This section breaks down many college football games each week and highlights how 2015 NFL Draft Prospects
have performed. Or look at the 2015 NFL Draft Stock page (link coming soon).
By Charlie Campbell.
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South Carolina 38, Georgia 35
The marquee game of Week 3 in the college football season featured two running backs who could be special in the NFL. Georgia?s Todd Gurley is one of the most talented players in the nation and could be a high first-rounder. South Carolina?s Mike Davis looks like an early-round pick as a complete back. Both players showed some special ability, but Gurley was clearly on another level.
From the start of the game, South Carolina was selling out to stop Gurley. They did a pretty good job of bottling him up, but the Gamecock offense did great work to keep Gurley on the sideline in the first two quarters. He had 44 yards on eight carries with three receptions for zero yards. However, Gurley showed his speed and cutting ability on an impressive 54-yard touchdown run called back on a questionable holding call.
Gurley broke free for a gain of 40 yards in the third quarter, as he showed his burst, body lean and yardage-after-contact ability on a great run. To finish the drive, Gurley converted a fourth-and-1 and capped it with a short touchdown run.
Gurley went to the left side and saw nothing on a third-quarter run. He reversed field and exploded to convert a third-and-16 into a first down. It was a crazy run that illustrated his great speed. Gurley finished with 131 yards on 20 carries with one score. It was another tape of freak athletic ability with Gurley that illustrates why he belongs in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, assuming he stays healthy this season.
Stopping the special runner was also the game plan of Georgia. Davis was contained in the first half, but with the safeties and linebackers so focused on the ground game, the Gamecocks hit a number of big pass plays down the middle of the field.
Davis illustrated good vision, finished his runs well and was serviceable as a receiver. He got going early with an impressive run, powering through a defender to set up a first-and-goal. Davis had some physical runs including a 10-yarder where he carried some defenders, but a minor injury put him on the sideline for a bulk of the second half. Davis totaled 66 yards on 17 carries with two receptions for 16 receiving yards. He performed better than his numbers indicate, but this tape won?t help him to grade out as a first-round pick.
South Carolina senior left tackle Corey Robinson and senior left guard A.J. Cann both were tough run blockers for the Gamecocks. Each of them provided a physical presence at the point of attack that can push defensive linemen out of their gap. However, they both can have issues in pass protection.
Cann was beaten on a speed rush in the second quarter and shortly later, he was burned on a speed rush and was fortunate that he didn?t give up a sack, but the pressure almost caused an interception.
Late in the fourth quarter, Cann whiffed on picking up a stunt and allowed the quarterback to be pressured into a terrible throw for an interception deep in South Carolina territory. Luckily for Cann and the Gamecocks, the Bulldogs self-destructed on the drive and missed a short field goal.
Both Robinson and Cann need to improve their pass protection and ability to play in space for the NFL. They are fits for power-man blocking schemes, but don?t look like they would transition well to a team that runs lot of zone blocking. Both of them are potential second-day picks. Robinson should move to guard or right tackle in the NFL.
There was a similar story on the other side of the ball. Georgia left tackle John Theus illustrated that he?s a better fit at right tackle for the NFL.
Theus allowed some pressures around the corner and was beaten for a coverage sack in the third quarter. He gave his quarterback time, but as he scrambled forward, Theus lost his defender and he got to the quarterback.
Theus had some quality run blocks and opened up holes for Gurley, especially in the second half. However, Theus struggled with speed rushers and didn?t look like he has the feet to be a left tackle prospect in the NFL.
Gamecock tight end Rory Anderson showed that he is a dangerous receiving weapon against Georgia. Early on, he got open for a gain of 20 yards in zone coverage and followed it up with a reception for 15 yards on a crossing route. Anderson then went up over linebacker Amarlo Herrara to make an 18-yard touchdown catch. It was an impressive play, as Anderson ran a good route and made a fabulous contested catch.
East Carolina 28, Virginia Tech 21
Virginia Tech senior safety Kyshoen Jarrett was one of the stars of the Hokies? upset over Ohio State. He had two interceptions against the Buckeyes, and on Saturday, he had the challenge of helping to defend East Carolina wide receiver Justin Hardy. Hardy is a quality draft prospect who would be tested by Jarrett and a lot of young talent in the Hokies secondary. Sophomore cornerback did a nice job of matching up against Hardy.
Jarrett was late helping over the top on a post in the first quarter, and East Carolina scored a touchdown, but it was more the fault of the cornerback than Jarrett. East Carolina receiver Ken Worthy then beat Jarrett for a touchdown catch. Jarrett was all over the receiver and was flagged for a pass interference, but offsetting penalties bailed out Jarrett from allowing the score.
Jarrett was beaten for a long reception in the fourth quarter as he had a receiver get a little separation and break a tackle to spring free for more yards. Jarrett followed that with a nice pass break up on a slant. For his NFL outlook, this was a mixed performance from Jarrett. He showed some ability to play man coverage on receivers, but also was beat for some plays. This tape is a step back compared to how he played against Ohio State.
Hardy, meanwhile, didn?t have a big impact as he totaled four receptions for 47 yards. The other East Carolina receivers were more impressive, but Hardy was mostly covered by Kendall Fuller, a potential first-round pick in 2016. Still, Hardy wasn?t very impressive.
With Fuller putting the clamps on Hardy, Pirates? wide receiver Cam Worthy destroyed the Virginia Tech secondary. He totaled 224 yards on six receptions. This was a breakout game for the senior.
East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden had a huge day completing 23-of-47 passes for 427 yards with three touchdowns. The senior is a nice passer but looks a little short in his physical skill set for the NFL. However, games like this will encourage teams to give him a look and more consideration as a prospect.
Virginia Tech has two speed rushers who are undersized in defensive end Dadi Nicholas and defensive tackle Luther Maddy. Both of them were active against East Carolina. In the second quarter, Nicholas got in on a sack with a speed rush around the right tackle. He had other pass pressures around the edge. Maddy showed a fast spin move on the right guard to get a hit on the quarterback. He had some other tackles and stops in the backfield. Both players are fast defenders who need to add weight for the NFL.
An East Carolina sleeper prospect who really impressed in this game was senior nose tackle Terry Williams. Virginia Tech really struggled to block Williams, as he bullied his way into the backfield repeatedly. The 6-foot-1, 353-pounder is overweight and needs to improve his conditioning to play more snaps. Still, Williams had a sound performance, as he stuffed runs, caused disruption and got to the quarterback. He looks worthy of consideration on day three for a team that runs a 3-4 defense especially.
Missouri 38, Central Florida 10
Missouri defensive end/outside linebacker Markus Golden was extremely impressive with a dominant game edge rushing against Toledo last week. Central Florida was clearly determined to not let Golden have a repeat of that performance, sending double teams his direction throughout the game.
Still, Golden made some impact plays. He had a physical tackle for a loss firing through the line to clean up a quarterback draw after there was heat from the inside. In the second half, Golden had a coverage sack after fighting off his blocker and winning in pursuit. Golden played well overall despite Central Florida limiting him with double teams.
The double teams sent to Golden allowed Missouri defensive end Shane Ray to explode. Ray has played well in the early going of the 2014 season, but had a monster game against Central Florida. Ray showed his speed to make a few tackles for a loss in pursuit in the first half. Ray had some trouble defending downhill runs coming straight at him, but he was otherwise living in the backfield. Ray had three tackles for a loss in run support, including one play where he flew by the left tackle to drop the back for a 7-yard loss.
In the third quarter on a pass rush, Ray got up upfield and worked back to the line of scrimmage to sack the quarterback as he stepped up in the pocket. He later ripped down the quarterback for a strip-sack. Ray burned the left tackle with a speed rush to get his fifth sack in three games.
This was an impressive tape for Ray, as he took advantage of being single blocked. Depending on the official scorer, Ray had at least two sacks with five tackles for a loss. Ray showed a real burst off the snap with the agility to turn the corner. He needs to get stronger for the ground game, but this was very impressive, showing speed rushing skills and edge rush athleticism.
Central Florida wide receiver Breshard Perriman got on draft radars after playing well with Blake Bortles a year ago. Perriman (6-3, 214) has good size and some quickness.
Perriman hurt his draft cause against Missouri, however. He started slowly, as he dropped a first-down reception on a third-and-15 that would have gone for a first down. Early in the second quarter, Perriman made an excellent catch stretching out in the middle of the field for a conversion on a third-and-long in zone coverage. That set up Central Florida at the 5-yard line, but that was his only real positive play of the day.
Perriman dropped two more passes that hit him right in the hands in the third quarteer. They were easy catches and inexcusable drops. He totaled only two receptions for 27 yards against Missouri. This was an ugly tape from Perriman.
Central Florida middle linebacker Terrance Plummer had a quality performance. He made a lot of tackles in the ground game and was in the double digits. He also had some plays in pass coverage. Plummer looks like he could be a nice, mid-round selection.
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