Saturday, April 17, 2010

NFL Draft: Systems Make Ga. Tech Offense, Alabama Defense Tough To Scout

Thomas took this play to the house, but can he do it at the next level?

That is according to FootballOutsiders.com In reviewing some of the top prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft, scouts have a difficult time evaluating players who play in certain schemes, one of which is Demaryius Thomas playing in Georgia Tech's spread option attack.
"Georgia Tech is the most extreme example of a system so unique that it makes scouting difficult. Even veteran scouts have a hard time separating the player from the system when watching such an unusual scheme. For drive-by draftniks like me, the flexbone offense makes precise scouting impossible. We can absorb the basics -- Thomas is tall and can adjust to passes in the air -- but it's hard to appraise a receiver's route running ability when he only runs three routes, or a back's vision when the hole opens right up for him."
The site goes on to discuss how Nick Saban's defensive coaching abilities can mask weaknesses of a player in his system, but that Rolando McClain appears to be the real deal.
"Rang cites similar problems with the Alabama defense. "Nick Saban does such a spectacular job of coaching up defensive players that he is often able to mask their individual weaknesses. Rolando McClain certainly looks like an exception this year, but if you look historically at his linebackers and defensive backs, many of them earned lofty pre-draft billing and then either slipped on draft day or haven't fared as well in the pros."
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