by Tommy Lawlor – http://www.ScoutsNotebook.com
* Oklahoma WR Ryan Broyles is a player I’ve not talked about much. He is a real talented player. He’s quick and shifty. Has good speed. Locates the ball well. Great body control. Can go up for the ball and make spectacular catches. Also able to catch passes that are thrown behind him. Good hands. Ryan is a 5’11, 183 Junior. I can easily see him coming out early. He had a great game vs Iowa State. Ryan was 15-182-1. Those weren’t all short screens and simple passes. Ryan made some great catches.
* Nebraska DB Eric Hagg had a huge play late in the game vs Texas. He returned a pooch punt 95 yards for a TD. Hagg is a poor man’s Eric Weddle. He is a LB/S/CB/STer. He makes plays in big games. He has really good instincts. Eric has good size at 6’2, 210. He’s probably best suited to SS in the NFL. I think he’ll really benefit if he goes to a team with a creative defensive coach. Hagg isn’t the kind of guy that will thrive if you line him up in the Cover 2 for 50 snaps a game. You need to move him around and be creative.
* Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt had 3 TFLs (2 were sacks). Only a Junior, but a good player. He’s not explosive, but is quick and has a very good motor. LT Gabe Carimi had a good game. He kept Cameron Heyward under control. UW had a lot of success running to the left side. Gabe was good at the LOS and also getting on LBs.
* Bilal Powell is having a monster year for Louisville. He’s 4th in the nation in rushing yards per game. He ran for 209 yards vs Cincinnati. The week before he put up 204 on Memphis. I hadn’t watched him before the Cincy game. Powell (6’0, 215) is a very impressive player. He has enough speed to turn a good gain into a long TD. He’s strong enough to break tackles. He runs hard. Powell carries the ball high and tight. I’m looking forward to watching more of him. The class of Senior RBs wasn’t impressive in August, but is looking better now.
* Florida State QB Christian Ponder didn’t have a good game vs Boston College. He was picked off 3 times, with one returned for a score. He had another INT run back for a TD, but that was wiped out by an offside penalty. Ponder isn’t having a good season. He only has one game above 200 yards. FSU is winning games and running the ball well, but a talented Senior QB should put up better numbers than he is. I was hoping he would have a really strong year and give the QB class a boost, but that isn’t the case. He’s still a smart guy and really gifted player. Something just isn’t clicking.
* Boston College LT Anthony Castonzo struggled at times in the game. He’s just not having a good year.
* Ole Miss has had some stud NFL prospects on the DL in recent years. This season the guy to watch is DT Jerrell Powe. They list him at 6’2, 320. He might be heavier. Powe has a thick build. He’s got muscular legs. Powe is the kind of powerful run stuffer that some teams covet. I think 3-4 teams will like him as a NT. He has some quickness off the ball. He had 1.5 sacks vs ‘Bama last week. Powe’s numbers overall are down from last year. Good player, but he’s not an impact NT type like Terrence Cody.
* WR Greg Childs had a good year for Arkansas in 2009 (48-894-7). He’s putting up some really good numbers this year. He’s already at 37-527-5. Against Auburn he was 9-164-2. He absolutely looks like an NFL receiver. Childs has a tall, lanky build. He has good hands. He’s dangerous after the catch (just ask Georgia) and has pretty good speed. Childs is only a Junior, but looks like another guy that could come out early. I don’t necessarily see him going real early because I’m not sure that he’s got the elite speed that teams covet.
* Iowa WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos isn’t an explosive playmaker, but he is a good NFL prospect. He has okay size at 6’1, 200. He plays in a pro style offense and is used to standard pass routes. DJK played well last week (4 catches for 70 yards, 3 were TDs). He could be a starter in the NFL or possibly a good #3. He also has KOR potential. Think about the way the Packers built up their WR corps by taking players like James Jones and Jordy Nelson. DJK could be a good addition for a team that already has quality starters, but needs a talented receiver to fill out the rotation.
* I was hard on Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers early in the season. He didn’t impress me in the opener and I said he’d be foolish to even consider coming out. I doubt he read my comments, but he’s a much different player now than he was on Labor Day weekend. He currently leads the nation in TFLs with 15. Against Maryland Bowers had 4 TFLs (3 were sacks). He’s mainly playing LDE. Bowers is quick off the ball. He shows good agility in getting by blockers and turning the corner smoothly. He plays with discipline. Maryland tried to burn him with sucker plays, but he was right there to make the tackle. Bowers has developed into a real force off the edge. This is great news for NFL teams. There aren’t many elite DE types to choose from. Bowers has to be considered a high pick if he continues to play like this and comes out early. I’m very glad to see he’s made this kind of change during the year.
Teammate DeAndre McDaniel had an INT in the win over the Terps. He returned it 33 yards. Also had 3 tackles. McDaniel is a gifted ballhawk and good FS. It was only his 2nd pick of the year, but it was the 13th of his career. He looks like he could be a solid 2nd round pick at this point. A good showing at the Senior Bowl could help him go even higher.
Couple of non-Draft Notes
* Kirk Ferentz is a terrific head coach. He normally is about as smart a gameday coach as there is. However, he did something against Michigan that blew my mind. Iowa had a 7-point lead in the 4th Qtr. They had the ball in the Red Zone. It was 3rd/7. To me that is an obvious situation to run the ball and kick a FG to extend the lead to 10 points. If the RB makes a tackler miss, maybe you get the 1st down. Iowa threw a pass. Ricky Stanzi only has 2 picks on the year, but he’s got 27 for his career. He’s been an INT machine at times. He threw a poor pass and the closest player to the ball was a defender. I thought that was an insane call by the Iowa coaches. Passing in the RZ is risky. Why not protect the ball and build safely on the lead? Having a 2-possession lead changes the game. Everything worked out okay for Iowa, but that kind of a risky call shocked me coming from a Kirk Ferentz team.
* There was a great/awful moment in the game between Arkansas and Auburn. A young RB for the Hogs got loose for a nice gain on the right side. He was woofing at a defender as they got up. The official sort of pushed him away. The young RB kept yelling at the Auburn player. The official threw a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. So much for the good gain. And this came at a critical juncture in a tight game. One of Arkansas’ Senior OTs came over and grabbed the RB. He was shaking the kid and screaming at him. You could see the rage through his body language. He let go and then the other Senior OT did the same thing. The kid got to the sideline and the coaches started in on him. It reminded me of the scene from Airplane! when the female passenger starts to panic and people line up to take turns slapping and shaking her. On a serious note, I loved seeing the reaction from the kid’s teammates. Football is a great game. All the trash-talking and look-at-me bravado has gotten over the top. Play smart and focus on winning. I’ll never forget a great moment from the Egg Bowl in 2000. Mississippi State’s TE started running his mouth at DE Derrick Burgess after a run play. Burgess didn’t say a word. On the next play he exploded off the ball, beat the block of the TE, and tackled the RB for a loss. He walked back to his side of the ball while glaring at the TE. That’s good football.