NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko
Now that the college football regular season has come to an end, and with conference championships and bowl games to be played, I have narrowed my focus to mainly draft eligible players. In this film room session I take a look at a couple of prospects who I was watching closely during this rivalary game.
Mike Adams, LT, Ohio State-
Adams is one of the biggest enigmas in college football. He has such great measurables and natural ability, yet really lacks refinement with his technique and gets really lazy at times. Adams main flaw right now is that he consistantly stops moving his feet. He plays a little flat and heavy footed and on a number of plays (the safety he gave up being one) he just flat out stops his feet. When he does this he struggles badly, DE’s are able to beat him both with quickness to the outside or spin back inside. I don’t know if it is lack of focus or laziness but it needs to be corrected to be successful at the next level.
On the positive side, Adams has tremendous length, size and athleticism for an offensive lineman. He has a powerful intial punch which can stop a pass rusher dead in his tracks. I was really impressed with the way Adams keeps his knees and hips bent, which is tough to do for most taller linemen. Adams is an effective run blocker when he keeps his shoulders over his feet and doesn’t allow a defender to keep under his pads, once again it seems he can get lazy at times.
In regards to the NFL draft, Adams’ stock is as fluid as any players. I could see him being taken in the top 15 or slidding to the mid second round. Adams has greatly improved his draft stock this year and when you take into account all his measurables and his upside he will most likely be the 3rd tackle off the board in April.
Mike Martin, NT, Michigan-
Mike Martin is a throwback player, plain and simple. The former state champion wrestler uses alot of those skills to be successful on the football field. Martin displays great technique with his hands. He gets his hands into his opponents chest, can shed blocks and execute a variety of moves. Martin has great balance and can hold up at the point of attack.
Even though Martin is considered undersized at 6’1 300 pounds its amazing the way he can hold up at the point of attack and take on double teams. I see Martin’s future as a sub package defensive tackle. Martin explodes off the snap and often has his defender pushed back into the backfield. He uses his hustle and determination to consistantly make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Not sure of his arm measurements but I figure his short arm length could hurt him in the eyes of some teams.
Mike Martin is a very intriguing prospect for Patriot fans to keep an eye on in rounds 3-6. Bill Belichick has taken former wrestlers and converted them into football players before, Stephen Neal being the most famous, but he also signed former Kent State wrestler Jermail Porter to a UDFA contract a couple years ago. Martin has the intangibles to be a future team captain and a leader in the locker room.
Dan “Boom” Herron, RB, Ohio State-
I am probably a little bit higher on Boom Herron than some people, I actually think he has a good shot at becoming a productive NFL back. Now Herron did not have a very productive game against Michigan, which held Herron to 43 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown, I give alot of credit to the Michigan front 7 which dominated the line of scrimmage all game long.
Even though he didn’t stand out in this game Herron is a tough runner, he posseses good balance and runs with a lower pad level. Gives out the contact as much as he takes it. Very rarely do you see the first person bring him down. Productive inside runner, gets the ball, waits for the hole to open and can get to top speed quickly. Doesn’t dance and doesn’t spend time behind the line of scrimmage Displays good hands, has been used on swing passes and screens during his career, another huge plus when evaluating a back for the next level. Nothing about Herron flashes or jumps off the screen at you.
However, to be a successful back at Ohio State you need to be productive, durable and reliable. Herron might not break off many long runs and doesn’t have the change of direction ability like a LeSean McCoy, but he can pick up the tough yards. As for his draftability, I don’t think he gets picked before the 4th round simply because there will be sexier backs available and running backs tend to slip in the draft. One NFL team could get a late round steal and at the very least a competitive backup RB.
For more on the Ohio State – Michigan game go read Matthew Elder’s film room break down on BuffaloBillsDraft.com