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Tag:DeAndre McDaniel
Posted on: December 31, 2010 11:31 am
 

Meineke Bowl Preview - Clemson vs. South Florida

Watching college football on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day is a long-time tradition not just for fans, but also NFL scouts.

There are plenty of quality prospects to watch while getting ready for the New Year's Eve festivities. Here are the top prospects to watch in this morning's Meineke Car Car Bowl showdown between Clemson and South Florida, as written by Senior Analyst Chad Reuter.

Dec. 31
Meineke Car Care Bowl (Clemson vs. South Florida)
--Clemson DE DaQuan Bowers (6-4, 275, 4.64): Dominant strong-side junior defensive end leading the country with 15.5 sacks and ranked second with 21.5 tackles for loss.

--Clemson DT Jarvis Jenkins (6-4, 315, 4.98): Tall and strong interior presence capable of pushing the pocket and penetrating against the run (eight TFL).

--Clemson FS DeAndre McDaniel (6-0, 215, 4.54): Leader in the secondary has 12 interceptions while providing backup for senior CBs Marcus Gilchrist and Byron Maxwell.

--Clemson RB Jamie Harper (5-11, 235, 4.54): Among the best big backs in the country, Harper's value to NFL teams will be in his downhill running, surprisingly quick feet and soft hands. He's been characterized as Clemson's most reliable receiver by those close to the program.

--South Florida DT Terrell McClain (6-2, 310, 5.10): Wreaking havoc inside over the past three games with 11 tackles, 2.5 for loss.

--South Florida OLB Jacquain Williams (6-3, 218, 4.67): Tall, lean linebacker leads the team with 95 tackles, 9.5 for loss.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 1:09 pm
 

Cover story star Miller is Prospect of the Week

The famed "Wrecking Crew" moniker can't realistically be applied to the 2010 Texas A&M defense after one dominant showing, but Von Miller and his Aggie teammates' play against Oklahoma Saturday night was reminiscent of the type of play that made College Station one of the most feared stadiums in college football during the early 1990s.

Considering that I already acknowledged Miller's play in my Weekly Rewind , I watched plenty of tape on other seniors to find a similar performance worthy of Prospect of the Week. Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi shut down Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan, who entered the game as the nation's leading TFL artist and deserves some mention. So too does LSU's defensive tackle Drake Nevis and his impressive game against Alabama. TCU's Andy Dalton and Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel also played critical roles in their team's victories.

In the end, however, it was Miller's speed off the edge that gave Texas A&M an upset victory over the Sooners that I felt justified the award.

Perhaps most impressive about Miller's game -- and something I left out of the Weekly Rewind piece -- is that Miller, who had been struggling with an ankle injury all year, actually aggravated the injury and missed some time in the game. He was back on the field late, however, racking up one of his three tackles for loss with a stop of running back Demarco Murray near the goal-line on the Sooners' final possession.

Miller, who plays the joker position for the Aggies, projects as a pass rushing OLB for the NFL. He's smaller at 6-2, 235 that what 3-4 teams usually require for the position, but has such an explosive burst off the snap and the flexibility to dip under the reach of pass blockers, that some scouts working for 3-4 clubs I've spoken to are making an exception with him.

Miller isn't often asked to drop into coverage in this scheme, but his ability to change directions and speed give 4-3 teams reason to believe he might be able to make the transition to their scheme as a traditional OLB.

His ultimate "best" position may not be determined for most scouts until Miller plays in a senior all-star game and/or works out for scouts at the Combine.

Posted on: September 20, 2010 1:26 pm
 

Player of the Week -- Clemson S DeAndre McDaniel

One might just assume I'm a rabid Auburn Tigers fan, as for the second week in a row I'm picking a senior prospect whose team the Tigers beat as my Player of the Week.

Last week I highlighted the play of Mississippi State offensive tackle Derek Sherrod. This week the honor goes to Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel .

Some will argue that "Player of the Week" is a misnomer. I don't pretend that I've already scouted every prospect throughout the country and that my choice (McDaniel, in this case) was unquestionably the best. It isn't that McDaniel was so dominant that he deserves attention over, say, Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas (who rushed for another 181 yards in the undefeated Wildcats thrilling win over Iowa State) or Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick (who finished with 329 all-purpose yards and five TDs in an impressive win over Cal). However, part of the coverage that we, at NFLDraftScout.com, have provided to our readers as part of our Draft Slant feature, is a Player of the Week. In picking one out each week, I tend to focus on Top 50 senior prospects for this honor and adhere to certain guidelines in terms of the level of competition the player faced.

In a game with plenty deserving acknowledgement, McDaniel was the most consistently impressive. McDaniel, who lined up deep in coverage as well as coming up in a hybrid linebacker role, finished with six tackles, and two passes defensed, including a textbook high-point interception in the second quarter that led to Clemson's second touchdown of the game and a seemingly unsurmountable 17-0 lead. Though the Tigers eventually came back to win this contest, McDaniel's play stood out. It wasn't just McDaniels' numbers that caught my eye, but the versatility and timing with which he recorded them.

Player of the Week, along with The Diamond in the Rough (small school prospect), used to be features of Draft Slant . This PDF file can be purchased as an individual issue or one can purchase the entire year (16 issues). Or, if you just want to see an example, you can download this free sample of Week One here .

We thought that the Player of the Week and Diamond in the Rough deserved more acknowledgement, however, and thus, every Monday, I'll post my picks for each award.

Player of the Week - September 18, 2010
S DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson 6-0 / 215 / 4.54 -- opponent: Auburn

Versatile defender capable of impacting the game in various ways. Good range and vision to play in the deep middle. Reads the quarterback's eyes and gets a jump on the ball. Showed terrific ball skills, timing and leaping ability to high-point his interception in the second quarter. The interception was McDaniel's first of 2010 - but he led the ACC with eight pick-offs last year. McDaniel's aggression does mean that he'll occasionally take a false step towards the line of scrimmage and can be victimized by good play-action. He was not beaten in this game, however. A bit shorter than scouts would prefer for the position, McDaniel has a well-built frame and looked comfortable near the line of scrimmage. He scrapes well, showing the lateral agility, balance and vision to avoid blockers. His instincts and comfort inside were on display in the 4th quarter when he sniffed out a receiver end-around and dropped wideout Terrell Zachary for a 7-yard loss. The play came at a perfect time for Clemson, as the team, after surrendering 24 consecutive points, had just scored to tie the game. McDaniel demonstrated reliable open field tackling skills throughout the game. He breaks down well in space to handle smaller, quicker athletes and can provide a much more explosive pop than he's generally given credit for. His lack of top power was exposed a bit with a strong effort from Auburn 5-10, 240 pound back to get a 4th quarter first down. McDaniel took on Smith too high and was surprised by Smith's power. Though he certainly wasn't bowled over, McDaniel did struggle to make the stop. In the NFL McDaniel will have to learn to tackle with greater balance and leverage for this mistake not to be repeated. Considering the consistency with which he played Saturday night, however, the one play (Auburn punted moments later) certainly wasn't a drawback. McDaniel's versatility and consistency, in fact, secured his place as the top all-around senior safety in the country -- at least in my eyes.

Posted on: July 23, 2010 8:09 pm
 

Some notes after reviewing the ACC

Fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter and I have been busy the past month reviewing film of the 2010 senior prospects. Chad, as always, is ahead of me and has been steadily producing finished player profiles already in preparation for our 2010 NFL Draft Preview.

I've completed scouting reports for approximately 50 prospects; most of them coming from the SEC, ACC and Pac-10 Conferences.

I've been working on these reports while tracking the NCAA's sudden focus on agent-related benefits potentially being given to NCAA players. I recognize that the story is a huge one, but quite frankly, I wanted to finally present a blog post about actual football, and not just more off-field concerns.

Thus, here are some of my general thoughts based after film review of some of the ACC's biggest names amongst senior prospects.

  • North Carolina, as I've mentioned in previous articles and blog posts, is ridiculously athletic. It is easy to get caught up with DT Marvin Austin or OLB Bruce Carter's athleticism, but the steady play of CB Kendric Burney and OLB Quan Sturdivant jumps off film, as well. I was a little disappointed, honestly, in free safety Deunta Williams... He may be a ballhawk, but the impressive UNC defense hides the fact that he plays a pretty finesse-brand of football...
  • How does Clemson lose C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford and look just as athletic on film? This year though the eye-popping talent is on the defensive side of the ball. DT Jarvis Jenkins really flashes on tape, as does cornerback Marcus Gilchrist. All-American DeAndre McDaniel may have enjoyed as good a first half of football as I've seen a safety have in some time against Kentucky in the Music Bowl...
  • Forget the theory that because Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling is 6-2 he can't play cornerback in the NFL. Dowling is impressive on film; reminiscient of former Utah Ute and current Miami Dolphin Sean Smith...
  • Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey is one of the more fascinating stories in all of college football. The Canes' next first round defender was born and raised in a tiny village (approx. 80 people) called Hogs Hammock on Sapelo Island, approximately 15 miles off the coast of Georgia. He'll be wined and dined by agents and, later, NFL teams as they decide where he fits best in their scheme, but that may not be the best way to get to know this player. The residents of Hogs Hammock fish, hunt and gather shellfish for their meals and are appropriately proud to do so. So much so that once he and his family served a college recruitor a tasty dish... of raccoon .
  • Much has been made of BC linebacker Mark Herzlich's amazing recovery from Ewing's Sarcoma -- as it should. The fact that he's recovery is glorious in itself... but, boy, can this kid play the game too. Here's hoping that Herzlich, North Carolina State linebacker Nate Irving (who missed the 2009 season after a nearly-fatal car accident) and Miami running back Graig Cooper (who tore up his knee in the Champs Sports Bowl) are able to come back and thrill us again this season.

I'll post my thoughts on the SEC and Pac-10 in the coming days.

Posted on: November 9, 2009 3:37 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2009 3:42 pm
 

Has QB Ponder played his last game for FSU?

Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder has been one of the few bright spots in an ugly season for Florida State. That bright spot was extinguished Saturday night, when Ponder suffered a separated right shoulder in trying to tackle Clemson defensive back DeAndre McDaniel. The injury, a grade three shoulder separation, that will require season-ending surgery, prompting speculation that the play -- which concluded Ponder's fourth interception of the night -- could be his final one for the Seminoles.

With the injury (and potential lost earnings) of Sam Bradford last year, as well as speculation that the league is looking to impose a rookie salary cap soon, scouts are anticipating underclassmen flocking early to the NFL this winter.

Despite this being only his second season as Florida State's starting quarterback, his improvement has been considerable. Numbers rarely tell the whole story, but consider that in 13 starts in 2008 Ponder completed 55.7% of his passes for 2007 yards and a 14-13 TD to INT ratio. In only 9 starts this season, Ponder completed 68.8% of his passes for 2,717 yards and a TD-INT ratio of 14-7.

Ponder, 6-3, 215 pounds, has the size, intelligence, arm strength, accuracy and mobility scouts are looking for in a potential franchise quarterback. Unlike many of the other highly touted quarterbacks across the country, Ponder's production has come via a pro-style offense. 

Scouts would like to see Ponder return for his senior campaign, as he remains raw. Highly drafted, but unpolished young quarterbacks have a significantly more difficultt time acclimating to the pros simply because there is very little time for second or third quarterbacks handling the ball in a typical NFL week of practice. To improve, he'll need to play -- and scouts don't feel he (or many of the other highly touted underclassmen QBs of the potential 2010 class) is ready.

Still, with undeniable physical tools, his academics in order (he already has his undergraduate degree) and now time on his hands to consider his future, Ponder is a name to keep in mind for the 2010 QB class.

Take into consideration his words, as told to the St. Petersburg Times before the Clemson game:
“Obviously after the season, I’ll take an evaluation (from the NFL) and see what happens and make a decision after that,’’ he said. “I see myself playing here next year, but we’ll see what they say and what happens. There’s a chance of either way.’’



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com