Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Player Profile: Ricky Jean-Francois LSU DT

Pros: He has good size and long arms, which allow him to play with leverage and makes it difficult for offensive linemen to push him around in one-on-one situations. He is able to disrupt running plays by pushing his man back and also by getting his arms on backs in the backfield. The former Bayou Bengal also has the initial burst to get penetration. He shows great anticipation of the snap count and often gets in the backfield before the quarterback has time to realize he's gotten the snap. Jean-Francois also shows good ups to deflect passes and block kicks. He possesses the upside to improve.

Cons: Despite flashes of brilliance, he was never extremely productive and his college career was considered a disappointment. He looks much more athletic than he really is. He doesn’t have any extremely strong aspect to his game other than special teams—he is not a great run stuffer and will likely never be a premiere pass rusher. Durability and character are huge concerns after he missed several games due to both—Jean-Francois missed the entire 2007 regular season due to a suspension and sat out two games last season because of an injury (groin). There is no doubt he needed another year in college but he might have been worried that he wouldn’t have started because LSU’s defensive line is so stacked.

Scouts Take: Jean-Francois was supposed to take the place of the great LSU Tiger Glenn Dorsey, but he never came close after his MVP performance in the National Championship game against Ohio State. His performance on the biggest of all stages made scouts salivate with anticipation, but not too many were impressed with his play as a junior. He was often invisible during the 2008 season. He will convince a team to spend a middle-round pick on him because of the potential upside that earned him the nickname “The Freak”. He could possibly play defensive end in a 3-4, which adds to his value, but he must work on his quickness and learn to contain his area. A boom or bust prospect who could be worth the risk depending on how far he slides come draft weekend.

Photo Credit: SEC Sports Media