2009 NFP scouting series: UCLA
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.UCLA struggled to a 4-8 record under first-year head coach Rick Neuheisel in 2008. But with a solid group of returning prospects, the Bruins may surprise some people in the Pac-10 this year.
Note: The UCLA offense will get a big lift at the tight end position in 2009 with the return of Logan Paulsen. Paulsen has career 26 starts but fractured his right foot in the 2008 season opener and missed the remainder of the year. However, he and Ryan Moya will likely form one of the top tight end tandems in the Pac-10 this season, and he’s definitely a prospect to keep an eye on.
Ryan Moya: No. 15, TE/FB/H-back, 6'3", 247
Lacks power on contact as a blocker and struggles holding up on the outside in the run game. Gets overwhelmed at the point of attack vs. defensive ends and is routinely driven backward toward the ball. However, he displays good body control and does a nice job reaching defenders in space and using his footwork to angle them away from the ball. Looks natural when asked to cut down opposing linemen off the ball and consistently gets into their bodies.
Displays some natural athleticism and has the ability to cleanly slip defenders off the line and quickly get into his routes. Does a nice job sitting down in coverage, but he has a tendency to drift into his underneath routes early. Displays deceptive speed down the field and knows how to make the catch in traffic.
Impression: Isn’t anything to get excited about but possesses some athletic tools and knows how to catch the football. Has a chance to make an NFL roster as a possible fullback or H-back option.
Terrence Austin: No. 4, WR, 5'11", 178
A small, frail-looking receiver who isn’t real sharp or sudden out of his breaks and is easily bumped off of routes over the middle of the field. Isn’t a real natural plucker, lets passes get into his body and consistently traps the ball against his chest. However, he does a nice job finding the throw quickly out of his breaks and possesses the body control to adjust to the play.
Exhibits a decent first step off the line with above-average straight-line speed, although he has a tendency to drift into routes and consistently gears down before his breaks. Struggles changing directions at full speed and lacks the ability to consistently fight through corners and separate in coverage.
Impression: An undersized wideout who lacks the body control as a route runner to cleanly get out of his breaks with much explosion. Fails to generate consistent separation in man coverage and doesn’t look to have much of a role as a receiver at the next level.
Brian Price: No. 92, DT, 6'2", 295
Displays an impressive first step and consistently is one of the first linemen moving off the ball. Does a nice job exploding across the face of opposing linemen inside, penetrating through the A-gap and making his way into the backfield. However, he isn’t a real natural bender in his stance and consistently fires off the snap too high. Can be walked outside of the play and routinely allows interior linemen to get their hands under his chest plate. Works hard to fight off blocks up the field and displays good upper body strength, but can be easily sealed away from the ball.
Displays good balance extending his arms into opposing linemen and plays the piano well down the line. Isn’t overly sudden when disengaging from blocks but works his legs toward the football and consistently collapses his man into the play.
Showcases impressive lateral quickness and does a nice job quickly redirecting inside and changing directions on stunts. Possesses a good burst off the snap and consistently is able to penetrate past opposing linemen one-on-one.
However, he struggles playing with consistent leverage and can be sealed once a linemen gets their hands on him. His high pad level takes away from his quickness once his initial rush is stalled, and he lacks the leverage to consistently walk his man into the backfield.
Impression: He definitely has some natural get-off burst and can threaten gaps inside vs. the run and pass game. However, he isn’t going to be anything more than a rotational one-gap lineman until he learns to play with a lower base.
Reggie Carter: No. 51, LB, 6'0", 240
An undersized linebacker who does a nice job quickly attacking gaps inside and filling run lanes, however, he doesn’t exhibit proper technique when taking on blocks.
Has a tendency to simply lower his shoulder into opposing linemen and is routinely jolted past the play. Isn’t much of a threat to stack and shed inside and is consistently washed away from the ball.
Isn’t overly instinctive, but does a decent job eventually locating the football and quickly closing on the play. Takes proper angles toward the ball carrier, but isn’t a real forceful wrap-up tackler in the hole. Showcases decent range in coverage, but isn’t real fluid in his drop and doesn’t trust his back-pedal.
Impression: Showcases some range in pursuit, but doesn’t consistently find the ball quickly and lacks physicality inside. Will need to make his mark on special teams to have a chance. Doesn’t look like a real capable linebacker inside the box.
Korey Bosworth: No. 55, DE/OLB, 6'1", 244
An undersized defensive end who coils up well into his stance and really fires off the ball hard into offensive tackles in the run game. Isn’t afraid of a little contact and works relentlessly when asked to hold up at the point of attack. Lacks the power and length to stack and shed, and isn’t real technically sound either, but fights like a dog to simply stay in the play.
Displays an above-average first step off the edge and showcases great instincts when reading his run/pass keys. Does a nice job dropping his pad-level and uses his hands well to counter inside when trying to disengage from blocks. However, he lacks ideal body control and at times seems to be moving too fast for his own good. Doesn’t possess ideal power on contact and struggles working his way off blocks once an opposing lineman gets hold of him. Yet he consistently plays through the whistle and creates a lot of his pressure due to his high work rate.
Impression: Is playing out of position as a DE, but has some tools to at least warrant a spot as a linebacker in an NFL training camp. Might be an intriguing developmental guy in a 3-4 defense.
Alterraun Verner: No. 1, CB, 5'10", 186
Plays too nonchalant in off-coverage and lacks overall footwork and technique in his drop. Allows himself to get too high and struggles quickly redirecting when asked to get out of his breaks and run with receivers down the field.
Displays a good first step and gets up to top-end speed quickly. However, he doesn’t possess a second gear and struggles locating the football down the field. Lacks the body control to consistently adjust to the throw and tends to drift on the play. Struggles quickly regaining his balance and high-pointing the football.
Showcases a willingness to track the ball in the run game and closes quickly on the play. However, he doesn’t break down well in space and fails to consistently wrap up on the ball carrier.
Impression: I was really disappointed with his footwork in man coverage and his inability to keep his feet under him out of his breaks. Doesn’t possess the technique to play in man-coverage at the next level, and I can’t see many Cover Two teams trusting him to tackle ball carriers on the outside.
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