As the SEC schedule winds down this game didn’t get anywhere near the hype many thought it would get preseason due to Arkansas’s struggles and injuries to star RB’s Knile Davis and Marcus Lattimore. You’ll also notice there are no notes on South Carolina QB Connor Shaw and DE Devin Taylor. We’ve covered both players extensively before and wanted to focus on other players in this game.
WR Bruce Ellington 23
-Takes bubble screen and gets nice positive yardage
-Needs to try and high point the deep ball down the middle, defender had position but Ellington needs to go up after it
-CB takes inside position and Ellington goes straight up field for a big completion from Connor Shaw
-Block in the endzone gave Shaw the space he needed to get into the endzone
-Left wide open down the sideline on 4th down
-Makes catch and then makes a move on the SAF to make him miss and is able to walk into the endzone
-Quick feet make him dangerous off screen passes
-Makes quick cuts that most WR’s can’t make, experience as RB helps him a lot here
Overview: For a converted RB Ellington shows natural hands and lots of YAC ability in the open field. He was exceptionally dangerous when given the ball in space and really made a bad tackling Arkansas secondary pay a number of times.
TE Justice Cunningham 87
-Good job to make catch and absorb contact
-Defender fell off tackle due to poor technique and Cunningham picked up a few more yards
-Amazing catch down the seam, had to adjust mid throw to the opposite shoulder
Overview: Had a big opening drive but then went silent the rest of the game, Cunninham has had a huge year and has firmly put himself on NFL radars.
CB DJ Swearinger 36
-Moved from traditional SAF spot to CB for this game
-Crashes down well on the running play
-Reads swing pass, picks through OL and gets to RB to minimize the gain
-Comes flying down on the RB who was in the flat to make the hit and dislodge the ball for an imcompletion
-Touchdown saving shoelace tackle
-Blows up WR who was coming across the middle on the crossing route
-Flagged for head shot, bad call
-Next play takes advantage of bad throw from Wilson and takes it to the house for a pick-6, then flagged for excessive celebration
Overview: This game was a perfect illustration of Swearinger’s senior year, he was all over the place making place and doing so from the CB position instead of his usual SAF position. This kind of versatility could further help Swearinger’s stock which was already considered on the rise from many talent evaluators.
QB Tyler Wilson 8
-Goes through projections from pocket and makes sidearm throw under pressure to check down
-Again finds check down for first down
-Threads a pass to Hamitlon on 3rd and 17 between defenders for a big first down, called back due to penalty
-Impressive arm strength to put ball over LB’s on a line to the WR
-Makes right decision on Zone Read but Clowney is too good and fast as he still gets the sack
-Another side arm throw as he scrambled left
-Strong throw to field side on the deep come back route
-Perfect placement on quick hitch throw, hits WR on outside shoulder leading him away from the defender who he is able to turn the corner on and get upfield
-Short arms a ball over the middle that again has impressive touch but needed to be a yard or two deeper so Hamilton didn’t have to go to the ground to make the catch
-Had a string on 9 straight completions
-Misses TD throw high to RB coming out of the backfield
-Takes a huge hit to deliver a strike over the middle to his WR for a game tying TD
-Back shoulder throw on the fly route was perfect, defender had good coverage but never saw the ball
-Using shoulder fakes to try and move safety and LB
-Good job getting rid of ball as play-action play inside the 5 yard line led to immediate pressure
-Throws ball behind WR with pressure in his face and DB is able to break it up, if throw was on target it would have been a TD
-Does a good job reading the pre and post snap to understand the coverage and where his read should be
-Making quick decisions and getting rid of the ball quickly
-Couldn’t find anybody and held onto the ball allowing for a coverage sack
-Worst throw of the day, just misses his WR completely and gives a gift to Swearinger who takes the INT to the house
Overview: Wilson had some good moments and not some good moments, I don’t believe for a second that he’s close to healthy but he’s gutting it out. Ive said it before and I still believe it Tyler Wilson may have the most talented arm of any QB in this draft. I am concerned about his mechanics as he has a tendency to drop his arm slot and short arm the ball, but he was still accurate with the ball when he did that.
RB Dennis Johnson 33
-Struggles to find the hole when South Carolina gets penetration
-Reliable hands out of the backfield, looks to be a trusted target of Wilson
-Exposes the ball and coughs it up inside the five yard line
-Takes handoff on draw and burst up field into 2nd level
-Has power to run right through arm tackle
Overview: Saw more from Johnson catching the ball than rushing it. He has really soft hands and is a nice outlet option for his QB when the down field options aren’t there. Did have one nice run where he displayed some power and balance that NFL teams will like.
WR Cobi Hamilton 11
-Nice acceleration after making a grab over the middle to pull away from the defense and turn the corner on a crossing route
-Showing off plenty of speed and acceleration on his routes to get into the intermediate zone and eat up the South Carolina defense
-Plenty of separation coming in and out of his cuts
-Runs back shoulder route perfectly as never lets the DB know the throw is coming until it’s too late
-Smooth route runner
Overview: Great game from Hamilton who showed a complete array of skills from his athleticism to his soft hands and natural route running. I thought he did a great job getting separation down the field and really beating up South Carolina in between the LB’s and DB’s when they were in zone coverage.
OG Alvin Bailey 67*
-Seals off DT on double team with Swanson and then comes off block to pick up the stunting DE
-Smooth footwork is able to walk the DT out of the way and create a clear throwing lane for Wilson
-Good awareness to see DE coming on twist and stay home and wait for him to show
-Gets out to the 2nd level but can’t find a block
Overview: Didn’t focus on Bailey much but he did stand out on tape with his athleticism and power. Consistently got to the 2nd level without issue and did a good job being aware of DL twists and stunts.
DE Chris Smith 42*
-Strings our zone sweep to the field side
-Gets off block as soon as Shaw breaks the pocket and does a good job chasing him all the way across the field and preventing him from turning up field
-Beats OT to the inside and reads the run play despite Shaw’s fake to make a tackle for loss
-Good quickness to the inside that was set up by previous outside speed rushes
Overview: Had a good game but seemed to struggle with South Carolina’s OT length at times. Would like to see him develop a solid counter move to his up the field speed rush.