Welcome to The 3-4, a website dedicated to NFL analysis, predictions and recent events. We wrote 32 extensive team previews and will be writing about all things football throughout the year. We will be scouting players off game tape, evaluating them, predicting NFL and NCAA games, and much more! If you would like us to write about something in particular, let us know!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

AB's Late March Mock Draft (picks 1-16)

Friday, March 11, 2011

CBA Failure… Decertification, Litigation, and other Effects

No CBA… only certain thing now is the NFL Draft
Collective bargaining attempts have failed between the owners and players; the NFLPA has officially filed the decertification papers, disbanding the union and allowing players to file anti-trust lawsuits. Litigation is the next course of action (courtroom work now).

The owners gave the NFLPA a CBA draft proposal, and the NFLPA responded not with a counter offer, but asked for 10 years of audited financial info to which the owners did not agree to show. Its all posturing and neither side had enough trust in one another to strike a deal.

NFL Teams are currently unable to make any transactions, trades, etc. Players cannot workout at team facilities, and this process will take a long time. OTA's, pre-season camps, and other team training events might not even occur.

How much will this affect the NFL Draft April 28th-30th?
The lack of potential player movement, as I have mentioned in recent scouting reports, could dramatically raise the stock of top quarterbacks in the 2011 NFL Draft. On average, 3 or so quarterbacks are drafted within the first 2 rounds… In the upcoming draft, it is possible that 3 or more quarterbacks are taken within the first 15 picks. This is the most uncertainty the NFL has faced in recent years, and the landscape of professional football has taken a violent hit.

Be sure to check back with The3-4 for ongoing coverage of the labor situation in the NFL, and we will continue to update with more scouting profiles in preparation for the NFL Draft.

Von Miller Scouting Report

Von Miller, OLB, TAMU, 6’3 246 lbs


Strengths: Von Miller is one of the most talented and athletically gifted players in the 2011 draft. The top rated outside linebacker available, Von Miller rushes the passer as good if not better than anyone in the country. His long arms, ability to bend at the waist and run the “arc” to the QB, and excellent foot quicks, make Miller an explosive weapon at the 3-4 outside linebacker position. An increasing position of demand that usually fields more busts than any other position in recent drafts, Von Miller seems to be the only sure thing at the position in 2011. Miller was a 4-year senior, a defensive captain, and his coaches even created a “joker” position because of his unique skill set.
Miller "running the arc"

After exploding onto the scene in his junior 2009 campaign with 17 sacks, Von Miller had an opportunity to enter the NFL draft and be drafted very early. Regardless, Miller decided his degree and development as a prospect and player were of utmost importance, choosing to return to TAMU for his final season. The early part of the year brought up skepticism, as he was not nearly as effective as he had been in ’09. The reason for the early inability can be attributed to a high ankle sprain, which Miller played through. Once healthy, Miller regained his form as the nation’s premier rush OLB, racking up 11 sacks and 25 more tackles than he had in 2009. Miller showed that not only could he rush the passer effectively, but that he was devoted to becoming the best outside linebacker he could become. Rounding out his game, Miller showed great improvements in run instincts, block shedding, holding the POA, tackling, and more importantly, pass coverage.

Victory sealing interception by Von Miller at Texas
Miller raised his tackle total from 43 in 2009 to 68 in 2010, and even added an interception that sealed a victory. Although he was mainly used by TAMU in rushing the passer, the improvement in coverage was most evident to me in senior bowl practices and the senior bowl game; here are some notes I took, “Von Miller good in coverage; has a great burst, explosive step, fluid hips… Von Miller has excellent range; covers sideline to sideline.” To add the weight scouts wanted and remain just as explosive, not only means that Von Miller put on “good weight”, but also means that he is just reaching his full potential- “peaking” if you will. Von Miller is the definition of a high upside draft pick.

These were my final thoughts after the senior bowl week-

“One of the most explosive players in the coming NFL draft, Miller’s performance this week has been perfect from the weigh-in, until the last practice. He came in with bigger than expected size, long arms, and consistently beat whoever was blocking him. Very polished as a pass rusher, great hands, ability to speed rush and counter against elite blockers such as Derek Sherrod, Von Miller stood up to the top tier of o-linemen and exceeded expectations. Add him to the list of potential top 10 picks in the 2011 draft.”

Von Miller’s pass rush ability, combined with elite athleticism and coverage ability, make him a good fit in any scheme 43 or 34.

Weaknesses: Although Miller is an extremely talented and gifted pass rusher, he still lacks the size most teams look for in a 3-4 rush outside backer. Typically you take a 4-3 athletic end or a big, pass rushing linebacker when choosing a 3-4 rush outside backer. When you watch Von Miller on tape, albeit he is spectacular at getting to the QB, he looks like he weighs somewhere between 220 and 230 lbs. One of my close friends even remarked that Miller, “Almost looks like a safety.” Later comparing him to Taylor Mays. Not to say Miller SHOULD play safety, however Miller does lack ideal size as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Although he markedly improved his ability to anchor against the run and play the true linebacker position, Miller only flashes the ability to disengage from blockers. Needs to be much more consistent at the next level, and from the workouts I’ve watched at the combine and reports I’ve read about his pro-day, Miller is working on correcting just that.

Von, while being more effective in zone coverage because of his great instincts and above average ball skills, is inexperienced in and struggles when forced to cover man to man. Needs to develop proper technique, hand placement, and learn how to run with his man downfield.


Best Fit: I feel Von Miller’s skill set is just what NFL teams running a 3-4 defense crave; disruptive, explosive, productive pass rusher who finishes the play. So many 3-4 teams are not effective because their outside linebackers rush too far upfield, creating huge windows for opposing QBs to throw through. Miller understands the art of pass rushing, knowing when to win with a speed rush, or inside counter spin/ swim move.

Head coach for the Bills, Chan Gailey, has stated that he plans on running a hybrid 3-4/ 4-3 defense, as the team will attempt to slowly revert back into a 4-3 scheme. Von Miller’s unique skill set could be, “just what the doctor ordered”.

Outside of Buffalo, my guess is as good as anyone’s as to where he “best fits”, but as I stated before, I don’t see Von Miller falling outside the Top 10.  His versatility and explosiveness will intrigue 3-4 and 4-3 teams equally, and Miller will be solid wherever he goes.

Which team in the Top 10 should draft Von Miller?
X-Factor: With such a top heavy draft, full of top notch defensive linemen and explosive offensive playmakers, its very difficult to gauge where a guy like Von Miller gets drafted. You might assume that because Von Miller is the outright top linebacker in the draft, that his draft stock would be raised significantly due to the drop-off at the position. Nevertheless, as stated in previous scouting reports, the CBA will have the final word. If a deal is met, in which rookie wage scales are dramatically decreased, more teams will be willing to take positions like cornerback and linebacker in order to save cap space and address those issues in the draft. If a CBA is not met, then quarterback values will soar through the roofs, and teams will be drafting quarterbacks like they are a dying currency. Reason being, once again, is that teams under NO CBA will be unable to make ANY transactions outside of their organization. So no signing or trading…

Where he will be drafted: Top 10

Where should he be drafted: Top 5

NFL Comparison: Joey Porter, OLB, Arizona Cardinals

Von Miller vs. Texas (2010)

Von Miller vs Nebraska (2010)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Really Tiki?

So as a lot of people have heard by now, Tiki Barber has filed papers to come out of retirement. This idea has been met by universal criticism from analysts, because it seems like there is very little interest for a 35 year-old running back who hasn't played since 2006. While 35 (about to be 36) is a pretty old age for any position other than kicker or punter in the NFL, for a running back it's essentially ancient. LaDainian Tomlinson, a future hall-of-famer and one of the best running backs of our generation is "only" 31, but its obvious he doesn't have that much left in the tank. Curtis Martin, considered to be one of the longer lasting running backs, still only played until his was 32. It certainly seems like all the cards are stacked against Tiki Barber.

So why in the world would Tiki Barber want to return to football? He left the game in his prime, with his best two seasons being his last two. He also retired the year before the Giants won the Super Bowl, leaving him ringless for his career. It certainly seems that he did make a mistake in retiring, but rectifying it 4 years later is likely to end horribly.

It seems that the reason why Tiki is coming back is about money. There are reports that Tiki is very low on cash, but how can that be for a player who left $8.3 million on his remaining two year contract when he retired? Barber represents how quickly NFL players can lose all their money. Today's NFL culture is all about expensive cars, clothes, and women, and never-ending parties and players making 7 and 8 figures a year are spending the money as quickly as they are making it. When the checks end and the spending doesn't, we get people like Barber and Michael Vick, who was the first player to sign a $100-million contract, in debt.

It's no wonder the NFLPA is at a tremendous disadvantage in the CBA negotations, they have absolutely no leverage. A year out of work for NFL players will wipe out many of their bank accounts. It's time for these players to grow up and learn some kind of financial responsibility, because there is no excuse for someone who made millions in a matter of years to be broke. It might be time that the NFL consider a system of deferred payments, considering the players cannot handle all that money up front. It may mean less Bentleys today, but a comfortable retirement in the future.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Christian Ponder Scouting Report

Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State, 6’2 229 lbs

Ponder has a lot to smile about, regarding the NFL Draft

Strengths: If there was an award for the player with the best Pre-Draft season, then Christian Ponder without a doubt would win. After a season riddled with injuries and seeing his draft stock fall significantly, Christian Ponder showed scouts he still belonged among the top quarterbacks in the 2011 draft. Ponder was the MVP of the Senior Bowl following his strong week of practice, and from all accounts of scouts on field at the combine, was the best thrower in Lucas Dome Field in Indianapolis.

Questions about the health of his arm have been answered by these performances, and Ponder has great momentum heading into his pro day and team interviews.

Ponder’s football IQ is one of his greatest strengths. Playing in Jimbo Fisher’s pro style offense, Ponder was required to make NFL reads and go through a passing progression. His anticipation of throws and poise to allow routes develop as the pocket collapses, are the two things that really stand out with Ponder. I don’t want to mislead anyone because while this is a strength for Ponder, his decision making in 2010 was troubling.

The footwork of Ponder is much more polished than any of the other top 5 quarterbacks, and his excellent 3 step drops make him the perfect WCO QB (“West Coast Offense quarterback). He maintains excellent footwork and composure as the pocket collapses and keeps his eyes downfield. Ponder’s smooth release, tight spiral, and accurate ball placement attest to his solid fundamentals. Christian Ponder has a refined throwing motion for a college QB and generally does a good job of transferring his weight from front to back.

Christian Ponder also has mobility to escape the pocket and pick up yards on the ground. A tough ball player who takes hits, gets up, and makes plays.


Ponder is a prototypical WCO QB
Weaknesses: Ponder lacks elite zip on the ball, and his arm strength is not impressive. I will say that he has a “live arm” and is perfect in a West Coast Offense, but I think that he is limited scheme wise. Not to confuse with his quick release, Ponder’s ball doesn’t fire out with a ton of velocity.

Some of the problems arise when Ponder over-strides. The over-striding in intermediate to deep throws causes the ball to sail, and in the NFL those footballs will be intercepted. Will get bouncy at the end of his drops, and his 5 step drop has room for improvement.

Gunslinger mentality can be a positive and negative attribute, and Ponder will force throws that are really unnecessary. He cut down on the touchdown to interception ratio from 2009 to 2010, but still increased his interception total by 1 despite throwing fewer passes in 2010.

Best Fit:  As stated throughout, Ponder would excel in the NFL in a West coast styled offense. His quick release, solid mechanics, and excellent anticipation and footwork in 3-step passing game suit him tremendously well for a WCO.

Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Seattle, and Washington all have west coast style offenses complimentary to Ponder’s skill set; however the best fit I see is with San Francisco 49ers. To me, Ponder is a strong fit in any WCO system.

X-Factor: As I stated with Mallett, the CBA deal will have a lot to do with the quarterback’s draft stock. If teams can’t sign players or trade, then Ponder could go in round 1. That being said, health issues have to be answered and if those are not, then he could fall considerably. I feel he has put those concerns aside and now Ponder fights an uphill battle against more than a handful of first round talents on the d-line.

Where will he be drafted: Second Round

Where should he be drafted: Second Round

NFL Comparison: Matt Hasselback, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Christian Ponder 2009 highlights

Ponder vs. Samford 2010

Ryan Mallett Scouting Report

Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas, 6’6 247 lbs


Mallett audibling at the line of scrimmage
Strengths: No quarterback in the 2011 NFL draft throws a more impressive football than Ryan Mallett. Mallett can make every NFL caliber throw with zip and accuracy. Close to 6’7, Mallett has one of the highest releases in football and has no trouble seeing over the line. Playing in Bobby Petrino’s pro-style spread offense; Ryan Mallett made calls and checks at the line of scrimmage.

While at Arkansas, Mallett threw for 7,000 plus yards and 60 plus touchdowns in just two seasons. Mallett over his career averaged nearly 30 yards per touchdown pass (29.6), which is the highest in SEC history. Since 2009, Mallett has led the FBS in 30 yard or more pass completions. I could list out the extraordinary accomplishments of Ryan Mallett at Arkansas, but here is a link to check out once you finish reading this article.

Mallett’s ability to drive the football down the football field on intermediate to deep throws, most visibly shows his NFL caliber arm. When he is comfortable in the pocket, Mallett is extremely accurate throwing intermediate to deep routes. He goes through his progressions, scanning the whole field in a number of his passing plays, and generally does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield. The ability to diagnose a defense and make the proper reads is a “must have” attribute in the NFL. This is one of the reasons why Mallett could be considered the most “NFL Ready QB”.

From 2009 to 2010, there was noticeable improvement in Ryan Mallett’s game, particularly with his footwork, accuracy, and decision-making. His 3 step, 5 step, and 7 step drops looked much more refined and smoother in 2010; Mallett still has questions in this regard, but that will be developed later in the report.
What consistently stood out to me and popped up continually in my film notes, was Mallett’s footwork and comfort in the rollout passing game; some of his best plays came on rollouts and PA fakes. He keeps the same zip and quick release on rollout passes and was very effective.

In each of his three collegiate seasons, Mallett improved his accuracy by raising his completion percentage from 44.3% in 2008, to 55.8% in 2009, and finally up to 64.7% in 2010. The improved touch on short to intermediate routes can be the main reason for this rise; Mallett last season, albeit inconsistent at times, completed a number of short drag and crossing patterns that had previously gave him trouble. Still, the increased completion percentage might draw skepticism that he just started throwing more shorter and easier routes. I would answer that yes and no. Yes to shorter routes, because Mallett finally showed the competency of checking down and not forcing wild throws. No to shorter routes, because somehow, Mallett sported a 14.5 yards per completion clip, and nobody in FBS had more passes of 70 yards or more (5).

Ryan Mallett digested one of the most difficult and lengthy offensive playbooks in the country in Bobby Petrino's Pro-stye Spread offense. No player was more responsible at the line of scrimmage with pre-snap reads, check-downs, and audibles. Mallett knows how to attack each and every coverage he sees at the line of scrimmage, where his read progressions are, and NFL concepts necessary to be successful. For more on Bobby Petrino's offense, see this Sugar Bowl preview… 
Mallett's off field questions and inconsistency
Weaknesses: As mentioned before, Mallett made huge strides in raising his completion percentage, going to his check downs more, and improving his footwork. With that being said, Mallett still has very serious issues as a prospect.

I’m not going to delve into his off the field rumors and issues, but claims over former drug use and hard partying can’t excite you as an evaluator. Nevertheless, I have no more info than the rest of fans do, so I can’t play judge and jury.

Mallett’s biggest issue is his inability to win big games. Similarly to Peyton Manning back at Tennessee when he could never beat the Florida Gators, Ryan Mallett could not beat the Alabama Crimson Tide. Late in games, Mallett overly trusts his rocket arm and decides that he will emphatically throw the football through two cement walls, one car, a truck, and three defenders.

I will give him a pass on one of the interceptions he threw against Alabama, as he attempted to throw the ball safely out of bounds; but for the most part, Mallett’s decision making at the end of games is maddening. As great as he will play throughout the course of the game, when it mattered most, he struggled under the pressure.

This is where Mallett’s footwork reverts back to his old form- under pressure, with the pocket collapsing, and late in football games. Mallett’s technique and football IQ is nowhere to be found at these stages of the game, and it’s the strangest thing to watch, because not but five minutes earlier in the game, he was throwing a perfectly placed touchdown pass. With that being said, inconsistency is Ryan Mallett’s biggest flaw, followed by an inability to close out big games.


Best Fit: A number of teams are in search for a quarterback right now, but without a CBA in place, teams are unable to acquire free agents and/or trade with other teams. So if no deal is cut, then Ryan Mallett’s draft stock could soar into the top 20 or so teams, where many teams are in the market for a signal caller.

Seattle, Miami, and Minnesota to me, are the best fits. Each of the three teams has star talent at the wide receiver position (Seattle- Mike Williams, Golden Tate. Miami- Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess. Minnesota- Percy Harvin, possibly Sidney Rice if he returns), and each of the three teams like to run the ball effectively. The wealth of receivers and relative draft area are the main reasons why these are the best fits. Seattle at pick 25, is in perfect position to lock up Ryan Mallett, whose stock has seemingly dropped out of the first round. If they see him becoming their franchise quarterback, then they have to take him there. Miami at pick 15 is in great shape to trade down into late 1st, early 2nd range, garner more picks and also draft Ryan Mallett. The same goes for Minnesota with trading down and getting more picks. Coach Les Frazier of the Vikings specifically stated in the offseason that he was looking for that “Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan” type of quarterback. Ryan Mallett compares very closely with Joe Flacco, and if Frazier really does want that big, strong-armed thrower, then Ryan Mallett is the way to go.

Out of all the quarterback's in the 2011 draft class, Mallett skills and football IQ make him the best prepared and NFL-ready. Now off-field questions have to be answered in interviews, but I have a good feeling that Mallett will be a solid player at the next level.

X-Factor: The drug issues….Ryan Mallett dodged them in media interviews, and has sparked a lot of debate amongst NFL Draft experts. He needs to be candid, honest, and apologetic with teams if the rumors are fact, and teams have to be positive that these issues are behind him.

Where will he be drafted: Picks 10-32: mid to late First round

Where should he be drafted: First round

NFL Comparison: Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens

Ryan Mallett draft preview from FoxSports

Ryan Mallett highlights (from Michigan and Arkansas)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Akeem Ayers Scouting Report

Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA, 6’3 254 lbs


Strengths: A smooth and fluid athlete, Ayers has extreme potential and talent.  At 6’3 254 lbs he is loose in his hips, fluid in coverage, and gets into pass drops fast. Works well in man coverage, especially against tailbacks. Akeem has incredible range for a linebacker, flying across the field to the football when its in the air, and boasts the best ball skills in the entire linebacker class of 2011. Akeem Ayers is your ideal sam linebacker in a 43 scheme. 

Akeem Ayers definitely passes the eye test for being an NFL linebacker; a big, physical specimen, Ayers has 33-inch arms. Ayers utilizes these long arms and quick feet to keep blockers off of him, and uses his great closing burst to get to the ballcarrier. Ayers has the build and the pass rush ability to also be very intriguing as a 34 pass rushing outside linebacker. 

Although he ran in the 4.8s at the combine, Ayers excelled in the positional drills. He showed his lateral agility, quick feet, and overall smooth body control. Ayers plays with good on field speed, and combined with his size and length he poses tremendous upside.

Weaknesses: Lacks the strength needed to be strong against the run, Ayers really needs to improve on his run fitting and his overall effort. He doesn’t scrape downhill aggressively and can be noted as playing passively at times.

Gets caught with his eyes in the backfield way too often, and lacks proper footwork in his “read-steps”. His feet put him out of position and he cant help on the play. This footwork also gets him into trouble when playing man coverage on the Y or tight end.


Best Fit: Ayers’ best fit in my opinion is at sam backer in a 43 scheme. The sam, or strong side backer, is required to lock up with the opposing tight end in man calls and cover a lot of ground in zone coverages. The sam backer is also the backer most utilized in stunts and blitzes, and therefore perfectly suits Ayers' two biggest strengths- pass coverage and pass rush.

His ability in pass coverage, will make him very appealing on draft day. In a pass happy league, you either have to run a lot of nickel packages or have linebackers that can get out and make a difference in pass coverage.

X-Factor: Ayers could be getting serious looks from 34 teams in need of a pass rush threat, so how much could that help his draft stock?

I personally think that because the draft is so weak at the 43 OLB position, Ayers’ draft stock will end up becoming inflated.

Where will he be drafted: Mid First to Early Second Round

Where should he be drafted: Second Round

NFL Comparison: Karlos Dansby, LB, Miami Dolphins

Akeem Ayers vs Temple (09)

Akeem Ayers vs Stanford (10)

Daniel Thomas Scouting Report

Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State, 6’0 230


Strengths: The first thing you will notice when watching Thomas is his great size. At 6’0 230 lbs, Thomas was able to handle a heavy workload at K-State while being extremely productive. Daniel Thomas in 2009 ran for 1265 yards and 11 touchdowns, and in 2010 ran for 1585 yards and an incredible 19 touchdowns. That combined with his 52 receptions over 2 years speaks for itself. Thomas rushed for over 100 yards in 7 of his 12 games played in 2010, going for more than 180 yards in 3 of those games. 8 games he carried the rock 21 times or more, showing his workhorse ability. In each of his 2 seasons he averaged more than 5 yards per carry.

As a prospect, Daniel Thomas has the 3 things you want in an NFL running back; 1) size 2) speed and 3) versatility. Thomas runs behind his pads between the tackles and is very difficult to bring down. He is a smart runner, who patiently allows his blocks to develop. As the game wears on, Thomas seems to gain steam and play at even higher levels. He also has great body control for being such a big runner, and could be an instant plug in as a goal line back for an NFL team. Once a quarterback, Daniel Thomas also has shown effectiveness running the Wildcat offense. His open field moves combined with his size make him a tough runner to bring down.

With the NFL now being a pass-oriented league, it is essential that teams have running backs that can catch the ball. Perhaps, the most underappreciated aspect of Daniel Thomas as a player is his ability to catch the football and contribute in the passing game. Very soft hands out of the backfield, Daniel Thomas can even be seen lining up on the outside running routes. Not only can he help a team by providing the power running skills, but Thomas also can get out and be productive in the pass game.

Weaknesses: The biggest knock on Thomas has to be his initial first few steps toward the LOS. He isn’t particularly explosive when coming up to the LOS. Thomas needs to improve his acceleration to the line or else he will get hit in the backfield in the NFL. Another problem is Thomas’ tendency to be a bit upright running outside the tackles, which makes him a much easier tackle below the waist.


Best Fit: Thomas would be an excellent fit in Miami, toting the rock 20-25 times a game, and running the Wildcat. Should Mark Ingram not be available, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Dolphins trade back into the early second round or late first round range to draft Daniel Thomas.

Other fits include New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, and Washington Redskins among others.

X-Factor: Due to a left hamstring injury, Daniel Thomas was unable to perform at either the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL, or the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. How much of the momentum he built in 2010 is still in the minds of scouts and GMs in the league? Will teams lower him on their RB boards simply because he was injured? Is this injury going to linger? These questions and their answers will be very telling in where Thomas gets draft, and ultimately will decide whether Thomas is drafted in round 1 or round 3.

Where will he be drafted: 2nd to 3rd Round

Where should he be drafted: 2nd Round

NFL Comparison: Larry Johnson, RB, KC Chief, Cincinnati Bengal, and Washington Redskin, Currently a FA

Daniel Thomas vs. Kansas (09)

Daniel Thomas highlights

Rodney Hudson Scouting Report

Rodney Hudson, OG/C, Florida State 6’2 299 lbs


Strengths: Hudson is an athletic guard prospect who moves well in space and has the ability to reach 2nd level quickly. Very active in pass pro, Rodney Hudson has active hands and quick feet. Hudson has great feet for a guard/ center prospect. Works well in pass pro by staying low and having good leverage. Intelligent football player who can provide depth at both guard and center. He understands leverage and pad level in order to turn his negative of lack of size into a positive, by getting underneath his opponents.

Weaknesses: May be a bit undersized, and the weight gained over the pre-draft season might be “phantom weight”. Meaning that once he gets back to football oriented workouts, Hudson will just lose that weight and return to his sub 290 lbs playing frame. Hudson doesn’t drive on the 2nd level sometimes, due to lost balance. Can get blown back at times.


Best Fit: Although he can contribute as a center at the next level, Rodney Hudson could be an instant starter at guard in a zone-blocking scheme. Teams with interior line needs include Kansas City, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis. The Pittsburgh Steelers also need O-line overhaul. However since Pittsburgh and Philadelphia like bigger sized linemen, the best fits seem to be at Seattle, Kansas City, or Indianapolis.

X-Factor: How will he carry the added weight on the field? Or will Hudson drop it right back off and remain slightly undersized? Although he did not appear to carry the weight at first, Hudson’s position drills showed that he lost zero athleticism with the extra week. So hovering around the upper 280s to 290s, can Hudson handle the elite d-linemen of the NFL?

Where will he be drafted: Late First Round to Middle of Second Round

Where should he be drafted: Second Round

NFL Comparison: Brian Waters, LG, Kansas City Chiefs

Rodney Hudson vs. UNC (2009)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Patrick Peterson Scouting Report

Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU, 6’0 219 lbs


Strengths: One of the most talented players in the upcoming draft, Peterson is 6’0 219 lbs and runs a 4.3 in the 40! Its unreal how explosive and big Peterson is at cornerback. He has excellent man-to-man cover skills and is physical at the LOS. Great ball skills separate Patrick Peterson from the other cornerbacks in this draft; Peterson has tremendous feel for when the ball is in the air, and does a solid job of keeping it out of the receiver’s hands. Peterson intercepted 4 passes in 2010, returning those for a combined 134 yards. His hands are better than some receivers I’ve had to grade this year.

Combined with the elite cover skills, is Peterson’s versatility in the return game. One of the nations most exciting punt and kick returners to watch last season, Patrick Peterson returned 2 punt returns for touchdowns and had nearly a 1000 yards returning kickoffs. On punt returns, he averaged 11 yards per punt return.

Peterson is also solid against the run. He wraps up well and doesn’t miss many tackles. Has the build of a safety and the feet of a corner; a tremendous player and quite arguably the best player in this draft.

Weaknesses: Backpedal is not technically sound, although he still was able to shutdown top wide receivers in the SEC. Lacked effectiveness when in man-bail coverage; needs someone to teach him the finer points of bail and zone coverage. That being said, he has run and looked really good in cover 3.


Best fit: Anywhere- you can never have too many good cornerbacks. Peterson’s excellent press and man coverage would fit nicely in a multiple look defense that utilizes his athleticism. Peterson could be the next Charles Woodson in the NFL if he lands on a team with a genius D-Coordinator like Dom Capers of Green Bay. Ron Rivera, John Fox, Marvin Lewis are all defensively minded head coaches, and all three pick in the top 4 of the 2011 NFL Draft. I don’t see him falling outside of pick #9 with the Dallas Cowboys, who need tremendous revamping in the secondary.

X-Factor: Will conventional wisdom be thrown out the window in 2011? Could the Panthers actually take a cornerback with the first overall pick? Or will they follow suit with the last three NFL Drafts and draft a quarterback? Peterson’s stock is anywhere from pick 1 to pick 10, its just a matter of a team falling in love with him.

Where he will be picked: Top 10

Where he should be picked: Top 5

NFL Comparison: Rod Woodson, Hall of Fame CB/S, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Fran 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, and Oakland Raiders.

Patrick Peterson versus Julio Jones (The3-4's #2 rated wide receiver)

Patrick Peterson 2010 Highlights

Jordan Todman Scouting Report

Jordan Todman, RB, UConn, 5’9 203 lbs


Strengths: All-purpose back who can do it all. Toddman has excellent feel and vision between the tackles. Quick feet allow him to make jump cuts in and out of holes.

Considered quicker than fast, Toddman showed his speed with a 4.4 40 yard dash at the combine. Can get out on the Good leg drive combined with nice pad level, Toddman shows nice burst out of the backfield getting to the hole. He is a patient runner who waits on blocks to develop. Has the ability to get outside in a hurry with his agility and quick feet; almost always shakes the first defender.

Has soft hands and can contribute to a team with his ability as a receiver; Toddman even lined up at receiver, running routes at the slot position. Versatile athlete who returned kicks at one point, Toddman was recruited as a cornerback.

Great production at UConn, Toddman ran for 1695 yards and 14 TDs in 2010. Jordan eclipsed 1100 yards in each of his final 2 years at UConn, running for 14 touchdowns in both 2009 and 2010. Toddman was also named the Big East 2010 Offensive Player of the year.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t finish runs like you want to see. Lacks the ability to break a lot of tackles. Will unnecessarily bounce runs to the outside.

He has a small frame, but as evidenced by Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew, it is still possible to be a successful 3 down tailback and be shorter than 5’9. Toddman needs to bulk up, and add girth to his lower half. His slight lower body seems to be the reason for his lack of break tackle ability. 


Best fit: Would really flourish on a team with a "running back by committee"philosophy and a zone blocking scheme that utilizes his patient, quick cut, running style. Mike Shanahan might be interested in a back like Toddman for his zone block run game, so the Redskins might be a good fit. The St. Louis Rams might be another strong fit, as Steven Jackson badly needs a change of pace back to limit his injuries. Personnel wise, Todman could possibly land with the New York Giants. Both Brandon Jacobs' and Ahmad Bradshaw's injury woes could entice the Giants to pick Todman. Jordan Todman would be an instant contributor, possibly excelling in the power zone scheme of the Giants, and adding a third man to the running back rotation.

X-Factor: After Mark Ingram (Alabama), you can make the case for a number of running backs to be the next best in the draft. Mikel Leshoure (Illinois) has been assumed by a lot of draft experts to be the next best back, but there are also plenty of other equally talented backs out there including Jordan Todman. Todman, along with Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech) and (Demarco Murray), have a chance at being a high round draft selection. Since 1985, only 3 drafts had less than 3 running backs selected in the first round. A surprising fact to say the least, Todman has a legitimate shot at being one of those three backs taken, although I feel he is a 2nd round prospect. 

Where will he be drafted: Middle of the Second round- but as stated before, could rise into the bottom half of round 1. 

Where should he be drafted: Second round- I feel there is enough talent in the middle rounds of the draft to pass on Todman early, stash the elite d-linemen, and take a chance on a couple backs in rounds 3-5.

NFL Comparison: Tashard Choice, RB, Dallas Cowboys