2013 NFL Draft Scouting Notes: Illinois vs Arizona State

Michael Buchanan Illinois

Michael Buchanan was held in check for most of the night by an explosive Arizona State offense. (Photo: US Presswire)


NEPD Editor: James Christensen

The Arizona State up-tempo offense was too much for the Illinois defense, even with their four potential first-round picks.

Read on to see how all the 2013 NFL Draft prospects performed.


#99 DE/LB Michael Buchanan
-Lining up as “Bandit” defensive end / outside linebacker – 2 and 3-point stances.
-Steps with the tackle blocking down, play goes outside him.
-Drops into zone coverage, a little high, looks a bit stiff in space.
-Breaks down and wraps up for the tackle on receiver.
-Outside move, beats tackle, pressures QB a bit.
-Doubled outside, can’t disengage.
-Fails to disengage from left tackle, where are his violent hands?
-Stops short on rush, tries to get his arms in the passing lane.
-Uses a push/pull to disengage, takes too much time.
-Inside move, breaks free with a nice rip, clogs up the running lane.
-Bites hard on play-action, stumbles changing direction.
-Inside move, good bend but gets knocked off balance by running back.
-Closes quickly on quarterback, puts some big pressure on the QB.
-Quick off the ball, hands starting to get more active.
-Standing up, flows to the ball, powerful tackle.
-Steps down with tackle, changes direction with play fake but can’t hang on to QB.
-Jumps offside.
-Loses ball on the play-fake, stumbles trying to change direction.
-Bats down pass, came free on screen pass – good length.

Overview: Pretty quiet game for one of my favorite prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft. He was handled one on one for the majority of the night. He was able to make a few impact plays with his quickness and length, but there was no consistent pressure that I’ve seen before from Buchanan.

#94 DT Akeem Spence*
-Lining up as 1-tech defensive tackle.
-Very compact in his stance, explodes with power.
-Doubled, takes a punch and is stopped in his tracks.
-Tries inside stunt, nothing doing.
-Good pad level, strong initial punch, lifts the lineman off his feet.
-Strings out play, but can’t fight off double.
-Fends off OL with one arm, punches out the ball with the other – forced fumble on the goal line.
-Blows up the right guard, can’t quite make the tackle – strong punch and stays low.
-Anchoring against double teams, not playing on skates at all.
-Jumps offside on the goal line.
-Shoots gap, keeps his balance and is able to drag down the RB with one arm.

Overview: Spence continues to improve as a defensive tackle. He looked in good shape at 6’1″ / 305 and was very active on the interior, anchoring against double teams and shooting gaps. He looks even stronger than he did last year and is a potential top fifty pick this year.

#45 LB Jon Brown*
-Lining up at multiple linebacker spots, often head up on the tight end.
-Poor blitz, ends up knocking his own player down.
-Bad angle to the ball, had no chance in pursuit.
-Strong tackle, stands the RB up and drives through him.
-Shrugs off block from receiver, pushes ball-carrier out of bounds.
-Slips block from OL, bends around and makes tough tackle.
-Rushes off the edge, turns RB inside.
-Shoots B-gap, bends around and wraps up RB’s feet, stopped short on goal line.
-Recognizes trick play, closes fast on reverse and makes a big tackle for loss.
-Can’t wrap up ankles, questionable angle to the ball.
-Another tackle for loss, tracks the ball well bends around edge and wraps up.

Overview: Brown was all over the field for the Illini. He showed improved instincts and play recognition from last year and is still an incredible athlete. If he declares for the 2013 NFL Draft, he could be a potential top fifty selection.

#1 CB Terry Hawthorne
-Haven’t seen Hawthorne on first two possessions, he reportedly has a gimpy ankle.
-Now lining up outside as cornerback.
-Blitzes from the boundary, gets pressure and puts a hit on the QB.
-Zone underneath, good timing on the hit, disrupts the catch.
-Press man, gets a bit of a jam in.
-Solid tackle in open space, delivers a hit.

Overview: Didn’t see a lot from Hawthorne this game, but was solid when he was on the field. We’ll check on him again when he is fully healthy.

#76 OC Graham Pocic
-Lining up at center and guard, making the line calls.
-Good accuracy and velocity snapping the ball.
-Crushes DT on combo block, then gets out on linebacker.
-Good angle, pushes linebacker well out of the hole.
-Got a little high out of his shotgun snap, pushed back by DT.
-Comes off his block a little early, gives up TFL.
-Helps out guard in pass protection, good awareness.
-Shows awareness again, sees free man in his peripheral vision and is able to get there.
-Blocks down on tackle, pushes him out of the hole.
-Moved over to left guard, out quicked by DT, ends up reaching.
-Loses balance, bowled over by DT.
-Pulls to his left, finds linebacker shooting a gap and is able to seal him off.
-Misses linebacker at the second level.

Overview: Pocic showed off his versatility playing both guard and center, while exhibiting a balanced skill set. He looks like a serviceable swing interior lineman at the next level.

Check out the Arizona State draft prospects on page two.

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