Postseason Play

* Temple DE Adrian Robinson had a solid showing in the New Mexico Bowl. He was credited with 2.5 TFLs. He was disruptive on other plays. Robinson lists at 6’2, 250. There will be a question of him as LB or DE. I like him better at DE, but I’m not sure I see him starting there in the NFL. He does have thick legs and good lower body strength. I’m just not sure he can bulk up to 270 and play. He’s not athletic enough to be a pure speed rusher like Robert Mathis.

Robinson has good feet. He had a couple of impressive tackles in space when skill players tried to put moves on him. Robinson was able to shadow them and make the stop. He looks to have stiff hips. Heck, I’m not sure if he has hips. His body moves as one. That’s one of the things I would worry about with him trying to play LB and being in space a lot.

Evan Rodriguez had a good game for the Owls. He caught 2 passes for 52 yards. The long one went for 40 yards on a catch/run down the seam. Rodriguez showed good athleticism on that play. He’s not a guy you want to feature with the ball, but he could be a good complementary weapon.

The question with Rodriguez is size. He lists at 6’3, 250. If correct, he’s big enough for TE. If he drops at all, he’ll be pushed to FB or H-back. Some teams might like him at FB already. Rodriguez isn’t a devastating blocker, but he’s tenacious. He lacks the power to be a great in-line blocker, but works hard to sustain blocks and is good on the move. Could be a real interesting FB.

LB Tahir Woodhead is a guy I’ve written about all season. Very talented young man. Also a guy that makes me want to jump off a bridge. Woodhead has the potential to be a very good LB. Natural athlete. Good frame. Okay instincts. But he will not form tackle. He reaches, grabs, and hits. He will not wrap his arms around a target and drive the player to the ground. That drives me nuts. He missed several tackles in the game due to reaching. There was a play in the 3rd Qtr when Woodhead read a delay by the offense perfectly and he flew over to the receiver. Woodhead ran over the guy, but still didn’t cleanly get him down. He had a chance to wrap up and just plant the guy with a dramatic hit/tackle. Instead, we got a sloppy hit. A team with a good LB coach could develop this kid into a good player, but he does need work. Very talented, but sloppy.

MLB Stephen Johnson isn’t nearly the athlete that Woodhead is, but Johnson is a better pure LB. He reads plays well. He uses his hands to shed blockers. Johnson is a good tackler and inside run stuffer. He’s probably a UDFA. I like watching him play because I appreciate LBs who have good positional skills.

I’ve written about RB Bernard Pierce a few times this year.  He’s only a Junior, but should come out.  Workhorse runners like him only have so many carries.  Pierce had 25 carries for 100 yards and 2 TDs. He didn’t have any real standout moments in the game.  It was just another good, productive game for him.  Pierce is the Temple offense.

I like Pierce a lot, but still don’t see him going early.  There is nothing dynamic about him.  Good workhorse runner.  Those guys shouldn’t go Top 75.  Heck, I’m not sure about Top 100.  I would love Pierce to go to a team like the Niners that knows how to use RBs.  Pierce could have a long, successful NFL career in the right offense.  I don’t know how he’d handle a pass happy offense that used him for 12 carries a month.

* I was hoping for a good game by Wyoming DB Tashaun Gipson, but his tackling was atrocious. Tahir Woodhead would teach him a thing or two about tackling. In fairness to Gipson, he played CB in the past and moved to FS this year. He’s not meant to play in the box as a run defender. That’s like asking me to rate my favorite non-alcoholic beers or write reviews on ballet. Gipson does have good size. I need to break out some 2010 tape and watch him at CB. Not a Safety prospect from what I saw. I do give him credit for being willing to move in order to help the team.

* I loved watching TE Ladarius Green from LA-Lafayette on Saturday. He’s 6’6, 230 and athletic. This kid has NFL written all over him. Can line up tight, in the slot, or out wide. Good hands. Productive receiver. Was 5-121-1 in the game. He can’t be a traditional TE until he gets a lot stronger. He’d get killed as an in-line blocker. Move him around to create mismatches and you’ve got a weapon. I hope he goes to a team with a good QB and creative coach.

* SDSU Quarterback Ryan Lindley is another player that can be maddening. NFL pocket passer. He’s just too erratic. There was a play late in the game where a receiver was open down the seam for a TD. Lindley put the ball off target by a bit and it was uncatchable. Pocket passers must make that throw. Lindley did lead his team down the field for the go-ahead score after that. SDSU has been a good comeback team all year. You love QBs who can win games when trailing. Lindley finished the game 28-49-413 with 3 TDs and no picks. Lindley plays in a vertical offense so no one expects him to complete 72 percent of his passes, but 28 of 49 isn’t good enough. He will be a mid to late round pick, but Lindley has NFL talent. I think he could be a starter, but he will need to be more consistent in the future.

* Montana has a couple of real interesting prospects. MLB Caleb McSurdy reminds me of the I-AA version of Luke Kuechly. He’s not as good as Luke (that would be blasphemous), but I really enjoyed watching McSurdy. Very active player. Chases the ball all over the field. Led Montana in tackles, but also added 2 INTs, 4 sacks, and 2 FFs. Makes things happen. Uses his hands to fight off blockers. McSurdy has pretty good size at 6’1, 242. It can be hard to judge speed at the I-AA level, but I thought he ran pretty well for a MLB. Showed good range. McSurdy was able to play inside runs, but also fly out wide on pass plays. Good tackler. Wraps up and puts his targets down with authority. I’m looking forward to watching Montana a couple more times.

CB Trumaine Johnson is a well known prospect. He’s huge at 6’3, 210. He’s got 15 career picks and good cover skills. He’s able to play off and break on the ball. He also can press and use his size to bully receivers. He had a real impressive blitz. He flew off the edge and in one motion jumped to the inside of a blocker and was able to hit the QB as he threw. Johnson has limited RS attempts, but does have 2 PR TDs. NFL talent and size. Question is how high he goes.

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