Aaron Aloysius

Aaron began closely following the draft in 2005. Since then, he’s overcome an Al Davis-like obsession with workout numbers, instead focusing on the qualities and traits visible on prospects’ tape.


Tale of the Tape: USC DT Jurrell Casey

July 17, 2010

As of late, many of the USC Trojans’ big name defenders have suffered major draft slides. Once touted as a future top ten pick, Rey Maualuga ended up dropping to the 2nd round. The hard-hitting, arthritic-hipped Taylor Mays suffered a similar fate, and freakish defensive end Everson Griffen slid all the way to the 4th frame.

 

For that reason, it’ll be particularly interesting to see where the now highly-touted Jurrell Casey’s stock ends up settling. The junior defensive tackle debuted at #34 overall on MockingTheDraft’s 2011 NFL Draft top 75, but based on what’s happened to recent USC prospects, he’ll either eclipse that ranking or freefall way below it.

 

And after watching tape of Casey against Stanford, Arizona, and Boston College, I can spot reasons why the USC defensive tackle could be a bigtime riser or an unfortunate draft day slider.

 

Initially, what stands out about Casey’s (read more…)

Tale of the Tape: Alabama LB Dont’a Hightower

July 17, 2010

Early last fall, Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower appear to be slobbernocking his way into national prominence. According to scout-turned twitter god-turned scout Daniel Jeremiah, people around the NFL were buzzing more about the true sophomore than the guy playing next to him, 2010 top ten pick Rolando McClain. It’s easy to see why: when the two linebackers played side by side, Hightower clearly was the more aggressive LB. Whether it was going in for the tackle after losing his helmet in the Virginia Tech game or using his nice closing burst to deliver some semi-late wallops to FIU’s QB, Hightower looked like the kind of linebacker who could intimidate opponents and take over games. And because Hightower had success both as a run stuffer and a pass rusher, he appeared to be one of the rare linebackers who could excel both inside and outside in a 3-4 defense. Unfortunately, a (read more…)

Tale of the Tape: Michigan State LB Greg Jones

July 17, 2010

After a very productive redshirt sophomore season, Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones briefly flirted with going pro. Instead, Jones opted to return to East Lansing, where he managed to post some amazing defensive numbers. Last fall, Jones notched 154 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 9 sacks. Those numbers reflect how tremendous Jones has been for the Spartans. It was no surprise when the Michigan State middle linebacker earned consensus first-team All-American honors. However, there’s good reason to question whether Jones will make it into the first round of next year’s draft.

The fiery leader of the Spartans’ defense, Jones possesses excellent instincts and an ever-churning motor. When he’s free to roam unobstructed by blockers, Jones does a nice job of flowing to the ball and uses his good straight-line acceleration to close. His great motor and good speed also make him a very good special teams player, as (read more…)

Tale of the Tape: Alabama Safety Mark Barron

July 17, 2010

On a defense filled with playmakers, Mark Barron managed to make a tremendous impact last fall. The first year starting sophomore notched 75 tackles (42 solo) and hauled in an uber-impressive seven interceptions. As a result, it’s no surprise that Barron has the potential to become a very good draft prospect. The Bama safety debuted at #26 overall on MockingTheDraft’s initial 2011 Top 75.

 

However, it’s yet to be seen whether Barron will rise into the “elite” category or simply remain an above average prospect.

 

At 6’2″, 210 lbs., Barron possesses great size and above average upper body strength. If he can get his mitts on the ball-carrier, Barron most likely will come up with the tackle. For the most part, Barron is a reliable open-field tackler, but his slightly stiff hips can lead to him getting juked in the open field. And though he hustles, the leggy (read more…)

Tale of the Tape: Nevada DE Dontay Moch

July 17, 2010

Dontay Moch first caught the attention of the online draft community when reports emerged of his blazing 4.25 40. However, the Nevada DE’s long been a known entity to fans of the WAC, as well as opposing teams’ offensive coordinators.

 

Over the last two years, Moch has notched 18 sacks and an eye-popping 37 tackles for loss. His sack numbers dropped in ‘09, but that was in part due to Dontay frequently facing double teams. And when I watched him against some of the better competition he faced last year – Notre Dame, Missouri, Boise State, and SMU – he was relentlessly disruptive.

 

Moch’s 4.25 40 almost seems too amazing to be accurate, and to a certain extent that’s true.

 

As TFY Draft’s Tony Pauline noted in his excellent podcast, Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick surprisingly timed in the 4.4s on the same surface that Moch ran his (read more…)

NFC South Draft Grades

July 17, 2010

Moving right along in our “better late than never” draft grades series, Aaron Aloysius takes a look at the NFC South.

Atlanta Falcons: B

Since taking over the Falcons in 2008, GM Tom Dimitroff has focused on bringing in high character, self-motivated players. Unsurprisingly, that trend continued in this year’s draft, with the Falcons selecting several prospects who earned high marks for leadership and excellent intangibles.

In the first round, the Falcons selected Sean Weatherspoon, one of our Red Star players. Weatherspoon truly is the “complete package” – he’s an aggressive, rangy linebacker who fires up his teammates with his never-ending energy. Though Weatherspoon wasn’t quite as impressive at a bulked up 250 lbs. in ’09, the Falcons should be able to get him down to his proper weight and bring him back to his ’08 form. If that happens, Weatherspoon could be the leader (read more…)

“Way too early” first round mock – June 7th

June 6, 2010

Feeling a little bit empty inside now that the draft is over with? Sure…training camp hasn’t even started but what else are you gonna do? Aaron Aloysius takes you through the first of our “way too early” mock drafts. **Disclaimer** Though two of the writers of Draft Breakdown are from Baltimore, please note that this was written by Aaron, who is from the Cleveland area. We don’t want to come across as being biased

1. Buffalo Bills Jake Locker – QB – Washington

Chan Gailey had some success with Tyler Thigpen and reportedly coveted Tim Tebow. In Jake Locker, Gailey gets a more polished, NFL-ready version of those two QBs. Locker showed tremendous progress last year, closing out the season with an impressive performance against Cal. He’ll likely have to fend off rising redshirt Sophomore Andrew Luck for the top QB spot in next year’s draft, but his (read more…)

NFC North Draft Grades

May 28, 2010

Moving right along in our “better late than never” draft grades series, Aaron Aloysius takes a look at the NFC North.

Chicago Bears: B

The Bears were majorly short-handed this April, having traded away their first two picks for Jay Cutler and the late Gaines Adams. They still managed to bring in some promising prospects, in part because they drafted players who underwent injury, experience, or system-based draft slides. The major question, however, is whether the players they brought in are good fits for Chicago’s system. For a couple of their picks, the answer remains unclear. With their first pick, coming early in the 3rd round, the Bears brought in Florida safety Major Wright. Wright’s a hard hitter and proved to be a better athlete than expected during his Combine workout, but he declared after a junior season in which he didn’t make many plays or generate (read more…)

NFC East Draft Grades

May 25, 2010

Our newest writer, Aaron Aloysius, gives you the official Draft Breakdown grades for the NFC East.

Dallas Cowboys: C

Master showman Jerry Jones must have been very disappointed when his ’09 draft ended up being a rather dull exercise. After forking over multiple draft picks for Roy Williams, the Cowboys didn’t end up picking until the 3rd round and only managed to add a mixed multitude of linebackers, safeties, and special teamers.

In many ways, the Cowboys’ draft this year’s draft was a corrective to last year’s boredom, with the ‘boys adding a couple high upside prospects, albeit ones with considerable risk. This year’s draft addressed the same positions as last year’s effort, leaving the Cowboys’ needs on both sides of the line virtually unaddressed.

In the 1st round, the Cowboys traded up to select the free-falling Dez Bryant. Bryant slid because of concerns (read more…)

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