Sorry I didn't update this for a while. I've been pretty sick, and got behind on watching my local games. I did check them all out on my DVR though.
I'm going to just update on 3 players right now.
1- Kyle Van Noy - BYU - OLB. This guy is getting better and better by the week. He's had multiple NFL scouts out every chance they get to watch him play, and reports have been really high. One scout said he was "NFL ready right now.... but not big enough." I'm going to compare him to one man.... Pat Tillman. He's got everything Pat had on the field. He's intense, fast, not scared of anybody, and absolutely finds the ball on every single play. Another scout (this isn't stuff said in public, this is stuff I get from people I know who talk to them.... I won't say too much, but I will say that the closest person to me in my family writes for the Salt Lake Tribune, and obviously has a press pass and has been in contact with NFL teams, scouts, major colleges, etc. for the last 20 years). But anyway, one of the scouts says Van Noy could be an all pro safety from season 1 if he decides to not bulk up. Right now his size and speed are just fine for college, but he has to decide where he wants to be playing on Sundays (not city, but place on the field) and then NOT come out for the draft and focus on that position next year (either bulk up and play OLB or ILB, or stay the same or even trim down a bit and become a safety full time next year).
I know the Tillman comparison is strong, and I am grateful to Pat for all he did. His military service speaks for itself, so I'm not going down that path. I think what he did for "smaller guys" in college has had a large impact. Teams realized that the measurables were just overrated. He was the PAC 10 defensive player of the year, and was told he was too small because he played LB. He came to the NFL and was a dominant safety. I'd also say Kyle is a bigger version of Eric Weddle who I watched a ton. Equally athletic and hits a heck of a lot harder than Weddle. He also has his nose for the ball.
2- Cody Hoffman - WR - 6'4" 220. Cody gets better every week. He is a receiver that can do it all. Scouts have watched him closely and feel that he has the tools to be a superstar. I agree. He's the best receiver BYU's ever had. They've had some pretty good ones. They don't typically have NFL size receivers though, or NFL speed receivers. Ben Cahoon is a guy they had that won multiple MVP's in the CFL. Cahoon is a good guy and was my physical therapist intern prior to going pro. Cahoon had hands like glue, ran in the 4.5 range, and was cursed with only being 5'9". He would have gotten a shot in the NFL today, but back in 1996 things were much different. He was Wes Welker before Wes Welker. How does Ben compare and relate to this.... well I named my son Ben after him.
, But also, Cahoon is Cody's WR coach now and has taught him the skills that made Ben so deadly in the open field, in the slot, working across the middle, AND catching the deep ball. Cody has first round measurables, and first round hands. He's putting up ridiculous numbers with terrible QB play and a team that has essentially run the option for the majority of the last 2 years. Knowing they will run teams are stacking the box and putting 2 guys on Cody on pretty much every play. He's still getting about 5-10 catches in a game. He's on pace for another 1,000 yard 10 TD season like last year. I think there's a good chance if he'll go in the first 3 rounds that he comes out of school this year, and I don't blame him.
3- My sleeper pick. Ziggy Ansah. I said this kid looked good on week 1 and I was surprised at how natural and fluid he looked. Well.... everybody else noticed. He had 4 "first round" scouts from different NFL teams there specifically to watch him against Oregon State 2 weeks ago, and he didn't disappoint. He was also a demon against Notre Dame and Georgia Tech. The scouts who were there to see him said they currently had him graded as a first round talent, and that is why they were sent out to watch him specifically. My understanding from them was that a player will work his way up in the scouting system until they eventually have guys watching them every week that are way up the ladder. If it gets to the point of falling head over heels then the GM or somebody similar will arrive at a game. So if I hear Schneider is in town, I'll say so.
Ziggy as I said is around 6'6" and 270 lbs. and on the track team runs the 200 in about 20 seconds. He is literally a 270 pounder with world class speed. Many times BYU runs no blitz at all and generates all the pressure they need just by Ziggy literally zig zagging back and forth pressuring the QB. He's a pretty incredible athlete. I wish I could put a highlight reel together here for you guys. I've seen him literally leap guys and nail the QB. He seems to have the natural instinct to blast in and pressure the QB using whatever move he needs to, but then sticking his hands in the air when his internal clock hits about 3. He has repeatedly knocked down balls by just seeming to have the instinct to do this. This is huge at the NFL level, when you're not going to get to the QB as often due to the high quality tackles you'll face.
If I had to put a reminder of a player.... size wise he's built about like Clem or a bigger Bruce Irvin. He has the speed of some defensive backs (and I'm not exaggerating... he's like Irvin in the speed department, but seems to have an even bigger motor). But if I had to pick somebody right now. It's Jevon Kearse. This guy is a Freak. No doubt about it. Check him out. I'll be very happy for Zig and his family when he signs his first NFL contract. Nobody deserves it more or has worked harder to get there. His story is inspirational and it is good for a lot of reasons. I think he'd fit in well with the Hawks, especially with him being from Ghana and all of Paul's efforts in Africa. Ziggy could be the spokesperson for the NFL and their efforts to help in Africa. That would be very cool. Check him out. He's a specimen for sure and is absolutely relentless.