Last week, GreenAndWhiteReport.com had the chance to sit down with Daniel Mogollon of CollegeFootballInsiders and The NFL Draft Bible to talk about Jets’ first round pick Kyle Wilson. Mogollon had great things to say about Wilson and his ability to make an immediate impact in what is shaping up to be a great Jets’ secondary.
Mogollon had good thoughts on second round pick Vlad Ducasse out of UMass. The NFL Draft is always in focus at www.CollegeFootballInsiders.com so make sure to check out Mogollon and the hardest working staff in the business. Part one of a look at Ducasse through the analytical eyes of Mogollon.
GreenAndWhiteReport.com: What are your thoughts on Vlad Ducasse? It seems like he is raw but certainly has the size and the potential to become a very good NFL player.
DM: You hit it right on the head. Ducasse has the potential to be a Pro Bowl caliber lineman in the NFL. As they say, you can’t teach 6’4” and 330-plus pounds with almost 35” long arms. He’s very athletic and nimble on his feet for an interior lineman, which is why some think he has the potential to kick out and play tackle. He’s also one of the strongest and most explosive offensive guards coming out of the 2010 NFL Draft but clearly he is also raw.
Ducasse hails from Haiti and didn’t move to the States until he was 14 years old. He didn’t know much about football and didn’t speak much English. Playing at UMass, a Football Championship Subdivision School, he is making a bigger leap to the NFL than most rookies. At that level, with his size and athleticism it was pretty easily for Ducasse to dominate opponents.
No one can question his upside, but whether or not he is NFL ready remains to be seen.
GreenAndWhiteReport.com: How ready is Ducasse to be an every-down kind of player for the Jets?
DM: That is the $64,000 question isn’t it? The Jets took a real risk by releasing veteran guard Alan Faneca. Was he overpaid? Sure. Did he make the Pro Bowl based more on reputation than his actual production? Yes. But is Ducasse ready to step in as a starter? I honestly don’t know.
The Jets got great value late in the second round with Ducasse, but they may be asking too much of the rookie to expect him to start for a team with Super Bowl aspirations. It’s not my money but why not keep Faneca around? In addition to providing insurance in case Ducasse isn’t ready to be an every-down player, the veteran could have been an asset, someone for the rookie to learn from.
The tools are there for Ducasse to be a top-notch run blocker with his strong base. His long arms and athletic ability give him the potential to be an elite pass-blocking guard, however whether he can approach that in year one is anyone’s guess.
Part two of the interview with Mogollon will be up this weekend. Make sure to check out www.CollegeFootballInsiders.com for regular analysis and breaking news.