Posted April 27th, 2006 by Brian
Filed under: Draft, Football

David ThomasA quick look at the Longhorns I don’t think will be going in the first round on Saturday. At different points in their careers (and even at times this year) some of these guys were looked at as first round guys, but most likely Vince Young and Michael Huff will go in the top ten and be the only Longhorns drafted in the first round. Six former Longhorns are likely assured of being taken in one of the seven rounds in this weekend’s draft while three more sit just on the outside with their fingers crossed.

Cedric Griffin, Jon Scott, David Thomas, and Rod Wright

This set of Longhorns will likely all be drafted on the first day in the second or third rounds. Either Griffin or Wright could be the first one off the board. Griffin has good size & strength and the versatility to play either cornerback or safety at the next level. Unlike many of the corners being drafted ahead of him, he also has good cover skills. He doesn’t make perfect adjustments to the ball when it’s in the air, but he’s always in the right place. Better in zone coverage than man, he might end up becoming an excellent safety in the league. Griffin could go early in the second round to Buffalo or Arizona, two teams in need of secondary help but not likely to take a CB in the first round.

Wright also could go early in the second round, I’ve even seen him going as early as to the Steelers as the last pick of the first round in one mock draft. Wright has all the physical tools to make scouts drool, he’s big, strong, quick, and possesses superior athleticism. However, the production just wasn’t there the last two years while he battled double teams and injury and teams wonder about his motivation and effort. He has Pro Bowl ability and if he steps up the increased challenge of the NFL will be an absolute steal in the middle of the second or possibly even the third round. He might work as a defensive end in a 3-4 defense. I see him possibly going to whichever of Cleveland, Baltimore, or St. Louis doesn’t take a DT in the first round. If someone takes Michigan’s Gabe Watson over Wright they’ll regret it in three years.

Thomas is probably a third rounder and isn’t as big or as fast as the other tight ends going earlier, but he’s better. Anthony Fasano? Joe Klopfenstein? UCLA’s Marcedes Lewis is a chronically inconsistent player who is who still is unpolished despite his promise. Thomas is an undersized, below average blocker who would get eaten up by bigger defensive ends, but as receiving tight end moved all over the field he’ll succeed for someone who knows how to utilize him. Put him in the slot and he’ll do what he does best, find a way to get open and catch the football. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him picked in the third round by whichever team picks Vince in the first. The Raiders or the Titans would be good fits, with a possible Young, Thomas, and Bo Scaife reunion in Tennessee.

Jonathan Scott has seen his stock fall further than any other Longhorn in this draft. At one time Scott was expected to be a mid-first round guy, and now has falled to late third or possibly even fourth round value. His quality character and lack of criminal record almost seem to hurt him in some teams’ eyes. While he definitely needs to get stronger and more aggresive, Scott has outstanding ability to go along with a good work ethic. Unlimited potential if he wants it bad enough. I think Mike Williams’ disappointing pro career at Buffalo may factor into the hesitation in taking Scott or other Texas linemen with high picks. There’s still a chance he could go as high as the second round, but I think Jonathan probably falls into the end of the third. The Detroit Lions already have 63 Longhorns on the roster and Scott would be a good fit for them with the 74th overall pick. The Dallas Cowboys (at number 80) would be stupid not to pick up an offensive tackle somewhere in this draft. Both are possible destinations.

Will Allen, Larry Dibbles, and Aaron Harris

All three members of this trio wii be sitting by their phones Sunday with hopes of being picked in the 6th or 7th round. If a team has a need at their position, was impressed by their individual workouts, or has a good personal relationship with the player they could be very excited by the excellent value in using a late round pick on players that were three year starters at a program the caliber of Texas.

Allen is doesn’t have the athleticism teams are looking for but is strong, smart, and flat out good. On an offensive line with more talented players, Allen was at times the Longhorns’ most effective blocker the last two seasons. Dibbles and Harris both lack the the ideal size for their positions. Dibbles in particular will intrigue teams with his potential, he could certainly contribute to a team as a reserve and situational defensive tackle. Drafted or not, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see all three of these guys on NFL rosters in September.


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