Anonymous Scouts speak out Part 4
Jonny : 4/21/2009 11:45 pm
Darryl Richard, DT, Georgia Tech - Brilliant student and campus leader with a 37 on the Wonderlic. Also plays an intelligent game but might not have enough raw ability.
Khalif Mitchell, DT, East Carolina - Has had all kinds of academic and attitudinal problems, which led to his departure from North Carolina after two seasons. Still, he's 6-5, 318 and can run. Surely, someone will take a chance on a wayward player with first-round ability.
PACKERS' PICK TO REMEMBER
Vonnie Holliday, DL, South Carolina - First-round selection in 1998. . . . Played five seasons for Green Bay (32 sacks), two for Kansas City (5½) and the last four for Miami (17½). . . . Waived by the Dolphins on March 2. . . . One of the two or three best veteran D-linemen on the street.
QUOTE TO NOTE
AFC personnel director: "I draft defensive tackles before I draft pass rushers. I can manufacture a pass rusher but not a defensive tackle. When I first came in the league this old scout told me there's only X number of big people on this earth. If they can move around, draft them."
Twenty personnel men with national orientation were asked by the Journal Sentinel to rank the defensive tackles on a 1-to-5 basis, with a first-place vote worth five points, a second worth four and so forth.
Raji was first on 15 ballots and finished with 95 points. After Mississippi's Peria Jerry (four firsts, 74½ points) and Missouri's Evander "Ziggy" Hood (one first, 65½), the supply of capable inside players grows thin.
Also getting votes were San Jose State's Jarron Gilbert (16 points), Southern California's Fili Moala (15), Boston College's Ron Brace (14), Auburn's Sen'Derrick Marks (10), Purdue's Alex Magee (six), Texas' Roy Miller (two) and two players, LSU's Ricky Jean-Francois and Clemson's Dorell Scott, each with one.
When Sapp came out as the 12th choice in 1995, he was 6-1, 280 and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.74 seconds. Later, he would play much heavier. Raji's 40 time was 5.15.
"Raji has a low center of gravity and can move up and down the line of scrimmage," Savage said. "I was really impressed with him."
None of the three nose tackles currently atop their position was a top-10 pick, however. Casey Hampton (6-1, 321, 5.25) went 19th in 2001, Wilfork (6-1, 323, 5.13) went 21st in '04 and Haloti Ngata (6-4, 339, 5.13) went 12th in '06.
An NFC scout brought up Cortez Kennedy (6-1½, 295, 4.93), the 13th pick in 1990 who made eight Pro Bowls and registered 58 sacks. Polian compared Raji to Gilbert Brown (6-2½, 330, 5.12), a third-round pick in 1993.
"This guy is more athletic than Gilbert Brown," Polian said. "He gets tired but he can rush the passer when he's geared up and fresh. He's a freak. But keep in mind that he's got a weight problem and it's always going to be there."
Jackson, who has a 4.96 clocking in the 40, was compared by scouts to Ty Warren (6-4½, 307, 5.07), the 13th pick in 2003, and Vonnie Holliday (6-5, 296, 5.09), the 19th pick in '98.
Several personnel people said Jackson had a similar style to Kevin Williams (6-5, 304, 4.85), the ninth pick in '03, but wasn't as good.
"A much better Aaron Smith," said one AFC personnel director, comparing Jackson to the Pittsburgh Steelers' starting left end for the last nine years. "You're going to get pass rush out of a 3-4 defensive end, which is hard to find.
"He doesn't run great and some of his instincts I worry about, but he's certainly heavy enough to play the run."
Name School HT. WT. 40-Yd. Dash Rd.
1. TYSON JACKSON Louisiana State 6-4 296 4.96 1
Ideally suited for DE in a 3-4. "Take him right off the shelf, plug him in and go," Indianapolis President Bill Polian said. "He's kind of a power 4-3 end but he's big enough and tough enough and strong enough to play right end in a 3-4. Johnson has not yet learned to be a beat-you-over-the-head pass rusher. He tries to dance around people, which probably isn't his strength. But if he gets a good coach, they'll remake him a little bit as a rusher." Started 38 of 53 games, finishing with 18½ sacks and 122 tackles (27 for loss). "I'd take him over any D-lineman," one scout said. "This guy is a physical presence. Long arms. He's a beast against the run. As a pass-rusher, he'll get pressure. He's a perfect left end, and then when you move him inside (on nickel) he could make a killing in there." Raised some eyebrows by bench-pressing 225 pounds only 20 times. "He's not a dominating defensive lineman," another scout said. "He uses his hands pretty well. The only thing I don't like about him is he is a little stiff." Scored 16 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test.
2. AARON MAYBIN Penn State 6-4 250 4.73 1
Just a third-year sophomore. Redshirted in 2006, backed up in '07 and wasn't starting in '08 until Maurice Evans was suspended after three games. "He plays hard but he's not experienced," Baltimore personnel director Eric DeCosta said. "He's raw with a lot of his techniques. He's not physically as mature strength-wise. He's undeveloped." Finished '08 with 12 sacks, giving him 16 in two seasons. "His first three steps are like Jevon Kearse," one scout said. "The closest I've seen to Kearse. He doesn't run as well as Derrick Thomas. But he's not real heavy in there and his weight gain in a short period of times scares me a little bit." Played the Rose Bowl at 226, then was 250 at the combine. Classy individual with 25 on the Wonderlic. "He's a player that will be reckoned with," Arizona scout Jerry Hardaway said. "You've got to get him stronger. Sometimes you see him all out, sometimes he isn't. Athletically, he'll fit a 3-4 or a 4-3. He could be as good as he wants to be." Vertical jump of 40 inches.
3. ROBERT AYERS Tennessee 6-3 272 4.80 1
Played three years in a rotation before becoming a starter in '08. "The other (hybrids) have a chance to be great rushers," one scout said. "But of the DE's he's the one guy with a chance to be a really good run-down player and have some pass rush. He's strong, heavy and a tough guy." Played end but is being considered for LB by 3-4 teams. "He's like (LaMarr) Woodley in a lot of ways," another scout said. "I don't know if he has great speed but he has great quickness. He played really well against (Alabama's) Andre Smith." Finished with nine sacks and 113 tackles (31½ for loss) in 48 games (14 starts). "One year-production but really, really talented," a third scout said. "To me, Ayers and (Brian) Orakpo are the two most talented guys but they have holes in their game based on production and competitiveness game to game." Wonderlic of 25.
4. EVERETTE BROWN Florida State 6-1 1/2 256 4.66 1-2
Latest in the Seminoles' list of speed rushers, including Jamal Reynolds. "If Green Bay takes him, it might be the same thing all over again," one scout said. "If he gets on the edges he can be effective. But small and weak against the run. Plays small. He's not a bull rush." Two-year starter with 23 sacks and 100 tackles (46½ for loss); Reynolds had 23½ sacks. "Reynolds was more finesse," former Cleveland GM Phil Savage said. "Everette Brown is probably a little more physical. The thing with Brown, he is tough and he will compete. I don't see him as an outside linebacker. To me, he's more of an end in a 4-3." Fourth-year junior with 21 on the Wonderlic. "Those FSU guys have been notorious for being one-dimensional because of the way they're coached by (25th-year defensive coordinator) Mickey Andrews," another scout said. "Just go sic 'em. If they get stalemated, they're nullified. Big linemen are going to get their hands on him and it's going to be over."
5. MICHAEL JOHNSON Georgia Tech 6-7 266 4.69 1-2
"Athletically, you watch him hurdling guys, you say, 'What the hell was that?' one scout said. "He can do whatever he wants. But he disappears." Reminded one scout of Jason Taylor but didn't become a starter until '08, backing up somebody named Adamm Oliver. "When I did him I kept getting madder and madder," another scout said. "It's not as important to him as it should be. But I think he has the most potential." In 49 games (15 starts), he had 19 sacks, 107 tackles (30½ for loss) and forced 10 fumbles. "He's first round in flashes," a third scout said. "He's got the ostrich-like neck and the long limbs and all that. There's a lot there that scares me." Wonderlic of 27 and vertical jump of 38½.
6. CONNOR BARWIN Cincinnati 6-4 253 4.58 2
Played TE until '08, catching 31 passes as a junior. "I don't think they liked him as a blocker," one scout said. "It's amazing. As a defensive player he plays his (butt) off but as a blocker he wasn't very good." Played DE as a senior, posted 11 sacks and blew out the combine with a vertical jump of 40½. "He's not Kyle Vanden Bosch but he has the potential to be," Hardaway said. "Everybody's talking about him. He is athletic. But if he was such a great rush end they'd have played him there. The coaches at Cincinnati are smart and want to eat, too." Also played 41 games for the Bearcats' basketball team in two seasons, scoring 45 points. "I've seen him do stand-up drills and he moves around well," Seattle scout Charles Fisher said. "He's just not strong or built big enough to be an every-down end. I'm not quite sure he won't be a tight end. He shows burst and has good hands."
7. PAUL KRUGER Utah 6-4 1/2 261 4.82 2
Spent two years on a Mormon mission and played two seasons, finishing with 10½ sacks and 124 tackles (24 for loss). "His speed bothers me," Polian said. "But he will play, and play well. He will be like Chris Kelsay in Buffalo." Underwent four hours of emergency surgery in January 2008 after being stabbed in the stomach when a gang jumped him and some friends. "If Michael Johnson had this kid's motor, he'd be a bear," one scout said. "He's like the kid for the Titans, Vanden Bosch. He's relentless." More of an effort rusher. High-character player with 25 on the Wonderlic. "I think he's going to get big," DeCosta said. "He's going to be 280-285 and be an (Aaron) Kampman guy. You build him up and he ends up being good for you."
8. LAWRENCE SIDBURY Richmond 6-2 1/2 265 4.56 3
Made a name for himself with four sacks in the FCS championship game against Montana and with an impressive combine. "He played down but I think he's a 3-4 outside backer," St. Louis VP Tony Softli said. "He runs well enough. He holds the point. He plays well with his hands. He's got good chase. But a lot of people will put his hand in the dirt and try to rush him, and he can do that, too." Finished with 20½ sacks and 145 tackles (38 for loss) in 52 games (31 starts). "But his temperament is the thing that worries me," one scout said. "There ain't no fight. You want a guy with a lot more tenacity and consistency. Do like the kid." Has long arms (35 5/8 ) and scored 22 on the Wonderlic.
9. DAVID VEIKUNE Hawaii 6-2 257 4.79 3-4
Redshirted at Colorado in '04, spent a year at a junior college and then three years for the Rainbow Warriors, finally starting in '08. "Great, great effort," one scout said. "He has natural rush skills. A pursuit-effort player." Finished with 18 sacks and 118 tackles (28 for loss). "I like him," another scout said. "Hard player. Not as flexible on the corner as you want. Smart (20 on the Wonderlic), tough, versatile. He's not a true 4-3 end or a true 4-3 backer. I think he's a 3-4 player."
10. KYLE MOORE Southern California 6-5 272 4.84 4
Started at RE in 2007 and '08. "Good athlete but a little bit undersized," Tennessee national supervisor C.O. Brocato said. "I don't think he can bulk up. That worries me. They moved him down inside some but he's more of an outside rush type guy." In 50 games (24 starts), he had seven sacks and 76 tackles (13 for loss). Has the frame and long arms that 3-4 teams seek for DE if he can gain 20 solid pounds. "He could do it," one scout said. "He lacks some strength but he's a big body guy."
OTHERS: Henry Melton, Texas; Brandon Williams, Texas Tech; Matt Shaughnessy, Wisconsin; Zach Potter, Nebraska; Maurice Evans, Penn State; Will Davis, Illinois; Michael Bennett, Texas A&M; Pannel Egboh, Stanford; Stryker Sulak, Missouri; Orion Martin, Virginia Tech.
Name School HT. WT. 40-Yd. Dash Rd.
1. B.J. RAJI Boston College 6-1 1/2 330 5.15 1
Started 37 of 49 games, finishing with 12½ sacks and 105 tackles (32½ for loss). "He's got special to him," Chicago GM Jerry Angelo said. "He's probably better than (Vince) Wilfork because Wilfork was kind of fat. This kid is not fat. He's big, like (Haloti) Ngata. And he's really good. Quickness. Explosion. Nothing not to like." Scored 21 on the Wonderlic but was declared academically ineligible in '07. "He's going to have to get his stuff together," Softli said. "It's about growing up. Do you want to make some money and play in the league? Or do you want to sit back and be happy? He'll figure it out." Son of Pentecostal pastors. "It's not like he's this shoo-in to be this dominant player," one scout said. "No way is he as good as Ngata. You couldn't move Ngata. This guy, you can see him get rolled up at times. You can see him have trouble with the double team. He has skill, but he doesn't have the combativeness that the real good ones have. He wasn't consistently dominant vs. the ACC, a league that historically doesn't put out a bunch of NFL-caliber linemen." Had 33 reps on the bench press. "He's really a soft-body guy," another scout said. "He's a bright guy and I like him personally, but as he gets older he's going to have some big problems (with his body). Raji will have a weight problem."
2. PERIA JERRY Mississippi 6-2 295 4.98 1
A 3-technique in a 4-3 or a DE in a 3-4. He is not a NT. "Real active," one scout said. "Quick. Explosive. Plays hard. Been hurt a lot. Worrisome. Not a smart guy (10 on the Wonderlic)." Came out of a tough background in rural Mississippi (Batesville). "He's married and has two kids," another scout said. "No off-field problems. Tough, intense, focused. All business. Football was the reason he was in school. He just learns OK." Finished with 12½ sacks and 132 tackles (37 for loss) in 38 games (29 starts). "They liked him there (Ole Miss)," a third scout said. "Leader. Captain. Quiet. Good worker." Not nearly as stout as Raji but plays harder and is more athletic than Ziggy Hood. "He wins with determination," a fourth scout said.
3. EVANDER "ZIGGY" HOOD Missouri 6-3 299 4.88 1-2
Labeled as an "underachiever" by one scout and as a "finesse player" by another. "He gets after people," San Diego GM A.J. Smith said. "Strong. Got a little quickness to him." Some scouts criticized him for excessive use of a spin move as a rusher. "He does have (pass rush) because he has good get-off," Washington scout Shemy Schembechler said. "He's stiff in the hips but plays hard. I love his motor. He will need polishing as a pass rusher. Runs well. For God's sake, he broke 5.0." Finished with 15½ sacks and 170 tackles (22½ for loss) in 50 games (35 starts). Not a power player. "He's the bell cow of that whole team," one scout said. "He's everything you want as far as a leader. The guys really follow him."
4. JARRON GILBERT San Jose State 6-5 286 4.82 2
"A workout warrior," according to Polian. Said Softli: "There were four, five games where he looked very, very good. Then there's a couple where you're going, 'What's " Gifted athlete with a 37-inch vertical jump and extremely long going on here?' arms (36¾). "But it's not a beauty contest," one scout said. "He doesn't do it all the time. He's got all the ability. What makes you think he's going to do it at the next level where the competition is 50 steps higher?" Finished with 21½ sacks and 144 tackles (42 for loss) in 48 games (38 starts). His father, Daren, was a backup tackle for New Orleans from 1985-'88. Wonderlic of 29. "I wrote him up as an offensive tackle because he's got good feet and movement," another scout said. "He kind of just stands and watches. But he's got long arms and big hands (10¾) and runs fast." Projected mostly as a 3-4 DE or a 4-3 3-technique.
5. FILI MOALA Southern California 6-4 301 5.11 2-3
"Little bit like Tyson Jackson," one scout said. "Little stiff. He's a 5-technique (3-4 DE), not a nose. Or a 4-3 guy." His father, Fili Sr., was a heavyweight boxer who fought Ron Lyle in 1979. "He's got initial quick, then he's straight up and watches," another scout said. "They get all excited with the initial quick. He plays too high." Started three seasons as DT on the weak side, finishing with 9½ sacks and 90 tackles (23½ for loss) on a star-studded defense. "He's pretty athletic, has good feet and has some quickness," Buffalo VP Tom Modrak said. "He gets away with being upright some because he's got good feet. If you could ever get him to keep his pad level down he's not a bad player."
6. RON BRACE Boston College 6-3 331 5.51 3
Started for two of the last three years alongside Raji. "He's a terrific nose tackle," Polian said. "He's 330 pounds. You put him on the nose and he'll beat the living daylights out of the center." Smart (24 on the Wonderlic), spent '08 in graduate school and is active in the arts as a participant. "He's a very difficult guy to block," one scout said. "He's very strong. But your nose has to be able to get in the A gap every so often and penetrate and force the quarterback out of the pocket. This guy doesn't get off the line of scrimmage and he runs 5.5." Finished with 5½ sacks and 85 tackles (23 for loss) in 49 games (40 starts).
7. SEN'DERRICK MARKS Auburn 6-1 1/2 303 5.06 3-4
Fourth-year junior. "He fits the Tampa and Indy schemes," Tennessee scouting coordinator Blake Beddingfield said. Both teams prefer smaller linemen with the speed to fire into gaps. "Very, very quick but not real physical," one scout said. Finished with 7½ sacks and 114 tackles (30 for loss) in 40 games (37 starts). "He's got a little athletic ability but he's not fast enough to beat anybody and he doesn't play with great strength," another scout said. "He was hurt most of the year, too." Played on two bad ankles.
8. ALEX MAGEE Purdue 6-2 1/2 286 4.82 3-4
Started at DT in 2006-'07 before moving to DE in '08. "He doesn't have that outside speed rush in a 4-3," one scout said. "But you go back to last year and you could see his athleticism. He's a different cat in there. He is quick." Best-suited for DE in a 3-4 or 3-technique in a 4-3. "Probably more disruptive in the running game than the passing game," Angelo said. Finished with six sacks and 117 tackles (14 for loss) in 50 games (33 starts). "I never saw him as a real tough guy," another scout said. "Little too much of a pass rusher's mentality. He's got talent, though. But he plays too high and his hands are sloppy.
9. DORELL SCOTT Clemson 6-3 314 4.94 4-5
Three-year starter at NT but probably projects best as a 3-4 DE. "He doesn't have the classic build and is a little knock-kneed," Savage said. "He does have some explosiveness. If you wanted just a blood-and-guts guy, yeah, he could do that." Started 38 of 47 games, finishing with nine sacks and 161 tackles (18½ for loss). "Underachiever," one scout said. "Doesn't move very well. He flashes stoutness."
10. ROY MILLER Texas 6-1 1/2 312 4.97 4-5
Major-college sleeper who didn't become a starter until '08. "He wasn't a name going into the year but he's a good player," one scout said. "More of a nose. He's powerful." Never-say-die mentality. Led the top DTs on the bench press with 36 reps. "Tough little football player," another scout said. "I don't think he's stout enough to be a nose. He's more like for a Tony Dungy type defense, teams that want a quick guy getting upfield." Had 10 sacks and 138 tackles (25 for loss) in 49 games (19 starts).
OTHERS: Chris Baker, Hampton; Corvey Irvin, Georgia; Ricky Jean-Francois, Louisiana State; Khalif Mitchell, East Carolina; Sammie Hill, Stillman; Terrance Knighton, Temple; John Gill, Northwestern; Desmond Bryant, Harvard; Clinton McDonald, Memphis; Myron Pryor, Kentucky; Darryl Richard, Georgia Tech; Mitch King, Iowa.
Jonny : 4/22/2009 8:53 pm
Jonny : 4/22/2009 11:35 pm
Earlier this month, the Journal Sentinel asked 19 personnel men with national orientation to rate the best hybrids on a 1-to-5 basis. A first-place vote was worth five points, a second four and so on.
Penn State's Aaron Maybin (eight firsts) led with 71 points, followed by Texas' Brian Orakpo (six firsts), 55; Southern California's Clay Matthews (four firsts), 37; Northern Illinois' Larry English (one first), 30; Florida State's Everette Brown, 27; Tennessee's Robert Ayers, 21; Georgia Tech's Michael Johnson, 16.
Also, Cincinnati’s Connor Barwin, nine; Utah’s Paul Kruger, six; USC’s Brian Cushing, five; Richmond’s Lawrence Sidbury, four; Connecticut’s Cody Brown, two; and Virginia’s Clint Sintim, two.
Twenty national scouts were asked to pinpoint the best pass rusher in the draft regardless of position. Maybin and Orakpo each had six votes, followed by Ayers with three, Johnson and Matthews with two and Everette Brown with one.
A total of 20 scouts also were asked to identify the four best pure linebackers.
In this survey, Wake Forest's Aaron Curry (16 firsts) easily won with 74 points. He was followed by USC's Rey Maualuga (three firsts), 47; Cushing, 37; Matthews (one firsts), 23; Ohio State's James Laurinaitis, 16; Sintim, two, and TCU's Jason Phillips, one.
Finally, 21 scouts agreed to rank USC's remarkable collection of linebackers on a 1-to-4 basis. The results were extremely close, with Maualuga (10 firsts) finishing with 67 points, Cushing (six firsts) with 62 and Matthews (5 firsts) with 60. Though a solid player, Kaluka Maiava was last on every ballot.
Name School HT. WT. 40-Yd. Dash Rd.
1. AARON CURRY Wake Forest 6-2 255 4.55 1
"Just a good player," Tennessee scouting coordinator Blake Beddingfield said. "Very smart (24 on the 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test). One of those guys who will play seven, eight years and you'll be very happy with him." Started on the strong side for four years but probably can play any LB position in any scheme. "He is the finished product," Indianapolis President Bill Polian said. "I don't know if he's a make-something-happen player but he's certainly a very, very, very good player." Finished with 332 tackles (45½ for loss), 9½ sacks and 14 turnover plays (interceptions, forced fumbles and recovered fumbles). "If they don't rush the passer they've got to be really special," Chicago GM Jerry Angelo said. "If you go back 20 years or more, there were only two prolific linebackers, (Brian) Urlacher and Ray Lewis, that didn't rush the passer. When you look at linebackers, you pay the pass rushers." One scout said he would rate A.J. Hawk higher coming out. "Don't get me wrong," another scout said. "Curry's talented. Played disciplined. He's safe. But he's not a violent football player."
2. REY MAUALUGA Southern California 6-1 1/2 249 4.75 1
Might be the hardest hitter in the draft. "He's one of the few guys who can stack a guard in the hole and stalemate (him) right there and win," San Francisco personnel director Trent Baalke said. "When you look at linebacker play, one of the things that all the real good ones had in common was they changed the tempo of the game. What did (Dick) Butkus and all the others do? When they got on the field they played with some (expletive) and hit you. Rey plays the game like the old-school guys played it." Three-year starter in the middle with 273 tackles (22½ for loss), nine sacks and 10 turnover plays. "He's not what he's cracked up to be," one scout said. "His value really is more as a pass cover guy than a killer middle linebacker. I see him having problems on first down. He misses a lot of tackles and doesn't have a lot of punch. Nooooo, I know he's not (Ray) Nitschke." Had some off-field scrapes but seems to have matured. Wonderlic of 15. Compared by some scouts to Junior Seau, who also played a rather helter-skelter game. "If you make it real structured for him, it's going to be tough," Buffalo VP Tom Modrak said. "He runs under, over, around, all that kind of stuff. Sometimes that will drive people crazy. He's got to be a let-it-rip kind of guy."
3. BRIAN CUSHING Southern California 6-3 243 4.68 1
Started at RE in a 3-4 as a sophomore but played SLB the last two seasons in more of a 4-3 scheme. "He's a Jersey boy and a tough guy," St. Louis VP Tony Softli said. "Throwback. He has something you can't teach. That's heart and pedigree." Finished with 178 tackles (27 for loss), 8½ sacks and seven turnover plays. "He's a big, swollen-looking guy but a pretty good athlete for his size," one scout said. "Gets exposed some in space but he can run. Little stiff." Almost fanatic in his workout regimen. Has missed several games due to injury; reportedly has undergone four operations. "He's a multiple position guy and he's a tough sucker," Modrak said. "He's going to be good. I like everything about him except he's had some nicks. I worry about that. Some guys get too big for their body." Wonderlic of 23.
4. JAMES LAURINAITIS Ohio State 6-2 242 4.77 1-2
Three-year starter and two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. "A.J. Hawk is so much more of a talented athlete," Washington scout Shemy Schembechler said. "Laurinaitis outdoes Hawk in every intangible quality you can think of. He's a great leader. (Chris Spielman) is a good comparison. Laurinaitis isn't a great take-on guy. He's a get-you-down guy. Very smart (24 on the Wonderlic)." Finished with 375 tackles (24½ for loss), 13 sacks and 14 turnover plays. Hawk, also a three-year starter, had 394 stops, 14 sacks and 12 turnover plays. "He is not as athletically explosive as Hawk," Seattle scout Charles Fisher said. "But the ball is snapped and he knows where it's going, where to go and how to get there." His father, Joe, was the pro wrestler named "Animal" in the tag team known as Legion of Doom. Played at Plymouth Wayzata (Minn.) High School. "He's overrated, has been since his freshman year," one scout said. "He makes plays but he's not dynamic. He needs to be unblocked to make a play and that doesn't happen in the NFL very much."
5. SCOTT McKILLOP Pittsburgh 6-1 245 4.72 2-3
Two-year starter in the middle. "He might have the same type of career as Laurinaitis," one scout said. "He's a limited athlete but no more limited than James Laurinaitis. The kid is tough and smart (21 on the Wonderlic). I'd say McKillop has more pop than Laurinaitis." Finished with 345 tackles (28½ for loss), eight sacks and eight turnover plays. "Sure tackler," another scout said. "Very, very tough guy. Good nose for the ball. Gets busted up because he does have a good nose for the ball. The only problem is, I don't know if he can be a three-down linebacker."
6. JASON PHILLIPS Texas Christian 6-1 239 4.64 3
Son of a high-school football coach. "He's one of the better guys in terms of being able to run sideline to sideline making a ton of plays," Baltimore personnel director Eric DeCosta said. "He's around the football all the time. Very smart guy (24 on the Wonderlic)." Finished with 315 tackles (38 for loss), 7½ sacks and three turnover plays. Suffered torn knee cartilage at the combine and isn't quite ready. "Yeah, he's tough," Tennessee national supervisor C.O. Brocato said. "I just wish he used his hands a little bit better. He uses his shoulders and butts on people instead of trying to use his hands. He will be a heck of a special-teams player and he can learn how to play linebacker."
7. DARRY BECKWITH Louisana State 6-0 234 4.72 3-4
Weak-side starter in '06 before moving to MLB in '07 and '08. "Not very physical," one scout said. "But he's a very good kid. Smart football player. Just not a physical guy." Has had a lot of knee problems, too. "I didn't think he was as good a player as he was an athlete," another scout said. "He will hustle. Just an average tackler. Doesn't take on very well. Gets caught on blocks. Average instincts." Finished with 189 tackles (11½) for loss, 4½ sacks and three turnover plays.
8. JASPER BRINKLEY South Carolina 6-1 1/2 249 4.69 4
"He's huge," one scout said. "He kind of fits the 3-4 just because he's a big man. Limited athlete. Little slow." Spent two seasons at Georgia Military College and three seasons with the Gamecocks, starting the last two. "I think he's mechanical," another scout said. "He lacks quick twitch. He doesn't shed blockers real well, which is probably the most important thing." Finished with 193 tackles (20½ for . . loss), 7½ sacks and five turnover plays. "If you want a middle linebacker . that's all he's going to be," a third scout said. "They did use him as a pass rusher on passing downs but he was just a guy. A good college player."
9. DANNELL ELLERBE Georgia 6-1 237 4.66 4
Two-year starter, mostly in the middle. "He's got good toughness, but he's got some flaws," one scout said. "He's got some explosion and some short-area snap. Character needs to be investigated with him." In '06, he was arrested for drunken driving and giving police false information, leading to a three-game suspension. "He's certainly not what (ex-Bulldog LB) Odell Thurman was but there are some character issues that people will have to decide if they want," another scout said. "But he is fast and explosive." Finished with 148 tackles (21 for loss), 8½ sacks and six turnover plays. "He will hit you but he doesn't wrap," a third scout said. "He doesn't have strength. I wouldn't have him on my team."
10. ZACH FOLLETT California 6-2 238 4.72 4-5
Played behind MLB Desmond Bishop in '05, started at WLB in '06 and then at SLB in '07 and '08. "He's tough enough," one scout said. "There's no special quality." Registered 13 forced fumbles, third in Pacific 10 annals. Also had 245 tackles (51 for loss), 23½ sacks and 17 turnover plays in total. "He's tight-hipped," another scout said. Added a third: "He's versatile. Played a little outside and inside. Also played as a rush end."
OTHERS: Gerald McRath, Southern Mississippi; Tyrone McKenzie, South Florida; Worrell Williams, California; Stanley Arnoux, Wake Forest; Antonio Appleby, Virginia; Reggie Walker, Kansas State; Brit Miller, Illinois; Josh Mauga, Nevada.
Name School HT. WT. 40-Yd. Dash Rd.
1. BRIAN ORAKPO Texas 6-3 262 4.65 1
Two-year starter played with his hand down but will stand up for 3-4 teams. "He's got great hips and he has a burst," one scout said. "He is talented and a terrific person. People expect more, but they play a team defense there. I called the defensive coordinator (Will Muschamp). They don't allow him to just chase the passer." Worked out exceptionally well at the combine and pro day (39½-inch vertical jump). "He's got everything you want as far as athletic ability," Brocato said. "A little lazy at times. He can make some plays and have a hell of a rush, then disappear for a few plays." Finished with 23 sacks and seven turnover plays. "He's a perfect 3-4 guy, but a lot of those Texas guys have kind of flamed out at the pro level," another scout said. "Strange place, man. They're coddled. He's like all those Texas guys. You don't know what you're getting." Wonderlic of 25. Led top linebackers by bench-pressing 225 pounds 31 times. "All he does is run straight lines," a third scout said. "Run, run, run. One-trick pony. He can't play the point at all. He doesn't have a natural feel for it. Not a really good space athlete."
2. CLAY MATTHEWS Southern California 6-3 245 4.61 1
Came out of Agoura, Calif., weighing 195 and with one scholarship offer (Idaho) in hand. Turned it down to walk on at USC, the alma mater of his father, Clay, and his uncle, Bruce. Clay was a terrific NFL LB for 19 years and Bruce made the Hall of Fame as a guard. "I'm a big guy on genes," one scout said. "He knows what it takes." Excelled on special teams for three years but had just 40 tackles from scrimmage and wasn't even on the so-called combine "list" entering the '08 season. "It's pretty unusual," former Cleveland GM Phil Savage said. "There was enough tape on Clay to see him (as a player) but not enough to say he was going to be a first-round pick." Moved ahead of sophomore Everson Griffen in Week 4 and had an exceptional year playing both up and down. "His dad was a great player but not nearly as athletic as this kid is," Polian said. "This guy does amazing things." Never been hurt. Wonderlic of 27. Tremendous worker. "He's got a chip on his shoulder and is out to prove to everybody that he's really good," another scout said. "Automatically that's a plus right there. Well-spoken and articulate." Still, scouts point to LB Bobby Carpenter, a first-round bust in Dallas with a father who was a 10-year NFL RB. "They said that stuff about Bobby Carpenter, too, dad's genes and all that," a third scout said. "The one year starting is a concern. I don't think he's a space athlete. He worked out better than he played." Finished with 96 tackles (13½ for loss), 5½ sacks and six turnover plays.
3. LARRY ENGLISH Northern Illinois 6-2 252 4.83 1-2
Four-year starter at RE. "You talk about a football player," one scout said. "He has the traits you want: physical, tough, hard-nosed. Similar to (LaMarr) Woodley, but I actually like this guy better. Little more burst. Nobody plays harder than this guy." However, he didn't run particularly well at the combine. "He's a 4.8 guy and the others are all 4.5, 4.6 guys," another scout said. "He is a hybrid. Rock solid." Named Mid-American Conference MVP in '07, first time in 25 years a defensive player was so honored. "Every play looks the same to me," a third scout said. "After you get past the effort, the toughness and first-step quickness, every play looks the same. Against marginal competition in a marginal league." Finished with 237 tackles (63 for loss), 31½ sacks and 12 turnover plays. "He can be a 3-4 linebacker," a fourth scout said. "He can drop. He's athletic. He's fast enough." Wonderlic of 22.
4. CLINT SINTIM Virginia 6-3 253 4.80 1-2
Only a handful of BCS teams use a 3-4 defense but, under coach Al Groh, Virginia remains one. Sintim started four years at SOLB. "It's not a projection," one scout said. "You see him dropping, you see him do what a traditional 3-4 linebacker is asked to do. And he did it at a productive level. We all get excited about making projections, but history is on the side of those already doing it." Finished with 245 tackles (39 for loss), 27 sacks and eight turnover plays. "He's got rush and he's really heavy at the point of attack," another scout said. "He can control an offensive lineman. He's not great chasing stuff. He does well enough in coverage." Comes across as almost too cocky. Wonderlic of 17. "He's still developing," Arizona scout Jerry Hardaway said. "His instincts have been the question because he's basically been a one-dimensional guy going forward as an edge rusher." Labeled an "enigma" by third scout. Added another: "I'm not big on the Virginia guys that came out of there recently. None of them have done anything. He kind of follows in that mode. If you don't give him too many responsibilities he might do well for you."
5. CODY BROWN Connecticut 6-2 244 4.78 2
Came across as a bit of a comedian and clown during interviews at the combine. "He's really athletic," one scout said. "Just an underachiever. His personality is like that. His work ethic. Everything. It's just innately in him." Started 33 of 42 games at DE, finishing with 150 tackles (45½ for loss), 24 sacks and eight turnover plays. "I really didn't care for him," another scout said. "Not a very big person. I think he has to be a linebacker but he will have a hard time because he's got some stiffness to him." Has very long arms (34½) but isn't a big effort player. "I thought he was a one-trick pony coming off the edge kind of like Everette Brown, but not as good," a third scout said.
6. MARCUS FREEMAN Ohio State 6-0 1/2 239 4.63 3
Played much of his senior season with ankle and knee injuries. "Played better as a junior," Angelo said. "Very athletic. Good toughness. Good talent." Started on the strong side in '06 and on the weak side the past two seasons. "I don't know what he does good, to be honest with you," one scout said. "Not really a great athlete, not very fast, not very physical. Kind of OK." Finished with 268 tackles (21½ for loss), six sacks and five turnover plays. Wonderlic of 21. "He's just a 'Joe College' guy," another scout said.
7. KALUKA MAIAVA Southern California 5-1 1/2 229 4.70 3-4
Size limits him to the weak side in a 4-3. "He gets a quicker start on the ball than Maualuga," one scout said. "He's not a throw-out. He will be a backup-special teamer and you'll be glad to have him." Was the fourth starter in the Trojans' star-studded quartet of LBs. A one-year starter, he finished with 164 tackles (15½ for loss) and four turnover plays. "He may have the best instincts of them all," another scout said. "He gets overshadowed by the other three but he makes all the plays. His only downfall is height." Added Polian: "You love him, but he's very, very small. I don't know how long he will play."
8. JONATHAN CASILLAS Wisconsin 6-1 229 4.61 3-4
Helped himself earlier in the week with a solid clocking in the 40. A knee injury had sidelined him for about four months. "Better athlete than football player," one scout said. "In the end he will be a 'will.' If he proves he can compete at a high level he could become a good player. He's (tough) when he wants to be." Started 36 of 48 games on the weak side, finishing with 246 tackles (28 for loss), four sacks and eight turnover plays. "He could play inside in a 3-4 only if you free him up and let him run around," another scout said. "Like the Packers used to use Johnny Holland. It's not that he won't take on. His size limits him a little bit. He gets a little undisciplined at times, but he did play hurt this year, which you have to give him credit for." Regarded as a major character risk by some teams for various incidents, including a disorderly conduct citation. "He's just a little guy," a third scout said. "He's fast but you've got to keep him free. He cannot beat a block at all."
9. JASON WILLIAMS Western Illinois 6-1 238 4.49 3-4
Small-school player didn't get combine invitation but was a big hit on pro day. "He's the hot guy in this draft," Angelo said. "He'll go third round because he ran in the 4.4s. Good player. He's tight. Plays on a straight line. He's a 'will' in both schemes." Three-year starter from Chicago DuSable High School with 289 tackles (42½ for loss), 15 sacks and 17 turnover plays, including 14 forced fumbles. "There's some intriguing things about him," said DeCosta. "I don't think he's really ready to play, but I like his size and speed. He's a raw guy that hasn't made a lot of plays." Vertical jump of 39 and Wonderlic of 21.
10. NIC HARRIS Oklahoma 6-2 1/2 232 4.86 4-5
Started at safety for three seasons. "His speed was bad," one scout said. "People are moving him to outside backer. He's a tough guy. He just doesn't have the speed to play in the back end." Finished with 233 tackles (20 for loss), 6½ sacks and 14 turnover plays. "I think he's further along than Cato June was at this point in his career," another scout said. "Some people are worried a little bit about his physicalness, but I think he's good enough there."
OTHERS: DeAndre Levy, Wisconsin; Ashlee Palmer, Mississippi; Victor Butler, Oregon State; Anthony Felder, California; Lee Robinson, Alcorn State; Mike Rivera, Kansas; Cody Glenn, Nebraska; Moise Fokou, Maryland; Stephen Hodge, Texas Christian; Russell Allen, San Diego State; Spencer Adkins, Boston College.
Jason Garrett offense rank minus Tony Sparano: 18, 14, 7, 15, 15