MDD Staff Writer: Chad Pullen
This game might be over, but I think another touchdown was just scored in the Baylor/Washington game. The undercard to that game was between Florida St and Notre Dame in the “We Used To Play On New Years Day Bowl” or more widely known as the Champs Sports Bowl.
While the game was no where near as exciting as RGIII’s potential final game, it did showcase a few final looks we will have of some April draft entrants.
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
- Owns every Notre Dame receiving record, and with less than stellar QB play in this era, this says something to me
- First touch of the game is a punt return and he takes it back 40 yards on an excellent return. Does not posess blazing speed however which we see on this return. A true burner would have taken it all the way back, Floyd is fast, but not elite fast.
- Full route tree, not sure about his starts off the line however. He uses the pitter patter stutter step for an extra second too long, needs to get his route going next level.
- Next time we see him is a terrible drop, streaking on a go route, ball hits him right on the hands, can’t bring it in.
- Couple series later, makes an incredible play in the red zone, thrown too early, Floyd recovers and leaps to high point the ball as defender is about to intercept, first Floyd breaks up the INT, then is able to tip it not once, twice, three times, but FOUR times before finally securing it just as he is hit by another defender, touchdown. Saved his QB breaking up the pick, concentrated on the tip drill, and absorbed a big shot. Makes the easy drop even more unexplainable.
- Not in the game late as ND tries to come back to win. Took a shot on the hip earlier in the game, was unable to make a go of it.
- Will be the second WR taken in April, and will be a solid pro. My comaprison of him to an NFL receiver would be similar to Brandon Marshall.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
- Did not come into this game expecting to follow his progress, but had an excellent game and whispers of his possible early entrance during the game put me on to him.
- Physical blocker, and very good at it
- TOUGH catch over the middle just before the safety cleans him out, holds on anyways. Great grab, and it hurt him, sat out a couple plays to clear himself up.
- Made a couple of great leaping hand catches late
- I’m positive now that the TE position is the deepest in all of college football this year, and Tyler is now included. Could be a late second, early third round selection and one of the top TE’s taken if he does indeed come out.
Manti Te’o, MLB from Notre Dame would have been a first round selection in 2012, but will stay in school for his Senior season. Unfortunate, as he was fantastic in this game. I watched him two months ago when he was battling an injury and he looked a little slow in that game, with weeks of rest before the bowl he came out and was great in this game. He will be a player to watch in the 2013 draft.
Zebrie Sanders, LT, Florida St
- Quick off the snap
- Good seal blocks, knows how to position his man where he wants him
- Always knows where his block is pre snap, never has to make hurried adjustments once the ball is snapped
- Uses hands well, great balance, doesn’t get over his feet, controls his man at all times without holding
- Not a single hurry or pressure allowed by him all night, and blocks on an island, no help needed
- One false start was called on him, it was in error however as the ref got the numbers mixed up
- Not a Jake Long type franchise LT, but very very good, and should go late round 1, early round 2. Should stay on the left, no need to move to the right side unless a team takes him with an already elite LT on their line.
Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida St.
- 3 point and 4 point rusher
- Stays on one side, doesn’t move around the DLine like a Jason Taylor or Cam Wake sometimes do
- Contains his edge, reads to make sure of the play, then pursues down line of scrimmage, won’t allow reverses or trick plays to get outside of him. Patient, won’t overpursue, however could also be viewed that he will not immediately make pressure as he scans field, good NFL offenses will take advantage.
- In obvious passing downs, he will pin ears back and speed rush, plus uses a spin move that is effecitve.
- Gets a sack on a stunt underneath, with a head of steam, impossible to slow him down
- Gets good leverage on his blocker, tries the strip sack when he gets close enough, gets under the blocker and leverages his way by
- Doesn’t always “explode” off the line, but I’m nitpicking at this point, Coples and Curry the only two DE’s I have seen this year that are better
- Should be a second round pick, possibly move into round 1 with solid combine or pro day results.