2009 NFP Scouting Series: Baylor

Dale ThortonCorrespondent IJuly 24, 2009

WACO, TX - OCTOBER 20:  Wide receiver David Gettis #4 of the Baylor Bears makes a pass reception against the Texas Longhorns at Floyd Casey Stadium on October 20, 2007 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/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 Baylor Bears possess an intriguing group of NFL prospects this year and could surprise some of the perennial Big 12 powers in 2009.


David Gettis: No. 4, WR, 6-4, 215

Showcases a good initial burst out of his stance and eats up the cushion quickly. A really explosive receiver for his size who doesn’t stride into his routes at all. Displays the deep speed to get behind corners and threaten the secondary down the field. Does a nice job staying consistent in his release off the line and doesn’t give his routes away prematurely. However, he has a tendency to let the ball get into his body and needs to go a better job extending his long arms in front of his frame.

Gets sloppy with his footwork as a route runner, and there’s too much wasted motion out of his breaks. Isn’t real compact with his footwork and tends to gear down when asked to change directions. However, he does a nice job finding soft spots in zone coverage and works hard back toward the football. Is an explosive leaper who can high-point the play and showcases some toughness after the catch.

Impression: Has a rare set of burst and explosion for a receiver his size. Doesn’t run like a guy who’s 6-4 and just needs to become a more polished route runner in order to take his game to the next level. Has a load of upside and looks like a potential starting wideout in the NFL.

Justin Akers: No. 14, TE, 6-4, 255

Isn’t a natural bender and doesn’t possess the flexibility to really sit into his stance. Fires off the ball too high and struggles keeping his base down into blocks. Isn’t real fluid when asked to redirect and lacks the footwork to mirror linemen in space. Has a tendency to lunge into blocks and is consistently sidestepped on the outside.

However, he does possess decent vertical speed down the field and has the ability to get on top of opposing linebackers quickly. Does a nice job recognizing coverages and finding soft spots underneath. But he’s more of a straight-line athlete who struggles dropping his pad level and gaining separation out of his breaks. Lets the ball get into his body consistently in the pass game and isn’t a real natural plucker.

Impression: Possesses average straight-line speed for the position, but is too rigid in his play and struggles changing directions as a receiver and blocker.

J.D. Walton: No. 55, OC, 6-3, 305

A natural bender who gets into opposing linemen quickly off the snap and has the body control to angle them away from the play. Is very coordinated on the move and does a nice job extending his arms and walking defenders down the line on slide-down blocks. Snaps and steps quickly and has the power in his base to create a bit of a push off the ball. Exhibits good balance on contact and works hard through blocks; showcases a real mean streak in the run game.

Does a nice job staying on blocks off the snap until he gets additional help from his guards, but lacks the power to simply overwhelm defensive tackles at the point of attack. Showcases the coordination to chip at the line and reach a moving target at the second level. However, he isn’t real pretty in space and at times looks a bit spastic, but always finds a way to reach his man.

Sets very quickly in the pass game and does a great job instantly getting his hands up and into opposing defenders’ bodies. Showcases good hand placement on contact and consistently gains leverage at the point. Exhibits impressive short-area quickness and does a nice job sliding his feet when engaged and mirroring linemen inside.

Impression: An athletic center who plays with a mean streak and should be able to hold down a starting role in the NFL.


Joe Pawelek: No. 41, ILB, 6-2, 240

A smart, instinctive pass defender who consistently gets good jumps on the football by reading the quarterback’s eyes. Isn’t a real explosive athlete, and has a tendency to side-saddle his way down the field because he lacks ideal foot quickness in his drop. However, he’s clean out of his breaks and takes good angles toward the ball. Possesses great ball skills for the position, and when he gets his hands on a play it usually results in a pick.

Is a secure, wrap-up tackler who demonstrates good technique and power through his lower half on contact. Isn’t as instinctive at the line of scrimmage as he is vs. the pass, but still does a nice job consistently finding the football. Lacks a great first step, but showcases solid game speed and can close on plays away from his frame.

Impression: His instincts and awareness make him seem like a better athlete than he really is, but I still think he can compete for a starting gig in the NFL.

Jordan Lake: No. 21, FS, 6-1, 214

A physical hitter who generates a lot of power from his upper body and can really lay the wood on contact. Does a nice job being patient with his reads and breaking down in space. Is a secure wrap-up guy who takes good angles toward the ball and consistently gets his man to the ground.

Is a better athlete than given credit for and showcases decent range in pursuit. Plays a bit high in his drop and isn’t someone who can drop his hips and quickly explode out of his breaks. However, he demonstrates good instincts in all areas of the game and simply plays faster than he times.

Reads his run/pass keys quickly in the secondary and is always flowing toward the ball. Takes proper angles in coverage and isn’t afraid to put his body in harm's way when asked to disengage ball from man.

Impression: I like his physicality and instincts and think he has the athletic ability to contribute at the next level.

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