Ryan McCrystal

Greg Robinson Scouting Report

Greg Robinson OT Auburn #73
Ht: 6’5″
Wt: 332

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Size/Athleticism: Doesn’t quite have the height of many elite left tackles, but he more than makes up for it with a blend of strength and athleticism. Moves exceptionally well for his size and makes some downfield blocks that you just don’t see from players with his body type.

Pass Protection: Shockingly quick feet for a lineman with his size and general body build. Quick out of his stance off the snap. Slides outside effortlessly and is rarely beat off the snap by edge-rushers. Initial punch is devastating and can knock an edge-rusher off his path even when he’s beat off the snap. Upper body strength is impressive and he can handle smaller pass rushers even when he’s beat and slightly off balance. Plays with impressive balance and rarely lunges as defenders unless it’s a necessary last-ditch effort. Due to Auburn’s offensive scheme, doesn’t have a ton of experience in pass-protection with the quarterback standing in the pocket. Still learning how to diagnose and adjust to defensive shifts and delayed blitzes.

Run Blocking: An absolute mauler as a run blocker. Gets low and uses his raw strength and great leverage to easy direct defensive lineman any way he wants and often drives them to the ground. He does more than just open up holes, he finishes off his assignment. His ability to get to the second level is impressive for a man of his size. He doesn’t just get to the second level, he does so quickly and efficiently. Shows a strong understanding of his assignment on each player and rarely gets caught out of position when blocking on the move.

Intangibles: Did not play offensive line until his junior year of high school, giving him five years of experience at the position. Third-year sophomore.

Durability: No known issues.

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Comments: Robinson is a truly special prospect who not only excels in every aspect of the game but has the ability to dominate. There are absolutely no glaring flaws in his game and his only real weakness is limited experience. The rate at which he has developed, and the strides he showed from his sophomore to junior year, give plenty of reason to believe he will continue to grow as a player and play at a high level for a long time. With his raw talent and successes thus far, the only thing that can prevent him from being an elite player at the next level would be injuries or a serious drop off in his work ethic.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2014 Leave a comment

Storm Johnson Scouting Report

Storm Johnson RB Central Florida #8
Ht: 6’0″
Wt: 209

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Size/Athleticism: Average size and strength. Doesn’t really stand out in any area in terms of his physical tools, but he meets all the minimum requirements.

Vision: Capable of maneuvering his way through traffic between the tackles, but he’s quick to bounce it to the outside. Played in sort of a gimmicky offense at UCF, at least in terms of their rushing attack, and benefitted from a lot of reverses and fake-reverses to confuse the defense.

Power: Doesn’t run between the tackles all that often—he’s quick to give up and bounce it outside. When he’s got momentum, he’ll fall forward a fair percentage of the time but he doesn’t break  a ton of tackles and he doesn’t have the strong legs to really push the pile. He’s very much reliant on his blockers to create for him between the tackles.

Speed/Agility: Hits the hole with a nice burst. Has the speed to take it the distance, but he’ll get caught from behind occasionally. Lacks the elite burst and the agility to runaround unblocked defenders closing off the edge, which sometimes resulted in some negative plays when tried to bounce it outside. Basically a one-cut runner. He’ll make a most and then try to just turn on the jets, but he isn’t fast enough to have a ton of success with this method. Tends to run upright, which leads to a lack of balance and makes him susceptible to being knocked down without even a wrap-up tackle or a solid hit.

Passing Game: Limited experience in the passing game. Hands are shaky and he made some bad drops. Pass protection is a liability, but it appear to improve as the season went on so there’s reason to hope he’s willing and able to grow in this area.

Intangibles: Only one year of experience as the feature back. Transferred from Miami FL after 2010 season.

Durability: No known issues.

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Comments: Johnson is a fairly well balanced back with a blend of size and speed. Unfortunately, he just doesn’t stand out in any one area. Teams generally prefer to target running backs that can do one thing well—either power or speed—and Johnson just doesn’t really have either. But he has enough to both to warrant a look late in the draft and could be a successful backup if improves his vision and willingness to work between the tackles. With his current approach of bouncing everything outside, he just won’t find success against the athletic linebackers of the NFL.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2014 Leave a comment

Dri Archer Scouting Report

Dri Archer RB/WR Kent State #1
Ht: 5’7″
Wt: 173

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Size/Athleticism: Vastly undersized. Lacks the bulk to project as an every-down player. Athleticism is off the charts. Has the type of speed and agility that scares defenses, as he can take it the distance on any play. Has some experience returning kicks and will almost certainly be asked to resume those duties in the NFL.

Vision: Vision between the tackles is decent, but he tends to take everything outside. Also has a tendency to push himself to full speed immediately, rather than remaining patient and letting things develop in front of him. Offense was designed to allow him to run outside, so it didn’t require a ton of adjustments other than to simply dodge the tacklers in front of him.

Power: He’ll break an occasional weak tackle attempt from a defensive back, because he’s short enough to generate some leverage, but he goes down on contact between the tackles. Ball security is a major issue. Partially may be attributed to his small hands, but he also has terrible technique. Tends to hold the ball away from his body and rarely protects it unless he’s running between the tackles.

Speed/Agility: Pure speed ranks among the game’s elite. Explosion is off the charts. He seemingly gets up to full speed the second he turns on the jets, but then has a second gear to leave defenders in his dust once he reaches the open field. Start and stop ability is special. You simply can’t contain him one on one in the open field.

Passing Game: Lined up as a receiver occasionally, more so during 2013 under new coaching staff. Small hands, but generally reliable on the short stuff when he’s open. Hands are more shaky down the field or when attempting to match a catch on the move. Uses his body too often and had some bad drops. Ideal weapon to use on screens. Offers almost no help in pass protection. Routes as a receiver are poor. Rounds off all his cuts. But his elite agility gives him tons of potential to develop in this area. Used a deep threat occasionally but can’t make contested catches—as long as there’s a safety over the top to contain him, he isn’t much of a threat because he won’t come down with the ball in traffic. As a deep threat, he’s more valuable as a decoy, because the safety has to be aware or else he will run away from the cornerback in man coverage.

Intangibles: Academically ineligible in 2011.

Durability: Suffered an ankle injury in 2012 and was slowed by the injury again for most of the 2013 season. Suffered a knee injury in 2012 bowl game. Lack of size and history of injuries raises a huge red flag in terms of his long term durability.

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Comments: Archer is a man without a position, because he’s too small to strictly play running back or receiver. But he has the rare talent to potentially to play a Dexter McCluster/Eric Metcalf role in the NFL. He’ll never be a guy who touches the ball 20 times per game, but can play a significant role in an offense because the defense always needs to be aware of his presence on the field. If healthy, his playmaking ability would legitimately put him in the conversation as a top 50 prospect, but because he was slowed by an ankle injury throughout the 2013 season it would be tough to justify such a high pick on a guy who will never be an every-down player. How he checks out medically at the combine and during pre-draft visits will play a significant role in his draft stock.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2014 Leave a comment

Devonta Freeman Scouting Report

Devonta Freeman RB Florida State #8
Ht: 5’8″
Wt: 206

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Size/Athleticism: Short and lacks ideal bulk. Not a tough runner and easy to bring down. Extremely explosive. Hits holes with a burst and gets to full speed exceptionally quickly. Shows great balance when moving at full speed.

Vision: Great vision running between the tackles. And maintains his vision when moving at full speed. Does a great job making adjustments on the move—doesn’t just pick a hole at hit it with his head down. He’s patient and waits for his lead blockers.

Power: Almost no power and breaks very few tackles. Builds up some momentum when he’s moving at full speed, so he’ll run through some week arm tackles but he generally goes down on first contact.

Speed/Agility: Impressive balance. Capable of stringing together multiple moves while maintaining balance and momentum. Start and stop ability ranks among the best in this class and somewhat resembles Darren Sproles. Didn’t time exceptionally well at the combine, but he clearly has the athleticism and speed on the field.

Passing Game: Gives a strong effort as a blocker and doesn’t immediately resort to the chop block. Stays low and can use leverage to take on bigger pass-rushers. Reliable hands. Occasionally lined up out wide.

Intangibles: Nothing positive or negative of note.

Durability: Played through a back injury. Did not miss any time, but back injuries are always concerning because they tend to linger. Has a well-filled out frame, but he’s still undersized which always raises some concern about durability in the long run.

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Comments: It’s tough to see Devonta Freeman emerging as a starter in the NFL because he simply lacks the power to run between the tackles consistently. But his vision and quickness makes him a dangerous threat. He’s sort of a poor man’s Darren Sproles and should be capable of filling the change-of-pace role in a backfield getting 8-12 touches per game.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2014 Leave a comment

Jeremy Hill Scouting Report

Jeremy Hill RB LSU #33
Ht: 6’1″
Wt: 233

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Size/Athleticism: Prototypical size for a workhorse running back. Adequate athleticism for his size. Has the speed to break off some longer runs and will occasionally make guys miss in the open field. Likes to attempt to jump over defenders and has made a few highlight reel plays as a result.

Vision: Not as patient as you’d like to see from a guy who lacks the quickness to create open space for himself. He runs up the back of lead blockers, and misses out on some opportunities.

Power: Keeps his legs churning and is capable of pushing the pile. Easily runs through arm tackles. Doesn’t break as many tackles as you’d expect for his size. Balance is just so-so, and he struggles to spin out of tackles and goes down on contact too often.

Speed/Agility: Hits the hole with a decent initial burst. Doesn’t make guys miss in tight spaces—just too big and doesn’t have very quick feet. Balance is poor. Gets tripped up too easily and lacks the balance and quick footwork to catch himself and keep moving. Start and stop ability is below average, even for a bigger back. He moves reasonably well once he’s on the go, but he just doesn’t have the quick footwork and balance to stop on a dime and cut.

Passing Game: Can be an asset as a blocker. Strong enough to anchor against some edge-rushers and does a lot more than just chop block like many backs. Adequate hands displayed in limited opportunities. Looks awkward adjusting to poorly placed balls. Doesn’t have great body control.

Intangibles: Huge character red flags. Arrested on sexual assault charges in 2011 and delayed enrollment to LSU for a year as a result. Arrested again in 2013 for a fight outside a night club, which violated his probation from the initial arrest. Originally suspended indefinitely (returned after missing one game). Reportedly still on probation through 2015.

Durability: Extremely durable through his two years as starter.

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Comments: Hill is right on the fringe of having starter potential, but his history of arrests probably knocks him off a few draft boards. His size is intriguing, and it stands out in the class filled with undersized backs. However, he’s sort of a ‘tweener. He doesn’t have the dominant strength to be successful as a guy who just plows ahead (like Brandon Jacobs) and he doesn’t have the blend of size and quickness to be a well-rounded workhorse (like Michael Turner). Hill will probably be most effective sharing the workload with a chance-of-pace back, and could develop into a solid short-yardage option.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2014 Leave a comment