April 18, 2005
NLScouting.com: Team Needs
BY: John Murphy
*We will have several staff members in attendance at the NFL Draft, as well as being in NYC by mid-week if you want or need to be contacted, please feel free to provide us with a contact number, email, IM or any/all other ways to communicate with us on or before draft day, especially on Sunday afternoon in the later rounds and then leading to the all-important 1-2 hours following the draft when PFA's are being contacted and signed... one of the available IMs for our staff will be draftjm13.
*Think that it is too early to get a jump start on the 2006 NFL Draft... well then you are looking to get left behind... our staff can help organize or contribute to your organization, franchise, player rep recruiting list or media coverage now so that you will be ahead of the curve when the new cycle of scouting starts later this spring... please contact our office over the next few weeks for more information.
*Since you can never have enough great information on each year's NFL DRAFT be sure to visit and purchase a copy of GMJR... the only hard-copy draft publication that is authored by a former NFL scout, Russ Lande, who has scouted in the league with both the Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Rams... a valued opinion and great friend to our staff, Russ' insight are valued by anyone who has ever read his material... he also has a very unique grading system for quarterbacks, which he learned while working with noted quarterback guru Mike White, a 17-year veteran of the NFL, who currently holds the title of Director of Football Administration with the Kansas City Chiefs... so visit www.gmjr.com/order_now.html for more information about obtaining this useful resource for your draft day enjoyment.
*Updated version of the "TEAM NEEDS" chart appears at the bottom of this report, so not to interfere with the rest of today's report.
*If you believe that certain teams have shown more interest in your client or that you think his "Marketplace" grade is lower than what you have been told by teams, please feel free to share any/all notes with us.
ERRONEOUS INFORMATION ON ODELL THURMAN REPORT:
GEORGIA junior linebacker ODELL THURMAN, who we reported to have been involved in a nightclub incident last weekend in Athens, Georgia, has been totally cleared by the Athens Police as having any role in the incident and in fact our subsequent investigation has determined that he was not even present at the establishment at the time of the incident. There is no truth whatsoever to our previous report and I made an error in judgement reporting it prior to checking all of the facts in that there is no truth whatsoever to the initial source.
Thurman, who was in the establishment earlier in the evening left on his own accord over an hour prior to the incident and before anything took place and I have also determined through other witnesses in attendance that he had left prior to the fight and had nothing to do with the incident.
In his defense, Thurman, like any other athlete, can be falsely identified or accused when an incident takes place at a location they were observed at during a similar time frame. Looking back on this I should have taken more precautions to check the accuracy of the full report I received before moving forward and apologize for any misunderstanding, inconvenience and inaccuracy that the initial report might have caused to any of our readers, NFL teams, or to Odell Thurman and his family. Thurman had no role in this incident, and any misunderstanding due to lack of accurate investigating/reporting with the Athens police department, is/was unintentional... as it has been a cornerstone of the reports/information that is distributed that instances of inaccuracy not be given the light of day... thank you, John Murphy (504.415.9979).
"WHAT'S BEING SAID":
TEAMS most likely to "TRADE DOWN"... MIAMI, WASHINGTON, CINCINNATI, DENVER and SEATTLE... DENVER at pick No. 25 could be a spot for a team looking to move up or come back up to the end of the first round to draft a quarterback, as Charie Frye (Akron), Jason Campbell (Auburn) or others could still be available at that point... TEAMS most likely to "TRADE UP"... TAMPA BAY, MINNESOTA, PITTSBURGH and PHILADELPHIA... CHICAGO could also be a late option to trade up... but that would probably not happen until draft day.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS are expected to start/send some initial outlines on a possible contract offer to MICHIGAN senior wide receiver BRAYLON EDWARDS early this week, possibly as early as Monday... meanwhile, they could also look to contact a fifth player, AUBURN senior running back RONNIE BROWN to see/check on some parameters on a possible contract with him, as they look to get the full spectrum of what's available to them before the end of the week... as of today, they have not contacted Brown or his player rep to discuss such details.
NY JETS or the TENNESSEE TITANS could look to sign or re-sign in the case of the Titans free agent cornerback ANDRE DYSON before the start of Saturday's NFL Draft... as it would help create an easier road for both teams to attack the draft from more of a position of strength rather than looking to address that position in the early rounds.
DETROIT LIONS offered a one-year, $1 million dollar offer to Tennessee Titans restricted free agent linebacker BRAD KASSELL, which would be Friday, April 22nd, but since he was originally signed as an un-drafted free agent there would be no compensation if the Titans decided not to match the offer.
GREEN BAY PACKERS or NEW ORLEANS SAINTS could opt to sign veteran free agent linebacker CHRIS DRAFT before the end of the week... therefore allowing them to approach the draft with LB being less of a high priority.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS are expected the Green Bay Packers to match the one-year offer sheet they made to defensive end AARON KAMPMAN, but if not they will turn over their 5th round draft choice to the Packers in trade for having signed the restricted free agent defender.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS could be a darkhorse team to select a quarterback in the mid-to-late rounds of this year's draft... not only would they like to find/start to develop a young signal caller... but are also looking at several possible trade options with current backup ROHAN DAVEY, who excelled as a starter in NFL Europe last season, helping the Berlin Thunder capture the NFLE Championship.
AKRON senior quarterback CHARLIE FRYE has earned a lot of praise for his efforts at the Senior Bowl, Combine and private workout... one thing that has been noted and worth watching both leading up to the draft and during the early portion of his career is that Frye's hand size was below (9") the average of the rest of the available quarterbacks, including Rodgers, Smith and Campbell... while it has not a reason to be overly concerned with his current draft status (late 1st to 2nd round)... both Michael Vick (Atlanta) and Dante Culpepper (Minnesota) have smaller than average hand size, and both are among the league leaders in fumbles lost over the past few years.
ALABAMA senior offensive guard EVAN MATHIS has received additional attention from Green Bay, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh over the past few weeks... Mathis is still out in Arizona training at IT Sports Performance with the hopes of being in the best shape/condition possible when he starts rookie mini-camps... he has taken off just one week of the entire off-season to spend time with his family, but has maintained a similar training regiment to the one he did before the Combine.
AUBURN senior running back CARNELL WILLIAMS has drawn praise from several position coaches (RB) and offensive coordinators who point out that his versatility and ability to learn the playbook quickly will allow him to be more valuable as a rookie than most first-year offensive players... they also point out that his work ethic and interviews gave them reason to think he will improve as a blocker, receiver and give his new offense a boost as he could create the most "Big Plays" of all the available RB's.
AUBURN senior quarterback JASON CAMPBELL had a private visit with Carolina within the past few weeks.
COLUMBIA senior quarterback JEFF OTIS had a private visit with St. Louis late last week.
FLORIDA A&M senior wide receiver/return man ROD MILLER has received additional attention from NY Giants, St. Louis and San Diego.
Former FLORIDA STATE quarterback ADRIAN MCPHERSON had a private visit with St. Louis late last week.
GEORGIA junior linebacker THOMAS DAVIS had a private visit with St. Louis late last week.
GEORGIA junior linebacker ODELL THURMAN had a total of nine private visits, including Green Bay and New Orleans.
MERRIMACK, MA senior safety TODD LOWE (#19) has drawn interest from several teams since posting solid workout numbers at several workouts... ran 4.62/4.65 in the 40... 7.07 three-cone... 34" vertical... 10'1" broad jump... 18 reps of 225 pounds... weighs 6002, 205 pounds... set a Division II record for tackles in a single-game with 24 against C.W. Post... had 250 career tackles, seven interceptions, 15 pass breakups and six fumble recoveries... active defender with good ball skills... stands out against his level of competition... speed of the NFL game might be too fast for him to contribute as more than a special teams guy right away... but worth a look as a FA.
MIAMI junior running back FRANK GORE, who recently parted ways with his initial player representative was said to have chosen Athletes First to represent him for the upcoming draft... but that has not been confirmed to date... and there is some thought that he has not yet signed with a new agent... teams may want to contact him to see if his "Draft Day" contact info has changed.
MIDWESTERN STATE, TX senior offensive tackle AMARIAH FARROW has received additional attention from Cleveland, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Tampa Bay... as they have all been sent additional game film... a copy of the same tape has been sent to our office and will be reviewed before week's end.
Former NEBRASKA offensive lineman RICHIE INCOGNITO had a private visit with Cincinnati last week.
NEBRASKA junior cornerback/return man FABIAN WASHINGTON had a private visit with St. Louis late last week.
NORTHEASTERN senior cornerback JEREMIAH MASON is well ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery, which took place last October... he ran 4.54/4.59 in the 40 at his Pro Day... weighing 6014, 188 pounds... 36" vertical... 10'5" broad jump... 15 reps of 225 pounds... recognized for his good size, long arms and production from his left cornerback position... was originally recruited and played his first two years at Syracuse; named to the Freshman All-American team.
NORTHERN ARIZONA senior punter/kicker PAUL ERNSTER has been very well received by any/all of the special teams coaches that have worked him out in person or reviewed his tapes... In fact, he has one last private workout scheduled for later this week... his leg strength has been continually noted, as it could give him a "Leg Up" on other specialist when it comes to the final few rounds of next week's draft... with teams like Miami, Seattle, Cleveland, Denver, Kansas City or St. Louis in the mix.
NORTHERN ARIZONA senior running back/return man ROGER ROBINSON has drawn additional interest from Atlanta and Oakland... as he continues to be evaluated as a possible late-round selection.
NOTRE DAME senior tight end JEROME COLLINS had a private visit with St. Louis late last week... his athleticism and upside has caused many teams to move him up the draft board over several other more well-known names.
OHIO STATE senior defensive back DUSTIN FOX is getting additional attention from Green Bay, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Miami, New England, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Tennessee... his value comes from his potential ability to contribute at either or both CB, FS and special teams.
SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE senior linebacker SARTH BENOIT had a private visit with St. Louis late last week... has also drawn considerable late-round attention from teams since his Pro Day and private workouts.
TEXAS senior running back CEDRIC BENSON is listed as the top-rated (#1) running back on at least one team's draft board, but he has generally fallen between #2 and #3, according to most team sources.
USC senior tight end ALEX HOLMES has drawn additional interest from Tennessee.
UTAH senior linebacker COREY DODDS is getting additional attention from Detroit and San Diego.
VIRGINIA junior tight end HEATH MILLER had a private visit with Pittsburgh last week... has been drawing additional attention from NY Jets and Tampa Bay, as well.
WINONA STATE senior quarterback BRIAN WROBEL has had at leas two private workouts (Green Bay and Seattle), although there seem to be several other teams that are keeping their interest in him very close to the vest... as he has turned out to be bigger than advertised and also posted some very impressive workout results when available for workouts... as a matter of fact, the workout results for Wrobel have been some of the hardest numbers to come across throughout this process... which normally means that teams like a prospect more than they are leading on.
2005 ALL-ANONYMOUS TEAM (10th Edition):
This will be the 10th edition of the ALL-ANONYMOUS TEAM, which has been a feature point of all my previous evaluations of the NFL Draft, as it allows people to see some of the names of prospects that who while they may not get recognized elsewhere have done enough between their game film, post-season appearance, workouts and interviews to warrant this type of attention. Previous success stories include Earl Holmes (1996), Darnell Dinkins (1999), Arlen Harris (2003), Garrick Jones (2003), Israel Idonije (2003), Ryan Hoag (2003), Derrick Ward (2004), Matt Kranchick (2004), Nate Lawrie (2004) just to name a few. This year's version has a total of 50 players, including offensive, defensive and special team prospects, and it is not out of the question that close to 20% (10 of 50) of these guys could actually hear their name called before the end of the NFL Draft, but either way you will find a number of them earning roster or practice squad positions during their rookie seasons.
POSITION: NAME: SCHOOL:
QB Ryan Hawk Ohio U.
DE Justin Brown East Central (OK)
K Luis Berlanga NW Missouri State
2006 NFL DRAFT NEWS:
While it has been widely speculated that USC junior-to-be defensive tackle MANUEL WRIGHT (#92) is hoping to make a move this summer to the supplemental draft... he has actually been working hard to get himself back on track with his academics and then make the best decision possible for himself and his family... meanwhile, another once highly-rated prospect, former CLEMSON wide receiver ROSCOE CROSBY (#25), has also been doing all of his homework to investigate what would be best for both his short-term future and long-term career... he has also been a minor league baseball prospect with the Kansas City Royals... but is now totally focused on football with the desire to put himself in the best position possible to regain his former status... currently, he weighs 6032, 207 pounds... there will be more information made available on both Wright and Crosby, as well as the rest of the possible 2006 DRAFT CLASS, starting the week following this year's draft.
OKLAHOMA senior defensive tackle DUSTY DVORACEK had surgery to repair a torn left biceps muscle that was suffered in the team's spring scrimmage... the surgery took place on Sunday, and the team hopes that he will make a full recovery, which could take upwards of 4-5 months.
WEST VIRGINIA is on the verge of having former highly-recruited high school quarterback J.R. HOUSE earn the opportunity to revive his football career after spending the past six years as a minor league baseball prospect with the Pittsburgh Pirates... he was given his unconditional release early last month (March)... the Pirates grabbed him in the 5th round of the 1999 draft... he had not developed as fast (C/1B) as the team or himself would have desired, but always showed a good bat with some power... he is currently rehabbing to repair small tears to the labrum and rotator cuff of his right shoulder (throwing)... has battled some injury issues in baseball (hernia/elbow)... weighs 6004, 210 pounds... once he is cleared and joins the WVU football team we will have a further update.
NFL TEAM NEEDS (As of 4/18/05):
Green Bay Packers
Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots
New Orleans Saints
New York Giants
New York Jets
San Diego Chargers
San Francisco 49ers
St. Louis Rams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
*Be sure to listen to Sporting News Radio's Draft Day coverage, featuring former NFL lineman and Fox Sports analyst Brian Baldinger, hosts Bob Shelton, Bob Berger, analyst Jim Sabo and Next Level Scouting's own John Murphy.
*Be sure to listen to ESPN (Florida) radio's Thursday night program (7-9pm) leading up to the NFL Draft featuring Orlando Alzugaray... you can find out more by visiting www.espn1080.com.
*Be sure to listen to Sirius' NFL Radio program each day leading up to April's NFL Draft.
*Next Level Scouting Staff members Dean Zarafonetis, Matt Jansen, Pat Schuster have also contributed to previous reports, as have Carlos Holmes, Josh Buchanan.
*All rights reserved by NextLevel Scouting, Inc. and John Murphy... any use of the material enclosed without the express written or verbal consent of NextLevel Scouting, Inc. or John Murphy is prohibited... John Murphy can be reached via phone or email at 504.415.9979 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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