ECU senior QB Shane Carden's dominant performance against North Carolina "will force NFL scouts to take notice," according to NFL media analyst Bucky Brooks.
Carden went 30-for-48 for 438 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in Saturday's 70-41 thrashing of the Tar Heels. "The performance represents the fifth time that Carden has topped the 400-yard mark, including his 427-yard effort against Virginia Tech a week ago," Brooks wrote. "With his spectacular production and ECU's emergence as an offensive juggernaut garnering headlines, Carden is definitely piquing the interest of scouts looking for a developmental passer to build around." CBS Sports' Dane Brugler recently compared the 6-foot-2, 218-pound Carden to Bruce Gradkowski.
Florida State reinstated redshirt sophomore QB Jameis Winston.
Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said Winston's suspension "hit home" with the quarterback. Winston, of course, was suspended for Saturday's victory over Clemson after he jumped on a table and shouted expletives in the school's Student Union. "Tremendously," Fisher said when asked how missing Saturday's game affected the Heisman Trophy winner. "I think you could see it on the sideline ... [but] he was a great influence for Sean [Maguire] and the other guys on the sideline. It was not for show or go. It was something heartfelt. I think it hit home, there's no doubt." Fisher named Winston the starting QB for Saturday's game against NC State on Monday. Because of this incident and several others, Winston's stock has fallen with evaluators. It's absolutely imperative that he not get into further trouble prior to the spring.
Kansas State senior WR Tyler Lockett vindicated his detractors by struggling on Thursday against Auburn, writes TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline.
"There’s a wide variety of opinion on Lockett’s next level ability but his performance against Auburn had detractors saying 'I told you so,'" Pauline wrote. The speedy wideout dropped two passes in the first quarter of his team's loss to the Tigers, including one which slipped through his hands in the end zone. Dropped passes and poor pass catching technique is nothing new for Lockett. On film he’s body catcher who seemingly needs to grasp the ball against his frame to secure the reception. This leads to drops, double catches and a lot of missed opportunity. He’s the type of player who’ll wow coaches with big plays from the line of scrimmage or long kick returns then at the same time break hearts with his inability to cleanly catch the ball." There are two ways to look at the performance, and NFL.com's Bucky Brooks wrote the other one last week, noting that Lockett created "buzz in war rooms" with his special teams play versus the Tigers.
NFL media analyst Bucky Brooks writes that the hype surrounding Michigan senior QB Devin Gardner "has subsided."
That's an understatement. Gardner completed 14-of-26 attempts for 148 yards and two interceptions in a loss to Utah on Saturday, and has posted a 0/5 TD/INT rate in Michigan's two games against quality opponents this year (the other being Notre Dame). Michigan HC Brady Hoke is currently contemplating who will be his starting quarterback against Minnesota on Saturday. Frankly, sophomore Shane Morris looks like the Wolverines' best bet at the moment. "It was only a year ago when some in the NFL community felt like Gardner had the potential to develop into a franchise quarterback," Brooks wrote. "However, the hype surrounding the senior quarterback has subsided after watching him become a turnover machine in critical moments for the Wolverines. The turnovers not only killed the Wolverines' chances of holding off a feisty Utah squad, but it continued to spotlight the concerns about Gardner's judgment and accuracy from the pocket."
Mississippi State redshirt junior Dak Prescott "exhibits the qualities needed to be a championship player at the next level," though NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks isn't sure Prescott "possesses a skill set that is conducive to playing quarterback in the NFL."
Prescott completed 15-of-24 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 105 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in Saturday's win over LSU. "From his superb mastery of the Bulldogs' offense to his charismatic leadership style, Prescott put on the kind of show that leads scouts to fall in love with a prospect capable of standing out on the biggest and brightest stages," Brooks wrote. The analyst wants to see more development, however. "Thus, I'm intrigued by the thought of Prescott playing the position at the next level after watching the likes of Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton enjoy success as pros with similar skill sets," Brooks wrote. "While Prescott must continue to evolve as a pocket passer to enhance his chances of playing the position as a pro, he certainly teases scouts with his talent, athleticism and impressive intangibles. Given the evolution of the game at the quarterback position, Prescott is an intriguing prospect."
Oregon State DE Obum Gwacham collected one sack and one tackle for loss in Saturday's 21-point win against San Diego State.
Gwacham will be tested greatly in the near future, according to TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline, as Oregon State’s next four games are against USC, Colorado, Utah and Stanford. Last week, Pauline called Gwacham "Ziggy Ansah light," adding: "Scouts love the upside Gawcham brings and if he continues to develop on the field they believe the former track star could end up as a second or third round pick in next year’s draft."
TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline writes that "had been raving" about Utah redshirt senior edge rusher Nate Orchard prior to Saturday's game against Michigan.
Orchard aced another key test, collecting seven tackles, two for loss, two sacks and a pass deflection. "After a slow start Orchard turned on the burners during critical moments in the second half and looked dominant at times," Pauline wrote. "The ability Orchard displayed off the line of scrimmage in space was impressive and nicely complimented his pass rushing skills. Comparisons are being drawn to former Boise State star Demarcus Lawrence, selected in the second round last April by the Dallas Cowboys. If Orchard continues his impressive play he could also move into the second frame." The Utes' prospect has successfully added 60 pounds of muscle to his frame since starting his career as a 195-pound receiver.
While he awaits verdict on his appeal of a second positive drug test, Ohio State junior DE Noah Spence is no longer participating in team activities.
Spence briefly returned to practices last week. This reverse is course doesn't affect his status with the Buckeyes, who have chosen not to dismiss the talented prospect. "He's not going to practice now," OSU HC Urban Meyer said. "That was just last week. He's not practicing, getting full-time treatment and working out just for his well-being. What is a zero tolerance [policy] when an addiction has set in or whatever? The decision, when you harm yourself or harm your team, we wrestle with those all the time. I've been criticized for many, many years about how I treat these guys. I treat them like they're my kid, and I'm not a big fan of dismissal. I don't try to do that very often. It's got to be a severe one where you're hurting someone else."