Tag:Dan LeFevour
Posted on: March 24, 2010 2:33 pm
 

Scout: LeFevour "solid, far from spectacular"

Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour was "solid, far from spectacular" during his throwing performance at Central Michigan today, according to one NFL scout.

The scout charactized LeFevour as showing good accuracy and reasonable zip on short and intermediate passes, but that his long passes needed work. LeFevour had to wind up a bit for the longer balls, and though the distance was good, his accuracy was not. Many of his deep passes forced receivers to alter their routes.

Like most workouts, LeFevour performance won't dramatically alter his stock with scouts. LeFevour is currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as the sixth best quarterback available in the 2010 draft, receiving a 3rd round grade.

Wayne State running Joique Bell, however, may see his stock slip considerably with yet another slow time in the 40-yard dash. Bell, the Harlon Hill Trophy winner and a standout at the Senior Bowl, has been unable to get his time under 4.68 seconds in repeated attempts in the drill. He was again clocked at a slow time Wednesday, timing at 4.76 seconds according to the scout. 
Posted on: March 24, 2010 12:29 am
 

For LeFevour, the pressure is on for Wed. Pro Day

Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour surprised (and disappointed) many when he elected not to complete many of the passing drills at the Combine. I watched him throw passes to stationary receivers (his passes were generally on target) but he did not throw the variety of routes scouts will want to see from him Wednesday during his Pro Day at Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

LeFevour's decision not to compete at the Combine was a surprising one not only because some felt that he wasn't highly rated enough in the first place to take the risk of alienating scouts, but also because he had built up some momentum with a spectacular performance in the GMAC Bowl victory over Troy and a strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl.

In pushing his workout to Wednesday, LeFevour will have the benefit of scripting his workout, throwing to receivers he's familiar with and in front of a friendly audience. There has been talk that LeFevour wanted to work on his mechanics a bit, as well -- and considering the boost Tim Tebow has recently received with his sleeker throwing motion, that gamble could pay off.

Perhaps most importantly, Lefevour will have the opportunity to get into a rhythm, as quarterbacks throwing in Indianapolis are only asked to throw two passes typically before the getting substituted.

The decision, of course, also carries significant risk. Not only was every team obviously represented at the Combine, the decision-makers were there. It remains to be seen how many scouts will attend Wednesday's throwing session, much less how many head coaches or front office executives.

To win his gamble, LeFevour has to be good - perhaps even great - Wednesday.

If he does so, a second round pick is possible. If not, LeFevour could slide into the deep third round... or lower.

A side note -- LeFevour isn't the only highly touted skill position player with a lot riding on Wednesday's workout. CMU wide receiver Antonio Brown needs to show better speed than the 4.58 second showing in the 40-yard dash he put forth at the Combine.  Wayne State running back Joique Bell also needs a strong performance if he is to assure himself of being drafted.  The 5-11, 217 pound back won the Harlon Hill Trophy and impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl, but hasn't been able to clock faster than a 4.68 second time in the event yet.
Posted on: February 28, 2010 2:27 pm
 

Impressions from second QB-WR session -QB Report

I just got back from the second (and final) throwing session of the Combine and I can tell you this... Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson will be rising up draft boards with his performance today.

With highly touted passers Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow and Dan LeFevour all sitting out the throwing session, Robinson was among several passers who took advantage of the spotlight.

Robinson showed good footwork and balance dropping back -- a question mark considering he's coming from a spread offense -- and was consistently accurate to all levels of the field. He zipped intermediate slants and dig routes and showed plenty of drive on the deep out. As a perfect example of why quarterbacks should throw at the Combine, Robinson scored points with scouts on the accuracy of his deep ball (good trajectory, outside shade) despite none of his deep passes actually being caught by his receivers.

Arguably the second most impressive quarterback on this day was surprisingly Ole Miss' Jevan Snead. Snead was as accurate on this day as I've ever seen him -- hitting receivers in stride consistently and showing off his good arm strength. The problem with Snead is that he knows he has a good arm and he relies on it.  He carries the ball a bit low and has a very quick release, but he rarely stepped into his throws today, relying almost exclusively on his arm. Snead has intriguing tools -- and he clearly helped his cause today by showing them -- but quarterback coaches I've spoken with in the past have pointed this out as an issue.

Cincinnati's Tony Pike was inconsistent today. The opposite of Snead, Pike has steps into his throws and has a nice over-the-top delivery, which is enhanced by his 6-5, 243 pounds. However, he sprayed the ball today, especially when throwing outside the numbers. He got better as the day went on and didn't do anything to lower his stock, but he certainly didn't seize the opportunity, either.

Under the radar quarterbacks Thaddeus Lewis (Duke), Riley Skinner (Wake Forest) and John Skelton (Fordham) showed why they are rated as they are. Lewis was inconsistent to most levels of the field, except on the deep ball - where his wounded ducks forced receivers to slow and, at times even stop their routes, to wait for the ball. Skelton was wildly erratic, especially early in the gauntlet drills. His high and wide throws consistently forced receivers to adjust, throwing off their balance and timing during drills.

Posted on: February 22, 2010 2:13 pm
 

Tebow not throwing, huge opportunity for others

Over the past several days, we've seen Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen and Dan LeFevour announce that they'll not be throwing at the Combine. Texas' Colt McCoy hopes to throw, but left himself wiggle room in case his recovering shoulder doesn't feel 100%.

Tebow, citing the fact that he's altered his throwing mechanics since the Senior Bowl, is not going to throw now.

Should these five -- arguably the top five quarterbacks in the draft -- all elect not to throw, it opens up a world of opportunity for Tony Pike, Zac Robinson, Sean Canfield and others to make a significant leap up the board. When "on" Robinson was as impressive as any during the Senior Bowl and the individual skills competition a few weeks ago. If you're looking for a darkhorse candidate to really leap up the board during the passing drills, he might be one to focus in on.

On another note, the decision to leave out worthy throwers like former Tennessee standout Jonathan Crompton could come back to bite scouts. Crompton, I'm sure, would accept a late invite to help make sure there were enough arms for the receiver, tight end and back receiving drills.

A few years ago, I watched former BYU star John Beck move himself into the top of the second round with a strong showing at the Combine. Last year, with Matt Stafford watching from the sidelines, I watched Mark Sanchez impress scouts with his competitive fire by participating, fizzle a bit during the workout and then leap up draft boards when he showed staggering improvement at the USC Pro Day roughly a month later.





Posted on: February 20, 2010 3:07 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2010 3:08 pm
 

Dan LeFevour Not Throwing at Combine

NFL scouts have grown all too familiar with the fact that many of the elite prospects each year choose not to participate in the drills at the Combine.

Typically, however, this is reserved to elite prospects -- surefire first round candidates. Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen, considered the year's top two passer prospects, have already announced that they'll be waiting until their Pro Days to throw.

Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour has the production to warrant this type of hype. In fact, his statistics (15,853 total yards, 150 career touchdowns) while at Central Michigan are staggering.

Scouts, however, generally have placed him amongst the second tier of quarterbacks.
He is currently rated as NFLDraftScout.com's 6th-best quarterback and a 3rd round prospect,

That said, LeFeavour has publicly announced that he'll essentially be saying, "Thanks, but no thanks" to scouts when asked to throw in Indianapolis next week.

LeFevour announced his decision through an interview with Dan Mogollon at NFL Draft Bible.

“I’ll be doing (pretty much) everything except throwing at the combine,” LeFevour said.

In follow-up questions, LeFevour went on to add, “I will focus solely on throwing at Pro Day. Just getting focused with that…only having one thing to do on Pro Day and being able to work with my receivers up at school that are coming out. Putting everything I've got into that aspect of it.”

LeFevour's decision is surprising. He had been solid at the Senior Bowl and during the made-for-TV Individual Competition drills a few weeks ago, building some buzz for himself.

Throwing to his own receivers in his own setting will likely lead to LeFevour throwing more impressively during his Pro Day, but if teams are turned off by his decision, the move could significantly backfire.

A link to the entire audio is here.

Posted on: February 6, 2010 11:12 am
 

Skills Competition winners/losers

I (and certainly NFL scouts) do not necessarily put a great deal of stock into the results of the so-called Skills Competition held the Friday before the Super Bowl, but this year there were some scouting nuggets to be found.

The quarterbacks competing included:
Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson
Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour
Oregon State's Sean Canfield
Mississippi's Jevan Snead

The wide receivers competing included:
Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant
USC's Damian Williams
Texas' Jordan Shipley
Cincinnati's Mardy Gilyard 

Many of the quarterback competitions only reinforced what scouts knew about the passers. Canfield beat the competition in the "accuracy" contest, edging out Robinson in a one on one showdown after they tied during the initial session. Canfield's accuracy wasn't surprising, as the majority of his passes for the Beavers were in the short to intermediate range in which he racked up points. His below average arm-strength showed up when he consistently hit the target low. LeFevour proved the most athletic, winning the "mobility" contest. Snead struggled. Though the ball zipped out of his hands on intermediate passes during all of the drills, he was surprisngly short on the arm-strength competition and sprayed the ball with the inaccuracy scouts had seen throughout his entire junior campaign.

The most consistently impressive quarterback was the Cowboys' Zac Robinson, who faired well in the accuracy and mobility competitions and surprisingly won the arm-strength contest with a toss of 64 yards. Robinson was the only quarterback to drop the football into the target 25 yards away to start the mobility competition and relied on his accuracy on the short and intermediate throws to get into the showdown with Canfield. Considering his strong showing in the Senior Bowl, Robinson has enjoyed a strong off-season so far. If he's able to continue it at the Combine, he could be moving into Top 75 consideration.

Each of the receivers had their moments. Bryant, despite missing almost all of 2009 with the NCAA-imposed suspension, showcased the skills likely to make him the first receiver selected in the 2010 draft. His impressive physique, good speed and agility and unique body control were reminscient of Denver's Brandon Marshall on this day. USC's Damian Williams had a strong performance, as well, and seemed to be the most competitive of the bunch -- something scouts will take note of. Gilyard showed better than expected hand strength during the gauntlet drill in which receivers have to turn and catch passes from four JUGS machines.

The star of the show amonst receivers, however, was Shipley. His strong hands, quick feet and underrated straight-line speed were all impressive. Shipley, already a favorite among scouts due to his intelligence and toughness, helped himself. As a second round pick, he'll out-perform some of the receivers drafted ahead of him as a rookie and over his long-term career, as well.

Michigan State's Brett Swenson won the kicker competition over USC's Jordan Congdon, Mississippi's Joshua Shene and Texas' Hunter Lawrence. Swenson started the competition poorly, missing his first three kicks, but recovered to hit his final 4, including the deep kick of 50-yards to win it.
Posted on: January 30, 2010 12:42 pm
 

Players to watch in Senior Bowl

You've read (or heard) us say how much more important the week of practice at the Senior Bowl is than the game, itself.

And while it is true that 90% of the scouts, coaches and front office excecutives that were in Mobile this week have now left, don't think that many of them will miss tuning in to the game (4 pm EST, NFL Network).

All players have an opportunity to help themselves with a strong performance today, but quarterbacks, running backs, and linebackers have historically gained the most.

Tim Tebow , of course, will get most of the attention, but be sure to check out the other South passers. West Virginia's Jarrett Brown could put a emphatic end to the week with a strong performance today and Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson has certainly flashed.

Because I promised myself I wouldn't write two consecutive sentences about #15, here's my final one -- don't pay so much attention to his elongated release (which remains the same it has always been), but instead to his ability to take the snap from center and accuracy downfield, as these were the two elements in which Tebow made consistent strides over the week.

It will be interesting, as well, to see if any sort of consistency comes from the North passers. Due to his mobility, Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour might be able to shake free some of the rust that hindered him this week. Cincinnati's Tony Pike has the arm to dazzle, but hasn't been able to string together more than a few completions in a row. Oregon State's Sean Canfield has struggled to get passes on a line outside the hashes due to a marginal arm strength, but throws a pretty ball down the seam and deep. If he can connect on a big one, he could leave Mobile with a positive.

The most dynamic running back this week of practice has clearly been Ole Miss' Mr. Everything Dexter McCluster . I haven't written about him, however, as the week of practice -- in which defenders were clearly instructed not to wrap up -- is perfectly suited to the elusive speedster's game. Now, don't get me wrong, McCluster showed remarkable strength and balance throughout his monster season in the SEC and may have a strong game today, but it will be tougher for him to break free for the 70 yarders that he was routinely zipping through in practice.

With defenders able to actually tackle backs, it will be interesting to see how the power backs Anthony Dixon (Mississippi State) and LaGarrette Blount (Oregon) fare. Be sure to watch for Wayne State's Joique Bell , who quietly helped himself this week and I wrote about as a one of the "honorable mention " risers from the week of practices.

Attempting to make the tackle on this blend of size, speed and power and shiftiness is a solid, but unspectacular class of linebackers. I'm particularly interested to see how effectively Missouri's Sean Weatherspoon , TCU's Daryl Washington , Florida State's Dekoda Watson and Washington's Donald Butler are able to fight through blocks and make open field stops close to the line of scrimmage, rather than downfield.

One final to note -- watch out for USC safety Taylor Mays to make an impact as a hitter in this game. As the opposite of McCluster, Mays' game is in the ferocity of his hitting, not the mobility he shows in coverage. Considering that he wasn't allowed to hit much over the week of practice, it isn't the least bit surprising that some feel he's struggled. The reality, is that Mays has been the same player this week as he's always been - the preeminent intimidator over the middle of at least the past ten years.
Posted on: January 27, 2010 1:00 am
 

Review from Tuesday's North practice

With pending deadlines for various NFL draft projects looming, my editors are struggling to review my rambling, half-coherent notes from today's Senior Bowl practices onto the website quickly enough to satisfy some readers.

Rather than wait longer for them to catch up, here are my unedited notes from today's North practice. This was my first look at the North squad after spending yesterday scouting the South team. As such, I focused my attention on the North's quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive backs.

With any further adieu...

NFL scouts came to Mobile hoping to see one of the quarterbacks emerge from the pack.

After two days of practice, they're still hoping.

Cincinnati's Tony Pike is the most gifted thrower of the class, demonstrating the arm-strength, accuracy to all levels of the field and mobility rare for a player of his 6-5 frame. The North's starter in each passing drill, Pike zipped passes through tight windows, consistently placed his deep outs low and wide so that only his man could get them and seemed increasingly comfortable dropping back from center.  Unfortunately, for each series of impressive throws, Pike would leave scouts scratching their heads with inaccurate passes, especially in the intermediate zones. Some of this is due to his not yet developing a rapport with his new teammates, as well as gusty conditions Tuesday. Some, however, is due to inconsistent footwork. Pike also has a tendency to rely upon his fastball, not showing enough touch on this day to fit the ball between the linebacker and safety.

Touch, however, is the one thing that Oregon State's Sean Canfield has been able to show. It is arm-strength, or rather lack thereof, that have scouts concerned. Canfield rode a breakout senior campaign into an invitation to the Senior Bowl, but has done little here to prove he has the arm necessary to be successful in the NFL. Canfield has to fully windup to get the ball to the sideline. Though the throws do get there, they arc and are slow in arriving, which will result in interceptions in the NFL. While the zip isn't there for the intermediate routes, Canfield was the North's most accurate deep ball passer due to impressive touch and good trajectory.

Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour lacks Pike's big arm, but was able to drive the ball with more authority than Canfield. He was the most erratic thrower on the day, however, struggling to hit his receivers in full stride. He's been limited thus far in practice, as he's been asked to remain strictly in the pocket. Without the threat of scrambling, LeFevour's less than ideal accuracy is being exposed a bit against the North's quality defensive backs.

Some of the North's quarterback issues are a result of inconsistent play from its receivers.

Small school wideout Andre Roberts (The Citadel) was the surprise standout among the South receiving corps Monday and Ohio's Taylor Price may be continuing the theme. The 6-0, 200 pound Price is quick off the snap and catches the ball cleanly.

The same could not be said for the North's two most highly touted receivers entering this week's practice; Cincinnati's Mardy Gilyard and Missouri's Danario Alexander. Gilyard dropped numerous passes today. These sudden struggles have only added to the questions about how his spindly frame and lack of upper body strength will hold up when pressed. The 6-5, 221 pound Alexander, on the other hand, has plenty of size. He'll need a system in the NFL that allows him to catch passes while on the move as he did when starring for the Tigers, as he has the straight-line speed to run away from cornerbacks, but is a long-strider than struggles to change directions and gain separation. Perhaps most disappointing is how often he's allowed passes into his chest-plate, resulting in some ugly drops. According to scouts in attendance at yesterday's North practice, Gilyard and Alexander were just as disappointing Monday. They'll need strong bounce-back Wednesday practices if they are to save their falling stock before most scouts leave.

Clemson's Jacoby Ford is proving among the more secure handed receivers at the Senior Bowl this week - a bit of a surprise to some who had labeled as only a big play threat. Though short, the 5-09, 181 pound Ford has good strength to gain his release off press and has the speed to eat up the cushion. He has impressed scouts so far this week with his ability to adjust to poorly thrown passes and haul in tough catches.
Pittsburgh's Dorin Dickerson was listed by the Senior Bowl at tight end, but played exclusively at wide receiver on Tuesday. He lacks the speed to challenge corners deep and, as such struggled generating consistent separation.

Inconsistent passing and catching has helped a strong roster of cornerbacks gain even more confidence.

My fellow senior analyst Chad Reuter characterized Boise State's Kyle Wilson as being the star at the position yesterday and the former Bronco only helped himself further with another strong performance. Blessed with great foot quickness, balance and the acceleration to catch up when beaten on a double-move, Wilson is gaining momentum here to be considered the best cover corner of this senior class and a potential first round pick. If he is to achieve this lofty grade, however, he'll need to prove more willing to come up in run support than he has been throughout much of his career in the WAC.

Rutgers' Devin McCourty and California's Syd'Quan Thompson have also helped their cause this week. McCourty has the agility and straight-line speed for man coverage. He breaks on the ball quickly and has the active hands to rip away passes at the last moment. Thomson (5-09, 182) lacks the size and straight-line speed teams want as a press corner, but his instincts and physicality make him arguably the draft's top zone coverage cornerback. Unlike Kyle Wilson, McCourty and Thompson are standout run defenders, who haven't been able to show off their physicality and aggression in practice due to the no-tackle rules being enforced.

A pair of lanky ACC corners, Virginia's Chris Cook and Wake Forest's Brandon Ghee, have struggled locating the ball and making the plays necessary to earn a high round pick. At 6-1 and 6-0, respectively, each has the height scouts like and have shown enough agility in their backpedal, but have been far too complacent in coverage, allowing easy receptions.

 
 
 
 
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