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Scout looks at FS and NT at the Senior Bowl

This is Day Two of player Scouting Reports from the Senior Bowl.

Chris Cordero of Miami drove 11 hours from South Florida to Mobile, Alabama to see the North and South teams practice and be able to report back to you his take on the talent. Cordero, 27, is an aspiring professional scout who trained under talented personnel men.Any NFL team interested in seeing Cordero's complete work can e-mail me and I will discretely put you in contact with him. 

This is Cordero's abbreviated look at the nose tackle and free safety positions -- two more positions of need for the Dolphins.

After the signing of Gibril Wilson and the resigning of Yeremiah Bell - the Dolphins must have believed they were set at the position for the near future. I must politely disagree. While Bell is a Pro Bowl player and should still have 1 or 2 good years left, Wilson struggled - particularly in coverage - which is a free safety's biggest responsibility in most defenses. While Chris Clemons might yet turn out to be the answer and Tyrone Culver probably deserves more of an opportunity, this position could use an upgrade as Wilson should not be expected back especially in an uncapped year. The top players at this position are underclassmen (Eric Berry, Earl Thomas - who I think is going to be great, Morgan Burnett, Chad Jones, Major Wright). Most of the Safety prospects in the Senior Bowl look to be more of the In-The-Box, Strong Safety variety - but there where a few guys who stood out to me.
1. Nate Allen - 6-1, 205lbs - South Florida
Career numbers: 216 tackles, 1 sack, 2 fumbles forced, 10 interceptions, 1 touchdown
-Ideal build for a free safety with more than adequate speed for the deep secondary.
-Fluid in his movement; accelerates out of his breaks; plants and drives out of his backpedal cleanly.
-Is able to read routes and the QB; making him an ideal centerfielder in the secondary.
-Is not a big hitter; but will support the run and is a solid, wrap-up tackler.
-Leader in the secondary, gets everyone lined up and makes the coverage calls
-Could struggle when asked to man-up a receiver; but his skill set will allow him to get by from time-to-time; although very fast receivers (i.e. a DeSean Jackson) would eat him up.
-Might have reached his physical limits (weight, height, speed) and does not have the upside of some of the underclassmen.
Overall Analysis:
A player that I really like and would be a good fit in the 2nd Round for the Dolphins. Sometimes when a player doesn't stand out with big plays or big hits, he tends to get looked over - and that could happen with this guy. He could be a solid free safety for a very long time in this league thanks to his smarts and abilities.
2. Myron Rolle - 6-1, 217lbs - Florida State / Oxford University in England
Career numbers at FSU: 207 tackles, 1 fumble forced, 1 interception
-A genius outside of football; he has a great mind for the game as well - rarely out of position and is always asking the coaches questions; won't make the same mistake twice.
-Stays low, with good technique, in his backpedal and drives to the ball when it is in the air.
-Good size for the position; not afraid to hit, and is a secure tackler (not always looking for the big hit - but he can bring it).
-When in coverage - did a nice job of using his body to keep the receiver near the sideline a few times.
-Has good range despite a lack of speed due to his route reading ability.
-Lacks top end speed which could force him to be more of a Strong Safety.
-Didn't show up in the practices - but a year away from the game could hurt him.
-Had some trouble flipping his hips and turning and running with the WR.
-Doesn't have great hands to make INTs.
Overall Analysis:
Here is Rolle in a nutshell - on one play, he got beat on a double move (I think by Shay Hodge from Mississippi - who was one of the better receivers here) a couple of plays later - Jeremy Williams of Tulane tried the same move and Rolle recognized and broke on the ball; disallowing the completion. I can't say for certain that he can be a free safety in the NFL due to his weaknesses, but failure is not an option for this guy and I wouldn't bet against him. If he runs well at the Combine he'll be a solid 2nd Round pick and would be a steal in the 3rd. You can't teach a lot of the things that he has.
3. Taylor Mays - 6-3, 231lbs - Southern Cal
Career numbers: 268 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 5 interceptions
-Physically - he has no faults; speed, size, leaping ability, he has all those tools.
-Aggressive hitter - brings the wood and will clean some clocks if you dare go in his zone.
-Has decent hands when actually going for the ball and plucks it at it's highest point.
-Will be a beast in run support - as he was at USC and is very good between the numbers on the field.
-Can jam the receiver with good hand usage and upper body strength at the line of scrimmage.
-Seems to want to learn and reports say he studies the lots of film.
-Coverage skills are extremely lacking - stiff in the hips; trouble backpedaling; doesn't plant and drive to the ball; gets too high out of his backpedal; slow in reverse - got beat constantly with double moves.
-Has little range - if the play isn't going on around him - will be late to react.
-Gave up a lot of underneath receptions during practice that occurred right in front of him.
Overall Analysis:
 I almost put Terrell Skinner out of Maryland in this spot. Mays will be a 1st Round Pick (Al Davis in Oakland loves this type of guy and maybe his college coach Pete Carroll in Seattle will take him) and if he gets past those two teams; some team in the 20's will take him because his potential is just too great. As an athletic specimen - he has no peers. I don't see him making it as a FS and could see him ending up like Thomas Davis of Carolina - a college safety out of Georgia who was a physical specimen but ended up at OLB. Doesn't fit the Dolphins unless they are looking to groom Yeremiah's replacement.
HONORABLE MENTION: The above mentioned Terrell Skinner out of Maryland was the only other FS of note. He is a converted receiver still learning the position - but has great size and is a big hitter. He needs work on his technique - but could be a good value in the late rounds. Kurt Coleman of Ohio State and Kyle McCarthy of Notre Dame were thoroughly unimpressive; Harry Coleman of LSU - who played OLB this year in college - looked like a good in-the-box strong safety. Larry Asante of Nebraska also looked very good and got better as the week went on - but again is more of a Strong Safety, but has good range for the position. Another player I would like to mention is Chris Cook, a big Cornerback out of Virginia, he reminds me some of the Dolphins own Sean Smith and would seem to have the tools to play the free safety spot.
After Jason Ferguson went down - so did the Dolphins run defense. Paul Soliai had his moments - but would be better off in a rotation; although he is so big and young enough that he can improve. This is a vital position for the 3-4 defense; and such a tough one to get a read on as not too many colleges run a 3-4. A nose tackle in most 3-4 defenses is usually responsible for occupying blockers and allowing the LBs to make the plays; although there are exceptions (Jay Ratliff, a Parcells pick, out of Dallas made an extraordinary number of plays for a NT last year). You generally don't see them go too high in the draft as they have to learn the position and are drafted later in the draft and developed - like Jason Ferguson and Ratliff. Here are some names not at this game to remember - Brian Price from UCLA (Underclassman - likely 1st Rounder); Torrell Troup from UCF; Vince Oghobaase from Duke; Linval Joseph from East Carolina (Underclassman); Al Woods from LSU; Jay Ross from East Carolina; Martin Tevaseu from UNLV, and Kade Weston from Georgia (there are a few more names - but I don't want to concentrate on players not at the game). These are only the players I feel can play NT - so stud DT Jared Odrick from Penn State won't be ranked (although he would be a GREAT 3-4 DE - but that position seems set with Phillip Merling, Randy Starks, and Kendall Langford).
1. Dan Williams - 6-2, 329lbs - Tennessee
Career numbers: 153 tackles, 6 sacks
-Very strong, stout, huge lower body - looks fire hydrant-ish (for lack of better terminology - is that even a word?).
-Fires off the ball, low and hard and gets underneath the Offensive Lineman's pads to push back.
-Is able to draw and hold a double team - allowing his teammates to make the play (telling sign of a good NT).
-Has long arms allowing him to keep linemen off his frame.
-Is a good tackler to boot.
-Only pass-rush move is a bullrush; which worked in college-but won't work consistently in the pros.
-Could use his hands better - some of the interior linemen, like John Jerry, were able to jam him up.
Overall Analysis:
A 1st Rounder - but not the 12th pick. If the Dolphins decide the player that they want is not available at #12, they could trade back to the late teens or early 20s and take this guy. Watching him up close most of his weight is in his lower body - with extremely thick legs which means a strong base. I didn't see him on the ground much and that is a testament to that base. I DID see him bury Southern Cal Interior Lineman Jeff Byers once and his strength is evident. Has few visible weaknesses.
2. Cam Thomas - 6-4, 331lbs - North Carolina
Career Numbers: 83 tackles, 3 sacks
-Massive - but carries it well - doesn't look fat (unlike SOMEONE that I will mention next) and carries his weight exceptionally well - could possibly put even more weight/strength on and still look this way.
-Vocal leader - rallied the DLineman and was always hooting and hollering (I'm in Alabama so I can say that); watching him and Sean Weatherspoon of Missouri (who I have as a possible top ILB for the Fins) jabbering was one of the joys of the week.
-Very strong - pushes blockers into the backfield.
-Has good hand usage and is active and aggressive with them.
-Draws double teams and reestablishes the line of scrimmage with his strength.
-Looked athletic in drills for a man of his size.
-Lack of pass rush moves (a common theme amongst this position).
-Needs work on his pad level as it is inconsistent - this could be due to his getting too upright after the snap due to his height.
Overall Analysis:
If he is available in the 4th Round (or if the Dolphins can pick a 5th Rounder somehow and he is there) - they should jump on this guy without hesitation. I feel after this week he could have possibly moved into the 3rd Round range though. Didn't have many weaknesses that I saw and his attitude and loud mouth are a plus in my book (someone has to replace Joey Porter right?). Could be in the league 10 years as a run-stopping NT much like Jason Ferguson.
3. Terrence "Mount" Cody - 6-4, 370lbs - Alabama
Career numbers: 51 tackles, 1 forced fumble
-As his nickname attest - a huge human being - I got a chance to stand next to him and it was impressive how big he is.
-Natural strength; is immovable when he wants to be.
-Demands a double team - as he will throw a single blocker off him like a fly for the most part (John Jerry was among the only OLinemen that stood his ground versus this guy).
-Plays are very rarely run at him so that would make it seem like he doesn't make many plays - but his presence allows his teammates to make plays.
-Imposes his will, stands his ground, and will push blockers into the backfield.
-I'm sure everyone saw the picture on Mando's previous blog......
-Stamina is an issue.
-Inconsistent effort - maturity could be an issue as I saw him goofing off a lot during drills.
-Needs to stay low coming off the snap.
-Lacks pass rush moves; although he had a nice swim move that I saw him make.
-Was shut down by the aforementioned Jeff Byers at one point.
-Was on the ground more often than I expected; which causes concern about his lower-body strength.
Overall Analysis:
If you are going to draft this guy it is knowing that he will strictly play 2 downs (or on short yardage situations) and that you have to monitor his weight and get him on a strict training regimen and diet. I don't see him as a 1st Rounder - but if the Dolphins are as impressed by him as they seemed to be (DLine Coach Kacy Rodgers was always with him and Sparano made it a point to check him out more than a couple times every practice) then maybe trading back from our 2nd round pick to a later one and picking up some extra picks would be a good spot for him. I think he could be the ideal NT - but at the same time he could be out of the league in 3 years.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jeff Owens from Georgia spent a lot of time with Dan Williams and Terrence Cody with Coach Kacy Rodgers working on technique to break the double team. He is very short and looks like a mini version of Cody - so his conditioning would need work; but he is quite strong. None of the other DTs looked to be able to play the Nose; but again a lot of these players are developed. The most impressive Defensive Tackles were Jared Odrick of Penn State - who as mentioned would be a stud 3-4 DE and should be a 1st Rounder; Geno Atkins from Georgia - who at one point got some work with Mike Nolan and some of the DEs on OLB work - he is very quick and has good pass rush moves. None of the other DTs really stood out.
Tomorrow: Look for ILB and OLB reports following the game. There are some very good 3-4 OLB prospects in the game - so keep an eye out for that.


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Thanks Chris for the input. Very informative


Thanks Chris, very nicely done. You now have me keeping an eye on Allen and Rolle. Both sound like a good fit.

Stop the madness , why don't you tell everybody about Chemitrials and post a link. Then tell everybody how they're going to die by 2012.

Posted by: NJ PHIN FAN | January 27, 2010 at 12:53 AM

I concur wonton/menace
That boy was confuseSuperbowl you are jealous and envious of him.
Go loook for your chemitrails.

Posted by: polo | January 29, 2010 at 11:42 PM

and the winner is..........

The Cuban Menace!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Chemtrails | January 29, 2010 at 11:37 PM
fake chemtrails at 11:37 pm

Posted by: real chemtrails | January 29, 2010 at 11:43 PM

well what has been going on is that your boy NJ PHIN FAN has serious mental issues. he's like 100 ppl in one body, I knew your shyt would finally catch up with you. your are the only one who mentioned CHEMTRIALS in here and know its being mentioned agian. go figure!

Posted by: stop the madness | January 30, 2010 at 12:14 AM
poor nj phin fan

Good stuff.....readable & understandable & all that .

Thnx Chris, & Thnx Mando for changing format for this dude.

Stop the madness , nobody really cares about your infatuation and all your crap. You have to be one of the biggest imbeciles that ever walked the earth. Don't you think the same guy that's busting you is mentioning nj or other people to bust your simpleton mind ?? Talk football , which you probly now nothing about anyway or get off this blog with your BS.

you care joey! about nj that is

Very in-depth for a short hand report. I'm interested in watching Rolle in game action and seeing how Skinner does as well. I will be watching the game with a more focused eye now.

Now if we could only keep the blog focused on football instead of peoples personal vendettas.......

Joey is right. stop the madness , Your love fest with nj is sad and pathetic. If he was here . i'm sure he would've been on this blog to talk about the draft picks and chris. Get off this blog.

By the way , nice report chris.

hi mando hows it going? freezing up here north of the border , lucky you in miami dont blame you,.
thanks for your updates and posts;all the sports channels here just talk about hockey and the canadiens {habs] who cares so any info on the dolphins is always appreciated.working late shift ;restaurant, cant take part on live q&a with you .but always read them.
have a nice day 2moro and keep in touch .
your friend

Chris I think you are a natural! Keep up the good reports. OG

Very impressive! Can't wait to read some more. Dale Cuco!

What the hell is wrong with you people... Chem-trails?... I got you "chem-trail... its hangin' low and to the right...!

Great job, Chris. Not real happy with the safety's that are coming out in the draft. There is just no one after the top 2 that has a "I am going to be playing in 8 years" look about their game. I am also scared to death that we are going to end up with that slob "Cody"... Hey... no offense to the guy... But ...Damn!. You have to consider his first day on the practice field is going to be 100 degrees in the shade... He is from Alabama and its not exactly cool there in the Summer... but, there is something about Miami Type Heat when it gets cooking... If the coaches do drag his fat butt in here... he goes on the Dan Marino diet thing right away... I have a gut feeling that we may just see Can Thomas... He is in the draft range Miami will be shooting for a NT in. I see the first pick as a ILB or OLB with a possible take the best talent of Spiller is sitting there at #12, which is a possibility given the guys going in front of him. I belief Miami will use the #2 on a WR... unless by some miracle free agency coughs one up... I am not gonna hold my breath. All said and done... I have seen drafts like this one before... you think they are not loaded with high level pro talent... then you look back 7 or 8 years later and there are guys all over the league starting on teams who took then in this draft. Some of the most talent laden draft classes after time only produced 20 or so long term players. If in one draft year... the NFL can get 70 starters that last 5 years out of the 221 or so drafted in the 7 rounds... that is a good draft... but still is only 2 guys per team who make it. Some teams may get as many as 3 or 4 while other teams get nada.... So... This draft is not loaded but has enough good talent that we should get 2 good long term starters out of it.

Chris, very in depth and I enjoyed ur reports so far and thx Mando for giving Chris a chance to share

Good work Dale! Keep giving them hell and knocking on the door and it will open for ya.

If it matters, I liked this set of reports the best of all of them. It seems like they were framed more towards the Fins. If you can do that as it applys to different teams it may help your hire.

Derek in WPB,

If the Fins could get 1 star caliber player and 2-3 more that can start/solid back up after grooming for a year or 2 that would be a pretty good draft.

Just depends on how the lady luck darts land... oh, and some blood, sweat, tears and awful good guesswork by the Fins staff.

MVP of the Senior Bowl prediction...

RB Dexter McCluster

Any votes to second or other player votes peeps?


stop the madness

you are such an idiot! If NJ was here, he could not resist to talk about the draft and how bad taylor mays is.

The Menace will be blogging during the senior bowl, who else will be here???? R.S.V.P

Cuban, find ur plane tix??

Going coach, tried to get 1st class but they were WAY to expensive, I went with Jet blue for 186 dollars but it has a lay-over but only cost 220 bucks, Thanks....

No problem bro, let me know when u get here maybe meet up for some adult beverages

Well do bobby....

Much appreciated Chris!

We's trying to hire a scout to catch up wit you Mando.


Yes Carlito?

When we picked Tim bowens... They said the same thing about him that they are Terrance cody... He is worth a 3 round draft pick and he will slide...how many guys can u get in the third round that will play two downs a possesion and ve successful....? I'm the third round I would take him no doubt... 2 round us risky

My dream pick would be Eric berry falling to the dolphins at 12...my gosh would that be te happiest moment.. Berry single handedly controled the vols defense.. The guy is amazing will be a perennial pro bowler every year

I like what i have heard about dan williams and if he going to be there later in the first and we can get him along with some extra picks by moving back then i think we have something to think about.

Why don`t the Dolphins hire this guy?

good idea !!!

Strong work Chris. Thanks. I'll be on the lookout for Cam Thomas and Myron Rolle although I'm a bit concerned about Rolle's top end speed.

LOL STOP THE madness spelled know, instead of now, and Joey, typed now, instead of know. lol irony, and hillarious!!!

So I take it that Joey, and stop the madness are cut from the same cloth. lol......

Oh yeah, and Derrick, thanks for the obvious!!! lol GOD. Just as bad as the chemtrails! lol

Chris , very well done. I see you basically covered everything that i reported to my fellow dolphin fans on my senior bowl reports. We are in full agreemant on almost everything my friend . I posted earlier on how curious i was to see what you had to say about taylors mays and cam thomas and you were spot on. I had also mention how mays could be like thomas davis of carolina in switching to olb. He's a disappointment and miami shouldn't consider him. I was raving about about Cam thomas to the dolphins fans earlier. This guy is a beast , strong as hell and never stops.Cam thomas is worth keeping an eye on for miami in the 4rth round area, I'm glad you mentioned kade weston of georgia 6-5 325 pounds NT. He's another big . strong NT to keep an eye on in the 6-7 round. I think dan williams will be a better DT in the 4-3 than a NT and Cody is well cody. A fat , low on stamina , 2 down lineman. Miami will go NT in rounds 4-7. You didn't get into chad jones s lsu at all. He had a good senior bowl week. miami can keep on eye on him round 2.

Chris , one more thing . I see in your mention about the juniors , you said you loved Earl thomas. I also love earl thomas and have talked about him extensivley on here with fellow dolphin fans . Right carlito ?? LOL. I even had miami taking him if mcclain was gone. Thomas is a ball hawk and playmaker. He used to be a cb so can cover , just what miami needs.

Fellow dolphins fans . i'll be conducting a live blog during the senior bowl which starts at 4 pm on the NFL NETWORK. Please join me to talk about the players and the draft. :

There can be little doubt that if ILB Rolando McClain is on the board at #12 he will be the pick for the Fin’s, this however is very uncertain.
If McClain is gone (this will be the third time I have said this and taken heat the first two times) NT Dan Williams will most likely be the pick, especially if we can trade down 5-6 spots, but IMO even if we can’t trade down.
Williams makes the most sense after McClain and he has a small “Bust” probability…he is as sure a prospect at his position as almost anyone in this draft.

how high is earl thomas projected to go?

Wvfinsfan 12 . Earl thomas is projected to go in the top 20. He 5-10 197 pounds but he's only 20 years old . He will definitley grow some more into his body.

Haha, NJ, you know I never said Earl Thomas was a bad player... I would just rather see different player/position taken with the 12 pick

rise and shine fellow fin fans.
whats ^p NJ ?
football withdrawall is getting to me thanks for keeping us posted.

One thing off topic i'd like to express. last night was a very tragic moment in the community. A well respected 41 year old mother of 2 who gave here all to the schools and the pop warner league in which her kids played , unexpectedly committed suicide. This town is complete shock. The whole town is in mourning. Sherry hull-michel , rest in peace sweetie. :(

Carlito , no you never said he was a bad player. I know . He was just to short for you. LOL ! what's up buddy ???

Just chillin, havin a good laugh reading last nights comments... WOW

You ready to see the Dolphins new DC in action????

so if mcclain and thomas are there at 12 then whats the thoughts about that?

What comments ???

the conspiracy theory that you were like twenty names on her NJ was pretty amusing to read when i got to work this morning.

From your new biggest fan stop the madness who seems to think you are many me...lol

Chad Jones wasn't in the Senior Bowl NJ; his teammate Harry Coleman was. That's why Chris didn't get talk about him beside the quick mention with the underclassmen. Coleman is more of a SS prospect though. If Chad Jones does fall in round 2; he's just as athletic as Mays but a better football player.

I'm loving these reports and how even the players that aren't top 3 get a mention.

Good work bringing this guy on Armando!

I asked this yesterday, but nobody responded... If you have an opinion on this let me know what you think...

How does Kurt Warner's retirement affect Arizona's decision to deal Anquan Boldin and their asking price, regardless of whether or not the Dolphins would make a move for him?

I'm liking what I hear on Dan Williams and Cam Thomas

williams is a beast but will thomas be available later than wiliams?

Just because , your right , it was coleman but i had jones on my mind because i like him for miami in the 2nd, Thanks.

Carlito , i don't think warner retiring affects boldin, i think they're going to trade him. NE ???

nj phin fan ,

do you have a life ?

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