TFY Draft Insider podcast for December 3rd as Jon Dove and Tony Pauline converse on a number of draft related issues. Previews for this coming weekends PAC 12 title game, reviews of prospects rising up and falling down boards from last Saturday and plenty of first hand insider news in this weeks edition.
* Minute 1: Review of the Alabama-Auburn game
* Minute 7: Florida Gator cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy sliding?
* Minute 8:30: The word on Trent Murphy of Stanford
* Minute 11:30: Will Marcus Mariota change his mind?
* Minute 14:30: Jon and Tony discuss the most recent Senior Bowl invitations
* Minute 18: Antone Exum missing more games with injury. Scouts say he’s lost a step
* Minute 20: Insider News on the NFL decisions of Brandon Coleman and Kaleb Johnson of Rutgers
* Minute 23: Two more LSU underclassmen leaning towards entering the draft
* Minute 25: The latest on Ryan Shazier and Braxton Miller of Ohio State
* Minute 27:30: Florida State receiver Kelvin Benjamin evidently leaning towards entering the draft while the rest of the Seminoles seem to be waiting on their choice.
It was a holiday weekend which saw a number of unbeaten teams go down in defeat as well as shake-up at the top of the BCS rankings. Conference title games also hinged on the outcome of a number of contests from this weekend. Included in week 14 were mainstay and sleeper prospects who impressed NFL scouts.
Josh Huff/WR/Oregon: Huff, one of the nation’s most underrated receiver prospects, finished off his college career in style against rival Oregon State . The senior put up a season best 9 receptions, 186 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns, the last of which put Oregon up for good in the final half-minute of the game. Huff’s not very big or super fast but reliable and football smart. He’ll quickly produce at the next level for a team that lines him up in the slot as a 3rd/4th receiver.
Bishop Sankey/RB/Washington: The Huskies junior ball carrier finished his record setting campaign in style, running roughshod over rival Washington State. Sankey posted 200-yards rushing on 34 carries (5.9-yard average) with one score. It was the second time this season he’s gone over 200-yard mark in a game and Sankey finished the year with 1775-yards on the ground and 18 touchdowns. Expected to enter the draft, Sankey grades as a second round pick and would do well playing in an offensive system such as the one employed by the Miami Dolphins.
Tyler Gaffney/RB/Stanford: Once again Gaffney came up big when facing a tough opponent, posting career numbers against Notre Dame. The senior ran for 189-yards on 33 carries, eclipsing the 171-rushing yards he posted against UCLA earlier in the year. Gaffney, who put his professional baseball career on hold to join the Cardinal football team this season, is a powerful, downhill runner with terrific size and athleticism. He’s the antithesis of Bishop Sankey; a heavy duty ball carrier that will find a home for a ground and pound/power running offense in the NFL.
Keith McGill/DB/Utah: This was a game scouts circled and McGill did not disappoint. The Utes leaned on McGill to slow down Colorado star receiver Paul Richardson and the fast rising defensive back responded. Richardson had his second lowest output of the season, 4 receptions with 54 receiving yards. For his part McGill recorded 6 tackles and broke up two passes. The senior offers the versatility to line-up at corner or safety and is a tremendous athlete with a large upside. A good week of Senior Bowl practices could push McGill into the second round.
Derrick Mathews/OLB/Houston: Mathews has been a tackling machine at Houston since breaking into the line-up as a freshman yet the junior poses a dilemma for scouts. His production has been nothing less than outstanding and his totals a year ago included 126 tackles. Twelve games into the 2012 season Mathews has posted 110 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 7 sacks as well as 5 pass defenses. Built more like a defensive back (6-feet, 215lbs) than linebacker, Mathews offers possibilities as a nickel linebacker or safety and special teams player in the NFL.
J.R. Collins/DE/Virginia Tech: With so much headlining talent surrounding him its easy for Collins to get overlooked but the game film tells a different story altogether. The undersized defensive end, who was not graded by scouts entering the season, has shown himself to be a complete defender. For the year Collins posted 47 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 5 sacks, numbers superior to James Gayle, his highly rated teammate. He also has 22 quarterback hurries to his credit. Collins offers back-up potential at defensive end or linebacker and has special teams possibilities. Good workouts during the Virginia Tech pro-day in March could push him into the late rounds.
David Fales/QB/San Jose State: I’ll be honest and mention I’ve never been a big proponent of Fales next level potential yet I would be remiss not to mention his performance against once unbeaten Fresno State. Fales took full advantage of the Bulldogs leaky defense by putting 547 passing yards with 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also completed 82.2% of his throws. This comes against a team fighting for an undefeated season and potential BCS invitation. Fales ultimate draft grade will come down to his Senior Bowl performance (assuming he receives an invitation) and combine workout. Regardless, he raised the eyebrows of NFL decision makers over Thanksgiving weekend.
Tajh Boyd/QB/Clemson: Despite praise heaped on Boyd by many on the outside scouts are not overly impressed with the signal callers next level potential. Saturday’s loss to South Carolina was another example why. Boyd threw for a mere 225 yards with no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Worse, his wayward passes resulted in lost opportunities for the Tigers offense on a number of occasions. Boyd has the arm strength to play in the NFL but can be all over the place with throws. He benefitted from throwing to a pair of first round receivers the past two years who were able to consistently pull his errant throws from the air. In the NFL he’ll be facing first round cornerbacks who’ll be able to do the same.
The final full week on the college schedule before the conference title games features traditional interstate rivalries, some which will impact the national rankings. It’s also a weekend which a number of highly rated NFL prospects, many from the junior class, will face off against one another.
The Gator Swan Song for Louchiez Purifoy & Marcus Roberson?
Its been an up and down year for Purifoy and Roberson, and both could be playing their final game at Florida. The pair are rumored to be leaning towards the NFL yet each comes with question marks. Purifoy has been inconsistent on the field while Roberson has red flags off the field. The Gators cornerback duo and the rest of the team would like nothing better than to knock interstate rival Florida State from the ranks of the unbeaten. The Seminoles offer multi-threat freshman signal caller Jameis Winston as well as junior receiver Rashad Green, a potential mid-round pick putting up career numbers this season. The Florida State duo could be headaches for Purifoy and Roberson, who’ll want their last game at Florida to be memorable for the right reasons.
Paul Richardson (Colorado) vs Keith McGill (Utah): The end result could be big.
Colorado receiver Paul Richardson is on the rise as the junior has rebounded incredibly well from the knee injury which kept him on the sidelines last season. He’s a natural receiver and the go-to guy who breaks it deep on occasion. Keith McGill has also done a terrific job since returning from a shoulder injury which shelved him in 2012. The versatile defensive back has the size/speed numbers and athleticism which makes teams drool and his upside is enormous. Richardson is expected to enter the draft and grades as a top 45 choice. McGill has received second round grades by a number of scouts, who think he can develop into a starter. Scouts want to see who comes out on top when they meet head-to-head.
The Iron Bowl: How will Saban trick Greg Robinson?
Auburn’s red-shirt sophomore left tackle Greg Robinson has been getting a lot of love recently. The large blocker has really elevated his game this season and is starting to transfer his size and athleticism into full time football skill. He’s far from the finished prospect but still a terrific prospect with potential for greatness. Robinson and Auburn face an NFL type of defense on Saturday, both on the schematic and personal front. Alabama coach Nick Saban will throw numerous looks which Robinson must immediately recognize or he’ll get beat by a bevy of top 75 talent in the Tide’s front seven. The game is equally a challenge for Xzavier Dickson, Adrian Hubbard, Ed Stinson and Jeoffrey Pagan of the Tide; all gifted next level prospects who’ve put up pedestrian stats this season.
Ground & Pound versus Finesse and Quickness
Wisconsin’s Ryan Groy, a week 13 riser, is a tough, slug it out blocker who takes no prisoners. He’s been graded by scouts anywhere from the third round into the middle part of the draft’s last day. DaQuan Jones of Penn State is rated by some as the top defensive tackle from the senior class. He does not play with the same rough and tumble style of Groy, rather he’s a quick, finesse athlete. Some question Jones’ consistency on the field and ability to come up with the big play when needed. Others feel Groy is a bit one-dimensional and limited. Their contrasting style will make for an interesting watch.