Kyle Rota from College Talent Scout published two new scouting reports today on Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno and Clemson strong safety Michael Hamlin. Two prospects that have often been talked about from a Seahawks perspective this off season, but how do they grade?
Rota gives Knowshon Moreno his highest marks to date (7.1 - grading system explained here), beating out prospects like Matt Stafford, Jason Smith and Michael Crabtree. The former Bulldog is praised for his character, balance and ability as a receiver or pass blocker. Moreno gets a significantly higher grade than both Chris 'Beanie' Wells (6.1) and Donald Brown (also 6.1). He also compares Moreno to a former NFL MVP who previously carried the rock for Seattle.
"He’s a good all-around back capable of running any play, and as a receiver he is excellent at generating 1st downs. Two players I am reminded of are Shaun Alexander (due to vision and inside running, but Moreno is a killer blocker and receiver where Alexander was poor at both) and Clinton Portis (the 2005+ version who is a great blocker and inside runner, not the 200lber from college), and I feel Moreno could be better than either because he truly is the best thing about each of those two backs." - Kyle Rota on Knowshon Moreno
We've often discussed whether Seahawks GM Tim Ruskell would likely show any interest in Moreno. Undoubtedly, he has the kind of traits he looks for in a prospect - big production, big school, big character. Ruskell was visibly present at Georgia's pro-day to get a close look at Moreno, so could he be a surprise choice fourth overall?
"While I don’t recommend drafting a RB #4 overall due to money and the overall fungible nature of the RB position, Moreno had huge success behind a pretty bad Georgia OL and if given a decent OL I see pro-bowls and possibly Canton in Moreno’s future." - Kyle Rota
What about Clemson's Michael Hamlin? The Seahawks could use some depth at the safety position, although they are perhaps more likely to look at free safety instead of the strong option where guys like Patrick Chung and Hamlin have excelled. Rota's verdict?
"Hamlin has two strikes against him – he’s not a physical, intimidating type safety and he is not in possession of elite speed. However, he does do several things well – he has a nose for the football, is a secure tackler, and is a decent athlete. I think Hamlin is a guy who can stick in the NFL, but I think he needs some time to add weight and work on his reads, but there is the potential he becomes a good player. If he does, however, he will do it with his coverage and decent tackling form (interestingly enough, a decent comparison is Deon Grant with better hands)."
- Kyle Rota on Michael Hamlin
Not the greatest recommendation, Hamlin grades out lower than Oregon's Chung (5.8 compared to 6.3). Rota cites consistent errors, inability to deliver a crushing hit and lack of fluidity as reasons to be cautious of Hamlin's abilities. Is there a positive angle too?
"While he has some value, I don’t see what people are excited for. There are a lot of safeties who become good players because they’re put in the right system and master the mental side of the game, and that will be Hamlin’s key to success, but there is nothing on tape to distinguish him from anyone else." - Kyle Rota
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