This article is a follow up from last week’s weekend preview where I highlighted several important prospect matchups. While Tony Pauline laid out his risers and fallers in an earlier article, this article is meant to look at the prospects I discussed in last week’s preview.
The biggest winner from the weekend was Buffalo’s Khalil Mack who proved he could make impact plays against a higher level of competition. Mack made life difficult for the entire Ohio State offense. He impacted all aspects of the game from stuffing the run, tallying an interception and generating pressure on the quarterback.
His improved pass-rush ability is what really stood out. He did a great job using his long arms to create space, employ a devastating bull rush and make plays away from his frame. It’s still tough to figure out where Mack will fit best at the next level, but it’s not hard to see how much potential he possesses. Don’t be surprised if he starts to get some top-10 love in the near future.
Despite only getting nine carries, Toledo’s David Fluellen had a nice showing against a tough Florida defense. This performance keeps him in the mid-round range in my rankings.
The losers from this weekend were North Carolina’s James Hurst and South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney. Hurst really struggled to handle the speed and athleticism of the South Carolina defensive line.
He not only allowed rushers to get the edge, but also showed poor change of direction and reaction to an inside counter.
Clowney’s day is a little harder to summarize. While he showed the athleticism and natural ability that has everyone pegging him as the potential No. 1 pick, he also looked out of shape. ESPN had the cameras focused on Clowney for most of the game which only made it easier to see him gasping for air.
There are reports that Clowney was battling flu-like symptoms. He’ll have a chance in the coming weeks to show that his is why he was winded. However, the lack of a great motor was one of the question marks I had on him heading into this season.
Jon Dove has been covering the NFL Draft for the past several years at sites that include Mocking the Draft and Bleacher Report as well as presently writing for EDraft.com. He can also be found on twitter @Jon_Dove42