Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #25 Seattle Seahawks G James Carpenter says-

Carpenter has a chance to end up as a starter and certainly has the ability to provide valuable depth as a backup. Looks the part of an NFL left tackle with his great size and frame. At this stage, Carpenter grades out as a good pass blocker but just adequate in the running game. His game could benefit from some improved awareness in blitz pickup. Would become more valuable as a run blocker with increased strength and power. Carpenter should hear his name called during the middle rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft

Another reach.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #24 New Orleans Saints DE Cameron Jordan says-

Jordan is one of the higher-probability, game-ready prospects in this class. He’s an ideal fit as a 3-4 defensive end but could also serve as a strongside DE in a four-man front. Really a good fit for any team that stresses gap integrity. Has good strength at the point of attack, plays with sound positioning, locates the ball carrier, gets off blocks and uses his good quickness and agility against the run. Not a big-time pass rushing talent by any means, but still has some good power moves. Jordan has the skill set to come off the board pretty quickly.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #23 Philadelphia Eagles G Danny Watkins says-

Watkins is new to the game of football, but has the strength and athleticism to play at the next level. He does not have the arm length and first step explosion to play left tackle, however he projects to be a quality starting guard. He plays with terrific balance and has the foot quickness to hold in pass protection. Despite his limited football experience, he engages very well with his hands and maintains a strong position. He will occasionally have lapses in his reads, but he has very high upside and will likely be a second day pick.

A 26-year-old rookie?


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #22 Indianapolis Colts OT Anthony Castonzo says-

Castonzo has the potential to develop into a top left tackle capable of shutting down top speed rushers. Started his first game as a true freshman and didn’t leave the field during his four years at BC. He has very good mobility. Masks his lack of strength, to a certain extent, with quickness and positioning. Would be a good fit in a zone-blocking scheme or on a club that loves the screen game. Will probably never be a favorable matchup when facing bigger, more powerful NFL defensive lineman. Still, Castonzo is a first rounder with a chance to be the first O-lineman taken.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #21 Cleveland Browns DT Phil Baylor says-

Taylor possesses the rare size and natural brute strength NFL front offices are looking for in a potential 3-4 nose tackle or two-gaper. Can anchor against the run, fight through double teams, uses his hands well, and doesn’t necessarily need to come off the field on third down with his adequate pass rushing ability and good feet. A tendency to play high, limited range, in-game durability and some off-the-field red flags do hurt his stock. However, prospects with Taylor’s size and ability don’t grow on trees, so he shouldn’t last past the middle rounds.

Another reach.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Adrian Clayborn says-

Clayborn has the ability to be a very good starting defensive end in a 3-4 or 4-3 front and can play some defensive tackle in passing situations. Smart, instinctual player, especially against the run. Doesn’t stay blocked long and can stop the running game right at him. Uses his hands and power to take a direct route to the quarterback. Doesn’t possess elite quickness or top-end speed which limits his big-play ability rushing the passer, away from him in the running game, and in space. Clayborn could draw interest from several clubs due to his versatility. Probable first round pick.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #18 San Diego Chargers DT Corey Liuget says-

Liuget belongs in the discussion with the other elite defensive tackles in this class. Arguably this year’s most productive DT against the run and also very active rushing the passer. Fires off the ball, maintains sound positioning, has hands that never stop moving, gets off blocks quickly, and closes on ball-carriers and quarterbacks with speed and power. Has the size and strength to move offensive lineman into the backfield. Also comfortable tackling in space and has the awareness to diagnose screens and draws and bat down balls at the line. Liuget has skyrocketed up draft boards this season and should be gone by the mid first.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #17 New England Patriots OT Nate Solder says-

Solder is one of the premier left tackle prospects in this class with the size, strength and athleticism needed to succeed on Sundays. Very sound in pass protection, not as susceptible to the bull rush as you might think given his leaner build, just needs to continue to develop his game against complete pass rushers with a vast array of skills and moves. Very complete in the running game as well, firing off the ball, gaining leverage and moving his feet inline and in space. Understands assignments, locates his man at the second level or on the edge and recognizes and reacts to blitz packages. A true first-round talent.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #19 New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara says-

Amukamara has the size, speed and awareness to start from day one and turn into one of the league’s finer players at the cornerback position. Takes advantage of his instincts and smarts in zone coverage but also has the ability to hold up when asked to cover on an island. Possesses good overall ball skills and hands. Will help out and support the run. Durable, aggressive, competitive and hard-working. No major weaknesses in his game, but isn’t a true burner in terms of straight-line speed. Amukamara will likely be selected early in the first round, possibly in the top 10.


NFL Draft 2011 Round 1 #16 Washington Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan says-

Kerrigan is a beast of a football player that has the ability to be a difference maker at the next level. He appears to be versatile enough to play defensive end in a 4-3 and outside linebacker in a 3-4. He has the lower body strength to hold his ground in the running game and is a relentless pass rusher. He is a strip sacks specialist who became the Big Ten’s all time leader in forced fumbles as a senior. There are questions whether he can play on his feet in space in the NFL, but Kerrigan is a likely a mid-first round pick.


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