Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Observations from college season week 1

I am but a man, and simply don't have the hours or willpower to watch every college game the cable box throws at me. However, I was able to catch a few good bits this weekend, and I found myself taking a few notes. I'm a huge NFL draft addict, as you'll learn, so here are the players that jumped out at me, what I think about them at the next level, and so on:


Perrish Cox is a name to watch when the Combine comes around. Cornerback #16 on Oklahoma State - 6'0", 195. Great size, sneaky fast. He plays a physical style, good at press coverage, and is very good with the ball. Also a very impressive kick returner. If he keeps up this level of play, could find himself as a fairly high draft pick (Round 1-3? Need to see more).

Bryan Evans, FS #3 on Georgia - Reminds me a bit of Bob Sanders. Somewhat small (5'11", 190), but flies around like a torpedo and hits like a sack o' bricks. He needs to be more of an impact player, and a few INTs will help his stock a whole lot, but could be a real find in the late rounds of the draft.

Georgia's o-line was above average in pass protection, but the running game was extremely underwhelming. These guys have some bulking up to do.

Georgia SLB Darryl Gamble should probably declare for the draft as a Junior. He's got pro size (6'2", 250) and was involved in seemingly every tackle. Rennie Curran is the guy getting the hype, but I found Gamble to be even more impressive. 100+ tackles and a good Combine could rocket this kid's stock, if he comes out this year.

Zac Robinson, the much-hyped OkState QB did not look deserving of the hype. His decision-making and accuracy left a bit to be desired, he threw too much off his back foot, and made some lousy reads on his option-runs. WalterFootball has this kid going in Round 2, but I have my doubts. If he doesn't pull it together as the season progresses, he could get Graham Harrelled, and find himself as yet another spread QB playing in Canada.

And where was Dez Bryant the whole game? He had a pair of touchdowns, which softens my review of him quite a bit, but in a big game, he didn't really come up big. He had some trouble getting open against Georgia's man coverage, but absolutely killed them in zone (especially cover-2 against safeties). For a guy who should be the first receiver taken in April, he needs to really bring it against good teams like Georgia.

Georgia kicker Blair Walsh has a big leg, and if he can put more air under his kicks, could be really good.

Irish faithful may consider it almost heresy, but Jimmy Clausen will be a better QB than Brady Quinn was. Granted, he was throwing against sub-par DBs, but he put up spread-type numbers, and looked extremely sharp. Good decision-making, excellent accuracy, and a big-enough-but-not-super-strong arm impressed the heck out of me. Maybe Charlie Weiss isn't a waste of life after all!

WR Golden Tate, of ND, is purported to be the Irish's big-time receiver with major NFL prospects, but #3 Michael Floyd stole the show. Tate is a quality receiver, and a ferocious blocker, but Floyd is a big play machine. He has the size and speed to be a real threat, and Clausen's best friend. He's only a sophomore, but if he keeps this up, ND won't be able to hold onto him until his senior year.

More observations to come, as I have a date with the DVR to catch up on the other games. Thank God it's football season at last!


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