NFL Draft Watch Week 6
Geno Smith made a name for himself last week, vaulting into a Heisman favorite and, in some circles, there were even rumors he would be the first overall draft pick. I’m not willing to go that far, but we will surely take a look at him this week as he faces a menacing Texas defense. Of course, that is just one of the many top 25 clashes this week, so it will certainly be a great week for college football fans.
Game to Watch: West Virginia at Texas
When and Where to Watch: Saturday October 6th 2012 at 7 PM on Fox
Who to Watch: West Virginia QB Geno Smith
What to Watch For: Geno Smith lit it up last week, passing for 656 yards and eight touchdowns. He completed 88.2 percent of his 51 passes and did not throw a single interception. This is great to catch the eye of the casual fan, Heisman voters, and the media, but it takes a lot more than one big game to turn NFL heads. Of course, the fact that he has dazzled all season and has yet to throw an interception despite 169 passing attempts, is impressive and will get NFL looks. However, they really have not played anyone with even a decent defense yet this year. This is all about to change on Saturday night when Smith leads his Mountaineers into an intimating Texas Longhorn stadium, which will be rocking with a boisterous, sold out crowd.
All eyes will be on Geno Smith as he faces the best defense he has seen thus far, although Texas is by no means an elite defense. So, when you’re watching him drop and zing passes all over the field, moving West Virginia up and down the field, what should you be looking for? For starters check his pocket presence if the Longhorns manage to get pressure on him. So far this season Smith has always had a comfortable pocket to step up in and deliver a beautiful ball. Although this is ideal, this does not happen every time, especially at the next level. An NFL caliber quarterback needs to be able to make throws when the pocket is collapsing as well and not get happy feet and make a mistake. Another thing to look for is the throws Smith is making. West Virginia runs a high octane offense and likes to spread the ball around, which really is not a pro-style offense. This means many of his throws end to up to a wide open receiver or a guy underneath who uses his speed to gain big time yardage. All of his throws won’t be like this, so pay attention to the throws he makes that are in tight spaces. These are the throws he needs to make to really get NFL attention.
The last thing to watch is his arm strength and the delivery of his ball. Does he have a strong enough arm to make all the throws? Is there a lot of zip on the ball, or does it seem to float? If the ball really seems to float, his draft stock will tumble instantly. NFL quarterbacks, with the expectation of Tim Tebow, need to have a strong arm and deliver an accurate throw with a solid spiral. Smith will have many more tests this season, but this will be his first in a hostile environment.
Game to Watch: LSU at Florida
When and Where to Watch: Saturday October 6th at 3:30 PM on CBS
Who to Watch: LSU DT Sam Montgomery
What to Watch For: This game has many implications, as two top rated SEC schools square off. LSU is travelling to the Swamp where they will be met by a hungry Gators team. This Florida team ranks 20th in the nation in rushing yards per game and will certainly meet their toughest test thus far with a talented LSU defense. The standout defensive player on the LSU squad is Sam Montgomery. He has a chance to showcase his ability on a big stage this week. It is tough to watch and scout defensive lineman, especially when watching on TV.
The biggest thing to pay attention to is his effort. This is what separates the busts from the gems. It is easy to give up on a play, especially when you are the big man in the middle of the field, as many times you get lost in the shuffle. With as many times as Florida is running the ball, Montgomery will have many chances to show a great motor. He should be in the picture frame on just about every run play. He will be able to showcase his ability to shed blocks and force running backs to run side to side. On passing downs pay close attention to Montgomery as well, because if he can create inside pressure he will jump to the top of many teams’ draft list. He looks like he can be a complete NFL player, play in any scheme, and dominate at the NFL level. He has the size and strength to do so, but that is not all it takes.