On The Clock NFL Mock Draft from Fanspeak.com

Prospect Comparison: OT Brandon Scherff vs. Cedric Ogbuehi

September 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Left Tackle is always a position in demand during the NFL Draft, and this year will be no different. Many years underclassmen will dominate the top of the OT rankings, but two seniors stand out as potential top ten picks. Cedric Ogbuehi of Texas A&M and Brandon Scherff of Iowa have their ups and downs, but are good prospects that can be potential franchise left tackles.

Size:

The bigger the better for offensive lineman, as long as they can move effectively. Iowa’s Brandon Scherff stands at 6’5 320 pounds with good girth and a back end anchor that can work against power rushers. Cedric Ogbuehi is no slouch himself at 6’5 300 pounds, but he has a thinner gut and lower body that has been a bit of trouble against more power rushers. Scherff’s frame is a little bit dumpy and not as defined, while Ogbuehi has a muscular frame that looks impressive and more like a linebacker than an offense tackle. Even with that, Scherff gets the size advantage and it also will allow him to be versatile and move positions down the line if need be.

Advantage: Brandon Scherff

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Athleticism:

Athletic ability is Cedric Ogbuehi’s calling card. He moves off the snap tremendously well and has a very solid kick slide. He has fluid footwork and rarely lets a speed rusher get around him to get pressure on the quarterback. Ogbuehi has also been used as a lead blocker on outside runs, QB runs, and screens. Brandon Scherff does move well for a player of his size. He stays balanced and has fluidity for a 320 pounder. He can get caught kick sliding to the edge though and struggles against speed. Scherff does have explosive ability in the run and pass game and his quickness off the snap is pretty special. Both players have solid athletic ability, but Ogbuehi gets the athletic advantage.

Advantage: Cedric Ogbuehi

Pass Blocking:

Brandon Scherff’s explosive play helps him against pass rushers and he can usually put down a power rusher with ease. He does have short arms, so when he faces speed rushers with a variety of pass rush moves, he does not always keep them away from his body. Scherff’s kick slide is solid, but he does play too high in it and his pad level can lead to technique problems. He punches well and wins more than he loses, even against some of the best pass rushers in the Big Ten. Scherff wins with technique and power over pad level and foot speed. Ogbuehi has a huge wingspan and athletic feet that he will use to put down opposing pass rushers. He is lightning quick to engage and get into his kick slide, especially if defenders attempt to seal go around the edge on him. Having QBs like Johnny Manziel and Kenny Hill have definitely helped him do his job well, but there is no doubt he is a major talent. Pass blocking is a strength for both players, and both should be solid handling the blind side in the NFL but Ogbuehi gets the advantage with his long arms and dominance against speed rushers. He is much more inconsistent than Scherff (see the 2014 Arkansas game,) but the upside is there.

Advantage: Cedric Ogbuehi

Run Blocking:

Brandon Scherff is a dominant force in the run game. He uses his size, anchor, and strength to his advantage. He stays low in the run game and explodes through his pads to jolt the defender, even on stunts. He almost always finished blocks and will try to lay the opposing defender on the ground. The killer attitude combined with his size and strength provided a sealed edge for outside runs and not allowing defensive linemen to disengage and make plays vs. the runner on inside runs. Cedric Ogbuehi is a solid run blocker but unspectacular. He plays more of a finesse run blocking game and tries to keep punching the defender instead of making immediate contact. He does use good pad level in the run game and can secure the opponents pads, not allowing them to shed the block and get at the RB. Scherff definitely takes this category and a power run team may prefer him.

Advantage: Brandon Scherff

The first senior offensive tackle to come off the board will likely be one of these two men, and it may come down to personal preference and scheme from the team that takes them. Scherff lacks pass protection upside, but his size and power make him an ideal candidate in that scheme. Ogbuehi has all the physical upside but his inconsistency, especially in the run game, puts more risk into drafting him.

User NFL Mock Drafts: 9/26

September 26, 2014 in OTC: User Mock Drafts

Given that we are early in the mock draft process, I'm not going to do much in the way of analysis, but rather I'd like to share three of my favorite NFL Mock Drafts of this week. Please feel free to share your own mocks in the comments:

Mock 1: Cameron- New England Patriots:

 

23 – R1P23 RB TODD GURLEY GEORGIA

38 – R2P6 OLB BENARDRICK MCKINNEY MISSISSIPPI STATE

45 – R2P13 WR TY MONTGOMERY STANFORD

74 – R3P10 DT DANNY SHELTON WASHINGTON

87 – R3P23 DE ALVIN DUPREE KENTUCKY

97 – R4P1 DT ARIK ARMSTEAD OREGON

106 – R4P10 CB JOSH SHAW USC

119 – R4P23 OT DARYL WILLIAMS OKLAHOMA

138 – R5P10 OT ERIC LEFELD CINCINNATI

151 – R5P23 WR DRES ANDERSON UTAH

170 – R6P10 TE E.J. BIBBS IOWA STATE

183 – R6P23 RB COREY GRANT AUBURN

 

Mock 2: Matt, Minnesota Vikings:

11 – R1P11 S LANDON COLLINS ALABAMA

36 – R2P4 WR RASHAD GREENE FLORIDA STATE

43 – R2P11 DT LEONARD WILLIAMS USC

68 – R3P4 CB MARCUS PETERS WASHINGTON

75 – R3P11 ILB A.J. JOHNSON TENNESSEE

100 – R4P4 RB DUKE JOHNSON MIAMI

107 – R4P11 DE HAUOLI KIKAHA WASHINGTON

132 – R5P4 OT JAKE FISHER OREGON

164 – R6P4 S TYLER HUNTER FLORIDA STATE

196 – R7P4 G ADAM SHEAD OKLAHOMA

 

Mock 3: Caleb, Carolina Panthers

 

22: R1P22 RB TODD GURLEY GEORGIA

54: R2P22 OT TY SAMBRAILO COLORADO STATE

86: R3P22 WR RASHAD GREENE FLORIDA STATE

118: R4P22 CB RONALD DARBY FLORIDA STATE

150: R5P22 S SAM CARTER TCU

182: R6P22 OLB JAMES VAUGHTERS STANFORD

214: R7P22 WR KEVIN WHITE WVU

NFL Draft Preview: UCLA vs. Arizona State

September 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

The Pac-12 has some good teams this year with plenty of draft able talent and the highlight is the Thursday night game of UCLA against Arizona State pitting one of the top underclass WRs going against some excellent defensive prospects.

Quarterback:

Brett Hundley, Junior, UCLA

Brett Hundley is likely to be one of the most polarizing prospects in the 2015 or 2016 NFL Draft. Though he was injured last week, he looks likely to play against Arizona State and showcase his size and athletic ability. It is rare to get a 6’3 223 pound quarterback who has the arm to make NFL throws. The pure potential of Hundley could put him into the first round of the NFL Draft, though he still has struggles throwing accurately and reading defenses. Will a team take a chance high to develop him or could he fall due to lack of polish? If he plays through this game with his elbow injury with success, it could go a long way to establishing his toughness and putting him in the first round.

Taylor Kelly, Arizona State

Taylor Kelly unfortunately won’t be playing against UCLA due to a foot injury suffered against Colorado this season, but he is a prospect worth knowing. Kelly is on the smaller side, likely to come in just under 6’2 203 pounds, but he is mobile and excellent at rolling out in the pocket to throw the ball down the field. He has a gunslinger mentality, and often forces the ball into coverage leading to interceptions. Kelly is a tough player who takes plenty of shots and keeps going, and if he comes back healthy while effective, he could be a midround pick despite his size.

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Tight End:

De’Marieya Nelson, Arizona State

Nelson is a prototypical H-Back who can play TE and/or FB in the NFL. He has replaced record setting ASU TE Chris Coyle this year and has made the move from working primarily out of the back field (15 rushes last year,) to being in line. Nelson is on the smaller side at 6’2 235 pounds, but he has a high football IQ to find holes in the zone to make catches. His forte is in the blocking game where he has a low pad level and actually uses his lack of size to his advantage. Nelson has a lot of functional strength and decent anchor, but he isn’t the best athlete. The lack of size, speed, and athletic ability likely pushes him out of the draft, but he could be intriguing for a team to pick up as a free agent or take a chance on late.

Wide Receiver:

Jaelen Strong, Redshirt Junior, Arizona State

Strong is the toast of the senior WR class. He has excellent size at 6’3 215 pounds with huge hands that help him secure footballs. Strong uses his big body to box out corners and has his most success going up for passes above his head and fighting for the hard ones. He is a long strider with solid speed, though he is unlikely to be a deep threat at the professional level. Strong has a similar game to Chargers WR Keenan Allen in how he uses his route running and hands to win man-to-man battles. With a good season and workouts, Strong could end up in the late first round, but is likely a solid second day pick.

Offensive Line:

Malcolm Bunche, UCLA

Bunche is a former Miami Hurricane who transferred to UCLA for graduate school and immediately has become their starting LT. He is massive at 6’7 327 pounds, and excels in the run game with a big anchor and lower body power. His pass protection leaves a lot to be desired and he struggled mightily last year against top pass rushers and that trend seems to continue. He is a major candidate to move inside to guard as a pro. It is rare to find a player with his size and functional run strength, so Bunche is a high upside pick in the later rounds.

Defensive Line:

Ellis McCarthy, Junior, DT, UCLA

McCarthy is one of the top interior defensive line prospects this year and for good reason. He has the body of a nose tackle (6’5 325 pounds,) with the snap quickness of a 3-technique. He has an excellent first step and creates disruptions in the backfield every drive. He has improved by leaps and bounds every year of his college career and will be versatile to play 5-tech, 3-tech, 1-tech or even 0-tech in some NFL systems. UCLA allows McCarthy to work to his strengths and rush the passer while collapsing the pocket. Keep an eye out for McCarthy to be a gamechanger against Arizona State.

Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA

Odighizuwa has been a name many looked to last year to have an impact, but multiple torn knee ligaments kept him off the field and back for his fifth year at UCLA. Early this season, Odighizuwa has flashed the potential he showed early in his college career. His long arms and big trunk lead to a solid combination of finesse and power to beat OTs and get pressure on the quarterback. His combination of athleticism and experience make him an intriguing midround candidate. He hasn’t lived up in terms of production (only has 6.5 sacks over his first three years starting and none so far this season, but he is a moldable prospect teams could fall in love with.

Linebacker:

Eric Kendricks, UCLA

A leader on the UCLA defense, Eric Kendricks brings a solid combination of tackle production, coverage ability, and quickness to the table. Though only 230 pounds (and he may tip the scales under that this offseason,) Kendricks hits hard and wraps up bigger runners extremely well. He is a technician at the insider linebacker position and profiles to play inside in a 3-4 or at SAM in the NFL. He has good lateral quickness, though doesn’t always explode from his hips. The NFL seems to let undersized linebackers drop, often for no reason, but Kendricks plays like a top 50 pick. Look for his draft stock to be on the rise.

Defensive Back:

Anthony Jefferson, SS, UCLA

Jefferson is an undersized strong safety, only 190 pounds, without good speed. He is often a liability in coverage and could definitely have struggles at the NFL level. Jefferson does provide some special teams ability and could make the NFL in return coverage. A late rounder at best, he will need to improve on the field to improve his stock.

Damarious Randall, FS, Arizona State

Arizona State doesn’t have many defensive pro prospects, but Damarious Randall is a jitterbug safety who flows in and out of deep coverage. He is on the smaller side and doesn’t give you much in the run game, but as a special teamer and coverage reserve, Randall could be an intriguing prospect and playmaker. A late rounder a the moment, a good end of the season and offseason could move him up.

Prospect Comparison: Amari Cooper vs. Nelson Agholor

September 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

Amari Cooper vs. Nelson Agholor

Two of the most storied programs in college football, Alabama and USC, both bring two top-notch WR prospects who should have an immediate impact at the NFL level. Both have seen some major changeover in offensive system and QBs over the last few years, but still find ways to be productive and prove their NFL talent.

Size:

Neither player is the size and physical freak combination we have seen from absolute top tier WRs in recent years (AJ Green and Julio Jones being the common example,) but both have their strengths. Agholor comes in at a solid height at 6’1 190 pounds, though his thin lower body leaves him susceptible to injury. Especially in the lower body, shots to Agholor can really rock him. Adding muscle may be helpful. Cooper checks in at a similar size to Sammy Watkins last year at 6’1 210 pounds, and his build shows it. He still has a bit of fragility to him, but Cooper has added muscle and is sustaining more shots this year successfully. Both have solid size to make catches, though not at an elite height.

Advantage: Amari Cooper

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Athleticism/Speed:

The athletic ability of both players is apparent. Cooper has excellent body control and has the athletic ability to go up for balls. He doesn’t always utilize his athleticism to the fullest extent, but appears to be improving in that area. Straight line speed is not his strength (though not a huge weakness). He is likely a 4.50-4.55 type player, so just good enough. Agholor definitely wins the straight-line speed category, likely coming in at .1 faster than Cooper (4.40-4.45). Agholor is faster than most corners as well as bigger than them, so he provides a deep threat and a man-to-man matchup nightmare with his athletic ability. He can whiff on body control at times for hard catches, but is definitely an NFL athlete.

Advantage: Nelson Agholor

Route Running:

This is not even a close comparison. Amari Cooper is one of the most refined route runners as a college WR in a long time. He has almost a full route tree from streaks, curls, comebacks, outs, slants, drags, and more. He has great cutting ability and utilizes his route running to get separation. He does sometimes go off the beaten path and move off of the route when reading coverage, but it seems to work. There could be an adjustment period due to the lack of top speed, but his cuts and mental fortitude in routes should put him in an elite route running class. Agholor can be a little lazy at times and has a limited route tree. It appears to be expanding this year, but he does waste foot movement when making cuts, especially on post routes. He loses speed coming out of his breaks which has turned into turnovers for his QB. It is an area that needs improvement from Agholor.

Advantage: Amari Cooper

Catching:

Both players have trouble securing the easy passes and have too many drops over the course of their careers. Cooper really struggled with catches below his chest or at chest level as a sophomore, often cradling the ball and allowing it to bounce off of his body incomplete. Agholor started off his junior campaign with a few dropped passes on 3rd down and looks like he often tries to turn and run before securing the football. Amari Cooper seems to have improved into his junior season and has more concentration. He still is a body catcher, but is on the upswing. Agholor appears to be improving as the season goes on, but this will be the biggest knock on both prospects down the stretch. Cooper gets a slight edge, but neither has great ball skills.

Advantage: Amari Cooper

After Catch:

Nelson Agholor’s speed and athletic ability make him dynamic after the catch. He is elusive in the open field and can likely find use in the screen game at the next level to be a true weapon. He has solid juking ability and is a terror one on one. Amari Cooper brings more of a stout presence after the catch, utilizing his body and some power to evade tacklers. Though he may not have the straightline speed, he can accelerate quickly and take on defenders at full speed. This is a definite strength for both players, though Agholor may have more of that home run ability that teams looks for.

Advantage: Nelson Agholor

As a whole, both players might be slightly overhyped. Cooper’s lack of speed and focus when catching the football takes him out of the elite WR class of year’s past. Agholor is fast, but also slight with technique problems of his own. Cooper has potential to be a #1 WR in the NFL and will likely be drafted highly based on that potential and pedigree. Agholor could fall the way of USC WRs past (Robert Woods, Marqise Lee, etc,) and fall further than expected on draft day.

NFL Draft Preview: Mississippi State vs. LSU

September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

QuarterBack:

Dak Prescott, Junior, Mississippi State

Prescott is a polarizing junior prospect whose grade differs depending on you talk to. At 230 pounds, he can handle the beating of a quarterback but it appears he will come in under 6’1 which is a kiss of death for quarterback prospects. Prescott has plenty of physical tools include a tight spiral and excellent deep touch passing. He has a bit of a gunslinger mentality which can cause turnovers, but he has been improving through his college career. With some height and football intelligence issues, Prescott could be a prospect who declares early but is disappointed as a 2nd day pick at best.

Running Back:

Kenny Hilliard, LSU
Terrance McGee, LSU

LSU has churned out numerous RBs into the NFL, most recently 2nd round pick Jeremy Hill, and next in line are Kenny Hilliard and Terrance McGee. LSU brought in 5 star recruit Leonard Fournette at RB, but he has not been able to hold off the productive seniors.
Kenny Hilliard is big bodied at 232 pounds but has good acceleration and vision to pick up plenty of yards. Hilliard averages over 5 yards a carry over the course of his college career by being tough to bring down and picking up an extra yard or two on ever rush. He may not be an every down back with his lack of receiving talent, but as a later round short yardage back with some upside, Hilliard is a name to follow.
Terrence McGee has been a complimentary player for his LSU career, a homerun threat to give an outside presence for players like Hilliard and Hill. McGee has solid size at 217 pounds, and also isn’t catching many passes in college, but he has a good top gear of speed and is utilized on a lot of counter and toss plays to the outside. McGee has been underutilized as an LSU runner, he averaged over 7 yards a carry as a junior on 86 carries, and has some upside with his size and speed. McGee is another later round flier type RB.
Advantage: Todd Gurley

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Offensive Line:

La’el Collins, OT, LSU

The top prospect in this game, La’el Collins started every game of his junior (and senior season thus far,) at LT. He also started every game of his sophomore year at LG, showing some versatility to kick inside if teams need him to. Collins is a physical freak standing at 6’5 321 pounds with long trunks for arms and legs. His physical prowess allows him to keep athletic defensive ends at bay in pass protection or maul them in the run game. He does need development as he can get caught in a lazy presnap set at times or get confused on stunts and more difficult defensive states. Collins has a shot at the first round, and is a player to track this season.

Vadal Alexander, Junior, OG, LSU

Alexander is only a junior, but going into his 2nd year starting at left guard and his 340 pound frame has allowed him to be a dominant run blocker with pulling ability to boot. This combination makes him one of, if not the, top guard prospect in the country. Even though many teams are moving away from a power run scheme, Alexander’s football intelligence and size can be a benefit and create running lanes at the NFL level.

Blaine Clausell, OT, Miss. St.

Clausell has been starting at Left Tackle since late in his freshman year. He is towering at 6’7, but doesn’t have the anchor or consistency to be a top tier NFL prospect. He is an above average pass blocker and average run blocker who struggles with top tier talent. He could be a candidate to move inside in the NFL, and the experience should make an easy transition to a role in the pros. Clausell is a late round pick who could play multiple NFL positions.

Safety:

Justin Cox, Miss. St.

The Bulldogs starting FS Justin Cox provides good size with a big coverage range. Standing at 6’3, Cox can match up with TEs well or cover the back end of the defense. He is very tight hipped and doesn’t have the closing speed or fluidity that most NFL teams will look for. He has upside in both special teams and coverage at the next level. A solid midround pick, Cox could help himself with a good game against LSU.

On the Clock Premium Early Bird SALE – Just $2.50!

September 16, 2014 in On The Clock

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Prospect Comparison: Melvin Gordon vs. Todd Gurley

September 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

As the NFL moves more toward passing the football, the RB position is falling out of vogue. In the last two NFL Drafts, there has not been a RB drafted in the first round, but that should change for the 2015 NFL Draft. There are two contenders for the top RB spot at this point, both juniors, Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon and Georgia’s Todd Gurley. These are two very different RBs, so NFL teams will have to make a decision on who to invest in.

Size:

The size difference between the two RBs is clear from the beginning. Todd Gurley is a hulking 6’1 226 pounds with hulking arms, legs, and trunk to run through opposing defenders. Melvin Gordon is not a slouch listed at 6’1 207 pounds, but he does not have near the bulk that Gurley does. Gordon has size that matches with a typical 3-down NFL RB, but Gurley has that special size that puts fear in opposing defenses.

Advantage: Todd Gurley

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Speed/Athleticism:

In a pure speed sense, Melvin Gordon would likely win in a foot race (being 20 pounds lighter than your opponent would do that,) but athletic ability puts this very close. Todd Gurley already has some big time documented speed to hang his hat on, running track for Team USA and completing the 7th fastest 60-meter hurdle time in UGA history (8.12 seconds). On the field, he has some good wiggle to him and cuts extremely well. His athleticism is recognizable and that dangerous combination of size and athletic ability make him an absolute monster. Melvin Gordon has the “shot out of a cannon” look after getting the snap and hits his third gear very quickly. In the open field, he is near impossible to catch up to. He also has the short range athletic ability to make him an athletic nightmare. Both players get pluses in this category, but Gordon has a bit more athletic versatility to him.

Advantage: Melvin Gordon

Elusiveness:

This is where both players diverge in style. Todd Gurley is elusive by using his size to his advantage. He is rarely brought down by one defender, and arm tackles seem to fall off of Gurley due to his footwork. Gurley has a balance of power and finesse that forces him to be a focus for defenses. Gordon’s play is the prototypical elusive player. He is big enough to take punishment, but seems to always be moving and wiggling so defenders don’t get a clean shot on him. He has the type of cutting ability of a LeSean McCoy that punishes bad angles or poor tackling technique. In a power run scheme, Gordon might falter, but Wisconsin has adjusted their scheme to him and he has shown that a ZBS or spread scheme would make him dangerous. I’ll take Gurley’s combination of power and elusiveness, but this is another area both players excel in.

Advantage: Todd Gurley

Vision:

One of the most important, and hardest to improve, elements of a RBs game is their vision to identify holes, cut back lanes, and open space to maximize their yardage. Both players still have to improve in this element of their game, but neither is deficient. Melvin Gordon has been used on a lot of one cut runs this season so far which requires good vision, and there has been improvement. He has a tendency to kick to the outside a bit too much and go for the big play, but he does identify defensive schemes and their weaknesses well. He can find running lanes when not apparent and often makes a big play due to his vision. Todd Gurley is solid, though he will often create lanes trusting his body and athletic ability vs. his vision. The Georgia offense this year has been made to put Gurley in space and may cover some vision questions. There are concerns Gurley could end up like Trent Richardson, a bit too tenuous, so Gordon gets the edge.

Advantage: Melvin Gordon

Health/Work Load:

Todd Gurley has had two years of a near full workload, and going on his third in 2014. As a sophomore in 2013, Gurley suffered an injury that brings up a red flag on his scouting report. Gurley suffered a thigh injury against Clemson in the opening game and missed most of his time due to an ankle injury sustained during the LSU game. Gurley’s running style often leaves him open to leg injuries, similar to someone like Darren McFadden. Gurley not only has a more upright running style, but he runs very straight legged, which leaves him open to big leg impacts on his ankles, knees, and thighs. Toss in that he will leave his college career with over 600 carries, and there is some fear about his health and previous workload. Gordon falls on the other end of the spectrum. He has stayed healthy, but has never carried a full load in college. Gordon only had 62 carries as a redshirt freshman, and he split early 50/50 with James White last season as a sophomore. This season, Corey Clement is lessening the load and there will be concerns about if Gordon can handle 3-down back duties and carries. Gordon gets the nod due to a clean bill of health, but there are question marks for both.

Advantage: Melvin Gordon

Pass Catching

With Melvin Gordon’s physical make-up, there would be an expectation that is an excellent pass catcher, but that is not the case. He has combined for 3 catches so far in his college career and does not appear to be a big part of the passing game this season for Wisconsin. Todd Gurley on the other hand has been active in the screen and short passing game. He has good, soft hands, and doesn’t use his body to cradle passes. Gurley could be a real threat getting the ball in space.

Advantage: Todd Gurley

Pass Blocking:

Both runners are solid pass blockers at this point in their careers. Gurley’s size and balance makes him a formidable blocker. Gordon stands in tall, but has had his issues with blocking Des who have come free. Gurley is a slightly better blocker but it is not a deficiency of either players

Advantage: Todd Gurley

This is a tougher comparison than most think. The obvious answer is Gurley with his size, speed, athleticism, and pass catching. The other hand is the health issues and running style with Gurley that are not apparent with Gordon. It will be a close battle, but ultimately Gurley will go higher due to his “physical freak” nature, though picking Gordon might be a safer option to have an explosive RB free from injuries.

For more from Shane, visit www.DraftTV.com and on twitter @ShanePHallam

NFL Draft Preview: Georgia vs. South Carolina

September 11, 2014 in Prospect Reports

Georgia vs. South Carolina 

The SEC has been an NFL factory for years now, and there will be plenty of teams to preview in coming weeks from the conference. This week, the big match-up of Georgia vs. South Carolina boasts two teams that lost some major talent that was drafted in 2014. Georgia losing All-American QB Aaron Murray has brought a change to their offense while South Carolina losing stud DE Jadeveon Clowney has appeared to hinder them defensively. There are plenty of prospects to know and track in this one.

Running Backs:

The highlight of this game are the top RBs for each squad. Both are potential first round picks and almost definitely Top 100 picks that will declare early for the NFL Draft.

 

Todd Gurley, Georgia

Gurley is the cream of the crop at RB and might be the best RB prospect since Trent Richardson. The combination of his 6’1 226 pound frame with light nimble feet and very good speed to boot puts him in the upper echelon of college RBs. Georgia has utilized him in a number of ways, both between the tackles, outside the tackles, and even as a receiver (he had 37 receptions as a sophomore). There have only been a handful of plays in his career that one defender has tackled Todd Gurley one on one as his power and quickness make him an incredibly difficult to bring down. The only major fear about Gurley is his health as he not only has an upright running style but very straight-legged style. Shots to the leg can often lead to knee and ankle injuries. He could easily be a Top 15 pick if he stays healthy this season and could have an Adrian Peterson type impact on the NFL.

 

Mike Davis, South Carolina

Playing on South Carolina, Mike Davis is often overlooked but is one of the most balanced RBs in the entire country. At 5’9 223 pounds, Davis has the bulk to hold up between the tackles but his skillset works more outside running as a homerun threat. He can catch, block, and brings a lot of endurance to the position (he had over 200 carries last year). Last year again Georgia was Mike Davis’ breakout game, averaging over 9 yards a carry and racking up 198 yards rushing and receiving. He might be the workout warrior that others in the RB class will be, but has shown through his production that can be an every down NFL back. There is potential for the first round, but Davis likely falls into the 2nd day if he declares for the 2015 NFL Draft.

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Offensive Line:

The offensive line is a strength for both teams, especially South Carolina, and will produce some NFL talent not only for the 2015 NFL Draft but in the future.

 

AJ Cann, OG, South Carolina

Cann will compete to be the top senior guard off the board in the 2015 Draft. He has started every game of his career except one, and is littered with honors from All-SEC to team captain to being consistently listed on the SEC Honor Roll. A pure left guard, Cann has very good athleticism for a player at 311 pounds. He plays with excellent leverage, even when pulling, that often can blowup opposing defensive linemen and linebackers, putting them on the ground. Cann doesn’t always flash when watching a game, but when he is studied, he rarely shows a lot of faults. Not so much a mauler, and there might be limited upside on his push in the run game in a power scheme, but he could be a 10-year NFL veteran if matched with the right offensive scheme. Cann is likely a 2nd day pick due to a lower ceiling, but sneaking into the 1st round is not out of the question by any means.

 

Corey Robinson, OT, South Carolina

South Carolina’s left tackle Corey Robinson is one of the first players that stand out when watching the Gamecocks play. At 6’8 344 pounds, Robinson towers over most defensive linemen and uses that to his advantage. Robinson’s career trajectory has been interesting, almost moved to defensive tackle as a redshirt freshman, but he has shown massive improvement every single year as a left tackle, including the start to this season. He not only brings the power you’d expect form someone his size, but great acceleration and awareness off of the snap. He usually gets his hands on his man first and shuffles his feet well for his size. He is not elite, especially in pass protection, but he could be a 2nd round pick with left tackle, right tackle, or offensive guard NFL potential.

 

David Andrews, C, Georgia

Andrews is the prototypical great college player who won’t be much of an NFL prospect. He has started 27 games in his first three years and figures to start every game at center this season. He is undersized at only 294 pounds and doesn’t have the athleticism to make up for the lack of bulk. He uses his hands well and is pretty solid in pass protection as a whole, but his lack of push in the run game will likely lead to a downgrade in his NFL evaluation. His backside anchor can be quite poor against very good talent, but he seems to find a way to hold his own with help. Andrews should be drafted based on his college resume, but as a late round pick who could be a back up Center or Guard. He will have his hands full this week with JT Surratt and a good game could go a long way to helping his stock.

 

Defensive Line:

J.T. Surratt, DT, South Carolina

Surratt is the only returning starter on the South Carolina defensive line and has played the Nose Tackle role of their defense for most of his career. He isn’t the mammoth NT that many think of, only listed at 310 pounds, but he is very stout and fits with the NFL trend to smaller, quicker noses in 4-3 and hybrid defenses. He has great upper and lower body strength and was a big reason for Kelcy Quarles success last year and Surratt often occupied two gaps, allowing Quarles to get to the QB. He has stepped up and become a leader on the defense and is good at doing the job assigned to him on each given play. Every so often, Surratt flashes athletic ability and he has a high ceiling if used correctly. The game against Georgia and center David Andrews will be very telling of how Surratt will handle the NFL. With a big game, he should put himself in the midrounds with potential to go higher.

 

Linebacker:

Ramik Wilson, LB, Georgia

Wilson burst onto the scene last year leading the SEC in tackles with 133 from the Inside Backer position on Georgia’s defense. Wilson’s lateral agility is apparent from the first snap. He finds ways to shed blocks with his quickness and moves into gaps very fast. He goes sideline to sideline well and often is a thorn in the side of the opponents run game. Wilson’s experience in a 3-4 defense also gives him plenty of versatility in the NFL, allowing him to play ILB in a 3-4 or kick to OLB in a 4-3 defense. Wilson has some experience in coverage, but isn’t a strength as TEs and slot WRs provide a mismatch against him. Going up against a RB like Mike Davis, Wilson could prove he can handle NFL RBs and move himself into 2nd day consideration with a good game this week.

 

Cornerback:

Damian Swann, Georgia

Swann has a storied college career, but his NFL prospects may not be as promising. He is listed well at 5’11 but is likely to come in shorter. Being only 180 pounds, there will be a concern if he can go up against top NFL WRs at 6’2 or 6’3. Despite his size, Swann does tackle well, but his coverage abilities will be questioned due to his hip flexibility and turn and run ability. Swann is a name that will be high on the public mind due to college profile but will fall to the late rounds of the draft.

 

For more from Shane, visit www.DraftTV.com and on twitter @ShanePHallam

Prospect Comparison: Marcus Mariota vs. Jameis Winston

September 9, 2014 in Prospect Reports

The college football world was taken by storm by Jameis Winston, a redshirt freshman who has now won the Heisman trophy and National Championship. But before Winston came into the public eye, scouts were excited by the potential of Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. As the two vie to be the #1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, teams will be comparing the two players to choose their future franchise quarterback.

 

Size:

Both players have the ideal height to succeed at the QB position in the NFL, being listed at 6’4. Even if both come a bit under their listed height, they are more than adequate to succeed at the NFL level. In terms of their frame, Jameis Winston is built well. His muscular upper body bodes well for fundamental strength when going toe to toe with defenders and though his legs are a little thin, his lower trunk can take punishment and hold up. Marcus Mariota is on the slight side, despite being listed at 219 points. There is some fear with his running ability that he could be susceptible to injury. Mariota’s pencil thin leg muscles stand out as a weakness. Bulking up a little could qualm some fear about Mariota and how his frame will hold up in the NFL.

Advantage: Jameis Winston

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Arm Strength: 

Putting zip on the football to get to the receiver quickly is the most important aspect of arm strength. Both quarterbacks put a very good spin on the ball with potential to rifle it to their wideouts. Mariota drives the ball well, though when throwing outside the hash marks (excluding screens,) his balls can float a little bit and could provide NFL defenses with a window to make a play. Marcus Mariota’s game has been based on an uptempo west coast style, so we have not seen the down field arm strength very often from him, but when called upon he has been able to step up with the deep ball. Jameis Winston has similar issues at times, but when all is going right, he has some of the best arm strength in the country. He drills balls into short spaces, especially in the red zone and even toward the sideline, and they get their before the defense can react. Winston can get it down the field well, but will need work to refine that. Both players have some arm strength weaknesses, but nothing that is a red flag. Both have good strength for the NFL, but Winston gets a slight edge for better sideline zip.

Advantage: Jameis Winston

 

Accuracy & Ball Placement:

Accuracy is Marcus Mariota’s bread and butter. With tons of experience in an offense that places a major emphasis on ball placement and yardage after the catch, Mariota puts the ball not only in a position for his receiver to catch it, but continue running without slowing down. He has rare accuracy and ball placement that many NFL quarterbacks dream of. Down the field, Mariota has a limited sample size but the results give promise for positive play action and deep throwing accuracy. Jameis Winston is still a work in progress. His fundamentals often lead to balls being a little too high or a little too low. Though still catchable, this flaw could be detrimental in the NFL. Winston’s deep accuracy has been spot on for some games and way off for others. There is a lot of potential still there for Winston if he develops, but he is not there yet in placing the ball.

Advantage: Marcus Mariota

 

Fundamentals:

Footwork and release are key to success in the NFL and very few quarterbacks can succeed at the next level if they cannot be fixed. Neither QB is perfect in these aspects, but Marcus Mariota plays almost exclusively out of the shotgun so it becomes very difficult to interpret his footwork from center. In a spread offense as Oregon is, he does very well planting his foot and driving the ball on throws. Even under pressure, he will take a firm grasp of the ground with his plant foot to increase power and accuracy. His release point and wrist positioning is excellent. Jameis Winston need improvement in both areas. He has instances of throwing off of his back foot and jittering his feet while looking downfield. This often leads to inaccuracies. He also has a strange release and release point, though it seems to work for him. This could be a hindrance in the NFL, but doesn’t appear to affect him (similar to Phillip Rivers). Both QBs keep their eyes downfield when reading the defense and seem to have extraordinary football IQs. Jameis Winston does have the pro offense experience, but Marcus Mariota appears further along.

Advantage: Marcus Mariota

 

Athleticism:

Both players are very athletic and will have the ability to hurt defenses with their feet as well as their arms. Mariota has used read option plays and QB draws a ton in college with good results. Jameis Winston has shown the ability to take off and run both designed and not for huge plays to give his team a boost. This is a strength of both players with little advantage over each other, though considering Winston’s size, he will be very tough to bring down.

Advantage: Jameis Winston

 

Intangibles: 

Both players are documented as good leaders for their teams and have the support of their fellow players. Marcus Mariota has an impeccable record off the field and by all accounts has a high character. Jameis Winston has had some bad press of late between being accused of sexual assault (which he was not charged,) and walking out of a Publix super market without paying for crab legs he had on him. Though this bad press will likely be talked about a lot, it does not affect the intangibles grade of Winston much. But this type of concern gives Mariota the advantage.

Advantage: Marcus Mariota

 

Both players will be competing to be the top quarterback drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft (if both declare early,) and rightfully so with their success and talent. Marcus Mariota has the edge at this point in the year, but that could easily change if Jameis Winston shows improvement in his fundamentals and accuracy.  Both of those issues are very correctable and NFL coaching could easily turn both of these players into studs. Marcus Mariota is a bit more polished, but Jameis Winston might have more upside with his frame and arm.

 

Find more from Shane P. Hallam at DraftTV.com or on twitter @ShanePHallam

2015 On the Clock Upgrades are HERE!

September 2, 2014 in On The Clock

Football season is here! To celebrate we've released upgrades to both 2015 On the Clock and On the Clock Premium!        otc-2015-upgrades-300x250-v2

We want you to be able to test On the Clock Premium for FREE for the next 2 weeks! So everyone will be using the Upgraded PREMIUM On the Clock until September 16. After that we'll release our Flash Sale information so you can continue using the Premium version through the 2015 NFL Draft for an insanely great deal if you wish!

What upgrades will you see to On the Clock? Its really everything you the fans asked for…improved algorithms, team needs displayed, saving customized Big Boards, improved trade features and much MORE!

So enjoy using 2015 On the Clock Premium for FREE until September 16 HERE!