Didn't even get a sniff on this post on the Huddle, maybe some of y'all can find some value in it.
(Even though bias is inevitable, I will try to be as honest as possible.)
Sammie Coates (WR)
Lets start with the obvious: his hands. So far in his young career, he's shown a propensity to drop easy catches as well as occasional difficulty tracking the ball in the air (mostly looking over his shoulder which is problematic for a player you would be using as your deep threat). Sometimes he lets the ball get into his body too much with predictable results.
HOWEVER, the dude is a hoss. He didn't blaze the 40-yd dash at the combine as many expected, but he did run a 4.43. And, being familiar with him and knowing how strong he is, when he puts his pads on, he's still a legit 4.4 range guy... pads don't slow this guy down much at all. He was tops in WR bench press at the combine, 4th in the vert, 3rd in the broad, 2nd in the 20-yd shuttle, and 11th in the 40-yd. Those vert and broad numbers show what I already know, the kid can outjump almost anybody, especially in pads. And did I say strong? Yes, he's strong.
Can he improve his hands? Does anyone ever "improve" their hands in the NFL? Sammie better hope so. (And, as Panther fans, we'd better hope the same for our man KB.) Seems that the Patriots were very interested in watching Coates at the Auburn Pro Day today https://twitter.com/...3026176/photo/1.
So will Coates go in the 1st round? If he does, it will probably be one of the final 2 picks to either the Seahawks or Patriots who can afford rolling the dice on that pick on what many consider to be a "project". If the project pays off and Coates' hands improve? BIG payday. My guess? He'll definitely be gone by the end of the 2nd round.
Reese Dismukes ©
Rimington Award winner as the best center in college football last year. Small for an interior lineman (weighed sub-300 at the combine as well as at Auburn's Pro Day). Also his arms measured what many consider in the "short" category in additon to small hands. Many consider Dismukes to be a much better fit in a zone-blocking scheme in the NFL and I couldn't agree more. I don't think he has the build or the power to play at a high rate in a hat-on-hat scheme. But that being said, he's a great technician at his position. Was the "QB" of the Auburn offensive line for 4 years (starting as a true freshman), the last two years being some of the most explosive offenses in Auburn history (especially running the football). Not so sure he has the ability to move over and play OG, so may be a true center for drafting purposes. Played well in the zone-scheme that the Jaguars coaching staff brought to the Senior Bowl during the game, but didn't do that well in practice drills man-on-man against the top DL there. I see Dismukes at best as a 3rd round pick and no lower than a 5th round pick.
Gabe Wright (DT)
A perfect fit at 3-tech in a 4-3 scheme. Kinda reminds me of a lesser talented Kawaan Short. Has decent moves as a pass rusher and pretty good gap penetration. What he's less good at is run defense. Seems to get "lost" in the scrum sometime and lose the ball. Strong enough to take on double teams and not get pushed out of the play. Tied for 2nd most bench press at the combine for DL. Played some DE in Auburn's 2014 4-2-5 scheme and at best held his own but wasn't a notable pass rusher or run defender from the outside. Like I said, 3-tech is his best position. Measured average in the speed and agility drills at the combine, so the best that can be said about that is at least he wasn't on the low end. At best IMO a 3rd round pick and I have a hard time believing he could drop lower than the 4th.
Cameron Artis-Payne (RB)
One of my favorite Auburn players in a long time. Signed with Auburn hoping to win the starting job in 2013, but lost out to now-Ram Tre Mason. Played Mason's back-up to a T, returned in 2014 and became (like Mason) the SEC's leading rusher. Kind of short at 5-10, but has a great height-to-weight ratio weighing in at 212 lbs. Strong interior runner with excellent (though not "breakaway") speed (4.53 40-yd dash) and outstanding vision. Questions last year concerning Tre Mason with regard to his skill in the passing game (as a receiver and blocker) do not apply to Artis-Payne as he showed excellent skills in both areas. Definitely has the ability to be an every-down back for some team and will be available in the middle rounds. High end for Artis-Payne will be the 3rd round IMO and low end of 5th.
Nick Marshall (DB/QB)
Most people who didn't watch this kid play QB every Saturday would think he was some kind of horrible QB considering the comments made about him after this season. Considering some of the crap players at the QB position that seem to be able to make rosters year after year after year in the NFL, I have no doubt that if given the OPPORTUNITY to play that position in the NFL, he could make a roster and make a living at it. But would he be GREAT at that position in the NFL? That's where the concern comes in. My answer to my own question is "I doubt it." With one exception: I bet Chip Kelly could make him successful. Chip Kelly loves the zone-read even more than the Panthers do and I've never seen a better or more successful college QB at the zone-read than Nick Marshall. And the kid has a strong arm. But that behind us, Nick Marshall is more likely to play at one of the DB positions in the NFL than he will at QB. He wasn't the fastest potential DB at the combine, but he *was* as fast and even faster than some "noteable" prospects like Marcus Peters and P.J. Williams. His vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone drill, and 20-yard shuttle would have put him in the top 10-15 of the DBs if he had drilled with the DBs instead of the QBs. Marshall voluntarily moved to DB to play in the Senior Bowl and ended up being the leading tackler for the South defense for the game, so he's not afraid to put his nose on the ball carrier. Measured at 6-1, 215 at the Auburn Pro Day, so he has great size for a CB and decent size to play S. I'd say that Marshall is 97% possible that he will be play DB (be it CB or S) in the league and 3% at QB. I see his top end draft position at the 5th round with low-end as UDFA.
Jermaine Whitehead (S)
Safety prospect. Was suspended for multiple games last season for a confrontation with one of the defensive coaches. He was eventually allowed to return to the team, first solely playing on special teams and then returned to the defense. No exact details were ever published about what happened, so this kid needs to interview well to be provided the opportunity to possibly play in the League. Even with his multi-game suspension last year, he tied for the most interceptions on the Auburn defense with 6 (one returned for a TD). I always felt he showed great talent in the middle of the field with the ability to respond quickly to the passing game. Wasn't always so good when asked to contribute to stopping the run game though. Measure in the top 5 at the NFL combine for safeties in the 3-cone drill and the 20-yd shuttle. A bit undersized at the position for the NFL at 5-11, 197. Considering the "questions" that will remain in many teams front-offices about his mental makeup due to his suspension at Auburn, I don't see him being drafted. But I do see him easily being given a shot as an UDFA.
Angelo Blackson (DT)
HUGE kid (6-4/318) who showed momentary flashed time and again during his Auburn career but never put it together. Played basketball in high school and was highly recruited, but chose to play football. Not a regularly effective pass rusher, nor was he a regularly effective gap-stuffer. He had moments, but not a lot of them. What can I say other than I think his best opportunity would be to gain MORE weight, get stronger, try to eat space, and play NT in the NFL. I've heard that Blackson impressed some scouts at the NFL combine and I certainly hope so. But, IMO, if Blackson gets drafted, I would be floored. UDFA.
C.J. Uzomah (TE)
Smart kid. Was working on his Masters during his final (2014) season at Auburn. Good size (6-5/264), good hands (when called on), and good speed at his size (ran a scout hand-timed 4.62 at the Auburn Pro Day and if that is anywhere close to being accurate would have been the fastest TE at the combine if he had been invited). Great kid who happily did a lot of the dirty work (sometimes at FB, sometimes at H-back, sometimes at TE) in the Auburn offense, didn't get targeted much, but did well when he did. He's going to be a GREAT pickup by some team as an UDFA (and it would thrill me to death if it was the Panthers, but not so sure they're gonna be looking closely at TEs).
Corey Grant (RB)
Do you like the undersized running backs with blazing speed with outstanding special teams skills? Well, Corey Grant is your man. At 5-9/201, Corey Grant showed out at Auburn's Pro Day today. One scout hand-timed him at 4.18 in the 40 while others timed him at 4.28. The final number the scouts agreed on according to Auburn sources is that Grant ran a 4.25 which would have been the best time no matter position at the NFL Combine.
He also put up a 37" vertical (which would have put him 7th at the combine for RBs) and a 127" broad jump (would have been 2nd at the combine). He also did a respectable 22 reps of 225 lbs on the bench. Grant averaged 24.5 yds per kick return for his Auburn career with one returned for a TD. He averaged 7.7 yards per carry and scored 9 TDs on 135 career carries. As you can see, Auburn never used him as an every-down back because he just didn't have the size for it. But his breakaway speed made him a valuable and dangerous weapon on the carries that he did get. Will the scouts be impressed enough by his Pro Day to move him into the draft as a team's selection? If so, I can't imagine he'd be selected before the 7th round and is a likely UDFA. But I feel if he is an UDFA he will be a widely popular one with his choice of many teams vying for his services.
Hope this helps and would love to see other's views on their own college teams prospects.
- DaCityKats PIE'd this