Pre-season draft boards are beginning to look hilarious as countless players begin to either prove themselves better than expected, or they are beginning to slip due to poor performances week to week. Here is who helped or hurt their stock this week.
Marcus Mariota (QB, Oregon): Mariota has gained a lot of hype in the past few weeks among the draft community, but I had difficulty viewing him very highly. Yes, he has a ton of potential, but he has rarely shown an ability to play outside of a very friendly system. Against Tennessee, he absolutely went off and showed me, as well as a few more doubters that he can play. He showed off, poise, accuracy, zip and a great ability to thrown on the run… Did I mention he is also 6’4” and can absolutely fly? He is still not the Top 10 in my eyes, but he is very well on his way with more performances like that.
Melvin Gordon (RB, Wisconsin): This series has been going on too long without Melvin getting a mention. To be honest he has not been facing top tier competition to start the year, but he finally went off against one of the more talented fronts in the nation. Think about this: Over his last 100 carries, Gordon has averaged over 10 YPC… That is insane, regardless of whether you value stats or not. Gordon is a perfect blend of size, balance and off the wall speed and many are moving him up into elite status as a running back.
Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M): A man who is 6-5 and almost 230 pounds should not move the way Evans does. He has is incredibly fast at the top end and is very hard to bring down in the open field. He used his physical ability to shred through what is thought to be a very good Alabama secondary. Evans already showed ability last year to warrant a high selection, but he is looking better and better every week.
DeAndre Coleman (DL, Cal): Coleman is a big man whose primary job is too eat up space and allow linebackers to flow to the ball carriers. Coleman was never thought of as a major pass rushing threat, but he still has some disrupting ability. Unfortunately, none of showed against Ohio State. He was pushed around and bullied as the Buckeyes ran wild all over the Golden Bears defense.
Devin Gardner (QB, Michigan): Gardner is one of the more physically gifted passers in the country, but really failed to show it in a near upset against Akron. Sure, he made some big plays, but his game was wrought with poor reads, bad throws, and turnovers. Gardner is still pretty highly regarded, but he’ll need to cut down on those mistakes if he wants to hold onto a high draft position.
Nickoe Whitley (S, Miss. St.): In what is thought to be a pretty mediocre safety class, every draft eligible safety’s performance will be magnified week to week. Unfortunately for Whitley, he found himself out of position and allowed guys to get wide open all over the field. The box score may read that he had two picks, but one came of a tipped pass and the other off an arm punt. While he certainly displayed soft hands, he needs to improve his awareness in coverage.
Tags: 2014 Mock Draft 2014 NFL Draft Cal Golden Bears Football DeAndre Coleman Devin Gardner Marcus Mariota Melvin Gordon Michigan Wolverines Football Mike Evans Mississippi State Bulldogs Football NFL Draft Nickoe Whitley Oregon Ducks Texas A&M Aggies Football Wisconsin Badgers Football