I know everyone has been eagerly awaiting my copy and paste scouting reports. Its the reason you check the fanpost section everyday. Well I've found a few more intriguing draft options that I wanted to throw out there. My latest scouring of the draft list has been focused on 2nd and 3rd Round options for the offensive line. I found a late round Tight End I like as well.
As a side point, draft projections mean nothing of course. And I'm learning as I do this the impossibility of predicting where guys will go. The media big boards are very general in nature. Whereas each team has specific and very different traits they look for in players. All it takes is for one team to place a guy very highly on their big board to throw off where we as fans reading these projections think a particular player should go. Kayvon Webster was a 7th round guy last year. But Im sure glad the Broncos didnt sit around and hope they were the only ones to notice him. 32 different big boards. 32 different draft needs. 32 different draft philosophies. Fans shouldn't try too hard to predict. And general managers have to go get the guys they want.
As your MHR scout, I bring to you guys who may bring some value after the first round. Of course I have no idea exactly what Elway and Co. look for in a lineman. Are they looking for the equivalent of Zane Beadles? An agile 300 LB LG who is solid in pass protection, and can get to the second level quickly in the running game? Or a 320 LB road grader who can overpower defensive lineman to clear holes for the wrecking Ball? Or do they prefer a solid pass protecting Tackle who can allow Franklin to shift inside? You may know better than me. But I know I want someone who can step in right away and improve the overall ability of the offensive line.
I like small school guys because they typically won't go very high in the draft based on the unknown. Yet there may be no difference in the talent and ability of a first rounder. LB Jordan Tripp is one such guy who tested very well at the combine to go with his game tape.
Here is a guy who was pretty low key, yet created a little buzz after performing well against quality opponents in the senior bowl.
DAKOTA DOZIER, OG SCHOOL: FURMAN | CONFERENCE: SOUTH
COLLEGE EXPERIENCE: SENIOR | HOMETOWN: WEST COLUMBIA, SC
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-4 / 313 LBS.
Spending four years as a left tackle has helped Dozier develop excellent footwork skills. He is a natural knee bender and he plays with good pad level. Quick for his size, Dozier has demonstrated the speed necessary to get outside when pulling and he is effective at getting to the second level. He keeps his legs churning through his blocks and uses lower body strength to drive his man. Over his collegiate career, Dozier led the way for three consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons. In pass protection he sets well in his stance and and maintains solid form while stalemating the pass rush. He sets a solid base and possesses a strong anchor.
Although he has faced periodic top-level competition, most of Dozier's experience comes against lower level talent. Although he acquitted himself well at the Shrine Game and during infrequent games against top notch programs, he has yet to face the consistent quality he will see at the next level. He is capable of delivering an outstanding punch at times, but he needs to work on being able to do so on an ongoing basis. Dozier does suffer from an occasional lapse in technique which he will not be able to get away with in the NFL. Several times during Shrine practices the coaching staff was forced to call him out for either lunging at his man or for trying to block one-handed.
COMPARES TO: Jonathan Cooper, Guard, Arizona Cardinals - Dozier's "plus" athleticism and movement skills are extremely impressive for a big man, and may remind some of last year's seventh overall pick Jonathan Cooper. Dozier's limited experience against high-level competition and very recent conversion to guard (Shrine Game) certainly differentiate him from Cooper in terms of draft value, but his upside could be massive and it wouldn't be surprising to see him gone by the end of round three.
My take after a little research:
I love the sound of this guy. His weaknesses seem coachable, and his upside is "massive". He has the sound of a guy who could improve the running game while being solid in the passing game as a converted Tackle. The adjustment to the pro game from Furman could take some time. But his game tape versus quality talent is apparently good. And we've seen guys like Beadles, Ramirez, and Clark grow the last few years as they are thrown in the fire. His lack of experience at Guard and versus top notch competition may cause teams to pass on him in the first few rounds. He may be a nice pickup if they don't draft a few of the higher rated guys, while focusing on other positions.
And how about a Tight End?
Julius Thomas is set to go off this year on a contract season. Dreesen seems likely to be cut. And if Tamme stays on board, he's on the last year of his contract. So a late round tight end may be in order.
After searching through some late round guys, a speedy 247 LBer caught my attention. I'm a sucker for forty times. And this not very highly known guy ran a blazing time for his size. He is just under 250 LBs at 6'4. Yet he ran a 4.41 40 at his pro day. Of course that doesn't mean he is a good football player. But I have reason to believe his possible talents and potential were masked for a few reasons. First, he played behind two eventual pro TEs at Cincinatti until last year. So he has only one year of starting experience and game tape. Second, the TEs in Cincinattis system are used more as blockers than pass catchers. It was also for this reason that he was not invited to the scouting combine. But he had a fantastic pro day:
The best performance of the day was by tight end Blake Annen (6-foot-4 1/8, 247 pounds), who posted two very good times in the 40: a 4.41 and a 4.42. He also had a 34-inch vertical jump and a 10-foot broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.30 seconds and the 3-cone drill in 7.19, and he threw the bar up 25 times. He had a very strong workout, both running and catching the ball.
Very good pro day positional workout. Produced exceptional results at his pro day, blazing a 40-time (4.41) faster than many receivers. Scrappy in-line blocker -- gets in the way. Possesses the vertical speed to stretch the field.
Undersized -- lacks bulk, bulk strength and power in his body. Does not play to timed speed. Lacks polish in his routes and gears down to catch. Average lateral agility, creativity and elusiveness after the catch. Could stand to improve beating the jam and do a better job finishing blocks. Only a one-year starter.
What I read about him, and the little I saw, certainly merit pro consideration. He seems to be like a Jacob Tamme type, yet bigger. And he timed out faster too. He timed faster than Eric Decker for that matter. So the potential seems to be there to replace Tamme as the 3rd TE. Or possibly be used as a Julius Thomas replacement in the "Move" TE role. Plugging him into a spread out, pass first offense could properly utilize his breakaway speed. Not too many TEs can stretch the defense deep from the inside. And his experience in college was focused on blocking. So he could be fairly solid in that aspect. Definitely worth a late round flier in my opinion.