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Prospect Profiles: S Myron Rolle (FSU/Rhodes Scholar)

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I’ve responded to the comments in the last post.

Usually at this time in the draft people are talking about a lack of players intelligence and wondering if his athletic ability will overcome a persons’ Football Intelligence to make him a good N.F.L. player.

Vince Young and Mario Manningham are two examples of players who scored poorly on their wonderlic test, and for Mario Manningham it dropped him two rounds in the draft.

Well it’s refreshing to see that’s not the case with S Myron Rolle. As you can tell by my title in this post you better get used to hearing about how smart Myron Rolle is leading up to the draft becuase he is. And he’s a hard worker, he wants to do something with neuro science.

The Question is can he play?

Well THIS is one player who will love or die by his 40 time this combine. Scouts and G.M.’s know he’s smart, know he was a productive player, but they want to know if after a year away from a football training regimen if he still has speed becuase that was never his strongest suit anyway.

Measurables

6’2 215 pounds. 21 Reps at 225. 4.68 40 (average to below average for a safety)

Stats

Career: 207 tackles, 1 FF, 1 int

Scouting Reports

Football Fan Spot

23/10: A big question mark after taking a year off of football to study at Oxford. He has top 15 pick talent, but taking a year off of football, isn’t unclear how he’ll respond. We’ll get a chance to see him at the Senior Bowl next week and his stock could end up anywhere from a 2nd to 5th round prospect based off of the results of his Senior Bowl week, his combine, and his workouts. There’s also a possibility that he’s not fully committed to football as he has aspirations of being a neurosurgeon (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and that’s a red flag to NFL scouts, but just showing up to the Senior Bowl could cool that red flag a bit.

Myron Rolle is a complicated prospect. On paper he should be a first round lock. He’s big, 6-2 218, fast, mid 4.4s 40, smart and a great leader on the field from the safety position. There are no holes in his game. However, I don’t think he is going to go in the first round. Rolle skipped his senior season of college, though he had already graduated, and his last season of NCAA eligibility, to go attend Oxford, after winning the Rhodes Scholarship, in hopes of being a neurosurgeon. Not that this is a bad thing at all, but he has shown on several occasions that academics means more to him than playing football. While the average person would say that he is a good kid with his priorities in order, NFL scouts see that as a red flag. Does he really want to play in the NFL? Is he committed to the game? On one occasion, he skipped a game to interview for the Rhodes Scholarship. Who’s to say that he won’t retire after 2-3 years in the league to become a neurosurgeon? If you use a first round pick on him, that could happen and you’d essentially be out a pick. Also, if he actually does declare for the NFL draft, as that is not a given at this point for him, he will have been out of football for a year, and who knows what that could do to him. I am giving him a 2nd round grade for now, as I see him as a game changer who could be a real steal in the 2nd round, but the risk is definitely still there. He has top 10 pick talent, the question is, is he committed to using it on the football field?

NFL Comparison: Brian Dawkins (if Rolle commits to football, this is the type of special player he could be)

ESPN”s Scouts Inc. (1 exceptional, 3 average, 5 marginal)

Production Started 38 games from 2006-08, amassing 206 total tackles (7.5 TFL), one interception and 13 pass breakups

GRADE: 2

Ht./Wt./Speed Ratio Prototypical height and bulk. Straight-line speed is adequate but not good.

GRADE: 3

Durability Not a concern to our knowledge

GRADE: 1

Intangibles Won a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship in the fall of 2008 and studied at Oxford in fall of 2009. Will enter his rookie season having not played in a live game for more than a year and a half. Earned his bachelor’s degree in two-and-a-half years and has master’s degree in public administration. Created a program called Our Way To Health for Seminole Indian children to help educate them about the importance of physical fitness. Inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa National leadership Honor Society in 2008.

GRADE: 2

Instincts/Mental Toughness 2 Reads the quarterback’s eyes and depth of their drops well when in zone coverage. Does a good job of flowing with quarterbacks when they roll out or get flushed out of the pocket. Can overreact to misdirection/play-action and struggles to recover once caught out of position. Is tough, plays hard, flies around the field and likes to mix it up.
Run Support 2 Generally locates the ball quickly and fills hard. Takes sound pursuit angles and shows adequate body control in space. Wraps up above the waist far too often and doesn’t drive though tackles, but he is an effective open-field tackler who generally gets the ball carrier to the ground.
Fluidity 4 Uses positioning to mask stiff hips but inconsistent footwork and subpar hip fluidity are going to be more of an issue at the NFL level. Wastes too much motion when asked to change directions quickly and will to have a difficult time matching up in man coverage. Appears mechanical at times.
Closing Burst 2 Closing burst is above-average for his size but is not elite. Doesn’t explode off his back foot when forced to transition out of his backpedal and can be a quarter-count late getting to the ball as a result, but he has enough range to cover the deep half when he properly diagnoses plays. Times blitzes fairly well and flashes the ability to force the quarterback to hurry his decision-making process.
Ball Skills 4 Shows good body control in the air and fights for jump balls. Can get a hand on the ball without going through the receiver. However, he rarely comes down with the ball and drops far too many passes that should catch.

PRACTICE NOTES
Monday (1/25/10): You have to like Rolle from a smarts and discipline standpoint, and he showed the ability to recognize the run quickly, get downhill and be physical when taking on blocks. However, it is clear that a year off from football has him rusty. His footwork is inconsistent, he is taking extra steps and his body has not yet caught up to his mind. We’re interested to see how he adjusts to the speed of the game as the week goes on.
Tuesday (1/26/10): Rolle had a strong day for a guy who hasn’t played in a live game in over a year. He looked comfortable in press coverage, showing the ability to open his hips and turn and run with receivers. Rolle is obviously a smart player and showed against Ole Miss dynamo Dexter McCluster the ability to stay in his pedal, anticipate breaks and jump a post route. He pushed of a bit on the play but it is clear he knows how to use his use instincts and positioning to make up for a lack of elite burst and fluidity. Rolle also showed bit of a mean streak when he leveled UAB WR Joe Webb over the middle. Overall, Rolle continued to shake off the rust seemingly with each rep and his body is catching up with his brain. He is looking more and more like the player we gave a third-round grade to a year ago and quieting concerns about him taking a year off.
Wednesday (1/27/10): After seeing Rolle’s developed core at Monday’s weigh-in we were not surprised to see him playing strong in press coverage drills today. He held his ground well and was not pushed around by receivers. He was able to post receivers with his hands and gain leverage on routes, and while we didn’t see him matched up against tight ends today we feel he will be capable of matching up with and re-routing tight ends in coverage. We didn’t see many highlight-reel plays but Rolle continues to show that his off-field intelligence transfers to football by doing an excellent job reading the quarterback’s eyes, anticipating routes and taking sound angles as a run defender

Thursday (1/28/10): Rolle seemed to be having fun today and was as loose and confident as we’ve seen him all week. He was ready to play and was certainly one of the better players on the field. Rolle has good change-of-direction skills for his size and has more quickness and fluidity and we expected. He is clearly more fluid than USC S Taylor Mays and is consistently in better position than Mays. Rolle is finally to the point where he is comfortable asimply playing without thinking, and as a result we’re seeing

Sportingnews Russ Lande

Strenghts: Is a solid tackler. As a Rhodes Scholar is definitely smart. Is quick to read plays and react; understands how to lineup to take advantage of opponets weaknesses. Shows soft hands to make Interceptions. Is not afraid of contact, and plays with toughness in run support. Is adept at taking on run blockers, shedding and making the play. Delivers big hits. Is good in zone coverage taking good angles to the ball.

Weaknesses: Lacks elite speed and perhaps a true N.F.L. position. Lacks flexibility to adjust and make some open field tackles. Missed some tackles going for the highlight-reel hit. Struggles to cover wide receivers man-to-man, struggling to stay with the man out of breaks. Could be rusty, having sat out the 2009 season studying abroad.

Bottom line: Rolle is an in-the-box safety who plays more like a linebacker. He might never be an N.F.L. starter but might be a special teams asset. If he can improve his 40 yard dash time in predraft workouts, he will be a late round pick.

NFL Draft Bible.com

Skinny – Myron Rolle is one of the most talented and intriguing prospects to come through the college ranks in the last few decades. Rolle is a solid tackler, great in coverage, and is rarely out of position. He is smart, intuitive, and has terrific anticipatory skills. Rolle led Florida State with 62 tackles in 2008 and started 12 of 13 games (the one game missed was for his Rhodes Scholar interview). He recorded 67 tackles in 13 games in 2007, and another 77 tackles in 2006. His intellect on and off the field is what makes the 2008 Rhodes Scholar such an interesting prospect. He did not enter the 2009 draft, choosing instead to head overseas to Oxford University to earn his Masters. Once that is completed, he will make himself available for the 2010 NFL Draft.

CBS NFL Draft Scout

PRO POTENTIAL: S Myron Rolle – After spending a year in England studying as a Rhodes Scholar, Rolle was invited to participate in the Senior Bowl and made a big impression on NFL coaches with his conditioning, body type and work ethic. He may have worked his way into the second or third round after a strong showing in Mobile, Ala. What’s more impressive, NFL coaches knew, of course, he had not played football in more than a year. His big test in the NFL combine will be the 40 time.

Read & React: Good anticipatory skills. Reads the action quickly and has the athleticism to close quickly. Appears cautious, at times, and would rather make the secure stop than go for the big play.

Man Coverage: Smooth backpedal, but has questionable straight-line speed. Good change-of-direction agility. Reacts quickly to the pass and closes in a hurry. Lacks top ball skills and has only one career interception.

Zone Coverage: Prototype size and straight-line speed for the position. Versatile defender. Lined up all over the field for the Seminoles and can handle multiple assignments due to his size, athleticism and intelligence. Reads the play quickly and is seemingly always around the ball.

Closing/Recovery: Good speed and instincts for coverage. Rarely out of position. Locates the ball quickly and shows a good burst to close. Competitive and will fight for the ball. Despite his tools, has never proven to be a consistent playmaker at the collegiate level (one career INT).

Run Support: Good run support defender. Not afraid to get his jersey dirty. Will take on and discard blockers to get to the ballcarrier. Sound open-field tackler.

Tackling: A sound tackler, but lacks the explosive physicality some teams prefer in the secondary. Wraps up securely.

Intangibles: One of only 32 American students to be named a Rhodes Scholar, the most prestigious honor in all of college academics. Will be studying in Oxford, England for a one-year Master’s degree in medical anthropology. Plans to work out with noted trainer Tom Shaw in an effort to remain in top shape. Despite not playing in 2009, anticipated being invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

NFL Comparison: Tank Williams

Big Board Rankings

DraftBoard Insider 55

National Football Post: 5th overall rated SS

Football Fan Spot #97

NFL Draft Bible 135th (4th or 5th round)

Bartolis Summary and Final Verdict

What’s not to like about a young man who is intelligent well spoken, hard working and a role model. Myron Rolle wants to be a man who inspires people and he also is very intune to his position as a diplomatic black man.

Myron Rolle seems to be everything you would look for in a person and that’s someone I want to root for, there were some people who had a problem with Rolle taking the scholarship, but I’m not one of them.

As far as a football player, Myron Rolle is very talented, but the problem I have with Myron Rolle is that his production did not match his abilities.

He is a player who is a strong safety in the N.F.L. Does that fit with what the Giants want?

I’m not sure.

The odd thing about the position the Giants are in this year is that they have one of, if not the best secondary coach in the league with Perry Fewell who has worked wonders with no help from a pass rush in Buffalo. The Secondary always plays above their actual abilities in Buffalo and if you put a smart intelligent man like Myron Rolle with a man who can maximize talent Myron Rolle could be scary with the New York Giants.

Final Verdict

What to like: Brilliant. Hard Working. Great size and decent speed. He ran a 4.68 40 at the combine (slow), but he plays faster than that.

What’s not to like: hasn’t played football in over a year (but I don’t belittle his decision), production did not match his talent level, he’s a strong safety and the Giants need a Free Safety.

Would I be upset with the Giants if they select Myron Rolle?

No.

Would I be happy?

Maybe it depends what round we’re talking about.

6th round or later, he double hockey sticks yes.

5th round good value.

4th round, O.K.

3rd round? No. Reach.

If the Giants needed a Strong Safety I’d be more excited about it, but there are safeties I like more than Myron Rolle (I’m profile a few of them coming up).

Chad Jones and Morgan Burnett would be two better options earlier in the draft.

Larry Asante and Darrel Stuckey might also be better options at about the same points in the draft.

What do you guys think?

Interested in Myron Rolle?

If So what round?

Previous Profiles

LB Pat Angerer

Morgan Burnett

DT Cam Thomas

LB Navorro Bowman

Athlete Dexter McCluster

CB Joe Haden

S Nate Allen

Jason Pierre Paul

DT Geno Atkins

DT Lamarr Houston

RB Jahvid Best

OT Trent Williams

Derrick Morgan

OL Mike Iupati

S Chad Jones

OLB/DE Sergio Kindle

Sean Weatherspoon

ILB Sean Lee

S Eric Berry

OT Bruce Campbell

ILB Daryl Washington

DT/NT Dan Williams (Updated with K.C. Joyner’s Draft Lab 2/7)

CB Kyle Wilson

DT Jared Odrick

DE Carlos Dunlap

ILB Micah Johnson

DT Arthur Jones

OT Bryan Baluga

OT Anthony Davis (UPDATED 2/5/10)

DT Brian Price

ILB Brandon Spikes

S Earl Thomas

ILB Rolando McClain

RB C.J. Spiller

S Taylor Mays


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One Response to “Prospect Profiles: S Myron Rolle (FSU/Rhodes Scholar)”

  1. Dan says:

    The point made about Fewell’s abilities as a secondary coach are well made.
    If Rolle is available after the 4th round, I’d be fine with using a pick on him.
    Fewell runs some truly complex coverage schemes, using cloud and combo with great results. If Rolle can pick up neuro-science he’d probably have no trouble with Fewell’s coverage, and I’m sure Perry could make him into a solid second option at the SS.

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