2009 NFP scouting series: Stanford

Dale ThortonCorrespondent IAugust 21, 2009

STANFORD - NOVEMBER 15:  Toby Gerhart #7 of Stanford Cardinals carries the ball during the game against the USC Trojans at Stanford Stadium on November 15, 2008 in Stanford, California. (Photo by: Jed Jacobsohn/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 Stanford Cardinal returns a talented group of NFL prospects on both sides of the ball and look like a team ready to take the next step in the Pac-10 this year.


Toby Gerhart: No. 7, RB, 6-1, 235

AP Running back Toby Gerhart

A big, thickly built back who lacks much explosion to his game. Is a patient runner who allows blocks to set up in front of him but plays at one speed and doesn’t possess the burst to consistently reach the edge. Gets stiff in the open field and really starts to fight himself when trying to separate from defenders. Isn’t any kind of big-play threat.

He’s a physical inside runner who does a nice job lowering his pad level into would-be tacklers and pumping his legs through contact. Makes it tough for defenders to wrap him up and runs with a mean streak. Displays good instincts and vision with some decent short-area quickness to get in and out of his breaks. However, he has a tendency to get too upright at the line of scrimmage and is easily knocked off balance. Gets bounced around like a pinball at times when running the ball inside.

Impression: Isn’t as athletic as former Rutgers RB/FB Brian Leonard and looks more like a short-yardage back at the next level. Isn’t going to strike fear into any NFL defenders.

Jim Dray: No. 83, TE, 6-5, 255

Isn’t a real coordinated blocker and struggles dropping his pad level quickly and cutting down defenders at the line. Does a decent job sitting into his stance for his size, but doesn’t gain much leverage on contact and consistently gets stonewalled at the point.

Exhibits fair short-area quickness when escaping the bump off the line, but really lumbers into his routes. Doesn’t possesses any kind of explosion to his game and struggles running away from coverage and creating separation on all areas of the field.

Impression: Possesses a nice-sized frame, but lacks the power or athleticism to consistently win his battle in any phase of the game.

Matt Kopa: No. 61, OT, 6-6, 305

Exhibits a compact initial kick-step off the snap and does a nice job quickly getting out of his stance. However, he struggles to keep his base down through contact and can be bullied at the point of attack. Exhibits only average range to the corner and lacks ideal body control and footwork on his kick-slide. Struggles to consistently maintain proper balance in pass protection and is routinely forced to open his hips in order to make up for his lacking natural fluidity.

Exhibits good coordination at the line of scrimmage and does a nice job quickly chipping on opposing linemen and reaching defenders at the second level. Possesses the body control to drop his pad level on cut blocks and consistently gets into the frames of defenders. However, he isn’t much of a Velcro player and struggles to keep his base down through contact. Gets too upright into blocks in the run game and lacks the power and body control to consistently stay on his man.

Impression: A decent athlete with some tools, but he isn’t real physical and lacks ideal balance and footwork in pass protection. Needs to continue to work on his technique, but is worth a chance as a developmental guy.

Chris Marinelli: No. 63, OG/OT, 6-7, 305

A tall, long-armed offensive lineman who possesses the body type better suited to play on the outside at the next level. Does a nice job using his length to keep interior defenders from getting into his frame and possesses active feet in pass protection. Can be overwhelmed vs. the bull-rush inside, although he does a nice job working his feet to quickly regain balance and eventually drops his pad level down to anchor. Will get overextended when trying to hold the point of attack and has a tendency to fall off blocks. Yet he’s a really gritty player who fights for every inch and makes it difficult for defenders to cleanly get after the ball.

Isn’t a great athlete, lacks ideal range in the open field and struggles to consistently break down in space. Doesn’t look real natural sitting into his stance on the line and instantly gets too upright off the snap. Does a nice job getting his hands under defenders, but lacks the flexibility to gain leverage and drive them off the ball.

Exhibits good coordination on contact and possesses the footwork to turn opposing linemen away from the ball. Works hard to stay on his man through the play, but isn’t much of an in-line run blocker.

Impression: A versatile offensive lineman who possesses the body type better suited to play offensive tackle. However, he isn’t overly physical or athletic and will struggle holding up at the point of attack because of his high pad level.


Erik Lorig: No. 80, DE, 6-4, 275

AP Defensive end Erik Lorig

Displays impressive footwork off the snap and has the flexibility to really coil up into his stance and maximize his first step. Fires off the ball quickly and does a nice job getting into the body of opposing linemen. Displays a strong initial punch on contact and has the ability to jolt offensive tackles at the point of attack and slowly collapse the pocket from the outside.

However, he is more of a straight-line athlete and isn’t real fluid on his pass rush when asked to side-step blocks. Possesses the burst to cross the face of opposing tackles inside, but struggles to quickly change directions and attack upfield once he gains a step. Lacks the closing speed to reach the corner and doesn’t work his hands and feet in snyc well enough to consistently slip blocks.

Plays with a great motor and is always going 100 miles an hour, however, he has a tendency to overrun the football and struggles to consistently break down in space.

Impression: He definitely has some tools and certainly could develop into a productive defensive end at the next level. However, he needs to polish up the rough edges to his game and learn to slow himself down. Looks like a prospect whose game could really take off with some good NFL coaching.

Ekom Udofia: No. 54, DT, 6-2, 315

A natural bender who does a nice job firing off the ball low and consistently gains leverage on his opponents. Uses his hands and length well to fight off blocks away from his frame and exhibits impressive closing down the line. Needs to do a better job using his hands to keep himself clean from the cut blocks inside. However, he does a great job sitting into his base and really anchoring at the point of attack vs. the run.

Lacks ideal explosion off the ball and isn’t a guy who is going to penetrate through gaps inside. Uses his long arms to work his way through blocks, but lacks lateral explosion and consistently gets hung up. However, he has the lower body strength to walk opposing linemen into the backfield and consistently pushes the pocket.

Impression: A big, thickly built interior lineman who plays with natural bend and can consistently hold the point of attack. Isn’t a real explosive athlete, but he is really tough to move inside and looks like a solid starting nose tackle at the next level.

Clinton Snyder: No. 20, LB, 6-4, 240

AP Linebacker Clinton Snyder

A thickly built linebacker who plays top-heavy and lacks overall range in pursuit. Displays good instincts and does a nice job reading the action in front of him and finding the football.

However, he’s a limited athlete who really struggles when asked to flip his hips and lacks any kind of fluidity in coverage. Is a strong wrap-up tackler in the hole but doesn’t possess ideal power when asked to take on blocks at the point of attack.

Impression: A try-hard linebacker who reads and reacts quickly but lacks overall athletic ability and will struggle to make plays in all areas of the game at the next level.

Bo McNally: No. 22, FS, 6-0, 218

A smart, instinctive defensive back who reads the action quickly in front of him and is always flowing toward the play. Is a real savvy defender who lacks ideal athletic ability and range, but does a nice job bumping receivers down the field and getting good jumps on the football. Showcases a willingness to attack the line of scrimmage, but struggles to consistently break down in space and take proper angles in pursuit.

Isn’t a real flexible athlete, struggles sitting into his drop and tends to drift in and out of his breaks in coverage. Lacks the balance and fluidity to consistently keep his feet under him and isn’t real sharp or explosive when asked to quickly change directions.

Impression: A limited athlete who lacks range in coverage and isn’t overly physical inside the box. Relies on his instincts, but will have to make his mark on special teams if he hopes to have a chance of making an NFL roster.


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