Prospect Notes – Week 10

by Tommy Lawlor  –

* Cal DE Cameron Jordan had a big game vs Washington State.  He was in on 12 tackles (8 solo).  He had 3 TFLs (1.5 were sacks).  Jordan should be of real interest to 3-4 teams.  Cal lists him at 6’4, 283.  He might be a bit bigger than that.  I think he’d be a natural fit at 3-4 DE.  Jordan has 5.5 sacks and 2 FFs on the year.  Jordan is a big guy with athletic ability.  He can get after the QB.  4-3 teams will have interest in him as a DT or LDE.

* North Carolina QB T.J. Yates has gone from afterthought to NFL prospect with his strong Senior season.  He isn’t anything special, but the fact he’s gotten himself to this point is impressive.  The question coming into the year was whether Yates could be beaten out for the starting job.  T.J. is having a great season.  He’s thrown for 2,312 yards already.  He has 15 TDs and only 4 INTs.  He put up more than 400 yards passing on both Florida State and LSU.  To keep this in perspective, Yates only had one game of more than 250 passing yards in the last 2 seasons combined.  I’m always happy when guys step up their play as Seniors.    

* Maryland ILB Alex Wujciak had 4 tackles, 2 INTs, and a PD in the game vs Miami last week.  Wujciak is a very productive college player, but I’m not sure he’s athletic enough for the NFL.  He looks a bit stiff to me.  You can’t argue with his toughness and production, but that stuff will only get you so far at the next level.  I could see some team giving him a shot at FB if he’s not able to make it at LB.

* One of the players I’ve tracked all year is RB DeMarco Murray of Oklahoma.  Anyone who’s watched him play can see the young man is talented.  The biggest question coming into this season was durability.  Murray hasn’t missed a game in 2010.  He’s already set a career high in carries.  Last week he had 25 carries, 10 catches, and also returned 4 KOs.  Murray has done a fantastic job of being a workhorse back for the Sooners this year after an injury filled first 3 years.  If his knee checks out I could see him going as early as the 2nd round.  Murray can run.  He’s an above average pass catcher.  He can be deadly on screen passes.  His return potential helps his value as well.

* Another guy I’ve mentioned a few times is Clemson DE Da’Quan Bowers.  I can’t get over how much better a player he is now than in the past.   Bowers is the best pass rusher in the nation.  Clemson does a good job of moving him around so that teams can’t gameplan on just one spot.  Against NC State Bowers was at DE, DT, and even lined up like an ILB.  Bowers is tough to block because he’s quick off the ball and stays low.  He uses his hands well and does a good job of shedding blocks.  Bowers had 2 sacks in the win over NC State.  He’s not just productive, though.  Bowers is disruptive throughout the game.

* Illinois is getting very good LB play this year.  Senior Nate Bussey had 10 tackles and 2 pass break-ups in the crazy loss to Michigan.  He’s easily having the best season of his career.  Bussey has pretty good cover skills.  He had a pick-6 earlier in the season vs Penn State.  Martez Wilson is finally living up to his hype.  He was the next Lavar Arrington coming into college, but injuries derailed him.  This year he’s healthy and thriving.  Wilson leads the team in tackles.  He has 6.5 TFLs, 4 PDs, and 2 FFs.  He also blocked a kick.  Illinois moves him around.  Sometimes he’s a typical MLB.  Other times he’s a pass rusher off the edge.  Wilson got an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA.  I’m interested to see if he stays for that year or tries to strike while the iron is hot and heads to the NFL.  Against Michigan Wilson was in on 11 tackles and picked off a pass.

* Clemson DB Marcus Gilchrist is a pro prospect.  He has played Safety and CB.  He can return punts and kicks.  He projects to backup DB and STer in the NFL, but those guys can be valuable with the amount of passing that goes on in the pro game these days.  Gilchrist is a good tackler.  He is a limited playmaker on defense.  He only has 1 career pick.  He does have 11 pass break-ups over the last 2 seasons.  He’s got solid cover skills.  Gilchrist isn’t an explosive returner, but he runs hard and is a N-S guy.  In the win over NC State he had a 76 yard KOR.

* LSU DT Drake Nevis is having a good season.  He made a big play in the win over Alabama last week.  Nevis came up with a strip-sack in the middle of the 4th Qtr.  He used a great swim move to go right by the C and get to the QB.  LSU was able to turn that fumble into a FG and extend their lead to 10 points.  Nevis isn’t Glenn Dorsey good, but he is a quick, disruptive interior rusher.  He’s got 6 sacks and 3 FFs on the year.  NFL teams looking for a 1-gap DT should love this guy.  He can attack up the field and make things happen.  Nevis has the power to hold his ground vs single blockers, if not drive the player backward.  He lacks the bulk and strength to handle double teams.  He does have the frame to add bulk.  He’d sacrifice some quickness, but could then be more effective in a 2-gap system.

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