Posted on: June 24, 2010 10:46 am
Though he hasn't yet made it official, former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli is expected to officially make himself eligible for the NFL's Supplemental Draft July 15.
Like most of the prospects who apply, however, Masoli has a very slim chance of actually getting drafted, however.
The myriad of off-field concerns Masoli brings with him is just one reason why scouts I spoke to in recent days expect that every NFL club will elect to pass on the talented, but troubled quarterback.
Masoli was suspended from the team for the entire 2010 season in March for his role in the theft of laptops and a guitar from an Oregon fraternity. He remained on scholarship and practiced with the team, though under the conditions of his agreement with head coach Chip Kelly, Masoli would not have been eligible to play for the Ducks until 2011.
Masoli got himself in further trouble in early June when he was pulled over and cited for marijuana possession and driving infractions. Two days following the citation, Masoli was offiicially kicked off the team.
Masoli's obvious character red-flags, themselves, are enough to pull him off some NFL teams' draft boards. The cold reality is, however, that Masoli's lack of height and downfield accuracy already meant that few teams would be looking at him as a quarterback. While his athleticism was enough to make him Oregon's leading rushing quarterback of all time (1,386 yards), it isn't enough to project him as a wide receiver, running back or safety, according to scouts.
Said one scout, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, "Sure he was productive for [Oregon], but where do you play him in the NFL? He might be listed by the school at 5'11, but he's closer to 5-09... And think again about just moving him to receiver. If he runs faster than the mid 4.6s, I'd be surprised."
Though Masoli and Illinois defensive tackle Joshua Brent-Price (who also hasn't yet officially been deemed eligible) have earned some late attention from teams, it seems that BYU running back Harvey Unga remains the only lock to be drafted this year.
Posted on: May 25, 2010 6:06 pm
BYU running back Harvey Unga, the Cougars' career leader with 3,455 yards, was suspended from the team and is contemplating entering this summer's Supplemental NFL Draft, according to league sources.
Unga withdrew from classes at BYU in April after admitting that he'd violated the school's strict honor code. BYU's honor code calls for students to refrain from the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, as well as engaging in premarital sex.
Following his withdrawal from classes, Unga re-admitted to the university, but last week the school declined to allow him back in. His career at BYU is over.
Unga, who has earned Mountain West Conference accolades after each of the past three seasons -- including earning MWC Freshman of the Year honors in 2007 -- has limited options if he is to continue his football career.
He can elect to transfer to another college for a year or elect to enter the 2010 supplemental draft.
The supplemental draft was designed for "special case" players who, whether by their choice or not, no longer have collegiate eligibility. Though league sources tell me that the date of this year's supplemental draft has not yet been determined, last year's draft was held on July 16. Only one player -- former Kentucky defensive end Jeremy Jarmon -- was selected last year. The Redskins invested a third round pick in the former All-SEC player. Jarmon finished with 8 tackles, a forced fumble and a pass defensed as a rookie. The year previous the draft was cancelled , as no players applied for consideration.
The 6-0, 237 pound Unga is a powerful back with natural running skills. He has the lateral agility to sidestep tackles and locates holes in the defense. Unga likely would have been a mid round pick in last April's draft had he come out early.
With teams hesitant to give up future picks for prospects in the supplemental draft, Unga could fall lower than the mid rounds should he elect to make himself eligible.
Some team willing to throw the dice, however, could get a powerful addition to their backfield in Unga in time to make an impact in 2010.
Posted on: February 28, 2010 11:22 am
I was among the fortunate handful of media members allowed to venture inside Lucas Oil Stadium to watch this morning's quarterback and wide receivers workouts. Because I have to head back out to cover the second session in just a few moments, I don't have enough to time to really break down the 20+ players I watched.
However, here were my impressions of a few noteworthy players.
Of the quarterbacks, the two most impressive players were the Browns, as in West Virginia's Jarrett Brown and Troy's Levi Brown.
Jarrett Brown threw with the zip and general accuracy that had impressed me at the Senior Bowl. He drove the ball on the dig, slant and out-routes and had good accuracy and trajectory on the post-corner and deep ball. One point of significant concern is that he is still quite rough in dropping back from center. He gains good depth with his two first steps, but they're slow. His next three steps are rushed and clumsy. However, he sets up and has a compact delivery. No passer in the first session had the same explosive zip out of their hand as Brown.
Levi Brown was slightly less impressive with his overall accuracy, but nonetheless stood out in this marginal group. He drove the ball with authority, showing good accuracy and zip on underneath routes. He also threw with good trajectory on the deeper routes. He consistently hit his man, but at times forced them to break stride.
The lack of preferred arm strength exposed at the Senior Bowl by Oregon State's Sean Canfield was again seen here. Canfield has good accuracy and timing. He was one of the few passers able to consistently hit his receiver in stride, and was able to "drop it in the bucket" on the post-corners -- one of the more difficult throws. However, on any pass longer than 10 yards, Canfield's passes have too much arc.
The quarterbacks who threw were: West Virginia's Jarrett Brown, Troy's Levi Brown, Oregon State's Sean Canfield, Penn State's Daryll Clark, Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards, BYU's Max Hall, Western Michigan's Tim Hiller and Northwestern's Mike Kafka.
Posted on: March 12, 2009 11:12 am
Though the dominant subject throughout scouting circles yesterday was the awkward performance put forth by Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith at his Pro Day, two receivers at different ends of the country had scouts taking notes.
Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey elected not to run timed drills at his Pro Day Wednesday, but after leading all Combine invites with a 4.30 40-yard dash, he didn't have anything to prove in this area. Heyward-Bey has struggled with drops, at times, throughout his career, but not on Wednesday, snatching passes out of the air and showing the agility to ultimately be a standout route-runner. Some teams feel Heyward-Bey's unmatched combination of size and speed will ultimately translate into a top ten selection.
BYU's Austin Collie isn't the natural athlete of a Heyward-Bey, but was impressive at his Pro Day, as well. I watched Collie closely at the Combine and was impressed by his precise cuts as a route-runner, range of motion in catching tough passes and consistently sticky hands. He did drop a few passes late in the Combine session and seemed to struggle to put those mistakes out of his mind. I recall his Combine session starting off beautifully, but fizzling... That was not the case Wednesday for Collie, who was timed in the high 4.4s to mid 4.5s by two scouts I spoke to this morning. Collie, like many BYU athletes, is older than most prospects due to an LDS Mission served, but is more mature and pro-ready than many of the better overall athletes at the position.