.NET Draft Spotlight: Erasmus James

.NET Draft Guru Ryan Rigmaiden continues his analysis of players that the Seahawks are looking at and may be taken by the Hawks at some time during the upcoming NFL Draft. Next up? Wisconsin DE Erasmus James.

2. Erasmus James, DE Wisconsin
6'4" 266 4.79 (40 Time)

NFL Comparison- Charles Grant, New Orleans

Overview-

Absolutely dominated last year vs. the run and pass until injuries slowed him down late in the year. When he was healthy, no offensive lineman could block him and he was a playmaker for a solid Badger defense. However, his injury concerns are very real and will be the biggest factor of when/where he's drafted. These aren't just nagging injuries either; he sat out the entire ‘03 season and has missed time every year. If James' health was even average, he'd be a top-5 pick, but only time will tell how much his injury problems will affect his draft status.

Pass Rush-

Has long arms and knows how to use them. James has a variety of moves to set up offensive lineman and usually has success as the game goes on. He's a solid athlete and relies more on quickness than overall speed, where he's average.

Playing the Run-

Shows good pop when engaging O-lineman. Uses good containment and can shed blockers to make the tackle. Although he's strong, James isn't quite as stout as you'd like, but he's definitely adequate. Always seems to make one or two plays behind the line of scrimmage, usually because he beats his man to the hole. Hits hard.

Roster Impact for Seattle-

James has the talent to start as a rookie and would, at a minimum, instantly upgrade Seattle's pass rush in their nickel defense. However, despite James' injury concerns, he's projected to be long gone by pick #23.

Draft Projection-

Top 15. Expect James to get long looks from Washington, Detroit and Kansas City.

Final Analysis-

James is a very solid prospect and has the potential to be a very good NFL DE, but his injury concerns really scare me. It's hard enough for rookies to come into the NFL and have an impact, but to add major injury concerns to the equation definitely wont help. Because of this, James could slide down draft boards like USC DE Kenechi Udeze did last year. Having said that, someone will take a chance on him because the need for pass rushers is always high.

Any question or comments can be sent to rlrigmaiden@hotmail.com. Thanks for taking the time to write in.

R.L.


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