Leading up to the NFL Draft each year, Bob McGinn of The Journal Sentinel publishes draft prospects rankings based on what he hears from anonymous scouts. Anonymous scouting reports are crucial when discussing a player, giving you some much-needed backup when trashing a player for reasons you didn’t even know you disliked him.
Started 38 of 50 games on a great defense. “Prototype 3-technique,” one scout said. “He’s a beast in that gap. Good enough pass rusher. He can strike you, control the line of scrimmage, find the football and throw you. He’s a man. Very fundamental player.” Finished with 152 tackles (44½ for loss) and 28 sacks. “He’s not athletic,” a second scout said. “He’s got good hips but he doesn’t have speed. He’s good instinctively, plays hard and you can’t move the dude. His lower half is tree trunks.” Several teams have major reservations about his surgical shoulders. “If he passes your medical … but a fantastic kid,” a third scout said. “Awesome football player. Probably the most versatile defensive lineman I’ve ever done in terms of position flex.” Wonderlic of 27. “You just wonder if he can manhandle people like he did in college,” said a fourth scout. From Leesburg, Va. Added a fifth: “Hell of a player but an Alabama beat-up guy, I’m telling you. There’s a lot of them beat-up. He’s a sure thing if he holds up medically.”
Jonathan Allen obviously had some injury concerns heading into the draft due to his shoulders, dropping him from a likely Top 5-10 pick to the Redskins at #17. Those fears were assuaged by Redskins and Alabama team doctor, James Andrews... #1 rated defensive tackle.
Fifth-year senior didn’t start on the strong-side until 2016. “Everybody in the locker room at Alabama respects him and is afraid of him,” said one scout. “He’s a man playing. I’d take him in a heartbeat. He’s got short arms (31 ½). One of those guys that beats the measurables. (Adrian) Hubbard was a better athlete, longer, better body. He’s not even close to Anderson.” Has undergone shoulder surgery. Was arrested on domestic violence charge in 2015. “He’s like a 1970s NFL defensive player,” said another scout. “He would clothesline you if you let him get away with it. Love the tone he sets. You talk to all the Alabama guys, they’re like, ‘He’s the guy.’ Surly on the field, but in a good way.” Finished with 128 tackles (40 for loss) and 19 ½ sacks. “I question if he can play,” said a third scout. “He’s an (expletive), he’s short, he’s 4.88. Where are the special traits to say this guy’s a starting player in the league? He’s going to meet the NFL tackles. He’s not playing the weak sisters from Vandy, Tennessee or Florida.” From Daphne, Ala.
Ryan Anderson was another defensive pick from the Crimson Tide. Attitude is a big selling point for Anderson, and while he doesn’t test well, he is a football player that will set the tone in Washington(we hope). 5th rated OLB.
Started 40 games over three seasons. “I liked him on tape and then he had a real good East-West Game,” one scout said. “He can run. He’s big. He’s borderline first round but his value is probably more top of the second. Hey, 6-foot corners that run 4.37 and have good tape, bring them here.” Finished with 146 tackles, 2 picks and 21 PBUs. “Looks pretty,” said another scout. “Got the speed. Got the test score (Wonderlic of 23). But as far as his play, he doesn’t show a lot of instincts or cover movement.” Led CBs in the broad jump (11-4). Suffered a torn pectoral muscle bench-pressing March 21 at pro day. “He’s gotta get discounted,” said a third scout. “That’s a six-month injury. He had surgery.” From Sunrise, Fla.
The Island of Dr. Moreau is an injury discount special, tearing his pec at UCLA’s Pro Day 1 1/2 months ago. Big, fast corner, but one scout questions his instincts. 9th rated CB.
Third-year junior broke Billy Sims’ career rushing record. “He’s built like a brick (expletive),” said one scout. “He is an awesome kid. Awesome. Built low to the ground. He’ll be able to absorb punishment and be durable compared to some of these high-cut backs that run fast. They get a couple shots to their legs and they’re done. There’s questions about him as a third-down back, but if you want a big back he can be a workhorse for you.” Easily paced all RBs on the bench press with 30 reps. “He’s a big guy with really nice feet that has enough size to run tough inside but has enough quickness and lateral agility to bounce it outside,” another scout said. “Everybody loves this kid.” Finished with 685 carries for 4,122 (6.0) and 49 TDs to go with 40 receptions for 321. “He’s just kind of this plodder,” said a third scout. “He’s Eddie Lacy but not as explosive. He doesn’t run through you. Eddie had great feet for a big man. He doesn’t quite have that. Good in pass pro but isn’t a threat out of the backfield.” From Pflugerville, Texas.
Another great character football player picked up by the Redskins this year. Strong, workhorse, and durable are things that attracted the Redskins to him. Less explosive Eddie Lacy... 6th rated RB.
Made 27 of his 28 starts from 2013-15 at LG before shifting to center last year. “He’s a quiet, mature, two-time captain,” said one scout. “He’s got enough size to create movement.” Wonderlic of 31 led the centers. Short arms (32 ¼), small hands (9 ½). “Not a great athlete at all or a good-looking body,” a second scout said. “But he should get drafted because he’s played guard also.” From Savage, Minn. (Burnsville H.S.).
Mature, captain, and high Wonderlic scores again for another Redskins draft pick. Jay Gruden’s fear is not having a solid backup center on the roster, and they may have found one when they traded up for Roullier. 5th rated center.