NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko
The New Orleans bowl took place Saturday night with little fanfare. While not many people tuned in to watch the game, we were checking out a couple NFL Draft prospects who could intrigue NFL teams this April.
Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego State
– Good Size for a QB, thick upper body
– Has an above average thowing arm, steps into his throws and drives the ball downfield.
– I like the way he rotates through his throwing motion.
– Does not handle the pass rush well, seems to get jittery and takes his eyes off the receivers.
– Impressive accuracy on intermediate passes, throws to a spot where only the receiver can catch it and allows for YAC.
– Forced a throw in the red zone when he felt pressure coming that should have been intercepted.
– Continues to display a + arm, can be very accurate when given a clean pocket.
– Not overly athletic but is able to roll out and exhibits good accuracy on the move.
– Would like to see him under center more.
– Has a tendency to stare down a receiver, but can get away with it at this level due to arm strength.
Lindley’s performance at the New Orleans Bowl was what I expected to see from him. He threw for 400+ yards, with 3 touchdowns, completing 28/49 passes. Lindley’s size and throwing ability most likely will lead him to being drafted. However, there is a lot of work to be done. His ability to maintain cool under pressure and hang in and make the tough throw would worry me. I am also wary of the level of competition he has faced throughout his college career. He simply would not get away with some of the throws he can against non BCS conference teams.
LaDarius Green, TE, Louisiana-Lafayett
– Green stands 6’6″ tall with long arms and slight build, actually looks more like a WR than a TE.
– Displays excellent ball skills on first play from scrimmage, going up and getting the ball with the defender drapped all over him.
– Tracks the ball well and can use his body to get position on DBs.
– While he is a fluid athlete, with a good body, he doesn’t appear to be an off the chart athlete.
– Blocking is a serious concern, uses bad technique and is not strong enough to hold up as an inline blocker at next level.
– Green is formation versatile, he is moved around the formation a lot, and will be even more when he gets to NFL.
– Route running needs improvement, sloppy routes, can get away with it now, won’t in NFL.
– Does most of his damage in the middle of the field on seem routes.
– Green is a playmaker, the offense relies on him for the big play and he often comes through.
– From everything I have read and heard Green is a great teammate and leader, I like the emotion he displays on the field.
Green is a player who could really rise or fall. I am anxious to see what he does at the Senior Bowl against top flight competition and very good defensive backs. At the same time if Green has a better QB throwing him the ball, I think he will be that much more productive. Green is over/under thrown alot and alot of his catches are due to him readjusting to the ball in the air.
*Nik Embernate, OG, San Diego St.
– Even though it is highly unlikely Embernate will declare for the draft, he was someone I was highly impressed with when rewatching the bowl game.
– Embernate is an overpowering guard, who displays awesome strength in both run and pass blocking.
– Keeps a wide base with good feet when pass blocking, does not allow his man to get into him.
– Keeps his pads low and gets extension with his arms, dominating the DT at times.
– Embernate is not very athletic and struggled when he had to make a quick reach blocks, often not getting across his mans face quick enough.
Embernate’s combination of strength and aggresion will make him someone to keep a very close eye on entering the 2013 draft season.
* Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego St.
– Hillman is a draftable sophomore, and during the telecast it was said that he was weighing his options to turn pro.
– I would strongly suggest that Hillman return to school
– Way to much east-west running, almost never just hit the hole, was making jump cuts and indecisive movements.
– Size and strength are going to be an issue, Hillman is a smaller back and needs to add bulk to his frame.
– I will spend more time on Hillman next year, as I don’t think it’s realistic for him to enter this year.