Thursday, 17 September 2009

D-line depth could top the draft

It's still early days but heading into week three of the college football season, I'm beginning to believe the best depth in the 2010 draft could be on the defensive line. My #1 prospect at the moment remains defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Last year we saw three offensive lineman go in the top ten picks and it wouldn't surprise me if four prospects (listed below) are taken near the top of round one:

1. Ndamukong Suh (DT, Nebraska)
2. Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma)
3. Derrick Morgan (DE, Georgia Tech)
4. Carlos Dunlap (DE, Florida)

Performance during the rest of 2009, team needs and schematic fit will likely dictate whether this actually happens. I'm not particularly high on next year's QB prospects, but it seems more than likely at least one desperate team will look for a rookie signal caller very early.

It's worth keeping an eye on the names listed above, especially as we move towards the business end of the season. Now that Florida have ended their extended pre-season, we should see if Carlos Dunlap is capable of living up to expectations. Derrick Morgan is in action with the Yellow Jackets against Miami (FL) tonight - worth watching not only to review Morgan, but to see if Jonathan Dwyer can hit back after a very dissapointing performance last week.

It's also a big weekend for two other top running backs. Jahvid Best will hope to carry the Golden Bears to a victory in Minnesota, whilst Joe McKnight is in Seattle to take on the Huskies. But perhaps the most eagerly anticipated face-off is the Tim Tebow vs Eric Berry game on Saturday. I've voiced reservations about Berry this week, so I'm looking forward to seeing how he copes with the Gators' offense.


1stHill said...

I'm glad you pointed out that Georgia Tech and Miami are playing today, I thought that game was this weekend. I'm really looking forward to seeing if Derrick Morgan can have another dominating game.

Rob Staton said...

Happy to help :)

If you get a chance, let me know what you think of Morgan & Jonathan Dwyer (or anyone else for that matter).

As a word of caution, I'll be particularly busy over the next couple of days. There's a big soccer game tomorrow in my area that I'll be reporting on, I've also got a 5 hour round trip on Saturday to do a live broadcast on another soccer game.

I'll be hitting the tape on Saturday night to watch all the college action, so expect some stuff on the blog from me on Saturday & Sunday.

1stHill said...

Here are a few notes I have about last nights game.
RB - Jonathan Dwyer 6-0 228 lbs (JR): He was unable to get any decent runs, that might due to o-lineman not opening running lanes for him. He was used to run between the tackles and nothing to the outside where other RB’s were having a little more success. He is playing his way out of the first round. He injured his shoulder in the first half of the game and did not play in the 2nd half.
DE - Derrick Morgan 6-4 270 lbs (JR) : He looks like a violent pass rusher. Good at getting under o-lineman’s pads to drive him back into the pocket. Consistently got pressure in the first half of the game. He played LB when they went to a 3-4 defense and he looks fast and agile in space. He lost his footing at times on the baseball dirt infield which hurt his ability to rush. He looked wore down in the 2nd half, might be due to humidity. He was double teamed at times during the game and the TE would occasionally assist OT by chip him before releasing into his route. Morgan was the only guy on the d-line that was a threat to get pressure on the QB. He didn’t have a good game stats which doesn’t really concern me because he still got good pressure on the QB.

Impressive players
RB - Craig Cooper #2 6-0 202 lbs (JR) Miami : VS. Florida St - This is a guy I like in week 1 and he continued to look good Thursday night. He got more carries last night than he did in the Florida St game. Very shifty/make you miss type of runner. Good hands. Looked good running between the tackles for a speed guy, he was able to run through arm tackles to get a few extra yards. I like that he is not afraid to run between the tackles, I assumed since he is a speed guy that he would bounce to the outside the majority of the time (which Reggie Bush tends to do and is the reason why he is not an every down back). Looked good in the 4th quarter; I was very impressed with one particular play where he ran between the tackles, patiently followed his blockers then went on to lower his shoulder breaking two tackles, and got a first down on a 3rd & 13 play. He is a patient runner. Might be comparable to Chris Johnson RB to the Titans. Looks like he could run a low 4.3 40-yard dash. He took a big hit from the safety and got right back up, which shows his toughness. He is playing like a top-15 pick. If he declares for the draft he might be my favorite RB (Cooper, C.J. Spiller, then J. Best).
WR - LaRon Byrd (Sophomore) 6-4 215 lbs Miami : Considered the next Michael Irvin at Miami. Not a burner, but he runs very good routes. Catches the ball with his hands not a body catcher. Great work ethic according to game commentator.
FS - Randy Phillips 6-0 210 lbs Miami : He did make numerous tackles. Team leader, he is vocal with his teammates. He did good at getting past lead blocker to tackle the RB.
WR - Demaryius Thomas 6-3 229 lbs (JR) Georgia Tech: Considered the next Calvin Johnson at Georgia Tech. He did a great job of coming back to the ball on a under thrown pass and jumped up and caught the ball at the highest point of his jump. Good acceleration especially for such a big WR and he has good speed (looks to have 4.45 40-yard dash speed). He caught the ball in stride over his shoulder with his hands and went on to score a TD; other WR’s may have turned their whole body around to make the catch without gaining more yards after the catch. If he comes out this year he could be a top-15 pick even though he will not have the numbers to warrant it; mainly due to the triple option that he is in and his QB being a average to below average passer.

Disappointing players
S - Morgan Burnett 6-1 200 lbs (JR) Georgia Tech : Missed 4 tackles, looks slow. Does not have good range for a safety. He made two big hits, but that does not make up for all the missed tackles.
RB - Javarris James #5 6-0 215 lbs Miami : I liked him in week one but he looked very average in week 2. Ability to find a hole is questionable.