Scouting Reports – 2013

DeAndre Hopkins scouting report

DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson #6
Ht: 6’1″
Wt: 200

Size/Athleticism: Adequate height and overall size. Strong enough to fight through press coverage. Shows great body control when working the sideline and adjusting to poorly thrown balls. Consistently finds a way to put himself into the best position to make a play.

Separation Skills: Lacks elite speed but has the ability to get over the top when he catches the defensive back off guard. One of the most polished route runners in this year’s draft class. Really excels at the nuances of his routes, sells his fakes and picks up those extra inches in separation that can prove to be the difference at the next level. Able to use double moves to gain that extra step that he needs to create separation on deep routes. Because defensive backs aren’t afraid of losing him over the top, he sees a lot of press coverage and typically does a nice job fighting through it.

Ball Skills: Reliable, but not elite hands. Rarely drops an easy catch, but doesn’t come up with a lot of tough catches when he’s hit immediately after getting his hands on the ball. Catches away from his body whenever possible and quickly secures the football. Frequently goes up and high points the ball. Despite his good hands, he’s not great in jump ball situations. Seems to lack that extra burst to allow him to explode upwards to gain the separation he needs to consistently win the battle with the defensive back.

Intangibles: No significant positives or negatives of note.

Durability: Suffered a concussion in a car accident in December, 2011.

Comments: Hopkins is arguably the most polished receiver in this year’s draft class. He lacks the measurables to be considered an elite prospect, but he has the tools to make an immediate impact. He lacks the speed to be an elite deep threat and lacks the size and strength to be an elite possession receiver, which makes me question his ability to be a true No. 1 in the NFL. But he is strong in all aspects of the game and should be a solid second or third option. He also has the skill set to excel in the slot. He reminds me of a faster version of Davone Bess, or a less physical version of Roddy White.

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

Cordarrelle Patterson scouting report

Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee #84
Ht: 6’3″
Wt: 205

Size/Athleticism: Prototypical height and build for a No. 1 receiver. A very good athlete for his size. Has experience running the wild cat and also occasionally lined up running back.  Has 52 carries over the past two seasons between JUCO and Tennessee. Also returned kicks and punts. Definitely has the potential to contribute in multiple facets of the game. A dangerous runner with the ball in his hands. Once he secures the catch, he essentially becomes a running back. Has the size to go up and fight for the ball in traffic, but is still developing his technique in this area.

Separation Skills: Has the speed get over the top on deep routes. Route running needs some work. Only asked to run a fairly basic route tree at Tennessee. Most of his receptions came on drag and go routes, with an occasional post or comeback route mixed in. None of these required double moves and due to his speed he didn’t refine the nuances of the routes.

Ball Skills: Takes a very passive approach to catching the football. Consistently lets the ball come into his chest and rarely goes up to pluck the ball with his hands. Will need to learn to be aggressive at the next level. He made very few catches at Tennessee where Tyler Bray failed to put the ball on his numbers. He has the body control to put himself in position to make the difficult catches, but he just doesn’t have the technique down.

Intangibles: Did not qualify for NCAA eligibility academically out of high school which forced him to enroll at Hutchinson CC in Kansas.

Durability: No known injury concerns. Plays a physical style of football, especially after the catch and has remained durable throughout his career.

Comments: Patterson’s potential is obvious. He has the size, speed and overall athleticism to develop into a No. 1 at the next level. But he will definitely be limited early in his career. He reminds me somewhat of 2011 2nd-round pick Greg Little, who entered the league with elite potential but, as a converted running back, simply didn’t know how to play the position. Like Little, Patterson becomes a weapon once the ball is in his hands, but it may be a struggle to get him the ball at the next level. Patterson got away with catching the ball against his chest in college due to the windows that are open at that level, but in the NFL many passes that hit your chest will get broken up as corners will close significantly faster than they did in college. All of the concerns surrounding Patterson’s game can be fixed if he dedicates himself to learning the position, so NFL teams will want to learn more about how receptive he is to coaching and how quickly he picks up new techniques.

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

Courtney Gardner scouting report

Courtney Gardner WR Sierra #6
Ht: 6’3″
Wt: 215

Size/Athleticism: Prototypical size for a No. 1 receiver. Shows decent athleticism and body control when working the sideline. Dangerous in the open field. Has the speed and agility to make guys miss and is big enough to break some tackle attempts by defensive backs. Frequently used on screens and short passes in the flat due to his ability to make plays after the catch. A feisty blocker. Lacks the strength to be a dominant blocker, but gives a great effort.

Separation Skills: Had no trouble getting deep at the JUCO level, but did so primarily using his pure speed. Route running skills are clearly limited. Vast majority of his routes in college were simply go routes or curls.

Ball Skills: Appears to have fairly reliable hands. Attacks the ball in the air rather than taking a passive approach and letting it come to him. Does a nice job adjusting to the ball in the air.

Intangibles: Multiple red flags raised by his antics away from the field. Originally signed with Nevada but failed to pass the high school math proficiency exam for the state of Nevada. Forced to attend Sierra College in order to become eligible to play at the D-I level. After one season at Sierra he committed to Oklahoma and was supposed to join them for 2012 season, but did not complete an English course in time to become eligible. After sitting out the entire 2012 season, he was expected to join Oklahoma in January but was reportedly ineligible once again and decided to enter the draft. In addition to the laundry list of academic struggles, Gardner has been arrested twice – once for underage drinking, once for obstructing an police officer while he was in a car with a friend who was being arrested for a DUI.

Durability: No known issues.

Comments: It’s tough to accurately judge Gardner’s talent based off of his JUCO film due to the level of competition, but it’s clear that he has the skills to play at the next level. But is a player with multiple off-field issues, limited experience at the college level and who has spent a year away from football worth a draft pick? He’s definitely an intriguing sleeper, but it would be tough to justify spending anything other than a 6th or 7th round pick on him.

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

Tyler Wilson scouting report

Tyler Wilson QB Arkansas #8
Ht: 6’3″
Wt: 220

Size/Athleticism:

Arm strength/Accuracy:

Footwork/Release:

Decision making:

Intangibles:

Durability:

Comments: Full scouting report coming soon

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

Geno Smith scouting report

Geno Smith QB West Virginia #12
Ht: 6’3″
Wt: 214

Size/Athleticism: Prototypical height. Slightly on the skinny side, but has shown he can take some hits. Can pick up some yardage with his feet when he’s flushed from the pocket. He’s nowhere near being in the same class as RG3 or Russell Wilson, but he compares favorably to Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck in his running ability. Needs to translate that athleticism to movement in the pocket, however. When he’s in the pocket, he’s a statue. He needs to learn the footwork necessary to move within the pocket, rather than allowing himself to be flushed out at the first sign of pressure.

Arm strength/Accuracy: Slightly above-average arm strength. He can make all the common throws and can also launch some deep balls down the field. Accuracy is solid up to 10 yards, but begins to get shaky beyond that. West Virginia’s offense relied heavily on short passes, including an inordinate amount of screens to the running backs and receivers. The majority of Smith’s deeper throws were on curls and comebacks, which require arm strength but only a limited skill in timing and anticipation. When Smith is asked to make more difficult timing throws (posts, corners routes, etc) he struggles. Smith has difficulty anticipating when a receiver is about to break free; he appears to only see what is in front of him. As a result, he often throws to an open receiver, but the window closes by the time the ball is arriving. West Virginia’s offense compensated for Smith’s weaknesses by featuring a significant percentage of shorter routes. Of the 141 attempts I charted, 70 percent of Smith’s attempts were within 10  yards of the line of scrimmage. While Smith does struggle with most deep routes, he has shown the ability to throw the deep go route with relative consistency.

Footwork/Release: There are no issues with Smith’s mechanics. Even when he’s on the run, he displays relatively consistent mechanics and footwork. He could, however, improve his footwork within the pocket. He doesn’t operate well within the tight space of a closing pocket, and prefers to roll out, which usually leads to him tucking the ball and running. He needs to develop the footwork to make the minor movements in the pocket to create just enough space for him to complete the throw.

Decision making: As previously mentioned, Smith struggles to see the play develop. He needs to learn how to see where his receiver and the defender will be in two steps, rather than simply analyzing where they are right now. The majority of his interceptions and deflected passes came when he threw to an open receiver who was no longer open by the time the ball arrived. Smith also needs to develop the ability to see the entire field. When Smith drops back to look either left or right and rarely turns to see the other side of the field. Smith usually has a primary target down the field, and a check-down option. He throws to one of these two receivers before ever looking across the field on the overwhelming majority of his throws.

Intangibles: Smith is well liked by teammates and coaches. He appears to remain poised throughout the game and doesn’t show a lot of emotion on the field.

Durability: No significant issues of note. Did not miss any action in two years as the starter.

Comments: Smith clearly has the raw skills needed to play at the next level, but his football intelligence is lacking at this stage of  his career. He has the arm strength and his accuracy is acceptable, but his decision making is worrisome. However, it’s difficult to know how much of this is because he simply struggles with that aspect of the game or because West Virginia’s coaching staff did not give him the opportunities he needed to develop those skills. Of the games I charted for Smith, 26 percent of his attempts were at or behind the line of scrimmage – that’s a quarter of his throws that tell us absolutely nothing about his ability. The lack of awareness on the field is enough for me to definitely say Smith is not worthy of a first-round pick, however, I do think he has what it takes to potentially develop into an above average starter. Teams will need to grill him during the interview process in order to determine just how likely it is that he will be able to develop the mental part of his game fast enough to contribute in the NFL.

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