STRENGTHS: Flexible hips to snap-and-seal…works hard to achieve body position…foot quickness to pull into space and take out moving targets…knee bend to play low and establish leverage, resetting to find his anchor after contact…grappling hands and wrestling background is clear…always in a ready position with astute awareness…takes pride in his finishing skills…lead singer making the protection calls and checks…voted a senior captain with exemplary competitive toughness…NFL bloodlines – older brother (Jack) was an All-American at MSU and has played two seasons with the New Orleans Saints…experienced at all three interior line spots.
WEAKNESSES: Undersized by NFL standards with a short, smaller-framed body…belly-to-belly blocker with shorter arms…falls behind quickly if he doesn’t land his initial punch…doesn’t play with the upper body power to redirect or displace defenders…can be bullied by physical nose tackles who can overwhelm him at the point of attack…not explosive off the snap and lacks the nimble footwork to recover once beat…lower body stiffness shows in pass protection…allows athletic three-techniques to cross his face without a pat-down…inconsistent timing and success as a second-level blocker.
SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Michigan State, Allen started the final 28 games of his career, including all 13 games at center. He earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors each of his three seasons as a starter and his versatility was a valuable asset for the Spartans, spending time at left guard, right guard and center. A team leader in East Lansing, Allen has terrific intangibles, toughness and intelligence that will win over pro coaches. While he isn’t a poor athlete, he isn’t an impressive athlete either and lacks the ideal size or sustain skills that teams desire at the position. Overall, Allen is a smart, scrappy center who is rarely out-maneuvered, but he can be overpowered, creating doubt that he will be anything more than a NFL back-up.
Possesses a compact, athletic frame with a well-developed upper body. Good burst to and through the hole. It is in space where Walton shines, showing simply a different level of sheer athleticism than most backs, leaving would-be tacklers grasping at air with electric jump-cuts, gravity-defying leaps and the stop-start quickness to elude defenders, even in tight quarters. Can beat linebackers to the edge and possesses good straight-line speed to break the big one with 10 carries of at least 25 yards on his resume and two 80+ yard runs... Competitive runner who consistently falls forward, spinning his way through contact to get tough yards, including in short yardage. Sneaky pass-catcher, hiding behind the behemoths to set up screens and quickly snaring and securing the ball. -- Rob Rang 1/7/2018
Reliant upon making defenders miss as Walton currently lacks the leg drive to consistently break tackles, with the initial hit too often knocking him down. Possesses just average vision as an interior runner, too often running into the back of his own blockers. Falls in love with his own flashy moves, wasting motion and time trying to shake would-be tacklers instead of dropping his shoulders and fighting for the tough yards... Productive receiver out of the backfield but virtually all of his catches came on relatively simple screens and swing passes... Willing but too indecisive in pass protection, too often attempting to absorb rushers rather than bending at the knees to anchor or generate the explosive collision on his own... Comes with some off-field issues which may require further investigation, including an arrest April 24, 2016 for on suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license, leading the Hurricanes to suspend him from the team indefinitely. Walton, then 19, had bloodshot and watery eyes and was slurring his speech when police stopped him, according to the arrest affidavit. In the document, police said Walton nearly fell when asked to walk to the back of the vehicle. Breath tests showed Walton with blood-alcohol levels of 0.059 and 0.06, police said. Those are under the state thresholds for DUI for those 21 and older, but well over the Florida threshold of 0.02 for those under 21. The charges were later dropped. - Rob Rang 1/7/2018
COMPARES TO: Giovani Bernard, Bengals - Like the 5-09, 205 pound Bernard, Walton is a dynamic "air" back with the slippery moves, speed and hands to be big play threat every time he touches the ball. Their lack of ideal size, power and durability, however, likely mean that each would be best utilized as part of a committee in the NFL despite their impressive production as bell-cow backs in the ACC.
IN OUR VIEW: Though he played less than two and a half seasons of college football, few running backs in the 2018 draft class boast more highlight reel-worthy plays than Walton, a fact which help him explode in the NFL if he were to receive more consistent blocking and quarterback play to keep defenders from focusing on him. Despite scoring 26 touchdowns during his abbreviated college career, Walton is better in space than inside, projecting best as a "lightning" back who should be paired with a thundering bruiser.
Crafty route-runner with subtle tempo to leverage patterns. Evades at the line of scrimmage with assorted release moves. Understands route depth and works his way to open spaces. Coordinated feet and stem shake to separate. Excellent field sense. Natural ball tracking and judgement skills. Physical to the ball and comfortable making contested catches. Adequate frame and length for the position. Intelligence is clear on and off the field. First-class person and wired right (Penn State head coach James Franklin: “What’s great about DaeSean is it’s always team first for him.”). Leaves Penn State No. 1 in the school record books in receptions (214) and No. 2 in receiving yards (2,842). – Dane Brugler 2/4/2018
Ordinary physical traits. Lacks an explosive gear at the top of routes. Doesn’t have the finishing speed to run away from defenders. Consistent separation will be tougher to find against NFL defensive backs. Drops and double-catches appear too often on film due to streaky focus. Needs to be more understated with his push-offs downfield. Willing, but unrefined as a blocker with average play strength. Consistent production in college, but never reached 900 yards in a season and his season-highs in catches and receiving yards both came his freshman season. – Dane Brugler 2/4/2018
IN OUR VIEW
Hamilton doesn’t have noteworthy size, strength or speed and needs to be more consistent finishing catches, but his route savvy and “always available” approach make him a quarterback’s best friend, potentially as a NFL slot receiver in the Doug Baldwin mold.
Hand looks the part of an NFL player with a powerful, well-proportioned physique and long arms. Hand's best attribute might be his overall power. He possesses the explosive upper body strength to quickly shed blockers, as well as the leg drive to walk opponents deep into the pocket and hold up against double-teams. Hand's length and strength show up in the running game, as well, where he shows the ability to set the edge and force ball-carriers to cut back inside. Hand is a better pass rusher than his college statistics suggest. He flashes enough initial burst to cross the face of offensive tackles, rushing off both the left and right side and possesses impressive straight-line speed for a man with his imposing frame. Hand arrives with bad intentions, generating explosive closing power and speed when he has a lane. He showed improved awareness of cut blocks in 2017. Though his role has been almost exclusively along the defensive line at Alabama, Hand's length, field vision and build-up speed could project him to a stand-up edge rusher role for some in the NFL. -- Rob Rang 12/26/2017
Unfortunately, while fast in pursuit downfield or on the track, Hand shows below average snap anticipation and initial quickness off the ball, greatly reducing his effectiveness as an edge rusher. Further, Hand is faster in a straight-line than he is pursuing ball-carriers, showing just average balance and agility in traffic to stalk and catch up to ball-carriers from behind. He is overly reliant upon his power as an edge rusher, showing limited technique in his pass rush arsenal. The MCL sprain which robbed him of three games in 2017 requires a closer look from team doctors at the Combine. Hand also comes with some off-field red-flags, including a July 31, 2017 arrest in Alabama on driving under the influence charges. - Rob Rang 12/26/2017
COMPARES TO: Allen Bailey, Chiefs. Bailey turned heads at the University of Miami with his flashy athleticism and imposing build but "slipped" to the third round in 2011 amid concerns about schematic fit and instincts. Since, he's developed into a steady part of the rotation in Kansas City's hybrid scheme and is a more disruptive player than his sack numbers (13.5 in seven NFL seasons) suggest.
IN OUR VIEW: Pardon the pun but Hand may "fit like a glove" in the NFL as he possesses the bulky frame and power to slide inside to defensive tackle, as well as the straight-line speed and balance to handle attacking off the edge, offering creative defensive coordinators quite a bit of versatility.
STRENGTHS: Athletic, muscle-bound frame with adequate length…rangy and flows well with the action…balanced and doesn’t labor in his movements…pursuit speed to get on top of ballcarriers before they can make a moves…diagnoses quickly on outside runs to routinely be in the vicinity…comfortable in reverse, opening his hips to run…not shy getting physical downhill, using his shoulder and body to ram into blockers…swims through a sea of bodies to make plays on both sides of the formation…named a 2017 team captain…currently taking a biology lab to finish his undergraduate degree and plans to attend medical school after football…playing experience at both inside and outside linebacker…had a career-year as a junior in 2017.
WEAKNESSES: Spotty backfield vision and a tick late reacting to inside runs…underdeveloped peripherals and blockers routinely surprised him from the side…too easily blocked and struggles to stay free…late to reset his eyes once his path to the ball is disrupted…below average footwork on the move and looks like he is on ice skates moving laterally, overpursuing and struggling to recover…flat-footed tackler and needs to better launch into ballcarriers instead of catching, especially in the hole…medical reports will be crucial after his 2013 and 2014 seasons were lost to injury – senior year in high school was cut short after he was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis (Sept. 2013), an infection in his pelvic bone that affected his bloodstream; missed most of his freshman season after suffering a torn patella tendon in his right knee (Sept. 2014), requiring surgery.
SUMMARY: A two-year starter at Western Kentucky, Iyiegbuniwe played outside linebacker in 2016 before moving inside in 2017 as the Hilltoppers transitioned to a 4-2-5 scheme. He was one of five players in Conference-USA with 110+ tackles in 2017, hitting double-digit tackles for loss for the second-straight season. Iyiegbuniwe plays with speed and pop and is routinely in the vicinity of the play. While athletic, his scatter-shot vision and disorganized break down skills dent his finishing skills, also lacking ideal experience as a coverage defender. Overall, Iyiegbuniwe is a see-ball, get-ball athlete who is at his best in space where he can flow-and-hunt, projecting as a NFL back-up at outside linebacker who can be more if he cuts down on the mistakes.