* Boston College MLB Luke Kuechly will be a Junior this year. He led the nation in tackles last year, averaging 14 per game. Normally a guy off a mediocre defense will lead in that category because his team can’t stop anyone and get off the field. BC was 13th in Total Defense and 19th in scoring. That makes Kuechly’s accomplishment all the more impressive.
Luke lists at 6’3, 237, but doesn’t look that tall to me. Lots of fun to watch. He’s relentless in pursuit of the ball. Very good instincts. Excellent tackler. Has good COD for a MLB. Some guys are stiff, but not Kuechly. I love the way he uses his hands. Kuechly attacks blockers with his hands and keeps his body clean. That’s how he’s able to move around and get to the ball. He looks solid in coverage.
The one big question is speed. We see star MLBs every year who run a 4.9 and that kills their value. I don’t think he’ll run anything like that, but athleticism will play a big role in determining Kuechly’s value. Is he more like Keith Brooking or Curtis Lofton? I’m looking forward to watching Luke closely this season.
* QB Russell Wilson is going to be a challenging player for scouts and teams to evaluate. He left NC State and headed to Wisconsin for his final season. Wilson is only 5’11, but he is a very good athlete and pretty solid passer. He only completes 58% of his passes, but has a career total of 76 TDs and just 26 INTs. He’s not careless with the ball. I think Wilson could develop into a backup QB in the NFL. You see Chase Daniel with the Saints at only 5’11. Drew Brees is just above 6’0. Ty Detmer was just 5’11. Wilson hasn’t fully developed because he’s also played baseball. If he ever fully committed to football, he might become more of a polished passer.
Wilson has good intangibles. He seems like a natural leader on the field. He is tough. Wilson will sit in the pocket and take a big hit. He can run, but tries to stay in the pocket and be a passing QB as much as possible. He’ll be a late round pick at best, but some team might like him.
* Looking for an interesting RT propsect? Check out Mizzou’s Dan Hoch. I watched Nebraska/Mizzou recently and was very impressed. Hoch lists at 6’7, 320. He isn’t a great athlete, but moves well for such a big guy. Sustains his blocks well. Looks pretty natural in pass protection. Hoch has 2 years of experience as the starting RT heading into his Senior season. He spends most of his time upright in a 2-point stance (like all Mizzou blockers). Hoch sometimes has trouble with pass rushers that get under him, but he does bend his knees pretty well. Hoch isn’t smooth coming off the ball and going after LBs. Looks a bit awkward in space. Won’t be a real early pick, but he is a mid-round target worth watching.
* I wasn’t all that enamored with Jared Crick. I’ve never gotten the comparisons to Ndamukong Suh. Crick is a good player. Suh was special. Crick has a good frame at 6’6, 285. He plays both DE and DT. He could be a real good 3-4 DE. Crick has a terrific motor. He will chase plays all over the field. The big difference in him and Suh is strength/power. Suh could take on double teams and just drive them backward. He was a freak. Crick is going to get shut down by double teams. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of a Senior season Crick has. He could still be a 1st round pick, but I just can’t see him going very early.
* I watched a bit of Michigan State recently. WR B.J. Cunningham caught my eye. He’s got good size at 6’2, 220. Last year he was 50-611-9. Solid numbers when you consider he came from a run-oriented offense and not a spread passing attack. Cunningham has good hands. He can make tough catches. Not sure about his speed.