Some players are able to take advantage of the practices and step up to the consistent level of talented competition in practices. Some, however, leave the week with questions as to what their NFL future may be.
While “draft stock” didn’t fall this week, having concerns about performance, weigh-in numbers, or position translation didn’t help these five prospects.
Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia
Aboushi has flashed the athletic, even left-tackle upside, on film, but never seemed to put it all together over his career. This week, he continued his bad habit of letting rushers get too far into him, as he waits for contact far too often. He worked inside at guard this week, and struggled with more physical and active-hands rushers, and proved that he’s more “athletic big body” then “NFL ready lineman”.
Justin Pugh, OT/OG, Syracuse
Pugh’s “concerns” started on Monday with the Weigh-In, when he came in a little under 6’5, and with 31.5 inch arms, the shortest of the non-center offensive linemen here. He said in his interview that he played right guard in high school, and did seem to grapple on and play well with his hands. Despite playing well this week at times, teams will have to re-evaluate him as a likely guard for most schemes.
Denard Robinson, WR, Michigan
While I think most media came into this week expecting Denard Robinson to show polish as a receiver, it’s important to note that he’s only been working on routes, catching the ball, and getting subtle separation for a few weeks now, and is still a work in progress. However, his unwillingness to work as a running back and his struggles at a variety of areas this week adds concerns. He flashed all of the receiver skill sets sporadically throughout the week, but it’s unclear for how long it’ll take for it to be put all together at the NFL level.
John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Despite flashing the brutish strength to collapse the pocket at will in one-on-one drills, Jenkins still tends to tie himself up in hand battles, in an attempt to win with a variety of arm-over swim moves to the either side of his opponent. Similarly inconsistent with his bull rush on tape, Jenkins must learn to utilize his overpowering frame and body type on a more consistent basis. An exceptional mover at 359 pounds, Jenkins movement can be a major plus and negative in his skill set, as noted by the lack of constant power. Jenkins needs to land in the right situation to maximize his potential and develop into the playmaking nose tackle he’s capable of becoming
Ezekiel Ansah, DE/DT, BYU
Well deserving of excitement in the draft community for his unique ability to play all across the defensive front seven, Ezekial Ansah’s athletic prowess was difficult to quantify in this all-star setting. Exposed at the peak of his rushes for a lack of finishing hand usage or work back inside with driving power, Ansah was bottled up in one-on-one pass rushing drills, putting an effective end to unwarranted comparisons to Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants. Not a lethal edge rusher like JPP, Ansah’s value is more founded in scheme versatility, a plus set of physical tools to develop and few, if any bad habits formed as a young football player. Ansah proved to be much more active in team drills, but still struggled at the point of attack with underdeveloped hand usage. Flashes of ability were seen throughout the week, including a devasting outside-in, spin move in one-on-one’s to cap off pit drills, but development of hand techniques and shoulder adjustments will be crucial for Ansah’s success at the NFL level.