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Tag:Ron Zook
Posted on: July 14, 2010 6:57 pm
 

Price-Brent's stock rising; Unga's 'settling'

With less than 24 hours before the NFL's annual Supplemental draft I polled various league sources to find all of the latest buzz surrounding its four applicants and the NFL teams likely to get involved.

Though BYU running back Harvey Unga has generated most of the pre-draft hype, I'm told it could be Illinois defensive tackle Joshua Price-Brent who is drafted first.

There are a few clubs thought to be quite high on the former Illinois standout. There is talk that Price-Brent is earning 4th round grades from some scouts -- though I'd be surprised, quite frankly, if any player was picked this high. Detroit, New Orleans, San Francisco, St. Louis and Green Bay are all thought to be interested. The value of the defensive tackle position, Price-Brent's size (6-2, 321) and his 20 career starts under respected coach Ron Zook were all given as reasons why the big run-stuffer is generating some late buzz.

Unga's stock, on the other hand, was characterized as "settling" by one league source.

Unga's production and strong running speak for themselves, but his 4.63-4.73 second times in the 40-yard dash at his July 8 Pro Day and lingering right ankle sprain only added to the perception that he was too slow and injury-prone to ever be a full-time back in the NFL. Few teams are willing to invest anything more than a very late pick in a running back specialist this close to training camp -- and a specialist is exactly how some scouts are characterizing the three-time Mountain West Conference honoree.

I'm hearing 6th-7th round for Unga with Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Miami having all expressed some interest. There is some talk Unga could slip out of the draft, entirely. If he did so, I was assured he'd have several teams offering him a free agent contract.

The forecast doesn't appear to be as warm for the two other players eligible to be selected in Thursday's draft.

There doesn't seem to be a great deal of interest brewing for running backs Vanness Emokpae (Truman State) and Quentin Castille.
Posted on: July 8, 2010 12:48 pm
 

Putting DT Brent-Price's workout in perspective

Former Illinois defensive tackle Joshua Brent-Price worked out for 18 teams yesterday in the hopes of getting picked in the NFL's Supplemental draft July 15. According to NFL.com's Gil Brandt , Brent-Price measured in at 6-1 3/4 and 321 pounds. Though his numbers throughout the workout were, as I show below, relatively average in comparison to the defensive tackles tested at last February's Combine, Brent-Price's workout was characterized by Brandt's unnamed sources as being "very good."

There were five defensive tackles tested at the Combine who weighed as much or more than Brent-Price. Those five -- Aleric Mullins (321), Dan Williams (327), Linval Joseph (328), Cam Thomas (330), and, of course, Terrance Cody (354).

Brent-Price was clocked in the 40-yard dash at 5.38 seconds, according to Brandt. Of the five, only Cody (5.72) ran slower. Cody's 5.72 was the slowest recorded time of any prospect at the 2010 Combine.

Perhaps a greater concern to scouts than Brent-Price's marginal speed was his disappointing strength. With only 22 reps of 225 pounds, the former Illini defender paled in comparison to the afore-mentioned DTs at the 2010 Combine. In fact, there wasn't a single defensive tackle invited to last year's Combine who weighed more than 295 pounds that failed to lift more than Brent-Price.

To Brent-Price's credit, he was more impressive in the leaping drills (8'10 standing broad, 29" vertical) than many of the similarly built DTs of last April's draft. Then again, scouts know Brent-Price is athletic; what they want to see is the dedication to remaining in shape, gaining strength and focusing on his responsibilities -- areas in which his weight, relative lack of foot speed and upper body strength and tendency to get in trouble off the field have drawn concerns.

Brent-Price recorded 29 tackles, seven tackles for loss and forced three fumbles last year. He served 30 days in jail a year ago for a DUI and was suspended for the team for academics this year, leading to his application for admission into the supplemental draft.

Clearly, Brent-Price has enough athleticism and size for NFL teams to consider him. The fact that he plays such an important position, played under a respected head coach with NFL experience in Ron Zook and signed with an agent (Peter Schaeffer) well respected in NFL circles gives him a chance to get drafted in the final two rounds July 15.
 
 
 
 
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