Posted on: April 20, 2010 5:13 pm
Edited on: April 20, 2010 5:53 pm

Trading of Carriker opens hole for Suh or McCoy?

Tuesday's trade of defensive tackle Adam Carriker to the Washington Redskins (for only a switch of fifth round picks - 135 & 163) suddenly opens up a gaping hole in the middle of the Rams' defense that could be filled by either Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy with the first pick.

Previously it had been believed that the Rams could not or would not take either of the defensive tackles with the first pick of the draft due simply to the fact that they'd placed so many dollars already into the defensive line.

By trading Carriker, the former 13th overall selection of the 2007 draft, the Rams, however, don't have the same restrictions.

Though some grade McCoy higher based on his athletic potential, Suh's greater strength, consistency and overall production makes him the logical candidate for the Rams, should they elect to ignore Sam Bradford with the first overall pick.

The move also is intriguing on the Washington end. Carriker's 6-5 frame and great upper body strength make him a natural candidate to play end in the Redskins' new 3-4 alignment.
Posted on: March 12, 2010 8:00 pm

Rams top brass meet with Suh for 35 minutes

Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh spent only about 15 minutes working out at Nebraska's Pro Day Thursday, but is was the 35 minute sit down session he had with Rams' general manager Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuola that could have the greater impact on whether he is the first defensive tackle to be drafted first overall since Cincinnati selected Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson in 1994.

I certainly believe the Rams should take Suh with the first pick simply because I believe he is the best player in this draft. Quite frankly, I think he's the best player by a significant margin.

That said, I have recently changed my forecast of the first round to have the Rams taking Oklahoma's Sam Bradford simply because of the greater value teams place on quarterbacks.

More details on Suh and the Rams extensive checks on him can be found by reading Bryan Burwell's fine article for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch here.

Posted on: March 1, 2010 2:10 pm

Suh posts 35.5" vertical; best from DT since 2000

Some believe that Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy deserves being rated over Ndamukong Suh due to his greater athleticism. If you are new to my blog, you might not know my opinion on this matter.

I believe Suh to be the unquestioned top talent in this draft. Whether he's ultimately drafted first or not will have zero bearing on my grade. I'm hardly basing my feeling on Suh on what he's done lately. I thought Suh should have won the Heisman and listed him as the top senior talent in the country back in July.

As evidence of Suh's athleticism, I point to the 35.5" vertical jump, NFL.com is reporting he posted today while at the Combine. Not only will Suh's ridiculous vertical jump almost surely lead all defensive tackles this year, it is one half inch lower than the highest vertical jump posted by any defensive tackle at the Combine since 2000 (Al Lucas, Troy).

The vertical jump is designed to test explosiveness -- supposedly an area in which Suh is lacking.

Posted on: February 17, 2010 1:08 pm

Suh looking forward to working out in Indy

I spoke to Ndamukong Suh yesterday for an article on his and other prospects' preparation for the pre-draft workouts. Unlike most of the top talents of recent years, Suh is fully planning on taking advantage of the hundreds of scouts attending the Combine and will work out there.

"I plan on doing every last bit of that Combine," Suh told me during a phone interview. "I'm looking forward to all of the drills; taking care of business in every last piece of that. I'm not going to shy away from anything. The only way I wouldn't do that would be if I wasn't 100% with my body."

Suh went on to explain that he is at 100% and essentially has been all year long, aside from "some bumps and bruises during the season."

As impressive as I expect Suh to be in workouts, his time to shine might be in front of the podium during the media and team interviews. Suh is much more cerebral and soft-spoken than the ferocity of his game and physicality of his position might lead one to believe. In a time when every front office asks themselves if their first round pick is truly someone that can be "the face of the franchise," Suh will impress.

Suh has been training with former Olympian Michael Johnson at the Michael Johnson Performance Center just outside of Dallas, Texas. Among the other notables training there are Texas' Sergio Kindle, LSU receiver Brandon LaFell, Mississippi's Greg Hardy and Dexter McCluster and Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer.
Posted on: December 30, 2009 1:54 pm

Suh dominant, but may not be today

Let's be real clear about this from the start -- NFLDraftScout.com rated Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh as the number one senior prospect in August. He's been atop every one of the many mock drafts I've penned already this year. I see no reason why he won't be atop every other 2010 mock draft I write. I don't know of anyone who touted him as a Heisman candidate before I did.

In fact, Bo Pelini and Suh's family might be the only ones higher on this young man's ability than I am.

And yet, I think he's going to struggle to make his typically dominant impact against Arizona today in the Holiday Bowl.

The Wildcats feature a true spread offense. Rarely does quarterback Nick Foles hang on to the ball for long, one of the reasons why Arizona has allowed only 11 sacks on the year (tied for 10th fewest in the FCS).

One could make the point that many of the offenses Suh faced in the Big 12 also feature the spread offense, including Texas, who Suh so infamously ravaged in the Big 12 Championship. Those teams, however, didn't have a month to prepare.

Against top teams with more typical pro-style offenses (Virginia Tech, Colorado, Kansas State, Iowa State), Suh averaged an eye-popping 7.5 tackles, a sack, 2 PBUs and .75 blocked kicks per game.

The two Big 12 teams using a true spread offense as wide as the one the Wildcats will use today were Kansas and Texas Tech. In those two contests Suh was held relatively in check, averaging only 3.5 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.

The spread offense was designed to get the ball out of the hands of the quarterback quickly to combat dominant penetrating defensive linemen just like Suh.

If he isn't as dominant today as he has been in the past, don't chalk it up to a lack of effort or his being overrated. NFL scouts certainly be.

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...

Posted on: September 19, 2009 3:56 pm

Suh just short for superstar - sack on 3rd snap

Though Virginia Tech just punched in a touchdown on their opening drive (thanks largely to a 76 yard kickoff return by Dyrell Roberts) it didn't take Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh long to establish his presence, registering a sack of mobile quarterback Tyrod Taylor on the 3rd play from scrimmage.

Suh didn't break free initially or dominate his opponent with his strength on the play. In reality, the sack was the very definition of a coverage sack, as Taylor had plenty of time to find a target downfield. What Suh did demonstrate, however, was his trademark tenacity and hustle. One of the aspects scouts like so much about Suh -- and why the big defensive tackle ranks so securely as NFLDraftScout.com's #1 overall senior prospect -- is that he plays with such effort. He maintained his spot in the middle, battled with the blocker and then shed him as Taylor began to get antsy and step up in the pocket. The play (a loss of 3 yards) made it 3rd and 20 for the Hokies.

There isn't a defensive tackle in the country with Suh's ability. What makes him a future Top 5 pick, however, is that he plays up to his ability -- typically a major area of concern with any 300 pound defensive tackle.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com