2015 NFL Draft: 3 Prospects Flying Under the Radar

Bob Scarinci breaks down 3 prospects that are flying under the radar for the 2015 NFL Draft

A big welcome to our newest NFL Draft writer, Bob Scarinci

The purpose of this series is to highlight a group of lesser known prospects that can fill some of the most important roles on the football field. Everyone seems to know the top quarterbacks, flashy weapons, and the most highly touted pass rushers, but the idea here is to bring some new names to light.

Today we will take a look at 3 players: QB Garrett Grayson from Colorado State, WR Justin Hardy out of ECU, and DE Trey Flowers from Arkansas.

Garrett Grayson:
Size: (6’2” 220 LBs)
Completion %: 64.3%
Passing Yards: 4,006 YDS
Touchdowns: 32 TDs
Interceptions: 7

What makes him a good prospect?

Grayson is a player that lives from the pocket and thrives in the intermediate to deep passing game. He shows off high quality ball placement, and an arm that projects as slightly above average in the NFL. Note the zip on the ball and ball placement as his drives the ball up the seam on this skinny post that ultimately goes for a TD.

Many QBs tend to stay in the same spot once they hit the top of the drop, unless they are forced out of the pocket. More often than not, Grayson does a very good job of moving within the pocket to eliminate the most pressing threats to him getting rid of the ball. Take note of the subtle slide here as he delivers the ball in what looks like a very clean pocket, but was actually a second from being blown up prior to sliding out of danger.

Where can he improve?

On tape, Grayson doesn’t appear to be a great athlete and struggles to extend plays out of the pocket when things do break down around him. In addition, he can drop his arm angle at times and the ball will sail a bit on him. When you thrive in the intermediate passing game, missing high can be fatal for a QB.

Pro Comparison: Matt Schaub (Pre-2013)

Prospect Rating: 2nd round

Justin Hardy:
Size: 6’1” 188LBs
Receptions: 121
Receiving Yards: 1494
Touchdowns: 10

What makes him a good prospect?

Justin Hardy is a receiver who is capable of playing all over the formation and shows off skills that are usually attributed to both big wide receivers, and small wide receivers. Hardy is one of the smoother prospects getting in and out of his cuts and rarely loses speed when it comes time to make his break and finish a route. Take a look here as he makes his break on an intermediate out cut and creates separation through sinking his hips and driving through the break.

Hardy flashes great ball skills, and is a natural hands catcher who is comfortable plucking the ball away from his frame. He shows the ability to get the most out of his average build when it comes to creating separation at the catch point.  The below is an example of him running a go route, and using his body to shield the defender as he purposely spins back to the ball late and high points it. This is teaching tape for you young wide receivers out there.

Where can he improve?

I’ve become a pretty big fan of Hardy as I’ve studied his game, so it may feel like I’m nitpicking a bit here. The area Hardy can improve is his top-end speed. I haven’t seen many times where he’s been able to pull away from a defender on a vertical route and win with speed down field.

Pro Comparison: Stevie Johnson

Prospect Rating: Early 2nd round

Trey Flowers:
Size: 6’3” 268LBs
Tackles: 68
Tackles for loss: 15.5
Sacks: 6.0

What makes him a good prospect?

Trey Flowers is a bulky edge defender that can fit more than one scheme. Where Flowers is going to make his mark in the NFL is as a run defender. He shows the ability to anchor and use his length to set the edge, while also flashing the ability to use his natural power to beat tackles and TEs into the backfield and make splash plays for the defense. He projects as a solid 6Tech (TE’s inside shoulder), 7Tech DE (last man on the line in a typical 4-3), and shows the ability to play in both of those spots when standing up. Here are 2 examples of Flowers using that power to win, once in the run game, and once, quite impressively throwing an Auburn OL to the side to get to the quarterback. Flowers is going to make his mark in the running game.

Where can he improve?

Flowers is a little stiff in the hips, and doesn’t frequently show the ability to bend the edge when rushing the passer. This leads to him being more effective when he can widen the tackle and then convert to a power rush. Unless he can improve his flexibility and work on his ability to dip his shoulder on opposing tackle he’s going to be a limited pass rusher in the NFL. His value will be as a potentially superb run defender.

Pro Comparison: Erik Walden

Prospect Rating: 3rd Round
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