Tag Archives: NFL draft

Contemplating competition for Andy Dalton

In his “10 players to watch at the 2014 NFL Combine” for the National Football Post, Dave Miller compares former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron to Andy Dalton, saying that he has a chance to have a beginning of a career similar to the Bengals quarterback. That’s an interesting way to put it I would say because Dalton’s early career has been very admirable. The big question now is where he and the Bengals go from here.

Better quarterbacks have had great careers that didn’t start off as well as Andy Dalton, although there are other good quarterbacks especially recently who have had as good or better starts than him from a numbers perspective.

Dalton is an interesting case because he doesn’t have the physical tools that create high early expectations for somebody like a Matthew Stafford or a Cam Newton, but now he’s won enough, in part because of him and in part because the situation created by the Bengals suddenly learning now to draft over the past five years or so, that the expectations are very high just the same.

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1st-year Ohio State football coach not satisfied with talent on hand

No, not Urban Meyer.

I’m talking about John Cooper, circa 1988:

“I’ve been a little disappointed in what I’ve seen talent-wise. I know we’ve lost a lot of great players. I’m not crying the blues and I’m not trying to downplay the players we’ve got here, but I would have thought coming in here that Ohio State would have had stronger linemen. I think we’ve got some good backs and the offensive line will be good, but we need to be stronger.”

Also:

“As I’ve said before, Earle Bruce did a great job of coaching here. I’m telling you, Earle can flat coach, unless the talent here is a hell of a lot better than in the past than it is right now.”

That’s a bit more extreme than Meyer has been since he took over this past year, but I guess some things never change.

For what it’s worth, there were eight players drafted in the spring of ’88 off of Bruce’s last Ohio State team. Ten were picked in the following three drafts. Six players were drafted in 2001 after Cooper’s last season… and 27 in the three drafts after that (2002-04). 

Ohio State 2012 Draft Class Snapshot

 

A look at the four Buckeyes picked in the 2012 NFL Draft over the weekend:

Mike Adams 

  • 24th pick of second round (No. 56 overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 20th Buckeye picked by Steelers
  • Last: Cameron Heyward, defensive lineman, 31st pick of first round in 2011
  • First: Jack Dugger, end, 1st pick of second round in 1945
  • First Ohio State offensive lineman drafted since Kirk Barton in 2008 (seventh round, 2008, Bears)
  • 20th Buckeye offensive tackle drafted since AFL-NFL draft merger in 1967 (42nd offensive lineman overall)
  • Sixth offensive lineman signed by Jim Tressel and drafted

 

DeVier Posey  

  • 5th pick of third round, 68 overall, to Houston Texans
  • Second Buckeye ever picked by Texans franchise, joining running back Jonathan Wells (first pick, fourth round, No. 99 overall, in 2002)

DeVier Posey

  • 17th Ohio State wide receiver drafted in past 20 drafts (1993-2012)
  • Total Ohio State wide receivers drafted since merger: 35
  • Last Ohio State WR drafted: Brian Hartline, eight pick of fourth round by the Miami Dolphins in 2009
  • Seventh Jim Tressel signee drafted at the position

 

Dan “Boom” Herron 

  • 21st pick of sixth round, 191 overall, to the Cincinnati Bengals
  • 16th Ohio State player selected by the Bengals, who were founded by former Ohio State head coach Paul Brown
  • Last: Jeff Cothran, fullback, first pick of third round (66 overall) in 1994. Previously that year the club used the No. 1 overall pick on defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson
  • First: Steve Howell, tight end, fifth pick in 10th round (239 overall) in 1969
  • Herron is the fourth running back or fullback picked by the Bengals. He joins Cothran, tailback Archie Griffin (24th pick in first round, 1976) and fullback Pete Johnson (21st pick of second round, 1977).
  • 32nd OSU running back or fullback since NFL-AFL merger (1967-present)
  • Last: Beanie Wells, 31st pick in first round, 2009, Arizona Cardinals
  • First: Jim Otis, 10th pick in ninth round, 1970, New Orleans Saints
  • Interviews with Herron and Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis

 

Nate Ebner

  • 27th pick in sixth round, No. 197 overall, by the New England Patriots
  • Ebner is the fifth Buckeye drafted by the Patriots since the merger
  • Last: Andy Katenmoyer, linebacker, 28th pick of first round in 1999
  • First: Pete Cusick, 14th pick of third round (No. 66 overall) in 1975
  • Others: Tim Fox, defensive back, 21st pick of the first round in 1976
  • Terry Glenn, wide receiver, seventh pick of first round in 1996
  •  He is the 49th defensive back drafted in since the merger and 26th in the past 20 years
  • Last: Jermale Hines, 27th pick of 5th round (No. 158 overall) last year by St. Louis Rams

More coverage at www.BuckeyeSports.com.

Evaluating Ohio State’s 2012 NFL Draft Prospects

Some quick thoughts on Ohio State’s potential NFL draftees this weekend:

Mike Adams brings a lot to the table, but there are legitimate questions about him. He has heavy hands and really can get into a guy on the edge as a run blocker and overwhelm people. He’s a good athlete who moves well, but he struggles with quickness on the edge. That’s always struck me as a surprising combination, but it’s what has played out that way over the years. To get to a good outside pass rusher, he often has to cheat outside, opening himself up inside. He is one you wonder about still being a ways away from hitting his potential because of some shoulder problems early in his career that hindered his ability to build upper body strength and the abbreviated senior year.

Then there are questions about his decision making starting with his getting wrapped up in the NCAA illegal benefits scandal then leading all the way up to the recent news he failed a drug test at the NFL combine. No matter your viewpoint of marijuana use, it’s clearly prohibited by the NFL and his inability to at the very least plan around the testing time period makes one wonder what he was thinking.

I don’t doubt that he did well in interviews with teams because he’s a very nice kid who comes off humble and thoughtful in conversations. He comes across as smart, and I can’t recall many situations where he appeared to make a mental error on the field. I would say he’s a wild card going into this draft because teams are going to have any number of different viewpoints on his mix of upside and question marks.

I’m not sure if Adams is a left tackle in the NFL, but he could definitely be a long-time starter on the right side even though he’ll need to continue to get stronger over there.

He’s a good to great value in the second round to me.

Mike Brewster has received surprisingly little fanfare in the draft process other than a trumped up competition with Mike Martin at the Senior Bowl. He did not have a great combine, but he’s got almost 50 games on film in college football to show he can play the position. He’s got good size to play inside, although he struggled with most of the elite tackles in the Big Ten over the past couple of years. He sometimes got off a step late or failed to get leverage and suffered the consequences of being unable to root out the oncoming rusher. He put on weight prior to last season and talked about improving his base and ability to anchor, but I’m not sure if he made all the progress he was hoping for. He’s a good athlete who can get to the second level and seal off linebackers, and he’s obviously a heady guy who has handled reading defenses and making line calls for the better part of four years and done well. Tough guy who finishes blocks and has a bit of a nasty streak.

Also brings exceptional leadership, intelligence and a strong personality to the locker room. Another good value in the second or third round.

DeVier Posey is an intriguing guy who will go lower than his physical skills would generally dictate. He never reached his college potential for two reasons: multiple cases of taking illegal benefits that led to NCAA violations and issues with catching the football. He gets in and out of breaks pretty well, has a good, smooth acceleration and jumps well enough to go up and get the ball. He can use his body for position, too. But he drops too many passes that are in his hands, something he has attributed to concentration lapses. Those followed him to the Senior Bowl, contributing to a lower draft grade.

He has better tools than Brian Robiskie, who was overdrafted in the second round, and Brian Hartline, who was underdrafted in the fourth round, so it will be interesting to see where he falls. Posey certainly could be a good No. 2 receiver if he overcomes the hands issue. He might go earlier than draft experts think because I’m sure he interviewed well, perhaps alleviating concerns about his decision making in the NCAA cases. He’s another guy who was a delight to deal with in the interview room.

Dan Herron is deceptively strong for his size and more quick than fast. Does not have a top-end gear to go the distance, but can get behind blockers and find creases. Generally finishes runs strong and falls forward. Reads holes well in a gap scheme when he can make one cut and bounce. Despite NCAA violations, he was always a popular guy in the locker room and is regarded as a strong leader. I don’t know if he will get drafted in a league obsessed with measurables, but he’ll certainly be in camp with someone and could make a team if he ends up in the right situation. Should be able to contribute on special teams (coverage, not as a return man) as well, giving his chances a boost.

I have always felt Andrew Sweat was an underappreciated player. He compares favorably with Ross Homan, who was picked in the sixth round last year. Both are instinctual guys who run well enough and make a fair number of plays. Unfortunately, both struggled to stay healthy in college and that certainly hurt their stock. I think Sweat is a little more physical than Homan.

2012 NFL Combine Numbers for Buckeyes

2012 Ohio State NFL Combine numbers 

DeVier Posey (6-1.5, 211): 

  • 40-yard dash time: 4.5 seconds
  • Benched 225 lbs: 14 reps
  • Vertical: 36.5 inches
  • Broad jump: 123.0 inches
  • 3-cone drill: 7.03 seconds
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.15 seconds

Of note:

  • 40 time was tied with Danny Coale of Virginia Tech for 15th among WRs
  • 10’3″ broad jump was 10th among WRs.
  • 4.15 20-yard shuttle was tied for 12th with Coale and Gerell Robinson of Arizona State.

Dan Herron (5-10, 213): 

  • 40: 4.66 seconds
  • Bench: 22 reps
  • Vertical: 35.0 inches
  • Broad jump: 117.0 inches
  • 3-cone: 6.97 seconds
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.04 seconds
  • 60-yard shuttle: 11.6 seconds

Of note:

  • 7th among RBs in bench
  • 12th in vertical and broad
  • 6th in 3-cone
  • No. 2 in 20-yard shuttle behind Chris Rainey of Florida (3.93)
  • 5th in 60-yard shuttle

Mike Brewster (6-4 1/8, 312): 

  • 40 time: 5.35
  • Bench: 29 reps
  • Vertical: 25.0 inches
  • Broad jump: 96.0
  • 3-cone drill: 7.73 seconds
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.6 seconds

Of note:

  • 29 reps in bench press ranked 13th among offensive linemen
  • 7.73 seconds in 3-cone drill was 15th among OL
  • 4.6 in 20-yard shuttle 6th

Mike Adams (6-7, 323): 

  • 40: 5.4 seconds
  • Bench: 19 reps
  • Vertical: 28.5 inches
  • Broad jump: 100.0 inches
  • 3-cone drill: 7.94 seconds
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.95 seconds

Of note: 19 bench press reps worse than five wide receivers and 14 running backs, including Herron (22)

Where Do Buckeyes Stand Prior to NFL Combine?

Four Buckeyes head to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis with hopes of improving their draft stocks Feb. 22-28. First, let’s take a look at where they stand according to a handful of rating services.

The highest-regarded prospect is by far Mike Adams, a potential left tackle projected to go as high as 11th overall to the Kansas City Chiefs by The National Football Post in its most recent mock draft.

Other potential landing spots include the Arizona Cardinals at No. 13 according to Russ Lande at the Sporting News while Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com has him going No. 23 to the Detroit Lions. Brugler’s coworker Rob Rang places Adams at the end of the first round, going to the New York Giants at No. 32. Charlie Bernstein of Scout.com pegs Adams as a member of the Baltimore Ravens with the 29th pick of the first round.

Also looking at Adams as a potential Lion is the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, who told reporters on a conference call Feb. 15 that Adams could be the fourth offensive tackle to come off the board as Detroit looks to find a potential replacement for the aging Jeff Backus, who is also an unrestricted free agent.

“Mike Adams has had some off-the-field issues,” Mayock said. “I spoke with his offensive line coach the other day. He really helped himself at the Senior Bowl. I think he will continue to help himself at the combine. Most people had second round grades on him, but he’s moving up. I think he’s a real logical guy for you to keep your eye on as we get closer to that 23rd pick this year.” (For what it’s worth, Adams’ college offensive line coach was Jim Bollman, who now holds that position at Boston College, Mayock’s alma mater.)

Scout and CBS both rate Adams the No. 4 available offensive tackle while the NFP sees his second only to Matt Kalil of USC. The NFP has him the No. 20 prospect regardless of position with CBS (28) and Scout (32) are a bit less impressed.

While also citing character concerns, the NFP classifies Adams as a likely rookie starter and set for a solid, productive career.

While Adams is looking to turn millions into multi-millions in Indianapolis, the rest of the Buckeyes heading west have a lot more work to do to impress scouts, coaches and management.

Scout rates Adams, Mike Brewster and DeVier Posey as four-star prospects with Dan Herron getting three.

Scout rates Brewster the No. 2 center behind Peter Konz of Wisconsin while CBS has him third (105 overall) and NFP puts him fourth. The NFP rates him as a player likely to be a productive pro despite some specific (unidentified) deficiency while CBS gave him a third- or fourth-round grade.

Scout and NFP rate Herron the No. 11 running back on the board while CBS views him 13th and gave him a fourth-round grade. NFP considers him a likely regularly contributor despite deficiencies.

Scout rates Posey the No. 12 wide receiver while CBS and NFP both had him 16th. CBS rated him a fourth-round pick and 137th overall, while NFP calls him a possible starter who carries character concerns because of multiple NCAA suspensions. NFP also labeled Posey, a Scout five-star recruit coming out of high school in Cincinnati, an underachiever.

Three players not invited to the combine also made the rankings, but Andrew Sweat, Tyler Moeller and J.B. Shugarts all seem to have a lot of ground to make up.

The NFP called Moeller and Sweat both overachievers while rating them the Nos. 41 and 42 outside linebackers in the draft. CBS has Sweat as the No. 33 OLB but rated Moeller the No. 25 strong safety available.

The NFP rates Shugarts the No. 28 offensive tackle while CBS has him 43rd at his position.

The next chance for all of the outgoing Buckeyes to impress scouts and personnel people after the combine will come March 9 when Ohio State holds its annual Pro Day workouts at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center.

A look at what 4 Buckeyes did at Senior Bowl practice

Four Buckeyes spent the past week in Mobile, Ala., working in front of NFL coaches and scouts in hopes of improving their draft stocks.

In the practice leading up to the game scheduled for Saturday, Mike Adams, Michael Brewster, Dan “Boom” Herron and DeVier Posey all turned in performances that gained the attention of reporters covering drills, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

The biggest impact came from the biggest of the four men – Adams. That should come as no surprise as he has been a high-profile player since his days at Dublin Coffman High School in the Columbus suburbs. A five-star recruit, Adams endured a somewhat star-crossed career. He played early but battled a variety of injuries that kept him out of the lineup. After establishing himself as an All-Big Ten player during a standout junior campaign, Adams had to sit out almost half of his senior season because of an NCAA suspension.

In Mobile, the 6-7, 323-pounder caught everyone’s attention with his mix of size and athleticism.

“I thought he was the best guy overall,” Scout.com director of scouting Scott Kennedy said after one practice. “He did a good job of protecting his edge playing from the left tackle spot. Then they moved him over to right tackle and he won both of his reps over there.”

While evaluators came away raving about Adams’ power as a run blocker, there were concerns about his pass protection.

“After a pretty solid session on Tuesday, Adams struggled with the speed rush on Wednesday,” Scout.com’s Tim Yotter said. “Marshall’s Vinny Curry burned him a few times before Adams recovered and finally got the best of Curry. But facing a quick end, Adam seemed to lose his balance too often trying to keep up with the opposing speed.”

Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated noticed that as well, concluding, “Adams of Ohio State was not able to capitalize on his dominant performance from Monday and looked human at times this morning. How will this affect his draft stock? Let’s say at this point he’s not a lock to be a top-15 choice.”

Meanwhile, Mike Wilkening of Pro Football Weekly quoted a source as admiring Adams’ raw ability but questioning his technique.

As of now, Adams appears to be the only Buckeyes with a shot of being taken in the first round of the draft, but the trio who joined him in Mobile are certainly on the radar of NFL personnel staffs.

Brewster, a four-year starter at center for Ohio State, had some much-ballyhooed battles with former Michigan standout Mike Martin with conflicting views of which player got the better of it emerging from the practices.

“Mike Brewster went against Mike Martin and that was a spirited battle,” Kennedy told Scout.com’s Beth Long. “It was really close. I had it 3-1 for Brewster.”

Pauline also saw it closely on Monday –“Martin fired off several snaps and took the advantage with his first step, but Brewster adjusted and out-positioned Martin toward the end of the drill. It’s been fun to watch.” – but seemed to favor the former Wolverine two days later.

“Brewster of Ohio State is having a tough go of it this morning,” Pauline wrote Wednesday. “He was just beaten badly by Mike Martin of Michigan, who had been quiet most of the day. Brewster has been struggling to hold the point and continues to get pushed back off the line.”

Yotter rated Brewster among his surprises from day one of the practices.

“Typically, center isn’t a highly touted position in the NFL draft, but if Brewster’s nasty streak is any indication, he may be a consideration at guard as well,” Yotter wrote. “The 6-foot-5, 315 pound player has no problem taking a defensive lineman to the ground (legally) and giving him a little shove after that, but he also showed good leverage in early one-on-one work. He got off-balance once in drills but was generally in control despite his willingness to mix it up. His 49 consecutive starts, second-most in Buckeyes history, is a testament to his toughness.”

Posey entered with as much as anyone to gain from the Senior Bowl because of his senior season being limited to three games by a pair of NCAA suspensions, but he might not have made the impression he hoped.

The Cincinnati native predictably passed the look test and impressed scouts with his ability to get in and out of breaks smoothly and quickly, but an old familiar problem crept us as well.

“DeVier Posey continues to fight the ball as he’s a natural body catcher and he plays smaller than his near 6-2, 209-pound frame suggests,” Charlie Bernstien of Scout observed. “Posey has been one of the biggest disappointments at the Senior Bowl.”

Rob Rang of CBS Sports described Posey as posing the most formidable physical challenge to a gifted set of cornerbacks on the North squad but expressed concern about the former Buckeye dropping too many passes that were not placed perfectly.

“Posey struggled adjusting to passes slightly behind and had a couple of big play opportunities simply bounce to the ground because he allowed passes to get into his pads rather than catching the ball with his hands,” Rang wrote.

Finally, there was Herron. The running back weighed in at 5-9, 212 and impressed with how hard he ran but did not get a passing grade in pass protection.

“Dan Herron of Ohio State showed surprising foot quickness today,” Pauline wrote Wednesday. “After being stuffed on the inside for a few handoffs, Herron suddenly displayed the ability to bounce around the outside and avoid defenders and piles.”

Pro Football Weekly raised the pass protection concerns but was impressed with how Herron ran routes.

Gruden Liked Pryor In April

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It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to find Jon Gruden is working with former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor given the praise Gruden had for Pryor when the Super Bowl-winning head coach (and Ohio native with a professed love for the Buckeyes) was in town for the Ohio State coaches clinic in April:

“I’m accused of liking too many people – ‘Gruden likes everybody,’ ” he quipped. “Well, sorry about that, (but) Bill Walsh used to say, ‘Don’t tell me what this guy can’t do. Tell me what he can do.’And I tell you, Terrelle Pryor can run and he can throw. And he’s a helluva competitor. And if I coached him I’d find something for him to do. You might have to cater your offense to a degree towards his strengths. But I think this guy can develop his passing the more you pass the ball. And I think the guy is a unique, rare talent.”

Gruden also cited Pryor’s on-field success, including a 31-4 record as a starter and most valuable player awards from two BCS bowl games, as reason to believe in what Pryor can do at the next level. 

“He’s not playing against choir boys here. This is a guy who has dominated college football.”

Check out BuckeyeSports.com for more from Jardy, myself and the rest of our BSB staff on Pryor and Ohio State.

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Ohio State NFL Draft Prospects, Pre-Combine

In a survey of pre-combine mock drafts, the most optimistic for Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward is Scout.com, where they project Heyward to go to the Seattle Seahawks at No. 25.

Writes analyst John Crist:

Kentwan Balmer has played 43 NFL games and is yet to record even one sack, so Heyward is needed to help Chris Clemons get after the passer.

Meanwhile, Sporting News and Sports Illustrated both have Heyward going at 30 to the New York Jets.

According to SI.com’s Don Banks:

UCLA safety Rahim Moore is another prospect who seems to be rising into first-round contention as the combine begins, but despite New York having a need at safety, Heyward is the kind of disruptive and physical defensive end Rex Ryan loves. Getting him at No. 30 would also represent great late-round value.

Pro Football Weekly put Heyward in Green Bay at No. 32, while FoxSports.com has Heyward going No. 36 to Denver.

At NFLDraftScout.com, Chad Reuter tabbed Heyward as a future Packer as well.

“Heyward aids a three-man front potentially changing due to Cullen Jenkins’ free agency and Johnny Jolly working to return from suspension,” Reuter wrote.

The NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, the best in the business, told reporters on a conference call earlier this week he sees Cameron Heyward as a great value as a 5-technique defensive end, an extremely deep position in this year’s draft.

National Football Post ranks Heyward the No. 3 five-technique player available for a 3-4 defense, behind Cameron Jordan of Cal and Marcell Dareus of Alabama. NFP left Heyward out of its most recent mock draft…

As for ratings, Scout.com released its preliminary player rankings for the 2011 NFL Draft in early February, including Heyward as one of 23 five-star prospects.

The rating service tabbed Heyward the No. 9 overall prospect in a draft heavy on defensive line talent.

Ahead of him were Auburn defensive lineman Nick Fairley at No. 1 followed by Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn, Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara and Dareus.

Ohio State cornerback Chimdi Chekwa was assigned four stars and did not receive an overall rating but was considered the No. 11 cornerback on the board.

Positional rankings were limited in the initial Scout release, but other players are expected to be added after the combine.

For now, Ohio State safety Jermale Hines and linebacker Ross Homan are both considered three-star prospects while linebacker Brian Rolle, wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, cornerback Devon Torrence and offensive linemen Justin Boren and Bryant Browning all received two stars (From what I understand, that is sort of an organizational thing and probably does not reflect much of anything as only the guys at the top have been evaluated so far).

Heyward, Chekwa, Hines, Homan, Rolle, Sanzenbacher, Torrence, Boren and running back Brandon Saine are invited to the combine.

Browning and any others who wish to will have the opportunity to work out for scouts at Ohio State’s annual Pro Day on March 11 at the Woody Hayes Athletics Center.

The NFP gave ratings to the top 10 Ohio State prospects, rating Heyward a 7.0, meaning he should be a starter as a rookie and a solid NFL player with no real weakness, while dubbing Rolle and Chekwa possible starters/developmental prospects with one deficient area they should be able to overcome.

Homan, Boren and Browning are rated backup-caliber players while Torrence, Sanzenbacher, Hines and Saine are all considered likely free agents.

UPDATE: Scout.com released its mock third round after this was published. They project the Jacksonville Jaguars to pick Chekwa at No. 80 overall. The Jags’ defensive coordinator is former Ohio State assistant coach Mel Tucker, although Tucker never coached Chekwa.