Category: NCAA Football Prospect Recaps


**These are not ranked in any particular order**

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia-

Smith started the season out at an RGIII like pace, but as the season continued his play became more inconsistent and more frustrating. I still think he is the odds on favorite to be the top QB selected, but his issues staring down his primary receiver, throwing with inconsistent footwork and not stepping into all of his throws have been fairly well documented. He has good NFL size, arm strength, impressive accuracy and pocket poise, but he wasn’t as consistent as you would like over the course of the season and even as a fan of his he left something to be desired fairly regularly as the season went on. It’s hard for me to label him as a franchise QB given some of the question marks that surround him this year, but I think he has that upside. I have heard a couple different things about his intangibles so I would love to be a fly on the wall for his interviews with NFL teams. Alas, that isn’t likely to happen, so I’ll just have to keep my ear to the ground to try to get more details about his work ethic (which I have heard is very good) and his leadership capability. He’s still my #1 QB, but like every QB in this class he is not without flaws.

Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas-

Tyler Wilson and the entire Arkansas team had a very, very underwhelming season and unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) Arkansas’ season is over. Wilson is still a first round pick if you ask me, because outside of Cobi Hamilton and Dennis Johnson he did not have much in the way of help this season. I’m sure some will argue that he was boosted by his supporting cast last season, but if his play was elevated by it last year it was dragged down by his cast this season. Outside of Cobi Hamilton no wide receiver was a consistent threat, and Knile Davis was not his regular self for almost the entire year. Dennis Johnson stepped up to fill the void when they gave him the opportunity, but even with his “emergence” (some of us already knew he could play) Wilson was under near constant pressure because of his terrible offensive line. He has a bit of a gunslinger mentality that some will like and some won’t, and he isn’t a perfect prospect by any means either. But I love his intangibles and leadership capability and I think he has more than enough arm talent to be a quality NFL starter. I think he still ends up in the top 15 after the draft process runs its course and teams get to interview him. Someone will fall in love with him (if not multiple QB needy teams) and they’ll make an effort to go get him.

Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State-

Glennon is a guy I just recently caught up on and I have to say I was impressed. We all knew he had the size and arm strength to play in the NFL, but his accuracy is better than it was last season during his first season as a starter and he throws a great deep ball. He flashes the ability to feel the pressure and step up in the pocket, though he does consistently hold onto the ball too long and doesn’t always read blitzes well pre-snap. My big problem with Glennon is that he needs functional space around him, a clean pocket, or room around him when he is throwing on the run to be good and sometimes even great. His issues become evident in muddied pockets or with pressure closing in after which his mechanics break down, he fades away from throws and his accuracy suffers as a result. He has the natural arm strength to get away with some of these throws, and consistently throws accurately on short throws even with pressure in his face (particularly on drag routes) but his drop off in accuracy and decision making is definitely concerning to me. I’ve seen him stand in and make one great throw with a defender in his face in the three 2012 games I’ve watched of him so far, but my impression is that seeing him do that is a rarity. If you draft him and you protect him I think you will be able to win games with him and go to the playoffs, but when the protection breaks down and he has to make big time throws in muddied pockets I think he will struggle. He’s only in his second season as a starter so perhaps he can continue to make strides in this area (Matt Ryan has had issues with this as well) but right now I would have reservations about taking him in the top 40 picks, though I do think he will end up in the 2nd round. I have a 3rd round grade on him at this point in the draft process after watching more of his 2012 games. Previously I had a 4th round grade on him. I look forward to seeing him in person at the Senior Bowl.

Matt Barkley, QB, Southern Cal-

Barkley came back for his senior season expecting to make a serious run at the National Championship, the Heisman trophy and at the #1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Having just finished watching his team lose to Notre Dame without him (while his understudy Max Wittek made some freshman mistakes along with some very impressive throws in his first career start) it’s safe to say Barkley isn’t anywhere close to the BCS title game, the Heisman or to going #1 overall. I personally don’t think he will be the 1st or 2nd QB selected, but he does have a good chance to be the #3 QB selected in a class that has really underwhelmed all year long. My friend and colleague Eric Stoner (@ECStoner) pointed out something that had been previously overlooked with Barkley- aside from his fantastic finish to the season last year, he was largely what he was this season his entire career. I had never thought of it that way, but that sums it up pretty perfectly- He kind of had a Mark Sanchez rise at the end of last season and he never really sustained that level of play even with the herculean effort of Marqise Lee over the course of the year. My thoughts on him haven’t changed since the beginning of the season- he seems to be elevated by the talent around him, he doesn’t have the arm strength to put appropriate NFL velocity on some intermediate throws, his deep balls hang in the air, and he threw a mind-blowing number of short/behind the line of scrimmage passes this season as a result of all of this. He might still go in the 1st round, but there will be plenty of people making arguments for him to fall out of the top 32 selections and it’s hard to make a great argument that they’re wrong at this point. I have been on the Barkley bandwagon since he was a freshman and I hate to sound like I’m throwing him under the bus since I have been advocating him to be a starter since before his freshman year and you could tell he had a NFL future early on in his career. But he doesn’t have a lot of upside left and his lack of good/great arm strength is going to hurt him at the next level. I think he will get a shot to be a NFL starter, but I’m not convinced that he will be a quality NFL starter at this point and I wouldn’t be very comfortable drafting him as my definite QB of the future as much as it hurts me to say it.

Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee-

Bray is pretty much the polar opposite of Barkley in my opinion. He is 6’5”, skinny with lots of room to grow, has Jay Cutler-esque arm talent and unfortunately Jay Cutler-esque mechanics/decision making. He is a very talented kid with the ability to make any NFL throw even off of his back foot and that talent allows him to get away with poor footwork and weight transfer very frequently which is really too bad. He needs to be drafted by a team with a QB or QB coach that will mentor him and push him to improve his mechanics because they are a huge part of what is holding him back from reaching his immense potential. He is a frustrating kid to evaluate for this reason, and without being able to talk to his coaches, teammates and Bray himself it’s hard to evaluate how hard he is willing to work to improve his deficiencies, and I haven’t heard great things about his work ethic or intangibles thus far. NFL teams won’t like that, but there is going to be some NFL team that falls in love with his God-given talent that drafts him in the 2nd round if not higher. I liked Bray a lot coming into the season, but he didn’t progress like I hoped he might and his shortcomings were pretty obvious when you paid attention to him. I’m not sure if he will declare or not, it depends quite a bit on who Tennessee hires to replace Dooley if you ask me, but I think he is more likely to leave than he is to stay. He’s not ready to walk in and be a NFL starter in my opinion, but his raw upside gives him a chance at sneaking into the 1st round. Personally I would not want to tie my franchise to him right now, and I think the ideal situation for him would be to go to a team with an established veteran QB that can show him the ropes for a couple years, not unlike Ryan Mallett with the Patriots. I don’t know if Bray will be as lucky as Mallett was though.

Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma-

I have been underwhelmed by Jones for quite some time and despite a couple late wins this season that has not changed. I don’t think he’s a NFL starter and that stems from his lack of poise under pressure, less than ideal velocity on his passes, and the fact that I think he is elevated by the talent around him versus making everyone around him better. Because draftniks and likely scouts have been down on him so long I think it’s possible that some will start to proclaim he is underrated but I don’t buy that logic. He looked like a fourth round pick and a NFL back-up last year and his play this season hasn’t changed my mind about that. I haven’t studied him specifically this year, but nothing I’ve seen of him live has made me say “wow, I was wrong about him!” If anything it has reaffirmed that he’s good enough to get drafted, but that he is not a franchise QB or even a future quality NFL starter in my estimation.

Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech-

Thomas may have underwhelmed more than any other draft-eligible 2013 NFL Draft this year and I say that as someone who was very intrigued by his first season as a starter last year. He’s got all the size, arm strength and athleticism you could want in a quarterback, but his accuracy was erratic at best this year and his decision making regressed along with his mechanics over the course of the season. He came into the season being hyped up by some as a potential top 5 pick if he continued to progress and I can’t deny that I was one of the people who thought he had a chance to do that. However, it became clear early on that he was not ready to declare and not even ready to lead Virginia Tech to an above .500 record (the Hokies finished 6-6 this year). He has a LONG way to go before he will be a quality NFL starting QB, but there are split opinions on whether or not he should stay or declare. I think he should absolutely stay, but some think that he should go to the next level and begin getting NFL level coaching. Personally, I think he needs to work hard this offseason to improve his mechanics, gain chemistry with his returning receivers and come back and prove that he can be a leader and a catalyst on a team that competes for the ACC title. I thought he had a chance to do that this year, but the lack of a consistent running game and Thomas’ own issues compounded the problems that the Hokies had from top to bottom. I’m not going to buy him as a leader and as a player with quality intangibles until his decision making improves and until he shows he can command a game pre-snap. He has a lot of room to improve, and if his accuracy never improves he will remain a developmental project that may or may never live up to his immense raw potential. I like him, and I still think he can make strides this offseason and next year in his third season as a starter, but he has plenty of work to do.

USC-Washington:

Matt Barkley, QB, USC:

Barkley did not have a pretty stat line from this game (he finished 10/20 for 167 yards and 1 TD, 1 INT) and he started out strong but faded in the 2nd half. His INT was a bad one where he got fooled by the coverage Washington showed pre-snap and he made his throw based off of his pre-snap read. However, by the time he was releasing the ball the Washington safety had baited Barkley into making the throw and he closed on it for an easy interception. Barkley responded well to that mistake though with a drive with 2 or 3 legit NFL throws with velocity and accuracy. They were all over the middle and weren’t throws that required a howitzer of an arm to make, but they were decisive, accurate passes. Barkley still isn’t a franchise QB in my mind though, and would probably be a late 1st round pick on my draft board right now.

Khaled Holmes, C, USC:

In case you don’t follow me on Twitter, I have been fairly outspoken about not believing that Khaled Holmes is the top center in the country and that he is a 3rd or 4th round draft pick. I’ll give him credit where credit is due, he looked solid in pass protection which isn’t surprising given his reputation for being a coach up front, making all the line calls and having a high football IQ. However, his push in the run game leaves a lot to be desired. I think he would be a better fit in a zone blocking scheme, but in a man blocking scheme he simply isn’t up to par in my opinion. He leans into his blocks too much, plays with poor balance and frequently struggles to sustain blocks as a result of this. This view hasn’t been popular with his family members, most notably his father and brother (who have both called me out for them, one on my blog and one on Twitter) but if anyone in the Holmes camp feels I am wrong about my assessment I’m happy to discuss it further. I am not trying to slander your son or brother, I am just writing what I see. If you want to pop in the USC coaches tape and show me what I’m missing that makes him the best draft eligible center in the nation feel free to contact me on my blog or on Twitter.

Minnesota-Northwestern:

Marquise Gray, QB, Minnesota:

He’s not a quarterback plain and simple. I think he is a 7th round/UDFA as a QB and probably a 4th/5th rounder as developmental WR. He caught a pass and did a solid job of running with the ball in his hands in this game, plus he is shifty, but he has very inconsistent mechanics and unreliable accuracy. He would be a tremendous project, but I just don’t see the upside in him at QB. If there is any it’s probably 4-5 years down the road. I think he has more upside that will be realized quicker as a wide receiver, and I think that’s the position he should pursue in the NFL.

Donnell Kirkwood, RB, Minnesota:

Kirkwood really impressed me in this game. He runs so hard with good pad level, he finishes run strong, he was attacking defenders with his pads and running with impressive leg drive. He showed some burst to hit the hole and at least average vision when I watched him, and he has really helped invigorate the Gophers running game this season. I expected his teammate James Gillum to be the main back in the offense, but he only has 23 carries for 60 yards and 1 touchdown thus far while Kirkwood has 111 carries for 467 yards and 3 TD’s. He has room to improve and he did have a drop in this game, but from a running perspective I liked what I saw from him.

Kain Colter, QB/WR, Northwestern:

First off, Kain is such a versatile player. He’s not a NFL QB obviously, but he effortlessly moves from passing, to running zone read/option, to running routes and makes plays in all three facets. He’s the heart of Northwestern’s offense, and I would definitely want him on my team in the NFL. I look forward to seeing him at the East-West Shrine Game when he graduates.

Venric Marc, RB/KR, Northwestern:

Marc is a smaller back at 5’8”, 175 pounds but boy can he run. He already has 792 yards and 8 touchdowns this season, and had 182 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 20 carries against Minnesota. He’s very fast, explosive and dynamic whenever he has the ball in his hands, and I’m surprised he didn’t rip off a big kickoff return at Minnesota’s expense in this game. He’s only a junior, but he’s a very intriguing 3rd down/return man prospect in my opinion.

Wisconsin-Purdue:

Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin:

Plenty of people hopped off the Ball bandwagon after he had a slow start to the season (493 yards, 6 touchdowns and just 3.97 yards per carry in his first 5 games) but I continuously said that the Wisconsin offensive line was a big part of the problem. I don’t know if Bielema firing the offensive line coach was the right move, but so far it appears to be working. Whether that is because the former coach wasn’t getting the job done or because the offensive line just needed 4-5 games to gel is something I can’t say for sure, but despite the fact that the last two opponents were Illinois and Purdue, two teams that may not go to bowl games this year, the Wisconsin offensive line appeared to be in much better shape and it resulted in Ball rushing for 363 yards, 5 touchdowns and a 7.56 yards per carry average in the past two games. He had an underwhelming game against Nebraska with just 93 yards on 31 carries but had 3 touchdowns before getting back on track the last two weeks. He plays Minnesota next week who doesn’t have a very good run defense (they struggled plenty with the zone read against Northwestern at least) and then will have a big test against Michigan State who should be a good litmus test for whether or not the past two weeks have been a fluke or whether the Wisconsin offensive line is really back on track. I think they will be better than they were to start the season, and I feel the same way about Ball. He may not be a Heisman contender this year, but he’s still a complete back that is ready to walk into a NFL locker room and contribute as a runner, receiver and pass blocker. He may not be a 1st round pick, but I’d draft him early in round 3 without a single hesitation, possibly in round 2 depending on the overall class and what team I was drafting for. Oh, and if you hopped off the bandwagon when Ball was trying to run with no passing game to keep defenses from putting 8 or 9 men in the box and with a surprisingly average Wisconsin offensive line to start the season, please don’t hop back on if he has a good game against Michigan State, Ohio State or Penn State (or hopefully, all three). Thanks, and enjoy watching Montee continue to have success in the second half of the season.

Maryland-Virginia:

Randy Edsall- I gotta say, I expected Maryland to be one of the two worst teams in the ACC and 6 games into the season they are 4-2, 2-0 in the ACC, and poised for a bowl game in Edsall’s second year. I really thought Edsall was going to turn out to be overrated after how he handled Danny O’Brien and how his team struggled last year, but O’Brien got benched by Wisconsin (which I was totally wrong about) and now Edsall has his team competing. I always say I’ll admit when I’m wrong, and barring a catastrophic collapse Edsall and Maryland will finish with a well above average season and a bowl game this year.

UCF-Southern Miss:

Storm Johnson, RB, UCF:

Storm had another strong game this week rushing 18 times for 94 yards and 1 touchdown. He only added one reception for 3 yards in the pass game, and I’d like to see UCF involve him more out of the backfield on screens and passes in the flat. Getting a kid with his speed in the open field where he has to make one guy miss should be a focus of the offense in my opinion, but it’s clear Storm is settling in nicely. Look for him to have another “break-out” game of sorts against Memphis, a team that doesn’t have the athletes necessary to keep Storm bottled up. Keep up the good work Storm!

Duke-Virginia Tech:

Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech:

Logan got plenty of criticism to start the season as he was getting compared to Cam Newton and being postured as the potential #1 overall draft pick. I will not deny that I thought he had a shot at it if he continued to progress the way I expected him to, but it’s clear that he needs another year of development to me and should probably stay in school even with a strong finish to the season. We’ll see what he decides, but I was encouraged to see him and Virginia Tech claw out of a 20-0 deficit against a much better Duke team than I think people realize. Are they elite? No. Are they great? No. But their reputation is a bottom feeder that never wins conference games, and that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. Thomas and Virginia Tech could have easily folded and gotten blown out in this game, especially given some of the struggles they have had this season, but they fought back and scored 41 unanswered points for a decisive victory. Not many people will be patting VT on the back for this since “they are supposed to beat Duke” and perhaps they are, but this is a better Duke team than the past few years, and perhaps that surprised the Hokies in the 1st half. Either way, they showed some character and resolve by fighting back and taking control, and I think that is worth noting.

LSU-South Carolina:

Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU:

I think it’s safe to say that Mettenberger has been a let-down thus far. He has the size, but his velocity hasn’t been what I expected it to be and he struggles when he’s moved off of his spot. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of pocket poise, and he’s obviously pretty immobile. Thus far he hasn’t impressed me and all the hype leading up to the season (which I’ll admit I certainly contributed to, I expected a much better passing attack at LSU) has been just that- hype, not substance.

Spencer Ware, RB, LSU:

Ware is only a junior but he looks like a NFL Draft pick depending on when he comes out. He is a powerful runner even if he doesn’t look like an every down back in the NFL. He can catch the ball out of the backfield and he has proven that he can wear down defenses thanks to his impressive leg drive and running style, but his lack of gamebreaking speed will limit his upside and I don’t think he has a ton of burst even given his size at 225 pounds. He’s a mid-late round back in my opinion, but he can contribute to a team without a doubt.

Tharold Simon, CB, LSU:

Simon has all the tools that Tyrann Mathieu doesn’t have: size, length, and the ability to play effective man coverage on the outside as a result of that size and length. He’s a long strider and he’s very hard to run by on the outside on vertical routes. He doesn’t look like he has very fluid hips to me though, and isn’t a “quick-twitch” athlete at corner which concerns me a bit. He can be victimized by smaller, quicker receivers, especially since despite playing up near the LOS at times he rarely jams. He usually just turns and runs with the receiver, particularly on vertical routes. He seems to be at his best when he forces an outside release, particularly on vertical routes. He locates and plays the ball just about as well as anyone on vertical routes, and regularly deflects passes when he is attacked on deep passes. He can take away half the field when you are challenging him deep, but the problem I have with Simon’s game is underneath routes and run support. He has the ABILITY to tackle, he shows it from time to time, but he consistently attempts arm tackles and usually uses poor technique which results in missed tackles. This concerns me in pass coverage as it can allow yardage after the catch, but it also concerns me in run defense. Despite his size, he is not nearly as physical as Mathieu and doesn’t seem to like contact very much, and it shows when he’s supporting the run. He flashes, and I have to emphasize flash, the ability to support the run and wrap up, but it’s not there consistently. I haven’t studied him much in 2012, but these are things that worry me about him. Because he doesn’t have the quickest reactions when he allows an inside release on a slant he doesn’t react that quickly, but when he has time on vertical routes he very consistently makes plays. If he can tighten up his technique (he seems “leggy” in his backpedal and I think his footwork needs considerable work, at least based on what I saw last year) it should help this, particularly if he is allowed to jam at the line of scrimmage. Using his length to alter routes would really help him, especially since he doesn’t have great change of direction burst. He closes well on plays in front of him in zone, and he is great on vertical/downfield routes, but the underneath stuff and run support is what worries me as an evaluator.

Ace Sanders, WR/KR, South Carolina:

I love Ace Sanders. He’s a smaller guy, but boy is he dynamic. He’s proven this year that he’s more than just a return man and is making himself a lot of money as a potential slot receiver this season. He actually wasn’t very productive as a punt returner last year, but in just 19 punt returns this year he has gained double the yardage he had last year with 43 returns (19 for 313, 1 TD this year, 43 for 149 1 TD last year). He also has 17 receptions, 159 yards and 4 TD’s, his four touchdowns matching his career total from his first two seasons in South Carolina. He’s shown me that he can catch the ball, make plays in space on offense and special teams, and has generally impressed me. I really like this kid.

Tennessee-Mississippi State:

Tyler Russell, QB, Mississippi State:

Tyler Russell is a guy I was really excited to see this season because I thought he flashed plenty of upside in his limited snaps last season and now he would be the full time starter as a junior. Thus far he has not only lived up to my expectations, he has exceeded them. He has thrown 12 touchdowns thus far this season as opposed to only one interception which has helped give the Bulldogs their best passing attack in recent memory. He’s going to be very popular in NFL Draft circles soon because he has the size, arm strength and upside that everyone looks for in a quarterback. Keep an eye on Russell, he’s a good one.

Chad Bumphis, WR, Mississippi State:

I don’t think anyone has benefited more from the improved QB play at Mississippi State than Bumphis. He caught my eye two years ago as a sophomore when he produced 44 receptions, 634 yards and 5 touchdowns as well as 131 yards rushing on just 19 attempts. He also offers some value as a return man, though he hasn’t gotten many attempts to do so thus far this year. He’s fast and he can play, but he didn’t do much last season largely due to issues at QB. This year Tyler Russell has been much more efficient, and Bumphis’ numbers are back up. He already has more receptions (28), yards (468) and touchdowns (6) than he had all last season (25, 339, 3). He couldn’t have timed it any better since this is his senior year, and he has helped surprise a lot of people with the Bulldogs 6-0 start. He’s a talented kid, and is a top 100 prospect in my opinion. He reminds me of Percy Harvin, and if he keeps playing well he could end up going way higher than that, so keep an eye on him.

Chris Smith, WR, Mississippi State:

Smith has had a slower start to the season and has never been the explosive player on Mississippi State, but I still think he can play. He’s got the size and the hands, I am just hoping he can get more involved in the passing game. Right now he just doesn’t have the film/production to warrant a draft pick, but I truly am convinced that he can play at the next level. He has 19 receptions for 227 yards and 0 touchdowns so far this season, and continuing at that pace (with a few more touchdowns sprinkled in, hopefully) he would have a career year statistically (his best being last year with 35 receptions, 330 yards and 3 TDs). I still like him, so hopefully he can get more targets as a complement to Bumphis soon.

Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State:

Everyone is figuring out that Banks can play. I don’t really have much to add, I figured that out 2 years ago. He’s a talented kid and in my opinion the best senior cornerback in the country, and one of the top three draft eligible corners for the 2013 NFL Draft. If you haven’t watched him, you need to.

Texas A&M-Louisiana Tech:

Joe Davis, ESPN Announcer:

I went to college with Joe and not only is he a great guy, he’s a great announcer. Not only does he do a great job managing the broadcast, but he subtly interjects his knowledge of the game of football that a surprising number of play by play guys, even the best in the game, can’t do. Joe is going to be on ESPN College Football broadcasts for a long time, so if you love football (and baseball, he does a great job with that as well) give his games a watch on ESPNU this year and follow him on Twitter @JoeDavisESPN .

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M:

“Johnny Football” sure did put on a show against Louisiana Tech, he broke his own record (which he took from one Timothy Tebow) for yardage in a game in SEC history. He’s only a redshirt freshman so he isn’t a NFL prospect yet, but in the two games I’ve gotten to see of him he really seems to have that “it” characteristic that makes good players great and good quarterbacks special. I thought Texas A&M was going to have a very difficult start to their season in the SEC, but Manziel’s emergence has been one of the main factors in me being completely wrong so far. They have another huge test coming up against LSU this week, and I honestly think that Manziel and the Aggies have a shot to win. In fact, I am picking them to upset the Tigers this Saturday. If Manziel can find a way to exploit that talented defense the Aggies will have a good shot to do just that.

Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech:

Patton is an impressive kid. I got to watch him a little bit before the season and I saw a guy with solid size (about 6’2”, 215 pounds) and good hands. He’s not going to run a 4.4 flat, and the combine will probably hurt his stock a little more than it will help it, but he’s going to be a productive NFL receiver in my opinion. He’s going to be a good #2 in the NFL, and he had an AMAZING game against Texas A&M catching 21 passes for 223 yards and 4 touchdowns. I’m a Patton fan, and not only is he a good football player, he’s a good kid. I remember hearing that Patton and his teammate had given something to a kid they met through the Make A Wish foundation during bowl week and I was just so impressed. When do you hear about anyone, much less a college athlete, giving away their gifts they get for going to the bowl game? In a society that is so obsessed with material possessions and in a society that sees so many football players taking money from agents, runners and boosters while they are in college seeing Patton give one of those kids a gift really impressed me. I’ll take him on my team ANY DAY.

California-Washington State:

Keenan Allen, WR, California:

Allen isn’t perfect, but I think he is a top 15 NFL Draft pick if he comes out and I think he is a #1 WR in the NFL. He’s certainly the go-to guy at Cal, and is one of the only reasons this offense isn’t dreadful. He makes Zach Maynard look like a starting caliber quarterback sometimes, and that in and of itself is an accomplishment worth noting. He had 11 receptions, 166 yards and 1 TD against Washington State, but he will need to have a huge game against Stanford for Cal to even have a remote chance at winning.

Zach Maynard, QB, California:

Just to be thorough, Zach Maynard is not a NFL quarterback. At all.

Notre Dame-Stanford:

Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford:

If you like Montee Ball you will like Taylor. I like Ball quite a bit, and not surprisingly I am a big fan of Taylor as well. He is compact, strong, runs with good pad level, good leg drive and gets tough yards. He can catch out of the backfield and from what I have seen from him he can pass protect. That means he’s ready to walk onto a NFL team and get carries once he understands the playbook. I like those kinds of players, and I think Taylor would be an ideal replacement for a guy like Michael Turner in Atlanta. He runs hard and fits a man-blocking scheme well, and should be a top 100 pick in the NFL Draft.

Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford:

I wish I could link to the scouting report @MatthewMochal wrote on Ertz earlier this season, but he is having a good season and is arguably Stanford’s top receiving target (he does have 25 receptions which leads the team and 2 TD’s which is tied for the team lead). He’s a NFL prospect in his own right.

Levine Toiliolo, TE, Stanford:

Toiliolo is a legit prospect as well, and one with a ton of upside thanks to his combination of size (6’8”, 265 pounds) and athleticism. He is a mega-tight end and the NFL will be salivating at the match-up problems that he can create because of his size as a receiver. I still have questions about his hands, or perhaps his concentration, as I’ve seen him drop too many passes. But even with some untimely drops he can be a very productive tight end in the NFL, Jimmy Graham comes to mind.

Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame:

Eifert is the best tight end in the country, no doubt. He’s a top 20 pick in my book, he has fantastic hands, and is going to be a top 10 TE within his first three seasons in the NFL.

Manti Te’o, MLB, Notre Dame:

Te’o is one of the best middle linebackers in the country and I think he is a perfect 3-4 MLB prospect. I am not sure I’m totally sold on him in coverage enough to be a 3 down middle linebacker prospect in a 4-3 defense, but he definitely looks like a top 20 pick this year. Now that the Ravens may need to finally replace Ray Lewis I can’t think of a better potential replacement than Te’o, so much so that I think that Baltimore should consider trading up if they aren’t picking high enough to select him in the first place.

West Virginia-Texas Tech:

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia:

I don’t think a lot of people are hopping off the Geno bandwagon, both for Heisman and as a top NFL Draft pick, but he did have an off game against Texas Tech. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to watch it, but I am very interested to watch the game and see what Texas Tech was able to do against Smith and West Virginia’s weapons to render him less effective. But I still maintain that he has all the tools (arm strength, accuracy, size, athleticism), poise in the pocket and football IQ to be a franchise QB in the NFL.

Seth Doege, QB, Texas Tech:

Some will probably be drooling at Doege’s performance in this game- 32/42, 499 yards, 6 TD’s and 1 interception as well as 5 carries for 28 yards. But the defense he played against in this game was absolutely awful, and that led to a lot of his gaudy stats. We’ll see how many NFL reads and throws he made when I watch the game later, but he’s still a late round/UDFA guy despite this big performance in my opinion.

Corey Robinson, QB, Troy:*

Overall: Robinson impressed me, though he only attempted 11 passes, and for the most part he had a clean pocket as a result of good protection and made easy throws. He was accurate and threw a beautiful deep ball vs 1 on 1 coverage, but I didn’t see him come off his primary read regularly. Obviously I need to see more of him, and he’s just a junior, but I think he has a NFL future. He’s impressed me since he was a freshman at Troy, and has been overlooked because of his height his entire football career. He can play, and I hope he’s alright as it looked like he may have sustained a concussion.

Quanterus Smith, DE, WKU:

Overall: I came in excited to watch Smith against Troy but despite flashing a bit of hand usage to keep his blocker off balance he didn’t do anything as a pass rusher despite entering the game with 6.5 sacks on the season (including one against DJ Fluker). He has some edge speed, flashes of hand usage, and seems to have a solid motor, but that didn’t translate into production against Troy. Had Robinson not been knocked out just before halftime I have plenty of confidence that Troy would have beaten WKU, and Smith’s inability to beat Troy’s RT like he stole something played a big role in that.

Jack Doyle, TE, WKU:

Overall: Doyle impressed me. He’s not a 1st round prospect by any means, but as a mid-late round prospect I think he has some value. This was the first time I’d watched him, so it’s impossible for me to put a round grade on him given that, but he has the size at 6’6”, 252 pounds, looks pretty athletic, gave good effort as a blocker and caught all the passes I saw thrown to him (even though they were mostly underneath). He needs technique work as a blocker, but he showed that he can be a wall-off type even if he didn’t get much push or sustain consistently against defensive ends in the run game. He’s a solid prospect, so keep an eye on him.

Mitchell Henry, TE, WKU:**

Overall: If Doyle was solid and consistent, Henry was eye-catching and intriguing. At first I thought he was a wide receiver, but he’s a 6’4”, 245 pound tight end who is an interesting joker tight end prospect. He is an athletic kid with some burst to him, he releases off the line of scrimmage well, looks smooth when running his routes, seems to have good hands and showed that he can make tough catches in traffic a few times last night. I’m definitely a fan, and since he is only a sophomore he should have two years as the starter barring unforeseen circumstances after Doyle graduates.

Antonio Andrews, RB, WKU:*

Overall: Andrews finished with 26 carries for 113 yards (4.6 ypc) and 1 reception for 14 yards, but he easily could have had a couple touchdowns receiving as he beat linebackers with his route running in man coverage at least two or three times and was horribly overthrown by his quarterback Jakes (who is not nearly draftable despite being born one day after me on February 28th, 1990). He impressed me as a route runner and as a runner despite fumbling the ball twice. He is a bigger back at 6’0”, 211 pounds but has legitimate athleticism and shiftiness to him which I liked. Both of his fumbles, from what I could see, were forced by defenders getting their helmets on the ball and dislodging it. There’s not a ton you can do about that, but the little that he could have done (cover the ball with two hands when contact was imminent) didn’t happen, and that is on him. What bothered me more was even later in the game, despite fumbling twice in the first half, still was running towards and through contact with one arm on the ball and on one play I thought he was definitely going to get stripped from behind. I like Andrews, but he needs to work on ball security. He’s only a junior and I would be surprised if he declared after this season, but it’s his first year as a starter and he has had a great start to the season after stepping up to replace Bobby Rainey after he left for the NFL. I like him, but he has room to improve.

Andrew Jackson, MLB, WKU:*

Overall: Jackson was a very pleasant surprise for me because I love instinctual middle linebackers that can deliver a big hit. It’s one reason I really liked Curtis Lofton, Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes coming out, and it’s why I like Jackson. He’s listed at 6’1”, 265 pounds but he looked like he could stand to lose 10-15 pounds and perhaps help himself move even better than he does. He looked like a pretty good athlete despite potentially carrying extra weight, and he is a tackling machine. He had 17 TFL last season during his first year as a starter while he also had 100+ tackles (40-45 solos if I remember correctly) and already has at least 7.5 TFL thus far as a junior. I think he may need to improve his conditioning, because I think he was taken out for a few plays on one of Troy’s longer drives, but that comes back to the weight issue. If he drops that and improves his conditioning LOOK OUT. He’s a nice middle linebacker and I definitely enjoyed watching him against Troy.

Xavius Boyd, OLB, WKU:*

Overall: Boyd is another talented junior linebacker on WKU. I didn’t see him as much as Jackson, but he filled downhill well and made a couple nice plays on the goal line to help force Troy to attempt a fake field goal despite having the ball inside the 10, getting a pass interference penalty, and then still getting stopped three more times. It was an impressive stand, and Boyd definitely contributed to it.

Jawan Jamison, RB, Rutgers: Jamison really opened my eyes in this game and I don’t think I was the only one who was surprised by how well he played. Jamison is only a freshman but he produced 897 yards and 9 touchdowns. He’s got a lot of upside and if Rutgers can solidify their quarterback situation then they could put together a really nice offense with Jamison and Brandon Coleman in the fold. Regardless, Jamison definitely displayed a lot of ability against Iowa State. He has quality speed, vision, and he gained significant yardage after contact due to his strength and leg drive. I really like his upside and I’m really excited to see him develop in Rutgers’ offense.

Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers: Sanu announced yesterday that he was going to enter the NFL Draft so it’s time to look into his game even more intensely. He’s a very talented receiver but like many of the top guys (Michael Floyd, Alshon Jeffrey and now Sanu) I have some concerns about his top speed. I haven’t done my film study on him yet, but he has proven that he can be a go-to guy for a team and can give them a chance to win when involved. I don’t know if I like him as a NFL #1 but he could be a very good #2. I’ll know more once I study him now that he has declared, but he’s a quality receiver. Not sure I have a round 1 grade on him though.

Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers: Coleman is a very intriguing receiver who was a freshman this year. He’s listed at 6’6”, 220 pounds and had a huge touchdown in this game to give him 17 receptions, 552 yards (32.47 average per reception) and 6 touchdowns on the season. He has a lot of potential and should be the go-to guy next year now that Sanu has declared and now that he has demonstrated ridiculous downfield ability.

Justin Francis, DE, Rutgers: I honestly haven’t seen much of Francis but he had a productive year this year and strikes me as a bit of a ‘tweener given his size at 6’4”, 275 pounds. He managed 64 total tackles (33 solo), 13.0 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 5 pass break-ups, an interception and three blocked kicks or punts. I haven’t watched him yet, but when I do film study of Sanu I will definitely be taking a look at him.

Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers: Greene is the leader of Rutgers on defense and will be back for his senior season next year. He’s a tackling machine as he totaled 140 total tackles (74 solo), 14.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 3 fumbles forced and one pass break-up. He suffered a serious ankle injury late in this game and had his foot in a walking boot and was on crutches after it, but should be alright for next season according to Rutgers and Greene himself. He was the Co-Defensive player of the year and made a number of impressive plays in this game. I’m a fan even though he is undersized at 6’1”, 220 pounds.

Darius Reynolds, WR, Iowa State: I’m a fan of Reynolds. He’s a senior who will probably be a late round pick, but he had a good year this year. The 6’1”, 208 pound receiver had more receptions, yards and touchdowns than he had in his previous two years at Iowa State. He had 43 receptions, 695 yards and 7 touchdowns. He isn’t a freak athlete given his size and 4.54 40 yard dash time but I think he has draftable ability. I’d expect him to be on a NFL roster next year, but that’s just my opinion. I’d hope that he would be in the East-West Shrine Game, but I have no idea if he will be.

Kelechi Osemele, OT, Iowa State: Osemele is an absolute beast. As I have stated before I don’t think Osemele can stick at LT in the NFL but I think he moves well enough to be a RT prospect. Once he gets his hands on you he takes you out of the play and at 6’5”, 347 pounds he can drive you off the ball in the run game. I’m excited to study him further, but he’s got plenty of upside as a RT or an OG in the NFL. Just haven’t figured out which yet.

Leonard Johnson, CB, Iowa State: Johnson is a quality man coverage corner that I like. I think he will struggle with guys that have elite speed but he really impressed me against Justin Blackmon and Mohamed Sanu. He’s 5’10”, 202 pounds and has a 4.49 listed 40 yard dash time, but his value comes in his physicality and his ability in man coverage. He’s shown the ability to take the #1 receiver on the opposing team out of the game and that is extremely valuable. I’m not sure if that will translate to the NFL since I don’t think he has Darrelle Revis or Champ Bailey type ability. He will be at the Senior Bowl though and I am very excited to see him in person.

Manuel has a quality combination of size, arm strength and athleticism. It will be interesting to see how he progresses as a senior.

EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State: Manuel was a junior this year and with plenty of starting experience under his belt I expect him to have a good year for FSU next year. Don’t forget that while this was his first full season as a starter he filled in for Christian Ponder the previous year when he was hurt. Manuel has a strong arm and can make all the throws but struggled with accuracy in this game. I attribute to some of his errant throws to playing behind an offensive line starting an unbelievable four freshman up front due to injuries. Zebrie Sanders, a potential 1st round offensive tackle prospect, was the only usual starter on the offensive line and even he had slide from right tackle over to the left side. However, Manuel made a few poor decisions in this game and could have easily had one or perhaps two interceptions in this game. He displayed some quality accuracy when he wasn’t pressured but the repeated pressure and some hits affected him in my opinion. He’s clearly an athletic specimen due to his size and ability to pick up yardage with his legs and he flashed some ability to stand tall in the pocket to deliver passes downfield. It will be integral for him to consistently do this next year versus making one read and scrambling like many quarterbacks with the ability to scramble tend to do. He is losing a few starters on offense, but I believe they are replaceable. If he can clean up some of his decision making, improve his pocket poise a bit and clean up some of his footwork he could really improve his draft stock. Teams will be immediately intrigued by his combination of size, arm strength and athleticism especially after the season Cam Newton has had this year. Manuel’s challenge will be convincing that while he isn’t the rare player Newton is that he has significant upside. More importantly, he needs to show tendencies and attributes that would indicate that he will achieve it. Newton is one of the rare quarterbacks who didn’t display some of the things he has done this year in college but has managed to do them in the NFL, but he is the exception that proves the rule in this instance. I don’t know much about Manuel’s work ethic or film study habits, but I look forward to evaluating him next year. He has upside, but upside is nothing without the work ethic, desire and intangibles to achieve it.

Bert Reid, WR, Florida State: I am personally not a big fan of Bert Reed. He flashed some potential when I was scouting Christian Ponder last year but he didn’t impress me much this year. He has pretty average size, isn’t a burner downfield and I’m not sold on his hands at this point in the draft process. It will be interesting to see if he gets an invite to an All-Star game because I would love an extra look at him in person. He had a nice touchdown catch in this game but it was made possible by a perfect throw by Manuel. Reid hadn’t created much separation and while I haven’t watched him enough to know if that is a regular occurrence it warrants mentioning. If he does struggle to create separation the ability to make catches in traffic will be important, so showing that he could do that on that touchdown catch is at least a small flash of ability in that respect. As I said earlier I am not high on Reid right now and have a 6th/7th round grade on him right now, but we will see what I think of him once I do more film study.

Rashad Green has great upside and I was really impressed with his performance in the 2nd half. He's only a freshman, so keep an eye on him.

Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State: Let me just say that I love this kid and I’ve only seen him play in two games this year. That isn’t to see that I haven’t seen Florida State at all this year, but it is my understanding that he really came on strong late in the year. He didn’t have a significant impact in the 1st half but he made two huge catches in the 2nd half as well as a touchdown reception to help propel FSU to the comeback win. While I would have liked to see him make more plays in the 1st half and I did see him drop a pass on a 1st down throw from Manuel I really loved the fact that he showed up in the 2nd half when his team needed it the most. If you read my stuff regularly you know that I really place a premium on players that make plays when their team needs them the most and I truly believe that is a quality that is cultivated in some people while others just aren’t born with it. I think Greene has that quality and that will be important when I evaluate his NFL draft prospects in a couple years. I’m very excited about his potential and upside because he is only a freshman and played an integral role in this 2nd half comeback win for the Seminoles. Keep an eye on this kid! He’s got a very bright future.

Rodney Smith, WR, Florida State: Rodney Smith has all the height you could ask for in a receiver at 6’6” but he seems to have a skinny frame and looks EXTREMELY skinny on film. He should be able to add weight pretty easily, but I’m not sure he will ever be a 6’6”, 225 pound receiver because his frame just doesn’t seem conducive to trying to bulk up. Regardless, he flashed impressive hands in this game and caught a pretty tough pass on a throw that was behind him after he made his break and seemed to do it pretty effortlessly. He’s another returning player on FSU’s offense and while he wasn’t a starter this year I do think he’s going to make a significant contribution next year. His size and hands will be valuable all over the field but particularly in the red zone.

Kenny Shaw, WR, Florida State: Shaw had a solid game and I think he is a solid player overall. I don’t think he has the upside of a player like Greene or Smith but he can contribute. He made all of his catches in the 1st half while Greene saved his heroics for the 2nd half. It may seem unfair to claim that Greene’s receptions were worth more than Shaw’s, and perhaps it is especially because he was making a play here and there when Florida State was struggling to move the ball. However, Shaw seemed to be body catching and while he was creating separation against Notre Dame’s secondary I didn’t think he looked like a burner. Of the three returning receivers I have mentioned in this post I think Shaw’s ceiling is the lowest, but I don’t think his floor is more appealing than that of Greene’s. Obviously I haven’t seen them play enough to be absolute in this claim, but that is my perception having seen a couple of their games before I delve into more intense film study after the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl.

Zebrie Sanders got his shot at left tackle this year and it has really improved his stock.

Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State: I am high on Zebrie Sanders. I’ve had a late 1st round/early 2nd round grade on him for a long while and I truly believe he has a chance to go in the 1st round. I’m really hoping he will be at the Senior Bowl because I would love to see him play against that caliber of competition for a week, but I would also love to interview him. I don’t want to pat myself on the back, but last year I identified him as a player that I thought could slide over from the right tackle spot and stick at left tackle in the NFL even though it seemed unlikely that he would ever get the chance to prove me right as a junior or as a senior with Andrew Datko starting there and doing a pretty good job. However, when Datko got hurt this year Sanders got that chance and I think he played quite well especially considering a mid-season change in assignment. He’s an athletic guy with impressive size, long arms, a good-looking kick slide and seems to be a natural knee bender. He demonstrated the ability to do some hand fighting while continuing to sustain a block in pass protection and once he gets his hands on you he does a good job of taking you out of the play consistently. He also showed pretty consistent hand placement and showed the ability to stay in front of his man on a spin move. He could stand to add weight to his frame particularly in his lower body to help him anchor versus bull rushes, but that is something that can be coached and improved upon with training and weight lifting. You can’t coach his size, arm length and athleticism and that is why I think he will ultimately end up in the 1st round.

Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State: Jenkins is a bit of a frustrating prospect for me because I feel the exact same way about him now as I did last year. His athleticism, burst and edge speed is all extremely intriguing and that makes you drool as a talent evaluator, especially when the premium has never been higher on players that can rush the passer. However, he is just not strong enough to be a true terror as a pass rusher yet. He has flashed some hand usage this year which is good because last year he relied almost exclusively on his athleticism to beat offensive tackles. But because of his lack of size, strength and hand usage he can be engulfed and taken out of plays at times which is a little frustrating to watch when so many people expected him to develop into a sure fire 1st rounder that would leave early. He got a bit of a free sack when he was running a twist with DT #93 in this game and as he beat the guard inside (again, with only his athleticism) Rees lost his balance, fell down and Jenkins was credited with a sack that looks a lot better on the stat sheet than it does on film. The story continues to be the same for Jenkins: He’s got all the athleticism you could want in a pass rushing prospect but he has to get stronger and continue to refine his technique if he is going to become a true force as a pass rusher. The potential is there, it’s just a question of how much of it will be realized at this point.

Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State: Werner is a guy that I had to mention not because I think he is going to be a sure-fire first round pick in 2013 but because I think it’s awesome that he is from Germany. I kind of found myself hoping that he would do something recklessly awesome in this game (though I have no idea what that would have entailed) but all he did was demonstrate that while he doesn’t have a lot of edge speed he does have some burst off the line of scrimmage, a little bit of bend and hip flexibility and a pretty awesome name. I don’t think he is much more than a mid-late round guy at this point, but he was pretty productive this year and should only improve next year so I thought he warranted mentioning.

Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State: Carradine isn’t a guy that I saw a whole lot in this game but he showed up with a sack or two in this game (even if one of them was when he came free off the edge) so I thought he warranted some investigation. I don’t know a whole lot about him and he didn’t stick out to me much when I saw Florida State play earlier this season, but I think he has some upside and obviously still has time left to develop. I haven’t seen him nearly enough to put a possible grade range on him yet, but I wanted to make note of him as a guy that I have on my watch list for the future.

Anthony McCloud, DT, Florida State: McCloud is a guy that I expected a bit more from in this game as he seemed to be getting pushed off the ball more than I expected, particularly in the 3rd quarter. He had a couple nice stops at the line of scrimmage in this game but I was expecting to see him anchor better at the point of attack and occupy blockers better when he wasn’t trying to get into the backfield. I’ll keep an eye on him next year though.

Nigel Bradham isn't a top linebacker prospect but he is fundamentally sound. I think he will be a reliable starter in the NFL.

Nigel Bradham, OLB, Florida State: I like Bradham. I don’t have him as a 1st or 2nd round pick, but I do like him as a 3rd/4th round guy. He seems to be a good tackler, he’s reliable in coverage, has good range sideline to sideline and I think he could be a reliable starter in the NFL. He seems like a guy that it would be a mistake to bet against because he’s while he doesn’t have elite size or freakish athleticism he is fundamentally sound and seems to have a good work ethic. A couple things stuck out to me beyond him being a good tackler in this game. One of them was the fact that while he was still a reliable tackler he flashed some serious pop as a hitter. One prime example of this was when Michael Floyd was making his circus catch in the end zone Bradham found his way over to him and just after Floyd managed to haul the pass in Bradham LEVELED him and left him grimacing in pain after somehow holding on for the touchdown reception. He had another impressive hit or two in this game, one that warranted me writing in my notes that “Bradham made a fantastic hit. You could just hear it.” The second thing was that while I didn’t notice this often I did notice that late in the game Bradham was on kick-off coverage on FSU’s special teams unit. As a senior starting his final game for the program I loved to see that. Not only that, but he made a special teams tackle inside the 20 yard line! So, needless to say I like Bradham and I think he will be a quality 4-3 WLB starter for somebody looking for a reliable starter.

Christian Jones, LB, Florida State: I didn’t watch him much in this game but he was getting some rave reviews from some of the people that I follow on Twitter. From what I can gather he is a pretty impressive athlete (some labeled him a freak athlete) and he seems to have a lot of upside from the little that I did see of him in this game. There was one play I noticed where he looked like he was covering a slot receiver for Notre Dame and doing a shockingly good job of it for a linebacker at his size. I’ll definitely have to keep an eye on him next year because he seems like a pretty good candidate for my potential break-out players list assuming he hasn’t already done so and I just wasn’t aware of it.

Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State: Rhodes may have caught more people’s attention in this game than any other player short of perhaps Greene because of the job he did on Michael Floyd. Floyd is a pretty physical receiver but Rhodes matched up with him very well in this game and definitely won the match-up in the eyes of most people including myself. I only saw him catch two passes on Rhodes before he went down with a sprained knee and on both Rhodes wrapped him up cleanly where he caught it to avoid Floyd gaining a lot of YAC. He got beat deep on one play and made a very poor attempt at leaping and deflecting the pass but luckily for him Floyd dropped it. He’s a tall corner but unlike a lot of corners his size he has fluid hips, turns and runs well and showed the ability to get physical with Floyd both by playing press man against him and by tackling him after he caught a couple of passes. I haven’t watched him specifically before but I do worry a little bit about his ability to locate and make a play on the ball in the air based on what I saw in this game because he didn’t locate the ball in the air at all on the play he ultimately was injured on and made a less than impressive attempt to deflect the deep pass that Floyd let bounce off his hands. Overall he definitely displayed quality man coverage but it wasn’t flawless, so

Greg Reid, CB, Florida State: Greg Reid is a very undersized corner but I have been pretty impressed with him ever since I saw him for the first time as a freshman against Miami. He’s only about 5’8” but he is a very impressive athlete. He is very fast, quick and has unbelievable leaping ability. This was evidenced very clearly when Tommy Rees threw a fade to Michael Floyd in the end zone and despite being about seven inches shorter than Floyd Reid was able to elevate and get his hands to a nearly identical height as Floyd’s. Floyd ultimately came down with the touchdown after bobbling it for what felt like an eternity, but Reid had already shown what scouts will love and hate in one play. They will love his athleticism, his ball skills and his instincts to time his leaps appropriately to make a play on the ball. However, his natural lack of height will seriously limit his upside in the NFL as he just won’t be able to match up in man to man coverage with big, physical receivers that are even bigger and more physical than Floyd. I like his potential as a nickel corner and think that if he proves he has enough ability in coverage he could take a Brent Grimes path to a starting job. Grimes is very fundamentally sound and has fantastic athleticism and ball skills which help make up for his lack of size. Reid can take a similar path if he has the dedication and work ethic that Grimes does, but I have not yet evaluated how well he supports the run and how good he is in man coverage. He’s got everything you could want in a zone corner thanks to his athleticism, speed and burst but I haven’t watched him in man coverage in a long time. I like his upside and I think he could be a #2 in the NFL if everything falls right for him, but more than likely he will spend some time as a nickel corner before he gets his shot to start. Luckily for him he has a lot of potential as a returner and should be able to contribute in that phase of the game immediately in the NFL. Special teams is a great way for players to stick on a roster and I wouldn’t be surprised if Reid uses that to boost his stock in the draft and to make sure he sticks on a roster when he ultimately leaves Florida State.

Lamarcus Joyner, S, Florida State: Joyner is another undersized but very athletically gifted defensive back on Florida State’s roster. Joyner had one of the more electrifying plays of the game breaking off a big return to set up Florida State with great field position for that drive. He’s very fast and while I didn’t get to see him much on defense I did see him deliver a huge hit on Floyd on the sideline on a play that ultimately injured both Floyd and his teammate Xavier Rhodes. Joyner laid a pretty big hit on Floyd’s midsection not long after he had taken a shot in a similar area from Nigel Bradham so it was understandable why he was hurt (though he did get up and walk away while Rhodes was still laying on the ground). Joyner is only a sophomore so he has plenty of time left to develop, but he will need to show me more in coverage beyond just being a very fast safety if I’m going to buy into his upside.

Dustin Hopkins, K, Florida State: Yes, every once in a while I have to include a kicker on my prospect lists. This is one of those times because Hopkins is an impressive kicker. He has a very strong leg and made two critical field goals in this game. Evaluating kickers is almost as much of a crapshoot as evaluating quarterbacks as far as I’m concerned and I haven’t quite figured out what kickers can do in college to prepare them for successful NFL careers. I think there may be some correlation between exposure to high pressure situations in college and success in the pros, but even that isn’t a fool-proof quality. Regardless, I like Hopkins’ NFL chances as of now. Not only did he make two critical field goals in this game that could have been the difference in the game he also wears gold shoes that he repaints before every game. If that’s not swagger I don’t know what is, so I say do your thing Dustin Hopkins! Do your thing until the NFL fines you for your fancy gold shoes!

Tommy Rees, QB, Notre Dame: I know Rees hasn’t had an altogether terrible season this year, but the only note I wrote down for him in this game was one word: “Garbage.” It’s harsh, but I think it’s pretty accurate. He doesn’t have a strong arm, he’s not consistently accurate, he panics under pressure, he makes poor decisions especially when pressured, he’s not overly athletic and he is just very average or below average as a quarterback. Notre Dame really needs to get their quarterback situation straightened out and I don’t think Tommy Rees is the answer. Maybe I’m being way too harsh early on in his career, but I wouldn’t want him starting for me if I was coaching Notre Dame or any other Division 1 program. Obviously, considering all I have just said, I don’t think he has a NFL future.

Cierre Wood, RB, Notre Dame: I think Wood has some potential as a late round 3rd down back, but his lack of versatility is going to hurt him in my opinion. I think Notre Dame really needed a physical back in this game and it was pretty clear that Wood does not fit that bill. I’m not sure he has great balance but he definitely doesn’t run through many arm tackles or gain a lot of yards after contact. He does have some speed and he can catch the ball out of the backfield, but I don’t think he has a lot of upside.

Floyd has a lot of upside but I have some concerns about his toughness. I don't have a top 10 grade on him.

Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: Michael Floyd is probably going to end up being a 1st round pick but I don’t think I could draft him in the first round if I was running a team. There are just too many things that concern me about him. First, I know it’s beating a dead horse but his off-field issues at Notre Dame have to give you some pause. I know he earned his way back onto Notre Dame’s football team, and I commend him for that, but that DUI is definitely concerning. As far as on-field concerns, I worry a bit about his straight line speed as well as his burst to create separation in the NFL. He struggled to create separation against a pretty talented corner in Xavier Rhodes and I think that will end up hurting his stock. The last thing scouts got to see of his Notre Dame career wasn’t him tearing Miami up like it would have been if he had declared last season, it was him having a solid but not spectacular game largely in part because the corner who seemed to have his number went down with an injury. On top of that, he wasn’t on the field in crunch time when his team still had a shot to win the game late, which brings me to my next concern: I question Floyd’s toughness and resolve. Maybe this is unfair since I don’t know him personally and have never talked to him before, and I certainly wasn’t standing next to the Notre Dame athletic trainer when he was examining Floyd on the sideline, so take this for what it’s worth. I think Floyd should have been in the game, no question, no doubt in my mind. I’m not a fantastic athlete, but the competitor inside of me always wanted to be in the game late when my team needed me and I can’t understand how anyone would feel otherwise ESPECIALLY if you are as good and important to your team as Floyd is. Now, I will retract this statement if it turns out that Floyd cracked a rib or had some serious injury which he certainly could have had considering the big hits he took to the mid-section in this game. However, he was standing on the sideline with his helmet on if I remember correctly. That means the trainer didn’t take his helmet and bar him from going in, and in my opinion that means he made the call to not come back in. Do you think those hits would have kept Tim Tebow out of a game? Do you think they would have kept Brett Favre out of a game? They might have kept Randy Moss out, but plenty of people considered Moss a selfish diva. Why isn’t Floyd viewed the same way? I was told two years ago that he was a diva and I took it under consideration but I hadn’t seen a lot to suggest that it was true or false. Two years later, particularly after this display, I believe that it was the truth. I apologize for this rant, but I value intangible qualities heavily into my assessments when I can judge them to the best of my ability and I don’t like Floyd’s intangibles at all. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like he became a potential 1st round pick by accident. He’s got NFL size, some NFL speed, NFL athleticism and pretty close to NFL hands. I say pretty close because he will make some fantastic catches but he also has a tendency to drop a pass or two every once in a while that he really should catch. He reminds me a little bit of Julio Jones in that aspect, and while you might say that Julio Jones is having a great season all things considered I would say that he has had some drops this year that I don’t think a guy like A.J. Green would have dropped. Floyd has similar issues to Jones in that respect, but he isn’t the freak athlete Jones is. So while some will tout Floyd as a top 10 pick I will personally stay away and depending on my film study I may not even grade him as a first rounder. I’ll be in the minority, and I might get proven wrong, but I really think that Floyd’s intangibles have to play in to anyone’s evaluation of him and I just don’t think he has enough ability to outweigh those concerns and still get a 1st round grade right now.

Theo Riddick, WR, Notre Dame: Riddick is another converted wide receiver for Notre Dame. The last time they did that it worked out really well for them as Golden Tate formed a pretty dynamic duo with Michael Floyd when he was here. Riddick isn’t the same athlete that Tate was, but I like running backs that convert to wide receiver because they tend to be more physical after that catch. I haven’t evaluated Riddick much yet, but he is definitely on my radar which is why I wanted to put him on this list.

Tyler Eifert has amazing upside and I think he reminds me of Rob Gronkowski to be honest.

Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame: Eifert is considering coming out this season and with good reason. Is he ready to get drafted by a NFL team and start from day one? Perhaps not. However, I do think he has as much upside as any draft eligible tight end and that includes Dwayne Allen and a player I have been touting for at least a year in Orson Charles. Eifert has a combination of size, athleticism and great hands that led me to compare him to Rob Gronkowski after watching him this year and in the bowl game against FSU. In my opinion he was Notre Dame’s true go-to receiver this year as he made a lot of key catches for them late in games that I saw. He’s not a very effective blocker yet but he has shown a willingness to block and with coaching he could definitely be a quality in-line blocker. Like so many tight ends these days he can split out as a receiver either in the slot or on the outside and attack defenses. He’s got terrific range due to his athleticism, his huge frame, long arms and great hands. I think he is a better prospect than Kyle Rudolph who many people were touting as a possible first rounder despite his injury. He’s got Jimmy Graham/Rob Gronkowski upside and people are starting to see that, so if he does declare and ultimately get selected outside of the 1st round then whoever gets him is going to get a STEAL much like the Patriots did with Gronkowski and like the Saints did with Jimmy Graham. You heard it here first.

Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame: Martin has LT potential thanks to his combination of size (6’4”, 303 pounds) and athleticism. He did a pretty good job against Brandon Jenkins in this game though he did give up some pressure. He seems to move laterally pretty well and I think he has some potential to stick at LT in the NFL, though I could see him moving inside to guard due to his size and ability to pull in the run game. He doesn’t have elite tackle size and may only be 6’3” when officially measured. He’s got upside though and I will definitely be keeping an eye on him next year.

Aaron Lynch has insane upside. I'm really excited to see him develop at Notre Dame.

Aaron Lynch, DE, Notre Dame: Lynch is only a freshman but he has beast written ALL over him. He’s got a terrific combination of size, athleticism, strength and motor. He is going to be all over NFL draft boards in a year or two and with good reason. He’s an absolute animal at defensive end and has top 10 upside in my opinion. Keep an eye out for this kid, this is only the beginning of a great college career for him.

Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame: Nix III is another defensive lineman I like on Notre Dame. He’s got terrific size for a defensive tackle and has the athleticism to penetrate and make plays in the backfield. One thing I saw him flash was a quality motor to chase plays down from the backside which was very encouraging. Finding defensive tackles with great motors is pretty rare, so if he truly does have a good motor it will only help his draft prospects. I didn’t get to see how he held up to double teams in this game but there will be plenty of time to look at that in the future because he is so young. With Lynch and Nix on their defensive line Notre Dame has the makings of a pretty dominant defensive line in a year or two.

Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame: Te’o has announced that he will return to school for his senior year which I can respect, but now writing a scouting report on him is a much lower priority as a result. Regardless, I think he has 1st round potential for next season but because he has chosen to come back for a year he is opening himself up to what will inevitably become nit-picking criticism of his game. It happens to most players that come back for their senior seasons after they showed enough potential to consider declaring early after their junior seasons and go in the 1st or 2nd round, so it is fairly likely that it will happen to Te’o. Personally I like Te’o. I think he could play middle linebacker in either a 4-3 or a 3-4, but I particularly like his upside as a 3-4 inside linebacker. I’m not sure dropping into coverage is a strength of his, but he is a very good tackler, he packs a lot of punch as a hitter and he does a great job timing his blitzes and putting pressure on the quarterback. For that reason I think that he could have more upside in a 3-4 defense because, at least on the surface, the scheme seems to play to his strengths a bit more than a base 4-3 defense would. I think Te’o would have had a great shot at the 1st round this year, but as a college student myself I can’t fault him on going back for another year of it. He’ll never get a chance at it again, so I can’t fault him for taking advantage of that while he can.

Bridgewater has plenty of athletic ability and upside so it will be interesting to see how he develops over the next 2-3 years.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: Bridgewater has a live arm, has flashed solid accuracy and pretty good mobility. He has a long way to go as far as the craft of playing quarterback, but has plenty of upside and potential thanks to his physical ability. All depends on how hard he works and how much film he watches. He has the size and athletic ability to be a very effective college quarterback and like many athletic quarterbacks he has a great ability to improvise and make special plays outside the pocket as Bridgewater displayed in this game. However, he also turned the ball over too much in this game because of an opportunistic NC State defense. He has a bright future in college and this experience will really help him next year in my opinion, but it’s up to him whether or not he develops into a great passer with great athletic ability or whether he continues to be a great athlete than can also throw the ball. Right now he is the latter.

Victor Anderson, RB, Louisville: Anderson is an athletic player but because of his lack of size and his problems with injuries I would be surprised if he was drafted. I think he will get signed as an undrafted free agent, but I think teams will want him to prove that he can stay healthy and will want him to earn his spot on their roster. He’s fast but I don’t think he has feature back potential, rather he will be more of a 3rd down back that also offers some value as a return man. He’s fast and versatile, but ultimately his potential in the NFL is tied to whether or not he can stay healthy.

Michaelee Harris, WR, Louisville: Harris is a freshman receiver that will likely be developing along with Bridgewater. Considering his production of 35 receptions, 438 yards and 2 TD’s as a 6’2”, 198 pound freshman it seems that Charlie Strong and Louisville have a pretty bright future ahead of them. I didn’t see much of him in this game, but Louisville has a lot of young talent that has gotten playing time this year so watch out for these guys as they continue to develop. Charlie Strong sure is a good recruiter.

Eli Rogers, WR, Louisville: Rogers is another talented freshman receiver for Louisville. He is shorter as he stands at 5’10”, 185 pounds but he still produced 34 receptions, 400 yards and 1 touchdown on the season. Harris, Rogers and DeVante Parker figure to give Bridgewater an impressive trio of receiving options for the entire duration of his career, so watch out for these four guys as they all grow up with one another through the years. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of so many freshman playing year one like these guys have for Louisville and producing!

DeVante Parker produced the most touchdowns of anyone on Louisville this year as a freshman. I really like his upside.

DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville:  Parker had the lowest production total in terms of receptions and yards of the three freshman but at 6’3”, 196 pounds he may be the best red zone target. He managed 17 receptions, 276 yards and 6 touchdowns on the season. His 6 touchdowns led the team this season, which is quite impressive for a freshman receiver. He flashed both his upside and some things he has to work on in this game as he dropped a pass that hit his hands over the middle of the field but also demonstrated his red zone viability by climbing the ladder, high pointing a pass and hauling it in just out of bounds. Had he gotten a foot down it would have been a score. He’s got a lot of upside, so I’m excited to watch him for the next few years.

Josh Chichester, TE, Louisville: Chichester is the 6’8”, 240 pound monster tight end for Louisville. You’d think he’d be more dominant than he actually is at that size, as he struggles as a blocker because of his issues with pad level and leverage. He’s a viable receiver, but doesn’t have much speed to threaten teams down the seam. He’s very much a possession tight end and some team will be intrigued by his size and his pretty reliable hands and draft him in the 6th or 7th round in my opinion.

Mario Benavides, C, Louisville: Benavides had a good game for Louisville and figures to be one of the top centers in the 2013 draft class. He will be a senior next year and at 6’4”, 300 pounds he absolutely has NFL size as a center. I am excited to scout him next year because I was very high on a former Louisville center that ended up going in the 1st round in Eric Wood. I won’t say Benavides will do the same, but I liked what I saw in this game and I think he has the potential to go in the first three rounds next year.

Marcus Smith, DE, Louisville: Marcus Smith will be a junior next year but during his sophomore season he was a 6’3”, 251 pound pass rush specialist. Five of his 10 tackles on the season were for loss, but all of them were sacks! He also had a forced fumble and a pass break-up and he demonstrated ability to get pressure with his burst and edge speed. He worried me by not showing much bend or hip flexibility though, so I will need to see more of him next year.

Greg Scruggs, DT, Louisville: Scruggs was a guy that I identified last year as a possible mid-late round 2012 draft pick but he was a possible late round prospect all year before this bowl game. The 6’4”, 285 pound senior didn’t end up playing in this bowl game as a result of a suspension stemming from a DUI. That really is too bad, but it was his own decision to drink and drive between the end of season and his bowl game. It’s never a good time to drink and drive, but this DUI will likely mean he will go the entire draft process without hearing his name called barring unforeseen changes. That’s too bad, but it was his decision to drink and drive.

William Savoy, OLB, Louisville: Savoy is an undersized defensive end that is going to have to attempt a transition to outside linebacker. I’m not sure he has the athleticism to make the move, but he has pretty good burst and edge speed as a pass rusher and more importantly displayed the ability to bend to beat blockers with an outside rush. He had 7.5 TFL and 5.0 sacks this year, but I think a postseason all star game could be very important for him as he attempts to transition to outside linebacker.

Dexter Heyman, OLB, Louisville: Heyman was probably Louisville’s best defensive player this year as he totaled 83 total tackles (52 solo), 15.5 TFL, 4.0 sacks, 3 INT’s, 1 forced fumble and 1 pass break-up on the season. He has solid NFL size for a linebacker at 6’3”, 238 pounds and has a listed 40 yard dash time of 4.57. I need to watch him more, but he certainly flies around for Louisville’s defense.

Mike Glennon flashed some significant potential in this game. It's not easy to follow a quarterback as successful as Russell Wilson, so I look forward to evaluating him as a senior next year.

Mike Glennon, QB, NC State: Glennon had a tough job this year replacing Russell Wilson at quarterback for NC State. Wilson isn’t an easy guy to replace as Wisconsin will find out next year, but I think most Wolfpack fans expected to have him back for a final run at an ACC title. That didn’t pan out, but Glennon stepped up and really finished this season strong. He’s listed at 6’4”, 225 pounds and was very effective this year in his first season as a starter. He’s got a live arm and showed that he can make all the throws in this game and his ball placement was pretty good, especially on short and intermediate passes. His long passes weren’t quite as accurate, but obviously those are some of the most difficult throws to make. There were a number of wide receivers that were pretty open thanks to Louisville’s less than spectacular zone but he made some stick throws that were impressive. He didn’t have as much success in the 2nd half as he did in the 1st half by any means, but he still has some upside to build off of for next season. I didn’t watch him much this year, but I was a little troubled by his issues to move the ball through the air in the 2nd half, especially since NC State’s running game was fairly insignificant as usual. He will be a senior next year so I am interested to see how he will develop and improve on his first season as a starter.

T.J. Graham, WR, NC State: Graham definitely surprised me with his ability in this game, I didn’t expect him to have the finish to his career that he did. He demonstrated all of his upside in this game by showing burst, speed and vision as a kick returner as well as great speed to threaten defenses vertically and pretty reliable hands. He is only listed at 6’0”, 180 pounds but his fantastic speed both on the field and in the 40 yard dash (he has a listed 40 time of 4.36) should push him up some teams’ boards, especially after he participates in an All-Star game and the combine. He also showed the ability to make guys miss with his elusiveness and even broke a couple of arm tackles in this game. He’s definitely a sleeper, so it will be interesting to see where he ends up going.

George Bryan, TE, NC State: Bryan is a late round TE prospect with NFL size (6’5”, 265 pounds) but he’s quite slow and has a listed 40 yard dash time of 5.14. He uses his body well to shield defenders and offers some value as a blocker but his hands aren’t as reliable as you would want them to be given some of his struggles to create separation. He’s got the frame to shield defenders away from the ball to make catches in traffic and I think his hands are above average but I wouldn’t call them good or great. That makes me wonder how effective he will be if he struggles to create separation and has to make a lot of contested catches in traffic, and that hurts his stock in my opinion.

R.J. Mattes, OT, NC State: Mattes is a quality left tackle prospect for the 2013 draft. I don’t think he should declare this year but he’s got mid-round or higher potential for next year’s draft. He’s 6’6”, 306 pounds and seemed to have pretty long arms and solid athleticism. He looked like he may have been NC State’s top offensive lineman so he is one guy I will be keeping an eye on.

Camden Wentz, C, NC State: I was looking forward to evaluating Wentz but he got injured early in the game and never got back in from what I could tell. He will be a senior next year and seems like he has draftable ability as a center in addition to his 6’3”, 301 pound frame. The injury wasn’t serious if I remember correctly, so he should be 100% well before spring practice.

Daryl Cato-Bishop, DE, NC State: Cato-Bishop is a 6’4”, 281 pound defensive end who was a sophomore this season. He didn’t have a lot of tackles but he did have 7.0 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT and a pass break-up. He’s got impressive size for a defensive end, so it will be interesting to see how he develops next season. He was around the ball consistently in this game, so I think he has some upside.

Art Norman, DE, NC State: Norman was a freshman defensive end this year and is undersized at 6’1”, 242 pounds but as a situational pass rusher he produced 7.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 FF and a pass break-up this year. I didn’t have much opportunity to evaluate his edge speed or his burst off the line of scrimmage, but he got some playing time as a freshman so I will be keeping an eye on him the next couple of seasons. He’s another talented freshman on Charlie Strong’s roster.

J.R. Sweezy, DT, NC State: Sweezy didn’t have a great statistical season but he does have one of the best names in this entire draft class. I kind of hope he gets picked by a team in California so he can become close friends with Snoop Dogg. Random thoughts aside, he has NFL size at 6’5”, 293 pounds but I honestly haven’t seen him play much at all. He had 19 total tackles (10 solo), 4.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks and 1 FF this season but remains a mid-late round pick right now. It will be interesting to see if he distinguishes himself in an all-star game, but right now I don’t know much about his game.

Audie Cole, LB, NC State: Cole is a senior linebacker on NC State and I really love watching him play. He had a great season with 98 total tackles (52 solo), 8.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 4 FF, 1 FR and 4 pass break-ups. He’s got a fantastic motor, gives 100% on every play and he is a good tackler which I love to see. So many players I’ve watched this year don’t tackle with good fundamentals, so it is always refreshing to see a player who wraps up. Cole is a 6’5”, 239 pound linebacker who moved inside this year but I think he could play outside as well. His versatility will help his stock though, and while he doesn’t have elite timed athleticism he does seem to have good range and instincts. His effort will be the big difference for him though, and that will help him get the most out of his ability.

Terrell Manning is a quality linebacker prospect that caught me off guard by declaring early for the NFL Draft.

Terrell Manning, OLB, NC State: Manning is another talented linebacker on NC State but to my surprise he has declared for the NFL Draft. He’s only a junior and I hadn’t heard much about him leaving, so it definitely caught me off guard a bit. He was productive at outside linebacker this year as he produced 70 total tackles (42 solo), 13.0 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 4 FF, 1 FR, 5 PBU’s and 2 interceptions. He looked like a beast to me and seemed to have impressive instincts, athleticism and looked like a very good tackler. I didn’t evaluate him much when he was dropping into coverage, but for a 6’3”, 233 pound linebacker he seemed to defend the run awfully well. I don’t know how well he will be able to stack and shed blocks to make plays at the line of scrimmage. I like his upside, but I was anticipating having another year to evaluate him. I’ll have to go back and watch more NC State film to get a better look at him.

David Amerson, CB, NC State: Amerson was probably the best NFL prospect in this game even if he isn’t eligible for the draft as far as I am aware. He is a 6’3”, 194 pound sophomore cornerback who had an astounding 13 interceptions this season. That’s more than some football teams got all year, but he managed to do it individually. He wasn’t often challenged, and one of his two interceptions in this game came on a hail mary late in the game, but he did have a second touchdown off of an interception on the season which helped change the game in favor of NC State. I always look for players who make critical plays that change the game in their teams favor and Amerson definitely did that against Louisville. If he has a season even remotely as impressive as this one was I would expect him to declare next year, but even if he doesn’t produce the same statistics next year I think he may declare. I wouldn’t be surprised if more teams threw away from him more often next year now that he has proven himself. Keep an eye on this kid, he has top 15 written all over him.

Thanks for reading! I’ve had this done for a couple days but my trip to the Rose Bowl interfered with posting it until now. Look out for my Florida State-Notre Dame post and a Rose Bowl recap, all coming soon!

–Tom

Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma: Landry Jones needs to go back to school, simple as that. If he declares after this game I am convinced it is because he talks with Bob Stoops and Stoops tells him he can’t guarantee Bell won’t get more snaps and that there won’t be a quarterback competition. There are some people that think playing Bell might be the better direction for the program, and it’s hard to blame them the way Jones finished the season. He threw only one touchdown in the last four games while he threw more interceptions (8) than he had thrown in the previous nine games (7). This coincided with Ryan Broyles’ injury, but that kind of drop off from losing your best receiver shouldn’t be so drastic, especially at a talent-laden program like Oklahoma. I think it demonstrates how reliant Jones was and is on the talent around him which exemplifies exactly why he will never be a franchise quarterback. He has quality size, pretty good arm strength, but his throwing motion looked like it was in slow motion yesterday and his ball velocity was very unimpressive. I had wondered about these potential issues before, but they never seemed as evident as they did yesterday. He struggled to make anticipation throws, he was missing high very consistently and he seemed hesitant to let it fly at times. A few times he got ready to throw but would then pull it back down which can happen when a quarterback struggles and doesn’t trust what he is seeing. If Jones declares some team will draft him based on his size, production and perceived potential. However, I am very confident that he will never be a franchise quarterback and that he would struggle mightily in the NFL even if he had some talent around him. He is surrounded with talent at Oklahoma and still made plenty of questionable decisions and poor throws, particularly under pressure. I wouldn’t draft him in the first four rounds at this point, and even after that I don’t really see the upside in selecting him.

Blake Bell, QB, Oklahoma: Bell is the quarterback who seems likely to replace Jones should he leave or even, possibly, should he return and be forced to participate in a quarterback competition. It was brought to my attention that he was one of the top pro-style quarterback prospects coming out of high school and was converted into the battering ram for Oklahoma’s offense after he got to college. It will be interesting to see how Bell develops once Jones is gone, but there are some people that think he should take over next year. I can’t say how anyone in the Oklahoma program feels, but it will be interesting to see whether Jones leaves or stays, and if there is a quarterback competition if he comes back. After the way he played this year I think it would be fair to open the starting spot up to competition.

Roy Finch, RB, Oklahoma: I thought Finch caught the ball out of the backfield more than he apparently did, but Iowa just couldn’t figure out a way to take away the swing pass to him in the flat, he was just too fast and elusive. He had 34 receptions this year and I think he has the makings of a very good 3rd down back in the NFL. He’s very undersized at 5’7”, 166 pounds but he is very fast and contributed 605 yards on the ground (5.45 ypc) and 3 scores plus 296 yards as a receiver out of the backfield. Additionally he returned 11 kick-offs for 223 yards (20.27 average). Is he going to be a 1st round pick? No, but I do think he has plenty of draftable ability despite his size. He’s only a sophomore so he has another year or two to play at Oklahoma, but his versatility to catch passes out of the backfield and gain yardage after the catch was valuable last night as he caught 2 receptions for 32 yards on swing passes.

Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma: Obviously Broyles didn’t play in this game, but his impact was felt because of how Oklahoma struggled to move the ball at times. Their defense won them this game in my opinion, and really made it pretty easy for Oklahoma to score points without being overly effective on offense. Broyles was a great receiver for Oklahoma and while I questioned his straight line speed he always created consistent separation and displayed pretty good hands. I wish him well in his recovery from his awful knee injury, but worry that it might limit his ability to create separation when that was a potential concern already due to his lack of straight line speed.

Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma: Stills has upside thanks to his athletic ability but he did not impress me yesterday. He had a couple of catches, but on deep passes he was unimpressive and didn’t show much effort or ability to adjust to those throws. He dropped a couple catchable passes and overall didn’t live up to the hype he seemed to be accumulating over the course of the season. Not a fan at this point.

Kameel Jackson, WR, Oklahoma: Jackson is a quality receiver and I really like his upside. He flashed much more consistent hands than Stills did and started to come on late in the year after Broyles went down with an injury. He’s only a freshman and wasn’t the focal point of Oklahoma’s offense by any means, but he caught 9 of his 12 passes for 134 of his 165 yards receiving on the season. He didn’t have a touchdown, but he showed he has the hands and the athletic ability to be a big playmaker in the future. Keep an eye on him, I loved what I saw from him last night even if it was a small sample size.

James Hanna, TE, Oklahoma: I like Hanna, and think he’s a possible sleeper for the tight end position. He had 9 total touchdowns the last two years and upped his reception total to 27 along with 381 yards this year, but his touchdown total decreased to two after netting seven the year before. He’s listed at 6’4”, 243 pounds and has a listed 40 time of 4.86, so he isn’t going to be a burner in the NFL. However, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him drop a pass and his hands strike me as reliable. He’s underappreciated much like David Paulson from Oregon is because of all the weapons he is surrounded by, but I think he has more reliable hands than people think. He’s a late round prospect, but I think he has talent worth drafting late.

Frank Alexander, DE, Oklahoma: Frank Alexander has solid size for a defensive end in a 4-3 or an outside linebacker in a 3-4 but I don’t think he has the athleticism to be a consistent pass rushing threat. He will have to get stronger and add weight, but I don’t see much pass rushing upside in the NFL. He was able to bull-rush Riley Reiff last night but that has more to do with Reiff’s lack of lower body strength than Frank Alexander’s NFL upside. He struggled to beat Reiff off the edge and really all he could do was bull rush him.

Ronnell Lewis, DE/OLB, Oklahoma: Lewis also didn’t play in this game, but for a different reason than Broyles. Lewis was suspended for this game and that meant we didn’t get to see him match up with a potential top 10 pick in Riley Reiff. Ronnell Lewis is a possible 1st round prospect should he declare early in large part because of alleged 4.5 speed. He’s very fast off the edge and has a lot of upside as a pass rusher as an OLB though I’m not sure he is the smartest player. He was suspended for the game against Iowa because he was ruled ineligible for the game because of academic reasons. That doesn’t make me think he will come back, though it does give him some reason to declare even if it might be for the wrong reasons. It will be interesting to see what he decides to do, but it would be a sign of immaturity if he didn’t come back because of laziness or lack of effort academically. He’s got upside, but he’s got some red flags around him.

R.J. Washington, DE, Oklahoma: R.J. Washington rotated in for Oklahoma against Iowa and he had success rushing the quarterback against Iowa. He is a bit of a pass rush specialist at 6’3”, 248 pounds and had 2 of his 5 sacks on the season last night against Iowa. He will be a senior next year and it will be interesting to see if he can fill the void left by Frank Alexander graduating and possibly by Ronnell Lewis leaving early.

Travis Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma: Lewis is a quality linebacker though he doesn’t have great size. He’s listed at 6’2”, 227 pounds and has a relatively unimpressive 4.72 listed 40 yard dash time. He’s an athletic player though and is also a good tackler. I worry about how he will hold up versus the run in the NFL because of his lack of size and he hasn’t shown the ability to shed blocks to make plays. It’s not a 100% requirement to play WLB in the NFL, but it does help. At his size his game is using his athleticism to avoid blockers and flow to the ball, but if he doesn’t time well at the combine it could make scouts wonder if he’s athletic enough to compensate for his lack of size and strength to get off blocks. I like Lewis, but I need to watch him more to give him an accurate grade.

Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma: Jamell Fleming was featured in my list of potential break-out players for this season. He didn’t have an unbelievable statistical season but he did have a good year and finished it with a great performance against Iowa when he was consistently matched up with Marvin McNutt. He doesn’t have elite size or speed as he is listed at 5’11”, 192 pounds with a listed 40 yard dash time of 4.54. He makes up for it by being a very fundamentally sound cornerback with impressive ball skills and quality tackling. He has a pretty good burst to close and used it to deflect 10 passes this season and intercept 2 passes. I think he’s going to be a quality corner in the NFL despite not being a 6’1” corner with a 4.4 40 yard dash time. He matched up with the taller McNutt effectively though I don’t know how well he would be able to mirror corners with better straight line speed. I like him though.

James Vandenberg, QB, Iowa: Vandenberg was perplexing to watch all night and really all season. He’s a bit of a gun slinger and has above average arm strength but made some very risky and questionable decisions in this game. Like anyone who ever spent time watching Brett Favre knows sometimes those decisions work out, like when Vandenberg threw across his body for a 4th quarter touchdown to continue Iowa’s comeback attempt. However, sometimes they don’t and those turnovers have plagued Iowa all season long. He made a valiant effort leading Iowa back in this game, but he lacked pocket poise and didn’t make good decisions under pressure. He’s too inconsistent for my liking, but he did flash some positive traits last night. It will be interesting to see how he looks next year with a year of starting under his belt, though I anticipate some similar play.

Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa: McNutt’s stock is dropping right now. I’ve heard he’s been getting 5th-7th round grades from scouts and it’s not hard to imagine why when he’s struggled so much against some of the more physical and talented corners he’s faced this year. He struggled against Alfonzo Dennard, Leonard Johnson and didn’t do much on Jamell Fleming last night. One of his only catches against Fleming occurred when he shoved him shortly after releasing on the line of scrimmage and caught the pass a little afterwards. McNutt didn’t seem to be as physical as one might have hoped he would be given his size, and due to his lack of straight line speed and burst in and out of his breaks I think scouts are worrying about his ability to create separation at the next level. Considering all that it really isn’t that surprising that his stock is slipping. It’s too bad though, I liked him coming into the year as a 3rd/4th round guy.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa: Fiedorowicz may not have a great stat line but at 6’7”, 265 pounds he strikes me as one of the next quality tight ends to come out of Iowa. He’s only a sophomore, but he had 16 receptions, 167 yards and 3 touchdowns this year. As far as I could tell based on my research he was the most statistically productive tight end on Iowa’s roster this year despite his age. He also made a critical catch to extend one of Iowa’s drives late in the game yesterday. I didn’t pay particularly attention to him yesterday, but he did stick out to me a couple times. At his size he could develop into an intriguing tight end prospect, so I for one will be keeping an eye on him.

Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa: Reiff is a guy that I projected to be the #5 overall pick in my first mock draft and I still believe he has the potential to go in the top 10. He’s my #2 overall offensive tackle behind the consensus #1 Matt Kalil from Southern Cal. Some have Jonathan Martin #2 overall but I am not sold on him sticking at left tackle in the NFL and think he might need to slide over to right tackle. Reiff will have to make no such transition, and while he isn’t necessarily ready to walk in and start like Kalil and Martin are in my opinion he has as much top left tackle upside as Kalil does thanks to his great athleticism, large frame and long arms. Many were unimpressed with him in this game because he was bull-rushed effectively by a number of Oklahoma defensive ends, but I was not surprised. I have been pointing out that Reiff needs to get stronger in the lower body all season, and it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s watched him before that he struggled to recover and anchor against Oklahoma’s strong defensive ends. He needs to add weight and strength in his lower body but that can be done with a quality strength program and proper determination and work ethic, so that doesn’t concern me. If he was playing with poor leverage or standing straight up out of his stance that would be one thing, but that isn’t the case. Once he gets stronger that won’t be much of an issue at all, so if you believe Reiff has the work ethic to get stronger with a NFL strength coach working with him then you shouldn’t worry about some of his issues with bull rushes last night. I believe he will be fine in that aspect, so he still gets a top 10 grade from me. He’s not ready to walk in and start at this weight obviously, but he’s got more than enough upside to warrant top 10 consideration. If Nate Solder can go in the top 20 last year with his issues with bull rushes as well as speed rushes there is no reason Reiff shouldn’t go in the top 10-15 in my opinion.

Broderick Binns, DE/DT, Iowa: Binns is a bit of a ‘tweener because he is undersized at 6’2”, 261 pounds but I think he might have to bulk up to have a chance at contributing to a rotation in the NFL. He was effective this season as he produced 59 total tackles, 11.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF and a remarkable 8 pass break-ups. That really evidences how well Binns does at getting his hands into passing lanes and his ability to do that led to a pass deflection and an interception on a Landry Jones pass last night in the red zone. Binns reminds me a little bit of Karl Klug’s situation from last year, and I seemed to be higher on Klug than most. He was an all effort guy that had very violent hand usage which I loved, and he has actually led the Titans in sacks this year despite only weighing 270-275 pounds all year. Binns doesn’t have the same motor and hand usage in my opinion, but if used appropriately he could be a quality player.

Mike Daniels, DT, Iowa: I am very high on Daniels. He’s another undersized defensive lineman from Iowa and I think he’s going to stick on a NFL roster and contribute, perhaps much like Klug has as a rookie. I have heard that he isn’t much taller that 6’0” even though he is listed at 6’1” 280 pounds and that will hurt his draft stock. However, he was very productive this season with 66 total tackles (32 solo), 13.0 TFL, 7.0 sacks and one pass break-up. He had 5 tackles last night including three for loss of which two were sacks. He was very disruptive last night as he has been all year and I look forward to watching him at the East-West Shrine Game or the Senior Bowl because he warrants invitation to one of those games. He’s a mid-round prospect right now, but so was Karl Klug and he has been one of the steals of the draft thus far based on how Tennessee has been able to use him.

Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa: Prater is another mid-round corner but he hasn’t had a very good season this year. He hasn’t impressed me in coverage when I’ve watched him this year and he only had 3 pass break-ups and one interception (though he returned it 89 yards for a touchdown) all season. He is a pretty good tackler though and he managed to force an impressive four fumbles, an impressive number for a DB. He didn’t stick out to me much last night but I think his stock is falling right now. He’s listed at 5’10”, 185 pounds and has a 4.49 listed 40 yard dash time so he isn’t a freak corner. He’s probably a 4th or 5th round pick right now in my opinion.

Terrance Owens, QB, Toledo: Owens was very impressive to me in this game. He has good size at 6’4” but is extremely skinny at only 180 pounds. He needs to add weight to continue to hold up, but he has a pretty live arm. He threw some absolute strikes down the seam in this game and surprised me with his arm talent very early and often. He threw for 2,022 yards on only 230 attempts, completing 166 of them for a 72.2% completion rate. He produced 18 passing scores and only 3 interceptions on the year along with 209 rushing yards and 1 more touchdown. He’s definitely got upside and while his accuracy wasn’t perfect he definitely flashed some quality ball placement. I was pretty frustrated with Toledo because they continued alternating quarterbacks even though Owens was clearly playing much better. Hopefully he had done enough this year to secure the starting job outright in the future.

Adonis Thomas, RB, Toledo: I was quite impressed with Thomas. I had never seen him play before this game but he displayed draftable ability to me in this game. He isn’t a big back as he is listed at 5’10”, 185 pounds but power isn’t necessarily his game. He’s got pretty impressive burst and speed and a listed 40 yard dash time of 4.45. He missed three full games this year and only had one carry in the previous game against Syracuse, but in the other 9 games he managed 170 carries, 1,063 yards and 12 TD’s rushing. He added 31 receptions, 350 yards and 1 touchdown catching passes out of the backfield. I think he has the potential to be a late round pick, but more than likely he will be a fringe draft prospect that either goes in the 7th round or catches on as an undrafted free agent. I like him though, and I think if he adds weight he can contribute quite positively to a rotation.

Eric Page, WR, Toledo: Page was obviously the star of this game and the best NFL Draft prospect as well. He’s only a junior and I would expect him to return for his senior season (as I think he should) but he has NFL aspirations without a doubt. He was insanely productive this year as he totaled 125 receptions, 1,182 yards and 10 touchdowns receiving. He is also a very dangerous return man both on kick-offs and punts as he produced 856 kickoff return yards (25.18 average) and one touchdown as well as 196 punt return yards (10.89) and another touchdown. He is the heart and soul of Toledo’s offense and should remain that way next year as well. He isn’t the biggest player at only 5’10”, 192 pounds and doesn’t have elite straight line speed as evidenced by his 4.53 40 yard dash time. However, he is very quick, has great hands, and it takes a special player to be the go-to guy for his team on offense and as a special teams ace. He does that for Toledo, and that is why he is a quality 2013 NFL prospect.

Mike Vandermeulen, OT, Toledo: I don’t know a whole lot about Vandermeulen (other than the fact that he has a pretty awesome name) but he is a lesser known offensive tackle prospect for Toledo. I’m not sure if he has draftable ability beyond late round consideration but he has NFL size at 6’7”, 304 pounds and has enough athleticism to project to the tackle position. I’m not sure he will be able to stick at LT as of now, but I think he has enough ability to play on the right side. He has long arms which helps and doesn’t seem to be a waist bender and has solid fundamentals. Obviously he could stand to get stronger and add weight to his frame which would help him stop bull rushers and would help him create a more substantial push in the run game. Because he is so tall he has issues with leverage which hurts him, but that can be improved to some degree with coaching. I don’t think he will end up at the East-West Shrine Game, but he seems like a possible Texas vs. the Nation candidate.

Desmond Marrow, S, Toledo: Marrow stuck out to me as a very impressive tackler and while he lined up at CB more than he did at safety in this one I think his upside is higher at safety. He has NFL size at 6’2”, 210 pounds and because of his impressive tackling I think he warrants UDFA consideration without a doubt. He may not get drafted though he does have a solid 4.54 40 yard dash time as well as 83 total tackles (51 solo), 1.5 TFL, 1 forced fumble, 3 interceptions and a staggering 15 pass break-ups. He’s not an elite prospect by any means, but he can be a valuable special teamer and I think he can develop into a pretty reliable back-up safety with time and coaching.

Tim Jefferson, QB, Air Force: Jefferson isn’t much of a NFL Draft prospect at QB as he stands only 6’0” tall, though he does weigh a solid 205 pounds. He ran the option at Air Force but demonstrated some ability to pass the ball in this game showing quality arm strength but struggling with ball placement as many option quarterbacks tend to do. However, he produced over 2,000 yards of total offense this year as well as 25 touchdowns (14 passing, 11 rushing) and may be of some value as a running back in the NFL. I think he may end up in a lower level league such as the CFL, UFL or perhaps even the AFL. But he did lead Air Force to four straight bowl games which is something very few quarterbacks can say. If he’s going to stick on a NFL roster it will be as a UDFA, but he showed enough ability to warrant a mention in my prospect recap, so that’s something!

Riley Nelson, QB, BYU: Nelson ultimately forced Jake Heaps, a talented young quarterback, to transfer to Kansas. I personally prefer Heaps to Nelson but I will admit that I don’t know much about the decision to make the move from Heaps to the older, and in my opinion, less talented Nelson. However, Nelson is listed at 6’0”, 196 pounds and was an efficient passer for BYU this year. However, against Tulsa he demonstrated a lack of arm strength, regularly threw with a poor, wobbly spiral and struggled with accuracy. Cody Hoffman regularly bailed him out with impressive catches but he threw a few terrible passes that led to interceptions or missed opportunities. He doesn’t have a NFL future in my opinion, but he did enough late in the game to ultimately win the game for BYU.

Cody Hoffman, WR, BYU: Hoffman is a stud. I love watching this kid play, and earlier today on Twitter I made a bold comparison saying that Hoffman was such a smooth athlete and he made so many catches look routine that he reminded me of Randy Moss in that respect. Certainly Hoffman isn’t the freak athlete that Moss was but he stands at 6’3”, 208 pounds and has a listed 40 yard dash time of 4.63. His 40 time doesn’t reflect how much separation he is able to create, but his size, hands and body control are what set him apart. He finished with 8 receptions, 122 yards (15.3 average) and THREE touchdowns against Tulsa including the game-winning reception with 11 seconds left. He’s a special talent even if he doesn’t run a 4.4 flat in the 40 yard dash. He has some of the best hands in the country and also has great body control as evidenced by his fantastic effort on a poorly thrown ball near the sideline in this game. Hoffman went up, high pointed the ball and somehow stretched his foot and nearly got it down in-bounds. For whatever reason it was ruled an incompletion after a review, but it was still fantastic evidence of his hands, athleticism and body control. His NFL Draft stock is definitely going to move up as a junior next year and it will be interesting to see if he leaves after his junior year or not. My gut feeling is that he will, but that’s just my own opinion. This kid is special so read up on him if you haven’t seen him play. Keep in mind that he has been making big plays in bowl games since he was a freshman. I covered BYU’s bowl game last year and he had a terrific day then as well.

Matt Reynolds, OT, BYU: I’m not a fan of Matt Reynolds at all and I think he has to move inside to guard at the next level. He looks slow out of his stance, doesn’t anchor that well versus the bull-rush, bends at the waist at times, and simply doesn’t have the athleticism to stick at tackle in my opinion. He did have one of the more memorable plays of the game though. Late in the 1st half with BYU driving he attempted a cut block on an Iowa State defender. He struggles with these and didn’t inhibit the defender much. As Nelson scrambled out to his left the defender continued his pursuit, but Reynolds got up despite losing his helmet when attempting the cut block, chased after him and leveled the defender to help buy Nelson enough time to throw his first of three touchdowns to Cody Hoffman. It was a memorable play and it was fun to watch, but I’m still not a fan of Reynolds as far as the NFL is concerned.

Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU: Van Noy was EVERYWHERE in this game for BYU. He is easily their best defensive player despite only being a sophomore. He is listed at 6’3”, 235 pounds and was highly productive this year with 58 total tackles (41 solo), 10.0 TFL, 4.0 Sacks, 2 FF’s, 3 INT’s and 3 pass break-ups on the year coming into the bowl game against Tulsa. He was consistently disruptive today and impressed me quite a bit. Keep an eye on Van Noy next year because according to the announcers of this game opposing coaches ranted and raved not only about his ability but about how frustrating it is trying to block and neutralize him.

G.J. Kinne, QB, Tulsa: Kinne had a solid game today and has had an impressive career for Tulsa but I don’t think he has much draftable ability at quarterback. He was too quick to drop his eyes and look to leave the pocket today after only one read, he missed some throws on the run and seemed to struggle to find throwing lanes at times. He’s an undersized quarterback at 6’1”, 234 pounds but I would not be surprised if he measured between 6’0” and 6’1” personally. He has a chance to be a late-round pick, but I expect him to be an undrafted free agent when it is all said and done.

Tyler Holmes, OT, Tulsa: Tyler Holmes is a lesser known OT prospect but he had a solid game today. I didn’t watch him specifically but I have heard good things and has NFL size at 6’4”, 302 pounds. It will be interesting to evaluate him further to see if he can stick at left tackle or if he may have to move to right tackle or offensive guard.

Cornelius Arnick, ILB, Tulsa: Arnick is an undersized linebacker who is listed at 6’0”, 230 pounds and has a 4.78 40 yard dash but he was insanely productive for Tulsa this year. He totaled 142 total tackles (91 solo, unreal), 4.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 4 pass break-ups and 1 interception. He isn’t a freak athlete but he has been so productive for Tulsa and he definitely improved his draft stock this year. Here’s hoping he gets an East-West Shrine Game invite!

Dexter McCloin, S, Tulsa: McCloin was a penalty away from having three interceptions in this game if I remember correctly. He had two interceptions anyways giving him 6 for the season (one returned for a TD) along with 74 total tackles (47 solo), 2.5 TFL, and 6 pass break-ups. He’s only a junior so he will likely be back for his senior season, but at 6’4”, 222 pounds he definitely has some potential as a strong safety in the NFL thanks to his range and athleticism. He’s not a stud in coverage and one of his interceptions today was thrown right to him by Riley Nelson. I like him as a player and he is a good tackler, but he still has room to improve as a NFL prospect.

Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: Everyone knows Robert Griffin is the Heisman, but he wasn’t even the most productive player on his team or on the field tonight. Regardless of how terrible the defensive play was in this game Griffin demonstrated his ability early on making a couple stick throws when there was good enough coverage to warrant such a throw. However, he left the pocket prematurely pretty regularly in this game and didn’t seem comfortable standing tall in the pocket to deliver throws downfield. He’s shown the ability to do this at times, but I would like to see more consistency from him there. Because of the amazing season he’s had not a lot of people are talking about the question marks around his game, and continuing to develop his pocket poise instead of scrambling after his initial read like he was doing after facing consistent pressure in the 2nd quarter against Washington. He’s got insane upside and he has a very high football IQ according to all I have heard, however he needs to continue to study to improve his pre-snap reads. Baylor runs a very up-tempo offense and he runs it very well, however at times the desire to snap the ball quickly outweighs making a good pre-snap read and adjustment. In the 2nd half you saw Baylor make an adjustment for this which led to snapping the ball later in the play clock and also led to more successful plays and less sacks. It proves that Griffin can do it, I just want to see him do it more consistently and from under center versus the shotgun. I still don’t think Griffin should start Day 1, but I don’t think that young quarterbacks should play Day 1 at all except for special exceptions. However, the NFL has established a poor precedent by continually starting rookie quarterbacks not only during their rookie seasons (which I can understand if they prove they are ready) but day one. Here’s hoping Griffin goes to a team with a solid veteran ahead of him on the depth chart so he can learn for half the season before he enters the line-up.

Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor: Ganaway had the game of his life against Washington last night with 200 yards on only 21 carries (9.5 ypc average) as well as a staggering FIVE touchdowns on the night. Washington’s defense was absolutely dreadful, especially against the run up the middle, but Ganaway still helped himself by taking advantage of it. He has NFL size at 5’11”, 240 pounds but his 40 time is listed as a 4.62. He demonstrated some of his speed and as a power back it’s not expected that he run a 4.4 flat, but he ran with more power this season and has the potential to be selected late on day three of the NFL Draft in my opinion. He was very productive this season, perhaps due to defenses keying in on Griffin so intently, and it’s hard to think of a way he could have ended his career at Baylor with a better performance than 200 yards and 5 touchdowns. He demonstrated more burst than I thought he had a couple times last night, and showed his value as a short-yardage or goal-line back by punching in a couple of touchdowns inside the 10 yard line. He’s shown that he can run through arm tackles and pick up yards after contact this year, so he has some value. Unfortunately for him there’s not a huge market for one-dimensional power backs any more but I do think Ganaway can make a roster as a late round pick or as a UDFA.

Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor: Wright is a 1st round pick as far as I’m concerned. He’s been a stud all season and while he may not have been the focal point of Baylor’s offense last night he has definitely improved his draft stock all year long. I’d love to see him at the Senior Bowl, but at this point all it can do is hurt him. He’s a top 32 guy without a doubt, and should have a great NFL career. There’s not much else to say about him at this point. Here is my scouting report on him.

Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor: Williams has potential due to his 6’3” size though he only weighs 190 pounds. He has a listed 4.49 40 yard dash time which is good given his height but he needs to get stronger. He was incredibly productive given his relatively inconsistent hands as he produced 59 receptions, 957 yards (16.22 avg) and 11 touchdowns in 13 games. There’s almost no way he will be this productive next season as a senior without Robert Griffin should he declare as I expect him to, so his stock will move up or down based on how hard he works to add weight and how hard he works to improve his hands. He dropped too many catchable passes this year and because he can’t expect to replicate his statistics this year without Griffin it will be up to him to make the most out of all of his targets. Right now he isn’t doing that and that limits his NFL potential.

Lanear Sampson, WR, Baylor: I think Sampson is Baylor’s second most reliable wide receiver. He produced 42 receptions, 572 yards (13.62 avg) and three touchdowns this season. He demonstrated some impressive body control and footwork by catching passes on the sideline last night against Washington and should have a quality senior season because as far as I have seen he has the second best hands of any of the Baylor receivers short of Kendall Wright. He isn’t a huge receiver as he is listed at 5’11”, 200 pounds but he has a blistering 4.39 listed 40 yard dash time. I wasn’t sure I thought he was that fast, but Baylor has one of the fastest groups of receivers in the country, so I can’t say I’m that surprised by that time. It will be interesting to see how Sampson does without RG3 next year, but he should be the highest ranked of the Baylor receivers coming into the season despite only solid statistical numbers. This is because of his athletic ability and his dependability as a receiver even though he wasn’t as statistically successful as Terrance Williams.

Tevin Reese, WR, Baylor: Reese may be Baylor’s most explosive receiver outside of Kendall Wright as he had 51 receptions, 877 yards (17.20 avg) and 7 touchdowns receiving plus 102 yards rushing on only 5 rushing attempts this season. He’s only listed at 5’10”, 160 pounds so he is not a big guy by any means and only has a listed 40 yard dash time of 4.48. He looked a lot faster than that to me on film, but there is no doubt he has the speed to threaten defenses deep. Like Terrance Williams he also had issues with drops this season and needs to correct this if Baylor is going to remain competitive that season. He’s got upside despite his limited size, but he won’t be as effective if he doesn’t catch passes that hit him in the hands more consistently next year.

Keith Price, QB, Washington: Keith Price may have been the most impressive player on the field in this game which is saying a lot considering the Heisman winner was the other starting quarterback. Price threw for 438 yards as he completed 23 of 37 passes for 4 touchdowns and ran for 39 yards and 3 more touchdowns. He demonstrated impressive maturity for such a young player in his first year as a starter and definitely displayed impressive arm strength, accuracy and athleticism. He’s listed at 6’1”, 195 pounds so his size will definitely be scrutinized as he develops as a NFL prospect, but his arm strength and athleticism make him an intriguing quarterback. He had a terrific season as a first year starter and Steve Sarkisian has a great reputation for developing quarterbacks, so there is reason to believe that “Sark” will get the most out of Price’s substantial upside. Hopefully Price stays for his senior season, but that decision is obviously well over a year away.

Chris Polk, RB, Washington: Polk definitely caught some people’s attention yesterday but he’s been an impressive back since he started to get carries at Washington two years ago. He was overshadowed by Jake Locker but he has been integral to Price’s development this year because of his running and his receiving out of the backfield. He’s got NFL size at 5’11”, 222 pounds with a listed 40 yard dash time of 4.48. He doesn’t have great speed but he has good enough speed to be a feature back in the NFL. He’s got great vision, very reliable hands, good footwork, impressive power and really seems to be the total package as a running back. I haven’t seen him much as a pass blocker, but if he declares for the draft officially (which I expect him to do) I’ll take a much closer look at him to evaluate that. Polk definitely has top 40-50 overall pick potential, so if your team needs a feature back then you need to read up on Chris Polk.

Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington: Kearse is a player that I never really thought would be much of a NFL Draft prospect. In the two years I watched him play with Jake Locker he demonstrated his upside thanks to his solid 6’1”, 200 pound frame as well as his solid speed evidenced by his 4.50 40 yard dash time. He’s not a freak athlete by any means, but he has NFL athletic ability and solid size for a NFL receiver. However, his hands were always a HUGE question mark for me and I thought they would prevent him from being anything more than a 5th-6th round pick when it was all said and done. I haven’t seen enough of him to say that his hands are no longer a concern, but his hands have definitely improved based on what I have seen of him this year and last night. He had 5 receptions for 198 yards and 1 touchdown last night and while 80 of those came on one reception he made catches on throws that last year he may have dropped. That progression is important and when I go back and study Washington’s games from this season I will be evaluating his hands very closely. Hopefully he will be at the Senior Bowl or the East-West Shrine Game so I can evaluate him even further, but keep an eye on him. His stock is rising.

Kasen Williams, WR, Washington: Williams is probably going to be the go-to guy at wide receiver for Price now that Kearse and Devin Aguilar are both graduating. He is listed at 6’2”, 212 pounds but just looks huge for a freshman on film. He’s got NFL size and hands and he demonstrated that this year by producing 36 receptions, 427 yards (11.9 average) and 6 touchdowns as a freshman. If Price stays for his senior season in two years then Williams and Seferian-Jenkins would both be juniors and that offense could be awfully fun to watch. That’s a long way away, but Williams has legitimate NFL ability and could be another very talented receiver in the Pac-12. Keep an eye on this kid.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington: Seferian-Jenkins is almost without a doubt the best freshman tight end I have ever seen in my entire life. Some of the catches this kid was making last night reminded me of Rob Gronkowski or Tony Gonzalez, and that is not an exaggeration. He is a 6’6”, 258 pound FRESHMAN tight end who produced 41 receptions, 538 yards (13.1 avg) and 6 touchdowns in his first season as a starter. That is absolutely remarkable, and his upside is absolutely staggering. I think he has the potential to be the #1 TE off the board in two years and honestly looked like he could have been a 1st round pick in this NFL Draft based on his receiving capability. Obviously he has a lot of time to continue to develop, but I can’t say enough about how impressed I was with this kid last night. His future is very, very bright.

Josh Shirley, DE, Washington: I had honestly never noticed Shirley before when I watched Washington but he definitely stuck out last night as he sacked the reigning Heisman winner THREE times. He wasn’t effectively blocked very often, but he definitely generated a lot of pressure and like so many of the Huskies impressive players last night he is only a freshman. He is listed at 6’3”, 229 pounds and produced 28 total tackles (23 solo), 12.0 TFL, 8.5 sacks (3 against Baylor), 2 forced fumbles and one pass break-up on the year. His future seems to be bright as well and seems like a possible candidate to be an OLB in the future. I thought he was a linebacker at first when I saw how well he was moving, but he is listed as a DE on Washington’s depth chart on the site I use. Look out for this kid in the future.

Alameda Ta’amu, DT, Washington: Ta’amu seemed like a top 40-50 lock before this game and many were raving about how hard it was to move the 6’3”, 337 pound mammoth defensive tackle off the ball. That was not the case for Baylor last night and that led to a huge game for just about anyone that elected to run with a Baylor uniform on. Washington gave up 482 rushing yards on 52 attempts and a few of those were negative yardage because of a sack on Robert Griffin. They also gave up 8 rushing touchdowns and on many wide open runs through the middle of Washington’s defense Ta’amu was nowhere to be found. He did not have a productive season with only 30 total tackles (15 solo), 7.0 TFL, and 3.5 sacks but often with run stuffing nose tackles the stats don’t tell the whole story. Unfortunately for Ta’amu the story being told now is not a positive one as his stock seems to be slipping. Here’s hoping he will be at the Senior Bowl so we can see him against quality competition with more support from the rest of his defensive teammates. Washington’s whole defense was god awful last night, but that includes Ta’amu.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,987 other followers