News & Analysis

College Football Week 10: 2020 NFL Draft Scouting Notes

We are already past Week 10 of the college football season and next thing you know there will be no more tape to grind. Thankfully, we still have very meaningful football being played. There were some very draft-altering performances this week, especially at the top of the QB class. Let’s dive on in.

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Cheyenne O’Grady out at Arkansas

The third-ranked tight end and 49th overall player on PFF’s most recent draft board has officially left Arkansas. O’Grady was suspended for last week’s loss to Mississippi State, and it wasn’t his first time he’s been willingly placed on the bench by his coaches. O’Grady has had three different suspensions in his Arkansas career by two different coaching staffs. The prior two stemmed from a violation of team rules and a DWI. With a tight end class bereft of elite talent, O’Grady could have played his way into the early Day 2 mix with a big, and clean, year. Unfortunately, it looks like he’ll be damaged goods and off a lot of teams' boards at this point.

Matchup of the Week

Andrew Thomas vs. Jonathan Greenard

Thomas once again faced a top tier pass-rusher and once again handled himself admirably. On 36 pass-blocking snaps on the day, he allowed a grand total of one pressure. The majority of those saw him going up against one of the draft classes' biggest risers in Jonathan Greenard. The one time Greenard did get him came on a play-action pass with 12:17 remaining in the fourth quarter where Thomas overshot and Greenard took advantage with an inside move. Georgia also did far more pure dropback passing than normal as Thomas’ 18 true pass sets were the second most in a game from him all season. Greenard’s inability to consistently win the edge was once again a concern, as he’s showing his flaws more after a hot start to the season.

Jabari Zuniga was also nearly shutout in this one with only one pressure, but he lined up mostly on the left side for his 27 snaps.

Small School Watch

Mason Fine, QB, North Texas

Fine has been pressing a lot this year and put out some rough performances because of it, but in recent weeks he’s shown the arm talent that put him on our radar heading into the year. He racked up seven touchdowns this past week against UTEP, with two big-time throws and no turnover-worthy plays. Only 5-foot-11, Fine makes up for it with great escapability and a cannon for an arm.

Stock Report – Up

Utah CB Jaylon Johnson

Ball skills and playmaking ability at the cornerback position are not easy traits to come by. Three years into his college career, Johnson has made it abundantly clear he has both. Johnson’s pick-six was the turning point in Utah’s win over Washington, and he said after the game he knew it was coming via Washington’s tight splits. Putting film study into action like that is something you love to see from a prospect.

Oregon QB Justin Herbert

I still wouldn’t call a win over USC a ‘signature’ performance, but there’s no doubt it was a big game for the Ducks, and Herbert played nearly flawless football. His lone interception came after a miscommunication with his wideout cutting off a slant route early. Herbert finished accurate on 22 of his 26 attempts while going 7-for-11 for 126 yards, three touchdowns and a drop on targets 10-plus yards downfield.

Boise State Edge Curtis Weaver

Weaver put together one of the most unblockable performances of the season this week against San Jose State. He racked up five pressures on 50 pass-rushes, but had another 12(!) rushes deemed as wins that didn’t result in pressure because the ball came out too quickly. Basically, if he got a one-on-one, it was over. In every game Weaver has rushed the passer at least 15 times this year, he’s registered at least five pressures. There’s not much more Weaver can prove at this point given his competition level, but it’s sure fun to watch.

Stock Report – Down

Oregon OG Shane Lemieux

The Oregon line chocked full of four-year starters has been one of the best in the country this year, but not everyone on it has had banner years. Lemieux has already given up the most pressures in a season (12) he’s allowed since his freshman year. Against USC this past week, he allowed two ultra-quick pressures and had another loss in pass protection that didn’t result in pressure. Against a USC interior that hasn’t been anything special this year, that’s concerning.

Notre Dame S Alohi Gilman

After a breakout 2018 campaign for the Navy transfer, Gilman’s 2019 hasn’t been nearly the same. He’s gotten exposed athletically on the backend a number of times and overplayed a slant route poorly this past week against Virginia Tech, leading to a 28 yard gain. After missing only four tackles all last season on 93 attempts, Gilman has 10 on 53 this year.

Washington QB Jacob Eason

Struggling mightily against Utah’s defense is a tradition now for top QBs in the Pac-12. The pick-six, forced wheel route, and fumble on a scramble were all very ugly Turnover Worthy Plays. What most concerned me, though, was Eason’s pocket presence. He hung his tackles out to dry multiple times by sitting deep in the pocket, and his first move was almost always to escape out the back. That doesn’t work in the NFL unless you’re Russell Wilson-level athletically. He’s had one of the best lines in the nation protecting for him this year, so to see him crumble against a real defensive line is concerning.

2021 Watch List

Tennessee CB Bryce Thompson

Thompson was one of the best true freshman corners in the country last season, allowing only 52.7% of his targets to be caught, picking off three passes and breaking up six others. After being suspended the first three weeks of the season following an arrest, Thompson had not been building on his strong freshman campaign. Heading into this past weekend, he’s allowed 19-of-25 targets for 290 yards in five games. Against UAB, though, Thompson showed that special skillset once again. He allowed 1-of-4 targets to be hauled in for six yards and picked off three passes in the process. All three came underneath, with two showing exceptional instincts in Cover-2 and another locking up a hitch route in man coverage.

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