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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:44 am 
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thescout wrote:
We have already debated you can have a bowl system and playoff system in a season.

We've debated this before, and no you cannot. You can have a Plus-1 and a bowl system, but you cannot have a true playoff and a bowl system, not over the long haul.

thescout wrote:
Why not give the college kids a chance to prove themselves like all the other college leagues where they have playoff systems?

What do they need to prove? People just don't get how irrelevant championships are on the collegiate level. The banners look nice and the athletic departments welcome the extra cash, but no one really cares that much. If you can name me the last 5 national title winners in college football both FBS and FCS, college basketball, and college baseball without busting out a sports almanac or Google, then you'd be a savant.

thescout wrote:
Nah, it would make to much sense and money. The tradidtionalist would hate it but I've heard from other fans who think the game is boring now so why not add a little spunk to it and make the majority of fans happy.

If you can't get into college football now, then you'll probably never get into it. What is a playoff going to offer you that the combined regular and bowl seasons don't already offer? Tell me how a playoff game is going to have any more drama than the Alabama-Auburn this past year, or the Backyard brawl 3 years ago when Pitt upset WVU and knocked them out of the national championship, or the opening weekend game this year of Boise State vs. VA Tech, or the Texas Tech-Texas matchup 2 years ago where Crabtree made that last minute catch and cost Texas their title hopes? What is the playoff going to do that isn't already in this year's Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, or Capital One Bowl?

thescout wrote:
The players would also love a playoff system

The players don't care. You can cite all the 50-person polls you want, but nobody is choosing to go to Appalachian State over Tennessee because they want to be in a playoff.

The thing that most of the anti-BCS people refuse to acknowledge is how much a playoff system as most propose would be a death knell to Division I football as we know it. I'm still trying to figure out how that "makes too much sense."

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Allstate Sugar Bowl
Ohio State vs. Arkansas
8:30 pm EST on ESPN

Well the big story for this game are the 5 potentially suspended Ohio State that will be able to play. All of them are juniors, and 4 of them have NFL futures. None more high profile than QB Terrelle Pryor. It'll be interesting to see how Pryor performs in this game. Truth be told, there isn't a lot of difference between Pryor and Cam Newton, although Newton has a bit of a stronger arm and a bigger frame as a runner, but probably his success is mainly because he's played in an offense that is suited to his strengths while Pryor has been trying to work out of a pro-style offense. Pryor was coming on at the end of last year, but just hasn't made the leaps this year, and at this point is a middle round pick because of his sloppy mechanics, inconsistency, and questionable decision making. But he's pledged to return to Columbus next year, and unlike the other 4 players has openly said he'll keep his word. So a good game here should help his draft stock for 2012 since it's going to be a while before we see him again.

The other guys with NFL futures include LT Mike Adams, WR DeVier Posey, and RB Daniel "Boom" Herron. Adams is a big, powerful run blocker that is probably a better fit moving to RT at the next level since his footwork and technique on the outside isn't as smooth or polished as you'd like. Posey has big play potential with good size and speed, but I'm not sure he's got the tools and hands to be a go-to receiver. Herron is the player that the rumors state is mostly likely to renege on his promise to Ohio State's coaching staff. He's got good speed, decent size for a RB, and should have a nice future as a change of pace runner, but not sure he has what it takes to hold up as an every down back.

The other big name in this game besides Pryor will be Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett. Mallett is about as talented a QB as you can find, with his size and uncanny arm strength, comparisons to Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger make a lot of sense, but personally I would choose Jay Cutler because of his spotty decision making. He needs a strong performance to cement himself among the premier QBs. With Gabbert entering the draft, and Luck possibly doing so, struggling vs. Ohio State might mean he may not be any higher than 4th or 5th on many teams draft boards. So he may be better off staying for another year and opting to be the top prospect next year.

But Mallett will get some help from true sophomore RB Knile Davis, who is an explosive back that also can contribute in the passing game. He'll also get help from TE D.J. Williams, his best target who has Dallas Clark like size (6-2/245), but good speed, reliable hands, and contributes fairly well as a blocker considering his size.

Up front he'll be protected by a pair of bookend senior OTs in DeMarcus Love and Ray Dominguez. Love is the better of the two with the potential to be a 2nd round pick if he has a strong performance in this weak OT class. Love might be a better fit inside, he has nice athleticism and potential as a run blocker, and the fact that he can play both sides of the line means he can stick somewhere eventually even if it's not at LT. Dominguez has very good size (6-4/330), but isn't as good a run blocker as he should be, and is a free agent-level prospect that will probably have to move inside to guard.

They should have their hands full against Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward, who reminds me a lot of Richard Seymour in terms of his NFL potential. He hasn't been super dominant this season, but the son of Ironhead is big, strong, and has big upside as a run stuffer in a 3-4 scheme. NT Dexter Larimore is a nice prospect that projects well as a rotational guy in either a 4-3 or 3-4. The other playmaker up front is undersized DT John Simon, a true sophomore, but he can make plays either as a run stuffer or pass rusher. He's athletic enough at 6-2/275 that you could envision him moving to LB as well as playing DE or DT in the pros.

Ohio State has two solid LBs in Ross Homan and Brian Rolle. Both are physical guys, but are undersized. Rolle probably has the brighter NFL future because he's a bit more versatile and better in coverage so he can at least contribute as a nickel linebacker if not as a starter. Homan is physical, but can miss some tackles, but plays fast and hard and he too should be able to stick as a reserve at least, but could also start at ILB in a 3-4 scheme.

Ohio State has a decent pair of senior corners in Devon Torrence and Chimdi Chekwa. Chekwa has been hyped up quite a bit because of his good size and athleticism, but he's about the worst instinctual corner I've seen considering, and the best he could be as a pro corner is Chris Houston. His ball skills are terrible, but his athleticism can allow him to potentially contribute as a reserve corner. Torrence is a bit more disciplined, but he's a nickel corner at best as well. FS Jermale Hines plays nickel corner, but he's not a playmaker despite him having the physical tools to be an impact defender. He's a FA-level prospect too.

For Arkansas on defense, their best senior defender is probably OLB Anthony Leon. But he's not always been an everydown defender, but flashes tools in coverage and might be able to stick as a reserve in the pros. Juniors LB Jerry Franklin and DE Jake Bequette are their best prospect. Franklin is a player that can probably play multiple spots in the pros, although he might be too limited in coverage to be a trusted starter anywhere. I think he has potential to develop as a ILB in a 3-4, but would probably be a Stephen Nicholas type in a 4-3.

Ohio State has a number of other good prospects on offense. OC Mike Brewster is highly rated by many as a junior center, and while he certainly is talented, I personally don't think he's the best center I've seen this year. But reportedly he's thinking about turning pro, and thus should be one of the Top 2-3 guys in this year's class at least and a potential 2nd round pick. But I don't quite think he's going to be the next Nick Mangold.

He's flanked by a decent pair of senior guards in Justin Boren and Bryant Browning. Boren is the better of the pair because he's an effective run blocker. But even still he's probably a guy that is more likely to be a backup than starter. Browning can get the job done, and probably has a future playing as a utility reserve in the pros.

WR Dane Sanzenbacher
is one of my favorites on offense, as he is similar to ex-Buckeye Anthony Gonzalez with good speed and the ability to work the slot well. RB Brandon Saine has gone by the wayside this year with the emergence of Herron, but he's flashed tools to develop in the passing game to think he can still have an NFL future as a 3rd down back.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:46 pm 
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I have been saving this question till Pudge posts the Oregon game scouting report but why wait. Another Mathews is in line for the pros. Alot of talent in that family and great bloodlines. I was reading thehuddlereport and saw the scouting report on Mathews. He only ranks 130+ overall but the scouting report is glowing and Mathews could be another core player for a team. He isn't prototype size but we all know the football intangibles are key success in the pro game and Mathews has that. My question Mathews is inside linebacker can he play outside? I read that he is versatile and if so I wouldn't mind taking him in the 2nd round.

By now pro scouts should have learned that the Mathews family keeps churning out all stars. If Mathews is as good as the report I think its a no brainer. The Falcon's have Lofton in the middle and really need to upgrade outside linebacker where Peterson is. Spoon,Lofton and Peterson/Nicholas needs improvement. Mathews seems to be a player in the right spot at the right time and you can't have enough of them. He may be able to replace Lofton sometimes while he adjusts to the outside.

I'm all for smart players who have a great work ethic and want to excel. The Falcon defense needs more talent preferable on the def line but another playmaker still helps.We do have room at linebacker and def back to add a potential star player down the road.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:54 pm 
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Matthews is a good player. I think he'll be a very good complementary starter or low level impact starter depending on the scheme. And that scheme is probably a 3-4 scheme playing inside. Can he play multiple positions? Sure. But I think his best spot is playing inside in a 3-4.

Is he a good fit in Atlanta? He wouldn't be a bad one, if the Falcons moved him to WLB. Would he be an upgrade over Lofton? Perhaps, but probably not by a huge degree. He shows better awareness in zone coverage than Lofton does, but I don't think he shows significantly better speed or range to play the middle for the Falcons.

But I think for the Falcons needs, there are better fits out there. Martez Wilson and Akeem Ayers I think are very good fits for the Falcons needs at OLB.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:33 am 
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:naughty: :naughty: Pudge you know better than getting in a debate with Scout. :lol:



Pudge wrote:
thescout wrote:
We have already debated you can have a bowl system and playoff system in a season.

We've debated this before, and no you cannot. You can have a Plus-1 and a bowl system, but you cannot have a true playoff and a bowl system, not over the long haul.

thescout wrote:
Why not give the college kids a chance to prove themselves like all the other college leagues where they have playoff systems?

What do they need to prove? People just don't get how irrelevant championships are on the collegiate level. The banners look nice and the athletic departments welcome the extra cash, but no one really cares that much. If you can name me the last 5 national title winners in college football both FBS and FCS, college basketball, and college baseball without busting out a sports almanac or Google, then you'd be a savant.

thescout wrote:
Nah, it would make to much sense and money. The tradidtionalist would hate it but I've heard from other fans who think the game is boring now so why not add a little spunk to it and make the majority of fans happy.

If you can't get into college football now, then you'll probably never get into it. What is a playoff going to offer you that the combined regular and bowl seasons don't already offer? Tell me how a playoff game is going to have any more drama than the Alabama-Auburn this past year, or the Backyard brawl 3 years ago when Pitt upset WVU and knocked them out of the national championship, or the opening weekend game this year of Boise State vs. VA Tech, or the Texas Tech-Texas matchup 2 years ago where Crabtree made that last minute catch and cost Texas their title hopes? What is the playoff going to do that isn't already in this year's Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, or Capital One Bowl?

thescout wrote:
The players would also love a playoff system

The players don't care. You can cite all the 50-person polls you want, but nobody is choosing to go to Appalachian State over Tennessee because they want to be in a playoff.

The thing that most of the anti-BCS people refuse to acknowledge is how much a playoff system as most propose would be a death knell to Division I football as we know it. I'm still trying to figure out how that "makes too much sense."


quote="Pudge"]
thescout wrote:
We have already debated you can have a bowl system and playoff system in a season.

We've debated this before, and no you cannot. You can have a Plus-1 and a bowl system, but you cannot have a true playoff and a bowl system, not over the long haul.

Why not.The schedule could be made to work and the championship game would be over before the next semester started.

thescout wrote:
Why not give the college kids a chance to prove themselves like all the other college leagues where they have playoff systems?

What do they need to prove? People just don't get how irrelevant championships are on the collegiate level. The banners look nice and the athletic departments welcome the extra cash, but no one really cares that much. If you can name me the last 5 national title winners in college football both FBS and FCS, college basketball, and college baseball without busting out a sports almanac or Google, then you'd be a savant.

If championships are irrelevant why do they play them in all sports and all divisions of college except the NCAA football. Think NCAA basektball fans would be happy without a tournament? Also there is to much money to be made and business men rarely turn down money.Now the last question about naming the last 5 national title winners that would be a challenge. I
m a little better than are you smarter than a 5th grader. In fact I can beat most 5th graders. :lol:

thescout wrote:
Nah, it would make to much sense and money. The tradidtionalist would hate it but I've heard from other fans who think the game is boring now so why not add a little spunk to it and make the majority of fans happy.


Pudge said:If you can't get into college football now, then you'll probably never get into it. What is a playoff going to offer you that the combined regular and bowl seasons don't already offer? Tell me how a playoff game is going to have any more drama than the Alabama-Auburn this past year, or the Backyard brawl 3 years ago when Pitt upset WVU and knocked them out of the national championship, or the opening weekend game this year of Boise State vs. VA Tech, or the Texas Tech-Texas matchup 2 years ago where Crabtree made that last minute catch and cost Texas their title hopes? What is the playoff going to do that isn't already in this year's Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, or Capital One Bowl?

Scout answer: Easy, when its one and done in a playoff system there is alot more at stake than winning just one game. Teams who lose early in NCAA football can come back and win the title because they have enough time to make up ground. Teams who lose late normally get bumped down enough so they don't have time to sway voters if they win the rest of their games. Is that a fair system where one team loses early the other late and both can't go for the championship? A playoff system is the american way of life and no one remembers second place. It's a chance to prove your superior to the other team and it's now or never in a playoff system.A playoff would allow teams who deserve a chance to win a championship yet don't get that chance.

Example:2004 3 undefeated teams USC, Oklahoma and Auburn..Auburn didn't get a chance to play for the title because of the wacky system. They won every game they played but because of the BS system were robbed of playing for the title.

Example:2003 Split national championship between USC and LSU sure the one extra game the BCS offers would probably decide it but isn't that a playoff game anyway to break the tie. Suppose 2 other teams went undeated.They would have no shot at a title because of this system.

Example 1954 - UCLA and Ohio State both undefeated. UCLA didn't get to play for the title because of the rules where if a team went to the Rose Bowl one year the following it wasn't allowed to.
Example - 1926 - Navy, Alabama and stanford all went undefeated
Example 1984 - BYU completes an undfeated season but didn't really play any hard teams. Washington many thought was the better team but because it had one loss had no chance of winning a title because of BYU.

Example - Minnesota, Boston College and Stanford all undefeated

Finally Georgia tech vs Colorado in a split championship. Many cried back then a playoff was needed and yet they couldn't settle it on the field. While the extra game would settle many of these split championships it still doesn't prevent possible issues where there could be more than 2 teams undefeated in a season.

quote="thescout"]The players would also love a playoff system[/quote]
Pudge said:The players don't care. You can cite all the 50-person polls you want, but nobody is choosing to go to Appalachian State over Tennessee because they want to be in a playoff.

The thing that most of the anti-BCS people refuse to acknowledge is how much a playoff system as most propose would be a death knell to Division I football as we know it. I'm still trying to figure out how that "makes too much sense."[/


Scout responds: It makes sense since you can keep your bowl games and have a playoff after their done. There would not be the big gap of playing the last game of the season like it is now. You would go straight into the bowls and then after their done a playoff would take place say for example the final 8 teams or whatever is determined. As much as college football traditionalist want to keep things the same inevitably a playoff system will take place. Will it happen before the world ends in December 2012 that's the question. :lol: Seriously, a playoff system will take place sometime and probably sooner than many think. :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:13 am 
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Both Obama and Brent Grimes are on record desiring a playoff system.

that's ends the debate, does it not? 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:23 pm 
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thescout wrote:
Why not.The schedule could be made to work and the championship game would be over before the next semester started.

Schedule is a small middling part of it. BTW, not every school is on a semester system, I think roughly 25% of American colleges and universities are on the quarters system.

But that's neither here nor there, the reason they aren't compatible, as debated in this thread...viewtopic.php?f=3&t=14425
...is because long-term the playoff system would swallow the bowl system financially. Networks aren't going to paying 9 figures to televise the bowls 5-10 years from now when there is a playoff system.

thescout wrote:
If championships are irrelevant why do they play them in all sports and all divisions of college except the NCAA football.

They do have championships in NCAA football, Florida has a couple. They just don't have playoffs. :wink: Just because a playoff/tourney works perfectly for basketball doesn't mean it works perfectly for football. BUt you have to remember that people mainly only care about the Final Four in basketball. No one really cares about how many championships Tom Izzo has won over the past 20 years or so. It's really about how many tourneys and Final Fours you make rather than how many championships you've won. The same for baseball, it's more about making the College World Series than actually winning it. The same applies to football, historically it's been about how many bowl appearances/wins, BCS bowl appearances/wins that you get rather than actually winning national titles.

What people fail to understand is that you have 300+ schools in Division I sports competing at all different levels. In basketball, for the vast majority of those schools, they aren't competing for championships. They are competing to make the tournament. Just like in football, it's not trying to win championships for the vast majority of schools, it's going to and winning bowl games.

Pro sports has 30 teams competing at the same level, all competing for a championship. College sports has 300 teams competing at different levels. And THAT is the core issue here, that you continue to fail to grasp. Alabama and Troy are on different planets as far as competition, and the bowl system works for both. But the playoff system only works for one.

You keep deluding yourself into thinking that you don't like college football now because of the BCS system, but you're lying to yourself. You don't like college football now, because you just don't like college football. And that's the reason why you want to change it to something that you would like more.

Here's a question I'll ask, and if you give me a different answer than what I expect then I'll concede my last point.

1. The FCS (a.k.a. Division I-AA) has a playoff system...How many of those playoff games have you seen in their entirety in your lifetime? Has the fact that their teams compete for a championship made you more inclined to watch their level of competition?
2. And as a result, how many FCS regular season games have you watched as a result of the interest gained from watching the playoffs?

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:40 pm 
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But back to this thread...

Last night's game I watched live. I have to say I am still impressed with Mallett. He probably made at least a half dozen throws in that game that I'm not sure anybody else in this draft could make, including Andrew Luck.

He is very good with his ability to throw accurately down the field, he was throwing guys open, and I think it hurt him that his rapport with some of his receivers wasn't that strong because they were dropping throws. He was leading them at times when they weren't expecting to be led, and they missed. I think his mobility and ability to move around the pocket is better than people give him credit for. But there were numerous times last night where he missed on throws when he was forced to step up in the pocket, because he couldn't reset his feet because OSU defenders were in the midst of tackling him. That needs to be corrected, and while I think that's an issue that can get better down the road, it does concern me that he won't be as efficient as others when he's pressured. He also takes a bit too long to go through his progressions and make his reads because I think he trusts in his mobility and arm strength that he doesn't have a great feel for pressure, and he gets into trouble because it's often too late to evade the rush, leading to the previous issue.

I also don't think he has the intangibles to succeed in the clutch. Not that he crumbles, just there isn't much about him that makes me believe he's a guy that can thrive in adversity. But truth be told, there aren't a lot of QBs in the league that I feel that way about, so it's not like that is going to doom him to mediocrity.

At the end of the day, I'd compare him to a QB the level of Jay Cutler or Eli Manning, neither of whom I think have that "spark" in the clutch either. But like Cutler, he can make throws that few others can make, which will give his teams chances to win. But he's not going to be a guy that you really want to go to war with, and his success long-term will largely be due to the talent around him.

As for Terrelle Pryor, I was really impressed with his athleticism. He is such a physical specimen. Previously, I was not really an advocate of him making a position change in the NFL, but now I'm leaning more closely to that. I think he can be an effective NFL QB if he is coached up and teams are patient. But his decision making, footwork, and mechanics are still so poor that even if he was to sit the bench for 3 years, the best I think you could hope for is a Vince Young type that can win games with his athleticism, but there will be a very sharp limit in how good a passer and leader he is going to be. With talent around him, a strong running game and defense, he can be a playoff-caliber QB, but he's not going to be really any more successful a starting QB than Byron Leftwich over the long haul. He's just too limited at the end of the day, and even if he does become that good, that's probably at least 2-3 years off. Far too long for a potential starter. But at 6-6/235 of solid muscle, he looks like he could be a dominant WR/TE. His speed and burst are really good to the point that you think he can definitely be a WR, but his size is that much more of a developing TE. He's expected to come back for another year, but unless he shows significant improvement in terms of his decision making, footwork, and mechanics, I think I have to advocate the team that drafts him to make him a slash player like Kordell. Play him at WR and TE early on, and then after a few years give him a shot at QB. I know he wants to be a pro QB, so I doubt he would want that role, but I really do think that's the only way he could live up to his athletic potential in the pros.

Cameron Heyward had a strong game. I've been a big fan of Heyward all year long, although it doesn't seem that many of the internet draftniks are in the same camp. I do see some issues with him, but with Heyward I think he's going to be a very good player 3-5 years from now, not immediately in the pros. He's kind of a one note guy, who has a good power move, but lacks any other pass rush moves. He needs to use his hands better, and at least initially I don't expect him to have a big impact. But if he can improve his technique, add a decent pass rush move (he did show a decent swim early in the game), then I think he can be a dominant force in a 3-4 defense. Again, I compare him to Richard Seymour, and while I don't think he's as natural a pass rusher as Seymour was coming out of Georgia, I do think like Seymour he is one of those players that will be very hard to block 1 on 1 down the road. I don't expect him to have very many 8 sack seasons like Seymour did in his prime, but he could be a guy that gives you 3-5 sacks on a consistent basis and be a dominant run stuffer that can tilt the defensive line.

Brian Rolle is moving up in my eyes. He's not very big (5-10/222), but I feel there is some London Fletcher potential if/when he gets bigger on the pros. I just think he can be a good player in almost any scheme. His immediate fit because of his lack of size is playing WLB in a 4-3, but I think down the road if he was to put on another 10-15 pounds of muscle, he could hold up very well at MLB in a 4-3.

Ross Homan is moving down in my eyes. He's not very big (6-0/232), but he's not as physical or as good a tackler as Rolle. He gets exposed a bit too much as a tackler in space, I don't think he has great instincts. I'm just not sure there is a position he can excel at in the pros. He's good when he can attack the ball, but even if he gets bigger I don't think he's going to be a great run defender, and while he's decent in coverage, he'll never be great there. I think he probably sticks as a reserve OLB in a 4-3, and if he can bulk up he can be a decent backup ILB. His toughness means I think he has a chance to eventually develop into a decent starter, but he's no Laurinaitis.

I was impressed with Jake Bequette last night. It was really the first time I've scouted him. He dominated Ohio State RT J.B. Shugarts (although who doesn't?) at times. He reminds me of a similar prospect as Ryan Kerrigan, who is a guy that fits well as a LDE in a 4-3. Has decent speed and burst, but he's not going to be a true edge rusher. But he showed a very good spin move, good strength, and enough bend and lean to be a good complementary pass rusher at the next level. He has mid-1st round potential next year, although I think as of today I would say he's a solid mid-to-late 2nd rounder if he chose to come out today.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:15 pm 
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I watched about half the Arkansas game last night and my thoughts are the following.

Mallett - as a cannon for an arm but his ability to read a defense is questionable. As all the physical tools but to be a success who can be a top 10 QB you have to have the intangibles and I'm not sure Mallett does.I think he gets by just on his physical ability and it will hinder his development. I kept thinking which pro team ight draft him and for whatever reason the Buffalo Bills come to mind.

Derek Love - didn't play the greatest game. Heyward gave him problems.

Heyward - originally I thought he he was to big to make a difference at the pro level. What I mean does he have the quickness to be an elite pass rusher? I don't think he does but he will be a second level type of def end if he plays full time at the position. He's a tweener that can play def tackle and def end.

Herron - not impressed he fumbles but he does have some physical ability. Gets through the line quickly and can be hard to bring down.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:10 pm 
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GoDaddy.com Bowl
Middle Tennessee vs. MIami of Ohio
8 pm EST on ESPN

I haven't seen Miami of Ohio yet this year, but they have one decent NFL prospect in WR Armand Robinson. Another prospect that I'll try to keep an eye on is OT Brandon Brooks, who is a junior.

For Middle Tennessee, who I have seen once this year, nobody really stands out, but they have 4 potential FA prospects. Safeties Jeremy Kellem and Kevin Brown are nice prospect. Kellem isn't very big, and Brown is a good run stopper, but might be too one-dimensional there. OLB Jamari Lattimore is an undersized DE (6-2/230), so he might be able to compete as a 3-4 OLB. Also QB Dwight Dasher is an athletic guy that could make a position change to RB at the next level.

AT&T Cotton Bowl
LSU vs. Texas A&M
8 pm EST on FOX

As far as pro prospects go, this is probably a down year for LSU. Outside DT Drake Nevis and CB Patrick Peterson, there aren't a ton of elite prospects. Peterson will likely be matched up against Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller. Fuller isn't super fast, but he's big (6-3/215) and is among the elite WRs in the country as far as ball skills and body control goes, so he should be one of the few prospects that Peterson may not be able to outmuscle.

Nevis is a disruptive force in the middle, that is a top run defender and pass rusher. He's dominated quality guards and centers throughout the year, so he could make a huge difference in this game.

Also on LSU's defense is LB Kelvin Sheppard. Sheppard isn't super big, but has the speed teams look for as a WLB. He also has some ability to project at MLB, but probably needs to bulk up and improve vs. the run at the point of attack. But he's a fast and active players and along with Nevis will be tasked with slowing down A&M's ground attack.

RB Cyrus Gray is a junior that took over for sophomore Christine Michael when he was injured earlier int he year, and had a nice stretch run. He's not super fast or explosive, but he's got good quickness and speed and will project fairly well as a third down back in the NFL if/when he comes out. QB Ryan Tannehill also took over for Jerrod Johnson in the second half of the season, and helped A&M to a good run. Tannehill used to play WR and he is a good athlete with a good arm. You can tell his work at QB is limited because he's a one-read guy, but he can make plays and doesn't make mistakes.

On defense for A&M, their top prospect is OLB Von Miller, who got off to a slow start this year, but turned it on in the second half. He's got a deadly first step and while he doesn't have ideal size to fit in a 3-4 (6-2/240) his pass rush potential means he can be a double-digit sack guy in the pros eventually.

LSU uses dual QBs for much of the season. Junior Jarrett Lee is the better pro prospect since he's a more natural passer, but he's not very consistent to take the job away from fellow junior Jordan Jefferson. Jefferson is a top athlete with a strong arm, but his decision making and mechanics are pretty poor.

Junior RB Stevan Ridley was supposed to be suspended for this game due to academic issues, but he's supposed to play. He's got good size and this might be his last game in LSU due to those off-field issues.

WR Terrence Toliver is like a lot of recent LSU wideouts in that he has good size and speed, but is a better athlete than a natural receiver. He compares favorably to someone like Michael Jenkins as far as pro potential goes.

OT Joseph Barksdale plays left tackle, but he probably proejcts better as a guard at the next level. He has very good size and potential as a run blocker, but he's limited.

On special teams, K Josh Jasper is one of the better guys at his position. P Derek Helton is also a prospect that should get a shot in the pros.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:40 pm 
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FYI. Darren Evans going Pro.

He wouldn't have gotten anymore touches next year, kinda a finished product in some respects and had a young child/fiancee to care for. Not surprised he declared at all, and in some ways could have a productive nfl career. He'll have the size at a rock solid 225, good enough speed (that I think has steadily improved over the yr with an improving acl), good hands and underrated vision. Get him on a team that can block and he'll be productive. I don't know that he's dynamic enough to be the guy, but then you look at a Hillis and who knows. Get him on a team with a quicker/speed back and he'd be a perfect 1/2 punch. Someone like the Colts could use this dude in spades, and he's gonna be great draft value imo.

Quote:
"After sitting down with family, I've decided to declare for the NFL Draft," Evans said. "I felt like this is the best opportunity for me and my family. This was a tough decision because Virginia Tech was good to me and my family and I had fun. I was blessed to play at Virginia Tech and at that level of football. I have plans to graduate and I will, but the NFL has always been a dream so it's hard to pass it up right now."

Evans finished the 2010 season with 151 carries for 854 yards and 11 touchdowns, while averaging 5.7 yards per carry. He missed the 2009 season with a torn ACL, but in 2008 he rushed for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Evans' career totals are 438 carries for 2,119 yards and 22 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 26 passes for 217 yards. He is 16th on the school's all-time list for rushing yards, despite only playing for two seasons.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:46 pm 
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Best College highlight
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lllw1Sz5guc

Best game where he set a school record against MD.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcMjsALdgQ0

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:00 pm 
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I think his long-term potential is to be a nice complementary runner, but I think the max of his potential is probably somewhere around Derrick Ward. Ward had a nice combo of size/speed and was productive as a No. 2 behind a good line in New York, but that was only after he rode the pine for 3 years.

I think the same can happen with Evans. It'll all depend on how good his blocking and ST play is early on to see if he can stick to make it 3 years. He has tools to work with, but nothing that at this point in time that an NFL team is going to try and use right away.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:48 pm 
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I should also note that the FCS National Championship is also tonight, featuring Delaware vs. Eastern Washington.

Delaware's senior QB Pat Devlin is a guy that has impressed me in the 2 playoff games I've seen previously. He has the size, arm, and quick release that reminds me of Aaron Rodgers, and I like the fact that in Delaware's offense he is able and comfortable going to his 2nd and 3rd progression, and will scan the entire field rather than a half or quadrant that you see in many spread QBs. He's moved slightly past Christian Ponder as my 2nd rated senior QB. I'm hoping he puts together another solid game.

Eastern Wash has one decent pro prospect in junior RB Taiwan Jones, who I hear is contemplating playing int he pros. Unfortunately, he is not expected to play tonight because he broke his foot or leg in December.

They also have the Buck Buchanan Award (best FCS defensive player) winner, OLB J.C. Sherritt. He's undersized, 5-9/215, and might move to safety in the pros.

For the record, 3 past Buchanan Award winners have played for the Falcons: Hartwell, Jordan Beck, and Biermann. Rashean Mathis, Jared Allen, Chris Gocong, and Dexter Coakley have won the award, so Sherritt is in good company.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:42 pm 
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OK, I watched some of the New Years Eve bowls (still trying to catch up guys): Nebraska-Washington, Clemson-USF, Miami-Notre Dame, and UCF-Georgia

First I have to say that for Washington, QB Jake Locker had a nice game running the ball. But he's still limited as a passer. BUt you do so those flashes of accuracy and touch in every game that makes you think that with good, steady coaching you can harness that where he becomes a competent to good passer. But at the end of the day he trusts his legs more than his arm and I'm not sure he'll be a great pocket passer. He's a guy that you like for his long-term development, but in his first few years I fully expect him to struggle. As a rookie, wouldn't be surprised to see him put up numbers like Clausen.

The more I've seen of Prince Amukamara, the less enamored I am with him. He has all the physical tools to be a top cover corner, and his instincts in run support are about as good as any corner I've seen recently except maybe Malcolm Jenkins, but I'm not sure he has the top ball skills to be a playmaker. I think he has the potential to be a player in that he can lock down top receivers, but he's a guy that I think won't make a lot of plays and I don't think he's as disciplined as i want. I would compare him to Nnamdi Asomugha, who struggled early in his career, but by his 4th year turned into the player that we all know today.

For Clemson, i got to see Da'Quan Bowers for the first time since the beginning of October. He looks the part, but I'm not convinced he's a premier defender. I'm sure NFL teams are reminded of Mario Williams, and I do think he has that sort of potential. But he's not as good at the point of attack that he should be and is a bit too much of a straight-line guy off the edge to think he can be able to turn the corner. The key with him will be him developing into a good bull rusher off the corner.

I don't quite get why CB Marcus Gilchrist is so high on many draft boards as a potential 3rd round pick. He's just not good enough in man coverage to me to think he can be anything more than a decent nickel corner. I think he's a guy that probably fits best in a zone-heavy scheme. He's a good athlete, but I don't see him as an impact defender at the next level and is more the type of guy that I think will struggle in a nickel role rather than excel.

I watched the Michael Floyd-Brandon Harris matchup in the Notre Dame game. Floyd got the better of Harris, but I did like Harris ball skills, which probably are the better of any corner in this class. He just had a hard time matching up with a guy with Floyd's combo of size and speed, getting beat a couple of times. But I think Harris can be a good starter and has No. 1 corner potential, but more than likely will just be a really good No. 2 like a Terence Newman type. Floyd showcased his skillset but only entrenched in my mind that he's a finesse guy. Looks to be a prima-donna as he dropped a wide open touchdown trying to make a highlight-making one-handed catch rather than just trying to make the play. I think he'll be a good pro, but I think he's a guy that could come into the league and be in for a rude awakening with how much harder the pro level is than the college level. But eventually I see him beign a good NFL receiver, especially if he has a good QB. I'd be wary of drafting him to be my No. 1 WR especially if I had question marks at QB. Eventually I see him being a top complementary receiver like a Santonio Holmes rather than a true No. 1. He hasn't made his decision whether he wants to come out yet, although I think he would be smart to come back for another year. He'll do well in Notre Dame's offense and he'll enter next year as the #2 WR behind Alshon Jeffery and have a much better shot of being a Top 20 pick.

DE Allen Bailey was a complete no show in this game. And while I recognize his talent, he has shown very little progress. I'm not sure there is a scheme he could excel in as he looks more like a rotational guy that an impact starter. If any team uses a Top 50 pick on him, they are really tempting fate.

Justin Houston didn't have an impact game vs. UCF, which was surprising considering a big chunk of the game he was going up against RT Jah Reid. Reid is a player I like because I think he has upside, but he's a developmental RT at best. I think Houston had a couple of tackles, maybe 1 for a loss, and no pressures that I could see. Before I saw his potential as an impact pass rusher, and while I still think he has potential, this was a game and player that he should have dominated and he didn't. Before I thought the question marks were whether or not he could play in space, but now I have legit concerns about how good a pass rusher he'll be as well.

A.J. Green is soft. He's still a very good player, and continues to seem like a Randy Moss clone, and might be slightly rangier than Moss was/is. So I still think he can be a dominant NFL player, but like Moss I think he has a tendency to take some plays off and not show consistent effort. I thought it was very telling on the hail mary at the end of the game that he didn't even try to go for the ball. He was like 5 yards away from the crowd but in that situation he could have at least made some effort even though there was no chance for him to make the catch.

I was curious to see how Bruce MIller matched up with the big, athletic Georgia front. And while he did make some plays in the 4th quarter, I wasn't that impressed. I really think Miller has a good first step and has developed a good bull rush that I think he can use to good effect at the next level. But he's a limited athlete and it shows when he's out in space. He's short and has short arms, which makes him an iffy tackler in space, and he doesn't have the speed or burst to cover a lot of ground. I still like him as a developmental guy in a 3-4, and I would compare him to Jarret Johnson, who is known more for his effort and toughness than his athletic skill.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:17 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
The more I've seen of Prince Amukamara, the less enamored I am with him. He has all the physical tools to be a top cover corner, and his instincts in run support are about as good as any corner I've seen recently except maybe Malcolm Jenkins, but I'm not sure he has the top ball skills to be a playmaker. I think he has the potential to be a player in that he can lock down top receivers, but he's a guy that I think won't make a lot of plays and I don't think he's as disciplined as i want. I would compare him to Nnamdi Asomugha, who struggled early in his career, but by his 4th year turned into the player that we all know today.

I thought I was the only one, but I agree with you here. I really question his ball skills.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:37 am 
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Kraft Fight Hunter Bowl
Boston College vs. Nevada
9 pm EST on ESPN

This is not a sexy bowl game, but there are a few noteworthy prospects. For BC, the two players to keep your eyes on are OLB Mark Herzlich and OT Anthony Castonzo. Herzlich as most know came back from cancer last year. I saw him earlier in the season and it was clear to me that he had lost something. I'm curious to see now whether he's gotten better. HIs burst, change of direction, and ability to play in space just weren't quite there at the beginning of the season. Before his cancer, Herzlich was a potential Top 15 pick that would have been a top fit in a 3-4 scheme at OLB. He still projects best in that scheme, but based off what I saw of him earlier in the season, I would project him now to be a 4th round prospect.

Castonzo is also projected as a potential 1st round pick going into the season, but I'm not sure that will be the case unless he has a strong off-season. But I'm sure he'll be a 2nd round pick. He's not the biggest player (6-7/295) but he has good feet and technique. He's a similar player to Sam Baker in that he projects best in a zone-blocking scheme that prefers its linemen to get position rather than push. He can be a very effective starter, but only in the right scheme.

For Nevada, also two players should stand out on both sides of the ball. QB Colin Kaepernick is big at 6-6/220 with a cannon for an arm and very good mobility and running skills. I've seen Kaepernick since he was a freshman starter however, and I'm not convinced he's made a ton of improvement over the years as a passer. His decision making is still erratic, particularly when it comes to running around and he'll take too many sacks. NFL teams will love his arm strength and he has a chance to move up boards as a mid-round QB, but in my eyes he's at best a 6th/7th round project.

On defense is the player most likely to go first for Nevada in OLB/DE Dontay Moch. Moch is a top athlete, that I've heard some people say can run a sub 4.3 40. Might be an exaggeration, but nonetheless he's a guy that likely will shine at the combine and in the off-season, so much so that I wouldn't be surprised if he is a 1st round pick when it's all said and done. He isn't super big (6-1/240), but is a very productive pass rusher with a dangerous first step and good straight-lien speed. Despite his athleticism, I think he's too one-dimensional, not sure he has the hips to play in coverage and doesn't play with great awareness. But he's talented and could draw comparisons to Robert Mathis/Cameron Wake.

Nobody else really jumps out at you in this game for Nevada. Nevada TE Virgil Green isn't very big and projects as an H-back in the pros. But he has good hands despite not having great speed, but could be a late round pick. OG John Bender is really big (6-8/330), but might be too tall for his own good because he doesn't get much push and mgiht be limited to being a backup in a zone blocking scheme. RB Vai Taua is productive and has good power, but you're not sure if his lack of burst and speed is going to allow him to stick in the pros.

For BC, I saw somewhere that junior CB Donnie Fletcher is thinking of coming out. Haven't really watched him before so this will be a chance to get a look at him if that is the case. Besides Castonzo, BC has two decent senior starters up front in OG Thomas Claiborne and RT Rich Lapham. Lapham has good size (6-8/325) but his feet are too slow and his technique isn't good enough to make up for it. Claiborne is a widebody (6-2/330) that is good in a short-area, but his technique and footwork need a lot of work, and he's a project.


Tostitos BCS National Championship

Auburn vs. Oregon
8:30 pm EST on ESPN (Monday)

OK, now we're at the point we've all been waiting for. Most of the NFL talent will be featured on Auburn's roster, and most of that talent will be featured in two players: QB Cam Newton and DT NIck Fairley.

Newton is a dynamic athlete. Every year it seems that some QB prospect wows me with his arm strength, but Newton has done so again, making me question whether or not he has the best arm I've ever seen. I've seen him throw a 60-yard pass on a frozen rope. And coupled with his athleticism, that is at a level that we haven't seen since Michael Vick, you can be convinced that Newton is going to make plays at the next level, assuming he decides to come out. The issue with Newton is whether or not he'll develop the pocket passing skills to truly maximize his talent. His footwork and mechanics are very sloppy and raw and he's a very unpolished passer. Another year would do him wonders, and also answer questions about his intangibles (i.e. his desire to get better as a passer) which are going to make or break his NFL career in the long run. Eventually the NFL always catches up, just like it did with Vick and Vince Young, and you cannot run your way to the Super Bowl in the NFL at the QB position.

Fairley might be the No. 1 pick, particularly if he shines in this game. He's a dominant pass rusher, and his ability to get upfield penetration will likely make or break Auburn's success in this game. I do like Fairley's talent, but I'm not personally enamored with him. I don't really like his motor, and I've heard concerns about his work ethic, and I'm sure while everybody wants to compare him to Warren Sapp or Ndamukong Suh, I don't think that he's that good. As a run defender, he's hit or miss. But despite this issues, it's obvious he has the potential to be a dominant 4-3 under tackle.

As far as senior prospects go for Auburn, ILB Josh Bynes probably tops this list. Bynes is a physical run defender that the only concerns about him is his range and coverage ability. I've seen flashes of both in games, but I've seen other times where he looks lost when you force him outside the hashmarks or into coverage. He'll be a guy that can fit well in a 3-4 scheme because of those issues better than he can in a 4-3. He'll likely be a 3rd/4th round pick.

OT Lee Ziemba is a guy that I've liked for two years now, but apparently a lot of draftniks are just lukewarm over. He's nothing special as a prospect, but he's polished and very effective. He's not a premier LT prospect, but his feet and technique are good enough for him to get by there. I think he projects much better as a RT in a zone-blocking scheme where he can be like a less athletic Eric Winston.

Besides Fairley, Auburn has two decent senior DT prospects that can help out a rotation. DT Zach Clayton is the starter and while he lacks the size, probably projects best as a nose in a 3-4 scheme. Mike Blanc has enough quickness to think he can stick as a No. 3 or No. 4 DT in a rotation in a 4-3 scheme. Neither are reliable playmakers, but playing beside Fairley allows them to win the occasional 1 on 1 matchup.

OLB Craig Stevens is a guy that was touted going into the season, but every Auburn game I've seen this year, the guy gets abused and doesn't make many plays. He's undersized (6-2/220) and struggles as a run defender. He has good speed and quickness to show potential as a nickel linebacker and work in coverage, but he's not super polished there. He's a guy that at the end of the day probably is just a ST guy rather than a reliable backup.

SS Zac Etheridge is a tough player. He's not very big for a safety, but he plays tough vs. the run, although that lack of ideal size gets exposed quite a bit. As far as coverage goes, he doesn't bring much to the table. In the end, you have a prospect similar to Chris Crocker or Erik Coleman, but unlike those two he's not good enough to play right away and will have to work his way up an NFL depth chart from ST to backup to maybe being a starter 3-5 years down the road. But even then, as is the case with those two, he'll be limited.

Two more juniors to keep your eyes on: WR Darvin Adams and CB Neiko Thorpe. Adams is Newton's favorite target on offense, and while I haven't heard a ton of talk about him going pro, he's definitely good enough to get drafted and the probable departure of Newton may mean he also jumps ship. Thorpe is a guy that has NFL-level tools, but gets beat repeatedly despite this fact. He just doesn't have the awareness to think he can excel in man coverage. The best you hope for is another Chris Houston that can be an effective starter over the long haul despite being more down than up.

K Wes Byrum is also one of the better FG kickers out there as well.

Like I said earlier, Oregon doesn't have a ton of top NFL talent. ILB Casey Matthews is probably the best prospect for the 2011 draft. He's not as good as his brother, but he's a player that shines as a blitzer and projects well into a 3-4 system inside. A team that wants a tough, physical, and fast inside backer will likely target him as a 2nd round pick. His success in this game could really make or break his draft stock, as he'll be a key reason if the Ducks can contain Newton with his timely blitzes and the pressure he can get. And because of the family pedigree, success of his brother in the pros, and a big game here, it wouldn't be crazy that he could sneak into the 1st round. The major issue with Matthews at the pro level is whether he'll be good enough in coverage to be more a top starter.

RB LaMichael James is a RS Sophomore that has apparently decided to give Oregon at least one more go. But he's the star of the offense. His speed and ability to make plays in space means that when he does get to the NFL level, he can potentially provide the matchup issues that a guy like Reggie Bush creates for an offense. As a pure running back, he'll be limited because he's not very good between the tackles, and probably won't be an every down runner because of that, not unless he plays behind a very good zone blocking line.

Also on offense, TE David Paulsen is a junior that continues Oregon's fine tradition of producing good, but not great NFL tight ends: Justin Peelle, Dante Rosario, Ed Dickson, George Wrighster are the others. Paulsen has good hands and speed. He isn't quite the blocker that Dickson was, but he's good enough there that he can be an every down inline TE.

WR Jeff Maehl is skinny, but has good speed and can stick in the pros as a slot receiver. Up front LT Bo Thran isn't very big, and probably will need to move to guard at the pro level, but he can potentially stick as a utility backup in a zone blocking scheme similar to what Oregon runs.

Defensively, the bulk of Oregon's talent lies in their front seven. Unfortunately, none besides Matthews are what I'd call reliable playmakers. The closest being DE Brandon Bair, who is productive. He's a good stack and shed DE that uses his hands well, and if he can bulk up should fit very well in a 3-4 scheme at DE, but he's not the disruptive guy that we've seen in previous games gives Newton the most trouble. LB Spencer Paysinger plays beside Matthews in their 3-4 scheme. He's a guy that is fast and good in space, but not a guy that can shine at the point of attack. He can stick in the pros as a backup WLB in a 4-3. Kenny Rowe is their most talented pass rusher, but he's a one-note guy that relies on his edge speed which isn't always good enough to beat disciplined OTs (like a Ziemba), and he disappears for big chunks of games because of that. So unless he has a big game, it's going to be hard for the Ducks defense to disrupt Newton in the backfield, where he is at his weakest. At best, Rowe is probably a 4th/5th round.

Guys that aren't really on draft radars, but will be worth watching on offense is sophomore QB Darron Thomas and RB Kenjon Barner. Both are draft eligible if they wanted to be, but I'd be surprised if they didn't return.

Because I'm not sure Oregon has the defensive playmakers to slow down Newton and Auburn's offensive attack, this thing might become a shootout. So along with James, Thomas and Barner and Oregon's fast-paced offense are going to have to put up points.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:32 pm 
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- Man this one hurts a lot more than Evans, as RW basically didn't even play this year. Last year was still the best I've seen a RB play as VT (minus Lee Suggs back in the day). Missing so much of this yr, I thought that might make him return, but his draft eval proj had him as a 1/2, so too good an opt to pass up. Boy better get that hammy ironed out, cause they're gonna spend the next 4 months killing him. If he slips into the 2nd someones gonna get a STEAL. Hell, I'd consider using our late 1st on him if theres not a DE/WR/TE thats a better fit.

Quote:
Ryan Williams has decided to forgo his final two seasons of eligibility at Virginia Tech and enter the 2011 NFL Draft. His decision comes just three days after fellow tailback Darren Evans announced that he was going pro.

Williams ran for a total of 2,132 yards with 30 touchdowns. He is the 14th leading rusher in school history. As a r-freshman in 2009, Williams ran for 1,655 yards, the highest single season total in Virginia Tech history.

"There is no other place I'd rather play and there are no other fans I'd rather have than Virginia Tech fans," Williams said in a press release. "They are the most loyal fans in the country. They were with me all the way, both when I was up and when I was down, and I thank them for making my time here so special. I hope they won't be mad about my decision, but I hope they know that I'll always be a Hokie."

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:55 pm 
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The last rough mock I did had him going #32 to New England.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bowl Game Scouting/Preview Thread!!!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:04 pm 
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Location: Edina, Minnesota
I'm writing up reports Pudge. I have like 8 done as of now, I'm working my way through Alabama's prospects now...

And you will be surprised to know that I actually like Blaine Gabbert. He's my #1 QB right now since Luck is staying.

_________________
Check out my NFL Draft Blog!

http://tommeltonscouting.wordpress.com/

And check out the NFL Draft site I write for!

http://nfldraftmonsters.com/


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