Tag Archives: NFL Draft

2013 NFL Draft: Why Bjoern Werner Deserves A Second Look

Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner vs.Duke

Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner vs.Duke

Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner provides a skill set proven through production that many of the top defensive line prospects can’t provide at the top end of this year’s NFL Draft.

Looking ahead to the 2013 NFL Draft, every NFL fan is searching for that one prospect to cling to in hopes that their favorite team will select the hottest prospect available on April 25. That prospect may come to be known as Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner. Werner is widely regarded as one of the top defensive ends available in this year’s NFL Draft, but like many prospects, has noticeable flaws in his game. With that said, this article will show you why Werner stands out above the rest of the prospects at his respective position.

First Step

When you first turn on the game tape of Werner against Wake Forest from last season, you’ll immediately notice his fierce first step. Werner is consistently the first defender in the backfield throughout the game, and often causes havoc in the backfield, creating turmoil for Wake’s offensive game plan. Werner was credited with four tackles and 1.5 sacks in the game, but could have easily had three sacks when you look back at the tape. Werner lost at least one sack to teammate Tank Carradine after tripping on a lineman in the pocket. It’s no surprise Werner ranked second in the entire ACC in tackles for loss, and totaled 13 sacks in 2012, much credit due to his elite first step.

Pass Rushing Ability

Werner’s top-tier arsenal of pass-rush moves is clearly shown in the above video, showing Werner’s tenacious and relentless demeanor as a definite asset as a pass rusher. Werner recorded multiple sacks in five games during the 2012 campaign, good enough to rank third in the NCAA for sacks in a season in last season. Werner’s hands are his biggest strength as a pass rusher, recording eight pass deflections, one forced fumble, along with one fumble recovery. According to Florida States official athletic website, Werner was only one of two linemen in the entire NCAA last season to record eight or more pass break-ups. Werner’s 35 tackles-for-loss rank tenth all-time in Seminole history, which is mind blowing for a player with only 27 career starts.

Awareness

Werner had the game of his life against Oklahoma in 2011, recording six total tackles, two in which resulted in a loss of yards, and one sack. Much of his production not only against Oklahoma in 2011, but throughout the course of his career as a Seminole can be credited to his great awareness. As shown in the above video, you’ll notice that Werner keeps a constant eye on the ball, and rarely is seen out of position, or away from the play. Werner’s ability to shed blocks, or beat opposing lineman in passing situations, all while keeping an eye on the ball is one of the biggest assets to a defensive lineman’s skill set you could ask for. Werner is constantly creating havoc in the backfield, or seen running down a ball carrier twenty yards down the field, due in large part because you rarely see him with his eyes off the ball.

Overall

Standing 6’4” and weighing 255 lbs. gives Werner prototypical size to be a 4-3 defensive end, or a 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level. That type of versatility will attract plenty of teams in the first round looking to improve their pass rush. Werner’s stats certainly speak for themselves. Werner’s career total of 23.5 sacks and 35 tackles-for-loss are simply outstanding for a player who only played two years of organized High School football before coming to Tallahassee and dominating top level NCAA competition. Werner’s game on tape reminds you of Houston Texans’ star defensive lineman J.J. Watt. Both players possess great versatility in both the running and passing game, and can be lined up anywhere along the defensive line, all while producing. Werner may slip in the first round of the draft due to potential players like BYU’s Ezekiel Ansah, or LSU’s Barkevious Mingo, but Werner’s production will outweigh any potential three to five years down the road. There’s nothing about Werner’s game that tells me he can’t or won’t be the best defensive lineman out of this draft class in three years.

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2013 NFL Draft: Deandre Hopkins Prospect Profile

Clemson wide receiver Deandre Hopkins

Clemson wide receiver Deandre Hopkins

Prospect: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson University

Measurables: 6’2” 205 lbs

Strengths: DeAndre Hopkins benefited from stellar quarterback play with Taj Boyd at Clemson. They hooked up to make a pretty good tandem finishing 2012 with 82 catches for 1405 yards and 18 Tds. Hopkins has excellent size and decent speed to be a bona fide no.1 at the next level. He’s physical enough to post up defenders. Nice hands with a long wingspan which allows for a big catch radius. Uses his superb leaping ability to high point the ball as well as his foot quickness to break off the line. Tremendous field vision and awareness to locate boundaries. Has enough straightaway speed to get past any DB. Has room to fill out his frame. Very fluid and crisp route runner. Disguises his movements with precision foot placement. His raw determination will not allow him to fail as he strives to be the best football player on the field and that’s evident in the way he approaches each game.

Weaknesses: Sometimes loses the physical battle with defenders. Will allow himself to get pushed off the route with lazy route running. Needs to be more physical with his hands when pressed at the line. If he loses that battle, the route will turn sloppy. Has a knack for allowing the ball into his body rather than catching it with his hands which will often cause drops. His blocking will sometimes suffer from lapses in his concentration. Needs to flash big-play potential and ability to run the entire route tree at both the scouting combine and his pro day.

Projection: Hopkins projects to be a late first or early second round prospect.

Prospect Profile completed by:
Marc Lucoff is DraftInsider’s Head Scout of WR/DB’s
follow Marc on Twitter @Ryans46D

as always, feel free to comment on the blog.
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2013 NFL Draft: Keenan Allen Prospect Profile

California wide receiver Keenan Allen

California wide receiver Keenan Allen

Prospect: Keenan Allen, WR, University of California

Measurables: 6’3”, 210 lbs

Strengths: Allen is a big-bodied, physical, possession-type receiver that offenses covet. While he’s not the No. 1 to stretch the field a la Julio Jones, a better comparison may be to Dez Bryant. Allen finished the 2012 season with 61 catches for 737 yards and 6 touchdowns. He’s projected as a top 10 prospect and the number one wideout in a class that doesn’t have a clear-cut leader. A more than adequate run blocker, runs good, crisp routes and has decent hands with a pretty big catch radius. Not afraid to go up and high point the ball and out-position defenders. Think Alshon Jeffery here. He has excellent run after the catch ability and is physical enough to run through tackles. A classic No. 2, Allen can run the short and intermediate routes; perfect against cover one. Arguably had his most complete game against the Buckeyes back in September at the Horseshoe.

Weaknesses: Allen missed the last three games of his junior year and certainly didn’t benefit from sub-standard quarterback play at Cal which many believed inhibited his production as a junior. Needs to maintain better body awareness when looking in passes and occasionally has the case of the dropsies particularly in coverage. Since young receivers typically have a big adjustment to the NFL level, particularly against press coverage and achieving separation, he’s going to need all the off-season conditioning he can get. Isn’t the greatest leaper but still can use his big body to out physical defenders. Doesn’t have the blazing fast speed and needs to improve on his run blocking particularly if he’s drafted by a team that utilizes the zone/read option offense that seems to be the hot trend in the league right now.

Projection: Allen is projected to be a mid to late first round pick in April’s Draft.

Prospect Profile completed by:
Marc Lucoff is DraftInsider’s Head Scout of WR/DB’s
follow Marc on Twitter @Ryans46D

as always, feel free to comment on the blog.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @DraftInsider

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2013 NFL Draft: Cordarrelle Patterson Prospect Profile

Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson

Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson

Prospect: Cordarrelle Patterson , WR, University of Tennessee

Measurables: 6’3”, 205 lbs

Strengths: Dominating the SEC with 1858 all-purpose yards to go along with 10 TDs in 2012. That’s what WR Cordarrelle Patterson brings to the table. Speedy, tall, and physical. Adjectives that fit Patterson to a tee. He can get by press coverage with little effort. Not afraid to go into traffic to make the grab. Still has room to grow to fit his frame. He can pack on another 10-15 lbs with no negative impact to his game. He has good leaping ability and can snatch the ball out of the air at its highest point. Excellent field awareness and vision. Can see holes before they open. Patterson will always try to get the extra yard by making defenders miss. He simply plants his foot in the ground in one direction, flips his hips and the defender is left grabbing at smoke as he’s racing off to the end zone. Will line up in the backfield for reverses or sweeps. Very dangerous return man with explosive play-making ability to succeed at the next level.

Weaknesses: He’s not the crispest route runner as he tends to round off at the top of the route stem. His willingness and desire to get that extra yard can cause him to dance a bit. He can be a bit lazy and tends to give up on downfield passes. Not the best blocker and will need to improve on that facet of his game at the next level. Some might call his mental toughness into question as he sometimes takes plays off. Randy Moss anyone? The scouting combine and his pro day at Tennessee will be very telling as excellent showings at both should dramatically improve his draft stock. The perfect way to describe Patterson would be “very raw but very talented”.

Projection: Patterson is projected to go in the early to mid first round in April’s Draft.

Prospect Profile completed by:

Marc Lucoff is DraftInsider’s Head Scout of WR/DB
follow marc on Twitter @Ryans46D

as always, feel free to comment on the blog.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @DraftInsider.

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2013 NFL Draft: Dallas Thomas Prospect Profile

Tennessee offensive lineman Dallas Thomas

Tennessee offensive lineman Dallas Thomas

Tennessee Offensive Tackle Dallas Thomas heads into the 2013 NFL Draft as one of Draft Insider’s top Offensive Tackle prospects to watch. Thomas is a Guard prospect as well after playing the entire season at Left Guard for the Volunteers. He posses great technique in his pass blocking and has good feet. Which ever team pulls the trigger on this smart football player should have them selves a player for years to come. Below is our detailed scouting report on Dallas Thomas.

Measurables:
– 6’5″ 310 lbs

Strengths:

First of all, I must say Dallas Thomas has one of the most beautiful pass sets I have ever seen in a live game. It looks exactly how coaches teach it on the field and on film. Dallas Thomas is flexible and shows good bend in his knees and hips. Thomas is a lean 310 pounds which is shown when he is out in the open and getting to the second level. And because he is lean he could be able to keep up with the speed rushers on the edge in the NFL. Thomas replaces his hands well while pass blocking and can defend the bull rush. He is a smart football player and understands that communication is a key factor in an offensive lines success. He is seen on film communicating pre snap with the other members of the line, making sure they have all their calls correct and have an ID on the Mike. Thomas would fit into a zone blocking scheme as he is not a premier drive blocker in the run game. He is versatile and can play both guard and tackle at a high level. Thomas played really well at Left Tackle against 2012 second round draft pick Courtney Upshaw in their 2011 match-up.

Weaknesses:

Although Thomas is flexible and has good bend in his hips, he doesn’t explode through them when firing out to run block. He is not a drive blocker, so he wouldn’t really fit into a power blocking scheme, especially if he played Guard. To be a difference maker on an NFL roster he would need to work and improve his lower body in the running game (feet, hips, and leg drive). Thomas struggles to sustain blocks, falling off late and allowing his defender to get in on the tackle or clog up the running lane and force the runner outside. He also has poor technique when he pulls. He turns his shoulders and has high pad level. Rather than having his shoulders squared up ready to take on any defender in case he doesn’t make it to his assigned man and staying low for more force on contact.

Projection:

Thomas is projected to be a 2nd-3rd round pick in April’s Draft.

 

Prospect Profile completed by:

Zack Spears is Draft Insider’s Head Offensive and Defensive Line Scout.

Be sure to follow Zack on Twitter @Zacklopedia

 

 

feel free to comment on the blog.

As always, follow us on twitter for constant NFL Draft conversation and interaction.

@DraftInsider.

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2013 NFL Draft: Terron Armstead Prospect Profile

Arkansas Pine-Bluff Offensive Guard Terron Armstead

Arkansas Pine-Bluff Offensive Guard Terron Armstead

As we inch closer to the 2013 NFL Draft with each passing day, DraftInsider continues to provide top quality prospect profiles, along with in depth scouting reports and mock drafts. DraftInsider has acquired a team of veteran scouts to bring you the most unique NFL Draft coverage you have, and will ever see. We look forward to bringing you the best in the business. 

Arkansas-Pine Bluff Offensive Guard Terron Armstead heads into the 2013 NFL Draft as one of Draft Insider’s top Offensive Guard prospects to watch. Armstead played left tackle in college but will most likely be asked to move inside to play Guard in the NFL to use his gifted combination of size and quick feet to its highest potential. Potential is a good word to use while evaluating Armstead, he is big, athletic and could blossom into a quality pro one day. Below you will see our preliminary scouting report on Terron Armstead.
Measurables:
– 6’5″ 305 lbs
Strengths:
One of the things you notice and notice often when watching Armstead on film is how athletic he is. He shows great speed and quickness when pulling. Armstead is said to have sub 5.0 40 speed. Which is always a feat for 300 pounder. He also gets to the second level with ease, slipping underneath a defensive end, or chipping a 3 technique and using his speed to get to a linebacker at the next level. Some coaches try and try to teach lineman ways to get to the second level without getting caught up in the traffic of the trenches, some never get it. Armstead’s feet on film are a sight as well, he puts them up and down quickly which reduces the time a defender has to get him off balance or knock him off track (the reason he doesn’t get washed down while getting to the second level). Armstead’s potential is through the roof, with a NFL body frame, athleticism and strength many teams could get him in their system, teach it to him, plug him into it and watch him grow into a pretty good pro player.  
Weaknesses:
Armstead needs to work on his technique in pass protection. He likes to turn his hips and shoulder in his pass set which leaves him vulnerable to the inside move. It didn’t cost him as much in college because his athleticism was able to make up for the bad technique. Also while pass protecting I saw another bad habit of Armstead’s, he shoots his hands too low on his punch. Although he has a strong punch and a good firm grip when he connects, the low punch made him unbalanced while protecting. In the SWAC he wasn’t exposed by it like he will if he does it on Sunday’s. Armstead’s level of competition he played in college is also a question mark. Although the SWAC has had its share of talented players it is hard to gauge how good each and every player he played against is. He is seen on film at times mauling defenders 10-12 yards down field.
Projection:
Armstead is projected to be a 5th round pick in April’s Draft.
Prospect Profile completed by:
Zack Spears is Draft Insider’s Head Offensive and Defensive Line Scout.
Be sure to follow Zack on Twitter @zacklopedia
feel free to comment on the blog.
As always, follow us on twitter for constant NFL Draft conversation and interaction.
@DraftInsider.
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2013 NFL Draft: Jonathan Cooper Prospect Profile

jcooperAs we inch closer to the 2013 NFL Draft with each passing day, DraftInsider continues to provide top quality prospect profiles, along with in depth scouting reports and mock drafts. DraftInsider has acquired a team of veteran scouts to bring you the most unique NFL Draft coverage you have, and will ever see. We look forward to bringing you the best in the business.

North Carolina Offensive Guard Jonathan Cooper heads into the 2013 NFL Draft as my second rated Offensive Guard prospect. Cooper is a top 10 talent but unfortunately he plays a position where there are not many taken in the top 10. Cooper is athletic and explosive off of the ball. Below you will see our preliminary scouting report on Jonathan Cooper.

Measurables:– 6’3″ 295 lbs

Strengths:

Cooper immediately jumps off of the screen with his athleticism for a 295lb guy. He moves like a tight end when he pulls on a block. Along with his athleticism he posses a good and strong punch in his pass blocking. He times the punch perfectly and shoots his hands firmly and directly on the defenders breast plates for the win consistently. As mentioned before, Cooper pulls a lot because he is athletic and fast enough to get there. Cooper is explosive when he gets to the next level. Upon arrival he comes through his hips when he cuts or connects with a linebacker. This college All-American has the potential to be a very good run blocker in the NFL with his athletic make up and strong lower body he can blow defenders off of the ball consistently.

Weaknesses:

Cooper is just 295lbs, in order to anchor down and move people off of the line of scrimmage, it would be easier for Cooper if he would gain 5-10lbs of healthy weight. Cooper also to me doesn’t seem to have the overall nasty streak that #1 ranked Offensive Guard Chance Warmack does. While I regard Warmack as a “tough type” Guard, I classify Cooper as a “Finesse” Guard. Which in the trenches that word is sometimes viewed as a bad thing, I don’t mean it that way. It means he can play well in space and is extremely athletic. When Cooper pulls, at the point of attack at times he doesn’t accelerate through the block, he “catches”. He needs to continue to churn his feet and use his lower body strength to deliver the blow and win, rather than getting a stale mate.

Projection:

Cooper is projected to be a middle to late 1st round Draft pick.

 

 

Prospect Profile completed by:

Zack Spears is Draft Insider’s Head Offensive and Defensive Line Scout.

Be sure to follow Zack on Twitter @zacklopedia

 

 

 

feel free to comment on the blog.

As always, follow us on twitter for constant NFL Draft conversation and interaction.

@DraftInsider.

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2013 NFL Draft: Star Lotulelei Scouting Report

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Utah Defensive Tackle Star Lotulelei

Utah Defensive Tackle Star Lotulelei heads into the 2013 NFL Draft as my top rated defensive prospect, and my second overall prospect. Star possess a unique physical skill set that sets him apart from any other defensive lineman in this years Draft. Below you will see our finalized scouting report on Star Lotulelei.

Measurables:
– 6’4″ 325 lbs

Strengths:

Lotulelei has a devastating first step that allows him to punish offensive lineman and bull rush his way into opposing backfields. He compares at times to Detroit Lions star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Lotulelei has great speed for his 325 lb frame, that allows him to fire through the line, and cause havoc in the backfield. He is an absolute punishing, bull rush type of defensive tackle. Star could play defensive end or nose tackle in a 3-4 system. He also has the prototypical size and tools to succeed in a base 4-3.

Weaknesses:

Lotulelei has a very limited pass rush move set. As mentioned before, he is a punishing bull rusher. He could do a lot for himself by adding a swim or rip move to his game. He find himself rushing with his frame a little too high in passing situations. Star is still a very raw prospect as a defensive tackle. He may need some time to adjust and be an absolute force, it may very well not be until year two or three in a system until he feels comfortable, and becomes a stud.

Projection:

Star is projected to the Oakland Raiders at the third overall pick in April’s Draft.

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2013 NFL Draft: Luke Joeckel Scouting Report

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Luke Joeckel Offensive Tackle Texas A&M

Luke Joeckel is the premier Offensive Lineman in the 2013 NFL Draft. He is our #1 Rated Offensive Lineman, as well as our #1 Overall Prospect in this year’s NFL Draft. Joeckel is a top tier talent, and has the skill set to be a Franchise Left Tackle at the next level. Below is our finalized scouting report.

Strengths:
– Possesses Ideal Size, standing 6’6″ and weighing in at 310 lbs.
– Excellent footwork in pass protection.
– Solid first step out of his stance
– Good lateral movement against pass rushers
– Great Upper Body strength.
– Unique mobility for an Offensive Tackle
– Experience in the SEC against quality pass rushers, also a three year starter

Weaknesses:

– Needs to follow through on run blocks
– Above average run blocker at best
– Needs to use his Lower Body strength more as he engages a defender, rather than reach with his arms
– Should look to gain 10 lbs of muscle before the draft.

Joeckel has the opportunity to be the first player taken on April 25th. He’s not perfect, but he’s a solid prospect. I see a Franchise Left Tackle when I see Luke Joeckel, and I see him translating to the next level with little resistance. Joeckel does need work, and will look to solidify himself as an overall player in the upcoming months.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment on the blog.

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2013 NFL Draft: What To Look For In a QB

Every year NFL scouts travel the country looking for the next Andrew Luck, or the next late round gem, a la Tom Brady. Countless miles driven, sleep lost, and years pass by without any teams landing such a prospect. As a fan of football, you may ask “What do scouts look for in a Quarterback?” We’ll fill you in, right here.

Talent:

First of all, the first thing any scout will look for is talent. Is your team’s next “Franchise” quarterback the next Peyton Manning? A true master of the game who can orchestrate an entire playbook on the go? Is he the next Robert Griffin, III? A Dual-Threat player who can stand in the pocket with poise and make all of the throw, and also have the smarts to take off and decimate you with his legs? Regardless, talent is first and foremost what scouts will look at when scouting a QB.

Leadership:

One trait that follows any quarterback, and always will, is leadership. His ability to keep the team’s spirits high when adversity is staring them in the face is a key quality. No moment is too big for him. No situation is uncontrollable in his eyes. Leadership is, and always will be a major attribute for a quarterback.

Decision Making:

When you have four 300 LB grown, athletic men running at you as fast as they can, will your quarterback find the open receiver, and place the ball where only he can catch it? Or will he fall to his knees and succumb to the pressure and take an unnecessary sack? Players like Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers are prime examples of elite decision makers at the quarterback position. Brady, when pressured, is able to find an open receiver and move his team down the field, rather than waste a down and take a sack. Rodgers on the other hand, is able to move the chains with his mobility and get outside the pocket, and pick up a positive gain. Decision making skills makes or breaks a quarterback, and possibly a team. Ask any Chargers fan who endured the Ryan Leaf Era.

Mechanics:

Success at the collegiate level doesn’t always translate to being appreciated by NFL teams, ask Tim Tebow. Tebow left the University of Florida as one of the most decorated college athletes to ever live. However, as soon as he declared for the draft, scouts and draft analysts fired their shots. Tebow was highly criticized for his long release. He was told that he needed to shorten it in order to avoid sacks, or having it stripped while he wound up to throw. Scouts appreciate a short, compact release. The ability to get the ball out quick is of high importance, mainly because there is a very limited window of success with an oncoming rush. Footwork in the pocket is key as well. Jay Cutler is infamous for throwing off of his back foot, he’s also infamous for his high number of interceptions. Sense a chain link there? The ability to plant your feet and make a solid throw downfield will heighten the success rate for your throws to make an impact on the offense.

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