BFTB Scouting: College Football Week 3

Week 2 recap:

I watched some of the the Purdue-Western Illinois game, the Oklahoma-Florida State game, the Ohio State-Miami game, the Penn State-Alabama game and the SDSU-New Mexico game. Here are my notes:

  • Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan continued to be the only performer on defense for Boilers. Equipment issues kept him off the field from time to time and when he was on field he had some trouble finishing on his many, many hurries on the Western Illinois quarterback.
  • Oklahoma crushed the Florida State Seminoles. The Sooner defense wasn't out there much so it was difficult to watch all their NFL prospects on that side of the ball. However, Travis Lewis made a great INT where the TE bumped him hard and tried to come back to the QB. Lewis read the QBs eyes despite being molested and made a juggling pick with some nice return yards. I also noticed that Lewis spent a lot of time in coverage, which he'd have to do a lot of as a 3-4 ILB.
  • In that same Oklahoma game, Ryan Broyles had a couple of nice plays including a TD catch, but the Seminoles didn't put up much of a fight on any of his catches. Maybe that's his speed and elusiveness or maybe it was just bad defense.
  • Miami got beat down by Buckeyes in Columbus and looked pretty bad all around. Nobody on that team really stood out. The Miami QB, Jacory Harris, was intent on trying to throw to all these WRs who couldn't catch anything, but every time (and there weren't a lot) he went to Leonard Hankerson he'd get completion and usually a first down. Hankerson didn't look like he was doing anything too special, but he was making good catches beating really good coverage.
  • One of the Ohio State players putting the screws to the Hurricanes was Chimdi Chekwa. He had two INTs in this game. On the first one he read the eyes of Harris and easily picked off the pass due to a miscommunication between QB and WR. The second has off of a dropped pass that bounced right to him about 2 yards away. Possible bad coverage turns into pick. Not exactly stellar, but it was a nice reaction.
  • Mark Barron couldn't have had a much better night for Alabama. The safety spent the early part of the chasing down Nittany Lions and cleaning up others' messes. He made a touchdown saving tackle on a reverse that most of the Crimson Tide fooled. Later on that same drive he contributed to a Penn State fumble. In the second half he capped off his night with an interception. As Scouts Inc's Kevin Weidl summarized, "It is hard to find a Penn State drive that was not affected by Barron in some way." He's special.
  • Julio Jones is still one of my favorites, but he didn't stand out too much in this game. He did make a nice catch away from his body and I read that his route running looked improved from last year. He's also playing multiple roles on special teams this year, which is nice to see.

Here's the matchups I'm focusing on for week 3:

Cincinnati (1-1) vs North Carolina St. (2-0) - Thursday 9/16 4:30 PT (ESPN)

Nebraska (2-0) vs Washington (1-1) - Saturday 9/18 12:30 PT (ABC)

Clemson (2-0) vs Auburn (2-0) - Saturday 9/18 4:00 PT (ESPN)

Notre Dame (1-1) vs Michigan State (2-0) - Saturday 9/18 5:00 PT (ABC)

Every week I'll also ask all of you to please share what games you'll be watching and what players you'd think would look good in blue and gold or just generally impressed/disappointed you.

Cincinnati - The Bearcats had an outstanding season last year, but lost their coach to Notre Dame. They promoted their offensive coordinator to the position in order to keep the momentum from 2009 going. The offense they have is resilient, but it also lost its QB (Tony Pike) and its top WR (Mardy Gilyard) to the NFL. There is still one piece remaining that grabs the attention of those looking for future Chargers.

Armon Binns, WR, Senior, 6'3, 210 lbs (2nd round) - He was overshadowed last year by Mardy Gilyard's amazing performances last year, but he wasn't far behind as far as production goes in that Bearcat spread offense. His height, speed and bulk help make him a little better prospect than his former teammate. I'd be really surprised if you see him drop any balls in this game because his hands are elite. His competitiveness and toughness are what it keeping him out of the first round, but maybe his coaches will get to him this year and he'll improve himself enough to get the big bucks and look like a future #1 WR. The trick to keeping his production high will be the development of Cincinnati's new QB. So far Binns has been a red zone target, but is not getting as many catches as he got last year.

North Carolina St. - The Wolfpack are here because I have one player in mind to scout. Its also a primetime game where they try to remain unbeaten and take on a quality opponent. This is Philip Rivers' school, so you can also get the satisfaction that you may be watching the same game as your favorite QB.

Nate Irving, ILB, Senior, 6'1, 231 lbs (2nd - 4th rounds) - Irving is showing us his determination this year as he comes back from injuries that resulted from a car crash in 2009 that caused him to miss the entire season. With depth at this position in the 2010 draft being thin he's one of top 5 or 6 prospects at the position. He's good, but not great at a lot of things but his speed helps separate him from others. The biggest thing for him is to show that he still does all the things that scouts liked about him before the injuries.

Nebraska - The Cornhuskers are known for their defense and even with the departure Ndamakong Suh, they still have NFL talent remaining there. A couple of their top defenders may go to high for the Chargers, but we'll take a peek anyway. There's also at least one other player to keep an eye on.

Prince Amukamara, CB, Senior, 6'0, 203 lbs (1st round) - If anyone in this draft is the next Revis, Asomugha, Bailey or Woodson, then this is the guy. If the Chargers can figure out some kind of trade to get this guy or if their season somehow tanks then I want him. Probably won't happen though. I think my comparisons say enough about his skill level. He might be a tick below those guys, but he's better than Joe Haden, last year's top CB taken.

Jared Crick, DT/DE, Junior, 6'5, 288 lbs (1st round) - Crick benefited greatly from having Suh around, but he's a legit NFL prospect in his own right. What he needs to show in order to be of interest to the Chargers is that he can anchor himself and hold the point of attack. As of right now he's a high motor guy with good size that has had great production. His ability to fight through blocks and stop runners in their tracks is what makes him first round caliber.

Niles Paul, WR, Senior, 6'1, 224 lbs (3rd or 4th round) - He's got some size and good speed for the position, which he complements with good hands and a willingness to go over the middle. He's also useful in the return game and intentionally could contribute on coverage units. He needs to work on his ability to separate from defenders, which potentially he could develop while helping as a special teamer and 3rd or 4th WR who lines up in the slot. Maybe think of him as a more polished and experienced Legedu Naanee.

Washington - Washington is here for three reasons: 1. They are playing Nebraska, who I have some players to profile, 2. The game will be televised for all to see, 3. They have the odds-on favorite #1 overall pick in the draft. The Chargers won't be drafting #1 overall, but it couldn't hurt to take a look at a guy who may become the face of an NFL franchise.

Jake Locker, QB, Senior, 6'2, 229 lbs (1st round, #1 overall) - Let's get this out of the way: as a QB prospect he doesn't grade out as a Peyton Manning or even an Eli Manning at this point. He simply has a grade similar to the top prospects in the draft and he's a QB. That's not to take anything away from the kid, those guys just looked amazing during their college years. Locker is athletic, with a strong arm, toughness, the ability to scramble and pick up chunks of yards and has shown the capacity to learn over his years. He's also had to play through adversity as the Washington program has been the greatest in his time there. Teams like Buffalo, Cleveland, Washington, Seattle and Oakland have got to be drooling all over themselves to get this guy.

Clemson - I'm still sticking with my mission of profiling all the top safeties. I'm not 100% certain the Chargers will even draft one this year, but with Weddle's contract expiring and Darrell Stuckey already made inactive for the first game I want to keep my options open. Anyway, in case you haven't guessed, The Tigers' stud safety is why they are here. They also have some other defenders worth watching.

DeAndre McDaniel, S, Senior, 6'0, 216 lbs (1st or 2nd round) - McDaniel is not a free safety, he's a strong safety, but not one that will kill you in coverage. While his strength is supporting the run and making punishing tackles, he's got above average hands, great speed and good instincts when in coverage. He's just a bit stiff, so he'll never be able to transition to a true FS role. He's also got some character issues that are hopefully behind him where he was arrested for assault and battery of a 19 year old woman in June 2008.

Da'Quan Bowers, DE/OLB, Junior, 6'4 280 (1st or 2nd round) - Bowers is a versatile player. He has skills to play a number of positions in the NFL. 4-3 DT, 3-4 DE, 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB are all options for him. His strength is rushing the passer and he can do it from any of those positions. He'd be a little limited in coverage as an OLB, so his future might be as the 3-4 DE that can take on double teams and rush the passer. He's only a Junior and I have my doubts about him declaring, but still he's on the radar.

Marcus Gilchrist, CB, Senior, 5'10, 193 lbs (3rd or 4th round) - He doesn't appear to be much of a prospect as a starting CB in the league, but he could be a good nickel DB. He's got some good instincts, great football intelligence, durability and a willingness and skill to help in run support. His trouble comes with the ball in the air where he's not getting the pass breakups and interceptions you'd like to see from a top CB. That's not a big deal if you're covering and chasing down slot WRs and RBs though.

Auburn - Another team that here to provide competition for a player I like. Auburn is a ranked team with a good running game and a passing attack good enough to compete in the SEC. They aren't devoid of NFL talent, just NFL talent that we should be interested in. Also, the game is Tigers vs. Tigers. You got to love college.

Lee Ziemba, OT, Senior, 6'8, 319 lbs (late 2nd - 4th rounds) - Ziemba has potential as a possible RT in the NFL. He kind of fits the Chargers profile in that he's not a mauler, but more of a finesse blocker. His strength is in the passing game, but I think his experience with the SEC run game will help him transition in that phase when he gets to the NFL. His weakness would be against speed rushers since much of his game is based on quick reactions to what defenders are doing, which is why RT would work out well for him.

Notre Dame - The first repeat visitor. The same guys we watched last time are still worth scouting. That's WR Michael Floyd and DE/DT Ian Williams. For more on those two as well as TE prospect Kyle Rudolph you can refer to my week one article.

 

Michigan St. - The ILB position is not one that is very deep. Many are developed once they get to the NFL. However, the Spartans have one of the top ones playing for them. He'll take on a Notre Dame team that's been playing tough and get his first real challenge of the season.

Greg Jones, ILB, Senior, 6'1, 237 lbs (2nd - 4th rounds) - Jones is ranked as one of the top ILBs in college this year, but he's missing a lot of polish. He has a lot of what you want from an ILB, especially his leadership abilities and his toughness, but other areas of his game all need a little improvement for him to be a stud. He needs to be aware of cuts blocks, he needs some better gap discipline, he needs to work on his pursuit angles and can sometimes be out of position if he loses sight of the ball. These are deal breakers here, he's just a guy with a lot of talent that needs to be coached up. The will, the toughness and the competitiveness are all there though.

 

Tracking Prospects Mentioned In Previous Articles:

Prospect Name College Position Week 3 Opponent Notes
Jacquizz Rodgers Oregon St. RB Louisville
Michael Floyd Notre Dame WR Michigan State
Steadily catch 5+ passes a game, but no big performances yet.
Greg Little North Carolina WR Georgia Tech
Not yet cleared to play next game, but practicing with the team.
Terrence Toliver LSU WR Mississippi St.
Austin Pettis Boise St. WR Wyoming
Ryan Broyles Oklahoma/td> WR Air Force
Leonard Hankerson Miami/td> WR Bye
DeVier Posey Ohio State/td> WR Ohio
Julio Jones Alabama/td> WR Duke Looking for a great game out of him, unless Alabama just runs and runs
Ian Williams Notre Dame DE/DT Michigan State
Stephen Paea Oregon St. DE/DT Louisville Will be challenge be a very good Louisville running attack
Ryan Kerrigan Purdue DE/OLB Ball State
Needs to start putting up some sacks
Quan Sturdivant North Carolina ILB Georgia Tech Led the team in tackles against LSU despite not starting. Had a fumble recovery.
Ross Homan Ohio State ILB Ohio
Travis Lewis Oklahoma LB Air Force Option attack will challenge him, but not something he'd see in the NFL
Colin McCarthy Miami LB Bye
Patrick Peterson LSU CB Mississippi St.
Brandon Harris Miami CB Bye
Rashad Carmichael Virginia Tech CB East Carolina
Quinton Carter Oklahoma S Air Force
Chimdi Chekwa Ohio State/td> CB Ohio
Deunta Williams North Carolina S Georgia Tech
Not yet cleared to play next game, but practicing with the team.
Mark Barron Alabama/td> S Duke Could be another chance to get an interception or two
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