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DraftInsiders.com and ProFootballDraftNetwork.com will be collaborating on a weekly article (posted every Wednesday during the college football regular season) to review the prior weeks most notable performances from a 2010 NFL Draft perspective.
NFL Draft 2010 Prospects - Week 3 Performances
Photo - WR Brandon LaFell - LSU
Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season
DE Carlos Dunlap - 6’5” 290 lbs. - Florida
Huge athletic edge rusher has displayed impact ability over his SEC career and had a strong effort in the Gators win vs Tennessee. He makes big plays off the edge, relying on a quick first step and technique to separate from blockers and the power to overwhelm blockers. He has the upfield speed to pressure the QB with the wingspan and frame to incredibly grow further to become a dominant every down pro defender. His ability to apply pressure off the edge has drawn rave notice from scouts and he will be watched closely over his junior season.
WR Brandon LaFell - 6’3” 210 lbs. - LSU
Smooth senior receiver has been instrumental in the Tigers offense this season. He is a highly rated prospect who flashed impact ability at times earlier in his career, but also periods of inconsistency that included mistakes and injuries. He combines good size, speed, agility and hands along with his fine level of development that makes him valuable for the pro game. He displays a well developed skill set for the position that has allowed him to get a strong start to his final season. He earned his third multi-TD game on LSU's first drive of the 2nd half, catching a 20-yard pass from Jefferson. He could be one of the top senior playmakers in this overall draft class with a consistent final effort.
LB Micah Johnson - 6’1” 250 lbs. - Kentucky
Aggressive senior defender has been a dominant performer over his SEC career. He has the quick first step and power to gain a fast advantage to defeat blocking angles. He has shown the talent to make big plays with the upfield speed to get after the QB and go sideline to sideline. His ability to run well at over 250 lbs. allows him to be an every down defender and capable of playing in either pro scheme. He was instrumental in the Wildcats big win over Louisville last week, making several key stops and providing leadership to the defense.
LB Donald Butler - 6’1” 235 lbs. - Washington
Mobile defender has started since midway of his sophomore season seeing time both inside and outside in the Huskies scheme. He has an impact performance vs Southern Cal last week when he made a game-high 12 tackles, forced a fumble and picked off a pass in the Huskies' 16-13 stunning upset of 3rd-ranked Southern Cal, their 1st victory over a ranked opponent since 2003. He is an instinctive backer who flows to the ball well with speed and finishes with sure strong tackling. He moved up the scouting charts after this impressive performance.
CB Trevard Lindley - 5’11” 185 lbs. - Kentucky
Quick athletic senior corner combines top cover and ball skills to rank among the best secondary defenders this season. He has quick reactions with the fluid hips to break easily on the ball, retain top speed and make plays on the ball. He ranks with any cover man in the nation this year with the talent to shutdown #1 receivers in man situations. He has fine athletic ability including quick reactions with fine ball skills and the ability to plant and break quickly to the ball. He has good speed to match up in the deep game, showing the ability to blanket the game’s best receivers in man coverage. He has shown improvement in run support and play recognition in general.
Denis Krusos - Editor
Pro Football Network
QB Tim Tebow, Senior, Florida - The Gators’ star had a workmanlike performance in Florida’s 23-13 win over Tennessee. Tebow completed 14 passes in 19 attempts (74%) for 115 yards (6 yards per attempt) and committed 2 turnovers (1 interception and 1 fumble). He also ran the ball frequently (24 carries for 76 yards (3.2 per) and scored once. Tebow did not get the ball downfield and looked easy to sack when he stayed in the pocket. Overall, questions still persist about his ability to play quarterback at the next level. Can he get rid of the ball quickly enough and down field with accuracy to be effective in the NFL? Tim Tebow will be one of the more heavily debated prospects in the 2010 NFL Draft.
S Eric Berry, Junior, Tennessee - Berry had a terrific game against Florida in Tennessee’s 23-13 defeat. It was easy to see why he is so highly regarded. Berry made a diving interception and was a force defending the run with 11 tackles (including 2 tackles for loss). He displayed excellent range and a physical presence. He could very well be the 1st safety selected, if he chooses to enter the 2010 NFL Draft.
QB Max Hall, Senior, BYU - The Cougars’ signal caller had a disappointing game in BYU’s 54-28 blowout loss to Florida State. The speed and athleticism of the Seminoles’ defense caused problems for Hall. He finished 20 of 31 (65%) for 306 yards (9.9 per) with 2 touchdown passes and 3 interceptions. Florida State led 44-14 in the 3rd quarter when Hall completed a meaningless 80-yard touchdown pass. Hall’s lack of size and arm strength was evident in this game.
RB Jahvid Best, Junior, Cal - The talented running back tied a school record with 5 rushing touchdowns. Best led Cal to a 35-21 road victory at Minnesota. He finished the game with 131 yards rushing on 26 carries (5 yards per) and caught 3 passes for 17 yards. Best ran effectively inside and of course, outside with his outstanding speed and quickness. The biggest question talent evaluators will have to decide is whether Best will be effective running between the tackles in the NFL. This will decide whether he is another Chris Johnson or a Reggie Bush. The Cal running back has looked comfortable running inside this year. The Heisman Trophy candidate is a true junior, but with 3 seasons under his belt and the demands of his position, he could decide to enter the 2010 NFL Draft.
QB Jimmy Clausen, Junior, Notre Dame - Clausen hit Golden Tate with a 33-yard touchdown pass late in the 4th quarter to lift Notre Dame to a 33-30 win over Michigan State. The Notre Dame quarterback battled through a right foot injury and finished 22 of 31 (71%) for 300 yards (9.7 per) with 2 touchdown passes and 1 interception. It was a big win for Notre Dame after the disappointing loss to Michigan. Clausen showed determination, poise and the ability to accurately throw a wide variety of passes in the victory. He may choose to stick around for another year, but he clearly is playing the best ball of his collegiate career.