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Draft Notebook 1.0

draft

As we closer to the end of the college football season there will be more mentions on players who will declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. As of now there are a few big name underclassmen that have said they plan on entering the draft. 

Safety Derwin James, one of the top defensive backs in the nation has declared for the draft. James has said he will not be playing in the Seminoles’ bowl game as well. James who stands (6’3 2010 pounds) is talked about being a top 2 pick this season. He finishes his career at Florida State with 186 tackles with 15 of them coming for a loss. He also tallied a total of 5.5 sacks with 3 interceptions for his career. 

There’s noise going around that James isn’t the only Florida State player that could be leaving at the end of the season. Defensive end Josh Sweat (6’5/250/DE/OLB) And big tall wide receiver Auden Tate (6’5/225/WR) Also are players that are potentially going into the draft. As well as 4 year tight end Ryan Izzo (6’5/245/TE) Is also considering the draft with one of the top rated corners in FBS Tarvarus McFadden (6’2/ 200/DB) Is expected to leave Florida State for the draft as he is projected to be a first round pick. 

Duke Dawson, Cornerback for the Florida Gators will not only be attending the draft. But Dawson and fellow teammate Johnny Townsendsted little time accepting to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl game. Dawson who stands 5’10 208 pounds is possibly a second or third round pick. Dawson who this past season was targeted 48 times allowed only 21 catches. And finished with a passer rating of 37.1 according to Pro Football Focus (PFF) Which was good for 2nd lowest in the SEC. Taven Bryan, Also from Florida (6’5/293/DE) has been said to be thinking about declaring for the NFL Draft as well. 

Reading more into the SEC and players who could and will declare I read that some scouts in the area are grading Georgia running back Sony Michel actually ahead of his teammate Nick Chubb. Who ranks second all time in rushing yards for a Georgia running back. Only behind Herschel Walker who holds the all time rushing yards and touchdown record for the Bulldogs. 

Harold Landry as accepted his invitation to the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl. Landry is slated to be a first round pick and possibly slide down into the early second round. Landry who stands 6’3 250 pounds is a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, But if drafted into a 3-4 scheme he will be positioned at outside linebacker. Landry totaled 158 tackles with 48 for loss, 25 sacks, along with 1 interception, 6 pass deflections and 10 forced fumbles. He as missed the last 4 games of Boston College regular season with an ankle injury and is undetermined if he will play in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Iowa on 12/27/2017

Wisconsin may be losing one of its cornerbacks. Nick Nelson (JR/5’11/208) Has been telling teammates and people close to him that he is choosing to enter the draft. In fact he is saying that he is close to choosing an agent as well. Nelson played his freshman and sophomore years at Hawaii before transferring to Wisconsin. Nelson who tallied 34 tackles in his junior year. Not as impressive has his 51 tackles his sophomore year. But he did improve on his pass breakups in his Junior year going from 18 to 20. He was also his teams punt returner. Nelson returned 22 punts for 186 yards (8.5 per return) and one touchdown. Nelson however didn’t tally a single interception in his 3 year career. He does however have good ball skills and is able to line up in man coverage. He is an aggressive player who isn’t afraid to get in on tackles. Nick Nelson is projected to be a mid round selection. 

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Scouting Report On Vita Vea, NT/DE From Washington.

vea

 

At 6-foot-5 and 340 pounds (school measurements), Vea has the size and strength to dominate as a nose tackle, But he has the agility and quickness to play outside at defensive end (DE) in a 3-4 scheme.  According to CFB 24/7, Vea is rated number 5 on the list of college defenders that are most likely to become NFL stars. Vea is ranked top 10 in both pass rush and run stopping percentage according to Pro Football Focus (PFF) 

Some stats for Vea going into his last game of his Junior season vs Penn State, 93 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, 5 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles.

Vea projects to the NFL as a nose tackle who can be extremely strong at the point of attack. Vea uses his size with strength to eat up blockers. For as big as Vea is he has a quick burst off the snap, The combination of his size, power along with quickness is to much for smaller interior offensive lineman. But he is at his best when he bull rushes and using his strength with power to push back and through blockers to get to the quarterback or get to the ball carrier behind the line or at the line of scrimmage. I also like his motor, he doesn’t give up on plays even when they go away from him.

In the run game, Vea tends to sometimes get caught standing up too high. Which allows the guards to get under him pushing him back. Vea is a very good run defender but he isn’t a dominant one due to him getting caught standing too high. I’m very sure at the next level his coaches will teach to stay low at the point of attack.

In the game against Stanford Vea was doubled team constantly, And when he wasn’t he was in on the play almost every time. And even when doubled team he would be in on the play. It wouldn’t surprise me if at the combine Vea will bench press 225 pounds 35 to 40 times. Scouts were thinking Vea would come out last year and raved and loved his play and said he would’ve been a first round pick in last years draft. I have no doubt Vea will be drafted in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Is It Derrick Henry Time In Tennessee?

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As the season is getting closer to it’s last month of regular season games is it time for the Titans to switch it up at running back? Before I start i’d like to say Murray has done very good here in Tennessee, Maybe not in the run game this season. But he has been very dependable in the passing game, Catching the ball out the back field and pass blocking. But he just hasn’t been able to deliver in the run game like last season. Yes the offensive line hasn’t been the same this season, But like in the Thursday prime-time game it is evident that Murray is missing holes that the offensive line has opened up. One big knock on Henry was how would he do in the passing game out of the back field and pass blocking. But this season when called upon Henry has ultimately delivered in all aspects of the game. Last season he managed 110 carries for 490 yards for 5 touchdowns and averaging 4.5 yards an attempt. This season he has 114 carries for 520 yards but only 3 touchdowns ( largely due to them giving Murray the ball inside the 5 ).  Murray only as 452 yards on 129 attempts.

Now you can say Murray has been slowed down by a hamstring injury. But if that’s the case, shouldn’t they be leaning on Henry more then? Some people believe it’s due to his pass protection and Henry not being a threat out of the back field when going out for a pass. Henry has only 10 targets out the backfield, 7 have been caught but he has 3 drops. Murray has been targeted 36 times and has caught 31 passes with 2 drops. So no one can disagree with the fact that Murray even now with him not showing up in the run game is the better receiver out of the backfield. Where it’s very close to being even and doesn’t give Murray that edge is in pass blocking. Murray ( according to ProFootballFocus ) Has a pass blocking efficiency of 95.5 while Henry has a 94.4. But I would argue Henry is the better pass blocker, because Murray has been in on 73 pass blocking snaps, has allowed 1 sack, 1 hit, 2 hurries, for a total of 4 total pressures, Henry has been on 31 pass blocking snaps, has allowed 1 sack, 0 hits, 1 hurries, for a total of 2 total pressures. So who would you rather be the starter, Who would you just like to test Henry for a game or two?

How I Would Finish The Titans Rebuild.

I know it’s early considering the Titans just finished week 11 for them. But one thing that’s always fun to talk about is the off-season and the possibilities of what could possibly happen. So I’ll explain my thoughts and reasons on what I would do if I were in charge of this off-season for the Titans. 

  1. First off I would obviously look into the coaching changes. But let’s say Amy doesn’t allow me to make a change there. There for i’m stuck with Mike for the duration of the next season. (SUCKS)
  2. Looking past that, I’ll look at my roster and check off where I believe we are good at and where we will need help. The good are the tackle spots, Lewan and Conklin will be the pieces to build around for this team for the next decade on. I’m set at running back since Murray is still under contract and Henry is still on his rookie deal. I would however attempt to see if Murray would take a little bit of a pay cut since the next year I would fully expect Henry to be the starter. Wide outs/ Tight ends, We are good there for sure with the likes of Matthews, Davis, Taylor, and Sharpe all coming back. The real question would be should I try and attempt to resign Decker. ( This will all depend on the deal he would want ) If not look for a depth (WR) in free agency or later in the draft. Tight ends are set with Walker and Smith as the 1 and 2 (TE). That cleans up the offense since keeping Marcus as the starter is the obvious choice. Now moving on to the defense, The defense is the tricky part here. Mainly due to the fact we only have three (3) legit pieces we can build around for the now and future. Casey, Byard and Jackson/ Ryan. Obviously Byard and Jackson are on rookie deals and will most likely get 2nd contracts to stay with the team. Ryan being drafted in 2013 is still young And can still produce good outside. Casey being the oldest but is still playing very well signed a four (4) year contract deal that takes him to 2023. Other than them we are looking at either rotational players (Klug, Williams, Johnson on the DL) and you could make an argument that Williamson the LB is replacable. Then you have to look at the aging players. Orakpo, Morgan, Woodyard. With their contracts ending in 2019 and 2020. It could be best to possibly look at replacing them, or trading them for a draft pick.
  3. Biggest questions on the Titans offense in free agency would be the interior offensive line. Now I mentioned last year it would be a good idea to look into but Robinson thought other wise. So this year since i’d be taking over I wouldn’t look past it. Players Kline, Spain, And Schwenke contracts expires in 2018. I would re-sign Kline before Spain and obviously Schwenke. That puts the right guard position settled. Back up center/ guard and starting guard is a bit different. There’s nothing on the free agent market that’s going to be an upgrade over Spain. So unless someone gets released i’ll be re-signing Spain.
  4. Who would I re-sign overall. I would re-sign Succop, Kline, Spain, Schwenke, Decker ( On a small deal ) and Jones. None of this players would demand a lot of money for their respective position.
  5. Now onto the defense, I think we need someone opposite Casey, I got my eyes on Lawrence from the Cowboys, Though it won’t be easy considering he is having a great season. Lawrence has 12 sacks on the year, Would I might have to overpay for him? Possibly but I believe it would be the right move. Now onto the linebackers, Not much for the outside pass rushers, Look inside since Williamson is a free agent as well this season. Maybe a Navarro Bowman who has played in 8 games and as 70 tackles and 3 quarterback hits, Or maybe Demario Davis, Davis has played in 10 games and as totaled 82 tackels, 4 sacks, and 10 quarterback hits. Both players under 30 and still have between 3 to 5 years left. I would send offers to both players and see where they stand and would go from there. I would like Davis just a bit more but would gladly take either one. I wouldn’t bother with signing a corner in free agency, The 2 biggest names could be Johnson of the Rams, and Butler of the Pats. But Johnson of the Rams has a grade of 48.5 so far. Butler we could possibly go after but he would want big time money, And he is grading out at a 75. Not big time money worthy. But I would toss a offer for Butler that would be fair but not a big time money.
  6. Moving onto the draft. As of now the Titans are picking at number 25. So let’s go based on that pick there. Obviously the players like Mcfadden, Fitzpatrick, Harrison, James in the secondary will be gone. Players like Key, Laundry, Chubb will be gone as well for the pass rushers. So I would look into Vea and Payne possibly to play the NT. If they’re not there possibly look at Wilkins from Clemson, Or Ward at corner from OSU. Or even Hurst from Michigan to play NT as well. In the 2nd that’s when I could possibly look at Guard or a defensive back for sure. Maybe a Jaire Alexander from Louisville to play the slot corner or Jackson from Iowa, Jackson would be a big slot corner at 6’1 192. But has good ball skills. As for guards possibly Hernandez from UTEP or Billy Price from OSU.

 

That’s what I would do if I was the GM for the Titans in the up coming off-season.

Bengals vs Titans Preview

Titans Bengals Football

 

Coming into week 10, The Cincinnati Bengals (3-5) travel to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans (5-3). The Titans have won 3 of their last 4 games. And they are 3-1 at home this season. While the Bengals are 1-3 on the road. One key note here is that A.J Green will be playing in Sunday’s game, As he was not suspended for fighting with Ramsey this past week. So lets get into some of the key match-ups in Sundays game. 

 Tackle Andre Smith VS. Edge Rusher Morgan

Andre Smith is normally the left tackle, But with Jake Fisher out for the year. Smith will have to move to right tackle. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF) Smith as a 46.4 overall grade which ranks 53rd in the NFL. So far this season Smith as allowed 1 sack, 2 hits, and 8 hurries on 116 passing plays. He will mainly be facing Morgan on the left side of the defense. Morgan who pass-rushes from the left side of the defense 97.2 percent of the time. He has five sacks, one hit and 21 hurries on 222 pass-rushing snaps, but his three total run stops this season is the second lowest among outside linebackers with at least 100 run snaps. 

Green VS Jackson: 

Green who got into the fight last week vs Ramsey and the Jags. Is still ranked 3rd among wide receivers in yards per route ran this season with 3.4, On 40 catchable balls this season he has only dropped 1. The problem is this season he only has 2 catches on deep passes (15+ yards). This is partly due to the poor offensive line play. Adoree Jackson leads the Titans cornerbacks with only 9.7 yards per catch allowed, but he also has the most penalties (6) and second-most missed tackles (7) on his defense. That has given him a 71.5 overall grade this season, which ranks 71st at his position. So look for Andy Dalton to target Jackson often throughout the game. And look for the Bengals offense to line Green up vs Jackson. 

Marcus VS. Bengals Pass Rush:

Mariota in 2017 has faced pressure on about 21.4 percent of his drop backs. That’s the lowest rate among 32 quarterbacks with 187 or more drop backs. When Marcus is under pressure however he as been very good. So good in fact he ranks 3rd in the NFL in passer rating when under pressure with 93.9 passer rating. The Bengals have had a great pass rush this season, even tho they only blitz on 16.5 percent of pass plays. They still have managed to register 110 of their 140 of their total pressures by sending only 4 players to rush the passer. Mariota has completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 1,086 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions when he hasn’t faced a blitz this season. 

Schwenke VS. Atkins: 

This could be the biggest match-up for the Titans this game. Atkins is a top 3 defensive tackle in the NFL. He’s great against the run as well as great vs the pass. And since Spain will miss another game with a turf toe injury Schwenke will need to have his best game against an elite defensive player. Last week Schwenke did very well vs the Ravens defense not allowing a single quarterback pressure. And ending the day with a 83.6 pass blocking grade. However he struggled greatly in the run game, He managed only a 44.5 run blocking grade. Atkins will be lined up against Schwenke for most of the game. And Atkins is ranked 10th in the NFL among interior lineman against the run. But ranks 2nd against the pass.

Titans looking at Veta Via? Draft Stock On The Rise

Nose tackles are not typically graded as a first round player, Mainly cause nose tackles aren’t viewed as players that contribute to the pass rush. But some team sources say that Vea could be a pick in the back half of Round 1 in the 2018 NFL Draft. Why? Vea’s play this season will help his chances of being a first-round pick. He has shown the ability to contribute some in the pass rush while being big, strong, and having a burst at the point of attack. Vea whose 6-5, 340 pounds is very reminiscent of Danny Shelton who also came from Washington, and Shelton ended up going as a top-20 pick in the draft several years back. That was a bit of a reach by Cleveland, but Vea could end up going in the 20s during the 2018 NFL Draft. Vea has 61 career pressures on 480 rushes, showing that he can collapse the pocket in must-pass situations. In 2017 Vea has 88.9 overall grade currently ranks fourth among interior defensive linemen in the nation.vea

 

 

Roquan Smith Scouting Report. 11/1/2017

Georgia inside linebacker Roquan Smith (3)
(Photo by Jim Hipple)

Name: Roquan Smith  
Games Watched: Notre Dame, Tennessee, Florida
Physical Grade/Body Composition:
 My physical grade on Smith is a B at the moment. Body Composition reminds me a lot of Myles Jack from UCLA. 6’1 and 225 pounds. 
Tackling/Hit Power Analysis:
 Smith’s tackling is second to none. According to Pro Football Focus, Smith has 133 run snaps, He has 29 tackles from running the ball. 5 assists, But where he is second to none is due to his 0 missed tackles. he has 21 run stops (at or behind the line of scrimmage) That gives Smith a run stop percentage of 15.8 percent. In the passing game, Smith has 176 snaps. Again with no missed tackles on. Roguan Smith will come up and hit you. He doesn’t have great power like a Foster did when coming out of Alabama last season. But he will hit you and isn’t afraid of contact. 
Instincts/Play Recoginition Analysis:
 Very well rounded, Can read run plays, attacks the ball carrier with the right angles, diagnosis plays in time to get his team in the right scheme, Sideline to sideline speed when chasing down the ball carrier, understands to force the runner back inside where his help is. Smith breaks down the play as it is happening very well and is able to make himself skinny through the hole when trying to make a tackle. 
Scheme Fit:
 3-4 inside linebacker. 
Career Overview and Summary:

176 total tackles, 8 for loss, 1 sack, 2 pass deflections, 3 force fumbles and 1 fumble recovery.  

Smith isn’t the type of player that will come in and knock you out, But Smith is a very sure tackler. Once he gets his hands on you he is making the tackle. He does need a little more experience in the passing game but he has done well against the pass. I like how Smith is able to disengage the blocker and get in on tackles. He is at his best when playing the run. I’d like to see him gain a little more weight. But Myles Jack is doing just fine and they are the same size. In the run game, Smith has a good feel for finding the ball and avoiding blockers while doing a fine job of keeping the ball in front of him in coverage. Smith’s production is difficult to ignore when projecting him to the next level, and his presence in the middle is a huge reason for Georgia’s early-season domination. Pro Football Focus (PFF) has the Georgia junior ranked eighth among all linebackers in the country.

 
Projected Round: Middle 1st to early 2nd. (But has the ability to solidify himself as a 1st rounder as the year progress) 

Alabama or Georgia Who’s Better?

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Whose the better team, Alabama or Georgia? That will be answered in Atlanta for the SEC Championship and place in the college football playoffs. To understand and not just say well Alabama is ranked 1 at the start and have yet to loose so they deserve the number 1 spot let’s dig deep into this topic. 

ALABAMA: 

Their schedule Didn’t look to hard. With games vs FSU, Auburn, And LSU. But if you look further into it rather than just the games in themselves. You’ll see that their schedule wasn’t just a simple cake walk. FSU came into the season ranked number 4, Now they’re a horrible 2-5. Largely due to them loosing their star quarterback in Deondre Francois. Let’s look at Alabama notable wins, Wins over Colorado State whose 6-3, Texas A&M at 5-3, And Fresno State at 5-3. Their key games remaining are VS LSU whose sitting at 6-2, At Mississippi State and Auburn, both at 6-2. Auburn and LSU at the moment both have top 25 defenses, and top 30 offenses. 

 Georgia:

 Georgia schedule as key wins over Mississippi State at home, And then going to Notre Dame and winning. (ND is ranked 5th in the power rankings sitting at 7-1) Other than those two wins they don’t have very rough schedule. But what makes them impressive is how they’re winning. They have won 7 games by 21 or more points. 

Passing: 

When it comes to passing the ball, Alabama is ranked 85th with a average of 201 yards per game. Georgia is ranked number 111th with a average of 162.5 yards per game. (Alabama wins this stat) 

Rushing: 

When it comes to running the ball, Alabama is ranked 7th with a average of 299 yards per game. Georgia is ranked number 10th with a average of 284 yards per game. Now even tho it’s close what makes this very interesting is Alabama not only has Harris and BO, But they have Jacobs and a freshman 5 star running back in Harris as well that they all will use to stay healthy and fresh as well has Both quarterbacks can run. Georgia only has Chubb And Michel. ( Alabama wins again) 

Rushing Defense: 

When these two teams face the run it’s just as impressive as when their offense is on the field and running the ball. Alabama is ranked 1st averaging only 66 yards per game against the rush. While Georgia is ranked 6th averaging only 95 yards per game against the rush. (Alabama wins) 

Passing Defense: 

Yet another stat with both teams ranked in the top 10. Alabama is ranked 10th averaging 170 yards per game against the pass. Georgia is ranked 3rd averaging 157 yards per game against the pass. (Georgia wins) 

Total Defense: 

This stat may be the most impressive by far. Both teams are ranked top 3 in the nation in total defenses. Alabama is ranked 1st with 236 yards per game given up. While Georgia is ranked 3rd with 252 yards per game given up. (Alabama wins but it’s VERY close) 

Now instead of just leaving it there. Lets see how they are facing 3rd downs, Sacks, and Turnovers

Sacks:

Alabama is averaging just under 3 sacks a game with 2.88, that puts them at 20th ( Now they are dealing with some injuries up front. Most notable being the (DE) Hand. Georgia is ranked 73rd with 1.88 sacks per game. (Alabama wins) 

Turnovers:

Alabama is ranked 8th with 1.25 per game. They have 15 forced turnovers while losing 5. Georgia is ranked 49th with .25 per game. They have 12 forced turnovers while losing 10. (Alabama wins) 

3RD Down Conversion PCT: 

Alabama is ranked 38th on converting 3rd downs, With a .434 percentage. Georgia is ranked 5th on converting 3rd downs, With a .500 percentage. (Georgia wins) 

3RD Down Conversion PCT Defense: 

Alabama is ranked 5th sitting at .250 percentage against offenses on 3rd down. Georgia is ranked 27th sitting at .314 percentage against offenses on 3rd down. (Alabama wins) 

Crucial Players:

Alabama: Alabama has a handful of key players that will dictate how the game will play out. They are 

Jalen Hurts: 

Jalen Hurts will play a major role in the offense for Alabama, With how good Georgia is on defense he cannot have a repeat of what happened in the National Championship game vs Clemson. This season Hurts is 95-151 for a 63 percent completion percentage for 1223 yards and 9 touchdowns and 1 interception. Alabama doesn’t ask Hurts to throw it a lot down the field. But maybe in this game it may keep the safeties back. One area that Hurts can kill a defense is with his run game. He takes long strides so it looks like he is just gliding through the field. He has ran for 572 yards and 6 touchdowns. (Big key is he hasn’t turned the ball over passing or running the ball.) 

Damien Harris: 

Harris is having a great year running the football for the tide. He’s almost at 700 yards rushing and is averaging over 8.5 yards a carry with 10 touchdowns. He lost a little weight in the off-season and it has shown by him being able to not get caught from behind. He must have a good day to keep the pressure off Hurts. Harris also ranks 5th according to Pro Football Focus in elusive rating with a 116.2, Not to bad for a Alabama running back. 

Freshmen Wideouts: 

Why not Ridley? Well cause Georgia will obviously be aware of him and try to take him out the game plan. Alabama has a great group of young wide receivers that I believe will need to step it up late in the season if the Tide want to beat the Bulldogs. Ruggs one of the freshmen has 5 catches for over 100 yards and 5 touchdowns. Jeudy who I really like and believe can be better than Ridley. Has 12 catches for over 200 yards and 1 touchdown. ( But Jeudy has made some very impressive catches.) 

Da’Ron Payne: 

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Payne will have to stuff the middle and take on double teams the entire day. Payne has 14 run stops at either the line of scrimmage or behind the line. And a percentage of 11.0 percent. Only Isiah Buggs has a better run stop percentage than Payne in the SEC. And Buggs as well is playing for Alabama. (Reason why I don’t say Buggs is cause once Hand comes back Buggs will play only when Hand needs a break.) 

Shaun Dion Hamilton: 

Hamilton is a force, Against the run and pass. He is a great tackler and has great sideline to sideline speed. As well as he is a good cover (LB) through 8 games Hamilton as totaled 37 tackles 5 for loss, and 2.5 sacks. 

Combination of Wallace and Fitzpatrick: 

1707-Cover-CBs-Levi

Why both? Well Fitzpatrick is arguably the best Defensive back in the nation. Between his speed, Tackling, Ball skills, and football IQ. It makes him extremely dangerous to any offense. He can play corner, safety and even come on designed blitzes. It’s a must know where Fitzpatrick is at all times. Wallace as emerged as one of the nations best corners. Wallace has a .07 passer rating when throwing at him. Which is 1st among draft eligible corners. Wallace also has 3 interceptions, 9 Pass deflections. And he gets to the QB with blitzes as he has 2 sacks.

Georgia: 

Georgia as some serious pieces that cannot be taken lightly at any point in the game. 

Jake Fromm: 

Georgia quarterback Fromm must be on his A game vs Alabama. He will not face a defense like what Alabama will bring all season long. But he is off to a good start to his career. He has a 62 percent completion percentage, for 1263 yards and 13 touchdowns as well as 4 interceptions. Fromm does have some running ability. He has 3 rushing touchdowns on the year. 

Chubb/Michel: 

Georgia carries two very solid running backs, One of the best duos in the nation. Chubb and Michel have tallied a total of just under 1400 yards rushing. And 17 rushing touchdowns between them. Both Michel and Chubb are ranked top 12 in elusive rating according to Pro Football Focus. Chubb as a elusive rating of 91.5 (12th) While Michel as a rating of 96.1 which is good for 10th. 

Roquan Smith: 

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Smith is arguably the best inside linebacker (ILB) in the SEC. He is just everywhere on the field. Smith has posted 53 tackles, 1.5 Sacks, 2 pass deflections through 8 games. But what makes him so dangerous is the fact that he just doesn’t miss tackles. According to Pro Football Focus. Smith has 0 missed tackles. And holds the number 1 spot in run stop percentage with a 15.8 with his 21 stops. 

Lorenzo Carter: 

Carter will play a big role in the defense. Much like Smith Carter is a very important piece to the Bulldogs Defense. Carter has 22 total tackles, 3 Sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3 fumble recoveries, and 2 forced fumbles. Carter knows how to get to the ball carrier and make an impact. 

Rodrigo Blankenship: 

Yes i’m including a kicker, Why? It’s pretty simple if you think about it. Alabama doesn’t allow teams to score touchdowns on them. And Blankenship is 10-11 on field goals this season. Alabama holds the 8th ranked red-zone defense in the nation. Not very easy to points on them. So Blankenship could be a vital piece for the Bulldogs. 

So with all this taken in. Who do you believe will win this game? Alabama or Georgia.

 

Imagine Life Without Mariota

The Tennessee Titans has their franchise quarterback. So must of us think, What would happen if the Titans were to trade Marcus Mariota? Well franchise quarterbacks are not easy to come by. There are roughly around 7 quarterbacks in the NFL right now that other teams would take in a heart beat. Brady, Rodgers, Wentz, and Smith to name a few. A few up and comers that’s been in the league that has shown promise. Mariota, Goff, Winston, Prescott. 

One of the biggest keys to being a quarterback in the NFL other than your skill and football IQ. Is the scheme in which you are playing in. For example look at Brady, Rodgers, Wentz and Smith. Then even Goff now with McVay and Winston. ( Let’s even throw in the rookie Watson as well. ) They all have head coaches or offensive coordinators that have adjusted their offense around the quarterback. 

Now there are times that head coaches come in to a position that do not adjust their offensive schemes to the quarterback. Why? Possibly because they inherited the quarterback and did not draft one. Could their be a possibility that Mike Mularkey doesn’t want Marcus Mariota? And why wouldn’t you change your scheme to your quarterback? Is it cause he’s to set in his ways and want’s to run his offensive the way he always has? Or could he want another quarterback in the next year or two?

Let’s see what the Titans look like without Marcus. Before Marcus came into the league. Let’s look at 2 years before. In 2013 the Titans quarterback was a mix between Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick. They totaled 328-533 for a completion percentage of 61.5 for 3,496 yards, 22 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. They ended with a passing offense averaging 218.5 yards a game (21st) And 337 total offense (22nd) Pretty bad right? Before you say their defense was horrible, Total defense was ranked 14th in the NFL. Not great but not horrible either. Ended with a 7-9 record. 

In 2014. One year before Marcus the quarterback was a trio of Jake Locker, Zach Mettenberger, And Charlie Whitehurst. ( HORRIBLE. ) Between the 3 of them. They went 299-513 for a 58.3 completion percentage, 3,412 passing yards, A sad 20 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Now this season their defense was really bad. Ranked 27th in total defense. 

2015. Marcus rookie season played in only 12 games. He totaled 230-370 for a 62.2 completion percentage, 2,818 yards. ( that’s 4 games less with less than 700 yards difference ) 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Just 1 touchdown less a year before with 3 quarterbacks playing 16 games and 3 touchdowns less in 2013 with Locker and Fitzpatrick at quarterback. 

2016. Marcus gets help with Matthews coming in at wide receiver, And Murray coming in at running back. Marcus went for 276-451 for a 61.2 completion percentage. 3,426 yards and 26 touchdowns with 9 interceptions. ( First year under Mularkey ) 

2017. Mariota has seemed to take a step back. He has gone for 110-176 for a completion of 62.5. Doesn’t seem to bad but he has missed on passes that in 2016 he would’ve made. He has thrown for 1,301 yards and has 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Now why has it seemed like he is taking a step back? 

Now it goes back to my first paragraph, The scheme. He may be throwing it an average of 29 times a game. But he isn’t throwing to many wide receivers. In college he did very well when he had 4 options to throw it too. Rather that be all 4 wide outs, 3 wide outs and 1 tight end or 3 wide outs and 1 running back. But in the scheme Mularkey runs he is throwing a lot to 2 or just 3 options. ( Some fans say a great quarterback will audible out, But what can you audible too that will work with just that many options? )  Now i’m no math genius but 3 wide options to throw it too vs 4 or more defenders doesn’t suit you very well. Especially when the play calling as been less than steller. We have shown a lot of times to run run then pass. And when we pass it’s been in obvious passing downs. Not only is that a big problem, But when our receivers are out running their routes, They are running simple routes and not very creative plays. This has lead to a lot of fans either blaming Marcus for the poor play and others blaming the staff saying they are to vanilla and that their playbook isn’t working in this time frame of the NFL. 

Now let’s go out on a limb and say the Titans do trade Marcus. What would they trade him for? A 1st or maybe 2 1st rounders? Lets just go with a 1st and a 2nd. Just so it doesn’t seem like we are blowing it out of the water. Who would the Titans be after since they would now be in the market for a quarterback. Lamar Jackson? You would be in the same situation as you are with Marcus, Sam Darnold? He has shown regression this season from a year ago. Josh Allen? He has been having struggles all year long. Josh Rosen? Rosen wouldn’t be a bad choice, Has thrown for over 2600 yards, Has 19 touchdowns to 8 interceptions threw 8 games. Maybe Jake Browning from Washington? I think he doesn’t get talked about but has been consistant in his play. Last year having over 62 percent completion, Over 3400 yards passing and 43 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. So far threw 7 games has 68.5 percent completions for 1600 yards and 14 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Doesn’t have that big wide out nor a great elite tight end either. What about waiting a year and maybe hope for Will Grier? Now Grier will HAVE to bulk up. But he is having a very good year throwing for 66 percent completion, 2400 yards and 26 touchdowns with 5 interceptions. 

Or you know, you could always fire the offensive staff and hire a staff that will adjust it’s scheme to a top 10 possibly top 5 caliber quarterback. I mean even in week 7 vs the Browns, Didn’t have his best game. But still graded to a 84.5 according to PFF. Week 6 graded out to be a 88.5 without the ability to run.

Why I think Sam Darnold should stay another year at USC

Coming into the 2017 college football season, Sam was talked about being the number 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Now that talk as died down a bit due to his inability to grow from last year. 

In 2016 Darnold had a very good Sophmore season. He finished with a 67.2 percent completion, 3086 yards 31 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. And a rating of 161. In 2017 he has fallen off, threw 8 games of the season Darnold as 63.5 percent completiton, 2292 yards and 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. 

In 2017 Darnold as thrown for at least 1 INT in 7 of his 8 games. Darnold has been trying to force throws in areas of the field that he should not be throwing the ball too. he’s making bad reads when choices are given to him. USC runs a lot of zone read plays where Darnold is allowed to decide whether he should give the ball to his running back or keep it himself. He almost never keeps the ball, so defenses virtually ignore him on those plays. Darnold is also set up with a ton of run/pass option plays, where he can either hand it to the running back or fire the ball to a receiver on a quick throw. He regularly chose to hand the ball off into stacked boxes, or pull the ball back and throw into tight coverage. While he almost never made those mistakes as a redshirt freshman last year, he’s making them routinely this season.Sam Darnold is a phenomenal quarterback with All-Pro upside, but he’s not perfect. That has been on display over the last few weeks as he’s routinely missed open receivers for big plays, forced balls into coverage and failed to build chemistry with receivers other than Deontay Burnett. While USC’s play-calling has left a lot to be desired, Darnold hasn’t consistently risen to the occasion when his team has needed him. This is why I’m saying he should choose to stay another year. Try and develop a little more before entering the NFL Draft.