2010 NFL Draft: Buyer Beware of USF's Draft Prospects

Drew GatewoodAnalyst IApril 21, 2010

The South Florida Bulls have several defensive prospects for this year’s NFL Draft this weekend. The Bulls defense has be inconsistent at times during its past few seasons of Big East play.

The stifling defensive play of players like Jason Pierre-Paul and George Selvie show up for some games and not for others, many times resulting in bad losses for the Bulls.

A breakdown of the players was done by Scouts Inc. of ESPN. They claim to be the leaders in this industry with Mel Kiper being the face of the network during this time of year.

Most of the time its hard to argue with his resume and track record; however, this year Scouts Inc. got it wrong.

They currently have overrated all but one of the players in the draft from USF. It may be an oversight, or may be the fact they didn’t not have enough film on these players.

I watched every game, most of which were in person this season. What I saw and what Scouts Inc. saw are night-and-day differences.


Jason Pierre-Paul Ranked 13 overall prospect by Scouts Inc.

Jason Pierre-Paul has only played one year of college football for the Bulls, and he has been given this high of a ranking.

His thin size and frame will allow for more weight to be put on, but he has to put that weight on to be successful in the NFL. Right now he is not NFL-ready in body type alone.

He had 42 tackles last season, 26 of which were solo. As far as a defensive end goes he’s going to have to be put in a 4-3 system, he does not have the coverage skills to be an outside linebacker.

Pierre-Paul only has one move off the line which is the bull rush; this will not work against a NFL prototype lineman all the time.

He has good reaction time, but plays high in the trenches, giving the leverage advantage to the offensive lineman. This allows for him to be quickly neutralized at the line of scrimmage.

Ranking him as the 13th best prospect in this draft is just ridiculous. Yes he has a tremendous upside, but any project is not worth a first round pick just outside the top 10. Kiper had him going seventh in the draft and has vastly overrated Pierre-Paul this season.

He should be a late first-rounder to mid-second round pick in this year’s draft.


George Selvie ranked fifth overall defensive lineman prospect by Scouts Inc.

George Selvie is another underachieving Bulls defensive end. He has regressed since his sophomore year and continued to show that this year with his 38 tackles.

Selvie looks great against inferior competition, but disappears when he faces Big East opponents.

He has had injury problems throughout his career in Tampa, and is a liability in pass coverage. He has to be a 4-3 defensive end in the NFL, a 3-4 scheme would play to all of his weaknesses.

Much like Pierre-Paul, he plays high and gets neutralized at the line by physical linemen. Selvie plays soft and is more of a finesse player at the defensive end. This type of play will not work in the NFL.

Selvie should be a second-day pick, somewhere around the fifth to seventh round.


Jerome Murphy ranked 11th overall defensive back by Scouts Inc.

Jerome Murphy’s draft assessment has me absolutely baffled. The mock drafts have him as a third- to fourth-round pick this year, possibly a second rounder. He should not even be drafted.

Murphy was one of the worst defensive backs I’ve even seen play the game as a consistent starter. Many expect see him as a Michael Jenkins in the rough, well keep dreaming he is just rough, no diamond and no Jenkins.

Murphy plays out of position in man coverage, giving a large cushion to his opposing receiver. He belongs in a nickel defense at best where he can have plenty of backup behind him.

He gambles on routes, and they are usually bad gambles. His sloppy footwork often puts him behind the receiver and he has developed a bad habit of blatantly grabbing the receiver as he goes by.

The bad habit is not the grabbing; it is constantly letting the receiver go by. This usually draws a flag and when it does not, it still leads to a big reception.

His tackling is suspect as well and he consistently takes bad angles on receivers once they have caught the ball.

Murphy is an aggressive tackler, which is a positive when he actually makes the tackle. He has a great vertical leap, allowing him to beat large receivers for jump balls.

Murphy should be an undrafted free agent, even if he makes a roster this preseason I don’t expect him to make a final roster.


Nate Allen Ranked sixth overall defensive back by Scouts. Inc.

Nate Allen is one of the better safeties in the draft this season. He plays smarter than Taylor Mays, and always comes up with big plays when his team needed them.

He ran a 4.51 forty yard dash this season and has great size to match his speed. He was very productive during his career as a Bull and is a tough, physical player.

Allen has great instincts on the ball and when he does gamble it usually pays off for the defense.

He needs to improve his angles however, but with some film room work with a professional staff he should be able to improve this quickly.

He should improve his tackling, especially in the open field before he will be ready for consistent time on an NFL field.


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