Posted on: March 26, 2011 2:00 pm
With their initial Pro Day shortened due to a rain storm, the draft-eligible members of the University of Miami Hurricanes worked out for representatives of at least 20 teams Friday.
Most of the top prospects elected to stand on their Combine results, doing only positional workouts.
One exception was running back Graig Cooper , who, a league source on hand for the workout, told me was asked to run the 40-yard dash three times. Players are typically asked to run twice, but there was such a difference between Cooper's first and second attempts in the dash (4.67, 4.46 according to the scout) that Cooper was asked to run it a third time. In his third attempt Cooper was again in the 4.6s (4.66) -- similar times as the ones he put forth at the Combine (4.60-4.68).
The slow times were disappointing. Cooper did look "better in positional drills. He moves well laterally and has some burst."
Any improvement is important for Cooper, who surprisingly elected to play this season after tearing the ACL in his knee during Miami's 2009 bowl game. He was a shadow of his former self throughout much of the season, but showed improved speed and burst at the East-West Shrine Game and finished second to all running backs tested at the Combine with a 4.03 time in the short shuttle and a 6.66 second showing in the 3-cone drill. Nebraska's Roy Helu, Jr. beat Cooper by .02 seconds in the shuttle.
Cooper is not currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as a draftable commodity. I, however, feel we and others are underrating him. As long as he gets a clean bill of health from NFL teams, I believe Cooper could prove a huge surprise at the next level.
Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson was characterized as "up and down" while running routes and catching passes. "He's a bit stiff as a route-runner and isn't as fast as he timed at Indy," the scout said. Hankerson, according to the scout, also "dropped a few" passes -- a problem the Miami receiver had struggled with throughout his career and the week of practice at the Senior Bowl.
Hankerson is currently the fourth rated receiver of the 2011 draft by NFLDraftScout.com.
Cornerback Brandon Harris, who some teams believe will ultimately wind up as the first of Miami's players chosen this year, was "solid, but not spectacular" in his positional drills. "Quick feet and fluid hips, but the concerns you have about him aren't going to be answered in a workout." Harris, 5-09 (1/2") and 191 pounds "loses too many battles at the critical moment" on tape.
My fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter and I have each pegged Harris as a potential late first round pick in our current mock drafts.
Among the teams the scout said were represented at the workout were the Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans.
Posted on: March 10, 2011 1:06 pm
Though the top Hurricane prospects invited to the Combine -- cornerback Brandon Harris, defensive lineman Allen Bailey, wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, linebacker Colin McCarthy, offensive lineman Orlando Franklin, running back Graig Cooper and cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, among them -- aren't expected to perform the measurables at today's Pro Day, a virtual Who's Who of NFL personnel is expected to be hand to see them perform their positional drills.
Head coaches Bill Belichick, Jack Del Rio, Tony Sparano, Mike Tomlin and Raheem Morris and high ranking front office personnel Gene Smith (Jaguars), Jeff Ireland (Dolphins), Kevin Colbert (Steelers) and Mark Dominik (Bucs), among many others are expected to attend this morning's workouts, according to Miami's official athletic website . According to Hurricanes' staff, 29 of the 32 NFL teams will be represented, with only the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans not on the list. The Patriots have the largest contingent in Miami, with no less than seven representatives having checked in.
Interestingly enough, the Ravens and Jets have their wide receiver coaches on hand (Jim Hostler, Henry Ellard, respectively). Each club is thought to be high on Hankerson and may be considering the Miami receiver with their first round pick.
There are also a host of former Miami stars on hand to watch the workout, including Warren Sapp, Bernie Kosar, Willis McGahee, Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen and DJ Williams.
Keep NFLDraftScout.com refreshed for updates as we get them.
Posted on: February 28, 2011 6:29 pm
The Combine always produces some eye-popping test results. Some times, these results match the tape. Other times, however, they are the result of great training and so-called "workout warriors" whose speed, strength or explosiveness in workouts does not translate well onto the field.
Posted on: December 31, 2010 12:37 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2010 12:39 pm
In today's era of corporate sponsored bowl games often pitting "small school" teams, there is something refreshing about the Miami/Notre Dame matchup in this afternoon's Sun Bowl.
The Hurricanes and Fighting Irish have obviously had their on and off-field struggles this year. Randy Shannon's firing and the tragic death of Declan Sullivan, the Notre Dame student killed while attempting to film Irish practices, have dominated the headlines.
For NFL scouts, however, the story remains the same. Miami and Notre Dame, as always, feature plenty of NFL talent.
In fact, one of the most intriguing one on one matchups of the bowl season will be on display when Hurricane cornerback Brandon Harris and Irish wideout Malcolm Floyd, a pair of first round caliber juniors, face off.
They may be the most entertaining matchup, but there is plenty of other prospects to keep an eye on. The following is the list of top prospects in today's game to focus on, courtesy of my fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter.
--Notre Dame DT Ian Williams (6-2, 305, 5.17): The wide-body nose tackle has missed the last four contests but expects to suit up in his last college game.
--Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd (6-3, 228, 4.52): If his leg is healthy and he's on the same page as freshman QB Tommy Rees, Floyd will use his big body against fellow junior prospect CB Brandon Harris.
--Notre Dame TE Kyle Rudolph (6-5, 265, 4.64): A hamstring tear ended Rudolph's season early and he won't be on the field today, but the junior could wind up as the first tight end drafted, whether he elects to leave school early this year or return for his senior campaign.
--Miami (Fla.) DE Allen Bailey (6-4, 285, 4.79): Excellent athlete who flashes pass rush (seven sacks) across from junior DE Adewale Ojomo, but needs to have a consistently strong effort against an average Irish line to impress scouts.
--Miami ILB Colin McCarthy (6-2, 240, 4.67): Heady, versatile, productive (106 tackles, 10 for loss) player scouts believe can play inside or on the strong side at the next level.
--Miami WR Leonard Hankerson (6-3, 208, 4.52): Tall strider who can stretch the field, but faces a strong corner in Notre Dame's Darrin Walls.
--Miami LT Orlando Franklin (6-7, 315, 5.30): Impressive just stepping off the bus, if Franklin's footwork begins to match his strength, he could become a starting NFL left tackle.
--Miami CB Brandon Harris (5-11, 195, 4.45): A highly touted prep prospect, Harris has emerged as the latest in a long line of Miami defensive backs worthy of first round consideration. Only a junior.
This game begins at 2pm EST and will be televised by CBS.
As always, for the best in NFL draft coverage, check out NFLDraftScout.com.
Posted on: October 4, 2010 1:10 pm
There were several noteworthy performances on Saturday that deserved recognition. In fact, I changed my mind on this award three times over the course of the day of scouting.
Miami wideout Leonard Hankerson deserves acknowledgement. The 6-3, 215 pound senior caught seven passes for a career-high 145 yards and tied the school record with three touchdown receptions against Clemson. Hankerson beat a tough Tiger defense deep on long scores twice, showing off better vertical speed than some have credited him with in the past. He also used his big body and much-improved hands to snatch a quick slant for his third touchdown. Perhaps the catch that was most important, was a 10-yard reception on third down that allowed the 'Canes to kick an easy field goal midway through the fourth quarter. That score, which extended Miami's lead to nine points, was critical as the Tigers were building momentum. As I noted on Twitter , Leonard Hankerson was a favorite to earn Player of the Week following his performance.
Two other performances later in the day, however, overtook him.
Adrian Clayborn provided the production against the Nittany Lions we've been expecting to see all season long, notching a game-high ten tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack in a key Big Ten showdown. The effort, which earned Clayborn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week accolades, was a resounding bounceback for Clayborn as his numbers previous to this game have been rather pedestrian (15 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss). Most opponents have elected to double-team Clayborn. Penn State did, as well, on multiple occasions. When they didn't -- and often when they did -- he made them pay.
Following Clayborn's effort, I was convinced he'd be my choice as Player of the Week. A "legendary" performance, however, changed my mind.
Considering the horrific game he'd had against Nebraska two weeks ago, Washington quarterback Jake Locker needed a strong performance against USC to right the ship. Locker certainly delivered, leading the Huskies to a comeback win that was eerily similar to the one he engineered last year to upset the Trojans in Seattle. Locker wasn't perfect on the night. He lost a fumble that went through the back of the end zone for a USC touchback and, again, missed some wide open receivers. However, he completed 24 of 40 passes for 310 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another 110 yards in the game and made the big plays when the Huskies desperately needed them. His best play made have been an 18-yard completion to WR D'Andre Goodwin on 4th and 10 in the closing seconds that put UW in position to kick the winning field goal. On the play, Locker stepped up in the pocket, considered scrambling for, saw Goodwin clear the defender and fired a strike. It is this type of poise and accuracy in the clutch that scouts have been waiting to see from Locker. Husky coach Steve Sarkisian, in fact, characterized Locker's effort Saturday night as "legendary."
Posted on: September 23, 2010 6:30 pm
As two of the more talented teams in the country, there are plenty of reasons for NFL scouts to take special interest in tonight's showdown between ACC and Big East powers Miami and Pittsburgh, respectively.
The game lost a bit of its luster with the injury and subsequent back surgery for All-Big East Defensive Player of the Year Greg Romeus. It would have made for highly entertaining scouting had the defensive end matched up tonight against Miami left tackle, Orlando Franklin -- especially considering that Romeus would have had the benefit of the home crowd noise behind him.
Still, there is plenty of talent to focus on in this game.
DE Allen Bailey: Bailey is among the more versatile defensive linemen in the country. He's played every one of the four down positions for the Hurricanes over his career, though most view him as a left defensive end or traditional 4-3 defensive tackle. Bailey has not demonstrated the burst off the snap for scouts to consider moving him to the right side. He has enough power to play the five technique (3-4 DE), as well. With injuries along their front, Bailey may be asked to play inside a bit tonight. So far this year he has seven tackles, including 1.5 for loss. He is still looking for his first sack of the season.
OT Orlando Franklin: Though I do not believe he has the quickness or balance to remain on at left tackle in the NFL, Franklin has played well in his first year at the position this season. Franklin plays with the nastiness and physicality that you'd expect from a former guard. At 6-7, 318 pounds I feel he's one of the better right tackle prospects in the country.
ILB Colin McCarthy: Wearing the No. 44 that Dan Morgan made famous, this is the type of game in which McCarthy should excel. Athletic enough to contribute against the pass, McCarthy's instincts and physicality should help him rack up tackles against a Pitt offense still trying to get 2010 Big East Conference Rookie of the Year Dion Lewis on track. McCarthy currently leads the 'Canes with 16 tackles, including 2.5 for loss.
WR Leonard Hankerson: A highly touted prep prospect who struggled with drops early in career, Hankerson has finally developed into the playmaker his raw skills always made seem possible. The 6-3, 215 pound Hankerson with legitimate downfield speed has emerged as Jacory Harris' obvious favorite this season. In fact, not only does Hankerson have twice as many catches (13) as the next Miami receiver (LaRon Howard with six), he has nearly four times as many receiving yards (205) to any one else on the 'Canes roster (Travis Benjamin's 62 yards).
The 'Canes feature several underclassmen to keep an eye on, as well. Chief among them is junior cornerback Brandon Harris.
These are the Pittsburgh Panthers I'll be focusing on:
OT Jason Pinkston: Like Miami's Franklin, I don't believe that Pinkston has the agility and balance to remain at left tackle in the NFL, but he is nonetheless a talented prospect. How he performs against Miami's athletic front seven will go a long way in determining his ranking with the scouts I spoke to prior to this game.
DE Jabaal Sheard: Though Romeus gets most of the attention, Sheard has been Pittsburgh's most consistent pass rusher throughout their respective careers. Sheard, 6-3 and 265 pounds, doesn't possess elite size or speed, but has enough of a burst to gain the initial advantage and closes quickly. Lining up at left defensive end, Sheard has eight tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack, thus far. He leads the team with five QB hurries. Sheard could use a strong performance in this game to distance himself from his last newsworthy event -- an ugly incident in August in which Sheard was arrested after a fight in which he threw a man through a glass door.
SS/OLB Dom DeCicco: DeCicco is the Panthers' starting strong safety, but at 6-3, 225 pounds I question if he has the straight-line speed and agility necessary to remain at this position in the NFL. He's a physical and instinctive defender, however, who enjoyed great production last year (88 tackles, three interceptions, forced fumble). He's struggled with injuries this season and may not be 100% for this game.
Pitt, like Miami, features several underclassmen worth watching. The obvious top player to watch is junior wideout Jonathan Baldwin, considered by some to be the top wide receiver prospect in the country. The 6-5, 225 pound Baldwin will give Miami's talented, but young secondary quite a matchup problem. It will be interesting to see how well Baldwin does when matched up against Harris one on one.
The game begins at 7:30 EST and will be televised on ESPN.