MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
North Carolina hasn’t had a ton of success in terms of big wins or BCS success lately, but they have produced a lot of NFL talent recently and this year’s team has no shortage itself.
They had a big road game vs Virginia Tech last night, a perfect night to check in on several NFL prospects.
Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina
- Big, physical player, tough to tackle by yourself, and uses stiff arms to make it even more difficult
- Runs a nice route, solid cut, catches the ball with his body/pads however. Would like to have seen him snatch that with hands
- Another pad catch, and another one….
- And now it costs him. Again lets the ball get to his body, Cornerback is able to come through him and dislodge it. If he “hands” that, corner can’t reach it
- Great tough catch in between two defenders, but yet again caught with his pads. This is a trend now
- More of a screener than a blocker in the run game, simply stands in front of his man, doesn’t go out and engage
- Great tools, his size is unteachable, if he learns to catch the ball with his hands it will lead to even more receptions and make it harder to defend him. He should be a 2nd round, maybe late first type pick, but we’ve seen guys like T.O. and Brandon Marshall slide in the draft and immediately show themselves once they hit the pro level, I could see a similar jump from Jones
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
- As advertised, playmaking stud
- Lines up on both sides of the line, 3 point, and 4 point stance
- Chase down tackle of Wilson 15 yards downfield, nice play
- Couple plays Va Tech left Coples unblocked……neither play worked out for Tech, lesson there somewhere
- Caused a fumble tackling Wilson, then on the next play almost gets a strip sack. Back to back impact plays
- I saw a speed rush (several) and a bull rush, never saw a spin move, be nice if he could add that
- Does get decent leverage underneath offensive tackles, helps him blow past
- One concern I had, saw some plays where he didn’t “explode” off the snap. Not sure if they were reads, or simply getting tired, just something to check on
- Julius Peppers type, should be drafted very early in round 1, possible top defensive player depending on team need
Zach Brown, MLB, North Carolina
- Speed, lots of it. Chased down QB near sideline, closed 10 yards in a blink
- Missed a sack early going up high, needs to get down, ESPECIALLY on a QB these days
- Caught watching on a 4th down QB sneak, he could have driven the pile and helped hold the QB in, instead the QB fought and got the yard, cost them a turnover
- Blows by RB for a QB hurry, that running back didn’t have a chance
- Big hitter
- Another missed tackle, up high. Habit?
- Stat show during telecast, big play machine, sacks, interceptions, fumbles, tackles for loss, he does them all
David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
- Stops on a dime
- Does work in pass blocking, did whiff once on Brown blitz, but does effort, does work
- Good vision and feels his blocks
- Tough to bring down, thick thighs
- Put the ball on the ground twice, that needs to be addressed
- Big run late, turned the corner and cut to stay in bounds, heady play
- Couple attempts in the passing game, nice catch on one of them
Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
- Attempted high tackle on Jones early, bad idea
- Another shoulder tackle, no wrap up, missed the tackle
- He WILL hit you, just needs to wrap up better, but he will stick his nose in there
- Missed another tackle, but did get low on this one, Jones just sidestepped and used a stiff arm on him
- Even with the couple missed tackles, was involved in over a dozen tackles, was in every single pile
- Two Carolina players injured in the game on hits from Hosley, physical kid.
- Matched up all night on Jones, held his own well
- Able to break up a couple passes, moreso on Jones than nice plays by Hosley, but still there and fighting for the ball
- Does not get beat terribly, if you have a step on him, that’s big, he reads, reacts, and breaks well.
Jarrett Boykin, WR, Virginia Tech
- Screen, screen, screen, screen… they like to use him in the screen game apparently
- Carries the ball with one hand too much. Almost cost him, he was lucky to be near sideline
- Did try to reach up and snatch another screen, little high, dropped the pass. At least he went up with hands though
- Did have a terrific snatch catch later. Finger tip grab on a pass with some mustard on it
- When he wasn’t catching screens, he was lead blocking on several other screens, and he will engage and block, not just wall off
- Possession type guy, everything within 10-12 yards, did finally go deeper late in the game, nice 40 yard gain
- Not flashy at all, but solid, should be a #2-#3 type WR in the NFL, but he can play. Mid round pick I’d say
One other player that I did notice and it won’t be long before many many others do, QB Logan Thomas who is only a Sophomore is comin in at 6-6 255. He is a large human being. Those watching Cam Newton right now, this could be his twin. He still needs a lot of work, but if he does that work, at his size, it won’t be long before we see a switch from Suck4Luck to Lose4Logan real soon in 2013 or 2014.