A total of 240 prospects showed up at the
Under Armour Combine at the New Orleans Saints Indoor Facility for Sunday’s
event that included testing in several areas along with position drills,
individual drills and some 7-on-7 work.
There was a long list of impressive
prospects and while we may not hit on each one in this piece we will have much
more coverage over the next several days.
Scout.com can have only one “Workout
Warrior” and with Dutchtown (La.)
safety Landon Collins in attendance he ran away from the competition to take
home that honor.
Collins measured 5-11 ¾ and tipped the
scales at 210 pounds. He looked phenomenal from a physical standpoint and if
you would have never seen him on tape or workout at safety then most would
label him a linebacker.
While playing linebacker may not be
completely out of the picture for Collins he certainly has the skill set to
stay at safety.
The four-star safety ran a 4.39 40-yard
dash that was laser timed and while he may not have had the best day he ever
had in man coverage drills following the testing he showed that he has very
good hips and can get pretty physical with his hands in pressing guys off the
Add in Collins’ 36” vertical which was
second and 10’9” broad jump which was the best of the day out of all the
participants and it’s easy to see why he took home the top honor.
A pair of Baton Rouge products won the “Big Man Battle
Award” that was handed out with defensive end Tylor Harris of Episcopal and
offensive guard Blaine Poydras of Scotlandville edging out the rest of the
Harris (6-2 ¾, 251, 4.81 ) has offers
from Louisiana Tech, UL-Lafayette and North Texas
but more should come his way during the spring evaluation period. He looks a
little more explosive than he looked on tape during his junior season and it’s
easy to see that having to play both ways for Episcopal took a toll on him as
the season progressed, and as it should.
Poydras is still flying under the radar but
he may end up being Louisiana’s
top offensive linemen when all is said and done. He is listed as measuring 6-0
¼ and weighing 320 pounds. The weight is accurate as that is what he weighed in
at a combine about six weeks ago but the height is definitely an error as he
measured 6-2 ½ at that same combine and he and Harris are about the same height
with Harris looking a tad bit taller.
There were some good one-on-one battles
with the big men and Harris showed some quickness and explosiveness while
Poydras did a good job of moving his feet and holding his own in competition
that is much easier for defenders to win.
Some other notable linemen who were
impressive included 2013 offensive guard Chris Taylor of Zachary (6-1 ½, 299), 2012
offensive guard Dominick Billich of Archbishop Rummel (6-2, 283), 2014
offensive tackle Larry Lam of South Lafourche (6-2, 287) and 2013 offensive
lineman Karl Malone, Jr. of Cedar Creek (6-2 ½, 284).
The 40-yard dash is the testing measure
that seems to get the most attention from prospects and fans and it was what
all of the prospects were talking about before and after they ran.
Surprisingly, six guys ran under 4.5 with
three running in the 4.4 range and three others clocking in at 4.39 or lower –
all defensive backs.
2013 athlete Jeryl Brazil of Loranger (La.)
had the fastest time of the day at 4.35 seconds followed by another 2013 guy
from the Bayou State in Richard Allen of John Curtis
(4.38) and Landon Collins (4.39).
A trio of 2012 prospects was in the next
group as Derrick Raymond of Metairie (La.)
East Jefferson posted a 4.4 flat followed by cornerback Byerson Cockrell (4.43)
of Columbus (Miss.) and wide receiver Nyck
Young (4.48) of Homewood (Ala.).
In trying to pick the deepest position the
defensive backs would certainly have to get a strong look as several tested
very well and also excelled when the football was thrown into the mix.
Trevon Stewart of Patterson (La.) entered the day as the cornerback that most were
talking about and he tied for the best short shuttle of the day (4.19) along
with a pair of 2013 DB’s in Noel Ellis of New Orleans (La.)
Edna Karr and Sergio Medina of Boutte (La.)
Stewart was also the most technically sound
cover guy and he did not get beat on one play when matching up against
receivers. It’s easy to see why he has early offers and expect that list to
grow even more.
Ellis has some time before his recruitment
will kick into gear and while he picked off eight passes as a sophomore playing
a lot of Cover-2 he was not nearly as comfortable in having to play man. Ellis
will only get better and the same can be said for Medina, who is a future strong safety in
college at 5-10 ½, 192 pounds.
Jeryl Brazil certainly has the speed to
play corner but he was the most raw in terms of technique and playing from
above the waist. Right now, Brazil
is a track guy playing football and he doesn’t know how to use his hands or
find the ball and make plays on it.
Medina has the makings of a good strong safety
for 2013 but Cyril Noland of Ruston (La.) is one college
coaches are looking at for 2012. Noland performed at a combine in Fort Worth on Saturday and then made the drive down to New Orleans to compete.
He didn’t test as well as he normally does but he made some nice plays matched
up against a solid group of receivers.
Another couple of 2013 prospects to keep an
eye on are Laron Todd of Patterson and Richard Allen.
Todd (5-8, 155, [4.58] 40) will start at
free safety as a junior but when Stewart heads off the college Todd will take
over his cornerback spot and that will be his future at the next level.
Allen has so much speed and was able to
flip his hips and turn and run with the fastest receivers on the field. Allen
needs to add some weight to his 160-pound frame but he is an exceptional athlete
with a nice blend of cover skills.
in the Passing Game
A pair of quarterbacks from Patterson (La.) stood out amongst
the signal callers as Justice Jones and Denzel Johnson made some nice throws.
Jones had one of the best arms showing some good zip and being able to fit the
ball in tight spaces. Johnson is a year behind Jones so the 2013 prospect will
have to wait his turn but Patterson’s offense will be in good hands when he
takes over the reigns.
Another interesting signal caller in attendance
was Kevin Fouquier II of Lafayette (La.)
Comeaux. Fouquier (6-3, 207, [4.98] 40) looks to have improved his arm strength
and accuracy along with his fundamentals from his sophomore season and has gone
from looking like just an athlete to someone who may have a chance to play
behind center at the next level. He has an offer from hometown UL-Lafayette but
the Ragin’ Cajuns should have more competition in the near future.
There were plenty of talented receivers for
the quarterbacks to throw to led by 2012 wide out Jaydrick Declouet of
Patterson (La.) (5-9 ½, 175, [4.54] 40) and a pair of 2013 prospects from the
Bayou State in Rickey Jefferson of Destrehan (5-11, 182, [4.59] 40) and Donald
Gage of Baton Rouge Redemptorist (5-10, 166, [4.6] 40).
Declouet is a natural pass catcher with
excellent hands as he made several fantastic catches with one being on the
sideline where we extended well outside his frame and got a toe inbounds, then
followed that up by plucking one up from his feet that was behind him.
Some question if Declouet will be able to
handle the physical part at the next level when he is pressed by bigger
defensive backs and he showed that his quickness will help him there when he
beat Landon Collins easily off the line. Collins recovered nicely and broke up
the pass in the end zone and that was one of the better 1-on-1 battles of the
Jefferson, who is the younger brother of
LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson, looks so natural and smooth as a young wide
out. Everything he did looked effortless as he got in and out of breaks very
well and ran good disciplined routes. He has good hands and got them out in
front of his body on nearly every pass thrown to him except for one that he let
get into his bread basket.
Gage was impressive at a combine in late
February and he was just as impressive going up against better defensive backs
in New Orleans.
Adding weight to his frame is going to be key for Gage but he is someone who
will make some noise for 2013.
Another 2013 guy to keep an eye on is
Darryl Campbell of Sawyerville (Ala.) Greensboro (6-1 ½, 173,
[4.74] 40). Campbell
has good height and he showed that he can go up and get the ball.
A couple of sleeper prospects in Louisiana to keep an eye on for 2012 are Kavahra Holmes
of Breaux Bridge (6-0 ½, 165, [4.58] 40) and
Steele Merritt of Natchitoches-St. Mary’s (6-0 ½, 184, [4.78] 40). Both have
flown under the radar but both proved that they could be valuable possession
receivers in college at the right level.
There weren’t nearly as many tight ends but
that didn’t mean there weren’t some quality prospects led by Deondre Skinner of
Patterson (La.) and Bo Harper of Monroe (La.) Ouachita Christian.
Skinner (6-2, 208, [4.85] 40) plays mostly
wide receiver right now but he needs to make the commitment to add some weight
to his frame and get in tight end mode. He could be a very good tight end
prospect for 2013 as he is such a natural pass catcher that he could create a
lot of mismatches when he flexes out.
Harper (6-3, 235, [4.72] 40) moves well for
a big guy and he is more of the typical in-line blocker as opposed to Skinner. Harper,
who is in the 2012 class, does have good hands and can be an asset in the
Mississippi State commitment Deonte Evans (5-10 ½,
191, [4.64] 40) was the headliner when it came to running backs and he gave a
glimpse of what Dan Mullen and co. see in his arsenal.
product tested well and he made a couple of nice grabs when he took it to
linebackers in some passing drills. He also flashed some quick feet when doing
through individual drills.
Evans was the big name with the backs, Lorenzo Phillips of Patterson (La.) attracted the most
attention with the linebackers.
(6-1, 200, [4.74] 40) showed that excellent burst off the line and
straight-line speed that led to so many bone-crushing hits during his junior
campaign. However, he also showed that he needs some work with his lateral
movement and with playing in space.
New Orleans Combine