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

6) A DT who doesn’t get the publicity like the top 4-5 guys do, but may have helped himself out more than any others with his Senior Bowl and combine performances is UConn’s Kendall Reyes. Reyes is someone who has been overlooked but proved he should be in the mix for the late first round.

There are differing opinions on where Reyes should play in the NFL, some teams see him as a nose tackle, some teams like him as a 3 technique and some even see him as a 3-4 DE. Reyes is a little over 6’4″ and weighed in at 299 pounds. He was able to post a sub 4.8 forty yard dash time and was also a top finisher in the bench press and many of the agility drills. Those numbers prove he is one of the superior athletes at the position in this years draft.

Reyes is someone who I can see playing a little bit like BJ Raji in the pros. A DL who is moved around, creates penetration and blows up plays. Reyes’ best quality is his quickness, he fires off the ball and gets into the backfield. With his speed and strength he will be able to provide some interior pass rush. I also really like the way he was able to split double teams at UConn making him a fit for the nose tackle position.

7) I have long been a Courtney Upshaw fan. I love the way he plays the game and the leadership he showed at Alabama. Upshaw is one player who I think may have hurt himself a little bit by working out at the combine. Upshaw elected not to run the 40, but did take part in position drills. I thought Upshaw looked stiff and unnatural during drills, especially while standing up. At over 270 pounds it makes me think that Upshaw may have a tough time adjusting to OLB at the next level.

I love the way Upshaw was able to play down hill and set the edge at Alabama, but with the NFL so pass oriented, Upshaw may have trouble covering faster and quicker players. This is just my opinion but it looks like Upshaw is a strong side DE and a player who can occasionally stand up and rush the passer.

8) One player who stood out at the combine was University of Central Florida’ Josh Robinson. Robinson ran the fastest unofficial 40 at 4.29 and tore up most of the agility drills including the 3 Cone drill.

With the Patriots looking for corner backs, Robinson is someone who could be on their radar. Robinson already has a connection to the Patriots as his lead recruiter at UCF is current Patriot assistant coach George Godsey. With Godsey knowing Robinson so well, having both recruited and coached him, he should be able to give Coach Belichick everything he needs to know regarding his ability to fit in with the Patriots.

9) Every draft has a wild card player who decides how the rest of the draft will fall. This year’s player is Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill. Right now it’s really tough to figure out where and how high Tannehill will go. With Luck and Griffin off the board within the first couple of picks, any team after that could be in play for Tannehill.

Tannehill is someone who has a tremendous ceiling, but will need time to develop. He has only played QB for a year and a half after making the switch from WR. Despite that I think at this point he is a much better prospect than both Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder who both went in the top twelve last year. That doesn’t mean that Tannehill goes before that, however Gil Brandt basically guaranteed Tannehill will go in the top ten. I take Brandt’s word for it and think Tannehill goes somewhere in the 5-10 range.

Once Tannehill is off the board, I feel like the rest of the draft will slot together. I could also see Tannehill being a player a QB needy team like Seattle, Kansas City, etc. targets in trade up discussions.

10) It’s tough to have a worse combine than Arizona State ILB Vontaze Burfict. Burfict is someone who needed to have a big combine to re-energize his stock, so one would think he would come to the combine in great shape. Instead Burfict performed like he has not been training for this event at all. His two 40 times were between 4.9 and 5.10 and the rest of his agility numbers were putrid.

Not only did Burfict not perform well he looked disinterested while doing it. After his second 40, Burfict went over put his ipod and his headphones on and isolated himself from the group working out. I have also been told by WEEI’s Chris Price, that no one came off worse in interviews than Burfict. He seemed disinterested and entitled in those as well.

Burfict was always the biggest, strongest and fastest player growing up, which resulted in him being one of the most recruited players out of high school. It seems like Burfict thought that mindset could get him by in college and it did to a certain extent, however trying to make it to the NFL on reputation alone won’t fly. Burfict is borderline untouchable at this point. Not only does he have work ethic and off the field concerns, he now has shown he doesn’t have the athleticism either. Burfict entered the combine as a possible second round pick and now there is no way he goes before day three.

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

  1. Dave says:

    You’re* not your – get it right.

    That is all.

  2. Chris says:

    Definitely agree on Brockers. I’m an LSU student and big football fan and while he did have flashes, the consistency wasn’t there. He was possibly the 4th or 5th best player on the LSU defense.

    • qwerty says:

      thanks for observation

      what order do you rank defensive players on LSU defense

      • Chris says:

        Our secondary was loaded… I’d put Mo Claiborne, Tyrann Mathieu, and FS Eric Reid all in front of Brockers.

        Eric Reid didn’t get the pub the other two got but he made key plays for the team all year. We lose the first Alabama game without the huge interception on the goal line he came up with.

        Claiborne got the treatment elite NFL corners often get and was rarely tested.

        Mathieu was tested often because of his smaller build (really a slot corner, but lined up outside often) and made big play after big play.

        I’d put Brockers behind all of those guys in terms of consistent play. And just watching LSU D linemen over the years, I didn’t find him to make as much as an impact as Marcus Spears and Glenn Dorsey while they were at LSU and neither of those guys have really made a big impact in the NFL.

  3. DWE 2012 says:

    One of the reason’s I have “almost” alway’s liked the Patriot’s/BB style of manipulating the draft.
    So many team’s have been just raped by a high and expensive pick that just does not work out, so I’ve never been high on taking too many player’s that high in the draft. Many “Expensive Bust” can be mentioned on any number of team’s.

    As far as Dontari Poe is concerned….I doubt that the Pat’s would have a chance, but If he were to drop down a bit lower and he was in reach, I’d jump up for him “ALL DAY LONG”.

    *This team need’s a Vince Wilfork V.2 on this team, and need’s it bad. Poe is huge, raw, powerfull and potential filled. With a guy Like Vince Wilfork tutoring him/coaching him up/by his side as a mentor/teacher….
    There’s no telling just how dominent he’d be in a PATRIOT UNIFORM.

    Just think about if Poe had the consistency of a great strength and conditioning coach, was in the playbook all the time(similar to the way TB12 was early on), as well as having Vince Wilfork to mentor him/coach him up a bit and play beside???

    Poe could actually stand to loose a few pound’s so that he would gain a bit more agility….(this would help him out with being able to make some of the play’s he currently cannot/has not been able to make just due to his size alone and lack of agility becuase if it).

    I’m alway’s weary of taking pick’s high just because of the bust rate and high cost…..But respectively, right now….If I am BB, I conduct a few interview’s with him, I’d get Wilfork’s personal take on him as well, and if it seem’s to be a good fit, I take Poe, even if it mean’s a jump up a bit.

    With a Vince Wilfork V.2 on this team, it’ll only begin too bring out the better of other guy’s on the team, and we’d for sure see an upside and better placement/production out of guy’s like Love/Deaderick, as well as our entire LB CORE.

    At this point, It seem’s obvious that we’d not have the chance at a Dontari Poe, but if there was a slim chance at it…..I’d do it ALL DAY LONG.

    • Tom says:

      It is interesting that you talk about ‘expensive busts’, but think the Pats should trade up to grab Poe. Doug has an interesting piece in this weeks “too long for twitter’ article about Poe having the measurables, but the skill not showing up consistently on game tape. That always seems like a recipe for an ‘expensive bust’ (think Vernon Gholston).

      Personally, I don’t think the Pats will pick in the first round this year. I think there are a lot of teams that will be looking to trade back into the first round to grab a nice new toy (WR) to help their new QB, or some QB needy team like Arizona or Seattle trying to get back into round 1 to get ahead of the RG3 sweepstake losers, or even a team trying to get one of the few TEs that can catch. Regardless, I think BB will hear a lot of offers for both picks, and given the depth that is available in Rd 2, I imagine they trade out. I could see the Pats drafting Cox in Rd 1, but I do not think he will be available when they go on the clock.

      • td says:

        Ahmen! Since all our 1st round picks are at the end of the round, they could be considered early 2nd round picks. Couple that with everyone saying this draft is deep in a lot of the positions we need, I could see BB trading both 1st rounders for multiple 2nd/3rd and/or a 1st next year if he has a dance partner.

        I distinctly remember seeing video of BB in war room trading out of the 1st round because he had a large grouping of players with the same grade and could get one or more of them in the 2nd round.

        Last year, I imagine he had Solder rated very high and did not expect him to be there at #17. I saw quite a few mocks with him going to Dallas last year at around 10-12.

    • Nuf Ced says:

      Agree w/ Tom. Just watch Poe on film he should be dominate but he isn’t… so why is that?

      I believe its that thing that separates the great players from the great athletes… great athletes are born with it, great players work for it. Poe just doesn’t seem to want to work to be a great player.

      Thats my opinion, that and $3 will get you coffee at Starbucks

  4. Dan says:

    Burfict to me is a prime example of how most of these mock drafts go; they’re done by following the leader…plugging in some player with a team that seems to fit, then it goes viral, like most info on the internet.
    (this is a problem that isn’t limited to football mock drafts…everyone takes on the role of an “expert” on the internet, when they could be completely unqualified)
    That being said, back to Burfict, he showed that he’s nothing but a stiff on film, and his attitude showed there also. I believe some thought he resembled Ray Lewis in some way(s) and they lazily plugged him in that slot to complete a mock draft.
    Every year when I start this process (I’m an addict), I look at the mocks and start watching some youtube film, and he was just terrible…lots of talk, lots of running around (slowly!)…just an obvious fraud. Now, I then went to another site that I respect and they had him with a 3rd round grade (4 months ago!).
    So, all these mocks being copied one after the other means so little.
    Another example is Upshaw, he played stiffly, that was the first thing that caught my eye; so seeing him do the same at the combine was no surprise. He’s a good player, but he has that issue. I think he’s the opposite of Ingram who has fluid quickness; yet they have many similarities, and Ingram has the short arms to overcome.

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