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DraftInsiders.com 2011 All-American Team
Offensive Player of the Year
QB Andrew Luck – Stanford - Jr
Defensive Player of the Year
CB Tyrann Mathieu – LSU – Soph
Photo - WR Michael Floyd - Notre Dame
Offensive Freshman of the Year
WR Sammy Watkins – Clemson
Defensive Freshman of the Year
DE Jadeveon Clowney – South Carolina
Coach of the Year
Brady Hoke – Michigan (1st season)
DraftInsiders.com All- American Team
QB Andrew Luck - Jr. - Stanford
RB Trent Richardson - Jr. - Alabama
RB Montee Ball - Jr. - Wisconsin
WR Justin Blackmon - Jr. - Oklahoma St
WR Michael Floyd - Sr. - Notre Dame
WR Robert Woods - Soph. - Southern Cal
TE Coby Fleener - Sr. - Stanford
OT Matt Kalil - Jr. - USC
OT Jonathan Martin - Jr. - Stanford
OG David DeCastro - Jr. - Stanford
OG Barrett Jones - Jr. - Alabama
OC Peter Konz - Jr. - Wisconsin
PK - Carson Wiggs - Sr. - Purdue
KOR - T.Y. Hilton - Sr. - Florida International
Frank Coyle's Individual Player Voting 2011 Season
Heisman Trophy Vote - QB Andrew Luck - Stanford
Jim Thorpe Vote - CB Morris Claiborne - LSU
Nagurski Vote - CB Morris Claiborne - LSU
Lombardi Vote - OT Matt Kalil - Southern Cal
Outland Vote - OT Jonathan Martin - Stanford
DE Melvin Ingram - Sr. - South Carolina
DT Brandon Thompson - Sr. - Clemson
DT Fletcher Cox - Jr. - Mississippi St.
DE Whitney Mercilus - Jr. - Illinois
LB Brandon Lindsey - Sr. - Pittsburgh
LB Jarvis Jones - Soph. - Georgia
LB Luke Kuechly - Jr. - Boston College
LB Courtney Upshaw - Sr. - Alabama
CB Tyrann Mathieu - Soph. - LSU
CB Morris Claiborne - Jr. - LSU
CB Brandon Boykin - Jr. - Georgia
S Mark Barron - Sr. - Alabama
S T.J. McDonald - Jr. - Southern Cal
P Drew Butler - Sr. - Georgia
PR Joe Adams - Sr. Arkansas
DraftInsiders.com NFL 2011 Predictions
Saints Top Chargers in Super Bowl Matchup
Photo - QB Drew Brees - Saints
Player of the Year –
QB Drew Brees - Saints
Defensive Player of the Year –
CB Darrelle Revis - Jets
Rookies of the Year
Offense - RB Mark Ingram - Saints
Defense – CB Patrick Peterson - Cardinals
Breakout Player of the Year
QB Alex Smith - 49ers
Comeback Player of the Year
WR Chad Ochocinco - Patriots
Philadelphia Eagles - 12-4 –
Eagles are among the best in the NFC after strong FA class. They are capable of winning the East and going deep into the playoffs behind Michael Vick.
New York Giants - 11-5 –
Giants can play with anyone on the league, but must stay healthy and play more consistently. They have a potent attack and tough veteran defense, though roster is thin after a few key injuries.
Dallas Cowboys - 8-8 –
QB Tony Romo returns after an injury marred 2010 season. They must prove they can run the ball consistently to balance this offense. Their defense is good, but not near the top two clubs in this division.
Washington Redskins - 6-10 –
Skins start another new QB this season in Rex Grossman. Their defense looks to return to their 2009 form mainly behind improved secondary play. Skins might again struggle to make .500 in the best division in the game.
Green Bay Packers -10-5 -
Aaron Rodgers is the hottest QB in the game and Packers may be the best club in the league again. The play of both lines will determine if they can repeat.
Chicago Bears - 11-5 -
Bears can win this division behind veteran QB Jay Cutler. The defense is one of the best in this league that could spell the difference over the course of the season.
Detroit Lions - 9- 7 –
Lions will in the playoff hunt if they keep QB Matt Stafford healthy for 16 games.
Minnesota Vikings - 10-5 -
Vikes look to veteran Donovan McNabb to be the difference maker on an erratic club that is capable of big wins or total self destruction.
New Orleans Saints - 12-4 –
The Saints organizations have improved on defense that gives them the edge in one of the toughest divisions in football. QB Drew Brees is capable of leading this club to the Show again.
Atlanta Falcons - 10-6 –
Falcons are thinking title but they face a very tough schedule that might be the equalizer. They could struggle at .500 through midseason. Defense is suspect.
Tampa Bay Bucs - 8-8 –
Bucs began a turnaround last season with a 10-6, though vs a soft schedule. They will regress this fall and will be not better than a young .500 club that needs maturity.
Carolina Panthers - 6-10 –
Panthers begin the Cam Newton era, but will rely on a strong ground game to win games. They face a very tough schedule and will go through some painful growing pains in 2011.
Arizona Cardinals – 10-6 –
Cards look to return to the top of the weakest division in the NFL after adding QB Kevin
Kolb. There young defense is at playoff levels currently.
San Francisco 49ers - 8-8 –
New HC Jim Harbaugh will give this club an identity. He will turn QB Alex Smith into a solid
reliable starter. There defense is a solid group, but this club might struggle to get past the .500 mark.
St. Louis Rams - 6-10 –
Rams look to build off an improved offense directed by QB Sam Bradford. There changing defense is still not up to playoff levels at this point, though HC Steve Spagnuolo is a master leader.
Seattle Seahawks - 5-11 –
Seahawks won the divisional title with a 7-9 record, the first sub .500 team to ever accomplish that feat. This club will struggle to play above the .500 mark and challenge for the playoffs.
Eagles, Packers, Saints and Cardinals
Wild Card Clubs
Giants & Falcons
Saint over Packers – Saints march back to the Big Show.
New York Jets – 12-4 –
Jets look to young QB Mark Sanchez to take another step up. That would put them over the top in a tough division. They defense ranks among the top five in the game.
New England Patriots - 11-5 –
Pats look to premier QB Tom Brady to direct this changing potent offense. The new ground game and receivers could rank them at the top of the league. Their suspect changing defense will determine their final fate in key games.
Miami Dolphins - 7-9 –
Dolphins will be hard pressed to improve off back to back 7-9 seasons. QB Chad Henne is better than advertised and needs new vet Reggie Bush to become everything Ted Ginn did not become.
Buffalo Bills - 4-12 –
Bills are still rebuilding and will look to their young players to establish themselves as top NFL players. Their development will determine any improvement beyond a 4 to 6 win season.
Baltimore Ravens - 11-5 –
The Ravens will look to young QB Joe Flacco to join the upper echelon of NFL passers. The defense is still capable of ranking with the best in the game and able to win this division.
Pittsburgh Steelers - 10-6 –
Big Ben makes big plays and the Steel defense is still among best in the game. They are a threat to win any critical game.
Cleveland Browns - 7-9 –
Browns continue to rebuild behind young QB Colt McCoy hoping to get them to respectability. Only one winning season in past six seasons may continue this fall.
Cincinnati Bengals - 5-11 –
With star QB Carson Palmer on the retirement list, the Bengals look to rookie QB Andy Dalton and top pick wideout
A.J. Green to begin a new era. Their defense has never improved under HC Marvin Lewis.
Indianapolis Colts - 10-6 –
QB Peyton Manning starts the season on the bench healing from neck surgery. This club is aging and faces but still dangerous to win big games in the playoffs. Whether the aging defense plays up to those levels remain to be seen.
Houston Texans - 10-6 –
A .500 record won’t get it done this season. Only a playoff berth will keep this club from facing major changes after the season.
Tennessee Titans - 8-8 –
The Titans look to veteran Matt Hasselbeck to keep this club respectable until top pick QB Jake Locker can take the reins. They might surprise and press for a playoff berth.
Jacksonville Jaguars - 6-10 –
Jaguars turned the page with the release of veteran QB David Garrard. They have taken a few steps back recently and a sub .500 record appears likely unless many questions are answered positively.
San Diego Chargers - 12-4 –
The Chargers are a loaded club with QB Philip Rivers directing a veteran club.
They can win the NFL title behind a veteran defense but needs their troubled special teams to improve significantly.
Kansas City Chiefs - 10-6 –
Chiefs won the division behind QB Matt Cassel and runner Jamaal Charles. The young defense is quietly improving and capable of helping them to compete for a playoff berth.
Oakland Raiders - 7-9 –
Raiders are a franchise in disarray and have not won more than 5 games since the 2002 season and this year looks like another repeat disaster.
Denver Broncos - 5-11 –
Broncos made huge changes this offseason under new HC Josh McDaniel. They should face difficult growing pains that will push them to the bottom of the AFC.
Jets, Ravens, Colts & Chargers
Wild Card Clubs
Patriots & Texans
San Diego over Indianapolis
Chargers show a top defense can stop a potent offense in big
Super Bowl Matchup
New Orleans Saints over San Diego Chargers
Saints win a wild Super Bowl showdown with Chargers.
Mike Pouncey Tops Hindu Theory Players 2011
The Hindu Player Theory - This DraftInsiders.com theory is a takeoff on our old friend, George Young former General Manager of the New York Giants who said, "If NFL General Managers and scouts had one common religion, it would be Hinduism because they all believe in reincarnation. They think every new player reminds them of some former NFL performer." This theory takes into account a players' projected NFL ability, size, body type, athleticism, skill set and upside potential as a pro. This year we have a nature Hindu theory player in Mike Pouncey who is only 1 chromosome short of his brother Maurkice Pouncey of the Steelers.
Photo - OL Mike Pouncey - Flordia
Current Player - Reminds of NFL Player
OL Mike Pouncey - Maurkice Pouncey
CB Jimmy Smith - Chris McAlister
QB Blaine Gabbert - Matt Schaub
DL Marcell Dareus - Haloti Ngata
WR Randall Cobb - Percy Harvin
RB Ryan Williams - DeAngelo Williams
DT Kendric Ellis - Shaun Rogers
WR Julio Jones - Hakeem Nicks
RB Mario Fannin - Arian Foster
TE Rob Housler - Jared Cook
RB Jacquizz Rodgers - Dexter McCluster
LB Jabara Williams - Ernie Sims
WR Cecil Shorts - Julian Edelman
NT Phil Taylor - Kris Jenkins
QB Jake Locker - Jay Cutler
WR Jerrel Jernigan - Eddie Royal
DE Robert Quinn - John Abraham
QB Cam Newton - Vince Young
WR Tandon Doss - Brandon Lloyd
RB Jordan Todman - Thomas Jones
QB Ryan Mallett - Drew Bledsoe
LB Von Miller - Terrell Suggs
WR Titus Young - DeSean Jackson
TE Jordan Cameron - James Casey
DT Marvin Austin - Aubrayo Franklin
CB Ras-I Dowling - Corey Webster
LB Aldon Smith - DeMarcus Ware
WR Greg Little - Miles Austin
QB Tyrod Taylor - Tarvaris Jackson
TE Lance Kendricks - Visanthe Shiancoe
DT Nick Fairley - Richard Seymour
WR Edmund Gates - Johnny Knox
S Rahim Moore - Kenny Phillips
WR Jonathan Baldwin - Brandon Marshall
DL Cam Heyward - Cory Redding
LB Mason Foster - Daryl Smith
CB Patrick Peterson - Charles Woodson
DT Martin Parker - Amobi Okoye
LB Bruce Carter - Keith Rivers
TE Lee Smith - Anthony Becht
DE Cam Jordan - Justin Tuck
RB Kendall Hunter - Ahmad Bradshaw
WR Jeremy Kerley - Bobby Engram
LB Justin Houston - LaMarr Woodley
TE Collin Franklin - Kevin Boss
DE Ryan Kerrigan - Jared Allen
CB Brandon Hogan - Brandon McDonald
Click on Next Page for More Hindu Theory Players
Pro Days 2011 - Workout Schedule
Updated March 10th
Pro Day schedules are posted by schools starting with the first week of March. Several schools will have two Pro Days, though most are attempting to utilize one date and event to provide the last workout and other pertinent information for the NFL Draft 2011. We intend to attend several Pro Days, in addition to many interviews over the final two months on the journey to the NFL Draft 2011.
Photo – WR Torrey Smith - Maryland
Prairie View A&M
Northwestern State (La.)
North Dakota State
South Dakota State
North Carolina State
Middle Tennessee State
Northwest Missouri State
New Mexico State
NFL Draft - QB Aaron Rodgers Scouting Report 2005 Yearbook
QB Aaron Rodgers - Packers
Draft Insiders’ - Yearbook '05 Scouting Report - Aaron Rodgers was our Top Overall #1 Prospect. He went late in the 1st round to Green Bay at the 24th overall pick.
1. * Aaron Rodgers #8 - 6'2" 220 lbs. - Cal - Sp. 4.7 Rating 92
Hindu Theory - Joe Montana
Talented strong-armed junior passer finished his career with back-to-back excellent efforts as a junior and sophomore. Aaron is an excellent passer who combines arm strength, mechanics and delivery to make all the throws. He is a well-built athlete with both a live arm and quick feet to give an offense a versatile threat under center. He has developed quickly as an athlete, improving in every aspect of QB play over his two-year starting career under the tutelage of HC Jeff Tedford. He has filled out as an athlete and possesses a strong live arm with the mobility to be a threat on the perimeter and the agility to throw on the move. He has quick footwork that creates passing lanes and allows him to avoid the pass rush, though he has only adequate footspeed to scramble outside the pocket. He has a compact quick delivery with sound mechanics that allows him to throw the ball very accurately on a game to game basis. He is a good ball handler and carries carry out play action well with good fakes In his basic setup, he is quick to get back in the pocket with the footwork to plant and drill the ball down the field. He has excellent pocket presence with keen awareness of his unit and the quick decision making to identify defensive coverage and get the ball to the hot receiver. He has improved significantly as a passer each season, showing good arm strength to throw the out and deep ball and the uncanny accuracy in the intermediate and short game to cut defenses apart. He shows rare field vision that has allowed him to make the proper read throughout the game and seldom forcing the ball into heavy coverage. In the pocket, he looks off the safety better than any recent college passer in addition to identifying defensive coverage quicker to make the quick decision and throw. His accuracy is in a class by itself whether throwing the slant, out, or deep pass. He has learned to put air under his throws to allow his receivers to make plays. He has exceptional timing and accuracy to the point that he hits receivers in stride consistently and allows them to break a play after the reception. He shows courage in the pocket and waits until the last minute to fire the ball to the open receiver. He can make all the throws with the toughness to hang in the pocket and take the hit and get the ball off and not be intimidated by a strong hit. In big game situations, he impressed scouts with his arm both from an accuracy and velocity standpoint in addition to his smarts and mobility to manage a game with minimal mistakes and unnecessary risks. He needs work on the finer points of the position to maximize his fine throwing arm and athleticism. Though he is not a finished performer at this point, he developed quickly over his short career and responded well to pressure situations. He became the key component on a Cal club that was an annual doormat in the Pac 10 prior to his starting time. Over his two seasons, he was the only QB to beat USC that he accomplished during his sophomore season and almost achieved again last fall when he fell just short despite a great performance. He shows the ability to adjust quickly to new situations and make the correct decision. For a young passer, he shows fine poise and composure that allowed him to elevate the play of his unit and bring the Cal program back to bowl status after a long dry spell. During the course of a game, he gets into an excellent passing rhythm that increases his confidence immensely and that positive attitude gets conveyed to his teammates to play at a higher level. He has a good feel for backside pressure in the pocket with fine foot quickness to avoid a rush and the ability to pull the ball down and make positive yardage. He has the frame to fill out further and checked in at an even 6’2” at the NFL Combine, fine height for a starting passer.
The Numbers: As a junior, he earned first team All-Pac-10 at quarterback after propelling the Golden Bears to a 10-2 record. He led the Bears to a 17-5 record in 22 career starts during his two seasons. In the ’04 season, he completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 2,566 yards, 24 TD and only 8 interceptions. He ranked first in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency—even ahead of 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart of USC—despite playing much of the season with a wide receiving corps decimated by injuries. He was named Offensive MVP at the ‘03 Insight Bowl after engineering a 52-49 win over Virginia Tech with a school bowl record 394 yards passing. He threw for 246 yards and one TD in the Cal 45-31 loss to Texas Tech in the ‘04 Holiday Bowl. In only two seasons, he climbed into seventh place on Cal’s career passing yardage list with 5,469 yards, completing 63.7 percent (424-of-665) of his attempts for 43 TD and only 13 interceptions. His 1.95 career interception percentage is a new Pac-10 record, eclipsing the mark of 2.59 set by USC’s Paul McDonald. In the ’04 USC game, he completed his first 23 passes against the nation No. 1 ranked club to tie a NCAA single-game record. He connected on 29 of 34 attempts for 267 yards, one TD and no picks for the afternoon, but they lost to the Trojans, 23-17, despite having four downs at the USC 9-yard line to score a possible game-winning TD in the closing minutes.
The Skinny: Talented junior passer made fast progress over his short starting career and has as much upside as any QB in recent memory. Though he played in a QB friendly system, his production and big game performance is undeniable. He is remarkably similar to Joe Montana in many ways, especially his footwork, accuracy and his ability to take an entire unit’s performance up a level. At the combine, he ran a 4.71 time, had a 34.5” vertical leap and 9’2" broad jump, but did not throw. He has definite NFL starting ability and could become an elite QB within a short time in the right setting. He needs to learn to pick up more sophisticated defensive coverage and how to respond to it. As a collegian, he learned to take what defenses gave him, something few young passers grasped until much later in their career. He is a good athlete with the live arm and intangibles including poise and leadership to become a top flight NFL starter. As a rookie, he may not be ready to start and probably needs some time to learn a system in addition to working with a good supporting cast. He should be the 1st overall pick with the 49ers foolish not to take him there and begin a new era.
Bradford & Mays Win Rookie Awards
Sam Bradford Wins Award for 2nd Week
Photo - Safety Taylor Mays - San Fran 49ers
The top overall selection of the NFL Draft 2010, QB Sam Bradford wins the Draft Insiders' weekly rookie award for the second week in a row after another outstanding performance. Bradford is joined by 49ers’ rookie safety Taylor Mays who had a strong showing on both the San Fran defensive and special team units.
Bradford had another solid performance that was instrumental in the Rams second consecutive win of the season, the first time they have achieved back to back victories in two years. It was only the third victory for St. Louis in the past 30 games overall, as they already surpass their poor 1-15 record from 2009. Bradford went 23 of 41 passes for 289 yards for 1 interception and 2 TDs. It was another strong performance for the top overall pick last April who shows a fine understanding of the defense and fast developing recognition skills of pro defenses. Over his first two games, he had four interceptions while being sacked five times.
On the defensive side of the ball, the 49ers safety Taylor Mays had a breakout performance when he made 11 total tackles, 2 unassisted and recovered a blocked punt at the back of the end zone for a TD. That score gave the 49ers’ 14-0 first quarter lead they failed to hold through the game. The 49ers lost a tough 16-14 contest to Atlanta that brought their early season record to a disappointing 0-4 after being highly touted to win the NFC West over the preseason.
Taylor beat out the Titans CB Alterraun Verner, a 4th round pick gem last April. Verner made 11 tackles and broke up 3 passes in the Tennessee heart breaking 26-20 loss to Denver. Several other defensive backs have made their presence felt in the early action. The Browns top two selections, safety T.J. Ward (2nd round) and CB Joe Haden (1st round) have established themselves as regulars in their young developing secondary. Rookie defensive backs Nate Allen of Philadelphia and Seattle’s Earl Thomas continue to make plays from the free safety spots and look to become fixtures on young defenses.
Weekly Player Winners
Offense - QB Sam Bradford - Rams
Defense - Safety Taylor Mays - 49ers
Offense - QB Sam Bradford - Rams
Defense - Safety Earl Thomas - Seahawks
Offense - RB Jahvid Best - Lions
Defense - DT Nda Shu - Lions
Offense - RB Dexter McCluster - Chiefs
Defense - Safety Eric Berry - Chiefs
Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0) @ Arkansas Razorbacks (3-0)
Key SEC West Division matchup
TE D.J. Williams – Arkansas
QB Ryan Mallett Faces SEC Acid Test vs #1 Alabama
QB Ryan Mallett leads nation with 360 yards passing per game with 9 TDs to 2 interceptions on a 70% completion rate. McElroy again has the best passing efficiency in the nation in 2010. He has not lost a game since pre high school. Last year vs Arkansas, he went 17 of 24 passes for 291 yards and 0 interceptions. This kid just does not make mistakes and clearly outplayed Mallett in last year’s matchup. He manages a game flawlessly and allows his club to gain field position over the course of a game even when drives stall and they have to punt. McElroy also outplayed both Tim Tebow and Colts McCoy in SEC and national title games that were instrumental in the Tides national title last season. Arkansas has averaged just under 116 yards rushing vs 111 yards rushing allowed per game. They have scored 5 TDs rushing this year with 6 fumbles losing 3 in three games, a disturbing fact. While averaging 116 yards per game, their 5 rushing TDs came from 5 different runners.
Arkansas totaled only 63 yards rushing vs Alabama last season for less than 3 yards per carry. They got behind 14-0 into the 3rd Q that forced Arkansas to abandon the ground game and throw the ball 41 times. Mallett was only 12 of 35 passing for 160 yards and 1 interception and 1 TD in Bama lost last season. Last week, the Hogs rushed for only 53 yards on 23 carries in win over Georgia. Last year, Arkansas had only a 3-5 SEC record and overall scored 234 points while surrendered 233 points over the schedule.
Arkansas has been almost perfect in the Red Zone with TDs in 9 of 10 opportunities and a FG in other time. He has been sacked 4 times while the Arkansas defense has 12 sacks from 9 different defenders. They also have 26 TFL from 12 defenders, though only 1 FR and 3 FF this season.
QB Ryan Mallett is one of the premier passers in the nation and enters his second season as the Razorback starter. He is off to a fast start and showcases the premier passing arm in the collegiate game. He missed spring drills after breaking his foot last winter and had toe surgery. He returned 100% for summer camp and has had a hot hand over the first three games. He makes all the throws, the complete route tree, displaying a powerful arm with touch, accuracy and timing. He gets the ball into tight windows with fast improving decision-making. He shows fine pocket presence and has learned to go through his progressions better and the ability to locate secondary receivers quicker. He has shown progress in his initial reads and looking off the safety. He goes through his progressions quicker and better along with better decisions and few attempts to force the ball into heavy coverage. Last season, he forced the ball too much, attempting to do too much especially when the Hogs got behind.
After playing one season at Michigan, Mallett transferred to Arkansas with the arrival of HC Bobby Petrino. After sitting sat out the ’08 season, Mallett had a huge ’09 performance that included throwing for over 3400 yards, 29 TD passes and just 7 interceptions. They are very impressive statistics for a first year starter vs a very high level of competition. Unfortunately, he struggled vs the top SEC clubs, Alabama, LSU and Florida, failing to complete 50% of his passes in each of those key losses. In each of those losses, they were behind at halftime and their opponents rushed for at least 134 yards in those games. Mallett struggled in each of those defeats, facing a strong pass rush especially as the game progressed and the Hogs were down by more than two scores by mid game.
Nevertheless, Mallett is a big time player and capable of being a difference maker in this conference. He has a full array of weapons and will use them regularly, in what is an explosive high scoring attack and probably more balanced than most observers expect. This offense is in great hands, and the numbers should reflect his talented passing skills and well-rounded group of highly developed weapons. His big game performance has been questioned off a few subpar key ’09 games. This matchup with the defending champions can be a signature game for Mallett who has yet to beat a top ranked club over his short career. His maturation as a leader and passer will determine if he can take a good club to the next level on smarts, leadership and toughness that utilizes both his and teammates chip physical skills to the fullest.
The Tides QB Greg McElroy directs a potent offense that can beat a defense both on the ground and through the air. McElroy manages a game flawlessly and rarely forces the ball into difficult situations. He has fine accuracy and goes through his progressions quickly with sound decision making. His record is perfect over his HS and college career and his level of maturity is rare for a senior starting passer. He is very dangerous on the play action with most defenses loading the box to stop runners Ingram and Richardson regularly.
The Bama tandem of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson is the best collegiate backfield duo since the Auburn pair of runners Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown almost a decade ago. Ingram is coming off a Heisman Trophy season. He played in his first game last week and produced a 48 yard run on his very first rushing attempt. He can pound a defense with the burst of speed to go the distance. He has shown good ball security and the toughness to carry the weekly load. Richardson is an awesome 1A compliment and more diversified as a runner and athlete than Ingram. He is a terrific kickoff returner and receiver with both power and speed. As a runner, he puts his foot in the ground and explodes to the second level with the speed to go the distance. He usually comes in after Ingram takes a break and has the speed to shock a defense with his change of pace talent. He also can pound with a compact frame that delivers a blow to tacklers. In that aspect, Richardson and Ingram are very similar – compact strong runners with low centers of gravity to be difficult to tackle and capable of finishing rushing attempts well. Richardson started last year’s rout with the first score on a 52 yard TD run.
The Hogs rely on sophomore runner Ronnie Wingo who has build on a solid ’09 season finish that included a fine performance vs rival LSU. He is a big hard-hitting workhorse type back with fine natural abilities including receiving skills. Wingo heads an unheralded trio that includes punishing tailback Broderick Green and fast compact runner Dennis Johnson. This young trio of backs may be one of the deeper sets of runners this season. They have slow to produce this season with the air game providing the catalyst for the Hogs undefeated season. This trio is capable of giving this offense the power to run inside and control games plus some big play ability to keep defenses honest and not focused on QB Mallett. Wingo combines power and speed that gives him the inside edge on the starting job. Green is a former USC runner that cannot be minimized to play a key role in this offense. He finished the ’09 season with 7 TDs in the last five games and one of the better red zone runners in the SEC. He will push Wingo for touches especially in short yardage and goal line situations. As a receiver, he is still raw that puts Wingo in the starting 3rd down role. Johnson is a big play weapon with good kickoff return skills. He had one of the Hogs’ three 100 yard rushing game last season vs highly rated Florida. He needs some development as a receiver, but gives the Hogs an interesting feature runner in some games and a change of pace back that can be highly successful in this potent attack.
The Hogs return their top five receivers from last season to work with QB Ryan Mallett. Starters Greg Childs, Joe Adams and Jarius Wright are the best returning trio in a deep SEC group of pass catchers. Childs and Adams are big play specialists who have taken it up a notch with experience working with the fast emerging Mallett who has the talent to get them the ball. Childs will command double coverage after scoring another big TD last week vs Georgia. He scored in half of the Hogs games last season while beating double coverage at times. Adams is a burner with the ability to separate deep and hit the home run. He has scored a TD in 9 of the 12 regular season games he played in the past two years. He opens the offense up and forces the safeties to play deep and respect his speed and Mallett’s arm. The combination of Adams and Childs should guarantee an improving ground game with dual deep threats. Childs is the go to receiver but Adams is the home run hitter with a 22 yard average. Childs has fine run after the catch ability (winning TD vs Georgia) TE D.J. Williams is the best movement weapon in the nation. He lines up at tight end, H-back and fullback that give this offense one of the most versatile weapons in the nation. His ability to shift positions gives the Hogs offense the unique ability to run a diverse number of sets on the clock that they should be able to create many mismatches in coverage and run/pass play alignments. He probably faces premier strong safety Mark Barron in one of the critical matchups in the game. Mallett looks for him on the 2nd and 3rd and long in the intermediate zones where he shows excellent hands and run after the catch ability.
The Tides’ Julio Jones may be the best receiver in the nation. He has incredible raw talent that has developed nicely over his short career. McElroy looks for him in big situations especially after the ground game has been established and he faces an eight man front. McElroy works play action well with good ball handing and fine touch to give receivers a chance to make big plays. Jones is a very difficult matchup on size and speed and will probably command heavy double coverage in many situations, though McElroy will exploit any single coverage quickly using the ground attack to set him up.
The Hogs return four of their five starters including bookend tackles DeMarcus Love and Ray Dominguez. They are proficient pass protectors who were instrumental in the fast development of first year starting QB Mallett and the quick progress of their young receivers and runners. This unit helped the Hogs offense that led the SEC in scoring and passing offense and 2nd in overall offense. Center Seth Oxner is a savvy pivotman in the mold of former Hog Jonathan Luigs. He is an anchor inside and an unsung leader on this blue-collar unit. This unit looks to take another step up vs top SEC talent and further extensive over a fine ’09 experience.
The Bama line returns three starters and have been instrumental in the overall offensive success. They get a consistent strong push at the point of attack that has allowed Ingram and Richardson to pound defenses with the potential to break long gains consistently. With little fanfare, this unit has been the key unit that has allowed this ground game to dominant and QB Greg McElroy to be the most efficient passer in the nation over the past two seasons.
For Defensive Evaluation Click on Next Page