The success that Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte had as a rookie has put Tulane on the map as a destination NFL scouts want to check out for potential diamonds in the rough. And when Tulane started practice on Thursday, August 6th, the Bears, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders rode the wave down to New Orleans to observe the young talent.
The five teams that have descended upon Tulane University all could use some offensive help, and the Green Wave’s top two prospects, wide receiver Jeremy Williams and running back Andre Anderson, are amongst the top at their position.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Williams is Tulane’s No. 1 prospect and the diamond that presents the most clarity to scouts. After starting the 2008 season off strong by catching 27 passes for 437 yards and five touchdowns in the first five games, Williams broke a bone in his right hand in the fifth game of the year against Army and missed the remainder of the season. A big play threat downfield, Williams is physical off the line and runs crisp intermediate routes that make him hard to defend. He reads coverages well and does a nice job of finding openings within the defense. He doesn’t possess elite speed, but he’s deceptively quick and agile and makes a lot of plays.
Injury also cut Anderson’s season short in ’08, as he suffered a shoulder injury during the seventh game of the year against Rice. Prior to his injury, Anderson had 174 carries for 864 yards and seven touchdowns; he also caught 25 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown. At 5-foot-11, 212 pounds, Anderson resembles Forte athletically and physically, but isn’t as highly touted as Forte was when he starred at Tulane. Anderson lacks top end speed, but he’s a strong runner between the tackles and has the quickness to get on the edge. He doesn’t go down on initial contact and fights for extra yards. As a receiver, he shows patience coming out of the backfield, sets up nicely to give the quarterback a target to throw to, and quickly turns up field using his vision and cutback ability. He’s a good short yardage runner and is dangerous in the redzone.Williams is currently the ninth rated wide receiver (137th overall) and Anderson is the 20th rated running back (283rd overall) in Scout.com’s 2010 NFL Draft Rankings.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: email@example.com.