Ryan McCrystal

Panthers targeting receiver in 1st round?

Most mock drafts have the Carolina Panthers matched up with a defensive lineman in the 1st round, but their recent pre-draft visits may indicate another strategy.

Visits don’t necessarily translate to genuine interest in a player but when teams take a closer look at multiple players at the same position, that’s usually a good indication of where their interests lie.

The Panthers have already arranged visits with Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd and Kendall Wright – the only three consensus 1st-round receivers.

This certainly doesn’t mean the Panthers are locked in to this approach – they’ve also visited two two potential top-10 defensive linemen – but it does indicate they’re at least entertaining the idea of upgrading the talent around Cam Newton.

Personally, I think it would be a wise choice. After spending two 3rd-round picks on defensive tackles in 2011, there’s no need to bring in another rookie so soon. This is Cam Newton’s team, and they would be wise to give him all the support he needs to flourish.

For more info, follow our Draft Visit Tracker, updated daily. 

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Panthers 2 Comments

Shea McClellin scouting report

Shea McClellin OLB Boise State #92
Ht: 6’3″

Wt: 260

 
Strengths:
Prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker. High energy, high effort player. Experience lining up at end and linebacker. Reliable wrap-up tackler. Impressive agility for a guy his size. Has the speed to make plays in pursuit. Strong pass rusher off the edge; has the speed to blow past slower offensive tackles, especially when lining up with his hand off the ground. Does a nice job fighting through traffic when blitzing inside. Strong enough to shed blocks fairly consistently.
Weaknesses:
Inconsistent explosion of the snap; seems to guess at the snap count a lot, occasionally explodes out of his stance but other times will be the step behind the rest of the linemen. Overaggressive in pursuit; gives a great effort, but often inefficient with the angles he takes which results in missed opportunities. Needs to do a better job keeping his eyes on the quarterback when blitzes; often misses opportunities due to his inability to adjust. Missed time with a leg injury as a freshman.
Comments:
McClellin may not be a great fit for every defense, but he’s a perfect fit at outside linebacker a 3-4 system. At this stage of his career, he’s overaggressive and inconsistent but he possesses all the physical tools necessary to develop into a quality starter.
Videos:
2011 vs Nevada
2011 vs Arizona State
2010 vs Virginia Tech
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment

Bills looking to draft a quarterback?

Last October, the Buffalo Bills locked up Ryan Fitzpatrick to a 7-year, $62M contract, so it may seem odd that they’re evaluating quarterbacks in the 2012 Draft.

However, only $24M of Fitzpatrick’s contract is guaranteed, and $10M of that has already been paid out in the form of a signing bonus. Additionally, the yearly value of the contract increases up to $7.2M in 2015 and approaches $10M in the final year of the deal.

In other words, there is no chance of Fitzpatrick playing out this contract, and the Bills are already looking into other long-term options at the position.

The Bills recently met with Kirk Cousins and have a visit scheduled with Brock Osweiler, two potential 2nd or 3rd-round prospects in the upcoming draft.

Neither quarterback would challenge Fitzpatrick for playing time in 2012, but both have the potential to develop into starters and could be the long-term answer in Buffalo.

For more info, follow our Draft Visit Tracker, updated daily. 

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bills Comments Off

Juron Criner scouting report

Juron Criner WR Arizona #
Ht: 6’3″

Wt: 224

 
Strengths:
Prototypical size and overall build for a No. 1 receiver. Does a nice job finding soft spot in zone coverage; gives his quarterback a big target. Has the potential to be a quality possession receiver. Good all-around athlete; will make some plays after the catch. Good vision as a runner after the catch.
Weaknesses:
Route running is often sloppy; doesn’t make sharp cuts and will struggle to break free from man coverage at the next level. Extremely careless running with the football after the catch; frequently carries the ball away from his body and will have it stripped occasionally. Inconsistent adjusting to poorly thrown balls. Inconsistent hands; will make some nice plays but will also drop some very easy passes. Typically catches with his body. Limited speed; not a serious deep treat. Effort as a blocker is inconsistent. Hospitalized during 2011 offseason to undergo neurological testing; reportedly was deal with some personal issues, but the details were never made public – this may not be an issue, but teams certainly need to ask questions about the situation.
Comments:
Criner is a frustrating player. He flashes the ability to make some big plays, but is terribly inconsistent. The most concerning thing with Criner is the fact that he is so sloppy in all of the minor aspects of the game. First, he needs to do a better job catching the ball away from his body. He clearly has the hand size to do this and it will minimize the needless drops. He also needs to secure the football after the catch. Too often he tries to be a playmaker and gets careless with the football. The potential is certainly there for Criner to develop into a productive receiver, but he is definitely a developmental prospect.
Videos:
2011 vs Oregon
2010 vs USC, Oregon, Oregon State 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 2 Comments

Devon Wylie scouting report

Devon Wylie WR Fresno State #7
Ht: 5’9″

Wt: 187

 
Strengths:
Elite speed; a legitimate threat to stretch the field. A dangerous runner after the catch due to his speed. Impressive start-and-stop ability makes him tough to corral in the open field. Excellent vision when running in the open field. An explosive route runner; gets up to full speed quickly and is very quick and sharp in his breaks. Fairly reliable hands. Has experience lining up wide and in the slot. Experienced returning kicks and punts.
Weaknesses:
Can be too reckless when running with the football at times; puts his body on the line and will take some big hits and with his slight frame that could lead to injuries. Trusts his playmaking ability too much; will go backwards at times and make some poor decisions after the catc and on kick/punt returns. Hands are fairly reliable, but he does tend to catch with his body too often. Missed time in 2008 with a foot injury. Missed four games in 2009 with a hamstring injury. Missed most of 2010 with medical redshirt due to a broken foot.
Comments:
Wylie isn’t going to be a No. 1 or even a No. 2 at the next level, but his speed makes him a dangerous threat. In the right system, he could be a dangerous weapon in the slot and should make an immediate impact as a return specialist. Given his playmaking ability, he could come off the board on Day 2 is some team is willing to reach on a luxury pick. If he falls further, however, it will be due to injury concerns. None of his injuries are devastating, but three injuries in four years definitely raises a red flag.
Videos:
2011 vs Nebraska
2011 vs Nevada 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment

Chris Givens scouting report

Chris Givens WR Wake Forest #2
Ht: 5’11″Wt: 198  
Strengths:
Impressive straight-line speed; a legitimate deep threat. Strong start-and-stop ability allows him to juke out of some would-be tackles in the open field. Experienced returning kickoffs, where he may make the most impact at the next level.
Weaknesses:
Work ethic has been openly questioned by Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe; reportedly showed up out of shape in 2011 and was limited during preseason workouts as a result. Suffered two torn ACLs in high school during junior and senior year. Catches with his body too often, likely a result of his small hands which measured as the second smallest among receivers at the combine. Straight-line speed is impressive, but he lacks the agility to consistently make defenders miss in the open field. Does a poor job adjusting to the ball; needs to do a better job going up to pluck the ball out the air rather than waiting for it to come to him. Route running is adequate, but doesn’t make enough sharp cuts and relies too much on his pure speed.
Comments:
Givens is more track star than wide receiver. He clearly has the speed to stretch the field, but he is very raw in other aspects of the game and, given his work ethic, there’s little reason to expect him to develop further at the next level. As a general rule, if a guy doesn’t work hard in college, he’s not going to suddenly develop a work ethic once he starts collecting NFL paychecks.
Videos:
2011 vs Florida State
2011 vs Virginia Tech 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off

Ryan Broyles scouting report

Ryan Broyles WR Oklahoma #85
Ht: 5’10″Wt: 192  
Strengths:
Good hands; catches away from his body and quickly secures the ball and turns upfield. Explosive runner with the ball in his hands. Shows good vision and has the agility to make guys miss in the open field. Does a nice job adjusting to the ball in the air. A good all-around athlete; great body control when going up for a pass in traffic. Plenty of experience in the slot. Frequently used on screens to take advantage of his ability after the catch.
Weaknesses:
Lacks the breakaway speed to be a serious deep threat. Limited height and very average leaping ability makes it tough to get him the ball downfield in traffic. An elusive runner, but not real tough; will go down quickly on contact and will even shy away from hits, going to the ground or out of bounds early. Can be thrown off his route fairly easily by more physical corners in press coverage. Probably limited to a slot receiver role at the next level. Arrested in 2007 for attempting to steal gasoline from a closed gas station. Missed time with a broken shoulder blade in 2009. Suffered a torn ACL in 2011.
Comments:
Broyles was an explosive playmaker at Oklahoma, but he doesn’t quite have the size or speed to be an elite prospect. The most concerning part of this game is the lack of physical play. Given his relatively modest speed, NFL corners won’t be shy about jamming him at the line of scrimmage which will hinder his ability to break free. However, he does have very good hands and is a polished runner after the catch, making him a potential weapon in the slot as a 3rd or 4th option.
Videos:
2011 vs Missouri
2011 vs Texas
2011 vs Kansas State 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment

Eric Page scouting report

Eric Page WR Toldeo #12
Ht: 5’9″

Wt: 186

 
Strengths:
Explosive after the catch; dangerous runner with the ball in his hands. Has great vision as a runner. Does a nice job adjusting to the ball; shows great body control. Excellent route runner; makes up for his lack of elite speed by running crisp routes and taking advantage of defensive backs missteps. Extremely quick feel; very quick in his cuts, and can shake faster corners if they don’t give him enough space. Fairly reliable hands; good technique, catches away from his body and secures it quickly. Experienced and extremely productive returning kicks/punts. Very smart player on and off the field. Coaches speak very highly of him.
Weaknesses:
Takes a few steps longer to get up to full speed than the average receiver, and may not be a significant deep threat at the next level as a result. Will drop some passes he shouldn’t, likely a result of his relatively small hands because his technique is excellent. Undersized; will never be a prototypical No. 1 receiver. Level of competition is a concern.
Comments:
Page is limited by his size and modest speed, but he makes up for it by being extremely technically sound and doing all the little things well. He reminds me of Wes Welker in many ways. Like Welker, he’ll never beat someone with pure speed, but he can shake defenders with his quick moves and is a lethal threat after the catch due to his vision and toughness as a runner. He will likely fall to Day 3, but will be a steal for someone in the 4th round or beyond.
Videos:
2011 vs Northern Illinois
2011 vs Ball State 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off

Jamell Fleming scouting report

Jamell Fleming CB Oklahoma #32
Ht: 5’11″

Wt: 206

 
Strengths:
Adequate height and good overall bulk. Fairly reliable tackler and fundamentally sound in run support; breaks quickly towards the backfield and sets the edge consistently. Occasionally used on blitzes. Good ball skills when he turns his head in time to see it coming. Decent athleticism; has the fluid hips and quick feet to turn and stay with receivers. Experience on special teams coverage.
Weaknesses:
Willing to step up and play press coverage, but lacks the quickness to excel in this area and his beat off the first step too often. Takes far too many missteps and will get grabby with receivers to try to recover, which will result in a lot of flags at the next level. Instincts are limited; has the athleticism to stay with receivers, but lacks the ability to anticipate and stay one step ahead. Speed is only average; lacks the ability to recover once he’s beat.Tries to mirror the receiver and does not turn to play the ball often enough.
Comments:
Fleming has the size and athleticism to play at the next level, but he’s still raw. Right now Fleming’s game is all about reacting to the receiver, which he has the skills to do, but he needs to improve his ability to anticipate. As a corner, especially one without truly elite athleticism, you have to try to stay one step ahead which Fleming is not capable of at this stage in his career. As a result, he’s a developmental prospect, but does have the raw physical tools necessary to improve.
Videos:
2011 vs Iowa 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off

Dwight Bentley scouting report

Dwight Bentley CB Louisiana-Lafayette #5
Ht: 5’10″

Wt: 182

 
Strengths:
Decent all-around athlete. Very quick; has the smooth hips and quick feet necessary to stick with some of the smaller, faster receivers in the league; athleticism makes him a good fit at nickel corner to match up with smaller slot receivers. Does a decent job keeping his eyes on the quarterback. Willing to step up vs the run; surprisingly tough for a guy his size.
Weaknesses:
Undersized; lacks the height and bulk to matchup with more physical receivers. Adequate athleticism, but not enough to make up for his limited size. Willing to help vs the run, but tackling technique is shaky; simply too small to really be an effective tackler. Lacks great instincts; quick to bite on fakes. Relies too much on his athleticism and takes a lot of wasted steps which must be corrected before he sees significant playing time at the next level.
Comments:
Bentley is a decent athlete, but lacks the elite athleticism to make up for his lack of size. At this stage in his career he is very raw, and needs to work on his fundamentals before he’s ready to play a significant role at the next level. He trusts his athleticism too much, which was fine in the Sun Belt, but even less athletic receivers will be able to take advantage of his missteps at the next level. Overall, he clearly has the raw skills to play in the NFL, but he’s definitely a developmental prospect.
Videos:
2011 vs San Diego State 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment