It’s easy to finger Dysert (pronounced DYE-sert) as another MAC quarterback piquing the interest of NFL general managers, especially when he’s leading the same Miami team for which Ben Roethlisberger played before winning two Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Over his four years starting, Dysert ended up breaking Roethlisberger’s school career passing attempts, completions, and yardage records. So it’s natural for teams to watch him closely in the hopes his skill set will translate similarly to Roethlisberger’s (even if he doesn’t quite possess Roethlisberger’s arm strength or bulk) at the next level.
Dysert pulled down 2007 Ohio state high school player of the year honors (an award also won by Roethlisberger when he was an Ohio prep) despite relinquishing his quarterback duties for three-plus games due to a broken thumb; maybe the fact he moved to wide receiver and played linebacker during those games swayed the voters to give him the title. Dysert won the team’s scout player of the year award during his redshirt season of 2008 before playing in 11 games, with nine starts, the following season (2,611 yards, 61.6% completion rate, 12 touchdowns, 16 interceptions). He continued his progression as a passer as a sophomore (2,406, 64.7 percent, 13, 12), starting the first 10 games before suffering a lacerated kidney. The injury prevented Dysert from passing over the last four games, though he did return as the team’s placeholder for their GoDaddy.com Bowl win over Middle Tennessee State. He stayed healthy throughout the 2011 season, starting every game, passing for 3,513 yards and greatly improving his completion percentage (65.8) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (23-11). The Redhawks struggled during his senior season, going through a scheme change and posting a 4-8 record, but Dysert’s production remained steady (3,483, 62.9 percent, 25 touchdowns, 12 interceptions), earning him third-team All-MAC honors.
Looks like an NFL quarterback, and has more room to add muscle to his frame. Keeps a solid base, active feet, and has a reliable over-the-top delivery for his accurate passes to all levels of the field. Good athlete for his size, able to sidestep and run away from blitzers in the backfield while usually keeping his eyes downfield to see if a receiver breaks open. Picks up first downs, or simply gets something out of nothing, with his feet. Shows the strength, in terms of body and arm, to get passes off with defenders hanging off his body in the pocket. Will get out of bounds instead of taking a hit on the run. Has experience both under center and in shotgun, but played in more of a shotgun spread scheme during his senior year. Flashes anticipation on crossing routes to hit his man on the run. Throws accurately on the move to his left or right, and will stop to set his feet if there’s time on moving pockets. His arm is strong enough to fling the ball 40 yards downfield on the run, and also to throw in tight windows over the middle. Flashes great placement on fades and sideline throws, puts ball on his man’s shoulder where only he can catch it. Good strength to pull down the ball at the last minute as well as step through tackle attempts in the pocket. Communicates with receivers pre-snap if he sees something worth exploiting in the defense. Big body and quick feet are helpful on quarterback sneaks. Mechanically sound overall. Has held for placement kicks.
Pocket poise needs to improve; takes off from the pocket if his primary read is covered or he sees pressure, but is also inconsistent feeling backside rushers. Needs to prove he can find check-downs and secondary options from the pocket. Will stare down his target, allowing defenders to follow his eyes to the ball. Accuracy in the intermediate portion of the field can be streaky. Straight-line speed and elusiveness aren’t elite, quicker NFL defenders will track him down in the pocket and will make him pay for running too often. May have picked up bad habits playing for an undermanned team. Can be prone to over-improvisation and trusts his arm too much at times, throwing balls up for grabs or across his body into traffic over the middle.
Dysert reminded scouts a bit of Roethlisberger by displaying toughness and more of a playmaker’s game than pure efficiency during his breakout 2011 season (3,513 passing yards, 65.8 percent completion rate, 23 touchdowns). He does not quite possess the two-time Super Bowl champ’s elite arm and bulk, but still has enough of both – along with the athleticism and deft passing touch to make NFL-caliber plays on the run – to become one of the top passers in the class. His career flew somewhat under the radar in the MAC conference, but has the size, arm, accuracy, athleticism, and production that NFL teams covet.
Just like every year, a few small schoolers break onto the scene and perform very well on an equal playing field. Bass is one of these prospects, as he was the most consistent pass rusher at the East-West Shrine game. The senior broke two records during his final year at Missouri Western State breaking the school’s career sack (39.5) and consecutive starts (50). When asked the one word to describe himself, Bass answered “beast”.
Bass immediately started as a freshman in all 12 games, finishing with 47 tackles, 9.5 for loss and 6.5 sacks. In 2010, Bass put up similar numbers in the same 12 starts, with 47 tackles, 10.5 for loss, and eight sacks. His production only went up, with 14.5 sacks in 12 starts as a junior on 20 tackles for loss. Bass’ 14 starts in 2012 were a career high and tallied 11.5 sacks.
The Chargers select Brad Sorensen in the 7th round
Sorensen has had his fair share of experiences since completing his high school career in California, having already watched three of his brothers go off to play college football. He served a two-year Mormon mission in Spain, and then earned first-team all-Foothill Conference honors at San Bernardino Valley College (2,280 yards, 17 touchdowns, four interceptions) in 2008. He attempted to get playing time as a walk-on at BYU, but he redshirted the 2009 season and realized he would have a different time seeing the field with the signal-caller talent already there.
So he transferred to Southern Utah in January 2010, and won the starting job in spring practice. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,163 yards and 21 touchdowns, earning first-team All-Great West Conference honors. Sorensen bested that accolade as a junior, winning the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year award with similar statistical results (67.8 percent completion rate, 3,143 yards, 17 touchdowns). The team went 6-5 in both seasons with Sorensen at the helm. As a senior, Sorensen completed 273 passes out of 439 attempts (62.2 percent) and threw for 23 touchdowns to 10 interceptions.
Looks like an NFL pocket passer, usually leading the wide-open passing offense from a shotgun look. Uses his above-average arm strength to throw darts to the typical hitch and out routes to move the team along, though he flashes an ability to change his arm angles and unload a bullet if pressure is coming. Patient waiting for the deep dig to open up, and can fit the ball into tight windows on the sideline as well as over the middle. Throttles down that cannon arm, showing some touch on fades or when trying to throw over the top of a defender to lead his man downfield. Bullish runner, even acting as a lead blocker near the goal line on occasion, and can move out of the pocket and deliver the ball when needed.
Not an exceptional athlete, won’t elude or run over NFL defenders. His decisions under pressure aren’t always what coaches like to see; trusts his arm too much, which leads to turnovers (his interceptions increased from six in 2010 to 11 in 2011). Hasn’t faced a lot of top-level competition in his career.
An older prospects who served a Mormon mission after high school, Sorensen played one year of junior college before walking on at BYU, then transferring to SUU when it looked like his playing time in Provo would be limited. The 2011 Great West Offensive Player of the Year has the NFL size and arm to earn himself a late-round grade as a he fights for a spot on a team.
At Princeton’s pro day, Catapano ran the 40-yard dash in 4.75 seconds on each attempt. He had a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-8 broad jump. He ran the short shuttle in 4.31 seconds and the three-cone drill in 7.09 seconds. Catapano threw the bar up 33 times on the bench press (225 pounds).