Could the Badgers compete for the Big Ten title in 2010? Most definitely yes, though to win a BCS berth the defensive squad must play over their heads. The team offers plenty of NFL talent from the scoring side of the ball, specifically on the offensive line.
Mention the name Gabe Carimi and you’ll get a wide variety of opinions. In our minds the senior is one of the better left tackle prospects in the nation and deserves recognition as such. Carimi displays terrific footwork in pass protection, shows the ability to adjust and knocks pass rushers from their angle of attack with good hand punch. He makes good use of angles, body positioning and blocks with leverage. Carimi really does not finish blocks nor possesses dominant strength at the point. He’s not Joe Thomas yet is a terrific blind side protector.
David Oglsby handles the duties at right tackle and is a solid prospect himself. The junior plays exceptionally low to the ground, quickly gets his hands up into defenders and out positions pass rushers from their angle of attack. An above average run blocker, he turns defenders off the line then seals them from the action with his large frame. Oglsby must make better use of blocking angles and improve his pass protection skills yet is someone to watch.
John Moffitt gave serious consideration to entering April’s draft but made the right choice in returning to school, with a shoulder injury looming large in his decision. A versatile lineman who can play center or guard, Moffitt blocks with good lean, gets underneath opponents and is stout in pass protection. Quick out to the second level, he displays terrific blocking vision, really goes after assignments and is very effective in motion. Moffitt lacks the dominant base and will be pushed back off the line by larger opponents but offers an upside.
Lance Kendricks could be one of the most underrated tight ends in the nation. Very natural catching the ball, Kendricks displays better-than-average tight end speed and has the ability to get downfield to make plays in the secondary. He extends to make the reception away from his frame, displays relatively soft hands and does a nice job using his frame to box out opponents and protect the pass. Kendricks gives effort blocking yet lacks strength at the point of attack. He’s a lot like former Badger and New York Giants third round pick Travis Beckum.
Receiver Nick Toon is a lot like his father, former All Pro wide out Al Toon. The younger Toon plays with great balance, body control and is graceful on the field. He consistently makes the reception away from his frame and displays terrific eye/hand coordination as well as focus. Toon is not a burner rather a reliable possession receiver who’ll sneak it downfield when he finds the opening- just like his dad did twenty five years ago.
John Clay is a strong, straight-line running back that can be a can be a battering ram on the inside. Clay keeps his feet driving up the field, puts his shoulders down pushes defenders and falls forward when tackled. He struggles changing direction and shows minimal quickness in his game.
Clay’s back-up, Zach Brown, is a sleeper of sorts. A solid receiver out of the backfield, Brown displays a good degree of quickness in his game and shows creativity in his running.
Many in the scouting community are down on safety Jay Valai, which we think is a mistake. A smallish safety, Valai does not think twice about taking on larger opponents, shows a tremendous amount of explosion in his game and is fearless coming up the field to defend the run. He does a nice job diagnosing the action and remaining disciplined with assignments in coverage, keeping the play in front of him. Valai also shows solid ball skills when placed over the slot receiver, effectively reading receivers eyes and getting his head back around to locate the pass in the air.
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