2014 NFL Draft Risers and Fallers - Week 7 Football

Oregon College Football Marcus Mariota



Week 7 was labeled Shakeup Saturday and had the following developments:



1.  Marcus Mariota – QB, 6-4, 211, Redshirt Soph - Oregon

Now being mentioned as the front runner in the Heisman derby, Mariota is also moving up NFL draft boards as his passing is considered to be much better than originally thought.  His throwing motion isn't the classic Tom Brady or Zach Mettenberger motion, but he is accurate and it is his poise and ability to make positive plays out of negative situations that make him special.  And since he and Johnny Manziel are considered to be 1 and 2 in the Heisman race after Week 7, I again will ask; if Johnny Manziel had kept to his original commitment and gone to Oregon, who would have been the starting quarterback?


2.  Jonotthan Harrison – Center, 6-3, 300, Redshirt Sr. - Florida

Harrison had a big game against LSU in 2012 as did the whole Gator offensive line, which resulted in a win. And while Harrison continued with a strong game this year, some of the other Gator lineman didn't match his performance and this resulted in a loss.  Harrison doesn't get much recognition but he is really quick off the snap and into his blocks and did a good job against LSU DT Ego Ferguson. And while there are times that he could finish his blocks better, he is a good athlete with some good techniques for the center position.


3.  Elliott Porter – Center, 6-4, 300, Redshirt Jr. - LSU

The LSU - Florida matchup also had another outstanding performance from the center position and that was provided by Elliott Porter of LSU. He was powerful while also showing quick feet and was part of a strong performance by the whole LSU line, which was relied on for the run more than the pass in this game.


4.  Adam Shead – OG, 6-4, 316, Redshirt Jr. - Oklahoma

Even though Oklahoma got whipped by Texas on the scoreboard, Shead showed a lot from his left offensive guard position.  Quick off the ball with good hip roll and lean, he gets movement in the run game and showed good footwork and balance in pass protection.  He isn't well known now but he is better than many of the more highly acclaimed players and I envision him moving way up draft boards once he declares for the draft.



1.  Blake Bell – QB, 6-6, 252, Redshirt Junior - Oklahoma

Bell can stand tall in the pocket and make some really nice throws, but when he is under pressure and has to move his feet, bad things happen.  His downfield passing could stand some improvement, along with his poise and awareness, which is where he faltered.  Poise and awareness can come from experience or one can just have it like a Marcus Mariota has.  An example in the Sooners loss to Texas was an occasion where he was forced out of the pocket and had nowhere to go with the ball, and while he was outside of the tackle box, he still got a grounding call because he didn't realize that you still have to get the ball beyond the line of scrimmage. And another time, under pressure, he had his feet moving nervously, threw off his back foot and got an interception.  He should return for his senior (fifth) year but the dilemma that he faces is that he may not win the starting QB position next year.


2.  Scott Crichton – DE, 6-3, 265, Redshirt Jr. - Oregon State

After a highly productive 2012 season where he had nine sacks and another 8.5 tackles for loss and three passes broken up and garnered 1st Team Pac-12 honors, Crichton was ineffective in the Beavers game against Washington State.  As a pass rusher he doesn't show the real quick first step or explosion that the top rushers have and he didn't do much in the way of stopping the run.


3.  Damian Swann – CB, 5-11, 189, Junior - Georgia

Highly rated out of high school, to a solid 2012 season with four interceptions and five passes broken up, to one 2013 pre-season magazine having him as pre-season All-SEC and rating him as the best cover corner in the SEC, to being toasted repeatedly in the Bulldogs loss to Missouri…this is the kind of year Swann has been having.



1.  Ifo Ekpre-Olomu – Junior, CB from Oregon is having a big year and is now considered to be the top CB in the land as he can tackle, cover and play the ball in the air.


2.  La'el Collons – Junior, LOT from LSU was on my Risers list earlier this year. He continued his outstanding play against Florida and should now be considered in the top three LOT's in the country.


3.  Bishop Sankey – Junior, RB from Washington broke the long one against Oregon and had another impressive 100 yard game against a good defense.  He too will have to decide whether to leave early and capitalize on his big season or return for his senior year without QB Keith Price.


4.  Taylor Lewan - LOT from Michigan passed up the draft last year to return for another year.  Lewan sustained an injury against Penn State, which may have him second guessing his decision to return.


5.  Cody Hoffman - WR from BYU has had injury and other problems in getting started this year. Hoffman had a good game against Georgia Tech with five receptions including one unbelievable catch for a TD.  His teammate, OLB Kyle Van Noy, has kept up his fine play with six tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss against Tech.


6.  One analyst described Utah's surprising victory over Stanford as a result of Utah noting that Stanford's defensive front seven were very strong up the middle so Utah attacked the perimeter or outside to make big gains.  The loss was surprising in that Stanford is the first top ten team to lose to an unranked opponent.