Josh Norris

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Senior Bowl Review: Offense

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wide Receivers

1. Quinton Patton (6000/200), Louisiana Tech - Smooth, fluid, and reliable. My fifth ranked player entering the week, Patton is the top senior receiver (excluding Tavon Austin who fits in his own category). I will continue to compare him to Reggie Wayne, as Patton doesn’t win with flashy moves or explosiveness. Instead, his wise route running and body control in routes and at the catch point are the qualities that will translate best in the NFL. Add on the fact that Patton faced plenty of press coverage, winning his individual battle on each occasion, and he is primed to produce early in his career.

2. Markus Wheaton (5110/183), Oregon State - Wheaton will automatically help as a vertical threat in the NFL. Drawing comparisons to Mike Wallace, I actually believe Wheaton has a larger array of route running capabilities at this point in his career than Wallace did. His awareness along the sideline is an added bonus. These two have separated themselves from the pack of attending senior receivers.

3. Terrance Williams (6017/201), Baylor - Williams reverted back to his 2011 form: A limited route tree and inconsistent hands. In 2012 he was much stronger at the catch point and was more reliable in that area. I had concerns that Williams could be stuck as a vertical target prior to the year, but he proved me differently in live action. During this week, however, those same thoughts started popping back into my head, especially seeing him fail to separate against safeties in man coverage.

4. Aaron Dobson (6025/203), Marshall - Dobson will have a great highlight reel, but there are plenty of questions. The opposing corners beat Dobson to the catch point with physical play multiple times this week, but in running routes against air the Marshall receiver showed burst out of his breaks with concise footwork.

5. Marquise Goodwin (5087/179), Texas - After watching him this week, the Longhorns really misused Goodwin. He was asked to run a lot of vertical routes, short screens, and jet sweeps or reverses in college. Despite that Goodwin was able to separate consistently against close coverage in a very natural way. He will struggle to get off the jam against press coverage, but Goodwin is very intriguing. Even if I have to use this week as the backbone of my evaluation (which I hate).

6. Cobi Hamilton (6016/191), Arkansas - Hamilton’s game is built on strong running after the catch. he isn’t afraid to take a big hit on contact, either, but he doesn’t quite run like an explosive receiver in his routes.

Tight Ends/Fullbacks

1. Vance McDonald (6041/262), Rice - At Rice, McDonald was used in a variety of ways that either muddled his evaluation or showed off versatility. Yes, he had a number of drops this week, but McDonald is a very intriguing player and it has become obvious why he’s a favorite of Phil Savage.

2. Michael Williams (6056/264), Alabama - Williams is the opposite of flashy, but he will play in the NFL for a long time because of his outstanding blocking for the position and large frame to shield defenders at the catch point. He will not get open unless he finds an open area or gets physical with a defensive back, but Williams is improving in that area.

3. Nick Kasa (6054/271), Colorado - Another great blocker for the position, Kasa seemed to fight the ball when trying to adjust for catches, but that is to be expected for the former defensive lineman. With overlooked long speed, Kasa is a likely fourth- or fifth-round pick.

4. Mychal Rivera (6032/237), Tennessee - Rivera built on his game each year at Tennessee, getting more and more comfortable working in the short to intermediate levels of defense and when hauling in catches.

5. Ryan Otten (6052/235), San Jose State - Otten checked in seven pounds lighter than expected due to the flu, but his game is very similar to Gary Barnidge’s. It is tough to know if that is a compliment, because Barnidge is tough to figure out, but Otten runs upright with reliable hands.

6. Kyle Juszczyk (6013/248), Harvard - I really liked what I saw from Juszczyk, who was making a conversion from a receiving role in the Ivy League to lead blocker. We know he can catch with comfort in the open field, but Juszczyk showed enough attitude and technique as a lead blocker to earn a draftable grade. He has deceptive long speed as well.

Offensive Linemen

1. Eric Fisher (6072/305), Central Michigan - There’s not much left to say about Fisher, but I believe he should be mentioned in the Luke Joeckel conversation as this class’ top offensive tackle. Fisher has quick hands and a strong extension to latch and ride or control his opposition immediately after the snap. His balance and base are also outstanding.

2. Lane Johnson (6062/302), Oklahoma - He looks like a tight end (and probably moves like one) but Johnson is a bonafide left tackle with a chance to play on the right side if necessary. He could add more weight, which would help with getting jolted on first contact leading to moments of waist bending, but Johnson’s athletic footwork to recover and mirror is awesome. He’s likely a top-20 pick.

3. Larry Warford (6032/333), Kentucky - There’s a lot of talk surrounding Chance Warmack, and rightfully so since he is likely the highest graded player in this draft. After that, UNC’s Jonathan Cooper gets a ton of love because of his agility when pulling and hitting targets at the second level. However, give me Warford because of his dominant, mauling style to consistently move or stone his opposition. And for his stout size, Warford is deceptively athletic.

4. Kyle Long (6061/304), Oregon - Long is inexperienced but along with his bloodlines comes a hard nosed attitude to push his opponents. The Duck is also athletic, so the only question is if his future is at guard or tackle.

5. Justin Pugh (6047/301), Syracuse - Pugh’s short arms may concern some, but if he gains a grip on his opponent on contact, the Syracuse product matches up very well with all types of rushers. He was occasionally driven into the backfield with force when facing length, but Pugh works best in close quarters and could move to guard.

6. Brian Winters (6034/310) - I love Winters’ nasty, rugged style. He blocks to punish, and although that gets Winters into trouble at times since he overextends, it will benefit him in the long run. He played tackle in college, but I expect Winters to play guard int he NFL.

(Dallas Thomas dropped out of the event)

Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Josh Norris

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