College Football Recruiting 2013: The One Weakness of Each Top 10 Prospect
As I evaluate the prospects of each class, I make my standard scouting reports of strengths and weaknesses. As a respect for the prospects and their hard work, I try to shy away from listing their weaknesses because at the end of the day these are fantastic football players.
However, nobody is perfect and nobody ever will. We've seen some prospects that were close, but everyone has a weakness. For this read, I'm going to give you the one main weakness of the elite top-10 prospects for the 2013 class.
Let's get going!
10. Antonio Conner, DB
Conner is a 6'2", 200 pound defensive back prospect from Mississippi that likely will play strong safety in college. He has great instincts, is an excellent open field tackler and attacks well in the box.
He shows great speed and is a very good athlete, so he should be star wherever ends up.
However, his main weakness is cover awareness and route recognition on the back end. He's not a natural roamer/cover guy in the deep middle and needs to work on his zone cover skills and awareness.
9. Ty Isaac, RB
I love Isaac's size at 6'3", 220 pounds and excellent speed from the RB position. His length, elusiveness and ability to get to the edges of the box is a neat trait for such a big back.
Yet for such a big back, Isaac is not as strong as you'd think. I think his main weakness right now is run strength to pop tackles and sustain as pass protector picking up blitzes.
Once he gets stronger and learns good blocking technique to hold up linebackers, he'll be on his way to becoming a complete back.
8. Kenny Bigelow, DL
Bigelow is an uber-athletic trench player and has lined up at DT, DE, OLB, MLB and more in high school. However, he'll likely man the DT spot at USC, as a 3-technique guy.
His super explosive snap quickness is overwhelming, and he's physical at the point of attack. Yet, a 6'3", 280 pounds, is Bigelow a DT or is he better suited for the strong side DE spot.
That's one of the only few questions surrounding Bigelow's game, the question of is he a tweener.
7. Max Browne, QB
He's the nation's top QB prospect and goes 6'5" and about 200 pounds. Browne shows great mechanics, a quick and smooth release, solid arm strength, touch and accuracy.
Yet, I question his escapability and mobility to get outside the pocket. He's not Michael Vick, but is Browne at-least as athletic as Alex Smith is?
6. Laremy Tunsil, OT
Tunsil is the nation's top OT prospect and goes 6'6" and weighs in the 280 range. He shows great raw athleticism, feet, agility and all the tools to be a top flight LT.
But Tunsil is very raw in his technique, will waistbend at times, and I question his strength. He'll stall in the run game and can be walked back in the pocket by mass and power.
Once Tunsil gets in a college strength and conditioning program, he'll begin to both fill out his frame while also gaining the strength he needs to acquire to become the player he can be.
5. Su'a Cravens, DB/OLB
A great two-way threat, Cravens can play RB, WR, OLB and S for a team. He figures to become either a safety or OLB in college, as his 6'1", 200 pound frame will fill out stoutly.
Cravens has excellent athletic ability, play speed, range and easy movement skills in his change of direction and agility. He competes hard and is a play maker all over the field
However, he needs to work on his cover skills as a man defender. Cravens is athletic enough to hold his own, but covering a slot receiver one on one is not his strong suit.
4. Vernon Hargreaves III, CB
Hargreaves is a 5'10" 180 pound cover corner from Florida with great technique. He'll slow play route and read the QB's drops to sync up with a WR's release to get a solid feel and anticipate routes.
Hargreaves has the speed to carry receivers deep and shows loose hips to turn and run with anyone in the country. However, he lacks the shock value at the line of scrimmage in his attempts to press and re-route WR's at the line.
Once he gets a bit stronger, he'll start to be more effective at pressing and jamming.
3. Thomas Tyner, RB
Tyner is a 6'0" 200 pound running back from Oregon with serious speed. He's one of the fastest players to ever come out of high school and could compete in the Junior Olympics.
Once he turns his shoulders to the goal posts and has space, start playing the school fight music because Tyner is on his way to he house. His size is also an asset, as his solid run strength.
However, Tyner has battled injuries, and durability is a concern. Is he suited to be a bell cow back or is more of a jack guy, that is to be used in different ways for an offense?
2. Reuben Foster, LB
Foster is a nearly complete LB prospect as he can athletically do everything and anything that is asked of him. He stands 6'2" and weighs around 240 pounds.
He's instinctive, physical, athletic, fast, quick, agile, strong, powerful and willing to meet anyone in a run alley to mix it up. He's a star in the making and probably has been the best LB prospect in the country for two years now.
The only thing I can nitpick at his game is his coverage skills. I think he needs more reps as a zone defender to hone his awareness and as a man defender to get used to covering RBs and TEs more.
1. Robert Nkemdiche, DL
6'5", and 270 pounds, Robert Nkemdiche is a physical freak and the premier prospect in the nation. He can play DE, DT or 3-4 OLB for a squad on defense alone.
Nkemdiche has explosive snap quickness, can jump on top of a blocker and has the length to stay clean, athleticism, will and sheer "it" to make a play on the passer down after down.
Should he use his strength and power, he can easily walk a blocker back into the QB in his sleep. Nkemdiche can stop and stack and anchor vs. the run and has speed and range to pursue and hawk from the backside.
His weakness is his technique and pass rush plan. He's still learning how to set up blockers for snaps and downs later in a series or game. He has to get better at using his hands to shed and disengage from blockers.