2012 NFL Draft - Scouting for Future Chargers Week 7

First thing is first, we take a peek at the Team Needs chart. No changes this week. The only move made was a swap of Stephen Cooper (moved to IR) for Gerald Hayes. Both are just stopgap veteran guys and still signal a need for depth at the ILB position.

Team Needs
Starter Starter Competition Depth Projects
Current starter is FA next year and has no surefire understudy Current starter is FA next year and has understudy or current starter is inexperienced One or more backups are FAs next year May need a new starter or backup after 2012 season
S, FB, C, DT S, ILB, WR, C, DT, TE
S, ILB, WR, RB, TE
QB, K, OG, OLB, DT, DE, TE

I'm going to be generous this week and give you 3 games. Actually, one of the games features 2 teams I've already covered and another has one team I've already featured, so the scouting reports will look familiar to those that have been keeping up and for others they'll seem like new.

Michigan (6-0) vs Michigan State
(4-1) Saturday 10/15 0:00 AM PT (ESPN)

As strange as this may seem to those that don't follow college football closely, this is not a particularly big rivalry. Sure, there's bragging rights for Michigan supremacy, but Michigan's rivalries with Notre Dame and Ohio State overshadow it. You can't talk about the players involved in this game without mentioning Michigan QB Denard Robinson. He's in no way a Chargers candidate, but his performances so far have been electric and often dominating. For Michigan St. they are run by a once highly touted Kirk Cousins. He's still a decent prospect, but much like the Spartans rivalry with the Wolverines, he's now overshadowed. Michigan State also has some names that Chargers scouts should probably follow so we'll add those to the Michigan ones that will be reiterated.

Oklahoma State (5-0) vs Texas
(4-1) Saturday 10/15 12:30 PM PT (ABC)

For the second straight week the Longhorns will play an Oklahoma team in the Lonestar state. Last week they lost on the so-called neutral ground in Dallas and this week they'll host a highly ranked Cowboys team. Both these teams were covered here already. Still, Oklahoma State is worth a couple of looks this year due to their fine talent at WR, Justin Blackmon, and one of the top Safety prospects in Markelle Martin. Their QB Brandon Weeden is also a top college talent, but his age (due to his minor league baseball days) will keep his draft stock from rising too high. We hope to see a better effort from the Texas talent this week so as to make this a more watchable game and to keep Blackmon, Martin and Weeden from moving into run-out-the-clock mode.

Arizona State
(5-1) vs Oregon
(4-1) Saturday 10/15 7:15 PM PT (ESPN)

The only two ranked Pac 12 teams outside of Stanford face off in the Nike haven that is Autzen Stadium. Both teams already dropped a game this year, something the Ducks didn't do until the Championship game last year. Oregon is supposedly going into this game without their top RB, LaMichael James. James was a draft eligible sophomore who I kept on the Chargers scouting radar since he promising to bring a dynamic edge to the NFL game. Even without him Oregon has a dangerous running attack with two explosive RBs and scrambling QB. Arizona State's star player is ILB Vontaze Burfict. He'd be a great heir apparent to Takeo Spikes up the middle, but is currently looking like a top 10 or 15 pick. That's a draft pick range the Chargers annually try to stay away from.

BFTB Scouting Targets:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Justin Blackmon Oklahoma St.
WR Jr. 6'1 211 lbs
To be the perfect WR prospect he'd have to be a little taller, but his leaping ability does a lot to make up for that. He's a smart player and works hard, but his 2010 DUI would tell you his judgment isn't perfect. He's not going to wow anyone at the combine in the non-football drills, but he can run routes, fool defenders, beat defenders one-on-one and his hands and body control are near perfect. I haven't heard this comp before, but maybe a Reggie Wayne one fits. (1st round)
Vontaze Burfict
Arizona St.
ILB Jr. 6'3 252 lbs
Prototypical height, weight, build, speed for the position. He fits the mold as an NFL MLB and will have 4-3 teams drooling to have him lead their defense. He's impressive over the middle, showing the ability to punish players that come his way while also being a sure tackler, violent when taking on blockers and gets through traffic with hands, speed and strength. His run sopping ability is so good, it almost sounds like a negative when talking about his pass coverage, which isn't as good but still would rank as one of the best among ILB prospects. A bit of a freelancer and can lead with his helmet. He also plays with a little too much intensity and can pick up personal fouls in bad situations. (!st round)
Markelle Martin
Oklahoma St. S
Sr. 6'0 202 lbs
A safety with good size, very good speed and a pension for getting injured. He'll try to finally stay healthy this year as he shows of his awareness and diagnostic abilities from the safety position. He's not a big hitter, but he's an aggressive player and his capable of knocking balls loose. He's shown that he's rangy and can cover as well or better than any college safety can. It'll be interesting to see him have to take on Fuller at times. (2nd round)
Jerel Worthy Michigan St. DT/DE Sr. 6'3 305 lbs
A college DT that might grade out better as a 3-4 DE. He's shown that he can take on double teams, but is not much of a pass rusher. He does have good quickness though and when not doubled can make his presence felt in the backfield. He just doesn't have the closing burst to cause QBs too much concern, but RBs have a hard time getting past him. Strong enough to knock blockers to the ground on occasion.(2nd round)
Kheeston Randall
Texas DE/DT Sr. 6'4 294 lbs
He's the equivalent of a giant wall in the run game. Double teams don't make him budge. That also means that he's not much of a pass rusher and if a running back gets outside the tackle box Randall is not going to catch him. Those skills better fit a DT position in a 4-3 who comes off the field on 3rd downs, but maybe there's some development potential for Randall. Watch closely to see if he can be more than a one dimension gap plugger. (2nd round)
Keenan Robinson
Texas OLB Sr. 6'2 237 lbs
Have you already looked at his height, weight and position and figured out what I'm going to say? Yes, this is another OLB that could transition to a 3-4 ILB. He's a rangy athlete who translate that ability into run stopping. He can chase down RBs outside the tackle box and can get a good closing burst before a tackle. He can play zone and man to man in coverage, which is definitely his strength in that area since he's not much for getting sacks. Good character.(2nd round)
Keshawn Martin Michigan St. WR Sr. 5'10 192 lbs
He's a little short for a WR, but at the low end of the acceptable height range. He has excellent speed and his stock will probably rise and fall based on his 40 time. He doesn't have natural hands and can be a bit of a body catcher. Perhaps that can be fixed since his ability to beat defenders with speed is quite useful. He's not terribly elusiveness so don't look for much YAC unless he can run in a straight line. (3rd round)
Trent Robinson Michigan St. S Sr. 5'10 197 lbs
A good, but not great prospect. He's not going to be able to be a FS in the NFL and will probably have to line up closer to box and do some run stopping to be valuable. Unfortunately for him, there are tons of those types of safeties that come out every year these days. He's also not that good at catching or securing the ball after the catch. (4th round)
David Paulson Oregon TE Sr. 6'3 243 lbs
In typical Oregon style, he's not the biggest or fastest but he gets the job done and has a penchant for making big plays. His hands are good, but is blocking is not so good. He's a bit of project since he's lined up out wide often and didn't get the reps playing on the line and blocking defenders. (4th round)
Brandon Magee Arizona St. OLB Sr. 5'10 232 lbs
Too small to be an effective pass rusher in the 3-4, he'd have to move to ILB to have a chance with the Chargers. In some ways he'd be a good fit there anyway because he's rangy and could do well in TE coverage. He does a decent job in traffic, but needs to learn how to get past bigger blockers. Gets a top grade for character. (4th round)
Gerell Robinson Arizona St. WR Sr. 6'3 222 lbs
A former QB that transitioned to WR, which is something Legedu Naanee did before the Chargers drafted him in the middle of the draft. Despite not catching passes until recently, he seems like a natural. He makes smooth catches that transition well into runs after the catch. He's not a burner so he'll need to get his work done out of the slot. (4th round)
Mike Martin Michigan DT Sr. 6'2 297 lbs
Martin's build is similar to that of Corey Liuget, but obviously judging by his draft grade he's not the athlete or playmaker that the Chargers DE is. His skill set (or lack thereof) as a pass rusher will scare away some 4-3 teams, but the Chargers could probably use him for depth at DE. (4th round)
David Molk Michigan C Sr. 6'2 287 lbs
The Chargers have to figure out their Nick Hardwick situation and if they choose to draft his replacement in the mid rounds this is a guy with some of the same qualities. He's a vocal leader and smart player. He's not a mauler, but a guy who can pick up blitzes and stunts and use leverage to make plays. Has upside since he needs help with his footwork. (4th round)
Junior Hemingway Michigan WR Sr. 6'1 227 lbs
Bulky, injury prone and fiery WR. As with most mid round prospects he has his flaws. A little inconsistent catching the ball. His size is an advantage along with his speed and he can be a downfield threat by getting past a jam and quickly getting deep. (4th round)
Emmanuel Acho Texas ILB
Sr. 6'1 237 lbs
Excellent student and he gets high grades for character. Very active in community service. He's got good instincts, especially against the run, but is overly aggressive and can get caught out of position. Not a great athlete and would be easy pickings if he had to take someone on one-on-one.(5th round)
Brian Linthicum Michigan St. TE Sr. 6'4 240 lbs
A good pass catcher in the Spartans offense, but not really an all around TE. He's also a little on the small end for a TE. He is a competitor and will make catches over the middle. He may have a bit of a hard time getting separation or YAC in the NFL because his burst is not that good even though his top end speed is adequate. He's got a solid character flag on his sheet after a bar fight that turned into a third-degree misdemeanor harassment plea. Allegedly, officers had to use a stun gun to subdue him. (5th round)
B.J. Cunningham Michigan St. WR Sr. 6'2 227 lbs
Good WR size, but not great speed. He runs good routes, but he also doesn't show the burst needed to get consistent separation and he sometimes lets the ball get to his frame instead of catching with his hands. He's shifty and could be useful when trying to get some YAC. He got suspended for getting involved in a brawl with a fraternity in 2009 where he also accepted a guilty plea for misdemeanor assault and battery. (5th round)
Blake Gideon
Texas
S
Sr. 6'0 207 lbs
Texas has a reputation for producing lots of NFL defensive backs, but surprising Gideon is the best of the prospects currently playing for the Longhorns. He's durable and has starter every game he's played in college. He seems to be a natural when it comes to picking off passes. Good timing and hand-eye coordination in that area. His trouble area is speed. He's got the size for the position, but not the wheels. (6th round)
Cody Johnson
Texas FB
Sr. 5'11
257lbs
More of a road grader and that may discourage the Chargers, but he's the top FB in the draft and Jacob Hester's future is up in the air. (6th round)
NFL Prospects:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Levy Adcock Oklahoma St. OT Sr. 6'6 322 lbs
Big, tough, hard nosed, run blocking specialist OT who has that means streak that scouts look for. No character issues, very durable. Will have trouble with speed rushers in the NFL. (2nd round)
Cliff Harris Oregon CB Jr. 5'11 165 lbs
Has been impressive for the Ducks since becoming a starter his freshman year. His coverage and balls skills set him apart from other CBs as they are elite. Not an asset in run support, has some character issues and his not the fastest DB. (2nd round)
Kirk Cousins Michigan St. QB Sr. 6'2 202 lbs
Quick release, good arm strength, good pre-snap work (audibles, calling for blocks) and good speed/scrambling ability. Doesn't make the best decisions after the snap and can rely on his arm. Has some durability concerns. Tremendous team leader. Has shown ability to step his game up in the 4th quarter. (3rd round)
Omar Bolden Arizona St. CB Sr. 5'10 198 lbs
Coverage skills, ball skills, run support, football IQ all good, but not great. He does show some promise as a kick returner. High character grade. (4th round)
James Brooks Arizona St. DE Sr. 6'4 283 lbs
A tweener for the 3-4, he could do okay in the 4-3. At his size he's too big to be a stand up pass rusher, but he's also not big enough to play 3-4 DE. Although, maybe his 6'4 frame could take on some more weight. He's more of a run stopper than a pass rusher anyway and wouldn't play on 3rd down in the NFL. (4th round)
Brandon Weeden Oklahoma St. QB Sr. 6'3 217 lbs
Kind of a lean QB. Tough though and played through a ruptured tendon in the thumb of his throwing hand last year. He's spread QB that also has a gunslinger label. He's pretty raw, but athletic. Throws a little sidearmed, kind of like a SS in baseball, which makes sense because he's played a lot of baseball. (5th round)
Sleepers:
Player School Pos. Class Height Weight
Daryl Stonum Michigan WR Sr. 6'2 197 lbs
Has character issues and has trouble catching the ball, but apparently there's some upside with him. Possibly a future possession receiver who can also return kicks. (Late Rounds)
Troy Woolfork Michigan S Sr. 5'11 198 lbs
Longtime contributor to Wolverines D that's seen stock go steadily down. Maybe he can bounce back. (UDFA)
Justin Tucker Texas K Sr. 6'0 187 lbs
One of the top kicking prospects this year. (UDFA)
Josh Kaddu Oregon OLB Sr. 6'3 231 lbs
Possible 3-4 ILB. (UDFA)
Brandon Williams Oregon TE Sr. 6'4 237 lbs
Another tall, but smallish TE. (UDFA)
Lavasier Tuinei Oregon WR Sr. 6'4 213 lbs
Big bodied WR. (UDFA)
Mike Willie Oregon WR Sr. 6'2 218 lbs
Fringey WR prospect with decent size. (UDFA)
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