Unfortunately, this past week did not feature the “premier” games that make college football so much fun to watch as a whole. Despite this, there were plenty of great player performances in which players showed their prowess at their position. Unfortunately, some players worked against their draft stock with a poor performance.
Carl Bradford (OLB, ASU): Despite the Sun Devil defense getting pushed around as a whole by a strong Stanford offensive line, Bradofrd seemed to be playing out of his mind. His “Devil Backer” position has him being moved everywhere in the front seven, allowing him to display his effectiveness in coverage, as a run stopper and as a pass rusher. The athletic Bradford was everywhere on the field and was phenomenal as a pass rusher, constantly working against a great Stanford line and getting in the backfield.
Dual Package- Jeremiah Attoachu (DE, Georgia Tech)/ James Hurst (OT, UNC): The reason these two are packaged together is for the purpose that they battled against each other on the field this past weekend and it was pretty fun to watch. Hurst did a great job of keeping the athletically gifted Attoachu in check, which deserves great recognition for someone who is not exactly an athlete himself. On the flipside, while Attoachu could not get it going against Hurst, when he was moved around on the Yellow Jackets’ defensive front, he played very well and spent a lot of time around the ball and in the backfield. Though it is a knock on Attoachu that he could not get it going against a smart player like Hurst, his overall performance is on to take note of.
Yarwin Smallwood (LB, UConn): Though they aren’t Akron, UConn gave Michigan one of the biggest scares of their season this past Saturday and that scare can be attributed to great defensive play by the Huskies spearheaded by a great performance by Smallwood. Smallwood was active in almost every phase of defense, living around the football and spending a lot of time in the Michigan backfield putting ball carriers on the ground. Even more impressive was how active he was in coverage and how he made Devin Gardner look silly. I think Smallwood’s game was him making his case for being one of the best linebackers in the country.
Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State) to Davante Adams (WR, Fresno State): Carr was oft-criticized by many, including myself, over the offseason due to very poor pocket work but things are really looking up. Thus far in the season he has played with a lot more confidence and has been able to show off his great physical tools to the nation. Not only is he helping himself, his connection with Davante Adams has the world on notice. Adams is one of the best receivers in the country and could easily make the leap to the NFL with Carr in May. Adams is a great downfield threat and has phenomenal body control and has been playing very well with Carr. With the way they are playing, it would not surprise me to see them both go in the 1st round.
Cyrus Kouandjio (OT, Alabama): Some people think very highly of Cyrus as an NFL prospect… I am not one of those people. His game against a Colorado State team with much lesser talent proves my views of his deficiency correct. He was slow with poor footwork and was beat a few too many times. Looking overmatched has been a theme for Kouandjio as he continues his decent of my draft board.
Will Sutton (DT, ASU): Sutton is a stud at getting into the backfield as both a pass rusher and a run defender, but he failed to make a huge impact against Stanford. He made a few nice plays, but a seemingly more physical and apt interior Stanford line negated his presence. This was a big knock for someone trying to prove they can overcome size issues in the NFL.
Tajh Boyd (QB, Clemson): Boyd is and has been one of my favorite prospects in the draft since last year’s great game against LSU but his shoddy game against NC State is a bit worrisome. Yes, I will concede and reiterate as many times as possible that his offensive line does him no favors, none, when he is trying to make plays downfield. He has a very talented arm, but too often was he over throwing wide open players, feeling “ghost pressure” or not setting his feet during the game. A lot of it has to do with him “hearing footsteps” after getting pounded behind an offensive line. Though it is not entirely his fault, the pocket will not always be clean at the next level for him to throw from and the pocket.
Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Football Arizona State Sun Devils Football Carl Bradford Clemson Tigers Football Cyrus Kouandjio Derek Carr Fresno State Bulldogs Football Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Football James Hurst Jeremiah Attaochu North Carolina Tar Heels Football Tajh Boyd Will Sutton