2014 NFL Draft Risers and Fallers - Week 4 Football

Fresno State Football Derek Carr


Week 4 did not provide that many interesting or competitive games as blowouts were abundant in college football. But there are always some developments worthy of noting in relation to the NFL draft and I did find one player that you won't find on any pre-season draft lists, along with a QB who wasn't even supposed to start. Both would qualify as STUNNERS as they have come out of their backup roles to now being on the radar of NFL scouts.



1.  Derek Carr - QB 6-3 210 Sr. - Fresno State

After having thrown four TD passes with no Interceptions, Carr still had to rally his team from a 40 to 34 deficit, which he did by leading the Bulldogs on a 13 play 87 yard drive culminating with his one yard TD run for a thrilling 41 to 40 victory. His numbers were good as he was 39 for 60 for 460 yards and he was 8 for 11 on that final drive. This was Fresno's first win against Boise State since 2005.  Carr showed a quick release with a strong arm and the ability to drill throws into tight windows.  He also suffered a number of drops, which would have improved his stats.  The downside to his game was that he overthrew a number of passes, two of which would have been TDs.  Wide receivers Isaiah Burse and Josh Harper also had big games working with Carr and stood out more than their highly acclaimed WR teammate, Davante Adams.


2.  Austin Wentworth - LOT 6-5 299 Sr. Redshirt - Fresno State

With Derek Carr throwing 60 passes against Boise State, someone had to be protecting his blind side and that was Austin Wentworth. Wentworth was up against DeMarcus Lawrence for much of the night and he did a terrific job as I don't recall him giving up any sacks or tackles for loss in the game.  Because of his performance, Lawrence should be with the Fallers as he didn't get much accomplished in this game.  Wentworth isn't the quickest or most athletic OT in the land but he can mirror the defender and complete most of his blocks.  He had a solid outing in this game.


3.  Carl Bradford - OLB 6-1 233 Jr. Redshirt - Arizona State

One of the brighter lights for Arizona State in its loss against Stanford, Bradford stood out from his Devil position (which allows him to move around).  He made a number of plays in the Cardinal backfield including a sack, QB hurry and tackle for loss and made plays all over the field.  What stood out was his reading and reacting to plays, tackling ability, beating or avoiding blocks and his acceleration to the QB.


4.  Vic Beasley - OLB 6-3 225 - Jr. Redshirt - Clemson

Labeled as an "extraordinary pass rusher," Beasley was that against N.C. State as he was really fast off the snap and had a sack on an inside move and another by beating the OT on the outside around the edge.  He plays DE in college but will have to move to OLB in the NFL, but it should be noted that he was up against a backup LOT as starter Rob Crisp was out for this game.


5.  Jimmy Bennett - LOT 6-9 306 Sr. Redshirt - Connecticut

Granted a 6th year because of an injury, Bennett performed well in UConn's tough to take loss to Michigan.  He is quick off the snap and uses his huge frame in a physical manner and goes after his target with a bad attitude. His lateral foot quickness on pass blocking was good in this game but a quicker edge rusher might cause him some problems.  His knee bend could be a little better but he has the potential to work with and has shown improvement along the way.


6.  Tyler Lockett - WR 5-11 175 Jr. - Kansas State

Lockett had a big game in K-State's loss to Texas as he racked up 13 pass receptions for 237 yards but no TDs.  He did make a great catch on the one yard line as he was able to jump and high point the ball.  He was very quick working out of the slot and did have three deep receptions as part of his 13 catch haul.  He is also one of the top kick returners in the nation.


7.  Ben Gardner - DE 6-4 275 Sr. Redshirt - Stanford

This guy doesn't get the high praise of a Jadeveon Clowney, a Will Sutton or even Trent Murphy on his own team, but he is a solid lunch-pail player who can stack up the run game and apply pressure or get a sack on his pass rush.  He even blocked a pooch-punt against Arizona State.  He doesn't have ideal size or speed for the position but he is solid and consistent player who can play at the next level as a DE in either a 4/3 or 3/4 defense.


8.  Jeremiah Attaochu - OLB 6-3 240 Sr. - Georgia Tech

I only clicked on his game at the moment that he made an impressive sack and heard the broadcaster state that "he has taken over the game and that North Carolina couldn't block him."  He plays DE this year but was OLB in 2012 when he had 10 sacks and that is where he will play in the NFL.


9.  Robert Caldwell - OLB 6-3 250 Sr. - North Carolina State

Here's a name that you won't find on any pre-season draft lists as Caldwell came to N.C. State from the junior college ranks in 2012 and had all of one tackle in 12 games as a special teamer; to not being listed as a starter in pre-season 2013, to leading the team in tackles and tackles for loss after three games.  His speed and playmaking ability shined through in the loss against Clemson.


10.  Sean Mannion - QB 6-5 214 Jr. Redshirt - Oregon State

 Mannion had an up and down career through 2012 and was listed as the backup to Cody Vaz this pre-season but now, after four weeks, he leads the nation in the passing categories of: total yards, TDs, TD to interception ratio of 15 to 1 and in passer ratings of 169.5.  After Oregon State lost to Eastern Washington, an FCS school (although Mannion and the offense did well), he has taken the team to three straight wins including come from behind victories against Utah and San Diego State.  He has always had a lot of talent but underperformed and, if he now has put it all together, he could shake up the QB rankings and this would qualify as a STUNNER as he wasn't certain of becoming the starter.



1.  Ra'Shede Hageman - DT 6-6 311 Sr. - Minnesota

Another of the highest rated DT's heading into the season, Hageman’s play against San Jose State was a disappointment from a developmental standpoint.  His athleticism is there and he picked up his intensity in the second half, but football wise, his first move out of his stance is up, which has him playing high and losing leverage, and he has trouble disengaging from blocks and he has no counter moves after his initial charge.  His size, speed and athleticism still make him a prospect but scouts would like to see development in football skills as there doesn't appear to be any progress from last year.


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

Gardner and the whole Michigan team have fallen back since their emotional win against Notre Dame.  Just barely eking out a win against now 0 and 3 UConn, thanks in large part to a one-handed interception by a Michigan linebacker, Gardner has taken a step backward in his QB development since the Notre Dame game.  He began the 2012 season as a backup QB, moved to backup WR and back to QB after Denard Robinson was injured and showed much promise as a QB with anticipated progress for this year. In the game against the Irish, he made good decisions (except for that interception in the end zone), delivered the ball well and seemed poised and in control.  But since that game he has regressed.  His running ability is still there but his decision making and errant throws are a cause for concern.


3.  Taylor Lewan - LOT 6-8 309 Sr. Redshirt - Michigan

Against UConn Lewan was beaten for a sack and had a holding penalty, and while this probably won't have any bearing on his overall grade, it should be noted that UConn does not have any top rated defensive ends.


4.  Brandon Coleman - WR 6-6 220 Jr. Redshirt - Rutgers

Rated by many in their top five receivers in the country and even in the top three by some, Coleman had only one catch for 25 yards against Arkansas.  While QB Gary Nova did complete a total of 22 passes, with six going to his TE and five apiece to the other two WRs, Coleman only had the one as he had trouble gaining separation and thus wasn't targeted often.


5.  Dominique Easley - DT/DE 6-2 280 Sr. - Florida

Impressing early with his explosive charge from his DT spot (he has also played DE), Easley went down with an ACL in practice on September 24, 2013 and is done for the season.  Since it usually takes two years to fully recover from an ACL injury his draft status will certainly be downgraded.