Scouting Reports – 2013

Robert Woods scouting report

Robert Woods WR USC #2
Ht: 6’1″
Wt: 190

Size/Athleticism: Above average height, but doesn’t play like a 6’1″ receiver. He relies much more on his speed than his size. Capable of going up to pluck the ball but tends to shy away from physical play and doesn’t make many plays in traffic. Bigger defensive backs can definitely out-physical him in a fight for the ball. Has the straight-line speed to consistently stretch the field and also provide value as a return specialist.

Separation Skills: Has the speed to take the top off the defense. Most corners give him a solid cushion due to his speed. However, he lacks the quickness to shake defenders who can match his straight-line speed. He’s a solid route runner, but needs to either improve the suddenness in his breaks or become more physical. At this stage in his career he has yet to demonstrate the skills necessary to separate from the top corners at the next level. The vast majority of his receptions at USC came within five yards of the line of scrimmage, many on screens, which required no separation ability at all.

Ball Skills: Fairly reliable hands, but nothing special. He does a nice job adjusting to the ball in the air and will make some difficult catches, but he’ll drop some easy ones along the way.

Intangibles: Coaches speak very highly of his work ethic. Worked hard to play through an ankle injury during his sophomore  year.

Durability: Slowed by an ankle injury which he suffered playing basketball in April, 2011 for much of his sophomore year which likely contributed to his relatively modest performance on tape, especially impacting his lack of quickness. The same right ankle injury forced him to miss 2012 spring practices, a full year after the initial injury.

Comments: Woods was productive at USC, but did not display the skills to warrant the hype he received early in his career. He played in an offense that fit his skills set well and played to his strengths. He is not, and never will be, a No. 1 receiver. Woods does his most damage after the catch, which can definitely make him a valuable asset to a team in the NFL, but don’t confuse him for a difference maker. Woods is a piece of the puzzle, not a guy that changes the dynamics of your offense.

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

Matt Barkley scouting report

 

Matt Barkley QB USC #7
Ht: 6’2″
Wt: 230

Size/Athleticism: Average height. Tall enough that it’s not a concern, appears to have no issues seeing the whole field from the behind his linemen. Enough athleticism to move around in the pocket, but not a threat to take off running. Rarely leaves the pocket on his own, but looks good on designed rollouts and is capable of throwing on the run.

Arm strength/Accuracy: Arm strength is adequate, but nothing special. When given time to set his feet he can make all the throws, but he lacks the elite arm strength to still put enough zip on the ball to remain as effective when pressured. Accuracy is adequate to above average on short and intermediate routes, but breaks down considerably on deeper routes. Even when given time to set his feet, his deeper throws (beyond 15 yards) are consistently wild. And he’ll unleash some wild throws from time to time, missing the downfield target by a good three to five yards.

Footwork/Release: Solid fundamentals all around. When not under pressure, he’s about as polished as you can expect from a college quarterback. Displays consistent footwork and stands tall in the pocket, keeping his eyes downfield at all times. Has an impressively quick release. He’s rarely sacked, and a big reason for that is his ability to get rid of the football quickly and efficiently when the pocket starts to close in around him.

Decision making: Does a fantastic job going through his reads. For the most part, he’s very patient and clearly has a firm grasp on USC’s offense. He’s also fairly poised under pressure. When the pocket begins to collapse he stands tall, moving within the pocket when necessary, and keeps his eyes downfield. However, under extreme pressure – typically once a defender gets a hand on him – he has a tendency to make some awful decisions. He needs to learn how to hang on to the football and just take a sack, rather than throw the ball up for grabs (see pick-six vs ASU in 2011 for a great example of this).

Intangibles: Smart player on and off the field. Coaches speak very highly of him and he seems to be respected by teammates for his leadership ability. Has caused some minor controversies with comments he’s made to the media (a few examples: called Vontaze Burfict a dirty player, called out Notre Dame coaches for quitting during 2011 game, arrogant comments after first game of freshman year).

Durability: Missed final few games of his senior year with a shoulder injury. Offseason workouts may be limited due to his recovery.

Comments: Barkley may be the most polished quarterback in the 2013 class, which should earn him a spot in the 1st round. However, he isn’t the can’t-miss prospect that many made him out to be before the season. He has some physical limitations, which puts his ceiling much lower than some other highly touted prospects. In some ways he reminds me of Chad Pennington – a very steady, reliable quarterback but one who is limited physically. I don’t expect Barkley to ever develop into an elite quarterback, but he definitely has the tools to be an average starter (like Pennington) at the next level.

 

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

Logan Thomas scouting report

Logan Thomas QB Virginia Tech #3
Ht: 6’6″
Wt: 260

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Size/Athleticism: Elite size and strength. Built like Roethlisberger/Newton and equally tough to bring down. Can move around in the pocket to buy time and will also take off running. Virginia Tech typically uses him on designed runs, usually off play action, three to five times per game. He’s big enough to lower his shoulder and pick up the tough yardage but also fast enough to picks up chunks in the open field. Height/size seems to aid his confidence in the pocket, allowing him to easily see the whole field and giving him the confidence to stand in and take a hit when necessary. Occasionally used as a receiver as a freshman and caught a touchdown against Wake Forest.

Arm strength/Accuracy: Can make any throw on the field with the flick of his wrist. Looks very good on downfield throws, showing the ability to drop the ball in over the receivers shoulder on deep routes. Can also fire the ball on the line with ease and consistent accuracy on intermediate throws. Accuracy is inconsistent on shorter routes. Needs to learn how to take something off to improve his accuracy and also make the ball more catchable. Some of his receivers drops could be avoided by simply taking a little heat off the ball when it isn’t necessary.

Footwork/Release: Footwork is a mess. His arm strength is so great that he doesn’t seem to have focused on his fundamentals. More often than not he throws from an open stance or off his back foot. Surprisingly, he is usually able to maintain his accuracy despite the shaky technique, but it’s something that could become more of an issue at the next level. Has a solid, over-the-top delivery. Will occasionally drop down to a three-quarters delivery under pressure or on the run and typically maintains his accuracy when he does.

Decision making: Never managed to fully develop in this area. He handles pressure reasonably well due to his size and willingness to stand in the pocket. But no matter what the pressure is like, he just doesn’t read the defense. He routinely makes ill-advised throws into tight coverage and he never showed any progress in this area of his game.

Intangibles: Made very little progress throughout his career and arguably regressed following a standout sophomore campaign.

Durability: Battled various injuries during senior year (abdomen strain, foot injury).

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Comments: We haven’t seen many quarterbacks come along with Thomas’ potential. But at this point, it’s all potential. After a standout sophomore year he looked like a future superstar but he showed minimal development over the past two seasons. From the shoulders down, he’s a No. 1 pick, but from the neck up he’s undraftable. He never made the necessary adjustments and his poor decisions plagued Virginia Tech for the past few years. You have to seriously question his motivation and effort when you compare his amazing raw talent to his pitiful production.

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