|02-18-2008, 06:39 PM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Nov 2006
Sleeper Watch- Dizon, Woodyard Ect..
Figured we should start a "SLEEPER" Thread about now.
Sleeper Watch: Wesley Woodyard
February 17th, 2008 by Ben Broman
Well, look at this: I’m doing another undersized OLB from a big school! This is the third one, but believe me, they’re all different, and Wesley Woodyard, OLB, Kentucky, is too. Woodyard makes the sleeper list for one large, obvious reason: lack of size.
Woodyard came to Kentucky as a 2 star safety prospect. He wasn’t highly touted at all, and it didn’t seem he’d really become a great, SEC-quality player. He switched to the WLB spot in the middle of his first season, though, and has been the heart of the defense ever since.
Woodyard, like most sleeper linebackers, was very productive in college. He also has great speed, which sets him apart from some other undersized OLBs - Jordan Dizon, Colorado, and SirDarean Adams, Michigan State. He’s very athletic and quick, and tackles surprisingly well. He has a nose for the ball and the big play, and is a natural leader and hard worker. Woodyard is also smart and always aware, getting to lots of plays in the backfield.
Woodyard might be one of the most undersized players in the draft. Scratch that, is THE most undersized player in the draft. He checks in at 6-0, about 210 pounds. That means he’s giving up 50 pounds to Brandon Jacobs. Heck, he almost gives up weight to Brian Westbrook. Even if he played safety, there would be concerns about his size. As a product of his size, he has trouble shedding blockers and working through traffic.
Woodyard certainly seems to overcome his size. Better yet, he did it a big conference - no one would even consider the SEC to be forgiving when it comes to physical tools. He has the speed to move to safety if the situation requires it, but he plays very well at OLB, and his frame could take on about an extra 20 pounds with hard work. He’s a likeable prospect who someone will have to take a shot on.
In a Minute:
Measurables: 6-0, 215, 4.48
Pros: Great linebacker. Productive, good tackler, good speed, athletic and quick, playmaker, natural leader, good work ethic.
Cons: Hugely undersized, by about 35-40 pounds. Trouble shedding blocks and working through traffic.
Pro Comparison: Really, no one compares well. He’s just too undersized. Cato June and Ryan Nece are really the only two guys who come close.
Best Situation: He’d thrive in a Cover 2, particularly with a stud line/MLB supporting him (Chicago?). He could move to safety, but it’s not desirable.
Will Go in Round: 4. Woodyard has too many natural linebacker skills to fall much farther. If he runs a 4.44 in the combine (he’s done it before), he’ll go in the 3rd.
Sleeper Watch: Jordan Dizon
February 17th, 2008 by Ben Broman
Jordan Dizon, OLB, Colorado, might have shed the title of sleeper at the Hula Bowl and Senior Bowl, but still too few people are taking notice of him. He was very productive, but will remain a sleeper, despite playing at a high level, due to his size.
Dizon arrived at Colorado as a fullback from Hawaii. The Buffs’ coaching staff tried him there, then at safety, and finally at ILB. That’s where he stuck. He started at ILB all four years at Colorado, improving his tackle total each year, from 84 in his freshman year to 173 in his senior. He was an easy selection for almost every All-American team.
Dizon impressed most everyone who saw him at the Senior Bowl for a few reasons: his nose for the ball, his quick feet, and his toughness. He located the ball well and was in on seemingly every tackle, and he had quick and agile feet that helps him get around blocks. He is tough both mentally and physically, and a leader on the field. Dizon is also a hard worker with a great work ethic who has nearly perfected his tackling technique, meaning he’ll almost never miss a tackle.
Dizon’s big problem is his lack of size. He’s only 6-0 and 220 pounds. Also, his speed is only mediocre for an OLB, especially one at that size, at 4.6. There are some concerns he’ll have trouble moving outside after playing inside at college for so long, but he’d be way undersized in the middle. He gets caught out of position at times, and doesn’t have any makeup speed. He also has trouble in coverage, as he’s frequently outrun by tight ends down the seam.
While there are a lot of concerns about Dizon’s size, his production simply can’t be argued with. 173 tackles in just 13 games? That’s 13 tackles a game, which translates to a shocking 212 tackles over an NFL season, just a few off the record. Granted, his success probably won’t translate like that, but that just quantifies how huge 173 tackles really is. Dizon will find a place somewhere.
In a Minute:
Measurables: 6-0, 220, 4.67
Pros: Nose for the ball. In on almost every tackle. Quick feet. Great form. Tough. Hard worker and a leader.
Cons: Undersized. Lacks speed. Can get caught out of position. Liability in coverage.
Pro Comparison: His measurables compare a little bit to a guy like Omar Gaither. Caleb Miller, who plays for the Bengals, also compares to Dizon, though Dizon is shorter. Really no perfect matches.
Best Situation: If he could find himself in a place with a great defensive line and a solid ILB to play next to, he’ll be very productive.
Will Go in Round: 4. His size and lack of great speed will scare a lot of teams off, but his production can’t be ignored.
Heres a #2 kinda guy that could really suprise some folks!
Sleeper Watch: Xavier Omon
February 16th, 2008 by Ben Broman
Xavier Omon, RB, Northwest Missouri State, falls into the category of small-school running backs looking to succeed in the NFL. That’s an extremely exclusive list, though, as making the jump rarely happens well for D-IAA or DII prospects. Omon earned a combine invite, though, so that should tell you something about his talent level.
Northwest Missouri State is one of the nation’s powerhouse D-II schools. Omon has stood out by far as their best player, and probably as the best D-II player overall. He is a four time All-American, and he’s the only college player to ever run for 1,500 yards in all four years. EVER. In ANY division. That’s pretty impressive.
Omon has very nice size and is thickly built. He’s a one-cut runner with nice vision. He’s a downhill, north-south runner. Running inside seems easier to him, and he searches out contact - he’s definitely a power back. Omon is also a solid blocker with decent hands. He can take a pounding around 30 to 35 carries a game before starting to show wear. All in all, he’s extremely durable and powerful.
Though he had great production, all of it came against much lesser competition. Most D-II players aren’t on scholarship, so you have to wonder what his stats would’ve been at a bigger school. He lacks speed and acceleration, and isn’t very elusive. Most NFL defenders probably won’t go down when he runs into them the way collegiate players did, and he won’t be able to run away from them.
Omon was ultra-productive (one of the most productive college players ever at any level) and has the prototypical power and size you look for when looking at running backs. His lack of speed and elusiveness is worrisome, though, because running over NFL linebackers is a lot harder than running over D-II linebackers. The consensus appears to be that he’ll be a #2 back in the NFL.
In a Minute:
Measurables: 5′11″, 226, 4.55
Pros: Extremely productive. Nice size. Downhill, north-south, one cut runner. Solid blocker, consistent hands. Can take a pounding, very powerful.
Cons: Poor competition in college. Lacks speed and elusiveness.
Pro Comparison: Reminds me a little bit of a slower Marshawn Lynch, or a smaller Brandon Jacobs. He’s also very similar to Chris Perry.
Best Situation: Somewhere with a finesse back who needs to be spelled occasionally. He’d be a good 1-2 with a guy like Jerious Norwood/Warrick Dunn in Atlanta, or Brian Westbrook in Philly.
Will Go in Round: 7. He could very well be a #2 in the NFL after some work, but his competition level is a big risk.