Marvin Austin

Winners from Rounds 1-3: New York Giants

Jerry Reese continues to use patience to land great players for the New York Giants. They didn’t fill any glaring holes, but they got three great players who had fallen for various reasons.

Amukamara should step right into a starting role for the Giants

In the 1st round the Giants ended Prince Amukamara‘s free fall at No. 19. The certainly didn’t need a cornerback, but they lacked a true shutdown corner and Amukamara has a chance to be that guy. I had him at No. 6 on my board and I believe he will be a star in New York.

Marvin Austin fell due to concerns about his character, but entering the 2010 season he was viewed as a potential top 10 pick. He’s going to head to New York with a huge chip on his shoulder. That, coupled with the discipline Tom Coughlin will instill in him is going to turn Austin into a great player.

And in round three it was more of the same as they grabbed Jerrel Jernigan, whom many expected to come off the board in the 2nd round. I’m not sure how Jernigan will fit in with the Giants, but you can’t argue with the value and you can never have too much depth at receiver.

Overall, it has just been a very smart, methodical draft by Reese. He trusts his draft board and sticks with it regardless of his needs. It’s a great approach and it’s why he is quickly gaining respect as one of the best GMs at managing the draft.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft, Giants Comments Off

Marvin Austin scouting report

Marvin Austin DT North Carolina
Ht: 6’2″

Wt: 312

Strengths:
Impressive athlete for his size. Explosive off the snap. A powerful bull rusher. Also has the athleticism to incorporate other moves into his pass rush repertoire. Above-average straight-line speed, will occasionally make plays in pursuit. Has the athleticism to play end in a 3-4 scheme. May also have the strength to play nose tackle.
Weaknesses:
Suspended for entire 2010 season for accepting benefits from an agent. Overaggressive. Too focused on getting to the quarterback, and it results in too many penalties and too many bites on fakes. Effort seems to lack at times. Appears disinterested in doing the small things – wants to get sacks and big hits.
Comments:
Austin entered the 2010 season with lofty expectations. He was an elite recruit coming out of high school and many expected him to elevate his game to an elite level. After sitting out the entire season, scouts are left with nothing to evaluate him by other than inconsistent film from his first three years at UNC. There’s no denying his raw talent, but he needs to convinces teams that he can give a full effort on every play and develop into a complete player. He has 1st-round talent, but shouldn’t come off the board until the 2nd or 3rd round. If he falls far enough he may end up with a big enough chip on his shoulder to finally take his game to the next level.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2011 Comments Off

Marvin Austin looks impressive at Shrine Game

I’m not at the East/West Shrine Game in Orlando this weekend, but plenty of top drafniks are and they all seem to love Marvin Austin (my 6th-rated DT as of right now). Here’s bits and pieces of what they had to say (click the links for their full reports):

Tony Pauline – DraftInsider.net -  ”[S]tarted off dominant and was unstoppable.  Beat opponents with power, quickness and speed.  They resorted to double teaming and holding him in scrimmage.  Did wear down a bit late but definitely on the rise.”

Aaron Aloysius – DraftBreakdown – “[D]id well for himself by showing up at a solid 312 lbs. He didn’t look slow or out of shape in practice, where the big man made a sizable impact. In 11 on 11s, Austin quickly disengaged from a block before making a nice stop. And on a passing play, he managed to get his hands up and deflect a Ricky Dobbs pass

Wes Bunting – National Football Post - “[C]ertainly looks the part. He showed up in shape, carried his weight very well and has the kind of natural lower body girth/mass you look for in an interior lineman. He was also very well put together in the upper body and you can tell he has been working hard

Chad Reuter – CBS Sports – “[S]tarted off strong in one-on-one drills. He flashed quick hands and feet to bull-rush or run around mid-tier prospects such as Missouri State guard David Arkin… Though it was a solid practice, scouts might want to see more to consider Austin a top-50 prospect, especially considering he was so highly touted as a prep and expectations were through the roof entering the season.”

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Austin needs to perform in these workouts to prove he is a top-50 prospect

These positive reports are great news for Austin, who is a fringe 1st-round prospect in my opinion. There’s no denying his potential, but he had an up-and-down career at North Carolina before being suspended for the entire 2010 season. A solid senior year would have boosted his stock into the 1st round, possibly into the top 10, but he never got that opportunity. As a result, his offseason workouts are his only hope to convince scouts that he is a legitimate top talent.

Perhaps the best news from the reports is that he showed up in excellent condition. Spending a year away from football can be devastating to a player’s conditioning. The fact that he maintained his physical condition without having mandatory workouts as part of a collegiate football program speaks volumes about his work ethic.

At this point I’m still projecting him as a 2nd-round or 3rd-round pick, but he is definitely building momentum towards entering the 1st-round discussion.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft 1 Comment

Do UNC suspensions hurt players’ draft stock?

Marvin Austin, Greg Little and Robert Quinn all had their season – and likely their careers – officially come to a close with the ruling that they had been “permanently suspended” from the North Carolina football program.

All three have a future in the NFL, so the only question now is: how does this ruling effect their draft stock?

Simply put, it only hurts their stock if they it.

NFL teams don’t care about eligibility concerns. These players aren’t in trouble with the law and they haven’t done anything that would violate the league’s personal conduct policy.

CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 7: Marvin Austin #9 of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks on during the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Kenan Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Austin lost an opportunity to improve his draft stock this season

That said, the players need to be prepared to speak openly about their suspensions and be honest about everything they did to violate NCAA rules. Just because teams aren’t concerned with what happened doesn’t mean they won’t ask questions about it. The teams will view it as a chance to see how these guys hold up under pressure. If they conduct themselves in a professional manor, it could actually work in their favor if teams come away impressed with their maturity.

While the suspensions don’t hurt them, they did miss out on an opportunity to improve their stock. Quinn already looks like a top-10 pick, and should be considered a 1st-round lock. However, Austin and Little had a lot more to prove this season.

Austin probably had the most to gain by playing in 2010. He returned for his senior year in hopes of having a Ndamukong Suh-like season, which undoubtedly would have shot him up draft boards. Instead, teams are left with game footage of him from his junior year where he looks good, but somewhat inconsistent. He definitely has the potential of a top-10 pick, but he has never shown that ability on the field over the course of a full season. His suspension means he misses out on that opportunity.

One other aspect of this that teams will be interested in is how the players spent their year away from football. The NFL combine now has increased importance for these three, as they must prove that they maintained their peak physical condition on their own. Once again, this could work in their favor. If a player is self-motivated enough to stay in shape while in college and away from the football field, teams will come away impressed.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft 1 Comment

Never too early to look ahead: 2011 NFL Draft Board

Its never too early to look ahead to next year. So with that in mind, lets unveil DraftAce’s first 2011 draft board. We’ve ranked the top 32 draft-eligible players (seniors, juniors and redshirt sophomores) and have compared them to a current NFL player. Obviously they won’t all live up to these expectations, but think of it as a “best case scenario” comparison.

1. Ryan Mallett – JR – QB – Arkansas
Mallett certainly looks the part (6’6″) and has a rocket arm. He was inconsistent at times in 2009, but it was his first year leading the Razorbacks’ offense after transferring from Michigan. Expect big things from him in 2010. NFL Comparison: Joe Flacco

2. Cameron Heyward – SR – DE – Ohio State
The son of Craig “Ironhead” Heyward was a 1st-round lock, potentially as the top defensive end selected, had he entered this year’s draft. He returned to Ohio State, however, where he’ll continue to dominate as a defensive end/tackle ‘tweener. He has the size to play in a 3-4 scheme, but also has the athleticism to be a compete pass rusher/run stuffer in a 4-3. NFL Comparison: Mario Williams

3. Robert Quinn – JR – DE North Carolina
Quinn could be the premier pass rusher in next year’s draft. He terrorized ACC quarterbacks as a sophomore in 2009 and with defensive line mate Marvin Austin back for the 2010 season he should continue to improve. NFL Comparison: Tamba Hali

4. A.J. Green – JR – WR – Georgia
Green burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2008 and continued to dominate the SEC in ’09. At 6’4″, 208 pounds he has the size to be a true No. 4 receiver. NFL Comparison: Randy Moss

5. Gabe Carimi – SR – OT – Wisconsin
Carimi took over for Joe Thomas as a freshman in 2007 and lived up to expectations from day one. The similarities to Thomas eerie. They have a similar build and a remarkably similar skill set. Both have the athleticism to excel as pass blockers but also play with a mean streak that allows them to dominate in the running game. NFL Comparison: Joe Thomas

6. Patrick Peterson – JR – CB – LSU
Peterson has the size of a free safety (6’1″, 211 pounds) but the athleticism to a shutdown corner. If he fulfills expectations as a junior, he could be one of the highest-rated corners to enter the draft in a number of years. NFL Comparison: Charles Woodson

7. Blaine Gabbert – JR – QB – Missouri
With just one year under his belt as a starter, we still have a lot to learn about Gabbert. As a sophomore, he looked like a future star. He has an NFL body with a strong arm and more than adequately filled the shoes of Missouri legend Chase Daniel. NFL Comparison: Phillip Rivers

8. Marvin Austin – SR – DT – North Carolina
Austin turned down a guaranteed stop in the 2010 1st-round because he wanted to return to school to have an Ndamukong Suh-like senior year. Its a lofty goal, you have to admire his dedication. If he comes close to fulfilling his own expectations he’ll find himself in the early half of the 1st round.
NFL Comparison: Kyle Williams

9. Greg Romeus – SR – DE – Pittsburgh
Romeus is yet another player who had a chance to come off the board in the 1st round in 2009, but elected to return to school. Romeus isn’t strong as Heyward or as quick as Quinn, but he’s a complete play who can excel against the run and the pass.
NFL Comparison: Justin Tuck

10. Jared Crick – JR – DT – Nebraska
Ndamukong Suh wasn’t the only force to be reckoned with on the Cornhuskers defensive line in 2009. Crick obviously has a ways to go before he can be compared to Suh, but he has a similar skill set and may actually be better against the run than his former teammate.
NFL Comparison: Darnell Dockett

11. Andrew Luck – SO – QB – Stanford
With Toby Gerhart out of the picture in Stanford, the Cardinal offense will no focus on Luck. He had flashes of greatness as a redshirt-freshman in 2009 and should take major strides this season now that the offense will be built around his arm.
NFL Comparison: Aaron Rodgers

12. Allen Bailey – SR – DT – Miami FL
After a surprising two-year drought, Miami could return to the 1st round in 2011. Bailey is an athletic three-technique tackle who excels at busting up plays in the backfield. He led the Hurricanes with 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks in 2009.
NFL Comparison: Kevin Williams

13. Michael Floyd – JR – WR – Notre Dame
Golden Tate received much of the attention this past season, but Floyd is the better pro prospect. He has elite size and strength for a receiver and enough speed to stretch the field. He’ll make his presence felt immediately as a red zone target.
NFL Comparison: Andre Johnson

14. Ryan Williams – SO – RB – Virginia Tech
As a redshirt freshman in 2009 Williams was arguably the nation’s best running back, yet flew under the radar due to Virginia Tech’s somewhat disappointing season. He posted five 150-yard games and dominated and finished 5th in the nation in rushing. If he builds upon that success he’ll find himself in the Heisman race and in the mix to be the top available running back in the 2011 draft.
NFL Comparison: DeAngelo Williams

15. Von Miller – SR – LB – Texas A&M
Miller burst onto the scene in 2009 playing a hybrid DE/OLB position for the Aggies, essentially acting as a pass-rush specialist. He led the nation with 16.5 sacks and ranked among the leaders in tackles for loss as well.
NFL Comparison: Shaun Phillips

16. Rahim Moore – JR – S – UCLA
Had Moore been eligible to enter the 2010 draft it would be him, not Earl Thomas, pushing Eric Berry for spot atop the draft boards at safety. Like Thomas, Moore is a ball-hawking free safety but has the size to help out against the run as well.
NFL Comparison: Kerry Rhodes

17. Bruce Carter – SR – LB – North Carolina
Carter will be a tough prospect to judge next season because he’s undersized. At only 225 pounds certain teams will scratch him off their list from the start. However, you can’t deny the fact that he’s a playmaker. He’ll fit nicely into someone’s 4-3 scheme at weakside linebacker.
NFL Comparison: Thomas Davis

18. Julio Jones – JR – WR – Alabama
Jones has the size and athleticism needed to excel at the next level. However, after a dominant freshman season he regressed in 2009. He caught just four touchdown passes in 2009 and had just one 100-yard game. He’ll need to bounce back in a big way in order to hang on to this slot in the top 32.
NFL Comparison: Randy Moss

19. Greg Jones – SR – LB – Michigan State
Jones is another player that cracks the top 32 based on potential rather than production. He’s already an effective against the run, but as an inside linebacker he needs to develop his skills in coverage. He has the athleticism of a top-10 pick, but he needs to become more disciplined to live up to his full potential.
NFL Comparison: DeMeco Ryans

20. Jake Locker – SR – QB – Washington
Numerous draftniks have Locker as the top-rated quarterback, but I’m not sold just yet. He’s a potential 1st-round pick based on potential, but he’s been just an average collegiate quarterback to this point in his career. His athleticism is unmatched by anyone else in this draft class, but that’s a small piece of the puzzle. He’s reckless with the football (11 interceptions) and has completed just 53 percent of his career pass attempts.
NFL Comparison: Donovan McNabb

21. Deunta Williams – SR – S – North Carolina
Williams is a ball-hawking free safety but also has the size to play strong safety in the pros. That versatility will help his draft stock next season and makes him the top senior prospect at safety.
NFL Comparison: Darren Sharper

22. Nate Solder – SR – OT – Colorado
Solder came to Boulder as tight end but switched to tackle as a sophomore in 2008. He’s still developing as a left tackle, but his upside is unlimited. At 6’9″ he has the size and athleticism to dominate the position for years to come. With an impressive senior year he could easily climb into the top five.
NFL Comparison: D’Brickashaw Ferguson

23. Chris Galippo – JR – LB – USC
Galippo may be the next great linebacker to come from Southern Cal. Like the rest of his teammates, he didn’t quite live up to expectations in 2009, but the bulk of the Trojans’ defense return for 2010 and big things are expected from the unit which is led by Galippo. He’s an instinctive linebacker who will only continue to get better with experience.
NFL Comparison: James Laurinaitis

24. Jamie Harper -JR – RB – Clemson
Harper is a bit of wildcard at this point, having only played in a backup role to this point in his career. He was brilliant as C.J. Spiller’s backup in 2009 and will become the focal point of the Tigers’ offense this season. He’s a powerful downhill runner (5’11″, 230 pounds) who has the strength to carry the load at the next level.
NFL Comparison: Michael Turner

25. Nate Potter – JR – OT – Boise State
Like Ryan Clady in 2008, it will be tough to judge Potter until the offseason workouts. He has dominated Boise State’s WAC opponents, but its a weak conference and he simply isn’t facing the talent which he will see in the NFL. He certainly appears to have the athleticism to take his game to the next level though, and his stock could skyrocket over of the course of the next year.
NFL Comparison: Michael Oher

26. Kyle Rudolph – JR – TE – Notre Dame
Notre Dame hasn’t exactly churned out elite skill position players in recent years, but that could change in 2011 as both Michael Floyd and Rudolph could come off the board in the 1st round. Rudolph has the size and athleticism to develop into a well-rounded tight end who can dominate as both a blocker and receiver in the NFL.
NFL Comparison: Jason Witten

27. DeAndre McDaniel – SR – S – Clemson
2011 figures to bring us another deep class of safeties. McDaniels toyed with the idea of entering this year’s draft class, but wisely stayed in school and could find himself in the 1st round in 2011. He has the size to play strong safety, but has the ball skills of a free safety – a combination which will help his value immensely.
NFL Comparison: Brandon Meriweather

28. Marcell Dareus – JR – DE – Alabama
Dareus is a stout lineman who excels in run defense, but also contributes as a pass rusher. He led the Crimson Tide in sacks in 2009 and they’re expecting big things from him this upcoming season. He’s a versatile prospect who could play end in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme and may also be able to transition to tackle in the 4-3.
NFL Comparison: Ty Warren

29. DaQuan Bowers – JR – DE – Clemson
Bowers has as much potential as anyone eligible to enter the 2011 draft class. He’s started from day one since coming to Clemson as a highly touted recruit in 2008. Bowers has just 4 sacks through his first two seasons, but we’re expecting big things from him in 2009. NFL Comparison: Trent Cole

30. Jerrell Powe – DT – Mississippi
As more and more teams switch to the 3-4 defense, the value of nose tackles is starting to skyrocket. Players such as Powe figure to see their stock rise far higher than similar players in years past. He’s a physical presence on the interior line, capable of taking on multiple blockers and anchoring a defensive line.
NFL Comparison: Vince Wilfork

31. Austin Pettis – SR – WR – Boise State
Pettis could become the first skill-position player selected in the 1st round from Boise State. He has the size and speed to take his game to the next level, but like anyone from Boise, he’ll need to prove he can compete at the highest level. As a team, the Broncos have earned the respect of the nation, but there’s still a lack of talent in the WAC which doesn’t fully prepare players for the NFL the way a BCS conference does.
NFL Comparison: Sidney Rice

32. Casey Matthews – SR – LB – Oregon
One thing I learned from scouting Clay Matthews in 2009: never bet against the Matthews family. Like his other brother, Casey doesn’t have elite physical talents but he has become the leader of the Ducks defense and has the instincts to excel at the next level.
NFL Comparison: Paul Posluszny

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2011 NFL Draft 3 Comments