2013 NFL Draft Scouting Notes: Texas A&M v. Florida

Texas A&M
RB Christine Michael 33
-Soft hands to handle wobbly pass from QB
-Gets up field quickly with good acceleration
-Change of direction ability is of question
-Good power running, keeps legs churning and hits the hole hard
-Handles awkward option pitch from QB very well
-Follows jumbo side of Joeckel and Matthews into the end zone after taking Wildcat snap
-Runs behind his pads very well
-Isn’t afraid of contact and will try and run you over
-Gator LBs are doing a good job filling holes and Michael is struggling to find holes to hit
-Style is ending up looking like 3 yards and a cloud of dust
-Limited touches and lots of rotation has hurt Michael’s rhythm
Summary: For a back who many (including us) consider to be one of the best RB’s in the country this game was not a showcase of that. Florida’s athleticism and ability to fill holes frustrated A&M’s lead back and when Coach Kevin Sumlin tried to match speed with speed it meant Michael found himself on the sidelines. When he got the ball in some space Michael showed good acceleration and power but his ability to change direction quickly or pull away are serious questions. Credit the Gators defense for containing the dangerous Michael on this Saturday.

WR Ryan Swope 25
-Two catches both on bubble screens and both for lost yardage, has been hit within a second of catching the ball
-Goes down to catch off target pass
-Again goes down to catch an off target pass, but needed to get out of bounds cost them a shot at FG
-Not his fault, QB throw was way off target
Summary: Swope looks out of place and uncomfortable in his role in this Texas A&M offense. Many people had already compared Swope to Wes Welker and Devon Wylie but if he can’t bounce back and become a bigger weapon for A&M those comparisons will go away quickly as will his draft stock. Swope didn’t have the chance to display any of his well known attributes like his speed and quickness. We did see his ability to catch the ball and he had to go the ground to make a couple of catches.

WR Uzome Nwachukwu 7
-Did not catch a pass this entire game
Summary: I’m not even sure Nwachukwu had a target in this game, I actually had to check the box score to make sure he even played. It’s not a good sign for Kevin Sumlin that his two top WR’s have yet to find any kind of a role in this new offense. Both Swope and Nwachukwu should be a young QB’s best friend not just bodies taking up space out there.

OT Jake Matthews* 75
-Effective cut block technique
-Anchors down v. Easley power rush and shuts it down
-Pushes the DE down the line of scrimmage and actually creates a screen on two defenders that allows the RB to cut back up field and pick up 10+ yards
-Takes Easley out of the play on a QB draw, coils and explodes into DE
-Is giving Dominque Easley absolute fits
-Gators go to super wide split and Matthews is not phased
-First sub-par block of the game, pushes Easley but never engages and Easley makes the stop on the rush
-False start penalty
-Beaten inside by McCray
-Would like to see more of a punch in pass pro, tends to wait on DE/LB to make a move before he reacts
-Handled multiple Gator defenders who tried to rush from his side
-Strong hands, when he gets his mits on you its near impossible to get them off you
-Doesn’t get full extension on his arms, but has enough strength to control the blocks
-Set up is picture perfect, balance, footwork, and hands are all perfect time after time
Summary: When people say that Matthews is the best RT in the college game it’s hard to argue and the way he handled Florida’s pass rush was stellar. Matthews is a classic RT prospect who is big, strong, and likes to manhandle defenders. Even when going up against a big DE like Dominique Easley, Matthews made him look like a rag doll with the way he shut down his power rushes and moved him around at will. Got caught a couple of time cheating outside and got beat inside but nothing that has me worried. We will be grading Matthews and Joeckel later on, so be on the look out!

OT Luke Joeckel* 76
-Effective cut block technique
-Puts his man on the ground when run blocking
-Actually took on two defenders at once with a blitzer and a DE taking contain, at one time had an arm extended on each and neither got hear his QB
-Gets to 2nd level and engages Bostic
-Can’t stay in front of Evans on option run and potentially could of cost his team a TD with missed block
-Flawless technique snap after snap
-Gets beat outside by DE (11) but the QB escapes and Joeckel does all he can to stop any backside pursuit from chasing him down
-Lines up as a TE on the right side to go jumbo with Matthews in Wildcast formation, run is to their side for a TD
-Allowed Floyd to shake loose after good initial block and it flushed his QB
-Gets pushed back some but does well to recover and stone wall DE
-Hands look strong, and his punch carries some pop
-Moves feet well when mirror DE
-Extends arms out in front of his body and locks out to control blocker
-Understands how to play with leverage
-Has the ability to recover while being beaten to neutralize threat
Summary: Joeckel does everything right that you want in a LT prospect, he is a dominant OT who gives his QB complete faith and confidence that his backside is being protected. He was beaten a few times, but no OT is going to win every battle. The combination of size, strength, and athleticism that Joeckel has is rare and he game is quite polished already. There are some finer points he could work on (consistent hand placement) but he’s ready for the NFL. We’ll have more on Joeckel later as we grade both he and Matthews on every snap in this game!

OC Patrick Lewis 61
-False Start on the very first snap
-Sees the DT stunt and takes on Shariff Floyd easily
-Gets under DT’s pads and just pushes him back off the line
-Gets out in front of a screen and blocks for about 20 yards
-Never sees the blitzing Mike LB and gives up a sack
-Athletically very gifted and very talented, runs well and shows pull ability
-Doesn’t quite appear to be the leader of the line as the center usually is
-Does well to help on combo blocks, but needs to do a better job on his awareness
Summary: Lewis was good on this day but it seemed like Florida tried to attack him rather than face Joeckel and Matthews. They ran a lot of interior stunts and delayed blitzes to see if Lewis and the other interior lineman could handle it and for the most part they did, though there was some trouble. The biggest concern about Lewis is in the running game, he fought to a stalemate on most of the rushing attempts but did not consistently move his man or seal off the hole. This was part o the reason that Michael struggled to get going so much.

DT Spencer Nealy 99
-Former 34 DE who has kicked inside in the new 43 look
-Beats OG to A gap and blows up the 3rd and 1 run play to force fourth
-Good first step and speed to blow through the gap
-Not getting much push inside
-Gets outside on the stunt with Moore and when Driskell rolls he forces him out of bounds for a sack
-Pushes Harrison right back into the QB and when Driskell tries to step up he puts him into the ground
-Love the motor, never quits on a play
-Routinely outworks the Gators interior lineman
-Tenacious attitude in the trenches that coaches love
Summary: Nealy had a really good game on the interior, his motor and energy level really wore on Florida’s interior line and he ended up with two big sacks. He’s just a blue collar lineman who puts on his hard hat and goes to work. His strength is very good and he was able to generate some push and really fight through blocks all day long. His sacks were mainly due to good coverage by the Aggies DB’s while he worked his way through blocks.

DE Damontre Moore* 94
-Crashes down line on read option but RB doesn’t have the ball
-Works through chip block and two OL to get through the line and then chases down Driskell
-Put Harrison on his backside with a power move that opened up the lane for the sack
-Power rushes the OG and just blows right through him, starts the sack on Driskell that Stewart cleaned up
-Fires out of his stance so quickly OL seems stunned that he can have that much power with his speed
-Hand usage is picture perfect
-Stays low and delivers the blow to the OL
-Beats OT to the outside and forces run back inside, just misses TFL
-Drops into a QB spy roll and when he sees Driskell begin to take off he closes for a sack
-Closes extremely quickly
-Plays in the spy roll again and as the RB tries to bounce the run play outside he buries him
-Stunts inside with Nealy and forces Driskell to roll out to a waiting Nealy
-Never ending motor, just keeps on working
-Helps clean up the sack with Porter
Summary: Was all over the place for the Aggies DL, was by far their most dangerous and consistent defender on the day and gave the Gators RT’s fits. His first step and speed are amongst the best in the conference and he displayed some added power that we didn’t see last season. Having seen Corey Lemonier, and Dee Ford both up close this season I’d rank Moore ahead of them both and just behind Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo at this point. That’s how good Moore was in this game. I can’t wait to see more of him.

LB Steven Jenkins* 45
-Comes free off the edge and nails Driskell for a big sack
-Filling holes well, but does not have the power to prevent the RB from falling forward
-Beats Driskill to edge on designed run for a tackle
-Always seems to be in the right position
-Snakes through the hole to make the hit in the backfield
-Not always making the spectacular play but he’s always around the ball
-Lots of speed to run down outside run
-Playing downhill and makes a stuff at the line in the hole
Summary: Jenkins was a better player on the day than the more highly regarded Sean Porter. Jenkins looks and acts the part of a 43 OLB while Porter looks lost for the most part. He’s got great speed and athleticism to go along with good tackling fundamentals. I thought his instincts were top notch as he often appeared to know where the ball was going and filled holes aggressively.

LB Jonathan Stewart 11
-Looks just a step slow early on
-Touchdown saving tackle inside the 5 on Gillislee
-Getting lost in the wash too often
-Reads pre-snap motions and is waiting in the hole for the RB before the ball is even snapped
-Sees Moore hit on Driskell and comes forward immediately to finish the job
-Sees Burton reverse field on Wildcat call and does well to chase him down, does get a first down though
-Good job taking on the block and beating it to stop a screen pass
-Just misses the sack on Driskell for a would be big loss
-Sure wrap up tackler
-Misses another sack, and then circles all the way back around to tackle Driskell after he breaks the pocket and picks up around 15 yards
-Great athleticism, beats Driskell to edge and forces him out of bounds
Summary: Having a Mike LB that can run in the SEC is a must, and the Aggies have that in Stewart who was all over the field with Jenkins. He started off a little slow playing somewhat hesitant, but as the game wore on his lights came on and then Stewart was everywhere. He may have the best closing burst of any of the three LB’s on this team and really showed a nose for the ball.

LB Sean Porter 10
-Goes to the sideline injured
-Returns and beats block to stop Driskell on run
-All speed, very questionable strength
-Manhandled at point of attack
-Comes all the way across the field to make tackle on an end around
-Comes out when Florida spreads the field, may be a liability in pass coverage?
-Initially knocked to the ground but as Driskell holds the ball and moves around he gets back up and closes on him for a sack
Summary: Porter was almost invisible except for his half a sack in this game. He looked lost in his assignment at times and was just kind of floating around in no man’s land. When the Aggies went into a nickel package it was often Stewart and Jenkins out there and not Porter which is quite telling. Porter was the player everybody was worried about when it came to the 43 switch and based on the first game, that worrying is well founded.

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Tags: Damontre Moore, Dominique Easley, Florida, Jake Matthews, Luke Joeckel, NFL Draft, SEC, Texas A&M

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