Dennard's polished overall game at corner got him named the Big Ten's Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year for 2011. Strong for his size and very physical, Dennard is a hard worker throughout the play and will go all out to shut his man down. He's quick and instinctive, and adjusts impressively both to moves by his man and to throws in the air. While Dennard isn't really a big-play type who piles up interceptions or beats teams with speed, he's simply a very smart, gritty performer who makes tackles and busts up plays. His small-ish size and average speed suggest he may take awhile to adjust to the NFL, but he has the approach and enough tools to be a successful pro eventually. Also, some on-field and off-field scrapes suggest he may have problems with his temper and maturity, so he'll need to stay focused as a pro.
He did marvels during his three-year stint at Stanford and earned several awards as the main pass-protector for this year?s top pick Andrew Luck. Martin is a solid citizen at left tackle and combines great agility and athleticism, excellent mobility and shows solid balance and instincts to protect the pocket. He may not be as NFL-ready as some other offensive tackles in this draft and may need some seasoning before really establishing himself at the next level but he definitely possesses the qualities to succeed. If he can improve his technique as a run blocker (especially at pushing the pile and creating lanes in the middle) and display a more consistent overall game, he?ll become a reliable lineman for many seasons to come.
A very solid lineman--he was a three year starter at Iowa where he earned All-Conference honors as a senior in 2010--, Vandervelde however comes into this draft as an unheralded prospect tagged with limited athleticism and average overall attributes. But in reality, he's technically sound, has good physical skills, reacts well and plays with a rare attitude. He's still considered as a project at this point, especially as a pass protector but possesses all the tools, abilities and instincts to be a very important presence along the line.
Ewing may be coming into this draft out of Wisconsin under the radar but he?s an excellent blocking fullback with some underrated skills: He can really fight his way through the line as a lead blocker thanks to his mean streak and nasty demeanor, can give his quarterback some precious seconds while protecting the pocket and can catch the ball downfield. Doesn?t possess the quickness and speed to be much of a factor in the running game at the next level but he can certainly find his niche as a specialty player with specific duties.
Efficient and well-rounded yet also explosive and powerful, Reyes was a member of the All-Big East First Team in 2011. That recognition may only be scratching the surface for Reyes, who has solid speed for a D-tackle yet is also very quick and very, very strong. He is exceptionally good at disengaging from blocks and making plays, in part thanks to his great reach and overall power. Reyes is regularly bull-rushing the pocket and is very effective stopping the run. He still needs some work on getting the most out of his physical gifts and doesn't seem to have a clear position on the D-line, but his mix of size, power, and upside could make him a starter at tackle or end in the right set-up. A definite sleeper.
Here?s an athletic lineman who made a wise decision to remain at Florida State for his senior season since he made great progression last year and was rewarded with All-Conference honors in the ACC. A versatile option who has the tools to line up at both tackle and guard, Sanders definitely has a nice future in the NFL thanks to his excellence as a pass protector. He?s strong, fluid, had good hand technique, protects the angles and is a punishing blocker on the edges. He may not be the most polished offensive lineman of this draft and will need to improve his footwork and his effectiveness in space but his versatility is attractive.
No player at this year's Indy Combine ran faster than Robinson's 4.33 in the 40-yard dash, yet Robinson is more than just a player with track-star wheels; he was also an All-Conference USA First Teamer in 2011. Robinson uses that elite speed to track down ball-carriers, and he has an above-average wingspan that helps him pick off passes and bust up plays. He has more than enough size and athleticism to be a starter eventually in the NFL, but Robinson needs to develop a little more technique and physicality as a cover corner to take the next step. Could be a steal.
A solid starter for the Buckeyes (earning All-Conference honors these past two seasons), Adams? reputation as an athletic and effective pass protector from the left side is finally leading him to the big league. Possesses a solid technique to defend the pocket, has good anticipation, sees and contains the blitzes very well thanks to his solid footwork and instincts. He had some off-field issues in the past and really needs to improve as a run blocker (he doesn?t have great initial quickness and extra punch to create running lanes) but he has terrific upside to become an every day starter at the next level sooner rather than later.
Name All-Big Sky First Team in his final season of college, Johnson is one of the most athletic defensive back prospects in the draft. Very fluid and explosive yet also blessed with excellent size and a great reach, Johnson is a playmaker who can do it all in the secondary. He uses his size to break up passes and pile up tackles in run support, and his anticipation and quickness help him break up pass plays and handler bigger receivers downfield. While not a top-end speedster, he is by no means slow, and Johnson has the overall goods to play at free safety (and return some kicks and punts) if needed. Some character / maturity issues surfaced during college which he needs to show are behind him, but overall Johnson appears to have a bright NFL future.
Oozes offensive ability with great instincts and loads of quickness. Shifty, he is very adept at changing directions and eluding defenders. Can play both center and wing. Needs to be a productive forward because the other aspects of his game are mediocre, at best. Furthermore, he is not overly big so he will need to add bulk and get stronger for the NHL. Talented, offensive forward with upside.
Toon is entering this draft under the radar at wide receiver for a very simple reason: He wasn?t part of the Badgers? conservative offensive playbook until his senior season in 2011 when he finally saw some balls thrown his way (and made the most of the opportunities with 926 receiving yards and 10 TDs on only 64 catches). The son of former Jets Pro Bowler (and Wisconsin Hall-of-Famer) Al Toon--also a wideout--, Nick has nice size for the position, plays a very physical game and will fight to make the tough catch. However, his lack of elite speed hurts him and he has a reputation of dropping perfectly thrown balls on occasions. Remains a work in progress for regular duties at the next level.
Productive as a defensive end at Nevada, Moch was named to the All-WAC First Team as a senior. Still, his solid pass-rushing and tackling numbers didn't reflect his elite athleticism. A true burner with excellent fluidity and reaction ability, Moch will shift to outside linebacker as a pro and should eventually excel in that role. He has more than shown the ability to diagnose the run, and his athleticism and wheels should make adding more pass coverage to his game fairly painless. Moch may take a little while to become an NFL-ready outside linebacker, but he is a diamond in the rough who could be a very good starter eventually as a pro.
Very nimble and quick-footed in short spaces, Marshall also has excellent strength for his size and a great wingspan, and he uses all those tools to make a lot of plays on the field. His knack for diagnosing quickly and then taking a great angle to the play earned Marshall a lot of snaps at Nevada (if not many significant postseason awards in 2011). Marshall is simply a playmaker, but he'll need to find his niche at the NFL level because he doesn't bring ideal size, foot-speed, or explosiveness to the field.
A prolific tackler for a defensive back with the physical tools of a linebacker, Guy is coming off a senior season marked by his inclusion on the All-SEC Second Team. Fairly tall for a defensive back with a superb wingspan, Guy uses his length optimally to make tackles. Guy isn't just a tackler, however; he is also a big hitter and an occasional interception threat, and player with extensive experience in several roles against quality competition. A lack of great straight-line speed and only middling fluidity in the open field suggest Guy will struggle in a scheme calling for single-man coverage, and his style suggests durability may be a worry; but physicality is his calling card, and Guy has the tools to be very useful in the right NFL system.
An explosive hitter with great mobility and quickness, Spence is a very experienced linebacker who finished up at Miami as an All-ACC First-Teamer. Most recognizable is his top-tier athleticism; Spence is a very fluid player who's constantly around the ball and making tackles sideline-to-sideline. That athleticism also helps him excel in pass coverage, and while on paper Spence is a bit undersized and not an elite burner, in game action he uses his excellent wingspan and great explosiveness to play with very good speed and power. He does need to add a little muscle mass as a pro and keep improving his shedding skills, but Spence has the look of an NFL-ready inside rotational linebacker and special teamer.
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