Jake Bequette scouting report

Jake Bequette DE Arkansas #91
Ht: 6’5″Wt: 274  
Strengths:
Prototypical size for 4-3 end. Has experience lining up at end in 3-4 and 4-3 sets and also with his hand off the ground. Consistently explodes off the line. Stays low and generates a strong bull rush. Strong motor; very active player who consistently gives a strong second effort once he appears to be stopped. Does a nice job sliding through holes on the interior line; shows great body control when he slows down and moves in a more deliberate manner.
Weaknesses:
Average agility and change-of-direction ability; can get into the backfield but won’t chase down many mobile quarterbacks. Needs to play with better balance; attempts to explode into the backfield with such force that he often gets knocked off balance with a quick punch from offensive tackles. Spends too much time on the ground; overaggressive nature allows him to get pushed around too easily by more physical tackles. Missed time with a hamstring injury in 2011
Comments:
Bequette has the physical tools, but needs to work on his technique and overall awareness on the field. His explosion off the snap is impressive, but he definitely benefits from the fact that he has a one-track mind on the field (to get into the backfield). If he played a more balanced role in Arkansas’ defense he likely would not stand out on film as often. While his ability to surge into the backfield can definitely be an asset, he is often caught out of position on screens and misdirection plays. With some quality coaching, he could develop into a starter but he probably isn’t an instant-impact rookie.
Videos:
2011 vs Ole Miss
2011 vs South Carolina
2010 vs Texas A&M 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment

Chiefs likely to draft QB early

The Kansas City Chiefs paid good money to bring Matt Cassel into the fold in 2009, but three years into his tenure he’s shown limited improvement. Now, with three years and just over $21M remaining on his contract, the Chiefs are starting to look for his eventual replacement.

The Chiefs have already arranged visits with Ryan Tannehill, Kirk Cousins and Brock Osweiler, each of whom should come off the board no later than the 3rd round.

While I am generally against Ryan Tannehill going in the 1st round, the Chiefs would be a good fit. Tannehill is still learning the position and getting thrust into a starting role could be detrimental to his long-term development. In Kansas City, however, there will be no pressure to play right away. The Chiefs could stick with Cassel for at least one more year, if not longer.

Cousins and Osweiler are Day 2 prospects, who the Chiefs may consider in the early 2nd round. Cousins is more ready to play immediately, but Osweiler has the higher ceiling.

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

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

Draft Needs: Detroit Lions

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Detroit Lions [full archive here].

Season Recap: Finally they put it together! The Detroit Lions had a successful season, and earned their first playoff appearance since 1999. Matt Stafford stayed healthy for all 16 games, and established himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the league. GM Martin Mayhew has done an excellent job rebuilding a Detroit team that hasn’t seemed to recover since the departure of Barry Sanders. With young stars Stafford, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, and Ndamukong Suh on the team, Detroit will be a competitive team for years to come.

Team Needs:
1. Offensive Tackle: The Detroit offense has a couple all-stars and a solid supporting cast. In order to continue the success, Detroit needs to protect the quarterback. Left tackle is Detroit’s top need and should be addressed in the first round. Jeff Backus was resigned, but will be 35 next seaon. Cordy Glenn would fit nicely.

2. Cornerback: Detroit has a collection of capable cornerbacks, but no real star. If Detroit hopes to overtake Green Bay at some point, they’ll need some solid defensive backs to cover. Janoris Jenkins, Dre Kirkpatrick, Stephon Gilmore, and Brandon Boykin are possibilities in round one.

3. Strong Safety: Amari Spievey seems destined for a depth role after his poor play in the 2011 season. Louis Delmas is solid, but would benefit from a solid counterpart. Harrison Smith would be a great addition in the second round.

Posted on by Matt Peterson in Draft Needs - 2012, Lions Comments Off

McCrystal

1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Colts still haven’t made their intentions known, but I just can’t see him going any other direction with this pick. Griffin is an elite prospect, but players like him come along every couple years. Luck is in another stratosphere as a prospect, and there are franchise that have waited their entire existence without ever having the opportunity to land a guy like him. The Colts would be making a huge mistake to pass on Luck.

2. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III – QB – Baylor - Scouting Report
[from Rams] As much as the Redskins are excited about Griffin, there’s no doubt that they’re secretly crossing their fingers for the Colts to let Andrew Luck slide. But Griffin will be a fine consolation prize, if you can even call it that. He’s a special prospect, but the challenge now will be to surround him with enough talent in order to let him develop.

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

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

Draft Needs: Pittsburgh Steelers

Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Pittsburgh Steelers [full archive here].

Season Recap: The Pittsburgh Steelers compiled a 12-4 record in 2011, but were upset in a shocking overtime loss to the Tebow-led Denver Broncos. The Steelers once again dealt with numerous injuries throughout the season, and had to make some cost-saving roster moves this offseason in order to get under the cap. Gone are longtime Steelers, Hines Ward, James Farrior, Aaron Smith, and Chris Kemoeatu. Pittsburgh will field a younger team in 2012, but should be in the playoff mix with QB Ben Roethlisberger in charge.

Team Needs:
1. Inside Linebacker: James Farrior, a starter since the 2002 season, was cut in March, leaving a vacant spot next to Lawrence Timmons. The Steelers need a new starter, and should be able to select one in the first round. If Dont’a Hightower last until the Steelers, he would be a perfect fit.

2. Offensive Line: The Steelers continue to get by with average play along the offensive line. The Steelers need depth at offensive tackle, and possibly a new starting guard. Mike Adams and Cordy Glenn would be good fits.

3. Nose Tackle: Casey Hampton is getting up there in age, and suffered a torn ACL at the end of the season. It’s now time for Pittsburgh to find Hampton’s replacement in the upcoming draft. Josh Chapman from Alabama is capable of starting his rookie year. Chapman could be had in rounds two or three.

Posted on by Matt Peterson in Draft Needs - 2012, Steelers Comments Off

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