TV Scouting: Week Five

Somewhat back to normal this week, as we have plenty of match-ups to preview, but we're going to jump a few spots on the position spectrum and head to the defensive side of the ball.  With the run defense being the biggest concern for the Broncos, I thought it fitting that we look at the defensive tackle rankings next.  No special themes this week, but all new teams in the match-ups segment.  Remember to use this thread as your official college football open thread.

Michigan State at Wisconsin

Wisconsin seems ripe for the upset, as they've skated by in there last two games, and Michigan State has regained confidence this year with a 4-0 start.  Wisconsin's best draft talent can be found on the defensive side.  Jack Ikegwuonu is my top corner coming into the season, and though Reggie Smith is climbing, Ikegwuonu is still tops.  A big, physical corner that loves to press and play tough against the run.  Similar to Ike Taylor and fits several schemes thanks to his athleticism and speed.  Matt Shaughnessy is built like a prototype edge rusher and comes with the necessary edge speed, but the production has to pick up, and he needs to develop his pass rush moves to be more effective against better tackles.  Jason Chapman is built in the mold of past Wisconsin defensive tackles, but will need to avoid the same "bust" stigma when he decides to enter the league.  Chapman has a frame to grow into and he's quick enough off the ball to be disruptive in a one gap or simple scheme.  Jonathan Casillas is said to be the fastest guy on the team.  A little lean for a linebacker, he'll either need to convert that straight line speed into range for a safety, or add some weight to stick on the weak side in the pros.  Offensively, Travis Beckum is an electric tight end, but he too is on the lean side and may be a sub-package H-Back in the Chris Cooley mold.  P.J. Hill is actually in his third year out of high school and could declare if he so chooses, but he's got too much baby fat and little explosion at this point.  All of these players would need to declare early, with Ikegwuonu being the most likely to do so.  

Michigan State doesn't have many big prospects.  The best may be SirDarean Adams, an undersized, speedy linebacker that's a little stiff and he may be too much of a S/LB tweener to succeed as a starter in the NFL.  Kellen Davis is a large framed target at tight end that has finally started to capitalize on his skills.  He still isn't much of a blocker despite his size, but he has decent hands and can get off the line quickly.  Mike Gyetvai is a major injury risk, but he's a 6'7 Big Ten style tackle that could be taken late and serve a role backing up both spots on the right side of the line, but he's nothing special beyond big and experienced.  Jehuu Caulcrick has caught the attention of college football fans, but he's much too heavy and slow footed to be more than a sub-package tailback or even fullback on a team that doesn't emphasize blocking.

Maryland at Rutgers

It's not a great year for Maryland prospects unless a couple of juniors step up their play and declare early.  Jeremy Navarre (DE) and Trey Covington (OLB/DE) were two highly rated high school ends that have yet to break out.  Navarre is out of place as an end in the 3-4, and Covington just hasn't been productive enough coming off the edge.  Tackle Dre Moore, has decent size for a 3-4 or 4-3 NT, but he doesn't hold the point as well as you'd like from a 3-4 starter.  Could fit better in some form of a 4-3 gap control system.  Junior Erin Henderson is the top prospect on this team.  He's a bigger linebacker than brother E.J. and not as stiff-hipped.  He could creep in to the Adibi-Wheeler area should he declare.  Both running backs, Ball and Lattimore, are bigger, downhill types that don't look like bell cows and only Lattimore may be draftable.

Rutgers has most of it's talent on the offensive line.  The best is Pedro Sosa, who may be a tad undersized for left tackle, but has good quickness and technique, so he could handle spot duty or even play guard full time.  Mike Fladell will be drafted thanks to his massive frame, but not every team is in the market for a sluggish, 6'7 guard that works best in short areas.  Jeremy Zuttah is another tackle that might be a tad small for the position, but plays with good technique and shows enough nastiness to play right guard.  The "name" prospect here is Ray Rice.  Though he's overrated now, he does have a compact frame and could add another ten pounds to help between the tackles.  He stays low and makes the right cut and reads, but if he doesn't get bigger he'll just be a third down back.  Not every sub 5'9 guy turns in to Jones-Drew.

UCLA at Oregon State

Ben Olson made my early QB rankings list, but after injury and the reputation of Pat Cowan, it might be hard for Olson to get back into the draft picture before his eligibility runs out.  Most of UCLA's prospects are even overrated for their modest projections.  Both safeties, Dennis Keyes and Chris Horton, have good size and solid production, but neither has great range, Horton can hit but is way too stiff, and Keyes is pretty soft in run defense.  Both defensive line prospects, T Brigham Harrell and DE Bruce Davis, have similar profiles as overachievers that lack adequate size and the athleticism to make up for it.  Offensively, Brandon Breazell has shown some elusiveness at wideout, but he's very thin and won't help in traffic or in run blocking.  Chris Markey is a decent runner with solid vision, and could work his way into a sub-package role if he shows his run instincts in a camp.  His size is average, but he could add more to his frame.

Oregon State has two guys I really like as far as Denver is concerned.  For a senior wideout, Sammie Stroughter is pretty raw.  What he brings is explosiveness to the return game, and deep speed to the receiver corps.  He's generally considered a great character guy, and is battling through a touch season of personal tragedy.  There's some debate as to his actual size, but size isn't key to his skill set and he should be a solid mid-rounder with big return skills.  Up front, Roy Schuening is a no frills guard prospect that adds excellent work ethic to sound technique to provide a very solid but unspectacular performance at guard.  He's the type of player that will be taken in the mid-rounds but outplay lineman taken ahead of him.  Understands angles and displays enough quickness to succeed in Denver's zone scheme.  C Kyle DeVan is also on the pro radar, but is seen more as a camp body.  LB Derrick Doggett has plus speed and athleticism, but under 215 lbs., he's got some lifting/eating to do, or a new position to learn.

DT ratings...

  1.  Glenn Dorsey, LSU
  2.  Sedrick Ellis, USC
  3.  Frank Okam, Texas
  4.  Red Bryant, Texas A&M
  5.  Marcus Harrison, Arkansas
  6.  Andre Fluellen, Florida State
  7.  DeMario Pressley, NC State
  8.  B.J. Raji, Boston College
  9.  Dorrell Scott, Clemson
  10.  Steve Coleman, Oklahoma
Dorsey is a stout plugger with the strength to hold the point and the quickness to beat tackles off the ball, but needs to improve his pass rush.  Ellis might be the best pass rusher of the bunch, but he can also hold double teams with his technique and has drawn comparisons to Casey Hampton.  Okam is up here for now because he's played with more effort, but if he disappears in up-coming big games (again) even his plus size/skill ratio won't keep him in the first two rounds.  Bryant is working back from injury and isn't asked to make plays, but so few guys this size and this experienced are available in the draft.  Harrison might have the same talent as the top two, but he's a character risk and doesn't play as hard as the top two.  Fluellen is similar to the last two first round FSU DT's, with a good frame, decent athleticism, and little production to show for it.  I've never been impressed by Pressley, who has ridden the coattails of the NC State lines of the past few seasons.  Has the ability to be very good, but so do the guys above him and I'm not convinced Pressley will show up to play in the pros.  Raji has shown a good motor in his career, but he's gotten almost too big for his frame and his effort declines as his weight goes up.  Scott is a good size/skill prospect that doesn`t have to face consistent double teams with the linemates he has around him, and he`ll need to show he can hold the point consistently when asked.  Coleman sneaks on as the Oklahoma rotation at tackle has forced him to earn his reps and go hard when he gets them.  Still needs to show effort down the stretch, but he's starting to capitalize on his promise.

Most overrated DT's...

  1.  Terrance Taylor, Michigan
  2.  Roy Miller, Texas
  3.  Eric Foster, Rutgers
  4.  Kellen Dykes, West Virginia
  5.  Trevor Laws, Notre Dame
Taylor was receiving some All-American attention, but thus far, he's been too hot-cold in holding up against double teams and even NT's should make more plays in college.  Miller is a try hard type that is well regarded in the Big XII, but doesn't have the size or athleticism to be successful at the next level.  Foster may be an All Big East candidate, but at 6'0 270, he's playing in the wrong era for an NFL career.  Dykes has also garnered All-Big East attention and shows up on several prospect lists, but he hasn't shown enough technique or athleticism to go with his decent size.  Laws has been pegged as a first day guy by some, but 6'0 300 lbs. tackles that don't have plus quickness or power are a dime a dozen, and he's now playing out of place in the 3-4.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR.