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NFL Draft Prospects

NFL Draft 2010 Prospects - Week 6

DraftInsiders.com
and ProFootballDraftNetwork.com
are collaborating on a weekly article (posted every Wednesday during the college football regular season) to review the prior weeks most notable performances from a 2010 NFL Draft perspective.

Pro Prospects - Week 6

Photo – LB Brandon Spikes – Florida

Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season

LB Brandon Spikes – Senior - Florida
Aggressive senior defender had a dominant performance vs LSU that was instrumental in the Gators victory. Against LSU, he registered a game-high 11 tackles including 3 sacks while limiting the Tigers to just 162 yards and 1 field goal. He is a very physical defender with a quick first step and the power to gain a fast advantage to defeat blocking angles. He showed the physical talent to make plays both inside and outside consistently with the burst speed and quickness to make big plays. He has the ability to rush the passer and also drop in coverage at 250 lbs. He has the rare size/ speed combination that allows him to be an every down defender and capable of playing in either pro scheme and virtually any position in those sets.

QB Jevan Snead – Junior - Mississippi
Talented junior passer played poorly in Ole Miss’s loss to Alabama Saturday. Jevan played tight throughout the contest and threw the ball very erratic consistently. This game was a key chance for him to showcase his skills against the highly regarded tough Tide defense. The Ole Miss starter has let strong pass rushes from the Tide and South Carolina over recent weeks effect him throwing the ball. He was inaccurate once again vs Bama and what was most disturbing was that he was off target in his short throws throughout the game. Currently, he is not ready to consider entering the NFL Draft and in need of further reps at this critical position.

RB Jonathan Dwyer – Junior - Georgia Tech
Big physical junior running back had another strong performance in the Tech win over Florida St. He is a powerfully built back who has performed well in the ACC, displaying very strong inside running with the burst of speed to break big plays. Against FSU, he carried only 14 times but produced 102 yards and 2 TDs. He uses his powerful big frame as a battering ram to run over defenders, though he has the lateral quickness and speed that allows him to move through holes fast and break into the second level. He has outstanding size with very good speed and quickness that will keep him from the top tier of backs. He is an honest runner with natural skills that will draw much attention over what is probably his final season.

WR Jordan Shipley – Senior - Texas
Quick senior wideout had a career game vs Colorado while showing big play ability as both a receiver ad return specialist. On offense, he finished the game with 11 catches for 147 yards and a TD. In addition, his 273 all-purpose yards in the game are a career high. He also registered a 74-yard punt return TD. He has caught at least 10 passes in each of the last three games. He shows excellent hands and route running with the quickness to get into his routes and the speed to break big plays. He is also a dangerous return specialist that will enhance his value in the April draft. He is highly developed with natural receiving skills and fine route running ability that makes him one of the more developed playmakers in this class.

LB Rico McCoy – Senior - Tennessee
Mobile senior defender has been a mainstay in the Vols defense since early in his career, seeing time on both the outside backer and special teams roles. He had an impact performance vs Georgia when he made a 9 tackles, 1 PBU and 1 QB hurry. He is a very mobile, instinctive linebacker who flows to the ball and gets through traffic well with the speed and sure tackling ability to finish with strong stops. His size and mobility will limit him to playing outside in the base 4-3 set. He has the makeup of a top special teams performer.

Denis Krusos - Editor
Pro Football Draft Network
www.profootballdraftnetwork.com

DE Brandon Graham, Senior, Michigan
The powerful Michigan defensive end was a disruptive force against a talented and well-coached Iowa offensive line. Graham tallied 9 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks in the Wolverines’ 30-28 loss at Iowa. He plays with terrific leverage and uses his hands violently to disengage from blockers. Michigan’s top defensive player is stout against the run and helped limit Iowa to only 83 yards rushing on 34 attempts (2.4 per). Graham is a shade under six foot one and will be heavily scrutinized at the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine to gauge how well he may convert to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Graham played against Iowa with his usual determination. He has the lower body strength and quickness to play defensive end in the NFL despite his lack of ideal height.

RB Ben Tate, Senior, Auburn
The Tigers’ leading rusher continued his strong play this season with a career-day against Arkansas. Tate rushed for 184 yards on 22 carries (8.4 per) in Auburn’s 44-23 defeat to Arkansas. His two touchdowns (including a 60-yard run) in the 3rd quarter fueled an Auburn comeback that ultimately fell short. Tate has a sturdy-build and does not go down easily. He runs with heart and can also return kick-offs and is working on being a better outlet in the passing game.

DT Dan Williams, Senior, Tennessee
The Vols won an important game (45-17) against Georgia. The win bolsters the new coaching staff and the defense played a significant role. Williams led the defensive line with 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 2 quarterback pressures. Georgia was limited to only 241 yards of total offense. The Bulldogs’ offense scored a mere 3 points and never entered the redzone. Williams has excellent size and moves pretty well for a 320-pound defensive tackle. He did a fine job of clogging the interior on running plays and getting a push up the middle on passes.

LB Perry Riley, Senior, LSU
Riley has helped his 2010 NFL Draft stock with a productive season to date. LSU lost a defensive battle with Florida by a score of 13-3, but Riley’s skills were on full display. He was extremely active with 12 tackles, 1/2 tackle for a loss, 2 passes broken up and 1 quarterback pressure. He displayed excellent range when he helped force Florida’s, Brandon James, out of bounds short of a 1st down on a 4th down play. Riley took good angles to the ball and clearly had the speed and quickness to match-up against a team known for its speed. He also comes in under control when tackling and can deliver some jarring hits.

WR Brandon LaFell, Senior, LSU
LSU’s offense struggled all game against Florida’s top-ranked defense. LaFell caught only 4 passes for 44 yards (11.0 per). His biggest play was a 26-yard catch and run over the middle against the Gators’ 3rd corner. LaFell dropped a pass late in the game and overall did not deliver the big play. LSU had trouble protecting their quarterback, which contributed to the anemic passing attack. The Tigers needed their star receiver to make a man miss or break a tackle. He was unable to make such a play on this day.

NFL Draft 2010 Prospects - Week 5

DraftInsiders.com and ProFootballDraftNetwork.com will be collaborating on a weekly article (posted every Wednesday during the college football regular season) to review the prior weeks most notable performances from a 2010 NFL Draft perspective.

Pro Prospects - Week 5

Photo –RB Noel Devine - West Virginia

Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season

RB Noel Devine - West Virginia
Short explosive junior running back had a strong performance in the WV win over Colorado when he ran for a career-high 220 yards with a TD on 22 carries. He scored the game’s opening TD on a 77-yard run – the second longest rushing TD of his career. In the first half, he rushed for 142 yards on only eight carries. This season, he has scored 6 TDs in just 4 games that probably commands special attention from defenses going forward. He is a compact back who has performed well in a number of roles in the WV attack, filling a Wildcat spot in their offense. He is very explosive through the hole with the lateral quickness and surprising strength that allows him to move through holes fast with the power to break tackles. His lack of size is a major concern, but his speed, quickness and natural running skills make him one of the top playmakers in college football.

RB John Clay – Wisconsin
Big physical third year sophomore running back had a strong performance in the UW win over Minnesota. He is a huge powerfully built back who has performed well since the ’08 season, He is very strong inside runner where he uses his imposing big frame as a battering ram. He has the lateral quickness and strength allows him to move through holes fast with the power to break tackles. He has outstanding size with good speed and quickness that will keep him from the top tier of backs. He is an honest runner with natural skills that will draw much attention over his final season. His early ’09 season fumbling problems were a concern but his recent performance has dispelled those concerns. After a relatively slow start, he is now leading the Big Ten in rushing with 112 carries for 582 yards.

WR Golden Tate – Notre Dame
Quick junior receiver had a career game vs Washington with 9 receptions for 244 receiving yards and an important touchdowns. He was instrumental in the Irish overtime win and displayed fast improving skills at this position. Tate combines natural receiving skills with fine size for the position to become a well rounded pro starter. He has the speed to stretch the field and run after the catch ability to pressure a defense. He had a few touches earlier in the season, but his recent performance looked like a major breakout effort in a pro style passing attack.

DE Greg Romeus - Pittsburgh
Huge athletic edge rusher has displayed excellent ability over his Pitt career. He had a strong effort in the Louisville win with 5 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He makes big plays off the edge, relying on his long reach and quick first step and technique to separate from blockers. He has the power to overwhelm blockers with the upfield speed to pressure the QB with the wingspan to deflect passes. His ability to apply pressure off the edge has drawn rave notice from scouts and he will be watched closely over his junior season.

LB Rolando McClain - Alabama
Aggressive junior defender had a dominant performance vs Kentucky that was instrumental in the Tide victory. Against Kentucky, he registered a game-high 12 tackles (eight unassisted) picked off a pass, forced a fumble and recorded a pass deflection in Alabama's 38-20 victory. His forced fumble led to a 45-yard touchdown return that gave the Crimson Tide a 21-6 halftime lead. Then, his 21-yard interception return on the 1st possession of the third quarter set up another TD. He is a very physical defender with a quick first step and the power to gain a fast advantage to defeat blocking angles. He showed the physical talent to make plays inside consistently and the speed and quickness to make plays at the sidelines. His ability to run very well and drop in coverage at 250 lbs. allows him to be an every down special defender and capable of playing in either pro scheme.

Denis Krusos - Editor
Pro Football Draft Network
www.profootballdraftnetwork.com

TE Garrett Graham, Senior, Wisconsin
Graham led the Badgers in receiving with 7 catches for 68 yards (9.7 per) in Wisconsin’s 31-28 victory over Minnesota. He helped keep drives alive with his reliable hands and fine route-running. The underrated aspect of Graham’s game is his blocking. He is undersized (6’ 3 ½” and 247 lbs) for an NFL tight end, but that does not stop him from being tenacious as a blocker. Graham did a solid job in the blocking department against Minnesota and contributed to Wisconsin rushing for 295 yards in the game.

OT Chris Marinelli, Senior, Stanford
Stanford defeated UCLA 24-16 for their first win over the Bruins since 2003. Their attack again featured a balanced offense (174 yards rushing and 198 yards passing) that wears down opponents. Marinelli is a tough offensive tackle who had a strong game run and pass blocking. The Cardinal offensive line has been a big part of their success (4-1) this year. Marinelli can play more than one position on the line and that will help his chances at the next level.

S Nate Allen, Senior, South Florida
USF forced 7 turnovers against Syracuse in a 34-20 win. The opportunistic defense was spearheaded by their ballhawking safety, Nate Allen. He led the Bulls with 8 tackles and a pair of interceptions. Allen breaks on the ball extremely well and it is dangerous throwing the ball down the middle against him. His stock is rising because a safety that can make a play on the ball is valuable in the NFL.

RB C.J. Spiller, Senior, Clemson
Spiller continues to show this year that he is a big play waiting to happen. Maryland defeated Clemson 24-21, but Spiller had a 92-yard kick-off return for a touchdown and rushed for 72 yards on 18 carries (4.0 per). His kick-off return for a touchdown was dazzling. He has the balance, speed, quickness and moves to take any hand-off, kick or reception for a score. Spiller may not be an every down back in the NFL, but he will be a versatile weapon and a match-up problem for defenses.

CB Chris Hawkins, Senior, LSU
Hawkins had some problems covering Georgia’s talented sophomore receiver, A.J. Green in LSU’s 20-13 win. The Bulldogs’ top wideout was too big, strong and athletic for Hawkins at times. Green’s 16-yard touchdown catch over Hawkins revealed his superior size, jumping ability and the strength in his hands to snatch the ball away from the LSU defender. Hawkins will face receivers in the NFL with a similar skill-set to Green’s. The LSU corner looks more like he will be better in zone coverage in the pros. Hawkins will have to work on getting stronger and being more physical.

NFL Draft 2010 Prospects - Week 4

DraftInsiders.com and ProFootballDraftNetwork.com will be collaborating on a weekly article (posted every Wednesday during the college football regular season) to review the prior weeks most notable performances from a 2010 NFL Draft perspective.

Photo - TE Ed Dickson - Oregon

Ed Dickson has been selected as the national offensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation for Week 4 of the 2009 college football season. Dickson was also named John Mackey Tight End of the Week by the Nassau County Sports Commission. He had career-highs of 11 receptions, 148 yards and 3 TDs in Saturday’s 42-3 win over then-No. 6 Cal. His 11 grabs equaled the most ever in a single game by a UO tight end, tying Josh Wilcox’s 11-catch effort in the 1995 Rose Bowl. The senior All-America candidate is now 6 receptions shy of Wilcox (103) for the most career catches by an Oregon tight end.

NFL Draft 2010 Prospects - Week 4 Performances

Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season

TE Ed Dickson - Oregon
Mobile senior tight end had career highs in receptions (11), receiving yards (148) and touchdowns (3) as the Ducks overwhelmed ninth-ranked California, 42-3. Dickson caught scoring passes of 26, 9 and 36 yards. He combines natural receiving skills with fine size for the position to become a well rounded pro starter. He has the speed to stretch the field and run after the catch ability to pressure a defense. He has good size to become a solid inline blocker, though he needs technique work to use his size better, in addition to further strength development.

Safety Chad Jones - LSU
Big junior safety made seven tackles (4 solo) plus a 93-yard punt return for a TD in the fourth quarter as the Tigers defeated Mississippi St., 30-26. His punt return was the second longest in school history. Chad is big, strong defender who is a ferocious hitter. He has to show that he has well developed pass coverage skills and instincts to declare for the draft and warrant an early round pick in the NFL Draft. Jones is an extra linebacker in run support as an in the box safety, but he must answer coverage questions especially man situations to be ready for the pro game.

LB Paul Angerer – Iowa
Aggressive senior defender had a dominant performance vs Penn St that was instrumental in the Iowa victory. He is a savvy defender with a quick first step and the power to gain a fast advantage to defeat blocking angles. He showed the talent to make plays both inside and at the sidelines.
In the Penn St win, as he registered a game-high 14 tackles and produced two key turnovers. His 38-yard interception return set up an Iowa TD that gave them an 18-10 advantage. He also forced a fumble in the 4th quarter that stalled a Lions' drive at Iowa's 18-yard line. His ability to run well and drop in coverage at 245 lbs. allows him to be an every down defender and capable of playing in either pro scheme.

LB Sean Weatherspoon – Missouri
Mobile senior defender has been a mainstay in the Tigers defense since early in his career, seeing time both inside and outside. He had an impact performance vs Nevada when he made a 9 tackles, 1 TFL and 1 sack, in addition to calling sets for the Tigers defense. He is a tough, instinctive linebacker who flows to the ball and gets through traffic very well with the speed and tackling ability to finish with sure strong tackling. His size and mobility will allow him to play in either scheme and both inside and outside in the base 4-3 set.

RB Toney Baker - NC St
Short compact senior running back had a strong performance in the NC St win over Pittsburgh including the game winning touchdown. He is a powerfully built back who has performed well since his freshman season, though his career has been continually marred by injuries. He is very effective running inside where his lateral quickness and strength allows him to move through holes fast with the power to break tackles. He lacks outstanding size, speed and quickness that will keep him from the top tier of backs, but he is an honest runner with natural skills that will draw much attention over his final season.

Denis Krusos - Editor
Pro Football Draft Network
www.profootballdraftnetwork.com

RB Toby Gerhart, Senior, Stanford-
Gerhart powered Stanford’s offense in their 34-14 victory over Washington. He rushed for a career best 200 yards on 27 carries (7.4 per) and scored on a 60-yard run. His vision, power, speed and patience were all on display on the 60-yard jaunt. Gerhart can run between the tackles and has a nose for the endzone. Scouts will be interested in seeing how well he catches the ball and blocks at the Senior Bowl.

DE George Selvie, Senior, South Florida-
The Bulls dominated Florida State 17-7 with an impressive defensive performance. Selvie’s fine statistics for the game (4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for losses and a fumble recovery) do not tell the whole story. He displayed excellent strength for his size (6’ 3” and 245 pounds) and really held up well in run support. Florida State ran for a measly 19 yards on 27 attempts (.7 yards per). Selvie also helped free up his teammates who chipped in with 4 sacks. The South Florida defensive line dominated this game. Selvie is undersized for an NFL defensive end, but just may have the natural strength and ability to play with leverage to overcome this disadvantage.

LB Jamar Chaney, Senior, Mississippi State-
Chaney led a determined Bulldogs’ defense that almost helped pull-off an upset of LSU. The Tigers were held to only 30 rushing yards on 31 attempts. 2010 NFL Draft running back prospects, Charles Scott and Keiland Williams, were held in check. Chaney led Mississippi State with 8 tackles, 1.5 tackles for losses, 2 pass break-ups and a sack. He patrolled the middle with his speed and did a good job of recognizing plays that LSU was running.

WR Mardy Gilyard, Senior, Cincinnati-
You could call Gilyard “Mr. September” for his consistent production in the first month of the college football season. He had his best game of the season with 9 catches for 177 yards (19.6 per) and 2 touchdowns in Cincinnati’s 28-20 win over Fresno State. Gilyard caught a big 23-yard touchdown pass in the 4th quarter. Gilyard catches the slant pass very well and can pick-up yards after the catch. His reliable hands and quickness make him an attractive target on 3rd down.

QB Jevan Snead, Junior, Mississippi-
Snead played poorly in Ole Miss’s 16-10 defeat to South Carolina. The game was a prime opportunity for Snead to showcase his skills against a tough defense in a hostile environment. The Mississippi signal caller let the South Carolina pass rush rattle him and he was inaccurate for most of the game. Snead finished the game 7 for 21 (33%) and threw for only 107 yards with 1 touchdown. He tried to rally his team late in the 4th quarter, but was unable to make the big play. It would have been huge for Snead to come through at the end after struggling for much of the game (like Matt Ryan did versus Virginia Tech a couple of years ago).

Ted Hendricks Defensive End Award Watch List

2009 Ted Hendricks Defensive End Award Watch List

DE Jerry Hughes – Texas Christian

TCU consensus All-American Jerry Hughes has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2009 Ted Hendricks Award, presented to the nation's top defensive end. Hughes was a finalist for the 2008 Ted Hendricks Award and was also one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, recognizing the nation's best defensive player.
Draft Insiders.com ranks Hughes as the No. 3 defensive end available for the 2010 NFL Draft. Hughes also appears on watch lists for the Rotary Lombardi Award and Lott Trophy. Hughes led the nation in 2008 with 15 sacks and six forced fumbles. The 6’3” 257lb. senior from Sugar Land, Tx., also ranked in the top 10 in tackles for loss (19.5) and fumble recoveries (three). He added two interceptions, including one returned for a TD.

The Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college football¹s first three-time first-team All-American. After his standout career at Miami (Fl.), Hendricks played 15 years in the National Football League. He earned selection to both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame. Now in its eighth season, the Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college football's first three-time first-team All-American. As a defensive end at the University of Miami, he used his agility, height and reach to block passes and kicks, force interceptions and pressure quarterbacks and running backs. He roamed the front line, read plays and blitzed on impulse, completely transforming the way the defensive end position was played. His professional career spanned 15 years and 215 consecutive games. It included four Super Bowl victories, eight Pro Bowl selections and inductions into the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. It is in the spirit of Ted Hendricks' aggressive style of play, winning attitude and determination that the Defensive End of the Year Award for college football's premier defensive end is presented.

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