NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko
Cincinnati and Vanderbilt make up in lack of quantity with the quality of their 2012 NFL Draft prospects.
Here are how the top prospects on each team fared in this weekend’s Liberty Bowl.
#19 CB Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt (Scouting Report)
– Good height and length for a CB prospect
– Displays quick feet on his back peddle, would like to see him sink his hips more
– Hips appear very fluid, especially opening up to the inside
– Plays boundary CB and used as a blitzer
– Makes very good breaks on the ball, anticipated the throw and picks it off
– Hayward looks more comfortable in a zone coverage scheme
– Makes tackle on swing pass, doesn’t take an aggressive approach, lets the back come to him and “cuts” him
– Not going to test as one of the best athletes, doesn’t have elite speed or quickness – good instincts make up for it
– Got absolutely pancaked by a WR, couldn’t get off the block leads to 69 yard TD– needs to get stronger
– 2nd Int of the day, had good coverage down the sideline, ball was under thrown, made the play- an easy pick
Hayward is another very solid CB prospect in a draft that’s deep with them. While he is not as impressive an athlete and not as physical as some of the others he seems to have very good instincts and finds the ball in the air. He makes very good breaks on balls and shows good hands. While he is willing to help in run support, he struggled to get off blocks and is an area added strength will definitely help him improve on. He is best suited for a zone coverage system. While some are really high on Hayward, I prefer CB like Jonathan Banks and Leonard Johnson a little bit better. I would be willing to bet Hayward is selected in the late 2nd early 3rd round.
#95 DT Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati
– Tall DT prospect with long arms, does a really good job of getting extension
– Knows how to use his hands and arms, doesn’t let the OG get his hands on him
– Sheds the guard easily to make tackle for a loss
– At 6’5″ 300 he is best suited for 3-4 DE
– Not that explosive off the ball
– Uses his strength and size to make plays, not going to beat anyone with speed and quick moves
– Struggles to move laterally, even when he gets extension he can’t get off block, allowing a rushing TD
– Needs to read plays quicker, has the RB run right by him on two straight plays
– Does hold his ground very well doesn’t get pushed off the line much
Wolfe plays 4-3 DT for the Bearcats, but his future is that of a 3-4 defensive end. He has an impressive frame and long arms which he uses well. He is not overly explosive or quick, instead he uses his strength to hold his ground and make plays. Will fit the 3-4 well where he will be able to keep blockers occupied, keep contain and hold the LOS. Wolfe is a similar prospect to Ricky Elmore and Brandon Bair from the 2011 NFL Draft. Wolfe will likely get a look in the mid to late rounds.
#23 RB Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati
– 5-11 and solidly built, runs downhill
– Lines up primarily out of shotgun formations
– Used as a PR, but didn’t look natural doing it
– More of a straight ahead runner, who needs space to be successful
– Fumbled the ball on his 3rd carry
– Pead exhibits good vision and feel for the game, continually cuts back into open lanes
– Looks to bounce it outside when he doesn’t need to, might struggle in NFL to find smaller holes
– I do like Pead’s size and speed combo – keeps his feet churning
– Has an explosive first step, puts his foot in the ground and explodes off of it
– Has improved receiving numbers each year, utilized heavily in pass game, although he had 3 drops in the game
– Impressive vision
– Runs a little too high for my liking, exposes his midsection, needs to drop his pads
– Gets a ton of work and holds up, productive, maintained his production throughout the game
Pead is a very well rounded RB prospect. He has good size and bulk (5’11” 200) and runs hard. He has better vision than a lot of other running backs in this draft class. He can see holes develop and doesn’t force the issue. I would like to see him run from a more pro style system. He is active in the pass game and has been sure handed most of the year, besides his drops in the Liberty Bowl. He does tend to bounce runs to the outside when he doesn’t need too and fill need to get better at running up the middle. I think Pead will be a very nice complimentary back. He is a top 10 RB prospect in 2012 and look for him to be drafted somewhere in rounds 3-5.