Saturday, 5 September 2009

Opening weekend round-up

One of the underclassmen I'll be keeping an eye on this year is Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer. Entering his junior year, I fully expect him to declare for next year's draft if things go according to plan in 2009. Possessing a great combination of power and speed, he could be the first running back taken next year. He started the season well against Jacksonville State today, rushing for 95 yards on just seven carries including two touchdowns. He was pulled from the game early and missed the second half.

Obviously it wasn't the greatest test for Dwyer this afternoon, but he still flashed the kind of ability that makes him one to watch. Seattle might be in the market for a running back next year.

I've just finished watching the Georgia vs Oklahoma State encounter. I intended to keep an eye on Dez Bryant, however he was held without a catch until just before half time. Then he exploded into life - nailing a solid 19 yard reception and following it up with a long bomb 46 yard TD. He outran double coverage before making an acrobatic catch at full stretch. He added another TD later on, but also had a couple of sloppy drops. He's a big, fast receiver who appears to run good routes. However, I'm not completely sold on him yet.

Earlier I watched the Ohio State/Navy game - thoroughly entertaining as the Buckeye's just about hung on to avoid an upset. A lot of attention will be thrown at OSU's QB Terrelle Pryor. He had a mixed game, often over throwing his receivers and putting a bit too much into his throws. He threw a key interception late in the game which handed Navy a chance to get back into it. When he looked good however, he looked very good. With a bit more poise and a bit more polish, he'll prove to be a very good player.

Tennessee's Eric Berry had a quiet afternoon as the Vols rolled over Wester Kentucky in Lane Kiffin's debut. He registered three tackles and broke up a pass, but couldn't add to his many highlight reels. He'll have the opportunity in the next two games, against UCLA and Florida.

Elsewhere it was a great day for break out candidate Joe McKnight. The USC running back was a highly regarded 5 star recruit but hasn't lived up to the hype so far. He got off to a great start today against San Jose State, rushing for 145 yards on 14 carries including two TD's. He caught a pass for 21 yards and returned a kick for 17. He is an extremely gifted, electrifying player. If he can show greater consistency there's no reason why he won't be a first round pick next year.

Tim Tebow and the Gators won their powder puff opener against Charlestown 62-3. Tebow was responsible for two TD's before an early finish. The super star included a child in a wheel chair during warm ups, before taking the youngster into the locker rooms for a tour. Whether you're a fan of Tebow's game or not, he's a stand up guy for sure.

Texas quarter back Colt McCoy started slowly but found a rhythm as the Longhorns defeated Louisiana-Monroe. Last year's Heisman runner-up passed for 317 and scored 2 TD's. Texas eventually won 59-20.

Jahvid Best made a stunning start to his 2009 season against Maryland. With just over five minutes on the clock, he scored with a 73 yard run. Less than 60 seconds later, he added a second TD from two yards. He finished with 137 yards from ten carries. If he stays healthy, this guy could be awesome.

My top rated senior, Ndamukong Suh, had a comfortable afternoon as Nebraska defeated Florida Atlantic 49-3. The talented DT wasn't totally happy about the performance of his defense, as they allowed 122 rushing yards. "Rate our defense? B-minus. There were a couple breakdowns, and that let them get some momentum. When we're point on, we're getting three-and-outs. There were some lax places that we need to clean up."

What do you think about opening weekend? Anyone impressed/disappointed you? Let me know in the comments section or email


1stHill said...

I watched Oklahoma St vs. Georgia to scout a few players. Oklahoma St CB Parrish Cox (jersey #16)played like a guy that should be drafted in the top-8 of the 1st round in the draft. He has outstanding ball skills and leaping ability. He broke up three pass intended for WR A.J. Green (Georgia's best WR) and has shut down his side of the field. Cox looks good in run support,he fought off the FB to get a tackle for loss on the RB. He also had a kick return for 74 yards. He is a big CB listed at 6-0 195 lbs.

Georgia Safety Byron Evans jersey #3 looks like an outstanding player. He is a fiery player and a big hitter, he hammered WR Dez Bryant a couple of times. He knocked LT Russell Okung out of his way to get the ball carrier. If Evans is not the first guy to make the tackle he still looks to put an additional hit on the ball carrier (gang tackle). He has outstanding range, listed 40-yard dash time is 4.26. He is on the small side at 5-11 194 lbs but plays a lot bigger. He has outplayed his highly regarded teammate Safety Reshad Jones.

Excuse the long post, I'm just excited to be watching college football and potential Seahawk players.

James said...

Rob, several players on TV today who are probably on the short list for the Seahawks to draft with Denver's pick: Okung, the OT from OK State, Williams the OT and Bradford the QB from OK. I watched Okung carefully and thought he looks like a terrific LT prospect, very athletic with great footwork. Kind of a Walter Jones type. Williams does not look as athletic to me, but very powerful. Bradford is hard to judge because of the spread, but he has a lightening release and uncanny accuracy. Sure looks like he would be a great replacement for Matt down the road.

Rob Staton said...

1stHill & James - thank you for the reports. Please, whenever you get time visit the site and let me know your thoughts on any prospects you have a look at. If you ever want your thoughts publishing send me an email to rob@seahawksdraftblog and I'll post them up.

I noticed Okung on a couple of plays show off some of that strength he has. However, he also took a bit of a knock if I remember correctly, perhaps something worth monitoring over the next few weeks.

Sam Bradford has picked up a pretty serious injury today, I'll have a post up about it soon.'

I've had mixed feelings today. Was really looking forward to watching Dez Bryant and although he showed superb ability with that long TD, I was also left a bit frustrated with a couple of drops. His decision making on returns was also hit and miss - letting the ball bounce on the ten when nobody's near you is a no-no.
I didn't get the same wow-factor I got watching Michael Crabtree, but then Bryant does compete in the pass-friendly Texas Tech offense.

Anonymous said...

Rob, I watched a few receivers closely today and came away very impressed with LaFell and Toliver from LSU. Toliver is a junior and will probably come out after this year.

Any chance you can keep an eye on a few CB's the Seahawks will be looking at next year. I think this is going to be a huge area of concern as we move forward.


Anonymous said...

Rob, I was dissappointed that Navy couldn't finish the upset. So close... again. Bad call on the 2 pt conversion, and worse execution. Was pleasantly surprised at the offensive skill position talent for UW against LSU, and feel the UW D overachieved. LSU looks strong with studs accross the board, biggest question mark being QB. He has stellar athletic ability, but can he lead the team to the Nat'l title game. I think "yes". I'm now looking for them to play USC in the title game.

Rob Staton said...

Anonymous 1 - I too was really impressed with Tolliver. I only saw highlights of the LSU v UW game so it's hard to garner too much of an opinion (you don't see the bad things they do). For that reason, I'm hoping to see LSU live at some point. If I watched Dez Bryant's highlights I'd have probably been impressed, but he did a few things that dissapointed me too. But back to Tolliver, what little I saw he looked quite brilliant. I'll keep an eye on potential CB's, it's an area we haven't really discussed so far so check the blog for more on this soon.

Annonymous 2 - It was a bad play call for the 2pt conversion. Not really sure why they asked the QB to pass in that set, the odds were stacked against him. Interesting call on the LSU v USC title game. I don't think SoCal will make it, Barkley will have to grow into the role and they've lost a lot on defense. I need to see more of LSU. At this early stage, I'd probably predict a Florida vs Texas encounter.

1stHill said...

Week 1 players that impressed me,

S - Byron Evans 5-11 194 lbs Georgia : I never heard of this guy before today but he stood out by his hard hits and aggressive play. He played CB for three years before moving to safety.
RB - Javid Best 5-11 195 lbs Cal : Compares favorably to Clemson RB C.J. Spiller, although Best might be faster.
CB Perish Cox 6-0 195 lbs Oklahoma St : The guy is a stud. If he continues to play the way he did today then he should be a 1st round pick in next years draft.
WR Danario Alexander 6-5 215 lbs Missouri : He is a big target and has a 46inch vertical jump (per football commentator). His size allows him to break tackles. He looks like he could be the go to guy at Missouri this year.
CB #19 Carl Gettis 5-11 200 lbs Missouri (JR) : Good speed. Broke up a pass. Looks good against the run. Willing to fight off a block to make tackle. He stripped the ball from Illinois WR.

Players that disappointed me,

RB - Charles Scott 5-11 235 lbs LSU : He is a big bruising RB that was very productive last year, but looks to have no burst and pedestrian speed. His backup Keiland Williams 5-11 230 lbs looks like a better NFL prospect.
WR - Arrelious Benn 6-2 220 lbs Illinois : He was injured early in the game and did not return.
QB - Sam Bradford 6-4 218 lbs Oklahoma : Potential Seahawk, injured shoulder.
WR - Jeff Cumberland 6-5 255 lbs Illinois : Huge WR with good speed, dropped two passes and had a fumble.
S - Reshad Jones 6-2 212 lbs Georgia : I have seen projected as a 2nd round pick if he declares for the draft but he did not really stand out except for a late hit on a WR.