by Tommy Lawlor – http://www.ScoutsNotebook.com
* My #1 WR right now is Julio Jones of Alabama. I preferred A.J. Green coming into the year, but Jones has really impressed me this season. He had a great game against Tennessee on Saturday night. Jones caught 12 passes for 221 yards. Beyond the numbers, he made some impressive grabs. He had a couple of them in the 3rd Qtr. The best was one where Jones had to really extend for the ball. I love the fact that Julio can make acrobatic grabs, but also is a tough, physical receiver. He reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald. He’s not the most explosive player, but he can still be an impact receiver in the NFL. His hands, body control, and natural strength are exceptional. Should be a Top 10 pick.
* One Vols player who impressed me was LB Nick Reviez. He had 11 tackles and a TFL in the game. He lacks ideal size at 5’10, 224, but Reviez is not some finesse player. He’s more stout than you think. Against ‘Bama he stuffed a run that came right at him. He does a good job of fighting off blocks. Most guys that are 225 are run and hit LBs. They need to play in space so they can run around and attack the ball. Reviez can do that, but is also effective against inside run plays. He might remind you of a MLB like Lofa Tatupu, minus the great instincts. Reviez is the son of former NFL kicker Fuad Reviez.
* Another LB that I got to watch on Saturday was UNC’s Bruce Carter. He only had 4 tackles in the game vs Miami, but you could see his ability. He chased down a run to the outside after initially being caught in trash right by the LOS. That was great hustle and speed. Carter showed his versatility by stuffing a RB on 3rd/short for no gain. He’s 6’3, 235. That’s good size. He can play SAM or WLB. He’s got the speed and agility to cover TEs or RBs.
* The best player in that game was Miami DE Allen Bailey. He had 3.5 sacks and was disruptive all night long. He fought off a double team to get one sack. The QB did scramble for a couple of seconds, but still nice effort from Bailey. He created a sack in the early 3rd Qtr by bull rushing the RT backward. Bailey and another DL got the QB on ground. Bailey is a big DE at 6’4, 285. He’s not a natural pass rusher, but is very powerful and pretty athletic. 3-4 and 4-3 teams will like him.
‘Canes CB Brandon Harris had a real good game as well. He had a couple of tackles. He’s a good run defender. Harris picked off a pass over the middle and later broke up a 4th down pass.
* The best defensive lineman of the weekend was Auburn DT Nick Fairley. He was an absolute beast in the win over LSU. The numbers were good: 6 tackles and 3.5 TFLs (2 of them were sacks). Anyone who watched the game knows his impact went beyond the numbers. He knocked QB Jarrett Lee out of the game when he drove him to the ground late in the 1st half. Fairley knocked Ryan Mallett out of the game last week. Fairley was disruptive throughout the game. He overpowered blockers with strength and leverage. He’s also quick off the ball. He was able to split double teams on some plays. He pushed blockers around at times like they were on roller skates. Fairley is only a Junior, but he’s having a great year and could easily come out and be a very high pick. He has 17 TFLs on the year and is officially listed with 15 QB hurries.
Auburn had another impressive lineman in the game, LG Mike Berry. He had a real good game. Berry was very good on LBs. He also handled DT Drake Nevis well when they went head to head. Auburn had Berry pull to his right and go up the middle as a lead blocker for Newton on quite a few plays. Cam ran for more than 200 yards and Berry’s blocks were a big part of the reason why.
* Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara is the top Senior CB in the draft. He has excellent size, speed, and cover skills, but even the great ones get burned. He gave up a long TD to Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon. Amukamara fell for a play-fake. He caught up to Hamilton, but never located the ball. Prince wasn’t able to make the tackle after Hamilton had made the grab. Blackmon is having an amazing year for OSU and has emerged as a very good prospect.