John Wendling   S/OLB   Wyoming

STRENGTHS
John is a player that can play more than one position.  He has good size, excellent speed and burst to go along with solid change of direction skills.  John is a smart player who shows leadership skills, is a good tackler and makes the players around him better.  He is an impact player waiting to happen.  The position heís been playing for his college team does not showcase his true athletic talents, but his coaches were smart to use him at the safety position and take advantage of his leadership skills.  John has the athletic talent and size to play the OLB position or safety position at the next level for the team that drafts him. 
 
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Most scouts are going to downgrade John because of the level of competition.  This will be a big mistake.  I suspect that he might have to change positions at the next level and learn better tackling techniques; I donít think this will be a problem, but it will lengthen his LTI a bit. 
 
TALENT BOARD ROUND: 2
John has first round talent, but I believe that he will be a perfect fit in the new 1-gap attack defense as an OLB.  If Iím right, he will need some time on the field to learn before he impacts.  He reminds me a lot of Keith Ellison (see Archives for profile) drafted last year in the fifth round by the Buffalo Bills who is slowly turning himself into an impact player.  John is faster and has a little more bulk and burst than Keith. It looks to me because of Johnís burst and change of direction skills, he could become an impact player in any style of defense.  If you use him as a free safety, he has the speed and athleticism to cover sideline to sideline.  To be honest, this kid has a lot of Troy Polamalu in him.  John could be used in a defense that uses a rover or one in which a player can freelance.  My point is that a player like John, with his athletic talent and intelligence, should be used to attack an offense.  I have a feeling the team that drafts him will use him in just this manner and if they do, John will be an impact player for that team.  If you want to use John as a safety, you are still going to draft an impact player; however, it will just be less of an impact.  This is a hell of a football player and to downgrade him very much because of the level of competition is a joke.   John might not be picked in the first day because he might have to change positions and because of that proverbial
level of competition issue.  The fact is that John will be an impact player in any style of defense for the team that drafts him.

Drew Boylhart

February/2007