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Austen Lane a TD type player


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Haven't been hearing much about Lane on these boards, but after studying him he sounds just like the type of play TD would target. This is a long read but well worth it. I've bolded the parts that make him stand out to me as player TD would covet.

Lane has been a 4 year starter, he's a senior, team first, non-stop motor, team captain.

By Dave-Te’ Thomas, The NFL Draft Report

For those that have read my scouting reports on NFLdraftscout.com, Cbssportsline.com and NFL.com, you know I pull no punches when it comes to evaluating talent. While the NFL Draft has become the second-biggest media event by the league, outside the Super Bowl, draftniks are always on the lookout for the “hidden talents” in the collegiate ranks. Over the next few months, I will take you on a trip through the NCAA to introduce you to the Rip Van Winkles, the Super Sleepers, the players that may not be well-known to the “draft nation,” but are sure to make their marks in the NFL training camps next year.

Most of the attention in the state of Kentucky has been directed at the troubles of basketball powerhouses, Louisville and Kentucky, where both coaches are under the microscope for their, ahem, off-field activities. NFL scouts are bypassing both of those campuses and are making a bee-line to “Blue Grass” country to see one of the best athletes in the FCS ranks, Murray State’s standout defensive end, Austen Lane.

What they are all seeing is a player in the mold of New York Giants standout pass rushers, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka and Osi Umenyiora. Lane has the lateral agility, balance and foot speed that Kiwanuka possesses, showing excellent pass coverage skills that could see some team line him up at strong-side linebacker on occasion. He has the long frame with deceptive power and that keen sense for the flow of the ball that Tuck features in his game. He also demonstrates that explosive first step, hand usage and urgency getting to the quarterback that Umenyiora has utilized in ranking with the elite sack artists in the league.

Scouts also see an unassuming player with a team-first work ethic, one that has been a mentor for the Racers’ younger players to emulate. While he may be a “yes sir, no sir” type in his everyday life, Lane is the closest thing to Clark Kent/Superman on game day. He arrives at the stadium like a mild-mannered reporter, but when he steps out of that telephone booth to enter the playing field, many opposing offensive linemen realize that the man standing in front of them is about to put an “S” on his jersey and a red cape on his back, as the Murray State defender shows that he is faster than a speeding bullet with his explosion into the backfield, more powerful than a locomotive with his ability to easily split double teams and able to leap unprepared offensive tackles with a single bound, evident by his 23 sacks, 43.5 stops for loss and 28 QB pressures to date.

AUSTEN D. LANE Defensive End Murray State University Racers

#97 6:06.2-272 Iola, Wisconsin Iola-Sandinavia High School

OVERVIEW

The once-lanky 220-pound Wisconsin native is the product of Murray State’s off-season program, having added close to fifty pounds of bulk and muscle to his frame since arriving on campus as a freshman. As he continued to mature physically, he began to show flashes of brilliance as a pass rusher, coming into his own during a banner junior campaign.

Lane would go on to lead the Ohio Valley Conference and rank fourth in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision in both quarterback sacks and tackles behind the line of scrimmage in 2008. His 12.0 sacks and 22.0 stops for loss established new school season-records. He also tied the Racers game-record with 3.5 sacks in the Southeast Missouri State clash. To date, his 23.0 quarterback sacks rank and 43.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage rank second in school history.

Lane’s impressive junior season performances elevated his ranking in the NCAA record books. His average of 1.176 tackles for loss per game is the best career total by a Racer or Ohio Valley Conference player and places him 19th on the NCAA FCS all-time record list. His average of 0.622 sacks per game also leads the team and conference while listing tied for 14th on the FCS record chart.

Murray State greatly benefited from Lane’s ability to attack the opposing backfield. They finished second in the league and 33rd in the nation with an average of 2.25 quarterback sacks per game in 2008, compared to 1.55 sacks per game in 2007 (MSU placed 83rd in the nation and sixth in the OVC that year).

The Racers also placed 24th nationally with an average of 6.92 tackles for loss per game, an improvement from their 99th place ranking in 2007 (5.09 tpg). With Lane dominating the trenches, Murray State’s defense finished second in the conference, allowing just 328.42 yards per game in 2008 after giving up an average of 446.36 yards per game during his sophomore season.

Lane was a two-sport standout at Iola-Sandinavia High School, where he played on both sides of the ball for the football team. As a senior, he registered 14.5 quarterback sacks as a defensive end and also caught 31 passes for 717 yards (23.1 avg) and thirteen touch-downs as a wide receiver.

That effort earned Lane All-Conference and All-Region offensive and defensive honors. He was also named All-State first-team on defense and was an honorable mention offensive choice. That year, he also recorded 134 tackles (77 solos), as he recovered four fumbles and blocked five kicks during his final campaign. He added two letters for the Thunder-birds’ basketball team, earning second-team All-Conference accolades in 2004-05.

Lane arrived on Murray State’s campus as a 220-pound freshman in 2006. The Journalism major started nine of the ten games he appeared in that year, lining up at right defensive end. He recorded 34 tackles (11 solos) with 2.5 sacks and also blocked a pair of extra point attempts.

As a sophomore, Lane, now standing at 228 pounds,started all ten games he played in, finishing sixth on the team with 48 tackles (28 solos). His 3.5 sacks and 8.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage ranked second among Racers defenders, as he again used his excellent leaping ability to excel on special teams, blocking the third kick of his career.

Lane added more than twenty pounds of bulk before reporting to fall camp in 2008. The 250-pounder earned All-American and All-Ohio Valley Conference honors for the first time in his career. He set school game and season-records for sacks, finishing the campaign fourth in the nation after dropping quarterbacks twelve times for minus 108 yards.

Lane also set the MSU annual record with 22.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He recovered three fumbles, caused two others and blocked the fourth kick during his time with the Racers. His hard-hitting tackling style resulted in seven turnovers by the opposition, as he also registered 21 stops on third-down plays and three more on fourth-down action.

Entering his final campaign, Lane was recently named an All-American first-team pre-season choice. He is regarded as the best defensive prospect in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision ranks and was named the preseason favorite to garner FCS National Defensive Player of the Year honors. The Buck Buchanan Award nominee recorded 30 tackles (10 solos) through the first five games of 2009. He is tied for seventh in the nation and leads the Ohio Valley Conference with an average of 1.8 tackles for loss per game. His average of 1.00 quarterback sacks per game lead the OVS and places him in a tenth-place tie nationally.

CAREER NOTES

In 37 games at Murray State, Lane started 34 contests, recording 175 tackles (80 solos)… His 23.0 sacks for minus 157 yards are topped only by Anthony Hutch (28.0 sacks, 1992-96) in school history…His 12.0 sacks in 2008 broke the previous Racers season-record of 10.5, first set by Anthony Hutch in 1996 and matched by Marcus Stepp in 1998…His 3.5 sacks vs. Southeast Missouri in 2008 tied the MSU game-record that was first established by Anthony Hutch vs. Tennessee-Martin in 1996…Added three sacks in the 2009 Missouri State clash, becoming the first Racer to register at least three sacks in a game more than once in a career…His average of 1.176 tackles for loss per game is the best career total by a Racer or Ohio Valley Conference player and places him 19th on the NCAA FCS all-time record list…His average of 0.622 sacks per game also leads the team and conference while listing tied for 14th on the FCS career-record chart…His 43.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for losses totaling 219 yards rank second in school history, topped by Anthony Hutch (44.0, 1995-96)…Lane’s 22.0 stops for loss in 2008 set the Murray State season-record, surpassing the previous mark of 19.0 tackles behind the line of scrimmage by Kent Lapa in 1987…His 4.0 stops for loss vs. Southeast Missouri State in 2008 rank fourth on the school game-record list behind Anthony Hutch (5.5 vs. Tennessee-Martin in 1996 and 5.0 vs. Western Kentucky in 1995) and Sam Franklin (5.0 vs. Western Kentucky in 1977)… Lane has recorded 28 quarterback pressures with five forced fumbles, as he registered three fumble recoveries, deflected five passes and blocked four kicks.

SCOUTING REPORT… GENERAL REPORT-Grade-6.62

Body Structure Lane has a long torso, with impressive arm length, big hands, well developed legs, with good thigh and calf thickness. He has added needed weight during the 2007 off-season, but his frame can carry at least another fifteen pounds of bulk with no loss in quickness. He is a well-proportioned athlete with good upper body muscle development. He has good shoulder size and width, big bubble and tight waist and hips.

Athletic Ability Lane has outstanding quickness and plays with a high motor to defeat blocks. He has the hip flexibility to drop back in pass coverage, reminding some of the Giants’ Mathias Kiwanuka when he does so. He has enough quickness to run with the tight ends and backs down the seam ands very good change of direction agility. He demonstrates good balance and superb lateral movement working down the line (see 2009 Missouri State and 2008 Illinois State and SE Missouri games). He also plays excellent intensity. He is fluid when redirecting and does a very good job of staying on his feet. He has an above average burst off the edge and shows acceleration when working in space. With his long reach, it is rare to see him struggle when disengaging inside, and he uses his hands very well to prevent from getting pushed back vs. the larger offensive tackles…GRADE-6.9

Football Sense Lane shows very good instincts coming off the snap and a feel for blocking schemes, but will get a bit reckless with the snap cadence (offside issues in 2008). Still, he has good awareness on the field and his motor never stops. He is relentless in pursuit and the type that will never give up on a play. He shows the ability to take the plays from the board to the field. He is quick to read and react to outside run plays and has the vision to find the ball and close with good urgency…GRADE-6.5

Character Lane is a very tough player who pushes himself and others. He is a good program type with obvious leadership skills and the team seems to feed off his play on the field. He has no known off-field issues and gets good family support…GRADE-6.3

Competitiveness Lane has outstanding toughness and his motor never quits. He will give a consistent effort throughout the game and has come through with numerous clutch plays. He competes just as hard in practices and in the weight room as he does during games. He is savvy enough to know how to use his hands to discard blockers rather than try to get into long one-on-one battles with them. He shows good urgency and closing speed chasing down ball carriers and is a nasty, aggressive battler vs. double teams. He makes plays because of his “take no prisoners” attitude on the field…GRADE-6.7

Work Habits Lane has good work ethic and is a tough kid who will play through most injuries. He chases until the whistle and is a coachable and solid team leader, whether leading by example or through his play. He competes hard, is very accountable and dependable, according to the coaching staff, serving as a team captain. He is a good worker on the field and in the class room. He is not the type that needs the coach to pat him on the back. His added bulk before the 2008 season showed the dedication he has in attempts to play better and compete at a high level… GRADE-6.7

ATHLETIC REPORT-Grade-6.67

Explosion/Pursuit Lane is a player with outstanding initial quickness (1.51 in the 10-yard dash). He utilizes that speed consistently in attempts to gain advantage and with his high motor, he easily gets off blocks to make plays at the line of scrimmage or chasing down action in the backfield (see 2009 Kentucky Wesleyan and Missouri State and 2008 Illinois State, Jacksonville State, SE Missouri and Tennessee State games). He is explosive out of his stance, and very quick to close on the ball. Because of his size, he has that reach to keep outside blockers off his body and also the ability to split double teams when working in-line to get through traffic. He is quick to engage the offensive tackles and tight ends and has a very good feel for blocking schemes. While field fast in the short area, he flashes some cat-like quickness covering tight ends in the short area, especially when reacting to movement. He is rarely late off the snap at the X’s, but sometimes gets a little too eager to penetrate, resulting in costly penalties (see 2008 UT-Martin and SE Missouri games), but he quickly learns from his miscues…GRADE-7.0

Strength at Point From a sheer strength point, Lane has more natural power than weight room figures indicate. He generates a good jolt in his hips and hands to rock the offensive tackle back on his heels during the bull rush. He has enough speed and explosion to get an edge. Despite his lanky frame, he is stronger than he looks, as he plays with leverage and keeps his pads down, making it tough to block him head-on. He rarely ever getswashed by down blocks and keeps his hands active to prevent from getting overpowered by double teams when heading up the gut. He is best coming off the edge, but when he starts “playing games” with the offensive tackle rather than try to locate the ball, he can get widened and steered in both phases (pass and run). He has the leverage to hold up at the point of attack, but is more effective on the move…GRADE-6.3

Use of Hands Lane fights pressure and uses his hands well disengage and transfer on the block. He gets his hands on the blocker immediately and does a steady job of keeping blockers off his body with his hand extension. The thing you notice on film is his ability to play with leverage and control blocks. When working in trash, he does a nice job of executing rip/club/swim moves, knowing how to mix them up to prevent from getting too predictable battling the linemen. Even when he gets tangled up at the Xs, he has the hip swerve and balance to escape and get back in the play…GRADE-6.2

Lateral Pursuit/Effort Lane is fluid in his change of direction and lateral movement, as he works hard to keep his feet and play with leverage and explosion. He has enough acceleration to skate, string plays out and catch a play from behind, doing a solid job in backdoor plays. He fights to collapse and get to the ball, getting a good push off the edge. With his lateral movement, quickness and high motor, he is a big factor when playing down the line of scrimmage and keeping containment vs. outside runs (see 2009 Missouri State and Eastern Kentucky and 2008 Lambuth, Illinois State, Austin Peay and SE Missouri games)…GRADE-6.8

Tackling Ability Lane has the strength, arm length and reach to hit, wrap and secure. He will square up and wrap, thanks to his above average hip explosion. He plays with a good pad level and despite his lanky frame, he usually holds up well at the point of attack. If he fails to penetrate, he will make a determined effort to string the play out. In the short area, he has enough arm strength to lock up and take out the outside leg of the ball carrier to prevent forward progression after the collision. He follows through the plays in front of him with good balance and on plays against plays on his side, you rarely ever see him gather before redirecting…GRADE-6.0

Run Defense Lane has that tireless motor and quickness, along with good hand placement to generally get a piece of the ball carrier (41.5 tackles for loss for his career, along with stopping runners at the line of scrimmage for no gain 19 times in his last 25 games). He plays better on the move, as he is more productive when stunting and has made marked improvements with his anchor and read ability. He uses his hands with quick, strong swipes to disengage when facing the larger blockers head-on, and he will never give up on the play. He might get stuck on big bodies when working in-line, at times, but shows good athleticism with balance and body control to keep his feet vs. low blocks…GRADE-7.2

Pass Rush Lane’s high motor and quickness, along with his hand usage has made him one of the most feared pass rushers in the FCS. He flashes above average leverage and leg drive when trying to bull rush at the X’s and demonstrates excellent timing, especially with his spin move. With his quickness, he is best off the edge, where he can use his speed to bend the corner. He uses the bull rush with effective rip, swim and club moves. He is also effective on counter moves, as he looks very fluid spinning. He plays low and pumps his legs to get the leverage he needs on the edge…GRADE-7.3

Closing on the QB Lane is a high energy type whose quickness makes him better than most defensive ends at any level. He is a high motor type who uses his speed to get to the quarterback (see 2009 Kentucky Wesleyan and Missouri State and 2008 Illinois State, Austin Peay and SE Missouri games). He can really run, and chases hard to close, demonstrating good impact when he makes contact with the larger and stronger blockers. He flattens quickly and has the suddenness to come up and under, but needs to work on getting through inside trash better. When he breaks free, Lane shows the quickness to close, as he takes dead aim on the passer. While the school does not keep good records in this category, he is very good at flushing and applying pressure (school has short-changed him 20 QB hurries in the last three years)…GRADE-6.7

Instincts/Recognition Lane is a quick read-&-react type with very good eyes for blocking schemes and backfield activity. He shows valid instincts locating the ball, along with a good feel for blocks and where they are coming from. He is more like the Giants’ Justin Tuck as an edge rusher, as he has the field smarts to know not only where he should be positioned, but also where his teammates should be. The Murray State system requires their players to use their brains. Lane is very effective at doing so…GRADE-6.5

Compares To JUSTIN TUCK-New York Giants…Lane is actually a combination of all three of the Giants’ standout defensive ends. He has the pass coverage/drop back ability of Mathia Kiwanuka and that relentless motor Tuck displays that generally frees up the other linemen. He is relentless applying pressure to the pocket and like Osi Umenyiora, he has that keen vision and change of direction skills to give chase on the move in attempts to shut down the outside running game.

OVERALL GRADE-6.67

2009 SEASON

All-American first-team preseason selection by The NFL Draft Report and Consensus Draft Services…Rated the best defensive prospect in the NCAA FCS ranks by The NFL Draft Report, a scouting information bureau used by the league…Consensus Draft Services also named Lane the favorite to win FCS National Defensive Player of the Year…Added All-Ohio Valley Conference first-team and OVC Defensive Player of the Year preseason honors… The defensive team captain was recently named to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch List, an honor given to the top defensive performer at the Football Championship Subdivision level…Started the first five games at right defensive end, recording 30 tackles (10 solos), as he is tied for seventh in the nation and leads the Ohio Valley Conference with an average of 1.8 tackles for loss per game…His average of 1.00 quarterback sacks per game lead the OVS and places him in a tenth-place tie nationally…Registered five sacks for minus 14 yards, 9.0 stops for losses totaling 25 yards and six QB pressures…Caused two fumbles…On 29 running plays directed at him, the opposition gained only 12 yards (0.41 ypc), as he stopped ball carriers at the line of scrimmage six times and made two third-down stops and one fourth-down tackle vs. the ground attack…Added six third-down stops, as the opposition completed just 1-of-14 pass attempts (7.14%) into his area for minus 3 yards, as Lane rerouted/jammed receivers on seven of those throws…Posted six of his hits inside the red zone, including two on goal-line plays.

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Biggest question mark is his run defense, he got ate up in the run at the Senior Bowl when goign against Division 1 Tackles. I think he is another Sidbury/Biermann type of DE, raw with potential but not strong against the run. He may be an upgrade as he learns to defend the run. I like him, but after seeing him against better competition i question his run stopping ability which makes me kind of lean towards not drafting him because we have already addressed the position with our first, but if we go another direction with our 1st then I wouldnt mind getting him or Hardy in the 3rd or 4th.

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Biggest question mark is his run defense, he got ate up in the run at the Senior Bowl when goign against Division 1 Tackles. I think he is another Sidbury/Biermann type of DE, raw with potential but not strong against the run. He may be an upgrade as he learns to defend the run. I like him, but after seeing him against better competition i question his run stopping ability which makes me kind of lean towards not drafting him because we have already addressed the position with our first, but if we go another direction with our 1st then I wouldnt mind getting him or Hardy in the 3rd or 4th.

I agree, and as much as I know you don't like the pick. I really think Weatherspoon is going to be our pick at 19.

I'm also interested in Lane or Hardy in the 3rd or 4th.

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