Tag:Walter Thurmond III
Posted on: October 27, 2010 11:18 am
 

Dez Bryant, Eric Berry earn Rookies of the Week

One might think with the dominating performance that Dez Bryant enjoyed on Monday Night Football that it was an easy decision to reward him the Offensive Rookie of the Week honors.

Well, okay, it was.

But that doesn't lessen the fact that several other rookies on the offensive side of the ball were also verrry impressive in Week Seven performances in the NFL.

Carolina receiver David Gettis, for example, caught eight passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns in helping the Panthers beat the 49ers to get their first win of the season.

While Colt McCoy wasn't statistically impressive (9 of 16 for 74 yards), himself, one has to at least acknowledge the fact that his Browns walked into New Orleans and beat the defending Super Bowl champs... especially considering the poise with which McCoy played in his first career start against the Steelers the week before.

McCoy's former favorite wideout - Jordan Shipley - enjoyed a great game for the Bengals, as well. He caught six passes for 131 yards and a 64-yard touchdown against the Falcons.

In the end, Bryant's spectacular performance beat them all, however. Bryant caught four passes for 54 yards and two scores and returned a punt 93 yards for another. His three touchdowns were arguably the only spark shown by the Dallas Cowboys in their key divisional matchup against the first-place Giants.

On the defensive side of the ball, a few back seven defenders really enjoyed strong performances. Arizona outside linebacker Daryl Washington did his best Karlos Dansby impression, posting 11 tackles, including his first career sack Sunday against the Seahawks. On the other sideline of that game, Walter Thurmond III, in his first career game, was often asked to cover Larry Fitzgerald one on one and responded well, recording four tackles and two passes broken up while limiting Fitzgerald to only three catches for 30 yards.

Like for Bryant, it was the versatility shown by Kansas City safety Eric Berry , however, that won him the Defensive Rookie of the Week in my mind.

Berry only had four tackles, but showed the burst and timing in pass defense that helped him establish himself as a star in the SEC from Day One. Berry broke up three passes, recorded his first career interception (which he returned 35 yards) and also forced a fumble in the Chiefs' win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. 



Posted on: September 30, 2009 11:40 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2009 11:45 pm
 

Gresham, Thurmond despite injury, entering draft

Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham and Oregon cornerback Walter Thurmond III are not letting their season-ending knee injuries keep them from exploring their NFL options. Both, in fact, have elected to enter the 2010 draft rather than apply for a medical hardship and return to college next season, the schools announced Wednesday.

Gresham, given a first round grade by the NFL Advisory Committee, suffered a knee injury in the week prior to the Oklahoma's opener against BYU. He underwent surgery to repair torn cartilage soon thereafter and is expected to be fully recovered in time for the Combine.

A strong performance in workouts and clean medical grades from team doctors will likely keep Gresham in the first round. There is no doubt that when healthy, he is the elite tight end prospect eligible for the 2010 draft.

Thurmond's injury has received considerably less national attention. The pre-season All-American was a four-year starter and leaves Oregon with a school-record five touchdown returns for his career. A playmaking cornerback and return specialist, Thurmond had already returned each for a score this season, returning a punt for a score against Utah and an interception for a touchdown against Purdue. Thurmond was injured returning the opening kickoff this past weekend against Cal. He considered leaving Oregon early with fellow defensive backs Patrick Chung and Jairus Byrd (each of whom were selected in the 2nd round) after earning a third round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee.

Thurmond's injury is also much more serious than the cartilage tear suffered by Gresham. Thurmond tore the anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee.

The severity of Thurmond's injury is certain to create doubt with NFL teams as to his draft status. Even with intense rehabilitation, Thurmond won't realistically be ready to workout for scouts prior to next April's draft.

When healthy, Thurmond has proven himself to be among the nation's best cover corners and worthy of Top 100 consideration. His greatest asset, however, has always been his pure athleticism.

If unable to prove this ability in pre-draft workouts, however, Thurmond is likely to slip into the late rounds or perhaps even out of the draft entirely.


 
 
 
 
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