Prospect Watch: Week 10


There are narratives at every level of the sport, for every variety of fan in 2011. In the NFL, we could be witnessing the collapse of a giant in the Patriots. I am sorry Pats fan’s but your defense is not going to be fixed in 1 off season, something is ”off” with Brady and stock piling draft picks is kind of getting old. We all could possibly be witnessing the start of a dynasty with the Green Bay Packers. Being led by Aaron Rodgers and his infinite ability as a QB, they are set up to make a run at multiple Super Bowls. We have the bad teams in the league excited because of the “Suck For Luck” campaign or because they want to see what they have in their future QBs (Tebow-Broncos, Gabbert-Jags, Ponder-Vikings). In college, we have a outstanding race for the Heisman, games every week that have major BCS ramifications and the sickening, sudden fall of a legand.

As far as the Prospect Watch goes, 4 of these 5 players have been just as enjoyable to watch as any narrative:

Matt Barkley (QB, USC): If you have Barkley as your QB in your college fantasy football league you are more than pleased with his outing Friday night against Colorado. I don’t know why I keep looking for the negatives in Barkley (maybe it’s because he is better looking than me) but I still don’t see an elite NFL prospect. Sure, he finished the night 25 of 39 for 318 yards, 6 TDs and 1 INT and upped his YPA to 8.2 but it was against a 1-9 Colorado team. Throughout the night, Barkley had time to go deep and he showed his deep ball pass has a huge wind up and is too inaccurate. He did stand in the pocket and took shots early and often when he was being rushed, which puts him light years ahead of the jittery Blaine Gabbert types. He still shows his best work on the move, being highly accurate out of the pocket. Unlike previous weeks, Barkley also went through his progressions better, not locking onto his number 1 target. Barkley will have a tough choice over the next few months in regards to if he wants to return to USC or take his game to the next level.

Trent Richardson (RB, ‘Bama):  Leading up to the showdown of the century, ESPN had countless coverage of both teams, including an interview with Trent Richardson. I have no recollection of what Richardson said but instead marveled at the build of his young man. His listing of 5’11”, 225 pounds and rumors of him bench pressing 475 pounds “easily” does not due him justice and even though Bama ended up losing this battle with LSU, Richardson was every bit the man his stature claims him to be.  Richardson only averaged 3.9 YPC (23 carries for 89 yards) and earned every last inch of those yards. Richardson also added 5 receptions for 80 yards showing his effectiveness catching the ball out of the backfield which is exactly the type of versatility he is going to have to show to be a top 10 pick in the 21 century NFL. The only negative on him that I have noticed throughout the season is he will sometimes take a whole series off.  I don’t know if that is because he has endurance issues, because ‘Bama is just keeping him fresh or because of minor injuries. Regardless, Richardson has nothing left to prove at this level and due to the short shelf live of RBs should take his elite skills to the NFL come April.

Justin Blackmon (WR, OK State):  Kansas State made the mistake of playing off of Justin Blackmon most of the night and he made them pay to the tune of 13 receptions for 205 yards and 2 TDs. Ball security was an issue for Blackmon as he had 2 fumbles on the day (1 on a punt return). He does tend to hold the ball loosely as he is running but that is something that can be corrected. Blackmon is rated 1 or 2 on almost very ”big board” for WRs and that is exactly where he should be.

Zach Brown (LB, UNC): Brown added a forced fumble to his 9 tackles in a 13-0 loss to NC State. UNC has a huge game against Virginia Tech next Thursday night for Brown to showcase his talents in the national spotlight.   

Cliff Harris (CB, Oregon): Harris yet again, did not play due to his inability to hash out his differences with the Oregon DMV. His lack of time on the field is crippling his stock as a NFL prospect.