Tuesday, April 9, 2013

2013 NFL Draft Sleepers - Part II

Middle to Late Round STEALS for NFL Teams
By Taber Small

1. Matt Furstenburg, TE Maryland 6-4 245 lb.

Strength: Brings great athleticism and speed to the tight end position. Has a athletic build and possess the long arms and wingspan that scouts like. Shows good agility and elusiveness after the catch for a player his size. He is a very reliable receiver and does a good job of making catches away from his frame showing strong hands. Catches on the run without breaking stride and can adjust to poorly thrown passes showing good flexibility. Shows good top-end speed for a TE and has the potential to be a vertical threat at the next level. Display good quickness and release off the line of scrimmage in either a two/three point stance. Does a good job of setting up his routes in the pass game. Is comfortable going over the middle and makes plays in traffic. Plays with good toughness and has been effective as a blocker at the college level. Gives great effort in both aspects of his game.

Weakness: Lacks the ideal base that scouts look for in a tight end and has a lean athletic build. Even though he was a good blocker in college, scouts are concerned that he would be limited in this area of his game against pro defensive linemen. Will need to use good blocking technique and get under defenders pads to gain leverage against bigger and strong lineman. Will also need to improve his upper body strength. Furstenburg will have to adjust his body control and improve his balance when blocking at the next level. Rarely used as a down field option and must show he can catch the deep ball. Will also needs to be more active with his hands to beat NFL linebackers off the line. 

Analysis: Furstenburg has the ability to be a solid tight end at the NFL level. Has shown the skills in college to be a good blocking and receiving option for NFL teams. Will bring versatility to a NFL team and could also line up as a FB in certain formations. University of Maryland QB situation last year  resulted in a lack of production during Furstenburg senior year affected his NFL status. But NFL scouts know that the situation was out of his control and likes is skill set for the next level. Maryland has suffered through a inconsistent QB situation the last couple years and Furstenburg was not utilized in the best way possible to consistently showcase his skills. His value increased at the NFL Combine running the fastest TE 40 times of 4.50 & 4.56 while also jumping 35 inches. Each year NFL teams are looking to add more athletic TE's with speed to their offensive pass game and Furstenburg fits that mold. He will be a good draft steal for a team in the middle to late rounds. 

*NFL Draft Grade: 4th-5th Rd

Matt Furstenburg NFL Combine workout video:

2. Latavius Murray, RB Central Florida 6-2 223 lb.

Strength: A tall running back that is blessed with a good combination of size, speed and strength. Shows good vision and quickness to elude defenders which is rare for a back his size. Anticipate and finds the creases at the line of scrimmage. Posses the lateral quickness to navigate through tight spaces. Sticks his foot in the ground and hits the holes with great acceleration. Has the patience and instincts to find cutback lanes. A slasher and runs hard between the tackles and falls forward after contact. Bounces off defenders and breaks tackles. Blessed with great elusiveness and breakaway speed that shows up on tape. Good open field runner and makes defenders miss in the secondary. Shows a good nose for the end zone. Has soft hands and does a good job of catching the ball out of the backfield. Recognizes blitzes and is a reliable pass blocker. Good ball security and has only lost 3 fumbles with 453 career carries.

Weakness: Has battled injuries and missed multiple games throughout his career which is always a concern when evaluating running backs. Was not a full-time starter until his senior year. A little stiff in his upper body, runs up right and doesn't show a great low center of gravity. Do not have the thick build legs that scouts look for in a running back. Needs to improve his route running especially in zone coverage when finding the open spots. Is a willing blocker but must improve his technique in pass protection and stay latched on to blitzing LBs when initially engaged. Very little experience on special teams which limits his value as a backup RB in the NFL.

Analysis: When healthy Murray is a dynamic RB blessed with all the tools to be an every down NFL RB. He is an explosive back that was UCF best offensive weapon and scoring threat the last couple of years. Came on as a senior and finally put it together in a full season rushing for over 1,100 yards in 11 games with 15 TDs. His injury history is a huge concern for teams as he missed three games last year and also suffered a season ending knee injury in 2009 as a Sophomore. This along with inconsistent production is probably the reason why he is not rated higher in the eyes of scouts and wasn't invited to the NFL Combine. But after a recent pro day showing with a 4.38 40 time, 36 VJ, 10'4'' BJ and 22 bench press reps Murray has generated a great amount of buzz from scouts. He's placed himself as a definite draft pick in the later rounds and may go even higher than most people expect.

*NFL Draft Grade: 5th-6th Rd

3. David King, DE Oklahoma 6-4 285 lb.

Strength:  Athletic, explosive defensive lineman who's flashed potential as a pass rusher and run stuffer. Versatile player that has experience playing on the edge and also moving inside on passing downs in college. Flashes good initial quickness, agility and shows a great burst coming off the snap. Shows good upper-body strength and uses his length to pressure offensive linemen. Better as a inside pass rusher and is active with his hands. Has the ability to make plays in pursuit and shows good closing speed when he gets a clear path to the backfield. Good leaping ability for his size and will get his hands up in passing lanes. A discipline player and who knows how to use his hands to tie up blockers to protect linebackers. Shows good enough change of direction and is effective on twists and stunts. Has good fluid hips for a player his size. Good character person and well liked by teammates and coaching staff. 

Weakness:  Does not show the ability on tape to be a consistent edge rusher at the next level. Also not big enough to be a DT in a 4-3 defensive scheme. Has not been a good productive player during his career and didn't become a full-time starter until his senior year. Doesn't always play with a great motor and shows average closing speed when rushing outside the box. Also doesn't consistently get off blocks when lining up at either tackle or end. Plays tall and upright and doesn't play with good leverage and balance. Has to learn how to stay low when coming out of his stands and actively use his hands to shed blockers. He needs to add more moves to his pass rush in order to keep offensive lineman off balance and isn't as natural transitioning when his initial rush is stalled out. 

Analysis: King has the talent and experience to be a good rotational defensive lineman due to his versatility to play multiple positions along the defensive front. His skill set fits better in a 3-4 defensive scheme as a DE/DT. King biggest asset will be his ability to tie up blockers and stuff the run as he is not a special pass rusher. Has the frame to get bigger and fill more into the position. He finally asserted himself as a NFL prospect with more consistent play during his senior year. Looked good in one on one's during the Texas vs the Nation all-star game week. Also impressed with his ability to push the pocket. Weighed in at 275 lb. for his pro day and impressed scouts with 4.65 & 4.70 40 times, 32 vertical jump and 27 bench press reps. The NFL team that selects King will have to develop him more as a football player and also physically. But he is an intriguing prospect with great potential and could be a late round steal for a team if he is given time to develop. 

*NFL Draft Grade: 6th-7th Rd

4. Paul Worrilow, ILB Delaware 6-2 240 lb.

Strength: An aggressive, explosive and very physical inside linebacker that plays with good instincts. Tough hard hitting player that has a nose for the football and made big plays throughout his career for Delaware. A underrated LB who studies opponents tendencies and makes good pre-snap reads. Keeps a wide base and holds his ground at the point of attack showing good initial power. Good body control and breaks down in space. Squares and wraps up ball carriers while drive legs through contact. Takes good pursuit angles and uses his hands and quick feet to weave through traffic. Shows good natural movement and takes on blockers to fill up gaps. Drops well in zone coverage showing good awareness, ball skills and excellent closing speed. Finds the lanes and effectively times his blitzes. Also provides value as a good edge rusher. Possess very good sideline to sideline speed and the ability to chase down ball carriers.

Weakness: Has a tendency at times to take on blocks with alternating shoulder which results in him being washed out of the play. Lacks the size to be a middle linebacker in the 4-3 defense that he played in college. Stiff hips and not very fluent when covering backs in man coverage. Needs to consistently drop deeper in zone coverage eliminating passes being thrown over deep middle third of the field. Has difficulty shedding blockers against big and stronger offensive lineman. Will sometimes over run his gap leading to open cut back lanes. Needs to be in a system that protects LB which will allow him to freely flow to the action. Small school player and faced lower competition.

Analysis: Worrilow was a highly productive player for Delaware during his career. Led the team in tackles three straight years and was the unquestionable leader of the defense. Fits best as a inside 3-4 LB or 4-3 SAM. He is a high motor LB that plays with excellent strength and speed. NFL scouts like that he is a active player who is always around the football. He received a late invite during the Texas vs. the Nation All-Star game week and impressed scouts in attendance with his instincts and also how he flies around on the field. He was also a special teams ace in college and which will help his chances when fighting for a NFL roster spot as a rookie. He impressed at his pro day running 4.59 40, 34 VJ, 10-4 BJ and 30 bench press reps. Worrilow is a versatile and active LB that can provide depth in any defensive scheme. He is someone that teams love to select in the later rounds (preferably 7th) avoiding trying to fight to sign him after the draft.

*NFL Draft Grade: 7th Round

Paul Worrilow highlight film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVTkklnjXzE

5. Vernon Kearney, CB Lane 6-2 185 lb.

Strength: Kearney is a tall, athletic and rangy defensive back that has good length for the CB position. Fluid hips and can quickly change direction turning and running without losing stride. Has good quick feet and can mirror receivers down field. Recognizes routes and reacts quickly when tracking the ball in the air. Knows how to use his length to his advantage. A discipline corner that plays his assignments and rarely gets caught out of position. Possess great straight line speed for a tall CB. Best playing in man coverage when staying on top of the receiver showing good closing burst.

Weakness: Has a skinny 6-2 frame and needs to add weight. Also needs to develop more upper body strength which is a big reason why he is not strong in press coverage. Scouts feel he will struggle against bigger and stronger wide receivers at the next level. Has some stiffness up top and also needs to improve his footwork. Is not a sound tackler and avoids contact when coming up to fill the run. Will not come up and make the big hit that you look for in a CB. Not a great leaper and maybe overmatch in jump ball situations against taller receivers. Has struggled when asked to play press coverage and will need to develop more in zone at the next level. Lower level D-II competition and didn't face elite receivers on a weekly basis.

Analysis: NFL teams are intrigued with Kearney's size, speed and athleticism to run with receivers downfield. Has the savyness and instincts that you like in a cornerback. Possess good enough man coverage and ball skills to be a good 4th or 5th CB in a defensive secondary rotation. Still needs more development to his game and will be a candidate to contribute early on in special teams. Kearney impressed NFL scouts at both Texas vs. the Nation and Raycom all star games in one-on-one drills against better known WRs. He also recently impressed scouts at his recent pro day with 4.39 & 4.45 40 times. His 1.48 10 yard split shows is burst and explosiveness as an athlete. Kearney is a talented small school prospect with nice size as well as upside potential who could eventually grow into a free safety.

*NFL Draft Grade: 7th-PFA