Saturday, April 7, 2012

Path to the Draft, 3/23

Appearing: Fran Charles, Charlie Casserly, Steve Wyche, Charles Davis, Paul Burmeister, Mike Mayock

* Team news:
Seahawks at 12: Top two priorities: LB and edge pass rusher, and this was before they lost David Hawthorne. Luke Kuechly would make a lot of sense. Productive college LB, would be 3-down player.

Big Dead at 13: Left tackle, left tackle, left tackle. Glaring need. Correspondent would be “shocked” if they didn't take a LT at 13. Whisenhunt says there will be competition between Skelton and Kolb to start at QB, even though they just paid Kolb a $7 million option.

Panthers at 9: Casserly brilliantly says “best player available.” They want to improve at defensive tackle. Davis says they're screaming for help there. Dontari Poe can play nose in either front, and Carolina likes to switch up fronts, so he may be their preference over Michael Brockers. In the second round, they should look for help for Cam Newton; Wyche proposed Coby Fleener. Interestingly, Quinton Coples has already visited there and could be hard to pass up. Davis doesn't think the Panthers would draft Michael Floyd over a higher-rated player despite their WR need.

* Player news: 
Kendall Wright: helped himself at his pro day with faster 40s and by showing good hands. Could go to Houston, Cleveland, Chicago, Denver at the end of the first round. Mayock later called Wright one of the best receivers after the catch he's seen in years. Continues to call him a top-20 pick.

The panel couldn't see any way Morris Claiborne falls out of the top 6. He's a better prospect than any defensive or offensive lineman. Wyche says if he does fall to #6: “The Rams will scrap their draft board, and Merry Christmas to them.”

Mayock tries to make up for shortchanging Coby Fleener the day before. Ran a 4.51 40 at pro day, and more impressively, a 4.54 into the wind. Mayock likened Fleener to Aaron Hernandez. Athletic as can be, vertical-jumped 37”. Catches the ball and gets in and out of his breaks well. Mayock calls him a value pick in the 2nd round; wouldn't be surprised if he went late in the 1st.

Michael Brockers wasn't a successful pass rusher because LSU took him out in nickel situations. When he rushed the passer, it was on downs he'd thought would be runs. But he doesn't show a second level of explosiveness for getting after the passer. Was also only a one-year starter. Casserly says it's up to teams to talk to their line coaches and decide whether they can turn him into a pass rusher.

On Dontari Poe, Casserly says he has everything on tape he wants to see – quickness, explosiveness, change of direction. Teams will have to put him through grueling workouts and see what kind of determination / body language he shows at the end.

I don't think scouting reports on Quinton Coples so far have given him enough credit for his reach and his upper body strength. He gave himself a “C” for play-to-play effort his senior year in an interview by Casserly, who grilled him pretty good.

Mohammed Sanu: Rutgers used him everywhere, in the slot, out wide, in Wildcat formation, swing passes out of the backfield. Looks as versatile as Josh Cribbs, but as a bigger-bodied productive receiver, Charles Davis compared him more to Michael Clayton or AUSTIN PETTIS. Despite the massive bust factor of those two, Davis has Sanu projected for the Mayock Zone. RamView has Sanu projected for solid distance from the end of a ten-foot pole.

Luke Kuechly: smart, quick, excellent athlete, gets to the football. Can get engulfed sometimes. Won't be a LB who can take on blockers but he has great vision, finds the ball and gets there. No question he goes in the 10-15 range.

Mark Barron says he played with the sports hernia that required surgery that kept him out of the Combine for the past two years. Played as an in-the-box safety at Alabama and hasn't really had to show any coverage skill.

Casserly isn't sure what to make of Courtney Upshaw. Feels he will get engulfed by tackles as a defensive end, but lacks the explosiveness or coverage ability to play outside linebacker. Thinks he's a heck of a good college player without a real pro position.

Vontaze Burfict continues to flounder, following a bad Combine with an bad pro day at Arizona State (Hey, somebody who actually had a bad pro day!). He's actually going to have a second pro day, piggybacking onto a workout that was originally set up just for Brock Osweiler, in a final attempt to revive his draft stock. A lot of teams don't even have Burfict on their board now.

* Pro days:
Iowa: good workout for Riley Reiff, which involved line coaches from four different teams. Hung in well despite stifling heat at Iowa's indoor facility. Will be good run blocker and will be drafted in the 10-15 range though he's more of a 20s prospect talentwise.

Adam Gettis has the quicker feet for an interior lineman than Mayock has seen in years, and a heavier punch than scouting reports have given him credit for so far. Says his stock is moving up and that he could be drafted in the 3rd-4th round.


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