Ryan McCrystal

Carlos Hyde scouting report

Carlos Hyde RB Ohio State #34
Ht: 6’0″
Wt: 230

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Size/Athleticism: Prototypical size for a workhorse running back. Has the size/speed combo of a traditional feature back, but not as many teams are looking for these types in today’s game.

Vision: He finds holes at the line of scrimmage and does a great job of always picking a spot to at least get something. Doesn’t always see the second hole open up at the second level once he fights through the line. Needs to show more awareness when the hole closes and show a willingness to bounce runs to the outside.

Power: A tough runner between the tackles. Willing to lower his shoulder into a defender and is capable of bouncing off would-be tacklers who don’t wrap him up. Really tough to knock backwards. He builds up  speed quickly and once his momentum is moving forward, you’re not going to send him back. Falls forward after almost every tackle.

Speed/Agility: Despite running a 4.66 at the combine, his straight-line speed is perfectly adequate. He’ll get caught from behind sometimes, but he’s capable of picking up chunks of yardage when he finds the hole. He doesn’t really make guys miss, which means he takes a ton of hits. He’ll occasionally sidestep a lineman at the line if scrimmage, but he rarely puts together a string of moves to break free. He has very quick footwork, which allows him to be effective in tight spaces. However, he lacks the change-of-direction ability to really be dangerous in space.

Passing Game: A strong blocker. Doesn’t have a ton of experience catching passes, but usually hauled one in once or twice per game as a senior. Never a feature in the passing game, but capable of being a checkdown option. Lacks the ability in space to be a real threat in the passing game, but he has reliable hands and he’ll make an impact a few times per game.

Intangibles: Suspended for an altercation in a club prior to his senior year, but no charges were filed.

Durability: Missed two games with an ankle injury in 2012

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Comments: 20 years ago Hyde probably would have been a first round lock, but the game has evolved and there isn’t as much interest in a pure downhill runner. He’s been compared to Eddie Lacy due to their similar size, but he just doesn’t make guys like the way Lacy does. A better comparison for Hyde may be a bigger version of Mark Ingram. Hyde is strictly a downhill runner with a bowling ball style. He could certainly start for some teams and be effective, but he isn’t a difference maker. A better role for him in today’s NFL is probably as a situational

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

David Carr Scouting Report

Derek Carr QB Fresno State #4
Ht: 6’2″
Wt: 214

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Size/Athleticism: Adequate height and overall size, although he could certainly benefit from adding a few pounds so that he’s better able to take hits. Definitely not a run-first quarterback but he’s a much better athlete you’d expect based on how he plays. When he needs to buy time, he’s more than capable of rolling out of the pocket and he still looks good throwing on the run.

Arm strength/Accuracy: Legitimate NFL arm strength. Has the ability to make all the throws and doesn’t necessarily need to have perfect footwork and mechanics to get the ball down the field. Makes some throws off his back foot under pressure that most prospects in this class can only make with perfect fundamentals. Accuracy is average to above average at all levels. Due to his arm strength, he has a habit of not setting his feet and sometimes throwing from an awkward open stance which diminishes his accuracy. Can fit the ball in tight windows with his arm strength but also knows when to take something off and throw a catchable ball.

Footwork/Release: Overall mechanics are solid, but not always consistent. When he’s consistently under pressure he starts to rush and forgets about his feet.  Needs to learn to throw from a sturdy base due to its effect on his accuracy, even though he doesn’t necessarily need it for arm strength.

Decision making: Trusts his arm too much. He throws far too many passes into tight spaces under pressure when he can’t get set and doesn’t have the velocity or accuracy he needs to fit the ball into tight windows. Needs to learn when to take a sack or throw it away. Extremely limited in what he was asked to do in Fresno’s offensive system—over 50 percent of his passes as a senior were within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Doesn’t have a ton of experience reading the defense and going through his progression.

Intangibles: Reportedly interviewed very well at the combine. A smart player on and off the field. Younger brother of former No. 1 overall pick David Carr. Mature off the field compared to many prospects. Already married with a son.

Durability: Played through a sports hernia in 2012 which required offseason surgery.

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Comments: Carr has elite potential, but needs to iron out some flaws in his game. His arm strength is an asset, but it’s led to some bad habits because he hasn’t needed to perfect his mechanics. His accuracy suffers due to poor footwork, and it must be fixed in order for him to play at a high level. It’s tough to see him succeeding right away because he was so easily flustered by pressure at Fresno State and he’s sure to see even more in the NFL—especially if he’s drafted into a bad situation. But he has the raw tools that you can’t teach, and is definitely a candidate to emerge as the best quarterback from this class.

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

Brett Smith Scouting Report

Brett Smith QB Wyoming #16
Ht: 6’2″
Wt: 206

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Size/Athleticism: Adequate height but he’s skinny. Needs to add some weight in order to help prevent injuries. His style of play, which is very similar to Johnny Manziel, will be tough to handle in the NFL with his current build. Capable of extending the play and also picking up chunks of yardage on the ground.

Arm strength/Accuracy: Arm strength is adequate when he sets his feet and follows through with proper weight transfer. Many of throws appear to lack velocity, but it all stems back to mechanics. Accuracy is strong when he’s set and remains solid when he’s on the move. Considering his poor mechanics, his accuracy is impressive and gives reason to hope it can become a real strength once he’s ironed out some of the issues with his mechanics.

Footwork/Release: Throws the football like a dart. It’s an odd throwing motion, but it is a quick release. Has happy feet in the pocket. Dance around a lot and doesn’t always get  his feet back into position for a throw with solid mechanics, which takes something off his velocity.

Decision making: Has improved his willingness to keep his eyes downfield but he’s still mostly a run-first quarterback. Needs to become more patient and comfortable in a collapsing pocket without bailing at the first sign of pressure. Seems to have a good grasp on the types of throws he’s capable of making—doesn’t force the ball into tight spaces. Does tend to throw the ball up for grabs a lot down the field and simply didn’t have the playmaker to bail him out.

Intangibles: A tough competitor with all the on-field traits that Manziel is praised for. Dad played football at Oregon.

Durability: Missed two games with a concussion in 2012.

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Comments: Smith hasn’t proven himself against top competition and his mechanics are all out of whack. But he plays a Johnny Manziel style of football and gap between the two is not nearly as large as mainstream media would have you believe. Smith’s mechanical flaws are all fixable and if he’s committed to making changes and developing as a player, he has a bright future. Given a choice between Manziel in the top 10 or Smith on Day 3, it’s an easy decision: give me Smith every time.

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

Johnny Manziel scouting report

Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M #2
Ht: 6’0″
Wt: 207

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Size/Athleticism: Vastly undersized. Short and somewhat skinny. He was fairly durable in two years at Texas A&M, but it won’t last with his size and his style of play. Athleticism is elite and has fairly been compared to Michael Vick. His ability to escape from a collapsing pocket and keep plays alive ranks among the best we’ve ever seen.

Arm strength/Accuracy: He’s a maximum-effort thrower. He can get the ball downfield on a rope, but he needs a clean pocket to be able to step into and use every ounce of his small frame to propel the ball. Accuracy is a strength when he’s able to set his feet and step into the throw. In a clean pocket he does a decent job placing the ball, especially on comebacks on the sideline, which he threw often to Mike Evans. Tends to struggle with accuracy when receivers are on the move (slants, go routes, etc) but it partially comes from a lack of experience due to the overload of comebacks and jump balls thrown in A&M’s offense.

Footwork/Release: Has a tendency to throw off his back foot when he’s moving out of the pocket, but other than that his mechanics are strong. When he has time, he sets his feet and shows a consistent weight transfer. He also has a very quick release, which aids his ability to make plays on the go.

Decision making: Among the worst prospects I’ve ever scouting in this area. Relied heavily on his receiver (mainly Mike Evans) to go up for jump balls and make plays. He got credit for a lot of spectacular plays because his receivers bailed him out, but the decisions behind those plays were often terrible and will rarely work in the NFL. To his credit, he does a nice job keeping his eyes downfield as he scrambles, but he needs to become more willing to check down, or even take a sack. This is an area that is fixable, because his biggest mistakes are usually just lofting the ball up into traffic—most quarterbacks who struggle with decisions trust their arm too much, Manziel just trusts his receivers too much. It may be an issue that he fixes on his own once he sees his receivers aren’t capable of making the same plays against NFL defensive backs. Also has a tendency to hold the ball far too long waiting for something to develop downfield.

Intangibles: Tough to judge from the outside, but there are obvious red flags that teams will want to consider. His public image as a guy who likes to party hard and live in the spotlight will definitely rub some teams the wrong way. He will need to answer questions about his lifestyle in interviews and how mature and committed he portrays himself will definitely play a role in how certain teams perceive him.

Durability: Started every game during his two years as a starter at A&M, but took a beating. It’s only a matter of time before he suffers a serious injury.

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Comments: Manziel suffers/benefits from the Tebow effect. He’s so well known, so entertaining and so polarizing that it’s tough for people to objectively evaluate him. Putting the intangibles aside, his ability to extend plays gives him enormous potential. However, there are also obvious flaws. He needs to develop his accuracy and decision making skills in order to truly be effective at the next level in every situation. At this stage of his career, his best attribute is his ability to make plays once everything else goes wrong. Is that really a first-round worthy trait?

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

Blake Bortles scouting report

Blake Bortles QB Central Florida #5
Ht: 6’5″
Wt: 232

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Size/Athleticism: Prototypical size, strength and athleticism. Moves very well for his size and is a threat to run (think of a slightly more mobile Andrew Luck). Very tough for defensive linemen to bring down when he sees them coming.

Arm strength/Accuracy: Arm strength is more than adequate, when he has time to step into the throw. When he’s on the move, his arm strength diminishes noticeably and leads to some bad interceptions. He is capable of throwing the deep ball, but he doesn’t throw it on a rope—it tends to hang up in the air and if a defensive back is in position, it’s easy to make a play on the ball. Accuracy is very hit or miss. He makes some really pretty throws into tight spaces occasionally, but he also unleashes some wild misses. He consistently gets the ball in the general vicinity of his receivers, but his exact placement is mediocre. He makes his receiver work for their catches.

Footwork/Release: In a perfectly clean pocket, his mechanics look great but when he feels pressure he rushes and fails to set his feet and transfer his weight properly. He tends to let his body move in different directions as he’s releasing the ball, which takes away from his velocity (which is modest to begin with).

Decision making: Trusts his arm far too much. He tries to squeeze the ball into tight spaces and he simply doesn’t have the arm strength or pinpoint accuracy to make it happen. These types of mistakes happen both under pressure and when he’s standing in a clean pocket. Tends to force the ball downfield when he’s looking for a big play, and his modest arm strength causes the ball to hang up in the air too long giving defenders in the area plenty of time to make a play.

Intangibles: A team leader who will have no issues earning respect of teammates, even as a rookie. Coaches and teammates at UCF speak highly of him.

Durability: No known issues. However, his physical style of play and his willingness to take on defenders will get him hurt at some point.

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Comments: Bortles is an easy player to like. He plays tough, makes exciting plays and he’s a great interview. For those reasons, some coach and GM will probably fall in love with him and make him an early selection. However, there are plenty of red flags in his play which lead to questions about his ability to be a starter at a high level. Bortles’ arm strength is his biggest physical flaw, but it can be overcome if he improves his mechanics and his decision making. His playmaking ability will allow him to have some immediate success, but his long-term development could be stunted if he doesn’t sit and learn for a period of time.

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