Murphy played like a solid right tackle prospect as a second-team All-Pac-12 pick his junior year, his first full year as a starter. In 2015, however, the brother of former Harvard and Minnesota Vikings tackle Kevin Murphy slid to left tackle and improved greatly in pass protection while maintaining his toughness in the run game. He combined with left guard Joshua Garnett as first-team All-Conference picks on the blind side of quarterback Kevin Hogan, who reaped the benefits of their play.
STRENGTHSHas good feel for the position. Very aware in pass protection seeking out blitzes and twists and takes consistent angles up to the linebackers in the running game. Once he gets moving in space, is able to open up his hips and run with a relatively athletic gait. Plays with strong hands and good placement that can snatch and latch if he gets there first. Makes low pad level a priority in run game. Is usually low man and will use good leg drive or snap hips to secure the block. Adequate change direction in space. Patient second level blocker allowing the block to come to him. Outstanding work with teammate Joshua Garnett with combo blocks and double teams. Doesnt lean in pass protection and can gain decent ground with his kick slides.
WEAKNESSESFeet are just average from a quickness standpoint. While he can be a little slow out of his stance and off to the races when moving laterally. Will get antsy pre-snap. Tape shows him getting some headstarts that werent called by college officials. Troubling anchor issues as pass blocker. Will get stiff legged at impact in protection, raising pad level and losing anchor leverage. Needs to play more flat-footed when shooting his punch. Speed to power rushers give him problems so may need to make inside hand placement a greater priority.
DRAFT PROJECTIONRounds 5 or 6
SOURCES TELL US"I don't think you can play him for at least a year until he gets stronger. He's a good run blocker but I don't know if he's strong enough to play on the right side or quick enough to play left." -- AFC general manager
NFL COMPARISONTy Sambrailo
BOTTOM LINEInteresting prospect full of juxtapositions. On one hand, hes an athletic mover in space, but his foot quickness is just average. While he plays with good bend, leg drive and low pad level as a run blocker, he tends to play too tall and lose his anchor against bull rushers. Murphy plays with good tackle instincts and shows enough potential to become an eventual starter in the NFL if he can improve his overall strength and tighten up some of his pass protection flaws.
PLAYER OVERVIEWWhile Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey and senior quarterback Kevin Hogan may have earned most of the attention for the Cardinal, scouts recognize that Stanford's productive offense begins up front, with Murphy a star in his own right.
Murphy is simply the latest in a long line of Stanford offensive linemen with bright NFL futures. He leaves with appearances in 54 games over his career, earning second team All-Pac-12 honors at right tackle as a junior and first team accolades at left tackle as a senior.
Despite the impressive track record Murphy opted to compete at the Senior Bowl, switching back to the right side. The switch back - and Murphy's lack of elite athleticism - left him struggling a bit during one-on-ones but ultimately faring better during the more important scrimmages and game, itself.
STRENGTHS WEAKNESSESSTRENGTHS: Murphy sports a prototypical build for an NFL tackle with broad shoulders, long arms and a relatively trim middle. He anticipates the snap, rather than waiting for it, often getting a slight advantage over defenders (but also risking a false-start penalty) and overall showing impressive initial quickness, including on cut-blocks.
Murphy's quick start and length make him a formidable opponent in pass protection. He slides well laterally and is alert to stunts and blitzes, getting a strong shove on one defender before switching off to another. While quick enough to get to the second level as a run blocker, Murphy can get off-balance when attempting to change direction.
He is very effective, on the other hand, as a drive blocker, showing surprising flexibility to get under the pads of opponents and impressive leg drive to consistently move the pile.
Good bloodlines. His brother, Kevin, was a standout tackle at Harvard who spent time with the Minnesota Vikings.
WEAKNESSES: While possessing good initial quickness, Murphy isn't an elite athlete and will almost certainly be asked to move back to right tackle or perhaps even inside to guard.
He's quick enough for traps but once defenders cross his face, Murphy lacks recovery speed and the flexibility to change directions quickly, resorting to reaching out and latching onto defenders.
Has a bad habit of relying on his length and strength to control opponents, failing to keep his feet sliding on contact. Too often this occurs when he's run blocking at the second level, where he shows impressive burst to get there initially only to watch linebackers slip by him.
IN OUR VIEW: There is a lot to like about Murphy's game as he's quick, powerful, durable and tough. With some of Stanford's past standouts struggling to duplicate their success in the NFL, there is reason to be cautious about Murphy, however, especially given that his best season - 2015 - came with the Outland Trophy winning Joshua Garnett flanking him at left guard, a mobile senior quarterback in Kevin Hogan and Heisman finalist Christian McCaffrey making everyone at Stanford look good.
--Rob Rang (@RobRang) (2/6/16)
Most people spend their lives trying to get to Hawai'i at least once, but Davis decided that two years in the Rainbow State was enough, especially after head coach Norm Chow was let go. He had started 10 times in his two years with the Warriors, racking up 45 receptions for 601 yards and five touchdowns. After sitting out a redshirt season in 2013, Davis became an all-purpose threat for the Bears, making plays as a receiver (24-399, five TD) and returner (424 kickoff return yards, 70 punt return yards) as a junior. He had 40 receptions in 2014 (one of six players hitting that mark) that covered 672 yards and two scores, and had 686 kickoff return and 45 punt return yards as well. Those sort of receiving/return numbers won't go unnoticed by NFL scouts.
STRENGTHSQuality return man specializing in kickoffs with two touchdowns under his belt while at Cal. Former high school long jumper and sprinter with buildup speed to challenge deep safeties from the hash. Competitive runner after the catch with ability to make defenders miss and finish his runs with some authority. Hands are adequate.
WEAKNESSESTrack speed doesn't translate underneath. Needs runway to get going and can't hit jets out of his breaks for separation. Needs to improve hard vertical push to clear space for comebacks and outs. One-speed, rounded routes need work. Struggles to release cleanly against quality press coverage.
SOURCES TELL US"He's a pretty good returner. I don't see him being drafted, but he could make a team as a return man and last receiver on the depth chart." -- NFC West scout
BOTTOM LINEWiry catch-and-run specialist whose NFL value rests in his return ability. Davis could be a difficult sell because he's not an NFL-ready receiver, but a big combine could create late-round interest or elevate his stock as a priority free agent.
The Chicago Tribune All-State pick decided to stay in-state to play for a Wildcats legend in head coach Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern. Like Fitzgerald was during his time as a two-time Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award winner with the Wildcats, Lowry is a lunch pail player who brings effort on every snap. Hes also a better athlete than most people realize, showing the agility to spin off blocks and make plays in the backfield (15 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks in 2013-2014). His senior year capped an excellent career, with a highlight being his school-record six tackles for loss against Nebraska. He finished as a second-team All-Big Ten honoree with 46 tackles, 13.5 for loss, and three sacks. Lowry could play multiple spots along the line depending on his new teams defensive scheme.
STRENGTHSComes off the snap with burst and good pad level. Gives chase on the backside with great motor and good play speed. Willing to pursue the ball with consistency or effort. When pad level is good, can generate effective speed-to-power attack. Has play frame to fit classic 3-4 DE spot. Coaches praise his work ethic and team-first mentality. Does the dirty work that helps others succeed. Always active. Tackle finisher who rarely allows runners to escape. Had as many tackles and more tackles for loss than Joey Bosa.
WEAKNESSESShort arms and small hands prevent him from posting higher win percentage at point of attack. Not as aware of the ball as he needs to be. Needs to unhinge from blockers earlier when runners are in his neighborhood. Gets stood straight up at contact as bull rusher. Pad level and narrow base rob him of bull-rush power when rushing from inside. Dull, straight-ahead rusher with no pass rush plan. Doesnt threaten the edges of blockers. Marginal playmaking change of direction.
DRAFT PROJECTIONRound 7 or priority free agent
BOTTOM LINETry-hard player with good size who is always active. While he wont be considered a pass rushing threat, Lowrys production was a function of effort and flashes of power and the aforementioned traits and qualities give him a good shot at being drafted and becoming an NFL backup.
PLAYER OVERVIEWAn impact player since arriving on campus, Lowry quietly improved every season, culminating with a consensus second team All-Big Ten senior year in which he ranked second on the team with 13.5 tackles for loss.
While he did not have a truly standout seasons on the national stage, he did earn an invitation to the Shrine Game, where he was a standout during practices.
"I feel like I'm playing my best football right now," Lowry said in November. "I can't really say I've had excellent years in previous years that put me on the radar. I think I'm just getting better each season, and that's what I've done so far."
As a junior, Lowry recorded 4.0 sacks, eight tackles for loss and 41 total tackles. He also finished second on the team with eight pass break-ups, using his size and wingspan to obstruct passing lanes and knock down throws at the line of scrimmage.
He started nine games in 2013, finishing second on the team with 7.0 tackles for loss and third with 4.5 sacks. Lowry was one of four freshmen to crack the Wildcats' lineup in 2012, recording 14 tackles, 3.0 TFL and six QB hurries in 13 games as a reserve.
STRENGTHS WEAKNESSESSTRENGTHS: Heavy-handed and uses his momentum and natural lean to put blockers on their heels at the point of attack. Able to use his natural lean and first step momentum to generate power and move blockers from their spot. He sets the edge in the run game and is quick to diagnose and put himself in position to be opportunistic.
He plays fast a never with anything less than full effort. Practiced at the Shrine Game with the same killer instinct and competitive drive that made him effective at Northwestern.
WEAKNESSES: For a player of his size, Lowry has short, disproportionate arms. Lacks ideal explosive traits for the next level and needs to develop his pass rush moves to not be so predictable off the snap. Unimaginative pass rush strategy and needs to better set up his moves instead of forcing his way through blockers each play.
Needs to develop his counters, allowing his rush to stall once initial momentum is slowed. Relies more on timing than burst. Can drop in space, but marginal change of direction skills limits his potential off the line of scrimmage.
IN OUR VIEW: He doesn't play with anything less than full effort and that hustle, along with his instincts, allows him to be effective containing the edge. Lowry lacks athletic twitch and move-to-move transition to be a consistent pass rush threat in the NFL, but his initial power and unrelenting play style wears down blockers.
He lacks ideal traits to start at the next level, but shows the recognition skills and versatility to play various scheme techniques as a reserve.
--Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) (2/21/16)
In his first year as a starter in 2014, Martinez proved worthy of honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors by leading the Cardinal with 102 tackles, seven for loss, 4.5 sacks, and three interceptions. In Year 2, he played at an All-American level (third-team Associated Press, second-team USA Today) as the Cardinal won the conference championship, stuffing plays inside and moving to either sideline to rack up 141 tackles, 6.5 for loss. The 2015 first-team All-Conference pick again made plays against the pass this year, intercepting one pass and breaking up six others.
PRO DAY RESULTSVertical: 34 inches
60-yard long shuttle: 11.68 seconds
STRENGTHSGood muscle thickness and one of the most powerful, pound-for-pound players in the program. Has desired temperament to play in the middle. Physical, productive tackler. Downhill linebacker. Business-minded machine against the run, maintaining consistent gap responsibility. Disciplined on back-side squeezing cutback lanes. Stuffs second level leg blocks and keeps gliding down the line. Uses heavy hands at the point of attack. Plays square to line of scrimmage with eyes stuck on runner. Plus balance and keeps his feet. Will dart and dodge past oncoming, second level traffic in lateral pursuit of ball carrier. Improved against the pass from 2014 to 2015. Showed some functional ability in man coverage and is quick to close out throws and limit yards after catch. Offers instant special teams value. Willing worker on "teams" and finds the ball.
WEAKNESSESSlow twitch with borderline play speed. Must transition from a power mindset to a little more quickness in everything he does. Will need quicker hands to jab and separate to stay clean against NFL linemen. Below average lateral quickness. Won't win many foot races to the perimeter and has little margin for error with his angles. Not athletic enough to recover if he gets hung up on a block for too long. Too easily fooled into vacating his positioning by play-action. Doesn't have reactive athleticism to quickly recover back into his duties after biting on fakes. More of a block occupier than serious threat when blitzing. Average awareness dropping into zone coverage. Situational awareness needs work.
DRAFT PROJECTIONRounds 5 or 6
NFL COMPARISONMartrell Spaight
BOTTOM LINEFull-time starter over the last two years who plays with the temperament and ruggedness that Stanford wants in the middle of their defense. Martinez is a muscled-up, throwback linebacker in a league that covets twitch and play speed over throwback traits. His special teams ability and overall tackle production is a big plus, but his draft stock might not match up with his elevated college production due to concerns over his quickness.
STRENGTHS: Looks the part of an NFL linebacker with broad shoulders and an athletic, well-distributed frame. Highly aggressive run defender who attacks the line of scrimmage, showing no hesitation to take on blockers at the point of attack. Balanced, coordinated athlete who shows creativity in slipping under or spinning through would-be blocks.
Generally reliable open-field tackler, lassoing ballcarriers with his long arms and strong hands. Possesses the agility and awareness to handle coverage responsibilities, showing light feet and fluidity when changing directions. Locates the ball quickly and accelerates smoothly.
WEAKNESSES: Isn't a classic thumper 3-4 inside linebacker who will consistently take on and shed blockers in the hole. A bit taller than ideal for the inside and has a tendency to get caught up in the trash. Too often catches ballcarriers and falls backward rather than driving through his target.
Doesn't appear to possess the straight-line speed to beat backs to the edge or to handle deep seam responsibilities against NFL tight ends. Limited pass rusher, lacking the agility to elude blockers or the explosive power to bull rush through them.
IN OUR VIEW: By leading the Pac-12 with 141 total tackles in 2015, Martinez will certainly get a long look from NFL scouts, who could see his length and athleticism as a better fit outside. Martinez may need to impress in workouts to help convince scouts that his gaudy production wasn't inflated due to Stanford's scheme.
--Rob Rang (1/18/16)
A stand-up rush linebacker with length and agility, Fackrell came out the box strong for the Aggies, garnering all-conference honors in each of his first two seasons on campus (21 tackles for loss, eight sacks in 2012-2013). Fackrell suffered a torn ACL in the season opener as a junior but returned with in his final year, consistently making plays on the edge against the run (82 tackles) and attacking the backfield (15 tackles for loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles, five recovered). Scouts appreciate the maturity of a plyer who has gone through injury adversity, as well as taken on responsibilities via marriage and fatherhood. Fackrell and his wife, Elizabeth, welcomed a baby girl (Delaney) into the word early in 2015.
PRO DAY RESULTS
Short shuttle: 4.31 seconds
3-cone: 7.24 seconds
Bench: 16 reps of 225 pounds
STRENGTHSPremium length and athleticism. Played quarterback and wide receiver in high school and lettered in basketball and volleyball. Rangy tackler who is able to shadow the ball all over the field. Has length and arm extension to punch and control the point of attack. Functional strength is good enough against the run. Has length and motor for tremendous tackle radius. Had 80 tackles or more in each of his last three full seasons. Had just five sacks, but often dropped into space. Potential is there to become plus pass rusher. Combines forward lean, hip explosion and long arms to crank up speed-to-power pocket push. Upfield burst covers substantial ground in first three steps. Has upper body turn and shoulder dip to slip under tackles shoulder and around the corner. Dont sleep on his cover ability in space.
WEAKNESSESMissed the entire 2014 season with an ACL tear. Can improve his hand play as pass rusher at the high side of his rush. When edge rush stalls out, has average counter attack. Long-strider who struggles to make sudden inside moves once he gets going upfield. High center of gravity combined with lean lower half make it difficult to play through redirect blocks with contact balance.
DRAFT PROJECTIONRound 3
NFL COMPARISONConnor Barwin
BOTTOM LINEWhen it comes to the length and athleticism teams will look for off the edge, Fackrell will be one of the poster boys. His field versatility, coverage talent and potential as a pass rusher could make him one of the fastest rising prospects in this draft and a future contender for a Pro Bowl nod.
PLAYER OVERVIEWFackrell returned from a serious knee injury as a junior to emerge as a first team all-Mountain West player in 2015, leading the nation with five fumble recoveries while recording a team-high 15 tackles for loss and a school-record 12 quarterback hurries. He also had 4.0 sacks while become a semifinalist for the Butkus Award and earning an invitation to the Senior Bowl.
Fackrell suffered a season-ending torn ACL in September of 2014 after emerging the previous season with a team-best 13.0 tackles for loss, adding 82 tackles, 5.0 sacks and a 99-yard interception for a touchdown.
STRENGTHS WEAKNESSESSTRENGTHS: Tall, long-levered frame. Worked hard to develop his muscle and limb strength. Loose athlete with smooth redirection skills and long strides to cover a lot of ground. Lateral quickness to sidestep blocks or string plays to the outside. Active rusher and quick to read, adjust his angle and close. Uses his length to engage and lock out.
Looks natural in reverse and has experience in coverage. Offers athletic versatility and natural ball-skills (eight passes defended and four interceptions in his career).
Played on special teams coverages in college, including one blocked kick. Humble and hard-working, but also feisty and competitive - singled out as the leader of the defense by his head coach. Football junkie who already works and prepares like a professional. Highly productive with 253 tackles and 36.0 tackles for loss over 41 career starts.
WEAKNESSES: Lean-muscled body type with lanky bulk. Not a forceful player at the point of attack and needs to develop his take-on strength to push through the shoulder of blockers. Plays tall and too easily caught up in the crowd. Quick hands, but shed technique and block recognition requires fine-tuning.
Needs to better break down and finish in space. Long-legged mover, leading to choppy steps and lost balance in short-areas. Inconsistent backfield vision and anticipation, which leads to overaggressive tendencies.
Older prospect and will be a 25-year old NFL rookie. Missed all of the 2014 season due to an ACL tear in his right knee (Sept. 2014).
IN OUR VIEW: A three-year starter, Fackrell lined up as an edge rusher and outside linebacker in Utah State's 3-4 base and was a jack-of-all-trades defender who rushed and dropped in coverage.
He is a tall, long-armed and flexible athlete with range and closing burst, doing his best work in space because he's not a power player. Fackrell can be too easily controlled at the point of attack and needs to develop his take-on strength to better dispose of blockers, but the competitive toughness is there. He has above average intangibles and you won't find anyone who says something negative about him as a person.
Fackrell isn't an explosive player, but floats with great effort in pursuit and offers functional versatility to be an every-down player, ideally suited in a 3-4 scheme.
--Dane Brugler (2/13/16)
Spriggs excelled in his senior season, catching second-team All-Big Ten accolades along with the eyes of scouts. The four-year starter also was named first team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and third-team honors by the Associated Press. Spriggs had a scary moment on the field in 2014 against Michigan State, as he was taken to the hospital after suffering a helmet-to-helmet blow. But since them he has shown the build (6-foot-7, 307 pounds), anchor in pass protection and willingness to block through the whistle to be the type of prospect NFL offensive line coaches will covet at left tackle.
PRO DAY RESULTS
Vertical: 35 inches
3-cone: 7.57 seconds
STRENGTHSAthletic frame with long arms. Comes out of his stance with tremendous quickness and has elite lateral movement. Can get to extremely difficult backside cutoff blocks. Knee bender. As a move blocker, lands squarely in the strike zone and rolls hips and feet under him to to wash down defender or secure a down-block. Shows good patience in space with ability to become solid combination blocker in zone scheme. Looks to finish. Able to adjust his assignments on the fly. Is active with his hands in pass pro. Will throw jabs with both hands rather than offering them up for defensive ends to swat. Has tools to substantially slow pass rushers when timing his punch. Durable, four-year starter.
WEAKNESSESPlay strength needs improvement. Unable to match power as a base blocker and too easy moved off his spot. Struggles to cleanly absorb and eat contact without being jostled. Has crippling issue with over-setting in pass protection. Doesn't maintain much weight on inner half of his frame and has consistent issues redirecting his weight back inside with suddenness against inside moves. Doesn't use his length to his advantage often enough. Slows his slide when punching, allowing rushers opportunity to gain advantage around the corner. Needs stronger hands to snatch and control rather than just push. Ability to recover with power or athletic traits are a concern.
DRAFT PROJECTIONRound 2
NFL COMPARISONRyan Harris
BOTTOM LINESpriggs has outstanding athleticism, but his play strength and overall recovery ability are major concerns for a position as important as tackle. Spriggs followed up a strong week at the Senior Bowl with a very good showing at the combine and has solidified his standing as an early round tackle amongst evaluators. If he can improve his inside post and prevent counter moves from eating him up, he has a chance to be a solid NFL starter on the left side.
PLAYER OVERVIEWA former tight end, Spriggs was a four-year starter at left tackle for the Hoosiers and showed steady development each season, filling out his frame and holding his own against the Big Ten's top rushers like Joey Bosa and Shilique Calhoun.
He was named second team All-Big Ten in 2015 by the coaches and media and one of six semifinalists for the Outland Trophy. Spriggs was charged with only two sacks allowed in 431 called pass attempts and had 72 knockdowns in 972 snaps.
In 10 starts in 2014, he allowed just two sacks and was a consistent force in the run game, helping Tevin Coleman rush for over 2,000 yards. Spriggs did not redshirt and missed only one game for the Hoosiers because of injury.
STRENGTHS WEAKNESSESSTRENGTHS: At 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, Spriggs has the size and well-distributed musculature NFL scouts are looking for, as well as impressive initial quickness, lateral agility and balance. The length and athleticism combination makes Spriggs well-suited to pass protecting in Indiana's up-tempo spread offense and in run blocking at the second level.
Steady run and pass blocker. Has enough set-up quickness and lateral mobility to beat rushers around the corner, showing smooth body control and natural athleticism in space. Has the temperament needed to match up vs. fierce pass rushers. Rather than maul defenders at the point of attack, Spriggs relies on his quickness and agility.
He showed the quickness and balance at Senior Bowl practices that scouts have appreciated about his game in the past, while also flashing some nastiness, looking to pancake opponents when he could.
WEAKNESSES: Tackles from collegiate spread offenses have struggled acclimating to the physicality of the NFL and this remains a concern for Spriggs, who struggles at times to sustain blocks due to average upper body strength and pad level. He needs to improve the timing and force of his punch in order to better control defenders.
COMPARES TO: Nate Solder, New England Patriots: Balanced in pass protection and quick to the second level as a run blocker, Spriggs should be able to remain at left tackle in the NFL and perhaps emerge as a standout there just as Solder -- also a former tight end -- has for the Patriots.
IN OUR VIEW: Scouts looking for tackles to play in a zone blocking scheme will certainly want to check out Spriggs, a former tight end who has maintained his athleticism while getting bigger and stronger to start the past four years at left tackle for the Hoosiers.
Quick and agile, Spriggs is very effective blocking on the move and has the length and balance to mirror in pass protection. He's not particularly stout, however, and may struggle acclimating to the power he'll face in the NFL.
I don't think this should be missed so I wanted to repost it in it's own thread.
Oh! I was listening to Bill Micheals today and the last segment of the program was fantastic! He had Mike Clemens on for hour 4. Last year when they were out for the SB, Clemens was on a mission to track down former coaches etc. of Aaron's and that whole last hour is PACKED (pun intended) with interviews with his HS coach, the Butte coach, etc. It was fantastic!
The pass to Cobb to win at the Bores GIF reminded me of one coaches comment on how Aaron had rolled left and threw a dime unlike any of them had seen (as a freshman at Butte).
Take a listen I highly recommend!
With the 27th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers have selected...