* 2 OL had a bad showing at the Senior Bowl. Oday Aboushi and Justin Pugh went to Mobile with hopes of looking like 1st round LT prospects. Pugh was greatly hurt at the weigh-in when it turned out he has short arms (less than 32 inches). His on-field play was up and down. Aboushi didn’t play well. He failed to use his arms well (a problem all year), but also struggled to consistently control the DE.
One OL at the Senior Bowl who did help himself is Terron Armstead from Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He played well at the Shrine Game and was a late addition in Mobile. Armstead is a guy I need to study more, but he looks like an NFL player. He has a good frame and is a very good athlete.
There is an underclassmen that I’ve been impressed by as well. Menelik Watson played RT for Florida State. I was caught off guard by his coming out early, but after watching some tape on him I am definitely intrigued. He is a terrific run blocker. Nasty player that loves to mash on LBs. Good athlete. Can really come off the ball quickly and aggressively. Need to study his pass pro skills, but teams looking for an interesting RT prospect will definitely like him.
* Who is the best WR in this class? I think you’re choosing between Keenan Allen and Cordarrelle Patterson. Allen is the more polished player. He has good size and speed, and is a skilled receiver. Allen caught 205 passes in 3 years and also has some RS ability.
Patterson only played one season at Tennessee. He caught just 46 passes. However, his tape is impressive. He is incredibly dangerous when he gets the ball in his hands. Patterson ran for 3 TDs. He had a KOR and PR for TD. He also caught 5 TD passes. Patterson has a bad habit of letting the ball into his body, but you will see some plays where he plucks the ball cleanly. I don’t like body catchers, but think he might be a guy you could coach that out of.
* I don’t think there is a 1st round RB in this class. Gio Bernard and Eddie Lacy are the top prospects. Bernard is the complete runner. Lacy is bigger and more physical. I’m sure teams will be split on which guy is rated higher. Both are very good players.
* Dee Milliner is regarded as the best CB prospect, but the more I watch Desmond Trufant from Washington, the more I like him. One big advantage Trufant has is playing in the Pac-12, where there are plenty of good QBs and passing attacks. The SEC featured 3 of the worst passing attacks in the nation in Auburn, Kentucky, and Florida. Teams like South Carolina and LSU were highly inconsistent. Alabama was so good at running the ball they only had to pass when they wanted to. Trufant also has great bloodlines, with 2 brothers having played CB in the NFL.
* I have not been the biggest Eric Reid fan this year. The LSU Safety was highly regarded by a lot of people, but I didn’t exactly get the hype. As I’ve watched more and more LSU tape, he’s really grown on me. Reid is a really physical player. The funny thing is that I was actually watching other players when Reid caught my eye. He was consistently making physical tackles in the open field. I still think he can be a bit too aggressive in coverage, but I’d rather have that than a player who’s too passive and I need to try and light a fire under him.
* The LSU guy I was focused on was DE Barkevious Mingo. What an intriguing prospect. He lists at 6-5, 240. Mingo is a tall, thin player and very good athlete. Watch him vs Texas A&M and you’ll see some great moments. The box score says 1 sack, 1 pass deflection, and 3 solo tackles. The tape shows a player who was outstanding that day. LSU was mush-rushing Johnny Football. That’s when the DEs go upfield under control and then stop, trying to keep the QB in the pocket. A lot of times DEs will fly upfield and the QB can then move up in the pocket or to the outside. He’s got time to throw and/or room to run.
Mingo blew me away with the agility, quickness, and overall athleticism he showed. He had a great spin move. I thought his change-of-direction ability was outstanding as well. If you want a great athlete with explosive quickness and great length, Mingo is your guy. The only reason he’s not a Top 5 pick is that you’ve got to question why such a talented edge rusher only had 4.5 sacks this year and 15 in his 3-year career. Part of that is due to LSU using the mush rush a few times this year, but I need to study more games to get a better feel for the situation. One area I need to focus on is Mingo’s ability to shed blocks.
I think Mingo could be a 4-3 SAM LB and situational rusher. I think he would be ideal as a 3-4 OLB. I don’t know about him as a full-time 4-3 DE.
* There isn’t much buzz on TE Tyler Eifert right now. I think that’s just the nature of the beast. He got tons of attention during the season, but now people are all over Zach Ertz or under the radar guys like Vance McDonald. Eifert is still my top TE prospect and a player that I think very highly of. He can be a traditional TE. He can split out wide. He’s dangerous after the catch. Eifert is also a good blocker. I’m curious to see just how good he looks at the Combine.