Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina #92
Size/Athleticism: Prototypical height and overall build for a defensive tackle. Moves well for an interior lineman and it isn’t just straight-line speed. His lateral movement is impressive. Strong arms allow him to swat away offensive tackles end disengage from blocks.
Run Defense: Consistently bursts through the line of scrimmage and makes plays in the backfield. Lateral movement allows him to slide along the line, enabling him to blug holes that many other tackles won’t get to. Gives a great effort in pursuit. Gets down the field in pursuit more frequently than the typical interior lineman. Doesn’t hold up quite as well at the point of attack as you’d expect considering his size.
Pass Rush: Explodes off the line of scrimmage. His initial burst is impressive and he builds momentum quickly. Plays out of control and doesn’t always seem to have a game plan. If he doesn’t win off the snap, he doesn’t have a backup plan to fight his way into the backfield.
Versatility: Could play the three-technique or the nose tackle position in the 4-3 defense. Best suited to play end in a 3-4, but could potentially play nose tackle if he added some weight.
Intangibles: Lacked motivation in high school. Only played one year of football and reportedly frequently skipped school. Didn’t attend college after high school and worked in a factory. Eventually walked on at community college. Turned his life around and is regarded as an extremely hard worker who is dedicated to football. 25 years old and mature compared to the average rookie.
Durability: Suffered a sprained ankle in 2012 but played through the injury. Started all 25 games during his career at UNC.
Comments: Williams needs to refine his technique as a pass-rusher and become more consistent, but he has the potential to be an incredibly well-rounded lineman. Some teams may view his age negatively, but his maturity and work ethic should make teams confident in his ability to make an immediate impact and develop quickly.
Logan Ryan CB Rutgers #11
Size/Athleticism: Adequate height and size. He’s well-rounded athlete who played quarterback in high school.
Coverage: Likes to step up in press coverage, but he isn’t exceptionally strong or fast. He struggles to consistently knock guys off their routes and when he doesn’t, receivers can easily gain a step on him once they’re around him. Did a nice job covering receivers in the slot. He’s quick with his footwork and is able to stick with them on the quick slants. He may be an ideal nickel corner at the next level.
Ball skills: Consistently gets his hand on the ball when he’s in position, but he’ll drop some interceptions.
Run support: Plays like he’s afraid of contact at times. He’ll hang out near the ball carrier and jump in only when he sees an opportunity to try to strip the ball. Not a wrap-up tackler. He swipes at the feet, which causes him to miss a lot of tackle tackle opportunities. His tackle stats aren’t bad, but it’s misleading. He make them when the right opportunity presents itself, but he doesn’t make a ton of impact tackles.
Intangibles: Two-year starter. Hasn’t been matched up with many elite receivers – Big East lacks much offensive NFL talent and he wasn’t challenged in many non-conference games either.
Durability: No known issues.
Comments: Ryan is somewhat limited by his physical tools, but may be an ideal nickel corner in the NFL. His straight-line speed is only average and his size is lacking, which limits his potential on the outside. But he’s very quick and demonstrates consistent footwork when matched up with receivers in the slot. His ability lock down a slot receiver and take away the quick slants and curls could make him a valuable asset in the NFL.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson CB Connecticut #5
Size/Athleticism: Impressive height with a decent overall build. He has rare size for the position, giving him the potential to match up with some of the game’s elite receivers.
Coverage: Does a nice job in zone coverage. He’s patient and does reads the quarterback well. He excels at keeping track of receivers in his zone without losing track of the quarterback. Somewhat limited in man coverage. He lacks the quick-twitch athleticism to stay with smaller receiver. His change-of-direction ability is limited and hinders his ability to recover from a false step. Straight-line speed is enough to hang with receiver, but not enough to easily recover from mistakes.
Ball skills: Consistently gets a hand on the ball when he’s in position, but his hands are only average. He’ll drop some would-be interceptions. Leaping ability is slightly below average for a corner. His height helps, but taller receivers have no problem high-pointing the ball against him even in tight coverage.
Run support: Willing to step up against the run, but would rather deliver a big hit and than wrap up the ball carrier. He misses too many tackles from being overly aggressive. He does a poor job playing as the last line of defense. He takes a lot of poor angles to the ball and closes too quickly when he should hang back as the last line of defense. Given his size, he has the potential to improve in his run defense.
Intangibles: Two-time team captain. Three-year starter.
Durability: Missed 5 games with a sprained knee in 2011. Underwent surgery on his hand in 2010 during the season, but did not miss any playing time.
Comments: Wilson has the potential to develop into a decent starter, but he’ll need to clean up his technique. He doesn’t possess enough natural athleticism to make up for the number of mistakes he tends to make in coverage. He survived in the Big East, but NFL receivers will quickly expose his flaws. Given his size and his reputation as a hard worker and team leader, he’s a fairly safe pick because he could always switch to free safety if he fails to develop the tools to excel at cornerback.
Robert Alford WR Southeastern Louisiana #13
Size/Athleticism: Elite speed. Experience returning kicks and punts.
Coverage: Speed and athleticism allows him to matchup with just about any receiver, but his technique is very shaky. He relies too much on his speed and takes a ton of false steps. There’s a lot of wasted movement when he tries to stay with receiver in man coverage. Limited experience in zone coverage, but he does show strong awareness and recognition skills in zone.
Ball skills: Does a poor job putting himself in position to play the ball. He’s a great athlete, but he just doesn’t have the disciplined technique to consistently be in position when the ball comes his direction. Even when he’s right there with the receiver, it’s not difficult more technically sound receivers to position themselves to shield him from the ball.
Run support: Willing to step up against the run and he’ll lower his shoulder and deliver some hits. However, he’s overly aggressive and takes a lot of poor angles. He overcommits to a direction and athletic running backs have little trouble eluding him in the open field.
Intangibles: Older brother Fred Booker played briefly in the NFL. Forced to sit out the 2008 season to due eligibility issues.
Durability: Missed entire 2010 season due to neck stingers.
Comments: Alford is a physically gifted corner, but he is extremely raw and has limited experience against top competition. He tends to play like he’s in the backyard because was so much more athletic than most of the receivers he was matched up against in college. In the NFL, however, he will need to refine his technique before he’s ready to stay with NFL receivers who can match his athleticism and fool him with their route running.
D.J. Hayden CB Houston #2
Size/Athleticism: Adequate height, but a little too skinny. He’ll struggle when matched up with more physical corners and may be limited to playing nickel corner in the NFL.
Coverage: Overly aggressive at the line of scrimmage sometimes and he’ll get beat by receivers who really have no business getting over the top against him. He seems to trust his speed a little too much at times. Has the speed to stay with just about any receiver down the field. He is exceptionally quick and should excel against faster receivers in the slot.
Ball skills: Fairly reliable hands when he’s in position to make a play on the ball, but he needs to be more consistent in putting himself in those positions. A threat with the ball in his hands; returned two of his four interceptions for touchdowns as a senior.
Run support: Gives a decent effort and has the speed to make plays in pursuit. However, he’s undersized and often does little more than slow down the ball carrier. Occasionally used to blitz.
Intangibles: JUCO transfer with only two years experience in Conference USA. Hasn’t faced a ton of top competition.
Durability: Suffered a serious injury to his heart while making a tackle during practice in Nov. 2012 and nearly died. The injury required immediate surgery and he missed the remainder of the season. It was a freak accident, but due to his slender build he does have durability concerns. Did not work out at his pro day due to a hamstring injury.
Comments: Hayden is one of the better athletes in this draft class, but his size limits his upside. He will be a quality nickel corner, but his upside as an outside corner may be limited. He will struggle against true No. 1 receivers and could be a liability in certain matchups.
Kenny Stills WR Oklahoma #4
Size/Athleticism: Decent height. He’s somewhat skinny, but has the frame to put on some weight. Straight-line speed make him an effective deep threat. Doesn’t make many plays after the catch. Goes down on contact, or avoids it all together by stepping out of bounds.
Separation Skills: A deep threat on the outside. Lazy in his breaks. He rounds off his cuts and isn’t very quick. He plays as though he would rather go deep on every play and doesn’t want to get the ball when he’s going across the middle.
Ball Skills: Very inconsistent adjusting to the ball in the air. Doesn’t give much of an effort in traffic, he seems to shy away from battling for the ball. Needs to learn how to go up and pluck the ball rather than waiting for it to come to him. He plays like a typical prima donna receiver who wants to hit home runs but doesn’t want to put forth the effort to contribute on less glamorous plays. However, he has shown the ability on occasion Basically, when he’s motivated he can make the plays, but good luck convincing him to do so on a regular basis. Drops far too many easy passes.
Intangibles: Arrested on a DUI charge in 2011. Trash talks a lot on the field. Gets visibly upset with his quarterback after poor throws. Uncle Gary Stills played linebacker for the Chiefs and Ravens.
Durability: Missed a game with concussion in 2011.
Comments: Stills has the talent of a potential No. 1 receiver but he’s inconsistent and his lack of effort raises a major red flag. Add in some off-field concerns, and he will likely fall down draft boards. Most teams would rather gamble on a player with lesser talent than bring in a prospect who didn’t show a consistent effort in college. You can teach technique, but you can’t teach effort. Players either want to be great, or they don’t – it’s entirely up to them. And it is incredibly rare for a player who lacks effort in college to suddenly turn it on once he’s collecting an NFL paycheck.
Tavarres King WR Georgia #12
Size/Athleticism: Adequate height, but he’s skinny and struggles with more physical defensive backs. Good straight-line speed, but not exceptionally elusive. Used on a lot of screens, and he can pick up chunks of yardage, but he doesn’t make a lot of guys miss.
Separation Skills: A true deep threat. He has the straight-line speed to get over the top of the defense and often requires the attention of a safety. Does have a ton of experience with a wide range of routes. He ran a ton of screens and go routes but will only be marginally effective with either route at the next level. He’ll need to expand his ability to run the route tree before he is an effective NFL receiver.
Ball Skills: Reliable hands when he’s open. Struggles to battle for jump balls. Lack of height and size hinders his ability to go up and fight with defensive backs for the contested balls. Does a nice job tracking the deep ball and can adjust as necessary.
Intangibles: Two-year starter and saw fairly significant playing time during all four years. Excelled in the classroom at Georgia and won some academic awards.
Durability: No know issues, but his slight frame does raise concerns about his ability to hold up at the next level.
Comments: King has the skills to be a role player at the next level. He will be most effective lining up on the outside due to his slight frame, but probably doesn’t have the well-rounded game to ever be considered a starter – especially early in his career. He will need to develop his route running ability before he’s ready for an expanded role in the NFL.
Ace Sanders WR South Carolina #1
Size/Athleticism: Vastly undersized. His lack of height limits him to a slot receiver role. Lacks the breakaway speed to make up for his size which may limit his effectiveness at the next level. While he isn’t a burner in the open field, he is an excellent athlete and can make guys miss. His lack of size makes him tough to corral in the open field. Experienced returning punts.
Separation Skills: He isn’t very explosive, but he does a nice job getting open. He excels against zone coverage, finding the soft spots in the zone and making plays after the catch. Not much of a deep threat, but he does have enough speed to get over the top when a corner tries to jump his route on a double move.
Ball Skills: Great hands. Did not drop a ball in 2012. Does a nice job adjusting to the poorly thrown ball. He’s great athlete and demonstrates nice body control when adjusting to the ball in the air. Lacks the height and leaping ability to battle for balls in traffic. He needs space to catch the ball.
Intangibles: Father, Tracy Sanders, played football at Florida State.
Durability: No known issues.
Comments: Sanders is an undersized possession receiver, similar to Davone Bess or Wes Welker. He will be limited to a slot receiver role, but he could make a significant impact on the right offense. He may not interest every team, but
Da’Rick Rogers WR Tennessee Tech #21
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 217
Size/Athleticism: Prototypical height and overall size. A tough player who will go across the middle and is capable of taking a hit. Deceptively fast. He isn’t exceptionally explosive, but he can stretch the field and will surprise some defensive backs with his speed. Dangerous after the catch because he turns into a running back, he will take a hit and pick up some tough yardage.
Separation Skills: He isn’t explosive in his breaks, but he can get deep over the top in one-on-one situations if the cornerback doesn’t respect his straight-line speed. His size allows him to shield the defender and make plays in tight spaces.
Ball Skills: Shows good body control when adjusting to poorly thrown passes – got plenty of experience with this thanks to Tyler Bray. Will come down with some tough catches, but he also drops some easy ones. He consistently catches away from his body and quickly secures the ball. When he drops them, it’s usually when he takes his eyes off the ball at the last second to survey the field
Intangibles: Suspended for a violation of team rules in 2012 and ultimately dismissed from Tennessee and transferred Tennessee Tech. Struggled to get along with the coaching staff at Tennessee and reportedly failed multiple drug tests. Claims he was tested 10 times during the 2012 season and was clean each time.
Durability: No known issues.
Comments: Rogers reminds me of Greg Little in many ways, both in terms of his physical tools and his off-field issues. He is definitely a character risk (even more so than Little) but he is one of the most dangerous receivers after the catch due to his physical running style. He is definitely a top-100 talent, but a team will have to be comfortable with his character in order to bring him aboard.
Ryan Swope WR Texas A&M #25
Size/Athleticism: Adequate height. Showed off his speed with a 4.28 40-yard dash at the combine. Rarely used in situations to utilize his speed at A&M, so it caught people off guard, but he is legitimately among the fastest players in this draft class. Decent strength of a receiver. He gives a solid effort as a blocker and has the strength to control most defensive backs.
Separation Skills: Majority of his receptions in 2012 came on 3-5 yard hitch routes, which didn’t really allow him to show off his route running ability but can run crisp routes and create separation. He a go-to target of Ryan Tannehill during his junior year and ran more crossing routes. Overall, he has shown his ability to be versatile and contribute in a variety of roles and in different offensive schemes. In 2012, he also demonstrated the ability to find the soft spots in coverage after the play broke down. Johnny Manziel frequently found him after scrambling out of the pocket. While he has straight-line speed, he is somewhat stiff in terms of agility and doesn’t make the quick breaks to lose more athletic defensive backs. He will need to be able to make contested catches.
Ball Skills: Very reliable hands. He catches the ball away from his body and quickly secures it before turning up field. Limited experience battling for jump balls down the field, but he has the athleticism and strength to develop into more of a possession receiver once he’d given more experience in that role.
Intangibles: Three-year starter.
Durability: No known issues.
Comments: Swope’s role in Texas A&M’s offense in 2012 didn’t give him the ability to show off his full skill set, so he could potentially be an ever better pro than he was in college. He would be an ideal fit in a west coast offense where he can take the short routes and make plays after the catch. He isn’t a No. 1, but he will be solid contribute as a 2nd or 3rd option.