Player Analysis: A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama

**Due to time constraints I will merely be reprinting my work from the CHTV Draft Guide for WRs and QBs. I wish I had more time to write up all my notes but such is the life of a part time freelancer. Thanks for your understanding.**

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Name: A.J. McCarron

School: Alabama

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 220

40-Yard Dash: 4.94

In a nutshell: McCarron is comfortable in a pro-style offense, both under center and in a shotgun formation. He has solid accuracy on short-to-intermediate throws, though McCarron has a tendency to be off target on longer throws, forcing receivers to adjust too much. Does not have a huge arm, and benefitted from having an excellent offense around him.


Sugar Bowl: McCarron posted some great yardage and touchdown totals, but turned the ball over three times—two interceptions and one fumble which was returned for a touchdown. Both interceptions set up scores by Oklahoma as well. McCarron threw some really nice passes overall but made far too many mistakes.

Player Analysis: Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia

**Due to time constraints I will merely be reprinting my work from the CHTV Draft Guide for WRs and QBs. I wish I had more time to write up all my notes but such is the life of a part time freelancer. Thanks for your understanding.**

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Name: Aaron Murray

School: Georgia

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 207

40-Yard Dash: N/A due to injury

In a nutshell: Murray tore his ACL during the 2013 season and is still rehabbing. Incredibly productive against top-shelf SEC competition, Murray is a four-year starter in a pro-style offense. Height and build are concerns, as is durability. Height and low release point contribute to batted balls, as does his average arm. Murray does get rattled under pressure and has fallen apart in big games.

Vs. #7 Auburn: While not flawless, Murray played some incredible football against Auburn in a huge game. After scoring on a scramble to take the lead, Georgia fell behind and Murray had to bring the offense to the Auburn 20 in under 25 seconds. His final pass fell incomplete, but otherwise Murray came through when they needed him.

Player Analysis: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

**Due to time constraints I will merely be reprinting my work from the CHTV Draft Guide for WRs and QBs. I wish I had more time to write up all my notes but such is the life of a part time freelancer. Thanks for your understanding.**

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Name: Zach Mettenberger

School: LSU

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 224

40-Yard Dash: N/A due to injury

In a nutshell: Mettenberger did not participate in any Combine drills due to a torn MCL/ACL injury which happened in November, and he may not be ready for LSU’s pro day. When healthy, Mettenberger shows extremely good arm strength, comes out of a pro-style offense and being a pocket passer, may not see much degradation in his game coming off his knee injury. Also has some character questions.

Vs #9 Georgia: Mettenberger was accurate and poised, putting his team in the lead of a shootout with 4:14 left to go in the game. On the drive he threw four straight completions, including a nice 27-yard pass to put LSU in scoring position. Unfortunately he couldn’t repeat the deed and threw four incompletions to end the game.

Player Analysis: Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington

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Name: Bishop Sankey

Class: Junior
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 209 lbs.
School: Washington

Strengths: Looking at Sankey, there’s no one thing which stands out about him upon first glance, but pop in a game and he jumps off the screen. Sankey has great vision and does a fantastic job seeing—and then getting through—the hole at the line of scrimmage. He also does a great job setting up and following his blockers. Sankey is elusive in traffic, showing a good jump-cut. He also runs stronger than you’d expect in the interior, leaning forward and driving with his legs. Sankey shows good acceleration when he gets to the second level and his 4.49 speed is evident on tape. Sankey is also a three-down back—he can catch the ball well, and can get extra yards after a catch. He’s also a much better pass-blocker than you’d expect from his size and frame, and achieves success with technique rather than brute force.

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Weakness: Because of his size and frame, as well as the high number of carries he saw over his last two years, there are some concerns about his durability. Granted, he never missed a game and was a workhorse back for the Huskies, but long term, it’s fair to wonder how much he has left in the tank. Sankey also will expose the ball when running—specifically when he is trying to maintain balance. This can lead to turnovers and if he doesn’t change it, teams will go after the ball.

Intangibles: By all accounts, Sankey is a solid worker and good teammate. He has no off-the-field issues I’m aware of at this time.

Notes: Sankey is a very good all-around running back. There’s little to dislike about his game and while his upside isn’t as good as Tre Mason or Carlos Hyde’s you can build an argument that he could be ranked ahead of Ka’Deem Carey. The heavy workload is a concern, but it’s not so bad that he will collapse before his rookie contract is out and may even outlast that. This is assuming someone picks him as a lead, bell-cow back—something less common in today’s NFL. If part of a committee, Sankey could be productive for a very long time.


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Player Analysis: Tre Mason, RB, Auburn

image via Yahoo! Sports and USA Today Sports

Name: Tre Mason

Class: Junior
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 207 lbs.
School: Auburn

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Strengths: Mason has good burst off the snap, has the vision to read where the hole is and punches through it. He doesn’t waste any time in the backfield, doesn’t dance or hesitate—Mason just plants his foot and goes. That decisiveness along with his vision makes him hard to contain in the backfield and with his low pad level, he’s hard to tackle. When you do get a hand on him, Mason will spin out of the way. He’s not shy about contact, bringing a nice physical style to finish his runs, which also seems to translate to some very good pass blocking—a huge bonus for any rookie running back. Mason carried a heavy workload at Auburn without wearing down, so he could potentially do that at the pro level. He also showed good hands receiving out of the backfield, though saw limited use in that area. Mason is also a strong kickoff returner.

Weakness: Mason’s shorter than what teams look for in a prototypical back, but has enough mass to where durability isn’t a concern.

While he is fast, Mason only seems to have one speed so once he tops out, he isn’t adding more burst to get away from tacklers. We know he can catch the ball, but our ability to really examine that is limited because he just didn’t get used in the receiving game often enough to get a firm grasp on it.

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Mason has had some ball security issues the last two years and will need to take better care of the ball at the pro level. There might be some question about his potential effectiveness depending on where he lands because he may have benefited a bit from a very good offensive line and an up-tempo scheme which wore down defenses.

On the other hand, if he’s in a scheme which does that,  it’s going to be a strong fit.

Intangibles: Mason is reportedly a hard-working player and a pretty good guy but did have some off-the-field issues in 2013 (see below).

Notes: Even in a year where we know running backs will slide because of the decrease in relative value at the position, Mason wouldn’t have gone as high as, say Trent Richardson did a few years back. He might have snuck into the first round—and may yet because this is the draft and wackiness ensues—but he’s not what we used to see as an elite back. That’s not to say he won’t be very good though and I like what he brings to the table a lot.

Player Analysis: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State

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Name: Carlos Hyde

Class: Senior
Height: 6’
Weight: 230 lbs.
School: Ohio State

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Strengths: Hyde is a big, thick, bruising running back who will lower his pads and hammer through a hole (or through someone blocking a hole). He keeps his legs churning after contact, shows great balance and footwork through trash and will stay on his feet even with tacklers trying to drag him down. Hyde has a real “can’t stop/won’t stop” attitude which makes him very effective in goal-line and short yardage situations. His brutal running style will wear a defensive front down, so he gets better as a game goes on. Hyde is also a lot quicker than he appears upon first glance and moves swiftly and with agility through small holes and traffic and will plant his foot and spring in another direction with speed. Hyde is also a solid receiver as well, showing soft hands. Finally, Hyde is an instinctive blocker

Weakness: Mason’s shorter than what teams look for in a prototypical back, but has enough mass to where durability isn’t a concern. While he is fast, Mason only seems to have one speed so once he tops out, he isn’t adding more burst to get away from tacklers. While we know he can catch the ball, our ability to really examine

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that is limited because he just didn’t get used in the receiving game often enough to get a firm grasp on it. Mason has had some ball security issues the last two years and will need to take better care of the ball at the pro level. There might be some question about his potential effectiveness depending on where he lands because he may have benefited a bit from a very good offensive line and an up-tempo scheme which wore down defenses.

On the other hand, if he’s in a scheme which does that—well that’s a strong fit.

Intangibles: By all accounts, Hyde is a good worker and teammate. He was suspended for three games (via in 2013 after an incident with a woman at a nightclub. The case was dropped but Urban Meyer still suspended him. He appeared to be remorseful and aware of what he cost his teammates and himself (via, and it sounds as though he learned from his mistake.

Notes: Hyde is a guy who could easily be a workhorse back at the Pro level, and he showed that when he was the first Urban Meyer back to total 1,000 yards in a season, despite missing three games. After pulling a hamstring at the combine, Hyde bounced back and performed well in some private workouts at the end of March. He breaks a lot of tackles and runs hard, which should translate to some nice games at the pro level.


Player Analysis: Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Arizona

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Name: Ka’Deem Carey

Class: Junior
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 207 lbs.
School: Arizona

Strengths: Carey had a very productive career as a Wildcat, even more impressive for the fact that he only got significant carries two of the three years he played. Possess great vision and can see a hole forming, then bursts to it and through it quickly. Carey can easily cut back across the grain and shows the ability to make sharp cuts and jump cuts with ease.

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Once past the line, Carey does an excellent job spinning off tacklers and breaking arm tackles as well. Carey runs with a punishing style and will run over tacklers when he needs to, wearing down defenses. It’s not easy to take him down and he keeps his legs pumping well after contact—especially when he is close to the first down marker. Keeps his pads level to deliver the big hit and finish a run.

A solid receiver, Carey does a good job of getting upfield after the catch and shows some shiftiness in space.


Carey also does a good job pass-blocking, locating and sealing off blitzing defenders and delivering a big hit or cut-block.

He’s a three-down player, something teams will find very valuable.

Weakness: As nice as it is to see him run tough and deliver hits, he leaves himself open to big hits too often. He needs to run smarter or he could end up with some injury issues. While his frame is good, Carey is a bit shorter than ideal height for his position, and his legs appear to be a bit thin. His high number of carries in a short time might be a concern for some teams as he carried the ball 652 times in the past two seasons.

On the other hand, some teams may be more worried that he only has two years of experience as a starter.

While he can be elusive, he lacks breakaway speed or the extra gear needed to break a big run off. Carey also rarely faced stacked boxes as Arizona’s spread offense kept the defense out of the tackle box.

Intangibles: Carey has had some off-the-field issues—a quick google search for “Ka’Deem Carey” and “arrest”

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brings up numerous issues. He was suspended for the first game of the 2013 season (via Daniel Berk of the Arizona Daily Star)due to the amount of issues that off-season, the worst of which was a domestic violence charge against his ex-girlfriend which was later dropped according to James Kelley of Arizona’s student newspaper, the Daily Wildcat.

Still, you know teams will take along look at him and his past, asking a lot of pointed questions about that offseason in particular.

How he answers can go a long way towards securing a second or third round grade or dropping him down boards.

Notes:It’s hard to know what goes through the minds of a GM or team regarding things like Carey’s off-the-field issues but know that the teams know virtually everything about the players by now and if they have questions, they’ve asked them. A lot. It doesn’t mean they won’t miss on occasion *coughAaron Hernandezcough* but more often than not it gets done right. On the field, Carey is very talented and ultimately that will get him drafted as—in the NFL—talent wins out. I’m concerned about the repeated issues , however hopeful that given that it appears as if the issues were over one unfortunate offseason, that it was just that—a really bad offseason—and not reflective of a wider issue.

Edited to add: Was forwarded this interview by Zoltan Buday, a journalist who has a lot of good coaches interviews on his site, Here’s Buday’s interview with Carey’s position coach (and Wildcat offensive coordinator) Calvin Magee.

Player Analysis: Odell Beckham Jr, WR, LSU

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Name: Odell Beckham Jr

Class: Junior
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 198 lbs.
School: LSU

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Strengths: Beckham is fast, but not just in a straight line. He can use his speed to gain separation, yes, but his routes are quick as well and he can accelerate through his breaks, making it easy for defensive backs to fall behind and stumble. Beckham is able to change gears both during routes as well as after the catch, making him a slippery guy to cover and contain. He’s worked to improve his hands as well (though he still has work to do), and does a good job going up and getting the ball in the air. Beckham has a nice, big catch radius as well, despite not having above-average height and adjusts well to the ball in the air and can catch it in stride without losing speed. He can also contribute on kickoff and punt returns, but was much less effective on the latter.

Weakness: Beckham has average height and not a ton of strength, but he does seem to have the frame to get bigger/stronger. The 4.43 speed at the combine was nice, but it doesn’t always translate on the field and he could get caught from behind by NFL-level defensive backs. While Beckham has improved hands, he still struggles with some drops and can’t be relied on across the middle where he sometimes seems to hear footsteps. Beckham doesn’t always come down with balls he needs to fight for and I’d like to see more toughness in that area of his game—a little more “my ball” mentality. He’s not great at blocking and needs to improve that aspect of his game. Struggled against top teams like Alabama and Florida as well as Texas A&M though he did well against a No. 9 ranked Georgia. And while he can shag punts and kicks, his work on punt returns leaves something to be desired. Rarely found the end zone before this year, scoring just 12 touchdowns on 143 receptions.

Intangibles: By all accounts, Beckham is a very dedicated, very hard-working receiver. He also certainly shows a passion for the game, which translates into more focus on both of the above traits..

Notes: If he were more consistent or fought harder for the ball, Beckham would probably be higher on the list, but that, his height and lack of elite game speed drag his value down. It will be interesting to see how the acceleration and extra gears he shows on film are enough to get past faster corners in the NFL. I could see him out of the slot or maybe as the “Z” if he can show that the speed he flashed at the combine—and what he showed on tape—combine to work at the pro level.

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Player Analysis: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

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Name: Brandin Cooks

Class: Junior
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 189 lbs.
School: Oregon State

Strengths: Cooks nearly beat Chris Johnson’s 40-yard dash record time at the combine, running a 4.33. Cooks isn’t just fast going in a straight line though—he shows explosiveness off the line, great ability to start and stop when

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cutting during a route and smooth action when running. He has an extra gear to escape pursuit after the catch as well and is a threat to turn a short catch into a long gain on every pass. Aside from speed, he brings great route running as well, using nice footwork and shoulder jukes to confuse defenders to gain separation. This is something you see build over his time at OSU, and a clear sign that not only will he work, he can be—and is will to be— taught. Cooks also has great hands, fantastic body control and great concentration. Cooks does an equally good job tracking the ball and adjusting to a throw. Cooks will not shy away from bigger defenders and is very competitive, though at times he will avoid contact. That may be why he was so productive (setting Pac-12 and school records for catches, receiving yards while also setting an OSU record for touchdown receptions) and missed no games while in college. That’s not to say he isn’t tough—he is, very much so—just that he will ditch out of bounds rather than lower his shoulder. At his stature, I mark that down as a plus, to be honest. Cooks can return punts, so he brings an added bonus to a team though he isn’t extraordinary at it.

Weakness: He’s a bit small, so he can be knocked around a bit on routes and may get consumed in man coverage at the NFL level. Cooks’ size and build also limit him as a blocker and he needs to improve in that area. Doesn’t have a huge catch radius due to size and arm-length (just 30 ¾ while the similarly sized Odell Beckham has 32 ¾ length arms). His hand size is also a concern, as they are on the small size (9 5/8) and he has had some issues securing the ball with them. At his size, there are bound to be durability concerns, despite the fact that he has always been healthy in his college career.

Intangibles: The one thing you hear about Cooks over and over again is how tough and competitive he is. At his

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size, he’d need to be to have the measure of success he’s had. As mentioned in an earlier section, Cooks improved his technique going into and coming out of breaks, as well as running his routes in general. That willingness and ability to improve is a big deal and shows he is coachable, something teams like to see.

Notes: The only thing which could hold Cooks back is that size. He’s got natural ability and athleticism and is dangerous after the catch, but he has to prove he can hold up physically at the pro level where defenders are bigger, faster and nastier. I’m not terribly concerned, and don’t think a wise team will use him in a role where he is going to take a pounding. His size does make him much more of a complimentary receiver though, rather than a No. 1, as he could struggle to get off a No. 1 cornerback and get free. Then again, there are plenty of teams who get by without a “classic” No.1. Cooks would be a great addition to any of the teams in the draft in need of a playmaking wide receiver.


Player Analysis: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

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Name: Marqise Lee

Class: Junior
Height: 6′
Weight: 192 lbs.
School: USC

Strengths: Lee is overlooked a little due to a down season with USC, though it’s in part because the departure of Robert Woods allowed defenses to key on him alone. Having sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler replace Matt Barkley was an issue as well.

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While he lacks elite speed, Lee has great acceleration, getting up to top his speed quickly. His explosiveness, along with savvy route running, and his ability to read coverages make him able to find open space to make a catch or navigate through traffic afterwards. Those same skills allow him to create separation even without blinding speed. Lee will attack the ball in the air and does a great job snagging a pass at a high point. Lee is also a good kick returner and adds something to special teams.


Weakness: While part of his down junior year came because defenses had only him to key on. Much of it was because of constant injuries and inconsistency. The injuries, in particular, will bother scouts as Lee isn’t incredibly big, which was certainly a factor in his knee issues this year. It’s going to make some ding him for durability. He also doesn’t show a ton of strength, and won’t break many tackles. Along with the injuries come the consistency issues and he had some real problems with drops and, at times, ball security. The drops weren’t merely an issue in 2013 either—even in his fantastic 2012 season, Lee had too many drops, many of which seem to be focus drops. He needs to change that at the next level, especially as he will see an increase in contested catches. We also see that Lee has a tendency to run backwards and give ground at times to try and get around defenders which might cost his team valuable yards at the NFL level. Overall, while he’s definitely got ability, Lee isn’t a polished, finished product.

Intangibles: By all accounts, Lee is a very motivated, hard-working player. His background shows someone willing to fight for what he wants and overcome obstacles. Lee’s home life wasn’t particularly stable—he moved between his grandparents and mother’s house, ending up in foster care and his older brothers were both in gangs and had trouble with the law (one dying in a gang-related shooting).

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Despite all that, Lee made his way through the world, taking help from family and friends and worked hard to achieve his dreams. Lee doesn’t appear to be the type of person who will allow a setback to destroy him—either on the field or off of it.

Notes: The durability concerns are certainly valid after last year, though he never missed a game during the previous two seasons at USC. A lot of people dropped him significantly in their rankings because of it, and in a class as tightly knit as this one, I can’t blame them. We’re all looking for reasons to separate one player from another. Ultimately though, I believe the drop issues will be overcome and the durability issues not as big a deal as people believe. The fact that his knee might have been acting up during the draft analysis process gives me pause, but ultimately I still feel confident that 2-3 years down the road, we’ll be talking about a very good—and healthy—wide receiver.