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 Rose Bowl performances and their draft impacts 
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RIP Killer
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Post Rose Bowl performances and their draft impacts
There were a number of observations I made about some players in yesterdays Rose Bowl and what affect their play could have on their draft status.

USC
Reggie Bush- He really didn't look like he was worth the first overall pick. I think Texas developed a very good scheme to stop him----speed. Still, it is hard to ignore how effective he has been at USC for three years because of one game. I think he remains as the likely top pick in April.

Matt Leinhart-He wasn't too impressive in the first half, but seemed to get better as the game progressed. Overall, I have never thought Matt will be as phenomenal in the NFL as some people think he will be. However, he still remains as the top QB available and a top five pick.

Lendale White-Benefitted greatly from the Texas defensive gameplan to stop Reggie Bush. Had an impressive performance and showed good burst and speed. Definitely ready for the NFL now. Should be a first round pick to a team like Pittsburgh or even Philadelphia.

Taitusi Lutui-I think his draft stock has risen based on just yesterday alone. Lutui was making some excellent blocks and was one of the reasons why Texas All American DT Rod Wright was essentially shut down. While he may not be as mobile or as athletic a player as one may want to see in a starting guard in the NFL, he seems to have excellent strenght and good balance. I feel he is a solid third round pick at this point.

Dominique Byrd-I don't think he helped his draft status, but I don't think he hurt it either. He wasn't too much of a factor in this game from the passing game standpoint, but he seemed to do well blocking. Still a late first to early second day pick.

Winston Justice-I think he played a pretty solid game. USC was able to amass more yards up the middle, but Leinhart never really got any pressure from his blindside. Also, when the Trojans ran outside it was usually to the right. Still a first round pick depending on his interviews.

Frostee Rucker-He definitely didn't do anything to help his draft stock. Rucker is a day two pick at best. He is strictly a run stopping DE who shows a limited amount of pass rush techniques.

Darnell Bing-Darnell is still eligible to stay in college, and probably should stay. He was pretty much a non-factor in last nights game. He and his comrades in the USC secondary made Vince Young look better as a passer than what he actually is. Bing seemed out of place in many situations and didn't have a real good showing. If he comes out, he may be a second or third round pick as opposed to the first round pick most people think he is. He looked very slow and didn't react well at all. I was pretty high on Bing, but not so much any more.

Justin Wyatt-Another secondary player who didn't help himself at all. Wyatt is considered a second day prospect. He showed little closing burst and poor cover ability. His lack of size doesn't help him. His tackling skills aren't to NFL level either.

Texas
Rodrique Wright-I think he solidified his position as being very overrated. USC ran right through the middle of the field all night, and in many critical situations. Rod was being overpowered by an offensive line that hasn't been very highly rated. Wright may have dropped as far as the second day with his performance. Were I a GM or coach in the market for a starting DT, I wouldn't start my search in Texas.

Michael Huff-In my opinion he played an excellent game and improved his draft position dramatically. He covered very well and seemed to be in on every play. His stop of Lendale White on fourth down gave Texas the ball and in the fourth quarter and gave them the victory. Without him, Texas loses. A lock as a first round pick, could have become a top 15 guy.

Cedric Griffin-Played a pretty good game, showed good closing speed, but gave up big plays when it counted. Needs to become a better tackler. He seemed to do pretty well in man to man coverage, but not so much when Texas ran a zone cover scheme. Probably a first day pick still, no higher than round two.

Aaron Harris-Harris didn't help his day two status at all. The middle of the Texas defense was being victimized all night by Lendale White. There was little pressure coming from the middle on Matt Leinhart and Harris didn't seem to drop back into coverage all that well. Harris is a bit undersized as well.

Larry Dibbles-The 'other' Texas defensive tackle, he didn't have a very good night either. Larry was rated as a late second day/undrafted prospect and didn't do anything to change that.

David Thomas-For a tight end who doesn't get much notoriety, he played a very good game. He showed great hands, exploited soft spots in coverage and even seemed to block fairly well at times. He has good speed, but his lack of bulk will hurt him in the NFL. Currently he grades out as a late second day prospect, but a team looking for a good H back, like a Chris Cooley type, may pick him early on day two.

Will Allen-Seems to be a pretty good guard, but not overpowering. When there was pressure on Young, it seemed to come from the right side, Will's side. When the Longhorns ran the ball, they had more success to the left side than to the right. Allen is probably looking at late first to early second round status.

Jonathon Scott- He played a pretty solid game. Texas was successful running his way and he limited pressure on Young in the passing game. He showed good balance, but wasn't challenged too much by the USC defensive line which is nowhere near as talented as the line of 2004. Still, Scott will probably be a late first to early second round pick. He still lacks the skills to be a great NFL left tackle, but he should be solid.

Justin Blaylock-He hasn't declared yet, and probably shouldn't. With the wealth of tackles coming out in this years draft, Blaylock would be better off waiting to enter the draft until 2007. He didn't play a great game needs to work on getting better leverage. NFL scouts are seeing him as a guard at the next level, but with another year in college he could solidify himself as a top notch tackle. And tackles make more money than guards.

Vince Young-Little needs to be said. His running skills are eye popping, his throwing skills are not. Despite his numbers in the game, Young still has questionable throwing mechanics and a languid delivery that isn't as accurate as it needs to be. His improved passing numbers from this year are more from his receivers getting separation than from him hitting them in stride. If Vince enters the draft, he will likely go top 5. But he is definitely a work-in-progress as a thrower and isn't ready to be an NFL quarterback. If he stays, he wins the Heisman and is the top pick in 2007, despite the presence of Brady Quinn.

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January 5th, 2006, 12:24 pm
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I personally thought Scott looked clueless out there, he needs to learn how to zone block. Would whif on blocks, and allow defenders to roam around him.

White may have moved ahead of Maroney. I wasn't too impressed by Maroney in his bowl game, and how his game is going to translate to the NFL. Doesn't have much in the moves department, and his speed needs to be timed. How much did he really benefit being in that scheme behind those linemen? LenDale was great, but again, even he was running through some big holes.

Justice, i'll keep him at #2 behind Ferguson. Ferguson just looks better, and with more potential.

Blalock looked great, in run blocking, but I didn't seem much in athleticism for him. Shed some weight or move inside. He was neutralizing defenders. I remember one play when a DB came in on a blitz, and he just flat out pancaked him, it was painful to watch thinking of the DB. Anyways, he is a teriffic run blocker. Young was going behind him all day. But his footwork and his weight are issues.

I think Huff needs to move to CB, i've said that eariler and sticking to it. His coverage is excellent, he has great athleticism and tackling technique. But he doesn't hold as much weight as it would seem by the numbers, and has a high center of gravity. Almost like Marlin Jackson as a tweener.

Good thoughts Mike!


January 5th, 2006, 3:16 pm
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White was a the man out there yesterday and definaley climbed some boards hes gonna be something special

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January 5th, 2006, 4:24 pm
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Brian wrote:
I personally thought Scott looked clueless out there, he needs to learn how to zone block. Would whif on blocks, and allow defenders to roam around him.

White may have moved ahead of Maroney. I wasn't too impressed by Maroney in his bowl game, and how his game is going to translate to the NFL. Doesn't have much in the moves department, and his speed needs to be timed. How much did he really benefit being in that scheme behind those linemen? LenDale was great, but again, even he was running through some big holes.

Justice, i'll keep him at #2 behind Ferguson. Ferguson just looks better, and with more potential.

Blalock looked great, in run blocking, but I didn't seem much in athleticism for him. Shed some weight or move inside. He was neutralizing defenders. I remember one play when a DB came in on a blitz, and he just flat out pancaked him, it was painful to watch thinking of the DB. Anyways, he is a teriffic run blocker. Young was going behind him all day. But his footwork and his weight are issues.

I think Huff needs to move to CB, i've said that eariler and sticking to it. His coverage is excellent, he has great athleticism and tackling technique. But he doesn't hold as much weight as it would seem by the numbers, and has a high center of gravity. Almost like Marlin Jackson as a tweener.

Good thoughts Mike!


Thanks Brian. You make a good point about Scott. His zone blocking was pretty poor. Most times Jamaal Charles got yardage on that Zone Read play just because he's small and quick. Scott even fell while trying to block on one play like that.

I can see Huff going to corner, and wanting to be there for the higher pay. But I think if he can add some bulk he would be a great safety. But you are right in the fact he plays with a high COG. He's gonna get killed in the NFL trying to tackle big, fast running backs and tight ends hitting them high all the time. And his arm tackles like he was making against Byrd won't cut it in the bigs. But I think he showed great field awareness and solid play recognition skills. Sort of like a faster version of Marlin Jackson, I agree.

I think a team like Atlanta will want to get Winston Justice. A right tackle like that would be ideal for them to protect Vick. But will he last until the 15th pick? Maybe not. I know a team with the ninth pick that may be willing to move down. And it will only cost the Falcons their third rounder this year and maybe a third rounder next year..........

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January 5th, 2006, 6:55 pm
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