Scouting Notes: Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (9/28/13)

Johnny Manziel led Texas A&M to their fourth win of the season versus Arkansas on Sunday. (Photo: Nelson Chenault — USA Today Sports)

#1 RB Ben Malena

-Good jump cut through hole

-In motion to slot, solid hands

-Good jump to outside and cut between defenders for touchdown

-Gets free on route, but misses ball on diving attempt in end zone

-Bounces a lot of inside runs outside

-Quick not fast

-Head down and pushes through line for touchdown

Overview: Ben Malena had a good showing against Arkansas, but lacked the vision and burst of a top running back. Malena is a shifty runner who can quickly bounce out to the edge, but lacks the burst to consistently get around the end of the line.

Without elite acceleration and speed, he’ll struggle to be an outside runner at the next level. With his quality hands and solid route running, however, he presents a threat as a possible third-down passing threat in the NFL.

#2 QB Johnny Manziel (RS So.)

-Good strike down middle right on the money to Mike Evans

-Just so shifty in pocket, moves but keeps eyes downfield

-Threw off back foot but good throw for touchdown

-Shovel pass to flat, head-scratcher

-Stands upright in pocket, feels the pass rush

-Good, easy motion and follow-through

-Throws short pass into triple coverage

-Goes through progressions and doesn’t force passes until pressure gets to him

-Regularly holds ball in one hand away from body when scrambling

-Overthrows fade, had matchup but needs to give receiver more room

-Odd, off-balance, jumping throw incomplete to open receiver in end zone

-“Slippery” quick, no one can get a hand on him

-Doesn’t slide on runs

-Keeps head on swivel and has a good feel for rush

-Extra talk with defenders after run, teammates help him get away

-Scrambles from pressure, reckless throw into mess in end zone, somehow a touchdown

-Throws off-balance occasionally

-Transitions momentum and follows through but doesn’t fully drive off back foot

-Continues to talk trash

Overview: Johnny Manziel is one of the most intriguing prospects eligible for the 2014 draft. In just his second season playing at the NCAA level, Manziel displays unique abilities and huge potential.

He has a special feel for the rush and where people are that he can evade defenders without taking his eyes away from downfield. He is a shifty runner both behind and past the line of scrimmage. He regularly holds the ball away from his body when running, leaving him open for easy fumbles.

He regularly throws with a good motion and follow-through when he isn’t pressured, but he lacks the power in his lower body transition to truly drive the ball with power.

He did have a few head-scratchers against Arkansas where he threw the ball into coverage or just lobbed the ball into the end zone and hoped someone would come down with it. Overall, however, Manziel is a dynamic player with unique elusiveness and a solid arm. He has the potential to be a game-changer at the next level.

#75 LT Jake Matthews

-Patient but still gets to edge quickly

-Natural bend, smooth movements, no wasted energy

-Holds up to bull rush from larger defensive tackle

-Phenomenal technique, great balance

-Compromised inside and got beat on spin, recovered after quarterback evasion

-Holds point of attack then moves defender with ease

-Whiffed on run block twice on one play, defender stopped run

-Thrown off by power move, but quickly recovered

-Lost defender on run, didn’t sustain and finish

-Keeps feet moving, drives defender back

Overview: Jake Matthews is the model offensive line prospect. Mathews is an absolute technician with great footwork and quickness.

Though he had a few hiccups and lacked his usual mean streak at times against Arkansas, he routinely shut down the blind side rush with great efficiency. He drove defenders off the line of scrimmage and opened holes in the run game.

Overall, it was another impressive game for likely top-10 draft selection Jake Matthews.

#70 OL Cedric Ogbuehi (Jr.)

-Good lateral movement

-Beat outside by defensive end but able to shove on hip to drive past quarterback

-Aggressive, keeps fighting

-Movement looks forced at times

-Needs to get hands on defenders earlier

-Able to absorb bull rush and keep feet moving

-Needs to watch hand placement, looks like holding at times

-Holds ground, hard to disengage or move

-Shoves end to ground with help then takes on linebacker

Overview: Cedric Ogbuehi had a solid game at the right tackle spot versus Arkansas. He showed surprisingly quick lateral movement, but lacked smoothness sliding outside. He didn’t give up any sacks, but he struggled a few times to get his hands on outside rushers.

He held his ground against the bull rush and easily moved defensive ends off the line of scrimmage. He is difficult to move, and once he gets his hands on defenders and arms extended, defenders have a tough time getting away.

Ogbuehi has the athleticism to play right tackle or shift inside to guard at the next level.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, Arkansas, Ben Malena, Cedric Ogbuehi, Chris Smith, Jake Matthews, Johnny Manziel, Mike Evans, Scouting Notes, SEC, Steven Jenkins, Texas A&M, Travis Swanson

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