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I finally got a chance to watch the replay, ESPN cut out 530 minutes from 8 to 220 in the 4rth quarter.
a few thoughts...
Walker-he played both DE and DT, but I think he has LDE written all over. Good combination of speed and power, he got consistent pressure and had a knockdown or two and tagged the White QB for a loss after a bad snap. Plays with good leverage and beat Denson inside for a pressure on a 3rd and 7. Once he gets his take offs down and works on his hands and pass rush moves, he has excellent potential, because right now he sometimes stays engaged too long with his blocker.
Kirkland-I wasn't as high on him from his junior highlights and this film was consistent with my original thoughts. He was just OK in pass pro and seemed disinterested in blocking on the few running plays. He has to sell out in order to not get beat to the edge and often over steps, lunges when he strikes and loses balance, which makes him vulnerable to the inside move and he gave up a sack that way in the game. I've also read a few people say they think he would be a better OG, but he struggled with his cut off blocks(quickness) and he doesn't play with a mauler mentality. If we did take him and he lost some of the bad weight, that may make a difference.
Brantley-he has excellent quickness and made a sack on a nice outside move, but he is really gap happy(playing around blocks, rather than through them) and gets taken to the ground far too often(cut blocks, pancakes). I still would take him because he plays with energy and has athleticism.
Nkemdiche-he also lined up at DE and DT and you can see why he is the #1 kid. He isn't as powerful as Mario Edwards, but he is a better athlete(faster twitched) and IMO a better prospect. He also plays with a great effort. It seemed like he lined up next to Walker for most of the night, maybe #44 should make a phone call.
Denson-he got beat on a pressure by Walker, but was far superior to the kid that started in the game at RG and stonewalled Nkemdiche when they had a few one on one's. He needs work on his feet(lateral mobility, quickness in general), but I was impressed with him overall. He is a strong as a bull.
Lawson-he played one way all night and that was up the field at 100mph, which created a huge gain in his vacated gap on a running play and he doesn't have prototypical size. That being said, he plays with tremendous effort and did the best job of any DL setting up his blocker with a combination of speed rushing the edge, inside moves and then a jab step inside and a blow by on the perimeter. He has to learn to be a two way player, but he should be a good situational pass rusher next season where ever he ends up.
Tim Williams-he started the game with a solid tackle and is the opposite extreme of Lawson, playing the run first and foremost, which shows discipline, but you also wonder about his ability to diagnose. With the right coaching and strength program, he still could be a good college player.
Nat Rodgers-I didn't focus on him closely, other than a few holding penalties he had on Walker. But he looks to have a better motor and more athleticism than Kirkland, therefore, I prefer him as a prospect right now.
What did y'all see?
This post was edited by canolee 15 months ago
Your insight is always spot on. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I saw kirkland get beat a few times. I thought denson did a good job of blocking Nkimdeche. Walker looked like he loves going through blockers instead of aroud them (brantley).
I will say this tho the DL always has and always will get the best of the OL at these types of games.
sty, thanks bud, my pleasure.
devil, good point on the DL dominating these games. That being said, there were only like 3 sacks(maybe 4 unless I missed a few in the 5.40 of omitted film) in the game.
I also agree that Walker plows right through his man, which is great, but he needs to mix it up and add to his repertoire. Mario Edwards needs to learn this as well.
I noticed Kirkland have issues with the speed rush. He does not get a good first step while pass blocking and this could be because he is not quite flexible enough or that he is obviously still young. Most young Tackles struggle with this so its not a big deal but Kirkland certainly needs work with his feet imo.
Can, I could read your stuff all day! +1
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by napoleon 15 months ago
"I never knew I had a foot until I noticed it was on your neck"
Beach, Kirkland should drop 25 lbs and build it back the right way. He just seemed to shy away from contact at times, something I don't like to see in my players, especially the big guys.
nap, thank you kind sir.
I missed that Matty Thomas had a few reps at RDE. Right now he is undersized and I see him strictly as a blitzer from his LB spot and not an occasional DE as mentioned, because he didn't use his speed advantage and played through the block. If I were him, I would have rushed up the field and hit the LT with an inside move and then faked the inside move and beat the Bigger player outside with speed on the next play, similar to what Lawson did. He tried to bull rush, something he isn't going to do to a player 100lbs bigger than him with much success. But I'm not mad at the way he plays LB and it was only a handful of reps rushing the passer.
One question, Can: it's apparent that Kirkland got beat several times. If he loses some bad weight his footwork should improve. However, you said he look "disinterested" in run blocking and that he doesn't have a "mauler's mentality." I've never noticed, heard, or thought that about Kirkland. Is this your general opinion of DK, or just your thoughts of this one specific performance?
nap, I didn't love KIrk's junior film, although I prefer game film to Highlights clips. An above average HS player can put together a good highlight real if you are just taking one play a game.
That being said, most of the HS guys season's ended a month ago and the big guys have a tendency to put on weight because they aren't running every day. A lot of the skill guys run indoor track or play basketball, or just have a fast metabolism, etc... while the Trenchers take some time off from the gym to heal up their battle wounds. It happened to Mario last year in the UA game, he was heavy and sluggish. But I'm pretty happy he came here.
So I'm not saying I wouldn't take Kirkland, he has a lot to work with. He just needs clean up his technique and to improve his body comp. Sometimes that can change the aggression level of a player, because it increases their stamina and they can just run and hit longer. Fatigue makes a coward of us all, mi amigo.
Seems to me that very few DE's will make a living going through the OT, most have to find a way around them. That's why foot work and hand work is so important. A good DE is what? 270? A good OT is about 325? If they lock up it's over. Remember the former Iowa Hawkeye and Patriot Andre Tippet? The guy was slightly undersized but quick as a cat. He also was a 3ed degree blackbelt, so he knew how to use his hands and legs to out maneuver the OT.
nap, thank you!
ville, I was always an undersized pass rusher and I loved watching Pat Swilling from the Saints. He was a blur off the ball. I played a lot of PG growing up in basketball and I used that start and stop explosiveness to my advantage against bigger players trying to block me. But you always throw a bull rush in there from time to time to keep them honest and if they guess wrong, you can really embarrass a guy 50% bigger than you.
Golson-he is an outstanding technician and can absolutely play either OT spot at the next level. Has great feet and can pull and trap with ease and plays with superb pad level. The only thing he needs to work on besides getting stronger overall is finishing his blocks to the whistle and he could be a little more aggressive. But we have to keep him in this class. He could play anywhere on the OL.
Bryant-he didn't get many pass rush attempts. These all star games have about half the plays as a normal game because the clock runs continuously and the substitution patterns were strange. But I liked what I saw out of Bryant. He is active, has good athleticism(looked really good looping around the edge on a stunt), does a good job shedding blocks(hand usage) and was involved with two stops behind the LOS and just missed another one where he defeated the OG off the ball with quickness. He also showed off a nasty streak going after an OL when he may have tried to trip him or tackles him at the knees as Bryant pursued the play to the perimeter. I would be really happy with him in the class.
Tunsil-speaking of weird substitution patterns, I had no idea why Tunsil only got about 6-7 reps. Did he get hurt? He was in on a first down in the 3rd quarter and came out on the next play and was replaced by Golson. The few reps out there, he was a man amongst boys. He looks like Menelik Watson, if Watson grew up around the game. He really has everything you want in an OL and I've changed my tune, if he does decide to come to FSU, he will start at RT. Please Timmy J, work your magic. You guys can become AA's together.
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