Expert Opinion: Class of 2016 Signee Film Breakdown I
Though the Letters of Intent have been signed and faxed in, Inside the Gators isn't quite ready to move on from the class of 2016 just yet.
Today, in order give a more complete look at the Florida signees, NFL Network, NFL Films analyst Matt Hamilton shares his expert opinion on Florida's signing class.
All evaluations were based solely off each player's Rivals.com highlight film. Scouts usually need at least three full game tapes of a player to get a full evaluation of his skill set, strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. More so, scouts prefer the tapes not to be from consecutive games. Highlight tapes only show off a few physical traits and some tendencies as far as technique is concerned, making it hard to get an overall assessment of where a player truly stands. By it's very nature, it shows the prospect at his best and will lead to a more positive review than if you were to see an entire game tape.
It is also important to keep in mind things like practice habits,health status and character go a long way in determining recruits' future success.
Having said that, here is what I observed from watching their highlight tapes:
• Wide Receiver Tyrie Cleveland – Cleveland is a long, explosive receiver who is a home run threat every time he is on the field. Has excellent feet, which show up time and time again on both his releases off the line and in his elusiveness after the catch. Is remarkable elusive for a receiver with such a big frame. Has good speed and very good acceleration. Has good hands, a wide catch radius and will make some plays in traffic. I’d like to see him make more plays away from his body, but he has shown the ability to do it. He will need to clean up his route running at the next level, as he just relied on his blazing speed to just run by everyone in high school. With his outstanding physical traits, I have no doubt he will be able to get there and make a rather seamless transition. Has the potential to contribute immediately. Overall, Cleveland has some unique traits and has the potential to be a 1st team All-American when all is said and done.
• Offensive Tackle Stone Forsythe – Forsythe is a strong, tough, enormous tackle prospect with SEC-ready size. Projects best as a RT as he has struggles with speed and quickness off the edge. Has a strong base and uses leverage well. Uses his hands well to punch and seal his blocks and finishes opposing defenders regularly. Run blocking is definitely his strength. Needs to improve his footwork, as he is a bit slow-footed. Even with a filled-out frame, he still can redistribute and add muscle once he gets in the weight room. Overall, Forsythe has the potential to be a strong cog on a good offensive line with a year or two of development.
• Quarterback Feleipe Franks – Franks is a big, strong-armed QB with an NFL build. Throws a very good deep ball with good touch and can fit balls into tight windows with his arm strength. Showed some anticipation on downfield throws. Very good on the run, is a good athlete for his frame. Can run when he has to, but scrambles to throw. Has a bit of a long, slow release. Made a lot of high-risk throws that may turn into INTs at the next level. Didn’t show precision in the short to intermediate passing game and his footwork needs to become more consistent. Overall, Franks has all of the tools to be a star eventually, but needs a lot of polishing to reach his full potential. His success will depend on his ability to grasp next level concepts and learn what throws he can and can’t make at the next level.
• Wide Receiver Josh Hammond – Hammond is a versatile and balanced receiver with good hands and acceleration off the line. Has very good length for his height and a large catch radius to go along with it. Has good feet as evidenced in his releases, but needs to be more precise in his route running. Has superb concentration and will make the tough catch in traffic. Has excellent compete level and ball skills on deep balls. Good, but not great speed. Above average with the ball in his hands, has some elusiveness, but not a game-breaker. Can play in the slot or the outside. Overall, Hammond can be a reliable 3rd down target, red zone weapon, and big play threat, but must continue to improve his route running to get there.
• Offensive Center Brett Heggie – Heggie is a hard-nosed center who takes pride in finishing his blocks. He fires off the ball consistently, uses his hands well, and tries to bury his opponent on every play. Blocks well in space and gets to the 2nd level well. Has good strength, although he needs to start playing with better leverage and not relying on his upper body as much at the next level. Has the tendency to reach at times and compromises his base as a result. Would like to see more of him in pass pro, as there isn’t a ton on his tape, which could mean he will need some polishing there as well. Overall, Heggie is a bulldog who will be an asset in the run game and if he can continue to refine his technique, his toughness and strength should ensure that he is a productive and valuable cog in the offensive line in the future.
• Wide Receiver Dre Massey – Massey is an explosive and shifty receiver who does most of his damage after the catch. Like a running back with the ball in his hands, Massey is elusive and has excellent vision in the open field. Will excel in the slot and can line up in the backfield as well. Very good feet and acceleration off the line. Will need to learn how to run crisp routes at the next level. A home run threat whenever he is on the field. Has good hands and concentration, can stretch the defense and has good ball skills on deep balls as well. Overall, Massey is an offensive coordinators dream due to his versatility and explosiveness. Look for Jim McElwain and company to design packages to maximize his impact and he should be able to contribute early in his Gators’ career.
Matt Hamilton was a former student assistant for the quarterbacks at Missouri, coach at the high school level in Connecticut, intern scout for the Detroit Lions and currently works at NFL Films breaking down film for use on the show Playbook on NFL Network.
TODAY: OFFENSIVE SIGNEES A-to-M
THURSDAY: OFFENSIVE SIGNEES N-to-Z
NEXT WEEK: DEFENSIVE SIGNEES I
NEXT WEEK: DEFENSIVE SIGNEES II
2016 PARTING THOUGHTS: