2009 NFP Scouting Series: South Carolina

Dale ThortonCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2009

COLUMBIA - NOVEMBER 1:  Eric Norwood #40 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates on the field during the game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 1, 2008 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

For the rest of the summer, the National Football Post will break down every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) to identify players who may warrant interest from teams in the 2010 NFL Draft.

The South Carolina Gamecocks have sent their share of talent to the NFL over the past couple of years, and this season looks no different. They’re led by a talented group of underclassmen and have some intriguing prospects at offensive tackle and tight end.

Click HERE to check out the rest of the NFP’s college breakdowns.


Moe Brown: No. 9, WR, 6-0, 185

Displays a quick first step off the snap and gets into his routes quickly. Will work as a blocker on all levels of the field and has a passion for the game. Isn’t a real crisp route runner and lacks ideal footwork and precision in and out of his breaks.

Has the speed to create plays down the field, but struggles with securing the deep ball and loses concentration too often during games.

Impression: An inconsistent catcher who has some deep speed but isn’t polished enough to separate at the next level. 

Weslye Saunders: No. 88, TE, 6-5, 280

A tall, good-looking target who has the frame and length to add even more bulk without losing any athleticism. Displays surprising burst and athleticism for his size and has the first step to get on top of linebackers quickly. Is a strider who picks up speed as he goes, and the further he gets down the field the harder he is to cover.

However, he lacks polish to his game and isn’t a real precise route runner down the field. Is slow to get in and out of his breaks and is very leggy when asked to change directions.

He does exhibit good quickness underneath and is at his best setting up linebackers and separating on crossing routes. Has a flexible frame with long arms and looks very comfortable in pass protection. Showcases a physical dimension to his game and does a nice job using his length and lower body strength to handle even the biggest SEC DEs in the run game.

Impression: An impressive physical athlete who has the makings of an every-down tight end if he continues to develop and pays attention to detail.

Jarriel King: No. 76, OT, 6-5, 312

A tall, long-armed offensive tackle with a flexible base and quick kick step out of his stance. Showcases good instincts and does a nice job redirecting and picking blitzes away from his frame.

Has the foot speed to consistently reach the corner and is very patient with his punch. Does a nice job extending his arms, but has a tendency to get too high and can be bull-rushed a bit on the outside pass rush.

However, he exhibits good lateral mobility in space and does a nice job setting his feet and anchoring vs. the inside or counter move. Demonstrates good awareness  and always seems to know where his quarterback is in the pocket. Does a nice job setting quickly and running quick-twitch defensive ends right past the QB.

Impression: A long, fluid tackle who possesses the athletic ability and body control to start on the left side in the NFL.

Lemuel Jeanpierre: No. 57, OG, 6-4, 298

Isn’t real patient out of his stance and has a tendency to lunge into defenders, which causes him to lose his balance easily. However, he displays a quick first step off the ball and has the agility to get around defensive tackles and seal them away from the ball.

Isn’t real physical and lacks overall base strength, but is at his best when engaged and does a nice job moving his feet in order to maintain the upper hand. A good athlete in space who can get into the second level and hit a moving target.

Impression: He’s very effective when he gets his hands on you, but isn’t comfortable when he doesn’t.

Garrett Anderson: No. 70, OC, 6-4, 308

A coordinated interior lineman with good balance and body control off the snap. Snaps and steps quickly and does a nice job reaching DTs off his frame and angling them out of plays. Lacks power in his upper body and doesn’t exhibit much of a punch on contact; in fact, he has a tendency to get jacked at the point of attack vs. the bull-rush.

However, he displays good awareness and instincts inside and works well in tandem with his guards. Keeps his head on a swivel and consistently picks up blitzes and cleans up the interior of the offensive line.

Impression: A smart, agile center with a good first step. Has a place in the NFL.


Nathan Pepper: No. 95, DT, 6-1, 300

Possesses a strong lower half and has the power and quickness to fire off the snap and penetrate inside. However, he lacks balance and body control, and offensive linemen have a tendency to pull the carpet out from under him.

Lacks quickness and fluidity on outside runs and struggles playing the piano down the line and finding the football. Doesn’t display the suddenness or length to shed blocks and is typically slowed enough to be a non-factor on any plays outside his frame.

Showcases some decent lateral quickness as a pass rusher and possesses a nasty arm-over move, but lacks the burst and closing speed to get after the quarterback. Takes himself out of too many key run plays trying to shoot gaps and allows too many big holes to open up inside.

Impression: Has some tools, but lacks instincts and doesn’t have the burst to consistently fire past NFL-caliber linemen after he gains a step.

Eric Norwood: No. 40, OLB, 6-0, 252

Is very instinctive inside and does a nice job sniffing out plays and using his shorter, flexible frame to avoid blocks. Reads his run pass/keys quickly and is a fluid athlete in his drop, although he will bite on some play fakes.

Showcases balanced footwork and does a nice job getting out of his breaks and closing on the ball. Isn’t the most explosive lateral athlete and plays at one speed, but showcases the ability to cleanly change directions. Works hard in pursuit and is consistently working toward the football.

Is an effective blitzer who does a nice job timing up the snap count and delivering a jarring punch on contact. Does a nice job dipping his shoulder under offensive linemen and driving his legs through contact. Has a good first step off the edge and uses his hands well to keep OL off his frame.

Impression: Is a much more well-rounded linebacker than he’s given credit for and has the versatility to start in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme.

Chris Culliver: No. 17, FS, 6-0, 195

A tall, lean safety with good footwork and fluidity out of his breaks. Showcases some range attacking sideline to sideline, but takes bad angles toward the football and plays out of control when in pursuit.

However, he does a much better job diagnosing run plays inside the box and displays good patience by effectively sniffing out the ball and breaking down on contact. 

Lacks ideal instincts and doesn’t recognize run/pass keys quickly. Possesses the range and athleticism to make up for slow reads in the college game, but won’t be able to in the pros. Does a nice job tracking the ball down the field and displays the body control to make a play on the receiver.

However, he’s consistently late to recognize routes and relies too much on his pure athletic ability.

Impression: The range and ball skills are certainly NFL-worthy, but he needs to do a better job reading and reacting more quickly.

Be sure to check out the rest of my breakdowns at Nationalfootballpost.com.


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