CFB Scouting Notebook: Week 2
Week 2 is in the books and despite a lot of the heavy hitters facing cupcake opponents we still had two headline events and some overtime intrigue. Let’s dive straight into the players who improved their draft stock and those who stuttered.
Offensive Performances of the Week
Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon) – Week 1 was always going to be do-or-die for Oregon and Justin Herbert. Coming out with a loss vs Auburn makes a playoff berth difficult but it shouldn’t derail Herbert’s bid to be QB1 in next year’s draft. It was important for him to get back on track this week and he did so in style. The Ducks mauled Nevada 77-6; Herbert ended with a stat line of 19/26, 310 yards and 5 touchdowns. The best of the prospective QB1 was on show, throwing on the move, pump fakes and the arm strength scouts drool over. This and next week’s tilt vs Montana should boost his confidence before Oregon get stuck into their Pac-12 schedule.
Justin Jefferson (WR, LSU) – Joe Burrow will get most of the headlines for leading LSU to a vital win over Texas on Saturday night. However, he was ably assisted by his receiving corps. His three main targets all surpassed 100 yards but Junior Justin Jefferson was the go-to guy in big situations. He separates easily and caused problems across the middle all night for the Longhorns talented safety duo of Brandon Jones and Caden Sterns. His touchdown grab at the end of the 2nd quarter demonstrated his ability to highpoint the ball while his fourth quarter catch and run effectively iced the game.
Defensive Performances of the Week
Chase Young (Ohio State, DE) – Life is tough when you are the premier pass rusher in the upcoming draft class. It’s difficult to avoid the attention that brings. The last two defensive ends to go no.1 overall – Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett – had less than ten sacks in their final year of college. The problem? Double, and even triple teams blocking them. Young is the main focus for opposition offenses, making his start to the season even more impressive. A shutout of Cincinnati was led by Young who contributed three tackles, 1.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks and even a blocked field goal. His overall athleticism and willingness to to line up on special teams is impressive for a prospective top-5 draft pick.
Bradlee Anae (DE, Utah) – While Young is battling hard for his sacks, Bradlee Anae is suffering no such difficulty. The Utah defense is loaded and Anae is feasting because of it. With Leki Fotu forcing pressure up the gut and safety Julian Blackmon leading the secondary, it’s no surprise that Anae added 3 sacks to his career tally (which stands at 20) against Northern Illinois. Originating from Hawaii, Anae has grown up as part of an athletic family. His father played at BYU, his uncle is Virginia’s offensive coordinator and he has two sisters who played volleyball at college level. He will tick many boxes NFL teams have and if he continues to dominate for the Utes expect to hear plenty about him come next April.
A Tough Week For
Shea Patterson (QB, Michigan) – Army just missed out on their hunt for a major scalp on Saturday. Having gone close vs Lincoln Riley’s Oklahoma in 2018, this year’s near-victim was Michigan. All the talk pre-season was Jim Harbaugh’s team being able to challenge Ohio State, that looks like a massive task given this weekend’s performance.
When the Wolverines secured the transfer of Shea Patterson from Ole Miss, the thought was they had found the missing piece of the jigsaw. An athletic playmaker to throw to their talented receivers and pair with a solid defense. However, Patterson once again showed his inability to push the ball downfield is holding Michigan back. Paired with his current penchant for fumbling, his performances won’t have impressed pro scouts. There is time to turn things around but it is difficult to see Patterson asking many questions of this year’s Buckeyes defense.
Laviska Shenault (WR, Colorado) – A dramatic comeback saw Colorado improve to a 2-0 record as they took down Nebraska. Conspicuous by his absence though was Laviska Shenault. The Buffaloes wide receiver has been considered in the top tier with the likes of Jerry Jeudy and Tee Higgins but his stats don’t compare as of yet.
Through two games Shenault has accounted for 8 receptions, 79 yards and 1 TD. Against the Cornhuskers he was only the fifth receiver in terms of yardage. Ahead of the year, head coach Mel Tucker suggested they would use Shenault as a more traditional receiver as opposed to the gadget type role he played in 2018. He took snaps as a wildcat QB and running back last year showing off his speed and physical dominance. Colorado will be pleased to be off to an unbeaten start but they can be a real force if they find a way to get the ball to their most dangerous offensive weapon.
Play of the week
Colorado Flea Flicker – We go back to the Colorado vs Nebraska matchup for our play of the day and it was played out by two draft eligible prospects. Down 17-7 at the start of the fourth quarter and camped on their own goalline, the Buffs took a massive gamble. They rolled out a flea flicker. It put Montez back into his own endzone, from there he hit 5’8 receiver K.D. Nixon in stride on his own 40. Nixon proceeded to hot foot it to the endzone. The 96 yard touchdown was the longest play in college football in the last three years. Enjoy.
Non Draft-Eligible Prospect to Note
Rondale Moore (WR, Purdue) – Rondale Moore’s freshman season probably means he is well entrenched on your watchlist. With 1,471 yards from scrimmage and 14 touchdowns his freshman year was nothing short of spectacular. This year hasn’t been much different. After topping 100 receiving yards in Week 1, he began this week in relatively quiet fashion. However, Moore put the game to bed with a huge effort in the fourth quarter, the highlights; a 75 yard touchdown dash and a deep completion of 70 yards taking the Boilermakers to the Vandy goalline. At 5’9, he is more than a gadget player. Slick routes, oodles of pace and deceiving strength for a player of his size make him a fascinating watch. In a blink of an eye Moore can take a game away from you.
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.com