Posted on: March 31, 2010 6:44 pm
There are two primary reasons why Colt McCoy completed a staggering 70% of his passes in 2009.
For one, the Texas offense was primarily asked him to throw short to intermediate routes.
Secondly, McCoy is simply an accurate passer who throws a very catchable ball.
McCoy's passing prowess was on display in Austin today as scouts from 30 different teams were on hand to see him throw. McCoy, of course, had been unable to throw at the Combine or participate in any of the post-season all-star games due to the shoulder injury he suffered in the National Championship game.
According to scouts in attendance, McCoy threw the ball with better zip than expected, popping receivers' hands on crossing routes. His deep balls had a tendency to sail a bit, but because his passes are thrown with such tight spirals, their trajectory is easy for receivers to track and collect. He completed all 55 of his passes, throwing to former teammates Jordan Shipley, Nate Jones and Quan Cosby, as well as former Texas standout Brian Carter. Texas offensive coordinator scripted the workout, which featured McCoy taking snaps from center, doing play-action and attempting more long passes than he was typically asked to throw with the Longhorns.
Scouts on hand were impressed with McCoy's workout and felt that he solidified his stock as an early to mid second round choice.
---- I noted in a previous blog posting that Jordan Shipley was enjoying a strong Pro Day performance. He shaved a full tenth of a second off his 40-yard dash time from the Combine by running a 4.53 in Austin and also recorded a 36.5" vertical jump.
Posted on: March 30, 2010 1:58 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2010 9:09 pm
I'm starting to get some feedback from Dez Bryant's Pro Day workout, and as scouts expected , he's timed in slower than what most fans would normally associate with a first round wide receiver.
According to a scout at the workout, he timed the 6-2, 220 pound Bryant at 4.56 seconds in the receiver's first attempt. Bryant was much slower moments later (4.69 seconds) on his second attempt. Due to the large gulf in times, Bryant ran a third time -- recording his fastest time (4.53 seconds).
Bryant dropped three balls early in the workout, but also made some impressive grabs in which his trademark body control was put to the test.
The workout has gone "about as expected" according to the scout.
While I noted in a previous blog entry that scouts expected these times, the media speculation that Bryant was the "best receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson" and hyperbole like that has created some assumptions about his overall athleticism. Bryant is a big play threat due to his size, strength and leaping ability. He has never demontrated elite straight-line speed on film.
However, the perception for many was that he'd run very fast and re-emerge as a top ten prospect. Based on his marginal times and concerns over his maturity, Bryant remains very much a wildcard for the first round. His production warrants top ten consideration, but I've spoken to many scouts who feel he'll ultimately be drafted in the late first round. In fact, I've spoken to scouts who feel he'll slip out of the first round entirely.
For those that feel he'll slip to the second, today's marginal workout only provided more ammunition.
Posted on: March 30, 2010 1:29 pm
While at Sam Bradford's Pro Day yesterday, I spoke with many scouts, coaches and league executives about Dez Bryant's workout today. Every team I spoke to yesterday (about a dozen) planned to simply continue their trip from Norman to Lufkin, Texas for Bryant's workout and on to Austin Wednesday for Texas' Pro Day.
Scouts had varied expectations for Bryant today.
One scout, who loves Bryant's athleticism and has compared his leaping and YAC ability to Randy Moss on several occasions in the past, felt that Bryant is nonetheless going to put forth a less than eye-popping time in the 40-yard dash.
Said the scout, "I've heard talk that he's going to run in the low 4.4s or even faster. If he does, that'll help surprise me. He's not that fast on film. He's more of a 4.55 guy, but he's like [Anquan] Boldin in that way; his straight-line speed is misleading."
The scout did expect Bryant to look "very good" running routes and catching the ball.
Posted on: March 30, 2010 12:25 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2010 12:40 pm
Besides the dozens of NFL executives, head coaches and scouts on hand to watch Sam Bradford's Pro Day yesterday, there were several other surprising onlookers.
Former teammate Gerald McCoy (and his father) were on hand. So too was former OU star and current Baltimore Raven Mark Clayton. Each were there to lend support to Bradford and Oklahoma for obvious reasons.
Former South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt, however, was also in attendance and does not have a natural allegiance I was aware of.
Upon noticing him, casually dressed and chatting amicably with league personnel, I made a mental note to talk to him. Once Bradford began throwing, however, I lost track of Leavitt.
Until that is about an hour later when I saw him dressed in full Oklahoma regalia, jogging on campus. Oklahoma crimson t-shirt, shorts, the whole deal.
I only happened to see Leavitt running because I skipped out early from the press conference held by Bradford and Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. Those media members who had been there only for Bradford's workout were long gone. Those that stayed for the press conference were inside Memorial Stadium listening to Bradford and Stoops.
If it has been announced that Leavitt has signed with Oklahoma in some capacity, I don't know of it. A simple internet search turned up nothing of a connection between Leavitt and the Sooners except for conjecture that Leavitt might be a coach of interest for the Sooners considering that he coached with Stoops and defensive coordinator Brett Venables at Kansas State. Leavitt is not currently listed among the Sooners' 13 football coaches according to SoonerSports.com. I contacted a handful of NFL personnel on hand for yesterday's workout to confirm that they, too, had seen Leavitt there. They had, but knew nothing of his connection with the Sooners.
Leavitt is currently in a legal battle with USF regarding his pay and whether his termination was "with" or "without" cause. Leavitt is suing USF and the USF Foundation for exoneration of inappropriate contact with a former player and the remainder of his 7 million dollar contract. Leavitt was accused of grabbing former walk-on Joel Miller by the throat and slapping him in the face. The school investigated and decided to fire Leavitt in January.
Posted on: March 29, 2010 1:17 pm
NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Rob Rang attended the much-anticipated pro day for QB Sam Bradford this morning. 21 teams were officially in attendance, including the main players in the Bradford sweepstakes: St. Louis Rams General Manager Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo, and Washington Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen.
Posted on: March 29, 2010 10:07 am
I apologize for the absence of blog updates yesterday, but I spent virtually most of the day shuffling through airports and cramped airlines.
This morning, however, I've woken up to sun, calm skies and the promise of Sam Bradford's Pro Day workout in just a few hours.
I've spoken to a couple of league personnel in town already and asked them what they'll be looking for in today's workout.
The broadcast begins at 10:45 CT.
Posted on: March 27, 2010 12:20 pm
In scouting hundreds of players each year it is impossible not to develop a few favorites. These aren't necessarily the best athletes or the most productive players. For me, they are guys who play with supreme intensity, technique or durability.
Two of my favorites this year -- Miami offensive tackle Jason Fox and Arizona State linebacker Travis Goethel -- had nearly polar opposite results in highly anticipated Pro Day workouts Friday.
Fox, a 47 game starter for the Hurricanes, had a lot riding on his workout as he was unable to perform in any of the senior all-star games or the Combine due to undergoing a minor procedure on his left knee. He pulled his hamstring 3/4 of the way through his first attempt at the 40-yard dash. Though he tried to gut it out through positional drills, the injury was obviously bothering him, according to scouts in attendance. All 32 teams were represented at Miami's Pro Day.
While the inability to finish the workout is no doubt troubling for Fox (according to reports, he did not want to speak with reporters following the workout), teams that stay true to the mantra of focusing on film will know what this kid can do. He may not have the athleticism to warrant a first or perhaps even second round selection, but he's a reliable technician that can play the game -- whether at left tackle, or perhaps inside at left guard.
While Fox struggled, Goethel took advantage of the attention. Goethel, 6-3, 240 pounds, started 41 of 50 games over his career, but rarely got the attention he deserved with the Sun Devils, only gaining all-conference accolades as a senior (and it was honorable mention honors, at that).
I love the way this kid plays the game, however. Posssessing a combination of physicality and instincts, he is a classic special teams demon at worst and a potential surprise starter. I had reservations about his pure speed, but, according to a scout in attendance, Goethel impressed Friday with a pair of 4.60s in the 40-yard dash, a 4.54 time in the short shuttle and a 6.91 in the 3-cone -- all of which shaved about 3/10s of a second from his times recorded at the Combine. The scout was also sure to note that the performance was on grass, which is all the more impressive, as this surface generally is not as conducive to fast times as a track or turf.
Posted on: March 27, 2010 11:53 am
Sometimes the small school prospects can get a bit lost in the shuffle of a busy Pro Day week. These are three players from relatively small schools, however, that are creating some buzz with scouts.
William and Mary pass rusher Adrian Tracy was the big name on campus -- so much so that I highlighted him back in November in our PDF Draft Slant -- but it was his former teammate, defensive tackle Sean Lissemore who impressed scouts at their recent Pro Day. The 6-3, 297 pounder was twice timed in the low 4.8s in the 40-yard dash, 4.27 in the short shuttle and a 7.57 in the 3-cone drill. He also showed good explosiveness with a 30" vertical jump, 9'3" broad jump and lifting the bar 26 times. Lissemore is hardly a workout warrior. He earned first team all-conference honors with 66 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and two interceptions as a senior. He also stood out at the Texas vs. Nation practices. Lissemore has already gained the interest of several clubs, having set up private visits with the Arizona, Atlanta, Jacksonville, both New York clubs, and Seattle.
Western Illinois cornerback Patrick Stoudamire, Jr. took advantage of another opportunity to work out for scouts at the Northern Illinois Pro Day Friday. Stoudamire, who earned first-team all Gateway conference honors each of the past three seasons and never gave up a touchdown reception, had previously helped his cause with a solid performance at the East-West Shrine game. He was among the highest rated prospects by NFLDraftScout.com who was not invited to the Combine. Friday, however, the 5-10, 207 pounder showed the speed (4.43), explosiveness (31.5" vertical) and fluidity in positional drills to warrant a late round selection. He's already scheduled several visits with clubs. The Cardinals, Bears, Colts and Saints seemed to be the most interested during his NIU workout.
Every year there is a D-III prospect that earns a late round selection or makes a club as an undrafted free agent. This year that prospect may be Christopher Newport running back Tunde Ogun .
Ogun burst onto the scene as a junior with 1,794 yards and 16 touchdowns, earning All-American honors. A partially torn meniscus suffered in the season-opener, however, limited Ogun to only 959 yards and 10 scores (in 10 games).
No one can say Ogun isn't dedicated to showing scouts what he can do. Not only did he play through the injury all season long, over the past month, he's traveled to three different Pro Day workouts. His best performance came Wednesday. Ogun, 6-0, 219 pounds was timed at 4.52 in the 40-yard dash, 4.24 in the short shuttle, 11.50 in the long shuttle and 6.92 in the 3-cone. He also posted a 30" vertical, 9'1" broad jump and lifted the bar 22 times.