Misc Draft Notes

by Tommy Lawlor  –  http://www.ScoutsNotebook.com

No lengthy notes on one player today.  I’m watching a lot of tape every day.  Quick observations:

* I love watching UConn FB Anthony Sherman block.  He knows his job and does it well.  Stanley Havili could learn a lot from watching one UConn game.

* UConn LB Lawrence Wilson has really good feet.  He can fly upfield or backpedal into a deep pass drop.  He moves well laterally.  Athletic, rangy LB.  Tackling could use a little work.

* Early play in the ‘Bama/LSU game.  Tigers have TE and LT double on Marcel Dareus.  They get no movement, but LT peels off and goes for LB anyway.  Pulling OL from right side comes over and hits Dareus.  No movement.  RB is held to one yard.  Can’t run with a DL that anchors that well.  3 guys hit him and had basically no luck in getting him moved.

* Lots of discussion whether Aldon Smith is DE or 3-4 LB.  I think he’s a DE.  Too awkward for LB.  I don’t think trying him there is a terrible idea or anything to that extent, but he seems much more like a DE to me.  He’s also a very good DT in the Nickel/Dime.

* Boston College G Thomas Claiborne has dominant potential.  When he wins, he really wins.  Trouble is that he doesn’t always win.  I’m sure a physical running team will take a long look at him.

* Mark Herzlich plays hard.  He’s smart and instinctive.  He has lost something athletically and has the medical questions.  How do you value this guy?  Can he get better/faster/quicker?  I hope someone takes a chance on him in the 5th or 6th round.  I’m not sure you can go higher than that with the questions.

* Oregon State DE Gabe Miller had a great Pro Day.  You love his athletic ability.  The problem is that his game tape is less than ideal.  He’s more athlete than DE.  He played TE early on and doesn’t look fully acclimated to defense.  3-4 LB might be his best bet.

* Syracuse C Ryan Bartholomew works out better than he plays.  Tried to execute a simple block vs BC and looked like he was bear hugging the LB more than blocking him.  Gotta be better with the hands than that.  Captain Hook was discouraged by that play.

* I still think DE J.J. Watt is flying under the radar.  Dude is huge, athletic, and a natural pass rusher.  Forget all the talk about him as a 5-technique.  Watt can play DE in any scheme.  I think some old school 4-3 coaches would love to have a LDE with his size/ability.  Remember the days of Reggie White/Sean Jones/Gabe Wilkins/Clyde Simmons/etc?  Teams coveted DEs that were 6’5, 290 or bigger.

* I have no idea what to think of Adrian Clayborn or Cameron Heyward.  Wouldn’t surprise me if either guy went at pick 20 or pick 35.  Very talented guys with great potential, but also some questions to answer.  I consider them a couple of wildcards in the 1st round.

* I haven’t written much about Pitt DE Jabaal Sheard, but he is one of my favorite pass rushers outside the 1st round.  Choosing between him and Sam Acho would be tough.

* LSU Junior RB Stevan Ridley is talented, but I really wish he had stayed for his Senior season.  I see a lot of potential, but I think his value is hurt by coming off one good season.  He’ll get under-drafted, but has the potential to be a good pro.

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