Boom Herron

Draft Grades: Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals put together the best draft class, at least on paper, that I have ever seen in the nine years I’ve been covering the draft. Of their 10 selections, I gave a 3rd-round grade or better to eight players, and the other two received 4th-round evaluations. This was the best draft class of the year, and there isn’t a close second.

Dre Kirkpatrick was overrated by the media early in the draft process, which created the perception that his stock started to slip during the draft process. He’s not as physical as you’d like, and he’s still developing his coverage technique, but the Bengals have the depth at cornerback to bring him along slowly.

Kevin Zeitler was a reach in the 1st round, especially with Cordy Glenn still on the board. But he does have the ability to step into an immediate starting role at right guard.

Devon Still doesn’t necessarily fill a need, but was a great value pick for the Bengals in the 2nd round. He will back up Geno Atkins and should be used as part of the defensive line rotation from day one.

Mohamed Sanu is one of the more underrated prospects in this draft class and could win a starting job in training camp. Due to ineffective quarterback play at Rutgers, his role was limited to that of a possession receiver, but he has the size and speed to develop into more of a true No. 1. Obviously in Cincinnati he’ll always be the No. 2 behind A.J. Green, but he has more raw talent than most No. 2 receivers.

Brandon Thompson was purely a value pick, especially after they already picked up Still in the 2nd round. He’ll compete for playing time with Domato Peko and Pat Sims in the nose tackle role.

The hype surrounding Orson Charles was purely a media creation, so it was not a surprise to see him fall to the 4th round. And while I think he was one of the most overrated prospects in this draft class, he’s a solid pickup for the Bengals. He’s essentially an oversized receiver, which is exactly the role he’ll play in Cincinnati. He’s not a threat to Jermaine Gresham’s job, but they’ll find ways to work him into the game plan.

Shaun Prater will have to fight hard to earn a spot on the final roster, but could be helped if the Bengals decide to cut ties with Nate Clements. He has the skills to win a job, but the secondary is suddenly very crowded in Cincinnati.

Marvin Jones may prove to be the steal of the draft. He lacks elite athleticism, but makes up for by being one of the most efficient route runners in this year’s class. The difference between him and Sanu is minimal, and Jones may actually be more NFL ready.

George Iloka is built like a strong safety but tackles like a kicker, which lead to his fall. He’s a developmental prospect who probably shouldn’t see the field until he improves his tackling technique, but he definitely had value in the 5th round based on his raw talent.

Boom Herron is to running backs what Marvin Jones is to receivers. He’s not the biggest, strongest or fastest player on the field but he’s smart and gets the job done. The Bengals have a crowded backfield right now, so Herron has his work cut out for him, but don’t be surprised to see him receive some significant carries this season if he impresses during training camp.

From top to bottom this was the strongest draft class. The Bengals landed better players in the 5th and 6th round than some teams landed in the 2nd and 3rd. They upgraded their depth at multiple positions and are now poised to make a serious run at the Steelers and Ravens. If this class pans out as expected, there will be a new powerhouse in the AFC North within the next three years.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bengals, Draft Grades - 2012 Comments Off

Daniel “Boom” Herron scouting report

Boom Heron RB Ohio State #1
Ht: 5’10″

Wt: 208

 
Strengths:
Strong, compact build. Low center of gravity and exceptional body control make him tough to bring down unless wrapped up; will easily run through weak arm tackles. Great vision; a patient runner, who hits his holes quickly. Has the speed to get to the outside. Elite change-of-direction quickness. An effective receiver out of the backfield; reliable hands. NFL bloodlines; brother David went undrafted in 2007 and has bounced around the league since.
Weaknesses:
Slightly undersized; strong for his size, but doesn’t have the frame to take a pounding. May not be able to carry the full load at the next level. Lacks the elite speed that teams often prefer in small backs. Suspended for taking improper benefits in 2011. Not asked to block often at Ohio State, and struggled when he was.
Comments:
Due to Herron’s marginal size and average speed he isn’t going to be a highly regarded prospect. But while Herron lacks the physical tools that catch your attention, he does all the small things well (except blocking). He will probably never be a feature back, but can be effective in a two-back system. He isn’t a great fit for teams that like to pound the ball up the middle, but he could excel with a team that spreads it out, creating more space for him to run. He has the potential to be an excellent mid-to-late round steal.
Videos:
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off

Saturday draft notes

- Potential top-10 pick Jerel Worthy of Michigan State needs to keep his emotions in check. He wasn’t shy about sharing his hatred for Michigan this past week – which is fine – but he clearly let it effect his play on the field. Worthy played out of control at times, and was called for at least one penalty (jumping offside and knocking down a Michigan lineman in the process). This isn’t something that will effect his draft stock, but it is something coaches and GMs may want to discuss with him during his pre-draft interviews.

- Boom Herron had a big game for Ohio State in his return from his suspension. He’s probably a 3rd or 4th round prospect because he lacks the elite size and speed to really stand out, but I like his chances of contributing at the next level. He’s patient, has great vision and is a surprisingly tough runner between the tackles considering his size. He’s sort of a cross between Ahmad Bradshaw and Justin Forsett.

- Illinois junior defensive end Whitney Mercilus had a nice game against Ohio State. Mike Adams was his toughest test of the year, and Mercilus beat him a few times with a variety of moves. He’s quick off the snap, but also showed that he had the strength to fight past Adams even when he didn’t beat him off the snap.

- As for Adams, it was a fairly disappointing performance. He has as much talent as any lineman in this class, but he just looks too soft at times. He seems to lack the mean streak necessary to dominate. He was also called for a costly penalty late in the 4th quarter which helped keep Illinois in the game.

- We have to wait another year before Tyrann Matthieu is draft-eligible, but Morris Claiborne could come out this year and he is looking like a potential top-15 pick. He does a great job turning to play the ball, rather than strictly reacting to the receiver. He made another nice play today against Tennessee where he essentially became the receiver, and nearly returned the pick for a touchdown.

- Trent Richardson continues to improve his draft stock. If you missed his big run against Ole Miss check it out on youtube. He is every bit as good as Adrian Peterson was coming out of college and should be a top-10 lock.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft Comments Off

Draft Notes from Week 2

  • Andrew Luck is the real deal, and I’m going to take every chance I get to mention how much I like him. UCLA did a nice job pressuring him and taking away a lot of options in coverage, but Luck adjusted and took what was given him. He showed off his field awareness and accuracy on his first TD pass of the game to Ryan Whalen. He spun around, regrouped and hit led him perfectly into the corner.
  • I really liked what I saw from Cameron Heyward against Miami. A guy his size dropping back into coverage and picking off that pass from Jacory Harris is special. He could be the next Richard Seymour.
  • Another guy I like from OSU was Daniel “Boom” Herron. He reminds me of Justin Forsett. He’s only a junior and likely won’t leave early since he’s splitting time with Brandon Saine, but he could end up being the better pro prospect of the two.
  • GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 04: Safety Ahmad Black  of the Florida Gators runs after making an interception against the Miami University RedHawks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 4, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

    Ahmad Black is having a breakout season

  • Florida safety Ahmad Black has already done a lot to boost his stock this season. He bailed out the Gators with a key interception against USF on Saturday, and played an all-around great game. He’s looked like a solid 2nd or 3rd round pick.
  • I know they’ve only played Tennessee Tech and Louisiana-Monroe, but Ryan Mallett has completed 73.1 pct of his passes. That is a huge step in the right direction. He completed just over 55 pct in 2009 and was below 50 pct in 2007 with Michigan. A player with his ability in that offense needs to be around 60 percent to be considered a legitimate 1st-round prospect.
  • How bad is the ACC? (I know that’s unrelated to the draft, but had to say something.)
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft 1 Comment