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Tag:Syd'Quan Thompson
Posted on: March 10, 2010 6:20 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2010 11:45 pm
 

Syd'Quan Slooow at Cal Pro Day

In electing not to run the 40-yard dash at the Combine, California cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson put a great deal of pressure on himself to perform well during his Pro Day.

Unfortunately, that gamble didn't pay off Wednesday, as the all-conference cornerback pulled a hamstring on his first attempt and was unofficially timed between 4.65 and 4.73, according to those in attendance.

The poor times are reminiscient of another highly touted Cal defensive back, the former Daymeion Hughes (who now goes by the name Dante Hughes), who, after an impressive career for the Golden Bears and strong Senior Bowl effort, was surprisingly slow in workouts, clocking in at 4.65 at the Combine in 2007.

While Thompson struggled, his fellow first-team all-Pac-10 and Senior Bowl standout Tyson Alualu may have helped his stock. The versatile defensive lineman improved in the bench press (24 reps) and the short-shuttle (4.25) from his efforts at the Combine (21 reps, 4.46). 

Running back Jahvid Best, Cal's best prospect and a potential first round choice, elected not to do any drills after an eye-popping performance at the Combine, including a 4.35 running of the 40-yard dash -- the fastest timed recorded by any back.

There were 26 teams represented at the workout.


Posted on: January 29, 2010 12:26 pm
 

Honorable Mention Risers from Mobile

With over 100 players doing everything imaginable to impress scouts this week at the Senior Bowl, it was difficult to come up with just ten to list as Risers as part of our Senior Bowl Risers/Fallers article .

Conversations with a variety of front office executives, scouts and coaches on the flights back from Mobile helped me decide who to highlight in the final article. A few other names were tossed around, however, as players that moved up draft boards this week.

I'll call these players the Honorable Mention All-Riser Team from the Senior Bowl...

QB Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State: Had it not been for two interceptions to end Wednesday's practice, Robinson might have made the original article. He showed better zip than anticipated on intermediate routes and has the athleticism and intelligence to handle the conversion from the Cowboys' spread offense to a pro-style attack. Robinson doesn't have the big name of some of his peers, but some clubs feel he's a potential future starter that might still be on the board in the 3rd round.

RB Joique Bell, Wayne State (MI): Despite winning the Harlon Hill Trophy (the D-II equivalent of the Heisman), many scouts had not even heard of Bell, much less seen him in person. He'll need to prove as tough to tackle in the game, itself, but Bell showed scouts an intriguing combination of balance, burst and power in Mobile. His short-stride running style makes him appear to be runnig slower than he is, making DBs misjudge their angles on him.

WR Dorin Dickerson, Pittsburgh: Dickerson seemed to struggle from the conversion from tight end to wide receiver early this week, but scouts are less worried about initial impressions and more concerned with how a player improves throughout the practices. Dickerson blew by Cal cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson for an early score and showed good body control to make acrobatic catches out of poorly thrown passes.

OG Vladimir DuCasse, UMass: DuCasse was highlighted by several scouts as being a player to watch and an offensive line coach was eager to agree that the "Haitian Sensation" has a rare combination of size and athleticism that he'd love to work with. He proved quite raw in his technique in pass protection, however, and thus the higher-up executives wondered how long it might take for him to make an impact.

CB Chris Cook, Virginia: At nearly 6-2 and a solid 212 pounds, Cook doesn't fit every scheme. Scouts working for clubs operating out of a press cover foundation, however, found Cook to be very intriguing. He's physical at the point of attack and is smoother than his length would indicate. One scout compared him to Green Bay's Al Harris and pointed to Cook's experience in Al Groh's scheme as evidence that he'd be more ready to handle the complexity of an NFL defense than most rookie corners...

RB Lonyae Miller, Fresno State: Opportunities were few for Miller with the Bulldogs this season backing up Ryan Mathews, the nation's leading rusher, but he flashed the same explosive burst in Mobile that he had shown as a change of pace back in Fresno. Scouts are always looking for speed backs with the hands to help on 3rd down and while many of these jobs are going to smaller backs, that's because few have Miller's frame (5-11, 220) and acceleration.



Posted on: January 27, 2010 1:00 am
 

Review from Tuesday's North practice

With pending deadlines for various NFL draft projects looming, my editors are struggling to review my rambling, half-coherent notes from today's Senior Bowl practices onto the website quickly enough to satisfy some readers.

Rather than wait longer for them to catch up, here are my unedited notes from today's North practice. This was my first look at the North squad after spending yesterday scouting the South team. As such, I focused my attention on the North's quarterbacks, wide receivers and defensive backs.

With any further adieu...

NFL scouts came to Mobile hoping to see one of the quarterbacks emerge from the pack.

After two days of practice, they're still hoping.

Cincinnati's Tony Pike is the most gifted thrower of the class, demonstrating the arm-strength, accuracy to all levels of the field and mobility rare for a player of his 6-5 frame. The North's starter in each passing drill, Pike zipped passes through tight windows, consistently placed his deep outs low and wide so that only his man could get them and seemed increasingly comfortable dropping back from center.  Unfortunately, for each series of impressive throws, Pike would leave scouts scratching their heads with inaccurate passes, especially in the intermediate zones. Some of this is due to his not yet developing a rapport with his new teammates, as well as gusty conditions Tuesday. Some, however, is due to inconsistent footwork. Pike also has a tendency to rely upon his fastball, not showing enough touch on this day to fit the ball between the linebacker and safety.

Touch, however, is the one thing that Oregon State's Sean Canfield has been able to show. It is arm-strength, or rather lack thereof, that have scouts concerned. Canfield rode a breakout senior campaign into an invitation to the Senior Bowl, but has done little here to prove he has the arm necessary to be successful in the NFL. Canfield has to fully windup to get the ball to the sideline. Though the throws do get there, they arc and are slow in arriving, which will result in interceptions in the NFL. While the zip isn't there for the intermediate routes, Canfield was the North's most accurate deep ball passer due to impressive touch and good trajectory.

Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour lacks Pike's big arm, but was able to drive the ball with more authority than Canfield. He was the most erratic thrower on the day, however, struggling to hit his receivers in full stride. He's been limited thus far in practice, as he's been asked to remain strictly in the pocket. Without the threat of scrambling, LeFevour's less than ideal accuracy is being exposed a bit against the North's quality defensive backs.

Some of the North's quarterback issues are a result of inconsistent play from its receivers.

Small school wideout Andre Roberts (The Citadel) was the surprise standout among the South receiving corps Monday and Ohio's Taylor Price may be continuing the theme. The 6-0, 200 pound Price is quick off the snap and catches the ball cleanly.

The same could not be said for the North's two most highly touted receivers entering this week's practice; Cincinnati's Mardy Gilyard and Missouri's Danario Alexander. Gilyard dropped numerous passes today. These sudden struggles have only added to the questions about how his spindly frame and lack of upper body strength will hold up when pressed. The 6-5, 221 pound Alexander, on the other hand, has plenty of size. He'll need a system in the NFL that allows him to catch passes while on the move as he did when starring for the Tigers, as he has the straight-line speed to run away from cornerbacks, but is a long-strider than struggles to change directions and gain separation. Perhaps most disappointing is how often he's allowed passes into his chest-plate, resulting in some ugly drops. According to scouts in attendance at yesterday's North practice, Gilyard and Alexander were just as disappointing Monday. They'll need strong bounce-back Wednesday practices if they are to save their falling stock before most scouts leave.

Clemson's Jacoby Ford is proving among the more secure handed receivers at the Senior Bowl this week - a bit of a surprise to some who had labeled as only a big play threat. Though short, the 5-09, 181 pound Ford has good strength to gain his release off press and has the speed to eat up the cushion. He has impressed scouts so far this week with his ability to adjust to poorly thrown passes and haul in tough catches.
Pittsburgh's Dorin Dickerson was listed by the Senior Bowl at tight end, but played exclusively at wide receiver on Tuesday. He lacks the speed to challenge corners deep and, as such struggled generating consistent separation.

Inconsistent passing and catching has helped a strong roster of cornerbacks gain even more confidence.

My fellow senior analyst Chad Reuter characterized Boise State's Kyle Wilson as being the star at the position yesterday and the former Bronco only helped himself further with another strong performance. Blessed with great foot quickness, balance and the acceleration to catch up when beaten on a double-move, Wilson is gaining momentum here to be considered the best cover corner of this senior class and a potential first round pick. If he is to achieve this lofty grade, however, he'll need to prove more willing to come up in run support than he has been throughout much of his career in the WAC.

Rutgers' Devin McCourty and California's Syd'Quan Thompson have also helped their cause this week. McCourty has the agility and straight-line speed for man coverage. He breaks on the ball quickly and has the active hands to rip away passes at the last moment. Thomson (5-09, 182) lacks the size and straight-line speed teams want as a press corner, but his instincts and physicality make him arguably the draft's top zone coverage cornerback. Unlike Kyle Wilson, McCourty and Thompson are standout run defenders, who haven't been able to show off their physicality and aggression in practice due to the no-tackle rules being enforced.

A pair of lanky ACC corners, Virginia's Chris Cook and Wake Forest's Brandon Ghee, have struggled locating the ball and making the plays necessary to earn a high round pick. At 6-1 and 6-0, respectively, each has the height scouts like and have shown enough agility in their backpedal, but have been far too complacent in coverage, allowing easy receptions.

Posted on: September 19, 2009 1:10 pm
 

Minn WR Eric Decker as advertised with TD

One of the key matchups I'm watching this week is between 6-3, 215 pound wideout Eric Decker of Minnesota against 5-09, 191 pound Cal cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson.

I've been admittedly lower on Decker than some, but may need to adjust my thinking after watching the first few moments of this game. While I still question his speed and elusiveness in the open field, with his size, Decker's game translates well to the next level as a possession receiver.

Over the past few years the term possession receiver has, for whatever reason, taken on a negative connotation. While they may lack the gamebreaking ability of speedier threats, a good possession receiver is invaluable to his offense.

This is exactly what Decker showed in snaring a touchdown in the first quarter to close the gap against Cal to 14-7. The Gophers desperately needed a score after surrendering two early touchdown runs to the spectacular Jahvid Best. Though Syd'Quan Thompson has lined up against Decker for some of this game, Decker's score came against the other starting Golden Bear corner, Darian Hagan (6-0, 186).

Decker gained a free release from Hagan and slipped past him down the sideline. He contorted his body in space to make an impressive catch while absorbing a monster hit (but clean) the safety. The hit came high into the chest plate and drew blood from Decker's chin, but he hung on for the score.

Decker was knocked out of the game for a few moments, but was back on the field (running a reverse and WR pass) on the next Golden Gopher possession.  
 
 
 
 
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