by David Syvertsen
SAN JOSE STATE
#76 David Quessenberry – OT – 6’6/295
Top prospect on San Jose State roster from what I’ve seen. Not exactly a top 100 kind of guy but I can see the upside. A lot of experience at left tackle, very good pass protector. Combination of good feet, balance, strength, and technique. Will need to be more physical at the next level but that can come in time. 4th-6th round type.
#82 Ryan Otten – TE – 6’6/245
Nice sized pass catcher. Easily adjusts to ball in the air, looks like one of those former basketball players with the way he can position his body in relation to defenders when going after the ball. Nice catch radius, adjusts well. Otten will impress with his past two years of statistics but he will be a developmental guy early on at the next level. He had minimal physical presence as a blocker at a lower level of D-I football. His receiving skills are average across the board, so he won’t be an immediate impact guy. 6th-7th rounder.
#43 Travis Johnson – DE – 6’3/244
School and WAC all time leader in career sacks with 31. WAC’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. Underdog type that exceeds expectations on a weekly basis for the past 5-6 years. May not have the build to ever be an every down defensive end, but I think he can stick. Ideal fit will be at outside linebacker in a 3-4 or mix up scheme. Won’t ‘wow’ anyone with skill set or technique. Should get drafted late, these kind of players find a way to get on the field to make an impact on special teams and 5-10 plays per game.
#91 Chris Jones – DT – 6’1/293
Defensive Player of the Year in the MAC. Couple of these guys come out every year and end up getting drafted in the first 4-5 rounds. Has a low but powerful and efficient frame, very hard to block. Quicker than most interior blockers, but has the strength to collapse the pocket. Well developed base gives him a nice advantage. Quick feet and can close in pursuit. High intensity, a lot of hustle.
#18 Travis Kelce – TE – 6’6/260
High upside prospect here. I think a lot of people don’t know about Kelce and what kind of player he could be. He was a high school quarterback that made the move to tight end. Was the team’s wildcat QB when Jim Kelly was there. Athletic, big, strong, thick. Violated team rules and missed 2010 season, cam back to sit behind current NY Giants TE Adrien Robinson in 2011. Finally got an opportunity this season and earned 1st Team All Big East. Plays a physical style, catches a lot of balls in traffic. Hard guy to tackle. Soft hands that swallow the ball. Not the most quick footed route runner but has enough athleticism to start in the NFL. Could be a top 100 pick.
#26 Drew Frey – S – 6’3/212
Frey was one of the more intriguing safert prospects on my sheet entering 2012. He has a ton of starting experience and plays with the linebacker mentality. Excellent downhill, physical and reliable tackler. Also considered to be one of the more intelligent and instinctive players on their defense. However the more I saw of him, the less confidence I had in his ability to cover NFL receivers. He does not translate the quickness in to coverage ability. Very unsure of himself, minimal ball skills. Players like him can do well in a specific role, but he will be limited. 5th-7th rounder.
#51 Greg Blair – LB – 6’2/252
1st Team All Big East. Is an unknown to a lot of people, but had a huge year and put himself on my radar. I’ve scouted him twice and got the same feel from both games. He won’t impress with overall physical ability. Almost looks slow at times. But a right place, right time kind of defender that makes an impact on a lot of plays. Can blitz well. Does not get thrown back by linemen. Holds his own and can get off blocks in short space. Not a lateral pursuit kind of guy. May be limited in the respect at t he next level but should get drafted.
#99 Dan Giordano – DE – 6’4/261
1st Team All Big East in 2012. Hyper player that has some physical tools. Flexible and powerful. Does well when engaged with blockers, strong hands and developed moves. Does not have the athleticism to make a big difference in the NFL. But if you look around, most teams have a Giordano type on their roster. A backup that can out-physical on some occasions. Plays the run well. Contributes on special teams with his hustle and attitude. Potential for improvement. Late rounder at best.
#2 Conner Vernon – WR – 6’1/200
Statistical compiler. All time leader in catches and receiving yards in the ACC. Not really intrigued with him as a receiver at the next level. Dependable route runner that knows how to trick defenders. Won’t get behind a defense in the NFL though. Can make guys miss, but won’t break tackles in the NFL. Unimpressed with his hustle. Caught a ton of screen passes in the Cutcliffe scheme and while he does have reliable hands, there won’t be much that jumps out at you. Late rounder.
#2 Terrance Williams – WR – 6’2/205
Immensely productive receiver. Partially because of the scheme that Baylor runs, partially because of his talent. 1st Team All American. Reminds me of Michael Crabtree as a collegiate receiver. Very efficient as a route runner and can catch everything thrown his way. Deceptive speed downfield, but not a guy that scares defenses. A number two type that can contribute early.
#78 Ivory Wade – C – 6’4/310
Versatile athlete. Very strong. Played guard, a lot of right tackle, and one season of center throughout his career. Considered the leader of the Baylor offensive line. In a year where the centers failed to impress me, Wade stands out with his physical presence inside. Has a long reach and a powerful base, a very good combination. I see him as a backup interior lineman at the next level. The versatility brings value, could bump him in to the 5th-6th round region.
#3 Lanear Sampson – WR – 5’11/205
Overlooked receiver that has a ton of experience in Baylor’s wide open attack. Never had a huge, banner year. But I think he can prove to be a more valuable selection than Williams (or Titans 2012 1st round pick Kendall Wright). Sampson will be available in the late rounds, and I think there is a huge amount of upside. He has legit sub 4.4 speed and a low of strength. Tough as nails. Flies around the field and will mix it up with any defender that gets in his way. Sloppy route runner that wasn’t held accountable in college. Catching skills need work but he has the right attitude. I like him in the late rounds as a guy that can evolve in to a steady contributor in year two or three.
*#11 Anthony Barr – OLB – 6’3/235
Very interesting underclassman here. Was a minimally used running back/fullback in 2010 and 2011 and was moved to outside linebacker this year. Plays like an edge rusher that’s been out there for years. Natural to the position. Moves well in space, can close 5-10 yard gap as fast as anyone. Long, powerful strides in space. Very physical, his presence is known on every play whether he is making a tackle or taking on a blocker. 20 tackles for loss, 13 sacks. Has a shot at being a top 15 pick when all is said and done. Just needs another 10-15 pounds and he could be an elite talent.
#56 Datone Jones – DE – 6’4/275
Not your typical 4-3 defensive end, although I think he could play the left side in a lot of schemes. Lacks the true speed off the edge, may be forced inside. Incredibly strong in the trenches, can really control a blocker. Gets off blocks with powerful hands. Bends well and can be explosive in a small space. Creates a lot of mismatches across the line. 17.5 tackles for loss. 2nd-3rdrounder.
#8 Joseph Fauria – TE – 6’7/255
Huge body that some will see at the next undervalued tight end that could change an offense at the next level. Transferred from Notre Dame early on in his career and wasn’t really a factor until last year. A big time weapon in the red zone with the obvious height and length advantage, but also does a nice job with body positioning and getting to the ball at the apex of his leap. I actually think Fauria was underused in the 4 games I watched this year. They simply have him run up the seam time after time. I think there is some hidden talent here that could be the focal point of a third down offense. While he lacks the quick twitch, Fauria can catch a lot of balls in traffic. Tough kid. Can see him going anywhere from round 2 to round 5.
#23 Johnathan Franklin – RB – 5’11/195
Interesting prospect here. All time leading rusher at UCLA by a pretty wide margin. Initially Franklin looks undersized, not physical enough for the NFL. But the more I watch, the more I believe he can create a spot for himself as a steady contributor. Excellent combination of quickness and vision. Slippery to tacklers. Can outrun a lot of defensive backs. I don’t see him as a feaute back, but his ability to consistently gain yards as a runner and receiver will get him drafted in the first 4-5 rounds.
#21 Aaron Hester – CB – 6’1/207
With the NFL leaning towards bigger, more physical cornerbacks, Hester may have some value late. He does well against the short and intemediate passes because of his length. I question his deep speed though, especially without help over the top from a safety. Possible candidate for a position change in the NFL. 6th-7th rounder at best.
#22 Sheldon Price – CB – 6’2/180
Tall and lanky cover corner. May get drafted late because of his length/speed combination but I don’t see a lot of NFL caliber skills in him. Minimal physical presence as a tackler, won’t offer much in run support. Gets shoved around when he is covering the more physical players. Ball skills are below average, not enough balance when tracking it deep.