Jerome McDougle (Miami, Fla) had a very strong game against Virginia Tech but only showed flashes against Ohio State in the National Championship game and didn't make much impression on the game. I think he's a very good player who should turn into a solid pro (especially as a pass rusher) but his physical limitations – has short arms for a DE at 31" – will prevent him from getting much better against the run and he had some trouble with bigger blockers once they get their hands on him at the college level. Nevertheless, he's solidified himself in the top 20 or so picks with a solid Combine performance (clocked in the low 4.7's over 40 yards and reportedly impressed in drills) followed up at the Miami Pro Day recently – with Giants GM Ernie Accorsi amongst those in attendance – and he has the smoothness to possibly play RDE in the NFL which may add to his appeal. If the Giants do have him as a target, they would probably have to move up for him.
Chris Kelsay (Nebraska) seems to be a player I have under-rated because the consensus of opinion from the Senior Bowl practices were that he showed himself to be a very good pass rusher with a great motor and is highly rated by NFL teams. A bit of a workout warrior, his excellent showing at the Combine – where he clocked an impressive 4.7 seconds in the 40 yard dash at 273lb's – has seen his stock continue to climb and I've even seen a few mock drafts where he was the Giants 1st round choice and some where he is taken off the board in the top 20! I still have grave doubts about his ability to play the run straight at him but now he's proven to have the athletic ability to make the switch to the opposite side and rush the passer from the RDE spot, he'll be a little less vulnerable against the quicker OLT's than the earth-moving ORT's. I have yet to watch him in the Senior Bowl to decide for myself where he rates overall but with every team in the league permanently on the hunt for pass rushers, a mid-late 1st round pick seems all but assured.
Having been disappointed in Michael Haynes (Penn State) on my first viewing of him I had hoped for a lot more against Auburn in the Capital One Bowl but while he had a productive game overall and flashed at times on his pass rush around the wide outside, he still didn't strike me as being a top class prospect or a 1st round pick. Against the run, he was frequently engaged with the Tigers big TE's and though he managed to get off of blocks to make some tackles they weren't too close to the line of scrimmage and he was driven off the ball to open a big hole off tackle on a TD run. His performance at the Combine was also a bit disappointing, clocking a pedestrian 4.88 over 40 yards and not exactly distinguishing himself as a great athlete with either his vertical or broad jump in comparison with the likes of McDougle & Kelsay. He ran better at the PSU Pro Day, achieving a much improved clocking of 4.7 seconds on what was considered a very fast track so could raise his stock some but I don't believe he rates any higher than the early part of the 2nd round. Again, the fact he can rush the passer may elevate his grade somewhat on many team's boards.
Cory Redding (Texas) was extremely quiet against Oklahoma State, making only a couple of tackles and flashing on the pass rush on just 3 plays the entire game but played with a lot more fire and greater consistency against Kansas State and came up with some big plays. He didn't show that he could play RDE but lined up over RG a number of times when the line shifted. However, he got tied up too easily when inside and was unable to get off of blocks quickly enough to get in on plays. OSU didn't really run the ball that much to his side but against the option of K-State he did very well at times, asked to get up the field and either force an early pitch or make the QB cut back inside which he did on many occasions and displayed the necessary burst to the ball and hitting power to bring his man down immediately.
In both games he looked to be a ‘pure' outside pass rusher – didn't show any inside or counter moves - and he wasn't able to beat his man off the ball consistently though he certainly was able to get to and around the corner when he had his intensity levels up. He showed good technique in protecting his legs and staying on his feet and showed the fluidity to track down a scrambling QB on more than one occasion. Against the Cowboys he was actually used quite often to drop into coverage a few times and was man-to-man with the TE once and did a good job over the middle. The scouts had him checked out at the Combine in LB drills but after measuring in at 6'4, 279lb's, it's unlikely they'll project him to that position. To me, at least on these viewings, he remains maddeningly inconsistent, one game flashing all sorts of promise, another hardly noticeable on the field.
At the recent Longhorns Pro Day, he didn't exactly blow out the lights with his performance on what is considered a slow track (clocked in the high 4.8's) but showed good change of direction in the 3 cone drill. I will try to get a third viewing of him at some point but for now I'd say he rates no higher than a 2nd round pick though I'm not sure at which end of the round he's likely to go.
Dewayne White (Louisville) performed pretty well at the Combine after being officially measured and weighed at just over 6'2" and 273lb's. I'm pretty sure he's an early-mid 2nd round pick as he has better physical tools than some of the players that are better than him right now and I see his stock rising on the day.
Kindal Moorehead (Alabama) continued to impress me against Auburn with his play and versatility, logging more time at RDE (both 4-3 and 3-4 fronts) in that game then any other I've seen to date. A direct comparison of his play against Auburn's OT's suggests that he is both a better all-around player and a more consistent pass rusher than the highly-rated Haynes. He had a very active game in the pass rush, sacking the QB on the first series after getting around the outside shoulder of the ORT and continued to beat his man repeatedly around the corner as well as flashing for the first time – at least in my viewings – a nifty inside counter move. He has long arms and big hands and he does a very good job keeping his opponent off him in the pass rush. While he wasn't as dominant against the OLT, he also beat him around the outside a few times, a sign that he may be able to project to RDE in some schemes (something the Giants may have noted). Against the run, he was double-teamed on occasion – the Auburn OL does an excellent job of almost always doubling up at the point of attack – but while neutralized, he wasn't blown off the ball.
On the downside however, though he beat both OT's throughout the contest, he wasn't able to bring down the QB on three other occasions where he really should have come up with sacks. He accelerates to the ball quickly enough but when the QB steps up he lacks a little fluidity in his change of direction and he doesn't have the speed to chase the more elusive QB's down from behind. He also gave up a little too much ground to the inside however when he was asked to play up the field though the MLB missing tackles in the hole may have made him look to be in a worse position than he actually was.
A slightly rounded figure at 6'2" and 283lb's, he's not a speed rushing type (clocked in the high 4.9's at his recent Pro Day workout) but he is quite powerful. I know he has plenty of detractors from his early career but the more I watch him, the more he reminds me of a slightly smaller version of Darren Howard (Saints) who wasn't a great athlete at Kansas State, was considered an underachiever and has gone on to become a pretty good pro. I think Moorehead will do likewise and consider him a fairly solid late 2nd round pick based on his play (though the fact he was labelled an underachiever may be hard to shake from pro teams minds and he could drop accordingly). If he ever gets in top shape, he could be a ‘steal'.
Alonzo Jackson (Florida State) didn't do well at the Combine in the speed testing where he ran very disappointingly in the high 4.8 range before clocking in the mid 4.7's on a faster track at the FSU Pro Day. He certainly didn't appear to play close to that slow on the field against Louisville! Having arrived at 266lb's, I'm guessing he may have gained some ‘bad weight' – adding 16lb's between the Senior Bowl and the Combine – while attempting to fill out his frame and impress the scouts. At 6'4" and with the longest arms of any DE prospect (35") there is no reason why he shouldn't be able to continue to get bigger and stronger over time. He does lack in the strength department though – managed just 16 reps on the bench press in Indy – and that may have hindered his ability to turn those added carbs into muscle. I'm going to take a peek at his play against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl to see how he plays against two of the better OT prospects in the draft before estimating his value.
Kenny King (Alabama) missed the Auburn game after suffering a neck stinger in the prior contest against LSU and being held out as a precaution by team doctors so I never got to see any more of him than the inconclusive games already seen. At the Combine, proved himself to be a pretty good athlete but didn't run for the stopwatch there and only managed times around the 5 second mark when on campus for his individual workout.
Aaron Hunt (Texas Tech) didn't prove to be a great athlete at the Combine, clocking in the low 4.8 range and disappointing in the jumps then only managing a repeat of that timing at the recent Red Raiders pro day while being worked out as an LB. I haven't seen him play yet but as the consensus of opinion is that he can't handle the run.
While there's no doubt that Tyler Brayton (Colorado) can run fast (clocked 4.75 at the combine, 4.65 in Colorado at the Pro Day), there are still questions about whether he is too much of a straight-line type, lacking the flexibility to make use of his speed against the athletic linemen of the NFL. At just 270lb's with a 6'6" frame, he has trouble separating from blockers and scouts are thought to be worried that he'll get ‘banged up' until he puts on more weight. I think he'll be taken in the 3rd round but he's not one I'd like the Giants to draft even if available when we pick.
Nick Eason (Clemson) was listed at the Combine as a DT prospect so presumably projects better inside than out having proved a little slower than anticipated (ran a 5.1 over 40 yards) at 301lb's. I haven't seen him yet – and will only see glimpses of him at the Senior Bowl - but will pass on the views of a draftnik pal who has seen more of him at some point pre-draft. The consensus on him appears to be that he's an early-mid 2nd round pick.
I'd suggested that Calvin Pace (Wake Forest) may have lost some natural weight after breaking his leg in the season finale and he showed up at the Combine at 269lb's, some 16lb's bigger than a month prior at the Senior Bowl. Incidentally, the report from Ourlad's Guides on his play in practice at Mobile suggests that, had he not been injured and missed the game, he could well have been shooting up the draft boards by now due to his pass-rushing skills. I'll never get to see him play collegiately but the Combine proved that he is also a pretty good athlete, clocking in the mid 4.7 range (improving to mid 4.6's at his individual workout) and doing quite well in the jumps. I think he may be off the board in the 3rd round but whether he'd appeal to the Giants I just don't know never having seen him.
Jamaal Green and Andrew Williams (both Miami, Fla) continue to see their stock gather pace as the draft approaches having impressed as pass rushers in college. Williams is probably a late round draft pick and projects as a situational guy at the next level. However, after watching Green play very well against both Virginia Tech and Ohio State in the National championship game I believe that with a bit of hard work on his play against the run, he has the potential to grow into a starter. He added 10lb's of muscle between the Senior Bowl and Combine without losing any speed and tested out as a fine athlete at the Pro Day, clocking in the 4.7 range at 272lb's, proved the quickest off all the pure DE's over the first 10 yards and then continued to impress at his campus workout. To be honest, I'd quite like the Giants to draft Jamaal in the late 3rd round if he were available. I can envisage him supplying a big blindside pass rush around the corner as a rookie in a rotation with Kenny Holmes (who was it said we needed a starter?). Could it be that Green – a local boy from Camden, NJ – was the player Giants GM Ernie Accorsi really went to evaluate in person at the Miami Pro Day?
Clint Mitchell (Florida) had an uninspiring Combine performance, appearing very lanky and in need of a year in the weight room at 6'6" and just 258lb's, able to make just 16 reps on the bench press and clocking a mediocre 4.9 over the 40 yard dash. I can't see him as a first day pick but need to view him against Kentucky to evaluate his overall draft position having really only seen him once.