Risers and Fallers (November)
Welcome to Draft Dog's weekly column on the college football players that are either helping or hurting their draft stock for the month on November 2009.
29 November 2009
SMU WR Emmanuel Sanders finally gets to go to a bowl game. SMU defeated Tulane 26-21 and Sanders caught 6 passes for 144 yards. The speedy Sanders (6' 1" 180 lb) is currently ranked #7 in the nation with a 101 yards per game average. June Jones (SMU's coach) will likely be going back to Hawaii on December 24th to play in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. This will be SMU's first bowl game in 25 years; their last game was in 1984 when they played in the Aloha Bowl.
UCLA DT Brian Price (JR) has risen up the Draft Boards the last few weeks as much as anyone. Against Arizona he recorded 4 tackles for loss (TFL) and 2 sacks. For the year the 6' 2" 300 pounder has recorded 7 sacks and his 22.5 TFLs for the year rank him 3rd in the nation.
Oklahoma State CB Perrish Cox is playing great football. Against Colorado he returned 5 punts for 86 yards and a TD. Cox has also recorded 649 yards on kick off returns, intercepted 4 balls and he currently leads the nation with 19 passes defended.
Michigan State LB Greg Jones- I don't know why Jones doesn't get more publicity, he is one of the best defensive players in college football. He was all over the field again against Penn State recording 15 tackles, 2 tackles for loss (TFL) and 1 sack.
Receivers Dezmon Briscoe and Danario Alexander put on quite a show when Missouri defeated Kansas. Briscoe finished with 14 catches for 242 yards and 2 TDs and Alexander recorded 15 catches for 233 yards and 1 TD. Alexander now leads the nation in receiving yards with 1,644.
NC State WR Owen Spencer- Spencer leads the Wolfpack in receiving yards for the second straight year with 765 after his 4 catch, 130 yard and 2 TD performance in NC State's upset win over state rival #24 North Carolina.
Cincinnati QB Tony Pike- Picked up where he left off with 399 yards, 6 TDs and no interceptions as the Bearcats rolled over Illinois 49-36.
Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard- The best thing for Gilyard is the return of Pike as the duo hooked up 7 times for 102 yards and 2 TD. Gilyard also took Illinois' kick-off after their opening score 90 yards for a TD.
Texas QB Colt McCoy- McCoy was a man on a mission this week as his 304 yards and 4 TD through the air and 175 yards and a TD on the ground. He powered Texas to a 49-39 win over Texas A&M.
Texas S Earl Thomas- Thomas is making a name for himself as a tremendous ballhawk with great instincts after picking off his 8th INT of the year against Texas A&M. He is also ranked #2 in the nation with 17 passes defended.
Boise State QB Kellen Moore- Moore tied a career high of 5 TD passes (3 times) in the Broncos win over Nevada to stay unbeaten. He has thrown 38 TD passes on the year with only 3 INTs.
Nevada RB Vai Taua- Taua ran for 160 and a 71-yard TD against Boise State as Nevada lost 44-33. Taua could have potential as a short yardage back.
Alabama RB Mark Ingram & Auburn RB Ben Tate- Ingram turned in his first poor performance of the year as Auburn held him to only 30 yards on 16 carries. Alabama's narrow 26-21 victory will likely keep him as the front runner for the Heisman. On the other sideline, Tate struggled the second straight week as the Tide held him to only 45 yards. Has his first 1,000 yard season but needs to finish career with a big bowl game.
Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson- Robinson's struggles continue as he never looked comfortable against Oklahoma and the Cowboys barely looked competitive in the 27-0 loss. In his last two games (over 3 weeks; he missed last week with a shoulder injury) Robinson is 19-44 (43.2%) for only 137 yards. Robinson was 10-23 for 44 yards and an INT this week.
17 November 2009
Stanford RB Toby Gerhart- Continues to roll over Pac-10 foes to the tune of exactly 1,200 yards during conference play, an average of 150 yards/game. Powered Stanford to victory over Oregon a week ago, rushing for 223 yards and 3 TD, and followed that up this week with 178 yards and 3 TD as Stanford shocked USC 55-21. Has become the best short yardage back in college football this year and is proving that he has skills to carry over to the next level.
Clemson RB CJ Spiller- Spiller made history by becoming the first Clemson player to throw for a TD, run for a TD and catch a TD in one game. Spiller finished with 97 rushing yards, 48 receiving yards and threw a 17-yard TD pass.
Ole Miss RB Dexter McCluster- McCluster has turned in some monster rushing performances lately but none bigger than his 282-yard day against Tennessee. McCluster racked up 4 rushing TD’s and is proving to be a dangerous threat on the ground and through the air.
Pitt RB Dion Lewis- Pitt hasn’t missed a beat as this sparkplug freshman runner has burst on to the scene and taken over where LeSean McCoy left off. Lewis ran wild for 152 yards and a TD as Pitt knocked off rival Notre Dame 27-22. His 50-yard TD scamper was an open field clinic.
Oregon State QB Sean Canfield- Coming off back to back 300-yard games, Canfield picked apart a Washington defence with 185 yards and 4 TD. His 21-29 day was his third straight game with a 70%-plus completion percentage. After throwing 9 TD to 15 INT in 2007 Canfield played sporadically but well in 2008 and has made the most of his last opportunity in 2009 with 17 TD, 5 INT and over 2,500 yards. Might be playing himself into a late round or free agent flyer.
North Carolina CB Kendric Burney- A junior, Burney picked off Canes QB Jacory Harris 3 times for 170 yards and a TD, blowing open a 13-7 game in the final minute of the first half with his 77-yard scamper.
Cal RB Shane Vereen- Vereen started in place of Jahvid Best who suffered a freak concussion last week against Oregon State. Vereen rushed for 159 yards on 30 carries with a 61-yard TD scamper 1:21 remaining to put Arizona away 24-16.
Virginia CB Ras-I Dowling- Virginia lost for the fourth straight time, 14-10 to Boston College, but Dowling nabbed his second INT in 2 games and has 5 PD in three games.
Wisconsin RB John Clay- Ran for his third straight 100-yard game against Michigan (151 yards 1 TD), leading the way in the Badgers 45-24 steamrolling. The sophomore looks like an early pick in 2010.
South Florida CB Jerome Murphy- The South Florida offense stunk against Rutgers as the Bulls lost 31-0 but Murphy racked up 14 tackles and picked off his third pass of the season.
Nebraska RB Roy Helu Jr- Helu Jr ran for 156 yards and 3 TD as the Huskers romped to a 31-17 win over Kansas.
Buffalo WR Naaman Roosevelt- Roosevelt caught 8 passes for 165 yards and 3 TD in the Bulls loss to Ohio, 27-24.
Hawaii WR Greg Salas- Salas has been spectacular all season, catching 10 balls for 187 yards and 2 TD in the Warriors win over Utah State a week ago and catching an astounding 16 catches for 196 yards and a TD this week as Hawaii beat New Mexico State 24-6.
Michigan State K Brett Swenson- Swenson kicked 4 FG, including a 52-yarder, as MSU’s most consistent offensive threat during the Spartans 40-37 win over Purdue on the road.
Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett- The big sophomore threw for 405 yards and his second 5-TD game of the year as the Razorbacks blew out Troy 56-20. Mallett has thrown only 3 INT on the year and continues to flash his great arm.
UAB QB Joe Webb- The senior QB has rebounded from a terrible 2008 season (10 TD 16 INT) to throw for 16 TD and only 6 INT. Torched Memphis for 378 yards and 3 TD, 2 of which went to JR WR Frantell Forrest.
UTEP RB Donald Buckram- Buckram ran for 241-yards and a TD in the Miners loss to Southern Methodist, a week after rushing for 234-yards and 3 TD in a loss to Tulane and 2 weeks after a 164-yards 2 TD performance in the Miners loss to UAB.
Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson- Robinson helped lead OSU to a 24-17 victory over Texas Tech with 99 rushing yards. Unfortunately, the Cowboys’ QB completed only 9 of 21 passes for 90 yards and a TD and was knocked from the game in the fourth quarter with a concussion. Oklahoma State has been dramatically altered with the suspension of WR Dez Bryant.
Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard- Managed only 3 catches for 22 yards as Cincy held off West Virginia with a 24-21 win.
Auburn RB Ben Tate- Georgia bottled Tate up as the Bulldogs outlasted the Tigers 31-24. Tate finished with 67 yards on 20 carries with a long of 10. One of the SEC’s underrated rushers didn’t play like it this week.
Fresno State RB Ryan Mathews- Mathews was held to only 32 yards on 8 carries, his first game of the year with fewer than 100 yards, as the Bulldogs got pummelled by Nevada 52-14.
8 November 2009
DE Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech
Morgan is starting to look like a first round lock for the 2010 NFL Draft. He is very explosive and has been putting up some impressive numbers this year. This past weekend against Wake Forest Morgan had a spectacular game recording 6 tackles and 3 sacks. He is currently ranked #5 in the nation with 11.5 sacks.
S Matt O'Hanlon, Nebraska:
Named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week for games of the weekend of Nov. 7. O'Hanlon, (5-11, 200 lbs) tied the school record with three interceptions. He also collected a career-high 12 tackles (nine unassisted) and broke up a pass in Nebraska's 10-3 victory over Oklahoma. All of O'Hanlon's interceptions were in the second half. His first interception set up a Nebraska field goal, and his final one sealed the victory.
WR Jordan Shipley, Texas:
Set school record with 273 receiving yards in 35-3 win over Vanderbilt. Shipley is currently ranked #2 in the nation with a 14 catch per game average.
RB Toby Gerhart, Stanford:
Led Stanford to a 51-42 upset over #8 Oregon with 223 rushing yards and 3 TD. Gerhart has been held TD-less only once this year and already has more yards this year (1,217) than he did all of last year (1,136). Best games have come against the best opponents and this is another example.
RB Jonathon Dwyer, Georgia Tech:
Not only did he rush for 189 yards and a TD on 23 carries but he made a key block on QB Josh Nesbitt’s game-winning, 3 yard TD run in OT. 20+ carriers in 4 straight games has led to 3 100-yard games and 4 TD.
DT Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska:
The centerpiece of a Cornhusker defense that allowed 325 total yards but only 3 points to Oklahoma. Matt O’Hanlon picked off Landry Jones 3 times as Jones tossed 5 INT on the day.
QB Jimmy Clausen, Wide Receivers’s Michael Floyd and Golden Tate, Notre Dame:
The Fighting Irish lost to Navy (inexcusable) but the air attack of Clausen, Floyd and Tate was fantastic once again. Clausen threw for 452 yards and 2 TD while Floyd returned from a broken collarbone to catch 10 passes for 141 yards and a TD and Tate added 9 catches for 132 yards and a TD.
QB Case Keenum, Houston:
Has more than 1,000 yards and 8 TD in the last two games after torching Tulsa with 522 yards and 3 TD in the Cougars 46-45 win.
RB Ashton Leggett, Michigan State:
Got one carry in week 1 and hasn’t played since, till this week that is, when he gashed the Western Michigan Broncos for 14 carries, 110 yards and 4 TD.
WR Danario Alexander, Missouri:
Production has taken a huge leap this year as Alexander caught 13 passes for 214 yards and a TD in the Tigers loss to Baylor. For the year has 71 catches for 1,038 yards and 8 TD. Entered year with 78 catches and 997 yards and 8 TD.
RB Daniel Thomas, Kansas State (JR)
An upright runner, but he glides and is fast and shifty. Thomas had his career best 24 carries for 185 yards and TD in the Wildcats 17-10 victory over Kansas. Thomas topped the 1,000-yard mark for the season early in the third quarter and finished with 1,087 yards for the season. He now has five 100-yard rushing games this season.
RB Ryan Mathews, Fresno State:
Rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns as Fresno State defeated Idaho 31-21. It’s his ninth consecutive 100-yard game. Mathews is the nations leading rusher with 1,459 yards and 14 TDs, he has an impressive 162 yards per game average.
OG Reggie Stephens, Iowa State
Not a well known name but Stephens is a massive (6' 4" 338 lbs) offensive guard that is a devastating run blocker. A four year starter Stephens will be getting a long look by NFL scouts at the Scouting Combine.
A I want to take a minute to highlight a couple small school NFL Draft Prospects that are on the radar of NFL Scouts.
DE Austen Lane, Murray State, Division 1AA (FCS)
Lane has NFL size (6' 7" 270lbs) and was almost impossible to block at the FCS level. He currently leads the FCS with 11 sacks, 17 tackles for loss (TFLs) and 52 total tackles. Lane recently became Murray State's all time sack leader with 29 career sacks.
DE/OLB Arthur Moats, James Madison (FCS)
If he he gets a shot in the NFL he will be tried out as an outside linebacker. At 6' 2" 241 pounds he doesn't have the size to play defensive end. But in the FCS he is dominating his competition. Moats is very quick off the ball and is hard to block. he is currently ranked #1 in the FCS in tackles for loss (TFL) with 21 and an additional 10 sacks and 72 tackles.
RB Joique Bell, Wayne State (MI) (Division 2)
Bell is an amazing talent and will almost certainly be playing in the NFL next season. Very solidly built at 6' 0" 223 pounds and deceptively fast. This season Bell has ran for 2,010 yards and 29 touchdowns with an impressive 201 yards per game average. For his career he has ran for an amazing 6,654 yards which ranks him 8th best all time among all college football divisions.
OT Tony Washington, Abeline Christian (Division 2)
Nice size, (6' 6" 305 lbs), long arms and very light on his feet. Washington has been dominant at the division 2 level this year. NFL Scouts have him in their radar and I have seen him graded anywhere from a 5th to a 7th round pick. Poor grades kept him out of a major college.
WR A.J. Jackson, California (PA) (Division 2)
This prospect reminds me of the Saints' WR Marques Colston, who was also from a small school (Hofstra 1AA). Jackson might not be as fast as Colston, but at 6' 6" 240 pounds, size won't be a problem. Very strong kid with great hands, Jackson has caught 64 passes for 894 yards and 12 TDs for the Vulcans this season.
DT Arthur Jones, Syracuse:
He tore his meniscus and will miss the rest of the season. However, if he recovers in time for the NFL Scouting Combine he should maintain his late first-early second round draft grade.
RB Charles Scott, LSU:
Was having a good game against Alabama but broke his collar bone when he was getting tackled after a 34 yard run.
QB Daryll Clark and RB Evan Royster, Penn State:
Both needed to prove they were big game players against Ohio State and both flopped as the Nitany Lions lost 24-7 to the Buckeyes. Clark finished 12-28 for 125 yards and an INT while Royster was limited to 36 yards rushing and a long of 8.
QB Tim Hiller, Western Michigan:
15-37 for 111 yards and a TD is not enough from someone who was expected to challenge for all sorts of honors and awards this year. He wasn’t awful but he wasn’t great; he needed to be great.
WR Brandon Banks, Kansas State:
Was held to 1 catch for 5 yards a week after catching 9 balls for 156 yards. Has been held in check this year with only 1 TD. He missed a sure touchdown that bounced right off his hands. Banks has world class speed and is will get a shot as a returner but needs to work on his receiving skills.