'06 NFL Draft Watch: Louisville

After losing a single game last season and winning eleven, Louisville now jumps into the Big East. Their best players from last year on both sides of the ball presently reside on NFL rosters yet there is still plenty of talent scouts are watching.

Even with the early defection of Eric Shelton into the NFL, Louisville possesses an equally lethal in running back Michael Bush. Quite similar to the departed Shelton, the junior ball carrier is a great combination of size and speed. A terrific athlete, Bush breaks several tackles during a single hand-off and picks up a lot of yardage off initial contact. Very aggressive, Bush does not go down without a fight. Also possessing agility and speed around tackle, he weaves through the traffic, finding the open spot in the defense and keeps the play alive. Possessing surprisingly good footwork in a small area, Bush is also a strong blocker in pass protection. Neither smooth nor elusive, he lacks the great instinct and does too much thinking when trying to find open lanes. Now the team's feature back ,Bush has the potential to be an early selection in the NFL draft yet needs to pull all the pieces together over the next two seasons. Louisville possesses four NFL prospects on the offensive line starting with left tackle Travis Leffew. An athletic blocker who plays with good intelligence, Leffew effectively uses angles and displays explosion in all facets of his game. Staying square and fighting hard throughout the action, Leffew is a solid position blocker that walls opponents from the action. Not dominant, he lacks the powerful base, gets minimal movement from run blocks and also does not display range or great feet in pass protection. Leffew could end up at offensive guard and is a solid middle round choice. Jason Spitz is an explosive blocker who spent most of his career at guard but now moves to center for his senior campaign. Spitz displays skill in motion, plays with a nasty attitude and turns opponents off the ball. Getting movement from run blocks, he also displays ability in space. Spitz stands to improve his playing strength but is a solid prospect for the next level and one of the more underrated linemen in the country. A good senior campaign could push him into the draft's first day. Senior strong tackle Jeremy Darveau is a small area blocker that controls defenders once engaged at the point of attack. A strong run blocker, he buries opponents into the ground yet is a marginal athlete with minimal upside for the next level. Guard Kurt Quarterman plays with a nasty attitude and is another strong lineman best in a small area. Possessing outstanding size, Quarterman is a solid strong side blocker to keep an eye on for the future. The team possesses three senior receivers that will all get looks by NFL scouts. Joshua Tinch is a king sized, possession receiver who must become more productive. Montrell Jones is a sure handed wide out that also does a solid job returning punts. Broderick Clark offers deceptive speed with the ability to make big plays from the line of scrimmage.

Defensively the team was gutted by graduation. Montavious Stanley is a quick defensive tackle who plays with leverage and works hard throughout the action. Holding the point, he displays strength in his lower body but is a straight line defender who lacks the quick change of direction and lateral movement skills. Outside linebacker Brandon Johnson is a solid athlete with the ability to make plays in any direction of the field. Fast off the edge on the blitz, Johnson is also effective in pursuit and gets depth on drops. Not overly instinctive, he is indecisive locating the ball.


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