Scouting the 2013 NFL Draft: TCU vs SMU (2011)

Zach Line 2013 NFL Draft

Is SMU running back Zach Line a legitimate NFL prospect? (Photo: US Presswire)


NEPD Editor: James Christensen

As part of Conference USA Week around these parts, here is a look at one of the more intriguing senior prospects to come out of the conference, as well as some other players that will factor into the 2013 and 2014 NFL Draft discussion.

For more game breakdowns, check out our Scouting Notes Database.


#92 DE Margus Hunt
-Lining up at RDE, played a bit of NT as well.
-Stacks the LT, sheds the block and assists on the tackle inside.
-Takes on double team, using his hands well.
-Strong rip move, makes QB step up into help.
-Quick inside move, picked up by double team.
-Tall player, but keeps pad level low.
-Pushes back LT into the pocket, doesn’t let QB step up.
-Absolutely dominating the line whenever he is singled, TCU running away from him.
-Pushed back by a double team, got a little high.
-Falls to ground after big punch, gets up quickly and assists on tackle.
-Recognizes quick pass, pulls up and tries to influence passing lane.
-Good pursuit down the field.
-Fights through double, solid tackle.
-Blowing back the center when playing zone, attacking the gaps.
-Seeing some plays off against the hurry-up.

Overview: Hunt was very effective for the Mustangs, TCU didn’t run it towards his side many times – they were stopped when they did. His size, physicality and motor were all above average. Hunt can be a first round pick if his technique continues to improve.

#56 LB Ja’Gared Davis
-Lining up at OLB.
-Shows some speed to the sideline covering the speed option.
-Recognizes QB draw quickly, shows a closing burst.
-Breaks down in space and wraps up on QB.
-Lines up over guard, stunts outside and gets a hit on the QB.
-Reads QB eyes, pulls up on blitz and bats down the pass.
-Zone drop, poor angle taken to the receiver.
-Better depth on his drop, forces high throw.
-Bends around the edge quickly and drops the QB – forced quick throw.
-Closes quickly on WR in zone, disrupts catch.

Overview: Davis showed some savvy, toughness and versatility to his game. He was explosive off the edge and created problems for the TCU QB. I’ll be intrigued to see how he improves as a Senior.

#48 RB Zach Line
-Lots of pistol and shotgun formations.
-Chips blitzer, catches pass, runs through an ankle tackle and falls forward for big gain.
-Sees cutback lane and sets up the block, good vision and patience.
-Recognizes blitz, gets a decent block in.
-Got his pad level up a little bit and was stopped cold.
-Showing solid skills in pass protection.
-Quick, decisive cuts – elusive but always moving forward.
-Plus balance, runs with a low center of gravity.
-Very tough to bring down with one player.
-Great cut and shows speed to the outside, big run.
-Runs over middle linebacker, uses his pads effectively.
-Mirrors blitzer, outstanding block.

Overview: Line was very impressive for the Mustangs. Tough to bring down, always moving forward, somewhat elusive and he also was very solid in all aspects of the passing game, especially blocking. Could be a hybrid RB/FB/HB in the NFL.

#3 WR Darius Johnson
-Lining up mainly in the slot, lots of 4 and 5 WR sets.
-Bubble screen, makes a nifty move around CB for extra yardage.
-Slow plays the release and then bursts by CB – great adjustment and catch for TD.
-Plucked the ball away from his body, tucked it in quickly.
-Drifted a bit on the out route, made a lunging grab – impressive hands.
-Clean release, but can’t separate from corner on vertical route – CB called for PI.
-Can’t make the grab on slightly high bubble screen pass.
-Looked like he adjusted post into a dig route, great burst after the catch for extra yardage.
-Telegraphing his cuts a bit, but he is still quick enough to separate.
-Quick out route, doesn’t get proper depth and comes up a yard short of first down.
-Another quick screen, elusive in space.
-Good body control on sideline, flew done sideline for 25+ yards.
-Unreal catch, great hands – high pointed ball, great body control.
-Drifts again on his out route, lets CB cut underneath him.

Overview: Johnson looks like a legitimate NFL slot receiver. He was very effective on screens and has the ability to create yards after the catch with underneath passes. Looks small, but avoided hits pretty well. Johnson showed pretty unreal hands, but will need to tune up his route-running a bit.

Read about the TCU draft prospects on page two.

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3 Responses to “Scouting the 2013 NFL Draft: TCU vs SMU (2011)”

  1. Steven says:

    Your basing your assessment on 1 game in the early part of the season. Even Michaeal Jordan and Brett Favre had bad games. I was at that game with my high school kids and TCU played bad for sure, But I watched them later in the season and there young kids were much better, SMU got worse. Hunt was did nothing in three mid to late season games, but got back to solid in the bowl game.

    • NEPD says:

      Absolutely agree – it was just one game. We don’t produce a scouting report on someone until we’ve seen at least 4-5 games, preferably more.

      • Billy C says:

        Hunt has a chance to be real good in the NFL. I only watched him a few times, but I was quite impressed with his power and explosiveness off the line.

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