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Posted Sept. 20, 2009

Scouting Notes: Weeks 2-3

These notes were from Week 2 of the college football season. Unfortunately, I had a lot of homework and school stuff to do last week, and I could not update my stock report or mock draft/power rankings.

I taped these games and intensely watched a few college prospects. This is what I saw:

Texas vs. Wyoming:

Colt McCoy, QB, Texas: McCoy has average to below average arm strength. He really doesn't make a lot of challenging throws, and the offense allows him to look off his first receiver if he isn't open and improvise as opposed to going through his progression reads.

This one play really concerned me. He was in shotgun (shocker), and his flanker wide right was wide open on a slant route. McCoy had the second he needed to get off the ball, but instead of just letting it go, he hesitated and he struggled making this decision. You can't do this in the NFL because not every receiver is going to be absolutely wide open.

McCoy also had some very happy feet. His feet just shuffled up and down, which showed a lot of anxiety and lack of confidence in the pocket. Instead of throwing the slant and taking the hit, McCoy eluded the pressure. I would rather see him stay in the pocket and make the throw, but this play really made it look like he is afraid to take a shot. McCoy will not be able to elude defensive linemen in the NFL like he does in college. He isn't Michael Vick, and even Vince Young has had a lot of trouble running around NFL talent since his rookie year.

McCoy really didn't do much that impressed me, and he also made a horrible interception in which he threw it right to the linebacker, which showed a lack of vision. He isn't anything resembling a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Sergio Kindle, DE/OLB, Texas: Kindle is a great athlete. He can bend his knees to move laterally, and he has the closing speed to chase down his opponents and eliminate space. However, he seemed to lack strong hands in this game and disengage from the offensive tackle. I will be watching Kindle closely as the year goes on.

Roddrick Muckelroy, OLB, Texas: Muckelroy looked sluggish in zone and pretty stiff. He struggled changing directions and didn't show much physicality. He looked like a late-round prospect in this game, but I hate to judge him just on one game of film.

Earl Thomas, S, Texas: Thomas showed good speed, range, athleticism and recognition skills. He did a great job of being aware that he had man coverage on the receiver in motion on one occasion and anticipated the route to get the pass break-up.

Syracuse vs. Penn State

Arthur Jones, DT, Syracuse: I can't believe I am saying this, but without a doubt the worst defensive lineman (and maybe worst defensive player) on the field for Syracuse consistently was Arthur Jones. He showed me absolutely nothing, but I need to watch more film just to see if this was an aberration.

On one play, Jones showed good pad level, lower body strength, and vision to identify the ball-carrier and make the tackle. Jones looked very slow anticipating the snap a few times. He showed poor technique (bent at waist) on one occasion. On another play, he simply missed the wrong gap and might have shown bad instincts.

Most of the game when Penn State threw the ball, he looked very soft and showed a lack of motor - he was not active at all and didn't do much. Jones showed horrible agility when he dropped back in coverage on one occasion, but I was only evaluating his athleticism; he really struggled changing directions. Jones looked sluggish just about the entire game and lacked physicality. I really hated what I saw out of Jones to put it nicely.

Evan Royster, RB, Penn State: Royster showed good hands as he caught the ball away from his body on a slant for a touchdown. On this play, he made the safety miss in the open field by giving him a juke to gain yards after the catch. I didn't see a second burst out of Royster the entire game, so he is definitely quicker than he is fast.

I really like Royster's lateral movement. On one play, Royster was supposed to just throw a block after a play action, but he gave up on the play before it was over (inconsistent effort). I'm not going to completely hold this against him because it was one play, but I will be observing him in the future.

Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State: Matt McGuire's Player of the Game goes to Odrick, and it isn't even close. I expected to see Jones light it up and Odrick look lethargic for some reason, but this game changed my opinion quickly.

Odrick did a great job using his quick hands and he shedded/threw the offensive guard on a several plays. He has very fast hands and he uses it to his advantage with great club and swim moves.

One time, Odrick got too high against the run, so he needs to watch his leverage. Another time, he showed very good balance and athleticism as he got the kept his body low to the ground to get the sack as the quarterback tried to step up in the pocket.

Odrick was very phsyical in this game and he was ALWAYS trying to make a play. I really liked Odrick's athleticism in Penn State's two-gap system, which calls for their defensive linemen to get up the field.

Odrick was very focused this entire game. He showed outstanding instincts when Syracuse ran out of the I-formation, then later showed a fake reverse to the wide receiver (the quarterback previously handed the ball off). I was really surprised at how quickly Odrick diagnosed the development of the run and he was at the right spot before anyone expected him to be there to turn the runner inside for a very short gain.

Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State: I want to give props to Hunter Ansley because he told me Wisniewski was a good player before I heard it from anyone else. Wisniewski dominated Arthur Jones for four quarters (but it was not very hard).

Wisniewski consistently plays with outstanding leverage using a strong base and lower body to stonewall his opponents. Wis (I hate spelling out his full name) is very tough, strong, and he was a great anchor from what I saw. He has strong hands and exhibits a great pad level and knee bend. Once in pass protection, he lacked a little awareness, but overall I was extremely impressed.

Georgia Tech vs. Miami

Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech: For some reason, Morgan was quickly winded in this game, and it makes no sense to me. I have no idea what exactly is going on, and I don't want to be ignorant and say something when I don't have a clue what I am talking about.

Morgan didn't have many opportunties to rush the quarterback in this contest. Miami usually had Morgan double-teamed and he couldn't do very much. Morgan did a great job again of setting the edge, and using his strength and low pad level to make the running back cut the play back inside.

Overall, an average game from Morgan, but I'm not going to hold it against him because Miami clearly showed him respect for what he did against Clemson. Morgan looks like a left defensive end in the 4-3 in the NFL. He isn't an outside linebacker; he just really hates rushing the quarterback without a hand in the ground.

Morgan Burnett, FS, Georgia Tech: Burnett has good athleticism, but he is very inconsistent filling in against the run. On one play, he filled the B-gap quickly and supported to make an solo tackle, but another time he was nowhere to be found on an off-tackle run to the right side.

Derrick Morgan's role was to collapse the pocket on this play and take away inside leverage, but Burnett should have filled much more quickly here. I just don't think Burnett is a strong safety in the NFL, but he has room to improve his play against the run over the course of the season.

Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech: I hated Dwyer last week, but this game means nothing to me despite his stats. The Miami defense shut down the option. What is Dwyer supposed to do when he is four yards behind the line of scrimmage? Getting pulled late in the game is a bit of a concern because I don't know why it happened if Dwyer is this elite talent.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech: Thomas is a very big, strong receiver and he did a good job of high-pointing the football in this game. However, on one out route he caught the ball and there wasn't anyone really close to him. Instead of running to the center of the field to get yards after the catch, he just ran right into the Miami cornerback who was waiting for him. Lack of confidence? Lack of vision? Lack of agility? Lack of making something happen after the catch? I probably saw all of that on this one play because he left some serious potential yardage on the field.

Jason Fox, OL, Miami: Fox showed versatility by playing some right guard and left tackle in this game. He is tough and physical, but I don't think his pass protection was really tested.

Jacory Harris, QB, Miami : Extremely weak arm strength and he floats the deep ball like a high school quarterback. I like his leadership, poise, and calmness, but he isn't anything resembling an NFL signal-caller. I'm kind of sick with all of this Jacory Harris hype because he has no chance to make it in the NFL when he throws his deep ball 400 feet in the air.

Matt McGuire's Recent NFL Draft Blog Entries:

Analyzing Andrew Luck's Decision - 1/7
Luck vs. Locker - 9/15
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NBA Draft vs. NFL Draft - 6/27
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Kentucky 2010 NBA Draft Prospect Blog - 6/1
Brett Favre Retirement Conditions - 5/30
2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year - 5/24
2010 NFL Power Rankings Tier - 5/21
2010 NFL Power Rankings - 5/18
NFL Mailbag: C.J. Spiller and Buffalo Bills Reaction - 5/14
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The Buffalo Bills - 5/13
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Most Productive 2010 NFL Rookies - 5/6
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2010 NFL Draft Observations and Telecast Blog - 4/26
2010 NFL Draft Grades: Day 3 - 4/25
2010 NFL Draft Grades: Rounds 1-3 - 4/24
2010 NFL Draft Grades: First Round - 4/23
2010 NFL Draft Trade Analysis - 4/23
Random Round 1 Thoughts and Analysis - 4/23
2010 NFL Draft Class Predictions - 4/22
2010 NFL Draft Trades - 4/21
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