Inside the War Room Week 11
In this week’s Inside the War Room I name this week’s prospect of the week, talk about the troubles at Florida State, and much more.
Prospect of the Week
This week’s prospect of the week is one of the hottest running backs in college football currently, in Miami RB Duke Johnson. Over the last three games he has rushed for 588 yards, and has scored six touchdowns. One of his most productive performances in this span came against Virginia Tech when he rushed for 249 yards, and scored two touchdowns.
Johnson is a quick running back who shows excellent overall speed. He has the ability to take any carry the distance evident by the 90-yard rush he had last week against North Carolina. He has excelled in track as well running on the Miami track team, and posting a 10.62 100-meter time in high school. He is a threat out of the backfield as well already catching 21 passes on the season. Miami likes to use him in their passing games both as a running back, and slot receiver especially on screen passes. Another trait of his I like is his excellent agility. He can break on a dime, and several of his long runs this season have come due to his excellent cutting ability. The last area of his game that stands out to me is his low center of gravity. His low center of gravity allows him to break a lot of tackles, and also allows him to have great balance which makes it very difficult for teams to bring him down.
The biggest negative with Johnson is his lack of ideal size coming in at 5-9 205 pounds. His lack of size raises several concerns with me with the first being does he have the build to hold up to an NFL pounding. He has only carried the ball over 20 times three times this season, and has battled injuries at Miami including a broken ankle last season. His lack of size and lack of physical play as a blocker hurts his grade when it comes to pass blocking as well. If he is to make it as a starter in the NFL this is one area he must improve.
It is far from a foregone conclusion that Johnson will declare for the NFL Draft, and according to the Palm Beach Post he will wait until the end of the season to decide what his future plans are. If he decides to enter the NFL Draft I look for him to earn a second round draft grade, and possibly be the second running back after Todd Gurley drafted.
Enjoy it While it Lasts
One of the team’s that truly looks like it is going down the wrong moral path is Florida State. They are lead by players who seem to be in trouble every time you turn your head, and are lead by a coach in Jimbo Fisher who makes countless excuses for his players.
Two pro prospects have caused numerous problems at Florida State led by quarterback Jameis Winston who has been in trouble several times during his career at FSU, yet has only missed one football game so far due to his poor choices. Some of these poor choices include stealing on two separate occasions, one happened in July of 2013 when he stole soda from a local Burger King. The other incident happened in April when he shoplifted crab legs from a Publix store. He was suspended from baseball due to the incident with the crab legs. He was also suspended one game this season for shouting vogler comments at the Florida State Student Union. This doesn’t even account for the sexual assault complaint filed against him in 2013.
The other player that has caused his share of problems is running back Karlos Williams who has been involved in several incidents this season including a domestic abuse case, and being involved in a possible drug deal. This is not the first time Florida State has had trouble with drugs during their 24 game win streak either with several players from FSU testing positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine.
However, the most disappointing thing to come out of Florida State has to be how head coach Jimbo Fisher seems to cover up for his player no matter what they do, and how he makes excuses on why they are getting the negative publicity. An example of how he is covering up for his players is how Jameis Winston is still on the football field despite being investigated for sexual assault. He has also blamed everyone for Florida State’s problems but his players. This included last week when he blamed ESPN, and SEC for the negative publicity the team has received.
While there is no doubt Florida State is an extremely talented team you really have to question how much longer they can continue to have the off-field issues, and be a National Championship contender.
Top 10 performances from Week Ten
1. Caleb Berry QB Lamar
Berry is one of the prospect most NFL Draft fans have yet to hear, but is a prospect that will garner an invitation to an NFL camp. Last week, he threw for 391 yards, and seven touchdowns against Houston Baptist. His receiver Mark Roberts, who has 11 touchdowns on the season, including four last week should also get some NFL looks.
2. Everett Golson QB Notre Dame
Golson is quickly becoming one of my favorite quarterbacks in this potential draft class. He shows excellent mobility, yet can still command the pocket. He had another great game last week vs. Navy when he passed for 315 yards, and scored six total touchdowns. If he continues down this path, and declares for the draft look for him to earn a late second round grade.
3. Kyle Emanuel DE North Dakota State
Emanuel is one of the top FCS defensive ends in college football, and his effort last week shows why he is so highly regarded. Against South Dakota State he recorded 10 tackles, including four sacks.
4. Cody Kessler QB USC
Kessler is a prospect quickly moving up the draft board commanding a USC offense that is averaging 286 passing yards a game. In his latest effort against Washington State, he threw for 400 yards, and five touchdowns.
5. Jake Ryan MLB Michigan
Ryan has been one of the few bright spots for Michigan this season. He currently leads the team in tackles with 79 including 4.5 tackles for loss. In his latest game against Indiana, he recorded 11 tackles, forced two fumbles, and also managed to earn 2.5 tackles for loss.
6. Zach Vigil MLB Utah State
Vigil is an under the radar player who is quietly having one of the best seasons in college football. Already this season he has recorded 96 tackles which leads the team by 20 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks. In his latest game against Hawaii he recorded 12 tackles, and also sacked the quarterback three times.
7. Duke Johnson RB Miami
One of my favorite players in this year’s potential draft class is Miami RB Duke Johnson, who had another big game last weekend when he rushed for 177 yards, and averaged 9.3 yards per rush.
8. Nick Dzubnar MLB Cal Poly
Dzubnar was a player we highlighted in week nine’s Inside the War Room for his outstanding production. He had another outstanding game last week against Montana State recording 18 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
9. Brandon Wegher RB Morningside
Wegher is one of the few NAIA player to garner NFL attention, and his 258 yard five touchdown performance against Concordia shows why. He will have another tough test on Saturday when he takes on the seventh best team in NAIA in Northwestern.
10. Gerod Holliman S Louisville
Holliman is a player who is quickly moving up the draft board. So far this season he has already recorded ten interceptions, including two last weekend vs.Florida State.
Nelson Agholor WR USC
David Johnson RB UNI
DeVante Parker WR Louisville
Michael Dyer RB Louisville
Shaq Thompson LB Washington
Kevin White CB TCU
Jamison Crowder WR Duke
Dezmin Lewis WR Central Arkansas
R.J. Harris WR New Hampshire
John Crockett RB North Dakota State
Keeshawn Hill RB Sam Houston State
Clive Walford TE Miami
Ten Football Thoughts
1. Washington has dismissed junior CB Marcus Peters from the team. He has had several run-ins with coaches at Washington including one one Wednesday according to Adam Jude of The Seattle Times. The fact he continues to have problems with coaches, and was dismissed from the team will hurt his draft stock significantly.
2.I think one of the more interesting concerns I have come across is the concern raised by Sports Illustrated in their article Inside Read on Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. In this article they mention that a scout told them that Mariota is not the alpha male you want in a quarterback. I think this is a legitimate concern since you definitely need a take charge person at this position, and if he is a quiet kid who does have trouble taking charge he might not offer the leadership ability you need at this position.
3. It’s nice to see Michigan State QB Connor Cook planning to return to Michigan State for his senior season. I currently project Cook as a second round prospect, and think he can improve his stock next year if he can be more comfortable when throwing under pressure.
4. One small school player that is having a disappointing season is Norfolk State DE Lynden Trail. He came into the season as my top rated small school defensive end, but with his lack of great production only recording four sacks this season he has been passed by small school defensive ends Kyle Emanuel of North Dakota State and Zach Wagenmann of Montana on my draft board.
5. One player that is flying under the radar that is sure to get his share of NFL looks is Lamar WR Mark Roberts. He is a good sized receiver (6-3 190), who shows the physical skills to play in the NFL. He has also put up outstanding numbers this season already recording 11 touchdowns, and is averaging 26.3 yards per reception.
6. One prospect that is seeing his draft stock fall is Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. This is mainly due to his lack of ideal size, which has shown up in several matchups against bigger receivers. While he entered the year as a top-15 prospect, I now would not be surprised if he fell to the second round.
7. It sounds like South Carolina RB Mike Davis will enter the NFL Draft, since he will take part in Senior Day. I am not as high on Davis as some people are, and think he will be lucky to be drafted within the first two rounds of the NFL Draft.
8. Speaking of South Carolina running backs it is a shame to see Marcus Lattimore retire due to the knee injury he suffered in college. Lattimore was one of the top running backs in college football before his injury, and would have had a bright future in the NFL if he could have stayed healthy.
9. I find it very interesting to see how much Washington is using Shaq Thompson at running back. He will make his third consecutive start of the season at running back, and has not played any linebacker in the last two games. I definitely think his best position in the NFL will be at OLB, and could see him going as high as top-15 in this year’s draft.
10. One receiver I keep hearing positive things about is West Virginia WR Mario Alford. So far this season he has recorded 48 receptions, and seven touchdowns after only recording 27 catches last season. His lack of ideal size will hurt him when being evaluated by scouts, but his blazing speed should help overcome this concern.
Washington State QB Connor Halliday broke his leg last week, and will miss the rest of the season. … Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah left last week’s game against Purdue with a knee injury. … Memphis DE Martin Ifedi tied the school career sack record last week with 21 career sacks. …. South Alabama QB Brandon Bridge left last week’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette with an ankle injury. … Noter Dame junior MLB Joe Schmidt will miss the rest of the season with a fractured and dislocated ankle. … Maryland WR Stefon Diggs has been suspended for this week’s game against Michigan State due to the fact he made contact with an official in last week’s game. … Florida OT Trenton Brown will miss this week’s game against Vanderbilt due to a knee injury. …
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