I’ve updated the mock draft section of the blog (which can be found in the title bar at the top of the page or by clicking here). It’s only a top-15 projection at this early stage. I’ve made a few changes after watching some game tape over the last week.
I watched the Emerald Bowl between USC and Boston College largely to take a look at BC’s offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo. Originally I had him at #3 in my projection, but I’ve moved him down (for now) after watching this game. For me, he’s going to struggle with leverage at the next level because he’s just so tall (6’7″, 297lbs). He’s extremely athletic, but lacks power and drive in short yardage situations. Like most college tackles, he hasn’t got a punch of note. I’ve moved him out of the top 15 for now but we’ll see how he performs in a BC schedule that’s not overly testing.
However, I have decided to include Andrew Luck in this projection. When I went back and watched Luck, my opinion didn’t really change – I’m still more sceptical than a lot of people. Toby Gerhart had a bigger impact for Stanford than perhaps some realise and losing his 27 touchdowns could have a major impact. Gerhart’s influence significantly helped Luck in his first year starting, because the numbers weren’t great. He threw just 13 touchdowns in total and stat lines against California (33% completion rate, 157 yards, no TD’s) and Washington (seven completed passes, 103 yards, no TD’s) are distinctly poor even though Stanford scored 62 points in the two games. If Luck was just having teething problems as a starter, he has the physical and technical qualities to improve and be a top pick in the future. If he has a good year there’s a fair chance he’ll declare. That’s what I’ve represented here. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if the numbers are again a little sloppy and he stays at Stanford for another year.
In watching Luck perform against Notre Dame, I also kept an eye on receiver Michael Floyd. I took in ND vs Pittsburgh as well to get a good look at the 6’3″, 227lbs wide out. He’s better than I originally thought. I never really appreciated how quick he is given his size. There’s a health concern – he missed five games last year through injury and he needs to prove he can play a full season in 2010. When he did play, he averaged over a hundred yards per game and scored nine touchdowns. One of my issues with Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate last year was the stat-padding consistency that ND used a simple short slant. Tate and Floyd benefited from a lot of high percentage throws in short/medium range. Changes at quarterback and offensive scheme could impact Floyd in both positive and negative ways, but he’s talented enough to warrant top-15 consideration.