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 Iowa State Cyclones have combined for only two wins in the Big 12 the past two seasons and again look short on NFL-caliber talent.
Derrick Catlett: No. 84, FB/TE, 6'4", 252
Has a big, well-built frame and displays some natural pop on contact. However, he struggles using his hands and doesn’t stay on blocks when attacking downhill. But does a nice job when asked to reach the perimeter and seal opposing defenders from the play. Exhibits some natural coordination in space and has the ability to anchor into his stance in pass protection. Showcases a good feel for the pass game and does a nice job chipping at the line and releasing underneath. Isn’t a great athlete and struggles separating in man coverage.
Impression: Has some power as a lead blocker, but struggles staying on defenders when attacking downhill.
Collin Franklin: No. 88, TE, 6'6", 248
A big target who possesses the body type to add even more weight to his frame and not lose any athleticism. Does a nice job extending his long arms on contact, but lacks the power in his lower half to handle defenders in the run game. Is a savvy receiver who knows how to sell himself as a blocker and slip down the field in the pass game. Possesses good ball skills and has the ability to go up and attack the football at its highest point. Isn’t real explosive and lumbers as a route runner in the open field. Will struggle separating from man coverage at the next level, but understands where to sit down in zone coverage and gets north/south quickly after the catch.
Impression: A developing TE prospect with a nice-sized frame, but needs to become a more physical blocker to have any chance at the next level.
Reggie Stephens: No. 73, OG, 6'3", 338
A thickly built lineman who displays good flexibility in his stance and a wide base. Lacks lateral quickness in pass protection and looks top-heavy when asked to move in space. Struggles sliding his feet on contact and doesn’t possess the footwork or length to remain on blocks. Has a tendency to overextend when trying to reach targets away from his frame and consistently loses his balance in all areas of the game. Displays a good base and does a nice job anchoring at the point of attack. Sits into his stance well and exhibits natural leverage on contact.
Showcases a strong initial jolt at the point of attack in the run game and has the ability to turn defenders away from the play. However, he doesn’t demonstrate the kind of power his frame would indicate and struggles simply driving opposing linemen off the ball. Isn’t much of a Velco player and consistently allows defenders to free themselves after his initial surge.
Impression: A powerful looking lineman, but isn’t as physical as his frame would indicate and struggles with his lateral mobility in the pass game.
Marquis Hamilton: No. 82, WR, 6'4", 228
A king-sized wideout who’s heavy footed out of his stance and struggles getting off the line and into his routes. However, he builds up speed as he goes, and the farther he gets down the field the tougher he is to cover. Isn’t quick or sudden out of his breaks, but does a nice job selling his routes and gaining a step on corners. Isn’t afraid to work the middle of the field and does a nice job driving on the safety and settling down underneath.
Lets the ball get into his body too much and doesn’t do a good job extending his long arms and plucking the ball away from his frame. Lacks the necessary body control to explode out of his breaks at full speed and is consistently forced to chop his feet and gather himself before trying to change directions.
Impression: A big, long-armed target who lacks the burst and body control to gain separation at the next level.
Jesse Smith: No. 54, ILB, 6'0, 232
Looks stiff when asked to slide laterally and lacks burst attacking downhill at the line of scrimmage. Showcases good instincts and does nice job finding the ball between the tackles and attacking the proper run lane. However, he struggles breaking down in the hole and is easily washed out of plays. Needs to do a better job lowering his pad level on contact and playing with a stronger base when trying to slip and/or shed blocks.
Reads and reacts quickly to plays and consistently gets a good jump on the football.
But lacks range in all areas of his game and struggles making plays on the perimeter.
Impression: A stiff, limited linebacker who doesn’t possess the power between the tackles to make up for his lack of athleticism.
Fred Garrin: No. 43, OLB, 6'2", 232
Displays questionable instincts at the line of scrimmage as he is slow to locate the ball and decipher play fakes. Is consistently playing from behind in the pass game and lacks coordination in his back-pedal. Has a tendency to turn his back to the play when asked to drop off into zone coverage and struggles redirecting toward the ball. Lacks awareness making his way through traffic and struggles keeping himself clean. Works hard fighting through blocks, but struggles breaking down and making the tackle when met with any kind of resistance by an opposing lineman.
Impression: Lacks instincts and doesn’t make many plays on the ball. Isn’t an NFL-ready defender.
James Smith: No. 2, FS, 5'9", 191
An undersized safety who acts as the eraser in the deep half of the field for the Cyclones’ defense. Does a nice job angling ball carriers toward the sideline and taking proper angles to the ball. Showcases good footwork and balance out of his breaks and is very difficult to gain separation from in man coverage. Gets up to speed quickly and has the range to play sideline to sideline. Is fluid in space and does a nice job being patient in his drop and flipping his hips when asked to run down the field.
Attacks the line of scrimmage, but exhibits good body control and has the ability to break down on contact and wrap up in space. However, he will bite on play fakes and take himself out of position in the pass game. Plays a bit careless at times and needs to demonstrate more awareness, especially when asked to play in the center-field type of role.
Impression: An interesting safety prospect who’s vastly underrated due to the lack of talent around him. But I think he has the tools to find a role in the NFL.
Be sure to check out the rest of my team breakdowns at Nationalfootballpost.com.