2015 draft evals: Offensive players 26-50

Evaluations of the top 150 offensive prospects for the 2015 draft continue with players 26-50.

26HILL, Austin Arizona State WRSr 06:02.1208 4.546.6 2
Coming off a 2012 campaign that saw Hill rank second in the Pac-12 with 1,364 yards on 81 catches, adding 11 touch-downs, the slot receiver was primed for a banner 2013 season, only to see it wiped out after he suffered a knee ligament tear (ACL) in spring drills and missed the entire season. He appears to be fully recovered and demonstrated in 2014 spring ball that he still has that quick initial burst to get into his routes, along with the lateral agility and balance to easily separate from cornerbacks with crisp cutting ability. He is a mismatch for smaller corners, thanks to his size, and has the valid speed to get behind second-level defenders when working inside at the slot, showing no fear going up and adjusting his body to win most jump ball battles.
27SUDFELD, Nate IndianaQB Jr06:03.5 2304.96 6.62
Now, before you start scratching your head with this selection, one thing is a given – the best pure passer in college is Sudfeld. Just ask Manning Camp coaches or the Colts’ Andrew Luck. Better yet, check the Hoosiers’ offseason, where one-time starting quarterback Cameron Coffman left IU in May to head to Wyoming and Tre Robinson did likewise, transferring out of the school in June, leaving Sudfeld as the unquestioned starter heading into 2014. In eight games as a starter, he threw for 2,523 yards and 21 touchdowns. His strong arm allows him to deliver the long ball with touch and accuracy. He has the ability to put the ball where the receiver can catch it and shows good balance throwing on the move. Do not let his 40-yard time fool you, as he has the avoidance quickness stepping up in the pocket and the strength to pull away from pass rushers when pressured.
28CANN, A.J. (OC) South Carolina OGSr 06:03.1318 5.186.6 2
Even though Cann has 37 starts to his credit at left guard, he is also being evaluated as a potential center candidate. He has excellent athletic ability, displaying good initial explosion off the line. He is nimble in the open field, as he gets out on traps and pulls in a hurry, maintaining balance throughout his stride. With his ability to engage defenders in an instant coming off the snap, he might be a better center candidate at the next level, once he gains experience. He shows impressive agility and balance on the move and has the change-of-direction flexibility to redirect and clear cut back lanes working into the second level.
29GOODLEY, Antwan Baylor WR Sr05:10.2 2214.41 6.52
Watch out for the Bears’ tandem of Bryce Petty and Goodley to continue lighting up the scoreboard in 2014. Baylor has had a receiver drafted in each of the last three years and the split end is a big, quick, strong, multipurpose veteran, used as receiver, rusher and returner. He hauled in 71 passes for 1,339 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, proving to not only be an explosive route runner (timed at 4.41 in 40-yard dash in the spring), but is perhaps the strongest receiver in college (has squatted 660 pounds, second-highest mark on team at any position), along with posting a broad jump that measured at 10 feet, 7 inches.
30HEUERMAN, Jeff Ohio State TESr 06:05.0252 4.686.4 2
Heuerman while a precise route-runner, is a work in progress as a pass catcher but is an outstanding blocker. OSU strength coach Mickey Marotti called the tight end the “ringleader of what we want in terms of work ethic,” as he is the owner of a team-best 33 bench press reps of 225 pounds and possesses the second-highest vertical leap - 36.5 inches - on the team, He should be ready for the start of the season but missed most of spring drills this year with two injuries - broken nose and mid-foot sprain. He's played in 36 games (22 starts) and enters 2014 with 35 career receptions for 585 yards and five touchdowns.
31FAJARDO, Cody NevadaQB rSr06:01.1 2174.45 6.43
The Nevada senior has outstanding foot quickness and balance driving away from center, showing impressive body control to throw on the move. He is equally effective passing off the sprint or from dropback action. He has quick wrist delivery and the body control needed so he does not have to plant to unleash the long ball. He is not the type that will get “happy feet” when the pocket is compromised but, when forced to run, he is the type that needs to be accounted for, evident by his 2,436 yards and 31 touchdowns rushing. He not only has confidence in his rifle arm, but also shows very good mechanics, as he consistently keeps receivers in their routes in the short-area passing game and can really lay the ball up and hit his targets when he has to uncork the long bombs.
32COOK, Connor Michigan State QBrJr 06:03.1218 4.896.4 3
By the second half of the 2013 season, the coaches became confident enough in Cook to let him audible more and call some of the plays coming out of the huddle. In his last seven games, he threw for 13 of his season total of 22 touchdowns. He topped 250 aerial yards in four of those seven appearances. In 925 regular-season plays, Cook had just five interceptions and two fumbles. He finished his first year as the starter with one of the best statistical seasons in school history, ranking second in the MSU single-season record book in touchdown passes (22), fourth in total offense (2,831 yards) and pass attempts (380), fifth in passing yards (2,755), and sixth in pass completions (223).
33HARDY, Justin   East Carolina WRSr 05:10.5186 4.496.4 2-3
The former walk-on is firmly established as the best receiver in school history, becoming the first Pirate to gain over 1,000 receiving yards in multiple seasons (1,105 in 2012 and 1,284 in 2013), along with setting the ECU annual mark with 114 grabs as a junior. He also averaged 11.2 yards as a punt returner. He is a big-play artist with above-average timed speed and playing quickness. He plays with good awareness and shows the ability to make adjustments while trying to avoid the jam. He might lack ideal size, but has a nice hesitation move to fool the defender and that extra gear, to go along with good hand placement, to defeat the press.
34MANNION, Sean Oregon State QBrSr 06:05.3220 4.946.4 3
Scouts liken Mannion’s tall frame and build to that of Baltimore’s Joe Flacco, but also recognize that he does not possess the rifle arm that the Ravens’ star displays. He is the type of player better in a ball-control offense in which he can move the chains, rather than rely on the big play to ignite the offense. He compensates for a lack of NFL-caliber arm strength with good accuracy, touch and anticipation. He established school and Pac-12 Conference annual records with 4,662 passing yards in 2013, setting another Oregon State mark while tying for third on the league season chart with 37 touchdown tosses. He also broke the OSU and Pac-12 record with 4,439 yards of total offense.
35GREEN-BECKHAM, Dorial OklahomaWR Jr06:05.2 2254.49 6.32
The often-troubled pass catcher is a Josh Gordon clone on the football field, but also appears to following the Browns receiver’s pattern off the field. Numerous issues led to him leaving Missouri, and he is awaiting NCAA approval to play for the Sooners this season. Whether he plays ball or not in 2014, he will likely enter the 2015 draft. He led the Tigers with 59 grabs for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, despite playing with nagging injuries. On the field, at 6-foot-5, he’s not going to “get small” and slip past the crowd, so he has to utilize his size and strength to fight for yardage. He runs hard and, once he breaks free, his burst lets him beat even the speedy defenders in attempts to take the ball to the house. He excels on crossers and sideline throws, using his strength and size to shield the ball from defenders. He has strong hands to secure the ball before running and the second gear to turn a short pass into a long gainer.
36DRANGO, Spencer (OG) BaylorOT rJr06:04.5 3155.1 6.32
The Bears are banking on their two-year starter at left tackle returning to form in 2014 after he missed the final four games of last season to undergo back surgery. If he proves that he is fully recovered, the junior will stake claim to being the elite blocker in the Big 12 ranks. For a player of his size, he does a great job of surprising the defender with his quick burst off the snap. He stays low in his pads with arms properly extended to gain advantage and comes off the line with strong leg drive. He shows good overall quick-twitch moves out of his stance, both on run and pass plays. He also possesses the nimble feet and stride to gain position and get to his reach point in pass protection.
37HOGAN, Kevin StanfordQB rJr06:03.6 2284.72 6.33
The 2015 draft will be QB-rich if all the junior passers elect to come out, as expected. The equally rich Pac-12’s hidden gem is the Cardinal passer. There’s nothing flashy to his game. Hogan compensates with his ability to manage a game and perform well within the game plan. If you look at Hogan’s statistics, he might not impress you much, but he is a true opportunist, making the most of what he has produced on the field. In 2013, he only ranked 50th in the nation in passing yardage (2,630) and 71st with an average of 187.86 aerial yards per game, but he placed second in the Pac-12 Conference and ninth in the major-college ranks by averaging 14.61 yards per pass completion.
38LANGFORD, Jeremy Michigan State TBSr 06:00.0205 4.456.3 3
There are no finer athletes at the tailback position than Florida State’s Karlos Williams and the Spartans’ Langford. Langford seems primed for a breakout campaign in the backfield, having excelled as a cornerback and wide receiver earlier in his career. As a junior, he snuck up on the league leaders, pacing MSU in rushing yards (1,422), carries (292), total touchdowns (19), rushing touchdowns (18), scoring (114 points) and all-purpose yards (1,579), as he rushed for more than 100 yards in a school-record eight consecutive games. He comes out of his stance with excellent explosion. He has that short, pitter-patter step style to slip through and avoid traffic, doing a great job of planting and redirecting on a dime. He is a quick darter in space and has good success moving the chains, whether turning the corner or running between tackles.
39DISMUKES, Leland (OG) AuburnOC Sr06:03.1 2995.27 6.32
The top senior center in college football, this zone blocker is alert to stunts, twists and blitzes. Do not let his adequate size fool you – he is a tough hombre in the Olin Kruetz (ex-Bears) mold. The 2013 Rimington Award finalist posted 124 knockdowns and led all major college centers with a 90 percent grade for blocking consistency. He plays on his feet well and has the first step needed to chip and seal the linebackers shooting the gaps. He has the upper-body strength to neutralize the bull rush and good balance along with proper hand placement, as he is quick to recoil and reset his hands. He has a very good feel for taking angles and comes off the snap low and with a wide base, doing a nice job of maintaining the rush lanes.
40GRIFFEY, Ken "Trey" ArizonaWR rSo06:01.5 1914.42 6.32
Chances are slim that Griffey joins the NFL in 2015, but he is my “radar alert” choice. Not only does he have great athletic bloodlines but, despite an unimpressive 14 catches for 170 yards and two scores last year, look for him to emerge as the Wildcats’ featured receiver at split end this season. He was the “buzz” in spring camp, giving scouts a glimpse of his exceptional speed to get downfield, showing good body flexibility, balance and body control to adjust to the ball in flight. He capitalizes on using his rare speed and timing to make proper adjustments to get into position to make the catch without having to break stride. He is effective at eluding defenders when working in space and he has the leaping ability to compete for the ball in the air.
41STANLEY, Ronnie Notre Dame OTrSo 06:05.2318 5.166.2 2
The leadership role on a very young Irish front line belongs to Stanley, who excelled at right tackle last season, actually outperforming more heralded Zach Martin. He’s likely to slide over to Martin’s left tackle slot in 2014, as he is quite effective at reaching and scooping on run blocks. He pulls with good explosion and shows great ability to land in space. He adjusts effectively on the move to hit oncoming targets and plays with good knee bend, using his wing span effectively to cover vs. edge rushers. When he seals a five-tech, he flashes the ability to cut off the back side, as he does a nice job in keeping his pads lower to generate more explosion coming off the snap.
42FOWLER, Jalston (TB) AlabamaFB rSr05:11.2 2544.88 6.23
Relegated to blocking duties, Fowler played second fiddle to T.J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy the last two years, but our scouts liken him to former Steelers great Jerome Bettis. Calling him the “potential steal” of the draft by The NFL Draft Report, Fowler has outstanding size and impressive quickness for his position. He has a thick yet athletic physique with a muscular and defined upper body. In brief chances as a ball-carrier, he shows superb agility and balance with his pick-and-slide and the change-of-direction and hip flexibility to easily redirect to the cutback lanes. He has impressive acceleration into the second level and, unlike most big backs, do not label him as a one-cut runner, as he is quite capable of eluding or running through tackles.
43ANDERSON, Dres Utah WR Sr06:00.5 1874.53 6.22-3
Anderson compensated for his team’s struggles at quarterback, somehow managing to become the seventh player in school history to gain more than 1,000 receiving yards (1,002 on 53 grabs with seven scores) last season. The lanky pass catcher seems frail-looking, especially with his lack of lower-body development, but he runs precise routes and uses his exceptional lateral agility, balance and initial burst to elude the initial tackler when working in a crowd. He’s been utilized more on screens, crossers and simple route assignments (mostly due to the state of Utah’s quarterbacks), but gets most of his success after the catch, as he easily locates the soft areas in the zone and has an array of moves and head fakes to slip past second-level defenders to generate big gains on short throws.
44MARSHALL, Keith Georgia TB Jr05:10.5 2074.47 6.22-3
On any other team, Marshall would likely be the featured ball-carrier, but with Todd Gurley occupying the first-string spot, the junior has had to pick and choose his moments. He is making strides returning to full health after missing the bulk of 2013 with a torn ACL sustained in early October vs. Tennessee. He had shown flashes of being a franchise back in early-season duties with Gurley sidelined by ankle woes. He has an explosive burst through the holes, displaying very good footwork and balance to clear out trash, as he will lower his head and drive into an opponent on contact. He has the side-step agility to pick his feet up over low tackles. He also possesses that make-people-miss lateral agility and does a very good job of sliding and picking when working in-line.
45NORWOOD, Levi Baylor WR Sr06:00.6 1964.52 6.23
While quarterback Bryce Petty has his favorite target in split end Antwan Goodley to stretch the field, Norwood is the slot receiver that handles the grunt work, pulling in 47 passes for 733 yards and eight scores while adding two more touchdowns and averaging 9.6 yards as a punt returner in 2013. He has above-average flexibility and quickness, showing a sudden burst off the snap and get into his patterns with no wasted steps. He possesses the leaping ability and acceleration to get vertical and extend for the ball in a crowd, showing true courage while sacrificing his body to compete for the jump balls. He has excellent body flexibility and hip snap, dropping his weight and keeping his pads down to accelerate instantly coming out of his cuts.
46JOHNSON, Duke MiamiTB Jr05:08.6 2064.42 6.23
Johnson’s late-season ankle injury cost the Hurricanes a chance at playing for the ACC title, as they compiled a 2-3 record in the five games he missed. He was leading the team with 920 yards and a 6.3-yard average for a ground attack that generated 198.25 rushing yards per game with Johnson in the lineup. With him sidelined, they averaged 99.6 yards in those five contests. He also averaged 28.3 yards as a kickoff returner (replacements averaged 20.5 yards). He might lack the ideal size a team might look for in a featured back, but looks are deceiving, as he has a compact, muscular frame with good chest thickness, tight waist and hips. He has the quick feet and short-area acceleration to hit the holes in an instant. The thing that keeps defenders honest is his outstanding lateral quickness, as he is masterful in ducking in and out of traffic when working in-line.
47LOCKETT, Tyler   Kansas State WRSr 05:09.5175 4.476.2 3
The KSU receiving and return records are littered with the name “Lockett.” The 2013 All-American pulled in 81 passes for 1,262 yards and 11 scores while averaging 26.5 yards on 22 kickoff returns. He boasts a career average of 31.1 yards per kickoff return with four touchdowns, along with 143 receptions in three years. His father, Kevin, K-State's all-time leading receiver, caught 217 passes for 3,032 yards while playing for Bill Snyder in the mid-1990s. His uncle, Aaron, caught 137 passes for 2,400 yards - fourth on the all-time list - and ranks second in career punt-return yardage. Tyler has a lean frame with adequate muscle definition, but is stronger than he looks. He has a little room to add more bulk to his frame but it could impact his best asset – timed speed - as he has more than enough quickness to elude in the open field, with adequate strength to fight for the ball in a crowd.
48SIMMONS, Jordan Southern California OGrSo 06:04.1335 5.086.1 2
Along with versatile blocker Max Duerk, the Trojans have the ability to develop one of the most formidable offensive lines in college football. Both will likely man the guard positions, with Simmons on the left side. The sophomore was an observer during the second half of last season and spring camp due to a knee injury, but should be fully recovered by the fall. His availability is crucial, as the front wall needs to replace three starters from last year’s unit. Before he was sidelined, Simmons showed his ability to work well in tight areas to gain position in-line. He will generally maintain position vs. stunts and the bull rush and has the hand strength and leg drive to generate leverage and push with force to drive the defender out of the rush lanes.
49VOLTZ, Dan Wisconsin OCrSo 6:02.6 313 5.446.1 2
The Badgers have always been known for their ability to develop NFL-ready, lunch pail-type drive blockers, and Voltz is the next to carry on that tradition. Last year, Wisconsin struggled early in the season, with Voltz sidelined by nagging injuries, but he returned to start six games. Averaging over 10 knockdowns per game as a starter, he helped pave the way for a record-setting season by the Wisconsin offense, which set the school mark for total offense (480.8 ypg) and the third-best mark for scoring offense (34.8 ppg). The Badgers also had the second-best rushing mark in school history (283.8 ypg) and set a program record for per-carry rushing average (6.62). He has a typical center’s build – compact, with very thick legs, big bubble, big and strong hands, barrel chest, wide hips, but shorter-than-ideal arm length. He has a good short-area burst out of his stance and is active with his hands in attempts to lock on and sustain. He does not have the timed speed or explosion to consistently get into the second level, making him adequate on sweeps and pulls, but has a valid short-area power step that lets him get movement off the snap.
50GRASU, Hroniss (OG) OregonOC rSr06:03.2 2954.96 6.12-3
Grasu reminds me of an old TV game show, so I ask him this question – will the real Hroniss Grasu please stand up. Hailed as the Pac-12 Conference’s elite drive blocker, he lacks ideal upper-body strength to be a mauler, but is a solid finesse-type blocker with the balance and body control to mirror most in-line movement. He is extremely quick off the rise to get into his man, showing good hand placement (lacks punch, though). He also demonstrates good flexibility, balance, and body control and gets his hips turned around properly to wall off defenders, as he is one of the best at his position when asked to pull and trap. Still, without dominant anchor power in pass protection, he can be pushed back at the point of attack vs. a strong bull rush. He also needs to do a better job of sustaining his blocks working in space. When his base narrows, he fails to clear his feet, causing defenders to slip off some hits.

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