Tag:Rex Ryan
Posted on: March 8, 2012 7:57 pm
 

TE Allen doesn't run at ProDay after slow Combine

Top-ranked tight end Dwayne Allen didn't attract attention for what he did at Clemson's Pro Day on Thursday, but rather for what he didn't do.

   Allen, who clocked an unimpressive 4.89 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month, didn't even run the 40 this time.
   "I'm not a track guy - I'm a football player," Allen said. "Just watch me on film. If you watch me on film, I play way faster, and that's all that matters."
   Many of the 44 NFL personnel on hand for Allen's workout might agree, including New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, who met with Allen at the NFL Combine and was present again at Clemson.
   Allen, the reigning Mackey Award winner who is forgoing his senior season to enter the draft, still projects as one of if not the top tight end available.
   He had 50 catches, including eight for touchdowns, last season, and although he may not be the fastest straight-line runner, some consider him to be the best combination of size, speed, hands and blocking ability.

   --DE Andre Branch (6-4, 259) is another potential first-round pick, currently ranked as the No. 4 defensive end by NFLDraftScout.com.
   He was inconsistent at times last season, showing a tendency to disappear from game to game. One week before 11 tackles, including six for loss and four sacks, in a win over Virginia Tech, he had just one tackle against Florida State.
   But Branch still wound up leading the ACC with 10.5 sacks and making 85 tackles. Scouts love his size, length and explosive burst as well as his versatility - he could be effective in either a 4-3 or 3-4 set. He's coveted for his pass-rush ability.
   Branch, who like Allen is a potential first-round pick, also chose not to run the 40, instead standing on his impressive 4.70 clocking at the NFL Combine.
   "I just wanted to show my versatility today," said Branch, who said he's had contact with about 20 NFL teams. "It's pretty stressful because you want to be great, but at the same time this is what you live for."

   --DT Brandon Thompson (6-2, 316) may have done more than anyone else to impress scouts at Clemson's Pro Day, including clocking a 4.9 time in the 40 that prompted cheers from many on hand.
   "I think I helped myself," Thompson said.
   Not that he needed much help - scouts have been high on Thompson since he emerged as a standout run-stopper up the middle two seasons ago and continued to enhance his stock last season, when he had 77 tackles and a team-high 18 quarterback pressures.
   At 6-2, he's considered "stumpy" and not as versatile as some other top-notch defensive linemen by some scouts, but most are impressed by his "elite burst" off the snap as well as his aggressiveness and consistency.
   "He goes hard all the time," one scout said.

   --FB Chad Diehl (6-2, 260) took a hard blow to the head during Senior Bowl practice and missed that all-star game, then got a double dose of disappointment when he didn't receive an invitation to the NFL Combine.
   So Clemson's Pro Day was a chance for him to shine, and the burly back came through with a 31-inch vertical jump, a 4.9 40 and 28 reps of 225 pounds -- numbers good enough to reaffirm his status as one of the top five fullbacks available in the draft.
   He may be hurt by the fact that few NFL teams use traditional fullbacks, particularly those with limited pass-catching skills, but his ability to overpower defenders at the point of attack is unquestioned.
   Diehl may be a late-round pick or may have to go the free-agent route, but is bound to end up sticking on a roster somewhere after proving his worth as a special teams player.

Posted on: August 19, 2010 12:23 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 12:23 pm
 

NFLDraftScout.com Radio, Parts 1 and 2

If you like NFLDraftScout.com's year-round coverage of college and pro football and especially the NFL Draft, you may want to check out our two latest ventures onto the radio airwaves.

My fellow draft analysts Chris Steuber and Chad Reuter introduced our new series "Setting The Board" on NFLDraftScout.com radio just last night. The show, which airs each Wednesday night at 6pm EST and offers listeners a live call-in, is off to a rocking start. The topics last night range from Rex Ryan's obscenity-filled theatrics on HBO's Hard Knocks to Tim Tebow's first NFL test to the real meat and potatoes of our content -- checking out the prospective NFL talent across the country.

Last night's show focused on the senior prospects on the offensive side of the ball, including a debate as to which of the top quarterbacks -- Washington's Jake Locker or Florida State's Christian Ponder -- is the most pro-ready.

In case you weren't able to listen in live or simply want to listen again, you can check it out by either following the prominent NFLDraftScout.com radio link on the right side of our main page here or simply by clicking on this link to go directly to our UStream link.

For those of you that would like to listen to me yap a bit, as well, I'll be co-hosting with Ian Furness on Seattle's 950 KJR AM today from 4-6 pm EST. KJR's website offers a "Listen Live" feature off their main page and toll-free numbers to call in and talk with us.

Live at the Seattle Seahawks' training camp, listeners can expect a great deal of talk centering on Pete Carroll's bunch, but Ian and I often break down college prospects that the Seahawks and every other NFL team are certain to be keeping an eye on. In fact, Ian and I broke down prospects on KJR each Friday last fall and plan to do the same this year, as well.

I hope you'll find the time to join us NFLDraftScout.com radio in the future. If you're like us -- and can't live without draft talk even nine months away from the event -- this is the place to be.



Posted on: August 12, 2010 9:29 pm
 

Promising rookie gets "Hard Knocks" in HBO debut

Kevin Basped left the University of Nevada after a junior season in which he was recognized as a Second-Team All-WAC performer with 9.5 sacks.

Possessing a legitimate burst off the snap and as impressive a physique as any player in the 2010 draft, Basped was viewed as a potential mid round pick. I was told that he'd impress in workouts (and he did) posting a 4.75 second time in the 40-yard dash and lifting 225 pounds 26 times at the Combine while measuring in at 6-5, 258 pounds.

Teams operating out of a 3-4 alignment liked him as a rush linebacker. Teams using the 4-3 were impressed enough with his speed to consider him as a potential SAM convert, but thought he'd probably perform best remaining at the defensive end position he'd starred at while with the Wolf Pack. Along with Dontay Moch, an intriguing DE/OLB himself, Basped helped provide Nevada with one of the country's most formidable pass rushes.

With such obvious upside, I was very surprised to see Basped fall completely out of the draft.

Last night on the initial episode of HBO's fabulous series Hard Knocks , we learned why.

Basped's knees, at least according to Jets' doctors, were enough of a concern to release him. Head coach Rex Ryan and others had lauded Basped on a couple of occasions earlier in the show -- both for his play on the field and his toughness in dealing with the knee pain -- but the potential for Basped to be seriously injured and force the Jets to give him an injury settlement was apparently too much to bear.

Basped, who was signed by the Jets as an unrestricted free agent following the draft, was officially released August 8. The release didn't generate much national attention.

With the hype surrounding the inside look into the Jets' training camp via Hard Knocks , however, the sad reality of the NFL was on display for all to see.

Here's hoping that Basped is able -- through surgery or rehabilitation -- to get another shot at the NFL.
Posted on: September 7, 2009 1:59 pm
 

Starting Stafford a huge gamble for the Lions

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz announced after practice today that #1 overall pick Matthew Stafford will be the starter over veteran Duante Culpepper for Week One against the Saints.

Schwartz, like the head coach of any team that used a first round pick on a quarterback, is in a tough spot. The financial commitment made to Stafford forces the team to consider using him, even if he isn't necessarily ready. This isn't to say that Stafford isn't. He is as physically talented as any quarterback I've scouted in the 10+ years I've been doing this. His mental toughness and poise consistently impressed me throughout his collegiate career and in the workouts leading up to the draft.

I believe, however, that the greatest single reason why there continue to be so many first round busts at quarterback is that too many rookies are thrown into the fire. I do not believe the success from Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco last season are reason enough to believe that rookie quarterbacks are suddenly more ready for the rigors of an NFL season. Atlanta and Baltimore had the luxury of strong running games and defenses to foster development of a young passer. Detroit hasn't yet shown either. The New York Jets, on the other hand, do have these factors working in the favor of Mark Sanchez. Should the Jets capitalize on their talent and the enthusiasm Rex Ryan has brought to the franchise by winning early with Sanchez, the pressure will only increase on Stafford to duplicate the success. Some will question if Sanchez shouldn't then have been the #1 pick rather than Stafford.

I believe Stafford has the tools to be a successful NFL quarterback -- someday perhaps even a Pro Bowl quarterback. And I certainly understand the impulse to start him now and allow him to develop a relationship with Calvin Johnson and the rest of the starting Lions.

But for a quarterback who completed 54.5% of his passes over the preseason with a touchdown to interception ratio of 1-4 over four preseason games, it might be too soon. 

And starting any rookie quarterback too soon is a huge gamble.   
Posted on: March 21, 2009 4:12 pm
 

Barden impressive, but Jarron Gilbert more so...

 

 Cal Poly wideout Ramses Barden is getting most of the media attention due to another solid peformance, but the word among scouts is that Spartans' defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert was the most impressive player at the San Jose State-Cal Poly-etc. Pro Day that occurred Friday.

Twenty seven teams were represented at the workout, including head coaches Rex Ryan of the New York Jets and John Fox of the Carolina Panthers.

Gilbert was the most impressive of the bunch, turning in a 4.76 40-yard dash at 6-5, 284 pounds. He also improved upon his already impressive Combine performances in the broad jump (10'7"), vertical (37"), short shuttle (4.40) and 3-cone (7.59).

Typically, the collegiate coaches or scouts will put the players through the workouts. This workout was different, however, as Ryan took over the DL drills and worked Gilbert especially hard. Gilbert would seem to be a perfect fit in the Jets' 3-4 scheme at defensive end. The Jets will have plenty of competition in landing Gilbert's services, however, as he's lined up several private workouts already, including: Detroit, Dallas, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Atlanta. 

Cal Poly wideout Ramses Barden was impressive, generating interest from several teams later in the workout. Fox seemed quite interested. The 6-6, 227 pound receiver looked fluid in drills and was timed in the 4.50-4.56 range in the 40-yard dash.

Watch out for San Jose State cornerbacks Coye Francies and Christopher Owens, two players I've mentioned repeatedly in Rang's Gang and Diamond in the Rough articles. Francies again was disappointing in the 40-yard dash, running in the 4.59-4.65 range, though it was obvious to those in attendance that he was gutting it out with a sprained ankle or other lower leg injury. He has good agility, however, and not only showed on film that he can play, but was among the more impressive corners at the Senior Bowl.

Christopher Owens, on the other hand, looked great in drills. Fellow senior analyst Chad Reuter pointed out that Owens looked good in a previous writeup from the Texas vs. Nation game and he also helped himself at the Combine, but Friday, Owens (5-10, 177) was even better, clocking in at a 4.40 and showcasing better explosiveness out of his broad jump (10') and vertical (35").

 
 
 
 
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