Ryan McCrystal

Kevin Minter scouting report

Kevin Minter LB LSU #46
Ht: 6’0″
Wt: 246

Size/Athleticism: Shorter than the average linebacker. Strength is decent; he has shown the ability to shed blocks fairly consistently. Athleticism isn’t quite in the elite category, but he has enough burst to close quickly on the ball carrier and make plays in coverage.

Run Defense: Lacks elite size but has demonstrated an ability to consistently shed blocks. Does a decent job fighting though traffic. He isn’t exceptionally quick, but he has a nice blend of athleticism and strength which allows him to fight through the traffic to get to the ball carrier.  Capable of taking on bigger ball carriers in one-on-one situations. Needs to improve his ability to diagnose on the run. He’s a step slow when reacting to the play and seems to lack the ability to read the offense quickly after the snap. Inconsistent tackling ability. He can hit hard, but he’ll miss some easy tackles.

Pass Rush: Limited experience as a pass-rusher. Occasionally used to blitz up the middle but lacks the size and strength to fight past the offensive linemen if he doesn’t have a clear path.

Coverage: Much faster than this timed speed at the combine. Needs to work on his basic fundamentals, but the talent is there. His footwork is inconsistent and he takes a lot of false steps, but if he were to straighten out those fundamental mistakes, he’ll have the quickness and athleticism to hold his own in coverage. Plays with his back to the quarterback far too often. He needs to drop back in coverage and still keep his eyes on the quarterback, especially against the more athletic quarterbacks in the league who are a threat to run.

Intangibles: Two-year starter in the SEC.

Durability: No significant issues.

Comments: Minter is raw, but he has the physical tools to develop into a quality starting middle or weak-side linebacker. The biggest concern with Minter is his coverage ability, but he displays the athleticism necessarily to excel in that area. LSU occasionally allowed him to line up over the slot receiver, including against Coby Hamilton vs Arkansas. He may experience some growing pains in the NFL, but there’s a lot of upside to his game.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2013 1 Comment

Manti Te’o scouting report

Manti Te’o LB Notre Dame #5
Ht: 6’1″
Wt: 241

Size/Athleticism: Prototypical size with adequate strength. Lacks the athleticism to really excel in today’s NFL. He’s a liability in coverage and lacks the elite lateral movement and straight-line speed to be a sideline-to-sideline defender.

Run Defense: Lacks the elite quickness and agility to fight through traffic. He does a nice job diagnosing the play and reacting quickly, but he’s often a step late because he gets caught up in traffic. Struggles to disengage from blocks. Gets swallowed up at the point of attack. Moves downhill at the snap on every running play, which gets offensive linemen the opportunity to quickly get to him and take him out of the play. I’d prefer to see him stay back more often, giving him an extra second to diagnose the play

Pass Rush: Rarely used as a pass-rusher. He isn’t fast enough to catch the offensive line off guard and slip past unblocked, and he isn’t strong enough to shed blocks fast enough to get into the backfield.

Coverage: Limited in coverage due to do very average athleticism. He lacks the fluid hips to turn and run with most tight ends and running backs. He’s physical, so he can fight with the tight end at the line of scrimmage, but when lined up a middle linebacker he’s rarely in position to for that type of interaction. He does have good ball skills, but almost all of his interceptions came from simply being in the right place at the right time. He’s not the type of linebacker who makes plays for himself in coverage, he just capitalizes on mistakes. He does a decent job reading the quarterback when he’s in zone coverage, but he simply lacks the quick-twitch athleticism to read the quarterback and react quickly enough to make a play.

Intangibles: The catfishing incident is something that needs to be considered. While he’s respected by teammates, he has a reputation for keeping to himself off the field. He’s a quiet, religious guy who doesn’t fit the typical mold of a high-profile NFL player. He’s going to be harassed by teammates and opponents about the incident and teams will need to grill him on the subject to ensure that he will be able to handle the scrutiny without letting it affect his performance. At the combine he blamed stress for a poor showing. While there’s no denying that the combine is stressful, so is life in the NFL. Can he handle it? Was stress also the reason for a sub-par showing in the National Championship Game? These are questions that may not affect his grade, but they need to be addressed during the interview process.

Durability: No significant issues.

Comments: The best way to summarize Te’o is to say that he takes advantage of mistakes, but rarely creates plays for himself. When he ends up in the right place at the right time, he’ll finish the play but he rarely makes the athletic play to really stand out as an elite prospect. His athleticism is shaky at best and in today’s NFL, he is going to be a liability in many matchups both in coverage and against teams that run the read option. Another concern with Te’o is the fact the he seems to understand his lack of athleticism, and tries to overcompensate by guessing too often. Here’s a great example from the Alabama game in which he starts to move pre-snap, and ends up yielding an easy touchdown (also note that he’s not even moving in the direction of Lacy’s fake run, he’s purely guessing).

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

Arthur Brown scouting report

Arthur Brown LB Kansas State #4
Ht: 6’0″
Wt: 241

Size/Athleticism: Slightly undersized but makes up for it with his athleticism. Elite quickness and agility to excel in coverage and has the speed to close quickly on the ball carrier.

Run Defense: Typically plays off the line of scrimmage to avoid engaging in blocks. Stays patient in his space but then closes with an impressive burst when he diagnoses the play. A very patient linebacker who stays in his zone and rarely commits too early or misreads a play. Vision is his best asset as he needs to weave through traffic without engaging with a blocker. Reliable wrap-up tackler but also a hard hitter. Extremely explosive and can build up steam in a short distance to lay out a running back.

Pass Rush: Rarely used as a pass-rusher. He can occasionally catch the offensive line off guard and slip through on a delayed blitz up the middle or sneak by unblocked off the edge, but he won’t provide a consistent pass rush. He’s strictly a coverage linebacker, who can be used on a sneak attack a few times per game.

Coverage: Elite in man coverage. Has the speed and agility to stick with any tight end or linebacker, and even some receivers. However, he lacks the height to match up with some possession tight ends. He can be a liability in coverage in the red zone when matched up with tight ends that have a four or five inch advantage. Diagnostic skills in zone coverage could use some work. He’s often a step late to react, but definitely has the ability to improve in this area with more experience.

Intangibles: Two-time team captain. Older brother of Eagles running back Bryce Brown. Named in the allegations against Miami by booster Nevin Shapiro for receiving impermissible benefits. Transferred to Kansas State after 2009 season.

Durability: Missed Senior Bowl due to shoulder injury.

Comments: Brown is the type of athlete that many teams are going to start to look for to help slow down the read-option offense. He’s a true sideline-to-sideline defender who can play in either the 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. In a 3-4 he’s strictly an inside linebacker. In the 4-3 he can play the middle or weak-side position. He may receive a range of grades depending on the scheme, but any team looking for an elite athlete in coverage and against today’s evolving offenses, Brown should receive a first-round grade.

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John Jenkins scouting report

John Jenkins DT Georgia #6
Ht: 6’4″
Wt: 346

Size/Athleticism: Elite size and strength. A prototypical nose tackle. Much quicker than your typical 350 pound nose tackle. He’s a threat to get into the backfield and make some plays.

Run Defense: Has the size to be a space-eater and take on multiple blockers. Needs to improve his focus on the field. Doesn’t always see the direction of the play and doesn’t always take the right angles in pursuit.

Pass Rush: Quick off the snap. Very active hands when engaged with offensive linemen. Quicker than you’d expect for a guy his size. He’s more than just a space eater and can collapse the pocket as a pass-rusher. Made a few great plays against Chance Warmack in 2012 SEC Championship Game, walking him back into the backfield before shedding the blocking and making a play. When he gets stopped, it’s generally because he’s playing too upright and gets stood up and loses his leverage.

Versatility: A true nose tackle in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Potentially has the athleticism to play end in a 3-4 scheme for certain teams who prefer size over athleticism at the position.

Intangibles: JUCO transfer. Suspended by team from bowl game in 2013 due to academic issue.

Durability: Suffered hamstring injury in 2011. Suffered from heat exhaustion during a practice in 2011.

Comments: Jenkins can immediately step into a starting role at nose tackle. He played in the 3-4 scheme at Georgia with experience at end and tackle, so he’s ready to immediately step into that role. He reminds me of B.J. Raji. Jenkins isn’t quite as consistent, but flashes the elite size/athleticism combo in bursts. If he’s used as part of a rotation he could be extremely effective.

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

Kawann Short scouting report

Kawann Short DT Purdue #
Ht: 6’3″
Wt: 299

Size/Athleticism: Average height. Weighed in under 300 at combine but played closer to 315-320 for most of his career at Purdue. Looked even larger during his junior year, which slowed him down considerably. Long arms for his height allows him to play with leverage and also get into passing lanes. Has shown decent quickness at times, but his motor is somewhat inconsistent. Athleticism to definitely dependent on his weight.

Run Defense: Physical presence on the interior line. Has the strength to eat up space and take on multiple blockers. Shows great awareness. Keeps his eyes in the backfield and adjusts to the direction of the play. Patient defender; knows his speed limitations and stays in his space. Won’t chase anyone down from behind, but he can make the quick bursts to close on the ball carrier when he comes into his area.

Pass Rush: Quick off the snap and can often win one-on-one battles on the interior. Mixes in an occasional spin move to work his way into the backfield. Can use some athleticism in quick bursts, but ultimately he’s a bull rusher. Won’t rack up many sacks, but he consistently collapses the pocket. The type of interior lineman that impacts the pass rush by making the quarterback uncomfortable in the pocket, allowing others to finish the play.

Versatility: Lined up as a three and five technique depending on the set. Lack of athleticism makes him better suited to play inside in a 4-3 or even at nose tackle in a 3-4 if he put some weight back on.

Intangibles: Team captain.

Durability: Suffered an ankle injury during 2012 seasons. Missed team pro day due to a hamstring injury.

Comments: Short doesn’t really stand out in any one area, but he’s an extremely consistent performer who can influence all areas of the game. He has the size to eat up space and take on multiple blockers, but also has just enough athleticism to make a few plays on his own. He can play in any system, but would probably be best suited playing inside in the 4-3. Due to his fluctuating weight, each team may view him in a slightly different role.

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