Tag Archive: Maryland


Jordan Cameron has made some impressive catches this week while displaying impressive athleticism.

West Practice Notes: Day Three

Quarterbacks:

Nathan Enderle, QB, Idaho:

Enderle showed some of the ball placement that I knew he had today, but it was still very inconsistent. He had a few nice throws that I saw, including a nice throw right on the money to Aldrick Robinson deep. He still missed high a couple times to Armon Binns and struggled going through reads at times. I was really high on Enderle before this season, but he regressed this year for whatever reason. He is definitely still draftable, and with his size, arm strength and inconsistent accuracy he should be a 5th or 6th round draft pick. He will need some development and probably some work on his mechanics (footwork probably, he has a nice fluid throwing motion) but I think he will stick in the NFL.

Scott Tolzien, QB, Wisconsin:

Tolzien showed pretty consistent ball placement on day three and pretty solid arm strength. He won’t be able to stretch the field that well, but on short and some intermediate throws he has solid zip on his passes. I think he warrants a 7th round pick or a priority free agent pick-up, and he has done a pretty good job of making decisions this week. I think he can be a developmental #3 in the NFL.

Jerrod Johnson, QB, Texas A&M:

Johnson is probably staring down a position change when he gets to the NFL. He has some mobility and impressive size, but he doesn’t have good zip on his passes, he doesn’t read defenses well, doesn’t make good decisions consistently and struggles with ball placement. I wasn’t sold on him at the beginning of the year after watching him, and it seems that everyone else seems to be of that same opinion now.

Halfbacks:

Patrick DiMarco, FB, South Carolina:

DiMarco stuck out to me all week as a pass catcher and as a runner, and when I talked to Justin Griffith (former Falcons fullback and current halfbacks coach for the West team this week) he said that DiMarco was the guy who stuck out to him the most and that he “did well in pass protection” and “caught the ball well out of the backfield.” I agree with both assertions and I thought it was pretty cool that he was impressed with DiMarco when he had stuck out to me as well. To be fair, Griffith did say that he liked all of his guys, not just DiMarco.

Alex Green, RB, Hawaii:

I’m not sure what Green will run, but he showed more burst and speed than I expected him to show today and he also caught the ball well out of the backfield. I think he warrants late round consideration at this point, but he had a solid week of practice to be sure.

Da’Rel Scott, RB, Maryland:

I’m not sold on Scott. He has dropped some passes out of the backfield this week, though he has caught others, and he doesn’t seem to have very good vision in my opinion. He and Royster had the least impressive weeks as far as running backs go in my opinion. It will be interesting to see how he does in the game, because when he gets into a seam he can really turn it into a long play.

Vai Taua, RB, Nevada:

Previously Taua struggled a bit catching the ball out of the backfield which was a bit surprising, but he looked much better in that aspect today and that was a pleasant thing to see. I personally grade him as the 4th best RB here behind Carter, Cooper and Green right now, but he had a solid day today.

Wide Receivers:

Armon Binns, WR, Cincinnati:

Binns has good hands and probably 4.5 speed but I am not sure he will ever create a lot of separation as a route runner. He is a long strider because of his long legs and I haven’t seen him create a lot of separation when running routes this week. I think he has the ceiling of a reliable #2, perhaps not unlike Michael Jenkins of the Falcons, but with better hands in my opinion. He has deceptive deep speed because of his long strides, but he doesn’t have a lot of quickness/burst into his cuts to create separation as a route runner as a result. He does seem to have good body control, he definitely has good hands and he adjusts well to the ball after it is thrown, but I don’t think he’s much more than a 3rd rounder this year. He’s the second best receiver here only to Toliver in my opinion.

Anthony Parker, WR, Calgary:

Parker was a guy who impressed me the first day and some the second day, but his momentum slowed on the third day. He dropped three passes, the first three drops I had seen from him this week, and did not run his routes with a lot of conviction either. I have seen some of his ability, but right now he seems like a fringe 7th round guy. He doesn’t run great routes, he has solid hands and size but I am not sold on his speed and he hasn’t been overly consistent this week.

Aldrick Robinson, WR, SMU:

I like Robinson. He’s a smaller guy but I think he has potential as a slot receiver. I don’t think he is much more than a 4.5 guy, but he has quickness and some shiftiness, and his route running has progressed some this week and he seems open to coaching. He has good hands too and looks the ball in well. I don’t think he’s much more than a 5th rounder at this point, but I think he can stick on a NFL roster.

Ryan Whalen, WR, Stanford:

I literally didn’t see Whalen drop a pass this week. Maybe I just missed one, but he has very reliable hands. He may not ever be a starter since I’m not sure how fast he will run or how well he can create separation, but as a possession guy, perhaps as a #4 WR, he should have a long NFL career because he just doesn’t drop passes. He’s got very reliable hands.

Tight Ends:

Jordan Cameron, TE, USC:

I have to say that I think it’s really funny that there is a DE from Cal named Cameron Jordan and a TE from USC named Jordan Cameron in the same draft. I don’t know if anyone else on the internet has pointed that out, but it needed to happen at some point. Regardless, Cameron has really impressed this week. He has made some really nice catches, he has stretched the field down the seam and shown good athleticism and leaping ability. I had no idea who he was before this week but I have to say I am really impressed and he has certainly been one of the big winners this week. His stock should be soaring right now from relative anonymity to a potential 3rd-4th round prospect.

Virgil Green, TE, Nevada:

I think Green quietly had a good week. He has made some very nice catches as well, catches on low throws, diving catches, one handed catches and overall just good catches with his hands and not letting them get into his pads. He has shown some ability as a route runner, though I don’t think he has very good speed, but he has impressed me at times as a run blocker which I was happy to see. He isn’t in my top 5 TE’s as far as positional rankings go, but I definitely think he warrants 4th-5th round consideration and could be a solid sleeper with some development and coaching. I definitely like Green.

Offensive Linemen:

Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU:

I have not been impressed with Barksdale this week. He has good size and arm length for the RT position but he has gotten beaten outside, inside and obviously struggles with speed. He has been able to stop guys like Bruce Miller who can’t get by him because of his long arms, but he is nothing more than a 5th round pick because of his size and arm length in my opinion. He has not been impressive to me this week.

Defensive Linemen:

David Carter, DT, UCLA:

I really like what I have seen from Carter this week. He has good size, arm length, is solid off the ball and has shown good hand usage. He’s gotten into the backfield and has shown signs of dominance in one on one drills. Carter has definitely helped himself this week.

Chris Carter, DE, Fresno State:

Carter had a lot of trouble in coverage this week, not unexpectedly in my opinion, and really could only take away the flats and struggled to react well in space and to close on passes this week. He was moved back to the defensive line for one on one drills and showed some speed off the ball to get the edge. He has some potential as a rotational guy but he is kind of a one trick pony at this point. He has some value but I’m not very impressed with him at this point.

Sorry about the delay on these notes. It’s been a bit of an exhausting week. Hope you enjoy them!

–Tom

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Bowl Predictions: 12/29-12/30

Sorry I waited so long to put these up, but the holidays have been busy. The ECU-Maryland game starts in an hour and a half from when I am putting this up, but I thought the others might be worth reading. Enjoy! And I will get the other games up very soon.

Military Bowl- East Carolina (6-6) vs Maryland (8-4)

Predicted Winner: Maryland

Why: I think Maryland is the more balanced team and though East Carolina’s QB Dominique Davis had a very productive first season as a starter he struggled against ACC competition like Virginia Tech and North Carolina, though he did have a good game against NC State. I think Maryland’s team, overall, is better and could slow down the East Carolina passing attack a bit.

Key to the game: Danny Obrien, QB, Maryland. Obrien is a freshman who is in his first season as a starter and was the ACC Rookie of the Year. If he plays well like he did all year then Maryland should have the advantage, but if the pressure of the game gets to him because he is so young and he struggles then Maryland will be in trouble.

Score: Maryland: 38 – East Carolina: 31

Texas Bowl- Illinois (6-6) vs Baylor (7-5)

Predicted Winner: Baylor

Why: The teams are fairly balanced but the difference is that Baylor hadn’t been to a bowl game in 16 years before this game. I really think they may just want it more than Illinois, who just a couple years ago lost to USC in the Rose Bowl. Both QB’s are threats to run and both teams have productive running backs, so it will be interesting to see who runs the ball more effectively.

Key to the game: Run defense. It will be important for both of these teams to try to slow down the rushing attack from the running backs but it will be equally important for them to try to keep the opposing QB contained from a running perspective. Both QB’s are the second leading rushers on their respective teams, so expect a lot of scrambling in this game.

Score: Baylor: 35 – Illinois: 31

Alamo Bowl- Oklahoma State (10-2) vs Arizona (7-5)

Predicted Winner: Oklahoma State

Why: Oklahoma State may have a high-flying passing attack led by first year starter Brandon Weeden and absolute stud wide receiver Justin Blackmon but they are one of the more balanced offenses in the country thanks to Kendall Hunter’s re-emergence at running back. Arizona likes to get into shootouts but if they get stuck trying to match Oklahoma State’s explosive offense point for point they will be in trouble.

Key to the game: Arizona’s pass rush. If Arizona’s defensive line can get pressure on Weeden to keep him from getting into a rhythm and not give him enough time to stretch the field vertically then Arizona should have a chance.

Score: Oklahoma State: 45 – Arizona: 27

Armed Forces Bowl- Army (6-6) vs SMU (7-6)

Predicted Winner: SMU

Why: SMU is the more balanced team even though they prefer to pass, but the difference is that they can succeed with the pass and the run unlike Army which relies almost entirely on the running game in their triple-option offense to produce yardage and score points.

Key to the game: Kyle Padron, QB, SMU. If Padron can play efficiently and productively to get SMU into the end zone instead of settling for field goals then SMU will be in good position. If they get a big enough lead and force Army to pass the ball more than they would like then SMU stands a great chance to win this game.

Score: SMU 31 – Army: 21

Pinstripe Bowl- Kansas State (7-5) vs Syracuse (7-5)

Predicted Winner: Syracuse

Why: Kansas State is very one dimensional with their running game. Both teams have poor run defenses, but I think that will mean a lot of eight and nine man boxes for the opposing offenses to run against. That means that, despite that obvious weakness, the team that can pass most effectively to open up some running lanes could ultimately win. I think Syracuse has the best chance of doing that.

Key to the game: Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse. If Nassib can take some pressure off of Delone Carter to open up some running lanes against Kansas State’s relatively porous run defense then the Orangemen should have a sizeable advantage on offense.

Score: Syracuse: 24 – Kansas State: 20

Music City Bowl- North Carolina (7-5) vs Tennessee (6-6)

Predicted Winner: Tennessee

Why: This hurts me as a UNC fan, but I just don’t trust T.J. Yates or our offense to get it done when it comes down to it. We don’t have a go-to receiver that we can throw the ball to in the red zone because Greg Little has been suspended all season and our running game finally got going with Johnny White before he got hurt for the season also. Tennessee’s has a more consistent running game and more reliable, experienced receivers even if they are playing a freshman QB in Tyler Bray.

Key to the game: Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee. If he plays well and doesn’t make many mistakes then the Vols have a great chance to win. But if he makes poor decisions, gets flustered and forces throws into coverage against a pretty talented UNC defense (despite the suspensions) he will get into trouble.

Score: Tennessee: 24 – 21

Holiday Bowl- Nebraska (10-3) vs Washington (6-6)

Predicted Winner: Nebraska

Why: Nebraska is simply much better overall than Washington is. Washington has a good QB in Jake Locker and a decent set of skill position players, but not much else. Their defense has a couple quality players, but for the most part they are simply overmatched in this matchup with Nebraska.

Key to the game: Jake Locker, QB, Washington. If he repeats his 4/20 performance from the regular season in this game Nebraska will run away with this game. Even if he doesn’t they might blow them out, but the only way Washington has a chance is if Locker plays great.

Score: Nebraska: 38 – Washington: 20

I started out really strong but I have been on a cold streak lately. Hopefully these go better! Enjoy the bowl games and thanks for reading!

–Tom