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 Colorado Buffaloes struggled to a 5-7 record last year and have not had a winning season in the Big 12 since 2005. Once again, they seem to lack some talent on both sides the of the ball, but do feature one of the nation’s top junior offensive tackles, who looks like a potential starting-caliber lineman at the next level.
Riar Geer: No. 87, TE/FB, H-back, 6-3, 250
A big, thick target who does a nice job winning initial hand battles off the ball and gaining inside leverage at the point of attack. Showcases good body control when asked to stay on blocks and does a nice job breaking down in space and reaching a moving target at the second level.
Possesses natural coordination off the line and has the short-area quickness to cleanly get into his routes. Is a natural receiver who catches the ball well away from his frame, but he lacks the athleticism to consistently gain separation.
Is heavy-footed and rumbles down the field into his routes. Doesn’t exhibit any kind of burst out of his breaks and is slow to get back up to speed.
Impression: Will never be much of a factor as a receiver. His best bet to make an NFL roster might be as a lead-blocking fullback.
Scotty McKnight: No. 21, WR, 5-11, 186
A thin, instinctive wideout who exhibits a good feel in the pass game and knows how to create initial separation out of his breaks. Isn’t a real physical or explosive athlete, but does a nice job setting up defensive backs and changing speeds in and out of his breaks.
Possesses good short-area quickness and displays the ability to quickly redirect underneath and uncover from defenders.
Is a smooth route runner down the field and does a nice job giving a little head fake in order to sell his routes. However, he doesn’t showcases the same type of sharpness and/or burst when he’s asked to break off routes at 90 degrees.
Has a tendency to chop his feet before the break and doesn’t consistently separate. Tracks the football well down the field and exhibits the concentration to adjust to the play without a problem. Showcases natural ball skills and does a nice job extending his arms and consistently plucking the football away from his frame.
Struggles maintaining his balance off the line and fighting through press coverage. Lacks great speed, and although he displays good short area quickness, he isn’t a threat to run by defenders down the field.
Impression: Showcases good ball skills and is real savvy in the pass game, but lacks the burst and physicality to play on the outside at the next level. Looks like a guy who could make a roster and work his way into some sub packages on third down, but only from the slot.
Nate Solder: No. 78, OT, 6-9, 305
A tall, long-armed lineman who sits into his stance well for his size, but has a tendency to fire off the ball too high in the run game. However, he does a nice job extending his arms into contact and gaining initial leverage on opposing linemen.
Is a Velcro player who works his hands and feet in sync and typically maintains his position through the play. However, he isn’t overly physical at the point of attack and struggles consistently driving his man off the ball. Looks content to simply use his athleticism to stay on blocks and turn defenders away from the play.
Takes a quick initial kick-step out of his stance and instantly sets in pass protection on the outside. Showcases fluid, compact footwork with natural bend in his knees and has the athleticism to mirror in space.
Is very patient in his drop and maintains good balance in his base. Uses his length well to angle defenders toward the outside and pushes them past the pocket. Is very quick with his hands and consistently is able to reset through contact and stay on blocks.
However, he needs to continue to get stronger in all areas of his game. Allows opposing linemen to consistently fight through his reach and get into his body when rushing the passer. Lacks the base strength to simply anchor at the point of attack and can be slowly walked into the backfield vs. the bull-rush.
Impression: The size and athleticism is certainly there for him to hold his own as a left tackle at the next level. However, he needs to continue to add more power to his base and overall strength to his frame to take his game to the next level.
Be sure to check out the rest of my breakdowns at nationalfootballpost.com.