Scouting the Pac 10: Arizona

After several futile seasons under John Makovic, Arizona displayed signs of life last season with coach Mike Stoops. A victory in the seasons final game over rival Arizona State gave hope, though this team is still a good distance from competing in the post-season. Even with that Arizona continues to place several productive players into the NFL draft and next April will be no different.

The Wildcats top pro-prospect and potentially the best to come out of this program in a long while is running back Mike Bell. A nice sized ball carrier, Bell is a patient runner that waits for blocks to develop and displays outstanding running vision. Quick footed, he is an elusive runner that weaves through the traffic and keeps his feet moving up the field. Very shifty, Bell displays solid speed, open field running skills and somewhat of a slashing style.  He is not a heavy-duty back who likes to take a constant pounding on the inside. A high character prospect, Bell is a first day selection next April and could move up charts with a big senior season. Junior receiver Mike Jefferson is a big play wide out that possesses a solid burst of speed and does a nice job getting vertical to make the deep reception in stride. Possessing outstanding timing, Jefferson has top eye\hand coordination as well at strong hands. Consistently coming up with the important catch during the game's critical moments, Jefferson has a bright future in the NFL if he takes his game to the next level and plays hard for 60-minutes. Syndric Steptoe is another wide out who flashes big play ability yet is significantly undersized and likely a fifth receiver in the NFL. Senior center Kili Lefotu is a versatile offensive lineman who spent extended time at guard. A marginal athlete, he offers the versatility to backup at the next level.

Safety Darrell Brooks is a solid run defender who displays good awareness in pass coverage. Immediately locating the ball in the air, Brooks nicely anticipates pass defenses and displays a good move on the ball. Flashing on the scene, he does a solid job diagnosing the action and quickly getting to the ball carrier. Not strong at the point, Brooks has tackles broken and occasionally takes poor angles to play. Brooks possesses solid size as well as speed for the next level and is a solid middle round prospect who could sneak into the late part of day one in ‘06. Teammate Lamon Means displays flashes but needs to improve the consistency of his game before being a legitimate prospect for the next level. Defensive end Marcus Smith is an undersized pass rusher who shows speed off the edge but struggles in run defense.

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