Ryan McCrystal

How Buccaneers free agent moves affect draft plans

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been one of the most active teams in free agency thus far. But will any of these moves affect their draft strategy?

With the 5th pick the Bucs are likely to target one of the top two players expected to be on the board, Morris Claiborne or Trent Richardson.

Obviously their recent moves won’t affect anything if Richardson is their choice. LeGarrette Blount is still on the roster, but there’s nothing wrong with having two starting-caliber running backs and Richardson is the type of talent that is tough to pass up.

If the Bucs had been entertaining the idea of drafting Claiborne, however, the addition of Eric Wright may lead them in another direction.

By no means should Wright be viewed as an elite cornerback, or even on the same level as Claiborne as an incoming rookie. However, the Bucs gave Wright a substantial five-year contract with $15M guaranteed, indicating that their front office thinks more highly of him than the rest of the league (and definitely more than the fan bases in Cleveland and Detroit).

I certainly wouldn’t endorse passing on Claiborne due to the acquisition of Wright, but it shouldn’t come as a shock if the Bucs now view their cornerback situation as settled – especially if they can talk Ronde Barber into sticking around for another year.

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Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Buccaneers 5 Comments

How Mario Williams affects Bills draft plans

The Buffalo Bills made the biggest free agent signing in franchise history today, officially inking Mario Williams to a six-year $96M deal. But one man cannot turn a 6-10 team into a playoff contender, so GM Buddy Nix still has plenty of work to do this offseason.

The next order of business for Nix, is to sort out his draft board and determine what area to address with the 10th pick in the draft.

Could Dre Kirkpatrick be the Bills target at No. 10?

Throughout the offseason, I’ve assumed the Bills would target a defensive end at No. 10 (Melvin Ingram and Nick Perry have each been matched with Buffalo in my mock draft at various points). But the signing of Williams means the Bills may chose to address another area of concern in the 1st round.

The next most glaring hole is at cornerback, where Terrence McGee and Drayton Florence are both coming off disappointing years. The Bills could potentially fill this hole with Dre Kirkpatrick, the consensus second-best corner in the draft behind Morris Claiborne.

The offensive line is another area which could be addressed. Left tackle Demetrius Bell is a free agent and does not appear headed back to Buffalo. Chris Hairston may step into Bell’s role, but the Bills may still be looking for an upgrade over Erik Pears on the right side. Riley Reiff and Jonathan Martin would both be nice fits at right tackle.

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

Kendall Reyes scouting report

Kendall Reyes DT Connecituct #99
Ht: 6’4″

Wt: 299

 
Strengths:
Prototypical height and decent overall size. Does a great job staying low and using good leverage. Surprisingly athletic; can get into the backfield and will even make some plays in pursuit. Impressive motor; never quits on a play. Stamina appears to be excellent for an interior lineman; chases ball carriers down the field more than your average defensive tackle. Definitely has the skills to play a three-technique in a 4-3 scheme or end in a 3-4. Team leader on and off the field; team captain in both junior and senior year.
Weaknesses:
Explosion off the snap is inconsistent; gets into the backfield with his bull rush, but rarely explodes into the backfield to really disrupt a play from the get-go. Explosion may not be enough to impress 4-3 teams looking for penetrating three-technique, but lacks size/strength to play nose tackle role. Suffered ankle injury in 2008.
Comments:
Reyes is the type of player who does everything well, but doesn’t really stand out in any one areas. There’s not a lot to criticize about his game, but that can be viewed as both a positive and a negative. On the positive side, he’s NFL ready and would be a relatively safe draft pick. On the down side, he may have maxed-out his potential. He’s a low risk option in the 2nd or 3rd round, but his upside is definitely low end for players who will come off the board in that range.
Videos:
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off

McCrystal’s updated mock draft

1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Colts rebuilding process is fully underway, and it’s hard not to feel sorry for Andrew Luck. While I fully believe Luck be the centerpiece of this franchise for the next 10-15 years, it’s going to take some time before they can be considered legitimate contenders. With so few weapons around him, Luck is in for a very long and potentially painful rookie years.

2. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III – QB – Baylor - Scouting Report
[from Rams] As much as I like Robert Griffin, I do think the Redskins gave up too much. What makes Griffin special is his athleticism, his potential and his work ethic – which leads us to believe he will eventually develop into an elite pro quarterback. But he isn’t there yet, and isn’t even all that close. I expect Griffin to be among the game’s best in three to five years, but with so little talent around him and no meaningful picks with which to add talent, he’s going to struggle early on.

3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil – OT – USC - Scouting Report
The Vikings may entertain the possibility of trading this pick but if they stay put Kalil is too valuable to pass up. Their offensive line has been depleted by the release of Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera, and if they want to keep Christian Ponder on his feet in 2012, then adding a star at left tackle is a must. Read more

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Mock Draft Comments Off

Mychal Kendricks scouting report

Mychal Kendricks ILB California #30
Ht: 5’11″

Wt: 240

 
Strengths:
Tough player who does a nice job fighting through traffic at the line of scrimmage. Does a nice job making himself small to slip through holes at the line and get into the backfield. Experience lining up at inside and weak-side linebacker. Very reliable wrap-up tackler. Quick off the snap; reasonably effective as a pass rusher despite lack of size due to his speed and ability to stay low and small. High-energy player; never gives up on a play and can be seen chasing guys all over the field.
Weaknesses:
Instincts in zone coverage need work; gets antsy and doesn’t always remain patient and stay in his zone. Lack of height limits his effectiveness in coverage vs most NFL tight ends. More fast than quick; great straight-line speed but change-of-direction ability is only average. May be too stiff to really excel in coverage.
Comments:
Kendricks may receive a wide range of grades due to his lack of height. In the right system he can be an effective starter, but his skill set won’t necessarily translate to every scheme. He’s at his best when attacking the ball carrier and being used to blitz. While he has the athleticism to hold his own in coverage, his height will make him a liability against many NFL tight ends. Some 4-3 teams may also view him as an option at weak-side linebacker.
Videos:
2011 vs Stanford
2011 vs USC
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment

Josh Robinson scouting report

Josh Robinson CB Central Florida #20
Ht: 5’10″

Wt: 199

 
Strengths:
Elite speed and overall athleticism. Looks very fluid in his backpedal; quick hips allow him to easily turn and stay step-for-step with receivers. Reasonably solid tackler when he puts in the effort. Has the build to improve tackling with better effort. Does a nice job keeping turning to play the ball. Impressive leaping ability helps make up for lack of height in jump-ball situations. Looks good in zone coverage; does a nice job staying in his zone and keeping eyes on quarterback. Experienced returning kicks.
Weaknesses:
Tends give a significant cushion to receivers; does not appear to enjoy mixing it up at the line of scrimmage. Not a very physical corner; relies on speed and athleticism. Shies away from contact in run support; only halfheartedly makes an effort to collapse on the ball carrier. Has had some issues fumbling on kick/punt returns.
Comments:
Robinson is an elite athlete, but he relies too much on his pure speed and agility. The elite corners at the next level are capable of playing physical when necessary, even if they don’t prefer that type of matchup, and Robinson has yet to demonstrate the ability to excel in press coverage. That said, Robinson does have the raw athleticism which you can’t teach, which makes him an intriguing prospect. He could be a valuable asset who may excel in certain matchups against some of the elite deep threats in the league.
Videos:
2010 vs Georgia (A.J. Green) 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment

Brandon Boykin scouting report

Brandon Boykin CB Georgia #2
Ht: 5’10″

Wt: 183

 
Strengths:
Experienced return specialist; may be a top 100 pick based on this quality alone. Strong tackler, especially for a defensive back his size. Great vision when dropping back in coverage; keeps his eyes on quarterback and is quick to adjust. Smart player who trusts his instincts. Plenty of experience against elite competition and has held his own vs guys such as Alshon Jeffery and Rueben Randle. Strong ball skills; will come down with the interception when he’s in position. A team leader on and off the field.
Weaknesses:
Undersized; lacks the height and overall build to match up with taller, more physical receivers. May be limited to nickel packages, covering smaller slot receivers. Willing to help out against the run, but rarely makes plays unless he has a clear path the ball carrier; simply lacks the size and strength to shed blocks and fight through traffic.
Comments:
If not for the lack of size, Boykin would be a 1st-round lock. but while he’s been a successful college corner, it is impossible to overlook his physical limitations. He has the skills to be a very good nickel corner and return specialist, but the limited value of these positions means his draft position will not match up with his collegiate success.
Videos:
2011 vs Michigan State 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off

Leonard Johnson scouting report

Leonard Johnson CB Iowa State #23
Ht: 5’10″
Wt: 196
 
Strengths:
Physical corner who doesn’t back down from any assignment. Likes to play up at the line and does a great job jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage. Good all-around athlete; played quarterback in high school. Looks good in zone coverage; very patient and disciplined. Does a nice job getting his hands on the ball when in position to make a play. Has the size and strength to contribute in run support.
Weaknesses:
Needs to do a better job turning and locating the ball; has the skills to stay with a receiver, but consistently gets beat on jump balls because he’s too focused on mirroring the receiver and doesn’t turn to play the ball. Lack of height also hurts him in jump-ball situations. Run support is often just for show; gives just enough effort to get into the picture, but doesn’t consistently put forth the effort to shed blocks and make an impact play. Aggressive play leads to some penalties at times.
Comments:
If Johnson were two inches taller he may be a 1st-round pick, but his lack of height is just enough to drop him into the 2nd or 3rd round range. The one major concern I have with Johnson is his tendency to mirror the receiver until the last second. That, coupled with his physical style, is going to draw a lot of penalties in the NFL. However, it’s all about technique and it’s a very fixable issue.
Videos:
2011 vs Oklahoma State 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off

A.J. Jenkins scouting report

A.J. Jenkins WR Illinois #8
Ht: 6’0″Wt: 190  
Strengths:
Impressive straight-line speed; can stretch the field at the next level. Fairly reliable hands; does a nice job catching away from his body and bringing it in. Impressive leaping ability; much better going up in traffic than you’d expect considering his size and build. Shows excellent body control along the sidelines. Efficient route runner; quick in his breaks and looks very fluid overall. Has the athleticism to make some acrobatic catches.
Weaknesses:
Needs to do a better job tracking the ball in the air; doesn’t always put himself in the best position to make plays. Not very physical; can get knocked off his route by more physical corners. A bit of a one-year wonder; didn’t really emerge as a playmaker until senior year. has struggled with drops in the past, but was more consistent as a senior. Clashed with Ron Zook at times; Zook didn’t like Jenkins tendency to showboat on the field – definitely raises some concerns about a “diva” complex.
Comments:
Jenkins lacks the prototypical size of a No. 1 receiver, but he does all the little things well to make up for his physical deficiencies. The key to Jenkins’ development will be his consistency. He made major strides his senior year, but his lapses in focus in the past will cause teams to worry about him as a one-year wonder who was simply motivated by an NFL contract. He is definitely a boom-or-bust prospect, but has the foundation to be an instant-impact player in the right system.
Videos:
2011 vs Northwestern
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment

Tommy Streeter scouting report

Tommy Streeter WR Miami FL #8
Ht: 6’5″

Wt: 219

 
Strengths:
Elite height. Built like a true No. 1 receiver. Adequate straight-line speed; will be able to stretch the field on occasion at the next level. Has the raw talent to develop into a No. 1 or 2 option.
Weaknesses:
Inconsistent hands; will drop some very easy passes. Traps the ball against his body far too often and generally displays shaky fundamentals when putting himself in position to make a catch. More fast than quick; isn’t very explosive or elusive in tight spaces; takes time to get up to full speed. Isn’t nearly as good in traffic as you’d expect considering his size; leaping ability is average and doesn’t do a consistent job timing his jumps to pluck ball at its highest point. Route running is slow and deliberate; lacks the quick, fluid hips to shake corners.
Comments:
Streeter has the size to catch your attention, and also the speed to stretch the field. However, his raw talent is all he has going for him right now. He lacks the hands to produce as a possession receiver and his timed speed is misleading. He can stretch the field, but his route running is sloppy and he lacks the quickness to shake man coverage. He is definitely worth a mid-to-late round pick due to his raw skills, and he may develop into a quality receiver, but he is also very likely to be over-drafted due to his potential.
Videos:
2011 vs Virginia 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off