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Charger Roster Evaluation Draft Solution Board

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by RMANCIL, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    ^^^these guys are all in range...

    . Surprised Campbell has fallen so far... insane measurables...
    . Mendenhall @ 28 - I'd be very surprised if he lasts that long....
    . Balmers a nice option... for DE...
    . "my boy" Sims is right where he needs to be... :yes:
    . Groves would be ok, if he could stay healthy...

    that's an interesting read on the Senior Bowl report... although they're not in pads, there's some interesting comments... Like Rogers-Cromartie at FS... in the absence of a good Safety class, some "slower" CB will transition to safety and stick...
     
  2. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

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    Yeah, from what I've seen of and heard about this kid, I like him for us. I just was curious where he was expected to go in the draft as I haven't paid attention where he's projected. Sounds like we're right on target.

    Is he attending the combine?
     
  3. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    the combine invitees haven't been announced yet... at #27, there will be a very good player at each of the positions of need...

    "our boy" has huge upside and is a bit of a tweener DE/NT... with Castillo oft injured, Jamal a pinch long-in-the tooth, McKinney still finding his way and Cesaire already peaked - he'd fit right in... he's young and has skills... if Igor goes down, phuque... I'm leaning towards beef this year...
     
  4. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

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    I lean towards beef every year. IMO, it all starts on the offensive and defensive lines.
     
  5. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    would love AJ to package up some players and manufacture an early second rdr... pick up an OT like Chris Williams, Vandy...


    Edit: here's some info from NFL DRAFT SCOUT from yesterdays Sr. Bowl...

    Chris Williams, OT, Vandy - One of the more impressive players on the field. Excellent feet for his size. Absolutelt stoned DE Darrell Robertson on both speed and bull moves.
     
  6. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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  7. Gridreaper

    Gridreaper BoltTalker

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    ...Do the Bolts have anyone on the practice squad worth considering as a back-up for LT or perhaps they can wait till later in the draft so they can concentrate on other needs early? I think running backs can sometimes be found later and even undrafted free agents like Ryan Grant can fall into your lap. Look at Wes Welker (although a WR) he was once ours as an undrafted free agent. Drayton Florence and Macree might both be gone...we might want some help there?
     
  8. Boltjolt

    Boltjolt Well-Known Member

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    Who is expecting him to start? We already know who the startng CB's will be. Oliver will be in contention for the nickel or dime and a backup CB role. He wil get playing time next year but he wont start and i never said he would.

    OK, i never saw an article on it so we will see but then again, Olivea has been pegged to go to OG for 3 years now and is finally going there next season if they keep him. Oliver imo will be a good CB, but as long as he is on the field. Olivea was barely a servicable RT and his pass protection was near awful.

    Well some want to hang on those workout numbers as gospal but im not one fo them. Again, ...he didnt get weeks to prepare for his workout as all the other combine invitees and those who scheduled proday workouts. He kinda did it on the fly and they helped us get him with a 4th because the GM's that DID hold them as gospal are going to kick themselves in the ***.

    Oliver is a football player and i dont really have manlove for him ....because i wouldnt use that word,( that word bothers me) but to me, he is a good talent and i think he has it to be a good player in the NFL. I DO think he is faster than what he showed in his lone workout.

    RB isnt a big need. Sure it would be nice to use our only day 1 pick on a RBlike Felix Jones and if they do that, ill be happy because i like the guy. However, OT imo is more important because not only does it help LT and for us to pound the ball....it helps Rivers stay healthier by taking less hits and helps our passing game if we draft one in the first and he can start right away. Much more important i think.

    The trenches is where you win games and i also think you can find a good RB all throught the draft. Doesnt have to be a first rounder. Turner wasnt, Ryan Grant wasnt and the slew of RB's the Giants have werent.

    I also would like to see a NT or a DE with our first rounder if we dont go with a OT. Trenches again and Castillo has had injury issues.

    Just my opinion....i wont second guess AJ if he went with a first round RB but from where we are and what we can do the help the team the most, i just dont see it.

    Will be intersting to see what FA's he targets. Im sure he will target a few and who knows....he says he likes New Englands blueprint for success...maybe e will go get a FA that is a name guy like Ken Hamlin or make a trade for a safety...which is what id prefer over a rookie.
     
  9. RMANCIL

    RMANCIL New Member

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    Tell me why the big interest in hand size???

    Does that relate to some other points of interest
    ??? :lol:
     
  10. RMANCIL

    RMANCIL New Member

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    RB isn't a big need??? When Turner walks how could it not be a area of need?? I think we all see NT as a need however the value at least at this time doesn't look to be there. DB will be huge we played nickle more than we played 3-4 in the playoffs.

    It looks like Florence will walk for sure he will listen to offers now maybe the Bolts release McCree and use that money on Florence but that is just speculation.

    Bottom line B.A. at a position of need.

    Our boy Gosder Cherilus has had a good day of practice based on reports. I like him a lot and I think that he could be in the mix as well.
     
  11. Boltjolt

    Boltjolt Well-Known Member

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    That is the guy id llike us to draft in hte first round.

    As for RB, it will be a need, but not a BIG one. Again, we can get a good RB later in the draft. The Giants have a slew of them who were low round picks or undrafted and Ryan Grant was on their team too and they traded him to Green Bay.

    Hey id love to have Felix Jones or Slaton but not at the expense of a Cherilus if he is there. I would be surprised if Jones was still there anyways and id much rather have Cherilus over say,Ray Rice or Mike Hart...Slaton id love to have...dude is very fast and he is closer to a LT type with his hands out of the backfield tho lighter than LT, but we need BEEF at OT. Clary imo was just a slow the bleeding type of guy cause Olivea was killing us.
     
  12. RMANCIL

    RMANCIL New Member

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    Mike Hart is just a body imop , slow and not big much better college player than he will ever be as a pro. Rice I have not seen , Slayton is small but he would fit well in a two back situation but not as a lone back.

    He sure was special before last season but his play dropped off . I saw him a couple of times and something is wrong health wise with him.

    Jones will be real good especially again sharing the load, man he can fly.
    Cherilus is a real good looking kid I like him a lot I think he is a very underrated player. I think he is a ROT and will be one of the best.

    That said if I have a choice between a ROT and a potential all pro RB I take the RB as I don't think LT hangs in their injury free for the next two seasons.

    I also think RB is more important in our offense than ROT. Again the key is B.A. at a position of need.
     
  13. RMANCIL

    RMANCIL New Member

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    Scott Wright is reporting that these are who he saw Charger reps talking to yesterday
    :
    Cliff Avril (DE/OLB, Purdue, 6′3/251)
    Kellen Davis (TE, Michigan St., 6′6 253)
    Titus Brown (DE/OLB, Mississippi St. , 6′3/250)
    Jason Jones (DE/OLB, Eastern Michigan, 6′5/270)
    Marcus Smith (WR, New Mexico, 6′2/214)
    Darrell Robertson (DE/OLB, Georgia Tech, 6′5/240)
    Donnie Avery (WR, Houston, 5′11/190)
    Jeremy Thompson (DE/OLB, Wake Forest, 6′5/264)


    -------------------------------------------------------

    Tuesdays reports
     
  14. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    it was just a matter of time... :lol: where's leisure...

    GBN:
    ‘Boys shopping busts… The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Cowboys are shopping former 1st round picks DE Marcus Spears and LB Bobby Carpenter at the Senior Bowl. Spears was one of two Dallas 1st rounders in 2005, while Carpenter was the team’s top pick the following year.


    oops, bad news for Ollie...
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20080123-9999-1s23chargers.html
     
  15. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    North practice; Wednesday morning…
    By Colin Lindsay, GBN Editor and Publisher

    Southern Who??? With 9 former Trojans in town, the North team practices at this week’s Senior Bowl were supposed to have been a showcase for Southern California, however, somebody forgot to tell their poor cousins from up north at California. Indeed, Wednesday morning’s North practice might just as well have been called ’The Lavelle Hawkins Show!’ WR Hawkins, who often had to play second fiddle to star junior WR DeSean Jackson with the Golden Bears, caught everything in sight this morning including tough receptions in traffic over the middle as well as several highlight reel deeper routes including a stop-and-go on which he blew past USC CB Terrell Thomas for an easy score.

    Indeed, the one-on-one battle between Hawkins and Indiana CB Tracy Porter was maybe the best of the week so far. Porter actually had pretty good coverage much of the time, but was slow at times to pick up the ball when it was in the air. Porter, though, has shown all week that he can run with just about any receiver when lined up in press coverage. Porter, though, appears to be less comfortable in zone where he doesn’t break on the ball quite as crisply. And speaking of one-on-one battles, Porter has also been involved win a real contest with Iowa CB Chris Godfrey to be the top North corner. Porter is a little faster and quicker, while Godfrey, who is also very fluid, is a little more physical and breaks more aggressively on the ball. Both Porter and Godfrey, though, appear to be a step or two ahead of the other North CBs, although Terrence Wheatley of Colorado had a couple of nice moments today as did DeJuan Tribble of Boston College. Both of the latter two, though were often a step slow coming out of breaks most of the week and ended up chasing a lot of plays on which they didn‘t always show that next level recovery speed.

    And speaking of California, we haven’t focused much on the RBs this week, but the Bears’ Justin Forsett had a solid practice this morning. Forsett isn’t all that big at barely 190 pounds, but he is very quick and put together a number of nice runs this morning as defenders had trouble finding him in the traffic. Forsett even ran out of one of his shoes on one burst! Forsett also caught the all well and even put his hat in the game blocking for the passer, although that likely will never be a strength of his game. West Virginia FB Owen Schmitt, on the other hand, did a nice job in a blitz pick-up drill when he cut off USC’s Keith Rivers and then Penn State’s Dan Connor on successive blitzes.

    As noted, the North was supposed to have been a coming out party of sorts for Southern California, but truth be told we haven’t exactly been overwhelmed by many of the former Trojans in Mobile. DT Sedrick Ellis has been as advertised, that is, a dominating interior presence with quickness, explosion and a non-stop motor. OG Drew Radovich has also been very consistent, however, few of the other USC stars have really stood out. OT Sam Baker, for example, has drawn praise from some quarters, but we just didn’t see it consistently. Baker can be very effective when he keeps his feet moving in pass protection, but too often this week, he planted too soon and ended up trying to push his man from behind rather than cutting him off. We were also hoping to see more from star LB Keith Rivers. Rivers has been a force when attacking plays straight on, but hasn’t shown the expected lateral quickness and instincts; he also appears a little stiff at times. Meanwhile, DE Lawrence Jackson had more success today than yesterday when he struggled to get off the line of scrimmage, but still hasn’t shown the strength and explosion of an elite pass rusher. CB Terrell Thomas also struggled at times in man coverage and may have the worst ball skills of any DB in Mobile. And there was more of the same from QB John David Booty, TE Fred Davis and RB Chauncey Washington, none of whom did anything to really stand out. Booty, for example, has shown some touch, but lacks the arm strength of both fellow QBs Chad Henne of Michigan and Delaware’s Joe Flacco.

    This and that…

    This morning’s irrelevant bit of trivia is that two of the three North QBs - Chad Henne of Michigan and Joe Flacco of Delaware - had the same helmet design as Delaware sports the same odd flying whatever as the Wolverines. And while the buzz around Mobile was that Henne had separated himself from the other QBs here, we sill like Flacco’s potential; he‘s tall, mobile and has what appears to be exceptional arm strength… Nice comeback days today for Big XII receivers Adarius Bowman of Oklahoma State and Kansas State’s Jordy Nelson, both of whom made a number of solid receptions in traffic although neither got open deep. Indeed, scouts had to have expected far more this week from Bowman who came to Mobile fighting for perhaps the #1 ranking among this year’s WR class… While EMU DE Jason Jones played DE in the regular sets, the North coaches had the 6-5, 272-pounder who played DT in college, work some with the OLBs where he didn’t look totally out of place. And back in the regular sets Jones had a more than solid morning as he blew up field on a number of rushes. Jones has a long first stride and an improving swim move and arm strength. Jones, in fact, gave Ohio State OT Kirk Barton fits all practice long.. While SC’s Sedrick Ellis has been a dominant force on the inside of the North defensive front, fellow fire hydrant Trevor Laws of Notre Dame has also quietly put together a nice week. In today’s 11-on-11 sets, Laws had what would have been a tackle for loss and a sack on successive plays on which he beat Oregon State OG Roy Schuening. In fact, it was a bad day all around for Schuening who was also overmatched against USC’s Ellis in a pass rush drill. For the most part, though, the North offensive line may have had the edge on the defensive front this morning. Arizona State C Mike Pollak continues to be one of the most consistent blockers in Mobile; Pollak isn’t necessarily all that big at just a tad under 300 pounds, but he has very active feet and great balance. Boston College’s Gosder Cherilus also had a solid morning shutting down the outside pass rush. He had one noteworthy exchange on which he ended up literally throwing Purdue DE Cliff Avril before the two almost came to blows. We also suspect that it was the massive Cherilus who was blocking out the sun in Mobile this morning! Northern Iowa OG Chad Rinehart also had a solid practice showing good technique and functional strength.
     
  16. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    Sr. Bowl Practice wrapup...

    http://www.gbnreport.com/seniorbowlwrap.html

    <>While CB and WR are expected to be deep positions at the 2008 draft, DT is not considered one of the stronger groups this year. Somebody forgot to tell the DTs in Mobile, though, who took turns abusing the interior offensive line. Certainly it was no surprise that USC DT Sedrick Ellis was dominant. Ellis was the highest rated player at any position in Mobile and he left little doubt that he is top 10 talent as he showed quickness and upfield explosion as well as a great motor. Meanwhile, Notre Dame's Trevor Laws appears to have a found a home inside. Laws, who played more of a DE with the Irish, in fact, looks a lot like Ellis in terms of size and plays the game just as hard, but lacks his Southern Cal counterparts overall athleticism. Speaking of playing hard, pro scouts had to be pleased with the effort they saw from Texas A&M DT Red Bryant who also went hard on every play. Bryant still needs to work hard to keep his pads down when bull-rushing, but showed some effective spin moves. For good measure, the often laid back Bryant even got in a couple of fights. Pro scouts also had to like what they saw from Maryland DT Dre Moore. Indeed, Moore who has outstanding physical tools but has been seen at times as something of an out-of-shape underachiever, was almost as dominant and USC's Ellis. Moore isn't very pretty, but is a 307-pound one-gap type DT with quickness who is tough to get out of the hole once he gets a step. Meanwhile, each of Marcus Harrison of Arkansas, Andre Fluellen of Florida State, NC State's Demario Pressley and North Carolina's Kentwan Balmer had his momemts and none did anuthing to hurt his draft status.
     
  17. RMANCIL

    RMANCIL New Member

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  18. Boltjolt

    Boltjolt Well-Known Member

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    Who is to say that RT wont be an all pro? The RB wont for a few years anyways while LT is the starter. He may end up at the end of his contract like Aaron Rogers by the time he gets to be the fulltime starter.

    LT has missed one game to injury which was our playoff game so he will be playing plenty in the next few years. No RB will make it to an all pro playing part time with LT.

    That comment doesnt make much sense to me.

    I like having two good RB's but again......they are out there in the lower rounds till we need to REALLY look seriously at replacing LT.

    Id just be stunned if AJ picked a RB in the first round with the talent at OT and CB. Id also like to see us draft some DL.

    Whatever happens....in AJ i trust!
     
  19. RMANCIL

    RMANCIL New Member

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    I felt exactly that way last year about Turner yet Smith took a pass on a 1st round pick to keep Turner for one season in case LT wnt down.

    LT is heading into his 8 th season how long can he go ?

    Nine , ten .......I do know that he is closer to the end than he is at the beginning and sure you can find RB in the lower rounds just like you can find QB or WR however the chances are more remote that you will find a great player lower in the draft vs higher other wise the Chargers should trade down every year and save the salary cap.

    The RB may not be the pick but I see no reason that makes since to eliminate one unless a better CB , DT ,or OL was there.

    Another words you don't pass on a All- Pro if one is there
    to take a avg player.


    Smith took a pass on a 1st round pick to keep Turner for 1 season as a insurance policy why is it silly to have a 2 year insurance policy who could be the starter in the 3rd year if need be?

    The CB or the ROT may end up being the best player on the board don't get me wrong I am not totally sold on RB just having a discussion.
     
  20. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    thanx for the film on "my other boy" Chris Williams... all I can say is WOW.... bookend tackles would be soooooooo nice...
    man he's got great feet/agility...
     
  21. Boltjolt

    Boltjolt Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it would, especially when our QB is coming off of knee surgery. If Cherilus or Williams is there, that imo would make the most sense, plus we upgrade OG too with Clary or Olivea....if they dont trade him.
     
  22. SanDiegoRon

    SanDiegoRon BoltTalker

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    I agree... with the Clary part... I think Olivea is done here...
     
  23. RMANCIL

    RMANCIL New Member

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    Flacco continues to improve; North return men are impressive
    By Scouts Inc.
    (Archive)
    Updated: January 24, 2008, 9:44 PM ET
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    MOBILE, Ala. -- Thursday is "get out of town" day at the Senior Bowl for most NFL general managers, coaches and scouts -- and for good reason. The practices are shorter, less physical and special teams driven. A steady rain, which began overnight Thursday and isn't forecast to stop until early Friday morning, only adds to the ghost-town feeling in Mobile. To the credit of the coaching staffs, though, they ran productive practices and the players had no choice but to respond.


    [+] EnlargeDan Anderson for ESPN.com

    Joe Flacco is keeping up with the big boys after a slow start in Mobile.
    One advantage to a rainy day of practice is the chance to evaluate the quarterbacks' ability to throw in wet conditions. Of the six signal-callers on hand, Delaware's Joe Flacco and USC's John David Booty were the most efficient. In fact, Flacco has improved every day since his tough start on Monday. After struggling with the center exchange that afternoon, Flacco has shown no problems handling the quarterback-center exchange -- in his defense he did spend the majority of his time at Delaware working out of the shotgun. Flacco is deceptively mobile, throws well on the run and has the strongest arm of the signal-callers in Mobile this week. Don't be surprised if he is one of the stars in Saturday's game or if he comes off the draft board as early as the second round.

    In injury news, USC TE Fred Davis (ankle), East Carolina RB Chris Johnson (shoulder), West Virginia FB Owen Schmitt (knee), Michigan S Jamar Adams (Achilles) and Michigan OLB Shawn Crable (back) are the latest additions to an unusually long list of players bitten by the injury bug. Schmitt is out for Saturday's game. There's no word yet on the availability of the others, but if there is any chance of re-injury the player will be strongly advised by his representation -- and wisely so -- to sit this one out.

    Here's a scouting breakdown of the two practice sessions:


    Around the North practice
    • The North team has a group of return men who could excite the Mobile crowd this weekend. Both Virginia Tech WR Eddie Royal and Purdue WR Dorien Bryant are extremely fast with good make-you-miss ability. If either player gets a crease he could be gone, especially against a South coverage team that will obviously be short on coverage experience as a whole. Royal is also the top kickoff return man, but will probably be flanked by Bryant and California RB Justin Forsett. Forsett has the look of a good kickoff returner at the next level with his low running style, vision, elusiveness and ability to break arm tackles.

    • Royal also turned some heads as a receiver during today's rain-soaked practice. He came up short on what would have been a tough catch in traffic during red zone seven-on-seven drills but responded with two excellent plays shortly thereafter. The first was in the same seven-on-seven drill, when Royal made a leaping catch and secured the wet ball before hitting the ground in the end zone. The second occurred in the opposite end zone during an 11-on-11 red zone team drill. Royal displayed good concentration and body control, catching a fade pass and keeping his feet inbounds for the score. Overall, Royal has shown enough versatility and big-play potential to solidify his status as a third-round prospect.

    • USC RB Chauncey Washington is a good football player and continues to prove himself this week. Washington is a do-it-all type of player and his versatility certainly will not go unnoticed by the NFL decision-makers on hand. He also could be a decent kickoff returner and has the size and desire to help out on several phases of special teams. He has lined up some at fullback this week, and although that isn't his forte, it is one more positive to add to his resume. Washington is an excellent pass-catcher, as well. He was lined up wide near the goal line today and showed good route-running ability on quick slants and crossing routes.
    He is also more than a dump-off option out of the backfield. Washington is capable of running most routes asked of him, and he catches the ball very cleanly and is quick to get upfield with his shoulders parallel to the goal line. This draft is loaded at running back, but there are not many options for teams in the market for a big back. The arrow is pointing up for Washington and he is likely ascending numerous boards around the league.


    • Missouri TE Martin Rucker has excellent size and many other impressive qualities, but overall this week of practice has not helped him. Rucker lines up high in his stance and isn't very flexible in his lower body. He shows noticeable stiffness through his routes and as a blocker. He has decent speed once he gets going but is not very sudden and doesn't consistently gain separation out of his breaks. Today in the goal line drills, Rucker had a tough time getting away from linebackers like Keith Rivers of USC, Dan Connor of Penn State and Xavier Adibi of Virginia Tech, and things will surely not be any easier at the next level.

    • Notre Dame S Tom Zbikowski has had a better week of practice than we expected and his versatility really stood out during Thursday's session. Zbikowski lacks ideal athleticism, which limits his range in coverage, but he has used good instincts to make up for his somewhat stiff hips in zone coverage this week. He also continues to hold up well in tight man-to-man versus bigger tight ends. Today, for example, he was able to get physical at the line of scrimmage with Michigan State TE Kellen Davis, and then kept stride for stride with the Spartan tight end on a sideline route.
    Zbikowski is unlikely to return punts in the NFL like he did at Notre Dame. But he still has value on special teams; he has the ability to cover kicks and serve as the punter's personal protector. A team will likely take a chance on Zbikowski in the middle rounds knowing he's unlikely to emerge as a good every-down starter but can provide value in other areas.
     
  24. RMANCIL

    RMANCIL New Member

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    Flacco continues to improve; North return men are impressive
    By Scouts Inc.
    (Archive)
    Updated: January 24, 2008, 9:44 PM ET
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    MOBILE, Ala. -- Thursday is "get out of town" day at the Senior Bowl for most NFL general managers, coaches and scouts -- and for good reason. The practices are shorter, less physical and special teams driven. A steady rain, which began overnight Thursday and isn't forecast to stop until early Friday morning, only adds to the ghost-town feeling in Mobile. To the credit of the coaching staffs, though, they ran productive practices and the players had no choice but to respond.


    [+] EnlargeDan Anderson for ESPN.com

    Joe Flacco is keeping up with the big boys after a slow start in Mobile.
    One advantage to a rainy day of practice is the chance to evaluate the quarterbacks' ability to throw in wet conditions. Of the six signal-callers on hand, Delaware's Joe Flacco and USC's John David Booty were the most efficient. In fact, Flacco has improved every day since his tough start on Monday. After struggling with the center exchange that afternoon, Flacco has shown no problems handling the quarterback-center exchange -- in his defense he did spend the majority of his time at Delaware working out of the shotgun. Flacco is deceptively mobile, throws well on the run and has the strongest arm of the signal-callers in Mobile this week. Don't be surprised if he is one of the stars in Saturday's game or if he comes off the draft board as early as the second round.

    In injury news, USC TE Fred Davis (ankle), East Carolina RB Chris Johnson (shoulder), West Virginia FB Owen Schmitt (knee), Michigan S Jamar Adams (Achilles) and Michigan OLB Shawn Crable (back) are the latest additions to an unusually long list of players bitten by the injury bug. Schmitt is out for Saturday's game. There's no word yet on the availability of the others, but if there is any chance of re-injury the player will be strongly advised by his representation -- and wisely so -- to sit this one out.

    Here's a scouting breakdown of the two practice sessions:


    Around the North practice
    • The North team has a group of return men who could excite the Mobile crowd this weekend. Both Virginia Tech WR Eddie Royal and Purdue WR Dorien Bryant are extremely fast with good make-you-miss ability. If either player gets a crease he could be gone, especially against a South coverage team that will obviously be short on coverage experience as a whole. Royal is also the top kickoff return man, but will probably be flanked by Bryant and California RB Justin Forsett. Forsett has the look of a good kickoff returner at the next level with his low running style, vision, elusiveness and ability to break arm tackles.

    • Royal also turned some heads as a receiver during today's rain-soaked practice. He came up short on what would have been a tough catch in traffic during red zone seven-on-seven drills but responded with two excellent plays shortly thereafter. The first was in the same seven-on-seven drill, when Royal made a leaping catch and secured the wet ball before hitting the ground in the end zone. The second occurred in the opposite end zone during an 11-on-11 red zone team drill. Royal displayed good concentration and body control, catching a fade pass and keeping his feet inbounds for the score. Overall, Royal has shown enough versatility and big-play potential to solidify his status as a third-round prospect.

    • USC RB Chauncey Washington is a good football player and continues to prove himself this week. Washington is a do-it-all type of player and his versatility certainly will not go unnoticed by the NFL decision-makers on hand. He also could be a decent kickoff returner and has the size and desire to help out on several phases of special teams. He has lined up some at fullback this week, and although that isn't his forte, it is one more positive to add to his resume. Washington is an excellent pass-catcher, as well. He was lined up wide near the goal line today and showed good route-running ability on quick slants and crossing routes.
    He is also more than a dump-off option out of the backfield. Washington is capable of running most routes asked of him, and he catches the ball very cleanly and is quick to get upfield with his shoulders parallel to the goal line. This draft is loaded at running back, but there are not many options for teams in the market for a big back. The arrow is pointing up for Washington and he is likely ascending numerous boards around the league.


    • Missouri TE Martin Rucker has excellent size and many other impressive qualities, but overall this week of practice has not helped him. Rucker lines up high in his stance and isn't very flexible in his lower body. He shows noticeable stiffness through his routes and as a blocker. He has decent speed once he gets going but is not very sudden and doesn't consistently gain separation out of his breaks. Today in the goal line drills, Rucker had a tough time getting away from linebackers like Keith Rivers of USC, Dan Connor of Penn State and Xavier Adibi of Virginia Tech, and things will surely not be any easier at the next level.

    • Notre Dame S Tom Zbikowski has had a better week of practice than we expected and his versatility really stood out during Thursday's session. Zbikowski lacks ideal athleticism, which limits his range in coverage, but he has used good instincts to make up for his somewhat stiff hips in zone coverage this week. He also continues to hold up well in tight man-to-man versus bigger tight ends. Today, for example, he was able to get physical at the line of scrimmage with Michigan State TE Kellen Davis, and then kept stride for stride with the Spartan tight end on a sideline route.
    Zbikowski is unlikely to return punts in the NFL like he did at Notre Dame. But he still has value on special teams; he has the ability to cover kicks and serve as the punter's personal protector. A team will likely take a chance on Zbikowski in the middle rounds knowing he's unlikely to emerge as a good every-down starter but can provide value in other areas.
     
  25. RMANCIL

    RMANCIL New Member

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    Flacco continues to improve; North return men are impressive
    By Scouts Inc.
    (Archive)
    Updated: January 24, 2008, 9:44 PM ET
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    MOBILE, Ala. -- Thursday is "get out of town" day at the Senior Bowl for most NFL general managers, coaches and scouts -- and for good reason. The practices are shorter, less physical and special teams driven. A steady rain, which began overnight Thursday and isn't forecast to stop until early Friday morning, only adds to the ghost-town feeling in Mobile. To the credit of the coaching staffs, though, they ran productive practices and the players had no choice but to respond.


    [+] EnlargeDan Anderson for ESPN.com

    Joe Flacco is keeping up with the big boys after a slow start in Mobile.
    One advantage to a rainy day of practice is the chance to evaluate the quarterbacks' ability to throw in wet conditions. Of the six signal-callers on hand, Delaware's Joe Flacco and USC's John David Booty were the most efficient. In fact, Flacco has improved every day since his tough start on Monday. After struggling with the center exchange that afternoon, Flacco has shown no problems handling the quarterback-center exchange -- in his defense he did spend the majority of his time at Delaware working out of the shotgun. Flacco is deceptively mobile, throws well on the run and has the strongest arm of the signal-callers in Mobile this week. Don't be surprised if he is one of the stars in Saturday's game or if he comes off the draft board as early as the second round.

    In injury news, USC TE Fred Davis (ankle), East Carolina RB Chris Johnson (shoulder), West Virginia FB Owen Schmitt (knee), Michigan S Jamar Adams (Achilles) and Michigan OLB Shawn Crable (back) are the latest additions to an unusually long list of players bitten by the injury bug. Schmitt is out for Saturday's game. There's no word yet on the availability of the others, but if there is any chance of re-injury the player will be strongly advised by his representation -- and wisely so -- to sit this one out.

    Here's a scouting breakdown of the two practice sessions:


    Around the North practice
    • The North team has a group of return men who could excite the Mobile crowd this weekend. Both Virginia Tech WR Eddie Royal and Purdue WR Dorien Bryant are extremely fast with good make-you-miss ability. If either player gets a crease he could be gone, especially against a South coverage team that will obviously be short on coverage experience as a whole. Royal is also the top kickoff return man, but will probably be flanked by Bryant and California RB Justin Forsett. Forsett has the look of a good kickoff returner at the next level with his low running style, vision, elusiveness and ability to break arm tackles.

    • Royal also turned some heads as a receiver during today's rain-soaked practice. He came up short on what would have been a tough catch in traffic during red zone seven-on-seven drills but responded with two excellent plays shortly thereafter. The first was in the same seven-on-seven drill, when Royal made a leaping catch and secured the wet ball before hitting the ground in the end zone. The second occurred in the opposite end zone during an 11-on-11 red zone team drill. Royal displayed good concentration and body control, catching a fade pass and keeping his feet inbounds for the score. Overall, Royal has shown enough versatility and big-play potential to solidify his status as a third-round prospect.

    • USC RB Chauncey Washington is a good football player and continues to prove himself this week. Washington is a do-it-all type of player and his versatility certainly will not go unnoticed by the NFL decision-makers on hand. He also could be a decent kickoff returner and has the size and desire to help out on several phases of special teams. He has lined up some at fullback this week, and although that isn't his forte, it is one more positive to add to his resume. Washington is an excellent pass-catcher, as well. He was lined up wide near the goal line today and showed good route-running ability on quick slants and crossing routes.
    He is also more than a dump-off option out of the backfield. Washington is capable of running most routes asked of him, and he catches the ball very cleanly and is quick to get upfield with his shoulders parallel to the goal line. This draft is loaded at running back, but there are not many options for teams in the market for a big back. The arrow is pointing up for Washington and he is likely ascending numerous boards around the league.


    • Missouri TE Martin Rucker has excellent size and many other impressive qualities, but overall this week of practice has not helped him. Rucker lines up high in his stance and isn't very flexible in his lower body. He shows noticeable stiffness through his routes and as a blocker. He has decent speed once he gets going but is not very sudden and doesn't consistently gain separation out of his breaks. Today in the goal line drills, Rucker had a tough time getting away from linebackers like Keith Rivers of USC, Dan Connor of Penn State and Xavier Adibi of Virginia Tech, and things will surely not be any easier at the next level.

    • Notre Dame S Tom Zbikowski has had a better week of practice than we expected and his versatility really stood out during Thursday's session. Zbikowski lacks ideal athleticism, which limits his range in coverage, but he has used good instincts to make up for his somewhat stiff hips in zone coverage this week. He also continues to hold up well in tight man-to-man versus bigger tight ends. Today, for example, he was able to get physical at the line of scrimmage with Michigan State TE Kellen Davis, and then kept stride for stride with the Spartan tight end on a sideline route.
    Zbikowski is unlikely to return punts in the NFL like he did at Notre Dame. But he still has value on special teams; he has the ability to cover kicks and serve as the punter's personal protector. A team will likely take a chance on Zbikowski in the middle rounds knowing he's unlikely to emerge as a good every-down starter but can provide value in other areas.
     

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