I have access to two games this weekend. This is what I’ll be keeping an eye on…
Georgia at Auburn
Mel Kiper has been giving Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson rave reviews. “He’s one of the elite left tackles, his star is rising, his arrow is up. He keeps moving up and up and up and he’ll have a decision to make at the end of the year. We’ll see what his decision is, but he’s a heck of a football player.” This is already a loaded tackle class, and that might impact Robinson’s decision to declare or not. But at a time when we’re looking at possible offensive linemen for Seattle, I’ll be checking out Robinson for the first time tomorrow.
Dee Ford has seven sacks for the year as an undersized pass rusher. He’s listed at 6-2 and 240lbs. Has he got the length to fit as a mid-round LEO? This’ll be my second chance to watch Ford and I’m interested to see how he performs in another big game. He had two sacks in a win against Texas A&M earlier this year and looked very sharp. He’s quick off the snap and has plenty of speed, but he’s also a little one-dimensional and relies on athleticism. He struggled a bit against the run in the A&M game — not surprising given his size.
Damian Swann entered the year as a cornerback I had a lot of interest in. He’s probably been one of the biggest disappointments so far. Having said that, Georgia’s defense has generally looked like a disorganised mess. We saw last year that he was a playmaker — and he’ll get a shot at the next level. But any hopes of going in the first round have long since disappeared.
Stanford vs USC
Marqise Lee says he’s 100% healthy after struggling with a knee problem. This hasn’t been the year he was hoping for. Apart from the injuries, an inconsistent quarterback situation and a coaching shambles — Lee hasn’t been quite as brilliant as previous seasons. He’s made out of character mistakes (drops) this year. But the fact is he’s still a terrific football player and a big time playmaker. Lee’s doesn’t have the size or speed of an ideal #1 receiver, but he’s good enough to be a stat-machine in the right offense and a true game-changer. Let’s see if he can repair his stock late in the year. If he falls into the late first, get ready.
I have some issues with Stanford linemen. They’re well coached. They’re technically very good. But more often than not they get extra tackle or tight end help. Players like David Yankey (left guard) constantly pull and move. David DeCastro was exactly the same. You won’t see a lot of that at the next level, not with the regularity we see at Stanford. And for that reason it’s hard to judge these guys. It’s pro-style in description, but it’s not really. How many NFL teams use 8-9 linemen in their formations with regularity? How many left guards pull on a high percentage of their snaps?
It doesn’t mean you write a player off, it just means you have to spend so much extra time working them out. Yankey earned rave reviews against Oregon and did, admittedly, look as good as I’ve seen him. So it’s time for another viewing.
Shayne Skov struggled last year after returning from injury. He looked like he was getting back to his best last week. Was it a one-off? Or is he back on the NFL map? I really want to see if he has the kind of athleticism to play for the Seahawks. Simply put, they don’t draft slow linebackers any more. And anyone who’s going to stick with this group better be able to move.
Trent Murphy kind of reaffirmed against Oregon that while he’s having a productive year (10 sacks), he’s perhaps a little limited in terms of next level talent. What is he exactly? A five technique in the 3-4? A power end?
One final note. During the draft last year I put up an advert in the sidebar selling Percy Harvin jerseys. It’s still there. Many of you bought items using the link (many thanks for that) — and in turn I received a percentage of each sale.
Yesterday I donated every penny I received from that advert to the Phillipines Aid effort. I’m not doing it for praise. I don’t want to see any in the comments section. I want to ask if you’d also consider donating using this link or this one.