'06 NFL Draft Watch: Utah

After a season in which the team went undefeated and saw their junior quarterback selected as the first player in the NFL draft, Utah has raised the bar for seasons to come. The graduation and defection of their top talent to the NFL, coupled with the loss of a terrific coach, could make things difficult this season. At best Utah may have a few players selected in the draft's middle rounds.

Scouting the M-West:  Utah

On offense most of the talent is of the free agent or late round variety.  Receiver John Madsen is a big target who physically beats down opponents to make the reception.  Using his large frame to shield away opponents and protect the pass, Madsen also effectively blocks downfield.  Lacking overall quickness and speed, he has shown himself to be marginal prospect for the next level, though that could change as he now moves into the starting line-up.  Center Jesse Boone is a leverage lineman who quickly gets off the snap and explodes into blocks.  Effectively walling defenders from the action with body positioning, Boone lacks adjustment, ability in space and does not finish blocks.  Guard David Dirkmaat is a heads-up lineman who plays with a nasty attitude.  Getting push at the point of attack, he's a marginal athlete exploited by nimble defenders.  Experienced at both the tackle and guard positions, Dirkmaat has a slight chance to be a utility lineman at the next level. Quinton Ganther is a versatile ball handler with a chance to become a third-down back at the next level.

Defensine tackle Steve Fifita is a leverage lineman who plays with balance and displays skills moving laterally. Lacking functional strength at the point of attack, Fifita is handled at the point by single opponent.  Marquess Ledbetter is an undersized pass rusher who lines up in a three-point stance.  Playing with outstanding balance, body control and agility, Ledbetter quickly changes direction or easily alters his angle of attack to make plays  laterally.  Controlled by single blocker, he display skills in space and may find a home as a backup outside linebacker in a 34 defense at the next level.  Spencer Toone is a solid linebacker who scrapes laterally in the box defending the run while also getting depth on drops in coverage.  Displaying good speed to the flanks, Toone makes a lot of plays yet is undersized and not efficient.

Utah Prospect List

Name Pos # Yr
Jesse Boone C 79 5Sr
David Dirkmaat G 74 5Sr
Steve Fifita DT 94 5Sr
Quinton Ganther RB 13 5Sr
Marquess Ledbetter DE 55 5Sr
John Madsen WR 23 5Sr
Spencer Toone OLB 9 5Sr

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