Friday, February 21, 2014

Scouting Report 7 - RaShede Hageman - DT #4

As promised, here is my second scouting report of today. It is for RaShede Hageman. I'm still super excited at Aaron Donald by the way, I wasn't expecting him to be that good. Anyway, back to Hageman, here's his information:

Name: RaShede Hageman
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 310 lbs
College: Minnesota
Stats: 38 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 int, 8 Passes defended

Alright, well unfortunately I couldn't find anything from this year, so i'm starting with MN vs. UM from last year. I'll keep looking so maybe by the end I'll come up with one.

On the first plays he seems to be extremely quick and strong. However, it seems to fade as the game goes on. Initially, he seems unblockable when he has a single blocker in front of him. He also displays the ability to maintain his gap in the running game, and uses his hands well to shed blockers.

However, as the game progresses he seems to be unable to generate consistent pressure. He never beats a double team and he displays an average burst. Perhaps he is relying too much on his strength to beat defenders, I'm not really sure. But by the end of the game, he is somewhat useless against both the run and the pass. I don't know if this is a conditioning problem, or if he just started out strong or the guard started off slow. Either way, by the end of the game, he was not impressive.

The next game is the Gophers versus Wisconsin, also from 2012.

While his height might be an advantage for him in some instances, I think overall it is detrimental. While his body angle seems to be good, and would create huge mismatches if he was an average height, his pad level seems to be a bit too high allowing the offensive lineman to get underneath him. He also seems to rely too much on his strength, as he attempts to bull over offensive lineman. He needs to develop more moves and use his hands better. While he is very quick, his quickness doesn't generate into a consistent pass rush, I think because he doesn't have great burst.

He is very good in the run game though. Although he struggles to get any sort of pressure if he's double teamed, he can maintain his gap and shut down runs in the same scenario. He is able to use his athleticism to his advantage and is a solid tackler. While he doesn't have great burst, I would say it is average to slightly above average.

The final game I'm going to look at is Minnesota against Texas Tech (although I cannot link this video to this page) in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. This took place on December 28, 2012.

Again, he doesn't seem to be able to generate consistent pressure. He cannot beat single teams to get pressure. However, his athleticism, quickness, and strength allow him to over power or get through to occasionally pressure the QB. He is very disciplined as he consistently maintains his gap in the running game and passing game. His issues seem to be similar to Jernigan's in that he will not overwhelm you as a pass rusher, but he is very good against the run. However, he did seem to be able to generate pressure coming from the outside when he lined up as a defensive end. I don't know what Minnesota asked Jernigan to do. They may have told him to maintain his gap integrity and let the edge rushers attack the QB. However, when he lined up as DE he blew away the tackle. That being said, I think his size is what is ultimately killing him as a DT.

Overall, as I said before, he seems to suffer from the same problem as Jernigan. Only Jernigan was elite against the run, I'd say Hageman is very good. Having said that, Hageman's quickness, strength, and athleticism allow him to generate more pressure and be more effective in the passing game. I wonder if someone his size wouldn't be better suited as a defensive end, or a 3-4 defensive end. There is definitely some potential with this kid, but I don't think he is the playmaker you are looking for at number 14. Having said all of this, please keep in mind that there were no videos from this year that I could find - and I scoured.

Scouting Report 6 - Defensive Tackles # 2 - Aaron Donald

Alright, so I missed doing a scouting report yesterday so I will make it up today with a double post. Today I'm doing Aaron Donald and RaShede Hageman. I'll start with Aaron Donald in this post.

Name: Aaron Donald
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 285
College: Pittsburgh
Position: Defensive Tackle
Stats: 59 tackles, 11 sacks, he registered his 11 sacks in 8 games out of 13.

The first game I'm going to look at is Aaron Donald versus Florida State. This game took place on September 2, 2013:

The first thing that jumps out at you is just how quick Donald is. He's not that quick at the snap of the ball, but overall he is just quick. He seems to get a lot of this quickness by getting exceptional leverage and being able to angle his to win matchups. He also seems to derive a lot of power from his lower body, which enables him to win matchups. He consistently pressures the QB on almost every passing down regardless of whether he is being double teamed or single teamed. He also seems to take solid angles on plays.

However, in the running game he seems to have some vulnerabilities. He is overly aggressive so he consistently misdiagnoses misdirection plays. He can also get pushed back a little bit in the running game. He needs to improve his hand ability to clear the blockers. He also needs to learn to read what offenses are doing. In that game at least, he only seemed to have average burst off the line of scrimmage but that may be because he is on the ball, and it's harder to judge. I think maybe he has great burst actually, because he seems to be in his stance right away. However, he definitely seems like a good player.

The next game I'm going to look at is Pitt versus Georgia Tech from November 2, 2013. In this game Aaron Donald has 11 tackles and 1 sack.

Aaron Donald displays a variety of moves. He uses his quickness to slash through the offensive line, he engages blockers and can swim through them, he can use his power to bull over blockers, and he has a spin move he can use to free himself of blockers. This kid is insane. I don't quite understand it. Maybe it's because he's right on the ball so it's harder to tell, but it's like this guy has hit his full stance while the offensive lineman is still getting up. On passing downs, this kid is getting pressure, period. 

On any down, he is almost always the first guy to engage the blocker. As I stated before, he gets out of his stance and into full on attack mode way faster than anyone else. He can maintain his position, however, his aggressiveness kills him in the running game, which is fine, as long as it's a passing down. He doesn't really read screens well, or any misdirection plays. However, I blame that more on the defensive end then him, as those halfback slip screen plays need to be picked up  on the edge, where the defensive end is. Overall, if he can play the run, he's the best player as of writing this. 

The final game is Pitt versus Miami. He had 3 tackles and no sacks in this game, which took place on November 29, 2013.

Again, this guy is beyond elite at pressuring the QB. Nearly every play, regardless of whether he is single, double, or tripled team, this kid gets into the backfield. On almost every play in this game he was double or triple team. Regardless, he still impacted the passing game and running the game. He did it from both the DE and DT position. While, I'm not saying he should play DE, I do think he could be utilized as a DE on some plays to disrupt or confuse offenses. As usual, as soon as the ball is snapped he is in the backfield. He is a play maker. 

He does need to become better at holding up against the run. I think that will be his achilles heel in the NFL. I think he is still going to be average at it at worst. He is just too quick not to be effective at it in the NFL.

Overall, Aaron Donald is the best DT I've seen so far. I would say he's even the best player I have seen. I think he might be a better pass rusher than Clowney. In the NFL he will push the QB out of the pocket and hopefully his DE's will be able to clean it up. I wouldn't be shocked if he averages between 8-12 sacks a year out of the DT position. He is just so quick and has such a great burst, to go along with an array of moves. I also wouldn't be surprised if he develops into an elite level player in the running game. Right now, if he is available when the Bears draft they should run up to the podium to land him. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Scouting Report 5 - Timmy Jernigan - #3 DT - FSU

So, Mike Mayock made headlines in Chicago recently by saying the Bears should sprint to the podium if Timmy Jernigan is there. This made me want to look at some of his film as soon as possible. Here are his measureables.

Name: Timmy Jernigan
College: Florida State
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 292 lbs
Position: DT

The first game I want to look at is FSU against Pittsburgh. This game took place on September 2, 2013. His stat line from the game, according to is 4 tackles 1 sack.

So, the first thing I noticed was his strength. He seems to be much stronger then the opposing offensive lineman. However, he doesn't appear to be quicker. He doesn't seem to have a good burst at the snap of the ball or good reaction time to get out of his stance. When he does get out of his stance, it almost looks like he is coming up too high, and playing tall. He really didn't get good penetration on passing plays. 

However, the running game was a different story. He rarely was pushed around. He looked like he controlled his gap, regardless if he was double teamed. He seemed to be able to use his hands well to shed blocks, and was rarely pushed out of his original position. It looked like this was largely due to his strength. 

The next game I'm going to look at is Timmy Jernigan against Auburn. This was the national title game. Again, I'm having issues with uploading the movie, I don't really know how to fix this issue. 

So, he appears to be an elite run defender. He can take on multiple blocks, shed them, and get to the running back. He can help take away the inside runs, as he maintains gap integrity on nearly every play. He may be better against the run than Louis Nix.

However, it again appears that he lacks the quickness of the ball, or just generally, to effectively rush the passer. He almost never gets pressure on the QB. It looks like this is a result of several things: 1) he's not fast; 2) he lacks quickness; 3) he relies too much on his strength to beat defenders; 4) he plays too high; and 5) he just doesn't appear to have the necessary athleticism. But having said all that, some of that is correctable and could allow him to translate into an every down NT type tackle in either a 3-4 or 4-3, although I think his size is better suited for a 4-3. 

The final game I'm going to look at is Timmy Jernigan against Maryland in 2012.

In this video you will once again see that he is great at using his hands to navigate through blockers. He is great at allowing the plays to flow to him. Once they get to him, he does a great job of finishing them off. To this end he is a good tackler. He doesn't seem to ever over pursue or be caught out of position. Sometimes that causes him to pass up on easy sacks. He doesn't really seem to be all that aggressive either. It looks like he likes to play things conservatively. While that leads to great fundamentals, it also means he won't be a playmaker in the NFL. 

I think this is doubly obvious because he really only relies on a power move and swim move. I think he could really benefit himself by developing another move, like an effective spin move. What's more, he lines up right over the ball on nearly every play and is nearly offsides based on where he lines up. However, he is almost always one of the last people on the field to react to the ball being snapped. While he is great in the run game, he will not be an effective tackle if he's asked to penetrate and pressure the QB, as he would be in a Tampa 2. 

My overall impressions of him are pretty solid. I wouldn't be at all shocked if he was taken in the first round. With that said, I think Mayock was a bit off his rocker by suggesting the Bears, at 14, should run to the podium to select when he is still there. This guy can be a great asset in shutting down the run. However, he needs to do more than just rely on his strength. He needs to start getting lower and I think he needs another move. If I'm the Bears and he drops into the early to mid-second round, I would take him. He kind of reminds me of a Tank Johnson. I think he is a late first round talent though, and can be an effective starter for a decade. Because he cannot rush the passer effectively, I think you'll see him switch teams quite a bit though. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Scouting Report #4 - Scott Crichton - #4 DE

Perhaps I'll get through two scouting reports today, but maybe I won't. Either way, as you can see, I'm not doing this in any particular order. If you want to view any of my old reports all you have to do is click here and then click on the date next to the player. With that said, a lot has been made recently of Scott Crichton and his passing rushing abilities, so I wanted to take a look myself. First his measurables:

Name: Scott Crichton
School: Oregon State
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 265 lbs
NFL Position: 4-3 DE maybe a 3-4 OLB

The first game we are going to look at is versus Utah. Keep in mind, this isn't like watching Tuitt or Nix play against Michigan, Stanford, USC, or Alabama. This is Utah. For reference the guy had 6 tackles in this game no sacks. On the season he had 7.5 sacks. This game took place on September 14, 2013.

First, I'm sorry about the video. For some reason I couldn't find it on the list in youtube. I provided the link to the actual video though. In this game I think you can see that he has solid strength, an okay burst, and can hold at the point of attack. He is one of the first few to react to the ball being snapped, but he doesn't possess that elite level recognition that was seen in Clowney. He doesn't seem to have elite level speed either and plays a bit high. It doesn't seem like he would be able to take those elite level angles when trying to beat a blocker to the edge.

However, he does seem to possess good moves. It looks like he has a swim move, a bull rush, and a power move. He also seems solid in run support and he seems to be fluid; as opposed to stiff. He is also capable of beating interior blockers, or at least Utah's interior blockers.

Moving on to the next game it is Oregon State vs. Boise State. This game was played on December 24, 2013.

In this game you will see a solid looking prospect. He seems to be good in run support which is because he has solid play recognition. He is unlikely to overpursue on a consistent basis. Teams won't be able to run misdirections towards his side of the ball and consistently get away with it. Unlike Tuitt, he also throws a variety of moves at the offensive lineman, whereas Tuitt just wants to beat the offensive tackle around his outside shoulder. His strength at the point of attack is evident. He is able to consistently get pressure.

Unlike the other game, he seemed a bit stiffer in his movements here. Also, he wasn't taking on many double teams, although they did occur. This isn't his fault, I'm not really sure why Boise State wasn't double teaming him as he was killing their offensive line. He was consistently in the backfield and consistently disrupted the passing game by getting pressure. He would add more to his ability as a prospect if he could learn to consistently get his hands up.

However, he seems to be a great tackler. You can really see his strength on display in that portion of his game, as he can easily reach out and stop a running back in his tracks with one hand if he is getting blocked. He is also great at attacking the ball and causing turnovers. So far, I'd say he is a very intriguing prospect.

The final game is Scott Crichton vs. Stanford from 2012. I'm sorry but Youtube doesn't have many games of him. I'll have to do this for other prospects too that aren't the big name guys in the major conferences. Anyway, here is the link:

What I noticed again was his ability to seemingly pressure the QB on nearly every play. He does this using a variety of moves and a variety of angles. He also was taking on double teams for the majority of the game and was consistently able to beat them. As stated before, he beats them with a variety of moves one of which is his ability to just overpower the offesnive lineman. He is excellent in run support, as he seems to always maintain his gap forcing runners to the outside or to cut back. Once a runner is in the open field, he seems to take good angles. He seems to be a really smart player. Although, he really does need to work on getting his hands up, and his burst is not elite.

Overall, I think this kid is a really good prospect. He lacks elite level burst and speed to be that great pass rusher. But this kid can do everything else. He seems to have great strength and awareness. He seems to be able to read defenses effectively. He will be able to beat offensive lines in a multitude of ways, and he is great at forcing turnovers. What worries me is his size. He is 265. I think unless he adds 5-10 pounds, he will not be able to utilize his abilities in the run game. I think NFL offensive linemen will swallow him up. That's not to say he doesn't have the ability to beat them. I think he does. I think he just needs to add 5-10 pounds in the NFL in order to do that. All in all, I wouldn't say this kid is a day 1 starter. I think he is more of a year 2 starter, and year 3 will be where he really blossoms. If I had to pick a former Chicago Bear that I think he can mimic the play of it would be Alex Brown. I think he can get 6-8 sacks a year and also be effective against the run. In other words, I think he will eventually be a very good defensive end. He will not be an elite playmaker, but he will be good. I wouldn't hesitate to pick him if he's there in the second or third round.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mt. Rushmore of...

With all the recent talk of different versions of Mt Rushmore's of basketball. I thought President's Day was the perfect opportunity to provide my Mt Rushmore of various topics. And here we go...

Mt Rushmore of Basketball
1. Michael Jordan
2. Magic Johnson
3. Larry Bird
4. Wilt Chamberlain

Mt Rushmore of Football (Offense)
1. Joe Montana
2. Barry Sanders
3. Jerry Rice
4. Walter Payton

Mt Rushmore of Football (Defense)
1. Ray Lewis
2. Reggie White
3. Mike Singletary
4. Dion Sanders

Mt Rushmore of Baseball (Pitching)
1. Mariano Rivera
2. Pedro Martinez
3. Nolan Ryan
4. Sandy Koufax

Mt Rushmore of Baseball (Everything Else)
1. Ty Cobb
2. Ted Williams
3. Jimmie Foxx
4. Babe Ruth

Mt Rushmore of WWE
1. Shawn Michaels
2. Kane
3. Bret Hart
4. HHH

Mt Rushmore of Hockey
1. Wayne Gretzky
2. Mario Lemieux
3. Patrick Roy
4. Gordie Howe

Mt Rushmore of Mascots
1. Bucky
2. Bango
3. Go Gorilla
4. Big Al

Mt Rushmore of College Football Traditions
1. Howard's Rock (Clemson)
2. Chief Osceola's Spear (Florida State)
3. Script Ohio (Ohio State)
4. Ralphies Run (Colorado)

Mt Rushmore of College Basketball Coaches
1. Jim Boeheim
2. Coach K
3. Dean Smith
4. John Wooden

Mt Rushmore of Players I Love to Hate
1. Lebron James
2. Tom Brady
3. Chris Pronger
4. Albert Pujols

Mt Rushmore of American Heroes
1. TJ Oshie
2. George Washington
3. Hulk Hogan
4. Joey Chestnut

It should be noted none of these are in any particular order. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments.

Happy Presidents Day!

Scouting Report 2 - Louis Nix III (#1 DT) and Stephen Tuitt (#5 DT)

By request, I will do both Stephen Tuitt and Louis Nix together in one scouting report. Since this is two players, I will post more than 3 videos. It's nice since they play for the same team: Notre Dame. A little about them:

Name: Louis Nix III
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 357 Pounds
Most likely position: 3-4 NT

Name: Stephen Tuitt
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 322
Most likely position: 3-4 DE, 4-3 DT

The first game I'm going to look at is Notre Dame vs. USC from October 19, 2013.

Let's start with Stephon Tuitt's performance in this first game. Initially, you should see just how slow he is getting off the line as a defensive end. Also, he seems to rely solely on getting to the edge and beating his blocker around the edge. He also doesn't seem to generate consistent pressure either. Every once in a while he beats his man, but not consistently enough to warrant taking him as a top pick for a defensive end. It also looks like he only makes plays once they flow to him. However, he is capable of keeping plays in front of him and seems to hold his position well. This is likely due to his size and strength. It did seem like he had a better initial burst when he played on the interior, as opposed to coming around the edge against a tackle. Overall, if I based it solely off of this game, I wouldn't use a first round pick on him.

Louis Nix III seems overpower single blockers but get stonewalled when double teamed. He does seem to have solid quickness for his size, but he doesn't seem to be able to penetrate the middle of that defense. His strength is his ability to take up two blockers in the running game. He also doesn't seem to react to the snap quickly or have elite burst. Although, he does have elite size to go along with solid quickness, which would make him an effective 3-4 NT. Surprisingly, after this first game, I wouldn't take him in the first round either. 

The next game I'm going to look at is ND vs. Michigan from September 7, 2013. 

In this game Stephon Tuitt was manhandled. And he wasn't manhandled by Tyler Lewan as you would expect (well he was but that's another story), he was manhandled by Michael Schofield Michigan's right tackle. Nearly the entire game they put Stephon Tuitt on Schofield and Tuitt got almost no pressure. He again relied almost exclusively on beating the tackle to the edge and when that failed he couldn't recover. More importantly, he is nearly always one of the last players to react to the ball being snapped. However, he does display good instincts in sniffing out plays. Other than that, there are not many positives out of him. He seems to rely on his quickness to the edge, which isn't elite by any means, in order to beat the tackles. I think that he might do that because he lacks the strength and quickness to beat players on the inside, despite his large frame. All in all, after combining these two games together, I wouldn't be too excited to draft the guy.

Louis Nix excelled in shutting down the run in this game, however, He was in the backfield nearly every play and was able to consistently push the guards and centers back two or three yards. He did this despite facing double teams nearly every play. While he definitely is not going to penetrate the middle like Tommie Harris, he can eat up blocks well. He will be able to come in and contribute on any team that needs help in the run game. He has to develop more as a pass rusher though. I know he's huge and that won't really be asked of him, but it doesn't seem like Notre Dame has asked him to do that in any capacity. Right now, he seems to be about where you'd expect him to be drafted, mid-to-late- first round. 

The next game is Notre Dame vs. Stanford. This game took place on November 30, 2013. 

Overall, I don't think it can be denied that Stephon Tuitt has a knack for shutting down the run from his 3-4 DE spot. He's good at shifting through multiple blockers and getting to the point of attack or maintaining his gap integrity. However, he gets almost no pressure. He is stone walled consistently. This guy is a not a 4-3 DE. I wouldn't even put him at a 3-4 DE in the NFL. While his size allows him to keep his position, I'm not sure that will translate to the NFL. In the NFL I think he's going to have to play defensive tackle if he wants to keep a job. 

Louis Nix III was out for this game.

The final game I'm going to look at, because there aren't that many games available on youtube, is the Alabama Notre Dame National Title game from January last year.

It should be initially noted that Stephon Tuitt didn't play as much as he did in 2013-14's season because he was a sophomore. However, he still got quite a bit of playing time. It was much of the same. He got almost no pressure on a consistent basis, and he was good in the run game. He also doesn't give up on plays when they get beyond him, and he is solid in support in that he comes to assist his teammates. 

Louis Nix III on the other hand, looked about ten times faster. He show cased an incredible ability to penetrate the line of scrimmage on nearly every play. He consistently forced the QB out of the pocket or to throw the ball earlier. He cut through Alabama's line like it was butter on nearly every play. He also showcased the ability to quickly identify plays and get off the line incredibly fast when the ball was snapped. His speed for a 350+ pound man was great. He showcased both a swim move and power move. He also never gave up on plays and was great in support. 

My overall impressions of Stephon Tuitt are not good. He should not play DE in any system. He may get 1 or 2 sacks a year. If I'm a GM and drafting him on my 3-4 team, I'm telling him to put on 30-40 more pounds and play NT. If I'm on a 4-3 defense, specifically the Bears, I'm telling him he is going to be put in Stephen Paea's roll, as a backup. Honestly, I do not think this kid will make it in the NFL in any other way other than a backup defensive tackle. He lacks the reaction time, quickness, and speed to play defensive end. He doesn't have the ability to take on and shed blocks that would allow him to play the UT or 3-4 DE. So, I would say he would have to be the anchor of any defensive line. The fat guy that eats up blocks. At this point, I'm just not sure he has the ability to do that. Honestly, and I know this is harsh, but I'm putting a 5th-7th round grade on him. But I really don't know what I'm talking about so, I'll qualify it with that statement.

Looking to Louis Nix III it really depends on what you get. Louis Nix III in the Alabama game is a top 5 pick easily. He shows great pass rushing skills and can torment any offense that wants to live on rushing the ball up the gut. However, if he's the big slower guy from this past year, I'd say he can help you shut down the run, but won't provide much support in the passing game. It really comes down to when did that knee injury start affecting him? And can he overcome it and return to his old self? If he can, anyone who gets him outside the top 5 is getting a steal, regardless of the type of defense they play. If he cannot, I'd still take him if I was sitting around 25-35. Of course, 3-4 NT's are always in demand so he'd likely go before that. Let me know what you think.