2013 NFL Draft: Rutgers vs. South Florida Scouting Preview

DC JeffersonWhile many will be watching the NFL’s first Thursday night game, (hopefully) some of you will flip over to watch Big East action.

Rutgers and South Florida haven’t been power houses in the NFL since the mid-2000s, but both have some intriguing NFL talent, especially Rutgers. A 6’6 tight end, a former Maryland left tackle, two unique linebackers and a total of 10 prospects in this game that could peak the NFL’s interest.

DC Jefferson, TE, Rutgers – 6’6, 258 #10
This report is an excerpt of our  2013 Pre-Season NFL Draft Guide
Despite battling two injuries throughout last season that caused him to miss 4 starts last season, Jefferson flashed his upside as a versatile tight end and developed in other areas of the position. Built long, lanky, and receiver like, Jefferson carries his 258 pound body well through his routes and as an in-line and in-space blocker. If he hopes to develop as an in-line blocker and full-time tight end, he’ll need to get stronger throughout his body, but in particular getting stronger in his upper half to be a more effective reach blocker in both quick run game blocks and in pass protection, a role he was used a surprisingly amount in 2011. He also needs to attack, show himself, and position his body better in seam routes, as he has the body type to dominate in that area. His routes as a whole need to be polished, but just by becoming a more effective seam catcher and developing short drag routes on backside throws could allow him to greatly improve his production. It’ll take more creativity by the Rutgers staff to better utilize maybe the best returning athlete on offense.

RJ Dill, OT, Rutgers – 6’7, 315 #76
This report is an excerpt of our  2013 Pre-Season NFL Draft Guide
The former Maryland promising right and left tackle starter (10 starts at left tackle in 2010) left the program and sat out all last year. Based on the minimal games accessed from 2010, Dill has certainly flashed the upside of a starting NFL tackle in the future. He uses his length well, setting up on the edge and keeping his distance in pass blocking situation. He extends and keeps his feet well, though he could play with a wider base and explode quicker back inside after moving laterally to the edge. As a run blocker, he needs to drive with better pad level, especially since his 6’6-6’7 height isn’t ideal for downfield blocking. Despite that, he shows good (not great) hand placement and a willingness to drive and switch off to downfield blocker when necessary in the run game. He pivots and seals quickly and with great body control, maybe the most impressive aspect of his game as of now.

Steve Beauharnais, OLB, Rutgers – 6’2, 235 #42
This report is an excerpt of our  2013 Pre-Season NFL Draft Guide
As Rutgers’ impassioned leader, and de-facto coach on the field, Beauharnais has played in every collegiate game of his career, starting the last fifteen straight. Possessing average size for an interior second level defender, with a stout, compact frame and powerful lower body, he displays plus strength and power, but lacks any dynamic athleticism. He can deliver a punishing hit, but, generally, he’s a textbook, wrap-up tackler, more comfortable close to the line of scrimmage than out in space, where he demonstrates just average pursuit speed, and limited closing burst. Versus the pass, Beauharnais exhibits good coverage instincts, and, although\ he lacks hip fluidity and advanced change of direction ability, he moves well enough to be a solid zone defender, in all schemes except Tampa-2, where he would struggle to drop to the deep middle third. His best fit is as a 4-3 MIKE, where, at worst, he’s a solid back-up, special teams contributor, and positive locker room presence, worthy of a fifth round pick.

Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers – 6’1, 235 #20
This report is an excerpt of our  2013 Pre-Season NFL Draft Guide
Last season’s conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year sustained a broken leg, requiring a surgical plate insertion, in Rutgers’ bowl game, and he will have to prove himself totally healthy to secure a position in the 2013 draft. Greene played as an undersized linebacker, though, allegedly, he’s bulked up to 230 pounds for the 2012 season. He shines in space, flashing a high level of athleticism and movement ability. Versus the run, he sifts well through traffic inside, keeping himself clean; however, when engaged with a blocker, Greene gets locked up easily, exhibiting little to no ability to stack and shed. He’s a sure, face-up tackler, with excellent chase speed, though he’s not a player who religiously flies to the ball. He can break down in space, and though he delivers few devastating blows, he’s a first-rate tackler in the open field. Where Greene struggles is with read/recognition skills, most likely due to his inexperience at the linebacker position. 

Other Top Prospects to Watch:

Mark Harrison, WR, Rutgers – 6’3, 235 #81

-Well built, flashes downfield physicality, but not as consistently dominating in the short area. Routes need to be more defined, needs to step up as mid range receiver with Mohammed Sanu gone.

Scott Vallone, DT, Rutgers – 6’3, 275 #94
-Active, quick off the ball interior rusher that lacks developed 2nd and 3rd rush moves. Has ideal size for a 3-technique, but not naturally talented enough to be complete NFL starter.

Demetrius Murray, RB, South Florida – 6’1, 215 #21
-Natural running style, cuts smoothly and efficiently, but runs too upright at times, absorbs too much contact in the mid-section. Has a good top gear and some vision at second level, but lacks great burst/ability to get through contact in traffic/not ideal holes.

Cory Grissom, DT, South Florida – 6’2, 316 #46
-Holds ground well on the interior, keeps hands inside and can direct his next position well, but lacks quickness after engaged and vision to the backfield to consistently utilize his size.