Josh Norris

Weekly Prospect Matchups

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NFL Draft Watch: Week 5

Thursday, September 26, 2013


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UCF vs South Carolina, Noon EST on ABC


Blocking Clowney From Bortles


- Gamecocks junior DE Jadeveon Clowney admitted to bone spurs bothering him this season, but opposing offenses tendencies to run plays in the opposite direction likely hurts more. He is still considerably impacting gameplans, even if that doesn’t show on a box score.


- He’ll face an underrated talent in UCF redshirt junior LT Torrian Wilson, who is returning from an injury of his own. Wilson is an athletic blocker who shows knee bend and length use to absorb and redirect momentum.


- Also focus on redshirt junior QB Blake Bortles, who some believe could be the top ranked passer heading into next season. There’s a lot to like about the UCF leader, namely his pocket movement, placement and timing on routes. Two questions to focus on: How will he perform under duress and can he attack the field vertically against a defense with speed?



Miami vs USF, Noon EST on ESPNU


Lynch’s Development, Henderson’s Sustained Success, and Morris’ Consistency


- USF redshirt sophomore DE Aaron Lynch looked awesome during his freshman year at Notre Dame. This will be my first exposure to him this season, but reports state Lynch is a bit lighter and potentially a different player this season.


- Hopefully he sees time opposite senior T Seantrel Henderson, another ridiculous talent. There have always been questions about Henderson off the field, which is only heightened by Al Golden choosing to pull him out of games on occasion for Jon Feliciano. Henderson has some technique issues to work on, namely preventing an immediate inside rush, but his punch is outstanding and few prospects his size have similar movement skills.


- I am still a big fan of senior QB Stephen Morris, but he needs to show consistent success throughout an entire game. I love his pocket movement and downfield ability, however, more poise and patience would be welcomed.



LSU vs Georgia, 3:30pm EST on CBS


Mettenberger’s emergence


- No one has improved more at the position since last year’s game against Alabama than Mettenberger. He looked much more decisive then, but his fit in Cam Cameron’s offense has taken his game to the next level. We know his pocket movement and motion can be a bit slow, but Mettenberger has sped up his decision making and progression work. An important aspect that brings it all together is the quarterback’s willingness to fire in the face of the rush or when being wrapped up. He could be the best vertical passer in the class.


- Beat writers noted this summer that Georgia’s defense was built around sophomore S Josh Harvey-Clemons. The young unit will have a very difficult time containing WR Jarvis Landry, who wins at the catch point, and WR Odell Beckham, a big play threat.



Oklahoma vs Notre Dame, 3:30pm EST on NBC


The Belldozer Versus the Hog Mollies


- Sooners junior QB Blake Bell took over for injured redshirt freshman Trevor Knight. He has only attempted 63 passes in his career, and I hope the school gameplans some easy throws to joystick slot receiver Jalen Saunders.


- Bell specializes in short yardage situations, but that will be difficult against massive NT Louis Nix and bulky five technique DL Stephon Tuitt. Be sure to notice if sophomore DL Sheldon Day is playing, since he is questionable. Day is a squatty defensive end but holds the point of attack very well.



Wisconsin vs Ohio State, 8:00pm EST on ABC


Gordon Goes Against Shazier


- Badgers senior RB James White will likely draw the start, but redshirt sophomore RB Melvin Gordon is the one to watch. He is the top draft-eligible prospect at the position. Many question the success of Wisconsin running backs, but Gordon has great straight-line speed and makes more people miss at the second level than you’d think.


- Rotoworld contributor Ross Fulton wrote an extensive breakdown on Gordon and Ohio State stud LB Ryan Shazier, who fits the mold that the NFL is looking for.


- Be sure to note how head coach Urban Meyer handles his two quarterback system, with Braxton Miller starting despite Kenny Guiton displaying positive passing ability.



Texas A&M vs Arkansas, 7:00pm EST on ESPN2


Manziel Faces A Pass Rush


- We are a few weeks removed from Johnny Manziel beating Alabama’s coverage down the field and outside the numbers on multiple occasions. I questioned if he could, so expect the quarterback to find Mike Evans in similar situations again.


- The Razorbacks sport two underrated pass rushers in Chris Smith (5.5 sacks) and Trey Flowers (3 sacks). They’ll have a very difficult time on islands against LT Jake Matthews and junior RT Cedric Ogbuehi.


- Speaking of Ogbuehi, I consider him a first-round talent. He could be the next prospect to gain more national attention, along with FSU LB telvin Smith and Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro.


- This could be a tricky game, especially if Arkansas can get a few stops defensively and keep Manziel off the field thanks to an offense devoted to the running game.



Heisman List



1. Oregon redshirt sophomore QB Marcus Mariota

2. Clemson QB Tajh Boyd

3. Louisville junior QB Teddy Bridgewater

4. Alabama QB A.J. McCarron

5. Texas A&M redshirt sophomore QB Johnny Manziel

6. Wisconsin redshirt sophomore RB Melvin Gordon




Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Josh Norris



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