1st Round-Dre Kirkpatrick, 'Bama, CB
field, he's a prized cover man with the angular frame and reach to
quickly become a No. 1-type cornerback in the NFL. The second-team
All-American, also second-team All-SEC, was surrounded by top-50
prospects on Alabama's defense and teams will want to gauge his ability
to survive on an island before investing in his future.
<table class="data" width="100%"><tbody><tr class="title"><td>Analysis</td></tr>
Man Coverage: Possesses prototypical size and strength combination to
lock down NFL receivers on the outside. Long arms and attitude give him
a chance to be very good in press role. Plays with natural bend and
fair foot quickness in his backpedal. Hips are fluid for his size, opens
them up quickly out of pedal to keep inside position while running down
the sideline. Recovery speed from double-moves and pick plays is more
than adequate, does not give much ground trailing on crossing routes.
Can be overaggressive landing his punch in press, giving up inside
position, losing his balance, or even falling down.
Zone Coverage: Mainly used in man, but flashes playmaking ability
in zones, as well. Uses his size and length to close and wrap
effectively after the catch. Reads quarterback when playing off, baits
him to make the underneath throw then closes to make the interception or
a big hit to dislodge ball from receiver. Uses length to knock away
touch passes behind him and in front of the safety.
Ball Skills: Strong enough to win jump balls down the sideline or
50-50 balls over the middle. Good hand-eye coordination to knock away
passes in front of receivers with off hand. Does not find the ball
quickly when receiver turns to look, overruns plays too regularly.
Gambles on interceptions instead of securing the tackle.
Run Support: Very physical outside, pushes aside smaller wideouts
easily and does not back down from confrontations with larger players.
Willing to add himself to piles. Good hustle and chase downfield to help
teammates. Typically keeps outside leverage but will get aggressive,
leaving the sideline vulnerable. Needs to consistently break down and
keep his feet outside or NFL backs will evade him.
Tackling: Flashes pure strength to stop receivers and running
backs in their tracks on the outside, should get stronger over time.
Likes to throw his shoulder into receivers to force them out of bounds.
Resorts to duck-and-swipe when unnecessary, which may work against
college ballcarriers but will cause problems at the next level. Used on
corner blitzes due to size/speed combination, forces a lot of quick
throws. Willing to go for the strip, especially if ballcarrier already
engaged. Negates special teams gunners on punts, stays with them with
effort, physicality and speed.
Intangibles: Well-liked teammate who got the nickname "Swag" for
his quiet but confident demeanor; referred to Texas as not having
"swagger" during his college announcement press conference. Likes to
talk on the field to teammates and get the crowd involved when at home.
Praised for his strong will and work ethic. Won the team's Bart Starr
Most Improved Player Award in the spring of 2011.
</p></td></tr></tbody></table>-Alternate 1st Rounder: Mike Adams, Ohio St, OT
2nd Round- Vontaze Burfict, Az St, LB
is explosive. He can rock ballcarriers in the hole, is particularly
adept rushing the quarterback and plays with a ferocity that could
quickly make him a fan favorite. There are plenty of aspects about his
game that translate well to the next level. However, he has been prone
to immature behavior that has cost his team penalties at critical stages
of games throughout his career.
He's not as instinctive as his reputation might lead you to
believe, has a soft build and hasn't shown any real improvement since
first stepping onto the ASU campus.
<table class="data" width="100%"><tbody><tr class="title"><td>Analysis</td></tr>
Read & React: Brings good instincts to the middle of a defense,
but his reaction time is what stands out for a player his size.
Combining that reaction time with his speed results in crushing hits. A
step late recognizing screens at times and can be fooled by misdirection
in the offensive line because he relies on his keys.
Run defense: Between-the-tackles thumper with mike linebacker
upper and lower-body builds, but also agile and quick enough to get
through gaps to make plays in the backfield. Avoids lineman blocks in
space with quickness, strong hands, and even a dip move, though he lines
up seven yards off the line to see them coming. Also strong enough to
anchor against lineman blocks; could be more consistent shedding to
reach ballcarrier as he runs by.
Pass defense: Agile enough to attack throws in front of him when
in zone, can make the big hit which separates the ball from his man.
Taken out in nickel packages, though, as he lacks the suddenness to get a
deep drop or handle jerk routes of quicker slot receivers. Must read
the quarterback's eyes to jump and affect passing lanes if not getting
home on the blitz.
Tackling: Explosive tackler who gets low to stop backs in their
tracks. Plays like a downhill missile on most snaps, making huge hits
that result in turnovers. Also brings down backs by their leg if
slipping down during the tackle. Anchors quickly after inserting himself
into a pile to prevent forward pushes. Capable of reaching either
sideline on a given play, taking deep angles when needed to prevent the
touchdown. Gets low to shoulder down college backs, but NFL ballcarriers
may avoid those tackles. Misses some tackles when trying to intimidate
with a lowered helmet or shoulder instead of wrapping up.
Pass Rush/Blitz: Used as a blitzer off the edge and up the
middle, showing a lot of potential by pressuring quarterbacks into
throws but rarely getting home (zero sacks in 2010). Explodes from his
stance but lacks a variety of moves and does not use his hands to beat
initial block. Athletic enough to jump over running back cut pass pro
blocks, but should be able to bully them instead.
Intangibles: His utter lack of discipline is a major concern for
scouts; draws too many personal foul flags for late hits and constantly
talks with officials and opponents. Has reportedly matured during over
the past year, becoming a vocal leader on the field and in the locker
room. Removed from starting line-up for one game in 2010 for
head-butting Oregon State QB Ryan Katz. Stamina could be improved.
</p></td></tr></tbody></table>-Alternate 2nd Rounder: Whitney Mercilus, Illinois, DE
3rd Round- Mitchell Schwartz, Cal, OT
Schwartz didn't play football until high school and is still growing,
but has football in his bloodlines -- older brother Geoff started all
16 games in 2010 for the Carolina Panthers. His technique is
inconsistent, but he does a nice job jolting defenders at the point of
attack and while it doesn't always look pretty, he usually gets the job
done. Schwartz isn't a quick-twitch mover with only short-area lateral
range, but he is a high-effort blocker with intriguing tools and
intangibles -- looks like a right tackle-only prospect with limited pro
potential, but has the toughness, maturity and intelligence to be a
backup while fighting for a starting spot.
Strengths: Has a good frame with adequate length (33-inch arms)
and has done a nice job adding bulk. Plays with a wide base and is a
smart, instinctive player with good overall awareness. Has smooth
athletic skills with the foot quickness and agility to mirror and seal
the edge. Uses good body positioning and understands angles, doing a
nice job going station-to-station and making combination blocks.
Aggressive extending his limbs with some power, punching at the point of
attack. Looks comfortable in space, staying patient in his stance with
natural coordination. A high-effort player with very good intangibles,
rarely making mental errors. He is a versatile veteran as a four-year
starter with experience at both left and right tackle (51 career starts
-- 35 at left tackle, 16 at right tackle).
Weaknesses: Not the most physically imposing player and lacks
overwhelming power to win with raw strength. Has some technique issues,
lunging and overextending himself -- allows his upper body to get over
his feet too often. Needs to stay balanced through contact in the run
game with a bad habit of lowering his head, whiffing and ending up on
the ground. Lacks elite range and lateral ability. Tends to play a bit
high and doesn't have a stout base to anchor without proper leverage.
Flashes an inconsistent finishing attitude and is too passive at times.
Has some durability concerns after a back injury kept him out of spring
practice prior to the 2011 season.
</p>-Alternate 3rd Rounder: Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina, WR