George Iloka

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

George Iloka scouting report

George Iloka S Boise State #8
Ht: 6’4″

Wt: 225

 
Strengths:
Impressive size. Good all-around athlete. Looks fluid in coverage considering his size. Has more than enough size and strength to further develop his tackling skills. Impressive leaping ability; can be an asset in coverage in the red zone.
Weaknesses:
Simply misses too many tackles. Doesn’t know how to wrap guys up and bring them to the ground; dives and swipes with his arms. Below-average ball skills; won’t come up with many interceptions. Doesn’t consistently track the ball and put himself into position to make plays. Clashed with coach Chris Petersen on multiple occasions early in his career, but coaching staff says he has matured.
Comments:
Considering his size and athleticism, Iloka is a very disappointing prospect. He has everything you can’t teach, but he doesn’t put it together on the field. There is plenty to like about him from a physical standpoint, and he definitely has the tools to develop into a starter at either free or strong safety, but he needs to improve in every aspect of his game. Iloka is boom-or-bust prospect who probably shouldn’t come off the board until the 3rd day of the draft.
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Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 1 Comment

Texans looking to upgrade secondary

The Houston Texans typically don’t use their pre-draft visits on highly rated players, so there’s usually very little we can learn from their list of visits. However, an interesting trend seems to be developing this year.

Of the Texans 10 visits/workouts we’ve learned of, six of the players are defensive backs (three corners, three safeties).

None of the prospects will be 1st-round picks, with the highest rated player likely being Boise State safety George Iloka, but it’s likely more than just coincidence that the Texans are studying up on so many defensive backs.

Given this trend, and the Texans recent struggles with their secondary, it’s hard to imagine them not addressing the position at some point on draft day. And while none of the reported visits will be 1st-round targets, it’s worth considering the possibility that they may address that need early in the draft, possibly with strong safety Mark Barron in the 1st round.

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

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