NFL Draft '07: Scouting Texas

Just six months after winning the national championship the cupboard is not bare for the Texas Longhorns. While they will obviously miss the electrifying skills of quarterback Vince Young the roster is stocked with talent which will impact next April's draft.

Tackle Justin Blalock gave serious thought to entering last April's draft, only deciding to remain with Texas at the last minute. A powerful blocker on the right side, Blalock has no problem controlling defenders at the point of attack, getting movement from run blocks and playing with solid fundamentals. While teams may be turned off by his lack of height, Blalock easily projects as a first round choice next April. Guard Kasey Studdard is another mauler upfront who gets good push at the point of attack. Turning defenders off the line he also anchors in pass protection and works hard throughout the play. A marginal athlete, Studdard is best in a small area and has difficulty blocking in motion. Center Lyle Sendlein plays with a nasty attitude and a good degree of intelligence. Fighting with his hands throughout the action Sendlein struggles in space and rarely gets movement in the middle of the line. He is likely a late round pick. The skill positions offer some up and coming prospects starting with receiver Limas Sweed. A king sized pass catcher, Sweed consistently extends his hands, snatching the ball from the air and out muscling opponents to make the reception. Offering the quarterback a huge target Sweed gets vertical and boxes out defenders with his frame. He is the prototypical possession receiver and will be a top 60-pick in the future. Billy Pittman is a speedy receiver who stretches defenses and can run to the long ball. A solid pass catcher, Pittman is also top-60 material in the future. Running back Selvin Young is a terrific ball carrier that has done well as a situational player for Texas. An instinctive back who quickly finds the open seams in the defense, Young displays a degree of elusiveness, following blocks anywhere on the field and tries to pick up as much yardage as possible. Due to the depth of talent in the Longhorn backfield, Young's carries will be limited next year but he is a solid prospect who could turn into a find during the middle rounds.

Defensively the team offers tremendous talent on the line and in the secondary. Junior Frank Okam is a forceful tackle who stuffs the run or pushes the pocket on the inside. Best in a straight-line, Okam lacks top pass rush moves but could break into next April's first round with a big junior campaign. Tim Crowder is a nice sized pass rusher who makes a lot of athletic plays on the field. Fast off the edge, Crowder quickly changes direction or immediately alters his angle of attack making plays up and down the line of scrimmage. A liability against the run Crowder must improve his overall playing strength and add bulk to his frame. Brian Robinson has a similar build but uses outstanding techniques and an array of moves to overcome his lack of bulk. Another speedy edge rusher effective in pursuit Robinson projects as a backup for a conventional defense in the NFL. The secondary has a trio of players to watch. Tarell Brown is a nice sized cornerback who can make a big move up draft boards with a solid senior campaign. Easily running downfield with opponents, Brown displays good footwork in all directions and quickly locates the ball in the air. Brown was as good if not better than Cedric Griffen last season, drafted in the second round by the Minnesota Vikings in April. Safety Michael Griffin, no relation, is an athletic safety who displays great sideline to sideline range in centerfield. Effective when the action is in front of him, Griffin displays toughness up the field defending the run. Needing to improve his pass cover skills, Griffin must become more decisive in coverage. Finally Aaron Ross should see his playing time increase significantly this season and the cornerback has an opportunity to improve his draft ranking. Sized well, Ross is an excellent zone cover cornerback who was also a first-team All-Conference punt returner last year.

Texas Prospect List

Full Name Pos Year Number
Justin Blalock T 5Sr 63
Tarell Brown CB 4Sr 5
Tim Crowder DE 4Sr 80
Michael Griffin S 4Sr 27
Frank Okam DT 3Jr 97
Billy Pittman WR 4Jr 5
Brian Robinson DE 5Sr 39
Aaron Ross CB 4Sr 31
Lyle Sendlein C 5Sr 62
Kasey Studdard G 5Sr 64
Limas Sweed WR 4Jr 93
Selvin Young RB 5Sr 22

TOP NFL PROSPECTS OF THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE


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