2007 VT NFL Draft Preview

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David
Clowney, WR

  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 188
  • 40 Time: 4.36
  • Vertical: 32.5
  • Shuttle: 4.15
  • 3-Cone: 7.00

David Clowney has always been an undervalued wide receiver because he played
in an offense that is based on running the football, and he’s had to share time
with some other future NFL receivers. His trip to the NFL Combine earlier this
year confirmed what everyone already knew…he’s blazing fast.

Clowney ran a 4.36 40 in Indianapolis, and he is one of the top deep threats
available in the NFL Draft. He finished his Virginia Tech career with 93
receptions for 1,373 yards and six touchdowns. He was most productive in 2005
with Marcus Vick playing quarterback. Clowney had 34 catches for 619 yards and
three touchdowns that season.

The big question mark surrounding Clowney is his strength and hands. He has
added weight, checking in at 188 at the Combine. That’s about 10 pounds heavier
than his playing weight at Virginia Tech. He also needs to work on catching the
ball with his hands rather than using his body.

It’s tough to predict where Clowney will go in the draft. He could
potentially go late on the first day of the draft, or he could be a steal early in the second day.

Aaron
Rouse, SS

  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 223
  • 40 Time: 4.58
  • Vertical: 35
  • Shuttle: 4.19* (* = stat taken from VT Pro Day, not NFL Combine)
  • 3-Cone: 6.81*
  • Bench Reps: 16

Rouse is a tough player to peg heading into the draft. He is a talented
athlete, but judging from his performance during his junior season, he was sub
par as a senior. He did not develop into an impact player like many thought he
would. Instead, he ended up sharing playing time with fellow senior Cary Wade, a
player with no chance to make an NFL roster.

Rouse is a good tackler and he is very aggressive in run support, making him
the perfect rover for Virginia Tech. He has a tendency to struggle in pass
defense, especially when he is turned away from the quarterback. He has good
speed for his size, but it might not be good enough to be consistent against the
deep ball in the NFL.

Because of his size, there is a possibility that Rouse could bulk up some
more and play linebacker in the NFL. That could end up being a better fit for
Rouse, who is more comfortable charging towards the line of scrimmage, and
making plays from sideline to sideline.

Rouse won’t be a good fit for some NFL defensive systems, but in others he’ll
be a good fit. He could be selected as early as the second round on Saturday, or
he could drop and be a Sunday selection. It all depends on needs and whether
teams view him as a good fit to their defensive scheme.

Brandon
Frye, OL

  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 301
  • 40 Time: 5.08
  • Vertical: 32.5
  • Shuttle: 4.4
  • 3-Cone: 7.5
  • Bench Reps: 34

Brandon Frye is an intriguing prospect to many NFL scouts. He is an excellent
athlete, with very good quickness and upper body strength for a player his size.
But on the other hand, he has virtually no game experience compared to other
offensive line prospects in the draft.

Frye did not get any meaningful playing time until the Gator Bowl at the end
of his junior season. When Jimmy Martin went down with an injury, Frye had to
step up and play for the first time, and he did a good job against All-American
defensive end Elvis Dumervil. Frye started as a senior, but was never healthy
thanks to an elbow injury suffered against Northeastern and a severely sprained
ankle against Miami.

So how good is Frye? No one really knows. His numbers suggest he has a lot of
potential, but his on-field play was less than stellar in 2006, partly due to
numerous injuries. Also, he probably doesn’t have the bulk needed to play tackle
in the NFL. He could be moved down to guard by whatever team he inks with.

With little game film and a senior season filled with injuries, NFL teams
won’t waste a first day or early second day pick on Frye. However, his athletic
ability should warrant some team spending a late round draft pick to acquire
him.

Noland
Burchette, DE

  • Height: 6-1
  • Weight: 259
  • 40 Time: 4.73
  • Vertical: 31*
  • Bench Reps: 15

Noland Burchette was a solid defensive end for the Hokies. He was very good
in gap control, but none of his stats or measurables will wow you. However, he
will get a chance to show his stuff to an NFL team this summer.

Because he doesn’t excel in any area, Burchette isn’t going to be picked
until the later rounds. He lacks bulk as an NFL defensive end, and the mammoth
offensive tackles on the next level could swallow him up. He doesn’t have great
straight ahead speed either, although he does have some quickness.

However, he has an excellent work ethic, and overall he’s a good football
player. Throw in the fact that he started for the number one defense in the
nation, and he’ll get a shot in the NFL.

Jesse
Allen, FB

  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 248
  • 40 Time: 4.84*
  • Vertical: 28.5*
  • Shuttle: 4.27*
  • 3-Cone: 7.28*
  • Bench Reps: 28*

Allen is one of the better fullback prospects this year, but teams generally
don’t put a premium on fullbacks in the draft. Allen’s best attribute is his
physical strength and toughness. If he locks onto a defender, he relentlessly
pushes him downfield. He likes to hit, which is important for fullbacks playing
in the NFL.

However, Allen has some limitations that will keep him from being drafted.
The Hokies never let him carry the ball in college, so NFL teams don’t know if
he is reliable as a ball carrier in certain situations. Also, he doesn’t move as
well laterally as he does straight ahead, which makes it difficult for him to
block a linebacker that scrapes well down the line of scrimmage.

Look for Allen to go undrafted this weekend, but he’ll be picked up by a team
as a free agent and given a chance to prove himself.

Other
Possible NFL Players

Nic Schmitt, P

Schmitt has a very powerful but somewhat inconsistent leg. He also has very
good touch and can get good hang time on his punts. However, he’s also known for
shanking a few every now and then, which is not something you see very often
from NFL punters. He’ll likely get a shot as a free agent.

Brandon Pace, K

Pace was one of the top kickers in the nation this past season, hitting
18-of-19 field goal attempts. For his career, he was 58-of-68 with a long of 46
yards. He will certainly get a chance as a free agent with an NFL team. Factors
going against him include inexperience kicking off and the fact that he didn’t
kick a large number of field goals beyond 40 yards.

Nick Leeson, LS

Nick Leeson is considered by most scouts to be the best long snapper coming
out of college this year. However, will an NFL team waste a roster spot on a guy
who doesn’t have the ability to contribute at another position? Leeson will get
picked up by somebody as a free agent, and then we’ll find out.

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