* First up, someone recently asked about Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller. Not a big fan. Fuller is a big, productive WR. There are times when he looks impressive. I question his speed and athleticism. WRs in the NFL that lack speed/quickness tend to be just role players. One thing that has me curious is that Fuller’s numbers dropped as a Senior. He did catch 70 passes, but only 6 TDs, the fewest of his career. And he got the best QB play of his career. Odd.
Fuller has NFL ability. The question is when he gets drafted and what he projects to. For now, I think of him as a mid to late round guy that will be a role player. He will be in Mobile for the Senior Bowl and we’ll get a chance to see just how gifted he is.
Anyone who has a question can post it in the Comments section and I’ll cover it in the next post.
* Arkansas DE Jake Bequette played well in the Cotton Bowl. He had a pair of sacks and a FF. He finished the year with 10 sacks and 5 FFs. Those numbers are really impressive when you consider he missed 3 games early on. Bequette has terrific size at 6’5, 271. There is a lot to like about him, but he does have a few issues. Bequette is fast, but not explosive. He also doesn’t always play to his size. You could see in the Cotton Bowl that his bull rush was marginally effective. A guy that is 271 should be able to play with power more effectively. I do like him quite a bit. Could be a great value pick. Might remind you of Kyle Vanden Bosch.
LB Jericho Nelson showed great burst, closing speed on one play. He’s only 5’10, 216 so he projects to SS. I need to do some tape study on him and figure out what to make of him. I’m certainly intrigued.
* Okla State WR Justin Blackmon had a great showing in the Fiesta Bowl. There shouldn’t be any question that he’s the #1 WR. Blackmon showed how strong and physical he is. Stanford DBs struggled to bring him down in the open field. You couldn’t help but think of guys like Terrell Owens and Anquan Boldin as you saw him using size/strength to get RAC yards. I loved the way he just snatched the ball out of the air and immediately turned into a RB. He was 8-186-3 for the game. Also had a 52-yard run. Numbers aside, Blackmon was clutch. He came up big in the Red Zone. He had a couple of 4th down catches. He’s the kind of WR you trust on a critical play.
Blackmon lacks elite speed, but he’s very good in just about every other area. Good hands. NFL body. Plays to his size. Knows how to get open, but can also catch the ball in traffic. Blackmon should be a Top 10 pick. The question is how high he goes. If the Rams trade out of #2, they could look at him anywhere after that.
* Stanford had some stars shine in that game as well. Andrew Luck closed out his college career with a great game. He deserves a lengthy post so I’ll just cover him briefly here. Luck was 27-31-347 with 2 TDs, 1 INT. He made great decisions and threw the ball very accurately. He looked NFL ready. I hated the fact the coaches didn’t give him a chance to win the game on the final drive. Luck is the #1 prospect. Period. Love RG3, but Luck is in a class by himself.
TE Coby Fleener got hurt in the game, but he’s had a good career and will be a player that many teams are high on. He’s got good size at 255 pounds, but also runs well. You could see his athleticism on a route over the middle as he pulled away from a defender. Fleener is the top Senior TE. Could be the #2 TE. Dwayne Allen is #1. Second spot will be between Orson Charles and Fleener. Depends on if you want a complete TE (Fleener) or WR/TE hybrid (Charles). Fleener is a gifted receiver. Great Senior year, going 34-667-10. Think about that. He almost averaged 20 yards per catch. As a TE. That’s wild. Might remind you of Heath Miller.
LT Jonathan Martin is only a Junior, but is coming out. He should be a 1st round pick. Martin is a terrific run blocker. He had some really good blocks on long runs by Stephfan Taylor. Martin is solid in pass protection. I think he can play LT, but might not be an ideal fit for a pass happy team.
* Va Tech WR Danny Coale is a player that fascinates me. Some people might see a white WR and think Wes Welker. Not even close. Coale has good size, listing at 6’0, 200. More fast than quick. Averaged 19 yards per catch as a Junior and 15 ypc as a Senior. Has the speed to get deep. Not a blazer, but good downfield receiver. Almost made a brilliant diving catch to win the Sugar Bowl, but it was ruled that the ball moved as he hit the ground. I don’t think Coale is meant to be a starting WR in the NFL, but he has pro potential. Not only good WR, but served as the Punter for several games. You think he’d have to be a good STs player, coming from Va Tech. Finished his career with 165 catches.
Junior CB Jayron Hosley had a very good game for Va Tech in the Sugar Bowl. He broke up 4 passes and covered well. Also had a 24-yard PR. Hosley looked quick, fast, and athletic. He broke on the ball well. Hosley has said he’s coming out. He’s 5’10, 171. Picked off 9 passes in 2010, but only 3 this year. Did have 2 FFs this season. Good PR as well as gifted cover guy. Va Tech has put out quite a few good DBs over the years.
* Speaking of talented DBs, Georgia CB Brandon Boykin had a big showing in his bowl game. Let me start with the stats:
6 solo tackles
2 TFLs (one for a safety)
92-yard PR for TD
13-yard TD catch
2 runs for 8 yards
Not bad, huh? Boykin is a versatile weapon. He mostly played in the slot vs Michigan State. Solid job of covering and tackling. Has excellent speed. Good KOR and PR. Can be a weapon on offense. I think he could go as high as the 2nd round. Might compare him to Javier Arenas.