Oh, the luxury of the BPA. We finally, after so many years can just pick the BPA because we have no glaring needs.
But who is this BPA? Well, I'm going to examine some game footage from the 1st (maybe a little more) quarter of 7 different players games, 7 players who many have been wanted by various individuals.
Today, I am examining guards David DeCastro (Stanford) and Kevin Zeitler (Wisconsin), DE/DT's Devon Still (Penn State) and Michael Brockers (LSU), ILB Luke Kuechly (Boston College), FB Cody Johnson (Texas) and RB Isaiah Pead (Cincinnati). Obviously, one or two quarters doesn't define one's entire career or playing style, but it can give an idea and I'm basing these analysis' off of my other experiences watching these players, as well.
1st off, Luke Kuechly.
Background Info: 6'3, 242 pounds. Led the nation in tackles 2 (I believe) years in a row. Projected as an WILB.
Opponent: Miami University.
Play 1: A long, 37 long pass that sails over Kuechly's head. The corner's have problems tackling the receiver and Luke shows good hustle getting downfield and making the tackle.
Play 2: Does a nice job covering the TE and forces the QB to go to his checkdown.
Play 3: Short yardage, 2nd and 2. The Miami guard gets a good surge off of the line and bulldozes Kuechly into the ground, and the back picks up the 1st down on his hip.
Play 4: Gets beat by the slot receiver initially and the QB looks like he's gonna throw it to him, but Luke gets there quick and the QB runs it instead for a 4 yard gain.
Play 5: Luke shows VERY good instincts this play. He sees the receiver motion out and follows him all the way to the time he catches the short screen. A tight end comes out to block him but Luke shoves him down and hits the receiver, but his bad angle causes him to lose yardage and thus, allow a touchdown.
Play 6: Great, great play. A reverse is set to the back, but Kuechly isn't fooled for a second and fires into the backfield like a bullet. The lead blocker isn't quick enough and Kuechly drags the back down for a 5 yard loss.
Play 7: Pass goes to the receiver on a quick slant, pass interference by the CB.
Play 8: The center goes out and kind of overwhelms Luke, which opens up a gaping hole and allows a 50 yard TD run by the back.
Play 9: Follows the QB's eyes and knocks the pass down for an incompletion.
Play 10: Holds his ground against the guard and doesn't give the back any running room. Ends up making the tackle despite being blocked.
Play 11: Plays the zone and tackles the WR short of the first-down.
Overall analysis: He's a very cerebral player. never found out of place, never misses the tackles, and always around the ball. He is good in coverage but tends to be muscled out by bigger blockers. Not incredibly physical but if he gets wrapped around an RB they aren't getting out of it. Tends to avoid blockers but is willing to take one on face-to-face if it comes down to it.
NFL player comparison: Randy Gradishar/Zack Thomas.
Next up, Michael Brockers.
Background information: 6'5, 325 pounds. Key component in LSU's powerful wrecking crew of a defense.
Opponent: Ole Miss, guard and tackle Matt Hall and Bobbie Massie.
Play 1: Gets shoved off and stood up by the guard, short completion to the receiver.
Play 2: Gets some leverage and shoves the guard back into the pocket. Dropped pass by the receiver.
Play 3: Stands his ground against the guard and sheds the tackle and makes the tackle for a loss on the back, back goes down with an ankle injury.
Play 4: Gets stood up by the guard and gets little pressure.
Play 5: Holds his ground, maybe pushed back a bit. Holds the back to a short gain.
Play 6: Yikes, thinks he got the jump on the guard but loses his balance and gets flipped over and pancaked.
Play 7: A VERY quick swim move beats the guard and he bullrushes the center, in a mere 2 seconds Brockers rush forces the QB to throw it to a receiver for an incompletion.
Play 8: Chop blocked and taken out of the play.
Play 9: Chop blocked again but this time he avoids it. Gets in on the tackle on a short gain.
Play 10: Is shoved back at first, but fights back when he sees the back coming his way and gets in on the tackle for a 4 yard gain.
Play 11: Gets sealed off and the back runs for an 11 yard gain off of the guards hip.
Play 12: Takes up a few blockers and allows the DB to get a sack for a 10 yard loss.
Play 13: Guard gets the jump on him, and honestly just manhandles him. Brockers ends up on his back with the guard on top of him, QB scrambles for 7 yards.
Play 14: Fights through the block and makes the tackle for a 1 yard gain.
Play 15: The tackle shoves him backwards and the back runs 6 yards on a pitch to the right.
Play 16: Gets push on the guard on the run play, but is found out of position as the back goes right passed him for a 3 yard gain without him even knowing.
Overall analysis: Gotta say, I wasn't that impressed right here. He showed good quickness for a man of his size, but he is often found out of position, doesn't show good balance and is often stood up and driven back because he doesn't get good leverage. He went up against a massive (6'9, 350 pounds) guard in Matt Hall, but that should only help him in his battle for leverage. However, he did show good run support when he wasn't on his back.
NFL Comparison: Antonio Garay.
Background Information: 6'5, 310 pounds. Had 4.5 sacks and 47 tackles in 2011. Has a nice NFL bloodline, was cousins with All-Pro players like Former Steelers linebacker LeVon Kirkland and a good pal of ours, former Chiefs defensive end Art Still.
Opponent: Ohio State. Guard Andrew Norwell, center Michael Brewster.
Play 1: Shoots the gap quickly and fights through the blocks by the guard and center to make the hit in the backfield.
Play 2: Gets double-teamed by the guard and center, opens up the sack for his defensive tackle partner.
Play 3: Gets push despite being double-teamed, but the QB rolls out for the pass and gets a first down.
Play 4: Uplifts the back after being pushed around.
Play 5: Gets walled off, QB rushes for the first down.
Play 6: Disengages from the guard and gets across the field, delivering a huge hit to the ballcarrier.
Play 7: Gets walled off by the center, but linebacker is stuffs the back in the backfield.
Play 8: Bad snap, QB gets the ball and dropped for a 5 yard loss.
Play 9: Shoved around and doesn't get much push.
Play 10: Spins around the block of the guard, and pushes the center over. Gets juked out by the QB but gets disruption and the DE gets the sack.
Overall analysis: Showed great power and physicality. Great lower body strength and quickness, very aggressive in the pass rush and for being a defensive lineman quite a thunderous hitter. Good run-stuffer as well. Honestly, if we had to pick a DE in this draft he'd be my first pick from what I've seen.
NFL Comparison: Richard Seymour.
Background info: 5'10, 260 pounds, built like a stone wall. Has experience at fullback and tailback, even led the Longhorns in rushing in 2010. Has had 36 rushing TD's in his career and has run for nearly 1,400 yards.
Opponent: Baylor, Johnson gets the start at RB.
Play 1: Gets the carry, picks a hole and bursts into it. Gets hit by the backer but drags him for a gain of 5.
Play 2: Gets the carry, hit low at the line of scrimmage but falls forward for a gain of 2.
Play 3: Goes out for the pass, QB hits a receiver for a first down.
Play 4: Gets another carry, and runs over his own blocker and a defensive back, but gets tripped up for a gain of 5.
Play 5: Helps the tackle out by knocking the DE off of his pass rushing path.
Play 6: Gets stacked up for the DE and LB, but keeps churning his legs and doesn't go down. 3 more defenders jump on Johnson but he keeps pumping and staying up. Defense gets a facemask, 1st down.
Play 7: Gets tripped up at the line of scrimmage, gain of 2.
Play 8: Chips the blitzing linebacker and goes out for the pass. completion to the tight end for the first down.
Play 9: Goes in at fullback, and delivers a nice pop to the blitzing linebacker and the runner goes off his right hip. Gain of 5, but holding by a receiver brings it back.
Play 10: Shotgun, DE gets passed the tackle but Cody is there to stonewall him. DE stumbles and Cody keeps him off the QB.
Play 11: Blitz up the gut, Cody hits him but loses his balance and falls over. Linebacker is tripped up on his body and falls. QB completes the pass to the receiver for a first down.
Play 12: Fullback in the I-Form. Hits the safety on an up the gut run, causing him to fall back and Cody finishes the block into the dirt.
Overall analysis: Very blue-collar kind of player. Low center of gravity and has thighs like Earl Campbell. His willingness to block (and his efficiency at it) means he could play fullback in the NFL, but he has shown the ability to step up and play tailback when injuries become a problem or around the goalline. He's a tough guy in a position that's going extinct, and if you want to be able to play you gotta love the contact and dirty work, but he has great running ability and I could see him becoming a Le'Ron McClain/Peyton Hillis kind of guy who goes from a blocking back to a teams leading rusher. As far as how he fits in at KC, we are one of the only teams nowadays to regularly use a fullback because we love to pound the rock, and he has the makings of an All-Pro fullback and bruising goalline runner. KC fans love their fullbacks, they always end up being fan favorites so I can't think of a better place to play the position.
NFL Comparison: Lorenzo Neal
Background Info: 5'11, 200 pounds. Has had two straight 1,000 yard seasons. Has quite a reputation as a 3rd down back, both receiving and blocking.
Play 1: Great showing. Shotgun formation, comes out of the backfield and catches the ball as the checkdown receiver. Makes two guys miss in the backfield and bolts down the sideline, but I then he lowers his shoulder and DESTROYS a safety coming in to make the tackle before going out of bounds for a 9 yard gain. REALLY wasn't expecting that from a man of his stature.
Play 2: Once again, shotgun on short yardage. Doesn't look like he has much room, but somehow ducks under the pile and comes out the other side. A linebacker doesn't seem to be expecting it either, as he seems surprised to see Pead on the other side of the pile and Pead bulldozes into him and a safety for 4 extra yards.
Play 3: Looks like an outside run, but Pead reverses it to a receiver, who is dropped behind the line.
Play 4: Shows great vision, finds a little crease and explodes through it. Shows a little shake, causing the DB to stutter but then Pead drops his helmet and runs through that DB and tries to make a move on another one but is upended.
Play 5: Drops the pass on a screen that would've been a first down. A little behind him, but very catchable.
Play 6: QB bootleg, and Pead is the lead blocker. Squares up the DE and gives him a pop to throw him off of his pursuit angle, then cuts another defender. QB is tackled at the line of scrimmage.
Play 7: Takes the handoff, puts the shoulder down and pumps his legs for a few yards.
Play 8: Whiffs on a block by the blitzing linebacker, pass is thrown incomplete.
Play 9: Helps the right tackle who is being overcome by the DE by hitting the DE in the midsection with his shoulder. Completed pass to the receiver for a first down.
Play 10: Takes the handoff, not a lot there. Tries to break it outside, and a DB grabs onto his jersey. Pead drags the defender along the ground, but it slows him down enough for a linebacker to catch him 1 yard gain.
Play 11: Goes out for the pass an finds some space for the first down, but the QB opts for the touchdown and misses the receiver.
Play 12: Goes out for the screen and the pass is thrown well over his head and to the right, but he extends his arms and catches the ball out of his frame with one hand. Tries to make some moves but is dropped at the LOS by a swarming defense. Punt.
Play 13: 1st down, lined up as a receiver. Motions in like he's gonna take a handoff on an end around, but the QB opts for the other runner and he gets dropped for no gain.
Play 14: Takes the handoff, shows great burst into the hole and tries to hurdle over some defenders, but is grabbed midair and flipped over and taken down for a 7 yard gain. Pead gets in a bit of a scuffle with the defender that tackled him, but it is broken up quickly.
Play 15: 3rd down, QB throws it to Pead on a checkdown and Pead catches it and makes a defender miss. Lowers his shoulder but is tripped up. 6 yard gain.
Play 16: In the backfield, handoff to the other back. 2 yard gain.
Play 17: Swing pass to Pead on 3rd down, spins off a tackle but is taken down for a 4 yard gain. Punt.
Play 18: Returns the kickoff, and a defender slips off of him. Runs horizontally and makes another defender miss. Gets the corner and stiff arms one defender into the ground and finally puts his shoulder down and finishes the run off. Gets in a bit of a scuffle, quickly broken up. 22 yard return.
Overall analysis: Cincinnati utilizes him a lot, and for good purpose. A man of his size is supposed to be able to make defenders miss, and he showed that, but another thing he demonstrated that a lot of people don't give him credit for is his toughness. He loves finishing his runs off by trucking a defender. He's shown that he's a physical blocker, and his interviews show that he takes a lot of pride in it. Great burst, shiftiness, and receiving abiltiy, and vision as well. I wasn't so high him earlier, but now I would love to have him in KC. Has the shiftiness to run like Jamaal and not give anything away when he goes in, but runs with more of a mean streak and a threat around the goalline.
NFL Comparison: Thurman Thomas.
Background Information: 6'5, 316 pounds. You know the story. Best guard prospect in years, one of the safest, more sure-thing picks in the draft. 34 Bench press reps, best shuttle and 3-cone times for a guard at the draft. Many think he should be KC's pick. Let's look at some footage.
Opponents: Oklahoma State, defensive tackle Nigel Nicholas.
Play 1: Gets behind the center and shoves him and the guy he's blocking forward. Back goes right along his tail and gets 4 yards.
Play 2: QB drops back, David doesn't have anyone to block. Center is having problems with his block, DeCastro hits the defender from the side and knocks him over. QB scrambles for a gain of 5 up the gut, behind David.
Play 3: 3rd and 1, I-form. DeCastro gets WAY low and pushes the DL back for a few yards, fullback picks up the first down.
Play 4: DeCastro pulls around and hits the corner and makes a HUGE hole for the back to run for 20 some yards. Announcers even make a comment and highlight about how DeCastro's block made the play.
Play 5: Pulls around and hits the DE on the other side, play action. QB throws it incomplete to the endzone.
Play 6: Tries to double-team the DL with the center, and pushes him back a few yards. 3 yard gain by the back up the gut.
Play 7: DeCastro stonewalls the tackle. The DL tries to make a quick spin move but DeCastro is all over it. Incomplete pass, missed field goal next play.
Play 8: DeCastro pulls around and hits the safety, but doesn't keep on his block. The linebacker makes the tackle for a 1 yard gain.
Play 9: Double-teams with the center on a 2nd down pass. DL doesn't get an pressure. Pass completed to the receiver for 3 yards.
Play 10: Double-teams with the RT, the center misses his block on the stunt and DeCastro doesn't react quick enough to make up for it. QB gets sacked. Punt.
Play 11: A little trap, pulls to the right and drives back the DE. The back opts up the gut but fails to get any room and gets dropped at the LOS.
Play 12: Pass, the DT tries to bullrush and gets stiffed. No pressure up front but the pass goes incomplete.
Play 13: Pass, the RT misses his block but DeCastro is there to stop the DE. Pass completed to the TE for the first down.
Play 14: Hits the linebacker on an up the gut run. Takes him to the side and drives him WAY off the ball. 5 yard run.
Play 15: Stops the blitzing linebacker in his tracks and the rest of the line is dominant too. The QB bombs it deep to a receiver for a 53-yard TD pass.
Play 16: Shotgun, absorbs the hit by the DT but the play is called back because of illegal touching by a receiver.
Play 17: Great play, blocks both the DT and takes up a linebacker, then pancakes a linebacker coming in to make a tackle towards the end of the play, making a very wide lane for a 12 yard gain.
Play 18: The DT tries to shoot the gap, but is stopped and doesn't get any push. QB throws an interception.
Overall analysis: Not his best showing by a long shot, but still a GREAT game. Dominated in the running game (that's a given) and still did a pretty good job in pass protection. Honestly, he might make 1 or two minor mistakes a game, you don't see him getting manhandled ever, he's what you think of when you think of a mauler. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and isn't afraid to use his size and strength to his advantage over weaker defenders. Great at pulling and the best lineman in space in this draft, as well.
NFL Comparison: Steve Hutchinson.
Background Information: Arguably the best lineman on what many consider to be the best line in college football, along with maybe Stanford. Known for his strength and good pulling ability. The definition of a road-grader. One of the best guards in this years draft.
Opponent: Oregon, defensive tackle Ricky Heimuli.
Play 1: Gets under the DT and pushes him back a yard or two. 7 yard running gain.
Play 2: Zeitler pulls, and knocks a linebacker out of the play. 10 yard running gain.
Play 3: Is bullrushed backwards, but the back gets passed the arms of the DT and gets a 6 yard gain.
Play 4: Pulls, but trips on his way around and the back falls over him. Loss of 1 yard.
Play 5: Pushes the defender back, but trips and loses his balance. Doesn't matter however, as the pass is completed for 4 yards,
Play 6: Stops the bliztling linebacker for the most part, or at least knocks him away from the QB. Pass completed for 13 yards.
Play 7: Whiffs on the block, and the defender who he was to block hits the QB as the ball is thrown for a 40 yard TD.
Play 8: Double teams with the center to knock the DT off the ball, then seals a linebacker off as well. 3 yard gain.
Play 9: False start.
Play 10: Pulls around and misses the block, but he does make the defender miss the tackle. 30 yard run.
Play 11: Holds onto the block for a while, but the DT gets away and pressures the QB.
Play 12: Trips off the snap but gets up quickly and makes a block on a linebacker for a 4 yard run.
Play 13: Is holding up the DT, but when the DT sees the QB rolling out, he makes a quick move and gets away from Zeitler and pressures the QB. QB throws a 20 some yard pass for a first down.
Play 14: Gets great jump off the ball but fails to get leverage over the DT and he falls over him and trips the center as well. Back is stuffed at the LOS.
Play 15: Ends up blocking 3 people on a passing play. Chips the linebacker, Shoves over a DT and helps the RT with his block. QB scrambles for the TD.
Play 16: Locks up with a DT and is handling him well, but the center helps him out anyways. RT doesn't hold up and QB gets sacked.
Play 17: Starts out helping the center with his block, then go and helps the RT who is having trouble. Incomplete pass.
Play 18: False start. Picks up the blitzing LB, and doesn't allow any pressure. QB throws incomplete, but there is pass interference on the defense.
Overall analysis: Zeitler is strong and can drive block. He has the mobility to pull effectively as well, but he doesn't have great balance and isn't half as smooth as DeCastro in space. He is pretty slow out of his stance and doesn't have incredible leg drive or quickness, but has very strong upper body strength which helps him in Pass Pro and in walling people off in the run game. Wouldn't mind him in KC if we can't get DeCastro and Glenn is gone.
NFL Comparison: Chris Kuper.