Posted on: January 25, 2011 6:25 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 6:26 pm
Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea was not on the field Tuesday morning for the North Team's practice at the Senior Bowl.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that Paea was sidelined because he was undergoing an MRI on his knee for a possible torn lateral meniscus. I've since confirmed with multiple sources at the South practice this afternoon that this, is indeed, the case.
The news is surprising as Paea walked off the field yesterday with no apparent injury. I interviewed him, in fact, congratulating him on a solid first day of practice. He was all smiles at the time and spoke of looking forward to "building on his first day."
Paea, 6-1 and 295 pounds, has been one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the country the past two seasons. He won the Morris Trophy after each of the past two seasons as the most dominant defensive lineman in the Pac-10. The Morris Trophy is a unique award, as its only voters are opposing Pac-10 linemen.
Paea is NFLDraftScout.com's top rated senior defensive tackle and a possible first round pick. His injury obviously puts this status in jeopardy.
Posted on: January 23, 2011 6:00 pm
NFL scouts, front office executives and coaches are heading to Mobile, Alabama today to scout every one of the prospects in the 2011 Senior Bowl.
Much of their attention, however, will be focused on two positions -- quarterback and offensive tackle.
As two of the premium positions in today's NFL, quarterback and offensive tackle are typically among the areas to focus on. The 2011 class is especially competitive at these positions, however, making the battles between the top-rated passers and blockers all the more intriguing.
Consider that while Washington quarterback Jake Locker remains a likely first round prospect, I've spoken to scouts whose teams currently rank other seniors just as highly. For some teams, a strong week by TCU's Andy Dalton or Iowa's Ricky Stanzi could vault them ahead of Locker.
The "second tier" quarterback talent available in this draft, in fact, is one of the year's hidden strengths. Considering the risk I see in Locker, Auburn's Cam Newton and Arkansas' Ryan Mallett, it might prove wiser for teams with quarterback needs to look elsewhere in the first round and grab a Dalton or Stanzi (or Devlin, Ponder, Enderle) a frame or two later.
The competition is perhaps even more intense at offensive tackle. Having spoken to representatives from four clubs in the past two weeks about the tackle class, I've yet to find any consensus as to the order they will (or should) be drafted.
If there is a "favorite" it is probably Colorado's Nate Solder. I, however, have serious reservations about his technique, especially against speed rushers. He's expected to work out very, very well and therefore build some momentum as the draft approaches, but he certainly has flaws.
Unfortunately, for teams needing tackles, so too do the other top rated tackles. Boston College's Anthony Castonzo lacks the bulk most teams prefer. He may be the best pass blocking left tackle in the draft, but he's struggled to generate movement in the running game. Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi is the opposite. He can dominate as a drive blocker, but gets too high in pass protection and doesn't have the footwork, in my opinion, to remain on the left side in the NFL. I've rated Mississippi State's Derek Sherrod as the top tackle throughout much of the year, but his wide shoulder, narrow hip makes him top-heavy and therefore inherently vulnerable to bull rushes and good double-moves. He, too, might be best served as a right tackle. USC junior Tyron Smith has the feet and wingspan teams want in a left tackle, but he's quite raw and remains a projection, having played right tackle throughout his abbreviated career with the Trojans.
The beauty of any all-star game is that strong performances there can impact player rankings.
For this year's Senior Bowl, the rankings of senior prospects - especially at quarterback and offensive tackle -- could wind up completely re-shuffled.
Category: NFL Draft
Tags: Andy Dalton, Anthony Castonzo, Arkansas, Boston College, Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, Colorado, Delaware, Derek Sherrod, Gabe Carimi, Iowa, Jake Locker, Mississippi State, Nate Solder, Nathan Enderle, NFLDraftScout.com, Pat Devlin, Ricky Stanzi, Ryan Mallett, Senior Bowl, TCU, Tyron Smith, USC, Wisconsin
Posted on: January 22, 2011 1:51 pm
The action is going to happening too fast and furious during today's East-West Shrine Game for me to post updates regularly on the blog.
However, I will be scouting it closely and offer you the opportunity to scout "alongside" me by following me on Twitter.
I'll be focusing most of my attention early on the quarterback play, especially that of Pat Devlin, Nathan Enderle and Scott Tolzien. But, as I've mentioned previously there is some intriguing talent in this year's game (see entire Shrine game roster here ) and plenty of prospects who need to perform well in the game , itself, after a disappointing week of practice.
Following the game, I'll be writing a post-game review for NFLDraftScout.com.
If you want a preview of that article, come along. Let's scout some football together.
Posted on: January 22, 2011 1:21 pm
Every prospect signs up for an all-star game with the dream of stepping up their level of play in front of hundreds of scouts and being pegged by draft analysts as a "riser" or "winner."
The reality is, for every riser there is a faller. For every winner there is a loser.
No doubt you've read my fellow senior analyst Chad Reuter's detailed practice reports for Monday , Tuesday and Wednesday's scrimmages. You have probably checked out the opinions of other media members in Orlando, as well.
As expected, North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin has proven himself to be the best player in Orlando. Strong performances by USC TE Jordan Cameron, UCLA DT David Carter, Hawaii RB Alex Green and Georgia ILB Akeem Dent have boosted their stock, as well.
Some highly touted prospects have struggled throughout the week of practice. Though the vast majority of scouts have already left Orlando in preparation for the upcoming Senior Bowl, don't be fooled. A strong game can always help a prospect who struggled throughout the week of practice.
Here are the five legitimately draftable prospects most in need of a strong finish at the East-West Shrine Game:
Delaware QB Pat Devlin: Devlin entered the week of practice as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 3 rated quarterback, but could slip below TCU's Andy Dalton, Iowa's Ricky Stanzi and others if his play doesn't improve. Scouts tell me Devlin has been tentative and hasn't shown the arm-strength they'd hoped.
Boise State S Jeron Johnson: Last year former Boise State Bronco Kyle Wilson proved one of the stars during the Senior Bowl week of practices. The sledding hasn't been quite as smooth this week for his former teammate, Johnson, who has struggled in coverage this week.
Idaho QB Nathan Enderle: In the 6-5, 233 pound Enderle's case, his problems are exactly the opposite of Devlin's. Enderle has the strongest arm of any quarterback in Orlando this week, but his accuracy and footwork have been off, according to scouts. A couple of "wow" throws by Enderle today and he could greatly help himself.
Fresno State OLB Chris Carter: I've highlighted Carter on numerous occasions this year as one of the better rush linebacker prospects, but scouts getting a look at him this week operating in space (he played defensive end for the Bulldogs) tell me he's struggled with the transition. A sack or two today could help remind scouts of what Carter does well. Strong coverage wouldn't get the attention of the announcers as much, but would help his stock with scouts even more.
Mount Union WR Cecil Shorts III: All-star games are typically an environment in which "small school" wide receivers can really boost their stock. Few can boast Shorts' accomplishments. He's a three-time All-American with 62 receiving touchdowns over his career. Unfortunately, after being listed at 6-2, 210 pounds by Mount Union, Shorts proved just that (5-11, 197 pounds) and has struggled with footwork and drops this week.
This game begins at 4:00 pm today and will be televised on The NFL Network.
For the best in NFL draft coverage, be sure to check out NFLDraftScout.com
Posted on: January 17, 2011 7:18 pm
Continuing my theme of the week on players I believe could significantly alter their stock with a strong performance in the upcoming all-star games , I present to you cornerback Cortez Allen of The Citadel who practiced today with the West Team at the East-West Shrine Game in Orlando, Florida.
At 6'2, 195 pounds, Allen has rare size for the cornerback position. He's been a standout at The Citadel throughout his career and with so many of the top small school prospects in recent years having played cornerback, scouts from every team in the league have come to see him.
Quite honestly, I wasn't terribly impressed with Allen's play when I had the opportunity to watch him on tape this year. Like many corners his size, he struggled flipping his hips and didn't appear to possess the burst out of his breaks that I feel is necessary to be effective in coverage against NFL-caliber receivers. I didn't see a cornerback particularly interested in supporting the run, either.
However, this wasn't against lesser competition. Sometimes players at the lower levels trick you, as they've rarely been forced to push themselves against subpar competition. Allen has earned all-conference (SoCon) after each of his two seasons as a full-time starter.
Clearly, Allen has the size and athleticism that coaches can't give players. A strong performance this week at the East-West Shrine game could answer questions that I -- and more importantly, NFL scouts -- have about his game.
The East-West Shrine Game is scheduled for Saturday at 4:00 pm EST. The game will be televised by The NFL Network.
For the best in NFL Draft coverage, including daily practice reports from the Shrine Game, check out NFLDraftScout.com .
Posted on: January 13, 2011 12:37 pm
South Carolina defensive end Cliff Matthews is turning down an opportunity to play in the East-West Shrine, contrary to the fact that the game and its organizers' official website have indicated that he had accepted their invitation and will play.
According to the website GamecocksOnline.com, Matthews was flattered to be invited to the all-star game but felt that focusing on his academics and preparing for workouts at the Combine and his Pro Day were more important.
While some might question the competitive fire of any player giving up an opportunity to play in front of scouts in a venue such as the East-West Shrine game, Matthews is known as a hard-working, blue collar player. His 47 career starts, in fact, broke the South Carolina record.
Mathews earned Second Team All-SEC honors as a senior with 44 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks in 2010. His four forced fumbles led South Carolina and ranked second in the SEC. He was at his best in South Carolina's final game, a 26-17 loss to Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on December 31. Matthews posted six tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble in the contest.
NFLDraftScout.com rates the 6-4, 268 pound Matthews as a 4th-5th round pick and the No. 16 DE in a talented senior class.
Posted on: January 3, 2011 12:32 pm
The following is the official release from the NFL.
CAROLINA HOLDS FIRST PICK IN 2011 NFL DRAFT
The Carolina Panthers own the No. 1 pick of the 2011 National Football League Draft, which will be held on April 28-30 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
The order of the first round of the 2011 Draft was announced today by the NFL.
The NFL Draft will kick off in primetime for the second consecutive year. The first round will be held on Thursday, April 28. The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 29. Rounds 4-7 will be held on Saturday, April 30.
The Panthers’ choice will be followed by the Denver Broncos picking second and the Buffalo Bills third.
Below is the tentative order of the first round of the 2011 Draft, subject to the results of the playoffs. The draft order is determined by the following procedures:
(A) The winner of the Super Bowl will select last and the other Super Bowl participant next-to-last, regardless of their regular-season record.
(B) The Championship Game participants not advancing to the Super Bowl will select 29th and 30th, according to the reverse order of their standing.
(C) The Divisional Playoff participants not advancing to the Championship Games will select 25th through 28th, according to the reverse order of their standing.
(D) The Wild Card participants not advancing to the Divisional Playoffs will select 21st through 24th, according to the reverse order of their standing.
(E) Non-playoff clubs will select first through 20th, according to the reverse order of their standing.
If ties exist in any grouping except (A) above, they will be broken by strength of schedule (i.e., figuring the aggregate won-lost-tied percentage of each involved club’s regular-season opponents and awarding preferential selection order to the club which faced the schedule of teams with the lowest aggregate won-lost-tied percentage).
If ties still exist after applying the strength of schedule tiebreaker, the divisional or conference tiebreakers are applied, if applicable. If the divisional or conference tiebreakers are not applicable, ties will be broken by a coin flip.
2011 FIRST ROUND DRAFT ORDER
*- Subject to Playoffs
Posted on: December 31, 2010 12:37 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2010 12:39 pm
In today's era of corporate sponsored bowl games often pitting "small school" teams, there is something refreshing about the Miami/Notre Dame matchup in this afternoon's Sun Bowl.
The Hurricanes and Fighting Irish have obviously had their on and off-field struggles this year. Randy Shannon's firing and the tragic death of Declan Sullivan, the Notre Dame student killed while attempting to film Irish practices, have dominated the headlines.
For NFL scouts, however, the story remains the same. Miami and Notre Dame, as always, feature plenty of NFL talent.
In fact, one of the most intriguing one on one matchups of the bowl season will be on display when Hurricane cornerback Brandon Harris and Irish wideout Malcolm Floyd, a pair of first round caliber juniors, face off.
They may be the most entertaining matchup, but there is plenty of other prospects to keep an eye on. The following is the list of top prospects in today's game to focus on, courtesy of my fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter.
--Notre Dame DT Ian Williams (6-2, 305, 5.17): The wide-body nose tackle has missed the last four contests but expects to suit up in his last college game.
--Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd (6-3, 228, 4.52): If his leg is healthy and he's on the same page as freshman QB Tommy Rees, Floyd will use his big body against fellow junior prospect CB Brandon Harris.
--Notre Dame TE Kyle Rudolph (6-5, 265, 4.64): A hamstring tear ended Rudolph's season early and he won't be on the field today, but the junior could wind up as the first tight end drafted, whether he elects to leave school early this year or return for his senior campaign.
--Miami (Fla.) DE Allen Bailey (6-4, 285, 4.79): Excellent athlete who flashes pass rush (seven sacks) across from junior DE Adewale Ojomo, but needs to have a consistently strong effort against an average Irish line to impress scouts.
--Miami ILB Colin McCarthy (6-2, 240, 4.67): Heady, versatile, productive (106 tackles, 10 for loss) player scouts believe can play inside or on the strong side at the next level.
--Miami WR Leonard Hankerson (6-3, 208, 4.52): Tall strider who can stretch the field, but faces a strong corner in Notre Dame's Darrin Walls.
--Miami LT Orlando Franklin (6-7, 315, 5.30): Impressive just stepping off the bus, if Franklin's footwork begins to match his strength, he could become a starting NFL left tackle.
--Miami CB Brandon Harris (5-11, 195, 4.45): A highly touted prep prospect, Harris has emerged as the latest in a long line of Miami defensive backs worthy of first round consideration. Only a junior.
This game begins at 2pm EST and will be televised by CBS.
As always, for the best in NFL draft coverage, check out NFLDraftScout.com.