Monday, April 18, 2011

Scouting The NFL Draft - SEC/PAC-10 Defensive Linemen

Okay, it is time to move onto the SEC and PAC-10. I will admit that my first scouting report kind of sucks, but at least I am honest instead of just making up bullshit to make myself look smart. Also, today was a fun one to write as I am in love (in a total heterosexual dude-on-prospect sort of way) with the last guy I talk about.

Marcell Dareus - Nobody but talent evaluators seem to care about Dareus, as I couldn't find any good game footage from him. I watched Alabama a few times this season, and I can say that he didn't really pop out at me, but I also wasn't looking for him. He's had a lot of good reports on him, so best of luck to a probable Top-5 pick who I know very little about.

Nick Fairley - Would I draft Nick Fairley? No. Could I see myself regretting that down the road? Yes. He looked very impressive at times in the way he was able to immediately penetrate into the backfield. I think he has very impressive acceleration at the snap, but a lot of his big plays seemed to result at least in part to poor blocking. Defensive tackles don't get an unimpeded path to the quarterback in the NFL. He doesn't have good awareness or vision, but he's got great strength and speed to make up for it. He could be valuable in getting penetration inside, but I can just about guarantee that he'll be a liability against the run as he rushes upfield while the running back shoots through the hole that he vacates. On top of all of this, he has had some dumb penalties against him, and his temper could be used against him.  He's a top-five talent, but he's not a guy I would want to take a chance on.

Cameron Jordan - Jordan is really an ideal 3-4 end. When going up against Colorado, he showed that he's strong at the point of attack and does an excellent job of using his hands.  He gets an excellent bust off the line and has a great motor. He's also got really good instincts when diagnosing plays. I really don't have much bad to say about him other than he tends to go a little high when tackling which could make him look silly on occasion in the NFL. Also, when in that 3-4, he wasn't facing the best offensive linemen that Colorado had to offer as he was usually on the left side of the defense, but all the physical attributes are there and I loved how active his hands were. I see him as a Top-10 talent as a 3-4 end, and I'd probably go Top-15 if teams wanted to transition him to a 4-3 end.

Stephen Paea - Let me start off by saying that I do not care that he benched 225 pounds 49 times. That is very impressive, but it means nothing to me when evaluating him as a football player. With that being said, he does show power when he is on the football field, and that is important to me. When he stays low, he gets great penetration, but he has a tendency to get high and when he does this, he can be pushed back off the line of scrimmage. In the USC game, he showed a nonstop motor that was best exemplified when blocking Matt Barkley 40 yards downfield after an interception to help get his defensive back a touchdown. That's the type of play that really gets me excited about a player. And he shows it on every play as he never gets discouraged if he struggles against a block on first contact, always looks to join in on gang tackles, and just plays to the whistle. This is a guy I would be ecstatic about at the end of the first round (I really hope the Bears are reading this).


P.S. Do you want to experience the most amazing nine minutes of your life? Then watch this Derrick Rose highlight video from the first game of the playoffs:

P.P.S. As awesome as Rose was, I have to admit that Deng doing this was probably my favorite moment of the game.

I'm pretty sure everybody but Korver would fight to protect Rose (I don't blame Kyle for this, he's a pretty man, and I'm guessing he wouldn't be much help anyway).

P.P.P.S. The refs have been terrible so far in the playoffs. They had a terrible offensive foul call on Melo that significantly hurt the Knicks, they missed a bad offensive goaltending call in the Nuggets game, and you could make a strong case that the Heat benefited greatly from the lack of foul calls against them. 

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