Sunday, April 29, 2012

A little more on the UDFA's

This is information from on some of the undrafted free agents that the Vikings have agreed to terms with. I think it's a good possiblity a couple of these could end up on the Vikings roster!

Iowa linebacker Tyler Nielsen - (PFW Draft preview), Combine video on
Projected Round: 5, 17th best OLB on
Overview: NFL scouts know Iowa linebackers will be athletic, hard-working, and well-coached, and Nielsen certainly fits the bill in all categories. The 2006 Iowa Gatorade high school Player of the Year waited patiently behind 2010 draft pick A.J. Edds (selected in the fourth round by Miami) and other veterans, but looked the part of a solid NFL prospect in 2010 when healthy. Nielsen redshirted in 2007, and then played special teams and a minor role on defense as a freshman (12 tackles) and sophomore (seven). He started the first eight games of the 2010 season on the strong side, making 42 tackles, 4.5 for loss, an interception, and four pass break-ups, but his season ended prematurely after he broke a vertebrae in his neck against Michigan (though he played through it for a game and a half before succumbing). Apparently Nielsen's neck had healed enough by April 2011, as he spent his last spring break hunting wild boars in Arkansas. His straight-line speed, change of direction ability, and strong open-field tackling proficiency makes him look as though he could wrestle down a boar, and makes him a similar value to Edds as a potential starting Sam linebacker in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme at the next level.
Analysis: Positives: Heady, well-coached player. Quick recognizing and reacting to run vs. pass when playing near the line. Cognizant of multiple routes when in coverage. Spends a lot of time outside the box in coverage, but he has the strength to hold the edge against large tight ends and linemen. Good quickness to attack ball carriers when playing near the line. Breaks down and wraps legs to make the stop. Excellent in coverage. Stays with tight ends and receivers in the slot with very good straight-line speed and change-of-direction ability for his size. Combination of size, length, and agility makes him a secure tackler in space. Could succeed as a free blitzer. Negatives: Height leaves him susceptible to cut blocks, so he must learn to defeat with his hands. Inconsistent getting off blocks from smaller offensive players, gets moved or out-positioned and forced to chase down plays from behind. Leaves his feet at times. Sometimes heads straight-on to quick receivers instead of anticipating their route. Needs to use his hands more violently to defeat blocks while coming after the quarterback at the next level.

Mississippi State center Quentin Saulsberry
Projected Round: 6-7
Overview: A four-year starter, Saulsberry wasn't highly recruited out of high school, choosing Mississippi State over Memphis. After redshirting in 2007 as a defensive lineman, he transitioned to the offensive side of the ball and earned the starting right tackle job as a redshirt freshman, starting every game in 2008. Saulsberry moved inside to left guard in 2009 as a sophomore, starting all 12 games. He again started every game in 2010 as a junior, starting at right guard (10 starts), center (2 starts) and left guard (1 start). Saulsberry again showed off his versatility in 2011, starting all 13 games at right guard (9 starts) and center (4 starts). Saulsberry lacks ideal size and strength and isn't overpowering, but he makes up for it with his tenacious playing style and feisty, competitive attitude. He takes pride in finishing his blocks and looks natural pulling and blocking in motion. Saulsberry is versatile with the skills set and experience to be a serviceable NFL guard, but his size and frame make him a center prospect for most teams, reminiscent of a poor man's Rodney Hudson and is the best interior line prospect in this class that no one seems to be talking about
Analysis: Strengths: Fires off the snap with explosive burst and no hesitation. Moves very well for a 300-pounder with above-average quickness and range. Does a nice job getting to the second level and blocking in space -- mobile and effective pulling. Has quick feet and bends well at the knee. Sits in his stance with good balance and a strong base. Extends his arms quickly at the point of attack and is aggressive with his hands -- strong, active punch. Works hard through the whistle with top a motor and nasty demeanor. Scrappy and physical with an intense playing style. Has a tenacious attitude and looks to eliminate defenders from the play -- love his aggressive nature and feisty mean streak.
Has the lower body strength to anchor in pass protection and uses leverage to his advantage. A hard worker on and off the field and strives to be the best he can be -- smart and tough. Put together an impressive collegiate resume as a four-year starter in the SEC with impressive experience and versatility, starting 50 games between four different positions -- right guard (19 starts), left guard (13 starts), right tackle (12 starts) and center (6 starts). Weaknesses: Doesn't have elite size or strength with limited growth potential. Has almost too much arm length (33 5/8), taking a bit longer to unwind off the snap. Tends to be too aggressive off the snap and will take himself out of the play. Misses too many blocking assignments because he plays undisciplined at times. Often caught lunging and overextends, struggling to stay under control. Not overpowering at the point of attack and lacks the natural girth to hold up at guard -- probably restricted to center where he has the least amount of college experience. NFL Comparison: Rodney Hudson, Kansas City Chiefs -- Dane Brugler
California defensive end Ernest Owusu
Projected Round: 7-FA
03/15/2012 - Cal Pro Day: Persistent rain showers limited the Cal Pro Day but that didn't stop a few underrated prospects from demonstrating legitimate NFL athleticism. Defensive end Ernest Owusu created a significant buzz early in the workout by posting 39 repetitions of 225 pounds in Cal'srenovated weight-room. Later, he demonstrated impressive straight-line speed for his 6-4, 277 pound frame, registering times in the 4.7s, according to a source onthe scene. As a point of comparison, Owusu, who was not invited to the Combine, ran nearly as well and lifted more than any defensive end in Indianapolis this year. Frankly, I was surprised Owusu wasn't invited to the Combine. He registered 30 tackles, including seven loss
and 4.5 sacks despite playing in a 3-4 defense. Owusu had stood outon tape earlier in the year, in my opinion. - Rob Rang,
Hawaii linebacker Corey Paredes
Projected Round: Free Agency
03/08/2012 - Hawaii Pro Day: Corey Paredes was the surprise of pro day, with impressive results in the speed and jumping disciplines. He was scolded a few times for not locking his arms during the 225-pound bench press, but was only deducted one rep. He was credited with 27 reps. Paredes is awaiting follow-up calls from NFL teams in the hope of landing private workouts. "He'll be in Hawaii preparing for whatever comes next," agent Alan Cunanan said. - Stephen Tsai, The Warrior Beat

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