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Tag:Florida
Posted on: March 2, 2010 12:52 pm
 

Top rated CB Haden -- unofficially 4.57, 4.60

Top rated cornerback Joe Haden, a junior given a first round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee was unofficially timed by The NFL Network with two of the slower times in the 40-yard dash of any cornerback tested. He ran a 4.57 on his first attempt and followed that up with a 4.60.

Haden's slow times are sure to give scouts some hesitation when assigning him the top grade at cornerback. He has impressive game tape, but the Gators' aggressive pass rush rarely allowed opposing quarterbacks time to challenge him deep, something that had concerned me earlier .

As a historical comparison, no cornerback who ran as slow as Haden is currently being credited with running at the Combine was drafted earlier than the fifth round in last year's draft. Cornerback Joe Burnett was drafted by Pittsburgh with the 31st pick of the fifth round last year -- 168th overall -- with a 4.58.

It is important to note that The NFL Network's times have often been different than the "offiial" times provided later by NFL.com. This isn't likely to help Haden's cause, however, as typically the times recorded by the network have been faster than the ones put up by the website. CJ Spiller, for example, was initially credited with a 4.28 second time in the 40-yard dash on television, but his fastest time according to NFL.com was a 4.37.


Posted on: February 28, 2010 2:27 pm
 

Impressions from second QB-WR session -QB Report

I just got back from the second (and final) throwing session of the Combine and I can tell you this... Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson will be rising up draft boards with his performance today.

With highly touted passers Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow and Dan LeFevour all sitting out the throwing session, Robinson was among several passers who took advantage of the spotlight.

Robinson showed good footwork and balance dropping back -- a question mark considering he's coming from a spread offense -- and was consistently accurate to all levels of the field. He zipped intermediate slants and dig routes and showed plenty of drive on the deep out. As a perfect example of why quarterbacks should throw at the Combine, Robinson scored points with scouts on the accuracy of his deep ball (good trajectory, outside shade) despite none of his deep passes actually being caught by his receivers.

Arguably the second most impressive quarterback on this day was surprisingly Ole Miss' Jevan Snead. Snead was as accurate on this day as I've ever seen him -- hitting receivers in stride consistently and showing off his good arm strength. The problem with Snead is that he knows he has a good arm and he relies on it.  He carries the ball a bit low and has a very quick release, but he rarely stepped into his throws today, relying almost exclusively on his arm. Snead has intriguing tools -- and he clearly helped his cause today by showing them -- but quarterback coaches I've spoken with in the past have pointed this out as an issue.

Cincinnati's Tony Pike was inconsistent today. The opposite of Snead, Pike has steps into his throws and has a nice over-the-top delivery, which is enhanced by his 6-5, 243 pounds. However, he sprayed the ball today, especially when throwing outside the numbers. He got better as the day went on and didn't do anything to lower his stock, but he certainly didn't seize the opportunity, either.

Under the radar quarterbacks Thaddeus Lewis (Duke), Riley Skinner (Wake Forest) and John Skelton (Fordham) showed why they are rated as they are. Lewis was inconsistent to most levels of the field, except on the deep ball - where his wounded ducks forced receivers to slow and, at times even stop their routes, to wait for the ball. Skelton was wildly erratic, especially early in the gauntlet drills. His high and wide throws consistently forced receivers to adjust, throwing off their balance and timing during drills.

Posted on: February 28, 2010 11:47 am
 

Impressions from first QB-WR session -- WR Report

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.
Posted on: February 28, 2010 11:47 am
 

Impressions from first QB-WR session -- WR Report

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.
Posted on: February 26, 2010 6:12 pm
 

TE Hernandez's "tweaked back" sidelines him

Gators tight end Aaron Hernandez, due to a tweaked back suffered a few weeks ago in training, will wait until Florida's March 17 Pro Day to work out for scouts.

The Mackey Award winner led the nation in receptions (68) and receiving yards (850) from the tight end position, but despite his production certainly has questions to answer with scouts, not the least of which is how his 6-2, 245 pound frame will hold up as a full-time tight end in the NFL.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect about Hernandez's interview was his expectation for himself during the 40-yard dash.

"I'd say at worst, probably a low 4.5," he said.

 That would answer the question of how he'd hold up as a full-time tight-end. He'd do so by leaving linebackers in his wake...
Posted on: February 26, 2010 6:00 pm
 

Highlights of the "some guy named Tebow" Q/A

Speaking to a mob of media that rivaled only the ones I'd seen for Reggie Bush and Larry Fitzgerald in the past, Tim Tebow announced that he'd be performing every drill for teams this week except actually throwing the ball and explained some of the adjustment he's making to his much-maligned throwing motion.

Typically, players are introduced by their position, first and last name and the school for which they played. Everything is different when it comes to this former Heisman winner, however. He was introduced simply as "some guy named Tebow."

Among the highlights of his 15 minute-long, 34 question interview were:

  • His explanation of the work he's doing on shortening his throwing motion --  "It's not necessarily that I'm throwing the ball higher," Tebow explained, "but I'm holding the ball higher, not dropping it, not getting that loop in my release..."
  • His rationale for choosing the Tennessee-based D-I Training facility, rather than something closer to Gainesville -- "I looked around at a lot of different places and when I went up to visit D-1 in Franklin, I loved it," Tebow said. "It was a place where I felt like I could just really go to work and there wouldn’t be as many distractions. There wouldn’t be as many demands on my time, and could literally go to work all day and I could focus on what I needed to focus on. Everything was right there, all inclusive."
  • Tebow's explanation on how to handle coming into the NFL and dealing with the fact that veteran players on his new team might not appreciate the media hype he'd generate. -- “I think a little bit like it went when I got to University of Florida. Sometimes you can’t help the attention but what you can help is your attitude, you can help your work ethic and when you go in there and show that, ‘Hey, I am putting the team first,  I'm going to do whatever it takes to help you guys succeed, to help this organization and, together, we can achieve more.’ If they know that and believe that, then they are going to respect me. And that respect grows into like and that like grows into love and then you get a team that’s bought it, and then you get a team that wins championships.”
  • Tebow will be throwing for scouts at Florida's Pro Day, March 17.

Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: December 1, 2009 8:45 pm
 

Dunlap's "stunning" DUI = draft-day slide?



News of Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap's DUI Tuesday morning swept through the country today, leaving everyone, including NFL scouts, almost speechless.

Some made the comparison to Andre Smith's suspension for dealing with an agent nearly a year ago that kept him out of the Sugar Bowl. Another just characterized the move as "unbelievably dumb." All agreed that his draft stock would slide due to this terrible mistake. Ranked by some in the media as the #1 overall prospect at times this season, it now seems possible that Dunlap could slip out of the top ten... or even further due to this mistake.

Perhaps the best way to describe Dunlap's move was made his own head coach, Urban Meyer, who characterized the news as
"stunning."

"Carlos obviously made a very poor decision," Meyer said. "I have not spoke to him or his family yet. He's not going to play. But I want to visit with him and his family first and go from there."

Though Dunlap is only a junior, scouts widely expected him to leave school after this season. The 6-6, 290 Dunlap has 35 tackles on the season and leads the Gators with 7 sacks despite often being double-teamed. He burst onto the scene as a sophomore, registering 39 tackles and 9.5 sacks and earning Defensive MVP honors in last year's BCS Championship. His unique combination of size, strength and athleticism had earned comparisons to former #1 overall picks Mario Williams and Julius Peppers. Scouts had been especially impressed with Dunlap's upside, as he, unlike many of the lanky pass rushers of recent years, had the strength to hold up at the point in the running game and used his long arms to knock down passes (8) and kicks (4)... 
What a shame that during the week of what may prove to be the true National Championship game, one of the contest's most talented players made a horrendous decision and has, rightfully so, been suspended indefinitely.

Posted on: October 3, 2009 10:39 pm
 

Oklahoma OT Williams among Slant considerations

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...


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com