Florida State RB Lonnie Pryor:
– Hits hole up the left middle out to the left sideline, goes completely untouched en route to 60-yard touchdown — shows great speed for a 229-pound back
– Runs short out from backfield, catches screen, turns upfield with speed, makes a defender miss and dives forward off another tackle to gain 11 yards — good hands, good open-field athleticism
– Beats defensive line to the right sideline, picks up a good block and runs behind it for a 31-yard gain
– Runs up huge hole between left tackle and left guard, outruns the defense for 37-yard touchdown; showing very good speed for a big back tonight
Overview: The only negative about Lonnie Pryor’s game in the Orange Bowl is that he only ran the ball five times, but that was a playcalling issue rather than a performance one. When Pryor did run the ball, the 229-pound fullback showed surprising athletic ability, and put together two of the game’s biggest play with 60- and 37-yard touchdown runs.
Pryor played fullback at Florida State, but is a much better runner than he is a blocker, so he will project as a tailback at the next level. But as he showed in this game, he has a great combination of size, power, speed and even quickness, and he is an Alfred Morris-like prospect who should be a late-round draft selection.
Northern Illinois WR Martel Moore:
– Lined up in one-on-one against Xavier Rhodes on most snaps
– Blows by coverage with double move about 15 yards upfield on right side, wide open for a huge downfield play but overthrown by Lynch
– Good downfield speed, smooth route-runner
– Has chance to make 10-yard catch going out to left sideline, pass goes off his hands
– Great body control on 10-yard catch to reach over boundary line, keep one foot planted just inside right sideline, get second foot for NFL catch and secure possession
– Runs 11-yard slant across the field and makes touchdown catch
– Pass thrown behind Moore, but still should have been caught, turns around to make catch but ball goes off his hands on 8-yard crossing route
– Drops another pass, has to turn for 5-yard pass thrown behind him going out to right sideline, adjusts but drops pass off his hands
– Makes 6-yard catch off short in, turns upfield and ends up with 12-yard gain
– Moore beats single coverage with a double move, should have had a 47-yard deep ball touchdown but overthrown by Lynch
Overview: Martel Moore didn’t have a very productive night in the Orange Bowl — he caught just four passes for 29 yards — and there are three big reasons for that. He was blanketed for most of the game by one of college football’s best cornerbacks in Xavier Rhodes, and on two plays that should have been huge pass completions, Jordan Lynch overthrew him deep. He also, however, had three passes go off his hands that should have been caught.
Moore is a skilled receiver with good athleticism and downfield receiving ability, but he isn’t good enough to overcome unreliable hands. He did have some great moments in this game — he had a touchdown, a very tough sideline catch and should have had two other big plays — but the drops hurt his chances of being a late-round draft selection.
Northern Illinois DE Sean Progar:
– Holds his gap at RDE rather than rush, Freeman tries to run up left side and he makes a sound tackle for 1-yard loss; good run defense discipline
– Goes unblocked by the line, sheds RB pickup block immediately with strong push, rushes at Manuel and hits him as he throws to force incompletion
– Beats right tackle off the line with good jump, rushes around him wide and brings pressure against Manuel to force incompletion; should have drawn penalty as well as offensive lineman knocked his helmet off, still forces 4th & 3 punt
– From right side of defensive line, pursues sweep to right sideline, combines with teammate stop Freeman for 2-yard loss
– Good at anticipating the snap and getting a good jump off the line
– Does not have great speed
Overview: Sean Progar made some very nice plays for the NIU defense in the Orange Bowl, and was their best defensive lineman in that game. He made a couple of big run stops for tackles for loss, and brought pressure off the edge effectively. He may not have the explosiveness or power to be a sure draft pick, but certainly remains in the conversation after a solid performance on the national stage.