film on Miller the first thing I noticed is that he relies too much on his speed rush. He is going to need to find different pass rushing techniques if he wants to be successful in the NFL. Offensive coordinators in the NFL are becoming more and more familiar with the 3-4 defense and are developing good game plays for the rush linebackers. While Miller excels at creating pressure he struggles against the run. He often over pursues on plays and tries to get around offensive linemen rather than taking them head on. He needs to be more aggressive and meet linemen in the whole and get off the blocks quicker. There are also questions about Miller not playing up to better competition. Some feel that he disappeared in big games against top competition. He needs to show he can put up these big numbers against the best talent.
With the 8th pick in the 2011 InsideHoops NFL Mock Draft, the Tennessee Titans select:
Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri Tigers
6'5", 240 lbs
* Excellent size and strong arm
* Can make all the NFL throws with accuracy and touch
* Decent mobility, quickness, and speed for a big quarterback
* Throws accurately on the run
* Has a fairly quick release
* Reads defenses well at the line of scrimmage
* Rarely tries to force the ball into receivers who are covered
* Great leadership skills
* Tough guy who is willing to play through nagging injuries
* Has inconsistent footwork, doesn't always step into his throws
* Needs to get better at looking off defenders
* Has a little bit of a hitch in his windup
* Played mostly in a spread offense at Missouri, so there will be an adjustment moving under center in the NFL
Bottom Line on Blaine Gabbert:
Blaine Gabbert has the size and athletic ability most teams look for in a quarterback, but he will have to make some adjustments coming into the NFL, particularly playing under center and making pre-snap adjustments in pass protection. But he's a smart guy with great intangibles who has the potential to develop into a franchise-type quarterback.
Projection: Gabbert could definitely use a little polish on his game, but with some solid coaching he has the chance to be a great player. He is, in my view, the best of a group of three or four other quarterbacks who could be picked in the first round. I expect him to be selected somewhere in the middle of the first round."
And for the player who had 51 tackles and six sacks while facing double teams in 2010 because Tyson Alualu went to the NFL, this may be the best news for the Patriots — he wants to play in a 3-4. He doesn’t care about taking on two blockers, saying of this season, “I have no complaints about that.”
CAL CAREER (Career Stats): Played in 50 of 51 possible games and made 32 starts at Cal from 2007-10 ... an honorable mention All-American (Pro Football Weekly) and first-team All-Pac-10 choice as a senior in 2010 after two consecutive honorable mention All-Pac-10 campaigns in 2008 and 2009 ... finished his collegiate career with 175 tackles (88 unassisted, 87 assisted), while adding 34.0 tackles for loss (-122 yards) and 16.5 sacks (-89 yards) to rank just outside the school's all-time top 10 in each of the latter two categories ... added one interception that he returned for three yards, five pass breakups, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries that he returned for a total of 41 yards and twice for touchdowns.
With the 10th pick in the 2011 InsideHoops NFL Mock Draft, the Washington Redskins select:
Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska Huskers
6'1", 205 lbs
* Good size and strength
* Good short-distance burst, recovers and closes quickly
* Great instincts, reads and reacts quickly
* Fluid hips to turn and run
* Smooth footwork
* Excellent in both man-to-man press and zone coverage
* Physical player and a solid tackler
* Aggressive against the run
* Good character
* Lacks great straight-line speed
* Gets a little too aggressive at times and sometimes bites on double moves and pump fakes
* Questionable hands on interception opportunities
* Needs to work on getting off receiver blocks better
Bottom Line on Prince Amukamara:
Prince Amukamara is a fantastic athlete with the size and strength to match up with any receiver, and is one of the top defensive backs in the 2011 NFL Draft class. He has the tools to be a No. 1 corner in any defensive scheme and should have a lot of success in the NFL. He has a couple things he needs to work on, but overall is a great prospect.Projection: As one of the top corners coming out, Amukamara should be one of the top 10 players off the board in April."
With the 11th overall pick in the 2011 Insidehoops NFL Mock Draft, The Houston Texans select:
Aldon Smith, DE/OLB Missouri
Houston would have loved to take Prince here but since he's gone they look to the OLB spot since they are moving to Wade Phillips 3-4 scheme. Smith is a really great pass rusher and will fit in at the OLB position for the Texans.
6'5, 260 pounds | Defensive end | Missouri
Pass rush: Few pass rushers have length like Smith and know how to use it. Beats blocks with a good punch and extension to disengage. Shows excellent knee bend, which allows him to dip under offensive tackles when he's working to the outside. Is still developing as a pass rusher. After coming out following his sophomore season, there are parts of Smith's pass rush that are raw. More than anything, he's a speed rusher to the outside. Is still developing counter moves and working to the inside.
Pursuit: Is aggressive in pursuit, especially when going after quarterbacks. Maintains good balance when offensive linemen are knocking him around. Does have trouble shedding if quick blockers can get into his frame. Is an agile player who moves laterally pretty well. Closes with an explosive burst. Because he can move around pretty well, it's easy to see why some consider Smith a good 3-4 outside linebacker candidate.
Run defense: Has reportedly added a good amount of bulk since the season ended. That's good because at times Smith had trouble holding his ground against the run. Plays with decent leverage against the run, but should learn to drop down and gain better leverage. Doesn't have great lower leg drive to drive blockers back. Is much better on backside pursuit when he can change direction and make plays wide.
Strength: As mentioned above, Smith has been getting stronger since the season ended. That should be good for Smith as power is his biggest weak spot. Smith isn't built like a basketball player, but he has a lean, long frame. Doesn't have the strength at the point of attack to split double teams. Although he was used inside in some situations, Smith relied more on his initial burst than speed to shoot the A-gap.
Tackling: Is more of a drag down tackler than a fundamental wrap-up and drive through tackler. Makes up for his fundamental issues with long arms and speed. Uses his agility to move around and finish plays in space.
Technique: Uses his long arms pretty well to avoid cut blocks. When he can't get deep to the outside rushing the passer, will struggle some to disengage. Needs to learn better hand placement to work a counter move. Leverage is only ordinary, but should get better with experience.
Final word: Smith was a sensation as a freshman, but was slowed as a sophomore due to fractured right leg. That caused him to miss the first three weeks of the 2010 season. On the year, he had 48 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.
Still, Smith is ready for the NFL. He's so intriguing because few possess his ability to get after the passer. In the 4-3, Missouri used him on the inside and outside with good results. If he develops more power, he should be a terror as a 4-3 defensive end. If not, he might work better as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Considering the Vikings' QB options are Tavaris Jackson and Joe Webb, along with the fact that they have a new coach, there is no way in my opinion that they do not take a new QB. With his stock rising lately, I believe they will take if available:
Size: The first thing you note about Cam Newton is his size. If he were to step into the NFL right now, he’d be the biggest quarterback out there from the get go. Size at the quarterback position is a must. You have to have the size to be able to take the repeated pounding a QB will at the NFL level. Just ask former Dolphins QB Pat White about that.
Arm Strength: One thing that pops out at you right away is the arm strength Newton possesses. He gets the ball out quickly and with the velocity needed to succeed at the next level. He can throw outside the numbers, and I don’t see a throw he doesn’t possess the ability to make.
Accuracy: Newton has great placement on the deep ball, but I have noticed some inconsistencies in his short to intermediate game. A lot of this stems from mechanical issues, which I’ll cover momentarily. Newton is often passing into very wide passing lanes thanks to Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn (whom I consider the top offensive mind in college football) and his spread attack. Most of these throws Newton generally made pretty well, catchable at least, but he needs to do a better job hitting open receivers in stride, and leading open receivers for bigger gains. A perfect example of this was during the Alabama game where Newton threw the ball behind a wide open Terrell Zachary in the second quarter. Zachary managed to put hands on the ball, but ultimately dropped what would have been a minimum 10-12 yard gain, which would have been a huge spark to an Auburn team already down 21-0. Newton faced very little pressure, and attempted an unnecessary “jump pass” when simply setting his feet, and leading his receiver would have been the thing to do. Is it possible Newton was rattled from the pressure Alabama had been so adept at bringing early on? Sure, but in looking over this play it simply seems like Newton hasn’t had much coaching in the mechanical area of the game, instead simply coasting by on athleticism (and being allowed to do so by his coaches).
As I said it was tough to find a lot of window throws on Newton, and what I did find when charting them, wasn’t very impressive (that amazing sideline fourth down conversion against Alabama not withstanding). He has a tendency to throw the ball high, and not spin it cleanly when throwing into tight coverage, especially on shorter routes. Auburn tried a WR mid screen early against Alabama, and the receiver actually had to jump to catch the football. The lost time in the receiver resetting his feet, allowed the Crimson Tide linebacker to shed his block and make the tackle for no gain.
Mechanical:This is quite possibly the weakest area of Newton’s game. His mechanics are quite often down right awful. He has a propensity to throw off balance and off his back foot, even when not facing any measurable pressure. Both throws I mentioned above featured Newton doing some sort of ridiculous “hop pass” despite have absolutely no reason to. A good NFL QB coach will do nothing but footwork drills for the first few weeks he’s in camp.
Newton will sidearm the ball at times, though I haven’t found him to do so at inappropriate times. For some reason on a lot of intermediate throws, the ball seems to come out with an odd wobble, and not be spun cleanly. This is usually an indicator of a poor grip on the football which can stem from either small hands, or simply a poor gripping technique to begin with.
Mobility: I don’t think anyone who has watched college football this season really needs this aspect of Newton’s game covered. Newton is a long strider with enough straight line speed to beat you in a foot race, and the power to break tackles if you don’t use proper technique and wrap up. He’s not shifty, like a Michael Vick, and his running style doesn’t really translate to the NFL in the way Vick’s has, but he will have to be accounted for, and he will be able to buy himself plenty of additional time at the NFL level.
Pre/Post snap reads: Another glaring weakness in Newton’s game is the lack of pre-snap reads. This isn’t his fault, it’s a product of Auburn’s offensive style, but taking the audible ability out of the hands of your quarterback, does a disservice in preparing him for life in the NFL. Since all of the calls come from the sideline, Newton will be behind the curve in diagnosing defensive looks at the NFL level.
Post snap, Newton has been given mostly simplified half field reads, thanks to the offensive system he’s in. Most pass plays are designed 1-2 reads and then for Newton to take off. We’ve seen quarterbacks struggle mightily to transition from this type of offense before (Vince Young). I’m not saying Newton can’t, I’m just saying he certainly has his work cut out for him.
Intangibles:Newton certainly has that “it” factor. Looks like he has absolute command of the huddle, never looks panicked, always seems to be beaming from ear to ear…that type of infectious behavior is motivational and goes over well at the professional level.
Character: Relying only on second hand accounts is usually a poor way to judge character, but at the moment it’s all I have. Newton is said to be very charismatic, humble, and perpetually upbeat. That said, the cloud of this “play for pay” scandal, as well as some prior transgressions before leaving the University of Florida should certainly have some teams questioning whether or not you want to make him the face of your franchise. Teams will definitely want to sit him through a couple of interviews to get a good assessment.
Overall Newton is an intriguing prospect. He will be a project for whatever teams eventually drafts him. Personally given the amount of work that’s going to have to go into him, as well as the potential character risk, I wouldn’t touch him before the second round. You just don’t make a guy with as many things swirling above him as Cam Newton, the face of your franchise. That said, given the raw physicality, size, and athleticism, I can definitely see a team that thinks they can coach him up, snapping him up in the late first round, where salaries aren’t prohibitively high to sit a guy for awhile.
with the 13th pick in the draft the Detroit Lions select Tyron Smith, OT, USC
6'5, 280 pounds
looks to be the best o-linemen in this draft
Agility: Because of his athleticism, Smith can slide his feet with ease. He appears very loose in the hips and has no problem changing direction. Knows how to use his agility to slide, adjust and reposition to stay in front of defenders. Shows good flexibility to absorb a defender's power move and continue working.
Movement: Is a top athlete for an offensive tackle. Moves around with ease and doesn't get ahead of his feet. Used in the second level blocking on screens. Gets to the second level fine but doesn't locate defenders especially well. Will often whiff. Still, Smith has shown hustle and usually finds another way to help block down field.
Pass blocking: Gets a good base in pass protection. Has long arms but has an inconsistent extension. Has a very good kick slide to the right. Smith doesn't get too wide but he maintains his area because he has quick feet. As Smith gets stronger, he'll more easily handle power rushers. Against speed rushers, Smith does really well when he can continue riding them to the outside.
Quickness: Very good quickness off the snap. Plays out of a two-point stance. That combined with his quickness helps Smith get in position faster than defenders. Uses his foot speed to mirror defenders.
Run blocking: As a junior, has played in a zone blocking scheme at USC. Because of that, he's not had to drive block much. But judging by his frame, Smith should get stronger in his lower body to anchor. Even though he comes out of his stance high, Smith typically keeps his pads low. Doesn't have the best initial hand punch. Can be inconsistent where he drives into a defender.
Strength: This is where Smith needs to get better. He's bulked up 20 pounds since entering college but needs to continue adding strength throughout his frame. When he's asked to drive block in the run game, he'll struggle moving defensive linemen around. Still, Smith gives very good effort and it takes a lot for a defender to beat him purely with a bull rush.
Technique: The biggest technical flaw on Smith is his hand placement. Smith's hand speed is fine but he doesn't always get proper placement. Where he needs to improve is extending his arms. Too often Smith lets defenders get into his frame and push him around. Footwork is technically correct and rarely makes a misstep.
Final word: Smith is starting to gain a lot of attention as an offensive tackle prospect. He's an easy player to fall in love with. He has a long, lean frame and is athletic. Smith gets out on the move as well as any offensive tackle you'll see and is loaded with potential.
However, Smith is only in his second year as a starter. He's only been a reserve as a left tackle and spent more time on the right side. He's up to about 280 pounds and came out of high school at 265. His power and weight gain has been impressive, but he'll need to add at least 10 more pounds.
As he is right now, Smith would likely find himself in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He'd likely have to start his career backing up unless a zone blocking team picked him. But if he wants to maximize his draft stock, Smith would be wise to return for his senior season. That way he can continue to get stronger, maybe move to the left side and probably get picked in the top ten in 2012.
with the 14th pick in the draft the St. Louis Rams take Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
biggest no brainer in the draft...
Acceleration: Is a long strider and not a burst type receiver. Jones does have great speed, but it takes him 5-10 yards to build up to his full speed. Does not explode off the line or out of cuts, but has the speed to pressure a defense downfield.
Agility: Good agility. Jones is a natural athlete with good balance and body control. Does not show much quick burst, but has good overall agility.
Blocking: Surprisingly, Jones is one hell of a downfield blocker. In the Alabama offense, where running the ball was a priority, Jones had to become a good blocker. Uses his long frame to lock up defenders, but also runs off corners and sells play-action.
Hands: Jones can be too inconsistent here, which is one of the few attributes separating him from top wide receiver A.J. Green (Georgia). Lacks concentration. Some drops are caused by him tensing up before taking a hit from defenders. Will let the ball get into his body too often. Does make the occasional catch that blows your mind.
Release: Has a very good initial release off the line of scrimmage. Very good size and strength combination to fight off press coverage. Has big hands and long arms to swat away defenders who line up in zero coverage. Is not a quick-twitch athlete with a ton of burst, but he has exceptional speed and lateral mobility to avoid jams at the line of scrimmage. Gets off the line and in to his route fast. When given a cushion by the cornerback, Jones will exploit them every time.
Route running: Jones was very raw as a route runner, but has shown loads of improvement over the last year. Does a great job sinking his hips to make cuts and get in and out of breaks. Does not have the speed to plant and explode, but makes up for this with precise cuts and timing. Can get sloppy at times and will round off cuts. Will get too high at times in his breaks, making the route easy to diagnose by defenders. A very dangerous deep threat.
Size: Jones has ideal height, muscle tone and strength. He has long limbs and big hands. A lean frame, but surprisingly strong.
Speed: Jones does not possess sprinter speed. He is a long strider who takes time to get to full speed. He does have the speed required to run by defenders once he is given room to accelerate. Runs very well after the catch due to good agility and acceleration when he has the ball.
Final word: In any other year, Julio Jones would be the No. 1 receiver on our draft board. In 2011 he has to compete with A.J. Green in a fight he will not win. Jones should be lauded for his exceptional play at Alabama, and for his many talents as a receiver.
A fighter, Jones has played through injuries and will run routes across the middle with no fear. A dominating deep threat and downfield blocker, Jones will bring immediate value to any NFL team.
Jones projects as an early 1st Round pick, and could hear his named called anywhere from pick five to twenty in the first round.