Draft Prospects Rise Across Texas, Nation in El Paso

February 11, 2010 | Glenn Clark

Welcome to the 4th installment of my NFL Draft profiles. If you missed any of my first 3 installments previewing the East West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl or recapping the All-Star Games in Orlando or Mobile; here are the players you can go back to check out profiles of…

QB’s Daryll Clark (Penn State), Sean Canfield (Oregon State), Max Hall (BYU), Jarrett Brown (West Virginia)
RB Dexter McCluster (Ole Miss)
WR’s Freddie Barnes (Bowling Green), Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati), Verran Tucker (Cal), Blair White (Michigan State), Jeremy Williams (Tulane), Taylor Price (Ohio)
TE’s Andrew Quarless (Penn State), Richard Dickson (LSU), Jimmy Graham (Miami), Riar Geer (Colorado), Ed Dickson (Oregon)
OG’s Mike Iupati (Idaho), Jeff Byers (USC)
OT’s Vladimir Ducasse (UMass), Rodger Saffold (Indiana)
C John Estes (Hawaii)
DE’s Greg Hardy (Ole Miss), Brandon Graham (Michigan), Alex Carrington (Arkansas State)
LB’s Ross Pospisil (Navy), Jason Beauchamp (UNLV), Sean Weatherspoon (Missouri), Daryl Washington (TCU)
S’s Kam Chancellor (Virginia Tech), T.J. Ward (Oregon), Myron Rolle (Florida State), Van Eskridge (East Carolina)
CB’s Devin Ross (Arizona), Brian Jackson (Oklahoma), Trevard Lindley (Kentucky), Javier Arenas (Alabama), Alterraun Verner (UCLA), Kyle Wilson (Boise State)
K’s Leigh Tiffin (Alabama), Hunter Lawrence (Texas)

Super Bowl weekend, Draft season moved to El Paso for the annual “Texas vs. The Nation” All-Star game presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This installment will take a look at some of the risers from the week in El Paso.

No player movement, but my offseason priority list for the Ravens makes a couple adjustments…..
1-WR
2-TE
3-CB
4-OLB/DE
5-S
6-G/C
7-OT
8-QB
9-K
10-P

Thanks to CBSSports.com, SportingNews.com and SI.com for reports from the all-star games-and to NFLDraftScout.com & Wikipedia for help regarding particulars.

WR Marcus Easley (UConn)

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One of the more underrated WR prospects in this year’s draft class, Easley has the body of a NFL wide receiver even if he doesn’t have the profile or proof of the skill set just yet. Easley checks in at 6’3″, 214 pounds and is expected to post a very quick 40 time at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Easley came from out of nowhere for the Huskies, rising from walk-on to impact maker in 2009. He made 48 catches for 893 yards and 8 TD’s, all in his final 10 games. Coach Randy Edsall admitted that when he first joined the team, he had no idea who Easley was. Now, he appears to be a likely Saturday pick-with the type of body whose skills a coordinator like Cam Cameron might be able to help develop.

DT Travis Ivey (Maryland)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpuFeodEZYE[/youtube]

Despite the fact that he’s known to hang out with some seedy characters (like above), Ivey is a legitimate NFL prospect. He has the body to fill up gaps against AFC North running backs (or other running backs around the league) at 6’4″, 341 pounds. He was never much of a stats guy in College Park, having tallied just 54 tackles and 2 sacks in his Terrapins career. But he’s always been a space-eater, and that will translate at any level. Ivey bounced back nicely this season from a foot injury in 2008, showing no signs of being slowed. Ivey has also been the leader of the Terps’ D-Line for multiple seasons, and his maturity will help him during the interview process in Indy. The Ravens may not necessarily NEED a D-Tackle right now-but we know they’re always willing to add more (keeping Brandon McKinney and Kelly Talavou last season was a direct example).

QB Jonathan Crompton (Tennessee)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxSXov8a4Ug[/youtube]

Finally getting the opportunity to be “the guy” for the Volunteers in 2009, Crompton showed off his arm strength and overall ability in going 224-384 for 2,800 yards and 27 TD’s, with just 13 picks. In fact, he showed so many signs of promise that a number of Vols fans wished he had 3 more years with Lane Kiffin. Actually, everyone in Knoxville hoped they had 3 more years with Lane Kiffin, but that’s a story for another day. The fact that no Tennessee QB since Peyton Manning has had an impact at the NFL level will hurt Crompton’s chances (the failures include Tee Martin, Casey & Rick Clausen AND Erik Ainge); but a solid performance in El Paso should help him get back on track in Draft season. He certainly has the size (6’4″) to succeed at the next level, and if Troy Smith is dealt-the Ravens might be willing to consider him on Saturday.

CB Cornelius Brown (UTEP)

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Perhaps no player improved his draft season stock as much as Cornelius Brown during Texas vs. The Nation week. He played above his 5’11″ frame; and showed off his versatility. Brown received MVP honors for the game by returning a fumble 35 yards for a TD, collecting two tackles and a pass breakup, downing a punt inside the 5 yard line, and returning a kickoff 30 yards. There’s almost no chance he rises to the 3rd round, but he certainly has some of the same qualities as Lardarius Webb. There will be questions not only about his height, but also about the fact that he did not post a single interception during his senior season for the Miners.

RB/WR Trindon Holliday (LSU)

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If Dexter McCluster is a poor man’s Ray Rice, Trindon Holliday may well be a poor man’s Dexter McCluster. Holliday’s track background translates to superb speed, but that speed hasn’t always necessarily translated into major offensive contributions. In fact, Holliday has never put together more than 367 total yards of offense in a single season, and managed just 162 yards of offense and 1 TD in his senior campaign in Baton Rouge. Holliday has had a level of success as a returner, having return 2 kicks and 2 punts for TD’s during his Tigers career. Holliday is even smaller than the other backs (5’5″, 161 pounds); but is just as dangerous in space. He’ll almost certainly be on the board late Saturday, and could very well fit as another playmaker in the Ravens’ offense. He was superb in El Paso, scoring 2 TD’s and racking up 209 all-purpose yards.

DE E.J. Wilson (North Carolina)

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Wilson made a big statement in the Texas vs. The Nation game; recording 6 tackles, 2 TFL’s, 2 sacks, and a fumble recovery. Wilson was never a monster during his career in Chapel Hill-he averaged just 3 sacks per season. But he has the frame of a monster (6’3″, 289 pounds); and his speed in Indianapolis and at his Pro Day could help him prove that he is capable of haunting NFL quarterbacks. Scouts will be interested in a thigh injury that caused him to miss time this season, and they’ll also be interested in improving the 2 fumbles he forced during his entire Tar Heels career. There is at least a chance he could develop into Trevor Pryce’s role in Greg Mattison’s defense if the Ravens find him on the board late Saturday.

C Kevin Matthews (Texas A&M)

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At 6’3″, 298 pounds; Matthews will likely need to add some bulk to be an NFL Center, but he already has a bit of a head start. Matthews is the son of Hall of Fame OL Bruce Matthews, the nephew of former Pro Bowl Cleveland Browns LB Clay Matthews, the cousin of current Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews, and the cousin of current Oregon Ducks LB Casey Matthews. Football is clearly in his blood. Matthews will be a Saturday pick (possibly an UFA), and could be an option for a Ravens team looking to develop a center behind current starter Matt Birk. Aggies coach Mike Sherman singled out Matthews’ solid play during his junior and senior seasons despite the overall struggles of the TAMU O-Line.

P Brent Bowden (Virginia Tech)

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As I’ve warned in the past, teams without solid specialists always tend to overvalue specialists who ARE capable players. The Ravens are not likely to lose Sam Koch, but you never know what another team might believe his value to be. If for some reason the Ravens WERE to lose Koch, they’d definitely have to consider players like Brent Bowden. Bowden was solid throughout his Hokies career, which is not particularly surprising considering how stellar teams always are on special teams during Frank Beamer’s tenure in Blacksburg. Bowden punted 57 times in his senior season (the fewest of his 3 seasons of punting for Va Tech), averaging a career high net of 43.8 yards.

WR Juamorris Stewart (Southern)

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After transferring from Southern Miss, Stewart exploded over his junior and senior seasons with the Jaguars, combining for over 2,100 yards and 23 TD’s. Stewart has the body of an NFL receiver (6’3″, 205 pounds); and is expected to post a reasonably fast 40. It is easy for some scouts to point out that his strong numbers came against lesser SWAC competition, but Morris had a solid day in El Paso against stronger competition; making 5 grabs for 89 yards and a TD. Likely to be available on Saturday in late rounds, the Ravens would have to consider Stewart as they look to upgrade a disappointing group of receivers.

QB Ryan Perrilloux (Jacksonville State)

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It probably isn’t fair for me to post this particular picture, but there is absolutely no doubt that Perrilloux’s off-field issues will be discussed as much during Draft season as his on-field capability. Perrilloux lead Louisiana State to an SEC Championship Game victory in 2007, and was the backup QB for the Tigers team that defeated Ohio State for the BCS National Championship. But he’s better remembered for off-campus fights, federal investigations, failing drug tests, missing team meetings, skipping classes and showing up late for workouts. Perrilloux got his future back together with the Gamecocks, throwing for over 4,500 yards and 42 TD’s with just 15 INT’s over the last two seasons. There’s no question that Perrilloux has the physical ability to play at the next level (CBS College Sports analyst Tom Lemming once compared him to Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb), it is absolutely more of a question of whether or not NFL scouts and executives are convinced his troubles are behind him. Ozzie Newsome has taken a few chances on guys late in the Draft before (Troy Smith himself was a bit of a reach), but Perrilloux might not be a John Harbaugh type of guy.

-G

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