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Roddrick Muckelroy, OLB, Texas- Very athletic, not great timed speed but plays fast, has good agility, acceleration and burst, plays the run well and plays with good leverage to hold up against bigger blockers (or at least he has when I have watched him) and also blitzes well if he can find a lane to shoot through. He also looks very fluid dropping back into coverage, and looks comfortable in zone or man coverage. He also seems to be very aware of backs and TE's trying to sneak out of the backfield for possible check downs from the QB.

I really like Muckelroy and though I think he will move up from his mid round projection I would love to find a way to get him here. Having him back up Peterson for a year would be ideal imo.

Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech- Not a sleeper by any means, but he still is a guy I wouldn't mind lining up for us on sundays. I am going to monitor him throughout the season to see if he is consistently getting pressure or if he will blow up one game and disappear the next. It is ideal to find a guy who can get pressure consistently, but even Abe can be taken out of the game if they double him on a regular basis. He is playing UNC this weekend (my poor Tar Heels...) and our offensive line is... porous. So I would be surprised if he doesn't have another huge game like he did against Clemson.

A.J. Edds, OLB, Iowa- I am hesitant to draw a lot of conclusions about Edds yet, but I have liked what I have seen from him generally. I am excited to see how he plays versus Penn State. He is definitely on my radar, but I am not ready to say I am sold on him yet. If he plays well and continues to show up tomorrow... I will be sold on him. I really like the idea of grabbing an OLB in the 3rd round range because I think there will be a lot of depth to the class, plus with Peterson playing well I don't think we will need an immediate replacement next year, giving us some flexibility to pick a player who might need some seasoning before he can step in (like Nicholas did).

Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State- I am trying to find a corner we could get who has good ball skills, and even though Cox doesn't have great hands he is still a good cover corner with some size (5'11"-6'0" and about 190 pounds) and long arms for pass deflections. Perhaps the hands will come, but they can at least be improved even if he never has great hands. I look forward to seeing how he does in the Big 12 because he will likely be tested a lot. If he isn't it will mean he has a lot of respect from opposing offenses.

Tyson Alualu, DT, California- He has looked great this year, and I might have to re-watch the Minnesota-California game to see the impact he had on that game (I missed good chunks of it). He doesn't have great size at about 295 but he still appeals to me as a prospect. I doubt we go DT in round 1 and we don't have a round 2 pick right now, but I still like him for our defense. I kind of want a big clogger... but I don't know if we will get one.

I have spent a lot of time watching QB's but I am starting to spread out to other positions, especially one's that I think the Falcons might need. It would be nice to find a good C this year but we might not have the picks to draft one in the mid-rounds where we would need to plus it is a thin C class this year. I am also looking at CB's, OLB's as well as DE's and DT's. A RT would be nice but we will see if we need to go in that direction. Hopefully we don't.

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Here's an update on some of the guys I have been monitoring:

-Muckelroy: 19 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 QB hurries and 2 pass deflections.

-Perrish Cox: 8 tackles, 7 pass deflections and 6 kick returns (24.7 yards per return) and 2 punt returns (26 yards per return). He is playing GREAT right now.

-A.J. Edds: 23 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 INT and 1 pass deflection (has 20 assists and only 3 solo, a little concerning)

-Morgan: 19 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 7 TFL, 1 pass deflection. He seems to have cooled off after the Clemson game.

-Tyson Alualu: 21 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 pass deflections and 1 forced fumble.

There are more guys I am watching but I just thought I would keep ya'll updated on how these guys are playing. Cox is really impressing me thus far, I am really excited to watch more of him.

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Here's an update on some of the guys I have been monitoring:

-Muckelroy: 19 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 QB hurries and 2 pass deflections.

-Perrish Cox: 8 tackles, 7 pass deflections and 6 kick returns (24.7 yards per return) and 2 punt returns (26 yards per return). He is playing GREAT right now.

-A.J. Edds: 23 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 INT and 1 pass deflection (has 20 assists and only 3 solo, a little concerning)

-Morgan: 19 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 7 TFL, 1 pass deflection. He seems to have cooled off after the Clemson game.

-Tyson Alualu: 21 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 pass deflections and 1 forced fumble.

There are more guys I am watching but I just thought I would keep ya'll updated on how these guys are playing. Cox is really impressing me thus far, I am really excited to watch more of him.

I havent been able to see a replay of the game but i really want to see how Cox did against the University of HOuston game.

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I think this year we really need to focus on getting some better cover corners, lucky for us I think there are quite a few good ones that will be available rounds 1 and 3. Parrish Cox would be nice, but there are also plenty of others such as Walter Thurmond, Patrick Robinson, Kyle Wilson, Brandon Ghee, Alterraun Verner, and more.

To me, I think if we get some guys who can cover one on one we will be able to use more exotic blitz packages. I like what we have with our front seven for now, though I suppose if we drafted an OLB in round 1 I couldn't complain. I wouldn't want one in the 3rd unless it was someone who could make starts right away. But if we had better cover corners we would be able to send more guys to plug holes and get pressure on the QB.

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I think this year we really need to focus on getting some better cover corners, lucky for us I think there are quite a few good ones that will be available rounds 1 and 3. Parrish Cox would be nice, but there are also plenty of others such as Walter Thurmond, Patrick Robinson, Kyle Wilson, Brandon Ghee, Alterraun Verner, and more.

To me, I think if we get some guys who can cover one on one we will be able to use more exotic blitz packages. I like what we have with our front seven for now, though I suppose if we drafted an OLB in round 1 I couldn't complain. I wouldn't want one in the 3rd unless it was someone who could make starts right away. But if we had better cover corners we would be able to send more guys to plug holes and get pressure on the QB.

I see what you're saying and I agree, but I also think that with a better defensive line it would mask some of our DB's problems in coverage, just like better CB's would give us more flexibility to call blitz packages. It goes both ways, and I like to err on the side of the defensive line when building a roster, but I really like what I've seen from Cox thus far.

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I havent been able to see a replay of the game but i really want to see how Cox did against the University of HOuston game.

He held their #1 leading WR in check for under 60 yards I believe.

I think this year we really need to focus on getting some better cover corners, lucky for us I think there are quite a few good ones that will be available rounds 1 and 3. Parrish Cox would be nice, but there are also plenty of others such as Walter Thurmond, Patrick Robinson, Kyle Wilson, Brandon Ghee, Alterraun Verner, and more.

To me, I think if we get some guys who can cover one on one we will be able to use more exotic blitz packages. I like what we have with our front seven for now, though I suppose if we drafted an OLB in round 1 I couldn't complain. I wouldn't want one in the 3rd unless it was someone who could make starts right away. But if we had better cover corners we would be able to send more guys to plug holes and get pressure on the QB.

Perrish Cox will be a stud. He is great in zone, but has great man coverage skills. He has the instincts to stick with the routes.

oh and Thurmond was high on my list, but he really disappointed me in week 1 and I never watched him again. Was a joke against Boise.

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A-Town we are on the same page as far as Perrish Cox goes. He might not have very good hands for the interception but he has pretty long arms and has good enough ball skills to at least get pass deflections. 7 pass breakups in 4 games is pretty remarkable, some corners don't even get that in a season.

No hands = TD not picking him LOL. I think that the better NFL prospects for CB in later rounds is going to be Devin McCourty from Rutgers. This kid is good against the run. He has great anticipation skills, and has good ball skills. He can be a great zone/man CB. He is also a beast on special teams.

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I see what you're saying and I agree, but I also think that with a better defensive line it would mask some of our DB's problems in coverage, just like better CB's would give us more flexibility to call blitz packages. It goes both ways, and I like to err on the side of the defensive line when building a roster, but I really like what I've seen from Cox thus far.

See that's what I don't like. I don't think we need to MASK anything, I think our front 7 now is good and is only going to get better. What I think is better for the team is to keep the front seven we have which is good enough to get the job done, and upgrade our secondary which is clearly not good enough to get the job done at this point.

I don't like masking problems because the problem is still there, and if anyone finds out a way to stop us we're back at square one. I think this is the year to go after a DB, and then next year we can try to find an upgrade at DT/OLB/DE. JMO

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See that's what I don't like. I don't think we need to MASK anything, I think our front 7 now is good and is only going to get better. What I think is better for the team is to keep the front seven we have which is good enough to get the job done, and upgrade our secondary which is clearly not good enough to get the job done at this point.

I don't agree that our front 7 is good and is only going to get better. I like our linebackers but Peterson is a temporary fix and we need to get another WLB in the draft imo. We have ONE good pass rusher at DE and one good DT, though I have high hopes for jerry despite his injury. The rest of the guys are no more than one dimensional rotational guys, that includes Chauncey, JA98, Bierman, Sidbury, Lewis and Johnson. They can all be upgraded and I think we need a LDE in this draft and a NT who is stronger versus the run than any of the guys we have now. Our run defense is porous right now, so to say that our front 7 is good and will only get better confuses me quite a bit.

Our secondary could use help, yes. But at safety we have DeCoud, Moore and Coleman, so we have 3 guys there than can play. At corner we have some young guys that need chances to develop, though a quality CB that could step in as a nickel back would be a helpful addition. We will see if we go in that direction.

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I don't agree that our front 7 is good and is only going to get better. I like our linebackers but Peterson is a temporary fix and we need to get another WLB in the draft imo. We have ONE good pass rusher at DE and one good DT, though I have high hopes for jerry despite his injury. The rest of the guys are no more than one dimensional rotational guys, that includes Chauncey, JA98, Bierman, Sidbury, Lewis and Johnson. They can all be upgraded and I think we need a LDE in this draft and a NT who is stronger versus the run than any of the guys we have now. Our run defense is porous right now, so to say that our front 7 is good and will only get better confuses me quite a bit.

Our secondary could use help, yes. But at safety we have DeCoud, Moore and Coleman, so we have 3 guys there than can play. At corner we have some young guys that need chances to develop, though a quality CB that could step in as a nickel back would be a helpful addition. We will see if we go in that direction.

Ok maybe our front 7 isn't "good" but it is serviceable. I think our corners are a bigger weakness from what I have seen so far, Pats had quite a few wide open guys that Brady just couldn't hit. I think if we attack this offseason like we did last offseason (not going after free agents at all) we will still need another piece or two to be legit on defense.

Though I would love it if we could get Thurmond or Herz in the 3-5 rounds. I would be a high risk/high reward situation but I'd like either of those two and they will most likely fall. Herz might not even get drafted, who knows.

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Just an update on the guys I have watched in these games and some initial reactions:

-Kevin Riley, QB, California- I'm disappointed with what I have seen with him. He was awful against USC and threw his first interception of the year to Taylor Mays in the end zone. I think that he has only thrown 1 interception this year because Best has been so good on the ground he has not had to throw the team back into games, but against USC the run game was slowed down significantly and he looked absolutely awful. There was some pressure applied to him but I have just been very disappointed with how he has played. Perhaps he will learn from these experiences and step up as a senior, but he just does not seem to have any poise and definitely does not have "it" as is often said about Ryan or other QB's. He just doesn't have good intangibles or poise and it is pretty evident. That makes me doubt his potential as a QB at the next level. Maybe he will have a good year next year and get drafted in the 2nd-4th round range, but I don't think he will ever be anything better than a solid starter in the NFL.

-Tyson Alualu, DT, California- He strikes me as a good UT prospect. He seems like a guy that could have a similar impact to Babs. He does well versus 1 on 1 blocks, can walk guys into the backfield since he is strong and plays with good leverage (only 6'1", 295 so he has natural leverage), sheds 1 on 1 blocks well and is quick off the line. He is a disruptive force when he has a 1 on 1 matchup (similar to Jerry in that regard also). He had 3-5 QB hurries against USC and Cal's only sack of the night and was arguably their best player in that game. However when he was doubled he was ineffective, similar to Jerry and Babs. He struggles versus double teams and isn't big enough to handle 2 300 lb guys blocking him one way. He can occasionally split the double team but most times he is rendered ineffective by a double. That is why I think he can be a solid/good UT starter like Babs has been for us. But if he is asked to play NT I think he will be ineffective like I was afraid Jerry would be when he has to take double teams. But as a 2nd round UT... I think he would be a very good acquisition. He has a great motor, is quick off the line, strong at the POA, can drive his blocker into the backfield and sheds blocks well. He also locks onto the QB and closes well to hurry the throw, hit the QB or come up with a sack. I really like what I have seen from Alualu.

-Tate Forcier, QB, Michigan- I really like what I have seen from Forcier. He is definitely a spread QB and is perfect for Michigan's offense, but he is special. He has pretty incredible poise for a freshman QB and if he can continue to develop as a passer I think he will have a shot to play in the NFL. His poise, leadership ability and football IQ are rare traits and I think that kind of ability is worth projecting to the NFL. He doesn't have ideal size either but he is taller than Drew Brees, has reasonably good arm strength, has good zip on his passes and has good athletic ability. As he learns to manage the pocket (he does an alright job of it already), continues to go through his progressions better and better as he gains experience as a starter and in the offense itself and potentially improve his footwork his only hurdles to cross in the NFL will be: Learning to play under center, however as evidenced by him already making some line calls in this offense and leading Michigan to a 4-1 record this year he seems to be a very quick learner. Joe Flacco demonstrated how quickly a guy who plays out of the shotgun a lot can learn to play under center (though Flacco had at least some experience passing from under center). If Forcier gets snaps under center as a passer I think he will be able to learn the 3, 5 and 7 step drops without much trouble. Reading a defense from under center and in a pro style defense will take some time so I doubt he will be able to start as a rookie (obviously this is looking like 4 years into the future so that is hard to say), but honestly I have faith that he will be able to make the transition. Guys with poise like Forcier don't come around every day, and NFL teams will hopefully realize that and be patient with him after he is drafted.

-Tim Hiller, QB, Western Michigan- Obviously I already posted a scouting report of him but I just watched the WMU-NIU game where he threw 3 interceptions and contrary to what you might think if you looked at the scouting report only 1 of the interceptions was his fault. On that throw he made his reads, found his guy in the slot going on a streak and was getting ready to throw in the face of pressure. However he had no room to step up in the pocket because both DT's were collapsing the pocket in front of him. He forced the throw anyways though and because he couldn't step into it it was underthrown. His WR had a step or two and because the corner was a bit behind him he just ran under it and came away with the interception. Was it a forced throw and a mistake? Yes. Was it a bad read? No. So I understand exactly what he was trying to do, he just didn't have the protection to do it. The other 2 interceptions weren't his fault. The first one happened when he threw to a WR on a drag route across the field and it bounced off his hand straight up into the air and was picked off. The other one occurred after he drove the team all the way down the field, the RG got owned by #54 and he deflected a pass back into the backfield as he was rushing and then he caught it and returned it for a big touchdown. Not a bad throw by Hiller at all, just a good job of getting a hand in the passing lane and it bounced perfectly for him to run under it and score.

I'm really glad I watched this game because if you look at the stats you'd say: Wow, Hiller played awful. However he was routinely moving his team down the field even though one of his starting receivers was injured. They would have had a FG on the first drive but they tried a fake FG pass to the kicker and didn't get the 1st. Then the 2 INT's that weren't his fault killed 2 promising drives, one inside the 15. They could have easily ended up with 10 more points if not 13-17 more. But they were trailing the entire game so I understand why he was pressing and forcing some throws (the underthrown INT was the first play of the 2nd half) much like Matt Ryan did as a senior at Boston College. Truthfully his situation reminds me a lot of Matt Ryan's. An alright running game/back, ok receivers, a decent at best OL and an average/above average defense. I really do think he is the best senior QB in the draft this year even though he had a down game against Northern Illinois. The fact of the matter is it was much better than you could ever ascertain from looking at the stat sheet. Sorry for the rant, but I thought I'd comment on the game because when I saw that he threw 3 interceptions... I thought he had an awful game too. That simply isn't the case though.

-Greg Middleton, DE, Indiana- He has some quickness off the ball, but not much speed for an edge rush. He is a strong guy though and if given time he can absolutely discard and toss OT's around. He is 6'3", 280-285 pounds so I think he might be a nice 3-4 DE. If he adds 10 pounds or so I think he will make an effective 3-4 DE. He has the strength, some ability to shed blocks, some quickness off the snap, and his pass rushing ability would be better as a 3-4 DE. He can get the edge sometimes but I don't think he can do it regularly enough to be a good every down LE in a 4-3, but in a 3-4 I think his pass rushing ability and his run defense would still be good enough because he plays with good leverage. I like him as a mid-round prospect, just not as a 4-3 DE I don't think.

-Jarrett Brown, QB, West Virginia- Personally I think he has talent worth developing and it is expected that he will have some up and down games. He had a great game against ECU though his team is simply a better team overall than they are. However, it is very arguable that Auburn is a better team overall than WVU is and that may have been why he had a bad game (at least statistically, I haven't watched the game to see how it went for him). It'll be interesting to see how that goes. I think he is a mid round QB prospect, he has good size, a very strong arm, impressive mobility, decent accuracy and alright footwork. He needs more experience obviously, but a year or two as a backup somewhere would do him good. (I think the Titans might be a good fit. They might not want another mobile QB like Vince Young, but with a mentor like Collins who has probably seen everything could be good for him. The Broncos and Rams are other teams that might be good fits for him because they have a QB that could be in place for a couple years while he develops.) I still have to watch the WVU-Auburn game, and I will post my thoughts after I do.

-Kyle Hix, OT, Texas- I paid attention to Hix because I personally thought he looked vastly better than Adam Ulatoski, the starter at LT. I think Hix will probably end up the starter at LT as a senior because he looked good in the run game and in the pass game. If we don't draft a RT high this season I think he would be a great player to keep an eye on as a senior next year to come in and start at RT if we selected him. As a 1st/2nd round prospect I think he would be worth the selection. Keep an eye out for him! I doubt he will declare this year though. (I really don't think we will this year even though it is a good RT class. If we had a 2nd round pick I definitely think we would, 1st- DE, 2nd- RT and 3rd- WLB would be my preference, but without a 2nd rounder I don't think we can afford to take one.)

-Jevan Snead, QB, Mississippi- He was my preseason #1 QB prospect for the draft but he has had a very slow start to the season. He was unimpressive and seemed to get rattled by South Carolina's pressure and had a horribly slow start in the 1st game I saw against Memphis but closed out the game with a pair of touchdown passes in short succession. He had another confusing game against Vanderbilt this week where he went 19/34, 237 yards 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions against a pretty bad Vanderbilt team. He missed a lot of practice time with the flu and what not, so he is probably still shaking off rust, but if he doesn't get on track in the next week or two I don't think he can leave after this season. At least not if he wants to be a 1st round pick. Even if he picks it up and plays great the rest of the season... can you really attribute play like this to rust? Maybe you can, but I'd like to see a lot more consistency than he is showing now, and I imagine NFL scouts feel the same way. I will be monitoring him closely as the season progresses, but right now his play is very concerning to me.

-Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame- My #2 QB prospect coming into the season, he has good size, impressive arm strength, good accuracy, good footwork/mechanics, etc. I have yet to decide what I think of his intangibles, his leadership ability, his poise in the pocket and how he reacts to pressure/tough situations. Forcier came through in the clutch when Clausen didn't in the Michigan game as black and white as a statement as that may be, but Clausen's drive was not nearly as impressive or pressure packed as Forcier's was and he came through. Clausen is a good QB but I don't know if he is a "great" QB yet. Does he have "it"? Can he lead game winning drives? Can he make plays even in the face of pressure? Those questions haven't been answered yet for me and if I'm going to grade him out as a potentially great QB on the next level I need to have them answered. Right now he strikes me as a Stafford type of player. I think he will be a productive starter but not necessarily a winner on the next level.

Games/players I still need to watch:

-Missouri vs Illinois- Blaine Gabbert (QB), Danario Alexander (WR).

-Cincinnati vs Rutgers- Tony Pike, Mardy Gillyard (WR), Anthony Davis (RT), Devin McCourtney (CB).

-Texas-Texas Tech- I watched this for Muckelroy, but I want to see what Lamarr Houston, a DT from Texas, has as far as playing NT, handling double teams, but also being able to collapse the pocket. I'm not sure if he can play NT, but that is why I have to watch him. :)

There are many others I still have to watch, I just can't think of them right now. It is far too late. lol.

Edited by NFL Draft Fan 07
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I want us to add a veteran DT in Free Agency. I think that Henderson will be a FA and he looks like the prime candidate.

We need corners that can cover man to man. I think that Owens and Hill will be given the opportunity to step up.

We also need depth at OT and TE. U of Miami has two guys that might be ideal for us. Fox is an up and coming LT prospect that should grade out for the 4th round. They also have a TE (I am forgetting the name right now) that played basketball for them and is looking pretty good as an athletic TE. Give that kid two years under Gonzalez and we should have a nice weapon.

That leaves WLB. I see that as the position we draft in the first round.

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I want us to add a veteran DT in Free Agency. I think that Henderson will be a FA and he looks like the prime candidate.

We need corners that can cover man to man. I think that Owens and Hill will be given the opportunity to step up.

We also need depth at OT and TE. U of Miami has two guys that might be ideal for us. Fox is an up and coming LT prospect that should grade out for the 4th round. They also have a TE (I am forgetting the name right now) that played basketball for them and is looking pretty good as an athletic TE. Give that kid two years under Gonzalez and we should have a nice weapon.

That leaves WLB. I see that as the position we draft in the first round.

I would love to get a quality DT in free agency, I'm just not sure if we will sign a guy like Henderson or Montgomery as much as some of us might like to have a guy like that. I think we will probably stick to the formula we have been using thus far and make sure our guys are quick off the ball, can collapse the pocket or make plays in the backfield, etc. I just think we need a guy who can anchor better at NT than I think Jerry can, and that is why I want to watch Lamarr Houston. Obviously guys like Henderson and Montgomery are good fits at the NT position as far as run defense is concerned (and arguably pass rushing as well) but I have to say I would be surprised if we signed a huge NT like that this offseason.

I agree that we need corners who can cover man to man, but I think we will be best off finding corners who can cover man to man and also play zone coverage. That will give us the most flexibility with blitz packages and also with disguising our tendencies to our opponents. Right now as a defense I think we are too specialized. On the defensive line we have pass rushers (Abe, Bierman, Sidbury) and guys who play the run (JA98 and Chauncey). Abe is the only guy who can play run defense (though we prefer to rotate him out instead of having him be in on every down) out of the pass rushers I mentioned and we all know what kind of pass rushers JA98 and Chauncey are. Then in the secondary we have Chris Houston who can play man coverage but he doesn't have good ball skills, we have Chevis Jackson who is purely a zone corner, we have Grimes who is just undersized regardless of the cover package, then we have Williams and Owens who I believe can play both man and zone. However neither is the answer as far as having a true #1 corner is concerned.

So in that light, getting a corner who is good in man and zone is important for us. If we can find a veteran who could even step in and play #1 for us, fantastic. If not then looking for someone in the mid rounds who can provide both is something I'm sure TD will be thinking about, and may actually do anyways even if he signs someone like Dunta Robinson in free agency. The more depth we have at CB, especially with corners who can play well in both man and zone schemes, the better.

Is Dedrick Epps the TE from Miami you are thinking of? I know he is their senior TE, I don't remember if he is the guy who played basketball or not. I would have absolutely no objection to drafting him in the 6th round range and giving Tony G a chance to mentor him. At worst he develops into a decent/reliable backup for us or an alright receiving option.

As far as Jason Fox lasting to the 4th is concerned I'm not sure I agree with you. I think he will end up in the 2nd round somewhere. I think he might end up being the 2nd or 3rd senior LT taken. I think Okung will definitely go before him, Charles Brown from USC might go before him (I figured he would rise) but I don't think Trent Williams is a LT, he is a RT in my opinion. Capers is alright but I didn't like a lot of what I saw when I watched ECU-WVU. Jason Fox shut down Derrick Morgan in the GT-Miami game and scouts have almost certainly taken notice of this. He is better than a lot of people thought, and I am definitely going to have to watch that Miami-GT game to not only see Morgan but to see Fox. Zane Beadles, OT, Utah might be someone to look at if you want to draft a potential LT in the mid rounds. Obviously he's not a perfect prospect, but he has some versatility and is good in pass pro, but not so much in the run game. He has experience at LT and LG so he can add depth at both positions which makes him attractive in round 4, at least to me.

I wouldn't be disappointed with WLB in round 1 if there was a stud we couldn't pass on, but whether there is someone available that fulfills that qualifier remains to be seen.

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Some scouting reports I have written up:

Everson Griffen, DE, Southern Cal (Junior)-

Positives: Very fast off the snap, great speed, good size (6’3”, 275-280 pounds) especially for a LE. Is very strong, has improving hand usage, plays with good leverage regularly. Has stepped up in a couple games in the 4th quarter when USC needed a pass rush or a big play. Seems to have a pretty good motor. Has the quickness off the ball and speed to get beat the OT on the edge to even play snaps at RE. Plays most every snap except for when USC flashes a 3-4 look, is even dropped into coverage on some plays.

Negatives: Occasionally will get pushed off the ball when he doesn’t keep his feet moving. Needs to continue to develop as a pass rusher, has flashed a spin move but only rarely. Needs to continue to improve his hand usage. He has all the athletic ability, but isn’t very polished as a pass rusher or LE in general. Limited starting experience after an underwhelming sophomore year. Looks uncomfortable when dropped into coverage (not surprising) unless he is just spying the flat.

Overall: Might be best suited to stay in school as a senior, and may do that regardless given USC’s track record of having top prospects (Leinart, Mays, Ellis, Palmer, Maualuga, Cushing, etc) staying for their final season for a chance at another title. That might end up being what is best, though I would feel comfortable spending a mid 1st round pick on him. Has all the athletic ability to be a dominant every down DE, just needs to continue to improve his fundamentals and his pass rush moves.

Projection: Mid 1st round (if he declared this season)

Greg Middleton, DE, Indiana (Senior)-

Positives: Good size, good strength, good hand usage, decent quickness off the snap and for the speed rush, plays with good leverage, played on almost every single snap in the game that I watched, is definitely an every down player. Seems to maintain decent gap responsibility, only occasionally flies up-field and notices that it is a run. Does not have many pass rush moves, has the swim, can knock away the opponents hands and has something of a burst to beat the blocker. Runs stunts well also because he has pretty good athleticism for a 6’3”, 285 pound man. Seems to be a reliable tackler with long arms.

Negatives: I don’t think he has the quickness off the ball or the speed off the edge to be a pass rushing threat as a LE in a 4-3. Sometimes is blocked for too long but when he sheds he tosses the OT aside, which while impressive is not as impressive as it might have been if he had shed less forcefully and made a play on the ballcarrier. Doesn’t pack much of a punch as a hitter, but flashes some ability to blow up blockers because of his strength.

Overall: I think he is a 3-4 DE or a 4-3 UT. I am not sure how he would do as a UT, so I personally think he would be better as a 3-4 DE. I don’t think he has the quickness or speed off the edge to consistently apply pressure from the LE spot in a 4-3 even if he was able to bull rush to collapse the pocket. If he added 10-15 more pounds and still maintained some of his quickness off the snap and into the pads of the blocker I think he would be fine at 3-4 DE. He would have 2 gaps to be responsible for but would have no reason to be trying to beat the OT off the edge regularly because that is the OLB’s job in a 3-4. If he can stand up at the POA against OT’s and OG’s, play with good leverage and continue to improve his hand usage and ability to shed I think he could be a solid starter in a 3-4. Obviously it isn’t an ideal fit, but it is a better fit than he is at LE in a 4-3 in my opinion.

Projection: 3rd/4th round

Kyle Hix, OT, Texas (Junior)-

Positives: Good in pass protection. He looks good versus the run as well and even shows the mobility to pull which is impressive. Flashes the ability to cut block but I would like to see more of that before I come to a conclusion. Has good footwork in his drops, keeps his feet moving, rarely gets out of position making himself vulnerable to an inside move. Uses his pretty long arms well to lock on to the defender and usually once he does that he is taken out of the play. Almost looks quick enough off the ball to play at LT, gets into his pass set quickly and takes away the speed rush well. I’m sure he will get his chance to play there as a senior and may prove to be a decent LT but a good/very good RT, but having that kind of ability in pass protection is still impressive.

Negatives: Shows the mobility to pull, but a few times struggled to find someone to block once he did. Takes away the speed rush versus LE’s, but will he be able to handle a speed rush from RE’s? Want to see him drive blocking more to make sure he plays with good leverage and has the strength to walk his man off the line of scrimmage.

Overall: I really like him as a RT prospect. In 2009 he is only a junior so he will likely be back for his senior season. He will probably play LT since he is the best pass protector even if he has all his prior experience on the longhorns as a RT. Strikes me as a good/very good RT with the ability to be a decent LT. Depending on how he looks next year at the position versus the primary pass rushers of most teams he may provide depth at LT should the starter go down. So he could be drafted as a RT knowing that he has the versatility to slide over to LT and at least be a stop-gap player until the injured player is healthy. That would be very valuable. May very well end up in the 1st round next year, and since I doubt the Falcons will draft a RT this year I hope we pick him in round 1 next season.

Projection: Mid 2nd/Early 3rd (if he declared this season)

Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame (Junior)-

Positives: Has good size, a strong arm, good accuracy, good pocket awareness, good footwork and mechanics, just looks like a quarterback. Has good starting experience since he was playing as a freshman, anticipates routes well and seems very comfortable with the play book and seems to be pretty smart. Also seems to be a good teammate.

Negatives: Has a lot of talent around him so the game might be a little easier for him than it is for other quarterbacks. Can just put it in Michael Floyd’s general area and he will go up and get it for him, similar to what Randy Moss used to do for Daunte Culpepper. Has not been a winner at Notre Dame even though he has the talent to do it now, I want to see him make good throws in the face of pressure, take a hit to complete a big pass and lead some game winning drives before I will believe in him as a potential great NFL QB.

Overall: I have not seen him make big throws in the face of pressure, I don’t know how good of a leader he is, I don’t know how his football IQ is or his other intangibles and I haven’t seen him lead an impressive drive for a late score to win the game for his team. Until he does those things and answers those questions I will doubt him as a NFL QB. Well, not as a NFL QB, because he can be a NFL QB and can be productive, similar to what I thought and still think Stafford will be in the NFL. He will be a 20/10 TD:INT guy, won’t make a lot of mistakes and will only force some throws and the Lions will probably be respectable during his career there, but I don’t think he will ever be the man that leads the Lions to a NFL Championship. I have a similar opinion of Clausen. I haven’t seen consistent late game magic from Clausen even though he has shown flashes of it, albeit less than Stafford did during his career, and I want to see him step up in the face of pressure and deliver a win for his team, even if Floyd is out for the rest of the year. Until then he will continue to strike me as a productive NFL QB but not a winner.

Projection: Top 10-15 (if he declared this season)

Jevan Snead, QB, Mississippi (Junior)-

Positives: Has decent height, some mobility and a pretty strong arm, especially when he sets his feet. Has good zip on his throws, has good accuracy when his feet are set and has pretty good pocket presence. Is willing to check down fairly regularly. Does not prematurely leave the pocket.

Negatives: Forces some throws but when he does it I don’t understand why he is doing it. He does it when he is under pressure but he forced throws against Memphis in the first week for interceptions and again against South Carolina. Perhaps he understood his team needed a spark or that they wouldn’t win without him against South Carolina, but I don’t believe that he was forcing throws like Matt Ryan did when he played for BC against Memphis. Needs to add some weight because he looks pretty skinny on film, I would like to see him win games for his team instead of lock the game up when they are already ahead. I question some of his leadership ability and some of his football IQ. I also think he struggles to throw on the run and I don’t understand why they roll him out as much as they do. He can do it, just not consistently. If they rolled him out and had him set his feet and deliver just to give the defense a different look I think it would be vastly more effective.

Overall: He has the talent and the tools to be a good NFL QB, and similar to Culter or Stafford, other SEC QB products, I think he forces some throws that I don’t quite understand but will still be a productive player. I just doubt that he will be a winner on the NFL level since, like Cutler at Vanderbilt and Stafford at Georgia, he hasn’t been a winner on the college level yet and doesn’t show the “I will carry this team to victory” mentality, similar to what Stafford showed last season. So right now he strikes me as a good NFL QB, but like Stafford and Clausen I am not convinced that he will be a winner, and that means I don’t think he will be worth a top 5-10 selection. He may go in the top 10 or Clausen may go in the top 10, but I don’t think the team will get their moneys worth as far as success, playoff wins and ultimately championships are concerned. At least I haven’t been convinced otherwise yet.

Projection: Top 10-20 (if he declared this year)

Tyson Alualu, DT, California (Senior)-

Positives: Quick off the ball, sheds blocks well, very disruptive player, can dominate his man when he gets a 1 on 1 block, has the strength and plays with good leverage (has natural leverage at 6’1, 295) so he is hard to move at the POA with only one blocker. He gets into the backfield well, is a good pass rusher and had 3-5 QB hurries versus USC as far as I am concerned. Has very good hand usage, can walk his man into the backfield when he gets a 1 on 1 and has a good burst to beat his man and close on the QB. Also appears to be a reliable tackler and has a great motor. Is an every down player with good conditioning, played almost every snap of the game.

Negatives: Struggles fairly mightily against double teams. He is a UT prospect for this reason because at NT he would get doubled regularly. Whenever USC put 2 guys on him he failed to make a play even though he split a couple of double teams though he was not in the right spot to make a play. Just isn’t big enough or strong enough to take on 2 guys, so does not project to NT or 3-4 DE in my opinion. Doesn’t have great size though it doesn’t seem to hinder him at all, and doesn’t seem to have short arms that would allow the offensive lineman to get into his pads to take him out of the play.

Overall: He reminds me a lot of Jonathan Babineaux in that he can be very disruptive when he gets 1 on 1 matchups but struggles to make any plays against double teams, making me believe that Alualu can be a good, solid starter at UT. He has a great motor, can make plays in the backfield or maintain his gap assignments against a 1 on 1 block, can rush the passer and has good hand usage and has a good burst off the snap, to beat his man and to close on the QB. As a 2nd round pick I think he would be a great addition for a team who needs a UT in a 4-3, he will be a solid starter in the NFL for a long time.

Projection: Mid/Late 2nd

There are a few more coming, I have to write up one for Forcier and Jarriel King (LT for South Carolina, he's a junior). And I am about to watch tape of Locker and Rahim Alem, DE, LSU. I am excited to see how both of them look.

Thanks for reading.

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