Draft Notebook – Week 2

* The Penn State-Virginia game on Saturday had some good pro prospects.  Let’s start with UVA.  I was hoping to see LT Oday Aboushi or RT Morgan Moses look like a stud.  Both were up and down in pass protection.  They did show good potential as run blockers.  Moses, who is big at 6-6, 330, was even effective out in space.

Jordan Hill is a talented DT for PSU.  He didn’t impress me in the season opener, but came alive vs UVA and was disruptive.  He made one huge play, picking off a screen pass.  The throw was too low, but Hill showed good awareness, agility, and hands in being able to get a paw on the ball and then catch it.  Hill is a good college player, but won’t be an early pick.  He’s undersized and not great in any way.  There is a place for him in the NFL, if he’s playing in a 1-gap system.

LB Michael Mauti had a good game for the Nittany Lions.  He was in on 9 total tackles, broke up a pass, and forced a fumble.  Mauti is a solid athlete and has good instincts.  I don’t have a good feel for how well he sheds blocks, but he looks to be a solid run defender.  Good in zone coverage.  Sees things well and attacks the ball.  He’s adjusting to a new system so probably needs a couple of more games before we can see where he really is.     

* I hoped the Washington-LSU game would be fun.  It wasn’t.  UW’s Keith Price was a very good QB in 2011.  Remember the shootout in the bowl with RGIII and Baylor?  This was the opposite.  Price struggled vs the LSU defense.  He’s just not used to that kind of speed.  He went 17-36-157 with no TDs and 1 INT.  Beyond the numbers, he just didn’t look good.  He didn’t handle their pressure well.  His passing wasn’t sharp.  Rough night.  Price is only a Junior so we don’t know for sure if he’ll come out.

* UCLA’s Joseph Fauria is one of the best TEs in the nation.  He goes 6-7, 255 and is a good athlete.  He caught 2 TDs vs Nebraska and now has 3 for the year.  The first TD came down the left sideline and covered 27 yards.  He looked natural catching the ball downfield and showed good speed on the play.  His next TD catch was a short pass in the Red Zone where he used his size to get open.  He was a bully on the play.  That’s what you want in a TE…someone athletic enough to get open in some matchups, but also someone that can use his size to just overwhelm a small defender at other times.  The Bruins have been painful to watch in recent year.  They are now 2-0 and finally look interesting, if not fun to watch.

* I watched a bit of Kansas State’s whipping of Miami.  LB Arthur Brown is one of the best players in the country.  I really enjoy watching him.  Brown was in on 10 tackles, including 2 TFLs.  There was another player who caught my eye, a guy named Justin Tuggle.  I looked it up and sure enough…Jessie Tuggle’s son.  Jessie was a tackle machine for the Falcons about 25 years ago.

Apparently Justin started off at BC and then transferred to a junior college.  He went to KSU to play QB and ended up getting moved to LB.  I haven’t studied him closely, but I was very impressed.  He had 4 tackles in the game.  2 of them were TFLs (1 was a sack).  I saw excellent athletic ability.  Looked very natural at going after the QB.  KSU lists him at 6-3, 237.

* I watched some UNC tape.  LG Jonathan Cooper is really impressive.  Natural athlete who is quick off the ball and moves really well.  LT James Hurst is only a Junior, but has NFL talent.  I’m looking forward to studying him against some top pass rushers.  ILB Kevin Reddick was more athletic than I remembered from last year.  UNC moved him around quite a bit.  He had 8 solo tackles (1 TFL) in the game.

* Some I-AA talk.  Appalachian State LBs Jeremy Kimbrough and Brandon Grier are good football players.  They combined for 27 total tackles vs Montana.  Grier is the more physical of the two.  He also had 3 TFLs (2 of them were sacks) in the game.

One of the guys they had to stop was RB Dan Moore.  Man, was he fun to watch.  Moore is a throwback runner.  They list him at 5-11, 235.  That’s a FB build, but he plays RB.  He runs hard and is physical.  You can’t think he’s just a straight-ahead power back, though.  He hurdled a DB in the game on a play out in space.  Later, he took a short pass and turned it into an 87-yard TD.  He caught 2 other passes for a total of 68 yards.  This guy isn’t just about getting 3 yards.  He’ll surprise you with his speed and athleticism.  He was 15-93 on the ground in the game.  Moore reminded me of a more talented version of Brad Hoover, who ran for 250 yards on ASU in his college finale and then became a good FB.  Moore is a better athlete than  Hoover, but I don’t know that he can be a RB in the NFL.  I’d love to see him make it.  Fun to watch someone with his build run the ball.

MISC INFO

* Oregon Safety John Boyett is out for the year with a knee injury.

* LSU OT Chris Faulk is done for the year.

* Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead is dealing with an injury, but is only week-to-week.

* Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson got hurt last week and we’re not sure how long he’s out for.

* Maryland LB Kenny Tate missed 2011 due to injury and has been banged up so far in 2012.  Hopefully he’ll be back soon.

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