West Virginia RB Noel Devine draws comparisons to Barry Sanders
September 22nd, 2009 By Special to DraftNasty
Numerous NFL prospects were on display when West Virginia and Auburn squared off this past weekend. Former longtime NFL assistant George Henshaw breaks it all down for DraftNasty.com:
No. 16 West Virginia QB Jarrett Brown (6-4, 223): Big, athletic QB that is in his senior year and fits the profile when compared to your average NFL QB. He possesses a strong frame and is very durable. Started off on a hot streak vs. Auburn, finishing with 18 of 32 passes for 221 yards and four interceptions. Despite his size, showed his athleticism by rushing for 83 yards vs. SEC foe. Has poise to hits targets on the run, and is more accurate when rolling to his right. Plays with great pocket awareness and will elude the rush, but tends to get uncomfortable under pressure while remaining in the pocket. Jarrett is the leader on offense who everyone looks to when times are tough because of his determined ability. He is a run-first, throw-second QB who often makes positive things happen on broken plays.
No. 66 West Virginia RT Selvish Capers (6-5, 298): Arrived at WVU as a TE, and later switched to TE. Has ideal size for position, and moves well for RT of his height and weight. Even though he has the capability to play LT at the next level, WVU didn't play Selvish there because he has experience at RT. Selvish displays the balance and footwork to stay upright, and the size and strength to sit and anchor vs. bull rushes. He is best suited vs. lighter DEs, and can keep his composure in hostile road environments.
No. 7 West Virginia RB Noel Devine (5-8, 176): Junior is candidate to make an early entry to 2010 NFL Draft. Is best compared to Barry Sanders when it comes to his running style, in that Noel prefers to try to make people miss more than a power runner. Is undersized for the position when compared to current NFL RBs, and will be better suited as an NFL return specialist. Noel is a determined runner that gives 100 percent on every down, and can accelerate to top-end speed within a few steps. Possesses a second gear to create separation and mismatches when defended by LBs. Threat to score every time he touches the ball. Noel makes defenders miss at the line of scrimmage and has the body control to stay upright after initial contact. Has good enough hands to be threat with catching balls out of NFL backfield.
No. 82 West Virginia WR Alric Arnett (6-2, 189): Has good size to be a target downfield, but is somewhat soft when blocking. Had a holding penalty in the second half but also recorded two catches and a drop in one of the last drives of the game. Had a great catch in the second quarter in the red zone, plucking the ball out of the air.
No. 4 West Virginia WR Wes Lyons (6-8, 220). Huge target that towers over every defender on the field. Would like to see more urgency when blocking but stretches the field and can make a play on the deep ball. Not afraid to catch in traffic, but I didn't see many yards after the catch vs. Auburn. I like Wes's size and ability to go across the middle. Should be a good prospect by the end of the season.
No. 49 West Virgina LB Ovid Goulbourne (6-1, 229): LB that aligns on the weak side primarily as a backup for the Mountaineers in their 3-4 scheme. Has shown flashes of excellent athleticism. Very dependable not only as a defensive player, but also on special teams.
No. 12 West Virginia SS Nate Sowers (6-1, 211): A converted wide receiver that has made his way to the starting lineup as a senior at the (Rover) SS position. Has adequate size for the position but I question his overall athletic ability to be a contributor at the next level. Nate is a dedicated worker but I don't see the speed and range to play this position in the NFL. Nate is a key contributor on special teams that isn't afraid to lower his shoulder and deliver a blow when necessary. Has a knack for locating the ball quickly and being a consistent tackler.
No. 12 Auburn QB Chris Todd (6-4, 210): Chris is the leader of the offense and he went 16-34 for 284 yards, 4 TD's and an interception in the win over West Virginia. Good size for the position and, when given time to throw, Chris is very accurate. Has presence to step up in the pocket but doesn't have the athletic ability to be a threat if he were to take off and run with the ball. Made 4 or 5 great throws in the second half when the defender was in his face to secure the win over WVU. Chris showed poise in second half, and played his best under pressure.
No. 44 Auburn RB Ben Tate (5-11, 218): Ben rushed 19 times for 75 yards. He is the bigger of the two backs, and really wasn't utilized until the second half. Good blocker in pass protection, and plays with a good base to anchor vs. blitzing linebackers. Ben is a one-cut runner that goes more in north-south directions, but did display the speed to make it to the perimeter. Ben really showed his power when game was on the line in the fourth quarter in the red zone, fighting for critical first downs for the Tigers.
No. 5 Auburn TE Tommy Trott (6-5, 243): Tommy plays mostly out in the slot but also can do 3-point stance in running situations. Doesn't display much if any explosion off the line of scrimmage and makes his blocks best when he uses his big frame to wall off his man. Recorded a couple catches but is not a threat in the open field when trying to make people miss.
No. 75 Auburn RT Andre McCain (6-6, 299): Exceptional size at RT. Andrew is a smart player that has stunt awareness and the strength to anchor vs. the bull rush. Plays better vs. bigger DEs and I question his footwork if he were to play against a speed rusher. Isn't the most explosive off the line but plays with good hand placement to create forward movement in the running game.
No. 6 Auburn CB Walter McFadden (6-0, 175): A corner that always aligns to the field and plays very conservative. Walter never is seen in press coverage and, when not playing zone, he is in a bail technique. Made some solid tackles in the first quarter, when he displayed good acceleration out of his peddle and the instincts to slip underneath the screen to make a TFL. Made a clutch interception halfway through the fourth quarter to prevent WVU from taking the lead. Walter also showed good return skills after the interception to give the Tigers good field position. Could be looked at as a possible return specialist.
No. 91 Auburn DT Jake Ricks DT (6-4, 292): Big powerful DT that can collapse the pocket. Lined up on the right side for most of the game but could play the left side if needed. Displays good balance and body control to stay upright through trash, and likes to utilize the bull rush to apply pressure to the QB. Injured his left knee but returned.
No. 52 Auburn DE Antonio Coleman (6-3, 261): Lines up mostly at LDE but would switch sides from time to time. Is built with heavy legs and hips, but has a small upper body. He is an undersized DE that got swallowed up at times when going against WVU's #66 Capers. Likes to work the bull rush and is somewhat limited when trying to work other pass-rush moves. Antonio is a disruptive player in both the running and passing game, but never made any big plays. Injured his right knee in the third quarter but returned midway through the fourth.
George Henshaw is a football expert with nearly four decades of coaching experience, including the last 20 in the NFL. Henshaw had stints as offensive coordinator for both the Denver Broncos and New York Giants, along with assistant head coach of the Tennessee Titans from 1997-2005. He was also senior offensive assistant and running backs coach for the New Orleans Saints during the 2006-07 seasons. Henshaw is a former head coach of Tulsa, and was a member of the staffs at Alabama, Florida State and West Virginia.
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