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2012 Pass Rusher Rankings

April 16, 2012

Pass Rushers

Prototype in the NFL: DeMarcus Ware

Best In Class

Best Frame: Chandler Jones                            Best Quickness: Shea McClellin

Best Run Stopper: Chandler Jones                  Best Motor: Whitney Mercilus

Best Pass Rusher: Whitney Mercilus                Best Mean Streak: Courtney Upshaw

Best Burst: Jake Bequette                                Best Technician: Courtney Upshaw

1. Melvin IngramSouth Carolina #6 6’2 276 Sr.

Comparison: Shorter, quicker Julian Peterson

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

48

10

15

6

0

2

0

2010

28

9

11

1

1

0

0

2009

16

1

3.5

1

0

0

0

2008

RS

 

 

 

 

 

 

2007

17

1

1

0

0

0

0

Combine: Had a 1.72 10 yd split. 1st team All American in 2011. Spectacular quickness around the bag in multi bag drill-best in drill. Very good in double dummy drill-best in drill. Good in double dummy drill-not one of the best in this one but clearly the best DL overall in terms of all the drills so far. Quick but didn’t bend well in triple dummy drill. Good in direction cone drill though a bit tight ankled-great explosion. Stumbled a bit but nice hips and good easy catch (best catch of any DL) in 45 degree backpedal and catch drill. Spectacular with lateral slide and backpedal showing elite quickness in backpedal drill though dropped catchable ball.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6014

264

31.5

9.63

4.79

28

34.5

901

4.18

6.83

72.4

Notes: Called by Georgia OL coach their best DL which is saying a lot b/c two other guys are NFL prospects. Can throw a football 70 yds and is a good punter left footed. In the 2011 Georgia game he had a 68 yd TD run on a fake punt where he showed impressive speed and made a defender miss in the open field while outrunning a LB (2:13 2nd), a 5 yd fumble return for a TD on a sack FF, and caught the onsides kick, highpointing it and showing great hands, to preserve the win on the hands team. In the 2011 Clemson game he was at DT and stunted outside getting inside edge of LT Phillip Price nearly getting sack but QB scrambled away, big hit in backfield on RB Andre Ellington but didn’t wrap up so he bounced off for 11 yds, great heart diving over RB cutting him to try and sack or bat ball down as QB was throwing (11:36 2nd), good speed and great recognition of WR pass back to QB as he covered the QB out of the backfield stride for stride for INC (6:21 2nd), great tackle lining up at WDE and run went the other way yet he saw it and raced to hit WR Sammy Watkins 2 yds after LOS for short gain saving at least 8 yds-not sure where to put him in the pros but his instincts and intelligence are sure to make him a good player (6:40 3rd), cut block by OT yet stayed up and made tackle on inside run for 4 yd gain, late in 3rd Q he went to bench for a breather and Clemson gashed them in the run game-is an elite run defender, lined at DT and showed such elite quickness that he might not have even been touched by the LG on his juke move that resulted in 4 sec sack (14:23 4th). He seems like a guy the Patriots take in the 3rd round who is on their team for 15 years. In the 2011 Nebraska game he had an elite hit spinning off LT block to fill hole and just level QB on scramble (1:48 2nd), great RB screen recognition from DT spot hitting RB in backfield and missing TFL in kill zone but ruining play so teammate could get it, didn’t get sack but showed good hustle and quickness from DT spot keeping QB in pocket and on the move allowing teammate to get sack, very nice 3.5 sec sack from DT spot getting outside edge vs. LG and bending to QB-great versatility making me think his best position might be as a full time DT in a one gap scheme ala Jason Jones of the Titans (3:00 4th). Has played MLB at times for the team showing his elite versatility. I love the kid but am now going from saying he’s underrated to overrated after seeing him at #12 on McShay’s board as he doesn’t have a great burst so he’ll only be a 6-8 sack a year type at SDE and he lacks the measurables to be an every down DT. I think he’s the type that you move around all game long and use stunts to help him get free as well as place him against poor OGs. I think he has star potential but I’m not ready to give him a top 10 grade due to his lack of burst and the fact that versatility and tweener status is a fine line that he is very near. Late 1st 1/21/12. 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Pushed LT Mike Adams back a bit but couldn’t get edge and not that close to QB, good spin move getting inside edge vs. LT Senio Kelemente and forcing QB to leave pocket, strong bull rush vs. Kelemente getting pressure and nearly sack but ball thrown quickly (0:15 1st), no rush in 3 sec vs. Adams, good spin move but RT Mitchell Schwartz kept up with him for no rush in 3 sec, small push vs. Adams and impressed again by explosiveness but handled for almost no rush, almost got edge but couldn’t quite vs. Adams for no rush, at DT he had no rush vs. C Michael Brewster, good initial punch vs. LG Tony Bergstrom jarring him back but RB helped, good spin vs. Troutman getting nothing himself but opening up a lane for a DT who forced QB back in pocket to allow DE a sack, great speed shooting through gap in OL and running evenly with RB to force him sideways into TFL, good initial push vs. Kelemente but he reanchored for small rush, couldn’t get edge vs. Osemele and no rush at 4 but got inside rush lane at 5 when thrown, beat TE on down block shooting hole forcing RB to go away otherwise TFL, great explosion avoiding cut block by Kelemente and diving at QBs feet forcing rollout and almost 4 sec sack (11:20 4th), good burst getting outside edge vs. Bergstrom for pressure as DT, good bull rush ending with strong punch vs. Bergstrom knocking him back and forcing hold-not called, nice push on Bergstrom getting him 3 yds back helping ruin run play, run blocked 7 yds downfield by TE Emil Igwenagu? Senior Bowl: Day 2: 1×1: Blew by OT Jeff Allen on very quick inside rush swim move for quick win (+4). Very good spin move vs. OT Zebrie Sanders for win-nearly quick win (+3). Gained edge vs. Sanders on quick burst but pushed far enough outside for only small win (+2). 11×11: Run blocked well by OT James Brown. Day 3: Seemed a little slow but very nice and easy going in interview. Day 3: Jarred Sanders in drill getting low and showing elite power. 1×1: Good explosion off snap getting OT Matt McCants going back immediately to first cover inside move then on bull rush for smaller win b/c didn’t completely separate (+2). A little out of control on very quick penetration as DT against OG Will Blackwell who handled it well and pressed him wide for loss (-3). Spectacular quickness on inside move vs. Sanders swim moving him on almost an ole move for big quick win (+5). Good quickness semi getting edge vs. C William Vlachos who had quick feet and wouldn’t let him dip shoulder or push through to cone for loss (-3). Good bull rush again this time vs. Sanders getting him back who despite trying his best and anchoring low still got knocked back into cone and fell down at end of play for win (+3). 11×11: No rush vs. Glenn on pass play, good burst on naked bootleg getting pressure on throw, made nice spin move but unlucky in that it was a sweep run so his inside move was negated, good pressure again showing a nice burst and strength albeit vs. a TE. Was clearly the best pass rusher at the Senior Bowl finishing 1st out of the 7 there (Coples, Curry, Upshaw, Johnson, Crawford,Jackson).

Tape: 2011: Georgia, Clemson, Arkansas, Nebraska

Overall: Melvin has been one of the more interesting players I’ve graded in quite awhile as his versatility allows a coach or coordinator nearly limitless options in how to use him and his versatility could really improve a defense if he’s paired with an innovative coordinator. At 6’1 1/2 264 with short arms (31.5) and average speed (4.79 40) he doesn’t have the makings of a physical freak but if you watch his play you’ll see a strong and quick player with a good burst, good bend, and a uniqueness about him that makes him special. He has the ability to drop in coverage and shows good hips which is downright absurd for a player his size. South Carolina played him at DT and he was very comfortable in this role using his quickness to penetrate as a one gap type player. He’s very good against the run and many teams probably will think his best fit will be as a left DE in a 4-3 due to his strength and smaller body that allows him to anchor extremely well. If that’s not enough he also showed the ability to run the ball as seen on his 68 yd TD run off a fake punt where he outran a LB and I think he would make a great short yardage FB or 3rd TE as his hands are so good he’s on the hands team on onside kicks. If put only at DE and told to rush all game long he’s a good but not great player yet if a team embraces his multifaceted game and uses him in different ways he could become a Pro Bowler and one of the more fun defensive players in the league to watch as there’s nothing he can’t do. While his run stopping skills make him a logical choice as a 4-3 SDE I think his best fit would be as a 3-4 OLB as he’s elite in coverage and a 3-4 scheme would allow him to sometimes drop down as a DT, sometimes as a DE, or other times stay up straight and rush as an OLB. This scheme would give him the best ability to show his versatility but he probably would fit any scheme if a coach is creative. A unique talent that, if used correctly, could be a star but stays from going any higher due to his short arms and average speed which limit him as a pure pass rusher. Top 15 as my #1 pass rusher 4/12/12.

2. Whitney MercilusIllinois 6’3 5/8 261 Jr.

Comparison: Poor man’s Aldon Smith

Stats: Big 10

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

57

16

22.5

6

9

0

0

2010

16

1

3

2

2

0

0

2009

8

1

3.5

0

0

0

0

Combine: False start in 40. 1st team All American and Big 10 in 2011. Ted Hendricks Award Winner in 2011 (Best DE). Had a nice looking 40 both eyeball and official time (4.68). Struggled against the run at the POA. 10 yd split of 1.57. Very good in multi bag drill showing quick feet. Good in double bag drill-much better tbend than Ronnell Lewis. Good in triple bag drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6035

261

33.88

9.25

4.68

27

32

910

4.53

7.17

74

Notes: Plays the 5 and 7 technique as they switch fronts from 3-4 to 4-3 making his sack total even more impressive. In the 2011 Purdue game he beat RT to edge but ball thrown quickly, good job spinning off RT to make tackle for 1 yd gain on RB coming through his hole, not close to edge vs. LT Dennis Kelly on speed rush, no rush vs. Kelly in 5 sec, had an elite pass rush one arm shoving the RT to the ground showing elite strength but no sack as was 3 step drop (3:32 1st), great shed move of RB similar to the way Aldon Smith does it showing long arms and strength, good rush getting edge with quick burst and long arms to get a good angle inside but pushed by Kelly hard to outside and around QB (8:42 2nd), great inside move vs. Kelly hitting RB for -4 yds near their own goal line (1:17 2nd), beat LG on inside move jumping for RB for TFL but barely missing him, avoided RT block to hit RB for TFL showing great quickness in slipping blocks, good quick rush inside exploiting LG pulling to pressure QB forcing INC on rollout the other way-showed speed as the rollout schematically should have given him more time but Whitney’s speed ate it up. In the 2011 Wisconsin game he showed good strength against LT Ricky Wagner pushing him back and into backfield (11:55 1st), beat RT Josh Oglesby on edge getting sack and FF for big TO (11:35 2nd). Otherwise was pretty quiet and was below average against the run which were 80% of the plays that day. Known as an extremely hard worker. 1st team Big Ten and 1st team All American in 2011. Hendricks Award winner. Led nation in sacks (16.5) and FF (9). In the 2011 Ohio St. game he had a nice sack vs. LT Mike Adams on inside rush splitting him and LG for quick sack and FF (6:31 1st), elite play throwing aside Adams on run block then quickly crashing down on inside run for no gain tackle (3:18 3rd), blew by RT JT Shugarts for very quick sack-could be just a TFL as QB looked to be in designed run but either way it was very quick (2:30 4th). In the 2011 UCLA game he had an elite burst off snap timing it perfectly-actually looked offsides but ball thrown quick (12:47 1st), good 4 sec sack off LT getting edge with speed and good use of arms cutting corner well-good bend (6:25 1st), great penetration getting 6 yd TFL on end around (12:15 2nd), great push on RT getting him back 6 yds forcing cutback by RB on off tackle to ruin play for TFL-his rush ability is well known but he’s a great run stopper too, good trail of QB on zone read keeper forcing him sideways again allowing a teammate to get TFL-past two plays were essentially his TFL, shed TE immediately to hit RB right after handoff for TFL of 3 yds, great bull rush of LT for 4 sec sack (5:30 4th). I’m a little surprised how few people like him as much as me as no one has a 1st round grade on him and I do get that he doesn’t appear to be the best athlete but he’s relentless, has a very good frame, understands rush technique and how to wiggle free from an OL, is good against the run, and has elite productivity. He looks to me like a poor man’s Aldon Smith which gets a mid 1st grade from me 1/4/12. One worry I have of him is that most of his sacks came against non-NFL caliber OTs.

Tape: 2011:Purdue,Wisconsin, UCLA,Ohio St.

Overall: Whitney is a player that finally is starting to move up draft boards but still is considered a late 1st rounder by most. That’s actually a pretty big improvement from the end of the regular season as I couldn’t find anyone who had a 1st round grade on him at that point despite elite production in 2011 (16 sacks, 22.5 TFL, 9 FF), a good frame (6’3 5/8 261) that shows the room to add weight, a non-stop motor, and great character. The Combine was only above average for him (very good speed with a 40 at 4.68 and strength with 27 reps but below average explosion with a 32.5 vert and poor quickness with 4.53 shuttle) but it seems to have put to rest any ideas that he’s a poor athlete and his stock is now rising. I personally think he’s a good not great rusher but in this draft that puts him right near the top as it’s a draft without a truly elite rusher but a lot of solid ones. What seems to set him apart are his long arms, strength, and rush technique as he regularly battled OL and was able to free himself after an initial battle. He isn’t the elite athlete who will turn the corner against LTs in the NFL but has enough speed to threaten their edge so his strength, inside moves, and non-stop motor can stay effective. Also his ability to separate the ball from the ball carrier is elite as he has 11 FF in only 2 years and I expect this trait to follow him to the NFL as he arrives with power at the end of his rushes. Whitney has the frame, long arms (33.88), strength (27 reps), motor, productivity, and rush technique to stake a claim as the top rusher in this draft but in the end barely misses out to Ingram due to Melvin’s elite versatility. He isn’t a great athlete but has been unfairly downgraded due to this and I expect him to be a good rusher in the NFL, just not a Pro Bowl caliber one. Top 15 as my #2 pass rusher 4/12/12.

3. Nick Perry USC #8 6’2 ¾ 271 Jr.

Comparison: Will Smith

Background: Redshirted in ’08. 1/13 in ’09 as a pass rush specialist ending with great numbers. 9/12 in ’10 in a disappointing overall season. 1st team Pac-12 in 2011.

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

54

8.5

13

0

3

0

0

2010

25

4

7.5

0

2

0

0

2009

25

9

10

0

0

0

0

Combine: False start 40 as he tripped. Extremely explosive but is tight so might be only a 4-3 DE. Great 10 yd split (1.57) to go with an overall time (4.64) that were both elite. Is extremely thick in his lower body. Tight but very fast and explosive-did the drill as well as he could ever be expected to in multi bag drill. A bit tight again but so explosive-has the same comment on every drill as the tightness is obvious and probably precludes a 3-4 OLB switch but he’s so thick and explosive I’m still very impressed with him as a 4-3 DE. Tight but very good quickness and strength in triple bag drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6026

271

33

9.5

4.67

35

38.5

1004

4.66

7.25

84.3

Notes: In the 2011 Minnesota game had a nice speed rush blowing past LT, flushing QB out of the pocket, and getting sack as he caught him from behind (4:16 1st), personal foul hitting OT in the face when he wouldn’t let go (6:30 2nd). In the 2011 Washington game he went up against LT Senio Kelemente and showed solid speed standing up and playing spy on QB tackling him for 4 yds and forcing punt on 3rd and 10 (14:12 1st), good strength pushing TE 3 yds back on run play, beat Senio on edge forcing QB to step up then circling around for 5 sec coverage sack-didn’t show great bend as he first went well past QB (4:14 1st), very good push of Senio getting inside penetration ruining run play for no gain, no rush initially but got arms around Senio to get edge late and get hands in QB’s face for pressure, slightly got edge but unable to bend well again getting pushed past QB by Senio-did force step up in pocket (6:14 2nd), good push of TE again forcing run inside-great strength and run stopping ability, great rush starting inside then spinning outside to force QB out of pocket for very quick 3.5 sec sack (1:41 2nd), really popped RB Chris Polk in pass pro-great strength, double and even triple teamed on one run play after ruining so many earlier in the game, great hustle chasing RB screen on other side of field and hitting RB on ground after play was over-less cheap than a hustle play IMO, beat Senio on edge again forcing QB to step up but again unable to bend to QB, good hustle but really no rush on 6.5 sec coverage sack as others got rush forcing him to scramble and he just ended the misery (14:05 4th). He had 3 sacks on an NFL caliber OG or OT in Senio Kelemente. Yet it sounds more impressive than it really is as I saw a big red flag on this film as he couldn’t bend around Senio when he got the edge to dip inside, something the elite rushers in the NFL do. He also looked much more impressive as a run stuffer than a rusher so I think he’ll be a good left DE or SDE in a 4-3. I don’t see much 3-4 transition ability from his tape and in my opinion he’s a Greg Ellis type 6-10 sack guy who is good against the run as well.

Tape: 2011:Minnesota,Washington, Notre Dame

Overall: Perry is a player that could be drafted in the top 10-15 yet probably should be taken more in the late 1st as team’s will be expecting an elite rusher yet will be getting more like an above average starter. The best thing Perry actually does is set the edge and stop the run as he has an incredibly thick lower body to go along with great upper body strength (35 reps) that make him one of the best run stuffing DEs in this draft. There’s talk that he could transition to a 3-4 OLB yet I have serious reservations about that as he lacks a burst on film and doesn’t really play to his 40 time (4.67). His entire Combine workout in fact was spectacular with a 4.67 40, 35 reps, and elite explosion (’38.5 vert and 10’4 broad-both 1st among the 26 DEs). These numbers scream Top 10 pick and it wouldn’t shock me if he went as high as #9 to the Panthers yet on his game film he lacks the elite burst, bend, or overall athleticism teams want in a right DE. I think a team that evaluates him and expects a 12-15 sack a year guy will be disappointed yet a team that expects 6-10 sacks a year at left DE while setting the edge and playing great run defense will be very happy with him. It’s all expectations with Perry as he’s just too tight hipped and not quite quick or fast enough to be a top level rusher. He still has tremendous value as defensive ends who can stop the run and be capable rushers while doing it are hard to find. Yet he’ll be a team’s #2 rusher and therefore is unworthy of too high a selection. Top 25 as my #3 pass rusher who is scheme specific as only a 4-3 DE 4/1/12.

4. Chandler JonesSyracuse 6’5 3/8 266 Sr.

Comparison: A much less athletic Jason Pierre-Paul

Stats: Big East

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

38

4.5

7.5

3

2

1

0

2010

57

4

9.5

5

3

0

0

2009

52

2

10.5

1

0

0

0

2008

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Combine: Brother John is a UFC fighter who he works out with. Older brother Arthur is a DT with the Ravens who I liked a lot coming out as a one gap type. 1st team Big East in 2011. Slipped a lot but was okay in backpedal drill. Super long legged and struggled a lot in multi bag drill-one of the worst. Tight in double dummy drill. Really tight in double dummy drill. Tight and tall in triple dummy drill. Tight again-definitely only a 4-3 DE and his tighness is very troubling so maybe he could bulk up to be a 3-4 DE. Tight and slow in 45 degree backpedal and catch drill but had nice catch. Good hands but tight and slow in backpedal drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6053

266

35.5

9.75

4.87

22

35

1000

4.38

7.07

100

Notes: In the 2011 West Virginia game he had solid crash of box on inside run for 2 yd tackle, moved inside to DT and bull rushed splitting LG and C to get hand in face of QB, has just a gargantuan frame and is a guy who could easily bulk up and play 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT, good set of edge pushing LT into RB for 2 yd tackle-very strong, dive tackle on inside run for 8 yds-long arms barely tripped him, got one of the cheapest sacks I’ve ever seen with QB’s knee inches from the ground after avoiding another rusher he just fell on him for sack, very good bull rush of LT Don Barclay (rated as the 368th best prospect in the 2012 Draft as of 4/15/12) pushing him parallel to QB then disengaging for 4.5 sec sack (5:20 2nd), good bull rush of Don getting near QB and putting arms up for batted ball-could have a lot of those at the next level (2:54 2nd), solid inside rush but pushed away from QB for no rush-good explosion though, barely couldn’t get edge vs. Don getting pushed outside and around QB, great trail of RB on pass in flat hitting him hard when he cut back inside-a very explosive, powerful player (7:09 3rd), from DT spot he rushed and hit QB as he stepped up in pocket causing INT, good hustle dive tackling WR screen after 13 yds-his best fit my be as a bulked up 3-4 DE. He had a great game with my only complaint being that he played against a LT who most likely won’t even be drafted but if he is it will be as a late round pick who plays OG. He has long arms, very good explosion, and for +260 lbs he is very skinny and easily could gain 20 lbs. In the 2011 Pittsburgh game he showed off his good strength pancaking the LG on one play, getting a very quick 3-4 sec pressure where he absolutely leveled the QB right after he threw the short pass, shed LT to get short gain tackle of RB on inside run, showed great athleticism jumping to tip ball and intercepting it (intended for RB in flat) then rumbling +30 yds down the field before he was caught (13:32 3rd), and had a nice play showing his solid athleticism and elite long arms to trip up the QB in the flat as he tried to get outside on him. Missed 5 games early in the year due to injuries. Jones has 8.5 sacks the past 2 seasons but if you take out the 2 games he went against Don Barclay (LT for WVU-2 sacks in ’10 and ‘11) and the 1 game against Maine in 2010 (2 sacks) it leaves him with only 2.5 sacks the past 2 seasons! Some will say I’m playing with the stats but that still leaves him with 17 games those 2 seasons (not counting the 5 he missed in ’11) and to only have 2.5 sacks in those 17 games yet somehow still considered a top pass rusher in the draft is pretty misleading in itself. Just turned 22 years old.

Tape: 2011:West Virginia,Pittsburgh

Overall: Jones is a physical specimen with a tall, skinny frame who has long arms and good strength. He’s a player that pops on film at times as he has very good explosion, good strength, some of the longest arms I’ve ever graded for a DE, and okay speed and quickness. He’s often compared to two special pass rushers in the NFL, Jason Pierre-Paul and Aldon Smith, yet to me the comparison is understandable but not valid as all three are tall and long armed but after that the similarities end. Jones is 6’5 3/8 266 with ’35.5 arms and that’s where the comparison naturally comes from as Jason Pierre-Paul (JPP) was 6’4 ¾ 270 with ‘34.75 arms and Aldon Smith was 6’4 ¼ 263 with ‘35.33 arms. Yet while Jones has the same frame and arm length as those two he lacks their speed as JPP ran a 4.64 (some have 4.71) 40 and Smith ran a 4.78 (some have 4.74) 40 while Jones barely made it under 4.9 (4.87). Not only does he lack their speed but he lacks their productivity as Jones best season was in 2010 (4 sacks, 9.5 TFL, 3 FF) which is inferior to JPP’s best season in 2009 (6.5 sacks, 16.5 TFL, 2 FF, 1 INT returned for TD) and drastically worse than Smith’s best season which also was in ’09 (11.5 sacks, 19 TFL, 1 FF). Jones has a great frame and elite arm length but he lacks the productivity, burst, and speed that make Aldon Smith and Jason Pierre-Paul such outstanding pass rushers and I have my doubts that Jones will ever be in their class. Yet he does do some things well as he can move inside to DT on passing downs and be effective from that spot and has very good explosion (’35 vert, 10’0 broad) making me think he could be a solid bull rusher. He also has the frame to add a lot of weight so he could bulk up to 290 lbs and be a prototypical 3-4 DE ala JJ Watts. No matter what a team does with him he should be an effective 3 down player against both the run and the pass but I disagree with those who compare him to Smith or JPP as he just isn’t that kind of athlete and at best will max out as a 6-10 sacks a year type pass rusher. I think Chandler Jones best bet is as a left DE in a 4-3 scheme where he can add 15 lbs and be a 6’5 280 lb DE with 35.5 arms and good explosion. He won’t ever be having the type of season those two had in 2011 when JPP had 16.5 sacks and Smith had 14 sacks but Jones has very good talent and should be a capable pass rusher while being great against the run and getting a lot of pass breakups at the line of scrimmage. He falls right around Nick Perry and Alan Branch as late 1st round talents with red flags and while Jones’ lack of production (6 sacks in 3 games against non-NFL caliber OTs and 2.5 sacks in the other 17 games the past 2 years!), lack of speed (4.87 40), and injury proneness make him arguably the player among the 3 with the lowest floor his strength, long arms, and explosiveness on film make him the player with the highest ceiling. A very difficult prospect to grade who is a Top 25 player as my #4 pass rusher who has major boom/bust potential and reminds me of a much less athletic Jason Pierre-Paul 4/15/12.

5. Andre Branch Clemson #40 6’4 ¼ 259 Sr.

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

77

9.5

16

5

1

0

0

2010

54

6

8.5

8

0

0

0

2009

37

2

6.5

2

0

0

0

2008

10

0

1

0

0

0

0

Combine: Great long, lithe frame. Had a 1.56 10 yd split which was the best of the first half of DL after the first attempt. False started twice and should have been a 3rd time. 1st team ACC in 2011. Ultra quick feet though did cut some corners and run into a bag in multi bag drill. Really good in double dummy drill-one of the best. Quick and noticeable long arms in triple dummy drill. Really quick in direction cone drill-3-4 OLB definitely looks like a possibility. Good quickness but a bit tight in 45 degree backpedal and catch drill. Good not great in backpedal drill then dropped ball.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6042

259

34

9

4.70

 

32.5

1000

4.25

7.19

75

Notes: In the 2011 Florida St. game I immediately noticed him as he has the look of an NFL player with a great frame and good speed, no rush in 3 sec vs. LT Andrew Datko (0:25 1st), good burst on edge vs. Batko and maybe would have got it but was quick throw, great job setting the edge vs. Datko forcing RB inside for no gain (10:23 3rd), no rush in 4 sec vs. Datko, good initial move and push vs. Datko getting near QB but he reasserted and pushed him back (0:35 3rd), good speed rush getting edge and nearly getting 4 sec sack but hitting QB as he threw instead (2:00 4th), barely couldn’t get edge almost getting held as he was pancaked to the ground missing QB sack or hold call by a half step at most (1:40 4th). After watching him one game I would say he is definitely drafteable but more of a 5th round type who should be a solid rotational guy than a legit pure pass rusher as his burst is solid at best 10/13/11. In the 2011 South Carolina game he showed good speed off edge getting around RB block for 4 sec sack (11:02 1st), dropped in coverage and looked good in open space breaking down and tackling RB in flat off dump off pass-jumped over WR like a kid’s game and did a dance which was his 2nd dance of the game so he is a big time celebrator (2:02 1st), credited with 5 sec sack but was actually the last DL to get to him as he just cleaned up after QB juked the others (1:24 2nd). In the 2011 North Carolina game he went up mainly against LT James Hurst and rarely got any pressure, showed good athleticism and hustle tracking down RB  on 3rd and 1 from backside forcing punt (8:55 1st). In the 2011 Virginia Tech game he only showed really good athleticism when trailing a play as he struggled disengaging from blockers when run at and showed a lack of bend on pass rushes. He did have a nice sack going extremely wide around LT and dipping shoulder for 4 sec sack but even that showed only average bend-beat LT with quickness off snap (3:22 3rd), had good inside rush but sack was somewhat lucky as QB felt pressure from other side and ran right into his rush lane-beat LT Nick Becton (#54) (15:00 4th), beat Becton again this time on speed rush getting very good 4 sec sack and FF (6:03 4th), went right around Becton again for another sack this time barely being touched on speed rush (4:44 4th). This was his career game so I had to research who Nick Becton was as he was the OT who ole blocked him a few times allowing him 3 of the 4 sacks that day. Becton was a junior in that game who isn’t expected to be drafted in the 2013 Draft so it’s important to keep that note. In the 2011 West Virginia game he was in perfect position crashing down on run play but missed TFL getting spun away for 3 yds, didn’t look quick in backpedal in zone blitz, good diving 5 yd tackle on inside run from DE spot-good quickness and great aggressiveness, good hustle chasing QB on scramble on other side of field and blindsided OL near end of play, very nice 3 yd tackle on RB getting off LT just as he came through his hole-good quickness, looked slow trying to get to edge one end around-easily allowed it by WR Tavon Austin, solid rush slightly getting edge but QB rolled the other way, got into it with QB Geno Smith on a few occasions-Smith started it, slightly beat LT on inside rush getting hand up near QB-not much pressure but some, average speed in space on naked bootleg vs. QB Geno Smith getting juked and allowing edge, barely got edge and showed nice bend on rush but LT recovered, very quick inside penetration vs. LT getting TFL on inside run on goal line (0:30 2nd), good speed and bend getting edge vs. LT but quick throw, good rush with QB rolling other way shooting past LT and gaining nearly getting pressure. It’s funny because I thought he was a steal in my book until I saw McShay put him in his top 12 and now I think he’s highly overrated. The kid has a good frame, good burst, hustle, and productivity yet I just don’t see a 1st rounder when I watch him. 2nd round 1/12/12.

Tape: 2011:North Carolina,West Virginia,South Carolina,Florida St.,Virginia Tech

Overall: Andre is a player who has the frame (6’4 ¼ 259), long arms (’34), and speed (4.70) to be a great pass rusher yet ended his career without a double digit sack season and seems like an underachiever who is easily shut down by the better OTs. In 8 of his 13 games this year he didn’t record a sack as he was very much a feast or famine player having a 4 sack game and a couple of two sack games. In those 3 games he recorded 8 of his 9.5 sacks and seemed to too often disappear when facing top OTs like Andrew Batko and James Hursts (0 sacks in 4 games). He’s been a difficult grade for me as he has a high ceiling, looks more athletic than Whitney Mercilus or Melvin Ingram, but also has a lot of bust potential. It doesn’t help matters that the bust rate of Clemson D-line lately has been very high and I really worry that Andre will continue that pattern as he seems to only be a speed rusher and lacks that elite burst or bend to get away with being a one trick pony. Andre has a borderline elite combination of height, arm length, and speed but hasn’t put it all together and has both the potential to develop into a Pro Bowler or the potential to be a bust. A high ceilinged project whose stats are very deceiving due to who his sacks came against. Late 1st as my #5 pass rusher 4/12/12.

6. Shea McClellin Boise St. #92 6’3 3/8 260 Sr.

Comparison: More athletic Mike Vrabel

Stats: MWC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

50

7

12.5

1

1

2

0

2010

29

8.5

12.5

2

0

1

1

2009

36

3

6

0

0

1

0

2008

14

1

1

0

3

0

0

Combine: Had a great 10 yd split (1.59) to go with a great overall 40 (4.63). Even better 10 yd split (1.57) the 2nd attempt. Very good in multi bag drill-one of the quickest. Kind of weak in punches but otherwise solid in double bag drill. Weak in punches again but solid bend and quickness in triple bag drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6033

260

32.75

10.13

4.63

19

31.5

910

4.33

7.07

74.5

Notes: In the 2011 Georgia game had a great jump for 3.5 sec sack on LT Cordy Glenn getting edge immediately on a highlight reel rush (5:50 1st), went unblocked off the edge on 4th and 1 for a huge TFL showing great speed to hit RB immediately (12:25 2nd), easy inside rush on RT to get to QB after 4 sec for hit as he threw, good push on Glenn opening up inside rush that would have been 5 sec sack if not thrown, nice rush on stunt going inside unblocked for 4 sec sack and nearly a safety as it was spotted at the half yard line (1:45 4th). His versatility can just be seen by his stats as he fills up every career category as he has 129 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 32 TFL, 4 FF, and 4 INTs. Played DT, DE, LB, and even some nickel DB for the team in 2011? Senior Bowl: Day 1: 1×1: Beat Michael Schwartz on edge for wide arc win (+4), stoned by Schwartz 2nd time (-4). 11×11: Good instincts seeing inside run and cutting inside for TFL, beat by TE Michael Egnew on 15 yd in. Day 2: 11×11: Good mobility as LB moving around well, good spin move off OT Senio Kelemente for pressure and would be 3.5 sec sack if not out by then. In the 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Was the backup SLB, Looked extremely fast in coverage on bootleg rollout, good instincts plugging right hole on inside run but didn’t look too strong getting pushed back by RB Vick Ballard allowing an extra few yds, good cov for no separation vs. TE Ladarius Green on short turn around, good speed and hustle getting tackle +20 yds downfield on WR who broke CB and S tackles-very good speed, good read seeing screen and getting around block to help make TFL (1:55 2nd), great speed chasing WR Joe Adams down sideline and looking as fast as him (6:40 3rd), good cleanup hit on WR going for YAC.

Tape: 2011:Georgia,Arizona St., Senior Bowl Practices and Game

Overall: Shea is a player that I watched with interest this past year as his burst, speed, and overall productivity (2 sacks vs. 1st round caliber RT Cordy Glenn) popped out at me on film yet when the Combine rolled around I was still a bit surprised he tested out as well as he did. Part of the reason is just the look of the kid as he’s a pale, unassuming white guy who hardly fits the bill of elite athlete yet that’s exactly what he is at 6’3 3/8 260 with 4.63 speed. Shea is a player that seems destined to play for a team like the Patriots as he’s a tough football player who has elite versatility. I’m unsure whether his best position is DE in a 4-3, SLB in a 4-3, OLB in a 3-4, or ILB in a 3-4 yet I for sure do know that he has the ability to play any and all of those spots. Due to his unique versatility I think his best spot is probably as a 3-4 OLB as it encompasses a little of the DE and LB responsibilities yet in reality he could probably be a very good player at any of the spots I mentioned. I thought I was going out on a limb with Shea’s grade yet in the past few weeks there’s been a veritable ground swell in the scouting community about him so now instead of being out on a limb I’m barely ahead of the crowd.  Shea is one of the most versatile players in this draft and if used correctly could become a Pro Bowl player who is a good rusher but stands out due to his ability to do so many other things than just rush the passer. Early 2nd round as my #6 pass rusher 4/3/12.

7. Jake Bequette Arkansas #91 6’4 5/8 274 Sr.

Comparison: Poor man’s Ryan Kerrigan

Background: Redshirted in ’07. 11/12 in ’08 earning freshman all SEC. 8/13 in ’09. 13/13 in ’10 earning 2nd team SEC. Missed 3 games but still earned 1st team SEC in 2011.

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

28

10

10.5

5

5

0

0

2010

32

7

8.5

5

1

0

0

2009

39

5.5

9

8

2

0

0

2008

26

1

3

3

0

0

0

Combine: 1st team SEC in 2011. Had an outstanding set of quickness measurements with a 4.07 shuttle and 6.9 3 cone showing that he definitely has the quickness and movement skills to be a 3-4 OLB. Those numbers were 2nd and 3rd among the 26 DEs at the Combine which is even more impressive as he was the 3rd tallest and 3rd heaviest DE so he shouldn’t be that quick. Had 1.72 10 yd split. Solid with good intensity in multi bag drill. Good bend in double dummy drill. Very quick in triple dummy drill but lacked power. Quick in direction cone drill. Elite explosion and quickness in 45 degree backpedal and catch drill. Good in backpedal drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6045

274

32

9.25

4.82

 

34

905

4.07

6.9

80.4

Notes: 2nd team SEC in 2010 due to 7 sacks and 5 pressures. Very good burst on film. In the ’10 Sugar Bowl vs. Ohio St. had a nice pressure and tipped ball against RT (11:55 1st), didn’t do much vs. LT Mike Adams on spin move (7:50 1st), speed rush on long pass (12:40 2nd), beat RT on speed rush forcing holding penalty (0:03 3rd), and beat RT on a gorgeous inside spin move for pressure forcing throw away by Pryor on 3rd and 20 (0:00 3rd). Jake has a great frame, good burst, and oustanding motor to go along with a very refined set of pass rushing moves. He looks like a future starting DE in a 4-3 scheme and I already grade him as a 2nd rounder 1/18/11. Enters the 2011 season ranked #31 on my Big Board. Finally seems healthy as he had 3 sacks vs. South Carolina in their huge win. In the 2011 Tennessee game he blew past LT Dallas Thomas nearly getting sack but held at the end-not called (4:30 2nd), shot upfield again vs. Thomas then ducked inside for sack and FF (9:25 3rd). In the 2011 Kansas St. game (Cotton Bowl) he beat LT Zach Hanson on edge but rollout other way, bull rushed Hanson 4 yds, beat Hanson for 4 sec sack getting edge immediately and FF for TO (5:58 1st), got edge vs. Hanson but QB stepped up, good bull rush vs. Hanson getting him right to QB and hitting him affecting throw for INC and punt, good 4 sec sack bending well around Hanson and diving at QB’s ankles tripping him for sack (2:18 3rd). He wasn’t amazing considering he was going against a very poor LT who gave 2 sacks to another DE on his team as well but he showed a good burst, good bend, and a knack to fight around an OT that I like. 2nd round 1/18/12. Ended the season with a career high 10 sacks despite missing 3 games due to injury which resulted in him actually being 3rd in the nation in sacks per game at 1.0. Senior Bowl: Day 2: Lined up at LB most of the week. Lots of separation on wheel route vs. RB Chris Rainey. Day 3: Blew through RB Vick Ballard like he wasn’t there getting super quick sack in drill-best in drill. In the 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Backup SLB, perfect cov vs. TE Michael Egnew on short out, looked very mobile but a bit lost in coverage, good job staying home on counter play so TE not open in flat.

Tape: 2011:Texas A&M,Tennessee,Kansas St. (Cotton Bowl) 2010:Ohio St. (Sugar Bowl)

Overall: Jake is a player that has been on my radar for quite awhile now and appears to be setting himself up to be a huge steal in the upcoming draft. A guy who was 2nd team SEC in 2010 and 1st team in 2011 with 17 sacks and 6 FFs the past two years shouldn’t be an off the radar player but that’s exactly what Jake has become. This is due to the fact that he missed 3 games with an injury in 2011 and decided to play LB at the Senior Bowl to show team’s his versatility. That would seem like a smart move, and clearly was a copy of Von Miller’s decision last year, yet it kept him largely out of the one on one pass rush drills vs. the OL which often makes players a lot of money. That’s exactly what happened with Vinny Curry who impressed teams with his strength and burst yet unfortunately wasn’t used by Jake who is a superior pass rusher in my eyes. Due to these two factors Jake is settling into a 3rd-5th round grade by most scouts which is crazy to me as he’s tall (6’4 5/8), big (274 lbs), has a great burst on film, is productive (17 sacks, 6 FFs past two years in the SEC), and has a non-stop motor. He reminds me of a slower yet quicker Ryan Kerrigan as neither wins with strength but combines their great burst and elite motor to be a regular contributor. Kerrigan has a bit more speed and was more productive so he gets a superior grade but his very good success as a rookie (7.5 sacks, 4 FFs) proves that a guy in his mold can be successful. On a per game basis Jake was actually 3rd in the nation last year in sacks and did it despite being 100% in a few games after he came back from injury. It’s rare that a team can get a legit 4-3 DE with a burst, quickness, and productivity in the middle rounds but it’s looking likely that teams will get that chance this year. Despite that I have Jake as an early 2nd rounder and a big time sleeper as my #7 pass rusher 3/25/12.

8. Vinny Curry Marshall 6’3 1/8 266 Sr.

Comparison: Less athletic James Harrison

Stats: C-USA

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

77

11

22

8

7

0

0

2010

94

12

18

16

2

0

0

2009

59

3.5

8.5

8

0

0

0

2008

9

0

0.5

0

1

0

0

Combine: Has very thin legs. Had a 1.68 10 yd split which was very solid but had a terrible overall 40 (4.98) barely breaking 5. He didn’t do any position drills for some reason.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6031

266

32.75

9.25

4.98

 

32

902

4.4

6.9

59.3

Pro Day: 3/14/12

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

 

 

 

 

4.73

28

35

903

 

 

NA

Notes: In 2010 West Virginia Game he had a few pressures, a nice sack all against the LT Don Barclay, a great penetration on 3rd and 1 for TFL, a great pancake of RT, an ole style pressure vs. RT, and a great job on read option getting covering both guys and taking QB down for TFL (0:34 4th). Conference USA DPOY in 2011. Had 3 kicks/punts blocked in 2011. A tall, thick, very physical DE whose dimensions say he should be thinner but who looks more like 6’2 250 than 6’5 242 (I called it as he eventually measured 6’3 266 so not sure why they listed him at 6’5 242). Doesn’t seem like a great candidate to be a 3-4 OLB. In the 2011 Florida International game he had a good rush clobbering QB at 4 sec after he threw getting past LT (12:03 1st), showed physicality attacking RT then trailing RB to get 5 yd tackle-has a little bull in a china shop look to him, nice burst off the ball on numerous plays, great pressure on QB getting in his face immediately forcing dump off for near 3 sec sack on rollout (3:05 1st), plays more like a speedy DT than a DE as he attacks OL and just has a physicality that is rare to see, missed WR on end around in his hole, good stack and shed of RT for TFL on run to his side. 3rd round 1/21/12. Senior Bowl: Day 1: Blocked initially by TE Michael Egnew but shed him eventually for tackle on inside run, 1×1: No rush at all vs. OT Mike Adams unable to get edge and pushed back inside on bull for big loss (-4), beat Adams on edge on first move and fought through hold to bend and get to QB for 3.5 sec win (+3). 11×11: Couldn’t get edge vs. OT Senio Kelemente getting pancaked by him on dip move. Day 2: 1×1: Beat Kelemente on initial move for edge and tried to bend but pushed down by him and sat on-albeit at the cone so slight win (+2). Went upfield then spun back in for inside move that OT Keleche Osemele blocked and stayed with him for loss that is improved to small loss b/c he got near cone (-2). 11×11: Blocked well by Adams on run play unable to disengage. Day 3: 1×1: Beat Adams on out of control bull rush getting very low and pancaking him but only a win instead of huge win as he fell on his own face too and it was too out of control (+3). Bad false start lined up as DT but then showed elite quickness against OG Kevin Seitler embarrassing him as he almost got by untouched (+5). Couldn’t get edge vs. Osemele but he wasn’t pushed out wide and he just crashed down running into cone for weird win-didn’t really do anything special but poor technique by OT gave him it (+3). 11×11: Couldn’t get edge vs. Adams and pancaked when he switched to inside rush. 2011 Senior Bowl Game: Great quickness vs. LT Cordy Glenn who nearly whiffed on him to get in backfield and help on TFL, great tip on WR screen going unblocked, got sack on scrambled play when he kept contain and QB just fell down to avoid hit, no rush initially by LT Matt McCants but then he showed great power just shedding him to get pressure and hit as QB threw forcing duck that was intercepted (2:27 1st), no rush on 3 step vs. McCants, no rush on 3 step vs. McCants, got inside edge vs. McCants but was 3 step so no time, no rush on first few sec vs. McCants but then shed him for inside rush hitting QB just after he threw, good bull rush vs. LT Jeff Allen but RB screen, no rush vs. Allen in 3 sec, good battle vs. Glenn but was walled off and fought well for only small rush-close to getting inside edge, very good bull rush vs. Glenn getting him into QB forcing dumpoff on 4 sec rush (9:33 3rd), no rush in 4 vs. Glenn, no rush vs. Sanders in 4 sec but great strength and balance as he took C Ben Jones push on double team and let it knock him outside into edge rush lane for 5 sec sack (2:30 3rd), no rush in 4 sec vs. Sanders but got edge right at end, pushed out and wide on inside run, good intelligence attacking WR screen when it was run on back to back plays but missed tackle in space on WR Joe Adams allowing lots of YAC. Out of the 7 rushers (Ingram, Coples, Curry, Upshaw, Johnson, Crawford, Jackson) he was the #3 guy beating out the far more heralded Upshaw as he looked more explosive and had more success against Mike Adams who consistently stoned Upshaw in the game. 2nd rounder 2/15/12.

Tape: 2011: FIU, West Virginia, Senior Bowl Practices and Game 2010:West Virginia

Overall: Curry is an intriguing player in this year’s pass rush class as he has great productivity the past 2 years (23 sacks, 40 TFL, 9 FF), great strength, a non-stop motor, solid size (6’3 1/8 266), and was one of the best pass rushers at the Senior Bowl. Those are his strengths and quite a few people have talked him up to the point that a late 1st round selection is no longer out of the realm of possibility but he does have holes in his game and I’m curious to see where he goes. As powerful, quick, relentless, and productive as he is other scouts could point to the fact that he has average length arms (32.75), played in a weak conference (C-USA), had a terrible Combine (4.98 40, ’32 vert), and is known as somewhat of a dumb player. Both groups would be right and it’s just a matter of which attributes shine through the most. To me there are 2 pass rushers in this class (Ingram, Mercilus) who are ahead of everyone and then another group all jumbled together (Perry, Jones, Branch, McClellan, Bequette) which he belongs to. They all bring something different to the table and all have different holes but to me he’s the relentless player with great strength who can play the run as well as the pass and will be tough as nails for a team. Branch and Bequette are faster, McClellan is more versatile, and Perry and Jones are bigger and more explosive. If a team chooses Curry over any of the above it wouldn’t shock me as they’d be valuing toughness and strength over athleticism. Sometimes that strategy works and sometimes it doesn’t but I could see Curry being an impact rusher as he has a lot of things going for him and in the right scheme he could be an 8-12 sack guy. Early 2nd round as my #8 pass rusher who can play 4-3 or 3-4 and has everything but long arms and great athleticism 4/15/12.

9. Dont’a HightowerAlabama 6’2 ¼ 265 Jr.

Comparison:

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

85

4

11

1

1

0

2010

69

0

3.5

0

0

0

2009

16

1

4

0

0

0

2008

64

0

2.5

1

0

0

Combine: Was thick throughout his body and looks like a DE. Had a much better time than I expected (4.68) which was incredible for his size. Great for his size but poor overall for a LB in four bag drill-again he screams DE as you make that switch and suddenly he’s great at everything instead of average or poor at everything. 1st team All American in 2011. Very tight and slow in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill. Tight and too high in two dummy drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6022

265

32.63

9.75

4.68

 

32

 

 

 

 

Notes: Huge LB who showed nice speed for such a large specimen in ’09 opener vs. Virginia Tech. Tore a ligament in his knee against Arkansas and is out for the season. Was looking every bit as dominant as McClain was, his fellow inside backer, as they were the best LB duo in the country. Saban called him the team’s best pass rusher, and he often lined up at DE. Ended ’09 with 16 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack, 2 QB hurries in 3 1/2 games due to torn ACL. In the 2011 Penn St. game he hit the QB in the head intentionally right after he threw the ball surprising me that it wasn’t a penalty (5:55 1st), good trail play going up in between the OG and OT unblocked to hit RB for 1 yd gain with big hit but not a great hit as he went up very high on him (4:40 3rd), showed his slowness on this play as he was in the right hole and unblocked yet the quick cut by RB Silas Redd made him miss forcing a facemask penalty (14:50 4th), good coverage batting down ball on quick slant to help CB out (4:29 4th). He had an okay game yet again looked slower and less athletic than he was before the knee injury. I keep expecting him to get back to his previous form but that might never happen. Right now he is a 4th or 5th round type talent whose best attribute is his size in taking on blockers in a 3-4 scheme. In the 2011 Florida game he showed good speed attacking on off tackle run tackling speedy RB Chris Rainey for 2 yds (7:50 1st). In the 2011 Auburn game I didn’t notice him once except when they mentioned he had a strained neck and wasn’t playing 100% of the snaps. In the 2011 LSU game #2 he had very good read on quick slant nearly getting pbu or INT but somehow went just by him, good bull rush of OG on 3rd and long, had diving leaping hit on WR not involved in play for big hit-lucky not called PF, hit RB at LOS but unable to push him back allowing 3 yds on 3rd and 1, good blitz slipping RB block in hole but created huge lane for QB to run 18 yds through, good inside rush from DE spot on 4th and long getting around RT hitting QB at 3 sec for FF and TO to end the game (6:20 4th), great reaction from DE spot to dump off in flat reacting extremely fast for TFL (4:30 4th), 6 sec sack on scrambling QB late in garbage time-just cleaned up teammates sack. He was basically invisible until the 4th Q when they had him predominantly at DE and then he started making plays everywhere. I still think he’s a relic of an old football age as he just isn’t fast enough for me to want as my LB yet possibly he could be a hybrid type moving all around the field. As a pure LB though he’s a 4th rounder as a 2 down LB 1/9/12.

Tape: 2011: Spring practice,Penn St.,Auburn,Florida, LSU 1, LSU 2

Overall: Dont’a is one of the most overrated players in this draft at ILB as he has average instincts, below average speed, poor lateral quickness, never had a 100 tackle season, is a huge liability in coverage, and really was helped by playing in a scheme perfectly suited for him and with teammates that covered up his weaknesses. Yet to me Dont’a isn’t and never was a legit ILB as 3 years ago Saban was calling him the team’s best pass rusher and throughout his career Dont’a was the team’s pass rush specialist. If moved to pass rusher suddenly everything changes as his speed goes from below average to above average, instincts don’t matter as a pass rusher, coverage skills rarely matter, and his 6’2 ¼ 265 frame that screamed overrated 2 down LB suddenly looks like a solid frame for a pass rusher. Everything suddenly clicks into place with the switch which is why he isn’t an ILB but a pass rusher on my board. The only issues I have with him at his new role are his strength and his limited experience and production in that capacity. Clay Matthews also had limited experience rushing the passer but exploded as a rusher once in the NFL so there is precedence but with only 5 career sacks a team would definitely be taking a risk if they selected him solely as a pass rusher. Yet his strength is what really bothers me as I noticed on film that he wasn’t the strongest guy, especially for a guy his size, and this idea that he sheds OL at will in the phone booth is pure myth. I was really curious to see what he would bench but surprisingly he skipped the drill both at the Combine and his Pro Day which verifies to me that it’s an issue. If he has average strength as a LB it means he’s extremely weak as a DE if he’s position switched and there could be issues with him holding up against the run and setting the edge. Right now Dont’a is a guaranteed 1st rounder who is getting discussion by some teams as a better ILB than Luke Kuechly. That’s absurd to me as I can guarantee you that Dont’a will be eaten alive by passing teams if not covered up schematically and 1st rounders are supposed to cover teammates weaknesses not have to be helped themselves. As an ILB he battles Dontari Poe for the most overrated player in this draft as I have him as a 3rd-4th rounder but as a pass rusher I have him as a late 2nd rounder as my #9 pass rusher as I like his frame, burst, and quickness. There wasn’t a ton of tape on him as a pass rusher but there was enough for me to think he could be good in the role 4/16/12.

10. Courtney UpshawAlabama #41 6’1 5/8 272 Sr.

Comparison: Bryan Thomas

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

52

9.5

18

10

2

1

1

2010

52

7

14.5

2

4

0

0

2009

15

1

1

4

0

0

0

2008

22

0

3

1

0

0

0

Combine: Below average in four bag drill but solid for his size-worse than Hightower. By far the worst in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill-very slow to turn, slow throughout drill (even called out for being slow to get in position to start drill) and then dropped the ball. Terrible again in multi backpedalal drill but big strong hands for easy catch-he tired out on the drill and was just very slow turning the hips each time. Minimal bend in two dummy drill-so no real burst, minimal bend, short arms, slow 40 time. Why is this guy a 1st round pick again? Didn’t even try to bend just showing his power 2nd time in two dummy drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6015

272

32

9

 

 

 

 

 

 

NA

Pro Day: 3/29/12 His pro day was an absolute disaster and it’s amazing to me that no one has mentioned it as Upshaw is still a 1st rounder by every scout I read or listen to. There were 26 DEs at the Combine, his ’27 vertical would have been worst and would have actually placed him 21st out of the 33 DT! Similar rankings are for his broad (9’1-20th out of 26 DEs), shuttle (4.6-21st), and 3 cone (7.32-19th). He proved himself to have DT level athleticism yet no one has mentioned it once!

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

 

 

 

 

4.76

 

27

901

4.6

7.32

NA

Notes: Came on in 2010 as their best pass rusher often playing opposite Marcel Dareus. Had a great bowl game vs. Michigan St. with 5 tackles and 2 sacks yet doesn’t seem like a quick twitch type player to me making his upside as a pass rusher somewhat limited. In the 2011 Florida game he had a great jump off the snap shooting past LT on inside rush to get 3 sec TFL (14:23 2nd), no rush in 4 sec but dropped to try and bat ball at LOS instead getting INT as ball thrown right at him and returned in 46 yds for TD-great hands, poor speed (13:00 2nd), beat LT Xavier Nixon on edge nearly getting 3.5 sec sack but ball thrown (1:43 2nd), on 3rd and 20 he came from DT spot and overpowered the LG for a dominant 4 sec sack (0:45 2nd), got around LT who somehow got on an island away from all other OL but missed QB in the kill zone (5:35 3rd), great job holding the edge pushing away TE for TFL on off tackle right at him (5:25 3rd). In the 2011 LSU game #2 he showed good speed forcing early pitch by QB then getting tackle for no gain on RB pitch-was a horse collar but not called (7:45 1st), good speed again on edge forcing QB laterally so CB could get him for TFL, good set of edge then left block to hammer FB backwards forcing run inside, solid 4.5 sec diving sack going unblocked and catching QB Jordan Jefferson at legs as he ran away (11:30 3rd). Once again he showed no burst but was elite against the run and showed great strength and hustle getting a coverage sack. 3rd round 1/9/12. Senior Bowl: Day 2: Called tight hipped and short armed by a lot of scouts which are too of the worst things to be called as a defender. 1×1: False start, solid speed vs. OT Matt McCants getting just tight enough of an arc to get to cone for win (+3). Solid bull rush vs. McCants who handled it semi well but allowed Upshaw to get edge and worked it quickly to get cone and win-isn’t the fastest by any means but his strength often sets up his speed like this rush (+3). Beat OT James Brown inside rather easily as he was too far outside for win (+3). 11×11: Blew past RB Terrance Ganaway for ole sack, couldn’t get edge vs. OT Jeff Adams and slowly worked him back on bull rush but almost no rush. Day 3: Stacked Sanders nicely then when he tried to keep him from shedding Upshaw pushed him further and pancaked him-helped him up and hit him on the helmet. 1×1: Slow off snap with OT Cordy Glenn already in position and got pushed well outside on arc on speed rush for loss (-3). Good bull rush vs. Sanders getting him knocked back immediately who then only reanchored on cone for win (+3). Just blew right through McCants on bull rush ending 4 sec rush with cone a few feet behind both of them (basically would have trampled the QB) for somewhat embarrassing win (+5). Bull rush vs. Sanders not nearly as effective getting near cone but never disengaging and taking awhile for very small win (+1). 11×11: Set edge well vs. McCants on run play who later fell down on play, no rush vs. Glenn on 5 sec pass play!, no rush vs. Glenn again on 5 sec pass play-couldn’t get off him at all. 2011 Senior Bowl Game: He got the start at DE, stacked edge then shed RT Mitchell Schwartz but was rollout other way, no rush vs. LT Mike Adams but was disengaged so able to sneak inside and get 9 yd tackle on draw play, very bad technique getting sucked in on play action naked bootleg losing contain for +10 yd run, got small push vs. Adams on inside run but then he got pushed back and fell over player on ground-strong but not 320 lb strong, pushed Adams back a bit but couldn’t get edge for basically no rush in 3 sec, no rush vs. Osemele on 3 step, got a small push but really no rush vs. LT Senio Kelemente, run blocked well by Osemele unable to disengage then threw a really cheap punch after play was over-PF not called, gained initial edge vs. Osemele but was RB screen, no rush in 3 sec vs. Adams-could have been 5 as he can’t get edge and not strong enough to bull rush a guy 60 lbs heavier than him, good timed jump nearly hitting ball at LOS and helping force INC by WR on hitch, easily run blocked by Kelemente on inside run, easily stayed in hole vs. TE Michael Egnew who fruitlessly tried to push him away, slow off snap for no rush vs. Senio, couldn’t get edge vs. Senio but pushed him back a bit and had inside rush lane for 4.5 sec sack but ball out, no rush in 4 sec vs. Osemele-not even close to getting edge, couldn’t get edge and easily handled by Adams yet QB rolled out b/c of DT pressure and gave Upshaw the edge for shady 5 sec sack (7:27 3rd), good discipline not biting on play fake on naked bootleg to his side then pushed RB hard messing up timing and got hand up forcing poor throw for INC by QB-perfect example of Upshaw as he’s strong, well coached, and smart but looked a tad slow on the play so just isn’t a great athlete, got edge vs. Kelemente who held him-not called, good discipline again right in face of QB on naked bootleg forcing INC, no rush vs. Osemele not even getting close to edge-his lack of burst or speed really worries me. Looked like a one trick pony to me as he was extremely effective when his bull rush worked against OTs with a poor base (Matt McCants, Zebrie Sanders) yet struggled when it didn’t (Adams, Glenn, Kelemente, etc.). His short arms, lack of height, and lack of burst still make me think he’s vastly overrated. Out of the 7 pass rushers at the Senior Bowl (Ingram, Coples, Curry, Johnson, Crawford, Jackson) he was #4 just barely ahead of Johnson. Early 2nd round 2/15/12.

Tape: 2011: Spring practice,Penn St.,Auburn,Florida, LSU 1, LSU 2

Overall: Upshaw has been one of my more overrated players basically this entire year as he didn’t make my top 50 list in the preseason and stayed off it throughout the year as I continued to notice a lack of burst, lack of height, lack of pure speed, and very short arms which are my biggest indicators of future success as a pass rusher. Even when a guy has a good burst like Brandon Graham they can become busts simply due to lack of height or arm length so when a guy has an average burst AND short arms I really have little interest in him. Simply put I don’t see Upshaw ever being a double digit sack guy in the NFL and a team drafting him for that purpose will be disappointed. Yet he still does have value as he’s great at setting the edge against the run, is well coached consistently disrupting screen passes, draws, and reverses that require instincts and discipline, and is a tough, blue collar type player that coaches will love. He does all of the little things well and should be a solid starter at either OLB in a 3-4 or DE in a 4-3 yet guys like him (Bryan Thomas, Anthony Spencer) who are great at the little things but bad at the big things (sacks, FF, and pressures) aren’t my type of player. Pass rusher is the second most important position behind QB in my eyes so I have little interest in a guy whose job it is to rush the passer but simply isn’t that good at it. He does everything else well, except drop into coverage making me think he will be better as a DE than OLB, and I love him as a person as he seems like a no nonsense type yet with an average burst and short arms I’m not interested. One of the most overrated players in this draft as he’s an early 3rd rounder as my #10 pass rusher 3/25/12.

11. Cam JohnsonVirginia #56 6’3 ½ 268 Sr.

Comparison: Calvin Pace

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

30

4

11

1

2

0

0

2010

53

6

14

0

0

0

0

2009

40

2

5

1

1

0

0

2008

7

0

2

0

0

0

0

Combine: Had a 1.66 10 yd split. Was very inconsistent as a senior not always trying too hard. Solid in backpedal drill. Very quick feet in multi bag drill. Good in double dummy drill. Good in double dummy drill-shows some bend and power but isn’t elite at it. Good in triple dummy drill. Pretty good in direction cone drill-a 3-4 OLB switch might be possible. Solid in 45 degree backpedal and catch drill. A little slow but solid in backpedal drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6034

268

33.5

9

4.81

 

35

809

4.38

7.2

67.6

Notes: In the 2011 Auburn game he had a good rush getting past LT AJ Greene nearly getting 3.5 sec sack and forcing step up into eventual coverage sack by teammate, doesn’t show great movement in space-definitely a DE only no 3-4 LB for him, good inside penetration vs. Greene on inside run helping ruin it, good rush not even getting pressure but looking athletic attacking, had edge vs. Greene but pushed just past QB allowing scramble. Senior Bowl: Day 1: 1×1: Slightly beat OT Keleche Osemele on edge but couldn’t bend toward QB for slight win (+2), great move getting edge on initial burst off snap but switching to inside move surprising Osemele for big win (+5). 11×11: Beat Osemele on edge bending to QB forcing scramble. Day 2: 11×11: Slightly got edge vs. OT Senio Kelemente but pancaked when he tried to dip shoulder to QB. Day 3: 1×1: Couldn’t get edge vs. OT Mike Adams but shifted to inside rush and knocked him away with strong shivvy for win (+3). 11×11: Great quickness off snap getting edge immediately vs. Adams who recovered well to just push him past QB who stepped up-needed to dip shoulder and looked a little tight on that skill, mentioned as a top special teamer this week in practice. 2011 Senior Bowl Game: He got the start at DE, no rush on 3 step drop vs. LT Cordy Glenn, couldn’t get away from run block by Glenn but held ground, couldn’t get edge for no rush in 4 sec vs. Glenn, got edge on extreme wide rush vs. Glenn but QB rolled other way, got into it with Glenn holding his own with both taking shots at the face, run blocked outside well by Glenn, late off snap but still easily got edge vs. OT Matt McCants for 4 sec pressure and would be 4.5 sec sack if not thrown, solid push but no real rush vs. McCants in 4 sec, good burst off snap going unblocked to bat ball at LOS on WR screen-too quick for even the quick screen (3:40 2nd), no rush for 3 sec vs. LT Jeff Allen, good push vs. Allen getting next to QB forcing dump off, pushed Allen nearly into QB immediately for pressure, barely got edge vs. Allen but forced on very wide arc well past QB, no rush in 3 sec vs. Glenn not getting edge, offsides, beat Glenn on edge but very wide arc so well past QB, got edge vs. McCants but was pushed even further outside of arc to QB by his long arms, very good bull rush vs. McCants nearly getting pancake and getting near QB for pressure even on quicker throw (1:55 4th), got edge slightly vs. McCants and pushed him back to exploit it forcing QB to stay up in pocket and take sack-great combination of speed and strength, not much rush vs. McCants but still disengaged for late pressure-owns McCants, slightly got edge again and his superior strength to McCants allowed him to crash down on QB forcing him to leave pocket.

Tape: 2011:North Carolina,Auburn, Senior Bowl Practices and Game

Overall: Cam is a player that has all the tools but still hasn’t quite put it all together. He has good height (6’3 1/2), weight (268), arm length (‘33.5), a noticeable burst on film (backed up by a very good 1.66 10 yd split in his 40), and noticeable strength that allows him to be a combo rusher attacking an OT inside and outside. Yet as a full time starter for 3 years his 12 career sacks leaves a lot to be desired and gives credence to the rumor that he takes plays off and isn’t a hard worker. That’s pretty damning in my eyes as a motor is one of the most important attributes I look for in pass rushers and is often the difference between a good and great player. I was really intrigued with Cam at the Senior Bowl, especially the one on one rush sessions with top notch OTs, as he had one of the best combinations of speed and power at the event. Talent wise he’s actually superior to Courtney Upshaw and is somewhat similar in style yet Upshaw is much better with his hands and has a motor that no one questions. They end with similar grades as Upshaw is stronger, has a better motor, and is more polished with his hand fighting and overall technique yet Cam is more athletic and has longer arms so his upside is higher if he ever becomes motivated. Unfortunately I am not a fan of pass rushers who have questionable desire and work ethic so I am dropping him below Upshaw and grading him as an early 3rd rounder with a boom/bust aspect to him as my #11 pass rusher 3/28/12.

12. Cordarro Law Southern Miss #49 6’1 ½ 257 Sr.

Comparison:

Stats: C-USA

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

64

9.5

22

5

4

0

0

2010

48

5.5

11.5

4

4

0

0

2009

59

7.5

14.5

2

4

0

0

2008

21

5

6

0

2

0

0

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6014

257

 

 

4.74

 

 

 

4.32

 

 

Notes: Former RB in HS who was sat down a lot due to taking plays off. 1st or 2nd in FBS for career sacks (28), solo TFL (46), TFL yards (286), and FF (14). In the 2011 Houston game (CUSA Championship) he showed solid speed but looked somewhat stiff and rigid running in the open field, showed hustle and strength slamming QB down hard on scramble coming from other side of field (14:30 1st), good TFL staying home and ruining end around, great understanding of how to stop the run play overrunning the blockers and dive tackling back inside for TFL (3:54 1st), good bull rush pushing LT back then getting inside to hit QB right after he threw, good stunt inside from DE spot getting hands on QB but ball thrown away for INC and punt instead of sack, good pressure on rush from DT spot, great hustle chasing down speedy RB on screen in flat for 1 yd gain showing speed and hustle as they were up 21 in the 4th, great 4 sec sack starting with out step then spinning inside quickly to get QB and throw him to the ground for TO as it was 4th and 16 with them down 21 pts (9:17 4th). In the 2011 Nevada game he had a great tackle getting inside penetration vs. LT to hit RB immediately in backfield for no gain, nice burst on stunt inside getting to QB quickly but missed in kill zone going so fast, went unblocked on zone read and read QB keeper correctly but missed TFL in kill zone-did show a nice burst again though, outstanding TFL spinning off RT trying to block him inside to get penetration and hit RB in backfield for TFL on 4th and 1 for TO (2:53 2nd), unblocked on zone read and just flattened RB who took inside run right at him-big time hitter, great burst off edge getting deflection on short dump off pass as he got to QB before he could even get it out (11:00 3rd), great rush on inside stunt forcing hold by OG, great swim move of OG on inside stunt for 4 sec sack (5:40 3rd), solid 2 yd TFL with QB keeper to his side easily catching him from trailing position, good job not falling for misdirection going straight to QB for easy 3 sec sack on fake reverse, nice burst getting through OL quicker than they wanted on RB screen,   He’s a fast, physical, extremely productive player who I think would be getting 1st round consideration if he played for a BCS school. I’m also a little hesitant as he was elite in his games vs. Houston and Nevada that I graded him at but never faced any legit NFL OL prospects. His postseason activities will be very important but right now I have a 3rd round grade on him as his burst, strength, hustle, and productivity all scream NFL 12/26/11.

Tape: 2011:Houston,Nevada

Overall: Every year there are a few players who wow me with their game film and statistically yet are almost invisible to the scouting community for whatever reason. This year Cordarro Law is one of those players as his career stats (192 tackles, 27.5 sacks, 54 TFL, 14 FF) are elite no matter the position or conference and his game film shows a strong, powerful rusher with an elite motor and NFL caliber athleticism. Supposedly that last part was where scouts were worried as they thought he didn’t have the athleticism to continue his productive ways yet his pro day showed that wasn’t valid as he ran a 4.74 40 and had 23 reps (both middle of the pack for rushers). He isn’t an elite athlete but it put to rest any issue scouts had about his athleticism inhibiting him too much as he actually had a similar set of measurements to future 1st rounder Courtney Upshaw. Upshaw was 6’1 3/4 279, had 22 reps, ran a 4.76 40, and had a 4.60 shuttle while Law was 6’1 1/2 257, had 23 reps, ran a 4.74 40, and had a 4.32 shuttle. They’re similar athletes, have a similar build, and play the position with a similar style as both are power rushers with Upshaw being bigger but Law being quicker and more adept with spin moves and other techniques. The most exciting parts of Law’s game are his non-stop motor and his strength which allows him to be adept as a pass rusher and a run stopper while accumulating so many of those forced fumbles (14 in career) that often change a good pass rusher into a great one. Upshaw is one of the most overrated players in this draft who I gave an early 3rd round grade to due to short arms, lack of burst, and below average athleticism yet Law is one of my biggest sleepers despite being a similar player. The reason is value as both look like 3rd round pass rushers who have certain skills that I feel are somewhat overshadowed by their lack of length or pure speed yet while Upshaw is rated as a 1st rounder right now, Law has fallen through the cracks and isn’t even drafteable on most scouts boards. Upshaw is a much bigger player but part of me is actually more intrigued by Law due to his superior quickness and productivity. Either way, only Law will be available after the 1st round which is why he’s the steal and could be an especially huge one if he works out for a team as he’s likely to go in the late rounds. 3rd round as my #12 pass rusher 4/11/12.

13. Jonathan Massaquoi Troy #94 6’2 1/8 264 Jr.            

Comparison: Osi Umenyiora in attitude and style of play

Stats: Sub Belt

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

52

6

10.5

8

1

0

0

2010

76

12.5

20.5

4

1

0

0

2009

RS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combine: Had a ripped upper body. Had a disappointing 40 (4.89) but a little unfair b/c he stumbled on 2nd attempt but didn’t get called back-probably more of a 4.82 runner which still isn’t good though. 1st team Sun Belt in 2011. Did wrong drill, solid in multi bag drill on 2nd attempt. Long arms and strong in double bag drill. Long arms and quick with solid bend in triple bag drill. Had the 2nd longest arms and 2nd biggest hands of the 26 DEs at the Combine.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6021

264

34.13

10.5

4.89

20

33.5

1000

4.53

7.38

70.5

Notes: Had 68 tackles, 11 sacks and 17.5 TFL in ’10 regular season. They dropped him in coverage a few times which is good to see as his size/body appear to be a better fit as a 3-4 OLB. Cousin of Mohammed Massaquoi of the Browns and Visante Shiancoe of the Vikings. Is a great pursuer as he has very nice speed and a non-stop motor. Much quicker, stronger, and longer than Addison even though they have similar dimensions and numbers making him a dramatically better prospect. Was a very vocal leader in the ’10 New Orleans Bowl which is rare for a Soph. Ended the bowl game with 3 sacks, all against a first team All Mac OT. Enters the 2011 season ranked #29 on my Big Board. In the 2011 Arkansas St. game he had a solid stunt inside getting pressure as QB threw, turned corner on RT and trailed play well but QB rolled out other way, helped make gang tackle on inside run, bull rushed RT to get near QB then shed him to get coverage sack of 5.5 sec (5:50 1st), good job getting around RT immediately to crash down and make no gain tackle on inside run, couldn’t get edge vs. RT (looks slower this year) but good motor got him a pressure as QB rolled out his way forcing throw away, had QB dead to right but bit on pump fake jumping and allowing QB to run for 10 yds, beat RT on edge rush but ball thrown quickly otherwise would have been 4 sec sack, great hustle bull rushing RT and forcing QB to scramble then trailing QB all the way across the field forcing slide by him for sack- shows his average speed as he barely gained on QB (2:14 3rd), beat RT on edge again and showed good bend to QB but again a quick throw, good speed twice in 2nd Q chasing down QB twice on read option runs once grabbing face mask 20 yds downfield the other time forcing him OOB 40 yds downfield-great hustle both times. Had a 4.76 40 atTroy’s Pro Day. Considered difficult to coach and is uninterested in stopping the run.

Tape: 2011:Arkansas St. 2010New Orleans Bowl vs.Ohio

Overall: Jonathan is a player I was extremely interested in last year as he showed the speed, quickness, long arms, and good bend that is rare to find and often results in an elite pass rusher. Yet Jonathan bulked up last offseason and with his additional 20 lbs no longer shows the speed and quickness which was his hallmark. If I were a team I would have him lose the weight and get him back into the 240 range where he was so dominant as he’ll never be a great run stopper due to his temperament so a team might as well maximize his value as a speed rusher. Yet that’s the problem as if he loses too much weight he’ll be solely a pass rush specialist and lose a lot of his value if relegated to that role. Also he’s widely regarded as a difficult player to coach who doesn’t follow instruction, doesn’t work hard all the time, and isn’t interested in stopping the run or doing the little things that often make a player great. Massaquoi was one of my favorite players last year but after watching him with added weight it’s obvious he didn’t work hard this offseason and needs to play at a lighter weight. Add on to those concerns his attitude, his declining production, and the fact that he is either scheme specific as a 3-4 OLB or role specific as a pass rush specialist and you have a player that is dropping on draft boards across the league. After his 2010 season I had a late 1st/early 2nd round grade on him and the talent still is there but he looks like a lot more of a head case and a project than I thought he was and now settles in as a 3rd rounder as my #13 pass rusher with boom/bust potential due to his numerous red flags 4/15/12.

14. Ronnell Lewis OU #56 6’1 ¾ 253 Jr.

Comparison: Poor man’s Aaron Maybin

Stats: Big 12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

60

5.5

13

4

1

1

0

2010

36

3

4.5

2

0

1

1

2009

22

1

2.5

0

2

0

0

Combine: Had a shocking number of reps for a DE (36) and had a very good 10 yd (1.65) and 40 (4.69) looking like a legit 3-4 OLB. 1st team Big 12 in 2011. Went through multi bag drill wrong and had to re-start but was first guy. Very quick feet but a little stiff in 2nd time through-you can see the athleticism though. Tight but fast in double bag drill. So fast and quick in triple bag drill-his athleticism pops out and makes him almost like a bigger Bruce Irvin.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6016

253

32.5

9.25

4.69

36

31

904

4.4

7.09

57.4

Notes: #83 in ESPN 150 for ’09. In the ’10 Fiesta Bowl vs. UConn had a coverage sack showing his hustle (0:12 1st), injured and taken off field on stretcher in 3rd Q. In the 2011 Texas game he had a great jump gaining edge on RT immediately and nearly getting sack but DT got him first, in up stance as OLB he read QB then attacked him when he rolled to his side but showed only average speed-no real burst forcing pressure but that was it, good hustle penetrating inside off RT then seeing the WR throw setup and sacking Shipley for 13 yd loss (8:50 3rd), good hustle sack getting edge vs. RT but ball should have been thrown as it was 5.5 sec sack after QB stepped up in pocket and was FF that caused sack to be +25 yd loss (2:30 3rd). In the 2011 Florida St. game he had a big hit on TFL of read option that he went unblocked on-first play I noticed him at all on though, no rush vs. RT Zebrie Sanders but picked up coverage sack as he went outside and QB scrambled by him on the inside lane to get away and he closed on him, no rush again but read QBs eyes and tipped ball at LOS which turned into diving INT by safety to end the game (5:35 4th).

Tape: 2011: Florida St., Texas, Oklahoma St., Iowa

Overall: Ronnell will be a tough evaluation for scouts as he was a highly recruited player out of HS, never redshirted, had only 5.5 sacks this year, and doesn’t show great burst or movement skills (bend) on film yet absolutely dominated the Combine and could be the classic late bloomer. Removing his Combine performance and it’s an easy evaluation as he shows tightness in his rush that limits his movements and allows him to be much more easily handled than he should be. Without his Combine performance I’d give him a 6th or 7th round grade as he did flash some speed and was a great tackler on film but 3 of his 5.5 sacks this year were of the coverage sack variety and too often he was invisible for most of the game. Yet he went to the Combine and had one of the more impressive workouts running a sub 4.7 40 (4.69), benching 225 lbs 36 times (spectacular for a 3-4 OLB prospect), and looking quick and explosive in position drills. He worries me b/c I know that he could make a scout look stupid either way as he has major bust potential (8.5 sacks in past 2 years is a red flag as is his tighness for an under 6’2 athlete) but also the raw talent to be a Pro Bowl caliber rusher. Personally I think his best position could actually be as a 3-4 ILB as his tackling skills on film are top notch and his lack of height wouldn’t be a negative there. That will be a possibility for teams to explore but for now I’m leaving him as a pass rusher where he gets a 3rd round grade as my #14 pass rusher due to his immense potential that has largely gone untapped to this point 4/1/12.

15. Bruce Irvin West Virginia #11 6’3 245 Sr.

Comparison: More productive Dontay Moch

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

40

8

14.5

2

3

0

0

2010

21

14

14

2

2

0

0

2009

Juco

 

 

 

 

 

 

2008

Juco

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combine: Looked like a WR running as he had great speed. Had a 1.63 10 yd split which was very good to go with a 4.50 40 which was great. 1st team Big East in 2011. Very good in double dummy drill though had weak slaps. Good speed but does show a little tightness in hips in double dummy drill. Quick with good bend in triple dummy drill. Chopped his feet showing some tightness but great quickness as always in direction cone drill. Very fast and agile but poor basket catch in 45 degree backpedal and catch drill. Very good though not really smooth like Ingram in in backpedal drill with great hands catch.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6030

245

33.38

9.63

4.50

23

33.5

1003

4.03

6.7

87.3

Notes: Dropped out of HS, went Juco, went to jail, and got his life back on track. Was a WR in HS. Was 5th in the nation in sacks with 12 and concluded his great ’10 with a sack vs. Jake Vermiglio who didn’t allow a sack in +850 snaps. Ended the game with 2 sacks, numerous pressures, and a FF showing a very good burst. His size worries me yet if he can gain 10 lbs he would be in the undersized 3-4 OLB mold and could jump up the draft board quickly as his production and pure speed are there. Has a great motor and very underrated strength as WV put him at DT at times and he burst through holes and powered his way to the QB at times. Enters the 2011 season ranked #32 on my Big Board. In the 2011 Pittsburgh game he went against LT Greg Gaskins and had trouble getting the edge on him, Gaskins is light in the butt for an OT but it showed his one dimensionalness as he couldn’t exploit that weakness-pure speed rusher only at this juncture, got into it verbally with an OG at one point, great speed and hustle on run away from him going unblocked to catch RB and dive tackle him short of first for punt (9:08 2nd), rushed upfield vs. RT then dipped inside on quick move for would be sack if LG hadn’t curled back to pancake him 1 sec before he got to QB, showed good speed but still pushed on very wide arc past QB by Gaskins. In the 2011 LSU game he won edge and turning corner for 3.5 sec sack but ball out quick (12:42 1st), nice agility jumping over LT’s chop block but run on other side, great jump off the snap ahead of every other OL or DL except C (11:12 1st), great jump on snap blowing past LT forcing him to try and cut him at an odd angle and would have been 4.5 sec sack but ball thrown (7:15 3rd), great patience on end around grabbing WR immediately on handoff for -8 yds (11:50 4th). In the 2011 Clemson game he couldn’t get edge vs. LT Phillip Price but turned to bull rush getting near QB for pressure, won edge slightly vs. RT Landon Walker then seeing him overcompensate he made very nice inside move for pressure and nearly 4 sec sack (5:30 1st), offsides, no rush on inside move then speed rush on back to back plays vs. Walker, no rush much of the game when going against the backup LT after Price went out with an injury, great hustle trailing scrambling QB and dive tackling him after 8 yds getting FF (1:05 2nd), solid 4.5 sec sack shooting upfield then sneaking back in for it (12:20 3rd), good aggressiveness crashing down on run for 1 yd gain, great speed off edge but took too wide an arc going right past QB, blew past Walker getting edge and bending well for 3.5 almost sack as he hit QB just after he threw-elite rush (2:40 3rd). He showed elite speed and again little else with his game continuing to worry me as he just seems like a one trick pony and I have serious reservations about how his game will translate. 3rd round on talent but drops to 4th round b/c of off the field issues 1/12/12.

Tape: 2011: Clemson, LSU,Pittsburgh

Overall: Bruce is an interesting prospect as he has a lot of things to work through for a club and therefore grades will probably dramatically differ between teams. The first thing a team has to work through is his character as he’s a JUCO kid who ran with a drug dealing crowd in High School, dropped out, was homeless for a short time, and landed him in jail for 3 weeks. He used that as motivation and hasn’t had any incidents the past 4 years, getting his GED and making it to JUCO school, so some will argue it’s in his past but I’ve always felt you can tell a ghetto player just by seeing him and he’s definitely a ghetto player. There are guys with attitudes, guys with motivation issues, guys with immaturity issues, and then just bad dudes. Bruce is in that last category in my opinion, just look at his mugshot, and I think there will be some sort of trouble down the road with him once he becomes a millionaire and is living the good life. The second thing a team has to work through is where to play him and this is where his grade could really fluctuate between teams as I could see a team that runs a 3-4 see him as a legit 3 down OLB and give him a 2nd round grade. Yet I could see another 3-4 team see his tight hips and inexperience in coverage and decide he’s just a pass rush specialist which would drop him to the 4th round area. 4-3 teams for sure will decide that as I’m unsure if he can be a full time 3-4 OLB but am positive he can’t be a full time 4-3 DE at only 245 lbs. Finally a team will have to work through his elite production (22 sacks, 28.5 TFL) and determine if it is legitimate or if it’s more a case of exploiting overmatched OTs that aren’t of the level of talent he will be facing in the pros. I personally think this is the case as his 22 sacks are clumped into 18 games as he had 7 games of 2 or 3 sacks. Too often I watched as he dominated a no-name RT in his Big East schedule yet was made invisible against the more talented OTs. The reason is that he’s a one trick pony as he uses his speed rush almost every down, lines up often in a wide nine position, and seems to have no real counter moves to speak of. Some will say that he can be taught them but for an undersized rusher he’s surprisingly tight in his hips and ankles which limits his ability to bend around an OT’s reach often causing him to shoot well past the QB upfield as he can’t turn the angle tight enough. It also makes me seriously question him as a 3-4 OLB and reduces his chances of ever developing counter moves which are often based on quickness and flexibility. I do think that a team would be well served to have him as a rusher off the bench as in certain matchups when facing a team with a slower, less talented OT he can be devastatingly effective. Yet that’s essentially what I think he is, a matchup rusher who will be invisible most games but could have a huge impact a few games a year when facing a Marc Columbo circa 2010 type player. I’m not interested in drafting a player too high whose effectiveness is based more on the opponents talent than his own but I do see his value. I grade him as a 3rd rounder in talent who drops to the 4th round due to character red flags but fully understand how a team who thinks he can be a full time 3-4 OLB would grade him out as a 2nd rounder. 4th round as my #15 pass rusher 3/27/12.

16. Sammy BrownHouston #9 6’1 7/8 242 Sr.

Stats: Big East

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

93

13.5

30

17

0

0

0

2010

76

7.5

19.5

6

2

0

0

2009

JUCO

 

 

 

 

 

 

2008

JUCO

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6017 

242 

33.88 

9.5 

4.64 

20 

37 

1003 

4.47 

7.13 

 

Notes: Had absurd productivity this year in 2011 with 88 tackles, 30 TFL, and 14 sacks! In the 2011 Southern Miss game (CUSA Championship) he had a good TFL on option hitting QB quickly before he could react, poor reaction to option in space looking stiff and slow. In the 2011 Penn St. game he read the play action rollout perfectly and raced to QB for 8 yd sack (9:00 2nd), good crash down on inside run getting TFL on RB, missed speedy WR on end around coming right to him missing 5 yd loss. Considered one of the biggest snubs for not being invited to the Combine.

Tape: 2011: Southern Miss, Penn St.

Overall: Like most Houston players, Sammy is a former juco player who only played 2 years for the program. Like most Houston players, Sammy also had inflated stats (30 TFL just this season!) due to the system they ran and how it increased the number of plays per game. Like most Houston players, Sammy has not felt the love from scouts this offseason as he wasn’t invited to the Combine and is considered a fringe prospect by most. Yet like most Houston players, Sammy intrigues me as I think his overall athleticism makes it possible that he can transition to the NFL and I consider him a sleeper. The script has occurred so often that I’m starting to lump together the Houston players as they all have elite, sometimes historic, stats (Keenum, Edwards, Brown) and good athleticism with a hole or two that allows them to be trivialized by some as system types. Brown is the least deserving of the system tag as he benefited from the high paced offense as it increased the number of plays in the game and thereby increased the number of opportunities for tackles and sacks but his numbers still blow away any stats from Oregon or Tulsa defenders who had a similar advantage. Brown’s 30 TFL and 17 QBH are some of the highest totals I’ve ever seen in those categories as it’s the most TFL in a season since George Selvie in 2007 (31.5) and it’s interesting to note that the previous two players to lead the country in TFL (Ryan Kerrigan in 2011, Brandon Graham in 2010) were both mid 1st round picks. Brown is considered a late round player and I don’t exactly get why as he combines his elite stats with very good athleticism (4.64 40, ’37 vertical, 10’3 broad) and long arms (‘33.88) that make him a good fit for OLB in a 3-4 scheme. He is undersized at 6’1 7/8 242 but has the frame to add a bit more weight and should be able to be 6’2 250 which is big enough for the position in a lot of schemes. I’m getting a little tired of defending Houston’s prospects but one last time I’ll do it as I think Brown has the long arms, productivity, and overall athleticism a team is looking for in a 3-4 OLB, 4-3 SLB, or 3-4 ILB. In any of these spots I like him as a 4th round sleeper type. 4th round as my #16 pass rusher who is barely drafteable on many boards due to the label of him as an unathletic, system player 4/12/12.

17. Jack Crawford Penn St. #81 6’4 7/8 274 Sr.

Stats: Big 10

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

40

6.5

7.5

0

0

0

0

2010

14

2

4.5

1

0

0

0

2009

31

5.5

14.5

0

1

0

0

2008

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

Combine: Had a 1.70 10 yd split. Looks eerily similar to Charlie Villanueva. 2nd team Big 10 in 2011. Very long legs but still solid in multi bag drill. Tight hipped in double dummy drill. Slow in triple dummy drill. Tight but quick in direction cone drill. Slow in 45 degree backpedal and catch drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6047

274

33.5

10.25

4.89

28

33

905

4.44

7.09

89.2

Notes: In the 2011 Alabama game had a good deflection that he almost picked off if the QB hadn’t grabbed him (4:46 1st), good deflection again on McCarron jumping actually twice with the 2nd being the tip (1:05 3rd). Grew up in England. In the 2011 Penn St. game he had good reaction to WR screen peeling off rush to force WR to defenders for no gain, good rush beating RT and forcing QB to scramble away, good rush again getting edge on LT and diving at QBs feet forcing him to not step into throw but ball just thrown too quick so sacks are out of the question on most plays, good quick rush getting into passing lane for WR screen to bat ball down, good rush about to get 3.5 sec sack but ball thrown. In the game he outplayed more heralded teammate DT Devon Still getting more pressure and having more impactful plays but neither did too much b/c Houston passes so quickly. He’s a big, strong kid with a good burst who I really like as a project DE but who never flashed enough for me to give a top grade like others have for him. If he dominates in the postseason though I will move him up as his frame is elite. 4th round 1/3/12. Only started playing football as junior in High School. Senior Bowl: Day 1: 11×11: Pancaked by TE and LT double team. Day 2: 1×1: Good burst off snap catching OT Mike Adams unaware and gaining edge but pushed wide around QB settling for very small win (+1). Great spin move vs. OT Mitchell Schwartz setting it up perfectly so he spun right into cone for quick win (+4). 11×11: No rush for first few sec vs. OT Keneche Osemele but finally won edge after ball thrown. Day 3: 1×1: Got initial movement vs. OT Mitchell Schwartz but he then reanchored and was stoned after that for loss (-3). Lined up at DT vs. OG Johnnie Troutman and immediately showed superior quickness gaining inside edge and blowing by him for quick win (+4). 11×11: Great aggressiveness and burst on inside stunt plowing into OG Kevin Seitler who handled it brilliantly and rode him outside then threw him down for pancake, great spin move vs. Adams getting 4 sec sack. 2011 Senior Bowl Game: He got the start at DE, small rush starting to get separation on 3 step drop vs. RT Zebrie Sanders, easily run blocked outside on inside run, almost got edge vs. Sanders but couldn’t quite on 4 sec rush-never got near QB, good job pushing away TE Brad Smelley and making tackle on RB-did get dragged final 2 yds, run blocked well by Sanders getting knocked back 6 yds, double teamed and pushed out of play by Sanders/Smelley, no rush in 4 sec vs. RT Jeff Allen, no rush on double team led by Allen, couldn’t quite get edge vs. Allen and pancaked as he dipped shoulder, no rush in 3 sec vs. Sanders, good burst on naked bootleg to his side forcing early throw on short out ruining play (5:45 3rd), no rush vs. TE Ladarius Green, good initial push vs. Sanders but was sweep right play action so play too quick to make impact, good bull rush getting Sanders knocked back then disengaging for pressure to force dump off on 3rd and 17. He was inconsistent throughout the week getting pancaked a number of times but also showing good hustle and a nice spin move that he used often with good results. Out of the 7 pass rushers (Ingram, Coples, Curry, Upshaw, Johnson, Jackson) he was #5 but actually pretty solid despite the ranking. I still like him as a mid round project. 4th round 2/15/12.

Tape: 2011: Alabama, Houston, Senior Bowl Practices and Game

Overall: Crawford is a guy I’ve liked for awhile as he has a great frame at around 6’5 270 with a noticeable burst that could allow him to develop into a solid 4-3 DE. He lacks the speed or flexibility to play OLB in a 3-4 and the tightness in his hips also could limit him as a pass rusher as numerous times he tried to dip his shoulder against the top OTs at the Senior Bowl and most of the time the played ended with him being pancaked as he wasn’t able to bend low enough to avoid their grasp. I have my doubts that he’ll be able to improve in this area as most consider it an innate skill but if anyone can it will be Jack as he’s from England and had almost no experience playing football in High School. That rawness is actually a positive to most scouts as a guy with his frame and his productivity despite his lack of experience makes quite a few scouts consider him a bit of a sleeper whose best football is ahead of him. I agree with them as he has all the makings of a starting DE yet he lacks elite athleticism and is a bit tight so at best he’ll be a 8-10 sack type starting DE and his ceiling will never extend to a Pro Bowl caliber player. While he is a project I don’t think he’s as much a roll of the dice as most as his biggest issues should be solved simply by playing more and being coached for a longer amount of time (no time restrictions in the NFL like college). He shouldn’t be taken too high as an above average starter is his ceiling and he’s unlikely to contribute as a rookie but I like him as a late 4th round project with a good chance of realizing his potential. Late 4th as my #17 pass rusher 3/26/12.

18. Brandon LindseyPittsburgh #7 6’1 5/8 254 Sr.

Comparison: Bigger George Selvie

Stats: Big East

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

2011

55

8.5

11

10

2

1

2010

51

10

18

6

3

0

2009

18

4

5.5

4

0

0

2008

0

0

0

0

0

0

Combine: At only 254 lbs he looks completely filled out and thick. Had a spectacular 10 yd split (1.56) which makes his overall 40 that more surprising in how bad it was (4.93). Stayed low and was very smooth in multi bag drill. Good bend but slow in double bag drill. Slow but smooth in triple bag drill just like he is in every drill. Kept him at LB even after he worked out with the DL group as I still think he fits best there.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6015

254

32.63

10.63

4.93

23

33

909

4.28

7.36

59.8

Notes: Redshirted as a freshman. In the 2011 West Virginia game had good TFL on dump off pass in flat forcing punt, used as DE at times, very good inside rush at DE splitting OL immediately but for nothing as it was a WR screen, pushed upfield vs. LT then pushed him off balance to get inside for 5 sec sack to end half (0:10 2nd), solid coverage sack getting QB when he stepped up in pocket to scramble after +5 (5:55 3rd). In the 2011 SMU game he had no rush on 5 sec rush with QB forced near him and still unable to get off block, had great jump off snap for 3.5 sec sack going right past LT and bending well to QB but only INC as he hit QB during throw (12:50 1st), good quickness on swim move of TE for would be 4 sec sack but ball thrown, quickly got off TE block to help on no gain tackle on inside run, very good speed off edge getting corner and showing good bend again but 3 step drop, beat RT to edge with nice stutter step but again 3 step drop, beat RT on edge but play away from him-he consistently got the edge in the game but it was of little use due to 3 step drops and lots of plays away. He’s a very athletic player who looks like a future 3-4 OLB to me but I will need to see more before I give him any higher than a 3rd-4th round grade 1/7/12. 4th round 1/20/12. In the 2011 East-West Shrine Game he gave no separation to TE George Bryan on seam route, he jarred TE Cory Harkey setting edge well then disengaging easily when inside run occurred, blocked easily by OL on run right at him, blocked well by Harkey on back to back run plays looking inferior strength wise, lost track of TE on seam route giving big play if not for QB being hit as he threw for INC, run blocked by Bryan well but did disengage after a few secs, again blocked by Bryan this time on goal line run but did disengage after a few sec, solid tackle in hole for 4 yds, missed tackle in space on dump off pass vs. RB Bobby Rainey. Out of the 12 LBs at East-West Shrine Game he was middle of the pact at #6 (Kaddu, Carder, Thornton, Marshall, Franklin). His average play surprised me as he looked strong and physical but not nearly as big or strong as I would have suspected in this All-Star Game. He still looks like a solid LB prospect but now as a late round prospect. 6th round 1/22/12. Moved him back to pass rusher after seeing his outstanding stats (22.5 sacks, 34.5 TFL, 5 FF) the past 3 years. Also the best thing about him athletically is his elite bend which would be negated as a non-rush LB.

Tape: 2011:West Virginia, SMU, East-West Shrine Game

Overall: Lindsey will be a prospect that has a wide variety of grades as some will see him as a true LB, others as a 3-4 OLB, and others as a 4-3 DE. I feel his best spot is as a pass rusher, preferably as a 3-4 OLB though a 4-3 DE could work, as his best attributes are his burst and his bend. He has elite bend allowing him to dip inside on tackles to turn the corner to the QB and has a top notch burst (1.56 10 yd split is elite) that allows him to get the edge on OTs that are often bigger and more athletic than him. Those attributes allow him to be a good pass rusher despite poor size (6’1 5/8 254) and straight line speed (4.93) and would be largely negated if moved to a non-rush LB spot. I do question whether he has enough athleticism to be a team’s pass rusher as it’s a coveted spot that has to produce yet by moving him to LB it almost guarantees he’s nothing more than an average starter so I am leaving him at pass rusher where he has a much higher ceiling. If his arms were a few inches longer or his 40 time was a few tenths of a second faster he could be a 2nd rounder as his bend, burst, and productivity all are elite. Some teams might overlook his average arm length (32.63) and very poor speed (4.93) and keep a 2nd or 3rd round grade while other teams might see too many red flags to keep him at the coveted pass rusher spot and move him to LB where he would be a later round type so his grade could fluctuate tremendously. I’m leaving him at pass rusher but am grading him as a mid round type who has some great qualities but also some major holes in his game that could make him a bust. Early 5th round as my #18 pass rusher who has boom/bust potential due to a lack of size and speed 4/9/12.

19. Olivier VernonMiami #35 6’2 1/8 261 Jr.

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

18

1.5

3.5

0

1

0

0

2010

39

6

10.5

4

0

0

0

2009

24

1.5

6.5

2

0

0

0

Combine: Power rush guy with a great amount of reps (31). A stiff rusher who is good at power rushing. Very nice in change of direction drill-they called him stiff but I didn’t see it. Surprisingly quick in multi bag drill-one of the better DEs. Solid in double bag drill. Good in double bag drill. Really fast in triple bag drill-probably best DE in drill and is dominating these position drills. Okay in backpedal but dropped ball in 45 degree backpedal and catch drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6021

261

33

10.13

4.80

31

34.5

1002

4.5

7.39

72.4

Notes: Missed first 6 games of the season making his stats much better but still pretty average. In the 2011 Florida St. game he was moved to DT on 3rd and 1 and got a nice push vs. the RG to help ruin inside run, very good play falling down on counter as he went with the OL going left but immediately jumped up and laid a nice hit on RB when he came back to his side, lined up over WR in slot and showed good backpedal making me think 3-4 OLB could work for him (3:20 1st), beat LT Zebrie Sanders splitting him and LG for inside rush sack and FF (3:15 1st), nice TFL stacking and shedding OL on inside run, showed average speed trying to catch up to QB EJ Manuel on the edge-inferior speed, he plays DE like a DT would as it’s all power rush or stunts partially due to the fact that he rarely can win the edge on OTs, good inside rush from DT spot lunging at QB as he threw it hurting the accuracy, great bull rush of LG as DT getting him all the way back to QB despite it being a quick throw-great strength (14:28 4th), nice hit of RB on outside run again lining up across from WR, pancaked RG on bull rush but unable to get to RB on outside run from DT position.

Tape: 2011:Florida St.

Overall: Vernon is a talented player who underachieved at Miami and further compounded his problem by inexplkicably declaring for the 2012 NFL Draft. After his Soph season (39 tackles, 6 sacks, 10.5 TFL) he looked like an up and coming rusher but he missed the first 6 games of the season and wasn’t very productive in the final 6 games. There’s no reason he should have left school after that kind of season but he did and it points to an immaturity or a person who is being directed by someone who doesn’t have his best interests at heart. On the football field Vernon is a unique combination of explosion and strength as he has the ability to slide inside to DT and appears to be effective in his bull rushes at that spot. Yet he also shows a quickness and agility in his backpedal and in the open space that makes me contemplate moving him to 3-4 OLB. Combine his strength and quickness with his explosiveness shown at the Combine (34.5 vertical, 10’2 broad both being top 6 out of the 26 DEs) and he has an incredibly unique skill set that warrants consideration as a 3rd or 4th rounder. Yet his red flags are numerous as he missed 6 games this year due to his involvement with former booster Nevin Shapiro and received the harshest suspension of the 8 players (5 received one game suspensions, 2 received four games, and Vernon received six games) making it likely that he was the most guilty and probably recruited other players to cheat. He compounded that problem by leaving school early, despite coming off a poor season, making me question his commitment to the sport and his team. Also on the field I see a player with great strength but without the frame to move to DT and great quickness but without the speed to be a true edge rusher making him a possible tweener. Finally I’m a scout who values production and with only 9 career sacks it’s hard for me to get too excited about him as a prospect. Vernon has early to mid round talent but he seems to have trouble winning the edge on OTs (might be only a power rusher), had off the field issues this season, left school early for no valid reason, and never came close to fulfilling his potential. He’s a mid round boom/bust type who gets an early 5th round grade from me as my #19 pass rusher 4/15/12.

20. Kyle Wilber Wake Forest #97 6’3 ¾ 249 Sr.

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

69

3.5

10.5

3

2

0

0

2010

65

6

14.5

1

3

0

0

2009

18

1

3

1

0

0

0

2008

42

3

6.5

1

0

0

0

Combine: Worked out as a LB. I have him as a pass rusher but even at that spot he had a below average time (4.86). Slow in sideline to sideline drill. Good in four bag drill. Solid in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill with a great hands catch. Average in multi backpedalal drill-okay for a conversion guy. Solid 2nd time in two dummy drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6036

249

33.25

9.25

4.86

25

33.5

909

4.31

7.11

NA

Notes: In the 2011 Mississippi St. game he had a good TFL on inside run hitting RB Vick Ballard hard in hole and throwing him down (11:24 1st), had good bull rush vs. LT James Carmon getting off block to help teammate with sack (10:23 1st), no rush vs. Carmon, beat Carmon to edge but pushed just past QB missing sack (6:00 3rd). He has the perfect frame for a 3-4 OLB as he is tall, skinny, and has solid rush skills. He will need to gain weight and isn’t extremely productive so he’s a late round type guy but I like him as a project 3-4 OLB type. 7th round 1/4/12. In the 2011 East-West Shrine Game he had no rush or push vs. LT Matt Reynolds, push LT Matt Reynolds back getting inside rush hitting QB as he threw for INC (1:12 1st), good burst off snap getting edge vs. Reynolds for pressure and would be sack if not for quick throw (1:07 1st), no rush vs. Reynolds, no rush vs. Reynolds but great quickness catching QB from behind when he began to scramble-was a horse collar though, beat Reynolds on edge but ball away, good burst off ball but couldn’t get edge vs. Reynolds, very good burst surprising Reynolds to get edge and hit QB just after he threw for 4 sec almost sack (1:05 3rd), went inside on run play and blocked well by Reynolds creating huge hole outside-called for hold but questionable, beat LT Tom Compton on edge but quick throw, beat Compton almost immediately on quick inside move for 4 sec sack-would have been 3 but kill zone took a little while-not the strongest guy (11:20 4th), great initial push on Reynolds getting him off balance and creating inside rush track to QB but was rollout other way-still very impressive (5:58 4th). Out of the 8 DEs at East-West Shrine Game he was by far the best at #1. 4th round 1/24/12.

Tape: 2011: Mississippi St., East-West Shrine Game

Overall: Kyle is a player I noticed on film both in his bowl game and at the East-West Shrine Game as he has a nice burst, good bend, and a frame that fits him perfectly as a 3-4 OLB. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to carry over his momentum with a good Combine as he had a poor 40 (4.86), average quickness drills (4.31 shuttle is average for a DE, poor for a LB), and didn’t wow me in any of the position drills. Combine his average Combine with his average stats the past 2 years (9.5 sacks, 25 TFL) and he’s suddenly a prospect I’m not as interested in as before. I still am intrigued by him as a 3-4 OLB or 4-3 SLB who rushes occasionally but with a good Combine he could have moved up into the 3rd round and instead he went backwards due to his mediocre athleticism. Early 5th round as my #20 pass rusher 4/11/12.

21. Richetti Jones Oklahoma St. #99 6’3 ¼ 275 Sr.

Stats: Big 12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

33

4

6.5

8

3

1

0

2010

34

4.5

7

4

1

0

0

2009

9

2.5

5.5

2

0

0

0

2008

5

0

0

1

0

0

0

Pro Day: 3/9/12

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6032

275

 

 

4.86

30

34

905

4.68

8.15

 

Notes: In the 2011 Arizona game had a batted ball (13:59 4th). In the 2011 Texas A&M game he had a very nice 4 sec sack on stud LT Luke Joeckel just overpowering him and getting lower than him (13:55 4th). In the 2011 Oklahoma game he was very quick to QB on naked bootleg going unblocked and forcing INC, picked up fumble as ball slipped out of Landry Jones hand which he picked up and ran 20 yds for a TD.

Tape: 2011: Arizona, Texas A&M, Iowa St., Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Stanford

Overall: Richetti is a player that I’ve noticed on film each of the past two years as he isn’t a great player but regularly got pressure and was around the action a lot. He seems to struggle in the kill zone as he has a ton of QB hurries but an unequal corresponding number of sacks. Yet at 6’3 275 with the strength he showed on film as well as at the Combine (30 reps) he looks like a future left DE who can set the edge and defend the run while giving a team a solid rush. Players who struggle in the kill zone in college rarely learn the skill later in their career so it’s likely he’ll be a player who gets more pressures than sacks yet as a mid round strong side defensive end I like the comination of skills he brings to the table. His sack against LT Luke Joeckel last year also is worth it’s weight in gold to me as Joeckel is already a 1st round caliber LT and it shows the potential Jones has. Late 5th round as my #21 pass rusher who is scheme specific as a 4-3 DE 4/1/12.

22. Jamie Blatnick Oklahoma St. #50 6’3 1/8 263 Sr.

Stats: Big 12

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

50

8

13.5

5

1

1

0

2010

27

5.5

5.5

2

0

0

0

2009

28

1.5

3

5

1

0

0

2008

13

1

1.5

3

0

0

0

Combine: False start 40. Had a 1.72 10 yd split. Has the bigger frame that just doesn’t look like a pass rusher and not really sure where he can play though I do like him. 1st team Big 12 in 2011. Surprisingly very good and agile in multi bag drill. Good in double dummy drill-has elite bend for as broad as he is. Solid in triple dummy drill. A little tight in direction cone drill. Okay in 45 degree backpedal and catch drill. Below average in backpedal drill then dropped ball.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6031

263

31.5

10.25

4.90

28

32.5

904

4.2

7.22

68.6

Notes: Is a high energy, effort guy who is their leader on D. In the 2011 Texas A&M game had a nice push pull move vs. stud LT Luke Joeckel getting edge and pressure on throw (1:50 3rd). In the 2011 Oklahoma game he had a very impressive play dropping into coverage from DE spot and showing a good backpedal then planting and racing to RB in the flat and hitting him hard and low to flip him over-possible LB in 3-4? (7:50 1st), good bull rush on LG pushing him back almost to QB on quick throw, good speed on fumble recovery returning it +50 yds and getting caught at the 2 yd line (4:45 2nd), good TFL pushing TE into backfield and bumping into RB then shedding him to throw him down single handedly ruining the play (4:34 2nd), great rush getting past RT to hit QB as he threw at 3.5 sec for deflected pass, quick inside rush getting to QB in 3 sec but missing in kill zone allowing scramble and throw away, good run support holding edge on LT then shedding him to make tackle for 4 yds, great TFL extending and pushing TE on sweep right all the way to the sideline then shedding him to push RB out of bounds for loss of 1 yd-never gave RB the corner.

Tape: 2011:Arizona,Texas A&M,Iowa St.,Oklahoma,Texas, Baylor, Stanford

Overall: Blatnick is a guy I really liked on film this year as he was clearly their emotional leader and had a good combination of skills as a tackler (50), rusher (8.5 sacks), and just causing havoc (13.5 TFL, 1 FF, 1 INT). He has an all out motor that I love to see but I do question where he’ll play and if he has enough talent to be anything more than a hustle type player off the bench. His first deficiency is his wide shoulders and big frame that looks cumbersome and more DT like than DE. I noticed this often on film as I thought he was actually a DT, he did line up there at times, yet then saw he only weighed around 260 lbs. The second is that he has short arms (31.5) which is a major negative to me when grading pass rushers. Finally he ran a 4.90 40 and while he has a solid burst on film I question whether he has the hips and pure speed to play in space as a 3-4 OLB. He’s very much a tweener and might not be quite big or long enough to be a 4-3 DE or athletic enough to be a 3-4 OLB. Yet as a conversion guy I am intrigued by him and think he has the chance to develop into an average starter at either spot or very good backup. Guys with similar skill sets probably wouldn’t be as highly rated as I have Blatnick but I really like his motor and leadership skills so he gets a boost as he would be a great guy to have on a roster if his conversion is successful. Early 6th round as my #22 pass rusher 3/27/12.

23. Kentrell Lockett Ole Miss #31 6’5 243 Sr.

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

33 

2.5 

2010 

2009 

39 

10 

13 

2008 

37 

2.5 

12 

2007

7

1

1

1

0

0

0

Pro Day: 3/9/12

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6050

243

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes: A smaller, athletic player who will be a 3-4 OLB not a DE. In the 2011 East-West Shrine Game he had very good bull rush vs. LT Joe Long getting near QB even on quick throw (4:25 2nd), strong hit on RB block pushing him back, very inferior strength getting pushed down to ground at end of no rush vs. RT Bradley Sowell, too fast for Long on move block as he tried to stay in front and wall off for sweep with Lockett making 5 yd tackle, solid push on RT Lamar Holmes nearly getting close enough to bat ball away, good vertical getting very high on attempted bat at LOS. Out of the 8 DEs at East-West Shrine Game he was one of the better ones at #4 (Wilber, Crawford, Miller). 7th round 1/24/12.

Tape: 2011: LSU, East-West Shrine Game

Overall: Kentrell is an interesting later round type for a 3-4 team as he’s 6’5 243 making him an ideal candidate to be bulked up and turned into a long, rangy rush OLB. He also a player who can be had cheaper than most would have expected a few years ago as going into the 2010 season he was coming off a two year stretch of 76 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 22 TFL, and 17 QB hurries that made it look like he was a future star. He tore his ACL in the 2010 season and never fully regained his old explosiveness in 2011 (0 sacks, 2.5 TFL) but could regain that form next year as most assume it takes a full 2 years before a player gets back to 100%. If that happens and a team gets the ’08-’09 version of Lockett they will be getting a steal as he flashed early round talent and was a top level producer. A boom/bust player who had 2nd-3rd round grade a few years ago but played like an undrafted free agent this year. Late 6th round as my #23 pass rusher 4/3/12.

24. Kourtnei Brown Clemson #90 6’4 5/8 255 Sr.

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2011

22

2

4

1

0

1

1

2010

17

0

2.5

1

0

0

0

2009

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2008

16

0

1.5

1

0

0

0

2007

8

1

1

0

0

0

0

Pro Day: 3/8/12 Had a 4.62 and 4.60 40 at his pro day yet unfortunately Brandon Thompson didn’t run at the Combine and Dwayne Allen didn’t run at the pro day so I have no comparison. Even adding 1/10th of a second which is usual it gives Brown a very nice time which would have put him 6th among the 26 DEs at the Combine.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6045

255

 

 

4.61

26

31

907

4.48

 

 

Notes: Has an elite frame and definitely looks to be a candidate for a late round or undrafted free agent project type for a good DL coach. In the 2011 Florida St. game he had a nice inside move when inside edge vs. RT Zebrie Sanders nearly getting 4 sec sack but ball thrown (2:41 2nd). In the 2011 North Carolina game he had a great batted ball at LOS sniffing out dump off pass in flat after getting no rush and dropping back then catching batted ball and returning it for a TD looking very similar to Julius Peppers-elite play (4:45 2nd), picked up the ball on a sack FF by teammate and ran it in for a 20 yd TD (0:15 3rd), had solid rush getting away from RB cut block to force QB out of pocket yet missed him in kill zone and looked stiff when chasing him (10:20 4th). In the 2011 South Carolina game he had good penetration but missed RB in backfield allowing nearly a 30 yd run. In the 2011 West Virginia game he had nice burst off snap but came from 3-4 DE spot vs. LT and couldn’t quite get edge, great hustle tackling WR in end zone after 27 yd end around to the other side of field-arguably the last guy who should have tackled him and is a feat despite it being in end zone, good tackle 20 yds downfield-has elite trailing skills. Is a high ceilinged project DE who has an elite frame, a solid burst, great hustle, and has been very noticeable in multiple games this year. 5th round 1/12/12.

Tape: 2011: Florida St., North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia

Overall: After seeing his career stats (2 sacks, 9 TFL) I clearly overrated him but it’s not hard to see why as I saw a few games of his and one of them happened to be the North Carolina game which was by far his career best. In that game he had an incredibly athletic batted ball that he intercepted and returned for a TD as well as a fumble caused by a teammate that he returned for a TD. He has 2 career TDs and 1 career INT and I saw them both in the same game so obviously I rated him a bit higher than most would. Yet even after seeing his pedestrian career stats I still like him as he’s around 6’5 255 with 4.7 speed, great hustle, and a noticeable burst. He looks like a late round project type with the potential to develop. Early 7th round as my #24 pass rusher 3/26/12.

25. Donte Paige-Moss NorthCarolina #98 6’3 268 Jr.

Stats: ACC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

29

2

4

2

0

0

0

2010

49

7

13.5

1

1

0

0

2009

5

2

2

2

0

0

0

Combine: Didn’t workout at the Combine due to his injury.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6030

268

32.75

10.38

 

26

 

 

 

 

48

Notes: #86 in ESPN 150 for ’09. Is a tall, thick guy who doesn’t move that well to me and looks to have shorter arms. In the 2011 Virginia game he intentionally kicked a player on the ground but did it slyly (2:55 1st), no pressure on 5 sec rush vs. LT Oday Aboushi as his initial inside move didn’t work and his subsequent spin move back outside wasn’t anything special (7:33 4th), and easily handed by Oday on inside rush (6:50 4th). Doesn’t have much burst at all but I can see why people like him as he is a tall, thickly built guy who has some solid spin and inside moves. That being said I think it is laughable to argue he is a 1st round talent at this point as I have him as a 3rd rounder with more frame than game right now 9/20/11. Benched in favor of Kareem Martin. In the 2011 Louisville game had no rush on 5 sec rush even with a shady hands to the face nearly pushing LT Alex Kupper’s helmet off (0:13 2nd), terrible play going untouched to RB at handoff yet completely whiffing on him on what should have been easy TFL (2:12 3rd), trash talked Kupper after his false start-he got benched and hasn’t done a thing but is trash talking?, showed actual energy attacking the run play away hitting RB hard for 3 yd gain on easily the best play of the game for him-he rarely shows any fire to his play (11:15 4th), got into it with LG eventually trying to body slam the guy at end of play-shockingly called holding on OG! (10:40 4th), in 4th Q he was part of 3 man rush that went after QB at least 6 straight plays and only once did he get even the slightest pressure showing me again that he has no speed and no hustle. I am baffled at how some think this kid is a star or future 1st rounder. To me he looks like a project who doesn’t want it that bad and lacks the burst to ever be an elite player even if a coach lights a fire under his butt. 5th round as of 10/10/11.

Tape: 2011: Virginia, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Missouri

Overall: Donte wins the award for worst decision to leave school early for the 2012 NFL Draft. Going into this season there was a lot of buzz about him as he had 7 sacks, 13.5 TFL, and 1 FF as a true sophomore playing next to Quinton Coples. I personally think that he decided before the season to go pro after his junior year and spent part of his time trying not to get hurt, part of his time moping about getting benched, and part of his time injured (tore his ACL). If he was fully healthy, a hard worker, and didn’t have issues with attitude and getting into fights I still would have issues with his lack of burst and shady play in 2011 as he wasn’t just unproductive but seemed to relish getting into fights with his opponents. Yet a team has to add the fact he probably won’t see the field as a rookie due to the ACL injury, has to realize he wasn’t very productive (11 sacks in 3 years) despite playing with elite talent all around him (Coples, Quinn, Austin, Powell), and add in a very bad combination of laziness on and off the field to go along with an attitude that the coaches hated. It all adds up to a guy that arguably shouldn’t even be drafted and it will be interesting to see where he goes b/c he’s not just a boom/bust type but one with enormous red flags. I’m not a fan of his at all but I’m giving him a late round flier grade b/c when healthy and motivated he’s a solid DE prospect with 3rd round talent. 7th round as my #25 pass rusher 3/27/12.

26. Tim Fugger Vanderbilt #42 6’3 ¼ 248 Sr.

Stats: SEC

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

FF

INT

TD

2011

33

7

13.5

3

0

0

2010

22

3

5

4

0

0

2009

21

1

2

0

0

0

2008

14

0

0

1

0

0

Pro Day: 3/23 If he had put up these numbers at the Combine he would have been 10th out of the 26 DEs on the bench, 8th in the vert, 12th in the broad, 4th in the shuttle, and 5th in the 3 cone which rounds out to an extremely quick player with good strength and explosion who fits best in a 3-4 scheme at OLB.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6032

248

33

9.25

4.64

29

34

907

4.2

7.00

 

Notes: In the 2011Tennessee game he had a very quiet game mainly going up against their RT who shut him down. He loves to use a spin move and is a whirling dervish on his pass rushes yet he doesn’t seem to play at his pro day speed of 4.64 and is undersized to the point that the 3-4 scheme is the only one worth considering.

Tape: 2011:Arkansas,Cincinnati

Overall: Tim is a player who I watched in their bowl game and didn’t notice too much yet who opened my eyes with a very good pro day. It made me go back and watch another game of his and I came to the same conclusion which is that Fugger just doesn’t look like an elite athlete as his pro day measurables just don’t seem to transfer to the field. He has a nice burst, is extremely quick, and has good strength for his size but he’s so undersized that’s still not saying too much and while he shows good athleticism it isn’t up to the level of his measurables. He was undrafteable before but his pro day moves him up into the late rounds. Late 7th round as my #26 pass rusher 4/15/12.

27. Max Holloway Boston College 6’2 ¼ 242 Sr.

Stats: Big East

Year

Tackles

Sack

TFL

QBH

FF

INT

TD

2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

47

2

8

1

1

1

0

2010

36

4

14

0

2

0

0

2009

16

1

2.5

0

0

0

0

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

1 yr %

6022

242

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes: Surprisingly declared for the 2012 NFL Draft forgoing his 5th year Senior season. In the 2011 NFLPA Game he had a great play crashing down from DE to get TFL on inside run showing elite quickness, did it again later in the quarter ending both plays with big hits (11:15 2nd), elite burst off edge timing snap perfectly to get into QBs face and bat ball at LOS for WR screen (4:07 2nd), elite burst off edge again timing snap perfectly (#1 guy to take advantage of simple snap counts at this game) blowing by LT getting 2.5 sec sack-called for offsides (6:31 4th).

Tape: 2011: USC, NFLPA Game

Overall: Max is another player that I didn’t scout as deeply as I would prefer so I am going mainly on statistics and the NFLPA Game where he impressed me a lot as the best pass rusher at the event. His lack of size (6’2 ¼ 242) limit him to a pass rush specialist or 3-4 OLB role yet he showed elite quickness at the event which barely gets him a drafteable grade. Late 7th round as my #27 pass rusher 4/1/12.

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