2013 NFL Draft Scouting Notes: Big Ten Championship

Montee Ball Wisconsin

Is Montee Ball an NFL star in the making? (USA Today)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

With Ohio State and Penn State out of the picture due to NCAA sanctions, this game featured a Wisconsin team fighting for another Rose Bowl and a Nebraska team looking to make its first big mark on the Big Ten.

Unfortunately, this game turned into a laugher early as Wisconsin put on its best impression of the Oregon Ducks.

Here are how the top 2013 NFL Draft prospects performed in the B1G Championship.

Wisconsin Badgers

#72 OC Travis Frederick
-Starting at center – effective with shotgun and normal snaps.
-Gets to the second level after chipping DT, walls off LB.
-A little high out of his stance, loses balance after punch by DT.
-Bends well for a big guy, shows a decent punch.
-Moves very well, excellent pull to his left and cuts down linebacker with ease.
-Keeping his head on a swivel in pass protection – very aware.
-Turns DT and pushes him out of the hole, strong lower body.
-Pulls to the right, able to gain leverage on defensive end.
-Huge combo block, caves in the tackle.
-Locks on to linebacker at second level, so quick out of his stance.
-Pancakes the DT, gains leverage and drives through contact.

Overview: Frederick was the field general against Nebraska, making all the right line calls and blowing the Cornhuskers off the ball on a consistent basis. He was technically sound and showed some amazing athleticism for a 330+ pound man.

#58 LT Ricky Wagner
-Starting at left tackle, plays overload tight end at times.
-Reaching a bit, would like to see him move his feet more.
-Blocks down on DT, also gets a chip on pursuing LB.
-Whiffs his man on the second level, not balanced when trying to create contact.
-Mirrors DE, able to shuffle and shoot while keeping wide base.
-Nice anchor against the bull rush.
-Attacks the chest against swim move, stops the DE cold.
-Got his weight out in front of his feet, taken to the ground.

Overview: Wagner has a lot of raw talent, strength, and size. His balance issues are still concerning to me although I do feel that his pass protection improved this year.

#28 RB Montee Ball
-Lead running back for the Badgers.
-Falling forward after contact, finishing each run.
-Runs through ankle tackle, balanced.
-Showing some nice elusiveness, juke move leaves corner on the ground.
-Big burst to the edge, turns the corner and scores impressive TD.
-Skinny through the hole, shows a big burst to the second level, carries the DB for a few yards.
-Stopped cold, but second surge picks up the first down – running angry.
-Untouched into the end zone, easy read.
-Finds the cutback lane, makes safety miss in the hole with the juke.
-Spins out of tackle, delivers NASTY stiff arm in the open field – long TD.

Overview: Montee Ball completely out-classed Nebraska with his vision, power, speed and moves. Ball is a special running back in college football. I’m concerned with his workload on the college level, however, which might make teams shy away from him in the top fifty picks.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

#3 SAF Daimion Stafford
-Playing a variety of coverages from the safety position.
-Whiffs in open space, broke down but couldn’t wrap up the ball carrier.
-Another poor tackling attempt, Ball runs right through him.
-Loses contain, very passive on the edge, out ran to the end zone by White.
-Nice angle to the ball on sweep, runs through the stiff-arm and takes Ball down.
-Sets a hard edge, gets off block and finishes for a TFL.
-Goes high on WR, called for personal foul.
-Poor angle, beat to the edge easily by Ball – just not fast enough.
-Trouble getting off a block down the field, poor tackle attempt – gives up huge play.
-Recognizes end around early, but takes poor angle underneath block.

Overview: Stafford didn’t look good. Poor angles and tackling didn’t help his completely over-matched front seven. Stafford is a late round guy.

#55 DE Baker Steinkuhler
-Did not play due to injury.

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