Jigsaw came up with his own big board on the top LB’s and DB’s that the Jets should be looking at in the upcoming draft.
1) Quentin Groves
6’4 254 40.?
The Best word to Describe Groves is simply Explosion. As far as 3-4 OLB’s he is among the Quickest I’ve seen in college football when healthy not only coming off the edge but reacting to the snap of the ball as well. His 40 times has been said to be in the 4.4′s and low 4.5′s which is just sick for a 3-4 OLB but I wouldnt think it out of the question for him to run in the high 4.3′s come combine time with preparation. His 2007 season was some what disappointing as ALOT of people expected him to realize his physical potential and separate himself as the elite DE in the country but the injury bug bit him hard and he suffered through some set backs stemming from a foot injury with 3 dislocated toes. He had a very productive season missing 2 games bu still managing 38 tackles, 7 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 FF and a very impressive 23 QB hurries all while facing routine double teams and being chipped at the line by TEs and RBs and still being very limited because of his foot injury that took away much of his explosiveness.
He’s also a very sleek athlete not the bulky monsters that Gholston or Shawne Merriman are but more along the lines of a Kamerion Wimbley and Manny Lawson.
PROS: He’s a terror with a non-stop motor for the QB. The guy has an impressive array of rush moves similar to a Dwight Freeney or Demarcus Ware. He can Use his athleticism to spin off bigger O-lineman, and underrated rip moves that allow him to push the pocket. He played alot of 4-3 OLB this season and while most would say he was mediocre to bad it was his 1st year transitiong from DE and it will ease the transition in the pros. Keep in mind he was still suffering through his injury. His fluidness in his hips and his great speed make me believe he can be as good a coverage 3-4 OLB as DeMarcus Ware with more experience and a full recovery from his injury. Also no real character concerns the guy is a grown man, married with a family even before his senior season and a degree in criminology so dont expect him to be breaking the law or getting caught. The man knows his rights.
CONS: As much as his measurables would seem to indicate him being a guaranteed stud he is still alot of untapped potential right now. Although as a Junior he had 9.5 sacks and 35 tackles which is damn good he’s never had a truly dominanting season at least production wise. Because he’s still pretty lean he doesn’t have much of a bull rush. Also Since he’s usually going balls out for the QB he sometimes can get blind sided by RB’s and completely taken out of the play. I have a few concerns about how he will handle double teams until he bulks up. I also don’t think he will be starting material right away rather he should be used as mostly a pass rush specialist on 3rd downs until he bulks up. The good thing about his frame is that he definitely appears like he can add alot more muscle.
Pro Comparison: Kamerion Wimbley/Demarcus Ware
2) Shawne Crable
A great word to describe Crable would have to be Versatilitity. Coming out of H.S this guy was billed as the next best thing. Safe to say he didnt quite live up to those expectations but is still a damn good football player. He has all the measurable to be a very good to elite 3-4 OLB. In 06 he had a modest 37 Tackles, 10.5 TFL and 4.5 Sacks In his senior season he started to get his act together and had 90 tackles, 28.5 TFL, 1 Pass Defensed, 4 QB hurries, FR, 4 FF, and 7.5 sacks.
PROS: The thing that you got to love about him is that he can be put nearly anywhere on the field. He’s taken snaps at all 7 positions in the front 7, he’s played a deep safety and even been used to cover WR’s man to man which speaks volumes about his athleticism. Another positive is that he’s played in the 3-4 at UM so you know right off the bat this kid will be able to come in and digest the playbook and techniques. He Usually breaks out in Big Games. I think with some work Mangini could start getting this kid to play some great ball
CONS: Crable is without a doubt loaded with upside but he’s clearly not played at that level. Motivation is a concern with him he also disappears in some games against weaker competition and he’s prone to lapses in concentration. He commits some stupid but costly penalties once in a while. A bigger concern is his size . He is 6-5 but only around 245 which could be a problem . Way too lean, he needs to add at least 10 more pounds of muscle which isn’t too big of a deal but again motivation is a concern
ProComparison: Adalius Thomas/ Shaun Phillips
3) Vernon Gholston
The best way to describe Gholston at this point would have to be Physical Specimen but limited. I know i’ll probably take a bit of flack for this but hear me out. This guy is talented very, very talented, he’s also got the production to back it up this season 37 tackles, 15.5 TFL, 1 FR, 14 sacks. Those are eye popping numbers you’d expect to go with the top prospect but I see a couple of red flags in his game which draw some serious concerns. Personally i think he’s become a tad overrated because of his physique and some misleading stats.
PROS: Obviously the guy is built like a tank. He’s got an NFL ready body that wouldn’t likely be rivaled by any 3-4 OLB in the NFL other than Merriman. He’s not big for nothing either the guys has a tremendous bull rush which is the staple of his pass rush skills. Simply overpowers weaker Tackles and can hit open gaps with surprising closing speed for a guy his size. OSU doesn’t run a full time 3-4 but he has experience as a standup OLB and can play with his hand on the ground if Mangini wants to run a hybrid. When he gets on a role few players in college are as dominant as this guy. Should run in the 4.6 range which is very good for a guy of his size. This guys stock is going to soar come combine time.
CONS: Let me start off by saying his biggest asset is also his Achilles heal as a 3-4 OLB. Watching him in multiple games especially early in the season you wouldn’t even know he was on the field sometimes. Just down right Disappeared in some games that he should of dominated in. Another major concern of mine is his level of competition. OSU had a cupcake schedule this season with no tough out of conference games. His sacks came in bunches but he never consistently dominated the way he should of against the level of competition he faced. Gholston also struggles Shedding Double teams and after being chipped. For a guy his size this shouldnt be as big a problem as is it is for him and it was evident as ever against LSU. Because he’s maxed out his frame its not like we can say “well he needs to bulk up”. His problem shedding doubles is that:
1) He doesnt possess that quick tick off the snap that the great 3-4 OLB’s possess. He wont explode out of his stance
2) Other than the Bull Rush he has a severe lack of pass rushing moves. He doesnt possess a good swim move and he isn’t agile enough to use the spin that Groves can use.
His speed appears to be more straight line and when he’s isolated with a RB in the backfield he has a hard time wrapping up especially against shifty runners b/c he’s very stiff in the hips and will often lead to him getting “frozen” in the back field. His lack of fluidness also leads me to believe he’ll never be proficient in coverage which isnt that big a deal in the 3-4. Basically I see him as a guy who needs to rely too much on his physical attributes to get by. I dont ever seeing him developing the arsenal of up the field pass rush moves to be dominant as a 3-4. I believe his perfect fit is where he played at OSU and thats as a 4-3 DE where he can use his brute strength and speed coming off the edge to get to the QB.
NFL Comparison: Justin Tuck
4) Bruce Davis UCLA
Pros: This guy was the Dwight Freeney of college for real. A huge sack artist who in 2006 had 12.5 sacks and 17 TFL. Possess all the moves you could ever want from a pass rusher. Spin, Rip, Swim and deceptive strength. Knows how to play without hand on the ground and has the ability to chase down RB’s in the open field. Great teammate and tremendous motor to get to the QB
Cons: Sadly if it weren’t for his being severely undersized he would likely be a top-10 selection. At only 6-3 235 he would not be by most scouts considered an every down player. Too much of a liability in the run game at the NFL level and a guy who would likely be used only as a pass rush specialist likely for his entire career. Not very likely he could add the necessary bulk without having to totally adjust his playing style. Probably a best fit in the cover-2 at DE
NFL Comparison: Robert Mathis
5) Derrick Harvey
University of Floride: 6’5 260
PROS: Going into the college season he was my no.1 prospect at 3-4 OLB. Great, great Pass rusher who made Troy Smith look more like Drew Beldsoe than Mike Vick. Monster sophomore season with 11 sacks and followed that up this season with a respectable 9 sacks. Has explosion off the snap which is a hall mark of great 3-4 OLBs. Faced a ton of double teams this season with the departure of Jarvis Moss but still managed to get to the QB. Very tall and lanky so still has the frame to add more weight
CONS: Alot of scouts and UF fans were throwing around comparisons to Jeavon Kearse prior to the season. In my estimation he wasnt really close. 9 sacks are nice but this kid was supposed to dominate and he didnt. At 260 you would think he’s plenty big but because of his height still a bit lanky. Dont expect much run support either. Handled double teams well at times but still had issues shedding some blocks. Not many Pass Rushing moves at all. Still relies on natural gifts too much. Raw is an understatement right now and he is clearly a case of a kid making a huge mistake if he doesnt return back to school, could go top-10 in 2009. Has Freakish abilities for sure and will be a dominate pass rusher in the NFL one day but my question is when?? Who ever takes this guy is getting a stud there just going to have to wait 2-4 years to see the results.
PRO COMPARISON: Mathias Kiwanuka
6. Chris Ellis, Virginia Tech
7 Lawrence Jackson, USC
8. Calais Campbell, University of Miami
9. Tommy Blake, TCU
10. Johnny Dingle, West Virginia
1) Mike Jenkins USF: 6’0 200
PROS: This guy saw the same type of metoric rise in his stock that Darrelle Revis did last season. Jenkins has Premiere press coverage skills and specializes in Man to Man. He Makes up for a lack of top end speed with a good burts and excellent fluidity. His great back pedal and athleticism makes him a smooth cover CB yet he can be very physical when he needs to Bump and Run. Solid balls skill and can turn mid-stride and make plays on the ball. Doesnt gamble much and usually makes the safe play. Excellent size and good vertical leaping ability. Possess good game speed and was nearly shutdown this season. His stat line this season was 41 tackles, 4 TFL, 3 INT, QBH, 12 Pass Def
CONS: This guy should not be confused with a burner. He doesnt possess the Deion Sanders or Champ Bailey speed over the top which can be a concern if left with no safety help. I think he’ll clock around the high 4.4′s to low 4.5′s which will prevent him from being taken in the top-10. His top lack of top end speed is the only flaw i see in his game. Off the field he has had issues. He’s no pac-man jones but he isnt an angel either. Was arressted once for Disorderly conduct. Not a huge issue if you’ve ever lived on a college campus but it should raise some red flags. Seems to have matured this season
PRO-COMPARISON: Al Harris
2) Jack Ikegwuonu Wisconsin: 6’1 202
PROS: Great Size. His ball skills are rivaled only by Antoine Cason in the draft. Seems to have great awareness when the ball is in the air which allows him to get lots of deflections. He has low 4.4 speed which is great considering the frame he has. Can get physical with WR’s and match up with anyone in the redzone but he didnt get by in college by being overly physical which many college CBs do and that wont fly in the NFL. He simply possess a skill set which you cant teach and he has one of the highest ceilings of any CB in the draft/
CONS: Another CB with some character concerns. In 2006 he was arrested on charges of Burlarly for stealing an XBOX. Pretty stupid but thats the extent of his record. Still alot of work do with him because he’s still raw but its only because of how good i think he can be. Doesnt get many INTS so he’s not as opportunistic as you would like. At times he also doesnt seem to play to his low 40 times, so i would say he has below average game speed. Other than his Record i would say these are minor concerns that can be fixed.
PRO COMPARISON: Antonio Cromartie/Aaron Ross
3) Antoine Cason Arizona: 6’0 185
PROS: Maybe the only True Shutdown CB in college. Would have probably went top-10 if he came out last season. QB’s rarely threw this guys way and when they did they paid for it. Excellent ball skills and very opportunistic. Good size with the frame to get bigger. Solid in run support and can play on island and not get rattled. Also shows the awareness to come off the edge and blitz. He finished the season with 71 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack, 5 INTs, 14 passes defensed, 2 FF. He also is an electric punt return man not that we need it but he did have 10.0 avg and 2 PR TD.
CONS: Too lean for his frame and must get bigger. Not effective when he tries to be physical and has trouble with press coverage. Big WR’s can push him around. Doesnt have elite speed either. He’ll probably run in the 4.5′s which isnt great at all and struggles guarding burners. He’ll often put hands on WRs and get away with it at the college level but its not happening in the pros. I really question if he’ll transalte well in the NFL. IMO he might be better served moving to FS or playing in a cover-2 scheme.
NFL COMPARISON: Antrell Rolle
4) Brandon Flowers Virginia Tech: 5’10 200
PROS: As most Va Tech CB’s are he is a tremendous athlete. Great Speed allows him to run with any WR. Has that 2nd gear which most CB’s dont possess. Teams tended to go after this guy a lot because of his height and he proved that he can jump with any WR. Despite his size he is surprisingly physical and effective at jamming WR’s at the line. Plays with an aggressiveness that you normally would see from a safety and when he gains speed can hit like a truck. Great leaping ability makes up for his lack of ideal height. Tremendous ball skills as well. He finished the season with 5 INTs and 9 Pass Defensed as well as 86 tackles, 8 TFL, 14 PD, 3 QB Hurry, 1 FR. Possesses Elite measurables all around reminiscent of guys like Jimmy Williams and Deangelo Hall. Pound for Pound i would say he’s the strongest guy on Va. Tech right now.
CONS: This guys major concern is his over aggressiveness. Sometimes he will man handle a WR at the LOS until it looks borderline illegal and will draw penalties b/c of it. Bites too easily on play actions. Needs alot of work done before I would consider him a finished product. Still relies too much on natural gifts and I would say has low football I.Q. Was very good but definitely not shutdown this year which he should of been. Also has character concerns as he was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon.
PRO COMPARISON: Chris Houston
5) Trae Williams USF: 5’10 193
PROS: Probably a slew of guys you could find that have more ideal measurable than this guy but he continues to preform week in and week out. Plays opposite of Mike Jenkins the top CB in America so teams consistently went at him and he did a tremendous job. Definitely among the Top CB’s in terms of pure speed. Has great hands better than Jenkins and rarely drops INTS. I also love his closing speed and is underrated in terms of his ability to contribute in run support. Can stick to any WR like old chewing gum. Finished the season with 55 tackles, 2 TFL, sack, 6 INT, 11 Passes Defensed
CONS: Size is the major concern for him. With the move toward bigger WRs in the NFL i question his ability to be as effective in coverage because teams can go over the top of him. Doesnt possess the leaping ability of a guy like Brandon Flowers so he can be a liability in the red zone. Will have trouble with more physical WR’s because he can be pushed around. I dont think bulking up is the answer for him because it may affect his best asset which is his speed. I wouldn’t be surprised come combine time if the was listed around 5’8-5’9 because he doesnt really look 5’10. Other than his size no major concerns.
PRO COMPARISON: Richard Marshall