NEPD Editor: James Christensen
Minnesota went home with the prized pig “Floyd”, but the biggest prize to come out of this game just might be a Minnesota quarterback.
You can see other game breakdowns in our Scouting Notes Database.
#44 LB James Morris*
-Playing inside linebacker, occasionally walks out.
-Willing to take on a block from interior linemen.
-Reads quarterback’s eyes, a hair late closing the window on the slant.
-Doesn’t follow proper key, allows big run play.
-Not fooled by mis-direction, makes the tackle but is knocked back by QB.
-Takes the bait on play action, recovers quickly.
-Able to shed blocks from interior lineman and make the tackle.
-Jumps route, forces quarterback to go to his second read.
-Fakes A-gap blitz, moves down the line to make the tackle.
-Walked out on the slot, gets a decent jam in.
-Covers tight end in man coverage, physical and able to run with him.
-Shoots the B-gap, able to bend and wrap up the back for a tackle for loss.
-Shows some lower-body strength, stands up running back in the hole.
-Patient, doesn’t overpursue, wraps back’s legs at the line.
-Good positioning in man coverage on end in red zone, forces tough throw, falls incomplete.
-Can’t beat the quarterback to the pylon, was covering tight end as well.
Overview: Productive day for Morris, showed some ability covering the tight end in man as well as playing the run. Morris fought off blocks all day and showed that he is a very solid tackler.
#18 CB Micah Hyde
-Playing cornerback and returning punts.
-Makes tough catch returning punt, looking into sun.
-Lost track of ball, beat deep on lobbed pass.
-On tight end in the red zone, in his pocket and sticks a hand in to disrupt catch.
-Sets a hard edge, sheds running back block and assists on tackle.
-Off man, breaks hard on quick slant and gets his hand on the ball, still caught by receiver.
-Called for pass interference, kept his press going a bit too long.
Overview: Hyde was only targeted four times, giving up two catches and was penalized once. That said, Hyde again showed his ability to stick with receivers in the red zone and disrupt catches.
#5 SS Tanner Miller*
-Playing strong safety.
-Solid open field tackle, wrapped up while receiving a big hit.
-Doesn’t quit on play, wraps up receiver after corner misses tackle.
-Cover two – doesn’t get proper width or depth – beaten deep.
-Takes a good angle to force receiver out of bounds.
-Disciplined against the play fake.
-Walks down into the box, presses TE off the line, gets a decent jam
-Tight in coverage – tight end makes a great catch.
-Closes down quickly on quick slant in the red zone, shoulders the receiver down.
Overview: Miller had one poor play where he was caught out of position, but otherwise was a solid tackling safety coming up against the run.
#16 QB James Vanderberg
-Shotgun, quick read, hits McNutt in stride on streak.
-Nobody open on first two reads, accurate checkdown but ball is dropped.
-Audibles after Minnesota shows blitz – throws four yard pass on 3rd and 8 from a three-step drop.
-Able to work to both sides of the field on same play, reads left, hits open man on the right sideline.
-Ball placement a little off on multiple throws, limiting yards after catch.
-Not a ton of zip on the ball, but can push it out past the numbers.
-One handed pump fake, drops ball into double coverage, draws pass interference.
-Way off on quick slant, hit receiver in the foot.
-Doesn’t sense blind-side pressure, has to get rid of ball rather than pump fake in red zone.
-Faces down pressure, just long on deep pass to end zone – had a man open.
-Reads to the left, comes back to the right side and fits pass into tight window on slant.
-Surges forward on 4th down – QB sneak converts it.
-One read play, perfect touch over the receiver’s shoulder for a 12-yard touchdown.
-Avoids corner blitz, makes a positive play by tucking it and running.
-Spins a real fastball on a deep out, receiver dropped it.
-Third and three, goes through his progressions, tucks the ball and makes five..
-Doesn’t see late corner blitz, hammered and coughs up the ball.
-Good play action, nice touch on corner route.
-Rolls to his right after play-fake, evades rushers, hits wide open tight end.
-Good speed control, took a little off of the pass to hit DL/TE in space with a catchable ball.
-Two drops and a wrong route doom the Iowa two-minute drill.
Overview: Vandenberg showed some NFL level skills reading the entire field, working under center and in the shotgun and quickly acquiring his targets after the play-fake. His touch and accuracy were good and he showed that he could put some zip on the ball when needed. Vandenberg certainly missed #2 receiver Keenan Davis in this game – his receiver depth just wasn’t good enough.
#53 OC James Ferentz
-Gets to the second level and pushes linebacker back, good pad level.
-Very quick out of his stance.
-Whiffs on block, DT sidestepped him easily.
-Able to get a push on bigger linemen, gets underneath their pads and has a good leg drive.
-Has stopped blocking prior to the whistle on two occasions, one led to to a tackle.
-Nasty block on linebacker, bulldozed him for three seconds and finished him to the ground.
-Gets an angle on the tackle and pancakes him.
-Lunges out of stance, sidestepped by tackle and gives up sack.
-Very effective on the second level, again takes out a linebacker.
-Gets some push on the QB sneak.
Overview: Being part of a game that produces a 250+ yard runner (Marcus Coker, since transferred) is always a good sign. Ferentz struggled at times with quicker linemen that used his aggressiveness against him.
#86 TE C.J. Fiedorowicz*
-Inline tight end, used in motion often – also some special teams.
-Very tall (6’6″ / 270) but keeps pad level low.
-Chips on DE, kicks out cornerback – very physical.
-Using his hands well in the blocking game.
-Safeties and corners want no part of him in the run game.
-Looks like another left tackle when he stays in to block in the passing game – mirrors well.
-Destroying defensive ends as well as linebackers, good drive through contact.
-Quick into the post route, high points the ball and hangs on with a defensive back all over him.
-Showed good functional strength in both upper and lower body.
Overview: Fiedorowicz is huge. He is a fantastic blocker. He isn’t being utilized a bunch in the passing game yet, but he certainly has the skills. Look for C.J. to have a monster junior season and develop into a top 100 draft prospect.
Check out our analysis of the intriguing Minnesota QB prospect MarQuies Gray on page two.