Every year scouts spend months on end scouting the same players. The problem is after the draft ends many scouts move on to the next year. If scouts never take the time to see whether or not they were right, they could continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. Until the college football season is over, I will review rookies from the previous draft and their NFL success. This weeks article includes Pat Elfien, Ryan Ramcyzk, and Eddie Vanderdoes.
While Elfien was at Ohio State he was heralded as one of the top interior linemen in college football. However, when the draft rolled around he was selected in the third round. Based on the film from week one, the Vikings got themselves a stud in Elfien.
On the play above Elfien fights through traffic to reach a linebacker. One of the main knocks from scouts was his tendency to take bad angles to linebackers. The fact that he showed improvement, paired with athleticism, is encouraging. On the play below Elfien shows off his ability to get into space, and play under control. Body control has been a skill that he has always excelled in, so seeing it at the next level is always a good sign.
Elfien also showed off a good anchor and hand usage while at Ohio State. Hands might be the most underrated aspect of NFL offensive linemen. Elfien combines good hands with a solid anchor, as seen on the play below, to neutralize the bull-rush.
Going into the draft Ramcyzk was among the top tackles on almost everyone’s board. However, he wasn’t the first tackle selected. Why was that? It could be a hip injury or it could have been his play. Against the Vikings and Everson Griffen, Ramcyzk struggled quite a bit. That being said, not many tackles can handle Griffen, much less a rookie making his first appearance.
On the play below Ramcyzk doesn’t get his hands on Griffen soon enough. This helps Griffen to get under his pads and drive him into the backfield. While he may not have allowed a sack, Ramcyzk definitely lost that play.
On the play below Ramcyzk loses to power once again, however, it isn’t due to lack of strength. When he shoots his hands at Everson Griffen he misses high. This once again allows Griffen to win the hand and leverage battle. Once Ramcyzk is standing straight all he can do is try to slow down.
As you can see on the play below Ramcyzk did not struggle against pure speed, as he has the ability to take it around the edge. The problem is in his hands, which is very worrying. Hand usage is very important for tackles, and it is definitely something he struggles with. Overall I wouldn’t panic if I were the Saints’, because as I said Griffen is one of the best in the game.
On a Raiders defense that needed some young talent to come in and play, Eddie Vanderdoes has stepped up. Vanderdoes dominates with raw power. While he may not be the most athletic guy on the field, he will not be moved. On a defense that already has Kalil Mack and Bruce Irvin, he just needs to occupy blocks. However, he is capable of doing much more than that when left with a favorable match up. In the video below, Vanderdoes punished the tackle, and then Marcus Mariota.
In the next video, Vanderdoes throws an absolute haymaker at the guard, dropping him to his knees. Vanderdoes may not be the most athletic guy in the world, but he plays like a bull in a china shop. Vanderdoes punishes people, the Raiders’ defense of old would be proud of the rookie.
Weekly Stock Up/ Stock Down Report
What scouting report is complete without a stock report? Every week I will try to give two to three people who either improved or hurt their draft stock. This can include injury, quality of play, even off the field issues.
Akrum Wadley- The last two weeks Wadley has had over 100 yards rushing. However what most improved his stock was his four catches for 72 yards last week against Iowa State. The NFL is a pass first league, so a back that can catch is a huge bonus. Wadley may not be the biggest or the fastest, but he has talent.
Baker Mayfield- What says “I’m here to stay” like planting the school flag at the 50-yard line of a playoff team? Mayfield has a certain swagger on the field, and if he continues to play at a high level he could make it hard for NFL teams to pass him up. He may not be the biggest guy, but he performs in big games.
Josh Allen- Allen only had 174 yards against Iowa, which isn’t what you want to see from a top prospect at the position. Allen will be playing catch-up for the rest of the season, and with only a few more good teams on the schedule, he has a lot of ground to make up. Allen flashes the tools, but he needs to show them more consistently.
Connor Williams- Williams hasn’t looked as good early this season as he did last year. It could be the expectations being a little too high, or it could be that he has taken a step back. Williams plays a lot of talented defenses this coming season, so he has plenty of time to sink or swim. Williams has all the tools, but he will need to show that he can use them.