Jeff Risdon, DLD Editor
Yesterday was DB and OL/DL heavy, so today I took a closer look at the offensive skill position players.
Seth Doege, Texas Tech: The first thing you notice is that he’s visibly smaller of stature and build than his teammates. The second thing you notice is that his throws lack the mustard of the other two. There was a time where two QBs were throwing next to each other, doing the same route on opposite sides of the field. Every time Doege had a quicker release but every time the ball went more than 10 yards the other QB’s ball got there first. In 11s he was the most impatient of the three, hurrying to check the ball down instead of letting downfield routes develop. Some of this is definitely attributable to his college system, but he needs a lot more patience and zip if he wants to make it in the NFL.
Alex Carder, Western Michigan: He’s clearly the biggest of the group, much more sturdily built than Scott, who is the same height. He also has the most consistent arm strength, and his release is naturally high and quick. Carder holds the ball up and ready and showed a good pump fake. As I’ve seen on film with Carder, he has a very nasty tendency to stare at his target from the second he gets the ball. His accuracy is better across the middle than to the sidelines.
Matt Scott, Arizona: Scott really struggled taking snaps from under center, fumbling at least three and bobbling another. He gets unusually low in his under-center crouch and then pulls straight up as he goes back. It’s very uncomfortable and he’s clearly not used to it. His best attribute is throwing on the run, but the coaches here don’t have that in the playbook much. In the pocket he has trouble seeing over the taller linemen and doesn’t seem to read the defense as well. He lacked touch on a short throw to Josh Hill and underthrew a crossing route. But he flashed the arm strength with a laser shot to Chad Bumphis, who sat nicely in a hole in the zone and had no choice but to catch the ball. All the QBs received extra snap practice as the rest of the squad did special teams, but Scott took even more than that. He needs it.
Kerwynn Williams, Utah State: Williams stands out in contrast to the other RBs because of his height, or lack thereof. He is 5’8” (actually listed at 5’8 ¼” as if the quarter inch matters) and has short and fairly skinny legs. He struggled a bit when the hole wasn’t right where it was supposed to be, but when it is he blasts through it with rare burst. He hits top speed in his second step and showed he can cut nicely while on the fly. He ran a pass pattern too shallow and collided with the receiver headed in the other direction on a cross, and he fumbled once in 11s.
Christine Michael, Texas A&M: Michael has the best open-field speed of any of the backs on either squad. In my notes I scribbled “nifty & shifty” and marked it three times, which means he’s consistently showing that. I like his ability to show a shoulder to a defender and take it away without losing his stride. He missed a chip block on the end that caused a hurried throw.
Zach Line, SMU: Line is the only West back I would trust in pass protection. When he has the ball as a carrier he rounds his cuts a lot more than Williams and Michael, who are both much sharper. On a couple of occasions he tried to bounce a run outside and really showed an inability to get to the edge quickly.
Anthony Amos, MTSU: Made a great catch over Micah Hyde’s unaware shoulder, then yanked it up quickly and pulled away as Hyde turned his head to find the ball. Amos showed crisp cuts on out breaks and really skied to try and catch an errant Carder throw. He is very chatty to teammates and coaches, as well as this spectator.
Jasper Collins, Mount Union: After reading some glowing reviews from yesterday I was primed to fall in love with Collins. I didn’t; he has excellent burst off the snap but lacks that second gear or chase speed. He dropped an easy throw and got alligator arms on another, though there was no way he was going to catch it. He’s smaller than I expected a 5’11” guy to be. He’s listed as almost exactly the same size as Chad Bumphis but looks a little slighter and shorter.
Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State: Bumphis had the kind of day I was expecting from Collins. He had the WR highlight of the day, juking Oklahoma CB Demontre Hurst to the ground with a post move that he set up beautifully with his outside foot and a shoulder fake. I also saw him make a nice downfield block on a play where Christine Michael and UCLA CB Sheldon Price staged an impromptu track race down the field.
Dan Buckner, Arizona: First off, Buckner was dressed like it was 40 degrees and windy, not 80, with long sleeves and thermal looking socks. The coaches call him “slim” and it’s an apt moniker; he’s built like a beach volleyball player at 6’4” and a wiry/powerful 211. As I wrote in his scouting report, he doesn’t really have great burst or quickness, and that makes it tough to value him in this sort of venue. He was the victim of repeated bad throws in his direction, including many from his college QB Matt Scott. He did make a nice sideline toe-tap catch in front of Syracuse safety Shamarko Thomas
Keenan Davis, Iowa: Not many notes on Davis, other than he dropped a high/hard throw once and got pushed back when trying to block his college teammate Micah Hyde.
Tyrone Goard, Eastern Kentucky: As I mentioned yesterday, Goard is long, skinny, and very green. He’s got a nice line release and he can crouch when he cuts to set up an explosion on a cross, but he was lost when they asked him to find the hole in the zone. Once again he was asking anyone who would listen (coaches, fellow WRs, QBs) for tips. He made a nice one-handed snare on the sideline but only got one foot down and could have tapped the other toe but didn’t.
Theo Riddick from Notre Dame was not at practice
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Tags: AJ Klein, Alex Carder, Anthony Amos, Chad Bumphis, Christine Michael, dan buckner, Devonte Holloman, duke williams, Jasper Collins, Keith Pough, Kerwynn Willams, Matt Scott, Micah Hyde, Nathan Williams, Seth Doege, Travis Howard, Zach Brown, Zach Line, Zach Sudfield