A Scout’s Take: 15 Thoughts on the 2012 NFL Draft

6) One player I have watched a lot of film on this past week and in turn have become a big fan of is Virginia Tech CB Jayron Hosley. In a draft where the CB position is extremely deep it’s tough to separate one CB from the other when ranking them. One quality that Hosley possesses maybe better than any other CB in the draft is his ability to drive on the ball. He has a great feel for zone coverage and has plus instincts. When the ball is in the air he wastes very little motion and explodes on it.

Hosley led the country in interceptions his sophomore year with nine and managed to pick off three more this year despite not being thrown at as much. Hosley is undersized standing about 5’10”, however, he has a wingspan of 76″ which allows him to get his hands on a bunch of passes.

Hosley is obviously the best fit for a zone team and his feel for the zone will allow him to excel. However, I also feel like he can be equally successful in man to man schemes. In a draft with many good CBs Hosley is a true ball-hawk and one who will entice teams at the beginning of round two.

7) Justin Blackmon will enter the combine as the #1 WR on most teams draft boards and deservedly so. But, the gap between Blackmon and the rest of the field is not as big as it may seem. Entering the season it looked like there would be a three way race between Blackmon, Michael Floyd and Alshon Jeffery to determine who would be the top WR off the board in April.

It would appear as of now if any WR is going to catch and pass Blackmon it will be Baylor WR Kendall Wright. Wright’s stock has soared since the end of the college football season and is now no lower than the #3 WR on teams draft boards.

Some scouts like Rotoworld’s Josh Norris already have Kendall Wright as the #1 WR on their boards. “Wright’s ability to ‘win’ at every level of the field from any receiving position, by separating with quickness and adjusting to poor throws, in addition to his after the catch ability makes him the top WR on my board” says Norris.

Wright is likely going to run a blazing fast time in comparison to the other top WRs at the combine which should only increase Wright’s helium like rise up draft boards. Wright’s not as big as the other top wide outs but his ability to stretch the field and adjust to any ball while in the air really separates him. As of right now I have Wright at #2 on my board but he is creeping ever so close to Blackmon.

Wright, who was once considered a borderline first round pick, is now unlikely to last past pick 15 in the draft.

8) One player to really keep an eye on at the combine who is quickly rising up draft boards is Boise State DE/LB Shea McClellin. McClellin went to the Senior Bowl, participated as a LB and really turned heads with his flawless transition.

McClellin showcased his athleticism and his football IQ, by being able to adjust and pick up the position so easily. If you go back and re-watch Boise State games from the last couple of years McClellin is the best player on that defense and it’s not close. He was the player the other teams were scared of and he played with an intensity and motor that was contagious.

Talking with people close to Shea I can tell you that coaches in the league absolutely love him. His best position will probably be outside LB at the next level. He has always been able to rush the passer and has developed into a better run defender as his career went on. It seemed that Mike Singletary took a liking to Shea at Senior Bowl practices and that should be a good sign that he can play there at the NFL level.

Right now I have Shea as a 3rd round pick, but by the looks of things he could move up into that second round mix due to his versatility, ability to play in multiple schemes and rush the passer.

9) Looking back at the past two drafts you have to really like what the Cincinnati Bengals have done. Just in the last two drafts they have drafted Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins, Andy Dalton, AJ Greene and Jermaine Gresham. Those five players alone have made a tremendous impact and helped change the identity and culture in Cincinnati.

The Bengals will have an opportunity to add a couple more impact players with their two first round draft picks this year numbers 17 and 21. Even though the Bengals made the playoffs they have a bunch of needs that need to be filled, especially on defense. If the Bengals are able to add a linebacker and a defensive back with those picks and then draft a RB like Lamar Miller in the second round, the Bengals could quickly become a legitimate contender in the AFC.

10) The most anticipated event at the combine this weekend will be the much talked about 40 yard dash of Alshon Jeffery. There have been rumors swirling all over the Internet about what kind of shape Jeffery is or isn’t in. Jeffery out of all the players at the combine has the most to gain and the most to lose.

If Jeffery shows up in good shape and runs in the 4.5s he is likely a top 20 pick. If he shows up out of shape and runs in the 4.6s or even the 4.7s I just don’t see anyway he can be picked in the first round. So when people say the 40 time doesn’t matter, in Jeffery’s case it does matter and is likely worth millions of dollars one way or another for Jeffery.

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4 Responses to “A Scout’s Take: 15 Thoughts on the 2012 NFL Draft”

  1. Jeff says:

    I don’t think the Rams would have to make as tough a decision as you think. They may very well have their cake and eat it too.

    If Cleveland is the one to trade, they’d most likely be giving both 1st rounders…the #4 pick and ATL’s. The #4 may lose them Kalil if Minn takes him, but they’d still have Reiff there at #4 who is almost the same, and if not, it’s about as slim a margin as you can get.

  2. gregory bishop says:

    I agree about running the 40 in pads, but you should do both with and without and see who has the smallest difference in the two times.

  3. TD says:

    While I would be all for getting Wallace, I don’t see BB tying up that much money in one grouping, WR. Welker is likely to get $8-9mil and Wallace would be close to that as well. If BB is going to put out big money to a FA, it would have to be a DE like Seymour in his prime.

    Also have to factor in a WR’s ability to read defenses and adjust. Branch is able to do that, but does not have the wheels anymore. My money would be on Lloyd coming here at between $3-5mil.

    Unless a really really good player drops to Pat’s, I see them moving completely out of round 1 and more into round 2 if this draft really is deep, especially at DB, OL and WR.

    • jim r says:

      I agree Welker and Carter to a lesser extent will cost you a few bucks. No high picks on WR’s round 3 or 4 they will get somebody. Other FA money will go to a safety/Corner or a WR. They just might get out of round 1 all together. If they stay An Offensive Linemen would not suprise me. They usually are safe picks.

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