Scouting the ACC: Duke

Duke is a basketball school; always has been, always will be. Except for one brief momentum ten years ago the football program has been terrible and that is not going to change next season. Last year after scouting Duke/UNC in Chapel Hill, Blue Devil coach Carl Franks said in a post-game interview, "next year we have to teach our guys how to tackle." Not good.

Duke Blue Devils

The results in War Rooms on draft day and from rookie free agent signings have been a little better then the results on the field recently. Coming into '02 we don't see any draftable seniors, though there are a number of solid underclassmen. Quarterback D. Bryant will not be taking snaps for Duke next season as he's been declared academically ineligible and will transfer to a lesser division so as to play in ‘02. Bryant is an athletic and strong-armed passer that makes plays in or out of the pocket. His throws have speed and he can make all the passes. For all his athletic skills Bryant was never able to take his game to the next level, partly because of the porous line blocking for him and a lack of targets to get the ball to. He also makes questionable decisions in the pocket and displays less then adequate accuracy when getting the ball off. Bryant needs a lot of work but does have the underlying athletic skills to be considered a decent long-term prospect. The offense has a number of good-looking underclassmen. Chris Douglas is a quick, elusive scat-back that also has distinct possibilities as a return specialist. Receiver Reggie Love is a big-bodied pass catcher that offers the quarterback a reliable target and has shown a good degree of consistency. One that really stood out to us when scouting them in-person last year was tight end Nick Brezezinski, a terrific pass catcher that makes positive plays all over the field and offers himself as a consistent target, also giving effort blocking and has displaying a good degree of progress in that area.

Defensively senior safety Josh Krieder has solid size and an even better head for the game but is a limited athlete only good in a very small area, more so in a straight-line. His mentality and approach makes us think he could catch on as a special teams player. Speaking of special; linebacker Ryan Fowler, only a junior, is an active force that makes a lot of plays up the field while also showing the athleticism to be effective in pass coverage. Should he continue to progress he will be a relatively high (first day) pick in two years.

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