Vic Beasley has 28 sacks in his last 25 games — tying a Clemson record. The 28th was a sack, strip, touchdown (see above). He explodes off the edge, coasts past the tight end and makes a huge play. Beasley is well known but remains underrated purely due to a lack of brilliant size. In terms of a speed rusher, he’s a fine prospect who certainly warrants top-15 consideration. Look at the production. He’s not going to set the edge and play dominant run-D. He’s not going to line-up inside in nickel. He’s just a flat-out speed rusher off the edge. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Of all the top ranked pass rushers eligible for the 2015 draft, Beasley remains the most intriguing right now. Nobody has his get-off, speed to round the edge and lean/balance. He can use his hands when he needs to. He’s a big-time competitor. He’ll make a ton of money at the combine. Expect a split in the 1.5 range and a very fast forty time.
He lacks bulk and length. Ideally you’d like to see longer arms and the ability to add weight. Marcus Smith was long and looked like he could add 10lbs — he went in round one to the Eagles. Beasley shouldn’t try to add too much weight and he has shorter arms. But he’s incredibly fast. Difference making fast. He’s on a different speed level compared to Smith.
At the end of the day you can’t ignore the production. 28 sacks in 25 games — seven in total in 2014. At the next level he can be productive in passing situations and on third down. Any team needing a speed rusher will have a long hard look at Beasley.
Brett Hundley is not a first round pick
Draft pundits are desperate to force quarterbacks into the first round debate. It happens every year. Every season we see mid-round QB’s getting hyped up. I guess it helps fill out a pointless October mock draft.
This year UCLA’s Brett Hundley and Michigan State’s Connor Cook are getting the hype treatment. Cook is a very average prospect. He’s not particularly elusive or a threat to run. He doesn’t have a big arm. His decision making in the pocket is inconsistent. He’ll force throws and make mistakes. The Oregon tape was hit and miss. Where’s the first round appeal?
Against Nebraska he completed just 11/29 passing and threw a pick and a score. Eleven completions at the college level?
The league is hopefully learning from Minnesota’s error in drafting Christian Ponder in the first round in 2011 — a pick that looked hopeless at the time. Average college quarterbacks lacking tilt-the-field ability are wasted picks.
Hundley is a different case. He has some arm talent. The problem, however, is he’s so lacking in terms of pocket awareness. He takes an age to get the ball out. He’s gun-shy and unwilling to pull the trigger. He constantly hesitates looking for a wide open target. It’s the main reason why he’s been sacked over 100 (!!!) times at UCLA.
Yes, he’s playing behind a poor offensive line. There aren’t many ‘dirt bags’ blocking for Jim Mora. But it’s no excuse and last night’s Utah game was a prime example. Hundley was sacked ten times and several could’ve been avoided.
On the sixth sack of the night he was supposed to fire a quick throw to the outside after a three step drop. His footwork was appalling — it took him far too long to complete the drop and set. He had the single coverage he wanted but still pumped the ball anyway and absorbed the sack. Everything about this play has to be sharp. Drop, set, throw. Hundley made it look so laboured and it’s a really simple concept.
There were various other examples where Hundley’s basic technique let him down — but he also has a really bad habit of holding onto the ball far too long. He locks onto his first read and lingers. He’s not progressing through reads and at the nearest sign of pressure the eyes drop and he’s trying to scramble. He’s not going to be getting overly complicated defensive looks in the PAC-12 and even still — he’s finding it hard to make quick decisions. At the next level he’s going to need to read plays a heck of a lot better — and he’s going to have to be much more decisive to go with the technical improvements he’ll have to make (footwork is vital).
The frustrating thing is he had two throws in the game that really wowed. The first was a lazer between two DB’s to the right sideline. Perfect placement, arm strength and touch. He scored a late touchdown to put UCLA ahead (they were eventually beaten) that looked equally pretty. Yet these are offset by the issues. He conceded a terrible pick six lofting an attempted screen pass straight to the DB. Again — he’s not reading the situation. The screen wasn’t on, Utah had the play covered. He needed to improvise or throw it out of bounds. Instead he just lobbed it straight to a defender who gladly accepted the pick and the touchdown. It’s not good enough.
You can’t invest in Hundley as a potential franchise quarterback. For me he’s a mid-round development pick who needs to sit and learn behind a veteran, accomplished starter. He will struggle like crazy if he’s challenged to start quickly. It’ll be car crash.
Right now it wouldn’t be a major surprise if Marcus Mariota went first overall and we didn’t see another QB taken in the first round. Jameis Winston’s laundry list of off-field incidents will be a major cause for concern — so much so you wonder if he’ll even declare for next years draft. This is only his second season as a starter, after all. He’s a redshirt sophomore. As things stand — Cook, Hundley and the rest don’t warrant first round consideration.
— Kevin White (WR, West Virginia) equalled Steadman Bailey’s WVU record with a sixth straight 100-yard game. White had six catches for 132 yards in a win over Kansas, including one touchdown grab. He leads the NCAA for passing yards after a relatively ineffective day for Alabama’s Amari Cooper at Ole Miss.
— Whatever happens to Georgia down the stretch, Todd Gurley should win the Heisman. He’s the best player in college football this year and should be a first round pick in 2015 — even as a running back. Melvin Gordon (WR, Wisconsin) also has a great shot of getting in round one. It’s hard to imagine any other RB’s cracking day one, including T.J. Yeldon and Jay Ajayi.
— Shawn Oakman (DE, Baylor) is going to be a top-ten pick if he tests as expected at the combine. In one play against Texas he shed the left tackle, destroyed the running back and made a huge sack. Height, length, power, speed. Oakman is a beast and will go a lot earlier than some are currently projecting.