2014 NFL Draft Risers and Fallers - Week 2 Football

Georgia College Football Aaron Murray


Week 2


After the second week of college games the adjusting of draft boards continues, and though I had to work through a setback with ESPN and ESPN2 being out of service in my area for parts of games and with ESPNU having its game delayed because of lightning, I persevered (coaches would call it fighting through adversity), and have come up with following:



1. Aaron Murray - QB 6-0 210 Sr. Georgia

After being with the Bummers last week, Murray regained his mojo against South Carolina, which has that famous pass rush led by DE Jadeveon Clowney. Murray was much more accurate this week, poised in the pocket and out of the pocket as he made plays moving to his right and to his left. He was 6 for 7 on third downs, didn't make any big mistakes, showed good decision making and carried out the game plan. Of course, he was helped by some better play from his offensive line, but on the other hand he lost his top receiving threat, Malcolm Mitchell, to a knee injury, but still was able to win a big one.


2. Devin Gardner - QB 6-4 210 Jr. RS Michigan

I don't remember Gardner throwing deep but his short and intermediate throws were very good as was his running ability.  His ability to throw on the run to the left and right is also a huge plus.  He and the whole Michigan team were just up for this game with the crowd behind them, but scouts will want to see him perform when everything isn't going his way. He does have talent though. He seems to have a short stroke on his throwing motion, but he delivers the ball well. Mutt and Jeff, 5-8 WR Jeremy Gallon and 6-8 LOT Taylor Lewan, along with RB Fitzgerald Toussaint and CB Blake Countess, also deserve mention for their outstanding play against Notre Dame. Should Jeremy Gallon's performance have been this much of a surprise?  He did lead Michigan in receiving last year with 49 receptions for a 16.918 average (ok, I'll give him 17), and was their leading punt returner.


3. Denzel Perryman - OLB - 6-0 236 Jr. Miami

Perryman racked up double figures in tackles and had a key forced fumble in the win against Florida. Diagnosing plays, reacting and being an aggressive tackler were his attributes in this game.


4. Kyle Van Noy - OLB 6-3 235 Sr. BYU

Already highly rated, Van Noy’s play against Texas could elevate him into Top Ten consideration as he showed a burst to the ball, which seemed as though he was shot out of a cannon. His instincts, block avoidance and closing speed are rare and, after an admitted sub-par (for him) performance against Virginia, he made up for it against Texas. He was described as a one man wrecking crew as he had eight tackles, one sack and four QB hurries and might have had more but for his coach who said that he shouldn't have had them playing zone early in the game rather than just letting them go.


5. Josh Huff - WR 5-11 205 Sr. Oregon

Hampered somewhat by a knee and a roster full of other stars last year, Huff’s athleticism and quickness were on full display in the Virginia game as he blocked a punt and made a great catch. He should be moving up draft boards as he is a good receiver with speed and run after the catch ability.


6. Odell Beckham - WR 6-0 187 Jr. LSU

His teammate, WR Jarvis Landry, was a Riser last week and this week is Odell's turn.  His speed, athleticism, pass catching ability and run ability were obvious in the rout of UAB.  He had five pass receptions for 136 yards and 3 TDs, a 61 yard punt return and returned a missed field goal attempt 109 yards for a TD.


7. Zach Mettenberger - QB 6-5 230 Sr. LSU

Since WR Jarvis Landry was a Riser last week and WR Odell Beckham is a Riser this week, partly due to his five pass receptions and three TDs, it stands to reason that maybe the QB is playing a contributing role in their performances and that is the case here. Much improved in delivering the ball and avoiding mistakes, maybe due to his playing experience and/or maturity, Zach is your traditional drop back passer.  And while he won't compare to some of the QBs who are getting high grades for their ability to throw on the run to the left and the right, his type is still thriving in the NFL with the likes of Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Tom Brady and Phillip Rivers. After two games he is a Riser into an already cluttered QB field.


8. Zach Martin - LOT 6-4 308 Sr. Notre Dame and Chris Watt - LG 6-3 321 Sr. Notre Dame

Both Martin and Watt looked good in the loss to Michigan. Martin had a problem with DE Frank Clark on the first couple of snaps but he adjusted and controlled him for the rest of the game. Both showed good flexibility, balance and blocking technique and should have the grades for the NFL. Martin may end up at Guard if it is determined that his arms are too short for LOT. T.J. Jones - WR 5-11 192 Sr. Notre Dame, also played well in this game and is becoming more of a weapon which was the original expectation for him.   


9. Blake Bortles - QB 6-4 227 Jr. Central Florida and Storm Johnson - RB 6-1 217 Jr. Central Florida

Both showed well in the win against FIU and will now be tested with Penn State and South Carolina on the menu for their next two games. Bortles made many different throws with accuracy and has the ability to throw on the run going to his left and his right. He can also keep the chains moving with his feet, but more along the lines of Aaron Rodgers or Ryan Tannehill than a Terrelle Pryor or Michael Vick. He seemed poised and collected but Penn State and South Carolina will be tougher tests.  Storm Johnson, highly rated out of H.S., started out at Miami and transferred to UCF; he ran with power and quickness and even showed some moves in this game.


10. Brent Urban - DT 6-7 280 Sr. Virginia

Not highly rated and still not even certain to be drafted, Urban showed a good charge and motor in the Cavaliers drubbing from Oregon. He still plays high as most big men do and he didn't make a ton of plays. However, he was able to push the pocket, albeit with his chest, and he hustled and chased on run plays. He might get a look as a DE in a 3/4 defense. This write-up is a nod to a really good effort.



1. Aaron Lynch - DE 6-6 244 Soph Redshirt - South Florida

If you wanted to describe Lynch as lean or thin you would be right.  He looks more like a basketball player than a football player and it showed in his play as he was knocked around quite a bit. He did not win many battles and couldn't generate a pass rush from his left defensive end position. Highly rated based upon his freshman season at Notre Dame two years ago, he didn't accomplish much in this game and this makes his draft status questionable. At 244 pounds he couldn't play DE and would have to be considered for OLB, but his quickness and agility may not be good enough for that position. He will be watched to see if he progresses this season.


2. Stephon Tuitt - DE 6-6 322 Jr. Notre Dame

Rated the No. 2 DE by many of the on-line scouting services, Tuitt didn't show the quickness or pass rush moves to be considered a first round draft choice. Whether it’s the excess weight that he is carrying due to an injury or whether it’s just a case of being overrated, his value would fall based upon the Michigan game. Other than flashing a power bull rush when he did collapse the pocket, or occasional quickness, he wasn't outstanding in disengaging from blocks and making plays. He didn't show a quick take-off, wasn't he quickest running wide and made some bad decisions in trying to locate the ball.


3. Marqise Lee - WR - 6-0 195 Jr. USC

Not only slowed by USC's woeful QB play so far this year, Lee also had a couple of drops and a fumbled punt. Reportedly, fumbling was a problem last year so scouts will be watching for improvement in that department. Only a junior, the QB play may make his decision easier as far as declaring early for the draft. So far, these are three of the most highly rated players on the Bummers list.


4. Daniel McCullers - DT/NG 6-6 377 Sr. Tennessee

That 377 is no misprint, and though his weight may be down some by now, he rarely makes a play, loses leverage by playing high, comes out on third downs.   He will have to show a lot of improvement by the end of the season to help his draft status. Workouts won't do it for him; he will have to show it by his play on the field.


5. Michael Scofield - ROT 6-7 200 Sr. Michigan

Though Scofield did pretty well on run blocking, he had trouble with pass blocking and adjusting to the rusher's moves and was beaten.


6. Bennett Jackson - CB 6-0 183 Sr. Notre Dame

If Jeremy Gallon had a big game against Notre Dame, he had to be beating somebody and that was Bennett Jackson who had a rough time in coverage in the Michigan game.