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Old 06.12.2009, 09:31 PM
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Default Week 14 ESPNA Games Draftable Senior Prospects Review

Basically five Championship games for us this week and four of them were superb. Which of the senior prospects stood up and made big plays in these big games and which didn't show up on the big stage. Here goes with the week 14 review.

Oregon State at Oregon

Oregon State

Sean Canfield – QB - 6-4 - 215 - # 5 - Canfield is a classic tall, pocket passer. Indeed he looks a bit like Ryan Mallett of Arkansas stood back there. Canfield is a fast rising prospect and you can see why. He has a strong arm and hangs in the pocket as long as possible before delivering the ball. He has nice touch too - demonstrating that on a couple of throws against zones where he placed the ball over the LB to hit his receiver perfectly. He takes drops from Center and has decent footwork. On the negative side - the placement of a few out routes wasn't so good - he put them inside too much and if Oregon didn't have Thurmond and Glasper out through injury one or two of those may have been broken up or picked off. But overall, he looks very draftable and if he shows up well in a post season game he might just keep climbing draft boards.

Keaton Kristick – LBO - 6-3 – 230 - # 32 - Kristick is very active - he is quick and used that quickness to get around blocks. He loves to hit but often doesn't wrap and this results in missed tackles - was run over by Blount on one occasion. Reads the game well and despite being a big hitter, doesn't play out of control - would love to see him wrap up more though. Does OK getting off blocks - has his hands up to do so. Decent prospect.

Oregon

LeGarrette Blount – RB - 6-1 – 240 - # 9 - Blount is often a little slow to get going - but once he does he is very tough to bring down. In limited carries you could see his power and also he does build up a head of steam after a few yards - running over Keaton Kristick on one play. Clearly off the field issues will come into play, but he has on the field talent.

Ed Dickson – TE - 6-4 – 243 - # 83 - I've noted before that Dickson drifts in and out of games - he made big plays against Arizona, but in this one he was not in the game at all. He dropped a high pass early and that was it in the passing game in this one. Blocking wise he struggled a bit - releasing his blocks far too early. Concerning he didn't show up in this one.

T.J. Ward - DB-FS - 5-10 – 201 - # 2 - Ward plays deep center field, so most times he doesn't show up on the TV picture. He broke up a pass and blew up a running play (although missing the tackle), but really difficult to judge.


Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

Cincinnati

Alex Daniels – DE - 6-3 – 259 - # 49 - looked better rushing the passer than against the run. Was in on a sack with a nice swim move and also got a QB pressure as he got off his man and pursued the rolling QB. Undersized to be playing as a 3-4 DE - as such struggled to get off blocks in the run game. Would like to see him in a 4-3.

Mardy Gilyard – WR - 6-0 – 187 - # 1 - just as you thought the Panthers were running away with the game up stepped Gilyard and returned the kick off 99 yards for a TD. This is what I mean about big time players - the ability to step up and make a play when your team needs it the most can't be coached - you have it or you don't. Also had other dangerous returns. Very dangerous after the catch - able to cut quickly and has good speed. Didn't look natural as a receiver - dropped a couple of passes and bobbled another - but still a fine performance and a top prospect - might be the best senior WR prospect - his hands aren't much better than other but his return ability puts him above the others.

Jeff Linkenbach – OT - 6-6 – 312 - # 71 - I can see Linkenbach sliding inside to G as he showed some power and drive blocking ability in this one. Also showed he can get to the second level - under control squarring up to his man. He struggled against speed on the edge, but a move inside would negate that problem.

Ricardo Mathews – DT - 6-2 – 295 - # 90 - has raw power - just threw his blocker off on a number of occasions making several tackles for little or no gain. Has better 3-4 size than Daniels. Didn't show up that much as a pass rusher, but with his physical ability could be coached up. Might not be able to contribute right away, but has the tools and is worth a look.

Tony Pike – QB - 6-6 – 226 - # 15 - on a couple of throws Pike's arm didn't look the best - a throw back across the field and a deep post were under thrown and that is a concern. At times he looked lost under heavy pressure but just when you were ready to write him off he comes back and throws the game winning TD. Credit him for battling through a tough game and coming up with the win.

Aaron Webster - DB-FS - 6-2 – 211 - # 17 - Webster was extremely active and had himself a very nice game. He showed good range by making two plays on the sideline and also broke on a pass nicely to get an interception. He was also very active against the run making several tackles, including forcing two fumbles. Looks the part too - well put together.

Pittsburgh

Nate Byham – TE - 6-4 – 265 - # 80 - Byham only had one short reception, but was very effective as a blocker. He showed ability to move people off the line as well as seal the edge effectively. Also used in pass protection, where he was also effective. Ideal for a two TE team as a blocker and short range receiver.

Dorin Dickerson - TE/HB - 6-2 – 230 - # 2 - just like Ed Dickson, Dickerson didn't really get into the game this week - he ran a couple of deep routes, but he was shut out other than a swing pass he caught for no gain. As a blocker he ducks his head and loses his man - although he did show he can seal the edge.

Bill Stull – QB - 6-3 – 215 - # 11 - a couple of times his passes looked really nice - thrown with authority and had good zip on them. His 22 yd TD throw was also nice. He is inconsistent though - his accuracy is off too much and on the Webster interception, he was staring at his receiver allowing Webster to get a nice break on the ball for the interception. Late round type.

Joe Thomas – OG - 6-4 – 295 - # 56 - Thomas is a waist bender, which gives him problems - he's off balance too much and gets thrown off - or in the open field means he misses too many blocks. In pass protection he is fairly effective despite not having great technique - he does get pushed back some, but generally holds his own. Is able to square up and seal effectively. Late rounder.

Mick Williams – DT - 6-1 – 282 - # 95 - Williams is very active and looks a decent prospect. At 282 he's undersized, so will need to play in the right system - probably a one gapper who can penetrate and disrupt. He's very quick off the ball and has a very nice quick, tight spin move which he used to good effect - he also has a nice swim move.

Continued below
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Old 06.12.2009, 09:33 PM
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Alabama vs Florida (SEC Championship Game)

Alabama

Javier Arenas - DB-CB - 5-9 – 198 - # 28 - it's rare anyone throws at Arenas and that was the case again this week. He was beaten by a fake block-then go move which went for a TD - but was able to get an interception in zone coverage. Had a couple of decent kick off returns.

Terrence Cody – NT - 6-4 – 365 - # 62 - Cody was again largely quiet in this one as Florida went outside more often than not. He had one QB pressure and one tackle in the run game - but otherwise was controlled by the interior of the Florida line - or just couldn't get outside. Clearly his presence made Florida do away with the inside dive plays and shovel passes they so often use, so although he didn't show up much I think he helped his team.

Drew Davis – OT - 6-7 – 305 - # 79 - Davis was only beaten outside one time by Cunningham, which was pretty good as we have seen Davis struggle before against speed off the edge. He released a couple of run blocks too early - at times his technique breaks down and he bends at the waist - but other than that I thought he had a pretty effective game.

Brandon Deaderick – DE - 6-4 – 296 - # 95 - had a pretty quiet game, only making the one play on a screen pass. Struggled to get off blocks all day.

P.J. Fitzgerald – P - 5-11 – 198 - # 7 - only had two punts and both were a little short - he did make a nice tackle on James on one return which saved a TD.

Marquis Johnson - DB-CB - 5-11 – 192 - # 24 - nickel back - was beaten on a deep up, but got away with it as the ball went elsewhere - but did manage to break up a 15 yard pass with tight coverage. Tough to judge in limited action.

Mike Johnson – OG - 6-5 – 305 - # 78 - Johnson was fairly effective in this one - he was used as a pulling guard a fair bit and is able to get to the second level and engage effectively. He does lose technique and bend at the waist at times and also when the play went away from him in this one he just went for "get in the way blocks" rather than squaring up and wearing down his opponent physically and mentally.

Colin Peek – TE - 6-5 – 255 - # 84 - Peek kind of reminds me of the two guys Alabama had at TE last year - not a top blocker and not a great athlete - but able to make some plays. His touchdown reception was a good example - he didn't look real fast on the play, but he got open, caught the pass in his hands and got into the end zone for the score. Caught another two passes - both with his hands away from his body. Not an overpowering blocker - does get to the second level and engage though.

Leigh Tiffin – PK - 6-1 – 212 - # 99 - Tiffin continued his inconsistent play this week with a missed extra point, which might have been costly. He was able to nail two FG's though - one from 48 yards, which although not overpowering, was still good with a few yards to spare. His kick offs were consistent this week though - all at or around the goal line.

Justin Woodall - DB-SS - 6-1 – 220 - # 27 - had a couple of tackles, but also two missed tackles (including being stiff armed by Tebow) - didn't really show up.

Florida

Riley Cooper – WR - 6-3 – 215 - # 11 - Cooper has the athletic ability to get deep - he's also very dangerous after the catch. He's not able to really dominate games though and his hands aren't completely reliable - with two drops in this one and another which I would have liked to see a top prospect catch. Will get drafted fairly high because of his speed - but I like to see top WR prospects catch everything thrown at them and Cooper doesn't.

Jermaine Cunningham – DE - 6-3 – 252 - # 49 - Cunningham did nothing to change my mind that he's a one trick pony in this one. He used his outside speed to rush the passer effectively and had a sack and a couple of pressures. However - he shows no other pass rush moves - no spin or inside move and I think these type of players struggle against NFL OT's. In the run game he was a non factor.

Brandon James – RB/WR - 5-7 – 186 - # 25 - almost broke a punt return - reversing his field and having the punter tackle him. Lined up at WR and caught a short out in his hands. Didn't play second half - stress fracture in right foot.

Brandon Spikes – LBI - 6-3 – 256 - # 51 - Spikes was limping around out there, so judging him on his performance is probably unfair. Made a couple of downhill type plays where he read and flew up - but struggled to get off blocks in this one. Credit to him for playing hurt though.

Ryan Stamper – LBO - 6-2 – 235 - # 41 - had a poor game - couldn't get off blocks and was beaten for a TD in coverage by Peek. Will need to show more to get drafted - more likely FA type.

Tim Tebow – QB - 6-3 – 245 - # 15 - over the course of the season, I've come to the conclusion that Tebow cannot play QB in a pro style offense and in this one I was given real evidence of that. Alabama did a great job of containing him in the pocket and negating his running ability - they said to Tebow "beat us as a pocket passer" and clearly Tebow wasn't able to do that. Under pressure he has a nasty habit of dropping deeper and deeper in the pocket - instead of making his read and getting rid of the ball. He also stares down his receivers and with his rather wind up delivery allows people to get a jump on his passes. Threw an interception with a very flat throw, where he needed to show touch over the CB in the zone. I know he's one of the greatest college players ever, but I wouldn't draft him unless I needed a wildcat type run QB with a few passes thrown in.

Nebraska vs Texas (Big 12 Championship Game)

Nebraska

Larry Asante - DB-SS - 6-0 – 215 - # 4 - Asante was fairly active against run - being in on a few tackles - but he did have the late horse collar penalty that pushed Texas into FG range.

Jacob Hickman – OC - 6-4 – 292 - # 67 - I didn't think Hickman played quite as well as I have seen before this season. His technique wasn't as good as I've seen before - he was lunging at people too much in this one and bending at the waist. I do like him as a prospect - he's able to get to the second level and is a hard worker, but I'm a touch concerned with his break downs in technique in this one.

Ndamukong Suh – DT - 6-4 - 302 - # 93 - as the number 1 pick in the draft gets paid more and more money - it's become that even if the team with the top pick wants to move down, they stand no chance. This year just maybe someone might want to move up because they will get to draft this guy. He's simply the top prospect by a mile - unblockable against pass and run - strong - fast in the open (looked like a LB on one play - got himself under control and then delivered a big hit). Up against a draftable Center in Chris Hall - made him look like a freshman. Superb.

Continued below
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Old 06.12.2009, 09:34 PM
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Nebraska vs Texas (continued)

Texas

Chris Hall – OC - 6-4 – 298 - # 71 - as mentioned above, Hall was up against Suh for much of the day and struggled against a great player. Of course you don't come up against these guys every week even in the NFL! Was reduced to leaving his feet too much, which didn't really do the trick either! Lost technique a number of times lunging at his man - got to the second level OK, but again lunged at his man there also. Will hope he never come up against Suh again!

Lamarr Houston – DT - 6-2 – 300 - # 33 - Houston again had a nice game. He made several plays in the running game - getting off blocks well and showing the speed to get to the sideline and make plays. He also showed up as a pass rusher - with a good bull rush as well as using his quickness to get around his man. Over the season has been pretty consistent.

Sergio Kindle – LBO - 6-4 – 255 - # 2 - Kindle was playing right up on the line most of the game - either with his hand down or standing up - he's been used off the line some in previous weeks. Kindle showed his pass rushing skills in this one again - having the ability to turn the corner and pressure. He also made a TFL getting off the ball very quickly. He showed a nice spin move tackling the QB on a designed draw. Where as a guy like Eric Norwood of South Carolina I like best up at the line - I think I like Kindle maybe a little better in space than used as he was this week.

Hunter Lawrence – PK - 6-0 – 187 - # 15 - you can't get many better tests of a kicker than a 46 yard field goal with 1 second left to win the Big 12 title - that's what Lawrence had and he passed with flying colours, making the kick with plenty of distance. We will now have to see what his kick offs are like in whatever all-star game he gets invited to.

Colt McCoy – QB - 6-2 – 212 - # 12 - had a game much like Tony Pike - struggled for the most part, but was able to move the team enough late to get into position for the win (although what he was doing on the play before the FG I really don't know!). A winner. Struggled under constant pressure in this one - showed the flaw that he throws flat footed when under pressure - relies on his arm and that won't cut it at the next level as it's an OK arm, but not powerful enough to make throws without really stepping into them. Can see him throwing quite a few interceptions under pressure if he doesn't get out of that. A couple of nice punts though - a nice weapon to have.

Roddrick Muckelroy – LBO - 6-2 – 235 - # 38 - Muckelroy looks fairly slight despite being listed at 235. He is an explosive player though - I like the way he moves under control, then just explodes into the tackle. Reads the game well - makes plays against screens. Likes contact - is he big enough to play this way at the next level? Would like to see him get bigger.

Jordan Shipley – WR - 6-0 – 190 - # 8 - Shipley was fairly quiet again this week - although he did make a catch leading to the winning FG. Caught most of his passes in his body - needs to get his hands out in front and catch away from his body.

Adam Ulatoski – OT - 6-6 – 310 - # 74 - Ulatoski struggled for the second week in a row and must be falling down draft boards. He really struggles with speed and power off the edge - his feet just aren't quick enough and at times he just uses his long arms to try and turn his man up and away from the QB. He also doesn't bend at the knees and thus his man is able to get under him and win the leverage battle.

Clemson vs Georgia Tech (ACC Championship Game)

Clemson

Thomas Austin – OG - 6-3 – 310 - # 65 - Austin had a really nice game. He was used as a pulling G on a numer of occasions and did well getting to the second level and making his block. In close quarters, he got himself square to his man and held his run blocks very well. His pass protection was also good - nice technique and also was able to pick up stunts inside nicely.

Crezdon Butler - DB-CB - 6-0 – 185 - # 18 - last week Butler wasn't thrown at much - but Tech weren't afraid to do so and Butler didn't hold up too well. The big play on him was a stop-go move which he bit on - but then missed the tackle after the catch. Also had two other balls caught on him and was called for pass interference, getting there too early on the play. Nice to see him tested, even though he struggled.

Chris Chancellor - DB-CB - 5-10 – 172 - # 38 - didn't see him on the field that much, so tough to judge.

Kavell Conner – LBO - 6-1 – 235 - # 33 - Conner took a little while to get the feel of the option - but then did show up more with a few tackles. He did struggle in coverage however, letting a RB get behind him on two plays.

Jacoby Ford – WR - 5-11 – 185 - # 6 - Ford was pretty quiet in this one - with only 3 fairly short receptions. He did have the chance to make a big play for a TD, but dropped the pass after the CB just got his hand on his facemask to distract him as the ball was about to arrive.

Ricky Sapp – LBO - 6-4 - 248 - # 7 - Sapp showed good hand use and was able to show his speed around the edge with a couple of QB pressures and a sack. Clearly not the kind of offense he'll come up against at the next level, but he held up on the edge fairly well.

C.J. Spiller – RB - 5-11 - 195 - # 28 - playing hurt - so one can only wonder what he might have done if 100%!! A threat to take it the distance every time he touched the ball. Able to get through a crack very quickly - has great speed and quickness - able to change direction in a flash. Credit for playing hurt, but durability is really the only concern I would have about him. Playmaker.

Georgia Tech

Sedric Griffin – LBO - 5-11 – 234 - # 54 - struggled to make an impact on the game. Couldn't match Spiller's speed to the edge and struggled to get off blocks.

Cord Howard – OG - 6-5 – 305 - # 71 - able to get to the second level and makes blocks nicely, but the nature of the offense means he's leaving his feet much of the time, which isn't my thing.

Prospect of the Week: Ndamukong Suh - DT - Nebraska (and he'd be my Heisman vote too!)

Later Round Prospect of the Week: Thomas Austin - OG - Clemson
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Old 06.12.2009, 09:54 PM
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Nebraska vs Texas (continued)

Clemson vs Georgia Tech (ACC Championship Game)

Clemson

Thomas Austin – OG - 6-3 – 310 - # 65 - Austin had a really nice game. He was used as a pulling G on a numer of occasions and did well getting to the second level and making his block. In close quarters, he got himself square to his man and held his run blocks very well. His pass protection was also good - nice technique and also was able to pick up stunts inside nicely.

Crezdon Butler - DB-CB - 6-0 – 185 - # 18 - last week Butler wasn't thrown at much - but Tech weren't afraid to do so and Butler didn't hold up too well. The big play on him was a stop-go move which he bit on - but then missed the tackle after the catch. Also had two other balls caught on him and was called for pass interference, getting there too early on the play. Nice to see him tested, even though he struggled.

Chris Chancellor - DB-CB - 5-10 – 172 - # 38 - didn't see him on the field that much, so tough to judge.

Kavell Conner – LBO - 6-1 – 235 - # 33 - Conner took a little while to get the feel of the option - but then did show up more with a few tackles. He did struggle in coverage however, letting a RB get behind him on two plays.

Jacoby Ford – WR - 5-11 – 185 - # 6 - Ford was pretty quiet in this one - with only 3 fairly short receptions. He did have the chance to make a big play for a TD, but dropped the pass after the CB just got his hand on his facemask to distract him as the ball was about to arrive.

Ricky Sapp – LBO - 6-4 - 248 - # 7 - Sapp showed good hand use and was able to show his speed around the edge with a couple of QB pressures and a sack. Clearly not the kind of offense he'll come up against at the next level, but he held up on the edge fairly well.

C.J. Spiller – RB - 5-11 - 195 - # 28 - playing hurt - so one can only wonder what he might have done if 100%!! A threat to take it the distance every time he touched the ball. Able to get through a crack very quickly - has great speed and quickness - able to change direction in a flash. Credit for playing hurt, but durability is really the only concern I would have about him. Playmaker.
Great write-up again. I was down at the ACCCG so if I may piggy back on my Clemson boys:

Austin - He struggled against Morgan, again showed he must improve on his footwork in pass protection at the next level. He did a good job on run blocking.

Butler and Chancellor were non factors really, the came up to make tackles when they had to and there was not a lot of pass coverage for them in the game.

Conner with the rest of the linebackers were poor. They were slow to react and bit on counter plays. They were the weakest unit on the field. The two point conversion try by Nesbitt was an example of out of place LBs

Ricky Sapp had a good game, he sealed the end a number of times to force the runs inside and also reacted well on plays between the tackles when he was asked to stunt inside.

CJ Spiller is just purely awesome. It has been a pleasure to watch this man in the flesh. He has my Heisman vote - done sealed and sent. He is a game changer and a team player - can't wait to see him play at the next level. He will be placed in the Clemson Ring of Honor next year (normally takes 7 years) and his #28 jersey will be retired - never to be worn again at Clemson. A fitting tribute to the best player ever to "Touch the Rock".
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Old 07.12.2009, 09:17 AM
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Great stuff Duesouth, always enjoy reading your analysis of the weekend's play.

I'd like to hear your opinion on two juniors that look certain to declare early, Florida CB Joe Haden and Georgia Tech RB Jonathan Dwyer.

I've seen Haden's name feature a number of times in the top-10 of mock drafts for the 2010 draft. Is he the best CB in this year's crop? Dwyer has impressed me every time I've seen him and his name has been mentioned a number of times in relation to Seattle's late first round pick.
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Old 07.12.2009, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Lord_Levy View Post
Great stuff Duesouth, always enjoy reading your analysis of the weekend's play.

I'd like to hear your opinion on two juniors that look certain to declare early, Florida CB Joe Haden and Georgia Tech RB Jonathan Dwyer.

I've seen Haden's name feature a number of times in the top-10 of mock drafts for the 2010 draft. Is he the best CB in this year's crop? Dwyer has impressed me every time I've seen him and his name has been mentioned a number of times in relation to Seattle's late first round pick.
Cheers Lord Levy!

I like Dwyer - if he comes out, it would be between him and Spiller for the top RB I think - he's different to Spiller, so it might come down to what type of back you want. Dwyer is well built at 235 and he's strong - you saw on Saturday how he drives his legs and can break tackles and move the pile. He's also fast for his size - that combination is exciting. I would say he'd be a first round pick - RB's might start in the mid/late regions of the first round, so anywhere from 15 to 32 I would imagine.

I also like Haden - he's got good speed and his coverage ability is excellent - reads the QB and can break on the ball and make plays. I also like the fact he's willing in run support and will deliver a hit. He's not the tallest, so teams will want to see his vertical jump at the combine should he come out - but top 10 wouldn't be unrealistic if that checks out. I would certainly put him above any of the CB's in the Senior class (although I've yet to see Lindley of Kentucky, Ghee of Wake Forest or Owusu-Ansah of Indiana (PA) who dislocated his shoulder last month - so hopefully he'll be OK for the Shrine Game or Senior Bowl where he will have the chance to move up boards).
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Old 10.12.2009, 01:23 PM
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Hi DS

I only mamnged to watch the Bama and Florida game.
Interested in your comments about Cody, as I was surprised at his althleticism, for such a big fella. Yes Florida were frightened to run at him, but he was still hustling and gatting involed on the edge of many plays.

Who do you think did themselves most good in that game? Draft wise.
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Old 11.12.2009, 08:21 AM
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Hi DS

I only mamnged to watch the Bama and Florida game.
Interested in your comments about Cody, as I was surprised at his althleticism, for such a big fella. Yes Florida were frightened to run at him, but he was still hustling and gatting involed on the edge of many plays.

Who do you think did themselves most good in that game? Draft wise.
Hi NS,

Cody does try and actually seems like a nice kid. I think he's a second, maybe even third tier prospect as he lacks that burst off the ball and athletic ability that BJ Raji had last year and a Haloti Ngata type 3 or 4 years back. So I would expect him to go off the board anywhere from mid/late first round on (depending on who comes out early). I personally wouldn't touch him in round one if I was a GM, but that's just me.

However, if he can lose weight between now and April that will push him higher and demonstrate a commitment to football and being a better player as even 20-30 lbs lighter he'll move better - so those plays where he throws off his blocker and gets in the backfield he'll have more chance of making the play, rather than just someone bouncing outside. Example in this one was when he threw off his man and pressured Tebow - Tebow just kinda shuffled sideways and easily avoided the pressure. That was also one of the rare times I've seen him create pressure as well - so another negative is that he's one dimensional - doesn't even push the pocket much on passing plays. I think his reputation in the media is higher than he is regarded by pro scouts - we'll see in April, but I think in media eyes he's going to drop on Draft day.

In terms of who did themselves the most good - I would say Drew Davis, Alabama's OT. Up against Jermaine Cunningham this will be a game scouts will put on to see what he's got and he did well, only really having a problem once in the game. He seems to have improved over the season, so I think he could push himself up to the middle rounds - of course in his next game he'll have to worry about Sergio Kindle who on the field is a top prospect....
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