I very much wanted the chance to scout Oregon games in back to back weeks vs Stanford and USC to compare both Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley vs the same defense in consecutive weeks.
It also gave me the chance to check in on some other solid talent that could enter into the 2012 NFL Draft next April.
Matt Barkley, QB, USC
- Beautiful deep ball early on, 50+ yards, purposely underthrown to let his WR adjust.
- Looks left, comes back right, throw on time with touch, pass is a bit wobbly but still catchable
- One of the nicest throws I have seen this year, fade route to Woods in the back corner of the end zone, great pass
- Throws on the run to his right pretty good, started out with nothing but rollouts to his right, late in the game did roll left a couple times, right obviously his strong side/preference
- Uses touch more often than not, but can add zip when needed, showed in this game
- Another long toss, 45+ yards, great touch on it, feathers it in there
- Knows the system inside out, 3 years of starting, lot of experience
- First drive of the half was shaky, first drive of the second half was shaky, not sure what to make of that, nerves? Too much adrenaline?
- My biggest concern overall after this game, spirals? Every pass just about had some wobble in it. Correctable I’m sure, but worth checking into
- He played a great football game, was tremendous, and while Luck struggled a bit, Barkley has the benefit of two of the best wide receivers in college football, Andrew Luck does not. If Luck had Lee and Woods, Luck have a much easier time dealing with the Ducks. Barkley is clearly NFL ready, top 3 pick easy if he declares.
Matt Kalil, OT, USC
- Head on a swivel, blocks his man upfield, comes off his block to pick off a free blitzer coming late, perfect blocking
- Pancake, and a big one. Simply pushes the DE once and that guy goes to the ground
- Extends his arms, gets his hands on you
- Does at times get a little high in his blocks, better suited to stay lower
- Has room to add some bulk, which he will need
- Pulls out in front of a WR screen
- His man never made it anywhere near the ball all night long. Kid is solid, top 5-10 pick
T.J. McDonald, S, USC
- First big play he made was blocking a punt
- Big hitter, solid tackling machine
- Plays in close to the line of scrimmage
- Was a bit lazy on a play action pass, it cost him too, receiver got in behind him, didn’t really hustle back fast enough
- Very good size, lineage, possible second round type pick
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
- I did not cover James last week vs Stanford, I wanted the chance to see both games before I spoke on him. I don’t expect much of James at the next level
- Great speed, no question on that, but I do question if he’s getting by on the system he’s employed. They have a ton of speed, and a break neck pace, with motion and moving parts, plus his very small stature, he gets lost behind the line and then explodes with that speed, in the NFL, that won’t be the case, the holes are much smaller
- Does catch the ball well, a plus when he’s in space
- Blown up on a punt return, should have called a fair catch
- Fumbles inside the 5 yard line, trying a spin move in the hole
- Best case scenario, he will be a Darren Sproles type of player that can add speed to an offense, get the ball in space, draws, screens and even return kicks, but he cannot be the every down back, and he cannot be a focal point. His frame won’t hold up. If he goes to a deep offense, ala a Saints team like Sproles, he will find some success. If he goes to a team that needs playmakers in the worst way, say a Cleveland and they depend on him, he will not succeed. Mid round pick, 3rd-4th round
David Paulson, TE, Oregon
- Stops in the soft part of the zone, turns, makes a hands catch and then leaps over a defender to gain yards, takes 3 men to tackle him
- Lead blocker on the Barner TD
- Nice play on a TE screen, catches and goes quick
- Makes an UNREAL catch with one hand near the goalline, and fights hard to get into the end zone, again 3 guys hold him back, down at the one. What a catch
- This kid has all the tools, he will be a player on Sundays, he just is not in the right offense to showcase his skills in college. He could be a mid round pick that has a very nice NFL career on the right team. Could move up the board with a very good combine or pro day.
These are the ones eligible for 2012, but there is a ton of talent that we will be seeing very soon in 2013 and 2014, offensive explosive weapons galore with Marqise Lee, Robert Woods, and De’Anthony Thomas, all of whom scored touchdowns in this game and make impact plays every week. They will all be impact rookies in the NFL very soon.