Drew Boylhart   2/09

Robert Ayers   DE   Tennessee          



Robert might be the most complete DE in this draft.  He has the quick-twitch pass rushing skills to go along with the strength, balance and leverage to stop the run.  He has a variety of mature pass rushing techniques and understands situational football.  Robert is a player that does not just rely on effort to get the job done.  He can make impact plays because of his athletic talent and intelligence; he will be a force to reckon with at the next level.  When Robert drops his shoulder, turns the corner and gets really low to the ground, he reminds me of Dwight Freeney (DE Colts).  He has the same arsenal of pass rushing techniques as Dwight, but Robert is a bit stronger against the run.  



Robert is a little out of shape, so he will have to build up his mental and physical stamina to become the impact player that his talent suggests he can become.  How you finish a game is more important than how you start a game.  Robert has a tendency to disappear as the game goes on because of his lack of mental and physical stamina.  Right now, Robert thinks he is pretty good; unfortunately or fortunately, he still has a long way and can get a lot better.  



If you are looking for a complete DE in this draft then Robert is as good as there is.  If his stamina and physique were better, I would put him in the top ten of this draft.  You have to question his work ethic just enough not make him a top ten pick.  I think things have come easy for Robert and although he has a lot of pass rushing moves, you have to wonder how he acquired all those moves without have the physique or stamina.  I think for the first time in Robert's athletic life he will really have to work hard.  This could be a problem and sometimes it takes a while for a kid to adjust and put in the work to improve.  Will this be the case with Robert?  Truthfully, I do not believe so!  Robert's impact for the team that drafts him will be outstanding in his first year.  The problem will come in his second and third year.  Those years are when he will struggle and will have to work hard to get better.  Those are the years that an offensive coordinator will have film on Robert and will frustrate him to no end.  Those years are when Robert will have to have a good work ethic to get through the frustration and become better than he thought he could ever become.  Right now, Robert does whatever he wants to do on the field because he is better than everyone else.  Tennessee had to move him all over the place to keep him involved.  Opponents just looked at where Robert was and ran to the other side.  In the pros, until he proves otherwise, teams will run right at, and through, him until he proves he can handle the pressure.  Adversity will come to Robert for the first time in his athletic life.  How he deals with that adversity will dictate his impact.  I would take a chance on this kid early in this draft.  I think he has that kind of talent.  If I'm drafting #11 in the first round and I need a DE, I'm jumping all over this kid.  The potential is just too much to pass up.  I call him Robert (Air It Out) Ayers because if I pay him that kind of money, Robert better be ready to air all of his talents out or I will ship him to parts of the world where football is a game they play with their freakin' feet!