Chargers Draft Prospectus XIV

Before Rogers Beckett officially moved from free safety to strong safety, before Ryan McNeil was asked to move from cornerback to safety, the San Diego Chargers spent lengthy time with this Draft prospect.

Mike Doss, safety out of Ohio State, was the first player the Chargers spoke with during Senior Bowl week. They spent time getting to know his style of play as well as his personality. Since the Senior Bowl in Mobile is an informal setting the Bolts bass was able to spend quality time with Doss to determine if he would be a fit in the Chargers system. Oddly enough Doss did not play in the game, instead playing in the East-West Shrine Game. With interview at the combines being held to a strict 15 minutes the extra time during the Senior Bowl could go a long way towards determining the fate of Doss.

It's kind of stressing," Doss said. "You have 400 scouts watching your every move, but I look at it like a challenge and just try and have fun. I think all season I proved what I can do and winning the national championship was just icing on the cake."

Michael Doss is seen as a bit of a tweener regarding the position he is expected to be taken in the Draft in relation to when the Chargers do their own picking (15). Thus he falls in the 25-35 range and the Chargers face a decision on how to get into that are, if at all.

``The other day Mike walks up to me in the weight room and said, `If you get drafted higher than me, I'm calling every team in the NFL and cussing them out,' '' former teammate Kenny Peterson said.

Doss is a three-time All-Big Ten Conference pick He has played in every game (50) during his time with the Buckeyes, starting 40 contests. He led the team in tackles two out of the last three years, recording 331 tackles (228 solos) with six sacks for minus 42 yards, 33 stops for losses of 99 yards, eight fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. Doss also intercepted eight passes for 184 yards in returns, deflected 20 passes and blocked two kicks.

His 331 tackles rank ninth on the school's career-record list and were the most ever by a defensive back, only Steve Tovar (239, 1989-92), Marcus Marek (256, 1979-82), Tom Cousineau (259, 1975-78) and Chris Spielman (283, 1984-87) had more solo tackles than his 228 in Buckeyes annals. His 33 stops behind the line of scrimmage rank eighth in school history and were the most ever by an Ohio State defensive back.

Mike Doss
Safety
Ohio State
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 207
40 Times: 4.47/4.53
Arm: 32"
Hand: 9 7/8"
Left Handed
Vertical Jump: 39
" Broad Jump: 10' 3"
Short Shuttle: 3.97
3 Cone Drill: 6.77
Squat: 555 pounds
Bench Press (high): 355 pounds
Bench Press: 16 reps

"Versatility is key as he can be used at either safety spots and is a secondary prospect who can be left on the field for every defensive snap as well as special teams. At the top end of his game, a productive play making safety worthy of a first round selection and a prospect who can immediately start at the next level." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview


"He's in a kick scrimmage on the last play of the game hurtling his body through the air trying to block the kick," Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel said, grinning as he shook his head in disbelief. "That's what I've seen from him. What has gone through his head? I'm sure at some point someone has whispered to him, 'Mike, you might get hurt.' But I haven't seen that in action."

``Doss is an excellent football player, he'll come up and strike you,'' Miami Dolphins senior vie president of football operation Rick Spielman said. ``He's kind of a throwback as far as his mentality. The biggest thing will be the speed on him, just to determine what type of defense he can fit in. Teams that play a cover two scheme and have to have guys who are able to run, I don't know if he fits as well as a team like Pittsburgh that will put a strong safety up closer to the line of scrimmage.''

Doss has above average quickness, agility, awareness and acceleration, has an explosive closing burst and is very effective mirroring the receiver's moves in the short-to-medium areas. His best asset is he supports with aggression in run force, showing the burst needed to close and stay in front of the opponent. Doss shows balance in his backpedal and transition, breaking with no wasted motions, has a fluid lateral flow and shows good acceleration out of his turns.

Doss has no trouble mirroring the tight ends underneath, knows how to leap and compete for the ball at its highest point. He shows no hesitation when tackling, exploding behind his hits.

Doss also has great leaping ability and timing skills, evident by his knack for blocking kicks on special teams, displays the plant-&-drive agility to close laterally.

Mike is a crunching hitter who makes big plays when the team needs them most…He combines speed, power and savvy with a fierce competitive nature…He was rumored to be heading for the NFL at the end of last season, but opted to stay in school and get his degree, at the same time dedicating himself to helping the Buckeyes "win every game".

His desire to stay the extra year has proven to be valuable in a number of ways. In interviews he has proven to be a solid character guy. His desire to win is unparalleled.

One thing that has been a cause of concern for Doss is his pass coverage skills. In the NFL today the need for a solid cover man at the safety spot is a must. With Doss more the conventional hard hitter, teams are shying away from him.

The Chargers are impressed with his ability but realize that they play in the AFC West, a division that is littered with talented receivers. If Doss was to fall to the in round two they would consider themselves lucky and nab him. However, if the Chargers are trading down in the first, they are not targeting Doss. Same can be said if they trade up in the second. He is not among their primary targets, but they will feel very lucky if 46 rolls around and he is there.

Special thanks to Tony Pauline who contributed to this report.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net or via the following link: Denis Savage

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