2014 NFL Draft Risers and Fallers - Week 13 Football

Texas A&M vs. LSU College Football, Johnny Manziel



Week 13 was just like every other week in that there were plenty of surprises, or Stunners, and disappointments, or Bummers, and the games focused on for this week's version of Risers and Fallers were the games that were supposed to be competitive rather than the predictable blowouts such as Florida State over Idaho and Clemson over the Citadel, even though we had that stunning upset by Georgia Southern over Florida.



1.  Clint Chelf - QB 6-1 210 Senior - Oklahoma State

In 2012, Chelf entered the spring as the starter, was demoted to 3rd string, and then only got to play after J.W. Walsh and Wes Lunt were injured, and he held onto the starting role for the last five games but did not really distinguish himself. In 2013, Chelf did not become the starter until after Week 7 of the season and had only mediocre stats despite leading the Cowboys to victories, with the one loss before he became the starter.  This lead up to the much anticipated matchup between the undefeated 4th ranked Baylor Bears, with the more heralded Bryce Petty, and the one loss Oklahoma State team with the unheralded Clint Chelf.  Well, surprise of all surprises, Self took off, passing for 19 of 25 (76%) for 370 yards and three TDs with zero interceptions, and those stats included nine of 12 passes for 15 yards or more downfield. Chelf also proved to be a capable runner. His passer rating for this one game was 239.9, which is off the charts.  Since his stats so far this year, including the results of this game, are nothing to get excited about, a 56.3 completion percentage and a passer rating of 141.7, which is not very good.  The question becomes whether he can build from this game and be considered a prospect by NFL teams or was this just a one game aberration? The positives to take away from this game were his decision making, poise, accuracy on deep throws and running ability.


2.  Ka'Deem Carey - RB 5-10 196 Junior - Arizona

A consensus All-American last year, Carey is just now receiving more accolades for his 2013 play after Arizona upset Oregon. Carey had 206 yards on 48 carries for a 4.3 average and four TDs in a game where he had to make much of the yardage on his own.  Although possessing really good speed, he is not as fast as some of the other top backs, but he has good vision, leg drive, balance, tackle breaking ability and moves. He is also a good pass receiver out of the backfield and a good blocker, both in the run and passing game.  His 48 carries attest to his durability and he has been good with ball security and has been able to make a lesser team competitive against stronger teams.  Reportedly, Carey is now up to 217 pounds through weight training, and if this is the case, he should remain a top five back and a second round draftee.


3.  Connor Cook - QB 6-4 215 Redshirt Sophomore - Michigan State

This guy is really coming on as a top flight QB who only became the starter as the season progressed.  In the win against Northwestern Cook was 16 of 23 (70%) for 293 yards, which computes to 18.3 yards per completion and had two TDs with no interceptions.  Twenty-three passes is a limited amount compared to many of the more prolific passers and some might just consider him to be a game manager, but he is making some nice throws with good ball placement and is playing with more confidence and avoiding the costly mistakes.  Only a redshirt sophomore who does not have a lot of game experience and looking at a strong QB class for the 2014 draft, the odds are that he would return to the Spartans for next year.


4.  Andre Williams, RB of Boston College; Chris Borland ILB of Wisconsin; Darqueze Dennard, CB of Michigan State; Jarvis Landry, WR of LSU; Aaron Donald, DT of Pitt, La'el Collins, LOT of LSU and Derek Carr, QB of Fresno State are previous Risers who again had outstanding games.



1.  Bryce Petty - QB 6-3 235 Redshirt Junior - Baylor

After climbing into the Heisman Trophy discussion, Petty had a BUMMER performance in that 49-17 blowout loss to Oklahoma State.  Baylor was ranked No. 4 in the nation going into the game with Petty being included in the Heisman talk, but that is all gone now as Baylor was dominated by the Cowboys.  Petty's overall stats of 28/48/58%/2TDs/0I do not really reflect his ineffectiveness in this game.  He was sacked twice and was only 4 of 11 on throws of 15 yards or more downfield and his two TD passes only came about in the 4th quarter when the game was out of reach.  The takeaways from this game are that his accuracy on deep throws was way off and that he didn't handle the pressure well.  With TCU, Texas and a possible BCS bowl game on the horizon, Petty has a chance to redeem himself and prove that he can play in pressure games.


2.  Johnny Manziel - QB 6-0 200 Redshirt Sophomore - Texas A&M

Leading the nation in passing completion percentage heading into the LSU game, Manziel took a precipitous drop by completing 16 of 41 (39%) with 1 TD and 2 interceptions and 2 sacks.  But more importantly, it showed that teams can contain his running and force him to be a pocket passer who has to throw under duress, which resulted in a poor performance.


3.  Sean Mannion - QB 6-5 214 Redshirt Junior - Oregon State

Things are going from bad to worse for the nation's leading total yardage passer as he was intercepted three times and sacked three times against Washington in a 69 to 27 beat down.  He completed less than 50 percent of his passes but the score of this game indicates that it isn't all his fault.  What is disconcerting is that while he is under constant pressure, he isn't handling it well.


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

Having appeared on every Top 50 list that I saw prior to the season, Coleman has taken a steep fall and has dropped even further after last Thursday's game against UCF.  Dropped passes and an inability to get open were the norm in this game.  On the one hand his height is thought to be an advantage, but on the other hand his long legs seem to inhibit his ability to make cuts and he hasn't shown to be the threat that he was last year.



1.  Eric Waters - TE 6-4 245 Senior - Missouri

Under-utilized as a pass receiver, Waters did have two pass receptions against Ole Miss and showed that he is a good blocker which is the role that he has been cast in.  But what really stood out was his quickness off the line of scrimmage and his athletic moves around the linebackers to break free when he was sent out on pass routes.  This ability to get downfield at one time was described as having basketball moves and he has those.  Since he is thrown to so infrequently, that evaluation can only be at Missouri practices or in private workouts but there is a lot of potential with this player.


2.  Markus Golden - DE/OLB 6-3 260 Redshirt Junior - Missouri

From JC to Missouri Golden got a late start in 2012 and therefore only played on special teams and was listed as a substitute LBer.  The early depth chart for the 2013 season had him listed as a third teamer at DE where the coaches moved him to take advantage of his quickness and athleticism.  He has now risen to 2nd Team and teams up with DE 2nd Teamer Shane Ray to form part of The Missouri Sack Exchange.  He and Ray are second teamers because starters Kony Ealy and Michael Sam are returning veterans who also happen to have a ton of ability.  It is The Missouri Sack Exchange because Golden and Ray are rotated in and out as pairs and thereby exchanged with the starters and then exchange again throughout the game.  Last Saturday against Mississippi, Markus led the Missouri defensive lineman with five solo tackles and one sack, but remember, he is only a part-time player.  His uncommon quickness, his read and react ability, closing speed, instincts and ability to make in line tackles are what give Golden possibly the highest upside of all four of these talented players who will all one day be wearing NFL uniforms.


Notes and observations on the college football scene:

1.  One team that I am looking forward to seeing is 9 - 2 East Carolina, which has had blowout wins against North Carolina and North Carolina State.  Their two losses were 15-10 to Virginia Tech and a 36 - 33 triple overtime loss to Tulane.

2.  Ciante Evans, Senior CB from Nebraska looked good in coverage and tackling in the overtime win against Penn State.

3.  Ron Kellogg, QB Senior from Nebraska, was the third string QB who had to take over and showed poise and accuracy on his deep throws in the overtime win against Penn State.

4.  An interesting development has taken place in the NFL this year, which will have an impact on the drafting of QBs such as Johnny Manziel and Marcus Mariota.  And that is that the passer-runner types such as Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and RGIII have been reined in by their own coaches because of the potential for injury as opposing defenses have considered it open season on them once they become runners rather than passers and also that defenses have learned how to contain them.  This will make teams drafting QBs evaluate these type players more on their ability to play QB from the pocket as opposed to considering them as dual threats. This development will increase the value of Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr and decrease the value of Johnny Manziel and Marcus Mariota.