Scouting the ACC: North Carolina

There have been some hard times in Chapel Hill and though the situation with the basketball team may be resolved that is not the case for the pigskin-players. This program once put quality players into the first round, usually in the top 15 selections, but we don't see anything like that happening in 2004.

Offensively the Heels have a pair of prospects at quarterback. CJ Stephens excels in the short passing game but lacks the big arm and pocket stature. Darian Durant is a tremendous athlete with a great arm and compact build. He'll fling the ball downfield with ease yet at the same time step around defenders picking up yardage with his legs or get to the outside, making passes on the move. He is shorter then what you want in your signal caller but if he fine tunes his game and improves his accuracy, he is a legitimate quarterback prospect.

Jeb Terry is a durable and fundamentally sound lineman but a limited athlete who lacks the great upside. Though efficient, Terry does not dominate from his guard position and looks best suited as a back-up. One youngster to keep an eye on is fullback Madison Hedgecock. At one time we were high on Andre Williams, a big interior runner. Unfortunately the power runner had his football career cut short by a recurring back injury.

Defensively everyone seems to love Dexter Reid, a hard-hitting safety that seeks out physical contact and works to intimidate opponents. Reid's been on the radar screen since he was a freshman yet made the right decision returning to school for his senior campaign after the 2003 season. While we like Reid we think he's a tad overrated; his pass cover skills are mediocre and his first move is usually up the field in run defense, which causes him to get caught out of position against the pass. He's perfectly suited for strong-safety and should be a top 60 pick.

Defensive tackle Donti Coats quickly gets off the ball with a nice first step but is not strong or a inside player who gets a lot of push up the field. Cornerback Michael Waddell returned to UNC after regaining a fifth year of eligibility and though he's played well for the Tar Heels, has only average potential for the next level.

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