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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 Prospects - Week 2
Photo - DE Jerry Hughes - TCU
Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season
DE Jerry Hughes - 6’3” 255 lbs. - Texas Christian
Explosive edge rusher has displayed impact ability over his MWC career and had a dominant effort vs Virginia. Hughes had a career high and team-best 11 tackles, including 2.5 TFL with 1.5 sacks in TCU opening win. He makes big plays off the edge, relying on a quick first step and technique to separate from blockers. He has the upfield speed to sack the QB with the frame to fill out further to be an every down defender. His ability to apply pressure off the edge has drawn rave reviews from scouts and he will be watched closely over his critical final season.
QB Daryll Clark - 6’2”230 lbs - Penn St.
Athletic senior QB had a fine effort in the PSU win over Syracuse. He was very accurate hitting on 70% of his throws, including 3 TDs. He has good size and arm strength with quick compact delivery and fairly good touch to make all the throws. His mobility is an added feature that scouts love in a starting QB. He looks to improve on a good effort as a junior and show further development on all the key areas for this position. He looks to take another step to land in a major All-star game this postseason.
QB Dan LeFevour - 6’3” 220 lbs. – Central Michigan
Savvy senior passer had a huge performance in the CM win over Michigan St. This came on the heels of a disappointing opening loss to Arizona. LeFevour was the key difference in the MSU win throwing for over 300 yards and 3 TDs making many clutch plays. He has a good arm and makes most of the critical throws accurately. He is fearless in the pocket, showing toughness and good decisions when under a heavy pass rush. He gets the ball down the field with fine accuracy and touch with good ball security. He continues to make fast improvement that has him ranked among the top senior passers in this class.
* RB Joe McKnight - 6’ 190 lbs. - Southern Cal
Smooth junior tailback was instrumental in the USC game winning drive vs Ohio St. He is a highly rated prospect who has flashed impact ability at times, but also periods of inconsistency that included mistakes, injuries and academic issues. 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 to be a factor in many roles in the backfield. He could be one of the top junior playmakers in this overall draft class.
DE Lindsey Witten - 6’4” 250 lbs. - Connecticut
Explosive pass rusher has been a dominant defender over the early season. He has the quick first step to gain a fast advantage in matchups. He has shown the talent to make big plays off the edge and displays more consistency in that role. He has the upfield speed to get after the QB and has the frame to fill out further. His ability to fill out over 255 lbs. will determine his ability to be an every down pro defender. He is on every NFL teams watch list this fall.
Denis Krusos - Editor
Pro Football Network
S Taylor Mays, Senior, USC- the Trojans’ free safety led his team with 8 tackles in USC’s 18-15 victory over Ohio State. Mays is big, strong, fast and a ferocious hitter. However, he still has to prove that he has the top pass coverage instincts that the elite safeties possess to be a worthy high 1st round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. What makes Pittsburgh’s,Troy Polamalu, so devastating at safety is he is a ballhawk in pass coverage and like an extra linebacker in run support. Mays misread a pass play and compounded the error by taking a poor angle on Dane Sanzenbacher’s 56-yard catch and run early in the game. The big play set-up Ohio State’s 1st touchdown. Is Mays another Polamalu or a Roy Williams, the former Cowboys’ safety, who became a liability in pass coverage? PFDN will be keeping a close eye on this issue.
OT Sam Young, Senior, Notre Dame- the Irish right tackle had a solid performance in Notre Dame’s narrow 34-38 defeat to Michigan. He helped pave the way for a balanced Irish attack that gained 490 yards of total offense (154 yards on the ground (5.1 per carry) and 336 passing yards). Notre Dame quarterback, Jimmy Clausen, was not sacked and often had time to locate his receivers. Young has excellent experience as a pass protector and keeps filling out his 6’ 7” frame.
QB Jake Locker, Junior, Washington- the Huskies’ first win in almost two years was led by their athletic quarterback. Locker is taking nicely to Steve Sarkisian’s pro-style offense and Washington is putting points on the board. Locker is an exceptional athlete who can make plays with his legs and arm. He is starting to rely less on his legs and distributed the ball efficiently to 9 different receivers in Washington’s 42-23 victory over Idaho. The junior quarterback (17 of 25 (68%) for 253 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions against Idaho) is learning to go through his reads and deliver the ball accurately. USC presents a far tougher test, but Locker is an intriguing NFL prospect in either 2010 or 2011.
OLB Sean Lee, Senior, Penn State- Lee clearly is all the way back after tearing his acl last season in his right knee. The quick and instinctive outside linebacker was all over the field in Penn State’s easy 28-7 victory over Syracuse. Lee paced the Lions’ defense with 13 tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 1 sack. His return to health and consistently productive play has him rising up draft boards.
QB Jarrett Brown, Senior, West Virginia- Brown backed up Pat White for three years and finally is the Mountaineers’ starting quarterback. He opened some eyes in West Virginia’s 35-20 victory over East Carolina. Brown put on an impressive performance and finished the day 24 of 31 (77%) for 334 yards, 4 touchdown passes and 1 interception. He also displayed his athleticism and strength in rushing for 73 yards on 10 carries. Brown was decisive on where to throw the ball and was accurate on a couple of NFL-caliber deep balls. He has not been sacked this season and that is partly due to he is difficult to bring down with his combination of size, strength and athletic ability.
2009 Walter Camp Player of the Year “Watch List”
DE George Selvie – South Florida
The Walter Camp Football Foundation has announced the names of thirty “players to watch” for its prestigious Player of the Year award, the nation’s fourth-oldest individual college football accolade.
“We are proud to continue the great work of Walter Camp and recognize the best college football players in the nation,” Foundation president Alphonse Paolillo, Jr. said. “This watch list is a great start to what is shaping up to be another exciting year of college football.”
Six players on the 2009 watch list, including the 2008 Walter Camp Player of the Year Colt McCoy (QB, Texas), were named to last year’s Walter Camp All-America First Team. The watch list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists in early November. The 2009 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, which is voted on by the 119 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on the ESPN SportsCenter on December 10. The winner will then receive his trophy at the annual national awards banquet on January 18, 2010 at Yale University in New Haven. Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation (www.waltercamp.org) – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.
2009 Walter Camp Player of the Year “Watch List”
Jahvid Best, RB, Junior, California
Arrelious Benn, WR, Junior, Illinois
Eric Berry, DB, Junior, Tennessee - 2008 Camp 1st Team All-American
Sam Bradford, QB, Junior, Oklahoma - 2008 Camp 2nd Team All-American
2009 Ted Hendricks Defensive End Award Watch List
DE Jerry Hughes – Texas Christian
TCU consensus All-American Jerry Hughes has been named to the preseason watch list for the 2009 Ted Hendricks Award, presented to the nation's top defensive end. Hughes was a finalist for the 2008 Ted Hendricks Award and was also one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, recognizing the nation's best defensive player.
Draft Insiders.com ranks Hughes as the No. 3 defensive end available for the 2010 NFL Draft. Hughes also appears on watch lists for the Rotary Lombardi Award and Lott Trophy. Hughes led the nation in 2008 with 15 sacks and six forced fumbles. The 6’3” 257lb. senior from Sugar Land, Tx., also ranked in the top 10 in tackles for loss (19.5) and fumble recoveries (three). He added two interceptions, including one returned for a TD.
The Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college football¹s first three-time first-team All-American. After his standout career at Miami (Fl.), Hendricks played 15 years in the National Football League. He earned selection to both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fame. Now in its eighth season, the Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of college football's first three-time first-team All-American. As a defensive end at the University of Miami, he used his agility, height and reach to block passes and kicks, force interceptions and pressure quarterbacks and running backs. He roamed the front line, read plays and blitzed on impulse, completely transforming the way the defensive end position was played. His professional career spanned 15 years and 215 consecutive games. It included four Super Bowl victories, eight Pro Bowl selections and inductions into the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. It is in the spirit of Ted Hendricks' aggressive style of play, winning attitude and determination that the Defensive End of the Year Award for college football's premier defensive end is presented.