NFL Draft Watch - Week 7 Football

South Carolina College Football Marcus Lattimore

NFL Draft Watch Week 7

Geno Smith passed his test on his draft watch debut, dazzling fans with a 25 for 35 day, while tossing four more touchdowns and zero interceptions. He continues to impress people everywhere. South Carolina sent out a warning signal to other SEC opponents with their throttling of a talented Georgia team.  This week all eyes will be on the game of the week, South Carolina at LSU.



Game to Watch: South Carolina at LSU

When and Where to Watch: Saturday October 13th at 8:00 PM on ESPN

Who to Watch: South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore

What to Watch For: The big news on Lattimore was if he would be healthy or not. If healthy he is as sure-fire of a first round pick as there is. In many ways he is similar to Trent Richardson, who is currently excelling on Sundays as a member of the Cleveland Browns.  That alone is enough to turn heads. As far as his knee goes, it sure looks healthy. Lattimore has carried the rock 116 times to date, through six games. That is an average of slightly over 19 carries per game. During that span he has rushed for 549 yards, has a 4.7 average, and found the end zone nine times. When you tack on his 18 receptions for 133 yards, you see the big picture, which is that Lattimore is a complete back who is ready to take his game to the next level. On Saturday he will face his biggest test of the year to date, facing a stingy LSU defense. LSU is a physical team that will get after Lattimore. This game will test his durability and toughness, along with his football attributes.  One thing to pay attention to in this game is how many snaps Lattimore is on the field for. Scouts will want to see him out there as much as normal, if not more, because of the intensity of the game. Any signs that Lattimore becomes worn down against physical teams will certainly raise concerns and drop his draft stock. In the NFL every team is physical compared to what you see on Saturdays.

Other things to watch for are Lattimore’s combination of size and speed. These are his greatest assets, but they will be put to the test on Saturday. Against most teams in college football he has the best blend of size, speed, and strength of anyone on the field and can make football look easy. But against LSU that will be tested as they have tons of talent on defense.  Will he still be effective against a talented defense? Will he be able to make people miss rather than just out running everyone? Does he still have physicality about him against another physical team? In other words, look to see if Lattimore starts running out of bounds rather than finishing his runs and trying to run through people. Does he dance too much? If so maybe he is afraid to take big hits from people who are bigger or stronger than he is. This would be a huge issue at the NFL level. Lattimore needs to prove that no matter who he is playing against, he will lower his shoulder and finish his run, much like an Adrian Peterson.  The more opportunities that Lattimore gets to catch the ball out of the backfield the better his draft stock will be, providing he makes the catch and gets a good burst up field. This is a huge chance for Lattimore to prove he is worthy of a top 15 or even top 10 selection in the upcoming draft.


Game to Watch: Florida at Vanderbilt

When and Where to Watch: Saturday October 13th at 6:00 PM on ESPN U

Who to Watch: Florida LB Jelani Jenkins

What to Watch For: Jenkins is an ultra-talented player and this game is important for him. He already missed time due to a fractured thumb back in September. Then, in his first game back since the injury versus LSU last week, he hurt his hamstring and did not make an appearance in the box score. He is listed as probable for this week, which means he should play. Injuries happen in football, but if they continue to happen or linger, that worries NFL scouts. Jenkins has a shot at being a first round draft selection, but he needs to prove he is healthy and can play dominate football at less than 100 percent. Vanderbilt is a better than advertised team, but Florida should still control this game. When watching Jenkins on the field, pay attention to his speed. He may not be at full speed this game, so watch to see if that makes an impact on his game. If he is relying solely on his speed to make plays on the field he will be in trouble at the next level because everyone in the NFL is much faster than in college.  As always, look to see how he reads and reacts and if he can go make a play. He needs to get off his blocks and finish tackles. Missing tackles is the easiest way to hurt your draft stock. Jenkins needs to show that he can cover and play the run so that teams know he is an every down linebacker. If he cannot prove this, his draft stock will plummet because to be a high round selection at linebacker you need to be able to do it all and play on all three downs. Jenkins has a lot to prove and less time to do so because of his injury, so it all starts this week.


Week 7 Football - What to Watch For