I lose track of the weeks of the season anymore, so a date will do for now. I only took in a handful of games this past week/end, but I think I've got some good nuggets from those I did watch. Also, this week I'll start a positional breakdown of draft players by position as they relate to Denver. What I don't want to happen is for these to become forums for debate regarding current players on Denver's roster (i.e. spouting off about someone's QB or RB comment just because you favor the incumbent, we are talking draft and future prospectus here.) So before I get into those, here are the player rundowns for this week.
Mario Williams DE NC State- Very good sized athlete with good range from sideline to sideline. Good but not great quickness off the line, but speed looks very good for a 6'7-ish 260-270 pounder. Did not demonstrate great burst around the corner, and often looked hesitant to make a move. Seems to think too much and takes plays off. Is very tough with the bull rush. Reads movement along the line and adjusted well to playactions, forceing the QB back and into poor throws. Could play either side in the pros, but may not be a great fit for certain one gap teams. Dropped into coverage and looked fairly fluid, but did not make any plays in coverage. Did a good job of containing Ball on the rush, and kept him moving backward instead of around him to evade a sack. Occasionally moved inside on pasing downs and got a good push inside. Would not always persue backside. Still looks like a first rounder to me, but isn't as polished as Kiwanuka and at this point is a bit behind him.
Manny Lawson DE/OLB NC State- Very quick, fast and athletic with good closing burst to the quarterback. Is a natural pass rushing threat and a better rusher than his teammate Williams. Lawson, however, lacks Williams' size, ability against the run and double teams, as well as upside. Narrow-waisted and may not be able to stay at DE, and should be an OLB in a 3-4 defense. Looks like a Steeler linebacker to me, and I know Amato has compared Lawson to Boulware of the Ravens. Could be a decent nickel rusher off the edge in a 4-3, and at best, could be a lite version of KGB of Green Bay. A first day pick based on speed and pass rushing skills, but size will likely keep him out of first round and the defenive line.
P.J. Daniels RB Georgia Tech- Second evaluation on him. Looked very comfortable catching out of the backfield and uses his hands instead of his body. Good, tough inside runner who moves his feet and runs with a low center of gravity. Falls forward and will fight for extra yards. Won't overwhelem the point of attack and can be stonewalled by bigger lines. I compared him to Travis Henry and will stand by that at this time. Mid-round back that should carve out a decent career for himself.
Calvin Johnson WR Georgia Tech- NOT DRAFT ELIGIBLE, but remember the name. Looks quicker than Mike Williams and makes more acrobatic catches. Can stretch the field or go across the middle. Excellent hands, vision, concentration and size. Terrell Owens is a lofty comparison, but it isn't far off. Will be a top five pick hen he's made available.
Reggie McNeal QB Texas A&M- Before the game, heard that McNeal reportedly ran a 4.28 40 time for coaches. If he can come close to that at the combine, he could be a first rounder. Doesn't have the hype or arm strength of Vick, but has a similar playing style. Not as elusive but looks as fast. Can throw a good deep ball, but has poor touch and accuracy on intermediate routes. Doesn't take a game over like Vick and isn't a sound decision maker. Closer to McPherson of last year's draft, without the legal issues. Should be a first day pick, but will be much more if rumor is made reality at the combine.
Haloti Ngata DT Oregon- Third report on him. Best game I've seen him play, and his effort required frequent double teams that he occasionally split. Still looks all world on one play, and in his own the next. Made plays in space and shows good quickness for a man his shear size. Doesn't restart as well once his first push has stopped. Does push the pocket extremely well win motivated, and will get a lot of sacks at the next level without fully penetrating. A first round talent that is still inconsistent, but moving up the charts in my opinion the more I watch him.
Demetrius Williams WR Oregon- Production-wise, could be this draft's best deep threat. Hands are above average and he'll make acrobatic catches along the sideline. Could not be contained at the line and showed the quickness to get by corners close to th line. Isn't used much in the intermediate game, but isn't required to in Oregon's offense, especially when he's open downfield as often as he is. Key for him is the forty time. Looks quick, but I think he's more 4.45 than 4.3. Has moved into the second round in my book, and if his production can match results at the combine, could be a lesser version of Troy Williamson, and be taken in the back half of the first. Has a ways to go before then.
Kellen Clemens QB Oregon- I don't like him, plain and simple. Makes questionable decisions and throws dumb interceptions. Tries to do too much. Is an overrated runner and a marginal passer. Backup material.
Derek Hagan WR Arizona State- For a potential first round possession type, his hands are just average. Has good size and can muscle defenders, but doesn't always look interested or focused. Seems to turn it on when he needs to (3rd down) but that type of attitude will get him buried on the depth chart before gametime. Will make catches along the sideline despite good coverage, and can stretch the field and make great catches. Should be a weapon in the red zone. Has good tools and excellent production, but you just expect more after watching him.
Johnathan Scott OT Texas- Played with more passion than I've seen in the past. Gets out onto the second level good and will make blocks. Showed more ability as a drive blocker and bullied Oklahoma ends on occasion. Good, nimble feet and quick set in pass pro. Not very polished and still gets beat more than most first rounders, but has as much potential as the top guys (outside Ferguson). Reminds me of Levi Jones of Cincinatti, in that they both have great athleticism and will get by with enough to be good, but need more tenacity in run blocking to be great. Scott took a positive step in that direction, but needs further evaluation in games that don't mean as much to the team.
Vince Young QB Texas- Throws a crisp deep ball, but isn't always accurate. Athleticism is his calling card, and it's enough to see him into the back half of the first round sould he commit to leaving school. Look better in the intermediate game but is a long ways away. Mobile, strong armed and fumble proned, I feel like I'm watching Aaron Brooks every time I see him play. That comparison still stands.
Rod Wright DT Texas- Good athleticism and penetration ability. Still takes plays off and will dissapear when needed, but also has outstanding potential in either a one gap or two scheme. Holds up at the point of attack well, and won't get knocked back. May be more polished than Ngata, but their upside is debateable. Still a first round lock at this point, and should fall betwen picks 5 and 15.
That is nough from now. I have a few more comments and mid-ranged prospects and some first round talents, like Michael Huff, but I don't feel like typing anymore. Feel free to comment on the above content and if you have any questions on players, I'd love to take a stab at them.