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Tag:Oregon State
Posted on: August 4, 2011 11:49 am
 

OSU WR/RS Rodgers allowed "limited" practice

Oregon State wideout and returner James Rodgers -- the older brother of former Beaver and current Atlanta Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers -- has been granted clearance to practice in a "limited fashion" when camp opens Monday, according to head coach Mike Riley.

The 5-07, 188 pound James hasn't received the nation-wide attention that his brother did during their respective careers at Oregon State, but James has actually been the more statistically productive of the two. Like his brother (who was drafted in the fifth round, No. 145 overall), James was viewed as a potential later round pick due to his lack of preferred size, but is a legitimate playmaker who could surprise in the NFL. What the Rodgers brothers lack in stature, they certainly make up for in toughness and instincts. Jacquizz has already impressed Atlanta coaches and scouts during the preseason, according to Peter King of SportsIllustrated.com.

Unfortunately, James suffered a horrific knee injury against Arizona last season that ruined his chance at joining Jacquizz in the 2011 draft. James was granted a medical redshirt after tearing two ligaments -- reportedly including the ACL -- in his left knee. He underwent the first of two surgeries on October 28. The next one occurred in late February. Since, Rodgers has been ahead of schedule in his recovery, but Riley has understandably been hesitant to push his All-Pac-10 star too hard.
“We will have more information after another meeting with the physician and our trainer at some point next week,” Riley said.
James was voted to the First-Team all-conference squad after the 2009 season after breaking the school record with 91 receptions for 1,034 yards and nine touchdowns. He also set the school record for the most all-purpose yards in one season by accumulating 2,328 yards as a receiver, punt returner, kick returner and runner during the 2009 season. He entered the 2010 season second in the country among active players with 5,077 career all-purpose yards. Due to the questions about his injury, however, Rodgers is currently only rated as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 54 receiver potentially available for the 2012 draft.

Rodgers is not expected to resume all of his past roles with the Beavers this season. As Bob Clark of The Register-Guard notes, Riley would rather use Rodgers at flanker rather than returner next season due in part to their plan to ease him back onto the field and because the Beavers like their depth at punt and kick returner.

The Beavers begin their season at home against Sacramento State on September 3.
Posted on: May 4, 2011 8:24 pm
 

Finding the Fits -- Running Backs

Over the next two weeks I will be highlighting a different position each day in an attempt to Find the Fit -- identifying 2011 prospects who are a particularly good schematic fits for the club that selected him. I'll also highlight one player per position who I believe could struggle in his new NFL role. Too often in the past rookies who have struggled in the NFL have done so because they were simply drafted into schemes that didn't fit their individual strengths.

With quarterbacks the focus yesterday , I'll move to the next highest profile prospect on the offensive side of the football with the running backs.

Before I break down a few backs that I believe are great (or in the case of one, troubling) fits with their respective NFL franchises, I did want to point out the statistical anamoly that was last year's running back class. There were 24 running backs selected in 2011 -- exactly double the number of runners who were drafted a year ago. The 12 true running backs selected in 2010 was the lowest total in modern league history.

Anyway, back to the point. Here are a few backs whose fit in their NFL schemes I believe could result in surprising success.

Players are listed alphabetically, not in the order in which I see their fit with their respective teams.

Good Fits:

Jamie Harper, Tennessee Titans: The Titans boasted one of the more exciting 1-2 punches in football just a few short years ago with Chris Johnson and LenDale White. White's penchant for trouble, however, led to his trade to Seattle and ultimately his falling completely out of the NFL. Harper, at 5-11 and 233 pounds, has a similar powerful build as White and might possess the softest hands of any back in this draft.

Roy Helu, Washington Redskins: Mike Shanahan is well known for his ability to find late round diamonds in the rough at running back and in Helu, he may have scored yet another one. Helu is an upright runner who didn't always run with the toughness and physicality some teams would prefer. He does, however, possess the ability to stick his foot in the ground and get downhill quickly. With very good straight-line speed (4.40), he is an ideal fit in Shanahan's zone scheme.

Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers:
The 49ers obviously boast one of the league's best all-around backs in Frank Gore, so Hunter isn't about to win the starting job here. However, the 49ers best back-up to Gore is another powerful runner in Anthony Dixon. Hunter's agility, speed and hands out of the backfield make him a nice fit for the 49ers, especially considering the fact that the sooner they play rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the more likely they are going to need secure outlet receivers.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons: Rodgers is in a similar position behind Michael Turner in Atlanta as Hunter is behind Gore in San Francisco. The former OSU standout, however, is actually a very different back than Hunter, though the two are similarly sized. Rodgers is a good fit in Atlanta's drive-blocking, power-base rushing attack. Rodgers, all 5-6, 196 pounds of him, is a surprisingly powerful runner who will score his first NFL touchdown by burrowing his head into the chest of an unsuspecting defensive back rather than dancing around him. How do I know? I've watched him win First Team All Pac-10 honors all three years of his career at OSU. He'll prove a steal at the No. 145 pick.

Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins: It is a shame that Thomas' name is last alphabetically, as I believe he could have the most immediate impact of this year's rookie runners and therefore should be more prominently featured. The Miami Dolphins are thought likely to consider adding a significant free agent runner like DeAngelo Williams since they're likely to lose Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, but considering how much emphasis Tony Sparano places on running the football, Thomas could still impress as a rookie. Thomas runs a bit too upright for my taste, but has good vision, is surprisingly agile and possesses good acceleration for a back of his size (6-0, 230). Depending on what the Dolphins do in free agency, you could be looking at a potential Offensive Rookie of the Year in Thomas, who led the Big 12 in rushing yards his only two seasons in the conference. 

Questionable Fit:

DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys drafted Murray to potentially fill-in or replace the big play potential lost whenever Felix Jones is sidelined. While they received better value in Murray in the third round than they did with Jones as the No. 22 overall pick of the  2008 first round, the team could be getting a similarly finesse back who relies on his speed and hands to make big plays, rather than demonstrate the instincts or toughness to be a consistent force. The Cowboys, of course, boast lots of talent in the backfield and won't have to lean on Murray to be a feature back. Murray has fantastic hands out of the backfield and in that way is a nice schematic fit, but in the physical NFC East division, his role could be just that and very little more.
Posted on: March 11, 2011 7:10 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 7:12 pm
 

Jacquizz Rodgers cuts 40 time to 4.47 at Pro Day

Representatives from an estimated 25 NFL teams saw Oregon State junior running back Jacquizz Rodgers slice his time in the 40-yard dash from an electronically timed 4.74 at the Combine to 4.47, according to the university's offical website .

The vastly improved time in the 40-yard dash should help ease concerns about Rodgers' speed. While scouts knew the dimunitive (5-6, 196 pound) Rodgers was not a traditional speed back, teams would be hesistant to draft a short back lacking enough burst to run away from most defensive linemen. Like with Alabama's Mark Ingram, savvy scouts knew not to be too worried about Rodgers' timed speed, however.

Despite his Combine times, Rodgers' balance, vision and surprising power helped him generate All Pac-10 after each of his three seasons for the Beavers. His lateral agility and quick acceleration make him more elusive than his marginal speed might indicate.

Rodgers didn't just boost his stock with his speed. He also measured in taller today at Oregon State's Pro Day. In fact, according to the team's report, Rodgers was initially measured in at 5-07 Friday. A re-measure put him at 5066 or 5-6 and 3/4." Rodgers had been "officially" measured at 5057 (an eighth of an inch under 5-06") in Indianapolis.

Rodgers is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 11 rated running back and viewed as a potential mid-round pick.

Rodgers wasn't the only Beaver to boost his Combine performance Friday.

Center Alex Linnenkohl, rated No. 8 at the position by NFLDraftScout.com improved his bench repetitions of 225 pounds from 24 at the Combine to 31 today, according to Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian .

Oregon State's other highly touted prospect -- defensive tackle Stephen Paea -- remains unable to fully workout for scouts after it was discovered at the Senior Bowl that he'd torn the meniscus in his right knee. This injury kept him from performing in all but Monday's initial practice in Mobile and unable to do most of the workout at the Combine. Of course, the one drill that the two-time Morris Trophy winner was able to compete in was the bench press -- where he shattered the Combine record with a jaw-dropping 49 repetitions of 225 pounds. Sources close to Paea claim that the 49 reps was no surprise. He'd been shooting for 50.

Paea, according to the website's report, is expected to workout for scouts in Corvalis later this month.




Posted on: February 27, 2011 3:25 pm
 

Paea in the Sky

Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea set a Combine record today with 49 reps of 225 pounds, besting the three players tied with 45, last done by Arkansas guard Mitch Petrus in 2010.

Paea's been known for his strength for some time, using his low center of gravity to play with leverage inside. His hustle also intrigues teams, who consider him a solid second-round pick despite a knee injury that took him out of the Senior Bowl last month.

--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter
Posted on: January 26, 2011 1:14 pm
 

Update- McClain on South, CB Carmichael sidelined

I reported last night that South Florida defensive tackle Terrell McClain was a late addition to the Senior Bowl.
It was presumed that he'd been invited as a replacement for injured Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea, who left the all-star game practices with a knee injurt after only participating in Monday's practice.

McClain, however, was not on the North team this morning. Scouts told me he'd been added to the South roster.

The North team was further depleted this morning.

Virginia Tech cornerback Rashad Carmichael was in sweats on the sideline throughout practice. Following the scrimmaging, I asked him what was bothering him. He told me that an old high ankle sprain (left) had flaired up. He is not expected to play in the game.
Posted on: January 26, 2011 1:05 am
 

Senior Bowl adds DT McClain, WR Sanders

Due to injuries to Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea and Abilene Christian wide receiver Edmond Gates, Terrell McClain and Jock Sanders were given a late invitation from the Senior Bowl, respectively.

The Senior Bowl organizers must be having a hard time locating prospects as late additions. McClain and Sanders are exciting enough athletes to perform well in Mobile, but their colleges make them geographically odd choices, as McClain -- from South Florida -- is expected to play for the North team and Sanders - from West Virginia - for the South. Sanders will join his former Mountaineer teammate Noel Devine on the South squad.

An MRI performed Tuesday showed that Paea had a partially torn lateral meniscus. Gates' injury was fortunately less serious. He pulled a hamstring. Both, however, will not be able to participate in the Senior, necessitating the moves.

What the 6-2, 305 pound McClain lacks in statistics (24 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks) he made up for in recognition from his Big East foes, earning all-conference honors as an active, penetrating defensive tackle.

Like his teammate Devine, Sanders is smaller than scouts would like (5-07, 180), but he's dynamic and has proven both consistent and durable. He caught 69 passes for 728 yards and four touchdowns in 2010 and leaves WVU as the program's all-time leading receiver with 206 catches. He tied the WVU record in playing in 51 career games.


Posted on: January 25, 2011 6:25 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 6:26 pm
 

OSU DT Paea has MRI, possible torn meniscus

Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea was not on the field Tuesday morning for the North Team's practice at the Senior Bowl.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that Paea was sidelined because he was undergoing an MRI on his knee for a possible torn lateral meniscus. I've since confirmed with multiple sources at the South practice this afternoon that this, is indeed, the case.

The news is surprising as Paea walked off the field yesterday with no apparent injury. I interviewed him, in fact, congratulating him on a solid first day of practice. He was all smiles at the time and spoke of looking forward to "building on his first day."

Paea, 6-1 and 295 pounds, has been one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the country the past two seasons. He won the Morris Trophy after each of the past two seasons as the most dominant defensive lineman in the Pac-10. The Morris Trophy is a unique award, as its only voters are opposing Pac-10  linemen.

Paea is NFLDraftScout.com's top rated senior defensive tackle and a possible first round pick. His injury obviously puts this status in jeopardy.


Posted on: January 11, 2011 1:58 pm
 

LeShoure added to big class of underclassmen RBs

The University of Illinois' Mikel LeShoure announced today that he'll be joining Alabama's Mark Ingram, Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams, and Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers, among many others as underclassmen running backs heading early to the NFL.

LeShoure is the 11th underclassmen running back to declare early so far. He'll compete with former Hokies' star Williams to be the second running back drafted after Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner.

So far, the running backs who have declared early include: Wisconsin's John Clay, Virginia Tech's Darren Evans, Ingram, Clemson's Jamie Harper, Pitt fullbakc Henry Hynoski, LeShoure, Pitt's Dion Lewis, Rodgers, Connecticut's Jordan Todman, Cal's Shane Vereen and Williams.

The early defections are hardly a surprise. While scouts generally encourage prospects to return for their senior seasons, there is an understanding that for running backs the same rules don't apply due to the fact that they absorb so much punishment.

Scouts also aren't surprised by the early defections because this year's senior class of running backs is one of the weakest positional groups in the country. In speaking to scouts over the past few weeks, only a trio of Big 12 runners -- Oklahoma's DeMarco Murray, Kansas State's Daniel Thomas and Oklahoma State's Kendall Hunter were characterized as "possible" Top 64 picks. None were viewed as "locks" for the first two rounds.

LeShoure is coming off a spectacular junior season in which he rushed for a school record 1,687 rushing yards and 17 TDs. He was at his best in Illinois' Texas Bowl victory over Baylor, rushing for a Texas Bowl record 187 yards and three touchdowns, earning MVP accolades. 

As always for the best in NFL draft coverage, be sure to check out NFLDraftScout.com.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com