Scouting the Big 12: Missouri

Once again a competitive program, the Tigers look to improve upon their bowl appearance from last season. A program on the upswing, this is a team that will have a great chance of winning the Big 12's North division this year and a school which will impact the NFL draft for years to come.

Quarterback Brad Smith is a prospect to watch as he is an electrifying college passer with NFL potential. Tremendously gifted, he makes plays with his arm or legs whether in the pocket or on the move.  Possessing a big arm, Smith easily gets the ball downfield or zips the pass between defenders to his intended target.  Losing nothing on his throws on the move, Smith buys time for receivers scrambling in the pocket then gets rid of the ball with a flick of his wrist.  Though technically sound Smith must show more patience in the pocket as at times he is very quick to pull the ball down and take off.  He must also improve his defensive reads as well as his long accuracy.  A great athlete, Smith must become a true passer and refine all the details of his position.  Should he do this Smith will be an early pick in the 2006 draft. A pair of pass catchers to keep an eye on are receiver Thomson Omboga and tight end Victor Sesay Omboga is a good sized wide out who works well with the quarterback and lays out to make the difficult catch. Using the sidelines well, Omboga extends to make the difficult reception or comes away with the ball in a crowd.  He must develop stronger hands and run fast next February to have a shot at being drafted. On his behalf, Sesay now moves into the starting lineup after being a back-up for most of his career yet showed himself to be a solid receiver last year.  Fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage, he is a good athlete that gives top effort blocking.  Sesay needs to pull all the pieces together this season and make people take notice if he's to be drafted next April.  At the very least he is a solid developmental prospect.   Junior lineman Tony Palmer is a tenacious lineman who blocks with quickness and explosion.  Getting leverage on opponents, he works hard throughout the play and finishes off defenders.    

On defense the Tigers top prospect is tackle Atiyyah Ellison.  Weighing just over 300-pounds, Ellison gets off the ball with a nice first step and displays adequate lateral movement skills.  Very competitive, he stays with the action and works hard to make the play.  Ellison must learn to play with leverage as he gets stood up at the line of scrimmage by a single opponent. If he pulls it together as a senior, Ellison could be headed into the first day of the '05 draft.  Junior C.J. Mosley is a little more explosive then his teammate and an athletic lineman with the ability to cover a lot of area. Displaying the skill to drop into coverage on a zone blitzes, Mosley must add bulk and improve his strength to be a top prospect going into the 2005 season. Finally linebacker James Kinney is a heady defender who immediately reads and diagnoses the action.  Kinney also shows skills covering the pass in zone yet is not a prospect who plays up to his size\speed numbers, which are very good.

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