Friday, March 21, 2008

NFL Draft Spotlight on . . . Dre Moore and Erin Henderson

Today's NFL Draft Spotlight is on Maryland's Dre Moore and Erin Henderson....Moore is listed as one of the top 5 defensive 6'4", 311 lbs., he recorded six sacks last season.....Henderson, who is 6'3", 236 lbs, is a top 10 linebacker...Matt Bracken of The Baltimore Sun took the time to respond about both players...I want to thank him for his time....

Q1. In most publications, Dre Moore (photo) is listed as one of the top defensive tackles in this year's draft. What are his strengths and weaknesses?
A. Physically, Moore's got all the tools you'd want in a defensive tackle, and more importantly, those tools actually translate into productivity. He's not just a combine specimen. Moore's production increased every year at Maryland, culminating with a senior year in which he had 63 tackles. 8.5 tackles for loss, and 6 sacks - the most any Terp has recorded since Shawne Merriman in '04. Like many defensive tackles, Moore's been known to take a play or two off here and there, so that's probably his most notable weakness. But regardless of that, Moore looks like a solid second-round choice.

Q2. Another Maryland product is linebacker Erin Henderson. What are your thoughts about Henderson? Is he better suited as an inside or outside linebacker?
A. Having rebounded from an ACL tear as a redshirt freshman, and then playing through back spasms, more knee troubles, and a variety of other minor injuries (eye, shoulder, you name it) during this past year, it's safe to say that Henderson is a tough player. Granted, those are more ailments than you'd like to see, but he was really a warrior on the field all year long to play through that pain.

Henderson is just a playmaker, and truly a well-spoken, natural leader. He's a guy that others follow, and certainly someone you'd want on your team. He played the WILL linebacker for Maryland, so putting Henderson inside in a 3-4 defense could be the best fit for him in the NFL. But he's a versatile guy that just makes plays.

Q3. One of the sleepers in the draft could be tight end Joey Haynos. He is listed at 6'8" and is listed as a hard worker. What are your thoughts about Haynos? Can he stick in the NFL?
A. You mentioned Haynos' two best attributes - size and work ethic. Haynos came to Maryland five years ago as a preferred walk-on, choosing the Terps over a basketball scholarship from Campbell (N.C.) University. He added about 40 pounds to his frame over his four and a half years in College Park, and developed into a reliable pass-catching tight end along the way. So work ethic is not a concern with Haynos - he'll do whatever is asked of him. Speed's a bit of a concern with Haynos, having run in the high 4.8s at the combine. But he's a solid blocker with very good hands. It sounds like Haynos will fall in that round 5-7 range. He's got a good shot at sticking with a team as a backup tight end.

If I may shamelessly plug something here, we've been doing an occasional series at on Haynos leading up to the draft. Haynos

Q4. Who are some other sleeper picks on the Maryland team that we should pay attention to on draft day?
A. This might be a loose interpretation of the word "sleeper," but thanks to offensive guard Andrew Crummey breaking his left fibula twice in the last six months, he fits the bill. Crummey first broke the bone against Georgia Tech in October. He battled back to appear in the Terps' last two regular season games and the Emerald Bowl, but broke the bone again in the East-West Shrine Game in January. When he was healthy near the beginning of the year, there was talk that he'd be a mid-round selection. Now, it's tough to say. Any team that drafts him will probably have to do so with the knowledge that his rookie year will be a wash between rehabbing and learning a system. But he's a solid long-term investment - he's got the tools to be a starting OG in the league a few years down the road.

Other potential Terps sleepers include cornerback Isaiah Gardner, who tested very well at Maryland's Pro Day last week, safety J.J. Justice, who's got great size and really finished his senior season strong, and running back Keon Lattimore, Ray Lewis' younger brother and a powerful inside runner. I'm not sure any of those three will hear their names called on Day 2 of the draft, but they're all worthy of camp invites.

Q5. Who are some of the future NFL prospects that we should pay attention to on the 2008 Maryland team?
A. Darrius Heyward-Bey, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound wide receiver, is already appearing on a selection of NFL Draft sites' 2009 first-round mock drafts. DHB will just be a junior, and his sophomore season was a bit of a disappointment statistically thanks to an initially shaky quarterback situation, but it's tough to ignore his 4.3ish speed. He's the one to watch from an early entry standpoint.

Cornerback Kevin Barnes is a guy I think could develop into a potential round 2-4 selection. He's got excellent cover skills, ideal size, and 4.5 speed. Others to watch include Jaime Thomas, who should be one of the ACC's better offensive guards next year, Dave Philistin, who was very productive in his first year as a starting linebacker last season, Trey Covington, a linebacker/defensive end type that has great strength, overachieving defensive end Jeremy Navarre and reliable wide receiver Isaiah Williams.

Once again, I want to thank Matt for his time....

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