2009 NFP Scouting Series: Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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2009 NFP Scouting Series: Rutgers Scarlet Knights
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)


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 Rutgers Scarlet Knights finished with a record of 7-5 last season but return a talented group of prospects on both sides of the ball and look like one of the favorites in the Big East.

Offense

 

Jack Corcoran: No. 19, FB, 6'0", 230 lbs.

A patient lead blocker who does a nice job picking his way through traffic and hitting a target at the second level.  Possesses good body control and displays the ability to break down in space and seal defenders away from the ball.  Is a good straight-line athlete, although he gets too upright out of his stance and doesn’t generate a lot of power on contact.  Exhibits good coordination out of the backfield and demonstrates solid hands in the pass game.

Impression: Possesses the athletic ability to intrigue some teams, but isn’t a real physical in-line lead blocker.

 

Tim Brown: No. 2, WR, 5'8", 168 lbs.

An explosive little receiver who gets up to speed quickly and has the ability to consistently run by defenders down the field.  Does a great job tracking the football over his shoulder and has a real second gear to his game.  Is an impressive leaper who does a nice job high pointing the ball for his size and has the ability to create yards after the catch.  However, he struggles with any kind of physicality off the line and/or down the field and can be knocked off his routes easily.  Still, he does a great job separating in space and possesses the balance and body control to stick his foot in the ground and cleanly redirect out of his breaks.

Impression: Is limited because of his size, but displays the deep speed to get down the field and consistently creates good separation in space.  I love his explosion and think he has the ability to definitely find a niche in the NFL.

 

Anthony Davis: No. 75, OT, 6'6", 325 lbs.

Displays good fluidity out of his stance in pass protection and exhibits a compact initial kick-step off the ball.  Possesses the footwork to quickly reach defenders off the edge and displays great range as a pass blocker.  Extends his arms well into blocks and uncoils a jolting punch at the point of attack, and, for the most part, does a great job maintaining his balance in space.  However, he will get a bit impatient at times and lunge into opposing linemen even when he has the edge taken away from them.  Does a nice job shuffling his feet through contact and is tough to disengage from once he gets his hands on you.

However, he isn’t overly physical in the run game and struggles consistently generating movement as an in-line run blocker.  Needs to do a better job getting his hands inside the frames of defenders and controlling them at the point of attack.  Showcases the athletic ability to routinely get around opposing linemen on reach blocks, but at times struggles sealing them from the play.

Impression: His initial quickness out of his stance in pass protection is NFL-worthy right now.  The kid looks like a big-time left tackle at the next level.

 

Kevin Haslam: No. 78, OT/OG, 6'5", 300 lbs.

Does a nice job sitting into his stance in the run game, but has a tendency to fire off the ball too high and doesn’t generate much push at the point of attack.  Possesses the body control and coordination to quickly reach defenders off his frame, but struggles getting his hands inside and staying on blocks on the move.

Doesn’t play with any kind of flexibility or leverage in pass protection and is routinely overpowered at the point of attack.  Simply plays too tall to be any kind of a factor vs. the bull-rush and needs to learn to pass protect with a lower base.

Impression: Doesn’t have a future at offensive tackle at the next level, and will need to make the switch to guard to have any kind of a chance of making an NFL roster.

 

Ryan Blaszczyk: No. 61, C, 6'3", 295 lbs.

A flexible lineman who snaps and steps quickly out of his stance and possesses the athleticism to reach targets off his frame.  Understands angles and does a nice job getting his feet around opposing linemen and sealing them away from the ball.  However, he isn’t overly physical into blocks and lacks the power in his lower half to create much push in the run game.  Does a nice job working his hands through contact, but struggles staying on blocks through the play and is eventually shed inside.

Showcases good awareness in the pass game and does a nice job keeping his head on a swivel and playing with a low base on contact.  Possesses solid footwork and athleticism in space and exhibits the ability to slide his feet while engaged.  However, he lacks the power to consistently lock out inside and can be overwhelmed by bigger defensive linemen.

Impression: Isn’t real physical, but plays with a low base and uses his athleticism to seal opposing linemen inside.  Doesn’t stand out in any area of the game, but he finds a way get the job done.  Should have a chance to compete in an NFL training camp.

 

Defense

 

George Johnson: No. 31, DE, 6'4", 262 lbs.

Isn’t real flexible out of his stance and struggles to really coil and fire off the ball.  Doesn’t play with consistent leverage as a pass rusher and has a tendency to take too many false steps off the edge.  Isn’t much of a threat to turn the corner.  However, he displays good short-area quickness and relies on his body control and footwork to quickly redirect past opposing linemen in space.

Isn’t real physical at the point of attack vs. the run game and can be consistently handled one-on-one on the outside.  However, he does a nice job dropping his pad level when asked to shoot gaps and knows how to penetrate inside.  Showcases good closing speed toward the football and wraps up well on contact.

Impression: Lacks the flexibility and burst to be much of a factor off the edge and plays too high vs. the run.  Exhibits decent lateral agility, but will struggle fighting through blocks at the next level.  His only chance looks to be as a 3-4 OLB.

 

Ryan D’Imperio: No. 44, ILB, 6'1", 242 lbs.

A limited athlete who’s slow to get out of his breaks and lacks range in pursuit.  Isn’t a sideline-to-sideline defender and struggles quickly closing on the football.  Looks stiff in coverage and lacks the footwork to sit into his backpedal and make his way down the field.  Is forced to sidesaddle his way into coverage and is slow to get out of his breaks and close on the ball.  Plays top heavy and lacks fluidity in all areas of his game.

Isn’t overly instinctive and will take a false step when trying to find the football.  Works hard in pursuit and has a motor that runs nonstop, but struggles shedding blocks at the line of scrimmage and is washed out of too many plays when asked to stack inside.

Impression: A stiff middle linebacker who lacks range in all areas of his game and isn’t real instinctive or physical inside.  Showcases a good motor, but doesn’t possess the athletic tools to warrant much interest at the next level.

 

Devin McCourty: No. 21, CB, 5-11, 188

Isn’t afraid to play near the line of scrimmage and displays some physicality when asked to press receivers.  However, he lacks consistent balance in his punch and has a tendency to overextend, which allows opposing wideouts to easily sidestep his bump off the line.  Opens his hips too early in his drop and struggles maintaining a compact base when trying to redirect.  Can be outmuscled in coverage and is easily boxed out of routes in front of him.

Displays good straight-line speed and has the ability to turn and run with receivers down the field.  However, he has a tendency to get too high in off-coverage and struggles quickly clicking and closing on the play.

Impression: A nice size/speed corner, but struggles with his balance and isn’t real impressive in press or off-coverage.  Looks like a fringe NFL roster guy.

 

Be sure to check out the rest of my breakdowns at NFPost.com.

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