'06 NFL Draft Watch: Maryland

After several successful campaigns at the start of his tenure, Ralph Friedgen and his Maryland team took a step back last year, not making it into the post season. While questions still abound the Terps have plenty of talent on the roster and for the second consecutive year, a Terp linebacker will be selected towards the top part of the draft. 

Scouting the ACC: Maryland 

Offensively most of the senior talent comes in the form of free agent prospects.  Josh Allen is a patient ball carrier that waits for blocks to develop and shows a burst through the hole.  Finding the running lanes, he has the agility to get around tackle and is a solid pass catcher.  Lacking breakaway speed and not a strong runner, Allen comes off a torn knee ligament and is expected to sit out the year.  Senior tight end Derek Miller is an efficient prospect that does a solid job catching the ball and blocking.  Not standing out in any aspect of the game, he is practice squad material.  Junior Vernon Davis plays the same position and is a better pass catcher yet small and projects to H-back at the next level.  Senior receiver Derrick Fenner is a hard working pass catcher and instinctive player.  Coming back to the ball out of breaks, Fenner adjusts well to the errant pass but is not a heavy duty receiver who can take a pounding and hold onto the ball.  Guard Russell Bonham is a strong blocker that attacks assignments.  Effectively walling defenders from the action, Bonham lacks adjustment, skill in motion and is best in a small area.  Stephon Heyer is the top prospect on offense and the big tackle is a naturally strong lineman who flashes a nasty attitude.  Getting movement from run blocks, he uses angles and body positioning well.  A knee injury will put Heyer on the sidelines all year and he hopes to be back at full strength in 2006.  

Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson looks like he's headed into the top 60 selections next April.  Displaying an outstanding head for the ball, Jackson is an instinctive defender who anticipates the action and stays with the play.  Possessing excellent range, Jackson gets depth on pass drops and scrapes well in the box defending the run.  Undersized, he gets caught in the trash moving laterally and has tackles broken.  Jackson can be used at a variety of linebacker positions in several different NFL schemes.  William Kershaw is a late round prospect at the weak side linebacker position while Gerrick McPhearson is an adequately sized cornerback who will also get looks in the late frames. 

Maryland Prospect List

Name Pos # Yr
Josh Allen RB 29 4Sr
Russell Bonham G 77 5Sr
Vernon Davis TE 18 4Jr
Derrick Fenner WR 83 5Sr
Stephon Heyer T 70 4Sr
David Holloway OLB 54 4Jr
D'Qwell Jackson ILB 69 4Sr
William Kershaw OLB 48 4Sr
Gerrick McPhearson CB 38 5Sr
Derek Miller TE 84 5Sr

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