Defensive End: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
If Eric Fisher wasn’t the top prospect down here in Mobile this week it was UCLA DE Datone Jones. Jones was the only player to give Fisher trouble, beating him with an inside power move. Jones exhibited great burst off the line and can convert that speed to power. Jones was emphatic that he wanted to come down here and “show his dominance” this week. Jones also showed strong hands and he said that was a result of working on the “Michael Strahan Hall of Fame move”. He weighed in at 6’4″ 280 pounds and has some position versatility, with the ability to play 4-3 DE and kick inside to 3-Tech. Unlike many defensive ends in this draft, Jones had an actual plan in rush drills.
He’s quick enough to beat OT off the edge with speed and he is powerful enough to bull-rush and blow up the play. If he continues to develop his hands and how to use them violently, he will be one of the most NFL ready DE in this draft. On a side note I was absolutely blown away by Jones football IQ, his overall love for the game and his hunger. Out of all the players I talked with this week he was the most impressive. He is going to blow teams away in interviews. Datone made himself a lot of money this week.
Defensive Tackle: Brandon Williams, DT/NT, Missouri Southern
Williams thoroughly impressed me this week with his combination of power and quickness from the interior tackle position. He probably wasn’t the flashiest player but, he was consistently blowing up plays from the inside. Williams plays with good leverage and is one of the strongest players down here.
Williams knows he will probably be limited to the nose tackle in the pros, with the ability to play the 1-Tech. Williams probably won’t be the first defensive tackle off the board out of the players down here, but he helped himself more than any other interior linemen.
Outside Linebacker: Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers
I was anxious to evaluate Khaseem Greene next too Arthur Brown all week, unfortunately Brown pulled out due to injury on the first day. Out of the linebackers that remained here for the week Greene was the most impressive. Greene showed very good recognition skills all week. He was consistently the first one to recognize run/pass and was very good in coverage all week. In 7 on 7 Greene moved well in space and blanketed the RB or TE well. Greene can do a lot of different things from the OLB spot. He can rush the passer, showing a good swim move which he used vs. the running backs.
He is a tackling machine and probably the best coverage linebacker down here (along with Zaviar Gooden). Speaking with him Greene impressed me with his understanding of coverages and what his role in all the different coverages is. He might not have helped himself a lot this week, but I would say he just reinforced what we saw on film from him all year.
Inside Linebacker: Vince Williams, ILB, Florida State
The inside linebacker position wasn’t great down here this year due to injury withdrawals. Kiko Alonso and Jon Bostic pulled out the day before the week kicked off. Vince Williams was the big winner, showing good instincts, range and coverage ability. I thought he was the best coverage linebacker out of any of the South LB. He was consistently in position vs. running backs out of the backfield and covered the middle of the field well.
On day two he ended team drills with a pick six, which was one of many plays he made that day. For a player came in late and with little fanfare, he definitely helped himself.
Cornerback: Desmond Trufant, CB Washington
Trufant was arguably one of the top three or four players down here all week. He was ultra-aggressive in coverage all week long. He played with an edge and it rubbed off on the other players. He has the ability to play slot corner or outside cornerback at 6′ tall. He basically shut down any receiver he was matched up against this week. He showed good footwork, fluid hips and strength at the line. Trufant has very good quickness for a bigger corner and that is something that is rare. When playing off-coverage Trufant made explosive breaks on the ball and was able to knock down a lot of passes, with good timing and positioning.
Trufant didn’t come into the week as the most hyped corner here. But, he is leaving as the undisputed top CB performer in Mobile and by doing so has elevated himself in the first round discussion.
Safety: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
Cyprien came into the week under the radar, but as soon as the practices started he showed up. He was the most physical safety all week and quickly became one of the more vocal leaders out there. Cyprien showed better range and coverage skills than I anticipated. On one play he played single high safety, read the QB and broke from the hash to the sideline to break up a pass. Cyprien was also ultra physical in the run game, coming into the box and attacking the running back.
The only thing that I saw that gave him trouble was the crossing route, which sometimes he took bad angles on. For a player who was under the radar before, he certainly isn’t anymore. Cyprien is likely a day two pick in April’s draft. He may have been a day two pick before too, but coming down here and having such a strong performance in front of NFL scouts, solidified that standing.
Specialist: Jeff Locke, P, UCLA
Locke was absolutely crushing punts all week. The ball was exploding off the left foot of Locke, punting it consistently 50+ yards in the air. There was some pretty strong buzz down here surrounding him, which is unusual for a punter. Timing Locke he was repeatedly close to 5 seconds of hang time on his punts, which makes him a very draftable punter.
People who saw Bryan Anger last year, said the ball makes a similar sound when it comes off Locke’s foot.