— Florida linebacker Alex Anzalone is one to seriously monitor for the 2017 draft. His performance vs Kentucky on Saturday was intense — including 1.5 sacks and five solo tackles. His closing speed, play recognition and versatility to play coverage and rush the passer makes him an intriguing prospect. See for yourself:
LB Alex Anzalone shows his quickness and instinct on this delayed blitz sack pic.twitter.com/cnUBfx89Ok
— Swamp Music (@Swamp_Music2) September 12, 2016
Anzalone is a redshirt junior so declaring for the draft is likely if he maintains this level of performance. He’s eerily similar to Clay Matthews Jr — the same hair, 6-3/241lbs frame and intensity. For the Seahawks he could be an option in the Bruce Irvin role. Watch this guy if you get a chance.
— Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson is an interesting case. You’ll see a lot of mocks projecting him in the top-10. He has the ideal frame but at the moment just doesn’t play like a top-10 prospect. Robinson has heavy feet despite his athleticism and he doesn’t play with the kind of control we saw from Laremy Tunsil a year ago. There were a couple of times vs Western Kentucky where he didn’t really seem sure who he was supposed to block. The potential is there and the league demand for athletic tackles has never been greater. That could keep him in the top tier for 2017. At the moment he’s not entirely living up to the hype. That said, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for the Seahawks if a tackle with upside and potential suffers a bit of a fall and maybe comes into range.
— Adam Schefter predicted today that Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer would be the #1 pick in next years draft. I found that surprising given he started the year swapping drives with Malik Zaire. I watched Kizer vs Nevada and Texas and there’s certainly a lot to like. He’s big but not immobile, he has a decent arm and he made some nice throws against the Longhorns. Yet on Saturday there were also some issues:
On one pick he horribly undersold a deep ball when the WR had gained perfect downfield separation. He misfired a couple of other times downfield and as a runner he’s more ‘elusive’ than a threat to break off gains. Does he really look like a future #1 pick in the video above? He also has limited starting experience and although DeShaun Watson has had a middling start to the season — it’s staggering to think Kizer has jumped ahead of him based on this evidence. With the likes of Watson, Myles Garrett and Leonard Fournette eligible next year — it’s hard to imagine Kizer being the top pick.
— It’s rare that the top recruits end up becoming the top draft prospects but that could be the case with this years draft. Here’s a list of players who were all part of the same recruiting class and given 5-star ratings:
It’s strange to think Hand was ahead of the others and yet plays, so far, basically a spell-role for the Alabama defense. Garrett, Peppers and Fournette are top-tier prospects for next years draft while Humphrey, Dupre, Tabor, Robinson, Cook and Watson are all slated for round one.
Malik McDowell is really boom or bust. Against Furman he had one really good play shedding a block and pursuing the running back for a big loss. He was also dumped on his backside by a tight end at one point and drifted out of the game against a major underdog opponent. When he uses his length he’s adept at disengaging and working into the backfield. Too often though his technique drops and he becomes ineffective. I’m not sold on his ability to go as early as some are predicting.
Adoree’ Jackson is an incredible athlete but what is his role at the next level? Can he become a bona fide corner? Joe Mixon has a high ceiling but major character concerns that need to be checked out. As a talent he has a NFL future but nobody will touch him without doing major background checks on his legal case.
Bo Scarborough has the potential to be the next great running back at Alabama but so far has been used in a committee. We’ll see if his role develops over the course of the season.
— This should be a much better draft for tight ends. If Eric Ebron can go #10 overall than O.J. Howard is an absolute shoe-in for the top-15. Howard has Ebron’s occasional lapses in concentration but he’s an even better athlete with major upside as a pass-catcher. Jake Butt is Mr. Dependable — a Greg Olsen type who does everything well. Evan Engram is a better blocker than his 6-3, 227lbs frame suggests but he’s a really dynamic pass-catcher.
If you missed this weeks podcast — don’t forget to check it out here.