An NFL Draft Blog

An NFL Draft Blog
Formerly known as the player rater.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Matthew Szczur- 2011 Draft Scouting Report

Villanova Wide Receiver/Running back/Quarterback/Kick Returner/Punt Returner/Outfielder/2nd Baseman/Shortstop/Catcher (let's just call him a Do Everything Man) Matthew Szczur (pronounced: cezar; he's Polish) has got to be the most interesting player it has ever been my pleasure to scout. He could be one amazing force at the NFL level.

Let's start off with Szczur's physical tools. Szczur is a pretty short guy who could afford to add a little bit of bulk, but he has pretty good speed for his size. Szczur's lack of size really hurts his strength, hindering his production as a blocker at the FCS level, though.

Szczur has excellent numbers. As a running back, he has always been able to keep a great yards per carry at Villanova, though he never carries much of a workload because of all his time spent at receiver. As a receiver, his numbers are impressive considering how limited he is played at the position. He is also listed as the team's second string quarterback, so he can't really play one position ling enough to dominate it statistically (see: Dexter McCluster, especially in 08', acting as Ole Miss' wildcat threat).

Szczur just might have the best intangibles in american sports history. There is only one guy who probably rivals Szczur when it comes to intangibles (all Florida, well, all college football fans should know this). I am pretty conflicted. Who has the better character; the guy that preaches to prisoners and does missionary work in the East Asia/Australia area, or the guy who donates bone marrow to Leukemia patients all over the country? If you chose the bone marrow guy, you think Szczur has the better intangibles; if you chose the religious guy, you think Tebow has the better intangibles. Aside from that, Szczur plays with ridiculous on field intensity, he is a tough runner, he works ridiculously hard, and he is more than a willing blocker.

When it comes to versatility, Szczur might also be the best in american sports history. He is pretty adept at all those positions in football, but here is the most amazing thing about Szczur's versatility; it's not like he just plays on the Villanova baseball team on the side; he is a legit good baseball player. Most MLB draft experts said he was a third round talent had he not been so strongly committed to playing football, but he still went in the fifth round to Chicago Cubs too. And he was pretty good with the Cubs as well. That versatility comes around once in a lifetime, and it makes Szczur an even better player.

Most people consider Szczur a wide receiver; however, I like him as a running back a lot more than most people do, and I am on the fence of what position I will call him. So I'll kind of write a scouting report on both positions.

Szczur as a receiver is a solid route runner with good quickness in and out of breaks. He displays a natural ability to find holes in the defense, and get himself into positions on the field with a lot of open space for him to run. He also displays a pretty quick first step off the line of scrimmage, he accelerates quickly, and he knows how to use some deceptive head fakes and footwork in his routes.

Szczur has mediocre hands. He frequently traps balls against his frame, he drops some passes, and he doesn't display great athletic ability to catch the ball at its highest point. He also seems to lack body control in the air. But I have definitely seen worse.

Though Szczur puts up a ridiculous effort onto the field as a blocker, his lack of height really hurts his production as a blocker. He does possess excellent strength for his size, but he is probably too small to ever be a dominant blocker at the NFL level.

As a running back, Szczur displays excellent vision that allows him to have a lot of success at the position. He does a good job of following his blocks and bursting through the seam of the line. He also isn't a one dimensional, inside run only or outside run only back that doesn't have the balance to succeed at the NFL level.

Szczur has enough toughness to be a good inside runner. Despite his size, he can be a powerful back that will run over some defenders by using all of his limited power. Despite his reckless style of play, he has been completely durable during his entire career at Villanova, which makes his tough running plausible at the NFL level without excessive injuries..

Szczur has excellent shiftiness and quickness that allows him to be a good outside runner. His speed and change of direction skills makes him tough to tackle in the open field, making him an explosive big play threat. Obviously, this could come in handy at receiver as well.

Here are some highlight videos of Szczur:

Matt Szczur

Matt Szczur Postseason highlights

Overall, I am excited about what I have seen from Szczur. It's not easy to find the most versatile athlete in the country as well as the one with the best intangibles in the same school. For it to be one person is quite simply, unthinkable. That versatility, combined with his intangibles, could make him one special player down the road. And lastly, because of the whole blocking issue and the height, I think I will call him a running back.

NFL Comparison: As I said before, he is unique, but I think I will go with Danny Woodhead with some height.
Grade: 85
Projection: 66

Robert Quinn- 2011 Draft Scouting Report

North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn really scares me right now. From what I have seen, I don't think he is going to do anything in the NFL. It has been pretty tough to scout him.

Robert Quinn is a physical monster with all the tools to succeed in the NFL. He has excellent height, good bulk (268), and excellent speed (4.64 40 yard dash), that could allow him to be a monster in the NFL. But he really lacks strength, and he appears to have short arms for his size, making it difficult for him to use his hands well to get to the quarterback.

Quinn has pretty good quickness off the ball and uses pretty effective fundamentals with the speed rush. However, from what I have seen, he has pretty poor instincts and is often caught out of position on misdirections and on play actions.

Quinn has awful character. When I read about him becoming permanently ineligible, I got pretty ticked off about the story. It's one thing to do these bad things, which is of pretty low morale and kind of stupid, but it became a lot worse when I read that what got him permanently ineligible was his constant denial of the crimes. Apparently, the NCAA had overwhelming evidence against him and they gave him many chances to admit his guilt, but he just wouldn't do it, and the constant lying made the NCAA do the permanent suspension. But he battled back from brain surgery in high that doctors said could end his career, and he plays with decent on field intensity.

Quinn is a pretty effective tackler. He wraps up, he uses excellent tackling fundamentals in the open field, and he has good lower body strength at the point of attack. He also displays a strong initial punch off the line.

Quinn isn't very adept with any pass rush moves at all. All I see from him is speed rush after speed rush after speed rush. He will need to learn how to use his hands better if he wants to have success in the NFL.

My main issue with Quinn is his stats. At first glance, his stats appear to be great; 52 tackles, 11 sacks Sophomore year. But let's take a closer look. Let's divide the stats from all of the North Carolina games last year based on the strength of the teams Quinn played against. Against The Citadel, East Carolina, Virginia, Georgia Southern, Duke, Boston College, and North Carolina State (7 games), he got ALL of his 11 sacks and 33 of his tackles; against Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Florida State, Miami, Connecticut, and Georgia Tech (6 games), he got a mere 19 tackles and 0 sacks! That is a staggering dispersion of stats between teams he played! He made absolutely no impact in games against good teams, yet he dominated against bad teams.

Here are some highlights of Quinn

Robert Quinn vs. Virginia

Robert Quinn vs. Boston College

Overall, I am not very high on Quinn because of his lack of success against the decent FBS teams. The fact is, North Carolina had a pretty easy out of conference schedule last year, and he played in the ACC to boot. If he played in the SEC or the Big Ten, I don't think he would be generating much buzz at all for next year's draft, and he would be a mid first rounder at best. Maybe, if I had seen one of those unimportant games against easy teams, I might have a higher opinion of Quinn, but from what I have seen from Quinn, he makes no impact on game by game basis.

NFL Comparison: Vernon Gholston. They have similar skills sets, and Gholston took over the Big Ten in one of its worst years. The Big Ten has improved, and now Quinn is dominating a pretty bad ACC conference. The outlook doesn't seem promising.
Grade: 90
Projection: 96

Sunday, September 12, 2010

DeVier Posey- 2011 Draft Scouting Report

I'll admit it. I have been a Buckeye fan since I was 5. And I really hope there isn't any Ohio State bias involved anywhere in this article.

Ohio State receiver DeVier Posey is in that unbelievable class of 2012 wide receivers. Probably the best receiver class of all time. I am probably going to give 7 guys from that receiver class first round grades. Posey is no exception.

Posey has solid physical tools. He really is a jack of all trades but the master of none type player; good, but not great speed (4.47 40 yard dash), good, but not great height (6'2), and good, but not great bulk (200lbs). But he does have good football speed, and he is a well rounded player physically.

Posey is among the best route runners of all the big receivers in the FBS. He has outstanding quickness in and out of breaks for his size, he is among the best at finding holes in the zone and getting open on option routes, and he uses deceptive head fakes in his routes to get open. His route running is pretty impressive considering his age, and it suggests he has a very strong work ethic off the field.

Posey plays with outstanding on field intensity. He has Anquan Boldin like physicality in his routes, he is an outstanding run blocker, and he is really tough trying to power through defenders after the catch. But he does attract a fair amount of holding penalties for a wide receiver, and he could definitely afford to improve his upper body strength.

At first glance, Posey has below average numbers (last year he got 60 catches, 828 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns, with a 13.8 yards per catch). But remember; regardless of whether or not people think Terrelle Pryor was good last year (which, for the most part, he wasn't), what's undeniable is he almost never passed the ball. He only passed for 2094 yards last year, an awful number. The fact that Posey got 40% of Pryor's pass yards is pretty impressive. Plus he has gotten off to a strong start in 2010, so Posey has achieved pretty well statistically.

Posey isn't much of a yards after the catch threat. He has below average vision with the ball in his hands, he lacks the shiftiness to make defenders miss in the open field, and he doesn't have the breakaway speed to outrun some corner and safeties.

Posey's main issue is mediocre hands. He traps a lot of balls against his frame, and he drops a fair amount of passes. But he is pretty good at catching the ball at its highest point, he is very good at adjusting to the football, he can get really high in the air, and he displays impressive body control when going for the poorly thrown pass.

Here are a couple looks of Posey in action:

DeVier Posey Highlights

DeVier Posey Highlights

DeVier Posey Highlights

DeVier Posey vs. Oregon

Overall, I think DeVier Posey is a really good player, and I think that the strength of the 2012 wide receiver class shouldn't count against him. I think he would be a first round pick in any other wide receiver class and the strength of 2012's shouldn't be counted against him. Whoever grabs him, probably in the early second round, is still getting a great value.

NFL Comparison: Dwayne Bowe, except Posey plays with great on field intensity.
Grade: 94
Projection: 89

Updated Scouting Report(s): I didn't change most of the scouting reports, but I changed the grades and projections of a lot of players. Aldon Smith got 10 tackles and 2 sacks to open the season. There is no Sophomore slump. If he plays FBS football for 4 years, at the rate he is going at, he will be the most productive defender in the history of college football (I also found highlights of him). Terrance Toliver is really struggling in 2010, getting a mere 6 catches for 47 yards through 2 games. Allen Bailey looked pretty good against Ohio State, but I think that may be because he puts up a good effort on the national stage. Patrick Peterson can return a kick like nobody's business. I decided I gave Jerrod Johnson too generous a projection, but he has been really good in 2010 and I changed his grade. I changed Julio Jones' projection. With the emergence of Wisconsin's J.J. Watt, Christian Ballard is deeply buried among the 3-4 ends of 2011 and he is losing popularity. Jake Locker struggled against BYU. A.J. Green's got suspended for doing something that came across as dumb, not immoral. I changed the projection, but I still think he has good character. See: Dez Bryant's suspension. I also found highlights of Nate Solder and Adrian Clayborn (Yes. Highlights of an offensive lineman from Colorado. That AloAloysius guy is just great.).

Friday, September 3, 2010

Prince Amukamara- 2011 Draft Scouting Report

Prince Amukamara is one of the many overrated corners of this year's draft class. But I have to give some of these guys credit; all of the second round cornerback prospects of the 2011 draft look pretty good.

Amukamara has average physical tools. Amukamara has pretty nice size, and solid speed, but he lacks a lot of athleticism. He doesn't provide the leaping ability to go up and deflect passes over his head, and his change of direction skills are mediocre as well as fluidity as an athlete. He also has pretty tight hips. He doesn't provide much strength, either.

Amukamara has excellent ball skills. He never drops passes, he can get into good position on the deep ball, he gets a lot of interceptions, and he deflects a lot of passes. He can catch balls its highest point pretty well, and his hands are very consistent.

Amukamara has actually rushed the passer pretty well in his career, getting 3 sacks. He has solid quickness and he has excellent closing speed. It's a nice bit of versatility factored into his game.

Amukamara has good character. He works hard on and off the field, he has excellent on field toughness, and he plays hard. His character is one of the better assets to his game.

Amukamara is a mediocre run stopper. He lacks strength, he could use a lot of bulk, he isn't very good at shedding off blocks, and his instincts are mediocre. But he doesn't miss many tackles, his tackling fundamentals are solid, and he is typically in good position. He isn't aggressive at all on run plays, but he is aggressive on pass plays.

Amukamara some cover skills. He has solid route recognition skills, but can be out of position in coverage, and he also frequently gives receivers too much of a cushion. But he is pretty physical in coverage, though he will bite some on double moves and on hitches, causing him to be out of position.

I am sure some of my readers have read the validity in yards allowed article I wrote last year. Amukamara, according to that statistic, had average production for a corner during the 2010 season (which I agree with). That isn't my issue with Amukamara. My issue is that if he is going to be picked in the first round with average production for a first rounder, he better have off the charts physical tools. But Amukamara is 6'0 tall and he runs a 4.49 40 yard dash. That's not terrible, but guys like that grow on trees. If Amukamara is going to be a first round pick with average first round production, he ought to have off the charts physical tools, which I don't see.

Her are some highlights of Amukamara:

Prince Amukamara vs. Baylor

Prince Amukamara vs. Texas

Overall, Amukamara's lack of cover skills consistently hamper his production in coverage. I have always really valued cover skills in a corner, and I believe that Amukamara's lack of cover skills will make him a disappointing player at the NFL level.

NFL Comparison: Leigh Bodden
Grade: 94
Projection: 97

Updated Scouting Report(s): DeAndre Brown is officially the Greg Oden of college football, with the hamstring injury that hampered his production against South Carolina.