NFL Draft analyst Corey Chavous talks upside, concerns of state’s top prospects

Arizona Sports News online

With the NFL Combine coming up next month in Indianapolis and the draft later this spring, several local players have hit draft radars recently, including Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey and ASU’s Carl Bradford both who opted to skip their senior season of eligibility and enter the NFL draft. Reviews seem to be mixed on ASU’s Will Sutton. recently caught up with President and former Arizona Cardinals safety Corey Chavous to get his thoughts on Carey, Bradford and other players looking to play at the next level. Below is some of the conversation.

What do you think of Bradford turning pro?: “I don’t know if he’ll get any bigger and I think that’s the number one thing. Obviously, I think he was talented enough before the year…when you combine what he did in 2012 with the 11.5 quarterback sacks…he re-directs his course pretty naturally. Sometimes can get caught playing a little bit sideways against the run trying to hold the edge. I think the question for NFL teams is can this guy play the linebacker spot because they have shown him doing that a little bit in the last couple of years and it only helps his evaluation. He has tremendous, tremendous athleticism.” 

Take me over to Will Sutton: “I didn’t think he looked real good against Stanford [in the Pac-12 Championship]. I felt like there were some time he got a little bit manhandled…I love the effort. Actually almost blocked a punt late in that Holiday Bowl showing the effort there, late in the fourth quarter, still playing very hard. I think he’s a player that’s going to get some attention in the second day…he’s not as explosive as [former Minnesota Viking] John Randall, but he does have some explosion…although he did put on some weight he still moves pretty well. He’s a guy that can come in and productive at the three-technique.”

How about running back Marion Grice?: “The one thing I was happy about with him was his willingness to go to the ground as a pass-blocker. I don’t think he has really a natural base…now in terms of being able to come out of the backfield and catch the football he’s as good as anybody in the country. I think he has good play speed and he carries his pads. The health issue he had late in the year will carry with him as a tag now into the NFL.”

You weren’t surprised Ka’Deem Carey turned pro, I’m sure: “No, I wasn’t. I thought it was time for him to go pro. You wonder about the number of carries he has at 196 pounds, whether he’ll be able to continue to be what he’s been in college which has been a workhorse. The thing about him…this guy doesn’t really mind blocking. He’s even led up as a blocker for his teammates. Anytime you have a guy who can line up in the slot as a mismatch against linebackers, he may be able to stay on the field.”

Is it a red flag how many carries he had at UofA?: “Well, I think it is when you talk about the number of hits. I think the thing that helps is the way he ran in that system he doesn’t always take big shots so that does help. He’s very tough to contact cleanly because he seems to always be taking away half of his frame as he’s running and getting north-south.”

Anybody else at UofA you really like?: “There’s a couple guys. Marquis Flowers, a guy who’s played some safety. I’m sure you’re very familiar with him. Moved to linebacker after playing safety. Doesn’t always see the [field] but the thing about him, you go back to the USC game in 2012, two interceptions. When you can provide that kind of athleticism in this new-age NFL…I think he’s somebody to watch. They’ve got some other guys. Shaq Richardson really came on this year…didn’t really come all the way into his own until this year in terms of consistency, probably looking at a late-round guy.”

Be sure to pick up Draft Nasty’s “2013 College Football Season in Review” hitting shelves in mid-February and the “2014 NFL Draft Preview” in stores starting in late-March.