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NFL Draft 2010 Prospects - Week 9 Performances

DraftInsiders.com and ProFootballDraftNetwork.com
will be collaborating on a weekly article posted mid week during the college football regular season to review the prior weeks most notable performances from a NFL Draft 2010 perspective.

NFL Draft 2010 Prospects - Week 9
Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season

Anthony Dixon - Fast Rising Prospect
Photo – Anthony Dixon – Miss St

RB Anthony Dixon – Senior – Miss St
Big physical senior running back had another strong performance in the Miss St win over South Carolina. He is a powerfully built back who has performed well in the SEC, displaying very strong inside running with the burst of speed to break big plays. Against USC, he carried over 30 times and 200 yards. 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 break into the second level. He has outstanding size and vision with good speed and quickness that will keep him from the top tier of backs. He is an honest runner with natural running skills that will earn him an invite to a major All-star game.

LB Brandon Spikes - Senior – Florida
Athletic senior linebacker has been instrumental in the success of the Gators defense over the past three seasons. In the Florida victory over Georgia on Saturday, he was detected of poking the eyes of a Georgia runner. Spikes is a savvy versatile athletic backer who flows to the ball well and finishes with strong sure tackling. He has been considered a highly regarded first round prospect and possible top ten selection at this point. The cheap shot in the Georgia has drawn attention and he will be watched closely by NFL scouts if it is a pattern on the field going forward. Thus far he has had no on or off the field issues, but the recent incident has no place in the game.

DE Jermaine Cunningham – Senior – Florida
Explosive edge rusher has displayed impact ability over his SEC career and had another strong effort vs Georgia. He has been a major difference maker for this undefeated club, relying on a very quick first step and good hand technique to separate from blockers with the upfield speed to sack the QB. He has the frame to fill out further to become an every down pro defender at end in a 4-3 front. He also has the mobility to also play up in the 3-4 scheme, though would face an adjustment period with no experience in that scheme. His ability to apply pressure off the edge will earn him invites to a major All-star game that could elevate his stock further.

DT Dan Williams – Senior - Tennessee
The Vols won another key game vs South Carolina and Williams was instrumental setting the pace for their defensive line. South Carolina struggled throughout the game rushing the ball with Williams wrecking havoc from the inside. He gets a powerful push in the middle that collapses the pocket and forces the QB to rush his throws. He also clogs the middle that keeps backers free to run to the ball and make tackles. He combines excellent size and strength with good mobility and quickness to be an every down pro defender.

WR Tim Brown - Senior - Rutgers
Fast senior receiver/ returner was instrumental in the Rutgers victory over UConn with a last minute 81 yard TD reception. Brown has been instrumental in the Rutgers passing offense this season. He is a big play specialist who is very dangerous after he gets his hands on the ball and capable of scoring from anywhere on the field. He flashes impact ability despite his smallish size of 5’8” 170 lbs. He combines very good speed, agility and hands along with natural running skills to be dangerous every time he touches the ball. He displays a well developed skill set for the position that has allowed him to average over 20 per reception this season. He could be one of the top situational playmakers in this draft class with a strong postseason.

Denis Krusos - Editor
Pro Football Draft Network

WR Riley Cooper, Senior, Florida
Florida’s offense came alive against Georgia in an impressive 41-17 win. Cooper’s two touchdown catches (22 and 29 yards) in the 1st quarter put the Gators up 14-0 and they never looked back. He displayed outstanding concentration, hands and body control on one of his scoring grabs. Florida’s leading wide receiver (31 receptions, 474 yards (15.3 per), 5 touchdowns) is sneaky fast and has good size. Cooper is physical, smart and will block to support the running game. He could provide value in the middle rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft.

CB Kyle Wilson, Senior, Boise State
Boise State annihilated San Jose State 45-7 and remained undefeated. The Broncos’ confident cornerback, Kyle Wilson, picked off a pass and raced 27 yards for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. He also contributed with 5 tackles (1 tackle for loss). Wilson is a dangerous kick returner and had a punt return for 17 yards and a kickoff return for 20 yards. Wilson is small (5’ 10”and 185 lbs), but he is physical for his size. He changes direction well and has quick feet. Kyle Wilson looks like a good fit to cover the slot receiver at the next level and his kick return ability is a plus.

WR Brandon Banks, Senior, Kansas State
The Wildcats’ tiny (5’7”and 154 lbs) receiver played a big role in Kansas State’s valiant effort to defeat Oklahoma. The Sooners prevailed 42-30, but Banks tied a school record (Darren Sproles is the other player) with 351 all-purpose yards. Banks returned a kick-off 98 yards for a touchdown (his 4th kick-off return for a score this year). He stood out as a receiver with 9 catches for 156 yards (17.3 per). His size will be a definite obstacle in the NFL. However, Banks is strong for his size and is fearless with the ball in his hands. He has the speed and quickness to be a dangerous kick returner. There have not been many successful receivers that weighed less than 170 pounds in the NFL. Kelvin Martin played 10 years in the NFL and was a skinny 163 pounds. Banks may not be drafted, but he will be in a camp to show that he can make something happen on special teams.

QB Zac Robinson, Senior, Oklahoma State
Zac Robinson entered the Texas game on a roll and was making better decisions in recent games. He crashed down to earth against a quality Longhorns’ defense, as Texas destroyed the Cowboys 41-14. Robinson completed 15 passes in 28 attempts (54%) for only 143 yards (5.1 yards per attempt). His 4 interceptions (2 returned for touchdowns) really hurt Oklahoma State. Robinson threw a garbage time touchdown pass in the 4th quarter. Robinson telegraphed his passes and allowed the Texas secondary to jump routes. The Longhorns’ defensive backs have too much speed to get away with this. This certainly will be the case in the NFL. Texas did not sack Robinson and his mistakes were not due to overwhelming pressure. The loss raises serious concerns as to Robinson’s potential to play quarterback professionally.

FS Taylor Mays, Senior, USC
USC’s defense was humiliated in Oregon’s 47-20 victory. The Ducks ran for a staggering 391 yards! Oregon averaged 8 yards per carry and scored 4 times on the ground. They also had success in the air and threw for 222 yards and a touchdown (no interceptions). The entire USC defense played terribly and with little emotion. Taylor Mays made 8 uneventful tackles that were mostly downfield. He was frequently blocked effectively in run support and did not get his hands on a ball in pass coverage. Mays likes to try to intimidate with his physical hits, but Oregon stood their ground. It will be interesting to see how Mays and his defensive teammates bounce back from this performance.

Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season