Tony Hollings/Georgia Tech/RB/5-10, 225, 4.51- A former back-up defensive back and special teams player, Hollings made an immediate impact at running back last season. In the only four games Hollings rushed for 633 yards on 92 carries; an average of 6.9 yards per handoff and 158 yards per contest. Unfortunately, his promising campaign was cut short after tearing a ligament in his right knee late in the BYU game. Showing terrific interior running skills with the ability to get around tackle, Hollings has the size/speed numbers and athletic potential that makes scouts drool and played to them in 2002. However, there are a few problems.
Hollings' numbers came against Vanderbilt (worst rushing defense in the SEC), Clemson, (4th worst in the ACC), BYU (2nd worst in the Mountain West) and UConn (Independent who gave up 156 yards rushing per game). While you cannot discount his achievements, it also seems that Hollings was an opportunist against terrible defenses. Teams are also considering the non-existent nature of his receiving skills.
However, in the end there are two major factors bothering people we spoke with, which may push Hollings deep in tomorrow's draft:
1. Limited experience at running back: Many are not just sure whether Hollings' performance the first four games of last season were an aberration or the real deal, and there is no way to tell at this point.
2. Attention to detail: The fact is Hollings was a non-factor in the program for two seasons before taking off last year. What bothers many, and what will weigh heavily in the decision, was his inability to stay academically eligible, (aka, failed out of school) even though his season was over before the month of September ended.
Twenty teams sent representatives to Hollings' workout two weeks ago and it
appears many view him as a classic boom or bust type prospect. He could be
headed to the late or possibly middle rounds in today's draft.
Noah Happe/Oregon State/DE/6-4.5, 230, 4.9- We highlighted Happe, another prospect declared academically ineligible for the upcoming season, during our Oregon State preview in June. A tall, slender athlete, Happe displayed skills rushing the passer and to his credit gives good effort. Yet when looking at him as a pro prospect he is your proto-typical ‘tweener -- small for an end and slow for a linebacker. Happe does have experience as both a linebacker and long snapper for the Beavers but is unlikely to be selected and he needs a lot of physical development.
Earl Cochran/ Alabama State/DE/6-4, 250, 4.75- Cochran is a player getting a lot of ink the past few weeks as solid workouts have put him in good light. A down lineman at Alabama State, Cochran used his terrific athleticism to exploit lesser opponents and made many plays behind the line of scrimmage. His performances in the Magic City Classic against Alabama A&M stood out to us the past few seasons. Like Happe, Cochran is a ‘tweener, though he seems further along and has more size and size potential. With a premium put on defenders that can make plays up the field, several we've talked with said they would consider using a late-round pick for Cochran's services.
Brad Pyatt/Northern Colorado/WR/5-11, 200, 4.35- Viewing him on film Pyatt reminds us of recent St Louis Rams draft pick Kevin Curtis in size, stature and style. Originally signing with the University of Kentucky, Pyatt has off-the-field issues, which dogged him in college and hampered his development. He will not be drafted and character questions may keep teams from even signing him after the event.
Donovan Morgan/UL-Lafayette/WR/6-4, 195, 4.55- A good-sized wideout that bounced around and has not seen much playing action. We were able to go back and revisit tape from the 2001 season in which Morgan displayed solid natural receiving skills the few times he was used as part of the passing offense. May be signed after the draft but more than likely will still be looking for a team to bring him in come September.
Jason Cedeno/x-Northeastern State/DL/6-4, 300, 5.20- Size/speed prospect with minimal football experience.