22

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Zach Sudfeld, TE Nevada

Nevada TE Zach Sudfeld

Nevada TE Zach Sudfeld

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: TE Zach Sudfeld

Player Information:

Zach Sudfeld, TE Nevada
6-7, 253 pounds
Hometown: Modesto, Cal.

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.78
225-pound bench: 11 reps
20-yard shuttle: 4.41
Broad jump: 9′ 5″
Vertical jump: 37″

News and Notes:

One-year starter who caught 45 passes for 598 yards and eight touchdowns as a sixth-year senior … Redshirted as a true freshman at Nevada, before sitting out his redshirt freshman season with an injury … Played in every game in 2010 behind current Denver Broncos backup tight end Virgil Green … Started the 2011 season opener before suffering a broken leg which ended his season … Received a medical redshirt for the 2012 season … Wasn’t invited to the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine after being one of eight semifinalists for the Mackey Award in 2012.

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com: “Excellent size/strength combo for the position. At 6-7 and 255 pounds, he is a large target, shows natural receiving skills and the ability to watch the ball into his hands. shows his athleticism once he gets going, accelerating in-and-out of his breaks and creating some separation from linebackers or safeties.”

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • Big. Excellent blocker.
  • Not a “burner” but smooth in and out of his breaks. He’s a former basketball player, and he plays like it.
  • Natural catching the football.
  • Effective as a downfield blocker as well, going low to take defenders out of the play.
  • For a guy his size, he’s a fluid athlete.
  • Has a natural feel for getting open and finding the soft spots in zone coverage.

If drafted by the Packers:

After losing tight end Tom Crabtree to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Packers could be in the market for a late-round replacement. And in the sixth or seventh round, Zach Sudfeld makes a lot of sense.

It makes no sense whatsoever why Sudfeld wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February. Sure, he had plenty of injury problems during his time at Nevada, but there are not 19 tight ends in this draft that are better than Sudfeld. You can write that in ink.

21

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Earl Wolff, S NC State

NC State safety Earl Wolff

NC State safety Earl Wolff

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: S Earl Wolff

Player Information:

Earl Wolff, S North Carolina St.
5-11, 209 pounds
Hometown: Raeford, N.C.

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.40
20-yard shuttle: 4.07
Broad jump: 11′ 2″
Vertical jump: 39″

News and Notes:

Three-year starter at North Carolina State … Former head coach Tom O’Brien once called Wolff “the heart of the defense” … Graduated in three-and-a-half years with a degree in sports management … Led the team in tackles as a senior, finishing with 119 on the year … Finished second on the team in tackles with 113 as a junior … Finished third on the team with 91 tackles as a sophomore … Had seven forced fumbles during his college career … Redshirted as a true freshman in 2008 before starting four games as a redshirt freshman in 2009 … Was a high school running back at Hoke County High School, also a standout track athlete

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com: “Possesses lean, muscular frame with long arms. Displays good play recognition, and nice initial straight-ahead burst. Takes sound angles to the outside against the run, and really uses his length well to close space and make the tackle. Wraps up nicely, and routinely approaches his target low. Exhibits a fluid backpedal and flips the hips with good timing in transition.”
  • NFL.com: “Solidly built defender able to make plays against the run and pass. Physical tackler coming downhill to attack ballcarriers, not afraid to bring intensity to the stop. Diagnoses and attacks. Breaks down quickly and wraps up the legs of receivers effectively to bring them down quickly after the catch. Uses relentless hustle to reach plays, even if on the opposite sideline. Flashes quickness to move from two-deep to a single-high look after the snap, as well as pick up vertical routes and stay with receivers in deep coverage.”

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • Natural backpedal with elite ability to turn-and-run.
  • Physical tackler who wraps up the ball carrier.
  • Flashes above-average closing speed when tracking the ball.
  • Not afraid of sticking his head in there against bigger linemen in the run game.
  • Definitely plays the game with a strong safety’s mentality.
  • Quick to the ball but sometimes his aggressive nature leads him to overpursue.
20

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Josh Evans, FS Florida

Florida safety Josh Evans

Florida safety Josh Evans

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: FS Josh Evans

Player Information:

Josh Evans, FS Florida
6-1, 207 pounds
Hometown: Irvington, N.J.

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.54
20-yard shuttle: 4.10
Broad jump: 10′ 3″
Vertical jump: 34.5″

News and Notes:

Two-year starter alongside first-round hopeful Matt Elam … Started 24 games and appeared in a total of 47 during his time at Florida … Competed with Florida’s track team during the spring indoor season in 2010 … As a senior, Evans led the team with 79 tackles, including 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss … Built like a free safety, has the mentality of a strong safety … Recorded four tackles and an interception in his last college game in the Sugar Bowl against Louisville … Chose Florida over Oklahoma, Pittsburgh and Purdue … Was a high school quarterback

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com: “Has a lean, athletic build with very long arms. Attacking mentality stands out on film. He isn’t afraid to get physical and competes when the ball is in the air and after the catch, always attempting to rip it out of the ballcarrier’s grasp. Attacks the line of scrimmage when he reads run or when allowed to blitz, which he did effectively in 2012, recording 2.5 sacks.”

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • Quick to the ball against the run and the pass.
  • He wraps up when he tackles and isn’t afraid of oncoming blockers.
  • His length is a huge asset for him. Rangy.
  • He’s built like a free safety but has the mentality of a strong safety. Very aggressive player.
  • Sometimes his aggressiveness gets the best of him, as he’ll over-pursue in the run game.
  • He always seems to be near the football.
  • Evans’ presence in the secondary allowed Matt Elam to roam and become the first-round hopeful that he is.

If drafted by the Packers:

In my opinion, Evans is one of the most underrated safeties in the draft. He’s been entirely overshadowed by teammate Matt Elam, but Evans has a real chance to be a Day 2 pick in his own right. Without Evans in the secondary, Elam likely wouldn’t have developed into the player he became. His presence on the back end allowed Elam to roam free and rely on his instincts to make plays.

17

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: JJ Wilcox, Safety, Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern Safety JJ Wilcox

Georgia Southern Safety JJ Wilcox

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: Safety JJ WIlcox

Player Information:

JJ Wilcox, Safety, Giorgia Southern, 6’0″, 213 pounds Hometown: Cairo, Georgia

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.57

225-pound bench: 17 reps

Vertical: 35″

Broad jump: 1o’ 4″

3-cone: 7.02

20yd shuttle: 4.09

News and Notes:

Wilcox has only one year of experience playing the safety position, having moved there after three years of playing on offense as a wide receiver and slotback. Despite his inexperience and small-school status, Wilcox was honored with an invitation to the Senior Bowl. Wilcox was second on the team with 88 tackles, three passes broken up and two interceptions.

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com: ”Athletic frame with a thick lower half. Stands out at this level due to his athleticism and proved he deserved to be on the same field with the top prospects in Mobile. Good lateral agility. Surprisingly adept as an open field tackler. Attacks the line of scrimmage when he reads run but while fast to the action, breaks down pretty well, showing enough balance, patience and strength for the effective stop… Showed some instincts and range operating as a single-high safety during Senior Bowl drills…” “Tends to bend at the waist rather than the knees. Attacks the line of scrimmage as a run defender, slipping by most blocks but too often is tied up when he they do get to him. Tools worthy of developing but isn’t ready for prime time yet.”
  • Ourlads.com: ”A tough and physical strong safety who will contribute on special teams’ coverage and returns. Also played on the goal-line offense. Wrap tackler. Plays with confidence. Good ball reactions and hands for a safety who was a former receiver. Returns kickoffs, averaging 25.5 yards per return. Was invited to the Senior Bowl on strong showing his senior year. Just learning to play the position.”

 

 

Video Analysis:

  • Closes  well on the ball carrier.  Solid open-field tackler.
  • Angles taken not always the best, but recovers well.
  • Not afraid to mix it up, drives through the tackle.
  • Shows above average range.
  • Not ready for man coverage on a receiver.
  • Returned kickoffs, but does not look like anything special in that department.
  • Getting by mostly on athletic ability.
16

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: William Campbell, DT Michigan

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: DT William Campbell

Player Information:

William Campbell, DT Michigan
6-5, 311 pounds
Hometown: Detroit. MI

STATS

Pro Day: 

40 yard: 5.15

Bench: 35

Vert: 27″

Broad: 107″

3 cone: 7.28

News and Notes:

William Campbell is your quintessential late round/priority rookie free agent.  Coming into Michigan, Williams was a 5 star recruit who never lived up to expectations; typically overweight and unrefined, Williams bottomed out when he was asked to switch to offensive line during his sophomore season.  That didn’t work out either and by his junior year he was back to defense.  Things took a turn for the better when Williams reported to camp in his senior year after dropping 46 pounds, which translated to on the field production.  However, just as things were improving, Williams was charged with  felony malicious-destruction-of-property when he attempted to slide across a car hood ala Starsky and Hutch.  In the end Campbell presents an enticing mix of size and athleticism muddled with immaturity and inexperienced.

 What they’re saying about him:

  • CBSSports.com: “Looks the part with a tall, well-built frame, broad shoulders and a large wingspan (80 inches). Can carry a lot of weight on his frame without losing his athleticism. Quick feet for his size with the agility to collapse inside and disrupt the pocket. Natural power to bully blockers at the point of attack, reset and redirect. Takes up room and has the size/strength combination to command double-teams.”

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • Looks the part of a potential 3-4 DE.
  • Very fast for a guy his size; at about 1:20, Campbell starts at the line of scrimmage at the Alabama 35 and hustles to make the tackle at the Michigan 35.  Not many 300+ lbs defensive tackles can run 30 yards to catch up to a running back.
  • Up against the best representation of a NFL offensive line in college, I though Williams acquitted himself fairly well.  He managed to beat Barrett Jones twice (thought to be the best center in the draft) and Chance Warmack three times (though to be the best guard in the draft), once for a sack where Williams swatted Warmack’s punch and “turned the corner” on Warmack (check it out at 2:40, it’s like Clay Matthews in super slow motion)  It should be mentioned that Williams was also destroyed on a couple plays, and it’s not like he’s the second coming of Reggie White.
15

April

NFL Draft Prospect: Matt Elam, Safety, Florida

 

Matt Elam

Florida Safety Matt Elam

Player Information:

Matt Elam, Safety, University of Florida

5’10″, 202 pounds

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.54

225-pound bench: 17 reps

Vertical: 35 1/2″

Broad:  118″

News and Notes:

Elam began his Gator career as a starter on special teams.  Once given the chance to play at safety, he quickly showcased his talents and was a full-time starter in 2012. . . led the team in tackles for a loss (11) and had four interceptions along with two sacks and a forced fumble. . .Elam has been known to be a “big personality” off the field and was hot on many schools’ radar coming out of high school in 2010.  He elected to attend Florida and play for Urban Meyer. . .was voted first-team All American in 2012. . .ran just .01 second behind the fastest 40 time among safeties at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine. . .older brother Abe Elam is currently an NFL free agent safety who has spent his first eight seasons with several teams

What they’re saying about him:

  • CBSSports.com: “Athletic, instinctive and quite physical, Elam demonstrated the ability to walk up into the box and be a force near the line of scrimmage while also dropping back into coverage as a single-high safety when coaches called for it — showing off the type of versatility NFL teams are demanding from today’s hybrid safeties.”
  • NFL.com: “Plays close to the line of scrimmage or in the box very often. At his best when asked to make a play, either blitzing or one on one on the edge. Frequently assigned to cover the slot receiver. There are times when he flashes tremendous disruption when the play is developing in front of him. Has catch up speed to chase down when he wants to. Gets hand up to disrupt at the catch point even if head is not turned to locate the football. Gets downfield very quickly as a gunner in punt coverage.”

 

Video Analysis:

  • Physical and plays well in the box, near the line of scrimmage
  • Blitzes well and is disruptive
  • Closes well on the play in front of him
  • Quick to the backfield in run support
  • Height is a concern against taller receivers
14

April

NFL Draft Prospect: Eric Reid, Safety, LSU

Eric Reid

LSU Safety Eric Reid

Player Information:

Eric Reid, Safety, Louisiana State University

6’2″, 212 pounds

Geismar, LA

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.53

225-pound bench: 17 reps

Vertical: 40 1/2″

Broad:  134″

News and Notes:

Reid ran the fastest 40 time of all safeties at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine. . .Reid saw playing time right away during his freshman season at LSU, appearing in all 13 games. . .during his sophomore season, he avoided the slump and his team-leading 76 tackles, two interceptions, three pass break-ups and two forced fumbles on the year earned him second-team All-SEC honors. . .during his junior season in 2011, Reid had a timely interception against Alabama to seal the Tigers’ win and earned Reid the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his effort against the Tide (six tackles, one for loss, forced fumble, INT). . .Reid earned First-Team All-SEC honors in 2012.

What they’re saying about him:

  • CBSSports.com: “Possesses the prototypical frame for the position, boasting wide shoulders, long arms and a tapered frame. Reid is a fantastic downhill athlete with quick read-and-react ability to attack the play with steam spurting from his ears. He might be the explosive hitter from the safety position in the 2013 draft, closing with the speed and physicality of a linebacker rather than a defensive back.”
  • NFL.com: “Tall, long safety with a solid overall build that is still getting stronger. All-around defender who can play the run and pass. Flashes excellent closing speed, pummels receivers after the catch when coming downhill and can get into the backfield if smelling out the play after the snap. Has length and attitude to wrap up ballcarriers in the open field. Brings power into cut tackles, lowering his shoulder to stop running backs cold.”

 

Video Analysis:

  • Attacks the ball carrier well and tackles well
  • Physical at the line and in getting off run blocks by opposing receivers
  • Hits hard
  • Height gives him an advantage with the jump ball
  • Good instincts and gets under routes
  • Guesses wrong on routes and takes bad angles in the open field at times, which will cost him at the NFL level

If drafted by the Packers: