Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Ole Miss Runnin' Rebels
Posted on: September 24, 2009 11:40 pm
 

Snead had little help, but was tentative, flat

There is no denying Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead's physical talent, but as I mentioned in the previous blog entry, his inconsistent effort against Memphis gave reason for concern in tonight's game against South Carolina. After completing only 7 of the 21 passes he attempted against the Gamecocks in the loss, Snead wasn't just inconsistent, at times, he was simply bad. Snead was tentative with his reads and attempted to guide his passes, rather than unleash them with the zip he's shown in the past. Too often his passes sailed high and wide, forcing receivers to alter their routes. I never saw the confidence with which he'd shown in prior games -- certainly not the swagger he showed in games last season.

To be fair, Snead had little help. South Carolina didn't blitz as often as some expected, but were still able to consistently pressure him. Snead was also forced to throw to a group of receivers that frequently broke off their routes, dropped catchable passes or failed to drag their feet to remain in bounds.

Snead's talent, at least thus far this season, has been surpassed by his hype. At this point, he is a prospect with first round tools, but only middle round production. There certainly is plenty of time to recoup his stock, as Snead is only a junior. However, there had been plenty of speculation that Snead would be looking to cash in on potential NFL millions after a successful season. Any consideration he may have had about entering the draft early had better stop now, as his stock is falling quickly. The only way to earn it back is to re-focus and play better.

On another note -- South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia was recognized as MVP of the contest with marginal numbers. While he was solid throughout much of the game, his inability to sustain drives in the 4th quarter kept this game close and allowed Ole Miss opportunities to come back and steal this one. The real MVP was clearly pass rusher Eric Norwood, who continued his remarkable penchant for big plays in big games with 10 tackles, 2 sacks and a partially blocked kick. Norwood earned a spot in this week's Draft Slant and may even be up for Player of the Week honors.
Posted on: September 24, 2009 5:59 pm
 

Pressure on Ole Miss DE Hardy, QB Snead tonight

Much more than conference rankings are at stake for senior defensive end Greg Hardy and junior quarterback Jevan Snead when #4 Mississippi travels to South Carolina this evening.

The heavily hyped duo have been less than impressive in the Rebels' first two games of the season. Hardy, seemingly perpetually battling foot injuries, was held out of last week's tuneup against Southeastern Louisiana. He posted a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery in the opener against Memphis on September 6th, but was injured early on and only made spot appearances the rest of the game. He enters tonight's game with only the one tackle thus far.

Scouts know Hardy has talent. Unlike many of the recent SEC pass rushers with his type of production (33.5 career TFLS, 21.5 sacks), Hardy is a complete defensive end, blessed with the size and strength to be a force in the running game, as well as a pass-rusher. His struggles with durability and odd behavior, however, make him especially vulnerable to a significant slip down draft boards should his play not improve soon.

Snead, after struggling mightily against Memphis early with poor decision-making, inaccurate throws to all levels of the field and questionable mechanics (especially when on the move), settled down late. He was great last week against Southeastern Louisiana (3 TDs-0 INTs), but then again, it was Southeastern Louisiana...  He enters the game with a TD-INT ratio of 5-2, with obviously his two touchdowns and two interceptions coming against the Tigers on the 6th. Snead has the arm that every NFL team is looking for, but will have to play under control tonight against a very aggressive and athletic USC defensive backfield. I know of scouts who feel the Gamecocks are as deep in the secondary as any team in the country. And without Michael Oher there to protect Snead's blindside, it would be typical Eric Norwood-style to steal Greg Hardy's thunder with a big performance in front of the scouts and national television audience.

Besides the NFL draft angle, this game is huge in terms of the SEC race and BCS rankings. The game, which will be televised nationally by ESPN, features a Mississippi squad that hasn't been ranked this high in nearly 40 years. They have loads of NFL talent on their roster and appear ready to avenge last season's loss to South Carolina. Don't sleep on the Spurrier-led Gamecocks, however. Their ability to beat more talented teams in their house makes them one of the more dangerous opponents in all of the SEC.
 
Posted on: September 6, 2009 12:53 pm
 

Snead's chance to pass Bradford starts at 3:30 ET

The unfortunate shoulder injury to Sam Bradford will put some doubt into the minds of those that have previously characterized him as the likely #1 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Protected by one of the greatest offensive lines I've ever seen (considering NFL talent, starting experience, and scheme) Bradford rarely was knocked down in 2008 and earned the Heisman Trophy and a berth in the National Championship game. With four-fifths of his 2008 offensive line now gone, however, one could see that Bradford will have a tougher time staying upright in 2009. Should he return healthy and go on to enjoy a great 2009 campaign, his stock could improve, as he'll answer the questions about his toughness and ability to showcase that stunning downfield accuracy with defenders in his face (my two greatest concerns about his NFL prospects).

Meanwhile, Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead, ranked by NFLDraftScout.com as the second best quarterback of the 2011 class, has a chance to catch or perhaps even pass Bradford while the Heisman winner is out. Snead, like Bradford, will be missing valuable components along his offensive line this season, most notably offensive tackle Michael Oher.

Snead hasn't yet proven to be quite as accurate as Bradford -- and I firmly believe accuracy is the most important characteristic in grading quarterback prospects. He has proven, however, to have above average accuracy for his time in this offense and certainly possesses the rest of the skills necessary towards emerging as a potential early first round prospect.

There are elements to Snead's game that remind me of last April's first overall pick, Matthew Stafford. Like Stafford, Snead can fall in love with his own arm strength and will force passes into coverage. These can result in costly interceptions, of course. They also, however, give him opportunities to make some dazzling throws. Pro Bowl-like throws.

Watch him today against Memphis (ESPN, 3:30 EST) to see if Snead can take advantage of Bradford's injury to lessen the gap between the two prospects most scouts feel could challenge this year's senior class to be the first quarterback selected in the 2010 NFL Draft.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com