Ryan McCrystal

Trenton Robinson scouting report

Trenton Robinson S Michigan State #39
Ht: 5’10″

Wt: 195

Plays the centerfield position well. Does a nice job reading the quarterback in zone coverage. Capable of staying with tight ends in man coverage; decent leaping ability makes up for height disadvantage. Experience in man coverage vs receivers also, but at his best in zone. Willing to help out against the run; decent tackling fundamentals. Can deliver some big hits. Well respected by teammates and coaches. Has a reputation for being a hard worker off the field.
Slightly undersized, both in terms of height and bulk. Below average tackling skills; very much willing to step up vs the run, but just doesn’t have the size to wrap up the ball carrier; running backs will bounce off his tackle attempts, even when technique is fairly solid. Typically plays off in man coverage; lacks the speed to play up, risking getting beat deep, but lacks the burst to close quickly to prevent quick underneath routes.
Robinson is a true free safety who has the potential to start at the next level. However, his lack of size and average speed/quickness limits his upside. His grade will likely vary greatly from team to team based on their defensive scheme. Robinson is at his best when playing the deep safety role, primarily in zone coverage. If that’s the type of player you’re looking for, and you’re willing to overlook his limited contributions against the run, then he could be a solid 3rd/4th round pick.
2011 vs Wisconsin
2011 vs Wisconsin (Big Ten champ game)
2011 vs Minnesota 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 2 Comments

Jeff Allen scouting report

Jeff Allen OT Illinois #71
Ht: 6’4″Wt: 307  
Strong, physical run blocker; able to get low and drive his man back. Strong lower body allows him to anchor against the bull rush. Experienced at left and right tackle, often lining up on both sides of the line during the same game. Will have decent to above-average quickness for the position if moved inside to guard. Four-year starter.
Limited athleticism. Lacks the foot quickness to play left tackle, and may ultimately be best suited to play guard. Field awareness appears to be lacking; seems to lose track of the play at times and ends up taking himself out of the play when he could attempt to get downfield and pick up another block. Does not have a great overall build and weight/conditioning could prove to be an issue as he gets older. Despite experience, still makes a lot of rookie mistakes (penalties, lack of awareness).
Allen is a decent mid-round prospect as a right tackle or guard. He can play at the next level, but what you see is what you get. There’s limited room for growth as a tackle due to his average athleticism. However, if he continues to improve his strength he could develop into a quality starting guard.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 2 Comments

Donald Stephenson scouting report

Donald Stephenson OT Oklahoma #
Ht: 6’6″

Wt: 316

Prototypical height and overall size. Impressive athleticism; ranked among top offensive linemen in all speed/agility drills at the combine. Definitely has the foot quickness to play left tackle. More than enough speed to get to the second level and to get downfield on screens. Nasty run blocker who plays with a mean streak. Does a nice job staying low and using leverage to anchor against the bull rush, an underrated skill for a tackle with his height. Strong upper body; can deliver a nice punch to smaller pass rusher to throw them off balance.
Suspended for entire 2009 season due to academics. Somewhat limited experience; only two years as a starter. Susceptible to double moves by more athletic pass rushers; tends to over-commit inside or outside depending on the defenders first step. Quickness off the snap is inconsistent; struggles to slide outside in time to get into position to slow down faster edge rushers.
Stephenson is an intriguing prospect due to his size and athleticism. He has the raw skills necessary to play left tackle, which could allow him to come off the board earlier than his production would indicate. His best quality right now may be the intensity with which he plays. If that effort translates to a strong work ethic off the field, there’s reason to believe he could develop into a decent starter.
2011 vs Texas
2011 vs FSU 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment

Rams targeting Matt Kalil?

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that the St. Louis Rams are interested in trading up for the 4th pick in the draft.

The obvious assumption is that the team is targeting Justin Blackmon, and is worried that either the Browns or Bucs (or someone else trading up) will land him before the 6th pick.

But what if the Rams have other plans?

Matt Kalil

Is Kalil the Rams real target?

The Browns are unlikely to draft Blackmon – it just doesn’t fit with the track record of GM Tom Heckert and President Mike Holmgren. And the Bucs almost certainly have Morris Claiborne and Trent Richardson ahead of Blackmon on their board. So what could be motivating the Rams to move up?

Perhaps their target is actually Matt Kalil, and this proposed trade is contingent on the Vikings passing on the future franchise left tackle.

While adding a playmaker for Sam Bradford is certainly a priority, so is keeping Bradford on his feet. Rodger Saffold is better suited to play right tackle, and Jason Smith may be better off playing guard (or simply a backup role at this point). Kalil would certainly change the dynamic of the Rams offensive line, and the extra time provided to Bradford could open things up in the passing game.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Rams Comments Off

Jets interested in trading up for Melvin Ingram

According to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net, the New York Jets are interested in trading up in the 1st round for Melvin Ingram.

To land Ingram the Jets may need to move into the top 10 (Pauline suggests the Jaguars as a potential trade partner). It would be a bold move, but one that makes sense if the Jets feel as though they are a pass rusher away from contending for the Super Bowl.

Taking Ingram in the top 10 may be a slight reach, but I can’t fault the Jets for moving up to land their guy. This is a fairly weak class of pass rushers, and a team on the verge of contention can always justify moving up to fill their most glaring hole.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Jets Comments Off

Some thoughts on Janoris Jenkins

Janoris Jenkins is one of the most volatile prospects in this year’s draft, so I thought it would be worth spending some time reviewing what the “character issues” actually are and how they’ll impact his draft stock.

1) A pattern of poor decisions
I’ve had numerous people reply to me on twitter with the “but half the NFL smokes pot” defense. If this is true, such an argument basically proves why Jenkins is such a risk. If it’s possible for a large portion of the league to smoke responsibly and not get caught, then it must take a special kind of stupidity to fail multiple drug tests in a three-year span. NFL executives are more than forgiving when it comes to drug and alcohol-related arrests in college, but when a player repeatedly makes the same mistakes, that’s when the red flag gets raised.

Janoris Jenkins

Is Jenkins still a 1st-round pick?

And in Jenkins case, the poor decisions are not limited to drugs and alcohol. He has children with multiple women, he was arrested for his role in a bar fight, and was ejected from a game for throwing a punch this past season. Any one of these “character” flaws, could be overlooked, but put them together and you have a pattern of stupidity.

2) Lack of self awareness
To make matters worse, Jenkins showed absolutely no sign of changing while at North Alabama. With his NFL career very much on the line, he (by his own admission) continued to smoke and got into a fight during a game. If a player is capable of self destructing while playing in Florence, Alabama with his career on the line, he is not going to suddenly change when collecting an NFL paycheck and playing in front of 50,000 screaming fans every Sunday.

And if that wasn’t enough, shortly after changing agents (which caught the attention of the national media and raised more than a few eyebrows) he decided to take a trip to Las Vegas. Again, this alone would be completely irrelevant. He’s probably not the only prospect to visit Vegas this offseason. But would it have killed him to wait until May before making the trip? Decisions like these shows that Jenkins just doesn’t get it. His every move is being scrutinized, with millions of dollars on the line, and he just doesn’t care.

3) He’ll fall, but not that far
If Jenkins were a quarterback, his career would be over.  No one will ever gamble on a franchise player with his laundry list of poor decisions. But he’s a cornerback, where athleticism (to a certain extent) trumps preparation and work ethic. For the same reason why Pacman Jones can still have a job, Jenkins will still be drafted within the first two rounds. While teams certainly aren’t excited about his off-field antics, so long as he shows up on Sunday and performs, he’ll have a job. And everything Jenkins has done on the field has indicated that he can excel in the NFL. The off-field issues may hinder his ability to reach his full potential, but even if he continues to make poor decisions, he will likely still be able to contribute on the field.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft Comments Off

Ryan Steed scouting report

Ryan Steed CB Furman #1
Ht: 5’11″

Wt: 195

Adequate height and overall size. Long arms and big hands, especially considering his height; allows him to be a playmaker in coverage. Decent speed, enough to stick with most receivers at the next level. Team captain as junior and senior; well respected by coaches and teammates for his leadership on and off the field. Has the ability to hold his own in press coverage against more physical receivers. Had a strong showing at the Senior Bowl.
Level of competition is a definite concern; was rarely tested, especially on deep routes, over the past two seasons. Did not test well at combine; 40 time was much slower than expected and his vertical was below average – raises some concerns that he looked better on film due to competition level.
Steed appears to have the basic physical tools necessary to play at the next level, but it’s tough to judge a non FBS player who did not test well at the combine. While there’s a lot to like about Steed, it is definitely possible that he has maxed out his potential and he will struggle to adjust to the speed and physicality of the NFL. He’s worth a 4th or 5th-round pick, but should be considered a boom-or-bust prospect.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off

Eagles reportedly interested in trading up to No. 4

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams are interested in trading up for the 4th pick in the draft.

Ryan Tannehill #17 - 255

Could the Eagles target Tannehill?

It’s fairly safe to assume that the Rams would be targeting Justin Blackmon, but the Eagles interest is not as clear.

Blackmon would certainly add another dimension to their offense, and Morris Claiborne would shore up a shaky secondary.

But the biggest name on the board would be Ryan Tannehill, who the Eagles have met with this offseason and reportedly are very high on. It would be tough to justify spending a high pick on a quarterback so soon after locking up Michael Vick, but Eagles are one franchise definitely not concerned with conforming to what the general public believes is right.

Regardless of who the target may be, it’s difficult to see how any player on the board at No. 4 would be worth what it would cost for the Eagles to move up from No. 15.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Eagles Comments Off

Ron Brooks scouting report

Ron Brooks CB LSU #13
Ht: 5’10″

Wt: 190

Elite athleticism. Has the speed to stick with any receiver in the game. Frequently used to blitz off the edge and shows impressive closing speed. Experienced lining up out wide and over the slot. Experienced on special teams coverage. Fairly reliable tackler; doesn’t always wrap up but gives a solid effort considering his size. Selflessly played a reserve role behind Patrick Peterson, Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu, despite having the skills to start for most programs.
Limited experience matching up against top receivers; primarily played a backup role in college. Height is only average. Much more comfortable in man coverage than in zone. Gets impatient in zone coverage; doesn’t always keep his eyes on the quarterback and is slow to react at times. Willing to tackle quarterbacks and receivers, but seems to shy away from contact when going after more physically-imposing running back.
Brooks appears to have all the tools necessary to play at the next level, but he really hasn’t been tested. Primarily playing the role of the nickel corner – and being used to blitz far more than your average cornerback – he hasn’t been forced to battle with many future NFL receivers. There’s a lot to like about his potential, but since we’ve seen so little of him he definitely qualifies as a boom-or-bust prospect.
2011 vs Ole Miss, Arkansas 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 2 Comments

Josh Norman scouting report

Josh Normal CB Coastal Carolina #24
Ht: 6’0″Wt: 197  
Adequate height and overall size. Great ball skills; can go up and make plays in traffic. A good natural athlete; shows great body control turning to locate the ball and make a play. Looks very good in press coverage; has the strength to physical with receivers at the line of scrimmage and won’t back down from tough assignments. Decent tackling skills for a cornerback.
Relies heavily on his raw athleticism; takes a lot of missteps and doesn’t appear to have great anticipation/recognition skills. Will be picked apart by efficient route runners at the next level. Recovery speed is average at best; may struggle with elite deep threats at the next level. Competition level is a minor concern. Arrested in 2009 for driving with a suspended licence. Reportedly isn’t always interested in listening to coaching and may need to mature before he’ll be capable of realizing his full potential.
Norman has the size and athleticism to develop into a quality starting cornerback, but he’s too raw to warrant a high pick. He should draw interest from teams willing to invest a 3rd/4th round pick and take the time to develop him over the next two to three years. Given his modest speed and his playmaking ability as a ballhawk, some teams may view him as a potential free safety.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off