Jameis Winston QB Florida State #5
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Overview: Winston is an elite talent with an incredibly high ceiling. He’s a willing pocket passer but also has the athleticism to make plays with his feet. He needs to show more consistency with his accuracy, which is lacking at this stage of his career. He’s a legitimate top prospect but a notch below the truly special quarterbacks in recent years like Luck and RG3.
Chris Borland LB Wisconsin #44
Size/Athleticism: Vastly undersized. Lacks the height and has incredibly short arms which limits his ability to shed blocks and impacts his tackling ability. Appears to play faster than his timed speed.
Run Defense: Closes quickly. Capable of delivering the big hit and jarring the ball loose. Can take a hit and hold his ground at the point of attack. Keeps his eyes in the backfield and quick to react. Speed isn’t great and limits his range but he somewhat makes up for it with quick reactions.
Pass Rush: Explosive in short bursts and can be disruptive. Lacks the strength to consistently shed blocks. Limited arm length severely hinders his ability to keep linemen from getting into his chest and locking on to him. Shows a nice spin move.
Coverage: Smooth in back pedal when dropping into coverage. Does a nice job reading the quarterback. Will be a liability in man coverage. Lacks the height to play with almost any tight end and lacks the quickness to contain running backs.
Intangibles: Team leader who can be the quarterback of the defens.
Durability: Missed one game in 2013 with a leg injury. Missed 2013 spring game due to injury. Missed two games with hamstring injury in 2012. Suffered season ending shoulder injury in 2010.
Comments: Borland does all the little things well, but can he hold up at the next level with his limited size? Not only does his size limited him on the field, but it also may be an issue in keeping him healthy. He’s missed significant time throughout his career and has seemingly battles nagging injuries throughout his time at Wisconsin. But he’s a smart player who is probably worth the risk based on the fact that he’s capable of being a reliable backup at the very worst.
C.J. Mosley LB Alabama #32
Size/Athleticism: Prototypical build for the position. Below average speed. Lacks the explosiveness to get into the backfield consistently. Timed speed (4.63 at pro day) doesn’t quite show up on tape.
Run Defense: Decent range but struggles to diagnose. Bites on a lot of fakes and is often a step late to react. Really struggled in 2013 against Auburn’s option attack. Takes strong angles in pursuit. Does a nice job fighting through the junk to get to the ball carrier when he knows where he’s going. Strong anchor at the point of attack and sheds blocks quickly. Disciplined and rarely over pursues.
Pass Rush: Rarely used as a pass-rusher. Lacks the explosiveness to slip past the interior line consistently.
Coverage: Lacks ideal athleticism for coverage. Stiff hips. Disciplined and does a nice job reading the quarterback in zone. Closes quickly on underneath routes. Lacks the speed and agility to run with the elite tight ends and running backs. Bites on play action a lot, although it’s partially due to Alabama’s scheme which is designed to focus on stopping the run.
Intangibles: Quiet leader and well respected by coaches and teammates. Not your typical loud, vocal leader at inside linebacker. No issues off the field.
Durability: Missed two games with dislocated elbow in 2011. Dislocated hip in 2011. Underwent right shoulder surgery following 2012 season.
Comments: Mosley is a steady, physical inside linebacker who can excel against the power run game but he lacks the elite athleticism to play at a high level in today’s NFL. He’s capable of playing a starting role in certain schemes, but his modest range and inconsistent ability to diagnose, especially against play fakes and options, will hold him back.
Jimmie Ward S Northern Illinois #15
Size/Athleticism: Good size/athleticism blend. Fast enough for man coverage but strong enough to play near the line against the run—the ideal blend for a strong safety.
Coverage: Used almost exclusively at free safety in zone coverage. Looked fluid and confident in limited man-to-man opportunities. Decent range but not elite. Fluid in his backpedal. Late to react and struggles to pick up the subtle movements of receivers that can give away their direction. Development still needed in man coverage. Quick-twitch athleticism is modest, causing him to struggle against elite slot receivers.
Ball skills: Does a great job reading the quarterback and breaking on the ball. Good hands with 11 career interceptions. A playmaker after the interception.
Run support: Quick to diagnose and closes quickly. Reliable wrap-up tackler. Lacks elite size and some runners will plow through him, but its rarely due to a lack of effort or poor technique.
Intangibles: Multiple reports exist about a lack of maturity but has never been suspended or in trouble with the law. It’s unclear if these issues have impact his status on the draft board of any teams.
Durability: Missed combine due to foot injury. Missed just one game in college and played in 55. Relatively small frame for the position does raise some minor concerns.
Comments: Ward reminds me of Quintin Mikell, whose ability to react and close quickly have made him a solid run defender despite modest size. Ward needs to continue to develop his man coverage skills in order to play strong safety in most schemes, but he has the tools to do so. He fits best at strong safety, which he played at NIU, but could transition to free safety if necessary.
Calvin Pryor S Louisville #25
Size/Athleticism: Well built for his size. Good blend of strength and speed. Can build momentum and dish out some big hits. Somewhat reckless with his hits and will need to tone it done to avoid fines at the next level.
Coverage: Used almost exclusively at free safety in zone coverage. Looked fluid and confident in limited man-to-man opportunities. Decent range but not elite. Fluid in his backpedal and can explode when reacting to the throw. Still developing ability to read the quarterback and late to react too often at this stage of his career.
Ball skills: Tends to go for the hit rather than playing the ball. Has come down with a few acrobating interceptions and is capable of making athletic plays on the ball.
Run support: Great effort but takes inconsistent angles. Closes quickly and can deliver a big hit. Fairly reliable wrap-up tackler, but will miss some easy ones every so often.
Intangibles: Suspended one game in 2013 for violation of team rules.
Durability: No known issues, but modest size and reckless style raises some concern for long-term durability.
Comments: Calvin Pryor is an intriguingly well-rounded prospect. He’s a natural free safety who can play the centerfield position and cover the deep portion of the field, but he’s also willing and able to step up to play the run. He’s a hard hitter and has a bit of a reputation as a headhunter, which he will need to tone down at the next level. He’s probably best suited to stick in his free safety role, but he’s shown enough ability against the run and in limited man coverage situations to have some potential as a strong safety as well.