Risers and Sliders: Week Five

Written by Aaron Aloysius on October 7, 2010


Leonard Hankerson WR Miami Coming into the season, very few draft analysts had Hankerson rated highly; the folks at National Scouting gave the Miami wideout a 5th to 7th round grade. However, Hankerson’s quieted many of his critics with a strong start to the 2010 season, including a 147 yard, 3 touchdown performance against Clemson. Though he lacks elite speed, Hankerson has enough quicks to separate from defensive backs and out-muscle them to the ball. Both qualities showed up in the Clemson game, but it was his ability to make the tough grab in traffic that was the most important part of his day. On his last TD reception, Hankerson plucked the ball away from his body, then took a hit without coughing up the pigskin. Hankerson’s been drop-prone in the past, so it’s important that he prove to scouts that he’ll be a reliable receiver at the (read more…)

Separating the Quarterbacks

Written by Wes Stueve on September 29, 2010

Even in the early stages of preparation for the 2011 NFL Draft, a quarterback battle is waging. In contrast to last year’s draft, where there was only two quarterbacks selected in the first round, there appear to be three players vying for the number one spot. After showing tremendous progress in his first year under Steve Sarkisian at Washington, Jake Locker was already slated as the number one quarterback, and likely the first pick of the 2011 draft before play even started this season. However, a combination of disappointing play by Locker and the continuing emergence of Andrew Luck and Ryan Mallett have sprung a debate. Locker brings incredible athleticism, as well as prototypical size and ability to the table. At 6’3” 226, Locker is rumored to run a 40-yard-dash time in a staggering 4.5 seconds. Adding to his athletic prowess, Locker was drafted in the 10th round of the (read more…)

Risers and Sliders: Week Four

Written by Aaron Aloysius on September 29, 2010


Nate Irving LB NC State On Saturday, Irving proved to any remaining doubters that he’s fully recovered from the car accident that took away his ‘09 season. The explosive linebacker delivered an epic performance, notching 16 tackles, 4.5 TFL, and two sacks. Irving made an impact even when he wasn’t polishing his stat line, quickly moving downhill to disrupt Georgia Tech’s option attack. On a few plays, Irving did overpursue and take poor angles, but those plays could soon disappear. At his point, Irving looks like a guy getting used to driving a faster car; once he gets used to going full speed, he should he able to play under control and be the consistent impact player he was back in ‘08. Cameron Jordan DE Cal Last year, Jordan had a very productive season (8 sacks, 9.5 TFL), but teammate Tyson Alualu received most of the glory, as (read more…)

Risers And Sliders: Week Three

Written by Aaron Aloysius on September 21, 2010


Brooks Reed DE Arizona In a very good display of his pass rush ability, Reed had highly-touted sophomore tackle Riley Reiff back on his heels all night. The Arizona defensive end generated good push on contact while also showcasing his speed off the edge, beating Reiff around the corner for a very nice sack. A former fullback, Reed plays with a lot of ferocity and a tremendous motor, as was seen on Iowa’s final drive. When an Iowa back tried to meet him head-on in blitz pickup, Reed plowed his way through the poor RB and notched his second sack of the game. At a shade below 6’3” and 255 lbs., Reed doesn’t possess great size, nor is he a special athlete. However, his ever-churning motor and good speed off the edge should appeal to many teams, especially one that run a 3-4 defense. Because of his (read more…)

Video Breakdown: Anthony Castonzo

Written by Will Spencer on September 16, 2010

Not many college athletes can say that they’ve never missed a game due to injury. Even less can say they’ve been a starter since their very first college game. Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo fits into that small minority. Castonzo got his start playing right tackle for Boston College and worked his way to the left tackle spot, which is a more natural fit for him. As a true freshman, Castonzo started his career at only 260 pounds. Since then, he’s bulked up to 308 pounds (according to the Boston College team website) and honed his skills as a blind side protector. Castonzo has the perfect build for a finesse left tackle. Tall and lean, he has long arms and quick feet. Castonzo isn’t going to beat defensive lineman with overpowering strength or shear ferocity. Castonzo is a true technician, not a mauler. He’s at his best when (read more…)

Video Breakdown: Greg Romeus

Written by Will Spencer on September 2, 2010

Greg Romeus is one of the most intriguing prospects coming into the 2010 college football season. Possessing a great combination of power and speed, Romeus is set to have a dominate season for the Panthers. He only played one year of high school football, so he’s a little more raw than some other defensive end prospects. However, he’s going into his third year as a starter and he’s shown dramatic improvement every season. With the college football season about to kick off, let’s take a look at some 2009 tape of Romeus in action and break down his game.


Romeus vs. West Virginia

The game against West Virginia is a good example of exactly what Romeus can do. He shows up as a pass rusher and against the run. What I like the most about Romeus is how he uses his long arms, especially when setting the edge (read more…)

Video Breakdown: Prince Amukamara

Written by Will Spencer on August 10, 2010

Coming into the 2010 college football season, all eyes will be on another dominate Nebraska defender. This year, the focus switches from the defensive line, to the secondary. Senior cornerback Prince Amukamara is set for a break out season and is looking to be the first defensive back taken in the 2011 NFL Draft. With a rare combination of size, speed, and tackling ability, Amukamara is the complete package. Before the season started, National Scouting evaluated Amukamara and assigned a grade of 7.3. That’s tied for the highest among all seniors evaluated with Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn. It’s interesting to note that before the 2009 football season, Ndamukong Suh’s preseason grade from National was a 7.0. So what is it about Amukamara that has NFL scouts drooling? First of all, he possesses ideal size. At 6’1″, 205 lbs, Amukamara has the size to play free safety in the NFL, but (read more…)

NFC West Draft Grades

Written by Will Spencer on August 9, 2010

With the final installment of our “better late than never” draft grade series, we take a look at the NFC West.

Arizona Cardinals: A-

Arizona is a team that could quickly see the number in their win column diminish this year after the retirement of Kurt Warner and trading away Anquan Boldin. Their success will ultimately hinge on the quarterback position, whether it’s Matt Leinart or Derek Anderson. That being said, the Cards have a strong wide receiver corps and a decent rushing attack, but had plenty of needs on the defensive side of the ball. Arizona actually had one of the better drafts this season, even though they aren’t getting a lot of attention for it. By taking Dan Williams in the first round, their defensive line immediately becomes stronger than before. Williams has some versatility and can move along the defensive line, making him an (read more…)

AFC West Draft Grades

Written by Will Spencer on August 9, 2010

Moving right along in our “better late than never” draft grades series, let’s take a look at the AFC West.

Denver Broncos: B-

It’s hard to think about the Broncos draft and not immediately go to the selection of Tim Tebow in the first round, which I’ll get to in a minute. Overall, Denver had a fairly successful draft but made some questionable picks along the way. They started off by grabbing Georgia Tech WR Demaryius Thomas, which almost seemed like a no-brainer. The Broncos decided to pass on Dez Bryant, who many had ranked as the better receiver, but it makes sense to not bring in another diva to replace Brandon Marshall. While Thomas was picked up a bit high for my taste, he still would have surely gone in the first round had Denver not pulled the trigger. Then Denver loses me. McDaniels (read more…)

Tale of the Tape: Miami DL Allen Bailey

Written by Aaron Aloysius on August 8, 2010

At this time last year, the online draft community was agog over Carlos Dunlap. The Florida defensive end appeared to possess the ultimate combination of size, speed, and strength. Todd McShay had Dunlap going 6th overall in his initial 2010 mock draft, and Dunlap debuted at #3 overall on Kiper’s Big Board.


However, the ‘09 season exposed some of Dunlap’s limitations. He failed to get through the season without raising beet red character flags, displaying inconsistent effort and getting charged with a DUI. In addition, he played with too high a pad level, didn’t improve his technique, and failed to prove he could threaten the edge against good offensive tackles. As a result, his draft stock plummeted; the once highly-touted prospect slipped to the 2nd round.


This year, another freakish defensive lineman from the state of Florida is the subject of pre-season hype. But instead of (read more…)

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