Arizona State Sun Devils
ASU offered several top-flight offensive line prospects recently, most notably Levi Jones last April and Marvel Smith in '00. The next to carry that mantle could well be junior guard Regis Crawford, an athletic and fundamentally sound blocker effective in pass protection but also showing dominance opening holes for the running game. Crawford's ability to cover a lot of ground, block on the second level and upside potential makes us like this kid a lot. Another best when blocking is tight end Mike Pinkard. An effective run blocker, Pinkard's forte is pass protection and he does a great job either next to the right tackle or manning his quarterback's blind side. Pinkard displays a good degree of athleticism, which should translate over to his receiving skills but that is not the case. Rarely involved in the passing game, when the ball is eventually tossed in Pinkard's direction it is not always caught, as it should be. Wide out Shaun McDonald is a legitimate deep threat with terrific natural pass catching skills. What stands out about McDonald's game is the ability to consistently get separation down the field and into the end zone. McDonald has a slight build and a lot of difficulty battling to make the tough catch against opponents. He's been used slightly as a return specialist in the past but should McDonald be given the opportunity to prove his skills in that area as a senior and succeeds, a lot of NFL teams will look to him in the fourth round as a slot receiver/return specialist.
On the defensive side of the ball the number one prospect is third-year junior Terrell Suggs. A terrific pass rusher that makes plays in every single area of the field, Suggs has the versatility to stop the ball carrier in the backfield, out to the flanks or even off the line of scrimmage when dropped into pass coverage. Suggs can also line up in a three-point stance or stand up over tackle effectively. He is not big, bulky and rather easily handled at the point of attack. At 6-2/235 pounds it is not at all inconceivable Suggs will be moved to outside linebacker in the mold of a Chris Slade, and will be a top 45 choice over the next year or two. Solomon Bates is an explosive hitter that can be used at either inside or outside linebacker and displays great pursuit skills with decent speed. Bates must become more cognizant in pass defense and make plays when the ball is in the air rather than "reacting after the fact" which slows his arrival to the play. Height and size may also be an issue with Bates and push him deeper into the draft then his grades would warrant. Safety Alfred Williams has decent size and athleticism but must start to pull it together as a senior and become more of a force.