18

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: LB Chris Borland

 

Chris Borland

LB Chris Borland

Packers prospect profile:  LB Chris Borland

Player Information:

Chris Borland, LB  Wisconsin, 5-11, 248 pounds  Hometown: Kettering, OH

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.83

Vertical jump: 31″

225 lb. bench: 27 reps

Broad jump: 9’06″

News and Notes:

Three-time first-team All Big 10 three years in a row (2011 – 2013). . .Wisconsin’s all-time leader with 14 forced fumbles. . .2013 second-team AP All-American. . .high-character, was a finalist for Lott IMPACT Trophy (biggest influence on team). . .41.5 tackles for a loss at Wisconsin. . has drawn many comparisons to Zach Thomas, former NFL linebacker who was “undersized” yet had a successful 12-year career in the league.

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com: Heady, passionate player. Consistently diagnoses action correctly, attacking seams to make plays near the line of scrimmage and showing better than advertised speed and change of direction while dropping into coverage. He is a no-nonsense LB, showing impressive pop and determination to get to the ball. Borland is disciplined in space and is rarely fooled, showing good body positioning and timing in coverage. Despite stellar production, Borland’s pedestrian size and athleticism hurt, but there is some validity to the Zach Thomas comparisons. He lacks elite speed and range to consistently play sideline-to-sideline, but effort and motor aren’t questions. Lack of length shows near the line of scrimmage.
  • NFL.com:  Is built low to the ground and bends his knees. Keen eyes and instincts — has a nose for the ball. Quick to fill downhill. Motor runs hot — pursues hard and seldom quits on plays. Flows well laterally. Aware in zone. Capable of bringing pressure as a blitzer. Good leaping ability. Intense competitor who loves to play and it shows. Defensive playmaker — piled up 50 career TFL and 14 FFs. Started 45 career games. Special intangibles. Is short. Too easily neutralized (struggles to disengage). Eclipsed by larger offensive linemen. Can do a better job protecting his legs. Average explosion, tackle strength and pop on contact. Lets runners escape his grasp. Exposed in space. Has man-coverage limitations, especially against tight ends (lacks length to match up). Durability could be an issue.

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • As I always disclaim, this is a “highlight” reel, so does not show any of Borland’s weak spots
17

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: TE Jace Amaro

Jace Amaro

TE Jace Amaro

Packers prospect profile:  TE Jace Amaro

Player Information:

Jace Amaro,  TE  Texas Tech, 6-5, 265 pounds  Hometown: San Antonio, TX

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.74

Vertical jump: 33″

225 lb. bench: 28 reps

Broad jump: 9’10″

News and Notes:

AP first team All American . . .had 1,352 receiving yards in 2013 and averaged 104 yards per game. . .His 106 catches were most by a college tight end in 2013 and second most all time in NCAA history. . .was arrested in 2012 on suspicion of unauthorized use of a debit card.

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com: Lining up mostly in the slot, Amaro is a big, fluid athlete who uses his thick body to gain proper positioning in coverage and uses his large, soft mitts to attack the ball in the air. He is a balanced route-runner and collects himself when changing direction with smooth moves to create separation. Amaro is dangerous after the catch and isn’t an easy ballcarrier to bring down, running with power and toughness.  Some maturity and attitude questions that will need to be addressed. Receiving tight end who won’t be a fit for all schemes unless he can get in an NFL training program and bulk up
  • NationalFootballPost.com:  Very athletic for a big guy and has excellent speed and body control. He is quick off the line and is a very good route runner. He can break down and get in and out of cuts very quickly for a big guy. On the shorter one-cut routes, he consistently gains separation. He has the play speed to get open on post and flag routes versus defensive backs. He has very good hands and can adjust to the ball. He is a competitive and tough kid who consistently competes for the ball in traffic. After the catch, he has a quick burst to pull away and has the quick feet and moves to make a defender miss. He uses his size well and can easily break tackles. He is an instant mismatch because of his size and athleticism. As a blocker, he looks like a big wide receiver blocking. He can use his hands and can stay with a block but he is not overly physical.  Amaro is the type of “tight end” that most NFL teams are now looking for. He has the speed and athleticism to play split out and can really be called a jumbo wide receiver.
12

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: DL Ra’Shede Hageman

Minnesota Gophers defensive lineman Ra'Shede Hageman

Minnesota Gophers defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman

Packers prospect profile: DL Ra’Shede Hageman

Player Information:

Ra’Shede Hageman,  DL  Minnesota, 6-6, 310 pounds,  Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 5.02

Vertical jump: 35.5″

225 lb. bench: 32 reps

Broad jump: 114″

News and Notes:

Converted from tight end to defensive line during his redshirt freshman seasons. … Was two-time all-state tight end in high school … First team all Big Ten and third team All-American his senior season. … Received the Bronko Nagurski award, given to the team’s most valuable player, his senior season. … Had 13 tackles for loss senior season. … Foster child, mother was a drug addict, father died before Ra’Shede met him. … More about Hageman’s difficult childhood.

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • Mike Mayock:  The Hageman kid is really interesting and especially given his background and where he’s coming from and what he’s had to go through in life, and I think the hard part is putting the tape on in one game, you see a kid that can go as a Top 15 pick and then you put the next tape on, and then he disappears for three quarters and that’s a fifth or sixth round pick and you have to rectify the whole thing if he blows up the Combine; who are we getting. That’s the important thing is trying to understand the kid, because the talent is certainly there.
  • NFL.com: Terrific movement, flexibility and range. Loose ankles. Can work the edges. Able to redirect and chase athletically. Fierce tackler. Rare leaping ability for his size (workout all-star). Disrupts passing lanes. Has a “wow” factor at his best. Has immense upside. Team captain.

Video:

)

Video Analysis:

  • Size and length look very intimidating
  • Big-hitter
  • Good lateral movement and ability to make a tackle downfield
  • Slow to react at times
  • Extremely difficult to handle if he gains leverage

If drafted by the Packers:

Since I live in Minnesota and punish myself by watching the Gophers, I’ve followed Hageman’s entire career. Most of the scouting reports are accurate: He’s got a ton of ability, but tends to disappear for stretches. Some say his disappearing acts raise questions about his effort. Whenever I’ve observed Hageman go into hibernation, he appeared to be really tired. Hands on the hips, breathing heavy, slow of the ball — the usual signs. I wonder if conditioning was an issue for him in college and if an NFL conditioning program would fix that.

11

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: ILB C.J. Mosley

CJ Mosley, CJ Mosley draft profile, Green Bay Packers, NFL, 2014 NFL Draft, 2014 NFL Draft Prospects

Alabama ILB C.J. Mosley

Packers prospect profile: ILB CJ Mosley

Player Information:

C.J. Mosley,  ILB  Alabama, 6-2, 234 pounds,  Hometown: Theodore, AL

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: N/A

Vertical jump: 35″

225 lb. bench: N/A

Broad jump: 9’8″

Shuttle:  4.40

3-Cone Drill: 7.30

News and Notes:

He was the leader of the Crimson Tide’s suffocating defense in 2013 on his way to winning the Butkus award for being college football’s best linebacker . His 107 tackles in 2012 were the second highest by an Alabama player in the past 25 years.  Had a key interception against LSU in the BCS National Championship Game.

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • NFL.com:  Exceptional instincts — triggers fast downhill. Outstanding urgency. Plays with very good knee bend, balance and base. Secure, drive-through tackler. Hits with explosion and jars ball carriers on impact. Excellent lateral agility — flows fast and ranges to the sideline.  Has a narrow build. Has been slowed by elbow, hip and shoulder injuries throughout his career and long-term durability will require thorough inspection by medical examiners. Gets hung up on the blitz (shoulder stiffness) and must learn how to use more finesse picking a side instead of relying on bull power and striking blockers down the middle.
  • CBSSports.com: Mosley does a nice job using his length and lower body fluidity to keep himself clean through a crowd and finishes at the ball, wrapping and driving through his target. He is very smart and keeps his eyes on the ball to track and attack and rarely makes mental mistakes, which is a result of his high football IQ and preparation skills. Isn’t always fundamentally consistent as a tackler, at times opting to throw himself at his target or drop his head on contact. Missed time in 2011 with a dislocated elbow.

Video:

)

Video Analysis:

  • This was an all-time classic college football game and Mosley rose to the moment.  He had a season high 10 solo tackles in this game despite the Alabama loss.
  • Auburn runs a lot of the read option and play a similar style offense to what the 49ers run. Mosley played well and gave good chase to  Marshall.
  • Look at the hit around 3:40.  A very violent but very clean collision.  Mosley is a hammer.
11

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: S Deone Bucannon

 

Deone Bucanan

Safety Deone Bucannon (image courtesy of WSU Athletic Communications)

Packers prospect profile:  S  Deone Bucannon

Player Information:

Deone Bucannon,  S  Washington State, 6-1, 211 pounds Hometown: Fairfield, CA

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.49

Vertical jump: 36.5″

225 lb. bench: 19 reps

Broad jump: 10’04″

News and Notes:

First team All American and first team all PAC-12 in 2013. . .led PAC-12 in tackles in 2013. . .was a four-year starter and three-year captain in college. . .was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe award (given to top college defensive back in the nation)

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com: Boasts an imposing build with broad shoulders and a thick, muscled-up top half. Best attribute may be his explosive hitting, unloading on runners and receivers crossing the middle and forcing fumbles. Doesn’t only rely on his big hits to create fumbles, also demonstrating the wherewithal to rip at the ball as he’s making the tackle. Also showed improved range and ball-skills in 2013, recording a career-high six interceptions in 2013 to give him 15 for his career. Has a high, choppy backpedal and is stiff in the hips, limiting his ability to change directions fluidly. Vulnerable to double-moves and ball-carriers with the agility to cutback against the grain. While a big-hitter, too often Bucannon will lunge at ball-carriers, occasionally resulting in some ugly whiffs. Struggles a bit with tunnel vision, focusing strictly on the ball-carrier and losing sight of would-be blockers, who take advantage of his lack of spatial awareness to seal him off from the play.
  • NFL.com:  Reads run and drops downhill quickly. Has an old-school mentality — likes contact and is a physical tackler. Covers kicks and has an ideal mentality for special teams. Average speed — struggles to recover from missteps and will not track anyone down from behind. Some tightness in his hips. Man-coverage limitations (struggles to match with slot receivers). Can be overaggressive and miss tackles. Does not always arrive under control in space. Misjudges angles.

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • This is a highlight reel so don’t forget, it doesn’t show the plays he missed
  • Bucannon plays big, meaning his size is an asset and he  can deliver a blow
  • Gets after the football, both in the air and from the ball carrier.  Play making mentality
8

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: S Dezmen Southward

Dezman Southward

Safety Dezman Southward

Packers prospect profile: S  Dezmen Southward

Player Information:

Dezmen Southward,  S  Wisconsin, 6-0, 210 pounds,  Hometown: Sunrise, FL

STATS

Pro Day:

40 time: 4.35

Vertical jump: 42″

225 lb. bench: N/A

Broad jump: N/A

News and Notes:

Played in every game during his collegiate career, never missing one and starting the last 28 consecutive games of his college career. . . a Concensus Honorable Mention All Big 10 in 2013. . . was not allowed to participate in the NFL Combine when he was informed that a X-ray showed a hairline fracture in his neck at the C-5 level.  Curiously, who determined this is still unknown and several other doctors have cleared Southward, saying he should have been able to participate in the Combine.

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • NFL.com:  Excellent size. Good straight-line speed. Bends his knees and pedals softly. Reacts well to plays in front of him. Played a hybrid safety role at UW, including defending slot receivers.  Played come cornerback. Special-teams experience.  Average flexibility and range. Still developing positional instincts and diagnostic skills. Man-coverage limitations — dull transitional quickness and closing burst. Ordinary production on the ball — not a playmaker. Does not punish or intimidate.

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • There aren’t many highlight reels on Southward out there so I put up his Pro Day workout interview

If drafted by the Packers:

I wanted to mix it up a bit so I threw Southward in there following his impressive Pro Day at Wisconsin earlier this week.  CBS Sports has Southward listed as a strong safety and projects as a seventh round draft pick.  It’s very likely that Southward becomes an undrafted free agent and as Packers fans, we all know that he could be someone who piques general manager Ted Thompson’s interest.  I would hope that the Packers will have addressed the safety position by that time, but this could be another option to provide depth.  Southward has the measurable to play safety at the NFL level.  His workout results show quite a bit of athletic ability, although his strength is unknown.  He would likely not come in as starting safety material and would need to be developed by the Packers.  Nothing that I have seem screams “special” about him, but he does speak well and seems to be on the more intelligent side.  He could contribute on special teams and if nothing else, would be a better option than M.D. Jennings (not saying much).

6

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: S Calvin Pryor, Louisville

Calvin Pryor

Safety Calvin Pryor

Packers prospect profile: S  Calvin Pryor

Player Information:

Calvin Pryor,  S  Louisville, 5-11, 207 pounds Hometown: Port St. Joe, FL

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.58

Vertical jump: 34.5″

225 lb. bench: 18 reps

Broad jump: 9’08″

 

News and Notes:

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:

Video Analysis:

  • This is a highlight reel so don’t forget, it doesn’t show the plays he missed