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T-Rock's Phinfever FFL 2014

ESPN's James Walker

Miami completed their run of picks in the 5th round and their final pick for this draft with CB Tony Lippett of Michigan State.  The 6'2, 194 lbs Lippett was the Big 10 WR of the year, as he had 65 catches for 1,198 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2014 for the Spartans.  But Lippett also played at CB for the Spartans and was targeted 8 times for 13 yards with 3 passes defended.  Fits the mode of a Big CB, ala Richard Sherman, with tremendous ball skills, very good feet and he has shown he will come up and hit you.  Just pull up the Cotton Bowl against Baylor and see him BLOW UP the punter.  Team player and a very intriguing pick for the Dolphins.

 

 

Tony Lippett, WR
School: Michigan State | Conference: BIG10
College Experience: Senior | Hometown: Detroit, MI
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 192 lbs.

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS **

 

Draft Analysis

What he brings: Lippett primarily lined up at receiver at Michigan State, but the fact that he started five games at corner in 2011 and two in 2014 makes him an intriguing Day 3 prospect. There's a lot to like about his height, length and ball skills, but he's on the leaner side so he gets pushed around at times regardless of the position. He doesn't project as a vertical threat as a receiver despite averaging 18.4 yards per catch last season, and he will need help over the top at times if he lines up at corner. While he ran better at his pro day than he did at the combine, he has only average top-end speed.

Draft Results

Overall Football Traits

Production 3 2010 Redshirted2011 (14/5): 4-44-11.0-0 2012 (13/5): 36-392-10.9-2 2013 (14/10): 44-613-13.9-22014 (13/13): 65-1,198-18.4-11
Height-Weight-Speed 3 On the slightly taller side with thick lower half, longer arms and bigger hands but lean with an undeveloped upper body. Ran better at Pro Day than did at Combine but top-end speed is just average.
Durability 2 Missed part of 2012 spring with an injury.
Intangibles 2 Pronounced LIP-it. Son of Selina Stafford and Tony Lippett. Played both receiver and corner in 2011. All five starts at corner that year. Also started two games at corner in 2014 and went through corner drills at the Combine. 23 tackles and nine pass deflections in career.
1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

Wide Receiver Specific Traits

Separation Skills 4 Sets up his breaks and changes tempo fairly well for size but tighter hips and struggles making crisp in and out cuts. Chops feet and wastes too much motion at top of stem. Lacks explosive burst to run away from corners and doesn't negotiate traffic well running shallow crosses. Adequate hand fighter that flashes ability to create separation with upper body but would do well to get stronger and gets pushed around at times. Locates and exploits seams in zone looks.
Ball Skills 2 Flashes ability to make difficult highlight reel catches. Tracks deep ball well and above average body control. Average leaping ability and above average catching radius. Doesn't drop many passes. Second lowest drop percentage (1.8%) out of the 21 receivers we tracked in 2014. However, inconsistent catching away from frame and traps far too many passes. Struggles to sink and catch passes thrown below waist. Takes too long to get head snapped around and locate ball.
Big play ability 4 Gets off the line well, tracks the deep ball well and has enough speed to make occasional play downfield but he doesn't show an elite second and not as much of a threat after the catch. Sporadically makes first defender miss on occasion but average elusiveness, power and burst after the catch.
Competi-tiveness 3 Edge to his game and doesn't back down when defenders try to intimidate him. Doesn't take eyes off ball to locate safety on deep sideline routes but not as comfortable working the deep middle. Flashes strong punch as blocker though can clean up angles and improve ability to sustain.
1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal
NFL DRAFT SCOUT

NFL DRAFT SCOUT DRAFT ANALYSIS **

STRENGTHS: Good height and length for the position with large, soft hands...plucks and uses his full extension to expand his catching radius, utilizing every inch of his frame to attack the ball...tracks very well with an excellent feel on back shoulder throws...makes natural adjustments on the ball, staying focused in contested situations to finish...terrific blend of patience and aggressiveness in his routes, using his field awareness to find vulnerable spots in zones...catches the ball well in stride without losing momentum...strong plant foot out of his breaks and works well along the sideline.

Physical after the catch with a strong stiff-arm...experienced on defense with nine career pass break-ups at cornerback (seven starts)...impressive toughness, both physical and mental, and considered a 110-percenter by the MSU coaching staff...impactful receiving target with 85% of his catches (55-of-65) in 2014 producing either a touchdown or first down...productive career and finished ranked second in catches (149) and fifth in receiving yards (2,247) in the Michigan State record books.

WEAKNESSES: Narrow shoulders and lanky limbs with unimpressive bulk...below average strength and too easily overpowered by defenders as both a blocker and receiver, allowing smaller cornerbacks to force him out of bounds...doesn't consistently play up to his measureables and needs to be more reliable on 50/50 chances...lacks ideal top-end speed for the position with only one gear and minimal separation due to athleticism...doesn't play with suddenness in his routes, lacking burst off the line and at the top of his patterns - struggles to stack defenders at the stem...needs to better sink his hips in his breaks to hold defenders and create spacing out of his routes...only one year of above average production.

IN OUR VIEW: Due to hard work and improved chemistry with quarterback Connor Cook, Lippett had a breakout senior season and became Michigan State's first two-way starter in the same game since 1968, starting at both wide receiver and cornerback in the final two games of 2014. He uses his length and catching radius to catch the ball well in stride with a natural feel on over the shoulder throws. Despite his height and long arms, Lippett doesn't have an impressive-looking frame and his pedestrian speed will make it tough to create separation at the next level. Nonetheless, he plays confident and tough-minded to be a reliable possession target and projects in a similar role at the next level or as a conversion player at cornerback - mid-round option who lacks ideal physical traits, but will be a tough player to keep off the field.

--Dane Brugler

Player Overview

A three-star wide receiver/cornerback recruit, Lippett played quarterback in high school and also starred as a defensive back on defense, but was recruited mostly as a receiver, committing to Michigan State.

After redshirting in 2010, he played offense and defense in 2011 and started five games at cornerback, recording 18 tackles and five passes defended. Lippett moved full-time to wide receiver in 2012 as a sophomore and started five games, finishing with 36 catches for 392 yards and two touchdowns. He started 10 games at wide receiver in 2013 as a junior, recording a team-best 44 catches for 613 yards and two touchdowns. Lippett had his most productive season in 2014 as a senior, starting all 13 games at wide receiver, including a pair of starts at cornerback, recording four pass break-ups.

On offense, he led the team in receiving with 65 receptions for 1,198 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors and the Richter-Howard Big Ten receiver of the year. Lippett was invited and participated in the 2015 Senior Bowl.

 

NFL.COM ANALYSIS **

Draft Analysis:

Lippett is an intriguing football player who started at both corner and wide receiver for Michigan State last season. He projects better at receiver where he uses his length and ball skills to make plays downfield. Don't count him out as a depth defensive back, either. --Mark Dulgerian

Overview

2014: First-team All-Big Ten. Started all 13 games. Played offense, defense and special teams in Cotton Bowl win over Baylor, including leveling the kicker on a block following a blocked field goal. 2013: Played all 14 games with 10 starts. 2012: Played in all 13 games with five starts. 2011: Played in all 14 games at WR and CB, making five starts at CB. 2010: Redshirted.


Pro Day Results


40-yard dash: 4.59 and 4.57 seconds

Analysis

Strengths

Was the team MVP and finished the 2014 season as both starting wide receiver and starting cornerback. Tall with good feet. Sits down and opens quickly vs. zones. Will adjust to pressure as the window constricts. Creative, varied release off the line of scrimmage. If he catches on the move, he can eat up turf and YAC with his long legs. Hands-catcher who can outjump and outreach most corners. Confident and accepted the challenge to be great in 2014. As cornerback, targeted eight times for just 13 receiving yards with three passes defensed. Adjusts routes when needed near goal line. Dominated smaller cornerbacks in the red zone. Saw 86.7 percent of his catches go for a first down.

Weaknesses

Struggles with out-cuts. Too much wasted motion at top of his routes when getting to boundaries -- allows cornerbacks a chance to jump route. Play strength is below average as a blocker and downfield receiver. Average shake within routes to get free in small spaces -- needs runway. Does not possess strong hands and will drop passes with heavy contact.

Draft Projection

Round 5

NFL Comparison

Nick Toon

Bottom Line

The eyeball test doesn't seem to show Lippett as a dangerous wideout, but he consistently beat Big Ten coverage. Long-strider who excels with slants, posts and in-cuts, he needs work to be more well-rounded with his routes. Lippett's production skyrocketed thanks to hard work, confidence and competitive fire. His willingness to accept the challenge at cornerback and play both ways is an example of why Lippett should succeed as a starter in the league.

 

 

 

 


 
 

 

Miami adds more talent to the back end of the defense by adding FS Cedric Thompson from Minnesota.  In Thompson, the Dolphins are getting a nice size prospect at 6'0, 208 lbs, and has the ability to play up close to the line of scrimmage or play deep safety.  Has enough size and speed to match up with TE, which is a plus when you have to face Rob Grownkowski and now Charles Clay.  His instincts and awarness on the field could be better, but Thompson is a size speed athlete that can come in and provide depth and compete.

 
 

 

Cedric Thompson, FS
School: Minnesota | Conference: BIG10
College Experience: Senior | Hometown: Calipatria, CA
Height/Weight: 5-11 / 211 lbs.

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS

ESPN INSIDER ANALYSIS **

 

Draft Analysis

What he brings: Thompson has adequate measureables with a thick frame and above-average strength. He caught our eye at the NFLPA bowl where he showed good range and was very efficient in run support. Thompson has a chance to make an immediate impact on special teams while he develops as a player early in his career.

Overall Football Traits

Production   No production trait available.
Height- Weight-Speed   No height-weight-speed trait available.
Durability   No durability trait available.
Intangibles   No character trait available.
1 = Exceptional 2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

Safety Specific Traits

Instincts/ Recognition N/A No information available at this time
Cover Skills N/A No information available at this time
Ball Skills N/A No information available at this time
Run Support N/A No information available at this time
1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal
NFL DRAFT SCOUT

NFL DRAFT SCOUT DRAFT ANALYSIS **

Strengths Weaknesses

He has terrific athleticism to open his hips and run with backs and tight ends, covering a lot of ground vs. both the run and the pass. Thompson has adequate route recognition in the deep half of the field, but tends to be more reactive than proactive with marginal instincts and ballskills, taking too many late and false steps. He has adequate length to get physical with bigger targets, although he needs to do the same with smaller receivers before they can put the moves on him. Thompson strings out plays and closes the gap on the perimeter, leading with his face and driving his hips on tackle attempts, which should serve him well on special teams - potential NFL back-up.

--Dane Brugler

Player Overview

A two-star cornerback recruit, Thompson became a starter at safety as a sophomore and has been an underrated member of the Minnesota defense the past three seasons, recording 221 tackles, 10 passes defended and five interceptions over 32 starts (never received All-Big Ten honors).

 

 

NFL.COM ANALYSIS **

Draft Analysis:

Thompson showed great range at free safety in college and should benefit from learning behind Louis Delmas, who is in a contract year and coming off ACL surgery. --Mark Dulgerian

Overview

2014: Started all 13 games at safety. 2013: Played in all 13 games and started 11 at safety. 2012: Played in all 13 games and started eight at safety. 2011: Appeared in seven games.


Pro Day Results


40-yard dash: 4.5 and 4.48 seconds
Vertical jump: 40 1/2 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 2 inches
Short shuttle: 4.28 seconds
3-cone: 6.96 seconds
Bench: 21 reps of 225 pounds

Analysis

Strengths

Played as deep safety and near the line of scrimmage. Has enough size to match up against tight ends. Wrap-up tackler with willingness and tenacity to finish in open field. Has adequate closing burst. Gets secondary lined up and is communicative. Has above-average deep speed with twitch in his hips. Had big-time pro-day workout.

Weaknesses

Instincts and defensive awareness are below average. Takes too long to commit once play direction has been declared. Comes downhill looking for action but runs himself into poor run fits. Needs to show more patience in run support. Struggles to move feet and mirror in coverage. Needs to squeeze routes at the top rather than allowing so much room to throw in zone. Had forgettable day against Ohio State.

Draft Projection

Round 5 or 6

Bottom Line

Combination safety with above-average athletic traits and size, but plays with below-average instincts and isn't as trustworthy as teams would like on the back end. Thompson seems slow to see things on tape and uses his athleticism to make up for it. If he can be trained to recognize and react more quickly, he has a shot to make a roster.

 

 
 

 

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