One of the toughest jobs an NFL scouting department has is trying to properly evaluate players at the small-school level.
Today, the National Football Post takes a look at three small-school prospects whose names have been mentioned as possible draft choices in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Ryan Perrilloux, Jacksonville State: No. 11, QB—6'2", 228 lbs.
Ryan Perrilloux is a good athlete who showcases smooth footwork in his drop and quickly gets away from center. Perrilloux stands tall in the pocket, but gets a bit upright and narrow in his throwing base. However, he possesses a high release point and can really spin the football down the field.
Perrilloux plays better overall mechanics than given credit for, but at times gets lazy and tends to fall off his throws. He isn’t afraid to stare down the barrel of the shotgun and wait until the last second to release the ball.
He also exhibits impressive arm strength and certainly has the ability to make all of the throws at the next level. The ball really jumps out of his hand, and he showcases the coordination to complete throws off balance and/or on the run. However, he lacks touch underneath and struggles changing speeds in the pass game.
Perrilloux is still developing in the mental aspects of the game and is slow to make decisions in the face of pressure. He has the athletic ability to keep plays alive with his feet, although he trusts his legs too much at times and struggles finding his hot reads underneath.
He does a nice job keeping his eyes down the field once he breaks containment, but he also has a tendency to try to force the ball into coverage and becomes prone to turnovers. He isn’t a guy who can go from one side of the field to the other, while he struggles anticipating routes.
Impression: The tools are all there for Perrilloux to play at the next level. However, he still has a way to go in his decision-making, and there is a long list of character concerns that could hurt his chances as well.
Pat Simonds, Colgate: No. 80, WR—6'6", 226 lbs.
A king-sized receiver who towers over the competition on the outside. Pat Simonds displays good hand-eye coordination out of his routes and adjusts quickly to the football. However, he lacks a burst out of his stance and is slow to get into routes.
Simonds plays at one speed and has a tendency to gear down when asked to change directions. He isn’t any kind of a threat to run by defensive backs down the field and can be re-routed easily off of the line.
However, even when he’s covered, Simonds is still a threat to go up and high-point the ball. he exhibits great body control and awareness on the outside and consistently keeps his feet in play when extending his arms on the sideline.
Simonds uses his body well to shield defenders from the ball, but lacks the short-area quickness to create much separation out of his routes. he also plucks the ball well away from his body, but isn’t much of a threat in the open field.
He doesn’t display any type of wiggle to his game and he isn’t a wideout who will make a man miss and create after the catch.
He isn’t overly physical as a run blocker, but does a nice job getting into defenders and keeping himself between the ball and the opposition.
Impression: Simonds is a natural wideout, who possesses good ball skills and coordination attacking the play. However, he will never be able to separate from man coverage at the next level and looks more like a fringe roster player in the NFL.
Matthew McCracken, Richmond: No. 79, OG—6'3", 295 lbs.
Matthew McCracken displays a wide stance, but isn’t real flexible in his lower half. he doesn’t possess great explosion off of the ball and he consistently allows opposing linemen to get into his frame and gain initial leverage over him.
McCracken possesses the strength and quickness to recover off of the snap for a slow step and maul defenders away from the play, but he won’t be able to get away with it in the NFL. He has a tendency to get too high on contact and struggles getting his hands inside and controlling blocks at the point of attack.
He sometimes lumbers a bit on the move, but does a nice job breaking down in space and sealing a moving target away from the ball.
McCracken looks comfortable sliding laterally in a phone booth, but he plays too high and has limited range in pass protection. He isn’t much of a Velcro player and looks content to simply steer defenders away from the play, instead of finishing his blocks.
Impression: He doesn’t display the type of burst off of the ball to be real effective in the NFL. McCracken isn’t a real impressive athlete and doesn’t dominate in any area of the game, even at the FCS (I-AA) level.
Be sure to check out the rest of my breakdowns at Nationalfootballpost.com.