Tonight Matt Cassel returns to Arrowhead Stadium to get vengeance on the Chiefs. This is our last preparation for the regular season as most starters will not suit up next week. Can Matt Cassel keep the offense rolling? Is Norv Turner truly a 100% chill guy? We’ll find out I guess…I don’t know whatever I’m depressed. SEND
Training Camp in Mankato has arrived and all of our questions will finally be answered!
Will Adrian Peterson fulfil his destiny?
Can we replace Antoine Winfield?
Who will win the MLB position?
How many beers will Jared Allen murder?
How many gentleman will Mauti Mash?
Does gravity define Jerome Simpson?
Is Christian Ponder ready to be a man?
What is the status of HCG’s urethra?
For live updates here is a list of people to follow on twitter, feel free to add to the list.
https://twitter.com/Andrew_Krammer – Replaced Tom Pellisero
Baca (pronounced BOCK-uh) grew up in Mission Viejo, California, and attended many UCLA games with his late father. And once arriving on campus after a successful high school career, he made an immediate impact. Unfortunately, the NCAA ruled him ineligible for the 2010 season because, as head coach Rick Neuheisel said “he got over his skis” in some of the classes he took the previous spring. Then he broke his left ankle in 2011 spring practice. But instead of getting down, he played as veraciously as ever for the Bruins in his junior season, earning the respect of NFL scouts.
An all-state pick at left tackle his senior year in high school, Baca stepped in for eight starts at that position in his true freshman year. He moved inside to left guard for all 13 contests in 2009, and then redshirted the 2010 season due to the aforementioned academic issues. After missing the opener in 2011 coming back from that spring ankle injury, he stepped into the weak side tackle spot (the team moved linemen from one side of the line to the other, depending on the play call) for 11 games before playing strong-side guard due to injuries on the line. In 2012, as a senior for the Bruins, Baca registered 12 starts, 11 at guard, and one at tackle. He was named to the second-team All-Pac 12 by the conference’s coaches.
As tenacious a blocker as there is in this draft class. Strong punch in pass pro, stuns tackles to knock them backwards and works to move the line, not just hold his ground. Quick to recognize blitzes. Re-directs blitzers out of the hole, keeps his feet moving to take them away from the play. Shows awareness in assisting teammates in pass protection. Gets after his run target, attacks with a venom. Hustles to help his tackle prevent inside rushes, at times just attacking the end without any need to. Stones twists inside. Good mobility to pull, gets around the line quickly and has the flexibility to adjust to inside defenders once through the hole. Fits on his second-level block well and engulfs the defender.
Average height and size for an NFL offensive lineman. Stronger defenders can push him back with a power rush, and can use their superior strength to rip off blocks or control his upper body. Aggressiveness can backfire when overextending his punch, as he lacks great length to re-direct once he loses contact.
GIL BRANDT ANALYSIS
Baca grew up going to UCLA football games with his late father, so it wasnt a surprise when he chose to play for the Bruins as an all-state left tackle coming out of high school. Despite missing the 2010 season due to academic difficulties, Baca’s managed to register 45 career starts. 25 of those starts have come at guard, and 20 have come at tackle. He’s purely a guard in the pros, and his presenting the sort of nastiness and intelligence will earn him a mid- to late-round draft selection, by a team that’s willing to let him build up his functional strength.
MEL KIPER ANALYSIS
Baca has experience at both offensive guard and offensive tackle at UCLA. He has good feet, decent arm length, and he’s a good run blocker, getting to the second level nicely. I also thought he did a solid job in pass protection. Baca faced some very good defensive lineman during his career in the Pac-12 and he more than held his own. I don’t see a ton of upside with respect to his talent, but he’s consistent and versatile. You have to like a guy who can be a quality backup at offensive guard and center and maybe push for a starting job down the road. Baca is another solid mid-to-late round pick.
“Upstanding citizen. I think he’s a starting Will linebacker all day long. He gives the Vikings versatility.” — Mike Mayock
A converted high school quarterback and successful wrestler (finished third in the state going 40-1 as a junior) from New Jersey, Hodges enrolled early and began his career at safety. He moved to linebacker during his true freshman season due to injuries there, playing in every game (three tackles). Hodges suffered a hairline fracture in his left leg after a hit on the opening kickoff against Alabama in 2010, missing four games. He consistently contributed after his return, starting one game and making 31 tackles, 2.5 for loss, on the year.
During the trials and tribulations of the Jerry Sandusky scandal in the 2011 season, Hodges led Penn State with 106 tackles and also had 10 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks as a full-time starter and second-team All-Big Ten pick. As a senior in 2012, Hodges totaled 109 tackles (8.5 for loss), a sack, and two interceptions. For the second year in a row, Hodges earned a second-team All-Big Ten selection.
Former safety with short-area quickness to handle coverage responsibilities on multiple levels. Stays with running backs and tight ends in man coverage, comes off one target in zone to lay a hit on the underneath route. Flashes downhill speed to wrap up ballcarriers or force them into decisions. Active hands when engaged, willing to be physical. Works through traffic to the ball in tight quarters. Stays with receivers on short outs, can knock away the pass without interfering.
Has only average bulk and length to take on NFL-sized linemen and tight ends. Does not consistently take advantage of interception opportunities. Lunges and fail to break down in the open field at times so more elusive ballcarriers can avoid him. Can be fooled on misdirection plays. Needs to prove himself a capable blitzer, doesn’t beat blocks consistently to force quarterbacks into making throws. Will get locked onto blocks, doesn’t always play with proper leverage.
GIL BRANDT ANALYSIS
Hodges is a converted safety who is growing into a NFL starting Sam linebacker’s frame -– but he still has the movement skills to bring down ballcarriers in space. Hodges most impressive trait is his ability to cover, however. He needs to improve at disengaging from blocks, but his coverage skills will likely see him selected on the second day.
MEL KIPER ANALYSIS
Hodges has the necessary measurables to play linebacker at the pro level, he can run and, as a former safety, has the coverage skills needed to succeed in today’s pass-happy NFL. He is also a good tackler. Hodges won’t be a huge sack guy or give you a lot behind the line of scrimmage, but he has excellent range and he has the necessary aggressiveness to be on the field every down. He wasn’t always impactful at Penn State and he doesn’t bring a “wow” factor to his film grades, but he will fit in nicely at the pro level thanks to his coverage and tackling ability and his experience in the Big Ten. Hodges isn’t a great prospect, but he should be able to find a home on an NFL roster.