Ryan McCrystal

EJ Manuel scouting report

EJ Manuel QB Florida State #3
Ht: 6’5″
Wt: 237

Size/Athleticism: Elite size and athleticism. He has the athleticism to run the read option and he also has the size to take a pounding. He’s much more physical than guys like Kaepernick, Wilson and RG3 and probably less of an injury risk.

Arm strength/Accuracy: Can make all the throws necessary. Accuracy on short routes is adequate and he typically puts a nice touch on short and intermediate throws. He also maintains decent accuracy on the move and when under pressure However, his accuracy on the deep ball is horrendous. He can throw to the go route reasonably well, but watching him attempt to hit a receiver on a crossing route beyond 10 yards down the field is tough to watch. He’s simply not capable of consistently throwing to deep corner or post routes, which will limit the  number of teams interested in his services.

Footwork/Release: Quick feet and demonstrates good footwork in the pocket. He’s able to step up in the pocket to buy some time while keeping his eyes downfield. Inconsistent mechanics. He can maintain his accuracy on short routes when throwing under pressure, but too often he displays lazy mechanics even when there’s no pressure.

Decision making: He’s usually patient in the pocket and even when he’s forced out he keeps his eyes downfield. He’s definitely a quarterback first and a runner second. However, he appears to struggle reading defenses post-snap. Many of his bad decisions stemmed from simply not seeing defenders and anticipating their movements. The overwhelming majority of his throws were on short and intermediate routes, many of which were curls and screens. These throws require almost no ability to read the defense. It’s possible his struggles stem from a lack of experience due to Florida State’s offense, but it could also be that Florida State designed the offense to mask Manuel’s deficiencies. Also needs to work on his ball security – far too many fumbles and bobbled snaps.

Intangibles: Quiet leader on the field but appears to be well respected by coaches and teammates.

Durability: Missed time with a shoulder injury in 2011.

Comments: The rise of the read option has transformed EJ Manuel from a late-round project to a potential rookie starter. It’s important to note that he is not the next RG3,  because he lacks RG3’s ability in the pocket, but in a similar system to what the Redskins ran in 2012, Manuel could be effective. Whoever drafts Manuel needs to commit to designing the system around him. He isn’t going to sit in the pocket and pick apart defenses, but a quick-strike, read-option offense could make him a dangerous threat. I believe his upside is fairly limited, but I do believe he can be an adequate starter if he’s surrounded by the right talent in the right system.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2013 Leave a comment

Desmond Trufant scouting report

Desmond Trufant CB Washington #6
Ht: 6’0″
Wt: 190

Size/Athleticism: Adequate size. Elite athleticism. Quick and explosive. Impressive straight-line speed and the quickness to match.

Coverage: Physical in press coverage. Doesn’t back down from any matchups, even when he’s giving up a good amount in size. Fluid in his backpedal; stays low and well balanced with consistent footwork. Has the speed to make up for mistakes, but doesn’t take many false steps. Can get a little grabby at times down the field. His physical style can be an asset, but he needs to control himself down the field.

Ball skills: Consistently plays the ball. He does a great job reading the quarterback. Knows how to turn himself into the receiver. Battles for jump balls and has impressive leaping ability.

Run support: Willing to step up against the run. Usually takes proper angles and has the speed to make plays in pursuit. Not much of a wrap-up tackles due to his size but he gives an honest effort. Occasionally used as a pass-rusher on the outside.

Intangibles: Four year starter. Experience at corner and safety. Extremely confident and competitive on the field. Definitely the type of player that wants to be great.

Durability: Missed a game with a hamstring injury in 2012.

Comments: Trufant has all the tools to step into an immediate starting role and excel at the next level. He shows strong fundamentals and has the athleticism and speed to go with it. He also plays with the confident attitude that many of the great cornerbacks possess. His modest size is the only real negative against him, but it shouldn’t be a significant factor in his development.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2013 Leave a comment

Xavier Rhodes scouting report

Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State #27
Ht: 6’2″
Wt: 210

Size/Athleticism: Elite height for a cornerback. Also possesses impressive leaping ability, giving him rare ability to compete in jump ball situations. Weight looks above average for a cornerback, but it’s inflated by his height. He’s actually a little on the skinny side. Must faster than he is quick. He can get juked in the open field.

Coverage: Inconsistent footwork in coverage. He trusts his raw skills too much and will get beat by more polished receivers who can force him to take a false step. Loves to fight with receivers in press coverage, but his physical style will draw flags at the next level. He can be overaggressive at times, and it will hurt him if he doesn’t tone it down at the next level.

Ball skills: Elite leaping ability, coupled with his height makes him dangerous in jump ball situations. He can go up and at least get a hand on the football when he’s in the right position. Decent hands, and will come down with a few interceptions, but he’ll also drop some. Misses a lot of opportunities by turning his back to the quarterback. He doesn’t read the quarterback with the same consistency as a guy such as Dee Milliner, and as a result Rhodes is often playing the receiver rather than the ball.

Run support: Willing to be physical, but tackling technique is shaky. He’ll lower his shoulder, but he doesn’t wrap guys up. Very inconsistent effort. Often takes poor angles and looks lazy. But when he turns it on, he can close quickly, fight through traffic and even wrap guys up.

Intangibles: Three-year starter, turning pro after junior year.

Durability: Suffered season-ending hand injury in 2009. Suffered knee injury in 2011 bowl game and missed spring practices as a senior.

Comments: With his size/athleticism combination, Rhodes’ potential is through the roof. He could definitely develop into one of the elite corners in the game. However, he is very raw at this stage of his career. He survived in the ACC based off of his elite physical tools, but it won’t be enough at the next level. In 2012, DeAndre Hopkins, one of the most polished route runners in the college game, easily baited Rhodes into false steps to shake free when they were matched up. Rhodes will see more of that at the next level if he doesn’t refine his coverage fundamentals and ability to read receivers.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2013 Leave a comment

Dee Milliner scouting report

Dee Milliner CB Alabama #28
Ht: 6’0″
Wt: 201

Size/Athleticism: Adequate height with a solid overall build. Speed isn’t anything special, but he can run with most receivers.

Coverage: Doesn’t use a traditional backpedal technique, as taught by Nick Saban at Alabama. Technique works for him, but some coaches may be concerned with how he’ll adjust to the way want their corners to play. Ability to read the quarterback is impressive. He does a great job keep his eyes on the quarterback and quickly reacting to put himself in position to make a play. Seems to have a strong grasp on how his speed matches up with opposing receivers. He adjusts his technique accordingly and rarely gets beat over the top.

Ball skills: Consistently reads the quarterback and plays the ball rather than the receiver. Consistently puts himself in position to contest the reception. Hands aren’t great, but he’ll come down with some interceptions.

Run support: Capable of stepping up against the run. He’s strong enough to shed blocks from receivers. Doesn’t attack the ball carrier with force. Attempts a lot of arm tackles and often comes up empty. He’s strong enough to be more consistent in run support; it’s just a matter of putting forth the effort.

Intangibles: Three-year starter in the SEC.

Durability: No issues of note.

Comments: Milliner is the premier corner in this year’s draft class. His ability to read the quarterback is what really makes him stand out. Rarely do you see a college cornerback consistently reading the quarterback and making plays on the ball. He will immediately be a No. 1 corner at the level and could develop into one of the elite corners in the game.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2013 Leave a comment

Alec Ogletree scouting report

Alec Ogletree LB Georgia #9
Ht: 6’3″
Wt: 242

Size/Athleticism: Taller than most inside linebackers. Elite athlete for the position. Has the speed to be a sideline-to-sideline defender. He’s a fluid athlete who can match up with any tight end in coverage.

Run Defense: Covers a ton of ground. He’ll often be the first defender to the ball carrier even when lined up on the opposite side of the line from the direction of the play. Speed allows him to take angles that most linebackers simply can’t attempt. Not the type of linebacker that can step up and fill holes. He isn’t especially tough or strong and doesn’t shed a lot of blocks, especially at the point of attack. He’s more of a “clean up the mess” linebacker against the run, almost like a safety. He stays back and makes a lot of tackles in the 3 to 5 yard range. Doesn’t make a ton of impact tackles at or behind the line of scrimage unless he’s blitzing from the opposite direction of the play and he’s able to sneak up from behind.

Pass Rush: Not used frequently, but he has the speed to be an effective edge rusher in certain situations. He’s not a 3-4 outside linebacker who can consistently shed tackles, but if he’s lined up in a favorable matchup he can win with his sped. Most of his blitzes either came up the middle in 3-4 sets, or as the strong-side linebacker in a 4-3 sets.

Coverage: Elite coverage ability. A former safety who knows how to drop in coverage and read the quarterback. Primarily dropped into zone coverage at Georgia, but has the speed and agility to match up with tight ends and running back in man coverage. His technique needs some refining in order to be able to hang with some of the more athletic tight ends, but the raw talent is definitely there. If he commits himself to refining his skills, he will be one of the best in the game in coverage.

Intangibles: Suspended for four games in 2012 for violating team rules (reportedly substance abuse issue). Arrested for DUI just weeks before combine.

Durability: Missed most of 2011 season with a broken foot.

Comments: Ogletree is an elite talent with serious off-field baggage. He’s not a player that should be on every board because in the wrong situation he will continue to get into trouble and will never pan out. But if a team is comfortable with the leadership in the locker room, he would be worth a first-round selection. In today’s NFL, linebackers with Ogletree’s athleticism are more valuable than every. I would prefer him in the 4-3 scheme due to the fact that he won’t have to take on interior linemen as often, which he struggles with. But in the 4-3 he could play any of the three linebacker positions.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2013 Leave a comment