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    Rising and Falling from NFLSport - Huff Falling?

    Rising & Falling
    Featured Articles, News & Reports

    With collegiate football finished, the NFL likes to push the idea that players cannot rise and fall in the months leading up to the draft. In theory, this might be correct. In reality, however, teams get a chance to closely review the film and interview prospects and player rankings shift dramatically. We provide you with a closer look at just who is rising and falling.
    03/27/06 - Rising & Falling Prospects heading into April Rob Rang
    Senior Analyst
    NFLDraftScout.com

    March 27, 2006 – Perhaps the strangest aspect of the NFL Draft is the annual rise and fall of prospects during the months of February, March, and April. Teams tend to focus on the interviews and workouts being forged during these months, often losing sight of the actual football being played in the fall and winter. While the NFL likes to make light of the idea that players do rise and fall dramatically during this time, the simple truth is that fluctuation does occur. And with the draft less than a month away, we give you the latest risers and fallers.



    Rising

    Jason Allen, FS, Tennessee: After blistering the Combine track with a 4.32 40, Allen has re-assured scouts that his hip dislocation is a thing of the past. The injury, characterized by some early on as potentially career-threatening has apparently healed and now the former Vol is beginning to receive similar grades as he did previous to the injury. Assuming he doesn’t have some flair-up with the hip between now and the draft, expect to hear Allen’s name called in the middle portion of the first round.


    Winston Justice, OT, USC: Justice answered all questions about his off-field behavior at the Combine and has been impressive in workouts. The former Trojan has emerged as the second best offensive line prospect of this draft and could crack the top ten due to his rare athleticism and size.


    Vince Young, QB, Texas: Forget what you heard about the mediocrity of Young’s pro day workout. Young’s size and athleticism were expected, but he also showed a stronger, more accurate arm than scouts anticipated and could have leapt Jay Cutler as the second quarterback drafted in 2006.


    Antonio Cromartie, CB, Florida State: Cromartie’s decision to leave school early despite missing the season with a torn ACL still bothers teams a bit, but there is no denying the former Seminole’s upside. At 6-2, 208 pounds Cromartie has the size every team is looking for and he showed off his rare athleticism at his March 16th Pro Day, posting a 4.38 40 and a 42” vertical jump.


    John McCargo, DT, NC State: With Mario Williams and Manny Lawson operating on the outside, it is easy to see why McCargo could be overshadowed at NC State. Add to this the junior defensive tackle only played seven games this season due to a broken foot and scouts are just now catching up to McCargo’s game. In a draft where most of the top defensive tackles are run stuffers, McCargo’s upfield burst is certain to attract teams looking for a single gap penetrator.


    Leonard Pope, TE, Georgia: Pope is precisely the type of prospect whose stock rises as the draft approaches. Blessed with an unbelievable combination of height (6-8), speed (4.62), and leaping ability (37.5” vertical), the former Georgia tight could be a virtually un-coverable force in the middle of the field.


    Jon Alston, OLB/S, Stanford: A former strong-side linebacker for the Cardinal, teams are moving Alston up the board due to his spectacular Combine performance that have many clubs considering him as a safety. Teams recognized his playing speed and instincts for the position while he earned conference honors the past two seasons at Stanford, but it wasn’t until Alston’s performance in Indianapolis (4.40, 40” vertical, and 30 repetitions of 225) that scouts really began to appreciate Alston’s upside. Teams are split as to Alston’s better pro position, but all indications are that he won’t make it out of the first day.



    Falling

    Tamba Hali, DE, Penn State: There might not be a player in the draft who has dropped more significantly over the past two weeks than Hali. The Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year failed to distinguish himself at the Senior Bowl and after passing on an opportunity to work out at the Combine, Hali struggled terribly at his pro day, running in the 4.9s on a track despite weighing in 12 pounds less than at the Combine (263 down from 275). Pass rushers with his track record and character don’t fall too far, but the mid second round is now a likelier landing spot for Hali than the mid first, as was once felt.


    Michael Huff, S, Texas: Most prospects whose stock is falling this close to the draft suffered a poor workout, but in the case of Michael Huff, the realities of his pro position are simply catching up to his big name. Huff is one of the top defensive backs in the 2006 draft, but despite possessing 4.37 speed, most scouts feel he is better served remaining at safety rather than switching to cornerback at the next level. Had Huff been able to prove beyond doubt that he could cornerback, he likely would have emerged as a top seven pick. As it stands now, Huff is more likely to be selected in the mid teens.


    Jason Avant, WR, Michigan: Avant is considered by many to be one of the draft’s top possession receivers and his senior season totals at Ann Arbor (82 receptions for 1,007 yards, 8 TDs) bear witness that he is plenty capable of performing in this role. That said, Avant didn’t stand out at the Senior Bowl and recently ran two 4.8 40s at his Pro Day.


    Chad Greenway, OLB, Iowa: Despite a spectacular career at Iowa and a strong performance at the Senior Bowl, Greenway’s performance in workouts have been so average, teams are a little apprehensive. Greenway, who is recognized as one of the draft’s better coverage linebackers, only ran the 40 in 4.76 seconds and didn’t alleviate concerns about his playing strength with only 16 reps of 225 at the Combine. Most scouts feel that Greenway has been too good for too long to drop out of the first round, but it would no longer be a shocker to see this occur.


    Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State: Holmes is universally regarded as one of the draft’s most explosive receivers, but his stock could take a tumble due to the unfortunate combination of Chad Jackson’s emergence and Holmes’ inconsistencies on film. Once considered the top receiver of the draft, Holmes’ star has faded ever since electing not to work out and allowing Chad Jackson and his 4.32 forty to steal the show. While the former Buckeye virtually matched Jackson’s time at a subsequent workout (4.34), Holmes’ lack of prototype size (5-11, 179 pounds) and a surprising number of drops on film have scouts moving Holmes down the board. The speedster is too dangerous to drop too low, but he has certainly given up his post as the top wideout of the draft. In fact, some teams have graded him as a second round prospect.


    Alan Zemaitis, CB, Penn State: Like his former teammate, Tamba Hali, Penn State’s March 16th Pro Day was not a kind one for Zemaitis. Though Zemaitis, at 6-1, 194 pounds, wasn’t expected to be a speed demon, estimates on his 40 hovered in the mid 4.4s. Unfortunately, however, Zemaitis ran in the high 4.5s and didn’t look as explosive as expected in other drills, either. Some of his biggest supporters among scouts know believe he’ll be limited in the types of defensive schemes through which he can be successful at the NFL level.


    Ko Simpson, FS, South Carolina: Ko Simpson did everything right at the Combine – except, apparently, treat his conversations with teams as the job interviews they are. Teams were already concerned about the maturity of the sophomore safety, and Simpson’s lackadaisical approach to the interviews simply heightened apprehension further. A first round caliber prospect, there are some teams who simply now won’t consider Simpson until at least a round later.
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    Re: Rising and Falling from NFLSport - Huff Falling?

    Let him fall RIGHT TO US! Huff is really good.

    1) He can play ball, it's right there on film
    He played against top teams in the Nation.

    2) Think about this. This 200lb DB benched more 225 lbs reps than Alex Barron did last year and he ran a 4.34 forty.

    Some players run fast and don't play that fast.. This guy comes out of nowhere with his speed. When his National Championship team went to the WhiteHouse, Huff said he needed to workout and stay in training rather than travel.

    .

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    Re: Rising and Falling from NFLSport - Huff Falling?

    I agree with the guy. But Greenway WAS falling until his pro Day IMo.
    RamsFan16

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    Re: Rising and Falling from NFLSport - Huff Falling?

    I'm pretty sure SanFran will pass on Huff so early.. Nolan out there said something about how a shut-down corner would be one thing, but a safety is another for the 7th slot...
    SanFran has a lot of holes and they've lost a lot of players in Free Agency recently.

    If Buffalo doesn't think of him as a corner, then Detroit at 9 will be the first serious threat to take him IMO.

    The Cardinals at #10 need a safety; however, Green needs a QB of the future and a backup QB now. Green had total control in Minnesota and he's never drafted a safety in the first round with Minnesota or Arizona over a 12 or 13 year span.

    .
    The top 3 for me:

    Hawk, Huff, Ngata

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    Re: Rising and Falling from NFLSport - Huff Falling?

    It would be a dream if he fell to us,it would be great

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    Re: Rising and Falling from NFLSport - Huff Falling?

    hell, that's great news for us, imagine what a beastly defense we'd have with Huff on our team? He'd be a BIG piece to our puzzle of D.....


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Rising and Falling from NFLSport - Huff Falling?

    The top 3 for me:

    Hawk, Huff, Ngata

    I would take any of these guys.

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    Re: Rising and Falling from NFLSport - Huff Falling?

    in the case of Michael Huff, the realities of his pro position are simply catching up to his big name.
    Good, hopefully the ten teams ahead of us think the same thing. Let me ask a question: What has our secondary been lacking the past few years?

    That's right; a centerfield safety that can cover over-the-top and tackle well enough in the open field to run support if our front wall breaks down.

    Huff does both those. If we land Huff, I guarantee finding a position for him won't be a problem.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Rising and Falling from NFLSport - Huff Falling?

    Jason Allen, FS, Tennessee: ... expect to hear Allen’s name called in the middle portion of the first round.
    Wow, Allen has indeed been flying up the boards, but middle first would be quite a gamble at this point. However, if we miss out on Huff and Allen is there in the 2nd we jump on him, no questions asked.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Rising and Falling from NFLSport - Huff Falling?

    Lets compare the two
    Name Height Weight 40 Bench Vert Broad S.S.
    Huff 6'0" 204 4.35 21 40.5 10'05'' 3.81
    Allen 6'7/8" 209 4.41 17 39.5 10'11'' 3.97

    So as one can see, there is not much of a difference between the two. What Allen lacks in overall speed compared to Huff, he more than makes up for it in quickness and acceleration. With there height factored in I would have to assume that they both can touch the same spot on a basketball goal, and Huff is roughly 23.5% stronger than Allen.

    So with the two testing out so closley th each other, the only difference would be the hip injury that Allen sustained last season, which seems to be fully healed.

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    Re: Rising and Falling from NFLSport - Huff Falling?

    Yeah, his measurables are there, but I don't think he brings the same things to the table that Huff does in terms of being able to support the run as well. I wouldn't be suprised to see him picked in the 20s if a team really views safety as a need or has Allen ranked highly, but I tend to agree with HUb that mid first is stretching it a bit.
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    Re: Rising and Falling from NFLSport - Huff Falling?

    Quote Originally Posted by serkicker32
    Lets compare the two
    Name Height Weight 40 Bench Vert Broad S.S.
    Huff 6'0" 204 4.35 21 40.5 10'05'' 3.81
    Allen 6'7/8" 209 4.41 17 39.5 10'11'' 3.97

    So as one can see, there is not much of a difference between the two. What Allen lacks in overall speed compared to Huff, he more than makes up for it in quickness and acceleration. With there height factored in I would have to assume that they both can touch the same spot on a basketball goal, and Huff is roughly 23.5% stronger than Allen.

    So with the two testing out so closley th each other, the only difference would be the hip injury that Allen sustained last season, which seems to be fully healed.
    A big difference, dare I say THE big difference, that only comes out in game film is their tackling skills. Huff is a sure tackler. The guy wraps up like a LB. Allen however is not as good of a tackler. Allen has the mentality of a safety, but a skill set resembling a corner, ie. great coverage skills, poor tackling skills.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    ramhard's Avatar
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    Not just measurables

    Don't get hung on measurables. I think the biggest difference is that Huff has showed up in the biggest games and performed. Jason missed all of last year. Big difference. Maybe he would have showed up and performed - who knows - but take proven peformance over conjecture anytime and by a big margin.

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    Re: Not just measurables

    Quote Originally Posted by ramhard
    Don't get hung on measurables.
    I know it looks like I might be thinking only about the measurables but all I was trying to say is that athleticly speaking they are not that far apart and that a lot of teams look at measurableswhen it comes to grading players for the draft, and considering that he was origionally projected as a late day 1 pick that it is not so surprising to see him move up so far in the draft. Don't forget what happened to Matt Jones last year. He moved up a great deal and he had never played WR in collage.

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