Posted on: October 11, 2010 7:55 pm
Anyone fortunate enough to have enjoyed the sandy beaches of Hawaii knows that characterizing any part of these beautiful islands as the "rough" is just silly.
It is also just silly to ignore a talented prospect simply because their time zone doesn't jive with most of American's football viewing public.
Therefore, while I always look to true "small" schools for my weekly Diamond in the Rough piece, I wasn't going to ignore the dominant performance put forth by Hawaii wideout Greg Salas against WAC rival Fresno State Saturday night. Salas, who is the current active NCAA leader with 216 receptions , was expected to be challenged by a Bulldog defense that entered the game ranked second in the country in pass defense.
Not anymore. Salas caught nine passes for 148 yards and three scores against Fresno State, earning this week's Diamond in the Rough award.
The following profile is similar to the ones our premium readers get of six more prospects each week as part of Draft Slant.
WR Greg Salas - Hawaii 6-2 / 210 / 4.57
NFL scouts had been telling me to keep an eye on Hawaii receiver Greg Salas and against Fresno State - which entered the WAC showdown ranked No. 2 in the country in pass defense - it was easy to see why. Salas' combination of ideal size and underrated maneuverability destroyed the Bulldog secondary to the tune of nine catches for 148 yards and three scores. Lined up inside and out to present matchup problems, Salas was consistently able to get free over the middle, catching two touchdowns in the first half. His third TD was actually a fumble recovery in the EZ. On his first, a easy drag route over the middle, Salas showed good flexibility to catch a low pass from quarterback Bryant Moniz, then slithered through the Fresno defense for the final few yards. The play began similarly for Salas' second touchdown - another quick pass over the middle - but this time he was blanketed by Bulldog defenders. A quick, strong throw by Montiz was high, but a Salas adjusted well, leaping into the air to snatch the pass, while turning his body to shield against the oncoming hit. This type of reception is exactly what NFL scouts are looking for, as today's pro safeties are simply getting bigger, stronger and more aggressive in hitting "defenseless" receivers over the middle. Salas' body control and good size make him a quietly intriguing third day prospect for teams in need of a possession WR.
Posted on: October 11, 2010 7:44 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2010 7:49 pm
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Posted on: April 2, 2009 11:59 pm
Oregon junior cornerback Jairus Byrd was unable to workout at the Combine due to a groin pull, but struggled to reward scouts for their patience in testing in the mid to upper 4.6s in the 40-yard dash, according to scouts in attendance.
The time is certainly a concern for scouts, though they were also quick to point out that Byrd tested very well in shuttle drills (4.10 short shuttle, 6.75 3-cone). Each of these marks would have ranked among the top ten cornerbacks tested in Indianapolis and are indicative of the rare agility and burst Byrd showed throughout his career with the Oregon Ducks. If Byrd's name is familiar, it is because his father, Gill Byrd, was a long-time standout for the San Diego Chargers at cornerback.
A few hundred miles south, Hawaii cornerback Ryan Mouton suffered the same fate at his Pro Day today (held at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles) that limited him at the Combine over a month ago -- a pulled hamstring. Still, the 5'09, 187 pound cornerback flashed some eye-popping explosion by dropping his 40-yard dash time from 4.51 seconds at the Combine to 4.46 seconds Thursday. So why did five-hundredths of a second rate as a significant improvement? Because Mouton, according to scouts in attendance, pulled up with the hamstring at about the 30 yard mark in the event and still posted a 4.46 second time. Had the injury not occurred, he likely would have been in the low to mid 4.3s... Mouton's explosiveness was on display in the broad jump, where he leapt 11'0 -- a mark beaten only by potential first round pick Darius Butler (Connecticut) among the cornerbacks tested at the Combine.