DK Edit: Another great FanPost from TarryHawk. Have a look...
Ok readers, you asked for it and here you are. I'm going to look at a few names to watch for while you are drinking beer and eating chicken wings on Saturdays. The positions I'm going to look at today are DE/DT. I had more than one person suggest looking at DL, so that's where we'll look this week. I also don't want to look at 'just first round picks'. We only get one so I'll pick some first round guys and later options too that are good football players. So let's get started.
-- First up is the big boy on the block that has many GMs salavating already is Quinton Coples - DE - North Carolina. North Carolina is becoming a haven for developing DEs, Robert Quinn drafted this year and current teammate Donte Paige-Moss to name a couple.
Coples last year had 10 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles and 59 tackles. Those are some pretty impressive numbers, especially the 15.5 tackles for loss. What that means is this guy gets into the backfield and is a force against the run. His 10 sacks translates to QB pressure and reeking havoc. If he can put up similar numbers or even improve you could be looking at the #2 overall pick behind Andrew Luck (my opinion he's a lock for #1 barring injury). He has great size for a DE 6'6" and 272 lbs and everything points to success in the NFL.
-- Next up I want to look at Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB out of Florida State. His size point to more of an OLB in my opinion at 6'3" 250 lbs, but he can get after it as a DE. I think he's a great fit for our defense (but would spell the end of Red Bryant). He's very quick off the edge and is a very good tackler.
Watching the film on him he gives the bigger LTs trouble if they are not quick on the shuffle to get in front. He is surprisingly strong and in many cases even if a bigger LT gets in front he can still push them back and collapse the edge of the pocket. He all motor and doesn't stop. If a RB gets through the line, you often see Jenkins running after him, even the run was to the opposite side of the line.
There were 2 plays in the Miami game where Jenkins was being pushed back (one of them a double team), and he spun off the block and was in on the tackle. That's just one game but you will find similar plays throughout the tape on Jenkins. If Coples is off the board Jenkins is certainly worth a serious look as a mid first round pick.
-- The third guy I want to look at for DE is a guy you will find is still on the board in the third round... again based on 'projections'. His name? Vince Browne - DE - Northwestern. He has great size 6'5" and 265 lbs. He is a senior and will definately be in the draft class. He was a First-Team all-big 10 selection in the preseason and last year finished up with 7 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles and 58 tackles (those numbers look very familiar don't they).
Numbers are not everything and please don't mistake the 'numbers' for talent. This kid certainly has a lot of talent but everyone here would rather Coples. He's Pete's kind of player as he has been tagged as being a high character and hard worker. The film on him is hard to find, but that is good too... it forces you to watch all defensive plays and you can see all plays and not just the highlights (which I do anyway).
He does seem to have an issue with bigger stronger Ts but that isn't talent that's just bulking up and increasing strength, nothing a few burgers and weight room work instead of classroom work won't fix. He wraps up his tackles very well and you can actually see him getting better game to game which goes along with his 'hard worker' label.
-- The next guy is a DT out of Texas Kheeston Randall. He's not a first round talent according to 'experts' but is a mid 2nd round guy. His stat line looked like this last year: 39 tackles, 1 sack, 13 tackels for loss, and 2 blocked kicks. He's 6'5" 295 lbs. He's a run stopper.
Don't judge a player by his stat sheet, watch and find the film. He clogs the lanes and forces the RB to alter their path, right into the pack of wolves ready to pounce on him. When he does run into trouble you see he is more upright and doesn't drive with his legs. High motor guy with no quit.
Not the fastest guy, but doesn't need to be for a run stopper. He's not going to put up Suh numbers, that's not his game, a Mebane comparison isn't insulting either way. I like him a lot, after watching him I hope you do too. Texas gets a lot of TV time now, so wanted to scout him and let you know to watch for #91.
-- The last player I want to look at is DT/DE Jared Crick from Nebraska. He's big at 6'6 285 lbs. He was dominant when he was playing beside Suh, but life without Suh didn't start off too well as he adjusted, the good news is that he did adjust and started to come around registering 7 sacks in final 8 games to finish the season with 9.5 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss and 70 tackles.
They are projecting him as a 5 tech DE in a 3-4 D or a 4-3 DT in the NFL. When I was looking at the film on him at both positions, he seemed to be a lot more comfortable and effective from the DT position, but it's good to know he can slide out to DE if we need him to. What I notice first is if the ball carrier is running his direction, he is very good at coming off the block to get an arm on the RB if not flat out taking him down. Moreso than others that I have seen his intensity and even strength seems to increase when the play is to his side, like his killer instinct intensifies. He was handled by the big Missouri LT in their game when he was playing DE, but he was able to get pressure on the QB from the DT spot.
I think this is a key year for Crick, he's very talented and is currently projected as a top 20 pick... to keep that standing he needs to be more like those last 8 games all year. If he slips even a touch I personally think he'll drop to late first round. If he can improve on those numbers he could find himself in the top 10.
Well that's it for this edition. I hope you found the information useful and some names to look for in your college watching games. Next up I am going to look at the QBs around the nation not named Andrew Luck. Thanks for reading.