Scouting The Stanford Cardinal
Dave Razzano, a former NFL scout with more than 22 years of professional scouting experience, takes a look at a few Stanford players who should have an impact in Monday's Orange Bowl.
QB - Stanford
Ht. 6'4 Wt. 235
Displays rare arm strength and ball velocity. Makes all the throws required with bullet-quick release. Throws a tight spiral that is very catchable.
Can place ball in tight spots between defenders both short and deep. 70% completion rate outstanding.
Has unusual foot quickness setting up in pocket for a big man. Steps up in pocket quickly while avoiding several potential sacks.
On the move
Has speed to roll outside with eyes downfield and complete balls on the fly. Very accurate on his roll throws with excellent wrist action on delivery.
Turns into a running back with ball in his hands. Will try to bull over defenders rather than avoid.
Does not force many throws. Scans field and goes to 2nd and 3rd targets often. Extremely good judgement in the pocket.
Has all the winning intangibles required, a real student of the game.
The best QB to come out of Stanford since John Elway in 1983. The redshirt sophomore will no doubt be the number one pick in the 2011 NFL Draft if he decides to leave school early. Has all the necessary qualities you look for in a franchise QB. He combines his obvious physical skills with outstanding mental makeup required to be a longtime NFL signal caller. He is a very mature individual who will do all the things necessary to improve his game where needed. His combination of size, mobility and rocket arm are what separates him from others. Usually don't see big QB's with his movement and run skills. It will be an absolute coup for Stanford if he stays in school another year, which is very possible given his focus on education and the overall college experience.
WR - Stanford
Ht. 5'11 Wt. 189
Soft hands. Has ability to run after the catch. Productive kickoff return man in the past. Smart route runner. Knows how to settle vs. zone coverage. Can make over the shoulder catches. Always knows where the first down marker is.
Lacks top size and speed. Quicker than fast. Not a great separator from coverage. Deep burst only adequate. Spotty production. Adequate blocker.
Senior leader of the Stanford receiving corps. Has been a solid contributor for the Cardinal and has made big plays as both a receiver and return man here. He doesn't possess eye catching stats, but is more of a significant role player type performer. He lacks the top end speed and explosion needed but does have a consistent pair of hands and knows how to get open underneath. He is more of a third or fourth wideout at the next level, appears more suited to the slot position rather than an outside speed guy. He does run precise routes and is smart and aware on 3rd downs. He is a late round draftable player as a situational wide out and return specialist.
DL - Stanford
Ht. 6'2 Wt. 310
Low body core strength. Can stack a double team block. Good effort and competitor. Fiery disposition on the field. Will chase the ball to the outside. Good short area quickness. Some explosive traits as a tackler.
Lacks true pass rush skill and athletic ability. A tad short for inside play. Needs to protect his legs better. Not always productive from game to game. His recognition needs to improve.
This solid senior prospect lines as both a 4-3 DT and 3-4 NT. Though he is a tad short, he definitely shows the necessary core strength and girth to hold up inside. He does a good job stacking double team blocks and freeing up LB's to make plays. Does the dirty work that doesn't always show up on the stat sheet. Good play strength. He does need to improve his play recognition and shed blockers quicker than he does. He is limited as a pass rusher as he is more of a run down type player. I see him as a solid middle round draftable prospect who should turn in to a significant role player at the NFL level.
LB - Stanford
Ht. 6'3 Wt. 242
Good all around athlete. Fast to read and react. Outstanding size and lateral movement. Can drop into coverage and has flexible hips to stay close in m/m. Strong wrap up tackler.
Durability a question as he has been plagued by injuries. Needs to add strength to upper body. Not a great shed player vs inside run. Hard to gauge pass rush potential because he doesn't do it much. Needs to read/react a little quicker vs. run plays.
This player has both size and versatility required for the position. Very good overall athlete who can play both the run and pass. He is more of a finesse type who lacks some power at the point of attack. Not always quick with his hands to shed blockers, but does have the feet to slip blockers and get to the ball. Can close vs. outside runs. Doesn't blitz much but feel he has the athletic movement to do this effectively. Only a sophomore, this kid has a lot of potential to improve next season and be a mainstay of the Cardinal defense in 2011.
RB - Stanford
Ht. 5'11 Wt. 210
Good size and strength. Runs hard with good body lean on contact. Versatile runner who also has ability to catch balls out of the backfield. He is quick and elusive out in space. Can make the big play. Very competitive and productive. Good short yardage run skill.
A bit of an in-between running back. One-speed runner who lacks a great 2nd gear in the open. Can run too high at times through the line of scrimmage. Will take some body shots.
This dynamic sophomore ran for 1057 yards on the season with an impressive 15 touchdowns. He is a very competitive runner who will fight and claw for the extra yard. Very soft hands as a pass receiver and can elude defenders in the open field. Not a top-end speed type but can go the distance if he finds a crease as he is very decisive at the line. One of the better runners Stanford has had in the last 10 years and I would expect him to be a top producer next season on the Farm while working himself in to a solid NFL prospect for the future.