First team all AAC selection in 2013. . .did miss one game due to a suspension for violation of an unspecified team rule. . 75 tackles last season . . . 2012 Pryor logged over 100 tackles and forced five fumbles while starting 13 games. . .also played running back in high school.
What they’re saying about him:
CBSSports.com: Prototype body type with good anticipation and explosive closing speed. Reliable open-field tackler and intimidating presence. Lowers his shoulder on impact to create collisions in run support and when protecting the middle of the field in coverage. Good vision and spatial awareness to slip amongst the mass of humanity near the line of scrimmage to locate the ball. Shows no desire for self-preservation when taking on blockers, dropping to take them out at the knees and often is able to take out the ballcarrier. Very good ball skills. Can extend and pluck outside of his frame and shows excellent awareness to get his feet inbounds. Almost too physical in an era in which heavy hitters often draw penalty flags. Drops his shoulder into defenders but some of his hits could be interpreted as leading with the crown of his helmet. Wasn’t asked to cover slot receivers in Louisville’s scheme. A bit stiff when changing direction, allowing some separation by receivers, especially on double-moves.
NFL.com: Very good instincts. Physical, lights-out hitter. Very aggressive running the alley and seeks to make his presence felt in the run game. Sacrifices his body. Defensive tempo-setter. Good pre-snap recognition — makes adjustments. Explosive tackler. Can leverage the field off the hash and cover ground. Good zone recognition. Rangy enough to play center field. Carries a swagger and plays with confidence. Plays with too much reckless abandon and lacks discipline playing the cutback. Takes some bad angles and can be outflanked to the perimeter. Average production on the ball. Not asked to play a lot of man coverage.
Video Analysis:Read more...(730 words + 3 images, estimated 2:55 mins reading time)
This is a highlight reel so don’t forget, it doesn’t show the plays he missed
Second team All-American and first team all-SEC selection in 2013. . .had surgery for a torn meniscus this past December. . .did miss two games due to a suspension for accepting money from an assistant coach. . . 2012 Dix tied for most interceptions in SEC with five. . played in all 14 games that season.
What they’re saying about him:
CBSSports.com: “Possesses a lanky, athletic build with light feet, excellent fluidity and straight-line speed to handle deep and nickel coverage responsibilities. Good awareness. Tracks the action well, showing impressive key and diagnosis skills to get a jump on the ball or when attacking the line of scrimmage in run support. Decisive. When he sees the play developing, doesn’t waste time debating, instead exploding towards the ball, showing explosive closing ability. Very good ball-skills. Can climb the ladder and extend outside of his frame to pluck the ball. Physical defender, who looks to deliver the intimidating shot. Highly aggressive and therefore will occasionally be fooled by misdirection and play-action. Barrels towards the line of scrimmage and leaving cut-back lanes for nifty athletes to exploit. Lowers his shoulder to lay the intimidating hit on ball-carriers and fails to wrap up, at times, relying the collision to knock the opponent to the ground.
NFL.com: Quick to read and react. Has speed and flexibility to match up with slot receivers or tight ends. Ranges off the hash. Good hands to intercept. Effective run supporter — drops downhill with conviction and does not shy from contact. Takes direct angles to the ball. Secure tackler. Has special-teams experience. Well-coached in a pro-style defense. Has a narrow build and lacks ideal bulk. Could stand to get stronger. Occasionally gets stuck on blocks. Could stand to iron out his pedal. Does not always play with abandon — plays conservatively at times and can be late fitting in the run game or getting off the hash. Average ball production and playmaking ability. Not as natural in the box.
Video Analysis:Read more...(760 words + 3 images, estimated 3:02 mins reading time)
Ended career as the SEC’s all-time leader with 262 career receptions and 3,759 receiving yards … As a senior, the Biletnikoff Award semifinalist established a new SEC record with 112 catches … His receiving yardage total of 1,477 yards in 2013 is the third highest total ever by an SEC receiver … Matthews has had a record-setting junior season for the Commodores in 2012, arguably the greatest season ever by a Vanderbilt wide receiver, until his senior year … Unanimous First Team All-SEC WR by sportswriters and coaches in 2012 and 2013 … As a sophomore in 2011, Matthews emerged to lead the team in catches and receiving yards … After posting just five catches for 63 yards and no TDs through first five games in 2011, Matthews caught fire down the stretch, reeling in 36 passes for 715 yards and five TDs … Cousin of Jerry Rice. (vucommodores.com)
What they’re saying about him:
CBSSports.com: “Chiseled frame that was more impressive than higher-profile names also at the Senior Bowl. Size/speed combination along with his hand/eye coordination and body control makes him an attractive prospect, showing the ability to make plays at all levels of the field and do damage after the catch. Balanced route-runner with a sizeable catching radius. Size allowed him to be moved inside and out in Vandy’s offense, allowing the team to find him favorable matchups. Detailed and reliable route-runner. Very good hand-eye coordination to haul in tough passes, including one-handed catches.”
NFL.com: Good length. Big zone target. Good form as a route runner. Sinks his hips and pops out of breaks. Concentrates, tracks and adjusts. Soft hands and sticky fingers. Has leaping ability to compete in the air. Opens up his stride in the clear and shows nice long speed. Good field awareness. Gives effort as a blocker. Competes and plays with intensity. Tough and intelligent. Lined up outside and inside and has punt-return experience. Team captain and four-year starter with record-setting production.
Video Analysis:Read more...(692 words + 1 image, estimated 2:46 mins reading time)
Cut-ups like this are far more telling than highlight reels. But hey, his highlights are really easy to watch. They look cool.
This has absolutely nothing to do with the Green Bay Packers, but in anticipation of the preseason game this evening, I thought it would be nice to share in some laughter. Our fearless leader, “Jersey” Al, and some of our regular readers are also fans of European football (i.e., soccer), so this one goes out to them, as well. Enjoy!
In this episode, we get a peek into Johnathan Franklin’s connection with family, past and present. This video features a quick cameo by Datone Jones, the day after he was picked in the first round by the Packers.
This is the third in a series of videos being produced by the UCLA film department about Packers draft pick Johnathan Franklin. (you can find part one here and part two here) In this episode, we learn about Johnathan’s character and leadership abilities.
You’ll hear a lot of commentary from UCLA coach Jim Mora, who among other things, says, “Datone and Johnathan are just amazing examples of what you can accomplish if you really work hard and have the great attitude that they have.”