In an effort to brainwash you even more with my weekend observations, I will be posting brief glimpses into players that have helped or hurt their evaluations in recent games early each week. I will stick mainly to seniors (as usual) unless another draft-eligible player jumps off the screen in a very positive or negative way. Keep in mind these are just off of a couple of exposures and not full evaluations, so no conclusions have been made. As always, you can send observations, comments, or criticisms to me on Twitter.
+ Rutgers LB Khaseem Greene (#20/6’1/230) - We included Greene a few weeks ago in the same feature, and although we try our best to give you new names in each iteration, Greene’s play forces us to make this exception. The senior’s movement skills are outstanding, covering plenty of ground with great athleticism, flashing physical play at the line of scrimmage or gracefulness in coverage. Greene projects best as a weakside linebacker in a Cover 2 defense in the NFL.
+ Louisiana Tech WR Quinton Patton (#4/6’2/195) - A favorite of section contributor Alen Dumonjic (who will likely have a full write up on the senior in the near future), Patton is extremely graceful when working downfield against man coverage. Everyone always worries about forty times, burst, and vertical jumps, but there is something to be said for having the ability to adjust your body at the catch point; just ask Brandon Lloyd.
+ Oregon T Kyle Long (#74/6’7/312) - The “other” son of Howie Long, this former defensive lineman is coming into his own along the Ducks offensive line. He isn’t a full-time starter, but Long has contributed in recent weeks. I’ve been told that West area scouts are “raving” about him and that they expect Long to be a better pro than college player.
+ Iowa C James Ferentz (#53/6’2/286) - Another notable last name, Kirk Ferentz’s son does well to make up for his lack of prototypical size with technique. James is an assignment sound blocker in the Hawkeyes' slanting, zone blocking running style. It has been a difficult year for the Iowa program, but Ferentz did very well against the larger Michigan State interior and I believe he is a better prospect than former teammate and fifth round pick Adam Gettis.
+ Oregon DE/OLB Dion Jordan (#96/6’6/243) - I went into more detail about the “Praying Mantis” in this article back in July, but I firmly believe Jordan will work himself into a top-20 selection. Some will look at the lack of pass rushing production, but when reviewing games it is obvious why the senior lacks a large number of sacks: his versatility. Jordan is consistently asked to cover slot receivers and graceful drop back in coverage, something he does very well. However, his length, long strides and improved bend offer a deadly combination around the edge.
+ Notre Dame RB/WR Theo Riddick (#6/5’10/200) - With Cierre Wood returning to the Irish backfield, Riddick has been somewhat relegated to his chess piece role, rotating between running back and receiver. Despite his size, Riddick continued to drag tacklers against BYU, churning his legs draped by defenders. The senior is always looking for open area while lowering his pads on contact. Riddick may work himself into the later rounds.
+ Kansas State QB Collin Klein (#7/6’5/226) - The current Heisman favorite, Klein is a rugged player that has improved each week. Above all, Klein has shown more than adequate passing ability. However, I still worry about his elongated release. He is a tough projection, but I think Klein could step into a role like Colin Kaepernick is occupying in San Francisco, but with less long speed.
+ Ohio State FB/LB Zach Boren (#44/6’0/245) - We really liked what Boren was asked to do earlier in the season; split time between lead blocker and ball carrier/pass protector while the Buckeyes were hurting at the position. Now, Ohio State is weak at the linebacker spot and Boren was immediately inserted as a starter with positive results. We have seen similar two way players be drafted in recent years, but if we had to pick one it’d be fullback.
+ Arizona State junior DT Will Sutton (#90/6’1/275) - Sutton missed his chance to make a statement on the national stage, suffering a knee injury against Oregon. However, it appears to only be a hyperextension and the junior should return soon. Prior to that game, Sutton had been on an absolute rampage, penetrating with leverage, strength, and powerful hands to shed. With undersized defensive tackles like Karl Klug and Geno Atkins, specifically, outperforming their draft status, Sutton’s lack of prototypical size may not hurt him as much as his predecessors.
+ Oklahoma junior FB Trey Millard (#33/6’1/256) - Sure, fullbacks are an afterthought in many offenses, but Millard has shown to be much more. In recent weeks, the Sooners have allocated many third down duties to the junior with excellent results. The team has a tremendous amount of talent in the backfield, so it is telling that Millard rises to the top. Possessing lead blocking, pass catching, bally carrying, and pass protecting skills will override many questions evaluators have.
+ Texas A&M junior DE Damontre Moore (#94/6’4/250) - After seamlessly making the transition from stand up pass rusher in a three man front to defensive end in a four man front, Moore continues to improve each week. His long strides and amazing bend for his size around the edge help to consistently win when turning the corner and it is only a matter of time until he starts to gain strength and use his length/hands on counter moves. Due to his mobility, a projection to outside linebacker appears to be in his future.
- Purdue DT Kawann Short (#93/6’3/315) - I discussed Short in this piece prior to the season, and after starting the year with a handful of positive outings, Short has seemingly regressed to this absorbing form. The senior has so much ability and he flashed it from a variety of spots last season, but unless you win from those alignments it cannot be called versatility. Hopefully Short can start shedding at the line of scrimmage and making individual plays.
- Georgia DT John Jenkins (#6/6’3/358) - Jenkins was mentioned in the same preseason piece as Short, and the massive interior defensive linemen continues to play like a teddy bear. Yes, the entire Bulldogs defensive is playing soft right now, but their beef in the middle isn’t helping. Jenkins flashes a stout game to disrupt the flow of plays, but those appearances have been few and far between.