Week four preview

DeAndre Hopkins will be key for Clemson vs Florida State

There are five games on this week’s schedule: Clemson at Florida State, Arizona at Oregon, Oregon State at UCLA, LSU at Auburn and Vanderbilt at Georgia. I’m most looking forward to seeing Clemson’s offensive talent (DeAndre Hopkins, Andre Ellington) versus the Florida State defense (Bjoern Werner, deep secondary). I think overall the Seminoles are a little overrated and their defense is going to need to keep them in this one. I’m not sold on E.J. Manuel as a passer and they’re going to need to rely on the defense to keep things tight. Last year Clemson out-gunned a lot of teams and Manuel isn’t the type of player who can win a shoot-out. Bjoern Werner is going to need to keep a lid on Tajh Boyd and the Tigers passing game – and keeping him blocked could be Clemson’s greatest test. Werner has 6.5 sacks in three games.

To be more specific on Manuel, I’ve never been impressed with his tape. He looks the part physically, but he never developed into a polished college passer. He had a lot of hype when he joined the college ranks (same years as Landry Jones) but he still looks like more of an athlete than a quarterback. Against Wake Forest last week he was barely tested – but there were still some concerning moments. At one point he threw blind from his own red zone -almost giving away a pick six. He has no restrictions from a physical standpoint, but on a technical level he’ll struggle to make the middle rounds.

The Seahawks also have some interest in the game, according to Chris Steuber:

In the other games I’m interested to see how defensive end Dion Jordan is progressing at Oregon. It’s also my first opportunity to look at Arizona’s senior quarterback Matt Scott – he’s had a productive start after replacing Nick Foles. UCLA has also had a good start this year and Jonathan Franklin will be hoping to keep up his mass production against Oregon State. The Beavers kept Montee Ball in check when they played Wisconsin, so this’ll be Franklin’s toughest test so far. After three games he’s averaging over eight yards per carry with 541 total yards and I’m interested to see if the first round hype is justified.

This will be my second look at LSU’s top defensive talent – they didn’t really need to get out of second gear against Washington and I doubt Auburn will provide much more of a test. Even so, it’s another loaded class with plenty of 2013 talent. Vanderbilt at Georgia will be an interesting one – Georgia have flashed the potential to be BCS title contenders this year, but there’s also a lot of average tape so far. They need to be convincing against Vandy and I’ll be mainly focusing on Jonathan Jenkins, Jarvis Jones and Aaron Murray – plus we could get a first look at Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree in this game.

Expect a review after Saturday’s games. In the meantime, take a look at the Jonathan Hankins (DT, Ohio State) tape that we posted on the blog today. His display vs California is the best performance I’ve seen from him so far.


  1. David

    Do you think scouts are possibly there to view the QB’s (Manuel,Boyd)? i find myself interested in Boyd but i am def not down on the current QB we have but i thought i remember hearing that Matt Flynns contract had an opt out clause stating the hawks could opt out of his contract after this year if he didnt meet certain objectives, is that true?

    so with that being said, could you see them releasing Flynn and having a Rookie QB competeing with Wilson again next offseason? i know we need a playmaker and maybe some O-line depth so he wouldnt have to be 1st or 2nd rounder, maybe 3rd or something.

    thought id get your thoughts on that, i really hope Wilson does well this year so we can focus somewhere else this year.

    thank you Rob and Kip the site is awesome and always one of my daily stops when it comes to Analysis and news.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Schneider comes from a system where they traditionally take one QB a year.

  2. Kenny Sloth

    I bet the Seahawks are interested in Bjoern Werner. I would be surprised if they weren’t.

  3. dave crockett

    Keep an eye on the Mizzou @ South Carolina game. I don’t think either offense will be able to move it consistently, though both teams are capable of some big plays.

    The players to watch are mostly on defense.

    1. Shelden Richardson (Jr.) — He was a consensus top 10 recruit out of high school who failed to qualify, and had to go the JUCO route. He briefly flirted with USC before re-committing to Mizzou. Last year he barely got himself eligible academically, missed camp and spent the rest of the year catching up. (He was also part of a pretty deep tackle rotation.) This year, he’s putting it together. I thought he was pretty impressive in the Georgia game, both pushing the pocket and showing his versatility. He’s uses SUPER violent hands to be a disruptive, versatile ‘tweener (listed over #300, but probably playing at #285) similar to former Mizzou standout Justin Smith. Don’t be surprised to see Smith end up on an all-SEC team.

    2. OLB Xavier Gooden (Sr.). Gooden gets overlooked because he excels in coverage OLB and has speed for days. (Check out his Georgia tape and his Oklahoma tape from his sophomore season.) He is coming off of a hamstring injury that kept him out of the ASU game. He has a lot of the attributes PC/JS like; speed for days and coverage ability.

    3. S Keronte Walker (Sr.). He was the SEC player of the week for his brilliant play vs. ASU, making two game-saving plays in the waning minutes. We didn’t know what to expect from him coming into the season (another JUCO transfer) but we’ve seen outstanding coverage ability and nice tackling so far.

    4. T.J. Moe — The Wes Welker comparisons are lazy (and inevitable). In truth, a more apt comparison might be Bobby Engram. Like Engram, the guy can work the hell out of underneath coverage whether man or zone. He has enough speed and explosiveness to make BIG plays out of conservative play calls.

    5. Others — I’ve kept the focus on seniors and juniors likely to declare. But, Mizzou has some impressive talent that isn’t draft eligible or unlikely to declare. CB E.J. Gaines (Jr.) may be the best defender on the team but probably a bit small for Pete Carroll’s tastes. LB Andrew Wilson (Jr.) doesn’t wow in any one area but is a complete LB. DE Kony Ealy may have the most projectable NFL talent. He doesn’t have exactly the same physical traits of Aldon Smith, but is beginning to look more and more like a comparable talent. Dude is a LOAD.

    South Carolina (even though I work in SC, I follow Mizzou more closely)
    1. Marcus Lattimore — He’s so underrated he may be overrated at this point. I love Lattimore, who projects to be a better pro than college player (not unlike Marshawn Lynch). He has a whole “Clock-killin'” Corey Dillon thing happening. Not a lot of ‘wow’ runs, but enough. His real value is that you can do anything with him.

    2. Devin Taylor — Obviously Jadaveon Clowney is the headliner but he’s not eligible. Taylor is an impressive specimen in his own right. Great measurables. Solid if not spectacular burst off the line. Like lots of tall guys both Clowney and Taylor frequently play too high and can struggle to use their hands.

    3. Shaq Wilson — He’s probably the leader of the defense. I’ve gone back and forth about how he projects. He’s played all over and his coverage ability has improved markedly to where I think he has nice versatility.

    4. Bruce Ellington — He was a highly regarded RB and point guard out of high school. He has managed to chuck his way (sub-33% from 3) into being South Carolina’s leading scorer. He’s a much better footballer. However, he’s miscast as a pure wide receiver I think. He’s really kind of a Dexter McCluster type. He is explosive but his hands aren’t the best.

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