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Old 04-12-2005, 09:41 PM  
Mr. Laz Mr. Laz is offline
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David Pollack

Draft preview: Pollack isn't perfect, just a player
April 10, 2005
By Clark Judge
CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer

Georgia end David Pollack isn't the top defensive lineman in this year's NFL Draft. But if you're holding a first-round pick and, say, Wisconsin's Erasmus James and Maryland's Shawne Merriman are off the board, how can you pass on the guy?

"You can't," said an NFC scout I know and trust.

James is considered the best of this year's defensive linemen. Merriman is the most intriguing, mostly because he's a perfect fit for anyone that plays a 3-4 defense. But then there's Pollack, and you won't find anyone anywhere with more outstanding credentials.

As a sophomore he was the SEC defensive player of the year and set a school record for sacks in one season. As a junior he was the Hendricks Award winner as the best defensive end in college. As a senior he became only the second player in Georgia history to become a three-time All-American (Herschel Walker was the other); was the SEC defensive player of the year; set a school record for career sacks; won a second Hendricks Award and picked up the Bednarik Award as the nation's best defensive player and the Lombardi Award as its best lineman.

But this is what I like most: In four years as a starter he suffered no major injuries, had 45 consecutive starts and in his senior season was recognized for demonstrating the most hustle and desire during spring practice.

"I saw him three times last year," said our scout, "and every time opponents were double and triple-teaming him. If they weren't blocking him, they were chipping him before releasing downfield. Well, I swear to God, the guy still made the play, and he always did it at the right time. When his team needed a sack, he made the sack; when it needed an interception, he pressured the quarterback into making a bad throw; when it needed a turnover, he forced it.

"I'm telling you, he knows when it's time to make plays, and he knows how to set people up. The kid is one of the most competitive and instinctive players I've seen in a long time."

It's that quality that should have Pollack off the board by the middle of the first round. He would go higher except at 6-feet-2, 265 pounds he lacks the size the pros look for at his position. He is neither as heavy nor as tall as they would like, but don't mention that to his supporters. They know what they see, and what they see is someone our scout likens to New England's Tedy Bruschi -- an impact player who produces monster plays.

Look no farther than the 2005 Outback Bowl for evidence. Pollack was named the game's MVP after he had three sacks, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and deflected a pass.

"He's as fine a player as you'll find," said our scout.

What makes Pollack's story so compelling is that he stayed at Georgia to complete four years of play. A year ago he considered declaring himself eligible for the draft, just as the University of Miami's Kellen Winslow Jr. and Sean Taylor and Pitt's Larry Fitzgerald had done. But he declined, opting to stay another year while juniors Winslow, Taylor, Fitzgerald, Virginia Tech's Kevin Jones and USC's Kenechi Udeze became first-round picks.

Pollack would have been a first-rounder, too, if he left Georgia, but he didn't -- and he doesn't regret the decision.

"It's the best decision I made in my adult life," he said. "You can't come back and have that college season back again. I learned so much about myself, it's amazing. In just one year I grew up so much more. It was awesome. I learned how to take care of myself a little better. It was a rewarding year."

OK, so when you compare him to the blueprint for a defensive end, you wish Pollack were bigger. You wish he were heavier, too. You wish his reach were longer and, maybe, that he were a little faster. But listen to our scout who studied the guy, interviewed him, then watched him demolish opponents.

"This is the kind of guy you're looking for," he said. "Sure, you'd like to see him 6-5 or 6-6, but guys with his talent and that size are sure Hall of Famers. This kid is going to make someone happy in the middle of the first round. Maybe he won't be a dominant pass rusher, but he's going to be productive because his instincts are off the charts and he gets better as games go on. Would I draft him? In a heartbeat."

Top Prospects: Defensive Linemen

Top Five
1. Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin
The skinny: Good size. Has a great motor. Uses his hands well. Has great speed off the corner. Recovered nicely from 2003 hip injury to have superb season. Could be the first defensive lineman taken.

2. Shawne Merriman, DE-LB, Maryland
The skinny: Ideal choice for a team playing 3-4 defense. Some people look at him strictly as a rush backer, but he can be a decent defensive end in a 4-3. A smart, instinctive player who reads and reacts with ease.

3. David Pollack, DE, Georgia
The skinny: Bednarik and Lombardi award winner, he poses a problem because of his size. Scouts aren't sure if he has enough of it. Tough. Energetic. Instinctive. Tedy Bruschi type who makes big plays.

4. Demarcus Ware, DE, Troy State
The skinny: Moving up the board because clubs think he can fit in nicely as a 3-4 backer. Has great height and long arms. Speed and quickness helped him control tackles in college.

5. Marcus Spears, DE, LSU
The skinny: What one scout labeled "a heartbreaker" who doesn't play up to his ability. Played DE and DT in college and will need to bulk up if he stays inside. Produced inconsistently, and scouts are concerned he doesn't play hard.

Rising

Ware: He can play as a defensive end in a 4-3 defense or an outside linebacker in the 3-4. At 250 pounds he's undersized for an end, so look for a 3-4 club to pick the guy. He was durable, has great speed and explosiveness and can drop into coverage.
Falling

Anttaj Hawthorne, DT, Wisconsin: Two months ago this guy was projected as a first-round pick; now you don't hear his name. He has all sorts of ability, but he doesn't use his hands well and doesn't seem to play aggressively every down.

Overrated

Shaun Cody, DT, USC: The guy's a terrific athlete for the position, but the question is: What position do you play him? He has the height but not the size for defensive tackle, and he doesn't have the speed to be a defensive end. Then there's this: He hasn't played up to his ability.
Underrated

David McMillan, DE, Kansas: A superb athlete with outstanding quickness and the speed to beat offensive tackles. What makes him intriguing to the pros is that at 6-3, 263 pounds, he's ideally suited to playing in a 3-4 defense as a linebacker.
Position assessment

It's a good year, not a great year, for the position. There are players like Merriman and Ware who could be stars, but overall the position is not particularly deep or star-studded. That doesn't mean there won't be a run on defensive linemen in the first round. There will be, but it isn't driven by star power.
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Old 04-12-2005, 10:21 PM   #2
whoman69 whoman69 is offline
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I don't know how they can put in the great motor thing for James when many of the reports on him says he dissappears during big stretches of games and it may be because he doesn't play hard every down.
Pollack is seen as a tweener so there's a real danger he could be taken by DV. Despite his size though, he is said to use leverage and his hands very well.
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Old 04-12-2005, 11:27 PM   #3
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I will always take quickness over 40 time.

Checkout nfldraftcountdown and look at where they had Jarred Allen. All the way near the bottom.

I don't think half these guys will pan out.

I like going for guys that produce in BIG conferences or DOMINATE small Div II schools.

Anyone else agree ??? It's the best litmus test.

ALL THIS 40 time talk is for stupid football nerds !!!!

Defensive ends 'don't' run straight for 40 yards ! lol.
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Old 04-13-2005, 12:40 AM   #4
HipHopper4Life HipHopper4Life is offline
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According to John Clayton, the Chiefs "really really like" Pollack.

Hit the Clayton link on www.softycentral.com and it's at the very end of the audio segment. He also talks about the Surtain issue a bit.


(sorry if this has already been posted)
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Old 04-13-2005, 07:12 AM   #5
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If David Pollack can make plays in the SEC, he can make plays in the NFL. Eric Hicks has awesome size.... but that's it, he does not have the heart of a playmaker. That's what Pollack has, the heart of a playmaker. If a guy out-sizes him, he just figures out another way to make the play. He's not a one-trick pony, and that's what I would LOVE to see the Chiefs sign him.

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Old 04-13-2005, 07:17 AM   #6
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Not of any consequence to us, but I wonder if Anttaj Hawthorne will keep rising considering he tested positive for weed.

http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW.../drugtests.htm
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Old 04-13-2005, 08:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Top Five
1. Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin
The skinny: Good size. Has a great motor. Uses his hands well. Has great speed off the corner. Recovered nicely from 2003 hip injury to have superb season. Could be the first defensive lineman taken.
The 2nd word was the most accurate - skinny.
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Old 04-13-2005, 10:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laz
Underrated

David McMillan, DE, Kansas: A superb athlete with outstanding quickness and the speed to beat offensive tackles. What makes him intriguing to the pros is that at 6-3, 263 pounds, he's ideally suited to playing in a 3-4 defense as a linebacker.
Position assessment

It's a good year, not a great year, for the position. There are players like Merriman and Ware who could be stars, but overall the position is not particularly deep or star-studded. That doesn't mean there won't be a run on defensive linemen in the first round. There will be, but it isn't driven by star power.
Rock chalk, baby! BTW, I would love to get Pollack.
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Old 04-13-2005, 10:03 AM   #9
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I'll take a player who doesn't fit the profile for DE, but plays with heart anyday.


Always been on the Pollack bandwagon.
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