Friday links

September 30th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

Thanks to the Major League Baseball playoffs, I have no access to college games this weekend. That’s right, despite showing two full hours of college gameday - ’ESPN America’ as it’s called over here aren’t showing any actual games live. I’ll get replays on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday but unfortunately it’ll take a while longer than usual to process. I’ll have a review post up on Saturday night and maybe there’s a stream or two to be had somewhere?

In the meantime here’s a few links for Saturday and further game tape on Robert Griffin III…

Tony Pauline has more excellent insider information on this year’s top draft eligible prospects. According to Pauline’s sources Trent Richardson, Don’ta Hightower and Dre Kirkpatrick will all turn pro next year. Richardson is one of the few prospects deserving of a high 2012 grade so far in my view, a truly excellent running back prospect.

Rob Rang and Chad Reuter have the thankless task of projecting a full first round mock draft in September. It still baffles me how anyone can project Donte Paige-Moss (DE, UNC) in the first round, let alone 15th overall as Rang has here. Like I said, it’s hard to be too critical given it’s September but Paige-Moss has done absolutely nothing to warrant even a second-day grade for me. On a more positive note, it’s great to see Reuter giving some love to another Tar Heel – linebacker Zach Brown. He’s clearly the star player on the UNC defense and stands out every time I watch North Carolina.

Russ Lande is a respected scout who runs the GM JR website and this week published his top-99 prospects for 2012. I’d recommend checking out his material. Having said, that I often find myself disagreeing with some of his judgements but that’s part of the process. He’s higher on Landry Jones than I am and makes a comparison between Matt Barkley and Jimmy Clausen which I cannot agree with. Clausen played within an offense that made life far too easy – it demanded nothing from Clausen, limiting turn overs and living off high percentage short completions. It’s no surprise that the system made two quarterbacks (Clausen and Brady Quinn) that were both snubbed by the NFL (rightly so). Barkley isn’t just asked to do much more than Clausen ever was, he generally excels within that environment. The only comparison I can see between the pair is height – which is in that borderline 6-2 range. What I would also say is – if you genuinely think Clausen/Barkley is a legitimate comparison, why rank Barkley even at #50? If you could go back and re-live the 2010 draft, Clausen would be a 6th rounder at best.

Kudos to Lande for promoting not only Zach Brown as discussed earlier, but also Logan Harrell (DT, Fresno State). I’ve been promoting Harrell all summer as a big-time sleeper. Dwight Jones (WR, UNC) also gets a top-20 grade, something we also suggested was a possibility earlier this week. It’s time Jones received a consensus first round grade.

Draft Tek has a new consensus mock draft, calculating team needs to combine with their existing grades and big board. The Seahawks take Landry Jones at #3.

Mel Kiper has a new big board out, with Matt Barkley dropping from #3 to #10 based on last week’s performance against Arizona State. I have an issue with weekly big boards – would you move Tom Brady from #1 quarterback in the NFL to #7 after last week’s performance in Buffalo? Brandon Jenkins (DE, Florida State) is also among the top-25, a baffling projection for someone who looks like a mid-rounder at best.

Steve Muench is another big fan of Landry Jones, while he gives Matt Barkley a late first round grade which goes along with his Scouts Inc. colleague Todd McShay. Maybe John and Pete will get their version of Aaron Rodgers after all?

Walter Cherepinksy updates his 2012 mock draft. The Seahawks continue to own the #1 overall pick despite last week’s home victory over Arizona and of course Andrew Luck is the choice. The Seahawks are not a good team right now, but it’s nothing a good quarterback cannot solve. However, while ever this team competes in the awful NFC West it will be a near miracle to pick first overall. Let’s not underestimate just how bad St. Louis had to get to be 1-15 in this division. As poor as Seattle have been so far, they’re still a long way away from that sorry Rams outfit in 2009.

Robert Griffin III has started the new season strongly and his performance against TCU really caught the eye. However, his display against Rice was more akin to what we’ve seen in the past from the Baylor quarterback. He runs a screen game with very little challenging throws. His footwork is very poor and technically he’s not a strong passer. When he lit up a really tough TCU team, you had to take notice. However, I do wonder if he’ll always remain a substantial project in terms of the NFL and therefore limit his stock to the round 2-4 range at best. See the tape below, courtesy of JMPasq:

7 Responses to “Friday links”

  1. Aaron says:

    It will be interesting to compare the performances of RG3 to Austin Davis when he plays Rice this week. Should be an interesting comparison.

    Also what did you think of the Alabama defensive line Rob? My mancrush Jesse Williams is still a junior, and he looks like a mid-late round pick, but I think he does have the potential to develop into a good DE, pending if he ever gets hand technique correct.

    • Rob says:

      Hey Aaron… ‘Bama vs Florida is my main game this week so will take a closer look. Saw the Penn State game but spent more time watching one of the PSU DE’s that I like and Trent Richardson. Will keep a look out for your guy.

  2. Colin says:

    Hmmm. Maybe I should start being happy that Todd McShay and others are not high on Barkley. Let him drop right into our lap.

    I don’t think Pete would pass on Barkley. Unless Luck were available, of course.

    But if both Landry Jones and Matt Barkley were available, I sure hope he’d take Barkley…

  3. Kip Earlywine says:

    Trent Richardson reminds me a lot of Corey Dillon coming out of college 15 years ago. Both players looked almost too big for their pads, and yet they ran so fast and so hard and both had surprisingly good moves for being big RBs. Watching either, the term “freight train” leaps to mind.

    If Seattle ends up getting shutout of getting a top QB, but has a shot at Richardson, I could think of worse things to do with that pick. I’m not normally a fan of drafting running backs very high, either.

  4. Al says:

    From what I can see Mr. Griffin has loads of potential, his arm seems good enough to make all the throws. However, as it stands I wouldn’t draft him until the 3rd or 4th round, maybe later. Too big of a risk right now, he doesn’t step into the pocket (as you mentioned, his footwork needs a LOT of work), he just seems to stand in place when he throws the ball. When I said he could make all of the throws, I said that noticing that he wasn’t using his legs to generate more speed on that ball! Imagine how much stronger his arm would be with a bit more leg drive. Not to mention how much more accurate!

    However, while I would say he needs another year in College, I’m not sure if the Baylor staff cares too much about his foot work. Obviously they must a bit, but it doesn’t seem very imperative to their offense. Due to the hype and the potential it may just be a good idea to enter the draft to be coached by an NFL staff. This may sound contradictory, but I would love to see the Hawks draft Mr. Griffen. From what I hear he sounds like a great guy. Clearly he is responsible and has loads of book smarts (he graduated High School half a semester early and is studying for his Masters right now!). Now, whether that translates to smart football IQ, I don’t know. I can point to his lack of turnovers, but from the look of his offense he doesn’t have many opportunities to make mistakes.

  5. Trenchtown says:

    After watching the Idaho v. Virginia game, I can honestly say that neither team has anyone remotely worth drafting except maybe Idaho’s punter Cowan. Terrible teams

  6. PatrickH says:

    Just finished watching USC vs Arizona. Neither team played much defense. Barkley had more than 450 yards passing (breaking Carson Palmer’s record), and USC needed all of the 48 points, as Nick Foles had more than 400 yards passing and Arizona put up 41 points.

    Earlier I watched Arkansas vs Texas A&M and was impressed by (sophmore?) QB Tyler Wilson of Arkansas. He took hit after hit but wasn’t rattled and made good throws deep down the field for the come-from-behind victory.