Updated prospect tracker & latest on declarations

December 15th, 2010 | Written by Rob Staton

I’ve updated the prospect tracker with all the complete stats for the 2010 college football season. You can access the tracker by clicking here or selecting the logo underneath the title bar on the home page.

It’s interesting to see that the top two quarterback prospects (Andrew Luck & Cam Newton) have some similarities amongst their statistics. Of the top ranked QB prospects for 2010, they are #1 and #3 for completion percentage with only Pat Devlin dissecting them at #2. Luck passed for 28 TD’s with seven picks, Newton matched the touchdown total but threw an extra interception.

Luck passed for 462 more yards but attempted 103 more passes – which also highlights Newton’s impressive 10.5 yards per attempt. The difference in passing yards is significantly made up by Newton’s 1409 yards on the ground and 20 rushing touchdowns.

Amongst the receivers it’s important to credit Julio Jones at Alabama. His numbers are almost universally doubled on a disappointing sophomore campaign. His 75 catches show a greater role this year – but also a greater consistency catching the ball with fewer mental and technical errors.

Although the likes of Justin Blackmon and Ryan Broyles have put up the huge, jaw dropping statistics – both play in pass friendly offenses designed for mass production. Jones hasn’t got that luxury and his performance this year, at least statistically, is under rated.

I was also interested to note ten sacks for Nebraska’s Jared Crick this year. It follows up his nine sacks last year – when most people presumed his production was due to the presence of Ndamukong Suh. Crick might not be dominating or big enough for pure 4-3 teams but he might be a candidate for a role similar to that which Red Bryant played for Seattle this year as a 5-tech.

Da’Quan Bowers and Nick Fairley’s numbers stand out like a sore thumb – both will be top picks next April.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare is January 15th. Expect a lot of the high profile decisions (Andrew Luck, Cam Newton) to come aftet the BCS Bowl games.

However, we’re starting to see information about who may or may not declare.

It was revealed late yesterdaythat Jurrell Casey (DT, USC) and Tyron Smith (OT, USC) would both declare. This wasn’t a surprise considering USC’s inability to play in a Bowl game and current sanctions.

Casey will have some value to 4-3 teams looking for some size inside. He’s a pure three technique type prospect who’s shown some ability to get to the quarterback (five sacks this year and an interception). I’d put his value in round 3-4 at this stage.

Smith has a chance to go very early. At 6-5 and 291lbs he needs to add weight before the combine. However – his superb athleticism and agility will interest a lot of teams. He’ll have no trouble against top speed rushers and the frame is there to add power for the perfect package.

In a down year for top-end OT’s and considering the premium nature of the position, Smith could find himself off the board in the top-15 picks easily. This likely played a part in his decision to declare.

Two other prospects at Missouri – Blaine Gabbert and Aldon Smith – are considering their options. They’ll contact the draft committee and consider entering the draft.

Gabbert’s numbers are down for 2009 and despite showing flashes this year, he’s also had some disappointing games. Without knowing his circumstances, I expect him to return to Missouri. However – these things are impossible to predict and if he does declare he could easily be a second round pick.

Aldon Smith’s 2010 was hampered due to injury. He set the team’s single season sack record in 2009 with 11.5 sacks – but managed just 4.5 this year. He’s an interesting prospect with tons of potential – some would consider him as a first round prospect. If he hears that from the committee, then he may also declare.

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