Scout’s Take: 15 Thoughts on the NFL Draft

11. The 2012 NFL Draft season is in full swing, however it hard not to look ahead to next year’s draft and not get excited. Based on the seniors who returned to school and the juniors who could enter the draft, it figures to be one of the deeper drafts, especially at the premium positions that we have seen. Quarterbacks such as Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson, Landry Jones and underclassmen Tyler Bray and Logan Thomas could all be first round picks. Running Back Marcus Lattimore, despite a torn ACL this year is in that elite class of RBs. The WR position will be highlighted by USC’s Robert Woods who looks to me like a top five pick and will be joined by Arkansas’s Cobi Hamilton, Cal’s Keenan Allen and Baylor’s Terrance Williams. However, it’s the pass rushers that figure to be available in the next two years that have most scouts excited. As of right now pass rushers who could end up in the first round next April are Georgia’s Jarvis Jones, South Carolina’s Devin Taylor, LSU’s Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo, Texas’s Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat, Auburn’s Corey Lemonier,  Michigan State’s William Gholston, Florida’s Ronald Powell and Florida State’s Brandon Jenkins. I can’t remember a draft that could feature such quality at that position. Not to mention other defenders like Manti Te’o and Tyrann Mathieu, the 2013 NFL Draft is shaping up to be the best in a long time.

12. With Wisconsin having their Pro Day yesterday, some news came out of Madison that NFL scouts actual like C Peter Konz not only as a center, but some like him at OG and some even like him at RT. I personally have Konz ranked as the number one center in the draft and it’s not close. There has been some momentum building that Konz might be a guard at the next level, but this is the first time I have heard RT. Konz is 6’5″ so he is a little tall for the center position, however with his technique and strength, the height didn’t effect him at all. I also find it interesting that Konz’s teammate OG Kevin Zeitler is receiving a lot of interest from NFL teams who want to move him to center. Zeitler is one of the top four OG in this draft and projected to go in round two.  It appears the Konz and Zeitler may end up flip flopping positions in the the NFL, which just goes to show the quality of offensive linemen that they produce at the University of Wisconsin. I personally would keep Konz at center, just because I think he could be an All-Pro at the position. However, Zeitler may increase his value if he proves to scouts he can play in the middle.

13. As I was writing this article, Justin Blackmon ran his forty yard dash at his pro day in Stillwater, OK. Blackmon officially posted a 4.46, which is a great time for him. Many people in the industry questioned Blackmon’s straight line speed simply because he doesn’t look that fast on film. Running in the 4.4’s should solidify Blackmon’s status as the top WR in this year’s draft. Blackmon has two years of outstanding game film to back up any questions people may still have about him. He was as dominant and as productive as any  WR in this draft, making big play after big play. He’s a tremendous competitor and one of the few WR in this draft who actually uses his hands to snag the ball out of the air. He is able to win with his strength and body positioning ability and breaks a lot of tackles after the catch. With a verified 40 time, teams who are picking at the top of the draft, don’t have to worry about him being fast enough to be a number one guy in the pros. It was also reported that Blackmon was running routes out of the slot at his pro day. Blackmon was primarily an outside WR at Oklahoma State, but with his big strong body, he would be a tough match up to cover out of the slot.

14. I was able to touch on next year’s draft class a little bit earlier in this post. The one thing I can’t wait to watch next year during the college football season is going to be the USC passing attack. Not only am I a huge fan of Matt Barkley, whom I think would have been the number two pick ahead of RG3, had he entered this year’s draft. I am also a huge fan of Robert Woods, who is one of the most polished college WRs I have seen in a long time. It’s going to be extremely fun to see Barkley and Woods build on the chemsitry that they had last season at USC. Both players had tremendous seasons and expectations this year are going to be sky high. Barkley is going to enter the season as the consensus number one pick in th 2013 draft and Robert Woods won’t be far behind. When you mix in Sophomore Marquis Lee and Lane Kiffin’s offensive creativity, the USC offense is going to be as explosive as any we have seen in college football in a long time.

15. I spend a lot of time talking about all the big name prospects I have high grades on for this year’s draft. However, over the last week and a half with the combine included,  I have been able to take a harder look at a number of the smaller school players who I have been impressed by. Some  of those players include Presbyterian CB Justin Bethel, who ran very well at the combine and who I thought looked very fluid in the positional drills. Asa Jackson, CB, Cal Poly is another small school DB who impressed me not only at the combine but also at the Senior Bowl.  Amini Silatolu, whose a OG from Division II Midwestern State, is one of the meanest and most physical offensive linemen in the draft. Trumaine Johnson who played CB at Montana but profiles as a FS in the NFL is someone I have ranked highly. If I had to bet on who would be the first non-division I player off the board, I would say Silatolu goes within the first half of round two, with a few more small school guys following close behind him.

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

  1. Jim R says:

    Don’t step in a puddle if you don’t have too. Stay away from Jenkins. There are other DB’s you can get that do not have the baggage. They took flyers on Ocho and fat Albert last year (baggage guys). Did not work out. Stick with the guys that football is important too.

  2. Jared says:

    Personally- I like seeing my team take risks. Especially being that I am a fan of a Bill Belichick team. When your drafting in the last ten picks of the first round all the players are going to have more flaws whether that be mental-physical OR off-field issues. I wished at the time we took Dez Bryant, and if Jenkins is there I will be hoping the same. Patriots have 2 first round picks to play with, so they can take a risk with one of those picks without taking any real risk if he fell to them.

  3. qwerty says:

    Teams will have to do a psychological analysis of him.

    Dez Bryant troubles were minor compared to Jenkins. Having 4 kids shows he really doesn’t care. Is he was just going thru a temporary screwed up phase or it is a way of life. Has he or will he grow up enough is the key.

    Whatever the Patriots decide is fine with me.

  4. Dan says:

    I’m using Jenkins as an example…if he’s taken and does well we’ll know that he has shown “something” to the team that does invest in him. But, he’s show giant signs that he’s trouble…so, don’t act surprised that teams are talking about letting him slip by.

  5. Dan says:

    I’m going to go back and finish reading this article; I enjoyed the first topic, but you lost me on Jenkins.
    Everyone agrees that the kid is a highly skilled CB. I’ve watched and read all the coverage over the past 3-4 months possible. Nobody is doubting ability.
    So, what is causing the “perceived” drop in stock? Well, that’s obvious…he’s shown that he makes bad decisions and he puts himself first. You don’t see having fathered 4 children (I heard with three separate women…could be wrong there) while in college bad judgment? You don’t see that getting tossed off one of the top teams in college an issue, or a red flag? You don’t see a trend here as a troubled young guy…possibly a selfish, me first, type of player? There have also been arrests for drug use…not a problem either I suppose?
    I’m not saying that this kid will be a disaster, a bust, or whatever. These teams in the first round usually have one shot at getting a player that makes a difference…that brings the team together, and leads (possibly as a bonus). This guy “seems” to be someone who will mess up; especially when you hand him 10 million; and, tendencies or probabilities, are what all these young men are being judge on; so as not to say he’s being unfairly judged. So, a team is simply less likely (if they are smart) to want to risk tossing away a first round pick on a kid who may even blow their team up…kill the chemistry, give them bad press, and not do what it takes to make that massive step up to being a solid, long-term, NFL player.
    Why did Dez Bryant fall? He’s clearly one of the most talented players I’ve ever seen at that position…he’s a freak of nature…super athlete, but most of the league took a pass. Why??? Because he’s a screw up…he’s a troubled kid. Now he’s taken that to an NFL franchise and he’s done the same …only on a grander scale…blowing his dough, being sued, etc…And, he’s only just begun.
    Lastly, when faced with the decision to take a kid like Jenkins you also have another player, like Gilmore for example, sitting right there…why not take the one without the baggage? Or, go to another position and take the better character guy and bring someone in who is far more likely to add to your team rather than detract from it. Take a DeCastro and get yourself an All-Pro type guard for the next decade.
    You lost me with this opinion…you think because you talked to him and he “seemed” cool with you that teams should spend their top pick and millions of dollars on him instead of someone who has proven to conduct themselves better…on & off the field?

  6. td says:

    I look at Janoris much like Cromartie of Jets, hard to overlook the talent and the off field fathering may not be an issue and will keep him focused on getting better.

    I would expect BB to field any and all offers for the 2 first round picks, especially for TE, WR and yes Safety needy teams. I could see someone jumping in front of Giants for a TE or OL.

    The reason TY Hilton is off the radar is because FIU is about the equivalent of Framingham State.

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