I had a chance to watch Fresno State vs Wyoming this weekend and the main focus of my attention was running back Ryan Mathews. Reports today suggest he'll declare for the 2010 draft. He was productive on Saturday, notching 144 yards from 31 carries - scoring two touchdowns but fumbling once too. His career totals stretched to 3280 rushing yards and 39 scores in the process.
He showed nice hip swerve and an ability to make good cuts to create a lane. But the big concern is his lack of breakaway speed. He's shifty at best, but he isn't going to torch a defense. That would be ok, but he's also not the biggest or most physical guy either. He has durability issues and left the game at one point nursing an injury, but returned later on. It's only one example, but overall I just felt slightly underwhelmed. He may have some value in the fourth or fifth round and his production could warrant consideration slightly earlier - but when a guy isn't the most physical and doesn't have elite speed and playmaking ability, you can only rank him so highly.
Meanwhile, a Seahawks running back has been bigging up the draft prospects of Jahvid Best (RB, California). Justin Forsett is a former Golden Bear and had some nice things to say about Best this week: "He has that 'Wow!' factor with his speed. Somebody's going to get a real good gift come draft time if he decides to come out."
One prospect that has divided opinion recently is Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers). He is expected to announce his decision to declare at a press conference tomorrow. I opened up the debate yesterday and Michael had mixed feelings in the comments section, praising Davis' skills in pass protection and good footwork, but voicing concern about his willingness to block downfield.
Ivotuk was more critical, "He looked absolutely lost when going to the second level. He wouldn't touch anyone on the first level and guys would run right by him. It's like he zeros in on one thing and does only that one thing."
Kevin Wiedl at ESPN was more complimentary: "Davis has rocketed up draft boards this season and he showed against the Knights exactly why he's being talked about at a high first-round pick. He had a strong game against Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year Bruce Miller, displaying his entire skill set - natural feet, strength, balance, power and ability to recover. We'd like to see Davis play a little lower as a run blocker, but otherwise he has all the tools to succeed as a left tackle in the NFL. He has rare athleticism for a player his size, plays well in space, shows power in the running game and his hands are extremely strong. He looks like a lock to be a top-15 pick at this point and could surpass Oklahoma State's Russell Okung as the top offensive tackle on the board."
For more on Davis, check out this article I wrote last week.