Ex-pro scout on Gators in 2010 NFL Draft (Part II)

By Adam Silverstein
April 16, 2010

With just under a week to go before the 2010 NFL Draft, OGGOA sat down with former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah of Move The Sticks for a second time pick his brain about departed Florida Gators players eligible to be selected from April 22-24. Jeremiah first spoke with us before the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine on Feb. 24 and was completely candid in our discussion, pointing out qualities he liked in each player while explaining why certain Gators might fall further than some may expect. In addition to his website, Jeremiah also offers comprehensive NFL scouting coverage on Twitter.

ADAM SILVERSTEIN: Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us. Things certainly seem to have been going fast for you over the last month or so. Tell us about what you will be doing with ESPN during the draft.
DANIEL JEREMIAH: I’m going to be in Bristol [ESPN’s headquarters] for the entire draft week. I will be helping provide analysis for both First Take and ESPNews.

AS: OK…let’s get into the Gators. In our first conversation, you had cornerback Joe Haden as a top ten pick who many would consider to be top three if he was 6’1” because of his speed, toughness and instincts. He ran slow at the combine but improved at Florida’s Pro Day. Some now see the Cleveland Browns passing on him at No. 7 overall (especially if they trade up) and him falling potentially as low as No. 14 to the Seattle Seahawks. What happened?
DJ: I think this is a very good draft class. When you have so many talented players to choose from, need becomes more of a factor. I can’t see him sliding past 14.

Read more of his thoughts the rest of the Florida Gators after the break!

AS: One former Florida player who has steadily risen up charts is center Maurkice Pouncey. Some are saying he is one of the best at his position to come out in some time. What about him makes him so special and is No. 18 overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers basically his ceiling in the first round?
DJ: He is just a really solid, steady player on tape. He has excellent balance and strength. With all these 3-4 teams, the center position has become more of a priority than it has been in years past. I could see him going at 18 but not any earlier than that.

AS: Two Gators who many thought would be first-round picks before the season are defensive end Carlos Dunlap and linebacker Brandon Spikes. Each seems to have fallen fast, and I have even heard scouts suggest that Dunlap could drop like Georgia Tech’s Michael Johnson did last year – all the way to the third round. What are you hearing about each guy and when do you think each will be drafted?
DJ: Dunlap’s size/speed combo will get him drafted in the second round. When you watch him, you would like to see more consistent play, but he is a better product coming out than Michael Johnson was last year. Spikes was never really going to be a great option for a 4-3 team, but he can fill the role of a 3-4 thumper. Putting a 5.0 40-yard dash on record is never going to help your stock.

AS: Last time we spoke, you said drafting Tim Tebow in the first round would be a tremendous risk and taking him at the top of the third round would be about right. Has your stance on him changed since he had adjusted his throwing motion and mechanics?
DJ: I like the new throwing motion, but I think it would be naive to believe that he can maintain that new release when the real bullets start flying. It takes a lot of time and muscle memory to make that drastic a change. I think he can do it, but it is going to require a lot of reps. I love the value in the third. I can justify the second if you have a plan in place to let him develop. I still think using a first-round pick is a bit too rich for me.

AS: Have you heard any teams express legitimate concerns about Tebow’s outside interests or good-guy persona? Or is it universally agreed that those are positives that he will bring to a franchise?
DJ: Every team that interviews him comes away with nothing but positive things to say about his personality. I have absolutely zero concerns with him in that area. I keep hearing that a few teams at the top of the second are really seriously contemplating trading into the bottom of the first round to take Tebow. We’ll find out soon!

AS: Some are curious as to why the buzz about tight end Aaron Hernandez has fallen off a bit, while wide receiver Riley Cooper appears to still be building on his solid Pro Day and combine. Are both likely second-round picks at this point and are character concerns truly the main problem with Hernandez like some are claiming?
DJ: I know there are some off-field concerns with Hernandez. I don’t think it has drastically affected his stock. I think he is still a second-round guy. I am a huge Riley Cooper fan. I know most teams have him in the third round but I could see him sneaking into the second.

AS: By all accounts, defensive end Jermaine Cunningham did plenty to help his stock after working out at Florida’s second Pro Day. Because he has the opportunity to be so versatile as a 3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 defensive end and was productive in the Gators’ defense, is the third-round grade most are placing on him legitimate?
DJ: I think that is where he will land, and I have gone on record as saying I think he could end up being a real steal in this draft. I never hear his name mentioned, but he is one of the most polished/productive pass rushers in this draft

AS: Evaluations on safety Major Wright are seemingly all positive, which is somewhat surprising to some Florida fans considering it was widely believed he declared a year too early. I have heard second-, third- and fourth-round grades for him at this point. Which is most likely and what concerns are there about his talent?
DJ: I know a few teams that have second-round grades on Wright. After watching this year’s tape, I couldn’t figure out why he was rated that high. I was told by some friends to go watch 2008 tape – and that’s what I did. I saw him make a lot of plays in those games. The rotation this year kept him from making much of a splash on tape. He won’t get out of the third round.

Jeremiah spent six years in the NFL as a scout with the Baltimore Ravens (2003-06) and Cleveland Browns (2007-08) before opening Move The Sticks.

13 Comments

  1. Daniel M. says:

    Ginn traded to 49’ers.

    YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  2. Juan says:

    Adam,

    Good stuff, what would the gator nation do without you.

  3. Jeff says:

    Great Stuff Adam… This is one of the first websites I check every day!

  4. ReptilesRule says:

    Adam, first of all, another great interview. You always seem to ask the most pertinent questions and get the answers that people want to hear. But the more I read and hear from these “gurus” and “experts”, the more I realize that they are all just taking a shot at the dark and don’t know anymore than you and me. Last night, coming home I lwas istening to this “expert” (never had heard of him nor do I remember the name) who was throwing superalives at Jonathan Crompton talking about all of his physical tools and how he was moving up and was going to be “the steal of the draft”. I almost ran into a stop sign. Which is exactly what HE did thru most of his career.

  5. npgator says:

    Great job Adam!

  6. RSeegobin says:

    Great interview, Adam! It always a bummer to see these guys continue to rag on Tebow…I hope that kid ends up a Hall of Famer…

  7. RSeegobin says:

    It’s*

  8. SaraGator says:

    Your interviews are the best! Keep ’em coming…

  9. Joe says:

    What they said, AS. Thanks for the interview!

  10. John Shanks says:

    Very nice interview, Thanks. There will be plenty to watch on draft day.

  11. Matty says:

    Me and my buddys use to be hardcore about making sure we checked every gator sports website but once I found this one, I let my firends know, and we now check this site first and most often. Awesome site!

  12. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Did anyone ever get clarification on what kind of off the field issues AH supposedly has?

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