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and ProFootballDraftNetwork.com are 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.
Pro Prospects - Week 6
Photo – LB Brandon Spikes – Florida
Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season
LB Brandon Spikes – Senior - Florida
Aggressive senior defender had a dominant performance vs LSU that was instrumental in the Gators victory. Against LSU, he registered a game-high 11 tackles including 3 sacks while limiting the Tigers to just 162 yards and 1 field goal. He is a very physical defender with a quick first step and the power to gain a fast advantage to defeat blocking angles. He showed the physical talent to make plays both inside and outside consistently with the burst speed and quickness to make big plays. He has the ability to rush the passer and also drop in coverage at 250 lbs. He has the rare size/ speed combination that allows him to be an every down defender and capable of playing in either pro scheme and virtually any position in those sets.
QB Jevan Snead – Junior - Mississippi
Talented junior passer played poorly in Ole Miss’s loss to Alabama Saturday. Jevan played tight throughout the contest and threw the ball very erratic consistently. This game was a key chance for him to showcase his skills against the highly regarded tough Tide defense. The Ole Miss starter has let strong pass rushes from the Tide and South Carolina over recent weeks effect him throwing the ball. He was inaccurate once again vs Bama and what was most disturbing was that he was off target in his short throws throughout the game. Currently, he is not ready to consider entering the NFL Draft and in need of further reps at this critical position.
RB Jonathan Dwyer – Junior - Georgia Tech
Big physical junior running back had another strong performance in the Tech win over Florida St. He is a powerfully built back who has performed well in the ACC, displaying very strong inside running with the burst of speed to break big plays. Against FSU, he carried only 14 times but produced 102 yards and 2 TDs. He uses his powerful big frame as a battering ram to run over defenders, though he has the lateral quickness and speed that allows him to move through holes fast and break into the second level. He has outstanding size with very good speed and quickness that will keep him from the top tier of backs. He is an honest runner with natural skills that will draw much attention over what is probably his final season.
WR Jordan Shipley – Senior - Texas
Quick senior wideout had a career game vs Colorado while showing big play ability as both a receiver ad return specialist. On offense, he finished the game with 11 catches for 147 yards and a TD. In addition, his 273 all-purpose yards in the game are a career high. He also registered a 74-yard punt return TD. He has caught at least 10 passes in each of the last three games. He shows excellent hands and route running with the quickness to get into his routes and the speed to break big plays. He is also a dangerous return specialist that will enhance his value in the April draft. He is highly developed with natural receiving skills and fine route running ability that makes him one of the more developed playmakers in this class.
LB Rico McCoy – Senior - Tennessee
Mobile senior defender has been a mainstay in the Vols defense since early in his career, seeing time on both the outside backer and special teams roles. He had an impact performance vs Georgia when he made a 9 tackles, 1 PBU and 1 QB hurry. He is a very mobile, instinctive linebacker who flows to the ball and gets through traffic well with the speed and sure tackling ability to finish with strong stops. His size and mobility will limit him to playing outside in the base 4-3 set. He has the makeup of a top special teams performer.
Denis Krusos - Editor
Pro Football Draft Network
DE Brandon Graham, Senior, Michigan
The powerful Michigan defensive end was a disruptive force against a talented and well-coached Iowa offensive line. Graham tallied 9 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks in the Wolverines’ 30-28 loss at Iowa. He plays with terrific leverage and uses his hands violently to disengage from blockers. Michigan’s top defensive player is stout against the run and helped limit Iowa to only 83 yards rushing on 34 attempts (2.4 per). Graham is a shade under six foot one and will be heavily scrutinized at the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine to gauge how well he may convert to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Graham played against Iowa with his usual determination. He has the lower body strength and quickness to play defensive end in the NFL despite his lack of ideal height.
RB Ben Tate, Senior, Auburn
The Tigers’ leading rusher continued his strong play this season with a career-day against Arkansas. Tate rushed for 184 yards on 22 carries (8.4 per) in Auburn’s 44-23 defeat to Arkansas. His two touchdowns (including a 60-yard run) in the 3rd quarter fueled an Auburn comeback that ultimately fell short. Tate has a sturdy-build and does not go down easily. He runs with heart and can also return kick-offs and is working on being a better outlet in the passing game.
DT Dan Williams, Senior, Tennessee
The Vols won an important game (45-17) against Georgia. The win bolsters the new coaching staff and the defense played a significant role. Williams led the defensive line with 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 2 quarterback pressures. Georgia was limited to only 241 yards of total offense. The Bulldogs’ offense scored a mere 3 points and never entered the redzone. Williams has excellent size and moves pretty well for a 320-pound defensive tackle. He did a fine job of clogging the interior on running plays and getting a push up the middle on passes.
LB Perry Riley, Senior, LSU
Riley has helped his 2010 NFL Draft stock with a productive season to date. LSU lost a defensive battle with Florida by a score of 13-3, but Riley’s skills were on full display. He was extremely active with 12 tackles, 1/2 tackle for a loss, 2 passes broken up and 1 quarterback pressure. He displayed excellent range when he helped force Florida’s, Brandon James, out of bounds short of a 1st down on a 4th down play. Riley took good angles to the ball and clearly had the speed and quickness to match-up against a team known for its speed. He also comes in under control when tackling and can deliver some jarring hits.
WR Brandon LaFell, Senior, LSU
LSU’s offense struggled all game against Florida’s top-ranked defense. LaFell caught only 4 passes for 44 yards (11.0 per). His biggest play was a 26-yard catch and run over the middle against the Gators’ 3rd corner. LaFell dropped a pass late in the game and overall did not deliver the big play. LSU had trouble protecting their quarterback, which contributed to the anemic passing attack. The Tigers needed their star receiver to make a man miss or break a tackle. He was unable to make such a play on this day.