MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
The first Bowl game of 2011 for us to follow here at MiamiDolphinsDraft.com, we started with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on the smurf turf in Boise. For two lesser known schools, there was a good amount of Sunday talent out on the field.
Here are the ones that made the biggest impressions.
Lavon Brazil, WR, Ohio
- Smaller type WR, but makes plays no matter what
- Comes back to the ball on an out route, really helped his QB
- Makes a solid catch and turns up field quickly, however has it palmed in one hand – BAD habit, but correctable
- High points a TD in traffic, great leaping grab, this time he catches and tucks it to his body immediately
- 4th down makes a tough catch with a defender draped all over him and lunges with everything to the half inch line
- Played most of the season with a torn meniscus in his knee, will have surgery soon, still put up over 1,000 yards and 10+ touchdowns, tough kid
- Mid to late round pick, but should have a job as a 3-4 receiver on a team. A good QB will love this kid
Joe Flading, OT, Ohio
- Not the fastest lineman I’ve seen, but is asked to pull a lot and does get to the next level on a lot of blocks
- Due to a blown line assignment, he ends up stuck with two defenders rushing against him, he actually holds them both off for a brief moment, but they eventually get past him. Still an impressive attempt at blocking two men at the same time.
- More of a mauler than a technician. Just wants to get his hands on you and beat you more than a read and react type
- Very raw, needs a lot or work, going to need an amazing combine to get a look
Donte Harden, RB, Ohio
- Extremely thin, almost too much so. Needs to be in a weight room immediately
- First play I notice him on though, he throws a wonderful block in pass protection, centers the rusher and hits him hard, stuns him
- Used in the passing game a lot, made me wonder with his build if he might be better off switching to a WR or even defense later down the line, good hands, good routes.
- As small as he is, they run him up the middle a lot, and he was actually effective at it, to his credit. Tough kid. He took a shot to the head, banged up his wrist, and a knee issue all in the game, and kept coming back in and playing hard.
- Finishes runs, falls forward on almost every carry, good power for someone his size
- Experiment, not sure if he will get a look other than as an UDFA, but he is a football player, always a spot for those type of guys
Robert Turbin, RB, Utah St
- THICK running back. Michael Turner JR just by looking at him.
- Scored a touchdown in every game this season, 23 total, and 51 already in his career, so naturally he doesn’t get one in the game I am watching
- Did get close though, I can see him being an effective goalline guy, the team just went other ways in this one
- Shifty feet, maybe over dances a little bit, his best runs came when he danced less.
- Powerful, no question about that
- Carried out an excellent fake at the goal line, jumped over the top Walter Payton style even without the ball, held the defense that split second, another teammate was able to score
- Good vision, sees and anticipates holes well, I feel like the pitter patter he does is searching for the big play rather than the 5-6 yard gain.
- Used as a lead blocker in sweeps and screen plays, effective enough at it, tries hard, big body he could be used as a fullback on some plays, I believe Turner was also used that way some in San Diego for LT before he moved to fulltime back
- Not a lot of usage in the passing game in this one, but on the season he did have some receiving numbers, so it is in his game
- Could be a 3rd-4th round back, may not be on the field early in his career, but he will get there. Still a JR, but I don’t see him improving anything by staying another year, plays in a smaller conference, not much more you can show
Bobby Wagner, OLB, Utah St
- I actually got confused a few times on if he was an OLB or MLB he made so many plays. He is on the outside, however I think he could shift inside if asked.
- High motor guy, all over the field. Blitzed on a play, was blocked, didn’t get to the QB, made the tackle 7 yards down field after a completion. Hustle
- Wow play, being blocked on his right hand he stands up the blocker and makes the tackle with his left arm only. And then made sure to tell both the blocker and ball carrier what he just did.
- Speed, and a lot of it. They didn’t use him as an outside blitzer at all, rather had him blitz inside over and over.
- Chase down sack on a broken play, the QB had no chance to get away from him, devoured
- Interesting moment, QB chased out of bounds, jumps over those mini padded walls they bring in, Wagner waits there for him as if making sure the QB was ok, pats his helmet and goes back to his huddle. Seems like a good kid there, I take that to mean he wouldn’t be an off field issue someday
- Did not see him in coverage much. Ohio isn’t a great passing team, so no real barometer if it’s in Wagners game to match up with tight ends.
Someone that I did not expect to follow or notice in the game kept on showing up on my screen, over and over and over. At one point, I honestly checked to see if every defender was wearing the same number, that’s how many times he came up out of the pile after a tackle. #47 Noah Keller from Ohio was in EVERYTHING. Anyone that saw the first half, saw a man get mentioned on ever play for a good ten minutes straight. And while I watched him and noticed the pattern, I saw a ghost, this kid was almost exactly like the kid I remember seeing for the first time in 1996 for the Dolphins, Zach Thomas. Not the perfect size, speed, or any of the measurable draft folks love, but he’ll be in every play, every tackle, making things happen. I think Noah Keller can find a job in the NFL, and I think he will do what Zach did, maybe not to the extent, but the same type of effort, hustle, and tenacity that made Zach famous. I hope just off this game alone that Keller has a great combine, and someone takes a flier on him late in the draft.