2013 NFL Draft Game Notes: Rutgers vs. Louisville

December 4th, 2012

Adrian Bushell
In what became a de facto Big East championship match-up, the senior/junior laden Rutgers team took on a very young (and eventually winning) Louisville team at Rutgers home stadium.

It wasn’t the best day for the Rutgers stars except for their senior DT, and the Louisville cornerback Adrian Bushell looked the part of an NFL playmaker one day.

Rutgers
Brandon Coleman, WR, #17 (RS Soph)
-An elite bodied receiver, Coleman looks the part as he works downfield
-Big play ability to run after catch, takes one upfield after catch well
-Long stider, gets up field quickly
-Not asked to run diverse set of routes, mostly vertical, deep posts, and quick screens
-Sloppy routes in middle of the field, not gaining separation
-Some hand usage to get downfield, but not nearly enough to gain consistently separation at the next level
-Not showing consistent efforts to gain separation downfield
-Not on same page with quarterback, struggling with communication all game

Overview: Coleman has flashed future #1 receiver ability in the past, but this game wasn’t his best for sure. He struggled getting separation and really was rendered irrelevant after the first quarter or so. This was a big stage with nearly 10 NFL teams watching, and they certainly weren’t impressed with him if he does declare. He still may and could impress in post-season workouts, but this game showed his still a ways away from being an NFL contributor.

Jawan Jamison, RB, #23 (RS Soph)
-Patient up and through the hole
-Explodes with ideal pad level after initial hole burst
-Stays low and drives through contact with his legs well
-Smooth cuts laterally, decisive steps through the hole
-Lacks great top end speed after initial hole burst
-Doesn’t always show power running ability after through the hole, not a bulldozer
-Great subtle steps/cuts in the hole to get free
-Seems inable to break free at 2nd level, lacks big play acceleration

Overview: Jamison’s decisiveness, lateral cuts, and subtle steps allow him to consistently get up to the second level, a valuable skill in the NFL. This game was no different, as his offensive line opened those initial holes and he took advantage in the short area. But his lack of big play ability likely limits his draft stock if/when he declares. I’d still say he leans toward declaring as of now, but he’s not the type of impact back that many considered in the early part of the year.

Khaseem Greene, OLB, #20
-Sheds blocks well for his size, active in the middlle of the field
-Fills hole with authority in run game, staying low and balanced
-Not finishing edge tackles as he usual does, allowing running backs/receivers to escape
-Struggling to sort through zone blocking in this game
-Needs to react better on inside zone coverage, delayed in his recognition
-Seems to be pressing to make big play, allowing underneath/middle routes

Overview: Similar to the other Rutgers top players, Greene didn’t have his best game in their loss either. He’s still among the most talented and most active linebackers. As I noted, he seemed to be trying to make too many bit plays in this game and not being as consistent as usual. He’s still a top rated linebacker prospect, and certainly worth a 2nd round pickd espite lacking ideal size.

Scott Vallone, DT, #94
-Leveraging his insidde shoulder well
-Playing most nose tackle but occasionally at 3-technique
-Doesn’t transition in rush moves as well as you’d like
-Erased laterally at times too easily
-Exchanges hands well, very strong hands/upper body
-Shows some bend with shoulders as interior rusher
-Positions body well vs. 1v1 blocking
-Finishing tackles in the backfield well

Overview: This may have been the best game I’ve seen Vallone play this year, as he showed the elite upper body strength, ability to exchange hands, and leverage of inside shoulders. Still not a top notce nose tackle, Vallone showed enough in this game to be worth of a mid-late round draft pick, as nose tackles with his strength and power rush ability aren’t all that easy to find.

Logan Ryan, CB, #11 (JR)
-Finishing tackles well in the run agme, as usual
-Seems exclusively in Cover 2 or Cover 3 zone
-Reacts quickly on reads, including transitioning to coverage on called blitz decision
-Physical initially, uses hands on well
-Reacting well off the initial play to ball
-Seems to have freedom to blitz if not over receiver initially
-Elite recongition pre-snap as a cornerback
-Called audible to his side of field defensive backs based on set, put DBs in ideal position
-Struggled mightily in vertical coverage, obviously out of his element
-Struggled to locate ball in vertical coverage
-Needs to transition to inside routes with better footwork

Overview: Yet another Rutgers playmaker who didn’t play as well as expected, Ryan had some high-highs and some frustrating lows. His intelligence, football IQ and recognition, and short area physicality will impress, but his lack of great downfield ball skills and recovery speed will worry as well. It wouldn’t be a bad decision if he declared, but he’s no lock for the Top 50 in my opinion.

Steve Beauharnais, OLB, #42
-Active on the edge, getting outside well
-Not finishing tackles in backfield
-Explosive in cuts, but slowed quickly by blocks
-Struggling to react quickly in zone coverage
-Not as active in mid-field tackling as you’d like

Overview: Overall, not an overly surprising game by Beauharnais. He looks the part of a solid linebacker prospect and should test very well, but he still remains as a jack-of-all-trades, master of none type linebacker.

Louisville
Adrian Bushell, CB, #21
-
Showing kick return ability, but nothing too elite
-Solid hip fluidity, transitioning downfield well
-Cuts well in deeper coverage, opening up/turn-and-run effective
-Works in slot at times, looks comfortable playing inside and out
-Extends away from body well as tackler
-Jumps well in slot, anticipates breaks well
-Struggles when peddling back, needs better timing in transitions
-Ball skills just okay, can get lost vertically at times

Overview: Bushell was a guy I was turned onto late, but he’s show versatility as a cornerback to be a returner, outside and slot cornerback, and has the hips and extension away from his body to be an asset in the NFL. He did well to cover Brandon Coleman much of the game, and had responsibility to cover the best Rutgers receiver all game. Not an elite talent, he’s shown enough that, if he impresses in the Bowl Game, he may be valued highly to develop come draft day.

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