Scouting the Pac 10: Oregon State

After beating Notre Dame in a bowl game last season, Oregon State now finds they must replace several key ingredients to have a successful campaign in '06. The roster is full of solid middle round selections and also includes an outstanding junior who is one of the top tight ends in the nation as well as another terrific pass catcher from the senior ranks.

Tight end Joe Newton is an outstanding athlete who makes a lot of plays down the field as a receiver and at the same time is also effective as an in-line blocker.  Fluid releasing off the snap of the ball, Newton is quick to top speed, runs well laterally and makes the difficult reception with defenders draped on him.  Adjusting nicely to the errant throw, he makes acrobatic, one-handed receptions as consistently as he'll make the easy catch.  Sized well, Newton shields opponents away with his frame and makes a lot of plays during the games critical moments.  Blocking with forward lean, he also displays strength at the point of attack with the ability to anchor in pass protection.  Needing to develop more of a nasty attitude, Newton must learn to finish blocks but is one of the more complete tight ends in the nation and will be a top 60 pick once he enters the draft.  In similar fashion receiver Mike Hass is a complete player with natural receiving skills.  A prospect with terrific intelligence and awareness, Haas consistently comes back to the ball making himself an available target and always finds the free space on the field.  Easily making the reception running full speed down the flanks, he displays a tremendous sense of timing, anticipation and at the same time fearlessly goes over the middle of the field to make the tough catch.  Consistently getting separation from opponents, Haas stays low exiting breaks and is a solid route runner.  Undersized, he is slowed by jams at the point of attack and lacks the true speed or ability to stretch the field.  Haas has all the makings of an exceptional number two wide out at the next level and nicely fits into the middle part of next April's first day.  Tackle Adam Koets is a developing lineman as is guard Roy Schuening.  Both are solid blockers who offer good upside for the next level and are players that must be watched.  

Defensively the team possesses a pair of tackles that look as though they will be solid late round selections.  Henry Anderson is an explosive lineman who quickly gets off the snap with a terrific first step.  Looking rather athletic, he moves well, keeps his pads low to the ground and can twist or stunt.  Displaying the ability to slide off blocks laterally, Anderson is explosive in all actions yet lacks strength at the point of attack and will be handled by a single blocker.  Anderson looks like a good fit for a team which rotates lineman up front.  One of the more unheralded players and someone who must be watched is Alvin Smith.  A short, wide bodied lineman who plays with terrific leverage, Smith is quick off the snap and gets underneath opponents, displaying power in his lower body.  Showing outstanding balance, he works his hands throughout the action and possesses a variety of moves to get off blocks. Needing to improve his upper body playing strength, Smith must beat opponents with his first move as he does have difficulty getting off blocks.  A backup most of last year, Smith has the abilities to make a big move up draft boards with a solid senior campaign.  Finally middle linebacker Trent Bray is a stout run defender with a slight chance to slide into the drafts late rounds.

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