NFLDraftScout: Risers and Fallers 4/17

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by theogt, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Rob Rang
    Senior Analyst

    April 17, 2007 -
    In running the 40-yard dash in 4.38, 4.44 and 4.45 seconds last week, Ohio State wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. essentially put an end to the two-month road trip casually referred by some veteran scouts as the "Pro Day Push."

    Ginn's workout was viewed by most scouts largely as confirmation of their earlier beliefs. Teams that liked Ginn were impressed that he was able to showcase rare speed despite clearly not being back to 100 percent. Critics argued that questions about Ginn's durability were only heightened when the speedster wasn't yet completely healthy three months after spraining his foot in the national championship game.

    Though all eyes were seemingly with the Buckeyes, it was another university in Ohio that featured arguably the biggest newsmaker of the week.

    This week's Risers & Fallers:


    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Usama Young, CB, Kent State:[/SIZE][/FONT] Not invited to the Combine, Young, a three-year starter at Kent State, began his ascension when he wowed scouts with his overall athleticism during a March 9 workout. Not only did the 5-foot-11, 196-pounder run exceedingly well (4.39, 4.40), his 43-inch vertical and 10'11" broad jump are among the most impressive results from any 2007 prospect. With only a handful of teams represented at the workout, however, it took awhile for Young's numbers to circulate throughout the league. Young has since been among the most popular players for teams conducting private workouts. Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, Green Bay, Houston, Jacksonville, both New York clubs, Philadelphia and Seattle are among the team that have either worked out Young or scheduled future dates with the cornerback. With this kind of interest, he not only could compete to be this year's first player drafted who wasn't invited to the Combine, there is some talk that he may be drafted late on the first day.

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Anthony Waters, ILB, Clemson:[/SIZE][/FONT] Just 38 plays into the first game of the 2006 season (Florida Atlantic), Waters tore the ACL in his left knee, ending his senior season. At 6-3, 245 pounds, Waters was viewed as a true run-stuffing presence for the middle and had been ranked alongside Patrick Willis and Paul Posluszny as the top senior linebackers in the draft. Unable to participate in all-star games or the Combine, Waters was cleared to run for scouts April 3. Though he is not yet 100 percent, the fact Waters was able to run (and at 4.69, run well) so soon after his September 21 surgery, speaks to how well his knee is responding to rehabilitation. A team willing to spend a middle- to late-round pick could find itself a terrific steal in this former ACC star.

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Doug Free, OT, Northern Illinois:[/SIZE][/FONT] Last week I featured underrated offensive tackle Mike Otto in this space. While Free entered his senior season with more acclaim than Otto, he quickly fell down the board with struggles in the first few games. Not until after these games was it discovered that Free had actually suffered a stress fracture in his right foot in the opening contest against Ohio State. The injury, which forced Free to wear a protective boot and miss practice for much of the 2006 season, limited his overall effectiveness. Still, he was recognized for the second consecutive season as a First Team MAC selection and was graded at 91 percent for the regular season. Free may have been at his healthiest all year long at the East-West Shrine practices. There he caught the attention of legendary NFL coach Monte Clark, who was among the who's who of former NFL coaches and players that shaped this year's Shrine Game. Serving as Free's offensive line coach throughout the week, Clark was able to see first-hand the former Husky's athleticism and gushed about his potential in recent conversations we shared.

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Isaiah Stanback, QB/WR, Washington:[/SIZE][/FONT] Speaking of players making their way back up the board after sustaining foot injuries, one prospect to keep an eye on is Stanback. The 6-3, 216-pounder has the size, mobility and strong arm that every NFL team is looking for in a developmental passer. Though he struggled with accuracy at times, Stanback showed remarkable improvement over his junior and senior seasons and was moving up the charts before missing the final five games of the season with a right foot Lisfranc joint sprain/fracture suffered in the fourth quarter of the Oregon State game Oct. 21. Stanback underwent surgery and spent close to four months in a protective boot, eliminating any chance that he could work out for scouts before the draft. His rehabilitation is going well, however, as Stanback is now running and appears well on his way toward being fully healthy by June. Five teams (Dallas, Jacksonville, Miami, New England and St. Louis) have already scheduled private workouts, with others expressing interest. Stanback, who also ran track for Washington, was timed in the mid-4.6s last spring. He is certainly faster on the field, however, and his success on the track (finished fifth in the 100-meters at the 2006 Pac-10 Conference Finals with a career-best of 10.48 seconds) leads to speculation that teams are looking at Stanback as not only a quarterback, but receiver and potential special teams demon. A "Slash" role would make sense for a prospect with Stanback's diverse skills.

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Kyle Shotwell, OLB, Cal Poly:[/SIZE][/FONT] Capitalizing on a weaker than average group of high-ranking outside linebackers, several small school standouts are moving up the board late. Cal Poly has had surprising success in recent years of producing NFL linebackers, including third-rounders Jordan Beck (2005) and Chris Gocong (2006) the past two years. Like Beck and Gocong, Shotwell was recognized with the Buck Buchanan Award as Division I-AA's top defensive player. No school had ever previously featured three consecutive Buchanan winners. Shotwell took over the inside linebacker position with Beck moving on in 2005, though most scouts feel his size (6-1, 235 pounds) makes him a better fit at weak-side linebacker in the NFL. Shotwell, another player not invited to the Combine, had a reputation as a solid football player who wasn't viewed by as athletic enough to make the jump to the NFL. After a Pro Day performance that included a 4.52 40, 35.5-inch vertical and 6.96 three-cone drill, scouts are being forced to re-evaluate him.


    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Ted Ginn, Jr, WR/KR, Ohio State:[/SIZE][/FONT] In running a 4.39, 4.44 and 4.45 despite not being 100 percent, Ginn certainly answered any questions about his pure speed. But no one has ever questioned the former Buckeye's pure speed. Still unanswered are questions about Ginn's ability to recover from injury, his route-running and his ability to make an impact in the NFL as a receiver. Ginn struggled to keep his feet while running routes during his Pro Day performance, and film work shows that this is an area in which he needs refining. While he certainly has the speed and vision to make a Devin Hester-like impact as a returner, Ginn simply is not the sure-thing as a receiver prospect that some are labeling him.

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Lawrence Timmons, OLB, Florida State:[/SIZE][/FONT] The buzz around Timmons seems to grow quieter with each day. When he elected to leave Florida State after only one starting season, scouts were quick to mention his ascending play and upside. The first hint of trouble began in February at the Combine. Listed by the Seminoles at 6-3, Simmons instead measured in a shade under 6-1. He was expected to run exceptionally well, but instead ran a marginal 4.66. At his Pro Day on March 15, Timmons was only slighter better, producing a best of 4.63 seconds. Timmons' statistics are impressive. Taking over for Ernie Sims this year, he started all 13 games and racked up 79 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks. Despite his 18 tackles for loss finishing second in the ACC and tied for 14th in the nation, Timmons only received honorable mention on the All-ACC team. Leaving Florida State, the positives about Timmons were supposed to be his size and athleticism. But a lack of instincts and technique could be holding his stock down as the draft approaches.

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Chris Houston, CB, Arkansas:[/SIZE][/FONT] Houston is another big-name player who scouts have begun to question a bit as they are able to distance themselves from the Combine and review more film. As blessed as any cornerback in the country in terms of raw speed and strength, there is growing concern throughout the league that Houston really is the second coming of former Razorback bust Ahmad Carroll. Scouts for some teams drafting in the late first round and looking for cornerback hel, are giving Houston second- or even third-round grades. Most often, the comments scouts have is that while Houston is physically blessed, his lack of instincts and playmaking skills (only three interceptions of 22 passes defensed) make him a surprising liability. Scouts are also quick to point out that Houston is among the least willing of the draft's top cornerbacks in run support. Houston could prove to be a star, but he truly is a gamble.

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]Dan Bazuin, DE, Central Michigan:[/SIZE][/FONT] While former teammate Joe Staley is watching his stock climb as the draft approaches, Bazuin's is quietly sliding. A stronger than typical class at the position could force Bazuin, a classic over-achiever with limited overall athleticism, into the draft's second day despite a noteworthy collegiate career. At 6-3, 266 pounds, Bazuin lacks prototype size for the position and, though quick off the edge, he isn't truly explosive. Neither is he particularly fast or strong. While his numbers are impressive (261 tackles, 63.5 tackles for loss, 33.5 sacks over 47 starts) there remains concern about his level of competition. As scouts review his film in the weeks leading up to the draft, Bazuin's struggles against physical offensive tackles is drawing more and more concern. Bazuin's motor will allow him to be a contributor at the next level, but come draft weekend, expect to see many athletes with less production but more upside drafted ahead of the former Chippewa.

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]A.J. Davis, CB, North Carolina State:[/SIZE][/FONT] Davis has rare quickness and, if placed in the right scheme, should prove to be a very effective cover corner in the NFL. That said, his stock is dropping a bit after slower than expected results in the 40-yard dash during his Pro Day. A groin pull wouldn't allow the former ACC star to work out for scouts at the Combine, and the injury surfaced again as Davis ran a 4.56 and 4.61 at his Pro Day. An inconsistent showing at the Senior Bowl, coupled with these pedestrian results, could lead to a significant drop for Davis, especially considering the number of talented cornerbacks competing to be selected after first-round locks Leon Hall and Darrelle Revis.[/FONT]
  2. Teague31

    Teague31 Defender of the Star

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    there is growing concern throughout the league that Houston really is the second coming of former Razorback bust Ahmad Carroll.

    they stole my line!!
  3. CrazyCowboy

    CrazyCowboy Well-Known Member

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    I hope Ginn falls.........right into our lap at #22
  4. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    I'm starting to have issues about Ginn and his "slow healing leg".
  5. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    I wouldnt want him at 22 even if he were 100% healthy

    if we traded down late in rd one or early in rd two and took him I wouldnt be overly disappointed, but I think there are several better WR's available for us to think about than him

  6. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    Damn, people are noticing my Charlie Waters kid at ILB. I thought I was being so sneaky.
  7. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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  8. big dog cowboy

    big dog cowboy THE BIG DOG Staff Member

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    We won't bite.

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