10 February 2013

2013 all star football challenge

With football season rolling over into the NFL Draft, football junkies got a little taste of Americas favorite past time today in the 2013 All Star Football Challenge.

Some of the best college football prospects for the NFL were on display today. Yes, I get it, we're seeing these prospects in a controlled environment, no one is rushing the quarterback or trying to tackle or block anyone. We can't ascertain to much from their performance, however it's fun to watch the athletic ability of these future stars. It's great to see them up close without pads on.

This years group was impressive indeed with possibly seven prospects being selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. My ranking of the top seven:

1. OLB Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
2. WR Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
3. S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
4. LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
5. DT Sylvester Williams, North Carolina
6. S Matt Elam, Florida
7. DE Sam Montgomery, LSU

The quarterbacks were on display first and fitting for this year, none looked impressive. Except maybe Green Bay Packer's Aaron Rogers little brother Jordan Rogers. Rogers, out of Vanderbilt is only 6' 1" tall, but he is very accurate and has a quick release much like his older brother.

FSU QB E. J. Manuel actually won the competition, he has a powerful arm and launched it 66 yards, but his accuracy leads something to be desired. His mobilty and ability to throw on then run will give him a good shot in the NFL though.

NC State's Mike Glennon continued his rapid spiral downwards in the draft process. His accuracy was abysmal, in the team drill at the end it took him about 7 attempts to throw the ball in the net. He's a tall, skinny kid with narrow shoulders and a long neck, for what its worth, he doesn't look the part either.

You have to give credit to North Carolina's defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. He was out there running with the much smaller defensive ends. At 6' 3" 313 pounds though he looked like a beast. NFL Draft Dog currently has him being selected at the end of the first round in their 2013 NFL Mock Draft. Look for him to rise up closer to the middle of the first round during the next update though.

OLB Damontre Moore from Texas A&M was on display, he is a lock to be a top five pick and you have to give him credit for even being out there risking an injury. He looked as explosive as his 2012 stats would indicate where he recorded 21 tackles for loss (TFL) and 12.5 sacks. He won the drill with a time of 21.3 seconds.

LSU DE Sam Montgomery looked the part, was quick, nice muscle tone and at 6' 5" 260 pounds ran his drill in 22.2 seconds. He might come off the board towards the end of the first round.

Texas DE Alex Okafor looked a little stiff during his drill. At 6' 4" 265 pounds he had difficulty hoisting the tire in the beginning and got his feet tangled up a bit later. He's still a great talent, just didn't have a great day. Last season he recorded 16.5 TFLs and 12.5 sacks, so I look for him to be a solid second round pick.

The safeties really shined catching the ball and exploding through their drills. This is a very strong safety class with Texas's Kenny Vaccaro and Florida's Matt Elam being solid first round draft picks. Vaccaro at 6' 1" 218 pounds is definitely a top 15 talent and has the skill set to be a pro bowl safety in the NFL. Elam, a possible late first rounder, is a little shorter at 5' 10" 202, but he will come up and hit you.

I wasn't real impressed with USC Safety T. J. McDonald however, he looked stiff and lanky, not a great change of direction. He had the worst time, it took him 32 seconds to complete his drill. He has the ideal size at 6' 2" 211 pounds. Mentally he should ahead of the game, he was well coached by the legend Monte Kiffin. He also has a good pedigree, his father Tim McDonald was a 13-year veteran and six-time Pro Bowl selection for the 49ers and Cardinals.

Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree was on display. Mel Kiper has him being drafted 8th overall. That might be a little high in my opinion. He has great feet, but at 6' 3" 237 pounds looks a little tall and lanky. He didn't overly impress me in these drills.

Watch out for Rutgers LB Khaseem Green. He could sneak up into the top of the second round. At 6' 1" 236 pounds, he is athletic, stocky and has great balance. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay said there was a lot of buzz about him among scouts right now. Last season he recorded an amazing 136 total tackles.

I got a good look at Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson. I really like this kid. After going back and watching game film of him I believe he is destined for stardom in the NFL. He can do it all, last season he caught passes, ran the ball, returned kicks and punts. He ended up with 1,858 all purpose yards. Every time he touched the ball he averaged 18.77 (yards per play). Seeing him without pads makes you appreciate him any more. He's not just a sprinter playing football. He has a strong, powerful body.

Last but not least is North Carolina's RB Giovani Bernard. Short and stocky he reminds me of Ray Rice. Not great straight line speed, but he can cut on a dime. Great hands also, he finished the season with 1,228 yards and 12 TDs. His 6.67 yards per carry average was particularly impressive as was his 198 all purpose average yards per game.

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