Every Tuesday I take a look through my notebook from the games I’ve sat and watched over the previous weekend and highlight a few things I wrote down. There may be some things you missed, some players who stood out for good or bad reasons, or even just some things I’m going to keep my eye on more closely when I get into detailed scouting on certain prospects.
What I can tell you is there’ll be very little rhyme or reason as to the games I’ve chosen to watch, or indeed as to what I choose to comment on.
So let’s get into it shall we?
Did you actually watch much football this weekend?
So here’s the thing, and this may be surprising news to some of you – but I do actually have other hobbies outside of scouting NFL Draft prospects so I’ve only had time to watch the second half of Alabama-Florida so far.
This is going to be a slightly different Gameday Notebook as a result – but I promise you it’ll be worth you reading on.
Florida make the Crimson Tide look beatable
Bryce Young threw 3 TDs on his first three drives, but through the rest of the game this Florida defense kept him contained. Throw in the fact that this Alabama team simply aren’t running the football the way we’ve seen Crimson Tide teams do in recent years, and you do get the impression that the reigning champions can be beaten.
By contrast, Florida put up 245 rushing yards as their offensive line pretty much owned the Crimson Tide defensive line. Most impressive was the 99 yard touchdown drive that closed the score to 23-28, with the line creating running lanes even on their own 1-yard line and protecting Emory Jones well enough to enable him to complete a couple of passes as well.
Florida’s Brenton Cox was the standout player for me though, with a sack, a great pass breakup on a play when he dropped back into coverage (albeit if you want to be picky, he actually had a decent chance to catch the ball and make the interception) and a number of other plays where he made an impact.
Does anyone want to be QB1?
Through three games, the clips I’ve seen of Spencer Rattler aren’t making me think that he’s a lock to be a top 5 pick in April’s NFL Draft. I also wrote about Sam Howell’s struggles in week one in this column a couple of weeks ago and whilst he’s bounced back with a couple of big performances, the jury is still out.
Those who have been more impressive are Matt Corral of Ole Miss and Malik Willis of Liberty.
Corral has almost 1,000 yards through three games and has thrown 9 TDs and 0 interceptions while completing 69% of his passes. Now you can argue that Louisville, Appalachian State and Tulane haven’t necessarily provided the strongest competition as yet but Corral has shown poise, leadership and made some throws that make you sit up and take notice.
Willis hasn’t thrown quite as much through the first three weeks, but has 7 TDs to go with no picks and shown a much improved level of accuracy this year, completing over 70% of his throws.
Look out for both of these guys, and their performances over the next few weeks, would be my advice – as they might just be names to want to know more about come draft season.
This year’s rankings have been bad
Miami losing by 21 – yes, 21! – at home to Michigan State, Virginia Tech being beaten 27-21 by West Virginia, 6th ranked Clemson only scoring 14 points at home to the mighty Georgia Tech, and Fresno State beating UCLA by 40-37.
Yet more examples of ranked teams just not being very good.
Is it time to do away with the rankings until after the first 6 games? The fact that Miami started the season as the number 14 team and are now 1-2 with only a 2 point win over Appalachian State to show for their efforts surely tells you all you need to know about the preseason rankings.
It’s time to do away with them until we know what these teams are all about.