Scouting the Big 12: Kansas State

A consistently competitive program, the Wildcats seem to get close every year yet cannot make the final move over the hump. Likewise, Kansas State usually places a good amount of talent into the drafts the first day annually yet rarely has an early selection during the initial frame. That trend will continue this year.

The talk the town this season will center around running back Darren Sproles.  A small yet explosive ball carrier, Sproles is a game impacting player on the college level limited only by size.  He runs with great speed, quickness and instinct.  Seeing the field Sproles sets up blocks, immediately cuts back to avoid piles or defenders and has an outstanding burst in the open field.  His compact and muscular build makes it tough for defenders to knock him off his feet and Sproles works very hard to finish runs.  Deceptively strong in his lower body, he displays the ability to break tackles and carry defenders for the extra yardage.  Also aggressive, Sproles uses an effective straight arm and keeps driving up the field.  Yet the fact remains he measures under 5-feet 6-inches and will be downgraded accordingly in next April's draft.  If Jon Doty can take his game to the next level the large tackle could well be the first offensive player from Kansas State to be selected in 2005. A big lineman and solid athlete, Doty breaks down well, blocks with leverage and is effective on the line of scrimmage or out on the second level.  Powerful at the point, he jolts opponents with good arm punch and stays with the play, working to finish blocks. Doty lacks footwork in space and is not light on his feet yet should get better the more repetition the receives this season.  Right tackle Jeromey Clary is also a big bodied lineman and a patient blocker who works to take defenders out of the action.  Quick off the snap, he plays with leverage and is a solid position blocker best in a small area.  Only a junior, Clary offers a lot of upside for the next level.   Tight end Brian Casey is a good blocker that opens holes for the running game while also displaying good footwork in pass protection.  While he possesses adequate hands he lacks the speed to be anything other than a third tight end and presently sits as a late round pick.

Kansas State has always offered the NFL top rated defensive backs and Cedric Williams is next on that list.  Possessing outstanding cornerback speed, Williams easily runs anywhere on the field with opponents and displays good timing as well adjustment defending the throw.  He easily contorts in midair to bat away the ball and is fluid in all his movements.  Weighing barely 170-pounds, Williams is not a physical defensive back in any aspect.  He would be best in a cover-two or man-off scheme where his speed and explosion could be used to a maximum.  Defensive tackle Jermaine Berry is one to watch this season.  Explosive off the snap, Berry plays with excellent balance, quickness and goes hard into the whistle blows.  Getting exceptional leverage on opponents, he is tough to move off the point and holds his ground against blocks.  Berry is also fast laterally and displays the ability to make plays out to the flanks.  Just a hair over 5-feet and 9-inches tall, he plays better than he looks and is a perfect fit as a three technique lineman.


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