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Austen Lane

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mayoclinic, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Has anyone seen Division II Murray State play this year? One of the more intriguing prospects is DE Austen Lane. He's 6'6", 265#, supposedly runs a 4.65 40 and does a lot of things very well, including the ability to play in space. He's currently considered a 3rd round prospect who could even move up into the 2nd round.

    Here's a very detailed review from the Bleacher Report, which compares him to a hybrid of Mathias Kiwanuka, Justin Tuck and Osi Umeniyora: "Lane has the lateral agility, balance and foot speed that Kiwanuka possesses, showing excellent pass coverage skills that could see some team line him up at strong-side linebacker on occasion. He has the long frame with deceptive power and that keen sense for the flow of the ball that Tuck features in his game. He also demonstrates that explosive first step, hand usage and urgency getting to the quarterback that Umenyiora has utilized in ranking with the elite sack artists in the league." Not bad.

    AUSTEN LANE IS ON THE RIGHT ROAD TO NFL STARDOM | Bleacher Report
  2. reamer

    reamer Rookie

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    I read the same report a few weeks ago. I believe I linked it one of my other threads. Good find, and I really like Lane as a mid-late round conversion project. He seems to have most of the qualities we'd look for in an OLB or elephant.
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wes Bunting from the National Football Post included Lane in this weekend's Defensive Review, and had this to say:

    "A year of dominance

    Ever since my initial player rankings were posted in September, Murray State’s Austen Lane has always been a top-20 defensive end prospect in my mind. As soon as you pop in a tape of any Murray State football game and watch Lane perform, it’s obvious the guy is ready to take his game to the next level. He finished the season with 64 total tackles, 19½ tackles for loss and 11 sacks and wrapped up his college career last weekend vs. Tennessee Tech with 10 total tackles and 1½ tackles for loss. Lane possesses a freakish combination of size (6-6, 258), length and body control and has a physical skill set very similar to Miami Dolphins OLB/DE Jason Taylor. In no way am I saying Lane will have a career similar to Taylor’s because those kinds of expectations are too much for any prospect to live up to. However, what I am saying is that Lane is a highly gifted athlete who, with a strong postseason showing, could end up being one of the most coveted pass rushers in the draft.

    Scout?s notebook: defense | National Football Post

    Sounds like a guy to definitely keep a close eye on over the next 5 months leading up to the draft.
  4. reamer

    reamer Rookie

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    The more I read about Lane, the more I wonder if it's all too good to be true. He is fast approaching binky status, and we're not even done with the season! I'm curious to see how he does in offseason workouts, because if he plays in the senior bowl against top-notch offensive linemen and does well, then I feel he's a legitimate 2nd or 3rd round pick. Otherwise, he seems like the sort of raw, high-upside player that we ought to look at in later rounds.

    After the Barwin man-love from last year, I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high.
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not professing any man-love for Lane - I haven't seen him play. But the buzz is intriguing, and he sounds like a possible sleeper. Jason Taylor was a 3rd round pick out of Akron. I think the 3rd round is very possible for Lane if he performs well in the offseason. It will be interesting to see if he gets a postseason bowl invite, especially if he gets a chance to perform in the Senior Bowl.

    Last year we took some kid from Houston in the 2nd round at OT, who didn't even merit a combine invite as one of the top 20 OTs. Guy named Vollmer. He seems to be doing ok. I'm not making any judgments on Lane, just saying that he deserves a close look. He could be the real deal, and he could be "too good to be true".
  6. reamer

    reamer Rookie

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    Just for you buddy: Go Racers Murray State Highlights

    Hope that helps. I'm not on a computer that allows me to watch media right now, so I'm not actually sure what's on there, but I believe it's highlights. Took me forever to track them down, so I sure hope they're helpful. :)
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  7. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    Could be that elephant guy we need to draft to get after the qb. And, an eventual replacement for A.Thomas. Mayo mentioned in his post-Colt thread that he'd like to have 2 pass-rushers. I agree. I'd love to see something like this;

    1. DE - 3-4 - 2 Gapper like J.Odrick
    2. OLB - Pass rusher. Maybe a guy like; Kindle,Hughes,Norwood or Sapp.
    2. OLB - A.Lane
    2. OL - Name your binky.

    If we keep Wilfork and Bodden, and hit on those players. Our defense could become spectacular. I'll worry about the skill positions in 2011 draft.
  8. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Love your list. I'd like to pick up some extra picks as well (possibly trading some of our veterans who are under contract but who seem to be pushed down the depth chart), because I think this draft will have near-1st round caliber depth in the 3rd round.

    If I had 5-6 picks through 3 rounds, I would probably target the following (NOT necessarily in order of how they would be picked in the draft):

    1. A 4-3 DE/3-4 elephant kind of guy who can rush the passer from a 3 point stance or standing up, block the passing lanes, set the edge, and drop into coverage. Derrick Morgan, Carlos Dunlap, Greg Hardy, Everson Griffen, Jason Pierre-Paul, Greg Romeus, Jeremy Beal and Austen Lane seem to me the guys that could possibly play that role.

    2. Another such guy, but with a bit more range and coverage ability, who can play 3-4 OLB and either 4-3 SAM or 4-3 DE. From the group listed above, Jeremy Beal clearly fits the mold. Austin Lane may fit as well. In addition, Sergio Kindle, Jerry Hughes, Eric Norwood and Ricky Sapp are options.

    3. A true 3-4 2-gap DE. Cameron Heyward, Arthur Jones and Jared Odrick are early possibilities. Corey Wootton, Leonard Marsh, Adrian Clayborn, Cameron Jordan and Vince Oghobasse are slightly later options.

    4. An OL. Either an interior lineman such as OG Mike Iupati, C/OG Maurkice Pouncey, or OT/OG Gabe Carimi. Or a powerful RT who can upgrade that side. Joseph Barksdale from LSU is my favorite, followed by Carimi.

    5. Either a second OL or a RB. This could be a power runner like Jonathan Dwyer or Ryan Matthews, a big bruiser like Toby Gerhart or Anthony Dixon, or an elusive all-purpose speedster like CJ Spiller, Jahvid Best, Dexter McCluster or Noel Devine.
  9. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    I'm not basing this on whom I think is the better prospect. But, just looking at the draft history. DL usually go before lb's. So, I think we have to get our DE first. You mentioned Heyward. He destroyed PSU and is quicker than Odrick. Doubt he falls to our 1st pick. If he even comes out. Odrick could fall below 20. If he does he gets near our pick for a possible trade up. Clayborn kid from Iowa is tough too. But, BB likes his DL bigger than him. A lot of the recent DL from PSU have flopped; J.Kennedy, M.Haynes and C.Brown. T.Hali becoming a so-so players. Scares me a little. Not sure why. Being a PSU grad my .02 is that the players who stick around Penn St usually graduate. They are prepared to have a successful career away from football and won't bust their butt at all costs to make it in the NFL like many of their competitors. I know that's a broad generalization. But, I can't believe guys like C. Brown and Haynes didn't make it. Jared's a good kid. I think the interview process will be important for him.
  10. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Heyward is climbing up my draft board very fast. I think he's one of the few guys I would deem worthy of a 1st round pick, along with McClain, Morgan, and possibly Hardy. But I think he will rise fast and go top 20 - unfortunately, I think the Jets are the most likely landing place, as they need 3-4 DE badly, as do the Chargers.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see us trade our 1st round pick if no impact guy is available. The other guys are too closely bunched together, and there's too much depth in this draft.
  11. klinefan

    klinefan Banned

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    Sounds a lot like the guy the pats cut earlier this year. Forgot his name already, freakish size/speed from UVA and Liberty.

    Not all the glitters is gold.
  12. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Absolutely, and I'm not saying anything else right now other than the kid deserves a look.

    From what I understand, Vince Redd had off-field issues which were a major factor, and which had resulted in him going from Virginia to Liberty in the first place. In contrast, Lane seems like a good kid and real team player, and someone who has been progressing fairly fast. But it doesn't necessarily mean anything at this point.
  13. reamer

    reamer Rookie

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    Mayo, did you ever get a chance to watch those highlights I posted? I think you'll be quite intrigued. He honestly reminds me of Jason Taylor, though the level of competition he faced certainly has to play into the overall player evaluation. Still, he looks fast. Really fast.
  14. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thank you for posting them, and I tried, but I'm apparently missing some plug in that's required. I haven't had time to figure out what it is, whether a different browser would work, or how to download the necessary plug in.

    I'll get to it eventually.
  15. reamer

    reamer Rookie

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    I think the difference with Redd is that he didn't have great body control. His straight-line speed was menacing for someone his size, but he wasn't a smooth, coordinated athlete. He had to really gather himself before changing direction, and didn't look like his technique improved year to year.

    Lane is cat-quick and very coordinated. His lateral agility is really impressive for a big guy, and I think that's what sets them apart.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  16. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Do you think Lane can play 3-4 OLB, or is he more of a 4-3 DE/elephant type?

    Also, have you seen much of Oklahoma DE/LB Jeremy Beal? He's a bit shorter than Lane at 6'3". He came to OU as a LB but has played mostly DE, and is all over the field. I'd be curious to see how you think he and Lane compare.
  17. reamer

    reamer Rookie

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    I think he's a legitimate OLB prospect. I wasn't sure till I watched the highlight reel. He's a lot more athletic than I anticipated. He also has some experience dropping into coverage (had a pick-six a couple weeks ago).

    I haven't watched Oklahoma this year. They just don't interest me much, I guess. I know you've mentioned Beal before, so I'll try to see if I can watch a game or two.

    No rush on the hightlights. I just wanted to make sure you'd seen my post, since a couple others came right after it. I was worried might get lost in the wash. :) As for the plugin, it's a Firefox Windows Media Player extension. I couldn't get it to play in Chrome, but Firefox worked just fine as soon as it was installed. Well worth it; the 2008 highlights are over 5 minutes long, and show excellent hustle in pass-rushing, staying at home against end-arounds, and good power against the run. He seems like a complete player who needs good coaching to take it to the next level. If nothing else, he's probably an upgrade over Woods and Crable.
  18. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks for the input. I'm curious to see the highlight reel, but still haven't been able to get it to work, including with Firefox. I use a Mac, so maybe that's the difference. (BTW, I thought only Colts fans used Windows. :D)

    I remember your comments regarding Jason Pierre-Paul. It seems that you feel that Lane is much more fluid and has much better body control than Pierre-Paul, who still seems to be figuring out how to use his 6'6" frame. Is that correct?

    You have me very intrigued at the moment. From what I can tell, he's upped his game significantly since 2008 as well, so the best may not be on your highlight reel.
  19. reamer

    reamer Rookie

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    Hah. I have no idea why it won't play for you. I run Linux, so it shouldn't be an OS issue.

    I do think Lane has better body control than JPP, though he may not have as much upside. JPP could be really, really special in a few years. I just don't think he's pro-ready yet. It's so hard to say, considering I get to watch a player in three or four games, tops. So many games on, so little time. :confused2:

    We're all amateurs, anyway. . . .
  20. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Scott Wright of NFLdraftcountdown and Rob Rang of CBSsports/NFLdraftscout both have favorable comments about Lane.

    Wright lists Lane #3 in his latest "hot prospects" list and notes: "This is the time of year when we begin to see small school prospects start moving up draft boards and Austen Lane is a perfect example after the amazing season he has had. Though not a household name, Lane is a player who figures to impress in workouts so if he can shine on the all-star circuit the sky may be the limit for him on Draft Day. At 6’6 and 258 pounds, Lane is an excellent pass rusher with terrific speed, fluidity, and a burst. If he can show a little better presence in the run game Lane could profile as a solid all-around defensive end at the next level. The NFL places a huge emphasis on pass rushers so some team will likely be eager to take a chance on Lane’s upside, especially after he racked up 11.0 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss as a senior. It will be interesting to see how Lane performs against better competition in the post-season all-star games and that could determine just how early he is selected next April."

    Draft Countdown - Prospect Hot List

    Rang lists Lane among his "diamonds in the rough", noting: "The preseason Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year after posting 63 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 2008, Lane was double-teamed on nearly every snap this season. It hasn't helped -- Lane has been nearly as statistically dominant (64 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks in 11 games). Quick off the snap and possessing very long arms (reportedly 37 inches), Lane could join the likes of Jared Allen (Idaho State), DeMarcus Ware (Troy) and Robert Mathis (Alabama A&M) as productive pass rushers from the so-called 'small schools.' "

    Diamonds in the Rough: Beavers' Canfield could trump Tebow - NFL - CBSSports.com - NFLDraftScout.com

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