Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What do the NFL guys really think about our prospects

One thing that I always find interesting about the NFL draft is the NFL.com's anonymous assessments of potential draftees. The criticism is often harsh and often on the money. We tend to love all our guys and think they all deserve a shot in the NFL. Sometimes the undrafted guy proves the BC fan right (Dunbar and Silva come to mind) and then other guy who we think should be stars never catch on (Callender). So here are some of the critiques of our potential draftees.

BJ Raji

The Good

...Arguably the single-most dominant player during the week of practice at the Senior Bowl.

The Bad
Reliable tackler, but lacks the balance and lateral quickness to break down and make the tackle in space. Most effective when operating as part of a rotation. Maturity is a concern.

My Take: Raji is going early. I think he will be a good Pro. Regardless of his weight and maturity, BJ has shown that when the game starts he can stay focused. That's what matters.

Ron Brace

The Good
Versatile defender capable of projecting as a zero-, one- or three-technique at the next level.

The Bad
Marginal effort and ability in pursuit. Flanked by a better prospect in Raji and often faces only one blocker.

My Take: While not as flashy as Raji, I think Brace is a steal. He was great last year when Raji was suspended. That showed he can carry a DLine. Assuming his back checks out, I would draft Brace in the 1st round.

Kevin Akins

The Good

Versatile defender capable of making an immediate contribution on special teams.

The Bad
Good aggression to take on blocks, but gets washed out if engaged.

My Take: I have been surprised by the interest in Akins. Great kid, great college player, but I never thought he was an NFL guy. What position will he play? His lackluster combine probably ended his chance of getting drafted.

Robert Francois

The Good

Gives good pop to tight ends and can ride in coverage. ... Gets good depth on his drops and is alert in coverage

The Bad
Performance might have been inflated due to the surrounding talent at defensive tackle and linebacker.

My Take: I think Francois can and will catch on as a free agent. He was one of those guys who always looked good when I watched the games back. If not for our loaded LB group the past three years, he would have played and stood out more.

Ryan Purvis

The Good

Knows where the holes in zone coverage are and has the size and reliable receiving skills to settle there and be a security blanket.

The Bad
based on his dismal performance in 2008, he might be a case for having a great quarterback (Matt Ryan) making him look better than he actually was.

My Take: Purvis's stock dropped the most from last year to this year and it is reflected in the Scout's comments. I think in the right place Purvis can be a good pass catching TE. It wouldn't surprise me if he joins Matt in NFL.

Clif Ramsey

The Good

High-effort player. ... Versatile, with a starting season at both left and right guard.

The Bad
Flashes quickness to the second level, but lacks the balance and agility to block NFL-caliber athletes at the second level.

My Take: I think Ramsey is going to be a steal on Day 2. Here is an all conference player from a program with a great OL tradition and he is generating little interest. Unbelievable. Ramsey was easily our most consistent and most improved player on the offensive side of the ball last year. If he keeps getting better he will be a very good NFL player.

Brian Toal
The Good

Plays with wild abandon; is willing to blow up fullbacks in the hole or blockers on the outside so his teammates can make the play.

The Bad
His constant search for contact makes his injury issues especially problematic.

My Take: Like Akins, I think Toal's tweener status makes his NFL prospects iffy. However, I think the intrigue surrounding him may force a team to use a final round pick on our oft injured player.

With just days to go I think four guys will get drafted (Raji, Brace, Ramsey and Toal). I'll explain why and predict where guys will land and where the free agents should sign later this week.


conlonc said...

When our players are surrounded by other top notch talent - it's a bad thing for their draft status (i.e. Francois and Brace). But you take a USC LB, an LSU CB, or a Miami SS who are surrounded by tons of talent - and the same logic isn't used! It's irritating!

Claver2010 said...

The thing I have to say in a bad about Kevin Akins is that he really lacks a true position.

eagle1331 said...

I bet Purv get's picked up... or at least I hope he does.

CT said...

Purvis is hurt not only from last year's abysmal QB play, but also by the fact that this TE draft class is deep. Very late round, if any. Good news is he'll definitely catch on somewhere.

I agree on the Ramsey angle. He's rated about 30th in the G class, but maybe the people who actually watch game tape will draft him late.

Akins' 40 times at the combine killed his chances, esp. for a guy who is a hybrid.

I'm not a Round 1 guy for Brace. He had Raji commanding double teams this past season right next to him and yet Raji still seemed to be around the ball a lot more. But he'll go in Round 2, one round too high imho.

Wish the best for Toal and Francois. Francois was all over the field for us...I'm sure he'll get a shot somewhere.

Nick P. said...

What about Poles?

mod10aeagle said...

I think Purvis got hosed by the downsizing of the playbook, not a downturn in his own performance. The TE just no longer figured as a receiver in Logan's offense. Like most, I didn't bother to "isolate" on him as a blocker, but NFL scouts looking for late round or FA value should look at his full body of work at BC. He could be a great bargain.