2009 NFP Scouting Series: Oklahoma State
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.
After finishing the 2008 season with a 9-4 record, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are loaded with prospects on both sides of the ball and look poised to make a run at the Big-12 championship.
Zac Robinson: No. 11, QB, 6'3'', 200 lbs.
A savvy athlete who has the ability to move around in the pocket and keep plays alive with his feet. Displays good balance in the pass game and does a nice job looking off defenders and manipulating coverages.
Is an accurate quarterback who knows how to throw receivers open in the short/intermediate passing game. Lacks ideal arm strength and relies on his touch and accuracy down the field. Struggles fitting the ball into tight spots and lacks zip outside the numbers. Needs to throw with his legs; balls tend to flutter on him when he’s asked to make plays but isn’t set.
Has a bit of a quirky wind-up and doesn’t hold the ball high when scanning the field. Takes a majority of his snaps from the gun, but does have some experience under center. Will need to learn to call his own audibles at the line of scrimmage; most pre-snap reads are made by the coaching staff.
Impression: A tough, athletic quarterback with good accuracy and the ability to anticipate throws. I like him and think he could develop into a contributing West Coast QB in the NFL.
Kendall Hunter: No. 24, RB, 5'8'', 190 lbs.
An undersized back who does a great job making himself small through the hole and bursting into space. Runs with patience and has the footwork and body control to quickly change directions at the line of scrimmage. Does a great job squaring his shoulders after his initial cut and getting north/south quickly.
However, he needs to do a better job taking what the defense gives and not trying to make so many defenders miss on the edge. Will occasionally run himself out of the play. Displays good vision from a traditional I-formation set, but isn’t going to consistently push the pile or pick up tough yards inside.
Showcases a good pad level, but doesn’t have the power to run through would-be tacklers.
Impression: Is very slippery at the line of scrimmage and does a great job reading run lanes and exploding into daylight. His lack of size will be his biggest obstacle.
Dez Bryant: No. 1, WR, 6'2'', 215 lbs.
Is very patient coming off the line of scrimmage and almost lulls defenders to sleep with his first couple of steps. However, he does a great job dropping his hips and exploding out of his breaks for a guy his size.
Exhibits impressive balance as a route runner and always seems to have his feet under him when asked to change directions. Understands how to set up corners and work his way into soft spots in zone coverage.
His first step is more quick than fast and it does take him a bit to get going. He’s a very powerful runner in the open field with the long strides to get behind a secondary.
Does a great job high-pointing the football and uses his long arms and leaping ability to consistently win jump-ball situations. Exhibits strong hands and knows how to secure all catches away from his frame. He is so physical off the line that he is rarely asked to beat press coverage at the college level—a trait that may hinder his initial impact at the next level.
Impression: Looks like a legitimate No. 1 receiving option in the NFL.
Russell Okung: No. 76, OT, 6'6'', 305 lbs.
Displays good coordination and footwork in the run game and possess the length to steer defenders down the line on slide-down blocks. Has an explosive kick-step and consistently is able to reach the corner vs. speed rushers. Does a nice job extending his arms in pass protection and quickly redirecting on the counter move.
Lacks the power to really drive defenders off the ball as an in-line run blocker and allows linemen to work their way through his blocks when he doesn’t have his feet in front of them. Doesn’t displays much of a punch on contact and lacks the strength to consistently lock onto defenders and stay on his blocks for an extended period of time.
However, he possesses the athletic ability to consistently mirror linemen in space and keep the blind side of the QB clean.
Impression: Possesses the length and footwork of an NFL left tackle, just needs to continue to add strength to his overall frame.
Brady Bond: No. 60, OT, 6'7'', 295 lbs.
Exhibits a good initial first step out of his stance and sets very quickly in the pass game. However, he lacks the fluidity to keep sliding toward the corner and will give up the edge vs. speed rushers.
Does a nice job firing off the ball in the run game as well. Has the first-step burst to reach defenders off his frame and seal them away from the play. Doesn’t possess the lower body strength or natural leverage to drive linemen off the ball, but does do a nice job keeping his hands inside and is tough to disengage from.
Impression: His first-step quickness is his best attribute and consistently puts him in position to sustain blocks. May be an interesting development guy for a zone-blocking scheme.
Andrew Lewis: No. 54, OG, 6'5'', 290 lbs.
Displays natural flexibility out of his stance and does a nice job getting under defenders and sealing them off the ball. Possesses some short-area quickness and is fluid when asked to redirect in pass protection. However, isn’t nearly as comfortable in the open field and struggles reaching and hitting a moving target.
Impression: A tall lineman with good feet for his size, but struggles at the second level and lacks the power to create movement in the run game.
Swanson Miller: No. 90, DT, 6'4'', 300 lbs.
Possesses good bend and flexibility in his stance, but lacks instincts and awareness off the ball. Has a big frame with the athletic ability and closing burst to make plays down the line and be a factor on stunts. Displays good coordination with his hands and punches in sync with his feet. Gets a bit high on contact, which will negate his natural power and strength.
Impression: An intriguing lineman who’s worth keeping an eye on. All the tools are there from a physical standpoint, but he needs to continue to develop.
Patrick Lavine: No. 4, OLB, 6'3'', 222 lbs.
Exhibits good lateral mobility and change-of-direction skills in his drop and has the burst to cover some ground in space. Showcases good closing speed toward the ball and does a nice job breaking down on contact and wrapping up.
Isn’t a real physical tackler, but consistently gets his man to the ground. Struggles disengaging from blocks in the run game and is consistently stonewalled or walked away from the play at the point of attack.
Impression: Possesses some natural closing speed and is a secure tackler, but really lacks power in all areas of his game.
Andre Sexton: No. 20, OLB/SS, 6'0'', 215 lbs.
An OLB/SS tweener who plays with a low pad level and does a nice job slipping blocks and breaking down on the ball. Exhibits good read-and-react ability in space and is a solid wrap-up tackler. Always seems to be flowing toward the ball and quickly diagnoses his run/pass keys. Displays sound ball skills, but lacks the burst and straight-line speed to play in the secondary. Allows receivers to easily cross his face and struggles getting out of his breaks and driving on routes in coverage.
Impression: A real tweener who looks more like a committed special teams guy at the next level.
Perrish Cox: No. 16, CB, 6'0'', 195 lbs.
Gets high in his drop and looks too casual in off coverage, which causes him to struggle dropping his hips and closing on the football. Consistently gives up easy completions underneath and fails to drive on the play. Has a tendency to start opening his hips up the further he gets down the field and lacks the balance and footwork to cleanly get out of his breaks.
Is an explosive leaper who does a nice job locating the ball quickly and attacking it at its highest point. Displays good range in zone coverage and has the ability to make plays away from his frame. Is a sound wrap-up tackler who possesses some pop and will drive his legs through contact.
Impression: Doesn’t look like a man-to-man cornerback because of his raw footwork. However, he possesses good range and ball skills and looks more like a zone corner or possible free safely prospect.
Be sure to check out the rest of my breakdowns at Nationalfootballpost.com.
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