Mel Kiper talked up Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson, and with good reason. Saturday’s game against Georgia was the first time I’d seen him — and he’s a big time talent. Like this class needed any more top tier tackles. Whether or not he declares as a redshirt sophomore remains to be seen, especially with Auburn’s stock trending upwards again. But if he’s assured of a top-ten grade, he’ll face a tough decision.
Robinson is the complete package. He was flawless in pass protection, was light on his feet for a big guy, he was opening up big holes in the running game. I want to see more, but his combination of skills, power and athleticism could put him top of the tackle class. Every now and again Kiper finds a real gem. He was the first guy to talk about Jason Pierre-Paul back in the day. Credit to him for putting Robinson’s name into the public domain.
Marqise Lee still looks like a superstar in the making. Sure, he’s not had the year he was hoping for. Yet against Stanford — while clearly not 100% — he put in a game-winning performance. Early on he made two incredible toe-tapping receptions on the right sideline — one to make a two point conversion. And despite having to constantly limp on and off the field, he dragged himself out there to make the crucial 4th down catch that led to USC’s winning field goal.
Tonight he showed he’s not just technically gifted — he’s also a warrior. And while we can linger on the fact he’s undersized and not an elite runner, whoever gets him next year is going to feel very satisfied. If you can find a receiver who loves the game, is technically sound and has a sparky, competitive personality — size doesn’t matter quite as much. He ended the night with six catches for 83 yards. For me Lee and Sammy Watkins remain the top two receivers eligible for 2014, with Odell Beckham Jr in third spot ahead of Mike Evans.
Lee and Watkins could still very easily be top 10-15 picks.
I came into the USC-Stanford game wondering what Trent Murphy is — and after another viewing kind of found the answer. A pretty basic athlete who doesn’t look like a top NFL prospect. Nice production, but it’s hard to imagine it transferring to the next level. As for Shayne Skov — I just don’t see a Seahawks linebacker there. He does well blitzing and he’s tough as nails. But Seattle’s penchant for speed and the fact they already have a talented middle linebacker limits the chances he ends up in the PNW.
David Yankey is growing on me though — I think he’s better than David DeCastro (who was overrated). He was moving people off the line without pulling, he opened up some nice lanes. On his last two performances I’m starting to warm to the idea he’s a possible first round talent. Stanford linemen still scare me, however.
Plays like this make me want to buy into Eric Ebron as a first round possibility. There aren’t many tight ends that can run a slant and take it up the middle for 58 yards while running away from defensive backs. That’s some athleticism there at 6-4, 245lbs. He did hurt his right shoulder in the game but returned after a moment on the sidelines. He ended with three catches for 73 yards in a 34-27 win for UNC over Pittsburgh.
Brandon Coleman’s stop-start season continued. A couple of weeks after failing to register a catch, he’s since got back into a groove. Rutgers were blown away by Cincinnati, but Coleman still made an impact — including this red zone touchdown. I’m not too concerned about stats because his upside is so high and his quarterback so poor. If only he’d just high point the football. That’s going to cost him. Shame. He recorded six catches for 77 yards and the score.
Two quarterbacks who might go earlier than people think next year — Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech) and Tom Savage (Pittsburgh). Thomas has mostly struggled for two years, but has actually put together some consistent form in the last couple of weeks. His size, arm strength and running ability will appeal to some teams. The bad tape will probably stop him going in the first round or two, but don’t be surprised if he lands in round three. Savage looked like a future pro when he started at Rutgers, and now with Pitt he’s put together a decent year. He’s worth stashing as a developmental prospect with upside.
Jace Amaro appeared to lose consciousness after a big hit in Texas Tech’s defeat to Baylor. He gets twelve days to recover before a big game against Texas. He managed two scores against the Bears and four catches for 55 yards.
Jadeveon Clowney’s foot injury flared up again in a victory over Florida. At one point he left the field in some pain. He’s going to need surgery in the off-season — which could jeopardise his ability to dominate at the combine. He has just two sacks this year. I still think he’ll be the number one pick, especially if he’s healthy for Indy. As much as I like Teddy Bridgewater — the hype has gone way over the top. Ditto Marcus Mariota. Neither is a franchise saviour for a team like Jacksonville. And there’s enough depth at the position to grab Clowney at #1 and go after a Derek Carr later on.