Tag:Jerrod Johnson
Posted on: February 27, 2011 12:38 pm
 

Mallett, Locker impress in 1st throwing session

As bad as Ryan Mallett's press conference may have been yesterday, his performance in Sunday's throwing session at the Combine should quiet some of his critics.

Mallett effortless passing made him the unquestioned star of the first session, outshining the likes of Jake Locker, Andy Dalton and several others. Cam Newton, Christian Ponder and Ricky Stanzi are some of the big names that make up the second group.

Mallett's rocket arm and good accuracy was especially evident on the tougher throws such as the deep out, fly and post-corner routes. Perhaps just as importantly -- considering the character questions that continue to dog him -- was his big smile and obvious camaraderie with the other quarterbacks and receivers throughout the workout. Of all the players throwing and catching, Mallett looked like he was having the most fun.

Washington's Jake Locker also enjoyed a strong performance. As I've said on numerous occasions in the past, Locker is as frustrating to scout as any quarterback I've ever known. He struggled early on with his accuracy some of the simpler throws -- including the throws over the middle to receivers during the gauntlet drill and the curl routes early in his throwing session.

As the session continued, however, Locker got hot, nailing the deep ball and the post-corner -- generally considered the most difficult throw quarterbacks are asked to make here. These two routes require a combination of arm strength, touch and, of course, accuracy.

Unfortunately, not every quarterback enjoyed a strong performance Sunday. TCU's Andy Dalton's average arm strength led to many of his passes fluttering, affecting his accuracy. Dalton's stock shouldn't slip much from his mediocre performance. He is a quarterback who relies on timing, and, of course, he had none with a group of receivers who he was largely meeting for the first time today.

Fresno State's Ryan Colbun and Texas A&M's Jerrod Johnson struggled mightily. Each were consistently inaccurate on the variety of throws the coaches put them through.

Posted on: January 18, 2011 2:22 pm
 

E-W Shrine Game - Monday practice report

It has been reported elsewhere that Monday's practices for the East-West Shrine game were cancelled. Though the conditions were certainly less than ideal, practices did, in fact, go on. NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Chad Reuter is in Orlando and contributed this report.

East-West Shrine Game report
by Chad Reuter
Monday, January 17, 2011


Mother Nature wreaked havoc on the first day of East-West Shrine Game practices. With thunderstorms rolling through north central Florida all morning, Shrine Game officials decided to move the afternoon practices into the Rosen Plaza Grand Ballroom.

Yes, I said "ballroom"--players running around an empty room with sconces on the wall and mirrors and chandeliers on the ceiling. And no, we were not scouting player for future appearances on "Dancing with the Stars".

Interceptions were made off the wall. Plants got knocked over in the area outside the ballroom when one-on-one pass rush drills were going on.

It was climate-controlled and the green-and-salmon carpeting could be considered as an "artificial turf." The Senior Bowl, held in Mobile, Alabama, has had to do similar things because of weather, it is still less-than-ideal conditions for evaluating talent.

Still, there were a few players that piqued scouts' interest with their physique, effort, and footwork .

UNC defensive tackle Marvin Austin is the player with the most to gain (or lose) with his efforts here. He's not suited up all year due to his suspension for NCAA infractions and violation of team rules.  So far, he's looked quick off the snap and strong. Right guards Bryant Browning (Ohio State) and Randall Hunt (Illinois) stood up to him in pass protection fine, but it won't be surprising if Austin starts to dominate when the practices head outside.

Austin's East squad teammate, Lehigh tackle/guard prospect Will Rackley pancaked high-motor and low-bulk Richmond defensive tackle Martin Parker and handled ultra-productive UCF defensive end/linebacker Bruce Miller on the edge. Rackley did get coaching, however, keeping his head up during a drive-blocking drill. "If you're looking at the ground, you're doing it wrong!" his coach bellowed.

Parker exacted revenge for his earlier play against Missouri State tackle/guard David Arkin, getting under his pads to get the "B" gap on one play, then bull rushing Arkin into the quarterback on the next.

East team receivers had some issues with consistency catching passes today. Perry Baker (slight at six-foot, 167 pounds) from Fairmont State show real quickness and hands to extend on high throws from Tyrod Taylor. He dropped other very catchable passes, however. Another small school receiver, Cecil Shorts III from Division III runner-up Mount Union, did not make the same adjustment on a high throw that Baker did, but redeemed himself on the next practice rep by displaying his quick feet and snatching a heater thrown behind him.

Big six-foot-three, 211-pound receiver Terrance Tolliver also had a couple of drops, a problem plaguing him throughout his career at LSU.  Lesser-known Florida Atlantic Lester Jean, with nearly identical measurement, showed better feet on comeback route and more consistent hands than Tolliver.

In the West practice, head coach Wade Phillips did not even have his players wear helmets like Dan Reeves'  squad did in the earlier session.  They still ran nearly all of the same drills as the East team.

Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson is in a similar position as Austin, as he needs to prove himself after his mid-season benching in favor of Ryan Tannehill -- who took the team to a BCS bowl. Johnson an impressive receiver build at 6-5, 250 pounds  with 35 inch arms--not unlike current Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Webb. But long delivery is an issue and his 9.5-inch hands are only average for quarterbacks, and a couple of his wobbly throws today verified that this could also be a problem for him down the road.

LSU offensive tackle Joseph Barksdale is one of the most impressive looking athletes at this game. He measured six-foot-five, 336 pounds (about 20 pounds over his listed weight) with 35.5-inch arms.  At times he used his athleticism and length to seal the edge and get out in front of plays run to his side--whether at left or right tackle.

But the inconsistency that cost him an invite to the Senior Bowl also appeared today. Boise State Ryan Winterswyk looked stronger and quicker on a couple of snaps until Barksdale used his length to carry Winterswyk around the pocket and into a crowd of scouts lined up behind the play.

Another impressive athlete on the West squad is Southern Cal tight end Jordan Cameron. The former basketball Trojan player looked very smooth and displayed solid hands, as he had during the season in his limited opportunities. I thought Jimmy Graham really helped himself at the Senior Bowl last year, an the six-foot-five, 245 pound (and growing) receiving tight end might be heading that direction, as well.

Nevada defensive end Dontay Moch was extremely productive as a pass rusher in college (42 tackles for loss, 15 sacks), but projects as a linebacker at the next level (checked in at only six-foot-one, 229 pounds in the morning's weigh-in). The athleticism he displayed in limited opportunities at linebacker for the Wolf Packer was evident again today. He looked like a defensive back during flip-your-hip drills and was very quick dropping into coverage during team scrimmages. He also took coaching well during practice.

Weigh-in Notes:
-One of the biggest stories (literally) of the Monday morning weigh-in was Canadian college player Martin O'Donnell. He came just one-eighth inch short of six-foot-ten. Though raw playing both left and right tackle, he gave good enough effort to potentially get a training camp invite this summer. He also displayed some skills as a long snapper.

-Despite Tolliver's issues catching passes, his 10 inch hands were the biggest among the receivers; yet Fairmont's six-foot Perry Baker had the longest arms at 33.5 inches.

-UCF right tackle Jah Reid measured six-foot-seven, 325-pound body with 34-inch arms but looks like he could get to 350 pounds without losing a lot of mobility. He's a player to watch this week.

-Ohio State linebacker Brian Rolle stood just five-foot-nine and five-eighths and 227 pounds to be the smallest second-level defender here this week. Iowa State safety David Sims also came in just north of five-foot-nine, while Boise State safety Jeron Johnson eclipsed five-foot-ten, which was no given in scouts' eyes.

-Former Penn State and recent Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin beat the six-foot-three mark scouts hoped he would, while Virginia Tech passer Tyrod Taylor measured nearly six-foot-one, better than most NFL folks here expected.

-Running back Alex Green from Hawaii was one of the few players who weighed significantly less than listed. He looked all of 230 pound during the season, but has dropped about ten pounds, presumably to get a bit quicker (which he appeared to be in practice).

Chad's daily practice reports from the Shrine Game will be available either here on the blog or as feature stories accessible from the main page. Either way, for the best in NFL Draft coverage, check out NFLDraftScout.com .
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:40 pm
 

5 Most Disappointing Prospects through September

In this week's issue of Draft Slant, I list a handful of breakout prospects that scouts had graded as either late round or free agents in the preseason, but through the first month of the college season have greatly exceeded expectations and are rising fast.

Without giving away the identities of the players, themselves, I can tell you that the players listed come from a variety of conferences from the SEC to the WAC.

While that article is reserved for our premium subscribers, I thought I'd list a group of five players whose stock is going in the exact opposite direction over the first month of the season.

Players are listed alphabetically.

RB Mario Fannin, Auburn: I touted Fannin as much as anyone heading into the season as a potential breakout star and while I still maintain that he has talent, there is no denying that he's again struggling this year with the issues (injuries, fumbles) that had sidetracked him in the past. Part of a rotation for the Tigers, Fannin had seven touches for 79 yards and two touchdowns in the opener againt Arkansas State. Since, however, the Auburn coaching staff has apparently lost faith in his ability to get the tough yards and hold on to the football, as he has accumulated only eight touches for 28 total yards (and no scores) since.

QB Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M: Despite earning preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year accolades, scouts had plenty of concerns about Johnson's pro prospects before the season have even begun. Now, after an ugly four interception game against the likes of Florida International, scouts are even more concerned that Johnson, while talented, simply lacks the accuracy and football IQ to handle the adjustment to the NFL. Once considered a potential Top 50 prospect, Johnson now appears destined for the 5th or 6th round... at best.

QB Jake Locker, Washington: There are a great many jumping off Jake Locker's bandwagon after a disastrous performance against the Cornhuskers two weeks ago. In reality, Locker was struggling with accuracy and the reading of defenses in the two previous games (BYU, Syracuse, as well). Locker's No. 1 status has always been a projection that would come true IF he made similar gains under Steve Sarkisian that he made in his first year under the former USC quarterback coach. So far, Locker hasn't made those gains. Some scouts, in fact, wonder if he's regressed. Locker remains in the hunt to be the first senior QB off the board (and thus a potential high first round selection), but the time has come to stop making excuses for him. In his second year of this offense and his fourth as a starting quarterback, Locker needs to show better recognition and accuracy if he is going to be successful in the NFL.

NG Jerrell Powe, Mississippi: As proof of what a roller coaster ride scouting can be, Powe would have made my list of the "safer" prospects heading into this season. He was a standout, even dominant performer, at times times last year. This season, however, Powe has struggled mightily. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that Ole Miss rotates their defensive linemen. Some also may be due to the fact that he's playing this season as much as 60 pounds lighter than he's played in the past. Either way, the explosive power and consistency Powe had shown last year simply hasn't been there in the Rebels' first four games.

WR Terrance Toliver, LSU: Toliver was viewed by many as the top senior receiving prospect in the country heading into the season. He certainly was touted as a potential future high round pick as a prep star. Unfortunately, Toliver and the LSU offense, as a whole, has struggled this season. Toliver has only 11 catches through the first four games for 96 yards. The 6-4, 206 pounder with reported 4.4 speed has yet to catch a touchdown this season.


One could make the argument that the host of players suspended or injured so far this season should also be included on this list. I have too much respect for our readers to take the easy way out and list the likes of North Carolina's DT Marvin Austin, FS Deunta Williams, WR Greg Little, South Carolina TE Wesley Saunders, West Virginia cornerback Brandon Hogan (all suspended for one or more games) or injured players like Houston QB Case Keenum, etc. and the like among this list. With serious off-field or health questions, they are certainly falling -- or at least on the cusp of falling -- in the eyes of scouts. However, the players I listed above are falling because they simply aren't producing on the field to the level scouts expected heading into the 2010 season.
Posted on: August 25, 2010 12:35 pm
 

Locker feature, Pac-10 Preview links

My fellow analysts Chad Reuter and Chris Steuber have already posted articles previewing the top ten players for some of the BCS conferences, as well as feature stories on individual players among those conferences he felt deserved more attention.

For example, Chad's story on Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi is currently the headlining story on NFLDraftScout.com. Chris' story on Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson was previously the top story.

Chad ranks the top ten senior prospects of the Big East right here.

I wrote the SEC preview and a feature on Mississippi defensive tackle Jerrell Powe a few weeks ago. With our scheduling our Top 10 and feature stories to coincide with CBS' College Football schedule, I've been off for a few days and have the chance to amp up my work here on the blog, do some radio work and start up a Twitter account .

Today, however, my preview of the Top 10 Senior Prospects of the Pac-10 went up. So, too, did my feature article on Washington quarterback Jake Locker.

I only mention each of them here as the articles are not currently being featured on NFLDraftScout.com (where you'd normally find my/our work), but as part of CBS' College Football pages.
Posted on: July 12, 2010 12:40 pm
 

Luck, Kaepernick, others wow at Manning QB Camp

Each year the Mannings (Archie and sons Petyon, Eli and Cooper) hold their Manning Passing Academy for high school and collegiate "skill position" football players. Though running backs, wide receivers and tight ends are also invited to the camp, the quarterbacks always receive the most attention.

For the fifth consecutive year this year's camp was held on the Nicholls State University campus; the former home of the New Orleans Saints' training camp. This is the 14th year the Mannings have been holding their camp.

This year the collegiate quarterbacks invited read like a Who's Who of the game. Washington's Jake Locker was invited, but couldn't attend. Miami's Jacory Harris, Arkansas' Ryan Mallett and Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor were other high profile passers also unable to participate.

Among the more high profile players who did participate, however, included:

Jordan Jefferson - LSU
Jerrod Johnson - Texas A&M
Colin Kaepernick - Nevada
Case Keenum - Houston
Andrew Luck - Stanford
Greg McElroy - Alabama
Kellen Moore - Boise State
Christian Ponder - Florida State
Taylor Potts - Texas Tech
Matt Simms - Tennessee
Nathan Stanley - Mississippi
Brandon Weeden - Oklahoma State
Tyler Wolfe - Northwestern State (La.)
T.J. Yates - North Carolina

Much of the clinic is open to the public. According to sources in attendance, Stanford redshirt sophomore Andrew Luck is clearly the most gifted of the group. He showed a strong NFL-caliber arm and the accuracy to attack all levels of the field. Luck recently went on the record stating that he planned to graduate from Stanford before pursuing professional football.

Another young talent, Tennessee's Matt Simms (son of Phil, brother of Chris) also impressed, I'm told.

Kaepernick surprised some with his velocity. The 6-6, 220 pound Wolfpack quarterback is well known for his production (20 TDs/6 INTs, as well as 1,183 rushing yards, 16 TDs last year), but is viewed by many scouts as a product of coach Chris Ault's "pistol" offense.

FSU's Christian Ponder, who tied with Locker for the highest QB grade given by National scouts, was characterized as being good, but not spectacular. In Ponder's defense, he underwent shoulder surgery in the off-season and may have been still working out some of the kinks.


Posted on: November 26, 2009 10:52 am
 

McCoy the headliner, but A&M's Johnson no slouch

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy will certainly get most of the attention in tonight's in-state battle at College Station, but it his counterpart, Aggie redshirt junior Jerrod Johnson, who quietly is leading the conference in touchdown passes and has made the most strides as an NFL prospect this season.

Like McCoy, the 6-5, 243 pound Johnson is a do-everything talent for the Aggies, who can beat defenses with his arm, decision-making (only 5 INTs) and legs. The athletic Johnson has shown agility and good decision-making in the option and actually is tied for the team lead with 8 rushing touchdowns this season. Johnson was pushed into the starting role last season with the injury to now-Dallas Cowboy Stephen McGee. Johnson posted solid numbers last season (2,435 passing yards, 21 touchdowns/10 interceptions), but looked flustered when pressured and was prone to drive-killing mistakes. This season, however, he's proven much more adept at reading defenses. The improvement Johnson has shown in his second season as a starter under former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman has been impressive, something that Sherman noted in his press conference this week.

"I really don't know if I've been around a player that's made the progress that he's made," Sherman said. "He's a lot more football savvy than I ever gave him credit for last year."

The undefeated Longhorns boast a significant edge in overall talent and should win this game easily. However, the Aggies have proven to be quite the nemesis for Mack Brown, winning two of the past three games, including the last one at Texas A&M. The Aggies, 6-5 overall, are 5-1 at home and enjoy one of the great homefield advantages in all of college football.

I certainly recommend you focusing on the traditions on this Thanksgiving holiday with family, friends, turkey and perhaps some NFL football, but don't forget to check out this contest (7 pm EST, ESPN), it could prove surprisingly competitive and certainly will provide scouts with a barometer as to the play of two talented quarterbacks while on the big stage.

Happy Thanksgiving!






 

 
 
 
 
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