As I am told, this will be the final day that the media can view practices. The players are back to shells and helmets mostly running plays at half speed. Because there is not a lot more to gleam here, I will spend the majority of my time in this article reviewing and ranking these offensive players by their position.
1) Derek Carr, Fresno State
Carr is the most polished the quarterbacks. He has good footwork, throws balanced, and got more comfortable hitting his receivers in stride as the week went along. The signal caller has the necessary arm strength to make all the throws and plays like a leader out there. He did nothing here to hurt himself and is probably going to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. For us dynasty owners, I would not consider him until the late second or early third in fantasy rookie drafts.
2) Jimmy Garoppolo, East Illinois
Wow what a two week whirlwind, first the young quarterback had to learn a new system for the Shrine Game and was a replacement option for Alabama’s own AJ McCarron. Garoppolo is not a terrific athlete, but he steps up in the pocket and throws accurately. He gets better every day and should make a good developmental NFL and fantasy quarterback.
3) Tajh Boyd, Clemson
It was clear from the first practice on that Boyd got a lot of help from the talented skill players he got the chance to play with at Clemson. He has a strong enough arm and good pocket awareness, but prefers to throw shorter passes. Many people consider him as a Russell Wilson-lite. I am not as convinced, but he is worth picking up for depth in dynasty leagues.
1) Charles Sims, West Virginia
Sims was the most complete running back here in Mobile. He has quick feet, good vision, and reads blocks well getting small in the hole. The back looked fine in pass blocking drills and catches the ball cleanly. Sims has a little wiggle to his game and was the most explosive back by far. Depending on where he goes, Sims might be a late first round rookie draft back.
2) David Fluellen, Toledo
He is a more north and south runner than Sims, but has even better hands. Fluellen reminds me a bit of Chicago Bears running back Michael Bush as he is a bigger back who tries to run like a smaller guy. The back fights for extra yardage and has a burst once he clears the line of scrimmage. I would be looking to add him to my dynasty squad in the middle to late second round of rookie drafts.
3) Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky
If you like Bobby Rainey, this back is even better than he is. Andrews has good vision, steps up to take on pass rushers and does not give up on the block. He is quicker than fast, has loose hips, and catches the ball well. Owners that draft him will need to be patient as he might start as an RB4/returner to start his NFL carrier. I’m not sure he is draftable in leagues that have rosters of under 25 players.
1) Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
Matthews is the best skill player at this game, by far, but hasn’t always played up to expectations. He has exceptional quickness getting in an out of breaks, tracks the ball well in the air, and can contort to make difficult catches. The receiver can be disrupted by physical corners that spend a little time in his head. Matthews gets to the ball at its highest point and can make defenders miss him in the open field. He catches the ball cleanly, usually in stride. The wide out has good size at 6′ 2″ 209 lbs., but is not a huge receiver so he may slide down both NFL and dynasty rookie drafts into the late first or early second round.
2) Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin
He was the most technically sound receiver here, bar none. The only time he didn’t catch the ball cleanly was on an onside kickoff drill. Abbrederis is not the biggest guy here, nor is he the fastest, but he was magic finding open space and getting to the ball. He makes plays in traffic with guys hung all over him. I think he will be a better slot receiver, but he can play outside. With all the talent at wide receiver, Abbrederis should have huge value in the second round of your rookie drafts. He did suffer a knee injury and should be considered as questionable for the game on Saturday.
3) Robert Herron, Wyoming
The powerfully built wide out got better every single day. He started off the practices slowly, but adjusted his technique and concentration to be pushing Abbrederis as the second best receiver in Mobile. Herron has the foot speed and jukes to get a clean release off the line, regardless if he lines up in the slot or outside. The receiver can start and stop on a dime while needing zero time to blast past defenders at full speed. He catches everything with his hands in stride and finds a way to come down with contested passes. His size at 5′ 8″ 193 lbs. isn’t ideal, but he could be a great WR2 in a pass happy offense. He had a long touchdown catch in the back of the end zone early in today’s practice. Herron needs to be scooped up in the second round of your rookie drafts.