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BFTB Scouting: College Football Week 2

Week 1 recap:

I watched some of the Pittsburgh-Utah game, the Purdue-Notre Dame game, the Illinois-Missouri game and the Boise State-Virginia Tech game. I also attended the SDSU-Nichols State game. Since I'm not a real scout (I just play one on a blog) I didn't really glean a ton of information from these games. However, I did note a few things.

  • Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan is exactly what I said he was and showed plenty of his ability early in the game before Notre Dame did more to account for him.
  • Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd got to show a little bit of his ability and I liked what I saw. I still think we could use him.
  • Notre Dame TE Kyle Rudolph (remember, he's not really someone I see as a fit for the Chargers) I'm not sure should be picked in the first round. He'd be a very good TE for a team with a need there, but he's not the big matchup problem that I would want from a first round TE.
  • SDSU QB Ryan Lindley threw a great deep ball that was probably the best non-Brees throw I've seen in person.
  • Boise State OT Nate Potter didn't look like a first round or even a second round pick as a LT as at all.
  • Virginia Tech RB Ryan Williams stayed bottled up in the power running game, but in space he showed all the moves that make me and scouts think he's going to be a starting RB at the next level.
  • I didn't get to see Oregon State - TCU, but from a scouting perspective it didn't seem like anything new could be learned. The Rodgers' still looked good. No breakout performance for Andy Dalton. And Paea did his thing.
  • The UNC - LSU game was a bust for pro-scouting because of all the missing UNC players. Still, the players I mentioned will be playing the rest of the season and I know I'll catch them later down the road.

Here's the matchups I'm focusing on for week 2:

Florida St. (1-0) vs Oklahoma (1-0) - Saturday 9/11 12:30 PT (ABC)

Miami (1-0) vs Ohio St. (1-0) - Saturday 9/4 12:40 PT (ESPN)

Penn St. (1-0) vs Alabama (1-0) - Saturday 9/4 4:00 PT (ESPN)

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.

Florida St. - Truthfully, the Seminoles are only here because they are top notch competition for Oklahoma's bevy of prospects. It promises to be a good game featuring two of the better collegiate teams, but I don't see anyone from this team being drafted by the Chargers. Instead I'll quickly introduce their top 2 prospects.

Rodney Hudson. OG, Senior, 6'2, 277 lbs (1st or 2nd round) - Barely recruited out of high school, Hudsons work ethic is what propelled him to being called one of the best offensive lineman in FSU history. His awareness, pass blocking, run blocking and on-field communication skills all get the highest marks.

Christian Ponder, QB, Senior, 6'2, 221 lbs (1st - 3rd rounds) - The best qualities about Ponder are that he's mobile and tough (mentally and physically). However, he needs this season to show that he's capable of making good decisions on the field and no longer do the things that aren't acceptable at the next level (telegraphing throws, forcing the ball, not finding secondary receivers, scrambling too early, etc.). Scouts see the raw talent there, it just has to be molded. I could see him going in any round of the draft because so much rides on what he does this season.

Oklahoma - This is a team I may come back to a couple of times this year because they have a few guys that would look good in blue and gold and they are ranked in top ten.

Travis Lewis, OLB, Junior, 6'2, 232 lbs (1st or 2nd round) - Lewis plays OLB for Oklahoma, but I'm thinking he could be a fit at ILB in the 3-4. He's has great awareness and can play in zone coverage where he can read the QB's eyes and make some plays on the ball. At the same time he can shoot through gaps to make a tackle in the running game or on the pass rush.  The name of his game right is speed and awareness, but he may have to bulk up and get a little tougher at the next level. That being said, he's tough enough to have played in every game of his collegiate career so far. He might be my favorite Potential Charger Defensive Prospect.

Quinton Carter, S, Senior, 6'1, 197 lbs (2nd round) - Carter hasn't quite earned a first round (yet), but he is one of the top 3 or 4 Safety prospects in the college ranks this year. He's physical and he's aggressive, but he's also able to play man-to-man with a slot receiver. He's not a burner out there and his ball skills aren't perfect, however he's more than just an in-the-box hit-and-punish safety. He seems to be a good character guy because off the field he started a foundation for underprivileged kids.

Jeremy Beal, DE/OLB, Senior, 6'3, 263 lbs (2nd or 3rd round) - More than just a pass rusher Beal seems to have the skills to become a 3-4 OLB. He's got a great motor, excellent football intelligence, strong tackling skills and above average speed for the position all on top of his nice array of pass rushing moves. He's shown some ability to cover one-on-one, which would be required at times as a 3-4 OLB, so he won't be too much of a project in that regards. The Chargers could do a lot worse than Jeremy Beal (cough, Jyles Tucker, cough).

DeMarco Murray, RB, Senior, 6'1, 217 lbs (2nd or 3rd round) - I don't think the Chargers will draft a RB like Murray in the 2nd or 3rd round, but the Sooner Senior's biggest problem has been injuries and perhaps that would drop him low enough for the Bolts to take a chance. Murray would be a good 3rd down back in the league because his abilities in the passing game are exceptional. His other skills as a running back are good, but not really complete enough to warrant becoming the main tailback for a playoff caliber team. He's a good college RB though and he'll play a big part in the game.

Adrian Taylor, DE/DT, Senior, 6'4, 298 lbs (2nd or 3rd round) - When I read the reports on Taylor I immediately think of him as being one of the better 3-4 DE prospects in the draft this year. He has a good build for the position. He also has the ability to anchor the line at the point of attack and split double teams. He's not a great pass rusher, but he's got enough moves in his arsenal that he could be more than just your average 3-4 DE.

Ryan Broyles, WR, Junior, 5'11, 178 lbs (3rd or 4th round)  - Broyles does not fit the description of your prototypical Chargers WR, but the guy is a playmaker and will be a huge part of the Oklahoma offense this season. He's been described as quick rather than fast and that skill helps him to be one of the best slot receiver prospects and a good punt returner. He's also fearless over the middle and eager to throw out a big block for a teammate. He's the type of guy that could become a fan favorite.

Miami - "The U" is not quite the football powerhouse it was a few decades ago and its not even the NFL factory that was still churning out All Pros into the mid 2000s. However, this set of Hurricanes is not a second rate group and their presence will be felt in the 2011 draft. Maybe even in the Chargers draft room. As a side note I'm going to skip over their top pro prospect, DE Allen Bailey, because I think he's not a fit for the Chargers and he should get drafted too high. Another big time name at Miami is Junior QB Jacory Harris. Harris may be a quality Heisman candidate, but he's not a good NFL prospect (late round at best) and would not be a fit for the Chargers offense. Finally, there's Senior RB Graig Cooper who is a good pro prospect at RB, but will go in the 1st or 2nd round where the Chargers won't be looking for a RB (He's also injured and unlikely to play in this weekend's game).

Orlando Franklin, OT, Senior, 6'6, 318 lbs (1st round) - It's probably a pipe dream to expect Franklin to be available when the Chargers pick, but for now his grade is that of a late first rounder. Typically, good offensive tackles with that type of grade come off the board quickly. The main thing for Franklin this year will be learning the LT tackle position. Franklin has never missed a game in his Miami career, but he's also only played one game at LT. He'll be tested this year, but scouts think he's up to the challenge and the payoff will be first round money.

Brandon Harris, CB, Junior, 5'10, 193 lbs (1st or 2nd round) - Harris is on the smaller end of what you'd like an NFL corner to be, but he has enough ability to make up for it and be a 1st round pick. He does not produce a lot of interception, but his coverage ability is good enough to make it tough for the QB to find a window to throw to. He's also the son of a top high school football coach, so you know he's got football smarts. He'll get a good test this weekend since Ohio State has a couple high quality wide receivers and a quarterback that can get them the ball.

Colin McCarthy, ILB/OLB, Senior, 6'2, 240 lbs (3rd round) - Colin McCarthy plays a lot of outside linebacker, but is an inside linebacker as far as the Chargers are concerned. That's backed up by his lack of sack production, but makes up for it by having good instincts that help him in the run game and in zone coverage. He's not a great athlete so he shouldn't be asked to cover a TE one on one, but he's a solid prospect and will certainly contribute on special teams.

Leonard Hankerson, WR, Senior, 6'2, 213 lbs (middle rounds) - Hankerson seems to me to be a bit underrated at this point. Of course, Scouts tend to frown upon wide receivers who lack focus catching the ball. It seems to me that its more of a mental problem than a physical one. He can make great catches and can hold onto the ball in traffic, but will sometimes drop routine passes. I think Charlie Joiner could fix that. His speed and size are assets when throwing deep and with a little work he could be an elite deep threat for the Chargers.

Ohio St. - The Buckeyes are trying to overcome a bad rap that they've picked up in the last few years. In big games they've been called slow and undermanned. In the NFL players like the disappointing Vernan Gholston or the unspectacular Chris "Beanie" Wells and Malcom Jenkins have made people continue to question the talent at their program. I think these ideas a re bit overblown and one look at the list of Buckeye players in the NFL makes me think that the program is doing just fine. Quality NFL talent will be on display Saturday against the Miami Hurricanes and the Chargers would be wise to look at it for some future help.

Cameron Heyward, DE, Junior, 6'5, 278 lbs (1st round) - Is Cameron Heyward just another Vernan Gholston? Will he be available when the Chargers pick? I don't know the answer to either of those questions. What I do know is that scouts say that Heyward, son of former NFL FB Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, projects as a potential 3-4 DE with a little bulking up. He's strong at the point of attack, his active hands help him penetrate past offensive lineman and he has the strength, quickness and agility to knock guards and tackles back on their heels. He could be the next Richard Seymour.

Ross Homan, ILB, Senior, 6'0, 232 lbs (2nd round) - Homan might be the most polished NFL ILB prospect. He's actually playing the position this year (unlike Trevor Lewis) and he's not an athlete looking to develop into the position (like Quan Sturdivant), but will probably go after both of those players in the 2011 draft. He's a powerful tackler who is excellent in zone coverage, stays disciplined in run defense and can patrol sideline to sideline. He's not a great pass rusher though and can have trouble moving through traffic. He gets a great test against Miami trying to track down Jacory Harris and Graig Cooper while dealing with some high quality offensive linemen.

DeVier Posey, WR, Junior,  6'2, 200 lbs (3rd round) - Posey's game is dependent on speed. He uses his top end speed and his ability to change geers quickly to elude defenders and get open. He can also use it to explode after the catch and pick up some YAC. However, he's not a polished route runner and he shies from contact. He's got that NFL WR attitude already so I wouldn't be surprise if he declares for the 2011 draft, but I would wait if I were him. Not ideal for the Chargers, but might have to much potential to pass up at a position that's not exactly stable right now.

Chimdi Chekwa, CB, Senior, 5'11, 192 lbs (3rd round) - Ohio State has build up a tradition of producing NFL CBs over the past decade or so and Checkwa is the next one to join their ranks. However, at this point scouts don't see him being as productive as his older brethren. He's basically good, but not great. A strong performance this year (including this game where he matches up with Hankerson) could change that perception. There are also two other Senior DBs on the team that could step up and continue the NFL tradition if Chekwa doesn't: S Jermale Hines and CB Devon Torrance. Hines and Torrance are both NFL prospects, but not the caliber of Chekway... yet.

Penn St. - Much like Florida State, the Nitany Lions are here because they representation top competition for some of the Alabama prospects. However, the Nitany Lions do have a talented RB worth watch and a mid rounds prospect that could interest the Chargers. Of course, they are also a candidate to come to Southern California for the Rose Bowl and have an outside shot at being in National Title game.

Evan Royster, RB, Senior, 6'0, 212 lbs (2nd - 4th round) - Royster is more of a grind than most of the other top backs in the 2011 draft class. He's not quite as big, but he could be compared to form Penn St. RB Larry Johnson in style alone. Although, he might also be called a poor man's Larry Johnson given how good Johnson's early pro career was and how Royster projects to the next level. He wouldn't be Darren Sproles, but he could be a backup RB for the Chargers I suppose.

Jack Crawford, DE/OLB, Junior, 6'5, 256 lbs (middle rounds) - Crawford is only a junior, but he's also raw since he was born in England and didn't play football until his junior year of high school. So, he could break out, move his stock up and end up declaring. Or, he could just be a guy we wait on until 2012. He projects best as a 3-4 OLB and has the work ethic to make that transition. He's got a high motor on the field and can get the most out of his abilities. He just needs to play catchup with his technique.

Alablama - The National Champions had to play their first game without Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and he may miss this game as well. That's okay, because he's first round bound and shouldn't be a guy the Chargers are targeting. Another top prospect, DT Marcell Dareus, is suspended for the game. He could play DE in the 3-4, but another team will take him as a 4-3 DT before the Chargers likely pick. However, this talented team still has a couple of pro prospects to keep BFTB scouts interested.

Julio Jones, WR, Junior, 6'4, 211 lbs (1st or 2nd round) - Assuming he declares, Jones is on the short list for players I'd want the Chargers to consider using a 1st round pick on. He a big body at the WR position that can still run well. He becomes a huge problem for defenses when he goes deep because he can run, establish position and make the tough catch and he can do it in big moments. His size and decent hands also make him useful in the short and intermediate game. He's also a good and willing run blocker. He's active in the community and a good citizen. Last week he had a highlight reel grab that's worth checking out.

Mark Barron, S, Junior, 6'1, 210 lbs (1st or 2nd round) -Barron is as close as you seem to get these days to an all around Safety. He can play coverage, holding his own in zone defense and is aggressive at the line of scrimmage at bump-and-run. His weakness is in man-to-man coverage on shiftier slot receivers. He's a big hitter, but can be prone to over-pursuing at times. He's good at tracking the ball and can come away with the interception. Like Julio Jones he's a good character guy.


Tracking Prospects Mentioned In Previous Articles:

Prospect Name College Position Week 2 Opponent Notes
Jacquizz Rodgers Oregon St. RB Bye
Michael Floyd Notre Dame WR Michigan
Greg Little North Carolina WR Bye Suspended Indefinitely
Terrence Toliver LSU WR Vanderbilt
Austin Pettis Boise St. WR Bye
Nate Potter Boise St. OT Bye Terrible game has me reconsidered his OT prospects
Ian Williams Notre Dame DE/DT Michigan
Stephen Paea Oregon St. DE/DT Bye
Ryan Kerrigan Purdue DE/OLB Western Illinois
Quan Sturdivant North Carolina ILB Bye Was cleared to play against LSU, no longer under investigation
Patrick Peterson LSU CB Vanderbilt
Rashad Carmichael Virginia Tech CB James Madison
Deunta Williams North Carolina S Bye Not yet cleared to play next game