Week 8 schedule

Here’s my schedule for week eight and what I’ll be looking out for:

UCLA at Oregon
I’ve recorded this from last night and will be watching later today. My focus will largely be on how the Bruins manage Oregon’s spread offense, particularly stand out linebacker Akeem Ayers.

Wisconsin at Iowa
It’s another chance to watch Gabe Carimi (OT, Wisconsin) manager one of CFB’s better defensive ends. He did a sound job on Ohio State’s Cameron Heyward las week (although I think Heyward is over rated). Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa) hasn’t put up the big numbers this year and I’ve read mixed reviews. This is my first chance to watch Clayborn in 2010 and I want to see if he deserves to be classified in that top-15 range next April.

LSU at Auburn
This should be a fun game to watch although I suspect Auburn’s offense will smother LSU. Will Cam Newton (QB, Auburn) take on Patrick Peterson (CB, LSU)? I doubt it. Expect to see another 20-25 runs by Newton and another big yardage game. Unfortunately his skills just don’t translate (in my opinion) to the NFL. Despite a rather fortunate unbeaten start to the year, LSU’s quarterback situation is far from ideal. Nick Fairley (DT, Auburn) was this week labelled an ‘elite’ junior by Mel Kiper. I didn’t see that against Arkansas, but this is a much more favorable match up. 

Oklahoma at Missouri
Blaine Gabbert (QB, Missouri) might end up being the third quarterback taken next April. Right now he’s in that round 2-3 range but he needs to keep winning and he needs to prove he’s capable of making pro-reads. We probably won’t see the latter due to the system Gabbert’s in, but physically there’s not much that holds him back. Can he keep with Oklahoma’s prolific offense? Christian Ponder couldn’t. Ryan Broyles (WR, Oklahoma) is slowly gaining momentum and his 15-catch performance last week continues to push his stock into the late first round/early second. Can Jeremy Beal (DE, Oklahoma) get back amongst the sacks after a rare sackless game last week (18 sacks in his last 19 games).

Notre Dame at Navy
Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame) divides opinion. In fact – so does Julio Jones (WR, Alabama) and Jonathan Baldwin (WR, Pittsburgh). One of them may well go in the last first round, but which? Floyd has everything you want from a #1 receiver physically. However, he runs sloppy routes, body catches far too much and doesn’t play up to his physical talents. He needs to step up, like the ND coaching staff have been fighting for all year, to become the prospect he’s capable of being.

Don’t forget – if you’re watching a game or two this weekend, let me know your thoughts. Who impressed? Who disappointed? Give us a name or two to look out for. You can leave comments on any of the blog posts at any time, or email rob@seahawksdraftblog.com


  1. Blake

    Best matchup by far is Prince Amukamara vs Justin Blackmon. Justin Blackmon is quietly putting together a dominating year, and is still a longshot Heisman candidate. ESPN2 at 9 PT. Can’t wait.

    • Rob

      Blackmon is having a sensational year. OKSU have compared him to Crabtree. He’s not as physical as Crabtree, but you can see what they’re getting at. He’s a redshirt sophomore nobody is talking about.

  2. Matt

    I really like what I’ve seen from Justin Blackmon. He looks scary similar to Dez Bryant. Not sure why he is not getting more press being a draft eligible RS Sophomore.

    He’s been everywhere making ridiculous plays. Really, really like this guy. I think he’s #2 behind AJ Green. He has great size, good speed. Overall just looks like a guy that will translate to the NFL really well.

  3. Hunter

    Rob, what do you think of Robert Griffin III? he has everything from the physical stand point.

    • Rob

      I haven’t seen much of Baylor the last couple of years. I imagine I’d have the same issues with Griffin that I’d have with most other QB’s coming out of that system. He’s certainly an athlete but the skills don’t often translate to the pro-game. He’d have to completely adjust the kind of reads he needs to make, get the footwork adjustment and study being able to stand up in the pocket, make progressions etc. He’s not someone I’ve seen enough of to make a more detailed opinion than that.

  4. Matt

    Hey Rob, here’s an interesting little thing on Andrew Luck:

    Take away his home games against Sacramento State (why Stanford schedules them is beyond me) and Wake Forest (flat out bad team) and Luck’s season numbers are 8 TDs, 4 INTs, 62% Completion, 8.0 YPA. Remember that YPA can be greatly affected by low risk, high percentage short passes, especially at the collegiate level where YAC can be racked up like no other.

    His numbers are nothing special when you take away the absolute joke, stat padding games. Now, it’s not necessarily fair to “take away” those stats, but half his TDs and a huge spike in completion percentage in those games greatly affect the overall quality of game produces every week.

    Now, I hate relying on stats for QBs, but it still amazes me the love this kid gets in the National media. I still see nothing but Game Manager when I watch him play. Have yet to see any difficult throws attempted game in, game out.

    • Rob

      Matt – I couldn’t agree with you more. The hype involving Luck has been staggering. We’ve discussed it before, but a lot of it’s down to the feel-good factor surrounding Luck. Intelligent guy, good coaching, NFL genes. He’s playing on a winning team and they’ve had national attention. If I was writing a report about Luck, all of that stuff would be included. It wouldn’t, however, be the basis to suggest he’s the “best college quarterback since Peyton Manning” as was very publically mentioned during the Oregon game. He’s erratic throwing, he’s not a great decision maker. He’s mobile but not in a difference making kind of way at the next level. He hasn’t got the big arm. It’s not all negative because clearly there are qualities too. He has a nice, quick release which won’t need major work. Whilst he doesn’t possess the rocket arm, it isn’t a weak arm either and he gets adequate zip on the ball. He doesn’t just wildly fly out of the pocket at any sign of pressure and it’s good to see he runs as a last resort. He has those good habbits.

      What he isn’t going to be however, is the type of QB he walks in on day one and you think – yes – this losing franchise is suddenly turned around. If the Seattle Seahawks drafted Luck in the middle of round one, it wouldn’t be a move I’d necessarily oppose. As long as you surrounded him with a good running game and at least one legitimate receiver, I don’t think he’d hold you back. He could be consistently OK/good. That won’t hold you back. I think he’d be a great fit for SF if they end up picking very early because he’ll land on a team with a good RB, a developing and young O-line and two legit targets in Crabtree and Davis.

      Put him on Buffalo’s roster and he’ll struggle like crazy.

      That’s the point really. He is good, he isn’t great. He won’t define a bad team going forward, but he wouldn’t hold back a good team. If he’s drafted by a Buffalo or Cleveland, he’ll be Joey Harrington or Brady Quinn.

      • Matt

        Let’s say the Seahawks play their way out of QB contention in the draft. What position do you think they would target. And I don’t necessarily mean the biggest need, because I think JS and PC would rather get a player they love, over a player they feel they NEED. So for giggles, let’s say we are picking 23rd. Who do you think are the types of guys that would intrigue the Hawks in that range?

        • Rob

          It’s still early – so a lot can change. I wouldn’t be totally stunned if 23rd overall got you a shot at one of the top two QB’s. Luck is maybe more unlikely due to the hype factor – but a lot of people don’t rate Locker and he’s had a negative press this year. We’ll see.

          If neither is available then here are some names I’d have in that range that fit scheme:

          Jonathan Baldwin (WR, Pittsburgh)
          Jeremy Beal (DE, Oklahoma)
          Rodney Hudson (OG, Florida State)
          Drake Nevis (DT, LSU)
          Jonathan Barksdale (LT, LSU)
          Allen Bailey (DE, Miami)
          Brandon Burton (CB, Utah)

          It wouldn’t surprise me if Mark Ingram (RB, Alabama) fell a bit. He’s not had the same success this year and his stock was at it’s highest after the Heisman. He could go in the 20’s… that would be a steal. Quite frankly, if he is sitting there I don’t waste any time drafting him and having a double edged beast mode. The thought of Ingram/Lynch in the backfield would petrify the rest of the NFC West.

          Adrian Clayborn might end up falling in that region. Not sure he really fits the scheme anymore, he’s a more orthodox 4-3 DE. Wide outs like Julio Jones and Michael Floyd haven’t done enough for me to warrant a grade at that position. Shame – because physically there’s so much promise being undelivered. If either had lived up to expectations, they’d have to be considered. You won’t be able to trust either going into the NFL.

          • Matt

            Perhaps this is turning out like the 2005 draft in regards to QBs. Alex Smith, seen as the intelligent, great decision maker with good arm and accuracy. Seen as a safer pick due to these factors. Then we have the toolsy Aaron Rodgers. Great arm, very athletic, slightly erratic/inconsistent that turns some people off.

            Just a thought, but it looks eerily similar to that situation. Remember, for quite some time, Aaron Rodgers was talked about as a sure fire top 5 pick. Cough Jake Locker cough. We could be witnessing the same thing this year.

            On a side note, I’m really liking what I’ve seen from Armon Binns this year. I’m watching the Cincy game right now, and he is looking very good in his breaks and looks to pluck the ball pretty well. He looks very sudden and decisive in his cuts. I’m actually really impressed by him.

          • Blake

            I completely agree about Floyd being overrated by some, but I think the hate with Julio has gone so far that he’s starting to become underrated. 220 yards on 12 balls today and I think 150 on 10 balls last week. He’s definitely a downfield threat, the best blocking WR in CFB, and a real humble kid. He referred to the postgame interviewer as ma’am and deflected most of the praise to McElroy and the line. I think I like him a lot. I definitely like him more than Baldwin; they possess similar skill sets, but I see Baldwin give up due to how crappy his QB is.

            I’d also say Nick Fairley fits our scheme and has mid to late 1 grade. He looks like Haloti Ngata with how quick he gets off the ball and how strong his hands are throwing linemen to the ground like redheaded step children. I think 2.5 sacks today, another TFL, and two more close TFLs that maybe should have resulted in holding calls. That makes it like 17 TFL and 8.5 sacks in 8 games this year. Elite junior is right.

            I still think o line is logical in late 1 for us. Carimi looked dominant today against a top 15 pick, Demarcus Love is a great RT prospect, Nate Solder is raw but extremely athletic, or maybe even Hudson. I think Hudson might be available in 2 though.

  5. 1sthill

    Rob, a guy you might want to take a look at in the Oregon game is DT/DE Brandon Bair. He is 6-7 270 lbs and is fairly quick. He is probably only mid-round prospect, but he is an intriguing guy.

    Also, Oregon MLB Casey Matthews is a good prospect. Matthews is an athletic LB, who is good at blitzing & good in coverage.

  6. 1sthill

    Wisconsin vs Iowa – Iowa DT Christian Ballard is a guy worth taking a look at. I have not seen him play this year, but I have noticed that he is poping up in some mock drafts. I was more impressed with Ballard than I was with Clayborn when I watched Iowa play Arizona last year.

  7. LantermanC

    Rob, I noticed last week after Mallett was injured that his backup, Tyler Wilson, performed pretty well (25/34 332 yards 4 tds 2 ints). This was against a pretty good Auburn team (though it was such a shootout, perhaps the refs were letting every hold go uncalled), so do you think it is a negative point against Mallett? I recall last year a few people saying that (I forget which team, maybe Oklahoma after Bradford got knocked out) such and such a backup was playing so well, perhaps the highly rated QB wasn’t that good but the talent around him was that good. I know you’re not too high on Mallett anyways because of character concerns, but any thoughts to his team being better than they’re getting credit for?

    • Rob

      Auburn’s defense played a horrible game, but Wilson also played very well until two late interceptions. I wouldn’t take much away from Mallett. He has two very good playmakers for weapons, but clearly he’s got one of the best arm’s you’ll ever see. He’s a talented quarterback, my main issues with him are slight technique problems with setting his feet (can be fixed) and also the character issues (which maybe can’t).

  8. Matt

    Justin Blackmon has burned Amukamara a few times already in the first half. I’m wondering when this guy starts getting first round talk. He looks just like Dez Bryant. Scary.

  9. Matt

    The CBS guys are saying how high of a draft pick Cam Newton will be and how the only QB who has been better than him (NFL wise) in the SEC is Matthew Stafford. These guys are way off. Cam Newton is really stiff throwing the ball and is just miles away from being able to handle an NFL playbook. Whenever he throws, they cut the field in half.

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