Scouting the ACC: Maryland

‘Fridge Feeva has taken firm hold in College Park and following a BCS performance in 2001, the program continued with a solid campaign and Peach Bowl victory last season. The talent coming out of this program is also better in both quality and quantity.

For the most part Terp offensive linemen are big, slug-it-out maulers limited to confined quarters. That's the situation with Eric Dumas, a fine athlete at right tackle and a big blocker with room to grow. Dumas could move up draft boards with a solid senior campaign in '03, but must first improve all aspects of his game.

In a similar fashion guard Lamar Bryant works to destroy defenders on the inside, and usually does so when he gets a hand on opponents, but is limited both athletically and potentially. The top player up front is CJ Brooks. A tremendous athlete, Brooks has been used at both left tackle and left guard, displaying the feet and agility to block the blind side or take linebackers out on the second level. Yet at the same time Brooks has the strength to open holes for the running game. He has unlimited upside and it is amazing more don't speak openly about this versatile blocker. Brooks does need to improve his wherewithal and stands to be a little quicker in the head but must be charted.

Bruce Perry returns to full strength after a groin-injury shelved him most of 2002. Perry has the quickness to dodge opponents on the inside or speed to beat them around tackle. His hands are also reliable and they better be since Perry does not have the size to be an every down runner but is better suited as a third down back. Jeff Dugan is one of the more complete tight ends around and blocks with solid fundamentals, holding his own in one-on-one situations, yet also sneaks it over the middle to make the clutch catch. Pre-draft 40-times will dictate his ultimate draft position. Coming out of 2001 we had high hopes for Jafar Williams as the tall, sure handed receiver broke contests wide open down the field yet also made the important reception on third down. Coming off a terrible junior campaign last year Williams now sits second on the depth chart but could jump back into the mix with a big 2003.

Defensively, Randy Starks takes over where EJ Henderson left off in the eyes of NFL scouts. The young tackle clogs the middle of the line, commanding double teams to prevent him from collapsing the pocket and does a great job stuffing the run. He's better in a straight-line but has a good amount of growth potential which, if reached, will only enhance his draft rankings. C.J. Feldheim is a quick, complimentary lineman on the inside but more than likely a camp player. Outside linebacker Leon Joe plays an explosive brand of football, arriving on the scene and devastating opponents with crunching hits. While his pass cover skills are adequate on the college level it is one area he must improve since the only linebacker position he may be able to handle in the NFL would be on the weak-side.

Maryland has a talented group of secondary prospects starting with Curome Cox, a speedy, shut down cover with a great move on the ball and closing burst. Cox covers opponents like a blanket and nary loses an assignment. He could develop into a starter at the next level. Madieu Williams is a bit small for free safety and looks almost frail against the run but has great pass cover skills which would enable him to be used over the slot receiver in the NFL or roam center field in nickel coverage. Dominique Foxworth flashes cover skills on occasion but the corner must considerably improve his consistency to fit into the late rounds.

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