NEPD Staff Report: Mike Loyko
An intriguing early season out of conference matchup, turned into a one sided affair. Here are the prospects who stood out after reviewing the film.
Juron Criner, who we previewed on Wednesday, missed the game due to an appendectomy. Big time disappointed as I was looking forward to seeing him go head to head with Justin Blackmon.
#81 WR Justin Blackmon- What more can I say about Justin Blackmon that hasn’t been said? The kid is the real deal. He does it all and barring injury or upset he will be the first WR drafted in April.
- Dangerous with the ball in his hands, great YAC receiver
- Agility jumps off the screen—catches ball, spins simultaneously, and breaks tackle
- Great body control, shields the defender from making a play on the ball
- Tracks the ball, comes back to the ball, when ball is in the air he goes to get it
- While his route running will need to be improved, he runs GREAT fade routes in the end zone.
- Active in the run game—blocks on all run plays—goes hard even when he knows the ball isn’t coming his way
- Will need to adjust to an NFL route tree—with more precise routes
- Dropped a deep ball which may have been a TD
# 3 QB Brandon Weeden- I came away from this game liking Weeden even more. He is a definite NFL prospect, with his main drawback being his age.
- Gets rid off the ball quickly
- Goes through the progressions—seems to make the right read all the time
- Very accurate—started off completing double digit passes without a missed throw
- Poised in the pocket—exhibits confidence—doesn’t get rattled
- Threw a couple perfect fade passes
- Rarely makes a mistake, doesn’t force it
- Will have to adjust to taking snaps from under center
- 3rd-4th round grade
#73 OT Levy Adcock- Adcock is another highly rated tackle prospect, in a year that is loaded at the position. While I thought Adcock played well all night—nothing wowed me. He is a 2nd day prospect right now.
- Can play both LT and RT
- Was unchallenged on passing downs—has a good kick step and gets good extension with his arms- but the Arizona defensive end wasn’t very good
- Powerful drive blocked in the run game
- Stays low and keeps his feet driving
- Plays too high—against better defensive ends, they may be able to overpower and knock off balance.
- Never plays in a 3 point stance, so he doesn’t fire off the line like you would like to see
#1 RB Joseph Randle (So) – I was really impressed by Randle on Thursday night. Just a sophomore, he won’t be eligible for the draft this year; however he is someone to definitely watch for the future. He’s an explosive back, with great hands. He’s very good in space but, I also liked the way he ran between tackles. He danced too much on a couple plays. He has lots of potential and is a legit NFL prospect.
#8 QB Nick Foles- In the preview article on Foles I said I wasn’t a fan. After watching this game I’m still not a fan. I saw the same concerning things from Foles, which I saw last year. He can be maddening to watch because he has potential; it just doesn’t come out during the game.
- Throws to the check down receiver on almost every play
- Hesitates to throw it deep, instead decides to take 4-5 yards
- Comes off his reads too early—it’s like he has the receiver he is going to throw to picked out ahead of time
- Shaky in the pocket under pressure—gets happy feet and rushed throws
- When he steps into a throw he can put good zip on the ball
- Has good mobility for a QB of his size
- To play at the next level he is going to have to learn to make the tough throw. He will have to throw a WR open, even though he may appeared covered – definitely doesn’t do that now.
During the preview I talked about two Arizona DB’s.; #1 Robert Golden and #24 Trevin Wade. I was more impressed with Golden during the game, however it was tough to accurately scout the DB’s since the camera angle didn’t show them in pass coverage too much.
The best player on Arizona’s defense was #41 LB Paul Vassalo; he was all over the field all night. Vassalo was pretty good in coverage, got to the flat to cover the RB. He made a bunch of tackles. Seems like a smart, heady player. Definitely a sleeper to watch throughout the season.