Scout's Take: Wednesday
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
By Nick Wagoner
MOBILE, Ala. – For most of this week at the Senior Bowl, we will be checking in with some scouts from around the league. Discussions with those scouts will give you a better idea of who is doing well and boosting their stock and who isn’t doing enough to land in the top rounds.
Without further ado, here’s what those scouts thought of Wednesday’s practices.
California WR Lavelle Hawkins – Hawkins had another terrific day Wednesday and continues to make the case that he’s the best and most complete receiver here. One scout’s take: “He’s the only one of these wideouts who consistently catches the ball and plays at a high rate of speed.” He could be elbowing his way up a number of draft boards.
USC OL Drew Radovich – It’s Sam Baker that gets all of the applause, but one scout said Wednesday morning that Radovich is making a good impression. “He’s so competitive and fiery and he plays every snap like it could be his last. I like that.” Radovich is a mid-round guy, but he could be working his way into the early mid-rounds.
Colorado LB Jordan Dizon – It’s hard not to notice to diminutive linebacker. At 6 foot, 221 pounds (generously), Dizon isn’t big but he’s always around the ball. “I don’t know if he has the size to play consistently in the NFL, but that guy never seems out of place and just always knows where the ball is going,” one scout said.
Tulane RB Matt Forte – In a crop of running backs that has left something to be desired, Forte looks every bit as good as his numbers might indicate. “He has really good size and he runs hard. I think he can have success in the league,” a scout said. Forte will be hampered by many of the young backs entering the draft, but his stock is rising.
LSU LB Ali Highsmith – Our AFC scout loves what Highsmith brings to the table, but only on a limited basis. “He’s fast and he plays fast, but he isn’t big enough and doesn’t dig through the garbage well enough to play in a defense other than a Cover 2 such as the Colts.” That’s just a fancy way of saying, he’s small and fast but he’s not big enough to hit with any authority.
Kentucky LB Wesley Woodyard – One of our scouts laughed at the mere idea of Woodyard’s presence in Mobile. “I’m not sure why he’s here. He’s got undrafted free agent written all over him.” Woodyard hasn’t done much to prove that assessment incorrect, either.
Alabama WR D.J. Hall – Hall looks solid on game film, but he isn’t doing much right in this Senior Bowl. He has decent hands, but he has struggled coming out of breaks, runs very average routes and doesn’t wow you with speed. “He looked so much better on the film. He’s a real disappointment,” one scout said.
Alabama DL Wallace Gilberry – Gilberry got similar reviews to Woodyard from all of the scouts that spoke to us. “He doesn’t wow you in any way.” “He doesn’t do any one thing particularly well.” “He’s very average.” Across the board, Gilberry isn’t making much of an impression so far.
Scout's Take: Thursday
Thursday, January 24, 2008
By Nick Wagoner
MOBILE, Ala. –
California RB Justin Forsett – As the week goes on, the scouts like this Darren Sproles clone more and more. Forsett has speed, he’s elusive and he catches the ball well. “He won’t ever carry the load, but he can be a dangerous weapon on third down and returning,” one scout said.
Vanderbilt OT Chris Williams – Williams didn’t have the reputation of the likes of Sam Baker and Gosder Cherilus when he got here, but by now he is widely regarded as the most talented tackle in Mobile. “He’s big and strong with good feet. He’s a more complete package than some of these other guys,” our AFC scout said.
Kansas State WR Jordy Nelson – Nelson was once a walk-on at Kansas State and became an All American this season. He has looked more like the latter than the former this week and is working his way up draft boards. “I like his speed and he has a good head on his shoulders,” said a scout.
LSU CB Chevis Jackson – Not many of the defensive backs have stood out this week, but Jackson has been the most consistent. “He’s got good size and he understands the game,” one scout said. Jackson has emerged to the top of the pack in terms of the second tier corners.
Hawaii QB Colt Brennan – None of the scouts were overwhelmed by any of the quarterbacks here this week, but they have been underwhelmed by Brennan. “His mechanics are off and he doesn’t have a strong arm.” That’s not a good combination for a guy already working against the idea that he’s simply a system quarterback.
Clemson OT Barry Richardson – Once thought to be among the top tackles in the draft, Richardson has fallen down many boards and not helped his case as the week goes on. “He doesn’t have the feet to stop faster ends and he’s not a mauler in the running game.”
LSU RB Jacob Hester – Hester is a tough, hard nosed kid. But he simply doesn’t have the strength to be a fullback or the speed to be a tailback. “I think he could help on special teams, but he won’t see much of the field otherwise,” one scout said.
Houston WR Donnie Avery – “He’s probably the fastest receiver here, but he doesn’t do much besides run go routes,” a scout said. In other words, nobody is better than Avery at turning on the jets and sprinting down the field. But he doesn’t run great routes and his hands are just OK.