2013 NFL Draft News and Notes from Week 5
For those of you who are big time college football fans, this week was a bit of a let down. While there was quite a bit of excitement from games like Ohio State and Michigan State, Tennessee and Georgia, and Baylor against West Virginia, there were no huge upsets that helped keep the parity alive in the NCAA.
Don’t let that discourage you from following NFL Draft prospects, however. While we’re just five weeks into the college football season, it’s time to start getting more and more in depth looks at specific athletes and eligible prospects for April’s draft.
Here’s a small recap of some bigger names to watch out for from Week 5.
- Oregon rusher Kenjon Barner has really done a nice job of filling in for LaMichael James in 2012 and stepped up in a big way against Washington State. He rushed 20 times for 195 yards and three touchdowns, while also catching three passes out of the backfield, including a 30 yard touchdown as well.
On the other side of the ball, Marquess Wilson managed to have a stellar game with Connor Halliday and Jeff Tuel throwing to him. Wilson managed 12 receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown as we managed to see the Wilson that we were hoping to earlier in the season.
Wilson isn’t a guarantee to come out, being a junior, but he has good ball skills and is a solid down field target that could afford to add some weight to his 6’4 frame.
- What a battle in Georgia this week as the Bulldogs held on to their #5 overall ranking in a close game against Tennessee. Tennessee overcame a 27-10 deficit with less than five minutes left in the first half to force a 30-30 game going into halftiem.
Unfortunately, they managed to struggle in the second half, unable to pull out the victory. Quarterback Tyler Bray’s arm strength is not in question, but this game is not helping his accuracy/touch issues, especially after throwing three interceptions.
It did help that Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo were back for the Bulldogs defensively, but Bray made several throws that were just poor decisions, and likely could have easily thrown two more interceptions. He managed just 24 completions out of 45 attempts, and 281 yards.
Tight end Mychal Rivera led the Volunteers in receiving, catching three passes for 82 yards, including a 62 yard strike that he showcased some RAC ability for a tight end. Tennessee receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson were held in check for most of the game, although Patterson had two key drops, including one in the first half that really could have changed the outlook and momentum of the entire game.
- South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore looked more like his old self against Kentucky, especially in the second half.
The Gamecocks went into halftime with a 17-7 deficit at their hands, only to come back and score 31 points in the second half of the game, with two of those touchdowns being credited to Lattimore who finished with 120 yards on 23 carries.
Still, Lattimore does not look 100% for some reason, not hitting the holes with the same burst and struggling to break tackles with ease.
Defensive end Devin Taylor registered his first sack of the season as well. Taylor has been more disruptive than his statistics indicate, but he is surely no Jadeveon Clowney.
- Regardless of the fact that the West Virginia Mountaineers have failed to play a reasonable defense in 2012, you still have to be impressed with some of the throws that quarterback Geno Smith makes.
He had a huge day in a 70-63 win over Baylor in which he completed 45 of 51 passes for 656 yards and eight touchdowns. Smith has yet to throw an interception all season long, and has just 29 completions in four games.
He’s helped out greatly by having two of the quickest receivers in all of college football in senior Tavon Austin and junior Stedman Bailey. Bailey had 303 of those 656 yards and caught five of the eight touchdowns thrown from Smith, while Austin caught fourteen passes for 215 yards and two more touchdowns.
The WVU offense is too powerful in 2012, but at some point teams will figure out how to keep them from putting up over 50 points in a game.
Don’t count out Baylor receiver Terrence Williams, however. Williams is quietly having an exceptional season with over 100 yards in three games and scoring six touchdowns in his last three.
Williams has solid size at 6’2 205, and has the speed to stretch the field. Quarterback Nick Florence is no RGIII, but he is making big plays as well. However, his ability to throw the football at an NFL level is quite far away, and he will need quite a bit of work.
- Texas’ defensive line is really going to miss defensive ends Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor, each of whom recorded a sack a piece in the victory against Oklahoma State.
Despite a tough front seven, Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle had a huge game, rushing 25 times for 199 yards and two touchdowns, while also catching two passes out of the back field as well.
Cowboys receiver Tracy Moore sits at 6’2 215 and is a receiver that is not afraid to be physical and grab the ball in traffic. He has solid straight line speed as well, although he won’t burn many NFL corners.
Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro recorded his second interception in four games, and has 12 solo tackles on the season. He’s a tough, physical safety that isn’t afraid to come up and make a play in the box.
- Clemson really pulled away from Boston College in the second half, outscoring Boston College 21-10 in that span.
Quarterback Tajh Boyd had another big games throwing for three touchdowns on 28 completions, and 367 yards, despite not having Sammy Watkins available due to an abdomen virus.
Rusher Andre Ellington continues to put together big plays, having a 43 yard rush that helped him compile 132 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown. Most notably, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins refuses to slow down, catching 11 more passes for 197 yards and a touchdown.
Hopkins may just be one of the biggest rising receivers for 2012, and he’s still only a junior.
- Intriguing quarterback prospect Matt Scott from Arizona continues to put up big numbers, but his inexperience has really shown in the last two performances, combining for five interceptions in them.
Scott can run the ball a bit, but has done a fair job of staying in the pocket and completing passes down field. He was 31 of 53 for 403 yards and three touchdowns on the day, but those two interceptions were huge and had a big part in keeping Arizona from upsetting Oregon State.
Markus Wheaton led Oregon State in receiving with 10 receptions and 166 yards with two touchdowns, giving him three touchdowns in three games and just over 403 yards in those three games as well.
Dan Buckner had his second 100+ yard performance of the season catching just six passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. Buckner has big size and big hands and is a guy who looks to be a clutch third down receiver at the next level.
- It has been a rough September for Virginia Tech seniors as they have dropped two of their last three games, both two Big East opponents, which is somewhat ironic considering the Hokies spent a lot of time in the Big East conference.
Pittsburgh smacked the Hokies around a bit two weeks ago, and the Cincinnati Bearcats made Va Tech their last victim en route to a 3-0 start to the season.
Tech quarterback Logan Thomas has really looked flustered in the last three weeks, completing 45.2, 42.3 and 56.7% of his passes respectively. Thomas has managed to throw six interceptions in his last three match-ups combined, and has yet to throw for more than 265 yards in five games.
Senior receivers Corey Fuller and Marcus Davis are both big potential players that have had some inconsistencies in their play as well dealing with drops and miscommunication on passes.
Davis is a big target at 6’4 232, but struggles to get separation from inferior receivers while Fuller seems to have more mental lapses than anything.