This section breaks down many college football games each week and highlights how 2013 NFL Draft Prospects
have performed. Or look at the 2013 NFL Draft Stock
By Charlie Campbell.
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Florida State 21, Georgia Tech 15
Seminoles defensive end Bjoern Werner and cornerback Xavier Rhodes are both juniors who will have to decide whether to enter the 2013 NFL Draft. Werner has had a great season for Florida State and looks like a future draft pick in the top half of the first round.
The ACC Championship Game was Werner' least productive game of the season as he recorded only one tackle. That was partially the result of Werner playing contain all night against Georgia Tech's option offense. He did a good job of holding his ground at the line of scrimmage and forcing pitches from the quarterback.
The Yellow Jackets threw only 15 passes, and Werner was assigned to play contain on a lot of those plays. Overall, he showed good strength and toughness at the line of scrimmage so this tape won't hurt his draft stock.
Rhodes was quiet in the first half, but he made a leaping interception early in the third quarter. Georgia Tech tried a halfback pass, but the ball was thrown completely off the mark. Rhodes sunk back in coverage and jumped to snag the pick in front of a teammate and the receiver.
Rhodes was beaten by a wide receiver for a potential touchdown a short bit later. Rhodes bit on as the receiver jab-stepped to the outside and then a cut back down the seam. The wide out had three yards of separation on Rhodes for an easy touchdown, but the pass was overthrown in the back of the end zone for an incompletion.
Rhodes finished one tackle and his interception. This tape won't help or hurt him. He could be a first- or second-round pick if he enters the 2013 NFL Draft.
Seminoles senior quarterback E.J. Manuel helped his team to its first ACC Championship since 2005, but he had an underwhelming performance. Florida State had a very conservative game plan coming off Manuel's ugly game against Florida the week before. The Seminoles mostly kept the ball on the ground.
Manuel had a few good completions off of play-action, but had some bad plays as well. He took three sacks on plays where he held onto the ball too long. One of those sacks resulted in a blind-side fumble by Manuel. It helped give Georgia Tech some momentum in the fourth quarter.
The turnovers continued as Manuel threw a jump ball for his big receiver, but a 5-foot-10 corner beat a 6-foot-5 receiver to make a one-handed circus-catch interception. That pick was the fault of the wide out, and a quality receiver can't allow that to happen.
Manuel completed 16-of-21 passes versus the Yellow Jackets for 134 yards, zero touchdowns and an interception. He looks like a third- or fourth-rounder at this time.
Georgia Tech senior guard Omoregie Uzzi has been an essential part of the Yellow Jackets' potent ground attack. He had a good night against Florida State with good blocks for running plays and zero pressures in pass protection.
Uzzi had a nice first-half cut block to open up a 10-yard run for his back. After a nice block to ride a defender downfield on a third-and-1, Uzzi got no push. He had a nice drive block on the defensive tackle in the third quarter to open a hole for a gain into the secondary. The senior had a horribly timed false start late in the fourth quarter.
Uzzi would be best off in the NFL in a zone-blocking scheme. He is extremely fast for an offensive linemen and fires into the second level of the defense. Uzzi's speed and athleticism would make him a natural in an NFL zone attack.
If a man-blocking scheme team is interested in Uzzi, he could be a quality center. His mobility would be ideal and he wouldn't be significantly undersized. It would be a work in progress as Uzzi would have to learn how to snap the ball effectively. He looks like a mid-rounder next April.
Wisconsin 70, Nebraska 31
Montee Ball will go down as one of the greatest players in Wisconsin Badgers history and one of the most prolific point-producers in college football history. He finished his final Big Ten appearance in impressive fashion. Junior center Travis Frederick and offensive tackle Ricky Wagner had great games against the Cornhuskers to help Ball and the Badgers other backs.
Ball was ripped off yards at a good clip all evening. His line was dominating the point of attack, and Ball was getting good yards before contact. He was doing a nice job of hitting the holes quickly before they closed.
Ball's first touchdown came on a stretch run. He came in motion and was handed the ball off of a shotgun snap. Ball beat the defensive backs to the corner to dive into the end zone. The senior's second score came when he exploded up the middle untouched for an easy 9-yard touchdown.
The third touchdown by Ball was a thing of beauty. He spun out of one tackle five yards past the line of scrimmage and shed another defender to break free down the field. Ball then stiff-armed Ciante Evans into the turf at the 20-yard line before running into the end zone. The highlight-reel run went for 57 yards.
Ball ran for 202 yards on 21 carries with three touchdowns against Nebraka. It was complete domination by Ball and the Badgers offensive line. He looks like a second-day pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, but this performance will definitely help his cause.
The same goes for Wagner and Frederick. Wagner's run blocking looked much better against the Cornhuskers compared to how it has looked in other contests. Unfortunately, Nebraska senior defensive tackle Baker Steinkuhler was out of this game so Frederick didn't get to battle against him. Frederick had a good tape and was superb in the ground game. Both of Wagner and Frederick look like second-day picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. The latter could return for his senior season in 2013.
Wisconsin junior wide out Jared Abbrederis could be a second or third-round pick if he declares for the 2013 NFL Draft. Abbrederis had a great block on a 50-yard Wisconsin touchdown. Deep down the field, he completely negated the last defender who could've made the tackle.
Abbrederis got involved in some trickeration by taking a pitch and throwing a pass downfield to his quarterback. It was a well-thrown ball for a completion to the Nebraska 1-yard line. He also had two catches for 29 yards as Wisconsin dominated on the ground.
Cornhuskers senior running back Rex Burkhead has had a frustrating season including six games lost to injury. He ran well against the Badgers with 61 yards on 11 carries. Burkhead is entering the Bowl game with only 535 yards rushing on the season, but he could be a nice value pick on the third day of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Kansas State 42, Texas 24
The Texas defense has a number of pro prospects. The unit overall has had a disappointing season, but some of the players have put together good years individually. The primary two are defensive end Alex Okafor and safety Kenny Vaccaro. Kansas State, led by senior quarterback Collin Klein, has one of the best offenses in the Big XII, so the Longhorns defenders would have a good test from the running-and-throwing quarterback.
Okafor was questionable to play heading into this contest since he hurting his ankle against TCU the week before. Okafor played versus the Wildcats with the injury, but was extremely limited. Texas had him in the game for probably less than 10 plays and tried to save him for obvious pass-rushing situations. The ankle took away his speed and explosiveness, Okafor just didn't look the same.
Despite that, the senior had an impact play when he started a fourth-quarter sack firing to the inside from left defensive end. Klein broke out of Okafor's arms to stumble forward before falling down. He could've been credited with a sack on the play, but wasn't. That was his only play of significance.
Okafor has eight sacks this year, but he's been a consistent pass-rusher. Okafor needs a strong Bowl appearance to help his chances of going early on next April.
While Okafor was limited, Vaccaro was a all over the field against Kansas State. He made a series of clutch tackles for his defense. Vaccaro showed good instincts to be around the ball with real speed to cover a lot of ground. Often, he made an impact near the line of scrimmage despite lining up deep.
Vaccaro was in on a second-quarter tackle of Braden Wilson on which the ball popped out and rolled out of bounds. It looked like teammates forced the ball out before Vaccaro got there, but the senior was credited with the forced fumble. He followed that up with a nice tackle on the perimeter.
Vaccaro made a touchdown-saving tackle on a long run in the third quarter. He delivered a shot to Klein on an option run on the very next play. Vaccaro came across the field a bit later to make another touchdown-saving stop. He made two textbook run tackles to limit gains to a few yards.
Vaccaro totaled 12 tackles with the forced fumble versus the Wildcats. The senior executes well as a deep center fielder and a run-defender in the box. He could be a late first-round pick or early second-round pick next April.
Two other defensive back prospects were in this game: Carrington Byndom and Nigel Malone. Texas cornerback Carrington Byndom had a quality night in pass coverage. He had a nice push into the backfield to almost force a safety for the Longhorns. Chris Harper beat him for a big catch later on the same drive to convert a third-and-long. Byndom had solid coverage, but the big receiver just made an excellent play. Byndom had two tackles in the game. The junior could be a second-day pick if he enters the 2013 NFL Draft.
The other defensive back prospect was Kansas State's Nigel Malone. He made an easy interception early on that he returned 25 yards for the score, but Malone made the idiotic decision to drop the ball as crossed he reached the goal line. The play was reviewed and ruled to be Kansas State ball at the 1-yard line. He was lucky it wasn't a touchback.
Later in the first half, Malone was late to react in zone coverage and allowed a touchdown pass. It was a curious decision on his part as Jaxon Shipley was the closest receiver for him to pick up, but Malone let him run open before reacting late after the ball was thrown.
Malone finished with two tackles. He is an gritty corner with ball skills, but is undersized. Malone would be best as a nickel/slot corner. He looks like a third-day pick next April.
Alabama 32, Georgia 28
There was a ton of pro talent on display in the SEC Championship game. Here is a rundown of the prospects and each player's round estimation heading into the day.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Junior running back Eddie Lacy, 2-3
Senior guard Chance Warmack, first-rounder
Senior center Barrett Jones, 1-3
Junior offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, 2-3
Senior tight end Michael Williams, 4-6
Senior nose tackle Jesse Williams, 1-3
Junior outside linebacker C.J. Mosley, 1-2
Senior inside linebacker Nico Johnson, 4-6
Junior cornerback DeMarcus Milliner, first-rounder
Senior safety Robert Lester, 2-3
Junior quarterback Aaron Murray, 1-3
Senior wide receiver Tavarres King, 4-6
Senior nose tackle John Jenkins, 1-2
Junior nose tackle Kwame Geathers, 2-3
Junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, Top-10 pick
Junior inside linebacker Alec Ogletree, 1-2
Senior cornerback Sanders Commings, 3-5
Senior safety Bacarri Rambo, 2-3
Senior safety Shawn Williams, 2-3
The consensus opinion is that Jarvis Jones is the top prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft on either team. He made his presence felt in the first quarter by beating Fluker with a speed rush around the corner. Jones bounced off Lacy to run down A.J. McCarron for a sack and jarred the ball loose. Georgia recovered the fumble in Alabama territory.
The Crimson Tide got some revenge on Jones with a 41-yard touchdown run by Lacy that went straight through him. Jones combined with some teammates in the third quarter for a coverage sack. Later, Jones had Lacy run through a tackle for another big gain.
Jones' run defense was a liability throughout the second half. Alabama had repeated success running straight at him. This was an overall bad performance from Jones that probably won't be held him against by the passing-driven NFL.
The reason that Jones was such a non-factor was because of the Crimson Tide's offensive line. Barrett Jones, Warmack and Fluker didn't start the game all that well, but they dominated the final two quarters.
John Jenkins beat Warmack for a sack on a third down in the second quarter. He charged into Warmack to rock him back. Jenkins then slammed Warmack's hands off him and charged into McCarron for the sack. Jenkins had a nice run stuff in the third quarter, but he got tired as he was on the field too much in the second half. Alabama was able to wear him down and take away some of his effectiveness via fatigue.
Barrett Jones and Warmack combined in the first half to blast open a big hole for Lacy to have a run of about 20 yards. They also opened up a hole for T.J. Yeldon to have a good performance. Barrett Jones single-blocked Kwame Geathers well on the play. Lacy went behind Fluker and the right side a few plays later for that 41-yard touchdown run.
Lacy and the Alabama line completely took over the game in the third quarter. Barrett Jones got out on a screen to help his back get a gain of 15 on a third-down completion for a first down. A great block by Barrett Jones on Geathers let Yeldon rip off a 30-yard run into Georgia territory. Barrett Jones finished the drive by shoving Geathers into the turf to open a hole for Yeldon to score a 10-yard touchdown.
The next drive was more of the same as the Crimson Tide line continued to blast open holes. Although Barrett Jones, Warmack and Fluker all were imposing their will, the center was especially standing out. Lacy ripped off yards in chunks and dove into the end zone from a yard out.
On the game-winning touchdown pass, Barrett Jones held off a bull rush long enough for the ball to get off accurately. The line paved the way for Alabama to run for over 300 yards on the ground with two running backs going over 150 yards. Lacy finished the game with 185 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns. This game will help his cause to move up higher.
Warmack's stock as a first-rounder should remain steady; same with Fluker on the second-day. Jones struggled some in the first half, but he was phenomenal in the final two quarters. The center was a superb technician in the way he handled Geathers and Jenkins, especially the former. This tape will help Jones and it could propel him into the first round.
Like a lot of Georgia's defenders, Rambo started the game well. He made a superb pass breakup early on when he flew across the field from the deep middle and blasted the receiver to force the ball to fall incomplete. Rambo was beaten for a 44-yard gain to receiver Amari Cooper in the second quarter. Rambo leapt to attempt an interception, but Cooper got above him. Rambo would've been better off just trying to slap the ball away rather than trying to make the catch.
Rambo and Shawn Williams had some ugly plays in run support in the second half. Williams was especially bad. He missed a tackle at the line of scrimmage to allow a gain of six yards on a third-and-5. Rambo was playing deeper, so Williams mistakes were more detrimental. Neither player will be helped by the SEC Championship game.
Ogletree had some rough plays in the first quarter, but he made a tackle for a loss in the second quarter after chasing down Lacy looking for some daylight. He made a dumb mistake later on by going helmet-to-helmet on McCarron for a personal foul. That came after an incompletion on a third-and-6 from the 8-yard line.
Ogletree stuffed a run short of the goal line a couple of plays later and also had Sanders Commings bail him out with an interception. Commings undercut the back shoulder throw in front of the receiver for the pick. He missed a tackle during the third quarter, but overall played a good game.
Off of a blocked field goal, Ogletree scooped up the ball and raced 55 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 21-10 lead. He made a big stop on a perimeter run later in the fourth. Ogletree was one of the few Georgia defenders who continued to play well in the second half, although he had some mistakes as well. Ogletree's stock should remain steady.
On the other side of the ball, this was an opportunity for Murray to have a statement game in his Bulldogs career. However, once again the signal-caller came up short. He completed 18-of-33 passes for 267 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Murray made some big-time throws down field, but he couldn't make some critical throws to extend drives.
Murray and King hooked up late in the first quarter for a big-play gain of 34 yards on an out route. Murray threw a bullet to his tight end on an out route on the next possession for a 19-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs quarterback had a receiver open running free down the field just before the half, but his pass was terribly underthrown and resulted in an interception.
Murray hit King along the deep sideline for a big gain in the third quarter. They hooked up again for over 40 yards on a deep post. Lester was late coming over and King was wide open. Murray let the ball hang too much, otherwise it could've been a touchdown. The quarterback and King connected again for a long completion on the final drive, and the receiver showed nice toughness to hang in there even though he knew he was about to be rocked.
King finished the game with five receptions for 143 yards. This performance will definitely help him. Murray won't see the same result, and he should probably return for his senior season.
Alabama's defense had a team effort with no player having a huge night. After Jarvis Jones, Milliner will probably be the next player to be selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. Although the junior allowed one catch, he had tight coverage throughout the night including a superb pass breakup on a pass downfield in the end zone. On the final drive, Milliner almost made a diving interception on a deflected pass. His draft stock should remain steady.
Jesse Williams had a nice run stuff in the second quarter. He hurt his knee while going down in a pile just after halftime. Williams was out for a while before returning to the field. Midway through the fourth quarter, he stuffed a run on a third-and-1 to force a punt. It was a huge play to give his offense the ball back.
Overall, it was a mixed performance for Williams. He had good and bad moments in run defense. His pass rush is completely ineffective and that is why he gets pulled from the game in many passing situations. Williams stock won't see a real impact from this game.
Baylor 41, Oklahoma State 34
Baylor wide receiver Terrance Williams and Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle are two early-round prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft. Both have had impressive 2012 seasons, and Williams is one of the nation's leading receivers.
This wasn't the best game to get a look at either of them as the Bears leapt out to an early lead. The Cowboys therefore had to throw the ball as they tried to come back, while Baylor mostly ran the ball to drain the clock. Thus, Randle didn't get as many carries and Williams didn't have as many throws his direction.
Williams has beat up on some weak secondaries at times this season. That wouldn't be the case with Oklahoma State as cornerback Justin Gilbert is one of the better corners in the Big XII. Williams had a pass fall through his hands early on on a low pass that was only a foot off the ground. Immediately after the play, Williams ran a great route for a gain of 27 yards. He started on a slant before cutting back to the deep sideline to get open.
From the slot, Williams had a gain of about 15 yards on a slant route. That set up a first-and-goal at the five. He was running free in the third quarter slashing across the deep middle of the field, but an inaccurate pass yiekded an incompletion on what could've been a touchdown for the wide out.
Overall, Gilbert had a strong day in coverage defending Williams. It was Williams' final regular season game, and the senior caught six passes for 71 yards. He won't be helped by this tape, but it shouldn't hurt significantly. Williams could be a first-round pick next April, but he should go in the top 50 if he slips out of the first round.
Despite Oklahoma State dropping back 50 times, Randle had a good day against Baylor. He had a strong start in the first quarter with a number of runs into the second level. The junior showed nice quickness to hit the hole.
Randle had a run of about 12 yards in the second quarter as he powered through a few defenders for an extra three or four yards. Randle ran for 26 on the next drive after juking the safety in the hole. He finished the run well by falling forward for some more yards.
Randle's 18th carry was a 16-yard run on which he went around the left side to veer towards the sideline. It put Randle over 100 yards on the day. The junior made a clutch catch midway through the fourth quarter. It was third-and-6 and he caught the ball just behind the line of scrimmage and made a defender miss. Randle excelled ahead for eight yards to set up a first-and-goal.
Randle totaled 130 yards on 23 carries. He ran with nice speed, elusiveness and finished his runs. Randle did well in the passing game, too. He had some nice blitz pickups and was smart about picking up the correct defenders. He also caught three passes for 17 yards. Randle could be a second-day pick if he enters the 2013 NFL Draft.
The final prospect worth mentioning is Baylor junior receiver Tevin Reese. He continued to showcase his big-play ability. Reese took a quick slant the distance on a 75-yard touchdown catch. He ran from the slot into zone coverage. Oklahoma State had no defender in position to tackle Reese, and he exploded down the field for a the score.
Reese totaled 108 yards on five receptions. He should return for his senior season in order to have a shot at being the Bears No. 1 receiver.
Stanford 27, UCLA 24
The Pac-12 Championship featured a lot of talent for the NFL including two running backs who will be playing on Sundays. UCLA's Jonathan Franklin and Stanford's Stepfan Taylor have both enjoyed huge senior seasons to lead their offenses. Even though the Bruins lost, Franklin had the better day with a truly impressive performance against one of the top defenses in college football. The Cardinal's physical stop unit is tough to run on but Franklin was superb.
Franklin (5-11, 195) got his huge outing started by showing his power with an 11-yard gain on which he broke three tackles. Franklin busted a tackle close to the line of scrimmage on the same drive and exploded down the field for a 51-yard touchdown.
Franklin had a 19-yard run on the next possession after he ran through a tackle by Chase Thomas. Franklin went around the right side for a gain of 31 yards in the second quarter. Once again, he picked up more yards after contact.
Franklin had a 32-yard run on a trap during the third quarter. The senior looked dead in the backfield, but he paused and scooted through a gap to break free into the secondary. Franklin showed his suddenness again with a 20-yard touchdown run. He paused to wait for a hole to open behind his guard and tackle to get up the middle of the field.
Even in the fourth quarter after a lot of hits, Franklin continued to rip off yards in chunks and pick up yards after contact. However, he had a horribly timed dropped pass on a third-and-6 on UCLA's last drive of the game.
Still, it was a great performance by Franklin. He totaled 194 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. The senior also had three receptions for 22 yards.
This performance demonstrated that Franklin has more power and strength than one would think. He has good quickness and suddenness with superb patience. Franklin picked up a ton of yards after contact and ran through a number of tackles from the tough Stanford defense. This tape will help his cause to get second-day consideration.
A week ago, Taylor had a massive game against UCLA, but the Bruins sold out to shut him down in this rematch. They stacked the box and didn't give him good lanes to run through. That didn't stop Taylor from contributing as he had a 32-yard gain on a dump off pass. The snior broke a tackle from Cassius Marsh to get another 20 yards inside the UCLA five-yard line.
Taylor totaled 78 yards on 24 carries with a short touchdown run in the Pac-12 Championship. He had six receptions for 55 yards, too. Taylor is an underrated prospect and will be a good value selection on Day 2 of the draft.
The Cardinal defense features two potential second-day selections: linebackers Shayne Skov and Chase Thomas. In the two games against UCLA to close out the season, Thomas went on a tear with two multi-sack performances.
Thomas had an impressive second-quarter sack that he started lined up wide with his hand in the ground. Thomas exploded up field and beat the left tackle with a devastating spin move to run down the quarterback. Thomas got in on a coverage sack with a teammate in the third quarter, too. The Bruins signal-caller ran around before Thomas got free to chase him down.
Thomas got in on his third sack midway through the fourth quarter after Brett Hundley scrambled forward. Entering the final weeks, the senior's sack count was laggging, but with 4-5 sacks in the final two games, he will enter Stanford's Bowl matchup with 7.5-8 sacks on the season. There have been many passing plays this season on which Thomas dropped into coverage, so his pass-rushing opportunities were reduced.
Skov had a nice tackle for a loss on a perimeter run. He read the back well as the ball-carrier tried to bounce the run around the outside. Skov made a bad read a few plays later and took on an unnecessary block as Hundley ran for over 40 yards.
Skov added another tackle for a loss during the second quarter after he fired around the tackle to make a stop in the backfield. Skov held up pretty well taking on blocks throughout the night, but wasn't having a consistent impact defending Franklin.
Both Skov and Thomas look like second-day draft picks. They also had some nice moments in pass coverage down field. This tape will definitely help Thomas.
Two of the top tight ends for the 2013 NFL Draft were in this game. Stanford's Zach Ertz and UCLA's Joseph Fauria have been big-play receivers and point-producers this season. Fauria is a great red-zone weapon while Ertz is the more well-rounded tight end who contributes as a run-blocker.
Both defenses were very aware of these weapons. Fauria saw a lot of double coverage, and Ertz was closely guarded as well. The latter finished the day with 19 yards on three receptions.
Fauria had a touchdown attempt in double coverage, but Thomas broke up the pass. Fauria's first catch came as he worked the middle of the field for a good gain of 17 yards.
Fauria made a huge catch in the final minute of the game to get a first down on a fourth-and-6 attempt. He was being held up by a few defenders, so he pitched the ball to a teammate to pick up extra yards. It worked out, but was a bad decision to risk a turnover with UCLA down by three and in Stanford territory.
Those were Fauria's only receptions of the contest. Both Ertz and Fauria look like second- or third-round picks next April.
The UCLA defense has some NFL talent of their own. Junior linebacker Anthony Barr has had a breakout season after playing on offense his first two years. He entered the weekend as one of the nation's leaders in sacks with 12.
Barr had a number of good tackles in run support versus the Cardinal. He had a nice rush to the inside in the second quarter on which he beat a guard to get in on a sack with a teammate. Barr also made a crushing hit on a short dump off pass to the fullback to limit the catch to a yard.
Barr contributed some good pass rushes as well. His run defense was very impressive and showed that he has the potential to be an every-down linebacker and not just a pass-rusher. Barr is still developing and he probably should return for his senior season before going pro. If Barr continues to improve, he could be a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The other Bruins defender who was impressive against Stanford was senior defensive end Datone Jones. He had a nice tackle early on after beating the guard to the inside to make a tackle for a loss of one. Jones had a coverage sack during the third quarter after quarterback Kevin Hogan held the ball for about 10 seconds and danced around behind the line of scrimmage and Jones chased him down from behind.
The senior drew a holding penalty during the fourth quarter after firing through a gap in run defense. He was a load at the point of attack all night. Jones played a big role in limiting Taylor. Jones' pass rush was consistently good as well. This was a good tape that will help him with NFL evaluators.
Louisville 20, Rutgers 17
There were three pro prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft in this showdown for the Big East Championship,. Rutgers has two defenders who could be early-round picks next April. Junior cornerback Logan Ryan and senior linebacker Khaseem Greene have been excellent this year. Ryan is widely expected to leave school and enter the 2013 NFL Draft.
Overall, Ryan wasn't abused, but he didn't finish the season well against Louisville and standout quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Ryan made a few tackles in zone coverage early on. He was beaten by his receiver running down the middle of the field in the third quarter. Ryan had allowed three yards of separation, but he got lucky as the pass was overthrown for an incompletion. An accurate pass would've brought the ball inside the 10-yard line.
Ryan allowed a touchdown not too much later. However, he had good coverage on the play. The receiver did a double move and Ryan didn't buy it. He was running stride-for-stride down the sideline, but was beaten when the ball was up for grabs. The taller receiver got above Ryan to make a superb catch for a go-ahead touchdown with only a half minute remining in the third quarter.
Ryan was tested on a go route along the sideline on the next possession, but he had tight coverage to force an incompletion. Ryan was beaten on a slant in press-man coverage late in the fourth quarter. He allowed some separation and then lost his footing and fell down. That let Ryan's receiver break free for a 30-yard gain inside the Rutgers 20-yard line. It set up the game-winning field goal.
This tape won't help Ryan, but it won't hurt him tremendously. Aside from a couple of plays, he had good coverage overall. The touchdown was just a great catch, and the 30-yard slant was his worst play. This performance indicates Ryan to be more of a second-day pick rather than pushing for Round 1.
Greene was active and all over the field for Scarlet Knights. He got in on a number of tackles in the tackle box and in the backfield for some tackles for a loss. Greene had a textbook tackle moving into the hole and making the stop for a short gain. The senior also made a lot of tackles in run support. His pursuit skills are phenomenal. He is extremely fast to the perimeter and has a quick burst to fire to the point of attack.
Greene blasted a wide receiver running along the sideline in the third quarter. Greene was called for a late hit, but it was a terrible call as he couldn't see his foot just step out of bounds a half second before he made the hit. Overall, Greene had a good day against the Cardinals. This tape should help him to be a second-day pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
One player who had a rough outing was Louisville senior center Mario Benavides. He was consistently getting driven back into the pocket. The lack of strength to sustain blocks was a real weakness as defenders were knocking Benavides hands off them to get free. He had issues with power and speed from Rutgers' linemen.
Benavides couldn't get a push on consecutive plays in the first half on which Louisville only needed a yard for a first down. Later in the third quarter, Scott Malone tossed Benavides to the side and ran down Bridgewater for a sack. Benavides was driven straight backwards a bit later to blow up a run play and start a tackle for a loss.
Benavides really struggled against the Scarlet Knights in one-on-one blocks. He was better and more effective when he hit combo blocks with guards. Benavides is mobile and does well to get to landmarks on the second level. He moves well in pass protection, but can't be trusted to single-block a good pass-rusher.
For the NFL, Benavides has to play in a zone-blocking system that can utilize his mobility. That will also put him in more double-team situations. He doesn't have the strength to win blocks in a power-man scheme. Benavides' stock will be hurt bye him being a limited player. This performance made Benavides look like a mid-rounder.
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