Scouting the Big 12: Nebraska

Last season was a very tough and unusual year for the Cornhuskers and their fans as for the first time in a while the team made only a minor bowl appearance. The program had just four players selected in last April's draft with only a single prospect chosen during the first day. Unfortunately, 2004 does not look much better.

As we're accustomed too, the best Husker prospects on offense reside up front. Richie Incognito is an explosive blocker who plays with great tenacity and a nasty attitude, manning the blind side tackle spot for NU. His feet are only passable and that fact, combined with brute strength, makes us feel he's best inside at guard. Junior Mike Erickson is an underclassman we really like; he's quick, strong and totally dominant. Erickson does a solid job in space or on the second level and is a big lineman with size potential. It all adds up to a top prospect for the future. Dan Vili Waldrop is a bit inconsistent; at times he's explosive and displays skills blocking on the second level but for the most part, seems immobile and rather unathletic. Speaking of explosion, lead blocker Judd Davies displays a lot at fullback. Davies is quick off the snap and has above average speed but must improve his overall strength, as he cannot finish off defenders.

The Black Shirts are strong up front defensively, yet we see no outstanding prospects on this side of the ball. Patrick Kabongo literally looks like a man amongst boys at tackle and plays like it on occasion, but for the most part is an undeveloped football player that needs a lot of work. With a quick first step, tackle Ryon Bingham beats opponents off the ball but lacks size and gets handled at the point. End Trevor Johnson is an athletic edge rusher with some ability to drop off the line but is a step below many recent undersized pass rushers coming from this program. After a pair of major knee surgeries, Jason Lohr comes back for a sixth season and has a lot of obstacles to overcome before being considered a draftable prospect. Whatever the end result, he must be applauded for his stick-to-itiveness. Inside linebacker Barrett Ruud is a two down defender and limited athlete, while junior college transfer Demorrio Williams lit it up on the outside last season but is better sized for safety.

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