I’ve just finished watching Alabama @ LSU. It was billed as the Julio Jones vs Patrick Peterson contest, but another first round prospect stole the show. Drake Nevis (DT, LSU) is at #26 in my latest mock draft, but it might be time to re-consider that. He’s had a quiet few weeks after starting the season with four sacks in two games. He had a pair of sacks today, including a superb forced fumble on Greg McIlroy to seal the game for his team.
Nevis dominated the line of scrimmage, flashing the kind of athleticism and strength which will put him in the top-20 next April. Scouts might be slightly concerned about his consistency but he stepped up against a big opponent in ‘Bama.
Stout against the run, he regularly took up two blockers creating space for others. He flashed a nice swim move and a burst to get leverage. He was regularly in the backfield to make a splash if not record the tackle. Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn) has received a lot of credit recently for some stunning display’s – but Nevis is right up there too.
So what about Jones vs Peterson? Personally, I think both come out of this well. Peterson gave up some receptions (something Jones didn’t manage in seven throws last year) but he restricted his ability to make the big play. However, with ‘Bama driving late on trying to get back into it – the receiver won out with a 9-yard slant TD. He got position and a step on the #1 CB prospect and McIlroy couldn’t miss. It flashed a better grasp of routes – a major improvement for Jones this year.
His hands are much improved overall but there was an ugly drop late in the game with ‘Bama in an impossible situation – that’s one aspect team’s will have to battle with.
Peterson gets some credit for keeping a lid on Jones overall and not allowing the big play. His stock will remain unchanged after this performance. However – Jones showed why he deserves to be a top-15 pick in my mock draft. Nine catches, 81-yards and a score despite shadowing from CFB’s best defensive back? Major draft credit there.
Every team will watch this tape when they do their evaluations. A team who can’t get at A.J. Green early but need a spark at receiver will consider Julio Jones.
–Da’Quan Bowers (DE, Clemson) had two more sacks today in an upset win over ranked NC State. That’s 12 sacks in nine games this year. He also blocked a field goal today. I’ve had him going first overall in my last two mocks. Believe it.
–Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma State) missed OKSU’s last game through suspension after a DUI incident. He was back today showing why he should be in the Heisman talk. He had 13 more catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. He added a further score on a 69-yard rush. He doesn’t get talked about much, but he might be the best wide out available after A.J. Green and Julio Jones.
–A.J. Green (WR, Georgia) had six catches for Georgia in a blowout win over Idaho State. He scored two touchdowns and topped 100 yards (103) again. He is without doubt a rare talent at his position who should be a top five pick. Routes, speed, control, hands. He doesn’t have elite size, but otherwise he’s the full package.
–Cam Newton (QB, Auburn) put all the controversy behind him this weekend with another big game. For the second week in a row he was productive as a passer – albeit against weak opposition in Chattanooga. He completed 15/21 passing for 317 yards and four touchdowns. He rushed eight times for just 24 yards but a further score. Heisman winner.
I have Arizona/Stanford and Washington/Oregon to be broadcast tomorrow ready for viewing. I’ll have thoughts on those games – and more notes – on the blog tomorrow. If you’ve been watching a game or a specific prospect today let me know what in the comments section – who impressed or disappointed?