Ryan McCrystal

Eric Ebron scouting report

Eric Ebron TE North Carolina #85
Ht: 6’4″
Wt: 245


Size/Athleticism: Lacks elite size, but makes up for it with athleticism. He’s a very smooth athlete and plays like an oversized receiver. His size and speed combination makes his a dangerous threat after the catch.

Separation Skills: Speed makes him a viable down-field threat in certain matchups. He’s too fast and quick for many linebackers and some safeties. Needs to learn how to use his size to his advantage in jump ball situations. He’s too much of a finesse receiver at times.

Ball Skills: Fairly reliable hands, but he needs to improve his ability to fight for the ball in traffic. He can be passive in his approach. He often lets the ball come to him, even in tight coverage when he should attack the ball. Needs to improve his skills in jump ball situations. He has the size and athleticism to be dominant in jump ball situations, but he’s too soft in his approach right now.

Blocking: Lacks the strength to dominate but he gives a good effort most of the time. He’s physical and won’t back down from a battle against anyone. Fights hard even when he’s clearly overmatched and uses leverage to hold his ground to the best of his ability.

Intangibles: Missed bowl game in 2011 for academic reasons. Appears to be a hard worker based on his obvious development throughout his career.

Durability: No known injuries.


Comments: Ebron has a high ceiling based on his physical tools, but he’s still developing as a pass-catcher. He lacks the elite size of a guy like Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski, so he needs to be more polished in how he uses his body in contested situations. The potential is there for him to be a game-changing weapon, but more development is needed. His upside will likely put his name in the first round conversation, but he shouldn’t be viewed as an immediate impact player. He’ll show flashes as a rookie, but he’s a year or two away from fully developing.

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

Jace Amaro scouting report

Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech #22
Ht: 6’5″
Wt: 260


Size/Athleticism: Prototypical build for the position in today’s NFL. Has the height teams look for but also the overall size to contribute as a blocker. He’s a tough runner with the ball in his hands. He’ll fight for extra yardage and can be difficult to bring down.

Separation Skills: Not a deep threat, but he has the speed to get down the field and then use his size to win jump balls. He knows how to use his body to shield defenders. Field awareness isn’t great – he doesn’t consistently find the soft spot in the zone and runs himself into coverage sometimes. Route running is extremely lazy at times. He appears to adjust his effort based on whether or not he is one of the primary options. When he explodes off the line, the ball almost always comes to him, or at least to his side of the field. When he’s slow off the snaps and runs a lazy route, ball almost always ends up on opposite side of the field. Has experience lining up all over the field (slot, backfield, on the line and occasionally out wide).

Ball Skills: Elite hand-eye coordinator. Reacts extremely quickly to poorly throw balls, and balls that are fired from short distances. Shows great body control when adjusting to poorly thrown balls.

Blocking: Certainly not elite, but gives a reasonable effort. Appears to give fake hustle sometimes – he’ll fight hard against a defensive back, but conveniently be late to get to his assignment when he’s supposed to engaged a more physical linebacker.

Intangibles: Plenty of red flags get raised. Arrested in March 2012 on felony fraud credit card fraud charges. Ejected from 2012 bowl game and suspended for throwing a punch during the game.  Teams will have plenty of questions to ask about his maturity.

Durability: Significant durability concerns. Missed six games in 2012 with a spleen injury. Injured during game in late 2012 and appeared to suffer a concussion (full details not released to media). Suffered torn ACL in high school.


Comments: Amaro has been hyped up as a potential first-round pick and is the top tight end on many media draft boards. The potential is certainly there, and he very well may be the best in this class, but he isn’t an elite prospect. He lacks the dominant size of Gronkowski or the elite athleticism of a Jimmy Graham. Amaro’s ceiling is probably as an Owen Daniels-type tight end – which is certainly a guy worth  having, but hard a game-changer. Further complicating his draft status are the character concerns. It’s not out of the question that he could be removed from some draft boards based on concerns about his maturity.

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Zach Mettenberger scouting report

Zach Mettenberger QB LSU #8
Ht: 6’5″
Wt: 224


Size/Athleticism: Prototypical NFL size. He has the height to stand in the pocket and see the whole field and the size to take some hits. Strictly a pocket passer, very limited mobility outside the pocket. However, he does move very well within the pocket. He’s a decent athlete, so can avoid the pass-rusher, he just isn’t blessed with the speed to be a serious threat on the run.

Arm strength/Accuracy: Above-average arm strength, bordering on elite. He has the ability to make every throw on the field and can get the ball downfield with some nice zip. But he isn’t just a cannon arm. He shows excellent touch and knows when to take something off his fastball. Stands tall in the pocket and will deliver crisp, accurate throws even in the face of pressure.

Footwork/Release: Solid fundamentals. Remains calm under pressure and moves within the pocket while maintaining his fundamentals. Technique begins to break down when he’s forced out of the pocket. He struggles to set his feet and sometimes drops his arm when throwing on the move. Footwork in the pocket is extremely polished for a college quarterback. He consistently sees the pressure from all sides and steps up in the pocket to buy time while keeping his eyes downfield.

Decision making: Still developing in this area but made significant strides from junior to senior year. Most of his mistakes come from issues reading the defense, rather than blind trust in his arm which is the most common, and more concerning, issue for young quarterbacks. With more experience and quality coaching, he can continue to develop in this area. Playing in an NFL-style system under Cam Cameron did wonders for his development in this area. Will occasionally lock on to a receiver

Intangibles: Spent one year at Georgia, transferred to JUCO, then to LSU in 2011. Two-year starter in the SEC with plenty of experience and success against elite competition. Not a noticeably vocal leader on the field. Arrested and plead guilty to sexual battery charges in 2010 for inappropriately touching a woman at a bar.

Durability: Coming off a season-ending torn ACL.


Comments: Mettenberger has the talent to be an elite pocket passer. But his stock will be determine by how much NFL personnel trust him to continue to develop. It’s a fair question to wonder how much impact Cam Cameron had on Mettenberger and how much of it is sustainable. Did Cameron already squeeze everything he could out of him, or is there more under the surface? How he interviews and how much more development, in terms of the mental side of the game, is possible will determine where he lands in the draft.

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A.J. McCarron scouting report

A.J. McCarron QB Alabam #10
Ht: 6’3″
Wt: 220


Size/Athleticism: Adequate size and overall build. He isn’t huge, but he’s capable of taking a hit. Not a threat to run, but his mobility within the pocket and his ability to roll out is an asset.

Arm strength/Accuracy: Nothing special about his arm strength, but it meets the baseline requirements. Accuracy on short and intermediate throws is an asset. Maintains accuracy on the run. Deep ball accuracy is a concern, and it mostly stems from poor footwork in his delivery. Accuracy is elite when he’s throwing to a spot, but struggles to hit players in stride.

Footwork/Release: He does a great job dancing around pressure within the pocket. Footwork on his throws is very inconsistent. He tends to overstep, throwing his hips open and leading to an across-body throw which diminishes his accuracy and takes away some velocity. Needs to keep his body moving in a straight line to maximize his accuracy and arm strength. Weight transfer is poor and sometimes non-existent. Throws off his back foot, or simply from an open, balanced stance too often.

Decision making: Does a great job keeping his eyes downfield as he avoids pressure in the pocket. Always poised under pressure and rarely forces a throw. Stays very patient when going through his progressions and has plenty of experience picking apart top defenses.

Intangibles: Played in a true pro-style offense at Alabama and will have no problem learning an NFL playbook.

Durability: Extremely durable and tough. Played through rib injury in 2012.


Comments: McCarron has plenty of experience and has excelled at the highest collegiate level. However, his physical tools are somewhat limited and the Alabama coaching staff created a system perfectly suited for his abilities. His ceiling is as a middle-of-the-road starter, but he will more likely be a career backup. There just isn’t enough about his game to get excited about to project him as the type of prospect who makes significant strides in the NFL. He’s high floor/low ceiling prospect who would make a very safe second or third round pick if a team is willing to accept the fact that he may not be anything more than a good backup.

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Jimmy Garoppolo scouting report

Jimmy Garoppolo QB Eastern Illinois #10
Ht: 6’2″
Wt: 226


Size/Athleticism: Average height. Fairly well built for his size. Mobility is limited. He can move on designed roll outs and makes some movement within the pocket to avoid pressure, but he’s definitely not a threat to run. His movements are very stiff and mechanical.

Arm strength/Accuracy: Arm strength is a notch below elite, but still very good. He has no issue making all the throws and can even throw the ball on a rope to the intermediate routes when he’s unable to set his feet. Accuracy is solid at all levels and he maintains it on the short and intermediate routes when he’s on the run. Ball placement is above average for a draft prospect. Knows how to place the ball to throw his receiver open.

Footwork/Release: Has a very quick release which is one of his best assets. Footwork within the pocket is very good, but also very mechanical. In a clean pocket he has nearly perfect footwork with ideal weight transfer to get all of his power into his throws. Under pressure though, he looks awkward. His movements are very mechanical, and when he doesn’t have a clean pocket to execute his movements he’s choppy and just looks very unathletic.

Decision making: Locks on to his first read and stares him down. He looks like a first round pick when his first read breaks free, but when he doesn’t it gets ugly. Does not look comfortable sitting in the pocket and going through his progressions. He starts to panic when his first read isn’t open and often leaves the pocket due to phantom pressure. Needs to learn how to see the whole field. Often locks on to one receiver and doesn’t even turn to the other side of the field despite not having an open option.

Intangibles: Starter for majority of his four years, but very little experience against top competition.

Durability: No known issues.


Comments: Garoppolo has all the physical tools but his performance raises some questions about his mental makeup. A four-year starter with NFL physical tools should have been able to sit in the pocket and pick apart FCS defenses, but it just didn’t happen. The overwhelming majority of his successful plays came on quick one-look reads and he got antsy and uncomfortable the longer he had to sit in the pocket. I wouldn’t trust him on the field as a rookie, but the physical tools are clearly NFL caliber and he is an intriguing developmental prospect. All of his issues are fixable, so assuming he interviews well, someone will call his name on the second day of the draft.

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