Posted on: August 9, 2010 8:24 pm
NFLDraftScout.com will soon be continuing our series of articles previewing the top ten prospects for each of the major conferences. My fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter began the process by listing the top ten prospects of non-BCS conferences in an article here.
I drew the SEC among my four conference previews. As part of the previews, we decided to do a feature article on one senior prospect from each conference that we felt were not only potentially top prospects for the 2011 NFL draft, but interesting stories, as well. Chad featured Troy wideout Jernell Jernigan , a quality slot receiver prospect with verified 4.3 speed, for the non-BCS story.
The supremely talented SEC is always fertile grounds for quality prospects. I considered LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, as well as offensive tackles Demarcus Love (Arkansas) and Derrek Sherrod (Mississippi State), but instead elected to go with the player I felt was the most physically dominant prospect in the conference -- Mississippi defensive tackle Jerrell Powe.
The 6-2, 313 pound (weighed yesterday) Powe was an entertaining interview. His enthusiasm for improving his own game and that of the Ole Miss football team, as a whole, was obvious and clearly heart-felt.
I can't give away all of the details of the story here. His past academic and weight struggles, relationships with former Ole Miss stars Michael Oher, Peria Jerry and Jamarca Sanford and why he elected to come back for his senior season are all covered in the story.
Perhaps the most interesting element of the interview, however, came when I asked him about former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli signing with Ole Miss. Some have questioned Houston Nutt's decision to add Masoli. Some believe Masoli's checkered past will be just another distraction for a team that struggled last year amid big expectations.
Powe, however, could hardly contain his excitement.
"I'm excited. Very excited," he told me in a phone interview this morning prior to practice. "We just got done with a team run and some of the other guys on the team had been on Twitter and Facebook and all that mess and they were saying that Jeremiah Masoli was going to be coming here. I got a chance last year a couple of times to watch him play and I've never seen anyone run the zone-read the way he runs it. So me and some of the other seniors, went to the coaches like, 'Hey, we've got to go get this guy.'"
The articles -- my SEC preview and the feature on Powe -- are currently scheduled to run on NFLDraftScout.com Thursday.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 6:52 pm
The Falcons addressed their need for a defensive tackle with Peria Jerry, putting Miami on the clock.
The Dolphins have needs at pass rusher (OLB), cornerback and wide receiver. Given the way this mock has gone, I'd be surprised by a receiver pick here. I've been told the Dolphins are not as high on Clay Matthews as many have suggested.
A. Rey Maualuga, ILB, USC
B. Clay Matthews, OLB, USC
C. Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
D. Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
E. Paul Kruger, DE, Utah
The Dolphins are quite high on Utah defensive end Paul Kruger and could take him here, as well. Most teams view him as a 2nd round pick.
The Dolphins took Davis... who I projected to go one pick later -- 26th overall to the Ravens in my final mock.
The Patriots are now on the clock. They, like the Dolphins, have needs at CB and OLB. Matthews and Butler are possibilities. Don't be surprised by a Beanie Wells or Donald Brown selection, either.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 6:40 pm
The Falcons are on the clock and word I've heard is that they're split on CB Darius Butler and DTs Ziggy Hood and Peria Jerry.
I believe the pick will be Hood, whose size and work ethic impressed the Falcons' staff.
Posted on: April 25, 2009 6:23 pm
Earlier today I was asked to compare Jeremy Maclin to an NFL receiver and I described him as a better version of Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson... Looks like we'll see how that comparison holds up, with the Eagles taking the versatile playmaker in a trade up.
The Lions are now on the clock and are in position to take the OT Michael Oher, if they'd like. The Lions are also in real need of a DT, so watch out for Peria Jerry or Ziggy Hood. The ILB Maualuga makes a great deal of sense, as well... ILB might be the team's biggest area of weakness, but teams are up and down on Maualuga, whose off-field concerns are significant.
Instead the Lions take Brandon Pettigrew, who gives the Lions an immediate target over the middle and a stout, physical presence as a blocker in the running game...
Perhaps I should have listened to my own advice. Most of my "safe" picks are flying off the board right now, whereas potential character concerns (Oher, Maualuga, Harvin, etc) are slipping...
The Browns -- AGAIN -- are on the clock and should consider Beanie Wells at this spot. Just too much talent at this point.
Posted on: March 26, 2009 9:37 pm
Michael Oher had been characterized as slipping down draft boards after only a so-so performance in drills and interviews while at the Combine.
His teammate, defensive tackle Peria Jerry, likewise was slipping after not being able workout in Indianapolis due to a pulled left hamstring.
Both boosted their stock with impressive showings Thursday at the Mississippi Pro Day. Oher and Jerry's rare foot quickness stood out to scouts on film and on the field at the Senior Bowl. It did on Thursday in front of an estimated 65 scouts -- representing every team in the league -- as well.
Oher, despite working out at the Combine, was characterized by one scout attending the workout as "the star of the show." Oher, 6-5, 306 pounds shaved nearly two-tenths of a second off of his 40-yard dash time from Indianapolis, going from a 5.32 to a 5.14, according to the watch of the scout. Oher also lifted the 225 bar 25 times, though two of the attempts were not allowed by scouts because he didn't lock-out. Still, the 23 repetitions was two more than he had lifted at the Combine.
Peria Jerry was still hampered a bit by the hamstring injury and only ran the 40-yard dash once Thursday, but the 4.94 time he recorded (according to the scout) was faster than any defensive tackle as heavy as Jerry (6-2, 290) at the Combine. Jerry was just as impressive in the short shuttle (4.64) and 3-cone drill (7.30), demonstrating the agility and burst that caused him to be one of the most talked-about prospects in Mobile. Jerry also recorded a 31-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot, 6-inch broad jump. His 28 bench press reps were also impressive.
Ole Miss has several other NFL prospects of note. Wide receiver Mike Wallace elected not to perform any timed drills Thursday, after proving his unique blend of size and speed at the Combine. The 6-0, 199 pounder was timed in the 4.3s in Indianapolis and had a 40" vertical there, but did help his cause Thursday by running surprisingly crisp routes, according to the scout, and catching every pass thrown to him in drills. One of the knocks on Wallace is that he remains a bit of a track guy in pads, so catching the ball cleanly is sure to boost his stock with scouts.
Safety Jamarca Sanford (5-10, 209) showcased better speed (4.45) Thursday than he had in Indianapolis (4.50) and again proved his rare strength, lifting the bar 26 times. Sanford finished behind only USC safety-linebacker hybrid Kevin Ellison at the Combine with 29 reps.
One more note on Oher... NFLDraftScout.com ranked Oher as the top senior prospect in the country for much of the 2008 season and despite other analysts questioning if he'll even make the first round, I've stuck with him. The lowest I've had him go in any mock draft is 13th overall. There is a possibility that the questions about his consistency will drop him lower, but Oher's size, athleticism and dominance against what I believe to be the most talented conference in the college football makes him an underrated talent in my book. I believe he is a potential Pro Bowl left tackle -- and those players deserve high early first round consideration.
Posted on: February 27, 2009 11:18 pm
Strong performances at the Senior Bowl and Combine already had the stocks of defensive tackles B.J. Raji, Peria Jerry and Ziggy Hood on the rise, but the monstrous contract given to Albert Haynesworth by the Washington Redskins just provides another example of the value of the position.
Raji could stand to make the most out of the deal. Scouts across the league had consistently been ranking him as a top 15 player due to his bulk and strength, but he was considered too slow-footed to make a real impact as a 4-3 under tackle, the premium tackle position in the defensive scheme preferred by most NFL teams. However, after scouts clocked him in the 5.05-5.15 range at 6-2, 334 pounds at the Combine, scouts no are wondering if he does, indeed, have the agility to handle this position. The ability to play inside in both the 3-4 and 4-3 could lead to Raji's stock to soar. I have him at #7 in my current mock draft and there are some who believe he'll end up in the top five by draft day.
Hood has enjoyed a similar jump up the board in recent weeks. While not as dominant as Raji, Hood is among the more consistent defensive linemen in the draft. He is earning late first round marks from several teams.