This section breaks down many college football games each week and highlights how 2014 NFL Draft Prospects have performed. Or look at the 2014 NFL Draft Stock page.
By Charlie Campbell.
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Texas 36, Oklahoma 20
While the Red River Rivalry doesn’t the feature the amount of pro talent it had a few years ago, there still were some quality prospects for scouts to evaluate. The top prospect in this game could be Oklahoma senior cornerback Aaron Colvin. Unfortunately for Colvin, Texas did its best to avoid him.
Colvin had a nice tackle a on swing play and fired into the backfield to get a tackle for a loss. Throughout the first half, Colvin was solid in coverage and Texas was throwing away from him. He made a tackle on special teams in kick coverage. Colvin was penalized as he had a hold of the receiver’s facemask in the third quarter. If anything this performance should help Colvin but it wasn’t overly impressive.
After Colvin, the next player who could be drafted is Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. He’s played well overall as a senior coming off a season-ending injury in 2012. Jeffcoat came alive in the second quarter following a quiet first frame. He was blocked, but eventually shed the left tackle to chase down quarterback Blake Bell on a coverage sack.
Later, Jeffcoat got a pressure that helped lead to an interception for Texas. His second coverage sack came late in the fourth quarter on a fourth down. Jeffcoat got some penetration upfield shoving the left tackle back. As Bell scrambled to his left, Jeffcoat bear-hugged him and took him to the ground.
Even though it was a multi-sack game, Jeffcoat wasn’t overwhelming the Oklahoma offensive line. Both of his sacks were the result of good coverage by the Texas secondary. Thus, Jeffocat shouldn’t see a big boost from this performance.
The Texas secondary was led by senior cornerback Carrington Byndom and junior corner Quandre Diggs. Byndom had good coverage and contributed a nice tackle to snuff out a quick throw. He also had a great block on a punt return for a touchdown.
On a deep pass in man coverage, Diggs had tight coverage to break up a pass. Diggs later came on a blitz from the slot and sacked the quarterback. Like Byndom, Diggs had sound coverage against Oklahoma. Bell struggled as he only completed 12 passes for the Sooners. This game should help Diggs and Byndom.
One of the unsung prospects for next May but a very unique player who will be entering the NFL is Oklahoma senior fullback Trey Millard. He is a real offensive weapon as he is a phenomenal lead blocker and an asset in pass protection while also being a good receiver and ball carrier. Milliard had an impressive performance against Texas, and Oklahoma should have used him more. He was a superb blocker in the ground game.
Early on, Milliard set up a touchdown with a nifty 8-yard run. Millard later made a nice move on a pass route to get a gain of 29 yards. That was his only catch, but Millard ran for 32 yards on seven carries. Milliard gave NFL evaluators a tape to show his versatility and help his bid to be a second-day pick.
South Carolina 52, Arkansas 7
After taking a lot of criticism this past week, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney decided to play and stepped up his effort level against Arkansas. On his first play, Clowney fired into the backfield to almost get a tackle for a loss, but his disruption helped limit the run to only two yards. The Razorbacks then ran the other way from Clowney for the duration of the first half and also let him penetrate upfield and then run underneath him. Clowney didn’t see a lot of snaps as the Gamecock offense absolutely dominated the time of possession. He made his first tackle in the fourth quarter as he looped around the left tackle to chase down the running back. That was the end of the day for Clowney as South Carolina emptied the bench in the blowout. Clowney showed a better motor and effort in this game, so it shouldn’t hurt his draft stock significantly even though he didn’t get a big statistical performance.
Arkansas also has a pass-rushing draft prospect in defensive end Chris Smith. The senior entered the game as one of the nation’s leaders in sacks with six in six games. After a quiet outing against Florida last week, South Carolina kept the trend going.
The Gamecock rushing attack was problematic as Smith was getting washed out in ground defense when runs came straight at him. He was getting in on some tackles in pursuit, but his run defense illustrated why he should be an outside linebacker in the NFL. In the second quarter, Smith had a nice pass rush when he burned the right tackle with a speed rush.
Overall, Smith was a non-factor and this tape won’t help him. It looks like he has a very generous listing of 6-foot-3, 268-pounds, and Smith is undersized for defensive end in the NFL. If a 4-3 team drafts him he will have to be a situational pass-rusher.
One of the top draft-eligible centers for next May is Arkansas’ Travis Swanson. With the Razorback defense struggling, Swanson didn’t get much of a chance to impress going against South Carolina defensive tackle Chaz Sutton. Swanson looked good on the first drive. He had a nice block to set up a 15-yard run and a 6-yard touchdown run for Alex Collins.
Swanson ran down the field with the back trailing behind him in the fourth quarter. Swanson got enough of a cornerback to spring his back for an additional 15 yards on a 29-yard run, but Collins fumbled the ball into the end zone for a touchback. That play was the end of the day for Swanson. Overall, this tape will help him if anything.
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