CFB week 12: Ohio State/Maryland game a highlight

This was a fun game offset by a difficult viewing experience. A lot has happened at Ohio State this season. I’m not going to go into it here. It seems it’s taking its toll on Urban Meyer.

Throughout the game he looked visibly unwell — massaging his temples, squinting his eyes and generally looking ill. Meyer has a history of health issues and it was uncomfortable to witness every time the camera panned to the sideline.

On the field, it was compulsive viewing. Maryland’s redshirt freshman running back Anthony McFarland was outstanding. He was explosive, quick to shift through the gears, tough to bring down and looked terrific. He finished with 298 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He’s one to monitor over the next few years.

The same can be said for J.K. Dobbins the Ohio State running back. He had 203 rushing yards himself (plus a touchdown). He’s perfectly sized at 5-10 and 214lbs and at the SPARQ combine had an unreal workout including a 4.44 forty, 43 inch vertical, 4.09 short shuttle and an elite overall score of 146.76. He’ll play at the next level (he’s currently a true sophomore).

I spent some time focusing on the Ohio State wide receivers. They’re a bunch of relative unknowns — at least not many people talk about them, which is a surprise considering who they play for. One in particular stood out here.

Terry McLaurin left the game with an undisclosed injury (he’s apparently fine to play next week) but still recorded four catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. I want to watch more of this guy. He scored on a 68-yard catch-and-run. The pass was badly under-thrown by Dwayne Haskins. McLaurin generated so much separation with his break. Haskins made him work for the score but McLaurin still finished.

He just looks quick and explosive with the ability to get open. He has decent size (listed at 6-1 and 205lbs). At the SPARQ combine he ran a 4.41 forty, jumped a 42-inch vertical, had a 4.13 short shuttle and an overall score of 141.96. Anything above 140 is considered elite.

I did a quick scan online to see what I else I could learn about him. These plays stood out…

Look at the way he accelerates after the catch:

He’s a fierce and willing blocker:

McLaurin’s a senior so he will be in the 2019 draft. If he attends the Senior Bowl he could pump his stock up with a good performance. As a value receiver with the potential to develop into a role player, he’s one to keep an eye on.

He’s not the only one though. Parris Campbell had a relatively quiet game but Binjimen Victor made a 38-yard grab and added a redzone score. He showed good body control on his route and high-pointed a back-shoulder throw from Haskins nicely. He too is considered a good athlete and might provide some value later in the draft. Campbell is a senior, Binjimen a junior.

Defensively it was a poor performance by Ohio State. They struggled to contain the edge against the run all day and weren’t particularly disciplined on the inside runs either.

As a pass rush threat they cause problems. Chase Young could be a very high pick in 2020. Dre’Mont Jones, as we’ve discussed so many times this year, has round one athleticism and pass rush skills. So often though he’s a liability against the run. For that reason, I’m sceptical of him as a round one prospect.

We’ve seen so many players like this. Quicker than college offensive linemen and therefore able to show some pass rush and get teams excited. Yet the thought of him coming up against Seattle’s current O-line, for example, is a scary thought.

Jones is too upright in his stance and struggles mightily with leverage. This isn’t a problem as a rusher because his go-to move is a club/swipe — creating separation from his block so he can use his great quickness to explode into the backfield. He also likes to use the spin-move or simply shoot a gap. All of these things play to his skillset and don’t require him to engage/disengage or win with leverage.

At the next level though, he’s going to need to use his hands. He’s going to need to be able to plant the anchor, hold position and read the play. Sometimes he’s just going to have to hold down a gap or two (depending on scheme) and make a stop. There’s virtually no evidence of him doing this. He gets jolted off balance because he’s too high and driven out of his gap. It looked like Maryland were offering him a gap — knowing full well he’d just put his head down and rush and not read the play, allowing a free lane on the other side.

In assessing Jones’ fit at the next level, you have to consider two things. Can he develop into a non-liability vs the run and how quickly will it take? And what range are you willing to take him if he’s merely a specialist interior rusher? Because at the next level, teams will run right at him time and time again with his current technique. That’s a problem.

On the plus side, in this game he had a fantastic inside rush with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter and collected a sack on the final play of regulation, working to bring down the QB who was scrambling to set up a Hail Mary attempt.


— Florida’s former safety and now nickel corner Chauncey Gardner-Johnson had a pick six in an easy win against Idaho (it’s cupcake week for a lot of teams). Jachai Polite also had one sack (9.5 for the season) and two TFL’s.

— Kentucky pass rusher Josh Allen recorded two more sacks vs Mid Tennessee. He’s now at 13 for the season. Teams will have to decide if he’s more than a pure 3-4 OLB. Can he fit into a 4-3? If he tests well, he has the production to go early. Like Dre’Mont Jones, his run defense could be a concern if he plays up at the line.

— Alabama made hard work of their cupcake game against The Citadel. Quinnen Williams collected another sack. He has six in his last six games now. If he declares, he goes in the top-10.

— Michigan’s Rashan Gary had 1.5 sacks in a win against Indiana. Devin Bush had half a sack and 1.5 TFL’s, with Chase Winovich also collecting a TFL.

— Despite a disappointing loss against struggling Florida State, Boston College’s Zach Allen had a sack, a TFL and a tipped pass to continue his productive season. He now has 6.5 sacks. FSU’s Brian Burns had a sack and two TFL’s, taking his sack tally to 10 for the season.

— Clemson hammered Duke and it was another huge day for the defensive line. Christian Wilkins had a sack and 1.5 TFL’s, Clelin Ferrell had two sacks and 2.5 TFL’s and Dexter Lawrence had two TFL’s. All three are going to be high picks. Ferrell now has 10 sacks for the season.

— LSU linebacker Devin White led the team in tackles against Rice while recording a sack, a TFL, a QB hurry and a pass deflection. White is a stud.

I will update this piece in the morning with some notes on the late games. Also, check out Friday’s piece on the Seahawks philosophy, future and Albert Breer’s big board if you missed it yesterday.

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  1. Pickering

    I agree that D7 is probably where the Seahawks will focus early. But given how well Ohio State ran today and that its Oline only gave up one sack, do any of their Olinemen look like candidates in later rounds? Isaiah Prince? Michael Jordan?

  2. drewdawg11

    Ohio state losing Bosa is a significant deal. No way to sugar coat it.

  3. drewdawg11

    Ohio state losing Bosa is a significant deal. No way to sugar coat it.

  4. red

    I caught the FSU BC game today first time seeing Brian Burns. Dude is a tall and slim reminds me of Arden Key/Randy Gregory. I wonder if Seattle trades down if the front office targets a player of this profile, for we seem to draft more traditional DE in the 250-270lb range.

  5. icb12

    Arizona is bad. But that fact not withstanding- cougs are putting on a freaking clinic. Good grief.

    • KD

      on the flip side, UW special teams is just as an embarrassment to watch on every level. Even though they won, what a disgrace to watch.

  6. millhouse-serbia

    I have read some scouting reports on Rashan Garry, where they see him as a 3 tech on next level. I watched 1st half of michigan-indiana last night and as i could see he was lined up only as a DE.

    • Rob Staton

      I think he could play inside/out.

  7. GerryG

    Nice write up, definitely some intriguing prospects.

    Regarding Urba Meyer, imo the guy has proven himself to be a true POS of the highest levels. The sooner the sport is rid of him the better.

  8. Zxvo3

    Rob, what are your top 3 needs for the Seahawks in this draft? Also, if D’Andre Walker gets drafted by the Seahawks in the 1st round, what position would they draft after that?

    • KD

      just my opinion, but I think it’s: DE, DT, LB, WR in that order.

      • charlietheunicorn

        I keep thinking K, TE and RB are also worth keeping tabs on leading up to the draft.
        The defense could be filled with FAs, reducing the need for DL selections. It might come down to Frank Clark and if they view him as a 18M/year type of guy.

    • Rob Staton

      My top needs currently are DE, DT and depth at LB and in the secondary.

      • Elmer

        Totally agree. LB especially if K.J. Wright is done and Mychal Kendricks is unavailable.

        Is Shamar Stephen on a one year deal and do you expect him to return next year? Do you think that Poona and Naz Jones are in the team’s plans for the future at DT?

        • Rob Staton

          Not sure on any of those. Stephen could go either way. I don’t see why Poona and Naz aren’t part of the plans but it’s not obvious long term either.

  9. Donovan

    Gotta ask . . . Thoughts on draft prospects & pro potential of WSU Legend Growing By Tge Werk, Gardner Minshew?

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t see Minshew as a pro-QB. He might get a shot. I like him as a player and as a guy. But not everyone is set up to be a NFL quarterback.

      • Bankhawk

        How about Browning? Does he look to have a shot? I will say, based on the condensed game I got to see, that McFarland was electric as heck. Ditto for Etienne from Clemson.

        I get that our picks this year are vouchsafed for D, but players like that have me dreaming of future weapons!

        • Kenny Sloth

          Browning is one of the dullest QBs you’ll ever watch.

          A statue with next to no pocket presence. He’s a strip sack waiting to happen.

          Not an elite arm and hasn’t done much with an extremely talented team around him

          He might be udfa

      • Elmer

        Yes, but what a show the Cougars put on Saturday night against Arizona. 55 points by halftime. As a college QB, I like Minshew better that I liked Luke Falk.

  10. KD

    So Rob, given the state of this draft class with relatively poor WR, OL, S, CB, etc prospects, do you think that it is preferable that:

    1.) Seahawks stay at their draft position and take the best DL/LB available in order to get an impact player.
    2.) Trade back once or twice and spread that capital around to find some guys who have some underrated talent?

    Personally, I’m more inclined to #2. This of course depends on the Hawks ultimate draft position, but what players would you identify as ones who are not just good, but could personify the kind of attitude that embodies a Seahawk defense? For me, that guy is Chase Winovich, but as you have pointed out, he does not have the length that Pete Carroll covets. So, as of right now, who is that guy who has the physical profile and the “pissed off for greatness” attitude that is a realistic and good fit for this team?

    • Rob Staton

      I think it’s too early to say what the Seahawks should do. We need to see where they pick for starters, and see who declares.

      I like Winovich’s technique, his effort and intensity and his personality. I’m just not sure he’s the athlete they go for. Or whether he’s a great fit for them scheme wise. The combine will tell us more.

  11. charlietheunicorn

    Rob (and the Gang)

    “It was a statement win for Notre Dame and its defense—Dungey or not. The Fighting Irish have now held four of their last seven opponents below 250 yards of total offense. That list of shut-down games includes ACC Coastal Division champion Pittsburgh and Big Ten West Division champion Northwestern.” ~ Bleacher Report

    So, should we be taking a closer look at the Irish defense for potential Seahawks draft picks?
    Any of these guys stand out or are head and shoulders better than the others?

  12. RWIII

    Rob: Just curious. The Hawks have a need for a big bodied wide receiver. Do you think David Moore is the long-term answer for the Hawks at that position? From what I have read/heard he has been inconsistent.

    Also: If the Hawks sign Kendricks to a long-term deal. That should help at the linebacker position. The Hawks only have 4 draft picks (right now) in the 2019 draft. So they will not be able to attack every position of need in the draft.

    BTW: Brock Huard does think Baldwin will be with the Hawks next year. If that is the case the Hawks will be looking for a wide receiver or two

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think they need a big bodied WR

    • Volume12

      They should be looking at wideouts regardless if Baldwin leaves or stays.

    • DC

      Pete has never stopped looking for one. They just need to find a fountain of youth.

      • red

        Thoughts on Brown being WR4 i like him but the lack of targets is interesting 8 rec in 10 games but half his catches seem to be in the endzone. I think he has only 800k dead money on a 3.5Mil contract for 2019. In theory Seattle could draft a WR in round 3 or 4 save a couple mil against the cap and have Darboah Turner and the 2019 pick battle for WR4-6. I like Brown alot but a run first team that is trending on running more 12 and 21 personel how much value does WR4 really have.

        • cha

          Probably wouldn’t happen. They have limited draft capital in 2019, so why draft a player to replace a relatively inexpensive veteran you cut in a year where you have $63m in cap space?

          • red

            After seattle cuts Kam next year it frees up 8 mil more so it will be more like 71mil But Seattle has clack to sign he is going to be 18-20mil sign Fluker and Sweazy possibly another 12mil Coleman another 6 or 7mil. Not to mention extending Reed and Wagner. That will take Seattle down to about mid 20s If Seattle wants to add FA DE like clowney Dee Ford Lawrence it will most likely cost them the 18-20mil price tag. So if clearing Browns and Mingos contract next year allows Seattle to get young pro bowl talent I think Seattle would be pleased to draft WR and LB early in the 2019 draft.

            • Rob Staton

              I doubt Fluker and Sweezy will cost a combined $12m.

  13. Sea Mode

    Just went through Jim Nagy’s timeline as I am trying to finally get a start on my scouting this season. Some really cool stories from past years’ prospects and Seahawks. Here are a couple highlights:

    SDB, we all saw this one:


    Hey, @Lions fans. You have a total stud in @J_Davis_40. I took him out for a pre-draft dinner and I was so blown away by his passion, smarts, and maturity that I called his mom to tell her what a great job she did raising her son. It’s the only time I ever did that. #raredude

    5:40 PM – 10 Sep 2018


    Credit @Seahawks GM John Schneider empowering his staff. Some teams cut scouts out of pre-draft process as early as February. Not Schneider. Video from a private workout with scout Aaron Hineline is what sold the Hawks on that @_Slimm7 [Tre Flowers] could make the transition from DS to CB.

    9:45 AM – 9 Sep 2018

    Sep 23

    There’s a reason @Seahawks have held onto backup C Joey Hunt. While he’s too small to provide any legit G flex, he can play at solid starter level at C. Hawks have little or no drop-off with him in place of Britt. Hunt’s smarts and technique compensate for his size deficiency.


    As a scout, the starting point on a player—good or bad—is influential. First tape I watched on @BIrvin_WVU11 he made disruptive plays on 8 of 11 snaps he was in the game. In ‘10, he had 18 solos and 14 were sacks. Irvin and Von Miller had most explosive get-offs I ever saw.

    8:21 PM – 10 Sep 2018

    • Rob Staton

      Very interesting, thanks for sharing

  14. Volume12

    Tony Pauline says the ‘Phins are ‘enamored’ with Oregon QB Justin Hebert.

  15. Volume12

    On my god! Alex Smith just snapped his f***ing ankle! 😱

    33 years to the day that LT shredded Joe Theisman’s leg.

    • cha

      Not pleasant to watch.

      NFCE is up for grabs with Dallas beating Atlanta today.

      • cha

        Philly getting smoked by the Saints so far. Even the Giants have a shot in this division.

  16. Volume12

    Early game notes and a couple late CFB notes:

    ‘LaMAr JacKSoN sHouLd sWiTch tO wR aT tHe NeXT lEvEl’ lmao

    He is so damn fun.

    Again, the Colts are red hot with not only the best rookie class of 2018, but a pairing made in heaven with HC Frank Reich and QB Andrew Luck. If you get a chance to check Indy out, do so. Might not be a more entertaining team to watch at the moment.

    The Giants find a competent QB they’re gonna be 🔥

    *Michigan HB Karan Higdon might run harder than any back in the country. Seattle don’t need a RB, but man he’s got the style of a Seahawk runner.

    * I mentioned being a fan of Miami Safety Sheldrick Redwine yesterday. His teammate, Jaquan Johnson, hasn’t had the kind of year I expected him to, but he’s gonna be one of the best value picks in this years draft. What he lacks in ball skills he more than makes up for with his alpha male personality, swagger, and tenacity.

    • charlietheunicorn

      I would not discount Seattle drafting a RB or FB type. They have 1 guy who can’t keep healthy (Prosise) and another who has missed a bit of time with various health issues (Carson)…. both at the RB position.
      Can you trust they will stay healthy? I wouldn’t bank on it for the long term. They need 1 more guy in the stable, that can produce, that is a banger. (I’m not counting McKissick either). I wouldn’t take one in the 1st 2 rounds, but maybe there is the “right” guy and they shock the world.

  17. cha

    Next week opponent Panthers with a poor showing in the loss today:

    -Gano misses an easy FG try and a PAT attempt
    -Funchess with 3-4 dropped passes (2 catches on 8 targets)
    -Run defense allows K Johnson 5.8 yards/rush
    -Riverboat Ron tries a 2pt conversion with a minute to play for the win instead of tie and Cam overthrows Wright to seal the loss

    If they turn in an effort like that next week the Hawks should roll.

    • Tecmo Bowl

      That Panthers loss was huge for the Hawks playoff chances. The schedule for Seattle is favorable down the stretch. Like that we face Carolina and Minnesota with the chance to control our own destiny. The Hawks need to take care of business v Ari and both SF games and beat either Minn or Car we would have a good shot. Beat both Minn and Car we are in like Flynn…not Matt a different Flynn. Haha

      Go Hawks!

    • Rob Staton

      My concern is this Detroit loss will act as a kick up the arse for them.

      • Tecmo Bowl

        That’s a concern no doubt. Carolina got whooped by Pitt last week, and didn’t bounce back against an average Lions team. Next week will be a test. Not sure how well our defense matches up with McCaffrey out of the backfield. DJ Moore is turning it up. Cam is a force of nature when he’s on, which is not a given.

        Carolinas last 3 games are brutal: v NO, v ATL(atl won their first game), @ NO. Hope NO has something to play for week 17.

        • Bankhawk

          Hêres to hoping we can go down thêre and be on our game and ram the ball forcibly down their throats! Cam, McCaffery and có. can’t wreak nearly as much havoc if they don’t have the ball.

          Anybody know when Kendrick comes off suspension? Sure would be cool to have him down the stretch, but I’ve heard nary a peep along those lines.

          • Tecmo Bowl

            Kendricks returns to practice this week. He’s not eligible to play until the Minnesota game though.

            • Bankhawk

              Precise it-as they say. That’s good news!

  18. Pran

    Chargers lost… missed opportunity for Hawks.
    Eagles lost..redskins lost QB.
    Hawks still control their destiny.

  19. cha

    Bob Condotta
    As others have noted, Carolina’s loss today means Seahawks control their own destiny to get to playoffs. If they beat Panthers next week they’d have tiebreak on them. Seattle has tiebreaks on Dallas/GB and has conference wins tiebreak on Eagles.
    1:54 PM · Nov 18, 2018

    • charlietheunicorn

      It is going to be a very tough game. Not a must win, but everything is breaking the Seahawks way right now with other teams taking losses today.

      The key is Newton, is he going to be Superman or is he going to be Clark Kent. They should have won today, but he missed a wide open WR in the endzone late in the game. If you can get pouty Newton early, then you have a very good chance of winning.

      Added treat, you get to see 2 of the best MLB play in this game.

      • AlaskaHawk

        Based on last two games – the Panthers are beatable. Steelers rushed Newton hard and he was pretty rattled by that rush. I didn’t see the panthers show much fight in the Lions game. My hopes are high that the Seahawks can beat them.

        • charlietheunicorn

          I’m not sure what to think of the Steelers D. They have a ton of exotic blitz looks and coverages, while Seattle is much more basic. The key always is to hit the QB, but I’m not convinced Seattle has enough pass rushers to make it happen. The Panthers are unbeaten at home, but stink on the road this year.

          I also thought the going for 2 was fine, they had the play call right, scam missed the open look in the end zone. Their execution has not been on point as of late, so this team could get red hot or ice cold next week. We already know which Seattle team will show up…. a grinder team.

          • Sea Mode

            +1 for “scam” 😂

  20. John_s

    Eddie Jackson for the Bears is a stud! Taken one pick after Tedric 😢

    • Robert Las Vegas

      Rob great article as usual THIS IS Not GOING to HAPPEN but if Jax offer up Jalen Ramsey to the Seahawks for a number one pick do you think Seattle would jump on that

  21. Robert Las Vegas

    Rob great article as usual THIS IS Not GOING to HAPPEN but if Jax offer up Jalen Ramsey to the Seahawks for a number one pick do you think Seattle would jump on that

    • Rob Staton

      I do not. This is a scheme and a team that has been able to draft and develop CB’s. Not sure they’d feel they need to take on a mega contract.

  22. Robert Las Vegas

    Rob great article as usual THIS IS Not GOING to HAPPEN but if Jax offer up Jalen Ramsey to the Seahawks for a number one pick do you think Seattle would jump on that.

    • Rob Staton

      I do not. This is a scheme and a team that has been able to draft and develop CB’s. Not sure they’d feel they need to take on a mega contract.

  23. Trevor

    I want to be very clear I was fine with the Hawks taking an RB in Rd #1 because they needed to fix the run and could not count on the health of Carson. I like Penny and he was the #4 Rb on my personal board after Barkley, Michel and Johnson. I think Penny is going to end up being an elite 1-2 and possibly 3 RB trio with Carson and David. That is incredibly valuable to this team and the way Pete wants to play football.

    But can you possibly imagine if the Hawks had taken blog favourite LVE who went one pick later. He had the measurables the Hawks look for and the length Pete loves. He is a younger faster version of KJ and would be the dream WIL in this Hawks defensive scheme.

    Can you imagine an RB group of Bobby, Mingon and LVE going forward! That would be scary fast and good.

    I know you should not play “what if “ when it comes to the draft but this year the pick before at #17 Derwin James and the pick after at #19 LVE both look like perennial pro bowlers.

    • clbradley17

      LVE wasn’t a need at the time, we thought our pro bowl LB KJ was going to be fine way before he had the scope surgery pre-game 1 that neither had him coming back early as first anticipated or without problems. However, LVE does seem to be one of the front-runners along with Derwin James for defensive rookie of the year, and looked great again yesterday in Atlanta.

      He finished the game with eight tackles and three pass break ups and was constantly making big plays, including this tackle while being engaged with a blocker.

      And his int. of Matt Ryan:

      • Trevor

        Agree with you about KJ I was thinking he was a Vet they might extend before the injury. That being said Pete has said repeatedly that LB depth was a priority and they have never really addressed it in the draft.

        Another guy Rob talked about quite a bit Darius Leonard has also been amazing for Colts. LVE just seemed to be Pete’s ideal LB for a physical profile.

  24. Trevor

    The KC and the Rams got the early press but the Saints are the best team in the NFL IMO.

    Why? Drew Brees and 3 ridiculously good drafts in a row. A little like the PC/JS early years.

    2016 Rankins, M Thomas, Von Bell and my CDN guy David Oneymata
    2017 Lattimore, Ramczyk, Marcos Williams and Kamara
    2018 Davenport, Anzalone, Trequan Smith

    A lot of blog favourites and they hit on almost every early round pick. This team is built the right way for long term success. Very impressive.

    Two thingsI would hi-light for Seahawks Twitter. They have done this while paying and elite QB in Brees and they have become dominant once they rebuilt their run game behind a two heard monster in Kamara and Ingram.

    • C-Dog

      I’m with you, Trevor. I think the Saints have the better defense.

  25. drewdawg11

    I can’t believe how good their defense looked yesterday compared to the beginning of the season. Hats off to them for making the Eagles look like the Cardinals. Also, great drafts equal great rosters.

  26. Andrew Velasco


  27. drewdawg11

    testing post

  28. drewdawg11


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