Terrence Cody

Training Camp Preview: Ravens

Baltimore Ravens rookie tackle Jared Gaither walks off the practice field after the first full day of training camp Photo via Newscom

Will Gaither still be in Baltimore in August?

Biggest Question Mark: Jared Gaither
Will he be a Raven when the season starts? Will he be happy if he is? There are plenty of questions surrounding Gaither and seeming no answers in sight. The Ravens practically tried to give him away, begging a team to sign the restricted free agent and then trying to trade him. But they couldn’t find any takers, which is baffling considering his impressive 2009 season. Assuming he remains in Baltimore, he’ll be moved over to right tackle where he should continue to dominate.

Position Battle to Watch: Wide Receiver
Anquan Boldin will be Joe Flacco’s go-to guy, but who will step up as his second and third options? Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason have experience in Baltimore’s system, but Donte’ Stallworth will have a chip on his shoulder after sitting out the 2009 season.

Impact Rookie: Terrence Cody
Cody likely won’t start in Baltimore, but he gives them unmatched depth on the defensive line. They’ll likely use him in a rotation with Haloti Ngata and Kevin Gregg at nose tackle which will keep all three players fresh. If Cody can perform at an elite level for 25-30 plays per game, he’ll give the Ravens a truly dominant defensive line.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Ravens Comments Off

2010 Draft Grades: Ravens

The Ravens did a great job trading out of the 1st round and still managing to land a 1st-round talent in the 2nd round.

Sergio Kindle is a perfect fit at outside linebacker in Baltimore. While their defense is still based off the 3-4 scheme, they have been running more 4-3 sets lately and Kindle is a much better fit at outside linebacker in those formations than Jarrett Johnson. He’ll likely backup Johnson this upcoming season, but he should see significant playing time as part of the rotation.

Terrence Cody was a great pick in the late 2nd-round. He obviously doesn’t fill an immediate need, but he can be used in a rotation at nose tackle with 33-year-old Kelly Gregg. That combination will suit both players well and should improve what was already one of the best defensive lines in football.

I’m not crazy about the selection of Ed Dickson. He can contribute immediately as a receiver, but his blocking needs a lot of work. He just isn’t the complete package that the Ravens like at tight end. However, I think they got great value for Dennis Pitta in the 4th round. He’s much closer to a Todd Heap-type tight end and I like his chances of eventually replacing Heap better than Dickson’s. That said, I don’t like the fact that they grabbed two tight ends in spots where other contributors could have been added.

David Reed is an intriguing prospect, but I felt the reached a little bit in the 5th round. Fortunately he won’t be relied on this upcoming season. For the short term, the Ravens are set a receiver, allowing them to develop Reed without throwing him into the fire.

Arthur Jones was a great late 5th-round pick. Entering the 2009 season he was viewed as a potential 1st-round pick. However, he has a long history of knee injuries which scared off most teams. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be an instant contributor at defensive end for the Ravens. He’s a very nice addition to their rotation on the defensive line and well worth the risk in the 5th round.

Ramone Harewood is a developmental prospect and landed in the perfect place in Baltimore. He fits the mold of a typical Ravens tackle (6’7″, 360 pounds) and they’ll try to groom him for a starting job two to three years down the road. He may spend the 2010 season on the practice squad, but in the 6th round they could afford to grab a developmental prospect that won’t bring any immediate returns.

Overall, this was a very solid draft for the Ravens. For the most part, they got excellent value at each slot and a few players that can contribute immediately. The only downside is that they didn’t land any immediate difference makers. They have every reason to believe that they can be a Super Bowl contender in 2010, so it was surprising to see them fail to address more needs early one. They have a number of injury concerns at cornerback (Lardarius Webb, Dominique Foxworth) and adding some insurance at that position would have made sense.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2010, Ravens Comments Off

How does the Holmes trade shake up the draft?

With Santonio Holmes on his way out of Pittsburgh, suddenly the draft intentions of the Steelers and Jets are becoming a little more clear.

Prior to the trade most mock drafts had the Jets taking either Golden Tate or Demaryius Thomas. Both of those options now seem like longshots. With Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards and Holmes, the Jets have enough players fighting for the ball already.

With receiver off their list of needs, the Jets likely turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball. Given the depth of hybrid defensive end/linebackers in this year’s draft, its likely that someone falls to the the Jets. Jason Pierre-Paul, Brandon Graham, Sergio Kindle and Jerry Hughes could all be options.

Clemson v Georgia Tech

Could Thomas now be a target of the Steelers?

Its also possible that they’ll consider Terrence Cody. Both Kris Jenkins (30) and Sione Pouha (31) are getting up there in age, and the Jets may want to build for the future at nose tackle.

As for the Steelers, wide receiver now becomes an option in the 1st round. I previously had them selecting Dez Bryant in earlier versions of my mock draft, but stated that it was simply a luxury pick. Now, it would become more of a need-based selection. Three of the Steelers top four receivers – Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Antwaan Randle El and Arnez Battle are over 30. Three of them are also 6’0″ or shorter.

The need for a big receiver has never been greater, and Roethlisberger has been calling for one for years. Limas Sweed has failed to pan out, and it may be time for the Steelers to try again. Bryant and Demaryius Thomas are both options in the 1st round.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Jets, Steelers 1 Comment

All-Overrated Draft Prospects Team

QB – Tim Tebow, Florida
Someone’s going to take him in the 1st or 2nd round, and they’re going to have to wait at least 2 years before he’s ready to start at quarterback (if he’s ever ready).

RB – C.J. Spiller, Clemson
He’s not the next Chris Johnson. The next Leon Washington is more likely. He’s simply not an every-down running back.

RB – Jahvid Best, California
Same criticism of Spiller applies here. He’s a change-of-pace back, a better version of Ahmad Bradshaw.

WR – Damian Williams, USC
He’s too skinny to be an elite receiver. He’ll get pushed around by more physical defensive backs, and he lacks the speed to break away.

WR – Mike Williams, Syracuse
I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot pole. Off-field issues make him undraftable in my book. Not even worth a 7th round pick.

TE – Anthony McCoy, USC
He’s a serviceable tight end due to his blocking ability, but he won’t contribute as a receiver. The next Christian Fauria.

OT – Bruce Campbell, Maryland
How anyone can watch him on film and give him a grade higher than the 3rd round baffles me. Athleticism only takes you so far.

OT – Trent Williams, Oklahoma
Definitely has upside, but his lack of production in his only year at left tackle is very concerning.

OG – Vladimir Ducasse, Massachusetts
Size and athleticism are making scouts drool, but he is very raw. He could be the next Larry Allen, he could be the next Qasim Mitchell.

OG – Sergio Render, Virginia Tech
I’m reaching here because no one else jumps out. Render impressed early in his career, but never showed improvement.

C – Eric Olsen, Notre Dame
Was never overly impressive at Notre Dame, and he struggled in one-on-one drills at the Senior Bowl.

DE – Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida
Claims about his elite athleticism are overstated. Derrick Morgan is of similar size and build and performed equally, if not better, in every drill at the combine.

DE – George Selvie, South Florida
After a standout sophomore year, Selvie was non-factor for two full seasons. Yet he still generates interest from those that remember his 2007 campaign.

DT – Terrence Cody, Alabama
Weight is still a serious concern. He’ll never be able to stay on the field consistently.

DT – Arthur Jones, Syracuse
High expectations for his senior year never panned out. Injury concerns and lack of production limit his upsite.

OLB – Ricky Sapp, Clemson
Only one year of experience at linebacker after transitioning from end. Lack of elite production and ACL tear in 2008 raise red flags.

OLB – Navorro Bowman, Penn State
Doesn’t have the elite on-field production to make up for his serious character concerns.

ILB – Brandon Spikes, Florida
Spikes’ recent 40 times raise serious red flags. He may simply lack the speed to play in the NFL.

CB – Joe Haden, Florida
He’s a legitimate 1st-round prospect, but doesn’t deserve a top-10 grade. The gap between him and the next-best corners has raised his stock above where it realistically should be.

CB – Patrick Robinson, Florida State
Robinson has elite speed, but he’s one of the least physical corners I’ve seen in recent years. Off-field concerns further hurt his stock.

S – Taylor Mays, USC
Mays is so universally viewed as overrated that I considered leaving him off the list. But his production just hasn’t matched his physical ability.

S – T.J. Ward, Oregon
The potential is there, but he can’t stay healthy. Multiple ankle and knee injuries raise serious doubts about his ability to stay on the field.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2010 NFL Draft Comments Off

Rising Stock: Terrence Cody

Entering this draft season I thought the most overrated player in this year’s class was sure to be Terrence Cody. My fear was that he was simply too big for the NFL.

LSU v AlabamaAt Alabama, Cody was used in a rotation on the defensive line. He wasn’t an every-down player in part due to Alabama’s impressive depth, but also due to his poor conditioning.

When Cody weighed in at 379 pounds at the Senior Bowl my fears were confirmed. If a rookie weighs 379 pounds, how long before he tips the scales at 400 once he’s in multi-millionaire in the NFL? If a player can’t get in shape for the biggest job interviews of his life, then he’s destined for a career filled with weight issues.

But to Cody’s credit, he has been shedding pounds at impressive rate since the Senior Bowl. He weighed in at 354 pounds at the Combine and 349 at his Pro Day this past week.

He needs to lose more weight – 325 would be an ideal goal – but his effort should be commended. And there’s no question that his stock is one the rise as a result.

Projecting where Cody may go in the draft, however, is still difficult. While nose tackles are becoming one of the most valued positions, only a select few teams are in the market for one in the 1st or 2nd round where Cody is likely to come off the board. He come off the board as early as No. 29 to the Chargers or as late as No. 60, also to the Chargers.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Chargers Comments Off

Top Nose Tackles

Following up on today’s earlier post on Terrence Cody’s rising stock, here’s a look at the top nose tackles in this year’s class.

Tennessee v Kentucky1. Dan Williams, Tennessee
At 6’2″, 327 pounds there’s no question that Williams has the size to play nose tackle. What makes him the top prospect at the position, though, is his athleticism. Most nose tackles earn their living just by eating up space, but a select few have the ability to get into the backfield and make plays. Shaun Rogers may be the best example among active nose tackles, and Williams could certainly have a similar impact at the next level.

2. Terrence Cody, Alabama
Cody’s stock is on the rise and the more weight he loses the higher his stock will climb. He isn’t the type that will make plays in the backfield with consistency, but he can take on two or three blockers at a time. He lacks the athleticism to be a truly elite nose tackle but he can make an instant impact anchoring a defensive line.

3. Cam Thomas, North Carolina
Thomas was overshadowed by Marvin Austin at North Carolina, but he’s starting to get the attention he deserves. At 6’4″, 331 pounds he has the size to fit right at nose tackle in the NFL. He struggled to make an impact at times in UNC’s traditional 4-3 defense due to his lack of athleticism, but he should flourish in a 3-4 scheme at the next level.

4. Linval Joseph, East Carolina
There’s a significant dropoff in talent after Thomas. Joseph has the size (6’5″, 328 pounds) and strength but he wasn’t always productive even against lesser competition at East Carolina. He’s an intriguing mid-round prospect but he isn’t a sure thing.

5. Jeff Owens, Georgia
Not all teams will view Owens as a nose tackle due to his relative lack of size (6’1″, 304) but he is a short, stout and extremely strong interior lineman. If he added some weight Owens could easily handle the duties of a nose tackle.

6. Aleric Mullins, North Carolina
Mullins was never a full-time starter at North Carolina, stuck behind Cam Thomas and Marvin Austin.  He’s an intriguing prospect who has the size and strength to play nose tackle and potentially the athleticism to play defensive end in the 3-4 defense as well. He could be one of those player’s who just needs to land in the right system to reach his full potential.

7. Brandon Deaderick, Alabama
Deaderick was overshadowed by Cody at Alabama, but he too was a key member of Tide’s defense. His production was nothing impressive, but his size and strength are intriguing. He’s a developmental prospect who could be a late-round pick.

8. Travis Ivey, Maryland
Ivey battled injuries throughout his career and wasn’t a full-time starter until his senior year. His tape isn’t impressive but there’s only so many guys out there who are 6’4″, 341 pounds. He’ll draw interest in the late rounds or as a free agent.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2010 NFL Draft Comments Off

Rolando McClain has Crohn’s Disease, pulled hamstring

Rarely does significant new information come out regarding a prospect at this time of year. The folks at the combine generally do a good job poking and prodding until every stone has been overturned. But Rolando McClain revealed some surprising information at Alabama’s pro day.

McClain announced that he has been suffering from Crohn’s Disease since he was a freshman in high school, a disease that causes inflation of the intestines and can result in a variety of symptoms. The disease is treatable and it shouldn’t hurt his draft stock, but its a key piece of information for teams to be made aware of before handing him millions of dollars.

McClain also revealed that he suffered a torn hamstring during Alabama’s game on October 24 against Tennessee. He apparently kept the injury from his teammates and played through the pain.

Hamstring injuries usually hurt player’s draft stock, but this may be a rare situation where it actually helps. Some scouts had questioned McClain’s efforts down the stretch last season, sighting plays on which he was clearly not running at full speed after the ball carrier. The hamstring injury gives McClain a logical excuse, so long as it can be verified by Alabama’s medical staff.

Along with giving him a reasonable excuse for what was perceived as a lack of effort, it demonstrates his willingness and ability to play through pain at a high level.

Other notes from Alabama’s pro day:
- DT Terrence Cody weighed in at 349 pounds. That’s down from 370 at the Senior Bowl and 354 at the combine. While teams would love to see him lose even more weight, they have to be encouraged by the effort he’s put in so far. His stock is certainly on the rise as a result and he could sneak into the late 1st round.

- CB Javier Arenas was unable to work out due to the pulled hamstring he suffered at the combine.

- OG Mike Johnson took some snaps at center and reportedly looked good. The ability to play multiple positions is key for linemen who aren’t viewed as locks to earn starting roles in the NFL.

- All 32 teams were represented. Glad to see the Raiders decided to show up after they inexplicably decided to skip Oklahoma’s pro day earlier this week.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2010 NFL Draft, Raiders Comments Off