TCU Senior Scouting
I was much lower on the talent coming out of Texas Christian last year than the league was, but I think I might end up higher than they will for the 2020 group. In the 2019 NFL Draft we saw the edge rusher pairing of L.J. Collier and Ben Banogu both end up as top 50 picks, while athletic linebacker Ty Summers was selected in the 7th round.
For 2020 it looks like the top option for the Horned Frogs is going to be offensive tackle Lucas Niang, who has the athleticism and technique to be an impact starter from day one. It's also worth noting that Niang is ranked as my top senior tackle out of 54 total summer evaluations. He good.
Behind him is a pair of backs in powerhouse Sewo Olonilua and the speedster Darius Anderson. Cornerback Jeff Gladney isn't a great athlete, but he rounds out the group as a reliable outside option. The upcoming season looks like it could be a lost cause for the program, but they should continue to be a quality pipeline to the NFL.
Prospects are ranked from best tape grade to worst tape grade.
Lucas Niang Offensive Tackle
Get extension on his blocks and scraps with whoever he’s going up against. Has the balance to survive from uncomfortable situations, although better leverage would help avoid those difficult spots. Fights to get his hands back into the chest if he loses his positioning. A little thicker in the midsection than in the thighs, but he can anchor without much issue. Might be able to function as an interior lineman if necessary. Length isn’t anything to write home about. More of an effort guy than a natural power generator.
Capable of getting good depth on his vertical sets. Able to recognize stunts and pass them off, but his play speed is a tick slow at the moment. Athletic ability suggests he has the potential to develop into a good left tackle in the pros. Wide base should be better for absorbing contact. Has recovery potential when he makes mistakes. Carries 330 pounds well. 3rd Round Summer Grade.
Jeff Gladney Cornerback
Meets the size thresholds that teams will want for an outside corner. Has the foot quickness to mirror receivers coming off the line of scrimmage. Able to get decent depth in his backpedal when necessary. Does an excellent job of pinning guys to the sideline and shutting down their route. Able to stay in the hip pocket on vertical routes even against fast movers. Usually ends up playing off of the receiver rather than finding the ball. Able to get turned around on short notice. Tends to segment his movements even though he could make adjustments smoother.
Best work comes when the play is in front of him and he can come downhill. Will get pushed by massive receivers, but can usually match physicality with physicality. Won’t open up his hips prematurely. Recovery speed is middle of the pack and he shouldn’t be expected to make up for lost ground. Active at the catch point if he is able to stay in the area. Seemed to be one of the leaders on the defense from a mental perspective. Willing tackler who won’t back down. Closing speed isn’t anything special; won’t pounce on guys without having some build-up. Patience is impressive. 5th Round Summer Grade.
Sewo Olonilua Running Back
Built like a brick house for a running back. Listed at 6’2” and 230 pounds, and that alone helps to move bodies in the pile. Doesn’t commit to just one lane; willing to work laterally to find his way out of trouble. Doesn’t have the elusiveness to avoid backfield traffic on a consistent basis, but he does recognize it and work away from it as hard as possible. Speed won’t wow anyone, but he an get from point A to point B in a timely manner. Seems to get hung up through the hole more due to thickness than lack of acceleration. Drops his pads into contact and keeps his momentum rolling forward.
May not have the speed to take the corner and turn upfield against athletic linebackers. Active participant in pass protection situations, and his size will allow him to eat blitzing linebackers. Not light on his feet, but his change of direction is smooth for a big man. Arrested for possession of marijuana in May of 2018. Still able to pick up chunk yardage even though he won’t be a home run hitter. H/W/S combo is going to be intriguing for teams. Rarely makes mistakes with the paths he takes. Patient leading up to the line of scrimmage. Contact balance is meh. 7th Round Summer Grade.
Darius Anderson Running Back
Good enough speed to take the corner and turn upfield on most linebackers. Play strength isn’t a massive plus, but he can get away from arm tackles and fight through poor attempts. Listed at 210 pounds but doesn’t look like he’s more than 200. Slender frame isn’t likely to add more weight as he transitions to the pros. Willing participant in pass protection, but his size does work against him in that area. Can be simply overpowered when he meets a linebacker in close quarters. Technique as a pass catcher needs work. Able to make guys miss in the open field on short notice; good reaction time.
Creative with his running style; uses a variety of sharp cuts and spins to make guys look silly. Strictly an outside runner in the pros and may have trouble finding a ton of snaps. Angle erasing speed on long runs. Able to find an extra gear to get into when needed. Able to get skinny through the hole. Elements of deceptiveness stand out in his game. Won’t back down from hits as a smaller guy. Slippery runner. 7th Round Summer Grade.
Cordel Iwuagwu Offensive Guard
Meets size thresholds that teams will want at 6’2” and 310 pounds. Comes out of his stance with some pep in his step. Might be seen by some teams as having too much weight up top. Not necessarily built bad but could use some time in an NFL program. Leverage isn’t an area of concern but he doesn’t have a ton of natural power to rely on. Unable to generate much movement through leg drive.
Comfortable working combo blocks and has decent speed for a college guard, but isn’t a high end athlete. Misses open field blocks and struggles to connect against athletic linebackers. Hand placement has a lot of room for improvement. Average length and doesn’t demonstrate a good understanding of how to use it. Willing to finish if he gets the opportunity but isn’t nasty enough from snap to snap. Not a high upside guy. Decent awareness and reactive ability. UDFA Summer Grade.
Anthony McKinney Offensive Tackle
Good length but he doesn’t know how to use it at this point in his career. Quality size at 6’7” and 315 pounds. Able to keep run lanes open as a down blocker, but doesn’t have overpowering strength in his arsenal. Anchor isn’t bad, but he can be forced into uncomfortable angles that are difficult to recover from. Lacks the speed to hold the edge if he loses control of his angle.
Doesn’t keep his feet tied with his hands, which puts him behind where he should be. Inaccurate and somewhat sluggish when working as a puller. Unlikely to pass the athletic thresholds that teams will want from a starting tackle. Technique gets pretty ugly when he isn’t able to make up with pure size. Has trouble getting his hands inside the chest of targets. UDFA Summer Grade.
With Olonilua potentially facing a suspension, this offense could be pretty messy on Saturdays. Underclassman receiver Jalen Reagor has turned some heads, but he won't be able to do much if poor quarterback play persists for the team. The conference schedule isn't as rough as it was in years past, but it should still be a difficult path to getting a meaningful bowl game at the end of the year.
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