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 Wisconsin Badgers struggled to a 3-5 record in the Big 10 last season, but feature a talented pair of prospects on the offensive side of the ball, and look poised to rebound in 2009.
Garrett Graham: No. 89, TE, 6-3, 248
Graham is an undersized tight end prospect who likely will assume more of an H-back role at the next level. He is quick out of his stance, and uses his hands well to gain inside leverage into blocks. He exhibits good footwork through contact, and possesses the coordination to shuffle his feet and stay on opposing linemen in pass protection.
However, he isn’t a guy who can simply drive defensive ends off the ball in the run game. He lacks power in his upper body, and can be turned into plays easily and overwhelmed at the point of attack.
Graham isn’t overly explosive off the line, and doesn’t get on top of linebackers quickly in the pass game—although he showcases a slight second gear once he gets going, and has an ability to get down the field.
He Looks more explosive when asked to line up in the slot, and does a much better job getting into his routes quickly. Graham possesses the lateral agility to cleanly release off the line, and is consistently able to avoid the bump. He exhibits good body control as a route runner, and showcases the balance to get out of his breaks cleanly and gain initial separation underneath.
He is very instinctive, and does a great job reading coverages and finding soft spots on all areas of the field. He plucks the ball well with his hands, and quickly gets his head around and finds the football.
Graham doesn’t look like an “on-the-line Y” at the next level, and is ideally suited to more of an H-back role. However, he’s a natural receiver who knows how to find soft spots in coverage and catch the football.
Graham will be never be a focal point in a passing game, but he has the ability to gain separation underneath and move the chains.
Gabe Carimi: No. 68, OT, 6-8, 313
Carimi possesses a wide stance, and isn’t real compact with his footwork off the ball. He is a good athlete who displays natural quickness on the outside.
However, he gets too overextended on his kick-slide, which limits his range in pass protection. He lacks the type of clean, compact footwork needed to consistently reach the corner vs. speed rushers and/or redirect quickly in space.
He does a nice job using his long arms and upper body strength to get into the frames of defenders and slow down their rush off the edge. Carimi is tough to disengage from once he gets his hands on you, and he showcases good body control when asked to slide his feet through contact.
He gets into opposing linemen quickly in the run game, and does a nice job extending his arms and angling defenders away from the ball. However, he struggles keeping his base down through contact, and has a tendency to get too high into blocks.
Carimi doesn’t create much push as an in-line run blocker, and struggles generating power from his lower half.
He is a gifted athlete for his size, though, and possesses the athleticism to consistently reach the second level and seal defenders from the play. He looks comfortable on slide-down blocks, and possesses the coordination to gain inside leverage on contact and cleanly walk opposing linemen out of the play.
Carimi has the potential to play left tackle at the next level, but needs to clean up his footwork in pass protection.
O’Brien Schofield: No. 50, DE/OLB, 6-2, 242
Schofield is an undersized defensive lineman who lacks power in his base and struggles taking on blocks in the run game. He does a nice job keeping his pad level down when slanting across the face of opposing linemen, but he simply lacks the strength to be much of a factor vs. the run.
Schofield is easily washed out of plays, and consistently ends up on the ground.
However, he displays natural flexibility out of his stance, and possesses a good first step off the ball as a pass rusher. He is a good athlete with impressive straight-line speed for the position, but lacks any type of counter move on his outside pass rush, and is a non-factor once an offensive tackle gets their hands on him.
He needs to do a better job timing up the snap count because he is consistently the last defensive lineman moving off the ball.
Schofield isn’t ever going to play on the defensive line at the next level, but I like his natural burst off the edge, and I think he has a shot to make an NFL roster as OLB. He is a guy worth keeping an eye on. He reminds me a bit of Eagles 2009 draft pick Moise Fokou.
Jaevery McFadden: No. 47, OLB, 6-1, 226
McFadden isn’t real instinctive inside, and has trouble deciphering plays and consistently finding the ball. He has a tendency to bounce on his toes in order see over the line of scrimmage, and will get jacked at the point of attack by oncoming blockers.
He doesn’t do a good job using his length to keep himself clean in traffic, and is consistently knocked off balance and slowed in pursuit.
McFadden exhibits good straight-line speed, but it doesn’t consistently show up on tape because of his inability to find the ball and slip blocks. He isn’t a real physical tackler, and struggles getting into the body of ball carriers when closing on the play. He lacks flexibility in his drop and doesn’t possess much range in coverage.
McFadden is an undersized linebacker with some athleticism, but he has a tough time finding the football, and lacks power at the point of attack. He doesn’t look like he has the physical tools to hold up inside at the next level.
Chris Maragos: No. 21, FS, 5-11, 198
Maragos reads and reacts quickly to the play and is aggressive when asked to attack the line of scrimmage. He exhibits average closing speed toward the ball; however, he doesn’t keep his head on a swivel, and is consistently picked off by blockers in pursuit.
He lacks physicality as a tackler, and struggles breaking down in space when asked to wrap up in the hole. He doesn’t exhibit proper technique, and lacks the base to generate much power from his lower half.
Maragos is stiff in his back-pedal, and struggles flipping his hips and getting out of his breaks in coverage. He plays at one speed, and lacks any kind of second gear to his game.
He fails to make plays sideline to sideline.
Maragos isn’t real physical, and lacks the athletic tools needed to warrant a spot in the NFL.