Badger Draft: profiles

TFY Draft Preview's reports on former Wisconsin athletes available in this weekend's NFL Draft

Erasmus James School: Wisconsin
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 266 40: 4.85 Year: 5Sr

Erasmus James

Bio: Three-year starter coming off a breakout senior campaign. Big-Ten Defensive Player of the Year after posting 36/11.5/8. Sat out the 2003 campaign with a hip injury after posting 57/8/4 the prior year.

Positives: Excellent athlete making a big move up draft boards. Quick off the snap, plays low with leverage and immediately alters his angle of attack. Fluid moving up and down the line of scrimmage, redirects to the action and displays great range. Rarely off his feet and collapses outside-in to defend the run. Plays with excellent balance, fast off the edge and effective dropped off the line of scrimmage. Good speed to the sidelines and always working to get involved in the action. Solid hand technique fighting blocks.

Negatives: Handled at the point by a single blocker and has difficulty if opponents run straight at him.

Analysis: A disruptive force who opponents game-plan around, James combines athletic skills with intensity to force the action up the field. Answered a lot of questions last year and has gone from a possible first day pick to a potential top-15 selection.

Dan Buenning School: Wisconsin
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 320 40: 5.35 Year: 5Sr

Dan Buenning

Bio: Four-year starter awarded All-Conference honors after his senior and junior campaigns.

Positives: Outstanding position blocker best in a small area. Quick off the snap, blocks with forward lean and stays square. Works his hands throughout the action. Gets movement from run blocks turning opponents off the line and anchors in pass protection. Bends his knees working to play with leverage, helps out teammates and always looking to hit someone. Plays heads up football and an alert lineman who works hard.

Negatives: Not light on his feet, marginal skills in motion and lacks adjustment. Lacks top blocking range and not effective sliding in space.

Analysis: A tough competitor with good size and growth potential, Buenning is a solid technician with a nice game. Just a marginal athlete lacking the great upside for the next level, he is a typical hard working slug-it-out lineman from Wisconsin who projects well to the next level.

Anttaj Hawthorne School: Wisconsin
Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 321 40: 5.29 Year: 4Sr

Anttaj Hawthorne

Bio: All-Conference selection who started the past three seasons. Coming off a disappointing senior campaign in which he totaled 42/12/6. Posted career numbers of 75/20/4 as a junior.

Positives: Explosive interior defender who attracts double teams in the middle of the field. Gets off the ball with a quick first step, keeps his pads low and effectively uses hand technique to get around blocks. Jolts blockers displaying power and pushes them off the ball. Drives up the field and quickly locates the action. Immediately changes direction and wraps up tackling.

Negatives: Lacks top pursuit skills from the backside. Over-pursues the action in his attempt to get up the field. Improved his hand technique as a senior, yet still stands to protect himself better.

Analysis: A nasty defender who creates a lot of havoc up the field when on his game, Hawthorne can be a dominant force that overpowers one-on-one blockers. Offers size and plays with leverage, which gives him possibilities in a variety of systems. Lack of speed and inability to pursue is a negative, but a late first-round pick who can produce in a conventional defensive scheme.

Jonathan Welsh School: Wisconsin
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 244 40: 4.64 Year: 5Sr

Jonathan Welsh

Bio: Two-year starter at defensive end. Totaled 27/4.5/2 as a senior after career numbers of 50/11.5/8 the prior season.

Positives: Collegiate defensive end who projects to linebacker at the next level. Solid athlete excellent pursuing from the backside with the ability to drop off the line of scrimmage on zone blitzes. Displays adequate skill in space, makes plays in any direction on the field and covers a good amount of area. Fast off the edge, immediately changes his angle of attack and redirects to the action. Plays low with leverage, fights with his hands and displays good technique getting off blocks. Exploits big, immobile linemen off the edge.

Negatives: Must run wide of blocks as he is handled at the point of attack once engaged with opponents. Driven off the line and has difficulties stopping the run.

Analysis: A solid athlete who displays a variety of skills on the football field, Welsh is a good prospect at outside linebacker and would be effective stood up over tackle in a 34 defense. Size/speed numbers make him a solid middle round choice.

Jason Jefferson School: Wisconsin
Ht: 6-1.5 Wt: 310 40: 5.18 Year: 5Sr

Jason Jefferson

Bio: Three-year starter who posted 25/4.5/3 as a senior.

Positives: Well-built run stuffer who plugs the middle of the field. Explosive off the snap with a great first step, can change direction and relentless in pursuit of the play. Gets underneath opponents wedging through blocks, collapses outside defending the run, and plays with both balance and body control. Tenacious, works hard and displays good hand technique getting off blocks. Good closing burst of speed.

Negatives: Lacks height, handled at the point by a single blocker or engulfed by opponents. Not light on his feet and limited skills rushing the passer.

Analysis: A defensive lineman whose quickness gives him a decided advantage against opponents, Jefferson is a competitor always working to make the play. Has growth limitations, yet would be effective as a three-technique lineman or in a system that places him next to a wide-bodied tackle. Will slide into the draft's second day, but could very well turn out to be one of the better bargains this April.

Anthony Davis School: Wisconsin
Ht: 5-7 Wt: 200 40: 4.55 Year: 5Sr

Anthony Davis

Bio: Four-year starter and an all-conference selection as a senior after posting 201/973/11 on the ground then adding 13/96 as a receiver in eight games. Missed four games with a fractured bone near his eye and later a thigh bruise.

Positives: Tough, elusive runner with a variety of skills. Displays excellent vision. Quick footed, bounces to the outside avoiding piles. Solid receiver out of the backfield. Sets up blocks at the line of scrimmage or down the field.

Negatives: Only marginal speed for a small back and cannot run to daylight. Though aggressive, rarely picks up yardage off initial contact. Has missed ten games over the past two seasons with assorted injuries.

Analysis: An elusive ball carrier who lacks the size/speed numbers for the next level and has durability issues. If he becomes more productive catching the ball, he will have a spot for an offense willing to give him eight-to-ten touches per game.

Scott Starks School: Wisconsin
Ht: 5-8.5 Wt: 172 40: 4.47 Year: 4Sr

Scott Starks

Bio: Four-year starter and an academic All-Big Ten Player every season since his sophomore campaign. Awarded All-Conference honors as a senior after posting 45/1/9.

Positives: Undersized defensive back who possesses top speed and explosion. Solid back-pedaling in reverse, quickly plants on the throw and displays a good move on the ball. Diagnoses the action, fires up the field defending screen plays, and possesses an excellent closing burst. Fluid and quick transitioning to run with opponents.

Negatives: Easily gives up positioning to opponents, misjudges defenses and has difficulty covering large receivers. Tends to knock down ball carriers rather than wrap up at the point.

Analysis: A speedy defensive back who will struggle matching up against NFL receivers, Starks has abilities in nickel packages or zone systems. Feisty and plays to his forty time, which will endear him to a coach at the next level.

Jim Leonhard School: Wisconsin
Ht: 5-8.5 Wt: 191 40: 4.65 Year: 4Sr

Jim Leonhard

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-Conference honors every season since his sophomore campaign. Finished with 72/3/10 as a senior, also averaging 12.7 yards on 35 punt returns. Posted career numbers of 99/11/25 as a sophomore.

Positives: Opportunistic, ball-hawking defensive back with excellent cover skills. Intelligent defender who diagnoses the action, immediately locates the pass in the air, then displays outstanding ball skills. Quickly breaks on the throw, possesses a burst of closing speed, and works well with cornerbacks. Efficient, takes good angles to the action and fires up the field in run support. Does an exceptional job staying with the action, remaining disciplined and reading the quarterback's eyes. Gets vertical and adjusts in midair to make the interception or defend the throw. Good special teams player.

Negatives: Beaten out by larger receivers. Has difficulty in man-to-man situations. Suffered from a stress fracture in his left foot and unable to perform in the post season.

Analysis: While lacking the true size/speed numbers for any single position in the defensive backfield, Leonhard's productivity and football awareness cannot be overlooked. Known for his work ethic, he is a consistent defender with top intangibles.

Mike Lorenz School: Wisconsin
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 314 40: 5.69 Year: 5Sr

Mike Lorenz

Bio: Former starting right tackle mostly used as a reserve last season. Academic All-Big Ten Player in the past.

Positives: Versatile blocker experienced at both tackle spots. Blocks with a nasty attitude, works to bury defenders and strong at the point of attack. Tenacious, stays square and jolts opponents with good hand punch. Keeps his feet moving throughout the action and displays the ability to slide laterally. Quick getting into run blocks, plays with good lean and works with linemates.

Negatives: Over extends, lacks balance and not a knee bender. Marginal skills blocking in motion and has difficulty finishing the play.

Analysis: A hard-working lineman with the versatility to be used at several spots, Lorenz has distinct possibilities as an inexpensive utility blocker at the next level.

Morgan Davis School: Wisconsin
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 320 40: 5.41 Year: 5Sr

Morgan Davis

Bio: Starting tackle the past two seasons. Began his career as a reserve while also playing special teams.

Positives: Patient, finesse blocker who flashes power. Quick into run blocks, fights hard and seals defenders from the action. Stays square, does not overextend and blocks with leverage. Intelligent, immediately picks up assignments and keeps his feet moving throughout the action. Strong at the point, controls opponents once engaged in the block and easily rides them from their angle of attack.

Negatives: Lacks footwork and range sliding off the edge and not effective in motion. Bends at the waist and must make better use of blocking angles. Stands to improve the strength of his base.

Analysis: A hard-working lineman with size and growth potential, Davis is best in a small area on the strong side. A marginal athlete, he will be effective at the next level in a blocking scheme that reduces his area responsibilities and confines him to closed quarters.

Jonathan Clinkscale School: Wisconsin
Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 315 40: 5.54 Year: 5Sr

Jonathan Clinkscale

Bio: Four-year starter at right guard who also saw action at center as a freshman. All- Conference selection last year.

Positives: Nice-sized lineman who flashes the ability to dominate opponents. Naturally strong, stays square and keeps opponents away from the action. Alert picking up stunts or twists thrown by defenders. Can slide laterally in space, quickly gets his hands up and blocks with leverage throughout the action. Turns defenders off the line, anchors at the point or walls opponents from the play with good body positioning. Blocks down on opponents or easily rides them from their angle of attack. Quick out to the second level engaging linebackers and also effective kicking out.

Negatives: Lacks adjustment, does not play with balance, and must make better use of blocking angles. Does not always attack assignments or play with great intensity.

Analysis: Naturally gifted, Clinkscale is incredibly effective when focused on the task at hand. Could develop into a starter at the next level if he pays attention to detail, properly conditions himself, and plays with consistent effort.

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