Tag:Sergio Kindle
Posted on: August 15, 2010 1:03 pm
 

Ben Tate most critical rookie loss so far

The physical nature of the game means that there will always be injuries. Considering that they are making the greatest jump in talent of their lives, often the players most susceptible to injury are rookies.

Despite the hype of the draft, only a small portion of rookies are expected by their respective clubs to provide a true immediate and consistent impact.

The Houston Texans, however, were certainly hoping to gain exactly that from second round pick Ben Tate.

Unfortunately, after only his second carry of the game -- a 12 yard burst on the Texans' first drive of the second half -- Tate suffered a severe lower leg injury and had to be carted off the field.

The injury, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter) is believed to be a broken ankle , which would end Tate's season.

The Texans had hoped that Tate would solidify a running game that has struggled with inconsistency throughout the franchise's nine-year history. Veterans Arian Foster and Steve Slaton had most recently flashed in a starting role for Houston, but in investing the No. 58 overall choice in Tate, clearly Gary Kubiak and his staff were hoping the former Auburn star would provide some consistency to the position.

Unfortunately, there have already been some ugly injuries to highly-drafted rookies. The Ravens and Giants may have lost their second and third round picks, OLB Sergio Kindle and S Chad Jones for the year (and more) with scary off-field incidents. The Jaguars lost third round DT D'Anthony Smith to an Achilles tear. Tennessee lost undrafted free agent running back Stafon Johnson to an dislocated ankle just last night.

None of these players, however, were in Tate's position to compete for a prominent role immediately.
Posted on: July 27, 2010 10:19 am
Edited on: July 27, 2010 6:35 pm
 

As promised, my SEC notes after film review

After a short hiatus to the coast of Washington State to chase the elusive chinook salmon, here are the SEC film room notes I had promised.

Again, I fully recognize that there have been many off-field stories that have broken recently -- the ongoing NCAA investigations , important rookie signings and, unfortunately, the terrible accident that fractured the skull of Baltimore pass rusher Sergio Kindle, thereby endangering his rookie season and perhaps even his NFL career. 
There are so many off-field news stories right now that I am trying to focus on the action that takes places between the white lines. I posted my thoughts on what surprised/disappointed/impressed me after my initial review of ACC prospects a few days ago.

Here are my thoughts after scouting the top senior prospects in the SEC.

  • In the opinion of many NFL scouts, the essential difference between the SEC and the rest of college football is the different talent and depth the Southeastern Conference boasts along the defensive line. Though a few teams have narrowed the gap (North Carolina and Pittsburgh chief among them), the SEC again is loaded up front with run-stuffers and pass-rushers. Mississippi nose guard Jerrell Powe is currently our top-ranked prospect from the conference. He is quickly followed by pass rushers Pernell McPhee (Mississippi State) and Cliff Saunders (South Carolina). Powe has been often compared to former Boston College standout (and current Green Bay Packer) B.J. Raji for his stout presence in the middle. Like Raji, who missed the 2007 season due to academic suspension, Powe has struggled to keep his grades in check. In fact, he was deemed ineligible three consecutive years from 2005-2007. NFL teams will no doubt take Powe's academic struggles in mind when determining his final grade. What is obvious on film, however, is that he is a talented player who could physically compete immediately in the NFL.
  • The defensive line is typically what the SEC is known for, but this year the unique talent in the conference comes along the offensive line and at tight end. My fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter broke down the conference's depth up front in a feature article here . No fewer than eight senior SEC offensive linemen are currently viewed as potential draft-worhty prospects. The conference also boasts NFLDraftScout.com's top three rated senior tight ends in South Carolina's Weslye Saunders, Tennessee's Luke Stocker and Arkansas' D.J. Williams. I was a bit underwhelmed with each of them, quite frankly. Saunders (6-5, 272) has incredible size and surprising overall athleticism, but isn't the speed threat most of today's NFL teams are looking for. Williams, at 6-2, 244 pounds, has some speed and is a tenacious blocker considering his size, but simply lacks the bulk for most clubs. The most well-rounded of the bunch is the 6-5, 252 pound Stocker, though he doesn't possess any skills on film that left me wowed, either.
  • Considering that they're the defending National Champions, it might surprise you to learn how few of the SEC's highly rated prospects play for Alabama. In defense of the Crimson Tide, many of their top-rated prospects who would be seniors this year elected to leave early (ILB Rolando McClain, CB Kareem Jackson, etc.). Furthermore, their depth and coaching is so good that some seniors seeing the field extensively for the first time in 2010 will no doubt emerge as legitimate prospects. However, at this point, NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated senior Crimson Tide prospect is left tackle James Carpenter, currently viewed as a 3rd-4th round prospect -- and one likely to have make the transition inside to guard. Quarterback Greg McElroy, rated as a 6th-7th round prospect is next. Of course, considering the draft-eligible underclassmen on this team (Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, Marcel Dareus, etc.), the Tide rolls on.
  • Speaking of Alabama, with all due respect to Heisman winner Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson is a fabulous NFL prospect in his own right. One that I feel could have been similarly productive in Alabama's offense had been given Ingram's attempts. Luckily for Nick Saban and Tide fans, as a true sophomore, Richardson has at least two more seasons in Tuscaloosa. He flashed first round talent as a true freshman...
  • Though I wouldn't rank them among the elite prospects in the conference just yet, a few players did flash on film that haven't generated a lot national attention just yet. I mentioned Alabama's Carpenter earlier. Auburn running back Mario Fannin is a terrific receiver who has popped off the tape throughout his career, but has never been able to string together the dominant season his skill-set seems capable of producing. Fannin has struggled with fumbles and injuries early in his career, but, if over both, could enjoy a breakout campaign in 2010. Kentucky wide receiver Chris Matthews, at 6-5, 222 pounds, surprised me with good body control and enough acceleration to think he could surprise, as well.
  • One final note on the SEC prospects... I typically reserve comments for senior prospects, but Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett is an obvious NFL prospect regardless of when he leaves the Razorbacks. However, I wasn't as wowed by Mallett as some apparently are. His 6-6, 238 pound frame is considered a positive by most, though his long legs and only moderate foot speed/balance concern me. Mallett has a gun and can make some dazzling throws, but at least some of his success has to be attributed to Bobby Petrino's wide-open offense. Remember, this is the same offense that convinced many of us that former Louisville standout Brian Brohm was one day going to be an NFL star. With two years of remaining eligibility, Mallett has plenty of time to iron out some wrinkles to his game, but I, for one, feel he's being a bit overrated right now... 

Posted on: April 23, 2010 11:38 am
 

Red-flagged medicals led to Kindle, Brown's slips

While Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen and USC safety Taylor Mays slipping out of the first round will generate much more attention, the two players I was more surprised to see slip out are receiving considerably less fanfare.

Texas pass rusher Sergio Kindle was being graded by some clubs as the best 3-4 rush linebacker in this class. I've spoken to teams who operate out of a 4-3 alignment that were convinced he could hold up as a defensive end in their scheme, as well, and had given him a first round grade.

Similarly, USC left tackle Charles Brown had been rising up draft boards. Brown had turned down the opportunity to play in the Senior Bowl due in part to the assurances he'd been receiving from teams that he was already a first round lock. The former tight end has the footwork that teams want in a blindside pass protector and had gained considerable strength and tenacity as a senior, his second season as the Trojan's left tackle after taking over for former All-American and first round pick, Sam Baker.

So what gives?

I'm told some teams had red-flagged each player for previous injuries.

Kindle has had multiple knee injuries in the past, drawing an equivalent of a "D" (on a typical A-F) scale grade for at least one team. It also didn't help that teams were concerned about off-field decision-making with Kindle, as he was arrested for a DUI in 2007 and ran his car into a Austin, Texas apartment while text messaging in 2009.

Brown missed no games over his two starting seasons with the Trojans, but his back was red-flagged by some clubs.

Sources were "a little bit" surprised to see both slip out of the first and acknowledged that each "should go quick" on Friday.


Posted on: April 22, 2010 11:15 pm
 

Big names slipping top story of the 1st Round

For many, the biggest story of the first round will be Tim Tebow. Or the jump of Tyson Alualu. Or the high number of trades. The fact that seven defensive backs made the first round. The "second" run on offensive tackles that many (including myself) had projected never materializing...
However, the most surprising result might be how three of the most well known names in college football slipped completely out of the top 32.

Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen, USC's Taylor Mays, and Texas' Sergio Kindle entered the draft viewed by some as three of the "safer" picks to make the first round. While Clausen and Mays, in particular, were projected by many to slip, few thought they'd actually slip out of the first round entirely.

If the NFL had hoped to build drama for their Friday coverage, they couldn't have hoped for much more of a story. Many of the most recognizable players in the draft are still waiting to hear their names called.


Posted on: March 31, 2010 2:34 pm
 

Early results from Texas Pro Day

Many of the big names that I saw at Oklahoma continued their Pro Day trek yesterday to Lufkin, Texas to see Dez Bryant and now are on hand in Austin to watch the Longhorns' draft-eligible prospects. There are 30 teams total present.

All eyes will be on Colt McCoy, though he is still throwing for scouts, according to a source on the scene.

The early winners of the day are safety Earl Thomas, who was clocked in the mid 4.3s and wide receiver Jordan Shipley, who was timed in the mid 4.5s.

Thomas has looked very fluid in drills, according to the source, and is gaining momentum as a candidate to switch to cornerback in the NFL.

Shipley's times are especially important, as he was surprisingly disappointing at the Combine. He had a couple of uncharacteristic drops and was clocked at 4.65 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Pass rusher Sergio Kindle, a potential first round prospect, elected not to run the 40-yard, but his fluidity in linebacker drills earned rave reviews from scouts on hand. Kindle, 6-3, 249 pounds, also worked out as a defensive lineman.
Posted on: March 3, 2010 2:13 pm
 

Hybrid pass rushers ease concerns at Combine

With only three D-I teams (Alabama, Virginia, Cal) using the 3-4 as their last year base defense last year, NFL teams looking for rush linebackers to fit this scheme are being forced to consider how pass rushing defensive ends from the 4-3 will convert.

Taking some of the guess work out of the process, 34 (out of 39) defensive ends tested at the Combine also did linebacker drills.

Scouts leaving Indianapolis yesterday told me that former defensive ends Sergio Kindle (Texas), Jerry Hughes (TCU), Everson Griffen (USC), Ricky Sapp (Clemson), and Thaddeus Gibson (Ohio State) were the most impressive of the conversion bunch. The fact that there were so many who did so has scouts excited that some of these young pass rushers will be able to make an immediate impact as rookies.

Kindle, who has experience at linebacker and is widely viewed as one of the draft's better all-around athletes, was not a surprise. Griffen, also viewed as an elite athlete, also was expected to perform well. Scouts felt that each were so athletic, in fact, that some question why they weren't more productive during their collegiate careers.

Sapp needed a strong workout to ease teams' concerns about his surgically repaired knee.

The more impactful workouts may have been had by Hughes and Gibson.

Hughes (6-2, 255) gambled by not attending the Senior Bowl, but may have proven he made a wiser decision in prepping for workouts. Scouts clocked him in the low 4.6s in the 40-yard dash and he also impressed in linebacker drills, as well as the 3-cone and 20 yard shuttle, each of which are designed to test how well an athlete changes directions -- typically areas of concern for DEs making the conversion to OLB.

Gibson (6-2, 243) is less known to scouts due to the fact that he left by Ohio State after his junior season. Gibson proved his agility by leading all defensive linemen (and finishing 3rd among linebackers) in the 3-cone drill (6.84 seconds), while also posting solid numbers in the short shuttle, 40-yard dash and bench press.





Posted on: February 17, 2010 1:08 pm
 

Suh looking forward to working out in Indy

I spoke to Ndamukong Suh yesterday for an article on his and other prospects' preparation for the pre-draft workouts. Unlike most of the top talents of recent years, Suh is fully planning on taking advantage of the hundreds of scouts attending the Combine and will work out there.

"I plan on doing every last bit of that Combine," Suh told me during a phone interview. "I'm looking forward to all of the drills; taking care of business in every last piece of that. I'm not going to shy away from anything. The only way I wouldn't do that would be if I wasn't 100% with my body."

Suh went on to explain that he is at 100% and essentially has been all year long, aside from "some bumps and bruises during the season."

As impressive as I expect Suh to be in workouts, his time to shine might be in front of the podium during the media and team interviews. Suh is much more cerebral and soft-spoken than the ferocity of his game and physicality of his position might lead one to believe. In a time when every front office asks themselves if their first round pick is truly someone that can be "the face of the franchise," Suh will impress.

Suh has been training with former Olympian Michael Johnson at the Michael Johnson Performance Center just outside of Dallas, Texas. Among the other notables training there are Texas' Sergio Kindle, LSU receiver Brandon LaFell, Mississippi's Greg Hardy and Dexter McCluster and Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer.
Posted on: February 11, 2010 6:11 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2010 6:14 pm
 

Michael Johnson Performance Boasts Big Names

I traveled last year to Athletes Performance Institute in Tempe, Arizona to get a firsthand look at the training that goes on prior the Combine. Following this trip, I also spoke to gold medal winner and world record holder Michael Johnson about the performance center which bears his name and his work with high profile NFL prospects prior to the Combine.

Johnson boasted an impressive class last year, including first round picks Michael Crabtree, Knowshon Moreno and Brandon Pettigrew.

Some of his detractors were quick to point out that Moreno and Pettigrew were disappointingly slow in workouts and that Crabtree, Johnson's most celebrated prospect, never did work out for scouts.

Those detractors must not have carried much weight, however, as Johnson boasts an impressive group of prospects this year -- even more impressive than last's year's crop.

Among those signed up to work with Johnson is Ndamukong Suh, LSU wide receiver Brandon LaFell, Georgia Tech running back Jonathan Dwyer, Texas pass rusher Sergio Kindle, Kansas wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe, Mississippi defensive end Greg Hardy and his former teammate, Dexter McCluster, among others.

A strong showing by these athletes in workouts this year not only will boost their own stock, it could further improve Michael Johnson's profile within the pre-combine training community.

 
 
 
 
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