By Frank Cooney
For 45 years Bruce Kebric scouted college players for pro football teams, including the last 31 years as national scout with the Oakland Raiders.
When the Raiders changed regimes last year, including their scouting department, Kebric did what came natural. He kept scouting players at games and on films from his Arizona home.
This year Kebric is advising select NFL executives on prospects and is putting the NFL Scout into NFLDraftScout.com as a consultant. Kebric, who began scouting in 1968 with the San Diego Chargers great Sid Gillman, spent thousands of hours watching games and tapes this last year to develop in-depth reports on more than 300 players.
"I did exactly what I did every other year," said Kebric. "It's what I know. It's what I do."
Kebric shared his insightful reports with NFLDraftscout.com for a series that begins with this rundown of the 2013 draft's very talented defensive line, including the DT crop breakdown below. Next we will that a look at defensive ends, linebackers, defensive backs and then offensive units one at a time.
"Not sure everybody will understand it," said Kebric. "It's the way we describe things in football. It is detailed, but simple, really. It's a truthful look at what needs to be known about player."
Unlike most of the media-and-fan-oriented language most often used by NFLDraftScout.com and others covering the draft, Kebric's descriptions use the language of scouts, an industry lingo that has blunt, to-the-point, candor as well as football geek speak.
Height is measured to the eighth of an inch with a simple four-digit system: 6043 = six feet (first digit), four inches (middle two digits)and 3/8ths of an inch (last digit reflects eights of an inch).
Body type is described in a crude, straight-forward manner, with words such as "flabby body" and "good butt" or "bubble," the last two describing the muscularity of a player's buttocks.
The grades listed for each prospect use the following scale as a key: 1-2.5 equates to a first- or second-round projection; 2.6-3.5 equates to a second- or third-round grade; 3.6-4.5 = 3rd-4th; 4.6-5.5 = 4th-5th; 5.6-6.5 = 5-6; 6.6-7.5 = 7th-free agent.
With that warning in mind, here is a closer look at the defensive tackles from a group that Kebric calls "one of the most talented" defensive line classes he has seen. (Players listed in order of NFLDraftscout.com ratings):
1. #73 SHARRIF FLOYD, Florida, DT (6025-297-4.87).
BODY: Good frame. Good upper body, arms (muscular). Big butt, thighs; good calves.
ARM: 31 3/4;
HAND: 10 1/8.
Defensive tackle (three technique); Nose Tackle/Three Front; two-year starter. Strong, powerful player with excellent aggressiveness, good tackler. Good athletic ability, speed, quickness, movement, range. Good body control/balance, feet/hips, lateral movement/ change direction.
RUN: Dominant vs. run. Excellent takeoff, adequate pad level, strong hands (good hand lead), good work on move, shed ability. Strong vs. double team, feet run contact.
PASS: Good initial quickness (can be explosive), excellent power rusher along with ability to hit gap and penetrate. Needs to develop better pass rush technique; basically all power now.
SPECIAL TEAMS: FG/PAT Block- Right Tackle (field goal block vs. Louisville).
First Round: Talented DT who also could line up at DE. Strong, explosive with excellent motor; just needs to refine pass rush skills.
INJURY: High School (2008)-Left Knee ACL Tear.
Philadelphia, PA (Washington High School/OT-DT; Parade and USA Today All-American). Florida (2010). Premature Birth (3 pounds-7 ounces). Raised by great grandmother. Did not know father (deceased now). Later adopted (adoption completed December 2011) by family who mentored him in high school.
Fall 2011: NCAA suspension (two games) for receiving improper benefits; adopted family provided him with $2,500 and other benefits. Had to repay $2,700 to a charity. Birthdate: May 28, 1992.
2. #92 STAR LOTULELEI, Utah, DT (6020-311-5.36 @314#).
Body: Square, thick frame; impressive physically. Big upper body, arms. Some middle softness. Big lower body (wide butt; big thighs, calves). ARM: 33 5/8; HAND: 9 3/4.
Right defensive tackle/nose tackle (three-year starter). Alert, active player with excellent strength, power; ability to dominate. Good athletic ability, speed (plays much faster than 40 time), quickness, movement, mobility, range. Runs easy, burst to close both run and pass. Good body control, balance, lateral movement, change direction. Good knee bend/base, feet/hips.
RUN: Dominates at point of attack vs. single and double blocks. Adequate pad level, good hand (strong hands) placement, leverage. Good shed ability, react off block, close down, tackle (strong, wraps).
PASS: Good initial quickness, adequate pad level. Excellent power rush ability. Displays quickness into gap, grab and arm over techniques. Good get hands up (three tips vs. BYU). Gets doubled most games and seems to wear down some in fourth quarter.
SPECIAL TEAMS: FG/PAT Block-Right tackle (field goal block vs. BYU).
First Round: Dominate DT/NT.
Medical (NDS update): Lotulelei was not allowed to work out with the rest of the defensive lineman at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine after an echocardiogram revealed an abnormally low ejection fraction. While a normal heart will pump between 55 to 70 percent of the blood out of the left ventricle of the heart and into the body, Lotulelei's left ventricle was found to be pumping at only 44 percent. A month after the combine, Lotulelei worked out in front of NFL personnel at Utah's Pro Day. He reportedly "looked strong in all the position drills," and registered 38 repetitions in the 225-pound bench press).
South Jordan, UT (Bingham High School/DL). Snow UT J.C. (2008; Redshirt 2009). Utah (2010/OG-DT). Team co-captain. Born in Tonga. Married(one child). Birthdate: 12-20-89.
3. #34 SHELDON RICHARDSON, Missouri, DT (6024-294-4.96).
Body: Good frame. Good upper body, arms. Some belly. Good butt (wide), big thighs, good calves (muscular). ARM: 34 1/2; HAND: 10 1/2.
Defensive Tackle (three-technique); two-year starter. Alert, aggressive, productive player. Excellent strength (body and hands), power. Good tackler; around ball and involved. Good athletic ability, speed, quickness, movement, mobility, range. Good body control/balance, lateral movement/change direction. Adequate feet/hips.
RUN: Good initial quickness, high pad level, strength to control point of attack vs. single and double blocks. Good arm extension, hand placement, separation. Adequate block shed, good react off block, close down.
PASS: Explosive takeoff at times; power and finesse rush ability along with burst to QB. Good hand use, technique, shed. Can push center/guard to QB. Speed to chase QB to sideline. Adequate stunt quickness. High pad level only real negative.
First Round: Complete player who can dominate vs. run/pass.
INJURY: Fall 2010-Wrist injury (redshirt season). January 2012-Shoulder surgery.St. Louis, MO (Gateway Tech High School/TE-DL). College of the Sequoias J.C. CA (2009; Injury Redshirt 2010). Missouri (2011). Signed with Missouri 2009 but did not qualify. November 15, 2012: Team rules violation (academic issue) and one game suspension (Syracuse).
4. #52 JONATHAN HANKINS, Ohio State, DT (6027-320-5.31).
Body: Big frame; soft composition. Belly, big waist. Average butt (wide), big thighs, good calves. ARM: 33; HAND: 9 1/2.
Defensive Tackle (three technique); two-year starter. Strong, powerful player with good athletic ability; adequate speed, quickness, movement, mobility, range. Good body control/balance; adequate feet/hips; adequate lateral movement/change direction.
RUN: Strong at point of attack but plays with high pad level, block catcher with limited shed ability and seldom gets off line of scrimmage. Will turn shoulder at times to blocker. Good react off block, close down laterally.
PASS: Average initial quickness, first move up, block catcher, seldom off line. Does display power rush ability on occasion. Lazy, content to hang on to blocker and watch frequently. Appears to give a better chase than point of attack effort. Stops feet on contact and gets a little top heavy at times.
Fifth Round: Like his strength, power but needs to develop technique, play with better urgency.
Dearborn Heights, MI (Southeastern High School/DL). Ohio State (2010).
5. KAWANN SHORT, Purdue, DT, 6-3, 299, 5.09. (NFLDraftScout rated 5th DT, no film breakdown).
6. #54 JESSE WILLIAMS, Alabama, DT (6030-323-4.96 @ 325#).
Body: Square, thick body. Big upper body, arms (muscular). Belly. Wide butt, big thighs, good calves. ARM: 32; HAND: 9 3/8.
Nose tackle (two-year starter); fullback at goal line. Active, aggressive player with excellent strength, power. Good tackler. Adequate athletic ability, speed, quickness, movement, mobility, range. Good body control/balance; adequate feet/hips, adequate lateral movement/change direction.
RUN: Dominate vs. run; controls point of attack vs. single and double blocks, strong lower body, feet run contact, tough to dislodge. Good hand placement, separation, shed.
PASS: Good power rush ability (can push center or guard to QB) along with quickness into gap and arm over move. Good initial quickness but first move always up. Strong hands, good hand lead. Best as two-gap player; plays with high pad level; comes out on most passing situations.
Second round: Excellent run player with power pass rush ability.
INJURY: January 2011- Right knee surgery. December 1, 2011- Right knee injury (brace). September 1, 2012: Concussion (DNP vs. Western Kentucky).
Brisbane, Australia (Cavendish Road High School/Rugby-Basketball). Arizona Western J.C. (2009-10)/DL. Alabama(2011). Did not play football until age 15. Signed with Hawaii (2008) but did not qualify. Birthdate: November 2, 1990.
7. #92 SYLVESTER WILLIAMS, North Carolina, DT (6025-313-5.08)
Body: Big frame, soft composition. Adequate upper body, arms. Belly. Big butt (shelf), thighs; adequate calves. ARM: 33 1/2; HAND: 10 3/4.
Defensive tackle (generally three technique but also lines up some at one technique); two-year starter. Strong, powerful player with good athletic ability, quickness, movement. Adequate speed, mobility, range. Good body control/balance, feet/hips, lateral movement/change direction. Adequate tackler.
RUN: Good initial quickness but first move up and plays with high pad level. Strength to control single and double blocks at point of attack; average shed.
PASS: Explosive takeoff at times, gets up field but average technique (arm over), shed. Good power to push, some ability to work on move but seldom finishes. Think best as one-gap player (three-technique) since has quickness into gap and can develop some technique. Will be 24 first NFL season.
Second round: Junior college transfer who played better in 2012 than 2011; talented but needs to be more productive.
INJURY: Fall 2012-left ankle sprain; missed no games but bothered all season.
Jefferson City, MO (Jefferson City High School/DL-one year high school football). Worked after high school until entered Coffeyville, KN J.C. in 2009(2009-10/DL). North Carolina (2011). Birthdate: 11-21-1988.
8. #6 JOHN JENKINS, Georgia, DT (6040-346-5.31 @343#).
Body: Big frame, square, soft. Adequate upper body, arms (not muscular). Belly. Big butt, thighs; adequate calves. ARM: 34; HAND: 9 1/2.
Defensive tackle (one technique); two-year starter. Strong, powerful person with good athletic ability; adequate speed (plays faster than 40 time), quickness, movement, mobility. Good body control/balance; adequate feet/hips, lateral movement/ change direction. Good initial quickness, controls line of scrimmage vs. single and double blocks (strong lower body, feet run contact). Straight line, power pass rush ability. Plays with high pad level, first move up, controls blocker but seldom sheds, gets off line of scrimmage.
SPECIAL TEAMS: FG/PAT Block-left tackle.
Third Round: Strong, powerful two-gap player; not a rusher.
INJURY: January 1, 2013-Did not play vs. Nebraska.
Meriden, CT (Maloney High School/OL-DE). MS Gulf Coast J.C. (2009-10). Georgia (2011).
9. Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern, DT, 6-1, 335, 5.32 (NFLDraftScout.com rated ninth, no film breakdown).
10. *Akeem, Spence, Illinois, DT, 6-1, 307, 5.09 (NFLDraftScout.com rated 10th, no film breakdown).
11. #47 JORDAN HILL DT (6012-303-5.23). Body: Short, square frame. Good upper body, arms. Good butt (wide), big thighs, calves. ARM: 33 1/2; HAND: 10 1/4.
Defensive Tackle (one technique); two-year starter. Strong, active, alert, aggressive player. Good athletic ability, quickness, movement. Adequate speed (plays faster than 40 time), mobility, range. Good body control/balance, feet/hips, lateral movement/change direction. Good tackler.
RUN: Adequate pad level; good strength, arm extension/hand placement/shed. Strong lower body; feet run contact. Reacts off block, good close down.
PASS: Good initial quickness, strength, power, push. Strong hands, adequate block shed. Can be quick into "A" gap along with arm over move. Height appears to be only real deficit.
Third Round: Like his strength, aggressiveness, quickness.
INJURY: November 3, 2012-Left knee injury vs. Indiana (wore knee brace vs. Nebraska).
Steelton, PA (Steelton-Highspire High School/FB-DL. Basketball-Baseball). Penn State (2009). Birthdate: February 8, 1991.