'06 NFL Draft Watch: Toledo

The Rockets come off a conference championship yet a bad loss in the post season. Hoping to once again lead the league's Western division, the team's top NFL prospects are all of the mid-to-late round variety.

Scouting the MAC: Toledo

Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski is a heady passer best throwing the ball in the short or intermediate field. A tough pocket passer with good intangibles, Gradkowski senses the rush and moves around to find the open receiver. Natural looking off the safety, he displays a sense of timing and hits receivers as they leave breaks. Lacking top size and stature, Gradkowski cannot drive the pass downfield and is limited in his abilities on the move. Gradkowski could develop into a backup for a West Coast offense. The team welcomes the return of tight end Andrew Clarke, a former All-Conference selection who sat out last year with the hip injury. A nice sized blocker, Clarke is also a natural receiver and potential number two player at his position. Running back Trinity Dawson is a patient ball carrier who waits for blocks to develop and finds the running lanes. A scrappy runner, he's resilient and works hard yet lacks a burst of speed. Offensive guard Chris Wakeman is sized well, possessing growth potential and should be watched.

On defense the talent to watch is in the back seven. Anthony Jordan is a disciplined linebacker who gets depth on pass drops and shows solid instincts in his all-around game. Flying around the football, Jordan lacks lateral speed and is best in the box. David Thomas does a terrific job diagnosing the action and displays quickness up the field filling gaps in run defense from his linebacker spot. Lacking both range and speed, he is best playing downhill and is not a sudden defender. Safety Keon Jackson is a disciplined player who displays skills in zone. Possessing a great burst of closing speed Jackson gets vertical to defend the throw and does not make mental errors. Corner Antonio Malone is potentially the top athlete on defense and a prospect with outstanding size\speed numbers. That said, he must pick up all facets of his game and learn to become a football player rather than just a good athlete who looks fast on the field.

Toledo Prospect List

 Name Pos Yr #
Andrew Clarke TE 6Sr 89
Trinity Dawson RB 5Sr 38
Bruce Gradkowski QB 5Sr 5
Keon Jackson S 5Sr 6
Anthony Jordan ILB 4Sr 40
Antonio Malone CB 4Sr 30
David Thomas ILB 5Sr 8
Chris Wakeman G 5Sr 76


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