We're now into our third week of draft analysis with our good friend Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's NFL Matchup. We've discussed the 2012 class of quarterbacks, and the running backs/wide receivers, but now, it's time for the tight ends and offensive linemen. We take Greg through all the obvious top prospects, and as always, his insights (based on the viewing of actual college coaching tape) are always fresh and interesting.
A few of the highlights, from Greg's analysis:
TE Coby Fleener, Stanford: "When I watched [Stanford's] offense, and it was a very condensed offense, they were asking [Fleener] to run a number of routes. He ran a pretty significant route tree. He ran a stick-nod-go, which is a vertical route. You see him run across the field on crossers, which have a vertical element. He ran a lot of shorter routes as well, because there were a lot of three- and five-step drops in that offense. But I think Fleener comes into the NFL with an understanding of a fairly complete route tree, and NFL passing game concepts, and the ability to stretch a defense."
TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson: "I wouldn't call him explosive, but I would say that he's got some quickness and build-up speed as a route-runner. I think he played faster on film than his 40 time, which was disappointing to some at about 4.9 at the scouting combine. His vertical speed is a little deceptive -- he's another guy who can run seam routes and wheel routes. I wouldn't say that he's quite as explosive as Fleener, but he can attack the seams."
OT Matt Kalil, USC: "I think his style of play is very reminiscent of Joe Thomas', through he's not quite as smooth an athlete. I think his tape was good for the most part, but there were some inconsistencies with it ... if the only game you watched of Matt Kalil was against Notre Dame, you would not way that he looked like a top 5 pick. He had a poor game, and there were stretches in a lot of the games I watched where he struggled a little bit. He's got more of a passive pass protection personality, but you could say the same about Joe Thomas. He's certainly athletic for a man that big. He has what it takes. His high NFL grade is a function of his pass protection skill set."
OT Riley Reiff, Iowa: "I wouldn't call him a top athlete for the left tackle position, but I think he moves well. He'll have an adjustment, though -- there are times when the speed and quickness of edge rushers got to him, and there were also times when the bull rush got to him. Even though he put his hands out [to pass-protect], he didn't really use them. So, often, he would let rushers get inside of him, and underneath his pads. No matter how strong you are, if you let a rusher get inside of you and underneath your pads, you're going backwards."
OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford: "You try to separate the player from the offense, but when almost every play is a quick ball out, and there aren't that many kick-slides where he's pass-protecting on a seven-step drop, you sort of have to project that a little bit. The one game I wanted to watch of Martin was against USC and [defensive end] Nick Perry. That was an intriguing matchup. I thought there were times when he clearly struggled against the hand speed of Perry, and the quickness of Perry. But there were other times when I thought he stoned Perry pretty well."
OT Bobby Massie, Ole Miss: "He's not what I'd call a fluid mover. He's not stiff, but he's not a smooth and fluid athlete. I thought he was very good firing off the ball in the run game. He really got into defensive linemen, I thought there were times when he looked really good in his pass set, his knee bend was very good, and he showed some comfortable lateral movement. He's a naturally strong guy with a lot of body mass."
OG David DeCastro, Stanford: "He was the foundation of Stanford's dominant power run game. That's what Stanford ran, it was their staple run, and he was the puller 90 percent of the time in the games I watched when they ran power. He's a feisty, nasty, guy. He's very strong on initial contact as a run blocker, and he's excellent in maintaining contact once engaged. I wouldn't say he's a great athlete -- he's an efficient athlete, and I don't think that's an issue in the NFL. I see him as somewhat similar to the just-retired Kris Dielman, who was also a nasty guy, and power was the staple of the San Diego offense."
As always with everything involving Greg Cosell, this podcast is a must-listen for those fans of advanced tape analysis. Subscribe to the Shutdown Corner iTunes link (in iTunes, go to "Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast," and paste this link in: http://ysportspods.podbean.com/category/shutdown/feed/). You can also use the link below to either left-click and listen, or right-click to save to your computer.
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