The next player in our boom, bust or bleh series is Northwestern defensive end Corey Wootton. Rodger Sherman of Sippin' on Purple was nice enough to give us his thoughts on Wootton:
Corey Wootton should be in the NFL now. When he was a junior, he was a force of nature, piling up ten sacks, drawing all types of double teams, and just generally dominating people. His physical stats should tell you all you need to know about how unstoppable he was: he's 6'7, 280, and yet his best aspect when rushing the quarterback a lot of the time was his speed around the edge. He was scary. Trust me. I'm 6'2, so I consider myself to be a big dude, but I stood behind the guy in line at BK, and may or may not have crapped my pants. He should've gone pro as a junior, and was being projected to go in the late first round. He has freaky physical abilities and attributes that an NFL team couldn't have missed.
Then the 2008 Alamo Bowl happened. If you didn't see it (you probably didn't) Corey was having a great game - he had a sack and an interception already - when he was chasing Missouri's Chase Daniel, and Corey went one way, and his knee went the other. No contact, just a freaky Alamodome turf related injury. I don't know the precise nature of the injury, but some sort of weird ligament nonsense went on, and he needed surgery. Corey said he was 100% at the beginning of the season, but he wasn't, and he knew he wasn't: he didn't have the same explosion, but kept drawing double teams, and it took him like 8 or 9 weeks to even record a sack while opposing quarterbacks had all day to throw and our run defense couldn't stop anything. Corey quickly dropped off draft radar.
But in the last few weeks of the season, Corey was a bonafide beast. He recorded a sack in the season's final four games, including the Outback Bowl, and he had the most important play of the season: a completely unblocked sack of Ricky Stanzi that injured Stanzi, forcing him to fumble the ball in the end zone which we recovered for a touchdown, and went on to win.
Wootton right now is like 95% of the Corey he was last year, but I feel like draft scouts still look at him as damaged goods. He still has the physical ability to merit a first round pick, the only problem is that anybody who looks at him will just see his knee and the 8 weeks of suckitude and move on. But I think he could be a steal, a first-round talent that definitely won't get taken that high.
Click through the jump for some highlights and stats.
|2009 Regular Season Game Log||Tackles||Misc||Interceptions|
|9/5||Towson||W 47-14||Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.|
|9/12||Eastern Michigan||W 27-24||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|10/10||Miami (OH)||W 16-6||Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.|
|10/17||@Michigan State||L 24-14||Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.|
|10/31||Penn State||L 34-13||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2009 Postseason Game Log||Tackles||Misc||Interceptions|
|OUTBACK BOWL||@Auburn||L 38-35||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
This poll is closed