Scouting Blog

By: Alex Khvatov


 

11-12-14

 
Here is a look at some sleeper prospects on the offensive side of the ball in the 2015 NFL Draft that you should get familiar with.
 
 
(Sr) QB Garrett Grayson (Colorado State)
 
A couple of weeks ago, he became Colorado State's all-time passing leader in yards.  He has good arm strength.  Grayson can make all of the throws at the next level.  He is very accurate on short and intermediate passes.  He has improved his deep ball accuracy and footwork this year.  He spreads the ball around to different targets.  He is a leader and demonstrates good command of the offense.  In fact, he is one of the top senior quarterbacks available in next year's draft.     
 
(Sr) WR DeAndre Smelter (Georgia Tech)
 
He hasn't posted huge numbers because of the offense that he plays in, but Smelter caught my eye at the end of last year.  He is a gifted athlete.  He is a physical WR with good size.  He uses his big body to shield the defenders away from the ball.  He is a deep threat.  He makes difficult catches and uses his strength against press coverage.  In the fourth quarter against Virginia Tech, Smelter made some clutch plays.  He did it against sophomore Kendall Fuller who is considered to be one of the top cornerbacks in the nation.  He is raw in terms of his route running, but he has huge upside.  I currently have a third round grade on him.
 
(Sr) WR J.J. Worton (Central Florida)
 
He gets overshadowed by his teammate Breshad Perriman, but he is the better all-around receiver.  Worton plays mostly in the slot.  He has outstanding hands and runs precise routes.  He is an underrated athlete.  He is dangerous in the open field whether he is returning kicks or picking up yards after the catch.  Worton regularly makes tough grabs in traffic.       
 
(Sr) TE Isaac Blakeney (Duke)
 
Blakeney plays WR for the Blue Devils, but his future is at TE at the next level.  He has great length, long arms and a huge catching radius.  He was a former basketball player in high school.  He knows how to box out defenders and has terrific leaping ability.  He is an outstanding athlete and would present a matchup nightmare with his speed if he would move to TE at the next level.  Blakeney is very raw, but his potential is enormous.      

 


11-7-14

A running back will definitely get drafted in the first round of next year's draft.  In fact, the 2015 RB class could turn out to be really special.  It reminds me of the 2008 class that produced the likes of Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Ray Rice and Jamaal Charles.  Let's take a look at the potential prospects.      

 
 
1.  (JR) Todd Gurley (Georgia)
 
He is a physical, downhill runner.  Gurley has size, power, speed and strength.  He punishes defenders and runs over them.  He is tough to bring down and breaks a lot of tackles.  He has great agility and balance.  Gurley gets stronger as the game wears on.  Georgia's offense features him in the passing game.  He is finally healthy this year and looks to be in the best shape of his career.  His upright running style and durability are a concern.  He also needs to improve in pass protection.  He is still a first round pick and will be the first RB selected in the 2015 draft.     
 
2.  (JR) Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin)
 
Gordon is a big play threat.  He is an explosive back with terrific speed and outstanding balance.  He is a dangerous outside runner.  He accelerates very quickly and shows a second gear to pull away from defenders.  He can stop and start on a dime.  Gordon is an athletic back with great change of direction skills.  He has become a better inside runner.  He makes people miss with his elusiveness, but has a tendency to go down too easily at times.  Wisconsin also needs to feature him in the passing game more.  He is still a first round talent.          
 
3.  (JR) Mike Davis (South Carolina)
 
He is only about 5'9, but he has a great build.  He is a powerful, physical runner.  He runs over defenders and shows the ability to bounce off tacklers.  Davis gains a lot of yards after initial contact.  He runs low to the ground.  He has nifty feet, good vision, impressive balance and deceptive speed.  He is quick through the hole.  He is a player that gets stronger in the fourth quarter.  He reminds me of Ray Rice.             
 
4.  (JR) T.J. Yeldon (Alabama)  
 
He has the size, the build and the speed that you look for in an NFL RB.  He has exceptionally quick feet, great cutback ability and good balance.  Yeldon finds the smallest creases as an inside runner.  He is a physical back that breaks his share of tackles.  He is a really good blocker in pass protection which is an underrated part of his game.  At times, Yeldon will dance around at the line of scrimmage instead of being decisive and just hitting that hole.  There are also concerns about his upright running style and his fumbling issues.     
 
5.  (JR) Duke Johnson (Miami, FL)
 
Johnson has tremendous speed and athleticism.  He is very elusive in the open field.  He can make people miss in tight quarters.  He shows good vision and uses a deadly stiff arm to break tackles.  He is patient and waits for his blocks to develop.  Johnson can start inside and then bounce it outside without any hesitation.  He is a weapon in the passing game.  He has soft hands and runs good routes.  He is also a dangerous kick returner when he has been asked to handle that duty.  However, he is an undersized back with ball security issues and some durability concerns.    
 
6.  (JR) Jay Ajayi (Boise State)
 
He is a big back with a thick lower body and blazing speed.  Ajayi has a physical running style.  He just bounces off tacklers and is a load to bring down.  He can run over defenders or around them.  He also displays good balance and always falls forward.  He is a dangerous receiver coming out of the backfield.  Ajayi needs to improve in short-yardage situations.  He also needs to take care of the ball.  He has put the ball on the ground on a few occasions.            
 
7.  (SR) Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska)
 
Abdullah is off to a terrific start this year.  He already has two 200-yard games.  He is a big-play threat.  He hits the hole with authority, shows great quickness to the outside and an extra gear in the open field.  He is also a tough runner between the tackles.  Abdullah runs low to the ground, keeps those feet moving after initial contact, lowers his shoulder and always fights for extra yardage.  He is one of the strongest players at his size at the RB position.  He is an outstanding cutback runner that has a nose for the endzone.
 
8.  (JR) D.J. Foster (Arizona State)
 
He is an all-purpose back.  Foster is athletic with great quickness.  He is shifty and has the ability to make people miss in the open field.  He is a home run hitter.  He is a patient runner with good vision.  He has soft hands and runs precise routes.  He is arguably the best receiver at the running back position in the entire nation. 
 
9.  (JR) Javorius ''Buck'' Allen (USC) 
 
He has become a workhorse in Steve Sarkisian's offense.  He has good size and balance.  Allen has displayed outstanding vision.  He is a good cutback runner.  He also shows a terrific burst through the hole.  He is very effective on screen passes as well.  Expect this player to rise in the RB rankings as we get closer to the draft.         
 
10 (tie).  (SR) Karlos Williams (Florida State)
 
The converted safety became the lead back this year.  He scored the game-winning TD in overtime against Clemson last week.  He has great size and speed combination.  Williams is a home run threat.  He is also hard to tackle due to his physical nature.  But he is still raw and is more of an athlete playing the running back position.  He has an upright running style.  Williams needs to improve his vision and become more decisive as an inside runner. 
 
10 (tie).  (SR) Jeremy Langford (Michigan State)
 
Langford is off to a slow start this season.  He hasn't recorded a 100-yard game up to this point.  He had eight 100-yard games in 2013.  He is a downhill runner with good size, power and speed.  He lowers his shoulder and finishes his runs.  Langford is a good receiver out of the backfield and is a solid pass protector.