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Merged:Leinert, Fergison, Williams or Hawk? whose #2

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Matt Leinart QB | (6'4", 223, 4.9) | USC Scouts Grade: 98 View by: Round | Player | NCAA School | Position | NFL Team | Flag | All Ranked Players | NFL Draft History You are signed into Insider ...

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Old 04-09-2006, 09:49 AM   #1
The Dark Overlord
 
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Merged:Leinert, Fergison, Williams or Hawk? whose #2

Matt Leinart
QB | (6'4", 223, 4.9) | USC

Scouts Grade: 98
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Strengths: Is a proven winner; one of the most effective quarterbacks to ever play in Division I-A. Has a terrific command of his offense. A natural born leader with terrific all-around intangibles. Is calm and poised. A proven performer under pressure. Steps up in key situations and isn't afraid to have the ball in his hands when it counts. He has very good size. Is tall with solid build, long arms and big hands. He has an excellent feel for reading defenses. Shows rare touch and accuracy as a passer. Can fit the ball in between coverage and knows how to lead his receivers. He throws a tight spiral. Has excellent feel for timing routes and anticipates his receivers' breaks well. He has deceptively quick feet in the pocket for such a big quarterback. Possesses good pocket presence. Not a threat to run but he shows enough quickness and fluidity to buy extra time from within the pocket. He sets up quicker than his speed would indicate. He also does a very good job of reading defenses in his drop. He has good body control and balance. He has a high release point, has no trouble seeing over his offensive line and rarely has a pass batted down. He has a very good work ethic.

Weaknesses: Durability is somewhat of a concern. Had a rotator cuff injury that forced him to miss his sophomore season in high school, tendonitis that bothered him in 2004 and required off-season surgery that shelved him in the spring of 2005. Lacks ideal speed. Not a threat to take off and run. His delivery quickness is slower than the ideal. He possesses adequate-to-good arm strength, but lacks elite NFL arm. He will not be able to fit the ball into some tight spaces that NFL quarterbacks with excellent arm strength can execute.

Overall: Leinart, who replaced Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer as the Trojans' starting quarterback in 2003, has been a fulltime starter since his sophomore season, when he finished 255 of 404 (63.4-percent) with 3,556 yards, 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Leinart started for his second season at quarterback as a junior in 2004, when he completed 269-of-412 passes (65.3%) for 3,322 yards and 33 TDs with just 6 interceptions, plus he rushed for 3 TDs. As a senior in 2005, Leinart completed 65.7-percent of his attempts for 3,815 yards with 28 TD's and eight INT's. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2004. In three seasons as a fulltime starter (2003-'05), Leinart was 37-2 in games that he started and he led his team to back-to-back national championships during his first two seasons. Leinart is a southpaw quarterback with great size, leadership skills and intangibles. As a potential top-five draft pick, Leinart's lack of speed is a bit concerning, as are his minor durability issues and lack of elite arm strength. He also has been surrounded by the best supporting cast in college football during his three seasons as a starter. However, Leinart still has enough physical tools and the exceptional intangibles that it takes to develop into a good starting quarterback in the NFL. He is quick enough in the pocket to buy some second-chance passing opportunities, he has played through pain and he has better arm strength than several above average starters in the NFL right now. He also possesses outstanding accuracy as a passer. Very much like the Patriots' Tom Brady, Leinart simply knows how to win. That is why, despite his lack of elite all-around physical tools, Leinart is the premier quarterback prospect in the 2006 class.





D'Brickashaw Ferguson
OT | (6'6", 312, 5.1) | VIRGINIA

Scouts Grade: 98
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Strengths: Possesses good height, continues to fill out his frame and has room to add more bulk. Possesses a very good wingspan. Is a rare athlete for the position. Does a terrific job of utilizing his long arms and strong hands. Is as technically sound as it gets for a collegiate OT. Does an exceptional job with his first step and takes great angles as a run blocker. He shows terrific feet and body control. Is outstanding when it comes to finding his assignments and executing on the second level. Plays with very good leverage; is a natural knee bender. Is outstanding in pass protection. Gets set as quickly as any OT in this class and possesses elite mirror-and-slide ability. Possesses long arms and big hands. Will ride perimeter pass rushers up the field. Shows the balance and lateral mobility to redirect inside. Rarely loses a battle to quickness. Shows very good awareness in pass pro and almost never allows his guy to get to the QB. He's also a durable player, hard worker and high-character guy. Well grounded and has his priorities in tact. A young prospect who did not turn 22 years old until the end of the 2005 CFB season. He also is very mature for his age.

Weaknesses: Lacks ideal bulk. He has continued to add weight but still needs to get bigger. Also must prove that he can handle 15-to20 more pounds without losing too much mobility. He lacks a powerful initial punch and does not show the ability to jar defenders upon initial contact. He is not an overpowering run blocker. Seems to lack a mean streak. Will have some trouble anchoring versus more powerful bull rushers in the NFL. Needs to be in good position to complete his assignment because he lacks the massive bulk and base to simply engulf defenders at the POA. Suffered a minor knee injury as a senior in 2005, but otherwise has been extremely durable.

Overall: Ferguson earned the starting job at left tackle as a true freshman in 2002 and started all 39 games prior to his senior season in 2005. He earned first team All-ACC honors as a junior in 2004. Ferguson missed two games because of a knee injury as a senior, but he started the other 10 games at the left tackle position. Ferguson can still add bulk to his frame and he has room to improve in terms of his power as a run blocker. Otherwise, Ferguson is the complete package. He is the most athletic offensive tackle in this year's draft class, as well as the most efficient in pass protection. Thanks to his good height and long limbs, Ferguson has the frame to continue to get bigger and he has recently eclipsed the 300-pound plateau. What separates him from most is his exceptional quickness, agility and body control for the position. As it stands right now, Ferguson grades out as the top offensive lineman and one of the top-five prospects overall in the 2006 class. He has all the physical and mental components necessary to develop into an upper-echelon starting left tackle in the NFL.




Mario Williams
DE | (6'7", 295, 4.73) | NORTH CAROLINA ST

Scouts Grade: 98
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Strengths: Possesses a rare combination of size, athletic ability and speed. Is tall and well-built. Massive wingspan with long arms and big hands. Prototypical looking DE but with exceptional natural athleticism. He flashes rare playmaking skills when he gives good effort and plays with solid technique. His upside is outstanding. He shows very good initial quickness for his size. Is able to beat most OT's with his first step. Has a powerful upper body and shows the potential to develop a wide array of effective pass rush moves. He possesses the top end speed and body control to consistently turn the corner as a perimeter pass rusher. He is a smooth, fluid athlete with outstanding COD skills for his size. Is extremely mobile and shows the ability to consistently stay off of blocks and make plays in pursuit vs. the run. He shows good speed when chasing and makes a lot of plays from behind. Is a decent open-field tackler. Shows a natural nose for the ball and generates a lot of big plays when he's in the vicinity. Effort, technique and bulk are areas of concern, but he has made progress in all three over the course of his three seasons at N.C. State. Is a young prospect that only turned 21 years old on Jan. 31st, 2006.

Weaknesses: Technique is still unpolished. He has a tendency to play too high at times. Runs around too many blocks and takes himself out of position at times, as a result. He needs to do a better job of using his long arms and hands to keep separation from blockers. He takes too long to disengage from blocks and will get frustrated by the double team too often. His motor runs hot-and-cold. He played with more intensity during the second-half of his junior season but still took far too many plays off throughout 2005.

Overall: Williams graduated high school a semester early in order to enroll at N.C. State for the 2003 spring semester. He wound up earning a fulltime starting job at DE as a freshman in 2003, starting all 13 games and finishing with 56 total tackles, including 13 tackles for loss and five sacks. Williams earned first-team All-ACC honors as a sophomore in 2004, when he notched 57 tackles, 15 TFL and six sacks. As a junior in 2005, Williams once again earned first-team All-ACC honors by finishing with 62 total tackles, 24 TFL, 14.5 sacks, two broken up passes, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 12 games played. Williams is a prototypical looking defensive end prospect with outstanding athletic ability and very good speed for his size. A playmaker versus the run and pass, Williams came on strong during the second half of his junior season and elected to forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility in order to enter the 2006 NFL draft, as a result. He is far from polished and will need to improve his consistency in terms of effort in order to maximize his outstanding physical skills in the NFL. But simply put; Williams possesses more upside than any defensive lineman in this class. Williams' strong showing at the combine (ran the 40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds, posted the second-best vertical jump (40 ½") of the defensive linemen and also showed great body control and agility during individual position drills) solidified his place among the elite prospects in the 2006 class. We expect Williams to come off the board between picks No. 5-10 in the upcoming draft.





AJ Hawk
OLB | (6'1", 248, 4.65) | OHIO STATE

Scouts Grade: 97
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Strengths: Has been one of the most productive and reliable LB's in the nation since 2003. Plays the game with great intensity and toughness. An absolute throwback with ideal recognition skills and motor for the position. Plays with a mean streak. Has some versatility with experience at WLB and ILB. He is one of the most instinctive linebackers in college football. Few play the position with better recognition skills and toughness. He reads his keys as quickly as any linebacker in the nation. His pursuit angles are outstanding. He shows good closing burst to the ball carrier and is a powerful tackler that will also break down and consistently wrap-up in space. He is the definition of a sideline-to-sideline player. Is always around the play and has a knack for making things happen. Has adequate range in zone coverage and can match up underneath vs. most RB's one-on-one. Has better than average ball skills. He is explosive and instinctive as a blitzer. Can be extremely disruptive when turned loose upfield. Shows good initial quickness and burst to the quarterback as a pass rusher. Also flashes some good pass rush moves after he's been reached.

Weaknesses: Has had some minor durability issues in the past, including season-ending injury as a senior in high school. He lacks ideal fluidity. Has quickness and speed when working laterally and forward, but is a bit stiff in the hips and will lose too much in transition when opening to turn and run. Will struggle to match up against elite receivers at the RB position in the NFL. He is powerful but lacks ideal lower body strength. Is much more effective when covered. Will fill hard but doesn't always match up in the phone booth. Has somewhat of a narrow base and will get washed out by bigger iso-blockers at the POA.

Overall: Hawk served as a backup to Cie Grant (Saints) during his true freshman season in 2002. As a sophomore in 2003, he led the Buckeyes with 106 total tackles, including 13.5 for loss and four sacks. As a junior in 2004, he finished with 141 tackles, eight tackles for loss and one sack. Hawk started all 12 games as a senior in 2005 and finished with 121 tackles, 16.5 TFL, 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one interception. He was a two-time first-team All-American, three-time first-team All-Big 10 selection, and he also was the defensive MVP of the 2003 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Hawk lacks elite fluidity in his hips, which will limit him a bit in coverage in the NFL. He also lacks ideal lower body bulk and strength to take on bigger blockers versus the inside run. However, what he lacks in elite athleticism and base he more than makes up for with instincts, toughness, speed, quickness and power. Hawk is at his best when he has room to roam uncovered, which allows him to best use his diagnostic skills and high motor to chase plays down without having to fight through much traffic. Hawk is an absolute ball-hawk versus the run and he is a playmaker in the passing game  both as a pass rusher and in coverage. He could probably play inside or weak-side linebacker in the NFL but we think he'll fit best at WLB, where he'll be in space more often. Hawk should be the first linebacker prospect to come off the board in the 2006 draft  somewhere between the fifth and tenth overall selection.
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:39 AM   #2
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who's #2?

You get to be Loomis for a day.
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:42 AM   #3
The Dark Overlord
 
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RE: who

no one... we will be trading down
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:43 AM   #4
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RE: who

Hopefully not that far
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:02 AM   #5
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RE: Leinert, Fergison, Williams or Hawk?

Gotta be AJ...
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:13 AM   #6
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I would like to see us take AJ Hawk if we trade down to #4. However, I just see him as the least likely person for us to take just because his name has been linked with the Saints the least. I haven't heard anything about us being at his pro days, or us being interested in drafting him, etc.

So Hawk would be my number one, but I'd also be happy with Brick. I'll be angry if we take Leinart or Williams...
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:19 AM   #7
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D'brick as starting RT next year. That way a rookie isn't protecting Drew's blindside!
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:33 AM   #8
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Hawk is the man and has been from the beginning. Some of us just don't know that yet.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:33 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TheDeuce
I would like to see us take AJ Hawk if we trade down to #4. However, I just see him as the least likely person for us to take just because his name has been linked with the Saints the least. I haven't heard anything about us being at his pro days, or us being interested in drafting him, etc.

So Hawk would be my number one, but I'd also be happy with Brick. I'll be angry if we take Leinart or Williams...
Therein lies the craftiness of us taking him. He is the ONE person we have not been linked to. Gotta love that.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:53 AM   #10
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D'brick as starting RT next year. That way a rookie isn't protecting Drew's blindside!
We better not waste a top 5 pick on a right tackle, Drew is right handed, the left side was his blindside but Brown is gonna take care of that
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