For the rest of the summer, the National Football Post will break 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 Missouri Tigers, a team known primarily for their offensive attack in recent years, might begin to make some noise on the defensive side of the ball in 2009. They feature one of the nation’s top outside linebacker prospects, who has big-time starting potential at the next level.
Derrick Washington: No. 24, RB, 5'11", 225 lb.
Possesses a thickly built frame, but doesn’t run with much power or thump inside. Has a tendency to get too upright, trying to tiptoe his way through the line of scrimmage instead of lowering his head and driving for tough yards. Isn’t explosive out of his cuts and struggles getting back up to full speed quickly.
Displays good footwork as a runner and takes short compact steps, which makes it hard to knock him off balance. Exhibits some wiggle in the open field and has the short-area quickness to make men miss. However, he lacks a second gear and isn’t any kind of a big-play threat.
Impression: Isn’t a real physical back and will never have a high yards per carry average in the NFL.
Danario Alexander: No. 81, WR, 6'5", 210 lb.
A big, long target who struggles getting out of first gear and into his routes. Displays some short-area quickness, although he consistently slows down to gather himself before getting out of his breaks. Lacks the ability to redirect quickly and struggles gaining separation on all levels of the field. Does a nice job using his big frame to shield defenders and has the kind of reach that allows him to go up and get the ball even when he’s covered.
Impression: A strider who doesn’t have the burst or balance to separate at the next level.
Tim Barnes: No. 62, OC, 6'4", 305 lb.
Displays good footwork off the snap and has athleticism to quickly set and get into his stance. Showcases sound coordination and fluidity in pass protection, but isn’t real heavy-handed and lacks the ability to stay on blocks. Has a tendency to overextend in pass protection when a DT lines up over him, allowing them to easily cross his face and penetrate into the backfield. Isn’t asked to consistently play as a traditional center in pass protection. At times will drop off four/five yards into the backfield and clean up any penetration that takes place in front of him.
Looks natural pulling in space and has the body control to reach the second level and blow up an opposing target. Does a nice job lowering his pad level and really exploding through contact. However, struggles moving defenders off the line of scrimmage and doesn’t display much pop in the run game.
Impression: A good athlete who displays the athleticism to hold his own in the wide splits of the Missouri spread offense.
Kurtis Gregory: No. 78, OG, 6'5", 305 lb.
Needs to do a better job sitting into his stance in pass protection and playing with a lower pad level. Does a nice job getting his hands under defenders and playing with a wide base, but can get jacked backward at the point of attack and walked into the backfield.
Possesses smooth footwork and exhibits the ability to redirect and slide laterally in pass protection. Does a nice job picking up stunts and has the lateral mobility to cover the wide splits of the Missouri offense. However, he exhibits below-average instincts and at times is a bit slow to diagnose defenses and pick up a blitzing defender. Showcases good coordination in space and possesses the athleticism to get down the field and seal a moving target.
Impression: A coordinated athlete who has the fluidity to slide in pass protection but lacks base strength and will struggle with bigger linemen inside.
Jaron Baston: No. 96, DT, 6'1", 305 lb.
An instinctive defensive lineman who does a nice job consistently locating the football and sniffing out the screen. Is a good athlete in space, works hard in pursuit, and possesses the closing speed to make plays away from his frame. Exhibits above-average quickness off the snap and has the burst to threaten gaps inside and work his way into the backfield.
However, he lacks the type of power in his lower half to simply drive his way through the double-team. Gets into offensive linemen quickly and exhibits a good initial punch on contact. Demonstrates a quick arm-over move off the snap, which allows him to keep himself clean and make plays along the line of scrimmage.
Doesn’t show much fight once offensive linemen get their hands on him and looks content to be blocked at times. Isn’t overly physical vs. the run game, can be easily washed away from the play and is routinely handled by the double-team.
Impression: An above average athlete who works hard and could find his way into a defensive tackle rotation as a one-gap lineman.
Sean Weatherspoon: No. 12, OLB, 6'1", 245 lb.
An explosive athlete who gets from point A to point B as quickly as any linebacker in the nation. Absolutely fires out of his stance and gets up to speed instantly. Showcases a nose for the ball and does a nice job reading his run/pass keys and breaking on the play. However, he doesn’t display the same type of instincts inside the box and will struggle finding the proper run lane to fill at times.
Isn’t real physical at the point of attack and can be washed down the field when linemen get into his frame. But he has the quickness to slip blocks and uses his hands well to keep himself clean in traffic. Displays great fluidity in coverage and does a nice job keeping his feet under him and closing on the play. Redirects quickly in space and has the body control to change directions on a dime. Makes plays sideline to sideline and is constantly around the football.
Impression: Is a bit on the short side, but is as explosive as any linebacker in the nation and looks like a real playmaker on the weak side for a 4-3 team.
Carl Gettis: No. 19, CB, 5'11", 200 lb.
A thickly built corner with natural flexibility in his stance. Lacks clean footwork in his initial drop and has a tendency to take a false step. Opens his hips too early and will sidesaddle his way down the field. Struggles transitioning out of his sidesaddle drop and allows receivers to easily get behind him.
Is at his best when asked to get up in the faces of receivers and bail into zone coverage. Showcases good range down the field and has the burst and body control to track the football. Possesses the ability to drop his hips and close underneath, although he struggles breaking down and wrapping on contact after giving up a completion. Lacks ideal instincts, is very aggressive and can be exploited down the field by the double move. Doesn’t possess the second gear to make up for a false step or bad read.
Impression: A raw corner who lacks the footwork and instincts to hold up in man coverage at the next level.
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