Scouting the SEC: Kentucky

It's been a slow and painful rise back to competitiveness after the quick fall from grace experienced by Kentucky. And though the program occasionally puts prospects into the top end of the NFL draft, they have recently ended up with mediocre results, just like the football team. This season the Wildcats barely have a handful of NFL-prospects.

Shane Boyd moves into the starting position at quarterback and won't have to look over his shoulder anymore.  An athletic prospect with a solid build, Boyd has an NFL-arm and easily gets the pass downfield with a flick of his wrist.  Agile, he gets outside the pocket to make the pass on the move or picks up positive yardage carrying the ball.  Boyd even displays solid hands when he was used at receiver last year.  And while his physical skills stand out Boyd is unrefined in almost all his techniques.  His set up is poor, he stares down targets from the get-go and the accuracy of his passes is barely marginal.  A project in the works, Boyd will most likely be brought into a camp next summer and then tried at several positions including quarterback, receiver and maybe even linebacker.  Receiver Tommy Cook is a reliable pass catcher who gets little notice.  Fluid releasing off the line, he is a solid route runner that gets separation from opponents and comes away with the difficult catch in a crowd.  Cook also displays toughness blocking but has only marginal size\speed numbers which will push him down draft boards.  Guard Matt Huff is a quick blocker who plays with excellent lean and displays a good feel for the position.  Lacking adjustment he's a small area blocker with just marginal playing strength.

Kentucky has put several highly touted defensive lineman into the NFL draft recently and the next one could be tackle Vincent Burns.  An explosive lineman, Burns quickly gets off the snap with a good first step, plays low with leverage and displays a fluid change of direction chasing the play laterally.  Giving top effort, he works to get involved in the action and displays speed off the edge or out to the sidelines.  Measuring just over 6-feet tall, Burns cannot get off blocks once engaged at the point of attack and is handled by opponents.  A prospect that will fall out of the draft's first day, he has definite possibilities as a backup in a three-technique role.  Ellery Moore also plays on the line and is another hard working defender who displays both quickness and explosion as well as a burst of speed chasing around the field.  Unlike his higher-rated teammate, Moore is a straight-line player with marginal strength at the point of attack as well as upside for the next level.  Safety Mike Williams is an intelligent defensive back who diagnoses the action but has only marginal skills in pass coverage.  Undersized with poor timed speed, Williams could find a home as a teams dime back.  Finally keep an eye on junior cornerback and Antoine Huffman, a developing prospect with solid cover skills.


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