Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Senior Bowl links - Mays struggling?

Bucky Brooks has been disappointed with USC's Taylor Mays at the Senior Bowl so far: "The most impressive physical specimen on the field has underwhelmed scouts with his play this week. Mays has struggled staying with receivers in drills, and his outstanding measurables haven’t translated into smooth or fluid movements in coverage. While he has shown up occasionally as a hitter against the run, Mays' inability to get around the ball consistently has drawn red flags from scouts expecting to see a "can’t miss" talent at the safety position."

Tony Pauline also lists Mays amongst his stock 'sliders': "Mays checked in at a chiseled 231 pounds, but may be a little too big for the safety position. He looked stiff and mechanical with his defensive back fundamentals and really showed limited skills in pass coverage drills. Teams may start projecting Mays to outside linebacker based on his inability to make plays in centerfield."

Rob Rang passes on a report from Chad Reuter at the Senior Bowl which was particularly critical of the SoCal prospect: "The South safeties didn't have much luck locking on receivers, especially in one-on-one drills. USC's Taylor Mays really struggled to plant and drive coming out of his backpedal, looking like Fred Flintstone churning his feet without any resulting forward movement."

Pat Kirwan was impressed with Idaho's Iupati and Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham: "Iupati has power and excellent balance. He rarely struggled with one-on-one blocks, quickly squaring up the defensive tackle and neutralizing his rush. He is quick to get out of his stance and into the run-blocking game. Iupati showed the ability to torque a defender and put him on the ground. I want to see more when he pulls, but this guy can play."

Matt McGuire says Tim Tebow was very inconsistent on day two: "At times he threw balls with nice touch, then he'd toss some serious ducks. He hesitated with decision-making, and toward the middle of practice in skeleton drills, he struggled to make quick decisions and opted to run. Today's practice was better than yesterday's and from what I heard, his accuracy today was significantly better, but we are talking about a huge stretch if Tebow was to get drafted in the first round. He's not winning over anyone in Mobile."


Ralphy said...

From ESPN Insider. You told us about him first Rob.

Usually when we think of Idaho, we think of potatoes and Napoleon Dynamite. But at the Senior Bowl this week, the biggest buzz has been about Idaho's Mike Iupati, a guard that was blessed with tackle's arms, and a player who is the "most likely pro bowler if you took a poll of scouts at Sr Bowl," according to Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter.

Particularly interested in Iupati are the Detroit Lions, who need to protect their big investment, Matthew Stafford, with better play out of their O-line. Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press describes how smitten the team is with Iupati, but also mentions that there is a conundrum: the Lions have picks No. 2 and No. 34 overall, while Iupati is expected to be taken in the mid to late section of the first round. Waiting for him at 34 will be risky, so it's possible they could try to swing a draft day trade.

Rob Staton said...

It doesn't surprise me that there's a buzz around Iupati. Watching the tape against Bowling Green and watching a guy his size pull as often and as well as he did was a sight to behold. It pleases me that teams are seeing him strictly as a guard too - I see no reason to try and force him to play tackle. I've always felt his stock value will peak at around 18-22 but could be more likely to finish around 25-32. I think this week has pushed him securely into that 18-22 range. It would surprise me now if teams like Dallas didn't try to trade up and get him - they love big lineman. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem a likely fit in Seattle. He absolutely can play in a ZBS scheme because he's so agile - but he's much bigger than your usual Alex Gibbs lineman and if there's one area he needs to improve it's leverage - something Gibbs values tremendously.

Nick said...

As for Iupati, I'm not convinced. Two things concern me: first he stands very tall, allowing the defender to get leverage. And second, I didn't see any of his games live, so I've had to rely on youtube, but it looked to me like he holds on every single play. I know interior linemen can get away with a lot, but I've never seen anything like it.

I've been hoping to hear about George Selvie; I guess he's not making much of an impresion. I think he's going to be a steal - I like him much more than JPP. If a team can protect him like Indy does Mathis he will be a playmaker at DE or at rush LB in a 3-4.

And I'm bummed that McCluster is doing so well because I wanted the Skins to get him at the top of the 4th.

Phil said...

Hey Rob,

If Iupati is too big to be a guard in Alex Gibbs's system but is very capable of being in a ZBS scheme, how do you think he would be able to handle being an LT in Alex Gibbs's system? Not sure how well he would be in pass protection but I've heard reports are that there are some teams out there who might see him as a possible LT due to his arm size. What do you think?

Phil said...

lol, my bad. Just realized that you had made a comment earlier that you are pleased that teams are seeing Iupati strictly as a guard.

Anonymous said...

how far do u think mays can fall without somebody still realizing his upside. i doubt he drops into 3rd round territory

Anonymous said...


It worries me that analasys is saying that Tony Pike has the strongest arm in the North squad. Are the arms of LeFevour and Canfield that weak?

I know you wrote a report on Pike saying that he had a barely passable arm, if even passable for the NFL.

Or has Pike's arm suddenly become strong?

Rob Staton said...

Annonymous 1 - I think Mays could fall into round two. I'd be surprised if he fell as low as the tenth pick in the second round. I think he'll likely go at the top of round two or the back end of round one. Having said that - it only takes one team to fall in love with his physical qualities to make him a much earlier selection.

Annonymous 2 - it doesn't surprise me. Pike has below average arm strength but is capable of throwing with some zip and a nice spiral. LeFevour and Canfield's arm strength is comparable. If I'm brutaly honest, I can't see a NFL starter amongst the three. Canfield and Pike could be servicable back ups for a while.

Anonymous said...

From Texashawk,


What is your opinion of G from USC Jeff Byers? Where do you see him going and would the Hawks be interested in him?

Rob Staton said...

Hey Texashawk,

I believe Byers had six years of eligibility due to two missed seasons (injury). He'll be 25 when the season starts, so I imagine that will hamper his hopes of being taken in the draft. From what I've seen, he's a fighter - gives as good as he gets. I've not really sat down and studied him because there are much more decorated prospects at USC to cover and Byers is probably a UDFA. He might get a look in at camp if Pete Carroll thinks he's worth bringing in as a body - his size at least won't discount him from Alex Gibbs' thoughts. However, I think it's ambitious to expect much out of him - although he appears to be performing relatively well at the senior bowl.

Anonymous said...

Give me your honest opinion Rob...

Did you think that Drew Brees, Matt Schaub, Kevin Kolb (although not yet), Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Matt Hasselbeck, Kyle Orton, or Kurt Warner would make a good starting QB.

Do we put too much skeptesism on young QB prospects?

Basically, what I am saying is do you think it possible that Canfield or Pike has a chance at being a starting QB? It's happened before with less "talented" QB prospects. Do we put too much into QB scouting reports?

Rob Staton said...

I wouldn't say we put too much into scouting reports, because at the end of the day all you can do is watch the tape and make a judgement call. Obviously some guys slip through the net, others are brought in to work in a very specific system and through sheer determination are able to master that system and be a success.

And then there are those guys that against all odds, just make it work. Ultimately, finding one of these QB's is like winning the lottery and it is easier to find quality QB's early in a draft. There's an element of risk because of the price, but the likely rewards are also higher. Can a Canfield or Pike be succesful? I'm on record as saying in a Denver/New England system Canfield might work out. Pike is a bit too skinny for me and he has real issues adding weight - but likewise he could work in a timing scheme. But it'll be tough for those two, just not impossible.

John_S said...

Some players that I am interested in seeing are Dexter McCluster, Perrish Cox, Brandon Graham, Nate Allen and Myron Rolle.

If you want to add explosiveness McCluster has it and it will be interesting to see how he's used. It would be neat to have a guy who could line up in the backfield and in the slot kind of like in the mold of Bush or Harvin but smaller.

Perrish Cox when i've watched him during the season just made plays. He was all over the place.

Graham, I would be interested in seeing how his intial burst is when his hand is down. I think he would be an ideal person to play the elephant position where he could play standing up or down.

Allen and Rolle just because it's a position of need for the hawks. I've read pretty good reviews of Allen but have not seen him play and Rolle I thought was a good player at FSU before heading to Oxford.