The University of Tennessee was hoping to have a major bounce back season in 2012. Things have been less than ideal in recent years. This team looked to have the kind of talent that could get them back in the Top 25 and in the SEC East hunt.
Star WR Da’Rick Rogers has been suspended, possibly for the season. There are reports that he failed a drug test. Rogers led UT in catches, yards, and TD catches last year. He was 67-1040-9. The rest of the UT roster also had 9 TD receptions…combined. He will be a big loss. Rogers was going to be a Junior this year. If he is out, you wonder if he’ll try to go to a I-AA or D2 school for a year and then head to the NFL. Certainly has NFL talent.
* * * * *
Michigan LT Taylor Lewan is a fun guy to watch tape of. He is tall and slender at 6-8, 309. He is a 2-year starter at LT for the Wolverines. Lewan loves to fire off the ball and attack defenders. He loves to run block. He’s special on the second level or out in space. Lewan is very athletic for such a tall guy. They use him to pull, left or right. He’s able to block on the move. He is tenacious and will mash on defenders until the whistle blows. Great effort.
His pass protection is uneven. Lewan has good feet. He plays with pretty good pad level. I think another year of experience in the Brady Hoke system will do wonders for him. Lewan was blocking for the spread as a Freshman. That changed significantly last year as Hoke incorporated more of a conventional offense. Lewan is now heading into his Junior season and we’ll find out if he can become a top pass blocker as well as a top athlete.
You can’t talk about Michigan without mentioning QB Denard Robinson. Believe it or not, he’s finally a Senior. Seems like just yesterday he was single-handedly destroying college football. Robinson was on his way to 10 national titles, 10 Heismans, and untold glory. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out that way for him. Fortune can be a fleeting mistress, or at least that’s what I read in a dive bar bathroom once.
Robinson has NFL talent. He cannot play QB. He’s still an awkward college passer. I think his best bet is to study Antwaan Randle-El and go that route. Robinson will focus on that after the season. For now, his job is to make dynamic plays and restore Michigan to glory. My advice…follow the big dude wearing #77.
For more on Lewan, check out this video:
If you like videos of draft prospects, go follow Jmpasq on Twitter. He does great work and covers a ton of different prospects. Great resource and a good guy.
* * * * *
Former Browns GM and Eagles Personnel consultant Phil Savage is now running the Senior Bowl. For the first time ever, the Senior Bowl has released a preseason watch list. Very cool.
Keep in mind that these are not the only guys who will make it. The beauty of college football is that players emerge, some even as Seniors. Who thought Derek Wolfe would have a huge Senior year?
The list is interesting because you can compare that to the actual roster in January and see which players they were focused on all along and which guys snuck up on them, so to speak.