Dynasty fantasy football never takes a break and neither do I. For the last few weeks, I have taken a few notes here and there about the college players that have caught my eye while watching the many bowl games. I have had some great conversations with Joe Everett and Shane Hallam about most of these prospects on my last three podcasts http://www.blogtalkradio.com/search/dynasty-blitz/archives/mostrecent/_/_/_/_/
Here are some of my thoughts about these players. Keep in mind these thoughts are not fully developed; however they might give you a jumping off point if you are trying to get a general feel of these players. Unless I mention it, these are my thoughts of their bowl game play only.
WR- Joe Adams (Arkansas)- He showed great acceleration and vision on his long punt return. Adams reads blocks well and is very smooth/agile. He also showed the ability to make the tough catch in the slot. He could develop into a player similar to a Danny Amendola.
TE- Dwayne Allen (Clemson)- Allen is big, strong, and fast. Unfortunately he did not get many opportunities in the bowl game. Allen was out muscled by defenders going for the ball and reminded me of Ben Watson with his physical gifts and general play.
WR- Tavon Austin (West Virginia)- Watching the diminutive Austin play, I was reminded of Titus Young and DeSean Jackson. He had the speed, wiggle, and agility to excel in the NFL while not being the biggest WR at 5′ 7.5″ 170 lbs. Austin also had good concentration making tough catches in tight spots.
WR- Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State)- In his bowl game, he was very impressive as Blackmon got behind the defense and looked big and fast on his 43 yard TD reception as well as on his 67 yard TD reception. He is a better route runner than you would expect and he is not a speed demon; however, he can use his body well. There are many comparisons to Dez Bryant as they both played for Oklahoma State, but he reminds me more of Vincent Jackson.
CB/WR- Brandon Boykin (Georgia)- He was a big time playmaker as a returner and played a bit of offense as well. Boykin scored a safety in the game and a receiving TD. I doubt he would be used on offense in the NFL, but it is always good to find a play making corner back. Boykin would be great in a return yardage league as he defines the term “athlete.”
TE- Orson Charles (Georgia)- He was a willing blocker, but was not used much in the passing game as he only caught 1 pass for 2 yards. This is someone I want to watch in the combine if he decides to declare for the draft.
QB- Kirk Cousins (Michigan State)- He had some decent throws and showed some mobility, but struggled under pressure. He threw 2 interceptions in the 4th quarter that almost cost his team the game. I see him as a step up over former MSU QB Brian Hoyer, backup to Tom Brady, but not much else.
WR- B J Cunningham (Michigan State)- He caught the ball well, but did not do much after the catch. I see a solid #3 or #4 NFL wide receiver who is similar to Jason Avant. He might be late 3rd round/4th round rookie draft fodder.
RB- Jeff Demps (Florida)- Compared to his counterpart, Chris Rainey, Demps is more of a straight ahead power runner. He timed at 4.26 for a 40 yard dash which makes him a speed demon. Demps is 5′ 8″ 191 lbs so he isn’t built to take the pounding either, but could be a part of an RBBC like he was in college.
TE- Coby Fleener (Stanford)- He is great in space and projects to be a move TE in the NFL. Fleener gets good separation, but needs to put some extra muscle on that 6′ 6″ 250 lbs frame. He reminds me of a Dustin Keller at this point in his development, but his upside is more Aaron Hernandez or a lesser Jimmy Graham.
RB- Dan Herron (Ohio State)- He looks like a typical straight ahead runner, similar at best to a Rudi Johnson. He did show decent hands on a screen, but didn’t look very comfortable catching the ball. A comparison I feel comfortable making is to Pittsburgh Steelers running back Isaac Redman.
LB- Donta Hightower (Alabama)- Hightower flowed to the ball well. He did not seem to be overly physical and got caught up in “the trash” around the line of scrimmage. I compare him to DeAndre Levy who is fast and can make plays, but can’t bang heads with the best of them. He did have a huge QB strip in the 4th quarter that sealed the game for Alabama. After that strip, Hightower pinned back his ears and just ran full speed towards the ball. That was when he was the most effective.
RB- LaMichael James (Oregon)- I hadn’t watched much of him before his bowl game. He impressed me with his good wiggle and his ability to stick his feet and run to daylight. James was very light on his feet and showed incredible balance. I would compare him as a mixture of two Pittsburgh RB’s LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis, but he is closer in skill set to Lewis.
WR- Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina)- Jeffery is a physical receiver demonstrated by being a good hand fighter against the defensive backs. He showed good speed and tracked the ball in the air well. In the last second play of the first half, Jeffery jumped up to get the ball at its highest point and powered himself into the end zone for the TD. I do worry about his mental toughness as he got into a fight with the opposing CB Alfonzo Dennard. As a result, neither played the rest of the game.
QB- Case Keenum (Houston)- I saw a systems quarterback. Keenum has a decent arm, showed good poise in the pocket, but spent most of the time in the shotgun. I see a backup NFL QB there.
QB- Andrew Luck (Stanford)- Fine, I will say it: “yes, he is the real deal.” He showed great poise, a big arm, mobility and accuracy on the run. Luck is more John Elway than he is Peyton Manning. If I had a top 3 rookie pick, he would be under consideration. Keep in mind, he does not have a decent wide receiver to speak of and throws mostly to his tight ends and running backs.
WR- DeVier Posey (Ohio State)- He ran a nice inside slant and made a nice TD catch. Posey shows good route running and dealt with an ineffective QB. He did fumble in this game, but he reminds me of Percy Harvin when I see him physically and how he plays.
RB- Chris Rainey (Florida)- Rainey was quick/agile, but is small as listed at 5’9″ 174 lbs. I liked that he kept his feet moving, showed good hands, and held onto the ball even after big hits. He had issues with stalking a former girlfriend so character issues could be an issue with him. His upside is probably Dexter McCluster and could play a slot WR in the NFL.
RB-Trent Richardson (Alabama)- Richardson ran with power and good pad level throughout the game. He showed patience taking what the defense gave him. Showed good lateral movement by planting his feet and exploding down the sideline for the only touchdown in the BCS Championship Game (34 yards). Richardson was great at picking up blitzers in pass protection which will keep him on the field in any situation. He was most effective sharing the ball as he wore down at times against a great LSU defense. I have no hesitation taking him as my #1 rookie pick.
WR- Nick Toon (Wisconsin)- I saw him having trouble getting separation against good college CBs. He has good hands, but looked like more of a #3 possession WR than a dynamic #1 or #2 WR. Toon reminded me of an Earl Bennett type player, a good pass catcher, who could look good in a pass heavy offense.
LB-Courtney Upshaw- Upshaw was very effective with 7 tackles and a sack. He lineup as a OLB and at times a DE. He demonstrated good vision as he flowed to the ball well, and had great penetration against the LSU o-linemen. I loved his quick lateral movement and was an excellent wrap up tackler. Upshaw plays with the motor of James Harrison, but reminds me of LaMarr Woodley in play making skills.
QB- Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State)- He had a strong-arm and good accuracy as he found Blackmon on two 40+ deep TDs. Weeden looked confident in the pocket, took his time, and delivered the ball. I think it is a 50/50 chance that he develops into a true #1 QB, but he certainly has enough tools to make it happen.
RB-David Wilson (Virginia Tech)- Wilson was very quick and elusive, but showed some questionable decision-making when it came to continuing to reverse his field while losing valuable yardage when the defense was swarming him. He turned on the jets running down the sideline, but had a few balance issues once he was going full speed. Wilson could be the next Jamaal Charles or the next Jerious Norwood.
QB- Russell Wilson (Wisconsin)- The first comparison you hear about him is Drew Brees. Now that has much to do with him being only 5′ 11″. He has a big arm and showed good mobility. His study habits are what impress me as he graduated from N.C. State and played a little minor league baseball in 2010. When that didn’t work out, he enrolled in grad school at Wisconsin and learned their entire offensive playbook in three weeks. In a year or two, he could develop into a starting NFL quarterback.
WR-Jarius Wright (Arkansas)- He was the deep threat WR. Wright got behind the defense for a 35 yard TD that he showed his speed/quickness. He had an amazing sideline catch between two defenders that demonstrated his focus on the ball and recognition of where he was on the field. I think he could develop into a #2 WR in the NFL and perhaps a #1b.