Classes are out and there isn't much to do, so I thought I might share some insight into some prospects in next year's draft. I highly doubt these players will stay in the same round range as I have them, what with having a whole 2014 season to play and all. But based off of the tape from 2013, here is your first three players for next year!
One sentence to sum up Erving: The offensive line version of Kelvin Benjamin, raw with potential.
Having only been playing on the offensive side of the ball for two years, Erving has a lot to learn about the nuances of the position. He played on the defensive line before the switch, so it's understandable that he is still raw. Still, he has shown meteoric improvement each year, and there is nothing to suggest that it won't continue. If he continues his improvement at the same rate as he has been, he'll be long gone by the time Carolina picks (Counting on us having a late pick.).
- Anchors well against power rushers, sets his feet in and prevents any sort of push.
- Good run blocker, if unspectacular. He isn't going to outright maul the defender, but he won't disappoint you in the run game.
- Good athleticism, has the movement skills to keep up with NFL caliber defensive ends.
- Keeps his head on a swivel, doesn't usually let stunts fool him and can smoothly disengage from one defender to attack the outside rusher.
- Speed rushers. They gave him a bit of a problem in the Florida game, but the only time he was flat out beat by speed was on the play just after he came up limping, and it appeared to hamper his footwork for a few plays. Still though, they were able to generate pressure using speed.
- Is sometimes affected by violent hands. A couple times in the Florida and Miami games, the defender was able to use his arm strength and violent hands to put Erving off balance, and the only reason these weren't sacks was because of Winston's ability to escape the pressure.
-Still pretty raw at this point in his career, has a lot to learn and improve on.
"With their 2nd round pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select... Todd Gurley II, Runningback, Georgia."
And here come the boos raining from Radio City Music Hall. But before anyone immediately condemns this pick, take a look at who the Panthers would be getting.
One sentence to sum up Gurley: One of the increasingly endangered 'Do it all RBs'.
The Carolina Panthers land their star running back in the 2nd round, the guy who will step in and take over our RB corps once we are finally able to drop the D-Will and Stewart contracts. There's no other way to put it, this guy is a monster and will continue to be a monster at the next level barring injury.
-Violent, powerful running style. He is a punishing runner with the body to back it up. At 6'1, ~232 lbs, he's a guy that hits you with full force on every play.
-Can back up his power running with great speed. He has good agility as well as straight line speed, allowing him to combine power, agility, and speed to form a truly terrifying man to bring down for a defense.
-Is excellent at following his blocks and allowing them to develop. Shows good patience in running lanes and waits to burst through them.
-Knows how to set up blocks on the perimeter as well, maximizing every run play to the fullest.
-Is a legitimate threat in the pass game as well. He averaged over 40 yards per game receiving in 2013, and had six receiving touchdowns.
-Has experience in pass blocking as well. It's a very good sign to see that he wasn't taken out during these situations, because it says that the coaching staff trusted him enough in pass protection to keep him on the field even in obvious passing downs.
LAST AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: He has that 'It" factor that makes a player a star. That invisible trait that you see out of the guys like LeSean McCoy and Marshawn Lynch. These guys just have that instinct in their head that makes everything click at the right time and create something special on the field.
-Biggest concern: durability. He was hampered by hamstring injuries last year, missing three games and not playing 100% in more. Hopefully he has healed fully this offseason, because this is easily his biggest obstacle at this point in time.
-Needs more experience in pass protection. He is capable of it, but there is still great room for improvement in this area.
-Doesn't always secure the ball when running through the middle, and risks having it being knocked out by a jarring hit.
-This stems from the previous point, as it looks like he doesn't secure the ball because he doesn't always see the defender coming at him from his sides. Needs to better his lateral awareness.
"With their 3rd pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select... Dres Anderson, Receiver, Utah.
One sentence to sum up Anderson: Legitimate deep ball threat.
I know you guys are already liking the pick simply because he's a Ute. But there's more to this guy than our track record of awesome Utah draft picks. He brings adequate outside size at 6'1, 190 lbs. and would make a good #2 to compliment the skillset of Kelvin Benjamin. He has his problems, but he was also hampered by turrble QB play that maximized every little mistake that was made.
-Legitimate NFL speed. He's got that speed you look for in a fast NFL receiver both in a straight line and in tight spaces.
-Excellent at tracking the ball on deep go routes. Always has his eyes locked on the flight path of the ball and adjusts accordingly, a valuable skill considering how poor his QB play was.
-Is not phased by physical play from defenders, both while the ball is in the air or before it is thrown. He shakes off press coverage quickly and gets by them with a good swim move and good startup speed.
-Is a natural hands catcher and doesn't often use his body to catch balls if he doesn't need to.
-Is surprisingly agile for his size and body type. He moves like a smaller slot receiver. Because of this, he was used multiple times per game on Jet Sweeps and Screens a la Percy Harvin.
-Is smart after the catch or on sweeps about setting up his blockers and turning up field. Doesn't usually dance around and lose yardage.
-Has his concentration drops. He has a small handful of plays where the ball just derps off his hands. Unlike Benjamin's though, when he was usually standing still, Anderson is almost always going mach speed in his routes which requires much more concentration to get your hands where they need to be.
-Stemming from the previous point, because of how fast he runs in his crossing routes, he struggles to contort his body to catch inaccurate passes, a regular from his QB. Slants were almost always thrown well behind him, and he was often unable to bring it in in these situations.
-Simplistic route tree. He only ran four routes in the three games that were watched. 'Go' routes, Slants, Screens, and Jet Sweeps.
-Needs to use his Senior year to take a chisel to his game, and polish up key areas to make him a more complete receiver.
"This concludes the first three rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft." -Shifty Goodell