Saturday, October 5th
Georgia Tech at No. 14 Miami (FL) 2:30 p.m. CT ESPNU, WatchESPN
Georgia Tech 2014 NFL Draft Prospects:
Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Sr., 6’-3”, 242 lbs., Round 2-3
Jemea Thomas, FS, RS Sr., 5’-9”, 195 lbs., Round 4
Miami 2014 NFL Draft Prospects:
Seantrel Henderson, OT, Sr., 6’-7”, 342 lbs., Round 2
Stephen Morris, QB, Sr., 6’-2”, 215 lbs., Round 2-3
Denzel Perryman, OLB, Jr., 6’-0”, 236 lbs., Round 2-3
Pat O’Donnell, P, RS Sr., 6’-4”, 222 lbs., Round 7
Usually at some point in these analyses, there is some mention of why the highlighted prospect at this particular position is of need to the Rams in the upcoming draft. After the last two embarrassments against the Cowboys and 49ers, though, I don’t believe it is all that necessary to convince you that there is any position that couldn’t use some bolstering in the upcoming draft.
Currently projecting to go somewhere in the fourth round, Jemea Thomas has shown a lot of admirable traits throughout his college career playing in the secondary. The unorthodox defense that Georgia Tech runs is one of the main reasons, aside from his height, that Thomas isn’t projecting into a better round. So far he has lined up at safety, cornerback, in the slot, in the box, and contributed on special teams. Some of his positive traits include his speed, agility, and tackling power. He’s been a force against the run and in zone coverage as well. He has been decent in man coverage, though he seems to play conservatively in that approach, making him vulnerable to underneath routes. With his versatility, he could likely play anywhere in the secondary at the NFL level, but at this point seems best suited in a nickel package.
A quarter of the way through the season, it is beginning to become apparent that what we’re seeing out of Sam Bradford is as good as he’ll ever be. Not to say that Bradford has played poorly throughout his career, but after toeing the line of mediocrity for more than three seasons, it looks like it is time for the Rams to start working on a contingency plan that doesn’t involve Kellen Clemens. Miami quarterback Stephen Morris could be one such option. Unlike Bradford, Morris is currently playing in a pro-style offensive system, and shows good presence stepping up into the pocket as it collapses. The Hurricane has plus arm strength, knows when to keep his eyes off of his intended receiver to throw off the defense, and is a decent athlete that adds some mobility to his game as well. Things he will need to work on to become successful in the NFL include his mechanics and footwork, which are not ideal, and are likely the main contributing factors to his lower-than-ideal completion percentage (58.2% in 2012).
No. 10 LSU at Mississippi State 6:00 p.m. CT ESPN, WatchESPN.com
LSU 2014 NFL Draft Prospects:
Anthony Johnson, DT, Jr., 6’-2”, 295 lbs., Round 1-2
La’el Collins, OG/OT, Jr., 6’-5”, 315 lbs., Round 2
Craig Loston, SS, RS Sr., 6’-1”, 209 lbs., Round 2
Zach Mettenberger, QB, RS Sr., 6’-5”, 235 lbs., Round 3
Lamin Barrow, LB, RS Sr., 6’-1”, 232 lbs., Round 4
Alfred Blue, RB, Sr., 6’-1”, 222 lbs., Round 6
J.C. Copeland, FB, Sr., 6’-0”, 270 lbs., Round 6-7
Mississippi State 2014 NFL Draft Prospects:
Gabe Jackson, OG, RS Sr., 6’-3”, 340 lbs., Round 1-2
LaDarius Perkins, RB, RS Sr., 5’-9”, 195 lbs., Round 4
Nickoe Whitley, FS, RS Sr., 6’-0”, 205 lbs., Round 5-6
This annual bout between the LSU Tigers and Mississippi State Bulldogs features two of the top guard prospects for the 2014 draft. For LSU, La’el Collins has actually moved to left tackle this year, though with the way he was beat by Georgia’s speed rushers off the edge last week, it seems he might be a better fit in the NFL as a guard. When playing as a guard, he has shown to succeed better in pass protection, and has shown a strong ability to hold his own and maintain the pocket. He has a great deal of raw power, is quick off the snap, and has great technique that makes him an absolute staple in run blocking.
For Mississippi State, Gabe Jackson has been a force on the interior line since winning a starting spot in 2010. Jackson has the ideal size of a lineman, as well as great athleticism for that size. He has been excellent throughout his career in pass protection, utilizing balance and technique that allows him to succeed against pass rushes of any kind. He has also shown great instinct and awareness before the snap to recognize different blitz packages. He has struggled a bit in run blocking so far, though, as he can have trouble moving the line against the more powerful defensive lineman, and needs to be more consistent in keeping his legs moving in order to improve in this area.
In last week’s matchup between Ohio State and Wisconsin, Buckeyes cornerback Brandon Roby had quite the rough day in pass protection. While Roby was able to break up three passes, record an interception, and compile eight total tackles, he had trouble all game covering the speedy Badgers receiver Jared Abbrederis, who was able to catch 10 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown. Badgers linebacker Chris Borland was all over the field, putting up an impressive 16 total tackles in the loss to the Buckeyes.
In Stanford’s drubbing of Washington State, Cardinal linebacker Shayne Skov had a quiet day production-wise, with a modest four tackles as the defense held the Cougars to a meager 51-yards rushing. Safety Deonne Bucannon recorded an interception and nine total tackles for Wazzu.