Saturday, 7 November 2009

Suh and McCoy justify top billing

The Oklahoma vs Nebraska game was always going to be a battle of the big defensive tackles. Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska) and Gerald McCoy (Oklahoma) have been #1 and #2 in my 2010 rankings from day one and nothing tonight suggested that shouldn't be the case. Suh gets the edge because he seems to consistently make plays in many different ways. He blocked a field goal today, tipped passes and generally caused havoc with his unique combination of power and athleticism. He also ate up blocks which put Jared Crick in plenty of one-on-one match ups, enabling him to put on another show a week after registering five sacks against Baylor. Crick's a redshirt sophomore and could add to an already deep class on the defensive line if he declares - he got another sack and his tipped pass (leading to an interception) confirmed the win for Nebraska.

McCoy recovered a fumble but generally tends to make a lot of plays in the backfield. He gets good penetration at the point of attack, shows good burst to shed a blocker and has the power to drive people back collapsing the pocket. This wasn't his most eye catching performance - but on closer inspection you'll notice how often he's in the backfield. He lined up a couple of times at defensive end, the first time I've seen that from him personally. Suh does it regularly and projects to work in the 4-3 or 3-4 equally well. McCoy is a pure 4-3 three technique but even when asking to rush from the edge he did a good job, showing a better burst than most defensive ends.

Suh's playmaking qualities separate the two and that's why he's down to go first overall in my mock draft. There aren't many defensive tackles who can win you a game on their own, but Suh has that potential. He's in the quarterback's face, he wraps up tackles, he catches interceptions and takes them to the house, he blocks field goals and he tips passes. He's a superstar in the making.

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