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 Duke football program saw a bit of a resurgence last season under first-year head coach David Cutcliffe. Don’t expect the Blue Devils to compete for an ACC title this year, but they should be able to build on their four wins from a year ago.
Thaddeus Lewis: No. 9, QB, 6-1, 200
The Duke offense is tailored to Lewis, and he isn’t asked to make many NFL-type throws.
Does a nice job looking off defenders and manipulating the defense off the snap. However, he isn’t a quarterback who can sit in the pocket and quickly go through progressions; he’s more of a one-read guy who will stare down his receiver and wait for him to open up.
Displays a high, over-the-top release and exhibits good touch down the field. But he gets sloppy with his footwork and consistently throws with a narrow base, which takes away from his arm strength. Showcases the coordination to be very effective on bootlegs and completes some of the tougher throws he’s asked to make. Can really uncork a pass rolling against his frame and complete throws outside the numbers.
Impression: Lacks the necessary fundamentals to be considered much of a quarterback prospect. Shows some flashes, but he needs a lot of work.
Brett Huffman: No. 87, TE, 6-5, 238
Does a nice job getting off the ball quickly and taking proper angles into blocks. Works his legs hard through contact and has the length to angle defensive ends away from the play. However, he has a tendency to overextend and lose his balance when trying to get his hands on a defender. Exhibits the ability to gain an initial surge, but consistently falls off blocks and/or will whiff at the point of attack.
Displays good athleticism in the pass game and possesses the straight-line speed to run away from coverage and create plays down the seam. Adjust well to the football and showcases good body control for a receiver his size. Uses his hands to pluck the ball away from his frame, but lacks the lateral quickness to do much damage after the catch. Does a nice job selling his blocks out of his stance and slipping into the pass game as a release value. However, he needs to do a better job keeping his pad level down. Has a tendency to come off the ball too high and can be easily re-routed. At times can be slow to get into the pass game.
Impression: More of a straight-line athlete, but has an ability to get on top of defenses quickly and make plays down the seam. Needs to add more strength to his frame, but if he can continue to mature, he possesses the athletic ability to make a roster in the NFL.
Vince Oghobaase: No. 3, DT, 6-6, 302
A tall, long-armed lineman who displays good flexibility and bend for a man his size. Coils up well into his stance and plays with natural leverage on contact. However, he isn’t overly powerful at the point of attack, and the harder he works up the field the higher his pad level gets. Possesses the strength to walk interior linemen into the backfield, but can be sealed away from the play. Is at his best using his length to stack and shed blocks and does a nice job keeping opposing linemen off his frame.
Displays an impressive bust out of his stance and is consistently one of the first defensive linemen moving off the ball. Gets into opposing linemen quickly and does a great job extending his long arms on contact. Exhibits good body control and possesses a jolting punch that allows him to create space and sidestep blocks. Is very sudden and has the coordination to keep his balance when asked to slip linemen laterally and close on the play away from his frame.
Showcases good overall technique and moves his feet and arms in sync. Exhibits a compact arm-over move and showcases the ability to drop his pad level after he gains a step and works his way into the backfield.
Impression: Has the length and coordination to create pressure inside at the next level, but I think he’s best suited to play outside as a DE in a 3-4 scheme.
Vincent Rey: No. 31, ILB, 6-0, 242
A short, thickly built linebacker who sniffs out the ball quickly at the line of scrimmage and breaks down well on contact. Does a nice job playing with natural leverage and possesses the pad level to duck under blocks inside and work his way toward the football. Has a long set of arms for his frame and consistently is able to trip up ball carriers and wrap up on contact. However, he isn’t overly powerful in any area of the game and lacks much of a thump on contact; is more of a drag-down guy. Demonstrates the initial burst to make plays away from his frame, but needs to do a better job keeping himself clean in traffic.
Showcases a good feel in zone coverage and displays the footwork to flip his hips and quickly get out of his breaks. However, he possesses only decent range and isn’t going to “wow” you with his athletic ability.
Impression: An undersized linebacker who works hard and scraps for the football. However, his lack of size, power and overall athletic ability will keep him from warranting a draftable grade.
Be sure to check out the rest of my breakdowns at Nationalfootballpost.com.