Player Evaluation


Player Analysis

Managing the Pocket Part II: Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill: Dan Marino values two things highly from a quarterback – a strong internal clock to feel pressure and the ability to make accurate throws with velocity from an off-balanced position. How does Tannehill stack up?

Managing the Pocket Part I: Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill -Subtlety and feel can make the difference of a yard the separates a quarterback and a 280-pound DE screaming into the pocket feel like 20.

Kendall Wright and The Money Catch: How Wright can improve his technique to make the catches in the danger zone that earn an NFL wide receiver that second contract. NFL WR Steve Smith shows how its done – back in his USC days.

WRs Kendall Wright and Terrance Williams: When Flat Is Good – An analysis of the value of coming out of breaks flat or angling back to the quarterback and what happens when a receiver drifts.

Vision and the RB: The David Wilson SeriesParts I (Raw skill in action), II (Lowlights), III (Flashes of refined play), and IV (Examining the alternatives) of my analysis of this talented Virginia Tech star.

Crossing the Divide: Damian Williams - Last week, I wrote about the great emotional divide that NFL prospects must cross in order to transition from college talent to productive pro player. A player currently attempting to cross this divide is Titans wide receiver Damian Williams, a third-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft currently starting in place of the injured Kenny Britt. Williams epitomizes a player balancing precariously on the line separating a breakthrough and a breakdown.

Maryland RB Davin Meggett - I finished studying Maryland RB Davin Meggett’s performance against the Miami Hurricanes and I discovered that someone posted all of Meggett’s touches from this game. So I’m providing my analysis of Meggett’s performance with these highlights.

Emerging Talents: “Big” Mike Williams – Mike Williams technically “emerged” last year when he finally arrived at an NFL facility in football shape. He ascended from camp long shot to starting receiver and in 13 starts he accumulated 68 receptions, 751 yards, and 2 scores.  Not bad for a guy who hadn’t played competitive football for two seasons.

Emerging Talents: James Starks- Let’s play a game. Below are the career stats of every starting running back (not counting short-term subs) for the Green Bay Packers since former running back coach Edgar Bennett was himself a Packers running back.  Look at the stats of these four runners and see if you can find a broad pattern when it comes to the team’s organizational decision-making.

Emerging Talents: Ryan Mathews - Ryan Mathews’ 2011 breakout potential is a no-brainer. If not for a high ankle sprain in Week 2, Chargers head coach Norv Turner foresaw a 250-carry, 40-catch rookie year from the heralded Fresno State prospect. Last year, Mike Tolbert did a fine job splitting the load with Mathews as the lead back. But for those people who believe Tolbert will be a hindrance to Mathews’ production, consider the skills both runners bring to the team.

Emerging Talents: John BeckFrequently enough, quality NFL prospects get overlooked or don’t get a real opportunity to show what they can do.John Beck just might have been one of those players. Certainly Drew Brees didn’t become a starter a team felt confident with until 2005 and A.J. Smith drafted Phillip Rivers the year Brees established himself as a viable star. I’m telling you this because John Beck, much like Marc Bulger once was, is an afterthought for most football media.  At best, he’s a humorous side story. This includes many good football media.

Emerging Talents: Eric DeckerOne of my favorite receivers from the 2010 draft class, Decker’s game is well-suited to the NFL because he consistently demonstrated skills at the University of Minnesota that are commonplace requirements for a successful NFL receiver.

2012 First TakesThree RB Prospects – Throughout the 2011 college football season I will be providing initial impressions of prospects based on my research for the 2012 Rookie Scouting Portfolio. Knile Davis, LaMichael James, and Ryan Houston are discussed here.

The “Why” of Bears WR Earl Bennett –  Earl Bennett was my No.2 WR prospect in the 2008 Rookie Scouting Portfolio. He demonstrated consistent ability to adjust to passes thrown away from his body, the concentration to make difficult catches in traffic, and yards after the catch skill. Bennett’s transition to the NFL has been slow, but the past couple of years have shown encouraging signs of life.

Top UDFA Tight Ends (2011) -Due to the lockout, 2011 could be more difficult than usual for undrafted free agents trying to make it in the NFL. Yet, there will be players with the talent, the skill, and the work ethic to enter a camp and make the most of their limited opportunities. This week, I’m profiling offensive skill players who I believe have the ability to develop into quality professionals if they have been training hard enough in this crazy offseason to hit the ground running. Profiles of these players are excerpts from my publication, the 2011 Rookie Scouting Portfolio, available at Footballguys.com.

Top UDFA Running Backs (2011) – Due to the lockout, 2011 could be more difficult than usual for undrafted free agents trying to make it in the NFL. Yet, there will be players with the talent, the skill, and the work ethic to enter a camp and make the most of their limited opportunities. This week, I’m profiling offensive skill players who I believe have the ability to develop into quality professionals if they have been training hard enough in this crazy offseason to hit the ground running. Profiles of these players are excerpts from my publication, the 2011 Rookie Scouting Portfolio, available at Footballguys.com

Top UDFA Wide Receivers (2011) - Due to the lockout, 2011 could be more difficult than usual for undrafted free agents trying to make it in the NFL. Yet, there will be players with the talent, the skill, and the work ethic to enter a camp and make the most of their limited opportunities. This week, I’m profiling offensive skill players who I believe have the ability to develop into quality professionals if they have been training hard enough in this crazy offseason to hit the ground running. Profiles of these players are excerpts from my publication, the 2011 Rookie Scouting Portfolio, available at Footballguys.com

UDFA QB Adam Froman -Due to the lockout, 2011 could be more difficult than usual for undrafted free agents trying to make it in the NFL. Yet, there will be players with the talent, the skill, and the work ethic to enter a camp and make the most of their limited opportunities. This week, I’m profiling offensive skill players who I believe have the ability to develop into quality professionals if they have been training hard enough in this crazy offseason to hit the ground running. Profiles of these players are excerpts from my publication, the 2011 Rookie Scouting Portfolio, available at Footballguys.com

RSP Flashbacks

The RSP Blog’s Top 20 QB Prospects (2006-2011) Part II For entertainment value only, here’s my top 20 quarterbacks if all of them were rookies today. The rankings are based on a combination of high upside and correctable issues without the benefit of hindsight analysis. Hence, the entertainment value. This is not a dynasty league list.

The RSP Blog’s Top 20 QB Prospects (2006-2011) Part I For entertainment value only, here’s my top 20 quarterbacks if all of them were rookies today. The rankings are based on a combination of high upside and correctable issues without the benefit of hindsight analysis. Hence, the entertainment value. This is not a dynasty league list.

The RSP Blog’s Top 20 RB Prospects (2006-2011) Part II  One of the most frequent requests I’ve heard from readers over the years is to rank players at their position across several draft classes. It’s an entertaining thing to read, but I’ve always been reticent about doing it. There are a lot of approaches I could take with the ranking process and I’m not sure if any of them will feel good enough to stand behind. For the sake of entertainment here’s RBs 10-1 as I see them right now.

The RSP Blog’s Top 20 RB Prospects (2006-2011) Part I – One of the most frequent requests I’ve heard from readers over the years is to rank players at their position across several draft classes. It’s an entertaining thing to read, but I’ve always been reticent about doing it. There are a lot of approaches I could take with the ranking process and I’m not sure if any of them will feel good enough to stand behind. For the sake of entertainment here’s RBs 20-11 as I see them right now.

RSP Flashback: Bills WR Naaman Roosevelt – Buffalo wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt lost a bet that eventually earned him a job. When Turner Gil arrived at the University of Buffalo he recruited two terrific athletes who played quarterback and wanted to remain quarterbacks. Gil made a deal with them. Win the starting job and remain a quarterback. Lose the job and change positions to help the team win.

RSP Flashback and Player Q&A: Cowboys RB Demarco Murray – Murray may not go on a streak that Corey Dillon did over a decade ago during his rookie year or like Jerome Harrison’s 2009 stint with the Browns, but the third-round pick of the Cowboys is not a fluke. He was my No.4 runner in the 2011 Rookie Scouting Portfolio and a runner I saw up close at the Senior Bowl practices. He was the best back on the North squad and I heard two former running backs-turned running back coaches label Murray as a potential thoroughbred.

RSP Flashback-NFL Fastforward: Eagles QB Mike KafkaA game study analysis of Mike Kafka from his senior year at Northwestern.

Talented Understudy: Lions RB Jerome HarrisonIf you distill the role of a running back to that of purely a ball carrier, I am a huge Jerome Harrison fan. I’ve always been. However, I see Harrison’s NFL career as a sad story. Starter talent as a pure ball-carrier rotting on the vine.

RSP Flashback: Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles - Charles is now one of the most exciting runners in the NFL, but for the first couple of years it was far from a guarantee that it was going to happen. Here’s one of the evaluations I did on Charles when I evaluated him for the Rookie Scouting Portfolio. For additional samples of player evaluations go to this page on this blog.

Who is Phillip Tanner?If you watched the Cowboys-Chargers preseason game last night then you saw a rookie running back putting on a display of what Cecil Lammey likes to call, “running hot.” There were probably 4-5 running backs in this game that ran hot. However, if I were to provide a photo next to Lammey’s definition in the yet-to-be-written football dictionary the image of Cowboys rookie Phillip Tanner running helmet-less through the Chargers secondary would be my first choice.

Eerie Coincidence: Ryan Williams- This morning a friend of mine on Twitter pointed out my profile of Cardinals RB Ryan Williams in the 2011 Rookie Scouting Portfolio.   Please understand that I wasn’t predicting injury or that I’m claiming that I knew all a long that Williams would suffer this fate. I’m sharing this analysis summary published in April because it’s simply too weird of a coincidence that the nature of Williams’ injury was exactly the one I mentioned. And I seriously mean coincidence.

Removing the Beer Goggles: A Sober Look at Terrelle Pryor – All NFL prospects have physical talent. All NFL starters have technical skill. However, few NFL prospects in a given year become NFL starters because they don’t develop the techniques to play the position beyond the college level.  The problem this presents to NFL personnel staff is that they have to project a player’s potential and physical talent. It is a significant part of that equation. As we have seen year after year, physical talent can be intoxicating if taken in large doses. And if you’ve ever been drunk, you understand how your judgment deteriorates.

Gartrell Johnson: Excerpts From the RSP – Yesterday in Suwanee, Georgia, third-year running back Gartrell Johnson took first-team reps for the Atlanta Falcons while Michael Turner rehabs from groin surgery. Johnson, a 5’10, 218-lb. runner from Colorado State was my eighth-ranked RB in the 2009 Rookie Scouting Portfolio, above James Davis, Andre Brown, Mike Goodson, Devin Moore, and Jeremiah Johnson.

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