Posted on: February 28, 2010 11:47 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 receivers.
The highest rated receiver of this bunch is Illinois' Arrelious Benn, but today was not an impressive one for him. Benn struggled with his footwork today, slipping on multiple occasions on the Lucas Oil Stadium turf. He also struggled catching the ball, dropping a few passes during the gauntlet drill and while running routes. He looked particularly bad by having a hot, but accurate pass go right through his hands on during the gauntlet and subsequently dropping another one by turning his hands the wrong way when attempting to catch a poorly thrown post-corner route. Benn did not look overly explosive, though his strong frame is sure to intrigue scouts.
The most consistently impressive catcher on this day was another junior, Kansas' Dezmon Briscoe. Briscoe's long arms and good body control was often on display, as he was able to adjust to several poorly thrown passes and make sparking receptions. He doesn't appear to be the quickest receiver out of his breaks, but his long strides help him generate good speed down the sidelines.
Cal's Ryan Boateng was a surprise early star during the session, looking fluid during drills and catching everything in sight. He caught the ball with his hands and adjusted smoothly to poorly thrown balls -- an impressive feat considering his 6-1, 204 pound frame. Boateng struggled a bit later, failing to adjust adequately to deep balls, which will be a concern. Otherwise, he was one of the session's more impressive performers.
Florida's Riley Cooper was a bit inconsistent with his routes and hands on this day. He is more explosive than some give him credit for, but certainly doesn't have elite burst out of his breaks. He caught most passes with his hands, but didn't show great flexibility or determination to adjust to poorly thrown balls, too often just putting one hand up to attempt to make the sparkling reception. On one occasion he made a nice grab by doing so; on another he dropped it.
LSU return specialist Trindon Holliday was a surprise addition to the receiver workouts. His speed is certainly intriguing, but he dropped a few passes, including a bad on a deep ball that floated right into -- and through -- his hands.
Wide receivers who worked out this morning were: Fresno State's Seyi Ajirotutu, West Virginia's Alec Arnett, Kansas State's Brandon Banks, Norfolk State's Chris Bell, Illinois' Arrelious Benn, Cal's Ryan Boateng, Kansas' Dezmon Briscoe, Central Michigan Antonio Brown, Cal-Davis' Chris Carter, Florida's Riley Cooper, Connecticut's Marcus Easley, Clemson's Jacoby Ford, Wake Forest's David Gettis, Cincinnati's Mardy Gilyard, Mississippi's Shay Hodge, Florida's Brandon James, Youngstown State's Donald Jones, San Jose State's Kevin Jurovich.
Due to injury, Missouri's Danario Alexander, Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant and Minnesota's Eric Decker did not work out this morning.
Category: NFL Draft
Tags: Antonio Brown, Arrelious Benn, Brandon Banks, Brandon James, Cal-Davis, Central Michigan, Chris Bell, Chris Carter, Cincinnati, Clemson, Connecticut, Danario Alexander, David Gettis, Dez Bryant, Dezmon Briscoe, Donald Jones, Eric Decker, Florida, Florida, Fresno State Seyi Ajirotutu, Jacoby Ford, Kansas, Kansas State, Kevin Jurovich., Marcus Easley, Mardy Gilyard, Mississippi, NFL Combine, NFL Draft, Norfolk State, Riley Cooper, Ryan Boateng, San Jose State, Shay Hodge, Wake Forest, West Virginia Alec Arnett, Youngstown State
Posted on: January 29, 2010 9:30 pm
Mardy Gilyard is freely admitting to NFL scouts this week at the Senior Bowl the fact that he was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute while attending Flagler Palm Coast High School in Palm Coast, Florida, according to reports from NFL.com.
"Character’s a big issue, so I tell them straight-up," Gilyard was quoted as saying. “Everybody goes through mistakes, everybody has their downfalls, pretty much everyone has something that they’re not proud of.” Gilyard said. “And that’s one of the things I’m not proud of. So it’s pretty good (moving forward)."
Moving forward is something Gilyard has had to do before. He signed with Cincinnati as a highly touted athlete, but was dropped from the program due to academics. Without his scholarship, Gilyard was forced to pay back the school over $9,000. He was forced to sleep in his car and work odd jobs to earn the money to pay off the school, before being accepted back into the program by then-new head coach Brian Kelly.
While teams are certainly not going to like Gilyard's prior arrest, his proactive admission, rather than reactive acknowledgement of the past will help him prove to teams that he's learned from his mistakes.
Posted on: January 4, 2010 10:42 pm
Florida junior tight end Aaron Hernandez is telling teammates that he's leaving school and heading to the NFL draft.
The Mackey Award winner as the nation's top tight end, Hernandez caught 68 passes for 850 yards and 6 TDs this season, including a game-high 9 grabs for 111 yards and score against Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl.
With his size and Florida's scheme not going to change, Hernandez had little to gain by returning for his senior season. In fact, he could have seen a significant loss in numbers with Tim Tebow moving on. One of the knocks on Tebow is that he too often relied on the reliable Hernandez underneath.
Listed at a generous 6-2, 250 pounds Hernandez doesn't have the size to fit every NFL scheme. He lacks the size and strength to be an effective inline blocker, but is a matchup nightmare due to his agility and soft hands. He fits best as an H-back, similar to how the Washington Redskins have used Chris Cooley in the past.
Despite his lack of size and strength, Hernandez had little choice but to take advantage of a position that many feel is among the worst of the draft. Oklahoma's Jermaine Gresham is a high first round talent, but is, of course, recovering from the knee surgery that ended his senior season before it even began. USC's Anthony McCoy is a terrific blocker in the mold of 2009 first round pick Brandon Pettigrew, but lacks the speed to challenge defenses and is slipping down boards amid concerns about his reliability. McCoy has twice been suspended due to academics.
He projects as a second to third round pick at this point in the draft. Oklahoma's Jermaine Gresham, who is, of course, recovering from knee surgery, might be the only tight end with a significantly higher grade from most clubs than Hernandez.
The second Florida junior has decided to turn pro early. If all indications via scouts, media and Florida teammates are correct, cornerback Joe Haden and tight end Aaron Hernandez won't have to wait long for other Gators to join them.
For more coverage on Hernandez and other Florida information, click here .
Posted on: October 3, 2009 10:39 pm
As part of NFLDraftScout.com's weekly PDF, Draft Slant, I break down one player of the week, a Diamond in the Rough, and 8 other NFL prospects from the weekend's televised action.
One of the more enjoyable decisions I get to make as part of writing the ten player breakdowns is to determine just which senior prospect deserves Player of the Week honors.
The players I've highlighted thus far this season have been DTs Ndamokung Suh (Nebraska) and Arthur Jones (Syracuse), FS Taylor Mays (USC), ILB Brandon Spikes (Florida) and WR Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati).
I've recorded over a dozen games this weekend and have a decision ahead of me, as Oklahoma OT Trent Williams, LSU WR Brandon LaFell, Florida State CB Patrick Robinson, Boston College OC Matt Tennant, and South Florida DE George Selvie are among the prospects I'll be considering.
Thus far, Williams' size, athleticism and upper body strength have been impressive. He's a bit heavier around the middle than scouts would like for a traditional left tackle. He's been susceptible to counter-moves inside by Miami's quicker defensive linemen -- the same struggles that BYU took advantage of in Week One to pressure (and ultimately knock out) Sam Bradford...
Posted on: March 19, 2009 3:51 pm
Despite all of the attention being heaped upon the Georgia Pro Day, 28 of the 32 NFL teams were still represented at the Cincinnati workout today, mostly to see cornerback Mike Mickens and Mr. Versatility Connor Barwin.
Mickens, an All-American, was unable to workout at the Combine due to a left knee injury that sidelined him for a few games this season and hampered him enough at the Senior Bowl that he was forced to leave early. He was only cleared to run three weeks ago and estimated himself at 85%, but still put up respectable numbers in the 40-yard dash (4.53-4.59), short shuttle (4.19), 3-cone (6.96), broad jump (9'-4", 9'-10") and vertical (35.5"). Mickens, when healthy, is among the better cornerbacks in the 2009 draft and a second round talent. How teams view his recovery from the injury, however, will be critical in determining his final grade.
Connor Barwin will continue to skyrocket up draft boards with another impressive performance. Barwin, a former tight end who switched to defensive end, may ultimately be making the transition to linebacker, considering the eye-popping workouts he's produced at the Combine and now at his Pro Day. Barwin produced two of the more eye-popping results of the defensive ends at the Combine with a 4.66 electronically-timed 40-yard dash and a 40.5" vertical jump. He was even faster Wednesday, posting times ranging from 4.48-4.57, according to those in attendance. He also lifted the bar 23 times and looked good in linebacker, tight end and defensive line drills...