By Alex Kozora
These are my final mini scouting reports of the year. These are either incomplete or ones I never did a full write-up on, so take them for what they are worth. These mostly consist of late round players and they’re certainly not full evaluations, and are set up more informally. As I’ll always preach, should be judged accordingly. Just giving a tiny bit more info before Thursday’s draft.
Glenn Carson/ILB Penn St – 6’2/5 238
The Good: Solid tackler…willing to get his nose dirty and will support the run…reliable tackler and can sink/snap hips…Forceful tackler…shows some hand fighting and ability to get off blocks
The Bad: Lacks defining trait…slow and tight hipped, exposed in coverage…Average strength…struggles in tight spaces and can get washed out…off the field on 3rd downs…bit uncoordinated and below average athlete
Other: Three year starter…90 tackles, 4 TFL in 2013…2013 co-captain…All-Academic…three time state finalist in wrestling throughout high school…Ran a 4.7 at Penn State’s Pro Day…moved to fullback early in career before switching back to linebacker
Bottom Line: Carson is a typical Penn State linebacker but doesn’t have the future some of those before him have. Or the draft stock. Hard-hitting run stuffer but lacks “splash” plays and a poor athlete. He projects as a special teamer at best. Unlikely to be drafted but will get a shot in camp and signed during the first wave of UDFAs. Reminds me of former Boston College linebacker turned fullback Mike McLaughlin.
Jason Hendricks/S Pittsburgh – 5’10/6 182
The Good: Showed ball skills and impactful junior season…physical for his size and gets his nose dirty…solid tackler who brings his arms and wraps up, will support the run…takes good angles to the ball…can high point the football
The Bad: Slender build and undersized…timed very poorly and questionable athlete…down senior season after strong junior campaign
Other: 37 career starts for the Panthers…intercepted six passes in 2012…just one interception in 2013…253 career tackles…2011 season cut short due to shoulder injury…ran a 4.81 at Pitt’s Pro Day and a 29 1/2 inch vertical
Bottom Line: Watched two games from his junior year and came away impressed. Had a real shot to become a mid-round selection had it carried over but badly regressed in 2013. Awful showing at his Pro Day killed his stock. Probably will get into a camp but little chance to stick. Best chance is to make a practice squad as a rookie.
Jimmy Garoppolo/QB Eastern Illinois: 6’2/2 226
The Good: Ultra quick release…sees the whole field…had complete control of the offense, free to audible…Accurate…spins a good ball, consistently tight spiral on his throws…eyes/feet connected…functional mobility…school has pedigree…crazy amount of production
The Bad: Slightly undersized, on the short side…spread, relatively simplistic offense that didn’t always ask him to make difficult throws…pats ball under pressure and can get flustered…arm strength just average…back foot leaves too early…ball drops to his waist when on the move
Other: Started final eight games of freshman year, full-time starter after that …2013 Walter Payton Award Winnner, given to top player at the FCS level…threw for over 5000 yards and 53 TDs to just nine INTs in 2013…Shrine Game Invitee and MVP…attended same school as Tony Romo and Seann Payton
Bottom Line: Smart QB with a quick, compact release. Remains to be seen if he’ll be able to make the transition to the NFL without the greatest physical tools. Probably a third rounder.
Jamie Meder/NT Ashland – 6’2/2 293
The Good: Broad shoulders and a thick middle…Loads of upper body strength, an ox…built in leverage and uses it to his advantage…strong first punch, packs a big blow…dominated one-on-one matchups…Nasty, physical demeanor…tons of effort…hard hitter…decent athlete…highly decorated college career…very productive…showed well in pre-draft bowl games
The Bad: Marginal athlete…Stocky build with skinny legs…sometimes slow off the ball…tweener, no true position?…low level of competition
Other: Four year starter…88 tackles, 7.5 TFL in 2013…34.5 career TFL, 14 sacks…Four-time All-GLIAC First Team…two-time defensive lineman of the year (2012, 2013)…four year wrestler in high school…participated in NFLPA Bowl Game…repped 225 33 times at Pro Day
Bottom Line: Ashland is a throwback, old-school lineman and one of the strongest players at the D2 level. Questionable athleticism, not many marginal athletes ever make it out from a small school. Played five tech in 2013 and likely profiles in the same position on Sunday. Low ceiling but will likely outwork everyone else and earn every role he gets. Reminds me of former Michigan DT Mike Martin. 7th rounder, PFA.
Jerome Smith/RB Syracuse – 5’11/1 220
The Good: Surprisingly nimble feet…downhill runner who doesn’t dance…makes a good effort to fall forward at the end of his runs…Build-up runner who is tough to bring down once he reaches top speed…some ability to keep legs churning and push the pile…willing pass blocker
The Bad: Overrated power runner who is more finesse than expected from his size…lacks a second gear…struggles to make defenders miss in the open field…Limited use out of the backfield
Other: Two year starter for the orange…declared as a junior…rushed for only 914 yards in 2013 but scored 12 times…ran for 1171 yards and three scores in 2012…17 career receptions…2013 captain…freshman year cut short due to left shoulder injury that required surgery
Bottom Line: Smith has a somewhat intriguing skillset due to his size and in the hole quickness but isn’t the power runner he may be perceived to be. Reminds me of LeGarrette Blount in his first couple years before he turned into more of a power back. With running back devalued, Smith is 50/50 to get drafted. Perhaps a flier in the 7th round.
Will Sutton/DT Arizona St – 6’0/4 303
The Good: Showed a quick first step…above average strength…superb swim move and his go to…disruptive in the backfield…stacks good plays and can be dominant…versatile, played multiple positions along the line
The Bad: T-Rex arms (31 1/4 ) and doesn’t fit the cookie cutter mold…short arms leads to him getting locked against offensive lineman, struggles to shed…disappears at times…serious weight issues
Other: Three year starter…2012 best season, recording 23.5 TFL and 13 sacks…numbers dipped in 2013 but still respectable to 13.5 TFL and 4 sacks…two-time AP All-American and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year…father played in the NFL…played 2012 season around 270…got up to 305 in 2013 and was 303 at his Pro Day…experience at one, three, and five tech in subpackages
Bottom Line: Some physical tools and had a high amount of production in school. Needs to get back to old playing weight to be most effective. Mid round prospect but hard to get a read on…one team could fall in love with 2012 tape.