(Independent scout and draft expert Josh Liskiewitz will contribute regularly to RoarReport.com in the days, weeks and months leading up to the annual NFL draft. To determine Josh's street cred, check his bio beneath the article -- Thanks, Ed.)
After evaluating Monday's practice film, I came away extremely disappointed with Mark Herzlich. While at 6-3, 250, he certainly looks the part, he was very stiff and upright, and did not show the athleticism needed to play in space. He continually struggled to change directions and accelerate in transition, and couldn't run with the fullback in space, let alone the RBs and TEs. Against the run he was also unimpressive as he tended to wait for blockers to get on top of him as opposed to aggressively stacking and shedding at the point of attack.
While he has a unique story, at some point we need to stop thinking back to what was his sophomore film and focus on what he showed this year, and what he is capable of today.
Breaking him down today reminded me of Oakland's Rolando McClain – another thick-bodied linebacker who struggles against blockers, can't move in space, and doesn't have a true NFL position.
Well Lions fans, it was a nice dream while it lasted but we can forget about Cameron Jordan (6-4, 283) still being on the board at pick No. 13.
On paper I felt he was the top player at the Senior Bowl coming into this week, and his performance thus far has only served to verify this assertion. He has been dominant in all facets of his game, showing the strength to take on and toss blockers aside in the run game, as well as the hand technique and polish to rush the passer effectively. He has a variety of moves, but in particular has a devastatingly quick swim, and has also impressed with his agility and foot quickness against both the run and pass.
If he does not go in the top five at least one team is making a mistake, as he will be a dominant player regardless of the system he plays in.
Josh Liskiewitz has been an independent scout for four years, the last two with GM Jr as a college scout. He is a self professed "film junkie," watching upwards of 50 hours of film per week year round on hundreds of NFL prospects. He credits Russ Lande, former NFL scout and founder and president of GM Jr Scouting LLC, with aiding in the development of his foundation in scouting and unique perspective on football.