Posted on: September 13, 2010 9:58 pm
As I mentioned in my last post, we thought that the Player of the Week and Diamond in the Rough deserved more acknowledgement than they received in the past as part of our Draft Slant coverage. Thus, each Monday I'll highlight the award recipients here on the blog.
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 .
I considered several prospects for Diamond in the Rough this week. One strong candidate was cornerback Cortez Allen from The Citadel, who enjoyed a strong game against Arizona. Considering James Madison's stunning upset of Virginia Tech, I'm looking forward to breaking down that film, as well.
However, as I scouted New Mexico cornerback Galen House Saturday (he'll be featured in this week's issue of Draft Slant), I couldn't help but be impressed by the all-around game of San Diego State Aztec wideout Vincent Brown. With the opportunity to scout both legitimate NFL prospects head to head, it was just too much to pass up, even if the Aztecs of the Mountain West Conference won't qualify for some as a true "small school." Regardless of your feeling on that particular debate, Brown, currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as a 4th-5th round pick, deserves recognition.
Diamond in the Rough -- September 11, 2010
WR Vincent Brown, San Diego State 6-0 / 195 / 4.52 -- opponent New Mexico State
One of ten semifinalists for the coveted Biletnikof Award last year, Brown caught 45 passes for 778 yards and six touchdowns. Those might not sound like the type of numbers that would typically earn recognition as the nation's most prolific wide receiver -- until you realize that Brown's production came in just over six games. Brown began the 2009 season with touchdown receptions in his first five games and at least 100 receiving yards in his first four contests. He was sidelined with a season-ending thumb injury early in the Aztecs' seventh game of the year (Colorado State). Brown started slowly in 2010, catching "only" five passes for 39 yards in a 47-0 thumping of Nicholls State. Despite First-Team All-WAC cornerback Galen House shadowing him for much of their matchup Saturday night, Brown proved back to his playmaking self, snatching another five passes for 99 yards. Brown has good size and isn't afraid to use it or his strength to help escape the jam. He shows good foot quickness and lateral agility to generate separation in the short to intermediate routes and has the straight-line speed to attack deep. I was also impressed with Brown's hands and toughness. Brown showed the ability to extend and snatch the ball out of the air; showing these skills when making his most impressive catch of the game while going over the middle in the second quarter. Earlier in the game he'd made his most productive grab (55 yards) by beating three Aggie defenders (including House) deep on a trick play. Aztec junior quarterback Ryan Lindley, himself a talent to keep an eye on, handed the ball off and ran left -- to have the ball thrown back to him -- where he unloaded the long strike to Brown. Despite Brown's success as a receiver, the Aztecs rode a strong ground game to their victory over the Aggies. Running back Ronnie Hillman's 150 rushing yards and four touchdowns certainly stole the show, but Brown was a factor as a downfield blocker, proving to be a more well-rounded wideout than most "small school" receivers.
Posted on: September 8, 2010 1:06 pm
Subscribers of NFLDraftScout.com's weekly PDF file on the latest happenings in the world of college football and the NFL draft will be receiving their first premium issue of Draft Slant today.
Posted on: December 30, 2009 1:54 pm
Let's be real clear about this from the start -- NFLDraftScout.com rated Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh as the number one senior prospect in August. He's been atop every one of the many mock drafts I've penned already this year. I see no reason why he won't be atop every other 2010 mock draft I write. I don't know of anyone who touted him as a Heisman candidate before I did.
In fact, Bo Pelini and Suh's family might be the only ones higher on this young man's ability than I am.
And yet, I think he's going to struggle to make his typically dominant impact against Arizona today in the Holiday Bowl.
The Wildcats feature a true spread offense. Rarely does quarterback Nick Foles hang on to the ball for long, one of the reasons why Arizona has allowed only 11 sacks on the year (tied for 10th fewest in the FCS).
One could make the point that many of the offenses Suh faced in the Big 12 also feature the spread offense, including Texas, who Suh so infamously ravaged in the Big 12 Championship. Those teams, however, didn't have a month to prepare.
Against top teams with more typical pro-style offenses (Virginia Tech, Colorado, Kansas State, Iowa State), Suh averaged an eye-popping 7.5 tackles, a sack, 2 PBUs and .75 blocked kicks per game.
The two Big 12 teams using a true spread offense as wide as the one the Wildcats will use today were Kansas and Texas Tech. In those two contests Suh was held relatively in check, averaging only 3.5 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.
The spread offense was designed to get the ball out of the hands of the quarterback quickly to combat dominant penetrating defensive linemen just like Suh.
If he isn't as dominant today as he has been in the past, don't chalk it up to a lack of effort or his being overrated. NFL scouts certainly be.
Posted on: September 19, 2009 3:56 pm
Though Virginia Tech just punched in a touchdown on their opening drive (thanks largely to a 76 yard kickoff return by Dyrell Roberts) it didn't take Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh long to establish his presence, registering a sack of mobile quarterback Tyrod Taylor on the 3rd play from scrimmage.
Suh didn't break free initially or dominate his opponent with his strength on the play. In reality, the sack was the very definition of a coverage sack, as Taylor had plenty of time to find a target downfield. What Suh did demonstrate, however, was his trademark tenacity and hustle. One of the aspects scouts like so much about Suh -- and why the big defensive tackle ranks so securely as NFLDraftScout.com's #1 overall senior prospect -- is that he plays with such effort. He maintained his spot in the middle, battled with the blocker and then shed him as Taylor began to get antsy and step up in the pocket. The play (a loss of 3 yards) made it 3rd and 20 for the Hokies.
There isn't a defensive tackle in the country with Suh's ability. What makes him a future Top 5 pick, however, is that he plays up to his ability -- typically a major area of concern with any 300 pound defensive tackle.