2013 NFL Draft Game Notes: R+L Carriers Bowl (Louisiana-Lafayette vs. ECU)

December 28th, 2012

Melvin White

Louisiana-Lafayette came out with a ton of firepower early on in this game but East Carolina kept their cool. These two teams are loaded with underclassmen but the biggest plays of the game were made by 2013 draft prospects. ULL scored the lone touchdown in the first quarter but ECU came back in the second by scoring three of their own and forcing bad field position.  The second half was a different story where the ULL defense created opportunities for their offense; an exciting game to say the least.

This game featured six draft prospects: two running backs, two receivers and two defenders.
MDD Staff Scout: Alex Farnworth


 #45 DE Emeka Onyenekwu
-Plays DE with four down lineman and OLB in three-man fronts
-Keeps the QB from escaping the pocket, able to create sacks for other players
-Has a nice approach to getting at the QB, wraps both arms so he can’t throw it away
-The opposing offensive line starts to double-team him midway through the 2nd quarter, his pass-rush is starting to slow down
-Lining up very wide, trying to create space so he can get to the QB via speed-rush
-Has trouble moving down the line laterally to make plays, in effective when outside runs are to the opposite side
-Has consistently fought through, what should be, holding penalties; quick foot speed allows him to run around the OT before they get ideal leverage
-Not seen on the field for the last drive of the third quarter, team gets no pressure on the QB without him
-Has been giving the opposing OL a ton of looks, from 1 hand on the ground, to 2, to even standing up and speed-rushing

Onyenekwu is a fast player but needs to work on his awareness and has to learn how to adjust after being double-teamed constantly. It was good to see him line up in different techniques but he needs to improve at the point of attack; he was not effective when ECU ran straight at him. Onyenekwu shows potential, just needs experience.

#4 WR Javone Lawson

-Gets a target on the first run of the game, runs a post with a smooth fluid route… doesn’t create separation and the cornerback deflects it
-Does a good job of catching the ball at its highest point, isn’t afraid to get hit in mid-air
-On a third and long he does a good job of coming back to his QB when he’s in trouble, drags across the line and catches the pass, runs it for 19-yard gain and puts the offense in a 1st and goal position
-Late in 3rd quarter, lines up in the slot, runs up the seam and makes a one-handed leaping snag out of mid-air. Tucked the ball immediately but showed soft hands
-On the next play he runs a long comeback on a WR-pass, goes for the ball at its highest point but doesn’t catch the well placed pass
-Runs an out-route in the end zone, becomes wide open. The QB throws an wobbly pass under duress, Lawson dives, catches it, the ball bounces off his hip and he makes the final catch on his back with the second effort, displayed great focus

Overview: Lawson didn’t burn defenders with his speed, or run over them with his strength but he beat them with finding the holes in the defense and using willpower. Lawson had two amazing receptions that required a great deal of focus and one that required an incredible amount of courage; he’s not afraid to get hit and he makes sure to secure the catch before he starts to run. 

#22 CB Melvin White

-Lining up against ECU’s top WR
-Doesn’t have to do much early on with the opposing QB being erratic; contains the running back and slows him up until safety help arrives
-Trails his WR on a post and then fails to make a play on the ball, WR catches the TD right over him; looks shaken up on the play, holding his hamstring
-Has good position and then falls behind on a post once again, shows good recovery ability by reaching in front of WR and making the deflection
-Likes to play coverage by keeping his eyes on the QB, keeps his arms extended to feel for the WR
-Makes a key breakup on 4th and 5 with 2:35 left, leaves his assignment to cover the TE at the first down marker and swats the pass before the TE can haul it in

Overview: Melvin White came up with some key deflections but he is a very tricky CB to get a read on. White started the game covering ECU’s top WR but was having some trouble because he got caught “baiting” the QB too much, the then came out in the second half covering the #2 WR. White came up late in the game with a game saving deflection on 4th and 5, he’s not a strong tackler but he is good at covering the deep routes.

#9 WR Harry Peoples
-Takes the end-around on first and goal, does a nice job of waiting for blockers then bounces it outside for the 10-yard touchdown run
-Utilized a lot in the short passing game, very effective in terms of YAC
-Takes a hit to his back in the second quarter, gets taken out of the game and goes to the locker room
-Comes back in midway through the third
-Comes for the end-around, the d-line is fooled but he sets his feet and delivers a touch-pass to Javone Lawson, pass was dropped

Overview: Despite getting hurt, Harry Peoples showed us his versatility throughout the ULL offensive playbook. He showed us screens, end-arounds, slants and even threw a near-completion.  Peoples doesn’t have the speed other inside WRs but he has some “shake” to his play and he has a reliable set of hands.

East Carolina 

#28 RB Reggie Bullock
-Used as a complimentary (power) back
-Gets his first look when the team is on a first and goal from the 5
-Takes the goal line carry, runs behind his pads with two hands over the ball when going through the line, gets to the end zone; virtually untouched
-Starts getting more carries on the ensuing drive, very decisive, downhill runner
-Likes to pick his hole and hit it at 100%
-Most effective on draw plays; likes to wait and see what the defense gives him and then makes his move, converted on several third-downs
-Acted as an extra blocker on 4th and 4, released from pile and caught a dump pass for the first down, covering the ball with two hands
-Runs a draw two plays later; untouched through the line, DB launches at him but he keeps his balance for the score on a 13 yard gain, has emerged as the favorite back for this game
-Displaying a very strong base, hasn’t been tackled 1-on-1 or by his legs

Overview: Bullock came into the game as the second RB on the depth chart but he won the coaches’ faith early in the game. Bullock is a thicker back who stays on his feet and makes quick decisions. ECU wasn’t in position to run the ball a lot but Bullock did put points on the board when his number was called.

#21 RB Vintavious Cooper
-Does a good job of making the first guy miss, ducks under a tackle on the screen but still struggles to get to the line of scrimmage
-Catches a swing pass on 3rd and 16, makes the first guy miss and muscles through the safety and linebacker to gain ten yards
-Wasn’t featured on the team’s first goal-line series
-Starts the 4th quarter as a split-back along with Bullock in the Shotgun, takes the handoff and tries to bounce it outside, been trying to do that all day long

Overview: The former Murray State QB recruit came into this game banged up after his regular season finale. Vintavious Cooper tried to make things happen between the tackles early in the game but couldn’t get anything going so he grew accustomed to bouncing everything outside where he was still ineffective. Cooper had some nice juke moves and showed elusiveness on swing passes and screens, but Reggie Bullock took over.

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