North Carolina State vs. Miami
Mike Glennon looked pretty good, showing glimpses of greatness along with some bad plays. He can make all the throws at the college and NFL level. He can drop the ball in the bucket on deep throws in stride with the receiver, but sometimes underthrows wildly. He's got a powerful and mostly accurate arm, but sometimes overpowers his targets or misses them completely. I can't tell if it's his teammates making bad route choices, or Glennon reading incorrectly. His teammates didn't help him much as well, dropping some key passes, snapping a ball over his head, and fumbling at the goalline. He does seem best in a ball control scheme, and looked equally comfortable under center and from the shotgun. He looked mobile for a big QB, but needs to take some off the fastball while he's moving. Some of the criticism levied at him for not scanning the field seems inaccurate to me. Glennon went through his progression well in this game. Most importantly, he didn't rattle as the game got out of hand early, and fought back, leading his team back to make this a good game, eventually bringing his team back in the fourth quarter to tie the game. I think Glennon may end up in the Brock Osweiler category: good physical skills but needs some time behind a starter before he's ready. He had his moments, and even drives, where he looks like a big time QB. He just needs some more time. I think Glennon has the talent worthy of developing.
Wolfpack cornerback David Amerson is kind of hard to judge. He won't get get challenged much all game, but when Miami challenged him deep, he got confused in the matchup zone and didn't run with his receiver. He's a big, zone style cornerback that's best when he can see and react in his zone. He's high cut and not super fluid in man, but he's not bad at it either. He's supports the run well and tackles what he sees most of the time. He did mistime his jump on a field goal block in the third quarter, and the penalty gave Miami a first down. They scored the next play. A team that plays heavy Tampa 2, cover 2 with zone underneath, or cover 3 would be an ideal fit for Amerson. Overall, I can't tell if Amerson is playing the zone correctly and his teammates aren't, or if he's not playing the zone well. I did notice that when he's beaten, he immediately turns to look at a teammate, as if they got beat because the other player was out of position. I don't know Amerson, but I'd want to talk to his coaches before drafting him. If he's counseling his teammates in a positive way, that's fine. But if he's blaming others, that's a pretty big red flag for me. He does seem to let up a bit at the end of deep plays. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable playing him in a scheme where he's the last line of defense from the cornerback position. In Chicago's defense, where he's playing up in the zone, he's a great fit - if his head is right.
NC State has three good runners. Sophomore RB Tony Creecy played well. He's a multi-role runner that picked up tough yards inside, can break longer runs, and caught a touchdown. He can power up inside, but is also patient and will slide and pick his hole. Once in the hole, he'll lower his shoulder and pound out some tough yards. He's not eligible yet, but looks like a future workhorse. His running mate, senior Brandon Barnes, ran very hard and picked up some good yardage. He's a slasher that excels at making one cuts and then blowing up through the hole. Freshman Shadrach Thornton looked similar to Barnes, and picked up some tough yards, especially in the late third and fourth quarters.
Kudos to the Wolfpack offensive line in the run game. They did allow some pressure to get to Glennon, and put a snap over the 6-6 Glennon's head, but overall, they played well. Even in the heat of the 4th quarter, Miami couldn't beat the Wolfpack linemen in the ground game. LT RJ Mattes looked the best of the group, and most of the pressure on Glennon came from the right side of the line. Mattes, Andrew Wallace, Zach Allen, and Camden Wentz are all probably worthy of late round to undrafted consideration.
NC State sophomore fullback Logan Winkles is a bowling ball of a player, a sledgehammer lead blocker, and can catch out of the backfield. He even lined up some at tight end. He's got the 1980s rock band look. He's exactly what you envision when you think of a lead blocking full back.
Miami QB Stephen Morris played atypical of Miami QBs we've seen in past years. He stayed within the offense, made sound judgments, and got the ball where it needed to go, though his play regressed as NC State ratcheted up the pressure in the second half. Miami runs a pro style offense, and Morris plays as a dropback pocket passer in the offense. He underthrew a couple deep passes that still were completed, but he was mostly on target - the one pass I remember being high was his interception in the red zone, which went off his receiver's hands. Morris looked like his game came apart a bit in the second half, when the Wolfpack came after him, though he stayed within the offense, didn't make the killer mistake, adjusted, made some plays, and threw an absolutely beautiful ball on the TD to win the game. He's a junior, and probably hasn't shown enough yet to declare early, but worthy to keep in mind. He made a lot of good throws in this game.
The NCAA requires Miami to maintain a stock of NFL quality wide receivers, and the Hurricanes have three that meet the requirement. Allen Hurns, Phillip Dorsett, and Rawshawn Scott played very well. Scott and Dorsett are sophomores and Hurns is a junior. Hurns is the typical tall Hurricane receiver. He's got great body control and can make the tough catches. Dorsett is explosive. He had a punt return touchdown called back, looked like the fastest player on the field, and got behind Amerson on the winning TD catch. Scott looked like the true vertical threat for Miami, though he got caught from behind on a deep catch in the first quarter.
Vaughn Telemaque looked like a decent mid-roudn safety that a team can use against tight ends. He's long legged and didn't look comfortable against receivers, but matched up against NC State's TEs pretty well. He's not built well, and even on his forced fumble, he got bowled over by Barnes as he made the tackle. He could be a good pick for a team that likes to play a lot of cover 1, with the strong safety matched against the TE. He guessed to much in zone, and I wouldn't be comfortable with him as my team's FS. He's kind of a tweener - FS body with the skill set of a sub-package SS.
Miami RB Mike James isn't that highly regarded, and he shouldn't be, but he looks like a solid late round / undrafted rookie acquisition. He's built well and runs like a pinball. He's not real fast, but finds the hole well. He doesn't give up and fights for yardage to the whistle.
Tennessee vs. Georgia
Tyler Bray had an up and down game, though he played pretty well against a Georgia defense with 5-6 high quality NFL prospects. His biggest issue remains throwing off his back foot. He gets velocity on the ball, and when he throws while backpedalling, the defense has a hard time getting to him. But Bray misses on way too many throws for this to be a benefit. When he sets his feet and fires, he's got the best arm in college football in terms of velocity and accuracy. His stat line was far worse than his play. Two of his three interceptions were tipped, and I counted at least 5 dropped balls and 4 passes thrown away. Bray put the ball right on the money on a fade to Patterson, who dropped it. Bray didn't hang his head and fought back hard in a game where Georgia took a huge lead early. He stands tall in the pocket and delivers with the rush closing in, and will step up against the rush and keep his eyes downfield. He can change his arm angle when necessary, and still throw a good ball. He has a fast release and gets ball off prior to the defense getting to him. Still, his accuracy is concerning. He has two games in his career with a 60% completion rate, or better, where he threw over 20 times against quality opponent. I'm starting to get the Jake Locker feeling about Bray. He's got issues that folks are going to get down on him for. But he's got an immense amount of natural talent, isn't getting a lot of help from the drops, and his accuracy can easily be fixed with improved footwork. When he sets his feet and fires, there's none better in college football.
Justin Hunter was nearly invisible in this game. He's got a big frame and gets open while covered, but Bray didn't throw his way much. Hunter did show that he'd go over the middle, which isn't always the case with vertical receivers.
Hunter's running mate, Cordarrelle Patterson, dropped a deep touchdown that Bray put right on the money. He did that against Florida as well. He's a fantastic runner in the open field, and is at his best when he can get the ball in stride and able to run.
Dallas Thomas started at LG for Tennessee. He was part of a line that dominated the line of scrimmage against a good Georgia front. He worked against Johnathan Jenkins on doubles almost all game, and held his own.
I really like Tennessee running back Rajion Neal. I think he's underrated and will be a good NFL back. He's got good balance and great vision. He hits the hole hard once he sees it, runs hard, and defenses have to work to get him on the ground. Neal is a workhorse style back with a low center of gravity that keeps coming as the came goes on.
Tennessee's Zach Rogers is a tough little slot receiver. He reads defenses like a QB. Might be worth a undrafted rookie contract. He's got some Wes Welker to his game.
Daniel McCullers is a huge man in the middle of the Tennessee defense. Georgia had some trouble running when he was in the game. He's strictly a run down player, tires easily, and gets almost nothing in the pass rush.
Georgia has some great, young talent on this team. The offensive line is huge and talented, and many of the skill players are freshman and sophomores, including running backs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, receiver Michael Bennett, etc. There's too many players to list, but Georgia has the same feel as Alabama did a few years back - lots of youngsters playing well now.
Aaron Murray operates a lot like USC's Matt Barkley, but with a stronger arm. He snaps the ball off his shoulder and the ball comes off his ear. Murray really gets going in a three step drop offense where he can see and fire. He had a ball tipped at line, which was intercepted for a TD. He shows good ball placement and is really accurate on short to intermediate routes inside. He moves coverage with his eyes. He'll step up into open areas of the pocket and keep his eyes downfield. He'll keep his eyes up when moving, and is pretty accurate on the run. He misfired late in the game, and Georgia couldn't get a first down and had to punt to Tennessee three straight drives to end the game.
Jarvis Jones had a poor game. He didn't get close to Bray. He was shutdown by Georgia sophomore offensive tackle Antonio Richardson - the same guy that forced Thomas in to left guard. Jones pursued hard in the run game, but the only penetration he got was on shovel plays.
Bulldog receiver Tavarres King gets on top of corners fast. He's not the typical vertical threat, and he'll work over the middle and fights for yards. Kind of similar to how Chan Gailey uses Donald Jones, he will block from the H-back position. He plays outside and in the slot.
Alec Ogletree is a tall, thin looking outside linebacker for the Bulldogs. He looks more like a big wide receiver than a linebacker, and sort of plays like it. He's not stout against the run, and will slips blocks instead of fighting through. Most of the time, he gets washed out on runs. He's best in pursuit. Against the pass, he comes fast off the corner on blitzes. He's best in coverage, and plays like a SS in zones. He got really good range, and blankets TEs and backs in man coverage.
Johnathan Jenkins got double teamed almost all game and didn't get in on plays. He playied over center a lot as a NT.
Georgia's Bacarri Rambo gambled in coverage a bit. He's a ball hawk that guesses some. He'll fill hard in run support and arrives with a thud, and wraps well. I didn't notice his running mate, Shawn Williams, at all. That may or may not have been a good thing.