2009 National Football Post Scouting Series: Wake Forest

Dale ThortonCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 29:  Riley Skinner #11 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons throws a pass against the Connecticut Huskies during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 29, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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 teams in the 2010 NFL Draft.

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons have some talented pieces in place on the defensive side of the ball but will likely have a tough time replacing the four draft picks they lost to the 2009 draft.


Riley Skinner: No. 11, QB, 6-0, 205

An undersized quarterback who lacks the ideal physical skill set for the position. Doesn’t possess the arm strength to consistently get the ball down the field and lacks zip outside the numbers.

However, he throws a very catchable ball and showcases good touch and rhythm in the pass game. Sets quickly in the pocket and does a nice job manipulating coverages and getting the ball out on time.

Displays the ability to throw receivers open and exhibits good accuracy in the short/intermediate pass game.

He needs to do a better job scanning the entire field and going through his progressions quicker. Lacks the arm strength to be late on any kind of throw.

Impression: Doesn’t have the physical skill set required for the NFL game; looks more like a CFL prospect.

Ben Wooster: No. 85, TE, 6-5, 235

A big target who lacks burst out of his stance and looks stiff when asked to get down the field. Runs upright and struggles cleanly changing directions, but locates the ball quickly and does a nice job adjusting to the throw.

Is a natural receiver who looks comfortable catching with his hands and quickly securing the grab. However, he needs to do a better job extending his arms and plucking balls away from his frame.

Is a strider who picks up speed as he goes, but isn’t any kind of vertical threat. Showcases a good feel in the pass game and knows how to find soft spots down the field, but won’t run away from anyone in coverage.

Impression: A big, lumbering tight end prospect with a good feel in the pass game, but will really struggle trying to separate at the next level.


John Russell: No. 51, DT/DE, 6-3, 280

An instinctive defender who does a nice job extending his arms into blocks and knows how to control opposing linemen on contact. Lines up inside on the Wake Forest defense, but is better suited to play defensive end at the next level.

Does a nice job getting his hands up quickly and moving his arms and feet in sync off the snap. Possesses the length to keep himself clean in the run game and consistently disengages toward the ball.

However, he lacks the strength in his base to hold the point of attack inside and is easily washed out of plays when asked to take on any kind of double-team.

Demonstrates a good motor and works hard in pursuit but makes most of his tackles are well past the line of scrimmage.

Showcases good body control and coordination as a pass rusher, uses his club move to create space inside and possesses the balance to work his way up the field on contact.

However, he consistently lets his pad level get too high and doesn’t possess the explosion to penetrate cleanly once he gains a step.

Impression: Uses his hands well and knows how to control blockers at the point of attack. Looks like a possible five-technique defensive end at the next level.

Boo Robinson: No. 96, DT, 6-1, 305

A thickly built interior lineman who displays natural bend in his lower half and plays with impressive leverage on contact. Possesses a good first step and is consistently one of the first defensive linemen moving off the ball.

Demonstrates the quickness to threaten gaps inside and can work his way through the double team. Isn’t overly explosive, but possesses a strong lower half. Can create some havoc up the middle.

Displays good short-area quickness as a pass rusher and uses his violent arm-over move to shed blocks inside. However, he lacks the closing burst to simply fire past offensive linemen once when he gains a step.

Sits into his stance well and possess the base strength to anchor at the point of attack. Does a nice job dropping his pad level on contact and showcases the coordination to slip the double-team and work his way toward the ball.

Demonstrates a great motor down the line and works hard in pursuit.

Needs to do a better job consistently finding the ball off the snap. Has a tendency to take himself out of plays inside and struggles working his way back toward the ball.

Impression: Has the skill set to man a starting defensive tackle spot in a 4-3 defense and reminds me a bit of former California defensive tackle Brandon Mebane.

Brandon Ghee: No. 17, CB, 6-0, 191

A real physical specimen who isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder and bring the wood through a tackle. Showcases a good pop on contact and possesses the strength to disengage ball from man down the field.

An explosive athlete who gets out of his breaks quickly and has a second gear to his game. Demonstrates great range and possesses the closing speed to consistently track the football from behind.

Does a nice job flipping his hips and transitioning cleanly out of his back-pedal. However, it’s his impressive straight-line speed that consistently puts him in position to make plays on the ball.

Uses his frame well to box receivers away from the play and is physical in press coverage.

However, he does have a tendency to get choppy with his footwork when trying to change directions and relies more on his pure athletic ability than overall technique at this stage in his development.

Impression: Possesses the size, speed and ball skills to develop into a starting man-to-man corner at the next level.

Be sure to check out the rest of my team breakdowns at NationalFootballPost.com.


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