Tag:Osi Umenyiora
Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:41 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 1:44 pm

Troy pass rusher Massaquoi bypassing senior year

Perhaps the most productive pass rusher few college football fans have seen announced Friday he's taken steps to assure that when they do see him, he'll be sacking a quarterback wearing an NFL uniform.

Troy defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi, a two-time First Team All-Sun Belt honoree, announced that he's bypassing his senior season and heading off to the NFL.

"I sure hate to lose him," Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said as part of a press release from the university announcing Massaquoi's decision.
Estimated at 6-2, 250 pounds, Massaquoi bolsters a relatively weak class of pass rushers potentially capable of lining up as 3-4 rush linebackers. Massaquoi was given a 2nd-3rd round grade by NFLDraftScout.com and is our No. 9 rated outside linebacker, overall. Several other outside linebackers rated ahead of him are better fits remaining in the 4-3 alignment. Massaquoi, who played left defensive end in the Trojans' 4-3 scheme, lacks the bulk to remain opposite the right tackle on anything other than obvious passing downs. He does have good quickness off the snap and is surprisingly effective as a bull rusher due to his leverage and good upper body strength.

There will, of course, be some who question Massaquoi's level of competition, though that didn't stop former Trojans DeMarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora from enjoying great success in the NFL.

Massaquoi posted 128 tackles, including 31 tackles for loss and 19.5 sacks in just two seasons at Troy. Prior to enrolling at Troy, he spent the 2008 season at Butler Community College.

Besides production, age may have also played a role in Massaquoi's decision. He's 24 now. As Blakeney said in the statement, "[Massaquoi's] clock is ticking and the NFL is the hardest job in America to get and definitely the hardest one to keep."

Posted on: September 27, 2010 9:52 pm

Troy's WR/RS Jernigan earns Diamond in the Rough

Typically, my weekly Diamond in the Rough award goes to a player who stands out at a lower level of play.
Considering the NFL success of former Trojans Osi Umenyiora, DeMarcus Ware and Leodis McKelvin, I hardly consider Sun Belt powerhouse Troy to be among the "small schools" for traditional Diamonds in the Rough.

But Troy wideout Jerrel Jernigan was so dominant in a Sun Belt conference showdown with Arkansas State that I simply had to acknowledge his play here.

All Jernigan did was catch ten passes for a career high 209 yards, rush the ball five times for 31 yards and record another 71 yards on four (three kick, one punt) returns. The 311 all-purpose yards were also a career-high for Jernigan, who was recognized by the Sun Belt Conference for his second Player of the Week award already this season. He was recognized with the Offensive Player of the Week award Monday, after earning the SBC Special Teams Player of the Week following a September 12 performance against Oklahoma State in which he posted 277 all-purpose yards (including a 100 kick return for a touchdown and a 10-yard touchdown reception).

What made Jernigan's electric performance Saturday against the Red Wolves all the more stunning was that much of it came during rain showers.

Jernigan, 5-9 and 185 pounds, has true three-tier speed. He has the quickness to elude in tight quarters, the acceleration to burst through seams and the long speed to pull away from the pursuit. It didn't take long for him to demonstrate this rare combination against Arkansas State, as Jernigan caught reached high to snatch a high pass on a post route, accelerated between two Red Wolf defensive backs and was gone for a 70-yard score on only the Trojans' third play from scrimmage.

While Jernigan certainly lacks the height scouts would prefer, he has an athletic, surprisingly strong frame and has demonstrated great toughness over his career. He attacks the hole as a returner and does not back down from a physical challenge. Scouts would like to see more consistency out of Jernigan as a route-runner, though some of his troubles have been that he's been asked to line up at so many different positions in an effort to get him the ball. He rarely allows the ball to get into his chest, showing good hands to extend and pluck outside of his frame. Jernigan also showed good body control and the ability to track passes over his shoulder.

Jernigan currently leads all active FBS receivers with 209 career receptions and ranks as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 5 senior wideout and yet few across the country know his name. They would if he played for a Big Ten or SEC team... and they will when he lights up practices at the Senior Bowl.

Posted on: April 21, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: April 21, 2010 1:22 pm

Big Ben among veterans who could be traded

Ben Roethlisberger is the biggest name in a list of high profile veterans that sources tell me could be traded over the course of this week's draft.

The Steelers have publicly expressed their displeasure with their 28 year-old, two-time winning Super Bowl quarterback for his poor off-field decisions, but talks before that he might be traded had been thought to be conjecture. However, according to an article in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette, the Steelers are gaining some "trade feelers" and while "not actively looking to trade" Roethlisberger, a source close to the team tells me Pittsburgh is acknowledging behind closed doors that if the right offer came through, they'd show Big Ben the door.

Though an established player like Roethlisberger would no doubt command a first round pick in a normal circumstance, the Steelers' quarterback is considered "quite the risk" according to one league source, who works for a team actively searching to add competition at the position. Roethlisberger is expected to be suspended for multiple games in the 2010 season for his latest brush with the law.

While it is difficult to imagine any team giving the Steelers enough value to actually pry Roethlisberger away, the flurry of veteran trades over the past few weeks is evidence that teams are taking advantage of the talent in this draft and the uncapped economic status of the league.

Roethlisberger is far from the only player being shopped, however.

Washington Redskins' defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is on block. Another Redskin, outside linebacker Rocky McIntosh, is also thought to be available.

The New York Giants are shopping defensive end Osi Umenyiora for a middle round pick.

The Seattle Seahawks would accept a similar offer for outside linebacker Leroy Hill.


Posted on: August 31, 2009 12:55 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2009 12:55 pm

Rookie Review -- Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez's rapid and surprising ascension to the fifth pick overall of the 2009 draft was due in large part to his ability to impress when the lights were brightest. He enjoyed a spectacular game (28 of 35 for 413 yards, 4 TDs and zero INTs) against Penn State to dominate the Rose Bowl. I wasn't overly impressed with Sanchez's Combine workout, but was also on hand for his second workout for scouts at USC's Pro Day and his performance there was as good as any quarterback's I've ever seen -- prospect or veteran. Sanchez's charisma and surprising understanding of the x and o's, considering his relative lack of starting experience, only excited scouts that much more down the stretch. The Jets were intrigued enough to essentially place the franchise's immediate future in his hands, unloading three veterans and two draft picks to move from 17th to 5th to get him. Solid performances throughout camp and in the first two preseason games led head coach Rex Ryan to name Sanchez as the Jets' starter over veterans Kellen Clemens and Erik Ainge. As has been Sanchez's forte', with all of the eyes of Gotham and many others throughout the country, he was steady and even brilliant, at times, against an aggressive New York Giants' defense. Sanchez finished 13 of 20 for 149 yards and an impressive 31 yard touchdown pass to Chansi Stuckey amid great pressure. He led the Jets to four scoring drives against the largely first-team Giants defense.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets QB, #6 - - Good footwork to gain depth, while keeping his eyes downfield. Fooled, at times, by surprise blitzes, but effectively checked down to secondary options and threw the ball away when necessary. Natural poise in the pocket. Will step up and take a hit to complete the pass. Good zip for short and intermediate targets. Leads the receiver well on deeper passes, consistently placing the ball where his receiver can catch it cleanly and get upfield for extra yardage. Underrated mobility. Escaped the pocket several times, including on his signature play of the night. Escaped the rush from three oncoming Giants, located Stuckey at approximately the twelve yard-line and fired a pass to him just as Osi Umenyiora knocked him back. The throw required a good deal of arm strength, since Sanchez's was unable to step into the throw due to the pressure and didn't have the benefit of a great deal of follow-through with Umenyiora bearing down on him.

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