DE CHRIS SMITH, ARKANSAS

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6’3” – 268 lbs. – 4.70e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: 3 tackles, 1 PD
2011: 31 – 6.0 – 3.5, 2 QBH, 1 PD
2012: 52 – 13.0 – 9.5, 12 QBH, 1 FF, 4 PD

OVERVIEW:

Joined Arkansas in 2010 as a 230-pound defensive end in a reserve role, but gained over twenty pounds as a sophomore, appearing in the team’s defensive end rotation and making three starts. In 2012, was productive as a full-time starter, earning an honorable mention All-SEC selection. Gained another seventeen pounds prior to his senior season.

STRENGTHS:

•    Will graduate with over two years of productive SEC starting experience.
•    Has added nearly forty pounds of bulk during his collegiate career.
•    Possesses prototypical size and bulk for a pass rushing prospect.
•    Fairly explosive off the line of scrimmage, favors the speed rush.
•    Capable of bending the edge and redirecting relatively smoothly.
•    Closing burst is above-average, can seal the deal when in position.
•    Has some experience rushing the passer out of a two-point stance.
•    Drops into coverage on occasion, albeit rarely, and looks comfortable.
•    Could realistically fit into a 3-4 defense at outside linebacker.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Despite his bulk, struggles to anchor when run at, can be easily turned.
•    Gets stuck on blocks if he doesn’t win with his initial burst off the snap.
•    Must develop additional rush moves and be more active with his hands.
•    Overall instincts need lots of work, struggles to anticipate misdirection.
•    Gap discipline in the run game is a problem, sacrifices contain too often.
•    Can be too aggressive when attempting to anticipate snap counts.
•    Very much a finesse player, not someone who reestablishes the line.

SUMMARY:

Smith is an interesting prospect because of his ideal build for a pass rusher, his natural athleticism, and his burst off the snap, but despite his experience there are still plenty of weak areas in his game, notably his awareness, his anchor strength when run at, and his lack of a diverse repertoire of rush moves. He has all the physical tools to be successful, but will require considerable work under a talented defensive line coach to succeed. RD 4

DT RYAN CARRETHERS, ARKANSAS ST.

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6’2” – 330 lbs. – 5.30e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: Redshirt
2010: 6 – 0.0 – 0.0
2011: 29 – 3.0 – 1.5, 1 QBH
2012: 68 – 3.5 – 1.0

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2009, then contributed as a reserve defensive linemen in 2010, a role which carried over into the 2010 season before he earned a starting position for the final six games of the season. Became a full-time starter in 2012. Added twenty pounds of bulk as a senior, increasing his weight from 310 lbs. to 330.

STRENGTHS:

•    Massive nose tackle prospect with rare size and bulk; really stands out.
•    Has been productive since stepping into a starting role in 2011.
•    Does a good job of re-establishing the line of scrimmage vs. the run.
•    Plays with a low center of gravity and can win the leverage battle.
•    Can anchor versus double teams without losing too much ground.
•    More athletic than the typical 330-pound nose tackle, has a little burst.
•    Could potentially lose some of the weight he gained to fit scheme.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Statistics are inflated by playing in one of the weaker conferences.
•    A little bit slow to disengage and make the tackle when run at.
•    Often reacts to play a little bit slow, allowing runners to get by him.
•    Arms may be a little bit on the short side, more of a stoutly-built lineman.
•    Doesn’t have too much experience against the best teams in the country.
•    Offers relatively little against the pass, occasionally gets pressure.

SUMMARY:

Carrethers is somewhat difficult to project, because he obviously possesses the size teams desire from a nose tackle, with three productive years of starting experience and above-average athleticism compared to other players his size, but he also tends to put himself in position to make a tackle and then fail to do so, whether because he’s a split-second late to react, or simply can’t disengage in time. The league’s shortage of quality nose tackles will inflate his stock, but it’s hard to see him developing into a quality starter. Will benefit from the “world theory.” RD 5

DE TAYLOR HART, OREGON

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6’6” – 287 lbs. – 5.00e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: Redshirt
2010: 18 – 2.0 – 2.0, 2 QBH, 1 PD
2011: 44 – 3.0 – 2.5, 1 QBH, 1 FF, 2 PD, 1 BK
2012: 36 – 11.0 – 8.0, 1 FF, 2 PD

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2009, then appeared in a reserve role as a redshirt freshman in 2010. Stepped into the starting lineup in 2011, starting all fourteen contests the Ducks played. Then added another twelve starts in 2012, earning an honorable mention All-Pac 12 selection from conference coaches.

STRENGTHS:

•    Productive three-year starter who really stood out as a junior.
•    Very tall, with a relatively thick build, won’t need to add much weight.
•    Began his collegiate career weighing 262 pounds, added lots of bulk.
•    Has played both defensive end and defensive tackle for the Ducks.
•    Does a pretty good job of scraping down the line without losing ground.
•    Capable of anchoring at both positions when opponents run his way.
•    Can two-gap at the defensive end spot, may be able to at the next level.
•    Is even asked to rush out of a two-point stance a few times per game.
•    High-motor player with impressive range to defend screens/scrambles.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Not an impressive physical specimen in terms of musculature/definition.
•    Arms appear to be shorter than usual for a player with his size.
•    Movement skills are adequate but lacks ideal burst or explosion.
•    Initial punch isn’t particularly jarring, doesn’t generally re-establish LOS.
•    Could do a better job of disengaging from blocks by developing moves.
•    May not be a natural fit for most even defensive fronts in the pros.
•    Was significantly more productive as a junior than as a senior.

SUMMARY:

Hart is a versatile prospect who’s been asked to assume various different responsibilities with the Ducks and done a good job at each of them. In particular, he’s an effective run defender despite his height, who can anchor when run at and scrape down the line. His overall movement skills are only average, and his overall build could use plenty of work, but he could realistically project to various different schemes, with the best fit being either a one-or-two-gap odd front. Something of a jack-of-all-trades. RD 4

DE TRENT MURPHY, STANFORD

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6’6” – 261 lbs. – 4.90e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: Redshirt
2010: 2 – 1.0 – 1.0
2011: 40 – 10.0 – 6.5, 1 PD
2012: 56 – 18.0 – 10.0, 6 QBH, 1 FF, 4 PD, 1 INT (TD)

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2009, then appeared in just two games as a redshirt freshman in 2010. Became a full-time starter at outside linebacker in 2011, a role he continued in 2012 en route to being named an All-Pac-12 First Team selection. Was named to every relevant watch list prior to the 2013 season.

STRENGTHS:

•    Massive player with an ideal build for a professional pass rusher.
•    Highly decorated three-year starter with outstanding production.
•    Has rushed out of both two-and-three-point stances in college.
•    Already has some experience dropping into zone coverages.
•    Strong enough to drive defenders back into the passer with bull rush.
•    Possesses adequate initial burst on the snap, average closing burst.
•    Effective at chipping bigger tight ends and preventing easy releases.
•    Can anchor versus offensive tackles and scrape down the line.
•    Capable at setting the edge against outside runs and redirecting runners.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Top-end speed is well below-average, lateral agility is mediocre.
•    Despite experience there, is not an ideal coverage option (zone or man.)
•    Takes some wide angles to the passer, creating big rushing lanes.
•    Not an outstanding run defender, runs himself out of the play at times.
•    Takes plenty of plays off, especially on runs to the opposite side.
•    Lots of his production comes via second effort or when unblocked.
•    Ceiling is limited due to his athletic limitations, starting experience.
•    May be one of those players whose game doesn’t really translate.

SUMMARY:

Murphy is among the most productive pass rushers in the draft, with outstanding size and three years of experience doing pretty much everything 3-4 outside linebackers are asked to do, but his overall movement skills are lacking, which may restrict what he can do at the pro level. His best fit is probably as a strong-side “elephant” linebacker in an odd defensive front. Not as impressive on tape as his statistics suggest. RD 4

DE JOSH MAURO, STANFORD

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6’6” – 281 lbs. – 4.90e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: Redshirt
2010: 7 – 0.0 – 0.0, 1 PD
2011: 4 – 2.0 – 2.0, 1 PD
2012: 19 – 7.0 – 5.0, 1 FR

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2009, then played in a reserve capacity as a redshirt freshman in 2010, a role he reprised in 2011. Developed into a starter as a redshirt junior in 2012, manning the five-technique defensive end position in Stanford’s odd defensive front.

STRENGTHS:

•    Very tall, long-limbed defender with some further growth potential.
•    Has lined up at five-technique end and inside at defensive tackle.
•    Moves pretty well laterally, with more coordination than expected.
•    High-motor player who makes most of his plays on second effort.
•    Has an adequate spin move and demonstrates active hand use.
•    Reasonably effective interior rusher on obvious passing downs.
•    Generally able to hold his ground in the run game, decent anchor.
•    Typically one of the first defenders to get off the line of scrimmage.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Only a two-year starter whose production has never been incredible.
•    Will need to gain more weight in order to fit most 3-4 defensive fronts.
•    Probably doesn’t offer much value to teams with an even base defense.
•    Possesses only average athleticism, certainly not an explosive player.
•    Doesn’t do a great job of using power to drive defenders backwards.
•    More successful because of his effort than because of his initial move.
•    Better at playing downhill than he is at anchoring or two-gapping.

SUMMARY:

Physically, Mauro requires some projection, as he possesses considerable growth potential, but will need to add some additional weight in order to fit into an odd front in the pros, with little value for teams which rely on four-man defensive lines. With some additional work in an NFL strength program, he could develop into an effective rotational lineman capable of moving inside on passing downs and rushing from the defensive tackle position, something he does well at Stanford. Something of a project, but not a particularly risky one. RD 4-5

DE MICHAEL SAM, MISSOURI

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6’2” – 255 lbs. – 4.75e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: Redshirt
2010: 24 – 7.0 – 3.5, 2 QBH, 2 FF, 1 INT, 1 BK
2011: 29 – 3.0 – 1.5, 4 QBH, 1 PD, 1 INT
2012: 22 – 7.0 – 4.5, 4 QBH, 2 FF, 1 FR (TD)

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2009, then became a productive member of Missouri’s defensive line rotation in 2010, a role he reprised in a less notable fashion as a redshirt sophomore in 2011. In 2012, started nine of twelve contests and submitted his most efficient season to date, although he has dramatically improved as a senior in 2013, playing left end opposite Kony Ealy.

STRENGTHS:

•    Potential is considerable given improvement as a full-time starter.
•    Does a nice job of scraping down the line while supporting the run.
•    Effective at knifing into the backfield with one-gap responsibilities.
•    Violent with very active hands and feet, possesses an impressive motor.
•    Bends the edge well as a pass rusher, maintaining a low center of gravity.
•    Draws a lot of attention from opposing blockers, can split double teams.
•    Rangy player who will pursue the play through the snap, even on passes.
•    Does a great job of re-establishing the line of scrimmage versus the run.
•    Impressive closing speed to chase down quarterbacks and ballcarriers.
•    Has played inside as Missouri’s three-technique in a limited capacity.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Only one season of high-level production, only became a starter in 2012.
•    A little bit shorter than you’d like, with a stocky, maxed-out build.
•    More of a bull/speed rusher at this point who needs more rush moves.
•    Needs to do a better job of making tackles when given the opportunity.
•    Instincts need some work, occasionally gets himself out of position.
•    Hasn’t been asked to stand up and play linebacker in odd fronts.

SUMMARY:

Sam is a little bit shorter than a prototypical pass rusher in today’s NFL, but he has emerged as an explosive, disruptive player in both facets of the game, as one of the most effective run defenders in the draft at his position and a highly productive pass rusher as well. He needs to develop additional rush moves, but should be able to capitalize on what is a relatively weak crop of rushers outside of the draft’s elite prospects. RD 2

OB KYLE VAN NOY, BRIGHAM YOUNG

6’3” – 245 lbs. – 4.60e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: 36 – 7.5 – 2.0, 2 QBH, 2 FF, 1 FR (TD), 2 PD
2011: 68 – 15.0 – 6.0, 10 QBH, 3 FF, 1 FR (TD), 3 PD, 3 INT, 1 K/P B
2012: 52 – 22.0 – 13.0, 8 QBH, 6 FF, 5 PD, 2 INT (1 TD), 2 K/PB

OVERVIEW:

Worked his way into the rotation as a freshman, starting two games in total. Started more consistently as a sophomore, totaling eight of the thirteen contests in which he played. As a junior, broke out, being named to the AP All-America Third Team in his first season as a full-time starter, leading to being named to the Bednarik, Butkus, and Nagurski watch lists in 2013.

STRENGTHS:

•    Highly productive player with nearly three years of starting experience.
•    Possesses an explosive first step when rushing opposing quarterbacks.
•    Runs exceptionally well for his position, effective in backside pursuit.
•    Athletic enough to assume man-coverage responsibilities on tight ends.
•    Very rangy, high-motor player who makes plays on second effort.
•    Has a few different rush moves, demonstrating a particularly nice swim.
•    Added weight every year in college, beginning as a 219-lb. freshman.
•    Could realistically fit at outside linebacker in either an even or odd front.
•    Outstanding ball skills in coverage and in terms of stripping ballcarriers.
•    Offers additional value on special teams blocking kicks and punts.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Combine weigh-in numbers may reveal inflated collegiate measurables.
•    Looks very thin, will need to add lots of weight to play in an odd front.
•    Not an ideal edge-setter ion the run game, more of a finesse player.
•    Gets a little too aggressive at times and finds himself out of position.
•    Takes wide angles in the run game, leaving his gap unaccounted for.
•    Misses more tackles than he should, needs to break down more often.
•    Arrested as a senior in high school for driving under the influence.

SUMMARY:

One of the most productive defenders in this year’s class, Van Noy makes plenty of plays, whether versus the run, as a pass rusher, in coverage, or on special teams, with impressive speed and explosiveness. He will need to add weight in the NFL and play with more discipline, but has the ability to develop into a quality starter in a three-or-four-man front. RD 1

TE C.J. FIEDOROWICZ, IOWA

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6’7” – 265 lbs. – 4.85e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: N/A
2011: 16 – 167 – 3 (10.4)
2012: 45 – 433 – 1 (9.6)

OVERVIEW:

Contributed in a reserve/special-teams role with the Hawkeyes as a freshman in 2010 before making five starts as a sophomore in 2011, catching sixteen passes. Assumed the full-time starting role in 2012, earning an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection from conference coaches following a 45-catch junior campaign.

STRENGTHS:

•    Possesses an ideal combination of height and bulk for an inline option.
•    Effective at setting the edge in the run game, directing his man inside.
•    Demonstrates some explosion out of his breaks in the passing game.
•    Reliable hands-catcher who rarely drops an accurate target.
•    Tracks the ball well in the air, making productive adjustments.
•    Uses the stiff-arm effectively in order to gain a few extra yards.
•    Physical player who can both give and receive punishing blows.
•    Runs a fairly wide range of routes in the short/intermediate areas.
•    Can make difficult contested catches in traffic with regularity.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Not someone who’s going to run away from many defenders.
•    Will probably be restricted to inline responsibilities for the most part.
•    Most of his routes are shorter patterns; not a deep threat.
•    Overall ceiling is limited by his average athletic ability.
•    His aggressive style of play may eventually lead to injuries.
•    Surprisingly, hasn’t been much of a red zone scorer for the Hawkeyes.
•    Really only has one year of highly-productive play in college.

SUMMARY:

Fiedorowicz represents a known quantity for pro teams seeking a reliable safety valve with the size and bulk to shield blockers from the ball and come away with contested catches on short and intermediate routes. He is also an effective blocker with a physical, aggressive demeanor, whose style of play is reminiscent of former Hawkeyes standout Scott Chandler, a 2007 fourth-round selection, and could be drafted in a similar range. RD 3-4

OG CYRIL RICHARDSON, BAYLOR

6’5” – 340 lbs. – 5.35e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: Redshirt
2010: 12 GP / 4 GS (LG)
2011: 13 GP / 13 GS (LT)
2012: 13 GP / 12 GS (LG)

OVERVIEW:

Started four games at guard as a redshirt freshman, then transitioned to left tackle as a sophomore, starting all thirteen games for the Bears. In 2012, started twelve of thirteen games after returning to left guard, giving him 29 starts entering the 2013 season. Was named the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year by the conference’s coaches following the 2012 season. Can reportedly bench-press 32 repetitions of 225 pounds.

STRENGTHS:

•    Highly decorated starter with over three years of quality experience.
•    Massive player who’s bigger than any opposing defender he faces.
•    Consequently, possesses a very effective anchor in pass protection.
•    Despite his size, his mobility in the run game is one of his best traits.
•    Can dominate individual defenders when he attacks their shoulder.
•    Often makes an initial block and moves onto a second man afterwards.
•    Best in an inline scheme but may be able to fit into a zone scheme as well.
•    Was successful protecting Robert Griffin’s blind side as a sophomore.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Tends to rely on his size and isn’t necessarily a dominant drive blocker.
•    Awareness in pass protection is less than ideal, blows some assignments.
•    Doesn’t have outstanding grip strength and falls off of some blocks.
•    Probably restricted to guard in the pros despite playing a year at tackle.
•    May be able to do it, but is not a prototypical zone-blocking candidate.

SUMMARY:

One of the most physically imposing linemen in the draft, Richardson’s gargantuan build is enhanced by also possessing the mobility of a smaller player. As a run defender, he is highly effective at executing a variety of assignments, if not quite as dominant as you’d prefer. His pass protection skills are a little bit lacking despite having played left tackle, as he seems to make mistakes identifying which player to block and allowing free passes into the backfield. Best fit is easily as an inline left guard. RD 2

OG ZACK MARTIN, NOTRE DAME

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6’4” – 308 lbs. – 5.15e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: 0 GP, 0 GS
2010: 13 GP, 13 GS
2011: 13 GP, 13 GS
2012: 13 GP, 13 GS

OVERVIEW:

Sat out his true freshman season, then started eleven games at left tackle and two games at right tackle in 2010. He has since started all of the team’s subsequent games at left tackle and could conclude his college career with over 50 career starts. Graduate student.

STRENGTHS:

•    Highly experienced player who has plenty of starts under his belt.
•    Assignment-sound and doesn’t make many mental errors.
•    Very aggressive blocker who shows a consistent mean streak.
•    Does a good job of sustaining his blocks in both facets of the game.
•    Can get to the second level and secure blocks on linebackers.
•    Has a strong, quick initial punch to jolt defenders off-balance.
•    Could realistically fit into either a man or zone blocking scheme.
•    Outstanding durability; has never missed a game in college.
•    Overall bulk is consistent with an NFL starter on the outside or inside.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Size and length are less than ideal for an offensive tackle prospect.
•    Lateral agility may not be enough to protect the edge in the NFL.
•    Has never played guard in college, his most likely pro position.
•    Footwork still gets sloppy at times and gets off-balance too often.
•    Probably lacks significant upside given his level of experience.

SUMMARY:

Offensive guards are becoming increasingly valuable at the pro level, with players like Kyle Long and Kevin Zeitler being drafted in the first round, so there is precedent for an experienced, versatile, mean player like Martin to be selected on the draft’s first day, but whoever chooses him would be taking a risk if they expect him to play tackle, the position he manned with the Irish. RD 1-2