Unlike most NFL prospects, Stefan Charles did not play his college football in the United States. He starred for the University of Regina and is a native born Canadian. I briefly covered Stefan Charles in the not so distant past. It’s hard to scout Charles from his available footage, but what I saw of him in drills he looked like a special athlete. The way he moved I assumed he was 280 pounds. He played at 324, and posted a mind-blowing 37″ vertical at that weight. I bet his feet hurt.
Charles played for the same school that produced mid round defensive lineman Akiem Hicks last season. And not that it has anything to this, but it’s also the same school that Jon Ryan played for.
I like Charles quite a bit, but I’m hesitant to make a declarative opinion on him as I’ve seen so little. In terms of athleticism though, I think he’s probably one of the better options in this draft, at least on par with Montori Hughes, John Jenkins, and Brandon Williams, if not superior. If Seattle selected Charles in the 3rd round, I would not be shocked.
Williams was a minor star on the Nevada Wolf Pack defense the last couple seasons. Despite being one of the lightest strong safeties in this draft (190 pounds or 203 pounds depending on who you ask), the 5’11” defender is among the biggest hitters. I doubt he’d ever dominate physically as Kam Chancellor does, but there is a lot to like about a strong safety who can run in the 4.4s and play a physical brand of football. Williams is fundamentally sound, explosive in small spaces, and a sure tackler. Not only do I think he’s likely to start in the NFL if given a real opportunity, but I could even envision him as a starter in a future pro-bowl. He’s undersized, but he has a lot of talent. He also makes a lot of “splash” plays that get noticed by fans, and he’s got quite a bit of swagger to his game.
Williams would be a good pick in the middle rounds, though I think he’s perhaps more like Jeron Johnson than Kam Chancellor, though Williams is faster than both.
Kevin McDermott is a longsnapper. I could probably just stop there, but I’ll add one more thing: don’t do a google image search for Kevin McDermott. Unless you like that kind of thing.
I was surprised when I saw Batton make the visit list. His tape is pretty good, don’t get me wrong. But at 5’10¾”, 228 pounds. He’s very undersized. He also ran a 4.74, making him one of the slower linebackers in the draft. It’s very tempting to compare Batton to Lofa Tatupu, who had similar measurables when he came out but made up for it with sound fundamental play, a burning intensity and natural leadership. Batton seems like a Tim Ruskell type pick.
Batton probably won’t be drafted. Perhaps Seattle views him as competition for Heath Farwell on special teams. Maybe they want depth at middle linebacker?
I have to assume they had this visit before trading for Percy Harvin. All it really tells us is that Jones fit the profile at defensive tackle that Seattle was seeking at the time. I like Datone Jones as he has great upside- the best defensive tackles are usually very fast- so this visit instills confidence that Seattle is looking in the right places on the defensive line.
Aside from having an ongoing drug problem and having the fashion style of some generic bad guy from Streets of Rage or Final Fight, there are sane reasons why Seattle would use one of their team visits on the troubled defensive back. Consider this interview he gave back in January. It may not be entirely coherent, but you can sense a heart for the game in Mathieu’s words and a passion to pursue an NFL dream. By bringing Mathieu in and talking to him face to face, they might get a better feel for whether he’s capable of growing out of his drug problems and immaturity. Having Mathieu in doesn’t necessarily mean Seattle has interest; if anything it’s a means to gauge interest.
I consider myself neutral on Mathieu. I never bought into his hype during his Heisman nominated 2011 season, but I didn’t jump on the hater bandwagon when his problems surfaced in 2012, either.
As a prospect, I think he’s probably worth a 4th round grade, at best. Even during his 2011 season, most of his big plays were fumbles that slipped out inexplicably or bounced right into his hands. Am I to believe that he has a talent for making offensive players play badly, or making the football bounce right into his hands? He also had quite a few impact kick returns with what turned out to be so-so speed (Mathieu ran an official 4.50). It’s unlikely that he’ll continue to be a difference maker in the return game against NFL teams, especially since I think his field speed looks slower than his combine forty would indicate.
You take away those big plays, which seemed more fortunate than forced, and you are left with a close to average defensive back, in my opinion. A defensive back that stands just 5’8¾”. Out of 60 defensive backs that attended the combine, only Greg Reid from Florida State measured shorter. Seattle proved with the Antoine Winfield signing and their alleged interest in Robert Alford that height is not an absolute requirement, though Winfield plays with more physicality than most six foot corners do.
Mathieu relies on arm tackles too much, and while he plays physical, the lack of size and strength shows up on tape and I think could be an area where he gets exposed in the NFL. There are also times when he seems to shy from contact on runners that are going full speed. He’s nothing amazing in coverage, and looks like he’d get eaten alive against big receivers with jump ball skills. Mathieu’s speed is actually below the median in this cornerback class, too.
Mathieu is not a terrible player. He was a solid college player that was overhyped because he was involved in a lot of splashy big plays. I guess my worry with Mathieu is that he’ll suffer from the NFL jump more than most players would because he’s already playing at his physical ceiling, and even at that level I’m not left seeing stars. Slightly above average college players become career backups in the NFL unless they have remaining physical upside to tap into.
Even if I am wrong and Mathieu finds a way to improve his game enough to offset the jump to the NFL, he will almost certainly be a nickle corner only with a profile like his. Remember how tiny Kelly Jennings seemed when covering big outside receivers? Kelly Jennings was 5’11”.
Notice how I’ve barely talked about Mathieu’s drug problem? This is why I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if Mathieu went undrafted. Reputation may matter to fans and to awards ceremonies, but it doesn’t matter to scouts. All scouts see is a good college player with very little untapped upside, a low NFL ceiling, and massive character risk. If he’s drafted before the 4th round, I’d consider it an upset.
6’0¾”. 209 pounds. 4.56 in the forty. Played strong safety.
I think the video above tells you all you need to know. The video, a “highlight tape”, is dominated by special teams plays. Fans that make highlight videos almost never include special teams plays, because fans usually don’t care about them. So why are they in there? It’s specifically to appeal to NFL franchises searching for a special teams ace. As soon as I noticed how special teams heavy the video was, I immediately checked to see who posted the video. It was posted by Brendan Melanophy. Yup, it all makes sense.
I hope that didn’t sound condescending, because I like what Melanophy brings and I like the implied sense of humility that he’ll do what it takes to make it in the NFL. Seattle has had one of the best special teams units every single year under Pete Carroll and a big reason for that is how he values special teams specialists on his roster. Seattle also needs more roster churn at strong safety, and Melanophy has the size and physicality that Seattle likes in the defensive backfield. I doubt Seattle would draft Brendan Melanophy, but he’d be a good get in undrafted free agency and bringing him in for a visit helps Seattle’s chances.
Similar to Jeremy Wright, Murray has a lot of length (meaning he has long legs), which I generally consider a drawback for a running back. I wasn’t a big fan of David Wilson last year because his long legs robbed him of short area quickness despite having top shelf straight line speed. Murray is a similar story. In tight spaces he looks almost geriatric. But on a swing pass with plenty of green ahead of him his speed becomes plainly evident.
I’m not a fan based on his tape, but it’s hard to argue with Seattle’s interest. Murray is just a shade under 6’3″, weighing 223 pounds, and he ran a 4.38 at his pro-day. He also posted a 36″ vertical and 10’6″ broad jump, both of which are excellent for his size. He’d make an interesting receiver convert, if that’s the angle Seattle is taking.
Standing 6’5″ but just 230 pounds, Ryan Otten is probably the lightest draftable tight end in this draft class, with even featherweight Jordan Reed beating him by six pounds. That probably explains why Otten has the physique of an Ed McCaffrey. Otten did post a 4.64 forty time at his pro-day, making him one of the faster “tight ends” in this draft, though he’s probably more natural as a big receiver at this point.
If Seattle does view Otten as a tight end, it would hint towards them favoring a pure H-back. If so, that would make Jordan Reed a player to keep a close eye on in rounds 2-4.
A couple months back I watched every game compilation I could find of Patton, and to be honest, I thought he was the most vanilla receiver in this draft on tape.
But now I’m watching his highlight videos as due diligence, and I’m surprised by what I’m seeing. Sure, highlight videos are not ideal as a scouting tool, but I’m seeing athleticism and eye popping displays that never showed themselves in the game compilations I watched. Is it possible I just drew a bad sample? Because his highlights (as well as his interviews) paint the picture of anything but a vanilla receiver.
I think Seattle’s interest in Patton is almost certainly legitimate, and I doubt they’d bring him in for a visit if they had a 4th round grade on him. They’d be fortunate if Patton reached their selection in round two, and they’d have to know that.
Patton has good but not elite size (6’0, 204), and he has good but not great speed (4.53). Patton does display excellent concentration skills and body control, and he has good moves after the catch which helps compensate for his ordinary speed, making him a comparable prospect to Keenan Allen.
Though on paper Patton profiles as an NFL average #2 receiver, players like Darrell Jackson and Greg Jennings have posted multiple 1000 yard seasons with near identical measurables and skill sets. Both Jackson and Jennings excelled in west coast offenses due to being great route runners with a strong grasp of the fundamentals. Patton possesses those skills as well.
This leads me to the one thing I actually really like about Patton: his intangibles. His personality has a spark to it that reminds me of Richard Sherman. Playfully cocksure. The jump to the NFL is notoriously difficult; having confidence and self-belief can make a big difference in how far a prospect makes it.
His game tape may be bland, but his highlights impress and his personality makes me want to believe. Though he lacks elite speed, and isn’t tall enough to be a Sidney Rice type, I’d say he definitely fits the John Schneider profile as he has very good yards after catch ability and has excellent possession receiver skills. He also has the kind of playful yet driven attitude that fits in perfectly with Pete Carroll’s team dynamic.