2009 NFP Scouting Series: Virginia Tech
This summer, the National Football Post is breaking down every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) to identify players who might warrant interest from NFL teams in the 2010 draft.
The Virginia Tech Hokies return a talented group of prospects from their 2009 Orange Bowl victory and are again expected to compete for the ACC title.
Tyrod Taylor: No. 5, QB, 6'1", 216
More of an athlete playing the quarterback position at this stage in his development. Is a really gifted runner and is always a threat to take off and pick up yards on the ground. Showcases natural strength in the open field with the lateral agility to consistently make the first man miss.
Isn’t real comfortable in the pocket and gets squeamish in the face of pressure; has a tendency to put his head down and tuck the ball away too quickly. Is still developing as a passer and is limited to only reading one side of the field. Struggles going through his progressions and lacks the ability to decipher information quickly in the pass game. Has a tendency to bounce in the pocket and lacks ideal footwork when setting to throw.
Is a more gifted passer than given credit for, possesses a strong arm and can fit the ball into tight areas. His accuracy will get spotty at times, and he lacks ideal rhythm in the short/intermediate pass game, but displays good touch down the field.
Impression: Still has a way to go, but offers an intriguing skill set and should at least find a home as a “wildcat” option.
Ed Wang: No. 77, OT, 6'5", 305
Is a tall, lean lineman who displays a quick kick-step off the snap and has the athleticism to reach the corner in the pass game. Is very patient in pass protection and does a nice job extending his arms and keeping linemen off his frame.
Possesses the fluidity to mirror defenders in space with the coordination to punch, recoil, and set again quickly. However, he lacks ideal flexibility and has a tendency to get too high off the ball. Can be bull-rushed at the point of attack.
Exhibits good quickness out of his stance in the run game and showcases the athleticism to get around linemen and reach block on either side of him. Displays good hand placement on contact and demonstrates an ability to angle defenders away from the play and seal outside. Looks natural when asked to pull along the line and possesses the body control to consistently hit a moving target at the second level.
Impression: Needs to add a little more power/bulk to his frame, but is a coordinated athlete who could end up developing into a starting left tackle at the next level.
Sergio Render: No. 70, OG, 6'3", 318
A thick, long-armed lineman who’s a natural bender and can really fire out of his stance. Displays good pop on contact and does a nice job winning initial hand battles and gaining inside position. Consistently is able to work his legs through contact and create movement as an in-line run blocker.
Looks natural in space and exhibits the body control to drop his pad level and cut down defenders along the line of scrimmage. Does an excellent job pivoting out of his stance and quickly reaching targets away from his frame.
Sits into his stance well and displays the base strength to anchor vs. the interior bull-rush. Possesses the size and length to engulf defenders at the point of attack but has a tendency to get a bit overextended on contact. Lacks ideal lateral fluidity when engaged and will fall off blocks in pass protection.
Impression: Has the ability to create movement in the run game and engulf defenders at the point of attack. Looks like a starting interior lineman at the next level.
Greg Boone: No. 8, TE, 6'3", 287
A massive tight end prospect who displays good short-area quickness in the pass game and runs very well for a player his size. Is shifty after the catch and exhibits the power to consistently rumble through tacklers in the open field. Possesses good natural strength as a blocker and can control defenders at the point of attack.
Impression: Displays impressive body control and agility for his size. Might be a prospect who could add some weight and possibly make the move to the offensive line at the next level.
Jason Worilds: No. 6, DE/OLB, 6'2", 245
A flexible defensive end who coils up well and fires off the ball like a sprinter out of his stance. Has the burst to consistently reach the edge and does a great job dropping his inside shoulder and dipping under offensive tackles. Displays the balance and body control to stay on his feet when flattening out once he reaches the corner.
Showcases good technique and maximizes his first step with correct footwork off the snap. Does a nice job extending his arms on contact, but doesn’t demonstrate the power to consistently get much of a push on his bull-rush.
Has a tendency to shut down the motor once he’s out of a play and doesn’t always work hard in pursuit. Lacks the awareness to consistently find the ball and will overrun plays trying to get after the QB. However, he will stay at home when he reads run off the snap and does a nice job quickly redirecting in space and closing on the play. Lacks the girth to hold the point of attack, but does a nice job funneling inside and fighting toward the football.
Impression: I love his footwork out of his stance and burst off the edge. Has the makings of a pure pass rusher at the next level, in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme.
Cam Martin: No. 41, OLB, 6'1", 216
Is an explosive linebacker who looks natural in space and possesses the balance to quickly change directions and close on the football. Showcases good fluidity in the pass game and does a nice job getting in and out of his breaks cleanly. Is undersized and lacks the power to take on blockers in the hole. However, he exhibits good instincts and always puts himself in positions to make plays.
Impression: A guy I really like on film; could certainly play as a run-and-hit linebacker in a Cover 2 scheme at the next level.
Cody Grimm: No. 26, OLB/SS, 5'11", 205
An instinctive athlete who diagnoses plays quickly and has a nose for the ball. Isn’t real fluid when asked to change directions in space and lacks great closing speed in pursuit. However, he displays good short-area quickness and does a nice job sidestepping blockers and making his way toward the football.
Uses his hands well to keep himself clean and is a secure, wrap-up tackler. Has a thin upper body and simply lacks the frame to be real effective inside the box.
Impression: An outside linebacker/strong safety tweener who will need to make his mark on special teams to have a shot at the next level. However, I don’t think he will mind that one bit.
Stephan Virgil: No. 22, CB, 5'11", 187
A flexible corner who sits into his stance well and is patient out of his drop. Does a nice job mixing up his angles and shadings in coverage and seems to disrupt the rhythm of opposing receivers. Showcases clean footwork out of his breaks and has the ability to quickly change directions and close on the ball.
Will lose balance at times when trying to flip his hips and lacks the kind of speed to make up for a sloppy transition. However, he uses his hands well to re-route receivers off the line and exhibits good strength to his game.
Likes to see the quarterback in off-coverage and will angle himself side-on to the receiver before the snap, but after the snap he does a nice job flipping into his backpedal and possesses the ability to quickly redirect out of his breaks. Is tough to separate from in the short/intermediate pass game and consistently stays in the receiver’s back pocket.
Impression: Has some vices, but overall shows good footwork and fluidity in coverage. Could compete for a starting spot in the NFL.
Kam Chancellor: No. 17, FS, 6'3", 226
A physical, downhill safety who takes good angles toward the ball and consistently closes quickly on the play. Has an intimidating presence about him in the secondary and displays the power to disengage ball from man on contact.
Lacks ideal fluidity in space and struggles keeping his feet under him out of his breaks. Is more of a straight-line athlete who struggles quickly redirecting and can be targeted on play-fakes. However, he’s very patient in his drop and does a good job diagnosing pass plays and using the sideline as an extra defender.
Impression: A good-looking athlete with natural pop and good straight-line speed, although his skill set seems to fit more of a strong safety role at the next level.
Be sure to check out the rest of my team breakdowns at NationalFootballPost.com.
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